A/N: Well, this is a relatively short epilogue, and for that I am sorry, I guess, but it is an epilogue, and does leave room for me to continue, were I so inclined.  While I do have sort of sketches of ideas of what to do next, I'm not exactly sure if I want to continue with it, so I dunno, here's the Ending Ending.


"And you thought they were too old for bedtime stories." She smiled at her husband and drew the covers up over her son and daughter.

He scoffed.  "This doesn't count, it wasn't a real story."

"Because it was true?"

He sighed from his position leaning against the door.  "Do you really think they need to learn about that already?"

"She's not a little girl anymore Neji.  Haruka's already eleven.  She'll be graduating from the Academy soon, and she'll need to know why using fire techniques comes so easy to her."

"Can't she be satisfied with Byakugan?"

"Can you?"

He didn't respond, just snorted and looked away.

She got up from the chair she was sitting in.  "You're such a good father to them Neji."

He blushed.  "You're a great mother too."

She embraced him, her face leaning against his chest.  "I remember a day when we never thought we would make it this far."

"I never had that problem."

She pushed him out of the room, not wanting to wake up the two children that had put up a terrible fuss about being sent to bed.  "Don't you dare lie to me Hyuuga Neji."

"What?" He fought to control the smile that was threatening to stretch across his face.  "I'm not lying."

"You weren't afraid that we would die back then?"


"Hmm.I seem to remember differently."

He opened the door to their bedroom and let her in ahead of him.  "Then your memory is playing games with you."

She sighed, deciding not to continue the argument with her husband.  His stubborn streak was wider than hers anyway, she wouldn't stand a chance.  "Let's just go to bed.  You have to go see Kotetsu in the morning." She climbed into bed.

He took his place next to her, pulling the covers up to his chest.  "Those kids will never look at their uncle the same way again."

"Serves him right." She muttered, snuggling against her husband's chest.

"You are going to see the doctor in the morning, right?"

She groaned.  "Yes, Neji.  You don't have to patronize me, I'm not a child."

"Hmm." He threw an arm over her shoulder and pulled her tighter.  "Still, I am glad about what happened."

She raised an eyebrow, and then realizing that he couldn't see her, spoke up.  "What do you mean?"

"Without the Phoenix, do you think the two of us would've ever bonded together?"

"We were friends."

"Teammates.  To you, I might have been your friend, but me, you were nothing more than my teammate."

She hugged him tighter.  "All we needed was time Neji.  I would've worn you down."

"You have a lot of confidence."

"I have to.  How else would I keep up with you?"

He yawned.  "How do you keep up with Haruka and Kojiro?  After training with her and chasing him around the house all day, I'm starting to wish that I had taken the mission Hokage had offered."

"And I didn't deserve a day off?"

"Of course you did, and I appreciate what you do around here even more." He kissed her on the forehead.

She murmured something softly and he felt her movements still.  She had fallen asleep.  She had grown up into a beautiful woman, and it was hard for him to believe that it had been fifteen years ago when their children's bedtime story had been reality for both of them.

He didn't know how long he lay there, listening to the sound of her breathing in and out, but he couldn't fall asleep, something was tugging at the back of his mind, and it wouldn't let him go.  He reached out carefully and shook her shoulder gently.

"Mmm." She rolled away from him.

He sighed and shook her again.  "Wake up TenTen."

She opened her brown eyes lazily and focused on him.  "Is it time to wake up the kids yet?"

"No." He replied.  "I want to ask you something."

She quickly hid the annoyance that threatened to twist her features.  "What's wrong?"

He was instantly thankful for the darkness, so there was no way she could see the sweat starting to gather on his forehead.  "That story you told the kids tonight, did you tell them what happened after that?"

She didn't answer for a long moment, and he shook her once more to make sure she hadn't fallen asleep again.  "I'm not sleeping Neji.  Of course I didn't tell them about that."

"Good." A feeling of relief suddenly washed over her husband.

"That's a story for another night."