A/N: I think I said in the last chapter that this story wasn't ending...Well, I have to say now that it is. This is the last chapter. I'm going through the rest of my incomplete stories one by one and finishing them ASAP because I can't consistently update them anymore. Now that it's summer, I'm totally free to do it, so yeah. As soon as I finish up the rest of my stories, no new ones are going to be posted until they are officially finished and sitting on my flash drive.
Even so, enjoy the final chapter! Thanks for staying with the story, guys! You're AWESOME!
Chapter 15: Perfect
Time passed smoothly after Itachi took the three Hyuuga's in. Hiashi survived the stabbing with Neji and quickly started filing court complaints, however when all three of the Hyuuga's stated they wanted to stay with Itachi, nobody saw any reason to take it to court. I felt bad for Hiashi, but at the same time I felt as if he was getting his just desserts.
Neji had returned to his normal self, maybe even a bit more happy go-lucky than before. His acting in drama class shot back through the roof, and he even gained a part in a school play. Unbelievably, Sasuke and Naruto were in it too.
"Wait till you see Neji's part." Sasuke stated. "He is freaking scary."
Naruto nodded in agreement, his eyes as wide as saucers.
Neji simply chuckled.
"What part to you have?" Ino asked. "Ooh, is it the lead role?"
"No." Neji shook his head. "Of course not. I wouldn't take a lead role again. Not when there's others in the class that deserve it too."
"So what's your role?" Hinata asked.
"I'm the leads younger brother." Neji said simply.
"And he's totally freaking scary." Naruto added.
"We'll have to go see it then." Sakura stated.
And boy did we. As soon as the tickets came out, our circle of friends all got tickets to see the show. Even Itachi and Hanabi came to see it. We were all sitting in the drama room waiting for the play to start. In the pamphlet in my hand, there was a summary for the play I was about to be seeing. It was a supernatural story with demons, the devil and of course, Hell itself.
When the play opened, a battle scene began to play out in front of the crowd. A boy was fighting somebody wearing a black cloak. The black cloaked person went down in the first few seconds. Dialogue started in which I took note of a younger brother named Cole. It made no sense to me, seeing as Neji was supposed to be the younger brother.
When the next scene came on, I realized what I had missed. It was the younger versions of the two characters. Sure enough, I was right. Neji was the older version of the younger brother. One common trend I kept noticing was how Cole kept getting shown up by his older brother, Toby. Literally, Toby took all of the attention. Even I felt more inclined to watch Toby than Cole, played by Neji. I also discovered that Naruto's role was the captain of the Demon Defence League, as titled by me. He was the one who sent Toby out on those missions to defeat demons.
I didn't know what role Sasuke played until a few minutes into the story. Cole was home alone and doing his own thing when a voice started talking to him.
Cole eventually clued into the whispers. The tech guys suddenly messed with the lighting, flicking lights on and off while playing thunder music. In the back, fog was pouring out from behind one of the curtains. Cole was flinching, cowering slightly. Then the flickering lights stopped. A red light had been turned on, and a choir was singing a very low, minor piece. It made my heart race, especially when three people walked out on stage, two cloaked in black and carrying sickles, and one between them also cloaked in black, except his robes were more ornate, and he didn't have a sickle.
Cole was panicking. I honestly felt scared for him as he tried scrambling away.
"Stop him!" The middle shaded man stated.
The two sickle bearing people walked forward and each grabbed one of Cole's arms. You can imagine the panic now. I felt Hinata grab onto my hand and squeeze it very painfully.
"Who are you?" Cole screamed. "What do you want with me?"
"Relax, Cole." The shaded man chuckled. "I just want to talk." He lowered his hood. I recognized Sasuke immediately, except there was something very different about him. Even in the red light, I could see that he had put in crimson contacts, turning his dark eyes bright red. He was also wearing a lot of face makeup, making him look, dare I say, completely and utterly perfect.
"What do you want?" Cole asked, his voice shaking.
