By: Faraway Dawn & Kigen
Disclaimer: We don't own anything. But we are putting Kishimoto's characters to great use!
Warnings: NaruSasu (flame if you dare. Kigen will burn you back.) implied but not covered HinaKibaShino threesome (again flame if you dare. Kigen will do unspeakably evil things to you if you flame.) If it bugs you all that much, Insert your favorite pairing in it's place and be happy that we don't flame you.
AN: You've seen the product of our madness once before if you've ever read Against Your Will. Brace yourself. We're back and worse than before. We are mad, really.
Neji nodded as he received the mission details from Tsunade. Both he and Tenten looked over the scrolls they had received. Tenten was the first to voice her concerns.
"Is it really necessary that I act so…docile?" She asked, displeasure written on her features.
"Yes. It's necessary that you and Neji don't raise suspicions." Tsunade leaned back in her chair. "The idea of Neji being a chuunin and giving up the life to start a new one with his civilian wife is much more believable than two jounin quitting because they got married."
Neji was continuing to look through the scroll. The plan was good in its relative simplicity. Pretend to be a retired chuunin. Either use a Genjutsu or wear something over his eyes to hide his bloodline trait. Be a happily married man under a different name who wanted to explore the world along with a young wife, who lived as a civilian in a shinobi village, fell in love with a dashing shinobi, and was whisked away to live an exciting, romance filled life in a new land with a new change of life.
It was a little too ideal. A little too corny. Perfectly cliché and suspicious, yet normal enough not too be spotted right away, Neji sighed. "You allowed Naruto to help you write the mission back-story, did you not Hokage-sama?"
"The brat needs all the practice he can get." Tsunade shrugged.
Tenten grimaced. "But, it's so corny..."
"... and completely believable." Neji muttered equally irritated.
"Oh, I'm just as scared as you, believe me." Tsunade assured them. "However, it is the best choice, and that's why we're going with it."
Neji nodded, rolling up the scroll. "How long will this mission last?"
"Seven months, you have a maximum of two years to complete it though, if you feel the need."
"So for seven months Neji and I pretend to be newly weds...Just how much are we supposed to pretend?"
"As much as is needed for the illusion. I trust the two of you to know what that is." Tsunade stated simply. "Your mission begins in two weeks. You have that long to prepare and say your goodbyes." She was smiling almost deviously. "Dismissed."
Neji and Tenten bowed before leaving the room, both had mixed feelings. They were skilled enough to pull it off, but they were also very close friends.
"This is going to be awkward." Tenten said what they were both thinking.
Neji shrugged. "A mission is a mission."
"I know." Tenten sighed, she had only recently been promoted from jounin to ANBU and had yet to be sent away on such a long mission. Now that she thought about it, neither of them had received the standard tattoo marking them as ANBU.
Neji said nothing. A few months away from his village would not hurt him.
As the two exited the building, Neji turned to Tenten. "I will see you for training later." As the more experienced shinobi, he was given authority over the mission. Not that it bothered Tenten, Neji was a natural leader.
"Okay. See ya later Neji." Tenten and Neji went their separate ways. Tenten walked with a slight smile on her face. Acting like a girl was the worst part of their orders, pretending to be Neji's wife…well she hit the jackpot this time.
As soon as the two were far away, Neji began to fully ponder his doubt, how did newly weds act anyway? What exactly had the Hokage meant when she said 'As much as is needed for the illusion'? Only one way to find out. He'd have to drop in on a set of newly weds. Sasuke and Naruto would just have to do.
It was always the same routine when someone visited. Naruto would be his bubbly talkative self, and Sasuke would sigh, ignore everything, and occasionally shoot someone a glare. Naruto would be clingy, Sasuke would try his hardest not to turn red, and shot Neji a glare when Neji smirked.
He left only seventeen minutes later, not sure if he felt a new level of respect for Sasuke putting up with Naruto, or a new level of astonishment at how hard a guy could fall for someone.
