Hinata felt mortified in the revealing fortune's teller costume she was wearing but it only took one look across the field at Hanabi, who was starring as the main attraction at the kissing booth, to realize her situation wasn't that bad after all. Showing off her body was uncomfortable (gasp! You could see her navel) but it sure beat the frequent visits her poor, younger sister was getting from a very eager, very snotty Konohamaru. It was moments like this that made Hinata and Hanabi reevaluate Neji's relationship with his overly ambitious girlfriend, Tenten.
Tenten had volunteered to organize Konoha's charity fundraiser; the school's biggest event of the year, not knowing the huge amount of stress that would follow. She'd gotten everyone excited for the carnival themed fundraiser with elaborate plans of renting out Ferris wheels, moon bounces and setting up booths. With her planning, everyone thought it would be a big success. Then things all went wrong after the planning stage. Things like low ticket sales, mechanical issues with the rented rides and missing props were quickly making it Konoha's biggest fundraising flop in years. Tenten, not willing to give up, managed to fix all the problems that came up sacrificing her sleep and possibly her sanity.
On the day of the charity fundraiser, everything was looking fine until Sakura got sick at the last second and backed out of her part as the fortune teller. Sakura's resignation also forced her boyfriend, Rock Lee, to quit his position at the kissing booth to take care of her despite the fact that everyone reassured him that Sakura could recover from her cold without him.
Tenten was close to tears. She couldn't find anyone that could fit into Sakura's costume or fill in a space at the booth! This was the last bit of stress that could push her past her limit.
This was where Neji played his role as the knight in shining armor and rescued his damsel in distress by begginghis cousins to take Sakura and Lee's places. Hinata and Hanabi would never forget the image of their older cousin on his knees pleading, "Please do this for me! Your good deed will not go unnoticed! I will forever be in your debt!"
Hinata and Hanabi had been hesitant to agree at first but eventually came around to the idea for Neji's sake. He hadn't been in a relationship in a while and Tenten did make the boy happy. Also, they couldn't withstand anymore of his dramatic speech. People were starting to stare as the genius of the Hyuuga family was humiliating himself in an open field.
Originally Hanabi was going to manage the fortune's teller tent since she was skinny enough to fit into Sakura's costume. When she tried it on, they figured she was tooskinny. The silk top and harem pants were literally falling off of her, creating a huge risk of a wardrobe malfunction. The fifteen year old offered switching her job with her sister but Hinata doubted that it would work. She was going to point out that she was shorter and had a more generous figure than both Sakura and Hanabi but decided to hold her tongue after Tenten came close to tearing out her hair in frustration.
To everyone's relief, Hinata just fit into the costume and she didn't look half bad. Very red in the face but the beaded veil would fix that.
And that was how they ended up here: with Hanabi squeezing her eyes shut before momentarily smacking her lips against a total stranger's while Hinata sat in a purple tent, trying her best to hold back her stutter to tell her costumer their fortune.
Neji totally owed them.
Hanabi, the sole freshman at the kissing booth, could only receive tickets from customers who were fifteen or younger (the school didn't have enough money in their budget in the case of sexual assault charges) so all of the older girls pushed their gross, prepubescent clients onto her. And the boys in the lower grades were quite rude when they commented on how they were "downgraded to a girl who lacked experience." Oh yes, and this was coming from a bunch of nerdy guys who couldn't receive a kiss from a decent looking girl without paying a ticket? Hanabi gave them a piece of her mind before giving them the kiss that they wanted so badly. However, from an onlooker's point of view it looked like she just head butted them.
The boys would have complained to someone in the fundraiser committee but they were too frightened to. They actually kind of respected Hanabi for acting so brash. After a few minutes, they were in line again. And then after that, they just kept returning. Looked like the young Hyuuga earned herself a few more admirers and more business for the booth. Oh no…
Hinata had a bit more luck at her station compared to her sister but not by much. Obviously the older teenagers knew that the fortune teller was just one of their classmates in a silly getup so they avoided "Madam Mystique" and her tent. Most of Hinata's customers, like Hanabi's, were little kids that were invited by their older siblings but Hinata didn't mind. They were genuinely amazed by her "psychic powers" when she accurately knew their name (they were wearing name tags), when she figured out their favourite colour (she just guessed that it was the colour of the shirt they had on) and knew what they liked to eat (they had ice cream smears all over their faces).
