Externality 6c/? (2017-09-29)

She’ll admit, later, that she probably developed tunnel vision trying to find Neji Hyuuga while also avoiding the angry mob. She gets into the rhythm of a task–even if this particular one is frenetic and stressful–and tends to forget her surroundings.

Luckily, Naruto Uzumaki is there to shove her out of the way of a barrage of kunai. They thunk into the tree beyond her.

As Tetsuki regains her bearings, she notices they’re in the perfect outline of her body.

TenTen?

A different blur, much larger and closer, drops down in her peripheral, and this time it’s her own hasty reflexes that have her dodge out of the way of a jab glowing with chakra.

Jyuuken.

Well, they found him…

… hooray?

Neji Hyuuga is not their year’s highest ranked student for no reason and for all that Tetsuki is fast, no one is as fast as him.

In short order her entire right arm is numb and absolutely useless, swinging around and throwing off her balance.

Any thoughts to negotiate a truce flies from her head. In the face of such overwhelming power only one concept remains: survive.

She tries to fight back, he defends easily. She tries to retreat, he follows unerringly. She tries to hold off his stupidly undefeatable attacks, she fails miserably.

And maybe if it were just Tetsuki by herself, that’d be it. But she’s not alone.

“Wait! Hold on you bastard,” Naruto Uzumaki says, brash and somehow endearing now, “We’re not here to fight you!” he says even as he throws a punch, trying to take the pressure off her.

He means well. She does appreciate the effort. Unfortunately, two against one when that one is Neji Hyuuga doesn’t make much of a difference.

But it jolts her out of her hindbrain panic, and she still has use of one of her hands: Tetsuki grabs the two purple armbands and throws them to the ground between them, almost like a gauntlet.

Neji Hyuuga doesn’t look down–Byakugan activated, he doesn’t need to–but he pauses for a moment, almost curious, which gives her and Naruto Uzumaki a moment to breathe.

“We don’t want your token,” Tetsuki says, slowly, still functional arm raised slightly to show no harm, “Or TenTen’s,” she adds, remembering the kunai.

Naruto Uzumaki makes an indignant noise, high in the back of his throat, and she shoots him a look. Tetsuki hasn’t forgotten he still needs another token, but they can’t get it from Neji Hyuuga and she’s not going to let him take it from TenTen (even if he could–he’s not as terrible as he seems in the classroom, but she’d put her nonexistent money on TenTen any day).

Speaking of TenTen, another figure peers out from the foliage, a brace of kunai at the ready between her fingers.

“… we’d like your help with something.”

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