Theme #19: Red

He knew he shouldn't have gone with flowers.

She was standing there, on the step leading up to her front door, and looking down at the several red carnations he had in his hand. The look on her face was one of shock, but he was pretty sure it was the bad sort of shock.

Maybe he shouldn't have held onto them so tightly on the way here. How did he know that would make them look slightly withered? He was never good with flowers. Flowers were girly stuff after all. But looking at the state they were in, and the look on her face, he was rethinking the entire affair. He should've bought a stuffed animal. Or if he actually was going to stick with the flowers thing, he should've gone with something a little bit more romantic. Like roses.

Truth be told, he thought about the roses, but he just couldn't afford to get them. Why did all the good stuff have to be so expensive? Good clothes, good restaurant with good food, good flowers… He really wanted to impress his date, since this was a one in a million shot, but now it looked like he just blew it because he went with the flower thing.

And he should've known that Yamanaka Ino'd be all picky about the flowers. Her look was driving that point home.

"Um, Kiba?"

Her voice jarred him out of his slightly panicked reverie. "Yeah?"

She pointed to the flowers he was holding. "You're squishing them."

He swore slightly and tried to loosen his grip. One of the flowers fell, and before he got to it, she was already bending down to pick it up. She took the time to inspect it, then reached out to take the remaining two from his hand. He swallowed the blush that threatened when her hand touched his.

He watched as she twirled them in her fingers. She didn't doll up as much as he expected her too, but he was glad he wasn't going to feel overdressed next to her because of it. Just some really simple black dress, and a minimum of make up and jewelry. And she still looked beautiful. He would count himself lucky for even scoring a dinner date with her, but the fact she kept staring at the flowers was making him feel like his luck was waning.

When she pulled a kunai from her hand bag (why she even kept one he had no clue) and went to apparently begin cutting up his flowers, he figured that was her clever way of saying he screwed up. He turned away slightly, wondering how to get out of this without losing face. He felt her fingers pull at his shirt, though, and he stopped.

"Hey, where're you going? I'm just going to be a minute."

He gave a slight sulk. "I jus' don't wanna see you cuttin' up flowers." Especially the ones he gave her.

She laughed outright at him, and he smiled in return despite the feeling of impending doom. "I'll only be a minute, okay?" She cuffed him against the arm. "Relax, okay?" She used the kunai to trim the stems, particularly where he had squished them. She replaced the kunai in her bag, and then used some hair tie to wind two together, and then she pinned the two of them to her dress. She took the final one and stuck it behind her left ear. It gave her an attractive splash of color, and he found himself staring mutely at her until she jabbed him again.

"What was that for?" He growled, and rubbed his arm.

She smiled and then took his arm. "You can stare and drool at me when we get to dinner. I'm starved!"

For a moment, he just stood there dumbfounded, but she was insisting they go, so they did. His eyes kept drifting back to the flower behind her ear. Red was a very pleasing color for her, he realized. "So, uh, guess y'liked the flowers, huh?"

Her smile was almost blinding. "You kidding? Carnations are one of my favorites! I can't believe you knew that."

He stared at her. Carnations? They were one of her favorite flowers? "I, uh… didn't know that."

She looked at him for a moment, before she smiled and leaned up to kiss his cheek. "Well, now you do."

He couldn't help the dumb grin that spread across his features just then. Maybe the luck that enabled him to land a date with Ino in the first place was still with him.

And damn, did she ever look good in red.