Title: NaruIno in 30 Kisses.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. Kishimoto does, so you might want to garrote him for screwing up a perfectly good manga with fanservice and plot degradation (if there is still any left).
Rating: PG13 to R, in later chapters.
Note: Done this for 30kisses LJ community. Chapters will be produced randomly. Don't expect me to update this on constant basis. But enjoy nonetheless; it's a crucial element in reading.
Theme #21: Violence - Getting Acquainted
If there was one thing that Uzumaki Naruto could do effortlessly, that would be being attractive. But not attractive as in Uchiha 'I'm-So-Cool-And-Hot-That-I-Don't-Need-Facial-Expression' Sasuke's sort of attractiveness; the blond was the epitome of the loud and annoying and unbelievingly glaring type of attractiveness. One could say that it was utterly impossible to not notice the existence of Uzumaki Naruto.
For one, there was that hideous orange mutation that he wore…
… and that astounding ability to consume ramen…
… not to mention his daily proclamations of 'being acknowledged' and 'becoming the next Hokage'…
… and the way he surprised a lot of people when he continued kicking arses after arses along his path to adulthood…
Never mind what they say about his potty mouth, Uzumaki Naruto was born to be noticed. And he did so, quite successfully at that too, if his widespread reputation was taken into account.
But he was never ever meant to even attempt courtship.
Because, despite being able to pawn both Hyuuga Neji and Uchiha Sasuke's respective arses when no one else thought possible, pawning Sabaku no Gaara's arse next (another impossibility that he had made possible), mastering Yondaime's Rasengan in a week and surviving Tsunade's drunken advances (something that even experienced ANBU members learned to dread), Uzumaki Naruto was one hell of a pathetic fool when it came to love.
Exhibit A: Haruno Sakura. First crush. Bold declaration of LOVE as the medium to gain the subject's attention. She had established, five seconds after he had loudly announced his 'love' for her in front of their classmates (and a bewildered Iruka-sensei), that she hated him. This statement had not changed throughout the years they spent in each other's company (reluctantly, in the subject's side), though the 'hate' might have changed to 'occasional dislike, especially when he started making moony eyes and said something atrocious about Sasuke-kun'.
Exhibit B: Hyuuga Hinata. First admirer. An astounding display of ignorance and blatant stupidity from his part. He didn't even realize that the subject existed until sometime in their Academy years when he very nearly set her hair on fire in a katon jutsu experimentation gone wrong. He failed to notice the symptoms of desperate admiration exuding from the subject throughout the course of time that they spent together. He even played matchmaker (alongside an enthusiastic Haruno Sakura) for Inuzuka Kiba, another pathetic fool when it came to love, and got the two desperate people together in the end. They lived happily ever after, although the subject insisted on making ramen for him on daily basis, much to Inuzuka Kiba's exasperation.
And so, when Uzumaki Naruto found himself falling in love all over again, he did courtship like he managed every other thing in his life; BRAINLESSLY. It was indeed a wonder that they even allowed him to be a ninja, let alone a jounin in charge of three also brainless brats (who, unfortunately for the good people of Konoha, shared his undying passion for orange and ramen). The quartet had even succeeded to blind the sparkly Green Beast of Konoha and the mighty Green Beast of Konoha Junior with their overwhelming orange-ness, something everyone had deemed impossible to achieve.
Those said brainless brats' parents suspected that Uzumaki Naruto was contagious and a bad influence to their children.
A visit from the Godaime after they filed an official complaint shut 'em up pretty good.
It was with some surprise and a lot annoyance that Yamanaka Ino found one third of Uzumaki Naruto's Team One stalking her one day, despite the rather good job the brat had made in being invisible (for a genin, anyway). But it was impossible to remain hidden forever when someone wore an orange jumper, with black-trimmed, orange pants and an orange cap over green hair. It took Yamanaka Ino three seconds to realize that she was being followed, four seconds to pinpoint the exact position of the stalker, and five seconds to smack the stalker's head upside down.
The truth behind the stalking was obtained in ten seconds flat.
Yamanaka Ino was not the best interrogator in Konoha for nothing, after all.
Five minutes later, Uzumaki Naruto found himself staring dumbly at a fuming Head of Interrogation Department and the sheepish/embarrassed face of his caught student. The latest edition of Icha Icha Paradise felt heavy in his numb hand as stormy grey-blue eyes bore numerous holes into his vulnerable body. He had quickly dismissed his two drenched students (they were learning a water jutsu that day and needless to say, had failed miserably) and the single dry one with hasty instruction to be punctual tomorrow (something he had not done since who-knows-when). The brats bitched for a good five minutes before Yamanaka Ino grew fed up of waiting and death-glared them away.
