Author's Notice:

Yeah, this wasn't posted in the more as promised, I apologize for that. My laptop imploded, I lost all my files, so I don't have anything backed up anymore. Updates will be slow going, not for this fiction per se because Kareian and I are working on it now so I'll have all the logs of it. But, everything else will be slow going.

I got a live journal which will have blurbs of stories and bits and pieces of updates as they happen as well as a daily insight to my life. If you feel like stalking me further feel free to visit my 'home page' on the front page of my fan fiction account and follow that link to get the link to my live journal.

Uh. Yeah. That's about it. I hope you enjoy this chapter, it's not super long, but it gives you a better insight to the world you are dealing with. I play Hinata and Sasuke mainly. Kareian plays Naruto and Kiba. All the fathers and other minor characters are always splashed between us, but we are usually good at keeping them true to their selves/keeping their little quirks so you guys' barely notice when we change them out. Okay, enough talk, please enjoy the chapter and leave us a review at the bottom. God knows I need some encouragement after my computer died. Thanks!

"Bullets and Lace"

'Chapter One'

It had been a week since Hinata's attack.

It was all over the news, in the papers. She had been in the hospital for a concussion she had suffered from the blow to her head. Her ankle hadn't been broken but she still had a bruise.

They didn't know who came in that night.

They tried to gain any clues, tried to figure out who might want to hurt Hinata. But, it wasn't about Hinata. There was a bigger picture, one her father wouldn't indulge in; a picture she knew very little about.

She knew their clan was associated with less than honorable people but beyond that basic comprehension she didn't know much. Their clan kept a good face to the public, and very few on the outside knew anything of the dark side of the Hyuuga clan. Her father was all about appearances, a reason why even within the family there were separate branches.

Everything was about class, power, and money.

Hinata didn't want to know the dark secrets, she didn't want to know the reality of anything. If it hadn't been for this attack she would have continued to float on serene waters, forgetting the real world and continuing to live in the fantasy that they were nothing more than a powerful family that specialized in politics and helping the common people.

Now she couldn't get back to her fantasy world.

Now all those shadows had crept in upon her and she didn't know what to do with herself, what to say, what to think.

On top of this attack came concern, paranoia flooding through the lower ranks of clans throughout Konoha.

Were they dealing with a terrorist?

Were they going to bring down all of the clans? Were they just going to take out the figure heads?

No one had the answers, everyone was scared, everyone was looking at one another as they did it or might've had a hand in doing it.

The Hyuuga clan was at the top of the food chain. If someone had targeted them, what saved anyone else from being targeted?

The Uzumaki and Uchiha clan were second in power, both on nearly equal standings. The only thing different about the two was that the Uzumaki clan didn't dabble in the shadows of the world, didn't use back-handed tactics to get what they wanted.

The Uchihas were the opposite, they did everything necessary to keep their power and standing in Konoha. It was a known fact that the clan dealt with the yakuza, were a large part of it, but no one cared to say it in the open.

It was something one called a 'public secret'.

Hinata knew all these things, these facts, but it was hard to keep them all straight when all she wanted to do was forget them all and pretend there was no bad in the world, that people could change and things could go good if you only let them. Currently the young girl was facing away from her father, staring out the tinted window and watching the world blur by them.

The car was long, almost a limo. They had a driver, she didn't even remember a time where her father drove at all. She didn't remember her mother, she had died giving birth to Hinabi a long time ago and some of the servants said that was when Hiashi lost all of his goodness.

Hinata couldn't imagine her father having goodness. Couldn't even imagine him smiling; she didn't think she had ever seen him smile or talk about something other than politics or the family.

The two of them rode in silence to the main building, getting out of the car and walking into the intimidating place. This was the main office of operations, where all the main clans conformed. Hinata wasn't a stranger to it, though she rarely just went with her father on business, normally it was her and her younger sister Hinabi. For whatever reason he hadn't brought her this time and Hinata didn't feel like asking herself why this had happened.

He hadn't yet looked her in the eyes, not since the attack. She had apologized for leaving her window open even though she didn't remember leaving it open. She had apologized for all the bad press but nothing she could say could get her father to look at her. If it wasn't for him she'd be dead right now; she knew that, she was grateful but she couldn't do anything to get him to look at her again.

