Unspoken Rules

Chapter 11


Konoha Shinobi (Unspoken) Rule #18: You think the Godaime Hokage is scary? You obviously never met her aide.

Konoha Shinobi (Unspoken) Rule #23: Blondes do have more fun.


Hyuuga Hiroshi had to hold back a tired sigh. He was training lightly with two of his younger cousins only to have them called abruptly by their clan leader to guard the assembly hall door. Then, when he was walking around in the garden, minding his own business, he was ordered to take charge of the compound while a sudden hearing was being held. He was more than surprised when it turned out that the hearing was for Neji, the most praised clan member of his generation.

The twenty-six-year-old didn’t protest and saw to his appointed task in an efficient manner, only to be surprised -- again -- when a messenger from the Hokage arrived and asked to see Neji. And it wasn’t any of the usual messengers, too. It was Godaime-sama’s own personal aide, a jounin kunoichi who was known to almost never leave the Hokage’s side. Now, after the alleged kunoichi said that the Hokage had summoned his younger cousin for an urgent mission, Hiroshi had to think of the most diplomatic answer to at least stall until the hearing was over.

This really couldn't have come at a worse time.

“I am sorry, Shizune-san, but Neji-san is… occupied at the moment.”

Shizune smiled. “I’m sorry if I didn’t make myself clear. This is a summon from the Hokage herself. Surely this takes precedence over whatever it is occupying him.”

“Again, I am very sorry, Shizune-san.” Hiroshi was adamant. “Neji-san can not be interrupted-”

A scream pierced the Hyuuga compound.

Shizune jumped to his feet and made her way to the door that leads to further inside the compound. Hiroshi quickly stood up and blocked her path. The scream hadn’t stopped.

The kunoichi glared. “Hyuuga, either you let me through or you tell me what the hell Neji is occupied with!”

“He’s just training, Shizune-san,” the chuunin tried to placate her. “It’s nothing to worry about.”

Something flashed in Shizune’s eyes. “Are you saying that I, an apprentice of one of the legendary sannin, a medic-nin who’s treated wounded shinobis in both the hospital and the battlefield, can’t tell the difference between battle cries and long, tortured screams?!”

Hiroshi didn’t budge. “Shizune-san, please-”

“Let me through, Hyuuga,” the medic-nin growled, “or I will force my way through.”

“Shizu- Oomph!” Hiroshi fell, clutching his stomach. Shizune’s blow was light, but he felt like his insides were trying to force their way out. He couldn’t stop the kunoichi from running out of the room and through the hallway, speeding her way to the compound's assembly hall.

Shizune was both furious and worried upon hearing Neji’s screams, but she was also glad that at least she could follow them to find the young jounin. She’d be lost in the large compound otherwise. The kunoichi ran all the way until she found two Hyuugas, a man and a woman in their mid-twenties, guarding a door. Shizune knew them, although not personally; Hyuuga Hide and Hyuuga Naoko.

“I need to see Hyuuga Neji,” Shizune said before the two ninjas could even utter a sound. “He has been summoned. I’m here under the direct order of Godaime-sama.”

Hide frowned. Where was Hiroshi-niisan? “He is in a meeting with our clan leader and elders, Shizune-san. I will relay Godaime-sama’s request to him and Hiashi-sama afterwards.”

Shizune looked at the two guards disbelievingly. It was as if they didn’t hear the loud screaming. “What kind of a meeting involves making someone scream in pain? What are they doing to him in there?”

“I am sorry, Shizune-san,” Naoko answered her. “This is a private matter, strictly internal of the Hyuuga clan. You are not privy to that information.”

“My order was to get Hyuuga Neji to the Hokage tower now,” the jounin kunoichi stated. Although the screaming grated her nerves, she wasn’t hot-headed person. She knew she couldn't just barge in.

“Regardless,” Hide rebuked in the usual arrogant Hyuuga manner. “You have no authority to interrupt this meeting.”

Shizune glared. “Are you undermining the Hokage’s authority?”

Hide didn’t even flinch. “Forgive us, Shizune-san. That was not our intention. However, we also have our orders, and that is to keep anyone or anything from interrupting this meeting.”

“Are you implying that I need to force my way through you in order to complete my current assignment?”

“If you insist on interrupting, yes,” Hide answered firmly.

