A/N: I was inspired by the scenes in the Moulin Rogue during the movie of the same name. That, and listening to 'Sparkling Diamonds' one too many times.
Not Exactly a Meet-Cute
"Minato, stop drooling. You look like an idiot." Fugaku rapped sharply on the Namikaze's head, hoping to be rid of the creepy, glassy-eyed stare painted on his face.
"Stop looking like a starving dog, it doesn't become you—much."
The blond rolled his eyes at Fugaku.
"Excuse me, but do you not see the hot girl on the stage?" He gestured at the center of the dance hall. "Or are you that out of touch with your hormones?"
He thought for a minute before adding, with a leer, "At least, where Mikoto-chan isn't concerned?"
"Shut up." Fugaku snarled, shoving his friend off his seat with one hand, feeling his face heat up. If he had had a choice of where he had wanted to be that night, it most certainly would not have been inside an expensive cabaret-slash-brothel, not retrieving Mikoto from her mission here after just coming back from a grueling one of his own.
He took a sip from his glass and scowled at the young woman who seemed to be holding Minato's attention. The girl was pretty, with long red hair and a slender figure, but Fugaku couldn't see anything particularly wonderful about her, except that the revealing costume she was wearing consisted more of fringe and rhinestones than of actual cloth.
Of course, Minato had always had more than enough hormones for the two of them.
"You idiot, you know you should be looking for Mikoto, instead of ogling prostitutes." He seethed.
"Why?" Minato grinned, waggling his eyebrows. "Getting all excited over seeing Mikoto looking like one of those hot girls in Jiraiya's—OW!"
"Shut up!" Fugaku snarled, vein pulsing on his forehead.
"Yeesh, calm down, princess." Minato just laughed, rubbing the bump on his head sheepishly and stood up, looking around the enormous hall. He started, stared, then sat straight back down, stunned, before turning to Fugaku.
The Uchiha found himself very bothered with the singsong way Minato said his name, as well as the evil grin threatening to split his face in half. Using ninja-stealthiness, Fugaku edged away, making sure to put distance between him and that inane leer.
"Look over there." The blond pointed, his smile dangerously close to popping off his face. Very reluctantly, Fugaku followed the direction in which Minato was gesturing at.
At first he couldn't understand what Minato wanted him to see. As far as he could tell, it was just some rich old daimiyo attempting to seduce a pretty girl who wasn't appreciating the action.
Fugaku squinted, trying to get a better look at the dancer.
Petite, provocatively-clad, long black hair…
"Oh, typical." Muttered Fugaku. He drained his glass and brought it back down on the table's surface with a particularly loud clang and rose from his seat.
"I'm going to go help Mikoto." He narrowed his eyes at Minato. "Don't do anything too stupid."
"Who, me?" He asked, as innocent as a kitten. Fugaku merely rolled his eyes before entering the crowd, intent on beating the man harassing Mikoto to a bloody pulp.
Once sure that Fugaku was safely occupied, Minato allowed himself a self-indulgent smile. He wasn't exactly breaking his word, per se…
…but the beautiful red-haired woman's beckoning smile was simply too intriguing to ignore.
Mikoto was not in the best mood.
"If I am ever, offered another mission like this one, Fugaku, hit me." Fugaku watched apprehensively as his (sweetheart) friend drained her wine glass and slammed it back on the table, her eyes glinting with restlessness and anger.
The couple was sitting at one of the cabaret's tables, a good ways away from where Fugaku's now-unconscious victim lay. Mikoto had unpinned her headdress and dropped it carelessly on the floor, where it lay like a dead, oddly dyed peacock. She kept shifting in her seat, clearly uncomfortable with the glittering, oddly cut black dress she wore.
"You know I can't do that." Fugaku soothed, humoring her, while trying also to avoid being punched in the face. Mikoto was no Tsunade; but she knew how to hurt a man and hurt him badly.
