Usually the annual Sakura blossom festival was one of the more anticipated events of the year. All of Konoha got into the spirit of it, decorating the town and setting up fireworks for the evening. It would be three days of celebration and fun… and from the intentions of two rather mischievous citizens – matchmaking. Aranami and Kinmokusei had cornered almost every, single, person over the age of 15 and somehow managed to get a blind date 'booth' going amongst the other merchants and games.
For the first two days of the festival, they simply collected names and handed out unusually detailed pamphlets with the details and rules for the dates. Of course, the pair never could do anything simple. When everyone began to wonder just how these two would conclude such a large undertaking, they unsurprisingly came through. In the wee hours of morning, like little spirits, they delivered tiny scrolls to the houses of each guy who had participated, willingly or otherwise, leaving them stuck with planning a date because thy didn't know if they were expected or not.
Each opened scroll began to reveal just how in depth the pair had been in their planning. Not one was paired with anyone to far from their own age, and several received the names of crushes or friends. Rather intentionally, the two young women had opened their booth early expecting the flood of protests and happily turning away every complaint with confident smiles. After all, they had made absolutely sure that each woman and man was in fact single.
"Come on, Nami, you can't be serious! She's going to slam the door in my face!"
Looking rather flatly at the young shinobi in front of her, Aranami snorted and reached over to smack a sleeping Sei in the arm. Before her accomplice was even fully awake, she dismissed the anxious young man onto her. "Will you explain to him why he got Yamanaka Ino, please?"
"Wha… huh? Hey! Where are you going?"
"To get some ramen, I haven't eaten yet today."
Waving to the two of them, she left Sei to her devices and ambled off through the crowd of waiting complainers just pointing back to the booth whenever one would try to get her attentions. Sei was not exactly happy about being abandoned to the dirty work and it showed as she propped her chin in her hand and glared back at the young man across from her.
"You like flowers right?"
"Huh? Uh… yea, they're alright…"
"Don't you work at the tea house two streets over from the Yamanaka flower shop?"
"I do but…"
"And don't you make it a point to always walk past said shop whenever Ino is working?"
"WHAT! How do you… I mean… No! What are you... how…?"
She just smirked as he stuttered his way through his retort and with a dismissive wave of her hand cast him off so that the next person in line could argue their point. The slight curve of her smile turning down right cruel as Neji approached the booth and dropped the little scroll onto the table.
"I am not participating in this little game of yours, Kinmokusei, so hopefully you have someone else so she won't be disappointed."
"Neji. Neji. Neji…" sighing she picked up the scroll and pointed it in his direction. "I'm afraid I have no one else for this particular scroll, so you are simply going to have to buck up and try to enjoy yourself."
"I do not have to do anything I do not want to."
"Oh, really…" venom practically dripped from her smile as she watched him stiffen slightly at the arm dropped about his shoulder. "I think Aranami might have something to say to that."
His pale eyes turned, narrowing on his once childhood friend as she lazily slurped up a stream of noodles, her eyes happily staring right back at him. "And just how do you think you're going to make me take you on a date."
The slurping stopped dead.
Sei shifted in her seat, reaching beneath the counter for the closed sign.
For a long moment, a hush seemed to fall over their little corner of the thoroughfare, everyone in line waiting expectantly to see how Nami would react to this information. Needless to say, they were not disappointed.
Ramen clattered to the ground and without a sound Sei took off with Nami in hot pursuit. No one tried to hold either girl back from the potential fight, instead they watched, amused by this little turn of events as Aranami shouted every profanity she could think of at her friend. Neji simply shook his head and turned to leave. It was his unfortunate luck that Sei was bent on tormenting Nami. Before he got too far the leggy blonde dropped down in front of him and shoved the scroll into his pants pocket, sticking her tongue out at him as she fled again.
"Be there at seven, Neji-kun!"
"I'm not going on a blind date, Sei!" both Nami and Neji shouted, as she came to a stop in front of him, the mimicked protest drawing their gazes to each other.
For a flicker of time, a slight look of hurt had crossed into the young woman's gaze before it was doused under the strength of her glare. "Don't worry I'm not going to hold you to it."
His head tipped ever so slightly before he cast his eyes down to where she had reached in and took back the small scroll. Though he had doubted the look of disappointment, he could not refute the blush that stole over her cheeks once she realized she had been caught reaching into his pants. Without so much as a hint of emotion, he snatched back the scroll and turned to go, leaving her staring at his back in a crowd of amused onlookers.
"See aren't you glad that I put your name in, Nami-kun?"
Mistake number two on Sei's part as once again she was forced to run for her life with Nami swiping at her heels. Seeing as their protests were not going to be heard the crowd of eligible men dispersed to prepare for the evening ahead only a trio remaining to be ready to pull the two girls apart. Kakashi, Asuma and Iruka just sighed and looked to on another before each showing the little scrolls that had been next to their beds when they had woken up.