Sasuke's character pulled a black chair over and placed it in the middle of the stage. "Come sit, Cole."
The two sickle guys let go of his arms. Cole stood there shaking.
"I insist..." Sasuke practically hissed in his lilting tone.
Cole stiffened and then began to walk forward. He sat down in the chair where he started slightly and continued to shake. I had a very bad feeling about this.
"You're brother is always showing you up, Cole..." Sasuke's character paced around him. I snuck a quick glance at my pamphlet, finding Sasuke's name and checking which character he was. He was the Devil. I assumed that the set was Hell.
The Devil continued to walk lazily around the chair. "And how does that make you feel?"
"It makes you hate him, doesn't it?" The Devil grinned. "No...loathe him...Don't you want to get your parents attention?"
"Yes..." Cole whispered.
No, no, no... I thought.
"I have a way for you to do that..."
Cole looked towards the Devil.
The Devil grinned. "All you have to do..." He leaned over and whispered something in Cole's ear. Cole's eyes widened slightly, and the lights dimmed and faded out. The silence in the theatre was unbelievable. When the lights came back on, the chair was gone, and so was Hell, Cole and the Devil.
Toby walked onto the set, being the older brother as usual. "Cole! Hellooo! Cole!" He looked around for his brother. "Where are you, brother? I'm off work, so I'll play video games with you if you want."
Cole never actually came back onto the stage. The story continued to follow Toby. Turns out, he had a girlfriend named Diane. In the next scene, Cole returned. He was pacing back and forth, and then Toby came on.
"There you are!" Toby exclaimed. "I've been looking for you."
Cole backed away quickly. "O-Oh it's just you..." He relaxed slightly. Then he tensed up and eyed his brother sharply. His brother had launched into a monologue and was talking about how sorry he was he couldn't spend any time with him.
Just then, I saw a metallic glint in Cole's hand. My eyes widened as Cole walked over to his brother. A fight erupted in which Cole succeeded in pinning Toby to the ground, holding a knife to his throat.
"C-Cole...Why?" Toby whispered.
Cole looked like he was fighting with himself. The lights suddenly turned red, that freaky music playing again.
The Devil appeared, standing up behind a box. "Do it."
"I...I can't..." Cole whispered. Toby was in tableaux, his eyes wide, staring at his brother.
Cole shook his head slowly. "No. No, he's my brother. I can't!"
"He'll never show you up again."
"I don't care anymore!"
"N-No...I won't kill my brother...This isn't the way!"
"Your parents think you're a mistake."
Cole's eyes widened as the Devil continued to speak.
"Your school marks pale in comparison to your brothers...Your parents are ashamed of you...Besides, he's the demon slayer you've always wanted to be..."
"NO! SHUT UP!" Cole cried, covering his ears. "I won't do it! I won't!"
"You will, Cole."
"NO! GO AWAY!" He shrieked.
Instantly the Devil disappeared again, the lights returned to normal and Toby began to move again.
Cole booked it, running off stage as fast as he could.
Toby stood up slowly, looking frightened. "Cole?" He wandered off stage slowly, still calling his brother's name.
The lights went out again. When they came back on, Cole scrambled onto the stage from the opposite side he had left on. He tripped once, scrambling back to his feet, but just before he could get off the other side of the stage, a loud thump echoed through the area, and the lights turned red. Cole yelped, falling backwards and scrambling in the opposite direction. The two sickle goons came out of the direction he was backpedalling to, and grabbed him. The panic was so realistic I forgot I was sitting in a theatre. I wanted to go help him. I actually very nearly got out of my seat, but it was Hinata's hand that kept me in place.
"You broke your promise, Cole." The Devil yelled furiously.
"I'm sorry!" Cole cried.
The Devil swatted with his hand and in that instant, Cole fell to the ground sideways in the same direction as if he'd been slapped. The two goons picked him up again. The Devil then pointed at Cole who went tense instantly. A snare drum started pounding a dramatic rhythm in the back. The two goons let go of him. The Devil held his open palm towards Cole and slowly drew his hand towards himself. Cole began walking forward slowly, his eyes wide and terrified. The snare was getting louder, now accompanied by a bass drum and tam-tam. The Devil held his other hand out towards Cole, and a second later, the lights went out, the drums in the back stopping instantly.
