Fandom: Naruto canon, set in the near future, with a Sasuke return to Konoha assumed.
Notes: SasuTen for Sasuke's birthday in July 23. Originally a oneshot that was definitely not going to be Nejiten. But reading some Bergeron Falls reawoke a Neji muse, so we'll see, I guess.
see its face beneath the glass, it murmurs on the breeze
like a long black cadillac it passes 'neath the trees
what is it you're waiting for? sweet love is on its knees
go to sleep my one true love,
and find your heart's release
- David Gray
“He’s never going to love you like you want, you know.”
His voice is dark and soft, like the twilight shadows it comes out of. She can’t see him because she refuses to look.
Tenten glares at nothing instead, shoulders tensing, her grip on the kunai tightening until she deliberately loosens her fingers for her usual perfect throw. Her eyes change, focus, zero in. A smooth flick of the wrist and the kunai thuds dully into the exact center of a bulls-eye painted on a strawman, the one where his heart would be – a killing shot – and he continues speaking as if its impact had been a signal.
“You’re an orphan and you’re a ninja and you don’t let anyone in too close. Your friends are your friends but you never let them be family. You’d let him, though. You want him to be your family and he’d be the only one. You’d give him everything – even what you hold back now. But he can’t do the same for you.”
She hauls back the kunai via chakra string tied round its ring-handle, bright blue in the deepening shadows, shimmering lightly with her own particular energy-patterns. The intensity of the brightness fluctuates, flaring a bit at times (in rhythm with certain words) rippling slightly, the only sign of her agitation. She throws the kunai again, this time aiming for the spot between the eyes, a headshot. He speaks over the quiet sounds of her throwing, his voice smooth and unrelenting.
“He can’t, Tenten. He’s already got a family, he’s got their brand across his forehead and that’s going to be the first thing he thinks of always. He belongs to them, and even if he didn’t love them at all –and he does, and that love is older than anything he could give you - that isn’t going to change. You will only ever be one of many concerns, and that’s not what you want, is it? That’s not what you need.”
‘shut up shut up shutup,’ she doesn’t scream, her kunai going in almost to the base of the blade with the force of her throws. Killing-shots, all of them, every time, and the string as she yanks it back out blazes brightly against the night.
“You’ll want his all because you’ll give him your all because he’s the only one you can give it to. You want your own family, he already has his. He won’t understand being alone and he won’t understand being each other’s only.”
“But I do. I would. I haven’t got anyone either, Tenten.” He pauses, and his voice might have been called hopeful if it wasn’t his voice. “I could be your everything, and you’d be mine. I’d give you all of me.”
“…leave me alone,” Tenten says, tiredly rather than screaming in rage as she had that first time he’d talked to her. She leaves the kunai where it is, letting the chakra string dissolve. It’s embedded almost to the ring-handle in the heart-target.
Sasuke does, flitting away into the trees that surround their village. Tenten clenches her fists when he’s gone and blinks away tears, then and only then, hating him for his words, hating him for always coming to her in the night, hating him for being himself, traitor and thief and kinslayer.
She hates him for his red spinning eyes that see so much (like his eyes but never his eyes) and she hates him for giving her the selfish jealous truths about herself she never wanted.
A SasuTen for Sasuke’s birthday (a little late, as is tradition now), July 23. Well, it’s SasuTen now, but a little Neji muse that hasn’t been really active lately is protesting and wants his own follow-up chapter to plead his case.
Typed in a couple of hours, though the basic idea has been floating around forever, and the theme of Neji being torn between Clan Hyuuga and Tenten is an old staple o’ course. I kind of like playing with it. That bit of camaraderie Sasuke shows in the beginning of the series for Naruto as a fellow orphan has always been one of my favorite moments too, and it had its own role in this.
I just realized that my SasuTen muse feeds on NejiSaku. I hate reading it and feeling sorry for Tenten and then I get to thinking how she and other people (usually Sasuke and oddly enough, never Naruto, who is actually my favorite character) would fit. And that it is starved by good NejiTen fics.