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Underneath the Underneath by baldragnarok16

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Chapter notes: Disclaimer: I dont' own Naruto
Underneath the Underneath

It was not unusual for him to choose watching the clouds on a beautiful day with a bag of potato chips near him instead of playing with the other children his age. At first Iruka and the other teachers forced him to play, but they soon realized that he would not change his mind. And so, like the other students, the teachers just began to ignore what he was doing.

And so, on a beautiful autumn day, Akimichi Chōji lay under a maple tree eating potato chips while watching the sky through the multi-colored leaves while his classmates played ninja. With a sigh he closed his eyes as he leaned hi head against the rough bark of the tree, hoping to catch up on the sleep that he didn’t get the previous night. However, his attempt was thwarted by something roughly nudging him. He opened his eyes to glare at the person that disturbed him.

“Move,” the offender commanded, nudging Chōji with a sandaled foot. Chōji didn’t move, but instead observed the nudger.

‘Definitely not like the others,’ he thought. ‘Baggy pants and a sleeveless shirt; she’s definitely not one of Ino’s friends, they’re much more ‘civil’ than that. Well, she’s definitely not in my year, maybe she’s older?’ he asked himself, almost forgetting about the fact that the girl was still hovering over him.

“Are you still alive?” the girl asked, waving hear hand in front of his face. “I’m kind of playing a game and need to hide behind this tree,” she explained.

“Yeah,” Chōji answered. ‘She’s demanding...’

“So are you going to move?” the girl asked exasperatedly.

“No,” Chōji answered, a blank look on his face as he gazed directly into her eyes. “There are plenty of other trees here, go hide behind one of them,” he said. They then both heard a loud cracking noise nearby, which caused the girl to look worried and hurriedly turned towards back Chōji.

“Don’t move and don’t say anything,” she hissed in a threatening voice as she kneeled in front of him and pressed her mouth against his. Chōji’s eyes widened in surprise as he felt the girl kiss him; never before had any girl ever shown any kindness to him, nevertheless a kiss.

‘Does this mean she’ll be my friend?’ Chōji asked himself as he heard hurried footsteps; ninja players no doubt.

“A ha; I found you Tenten!” a boy declared as he ran past the tree, readying several wooden shuriken to throw at her. At least, he was until he saw what she was doing. Once he saw Chōji’s lips locked with Tenten’s he burst out into a fit of laughter. “Geez Tenten, I didn’t know you liked fatties!” the boy bellowed, which was accompanied by snickers from other boys who were hiding nearby.

As soon as he said this, Tenten released the shuriken she had hidden in her hand, hitting the laughing boy and several others in the forest.

“Come out guys; you’re captured,” she proudly declared as she stood up, not even glancing at Chōji.

“That was low Tenten,” growled the boy who had discovered her.

“All’s fair in love and war Akito,” Tenten answered with a shrug. “And anyway, a ninja should never let their guard down.” She then walked over to where Akito stood and collected the shuriken she had thrown at him.

“Hey look Tenten, your boyfriend is crying!” exclaimed another boy, struggling to suppress his laughter. Tenten then turned towards where Chōji sat, and frowned as she saw him stumble clumsily on to his feet and run away.

The opponents around her then all began breaking out into fits of laughter and began shouting insults at him.

“Shut up!” shouted Tenten, blushing a deep red. “Just shut up; it’s not his fault that he’s…”

“Fat?” asked Akito, smirking. “Then whose fault is it; mine? Yours? That would be like saying it’s your fault that you’re not pretty,” scoffed the boy while crossing his arms over his chest.

Tenten stormed away, leaving Akito doubled over on the ground and clutching his groin.

‘I didn’t think I would hurt him that much; after all, a kunoichi needs to use all of the weapons available to her, right?’ she asked herself, repeating the words told to her by her beloved older sister.

But something deep inside of her said that she had done something very wrong.

---

Chōji ran through the forest, away from the painful jeers and laughs, as he wiped his eyes with his shirt.

‘So, just like them, she just wanted to hurt me,’ he bitterly thought as he pumped his legs harder and clenched his eyes against the tears that had formed in his eyes. ‘Except instead of hurting my self-esteem, she hurt my pride.’ In his rush, he hadn’t noticed the rock in front of him, and soon enough he was laying on his stomach, panting heavily.

“I’m not a tool,” he whispered to himself as he got up on to his feet. “I won’t be used by anyone,” he whispered, clutching his hands into tight fists. It was then that he noticed that all of the jeering had disappeared, and the only sounds were of his own labored breathing. He stood like this for several minutes, trying to regain his composure. “I can’t loose my cool; it’ll only provoke them further,” he muttered to himself as he finally resumed walking. And then, out of nowhere, she appeared in front of him. He immediately glared icily at her and straightened his posture.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, not making eye contact with him. “I didn’t know that it would hurt you that much.”

“You were wrong,” Chōji answered. “Tools have feelings too, you know,” he muttered to her as he brushed past her

“Wait,” she pleaded as she grasped his shoulder firmly. “I want to make it up to you,” she said as he waited to hear her words. “I’ll help you with anything you want.”

“Would you be able to make them stop making fun of me? Or would you be able to make me lose weight without losing my clan’s bloodline?” he asked.

“No,” she answered sadly. “I can’t do those things,” she admitted.

“I don’t need your help then; I have everything I could ever want in life besides those things,” he answered as he turned to look at Tenten. ‘Are those tears in her eyes?’

“What if I told you that you’re wrong?” she asked with a smile on her face.

“Then I’d let you help me,” he answered, a wry smile on his face.

“I can see you, not just look,” Tenten stated. “I can see beyond a big-boned kid and discover who you truly are, if you let me.” For several minutes, there was merely silence between the two. “So? Was I right?”

“Yeah, you were,” he answered, embarrassed at being proven wrong; and about his own desires no less.

“I’m Tenten,” the girl introduced, smiling broadly.

“I’m Chōji,” he responded, returning her own broad smile with a small sincere one.

“All right then Chōji; from this day on I’ll be your girlfriend,” she announced proudly. Chōji merely gave her a confused an awestruck look. “Well, a regular friend can’t tell what type of person you are, and I bet you already have a best friend, so I decided on the only option,” she explained as she approached him and gave him a kiss like the one before. “And that’s for real this time,” she told him with a smile.

“Thanks,” Chōji responded, blushing. ‘Maybe I wouldn’t mind being a tool that much.’ “You know, you’re really pretty,” he complimented. This time it was her turn to blush. “I thought you said that a ninja never lets his guard down?”

At this they both started laughing as Tenten punched him lightly in the shoulder.

‘He seems like a good guy,’ Tenten thought during her fit of laughter. ‘Next time, though, I won’t make him cry as a tool; I’ll make him cry as a friend.’

Chapter end notes: Thanks for reviewing!! Please review.
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