Disclaimer: Characters are the creation of Masashi Kishimoto. You know the deal.
The head of the Uchiha Clan stood tall, his family standing behind him. Facing him was Hyuuga Hiashi, his stern features emotionless as he gazed around him.
"It is a pleasure to welcome you to our home."
"I am honoured."
"Of course, the circumstances of this meeting are unfortunate. I regret the death of the young Hyuuga."
Hyuuga Hiashi gave a curt nod and gazed steadily around him.
"As do I regret the involvement the Uchiha play in it," he said, turning back to face Uchiha Fugaku.
The small figure of Sasuke stood beside his mother, eagerly watching the delegation of Hyuuga cross the threshold into the Uchiha compound. Sasuke looked back up at his father and felt a swelling of pride. However much Hyuuga Hiashi scared him, he didn't scare his father. As the delegation passed and Sasuke's mother bowed slightly to greet Hiashi, Sasuke noticed the little girl attached to her father. She was shorter than him, and her short hair came down in long bangs beside her face. She averted her gaze and her small hand came up to her face. Sasuke cocked his head slightly to one side, the way his mother would when Sasuke did something she couldn't decipher.
Hiashi stopped then, noticing Sasuke and he bent down slightly to release the girl's hold on his clothes.
"Hinata, stay here. I will be back after a moment."
She reluctantly stayed in her place, watching forlornly after her father as he left with Sasuke's father. She looked oddly vulnerable, the absence of the tall presence of her father making her seem smaller and fragile.
"Sasuke, look after Hinata-chan will you? I must make tea," Uchiha Makoto said to Sasuke. He looked up at her, his disgruntled face telling her that he wasn't interested in looking after a girl for what might be quite awhile.
Members of the Hyuuga and Uchiha clan had recently been involved in a dispute, which had resulted in a short but vicious battle between the lower houses causing the death of a Hyuuga shinobi. The animosity between the Hyuuga and Uchiha clans was discreet at most but would occasionally reach a boiling point especially between the servants or lower houses of the clans. Alliances had often been made and broken and in an attempt to once again restore peace and thus keep harmony inside Konoha, Hyuuga Hiashi and Uchiha Fugaku had agreed on a meeting.
"I want to go into the meeting!" said Sasuke, jumping up and holding on to Makoto's sleeve.
"You know that is quite impossible. And don't even think about trying to listen in, do you understand?" said Makoto, sliding Sasuke's grip easily off her yukata. She smiled and nodded towards Hinata before walking away.
As other Uchiha dispersed, the courtyard was suddenly very empty and there were only two small children.
Sasuke turned around, an eyebrow elegantly cocked as he watched the girl. He was proud of the expression. He had copied it in front of the mirror for days after his brother had given him that look when Sasuke had challenged him to a fight to the death.
She was still standing in her place, her hands to her mouth.
"Are you going to just stand there until Hyuuga-sama comes back?" he asked rather sharply.
She dropped her hands quickly, and tried to look Sasuke in the eye but quickly diverted her eyes again. Sasuke's brow furrowed and he walked slowly towards the girl. Her eyes grew wide and she began to move away and Sasuke reached out to grab her but she dodged and ran ahead.
He ran after her again and she practically shot from him. He tried again to grab her but he tripped slightly and fell flat on his face.
Hinata turned around, her eyes fearful, remembering what her father had said about never having your back to the enemy.
The sight of an extremely vexed Sasuke would have normally frightened Hinata out of her wits especially if that expression was worn on her father or her cousin Neji, but at that moment with Sasuke on the floor, Hinata let out a giggle.
"Hey! What are you laughing at?" yelled out Sasuke, pulling himself up. He made another effort to grab hold of her, but she let out a small shriek and ran off again. As he chased her around the courtyard, Hinata began to giggle again, the prospect of being caught not overly scary now. As she began to laugh, Sasuke quickly caught on and began to giggle as well.
" The ties between Uchiha and Hyuuga have not always been…amiable. The events in the past days have been a display of the deterioration of the old alliance between the two greatest clans in Konoha. We wish to proffer our condolences and resolve the death of your kinsman and any misunderstandings between us," said Fugaku, seated opposite Hyuuga Hiashi and the elders of their clan.
"Yes, the resolving of this tragedy is of great import at this moment. The Hyuuga wish especially to discover the cause of this discord amongst us. The fact is, the death of one of our talented shinobi seems a high price for something so trivial."
One of the Hyuuga elders had spoken and Fugaku saw that he was blind in both eyes.
"Trivial? Not so much. The reports I was given disclosed that the shinobi in question did not cooperate with Uchiha members of the Konoha Military Police and the ensuing brawl was the outcome of this."
"The boy was ANBU. The Military Police have no jurisdiction on what the ANBU do," said Hiashi, his deep voice ringing slightly in the small room.
