Author Notes: For someone on LJ, suggested and started forever ago, and finally finished. XD
Pairings or Characters: Konohamaru/Hanabi, various bystanders
Word Count: 2817
Summary: Konohamaru thinks dealing with girls is hard. Dealing with Hanabi is practically impossible, especially when he likes her.
Wooing Kunoichi 101
Crushing on a teammate was never a good thing. If you weren't careful, it could mess up team dynamics, occasionally put missions in danger, and cost you a close friend. It was a particularly awful thing when that teammate happened to be Hyuuga Hanabi, daughter of one of the oldest clans in Konoha and a prodigy in her own right, and you were Sarutobi Konohamaru, grandson of the third hokage, but otherwise rather unremarkable.
Konohamaru had initially been quite upset when he learned he wouldn't be on the same chuunin team as Moegi and Udon and instead would be working with a tall, lanky redhead he didn't know, a hardassed, angry-faced jounin for a leader, and a Hyuuga. When the Hyuuga turned out to be Hanabi, who had taken every opportunity to let him know how much she disliked him during their years in the academy, he nearly went into a fit of horror. He still had a scar on his left knee from one incident in the cafeteria where she'd shattered a table on him.
But then he'd gone and fallen for her -- how, he will never fully understand -- and suddenly things were ten times worse, because while she still liked to mention regularly how much she didn't care for him while outshining him in every way possible, all he could do was think up poetry about her hair.
And he really sucked at poetry.
Udon was sympathetic, or at least pitied him enough to treat him to Ichiraku and listen to his woes. When Moegi joined them, she told him to man up and just ask her out. Konohamaru imagined such a situation for a moment before banging his head on the table and moaning.
"She's even stolen his manhood, huh?" Moegi whispered over the wibbling pile of pathetic that was her friend. Udon nodded solemnly before offering to buy him another round of noodles.
The lanky redhead had turned out to be a guy named Atsushi from the Inuzuka clan. One day during sparring practice, while he and Konohamaru were taking a break -- Hanabi never took breaks, she liked to remind him -- he leaned over and asked loudly, "So you like her?"
The comment had been met with a stare, and after half a minute, a flailing of arms as Konohamaru furiously denied any knowledge of what he could be talking about while blushing bright red. After five minutes of that, he settled down and eventually asked quietly, "How'd you know?"
"I can smell it on you," Atsushi replied brightly, proud to have gotten it right.
Atsushi wasn't particularly smart when it came to anything other than being a ninja, and was famous for having a girlfriend for nearly six months and not knowing about it until three weeks after she'd dumped him.
But if even he could tell, Konohamaru was screwed.
Their hardassed teacher was a jounin named Isao, whose catchphrase was, "I hate kids. Whose bright idea was it to give me this job?" whenever Atsushi or Konohamaru did, well, anything. Hanabi, being the obnoxiously perfect person she was, didn't mess up -- like, ever -- so Isao had a soft spot for her.
While on a mission to Ame, when he caught Konohamaru admiring Hanabi's ass as she walked in front of them, he rolled his eyes before smacking him over the back of his head.
"I like her. Don't go screwing her up," he grumbled. Konohamaru wasn't sure if that was him being encouraging or giving him warning. Either way, he didn't feel like it mattered much.
"Don't worry, sensei. It's not like I have a shot," Konohamaru mumbled back.
Isao let out a disgruntled sigh at that before literally kicking Konohamaru's ass, sending him stumbling forward into Hanabi who let out an angry growl.
"What the hell do you want, Sarutobi?" she hissed, spinning around to face him and making the entire group come to a halt.
"Um," he answered helplessly.
He looked back at his sensei, who was busy massaging his temples and chanting, "I hate kids, I hate kids, I hate kids," to himself as Atsushi patted him comfortingly on the shoulder. Before either of his male teammates could offer him advice from afar, she had grabbed him roughly by the collar, bringing his attention back to her.
"Um," he repeated.
"What. Is. It?"
'This is it Sarutobi. Don't screw it up. Just say it!' he thought to himself, swallowing loudly before taking a deep breath.
"I-I--... I LIKE YOU," he shouted finally.
Everyone in the party rolled their eyes.
"And?" she prodded.
"Uh," he blinked, surprised to have gotten this far without being broken in half, "And... I would, uh, like to date you?"
"The first evening after we get back to Konoha. You will pick me up at six and take me somewhere for dinner," she told him before releasing his collar and walking down the path. He was still staring at the spot Hanabi's face had been when Isao and Atsushi passed him, their sensei grumbling as the Inuzuka stopped, looking at him in concern.
"Sensei? Is Konohamaru going to be okay?"
