.disclaimer: don't own.

.for grunty07; hope you enjoy!.

.warning: character death.

.title: interminable.

.pairing: nejiten.

.genre: romance, general.

.word count: 6,400.

.summary: the terminally ill patient that loves life. the depressed but tumor free boy that hates life. you always want what you don't have.

.interminable.

30 days

"Neji-niisan!"

The door opened and a tall male entered, holding a bouquet of orchids, his cousin's favorite flowers. He smiled softly and walked over to her bedside, placing them on the nightstand as he sat down. The girl sat up straighter, a serene smile on her pink lips and lavender eyes crinkled into a smile, her dark indigo hair cascading down onto her shoulders and contrasting powerfully against the white pillows that made it more comfortable for her to sit up in bed. "Thank you for visiting me."

"Of course, Hinata-sama," Neji said, glancing her over. "Are you feeling all right?"

"Much better," she nodded, still a bright smile, "This isn't my first time, you know. Father overreacted; I just forgot to take my medication on the day that I was too busy to eat."

"Hinata-sama, you fainted."

"But I'm all right now, aren't I?" she persisted and he sighed, shaking his head at her optimism. He was always worried about her; Hinata was smart but he felt she was far too optimistic about life. Her anemia wasn't lightly to be taken; it wasn't so serious that she had to be bedridden for her entire life but she did visit the hospital a few times a year. Neji tried to tell her to be more wary of it but she always shook her head and smiled, saying life should be lived, despite any obstacles.

Like all the other visits, they spent the rest of the time conversing about the hospital. Hinata liked to make friends there and she would tell Neji about them. She was shy and quiet, but she had that friendly, soft aura that attracted people. And she was kind and made friends easily; in fact, the only person she really had a difficult time talking to was Uzumaki Naruto. But aside from him, as long as someone initiated the conversation first, Hinata was quite good at conversing.

"There's a girl here," Hinata's eyes lit up and she smiled again, "Her name is Ame Tenten and she's a few rooms down. She's very, very sweet. Perhaps I'll take you to meet her within the next few days or so. I think you'll like her, Neji-niisan."

He smiled and nodded, listening to her continue to talk about the nurses and the food. When one got close to Hinata, as she and Neji were, she actually never stopped talking, a trait that was more endearing than annoying. She rambled on and on about random subjects and Neji found it entertaining to listen and watch her, especially when she realized how much she had been talking and abruptly apologized and stopped. On any other day, he would have stayed because he enjoyed to keep her company, but today he had to return back to the Hyuuga compound and talk to Hiashi, which he explained to Hinata as he stood up apologetically. She smiled and nodded understandingly as he turned to leave, abruptly stopping when he heard her call out his name.

"Neji-niisan."

"Yes, Hinata-sama?" he asked, turning around.

She hesitated before relaxing and smiling widely. "You should smile more often, Neji-niisan. It suits you."

He smirked and bade her another soft farewell before leaving the room, sighing and putting his hands in his pockets as he began to walk towards the elevator he had arrived from. He ignored the looks and glances of others on the floor; he was used to them, anyway. There was something about long hair, pale skin, silver eyes that attracted the attention of females. It used to irk him but he learned to ignore it.

"Hey, are you Hinata's cousin?"

Someone actually addressed him. That deserved acknowledgment.

"I am," he answered and he turned around to see a girl in the hospital gown peering from her doorframe. She had brown eyes and soft looking skin just a few shades darker than his. Her brown hair was up in two buns that resembled the ears of a panda which he found amusing and she had her bangs clipped up and to the side. She was thin and frail looking, he noticed, but there was definitely a sparkle in her eyes. "And may I ask who you are?"

She smiled, a bright smile that looked out of place on an invalid and stepped out of her room, offering him her hand in a handshake. "Ame Tenten. Hinata's friend. Leaving so soon?" she asked as Neji shook her hand, her small, slender hand.

"I have to return to the Hyuuga compound to speak to someone," he answered, to which Tenten tilted her head at. He raised an eyebrow. "Do you have a problem with that?"

