The Soundtrack of Our Summer
Summary: Neji always believed himself to be wise because he never got close to anyone so he never got hurt. What happens when a strange twist of fate brings him close to the child of a broken house whose mere presense brings back all the memories he so wished to forget? Will the music be the thing to hold them together? (GaaraNeji).
Chapter 1: Dreamer
Your witness in the silences
When words are not enough.
I can hear it. I can hear it in the sound of the water, the whispers that echo through the trees like half forgotten lore… I can feel it on my skin as it lingers weaving paths of red roses in it's wake, the thorns piercing bumps into my very flesh. The passion that ran through me was never different and yet never the same. Always transcending but never hated. Always new but never a nuisance.
Of course no words could ever describe the sensual feeling that seemed to have always built up inside of me as my fingers stroked the ivory keys sending waves of gentle song throughout the room warming every inch of me. If I could then I would have never played. The soft tune was of my past, a song my mother taught me so long ago that most would have thought I would have forgotten it by now. Of course, I never forgot. Not once in my life. Not even a single second. I can remember her fingers running across the keys as mine were now, her face solemn but beautiful. Pale translucent skin, high paneled cheekbones, long brown hair braided loosely over her left shoulder, the other shoulder bare. Her calm grey eyes were closed, lips gently parted as she played as if she were in her own world.
As I was in my own world. The one song that followed me wherever I went, called to me whenever I wished it to call to me, spoke of only true and utter bliss as it had so long ago with my mother. Of course she was no more, and I remained alone, at least for as long as I could remember. Alone I was and alone I would stay, just me and the sound that brought me home again into my mothers warm embrace…
Of course, my dream faded leaving me in the large empty room which was the living room of the elusive Hyuuga mansion, home to the leader of the Hyuuga corporation Hiashi Hyuuga and his two daughters Hinata-sama and Hanabi-sama. A beautiful palace it had seemed so many years ago and I… well I was none other then a stable hand, only there because I had no where else to go…
"Neji-kun th-that was b-beautiful," the short blue-haired girl murmured gently, her small body sitting up right with perfect posture against the white leather couch.
Neji had nearly forgotten that the small Hyuuga girl was even there until he heard her gentle voice break the resounding note of his last key. He grimaced a little annoyed before turning his blank silvery orbs to meet the girls softer ones, his head bowing lightly to her.
"I hope you enjoyed it Hinata-sama," his voice was blank, emotionless as it had always been. Just because he was obligated to pleasing his cousins, didn't mean he had to enjoy it. If he had it his way he would be up in his room with a keyboard, no matter how beautiful the baby grand piano was that his fingers had just been playing.
And boy was the piano one to behold. Unlike the normal black this piano was a lovely ivory, the colour of it's creamy keys. Nestled just above the sheet holder was a crystal vase filled with brilliant red roses, a few petals withered away from the stem now lying against the ivory wood of the piano. To me there was never a sight more beautiful…
"C-can you play me a-another one if that is a-alright?" Hinata asked sweetly, a hopefully smile crossing her cheeks. Unlike Hanabi, Hinata-sama had always been somewhat kind when asking things of him, never demanding. It was as if she were giving him the chance to deny her wishes. Maybe that's why he always played for her and never left when she gave him so many opportunities to.
He just nodded and pressed down on the ivory keys, his fingers skimming over them once again sending another lovely ballad through the room. This one though was more deep, complicated. A song that could only be played by the highest of rank. Of course no matter how easy it was for Neji to play such a beautiful song, he could never seem to play as passionately as his lullaby.
Although Neji could never quite lose himself to the ballads he played, he nonetheless enjoyed playing the quicker paced songs, heart reeling excitedly with the prospect of such a beautiful sound being created from his own fingertips. It was his only joy.
Of course, his concentration had been so focused on the keys before him that he had not heard the living room door opening and closing, the much taller brunette man standing behind the couch that Hinata-sama was sitting on, back straight. Hiashi Hyuuga. Head of the Hyuuga corporation, and for the most part, Neji's guardian and uncle.
