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Saturday, May 31, 2008

In Other Words

Rated: PG
: Temari/Tenten
: Shoujo-ai and spoilers
: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto, not me
: You have to read this wonderful story called “The Thing about Simplicity” by Jade Maxwell first. This is the companion piece she asked me to write for her. It's told from Tenten's POV as the first was from Temari's.

In Other Words

Author: Hyatt Insomnia

Did you know that I had been awake the whole time you were there? I'm sure that you didn't. You seemed so surprised when you pulled away, your teal eyes large in shock. I had been lying there thinking before you came in. Oddly enough it had been you that I had been thinking of; or if my you prefer, my defeat by your hand.

I couldn't believe it when I had lost. Even more so mind-numbing was the way that I had lost. So utterly defeated—it was almost laughable. I'm the one who's supposed to be there to yell at Lee when he makes the same mistake he has over and over, challenging Neji though I often tell him not to. I'm supposed to be strong. I have to be strong for myself and for my teammates.

Yet you tossed me aside so carelessly. Do you realize that I could've (and would've) died had I landed upon the discarded weapons? At first I thought it was because you just didn't care, because you were cold hearted and cruel.

Then why would you…? I almost laugh at that. I don't even know you—not even a little bit—and yet, you already confuse me more than anyone I've ever met before. If you didn't care whether or not I lived or died why would you go and do something like you did? Or is that just another way of you being cruel?

No. I know that that isn't true. The look on your face before you ran out of here was too open, too true. You hadn't wanted me to catch you, but there was one thing that you had failed to notice: I kissed you back. I don't know why I did or if I even really wanted to kiss you, but I did it anyways.

I bring my fingers up to my lips, brushing the tips of them lightly across and I smile. How completely moronic am I? I'm getting giddy over a kiss given to me by a girl that I don't even know. Not to mention a girl that almost killed me. That makes the lingering prickling sensation in my lips all the more moronic. I can't believe myself. My heart shouldn't be racing right about now, but it is. I shouldn't be recalling the events of a few days ago, but I am. And my lips shouldn't tingle at the very thought of the kiss you gave me, but they do.

My eyes slip closed recalling that small amount of time you had spent inside of my room. I had closed my eyes as soon as I heard the door open thinking that it would be Neji, Lee, or Gai-sensei. But then again, how could it have been any of them? Neji and Lee had still yet to fight and Gai-sensei had to be there to support them. Even if I had realized that however, I wouldn't have expected it to be you.

You had walked over to my bedside, looking over me in such a way that I had to fight the urge to shudder. I could feel your gaze burning into my skin. At that time I had yet to see your face but somehow I knew that you weren't one of my teammates. I had a feeling that it was you. No one else would've come to see me. Though I had to ask myself: why were you there? Why would you bother to come visit my bedside when you had treated me so cruelly inside of the fight? And even more importantly: why were you staring at me like you were?

I had to fight in order to keep my eyes shut. Part of me had wanted to open them, to look at you and let you know that I was awake. That would be the same moronic part of me that touches my lips like I am now. You shouldn't be affecting me this way.

You stood there for so long. It was a bit frustrating to have to feign sleep for such a long period of time. In the end I'm glad that I had to though I must admit that some of your actions surprised me more than you would expect.

When you reached out to touch my hair, I had flinched in response. The touch had come so suddenly, so unexpectedly. I thought that you would for sure notice that I had been awake the whole time. And I must admit that I felt the urge to panic. Yet you showed no sign that you had seen me flinch as your hand continued to caress my hair.

Though that action alone was startling enough was the feeling of you lifting stray locks of hair off of the pillow. What had you been doing then? Smelling it? Seeing what it felt like against your cheek? I wanted to open my eyes and see exactly what it was, but again I decided against it. For some reason I was slightly nervous of you finding me awake. Though I don't see why I was… had you really cared if I had done so earlier than I did?

Well, the point is that I didn't. I'm not quite sure if now that I know what happened next whether or not I did the right thing or if I should've opened them. I felt you lean forward, taking in my scent and lingering for only a moment. That was when it had happened.

You kissed me. I kissed you back. The kiss was only brief and I have a feeling that you were far too lost in your own thoughts to even notice that I had returned your kiss but I felt you nip at my lower lip as you pulled away.

That was when I had blinked my eyes open to look upon your face. You were smiling in the moment that you had pulled away. Did you know that you were or were you unaware of it? You looked so innocent when you smiled. It lit your face up; something that I wouldn't have thought was possible. I couldn't help but wonder: is this the same person that had beaten me so mercilessly earlier? But at the same time, I knew that you were.

The smile—the beautiful, innocent smile—left your lips as quickly as you came. Your eyes caught mine for the briefest of seconds. I had opened my mouth to say something. I don't remember what exactly that was but I have a feeling it was something along the lines of 'hello'. I can be terribly inarticulately like that sometimes.

Before I got a chance to say anything (which may very well have been a good thing) you were out the door, leaving me with that unspoken word on my lips. I had pushed myself up, staring at the door for only a few moments before turning my head to look out the window. Just as I'm doing now I raised my hand to my lips, brushing my fingers over them and I found myself wondering what it would've been like to really kiss you.

I let out a soft sigh, finally letting my hand fall from my lips and down to my side. I'm still smiling though I'm confused. I do suppose that I'm going to have to try and find you to ask you why you did what you did. Maybe then I could find out why I did what I did.

Any further thoughts on the matter are quickly cut off as the door opens. I lift my head, turning it in the general direction to find Neji standing there, looking rather emotionless though I suppose that's nothing new.

Without as much as a word he strides over to the bed, sitting down upon it gracefully. That's one of the interesting things about Neji; he's more graceful than anyone I know. I must admit that I'm rather tomboyish and lack the usually grace of a woman. It makes me wonder exactly what it was that made me attractive to you. Or do you go for that sort of thing?

“You seem happy,” Neji finally says after a moment of silence, once again breaking me from my thoughts.

For a moment I look at him, trying to think of something to say in reply to that. Am I happy? I know that I'm smiling, but am I really happy? My smile grows wider. “I am,” I say softly, turning to look out the window.

I can practically feel the question forming inside of Neji's mind. “Any particular reason?” he asks. I laugh lightly, shaking my head. There's not reason for him to know.

“No reason at all. I just am.”

I'm still wondering how I managed to write that in under an hour. blinks I'm really not used to writing anything that isn't Yu-Gi-Oh. Anyways, I hope that everyone (especially wifey!) enjoyed this story! I had fun writing it. Who knew Tenten's POV would want to be written as much as it did?

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