So this is a collab between Dana-Eliza and I! And it's also my first story...
Characters (c) Masashi Kishimoto
A furniture van parked right in front of the still empty house. It was a rather big house, but it was not so strange since their father had been the mayor of another city, but after his death it just didn't feel like home anymore. Or at least that was what Temari had said and Gaara and Kankuro had just gone along with it. Gaara didn't care much where they lived as long as he had a little place to himself. He was a loner and he liked that fact. A good way to not get hurt, especially when your dad just died in some sort of unfortunate accident. Yeah, right, more like getting murdered by one of his ex-wives.
The redhead stepped out of the passenger seat of the small car they owned, it right behind the truck that kept all their stuff. Kankuro had been behind the wheel, because neither wanted to take care of anything and Temari was all over the place, yelling out demands and giving the driver of the furniture van a hard time. As his sister went on another rant, Gaara leaned back against the small red car and grabbed a cigarette out of his jeans pocket. A bad habit, but it was a nice way to kill time and relax some of his more… violent ways. He rather smoked than take the medication his father had gotten him. His eyes moved over to the house next to theirs, it looking much nicer and also quite sheltered. A big fence around it and then trees still hiding some of the other features. You could only really see the house through the front gate. Must be nice living there, no one bothering you…
Inside the house, Neji was receiving yet another one of those endless lectures his uncle seemingly liked to give him. Every time it was about the same thing; all the stuff he hadn't done right in his life and what not. Lately he got them more often than usual and now he didn't even bother to pretend that he was listening anymore. So there he was now, inside Hiashi's office, staring out of the window and desperately trying to shut out his uncle's stern voice. It only seemed to infuriate the older male even further, but Neji honestly didn't really care anymore. It just was another thing that his uncle could add to the already endless list of everything he'd done wrong.
As Neji tried to find some distraction outside, he suddenly saw a furniture van and a car pulling up to the house next to his. New neighbours? Now he thought about it, he did remember his younger cousin Hanabi mentioning something about that, though he hadn't paid much attention to it back then. But now his interest was piqued, as it was much more interesting than his uncle, who now was yelling at him about how impolite he was and that he should learn some manners or something like that. Whatever.
Curiously Neji stepped a little closer to the window, pressing his nose against the cool glass as he tried to catch a glimpse of their new neighbours. So far he only was able to see a blonde girl and a redhead. The girl kind of had a strange hairstyle and she appeared to like to have control about everything, considering her body language as she yelled about something which he couldn't make out. And then the redhead... By the way he was leaning against the car and smoking a cigarette so casually, it didn't seem like he cared much about it all. Though the smoking habit was disgusting in his opinion, Neji still had to admit that he kind of liked the uncaring attitude. Really interesting so far...
In the meantime the driver had opened his van and now it was time to move the stuff out of the truck. Kankuro had gotten out of the car now as well and was grumbling something under his breath about some bitch he had been dating. Apparently he had not received such a nice text. That was why Gaara didn't date, like at all, and Temari loved him for it somehow. Such a protective sister he had…
'Come on, Gaara. Get your stuff out and move them to your room. Stop being lazy and when are you going to stop smoking those cancer sticks?' And wasn't his sister lovely? But he better listen to her before she started ranting at him, because Gaara did get annoyed then and then this move would not be as great as Temari had planned it to be.
He threw his cigarette on the ground and flattened it with his foot. Tiredly he walked away from their red car and over to the van, rubbing a hand through his messy red hair and sighing softly. When he heard Kankuro and Temari bickering already, he shot his eyes up to heaven as if to pray that this day would end well without them all trying to kill one another. But it seemed his siblings were already half way there as he jumped into the truck. So for now it was best to ignore them and just grab some boxes that had Gaara written over them in big bold letters and one by one he brought them into the house, the urge to just duct tape the mouths of his brother and sister close getting higher and higher.
With mild interest Neji watched as the whole scene unfolded before his eyes. Another weird looking guy getting out of the small car, the blonde girl yelling at the redhead, who only seemed to get more irritated by this, but eventually ended up helping to unload the van anyway. It was pretty funny to see them interact with each other, although he couldn't hear a thing of what they said, especially not with his uncle yelling in his ear.
