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Such a pure heart lost in the madness

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"Tenten, hurry. The ceremony is almost over!"

"Yes, yes, Ino. Sorry, the pumps were just too uncomfortable. You think the guests will mind?" Tenten fixes her hair and shows Ino her sneaker-clad feet.

"Well, as long as they are black it should be okay, I guess. Though maybe you should ask Sassuke, just to make sure."

Tenten snorts unladylike and mutters a barely-audible "Whatever." He deserved the Nickname after terrorizing her, Ino, Sakura and Hinata with his brother's wedding's preparations. Just because the company that had originally planned to sent waiters and waitresses bailed on the Uchiha's, Naruto had suggested asking their friends. Although Tenten was more Naruto's friend than Sasuke's, the Uchiha's paid good money for one evening. Sakura and Tenten were actually the only ones who really needed the extra money, since both were saving it, while Ino and Hinata were pretty safe, considering their parents were not exactly broke.

"Come on!" Ino urges her to go faster. How Ino manages to walk in her high heels is truly a mystery to Tenten.

When they open the door gently, the ceremony seems to have begun already. The room is decorated costly, with a gigantic chandelier hanging in the middle of the extremely high ceiling. The walls are decorated with old paintings and extravagant candle holders and the floor is so shiny, she can see her own reflection in the tiles. Tenten can't even imagine what a fortune this stupid wedding must cost. No one needs that much money for a wedding, Kami in heaven, honestly.

She hurriedly walks towards her place at the bar, where Sakura, Ino, Hinata, Gaara and four other girls have taken a seat, with Gaara standing behind the bar. Surprisingly Gothboy had some tricks up his sleeve - who knew that he worked as a part-time bartender?

"You may now kiss the bride!" It's ridiculous how many important people are on the guest-list.

Politicians, business men and even three or four actors she recognized immediately.

Tenten watches the ceremony with a detachment she is not familiar with. It just seems so fake.  The bride is very beautiful, but in a quiet and elegant way, as she even wears a traditional kimono, whereas her husband-to-be, Itachi Uchiha, heir to the Uchiha Group, wears a black suit.

Almost as if he is on a funeral and not his wedding. She has not seen his smile once and Tenten feels terribly strange watching his face.

Shouldn't he be thrilled?

His wife is pretty, he's got a job and all the money he can dream of - life must be great.

Instead his facial expression remains stony, even as they kiss. Everyone claps, except for Sasuke and his father, who stand next to Itachi.

On second thought, perhaps this cold ass personality just runs in the family.


+ + +

Tenten and her friends have a lot of work during the banquet and especially during the "After Party". The alcohol has loosened most people's tongues and there is a lot of laughter to be heared. Sasuke and Naruto even dance at one point together.

Itachi and his wife barely drink anything, but she witnesses at midnight, how Sasuke tells his brother to stop drinking, since he can't hold his liquor.

Oh, really now.

When more than half the guests leave the party after 1 am, Tenten finally manages to catch a breather, although she does not stop working. She only slows her pace.

The table where the Uchiha's are seated at is full of glasses and empty bottles, which surprises her. Tenten hurries to the table and starts to collect the glass on a tray. Only Itachi, his wife Konan and Sasuke are still there. Konan is the epitome of beauty and elegance. Not one hair is out of place and her posture is to die for. Sasuke is talking to his brother, until he notices her cleaning up.

"Ah, Tenten. Thank you." Konan does not spare her a glance, but her husband turns his head to her for a short moment only, as if not really seeing her and he turns his head back again. Just a second later he turns his head so fast to look at Tenten, she almost drops the glass she has been holding out of surprise. Tenten narrows her eyes at him.

Surely he must have gotten a concussion from that.

His cheeks are tinted red, so he must have drunken more than he can manage.

He is glaring at her.

What the hell. She casts a glance at Sasuke, who has noticed it, too.

An awkward moment passes and Tenten reverts her gaze to the glasses and bottles, continuing with her work. She gulps and glances at him carefully. There is a very creepy and weird familiarity emanating from him. Have they met before, by chance?

He is still glaring.

And his wife is right there next to him and Tenten suddenly wonders if she's disturbed an important conversation, so she hastily retreats from their table.

"Ne, Sakura." Sakura jolts awake from where she is sitting on the floor behind the bar.

