Naruto had to admit, he'd had his doubts about dating Hinata. She was so much more sheltered, so much more innocent. Still, in the time they'd been together, he'd been enjoying himself. For six months, he'd been in the best mood ever.

If only because if she suspected he wasn't happy, she'd probably kill him tryig to figure out why.

For their six-month anniversary, they had decided on going out for dinner. As the maitre d' escorted them to their table, Naruto nodded hello to other couples he recognized - Neji and Tenten, Shikamaru and Temari, and, unbelievably, Chouji and Ino. Once they were seated, the maitre d' left, leaving the two of them alone.

"Are you all right?" Naruto asked. "You seem a little out of it."

Hinata smiled and shook her head. "I'm fine. Don't worry about it."

They chatted idly for a while, studying the menu cards before them. Each table had a complementary bottle of sake, Naruto poured some for both of them, despite Hinata's protests that she was still underage.

"You're responsible enough," was his answer. She smiled at that and let the subject drop. Nonetheless, Naruto began to feel as though something was wrong.

He glanced up as the waitress approached; that was his first mistake. A tiny radio crackled to life in his head.

#Attention - this is the Brain calling the Eyes,# a little Western accent said. #We have two potential threats approaching from the South. Repeat: two potential threats approaching from the South, this is NOT a drill!#

Another little voice manifested itself. #Copy that, Brain, we've got visual on the bogeys. You got a make and model on those things?#

#Ten-four, good buddy. Looks like we got us a make: 38, model . . . . Holy smokes, Eyes, that there's gotta be an E-model!# The voice became more frantic. #You gotta lissen t'me, Eyes, do not engage, I repeat! DO. NOT. ENGAGE!#

Naruto quickly shifted his gaze down to his menu as the waitress arrived at the table. "Good evening, sir; madam. My name is Betsy, and I'll be your server this evening -"

#Now hold on just a cotton-pickin' minute: Ears, did you get that? What's that girl's name? Sounded like 'Breasty.'# Naruto fought the urge to look up, pretending to scan the menu one last time.

#Negatory, Brain, she said 'Betsy.' That'll be Bravo-Echo-Tango-Sierra- . . . . Aww, whatever, it ain't what you thought!#

"- now what can I get for you?"

Naruto placed his order, still not daring to look up at the waitress's face, instead looking across at Hinata. "What about you, honey?" He gulped as he caught the look on her face.

#Attention, Brain, this is the Eyes. We've got an angry girlfriend at twelve o'clock - close that mouth and keep it that way!#

#Roger that!#

"I think I'll have the teriyaki shrimp," Hinata said, passing her menu to the waitress.

"Sure thing," 'Betsy' said, making a note on her order pad. She collected Naruto's menu and walked away. As she left, Hinata turned the full power of her angry nearly-white eyes on him. He glanced at her wineglass - half-empty. Oh ****.

"Why were you looking at the waitress's breasts."

Naruto swallowed hard. It was as if her voice had taken on a demonic quality. He could practically see her stirring the pot of boiling oil he was being lowered toward. "I - I wasn't, sweetheart, honestly."

#This is the Brain command centre to the Intelligence network! Step up the lying ability, the boy can't talk his way outta this one with a lame excuse like that!#

#Ah'm givin' 'im all 'e's got, Cap'n!# a new voice yelled back. #Ah dinna think we c'n hold out!#

#Don't give me excuses! Give me results!#

Hinata reached out a hand, picking up her wineglass. Naruto stared at her fingernails - had they always been that long? Or . . . painted bloodred . . . ? She took a long sip, and set the glass down. "Why do you feel you have to lie to me every second of your existence?"

#That is a loaded question, do not answer! I repeat, do not answer!#

The words came pouring out. "Sweetheart, I would never lie to you! Honestly, I wouldn't, you know that. Just because her breasts are bigger than yours -"

The demonic voice got louder. "So you were looking at the waitress's breasts."

#I've seen this before, men! She is on full PMS and red wine, that is a DEADLY combination. Send out an universal warning, do NOT be a man, I repeat, DO NOT. BE. A MAN.#

#Aww, screw you man, we're going for it! Charge!#

#What the - who is this?#

#This is the Testicles! Over and out!#

Naruto spread his hands. "Fine! Yes, I was. I was looking at the waitress's breasts. I'm guilty! You caught me!" He folded both arms on the tabletop. "But I'm a guy! We do things like that all the time. It's in our blood."

The look Hinata gave him - it was if a low alarm went off and the entire restaurant was bathed in red light. Berrrrrrrrr . . . . Berrrrrrrrr . . . . Berrrrrrrrr . . . . Naruto pressed back in his seat, a disembodied voice calmly saying "One minute to total destruction."

#This is the Testicles again - we're pulling back! We don't have the right kind of ammo for this situation!#

#This the Brain - we copy. Sending in all begging units!#

Practically cowering in the forefront of Hinata's attack, the words came faster out of Naruto's mouth. "I'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorryI'msorry! You're awesome, I'm sh**, you're smart, I'm stupid, you're gorgeous, I'm ugly, you're right, I'm wrong!"

The persistent alarm ground to a halt. "Destruction sequence . . . paused."

#This is the Brain - all begging units, continue fire!#

#Sir, yes sir!#

"And I love you so much I'm so lucky to have you and all I want is to be with you forever and ever and ever and I'll never look at another woman again as long as I have you!"

"Destruction sequence . . . terminated."

The red light lifted, and Hinata rose. "I'm just going to go the washroom," she said, as sweetly as if nothing had ever happened. "I'll be right. back."

About thirty seconds after she left, Shikamaru came over. Leaning close, he muttered, "Watch your step, man. You just got yourself out of a bad situation. But if it happens, again, you'll only have about ten seconds before she kills you stone dead."

Naruto sat, frozen to his seat, as the other man walked away again. What had he gotten himself into?!