How's everyone doooin'? Good? That's awesome. Me too.
So. We all know how the end of Colorful. White. went, yes? Oh yes. Tears were shed. Even on my part.
So, this idea came to me earlier today. An alternate ending, really. 'Cause, well, wouldn't anyone liked to have seen what could've been?
So yeah. Here it is. The what-could've-been.
I hope this doesn't make you cry more.
There's a few song lyrics used; Christmas Morgue by Miku Hatsune
The poem is The Road Not Taken byRobert Frost.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler where I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
It was the sun that woke her up, shining bright through her thin curtains, and right onto her face.
Her face wrinkled up, and she groaned, turning groggily away from the sun, pressing her face into the chest of the person lying next to her. This, in turn, woke him up, and he sighed, running his fingers drowsily down the skin of her bare back. "Tenten," he said sleepily, "what is it?" She shrugged a lazy roll of her shoulders, "the sun," she groaned, "too bright. Still sleepy. Turn it off."
Neji chuckled, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, "it'll go away in a minute. Go back to sleep."
"Mm, I can't…I'm awake now."
Tenten pushed herself onto her elbows, dark hair spilling over her shoulders, and looked over to glare at the sun, which beamed back innocently. "Stupid freaking sun," she grumbled, making Neji snort with laughter as he sat up. Her eyes softened as they slid back over to him, and she fully pushed herself up, crawling into his lap.
She curled into him and sighed, the sound pink with love, "good morning," she murmured, and Neji smiled down at her, his pale eyes practically glowing in the light, "good morning," he said, leaning down to kiss her.
She hummed, running a hand through his shoulder-length, coffee-colored hair. It was growing back now, as thick as it was in the photographs she'd seen and she was glad; though no matter how thick it was, it still felt like spider's silk when it ran through her fingers.
"So guess what?" she whispered against his lips
"It's almost been two years, now. Since you got better." Her heart pounded as she said it, the feeling inside her bright and yellow. Every day, she was thankful; ever since that day in the hospital, when she'd almost lost him…she thanked her lucky stars, praised the God out there that was merciful enough to leave this wonderful person for her.
Neji buried his face in the crook of her neck, and she could feel the smile spread against her skin. "Yeah...it is, isn't it?" he bit at the skin there, laughing as she yelped, "I'm thankful. Every day. I thought I wasn't going to make it."
"But you did. You're here."
They fell silent, the feeling a peaceful blue, as they watched the sun rise higher and higher into the sky.
Finally, Tenten moved, rolling out of his arms and the bed, raising her arms high as she stretched, "okay," she sighed, "Let's start the day, shall we?"
Neji watched the arch of her back, the bones of her spine poking softly through her skin, "do we have to?" he asked, his voice rougher than usual, red with desire. Tenten tossed a mischievous smirk over her shoulder, "yes, yes we do. You have to do your daily guitar lesson."
"No, Neji! You missed a note! Try it again, from the top."
Tenten pursed her lips, watching like a hawk as Neji went through the chords again, his long fingers passing slowly over the strings.
They'd been doing this for an hour now, Neji going over the same song over and over until his fingers ached. When he finally got through the whole song, he looked over at Tenten, who nodded, "good! Now, again!"
Neji pressed his lips together tightly, smothering a frustrated groan; couldn't she give him something new to practice, at least?
Tenten saw the frustration pass through his eyes like lightning, before he bent his head over the guitar, ready to practice again. Frowning, Tenten moved onto her knees, making Neji look back over at her. He stared, raising a curious eyebrow, as Tenten grabbed the hem of her white t-shirt and jerked the shirt over her head. One raised eyebrow became two, and Tenten stretched as though she wasn't sitting in front of him, shirtless.
She smiled innocently, taking out the buns in her hair, "if you can make it through the next hour," she chirped, "I'll give you a reward."
Neji shifted uncomfortably, his groin suddenly aching, and looked over at the clock.
He swore softly, trying his hardest not to look at Tenten as she laid there, winding a lock of her hair around her finger.
This hour was going to kill him.
Then, having took the other, just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
He grumbled something illegible, turning away from the voice to try and go back to sleep. But that voice, that woman, was relentless, hands pressing against his shoulders, not letting him get away. "C'mon, Neji…wake uuup!"
