Disclaimer: If I owned Naruto, Asuma would still be alive... if only to die of lung cancer years later. Well, not really, but you wouldn't think a ninja would need another way to die.
Notes: I don't know if this pairing has been done before. I attempted it long ago, but it never worked out the way I wanted, so I never even bothered to post it. But this time shall be different: instead of pure romance, I'm relying on my old friend Humor.
Summary: Hinata learns how troubling a crush can be, when Konoha's Handsome Devil decides to pursue her. But it isn't her heart that Lee is really after...
A Thousand Times, NO!
A Naruto Mushfic by
Nate Grey (xman0123-at-aol-dot-com)
Hinata could not be blamed for what had happened that day. In truth, she had done nothing that was out of her normal routine. She knew that when Lee and Naruto got together, they needed lots of room to be boys and generally break things with their fists, heads, and bodies. To that end, she usually gave them two or three hours to get tired, and then showed up with a large jar of her special rapid-healing balm. She had, of course, realized by now that Naruto didn't really need it, but that he allowed her to apply it solely to be nice. That, and Lee was suspicious of any herbal remedies not personally recommended by either his icon, Guy-sensei, or Naruto, who as a rule, simply didn't get sick.
It wasn't even as if Hinata made the balm specifically for Lee, though she certainly didn't mind sharing it with him. Naruto didn't need it, so Hinata never gave him too much. Hanabi would only accept it grudgingly, largely refusing to ever admit she got hurt. Kiba practically bathed in the stuff, and Hinata had never really figured out if he was being nice, or just his usual overenthusiastic self. Neji and Tenten didn't mind it, but neither one needed it quite so much as Lee often did.
Anyway, it would be incredibly rude to only give the balm to Naruto in plain view of Lee.
So whenever Hinata worked up enough nerve to ask, "Would you like some, Lee-kun?" it was not because she adored him, or anything of that sort. Lee was polite, friendly, and eager to please, almost to a fault. On top of that, he was one of Naruto's best friends, and considering all of that, it was nearly impossible for Hinata not to grow fond of him.
And when Lee inevitably replied, "Yes, thank you, Hinata-chan!" and flashed his signature gleaming grin, she never imagined it was anything beyond his usual cheer. The first time she'd offered, he'd actually been moved to tears, and Naruto had finally punched Lee in the head to make him stop.
They were simply good friends, and nothing more. They didn't really share any interests, other than Naruto and Neji, but they liked each other well enough. Lee was a little loud at times, but he made a point to listen closely whenever Hinata spoke, so she never had to repeat herself around him. It was little things like that that had made them fast friends, whether Naruto was present or not.
But Hinata had noticed that Lee was staring at her more and more lately, where he certainly hadn't before. Nothing else in his manner towards her changed, and the extra attention did not make her uncomfortable, just curious. Lee was a perfect gentleman, after all, and had escorted her around the village many times. Perhaps he had noticed a slight change in her hair or face that even Hinata was not aware of. There was certainly no reason for her to be worried or frightened.
And then it had all come crashing down on Hinata's head one day, as she was applying some balm to a cut on Lee's left wrist. Lee suddenly grasped her free hand, and Hinata looked up from her work to see him staring at her, his familiar determined look locking her in place.
"Forgive me, Hinata-chan," he said, "but I feel I must now make you aware of my intentions, so that they will be nothing less than honorable!"
Hinata blinked. Slowly.
She had NO idea what he was talking about.
Then he hit her with it. She would later decide that a punch in the mouth might have been more welcome, at the time.
"I swear upon my life that I will protect you! Fairest flower of the Hyuuga Clan, please be my girlfriend!"
Hinata was shocked, of course.
Lee was not the type of person to make such a declaration lightly. He'd only done it once before, in fact, and that had been disastrous, to say the least. He still spoke of Sakura fondly, but Hinata suspected the hurt feelings remained, even if Lee never displayed them. Hinata was nowhere near as thoughtless as Sakura had been, and anyway, she knew and actually liked Lee enough to spare his feelings.
"L-Lee-kun," she finally stammered, feeling very nervous, "y-you know that I... N-Naruto-kun is... I-I don't..."
"Do not despair, Hinata-chan!" Lee said at once, squeezing her hand gently and giving her a winning smile. "I am well aware of your feelings for Naruto-kun! I am not asking you to make a choice at this time. I am merely announcing my intention to win your heart!"
