Whee! So, my first fic on this account. –insert wild applause here-
I don't think it'll be very long. I'm pretty well known in my family for procrastination, especially when it comes to either drawing or writing…or both. (:
Anyway. I don't own Naruto. Sob.
Chapter One: Princess
Princess. A word you don't tend to associate with sweatpants, messy hair and chewing gum. A word used for young ladies of a royal descent, who happen to be well-spoken and polite. A word, that Tenten avoided using at all costs. It was ironic, really, seeing how she herself was a princess.
Said royal shot daggers at her father. "No."
Her father's face hardened slightly, but he had himself trained not to snap, or show his true feelings when his daughter was present. He may have been higher up then her on the metaphorical food chain, true, but people bowed to Tenten more than they did to her father. She was too scary-looking not to bow. They said that one look could turn you to stone.
"B-but, daughter, please. All the guests are already waiting for you down in the main hall. We can't just send them all home, seeing as most of them have flown in from across the globe." The emperor begged. Tenten raised one perfectly plucked eyebrow, and her lips twisted into their usual pout.
"Read my lips, father." She responded in a slow, serious tone. "I – am – not – going. That room, right now, is filled with more stereotypical royals whose heads are so far up their own asses, I'm sure that if you asked them what sunlight was, they wouldn't know."
As Tenten completed her rant, she swung her long, shapely legs off of the coffee table, oblivious to the fact that she nearly knocked over a full teacup, and marched over to the doorway, right next to the crackling fireplace. Her father gulped.
"Now, then, daddy. Go out there, and tell all those uptight royals, that they won't be seeing me any time soon, 'kay?" She folded her arms across her chest with a triumphant smirk. "Especially in one of those frilly dress things they wear. Ugh, how can they even breathe in those?"
The princess hesitated, carefully observing and analysing her father's expression. It was his, 'I am truly sorry, princess, but it's my only choice' look. Tenten's chocolate eyes widened, and her mouth formed a perfect circle.
"Oh, no, dad, you wouldn't." she spat, her face going red. "Not again."
Before he had time to reply, Tenten whipped around in a desperate attempt to escape, but it was too late. They had already arrived.
Two maids in matching uniform stood before her, smiling falsely through their teeth. Tenten knew exactly who they were, but she was shocked to see them again. It had been so long since they'd been called in to do this job.
"Hello, miss. Time to get ready!" they said in perfect harmony. Tenten winced and turned to face her father.
"Dad, when they're done, I will kill you!" she screamed, starting to kick her legs as the two maids picked her up by the arms and began carrying her out the door. Her father sighed and took a sudden interest in his nails.
"Sorry, Tenten, but if you're going to act like a child, I will treat you like a child. Do well, ladies. Make her into a real princess." He retorted slowly, drawing out each word in a calm, sophisticated tone. Then, dropping his hand to his side, he winked at the maids. "Good day."
Tenten had always been a fighter. She struggled and kicked, but these maids had man hands. No matter how hard the princess fought, she couldn't break away.
After about five minutes of travel, they reached their destination; the main closet. Well, the people who lived in the palace called it a closet. To guests, Tenten's friends, and the paparazzi, it was a whole mall crammed into one room.
"Okay, then, miss." The first maid said, letting go of Tenten's left arm.
"Let's pick out an outfit for you." The other finished the first's sentence, letting go of Tenten's right arm. Tenten fell to the carpeted floor, glaring up at the maids, but they were unfazed by the fire burning her eyes. She crossed her legs and closed her eyes in a reluctant fashion, pouting.
"If you must pick me a dress, I have preferences." Tenten said sharply. "Black or red. Short. No frills. No glitter. Strapless. Got it?"
The maids laughed. "Don't be silly. We have the perfect dress already picked out."
Tenten was not impressed. "Is it black or red, short, without frills or glitter and strapless? If it's not, I don't wanna know."
Maid from hell number one hesitated, biting her lip. She twirled her fingers behind her back, and maid from hell number two did the same.
"Well…no." Maid two turned to a rack of dresses, flipped through them, and plucked one off a hanger. It was pink, long, frilly and glittery, with puffy sleeves. Tenten showed no emotion. Well, unless pure hatred counted as an emotion. Pure, unalloyed, hatred. For her father, for maids from hell one and two, and for that dress. That horrible, pink, pretty, girly, Barbie-like –
"Miss? Time to put it on." Maid two said, holding said dress up in front of her chest. And at that moment, Tenten screamed. She jumped up, ripped the dress from maid two's hands and stomped it into the floor.