"Nah," she answered, brow still furrowed slightly, "It's just that… you live with Hinata, as she told me. She calls that place home, saying she can't wait to go back. You call it the Hyuuga compound, and you don't look happy to be returning. I mean, it isn't my place to prod like that, but just a simple observation. Because from the way Hinata described you, you seem to be a pretty nice guy. A good guy. I like to think that good people are happy."

She's quite interesting, Neji thought, remaining silent and having a poker face as she was speaking. She was one of those types of people that read people's emotions easily, picking up on tiny details that revealed moods. One of those people that Neji didn't understand, one of those that he typically avoided. But just as Hinata had said, he found he did like her; he found her cheerful and genuine, her personality strong and vibrant despite her small frame and sickly looking complexion. He sighed and smirked, shrugging. "You're quite observant," he said quietly, looking at her seriously.

Tenten grinned. "I like people. Well, it must be pretty important if you're leaving Hinata early. Then…" she paused and laughed awkwardly, scratching the back of her head, "I suppose you should go then. Nice to meet you, Hyuuga Neji-san," she mock saluted him and he couldn't help but smirk at that.

"When do you leave?" he asked as she turned around to return to her room. She stopped in surprise and turned around, blinking a few times before realizing the underlying statement of the question. I want to see you again.

She smiled, a sad smile that he definitely wasn't expecting from her.

"I'm not."

29 days

"I came here to die."

Hinata was asleep when Neji came back the next day to visit. Not wanting to sit by her bedside and wait for her to wake up, possibly scaring her, he decided to see if Tenten was awake because talking to her seemed more entertaining than sitting in the waiting room and listen to crying babies and dramatic teenagers. When he looked in, she was sitting up and reading a book. But she had sensed him and looked up, smiling and inviting him in.

"That's a very optimistic outlook," Neji commented dryly, surprised by such a dark answer from a bright girl, "People come to hospitals to get better."

"No," Tenten shook her head, offering him a piece of chocolate from the box she ripped open once he sat down, "People like Hinata come here to get better. People who have another chance to live. People like me come here to die. People who are terminally ill and who doctors just want to help die peacefully and full of morphine so no pain."

"Are you…"

"I am," she answered him without him ever having to finish his question. She looked at him, smiling crookidly. "I've got a brain tumor. I found out about a year ago. I have just less than a month left and I figured it's better to die here with people expecting me to die than with my parents who'll go crazy if they find me on my bed not breathing anymore. That is, if they even care."

"Why wouldn't they?" Neji had realized that Tenten hated dark chocolate, picking the milk and white chocolates. Not wanting them to go to waste, he ate them and the two were finishing the box at a steady rate. He was surprised how easy it was to talk to her; unlike Hinata, he didn't really enjoy conversing with people. But something about Tenten made it easy and enjoyable; he couldn't believe that she wasn't getting better when she seemed so lively.

"When kids get brain tumors," she paused to swallow a piece of chocolate, "Their parents react in two ways. They either become extremely overprotective and spend every waking minute fussing over them. Or they grow more distant; they start fighting with each other which, of course, means the kid gets less attention. And then they just avoid the kid because, after all, the kid is the root of all their problems. They don't want to see me in pain, they don't want to be here when I die because it'll hurt them badly. So they stay away. It's understandable, really."

Neji said nothing but cast his eyes away. What could he say to someone that was dying, someone that didn't want to die but had accepted it so gracefully, who didn't have her family anymore? He clenched his fists and winced momentarily, feeling the pain on his wrist and relaxed. Pain served as a lovely reminder, he thought bitterly, a really lovely reminder.

"Are you all right?" she asked, her voice soft and caring. Tenten noticed everything, literally everything, so there was no doubt in Neji's mind that she had seen his flash of pain or maybe even what was under his sleeves.

"…Yeah," he muttered, "I'm fine."

She obviously didn't believe him but let it go, leaning back against her pillows, her eyes idly glancing around the hospital room she had become so accustomed to and, in some sick way, couldn't wait to get out of, even if it meant going to the morgue next. Her eyes traveled to the doorway where she saw a nurse and she used an elbow to nudge Neji as both hands were folded behind her head. "Hinata's awake."

"Oh," he looked behind him and stood up, turning back to her momentarily, "May I come again tomorrow?"

