6 Months with the Hyuuga Family
By: Whipped Coffee
I don't own Naruto.
If I did, I wouldn't be here, now would I?
Beginnings were always the funniest things. When it starts, you want it to end. When it ends, you want it to start all over again, because it is only then you truly appreciate the innocent, happy, glorious way things were. You start to realize that the closer you are to the end, the further you are from the beginning. You realize that you can't turn back time, you can't go back to the past, you can't change the mistakes, change the actions, change the words you've said to one another, because you can't.
You can't take back what you've said and done, and in the end, you end up hurting people who you've never wanted to hurt, people who you've never wanted to see cry and you see that in the end, no matter how much you apologize, no matter how many times you hug, kiss and make up, it won't take the pain away.
And in the end, it doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter, because in the end, a foolish girl like me will continue to fall deeper and deeper in love with a foolish boy like you.
l l l
White walls were unappealing.
White was so bland. White, the girl knew, symbolized purity, innocence, new beginnings, and anything of that sort. White walls though, were just white. It doesn't matter what it symbolized – in fact, the symbolism overall, was cliché, overused, and an utter drag (especially in times of testing – the typical question, 'what did the white flag represent?') The girl preferred a much simpler and practical explanation of colors.
For example, white walls weren't that great. White in general, wasn't that great. It got dirty easily, and getting a stain out was just hell.
In fact, she could see a stain there, right in the corner of the office. It was a pen mark of some sort. A pen mark that suspiciously looked like it was made by the pen she threw at the wall last week when she was sitting in the same chair, at the same office, at the same time.
"Tenten, are you listening to me?"
White walls were really not the best choice for this guy. Maybe black walls would fit him better – if the walls were black, she wouldn't be able to spot that pen mark that she made last week. And that other stain over to the other side (probably from the lunch she threw two weeks ago).
Black was too depressing, now that she thought about it. Another color would suit him better. A color that represented who he was, a color that blatantly stated his personality and temperance.
A color like...
"ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?"
"Hm?" The girl switched her attention from the wall to the man in front of her. "I'm sorry, there is a stain on y our wall and it was distracting me. You should really clean that out. Or paint it over. Did you think over my suggestion about painting this whole place red?"
The man breathed in and out slowly, muttering some phrases to himself. The girl smiled to herself – maybe they were from those relaxation videos that she gave him last Christmas. "Now as I was saying," he cleared his throat, as if his outburst never happened. "Your current family who has generously adopted you decided to disown you."
...Ouch. It hurts to hear the actual word.
"Finally," the girl sighed in relief. "I was wondering when that dysfunctional family would give up on me. They kept me a week longer than I expected."
"Tenten, this is a serious matter," he said, glaring at the girl's dismissive attitude. "It's not something you can wave off and accept so easily. If the Hyuugas hadn't generously decided to take you in, you would have been out in the streets, penniless, homeless and starving. You need to be on your best behavior and not go on a wild rampage—"
"What?" She cut in, her eyes widening. "What did you just say?"
The man breathed in and out slowly. "Were you not listening to what I was just saying? I said to not go on a wild rampage—"
"No, the part before that. Someone decided to take me in?" The surprise was evident in her tone of voice. "Why? Who? When? What? Who is this insane person to agree to take me in? Do they not know that—"
"Tenten." It took more than enough energy for him to restrain himself and not bellow out the profanities that he had in his mind right at this moment. "Yes, someone has decided to take you in. You should thank this said person when you see him, because he is a saint and I do not know another sane person who would even allow you near their family, much less themselves."
Halfway through his rant, she had already tuned him out. Someone wanted to take her in. Immediately after she was kicked out of her adopted family.
Did they not see her records? Did they not know what she was capable of? Did they realize what would happen if they took her in?
She stared at the man who was continuing his rant, getting more and more intense with each passing second. She grew amused when he slightly became red from the anger he was spewing out.
Poor Maki. You push yourself too hard, caring for me. I'll get you something even better next Christmas. Like the new and improved yoga set that helps with stress.
"...red! You even painted his whole room red! Are you that obsessed with red Tenten? Do you feel the need to paint everyone's room red? You told me to paint my room red too! It would be good to have variation, so why not yellow, green, heck, even purple! It doesn't make sense to paint red in this kid's room! Not that many people like red, Tenten, you have to understand that! And I'm not telling you it's good to paint another person's room too!"