Of course there were those annoying middle schoolers who thought they were so cool and made it their goal for the day to show how tough they could be in high school. They thought they were so intelligent because they could point out all of the tricks Hinata was using when she used her psychic powers, when in reality; they were just spoiling the fun for the children. A particular nasty group of twelve year olds had deliberately knocked over Hinata's crystal ball, laughing as the shards splattered over the ground.
From then on, Hinata had to use a magic 8 ball as a substitute crystal ball. On one hand, it was easier to give people an answer to their questions about the future but on the downside, it also cheapened the effect.
Kiba didn't lessen any of the embarrassment when he pointed his finger at Hinata and laughed. Then he caught a glimpse of Hanabi. He ran towards her faster then he had ever run in his track meetings to sing, "Hanabi and Konohamaru sitting in a tree…K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes love! Then comes mar-! Ow! Hanabi, you're not supposed to attack people!"
Shino just walked by and gave them his condolences before shoving a bundle of tickets into their hands to make up for Kiba's behavior. He proceeded to trail after the boy and slipped a few of his bugs into Kiba's hoodie when he thought he wasn't paying attention.
Ah Shino, you are a true friend.
"Hey Ms. Hinata, can you give me my fortune?" asked Konohamaru as he sat down at the table across from Hinata. He was carrying a stuffed monkey that he had won.
Hinata was actually surprised. "How d-did you know it was m-me, Konohamaru?"
"Oh, that's easy! Your veil isn't covering your eyes and only Hyuugas have white eyes. And since I've…visited Ms. Hanabi so much today, I thought that you would be her older sister. Mr. Neji would never dress up as a woman!"
Hinata was floored. He was so perceptive.
"Oh yeah, I also saw you walk out of the changing room in your costume."
"So what did y-you want to know?" asked Hinata, getting back on topic.
"Can you ask the spirits if your sister accept this stuffed animal? I won it just for her."
Hinata smiled at his question although it was hidden behind the veil. That was possibly the sweetest thing she ever heard. She moved her hands mysteriously around the crystal ball (aka the magic 8 ball) for show until she just dropped the façade and picked it up. Slowly, the little triangle rolled to its side and gave its answer: TRY AGAIN.
"The spirits are unsure." Konohamaru stared at her anxiously. "Should I ask them a-again?" Konohamaru nodded his head vigorously so she repeated the dramatic effect of waving her fingers mysteriously over the magic 8 ball before picking it up and gazing deeply into it. The little triangle rolled onto its side to say NO but at the last minute it moved again to reveal its final answer: YES, MOST DEFINITELY.
"The s-spirits say that you have a very good chance!"
"That's great! I'll go as soon as possible!"
"Why don't you go now? I think H-H-Hanabi is having a slow shift."
Hinata's brows furrowed as Konohamaru's ears went red. He scratched the back of his head as he laughed sheepishly. "I kind of went there a lot so I'm going to take my time."
"How many times did you go over t-there?"
"At least eight or nine times…"
Wow, the guy sure was persistent.
As he was about to leave Hinata asked him for a favour. "Konohamaru, I'll give back your ticket if you promise to get more people to come over here. I can't leave until l-lunch time and it's getting kind of b-b-boring."
The grin on his face grew. "Sure thing! I'll tell everyone about your awesome fortunes. They're so dead on!"
"I just want people to come over, not f-false advertisement…"
He never heard her since he was already walking away. And if Hinata wasn't imagining it, there was a bounce to his step. She really gave him a confidence boost. She only hoped that Hanabi was willing to give the guy a chance.
Watching Konohamaru walk farther from her tent she didn't think anyone could top their encounter.
"Boss! Over here!"
She quickly found out that her previous presumption was totally wrong.
Oh no, he was not calling who she thought he was…
"KONOHARMARU! WHAT'S UP?!"
