Disclaimer: Do not own Naruto. If I did, Jiraiya would be back by now.

Title: Blame the Bubblewrap

Pairing: Hiashi/Tsume. Hiashi/Hinata (father-daughter relationship, duh)

Summary Notes: Dedicated to Lovesrainscent for, despite my being distracted by work, getting me hooked on the hilarious idea of "Hyuuga Hiashi and bubble wrap in the same sentence" after reviewing my fic. Also dedicated to her because she's been so encouraging and open to the idea of Aburame/Inuzuka/Hyuuga and Hiashi/Tsume, which has helped me a lot. Also dedicated to White_Eye_Lover, because I adore her and she's *always* encouraging.

Warning: Mildly OOC Hiashi, no doubt.

Hyuuga Hiashi's jaw twitched slightly for the fourth time that day.

Hiashi was rarely ever so bothered. Very few things got openly on his nerves, and most of those things tended to revolve around one particular Inuzuka woman. Who was strangely absent this day.

The first time his eye had twitched had been due to that. Tsume hardly ever went a day without annoying the hell out of him in some way or other, though she was more subtle about it after his six year old daughter had walked in to find her draped so provocatively over his desk that day (and he still wondered how the hell a woman who had been through two pregnancies could look so good...but then he'd never exactly had good experiences with pregnancy himself, so perhaps Tsume was normal where his own wife had not been).

Hiashi always grew paranoid when he didn't hear Tsume's boisterous laughter at least once a day. Which annoyed the hell out of him. Hence the first jaw twitch.

The second time his jaw had twitched had been when Shibi had refused to heed Hiashi's entreaties to devour the Hyuuga Council with his bugs, after the latest head-clash with the intractable old fools. Hiashi had practically begged the Aburame, and he'd refused. What kind of friend refused to help another friend, and then smirked at his misfortune?

Some friend. He was going to get the bug-freak that was his old team mate back for that, make no mistake.

As for the third time Hiashi's jaw had twitched...that had involved Hinata. His six year old daughter was incredibly shy, and nowhere near where she needed to be to be considered satisfactory as the future leader of their illustrious clan. Oh, make no mistake, Hiashi loved her to death, and anyone who said otherwise could...well, to use a crude term of Tsume's, kiss his ass.

The fourth time his jaw had twitched had involved Hinata yet again. She'd somehow gotten her hands on that accursed creation known as bubblewrap, and like any child, had immediately decided it was the best toy in the world. Especially when it came to tormenting 'Daddy', though the sweet child would never dream of intentionally upsetting her intimidating father.

Of course, he'd taken it off her when he'd seen it, scolding her for behaving in a way not acceptable for an heiress.

And she'd cried. Stood there with her hands clasped behind her back, staring at the ground, like she always did. Trying to be brave and stoic about it, almost succeeding, had it not been for the great, fat droplets trickling from those big, wounded eyes and the muffled hiccups.

And goddamn it all, Hiashi hated it more than anything when she cried. Stoic as he was, as muted as his paternal side might have been, he was still a father. As such, felt like the greatest heel to ever grace the Five Nations when he made her cry, and wanted to do everything in his power to chase the tears away.

But she had to learn, right? Just as he had learnt; she too, had to learn to be strong.

The tapping of pen on paper stopped, and Hiashi sighed, blowing out a breath that tousled the sleek strands of hair falling over his shoulder and onto his cheek. It was a habit he'd never grown out of since his boyhood, though he was careful to keep it to when no one else was around, or no one of any real bother.

This is all your fault, Tsume.

It so was. Hiashi didn't blame other people on a whim, but this was the blasted dog-woman's fault. Life would be so much easier if he didn't have her there at every turn, snarling and snapping at him like a cranky bitch with newborn pups for doing this, or treating Hinata like that, or getting him hooked onto the most ridiculous, distracting.

Like freaking bubblewrap.

Hiashi glowered darkly at the accursed creation sitting on the corner of his desk, as if the thing would pop and disappear from existence by the sheer threatening intimidation in his glare.

Of course, inanimate objects didn't do that. The bubblewrap continued to sit there innocently, and after a moment of scowling at it, Hiashi returned to his paperwork.

Or attempted to. Because try as he might, the damned bubblewrap tormented him, glistening in the pale light of the candle on his desk. Mocking him, daring him, cajoling him into indulging in that pure childish fun, just as Tsume had that day, so long ago.

Hiashi grumbled at that, willing his hand to stay where it was and the memory to go away as he leant back on his chair. Of course, memories were rather like inanimate objects in that they never listened or took heed of threats.

Before he knew it, the bubblewrap was between his long fingers, and it crinkled with a gentle pop as he turned it over. Despite himself, the Hyuuga leader's mouth twitched, as much due to the fond memories of a more carefree time as it did due to the bubblewrap now between his fingers.

He turned it over in his hands again, and this time, his eyes crinkled a little in amusement when he heard the satisfying 'pop'. And again, and again. Pop. Pop. Pop. And pop.

And...oh, what the hell. It was halfway through the evening, and no one else was around at this time. Well, except for one little body hovering outside the screen door, and Hiashi shook his head slightly in exasperated amusement. Indeed, what the hell. He was going soft.


The little body squeaked and jumped in fright, and Hiashi rolled his eyes before calling her name again. This time, the little girl responded, opening the screen door into his study and peeking in with wide, frightened eyes.

"Y-y-yes, Dadd-um, Father?"

He nearly rolled his eyes again. "Come here, Hinata."

She looked more terrified, if that was possible, and Hiashi barely restrained a sigh at the guilt that assailed him for it. Still, the hand held out to her was too much for the little girl to resist, and with a nervous shifting of her feet, she tugged on her pyjamas shyly before scuttling closer.

A squeak of shock exasperated and amused him more when he lifted her into his lap, in a way he had not done since she was a toddler, though part of his exasperation was with himself. He really was going soft.

Still, once Hinata was settled in his lap, Hiashi took up his paperwork again, indicating with a shake of his head the bubblewrap that lay on his desk. He felt, rather than saw Hinata's pale eyes widen, blinking in innocent confusion. For good reason, too, considering he'd taken that very same bubblewrap from her that afternoon.

Childish anticipation proved too much for her, though, and despite himself, Hiashi smiled slightly when she reached for the bubblewrap. She looked up at him, still uncertain, though he didn't look back, merely clearing his throat and returning to the task of clashing heads yet again with the Council through paperwork, though with considerable more effort now he had a small child taking up most of his lap.

It seemed to be encouragement enough, though, and she leant back into his chest and immediately began to amuse herself with the bubble wrap.

Pop. Pop. Pop. Giggle. Pop. Giggle. And another soft giggle as she snuggled her face into the material of his coat that made the Hyuuga leader smile inwardly, warmed by the sounds despite the annoying popping and his own self-berating for being too soft.

Oh well. It was all Tsume's fault, anyway.