Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, nor any places, things, characters, or ideas therein. The aforementioned belong to Masashi Kishimoto, Viz Media, Shounen Jump, TV Tokyo, etc. I am writing this fic for entertainment purposes only, not monetary gain.
Summary: After seven long years of waiting to be married, Neji and Tenten finally get the honeymoon of their dreams. Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned - at least not for them. :NejiTen prize fic for greetingsfrommaars:
Warnings: Fluff, a slight hint of violence, and some murderous thoughts.
Prompts: a smile, big city, red alert, waves, eagerness, curiosity killed the cat, Shino
Dedication: To greetingsfrommaars, who won the contest I held at the end of one of the chapters for my fic Light and Dark. Thank you so much for all your reviews, and I really hope you enjoy your prize fic!
Author's Note: I was really happy when greetingsfrommaars chose NejiTen as the couple for this fic, because I've been wanting to write something for them in my Shadows-verse, since they haven't really gotten that much attention thus far. I tried very hard to work all the prompts I was given into this fic - I hope I succeeded! I had a grand time writing this, so I really do hope it's as much fun to read. Thank you for checking out this fic, and I hope you enjoy it!
*~Sun and Shadow~*
With one lazy hand, Hyuuga Tenten pushed open the shouji door leading from the bedroom out onto the balcony overlooking the beach below. Crossing the dew-damp wooden floor on bare feet, she folded her arms and rested them on top of the natural wood railing, allowing the early morning breeze to lift and finger random strands of her unbound hair. Facing the eastern horizon, where the rising sun painted the sky in impressive shades of red and golden orange, she languidly tapped one foot against the smooth, cool boards beneath her in time with the melody she hummed contentedly. Although she'd been here for almost three days now, thus far she'd been far more interested in the room she'd just exited than the big city stretching out behind her - or the beach before her.
Movement in the sky above the incoming waves caught her eye. Tenten watched interestedly as a seagull swooped down, snatched up a fish jumping out of the water, and then flew off with his catch. Hm - I'm hungry. I think we'll put room service to good use again and call down for breakfast.
As if hearing her words, the voice of her husband of four days floated out to her ears from inside the room. "Do you want to do room service again for breakfast, Tenten?"
Losing interest in the view outside, she pushed off the railing and reentered the room. Neji, dressed in a pair of lounge pants with his newly-washed hair still dripping down his bare, nicely muscled chest, stood with one hand resting next to the intercom which connected them directly to the front desk. After taking a moment to admire this entirely different, but no less wonderful, view, Tenten nodded and headed toward the in-room bathing facilities. "Sounds good to me." She heard the perky voice of the employee running the front desk answer Neji's hail right before she closed the door behind herself.
Fifteen minutes later, freshly bathed and dressed in a soft royal blue yukata, Tenten rejoined Neji in the bedroom. She saw, much to her disappointment, that he'd added a shirt to his pants and pulled his hair back in a low ponytail. Hearing her light footstep, he turned from where he'd been looking out the door she'd left open earlier to smile at her as he extended an inviting arm. "Breakfast should be here in a couple more minutes."
"No hurry." Joining her husband, Tenten allowed him to pull her in for a lingering kiss before contenting herself with leaning into his side so they could admire the view together. "I think I want to go down to the beach today," she said. "What's the point in honeymooning on the beach if we don't enjoy the sand, the waves, the sun, and all that?" Not that the past few days hadn't held plenty of interesting other things...
...But today, she decided, she wanted to explore the beach. At least for a little while.
Their breakfast came. They ate it at a leisurely pace, comfortable with the silence stretching between them. By the time they were finally ready to head down to the beach, the sun stood well clear of the horizon, a bright gold jewel shining against the beautiful azure sky.
The few people in the lobby paid the couple no attention as they crossed to the doors leading outside. Since the front of the hotel faced the city, they exited to the bustling pulse of the capital of the Land of Waves, the center of commerce and tourism. Silently making a promise to see what the city held later, Tenten walked with Neji along a path paved with crushed shells that led around the side of the hotel to the beach.
An hour and a half had made a big difference from what she'd viewed earlier. Pausing at the edge of the sand, Tenten stared at the snapping red alert flag topping the sign posted a few steps away. Several more dotted the glistening white expanse to both her left and right, and a long rope strung along them loosely blocked off access to the beach. "What...?"
Neji sighed. "'Beach closed due to storm at sea,'" he read aloud. "Looks like we won't be swimming today. I'm sorry, Tenten."
Running the pads of her fingers along the rope, she frowned at the flag and shook her head. "So much for that. But hopefully the storm will ease off and we can swim later. We'll be here two weeks, after all." Sending a wistful glance out at the sea, she traced the clear blue-green water out to the horizon, where a greyish cast churned just above the line line where sky met ocean. "That must be the storm," she said, indicating the horizon with a nod of her head.
Pushing stray strands of his hair out of his face, blown there by the strong wind which was gusting in ahead of the storm, he said, "From the look of those clouds, it'll be a strong one. We can probably explore some of the city before it gets here, though, if you want to."
Turning away from the flag, Tenten turned her steps back toward the hotel. The newlywed part of her wanted to shove away her adventurous part and return to the solitude of their hotel room. But in the end her curiosity won. "All right," she said. "I guess we might as well take the opportunity to look around a bit."
After returning to their room just long enough to drop off their beach gear, they hit the streets. Hands comfortably entwined between them, Tenten and Neji explored the city's sprawling shopping district: over thirty blocks of shops and open-air stalls filled with everything from food to jewelry to weapons to toys. Tenten stopped at every metal worker's stall and shop; Neji seemed equally drawn to the woodcarvers' work, most particularly the bird figurines.
