Naruto and its characters belong to Masashi Kishimoto


Fun Fact: I was inspired to write another International Flower Day story for this Show Me the Love Challenge after re-reading "Troublesome Flowers," and thinking back on "Hanabi's Handiwork." At this time, I want to extend a special thank you to all who pledged to participate in this challenge. It was on short notice, so you guys really are shining stars!

To everyone reading, let's kick start 2021 with pledges to positively review. Remember, sharing input can make a huge difference!


"A box from an onion farm?" Hanabi says with a wrinkled nose. "For me? Are you sure?" For a second, she puzzles over that possibility.

"Yes, Hanabi-san. The box is addressed to you."

"Are you kidding? Look, Yuko. I assure you. I never placed an order for something like that. It's clearly a mistake. Don't bother opening it. Just send it back."

Yuko, Hanabi's assistant, quirks an eyebrow, but she knows better than to cross the Hyūga and hauls the box out of her quarters immediately. This sort of delivery is unusual, but it was specifically addressed to one Hyūga Hanabi with a signature required, so there's likely no mistake.


Across town, Sarutobi Konohamaru paces the floor. "Any word from Hanabi?" he asks again.

"No, for the hundredth time!" an irritated Moegi shoots back, then immediately regrets her outburst. "Look. I get it, Konohamaru. You're nervous, but give it a rest. I'll let you know if she calls. For now, do me a favor and go out for a walk or something during your lunch, okay? It will do us both some good."

Apologetically Konohamaru slides his phone to rest directly in front of Moegi and heads for the door. He's on edge, unsure of his earlier actions, but he knows he's getting on his teammate's nerves and he can't afford to get her in a bad mood before Hanabi calls... if she calls that is. His mind is racing and he can't decide exactly where he should go, so he ends up walking aimlessly around town, worry written all over his face.

Should I have waited until Valentine's Day? he questions himself. No. I vowed it would be today. Now or never I promised. Besides, if I keep putting it off, someone else may make a move ahead of me and snatch her up.

He, along with many others have felt the increasing self-imposed pressure to find a suitable companion for Naruto and Hinata's upcoming nuptials. He knows it's a bit bold to ask Hanabi, the designated Maid of Honor, and potential heir to the renown Hyūga Clan, but he's been attracted to the pretty kunoichi for quite some time, and before someone else jumps at the opportunity to date her, he knows he has to step up his game. Still, he's nervous and wondering if she will accept his gift and his subtle hint to court her. She's shown interest, or at least he thinks so, but then doubt creeps in. Maybe I've been misreading her signals all along. She hasn't yet called. That's a bad sign, right?


Back at their designated post, Moegi sighs as she waits for Konohamaru's phone to ring. She's not sure how she got herself entangled in this scheme of his, but for the sake of her longtime goofy teammate, she's at the ready. It's due time her friend fully discloses his feelings for Hanabi, and there's no better time than the present. Besides, those two have tiptoed around each other for far too long. She's not sure this is the right way...sending flowers with a message to call, then assigning her as the intermediary to answer in hopes of making sure he doesn't botch his chance, but deep down, she hopes his convoluted proposal works out. He really is a sweet guy and she'd like to see him dating. Then, she's fairly certain he will get out of her hair so she can worry about her own concerns of snagging a guy to be her date for the Uzumaki wedding. She only has a few months left to find someone, and she's got to get a move on!


Hands full, the blue-eyed bombshell stands out at Hyūga grounds. Normally anyone not of Hyūga blood would be approached, but since everyone recognizes her as Hinata-sama's good friend, they go about their business without so much as a second glance, especially since it's obvious she's making a delivery.

"Apologies I can't stay longer," Ino remarks as she stands at threshold of the main house. "The flower shop is booked back to back on deliveries for today. It's been crazy I tell you! I was hoping to spend some time with you today, Hinata, but unfortunately I'm running behind, so I can't. I promise to finalize your wedding flowers before Valentine's Day though, and I'll look forward to catching up with you then." She then hands over the large vase of bright red tulips to her friend. "These handpicked beauties represent his declaration of love," she shares about the bouquet. "You know Naruto," Ino says. "Always over the top ... and flashy."

Hinata giggles and accepts the beautiful bouquet and its meaning, then waves farewell to her busy friend.


Later that afternoon, Hanabi passes by and spots the eye-catching arrangement in Hinata's room and stares.

"Are those from Naruto?" she asks.