Neji couldn't help but wonder what they were like. Would they be the noisy kind of neighbour who only caused nuisance or would they be quite the opposite? Were they related or were they just a couple of friends who spontaneously decided to move in with each other? And what would they look like from up close? All these kind of questions were now running through his head, only making him even more curious about their new neighbours. A feeling in the gut told him that he probably was going to get an answer to these questions soon enough, as his uncle surely wouldn't let the opportunity pass to praise the Hyuuga company a little in the presence of the newcomers. Neji already felt sorry for them.
It seemed that Gaara would be the only one unloading the van together with the driver as his siblings were still fighting and screaming and whatever. And then the van was empty except for those two and Gaara didn't care enough to get them out, so he would leave that to the driver since he definitely wanted to leave. Good luck to him.
So he walked off and decided to go inside and explore the house a little, which wasn't that interesting. At least they didn't have to share a room. The kitchen was rather small and Gaara already envisioned the many fights they would be having there for being too close to one another. Most of the time it were Kankuro and Temari that fought since his brother always picked on him and his sister didn't like that fact much. Gaara just didn't care. It was all just a waste of time. But now the kitchen was empty, so the redhead could get a glass of water in peace, after having found a glass in one of the boxes that crowded the small room.
And as he turned on the faucet, no water came out, just some weird noises and that was it. Of course the day they moved in and there was no water. He walked back out, finding the bickering siblings out on the porch now and not in the van anymore. Impressive that the driver managed to do that. 'There is no water,' he stated to no one in particular, but at least it got him some attention.
'Then go fix it!' Temari yelled at him and that was about the most he would get out of her since she was now focused on Kankuro again.
With a shrug Gaara decided he would check with the neighbours first to see if they had trouble with the water as well and lazily walked towards the huge gate, opening it with a hard push and then walking over to the front door. Why have such a big gate if it wasn't even locked? He leaned against the side wall and knocked on the door.
At first Neji didn't think much of it when he saw the redhead walk away from his house and his companions. He probably was just going to get some rest, or maybe go to the store to buy a new pack of cigarettes or something like that. However, when it became clear that he was making his way over to their house, a look of surprise crossed Neji's face.
Turning away from the window to face his uncle, who apparently still wasn't done with his lecture and hadn't heard the knocking on the door because of that. 'There's someone at the door!' Neji had to raise his voice a little to surpass the tone his uncle used.
Hiashi went silent, giving him a look that obviously said that he didn't like the way his nephew completely ignored everything he'd said and then dared to interrupt him as well. But despite that he still turned to leave the room. 'We'll continue this conversation later,' He said in a surprisingly calm voice, giving Neji one last warning glance before exiting his office.
Neji almost wanted to sigh in relief, glad that this "conversation" finally was over. Quickly he went to follow after his uncle, being curious what his new redhead neighbour wanted.
Neji watched as Hiashi opened the front door and glanced down at the stranger. 'Hello. Can I help you?' He heard his uncle ask, suddenly sounding a lot more friendly than moments ago. It was obvious to him that his uncle had no idea who it was, but still wanted to make a good impression on him, as if not to ruin the Hyuuga's good name. Hypocrite.
Immediately Gaara pushed himself off the wall to face the man, thinking he fitted really well with the well-kept garden and the big gate to let people in. Now he felt a little underdressed in his dirty jeans and his plain grey t-shirt. 'Sorry to bother you, sir,' he said in a monotone voice, glancing around the man, his eyes falling on another figure further behind. 'We just moved in next door and found out our water isn't working and we were wondering if you had the same problem or if it really was just our house,' he explained, more trying to figure out who the other person was.
Seemed about the same age as Gaara. Very strong and masculine features in his face, but the long hair said something different. It gave the guy something feminine. To describe the long brown locks he would use the word pretty and pretty wasn't a word he normally used on a guy. Quite interesting, but maybe not interesting enough. He leaned back and glanced up at the tall man, then noticing that the hairstyle must be some sort of family trademark. Quite funny actually.
So that explained what the redhead was coming to do at their house. Apparently he wasn't just here to introduce himself to his new neighbours or something like that. Not that Neji thought that was strange, because now he had the chance to study the redhead's appearance a little better, he had to say that he didn't really seem like the social or outgoing type of person. His clothes looked a little dirty in his opinion, but he figured out that was just from moving all the boxes from the furniture van and into the house or something like that. And what was going on with the make-up anyway? It kind of reminded Neji of those emo guys at his school, and the unusual colour of his hair didn't really help either... Couldn't be his natural hair colour, right? But despite his thoughts, Neji still had to admit that it all suited the guy, and that he actually was very handsome. Maybe a bit too handsome for his own good...