It was him…
It was Naruto. Out of all the people Konohamaru could have called over, it just had to be Naruto. Hinata had a crush on the blonde since their days in The Academy. She'd always be a nervous wreck when he was around and was barely able to form coherent sentences although that was problematic for her from the start (her stutter was at its worse in his presence). Back then, her one wish was to have enough courage to tell him how much he inspired her. But she was older now and had matured a lot. Her stutter was minimal, she had more self-confidence and ,ultimately, she accepted the fact that she and Naruto could never be together. He was in love with Sakura, he always had been, and Hinata found that the Naruto she thought was so great when she was little, wasn't all that great now. She didn't have to look up to him anymore since she had her own confidence to get her through tough times.
Although it didn't mean her soft spot for the boy went away.
Naruto was talking animatedly to Konohamaru who pointed in the direction of Hinata's tent. The two boys suddenly got very excited from the way they were jumping up and down. Naruto was practically making a beeline towards her tent shouting, "A FORTUNE TELLER? THAT'S SO COOL!"
Naruto was standing in front of Hinata before she could blink. He slammed a ticket onto the table, leaning right over her. "Hey Madam Mystique, could you tell me if Sakura will ever fall madly in love with me?"
The little kids referred to her as Madam Mystique because they didn't know any better (and with a huge sign out-front proclaiming, "Madam Mystique's Mysterious Marvels!" what else were they supposed to call her?). Naruto's gone to school with Hinata his entire life and he still couldn't recognize her under that veil? You could still see her eyes! How many people had lavender eyes?
An impatient scoff came from a third party, interrupting Hinata from her thoughts. Craning her neck, she saw that it was none other than Naruto's best friend, Uchiha Sasuke. And he didn't look very happy. Well…any less happy than usual.
"Che. Naruto, are you still on about that? I already told you a million times that Sakura's dating Rock Lee. It was a shock to me as well but you have to learn to accept it."
The blonde turned around to face his friend. "I don't care! She didn't like Bushy Brow at first and she's going out with him now. The same could happen to me some day! Besides, Konohamaru said that Madam Mystique's abilities were phenomenal, especially on the topic of love!" His gaze fell onto Hinata as he faced her again. "So can ya tell me? Can ya? Will she love me?"
She gulped. What was she supposed to say? Sorry, the fortune teller is actually me, Hyuuga Hinata, and any romantic advice I'll give you will ruin your life forever?
She saw movement in the corner of her eye. She looked at Sasuke who looked back. From the smirk on his face, he must have registered that it was her and not "Madam Mystique". God, what a corny name. What person would actually consider a love fortune from a person in a school carnival?
"So will you tell me?" Oh yeah, this person.
Hinata sighed. Might as well give it her best shot.
"Yes! Madam Mystique's readings are nevhar wrong! Now tell Madam Mystique more about ziz girl before ve go on any farther." Wow. Hinata was impressed with herself. She even managed to get rid of her stutter though her phony (not to mention crappy) accent was probably just overpowering it.
Sasuke snickered a bit and she quickly sent him a dirty look. Well she tried to at least. It was like the dirty look a Carebear would send someone (which is on the lines of cute rather than intimidating) and only made his smirk grow.
"Well she's nice and pretty with short, pink hair and green eyes…" Naruto rested his fist under his chin, executing a beautiful thinker pose that would have Rock Lee and Gai-sensei envious. "She's also kind of loud but very smart!"
"Oh! She sounds like a vonderful person! Now, let's us see vat thee spirits say."
Hinata pushed the magic 8 ball aside because she thought Naruto deserved some sort of legitimate fortune telling method. She scanned her table for the props Tenten had given her. The Ouija board was only used to call upon the deceased, therefore, had no use in this particular situation, the Tarot Cards weren't actually Tarot Cards but normal playing cards and she couldn't blatantly make something up. She only had one alternative.
"Young man, give me your 'and. Madam Mystique shall give you a proper palm reading."
"But how will that answer my question?"
"Silly boy, do you not know? Thee lines of your 'and determine your fate! Give your 'and to Madam Mystique and you vill know vhat iz in store!"
