Chapter 10 incoming! Usual thanks to everyone, especially Victoria Levi 3!

Pleeeease review with comments, suggestions, ideas! They are always much appreciated. :)


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Kiba and Naruto woke up the next morning to a voice profusely apologising in the hallway. Kiba looked over at the far too cheery in the morning Naruto and shrugged. He rolled over and tried to get back to sleep, only to be disturbed by the door sliding open and Yamato walking in.

"Oi, guys! Get up already! We're leaving in ten minutes."

Kiba responded with a pathetic sounding groan, while Naruto was finishing folding up his futon and had already begun packing his rucksack.

Yamato gave Kiba a meaningful glance as he said, "Well I don't care if you get up now or in nine minutes, but you better be at the inn's door at seven."

The ANBU member moved to leave, but stopped as he appeared to remember something. "I do have a question, actually. Did someone walk into your room last night?"

The boys both stiffened, eyes wide. Was this a trick question? Had he already been in their room before they had time to get back into the inn, then come back in again just to check if they were back?

Naruto jumped up quickly and started stammering a reply, his eyes pleading Kiba to come up with the right answer.

"Well...I think... I kind of remember someone walking in, yes," Kiba finished, trying to keep his voice steady.

"Oh, well that makes sense then. There was a gentleman in the hallway apologising to me over having walked into the wrong room last night; I had no idea what he was talking about. I guess it was your room he found. Anyway, I'll see you both in seven minutes."

Yamato left. Kiba and Naruto finally breathed out again, their eyes meeting in mutual relief. He didn't know.

Kiba's thoughts returned to the night before as the pair began packing their things to leave. He remembered going to the bar, drinking with Naruto, talking to some girls and then... oh. The alley. He cringed at the memory. He really wasn't the smartest of guys when saturated with alcohol. Then again, it had allowed him to forget about Hanabi briefly, which was a relief. He mulled over what he was going to say to her when the team got back from the mission, but finally decided he would just wait and see. He hadn't done anything wrong really, after all...

So why was he feeling so shitty about the whole experience?

"Yo, come on! Man, did you drink too much? You look sick," Naruto paused for effect. "...as a dog."

He snickered at his own clever joke, pulled his rucksack onto his back and headed down to the inn entrance, Kiba groggily in tow glaring at his back. Akamaru was left to pick up the items Kiba had forgotten; including a sock, deodorant and hair wax.

Mission successfully accomplished, the team returned a few days later to Konoha with a surprisingly cheerful Yamato. He was no doubt excited about his impending promotion and almost skipped all the way to Tsunade's office.

Report complete, the team dispersed; Ten Ten set out to find Neji, Naruto wandered off to Ichiraku's and Kiba slowly made his way home. He had unsuccessfully tried to get the young Hyuuga out of his head throughout the mission, but his thoughts would continually return to her eyes, her long black hair, her...ample curves. He could have sworn he saw her at least twice in the woods on the way back. The dog-nin needed a vacation, or at least a distraction.

"Kiba!"

He turned to see the very person he was trying to avoid thinking about.

"H-Hanabi?"

Oh great, now he was taking on his teammate's stuttering habits. He groaned internally.

"I heard you were back from your mission," Hanabi said as she hesitantly came forward. "I was wondering if... you know..."

Kiba stared, waiting for her to continue. Of course he didn't fucking know! Why did girls always insist on adding those two words when someone obviously had no idea what they were about to say.

"Wondering if... you know... we could fuck?"

"Wondering if... you know... you were up for a gang bang with my girlfriends?"

Kiba couldn't help grinning; none of the scenarios were likely, but definitely not unpleasant prospects.

"Wondering if... you know... we could talk," she said, finally.

The dog nin's grin disappeared in an instant. His worst nightmare (apart from Akamaru rolling around in dead skunk) had just revealed itself in the form of a 'talk'.

"A...talk?" he asked, trying to hide his disappointment and apathy over the idea.

Hanabi nodded. "Somewhere...private."

Kiba couldn't help perking up at the last word. Private was good, right?

"Uhh sure, I guess...Where, when et cetera?"

Hanabi looked him straight in the eye. "Now, if you have time. I was thinking we could talk in your room..."

Mouth agape, Kiba watched as Hanabi started walking towards his family's estate. His room? Was she insane? Hana would kill him if he showed up with some girl and took her into his room, alone! Hinata was the exception to the rule, of course; not that she'd ever made it that far in. Two steps past his door was about all she had managed before running out again in a flurry of embarrassment.

He rushed to catch up with Hanabi who was resolutely marching forward through the estate gates.

"Wait! Wait up!" he called as he jogged up alongside her.

"My place may not be such a good idea..." he started.

Hanabi turned to face him and crossed her arms.

