I know it's kinda lame of me to put a bonus chapter… but I can't help it. Look in the bright side: Your questions will be answered now, right?
Kankuro: Let go of me!
Kankuro: You've got me in this dumb leash for the last few chapters.
Me: Yes, I know that.
Kankuro: Aren't you getting sick of it? COZ I AM!
Me: Let me think… Nope.
Kankuro: I hate you more and more:
Me: You keep saying that but you never mean it, Kanky. By the way, guys, I don't own Naruto.
Kankuro: Yeah, so you certainly don't own me!
Me: Well, things are about to change, Kankuro… -evil grin-
"I own the house! You get out!"
"You'd leave a woman out in the cold?!"
"On the contrary? Yes!"
"How could you!"
"Give me some space before I blow my top again!"
"Get out, Tenten!"
Tenten placed her arms across her chest and bit her lip. Tears welled in her eyes as she marched to the door, ready to leave for the night. Once out, she slammed the door behind her, leaving Kankuro inside.
Kankuro kept his angered glare till she left the house. When he was sure that she was far enough, he relaxed his features and heaved a heavy sigh, "Oh, what's wrong with me?"
Temari and Gaara were there, witnessing their little fight. Temari approached her brother and pat his shoulder, saying, "You two haven't been getting along lately. What's happening?"
Kankuro turned to her and shrugged, explaining, "I dunno… I lose my temper around her. It's just that…"
Gaara took his place on the couch, "You're a green-eyed monster." He said.
Hearing that, Kankuro turned to Gaara and yelled, "Look who's talking! And I suppose you're not a monster…?"
"No, Kankuro!" Temari said sternly, batting his head lightly, "What Gaara's trying to say is: You're jealous!"
"Jealous?" Kankuro growled, "Jealous of what? Of who?"
Temari rolled her eyes, realizing at how indifferent her brother could be at these kinds of things. She still wonders why he ended up getting married, "Kankuro, let me recap you on your argument with Tenten: She was mentioning Neji in the dinner table. You totally flipped."
The puppet master's eyes grew, "I what?" He yelled in surprise.
"You hate it when Tenten mentions Neji, even if it's just his name." Temari said, "Kankuro, this is absolutely strange of you. But this isn't new to Gaara or me. You two have been married for only three months and in those three months, not once did you stop fighting when it was about Neji being mentioned in front of him."
Realizing this, Kankuro muttered, "I've been… fighting with her for three months already? Wh-What am I supposed to do?"
"Ditch the girl…"
"Gaara!" Temari scolded, pinching her little brother's ear.
He gave her a look that said 'What else can he do? Marriage counseling didn't work.'.
She sighed and knew that their marriage was almost hopeless. Tenten isn't planning to expect children and she doesn't even share the same room with Kankuro. It's as if she's purposely separating herself from him.
"Do you think she was just forced into… the marriage?" Kankuro asked Temari, looking like a dismayed child.
The truth was too much for Kankuro to take. Temari knew that Tenten only did it for a few reasons. She knows… she talks to Tenten a lot about it. They'd usually be in Temari's room, talking and she's sometimes be crying, doubting her choices.
Temari knew that Tenten still loved Neji.
"Look, Kankuro," Temari began, "If you really love Tenten, you'd want her to be happy. What would make her happy?"
With his gaze at the floor, Kankuro whispered in a tone that was barely heard, "But I don't…"
Confused, Temari asked, "You don't what?"
Gaara rolled his eyes and made his way to the kitchen, saying, "Get a grip, Temari. Kankuro means he doesn't really love the girl. Now, leave me alone. I want to eat my cookies in peace…"
Temari gave Kankuro a stare that seemed to be asking him if it was all true. All Kankuro did was sigh and go out the door, muttering, "I'll go find her."
"The line you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later. Press 1 to leave a message. Press 2 to…"
She hung up, putting the phone back onto the stand. She leaned back at the phone booth's glass wall. Her sobs were silent but her shoulders moved up and down, coordinated with her crying.
"He's… He's not home?" Tenten muttered to herself, after calling Neji's number for the fifth time. She was running out of coins and she was sure Kankuro would still be angry with her once she comes back to the house.
She just needed someone to talk to.
Not giving up, Tenten grabbed the phone once again and dropped a coin into the slot. The ringing came as she held the right side of the phone against her ear. Still, there was no voice. Just the constant ringing.
Soon, the operator message answered her again: "The line you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later. Press 1 to-…"
She quickly pressed the button with one written on it. There was a message that said something about leaving the message after the beep just before a loud beep came by. Tenten breathed in and began to speak…
"Hey, Neji." She started, her sobs easing, "I… It's me, Tenten. I'm sorry for disturbing. You're probably busy with something right now and… you might not have some time. But, anyway, I know this is the seventh time I called this week in the middle of the night. Sorry about that. Uh, I guess I'll call again. Don't try to call at Kankuro's number… I won't be there. So… bye."