Naruto shoved his hand in Hinata's face. If this had been the Hinata five years ago, touching Naruto would've caused her to faint. Right now, the older Hinata only blushed, the faint pink of her cheeks hidden from sight from the veil. She traced her fingertip over the line that came from the side of his palm and curved downwards to the center. She remembered Neji saying that that particular line was the heart line. That sounded like a pretty good place to start. For once in her life, Neji's random lectures about fate finally served a purpose!
"Zhis line 'ere is your 'eart line. Yours is very long, it extends all the way down your palm, vich means that you are very emotionally stable and 'ave good prospects for love. Zhis iz a good sign if you still vant that girl's 'eart."
Naruto had a grin on his face that went from ear to ear. He liked what he was hearing. "Is there anymore you can tell me?"
Hinata almost giggled. His amusement reminded her of the little kids she was tending to earlier before. "Thee line 'ere running down your palm near your wrist iz thee fate line. It tells Madam Mystique zat thee choices you make concerning education, life goals and success is very 'igh."
"And what does that mean?"
Her mind went blank. Hinata was expecting Naruto to put the pieces together himself. She didn't even know if she was reading his palm correctly.
Sasuke scoffed again, turning everyone's attention onto him.
"You dobe. It means the life choices you make are most likely going to be successful. So if Sakura decides she wants to ditch Rock Lee for you, you're going to have to make an effort to make it work if you still want her." Sasuke's bored expression changed to one that could be described as smug. "Even if you are emotionally stable like the fortune teller claims, it going to take a lot of work to handle Sakura."
Naruto stuck his tongue out at Sasuke when he caught onto the hidden insult.
Hinata thanked the heavens that Sasuke could give Naruto a vague, half-assed answer that would satisfy him. He just saved her butt.
"Your friend iz correct. 'e iz very well informed. With your 'igh prospects for love and rate of success, you'll do fine."
"Cool! Konohamaru was right. Your love fortunes are pretty accurate. Hey Sasuke, do you want to get yours done? I have tons of tickets to spare!"
He quickly gave Hinata a side-glance before answering. "I think I'll pass. The fortune teller looks like she needs a lunch break. Now let's go before I regret letting you drag me here."
"You bastard, you're just too embarrassed to ask for advice!" Naruto shouted, running after Sasuke who was already walking away from the tent. "You've got zero experience from all of those girls chasing after you! And the girl you actually like isn't one of your usual fans so you better adjust to being more social!"
Hinata would have heard the last part of Naruto's outburst if it wasn't for Hanabi making her way to the tent. She looked exhausted.
"Hey sister, do you have a minute? It's my break and I need a place to hide."
Hinata and Hanabi made Neji, their personal slave for the rest of the fundraiser, fetch them food and beverages. The two girls were currently munching away in the back of Hinata's tent, recapping the odd parts of their day. Hanabi had pretty bizarre stories about the kissing booth, the majority of them about the senior girls. Since they were older, they had to manage the older customers and when she mentioned "older customers" she meant senior citizens. Hinata felt particularly sympathetic for Karin after Hanabi had told her that she got requests from a trio of older gentlemen from the local home.
"It was so gross and I thought I had it rough. One of the men took out his false teeth before he kissed her! It just shows you that karma is at work because just a couple of minutes before that, she made me kiss a boy with some serious dental gear. I nearly got my hair caught in a wire!"
"I'm glad I got to be the f-fortune teller. I could have been in Karin's position."
"Sister, don't say that! She's always so mean to you in class and she was a real bitch to everyone at our booth. She called Ino fat. Ino Yamanaka! She said it was like the ideal thing to say to a person who's most likely to suffer from an eating disorder. She totally deserved it. Anyways, I'm tired of talking; tell me something interesting."
Hinata was trying to think of a good story as she took a sip from her drink. "Well, Konohamaru asked me if I could give him a reading."
Hanabi's eyebrow rose. "And did his reading happen to include me being in his near future?" She sounded irritated. "He's like way younger than me and he kept coming back. He seemed so desperate!"
"Hanabi, two years isn't that much younger and he's nice and he didn't say anything abut asking you out. He w-wanted to know if you would accept a stuffed animal. He paid for it with his own money and won it just so he could give it to y-you!"
"The stuffed animal is a sign of his love, Hinata. If I took it, I would've given him the wrong message."
"I think you s-should give him a chance."
