Naruto is (c) Masashi Kishimoto.


Hyuuga Hinata had been abandoned by her friends. It was that simple.

During the past year or so she had grown out of all her clothing. Hinata knew as well as anyone that she wasn't ready to go shopping alone, the prospect of having to talk to strangers scared her off. So she'd put it off until she was forced to wear Neji's clothing. In the end it had been her youngest cousin who made her go.

When Sakura and Ino heard about shopping (and the budget, the Hyuuga's aren't exactly middle class) they decided to come along.

Unfortunately for Hinata though, had they run into Uchiha Sasuke in town. The view of "cutest boy in town" had mysteriously made her two companions disappear.

For a moment Hinata thought of calling Kiba or Shino, but she decided against it. They probably knew as little about clothing as she did. Hinata was well known for always wearing bulky hoodies.

As such she was wandering aimlessly when she came across a store she'd never been to before… the real reason for that was that she was completely lost, but anyway.

It was his great hesitance that she opened the heavy door and entered.

To look unprepared inside the shop was like receiving a slap to the face. The walls were hot pink, but to counter that effect the floor was checked in black and white and all furniture was black. Aside from some ugly paintings, probably chosen by the same person who decided on the walls, simplicity ruled.

Carefully walking over to the closest rack of clothing, Hinata picked up the first top in her path.

It was orange, which reminded her of Naruto.

"That's not your colour, un"

As if caught doing something shameful, Hinata hid the sweater behind her back as she spun around.

A clerk looked at her, his gaze meeting her borrowed outfit without revealing what he thought.

He was one of those incredibly fashionable people who got away with stuff that would look ridiculous on anyone else. Like having long blonde hair hanging over half his face, down his back and still have enough to put in a high pony-tail. A simple pinned on note informed her that his name was Deidara.

Hinata found his attitude strangely attractive. The kind of attitude she'd always wanted – he fully glowed with confidence.

"Huh?" she asked, realising she hadn't heard a word he'd spoken over the blood pumping through her head.

"I said that you'd look better in purple, un" he sighed. "Light purple. Any pastel really, with your complexion you shouldn't wear bright colours like that." A wave at the orange top.

Hinata hurriedly hung the top back. She was blushing and she knew it. She'd never been able to talk to strangers, that's why she'd hoped somebody would come with her. Both Sakura and Ino would have been able to carry a full conversation with this clerk without blinking.

"I… I thi-think I'll leave…" She was returning to her, apparently not lost, habit of stuttering.

"Nonsense" Deidara replied with the casual confidence of one who was used to getting his way. A tiny smirk was playing across his lips, somehow both mocking and friendly. Like too many people he seemed to think she was easy to push around, something all too true.

Ignoring her efforts to get out of there, he grabbed her arm and dragged her into another section of the store.

"So, what are you looking for, un?"

"Ju-just a top" she replied, realising that he also had a speech disorder.


Deidara abruptly pushed her aside and flung his arm into the closest rack.

Hinata was unprepared, but successful in catching the various items of clothing he threw at her.

"Not that one" he muttered loudly as he held up a black cloak with red clouds so it'd appear like she was wearing it. "Red does not go well with that blush of yours."

The comment only made her blush in embarrassment, but Deidara didn't seem to notice.

"Fashion is art in the fact that it doesn't last." He rambled "You should buy things extremely fashionable if you want clothing to be art. Some" his visible eye moved to a door marked 'Personnel Only' "think that clothing should be worn as long as possible, and that overly-fashionable things are a waste of money." He lowered his voice in a whisper. "But it's not true, un."

Hinata nodded, as it felt like he expected her to. She had no idea what he was talking about. She figured that he'd usually wear odd high fashion creations that didn't look like clothes at all. Now he was dressed in the black polo that was uniform for the shop, she noted when looking at other clerks.

"The changing rooms are this way." He said, urging her into one and pulling the curtain close. "I'm not letting you out until you've found something you like."

Hinata dumped the clothing on the floor. She had a feeling she wouldn't find anything wearable. As she dug her way through the strangest of items, some of which she wouldn't have guessed were tops, she found a nice hoodie.

'I'm not supposed to buy another one of these'

she sighed silently. 'I decided to change my style a little, so Naruto would notice me. But that guy chose this, so it can't be that bad?'

Hinata tried it on, seeing as she did need to find something to wear. Neji would kill her if she returned home empty-handed.

A final tug on the zipper before turning around and looking at herself in the mirror.

"How's it going, un?"'He's still out there?'

"I've found something." She answered, happy to finish the short sentence without stuttering.

On impulse she opened the curtain to show the blonde.

Deidara smirked again, this time with a bit of pride.

"I knew it'd look good on you, un."

She didn't blush at the comment, despite herself. She felt more secure in the new hoodie. As he said, it fit her.

Hinata removed the hoodie to check the price-tag.

"Every item in this shop was hand-made by Kakuzu, so the price is quite high." Deidara noted.'Is a clerk supposed to point out faults in the product?

"I can afford it" she answered, she'd decided to buy it no matter what.

Deidara smirked once more, like his masterplan had just reached its end. He took the item from her and walked confidently towards the register. She followed unhurriedly.

She almost felt like, during that brief encounter, some of Deidara's security of self had spilt over for her to take. She closed her eyes and drank the feeling, even as she paid the hilarious price her new hoodie boasted.

"Thank you, come again"

She gave a thin smile and left.