Neji then noticed that the guy's eyes also were directed at him instead of his uncle and immediately he averted his eyes, shifting a bit where he stood in an awkward fashion. Hopefully the redhead hadn't noticed that he'd been staring...
'Oh, so you're the new neighbour? Welcome to the neighbourhood then,' Hiashi said politely, but at the same time he didn't seem like he did his best to impress the guy as much as before anymore, now he also had taken a better look at his appearance. 'Well, I think our water works perfectly fine, but I can go check it, just to be sure. Just wait here for a moment,' Without giving the redhead a chance to reply, Hiashi already had turned around and walked out of the hallway, leaving his nephew alone with the stranger.
Gaara didn't reply as the man walked off, his eyes moving from the back of the house owner to the teen. He didn't say anything as he just kept staring at the brunette, settling comfortably against the wall next to the door. He seemed a little shy with the way he averted his eyes from the redhead. The brunette really was the complete opposite of Gaara it seemed, except for the pale skin. They had that in common. But the well-kept hair and the neat clothes. Gaara felt uncomfortable only staring at him. He should loosen up a little.
Since Gaara wasn't one to talk and he didn't feel like breaking the silence, he got a cigarette out of his back pocket and lit it, slowly blowing out the smoke as he stared off in the garden again. It would probably make a bad impression, but at this point he just didn't care. It wasn't like he was planning on impressing the neighbours anyway, that was a job for Temari and with the way she was shrieking now she was doing a horrible job at it.
Sea green eyes lazily went back to the teen still standing a few feet away and he decided to say something. 'I should apologise for my sister,' he said rather plain. 'She will be yelling a lot more like this, so she might get annoying at some point.'
As soon as his uncle left, Neji could feel the tension in the room grow and it only made him feel more uncomfortable than before, both because of the awkward silence and the way he still could feel the redhead's eyes lingering on him. For once in his life he wished that his uncle just would come back already. That, or he just could walk away now to mind his own business...
However, before Neji had the chance to do that, the redhead suddenly spoke up. Not having expected that, his eyes shot up to his new neighbour, only to be met with the sight of the cigarette again. It was a bit impolite that he just started smoking like that, but Neji didn't say anything about it. Not that he was in the right position to tell a complete stranger that he shouldn't smoke anyway, but he still couldn't help but wrinkle his nose in disgust.
Now the redhead mentioned it, he could hear a girl's voice yelling something in the distance. So that was the blonde girl he'd seen earlier, huh? And apparently she was this guy's sister. Did that also mean that the other guy was also related to him? 'Oh, don't worry about it. It's fine,' Neji replied, not really knowing what else to say to the redhead's apology so he simply forced himself to smile a little. What else could he say, anyway? That his sister just should learn to keep her mouth shut? Yeah, right...
Not wanting to fall right back into the silence again, Neji did the first best thing that came to his mind, which was introducing himself. 'I am Neji, by the way,' He said a bit stiffly, taking a step closer to the redhead and stuck out his hand, waiting for the other to take it and introduce himself as well.
An invisible eyebrow was raised and Gaara took the cigarette out of his mouth and kept it to the side as he offered his other hand, firmly shaking Neji's hand for a short moment. 'Gaara,' he replied, returning to his lazy posture, but keeping his gaze fixed on the brunette.
It was obvious that Neji was bothered by the cigarette, but that only made Gaara put the stick to his lips even more, trying to urge the brunette to get out of that polite exterior of his and just say something about it. Neji really was raised well Gaara guessed, but that didn't mean the redhead wouldn't enjoy trying to get Neji to burst and scold at him or something. It might actually amuse Gaara, although Temari would get mad at him then.
So he decided he wanted to hang out with Neji and see if the other would behave differently then. Not that he wanted to become friends since Gaara didn't do friends. 'Since I am new to the neighbourhood and you seem like a nice neighbour, could you show me around some time? Would be nice to not have to explore on my own.' He shot Neji one of his rare smiles, bringing the cigarette back to his lips again, thinking he was going to have a lot of fun with this…