"You're such a gentleman," she laughed but nodded and he was glad to see that she looked happy again, "You can break into my room if you want, Hyuuga. Any kind of human interaction is nice."

25 days

Hinata had been allowed to go home two days ago, but, to Tenten's surprise, Neji continued to visit her. She had come to enjoy his presence quite a bit. So many people that she told about her tumor ended up avoiding her or being falsely nice. But Neji was different; he didn't speak of it very often, if at all, and treated her as if she were normal. And she didn't have the words to tell Neji how appreciative she was of that.

She supposed she did have a bit of a crush on him. Five days after meeting, he wasn't just that pretty face anymore. He was kind, in his own way; caring, subtly; and understanding, silently. She could ramble on and on and he would never tell her to stop. And best of all, he had a brain; Tenten could talk to him and he wouldn't stare at her blankly. She liked men that had both brains and looks. She got lucky, she liked to think, but unluckily she didn't have much time left. She kept a calendar by her nightstand and from pestering nurses and doctors, had a pretty good idea around what date would be her demise. So she expected to die twenty five days from today, but it could very well be a bit earlier or before. But definitely around then.

"Sometimes I can't believe it," she sighed, folding hands behind her head and leaning back against the wall, smiling slightly, "I don't feel like I'm dying. I don't know how the medicine works, but the tumor in my brain is growing and it'll kill me. Of course, they have surgery…"

"So why don't you do it?" he asked quietly, interrupting her gently.

"Because," she shrugged, "It means losing my memory. All of it. It means losing my speech, my vision; it means losing, basically, everything about me. That, and there's a chance of dying. What's better, living as a shell or dying as yourself? Exactly. I want to live, I really do. I love life. But my time has come and I just have to enjoy the days I have left."

"You're an enigma," he said simply and she laughed, coaxing out a small smile of his own, "You really are."

23 days

Neji didn't have a problem admitting he liked Tenten. A week after meeting her and he knew that he liked her. He spent hours with her at the hospital every day, just spending time her, talking with her, knowing that this was precious time he wouldn't have in the future. He never thought he would get this attached to someone that he knew would be leaving soon and it felt like a moronic idea. He was nineteen years old; he could find a girl easily. But he wanted Tenten.

She was effervescent. She was lively. She was bright. She was contagious. Her laughter was contagious. Her smile was breathtaking. Her eyes sparkled. Her hands were energetic. Her speech was full of vibrancy. She lit up the room, her personality just attracted people. She didn't look like she was going to die and every time he thought about that, his heart ached.

Neji wasn't someone that spoke to people often. He wasn't someone that enjoyed being in the company of others any more than he had to. But he did believe in fate and that first day when he met her, he felt that he was supposed to get to know her, to spend time with her before it was too late.

He knew about her calendar. He probably wasn't supposed to, because she never told him about it, but he had walked in on her flipping through it once. And with his perfect vision, it was easy for him to discern what it was. And so he began counting down the days with her, one by one, without her knowing. Each day that passed was another day gone, one fewer day to spend with her. He didn't like to think about that.

She was easy to talk to. Not just easy, but comfortable. He could say anything and she never judged or looked bored; she was always alert and listening. And he liked that. It was hard to find people like that, harder, even, to know that she would be gone soon. No, he had to remind himself, I'm not thinking about that.

20 days

Today it rained.

The rain created a steady rhythm, one that Tenten enjoyed listening to. Rain reminded her of cleansing; it washed away everything and everything had to start over on a clean slate, freshly washed, squeaky clean. She liked the idea of that. She liked to think that after this life she would start over in another life with no memory, no recollections of this one. Except she would love to remember Neji but not everything worked out.

"This is ironic."

"What is?" she asked, looking up from the game of Monopoly he had brought. She had once mentioned that she never finished a game of Monopoly, not knowing that Neji would then take it upon himself to play with her until they completed. They had been playing for two days now and Tenten suddenly realized that she wasn't even sure how to finish a game.

"You're optimistic. You love life. But you don't have much time," he answered, "I'm pessimistic. I hate life. I have all the time in the world."

