Last chapter! Thank y'all for reviewing, especially SparkDazzleDuez, who left me 20+ reviews and for reading and enjoying the story. Anyway, this chapter is for ALL of you people who favorite-d /alerted this fic. Basically, for all of you who enjoyed it from beginning to end. Last chapter is always the trickiest chapter cuz it's the ending and everyone has different styles of ending a fic. Some readers like a story but not its ending. So, hopefully you guys enjoy the last chapter and tell me what you think. Warning: I'm no expert at endings.
Already in the Heart
Nine Months Later...
The young boy ran across the field, sweat running down his pale-white freckled. The animals on the farm scurried along upon seeing him running like a wild animal across the harvested field.
"Momma! Momma!" he yelled, finally reaching inside the house with the important in his hand.
A blond-headed woman came out of her bedroom with her hazel-green eyes opened. "What's wrong? Why the shouting?"
"Papa just sent us a letter! It was in our mailbox!"
The woman gasped in surprise, sitting down on a rocking chair. "Did you open it?"
"Yes, Momma, and he says that the war's over!"
The woman's heart skipped a beat as she placed a hand over her bosom, catching her breath as tears trickled down her face. "I-Is he c-coming back? A-And how come Queen Hyuuga has not said anything about this?"
"Momma, she doesn't know. No one in this country knows but us, and if King Hyuuga finds out that Poppa had told us, he'll be in great trouble. We have to act as if we know nothing at all!"
"So, are you men for it or against it?"
Heads shook back and forth, eyes making contact.
Should we allow such thing?
How would it benefit us?
What would King Hyuuga say about this if he was here?
Tenten looked at every person in the room (which were all men) as the felt the fetus inside her womb shift. Oh, how she wanted to give birth already.
She waited impatiently for the men's response, hoping that they would all agree with her. She hated spending so much time on one topic: moving things swiftly was how she liked to work.
Throughout the first month of her pregnancy, she had aided the farmers of her country. Knowing what they meant when they had told her that they needed more money, she had given every farmer in her country money and had passed her first act. Annually, money will be sent to every farmer in order for their profits to increase.
Throughout the next four months of her pregnancy, she had aided the women of her country. Sexism was a substantial topic that most kings purposely ignore. Nonetheless, Tenten had told Neji before about wanting to eliminate sexism in the country.
The ex-peasant knew that she couldn't change everyman's opinion about how women were viewed, but she could help women stand up and become something true and independent if they so desired.
One of the many jobs she had created were nursing, residential advisers, masseuses, teaching, psychology (specifically towards women suffering from postpartum depression), and other new professions.
At first, the congress did not want women to step out of their house-bound duties, though Tenten had argued with them, stating that creating more jobs for the female gender will not only show men that females weren't made to live under her husband's rules, but it would increase the country's tax income.
And it had. Plus, the fact that women relied less on men lately compared to years ago when a woman needed a man to survive.
During her fifth and sixth month of pregnancy, she had expanded education.
Classrooms weren't just filled with boys; girls had been encouraged to go to school to get a real education and not something like cooking and sewing (she had stated that their mothers can teach them to do so, if they wanted to, after school or whenever they have free time).
Throughout her eight month, she had aided the military so they would not lose strength during the war. Although she hated wars, she couldn't just stop it right in the middle of it.
She had gathered the best fighters to train a bit more for two weeks and had sent the top eight-hundred of them to aid her husband, who had sent her letters almost every month on how things were going. (Though, recently she hadn't received any letters from him, and it was scaring her).
On top of that, she had wanted schools to train more men so they could protect the country in case of an attack.
Now, in her ninth and last month, she had created another plan to help those who have very low income and are not farmers (who lived mostly in the city). Once again, the close-minded men had thought that she was ludicrous; though she had explained to them over and over the benefits that her plan will cause.
Meeting their strict stares, she arched an eyebrow, impatiently waiting for a response. A horrible pain waved around her large stomach, and for a second, she winced.
Dammit, not now…
She didn't want to give birth just yet; she wanted to know the men's responses first.
One of them lowered his head with a deep sigh, "aye…"
…And the ayes continued. Tenten smiled proudly, hoping that Neji would come back soon so he could see her accomplishments.
Another pain went through her body, but she ignored it as every councilman signed her papers, agreeing with her terms.
"Did ya hear about what Queen Hyuuga just released?!"
