Hinata was heading towards training ground seven where Kakashi-sensei was planning to start training them for the finals of the Chunin exams. She had not spoken to Naruto-kun since returning from the Forest of Death. Even though she knew her priority needed to be working to get ready for the finals that was not where her focus was at the moment.
"Are you telling me that blonde girl from Sand is going to the Yondaime's home to cook Naruto dinner?" Ino said sounding outraged.
Since her team had failed to qualify she had come to the Hyuuga manner to visit her friend and find out what had happened at the conclusion of the second phase. She had been pleased, though not surprised, to learn Naruto and his team had passed. She had laughed hearing how the Hokage had put that Gaara boy in his place when he had acted up. Hearing about the dinner Temari was making at the Hokage's mansion though had horrified her.
"This is the worst! This is terrible! It's a total disaster! It's the worst thing to happen since the Kyuubi attacked the village!" Ino was jumping about Hinata's room waving her arms about frantically.
"Ino please calm down," Hinata told her. Ino's usual overdramatic antics were beginning to affect her as well. She was feeling very nervous at the prospect of Naruto spending an evening with that girl and Ino was NOT helping. "I'm sure this is nothing but a diplomatic occasion. Naruto is the Hokage's son and she is the Kazekage's daughter. They're probably just doing this as a formal dinner to help foster good relations."
"Hinata! Wake up and smell the impending doom!" Ino grabbed her about the shoulders and began shaking her back and forth. "Don't you see what's going on here?"
"This girl is obviously after him! She's going there to put her moves on him!"
"Her… her moves?" Hinata asked weakly. Temari was much older and likely more experienced. What sort of 'moves' would she have? Surely she wouldn't do anything provocative with the Hokage right there.
"That's right!" Ino shouted. "My mom talks about it all the time. A woman has to initiate things but always let the man think he's in control. I bet she ends up smiling at him and laughing at his jokes and playing up to him shamelessly to try and get his attention!"
"You mean sort of like you used to do?"
Ino sent her a sharp glare. "Hey this is not about me! Aren't you worried something might happen between those two tonight?"
"Of… of course not."
Ino gave her a knowing smirk. "You don't sound so sure."
"This is nothing but a diplomatic dinner Ino, nothing is going to happen!"
Despite her words Hinata had grown more and more nervous after Ino had gone. Marriages between important families were common, they helped create alliances and seal ties between villages. The fact the girl was the Kazekage's daughter was a red flag. The idea that a political marriage could be set up between the two families in order to cement the alliance between Konoha and Suna was not at all farfetched.
As a general rule Hinata tried her best not to pry into Naruto's personal life, but she was nervous and thinking about ways to find out just what had happened last night.
As things turned out she was in luck. As she arrived Naruto and Kiba were already there and their Kiba was shamelessly pressing Naruto for details. (Honestly why did boys love to gossip so much?) Since neither boy had noticed her arrival she hunkered down in the nearby bushes and listened in. I am not spying! She thought to herself. This is definitely protective surveillance!
Naruto had both hands behind his head and a big foxy grin on his lips. This was so much fun having Kiba so desperate to hear about what had happened last night. Since it was just the guys here he was playing up what had happened to make Kiba even more jealous of him than he already was.
"Come on man you have to tell me more! I'm begging you!" Kiba pleaded. "How was she dressed? What did she look like?"
"Well she came over with this real pretty kimono and her hair down to here." He put a hand halfway down his back. "She had make up on and the girl was seriously hot!"
Kiba was practically drooling.
In her hiding spot Hinata felt her heart sink. Does Naruto-kun like girls with make up?
"So what happened? She cooked for you right?" Kiba asked.
"Cooked for me? She made a feast! All sort of these amazing foods they have in Suna. I especially liked these little bread pockets filled with meat and spices. It was really amazing, I mean Kaede is an awesome cook and all but Temari is almost as good and her delicacies were totally different from anything I'd ever had before."
"Sounds like you two got along, huh?" Kiba gave him a conspiratorial look.
Naruto laughed. "Are you kidding? The girl was all over me!"
"All over you?" Kiba practically shrilled. He actually sounded a bit like Ino.
All over him? Hinata thought worriedly.
"Yeah," Naruto said really enjoying how jealous Kiba was of him. "She was doing this and that, sitting across from me asking me questions laughing at my jokes hanging on my every word. The girl was so totally into me."
"No way!" Kiba said. "I mean that chick is a total babe! And you know what they say about girls from the desert right?"
"Uh, no, what do they say?"
"That they're all trained how to please a man! They're like totally submissive and know all these tricks. Like they do this dance with veils for you." He looked at his friend sharply. "She didn't do that did she?"
"Nope, no veils." Kiba looked disappointed. "She did say she wanted to be close to me and that she hoped we could be more than friends."
Hinata's eyes narrowed. Naruto looked awfully pleased with himself.