Hiashi was never really approving of anything, not that that made him a terrible man or anything. Most of his time was either spent worrying about his duties as well as worrying about his two daughters. Neji never felt upset that Hiashi wasn't really interested in his life for he knew well enough that he was the one intruding on Hiashi's life. Hiashi never wanted him. That was obvious. It just so happened that his mother and father past leaving Neji quite alone in this world. Neji never despised Hiashi.
But, even though he hated to admit it, he had always wanted to hear just a few simple words of praise from the older Hyuuga. Maybe a 'good job' or maybe not even that far. Just a recognition that he knew Neji was working hard instead of the normal 'piano is a woman's instrument. You mine as well get the pianist dream out of your head before you realise that no matter how hard you try you'll never make it to the big times.' Neji always just responded in the same emotionless tone. 'I would if I had the courage to let go.'
Hiashi never quite knew what Neji meant by those words and had pondered it more the Neji would ever know. Of course there was no easy answers when it came to Neji. He never smiled, never cried. Never showed any emotion… except when his hands ran along the keys as they did. In those few heart piercing moments you could see every emotion that ran through Neji. Ever thought of hate and sorrow, every smile that should have graced his full lips. Every chuckle that should have warmed his ever frozen aura. The few moments where his shield was finally down and out. Neji never knew this…
When the song came to an end, Neji turned his eyes back towards Hinata who was clapping softly, a light smile gracing her thin delicate face.
"Neji-kun th-that was b-brilliant," she smiled weakly. "Y-you have b-become a b-beautiful pianist."
"Hn," Hiashi murmured gently under his breath. Normally it was a string of insults but today his voice showed no signs of malice. It was almost a little refreshing in Neji's case as he stood up to make his exit when the low males voice caught his attention once again. "When did this happen?"
That line seemed to have caught him off guard as he pivoted easily on his heel facing his uncle once again. "I beg your pardon?"
"You never took lessons," Hiashi murmured more to himself then to Neji. "I don't see how you could have perfected such a craft."
"It is not perfect by far Uncle," Neji bowed his head lightly, unsure. This was the closest he had come to an actual compliment from Hiashi so he wasn't about to blow it now.
"Then you may take an extra hour to practice a day if you wish," Hiashi started to stride over so he could sit next to Hinata. "I want to see where this takes you." he took a seat firmly before his glazed over eyes sharpened again as the seriousness of the moment became once again his main priority. "It seems we are out of milk. Fetch a gallon."
Neji nodded turning out the door at that very moment, heart racing. Yep that was definitely weird. He always thought Hiashi would make a gay joke before he'd ever ponder at all about Neji.
Shaking it off Neji walked into the kitchen and grabbed a five dollar bill off the kitchen counter that was obviously left there for him so he could get the milk. He then strode down the hallway, hands clasped easily behind him as he slipped his red converse high-tops on, zipping up his navy jacket easily. He then grabbed his messenger bag from the hook beside the door slipping the bill into the front pocket before stepping outside.
It was a particularly chilly day for fall, the wind blowing coolly against his cheeks sending shivers down his back. The convenient store was just a few streets away but it was closer to the low income housing. Hiashi never sent Hinata or Hanabi to fetch milk unless accompanied by Neji for he was always afraid that something bad would happen to his only daughters. Neji of course was a fairly strong male, though his feminine posture, and Hiashi trusted he could take care of himself without need of an escort.
Neji never minded running to the corner store. It was somewhat peaceful having the alone time not to mention Neji had known the low income housing well for him and his family used to live in the specific area.
Hizashi, Neji's father, was the youngest twin brother to Hiashi and would have had quite the high reputation in the Hyuuga corporation if he had only stayed. Of course Hizashi had no plan of staying with the Hyuuga clan from an early start. He had more ambitions then that. A famous painter was his dream. He met Neji's mother when he was walking down the street and he heard a piano playing sweetly throughout the street. Some say they fall in love at first sight. I guess you could say Neji's parents fell in love at first listen.
They struggled to keep their home together and to build a family but never were they sad. They loved each other and they loved Neji with all of their hearts and never needed anything more then that. Neji used to think they were crazy… of course until it finally dawned on him the moment his parents past. The moment his fingers first stroked the ivory keys of the old beat up piano sitting in the living room. He had a dream, and if he didn't make it he would be happy enough landing wherever he could.
