Chapter 1: The Plan
Ichiraku Ramen, a ramenstand in Konoha.
It's the favourite place of a young cheerful blonde shinobi, who likes to go and spend nearly every second there, when he isn't on a mission or busy training.
After all, his favourite hobby was chowing down as much ramen as he could possibly afford. However, tonight unlike other nights, the usually cheerful ramen gobbling Uzumaki Naruto wasn't as energetic or chowing down as much ramen.
Normally, he would have been to his third or fourth bowl at this hour but tonight, Naruto was just stirring the noodles in his ramen around and around, barely taking a bite.
"What's wrong, Naruto? You seem to have lost all that energy of yours tonight...Have you been training too hard?" Old man Ichiraku asked Naruto, as he kneaded the dough for some more noodles to later cook in his delicious broth.
"Hm?" Naruto looked up from his bowl of ramen, "Ah...It's nothing much..."
Old man Ichiraku's hands stopped mid-knead and cocked an eyebrow at the blond shinobi.
"Naruto, you've been our most loyal customer. I've served you various flavours of ramen for many years now and seen you almost every night. I can tell when something is wrong with you. Just because I'm not some master chef working for the daimyo doesn't mean I can't tell when my most loyal customer isn't his usual self."
"Ah! But you should be master chef of the daimyo! I bet he'd love the ramen you make just as much as I do!" Naruto flashed his foxy grin and put some noodles in his mouth, obviously putting in too much effort to look energetic.
The old ramen chef sighed and flashed a small smile at his loyal customer, "Thank you for the compliment, Naruto, but don't try and change the subject. Spill it already. What's on your mind?"
Naruto slurped a bit of the ramen broth up and put his bowl back down, the wide grin and cheerful mood he put up a moment ago disappearing from his face once again and showing one of minor depression.
"Well...you know...Valentine's Day is coming up soon and all..." Naruto said as he stared towards his ramen.
"Ah, I see...It's ok, you know? Everyone gets rejected every once in a while. Even I back in my younger days-..."
"That's not the case!" Naruto replied fiercely.
"Then, why are you so depressed if you haven't been rejected by a girl? And what does it have to do with Valentine's Day?" Ichiraku-san asked as he perked an eyebrow.
"Well...it's more like...I wanted to ask Sakura-chan out on a date for Valentine's Day or something...But when I found her to ask her just that, she was talking to a friend of mine, Fuzzy Eyebrows...He likes her too and I heard him ask her out..." Naruto replied.
"So she agreed to go out with him on Valentine's Day, huh?"
"No, no...I don't know if she agreed or not, since I just turned around and...ran way, scared. But if she said no, then she'll probably say no to me too, because she still likes Fuzzy Eyebrows as a friend. And she wouldn't want to hurt his feelings by going out on a date with me. And if Sakura-chan said yes, then...I really don't know what to do..." Naruto said as he stirred his noodles around in the bowl.
"Ah, I see. Well, I can't help you with that..." Old man Ichiraku said and then flashed a smile at Naruto, "I know someone who can help you, however!"
"Huh...Really?" Naruto asked as he looked wide-eyed at the old ramen stand owner, "Are you serious, old man?!"
"Hm, hm...As serious as the effort I put into the ramen you have in front of you, my friend!" Ichiraku-san said with a big grin on his face.
He turned his head towards the back of the ramen stand and shouted, "Ayame! Come here for a moment!"
Not long after that, a young woman's face peeked of the back, her brown locks hanging in front of her face, "What is it, father?"
"I need you to help me out here with a little problem."
"But, you said that if I was done cleaning up the back that I could go..." The chef's daughter pouted slightly.
"Well, there has been a slight change in plans." The chef nodded at Naruto.
Ayame looked at the blonde shinobi and greeted their stand's regular customer with a casual, "Oh, hey Naruto-kun."
Her father wasted little time to get to the point, however.
"Ayame, " He addressed his daughter, "You're going to take our friend Naruto here out on a date to teach him everything about how to impress the ladies and get a date with them!" Old man Ichiraku proudly announced, his chest swelling with pride of the plan he had just cooked up to help Naruto out.
"WHAT?!" Ayame and Naruto yelled loud enough to make several potential customers shy away from the ramen stand.
"How's that going to help me get Sakura-chan?!" Naruto added as he shot up from his seat.
"Father, he's fifteen! I'm almost nineteen! What the hell are you thinking?!" Ayame added, shaking her father back and forth.
The chef shook his daughter's hands off him and gave her a stern stare, "Ayame, if you don't help Naruto out I'll cut your salary in half and you'll not be allowed to go out for three months..."