"Yes," her sister answers. "Ino delivered them."

"Man, you're so lucky Hinata," Hanabi grouses. "Naruto's so good to you. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for you and all. I only wish I could snag a guy who would sweep me off my feet and do the same for me," she says.

"What about Konohamaru?" Hinata asks and Hanabi's cheeks quickly color.

"Whaaaaaat? Who said anything about him?" Hanabi sputters, trying to sound affronted but clearly losing the battle.

"Oh Hanabi," Hinata smiles. "You know you like him and we all know, he's the shy sort. He's probably tried to get closer to you, but you always rush off without giving him a chance, and you know he can't be that forward, what with Neji and father around. I'm sure if you hinted to him, he might be inclined to do something."

"But I did," Hanabi whines. "Just last week I hinted International Flower Day was coming up and how honored I would be if some guy sent me a heartfelt message with a flower. He was right beside Moegi when I was discussing this, so I know he heard me. Geez, Hinata, if he liked me or if he wanted a chance, don't you think he would catch a clue and send me something?"

"Hanabi," Hinata chastises. "How do you know he didn't try to give something to you? I mean, you've been hiding out in your room all day. You know he can't just come over and visit the compound without official business. Did you honestly give him a fair chance?" Hinata questions.

Instantly Hanabi perks as new understanding comes to her. "You know, perhaps you're onto something," she agrees. "Maybe it's high time I pay him a visit," she declares, and with a spring to her step, she moves quickly around the corner with a smile until she smacks firmly into a solid chest.

"Pay whom a visit?" a deep voice implores.

Hinata cringes and rushes over. "Nnnnneji! Ni-san. I didn't know you were home!" Hinata works to calm her voice.

"Sheesh. Neji. When did you get back?" Hanabi complains.

"No male visitors allowed in your quarters," Neji reminds, in reference to the flowers he saw on the end table in Hinata's room while the maid was cleaning.

"Excuse me?" a puzzled Hinata questions, while Hanabi just rolls her eyes.

"Gads. There you go jumping to conclusions again," the young Hyūga interrupts. "Your assumptions are wrong as usual. Those flowers ARE from Naruto, but no need to burst a gasket, he was never physically here. Ino delivered them. Gods Neji, can't you give the guy a break? They're already engaged and he's practically family. Does he really need to be on official business if he's just visiting?"

"Of course not," Neji says, and for a moment, Hinata's mouth opens in disbelief.

"Really?" the shy Hyūga asks eagerly, big eyes full of wonder.

"Sure."

And for a moment she looks hopeful.

"I'd be happy to escort him around anytime he wants to come over."

At that, Hinata inwardly sighs, but Hanabi doesn't bother to hide her displeasure.

"Pu- lease!," Hanabi wrinkles her nose. "That's just as good as having a third wheel around every step they make on the property. Ni-san, you need to get a life!"

"My life is just fine," he responds.

"Yeah right. Hinata's never done anything to warrant your 'surveillance'. Geez Neji, don't you have anything better to do?"

"No," he responds smugly.

"Well, we need to fix that," Hanabi declares as Neji brushes off her comment with a look that screams - I'd like to see you try. Smoothly Hanabi adds, "Anyhoo. The good news is at least he's marrying Hinata soon. Once she moves in with Naruto outside the Hyūga compound you'd better keep that Byakugan of yours off or you might see something you shouldn't!"

"Hanabi!" Neji and Hinata shout in unison, making her chuckle.

"Well, am I right?" she teases, while the two hide their embarrassment with silence. "Anyway, I'd love to chat, but I'm sorta busy today, so I best be off."

"Not so fast," Neji rebukes, reflexes quicker than ever, and shooting his arm out across the hall to prevent her from escaping. "Who's the guy?" he asks, not missing a beat.

"What guy?" Hanabi counters.

"Hanabi, THE Guy. You know, the one you're running off to meet?"

She knows Konohamaru and Moegi have been assigned a half day's light duty but their teammate Udon is off today. Earlier Udon mentioned something about picking up some kunai, so thinking quickly, she responds coolly: "Kagura-san."

"Kagura-san?" Neji repeats and narrows his eyes as he tries to place the name.

"Want to come with me?" Hanabi dares. "Tenten will likely be there," she baits. "If you don't already know, Kagura-san has been talking about selling his weapons shop to her."

