A/N: Merry Christmas Alice Otaku!
I apologize for it being so short: I was sick and the medicine made me drowsy (I know, terrible excuse.) But I did overload it with fluff.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Cold. The one word on Neji's mind as he pulled open the door of the church and stepped inside. His cheeks were flushed a scarlet red, his nose was running, his hands were beginning to turn blue, and shivers racked through his entire body. He hugged himself, sniffing to retain the snot and what not, that filled his nostrils to the brim during the holiday season. It's too cold, he repeated again, slipping into a pew and unraveling his scarf from his neck.
Christmas was only one day away. And I have not one gift to give. My wife will most certainly be disappointed. But at least I can escape… for now, Neji thought to himself as he knelt down and folded his hands in prayer. He closed his eyes, breathing in the familiar scent of the sanctuary. The sweet voices of the choir filled his ears, as it practiced its religious hymns and such.
God, please bring happiness to my family this Christmas and throughout the New Year. Tenten, especially, since she's having trouble adjusting to the recent work overload. She's come home in tears with a stomachache. She doesn't have time to eat a proper breakfast now, and she usually skips her lunch break too. I tell her to slow down, and it's okay if she takes time off. I tell her not risk her health over someone else's. She can't treat everyone in the world, but she tries. When I tell her to stop, she gets angry with me, saying I don't respect her values. But I do, I'm just worried, that's all. So help her, that's all I've come to ask of you today. Just take care of her.
I've also encountered another problem, although this may seem rather selfish. I do feel it necessary to bring attention to this predicament before it worsens. I hope you divine intervention will help me seek out the correct path when addressing this issue to Tenten. She says I can be extremely inconsiderate when it comes to people's feelings, or hers, rather, but I would like to clarify that I'm simply blunt. Why beat around the bush when you know whoever it is you're speaking with, will eventually uncover the topic you are avoiding? But, anyway, back to the matter at hand. Tenten, as I previously mentioned, works considerably late and is most definitely ignoring her wellbeing. By doing so, she's also ignoring me.
Now before you jump to any conclusions, let me finish my explanation. Before this surge of popularity at work, she used to come home at a more appropriate hour and the two of us would enjoy dinner together. Afterwards, we'd sit and watch the news, or a movie, or simply talk. Nowadays, however, she comes home half-asleep with no appetite for my cooking. Not because my culinary skills terrible, but because she's been munching on hand full's of junk food all day to keep her going. I am hurt, and a bit disappointed in her behavior and ignorance of all the love I give her. I'm sure she appreciates it, and I'd never once complain, but it'd be nice if she showed her gratitude once and awhile. Forgive me if she actually does, but it's so very subtle that I do not catch on. In fact, if that is the case, then you may neglect everything I've just said, besides the first part. I really do think she needs you to take care of her, since she refuses to let me do so.
I love Tenten, I really do. But I fear she's a bit lost now, and no one, but you can direct her onto the correct path. Thank you for listening to my prayers.
Neji kept his eyes closed, and for once, indulged into the thoughtless pleasure of idling. He was aware of everything around him: the choir members shifting restlessly as they waited for the organist to start playing the next song, the growing pain in his knees from applying pressure on them for so long, the swinging of the church door, and so forth. Yet even in the midst of all this, he felt strangely oblivious. He sensed an ominous presence, and it wasn't until he heard a familiar sigh did he realize just who it was that intended to burst his bubble of tranquility.
Tenten… why is she here? Not that she doesn't have the right to be, but… These questions rang in Neji's mind as he scanned the surrounding pews. He spotted her, kneeling and bowing her head atop her intertwined fingers, to his right, a few rows down. She didn't seem to be aware of him being there, and he hoped she wouldn't for as long as it took him to leave. He made move to get up, but a soft whisper of his name was enough to force him back down.
Tenten shifted on her knees as she debated on how to start her prayer, and once this was achieved, what she should pray about. "Neji," she whispered aloud, an image of him opening the door to her and immediately sweeping her into his arms, appeared in her mind. I wonder if he's home… I hope he isn't worried about anything, especially me. I feel bad lying to him, saying that I spontaneously received a boost at work recently, but now days, I can't simply go home. I want to, but… He does everything for me, what am I supposed to do for him? He never tells me if he wants something, he never complains about anything, how should I repay him? Coming here everyday to pray for him, to ensure his happiness above all else (though it is a strange way to go about doing so, he doesn't seem too happy), is the least I can do. So, here it goes…
God, please bring happiness to my family this Christmas and throughout the New Year; Neji, especially, because he deserves it more than anyone else. You see, as I have mentioned numerous times before, he has been having difficulty adjusting to this entire arrangement. He seems to be… quite angry with me nowadays. When I come home, he doesn't come to hug me anymore, when I don't eat, he doesn't prod anymore, he seems to be… tired of me. Oh my, do I sound selfish. Shall I start over? No, There'd be no point. I'm quite certain I'd twist the words even more.
