Author's Rant: Alright my dears, here is the story I promised for you all. The entire beginning to Taste of Your Body. Its short but most intros are. Please enjoy ^_^
Aggravation Comes in All Sizes
This was the probably the fourth time he'd seen him this week. By the grace of God, somehow or someway they were still able to be civil around each other; consider it's only been for a handful of minutes.
The weather was tamed, another cool brisk morning. Neji Hyuuga could faintly hear the crackle of an oak tree's limp become the forsaken victim to the harsh autumn winds settling over the rural city and clashing a fresh wave of chilly winds against his office window. The unfortunate tree's destruction rung loud in his ears; almost too loudly. It was at a time like this he had to remind himself to stay efficient and remember that the snapping sound wasn't his mind ready to crack in two.
His eyes were calm, cool and leveled steadily on the defiant posture of one Kiba Inuzuka across his cherry wood desk. The tattooed faced youth's stubbornness was as untamed and unpredictable as his aggressive personality.
The brunette refused to meet Neji's disagreeing gaze reflecting from his pale, observant eyes. The look pissed him off to no ends. He was more concerned with the bobbing of his worn tennis shoes on the plush carpet rather than to give the Hyuuga's stuck up ass the time of day.
After knowing each other for two years through the romance of similar acquaintances, some would've believed their natural hostility would've diminished. Hardly the case. As time progressed on it seemed to only worsen.
Today, Neji was forced to deal with this nuisance out of a favor.
I'm not angry, he softly rehearsed in his mind, letting his sights fall to a more plausible sight to hold his interests. He didn't let anyone get under his skin. The conflict can be resolved without bickering. The only problem between the two of them at the current time was that Kiba failed to be reasonable and to follow his suggestions.
It was basically understandable why Kiba would confuse his proposals in regards to the rough neck's financial issues. The youth just didn't want to hear the voice of reason. Not that Kiba was the sort to give three damns about his money concerns anyway. He'd been told to come by because of a certain friend who he vowed to knock out as soon as he left this office.
He knew Naruto meant well, but he could figure out his own budget books and organize them to the way he wanted; not how this snobbish jackass desired.
Neji would be one of the first to say that the pitiful appearance of the several budget handbooks were enough evidence to indicate Kiba's lack of spending discipline. Mr. Hyuuga wanted to help him; he really did, but honestly didn't think he held the proper diligence to do so.
After their second encounter Tuesday he'd prayed this was only a nightmare and not this twenty one year old fool sitting in his room. Unfortunately the lad was indeed a reality, sitting in his newly furbished office, looking as out of place as an ink blot on data sheets.
Kiba Inuzuka was a feisty individual with the cocky disposition and narrow minded attitude of a savage beast. This in a way went against his completely other world-like attire of a pin striped blazer, matching pressed pants and the button up shirt so tight, the stitching was weeping. His spiky maple brown hair had grown a pointier inch over the span of two years, falling to a small degree by his ears in that god awful disarray that oddly enough suited his uncouth ways.
A pair of crimson streaks slid down both his angled cheekbones just as sharp as his ebony eyes, and to add more insult to his already punkish ways, he dared to wear a thick cotton headband around his forehead. In all Neji's years, he simply couldn't fathom why he'd put himself through this.
As he pulled his gaze away from the obvious displeasure of watching the man's ignorant poise, he closed his eyes and turned to give full focus on the issue at hand. This he could deal with. He was, after all, a well-trained professional and just needed to control the problem with peaceful negotiation and diplomatic sympathy. He wouldn't insult the loud mouth man's intellect nor give him reason to argue again. Neji rarely had to calm people of this type down, but for the sake of his closest friends, both Sasuke Uchiha and Naruto Uzumaki, he'll pull some strings and try. Kiba only needed someone with plenty of patience and just as much bold resolve.
With that bit of inspiration indicted, the long haired man leaned forward, braided his fingers underneath his chin and prepared to declare a harmonic discussion.
"Damn how much longer is this gonna take?" Kiba questioned, fidgeting with his uncomfortable suit and mildly irritated by the stretch of silence.
"Until we reach an understanding, Inuzuka," Neji disregarded the attitude. Yet again he had be the adult here and realized Kiba was pushing his buttons, purposely. "If you could see it from my angle, then perhaps—"
"No, for the tenth and last damn time. N.O. No," The negative word was punctuated with the upmost prejudice.