Maki had a habit of ranting over something small when he gets irritated. He also had the habit of a throbbing vein on the side of his neck and also on his balding forehead whenever he got worked up over something. Although that can't really be called a habit; it was more like a natural reaction to irritating things.
It was pretty fun to look at, especially when his face was growing red along with it.
"...cat! How can you do that Tenten? Was inflicting damage to their children not enough for you? Was painting the room red, three times, not enough for you? You had to go ahead and drop the cat, too! You can't force someone, even if it is a cat, to like you if they don't like you!"
Well, she didn't like cats in the first place either. Cats were... cats. They just slept everywhere. She wanted to see Mr. Fluffy do some cool tricks, but in the end of that, Mr. Fluffy wasn't so fluffy after she accidentally dropped the cat into a can of red paint (which, for some reason would not get off the fur, so in the end, Mr. Fluffy became... Mr. Naked?).
The red looked better than the stupid black and white pattern that made Mr. Fluffy look like a cow.
"So Tenten, I hope you understand that I'm just trying to help you get settled. I don't want you to be floating from house to house, like a useless annoying ball of dust. Make this the last time you need to switch. Please," he said earnestly.
She didn't have anything against cows though. She liked cows. In fact she had a fish named cow. Well, it wasn't really her fish. It belonged to someone else, but she called the fish cow when the actual owner wasn't looking/near.
In her defense, it was a much better name than Gill.
Who names a fish Gill?
"Tenten, are you listening to me? You know, you really need to correct this habit of yours. It's not healthy to daydream, especially when someone is talking to you. It is disrespectful and rude, and if it weren't for the fact that I—"
"Maki," she cut in, frowning to herself. "Would you name a fish Gill?"
Simplicity was her favorite word. If one asks a question, then there should only be one answer. If one runs into a sticky situation, there should only be one solution. If one is in a competition, there should only be one winner and one loser. If one is trapped in a maze, there should only be one direction to go in. The right direction.
But now, stepping up on steps of the Hyuuga Manor, she was mind blown. This... whatever this was, seemed to stretched for miles and miles, like it was a city itself. There didn't seem to be an end to the place, even though there was clearly a beginning.
When for simpletons like her, when there's a beginning, there's an end.
So why did it seen like this only stretched on for mile and miles?
And if that was bizarre, there was something even more bizarre right in front of her. There was a man. With pearl eyes. Was that even possible? Were those contacts he wore to make himself look hip and cool and... young? She frowned (although she quickly dropped it, after all, she was supposed to be on her best behavior).
With those wrinkles, you can't fool anyone into thinking you're hip, cool and young, old man.
"You are Tenten," he stated, peering down at the girl.
She nodded, wondering if she should say anything else. In other circumstances she would come up with something clever to say, but this man's presence was quite intimidating. Maybe the purpose of the eye color wasn't for trying to look young. Maybe it was to frighten people.
Man, she totally needed a pair of contacts like those.
"I am Hyuuga Hiashi," he said, continually staring at the girl who made no movement to say anything back.
She nodded once again, not knowing if she should say anything more. The two stood in awkward silence – Hiashi staring at her, and her, staring at something else other than him.
The eyes truly did freak her out.
"I am aware that you have caused trouble for your previous guardians," he said, finally causing her to look up into his eyes. "I hope that you do not do the same for us, or it will be a pity to send you back."
Tenten continued to nod. What else could she do? It was as if her tongue was twisted and tied, much like those pretzels that she hated.
"You look like you have something to say," he inquired thoughtfully, still staring at the girl. "Do not worry, I will not send you back for merely asking a question."
She opened her mouth, but nothing would come out. She cleared her throat a bit, embarrassed that she was being this afraid of a man with somewhat cool eyes.
For gods' sake, she's been in more frightening situations like these and she hadn't been afraid then.
"Why did you take me in?" She finally asked.
He didn't answer right away, as if he was thinking of the right words to answer her question with. "You remind me of someone," was all he said. He looked at her, as if analyzing her features and expressions. "Do not worry about the reason. You will be able to live here for six months before you are able to move out. I trust that you will get a job and apartment before that time limit."
Of course. She couldn't stay and freeload for her entire life.
"The maid will show you which room you are staying in," Hiashi gestured to the maid who appeared next to him. The maid bowed politely and Tenten was at a loss at what to do. Should she bow back? Laugh? Smile? What should she do?
But it was too late to do anything, because the maid had already picked up the luggage. "Please come with me, Tenten-san," the maid said.
