Nobody takes a handful of Valium and falls asleep in the bathtub with all their clothes on by simple accident.
Sometimes his smile is just a little too big for his face. And to the unknowing eye it was a near imperceptible line between his usual genuine beaming, and this, lips stretched just beyond their natural curve and teeth locked together like stitches. Or cement. And there was a twitch, in the muscle by his right eye that may or may not have had anything to do with anger. This was the smile Neji had seen shot down from the top of a sun drenched hill. The gold light catching in his teammate’s hair and turning the frost trimmed grass to crystal. They blew on their fingers against the winter chill. Their breath steamed. He had asked if there was time to spar once more, but Neji had promised TenTen the after noon, and she was something fearsome when kept waiting.
They dragged him from the water with panicked hands and disbelief and the splashing thud his body made against the tile.
But Neji had knowing eyes. And he’d seen that smile more than once. It didn’t usually mean much, but something hadn’t synched up right this morning, the last week, month somewhere he couldn’t place exactly, but thinking about it something had been off. Something he’d avoided like the memory of being fifteen and the endless scent of summer rain. A sheer drop from wet slicked rocks. TenTens panicked pleading tears. His own mad scrambling and stomach turned to ice.
They had a sort of silent agreement: not to talk about it.
Water, blood hot and overflowing. Flooding the apartment and his lungs. Shaking and shouting, terror coming out in shouted curses. ‘Wake up you bastard!’ Beat the breath back into him.
TenTen had noticed Nejis distraction, and it didn’t take much to pull him away. A phone call a few hours later. “Door’s locked. He doesn’t answer.”
By the time Neji gets there, the run down apartment complex on the far side of the village, up seven flights of stairs, he can hear Kankuro hammering, voice tinged desperate and hysterical. The front door left creaking open on wood and dark.
“Open the god damn door! Lee!”
There’s dishes in the sink, a heap of bloodied bandages and Lees shoes lined up neat against the door. An overturned couch in the dull blue black, dented walls. Untidy. Unnatural. The rush of running water and the only light glowing gold from under the bathroom door.
“Did something happen?”
“No, nothing. I don’t know!” The Sand nins lip bleeds where he’s been biting at it.
“Did you fight?”
“I don’t fucking know! You think he fucking tells me!?”
But he won’t.
There’s water creeping under the door by the time they break it in.