Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto

The Parade

by Cesium 2 Reviews

When Neji was a young boy, his father took him into the city, to see a marching band... ["Welcome to the Black Parade" lyrics by My Chemical Romance] (Done for a friend.)

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Characters: Neji, Other - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2007/05/29 - Updated: 2007/05/30 - 1773 words - Complete

The Parade

When I was a young boy
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band...

Neji and his father, Hizashi, slowly walked toward the center of Konoha, Neji's hand clinging to Hizashi's much larger one. He looked around at the city streets and all the people excitedly heading toward the same area they were. Neji watched them with wide, curious eyes, the pupil-less hazes scanning over the brightly dressed citizens.

"Where are we going, father?" the young Neji asked curiously, tugging on his fathers hand and looking up to his towering father.

Hizashi looked down at his son, smiling at the cute expression his son's face held. He reached down, gently pushing up Neji's headband, which had been slipping down his face. Neji closed his eyes, soon smiling wide as he looked up at his father's happy expression.

"You'll see..." Hizashi told, smiling as he led his son on, soon reaching a large crowd of people.

"Father... the crowd... it's blocking us..." Neji whined, tugging on the bottom of Hizashi's robes.

Hizashi just smiled, chuckling softly as Neji jumped when the loud sound of trumpets and drums sounded. He let go of his son's hand, leaning down to grasp him and set him on his shoulders. Neji wrapped his arms around the top of his father's head as he was lifted and given enough height to see over the crowd to be greeted with the sight of a spectacular parade, just starting.

Colorful rose petals, compliments of the Yamanaka clan, were raining from the sky, giving a wonderful effect to the parade as colorfully dressed parade-members marched through the streets, playing instruments in loud, happy songs...

The shadows of the main members of the parade, members of the Nara clan, danced, swirling across the ground and across the floats and citizens, making people jump and laugh as the Shadow Possession Jutsu activated only long enough to give a weightless feeling.

The leader of the parade was a Akimichi, his size increased to make him tower above everyone else. Not frightingly so, but enough to label him as the leader.

The Inuzuka and their canine companions danced on the rooftops and the streets, gaining a lot of attention due to their interesting dances, performed in their Man-Beast Forms.

The Aburame, silently standing atop the floats and using the Transformation Jutsu's to hide their appearances, directed their Kikiachu, dozens of feet above, the swarm and form shapes and patterns for the crowds.

Even the few remaining members of the Kurama clan helped, creating complex illusions from atop the floats as well, helping the Aburame keep up their jutsus and also creating colorful and fun illusions for the crowd,

Everyone was participating and enjoying the Parade, which was supposted to be in honor of the day Konoha was first founded by the First Hokage. It was always a amazing, happy day, where even the Aburame would perform in some way or another to entertain and teach everyone in the village about the history and culture of the largest and most powerful village in the world...

Neji watched with wide eyes once more, a wide smile soon coming onto his lips. Hizashi watched contently, eyes half-closed and lips curled in a small smile.

He soon looked up at his son with a sad expression, Neji's own expression turning sad as well.

"Father?" Neji asked quietly, tilting his head to the side in a cute way that children often did...

Hizashi smiled slightly, watching his son for a few moments before repying...

He said, "son when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken, the beaten, and the damned?"
He said, "Will you defeat them,
Your demons, and all the non believers, the plans that they have made?"
Because one day I'll leave you,
A phantom to lead you in the summer,
To join the black parade."

Neji watched with wide eyes, curious and a bit afraid. What was his father asking of him...

When I was a young boy,
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band.
He said, "Son when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken, the beaten, and the damned?"

Hizashi soon smiled, relieving Neji of most of the stress that the question put on him. He looked up at the sky, past the decorations and the rose petals, to the blue sky, dotted with the occasional cloud. He thought of Neji's mother, who had died in the war between Konoha and The Cloud Country, and Neji immediately knew what he was thinking of. Neji looked up at the sky as well, eyes saddened, despite the festivities and the happiness around them...

Sometimes I get the feeling she's watching over me.
And other times I feel like I should go.
When through it all, the rise and fall, the bodies in the streets.
And when you're gone we want you all to know.