"I see," The glasses worn around Neji's eyes were removed and placed on the corner of the desk as he reached to squeeze the pressure escalating between his eyes. "I heard you the first time, but what do you mean by No, exactly?" His tone was thinned and clipped with metallic fortitude. Any other who would've heard this, would've gave a moment to pause and recall to whom they were speaking with. Kiba on the other hand just gave him a dirty look before looking back at his shoe crossed over his knee.
"No, means no. To put it in your uppity way," He quoted the air with his fingers mockingly. "It means I don't agree with what you're saying. I don't want to go by whatever bullshit, you're trying to pass. It makes no sense, the plan is pointless and a waste of my time, since it won't work. " The definition came in a way he assumed and hoped the Hyuuga would comprehend. "To be frank it's impractical, illogical and stupid. You can't expect me to follow this."
The round bifocals were immediately returned to Neji's face as a pinch of a raising temper began to nip at his hide. In all his twenty nine years, he'd always considered himself to be very logical and fair. He was always logical, his propositions always worked. How dare this arrogant—No, no. He wouldn't go through this again. This was their fourth attempt and they will find a resolution. He could do this. He really could. The grip he had on his pencil went lax and he slowly took a much needed breath.
Neji knew Kiba's game. The young fool did this intentionally to get him riled up. It's been this way for the two plus years they'd know each other ever since Naruto had started working for an old company himself and Sasuke were employed in at the same time. Because of minor complications at the last firm, it resulted in the three, that is he himself, Naruto and Sasuke from being eliminated from the Uchiha Corporation and now working here in this very flourishing office space about twenty or so miles away. He and Sasuke are the head partners of this business and have done well to excel wonderfully together.
The clientele was increasing and word traveled fast of their impeccable records from previous experience.
Through that span of two years, Sasuke and Naruto had since purchased a new home not too far from here and live there with Naruto's younger twin brothers Kyuubi and Minato now age five and Sasuke's son, Gaara Uchiha now four. The youngest would be attending school with Neji's only child Hinata Hyuuga who was the same age as the youngest Uchiha and that was enough stress to mind. Kiba's involvements throughout the years have been only additional annoyances.
They'd have yet to be in each other's company without tension and were graciously spared having to be around one another. Well, that is until now.
"You're being completely unreasonable Mr. Inuzuka." Neji quietly proclaimed.
"And you're being a dick, so what's new?" Kiba shot back quickly.
Patience. Patience. Patience. This was for Naruto, only for him would he put himself through this aggravation.
When Naruto had requested he help with Kiba's budgeting, Neji at first refused but then concluded it couldn't hurt and thought it could be the building bridge to a cooperative relationship between them. He wanted to help, hell practically willed up the impulsive nerve to call Inuzuka himself and set up an appointment for them to chat. It astounded him that the lad agreed to his offer to be assisted and came down that following Monday.
Now as the badly dressed youth found more intrigue with his torn tennis shoes, instead of Neji's services, the Hyuuga wished he could kick his own butt for that ignorant lack of judgment.
"Alright Inuzuka, let's try this again. What exactly do you find . . .?" He thought a moment, wanting to word this without coming off offensive. "Disagreeable about my terms?"
Kiba rolled his eyes and snatched one of the books off the desk, flipping through it until he found the page he wanted and slapped it in front of his advisor. "You're seriously lost your mind if you think I'm gonna follow this bull. What kind of routine do you think this is for anyone to follow? I won't turn off my premium channels, I'll be damned if I cut back on eating out, I'm not going to cook five times a week, I don't want to shop at these pussy stores, I'm not downgrading my car and I'm not going to kill my damn dog!"
Neji lifted an eyebrow, "I never once suggested you kill your dog."
"Pfft, I bet you would if you knew how much his food and grooming bills were."
Neji sat back in his chair, sending his eyes heaven bound as he recite his chant of control in his mind over and over again. Patience, patience, patience. For Naruto, this is for Naruto. "I wouldn't suggest something I think is a helpful necessity. A pet is a very vital part of a person's life and quite a healthy way of living. I assume you think of it as an important part of your life correct?" Neji pulsed his lips, tilting his head. "The dog has a more suited role in your lifestyle since I've read that they can lower chances of heart attack, blood pressure and give reason to be highly active outside of your home for an excellent amount of exercise."
"Gee thanks," Kiba sunk in his chair, gapping his legs wide. "Glad to know how much of an asset my dog is instead of being a loyal friend and decent company. He's just a healthy investment to make sure I don't gain weight or die of a stroke. Loving the logic behind that," The statement was laden with thick immaturity and disrespectful batter.
Pearl ashen eyes sparked dangerously. "There's no need for the sarcasm Mr. Inuzuka."
