For allurement, because she seemed to really like the idea when I mentioned it.

Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto. If I did, I would have Sasuke and Sakura have pivotal moments next chapter.


Fugaku looked from his drumming fingers to the dark-haired girl taking a seat across from him. He mentally sighed with relief, knowing that he wouldn't at least have to worry about being alone with Kushina, now that Mikoto was here.

"Hello, yourself." He handed her one of the menus from the stack of four sitting next to him and taking one himself. "Congratulations, you are on time."

"And you were early." Mikoto said, smiling at him. "As always."

"Someone had to confirm the reservations."

"Ah. Of course."

"You look very nice."

"As do you." She looked around the restaurant, "Where's Minato-kun? Didn't he come with you?"

"Actually, he stayed behind to bring Kushina over here."

Mikoto looked up sharply at him. "But isn't she your date?"

He shrugged, "She wasn't ready when I went over to pick her up, so the idiot volunteered."

"But I thought you said that Minato-kun has the sense of direction of a goldfish."

"Well, he does."

"Then why is he bringing Kushina, who doesn't know Konoha very well, over to this obscure restaurant, at night?"

"…" Fugaku was unable to reply.

"I guess we'll have some time to spare, then." Was all she said, cracking open her menu.

Kushina was ticked.

"Of all the people, I get stuck with you!" she shrieked at Minato, who was desperately trying to remain calm. "Why is it that I get stuck with the most directionally-challenged idiot in all of Konoha!"

"Kushina, calm down." He wondered if he should touch her shoulder to get her to calm down, then decided against it upon seeing her polished nails almost break the skin of her palm.

"How can I calm down? It's dark, I don't know this part of town, I don't know anyone here, I'm stuck with you, and my feet hurt!"

Minato took one look at her stilettos and several clever comments rose in his mind, but he forced them down.

He could be a moron, but he wasn't that much of an idiot to comment on a girl's choice of footwear.

Twenty minutes after Mikoto had arrived; there was still no sign of Minato or Kushina. Both Fugaku and Mikoto had just gone and ordered their food, and where currently sitting in awkward silence.

"So," began Fugaku, clearing his throat uncomfortably, "Have you killed anyone recently?"

Mikoto stared.

"Is that your idea of a conversation opener?"

Fugaku could not understand why she sounded so incredulous.


She just kept staring at him as though he was the Kyuubi incarnate.

Fugaku let his head drop into his hands, hoping fervently that Minato was experiencing something as painful as what he himself was going through.

Minato felt the beginnings of a headache. No wonder all those annoying elders complained about him so much, if he was as loud as they claimed he was.

At least Kushina had stopped screaming at him, though that had more to do with finding a suitable bench to sit down on and kick off her heels that it had to do with her getting tired of using her vocal chords.

He sat down next to her, figuring that he could use the rest as well.

"At this rate, we aren't going to make it, are we?" Kushina asked him, voice not accusing, but resigned in tone.

"Doesn't look like it." Agreed Minato, staring gloomily around them.

"Great." She sighed, "Do you at least know the way back to Ichiraku's?"

Minato instantly brightened.

"Yeah I do!"

"Then let's go there. I'm not really in the mood for sushi anyway."

"Me neither. Here, I'll take your shoes. The ground isn't really hard on bare feet anyway." In an uncommon gentlemanly gesture, Minato picked up her stilettos in one hand and took Kushina's in the other, going back down the road. Kushina looked at him, silently, before hesitantly smiling at his back.

The food had arrived, much to Fugaku's relief, giving him something to focus on, rather than having to think of ways to break the oppressive silence hanging over the two of them.

They ate in almost complete silence, occasionally commenting on the flavor, but that was all.

When they were halfway through the meal, Mikoto suddenly asked him, "Fugaku, why did you invite Minato and I on your date with Kushina? I thought it was supposed to be private."

Fugaku froze, then considered the question carefully before answering.

"Simple, I didn't want to face her alone." He explained, shrugging.

"But it's your first date with her; wouldn't that be kind of the point?"

"If I was interested in her romantically, yes." He said flatly, "The only reason she and I even considered going on this date was to get our parents off the idea of arranging a match between us."

Mikoto stared at him in surprise. "You're kidding."

"I swear I'm not."

"So you two don't actually like each other?"

"Certainly not in that way. She wants to kill me."

She giggled, "Well, Kushina's that way about all men. She thinks they are scum."

"Doesn't surprise me." Fugaku smiled briefly, looking at Mikoto in a way that made her stomach feel full of butterflies, "What about you?"

"I think that guys are all right. Minato's like a brother to me. And you're…" she trailed off, considering what he was to her, "You're just Fugaku. There are no other words to describe you." She concluded, smiling nervously at him.

He smiled back.

"You're kidding."

"I'm not."


"One hundred percent."


"Stop saying it like you don't believe me!"

"Sorry, Minato, I couldn't resist." Jibed Kushina, happily slurping her noodles. "From the way you act, I can't believe that you would actually be a top stealth agent."

"Well, I am," he declared, puffing up his chest, "I'm going to be one of the greatest in the world, just you wait."

"Well, you're certainly the greatest at eating messily. You know, the napkin was invented to keep food off the face. So use it." She grabbed his untouched napkin and the back of his blond head and proceeded to forcibly scrub his face.

"Hey! You're not my mom!"

"No, I'm not." Kushina rubbed his face clean, and once sure he was as clean as she could get him, gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Shocked, Minato only stared at her, mouth gaping open.

"Close your mouth when you chew." She admonished, turning her attention back to her food.

"Yes, ma'am." He mock saluted her.

"Good. Clean up and we'll be doing this again," Kushina grinned, "Well, maybe a bit differently, alright?"

"Sounds good to me. I don't want another headache."

"Come on, escorting me wasn't that bad…"

"Not a metaphorical headache, a real one."

"From what?"

"Your voice is really shrill."


Alas, Minato may not have been an idiot when it came to commenting on footwear, but he was a first rate idiot when it came to tact.

After an hour more of idle talk, Fugaku and Mikoto left the restaurant.

Even though she hadn't technically been his date, he still walked her to her family's compound.

Just as a precaution, of course.

"So I'll see you tomorrow?" he asked, turning to face her. Mikoto nodded.

"Yes." Without warning, she stood up on tiptoe and kissed him on the lips briefly, before stepping away. "We should do this again, just the two of us."

"Yeah," Fugaku was too shell-shocked to say much else. He only waved good night as Mikoto waved back before entering her home.

This night, he thought, had been much better than he would have thought possible.

A/N: Because they are awesome, that's why this fic was made.