"Yes! She's helping us now with our bills! I'm glad King Hyuuga chose her and not some dumb princess!"
"I still don't like her. Peasants shouldn't be rich and a woman shouldn't run a country."
"I think I rather have an intelligent woman running my country than having King Hyuuga's uncle running the country. Y'all know how much of a horse's behind he is!"
"True that, true that…"
Pearly white eyes met green angry ones. The room was dead silent as the king glared at the Hyuuga.
"You killed my army….you filthy bastard….."
Neji's eyes narrowed, "You caused this on yourself when you started sending threats to my country and injured my wife."
The king stayed shut, knowing that what he had just said was the truth but did not want to admit it out loud.
"I despise your filthy country….and besides, I want to expand my nation!"
Neji smirked, suddenly taking a big leap and landing right in front of the king. The man's green eyes widened as he shifted back on his chair. His guards quickly moved to his aid, but Neji's ninjas moved faster and halted them back.
"Stay away from my country, from my people, and especially from my wife unless you want your poor country to be ruling under my hands, or worse, my uncle's hands."
The king froze at the mention of King Hiashi. How he hated that bastard for ruining his country. They had gone to war in the past as well for territory, and that bastard Hiashi had always won.
And since he couldn't win against Hiashi, he had thought he could've won against his nephew; but now he had seen how wrong he was.
"You filthy bastard… I hope the whole Hyuuga clan goes to hell!"
A kunai arose in Neji's left hand as he quickly brushed it lightly against the king's throat, causing the older man to gasp in horror. His ninjas tried to escape from Neji's army, but they were all slaughtered instantly.
"Don't look so shocked," Neji stated, pressing the kunai deeper as blood quickly drooled out, "There's nothing beautiful about war."
Tenten inhaled a deep cold breath as she touched her uncomfortably large stomach. She was lying on the king-sized bed, eyes closed as she thought about Neji and whether he was dead or alive.
No one knew the status of her husband. He had stopped writing a while ago, thus causing her anxiety to increase.
When was this war going to end?
She was trying her best to keep the country going, but she didn't know how she could keep it up. There were many people (specifically, men) who wanted to physically kick her out of the throne and take claim of it, even if the Hyuuga clan would not approve of such disagreeable act.
If Neji was really dead (which she prayed that he wasn't), then she would have to raise the heir (she would alter the laws so if she had a daughter first, she would become the heir) on her own and teach the child how to survive in a cruel loveless world.
Where are you, Neji?
She had to get in touch with Neji again or at least find out if he was still alive. She couldn't do everything alone and none of the other Hyuuga members wanted to help her at all.
Hiashi was busy tending the war (since the king of the Ockzten Country wanted to attack Hiashi's country as well) and searching for a suitable husband for Hinata, even though he had found out about her affair with Naruto.
Her father was still in coma, and had been there for the past seven and a half weeks. Because of her busy schedule, she only visits him four or five times a month (contrasted to the life she had before when she visited him every single day and spent myriad hours with him).
Tenten was alone. Her father in coma and Neji unknown in war, she had nothing else to do in life but run the country and take care of her and her unborn child.
She missed a man's strength: her man's strength. With her husband out fighting, she felt naked to everyone that wanted her dead. Neji wasn't there to protect her nor their child.
More pains came and went, and subconsciously, Tenten didn't notice her breath turning into slight gasps.
Neji let the man's blood drop from his fingertips as he dropped the kunai in front of the dead body. His cold gaze fixed on the dead body laying before him. He felt no remorse for killing the man; he had assigned an attack on Tenten and that was unforgivable.
Neji couldn't wait to go back and see her. He knew that she was pregnant with his child, and he had even kept count as the months went by, and if he was one-hundred percent right (which he knew he was), she should be in her last month and ready to give birth.
His stare harden as he thought about not being there for when she gave birth. He looked at his army as they all stared down at the dead bodies of both their comrades and enemies.
"Let's go back." he ordered, bringing their attention to him. "Our queen is going to give birth to my child soon, and I have to be there for her."
They all nodded comprehensively.
Neji turned and rapidly headed out, his men following right behind him.
Tenten wasn't sure how she got on the cold floor, but that wasn't her worry now. Her worry was the child that was causing a tremendous amount of pain to her body. The midwives surrounded her, placing towels underneath her as blood deluged from her body. The pain was something she couldn't withstand. Screams filled the palace as the midwives told her to push.
