"Driving away from the wreck of the day
And the light's always red in the rear-view.

-Wreck of the Day, Anna Nalick


Training had never been a burden to the Hyuuga prodigy. In fact, some people thought it was his favorite pastime. That wasn't true. He enjoyed bettering himself, but training was something you had to do in this line of work. Just because he took his job seriously, didn't mean it was his favorite thing to do. But, nevertheless, he did it every day, and today was no exception.

He had avoided the Yamanaka Flower Shop today, taking the longer way to the training grounds instead. He told himself he just didn't feel like walking that way, justifying the decision. So instead today, he passed through the shopping district, where the streets were lined with people laughing and family owned restaurants were making a fortune from the hungry citizens of Kohona.

Neji frowned as someone bumped into him, not even bothering to apologize. His eyes followed the rude stranger as he entered a tea shop. The aroma from the place was so strong, he swore he could taste it. It was green tea and an unplacable hint of something else, maybe chamomile. He remembered when he used to train with Hiashi, there would always be tea waiting for him when he was finished.

'Hinata made excellent tea,' he thought absentmindedly. Neji observed as a couple of laughing girls wandered into the shop, probably to sit and talk about the latest fashion or whatever girls talked about. He never payed much attention to gossip, if any at all, and the one time he had overheard girls in conversation at a tea shop, the subject was a little too close to home to not listen in.

It was a rainy night only been two days after the marriage, and Hinata was late. This was very un-Hinata-like, and it didn't sit right with Neji. It wasn't that he was worried, it was that if it hadn't been his job to protect her before, it certainly was now seeing as she was his wife. The word had echoed through the man's head, still so new and foreign.

They weren't acting like a married couple.

They didn't feel like a married couple.

The only thing that proved it wasn't a bad dream was the silver band on their fingers.

But in any case, Neji set out to find his wife and get her home before midnight. After picking up an umbrella, he easily found her thanks to his Byakugan, and was about to enter the teashop when he overheard the conversation between his cousin and her loud friends.

"So, Hinata, what's it like being married?" Sakura finished in a sing song voice.

"To you cousin." Ino added under her breath, receiveing a kick from both Sakura and Tenten.

"Well, it's true…"The blonde mumbled quietly before joining the other two girls in staring down the heiress.

"U-Uh, w-w-well, I-I-I," Neji could tell she was blushing withut even looking at her. She was always blushing.

"He's not making you do… stuff, is he?" Sakura interrupted, wide eyed. Thankfully, Tenten spoke up.

"Neji's not like that; I've known him for ever."

"That's all you know, Tenten. Face it, he's cold as stone. Even if you are one of his closest friends, you probably don't know more about him than Ino or I." The medic nin nodded was she spoke.

"Oh, okay. So you know everything about Sasuke, huh?"

The sound of a chair being knocked over reached the eavesdropping man.

"Don't even go there Tenten!"

"Yeah, Tenten, don't bring Sasuke into this! This is about Hinata and her abusive husband!"

A chorus of two loud voices and one very quiet one yelled out the blonde's name.

'Abusive husband?' Neji now knew why Tenten was the only girl he spoke to often.

"A-All of you, s-stop!"

It was eerily quiet suddenly, because Hinata didn't speak up often, and when she did, people listened. Neji had never heard her raise her voice to anyone before, so this was new to him. He had never seen the way she acted around her friends before, and he found himself wanting to know what she was going to say.

"N-N-Neji-nii-san is n-not abusing m-me, n-nor is h-he make m-me do..do,"

She took a short breath.

"S-s-stuff. He is a v-very s-strong ninja a-and a v-very r-respectable m-man. I am h-honoured to be m-m..married to him. H-He will m-make a w-wonderful s-second in command f-for the c-clan one day."

The conversation continued, but Neji didn't grasp any of it. He was stuck on what Hinata had said about him, half wondering whether she meant it, and half wondering why he cared. So what they were married? They would be expected to produce an heir and show up together at formal ceremonies, but never to show affection for one another. Neji wasn't sure Hinata could even survive the making of the heir; she'd probably die of embarrassment. In fact, Neji wasn't sure Hinata even knew what sex was.

"Yeah but Hinata, what about Naruto? Aren't you like, in love with the guy?"

An awkward silence fell upon the girls as Sakura muttered something along the lines of, "I told you not to bring him up, Ino."

It was quiet for about two minutes before Neji decided to make an entrance.

"Well, if it isn't Kohona's least eligible married guy?"

"Hello to you too, Tenten." Neji replied to his teammate before turning to Hinata.

"Hinata-sama, I didn't expect you to be out so late. If I had known you were out with your friends, I wouldn't have come."

Sakura smiled at the genius. "Aw, that's cute." She turned to her furiously blushing friend. "He missed you and was worried you were hurt or freezing outside in the rain or-"

"Or I d-didn't let him kn-know I was staying out late, S-Sakura-chan." She smiled a strained smile to her friend, clearly noting the annoyance that hang in the air around Neji. She turned to the intimidating man very formally and bowed. "I'm sorry, N-Neji-nii-san, I d-didn't notice the t-time. It w-won't happen again." Hinata tried her best to keep from poking her fingers together as she looked everywhere but Neji's face. She still hadn't made eye contact; she wasn't ready to make eye contact yet.

"It's not you who need reporting to me, Hinata-sama." He replied without thinking, straining the formal suffix a little. "Are you ready to go?"

"A-Ah, yes. T-thank you for a w-wonderful t-time, S-Sakura-chan, Ino-chan, T-Tenten-chan."

"Ah, no problem!" The pink haired kunoichi offered a big smile. "We should all get together again soon!" Ino and Tenten nodded in agreement.

"I'd l-like t-that." Hinata smiled at her friends as Neji put an umbrella in her hands. She was startled, and looked up at him.

"It's raining." He offered simply. Hinata looked up at him worriedly.

"B-but y-you might c-catch a c-cold!" It was in Hinata's nature to worry about everyone else before herself. Neji hated that she was so kind sometimes.

"It's better me than you, Hinata-sama. And besides, I have a strong immune system. I insist." He nodded to the umbrella, and she nodded slowly, opening it.

"W-Well, g-goodbye e-everyone!" And with a final smile offered to the three other kunoichi, Hinata and Neji were walking away.

The three girls watched as the newlyweds walked three feet apart from one another, as if touching the other person would make them explode.

After a few moments, Ino made a comment that resulted in her getting two punches on the arm.

"You think they're going to call each other Neji-nii-san and Hinata-sama in bed?"


Neji smiled when he remembered how Hinata had finally coaxed him under the umbrella with her, and how she caught a little cold the next day. Shaking his head, he continued to the training grounds. Hopefully it wouldn't take him too long to get there, or Lee might challenge him to a few hundred laps around the village.


Well, that's chapter two. I know, it's written in a different context, but there's more dialogue, so this was the best way I could do that. Please R&R if you want updates faster!