"Yeah," she agreed, suddenly becoming much more amicable. "Dad would probably murder you in cold blood."
Despite being an Uchiha and thus immune to fear, Fugaku couldn't help but shiver at the prospect of facing Mikoto's father.
Especially after that last incident involving a not-as-secluded-as-they-had-thought tree, her father's hither-unknown penchant for gardening, and being forced to dodge flying trowels.
The clan had not been happy with him about that one.
"Do you have the information?" he asked, wanting to divert his thoughts from Mikoto's father. The raven-haired girl nodded and produced a scroll that had been strapped to her leg.
Fugaku tried to ignore the fact she happened to be wearing fishnets, of all things.
"Everything right here." Mikoto flourished the fat parchment at him. "Enough dirt to thoroughly ruin that scumbag's reputation." She smiled placidly, "He'll never know what hit him."
"Good. Grab your stuff and let's get out of here." He stood and looked back towards the table he and Minato had been sitting at, only to find that it was vacated. He groaned in exasperation.
"Great, where is that idiot?"
"Probably making out with a dancer somewhere out there." Said Mikoto, clearly amused.
"I really shouldn't be surprised."
"But you always are." She pointed out serenely, taking his untouched glass and sipping from it.
He turned towards the dance floor, where the guests and dancers mingled in the strangest dances.
Minato was easily spotted, being right in the center of the room. With him was the pretty redhead that he had been (and was still) ogling, her long hair whipping around from the energy of their dance. Minato had his arms around her waist, and looked idiotically happy.
"That idiot," Fugaku smacked his hand over his forehead, bringing it down to rub his eyes. "Come on; let's go get him before he does something stupider than usual."
He had barely taken two steps before Mikoto yanked him back with enough momentum to nearly dislocate his arm. He let out a hiss of pain and turned his glare on her.
"Fugaku…" He recognized the deliberate hesitation in her voice as a Very Bad Sign.
"What?" he repeated again, but this time warily.
Mikoto bit her lower lip before speaking. "That girl Minato's dancing with? She's a kunoichi."
Fugaku blinked, then swiveled his head back around to examine the showgirl, wondering what he could possibly have missed; he was normally excellent in recognizing other ninja. But no, even with potential new knowledge, she still looked completely harmless.
Well, as harmless as a courtesan could look.
"How would you know that?"
Mikoto reddened. "I accidently found some things in her room that…only a kunoichi in a place like this would need." She coughed awkwardly and looked down at her boots. "Knives and such."
Fugaku sighed, "Mikoto, this woman probably consorts with men would also carry knives; for all you know she could just have the sense to defend herself."
Mikoto glared at him, "They were knives that you are supposed to hide in your body."
"…I'm afraid to ask, but exactly where?"
"Remember that princess who murdered the daimyo and kept her honor by hiding a knife in her—"
"Oh." Fugaku found this hard to wrap his mind around and abandoned the effort.
"Where is she from?"
"I can't tell; she doesn't have a forehead protector with her. At least, not that I've seen. But at best I would guess Rice, or Whirlpool, at worst." Fugaku visibly relaxed; neither country was known for being very dangerous.
"That doesn't sound so ba—"
"One more thing: her selected patrons; they don't come back."
"Well, what would you expe—where's Minato?" Try as he might, Fugaku could no longer see the blond or his glittering partner on the dance floor.
Minato could not believe his horrible luck at the moment.
Sure, a pretty girl was leading him to her room. Unfortunately, the girl's strong chakra and well-concealed hairpin-turned-kunai suggested that she was a foreign kunoichi, and was either intent on information or assassinating him.
He strongly believed it to be the latter; except for missions, Minato had a very bad memory.
Though not possessing the best judgment, no one could say that Minato was not observant. It was a pity that his observational skills had an annoying tendency to go missing off the battleground, only popping up at Very Bad Times.
The girl in front of him—Kushina, she called herself—came to an abrupt halt in front of one of the several doors lining the hallway.