She blinked a few times before smiling, bowing her head. "I had a feeling," she murmured and felt him look up lazily, a half smirk on his lips, his silver eyes holding his question.

"How did you know?"

"The way you act. The way you talk. The way you react to my little speeches about life being grand. The scars on your wrists. And the fact that nurses don't forget a pretty face like yours. How long ago was it?" she continued, rolling the dice again, waiting patiently for him to answer.

"Two months."

"Was life better before or after it?"

"Before."

"Impossible," she looked up, smiling in a joking manner, "You didn't know me back then."

"Quite true," he admitted, rolling his dice again and moving his piece, "Are you going to ask me why I did it?"

"I admit I am curious," she answered, "But it's awfully nosy to ask. But I'll listen if you wish."

"My father died when I was young," he started in a low voice, keeping his eyes averted, "And… my uncle isn't blame free when it came to his death. It was because of an illness but Hiashi-sama was stubborn when it came to the method of treatment. One was safe but would have him bedridden, and the other was risky but would ensure an almost complete recovery. Of course, everyone recommended the safe method because the risk was death, but my uncle… was the only one that wanted it. And being the one that was paying, the doctors listened to him. My father died on the table."

Their game was completely forgotten; they just stared at the board, Neji kept speaking and Tenten kept listening, staying quiet, but her presence said all the words that he needed.

"My uncle never… showed remorse for that. It's part of being the head of Hyuuga Corporations, but it was his brother. I really thought he would have expressed some kind of remorse or be apologetic but a week after the funeral, he was back to normal, all business. And he tried to train me to take over the company and I've played along, only because that's what I think my father would have wanted. But every mistake I make he yells at me and…" Neji paused, breathing out slowly and clenching his fist, "…He has no right to yell at me for forgetting to look over a minor contract when he was the reason my father is dead. I don't want to continue living like this; hating what I'm being trained for, hating being under the tyrannical rule of my uncle, hating everything about this. I'm supposed to be happy because I have a bright future and a family. But I'm not."

He felt Tenten's hand move on top of his, her thumb rubbing circles over his. He looked up into her brown eyes and a soft smile. He sighed and bowed his head again, smirking. "I feel like such an ass around you. I've got no reason to be like this; I should be enjoying life like you do. I wish I could trade my health with yours. I wish you'd live."

She laughed softly and shook her head.

"I couldn't take your life. I want you to live. To find closure. I hope one day you and Hiashi-san come to terms with each other, no matter how far in the future that is. Life is hard. Death is easy. You, Hyuuga Neji, do not get the easy way out. Only ill patients like I get that."

16 days

"Neji, what are you…"

"Sh."

"No, you do not tell me to hush, Hyuuga, you—!"

"Sh. Go. Now. Go!"

Despite her protesting, Tenten obeyed and slipped into the door Neji held open for her after surveying the area and seeing no nurses. He slipped in after her and closed the door behind them, taking her arm and leading her up the two flights of stairs, ignoring her protests until he threw open the door that led them to the top of the roof. Once the fresh air hit her, Tenten immediately stopped talking and he smirked; he had been wondering how long it had been since she had actually been outside.

"You need some fresh air."

She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, a smile spreading. As the last two weeks elapsed, she had grown paler, almost approaching the shade that he was. She walked over to the edge of the building and climbed onto the ledge. Neji stood by and sat on the ledge, his back facing the view as Tenten held out her arms, letting the wind blow around her, strong enough to feel like she was flying, but not strong enough to knock her over. The Hyuuga looked at her; she looked happier than she had in a while and he couldn't help but smile himself. Her happiness was contagious; when she was happy, he found he was, a feeling he had forgotten.

"Thank you," she said softly, still smiling, "Thank you."

He didn't say anything but stood up and stood behind her on the ledge, putting his hands on her waist, breathing in the scent of her hair, trying to remember it forever. Sixteen days. It felt like it was just yesterday when her calendar still said twenty, and the day before it still said twenty five. Time passed so quickly and he wanted to slow it down; he didn't want to lose her as he was getting closer. He couldn't pull himself out of her vortex, just found himself losing himself in her.

"Tenten."

"Hm?"