At the sound of Tenten's name, Neji pales a bit. He's attracted to her. That much is for sure, but they've grown up around each other and he's not quite sure how he should operate if he wants to be more than a friend. It's easy to be around his teammate when it involves work, but when it's just the two of them on their own free time, he's a bit flummoxed. He's had these feelings for her for quite awhile but hasn't acted on them, and the last thing he needs is his youngest cousin honing in on this attraction and/or getting any ideas on how to 'help' him.

"What business do you have at weapons store?" he tries to divert.

Satisfied with Neji's obvious discomfort, Hanabi twists the truth a bit.

"Udon-san agreed to meet me there so he could share some attack strategies with the new weighted kunai Kagura-san has on sale. Should I bring an escort?" she taunts.

Neji stops. Udon is a fellow ninja, one occasionally he's seen Hanabi around. He had no idea he was involved with sharing training tips with his cousin, but Hanabi isn't the shy sort, and she's often approached other senior shinobi to learn new skills whenever there's been opportunity, so this doesn't exactly come as a surprise. There's never been any indication they're more than friends, and no shinobi ever needs accompaniment regarding these types matters. Following Hanabi to the shop would not only be a waste of his time, but an embarrassment. She's a full fledged kunoichi and it would be ludicrous to think she needs babysitting for something innocuous as this. More importantly, showing up with his cousin with no specific reason might bring suspicion from Tenten, and that wouldn't bode well for him at all. He isn't quite ready to make a social call on her just yet.

"Hn. I suppose not," Neji relents.

Hanabi inwardly smirks and scoots around him.

"Good."

The smugness of her response isn't lost on Neji though so he adds one last warning. "Just because I'm not coming along this time doesn't mean I won't keep my eye on you," he announces, and Hanabi suppresses the urge to roll her eyes.


"Rejected?" Konohamaru says with disbelief. "Are you sure?" To his dismay Moegi nods in affirmation.

"You're positive they weren't intercepted by her father or her cousin?" he asks hoping for an explanation.

"Unfortunately not. The delivery boy verified Hanabi's assistant Yuko was the one who signed the slip and she was the one who asked they be sent back after summoning Hanabi for an answer."

"Oh man," Konohamaru murmurs, head in his hands.

"I'm sorry Konohamaru," she says feeling bad for him. "You gave it a good try."

"Yeah," he replies, deflated.

"Hey, I hate to bring this up now, but the delivery service wanted to know what to do with the package. They mentioned it came all the way from the Land of Waves, and since you weren't around when I was speaking to them, I agreed to having them drop it by your house. I hope that was okay."

"Yeah, whatever," he says sorely. "I'm just bummed."

"I'm sorry it didn't turn out like you'd hoped," Moegi tries to sympathize. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

"No, but..."

"What?" she asks.

"If it's not to much to ask, would it be okay after our shift is over, just to head home? I think I just need a little time to clear my head and be by myself for a bit."

She looks at the clock and notes their shift ends in 2 minutes. "Sure. Tell you what. I'll finish up here and submit our report. Here's your phone back. I already see our back up coming, so you're good to go now."

Thanks, Moegi," Konohamaru tells her, disappointment written all over his face. With that, she pats him on the shoulder and watches him go. Heartbreak is never an easy thing to witness.


Donning a cloak over her yukata, Hanabi slips on her sandals and heads out toward the weapon's store. After she's sure Neji isn't tracking her, she detours straight for a certain Jonin's home. She's decided they'll be no more skirting around the issue. The Hyūga is determined more than ever on finding out what his true intentions are. She no doubt likes him, but if he doesn't feel the same, she'll leave it at that. A rejection will be embarrassing but it's due time to put things out on the line. Knocking briskly on his door, she waits impatiently.

On the other side of said door, Konohamaru recognizes her chakra signature and stalls. This is likely a confrontation over a misread signal on his part and he hesitates. Several seconds pass but she knocks again. He knows he can't leave her waiting outside, so he takes in a deep breath and finally answers.

"Hey," he greets.

"Hey, yourself," Hanabi retaliates, as she walks past him.

Surprised, he hesitantly closes the door then turns to face her. Instead of conversation though, uncomfortable silence seizes the air. That is, until Hanabi speaks.

"Konohamaru," she begins sternly. "You knew today was International Flower Day."

Konohamaru looks away, embarrassed by his actions. "Yes," he tells her, leaving her confused and a little taken aback. But when he doesn't say anything further she continues.

