The Sabotaging Mission
"You know, getting yourself slaughtered isn't really all that cool," Kushina yawned and considered the cards in her hand. "Pass."
"I'm not dead, though," Minato replied and threw an ace to the rather irregular pile of cards.
"I may have to kill you now," Kushina grumbled and brought in the deck of cards.
At that point, a medic-nin came in.
"Visiting time is over," she said sternly, at which Minato groaned.
"But I'm fine," he said. "I don't need all that rest -"
"Fine or not, you almost had your chest ripped out," the medic-nin snapped and pushed him back on the pillow. It had been a week since Chouza had come rushing into the hospital, carrying a more or less bloody pile of Minato. He had woken up that morning with a slightly horrible pain in his chest, but didn't find it as bad as the boredom of the hospital. He had been relieved when Kushina had managed to insist her way in to his room – which she had tried to do every day since his return to Konoha.
She didn't mention that, though. Heck, she had only been worried about her friend, nothing to make a fuzz over, right? And now that everything was going to be fine, there was no reason at all to bring back such desperate behaviours as a subject of conversation. Finito.
Minato got out of the hospital three days later, but was exempt from any missions for another week. This was as frustrating as it was boring; most of his comrades were out on important missions, so while having nothing to do all by himself, he was constantly reminded that he had come down to a point where he was pretty much, without exceptions, useless.
Though as it came down to usefulness, not all of the missions were too exhausting.
"Aaah, that feels good," Mikoto exclaimed as she sank down in the hot water. "Just what I needed."
"Couldn't agree more," Tsume grinned as she leaned back on a warm rock and closed her eyes.
"There's one thing I don't understand, though," Kushina said, gaining the two other girls' attention as she looked with a dark expression towards three girls gossiping a little away. "Why did we have to go with them?"
Mikoto blinked. "Anything wrong with them?"
"They're ..." Kushina began, but couldn't quite turn her feelings into words. "Annoying. I don't know how to say it."
"I may be of help," Tsume smirked, and Kushina shot her a stated look.
"If you so much as think that I'm getting jealous over anything ridiculous -"
"Whoa, don't come here and say you're not!"
"Jealous over what?" Mikoto asked.
"Kushina is in looove -"
"I'm not -" Kushina exclaimed and hit Tsume in the back of her head. "In love, you dumbass! And shut your mouth!"
"She's just too embarrassed to admit it," Tsume grinned.
"Who is it?" Mikoto asked curiously.
"It's no one," Kushina said and hit a hand across Tsume's mouth before she could say anything.
The girls' a little away from them squealed.
"No waay!" a blonde one exclaimed.
"Do you think he'll say yes?" a brown-haired one asked intensely.
"Oh, I don't know!" a girl with big, green eyes said. "Do you think he will?"
"I'm sure he will!" the blonde said. "How can he resist you, I mean -"
"Yeah, I'm so sure he's got something for you, I mean, I've seen the way he looks at you -"
"Misa-chan, you're looking at him all the time, you must have noticed!"
"Minato hasn't given me any looks, he's barely spoken to me!"
"Ooh, but you know he's a silent type -"
Mikoto turned to Kushina with an enlightened gaze.
"You like Minato?" she asked.
"I told you, no," Kushina said annoyed. "Why would I like such a flake, anyway?"
"I have a few reasons," Tsume said and counted on her fingers. "One, he saved you. Two, he's handsome. Three, you're together all the time. Four, you think he's hot -"
"Shut it, Tsume," Kushina said and once again hit her hand across Tsume's mouth.
"Then why not?" Mikoto asked.
"Mikoto, you're still just thirteen, you're not supposed to ask these kind of questions," Kushina said.
"I'm old enough!"
"Yeah, she's old enough!" Tsume grinned. Oh, how she loved to annoy her friend.
"Besides," Kushina said and held a forefinger up to state a fact. "How fun wouldn't it be to see that cheeky girl over there ask him out?"
Tsume's grin widened. "Totally! He hates those kinda situations, doesn't he?"
Kushina nodded delightfully.
When they got back to Konoha and had given their report of the very dull mission, Kushina and Tsume were more or less desperate to see the show of that fan girl asking Minato out. They managed to seek him out, walking down the street with Inoichi, who had returned the same day as them. They trailed them for a bit – the act would be a lot funnier if they saw it from an outsider's point of view.
As Inoichi left, Kushina knew it was about time. And right she was; the green-eyed girl jumped out in front of Minato no sooner than later.
"Hey, Minato!" she said. Minato came to a sudden halt, and they had their suspicions as of why; Minato knew that if one of these girls came out of nowhere, he would be in an extremely tricky situation.