And that was why Neji played. Because his dreams and his reality were bent around one and only one thing. The will to play.
Before he knew it he was already half way to the corner store, memories passing through his mind at a sickening speed. Memories of walking these streets with his parents. They were always smiling, and even though they were sad they never hated, they never became depressed…
Suddenly his train of thought was broken as a loud crashing sound came from inside what looked to be an old beat up brick housing unit. The wired fence around it gave it a feel of unwelcome, and the crashing sound confirmed his accusations.
The sound of loud yelling soon followed the dreaded bang which only made Neji stare more at the building confused, his tinted orbs curious of what could possibly be happening behind those doors. It was a sign of a broken family. Poverty. Anger… it was all the same. In a neighbourhood as this there was nothing that couldn't happen. Robbery, battery, abuse, rape… it was all incredibly sad in a way but nothing Neji wanted to get himself tangled up in. He was about to start walking away when all the sudden the metal front door of the brick building flew open heavily, a small male running out onto the concrete stairs. Neji was shocked at the site of the boy, his red hair frazzled and a complete mess, blanket flung over his shoulders carelessly for his shirt was torn in many places. Along his arms and his cheeks were gashes, deep and unpleasant, gushing his lifeblood down the pale flushed flesh that was his skin. Along with the bloody mess that was his face, tears were bubbling over his lids in long flowing streams down his cheeks.
Neji normally would have stepped out of the way as the boy ran down the pathway towards the wired fence, feet bare and most likely cold because of the chilly weather. He would have just though 'what a pity' and disappeared down the street… he should have moved away and let the whole situation evaporate into a past memory that would for certainly be forgotten…
But his feet were locked to the ground. He wanted to move and yet, his wide orbs just stared straight ahead at the boy passing through the gates about to run past him. Everything seemed to turn slow, his quick steps now merely long slow strides, breathing loud and long.
The boy was passing him. He knew that. He could feel the wake of air brush against his cheeks lifting some of his long tresses, and with one easy movement his hand reached out snagging onto the boy's wrist.
"Let go!" the boy suddenly yelled terrified.
Neji was shocked at the piercing sound of his shrill agonized voice. His pink full lips were trembling, wide black rimmed eyes blurred from the tears that were cascading down his cheeks. His wrist was being tugged at as he tried to escape Neji's firm grasp scared.
"Please!" he cried out exasperated. "I don't want that! I don't want it!"
Neji suddenly realised with a fright what the boy had insinuated. The fiery haired male was only half dressed now that his shirt was torn nearly to pieces. It would make sense that in this area if someone were to see someone as… vulnerable at this they would take advantage… if they were sick enough. Neji was just plain shocked and suddenly with a tug pulled the boy into his arms, hand pressing gently against the back of his head.
"Please stop!" he sobbed loudly but Neji ignored it trying his hardest to get the boy to stop.
"Shh," he cooed gently, not moving from the specific comforting hug he was giving, trying to insinuate that he wanted nothing more then to comfort. The boy struggled off course, beating at Neji's chest with his fists wildly but when Neji hand moved for a good three minutes or so the boy completely broke down, hands grasping Neji's jacket tightly.
Neji lost track of time. Maybe it was only a few seconds, maybe a few minutes, maybe even a few hours… he didn't know. All he knew was he stood there letting the boy cry against his chest ragingly, the tears and blood staining his clothing. Soon though, the tears stopped falling and the boy's shaking body stopped. When Neji thought it was alright to let him go, his arms fell away and he looked down at the boy once again and realised with a bit of surprise that the boy wasn't so much a younger boy at all.
The fiery haired male who was wiping his bloodshot eyes was a good head shorter then Neji himself, but his chest had lean muscles visible under the pale flesh, his cheekbones too angular to be younger then Neji. If Neji were to put a guess to it, he would say that the fiery haired male was his age, maybe a little bit younger. Not a boy as much as a teenager, 18 maybe 19.
"Why don't you come with me and I'll get you some clothing?" Neji asked gently, with surprising tenderness that he hadn't expected he would have ever been able to do.
