A/N: New gay guy story. It's been a while since I've done one that's not AU. Hope you guys like it.
'I just can't escape
It's like you're here with me now
But the words you say
They always seem to fade out
Since you been away
I'm just a face in the crowd
I know you're coming back'
It was a question Neji found himself asking himself quite often lately.
Why did that failure catch his attention so?
He, a genius and prodigy, should not even look upon such complete failures.
Such as Lee.
Speaking of which, where was that failure?
It didn't take him long to spot the idiot. Standing there chatting with that other failure. Lee was gesturing enthusiastically as they talked. The shorter failure was sitting where he had gotten knocked in the earlier mock battle, bruises covered his body. His headband was shining nonetheless.
Lee helped him up and the blond dusted dirt from his orange jumpsuit.
Lee then bounded over to their sensei who seemed to be in a heated argument, on his part anyway, the other sensei, Kakashi Hatake, was just standing there and staring at the man like he was a fool.
The two talked for a moment before Gai declared something, gesturing as his student did and yelling loudly.
Tenten came to stand beside him.
"Wonder what's going on this time."
"It doesn't matter to me," he replied coldly, walking over to their sensei.
She stared after him, brown eyes full of hurt, even though she ought to be used to that after years of training with him.
It turned out Lee and Naruto wished to have a tournament featuring their two teams, they would put their names in a bag and draw them to decide who fought who first round, and winners of the two sides would face off then the winners of that match. All in one day too. Losers would then face off the next day.
The tournament would take place in three days, the two days before they were given off to do as they wished.
Neji knew he would spend the next two days training and stalked off without a word.
He went to the Hyuga compound and washed before sitting down to dinner. He ate in silence with the other Branch family members.
As he laid in his bed that night his thoughts strayed to the failure in the orange jumpsuit.
Why? Why was he drawn to him in such a manner? They were complete opposites. He was quiet, Naruto was loud. He was a genius and prodigy, Naruto was a proven failure. So why was he drawn to him?
- Naruto -
He and Lee had been talking after training that day. He was really excited to have the tournament. He was going to train extra hard to beat Neji and Sasuke. He knew he could beat them, he just had to train a little bit more.
He slurped the noodles in his fifth bowl of ramen, grinning and burping, thanking the owner before hopping off the stool and going back to his house.
Neji was impressive, primarily hand to hand, he wasn't really fast like Lee, or overconfident like Sasuke, he seemed to know what was going to happen before it did and when he used his chakra.
But the blond had an idea of how to beat him. He just had to make it to that round or fight Neji first.
'Shut your eyes let darkness lead the fight, say goodnight
The rest will watch their future die, buried alive! say goodnight
It's time to let out the dead, dead come alive, we wave the flag for the rest of our life
So shut your eyes let darkness lead the fight, say goodnight, say good night'
- Tournament day, Neji -
He had trained as usual when on his own. Finally it was the day of Lee's tournament.
The rounds were announced as thus: Neji v. Naruto, Sasuke v. Sakura, and Tenten v. Lee.
Neji bit back a snarl of distaste and took his position a few feet from the blond. The match started and he activated his Byakugan.
Naruto did his shadow clone jutsu.
Neji prepared for the assault, bracing his muscles for the rotation technique.
No attack came, the clones simply stood, staring him down.
He charged them, as he went to hit the first, it disappeared with speed similar to Lee's. He spun to hit the clone behind him, the blow connected but he was to slow in turning to hit the other clone which tossed him to the sky by the shoulders. He brought his arms up to block, expecting a blow from a jumping Naruto, instead he was tackled from the sky around the middle, Naruto's shoulder deep in his stomach.
They crashed to the ground hard, Naruto on top, Neji stunned laying beneath him.
The match was called as Naruto's.
Grinning, Naruto stood and offered a hand to the other shinobi. He scoffed and stood himself, walking to the otherside of the clearing and leaning against a tree. Naruto's grin faded some as the older boy walked away.
Sasuke and Sakura fought next as Naruto sat underneath a tree, sitting so that his blond hair fell and cast a shadow over his tanned face.
He didn't understand. He just wanted Neji to be proud of him.
- Neji -
Beaten, by a failure. The blond failure had beaten him. Him, a prodigy and genius. How? Why?
Why had he been beaten?
Naruto was a failure, that could never change. So why had he just lost to him?
'It's only what I've seen,
It's only just one dream.
Tell my baby I love her,
And I wish I could hold her.
It's hard to say goodbye,
When you know that it's over.'