“Step aside, both of you. That’s an order,” said Shizune. She never liked pulling rank, but she was running out of patience.

Hide smirked. “You are within the Hyuuga compound, Shizune-san. Naoko-neesan and I might be two chuunins you can order around anywhere else, but not here.”

Shizune had to hold back from punching that smirk off Hide’s face. “This compound is within the Konoha borders. I am a jounin. You are both outranked and outmatched. Now step aside or I will use force.”

The two cousins remained still. Shizune growled, “I said, step. Aside.”

No response. Shizune tried one last time. “This is my last warning, chuunins. Step aside. Now!”

Naoko tried to deter her superior officer. “Shizune-san, please-”

Shizune didn’t let her finish. Tact be damned, Neji might be dying in there. She needed to hurry. The two younger shinobis tried to defend themselves, but before the famous Hyuuga defense was in place Shizune managed to grab both their throats. She was a jounin, after all, at least three times faster and stronger than her two opponents.

The Hyuuga clan elders, along with Hinata and Hiashi turned to the door in shocked when it was broken down. Wooden splinters and torn papers crashed on the floor under two clan members, still choked and pinned down by an enraged kunoichi they recognized as the Hokage’s personal assistant.

“What manner of atrocity is this?!” an elder bellowed.

Without letting go of her two prisoners, Shizune answered calmly, “I’m here on behalf of Godaime-sama. Hyuuga Neji has been summoned.”

“And you think that gives you the authority to cause mayhem in the Hyuuga compound and even injure our clan members?”

“Your clan members tried to hinder the completion of my assignment. I merely took action befitting the situation.”

The elders were about to yell reprimands at the same time, but Hiashi stepped up. “What was the summon for, if I may ask? After all, you would not have taken such action if the situation was not urgent.”

Shizune looked up at him, still pinning two young Hyuugas by their throats. “It is urgent, Hyuuga-san. A pressing matter has come up and Neji’s unique skill is vital for the mission.”

“Are you, by any chance, referring to his Byakugan?” asked an elder. “Because if that is the case, there are other Hyuuga clansmen currently not on any mission.”

“This is a solo mission that has been classified S-Rank. It can only be undertaken by a jounin. Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless your clan leader is planning to come out of retirement, I believe the only jounin we have who has Byakugan is Hyuuga Neji.”

“Neji is not well,” another one of the elders spoke up. “Surely Godaime-sama is not that reckless of a leader that she would send a shinobi on an S-Rank mission without any regards toward the shinobi's physical condition.”

“Godaime-sama can evaluate a shinobi’s physical condition better than anyone else,” Shizune countered with a scowl. “The sooner I bring Neji back with me, the sooner she can decide whether or not she should send him on this mission, or even better, treat him herself.”

The elders were still determined to keep Neji there. Another one of them said, “You are interrupting an imperative internal meeting of the Hyuuga clan. Whatever it is that-”

“That is enough, gracious elders,” Hiashi’s voice rang. “Duty above all else. Our clan’s obligation towards Konoha takes precedence over any clan matter.”

Shizune snapped her attention back at Hiashi while the clan elders went quiet. The tired clan leader continued firmly, “Konoha is in need of our best shinobi, which we shall provide without question or delay. This hearing is adjourned until Neji returned from his mission. You may all take your leave with my gratitude.”

The elders looked at him questioningly. A female one blurted, “But, Hiashi-sama-”

“Hinata, check on your cousin before Shizune-san takes him.” Hiashi cut her off, walking towards the door. “Shizune-san, you can let go of my nephew and niece now. I formally apologize for the inconvenience they have caused you.”

Shizune let go of them almost unconsciously. Damn, but the man exuded authority like nobody’s business. “Ah- yes, Hyuuga-san. Thank you.”

Hiashi walked out evenly, leaving bewildered elders in the room, while Hinata practically ran to Neji to see if he was alright. Hide and Naoko stood up and glared at Shizune, but the kunoichi didn’t even spare them a glance as she went further inside where Neji slumped on the floor.

“Neji-niisan?” Hinata called out quietly, kneeling beside her cousin.

“Neji,” Shizune tried once she reached them, not even acknowledging the fact that everyone else was leaving the room slowly. “Neji, are you okay?”

The young jounin didn’t respond. Shizune cast her medical jutsu to examine him, cringing at how cold and clammy his skin was. “Damn it, Hinata. What did they do to him?”