"Sorry, what is it?" Tenten suppresses a mean remark.

"Have you ever heard that Itachi is... I don't know, weird?"

Sakura carefully moves her head so that she can take a look at him. She hesitates and pretends to be busy with a glass she finds on the counter.

"You mean because he is watching us like we want to poison him and his wife?"

Tenten nods carefully. Gaara joins their conversation suddenly while shaking a bottle.

"I am deeply sorry to disappoint you two, but this is glare is not suspicion." Tenten eyes Ino's boyfriend curiously.

"Right." she finally says dryly. "You should know."

"Exactly." He takes another look at the table.

"I'm pretty sure that he is tired, drunk and exhausted." Gaara analyzes.

"Well, good thing that Scrooge McDuck can later take a bath in his money to relax." Tenten deadpans and points with a thumb in Itachi's general direction.

Sakura tightly presses her lips closed and calmly walks away to keep herself busy and from laughing out loud.

Throughout the whole night she catches Itachi glaring at her from across the room, as she does not dare come any closer to their table anymore.

At 3 am Sakura and Tenten take down two shots of pure vodka, just to make it through the night. It tastes disgusting and Tenten regrets it almost. Almost. Hinata and Ino merely shook their heads.

After 4 am, most guests have left and the waiters and waitresses clean up. After 9 hours of non-stop working Tenten allows herself to take a short break on the nearby balcony.

The night-air is cool and crisp and she immediately sighs and stretches. The location is vast and beautiful, but at the same time over the top. She leans onto the stone railing and enjoys the view of the forest underneath them. The moon is still high up and the sky is very clear. It's a perfect night.

As if the gods knew that today would be an important wedding.

She has not seen Itachi and his wife in a while, so she believes that they have left, too.

Her mind wanders and she wonders where she could have seen him before. Was it because Sasuke and Itachi look so familiar?

A man clears his throat behind her and she turns around quickly.

Itachi Uchiha is standing a few steps away from her and he watches her intently. He's got the same dark eyes as Sasuke, but his faces looks a little softer, prettier.

Oh, the alcohol has made her crazy.

He is not only "watching her intently", he is glaring again, for Kami's sake.

What an ass. Itassi and Sassuke. Ha. She laughs at her own joke internally, but her face does not betray her.


"Dude, sorry, but what the hell are you glaring at." she nags loudly and his eyes widen at her words. She suddenly realizes that this is Itachi Uchiha in front of her, so she immediately adds a "S-Sir." Tenten cringes internally.

Correction: The vodka has not made her only crazy; it has also made her incredibly stupid.

Suddenly, she watches his face morph into one of pure bliss and absolute joy.

Tenten looks at him suspiciously.

Then, his face changes again and Itachi looks as if to be in immense pain. He walks over to the railing and leans against it.

"Are you okay? Should I get someone?" she almost touches his arms, but pretends to hold her hands up instead. Is he ill?

His face is still stricken when he looks at her.

"What a perfect ending to a horrible day." he tells her in a clear and well - projected voice. The mark on her thigh tingles. It can't be.

Itachi closes his eyes.
"I knew it. I felt it." he says softly and smiles bitter.  

She looks up at the sky and lets out a longsuffering sigh.

Lord Kami up there sure is testing me.

When she looks down again, she catches Itachi watching her with deep sorrow etched onto his face. She has a Soulmate? Itachi is the other part of her soul?

A woman's voice interrupts their moment.

"Honey." she calls gently and both flinch out of their reverie. Konan is holding her head up high.

"We ought to go." She patiently waits for him without paying Tenten any mind.

Is this what loss feels like? Itachi sighs and gets up from the railing. Tenten opens her mouth to say something, because surely this can't be true.

Before he reaches Konan, Itachi turns to her one last time, his hands buried in the pockets of his suit pants.

"It was a pleasure meeting you, Tenten-San." His voice is gentle, but his bitter smile portrays his emotions.

It can't be.


"...!" She opens her mouth soundlessly, as if something is blocking her whole throat.

The glass doors close behind the newly-weds.

Suddenly feeling nauseous, Tenten grabs the railing to stabilize herself.

She has found her Soulmate and lost him immediately.

No, she corrects herself. He was not mine to begin with.

Shocked she falls down to her knees.

Why did he have to be married? Why couldn't it be someone else?