Kiba inclined his head back against his chair, concealing a deviant grin over his face. He was starting to crack this spoiled statue. Good. Though he couldn't figure out why the idea of getting to this idiot gave him a bit of satisfaction. Maybe it was because it was pleasant to know this stony person had emotions behind that blanket of ice.
Hell maybe he even had a beating heart somewhere in there.
Now that Kiba thought on it, every time he'd visited this office the past four days he hadn't taken the time to regard this lukewarm environment. Dull, lifeless, strangely not as decorated as he would've thought it'd be for a brick like Neji. The walls had the basic paintings, small and spaced out. Forest green, he assumed was the hue used to paint the walls, and besides that one small picture of his daughter Hinata, the place was labeled a dead zone.
How pathetic. Kiba couldn't figure out which was worst, the fact that Neji was actually comfortable in this lack of décor or that it was slowly reminding him of an office to one of those old folk's homes. The one piece of color in this place was a tiny yellow daisy placed on the window seal and that too was blending in with the film of dust glittering its petals.
It depressed Kiba so quickly to know people this freakishly plain existed. He sliced his slanted eyes over to the older gentlemen, appraising his entire aura. A gray, long sleeved button up and pin striped pressed slacks that only enhanced his skin tone. It was an exotic pale white, he literally glowed in contrast to all the background and cooled with the same effects of a fogged ice.
He was a pretty boy, pure and simple. Nothing too serious to dash on since all the handsome folks carried the same cliché exterior. Silky cinnamon hair, a chiseled face sharp enough to hack into metal, and who knows what was going on under those clothes. Flabby maybe. His lips? Kiba could count on one hand when he'd seen the bastard smile and a toe for when he'd laughed. No that'd actually been a sinister chuckle. But those rarities did entertain the fact that Neji was capable of pulling those cheeks into something other than a frown.
The more he analyzed, the more he mentally wondered what the fuck he was doing here. Scratch that, yes he did. This was Naruto's fault; that blond hair bastard's entire fault. Kiba had been doing just find controlling his own expenses and it'd been on reflux to tell Naruto about it. He'd been the one to suggest seeking Neji for assistance.
And that's all he'd wanted when Inuzuka impulsively decided on a whim to agree to meeting Neji for a overlook. That idea was shot to hell when the creep took charge of nearly changing his entire way of living just to save a couple of bucks. Neji had pissed Kiba off when he'd declared at the beginning, that he had so self-control and needed to get a grip on life. He was acting as if Kiba had the sense of a wild dog, without a shred of decency in his bones.
It wasn't a total surprise though. Kiba knew how these kinds of people worked; logical, intelligent, organized dicks who most likely counted each square of toilet paper they ripped off the roll. They only thought with a dominating brain cell that assured them they were always correct in whatever they discussed. That's why Kiba enjoyed messing with him; just to miff the jerk out of being a tightwad and to see if he was like the humans that lived on planet earth.
"Do you have a life?" Kiba spontaneously asked.
"Yes I do."
"That's a lie," Kiba decided to rephrase his question. "What about a pet?"
If Neji was surprised at the switch in subjects, he wasn't showing it. "I have fish if you must know."
"Figures," Kiba snorted. "What kind? Dull, little tiny gubbies you barely have to take care of?"
"Platinum Butterfly and Ogon Koi of various sizes."
Of course he would specific about it. "I recommend getting a new breed."
"And I recommend we get back to the subject at hand," Neji sat back in his chair, pushing up the rim of his glasses. "Now as I was saying before, your dog Akito—"
"His name is Akamaru, jackass—"
"The dog," Neji was fast to title. "Is something you may keep as a companion. He's part of your household and not out of your budget." The folder Neji set up for negotiation was tapped with his index. "But the suggestions made for a better way of living, I recommend you abide by. Like here, you can manage to cut down your channel intake. There's no reason to have over three hundred channels and hardly watch about seventy percent of them."
"It doesn't matter if I have five hundred channels, as long as I got more than the next guy, its good as gravy. Now make another choice before I kick rocks."
Neji's narrowed gaze, slendered smaller. "Why waste money on a premium network when there are cheaper options and fairer stations for you to watch."
Kiba sat up, gluing each elbow to his gapping knees as he leveled Neji a peculiar look, "Think about it, with all the channels at your disposal would you really want to be the guy who has to go to his friend's house to watch the next Smack Down, when you could be the cool one and have everyone at your place?"
"We're not talking about arranging slumber parties Mr. Inuzuka."
"Oh gosh golly you're breaking my heart," Said Kiba's tiny mocking voice. "Damn, I was hoping you'd bring the nail polish."