And then he spun her around and kissed her, one hand still on her waist, the other cupping her ear. His lips were on hers and she pressed herself against him, losing herself in the dizzying sensation. Had it not been that she was with Neji, she would've wondered about falling off the hospital but she barely had enough of her mentality left to continue standing. Her hands clutched at his shirt, wanting this moment, the dizziness, the haziness, the electricity, the tingling feeling, she didn't want any of this to end. She wanted to be suspended in this moment forever, never moving forward, staying still, living right now forever.

I'm in love with you, she thought hazily, smiling into the kiss, and I pray to God you don't feel the same way.

12 days

"I'm in love with you."

"Ah. Crap. Crap. Crap."

"I suppose that isn't the reaction I was looking for," Neji said dryly, smirking as Tenten realized what her reaction implied and her eyes widened and she brought a hand up to her face, groaning. Four days after the kiss and everything felt different; still comfortable but there was electricity in the air. Every time their fingers brushed they paused and had an awkward moment, eye contact sometimes had to be avoided.

"No, no, no it's not that it's…" she paused and took a deep breath and smiled sadly, looking up, "It's that… it's better if you don't. Because I'm not going to live. I can't. I don't want to hurt you. That's the last thing I want to do. Because I'm in love with you too, I am, but… I shouldn't be and you really shouldn't be. It's… it's just… unfortunate we had to meet like this. Because in an alternate world… or if I was healthy… I would never, ever let you go, Hyuuga Neji."

"Why does it have to be an alternate world?" he asked softly, smirking as she gave him an incredulous look, "I'm not crazy. I know that I'll be hurt, I know that this won't last. But what you've taught me, Tenten, is to make the most of life. Before you, I hated it. I spent every day thinking when it would be all over. And then I met you and, well, it's starting to be different. I see the sun, and I don't wish for darkness. I hear the birds, and I don't wish for silence. I see humanity, and I don't wish to be a hermit. I'm living my life—with you. You're living each day like your last and you've taught me to do the same. I'm in love with you and I'm not going to pretend like I don't and I'm not going to waste these last twelve days waiting for you to be gone when I could spend them with you and be happier than I ever have. And same with you. You can take your own advice, live every day like it's your last, take risks, do things that are out of your safety zone. Or you can play it safe. I can be your friend if you want. Or I can be whatever you want. You have a choice."

"I…" she paused and looked down, forcing a shaky laugh and when she looked up, her eyes were teary and she threw up a hand in exasperation, running it through her bangs. "I… I just don't want to hurt you, you know? I don't want to do that to you. You don't deserve anymore pain or unhappiness because you're a good guy and good people should be happy forever without any pain. I don't want you to be happy now because you'll just miss it later, it's like indulging yourself in chocolate and then taking it away forever…"

"Or you can be drowning in a vat of chocolate for twelve days," he said softly, taking her hand and pressing his lips to the back of it gently, "For twelve days, complete happiness. For twelve days, experience what everyone in this world is just looking for. Even if it's just for twelve days, it's for twelve days."

It was silent; they just stared at each other. Tenten's eyes were glossy from her tears and Neji's eyes seemed to hold that ever permanent smirk. A few moments later she relaxed, being the first to break the gaze and she laughed shakily again, bringing up her other hand to wipe away her tears. "You know, I didn't think you even believed in love. Or falling in love with a girl you met eighteen days ago."

Neji let out a small laugh, the first that Tenten had heard this entire time as he leaned in, whispering "let's say you've got quite an influence" before kissing her sweetly.

11 days

The next day Tenten realized that Neji knew of her count down.

She ignored him for the full day because she thought it would have been more fun to count down together but she didn't want to tell him because she thought he would think it was morbid and she was being stupid.

He was incredulous because how was he supposed to tell her he also knew the day of her supposed death?

8 days

When Neji walked in with eight days left, she was crying. He immediately went over, sat on her bed, and held her to him, his arms wrapped around her, chin resting on top of her head, listening to her say "I don't want to die" over and over again, through her tears, in a voice that made his own heart ache and it took him everything to stay strong for her.

I don't want you to die either.

7 days

"Seven used to be my lucky number," she said quietly.