" He was not dressed as ANBU, our officers would have had no idea and the boy did not reveal it at any time. The 'timely' arrival of other Hyuuga also caused some suspicions."
Hiashi's white eyes flashed dangerously.
"What are you insinuating?"
Fugaku feigned a benign face and did not reply.
"Do you think this was some kind of scheme? Hyuuga are above common brawls with lowly officers. What was implied to me by witnesses at the scene, was that the boy was provoked and attacked for no apparent reason."
Fugaku scowled slightly.
" The Military Police are the law-keepers in Konoha. We uphold justice. Our officers would not have attacked an innocent bystander. The Hyuuga gave reason for an inquiry and it was acted upon."
Several of the Hyuuga elders scoffed and Fugaku felt his brother beside him bristle in indignation for their disbelief.
"Spare me the bigotry, Uchiha. It has long been known that the Uchiha inside the Military Police have often acted of their own accord and have gone unpunished. The unwarranted act of violence against a Hyuuga from Uchiha is an outrage and punishment should be handed out to the perpetrators!"
"And it has long been known that the Hyuuga are jealous of the increasing power and growth of the Uchiha inside Konoha. The archaic traditions of the Hyuuga are in demise and the power of its kekkai genkai in slow decline!" growled Uchiha Teyaki, Fugaku's brother.
Two of the younger Hyuuga sitting to the side of Hiashi, sat up and the veins around their eyes bulged as they scowled angrily.
"The Sharingan is the inferior by-product of a mutation in the Byakugan. It could never be considered inferior to the Sharingan. A mere kekkai genkai that allows the replication of techniques amongst other things that better ninja could do without," yelled one of the elders.
Hiashi and Fugaku glared at each other for what seemed ages as the other clan members argued amongst each other. Suddenly the wall slid away, bright light falling upon the meeting.
"Sandaime!" whispered many of the members there.
"O-Ho. I see the events of yesterdays is already under discussion," he said genially, stepping in and settling in between the two clans.
"What is of utmost importance is the continuation of civility in Konoha. The outbreak of inter-clan war would be devastating to the wellbeing of Konoha. We must understand that though duty to our clan is important, duty to one's village is even more significant. Trust and respect would be a good start in resolving these problems between our most prominent clans in Konoha…"
The heads of the clans, listened rather irately to the Third Hokage, but they listened carefully.
"Do y-you like flowers?"
"Do you like…c-cinnamon rolls?
"I don't like sweet things."
"B-But that's impossible!"
"B-because…b-because sweet things a-are the best thing in t-the w-world!"
"I see. Well, I don't like them. I like…kunai. And shuriken."
Hinata was silent as she considered this unusual liking of weapons in a seven-year old. They were sitting, backs against a tree, blowing dandelion clocks and watching the seeds float away on the breeze. They were hot and pink-cheeked from playing tag and Hinata had finally collapsed under the large maple tree in the Uchiha garden.
"That's easy! I want to be a ninja! And I want to beat my brother in everything and then my dad can teach me Gokakyu no Jutsu! And then! I can join the Konoha Military Police Force"
"I want to be a s-strong ninja t-too. I'm n-not very g-good though."
Sasuke looked over at his new friend. She was looking glumly at the courtyard wall and Sasuke thought she looked a bit crazy staring at a wall.
"I think yo-"
"Hinata. It's time to go."
Hyuuga Hiashi had stepped outside of the meeting room and Sasuke bolted upright to see if he could discern any kind of tension between Hyuuga Hiashi and his father.
As Hinata stood up, brushing leaves from her simple yukata, Hiashi's eyes fell onto Sasuke and he shrunk against the tree, the pupiless eyes that had seemed gentle on Hinata, now staring intensely at him.
"Uchiha Sasuke heh? Grow well and strong," he said before turning away.
"…Arigatou, Hyuuga-sama," said Sasuke, not really knowing what to say to this.
"Sasuke! Come here."
Sasuke ran towards his father, eager to see if he would tell him what had happened.
"Did you play with Hinata?"
Sasuke's brow furrowed but he nodded fervently.
"What is she like?"
"Mmm…she's very shy. But she wants to be a ninja too! Will we see the Hyuuga again?"
Fugaku looked down upon his smiling son and patted his spiky hair.
"Let us hope we won't be seeing them too soon."
Sasuke turned back to the leaving Hyuuga delegation and looked for the small girl in the cream coloured yukata. Catching sight of the black haired girl, he smiled when he saw her waving slightly at him. He waved back at his new friend.
Ummm….sorry if you read that discussion between the Hyuuga and Uchiha and just thought it was a bunch of good vocabulary used uselessly.
What happened really was the Hyuuga ANBU after a night patrol around the borders of the Fire Country went to tease the Uchiha who were on night control inside Konoha. They exchanged insults and the more fiery tempered chose to fight. They're both in the wrong. How have they come to a conclusion I wonder? R & R.