An introduction. A taste.

AU. I own nothing.

X. X. X.

"Quickly," he urged, the beads of anxiety growing on his brow, "Tell me your favorite color."

At some crazy point wherein I figured we were both desperate, I opened my mouth, then closed it, reconsidering if this was some sort of psychological Trojan horse that he may be pulling on me. It's been said before: your future in-laws usually trap—ambush you with a 1001 FAQs session, but I've barely heard of a story that had the groom pulling it off himself.

Random color, Tenten. Just blurt it out. Don't tell him it's pink.

"Mayonnaise." I smiled. I am a moron. "And yours?"

I read Neji's eyes. Yes, he was beginning to wonder if mayonnaise had already been dubbed an official crayon color. He better buy it. It's the best I could do within a god damned ten second span. For the last sixteen minutes, perhaps we've been sitting there the whole time thinking individually. He managed to break the train of thought I had, asked about the color, and I wish he hadn't. Really, who asks his fiancée about her favorite color?

Although, I wouldn't find it very odd either that he knows so little of me. After all, I've forgotten what his last name was. It'll be the greatest bet I've ever had if, on our honeymoon, I see him peeing with his ass on the toilet.

"White." He handed my smile back, like a childish memory: all dusty and secondhand. "How close is it to mayonnaise?"

Shoot. I wonder as well. "Not too far," I muttered, politely throwing the smile back at him. Keep it, jerk. I don't want your phony smirks. But, I've got to hand it to Neji. I haven't seen that world-class, universally-famous signature smirk of his all morning. If you keep the urge in too long, Neji dear, you'll end up in the expense of flatulence.

Silently, he bobbed his head with what was probably supposed to be a nod. Such a loose neck. Like a rubber chicken. "Movie. What about your favorite movie?"

Honestly, Kami, I had tried my best, my very very best, to resist exchanging glares with him. Suddenly, the favorite color inquiry wasn't so stupid compared to this. I had taken the time to pause and think, trying to figure out if I should really answer this or not. And if I ever decide to answer this for the sake of this conversation, should I reply honestly?

"I don't see a lot of movies…"

"Ah." That was when his face took a total turn of faux interest. Laboratory mice, unite. "I like Die Hard. It was really…" He clearly groped for an appropriate term to describe the macabre of explosions and bald leading men. "… Cool."

"Why're you doing this?" I set the magazine down, onto the varnished coffee table between us. I listened to my throat, heard it swallow, then the flapping chime of the loose pages withered into a fading stillness in the middle of the peach waiting room.

(All right, but I'll admit it: describing any room in the Hyuga compound as simply peach is typically unnecessary. Every room in the place is in peach. Peach wallpaper with peach fruit patterns, peach paintings framed with peach wood carvings complimented by—Oh, what a surprise—peach figurines and peach upholstery. How can they live like this?)

Suddenly, his nose scrunched up into a twist. Pissed already, Mr. Hyuga? "I'm saving myself from marrying a total stranger. All you gotta do is cooperate."

Leaning back on the sleeve of the recliner, I stared at him for a moment. When I think about it, I don't stare at him much. For someone who's supposed to be hopelessly in love with her soon-to-be husband, I'm pretty lousy. Today, he had gone downstairs to meet me again for the arrangements that my parents and his would agree upon, and if I'm not mistaken, he hadn't slept a wink since the night we had gotten engaged. The driest rivers appeared under his graying eyes, his lips soiled by an intense alcohol he's been taking like a vitamin supplement, his clothes reeking of nights without a bath. Fabulous. I cannot live the rest of my life with this mess.

He hated the idea of our marriage as much as I did. We were even.

Averting his gaze from mine, he busied his mind with the horses outside, most likely wishing he was born to graze and shit on mushrooms rather than face the consequences of his own form of grazing (which was, in this case, on my pants) and eat his own shit. I saw his favorite, galloping outside. Heiei, was it… There has always been much talk of her, especially of the competitions she has won and the apples she loves the most.

"I like horses, too." It just came out of me as we both placed the view outside onto our sights, the earthly colors of foals and stallions blending in the watercolor tints the sunlight brought about, onto the meadow seated dramatically between the mansion and the spring. I saw his smile on the glass of the windows, a smile that was absolutely not for me.

"You're just saying that." He gave a chuckle as he watched two foals rough around by the water.

For the brief moment that brought us together in the company of distant horses, I had tried to remember how I had gotten myself into this. It was lust, I would often convince myself, that I was lonely all this while and the moment I got a chance to be with someone who seemed like a good choice and chance, I just went all out. But who can blame me? He was the one who had taken my shirt off, in the first place…

I wish I hadn't let him, though. I'm not good with kids.

Our trances were broken by a sigh he drew. "Look, Tenten," he began, turning to me with a softness in his look, almost apologetic, "I don't like you, and you don't like me. So let's make this a little more bearable for the both of us. Tolerate me. I really am an asshole, but I'm sure even the biggest assholes deserve a chance with girls like you…"

"Shove it up your throat, Neji—"

"Please? This'll be good for the both of us. And for him." He pointed his chin at my stomach. At this, my face made way for a roan shade.

Well, whatever. There's always divorce.