Hinata was near tears, but she was still in Clan-Heir-mode so she didn’t stutter. “Neji-niisan refused to perform a duty so, as per our clan's law, Otousama activated his seal.”

Shizune’s hands were hovering about Neji’s head as she grumbled about clan secret techniques and how Shikamaru was going to be pissed. She stopped her griping when she noticed that some nerves were dangerously strained. None are suffering from any damage but it had been close. A few more seconds and some would have snapped, leaving Konoha with one dead Hyuuga and one homicidal Nara.

“I can’t believe you people actually do this to your own family,” the medic-nin muttered darkly while casting a medical jutsu that would relax Neji’s nerves. Hinata looked away. “Sorry about that, Hinata. I know you’re a nice girl but this…”

Hinata stayed quiet, eyes gazing emptily at the windows. Shizune started to feel really bad for her. “Look, I can treat this. No sweat. He’ll be fine.”

Suddenly a weak groan came from Neji. Shizune continued her treatment, gently talking to his patient as he was nearing consciousness. “Easy. Don’t force it. You don’t have to open your eyes if your head still hurts too badly.”

Neji felt like the inside of his head was washed slowly with cool water. It was both relaxing and refreshing. It still hurts, but curiosity made him try to open his eyes to see who was talking to him. He blinked slowly a few times before recognizing the two faces. One was his cousin, and the other was…Shizune? What the hell?

“Shi…Shizune-san? How- What-?”

“Whoa, take it easy,” Shizune chuckled. “I was sent here to tell you that you’ve been summoned by Godaime-sama for an urgent mission. I’ll treat your nervous system for a couple of minutes more and you’re good to go.”

“Thank you for this Shizune-san. I am indebted to you. However, there is yet another favor I must ask of you.”

Shizune blinked. “What is it?”

“Please don’t tell Shikamaru any of this.”

“What?” Shizune frowned. “Why?”

“He’d flip, that’s why. And seriously, you don’t want to see Shikamaru angry.”

Shizune couldn’t hold back her laughter. She never thought a Hyuuga could speak casually like that, especially not after the noble manner he used just a sentence before. It looked like Shikamaru was rubbing off on him, and speaking of Shikamaru… Well, if Neji didn’t want her to tell his boyfriend what happened, then it’s only fair if she didn’t tell him said boyfriend already knew everything. She grinned mischievously at Hinata before answering, “Okay, but you owe me one.”

Neji was suspicious of that grin, suddenly afraid that Shizune would make him dance in a tutu or something for payment, but he let it slide. His head hurt too much to think harder than that anyway. “Thank you.”

After a while, the pain in Neji’s head was all gone. His body felt weak but that was to be expected after it suffered such trauma. At least, that was what Shizune told him. In any case, it only took another fifteen minutes before Neji found himself standing inside the mission office, staring at Iruka who gave him a sheet of S-Rank mission orders with a worried look while the Hokage briefed him.

“This is a joint mission. Top priority and need to know only,” Tsunade’s voice made him snap his attention back to her as she gave him a small scroll. “Deliver this immediately to Sabaku no Temari in Sunagakure. She will brief you further on what this mission entails. You are under her command until further notice. Any question?”

Neji took the scroll with a terse “No, ma’am.”

“Good,” stated Tsunade before waving him off nonchalantly. “Dismissed.”

And that was it. Neji was out the door and then the village gate, well on his way to another country in a blur. It wasn't until the night set in and he rested his body against a tree, fire set and camp made, that everything dawned on him: The fact that he had very nearly died, the fact that he had very nearly left Shikamaru without saying anything, the fact that he had very nearly lost Shikamaru, the fact that he had very nearly lost everything.

The young Hyuuga ran from his campsite and fell on his hands and knees to throw up.

What should he do? Neji wailed in his mind as he kneeled on the forest floor, hands shaking in his shock. Here he was on a long mission, knowing that if he survived he would only come back to his death. And Shikamaru, dear God. What was he thinking, running off like that without even a quick goodbye to Shikamaru? What if anything happened in this mission? What if he didn’t have the chance to see Shikamaru again before his family found him once he got back?