I don't understand why the atmosphere has suddenly shifted. I don't get why we're both suddenly on our toes, dancing in a vicious circle of despair. I don't see the reason behind the sudden lack of love... I went wrong doing this, didn't I? I probably should have never started this unhealthy ritual. Yes, although it may surprise you, I have come to notice the fault in my plan. Maybe I do understand, I do get it, I do see, but maybe I don't want to… I feel if I turn around, all the affection, it'll seem one-sided, or at least to me it will. I do love him, but you already know that. From all the times that I've broken down crying in front of you, and then I went home and lied I had skipped my lunch break, etc. (I really have no wish to delve further into these unpleasant memories).
Bottom line: he deserves someone infinitely better. No matter how much it hurts inside, I know it's true…
So, thank you for listening to my prayer. Just make him happy.
Tenten checked her watch. It was around nine in the evening. I'm later than usual today. Shoot.
"Tenten? I thought you said you wouldn't leave work until ten o'clock today." The female blinked, I told him that?
The wheels in her mind congregating on one dreadful conclusion: she was caught.
Neji could not begin to fathom the meaning behind all this. What on earth was she doing here? She was still supposed to be at the hospital. Why did she… Why was she… He sat down next to her, unsure of himself. His wife refused to look at him, no matter how gently he gripped her shoulder and tried to turn her body towards him. He asked her again why she was here, this time in a sweeter tone, as to assure her that he was not angry.
Apparently, she was not getting the message.
"Tenten, we need to talk. You're hiding something, what's going on?" Neji questioned, releasing his hold on her.
He's going to kill me. He- oh no- Neji don't use that tone with me- don't you dare. He's figured it out… kind of. But when he hears it for all it is… What do I do? Tenten thought, frantic.
Neji observed her closely. She's afraid… of me? That can't be it. Maybe she-she got me a gift and is worried I'll see it. Maybe she lied because she didn't have time to get one before. That's perfectly understandable. That's probably why she told me ten o'clock, so she'd have adequate time. After she bought it, she came here to wait out the rest of the time, as to not ruin the surprise. That's it! And now I've gone and put her in the hot seat! Never mind my mistake, I'll tell her it's fine.
"Tenten, let's go home. If you don't want to talk about it, I understand," Neji whispered, placing a hand on the small of her back. He rubbed soothing circles on her skin, watching intently for a reaction. He expected for her to be grateful, or surprised he'd let it drop, but instead, all he got was a face full of tears and a hug (the latter of which he didn't mind one bit; the former sent him in a mental frenzy.)
Now I've gone and upset her. What a wonderful husband I am! God, if you're listening, please note the sarcasm.
"Tenten, what's wrong? What happened? What did I do?" Neji asked, the questions spilling out in rapid procession, as he searched for a glitch in his actions. When he could identify none, he was thoroughly perplexed.
Tenten shook her head, not knowing where to start. Should she start from when she took the aforementioned mental picture of loving bliss? Should she start from just a month ago, when she had come up with the idea? Should she even bother explaining right now? "It's… complicated," was all she could force out before her voice was lost in another sob. Her husband pulled her closer, all his senses (having come up empty handed) directing him to do one thing: protect.
He tucked her head under his chin, squeezed her tighter with his arms, whispered sweet nothings in her ear, and smothered her in affection. That actually sounds rather painful when placed in that context. I most certainly am not smothering her. "Encasing" would be a more appropriate description.
"I'm here, Tenten. Everything will be alright," he said, planting a kiss on her cheek.
Again Tenten shook her head, "You don't understand."
Neji pursed his lips. "What do I not understand?" he demanded. He hadn't meant it to come out so aggressive, but his curiosity was getting the better of him.
Tenten stiffened. I have to tell him. I can't keep it from him forever. "Neji, I'm… pregnant." Her eyes bulged. Where did that come from? Now I've made it worse!
Neji nearly choked on his own saliva, "W-what?"
"No!" Tenten cried, before he thought about it too much.
"No?" Neji repeated, pulling back to look at her face.
"No, what I meant was… I…"
"I love you." No kidding you idiot, Tenten scolded herself. But to her shock, the biggest smile crossed her husband's face.
Thank you God for answering my prayers, Neji thought.
"Why are you grinning like that?" his wife questioned.
"You haven't told me that for a month," he answered truthfully.
That made him happy? That was it? Have I really forgotten to tell him that for an entire month? Surely he's mistaken… I couldn't have… Tenten quieted in thoughtful rapture. He looks so happy. Was that all he was waiting for? So, by saying that, I made him happy? Thank you God for answering my prayers.
She bit her lip, still unsure whether to tell him the rest of the story. Then he'd go back to being upset, and maybe even angry.
"Tenten, I'm not mad at you. I can't be. It's just not possible. You don't have to be afraid of telling me something," Neji said, pulling her into a hug again. And so after several minutes of fighting off nerves, she let it out.
Neji, of course, was upset by her actions and had quickly made it clear that she was the only one for him, that'd he rather go live in a dark hole instead of marrying someone else.
And when Tenten awoke the next morning, judging from the blissful look on Neji's face, she concluded that all had been forgiven.
A/N: Oh wow, cheesy much? But I think it got my point across: the simple things you do can make someone's day.
Thank you for reading and please review!