NejiXTenten. It was the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong reasons… and the right pair.
I don't own Naruto.
Chapter One: Meet the Bereaved
The drive from the front gate to the mansion took quite some time, to her amusement, and she was glad that she was picked up. She didn't like the idea of walking such a long distance, had she taken the train. The mansion itself was old yet charming, obviously well kept through the years by the number of servants that she saw. She was told to wait in that room until her name was called. The exquisite interiors were enough to keep her busy in appreciation.
The room was large, mostly empty except for the huge cream sofa where she was sitting, an antique center table, a low shelf of what seemed to be publications, and a grand piano. She picked up one of the frames arranged at the topmost level of the shelf- noticing the old man on the picture. She had always been intrigued by his weird eyes and after looking at every photo, she realized that it was a family trait.
"They will probably hate me for this…" She said as she picked up the next frame.
Hinata sniffed as she sat down on the leather couch in chocolate brown. Neji was already seated when she entered the room. The family lawyer, Attorney Hatake Kakashi, was seated across him. Hanabi followed soon after and walked toward Hinata, sitting beside her. The sunlight peering from the large window illuminated the otherwise dark room. The maid brought in tea and left as soon as she was done serving the four.
"You can start now." Neji said, looking at the older man.
"Very well." The silver haired lawyer turned the first page of the neatly filed document in his hands. "Before I read a word from Hiashi-sama's last will and testament, I want to introduce someone to you all."
"Why don't you read that document first and then we can meet that someone?" Neji suggested, slightly annoyed although his voice didn't falter. "This is a family affair and I don't think it's appropriate for an unknown person to be present."
"I agree with Neji-niisan." Hanabi said curtly.
"You don't understand…" The lawyer shifted. "This is a family affair, I know. But this person is very much involved, even though she's not family… she will soon be... probably."
The three had a puzzled look on their faces. The Hyuuga clan was huge but each family had been separated- by business, by address, by circumstances. They maintained good relationships though. And every member of the clan was present during the wake. How was it possible that the inheritance would be an issue? All their relatives were reputable in their respective fields although the late Hiashi-sama ranked number one in the clan.
The finance mogul Hyuuga Hiashi headed the Hyuuga family of Shibuya for twenty five long years. His wife died many years ago, leaving him with two lovely daughters. The mansion was too big for just the three of them that he decided to adopt his twin brother's only son, Neji. And besides, he was exactly what he needed- a genius businessman, a dependable leader, a respected cousin, and a caring person- in strict order. He was indebted to his nephew.
"Alright, cut the suspense and bring her out." Neji finally said.
"How did you know that I'm referring to a female?"
"You said she."
"Did I?" He laughed a little, hoping to cut the tension. "Anyway, I'm just checking."
Neji rolled his eyes. The lawyer cleared his throat and that look returned to his face- something between serious and lazy. He glanced at the two girls and nodded after confirming that they agreed with their cousin's words.
"Tenten…" He called.
A girl wearing a green silk cheongsam, adorned with a silver dragon pattern by the slit that showed most part of her leg and thigh, walked in. Her brown hair was pulled up to two buns and bangs framed her face. She smiled faintly and lowered her head. The three Hyuugas stared at her and she stared back. She noted that the Hyuugas are not fond of colors and that they looked elegant but boring. The kind lawyer who picked her up motioned her to sit by his side.
"This is crazy." Neji said in a monotone.
Tenten had been secretly glancing at the oddly attractive Hyuuga- oddly attractive because refined men never appealed to her before. Right at the first look, she could tell his elite upbringing. He wore that black suit with regal bearing. His long black hair was something she would normally refer to as gay but the word just didn't fit him. She loved spiky hairstyles for men but apparently, a low no nonsense ponytail was really oddly attractive.
"Even I think so." The lawyer said, shrugging. "But I'm here to do my job."
Neji stayed calm despite the turn of events. Violent reactions wouldn't bring his uncle back to life no matter how hard he wished for it to happen just so he can crush him and send him to the world beyond again. Hinata and Hanabi seemed to be in shock that they remained speechless. The previous chose to stay quiet, occasionally sniffling. The latter was more rebellious, giving deadly glares to the newcomer. Tenten thought they were taking it nicely.
"Where did you say you met Oji-sama?" He asked, talking to her for the first time.
"At the restaurant." Tenten answered.
"And he liked you."
"Yea, he was a generous tipper."
"Fifty percent of all the Hyuuga properties sure were generous tip."
"I'm sorry, Neji, but that was your uncle's last will and testament." Attorney Hatake mediated. "I hope you don't take this out on her. I know you know better."
Neji crossed his arms. His face remained straight though his eyes clearly showed that he was in deep thought. Tenten was starting to get restless. Hinata's solemn mourning was making her feel guilty. Hanabi's enmity was making her uncomfortable. And what could be going on in his head? She had been told that he was no brainless rich kid during their drive from Youthful China, the restaurant where she worked. She knew just how ridiculous the situation was. If only she wasn't in dire need.
"Fifty percent of the properties are enough if you know what to do with it. It's not that I'm complaining of the amount. I just think it's illogical to give away so much to a complete stranger."
"It's completely illogical." Hanabi repeated.
"I get your point… but actually, there's another thing here…" The lawyer said as he flipped to the next page of the document.
"Another thing?" Neji asked, finally starting to sound like a living person.
"Yes, a stipulation. I think I'll tell you when you're over the initial shock."
"Bring it on."
"Are you sure?"
Neji glared at him. He was getting impatient with the insanity infused document. His uncle was never a capricious man and although his body had weakened since a surgery to a herniated lumbar disc when he tried to practice some moves from the clan's age old traditional martial arts, the tests clearly confirmed that his brain was unaffected. He should have asked for a second opinion when he subscribed him to a men's magazine, complaining that he was already twenty three.
The old man, on his deathbed, told him that he was thankful that he decided to live with them- taking care of all the businesses and his cousins, giving him the chance to just enjoy his days without worrying about anything. He also told him that he wanted to repay him somehow. And then he remembered how his uncle kept on talking about this waitress from his favorite restaurant. He didn't pay much attention back then. The hell, his uncle's brain was damaged. The doctors made a mistake.
Tenten uttered a sound that caught everyone's attention. All eyes were suddenly on her.
"Oh it's nothing!" She grinned.
She just figured out where Hanabi learned that fearsome skill of glaring- but it wasn't really a nice topic to bring up at that point.
"Neji, loosen up… you don't want to scare Mrs. Hyuuga away, do you?"
"Mrs. Hyuuga…?" Neji and Tenten said in chorus. Their voice actually sounded good together.
"Both parties will only get their share of inheritance if the two of you marry within a week."
An AU attempt by yours truly, it would be great to hear from you.
I had to post this because it just won't leave me alone. It might take some time for me to update because I have stuff to do, including the other story I'm writing. So yea, fortnightly by the very least since I'm limited to a chapter per week.
Thank you for reading!