Cold sweat crawled on her forehead, her breath was questionable and she wasn't sure whether she was safe or not. In the cold basement air, Hinata could smell the scent of decay in the cold, crisp air. She couldn't move, and quite frankly, her wrists were starting to get itchy from the tape that stuck stubbornly to her hands.
"Hinata." Sakura said with a menacing smile. The only light bulb that lit the basement was starting to flicker, illuminating both of her closest friends in an unpleasant way. "I'm sorry, but I figured this was the only way you'd cooperate." She sighed, and Ino nodded comprehensively. "Hinata, we've set up a couple dates for you. All containing the men of this village." Ino explained. Hinata shook her head ferociously, her hair dancing in the tense air of her father's basement that resembled a dungeon. She wouldn't be surprised if dead bodies came strolling through nonchalantly. Hinata wasn't the kind to open up quickly. Even though Sakura and Ino were one of her most favored pals, she couldn't bring herself to confess her childish love for the only one for her: Naruto. "You will participate wholeheartedly - as will both Sakura-chan and I." Ino continued. Hinata tried stubbornly to lick the tape off her mouth, but it just wouldn't budge. Sakura leaned to her, softly ripping the tape off.
"Ino-chan, Sakura-chan! This is insane! P-Please, must you guys be so drastic?" Hinata pleaded, seriously considering getting new friends. Both Ino and Sakura looked at each other, in unison, they slumped their shoulders. "We've thought critically issue, and we've concluded that-"
"Hinata, lets face it! We need boyfriends!" Ino interrupted Sakura, breaking the serious aura surrounding the subject. Despite everything, Hinata could understand. And besides, there's a great deal of fine men in Konoha. But Hinata only had eyes for Naruto.
"B-But-" Hinata began to complain. Ino grabbed her arm, as did Sakura on her other.
"First contestant: Shino!" They shouted, pushing Hinata up the stairs where they set up a candlelit dinner on Hinata's back porch.
DATE NUMBER ONE: SHINO.
Hinata awkwardly plopped down across from Shino, who had his usual attire on. She smiled at him, a little grateful that she could start off this long night with a good friend. He stared at her blankly from across the table - or so it seemed. With his glasses on, Hinata couldn't read his face. "Konichiwua, Shino-kun." She said with a breezy smile. "Hello, Hinata." He said with a rather huskier tone than usual. "I'm sorry they dragged you here, I'm sure you were very busy." Hinata slightly bowed her head, feeling like a burden. They sat in the middle of Hinata's dining room. The only lights in the room were the two exceptionally tall, pale candle lights that sat in the middle of the white and round table. Shino and Hinata on a date. Who would've thought? Hinata pursed her lips, just how much weirder was the night going to get? Shino cleared his throat rather obnoxiously and unsteady, Hinata assumed that was her cue to pay attention. "So...Hinata," Shino began, "Do you like bugs?" He asked, putting effort into the date. The question wasn't difficult - of course, she hated bugs. Although, Hinata wasn't sure how Shino would react to her true feelings. I mean, his jutsu style revolved around bugs completely. "N-Not really." Hinata croaked, a little uneasy about his feelings. She hoped he wouldn't take it too personally. Shino sat in pure silence. A violet cloud of gloom hovered over his hood. Hinata squinted her eyes - was he sulking? "O-Oh, Shino - I-I I'm sure they're very fascinating but they're just not my thin-" Hinata frantically attempted to reassure him. Shino held up the pale palm of his hand, shushing Hinata quite abruptly. "Hinata...do you understand how important bugs are to our entire existence?"
"U-Uh, Yes. W-Well, no-" Hinata stuttered behind Shino's harsh intended hand.
"Hinata..." He said in a rather distressed tone, he cupped her face in his hands. Hinata stared awkwardly at Shino, who was slightly squishing her cheeks in his grip. "I must teach you so much, Hinata." Shino leaned in closer to her. Hinata widened her eyes, panicking. What exactly was Shino trying to do? The glare that was caused by the candle lights reflected in Shino's dark glasses, and soon Hinata's fidgety face was reflecting on them as he leaned in closer to her.
"Times up!" Sakura announced as she outstretched her arm festively with a blue flag. Both Hinata and Shino looked over at her dumbfounded. "Areh?" Shino asked, furrowing his brows. Ino came in, grabbing Shino harshly. It took her a couple aggressive tugs to get him to let go of Hinata's face, but he eventually gave in. Hinata rubbed her cheeks, Shino's finger's lingered on her skin. She shuddered. "Arigatou, Shino! We'll contact you if she chose you!" Sakura waved, as Ino kicked him out of Hinata's house.