"In here," she indicated with a tilt of her head, lowering her eyelids to veil her eyes. Minato found himself thinking that she would be a whole lot prettier—and younger-looking—if she would just wipe the heavy eye make-up off her face.
"Ladies first," He grinned at her, playing the part of the gallant gentleman. She stared at him just a tad longer than necessary; he assumed she was a little surprised, though he barely caught it.
"Not here, though." She shot him a coquettish smile and tugged lightly on his wrist, then walking her fingers up his arm.
Minato didn't budge. The tugging grew more persistent, but still he resisted. Finally, the girl complied and let go of him.
Sadly, he didn't expect her to grab the front of his shirt and, with surprising strength, hurl him headfirst into her room.
Unfortunately for Minato, a chair had seen fit to lie in his path, and his foot snagged in one of the rungs and sent him sprawling on the ground. A sudden pressure on his chest and a sharp edge at his neck forced Minato to look up to find Kushina sitting astride on top of him; her face had lost its coy smile, now replaced with a frown.
"For someone with such a powerful chakra signature, you are really lacking in the brains department, aren't you?" She leaned closer so that he could see her face clearly. "Aren't you?"
"I find that my instincts generally do more than enough to make up for that little disability." Minato spoke calmly as his mind—recognizing that, burlesque dancer or not, the slim woman on top of him was dangerous—whirred to find a way out the situation. The most obvious was to get her off him and run…but he had to take care of that kunai, first.
She stared, and then let out a snort. "You speak a little too well to a woman. It sounds almost rehearsed." Minato winced as he felt her weapon nick his skin. He had to do some talking, and fast.
"What would that have to do with anything?" he asked, attempting to be conversational, "I'm just a shinobi who happens to be worried enough not to make derogatory comments to the kunoichi with a pointy object." Despite the circumstances, he managed what he hoped was a winsome smile.
"A shinobi who worries about self-preservation?" She tilted her head curiously, "That's a first."
"Oh no," he assured her, "It's not dying that worries me. It's the looming threat of potentially being castrated. I want to spread my legacy, should I ever gain one."
The kunoichi laughed genuinely, though she kept her kunai firm against his throat.
"Hm. I take back what I said. Maybe your brain does have some sort of function." Kushina shifted on his chest, "But you seem to have forgotten the one advantage you have." The hand not holding the weapon reached up and brushed his bangs out of his eyes, then trailed over his face.
"Enlighten me." Those two words were barely choked out as he felt filed nails flit delicately over his face.
"No. Find out. I'll wait." There was definite sadistic pleasure in her voice. Minato squirmed, uncomfortably recognizing that their positions not only left him feeling…awkward, but that she was prepared to keep him there as long as possible.
"Well, if you're going to be like that…the only thing I can think of would be my size." He raised an eyebrow. "Am I right?"
"Provided that's not a double-entendre, it would seem so." She affirmed in a surprisingly mild tone. Minato grimaced as the kunai cut deeper into his skin. "Now why aren't you taking advantage of it?"
"It isn't," he assured, for once able to keep a cheeky retort tucked firmly away. "And again, this kunai is very dangerous, no matter how much stronger I am. Besides," he added, turning his head to one side, "The view down here is much nicer, I'll bet."
He used the split second she eased the pressure on his throat out of shock to flip them over, grabbing the kunai and embedding it deep in the wall. Unfortunately, despite the fringed, impractical dress she was wearing, Kushina managed wiggle out from under him and attack.
Indeed, it was as though her clothes were actually helping her subdue him, as Minato kept getting snagged in the hanging fringe and her hair. Considering it wasn't exactly a real fight, more like some bizarre sort of wrestling match, it made the indignity slightly less embarrassing. However, Kushina bit and clawed and kicked like a monster. He struggled to hold her down, but she never held still long enough for him to deliver a blow to her neck necessary to knock her out.