The boy shook his head worriedly, his eyes suddenly large again. "I…I'm sorry… I…"
"My name is Hyuuga Neji," Neji murmured as he saw the fiery-haired male choke. "I don't want to hurt you… I just want to help you."
"Help me?" the male asked confused and then he turned his black-rimmed orbs back towards the pavement. "I don't believe it."
Neji was taken by surprise at his comment. He had been nothing but kind to the boy…
"I don't understand…"
"You'll turn out to be just like those other men…" his soft voice cracked suddenly as if admitting a terrible shameful secret. His lower lip started to tremble again, his body shaking.
It didn't take a brain sergeant to realise what the fiery haired boy was implying, it was just Neji had never seen someone so agonised before and it made him want to hold the boy close. To protect the meek boy with both his arms.
It was unexplainable, that was for sure. The look… he could remember it so well like a distant memory. The site of such vulnerable eyes flared and scorched his mind, imprinting itself once more. Painful memories were all that still remained now. Ones he had so wished to forget but never could. Could never let the music fade out and disappear. The day his parents… his parents had been murdered…
"I swear on my life I will never hurt you!" His voice was heavy as he tried with effort to let the horrid memories disappear. They never would, and to see the boy cry as he did now made him sick to his stomach with pain and shame.
The boy's aquamarine orbs widened slightly before welling over with even more tears and he crashed into Neji's chest sobbing angrily again. Neji stood a little stunned by this but after a few seconds smiled wrapping his arms once again around the small boys torso.
"Let's go ok?" he whispered not wishing to scare the fiery-haired male.
He nodded lightly against Neji's chest before standing up a little straighter, grabbing onto Neji's arm desperately as if he would suddenly disappear. So quick to trust, Neji thought. Way too quick to trust in this case. He could have easily taken advantage of the moment. Easily turned his words against him… but the pain in his stomach urged him on to protect the boy once again. He would protect the fiery-haired male no matter what.
Slowly they began to walk down the road. Neji removed his jacket easily and slung it around the boys pale shoulders then wrapped the blanket around him again, all while the boy was clinging scared to his arm, eyes jetting wearily in every direction as if something bad was about to happen.
"M-My name is Gaara Sabaku…" he whispered.
Neji sat on his bed, laptop sitting easily on his lap as his fingers stroked over the keys with immense speed due to the fact that he had been a piano player and it just came easily for him. He could hear the shower sounding, a worried frown etched across his pale stone features. Gaara had been in there for a fairly long time now and he wasn't sure if he should go in and see what was up. He knew the boy was frightened and hurting…
Suddenly the water went silent. Maybe that was a good sign. Only a few minutes later the boy walked out of the washroom in a T-shirt that was way to big for him and a pair of Neji's basketball shorts that were extremely long on him. His fiery-hair was a mop of dripping crimson on his head, the strange kanji that marked his forehead somewhat brighter in the lighting.
"I seem to have used up all the hot water…" he murmured lightly bowing his head as if he had done something wrong. "I am sorry."
"Nothing to be sorry about," Neji chuckled lightly standing up. "It happens. Why don't you get some rest. You look exhausted."
Gaara looked up at him a little surprised before nodding his head. He the looked around the room confused.
"You can sleep on my bed, I don't mind," Neji moved over lightly shutting his laptop. It was about time that he got himself some rest as well. Sighing lightly, he set the laptop down on the night table before slipping underneath the covers. The bed wasn't overly small but it was tight having two people on it. Gaara laid down on his stomach, his face buried in the pillow as the exhaustion finally took over him. Neji only chuckled lightly before turning off the overhead light when he heard Gaara's meeker voice whisper lightly.
"Father will be angry… but thank you…" Neji was unsure of what that meant but soon let his unconsciousness take him as well to the strange dreams that plagued him every night.
I know it was a fairly short chapter but I think it did itself justice and I would really love to hear what you all have to say about it. And please R&R cause this story is definitely a strange one for me, not to mention it's my first ever yaoi story. I wrote a yaoi one-shot and it turned out pretty good I just didn't know if I could do this. Hopefully you like it cause I enjoyed writing it .