"Hi, Misa-san," Minato said politely.
"Misa's fine," the girl blushed. "Soo, I was just wondering … Are you doing anything tonight?"
"Tonight?" Minato said, using the professional shinobi tactic to buy more time. "Well, that depends ..."
"How about now?"
Kushina pushed away the pictures of Minato and Misa-chan going for Ichiraku's, but couldn't quite relieve her of the urge to burst in and interrupt.
She sighed. "Maybe I should help him out, it looks like he's struggling."
Tsume turned to her and grinned. Kushina gave her a look that said no-nothing's-going-on-I'm-just-being-a-good-friend -doing-the-only-rational-thing-possible.
Minato scratched the back of his head.
"I was actually going to -"
"Hey, there you are!"
Minato turned around at the familiar voice. Kushina was approaching them.
"You're not trying to run away from the bill, are you?" she asked and cocked an eyebrow up.
"Uh … the bill?" Minato asked confused.
"I beat you at sparring, remember? You owe me ramen tonight."
But before Minato could say anything alike "when did I ever owe you ramen" and "I beat you last time, you dork", Kushina had grabbed his arm, and with a final "hello, Misa, how are you? See you later", she led him towards Ichiraku's.
Minato breathed out once they had walked far enough.
"Thanks for that," he said.
"I'm curious, what were you gonna say you were doing?"
"Meeting Shikaku, actually," Minato replied.
"Well, are you?"
Kushina entered the warm and light ramen bar of Ichiraku's and sat down to read the menu for the umpteenth time.
"We're still eating ramen?" Minato asked in confusion. They had shook off Misa a long time ago. He sat down nonetheless.
"You owe me," Kushina simply said without looking away from the menu.
"But I beat you at sparring."
"I just saved your sorry ass."
Two bowls each later, Kushina was still not done.
"So what're you gonna do about these girls?" she asked through her third bowl.
Minato sighed and leaned on his left hand while he played with the chopsticks with the other. "They're like flies, they're everywhere, at every time. It's impossible to get rid of them."
"What's this?" Kushina asked cheekily. "The Yellow Flash can kill a thousand in seconds, but can't shake off a couple of little girls?"
She received a couple of chopsticks in her face.
"If you'd been in my position, you'd know," Minato sighed.
"No thanks," Kushina replied. "Thanks for the ramen, though."
"Even though you pretty much forced me to pay," Minato smirked. "No problem."
They started walking, and Minato found it rather delightful to have something to do again. He decided to follow Kushina home.
"Oh, for God's sake," he suddenly said after a few minutes of walking and chatting.
"What is it?"
"We're being trailed."
"What? By who?"
"Oh, make a guess," Minato said through knitted teeth.
Kushina turned around barely in time to see three whips of hair disappear behind a building.
"They're not gonna give up so fast, are they?" Kushina more stated than asked.
"They probably think we're on a date," Minato said. "And probably won't survive without knowing what's happening."
"Alright," Kushina said lowly. "Walk me to the door, maybe it looks a bit more serious."
Minato obeyed, and as they reached Kushina's apartment, they walked up the stairs to the second floor and stopped outside her apartment door.
"They can't be rude enough to burst into private area," Kushina said and locked the door up with her key.
Though she was wrong. The sound was enough for them to realise that three girls were about to climb the stairs. Minato closed his eyes dejected. Misa was probably showing up to ask him out again and blame that rude, annoying girl for sabotaging their date earlier -
"Okay, that's enough," Kushina growled, and before Minato had opened his eyes again, he felt lips touching his.
The running behind them stopped, but that wasn't the main fact going through Minato's head. The thing he had noticed instead, was how wonderfully soft those lips of Kushina's were.
She broke the kiss, much to Minato's disappointment, but he was amused by the fact how strongly she was blushing. Kushina was a girl he'd seen blush very, very rarely.
When the girls continued to just stand there, open-mouthed and utterly shocked, Kushina grabbed Minato's arm, opened the door, led him in and shut the door again. A sigh slipped out of her mouth as she leaned against the door in the dark entrance, and Minato could do nothing but just staring at her.
"That should do the trick," she said, but her face was slightly troubled. With good reason: she had just kissed her best friend. "Why're you staring at me?"
Minato, who couldn't find a good way to reply to that, followed his instincts. He leaned in and kissed her again.
It was Kushina's time to be confused. Were the girls still there, were they standing right outside the door trying their hardest to listen to what was happening inside? After a few seconds, Minato barely broke the kiss to see her face, but didn't lean back.
"Are – are the girls gone?" Kushina stuttered.
"Yep," Minato replied and kissed her again.