Ok, so she back-pedalled just a bit again and only told him she appreciated everything he'd done for her and not that maybe, just maybe, she might be the tiniest bit, you know, crazy about him. It was a start, wasn't it? What exactly did you expect? A flowery declaration of eternal love? There was no way she was ready for that! At least she did thank him and at least she did agree to go on a date with him.

A date? It suddenly dawned on Sakura that was exactly what she was going to have with Naruto that evening; their first official date. Or was it? It certainly felt like a date to her, but she wasn't entirely sure Naruto was aware that their planned dinner date was to be an actual date date. Could something count as a date if one of the people involved in it didn't know it was one? She should have been more clear about this. If Naruto didn't realize their plans for later that day constituted a date, she'd look completely stupid if she showed up there thinking it was, but if he did figure as much...

What in the hell was she going to wear? She didn't have anything appropriate to wear to a first-date-that-might-not-actually-be-a-date. She couldn't just show up in her normal streetclothes in case it was a proper date, but she couldn't dress up too much either, in case it turned out Naruto was being clueless again. On the other hand, considering the dishevelled state in which Naruto had found her just now, she did want to look good for him the next time they saw each other. It was all so confusing!

For a moment she wished she could just call Ino and ask her to come over to help her pick out her clothes and do her hair, just like they used to do long ago. As much as things had been getting better between the two of the though, such a trip down memory lane might still be a little awkward. It would also require her to explain too much. Ino would no doubt want to know exactly who it was she was dressing up for and Sakura really didn't feel like sharing that information with any more people. It was bad enough that Kiba already knew for sure that she had feelings for Naruto, whatever the hell they'd prove to be exactly. Shino and captain Yamato probably figured it out as well. After all, they were both considerably cleverer than dog-boy. She didn't need any more people to know before she even knew for sure what her feelings were or before the subject of those feelings knew anything about them at all.

Could she really hope for that much though? If her feelings were apparently that easy to read? If that many people already knew? If rumours had a tendency to spread like wildfire? She felt confident she could trust captain Yamato not to tell anyone and Shino barely ever talked, period. Could she say the same about Kiba though? It was true that he had been surprisingly kind and decent about the whole affair earlier, but he was also possibly the only ninja in Konoha with an even bigger mouth than Naruto himself. Even if he did keep his mouth shut, there was no telling if others hadn't picked up on something already as well and wouldn't be so kind as not to gossip. God, this was turning into a nightmare!

No, she wouldn't tell anyone else. At least not before she somehow managed to convey her confused and confusing jumble of feeling for Naruto to Naruto. Even if the cat really was already out of the bag and rumours were already spreading, she wouldn't confirm them until she'd done at least that; it was the right thing to do. It did however leave her on her own in trying to figure out what to wear and how to behave on this date that might not be a date. She could possibly ask one of the other girls from the Konoha 11, one who wouldn't be too inquisitive, to help her with her outfit and her hair at least, but the most difficult part, the part about figuring out just what to do and say around her cute teammate would still be up to her.

Besides, who else was she going to ask? Hinata was out of the question for multiple reasons. For one, even after all these years, she didn't really know the girl all that well and secondly, she couldn't in good conscience ask the girl who'd had a crush on Naruto since their academy days to help her prepare for a date with that very blue-eyed blond, even if she wouldn't know that was what she was doing. Which only left Tenten. Sakura liked the girl from team Gai well enough, but asking her to help out with girly things like clothes and hairdos seemed counterproductive; Tenten never left the impression on Sakura that she cared about such things at all. At times, Sakura admired the weapons specialist for that kind of confidence to belief you are good enough the way you are without feeling the need to dress up or anything. At other times, she desperately wanted to give the unassuming girl a makeover. It seemed like she was going to have to do everything herself after all.

Why did everything having to do with boys and dating have to be so hard? She had been able to pick out her own clothing and do her own hair for... For as long as she could remember, actually. Why did it suddenly become so damned complicated? Lately it seemed like anything that even remotely had to do with that stupid, gorgeous, obnoxious, sweet loudmouth of a Naruto completely turned her mind to mush and made her incapable of doing things even a toddler could do. It was ridiculous! She really needed to get a grip on herself. Especially considering the fact that the hard part hadn't even begun yet.