Tears welled up around her eyes as she began to push with all of her strength, which she couldn't find. The horrible pain had sucked all of her strength out.
I can't do this!
She gripped one of the midwives' hand tightly, not thinking that she probably broke the woman's hand, as she continued to push.
Neji, help me!
She opened her eyes for a second and saw the ghostly image of a very familiar woman.
Push, honey, push!
And she did.
The more she did, the more painful it got. She heard the midwives telling her to take deep breaths, and the queen did for a few seconds.
Tenten shuddered, feeling something strangely cold make contact with her hand. Not opening her eyes, she continued to push, feeling her child's head out of the birth canal.
The crowd cheered. The war was over, and the king was back after almost ten excruciating months.
Neji looked at everyone, watching them cheer, cry, and applaud victoriously. His expression was stoic, as always, but he desperately wanted to see Tenten. The trip back to his country took five days, and throughout those five days, he had only though about Tenten. He had received a letter two days ago, stating that his daughter had been born.
The birth of his daughter had only caused his anxiousness to grow, and right now, he felt like walking away from everybody and seeing his new family.
It had been four days since her daughter had been born, and the physical pain was still there in her. A small crib sat beside the large bed and inside the crib was the sleeping infant.
The midwives had fed, bathed, and took great care of the baby girl while Tenten recovered from the pain she had greatly suffered giving birth.
Her mother wasn't kidding when she had told her that giving birth was painful.
Although Tenten felt overwhelmingly happy about her baby daughter, Kaleria, she felt depressed. She heard that the war was finally over and that Neji was already inside the country, though it would be some hours before she saw him since he had to greet his people first.
Tenten closed her eyes and smiled, relieved that her husband was home and safe. She felt empty without him, and even though she was still heartbroken over her father's status, she was still glad that she at least had Neji with her.
The queen couldn't imagine her life without him…
A startling sound caused her eyes to open and for her to sit up. Turning her head towards the crib, she gasped as she saw him holding the baby girl in his arms.
He turned his head and smiled at her, inclining his head towards his daughter.
"She's beautiful." he whispered, settling the infant back inside her crib.
Tenten didn't move and her mouth was still agape as she watched him. The mother expected him in another hour or two, or maybe even tomorrow afternoon, but not this soon.
Neji climbed on the bed, his loose hair falling on the mattress below him as he captured her lips.
Tenten was still surprised. He was here… Finally here with her and their daughter.
His tongue entered her mouth as he placed his hand behind her head and gently pushed her forward. Tears trickled down her face as memories flooded her mind. She remembered when her father at first didn't approve of the king wanting her to become his wife, but later on they had met and he had approved.
His mouth traveled towards her neck as he laid her back down with him on top, missing the way her curvaceous body felt underneath him.
"I missed you…"
And so did she. Brushing his long hair with her hands, she looked at his white eyes and saw that he had barely changed. He had lost a few pounds and his hair had grown a bit longer, but other than that, he was the same King Hyuuga.
"Don't leave me ever again, please…."
Both knew that was hard to do when he was king, she was queen, and had enemies out there who wanted them gone. Their duties (mostly his) was to protect the people and their daughter.
She was now a prime target for any of their enemies.
"Good. These past ten months have been so stressful. Everyday I would wake up, wondering if you were coming. I had to deal with a lot of sexist men in order to make this country better! I don't know how you do it."
He smirked and kissed her lips.
"I'm used to it, and so would you in a few years. But, I'm glad you stayed strong for me, our people, and our daughter."
"I don't think I can be strong for some time. My body still aches."
"You'll recover soon…and how's your father?"
Tenten frowned and cast her eyes downward.
He sat beside her and held her close. Knowing that her father was gone hurt him as well. The king had left her alone to take control of the country while he was out fighting a war. He had thought that her seeing her father everyday would make her happy, but he had no idea that her father would die so soon.
"When did he die?"
"About four months ago. He didn't wake up at all. The doctors tried to wake him up and all, but nothing… He still had a heart beat, but for some reason, he couldn't wake up. Days, weeks, months passed before he had no heart beat. He was in some type of coma, and unfortunately, he gave up… I wanted him to at least see his granddaughter before passing away."
He asked himself over and over how he could have left her like that. She was pregnant, her father pragmatically dead, and half of the country hating her just because she was a woman in charge.