"B-But Lee-kun," Hinata pleaded, "that isn't... you shouldn't... I-I'm not..."
His expression became far more serious. "You should have much more confidence in yourself, Hinata-chan. You are a kunoichi of great skill, virtue, and beauty. Any man would be most fortunate to have you as his girlfriend."
It was easily the best compliment she'd ever gotten. But it only made her feel worse, for Lee. In all of her life, the only boy that Hinata had ever had romantic feelings for was Naruto. She suspected that this would never change, and so did all of her friends. She had thought that included Lee, but apparently she'd been wrong. But he was a dear friend, so Hinata felt she owed it to him to discourage him, gently, before things got any worse between them.
"Lee-kun, don't do this to yourself again. You really shouldn't keep pursuing girls who have their sights set on someone else. It isn't fair to them, or to you, and you deserve so much better. Please, find someone else who makes you happy. I'll always be your friend, but that's all I can promise you. Can't you understand that?"
"I think it is you who does not understand," Lee replied softly. "Is it not your nindo to never go back on your word, Hinata-chan? I can do no less! I have sworn an oath, and I must fulfill it. If you are ever in danger, I will save you!"
"But that's all you promised," Hinata insisted. "You don't have to be my boyfriend for that!"
"I realize that," Lee answered, nodding. "But that is my desire, and I will pursue it until the day that you have refused me a thousand times!"
Hinata gaped at him. "But, Lee-kun, that would be so cruel!"
He smiled at her. "I know! I am almost certain that you will never be able to refuse me that many times! For no one else I know is more compassionate than you, Hinata-chan! I believe that before that dreaded day arrives, you will either agree to be my girlfriend, or find yourself unable to ever deliver the final refusal!"
"Lee-kun," Hinata said firmly, "I won't be your girlfriend. I'm sorry."
Lee beamed. "That is only the first refusal! I still have nine-hundred and ninety-nine more chances!"
"You just keep telling yourself that," Hinata sighed, shaking her head.
The Next Day...
"Please be my girlfriend!"
"I'm sorry, but no, Lee-kun. Now please move. It's hard for Kiba-kun to stop once he starts spin-"
"Ah, crap! What the hell was he doing, just standing in the way?! Akamaru, go and get Sis!"
"NO! Akamaru, get Sakura!"
"What?! Hana can heal WAY better than Sak-"
"Kiba-kun, Lee-kun is a PERSON!"
"Oh. Right. Sorry..."
"Yeah, what she said, Akamaru..."
A Week Later...
"Please be my girlfriend!"
"Ew! Onee-san, there's some weird guy hiding in your room!"
"Hanabi-chan, be nice! Lee-kun, you shouldn't-"
"But he IS weird! Look at his eyebrows! And his TEETH!"
"Hanabi-chan, that's enough! Lee-kun, please go wait in the-"
"I can't believe you're friends with so many weirdos. First there was the one with the dog, then the one with the BUGS, then the one that never shuts up, and now THIS guy. At least the last one brought me free ramen coupons..."
"Fine! But when he blinds someone with his teeth, Father will have him banned from the compound for life!"
"Farewell, small flower of the Hy-"
"AH! He's TOUCHING me!!!"
"Hanabi-chan, he's only being polite!"
"Get it off, get it OFF!"
A Month Later...
"Please be my girlfriend!"
"Greetings, Sakura, Tenten, Kurenai-sensei! Forgive the interruption, but I am on a quest to woo the fair Hinata!"
"You... you ARE?!"
"Just put your head down and try to ignore him, Hinata. Sometimes it actually works for Neji and me."
"That's no way to treat such a determined and polite suitor, Hinata. Lee, why don't you sit down and tell us all about your quest?"
"Kurenai-sensei! Don't encourage him, please! Lee-kun, PLEASE go home! I really don't want to be your girlfriend!"
"I will only give up after you have refused me eight hundred more times, Hinata-chan!"
"Oh, Lee! If you tell me this is one of your insane challenges, I'm going to-!"
"No, Tenten! There is no greater quest than the pursuit of a flower most rare and fair!"
"Hinata, are you BLUSHING?!"
"I think she is, Sakura!"
"What?! NO! I'm not!"
"Admit it, Hinata-chan! You are weakening in the face of my persis-"
"Oh no! Lee-kun, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it!"
"Don't worry, Sakura. I'll remind you to give Naruto a big hug the next time you see him. And it's okay. It always looks worse when it happens to someone else. At least, I hope so."
