Shino, by some miracle, managed to get Naruto and Choji to focus on the task at hand. He came prepared with a box of barbeque and reassurances that there would be sufficient ramen at the party for Naruto. He cleared his throat, "I have devised a list of things that we need. Firstly, and most importantly, a chef and caterer. Then of course we would need waiters."
Poof! Suddenly Anko appeared, clad in her usual net shirt and brown jacket. "Hey! Since Kakashi-san is away I'm here to supervise!" Oh great, Naruto thought, Not this hothead. She came over and pinched Naruto's cheeks, "Naruto-kun! Ah! I have a message to deliver to you as well, you will all need dates for the party, this is compulsory and if you do not have one, one will be provided for you because Konoha King and Queen will be chosen! Let me just go give this message to the others!" And poof! She was gone again. Choji started to go green as he pondered the prospect of a date, sweat dripped from Shino's brow but Naruto looked delighted, "I am going to ask Sakura-chan!" The blonde-haired boy was about to run off when Shino called, "While you're out and about, find a chef and caterer!"
"I got it! Don't worry!
But Shino did worry.
This entire exchange was overheard by two shinobi who were not supposed to be in Konoha. "This is perfect…all the Kage's and Feudal Lords and shinobi's in one place…we can have them at our mercy…" commented the red-haired Sasori.
"How are we going to go to the party, Danna, un?" asked his blonde partner, Deidara.
"I have a plan, follow me."
They crept along stealthily following Naruto who was walking merrily looking for Sakura. He got the sensation that he was being followed and whirled around hoping it wasn't Konohamaru with his lame concealment techniques. Sasori pulled Deidara into a bush but not before Naruto caught the flash of blonde hair. Sasori pulled off Deidara's hair tie and the blonde locks fell on his shoulders.
"Danna! What the hell, un!"
"Pretend to be a girl, flirt with him and tell him you're a chef that owns a catering business and you want to cater for the party!" Sasori said, rolling Deidara out of the bush. Naruto looked on curiously as Deidara dusted himself off and approached him. "Hey there!" Deidara said cheerfully – but his voice sounded too deep for a girl's so he coughed and spoke in a higher pitched voice which sounded…awful. Luckily Naruto was slow on the uptake of things. "Sooo, I couldn't help overhearing that you need chefs and a catering service for your party, we would be um, um, um…delighted to take the job.
Naruto grinned, "Seriously?"
"Oh yes, just tell us when and where," Deidara continued in his horrible attempt at a girl's voice.
Naruto scratched his head. When was the party again? He had a feeling it was soon…yes! "This Friday at the Hall in the Academy."
"Are you sure?" Deidara asked, not really trusting Naruto's mental capabilities. Deidara made a mental note to check with someone else. "Yes, believe it!" Naruto yelled.
"Great! Explosion catering will be there, and we will make sure your party is a blast!"
Ino returned quickly with the bottles of Sake and dumped them in the cart. She transferred back into her own body, "Lee, you can let go now." She told Lee who was still protectively clutching her shoulders. "Sorry Ino-san."
"Have you seen Tenten yet? I actually forgot what the woman she transformed into looked like."
Lee shook his head and Ino sighed. She assumed Tenten was responsible enough and would be back soon so they waited…and while they were waiting, that darts challenge was getting ugly…
Kakuzu the masked challenger was trying all sorts of tricks to keep Tenten from winning once he realized how good she was. He tried to trip her, strangle her and even pierce her with a dart, but was foiled by Tenten's skilfulness. The competition was neck and neck, it was intense, drunken patrons at the bar were cheering. After Tenten's fiftieth bullseye in a row, Kakuzu was about to crack and kill her – but he couldn't without blowing their cover. Hidan was cackling maniacally, enjoying seeing Kakuzu get flustered. "This is fucking weak man, seriously!"
Hidan signalled to the bartender that he wanted a drink while Tenten and Kakuzu were going at it. It was Kakuzu's turn and he took aim. The waitress in a little mini skirt was bringing over Hidan's drink, when a drunken man grabbed her butt, she squealed and brought the tray down over his head, the random drunk guy was now even more disorientated and staggered backwards and bumped Kakuzu who chose that moment to release the dart. It went off course and hit – the wall. All the spectators went quiet, Kakuzu's eyes were wide with disbelief, shock and horror.
"I win!" Tenten declared.
Kakuzu was not speaking, he clutched his chest.
"Hey, hey, shithead, it's okay, you don't have to giver her your life savings, we can just ki-" Hidan was drowned out by Kakuzu emitting an unearthly wail. Even Tenten stepped a few paces back.
"Nooo, I loooost! My preciousss moooney!" and he keeled over, twitching.
"Oh shit, I think he's had a fucking heart attack!" Hidan said. Now, this was no big deal because Kakuzu still had four hearts to spare, but Tenten didn't know this.
"Oh…that poor old man! It's okay, he can keep his money, I just wanted to test my skills – hey someone call a medic-nin!"
"No! You fucking idiot! – uh, I mean, I'll take care of him, I'm a doctor!" Hidan said, dragging Kakuzu away.
Tenten was still a bit traumatised as she stepped out of the liquor store and dispelled the transformation. "What kept you?" Ino asked.