"Sorry about that, Hinata. If we were any later, Shino would've smooched you!" Sakura giggled, obviously not taking things as seriously as Hinata. Hinata glared at both Ino and Sakura.
"Next up!" Sakura began. Hinata jumped, "Ah- Wait, wait!-"
"Bring in Bachelor number two! Shikamaru!" Sakura clapped, gesturing for Ino to bring in Shikamaru.
DATE NUMBER TWO: SHIKAMARU
Shikamaru slumped his shoulders, as he walked sluggishly to the table. Oh lord, how many guys would she have to converse with? And why was it that Ino and Sakura seemed to take every man from Konoha hostage? "Hello, Shikamaru." Hinata bowed her head, he waved placidly as he plopped down on the wooden chair. He chewed on a toothpick, which distracted Hinata dramatically. He clicked his tongue, sneering. "How troublesome." He commented, laying back into the chair. Hinata laughed awkwardly, "Yes, I'm very sorry they put you up to this." Silence washed over them, making Hinata squirm uncomfortably. Shikamaru stared up at the ceiling in his own little world. "So, what do you do for fun?" Hinata asked, hoping to lighten the mood. Shikamaru took a minute, tilting his head. "I sleep and watch clouds." He replied. Pretty simple guy, huh? Hinata thought maybe Shikamaru wasn't all that bad. "Clouds, huh? That's pretty cool." Hinata smiled, nodding slightly. "I guess." He croaked, continuing to nibble on his toothpick. Another long silence. Sakura and Ino sat on two chairs on the other end of the room, Hinata glanced over to them. They were napping. The candle lights flickered, and Hinata sighed. This was going nowhere - and this 'dating' thing was really making her lust over those ocean blue eyes of her dream guy. "Oi, Hinata." Shikamaru's voice awoke her from her reverie. "Y-Yeah?"
"Didn't you like Naruto?"
"Eh?!" Hinata squealed, she didn't think anyone knew beside her. Her cheeks started to feel warm. Shikamaru stared at her nonchalantly. "No?" He said. Hinata stayed silent, feeling uncomfortable with the question. "Guess not." He replied to his own. He suddenly took out a cigarette from his pocket, and lit it with the fire that stood over the candle lights. "You smoke?!" Hinata exclaimed, Shikamaru didn't seem like the kind to smoke. His teeth were white - after all. Hinata could hear Ino mumble in her sleep. "Smoke..." She murmured,
"Smoke?" She repeated sleepily.
"Smoke?!" She screamed,
"Fire! FIRE!" She roared. Hinata looked over at her with an annoyed look.
"FIIIIIRE!~" She shrieked, Shikamaru gave her the same 'are-you-serious?' look that Hinata was giving her. "You! Delinquent, get out of here!" She scolded at the top of her lungs. Hinata sighed, doubting she was even remotely awake. "Eh?" Shikamaru asked confused, as Ino's rather manly gestures sent him flying out the door. "I-Ino!" Hinata yelled, "You could've hurt him!" Ino only looked her way with half-lidded eyes. Hinata face palmed herself, "Oh dear."
Sakura finally reacted, snoring obnoxiously. She wiped her drool from her chin, "O-Oh. Is i time for the next date?" She smiled.
"N-NOOO!" Hinata screamed, but Ino covered her mouth. "Yes!" Ino answered for Hinata.
"Yosh! Bachelor number three: Sai!" Hinata waved her hands frantically - but Ino taped her to the chair. Yup, Hinata officially needs new friends.
DATE NUMBER THREE: SAI
Hinata's eyebrows arched, as she noticed Sai's outfit might seem even more feminine than her own. He sat down with a smile. "Alright! Sai, you've got 8 minutes with this lovely lady." Sakura informed him, giving him a thumbs up. "Hai." Sai said, nodding understanding. Hinata tried to act polite, but she was failing so far. Her smile was fairly faint. "Hello, Sai." She greeted, rather irritated but tried to put her best face on. "Hello, Hinata." He smiled, bowing slightly. "You have large breasts." He commented. Hinata stared at him blankly, unsure if what she'd heard was right.
"Um, w-what?" She smiled sympathetically.
"You have large breasts."
"Eh?!" Hinata exclaimed, blood rushing rapidly to her upper cheeks. Was this guy serious? She suddenly felt that maybe being tied up to a chair next to this guy was fairly dangerous.
Sai shrugged, "I was being honest." He replied, his face completely unconcerned. His face seemed rather eerie over the flickers of the candle lights.
"D-D-Don't be so vulgar!" She scolded him, both enraged and violated.