There, she put the phone back and sighed. After a glance at her watch, she saw that it was pretty late. It's either Neji's already asleep, or he's sick of her late night calls, seeking refuge every time after an argument with Kankuro.
The fights have been coming round too often. When they were newly wed, she and Kankuro fought every now and then over petty things and they'd make it quite a big deal. Soon enough, Kankuro would get angered whenever she'd mention Neji.
For Tenten, that was the worst that he could do.
The weekly spats turned to daily ones, sometimes ending with Tenten walking out of the house. And every time that happened, she called Neji and she'd be alright. Then, she'd come home again, as if nothing happened.
Desperate, Tenten picked the phone up and dialed his number again, losing another coin. The ringing was back but this time, things were worth it.
"Tenten? What's wrong? You two fought again?" Neji worriedly asked, sitting up from his slouch.
"Yes…" she simply answered, "I know it's kinda late and I shouldn't be calling…"
"It's alright, it's alright…" Neji muttered, "You ran off again?"
Tenten didn't answer immediately, "He sent me out. This was a worst fight than the others before. We were shouting… already."
Hearing that, Neji felt a slight tinge of concern for his teammate, "What was it about this time? Is it me again?"
"Mhm…" Tenten wearily replied, "But it's not your fault, Neji. He just gets mad whenever I mention you, and…"
"Then you should stop mentioning me, Tenten." Neji advised her, "If I was in his place, I'd be also going berserk."
Tenten shook her head, even if Neji didn't know, "I can't stand doing that, you know."
"I guess…" Neji mumbled, "I couldn't stand not mentioning you, too. That's why my fiancée left me."
Tenten's eyes grew wider, "Y-Your fiancée left you? But your marriage was arranged last week."
"Yeah." Neji answered, not the least sad for his fiancée, "It was an arranged marriage. I didn't want it to happen but Hiashi said it would be promoting the abolishment of my clan's system. I didn't like her but she was crazy over me. But she got sick of hearing your name. She backed out."
Tenten looked around the empty streets of Suna through the booth's glass walls, hoping Kankuro wouldn't find her so soon, "I see. Well, at least you're free."
The two were silent for a few minutes. Tenten and Neji just kept their phones on their ears, listening to each other's breathing. After dropping her last coin through the coin slot, she asked, "Do you… Do you think I should leave Kankuro?"
"No." Neji plainly answered, "Kankuro would kill you."
"And if ever he agreed?"
"He'd be probably forced into it before he even thinks about it."
"But he doesn't love me, anyway."
"Temari and Gaara."
"And you believe them too quickly?"
"I can trust them."
"And what convinced you to trust them?" Neji was getting enraged by the minute.
"Temari wants me in the family. Gaara is a nice guy. Who can't trust them?"
"We're different, Neji, in this case. There's really something in me that says I can trust them."
"Hm… so you want to get divorced from Kankuro?"
Tenten thought for a minute before she broke down and sobbed, "I just can't take living with someone who just married me out of force."
"Hm, yeah." Neji murmured, "Why did he marry you in the first place?"
"I'm an ANBU, Neji. The Kazekage's sibling needs protection, too."
"So you're like a body guard to Kankuro?"
"It hurts me a lot, Neji. This isn't my dream."
She stopped talking for a moment before she finally asked, "What am I supposed to do, Neji?"
"I'm not telling you what to do…"
"I know that, damn it, but you could at least tell me some advice that I can follow! You're the Hyuga Prodigy, my best friend! I'm sure there's something in that gigantic brain of yours!"
"No need to scream…"
"…Alright. Now, about the advice…?"
"…Hm. Just follow your heart."
"What kind of advice is tha-…"
Too late. She was out of credits. The line was cut immediately as she spoke in mid-sentence. She was out of coins for now. Placing the phone back on the its pedestal, Tenten grumbled something under her breath then hit her head on the pay phone.
What is she supposed to do?
A familiar voice called her from just outside the phone booth. As expected, it was Kankuro. She bit her lip and walked out, meeting him there. His face was quite stern while her face was still streaked with tears, "We need to talk." Kankuro said.
She nodded and asked like an innocent child, "What about?"
"I thought you hated it when we talked about him."
"I do." Kankuro admitted as he searched for something in the backpack he had with him, "I just want to ask you something about the guy…"
Tenten looked at him with a questioning expression. Kankuro took out a piece of paper and a pen, ready to write something down. He asked:
"Do you love Neji?"
Shocked by the question, Tenten jolted back and gazed down at the ground, knowing that the truth will have to come out sooner or later… or maybe now.
