Pathos VI

A/N- Fanfiction is not allowing me to access my other story, 1001 nights, so it has been continued here. Please read the other story to see the first five chapters. This is chapter 5 and I hope you enjoy.

Chapter 5. The suitor of the Princess of Fire Country.

Ino woke up in her own bed. She was now living in the harem rooms where Tenten lived. She hated the thought of her friend being so alone. And she also wanted to experience the lavish lifestyle in the rooms. Of course she would have full ability to leave as she pleased. But Tenten would have to remain there all day.

Her room was one close to Tenten's. It was larger size because Ino loved to have grand things. There was a bed against a wall where she slept. A window that looked out to a wall, the view was terrible. But there was a rather expensive looking vanity in the corner. Ino loved the room. She couldn't wait until her husband Shikamaru would see it later in the day.

Tenten had convinced the king to allow Shikamaru and Naruto to visit the harem rooms. Ino smirked at the thought of Tenten giving the king her famous puppy dog look. No one at their old home could resist that look. Ino smiled again. 3 weeks had passed and Tenten was still married to the king. Every night was still a gamble for Tenten's life but Ino had begun helping Tenten initiate cliff hangers in her stories. The two worked as a team, Ino asking questions throughout the story to slow it down and make it last longer.

If Neji noticed this he did not say anything.

Tenten sat up from her bed. She saw in a mirror across the room that her hair was a mess as always. She'd have to freshen up. Today she would get to see Hinata's fiancée as well as her old childhood friend Shikamaru. All of these people would have to come into the harem rooms as Tenten could not leave.

She continued to sit in her bed. Her dreams had been ones that scared her. The same voice that appeared in her earlier dreams continued to yell about, "Youth" as well as screaming "Help!"

She had been living in the palace for three weeks now. And it was still strange to her. She hated being kept in a set of rooms. But so far she had saved 20 lives. That fact alone caused her to continue.

Later

Tenten was uncomfortable.

Ino, Shikamaru, Naruto, Hinata, Tenten, and Neji all sat at the dining table within the harem rooms. Yes, Neji was making sure that Naruto and Shikamaru stayed away from his wife. If the situation had been different, Tenten would have enjoyed it. But the whole reason she was here was because of the king's jealousy and insecurities.

Hinata cleared her throat. "Ah, Nii-san, it has been a while since we have dined together like this." She said to break the uneasy silence. Neji did not respond to her.

"Wow Nii-chan! This one looks so different from-"Naruto began but took an elbow to the ribs from Shikamaru. "Never mind that, your wife is very pretty Nii-chan." Naruto wheezed out.

"I told you Naruto. You may not call me that until you marry Hinata-sama in two weeks." Neji said while glaring.

"So Hinata..." Ino said uneasily. "Have you begun planning your wedding?"

"Not very much. Just the basics." Hinata answered. "I will hire professional wedding planners for most of it."

"A wise decision." Shikamaru said. "This will be an important wedding. After all, there are not many additions to the royal family."

Tenten looked at Ino and Shikamaru's matching golden rings. Then she looked down at her plain silver wedding band. The king wore an identical one beside her. He had his arms crossed and was watching the scene unfold before them. She was paying little attention. Her eyes riveted on her husband. This was the first time she had seen him outside his bedroom since their wedding day. They sat next to each other. Not touching like Naruto and Hinata, but not arguing like Ino and Shikamaru.

Eventually Ino brought up the upcoming festival. "Hinata, will you and Naruto be going to the festival in a month? You can go as a newly married couple."

"Will there be ramen?" Naruto asked.

"Of course!" Ino answered.

"What is the festival for?" Tenten asked.

"Nii-san is our king for another year. Therefore, a celebration is held." Hinata said.

"That is exciting!" Tenten said happily. "The last festival I went to involved a pig and a pole and a lot of swearing..."

"TONTON!" Ino said while laughing. "I had forgotten about that incident!"

"Tsunade had all of us doing community service for weeks." Shikamaru snickered. "Really Tenten? Not a single festival since then?"

"Tsunade did not want a repeat of that." Tenten said sheepishly.

"Will you please explain what is so funny?" Naruto asked.

Even Neji looked interested in this story. But then again, he always did.