Then a horrifying, agonized, terrified scream ripped through the drama room. Then it was silent. The lights didn't come on again. The silence in the theatre lasted for at least ten seconds, and when they realized there wasn't any more, they started to clap. The crowd lights came back on and I continued to sit in my seat in shock. I realized that scream had been Neji. I didn't know he could make a sound like that. Whispers were breaking out in the crowd as intermission progressed.
I sat in that chair for the entire fifteen minute intermission, processing what I had just seen. When the lights went out again, the stage lights came on to show Toby looking frightened. He was talking to his girlfriend about what had happened to Cole. What I gathered from it was a lot of confusion. In the next scene, Cole came back on. As I watched him look around, my breath caught in my throat. Now Neji was wearing red contacts. It suddenly hit me at that moment that the Devil had possessed Cole. I saw absolutely nothing good with that.
His parents came on, absolutely oblivious to this fact. The next part completely shocked me. Cole got into a huge argument with his parents, screaming at the top of his lungs. Then, possessed Cole killed both of them. The evil laugh that followed was unbelievable. I didn't know Neji could make such an evil sound. Guess he was better at playing the villain than I had originally thought. But now I totally knew what Sasuke had meant when he had said Neji's character was scary. He was scary. I kept denying it, because it just wasn't Neji. But it was. It was Neji playing a bad character.
As the story went on, it played out like a Shakespearean tragedy. Toby didn't know that Cole was possessed. Cole actually killed his girlfriend before he began to put two and two together. Naruto's character figured it out first, and informed Toby that his brother was possessed by the Devil. Toby had to kill his younger brother in order to permanently defeat the Devil, because the Devil's physical body was inside Cole. If Toby killed Cole the same way he killed every other demon, mainly stake through the heart, he could defeat the Devil.
Toby was distraught, refusing to kill his brother. In the climactic event, Toby and Cole were face to face. We saw more of the evil Neji could play, but then, right when Cole was about to kill his brother, something happened. Cole started to choke and struggle, then the Neji I knew and loved was back.
"Toby, you have to kill me..." Cole whispered. "Please...I don't want this thing inside me..."
"Cole, no...No I won't kill you!"
"You're a demon slayer!" Cole struggle again, as if fighting an internal force. "He's trying to get out! I know I've always wanted to be the demon slayer, but don't you see? This is my chance!" Cole cried out. "Hurry! He's going to escape! Please, Toby! Kill me! I will die knowing I helped you defeat the most evil demon in the world. Besides, how can I live knowing these hands killed our parents? They killed Diane too. How could I go on, Toby?"
The two brothers continued to talk for a few more seconds. Finally, Toby stabbed his brother. The final heartbreaking scene played out before our eyes. Cole died slowly, but he was able to say a few things. Toby could too. Toby talked about how he had been such a terrible older brother, neglecting Cole as he grew up. He knew that Cole had always been envious of him, and mentioned several times that their parents were in fact proud of him.
At the end of the play, Cole died. But the last thing Toby said to him was "Say hi to mom and dad for me, okay?"
"Yeah." Cole breathed.
"And promise you'll wait for me."
When the lights finally went out, the drama room erupted into cheers and applause. I stood up, not bothering to wipe the tears off my face as the cast came out on set and took their bows. When everyone left the room, we got the chance to meet the actors who acted in the show. Neji and the boy who played Toby were high fiving each other.
"It was an honour, Hyuuga." The actor stated.
Neji grinned. "Yeah. It was fun."
"You still freak me out every time you scream though."
Neji laughed. "Sorry."
"Neji!" Hinata cried. "You were so good!"
Compliments oozed from every direction. Eventually, Neji just had to get away from it all. I saw him retreat and head out the door into the night. I followed him out, spotting him sitting on a bench out of the sights of the doors.
