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25 February 2007 @ 02:26 pm
[Log] [Cookies Are Bad] [Ino and Chouji] [Closed]  
Backdated to somewhere around V-day. X3



Whether it was Shikamaru's mom or Chouji's mom, both of their voices reached decibels that could make someone's ear bleed even over the phone. After having called Chouji's mom just to say hi and see how everything was going and casually mentioning all of the girls in his class who seemed interested in him, Ino was getting the longest lecture of her natural born life.

-- my son is the most loyal and has loved you since--

"I know, I didn't say that—"

--even if those girls ARE better cooks--

"ARGH, that's not even—"

--and furthermore, you are going to be his bride and he would NEVER—

"Wait! Can I at least get one word—"

The conversation continued like that until Ino could calm her down and explain that no, she hadn't meant anything by it and yes of course she still was dating Chouji. Sigh. What a tiring life.

Chouji had become accustomed to coming back and seeing Ino on the phone. It was just a girl thing, is all. He was not, however, used to hearing her in a shouting match with what sounded like someone's mother (did she have to have the receivers sound up that high?).

"Ino? What're you yelling about?"

He plopped down the bag of groceries he'd brought in, staring at her. Something gave him a bad feeling.

Is that Chouji? Tell him to—

Picking up a piece of paper, Ino crinkled and rubbed it against the receiver of the phone. "Oh sorry Auntie we're breaking up, I can't hear you!"

But what--

CLICK.

"That was your mother," she slumped tiredly. "I think she broke my ear drum. Did you go food shopping?" Ino craned her neck to look at the bags. "For me?"

Chouji frowned some more. She'd been fighting with his mom?

"...Yeah, I got some fruit for you. And some more chips 'cause I was running low." He pulled out the bag of apples he'd bought and set them on the table. "Why were you fighting with my mom?"

Usually when they fought, that meant nothing but Bad Things were going to be on their way.

"I made some silly offhanded joke about how the girls in your class are in love with you and she thought that I was breaking up with you or something. You know how she can overreact," Ino picked up the apples and put them in the refrigerator. "It was something stupid. She pretty much cooled down about it but I was tired of getting lectured."

Chouji just stared at her. If his mother could overreact, Ino made that seem like nothing.

"If you're bothered because I got some cakes, you can say it. You don't have to complain to my mother." It wasn't like he asked for them or anything. But he was in class with chefs--they always made extras to give to other people. He made his extras for Ino and Shikamaru.

She scowled at him, putting her hands on her hips defensively. Why did he have to turn it around and make her seem like a crazy one? Okay… so maybe she was being a little bit crazy but she had a reason to be this time! "I was not complaining about you! And you know how I feel about it. 95% of your classmates are girls. Girls make guys food to impress them. How would you like it if guys were buying me diamond rings and stuff like that?"

There. Finally she said it. It had been building up for days, torturing her as she eyed the boxes of sweets and tried to bake. It had cost her the feeling in her fingers and her oven still hadn't recovered.

Wait, what? "Cakes aren't the same as diamond rings, Ino." Where did she get these ideas from? "And I didn't ask for these. They're just food, Ino. ...Good food, but still just food."

He would be the first to admit that food was one of his greatest loves, but there were limits even for him. Nothing could be above Ino or Shikamaru. Especially not these treats.

"To you they might as well be! Girls are manipulative and sneaky! They want to show off their cooking skills and win you over by using your love of food. And I know it won't work but it still makes me mad," she said begrudgingly. Of course it wouldn't work. Even if Chouji loved food she had to rank higher on his Love list than cookies. Even is pretty girls were making them.

… right?

Why have I been cursed with such beauty but no talent in the kitchen? she thought despairingly. I guess a girl can't have everything in life.

Chouji sighed. He knew Ino meant well, he did. And it made him happy that she cared so much. But the jealousy wasn't something he knew how to handle, and it just frustrated him. Which, really, wasn't the best way to handle Ino, because she would just turn that around and get even more frustrated at him.