Somehow they managed to end up back where they started, only this time Minato was face first on the floor, nose pressed into the carpet, and Kushina was breathing heavily.
"You're right, you do have good instincts. But you're still dead."
If it had been possible, Minato would have liked to point out that in his current situation, death by suffocation was far more convenient than by stabbing, judging from the way her hand was scrabbling about.
Fortunately, the door flung open with a bang and Minato felt the pressure on his chest removed, allowing him to lift his face off the floor and take a few gulps of air.
"Namikaze, you are without a doubt the most idiotic man on this world." Fugaku, as per usual, looked much put upon, holding the struggling Kushina by the arms while Mikoto had a firm hold on the girl's legs.
"Fortunately, I'm also the strongest." Minato pointed out, getting to his feet with a slight stumble.
"Didn't look like it to me." Fugaku returned, somewhat smugly.
"Hey in my defense—she's freakishly strong!" He pointed an accusing finger at the girl, much to her annoyance, as evidenced by the way she tried to bite him. Mikoto gently yanked on her ponytail.
"Stop that, Kushina-san."
"Cool it, Miki." She snapped, squirming. Minato looked over at Mikoto, mouthing 'Miki?' questioningly. She simply shrugged, while Fugaku rolled his eyes.
"Well, there certainly seems to have been a misunderstanding." Kushina had stopped struggling and had lowered her head so that strands of red hair hung over her eyes.
"A misunderstanding?" Minato repeated, a little confused. Kushina laughed, though did not raise her head. Seeing that their teammate wasn't in (much) danger, Mikoto and Fugaku let go of Kushina, though remaining in grabbing distance.
"Trust me, I was not about to attempt to seduce and kill Konoha's Yellow Flash." She tilted her head a little, studying him. "Although, it seems that it's much easier than people make it out to believe." She added drily, much to Minato's annoyance and Fugaku's amusement.
"Anyway," Kushina continued, "If you three wouldn't mind, I have a man to kill." Head held high, she left the room, shouldering Minato out of her way.
She paused at the doorway and turned to face Minato, tugging on her dress to straighten it out. "Let's do this again sometime; just somewhere a little classier." She winked and blew him a kiss before exiting into the hall, her heels tapping on the wood floor.
Minato felt himself blush, from both mild embarrassment as well as the badly smothered laughter behind him.
"It's not funny." He snapped.
"Actually, it is: but disregarding entertainment value of staying here a little longer, we need to leave now." Said Fugaku, setting to work at yanking open the room's window and quickly succeeding.
"Why?" asked Minato, watching as first Mikoto, then Fugaku jumped out of the window into the dark.
"Remember that old man harassing Mikoto?"
"Apparently, he woke up, and now he and his bodyguard trying to kill me."
"Exactly. Now let's get out of here before he can catch Mikoto again. I really don't want to have to clean up another body."
A number of weeks later, Minato was outside training with his team, when he received a very odd surprise.
"Minato, get over here!" called Jiraiya, beckoning at his student to come towards him. Minato paused his duel with his teammate, sheathed his sword and walked over to his mentor.
"The new Whirlpool ambassador would like to see you." Minato found the large, slightly psychotic grin on his teacher's face to be quite disturbing.
Minato blinked. "Who? Why would he want to see me?" Jiraiya's grin grew wider, if possible, worrying Minato.
"Find out for yourself." He stepped aside, revealing the ambassador. "She mentioned that she met you in some brothel a few weeks ago." He sighed happily, oblivious to Minato's growing horror. "I'm so glad. You've finally chosen to follow in my footsteps."
Minato did not answer; he was completely frozen where he stood.
A fresh-faced Kushina, wearing a proper Chuunin vest, a forehead protector, and leaning on a massive sword, grinned flirtatiously at him.
A/N: Just a fun, crack-y little piece that I enjoyed writing immensely. The weird title is based off a cliche in romantic comedies, the one where the lovers run into one another in some bizarre, impalusible way.