Neji stood up wearily and took a deep, tired breath. His mind was running in circles and that wasn’t helping him. There was nothing he could do now, nothing short of running away and became a nuke-nin. And there was no way in hell he was going to do that, the young jounin scoffed as he kicked some dirt to cover his bile on the ground. Now he should just let things flow and go with it, much like before. He knew how it would end anyway. There was nothing he, or even the genius Nara Shikamaru for that matter, could do about it.

With that final thought, Neji went back to his campsite and washed his mouth and face before falling asleep. The next two days passed in a blur again and before he knew it, he was standing in front of the gatekeepers of the Hidden Village of the Sand.

“I have an urgent delivery for Sabaku no Temari,” he said tonelessly.

“Please wait here,” one of the guards answered him before walking away.

To his surprise, the guard came back with Temari herself. She gave him her usual smirk and asked for the package. Neji gave it to her and waited while she read whatever information was put there, only to blink in confusion when the kunoichi smacked her own face and groaned as if she was annoyed.

“Is something wrong, Temari-san?” he asked tentatively.

“Ah, hell,” Temari sighed. “What was your order, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“I am to deliver the scroll to you and wait for further instructions.”

“Further instructions?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Yes. I was told that until further notice, you are to be my commanding officer in this joint mission.”

“Joint mission. Right,” grumbled Temari before turning around and motioned for Neji to follow her in to the village. “Follow me, Hyuuga. Let’s get you settled in first.”

Neji followed automatically. He didn’t know what was going on, but at least now he could get some real sleep on a real bed.

And sleep he did, waking up to eat breakfast, do nothing, eat lunch, do nothing again, eat dinner, and back to sleep. Neji thought he would be briefed about the so-called-urgent mission on the second day, but all he got was a challenge from Gaara to spar -- which he accepted, of course. In the morning of the third day, Temari invited him to join her in her training. His hopes of getting in to the mission was squished when she just left afterward, saying that their servants would prepare lunch for him even though she wasn’t there. Then he spent the afternoon playing shougi with Kankurou. On the fourth day… well, on the fourth day Neji couldn’t take it anymore.

“Temari-san,” Neji spoke while servants cleared away their breakfast. “I have no intention of being rude, but can you tell me what I'm doing here exactly?”

“Hm?” Temari blinked innocently. “What do you mean?”

“I’ve been staying here for three days, but I’ve yet to hear anything about this urgent mission I was supposed to complete.”

“Oh, that,” she chuckled. “We’re still taking care of some details, so be patient, okay?”

Neji glared. “Maybe I should participate in taking care of those details.”

“No, no, that won’t be necessary. You just relax and…enjoy Sunagakure. Yeah, that’s right. Have you tried our traditional restaurants? We have many-”

“Temari-san,” Neji growled.

“Well, we should be off to the office,” Kankurou stood up and glanced at his younger-brother-slash-boss. “Let’s go, Gaara.”

As per usual, Gaara merely stood up and followed Kankurou up the stairs without a word. Neji snapped his attention back to Temari, who was glaring at her two brothers for ditching her and made her face an angry Hyuuga on her own.

“Look, Neji,” the kunoichi sighed. “Your orders include following my commands, right?”

Neji glared at her again, but Temari wasn’t fazed. “So I’m commanding you to relax and take a load off. You should follow it.”

“Tell me what’s going on, Temari-san,” Neji asked menacingly. “I was supposed to be on a mission urgent enough to make my clan let me go in the middle of a… clan meeting, but now I find myself having a vacation in Sunagakure. At the Kazekage’s manor.”

Temari kept up her innocent smile. “Nothing’s going on.”

“That’s exactly it, isn’t it?” Neji pointed out. “There’s nothing at all. No mission, no urgent situation, nothing.”

“Are you sure about that ‘urgent situation’ part?” Now Temari was the one glaring. “Because, seriously, if you get to have one favor from the sister of the most powerful figure in Sunagakure, would you have wasted it on babysitting someone who’s not even in any danger?”

Neji blinked. “I beg your pardon?”

Temari stood up. "Wait here. I’m about as fed up with this as you are so we’re really going to talk.”

Neji didn't have to wait long. His host was back a few moments later with the scroll he had delivered in her hand. She gave it to him with a grunt, “Here. Read it.”

The confused Hyuuga opened the scroll with trepidation. What he saw there nearly made his eyes fall out.

Troublesome Woman.

You still owe me a favor for that bet you lost. I’m collecting it. All you have to do is keep Hyuuga Neji in Sunagakure until I send a message stating otherwise.