There wasn't much to learn from them. Neji sighed slightly. Who else? Shikamaru was being fought over between Temari and Ino, but there wasn't a concrete relationship that he could find. And as much as they loved each other, he really didn't care to see his cousin in a relationship with the Inuzuka and Aburame. Especially when Kiba was about as touchy feely and modest as Naruto. He wasn't sure which was worse, watching Kiba grope his younger cousin, or Shino being able to watch her every move. Both gave him mental images he didn't want, and he was certain wouldn't ever erase themselves from his mind.
Returning to his home, Neji allowed himself a tired sigh. How the hell were he and Tenten supposed to act like a normal couple, when he hadn't the foggiest idea what a normal couple was?
Tenten was having far more luck, her parents never stopped acting like newly weds when she lived with them. It wouldn't be too hard to pull off for her; all she had to do was be more girly than her mother was, much to her intense displeasure. Neji was going to be a problem though; he wasn't affectionate or sweet, he didn't know the subtlety of a married couple. Tenten sighed, if he didn't understand it, she'd just have to teach him.
A few hours later, Neji stared at Tenten incredulously. "Excuse me? I don't believe I heard you correctly…"
"I said I'm going to teach you how to act like a loving husband."
"Why? I am perfectly capable of doing that on my own."
"Prove it then."
"And how do you suggest I do that?"
"Hmm..." Tenten held her chin, acting as though she was thinking hard.
"Tenten." Neji said, almost warningly.
"Try to convince people you're my boyfriend."
"Let's walk through town; and pretend we're boyfriend and girlfriend. If anyone thinks we are, I'll admit you know how to act like a newlywed but, if even one person; outside those who know us too well, thinks otherwise; you'll agree to practice with me"
"Something that easy?"
"Yes. Do you know how?" Tenten had a smug expression on her face.
"Then what are you going to do?"
A million things ran through the Hyuuga's head but none of them seemed to really fit.
"Can you name even one thing to do?"
"Of course I can." Neji seriously had to grasp what did normal couples did if he wanted to avoid lessons from his former teammate. "I will hold your hand."
Tenten let out an exasperated sigh. "Neji, you don't really think you're going to convince everyone with just that do you?"
Neji was irritated by the fact that he really didn't know what else he would have to do. "What else is there?"
"Many things…" She began counting off on her fingers just for added emphasis. "…holding me close, giving me glances out of the corner of your eye, speaking gently to me, and of course, kissing me…But, the last one would be too obvious, so you're not allowed to try that one."
"This will be simple." Neji's hand held Tenten's in a firm grip.
Tenten tsked. "You're already messing up."
"You're holding my hand too hard. You're supposed to hold it firmly but gently, like a fragile lotus blossom." Tenten recited, as though from memory.
Neji looked at her "Whoever told you that is an idiot beyond even Naruto's standards."
"Kounichi training. We were taught it when we were seven." Tenten chuckled, a bit embarrassed.
"And you still quote it today because?"
"Force of habit." Tenten held Neji's hand more gently. "Now come on, we have a few people to try and deceive."
Well they tried. Tenten bit her lip, fighting the urge not to laugh at the obvious look of annoyance on Neji's face. Well, obvious if you knew where to look, the slight narrowing of his eyes, the thin line his lips were in, tighter than usual, and the occasional glare at seemingly random bystanders. Most would attribute it to Neji's normal antisocial self, but years of serving on the same team as Neji had taught Tenten this, if nothing else: that expression on his face, meant that Neji was nearly at the end of his rope with frustration and annoyance.
Not that Tenten blamed him; he hadn't managed to fool many people. Not only had all their friends seen through the rouse immediately, but Kiba had chosen to openly mock and laugh his ass off at Neji, and asked how much Neji had paid her for the pity date.
THAT certainly did not amuse Neji. Kiba stopped laughing once Neji's gentle fist showed it's not so gentle self. Though it was unfortunate that he lost his temper and composure, he didn't regret it at all, as far as he was concerned, Kiba Inuzuka had it coming. Things didn't get much better after that. No one mistook them as a couple. Everyone thought they were simply friends. Everyone, not even children mistook them for a couple.
"Good thing we haven't left yet…or our cover would have been blown." Tenten muttered with a slight smile.
Neji was becoming desperate. No one on the rookie nine was fooled, not Lee, none of their teachers, not a single ninja in the village, he was about ready to go see HER to win the challenge.
