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Five Minute Panic

By SourGrapes101

Romance

Five Minute Panic

Five Minute Panic

Disclaimer: I do not own the Naruto franchise, nor do I own any of the merchandise or spin-offs connected to the concept. These belong to Masashi Kishimoto.

Summary: Preparing for a first date is never easy. So how will Naruto manage when Hinata's coming around in just five minutes and he isn't ready at all? Submitted for the NaruHina First Kiss mini-contest.

Naruto's eyes cracked open blearily and he let out a groan, waves of tiredness rolling over him. Every last one of his muscles was aching – in hindsight, agreeing to spar with Lee yesterday was probably not the best idea, especially since he already knew just how crazy the spandex-wearing taijutsu specialist was when it came to training. Even his bruises had bruises. He'd been reduced to pretty much crawling home the previous evening to collapse into his bed.

Still, sore and tired as he was, Naruto couldn't help but let out a sleepy smile of contentment stretch across his face. Life was good right now. In the weeks since the war was over, everyone had finally been able to focus on returning to their lives, away from the battlefield. With Madara and Obito out of the picture, Sasuke back in Konoha and the village almost completely repaired, it seemed like the worst of the problems were over. No more days ahead worrying about saving the world, or anything like that. Today he was gonna take it slow and relaxed – train with the rest of Team Seven in the afternoon, meet Iruka-sensei for ramen in the evening, maybe find Konohamaru to teach him a new jutsu or two in between. And of course, he thought to himself with a happy grin, Hinata was coming around for their first date. She'd said she wanted to cook a meal for the two of them at noon…

Noon! Naruto jerked bolt upright in his bed with a strangled yelp, instantly wide awake. What time was it now? Desperately he turned to look at the clock and his worst fears were confirmed – 11:55.

"Oh Hell no!" Naruto cursed to himself, jumping out of bed and inwardly berating himself. How could he have slept in so late? How could he have forgotten about their date? Hinata would be outside his front door in five minutes! He hadn't gotten his clothes on, he hadn't had breakfast, he hadn't cleared up his apartment, he hadn't even showered or brushed his teeth! Not even his trusty Kage Bunshins were going to be able to help in such a short amount of time.

Even as he hurriedly got dressed, zipping his jacket up whilst simultaneously trying to pull a sandal on and trying not to fall over as he balanced precariously on one foot, Naruto felt a heavy weight settle in his stomach. The thought of letting Hinata down made him feel like a total idiot. After all she'd done for him, giving him the confidence he needed in the war and standing side by side with him, now that it was his chance to do something nice for her and make a bit of extra effort, he'd blown it.

He still remembered her expression, with the ninja alliance cheering in the background in the aftermath of the victory against Madara and Obito, when he'd impulsively asked her on a date; she'd been stunned and red-faced but with the most heart-warming, genuine smile of happiness he'd ever seen. Even thinking about it now made his heart nearly skip a beat.

Suddenly he heard a knock at the front door of his apartment. "Naruto-kun, are you ready?" he heard a soft, kind voice ask, muffled by the wooden barrier between them.

"Almost!" Naruto called back in panic, still struggling with his sandal. "Just give me a second!" Hopping on one leg he exited his room and stumbled into the hallway, his sandal still stubbornly refusing to go onto his foot. Colliding with the wall painfully, Naruto let out a grunt of pain. "Stupid – sandal," he scowled, huffing with the exertion of trying to get it onto his foot and reaching blindly for the front door handle with one hand. "Why – won't – you – argh!"

As the doorknob turned in his hand he finally managed to force his errant piece of footwear onto his foot. But in doing so he finally and inevitably lost his balance, falling through the open doorway. Everything seemed to move in slow-motion; for what couldn't have been more than half a second, but felt like much longer, he saw Hinata standing there, her pearly eyes widening as she saw him pinwheeling his arms desperately to find something to grab onto. But it was no use; the Jinchuuriki boy collided with her and sent them both tumbling to the floor with a dull thud.

"Hinata, oh damn, I'm so, so sorry," Naruto apologised profusely, scrambling to his feet without paying attention to his tired muscles and offering her his hand. His face was burning; if he'd felt like an idiot before, it was nothing compared to now. "Are you ok?"

"I-I think so," Hinata replied shakily, righting herself and dusting herself down. "But what about you? Your hand is bleeding!"

"Huh?" Surprised by Hinata's concern, Naruto looked down at his hand and saw that his palm was slightly grazed from where he'd landed. "It's fine, don't worry about it."

