Title: Haven in Hell
Pairing: angry, angsty NejiTen
Disclaimer: Naruto, not mine since 1999.


Every body she stands over has his face. She kills and kills and kills and kills, and it's never enough to wash his blood out of her mind. War isn't enough to erase the memory of the calluses on his hands on her body, or the way his hair mingled with hers as they breathed the same breath.

She can't go home. Home isn't a haven, it's a hell. So she joins ANBU and puts on the mask. It's not just the painted porcelain, it's the death in her eyes and the rigid mouth that's forgotten how to smile. She doesn't look back at the gates that never welcomed him home, and she leaves over and over and over again.

There is only the mission. There is only the body count that is never high enough to bring him back, only the ocean of blood that will never make his heart beat again. Her weapons are sharper than the line between life and death, and she deals out the latter with unapologetic single-mindedness.

She can bring him back. She will bring him back.

If she stops, she'll have to acknowledge that she can't go back. The glory days are gone and all she has left are these gory days, these black days when she doesn't remember what she did, these days doused in bloodlust, and an ache in her heart so savage that will never go away no matter how much she takes and takes and takes just like he was taken from her.

So Tenten keeps moving forward, carrying his dead weight on her shoulders.