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tentsuke in narukorp

A quiet night out for once [Nejiko, Tentsuke]

Tentsuke settled the bill quickly and ninja-like, leaving Nejiko at the table (under the bullet proof story of having to use the bathroom) to avoid any potential argument over how to split the check. He wasn't trying to be overbearing but he had offered to take her out. And this was a bit of a celebration, now that he was pulling in a jounin's salary he had even more money that he had nothing to do with.

He also felt a wee bit guilty. Coming back from jounin exam had been rough, made even rougher by the fact that he was thrown a genin cell almost right away. The kids were all right, Sachiko was the one he worried about. He wasn't egostical enough to believe he was that far ahead of her skill wise so keeping things interesting was a challenge. He still needed to meet with the Hokage about taking a trip outside the village. Maybe a vintage bottle of sake would help his argument.

He wandered back to the table and smiled down at Nejiko, looking about as innocent as a five year old with his hand in the cookie jar. "Ready to go?" he asked.

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Nejiko looked at him, and wondered what he had been up to during the bathroom trip to give him that look on his face. (Not the smile, she didn't mind that, but the attempted innocense.) But she nodded in reply. "I am," she reiterated. She pushed some hair back behind her shoulder and got to her feet.

The dinner she enjoyed. He was happy (obviously) and she was...as well. She liked spending time with him.

He'd been on her mind actually quite a bit since he got back. Nothing steady, just bits of thoughts that tended to veer in his direction more often than not. She had realized she liked that, too. But mostly, she was glad to have him home.
He pushed the chair back after she stood and followed her towards the door, holding it open as soon as they reached it. The air outside was brisk and he frowned. It was almost too cold to walk home. Almost.

"There's a place nearby that sell cocoa," he said. "Should be enough to keep up warm for a while longer." He didn't want to beg but he could understand if she thought it was too cold. It had been a nice enough night, so maybe he wasn't ready to end it just yet.
She pulled her coat a little tighter around her. The cold was definitely not her most favorite weather. "That would be fine," she said. Hot cocoa would warm her hands. She looked up at him, a faint smile just for him on her face. She wasn't in any big rush to end the night either.

A bit of breading had caught in the scruffy growth on his chin, or that was what she told herself when she reached up to brush a thumb over the stubble. It didn't matter he had had it for about four months now. She still found it fascinating. And, it suited him.
Sure, he could have blamed the cold for the chill up his spine but he couldn't blame it for the warmth that was spreading that from the spot on his chin she had just grazed. Or the dazed look he gave her for a second while his brain tried to catch up to why his heart was beating so fast.

When it finally did, he managed a sheepish look and then took her hand in his. His was a bit cold (the nervousness over the situation hadn't faded) but it started to fade as he closed his fingers around hers.

"Right then," he said. "Two hot chocolates. With marshmallows." He led her down the street and had to concentrate very hard on not skipping.
She slight-smiled again. "Marshmallows are good," she agreed, and to which she mentally added and good is good. It was an old joke between them, and one she didn't always bring up. She saved it for those times when he could do with a bit of teasing. On a date wasn't one of them.

She held onto his hand, his calloused skin warm, and wished she might be let herself actually hook her arm around his, like she observed the women in other couples do with the men they were with. But public displays of affection were something Hyuuga shied away from. Well, most Hyuuga.

The urge to glance up at him again was a rather strong one.
He walked slowly, deliberately but the small food stand came up fast anyway. It was amazing how time seemed to speed up when they were together. It was unfair too that the moments the managed to wrangle between busy schedules always felt so fleeting. Not that he would trade a second of it for the world, but more of it... that would nice too.

The seller smiled warmly at them, as if it was more then obvious they were on a date. Tentsuke thanked him as he handed over the mugs, even if it meant letting go of Nejiko to take them. He pulled the change from his pocket and added some extra (knowing that the man had added a handful extra marshmallows).