"Well, Shikamaru, Ino and I were all fourteen. All of us were good friends then, as we are now." Tenten began. "There was a festival in our village. So we all decided to go. But my guardian Tsunade ordered Shikamaru and I to watch her pig, Ton ton."

"That pig was possessed." Shikamaru said while smirking at the memory.

"I did not want to go to the festival alone, so I talked them into taking the pig with them." Ino added.

"Yes, it was Ino's idea." Tenten laughed. "So we took this pig on a leash. We did not want it running away. Once we were at the festival we saw Tsunade with her amore Jiraiya. They were eating cotton candy and drinking sake quite heavily. Naturally, all of us panicked when we saw them."

Ino and Shikamaru both began snickering to themselves. "So we disguised ourselves as pole dancers, but we forgot to tie the pig up. So as we were doing our dances the pig ran off the stage. And run it did, right to Tsunade. We were so busted." Tenten finished.

"Her face turned so many shades of red." Ino said. "But I really thought Shika-kun looked good in the costume."

"You did look the best." Tenten agreed looking at Shikamaru.

"You two were the most troublesome friends." Shikamaru said with a pout.

"Oh my heavens, I hope the costume was not revealing." Hinata said.

"It was not in the least. They had pink feathers and little jingling bells on them. We looked like flamingoes." Ino said.

"I never got to do anything like that when I was a kid." Naruto said sadly. "My parents died shortly after my birth."

Hinata reached over to lay her hand on his. "Naruto. When we marry, you will be my family." She said with a smile.

All the couples continued to talk and be happy. Neji even spoke a bit, but only to Tenten.

Two days later

Tenten woke to hear soft weeping. She sat up in her bed groggily. Someone was crying, and Tenten could not stand anyone being sad. That was one of the reasons she loved telling stories, to make people laugh.

She stepped outside her room to observe the harem rooms. She caught sight of Ino sprawled across her bed snoring lightly, therefore it could not be Ino that was crying. Then she saw that Temari was not even in the rooms.

So it had to be Hinata.

Tenten found the shy Hyuuga in her bedroom weeping on her bed. She was all curled up like a small child. Tenten's heart broke seeing this. She hated when anyone cried.

"What is wrong Hinata?" Tenten asked as she laid a hand upon Hinata's shoulder.

"Oh Tenten!" Hinata cried as she threw her arms around Tenten and sobbed into Tenten's shoulder. "It is horrible!"

"What is it?" Tenten asked worriedly.

"It's Nii-san, He- he-"Hinata choked out. "He is forcing me to marry a man other than Naruto!"

Tenten's face froze. Her husband had caused Hinata to cry. Her husband was forcing Hinata to marry a man other than Naruto. This simply would not do.

"Do not worry Hinata. I will fix this for you." Tenten said then she rose from the bed and left the room.

Hinata sat on the bed. Wondering what this woman could do.

That Night

Tenten strode into the king's room with no hesitation this time. She had a job to accomplish.

Neji sat in his bed simply watching her. Her hair was not held up in those ridiculous buns. He smirked. Maybe she had realized how much of a nuisance they were. He frowned when she sat on the side of the bed, just out of his reach.

"My lord." Tenten began; she was turned away from him looking at a window. "I must make a request of you."

"What would that be?" Neji asked.

"Please allow Hinata to marry Naruto Uzumaki." Tenten said.

"I'm afraid I cannot do that." The king said. "I need control of the Inuzuka clan." Neji said. "I've received reports that they plan on overthrowing me. So I must have the son of the leader of the clan marry Hinata-sama. That will give me ultimate control."

"How do you know those reports are true?" Tenten asked. "They could be false."

"I do not need confirmation. Their recent activity has led me to believe they wish me to be deposed." Neji said in a monotone.

Tenten turned to face him. Her bright brown eyes met his pearly white ones. "Is there not another way?" She asked.

He was mesmerized by the way her lips formed her words. He did not even hear her at first. He wanted to run his fingers through her wavy locks, he wanted her. Right now.

"I can have Shikamaru arrange another way." The king said as if in a daze.

Her face erupted into a brilliant smile as she threw her arms around him. "Oh thank you my lord!" She said.

He smirked a bit before passionately kissing her.

The next morning after a night of love making and story-telling, Tenten and Ino were leaving the room. Before she made her escape, Tenten turned to look at Neji. Their eyes met and she offered him a faint smile, which he returned after she had left the room.