A/N: This should be the last chapter, unless there's an epilogue, which you will be informed of at the end of this chapter! So here you go!
Disclaimer: No. Own. Naruto.
The Perfect Place
"Oh, Kami-sama," Tenten moaned in wonder.
They had just walked into a 3-D version of the painting on the ceiling of her bedroom, except much more beautiful. It was strung with hidden lights and not-so-hidden lanterns, which made it seem ethereal in their basking glow. Tenten's face lit up, which had nothing to do with the outside light.
"Now my life is complete," she decided, spinning into the middle of the grass, where several people were already shyly dancing to a fast beat playing from somewhere toward the edge of the clearing.
Hinata was about to quietly back into a nice corner and watch the festivities, but Naruto grabbed her arm with a huge, goofy grin on his face. "Dance with me, Hinata-chan!" he said very loudly. Hinata's face went red from bottom to up. "H-Hai, Naruto-kun!"
Ino smiled blissfully, watching Naruto drag Hinata into the middle of the dance floor. "This is wonderful," she murmured to Sakura quietly. Sakura smiled from ear to ear. "Isn't it?"
"You know, we have to share at least one dance with our date," Tenten reminded them, walking up from behind and startling both of the other girls into sheepish grins after they realized who it actually was. Sakura smiled. "I'm looking forward to that."
Ino smirked. "I'll bet."
Sakura elbowed her, hard, and she scowled slightly, pouting. Tenten rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over the jumper and cargo pants she was wearing. Her hair was in two French braids, which had been raveled into the usual buns on top of her head.
"Aw, it'll be fun," she insisted. "Of course, you're with Hyuuga Neji, Tenten." Tenten rolled her eyes again, rebelliously. "He's my teammate, guys. Nothing more." "Yeah right," Ino snorted. "What, do you think we were born yesterday?" Tenten shrugged, pretending to think. "Couldn't really tell with you, Ino."
Ino was about to retort when Shikamaru ambled up, looking annoyed. "Ino, come dance. I want to sit down and play Shogi with Asuma-sensei." Ino blushed vividly, and took his hand, and they half-stumbled and half-waltzed off.
Tenten snorted in a very unladylike manner. "Married first, that one will," she stage whispered to Sakura. Sakura grinned widely from ear to ear. "I really need to see it when Neji asks you to dance, Tenten. The ice cube, melting at last, could it be?"
Tenten smiled and drifted off into the crowd.
A slow song drifted up to the sky. There were various groans and squeals, alternating between boys, girls, couples, and grown sensei nins alike. And then a low, soothing voice said into her ear from behind, "Care to dance, my cherry blossom?"
Sakura sighed contentedly. "My pleasure."
She felt a slight pang of disappointment when she saw that Neji and Tenten were already dancing, having missed the big moment. Neji looked distinctly uncomfortable, while Tenten's expression altered between confused, giddy, and withdrawn.
Her arms carefully placed around his neck, Sakura dared to look up into the black eyes of Uchiha Sasuke, and stood on tiptoe to meet their lips halfway, sweet and sad.
Tenten was feeling a bit confused. Well, a lot confused. Neji was her teammate, and yet she knew he was more than that. Best friend? Perhaps a bit more than that, even? Her arms were burning where they were around his neck. Too bad he had a high collar. Neji's expression was blank, though his eyes flickered once in a while with an unknown emotion.
Then, unexpectedly, in a halting voice, he said flatly, "You look nice, Tenten." She flushed with pleasure at the unexpected compliment. "Arigato, Neji-kun! You look nice, too!" And she meant it.
He bent over and pecked her on the forehead. "Arigato for the dance," he said formally, and let go of her. Tenten stood there, radiating with shocked pleasure. He kissed me!
Ino was fighting back giggles as she watched Naruto stumble around happily and squashing Hinata's feet, while Hinata was being swung around helplessly like a ragdoll and burning over a hundred degrees. Yet, strangely, neither of them had ever looked so happy. Ah, strange love.
Naruto hugged Hinata tightly, laughing all the while and completely oblivious to Hinata's eyes, which were looking about ready to roll back into her head from blushing so much.
Ino smiled, content, and let a small giggle escape. "Nani?" Shikamaru asked, sounding slightly curious. "Look," she motioned with her head. Shikamaru glanced at Naruto and Hinata's hilarious performance. "Dobe," he muttered. "Embarrassing to us all."
"I think it's cute," Ino defended. "Cute? It's embarrassing," Shikamaru countered. "Troublesome kyuubi." "Iie, Shika, you're troublesome!" Ino said, sounding mockingly angry. "Eh? Nande? You're a woman, so you're troublesome. I don't like being attached to you."
Ino smirked slyly. "Oh? So you're attached to me?" Now Shikamaru looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Of course. You're my teammate, however annoying." Ino smiled brilliantly. "Are you sure it's just that?" Shikamaru shook his head violently. "Troublesome woman."
"Well, I can think of a way that you can shut me up." Shikamaru raised an eyebrow. "Like what?" "Like this," Ino explained, and hugged him close, capturing his mouth with hers. Shikamaru froze for a second, but then shrugged, supposedly too lazy to actually break away.
And everything was perfect, in this perfect place.
A/N: Well, that's the end! Sorry, no epilogue…Thank you so much for all of the reviews, and please check out Chords, my "new" Naruto fanfiction! Just try it, please!