Hiashi held onto Neji's hand. White eyes, which had only seen six years of life, looked up at the man. Neji wondered why his uncle was taking him down this smelly alley. He thought that the Hyuuga didn't hang around these parts of Konoha.
"I see you came, Hyuuga-dono. And who is this?" greeted a voice from the shadows.
Hiashi's eyebrows furrowed and his lips pursed together angrily.
"This is my nephew, Neji. He . . . he's going to be your new . . . employee if you bring my daughter back like you said you would," Hiashi replied, glaring at the patch of shadow.
"Well, I did say that I would. Luckily for you, there's a place quite near Konoha that I own. Of course, it's owned by the Could Village, or else this arrangement wouldn't be possible. How old is the boy?"
"Can he talk?"
"Yes, he can talk."
"Kid," Neji looked up, "what's your cousin's name?"
"Which one?" Neji asked, his voice rather deep for a six-year-old's.
"Oh, I like that. Sure my customers will too. I'll haveta use some sort of genjustu to cover his age and height up 'cause I don't know any of that kind of pervert, but other than that, he's perfect. But are you sure you don't have any youngsters who are older?"
"He's the oldest. Anyone older, and you'd have his father or I."
"Ick, and you two aren't as good-looking. No offense, Hyuuga-dono, but you're not."
Hiashi glared disgustedly at him.
"Will you bring my daughter back?"
"Of course I will. Just because I'm a Cloud . . . entertainer doesn't mean I'm not trustworthy. Hell, I might be more trustworthy than some of the ninja that my village has. Does she have the same eyes as him and yourself?"
"Around the same height as him?"
"'Kay, then. Piece of cake."
A man emerged from the shadows and reached a hand out to Neji, but Hiashi pulled him back.
"My daughter first."
The man chuckled sinisterly.
"Of course. What was I thinking? Just don't back out, Hyuuga-dono. Or else I keep your daughter for my own purposes."
Neji noticed Hiashi gripped his shoulders a little too tightly. Hiashi's glare also intensified.
"You have my word that you'll have Neji when this is over. And we'll have his . . . employment in written document so that you will not be in danger."
Neji looked at his uncle worriedly. Danger? What was he wanting Neji to do? What was this about?
"Oh, one more thing. His father knows nothing about his arrangement. You'll have to make his schedule something so that no one will ever know," Hiashi added; the man chuckled again.
"I figured that. You two live in the same house?"
"Have any relatives that live outside Konoha?"
"Close family friends?"
". . . . No."
"Is there any political thing that the kid could get wrapped up in?"
". . . . Yes, there is, actually. The Rain Village has been requesting proper look-outs."
"And who better than a Hyuuga, even if it is a six-year-old?"
Hiashi nodded as though sending a six-year-old to a village, by himself, was a good idea. The man smirked.
"See you in a few weeks, Hyuuga-dono. And don't you dare pull out of this."
The man retreated back into the shadows where he disappeared. Neji raised an eyebrow at his uncle. Suddenly, Hiashi pulled Neji into a tight hug. Neji blinked as he felt tears dampening his shoulder.
"I'm so sorry, Neji-kun, but this has to be done. You are supposed to do whatever you can to protect your cousin. Please don't hate her or me for this. I'm sorry this has to happen."
Neji still was confused. What had to happen?
Neji did hate Hiashi. Neji didn't hate Hinata, but he did hate Hiashi. How could that bastard to that do him? After the initial shock and horror of the situation, hate, anger and the sense of betrayal coursed through his veins. His uncle had sold him to a Cloud brothel on the border of the Fire Country and the Wind Country. Hiashi and Yamimaru (the man in the alley) required him to learn a teleportation justu so that he could return home before sunrise every night and a disguising genjustu so that he could look older and couldn't be recognized by his eyes. If the skills had been used to anything other than prostitution, he wouldn't have minded. No one else in his class could do them so well. It made him great at chakra control. But for what he used it for currently, outside of the classroom, Neji hated it. He hated the Cloud, most likely more than anyone else. He had to submit himself every night to those horny creeps. It was disgusting, revolting, and just plain wrong. It didn't matter that he was a minor; thanks to a stupid piece of paper, no one, not even the Hokage could do a thing about it. He had a guardian's permission, so it was legal. But that didn't mean he liked it. He hated it almost as much as he hated Hiashi for putting him up to it.
He had to have a tattoo all over his right arm and leg. It was the mark of the business. Neji covered it with bandages. He only took the bandages off for bathing and his "work". He was as, if not more, ashamed of the tattoo as he was of the curse mark on his forehead. When he was younger, he prayed to Kami-sama for release from his cage. Release never came, so he stopped praying. He decided fate ruled everything, even a god, and that one couldn't change fate. He never thought that someone could change his mind, that fate just might have sent him the key to his cage.
Red Roses2: Short, I know. But I've got three other fan fictions, school work, two original stories, and an article I haven't even started yet, not to mention actually having a life (one that doesn't just revolve around writing). This may not be updated often, but oh well. Perhaps if I get enough reviews, free time and inspiration will come at the same time. Who knows? Fate might be kind.