But Hinata was already digging into the pocket of her jacket and a moment later she pulled out a small pot. "Here, use this."

Something about the container triggered a memory from the back of Naruto's mind. "Hey, that's the healing balm thing you give me after my fight against Kiba in the Chuunin Exams, isn't it?"

Hinata nodded. "It should make sure it heals over." Dabbing a little of the ointment onto her finger, she gently rubbed it onto the graze marks, taking great care not to press too hard, and within seconds they had almost completely receded.

Naruto laughed, impressed. "Wow, I'd forgotten how good this stuff was! You've gotta tell me how to make some of my own sometime!"

Hinata giggled at his enthusiasm, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, and for a couple of moments Naruto just enjoyed her company, almost forgetting about his mishaps over the last few minutes – until, that is, he saw a slightly crushed shopping bag by the Hyuuga girl's feet. He felt his previous enthusiasm drain out of him like water down a plughole – when he'd fallen it had clearly taken the full force of his weight. "Hinata, is that…?"

Following his gaze, Hinata picked the bag up. "Oh, that's just the shopping I got from the market this morning," she explained cheerfully. "I wanted to make sure I had fresh ingredients for the lunch we're having together. It's only a simple fish dish, but…" She trailed off, seeing the blonde haired boy's expression. "Naruto-kun, is there something wrong?" she asked, leaning in closer.

Naruto let out a depressed sigh, running a hand through his tousled hair. "Hinata, I've messed up so much already today. You've done so much for me, even making lunch for us both today, and I… I haven't gotten anything right. I overslept this morning, I fell on top of you, I even crushed your shopping. I've already ruined the date and it hasn't even begun yet. I…" Naruto hesitated, dropping his eyes, then muttered so quietly Hinata had to strain to hear it, "I feel like I've let you down. I wanted to make this date special for you but so far it's been a disaster."

"That's not true at all," Hinata interjected, gazing at him softly and reaching out to squeeze his hand between hers. "You've never let me down – the person I am today is because of you. And…" Her face flushed a delicate pink, but she continued, "This date has been special for me so far."

Naruto blinked, stunned. "You mean, even after all the screw ups I've made, you're not mad? Or upset?"

Hinata giggled, her eyes dancing. "Of course not. None of that matters," she said reassuringly. "I'm just happy that I get to spend time with you."

Naruto ducked his head down, trying to hide his blush, and scratched the back of his neck, feeling ridiculous. He had no idea how to put into words just how lucky and privileged he felt. "Hinata, I…" Instinctively, Naruto leant in and pressed his lips against her cheek in an awkward but honest kiss before pulling back quickly, heart thumping in his ribcage.

Hinata's hands instantly flew up to her face, which was now bright scarlet. "N-Naruto-kun, you just…"

Naruto couldn't prevent himself from chuckling at her reaction – it was just so her. "Thank you. For being so understanding," he said simply, grinning his trademark ear-to-ear grin and reaching out to offer her his hand. "So, how about that lunch now? The sink's a bit messy and I'm not really much of a cook, but tell me what to do and I'll help, ok?"

A smile slowly spread across Hinata's lips, lighting her whole face up. "I'd like that," she said tenderly, clasping his larger hand in her palm and following him inside through the open doorway of his apartment.

Author's Notes: Usually when I'm writing I prefer to take my time; normally it takes me months of consideration as to what would enhance the storyline, what needs improving, how it could be streamlined and all the other things that need thinking about before I'm satisfied. But this idea came to me in a flash – I wrote this whole thing out in roughly half a day, which by my standards is insane! But it just felt so right and so easy to get the words to flow that in the end it was surprisingly natural to just power on through to the end in a single sitting. As for the story itself, I tried focusing on Naruto mainly, rather than Hinata, for two reasons – firstly, he's the one that is actually doing the kissing after all, heh, and secondly because I wanted to test myself, as I find Naruto much trickier to keep in character than Hinata. Hopefully I did a decent job at that and the fluffy, cute parts. And as I said in the summary, this fic is an entry for a mini-contest held on the NaruHina Fanclub over on the Naruto Forums website. The theme was 'First Kiss' and although a part of me did wanna do something on the battlefield, I wanted to try something a little different. I went for a more 'homely' atmosphere and I'm pretty happy with the result of that. Plus it allowed me to show Naruto's more goofy side, heheh! Anyway, I'll try to get more NaruHina stuff written out in the near future, so until then, if you've got any comments reviews are of course very welcome. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed and take care!

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