He looked up. At seven days left, she looked smaller, thinner, frailer, paler, sicker. Seven was not a nice number to her anymore. Hinata had come with him today but she went out to buy them lunch. Hinata knew of them; they didn't have to say anything, she said she could tell when she visited because it was so much different than before.

They didn't like to talk about the countdown. It was something they kept to themselves. They tried to stay positive and talk about anything and everything besides the end because even though it was inevitable, even though it was coming, they didn't want to think about it. They had seven days left and they would make the most of it.

So when she said that seven used to be her lucky number, Neji hesitated before smiling and looking up at her.

"It still is. Seven days is a whole week."

Her brown eyes flitted up to look at him.

"Seven days is only a week."

6 days

Tenten wanted to go onto the roof again because that was where they kissed for the first time.

It was raining but she insisted on going, saying no umbrella. She always wanted to dance in the rain, to kiss in the rain, to laugh in the rain. And Neji couldn't find it in himself to deny her that wish, not even bothering to saying that she would get sick, knowing what her response would be. So he took to watching her dance in the rain, at first standing by the door, dry from the rain, watching her spin, laugh, dance.

"Neji, come here!"

And he obliged because he couldn't deny her anything, not with six days left.

So he danced. He laughed. He span. He ran. He kissed.

He did anything just to hear her laugh, knowing they were limited.

5 days

Five days left. Twenty five days ago, it had been six times that number. Days were starting to drag on which was ironic; when the day ended, it felt so short. But as he sat by her, it felt excruciatingly long because they both knew it was ending but they didn't want to say it. There was a tension that neither of them were willing to resolve because they didn't want to say anything.

Doctors came in and out more frequently as did nurses; more and more machines were hooked up along with IV drips, serving as an ugly reminder that they still chose to ignore.

4 days

Today Tenten got irritated and yelled at Neji. She yelled about everything, about not wanting to die, about how this sucked, how she wished they'd never met because it made everything so much harder, how it was so unfair, how she looked worse than she did before because he was getting so sick. Neji knew it wasn't her that was yelling, it was the stress from all this. And so he didn't take any of it seriously, he just held her as she yelled, remaining calm.

He held her as she cried for several minutes, being calm and understanding because that was all he could do. He couldn't fix her, he couldn't magically get rid of her tumor, he couldn't extend her life. All he could do was be there for her and to remind her that he would always be there for her until the end whether it was in four days or not.

And then she apologized for yelling, how it wasn't his fault, how she didn't deserve someone like him. He continued to stay silent and just held her, listened to her babble on and on until he finally got annoyed because she began talking about rainbows and unicorns and he realized she was getting delusional.

"Tenten."

"Yeah, Neji?"

"Shut up. Just… shut up."

"…Okay."

"That's not shutting up."

3 days

With three days left, they decided to have a picnic. Neji had brought all the Chinese food he knew how to make and Tenten had bugged the nurses for china plates and silverware, using the "terminally ill patient" reason to get them to abide her wishes and go out to buy it. The entire room ended smelling of Chinese food and the nurses were irritated at having to ventilate the place until they gave them their leftovers. And then they were satisfied.

Neji slept over that night because Tenten used her excuse again. She obliged with his request because, after all, three days were either seventy two hours or only seventy two hours. And every hour was precious and she wanted to spend it with him.

They thought they had three days left. They had put so much faith in the calendar that they forgot it wasn't carved in stone, it was an estimate left.

They thought they had three days left.

2 days

Two became the new zero.

Neji woke up the next day because Tenten was rapping her knuckles against his head, slowly, patiently, rhythmically. When he realized that the several machines hooked up to her didn't sound like they normally did, he jerked awake, sitting up just in time to see the nurse hit a button and start pulling at wires. Tenten had the same serene smile on her face as if nothing was happening out of the ordinary.

"No, there are two days…" he said dryly, his eyes widening as he held onto her hand tightly, "There are still two days left…" She had been growing sicker and weaker with each day but he had ignored it because he didn't want to think about it; but she was and he realized it now, wanting to slap himself for being so stupid, foolishly ignoring the warning signs.