"I hate kids, I hate kids, I hate kids... Hanabi, your new boyfriend is a pathetic idiot."
"Don't I know it."
When Konohamaru had finally snapped out of his temporary shock-coma, he spent the entirety of their mission thinking frantically of what to do for his first date ever, nearly getting killed at one instance before Hanabi jumped in and told him to, "Pay attention, damnit," which he finally managed to do temporarily. Even if he was imagining her agreement to go out with him, if he didn't plan out everything perfectly in advance, he knew he would be beaten to a pulp for one reason or another anyway, so he figured he might as well.
Unfortunately, by six in the evening on the day she'd told him to pick her up, he had only a very loose template to go by.
He had initially thought of taking her to Ichiraku, but she was a Hyuuga. She lived in a mansion and probably ate a feast every night, and he really didn't want to be horribly lame in comparison on his first date ever. Though he had a feeling he would be anyway. Luckily, while he was panicking a couple hours before go time, he bumped into Hanabi's older sister.
"S-Sorry," he apologized distractedly, not recognizing her.
"It's fine, really! ... Um, pardon me, but are you by any chance Konohamaru-kun?"
"Y-Yeah... Um, you know me?" he asked curiously.
"No, but I've heard about you quite a bit. Hanabi-chan often talks about you," she giggled. Konohamaru must have been staring as he tried to make sense of her words -- Hanabi, talking about him, does not compute -- because she quickly added, "Oh, I'm Hinata, her sister."
He snapped back to attention, a smile breaking out on his face, "Nice to meet you Hinata-san. Um, do you know any places she likes to eat?"
Hinata tilted her head as she thought, and he had to admit she looked quite pretty. He wondered if this was the same Hinata that Naruto often talked about when they hung out.
"Oh! There is this nice foreign restaurant down near the residential district. She's mentioned wanting to go there. I think it's called the 'Blue Moon'," she smiled.
"Thanks Hinata-san!" he beamed before bounding away merrily as she waved after him.
Now with a destination in mind, Konohamaru felt a little more confident. Of course, he still had to get dressed. He had no knowledge of the rules regarding date attire, and with time running out before he had to be at the Hyuuga compound, he decided to forgo searching for advice and just ransack his closet.
Unfortunately, in addition to what he was wearing, he didn't seem to own anything other than a variety of scarves, three shirts and a few pairs of shorts, not a piece of which he figured was appropriate for a date. So, with a courage he didn't know he possessed, he said, "Fuck it," and headed out, hoping Hanabi wouldn't notice. Or at least wouldn't hurt him too bad.
After all, who would want to carry around a pile of broken, bloody flesh on a date?
Getting into the Hyuuga house, even with an invitation, was a very frightening process. Guards by the gates interrogated him. Guards just inside the gates interrogated him. Guards by the showy front doors snarled at him. But the worst part was when he finally reached the inside of the main building, a few passing women giggled at him. He felt every ounce of confidence disappate in an instant, and was sorely tempted to flee back from whence he came. Had he not been one-hundred percent certain that attempting so would leave him disemboweled within five steps, he may just have.
When Hanabi finally came to the surprisingly small entry room he'd been waiting in, Konohamaru's tongue nearly fell out of his head.
If he'd felt under dressed before, he felt it a thousand times worse now, because she was wearing a short, black cocktail dress that fifteen year old girls shouldn't be allowed to wear around sixteen year old boys without being prepared to suffer the repercussions of their hormones as they reacted.
He stumbled for a way to tell her that she looked pretty when he realized she was staring at him impatiently. His tongue wasn't cooperating, and his brain couldn't seem to decide on an appropriate way to describe the incredible beauty that was standing before him.
So all he managed was an awkward, "L-Look nice. Er, y-you look nice! Very nice. Yes, nice."
She raised an eyebrow.
"You have a way with words, Sarutobi," she replied sarcastically.
He made a mental note never to let her hear his poems about her hair.
She began to stroll past him after slipping into a pair of flats, but like the glutton for punishment he was, he caught her by the elbow to halt her. She looked up at him impatiently, putting her hand on her hip.
"Shouldn't I, uh, meet with your father first?"
She paused, looking generally surprised.
"You want to meet my father?"
"Well, I figured I'm supposed to, right? Won't he be less likely to kill me if I introduce myself?" She regarded him warily for a moment before chuckling.
"You can meet him later. He's still busy with meetings right now. But you've got guts," she added with a soft smile before walking out, dragging him behind her as his hand remained around her elbow.
It wasn't until they got past all the guards and gates that Konohamaru finally realized he was still holding onto her and let go. She asked him jokingly if he was afraid of the guards, and when he was slow to respond, she let out a sigh and rolled her eyes, mumbling about what a wuss he was.