"You're lying! No way! No way! No way!"
"I swear, and not only that but when we said goodbye she kissed me and said she wanted to see me again."
"She kissed you!"
She kissed him? Hinata's fists clenched.
"Hinata is there a reason you're spying on your teammates?"
"Eek!" She jumped about to see Kakashi-sensei standing there looking amused. In his right hand was a book entitled, 'Naughty School Girls Need Discipline.'
"Kakashi-sensei! I wasn't really spying! I was just, ah…"
"Listening to them without letting them know you were here?" He suggested with a smirk beneath his mask. With his free hand he waved that off. "Don't worry about it Hinata, we're ninja after all and if they let their guards down enough to let someone, even a teammate, spy on them it's their own fault."
"You're so lucky!" Kiba shouted at the top of his lungs.
"Of course they're not exactly trying to hide their presence either," Kakashi noted dryly. "Come on Hinata let's begin the training session."
Kakashi had actually been there the entire time watching the scene play out. It was not hard for him to read Hinata's mood or to figure out a way to take advantage of it.
Naruto noticed that Hinata was a little off today for some reason. She was standing a bit further from him than usual and seemed to be avoiding looking at him for some reason.
He had no idea why.
"Well team," Kakashi began. "First congratulations once more on passing the second phase of the exams. In one month's time you and the other candidates will be facing off at the stadium before not only all of Konoha but many Lords and high ranking officials including the Kazekage."
He paused to let that sink in.
"Try not to embarrass the village."
"Hey!" Naruto and Kiba shouted in unison.
"Anyway," Kakashi continued. "Why don't we start off with a sparring session just to get loosened up? Hinata and Naruto I want to see you both fight, oh and please go all out."
"Sure thing," Naruto said lightly. He and Hinata sparred all the time.
"Hai," she said rather tightly.
As they took their positions opposite one another Naruto thought Hinata was looking rather more serious than she usually did.
She fell into the jyuken fighting stance. "Byakugan." The veins about her eyes popped up and gave his childhood friend a fearsome look.
All at once Naruto started to get a little nervous. He fell into his own fighting stance. "Say Hinata, you're not mad at me for some reason are you?"
"What could I possibly be mad at you for Naruto-kun?"
Beneath his mask Kakashi was grinning. He was almost sorry to do this but it would be a good lesson for Naruto about letting his guard down. "Fight!"
Naruto was on the ground barely conscious and his arms twitching. "Help me…" he said piteously.
Kiba was looking on horrified as Hinata merely stood there as Naruto twitched and moaned in a heap. "Hinata aren't you going to help him now?"
She looked at Kakashi. "Do I have to sensei?"
"Nope, he'll probably live." Kakashi said. "Okay Kiba your turn now."
Both Kiba and Akamaru began to whimper.
"Sounds like Naruto had a rough day," Minato noted with a chuckle. He and Kakashi were in his private study talking.
Kakashi nodded. "Well on the plus side Hinata got a lot of her anger out and she got to practice reopening chakra points and nerve clusters."
"Still not as scary as Kushina used to be," Minato said fondly.
"Or Rin," Kakashi noted wistfully. "Is there anything more frightening than a jealous woman?"
Both men shared a good laugh.
"Seriously though, isn't it about time you told Naruto what is going on?" Kakashi asked. "I mean as amusing as all this is don't you think he deserves to know what's about to happen?"
Minato slowly nodded. "Yes I suppose it is, the Kazekage and his party will be arriving soon and he needs to know before then."
In short order a still bruised and sore Naruto found himself in his dad's study with his father and sensei.
"Uh, am I in trouble?"
"No son. It's just that something very important that is going to affect your life is about to take place and it's time you learned about it."
Naruto frowned. "You mean something more important than me making Chunin?"
"You might say so," his father answered and produced a document from out of a pocket. "This will not only affect you Naruto but everyone in the village, everyone in two villages as a matter of fact."
Naruto eyed the small piece of paper feeling nervous. His dad didn't usually exaggerate if he said it was that important it probably was.
"This is an S-rank secret son, though I am revealing it to you, you may not speak of it to anyone other than me, Kakashi, or Temari. That specifically includes your teammates."
"Wait. Why can I talk to Temari about it but not Hinata or Kiba?"
Minato handed his son the document. "Just read this and you'll understand."
Naruto took the paper and began reading it. Halfway through his jaw dropped and he started to make choking sounds. "Dad! You're not agreeing to this are you?"
Minato sighed. This was about the reaction he'd expected; well he couldn't very well blame him. "For the good of the village yes son I am." He looked his son directly in the eye. "I am going to marry Temari."
Naruto's mouth moved but no sounds came out.
"On the bright side maybe she'll let you call her 'kaasan' and tuck you in at night," Kakashi said.
Naruto began to make more choking sounds and fainted.
"Thanks a lot Kakashi."
"Sorry sensei, couldn't resist."