TITLE: Hell is for Neji
TYPE: One-shot, humor
WARNINGS: Spoilers for Naruto manga, sick humor, authors on crack
Disclaimer: Naruto does not belong to us. If it did, Neji probably would have committed suicide a long time ago. Don't sue, don't plagiarize, and um…yo momma.
Hell is for Neji
Co-written by Mucktron and Pierrot twixt Columbine
The first thing Neji saw when he opened his eyes was Lee's round, happy face.
Neji realized that he'd died and now was in hell.
Hell was a white hospital room that smelled like someone had died earlier and the nurses weren't very good at hiding it. In hell, all the people you wished that death would drive away gather around your bed and smile. Sometimes, they also give you thumbs up signs.
"Cheer up, Neji!" Gai-sensei said and gave him a particularly hellish thumbs-up sign, his teeth glinting in the fluorescent light. "You'll be out of here in no time."
Not soon enough.
Neji's whole body hurt and it was hard to focus with the drugs that they'd put him on. His hair felt tangled and clumpy; they'd cleaned his wounds and the rest of the blood, but no one had really done anything about his hair other than wash the blood out of it. He'd learned that he'd gotten a good many deal of holes in him due to his fight with the Sound Nin. They said that the one in his arm had torn several ligaments that would take a while to repair, and over all he was lucky to be alive.
Neji looked at his teammates, and his Sensei.
"Hey! I have a great idea! Lee! Tenten! I'm giving a new mission to both of you! Your new mission.. is to comb Neji's hair!"
No. No, Neji was not lucky to be alive at all.
Any normal ninja might think Gai-sensei was kidding. But even delirious with the drugs, Neji knew that Gai-sensei never kid. He was just plain crazy. And as for his teammates...
Tenten had a blissed-out look on her face that made Neji wonder if she'd been swiping some of his painkillers. "That's a great idea! I have a brush with me in my bag. Trust us Neji," said Tenten as she turned and gave him a look that made him want to jump out the window and crawl away from her with his elbows rather than trust her. "We'll make sure your hair gets back to its original, magnificent, silky luster."
Silky luster? Magnificent?
"That's right!" Rock Lee screamed next to Neji's ear. "I will give my all to make sure Neji's hair is shiny, smooth and free from all split ends!"
His legs could not be that terribly injured. Surely he could run from this. Surely he could! Neji tried to move his legs. No, he could not run.
Ah, if only his arm hadn't been so horribly damaged, he could have used his byakugan and used it to effectively perform his taijutsu on his attackers- err… peers. But no. His good arm was too far away from the others, who were now going through Tenten's back pack trying to find other things that might come in use for the torment they were to inflict on their fellow Genin.
But wait, his good arm, it could read the damaged arm where the IV tubes were stuck in, keeping him alive while his body recovered. Yes, with a good jerk, he could pull them out, ending this humiliation and torment that he'd been experiencing ever since Gai had asked him to "Put on a happy face!" on his first day of being a Genin.
But was it worth it? After all, he'd gone this far, his father had told him to live. That he must live because he was the strongest of the Hyuugas, because he was a genius and was more blessed than anyone else in his clan because-
"Hey guys!" cried Gai-Sensei happily. "I found scrunchies!"
"Oh wow!" Tenten beamed! "They'll go great with Neji's smooth shiny hair!"
"Gai Sensei! You're so resourceful!" Lee's eyes filled with tears of joy.
Fuck the Hyuuga clan, they could force Hinata to get her quivering ass into the gear!
Neji gave the IV tube a good pull.
The tube came out easily, squirting clear fluid. Neji flung it aside and happily awaited Death's welcoming arms. Ah, the sweet bliss of silence, the pure ecstasy of a black and uncaring void, where nobody would ever say the phrase "the flames of youth" ever, EVER again!
"Neji, your IV tube fell out," Gai-sensei commented, looking thoroughly surprised. "You shouldn't be so careless. You're not getting the proper nutrients that your young body needs. You must value the flames of youth while it is still burning bright, Neji!"
Why? Why does death tease him so? Why can't it come quick? Neji cursed his strong heart. Why did it not cease beating immediately?
"Gai-sensei, I'll help Neji!" Lee said enthusiastically. He picked the IV tube off the floor and stuck it into Neji's arm. "Get better soon, Neji!"
Neji howled with pain, too outraged at being cheated by death to make out any words. He was already stuck full of holes from the last battle. What did one more matter?
"Um.. Lee… I think maybe we should get a nurse to actually do that."
