Boxes

By anna

All general disclaimers apply

Part of the Happily Ever After series.

Experiment: None

--

"Did you ever notice that there is a big wooden box there?" Naruto asked, nudging Neji on the shoulder.

The Anbu Captain looked up from his paper works and craned his neck in the direction of Naruto's finger. It was true; there was a wooden cargo box lying smugly in the middle of the kitchen. The Hyuuga narrowed his eyes; he tilted his head in confusion. After a moment of thought, he stood up, pushing his chair out.

"Actually, no," the Hyuuga answered.

Naruto leaned closer to the tall brunette and whispered, "What's in there?"

"I really don't know. It must be Sakura's," Neji answered, and like a cat that lost interest, opted to go back to his work.

The blonde stood there, staring at the big box. It had appeared out of nowhere in the Hyuuga kitchen and if Sakura was as eccentric as he thought she was, the big box was becoming some sort of centerpiece in the small room.

"So your wife has a big box in the middle of the kitchen whose contents you do not know?"

Neji did not bother lift his head from the table and said between swift pen strokes, "It couldn't possibly be anything interesting."

"What if she has Sasuke in there?"

Neji stopped writing, his chin resting on the back of his palm in a pondering fashion. The image of the Uchiha inside a big, brown, unmarked wooden box entered his mind.

"Why would my wife hide the Uchiha in our kitchen?"

Naruto shrugged, "Why not?"

A wave of suspicion washed over the Hyuuga and he caught himself staring at the box with killing intent. There it was, a cargo box that his wife got from God-knows-where, resting peacefully on his floor, housing the last of the Uchiha within its timber walls.

"But seriously though Naruto, what are the chances of Sakura hiding the Uchiha in a big box and left it unattended in my kitchen?"

"Why don't you open it?" the blonde suggested.

"This box belongs to my wife and I respect her privacy," Neji answered firmly, but the Uzumaki could tell that he was ready to fold with a little more persuasion.

"Do it,"

Neji sighed. Naruto was right; it would nag him for the rest of the day if he did not know what, or who, was in that box.

"Alright, let's do this," the Hyuuga ceded and approached the box.

Naruto grinned and leaned forward in anticipation. He watched as Neji proceeded to open the top lid, the wood rattled but refused to snap open.

"It's nailed shut," the Anbu captain said.

The doorbell rung and Naruto groaned as he pried his eyes from the scene in front of him. The blonde walked to the Hyuuga door, behind him, Neji resolved his past failure and began to clawing the lid open with a kunai.

"I thought I'd find you here," the copy nin greeted.

"Kakashi sensei, come in. You're just in time," Naruto ushered the silver haired man in.

"What's going on, what's Neji doing to that box?" Kakashi pointed.

"Sakura-chan left a box in the kitchen and we don't know what's in there. Of course we have our theories…" Naruto explained.

In a split second, the copy nin was behind Neji. He knocked eagerly on the box, only to hear a hollow echo.

"I bet the entire series of Icha Icha Paradise is in there," the silver haired man said.

"Don't be silly, my wife would never have something so obscene,"

"Open it, open it," the copy nin demanded eagerly.

Neji took a step back and stared at the box, "I can't,"

Kakashi and Naruto's faces dropped in disappointment, "Come on Neji,"

The Hyuuga shook his head, "No, I didn't say that I won't, I can't."

The silver haired man leaned in closer to the box and gave it a firm knock. He put his hand on the latch and proceeded to pull it open. The piece of metal dug in his skin, leaving a good dent.

"White eyed is right, it must have been locked from the inside,"

"I'll use the Rasengan and blow it open," Naruto decided, cracking his knuckles.

"No Naruto, we need to make it look relatively untouched,"

"Right,"

Damn

--

"Maybe she thought you wouldn't notice," Lee suggested.

Within hours, the news of Neji Hyuuga's secret box swept across Konoha like wildfire. The Hyuuga residence was now filled with curious, probing and poking men.

"Did she honestly think that I wouldn't see a big cargo box in our kitchen?" Neji asked rhetorically.

Neji was right, Lee had to admit. The man in the green jumpsuit turned his head to look at the object in question. It likened a large boulder, and rested in the middle of the Hyuuga kitchen like a majestic king.

It was mocking them.

"Shikamaru, how's the diet coming along?" Naruto asked, trying to change the subject.

The man in question grumbled lightly, his dark eyes looked at the blonde with contempt.

"It's not a diet, Ino and I made a promise to eat healthier," Shikamaru answered.

"What does that even mean?" Lee asked, looking repulsed.

"It means no more sugar, more greens and vegetables, more grain…"

"Ugh," Naruto grunted in distaste.

"You should try it, you look a little unhealthy,"

"No thanks,"

In the background, Kakashi stood up and began a series of seals. Alarmed the men looked at him, "What are you doing?"

"I can't take this anymore, I'm blowing it up," the copy nin said calmly, the uncovered part of his face gleamed.

"With Chidori? You'll blow up the entire house!" Naruto yelled, lunging himself on the silver haired man whose face was beginning to glow maniacally.

Kunai and ropes began flying chaotically as the younger men tried to secure the ex-Anbu. Within moments, Kakashi was neatly tied from shoulder to toe, his body squirmed unsuccessfully.