"It's okay. I read in one of my books that honesty is the best way to start a relationship."
"What?!" What kind of relationship was this guy thinking of? Sai ignored her frantic behavior. "So, Hinata, what do you like to do for fun?" He asked with a wide smile. Hinata cringed, but she was happy they'd switched the topic of the conversation. "Mostly train." She said, trying hard to keep a smile. "I like to draw." He replied.
"O-Oh really? What do you like to draw?"
Hinata narrowed her glare at him, suddenly her cheeks were starting to rapidly grow temperature again.
"What?" She asked,
"Male genitalia. Penises." He responded, his face was completely serious.
"...M-Male genitalia?" Hinata repeatedly. "Ino." Hinata called out, suddenly panicking.
"Wanna see?" He smiled. Sai slowly took out his journal, and Hinata blinked repeatedly. A strong shudder shook her as Hinata watched Sai's both pale and emotionless face started to open the pages of the large black journal that looked quite aged. Okay, this guy is most probably the biggest creep she's met. She refused to look his way as he proudly held up the suggestive picture as if it was the nation's flag. "INO!~" Hinata pleaded in whispers as she squirmed in her chair. Ino shrugged, "1 more minute." Ino mouthed. Hinata let her head hang.
Suddenly a loud crash made her neck flick upward. Akamaru sat by her side, looking quite amused. "A-Akamaru?" Hinata mused. "Have some respect, you sick blockhead!" Hinata could recognize that obnoxiously arrogant voice anywhere. Kiba.
DATE NUMBER FOUR: KIBA
Sakura held up her blue flag, as Ino kicked the barely-conscience Sai out of the house. Hinata let out an exasperated sigh, Kiba brushed off his hands looking exceptionally proud of himself. "Are you okay, Hinata?" He asked, Hinata might just choose Kiba right now after saving her from such a mongrel. "I-I'm fine. Thank you, Kiba-kun." Hinata smiled genuinely this time. He gave her a thumbs up, plopping down on the chair in front of her. The sunset was awake, giving the room a fairly more warm feeling to it. Hinata could finally relax - she just wanted to get this over with. "8 Minutes, love birds!" Sakura announced, winking to Hinata and Kiba. Akamaru affectionately rubbed his furry head onto her lap. Hinata smiled, nudging the puppy with her thigh playfully. "Why the hell are you tied up?" Kiba asked, an eyebrow arched. "Sakura-chan and Ino-chan are forcing me to get a boyfriend." Hinata explained the situation, Kiba laughed at her but his eyes held sympathy in them. The red streaks on his cheeks looked pretty bright today, Hinata noted. "How was Shino?" Kiba asked with an amused grin. Hinata pursed her lips, "He was more emotional than I expected." Hinata confessed honestly. Kiba nodded and chuckled softly. "How many have you been through so far?"
"Four, including this one."
"Like anyone yet?"
"I-I'm considering two." Hinata smiled. Kiba smiled faintly.
"Never thought I'd go on a date with you." Kiba confessed, teasing playfully.
"You're telling me." Hinata played along, laughing softly. She couldn't help but notice this one was the only one that truly went by smoothly. Not awkward, not too silent. Not perverted. Hinata would be lying if she said this was the first time she considered Kiba like a boyfriend. It's true that Naruto was her first choice - but Kiba-kun was always there. And acknowledged her, always. "Times up!" Sakura screamed.
Ino escorted Kiba nicely to the front door.
"Next Bachelor: Sasuke!"
DATE NUMBER FIVE: SASUKE
Sakura squealed, her eyes misty. "W-What?!" She shrieked, dropping the blue flag in amazement. Ino nodded, a menacing smile on her fair colored face. Hinata watched, a little scared and excited, to see the manly figure walk down the hallway. The girls could hear Sasuke's slow footsteps click, click. As the audible footsteps became clearer & closer - Sakura and Hinata watched, as the onyx haired guy entered the room. The light that brightly lit his dark silhouette layered into the room. Sakura fainted, being caught in Ino's arms. He sat quietly on the chair across from Hinata's astonished eyes. "8 minutes, sexbomb- er, I mean, Sasuke!" Ino waved, dragging Sakura to the other end of the room. The first two minutes, Hinata spent her time staring at the Uchiha. "What?" He hissed, noticing Hinata's innocent stare. "O-Oh, sorry." Hinata quickly shifted her eyes to the wall behind him.
"U-Um, Sasuke?" Hinata croaked nervously after several minutes of ear-tensing silence.
"Did you accomplish your goal?"
"What goa- Oh, yes." He nodded comprehensively.