"I'm not going to argue with you about this. Tell me something else that happened. Now."
Her sister could be stubborn when she didn't want to go farther in a conversation so Hinata thought it was best to comply. There wasn't that much to add. She and Hanabi already ranted about the annoying customers they had.
"N-Naruto and Sasuke came by. They left just as you arrived." This seemed to get her younger sister's attention. She prodded Hinata to go on. "Naruto wanted to know if Sakura would fall in l-love with him. He thought I, or Madam M-Mystique, was a real fortune teller."
Hanabi almost choked on her popcorn from laughing. "Are you serious? That loser would believe anything! No offence, Hinata, I know you used to like him and he's noble and nice and can really surprise you and blah blah blah…but that's too funny. What did you say?"
"I put on ziz fake accent and read 'is palm."
"Your speech impediment is gone!"
Hanabi laughed so hard that her face went red and Hinata couldn't resist but laugh too. Her accent was just so out of character and so badly done that they couldn't believe anyone would fall for it. Hanabi enjoyed listening to it so much that she used it for the rest of their conversation. Hinata giggled realizing how silly she must have sounded, especially when she rambled on about spirits and future endeavors.
Hinata and Hanabi would have continued with their fun if it wasn't for a voice calling from the tent entrance.
"Come in!" they cried.
Uchiha Sasuke lifted one of the flaps of the tent and went inside. He took his time taking in the full appearance of the interior design. There were little trinkets like mirrors and stars decorating the walls, which were draped in purple fabric, with beaded curtains hanging in the entrance. It was a pretty detailed station.
"Hurry up and state your reason for being here, Uchiha, we haven't got all day."
Hinata gave Hanabi a disapproving look but her sister only shrugged it off since Sasuke seemed indifferent about the comment. Years of interacting with a person like Naruto tended to do that to people.
"Tenten told me to find Hanabi and warn her that if she didn't get back to the kissing booth soon, there would be dire consequences."
Hanabi sighed as she grudgingly stood up. "The more Tenten is demanding us to do, the more she adds to Neji's debt. We should come up with a list. See ya, Hinata."
And then it was just Hinata and Sasuke alone in the tent.
Hinata subconsciously crossed he arms over her stomach to cover the exposed skin when she realized he was still there. When the silence just continued, she spoke up.
"Is there anything you want, S-Sasuke?"
"Not really," he said, grabbing the discarded veil off a table and put it up against his face. "I just vanted to know if thee great Madam Mystique could give Uchiha Sasuke a reading."
Hey, he was mocking her accent!
"You're m-mocking my accent!"
"Well it was pretty lame," he said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Only that idiot could take it seriously."
There was a pause. "But I meant what I said. I'm here because I have a question and the only person who can give me the answer is you."
She looked at him quizzically. "You do know that I'm not p-psychic, r-right?"
"Yeah, I can tell. Your palm reading is off. You know what each line of the hand represents but you got their positions wrong. This is the heart line," he said as he put down the veil and grabbed her left hand, gently tracing the line at the top of her palms that ran under her fingers.
Their close proximity was making her cheeks flush and she didn't have the veil to mask it this time.
"W-What did you want me to t-tell y-you again?" she asked nervously.
There was a sharp intake of breath and another pause as he looked down at her hand, the hand that he was still firmly holding onto. Sasuke would never admit it but Naruto was right. He had no idea what to do in these types of situations. Not being the type of person to beat around the bush, he figured it was best to come right out with it.
"I wanted to know if you would go out with me."
Sasuke left the tent in a content mood as a new batch of customers was waiting for Madam Mystique's infamous love fortunes (according to Konohamaru and Naruto). As Hinata adjusted the veil on her face, she decided that if Neji could convince her father to allow her to date Uchiha Sasuke, Neji would be out of debt. And Hinata was sure Hanabi would agree.
Until then, she would have to settle with stealing a kiss or two from the Uchiha. Like the one she stole today.
ClockRepair Message: Yeah…don't ask about Hinata's accent. It was a spur of the moment type thing. And from my last Sasuhina story I figured that I would give the readers a more satisfying conclusion since everyone flipped over the cliffhanger ending I had for Yearbook Signings. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I did.