"No", he growled, trying to push Tenten off of him, "I'm tired. I want to sleep."
He could almost see the pout, could almost hear her lip trembling, "but...but…but it's your birthdaaay. I-I wanted-"
"And since it is my birthday, doesn't that mean I get what I want? And that means, at this moment, I get to sleep in like I want?"
Tenten went silent, and Neji sighed, certain that he'd gotten what he wanted.
That assumption soon vanished when a weight appeared on his abdomen.
He opened his eyes, and stared into wide hazel. Tenten sat on his stomach, straddling him, beaming, "well, yeah, you usually get what you want on your birthday! But, you got me as your girlfriend, and I usually don't go by the birthday tradition."
Her smile was golden, and Neji couldn't help but get swept up into it and smile back. "So…twenty years old. How does it feel?" Neji hummed thoughtfully, lacing his hands across her back, "not that different, really. I'm just a little older; I still feel like I do when I was nineteen."
"Mm…so does that mean I can sing happy birthday to you now?"
Tenten tenderly brushed a lock of hair away from his face and smiled, and Neji felt his heart melt a little and his exhaustion fade, "well…I guess so."
His hands slid up her back, down her arms, and grabbed her hands, lacing their fingers together. Her smile widened, and she hovered over him, pressing her lips against the corner of his mouth, "Happy birthday to you," she sang softly, lips rubbing against his skin. She moved again, pressing her lips fully against his, chuckling, "Happy birthday to you," she murmured against his lower lip, "Happy birthday dear Neji…Happy birthday…to…you."
Her song over, she hopped off of him, straightening her loose ponytail, pulling up the strap of her tank-top that Neji was trying to remove, "come on, Neji! I made you breakfast!"
She practically skipped out of the room, and Neji pressed his face into a pillow and groaned, desire making his bones ache. He should've seen that coming, really; Tenten was such a trickster at this, it was awful.
"Neeejiiii, come on! We're going out after this to get you a present!"
After the tease he'd gotten this morning, he was hoping for an extra present later on today.
"So, I was thinking about getting a house."
Tenten looked over at Neji from the rim of her coffee cup, raising an eyebrow, "a house..?"
Neji raised a hand, "just a small one. One level, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, at least." Tenten cocked her head to the side, considering, "Well…maybe…I would be nice to have our own place, wouldn't it…? What brought this thought on, anyway?"
Neji shrugged, not willing to answer. He didn't really want to tell her his actual reason; not yet, anyway. He wanted a bigger house to…for…He saw it, in his mind's eye; Tenten, smiling at him, a gold band on her finger, her stomach round with their child, in their own home, not some small apartment.
That image stuck with him, haunting him, and oh, God, he wanted it. He wanted that life so bad it hurt.
He thought about it every day, and once, he'd caught himself lingering in front of a jewelry store, staring at the rings that waited inside. Shaking off his thoughts, he focused back onto Tenten, "ah, I just…I just really want our own place, you know? It'd be nice to have our own space."
Tenten said nothing, looking out the window of the coffee shop, staring at all the people who passed by, "yeah," she finally said, "having our own place would be nice. We should start looking."
She looked back at him, smiling, "hey, hey, let's go to the bookstore! They have newspapers, right? With house listings? Let's go!"
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
"Doko e yukou? Doko e demo ikeru deshou
Itsudatte koko wa sekai no hate."
Neji listened to the song as it played softly through the room, putting down his book to stare at Tenten who was curled up on the couch, asleep. She was curled up under a blanket, her hair covered with a yellow bandana, smeared with blue paint. The lights from the Christmas tree sent a soft kaleidoscope of colors across her face, and it made Neji smile.
""Ima ni mina yo anemone ga saku darou"
Merii merii Kurisumasu mou nidoto…"
Making sure that she was soundly asleep, Neji slowly stood up, grabbing the small velvet box that was tucked into his side. Tip-toeing over to her, he gently grabbed her hand, opening her fingers, and placed the box inside, smirking as Tenten sighed and shifted a little, her fingers closing tightly around the box.
