Fandom: Naruto modern!AU/canon. Kinda.
Notes: Chapter 4 of the 'Second Chances' series, and this is where I feel free to leave the angst behind for a bit. I mean, with baby Neji and baby Tenten, it seems too mean to make them angst just yet.
How many miles to London-town?
Threescore and ten
Can I make it there by candle-light?
Yes, and back again
The fact that their parents had become such close friends, the close proximity of their houses, and especially and of course the fact that they were exactly the same age had caused many to prophesy that the two babies would be very close as they grew up. Practically siblings - practically twins.
"For a while, at least," said Hizashi Hyuga.
The proud parents were absolutely certain that their children were the most adorable, cuddly, sweet, angelic, beautiful children ever to bless the face of the earth (generously allowing that their neighbor's child was ALMOST as adorable, sweet, etc. etc. as their own), as proud papas and mamas had done the world over since children began. Those who saw the children generally agreed.
Neji Hyuga had his father's features and his mother's coloring - her paler skin, and his hair (the nurses had murmured over what a fine, full head of hair he'd been born with) a soft auburn color. But his eyes were the same unusual silver-gray of his father's, which pleased his mother - she'd been dreaming of silver-eyed children since long before Hizashi Hyuga asked her out on a date (but NOT, unknown to her, before Hizashi had been dreaming of children with her auburn hair).
Tenten, as Tien was immediately nicknamed, was a smaller, darker baby, but seemed somehow to take up more space. She was much more wriggly than her birthday-mate (as her mother had once called Neji, and the name stuck) and much louder as well. She had light brown eyes that could have come from either parent, vaguely almond-shaped at the corners, and soft curling tufts of tawny-colored hair.
They looked like the tiny cherubs that baby-food commercials and the like focused on, said one aunt, and everyone - again - agreed.
They were not only the firstborn in their respective families, they were also the first and only (so far) grandchildren in their families. The babies were coveted like dragon-eggs and the grandparents were over as often as they could be - the grandmothers shamelessly dragging their husbands out to see "the babies" and the grandfathers pretending to grumble but really just as eager.
They regarded each other with wary friendliness, because yes the parents - their own children - were good friends and yes they could bond over being first-time grandparents and ooooh weren't the little ones cute? But deep inside them was the sneaking suspicion that the other wished to usurp their rightful share of grandchild affection because who could resist the cuteness? They regarded each other as allied countries who both wish the same bit of border country under their banners do.
Because, things being as they were, it was impossible to spend large amounts of time with one child and not also spend large amounts with the other. And them both being such cute little moppets (as Moira's mother put it) it was impossible not to grow fond of them.
Tenten was being babysat by Hizashi and Moira one night when Hizashi's mother came to visit. As she watched the two babies sprawl and creep and coo to each other on the soft rubber matting they'd laid down for playtime, there was a smile curving her thin lips. Encouraged, Moira came to sit by her sometimes intimidating mother-in-law, with a plate of iced biscuits and some tea.
Hizashi was sitting in the middle of the floor with the babies, peridodically having to pull Neji back up as his son industriously tried to suck on Tenten's pale blue baby-shoe. Tenten sat there, delighted with the whole situation, clapping and giggling everytime her playmate sprawled towards her shoe.
Moira was just telling Hinamori about how the first full night of sleep either baby had was when Tenten and Meiling were staying over a night (Hizashi and Jian both being out on business trips) and how comforted they were when they napped in the same crib. Hinamori remarked, "Well, I know Neji gets it from his father, but I wonder where the Chang girl learnt it?"
Hizashi froze mid-pull, ignoring Neji's protesting squeal as the baby strained towards the pale blue shoe he was DETERMINED to get into his mouth. "What do you mean, mother?"
Hinamori took a delicate bite of an iced biscuit before answering. "Until you were about four years old, it was impossible to get you and your brother to sleep in separate beds. When your father got you separate rooms you were forever sneaking out of them. Why, I'd wake up in the morning and find you not only in the same room, but sucking on each other's thumb."
Hizashi blushed and stared, Moira hid a smile behind a hand, and Hinamori took a sip of tea. Then the silence was broken by a soft coo from Tenten as she pulled off her shoe and offered it to a delighted Neji, who immediately crammed as much of it into his mouth as he could.