He had brought her into his life, and now this was the consequence of doing such thing. However, he felt as if it was worth it. He finally had her, and now that he did, he knew that he wouldn't let go of her. In addition, he had a daughter now.
"Don't be, it's not your fault. That's how life is….I guess."
He kissed her lips again, hungrily, as if he had not kissed her in over a century.
"Becoming my wife and queen has put too much stress on you, Tenten, and I can't help but feel guilty over this. I wanted to make you happy, to indulge you….but instead I have caused you more pain."
Tenten frowned at his words. "Don't say that-"
"It's true. Don't pretend that you don't know."
She put her head down, realizing what a relaxing life she had before she had met Neji. Although she did have to deal with her father's horrible health, she at least did not have to deal with more than a thousand people complaining to her about their lives.
"Sleep," he said, "I want you to rest from now on as much as possible. I'll handle everything from now on."
"I'm afraid that this is a dream, and when I wake up, you won't be here."
He stroked her cheek with his thumb, the sensation causing her eyes to close as he whispered lightly in her ear, "I'll be here when you wake up…"
Tenten woke up in a heartbeat, her body shaking as her mind recovered from the dreadful nightmare.
She had been all alone in some room, crying in a pool of blood. However, the blood didn't belong to her: it belonged to Neji and Kaleria.
Paranoid, she turned her head and crawled towards her daughter's crib. Looking inside and gasping, she immediately got up and looked around the room, feeling her heart pounding by her throat.
She did a three-sixty twice, looking around to see if there was any trace of her husband, and after forty long seconds, she noticed the balcony doors opened. Rushing, she entered the balcony and froze as she saw Neji holding their infant daughter, a smile plastered on his face.
Feeling her presence, he slightly turned and motioned her over to him.
Grateful that he and their daughter were safe and sound, Tenten moved closer to him and kissed his lips as she finally reached up to him.
"I was scared for a minute… I had a dream that you and Kaleria were dead and I was alone in the room. I woke up and didn't see her in her crib,-"
Noticing his frown, Tenten stopped talking and cuddled beside him as he placed an arm around her body.
"Don't let the nightmares get to you. I know you're worried and paranoid, especially since we just got out of a war, but don't let it get to you. I will protect you and Kaleria."
Intertwining her fingers with his, she rested her head on his shoulders and stared at her daughter's opened eyes, both of them fixed on each other's gaze…
Months passed by as Neji's and Tenten's relationship grew. The country was glad to have their king back as well as their men who had served.
A proper ceremony was placed for those who had lost their lives in the war, especially for Kiba. Without him, Neji wouldn't have gotten full control of the army since many attempts at attacking their enemy had backfired.
Throughout the long ceremony, Hinata had not let go of Naruto's hand. Her petite body had not stopped shaking as she stared at the tombs of the dead men, as if Naruto's body had been inside one of them.
But Tenten had known the reason why Hinata had held Naruto's hand the whole day that day; she was happy that he was back and afraid that he would leave her again.
Today, both of them were engaged to one another, and although Hiashi Hyuuga did not approve of it, Hinata did not care. Throughout her life, she had wanted to be free from the dismal life Hiashi had given her.
…And now that she and Naruto were engaged and eager to explore everything around them, she couldn't be any happier.
From farmer to queen, it was still a shock for Tenten to accept that everything in her life had changed in the past two years, ever since she had first met Neji face to face.
And now that she had two dear people in her life, she couldn't be any happier. She chose to take a change at the "role of women" stuff and showed her daughter courage, bravery, and love.
Her daughter's way of thinking resembled Neji's, and while the teachings continued, she realized that the once cold-hearted king of Japan had reached his way towards her heart.
Fin! Oh darn, this took me forever to finish. Why? School and stress. I'm going to the doctor's soon (I hate going there. Scares me and makes me nervous) to see what he can do about my insomnia....and I have tried the warm milk thing people keep telling me to do. Yeah.... waste of a milk. Anyway, enough about me. I'm truly sorry for publishing this chapter this late: things occurred that didn't really allow me to at least write a sentence -_-. It's 1:45 in the morning, and I don't care.... I feel so horrible for updating this so late that I don't care it takes me a long time. Anyway, I'm a sucker at endings and hopefully you guys enjoyed this. Thanks for reading the story, reviewing, alerting, and favoring! Grasiasssssssss!