Standard disclaimers apply.


By Cassandra's Destiny


He received no response. Perhaps she didn't hear him.

"Tenten?" This time his call was louder.

Slow and obviously distracted, she turned to face him, still unmoving from her place beside a rock. "Neji, what are you doing here?"

Was she surprised?

He walked a few steps closer to her before replying. "You were not home when I woke up…" Trailing off, he noticed the smirk on her face. "What are you smir–"

"So you were worried sick about me?"

The sweet innocent tone she used in that line made his insides numb. What was she trying to pull?

"Hiashi asked me to come for you here."


"So I did."

"Following orders, I see."

There was a tinge of bitterness in her voice now. If it was of anger or frustration, he couldn't tell. "Yes."

A moment of silence passed, and Neji was beyond uncomfortable. Perhaps it was her attempt to make him feel guilty over something he did way back when. Perhaps she was trying to make him pay for ignoring her advances that one night. Perhaps she hated him for not being able to impregnate her pronto. Perhaps she—

"I can't believe you," he heard her whisper.

He looked down to her and saw she was tearing up, eyes obviously with hints of tears threatening to fall.

"I can't believe you, Neji." This time her voice was louder.

What did he do?

"I just… I can't believe you."

She can't believe what? No lie came out of his mouth the moment he saw her that morning. Hiashi really did commission him to see her at once.

A single tear ran down her cheek, a predecessor to the many ones that will fall sooner or later. "I can't believe you, Neji. Had Hiashi not told you to see me, you wouldn't have, I bet. You weren't even worried where I was! I suppose you'd even be celebrating right now if it weren't for Hiashi's direct order to go look for me." Her insides were screaming too, and he could sense it. The confusion in him was growing much stronger though.

Her eyes narrowed, brows furrowed at what she thought was incredulous behavior on his part. "I can't, I can't, I can't believe you! We're married, for crying out loud, and you don't even care that I was gone in the wee hours of the morning! Make a little effort, Hyuuga! What if I was sent in a dangerous mission by Tsunade? Alone, even. What if I was not allowed to tell you, would you even bother to ask the Hokage about it?"

Commissioned on a solo mission, an all too familiar thought.

"What if I was kidnapped by bandits or some crazy maniacal nins from another hidden village?"

Kidnapped by an enemy… interesting choice of words there.

Neji shook his head at the circumstances; maybe it was but a coincidence that her thoughts seemed rather familiar to him.

"What if… what if I just decided to leave? If I decided to leave you because I don't love you anymore, or I've been in a passionate affair with some hot guy from… from somewhere! If I decided to leave you because I felt you didn't care about me, you'll do nothing?"


His instant flat-out remark made her stop ranting. "What did you say?"

"I would not choose to sit and do nothing."

By some magical spell, he supposed, the anger in her face was replaced with traces of blissfulness. Because of this, he decided to continue what he was doing. Apparently, whatever it was he did is earning him brownie points from her, and a few more definitely would not hurt. "I would do everything in my power to win you back."

Squatting down so he was almost at her eye level, he fingered her chin and placed a chaste kiss on her forehead. "I was worried, Tenten… worried sick."

She smiled.

And Neji inwardly did too. At last the insanity was over.

"Oh, Neji!"

Or so he thought.

"Neji, Neji, Neji!" She wrapped her arms around her neck and pulled him down with her. "You were worried? Really?"

He loves her, yes, but it was all too cheery for him. Tenten was wide-eyed, a sugary smile had graced her lips, and her voice was unnaturally high. "I love you. I am so glad I married such a sweet guy! Neji, Neji, Neji!"

If she utters her name like that one more time, he'll crack open.


Her over the top movements caused a clanging noise that was loud in his ears. Almost in synchronized movement, they both turned to see what it was that created the sound.

There it was, Tenten's collection of weapons, scattered on the dew-filled grass.

She screamed.

"No! I spent all morning polishing these!"

Neji was not sure if he was going to feel sorry for her or for himself. Was it just a second ago that Tenten was overwhelmingly high?

Then again, it did not take more than ten seconds for her to go from hopeful, to sad, to angry, to happy. Now she was angry and frustrated all over again. What is the world coming to?

"My favorite kunai!"

As she gathered the discarded items in her arms, Neji took the time to examine the training grounds. Hiashi was right; part of it has already gone destroyed: trees had fallen, leaves burned, and ground as if excavated. From the corner of his eyes, he saw her weapons, the ones that did not fall to the ground, neatly lined up on a large rock to her left, all polished and sharpened.

"Tenten, what have you been doing here all morning?"

"What's it to you?" She spat out immediately.

Obviously taken aback, he inhaled and exhaled to calm his nerves. "I already told you; I was worried all morning."

"Worried, what the hell."

The stern come back, was it an attack?

"Tenten, I do not understand what is wrong with you today, but I want you to talk to me about it."

"Really?" Her voice came out more of a squeak than a fierce call. "Thank you for caring, Neji." Now she was fidgeting.

What was wrong with Tenten?

"It's nothing, really."

"I don't think it's nothing."

"Well…" He arched a brow at the sound of a giggle.

"But Neji, it's biological in nature."

What was biological in nature?

"I can't tell it to you! It would be embarrassing!" She hit his arm playfully, then covered her mouth to suppress yet another girlish giggling. "Okay, okay, since you asked nicely." Yet another giggle.

He twitched involuntarily.

"You are so adorable when you twitch!" She pinched his cheek, and was now all flustered. "I tweak with my weapons and play with explosives when I…"

She sat down, burying her face on the palm of her hand. "I'm tired."

And Neji understood. "It's that time of month again, is it?"

She nodded once.

"Come on." It was then he understood what was wrong with Tenten. Screw hormones that keep giving him headaches, on a monthly basis too.

Carrying the sullied Tenten in his arms, he whispered in her ear. "Let's get you home."

She locked eyes with him for a good three seconds before throwing a fit. "Why, are you ashamed of me, Neji? Are you taking me home so that the others won't see me with you?"

Ignoring her protests, he continued to walk home with her.

Hasn't a jutsu that stops women from having these things been invented yet?