"What in the name of!" Ayame said in a high pitched voice.
"Listen up, Naruto." The chef ignored his daughter's protests and turned his attention to Naruto, who was still staring in disbelief at him, "Ayame can help you out with your love problem and teach you not only how to impress a girl, but also help you figure out how to approach them. So that's why you two should go on a date tonight. Ayame can teach you the basics of going on a date and then you can put it into practice for...what's her name again?"
"You mean, Sakura-chan?" Naruto asked as he slowly sat down in his seat again.
"Yes, yes, Sakura-chan." Old man Ichiraku nodded, "Ayame, Naruto has been our most loyal customer for years now so I expect you to put your entire being into helping him."
"But, father, I..." Ayame protested once more.
"No buts, young lady. So...you two go on a date now and make the best of it. Naruto, I expect you to bring Ayame back home before midnight and not a minute later or I'll start charging more for each bowl of ramen you eat." Ichiraku-san said as he pushed Ayame out of the stand and next to Naruto.
"Eh?! I'll defintely bring her back before midnight!" Naruto said as he jumped up from his seat again.
"Good! Now go, you two! ...Oh and Naruto, since you didn't really eat that bowl of ramen, consider it on the house. Now go, my protégés! Ahahahahaha!" Ichiraku-san cackled as he picked up the dough he had been kneading and start tossing it around in the air.
Ayame let out a sigh and turned towards the blonde shinobi, "Alright, Naruto-kun. Guess we don't have much of a choice then. We first need to head back to my house so I can get out of my working uniform and into something...well, nicer for a date. Are you ready?"
"Ready for what, I wonder..." Naruto let out.
Ayame grabbed on to Naruto's hand, who slightly blushed at the sudden gesture, before she started pulling him along towards the Ichiraku residence, "Ready to make the best out of this little predicament, of course!"
Somehow, Naruto felt a smile crawl up on his face, "Yeah!"
That smile was, however, nowhere to be found half an hour later, when he was impatiently waiting in front of Ayame's room.
"Come on! What's taking you so long anyway?" Naruto wondered out loud as he paced back and forth in front of her door.
"I think that will be lesson one for you, Naruto-kun." Ayame replied, her voice slightly muffled by the door in between her and Naruto.
"Huh?" Naruto stopped his pacing and looked at the door, almost expecting Ayame to be finally done.
"If you pick up a girl at her house before she's ready to head out, you'll have to wait a long time...most of the time, at least. So you have to learn to be patient, they're getting pretty for you, after all."
"But...this isn't a real date." Naruto crossed his arms and leaned back against the wall, "If it was, I'd be way more nervous..."
"It is going to be somewhat like a real date. Besides, just be thankful I don't need a shower right now. I'm the kind of girl that likes to bathe for a really long time."
Naruto looked up at the sound of the door to Ayame's room sliding open.
"Naruto-kun, can you come help me out here for a moment?" Ayame asked.
Naruto looked into Ayame's room and there he saw her with her back towards him, half wearing a beautiful blue-white kimono.
"Er...What can I help you with?" Naruto asked hesitantly as he wandered with his eyes over her exposed back and arms, which were only covered up partly by her hair and something else, Naruto noted, after which he quickly averted his eyes as he was unsure where to leave them.
"Well you see, I kind of forgot that I have a lot of trouble tying a knot in these tops since I normally only use the kind that have a zipper when I go out. So, if you could please tie a knot for me..." Ayame said, motioning towards the straps at the back of her top.
"Eh...ehm...sure thing." Naruto flashed a grin and stepped into the older girl's room.
"But if you're going to wear a kimono why would you need that underneath it?" Naruto asked as he stared at Ayame's back, wondering how the mysterious top worked considering there were no straps on her shoulders.
"Because even though it's just the two of us are going on a 'date', we might also go to a club or something. Then a kimono isn't really that cool, now is it?" Ayame replied and gave Naruto a wink, "Well, not like I really know what we're going to do tonight outside of dinner."
"Ah, I guess you're right." Naruto said grinning sheepishly and grabbed on to the two ends of the straps.
As Naruto took a deep breath in order to relax somewhat, the smell of several different ramen flavours and an even sweeter smell entered his nostrils. Feeling intoxicated by the mixture of scents, he forgot for a moment what he was actually supposed to do.
"Naruto-kun?" Ayame's voice shook him out of his trance and he quickly shook his head to clear it even further.
"You...You were thinking something perverted, weren't you?" Ayame asked him and flashed a mischievous grin at him.