"So where are we going?" she asked.
"Uh, the Blue Moon place? I heard you were thinking of going there..." he answered, scratching at his cheek.
"Okay, sounds good. Lead the way."
Konohamaru blinked at the hand she extended and realized, belatedly, that she intended for him to take it in his own. He flushed, but took it immediately, not wanting to risk her thinking better of the offer.
The walk to the restaurant was uneventful, but once they arrived, he realized he hadn't made reservations and the place was full up. He tried bribing the hostess, but she must have dealt with several annoying customers already, because she chased him off faster than a bear wielding kunai, and he was wicked terrified of bears. Returning to Hanabi to tell her the news was quite like what he imagined a guilty man's walk to the gallows would be.
"Uh... W-We don't have a table..." he mumbled into his scarf. She stared at him before laughing, which scared him more than put him at ease.
"I figured," she giggled eventually. Hanabi giggling was scarier than bears. Much scarier. Even if she looked really, really pretty when she smiled like that.
"You don't normally eat at formal, foreign restaurants like this, right? I was pretty sure you wouldn't have thought to call ahead and make a reservation."
He felt himself deflating as his heart fell. The date was already ruined. Great. Great.
"So lets just go where you normally eat out. You go to that ramen place, right?"
His head instantly lifted as he stared at her, wide-eyed.
"You still wanna eat with me?"
"The point of this date is to spend time together, moron, and I'm hungry."
"Oh. Okay," he said after a moment. She was surprising him more and more as the night went on. "Ichiraku it is, then."
He took her hand in his without much thought, but instantly tensed when her fingers tightened around his before realizing that meant she didn't mind. Looking down at her, he noticed she was even blushing a little, and felt his heart practically explode with joy at the sight.
The walk to Ichiraku was silent, and neither looked at the other or down at their hands, pointedly staring at buildings off in opposite directions. They arrived to find the place largely empty, which Konohamaru was actually glad for. Less prying eyes made him feel less nervous. They sat down and placed their orders, but neither began talking, so he settled for grabbing a pair of chopsticks and playing with them.
"Hey," Hanabi said suddenly, nearly startling him out of his stool.
"Yeah, what's up?" he asked once he'd regained his balance.
"... When did you start to like me?"
He stared at her blankly for a moment before opening his mouth to speak, but was quickly interrupted by the arrival of their noodles. She was suddenly very intently focused on her food, but as he stirred his chopsticks around his own bowl, he thought back to when this whole thing started.
"About two weeks after our team formed."
Her hand paused above her meal, and very slowly, she turned her head towards his. Even when she narrowed her eyes like that, he couldn't help but think about how gorgeous she was.
"Thought so. And you never thought to say anything because...?"
"Hey, you're kinda terrifying, okay?" he said defensively. "And what about you? You all seemed to know I liked you, so why didn't you say anything, huh?! You like me enough to go on a date now, so when did you start liking me?"
Suddenly his bowl was no longer on the bar and was instead on his head, and as he flailed about trying to get the cooling noodles out of his hair, he spotted Hanabi storming off.
"Hey, wait!" he called after her, scrambling to his feet and, after slamming down payment for their meals on the counter, practically tackling her to stop her from leaving. He was easily deflected, landing on his back several yards away from the ramen stand, followed by a heeled shoe stomping on his neck. "Talk about defensive," he coughed up at her, doing his best not to look up her dress and failing.
Slowly she peeled her foot away, but before she could resume storming off in a huff he caught her by the wrist.
"C'mon, I know this date sucked, and I'm sorry, but just give me an answer? Please?"
She let out an annoyed grunt, and though she was still facing the other way, he could tell she was rolling her eyes. Eventually she mumbled something, but he couldn't understand her.
"Since the academy, alright?!" she shouted, turning on him to reveal her face was aflame. "And the date didn't suck," she added quietly, staring down at her shoes.
He gawked up at her, releasing her wrist as his mind raced with this new information. When she'd gotten tired of his gaping, she made to start walking away, but he snapped out of it and pushed himself onto his feet, draping an arm across her shoulders and keeping her in place.
"You need to learn how to flirt better. Breaking things over my head and taunting me aren't going to get the message to me very clearly, y'know," he chuckled into her hair before daring to press a kiss against her cheek.
Five minutes ago, he would never have attempted to get away with that without risk of serious bodily harm, but he was feeling extremely confident for the first time ever involving her.
Hanabi responded by grabbing him by the scarf and pulling him down for a hard kiss on the lips, which turned his legs to jello and his brain to happy goo, not bothering to care that she was showing him up again.