That is, until, she joined Team Guy.
One the second day of their formation, Guy demanded that they share their birthdays, and as it happened Tenten's was the closest to date. The girl had no idea that her teacher would start planning something the second he had his hands on the information.
Several weeks later on the day of her 13th birthday, Tenten answered the door to Might Guy and Rock Lee shoving large bouquets of flowers. Tenten's face flushed such a deep shade of red, her hair went from chocolate brown to autumn red. Neji was not among their boisterous teammates who escorted her out that day, only to be found waiting near the entrance of a restaurant she had chosen ages ago. Upon arrival two things happened: 1) it was the first time she had honestly ever seen him give a genuine smile and 2) that was the birthday he gave her a ying-yang pendant he had carved on a necklace.
It had been years since that birthday, but Tenten treasured Neji's gift to her all the same. She only put it on when she was about to trek on a very dangerous mission. It had turned into something of a good luck charm over the years.
And now the routine for her birthday had changed significantly: Guy and Lee would attempt to surprise her with flowers at any moment her guard was down, and with help from the Leaf's number 1 hyperactive, knuckle-headed ninja for the past three years they were fairly successful. The hot-blooded trio would then escort her to wherever her heart desired, their friends and Neji always able to meet them there.
Neji, never being one for birthdays, never failed to get TenTen something that he said reminded him of her. Be it clothes, panda dolls, or a new weapon holder, Tenten cherished everything he got for her. She was just happy that his smile, however small it was in company, was for her.
This year, the year she turned 21, was different.
Neji had asked her to dress up before going out that night. So she had pulled out the dress she had gotten while shopping with Ino on one occasion. The outfit was reminsicent of Neji's normal mission wear, the sleeves white and airy, flowing past her hands. They were stitched to the torso of the dress with lime green fabric, the torso of similar design to traditional qipao except it was jet black, the same shade of green fabric running down the collar and around her back but stopping right above her right breast. Her buns were covered in white covering adjorned with lime green ribbons on the edges.
Tenten slid into it with ease, check out her legs in the mirror. Before she could start thinking of ways to make her lover body more appealing, there was a knock on her door. She slid into her green heels (Ino had insisted) and bolted as best she could for the door.
Most unexpectedly, Neji was what she found at her door. He wore a simple black suit with a pale blue tie, his hair tied back in a pony tail, the mark of Hyuuga binding technique long vanished. And behind his back was what possibly the biggest collection of flowers she had ever been given (which was certainly saying something considering her teacher and teammate's need to go bigger and bolder every year)! A wild mix of red and white roses, lilicas and orchids scattered perfectly among them.
She felt his gaze on her as she looked at the flowers, completely stupefied at the display, only to have him look anywhere but at her when she tried to meet his eyes.
"These are for you," He said shifting them in front of him to cover his face, "Though I guess you already knew that?"
Tenten took the vase out of his hands and somehow managed to squeeze the gift into her apartment. She found a temporary space for it.
"Just because your called a genius, doesn't mean you can get off with being a smart-ass!"
As she turned back from him with a smile, Neji was holding out a hand for her to take. She graciously took it, stepping forward so that way was against him. He wasn't so tall that she couldn't reach his face in her heels, but Tenten felt herself instinctively stand on her tip toes as she kissed his cheek.
Then they just stood there for a moment, just for the both of them. Tenten rested a hand just above where that scar was placed. Neji, after a while, lifted that hand and brought it to his lips.
"It's okay, Tenten, I'm not going anywhere. I promise."
With that, Neji walked her into the Village. For this birthday, Tenten wasn't allowed to pick out where she wanted to go. Apparently her team had already made plans for the night.
"Girls! How long has it been since we last saw each other?" Tenten said to them, her breath light from laughing.
Temari's grin shrank a little bit as she answered. "Seems like forever," She confessed, almost guiltily, "But I've just been so busy between my title and work going on at home." Tenten shook her head, as if to say that it was okay since it was work. Still the sight of her friend brought back memories from ages ago.
"You up for a rematch, depending on how you're staying?"