And, like she had said to herself before, she liked simple things a lot better. Simple things like an apartment with two bedrooms, a house with only two floors, or anything of that sort.
But a huge mansion? With more than one hallway, more than ten (she had been counting) doors? That was beyond her imagination. She had thought that getting away from the last family she was with would be less stressful, but the amount of turning and twisting she needed to do just to reach her room was beyond stressful.
Mind blowing. For the lack of better words.
"There will be a formal dinner event," the maid said, letting Tenten into the room first, following shortly afterwards with the luggage. "There is a dress provided in the closet. If it is the wrong size or is not to your liking, press that button," she gestured to the red (Tenten smiled at this) button near the closet, "and I will come to assist you. Please wash up before putting on the dress; I have already prepared the bath for you. Tardiness is unacceptable. I will come to escort you at six," the maid said, bowing before leaving the room.
She only stared after the maid, a little befuddled but still content. Pushing some unnecessary thoughts aside, she looked ahead into the room, immediately frowning.
There they were.
Taunting her again.
Those goddamn white walls.
Somehow, she knew that deep inside, she wouldn't get used to this place. An hour after her arrival, she was already lost when she went exploring. Utterly and hopelessly lost. The doors all looked the same, and even the decorations in the hallways were similar in color, flower, and paintings. Would it kill the person who decorated this to have differentiate the halls?
And for some reason, she found herself staring curiously at this semi-open door. It almost as if it was coaxing her to come in, beckoning her. She looked around her, only to find the hallway empty, and lifeless. Was there a single soul around here? From the time she arrived to the time she was exploring, she hadn't seen a single soul in the Manor at all. It was almost ominous.
Well, since there wasn't anyone near, she might as well have some fun.
The door creaked when she lightly pushed it wider, allowing her enough room to walk in. To her disappointment, there was nothing special about this room at all. The only difference was that there was a neatly filled bookshelf, and a few picture frames set up on the desks. Curiosity getting the better of her, she inched closer to the picture frames. The first of the two was of a young boy with an older man, a man who looked similar to Hiashi. She shuddered when she saw the eyes – maybe the eyes were natural. The next picture perked her i nterest. It was of a girl, with vibrant pink hair, and a smile that seemed contagious.
Pink hair. Pearl eyes. What in the world?
She suddenly felt a cold shiver up her spine. She suddenly grew cold, Last time she felt like this, she wasn't able to move for two weeks. And the time before that, she had been thrown out in the streets, hungry and cold on a snowy winter day.
So this time, it would be just as bad.
"What are you doing in here?"
She paused in her thoughts. She hadn't even heard someone come in. Maybe there really were actual people living here, then. She had to think quick; she couldn't hesitate for too long, or else who knows what might happen to her. From the sound of his voice, he seemed like he would actually butcher her to pieces. She didn't want that to happen.
She liked being whole.
"What are you doing in here?" He asked once again, louder.
I ain't deaf, I hear you.
She didn't have the guts to say it to his face—who the in the world would, when he sounded like that? Perhaps she was just being paranoid. She had the tendency to do that – especially in situations like these. But in her defense, being paranoid was only natural when there was a fire breathing dragon standing behind you only five seconds away from devouring you whole.
So she had two options (which she hated, by the way. She only liked situations with one options, and if she could, she would only come up with one, but since her life was on the line, having more than one option was good enough for her).
First one was, although quite horrifying, to actually turn around and stand up for herself. No, she will say to the dragon. No, I will not become your dinner and let you consume me whole (or worse, consume me whole and then chew me up into pieces) when I still have more than twenty years of my life ahead of me. The second plan, was to run. Run, run like the wind, and never come back. She had a feeling that he wouldn't miss her and would even gladly step out of the way for her if she ran like a scared chicken who was going to be sent to the slaughter house for someone's dinner that night. But of course that was a stupid idea – there was no way that dragon would let her out so easily.
She would have to be burnt to pieces by his dragon breath if she were to get out alive (or semi-alive).
He grunted, snapping the girl out of her thoughts. Her senses were heightened – if the dragon took a step towards her, she would dodge his claws that would grab her and dash towards the door. If the dragon started talking again, she would have to improvise. The girl ran her eyes across the room, looking for an object that she could throw at the dragon, thereby distracting the horrid monster, which would give her the chance to escape and save her life from living as a roasted chicken.
