The attack comes out of nowhere, and she doesn’t have time to do anything more than realize she’s screwed. Her arms ache and she feels sluggish after losing so much blood fighting off Zetsus, and her ankle is a throbbing mess after she twisted it several minutes ago. She’s too far away from any of her allies and her chakra reserves have been reduced to a mere trickle, and she can’t do anything but watch in a sort of mute, detached disbelief as her end approaches.
She’s going to die via stray jutsu. It’s not even a purposeful attack.
Then—a push. Pain. A wheezing cough.
A splatter of blood on her face.
She’s on the ground, pinned down under a warm body. She blinks, dazed, and tries to get her head back into the present. It’s difficult, with how much her head is spinning. She must have bumped it when she landed, and the blood-loss certainly doesn’t help.
A rasping breath.
“Are you… are you all right?” a voice asks in her ear, and the pieces finally snap into place and she understands what happened. “Tenten?”
Her eyes fill with tears. “Lee?”
A familiar laugh, but softer than normal, wetter. “Ah, yes. Sorry, my body moved on its own.”
“You shouldn’t have done that, you idiot,” she says, trying to choke back a sob. “How—how bad?”
Another coughing laugh. “That would have been most unyouthful of me,” Lee says. “Ah, don’t worry, Tenten! It’s nothing that Lady Tsunade or Sakura-chan can’t deal with,” he reassures her. It’s not as believable as it would be if he wasn’t still lying on top of her instead of standing up and screaming ‘Youth!’, though.
(She can’t lose him too, not after Neji—)
“Fuck,” she says, completely ignoring Lee’s horrified gasp as she concentrates and pulls every last drop of chakra onto her muscles to be able to move them enough to search for a soldier pill. She shouldn’t have another, not after taking three in the last two hours, but she is not about to lose her best friend to a stupid injury that was most certainly her own fault, not if she can help it.
She breathes in deep and then moves Lee carefully away from her, then stands up on shaky legs. She winces as she sees the bloody damage on Lee’s side and back, and then quickly looks down at her pouch as she struggles to find the soldier pill. She crunches it between her teeth and ignores the horrid taste in favor of helping Lee to his feet, and she notes with relief that it can’t be as bad as it looks since Lee is mostly holding up his own weight.
(Then again, her friend has the horrible habit of fighting even with shattered bones and terrible pain, so she can’t be sure.)
“Hold on, we’re going back to camp,” she tells him. “I’m going to shunshin.”
“Aw, I hate shunshin,” Lee complains weakly, and then offers her a beaming smile. It’s not as bright as his usual ones, but it’s still sincere, and it eases some of Tenten’s worry. He’ll be fine.
She’ll make sure of it.
(She’s not losing anyone else to this damn war.)