Minato finds Naruto on the roof, sulking. Knees drawn up and bottom lip stuck out in that adorable pout that always makes it so hard not to cave and give her whatever she wants whenever she wants it. Being the most feared ninja of the elemental nations is nothing to parenting a teenage daughter.
He moves to tousle a hand in her hair, but takes in the carefully styled ponytails just in time, and reroutes to her shoulder. Which is clad, not in an attention-demanding tracksuit, but a cute little summer dress. The dauntless Hokage feels his left arm tingle with the warning signs of a heart attack. It is a very little dress. He's the genius of space-time jutsu, right? How can he have failed in his attempts to keep his adorable little tomboy from unfolding into exactly this kind of all-too-stunning butterfly?
His daughter lets out the tiniest of heartfelt whimpers, jutting that bottom lip out even further. She caught the delay in his attention.
With a sinking feeling that he has jumped into water he will never be able to swim, Minato settles down beside her, elbows resting on drawn-up knees and hands dangling loosely between them. Naruto immediately nestles her head against his shoulder.
Gather your courage, man, Minato tells himself, and bites the proverbial kunai.
"What's the matter, sweetheart?"
The tragic look on his daughter's face seems terribly inappropriate as accompaniment for the words that come spilling out, but Minato learned the hard way—two decades or so ago, with Kushina—to never scoff over a woman's heartbreak, no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem.
"I was totally sure Haku was gonna ask me out—and he's so nice, Daddy!—I thought he would for a while, but it's taking him forever, and then when he finally got around to it, Iruka-sensei popped out of nowhere and gave him such a horrible lecture that he ran away!" These last words were delivered with a chin wobble and suddenly overbright eyes. Minato manages to keep the surge of relief that swept the initial panic of Naruto talking about dates with boys from reaching his face—he's not Hokage for nothing.
"Da-a-a-ddy," Naruto continues, and despite his inner glee that the event she's so unhappy over prevented her from spending time alone with an all-too-suitable suitor, Minato feels bad for her apparent misery. "No one's ever asked me out before! All the other girls get dates—whether they're kunoichi or civilians, it doesn't matter—but even though I act like a girl most of the time now, none of the guys look at me like that! Or if they do, those stupid Uchiha brothers chase them away, and when they're not around Iruka appears and does his freaky giant-head thing! It's not faaaaair!"
Not feeling the least bit guilty for his part in making sure no boy with the brains to add two and two missed the probable consequences of looking at his daughter in that way, Minato puts a warm arm around her and pulls her close.
"No rush, Princess," he offers comfortingly, and they finish watching the sunset together. After some minutes he asks after Sasuke, and just as he'd hoped, his little Naruto cheers right up and guffaws over her latest successful Torment-The -Uchiha scheme. These little plots of hers really are ingenious….
Later that evening, an apprehensive Umino Iruka answers a summons to the Hokage office, wondering nervously what could have had him called before his Hokage so late at night. His nerves are not helped when the Yondaime leaps jovially to his feet and claps him heartily on the back.
"Iruka!" Exclaims the illustrious leader, beaming. "How do you feel about a promotion? A raise? You've earned your Hokage's respect, young man!"