Naruto shook his head again, this time with wide eyes, "It was nothing like that!"
As firmly as Naruto said that, he pulled on the strings to tie the knot.
"Ah! Not so hard Naruto-kun!" Ayame moaned loudly as the top tightened around her chest. Right in that instant, the door of Ayame's room was kicked down, the shock causing Naruto to fall over and pulling Ayame on top of him.
"What do you think you are doing to my baby girl!" A woman's voice yelled in anger.
Naruto blinked a couple of times to look at the woman that was standing on top the fallen door and noticed she had a frying pan in her hands, a frying pan that for some reason seemed to emit an intent to kill him.
"Mother! It's nothing like that!" Ayame yelled as she sat up, forgetting she was sitting on top of Naruto right now.
"Ayame! Dear heaven! He's underage! You are so getting in trouble for this, young lady!" Ayame's mom yelled.
"I'm telling you, it's nothing like that! He just pulled the strings of my top a bit too hard!"
"Why are you letting a teen with raging hormones like him do it! I'm your mother! You should have called for me!"
"But I didn't even know you were home today!" Ayame protested
"Eh...Neechan..." Naruto's voice barely reached Ayame's ears as her weight was slowly squeezing the breath out of him.
"Hm, what's wrong?" Ayame looked over her shoulder, only to find a blue faced Naruto.
"Can't...breathe..." Naruto managed to say before passing out.
"Ah! Naruto-kun!" Ayame yelped as she quickly jumped off him. Less than a second later, she was firmly gripping his shoulders and shaking him back and forth.
"Naruto-kun, Naruto-kun! Hang in there!"
When the light returned to Naruto's eyes, he felt slightly disorientated.
"What happened...?" Naruto wondered as he carefully took in his surroundings.
The first thing he noticed once his vision was clear again was a middle aged lady, holding a frying pan in her hands. Then he noticed Ayame, old man Ichiraku's daugher, beside her, fussing about some thing or another.
Naruto narrowed his eyes and tried to discern who the middle-aged lady was, but he couldn't quite place her. Though he did remember a sudden feel of danger from the frying pan.
"Welcome back to the land of the living, Naruto-kun." The lady said, the intent to kill Naruto recalled from before being gone, though his mind was slow to catch up.
"AH! DON'T KILL ME!" he shouted at the top of my lungs as he shot up.
Ayame and the lady looked wide-eyed at him, like he just said something funny, but to him it was not funny at all. To him, the lady still looked like she was ready to hit him on the head a couple of times with that frying pan.
Ayame started to giggle and the lady sighed as she lowered her frying pan.
"I'm sorry for the misunderstanding." She apologised, "Anyway, you two had somewhere to go, right? I'll ask your dad to come home early and fix that door." The lady said before leaving the room with Ayame seemingly amused.
Naruto on the other hand still felt lost.
"Ehm...Like...what in the world happened just now?" Naruto asked as he looked towards the door that was lying on the floor.
"Hm, you don't remember?"
"Eh...no, not really...Something with that frying pan...I think?"
"I asked you to tie my top, you pulled the straps a bit too hard, causing me to say something that had my mom's maternal-sense tingling. So, naturally, she came and kicked the door in, out of shock we fell, I landed on top of you and I kind of sat on your stomach as I argued with my mother...And then you kind of...passed out." Ayame explained, "Hey, on the bright side, I knew CPR. If I hadn't preformed it on you, you'd probably have died here. That would've put a damper on the whole date thing, wouldn't it?"
"Died!" Naruto let out in surprise.
"Hm, probably...I guess we would've gotten some medical ninja here pretty fast? Well, let's get going. We've wasted enough time. We'll take it easy with things as I am not sure how well you are feeling. Still, we made a promise to my dad that you and I have to keep, so we are going out for dinner right now."
Ayame stood up from the side of the bed Naruto was lying on and headed for the exit of her room.
"Come on, get your ass of my bed already." Ayame said with a playful smile on her face.
"Huh, your bed? Eh?!" Naruto yelled as he jumped off Ayame's bed and started to straighten the sheets.
"Come on, there's no need for something like that. I'll be sleeping at home tonight anyway." Ayame grabbed Naruto's hand and pulled him after her.
Naruto felt a blush crawl up on his cheeks again as they were holding hands, and then something just hit him, "Wait...You said...CPR!"
"That's right." Ayame replied, facing forward and pulling Naruto further along
"As in CPR..." Naruto swallowed, "CPR?"
Ayame stopped in her tracks, "Yeah CPR as in CPR, CPR."
"But that means!" Naruto blushed and touched his lips with his free hand.