Neji looked up in surprise. He was still wearing the red contacts which freaked me out slightly.
"You've still got the contacts." I stated, pointing at my eyes.
"Oh, sorry." Neji rubbed his forehead sheepishly. "I forgot I was wearing them. But now that you mention it, yeah I'm still wearing them. They're very uncomfortable, but the case for them is back in the drama room."
"Shall we go get it?"
Neji shrugged. "How many people are still in the halls?"
I stood up and jogged to the door, peeking inside. Everyone had pretty much scattered now.
"It's safe." I called to him.
Neji stood up and followed me back into the school. We headed into the drama room where I followed him backstage. He retrieved the contact case with a piece of masking tape depicting 'Neji' on it. I was kind of glad he didn't turn around when he took them out, simply because I was kind of grossed out by the sight of people touching their eyes. When Neji did turn around again, his eyes were back to the normal silvery colour.
"Better?" He asked.
I laughed. "Better."
Neji sighed, looking at the ground. "Want to take a walk?"
I blinked a couple of times. "Sure. Is everything all right?"
"Yeah. I just want to walk." Neji lead me back out of the drama room and out the doors again. Neji pulled out his cell phone and texted something before sliding it back into his pocket. The phone didn't ring, so I assumed he wasn't talking to someone via, cell phone because that's just plain rude.
We stopped at a park where we both sat down on a bench. Neji leaned back slightly and sighed. When I glanced at him, I got the feeling he had something he wanted to say, but he was unsure of how to say it.
I decided to start.
"You were great tonight, Neji." I stated. "Sasuke was right. Your character is scary."
Neji chuckled. "What was the scariest part?"
"Um, I think that was when you screamed."
Neji laughed. "You should've seen the first time we rehearsed that scene. Or at least, the first time we seriously rehearsed that scene. Before we actually started getting serious about our characters, I just did a simple, 'aaaah' until further notice. When I did it the first time, the room went dead silent."
"You should've seen Sasuke's face." Neji stated, turning towards me. "His eyes were wider than dinner plates, and he had literally scrambled away from me in fear."
I laughed. "When Sasuke had you, I was actually afraid." I sighed. "I almost jumped onto the stage to rescue Cole."
"Really?" Neji grinned.
I nodded. "Hinata had grabbed my hand earlier, and that was the only reason my attempt failed. If she hadn't been squeezing my hand, I would've jumped up there."
"Oh boy." Neji looked at his feet. "Sorry for freaking you out I guess."
"You're a good actor, Neji. I don't understand why you'd want to give it up."
I looked at him in shock. "HUH?"
Neji shrugged. "I just don't like being in movies anymore. Acting is something I really like to do. It's a hobby for me. I don't want to make a career out of it."
"Well then...what do you want to make a career out of?"
"I want to be behind the camera." Neji stated. "I want to be one of the people nobody sees, but is still there because they left their mark on the movie. Just like Itachi."
"You want to be...an animator? Or...something?"
Neji shrugged. "Itachi taught me a few things about animation. Plus the computer courses I've been taking are a lot of fun. I don't know if I want to be an animator or I just want to be one of the sound crew or something. I just know I want to be behind the camera."
I nodded. "So what are you going to do for acting?"
"Like I said, I'm going to make a hobby out of it. Maybe I'll take on small time acting jobs in small theatres doing skits every once in awhile."
I nodded slowly. We both lapsed into silence again.
"Hm?" I looked towards him. He kept glancing away from me nervously.
He sighed and stared out at the park. "Tenten, I..." He cut himself off, swallowing slightly. "I really appreciate what you've done for me."
I blinked a few times in confusion.
"You've..." He scratched his nose. "You've been a real support for me since I...left the movie industry."
"I...have?" I frowned.
He looked at me. His gaze was so soft and so gentle that my breath caught in my throat.