She could throw the pictures, although she probably shouldn't since the frames look ridiculously expensive. Who would spend that much on a picture frame? Focusing back on the situation at hand, she took a deep breath, well aware of the fact that he was still behind her. So ignoring him and pretending that he wasn't there (option 1a) didn't work out. Well, there was only one thing left to do since he wasn't budging a bit from the door. She looked up, staring straight at the wall with newfound courage.
All right Tenten. If you can't get out of this little thing, then what have you been living for all your life?
There was always that third option.
"Oh, hey!" She chirped, turning around with a bright smile, as if she hadn't even seen him (technically, she hadn't) enter the room. "Didn't even see you there. Is this your room? Nice room you got here," she babbled on endlessly. "Although your walls look like they need a little splash of color. They look a little dead, if I may say so myself, although walls aren't exactly alive... but you know what I mean right? I would say, go for a yellow color. Yellow is a happy color, and god knows that you need some happiness in here with this dreary room. Or red! Red is a striking color. It'll leave a lasting impression on your guests!" She chirped along happily, inching closer and closer towards the door.
Which would mean she was inching closer and closer towards the human, fire breathing raging dragon himself. And once she realized that, she halted in her steps.
"Oh, hey! You don't look like a dragon at all!"
Wait. That wasn't supposed to be out loud.
The last time she awoke to the blue sky, to the chirping birds, to the cold wind in the face, was after she fled for her life. It was funny how the same blue sky greeted her after her troubles, the same blue sky that waved hello with each passing cloud.
"Hi to you too," she murmured, lips curving up into a small smile.
Another cloud passed by.
"I'm safe again," she continued, as if the cloud that passed by was asking her how she was doing. "The cowardly peasant escaped the dragon unscathed."
Another cloud passed by.
"You're right. He didn't look like a dragon. He looks like the princess that got kidnapped by the dragon," she mused to herself, rubbing her chin. "Maybe the dragon ate the princess's soul and took over the body." She laughed at the incredulity of it, stretching her arms behind her head. "What do you think of that?" She looked up at the sky, waiting for its response.
There were no clouds.
"A princess," she muttered to herself. "A horrible, evil, fire-breathing princess." She thought back to the long hair he had, and she smiled to herself. "I bet he looks like Medusa when his hair gets tangled." She laughed at the silly idea, trying to imagine his expression as he tries to get the knots out of his hair.
"So sky," she said. "How do you think our fair maiden is doing right now? I bet he's sanitizing his room. He looks like the type to be sickening clean, washing his hands every hour."
There were no clouds.
She frowned to herself, sighing. "Not fun," she mumbled, closing her eyes to take a short nap. Maybe when she wakes up, there will be more clouds in the sky for her to have fun with.
"T-Tenten-san...?" There was a soft voice beside her.
Tenten cracked an eye open, to see a girl with those same eyes. She was really starting to feel out of place.
"Hi," Tenten said, sitting up from the bench that she was laying on. It had been barely five minutes since she closed her eyes for a nap and she was already being interrupted.
That couldn't mean—
Oh dear. She hoped that the girl hadn't heard her talking to herself.
"I heard from F-Father that you were coming today," she said, smiling shyly at Tenten. "I went to your room but you weren't there," she said softly.
It was amazing that Tenten could even hear what she was saying.
"Oh. Yeah, sorry about that," Tenten said, smiling sheepishly. She paused a bit, realizing what the girl was saying. "Father? Hyuuga Hiashi is your father?"
"Y-Yes," the girl said shyly, keeping her eyes down on the floor. "I-It is surprising," she said, "I don't have the same presence as him. My name is Hyuuga Hinata," she mumbled, wringing her hands in front of her.
Tenten noticed the discomfort in the small girl's voice and decided to drop the subject. "Well Hinata," Tenten said, smiling at the girl. She was strangely adorable in the way she blushed shyly. "Did you need anything? Since you went to the trouble of finding me here."
"O-Oh!" Hinata looked back up at Tenten. "N-No, it wasn't anything important. I-I.. I just wanted to introduce myself... it is rare for someone outside the Hyuuga family to reside in the Manor," she explained, wringing her hands again. "S-Since you weren't in your room, I-I thought you'd be outside."
What a sweet girl.
"Well you found me," Tenten grinned back happily. "Shall we go back? Dinner is soon, isn't it?"
Hinata smiled softly, nodding. "Okay."
What an adorable, sweet girl. Her pearl eyes weren't intimidating at all. If anything, they softened her features and made her even cuter.
If only those eyes had the same effect on that fire breathing dragon.