"Never!" she yelled, before storming out of the closet-come-mall. Once outside of the room, she slammed the door, turned, and crashed straight into a tall figure.
"Watch where you're going, dumbass." Tenten hissed. "I'm in a very bad mood, and you don't wanna get on the wrong side of me right now. And who are you, anyway?"
She eyed the anonymous person, and folded her arms across her stomach. The guy had long brown hair tied back in a low ponytail, and shiny grey eyes adorned with long, dark lashes. He had broad shoulders and muscular arms, both of which were covered by a crisp white shirt and black jacket.
"Well, Miss. Irritable. My name is Hyuuga Neji, of the Hyuuga bloodline. And you are – I assume – Princess Tenten. Born in China, March 9th - "
"Shut up. I do not refer to myself as a princess. I prefer…teenage girl who lives in a palace. How do you know all that stuff, anyway? And why are you here?"
"Okay, teenage girl who lives in a palace Tenten. I know that stuff because my father is good friends with your father, and I'm here for that party that you should be at right now." Neji explained with an eyebrow raised. "Now, then, you tell me. Why aren't you at that party?"
"That doesn't matter. Just get out of my way before I rip your head off those pretty boy shoulders of yours." Tenten said calmly.
"Hm. Not like a princess at all, I see." Neji reached out and tucked a strand of hair behind Tenten's ear. "I'll be seeing you, then…Tenten."
He walked away down the hall, leaving Tenten alone. Her cheeks were tinted pink and her eyes were even wider than before. She pursed her lips and gave a long, low whistle.
I'll be seeing you then…Tenten.
"Hm. Seeing me." Tenten considered his words, then, with a chuckle, said, "No, not likely."
She turned on her heel and started padding down the hallway towards her bedroom. She flung open the door, stepped inside, then jammed a chair under the door handle so that no-one could get in. With a heavy sigh, she closed her chocolate colored eyes.
Neji knocked back his drink as he listened to the gentle hum of the crowds. He placed the glass back down on the bar and turned to his left, where Uzumaki Naruto was sat, sprawled out and half-asleep on the counter top.
"Yo, Naruto. Up."
The blonde-haired heir to Uzumaki hotels snapped awake, blinking his blue eyes rapidly and looking around in a confused manner. He caught sight of Neji and winced.
"Was I asleep?"
"…Was I snoring?"
"No, no, of course not." Neji lied smoothly, patting his friend on the back. "Sleeping like a baby."
"Ugh, sorry. It's just…I know I'm the heir to Uzumaki hotels and all, but these sort of parties just bore me to tears, man." Naruto whined. He stretched out his arms, which were clad in a grey jacket, and turned to Neji. "So, um, did you wake me up for a reason, or..?"
"Yeah. You know that princess? Tenten?" Neji asked, reaching out for his drink again. "What do you know about her?"
Naruto laughed nervously. "Only that she's a total nutcase. I hear that she pushed a paparazzi off the balcony because he asked for her surname."
"Come to think of it, I never did find out what her surname was…" Neji thought out loud, beckoning the barman over. "Another Ice Tea, please."
"Right? No-one does. And she refused to take the limo to one of my dad's parties a few years back. Instead, she skateboarded. I mean, really? It's like she doesn't even want to be a princess."
"Really." Neji said. "She seems…different."
Naruto scoffed. "Different? Dude. She chose a skateboard over a limo. Which had a hot-tub. Forget different. That girl is weird."
Neji said nothing.
"But, man, did you actually see her? She's gorgeous." Naruto said loudly. "If you over-look the whole… 'push a paparazzi off the balcony, skateboard pwns limo every time' attitude, she's a goddess."
"Yeah. Yeah, yeah, she is." He said, holding in a sigh.
Naruto hesitated, then bit his lip. "Hey, is she even here? Tonight? At this party?"
Neji decided to play dumb. He looked around, then back to his friend. "No, no, I don't think she is. I wonder where she is."
Naruto smirked, and hopped down off the barstool. "I think I'll go find her then."
"No, you don't wanna do that!" Neji said, also stepping down onto the shining wooden floor. "What happened to 'she's a nutcase', huh?"