"Means what?" Ayame asked as she turned around, looked at Naruto, and noticed he was touching his lips.
Ayame turned bright red, knowing what he was thinking of, "I-it's nothing like that! It was just to...well...y-you know...save your life! Y-You better not get any crazy ideas! Now come on, let's get going...!"
As they left Ayame's house, both of them remained silent, walking hand in hand, neither of them really knowing why they didn't stop doing that.
"Ah...So...where are we going to eat?" Naruto asked, raising a grin, but he still did not dare to look into Ayame her eyes.
"First, we'll just go to a restaurant. And just for this once, I'll pay for you." Ayame said, "Ow! That's another lesson I guess."
She finally let Naruto's hand go and raised a finger in the air.
"If you can, always pay for your date's meal. And make sure that she won't have to pay yours for you." Ayame said, nodding, though she too avoided looking straight at Naruto.
"Huh? Why not?" Naruto asked confused, feeling a bit more comfortable now that they were no longer holding hands.
"Because, that just isn't right. A man should always be able to pay for himself and if possible for his date. That's just how it is." Ayame said as she crossed her arms.
"Hn, Girls don't want to pay for the guys just because they'd rather spend it on other things than on someone who likes them." Naruto said, sounding moderately annoyed.
"That's not true!" Ayame raised her voice and looked towards Naruto with a slight blush on her face, though Naruto couldn't tell if it was from anger or a feeling of embarrassment.
"Then why won't they each take turns paying? On one date, the man could do it and on the next date, the woman could." Naruto said, feeling like he may just have said the smartest thing he had said in a long time.
"You might have a point there..." Ayame said as she blinked at him," Ah! With all these things happening...I almost forgot!"
"Huh? What?" Naruto asked as he questioningly looked at Ayame, the air of awkwardness fading away.
"Why do we need to do this whole date thing? My dad wouldn't set us up on a date without good reason. He said it was helping you out with something, right? What was it again?" Ayame asked.
Naruto explained to her how he wanted to ask Sakura out for Valentine's Day, but that Rock Lee was there before he was and asked her out. For a moment, he thought of skipping the part of how he didn't know what she answered because he ran away, but he decided to tell her the full truth.
"So, I'm not sure if I'll get rejected or if I end up hurting one of my friends..." Naruto said with a troubled look on his face.
"That's all? You should have stayed and listened to what she told your friend." Ayame seemed just as troubled as Naruto, although for entirely different reasons.
"Yeah but even if you say so..." Naruto said as he crossed his arms and mused about the situation.
"Naruto-kun" Ayame placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled, "Just so you know, Haruno Sakura isn't the only girl available in town, you know? I'm sure you know more girls then just her, right?"
"Of course...There's Ino, who is kinda Sakura's rival and best friend at the same time...Then there's Hinata, she's really friendly but for some reason she keeps fainting when I get close to her..." Naruto said counting on his fingers.
"Maybe she thinks you have a scary face." Ayame teased.
"What! I don't have a scary face!" Naruto replied all too earnestly and pointed at Ayame
"Ah! Scary! So scary! Get away from me, you scary, scary ninja!" Ayame backed away, pretending to be afraid of Naruto, though the big teasing smile on her face made it obvious she didn't mean a word she said.
"That's not funny!"
Ayame giggled as she pretended to faint, "Any other girls that faint in your presence, Naruto-kun, or know at the very least?"
"...It's not funny..." Naruto muttered, before clearing his throat, "Hmm...There is Tenten, who's Neji and Fuzzy Eyebrows' team-mate...I don't really know much about her, though. Ow and then there is my friend's Gaara sister, Temari, from what I've seen she's quite...aggressive."
"And any other girls you know?" Ayame asked as Naruto seemed to be thinking deeply about which girls he knew.
"Other than them, I think I only know a couple of women." Naruto finally replied with a nod.
"Thank you for the compliment." Ayame said with a smile, Naruto looking up in surprise towards her.
"You didn't name me when you were naming the girls...Which means you see me as an adult woman, right?" Ayame said sticking her tongue out towards Naruto. He grinned widely and let out a short laugh as he put his hands behind his head.
"If you're fine with that, then I'll consider Ayame-neechan an adult." He said.
"Alright, then as the responsible adult, I say we're going to eat at..." Ayame looked around for a moment, "That restaurant! Are you okay with that?"
"Hehe. Of course! All this talking and thinking has kind of made me hungry, actually. Plus! You can teach me more over dinner, right?" Naruto asked with an eager smile on his face.
