Second attempt at fanfiction, hence the remarkably bad writing. Read on only if you like lame humour.

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Of Youthful Passion and Local Butchers

Hyuuga Neji was not happy.

Shikamaru watched his friend warily as the Byakugan wielder paced the length of his living room. "Still nothing?"

He shook his head gravely, frowning. "Nothing at all. I've checked every day this whole month and there's nothing there."

Shikamaru smirked. "I guess you should...keep trying, then."

"This is grossly unfair! You, the Uchiha, even Naruto has one now, or will be getting one soon. How long am I supposed to be thus deprived of – "

"Have you tried talking to her about it?" the genius interrupted smoothly, hoping to placate the frustrated man.

Neji sighed. "No."

Shikamaru raised an eyebrow. "Well, you should. She does play a rather big part in this, you know, troublesome as it may be."

Another sigh. "I'll talk to her about it tonight."


Tenten was sitting comfortably on the floor, polishing her extensive collection of weaponry when Neji entered the room. He glanced at the mass of gleaming metal scattered about the furniture and coughed lightly. Tenten looked up at the noise, startled.

"Neji! I didn't hear you coming in." She smiled sheepishly. "Guess I was too focused on my work, huh?"

Neji said nothing, merely standing there with an unreadable expression on his face as he stared at his wife.

"... ...Neji? What's wrong?" Tenten frowned slightly, concerned. "Did something happen to Lee?"

"Hn." Neji grunted and sat down next to her.

"...Neji?"

"BYAKUGAN!"

A pause. Tenten raised an eyebrow, perturbed. "Neji, stop glaring at me like that! What's wrong with you?"

"Hn." To her surprise, he shifted his gaze downwards to her abdominal area. For some reason Neji was staring raptly at her stomach. Tenten shifted uncomfortably.

"Don't move." He grabbed her waist, steadying her. Tenten found herself blushing.

"Neji..."

He looked up at her, face expressionless. "You're not pregnant," he informed her.

She blinked. "...I'm not."

"Why?"

Tenten blushed harder. "What do you mean, why? It's not like I control these things, you know? I mean, these past few weeks we've been so busy with missions and everything, and we're always too tired and we never have the time to – " she coughed. " – to, uh, and anyway, what does me not being pregnant have to do with anything?"

Neji pinned her to the wall with an accusing glare. "Everyone else is having a having a baby. Hinata is pregnant, Sakura with her second child, and Shikamaru and Ino have Shikaro."

"Neji, is this some kind of –" Tenten struggled to find the word, face flushed in anger. "- Some kind of contest for you? Is that the reason why you want me pregnant? So you wouldn't feel left out? Honestly, that has to be the worst reason ever for wanting a child!"

Neji frowned again as Tenten began poking his chest with every second syllable. "But Tenten-"

"You selfish bastard! How could you even think of it that way? Don't you want the process to be special?" Neji grabbed her wrist, stopping her finger halfway."Ugh! Sometimes I wonder why I even married you when you're just the same cold, insensitive jerk you used to be!"

Silence.

Then Neji let go of her hand gently and backed away from her. "Are you not happy married to me?" he asked her softly.

Tenten sighed. "Neji..."

"Is that why you're so against having my child?" he pressed on. He paused. "Children?"

"It's not that I don't want to have children, it's just...why are you so anxious about it?"

But Neji wasn't listening. "Lee was right," he mumbled to himself. "I should have known."

"...Lee? What was Lee so right about?"

He glanced sideways at Tenten, looking slightly embarrassed. "Nothing."

"Neji," Tenten growled warningly.

Neji scowled.


"Yosh! Here's to all the beautiful flowers of Konoha and the manly men who have picked them!" Lee waved his beer around happily, shouting to his companions.

"Manly men?" Sasuke raised an eyebrow. Shikamaru shrugged.

"And here's to the tiny little balls of youthful passion that resides in our flowers!" Lee continued to roar. He glanced at Shikaro, who was sitting silently by his father's feet, looking rather bored. "Or out of," he amended.

"What is he talking about?" Naruto scratched the back of his head, confused. The men were all sitting around Shikamaru's living room, their current favorite hangout.

"Lee is toasting to the fact that Sakura is pregnant again. You know, little balls of youthful passion being the foetus," Chouji explained. Naruto choked on his beer.

Suddenly Lee swung his head towards Neji. "My most worthy rival! What about you and Tenten? When will I see the fruit of the youthful vigour you practice nightly with the most beautiful of kunoichi!"

Collective snickering ensued. Neji paled. "That is none of your concern," he grit out in the most dignified manner he could manage.

Lee went googly-eyed. "But Neji! Of course I am concerned! I am yet waiting for the final proof of Tenten's dedication and love for you to appear before I can rest assured that she is truly happy with you! After all, when a woman bears a man's child, it is the ultimate gift of love, proving beyond doubt that she truly loves him! Ah! The joys of youth and love!"

Neji snorted. "That is ridiculous. Tenten loves me just fine, even if we don't have a child. Yet."

Lee shook his head sadly. "Alas, my dearest of dear friends, you can never be sure of that! Why, I had a cousin whose wife left him for the local butcher even though –"

Shikamaru coughed. "Never mind, Lee."

Lee carried on obliviously: "Even though they had been married for twenty-four years OOWWW! I think something just bit my –"

Shikamaru glanced at the bug scurrying away from Lee's leg. "Thanks, Shino," he muttered.

The Aburame nodded and adjusted his glasses. Neji's eye twitched violently as Kiba proceeded to pat him sympathetically on the back.


Tenten stared skeptically at her husband. "You mean you actually listened to Lee," she deadpanned, looking distinctly unimpressed.

Neji gave her a dark look. "Well, he was right, wasn't he? I am currently childless, and you just admitted yourself that you are not happy with me."

She stayed still for a long moment. Then: "You idiot!" she suddenly yelled, launching herself into his lap. Neji's arm curled around her instinctively even as his eyes widened. "Do you think I would still be here if I wasn't happy with you? Just because we don't have a child yet doesn't mean that I don't love you to pieces and I can't believe how stupid you are and honestly you'd think that being a genius would mean that you'd know better but no, you just had to go around listening to Lee of all people and–"

Neji blinked and clamped a hand over her mouth. Tenten glared at him but he leaned forwards, rested his forehead against hers, and smiled tentatively. "Thank you."

"Oo may memooof oor han nowf, Memi."

"What?"

Tenten delicately plucked the offending hand away from her mouth. "I said, you may remove your hand now, Neji. It was getting in the way."

"Of what?"

"Of this." Tenten leaned forwards and gently pressed her lips to his. She felt Neji smile against the kiss as he tightened his arms around her waist, drawing her even closer.

Suddenly he broke off, frowning. Tenten traced her fingertips along his cheek.

"Whats wrong?"

Neji sighed and glanced rather dejectedly once more at her stomach. "I'd still like a child, you know," he told her seriously. "This whole fatherhood business actually sounds rather appealing, even if Shikamaru spends every day moaning about how troublesome it is."

A pause.

"And you're still not pregnant." He sighed again.

Tenten pursed her lips, looking away a little crossly. Neji saw this and the corner of his mouth tugged up in a small smile. He leaned down, brushing his lips against hers lightly before moving down to her jawline, her throat, the pale skin at her collarbone. "I think we should try to remedy that," he whispered.

Tenten rolled her eyes but couldn't hold back a soft chuckle, threading her fingers through his hair. "Yes, that is a rather good idea," she agreed, and then they were too busy to do any more talking for a while.


Moral of the story: beware the local butcher.