Instead she looked to the floor, absently counting tiles as they walked into the elevator. The soft music was lost on the young girl, still staring at her feet, her dark hair swept in front of her face as if she were trying to hide. Hiashi didn't notice, or if he did he didn't care to acknowledge his overly nervous daughter. Once they had reached the floor Hiashi had wanted the two of them stepped out of the metal box and into a long intimidating hallway.

The walls were a deep cherry wood; large black doors lined the hall. It reminded Hinata of a maze, if she was ever lost in the building alone she wasn't sure if she'd ever find her way back out again. She didn't like it here, it felt so intimidating, so suffocating. However, she continued to follow her father right down the vast hall, taking a sharp right. Hiashi opened the double black doors and allowed them passage into the brightly lit meeting room.

The table before them was made of dark wood and it could seat more than fifty people. Though, the only ones at the table were Fugaku, Itachi, Sasuke, Minato, and Naruto. Hinata knew them all, at least by name, she had been to these meetings since she had been a young girl after all.

She had never spoken to any of them personally, just keeping quiet at her father's side as usual. Hiashi took a seat across from Minato; Hinata took the space next to him and bowed her head in a mild greeting though she knew no one would care to look at her too long. Hiashi spoke in a low tone, the one he used when he was bothered or annoyed. Hinata kept looked down at the black table ignoring the bright light behind them that the large windows let in. She never looked behind at them too long because she was scared of heights and this office was on the thirtieth floor.

Hiashi brought up points about the news, brought up Hinata's near-death and sparked the concern in the two clans before him.

They had heard of the attack, had heard rumors beyond that but neither Minato or Fugaku interjected as Hiashi spoke, letting him say his piece before they would speak on the matter.

Hinata shyly glanced up from the table at Naruto, looking to him a moment before she looked down again. She wished she could say something, wished she could say anything at all to get that boy to look at her and not at some space beyond all of them.

Sasuke didn't look pleased, but he never did. He hated these meetings. His dark eyes had swept over Hiashi and Hinata the moment they entered before they flicked to the large windows behind them, then over to Minato and Naruto at his left.

This was boring and annoying.

Murder?

Pah.

Sasuke wasn't going to be murdered by some psychopath; this didn't concern him, not at all. Though despite his own thoughts his father was quite intrigued by what the Hyuuga was saying and Itachi didn't show any signs of disrespect.

Sasuke was sitting rigid as usual, his arms folded neatly in annoyance but he didn't voice his own opinions – no one would want them anyway. He was about ready to dismiss himself, if only for a moment so he could get some air when he caught onto something his father said in particular.

"A bodyguard?"

"I'm going to be hiring one for Hinata." Hiashi paused looking to Naruto then the two Uchiha boys. "I would suggest you do the same for your children."

Hiashi fed Fugaku's budding paranoia. He didn't want to lose Itachi to some terrorist. "You think he'll be back again? You think he's going to come after our children as well?" His voice was its usual booming octave as he gestured to Minato and his own sons.

"I'm merely putting the idea out there," He paused, "I'd rather be safe than lose an heir to my clan but that's just my own opinion." Hiashi waved his hand, "We don't know if it is just one person, it might be a whole group, they might be targeting more than just myself and my daughters."

That was the rumor they had heard before.

That this might be a terrorist group going after all the clans holding political power. Some type of reform, or revolution, whatever it might be if these truly were radicals looking to change the world.

Fugaku sat back in his chair looking as regal as ever, "Yes. I think I'll be looking into that as well."

Sasuke wanted to protest, but he held his tongue, though his muscles grew tight under his suit. He wasn't some weak girl like Hinata, he could hold his own, he didn't need someone babysitting him. Maybe Itachi didn't care about that, about showing weakness and letting himself get babysat but Sasuke wasn't going to stand for it. He'd prove he was stronger than some terrorist, stronger than his elder brother and deny his guard. The plot began to form and Sasuke once again tuned out from the political jargon that was beginning to get thrown about.

Uzumaki Minato glanced over to his son, watching the matching bright orbs flicker over to the Uchiha's youngest son. He sighed heavily and reached up to rub his chin, "And where are you planning on hiring these body guards from?" He asked as he glanced back to the pale eyed man, "I can't really afford to be seen with a high end Yakuza; being associated with the Uchihas is bad enough." He gave Fugaku a mock glare.

Fugaku returned it, his lips set in a tight line.