"I'm probably going to regret this but... here goes...Konohamaru, I'd like to think that you kinda liked me," she tells him, but when he says nothing, she frowns. "All right," she finally breaks down and admits, "I won't lie. I asked a few of your friends behind your back so I could be sure, but... dang it, I guess they misread you," she says, clearly irritated. "Anyway, the sad part is... I like you," she tells him directly, and he looks up at her shocked. "Don't worry, though, now that I know it's not mutual, I promise I'll leave you alone," she finishes.

"Huh?" Konohamaru manages, dumbfounded.

"It's okay. It's not necessary to say anything. I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable or anything." There's a pregnant pause, so she readies herself to go. "Anyway... I best leave now so it won't get awkward. The next time we see each other though, I hope we can still be friends."

"Friends?" he says in disbelief. "But...but...what about...?"

Just then, the doorbell rings and he stands there tongue-tied and frozen.

"Are you going to get that?" Hanabi asks him, but all Konohamaru can manage is to glance toward the door then back at Hanabi, so flustered no words exit his mouth. "Since I'm heading out anyway. Let me help you out," Hanabi offers, as she walks over to answer the door.

"Sarutobi Konohamaru?" a delivery boy asks in greeting.

"Right over there," she indicates, "but he's..." she frowns trying to figure out what's wrong with him. "... a little preoccupied," she tells the delivery boy, confused with his odd behavior.

"Are you willing to sign for this package then?" the delivery boy asks.

"Sure," she says, scribbling her signature on the sheet.

"And your name for... verification purposes." the delivery boy explains.

Hyūga Hanabi," she says as he jolts to attention.

"Wait a minute. Aren't you...?" But then he remembers how much time he's wasted just trying to make this one delivery and shuts his mouth. "Never mind. Anyway, miss," he says tamping down his curiosity to get back on track with his schedule. "Thanks and have a good day."

"You too," she returns, closing the door and bringing the box over to Konohamaru. "Package delivery for you," Hanabi tells him.

"No."

"No?" she puzzles. "What do you mean no? I just accepted this package for you."

Konohamaru shakes his head. "No. Not for me. For you," he finally brings himself to say. "Look at the name on the box."

Surprised, she finds he's right. The box she's holding is indeed addressed to one Hyūga Hanabi. How can that be?

"Wait a minute," she says aloud as vague recollection comes into play and things start to click. "Is this that onion box?" she asks seeing the onion emblem on the side.

"Onion box?" Konohamaru asks, confused, until he sees the label on the side of the box from the farm it came from. "Hanabi," he asks, "did you even bother to open this box?"

Looking at her serious friend, she suddenly feels small. "Uh...not exactly. I never ordered any onions, so when Yuko told me about it's arrival, I did the only logical thing and sent it back."

"Sent it back?" He shakes his head. "Oh, Hanabi..."

The Hyūga looks affronted and tries to swim through the confusion. Konohamaru softens looking at her, and gathers his wits to proceed with what he should have done all along.

"I...I wanted to deliver these in person but I was too afraid," Konohamaru confesses. "I had no idea you didn't open the box. I just thought you flat out denied me."

"Denied you?" Hanabi questions. "What's this all about?"

"Just open it," Konohamaru tells her.

Ripping through the cardboard tab, she lifts the cover and finds three odd bulbs with shoots of colorful flowers popping out.

"Oh wow!" she exclaims. "What's this?" She's never seen anything like these before.

"These are Allium Shubertii and Everylasting Allium," Konohamaru shares. "They're relatives of the onion family, but very different. These produce these dainty flowers. I'm sure you can easily see why they are known as the firework flower in the Land of Waves," he tells her.

"Oh Konohamaru, they're so delicate looking and really beautiful," she says in awe. "Did you...?" She flips the box top back and sure enough they're ordered from a foreign onion farm, way out in the Land of Waves. "You stinker, Konohamaru..." she says.

He chuckles at that. That's punny Hanabi alright. "Read the note," he insists.

She fishes for the small white envelope within the box with her name on it, and eagerly opens it so she can read the message.

Hanabi,

I wish I were brave enough to do this in person but as you've probably discovered, I'm not quite there yet. You're a friend who keeps my on my toes and I very much enjoy your company. When you mentioned you would be open to receiving a flower on International Flower day, I did some research and came across these flowers I couldn't resist ordering for you. They are Allium Shubertii and Everlasting Allium. Their blooms last all year long and the moment I laid eyes on them, they reminded me of fireworks, and of course, you! Colorful and beautiful. Please accept this gift as a token of my feelings for you, and if you feel the same, call me.

