Standard disclaimers apply.
HONEYMOON TURNED RED
By Cassandra's Destiny
For the first time in weeks, he looked up at the night sky in peace, taking in the incessant beauty of the evening. Over a million stars shone through the heavens and there was not a single cloud present. The air was cool and crisp; leaves were with hints of evening dew.
Feeling a pair of arms slowly encircling his upper body made him draw a sharp breath. As soon as he recognized her nicely tanned skin and arms fit for a talented kunoichi, Neji relaxed. Destiny was kind to him. This has to be the happiest day of his life.
And he was determined, perhaps with the sheer youthfulness of Lee, that tonight was going to be the best night of his life.
"Neji," came her soft whisper.
He turned around and closed the door behind him. Framing her face with his gentle hands, he had instant recollections on how much he loved this woman. He knew his hands have been stained in bloodshed and battles. He knew they have been dubbed dangerous, especially since they belong to him, a genius shinobi who practices the gentle fist style; but not once did she condemn him for that. She has assured him time and again that she likes his hands… because they make her feel safe, which is why he swore to the grave of his late father that his hands will always make her feel safe, protect her and care for her.
"I love you." It wasn't easy at first, for Hyuuga Neji has always been shunned aside by the goodness of destiny. His heart has always been filled with anger and resentment towards the main branch, and even after reconciliation, endearment did not come as easily as he expected it to be. But Tenten understood.
"I love you too." She smiled at him before burying her face on his chest. Her hair was not in its usual buns today, for today was a special day, the day she was no longer just Tenten... the day she became a Hyuuga.
Running a hand through her brown tresses, he settled his free hand just above her bottom. Neji knew that normally, he would have been invading a private and dangerous territory. Then again, they were married now, and tonight was the night he made her his.
She did not flinch or move, just a sound from the back of her throat to assure him she has heard his call.
Neji ran a hand through her hair once more, stopping short at the area over her nape. Gathering her locks over to the left side, he placed them over her shoulder, thus freeing her back from any impediments.
"There's something I need to tell you." He was too busy fingering the hook of her dress, sending shivers down her spine as his flesh touches her own every so often, to notice the deep concern in her voice.
Tenten drew her head up. "Neji…"
"Words are unnecessary." He silenced her with one of his fingers, still keeping their bodies close and their distance minimal.
Neji had no trouble expertly undoing the hook of her dress. He was a skilled shinobi after all. Shame shall bear down on his family should he have difficulty undoing a simple, defenseless hook among others.
Slowly undoing the zipper of her wedding dress, he felt Tenten taut under his touch. Concerned, he made eye contact with her, trying his best to assure her that he was going to be nothing but gentle.
"Neji, please listen to me." She was distressed. But why?
He stopped with his ministrations. If this was going to be the best night of his life, their first and best night, he wanted her to feel secure, not rushed; loved, not forced.
"What is it, Tenten?"
She bit her lower lip before taking a few steps away from him. "Neji, I know this is our wedding night…" Trailing off, Tenten shifted uncomfortably.
Neji grew extremely worried. What was it that was bothering her? Was she regretting her decision of marrying him? Did she suddenly realize she loved someone else? Is it Lee? It can't be. Lee has always been so kind to them, and he would never think of coming in between. Is it that Uchiha brat, who, after coming back to Konoha, reclaimed his throne for being the cockiest anti-social in the village? Did she finally taken a liking to dogs that she knew she is meant to be with Kiba? Did she want to beat Temari really badly that she wanted to keep Shikamaru to herself? Wait, is it Naruto?
"I love you." She cut her off. Tenten didn't want Neji to think she didn't love him; that would be a complete lie after all. She has loved him since their genin days. She loved him then and she loved him now. But this has got to stop.
"Then why are you—"
"We can't do it."
The first time she cut her off, Neji felt relieved. So she still loves him. Moments after his initial reaction of contentment though, questions began running through his head once more. "Why can't we? The village won't frown upon this since we're married now, Tenten, and I love you."
His last three words made her want to start crying, to begin bursting in tears, to do something, anything… but she had to keep her emotions in check – that, and her hormones.
Was there no explanation?
"Neji," She looked up at him, smiling nervously to her new husband. "I have." She was unsure of how he would react, but what has to be said has to be said.
"You have…?" Neji raised a brow. He was a genius, but simple things such as these he cannot take in exactly.
Now it was Tenten who was confused. Didn't Neji get it?
"Yes. And I'm sorry, it's just really painful."
There was pain? What is going on here? Is she hurt? Was she injured? Did Tenten go on a mission before their wedding ceremony? Did the Hokage send her to a distant town a few days back?
She whimpered. Tenten wanted to make this their best night ever. She wanted to make this a night she and Neji will never forget. It's not her fault really that she has it now of all days.
"Yes, it's really painful. I'm having cramps all over; my body is sore. It took all my strength to stand still for the duration of the ceremony. I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier."
She has cramps? Seriously, did she go into battle before this day? This night was getting weirder and weirder, and the thought of the Hokage sending Tenten off to a mission shortly before her wedding day made him fume with anger.
"I don't know. This wasn't supposed to happen." She sat down on the edge of their bed before continuing. "I keep tabs on my cycle, I really do. But I guess I was just too anxious, excited and even stressed out the past days that I got delayed."
Delayed? What is Tenten talking about? Was she asked to go to her mission at an earlier date? Or has she encountered obstacles, perhaps in the form of armed bandits, along the way?
"We need to take you to the hospital."
The finality in his tone made Tenten panic. There really was no need for a doctor, especially at this time of night. "It's just my period. Neji, there really is no need for me to go to the hospital. I just… we can't, we just can't do it tonight."
He crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe. "Tenten, don't be stubborn. If you've been attacked by a band of armed bandits before you arrived at the place of your mission, you must have been injured badly and are in need of a medical expert. Are you bleeding right now?"
"Of course I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding really hard!" She cried out. It was causing her so much pain that she couldn't take it, and, as if on cue, she felt the heavy flow between her legs. "Wait, what armed bandits are you talking about?"
"I know you are a strong kunoichi, Tenten, and you would not lose my respect even if you got beaten by a bunch of thieves who have no knowledge of any ninjutsu. It's alright; you can tell me."
She clutched her stomach before replying. "I didn't get beaten by bandits, Neji."
"Then why are you bleeding badly?"
Did Neji think…? Oh no, she had to set him straight right away.
Settling beside her, Neji placed an arm protectively around her shoulders. "It's okay, Tenten. I understood you get these periods."
Tenten smiled. So Neji did understand. "Neji, I'm really sorry for not telling you earlier. And I'm sorry I thought you didn't know about my menstrual period." She offered him her sincere apology; she almost insulted his intelligence after all.
Surprisingly, Neji stopped dead in his tracks. All this time, Tenten was talking about her menstrual period? And the bleeding and cramps all were…?
"Please say something."
"So when you said period, you meant your menstrual period and not periods of anxiety?"
Tenten stared at him wide-eyed. "Neji." Her voice held a hint of seriousness, and Neji was sure she was going to turn to goo and compliment him for being so caring, embracing her like that even if he wasn't sure what was going on.
Until she burst into laughter, of course. So much for her turning to goo.
"Neji, you may be a genius but you need to learn a lesson or two about women." Tenten was still laughing her heart out as she retreated to the bathroom, leaving a dumbfounded Neji alone on the bed.
And he reckon. Destiny was unkind to him after all. It turned what was to be the best night of his life to red, everything menstrual bloody red.