One hand on the cup, he quickly took her hand again, letting the sleeve of his jacket fall over his wrist. "We can walk through the park," he suggested. There would be street lights and honestly, who on earth would think a park in the middle of a shinobi village was unsafe.
When they reached the park, Nejiko's cocoa was half gone though still sufficient to keep the hand that held it warm. Her other hand... Now that there were less people about, she adjusted her hold so that her fingers interlaced with his. The slight draft from the movement cooled her hand but only for a moment.

Even with the streetlights, the stars still shone blue and white except where clouds obscured them. No moon tonight, but the lights made up for the lack. The peace was the best part; she could almost forget the cold.

"Do you have a favorite constellation?" she asked him.
He stopped walking and looked up. "Yeah a bunch," he replied, drinking his cocoa. "Kind of hard to find them here sometimes. Where I grew up, there really weren't any lights at night except the stars."

He squinted his eyes and looked up at the darkness. "There! That one there," he said, letting go of her hand so he could point. He drew a line between four stars, making an oddly shaped trapezoid, then down to a star below them, over to one just to left of it and then back up to the trapezoid. "Big Strong Axe," he informed her.
Weapon-themed. Figured.

She searched the skies, looking for a certain arrangement. "I like... that one," she said. She also pointed, but due to being shorter than he and the vague movements, it wasn't exactly clear to where she was pointing.
He took another swig of the cocoa and followed the length of her arm. He squinted and tried to make out what she was pointing out but all he saw was a blank piece of sky. Deciding that his perception was off, he bent his knees to get to her level. Still, even then he couldn't really make anything out.

"The cluster of fuzzy dots?" he asked confused.
"No," she replied patiently. She leaned in towards him, moving her hand to point more clearly--

--and quickly turned her head so she brush her lips against his. It wasn't the best angle at which to kiss him, but she'd take what she could get. His whiskers tickled, she noted.

She didn't pull back very much as she didn't want him to get the wrong impression, but she hesitated out of uncertainty of what he would do. And she couldn't stop the sudden hammering of her own heart.
It didn't help that his knees were bent to begin with. They went to jelly the second she leaned in and disappeared on him as soon as she kissed him. It took a second to find them, just in time to prevent him from literally melting on the spot. But once he had them again and realized that the rest of him hadn't either spontaneously combusted (a very strong possibility) or been swallowed into the ground (end of the world scenario had seemed plausible at twelve years old), he realized also that this was real.

Like not a dream real.

Like act you idiot and don't just stand there and look dumb real.

And so Tentsuke, who no one would accuse of being patient nor shy nor anything but loud and brash and spontaneous, decided that if this was indeed real (still a 25% probability he'd wake up in bed in five seconds), he was damn well not going to waste the opportunity. The cup in his hand dropped to ground, both hands reached up and cupped her cheeks and he leaned in and kissed her proper.
His falling cup distracted her for just a second, but enough that she had an unexpected but very pleasant surprise as he first took hold of her face before kissing her. Her eyes closed and her own cup joined his as she lost her grip on it, but that was fine as she could put one hand over his and the other on his chest so she could hold on to his jacket. For balance.
If life were perfect, he wouldn't have moved. Ever. No thank you, right here is fine, just give me a cane in a few decades so I can stay standing.

But life isn't perfect and so he pulled away because while everything felt right, something was... off. He smiled at her a bit, push a few strands of hair from her face and then suddenly realized what the problem was.

Breathing! Right... you're supposed to do that regularly.

Good thing his knees were already bent so when he sank to the ground in a kneel it wasn't that far a fall.
The bloom of warmth on her face was all she needed to know her color was up, and then her cheeks suddenly felt cold when he moved his hands away. She opened her eyes slowly, leaning against the fingertips that brushed her hair aside.

Her hand still held his, though the other let go of his jacket when he went to his knees. "...Are you all right?" she asked as she looked down at him. She remembered how his knee had popped before and hoped he hadn't managed to hurt himself again.
"Oh fine," he managed, turning beat red. Whether it was from embarrassment or happiness was hard to tell. He caught sight of a bench nearby. "Just need to sit down for a while."

You know, to find his head which had somehow floated away. And his heart, which he was sure had beat so fast that it had broken several laws of physics and just poofed into another place. He hoped they were both some where happy but honestly, he couldn't think of a better place then right here.