Settling back into his chair, Neji wrapped his own blanket around himself, smiling as he made himself as comfortable as he could, and went to sleep, just as the clock hit midnight, announcing that it was finally Christmas morning.
"Moshimo futari no sugata ga..."
He woke up to Tenten tackling him, wrapping her arms and legs around him, pressing herself as close as she could, as though she was trying to sink into his skin.
Neji struggled to sit up, bleary-eyed, his heart pounding at the sudden wake-up call. "T-Tenten...what…what's?" he tried to speak, tried to ask what was going on, if something was wrong, but he was never able to form the words because she crushed her mouth against his.
"Yes…" she breathed against his lips, her voice trembling. She brushed her hand against his cheek, her left hand, and he felt something cool and smooth.
At that touch, it all rushed back to him; the night before, the music, the tree…
The velvet box that he slipped into her hand.
Eyes wide, Neji grabbed her hand, not believing it until he saw it, really saw it…
And there it was.
A simple gold band, with a white opal in the center, surrounded by tiny white diamonds, rested snugly on Tenten's ring finger, the opal shining rainbows in the light. Dimly, he thought that the stone was perfect, that it represented Tenten perfectly; pure white, yet able to throw rainbows.
She was wearing it. She was wearing it.
And then he remembered what she said.
She said yes. She said yes.
He looked up at her, and she smiled, her eyes filled with tears. "Yes," he said dumbly, still unable to believe it. She nodded rapidly, "Yeah," she said shakily, "Yes. Yes."
She said yes.
"You…you'll marry me? You want to marry me?"
She nodded again, and she almost looked like a bobble-head doll, she was nodding so fast.
It was small at first, and then it grew and grew, and Neji's smile was so large that it radiated happiness so great it was white. Pure, pure white.
And then, Tenten was smiling even wider, and their happiness mixed together just glowed, filling the room, and everyone that lived on their floor swore they could feel it.
Neji stood up, holding Tenten tightly in his arms and swung them both around the room.
"She said yes!"
"I said yes!"
"We're getting married!"
They laughed, they cried, they kissed, they made love on the living room floor, underneath the blinking Christmas lights.
They were getting married. They were so happy.
It was white. Pure, pure white.
Tenten sat in front of a window, staring at the clouds as they slowly passed by.
It was warm, a pleasant breeze passing by every now and again, the trees and the flowers rustling in time with the wind.
Today was a wonderful day, a beautiful day.
A perfect day for a wedding.
Tenten grinned at the thought, and twirled away from the window, running her hands over the bodice of her dress.
It was white (of course), short, the lacy hem of the dress brushing a few inches above her ankles, and strapless, her tan skin glowing against the white, white color. Tenten brushed her fingers against the creamy pearl buttons, the white roses in her hair, the thin veil brushing over her shoulders and her grin widened to impossible lengths.
A soft knocking pulled her out of her thoughts, and she turned to the door, telling the person to come in. The door opened, and her uncle, her guardian, Gai, came in. He saw her, beaming, glowing, dressed in white, and got a little teary-eyed.
"My girl," he sighed, "all grown up and getting married. I never thought this day would come." Tenten laughed, reaching out to straighten out Gai's tie, "I'm still the same, really. All that's changing is the last name. You'll still see me around, I promise."
He sniffled, shrugging, "you'll always be that little girl I took in, singing to people and punching Lee in the nose."
She stuck her tongue out at him and they both laughed, quickly falling silent as music began to play.
"Well…it's time." Gai held out his arm, and Tenten pulled her veil in place before winding her arm through his, grabbing her bouquet of white roses.
"You nervous?" he murmured, grabbing one of her shaking hands.
Tenten shook her head, "no," she whispered, "far from it. I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it."
Gai chuckled, leading her down the stairs, toward the large doors that led to the sanctuary of the church. Then, the doors opened, the music washed over them, and all eyes were on her.
But Tenten didn't care, all of her attention focused at the end of the aisle.
Where Neji was waiting.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I don't feel good. I don't feel good at all! Crap!
Guys, ignore the ending to Colorful. White. THIS can be the legit ending. For realsies.
I hope no one cried. If so, I have virtual cookies and hugs. They make the world go round.