Temari smirked at the twinkle in her friend's eye, as the trio straightened up. The last couple of times they had went at it, the two had been tied 6 to 6.
"Well I do have a reason for my visit, outside of you're birthday...."
Karui gave a roll of her eyes. "I will never understand you're attraction to Bambi boy."
"Says the girl who tumbles between the sheets with a puppy dog. Speaking of bed wrestling," An evil smile then manifested on both Karui and Temari's faces, "What's it like with bird boy? I recongize a girl who's been getting bed rest with another person."
Tenten glanced over to Neji, who had wandered over to chat with Hinata and her blond hero of a boyfriend. A memory of not even a week ago. A scene that had occurred over the weekend flashed to the front of her mind. Sunday morning she awoke wearing his rope as a t-shirt as Neji made her breakfast. Tenten's face flushed has she covered her face.
Temari laughed and crossed her arms, black sleeve-like gloves resting against her chest. "He must be one of those really gentle lovers, if you're so flustered like that."
Karui then proceeded nudge an elbow into Tenten's side. "What with those eyes of his, he probably knows all the right spots to press to get you hot and heavy. And that Gentle Fist technique must be great for-" The redhead paused as a kunai was right before her eyes. Girl really did have a blade stashed everywhere.
The foreign duo laughed at how red Tenten's face at gotten at the subject. Eventually they stopped and when they did, they pulled two scrolls out before her.
"I know we're supposed to wait," Karui started.
"But we wanted ours to be the first gifts you open."
Tenten just then noticed that they had been getting closer to moving outside. That meant they must've been something that could only be opened outside, then.
Tenten took, much to Temari's happiness, the Suna stamped scroll first. When the seal was released a large collapsible fan appeared from the paper. The brunette's face was a mix of shock and glee, as she griped the weapon.
"It had the best weapons makers in my home make if for you. Made from the the strongest and most durable sandpaper fabric ryo could buy, I also had the handle fused with chakra-mending metal from the Iron Country. It's not as strong as the fan you used in the war," Tenten's eyes noticebly dimmed as if the object had some sort of lost lover, "But it's certainly a formidable weapon for you too use."
Tenten weighted it in her hand before giving her hand a snap, the fan giving a satisfying 'twhip' as it opened. The off white paper-like material seemed to glow in the dark, the metal sheen of it's binder glinting from the streetlight that hit it at an angle. The weapons master gave an experimental sweep, a breeze dancing around her as she spun, flowing in the end direction she had aimed the weapon. The light in her eyes was unmistakable.
"Girly fans are nice an all," Temari gave the Kumo swordswoman a pointed glare, "But I think mine is more your style. Consider it a gift from Naruto and me."
Tenten, after reversing the release on the fan's scroll, took the other gift into her hand and broke the seal. A beautiful white katana appeared in her hands-forged from cloud iron, she realized, at the lightness of the weapon. On the hilt faced towards her, a familiar spiral was etched and painted into it. Tenten smiled softly, Naruto having always considered her apart of his clan for the past couple of years (he wouldn't tell her why). The fact that he'd want her to have this family sword meant--oh. A different type of notching rubbed against her fingers on the other side. Upon turning it over, Tenten gave a slight and unintentional gasp at the other familiar symbol that graced the other side.
"I figured if you don't want to use it to fight with, then you can totally place it in your new home (you'd have to ask him where it'd go, of course) and--why are you crying?"
Tears were indeed welling in her eyes at the gift, Tenten wiping them away to answer Karui. "What do mean new home? With who?" Temari and Karui's eyes widened as they mouthed 'oh shit' and before they could fix their mistake, he was there behind her. Tenten turned and finally understood what they had meant. "You're really ready for use to live together?"
His eyes softened and his gave her a smile, "I've been wanting to wake up by you're side everyday since we met." Neji leaned in for a kiss but then suddenly Naruto came flying out of the resturant and slammed into a building across the street.
"Who the hell gave Lee saki?!" He cried! Tenten sighed, releasing out her new fan and giving Neji that knowing look. He mumbled something under his breath for activating his Byakuygan. Never a dull moment for Team Gai. But Tenten like it that way.