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Conversations
by Téa (kaibasgirl)
at September 2nd, 2008 (06:08 pm)
excited

current mood: excited

Oh wow, do you guys have any idea how excited I am to see a LeeTen community?! I had no idea there was one! But why's it so quiet? Where's everyone's YOUTHFULNESS????? XD

Anyway, I wrote this some time ago and posted it to ten_squared & love_lee but I wish I'd known about this place earlier <333

Title: Conversations
Author: kaibasgirl
Rating: K
Summary: Takes place after the Lee's fight with Gaara in the Chunnin Prelims.



Conversations

The sun was shining brightly, as a spring breeze lazily drifted in through the open window. Shrieks of laughter could be heard, as children chased each other around in the playground across the street, while mothers sat on benches, chatting with one another, occasionally glancing at their offspring to ascertain they were okay.

To Rock Lee, the scene looked like a highly colorful and vibrant clip. Something you’d watch when you wanted to gaze upon a heartwarming scene. But even the bright rays of light that filtered in through the slanted shades couldn’t dispel the sense of doom and despair that seemed to permeate the air.

There was a light knock on the door, and a moment later it slid aside to reveal his teammate, Tenten.

“Hi, Lee,” she greeted cheerfully, as the boy looked up at her. His face broke into a wide smile as she came to sit by the only chair in the room placed by his bedside.

“Tenten!” he greeted enthusiastically. “It is good of you to come visit me!”

The girl smiled, as she took in the small, dismal room. A vase on the windowsill was the only object that gave relief to the otherwise bare walls and peeling paint. She turned to the boy himself, and saw he had stopped grinning, and was looking out the window once more, a sad expression marring his usually happy face.

She had, of course, heard all about what happened during the Chuunin preliminaries. No one could stop talking about it for days after, and she was quite fuming she had missed it, due to her being knocked unconscious during her battle with the Sand-nin, Temari.

“Lee,” she began hesitantly, as he turned to look at her. “I’m…sorry. About what happened.”

“Oh.” The boy responded blandly. It seemed lately that was all people were telling him. “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry.” Was he really so pitiful?

Feeling as though it might have been the wrong thing to say, the brunette added hastily, “I heard it was a spectacular fight! I mean…I know I was unconscious, but honestly, all anyone talks about is the fight between you and Gaara. No one even mentions the other ones!”

Lee nodded his head, remembering how hard he had fought to protect his dreams, his goals, all the hard work he’d put in. Even opening the celestial gates hadn’t been enough. Perhaps…perhaps…had he been stronger, worked harder, maybe then things wouldn’t have turned out the way they did. Or maybe he was just fooling himself. Maybe Neji did have a point. A genius cannot be defeated through hard work alone, and he wasn’t a genius, he was a failure.

He heard her next words as though from far way.

“Lee, I’m sorry about what happened…during the fight. About…what the doctors said.”

There was a very long moment of silence, and when he spoke, his bangs shadowed his eyes.

“What are you sorry for, Tenten?”

The girl looked over at him, unable to interpret his expression. “What do you mean?”

“What is it you are sorry for, Tenten?” He repeated the question a little louder, fixing his piercing eyes upon her. “The fact that I will never be able to live as a shinobi again, or that all the hard work I spent my entire life doing, counted for nothing when it came to an actual battle?”

For a long moment they stared at each other, Lee’s eyes boring into hers. She finally turned her head away, unable to keep up with the intense gaze.

“Don’t ask me such questions,” she said harshly. “You know I can’t answer them.”

Another long minute passed, as Lee turned to look out the window again, staring at the scene below. There were many things going through his mind at the moment, many things he wanted to say to the girl visiting him, but couldn’t bring himself to. At last, he heard her speaking, but her words held no comfort as they rang hollowly in the musty room.

“Lee…there are still plenty of other things you can do, besides be a ninja.” She knew what she was saying must sound horrendous to the youth, but she felt she had to say something. The very air threatened to choke her.

However, what he had said to her then, compared nothing to what he said now.

“You aren’t sorry, Tenten,” his voice was quiet, fists clenching over the crisp white sheets. “If you were, you would never have said such things to me in the first place.”

“That’s not true, of course I’m-“

“You don’t have to lie for me.” He looked up at her at last, a bitter smile on his face. “All my life, I’ve worked and trained for one reason, and that was to show the world that you don’t need nin-jutsu or gen-jutsu to be a great shinobi. I wanted to show everyone that a genius can be defeated through hard work, and perhaps, one day, defeat Neji in an honorable match. None of that matters anymore though, for I am a failure, and will never fulfill my dream. Even my own teammates have given up on me.”

Tenten stared in shock as the boy turned away. “Lee…you…you…don’t make me hit you!” She exclaimed, standing up. She grabbed him by the collar of his hospital gown with both hands and forced him to look at her. “Listen, Lee, I don’t know who you’ve been talking to lately, but you’d better stop! How dare you think we wouldn’t care, us, your teammates! We didn’t spend days and nights together, training in any weather, going on countless missions, just so you could give up! So snap out of it, before I have to stuff a kunai down your throat and hurt you really bad!”

Lee stared at her, shell-shocked. Tenten let go of his shirt and sat back down, all the while glaring at him.

“Do you…Do you really mean that, Tenten?” He asked her, looking down at his sheets and squeezing his eyes shut tight, the tears leaking out. “Because…up until now…I thought it was only Gai-sensei who believed in me. I thought that…you and Neji would be happy to have a different teammate…that I was bothersome to have around…”

The brunette’s eyes softened. “Of course not, Lee,” she said, laying a hand on his shoulder. “If we didn’t have you on our team, then we would never have succeeded in getting two scrolls, and all the missions we’ve been on wouldn’t have been such a success. Besides,” she looked away for a moment, her cheeks turning slightly red. “Who would have caught me when I lost the match to that Sand-nin? I never even thanked you for it.”

There was a long silence, as Lee drank in her words, his perspective on his teammates changing drastically. Finally, he looked up, his grin back in place where it belonged.

“Tenten,” he exclaimed, as the brunette turned to look at him. “I am giving you my most passionate of promises that the day will come when I will catch you again, but not because you lost a match!”

Tenten grinned back, knowing full well the boy would keep his word.

And he did.

End

A/N:

Anyone here love the fight between Lee and Gaara as much as I did? Man, I wish the manga would show more fights like that, it had you literally on the edge of your seat!

Anyway, I had this sitting on my hard drive for almost a year before I remembered about it and decided to post it.

This was inspired by the story Steps by Talchum on ff.net, which I highly recommend reading, because it focuses on the friendship between Neji and Lee, which is fascinating in its own right.

Well, let me know what you thought of it. I kind of wish the manga would show that other people besides Gai influence Lee. I mean, yeesh.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Téa