Naruto glanced up to his father and raised an eyebrow, it was true though. They had been connected to the Uchiha clan for years and years, well before Minato stepped into the political office. The stories he had been told said that their families went back almost ninety years. But his father had a point, the Uchihas were a very well known clan, and despite his father's efforts to run a clean office, sometimes their affinity for the yakuza clan hurt them.

"I don't need a body guard." Naruto started, as he leaned back in his chair slightly, his black blazer closing over his orange button down shirt, "I can take care of myself."

"I realize that, Naruto, but I-"

The phone speaker phone clicked on, cutting of the older blonde, and they all glanced to it. A timid, female voice cleared, "Hyuuga-san, the body guard you asked for, he's here."

Here?

Already?

Hiashi was planning on meeting the young man later that day, after the meeting. Well, being early wasn't a bad thing, it was better than being late. There wasn't too much left to the meeting, he expressed his current concerns about the possible killer, or killers on the loose, he didn't have anything else to add. "I'll leave all of you to your best judgments." He wasn't going to make any of them hire anyone or do anything about the possible murderers.

They weren't his children, it wasn't his problem.

"Hinata." He spoke curtly, gesturing for his daughter to follow as he moved to leave the room. "Meeting is adjourned."

Sasuke watched as the two Hyuugas left the room, glancing to his brother then father before he got out of his own seat. Itachi and Fugaku followed suit, not planning on staying any longer than was needed. Fugaku had a lot to think about now, had to figure out the best plan of action to protect his children. His sons weren't as outspoken as Naruto, he knew they'd follow whatever he said, or he hoped they would.

Pleasant dismissals were exchanged before the Uchiha family left the room.

Inuzuka Kiba.

The boy who Hyuuga Hiashi had sent for. The one who would be protecting his daughter. The politician only knew the Inuzuka family by name, and had never meet or heard of Kiba before he called. Even the civilians knew of the dangerous hit man family, if not their profession as hit man, then for their rather bizarre affiliation with the dogs that followed them. Everyone in the yakuza business knew them and called upon them when they wanted something or someone to disappear without a trace. They were the family that took care of business that was even too messy or dangerous for the Yakuza. The Inuzuka were the modern day ninja, in their own right.

More hit man than bodyguards, but Hiashi was taking no chances, not with his eldest daughter, his weaker daughter.

Hiashi had no idea what Kiba would look like. He had been briefly given a description of the boy, who was Hinata's age and already had close to thirty kills under his belt with no history of misses or mess ups. It was almost too perfect of an opportunity to pass up, Kiba had nothing to do, and could be 'expended for a few months' as the voice on the phone had said. Hiashi almost instantly wired the money to the Inuzukas. Kiba would be staying with him and his family until the murderer was caught. He would pay for the boy's schooling, clothes, food, housing, everything and anything to keep him close to Hinata.

As he pushed the door open he stopped when his eyes landed on the teenager sitting in a languid manner. The boy's hands were in the pockets of a white zip up jacket, the first three inches of the hoodie sleeves coated in back, spike fur. His sleeves were pushed up to his elbows, exposing the thick, black leather cuff around his left wrist. His head was tilted back, resting in the fur lined hood as he gazed at the ceiling through his dark sunglasses. His head phones were in his ears, which trailed down over his tighter black shirt and into the pocket of his dark green cargo pants. His legs were stretched, and spread out, his right, sneakered heel bouncing to the beat in his ears.

Easily blowing a bubble, the boy drew his head up, as the sound of opening doors caught his ears. Three, small silver hoops which hugged the outer cartilage of his ear glinted in the lobby light. He pushed his sunglasses up into his messy spiked hair, exposing the two, red fang tattoos on either cheek, and dark, black eyes. He stood up easily and glanced down to his side; a good sized, white dog with grey ears lifted its head and stared at the pair that walked out.

"Hyuuga Hiashi?" Kiba asked easily, his head tilting in an uninterested manner.

They had walked under the bright lights of the lobby. Hinata didn't know what to expect, didn't know much of anything about her bodyguard or his family. She didn't even know his name. However, her darting eyes had stopped moving the moment a voice hit her ears and she looked to the young man whom was lounging in the seat in the lobby. He looked so casual, so calm, so…so very normal.

She didn't know what she had been expecting, but this lanky teenager wasn't it.