After a few minutes of exchanged looks Gai broke into a once again overly happy smile. "Well! No harm done there I guess! Okay! We'll do this in basic team formation! Tenten! You brush! Lee! You accessorize! Together we shall make Neji's beautiful vibrant hair shine with all the flare and flames of youth!"
Neji frantically looked around for something. Anything to end the pain with. But alas! No avail! Why must life torment him so? First he was born a member of the branch family. Then the symbol of a bird in a cage had been painfully carved into his forehead. Then his father was sacrificed so that the head of the Hyuuga may live. Neji could put up with all of this. Yes, it was hard and grueling and dark and no one could ever understand the pain of being branded a symbol. But then, he'd gotten his team.
And Neji had decided that the fates hated him.
He'd tried to kill Hinata to make some of the pain go away, but not even that had gone according to plan. Gai Sensei with his "Killing your 12 year old cousin is wrong" belief had stopped him. And Neji's pain still remained.
Maybe that was it. He was being punished for trying to kill Hinata- sama. He really didn't mean to, it was her own fault for not backing down, it was her own fault for-
"Hey Gai Sensei! Lets take off Neji's hospital gown so that we can work on his hair easier!"
Gai's horrifying scary cheerful expression actually had a look of confusion on it now.
"Um.. I think his hair should be fine with the gown on Tenten."
Tenten's face sulked.
"But! We could give him a sponge bath later on when he needs it! Then Neji's skin can shine with the glory and power of youth! YES!"
"Oh Gai Sensei!" Lee practically bellowed
"You're such a great teacher to Neji!"
He'd never be mean to Hinata-sama again. He'd make her lunch and take her to training and he'd buy her dresses. Oh please god, please please please just let him find a way to make his escape from this all.
"Neji!" Lee cried ecstatically, "Look! I found some beads that can go in your hair! They bring out the color of your eyes."
"My eyes don't have color," Neji said through gritted teeth.
"Which is exactly why you need these beads to bring them out!" Lee said cheerfully with the logic of a monkey on hallucinogens.
He was interrupted from his fantasies of ripping his teammates apart limb from limb using his Byakugan and Gentle Fist style by a tickling sensation at his side. Tenten was crouched uncomfortably close to him, stroking his hair slowly. Her eyes glittered with a strange light, the same light he had seen whenever someone said the word Sasuke in front of Sakura, or ramen in front of Naruto.
"Your hair is so soft, Neji," Tenten said softly, stroking his hair.
Neji flinched, feeling true fear for the first time in a long time. His body would not move. "What are you doing Tenten? Get away from me. Stay away!"
Tenten whipped out a brush and started to brush his hair mercilessly, even as Neji screamed for her to stop. She was a monster, a brushing machine. "You'll understand soon, Neji. There's no need to struggle. You might even enjoy it if you stop struggling," Tenten said, eyes glinting. "Now, let's try some...braids."
Neji frantically struggled to escape but it was no avail. Thanks to being on enough pain killers to tranquilize an enraged water buffalo he could barely get any of his muscles to work properly. And worse, Tenten's brushing had now become horribly rhythmic. ..nice even. No! What was he saying! This was wrong! Wrong!
He needed away to escape this! To.. wait a minute, didn't these machines have morphine buttons? Using his good hand he reached around the side of the bed until he was able to find it. Maybe he wasn't able to end his horrible pain, but at least he could make it better! Neji tapped the button. Again. And again, yes! He could slowly feel himself fading away, he could slowly feel-
"Gai Sensei! Neji is hitting that button again and again!"
Ah! He was going to kill Lee! He was going to make Lee wish that that Garra kid had finished him off!
Gai patiently took Neji's hand away from the button while Neji whimpered frantically in protest.
"I know you must be in a lot of pain right now Neji, but you don't wanna over do the morphine." Gai gave Neji's hand a squeeze that, while it was meant to be friendly, increased Neji's horrification. "You're a strong boy Neji. To have ruthlessly battled those Sound Nin, to have gone through so much pain just to act on your duty as a Shinobi…"
Gai grabbed Neji into a hug that he was pretty sure had just broken the remaining bones in his body that hadn't been damaged during the fight.
"You're a great Ninja Neji! I'm so proud to have you has my student!"
Gai broke into manly sobs while Neji himself was on the verge of tears as well as he struggled to break free from Gai's manly grasp.
"Aw! It looks cute now!"
Gai released Neji from his grip and Neji realized with horror that his hair had now been done into two neat braided pigtails.
Gai applauded "Wonderful Tenten! Neji will be a big hit with the ladies! Lee! You're up! Let's put those ribbons and scrunchies we found to good use!"