"This is not a game," Neji softly stressed, pushing forward the evidence of overspending before Kiba. "These receipts show you spent a total of six hundred and nineteen dollars and thirty seven cents on meaningless objects and not a single one was towards reliable assets. And," Mr. Hyuuga removed his reading glasses to observe one particular receipt. "Here you've paid twenty eight dollars and ninety three cents on hair gel. Do you honestly need that much?"
"Whoa, now you're taking it too far bro," Kiba protectively air puffed his lovely spikes. "You can take all my other shit, but the hair stays. I ain't cutting nada."
God help him. Neji's index and thumb were getting well acquainted with the space between his eyes. He'd squeezed the pressure there a total of six times and it's done nothing to relieve the headache throbbing.
"You may not have anyone to talk to, but there's an image I need to uphold."
Hyuuga would've laughed out loud if it was in his character but manners keep his lips sealed. An image? What sort of image could this young man want to portray? "I'm not following. How exactly is your hair and span of useless cable, making you a unique individual? Make me understand." Interlocking his fingers under his chin, Neji sat back prepared to listen to whatever theorized nonsense, the tattooed youth would produce.
"I go to school, I work at a popular restaurant, and I'm sexy as hell," Kiba punctuated each word slowly as if talking to a small toddler. "There are people my age at each spot, not a bunch of old people like you. You can't expect me to sit there and talk shit if I can't back it up. When I say, I have the deluxe channels to watch the game at my apartment, people are gonna want to visit. If I talk to a chick at the mall, the first things they look at are my tattoos and my hair."
The logic was lost on Neji but he'd humor Inuzuka anyway. "Let's say these facts are indeed true, why not go about it another way. Instead of buying this pricy gel product, go for a generic brand that has the same ingredients. As for the cable, go with another company who provides deals for yearly subscriptions."
"I'm not ditching the gel, and I don't feel like looking for a new cable company when I'm fine with the one I'm with."
Neji decided to try one last time, "If you won't change the cable then think about the shopping the local grocery stories, and buying lasting products that—"
"The main brand items taste better and I can save just as much by buying them from the store two miles away instead of that ragged place down the block." Kiba folded his arms, finalizing his decisions. "Your ideas stink ya know that?"
Neji has had it. He quickly snapped the glasses in one hand and glared lethally across his desk, "Then we have nothing more to discuss Inuzuka. These constant back and forths have done nothing to reach a mutual conclusion."
Kiba stared at the Hyuuga man, eyes strained and mildly surprised to see him get upset this quickly.
"I've done nothing but offer my services, free of charge may I add, and you've only sat there insulting my intelligence, downgrade every suggestion given, and sort to corrupt my ideas out of general spite."
"Because all you've done is sit there trying to be all high and mighty, talking to me like I'm got'damn stupid, and didn't give my ideas a single chance." Kiba shot back fast.
"Your ideas are pointless and won't help your financial issues, except bring you further down then you already are." Neji's voice was losing its even based tone. "Think for a second, if you had followed your own advice, you'd still in up here. In my office, giving me the worst kind of headache and flaunting dribble about being a popular stud that has channels he doesn't even watch."
Kiba threw his hands in the air, "God you are so damn aggravating!" He stood up, knocking the chair back from the force of his legs. "Fuck it, I'm done. When you're willing to play it fair I'll come back and negotiate, until then you can kiss the fattest part of my ass!"
"I think not," Neji stood as well, rounding his desk as he spoke. "Don't bother returning Mr. Inuzuka. You won't be welcomed back in this office unless having a scheduled appointment like all my other clients." He reached the front door, opening it wide as an indication. "You're free to go."
Deep ebony brown tore into the blistering chilled pearl as tensions flared so violently it thickened the atmosphere. Kiba's hands clenched and flexed, edgily tempted to ram his fists in the fool's face, but thought it best to simply leave. "Tsk, fine by me. I'm not gonna stay where I'm not wanted. Be sure to call Naruto that I'm coming by to kick his ass." He stomped angrily to the exit doorway, being sure to shove his shoulder against Neji's. "Catch ya in hell."
Neji took a deep breath, resisting the devil's will to go after him. His patience would be the death of him that much he knew. Dealing with that moronic idiot was far too frustrating. Yes indeed, he would be making a call to Naruto.
There were some thing they were going to need to clear up when it came to him and Kiba. As long as he knew the Uchihas and Uzumakis he was going to demand that they warn him in case Kiba is invited to anymore get togethers. He'd truly had it with that damned savage.
Naruto was seriously going to get an earful for this.
TBC: ^_^ I'm happy to have this out now.