"Yeah." He said softly. "After I left, I...Dreaded going to public school. I literally forced myself to go that first day, and when I got there, my first fears came true. People swarmed me because I was famous. But there was something different about you. I didn't know what it was but you're gaze wasn't awestruck like all the other girls. It was almost...curious." Neji ran a hand through his hair.
I continued to stare at him in surprise. It felt like my mouth was half open, but I couldn't remember how to close it again.
"You were the first friend I made, you know that right?" Neji asked, his silver eyes meeting mine again.
Neji nodded slowly. "The private schools I went to were full of snobs and people who thought they were better than everyone else because their parents were famous." His nose wrinkled slightly in disdain. "They sickened me. Angered me. None of them wanted to learn, and because it was the most elite of private schools, the teachers weren't allowed to kick the students out. I had to stay after class to hear what the teachers had been trying to teach on most days, because I wanted to learn. So you can see why I was never friends with them. Nobody liked me in that school. I was a 'nerd'." He made the air quotes. Then he sighed. "Yeah, public school was a big shift, but...I made friends here. And I couldn't have done it without you, Tenten." He looked at me again, a killer smile on his face.
His arm wrapped around my shoulder and pulled me close. I felt my face flushing slightly at the embrace, but I was too stunned to protest. His fingers softly ran through my hair just behind my ear. My head was on his shoulder, so I couldn't see his face.
"I was scared for you, you know?" Neji murmured.
"Huh?" I tried to move so I could look up at him, but he held me in place. I just sighed and relaxed into his embrace, knowing I wouldn't be getting out of it until he was finished his speech. Not to mention I liked being in his arms. I was comfortable there, and I sure couldn't say that very often.
"Back when I was fighting with Hiashi and you and Hinata came into the house. When I saw you there, all I could think was 'Tenten's going to get hurt'. And when you jumped on him to protect Hinata and he started kicking you, I..." Neji held me tighter, pressing his forehead on the top of my head. "I was so scared, Tenten. Because you didn't deserve to go through that. You were like this bright, shining light guiding the way. You were so innocent. Tenten, I hate myself because that happened to you."
"Neji, it's fine. He didn't hurt me too bad."
Neji shook his head slowly. "No, it's not okay, because you wouldn't have gotten hurt if it wasn't for me." He sniffed. "Me and my selfishness."
"You weren't selfish, Neji!" I stated, trying to worm my way from his grip again. He still held me.
"You're wrong." Neji whispered. "I came here because I was being selfish. If I hadn't have come here, I wouldn't have met you and you'd still be living your normal life."
"Maybe normal in a parallel universe, Neji."
"You haven't lived normally since I came into your life." Neji whispered. "I dragged you into Hollywood with me. I couldn't escape my life no matter how hard I tried, and you came along for the ride. The harder I pulled away, the more I stepped back. But this time I had you with me."
I stared at the ground. I didn't really understand what Neji was saying, but at the same time, I knew he had been suffering with this guilt for a really long time.
"It's okay, Neji." I whispered.
Neji sighed. "You just don't get it." He lifted his head and held my face between his hands. I stared into his eyes, seeing an amalgamation of emotions I couldn't describe even if I tried.
"I love you, Tenten."
I didn't even know if I had heard him. There was this ringing sound in my ears, and my mind was a whirl of confused thoughts.
"W-What?" I whispered.
"I love you." He said again, sighing and pressing his forehead against mine. "I don't know whether you can accept that or not, but-"
I scrambled from his arms, staring at Neji in shock. His eyes were wide, his arms still out in front of him as if to hold me. I stood where I was, breathing heavily, my eyes wide.
"How could I accept it?" I cried. "You're famous, Neji! You live in this huge house, with tonnes of money, and..." I trailed off, my lip trembling slightly. "You're perfect in every sense of the world. I know thousands of girls would give their right arms for you!"
Neji lowered his hands, watching me carefully as I continued my rant.
"Why me, Neji? I'm not like you are. You're perfect, and I'm not. So why?" I stared at him as he got off the bench and stepped towards me. I looked up at him even as he was standing right in front of me. "Why me?" I whispered, feeling tears spilling down my cheeks.