"OSSU!" Lee looked like he'd just been told that he'd been promoted to Jounin.
…On second thought, Neji wished that HE'D been finished off by Gaara.
"Lee," Neji hissed as Lee came over with a handful of ribbons, bows, and beads. "Don't you dare."
Lee laughed good naturedly at him as started to attach ribbons to his hair with vigor, totally missing the point. "Don't worry, Neji. I don't mind doing this at all. In fact," Lee lowered his voice confidentially. "It's kind of fun."
Yes, of course Lee, the hellspawn of Satan and all his unholy minions, would think that torturing Neji in this sick and twisted way was fun. Of course! Why hadn't he thought of this earlier? This was all just Lee's sick revenge for all those times Neji called him a failure. He had even gotten Gai-sensei involved, and of course Gai-sensei would do anything for his favorite student.
Look at them with their innocent smiles and their damned thumbs up signs. They were planning, plotting, waiting to off him slowly by way of make-up and hair style. They were diabolical!
"Neji, are you all right? Your eye is twitching," Gai-sensei said, concerned.
"Oh, you wish I wasn't all right," Neji whispered harshly. "That's your big plan, isn't it? You're all here to drive me to the point of suicide. Well, let me tell you something: It's WORKING! It's WORKING DAMN YOU!"
Gai-sensei sighed. "We're going to have to tell the nurses to stop his medication. Be strong, Neji! Stand the pain so that you can salvage your mind! Your flaming youth awaits you!"
"YES NEJI!" Lee shouted in his ear again, rendering that one virtually deaf. Lee planted a big, floppy bow on his head. "Your future is shining with bright possibilities!"
Neji had to agree with him on that. He had plenty of possibilities. Drowning. Slitting his wrist. Overdose. A plastic bag over his head. Vaulting out of the window. Why...there were so many roads to redemption, so many ways to escape the pain!
He sighed as Gai and Lee left the hospital room. Finally now he could get some rest and-
Wait. Why was Tenten shutting the door behind them? And why was she giggiling to herself?
"Finally. I thought they'd never leave."
She slowly walked over to Neji, her large eyes gleaming with some sort of excitement.
"Now then, Neji… you just sit still and relax. Nurse Tenten is gonna make you feel allll better…"
Neji's eye's widened with horror as he realized what she was up to.
"You can't.. Tenten.. we're.. no!"
Neji tried to muster the energy to throw himself off the bed and crawl to safety, but thanks to all the morphine he'd given himself, he was now rendered totally helpless and left to the wanton desires of Tenten.
"Tenten.. stay back!"
She wasn't listening.
"Aw.. don't worry Neji. It's not gonna hurt very much."
She stoked his cheek, causing Neji to shudder. "In fact, if you promise to be good. It won't hurt at all."
She leaned over and whispered into Neji's ear "That bow looks sooo sexy on you. Neji-chan".
Neji-chan. She had called him Neji-chan. Things could only go downhill from here. Desperately, Neji tried to inch away from Tenten. "Tenten, dame da! You don't wait to do this. Not like this. You'll live to regret it!"
But Tenten had that manic sparkle in her eye again. She edged onto the hospital bed and scooted over to Neji. "Don't tell me what I do and don't want to do, Neji-chan. Now...just hold still. It'll be over soon."
"IYA!" Neji cried, thrashing away from Tenten as she took out a bottle of clear liquid and squirted some of it onto her fingers. "No, please don't! Don't touch me with that!"
But it was too late. Without warning, Tenten thrust her fingers into Neji's hair, massaging his scalp until he cried for mercy. Her fingers moved through his dark locks rhythmically as she smirked down at his prone body.
"Try to resist if you must! It's better that way," Tenten said, laughing maniacally. "Only then will you realize what you've been denying yourself, the true ecstasy that is hair sculpting gel!"
Neji could stand it no longer. He turned his head away from Tenten, burying his face into the hospital pillow so that she could not see him. Oh, the pain! Oh, the pleasure! Oh, the fantastical hold that did not leave behind a greasy feeling residue! She was right, he really DID enjoy it! He was a beast, to be having these feelings. He had shamed the family name with his indulgence in frivolous hair care products.
"Father," Neji said softly, tears welling into his eyes. "Forgive me. I have shamed your name."
Neji's face flushed red as Tenten continued to run her nasty deed. He was helpless against her evil evil ways though. So helpless, what could he do? Neji gripped the bedsheets tighter with his good hand as Tenten continued to run her fingers over his hair.