"Well, we'll need to see who else you could ask out on a date. Or have a couple of dates before Valentine's Day so you get used to it and all." Ayame suggested as she tried to form a battle plan in her mind.
They soon arrived at their own two person table inside the restaurant and ordered their meals. As they were waiting for their meals to be brought to them, Naruto decided it was best to simply speak his mind and listen to what Ayame has to say about it.
"But who should I ask out? I don't think you'd have the time to take me on multiple dates. And if I suddenly asked any of the girls I know, they'd think I've given up on Sakura-chan and that I like them, right?"
"Then how about asking someone out on a date that people think you couldn't possibly date?" Ayame suggested with a smile.
"Hmm...That sounds like a good plan, but who could I..."
"You know some women, right? Probably some of the Jounin, I assume? You could ask one of them to 'discuss shinobi business' over a dinner or something." Ayame suggested
"What?!" Naruto yelled.
"Sssht, Keep your voice down." Ayame hushed him, "Do you want people to stare at us or something?"
"Anyway, why not?" Ayame asked in a hushed voice, "It might be weird, but you could ask them for advice about...well, all of this too."
"Because..." Naruto replied.
"Well, what women do you know then?" Ayame asked.
"Eh...Tsunade-obachan, but I doubt she knows a lot about dating since she's always just drinking sake and gambling...I doubt she really went on many dates...then again, I might be wrong. Then there's Shizune-neechan, but she's always making sure that Tsunade-obachan works, so she can't go and date that much either, I think...Then Kurenai-sensei and that chuunin examiner, what's her face...Mitarashi...Anko or something like that. I think they have the most time off at least." Naruto stated with an affirmative nod.
"And out of those two, who do you think could teach you the most?" Ayame asked.
Unknown to either of them, the ears of the woman sitting behind Ayame perked up, her coat rustling slightly as she moved her chair a bit further back to hear more of their conversation.
"Hmmm...Probably...That chuunin examiner. Ero-sennin told me once she had some kind of disease or something...Nymphiwhatchamacallit? Anyway, he said it meant that she likes people a lot or something." Naruto said and now the ears of the person behind him perked up as well, his white hair slightly swaying as he started to turn around.
Ayame stared blankly at Naruto as he pondered, however his pondering was soon disturbed.
"Yo, Naruto! I didn't think I'd find a ramen obsessed guy like you in a restaurant like this!" The middle aged white haired man exclaimed as he suddenly stood up from his seat and practically jumped in front of Naruto.
"Gah! Ero-sennin! What are you doing here?!" Naruto yelled, pointing at his sensei's face.
"That's my line, you brat! Buuuut..." Jiraiya sang the last word of his sentence as he turned his head towards Ayame, "I already see what brought you here. Hehehe, who would've thought that you listened to my wise teachings these past two and a half years about women and actually made use of them!"
"Huh? What are you talking about?" Naruto asked with a dumbfound look on his face.
"Tell me, Naruto...Why would you need advice about women from a woman when you already learned everything from me? A sly way to take her out...effective but sly..." Jiraiya said nodding.
"That's not what it's like!...Hey, wait a minute! How do you know what I was talking about with her? How long have you been here Ero-sennin and what else did you hear?!" Naruto asked as he put one foot on his seat and dramatically pointed towards Jiraiya's face.
"Talking about with her? I heard absolutely nothing. I just happened to sit down just in time to hear my student call me by the name I forbid him to use out in public." Jiraiya said innocently.
"...Liar." Naruto replied, feeling the need to point out the obvious lie his teacher was telling.
"Ah, anyway...Watch and learn, Naruto." Jiraiya said as he turned back to his own seat.
Naruto leaned across the table towards Ayame and cupped a hand to the side of his mouth.
"You wanna see the old fart's sore excuse of complimenting a lady and him getting smacked in the face by her?" Naruto whispered to Ayame, who nodded and sat down in the seat next to Naruto.
The two of them perked over the edge of their seats and looked at the empty seat across Jiraiya.
"Uhm, excuse me, Miss." Jiraiya said as he raised his hand when a waitress walked into their direction.
"Can I help you, sir?" The waitress asked as she walked up to Jiraiya.
She was quite good looking, probably just a bit taller than Naruto, and the first thing that Jiraiya of course and Naruto noted was that the waitress's chest was quite big for someone as short as her.
"Ah yes...Would you mind to sit down over there for a second?" Jiraiya asked.
"Sorry sir, but I have customers to help."
"Well, I'm a customer to and part of the help you could provide me comes from sitting down for a few moments."
