Only Good Boys Have Fangs
Ever since she was little girl, Hinata had wanted a puppy.

Perhaps the desire sprang from being around Kiba and Akamaru so often. She certainly didn't discredit the notion. It was nice seeing human--closer to a canine himself--and animal interact with one another, learning and growing and changing together over the years.

And the years did pass, more quickly than she would have believed possible. It seemed like all she did was blink, and Akamaru was the size of an adult mountain lion. Which was strange. She remembered the days when he was so small, he could perch comfortably atop Kiba's head. Now, Kiba was the one who depended on Akamaru for transportation.

But he had changed, too.

In essentials, of course, the wily Inuzuka with a mouth bigger than was good for him was very much the same. He was quick to anger, enjoyed being in the spotlight, and could talk your ear off if you showed even a glimmer of interest in what he had to say. He was explosive. He was passionate. He was emotional.

He didn't wear a hood anymore.

"I like feeling the wind in my hair," he explained when she asked.

Hinata believed him. He was a free spirit, had always been, and now that he was older, he had begun to realize it. The wild, unpredictable atmosphere of the outdoors suited him.

However...she suspected he had other reasons for excluding his favorite jacket from his wardrobe, because during the entire conversation, he hadn't once looked her in the eye.

She knew him well enough to recognize the abnormality of his behavior, though she wasn't quite sure what to think of it. Yes, he was attractive by all means, and he could make her laugh better than anyone else, but...things were complicated.

When you've told yourself that you love someone so deeply you feel it in your gut that you'll never be able to transfer those sentiments to another, it's hard to force yourself to abandon that mindset. Hinata thought she'd spend her whole life wanting to be with Naruto, even if he didn't notice her the way she hoped he would. He had eyes only for Sakura. She understood that, though acceptance was not forthcoming.

It hurt, and yet she couldn't let go. She was comfortable like this. It was familiar.

Kiba's newfound anxiety over his appearance, his ardor that deviated between subtle and obvious, was not.

Hinata may have been painfully shy, but she wasn't stupid. She saw what was happening, and it frightened her. Kiba was her friend, her teammate. She balanced out his rashness with her prudence. That was just the way it was. Somehow, they made it work, and work well.

But he wasn't willing to settle for that, and he told her so.

"I can't do this, Hinata!" He burst out, raking his hands through his unruly mane. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to--" he shook his head, revised what he was about to say. "Look, you're wasting your time on Naruto. That guy...he's hopeless. He doesnt' even know you exist. But I..." he paused once more, put his hands on her trembling shoulders. "I do." His voice was barely above a whisper.

As if she were carved out of ice, the Hyuuga heir remained still, barely daring to breathe. What should she say? What should she do? Her mind babbled incoherently. Nothing made sense. Everything was chaotic. She didn't love Kiba. She loved Naruto...

Didn't she?

Something warm grasped her chin, lifted her face. His fingers.

"Please, Hinata, look at me."

She did. She had no choice.

"Can't you give me a chance?" He stroked the underside of her jaw with the pad of his thumb, a soothing gesture, though she quivered.

"I..." She bit her lip. Best to keep silent, or she'd make a fool of herself.

Kiba interpreted that as encouragement. "I'll make you happy," he vowed, completely sincere. "I will." He cupped her cheek, his heart in his eyes. "If you'll let me, that is."

Hinata leaned her back against the trunk of an old oak tree, smiling at the memory. He was true to his word. She hadn't regretted her decision at all.

"Oh!" She giggled as her energetic black lab--a gift from Kiba and his family--hopped onto her lap and licked her nose. "Aren't you tired, silly? You've been running around all day!"

The puppy yipped cheerfully and then settled down beside her, offering his belly to be scratched. Laughing, Hinata obliged. It was gorgeous outside, so she and Kiba decided to take the dogs to the park for the afternoon. Kiba spent the entire time roughhousing with them because he claimed it was his civic duty as an Inuzuka, so now he lay on his back by Akamaru, fast asleep.

Hinata wished she had brought her camera. The sight was absolutely adorable.

"He's a good boy," she murmured to her puppy, who blinked at her drowsily, close to sleep himself. "You are, too," she appeased, grinning.

The puppy thumped his tail twice in acknowledgement, and then shut his eyes.

Gently, to prevent from startling him, Hinata eased away from the tree, closing the distance that separated her and Kiba.

His hair is so messy, she thought, amused, and did her best to straighten it while he slept on. When she finished, she examined her work with raised brows. No matter what she did, his hair would look the same.

Not that she minded. Disheveled hair gave her an excuse to touch him.

It had taken her a while to get used to the idea that she could touch him without permission, since he was, by rights, hers, though a part of her still felt strange doing it. He, on the other hand, didn't seem to have any trouble crossing that barrier, which she supposed wasn't much of a surprise.

Though he may not come off as a touchy-feely kind of guy to the general public, Kiba loved cuddling and hand-holding and kissing at every opportunity he could.

And, oddly, Hinata was glad he only showed that side to her. Never a selfish person, she found herself quite unwilling to share him.

But Kiba posed no objection to that. "You can drag me around on a leash, and I'd be content," he teased.

Hinata couldn't imagine going that far, however the fact that her hasty posessiveness didn't bother him relieved her.

Their relationship wasn't perfect, but it was close enough.

"I love you," she said softly before she pressed her lips to his, feather-light. His eyes were half-lidded when she pulled away. He smiled a lazy smile that showed two tiny fangs, and she could have kissed him again.

He knew it, too.

"My, my, someone's a little lecher," he drawled mischievously.

Hinata flushed. "I am not!" She insisted, thunderstruck. "I was just...um...just--" she ducked her head--"admiring you, that's all."

"Oh? Could have fooled me." Kiba smirked, enjoying this game. Hinata was so easy to fluster it was almost unfair, though that didn't stop him.

"I was!" He had to understand. It was imperative.

Kiba feigned confusion. "So you were leering?"

Hinata blanched. "No! No, no, no!" Distressed, she wrung her hands, a habit carried over from childhood. "I..."

Abruptly, he sat up and wrapped his arms around her, chest heaving with laughter. "I'm sorry, Hinata," he wheezed into her neck, "but I had to do it. You should've seen your face!"

In spite of herself, she laughed with him. "That was mean."

"I know," he admitted.

And kissed her.

"What were you saying before?" Kiba wondered after he released her. "I thought I heard something." He grinned.

Hinata stared at him for a moment, embarassed. "I love you."

"That's what I thought," he nodded, satisfied, and rested his forehead on her shoulder. "Love you, too."

Akamaru and the puppy both opened an eye as if they shared a secret, and then went back to sleep.

Their masters were impossibly hapless.


Another keyword ("fuzzy puppies") drabble from the LJ. I wanted to post it here, too, because, as far as I can recall, I have not written a KibaHina before this one that was solely KibaHina. XD Hope you guys enjoyed!