Tenten's eyes widened with surprise as they went into THE restaurant. Neji's not that desperate, he couldn't be…could he?
Oh dear mother, Hokage, and gods above. He WAS that desperate!
"Ah, one moment Hyuuga-san." The old wrinkled lady turned back to the two in front of her the girl was five, the boy at least 17 they were so similar in looks, they had to be siblings. "Now you two lovebirds go on home and have a nice night. I wish you two nothing but love and happiness in your future."
Tenten smirked at Neji. "Someone's running out of options." She sang under her breath.
"You never said who had to say we were a couple."
"Desperate." Tenten muttered.
"Be quiet Tenten."
"Ah, Neji-kun, Neji-kun. What can I get for you and you're lovely little friend here?" She looked at Tenten, "It's so nice to see Neji-kun with such a stunning young lady. You really should consider dating the dear; he could use a feminine touch in his life."
Neji suddenly wished he had admitted defeat at Kiba.
Tenten decided to offer some assistance, mainly out of sheer pity. "But ma'am, we are dating."
The old lady leaned close to Tenten and whispered, though Neji could easily hear her, "There's no need to lie dear I mean, it's well and all that you're trying; but the boy is much too frigid to be dating you. I admire your courage though dear, keep trying. You may be able to melt the icy walls around his heart."
Tenten had to keep from laughing 'Melting the icy walls around his heart' beat 'hold her hand like you would a lotus blossom' by light-years in the cliché department.
The lady straitened up as though she hadn't said a thing. "Now then Neji-dear. What can this old lady do for you and your friend?"
"Never mind Matsuna-san, it's nothing."
"Whatever you say dear. Be kind to this girl and take her out for a date sometime. It'll do you both some good."
Neji had to fight his entire body to keep from grimacing, "Yes Matsuna-san, I'll do that."
"Alright then. Have a good day dears."
Neji walked out of the store, back straight, no longer holding Tenten's hand.
Tenten could not stop the smirk on her lips. "Wow..."
"Not a word Tenten." Neji didn't hide his glare; something he usually spared Tenten, unless she deserved it.
She did deserve it. "She wasn't fooled."
"Not even a little. Not even when I argued."
"She's always fooled, but we didn't, we couldn't."
"Tenten." Neji all but snapped. A Hyuuga had too much dignity to snap. "That is enough."
"Sorry." Tenten chuckled, rubbing her arm.
Neji took a deep breath this was going to be one of the most unwanted things he had ever done in his life. "Tenten," he sighed. "I admit that I am ill prepared in the act of mimicking a man in a romantic relationship and will accept your lessons on acting."
Tenten didn't bother to hide her snort, only Neji could admit defeat like that.
"Good. Now, come with me Neji, you have to learn a year's worth of romance in two weeks."
Neji had to chew the inside of his cheek to keep from voicing his complaints yes, he understood he needed to feel relaxed in Tenten's presence, he understood that touching would be involved, and that cuddling may happen as well, but he had been sitting on the same, irritating couch for four hours now watching what had to be the world's dumbest, longest, girly chick flick.
The fact that Tenten had said as part of his training, he was not permitted to leave or remove his arm from her waist until the movie was over, seemed much more bothersome since Tenten had fallen asleep TEN MINUTES into the movie. If not for the fact Tenten had told him to watch the movie and threatened a quiz, Neji would be about as alert as she was at the moment. Sure enough, just as the credits started to role Tenten opened her eyes with a yawn.
"You feel asleep." Neji responded blandly.
"Oh… do you remember what happened?"
"It was a horrible movie."
"Okay, fair enough. Remember what happened two hours in?"
"Unfortunately. Arachi confessed his undying love to Himeno when-"
"Wait, wait." Tenten interrupted. "The movie lasts two hours?"
"It lasted four."
"Seriously? Wow, like wow. Four whole hours? And you're still awake?"
Neji's eyebrow twitched, he allowed himself to show the emotion, he was too annoyed not to indulge in the guilty pleasure. "You told me to stay awake and watch all of it."
"And you listened to me. Wow, just wow. I thought that me falling asleep would clue you in." Tenten started giggling "The WHOLE movie?"
"Yes." Neji ground out. "The ENTIRE movie."
