Title: Good Night Kiss
Summary: A drabble written for the Kissing Meme
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto but it is fun to play with the characters so I do. It'd be nice if I got paid for it but I don't.
Dedicated to: Reggie who requested it on the Naruto Families (DA) group Kiss Meme
Tenten knew Neji had a soft side, one he hid from most of the world. She knew because she'd seen it.
She saw it when he ate the anniversary dinner at his parents grave. Even in the early days, before he and his uncle had learned to understand each other, the anger in his eyes was always replaced with a soft aching sadness when he sat before the stone with two names carved in it. He hadn't invited her, not exactly. Out of concern she had trailed after him, thinking he didn't know. When he sighed, stood up, then walked over and dragged her out from behind the tree she had thought he would yell at her or send her away. Neji surprised her though and introduced her to his parents as his new team mate. Every year after he had simply waited for her at the training grounds before walking with her to the memorial dinner.
She saw it whenever he was with little kids. When their team had been assigned to babysit the children of shinobi out on missions she had fully expected to see a scowl to rival that of Sasuke's. Nothing of the sort had happened though. Lee had taken the boys and challenged them to an arm wrestling contest of all six of them against him at once while she and Neji sat down with the girls. The littlest one had pulled out a book, dragged it over, sniffed, wiped her nose on her sleeve, and then promptly sat in Neji's lap. She had offered to do one of the older girls' hair and that had immediately led to two others doing hers and a third doing Neji's. It was hard not to giggle while watching the frilly bows and baubles being tied rather messily into his hair. When he had looked up at her and smiled her heart beat hard in her chest, cheeks burned, and any thought she had of giggling was gone.
She saw it when he looked at her on their first date. Never in all the years she'd known him could she say she had ever seen him nervous so it was hard to know for a moment if that was what she was seeing. Tenten had never seen him blush, had never heard him falter when he spoke, had never seen him break eye contact and look aimlessly at anything except her, and she had never even imagined him doing any of that. All she had done was take her hair down, put on a dress, and apply a very small amount of make-up.
She saw it on their wedding day. It was there in the care he took when he slid the ring on her finger, in the soft, nearly chaste kiss, in the gentle but firm hold he had on her hand at the tea ceremony, and in every other precious moment of that day. She had never felt so treasured as she did when he'd held her while she cried because of all of it. It would have made her feel weak if she hadn't looked up and seen the glistening dampness of unshed tears in his eyes. Strangely, it had surprised her when he'd leaned forward and whispered in her ear that she was the strongest, most beautiful kunoichi he knew. It was biased, they both knew it, and she loved him for saying anyway even if no one else heard a word of it.
Nobody saw the side of Neji that she saw. Nobody was allowed to. Tenten wasn't quite sure why she had been given the honor, but when she watched her husband kiss their new baby girl good night before laying her softly into the bassinet, she was glad she had.