"I'm so happy for you." Hinata responded as politely as she could.
"I don't need your approval." He retorted, sneering.
Hinata slightly frowned, letting her head hang. What crawled up his butt?, she thought. She was done with the dates, she wanted a nap. Maybe even some chocolate.
"Times up!" Ino screamed, wrapping her arms around Sasuke. His expression panicked, and he quickly stood up. Ino clung to him in glee. Sakura started to murmur undefined words, it was probably a sign she was finally starting to gain awareness of her surroundings. "Sasu...ke?" She mumbled, rubbing her eyes. Sasuke's face look terrified. "Sasuke!" Sakura shrieked in happiness. Sasuke started to flee in terror, his footsteps violently tapped on the floor's of Hinata's house. Ino was being dragged throughout the whole house as she held onto his shirt. Sakura followed, her arms outstretched.
"W-Wait!" Hinata cried, but they'd left the house soon after she'd screamed. She sighed, "Well, I guess it's over." She concluded, saying her thoughts out loud. The tension of having to talk uncomfortably was finally releasing her body - letting her slump her shoulders in relief. She shifted in her seat, trying to make herself comfortable. It'd be a while until somebody realizes she's still taped to the chair.
The cold night air had fastened her way to sleep. Though Hinata's arm's cried for rest and warmth, she had given up screaming for help a long time ago. Her long hair danced and traced softly over her freezing arms in the night wind, as she slumbered in an awkward position. The woods behind her home hummed as bugs sang happily. Chills had sat on her arms and legs for a couple hours now - Hinata wondered if they would ever leave. "What the...Hinata?" A distant voice asked. Her subconscious felt a jolt of glee. She knew that voice, the voice that made her heart beat faster. Her wrists started to move in rapid up and down movements, and in the distance she could hear a kunai cutting against tape. "Hinata, are you alive?!" The raspy, boyish voice rang. Naruto. She felt warmth suddenly struck her cheeks, large hands lingering on her face. Déjà vu, the gesture was similar to what happened earlier with Shino. Except this time, Hinata enjoyed it. Through lidded eyes, Hinata could see those deep oceanic eyes that drove her mad with feelings she couldn't explain in words. "Hinata!" He whispered, distressed. He shook her head without much grace. "N-Naruto?" She whispered, unsure if she was entirely awake. His presence brought warmth and spirit to her surroundings. She wasn't so cold anymore.
"Hinata, what are you doing?!" He asked, his tone expressing a hint of rage. "O-Oh, Sakura-chan and Ino-chan, they left me here."
"EH?!" He furrowed his brows, his hands were still on her cheeks, which Hinata found humorous. She couldn't help but smile, Naruto's face was so close to hers. "They left you here on purpose? Are you guys fighting or something?" He demanded, shaking Hinata's barely-awake head ever so slightly. "No, w-we were...playing a game, a-and they forgot to untie me." Hinata smiled, hoping she wouldn't have to explain what she'd been doing the whole afternoon. "A game?" Naruto arched an eyebrow. Hinata suddenly saw his point of view - what kind of game would include her being tied to a chair? Her cheeks started to blush vibrantly, "U-Uh, well, actually, t-they forced me to-" Hinata paused, thinking twice before telling him the silly story. Naruto let go of her cheeks, and shifted them to his hips, looking at Hinata with a rather wry look. "They forced me to go on a date." Hinata croaked, looking at the indigo sky behind Naruto instead of his eyes. "A date?" Naruto seemed to look a little amused, "With who?"
"Shino." Hinata said, "Shino, and Sai, Shikamaru, Kiba." Hinata didn't consider Sasuke's date a real date. She admitted it was a bit selfish, but he'd find out Sasuke's been here through Sakura either way. "How'd it go?" He asked, a little awkwardly. Hinata assumed he didn't know how to respond - she'd feel the same way in his shoes. "Horrible." Hinata confessed, letting her composed face show a hint of exhaustion. Naruto pursed his lips, calmly sitting into the seat across from her. The fire on the candle lights were now evaporated, letting only the moon's bright graze lighten their environment. Hinata flicked her wrist a couple times, grateful she could feel blood circulate in her cold palms. "Hinata?" Naruto asked, his voice lowering volume. "Y-Yes?" She asked, always pretty flustered to hear her name being said by the voice she loved so dearly. "Did you...enjoy their company?" He asked as his eyes evaded hers, he fiddled with the leftover wax from the candles. "I think all of them have favorable traits, but I don't think any of them would be compatible with me." She explained, a little saddened that most of the dates went horribly bad. Naruto listened, nodding his head slightly. "I understand. I guess we're a little alike." Naruto laughed lightly, his smile making Hinata's heart melt happily. "What do you mean?" Hinata asked, intrigued. She was happy Naruto was opening up to her - even if it was little.