"...Well alright, but if I get scolded by my boss, you'll have to take the responsibility." The waitress said as she sat down across Jiraiya.
Jiraiya raised a slight smirk before speaking up,"Might I ask why you are working in a restaurant?"
"To earn money, of course." The waitress said smiling sheepishly, "I have to pay the rent and keep on living a decent life, you know. Besides, it isn't so bad. I receive quite a lot of tips from our customers."
"I see...But, you don't plan to work here your entire life, right?" Jiraiya asked as he perked an eyebrow.
"Of course not, I want to become a fashion designer." The waitress replied.
"Hooo. That's quite interesting." Jiraiya raised a smirk.
"Hey, when does he get smacked?" Ayame whispered to Naruto.
"I don't know. The old fart is lasting longer than usual...Maybe he wants to show off in front of you."
"Me? Why would he want to show off for me?"
"Yeah, for you. You're the girl here, after all. Probably he'd like to take both that girl and you back to his hermit shelter."
"Hermit...shelter...?" Ayame's eyes twitched for a moment at the thought of what Jiraiya's hermit shelter might entail, but her focus quickly returned on Jiraiya's attempt to pick up the waitress.
"You know, you look more like a model to me." Jiraiya said as he took a sip of the water that was already on the table.
"A model? Me? What? Are you some kind of agent?" The waitress asked surprised, though with a slight smile on her face.
"Yeah, you have really pretty eyes. I bet they'd come out great on pictures...Though I'm not an agent I have an...eye for good looking, future models." Jiraiya said as his eyes averted down to the waitress' chest.
"Ehm...My eyes are up here..." The waitress said with a look of displeasure on her face.
"Hm, what?" Jiraiya asked as he looked back up.
"You were staring at my chest. I saw you clearly staring at my chest." The waitress said as she glared at Jiraiya.
"No, no, no, no! I was just looking at your uniform! It er...looks like it's kind of tightly wrapped on your body..." Jiraiya said.
"Wow, you noticed that? Yeah, it is, actually! They didn't have one that fitted me perfectly, the other uniforms were even smaller, so I had to take this one, which is the biggest they told me they had!" The waitress said as she demonstrated jut how tight it was, much to Jiraiya's perverted pleasure as the saliva started to roll out of his mouth.
"What a liar...! He was looking at her chest. Even I could tell that she has a rather large chest and that he was looking at it." Naruto whispered to Ayame.
"Oooh, Naruto, you stared too, didn't you?" Ayame whispered back and softly giggled.
"N-No, I didn't...!" Naruto whispered back fierce.
"Naruto, you perv." Ayame giggled.
Naruto softly pushed his elbow into her side and slightly nudged her off her seat.
"Sir, you are a customer and I appreciate the fact that you find me attractive, but if you continue thinking perverted things about me, I'm going to smack you trough that wall..."
Jiraiya shook out of his trance and quickly wiped off any remaining drool with a napkin.
"Ahem...Sorry about that...I couldn't help but remember something as you were...ahem...well, it was just that something happened here many years ago, back when I was a younger man. The uniforms haven't changed since then, you know."
"Happened? Oh, I see. Sir, you met your wife here or something, right?" The waitress asked, kindly smiling at him.
"Wife...? Ehm, I'm single." Jiraiya said, smiling awkwardly.
"Then, what happened here that you just remembered?" The waitress asked.
"Well...It just so happens that, a lot of years ago, there was also a girl working here that was er...quite attractive to say the least. And her uniform was too tight and small for her as well so..." Jiraiya said and then whispered something in the waitress' ear, who flushed red in her face.
"That's awful!" The waitress said when Jiraiya was done with his story.
"Yeah, isn't it?" Jiraiya said noding as he sat back, "So, how about you and I go and get you out of that uniform then?"
"Yeah, let's go! I don't want to spend another minute in this horrible place." The waitress stood up and Jiraiya, giddy as a school girl got up as well.
The two of them headed towards the exit and stopped for a moment there as the manager was standing there as well, greeting guests that came in.
"Kani-chan, where are you go..." The manager started, but got interrupted by a loud smack to his face, leaving a red hand print on it.
"That's for having the same perverted ideas as your uncle!" The waitress yelled and then stomped out of the restaurant. Jiraiya grinned towards Naruto and Ayame, gave them a thumbs up before quickly following the waitress out of the restaurant, hopping from one foot to the other.
"Well, at the very least someone got smacked..." Ayame said as she blinked.
"How the hell did Ero-sennin not screw up?" Naruto asked no one in particular, struck in complete disbelief.
"Hm? What's wrong?"