Neji's careful gaze didn't stray from my face. "What are you talking about, Tenten?" He brushed the tears off my cheeks with his thumb as he spoke. "You are perfect. You're beautiful in every way."
"What?" I cried, stepping away from him. "No I'm not! I get pimples! My eyes are too big! My teeth are crooked, and I-"
Neji covered my mouth with his hand. "I get pimples too." He stated. "Just not very often. And when I do, they're usually right here." He lifted his long bangs slightly. "I get them along the hairline most of the time, so you just can't see them."
I admit it, I could see a few pimples in the faint light, but still.
Neji dropped his hair with a sigh. "And your eyes aren't too big. You have beautiful eyes, Tenten."
My face went hot. "Stop it." I took another step away from him.
Neji sighed. "I had to wear braces for a few years. I still should be wearing them, but I'm not."
"You can't just take braces off!" I cried.
"No, but you can take invisible braces off."
I frowned. "Invisible?"
"Why aren't you still wearing them then?"
"They made my teeth hurt. And since I decided I wasn't going to be acting in movies anymore, I didn't see the point in having perfect teeth." He ran a hand through his hair. "I've stopped using all of these silly expensive products too."
"What do you mean?"
"While I was still acting in movies, in order to keep myself looking 'perfect'" he made air quotes, "I had to use all of these expensive products for my hair, my face, everything that could be seen." Neji sighed. "Bleaching my teeth, filing my nails..." He looked up at the sky. "Yet another annoyance I'm glad to be rid of."
"So..." I watched him carefully.
"In a few more months or so, I guarantee I'm going to look just like everyone in this school. Just until the residual effects of these stupid products wear off. I'm sick of using them. I just want to be normal now."
I looked at the ground.
Neji put his hands on my shoulders. "Tenten, look at me."
I looked up carefully, meeting his serious gaze.
"Don't ever say you're not perfect." He whispered. His hands slid upwards, cupping my face as he stepped closer. "Don't ever say you're not good enough." He murmured.
My heart raced, feeling his lips softly brush mine. He pulled away again, staring into my eyes.
"Because you are good enough." Neji whispered. "In my eyes, you're perfect in every way." His thumbs caressed my cheeks.
I could feel myself shaking, but I couldn't move anywhere. I didn't even know if I wanted to move.
"Why?" I whispered.
"I've met a lot of girls on the set in my lifetime." Neji stated. "Every single one of them were beautiful. Yes, I admit that. On set, I felt honoured to work beside them, but off the set, they were completely different people. The second they opened their mouths, nothing but shit came out. And I'm not exaggerating, Tenten."
I stared at him in shock, awed by his cuss.
"I don't swear very often." Neji stated. "But that's the only word I can use to describe it." He sighed, his forehead pressing against mine again. "But you..." He pulled me closer and nuzzled my hair. "You were this...strange girl. I couldn't figure out why until I realized you wore no makeup. I had been so used to seeing girls piling on the makeup that you surprised me at first. But every time you opened your mouth, you always said beautiful things. You were kind, and caring." His fingers ran down the back of my neck, making me shiver. "You're beautiful, Tenten."
I didn't know how to respond. Nobody ever called me beautiful. Nobody. Sakura has a boyfriend. Ino's had several boyfriends. I've never had a boyfriend. Nobody called me beautiful, except maybe my mom or anyone in the family who hasn't seen me for awhile. But that never counted.
"You think that, huh..." I murmured to myself.
He pulled himself back again, meeting my eyes, a soft smile on his face. "I don't think that. I know that. Others may not see it, but I see it, Tenten."
Then he was so damn close, my breath caught in my throat. His breath tickled my lips as they brushed mine once more. He didn't pull away this time either. I felt smothered by his presence, his hand on the small of my back pulling me closer to him. My hands were pressed against his chest. His other hand softly ran down my face.