She flushed, noticing she had been staring as she quickly looked down to her high-heeled feet, her hands folded in front of her against the smooth fabric of her plum colored dress.

Hiashi paid no mind to his daughter, his pale eyes looking to the boy, scrutinizing him. He was one of the best, one of the most promising hit men and he knew he shouldn't be fooled by his nonchalant appearance. Perhaps his childish looks would throw off the would-be murderers, maybe they'd attack thinking this boy was nothing more than perhaps a court of Hinata's and maybe that would lure them out. Hiashi decided to think no further on the subject, it didn't matter, not right now. He extended his hand to Kiba, "Yes. Kiba Inuzuka, is it?" He murmured if only to push some conversation along, "This is Hinata." He gestured to his daughter.

Hinata looked up when she was mentioned, extending her hand in turn to the young man the moment he released her father's, "It's a pleasure." She said in a soft tone, her indigo hair half hanging in her face and obscuring her vision just slightly.

Kiba easily glanced to the young woman at the man's side and smirked slightly, "Hinata-sama." Kiba murmured easily as he shook her hand.

She was shy, reserved, and timid; completely shut off to the nasty ways of the world. That was obvious.

Kiba still couldn't figure out why someone would try to take the girl out. It didn't make sense to him, but he wasn't being paid to voice his opinions here. He drew in a deep breath and reached for the nibbled match stick that was resting behind his ear and easily bit down on to it, "She'll be safe with me Hyuuga-San." He answered, his voice easy going, formal even.

God, he hated it.

But he was just playing the game. It was what was expected.

"She better be." He said in his usual intimidating tone, not softened by a smile hinting that it probably wasn't a joke, but more of a threat. He was paying Kiba to keep Hinata safe, if she ended up dead or injured it was obvious he would pay; the Hyuugas weren't a family you let down. "Right this way," He gestured to the door, Hinata smiled at Kiba slightly before she stepped ahead of her father and broke through the double doors of the lobby.

"You'll be staying with us for the remainder of your employment." He said simply as the group walked out into the fresh day towards the sleek black car parked out front right where he had left it. "Though, you already know the details." Hiashi said after a moment, the driver opened the door for them, Hinata in first, then her father, followed by Kiba. Hiashi looked out the tinted window to the cramped city, watching the scenery change as they moved towards a more rural part of Konoha where the Hyuuga mansion resided.

The car ride was long and quiet.

Hinata stared out the window if only so she wouldn't stare too long at the stranger that she had to be around twenty four hours of her life. She didn't know if she should say anything else, if there was anything else to say. This was Kiba's job; she doubted he wanted to make idle chat with her. She couldn't help it when she looked in his direction again, eyes hidden under her thick lashes and behind a shield of cobalt hair.

Kiba easily watched the city fly by them. His one elbow was resting against the top of his knee, so his chin could rest in the palm of his raised hand, while the other hand gently rubbed his dog's ears.

For the remainder of his employment, huh?

This could be a long job, hell; it probably was going to be a really long job.

He glanced back at Hinata and watched the small blush play over her cheeks. He needed to observe her for a while, figure out her habits, her schedule before the real questions started. "Don't worry, Hinata-sama," He started, an almost coy smile on his lips, which made the fang tattoo's twist slightly, "Ya' won't even know I'm there."

Hinata smiled just faintly at the boy, thinking despite his occupation he seemed nice enough. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be stuck with him, at least for a while.

But then again, the back of her mind started to whisper to her.

She couldn't ignore the thought that even the sweetest people could hide the worst of secrets. She came from a world of them; Kiba came from them as well. What was to say his grin was genuine or his words held merit?

Hinata turned away before she could doubt any further.

Before she would have been so willing to trust, so easy to give in to her more innocent side and try and befriend this boy. But now she couldn't ignore the world around her, couldn't stop thinking about it, about everything hidden behind the guises of people.

Her father had told her many times not to trust anyone, ever.

If only because he was paranoid she might reveal a family secret; children would always be the easiest targets, they were the worst liability.

But…

If you couldn't trust anyone, not ever, what kind of life would you live?

Her eyes flicked to her father across the space. Would she be like him? Reserved, quiet, cold? Would she turn into a woman with so many secrets and not enough friends to confide in?

Hinata didn't like feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders, she wished she could go back, go back before the attack when everything was so simple.

There was no going back now.

She had been thrown into the world whether she liked it or not.