Naruto blinked a couple of times. "Ohh, I get it."
"You want the princess all to yourself." Naruto smiled and raised an eyebrow. Neji nearly passed out at the way his friend had interpreted it.
"What? No! She pushed a paparazzi off a balcony! Why would I fall for someone like that?" he snapped, maybe a little too loudly. An elderly couple sat next to them gave him an odd look. The barman stopped polishing the empty glass in his hand and glanced up.
"So…you don't like her?" Naruto questioned his friend, cocking his head to one side. Neji shook his head quickly. Naruto nodded and straightened his tie.
"Okay, that's good. Because…" the blonde looked around with a devious smile on his lips. He winked before saying childishly, "Naru likey."
Neji nodded once, unimpressed, and took a huge interest in his Ice Tea. He stared at his reflection in the cool brown liquid and smiled. "Go for it man."
It's your funeral.
Tenten looked up over her copy of GISEle magazine and pouted. "Come in."
Her father opened the door and smiled wanly at his daughter. "Tenten, there's someone I'd like you to meet."
Another man walked into the room, and waved at the princess. "Princess. It is an honor to finally meet you in person."
"…and you are..?" Tenten said, cocking an eyebrow and pursing her glossy lips.
"Ah, Hyuuga Hizashi. I am a good friend of your father's." the man said, edging closer to the princess and holding out his hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Okay." Tenten replied warily. She took his hand between her thumb and forefinger and shook it delicately. "Why are you here?"
"Ah. I have come to discuss…" Hizashi cleared his throat. "Your future."
"My future. With a man I just met forty seconds ago, no, I don't think so."
"Tenten." Her father intervened with a hint of force in his tone. "Hizashi is the father…of the man that you will marry."
Tenten froze, her lips parted. She slowly let the magazine slip through her fingers, and it landed softly on her lap. "Marriage. Are you kidding me?"
"No, Tenten, I am not – kidding, as you put it." Her father replied. "I think that a husband would whip you into shape, you being, well, you."
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, wait, back up. Marriage?" Tenten spat, leaving the sofa and strutting over to confront her dad. "Dad, I'm seventeen. You think I need a husband? Or are you just desperate to get rid of - " she paused and turned to Hizashi. "This son of yours. What's his name?"
"His name is - "
"Hyuuga. Neji." Tenten interrupted. She put her tongue in her cheek and crossed her arms. "Great. I'm having an arranged marriage with a guy with a ponytail, who I threatened to rip his head off today. Just. Perfect."
"You threatened to what?" her father asked, stepping closer to his daughter.
"Not the point." Tenten snapped back, also stepping forward. "W-when was this decided? Does he know about this?"
"…N-no, not yet…we wanted your approval first." Hizashi muttered, lacing his fingers together in front of him. "So, do you - "
"Approval?" Tenten finally exploded. She threw her hands in the air and started to walk in a circle. "Dad, what made you think I'd ever CONSIDER having an arranged marriage? ANY marriage, for that matter? Which brings me back to, I'm seventeen! I-I-I-I don't even think it's LEGAL for me to get married, am I right? And, a-a-a-a-and if I got married, I would need a pretty dress and heels, and a huge after party. I'd rather stay at home watching silent movies for the rest – of – my – life!"
The room fell into silence.
"Tenten. You do not have a choice in this." Her father said, with the most stern tone he had ever used on his daughter. "You. Will. Marry. Neji."
"No. I. Will. Not."
"I think," Hizashi said calmly, placing a hand on the emperor's shoulder. "We should resort to plan B."
"You mean - "
Hizashi nodded slowly. The emperor cleared his throat.
"Alright, Tenten. If you can become a better princess, in thirty days, and stay that way…you can do what you want. Marry Neji. Don't marry Neji, whatever."
"Alright, this'll be - "
"Oh, I hate the but."
"But." Her father stared at Tenten. "If you remain as selfish, lazy, and rude as you are now…you will marry Neji if we have to drag you down the aisle by your shoe-straps. Do we have a deal?"
Tenten considered it. What did she have to lose? She might even make a really good princess.
"Alright, daddy. You got yourself a deal."
And, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for my first chapter to reach over 2000 words, oh yeah, baby!
Ahem. Anyway. Review, please. (: