Deny no more

Amidst the battle two wounded souls tried to seek refuge from each other. A prideful man with a cold heart and a wounded headstrong, will-full woman that had never stirred anything from him until….nejiXten

This is actually a oneshot; but rather long story. I just love these two. Neji maybe cold but at least he is not as cold as our ever dearest sasuke. So it would seem easy to wield this story. Hope you guys enjoy.

Disclaimer: i do not own naruto

You are the strength

That keeps me walking.

You are the hope

That keeps me trusting.

You are the light to my soul.

You are my purpose

You are everything

And because I cannot deny no more

Will you somehow…

Just let me love you?

She ran for her dear life. She must live in order to give them the oh so precious scroll but with her condition, her struggle and fight for the good will only be worthless and futile if she kept on going. And so she had decided to retreat and run for it. Whether it may seem cowardly or not, she didn't care. She had to do this…no slash that idea….she must do this.

Jumping from branch to branch, Ten-ten panted so hard trying to catch her breath and fighting back oblivion that was so persistent of catching up on her. Not yet, not yet. She mustn't fall into that. She had to fight it not until she has found a place to hide and tend to her wounds.

She stopped suddenly when she felt that she had almost slipped. Idly catching herself she slumped against the tree and clutched her left side. God it hurts! Please give me strength…please…the words like a mantra to her head. She threw her head back as she looked at the stars above the night sky biting back a whimper.

One false move, one sound and she would get caught. She must be careful. She couldn't count on anyone other than herself. Besides, this was supposed to be a retrieval mission not some S class mission of some sorts. How was she to know that they had set her up?

She was caught deciding between going ahead and forget about herself or rest but she knew if she went with the former idea and disregard the latter, everything would be a failure not to mention, endanger the Hokage and with that, Konoha as well.

So with great reluctance, she decided to rest. Her charka was almost down dangerously and she had lost all her weapons and was left only with a kunai. With an arrogant smirk that tainted her rosy albeit pouty lips, she thought, I may have lost all my weapons but it was not wasted anyway. At least they all died. Every last piece of shit were dead. But it was not time to rejoice. She…after all was on the run. And so with last ounce of charka left, she pushed herself from the branch and started jumping again as she scanned the place to hide herself.

When she finally spotted a cave that was well hidden behind a waterfall she cupped a hand on the water and brought it hungrily to her lips quenching her thirst and welcoming the cool liquid that moistened her dry throat and parched lips.

When she had done that, she would have wanted to clean herself but she couldn't. She stood up and staggered towards the mouth of the cave and entered towards the darkness and slowly dropped to the ground as she felt every muscle weaken and her knees gave way.

Her charka finally extinguished to the very last of its flames. She finally welcomed the blackness that cloaked her from the inside. It would be a long time before she could regain her charka level. But for now, she wanted to sleep and never wake up if it was the only way to drive away the pain.

In the other hand….

His heart was racing wildly as his pearly gray, pupil-less eyes scanned his surroundings. He was dispatched to retrieve her. She was supposed to be back last night but she didn't came. The Hokage had dreaded the worst.

He was no medic-nin and was not supposed to be assigned to this but he had insisted. Something inside him felt so unsettled when he heard the news. Although the Hokage looked calm but beneath that façade was a feeling of uncertainty and fear.

Fear that Ten-ten, one of the finest of their generation would die or the scroll might fall into the wrong hands. It must be delivered to them quickly for it was their only hope now to save and protect Konoha. His comrade must be found quickly because that scroll was needed too much! No time to waste or dilly dallying.

What was he supposed to do when the medic-nin that should retrieve her was yet to arrive in the afternoon? Hell! It was just ludicrous!

He tried to feel for her charka but couldn't. He'd been doing it a long time ago exactly when he stepped foot from the gates of Konoha but until now, he couldn't find her. Where was she? Unless? NO! That can't be! That certainly won't happen. Ten-ten is too strong. She couldn't just die. They need her to fight by their side.

And when he almost started to give up, he felt it. The slightest oh so smallest hint of her charka. It was so little that if he hadn't paid attention to his surroundings he would have missed it. He immediately activated his byakugaan and scanned around when he finally settled to the cave behind the waterfall. No wonder he couldn't find her, she hid herself well. Smiling with satisfaction and relief he quickly went to the area.

Inside the cave:

It was too dark but with his byakugaan, it was never a problem. He tried to look for her and saw a figure in black who was lying down on her back. he approached her and was not prepared for what he saw.

Her very long brown hair had come undone and was now framing a beautiful face that was ghostly white with a trace of dried blood at the side of her right lip. Her black ninja cloth that covered her arms were tattered revealing her right upper torso that was bounded with a white cloth while sheets of black ninja suite still clung to her left side.

Waking from his stupor, he took his Anbu mask off his face and bent down on his knees as he scanned for any injured bone in her body. Other than gashes on her arms no bones were fractured except for the wound on her left side. He started to touch it but heard her whimper. She was in deep pain. He watched as her long eyelashes fluttered open before he was looking back at chocolate brown eyes. She blinked once, twice before she focused her eyes on him. Her eyebrows furrowed before she spoke his name in rasped voice that was in pain "Neji?" and then she fell back asleep.

He remembered what Shizune-sama had told him before he left early that morning after she had shown him some first aid tricks and after the Hokage has handed him with the medicine to treat her wounds. If Ten-ten was hurt yet not so badly but somehow could not support herself or was vastly weakened, then he was to stay and allow her to rest until she could stand up for if he were to bring her with him at her current state would only slow them down and what's worse, easy prey. And so he was trying to decide, for the love of God, if what he's going to do next was right or wrong.

Should he undress her or not?! The wound on her left side was serious and had dried but he knew that it had not been treated because the white cloth around her torso was still unwrapped. If he was to prevent secondary infection, then he had to take it off.

Deciding that there was no other way, he ruthlessly cut the cloth that had used to bind her and systematically got rid of it. He paused for a while looking at her porcelain skin. He couldn't help himself he was just a man anyway. His hand shook as he shrugged off the backpack and unzipped it while he proceeded to start the task of cleaning her wounds and treating her.

How was he supposed to know that while he was not looking and I mean really looking at her that she had grown into a woman?! Those two soft swell of ivory mounds were a living proof. It was not as if she was the first woman he had ever seen naked for Kami's sake after all he was already twenty-five years old but she was his ex-teammate, his comrade and he had grown up with her ever since he could remember and seeing her this way was not his idea. Yeah, he could just see her pushing a stake through his heart if she were awake right now! That wouldn't be good and so he grabbed a black cloak and covered her with it while he stood up and grabbed the cup beside him and walked towards the waterfalls.

After filling it, he methodically cleaned her wounds. It wasn't so hard after all. With sheen determination when he started to only think of her wounds and not let his eyes stray elsewhere, he had relaxed.

It was already dark and he had gathered earlier some woods and made a small cheery and warm bonfire. He watched at the sleeping figure from across him who was now swathed with clean bandages, her face clean and comfortable wrapped in his cloak and sleeping bag. Her hair had been undone even before he came and he noticed that although he rarely saw her in that way, he could not help but admire the way she looked. She looked much better if her hair was like that. So feminine and vulnerable. He had constantly checked on her trying to find out if she had a fever, Luckily, there was none. He had caught them two fishes and had prepared them ready to be eaten already but only ate one and kept hers in case she wakes up feeling hungry.

It was way past midnight when the fire was out and when they were fast asleep that he heard a noise. Being a light sleeper, his senses became akin to his surroundings tensing slightly. There it was again. It was as if something was being softly clanked with something else. He tried to put a name into it but somehow could just not figure out. He stood up and went near Ten-ten when he finally knew what it was. Her teeth were making the damn noise! Hell he almost felt that something was wrong for a minute.