"Wow. Four whole hours." She looked at the clock. "We missed dinner. Let's go out and eat."
Neji was sure his entire body twitched, he was above needing apologies for such a small thing, but did she really feel no remorse for the evil deed she had done? Her tone wasn't even slightly apologetic!
"Neji, come on. Where do you want to go?"
"Why do we need to go out? I can cook here." He was a superior cook to Tenten, though he would never admit having such a skill. It was far too... useless to be a ninja skill he would not call anything he did girly.
"Because," Tenten drawled "we need to go out, in public, and practice couple things. You wearing an apron and cooking food is something you don't need to practice."
"Do not refer to me as a housewife."
"Then don't wear my aprons if you don't want to be mocked."
Neji had to bite back a retort. Wearing aprons didn't insult his masculinity, admitting he did it to keep his white clothes white, because stains were a bitch to get out, did. With a sigh, Neji admitted, not a defeat, but a secession to Tenten. "Where do you want to go?"
"Hmmm...How about... Akiko's?" Tenten smirked. It was a fancy, romantic girly restaurant; a favorite for young couples.
It was so popular, in fact, that they had a wall plastered with picture of couples who proposed in their restaurant, Neji held in a shudder. He had only been inside once, but the image of rich pink fabrics, candle light, and red and white roses refused to leave his mind peacefully. Even now, it was putting up too big a fight for it to be dragged kicking and screaming out of his mind… but, he did know that it would be a good place to train his deception skills. Plus, he knew that there had been a reason he put so much money in his wallet this morning.
"I'll even pay this time, since you paid last time."
Neji winced mentally, again. He would not force Tenten to treat him. His father had taught him to be a better gentleman than that in the short amount of time they had together that, and his pride wouldn't tolerate him being taken care of by a girl.
If he had an inner Neji, it would have been thoroughly scandalized by the mere mention of a girl paying though, if he had an inner Neji, his sanity probably would have lasted as long as the average ninja's and no where near as long as his had, and still was ...and he was rambling mentally now and Tenten was looking at him strangely…and damnit! That movie must have killed brain cells with its horrible girly clichés and bad romances and…and he was still rambling in his head...
"There will be no need for that Tenten. I can pay for the two of us."
"But you've paid all those other times." Tenten argued half heartedly "I can pay at least once-"
"That will not be necessary." Neji had no idea why Tenten was arguing so much, especially when they both knew that Tenten enjoyed being treated like this.
"I can at least help pay-"
"No. If I have to say it one more time I will make you watch that horrible abomination of a movie, twice."
Tenten smirked. "What that a joke or a threat?"
"I do not make jokes Tenten."
"Yeah. It sounded like a threat to me too."
Neji sighed. He hoped the night would pass quickly.
The result had been... better than it had been earlier. At least now Tenten was being mistaken for his cousin, and sometimes sister, rather than a random friend. One would think the lack of Byakugan would clue people in that they weren't related but yes, sister was a step up from friend though it made him think of incest… which made him think of him and Hinata… which made him want to watch the movie again to kill the brain cells connected to that image, that, and help him forget how much money he spent on tiny portions with more dressing than actual food.
"Well, that was better than last time," Tenten sighed, sitting on the couch.
Of course it was better for her, she LIKED the gaudy restaurant with its nauseating colors and twitch inducing music, though, he was sure she only liked it because he didn't. He swore she got some sick, sadistic pleasure from watching him have to act relaxed and comfortable in that den of harpies and idiotic lovers…and he was talking to himself again. If things kept going the way they were, he'd go insane before the mission even began.
"Well, I think we did as much as we could for tonight. I'll see you tomorrow Neji." Tenten stripped off her outer shirt, left in only a tank top that was wrinkled, and her baggy pants.
As she walked to her room Neji felt the urge to groan, he was suppose to pretend to be married to that for seven months.
As if the previous day hadn't been hell on earth, the next day just had to go and be worse. "Excuse me? I don't believe I heard you correctly." Neji looked strangely at Tenten she had not just said what he had just heard, she just... couldn't have.
"We need to practice kissing." Tenten repeated slowly as through she was talking to an overexcited Lee, he wasn't Lee god dammit.