That was it. A curt memo scribbled in Shikamaru’s hasty handwriting, telling some ‘Troublesome Woman’ to keep Neji in Sunagakure. There was nothing more; no details, no further explanation, nothing. The rest of the scroll was empty.

Suddenly everything clicked in Neji’s head. How a mission, an S-Class solo one that requires Byakugan, could come up so suddenly, right when he was on trial. Why Shizune was the one who came to the compound to get him, not any of the usual messengers. Why Shizune grinned at Hinata when he asked her to not tell Shikamaru. Why Iruka looked at him with a worried face.

They knew. They all knew. There was no mission. It was Shikamaru’s plan all along, an elaborate scheme to get him out of his clan’s reach without any diplomatic friction. His mission order form was legit, and that could only mean the Hokage was in on it. Neji groaned inwardly. Even the Hokage? How many strings did Shikamaru pull anyway? He even cashed in a favor from Sabaku no Temari, for God’s sake. Granted, they used to be seasonal fuck buddies, but still, she was the sister to the Kazekage!

And how did Shikamaru know what was going on? Hinata. It must’ve been Hinata. He didn’t know how she pulled it off, but she managed to inform Shikamaru about his trial. And of course Shikamaru, knowing him too damn well, knew that he was going to rebel and eventually get his brain fried. So the man made arrangements to get him away. For what? It wasn’t like he could run forever. What was Shikamaru cooking in that brain of his?

“Ready to tell me what’s going on?” Temari’s voice shook Neji out of his reverie.

“I…” Neji trailed off. “What… what did you tell Kazekage-sama?”

Temari raised an eyebrow. “That your superiors tricked you in to having a vacation because you never took one, Shikamaru recommended our village, and I offered to be your host.”

“Ah…Good,” Neji mumbled. “That’s good.”

Temari nudged the conversation back to the previous subject. “So? What’s threatening you so badly in your own village that you have to be hidden all the way here in the Wind Country?”

“It’s personal,” answered the Hyuuga with a glower. “And I have to go back right now.”

Neji stood up but his host grabbed his hand. “Oh, no you don’t. I owe that lazy bum a favor and I’ll be damned if I let this opportunity to pay so easily pass me by. And besides, do you know why Shikamaru calls me ‘troublesome’?”

The younger jounin wasn’t interested, but Temari pushed on. “It’s because I’m almost as smart as he is.”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

Temari smirked. “The Hokage herself gave you your orders, so even the highest authority figure in Konoha got pulled in to his scheme. That means this particular scheme is a big one, a troublesome one, and we both know how much he hates that. This brought me to two conclusions: One, you’re in great danger. Two, Nara Shikamaru has finally found someone he’s willing to deal with troublesome things for, which, in his case, practically means ‘to die for’. And you know what else?”

Neji just stared and waited for her to continue, so she did. “Since you said the matter is personal, I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with enemy ninjas targeting you and everything to do with your clan disapproving your relationship with Shikamaru. And from what I heard during your match with Naruto in that chuunin exam years ago, your clan has the habit of activating a certain seal on their members’ forehead just for the heck of it. So tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure Konoha’s War Leader is currently trying to protect you from your own clan.”

The Sunagakure kunoichi went quiet and waited for a response, so Neji pulled his hand away. “That’s a very good deduction, Temari-san. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m sure you also understand why I must hurry back to Konoha.”

“I understand, but that doesn’t mean I’ll let you go.”

“What are you saying?”

“According to his note, what I need to do to get this debt off my back is keep you here until he sends a message stating otherwise. It hasn’t arrived yet, so you’re staying.”

“Are you insane? Who knows what’s going down in Konoha right now? Maybe you don’t know this, but nobody messes with the Hyuuga clan. Not even Shikamaru. For all we know, he could be dead by now.”

Temari scowled at him. “Do you really have that little faith in him?”

“I… No, but-”

“No buts. We both know him and we both know how his strategies work better when there’s only him, his enemies, and his tools. If you go back now, you’ll only ruin his plans.”

Neji took a deep breath. “Temari-san, why are you so adamant about this? Whatever debt you owe him, consider it paid in full. I can’t just let him-”

“Yes, you can,” Temari spat, clearly running out of patience. “I’ll lock you up in the dungeon if I have to. Do you have any idea what he would do if I mess this up? The punishment we agreed on should I deny him this favor will ruin me!”