"Lesson number three: Don't ever try to pull what your sensei just did...It won't work that well on any other girl than that one...I hope."
Naruto nodded as he turned 90 degrees, Ayame doing the same only the other way around. Both of them realised just how close they were actually sitting now, their faces only an inch or two away from each other.
A blush appeared on Naruto's face and there appeared one also on Ayame's, "...Naruto-kun..."
They slowly leaned forward, towards each other's face,
They looked away towards their table to see a waitress put down their meals and despite the fact that she was bowing, they both could clearly tell she was furiously blushing as well.
"Sorry to interupt...Really really really sorry! But your meals are ready." The waitress said while keeping her eyes shut tight.
Both Naruto and Ayame jumped up and sat straight up as they said in chorus, "Itadakimasu!"
"Have a good meal." The waitress quickly walked away.
Naruto started chowing down his meal, but was interrupted when Ayame spoke up, "Lesson four, Don't chow down your food."
Naruto looked towards her and noticed that she was still slightly blushing.
"Why not? It's delicious, so I want a lot of it at once and all." Naruto asked, trying to get the situation from just a moment ago out of his head.
"Well, look at your face then." Ayame said, faintly smiling.
"My face?" Naruto asked as he poked his own face, feeling all kinds of leftovers from his meal sticking on it.
"Ah, I see..." Naruto quickly wiped it off with his napkin.
"You're a ninja right? You should eat your food like one." Ayame said with a nod.
"Eat your food like a ninja?" Naruto asked, not quite sure what she meant by that.
"Shinobi don't leave a trace when gathering information, right? Eat your food without leaving a trace of it behind on your face other than a satisfied look." Ayame answered, feeling like the wise teacher she was currently acting as.
"Ah, I see...Then I'll try that!" Naruto said smiling widely, "But just eating properly won't solve my problems..."
"About that, I already told you, you should ask one of the women you know. They could teach you a lot."
The woman who had previously been sitting on the seat behind Ayame, before Ayame sat down next to Naruto, stood up now and left quietly with a wide smirk on her face, her rain coat fluttering as she paced quickly towards the exit of the restaurant.
"Even so, that still won't get me anyone for Valentine's Day this year."
"That's true...Then, we'd have to hook you up with a girl as well, don't we?"
"Eh?! Hook me up...? But how are you planning to do that?" Naruto asked wide eyed.
"Hm...Let me think about that for a few moments..." Ayame closed her eyes and thought as she held her chopsticks between her fingers, as if meditating to take a certain single piece of her plate without looking.
"Ah, I know! How about you write love letters to every girl you know with a reply address so they can send replies. You'll just send them anonymously and they won't know who it is." She said when divine inspiration seemed to have finally hit her.
"Then, how will they like me if they don't know who I am?"
"They'll be curious! If I got a love letter from some mysterious guy, then I'd want to know who he was too. You'll just have to write it so that they won't know it's you and you could describe in those letters what you like so much about them."
"I see...So...Should I even send one to Sakura-chan then?"
"Of course! I think it will be easier for you to write down your feelings for her than it would be if you had to tell her face to face."
Naruto nodded as he put down his plate and thought for a few moments before speaking up again, "But...If I put my own address underneath it, people will find out it's me right away."
Ayame let out a sigh and put down her chopsticks, "That's why I said that you should add a reply address. Just put my address underneath it. My mom will start traveling again tomorrow to promote father's ramen stand and to find new ingredients to put into our ramen. And since father and I are at the ramen stand all day long and I'm home before father is, I can check the mail and see if you got any replies back from the girls."
"Hm, hm...That would work, I think. I have no idea what to write to any of them...But it could work."
"Hmm...Hey, listen Naruto-kun, I have a day-off tomorrow. How about...we write the letters tomorrow and then send them to everyone. Sounds like a good idea, right?"
Naruto grinned widely, feeling that this plan might actually be pretty solid, and nodded, "Sounds great to me. We can discus everything and anything else then as well!"
After finishing their meal, Ayame paid the bill for them as she promised.
Outside, they they were greeted by loud, painful groans from the alley next to the restaurant. It stopped them in their tracks, both of them had a shiver run down their spine and they slowly walked into the alley, Naruto first with a protective arm in front of Ayame.
In the alley, they found Jiraiya lying beaten and bruised against the wall.
"Eh?! Ero-sennin?! What happened?!" Naruto yelled as he and Ayame rushed towards his aid.
"Naruto? Is...Is that you, my pupil?" Jiraiya asked, and just then Naruto noted that he was covered in scratch marks and had two red hand prints on his face.