A YEAR Later...
"Please be my girlfriend!"
Hinata had finally had enough. She wanted to be nice, but Lee was REALLY pushing it. Already she was seriouisly considering never calling him "Lee-kun" again, hoping he would take it badly.
It didn't even matter that Lee had brought a single, rare flower again. By now, Hinata had begun throwing them in the dirt and stomping on them. Lee insisted on considering it a form of training for her footwork. At the least, Hinata had confirmed with Ino that Lee wasn't paying too much for the flowers, so she didn't feel as guilty as she once might have.
"Lee-kun, I will never, EVER, be your girlfriend! Right now, I'm barely even your FRIEND!"
To her surprise, Lee only grinned.
"Why are you smiling?!"
"Hinata-chan, you have only one more time to refuse me. But before you do, may I make a suggestion?"
She sighed heavily. "What is it, Lee-kun?"
He gave her a stiff thumb up and thrust it into her face. "Please use your newfound confidence to pursue Naruto-kun until he agrees to be your boyfriend!"
"I have seen it for myself, Hinata-chan! With every refusal, you have grown more and more bold! I believe you are now ready to make Naruto-kun your own!"
"If you can refuse me this many times, then you must be just as persistant with Naruto-kun! I have no doubt that he will either cave before your stick-to-it-tiveness, or be so impressed that he will consider it an honor to be with you!"
"...WAIT!" Hinata shouted in disbelief. "Are you telling me that, all this time, you NEVER really wanted to be my boyfriend?! That you only did this to make me go after Naruto-kun?! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!"
Lee smiled and flashed his teeth. "Because you are precious to me, Hinata-chan!" He grabbed her shoulders and spun her around, giving her a gentle push. "Now, go and pursue Naruto-kun relentlessly! I will eagerly await the good news!"
"I... but... you..." Hinata stared at him, not quite sure what to think. Finally, she could only point out weakly, "But I still have one refusal left..."
"And you should save it until Naruto-kun is yours! Then you will no longer have any need for my protection!"
"Lee-kun..." Hinata's eyes began to water, and before she could stop herself, she drew his head down and placed a kiss gently on his cheek. "Thank you," she murmured before running off.
Lee watched her go with a smile on his face. "Good luck, Hinata-chan! I know that Naruto-kun will be no match for your advances!"
A Week Later...
"You WILL be my boyfriend!"
"Okay! OKAY!!! You win, Hinata-chan! I'm your boyfriend! Just stop hitting things!"
It was quite a scene.
Naruto had been treating Sakura to a bowl of ramen when Hinata stormed in, flattened the pinkhead with one powerful palm strike to the forehead, and proceeded to chase Naruto down the street, striking anything that got in her way. He probably would've gotten much farther, if Hinata hadn't tagged his ankle, causing him to stumble and fall. Then she jerked him up by his collar and made her demands. Well, only one demand, really.
Once she had his fearful cooperation, Hinata gave Naruto a swift kiss on the lips, which may or may not have had some chakra behind it. Either way, Naruto's eyes went glassy afterwards, and he put up no resistance when Hinata dragged him away.
Back at Ichiraku Ramen, Tenten turned to Lee and frowned. "Why do I get the feeling this is all YOUR fault?"
Lee only smiled as he paid for both of their meals. "I am sure I don't know what you mean! Now, Tenten, my beloved teammate, please let me be-"
"Lee, don't you DARE-"
"-your faithful escort to training this afternoon!"
"Oh, fine," she sighed, punching him (very lightly) in the head. "Goofball," she muttered fondly, smiling a little as she accepted his offered arm. "Someday, you'll find a girl just for you, Lee. I just know it."
"I am not at all concerned, Tenten! When the right girl comes along, I will know it at once!"
"Um, but that's twice now that you've struck out, Lee..."
"Yes! And while it would've been an honor to have either Sakura or Hinata as my girlfriend, they have both given their hearts to others! The girl that is meant for me will have no such hindrances!"
"If you say so."
"By the way, Neji is gay."
"WHAT?! NO! Are you SURE?!"
"Yes. Please be my girlfriend!"
Wrote this over the course of a couple of hours, so I have no idea if it's as funny as I thought it was at 2 AM. Tell me either way, okay?
And yes, I KNOW Hinata probably shouldn't be able to use Kaiten (at least, I don't ever recall her using it). But people can do amazing things when they're being stalked. Or so I hear.