Sighing heavily started to go back when he stole a glance against her and saw that somehow she had curled herself into a tight ball. No wonder her teeth were making that ruckus. She was cold. He shook his head at her pitiful sight. Walking towards her he decided to warm her the only practical way he knew how.

He pulled the cloak from her and lay on his side as he pulled her towards him enveloping her in his warmth. Instinctively, she scooted towards him and when she subconsciously felt that the warmth was not enough, she scooted even further and buried her face deep at the crook of his neck while she had plastered herself literally against him. When she had finally found a comfortable position, she stopped from wiggling and God knows what else.

All the time, Neji had to clench his jaw and grit his teeth at her wiggling and moving all the time. She was getting in his nerves. Maybe I should start a fire and drop her in it? He thought angrily. She was not the only one who needed some sleep. He too needed some!

He looked at her sleeping form and contemplated mentally on doing that when he noticed that she looked pale and yet this time, she was sleeping serenely. Somehow, he could just never understand her. Shoving the thought aside, he closed his eyes and breathed in her scent. A soft smile crossed his lips and finally succumb to the warm arms of sleep.

She languidly stretched her body and sighed softly as she felt the warm cocoon shift a bit from her. Now what! This early in the morning and her Mom just had to do that, again! Oh how she hate it when she does that. Can't she see that I'm not yet done sleeping?

Not wanting to let it get away from her she threw her arm around it and was followed by one shapely thigh anchoring her pillow, comforter and anything that she could reach towards her. Hah! Let's see how you take that away from me now! She cried victoriously in her mind. Pleased that her mother had changed her mind and stopped from bothering her, Ten-ten sighed softly and contentedly as she buried deeper into the warmth of her bed. She brushed her nose softly against that warm skin and breathed at it heavenly. Mmm…this smells good. So warm and nice. If I wasn't dreaming, I'm sure it almost smelled just like Neji. Neji…Neji?! Whaaat Neji?! And as if a bucket of water had been whirled and dropped at her unceremoniously, her eyes snapped open only to see those pearly gray, pupil-less eyes stare at her.

"What the hell are you doing?!" came her shout. As she scrambled as far as herself could go away from the person lying beside her.

He had been awake already and was trying to disentangle himself from her only to be followed by her. Now what? He asked himself. She was clinging to him like vine even in her sleep. She softly grumbled to herself about waking early and comforter and stuff but he was not about to let that come between him and her. He must get away from her now before she wakes up.

But his efforts were pointless when she threw her arm around him anchoring him to her. And what's worse, she just has to stretch that shapely porcelain thigh against him. This was definitely not good. He tried to free himself once more only to groan heavily as she scooted even more closely to him flattening herself to him and raising her knee only to grace lightly against that one part of him that he could somehow not control. The part of him that somehow had a mind of its own.

His right arm was around her with his hand resting against her waist and with his left hand just above her thigh. This feeling of being so close to her was so different and foreign to him. He had never seen her for anything else other than a comrade but now, he felt something towards her.

Trying to somehow put a name into it he finally came across that one word he was so sure of. Lust, right that was it. Cynically, he thought about her womanly features and knew that he may be cold as what other mostly says but he knew that he was not the kind who shies away from women. Well why refuse if they offered, right?

But he was never the kind of person to indulge into something trivial such as love, care and devotion. To do that was beneath him. Too niggling and such a waste of time. Of course he didn't feel anything for Ten-ten, what with their situation, it was inevitable. After all, he would not deny that she was indeed lovely and beautiful and that he was physically somehow getting attracted to her today, that is.

But that only means that he had acknowledged her womanly features and nothing else. Suffice to say, it was something that he had been aware of even then but only noticed, and truly noticed her for the first time.

Being such a gentle man, he gave up and decided to let her have her way and wait to whatever fate had been stored for him that day. He was sure that if Shikamaru was to be in this position, he would have immediately said 'so troublesome' and to that he would agree.

i am thinking of making a 2nd chapter. but well, what the heck you just have to decide it though. if you want me to, i could post another chapter with a lemon probably between them or whatever. hehe