"...You did it again, didn't you...You ero-sennin." Naruto said glaring at his sensei, knowing fully well what the cause of his teacher's current state was.
"I...I couldn't help it...She knew she wanted it! And they looked so nice and soft...And then she did this to me! Life's unfair, Naruto, unfair I tell ya!" Jiraiya said as he put he arms out in front of him and acted like he was squeezing something with his hands. Much to Naruto's surprise, Ayame smacked Jiraiya in his face.
"It's your own fault! You shouldn't do such a thing to a woman unless you are in a relationship with her. Hmph!" She yelled at him.
Naruto let out a sigh and Jiraiya dropped his arms before starting to mutter, "So close...so close..."
"I guess I'll have to take him to Tsunade-obachan... Sorry, Ayame-chan...I think that's all for tonight." Naruto stated as he picked up his sensei.
"No. It isn't...Lesson number 5: Don't use your sensei's ways to get to a girl. Ever. Break that rule and I'll make you regret it!" Ayame said, throwing a playful smile at Naruto before turning around and walking out of the alley.
"Ayame-chan?" Naruto called out to her.
Ayame turned her head and looked over her shoulder towards him, "Hm?"
"Thanks...For, y'know, willing to help me out with all this. I really appreciate it." Naruto said smiling.
"It's nothing. Just promise me to take me out on another date. A proper one, where we actually can do more then just eat dinner." Ayame replied with a big smile on her face, as she brushed several locks of hair out of her face.
"Hehe, alright! I promise you!" Naruto said as Ayame headed around the corner.
"Naruto..." Jiraiya said.
"What is it, Ero-sennin?" Naruto asked as he raised an eyebrow.
Jiraiya raised a wide grin and, with a puff of smoke, he was back to his old normal self, unscratched and unbeaten.
"Eh?! You weren't beaten up by that girl?!"
"As a matter of fact I've send her to a hotel where's she waiting for me...I just wanted to see how it went between you and Ayame-chan." Jiraiya emphasized the last part as he grinned widely at his student.
"We don't have anything going on! She was just going to help me with some things that I need help with!" Naruto retorted.
"Ah...You really are my student." Jiraiya said grinning as he placed a hand on Naruto's shoulder, "I remember when Yondaime first used his natural charm to make a lady fall for him, just like you are doing right now. Don't underestimate my teachings, Naruto! They'll help you out, without a doubt!"
"When it comes to being a shinobi they do..." Naruto muttered, but Jiraiya heard him nonetheless.
"Don't act like that! I'm a man of many wisdoms, as some might call it! Actually, I got it mostly from Sandaime, but that doesn't matter... Anyway, you know about my novels right?"
"Of course, I do. What about them?"
"Well...You're officially under age...but I think it's time I handed you one to improve your knowledge about women...amongst other things. Yondaime was the first one to read my very first novel, you know? So, I'm going to give you the very first Icha Icha Paradise I ever wrote and that Yondaime read..." Jiraiya stated as he pulled out a Icha Icha Paradise novel from his pockets.
"Huh?" Just as Jiraiya took it out it was gone from his hands.
"If Yondaime read this, then it can't be that perverted! After all Yondaime is the greatest Hokage ever until I become one! Later, Ero-sennin!" Naruto yelled before rushing off with the book.
"Ah, he's still a cute kid when it comes to certain matters." Jiraiya said grinning as he rubbed the back of his head, "I wonder where this will lead though...Oh well, only time will tell, I suppose!"
"Yondaime Hokage read this book and was popular with the ladies...If that's true then this book must be not so bad right?" Naruto thought as he rushed home.
Five minutes after Naruto had gotten home and started reading Icha Icha Paradise, crows flew away from the top of his roof upon hearing Naruto shout at the top of his lungs, though no comprehensible sound came out of his throat.
"Gah...gaaah...Yondaime...read this? I think I'm going to die from this nose bleed..." Naruto said as he was lying back down on his bed, his nose bleeding like it has never done before.
"I see...He must have...gotten strong by surviving this book and...ever since then he could handle major blood loss...I'm going to do that too!" Naruto said with a pinched nose as he sat back up and read the next couple of lines in the book. Blood again came out of his nostrills as he shot back down on his bed.
"...Who ever said reading couldn't hurt you was wrong...I'm not going to read that anymore until I've recovered from losing this much blood..." Naruto stated as he shut the book tight and laid it on his desk.
He looked at his alarm clock and let go of his nose when it finally stopped bleeding, "Tomorrow...Ayame-chan will help me with those letters and get me a date...I just hope this all works out in the end..."