"What do you think?" Tenten asked, making her answer quite indirect.
Kankuro gave her a tiny half-smile and said, "I know you do. And I know I'm quite a pain. That's why I brought this…"
He handed her the piece of paper he had. She took it from his hand and read it with wide eyes. She couldn't believe it. Was Kankuro for real? He must be joking. He must be. Why would he issue a…
"I know you don't exactly think I'm an ideal husband. And I don't quite agree when someone says you're the perfect wife. So tell you what, I'll let you go. If that's what you want, that is. Coz I'm more than willing to sign it." Kankuro explained with a tough guy front.
Still clutching the certificate, Tenten muttered, "Are-Are you sure about this?"
Kankuro handed her the pen and said, "Just sign your name beside mine in the dotted line. I'll submit this to the Kazekage tomorrow morning and by late afternoon, you'll be sent back to Konoha. You'll be happy again, Tenny."
Deep inside, it was paining Kankuro to do this. The I'm-okay-with-this front was easy to maintain in front of her when in truth his heart is aching inside. He liked Tenny… but not enough to cope with her 'Neji Obsession', as he'd call it.
This opportunity was too good for Tenten. She wanted this to happen for so long already. She just didn't expect Kankuro to take it too easily. Anyway, she gave Kankuro a look that said, 'Sorry about this but I bet you want me rid of, anyway' and signed the certificate.
"Life's gonna be better for the two of us from now on." Kankuro reassured, "I can now marry the girl I met in the bar three years ago!" He gave off a small "Yes!".
And with that, Kankuro left Tenten by the phone booth, thinking she's just following him.
'I can't believe it.' She thought, '…This isn't something I'd expect. But what the heck?'
Let's review something:
Tenten went back to Konoha. After a few months, Neji asked for her hand in marriage and he was answered with a big, loud yes. They stayed in Konoha in the Hyuga Manor for a while till Neji's 12-month limit ran out. Now, they're in the Land of Waves, moving to Neji's house for permanent residence…
"And… he just told you to sign the certificate just like that?" Neji said in shock as he brought Tenten's luggage as she trailed him.
"Yes. I can't believe him." Tenten grumbled, "I know I didn't like him that much in the first place, but he doesn't have to make it look like he's so happy with my departure."
"Are you sure you wanted this to happen?" Neji asked her, putting her bags down for a minute, "Didn't Gaara and Temari take this harshly?"
"Temari was waving at me like a satisfied kid. Gaara was still glaring. Kankuro couldn't even look at me." Tenten said, "They seem relieved. And besides, you told me to follow my heart. So I did. But I can't believe you. That piece of advice sounded like something out of a movie."
Neji chuckled and confessed, "It was."
Tenten smiled and looked at Neji. He hasn't changed much, definitely. The last three months without him was such a drag. But she's fine now.
"There's just something I don't understand," Neji muttered as he kept on bringing her bags.
She gave him a baffled look and replied, "Oh yeah? What is it?"
"Why are we staying in my house?"
"I want to."
"Then I'd have to fuss about you, too?"
"I can take care of myself, Neji."
"I know, but… why here in the Land of Waves with me when can both stay in Konoha? I'll just talk to Hiashi for a while and that'll be arranged."
"I dunno. That sounds like too much to do and I guess it's coz it sounds better if a wife lived in her husband's house, right?"
"Oh, come on, Neji. You agreed that we'll be living in your house before we got married, right?"
"I know, I know…"
"Can I use the phone after I unpack?"
"What for, Tenten?"
"I need to ask Sakura if she can give me any tips on motherhood."
"Is Sakura a mother?"
"She will be soon. And, she's a medic. She'd know."
"Well, find out soon. Then we'll pass by the hospital this afternoon for your check-up."
"I can't wait for our little boy to be born!"
"Yeah, me, too, Tenten."
"You're supposed to call me 'Honey'."
"Married couples do that, remember?"
"Oh, okay, Honey."
"There we go. Thank you."
Neji turned the knob of his front door after unlocking it. When the door had opened, Tenten walked in and looked around. It was as grand as the Hyuga Manor and all she could do was heave a sigh and yelp,
I expect you guys to understand without much explanation that Neji and Tenten are married in this part and that the last paragraph in Chapter 10 happened after the child was born, okay?
So… I hope I answered the many whats-whos-whens-hows you guys had.
More questions about the ending? Understood. Ask me.
Reviews, reviews… shower me with reviews! Hehe, kidding! –grins-
Kankuro: I'm glad your dumb story's over.
Me: It wasn't dumb. –cries-
Kankuro: Oh, gawd, I made her cry.
Me: You don't have to be so mean, darn it.
-whacks Kankuro's head with a purse-
-Kankuro's out cold-
Me: Oh well. Thanks again, guys!