Velvet Lined Prison: Introduction

Disclaimer: I don't own anything 'cept the plot.

Warning: Not sure what to put here. So I'm warning against anything that you can think of, plus some.

Neji sighed, leaning his hands on the balcony rim and gazing out over the city. It was dark, the last lights of the sunset just now disappearing over the horizon. Despite the hour, the growing city was still alive. Candles were being lit, children continued to run around the dirt streets barefoot, stores were closing while others were opening. The city's beauty did not diminish as the rest of the world went to sleep, it only grew.

The city. His city.

Turning around, Neji leaning against the balcony rail, he tilted his head back and gazed up at the darkening sky. Rolling his shoulders and tilting his neck, Neji let his head fall all the way back, his hair flowing over his shoulders as he did so.

He wasn't ready to run a city. He didn't want to run a city, but since he was a Hyuuga, it was his birthright. As soon as he turned eighteen, he would inherit his family's right and in turn become the Lord of Leirian. Letting out another long breath, Neji watched his warm breath turn into a steamy plume in the cold air. He wasn't ready. He wasn't ready to be Lord of a whole city. He was content with his life as it was now.

"Neji! Neji, are you in here, son?"

Lifting his head, Neji looked inside his bedroom and saw his father come walking in. The man was tall and slim for a man his age. His hair, unlike Neji's, was neatly pulled back into a ponytail, giving everyone a clear view of his wide stern face. The Lord scanned the ornate bedroom before glancing out on the balcony to see his son.

"There you are!" the man cried, grinning and walking towards Neji with his arms outstretched. "I was starting to think you had run away and joined the gypsies!"

Wordlessly accepting his father's embrace, Neji gazed off into the distance to stare at the fires being lit in the gypsy camp. Joining them didn't sound like such a bad idea. Returning his attention to his father, Neji allowed a small smile to creep onto his face. Hizashi was certainly in a good mood that night, smiling and laughing and talking excitedly about his son's coronation.

Glancing up, Neji saw the faint outlines of clouds blotting out the white stars. It was going to rain soon.

"Now, your Aunt and your cousins are coming early tomorrow so I expect you to be… what are you looking at?" Taking a few steps forward, Hiashi also turned his face towards the sky and looked around inquisitively. "The clouds? Ah, it's going to rain I see. Bad luck that is."

Neji shrugged and turned around again, facing the glowing city below them. Clutching the cold metal rail tightly, the young man closed his eyes tightly, wishing that tomorrow might never come. "Father…I…I don't want…"

Hiashi jerked his gaze from the clouds down to look at the back of his son's head. "You don't want what, my son?"

Neji slowly opened his eyes, his head still down turned and his hair falling in front of his face. Not that his father could see, his father was blind to a lot of things these days.

"I don't want this," he whispered, shaking his head slightly in despair.

Hiashi stared blankly at Neji's back, sliding his hands into the pockets of his heavily embroidered coat, fingers curling around metal. "I know you don't want this Neji," he said quietly, his eyes closing. "I promise everything will be better soon, son. I promise. I promise," he said, as if he believed chanting those two words would make everything better. Would make everything go away.

Neji lifted his head slightly as he heard his father repeat those words. He doubted that everything would be better, even if the man said so. Turning his head slightly, his eyes still downcast, Neji shifted and slowly turned to face his father, to look the man in the eyes and tell him that this life was not what he wanted.

His eyes raised to the sight of the barrel of a gun, his father clutching it with steady hands. Life seemed to slow at that moment, and Neji didn't mind at all.

The pull of the trigger, the jerk of Hiashi's arm as the shock traveled through his hand, the solid 'thud' as the bullet connected with Neji's chest. He fell, his body twisting and falling on its side, his hair flowing through the air after him like a satin curtain. Hiashi was still standing in the same place, holding the gun and staring with wide eyes at the place that Neji had been occupying seconds before.

"I am so sorry, my son. This life… was not for you. It was not right for you to live it. I am sorry, but it had to be done," Hiashi spoke calmly to the air, as if he were speaking to a living, breathing person rather than a corpse. It started to rain, slow and mournfully before sheets of water seemed to pour from the sky, angry and hateful.

"It had to be done."

Didn't it?

The Lord looked down at his son, looked at the crimson stain that was spreading across the chest of Neji's white tunic. His gaze fell upon his son's face, the boy's eyes still open and a small smile gracing his lips. Was that happiness portrayed on his face? Acceptance? Forgiveness? Raindrops spattered across Neji's still face, traveling down the curves of his jaw and chin.

It had to be done, didn't it?"

"Oh god… I just…I just killed…my son."

Didn't it?

"My son."

A/N: So this is the introduction to my newest fiction, Velvet Lined Prison. I was going to make this into a full chapter, but stopping it here just sounds really nice to me. I'm going to write the full first chapter really soon, and all of the crap in the intro will make a whole lot of sense :) I don't expect any serious reviews since this isn't even 1000 words, but one can hope, hm? In any case, enjoy.

Edits: So as my profile says, I am going back and tweaking things I don't like about my fics. The only things I changed on this one is my mistake of saying Hiashi was Neji's dad. I think when I originally typed this I meant for Neji and Hinata to be siblings and making Hizashi nonexistent, but then I botched that when writing the second chapter. So I've changed it, and now Hizashi is Neji's father. I also changed the name of the city from Flynn to Leirian. Flynn sounded kinda…fruity to me. So I changed it.