He sat down on the bench and leaned back, letting his arms rest against the back. Sitting was good. Everything wasn't spinning so much when he was sitting.
Nejiko moved over to the bench with him, and it was only after she sat down that she realized they had both dropped their hot chocolate, which stained the ground brown. She thought about getting up to collect them for the rubbish bin, but her hands were cold and her bottom was cold from the bench and the side near Tentsuke was warm. So she tucked her hands beneath her armpits and scooted closer to him.

Spring was coming, she reminded herself. She simply wished it would come sooner. She despised the cold.
He didn't move much, just rested one hand on her shoulders and then used the other to pull her hands free. "You need gloves," he lectured. He worked her hands together and then covered them both with his free one. He was warm, a combination of the happiness and the fact that this really wasn't cold for him at all.

He leaned back into the bench and concentrated on getting her hands warm while his other hand started absently wrapping through her hair. "Not going to be able to take you to visit the family without getting you at least that. Probably a half dozen jackets too."
She leaned against him, looking at their hands and how his single hand so easily covered both of hers while also aware of his hand playing with her hair. Her eyes half-closed and a quiet smile brushed her face. It seemed like he enjoyed playing with her hair as much as his stubble fascinated her. It was acceptable.

"I wear gloves on missions." ANBU couldn't leave physical evidence and her fingerprints were on file. Plus, general consensus was touching bare flesh to cold steel was an all-around bad idea. Still the hand coverings offended her at a more personal level; she was a Hyuuga who fought with her bare hands. The gloves didn't affect chakra flow, but for someone so used to feeling the blows, the physical sensory deprivation was--awkward.
"Those cloth things won't be worth a damn," he replied. "Up in the mountains, it's so damn cold that you can throw a cup of water in the air and it'll be ice before it hits the ground." He twirled her hair into a loose knot and then watched it unravel.

For Tentsuke, this was still kind of warm. His hands still maintained their full color even as they started to pull the cold away from her fingers. The rest of him was warm too, save for the tip of his nose. Looking down, he could see it was turning red.

"Not that you'll have to worry," he smiled, letting his hand drop from her head to her side. "I'll make sure you're nice and warm." The hand fell to her side and he let it rest there to prove his point. The running joke in the family was that he didn't need a forge, he could be his own damn smelting fire sometimes.
He was warm. And pleasantly so. She moved closer to him until her side was pressed up against him, her head resting on his shoulder. She hoped he exaggerated the speed at which water could freeze there. Nejiko and cold did not mix well.

Especially when his comment and the hand on her side on making sure she would be nice and warm prompted a few ideas to flit through her mind. Ideas like sitting like this with him. Only on something warmer because her ass was beginning to freeze despite the layers of pants she had on. (Discomfort was something she had long ago learned to suffer through. Three cheers for Hyuuga training on top of everything Gaia-sensei put them through.)

"When do you want to go see them?"
"Not for a while," he answered quickly. It was barely mid-February, the mountain would be buried in at least a dozen feet of snow. He almost missed this time of year, bunkered down the the entire family until he remembered how insane they drove him after a while.

"It's impossible to get there until the snow melts. 'Side, I need that long to convince you not to pick a fight." He paused and considered this. "Well, that is to pick not too many fights," he conceded.
"Why would I pick a fight with your family?" she asked after a moment's contemplation. The closest approximation of why she might not pick a fight with his family was that he potentially had female relations that would respond the same way as some of her male relations, given the 'threat' of a significant other.
He looked at her and raised an eyebrow. "I seem to remember a certain little Hyuuga practically grinning at the thought of throwing down with a few mountain hardened cousins of mine who like to brawl," he reminded her. And then paused and tried not to mentally slap himself in the forehead. If she had forgotten, why on earth would he go and remind her??

Because Tentsuke is cute like that. *pets him*

She smirked at him, white eyes warm and sharp all at once. "I did, didn't I. Of course, there's nothing saying that your cousins wouldn't pick a fight with me. In which case it's different," she informed him.