"I know how to kiss Tenten."
"But can you do it well?" Tenten asked. "Lovers know how to kiss each other you know."
"We're supposed to be newlyweds Tenten."
"Yeah, that too."
Neji sighed. "We don't need to kiss in public."
"Yes we do."
"We're going to be newlyweds Neji, and that's how newlyweds are, lovey-dovey, completely infatuated with each other!"
"We don't need to be exhibitionists."
"Kiss me on the cheek like you did in the restaurant and I'm going to be mistaken as your sister again."
"That woman was blind and had no common sense. Who on earth would take their sister to that restaurant?"
"A desperate someone." She muttered.
"I am not desperate."
"Nope, just frigid."
"I am not frigid."
"Yes you are. If you weren't, you'd be desperate to be single, and you can't be desperate with those looks."
He cocked an eyebrow. "Are you calling me attractive?"
"Well, even Hinata thinks that you have an attractive face, and don't listen to Kiba going on and on about your sexy body..." and then Shino got jealous and excused them, dragging Kiba to the bedroom, then Hinata blushed and apologized before following, but she knew Neji was still squicky about their relationship so she'd leave that part out.
"Where do you hear these things?" Neji asked, shaking his head slightly.
"Hang around with Ino long enough and you'll learn things about love lives no one else does. I think she abuses her mind transfer jutsu honestly."
"It wouldn't surprise me. I am still not having some demented kissing practice with you."
"Scared? Suck it up and be a man Neji."
"I am not afraid, and I don't need to kiss you to reaffirm my masculinity. I am quite aware of how male I am."
"As am I. Just because not everyone understands your hair, doesn't mean I'm fooled."
Neji took a deep breath "My hair does not make me any less masculine."
"No... But it makes you prettier."
With an inner growl of annoyance Neji leaned forward and kissed Tenten on the lips chastely.
Tenten rolled her eyes and Neji moved away. "That was pathetic. Kiss me like that again, and people won't think I'm anything but your sister."
Neji allowed himself a roll of his eyes. "I don't need to pin you to the wall and ravish you to prove that we're married."
Tenten had to think of the time she had walked in on her parents to keep blood from erupting from her nose.
Neji. Wall, pin. Ravish? Was that smoke coming from her ears, or did the mental image fry her brain that badly?
She mentally waved away the smoke away and forced a look of normalcy on her face, it would have worked better if her cheeks had not been stained a dark red. "Of course not! You don't have to ravish me! You just need to kiss me gently, but firmly and romantically, with love and desire in your heart and soul."
Neji looked at her. "Kounichi classes?"
"They brainwash young girls into romance and you know it."
"So I've noticed."
"Now, this may be too much for you, but let's try this again. And try to put some emotion into it this time."
Neji allowed himself another roll of the eyes and leaned forward slowly, he pressed his lips to Tenten's. Feeling her relax slightly, he nipped Tenten's bottom lip, slipping his tongue inside when they parted with a gasp.
Tenten's mind went into overdrive. His scent, his hand on her cheek, the other holding her hip, the way his tongue twisted just so...
Neji pulled away, removing his hands. "Well? Was that any better?"
Tenten took a moment to gather her thoughts before mentally smacking the smile off her face. "No. Not better at all."
"And I suppose lousy kisses always make you blush like that?"
"Maybe this is just embarrassing for me."
"So are you admitting you enjoyed it, or saying that you hated it?"
"I didn't hate it. But you still need to learn how to kiss properly." She said carefully.
"I know there was nothing wrong with that kiss." Neji frowned.
"But it wasn't the right kind of kiss! It was too passionate, too lustful."
"Wasn't I supposed to aim for passion?"
"That was the wrong kind of passion. We need love, not lust." Tenten leaned forward. "Now, let's try this again."
"How is a kiss supposed to be passionate and loving, but not lustful?" Neji asked.
"Well, consider this. Love is the emotion you feel for the wife that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Lust is what you feel for the one night stand after your girlfriend dumps you."
Neji again, allowed himself a roll of the eyes. "How romantic."
"You wanted an answer to your question, I gave you it." Tenten straightened up. "If you need a better explanation..." Tenten leaned forward and kissed Neji.