I'm sooo sorry for no update!!! This chapter sucks but this was the best i could do! i wanted to get it in today!! so i'll definitely update more by this week!!

She's Gone?!

"What's it like being the wife of a powerful and handsome guy?" Ino asked sarcastically. She sat on the foot of her bed polishing her toenails. Tenten sat across from her sipping hot chocolate.

"It's ok…I guess. Nothing special…," she muttered.

"Nothing special, c'mon! You've been dreaming about this day since we were girls! And now that you have it…it's nothing special?" Sakura asked, perplexed. She lay on Ino's bed flipping through magazines. It was another one of their cherished sleepovers; with a new addition to the group. Shinrai lay curled up beside Ino staring at her tiny toes and then at Ino's.

"It's not that…it's just that…I never imagined it to turn out this way! I mean…I don't even know if he really loves me…or if he's just acting. This mission…I thought it would benefit the both of us…and Shinrai, too." Tenten smiled lovingly at her adoptive daughter. "But, it's just left me even more confused than I was before! I think I preferred loving him from afar than being his wife and not knowing!"

"Don't worry, Tenten. He may as well love you as much as you love him," Sakura offered. She picked up a brush from floor beside Ino and beckoned to Shinrai. "You're so lucky that at least Gaara-sama chose you as Shinrai's protector." Sakura continued when Shinrai plopped down into her lap. "She's so beautiful."

Ino nodded. "Just like her mother."

"Both mothers…," Tenten finished.

Tenten awoke the next morning to an empty bed. She sat up groggily. Where…? Oh, that's right…Ino's place. Tenten sniffed the air and smiled at the warm aroma of something heavenly. She heard faint laughter coming from the kitchen. Slipping on her robe she followed the hallways and entered the kitchen to see Ino, Sakura, and Shinrai in the midst of a food fight. All three girls were drenched in egg yolk and pancake mix. Shinrai laughed happily and watched as Ino and Sakura screamed and threw more unknown substances at each other.

"Ino, Sakura, what's going on?" Tenten asked. She couldn't help but to smile at the hilarious sight.

"Oh, Tenten! Did we wake you? We were trying to be as quiet as possible…," Sakura gasped and set to work scrubbing her skin.

"That is until you decided to throw the bowl of eggs at me!" Ino accused.

"Bowl of eggs?! I didn't throw anything at you until you threw the pancake batter at me!"

Tenten laughed and proceeded to wipe up the sticky mess on Shinrai's face.

"I think I have an idea of who started this fight."

Everyone turned to look at Shinrai and couldn't help but to laugh at her innocent smile.

Tenten and Shinrai walked hand in hand down the road of the village. They had finally had their breakfast after about two hours of cleaning of Ino's kitchen. And now they were on their way home. Vendors still called out to the two as they walked the streets.

"No, thank you. We've already eaten." Tenten said to one of the vendors. She almost tripped when a strong force pulled on her sleeve. "Wha? Shinrai, what's wrong?"

Shinrai lifted her arms, frowning. Tenten lifted her up and held her close, but suddenly held Shinrai at arm's length.

"Shinrai, you're burning up!" Tenten gingerly placed her palm on Shinrai's neck and forehead. It felt like touching fire. "Oh my, we've got to see a doctor!"

Picking Shinrai up and holding her close, Tenten ran all the way back to the Hyuuga compound. She didn't stop running until she kicked open the door of her home. Neji jumped in surprise. He had been in the middle of meditating.

"Tenten, what's going on? I didn't expect you for another half hour…," He stopped short upon seeing the now unconscious Shinrai.

"Neji, she's burning up! I don't know what to do!" Tears spilled out as she panicked. She wasn't even a real mother! What could she do?

"Tenten, calm down. We'll take her to a doctor." Neji took her arm and together the three of them soon found themselves at the Hyuuga family doctor, Hyuuga Saru.

"Give me a moment to check her." And Saru left them alone.

"Tenten, calm down. Everything will be alright." Neji assured her. Tenten sat on the far end of the couch still tearing.

"Neji, I don't think I'm ready for this. Being a mother…," Tenten murmured. She closed her eyes and looked away.


"Tenten, look at me."

But she didn't move. Neji reached over and placed his hand on her shoulder. He turned her around and let her lean into him. "Tenten, stop worrying. Nothing will go wrong. I promise."

Tenten sniffed and burrowed further into his shoulder. She loved the way he smelled. Like coconuts and beach air. His hand found its way around her shoulder and he left it. It felt so good to just be able to hold her. Minutes passed and neither moved. Neither wanted to break the enchanting embrace and the loving atmosphere. Minutes turned to hours and soon Tenten had fallen asleep.

Neji looked down on her and smiled at the sight. Her hair had unraveled and now lay about her shoulders. Her eyes were closed, her lips parted slightly. Dry tears had made tracks on her cheeks and even left a dark print on his robe. Neji leaned into her and pressed a kiss to her mouth and then to her tear stained cheeks. He continued to watch her and listen to her inhale deeply; clutching at his hand with every tiny movement.

There was a creaking of a door and Saru poked his head out of the office.

"Neji-sama, Tenten-chan?" He called questioningly. Neji patted Tenten's shoulder.

"What? Oh, Shinrai…," Tenten slurred. She blinked and looked up into Neji's eyes. "Is she alright?"

"Follow me." Saru said opening the door wider. Tenten followed fearfully. Neji closed the door after her and both turned to Saru.

"Shinrai-chan just had a little fever. It was nothing very serious." He informed them. Tenten breathed a sigh of relief. She squeezed Neji's hand and smiled for the first time in a while. Neji's heart lifted upon seeing her smile again. It warmed his heart to see it.

"Thank goodness." Tenten murmured. She glanced at Shinrai who lay sleeping on the mattress.

"I think, that just to be safe, she stay the night in the infirmary. It would do well to keep her monitored."

"But if it's not serious, then why?" Tenten asked.

"Just to be sure; after all, she is from the Sand. There might be some kind of illness from there that we don't know about."

"Oh…alright, then. I suppose this is for the best…," Tenten murmured.

Later that night, Tenten and Neji lay in bed, ready to sleep. But Tenten just couldn't find the peace to sleep. Anxiously she threw off the covers and strode to the window. She opened the windows and leaned against the balcony. The air was fresh and smelled so pure. The moon was full and provided enough light for her to see across the Hyuuga grounds. It felt so tranquil and quiet.

Hands circled her shoulders and hugged her from behind.

"Tenten, why are you so worried?" Neji asked huskily. His arms tightened around her, enveloping her and warming her. Tenten let herself sink into his embrace.

"I just don't want her to get hurt. Gaara-sama trusted me to be her mother. I just…don't want her to get hurt…,"

"You're being a great mother. I'm sure Gaara-sama wouldn't have any other person look after his daughter than you." A chill went down her spine as Neji softly kissed her cheek. Tenten turned in his arms and looked into his opaque eyes; unable to interpret any emotion from them.

"Tenten, come to bed. I promise you everything will be fine. We'll see Shinrai in the morning."

Tenten nodded and allowed Neji to steer her back into bed. She close her eyes until Neji's arms wrapped around her again.

They awoke to frenzied poundings of knocking. Tenten threw off the covers again and ran to the door. She opened it to find Saru panting heavily and about to knock again.

"I'm sorry, Tenten-sama. But something's happened!"

"What's the meaning of this, Saru? Can't you see that some people are trying to sleep?" Neji asked annoyed.

"Neji-sama, something's happened! I couldn't stop her!"

"Tell me, Saru! What has happened?!" Tenten asked, hysteria taking over.

"Shinrai, she's gone!"