“Punishment? You’re afraid of a punishment?” Neji asked with utter disbelief. “You’re Sabaku no Temari! What kind of punishment could possibly ruin you?”

“Exactly! I'm Sabaku no Temari, and I’d rather die than star in Icha Icha!”

Awkward silence.

More awkward silence.

Neji finally blinked. “What?”

Temari, a hand covering her mouth after her outburst, could only blink back.

“What… what do you mean, ‘star in Icha Icha’?”

“Nothing. Just forget it, okay? Just promise me you’ll stay here and-”

That was the punishment you both agreed on? You starring in Icha Icha?”

“Look, we’re getting off topic here-”

“No! Hahah- Oh, hell, no. Star in Icha Icha?!” Neji couldn’t stop his guffaw. “Which version? Haha- The book or the movie? Ahahaha! And which volume? Haha-”

“The book,” Temari said with a glare. If looks could kill, Neji would have died with that wide grin still stuck on his face. “And it would be a new volume, with me as the main character. Now you will stop laughing, or I will kill you. Shikamaru told me to keep you here, not keep you alive.”

“Sorry- hahah- ahem. I’m sorry, Temari-san.” Neji sobered up. “How did you two come up with that anyway? What were you betting on in the first place?”

Temari glared even more menacingly. “Why should I tell you? You’re not even cooperating with me.”

Neji smirked. This was bound to be both embarrassing and sexual in nature, and he would never let them live this down. Especially Shikamaru. “I will if you tell me about the bet.”

“Fine,” Temari sighed, but then she smirked. “But don’t blame me if you get all jealous and cranky about it.”

The young Hyuuga nodded. Like whatever experience she had with Shikamaru could be better than his, he sneered inwardly.

“Now don’t forget that this was a loooong time ago, okay?” Temari paused for Neji’s confirmation before continuing. “We were…bantering, as usual. It came to a point where we made fun of each other’s prowess in bed. He said he could make me come without even touching me, and I called on it.”

Neji raised an eyebrow, and Temari grinned. Oooh, she had him now. “If he failed, he’d have to grant me one favor, anything at all, without question. Same goes for me if he succeeded. And since we both have a tendency to try and let ourselves off easy, we agreed on a punishment should any of us try that when the favor was collected.”

“And the punishment was starring in Icha Icha?”

“Yeah. If I won and he failed to do the favor perfectly, I would have Jiraiya write about his failure to satisfy a woman in bed. If he won and I failed to do the favor perfectly, he would have Jiraiya write about my…tendency to get… overexcited in bed. And as you can see, he won.”

The winner’s current lover was curious. Giving his partner an orgasm without even touching them? How? “How?”

Temari’s smirk was positively evil. Oh yeah, she got him alright. “Oh, please. Don’t tell me he never tried that with you.”

Neji started to feel a bit prickly. “Well… How do I know it was the same thing if you don’t tell me?”

She knew it, she just knew it, Temari thought merrily. Shikamaru hadn’t used that trick on Neji yet. She wished there was a camera to record this historical moment where she, Sabaku no Temari, managed to ruffle the feathers of the always-cool-and-collected Hyuuga Neji.

“Of course it was the same thing, you silly,” she exclaimed with feigned innocence. “It’s really something, isn’t it? I mean, he won the bet hands down. I came, like, five times-”

Neji stared at her as she prattled on. “Wait, I mean, five times at the least! I nearly passed out, you know. He was that good-”

Suddenly the whole thing didn’t seem that funny anymore and Neji didn’t know why. Temari kept her chatter going. “I’m telling you, you’re one hell of a lucky guy to have that in your perusal. I mean, whew…”

Neji looked the other way to hide his glower when Temari fanned herself with one hand. She was gleefully reminiscing an experience, one that was shared with his boyfriend that he couldn’t even imagine. This wasn’t fair, damn it! He just wanted to know. It wasn’t like he’d ask Shikamaru to…well, okay, he might ask Shikamaru to do it to him, but that was beside the point.

“Yes, but I’m still not sure we’re talking about the same thing here. How did he-” Neji’s effort to dig dirt without losing ground died when he saw Temari’s knowing smirk.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?”

The young Hyuuga rubbed his face in frustration while Temari laughed in utter satisfaction.

Troublesome woman.




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