Summary: Naruto Gakuen Den verse. There's nothing wrong with being a tomboy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, Kishimoto and his publishers do and the only thing I gain from writing this is possibly some attention.
Dedicated to: Sorceress2000 I know you don't like the term tomboy but well hopefully you'll like the fic.
A/N: This is both my contest entry for Bladed Love and a 100 themes piece. It always makes me ridiculously happy to kill two birds with one stone.
Tenten frowned and stared at the gigantic D on her paper. The six and seven seemed to mocking her even more than all of the little x marks over the questions she'd missed. She'd done fine with the multiple choice ones but the fill in the blank questions had driven her crazy.
"You should give up the martial arts club," Sakura tsked, taking the papers from her and flipping through it. "Boys don't like tomboyish girls, who are manly and dumb, as anything other than friends. If you want Neji to like you then you should study harder and join a club that doesn't make you all sweaty and gross."
Ino flipped her hair, swishing the blond pony-tail behind her, and leaned against Tenten's desk. "She's just saying that because the only thing forehead-freak here has going for her is her brains. Men are dumb and the only thing that matters to them is who's prettier, which billboard-brow will never be. You'd be cute if you'd stop with the buns and pigtails. They make you look five."
Sakura turned and glared at the comment. "Only an idiot would find a fat Ino-pig pretty!"
Tenten took her test back from Sakura and slipped out of her seat, ignoring the argument that was erupting in front of her. She really didn't want to be in the middle of it, neither of them fought fair and sometimes it got to the point of hair pulling and scratching.
Throwing her things in her bag, Tenten headed out of the classroom and from there outside. Despite their really stupid fighting she had to wonder if maybe they were right. It didn't change anything, she wasn't going to give up martial arts, but... The thought that Neji wouldn't ever want to date her because she wasn't as pretty as Ino or as smart Sakura was depressing. Neji was student class president so she could imagine Sakura being right and it was hard to imagine Ino was wrong. Neji wasn't an idiot like most of the guys, but he was still a guy.
The depressing thoughts only seemed to drag on and not even the sunshine and warm weather made her feel better. She dropped down in the grass and hugged her knees to her chest. She couldn't give up martial arts, she wanted too much to be strong. Her mother wasn't and the men she dated mistreated her. Tenten never ever wanted to feel helpless like her mom and she'd made it her goal to never be helpless. Marital arts meant she could protect her mom and herself both. It wasn't fair if she had to choose between that and being loved. Her mood sank even more.
Neji walked up and sat down beside her in the grass. "I heard about the D in history. You seem more worried about it than you should be." He leaned against his knees, watching her. "It's only one test, you'll do better the next time."
"It's not that, or not just that," Tenten sighed, crossed her arms behind her head and leaned back against the grass. "Am I 'tomboy', Neji?"
Neji raised an eyebrow. "Is there something wrong with being one?"
"Depends on who you ask," she muttered, feeling stupid for even saying that.
"Even if you are, there is nothing wrong with who you are." Neji twisted and leaned back on one elbow. "You believe in yourself and give everything you have in the things you love. You're pretty, nice, strong, and not obsessed with what other people think of you most of the time. More than that though, you see the best in people." He smiled, a soft barely there twitch of his lips that practically glowed with softness of his eyes. "Lee would tell you the same things and it's far more important what those closest to you think than what anyone else does."
Tenten sat up, flustered and more than a little embarrassed, she felt her cheeks warm and her chest tightened almost unbearably at the compliments. She didn't doubt for even a second that he meant them and he'd called her 'pretty'. "You- uh- really think I'm pretty? Even when I'm all sweaty and gross from practice?."
Neji's cheeks shaded a very light pink but his smile didn't falter. "Even more so then, because that's when you look most alive. You put your heart into it."
Her cheeks burned, relief washed over her and the sheer happiness she felt over that made her love him that much more. It didn't matter if she was a tomboy of if she got a D on a test because Neji didn't care and Neji thought she was pretty and Neji knew the exact right things to say.
Neji cleared his throat and looked away. "You feel better then?"
Tenten grinned and nodded. "Mmhmm!" She believed right then she had more hope and more of a chance with Neji than either Sakura or Ino did with Sasuke. "Thank you." Being a 'tomboy' wasn't a bad thing if it meant you didn't always have to act like a girl and she thought that maybe if he didn't ask her out soon then she would ask him.