Summary: All it was, all it is, a duty served to the family. An obligation and a burden.But it was to be done. And it was. Still, Neji knew. Nothing would change. Yet nothing was the same.

Pairing: Neji x Hinata

Chapter Rating: PG-13 for...yeah. lol.

Disclaimer: Naruto and all related characters (c) Masashi Kishimoto -- I.E. They are not mine.

AN: My first fanfic. Heh. Please be kind. Glossary of most japanese words at the bottom.

Wedding in the Snow

They were opposites.

Where she was soft, he was hard. Where there was light in her, he bathed in darkness. Where there was a peace in her, he was in turmoil. Where she glowed, he was dull.

They were the same.

The same pale eyes. The same pale skin. The same dark hair; hers now having grown down down down, past her shoulders, past her wisp of a waist, past her hips.

They were the same.

The same sorrow. The same loss. The same needs and desires. They needed to be wanted. They desired to be loved.

No one could say that they belonged but this was duty. This was what they had to do. He could feel her trembling besides him, her imperial blue uchikake engulfing her. Even then, the many layers did not protect her from the cold. Eyes that could see everything were damp with tears that wanted to fall. They did not. He was surprised. And he was glad. He had never learned how to deal with tears. He never wanted to learn.

Snow fell all around them, the frozen tears of the sad sky. He did not need to turn his head nor shift his eyes to see that his bride had begun to bite her lip, but then stopped. She was ruining the paint on her lips. The last thing she wanted was to ruin anything.

That night they retired to their home, a gift from her father, just five minutes from the main compound. He let her enter first and in the dark, she stumbled into a nearby table, with a quiet oh! and even though he could not see her face, he knew she was red. Closing the door behind him, he put the keys onto the table and watched her in the dark as she stumbled around their new home.

It was not meant to be this way. He was sure. But with her not being fit to become head of the family, and her sister being too hotheaded to be even considered, he was chosen. But first, they had to be married.

She found her way into the bedroom. She had not opened the lights. He knew though, that she could not bring herself to look at him or at herself. But even more so, she did not want him to see her. He followed her into the bedroom, illuminated by the moon through the curtains. All light was blue and everything else was black. She was standing now, uncertain, silhouetted against the window, hair up in the bunkin-takashimada. It was winter; an unlikely time to hold a wedding but he supposed it was so that they were wed as soon as possible. The engagement was announced a month ago and he knew that if they were not married soon, one of them was sure to back out.

He had a strong feeling that it would have been him.

He stood over his wife, the small blossoms in her hair had been hard to find; the only flowers left in Konohagakure. Everything else swallowed by the snow. He stood and she sat in the awkward silence that followed and when he finally moved to rest a hand on her shoulder, he heard her let out a breath he knew she had been holding.

He cupped her chin with his other hand, planning to kiss her. Blue reflected off white and changed her eye color. In the dimness, he saw that her eyes were blank. She was not here. She had not been here, with him, since he had entered the room. He moved away from her as her lidded eyes looked up at him.

"Oyasumi-nasai, Hinata-sama."

He left her then, heading out of the bedroom and into the guestroom.

Sometime during the night, he used his Byakugan to see through the walls painted pale blue. It was wrong, he knew, but he told himself it was alright. That he was worried. That he had a reason. She was still sitting up, her back to him, her hair down now, the kanzashi ornaments set on the night table. Her uchikake draped over a chair, revealing her white shiro-maku underneath.

He watched her for what seemed like hours. Then, finally, with her shoulders visibly shaking and her back to him, she fell limp onto her side and cried herself to sleep. It would not be the last time he would watch his wife cry nor would it be the last time he would not go to her and comfort her, hold her and tell her it was alright. Precious little would be alright in the following months for the Hyuugas and the rest of Konohagakure.

Uchikake - patterned wedding kimono, worn over the white wedding kimono during the wedding reception.
Bunkin-takashimada - An elaborate wedding hairstyle, decorated with kanzashi ornaments
Kanzashi - hair ornaments
Oyasumi-Nasai - goodnight. Literally sleep well.
Shiro-maku - Bridal kimono; white, worn during the actual wedding ceremony.

If i've missed out anything/made any mistakes, please feel free to correct me. Arigatou gozaimasu.