"His eyes… they're still glowing,"

"Ignore them,"

"But… it's unnatural,"

--

Sakura looked over to the peaceful body of her husband, she gave him a small nudge. When Neji remained unmoved, she carefully began to slide her body off the bed. She tiptoed into the kitchen, stopping momentarily when a loose board creaked. The night was still and the pink haired Hyuuga smiled when she was safely in the kitchen.

The light flickered on. Sakura opened the refrigerator door slowly.

"What are you doing?" a deep male voice whispered close to her ear.

Panicked, she turned around, her heart began beating loudly.

"Neji! What are you doing out of bed?" she asked the sleepy man in front of her.

Aforementioned husband yawned and looked down at her, "I can say the same to you,"

"Um… I got the munchies. You know, being pregnant and all," she chuckled nervously.

"Uh huh, alright wife, I'll make you something to eat," he said, lightly pushing her to the chair.

"So um… I've noticed that there is a box in the kitchen…" the Hyuuga began slowly.

Without a word, Sakura immediately began a series of seal and disappeared. Neji turned around, holding a sandwich, he raised an eyebrow suspiciously when he noticed his wife wasn't there.

--

"So do you have them," Ino asked as she followed her friend back to the Hyuuga apartment.

Sakura nodded, "Don't worry, nobody touched them."

The blonde stood waiting for Sakura to open the door and let herself in.

The pretty pink haired woman pointed to the imposing box, "They're all in there. Every single one of them."

Ino Nara grinned widely, she pounced at the wooden container like a cat on a mouse. Withdrawing a key from her cleavage, she happily unlocked the latch. With a swift movement of her arm, the lid flew open.

"Oh my babies," Ino shrilled with mirth.

Inside the carton were various assortments of sweets and pastries. Fabulous cupcakes and cookies lined up neatly. Ino breathed in the aroma of sugar, her eyes seemed to come alive.

"I don't understand why you had to hide your stash in my kitchen though, Neji was starting to question," Sakura said, leaning casually against her marbled counter.

"I promised Shika I'd go on a diet with him. Because everybody knows the two pillars of a good marriage, trust and starvation," Ino explained sarcastically, "anyways, thanks for keeping them Sakura, but I've found a place to keep them in my house,"

"Isn't it easier to just follow Shikamaru's diet plan?"

"He needs the diet not me, I have a fabulous body," the blonde said, her hands feeling up her curves.

Sakura laughed much to her friend's distaste, "But when you go, take your pastries, but leave the box,"

"Why? Weren't you just telling me that Neji was beginning to go crazy?"

"Yes, but if the box disappeared now, he'd go even crazier. He's been trying to pry it open with his nails for the past three days, I can't disappoint him now can I?" Sakura reasoned and Ino nodded in understanding.

"The problem is, with the help of Naruto, he's been having all sorts of ideas. I really don't know how I can live up to his imaginations," the medic said.

Ino had stopped listening, instead she bit her cupcake, "Oh god, you are so delicious, mommy missed you,"

"It needs to be dramatic," Sakura said to herself, ignoring the maniacal baby talk in the back ground.

Sakura's lips slowly spread into a smirk, "And I know just how I can satisfy those men's wild imaginations,"

--

"So this is the day," Lee whispered ominously, his green jumpsuit crinkled as he stretched his body.

Neji looked at his former teammate in distaste, but then opted to give all his attention to the box in front of him. His eyes narrowed in determination. Lee was right, this was the day the box got what was coming.

Naruto cracked his knuckles in anticipation, he reached and handed the dark haired man a large hacksaw. Without another word, Neji, pride of the Hyuuga clan and Konoha, began his personal conquest. With Naruto and Lee uttering random shouts of encouragements behind him, aforementioned Konoha pride managed to triumph over a metal lock.

"Maybe there's ramen inside," Naruto suggested, his face erupted into a wide grin.

Movements inside the box silenced the blond and the three ninja took a step back. Neji's fingers hovered above his kunai holster. Lee's eyes widened when a white arm from inside the container pushed the cover open.

"Maybe Sakura-chan has a pet,"

The blonde laughed nervously when Neji shot him a threatening glance.

The lid slid across the box and fell on the floor with a dull thud. A mound of dark hair slowly rose, his face was unmistakable even with the unruly bangs covering.

"Uchiha," Neji spat out, his silver eyes hardened.

Said man brushed his hair aside, revealing a haughty smirk. Lazy onyx eyes scanned his surrounding, they glided across a shocked Uzumaki, a paralyzed so-called Konoha green beast and finally landed on a tall man emitting killing intent from his every pores.

"Yo," the Uchiha said as he got out of the box, his hands brushing over the wrinkled blue shirt.

"Much obliged, Hyuuga," Sasuke said, nodding slightly in recognition. Then he began his slow walk toward the entrance and disappeared behind the door without another word.

Back in the Hyuuga residence, the three men had just gotten over their shock.

"That was dramatic," Lee said.

"No, that was disturbing," Neji corrected.

"I told you he was in there," the blonde man grinned foxily.

"Naruto, get out of my house,"

Neji grumbled in irritation, if he'd remembered that he could use the Byakugan, he would have let the Uchiha rot in the box.

--

End.

08-02-07