A/N: Request-fic for moonsheen . . . and I'm in a funny mood. o.O;; So this may be a bit odd . . . She asked for Hiashi and Neji have a talk in the Hyugas' gardens, possibly involving Hinata.

"He Is Thirteen"

"I kind of liked him, you know," Neji says reproachfully, eyeing his uncle slantwise as he sits down on the bench beside him.

"I did too," Hiashi replies dryly, returning the look.

"But he was MINE," Neji protests, almost childishly (because he is thirteen and still needs his dad but everyone forgets that).

"Mine first." Hiashi gives the boy a quiet look as he half- sulks on the bench and then returns his attention to the gardens and Hinata, who is hiding behind a tree in embarrassment. She had been half-approaching before, but Neji had unknowingly beaten her there and now she is too shy to come closer. "Anyway," Hiashi continues, patting his nephew's shoulder vaguely, "it's not as if it's been all bad, has it?"

"Maybe not all," Neji admits quietly, leaning back on his hands and pretending not to be thinking of Hinata's determined expression that one time that she fought him. And Hinata is still watching them and Neji notices her a moment later but pretends not to have.

"You have my permission," Hiashi tells his nephew, who is still too young to understand what that means.

But he is thirteen and already in love with the girl he is going to spend the rest of his life with, and Hiashi's eyes are the clearest of anyone's.

ende

. : the eyes that see everything : .