From the cold steel and warm wood, they moved on to smooth silks and sparkling jewels. In return for the dove figurine Tenten bought Neji earlier, he got her hair pins decorated with whimsical dangling panda charms, because "your hair buns remind me of panda ears," he told her fondly.
Tenten had heard that many, many times before; but coming from Neji, it sounded somehow ... nicer. She smiled her silent thanks, ignoring the people around them - who were equally uninterested in her - to stand on her tiptoes and press a quick, grateful kiss to his cheek.
They continued their explorations until the lunch hour, when they dined in an out-of-the-way little tea shop with a peaceful ambience and excellent food.
When they emerged, the sky had darkened considerably, the wind blowing even more strongly through the streets in an advance warning of the storm to come. In silent agreement, they hurried back through the marketplace - now hunkering down in preparation for the storm - to their hotel. Once inside and out of the wind, they slowed their pace as they headed for the elevators. Neji slipped an arm around her waist, his lips hovering close to her ear as he whispered things which brought an eager smile to her own.
As soon as they stepped into the elevator - which, thankfully, was empty - and the doors closed behind them, Neji drew her into his arms for a lingering kiss. Tenten's toes curled deliciously in her shoes, and she lifted her arms to wrap them around his shoulders and press her body closer to his. Can't this elevator go any faster? she thought impatiently in a distant corner of her mind.
A soft ding alerted them they'd reached their floor. Tenten reluctantly stepped away, though she wound her fingers with his to make sure they maintained some sort of physical contact. She and Neji covered the few paces between the elevator and the door to their suite in just a few quick steps, their bodies singing to each other with love and attraction and anticipation...
She sensed the change in Neji only a moment before she saw the way their door stood open just a crack. Pulling back her sleeve to reveal the senbon launcher strapped to her wrist, she watched as her husband slid into the distinctive fighting stance unique to his clan. A different heat, one of anger, sparked inside her. Heaven help whoever had dared interrupt their honeymoon, because she knew neither of them would cut the intruder any slack. Less, in fact, than they might have otherwise.
With a sharp, precisely gauged round kick, Neji opened the door the rest of the way. Staying low, Tenten preceded him into the room, arm sweeping around as her fingers flexed in preparation on the trigger that would launch her senbon-
-Halted in shock, however, when she recognized the stocky figure standing by the balcony door, hands in the pockets of his oversize jacket, sunglasses glinting with the last few weak rays of sun struggling to break free of the heavy grey stormclouds outside.
"Shino!" Neji said their fellow ninja's name like a curse.
One dark eyebrow appeared above the rim of his sunglasses. "Apologies for interrupting your honeymoon," the bespectacled ninja said calmly. "But Lady Tsuande sent me here to join you on a mission of utmost importance. Seeing as how you were already here..." He trailed off, his silence quite as effective as a shrug.
Allowing her sleeve to drop again, Tenten groaned. "Couldn't someone else - anyone else - handle this?" She and Neji had been in a relationship for almost seven years before they finally married. During that time, Neji had taught her much about the Hyuuga clan's most secret of techniques - and other, darker, secrets which she'd sworn she'd take to the grave if she had to. She'd faced down his forbidding and unapproving relatives and won, since they had to admit bringing her into the clan was their only option, given how much she knew. While waiting for their permission to marry Neji she'd felt more than one murderous impulse toward the geriatric Council who dictated the Hyuuga clan's politics. But those were nothing compared to that which she felt toward Shino and the absent leader of the Leaf village at that moment.
If he sensed the violent impulses emanating equally from both of them, Shino didn't show it. "Lady Tsunade has extended the two of you further leave when we return, doubling the number of days it takes to complete this mission."
Tenten's ire cooled slightly. Though she still felt furious - at Shino, at Lady Tsunade, at the entire universe for conspiring against her and Neji - she sighed and headed toward the closet across the room. "Give us a minute to prepare," she muttered.
Nodding, Shino silently sidled past them and into the hall, giving her and especially Neji wide berths. This whole thing wasn't his fault, Tenten knew, but she couldn't help but channel her frustration at him, even if he was just the messenger.
"I can't believe this is happening." Tenten angrily tugged off the loose top and shorts she'd worn over her swimsuit and reached for her mission clothes, which she'd packed purely out of habit. A good thing, apparently...
Neji's hand folded around hers, and she felt the tension rush out of her instantly. "I'm angry, too," he murmured. "But we are ninja, and this is just the way things are."
His calm wisdom seeped into her, releasing the last of the tension lingering in her muscles. Despite the fact they were supposed to be hurrying, Tenten took a moment to close her eyes and rest her head against Neji's chest. "You're right," she said. "But even though we'll always be faced with the fact we might have to pack up and head out on a mission at any moment - even when we're on our honeymoon - one thing will always remain constant in that chaos."
She looked up to see his eyes brighten with understanding even as she smiled and continued, "I will always love you. And as long as we're together, I'll be happy no matter where we are or what we're doing."
The searing kiss Neji deposited on her lips bespoke total agreement, as well as making a promise she knew they would have to wait until later - perhaps much later - to fulfill. But as they headed out with Shino only a few minutes later, Tenten felt reasonably sure they'd be able to set a new speed record for the completion of this mission.
After all, they had a nice - very nice, she thought with another smile - reward to look forward to at the end.
Author's Ending Notes: I was really happy when greetingsfrommaars chose NejiTen as the couple for this fic, since I haven't gotten much of a chance to write for them in Shadows-verse, and I've been wanting to remedy that situation. I tried very hard to work all the prompts I was given into this fic, so I hope I succeeded, and it turned out as much fun to read as it was to write! Thank you for checking out this fic, and I hope you enjoyed it!