"I don't seem to be very appealing to the girls here."
Hinata held in her laugh, very appealing? Oh lord, if only Naruto knew how she felt about him. "Are you sure? I-I'm s-sure you must seem cute to at least one girl in Konoha." Hinata reassured him, smiling as she referred to herself. Naruto looked up abruptly after she finished her sentence. His face softened, "You think so?" He smiled crookedly,
"O-Of course!" She exclaimed, trying hard not to seem too suspicious. "Thanks, Hinata." He grinned. She felt her face grow in temperature as she felt his gaze on her, she let her bangs hide her flustered expression. "I...can understand where you're coming from." Hinata confessed, hoping Naruto wouldn't read too much into it. "Yeah? What do you mean?" He continued the conversation.
"I don't seem to attract much attention from boys either."
"That's not true." He asserted her, making Hinata smile to herself.
"Well, I don't seem to attract attention from the only boy that matters." Before she knew it, she'd let the words escape her mouth. She squeezed her eyes, a little uneasy - she stumbled into a part of the conversation that she'd hoped she'd never had to face. The crisp air seemed to stand still at that moment, only the crickets responded to her words. She could feel Naruto's stare on her, which led her to hide her bashful eyes behind her hair.
"The only boy that matters, huh?" Naruto repeated, his tone seeming amused. "Who's that?" He asked in a teasing tone - as Hinata concluded, he hadn't a clue that she loved him so much. Hinata shook her head shyly, "I-It's not important." She croaked. Of course it was important! This was the perfect time - the perfect setting - to confess to him. Confess the joyous feelings that overflowed her being. He clashed his fists on the table, "Aw, c'mon, Hinata! You can't just say something like that and NOT tell me!" He whined playfully, "I won't tell anyone, I promise." He smirked, as Hinata slowly let her gaze over his excited expression, until it finally paused at his eyes. She shook her hands, gesturing it's unimportance. "N-No, r-r-really! It's nothing. Forget it." She breathed, frantic. But before she could refuse any longer, Naruto's ear was held up close to her face, "Please?" He smiled. How could she refuse? She grinned, "Tell you what," She began, "I'll tell you clues - and you can guess who it is, okay?" She explained with an anticipating smile. "Alright! Lets do it!" He declared, sitting back down. He obnoxiously pounded his fists onto the fragile wooden white table. Hinata pondered how long the table would last after this night.
"A-Are you ready?" She asked, playfully.
"He's nice." Hinata said with a smile. Naruto frowned, "That doesn't narrow it down, Hinata." He narrowed his eyes at her, which only made her squeal quietly. "S-Sorry." She laughed.
"He's my age." Hinata said, her finger tracing over her chin thoughtfully. "He's very c-cute," She continued, occasionally looking at Naruto. His expression was exaggeration of concentration. "Very cute, your age, okay..." Naruto repeated quietly. Hinata couldn't help but laugh, he was taking this way too seriously. "He went to the same Academy as me, he's determined, and funny..." Hinata smiled sheepishly as she was slowly dragging out her thoughts aloud. "He makes me blush and smile at the most unexpected times, he makes my heart melt when he grins. His voice makes me feel as if I'm on cloud nine-"
"Details, Hinata! Be specific!" Naruto was clenching his hair in his frustrated hands. Hinata bowed slightly, a little jittery. "S-Sorry. Um..."
"Boy or girl?" Naruto asked, a completely serious face on. Hinata furrowed her brows, "Boy, of course!" She replied, a little offended.
"Short or Tall?"
"Taller than me."
"Loud or quiet?"
Hinata smirked, "Loud."
"...No." She laughed.
"What color eyes?"
She blushed, "Oceanic Blue."
"Oceanic Blue? Who do I know who has oceanic blue eyes?" He said. Hinata could see the stress he was putting on his mind, she grinned. "Blond hair..." She hinted, acknowledging that would give away the answer. "Blond hair, blue eyes?" Naruto repeated, scratching his forehead. He repeated those same words for the next two minutes. Hinata shook her head, smiling brightly. He really isn't the smartest guy around, is he?
"OH!" Naruto exclaimed. "Oh...wait a second." He smirked, looking at Hinata with a softened expression. A shade of pink started to fade into his upper cheeks, He took her hand from across the table.
"Would you like to go eat some Ichiraku Ramen with me, Hinata-chan?" He said with a sheepish smirk. Those were the words she's been anticipating for a very long time.