They would never be able to forget about Neji's mother and Hizashi's wife, the wonderful, powerful woman who refused to give up. Who, despite being in the Branch House, did everything in her power to keep her family safe and to keep them happy...

We'll carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're dead and gone, believe me
Your memory will carry on
You'll carry on
And in my heart I can't contain it
The anthem won't explain it.

It was only a year later, after that Parade and the wonderful festival, that Hizashi was killed in his brother's place...

Neji felt like he could die. His father had been killed for saving the life of a member of the Main house, and for what? Neji didn't know at the time. And he wouldn't till years and years later.

A world that sends you reeling from decimated dreams
Your misery and hate will kill us all.
So paint it black and take it back
Lets shout it loud and clear
Defiant to the end
We hear the call

Neji would never be able to forget Hizashi, the kind, protective father who had asked him one day if he would be able to defeat his demons. If he would be the savior of those beaten and broken, as he was...

To carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're dead and gone believe me
Your memory will carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're broken and defeated
Your weary widow marches

It was probably Hizashi's worlds that caused Neji to retain his sanity. That caused him to remain put together and calm. He still couldn't help but feel such rage around anyone of the main house. Especially around Hiashi and Hinata...

On and on we carry through the fears
Ooh oh ohhhh

Because of Hizahi's words, because of the promise he had wanted Neji to keep, Neji trained. He wanted to become the savior that his father had wanted. A savior for his clan...

Yet, they all refused to acknowledge him. His genius was acceptable but his failures were a disgrace...

Disappointed faces of your peers
Ooh oh ohhhh

But Neji could care less about the opinions of the main house. He just trained harder. He would never let their comments and their scolding effect him and his dream. His dream to change the Hyuuga, like his father had wanted...

Take a look at me, cause I could not care at all
Do or die, you'll never make me
Because the world, will never take my heart
You can try, you'll never break me

He would get the Branch House to be accepted by the Main House. To free all the caged birds and to let them play the parts in the world they had always wanted...

Want it all, we wanna play this part
Won't explain, or say I'm sorry
I'm not ashamed, I'm gonna show my scar
Give a cheer, for all the broken
Listen here, because it's to me

He didn't think he could be a hero. No, he didn't think that. He just wanted to have a place in the world, not under the Main House. Not trapped behind the bars of his curse seal...

I'm just a man; I'm not a hero
I'm just a boy, who wanna to sing this song
I'm just a man; I'm not a hero
I -- don't -- care

Despite how much the Main House had broken Neji and how they had forced him down, Neji would still train... In the name of his father and his mother...

We'll carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're dead and gone believe me
Your memory will carry on
You'll carry on
And though you're broken and defeated
Your weary widow marches on

The Main House would never stop him from trying to spread his wings. Especially after his defeat to Naruto Uzumaki. Especially after he learned what had really happened with his father. How he had sacrificed himself, given the only decision of his life, to inspire Neji and to free himself from the Main House...

Do or die, you'll never make me
Because the world, will never take my heart
You can try; you'll never break me

Neji wanted his freedom as well, even if it meant his death.

We want it all
We'll carry on
We wanna play this part
Do or die, do or die, die
We'll carry on
You'll never make me
Because the world
We'll carry on on on
Will never take my heart
You can try
We'll carry
You'll never break me
We want it all
We'll carry on


One day, years after Neji became a Jonin and had grown older, he watched from the front of the crowd as a parade began. Colorful rose petals rained from the sky and performed from every clan entertained the citizens.

He held the child on his shoulder with care, his forehead bare of any markings and his hairline not hidden by a headband.

Neji watched as two members of the Hyuuga family, a male from the Main House and a female from the Branch House, stood atop a float holding hands and bare foreheads exposed to the world, in celebration of the unity of the Hyuuga and a historic event, taking place in Konoha on the day it had been founded.

"Daddy? Why are Auntie and Uncle on top of that float?" the child on Neji's shoulders asked, tilting his head at his father.

Neji looked up, smiling as he gently rubbed his bare forehead with the tips of his fingers.

"Because they want to be," Neji replied.

We wanna play this part.
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