'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.'
'How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
'You must be,' said the Cat, else you wouldn't have come here.'
-Alice in Wonderland
Neji got three yards down the street before the 'I don't want to see hurtful things' part of him was knocked out, gagged, and sat on by his 'Jealous!Rage!Mine!' parts. He stopped dead, whirled on his heel, and ran straight back to Tenten's house. Every step he took seemed to send a spike of rage shooting up his spine straight into his brain. By the time he got to the door he was emitting so much angry chakra he looked like a walking nightlight.
Still, Neji was a prodigy – a genius – an intelligent, capable shinobi. His mind, though still writhing in pain from what he had just overheard, began to flash through possible explanations. He hadn't actually heard anyone responding to Tenten. She mightn't have been talking to anyone human at all – maybe a dog, or a cat, or even one of those damn squirrels Lee was carting around everywhere. Maybe she was talking to herself.
Then he kicked in the door and saw Tenten up against the wall, very involved and very waaaytooclose with a dark-haired boy.
Neji's first thought, strangely enough, was 'Well, it wasn't herself.'
Then the numbness faded slightly, and he quickly ran through every swear-word he had ever known, a little angry at how short the list was – he would be sure and ask Naruto for some good ones later, the blond boy was famous for his multi-lingual collection of profanity – and then ran through them again, for good measure.
After that it was just 'Kill kill kill KILLkillkillkillKILLkillkill'
What came out of his mouth was a confused and slightly pathetic, "Tenten?"
Tenten and the dark-haired boy jerked apart, Neji shuddering as he noticed the marks on his team-mate's skin. Only he was allowed to mark her skin, dammit.
In training, he meant. Training.
Neji clenched his fists, and took a step forward, ready to pummel Kiba into the ground for daring to touch Tenten, daring to kiss her, daring to have her legs wrapped around his waist.
Then Neji stopped dead, his chakra flickering out like a candle-flame as he realized it wasn't Kiba. Confused that the rage that had been simmering in him for days was misdirected, it took him a moment to actually realize who it was.
Then he jerked like a man shot, leaped backwards, and screamed, "YOU!"
He raised a trembling hand to point at Uchiha Sasuke.
Neji woke up.
'What a horrible horrible dream,' he thought, feeling bile rise in his throat. It wasn't fair, Tenten was the only girl he knew free of the stupidity affecting female minds whenever certain boys came into the vicinity – Yamanaka and Haruno compared unfavorably to her, and even Hinata-sama and her finger-tapping nervousness around Naruto – and now he had to imagine her reduced to the level of one of Uchiha's fangirls?
Then he realized he was standing in front of her door, and he could hear her cooing to someone inside.
"Oh you darling, you darling!" A high, delighted laugh, chiming like silver bells of DOOM to Neji's ears.
His mind still reeling from the dream – no, nightmare – his mind had just subjected him to, Neji considered his next course of action very plain and necessary.
He battered down her door, calling her name in something closer to panic than he had ever before let himself be.
"Neji?" Two startled brown eyes met two frantic white ones as Neji skidded around the corner and almost barreled into his teammate. A somewhat odd dance/step routine to keep their balance then ensued.
"Neji, be careful!" Tenten yelled at him as soon as she could spare the breath. "You almost made me drop the baby!"
"The…the baby?" Neji repeated, actually taking a step back as though physically struck. "The baby?"
The blanket-wrapped bundle in Tenten's arms chose that moment to make a soft mewling noise, causing an adoring expression to appear on Tenten's face and utterly snatching away all her attention from Neji.
"Aww, is you hungwy? Does the widdle ickle chibi-chan wants his numnums?" Tenten cooed at the baby, the sound of his sweet little voice causing her to lose much of her language-skills. "I bet you is! I bet you is!"
She walked slowly to a rocking-chair set beside a window. Sitting down in it, she began unbuttoning her shirt – much to Neji's stupefaction. Trying hard not to watch her hands and what they were revealing, the totally-ignored shinobi crept beside his teammate and peered down at the baby in her arms.
Wide white eyes stared up at him from a round baby-face, which creased as the baby broke into a toothless grin. Neji had the very odd sensation of looking at himself rendered baby-fat and happy.
Then the baby reached up his chubby arms and warbled "Dada!" and Neji had the even odder sensation of fainting.
Neji found himself falling…falling…falling…
…to land in front of Tenten's door. By now seriously doubting his sanity, Neji simply pushed open the door and strolled into her house. If she was kissing Uchiha, he would just have to kill the other boy. If she was kissing Kiba, ditto. If she was holding the baby…well, honestly he didn't know what he'd do but the thought was strangely pleasant.
And if it were anything else…well, he'd deal with that.
And so his reaction to seeing Tenten patting a giant dragon on the head was surprisingly low-key.
"Oh, is that a summons or a demon?" he asked calmly.
Tenten giggled. "It's my daddy!"
"Ah," Neji nodded, before turning on his heel and walking deliberately into the wall.
When the white spots cleared from Neji's vision, he found himself in the same position as all the other – dreams? Hallucinations? Glimpses of alternate yet parallel universes? – had started from: in front of Tenten's door.
Only this time the door was set into a house that was in the middle of the Uchiha compound.
As Neji stared, the door was yanked open, and he found himself facing a belligerent-looking Uchiha Sasuke. "Are you here to see aneki?" the younger boy demanded, eyeing him as if he was measuring where the Chidori would do the most damage. Without waiting for an answer, Sasuke turned and bellowed into the house: "Ten-chan! Your teammate's here!"
"Way to be polite, Sasuke!" a familiar voice called back, and Neji heard the sound of feet rapidly pounding on the floor before Tenten raced into view. "Next time, you let him in, then you go and call me like a normal human being!"
"Che, what's the point," Sasuke shrugged, "It's more efficient this way." He held up a neatly-wrapped bento for Tenten to grab as she hurtled through the front door, calling after her: "It's your turn to do the dishes later, aneki!"
"I know!" Tenten yelled back, then tugged on Neji's hand. "Come on Neji, before Gai-sensei makes us do five million laps around the village."
Neji followed wordlessly, his pale eyes fixed on the Uchiha clan symbol proudly blazoned on the back of Tenten's dark-blue top.
And so it whirled and whirled, wyverns and witches, pumpkins and policemen, giraffes and guerillas making a strange cavalcade of worlds which Neji numbly spun through.
And then he woke up.
This is an omake this is an omake this is an omake this is an omake this is an omake this is an omake.
So…because I've had a rather terrible time trying to write CM, I decided to just use bits and pieces of other fics in vague production for this short omake. Basically I wanted to see the reaction to the first, SasuTen part if I pretended it was the real chapter, but it spun outta control.
Neji: SasuTen! All you've been writing is SasuTen lately! glares at laptop, visibly measuring it for a 64 Strikes attack
Me: Not true. I've…I've written other stuff.
Neji: Sure. You wrote that fic where I…I… garbles incoherently in rage And you wrote a lime SasuTen omake! Where's mine! WHERE'S MY ACTION!
O Nejiten muse who's abandoned me, please to be granting me a second chance of life.