"Tenten? Neji?" a familiar voice boomed.
Neji turned his head to the side to see a face that he never thought he'd be happy to see.
Tenten's face was streaked red as she tried to explain her current position sitting over a now crying soft Neji with bottle in hand.
"It's not what it looks like! I mean! He asked me too! I mean!"
Gai sighed "Tenten. What did I tell you! Hair Sculpting Gel no Jutsu is a dangerous technique that must be done ONLY with the other person's permission! I don't teach you guys these things so that you can use them on your other teammates!"
Gai sighed "Have my teachings taught you nothing?"
Gai's would be brooding was interrupted by a knock at the door as a young meek girl stuck her head in.
"Um.. I'm sorry to interrupt.. but.. is this Neji Niisan's room? I.. I wanted to give him something.. but.. if this is a bad time then I'm sorry and I can come back later.."
Neji, hair now beautifully styled and eyes now red, gasped in horror as Hyuuga Hinata walked in carrying a bouquet of flowers.
Neji-nii...san," Hinata breathed, her eyes going wide. The flowers she was carrying dropped to the floor with a decisive thump, scattering flower petals through the room.
Neji was ready to die. Right now. RIGHT NOW! Of all the people to walk through that door at that exact moment, it had to be Hinata. Neji would rather it be Orochimaru coming through the door than Hinata. At least Orochimaru would do him the favor of killing him instantly and ending his pain. But no, it was Hinata.
"Don't look at me!" Neji snarled, turning his head away from Hinata. "Why have you come here? Are you here to laugh at me? Well, take a good look. This is me humiliated and defeated. Happy?"
"Anou...Neji niisan, that wasn't...I mean...eto...you look...you look like..." Hinata stammered, falling back a step.
Obviously, she was so horrified by his appearance that she could not stay in the same room. "I look like what? I look like a fool? You think it's hilarious that I'm like this?"
"You what? Spit it out already!"
"I think you look very pretty," Hinata finally managed. Then, almost as an afterthought: "I've always wanted to do my hair like that."
The window, Neji decided, was best. Jumping out of the window would surely kill him.
Two weeks after bad hospital food, bad T.V., and the rather humiliating experience of Gai deciding that they should all give him a bath, Neji was almost recovered, he still need his crutches but he was almost free. On a lighter side though, his hair was now beautiful and silky smooth.
He slowly walked his way over to the bridge. No one was following him around today which was good. After the fifth incident of Neji making a dash for the window, Gai had realized that Neji was dealing with his hospitalization pretty hard and had insisted on keeping a better eye out for him.
Neji leaned over the bridge and sighed. Yes! Soon he'd be free! Free like the birds that flew in the air!
"No Neji, don't do it!" A voice shouted out to him. Neji blinked and turned around just in time to be tackled to the ground by Lee. "You have so much to live for, Neji!"
He heard something snap as he hit the ground with Lee, and for a moment he was not sure if it was really the bones in his legs that were snapping, or if it was just the fragile remains of his sanity. The pain of realization far outweighed the physical pain. "Lee. My legs. My legs are broken again!"
"Yes Neji, but your spirit is still whole!" Lee shouted triumphantly. "Never succumb to desperate measures. The flame of your youth still burns bright; value your life above all things! Neji, suicide is not the answer!"
"That's right, Neji!" Another booming, annoyingly cheerful voice joined Lee's. It was Gai-sensei. Where had he come from? Hell itself must have opened up and spewed out its master. Or perhaps they had all been waiting for him, waiting for this opportunity. "Suicide is never the answer. Good job, Lee!"
Red rage enveloped his mind. Chakra spewed from his body in a miasma of violence. Visions of a decimated Konoha filled his mind. His mouth watered. "He broke...my...legs. I can't move for another month...one...more...month."
"Don't worry, Neji!" Lee said cheerfully. "We'll all be there for you, every minute of the day!"
"No...no more...I can't take anymore," Neji whispered frantically. Crawling using his hands, Neji inched towards the bridge and threw himself off.
He landed in the water with a splash and waited for the cool, relief-giving water to fill his lungs. Except it didn't fill his lungs. It only splashed his face and chest, because it was only two feet deep. So this was what Lee had "saved" him from.
From the bridge above him, Gai-sensei looked down and shook his head. "Neji, I know you want to get better soon, but rushing yourself like that won't do. I think you might have made your legs worse. From the looks of things, you might have to stay in the hospital for TWO more months."
Neji flopped onto his back in the water, letting it wash over him. Truly, this was hell.