"We forgot that it was an estimate…" she said, her voice growing faint and weak as she closed her eyes, her breaths sounding more struggled and pained, "I'm going to die… and you can't argue that. I have a note under my pillow because there's so much I want to say but I can't… so read it later. I love you, Hyuuga Neji. I do."

Neji knew there was point in denying it or fighting it. All he could do was hold her hand and whisper in her ear "these last twelve days have been perfect, I'm so glad I fell in love with you" and be there to watch her slip away, a peaceful smile on her face. She closed her eyes for the final time and when her hand relaxed, he knew she was gone. He couldn't bring himself to believe it; he just stared at her face, expecting her to wake up any time because she looked like she was asleep. But he stayed for hours and she never woke up until the nurses came in and told him he had to leave.

The nurses later assured him she had felt nothing; it was like falling asleep, just as how she wanted it.

He wished they could take away his pain too.

termination

On the real day, the day that they had been expecting, Neji read the letter. He had gone home and her funeral was next week and until then, he didn't plan on going outside or dealing with any more human contact than necessary. He allowed maids to check up on him in the compound because the last time they didn't, things didn't end well and he would do anything to keep Hiashi off his back. Luckily for him, however, Hinata explained the situation, and Hiashi did leave him alone.

Opening the letter was painful. He saw her handwriting, he smelled her scent, he saw how the corners weren't folded perfectly, just like how she folded everything. This letter was so Tenten that it was painful to look at because he still couldn't believe she was gone, he didn't want to believe it. But he had to face reality; he spent four weeks with her, four short weeks, and that was it.

Dear Hyuuga Neji,

I regret to inform you that the life of authoress of this letter has been terminated.

Maybe that's why they say terminally ill. Because your life ends up terminated. It doesn't sound like a very humane word, does it? Ah well. Medicine is medicine. Can't blame them, I suppose.

You're sad right now. I know you are. And it makes me sad as I write this to think that you're sad. But smile. It looks good on you. You deserve to smile, you deserve to be happy. I wish I could take away your pain and sadness, I wish I could fill you up with happiness. But I can't, all I can do is try to make these last few days happy for you. And I hope I did, because you made my last days wonderful.

I never thought I would fall in love. I mean, I'm dying at age nineteen; I didn't think I'd have that chance. But then you came and I fell in love and it was everything I thought it would be. Every cliché line and thought and description was true and I can only thank you for it. You reminded me to keep being positive, to stay upbeat even though it was hard. It's hard to be optimistic, you know, I need someone to motivate me. And you did that.

I'm still in love with you, even when I'm dead. I didn't let a stupid tumor stop me from being optimistic, so I'm not letting death stop me from loving you.

I hope you live a long life. A long, happy, prosperous, happy life. Be happy, Neji. Fall in love again, over and over again. I won't mind, I promise, because as long as it makes you happy, I'll be happy. You're about to come in now so I have to end it here; there's so much more I could say but I can't fit it all here because sometimes you can't write down what you feel.

I love you so much.

Thank you for everything.

You made these last few days bearable.

Termination of the life of the terminally ill has been completed. But some things are interminable.

Love, Tenten

By the time he was finished with the letter, tears were in his eyes and he hastily wiped them away, knowing Tenten didn't want him to cry and he still found himself willing to do anything for her. She still sounded so upbeat while writing this, making almost a joke out of her death, trying to stay lighthearted, trying to make this easier on him. But nothing would make this easier and she knew that; sugarcoating wouldn't work in real life.

But, he sighed and smiled sadly, she was right. Though life was terminable, some things just weren't.

Life is terminable. That's why patients were terminally ill; it meant the illness would end their lives, terminate it, extinguish it.

But love is interminable. It couldn't be exhausted, it couldn't be ended just because of a physical death. It wasn't ephemeral, it was eternal, long lasting, infinite.

Interminable.

.author's notes: the request was something romantic, dramatic, and beautiful. i'm not sure if i fulfilled that but this would be the closest i could get… i hope you enjoyed this! i also used this as practice because i need to remember how to portray neji and tenten before i embark on a story... and also practice on death scenes because, as you can tell, i must work on those majorly. i hope you enjoyed this, reviews are very much appreciated, as always!.