"You may think you're not good enough for me," Neji murmured. "But it's me who feels that I'm not good enough for you."
I felt myself shivering, my eyes drifting closed. Nobody had ever said such beautiful things to me. Yet, I knew that the words he had said were the words I had been dreaming of hearing for a long time. My hands slid up to touch his face. I felt him shiver slightly at my touch.
"No, Neji..." I breathed. "You're wrong..."
"Tenten..." He whispered, his voice sounding almost pained.
"You are good enough." I sighed. No sooner than the words had left my mouth, his lips pressed against mine. I wrapped my arms around his neck, pressing my lips into his. It was my first kiss. I didn't want it to end, and I don't think Neji did either.
Eventually it had to, and when it did, we stood there in each other's arms for a long time.
We had been waiting for weeks. Now it was time.
Time to dive into Itachi's pool!
I ran for the edge and leapt into the water. The chill hit me like a slap in the face, but after scorching heat, it felt damn freaking good. Neji dove into the water, headfirst. Everyone was here. Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura, Ino...Even Shikamaru, Sasori and Deidara. Ino was constantly ogling Shikamaru of course. Shikamaru looked like he could care less about Ino.
Neji nudged me with his elbow. I looked at him.
"Ino likes Shikamaru, doesn't she?" He asked, his brows creased in a frown.
I laughed. "Yeah. I think so."
"Tough luck for her then." Neji stated. "He has a girlfriend. She's out on a trip right now, but Itachi told me he was going to propose to her."
"Oh, poor Ino." I laughed.
Neji swam for the general vicinity of the lazy river. I followed him there. As soon as the current caught him, he began to body surf all the way around. He dove beneath the water, using the momentum to propel himself through the rapid water. I followed him under, popping back up right beside him.
Neji's words were true. Ever since the day he told me that in a few months, he would look like everyone else in the school, I'd been watching to see if anything would change. I even took a picture of him a couple of days after he said that. He didn't lie. If I compared him to the 'then' picture and the now which swam right in front of me, he had undergone a dramatic change. Movie stars faces always looked so smooth, and they practically radiated this crazy light that struck people as beautiful. Neji didn't have that anymore. He looked generally the same, but he now looked like everyone else. His hair was flatter and less fluffy looking, not to mention that he did in fact, get pimples.
Regardless of this dramatic change, I still loved Neji. He was still the same Neji, he was just less Hollywood. I didn't feel ugly when I stood beside him anymore. Now that he had jumped off the Hollywood bandwagon, I no longer felt like I didn't deserve him. Oh, and did I mention he was perfect in every way?
I now had my own definition of perfect. This was a perfect moment, right here. Naruto and Sasuke were having a splash fight in the shallow end of the pool. Ino was screaming at Shikamaru for pushing her into the pool when she had been standing on the staircase for ten minutes trying to get used to the water. Hinata and Sakura were hitting a ball back and forth in a game of volleyball. Hanabi was throwing buckets of water on the waterslide, prepping it for sliding. All the while, Itachi watched us with a smile, having spent weeks cleaning and chlorinating the pool just so we could swim in it. I met his eyes, and he gave me a wave.
I knew there was no such thing as true perfection. Nothing was ever flawless. But as soon as you accepted that the world wasn't perfect, and there always would be those little flaws, you could start seeing things in a whole new light. Once you did that, just like I did, you would notice that regardless of all of these little flaws, the world was in fact, perfect in every way.
A/N: I'm an optimist. I see the good in everything. But before you guys start launching into crappy debates and bringing up the wars that are currently raging, and how there are hungry children in Africa, and a bunch of other stuff like that and yelling at me because these prove that the world isn't perfect, know that I am aware of all of this. Because of that, I feel this ache in my chest that just wishes for it all to stop, because there is no good in that.
Man! It feels SO GOOD to finish this story! I really hope you liked the last chapter. From what I remember when writing it, it was pretty slapped together, but I think I fixed it up pretty well. I hope I did at least.
Leave your thoughts! Thanks so much for reading!