"Ahh...I've not even been back in the house yet since the mission and I'm sure as soon as I walk through those doors I'll be needed straight away to get those puppies in training off Hana's hands, so..." Kiba paused, trying to think of a better alternative. "Why don't we just trek up to the hill in the field behind the house? That's where I usually go when I need some time on my own."

He started walking across the courtyard over towards the grassy knolls behind the house, hoping Hanabi would follow without question. He glanced back and saw that she was trotting to catch up, but she didn't look impressed. Kiba decided to keep quiet until they reached the hill and hear what she wanted to 'talk' about; it was usually safer to keep one's mouth shut at times like these, that much he had learnt.

He sat himself down on his usual spot just behind the top of the slant, invisible from the house. He put down his jacket for Hanabi to sit down on; she accepted it with a nod, and knelt down beside him. He busied himself by picking off stray dog hairs from his trousers as he waited for her to begin.

"So...." she started.

"So....?" he continued, waiting for the awkwardness to start.

"So...Konohamaru said he's in love with me," Hanabi said, matter-of-factly.

Kiba looked up and gaped at her in reply.

"Yeah, I know! That was my reaction too, actually I wanted to talk to you before that happened, but then it all got messed up and you were gone and I didn't know what to do..." her voice trailed off.

Kiba managed to redeem himself somewhat by closing his mouth and tried to look unmoved; though it was probably too late for that.

"So...uhh...how do you feel about that then?" he ventured.

Oh, because that didn't sound at all like a creepy shrink or anything. He cursed at himself. How was it that he, normally so confident and smooth with the ladies, always fumbled around this... this...girl.

Hanabi opened her mouth as if to respond, but closed it again quickly, tugging at the hem of her vest. She sighed and bit her lip before saying, "Well, I was shocked at first. I mean, I ran away from him when I realised he was trying to kiss me... I feel kinda bad about that, but..."

She sighed again. "But, he's my friend, you know? And I don't want to ruin our friendship, right? I mean... I know all the girls in my class adore him, but I've never thought about him like that."

The dog-nin had zoned out after the word 'ran'. Why was she giving him the 'chick talk' shit? He wasn't one of her girlfriends, and certainly had no plans on becoming one, either. He also knew that the whole 'don't want to ruin our friendship' was bullshit speak for 'I'm just not attracted to you... At all'. He'd used the line enough himself; he should know. Kiba was vaguely aware that Hanabi hadn't stopped talking about whatever, but began wondering why she was telling him this. And why she wanted to talk to him before the Almighty Love Confession she was telling him about now.

"...so what do you think?"

Kiba blinked. Oh shit. He'd done the One Thing That Must Not Be Done During A 'Talk'. His mind had wandered while being asked a question. There was no good way out of this; he could either answer with a non-committal grunt and thereby offer no wrong answer, or he could try to wing it and hope for the best. The former had the risk of sounding uncaring or disinterested, which girls hate; the second might make it all too clear he had no idea what was going on. Both were dangerous options, and since it was only him and Hanabi out here, he couldn't get away with asking her to clarify or repeat the question because he hadn't heard. She was supposed to have his full attention.

"Hmm. Tough one."

He went with non-committal grunt, cringing inwardly.

"Yeah, I know, it's not like..."she continued as Kiba lay down on the grass, every vein in his body about to burst with happiness that he had survived.

He couldn't be dealing with this crap all day though. He would have to force this 'talk' to a point.

"Sorry for interrupting Hanabi, and I know it's all pretty tough at the moment and all... but, why did you want to talk to me before he said he liked you?"

Hanabi blinked, shocked. She hadn't expected him to be quite so to the point.

"Umm... well... partly, I wanted to apologise, I guess..."

Kiba gaped for the second time. At this rate he'd be catching flies with more ease than one of Naruto's frog things.

"I know I was kind of..." Hanabi paused, trying to think of the right word. "immature about the whole thing after...you know..."

This time he did know. Nonetheless, he waited for her to continue.

"I mean..."

She sighed.

"I don't know, I guess... I guess I like you, but... I know cause of the age thing and stuff..."

Her cheeks were turning a fiery red, but she continued.

"And cause of my sis-"

Hanabi's monologue was broken by Kiba's lips pressed against hers. Surprised, she fell back onto the slope, the dog-nin moving with her, lying on top of her. His tongue slipped between her lips, seeking hers out as he pressed himself harder against her body. He felt her respond by kissing him back, her arms wrapping around his neck. His hands began to move; first stroking her hair, then sliding down to rub her shoulders; one hand slowly tracing its way down to her right breast and gently squeezing it.

The next thing Kiba felt was a stinging sensation on his left cheek and an intense stabbing pain in his groin. He rolled off the girl as he grabbed his crotch and groaned. What the hell just happened? He blinked and looked up; Hanabi was standing over him yelling something about being an insensitive prick. He couldn't hear clearly because of the excruciating injury he had just received. The dog-nin was vaguely aware of seeing Hanabi running over the hill back towards the village, but with his current state, he didn't really care.