"Um…I think I gave a man a heart attack."
Hinata and Sasuke were sitting on a bench in the park waiting for Shikamaru to arrive. They were supposed to be meeting the band today, so far everything was going according to plan and Kurenai seemed to be pleased with their progress. Hinata was sitting serenely; Sasuke was relieved that she was on his team, at least she was not a fan girl who tried to jump him every three seconds. A gust of wind blew Hinata's fine, long, deep navy hair into Sasuke's face. Hmm, smells nice, he thought.
Poof! Someone appeared in front of them, it was not Shikamaru, it was Anko. "Message!" she declared, "You are all to have dates for the party. There will be a Mr and Miss Konoha competition and if you do not have a date, one will be provided for you."
Before Sasuke could start ranting, Anko disappeared. Next to him, Hinata looked like she was hyperventilating. She wanted desperately to go with Naruto, but she couldn't ask him…maybe he would ask her – but no again! He'd probably ask Sakura. Hinata was close to tears now…if it came to the worst, she could probably go with her cousin Neji – but she really really wanted to go with Naruto. Then, Hinata came up with a good idea, she turned to Sasuke who looked like he was about to have a fit of rage. "Um…Sasuke-san?"
"What?" he snapped at the poor soft-spoken girl.
She took a deep breath and Sasuke glared at the small, innocent-looking Hyuga. "I – I need a favour."
"You want me to be your date?" he asked.
"Um…no…" she answered, blushing slightly.
Sasuke was thrown, if he was not mistaken, he just got slightly – rejected? He actually felt kind of, well, irritated. "Then what?" he snapped.
Her pale lavender eyes looked up into his onyx eyes. "I w-want you to please ask Sakura-san to the p-party."
He stared at her in disbelief, then realised what Hinata was plotting. She wanted him to go with Sakura so that she could go with Naruto the dobe. "What makes you think that he will ask you even if he doesn't get to go with Sakura?"
Hinata was shocked, Sasuke knew what her plan was. Taking note of her expression and the way her eyes got teary, Sasuke felt a bit bad – which he normally never does – for saying that to her.
"Fine," Sasuke said. Since he needed a date, he might as well ask Sakura, they were friends after all.
"Thank you so much Sasuke-san!"
"Has Sasuke done something useful?" Shikamaru asked, finally arriving. Sasuke scowled while Hinata looked distinctly happier. "C'mon, spill," Shikamaru said.
"Sasuke-san is helping me to get a date for the p-party," Hinata told him.
"Oh?" Shikamaru said with a raised eyebrow, "Why is it you're getting a date?"
"Compulsory, according to Anko-sensei," Sasuke said.
Shikamaru sighed, "How troublesome."
"Who are you going to ask?" Hinata asked brightly.
"Hmm, I dunno, Temari I guess?"
She whirled around at the sound of Naruto's voice. Anko had just dropped by, giving the horrible news (well it was horrible to Kiba and Neji). Naruto ran breathlessly into the room, "Neji, why are you pink? Kiba, what happened to you?" The other two guys just stared wordlessly at him, a vein was throbbing near Neji's temple. "What is it Naruto, we're busy…decorating," Sakura said, annoyed. Naruto looked around, scratching his blonde head, "Looks more like you guys are making a mess." Neji and Kiba were scrubbing furiously, trying to clean up. Sakura hit Naruto over the head, "Yeeow! Sakura-chan, I just came to ask…" suddenly he got shy and started blushing and pointing his fingers together in an almost Hinata-like manner. Even Neji and Kiba stopped their scrubbing to watch the exchange. "Hmm?" Sakura asked, hands on her hips, looking so adorable with pink paint splotches on her face and clothes. Naruto couldn't take it anymore, time to be brave – yes, he was brave wasn't he? He defeated tons of bad guys, but the prospect of asking Sakura to the party was defeating him. Sakura was watching, waiting, getting frustrated, why wouldn't he just ask already! "Sakura-chan pleasegotothepartywithme!"
Sakura looked at him, "Okay, slower this time…"
Naruto gulped, Neji was getting ready to punch him if he didn't ask already. Kiba was enjoying seeing Naruto not being over-confident for once. This baka…Sakura thought, I guess I'll just have to ask him. A faint blush appeared on her cheeks as she was about to pop the question, then the doors of the hall opened dramatically and in walked Sasuke Uchiha, ignoring the irritated looks he got from Naruto, Kiba and Neji, he stood in front of Sakura. Her aqua eyes were wide with shock. "Sakura," Sasuke started in his low, sexy voice, "Go to the party…with me."
Neji and Kiba face-palmed, Naruto balled his fists. Sakura looked at Sasuke, and then looked at Naruto, then back at Sasuke, "Naruto…has already asked me…and I say yes."
Naruto's face lit up like a Christmas tree and his blue eyes were sparkling. Neji and Kiba looked at each other and grinned then realized they had better get a move on and find some dates of their own. What the hell? Sasuke thought as he marched out with Naruto laughing behind his back. That was his second rejection of today! What was wrong with the world? What was it? Were his armpits smelly? Was his hair messed up? Did he lose his Uchiha charms? No. no, no! It was now his personal mission to get the best-looking girl in Konoha and together they would win Mr and Miss Konoha!