Author's NotesInspired by one of nagia's FST tracks, "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies. Its lyrics are just too hilarious to resist - it spawns plotbunnies like crazy. I'm too sleepy to continue, but the next part should finish it. Unless I can think of a way to incorporate more lines and words from the song. Neither Naruto nor the song lyrics belong to me, btw.
the vertigo is going to grow
cos it's so dangerous you'll have to sign a waiver
He looked up as he felt the pressure of watching eyes on him, abandoning the paperwork that being the Hyuuga clan-head entailed. He turned to face his new wife, silver eyes questioning. She straddled a chair backwards, chin resting on top of folded arms, her eyes sizing him up.
The silence grew and stretched between them. Finally he buckled, burst out: "What is it?"
Tenten cocked her head to one side. "I'm angry at you."
He fumed. She had been ignoring him for almost a week – him, not only a Hyuuga but the Hyuuga, head of the clan. No one ignored him. When he spoke, people jumped. When he frowned, people trembled. When he needed something, they brought him multiple editions thereof.
And when he wanted his wife, she should damn well be there. Dammit.
He jerked his head up as he realized she was passing by his study. He dashed to the door, sliding it open with a slight crash.
She turned slowly, gracefully, eyed him with a cool, distant eye. "Yes, Hyuuga-sama?"
He hadn't expected to flinch from something that was, after all, a proper title for him, delivered in a perfectly polite tone. He had used to resent at her easy familiarity, the way she had adopted his first name without any honorifics attached, he remembered. When had he grown so used to it?
He realized he hadn't answered her yet; she was raising a sardonic eyebrow at his somewhat dazed silence. He bristled slightly. He did that, not her. "Come into my office," he barked, to cover up his discomfiture.
She bowed to him, somehow managing to include an air of complete irreverence in her perfectly-inclined spine. "I do apologize, Hyuuga-sama, but I am needed at the Hokage's office. Do you not remember – you…requested that I negotiate the clan's usage of the main park for Heiji-kun's birthday party?"
He did remember. And he cursed the deep-grained protocol that stated leaders must not rescind orders – it made them appear weak. He struggled briefly with his conscience, then noticed she had taken her leave and was already at the end of the hall.
"Wait!" he called, and there was a note of pleading in his voice that surprised both of them. "Why…why are you avoiding me?" he asked, utter bafflement actually making an expression on his face.
She stared at him. "You're crazy if you really don't know," she said, then hopped over the wall.
He spent the rest of the day pacing his study, spinning on his heel so furiously that he caused little whirls of wind in his wake. What should he know? How had he upset her? They'd only been married for two weeks – somehow this week of cold-shoulder and of actually sleeping in the separate suites for the master and mistress didn't feel like a week of being wedded, but if it counted, then it was three weeks.
How had he managed to upset her so much in only two weeks?
"Mmm…come back to bed…" Tenten protested sleepily as her new husband left the bed, curling in on herself to compensate for the loss of his body-heat.
"Tenten, we have to go back to Konoha," he told her, already pulling on his pants.
"What?" Tenten protested, sitting up in bed. He paused in dressing to eye her. "It's our honeymoon! We got here yesterday – YESTERDAY! We're cleared till the end of the week, aren't we?"
"Something's come up," he said, shoving his feet into his ninja-sandals without looking away from her. "The clan needs me there."
Tenten sighed, but acquiesced. He was pleased – he knew she understood how important it was that he proved himself, as a new, young, unknown clan-head. "I'll start packing."
He poked experimentally at the dish placed before him. "What is it?"
She beamed. "It's braised chicken, with Yong tonics – amomum, some nutmeg, cassia bark…"
"Why is there sesame oil in the serving-dish?" he asked.
"Well, that's the traditional way of serving it," she explained. "It's an old recipe, you see…"
"Ah." He delicately picked up a small piece of meat, wondering for a little while at the coriander on top of it, and then placed it in his mouth. He chewed slowly, appreciating the taste. At least his wife could cook, not like Hiori's…
"It's good," he said. As he picked up another piece of chicken, he began to make idle conversation. "Speaking of, the chef has told me he will have a shipment of sushi-grade bluefin tuna soon. I look forward to it; there's something very appealing about fish that's never touched a frying pan…"
Her face had fallen slightly, though at the time he hadn't known why. Didn't she like sushi?
"Pass the wasabi, please."
The door slid open with a hiss. "Did you call me?" she asked, one hand on her hip.
"I summoned you over fifteen minutes ago," he commented, not looking up from his papers. "Where have you been?"
"…I had some training to do."
Involuntarily his mind jerked back to the memory of sparring with her in the forest, the way she'd soared through the air – the glitter of sunset light on her weapons, kunai, senbon, a beautiful silver katana she had won off a samurai sword-master – the flash of her eyes as she snarled at him, their faces only inches apart…
"Heiji-kun's birthday is in a month," he said, half-absently. "As son of the vice-commander of ANBU, it would be well if the clan feasted the boy. Go and arrange for the use of the Konoha Park for his party, if you please."
"…I hear and obey." Her voice had been flat.
He stood very still in his study.
1) Braised chicken with Chinese tonics: famous dish in Shanghai.