Valentine's Day. It was stupid really, in Neji's mind. All you did was buy flowers or chocolate, give it to somebody who held your heart, get rejected, and then forget about it in like a week. What a waste of money. Even if you weren't rejected, flowers wilted, chocolates were eaten, and the small crush dies along with the holiday. Usually, Valentine's Day came and went without anything of particular interest for Neji. That was just fine with him, seeing that girls were just a distraction from his training. He didn't have time for those kinds of things.

So, why (on February 14, of all days) was his teammate, TenTen, standing before him with a heart shaped box?

"Can I help you, TenTen?" Neji asked, already knowing her answer.

"Oh, well these are for you Neji," she said with a girlish smile. It was the kind of smile that most girls gave Uchiha Sasuke. TenTen awkwardly held out her candy box, expecting Neji to receive it. Instead, he just stared blankly at it as if he didn't know what to do with it.

"What's this for?" he inquired.

"It's Valentine's Day, Neji! Did you forget?" she asked curiously.

"No, I didn't forget. But why are you giving them to me?" Neji asked. The silence that followed was very uncomfortable. TenTen began to fidget and small blush spread across her cheeks. She looks so much like Hinata-sama right now, Neji thought, thinking of his younger cousin.

"Well, I, um…I sort of…like you," TenTen said, putting her earlier blush to shame. Again, she extended the candy box.

Neji sighed. How could he possibly put this without hurting her but not give her hope either? Sorry TenTen, I just don't like you? No, that wouldn't go over well.

"I don't know what to say TenTen. I hadn't really expected this," Neji said slowly. TenTen's face light up. Oh, no. She thought he was thanking her.

"What I'm trying to say is that maybe its best if we just stay friends," he said, phrasing himself better. TenTen's face fell.

"Oh, I see. Yeah, maybe it is best," TenTen choked out, sensing tears coming on. "I have to go," she said, tossing the chocolates at his feet.

Well, that went smoothly, Neji thought sarcastically.

After cleaning up the chocolates so that TenTen wouldn't find them still there later, Neji proceeded to walk home to the Hyuuga household. Perhaps, if he stayed inside all day, he could avoid TenTen and any other unwanted admirers.

"Neji-nii-san! Look what I got today!" Hanabi, Hinata's younger sister yelled across the courtyard upon seeing Neji's arrival. She ran as fast as her legs could carry her, waving a pink carnation in her hand.

"A boy at school gave it to me! Isn't it pretty?" she squealed, not really caring if he thought it was pretty or not.

"Hn, I guess so," he said uncharacteristically. He walked past her as she ran off in another direction, probably to go show off her flower to some other family member.

Neji made his way towards the kitchen, hoping to grab a snack before dinner. As he entered, he noticed yet another cousin sitting at the kitchen table.

"Oh, um, h-hi N-neji-nii-san," Hinata stammered, twiddling something shiny in her fingers.

"Hi, Hinata-sama. What have you got there?" Neji asked curiously. Hinata held up a gold, heart shaped pendant hanging on a matching chain.

"Who's that from?" Neji asked, baffled. Since when did Hinata have an admirer?

"K-kiba-kun," she replied quietly.

"So, he's your Valentine?" he said, careful to disguise the growing jealousy in his chest. Hinata could do better than that flea-bitten mutt. She needs someone stronger, smarter, better looking, someone like-

"No, I…I turned him down," Hinata said, interrupting Neji's thoughts. "He insisted I take the necklace, though."

Neji smirked with satisfaction. Ever since the whole Naruto-kicked-some-sense-up-his-butt incident, he'd finally come to realize that there really was no reason to hate Hinata and he forgave her for something she'd never done in the first place. He never told her of course, but in his mind, she was forgiven.

Over time, Neji also came to realize…Hinata was very beautiful. Her stutter was no longer annoying, but actually kind of cute (except when it was 'N-n-naruto-kun!'). Her blush wasn't something to be ashamed of. It made her look fragile, it made Neji want to protect her. At first, Neji assumed it to be brotherly love, but it was something more and he knew it. But it was wrong! Sick, disgusting, incestuous…

"So, d-do you have a V-valentine Neji-nii-san?" Hinata asked, interrupting his thoughts once more.

"No. I turned down TenTen. She didn't take it to well," Neji said casually as he sat beside Hinata and reached into the fruit basket on the table for a bright red apple.

"R-really? Why? She's pretty and strong too," Hinata said, rather surprised. Neji shrugged.

"She's not my type. Besides, it was just make things weird if we broke up," Neji responded.

"Oh," Hinata replied, toying with her necklace again. "That's the kind of the same reason I turned Kiba down too. What a shame, it's such a pretty necklace but I can't wear it without giving him the wrong impression." Neji nodded in agreement, noticing that her stutter had worn off when the conversation became comfortable. He pulled a kunai out of his weapon pouch and began to peel the apple he had retrieved earlier.

"Would you like some, Hinata-sama?" he said, offering her a piece.

"Um, thank you Neji-nii-san," Hinata said quietly as she accepted the fruit.

"So how will you spend Valentine's Day if you don't have a Valentine?" Neji asked, taking a bite of the apple.

"You don't have one either! How did you intend to spend it?" Hinata giggled.

"Hey, I asked first," Neji said, joining in on her fun.

"Hm, I'm probably going to have to listen to Hanabi drone on about that boy from school. She's told you already hasn't she? She's told the whole clan!" Hinata laughed. "What are you going to do?"

"Probably read some scrolls or something in my room," Neji said, taking another bite of his fruit.

"That's no fun! Surely you could think of something better to do," Hinata said, bringing her piece of fruit to her lips. Neji watched as she parted them, those two beautiful, rose petal lips. Stop it! It's wrong! Neji couldn't bring himself to care.

"Perhaps I could think of something better, Hinata-sama," Neji said with a grin as he stopped her hand from bringing the fruit any further. He cupped her chin in his hand and tilted her head to face him. Her lavender eyes, so identical yet so different to his own, were wide with shock.

"N-n-neji-nii-"Hinata began, before Neji silenced her lips with his own. Electricity shot through his body and he ran his free hand through her hair, tangling it in his fingers. He could still taste the apple on her lips, and he hungered for more. But he didn't let himself get carried away and broke the kiss for lack of air.

"N-n-neji-nii-san…w-what was t-that?" Hinata stammered out, still dizzy from the experience. She'd always hoped that her first kiss would make her feel this way, but certainly not with her cousin!

"That was a kiss, Hinata-sama," Neji laughed as he kissed her already blushing cheek. "Happy Valentine's Day."

Hinata's eyes rolled back and she was unconscious before Neji could catch her. Neji chuckled to himself. Maybe Valentine's Day wasn't a waste after all.