Uzumaki Naruto offered his fellow shinobi of Konoha a crooked grin.
In the background, the crickets stopped chirping and an ominous funeral march started playing.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" was actually the first sentence that Yamanaka Ino uttered, hands on her hip and grey-blue eyes piercing into clear blue.
Uzumaki Naruto's grin faltered. "Uh… nothing?"
The platinum blonde snorted unladylike-ly. "Right. Telling your students to wear orange when they're following someone is nothing? That kid stood out like a sore thumb. Next thing you're going to say is that you feed them ramen everyday under the pretence that it's a balanced diet."
Uzumaki Naruto twitched and bristled indignantly at the accusation. "Ramen is a balanced diet."
"Says you," scoffed the interrogator. "And mind telling me what is it with all this 'tail Yamanaka-san and record everything that she does today' business? I don't remember signing up as target practice for Stealth 101."
The jounin scratched his whiskered cheek in contemplation. Although there were still people who didn't believe it, Uzumaki Naruto was not stupid. Far from it, in fact. And he knew when to lie and when to just tell the feckin' truth. "I want to know your daily routine."
Yamanaka Ino arched an eyebrow. "And this is because…?"
"Er…" hesitance clouded the jounin's feature for a split second. "Will you believe me if I say that I'm doing a field research about your department's activities?"
"No," the interrogator deadpanned.
A heavy exhale of air. "Thought so. Well, to tell you the truth, I kinda… uh… want to know you. What you like, what you do everyday. Apart from scaring the heck out of people, of course."
Another eyebrow joined the first one. "So that's why you've been asking your student to follow me?"
"And were you the one that put up all that chuunin trainees to apply for apprenticeship in my department?"
"Please don't tell me that you also asked Godaime-sama to arrange those missions last week that we had to work on together."
"That old hag offered to help!"
Yamanaka Ino sighed and crossed her hands against her (ample) chest. "And how about those anonymous, big-ass floral arrangements?"
"I swear that was not my idea!"
Uzumaki Naruto swallowed, feeling something akin to bile rising in his throat. "Well… if you put it like that… maybe I did. But Konohamaru said that women love flowers!"
"Not funeral arrangements, idiot."
Uzumaki Naruto swore that he was going to murder Sarutobi Konohamaru afterwards.
If he survived Yamanaka Ino, that is.
The two blondes eyed each other in a stretch of complete silence.
"So…" they started at the same time. Uzumaki Naruto coughed, while Yamanaka Ino's glare softened.
"You should just ask me out, you know," continued the interrogator, twirling a strand of bleached golden hair around her finger. "That would've been more efficient and time-saving."
The jounin turned a bit red at the suggestion. "I didn't think that you'd agree after that incident."
Yamanaka Ino had to suppress a snort of laughter at that. "Then you should think twice before trying to feel me up."
"That was an accident! Accident!" the jounin half-screamed in frustration. "You should stop going all limp and unconscious on top of people."
"I was using the Shintenshin," countered the interrogator, voice all sharp and cynical again. "I'm supposed to go all limp and unconscious."
Uzumaki Naruto gaped soundlessly at the young woman standing before him, fingers itching to whip out his kunai and start slaughtering something in order to sate his sudden urge for homicide. He must have done atrocious deeds in the past (kicked a puppy, stole some kid's lollipops, lied to Iruka-sensei etc) to deserve such karma-tastic treatment in his practically nonexistent love life. There was no other justification that could explain his rotten luck so far. Maybe he should shave his head and become a monk in some isolated temples to redeem his sins. And become a vegetarian… which meant that he won't be able to eat meat… and beef ramen…
… Well, damn. Maybe not.
And Yamanaka Ino was still glaring at him.
Uzumaki Naruto sighed. Again. "Look, I'm sorry, okay? I really am." He straightened up (which brought him two inches taller than Yamanaka Ino, including the spikes) and coughed. Again. "So… mind going out with me for lunch or something?"
"Thought you'd never ask," Yamanaka Ino huffed. To his surprise (which explained why he didn't duck), she kicked his balls. Hard. "That's for fondling my ass." And she leaned forward, pressing her soft, pliant lips against his (twisted in a grimace of pain, from his curled position on the ground). "And a kiss to seal the deal. See you later, darling."
Uzumaki Naruto wondered, for the first time, if entering into any sort of relationship with one Yamanaka Ino could be hazardous to his health.
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