Yours if you'll have me,

Konohamaru

Hanabi's mouth drops.

"You'd probably say this is old-fashioned, but I sent them hoping you'd accept them and agree to have me over so I can plant them for you. Then...uhhhh, maybe if I...well if I proved myself worthy, you'd agree to accompany me on an outing, sorta like a... date?" His cheeks color as he turns away in embarrassment, heart beating a mile a minute.

"Oh Konohamaru," Hanabi says looking up to him, feeling stupid but a little relieved. "You are definitely old-fashioned."

His shoulders slump with disappointment and embarrassment at her comment.

"But in a very sweet sort of way," she follows up. His eyes snap up to look at her and he perks. "So..."she shifts from side to side.

"So?" He looks hopeful.

"Yes, I accept your gift," she smiles.

"Yes?" he questions. And then it hits him. "Wait. You said yes?" he sputters.

She nods.

It takes a moment but soon emotions overcome him as he takes in the news. "She said yes!" he then yells happily as if telling the world, and comes over to lift her small frame up and twirl her around as she laughs at his antics.


"Hinata? Hinata!" Hanabi calls frantically. "Oh there you are," Hanabi says catching up to her sister on her way out to the gardens. "Guess what?" she eagerly asks, bubbling with excitement. "Someone gave me an onion plant!"

"An onion plant?" Hinata questions. "Goodness, who in the world would do that?"

"Konohamaru," Hanabi announces proudly.

"Konohamaru?" Hinata questions, a bit taken aback and trying to make sense of the gesture.

"Well... it wasn't exactly and an onion plant. It was... Allum? I mean Cerium. No," she corrects, pursing her lips and thinking hard.

"Allium?" Hinata offers in understanding, as a tiny smile peeks through.

"Yeah, I think that's it. Anyhow, the firework flower plant he gave me is in the onion family and he picked it especially for me. Plus, do you know what? I said yes!" she announces.

"Yes? Yes to what?" Hinata asks, curious.

"Konohamaru said he'd come over one day to help me plant it and then...maybe, if he's brave, he can ask otousan(father) for permission for a date."

Hinata smiles remembering Naruto's nerves the first time he faced her father.

"Don't tell Neji but...but I think I may have just snagged myself a potential boyfriend," Hanabi perks. "Your wedding isn't that far off so maybe if I'm lucky, I'll have someone special to bring then!"

Hinata smiles at the assumption, tickled with the excitement that her little sister is growing up.

"That's great news!" she celebrates, and pulls Hanabi in for a hug, savoring their hard earned closeness.

Oh Konohamaru, you may soon have your hands full, but I'm really happy for you! Hinata thinks to herself.

All at once her smile grows even bigger when she reflects on Hanabi's last words and what they'll likely mean for a certain over protective cousin.

Oh goodness, Ni-san! Thoughts of how frazzled Neji was at her in the past comes to mind. Hinata represses the urge to giggle out loud. And you thought I was bad? Brace yourself! It appears your humdrum life may have just gotten a bit busier than you'd thought. With this latest news, it certainly looks like it's going to be quite the year for you!

~The end


In my head, this is the story that comes before "Hanabi's Handiwork." Their world would have been a wee bit better and much more fun with Neji in it, (at least in this context) don't you agree? I hope you enjoyed it.

Fun fact: For those unfamiliar, firework is Hanabi's namesake in Japanese and to me, Allium flowers produce delicate little starbursts of color fitting to represent her.

Reminder: Stories are gifts from the heart. Please share your feedback after reading. Also, since this story is being published for the Show Me the Love 'Flower' Challenge, I invite you read and review stories from the other authors participating in this challenge: AirashiSakura, BloodPokemon101, Lumiere de Venise, mississippimudpiecraves, MLLu, naash, Pandisushiroll, usagi-no-utsuki, and Yengirl. To everyone on this list, thank you very much for your participation. I really appreciate it!

Lastly, for those who don't know, International Flower Day today is celebrated on January 19th each year, so here's to wishing each and every one of you a Happy Flower Day. Take care everyone and I hope the New Year is a good one for you. By the way, should I get motivated again, I may consider hosting a May 2021 Show Me the Love Challenge. Feel free to review and/or PM me if you're interested, and stay safe and healthy during the Pandemic.

~Fanofthisfiction