"I'll never think of them like that." From Ino, yes, but not from them. Even if she couldn't cook, he knew how much feeling she put into the food. ...It didn't take away the bad taste, but it did matter. "Really."

"I know that but I can't help but act childish when it comes to this sort of thing," Ino said with a pout and went back to stand next to him. "You never get jealous. Even that time Shikamaru kissed me you sort of just shrugged it off because he was lonely or whatever." Growing flustered, the blonde just flailed a bit. "It doesn't even matter, I'm just being stupid. It's just because it's getting close to Valentine's Day and I can't really cook you anything and it's sooo annoying because all of the girls make guys chocolates."

Was that what she was upset about? That he didn't get jealous? He'd thought jealousy was supposed to be a bad thing.

"I'm sorry? Shikamaru wouldn't ever do anything, though. He's my best friend, and I trust him. I trust both of you." He shrugged. "We've always been together. And it doesn't matter if you can make chocolates or not, I'd like anything you did because it's from you."

"And you never reach first to hold my hand in public and you always blush when we do," Ino continued. "And I always have to make the first move over everything. Sometimes I feel like we're just two friends hanging out who occasionally have sex." As long as she was saying what was bothering her, she might as well let it all go. These things, for the most part, she had kept quiet about shockingly. Chouji was just so infinitely calm about everything and sometimes it grated on her nerves because why was she the only one getting upset about these things?

Maybe she had invested more into this relationship than he did. The more she analyzed it the more upset it was making her. Ino hated feeling so insecure about this—she wasn't an insecure person… usually. Relationship stuff just threw her for a loop sometimes. How was she supposed to handle these things?

More importantly, how could she throw herself at his feet and beg him not to leave her? It was pathetic.

...Ouch.

"...You think that?" His voice was deceptively calm, but only because he was working hard not to lose it. He'd liked Ino since they were children, had loved her for years, and she thought they were friends with benefits? What did she want him to do? Pin her to a wall and kiss her senseless where everyone could see? That was a private thing.

...Although he did have to admit he'd been shy about starting things lately. He hadn't meant to hurt her though!

He didn't realized he'd grabbed a bag of chips until there was a loud POP and potato chips were flying everywhere from the exploded bag.

In a room that was so quiet, the popping bag sounded like a bullet had been shot at them. Clutching at her heart, Ino panted and attempted to get her pulse back under control. Jeez, he could give someone a real heart attack. "That's what it seems like," she said, trying not to sound teary. Ino did not cry. She was strong. Even when she was fired or her parents forgot her birthday or when people wore white after Labor Day, she did not cry. "I don't even know what to think!"

Was she really a very demanding girlfriend? Probably. But what else could Chouji expect? It was just her personality. He had to know what he was getting himself into.

"I've never thought of you like that!" His voice was rising despite all attempts to keep it down. He tossed the broken bag away and instead clenched his hands into fists.

He knew she was hurt. Knew she wasn't trying to hurt him. But dammit!

"What do you want me to do, Ino?"

Turning away from him fully, she focused on the toaster. It was hard for her to look at him when he was angry or upset and it was her fault because she was never satisfied, was she. Here Ino had the best thing in the universe but she still wanted more, more, always more. Was it so wrong, though, to want to be loved? Not just guess or have it hinted at but really be shown that she was loved?

When she was younger she had everything money could buy. But she never had her parents there when she wanted them. Ever. They were too busy doing their own thing, remembering they had a daughter last minute. She just didn't want to be tossed to the side or forgotten. "Just… hold my hand more in public," Ino said lamely, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand quickly. "That's it."

Chouji hesitated only a moment before going over to Ino and wrapping his arms around her tightly, hugging her close and kissing the top of her head.

"I'm sorry. I'll do that. I'll do anything you want." He'd upset her, made her sad and that was unforgivable. He'd hurt anyone who did that to her or Shikamaru, he knew he would. It wasn't acceptable for him to do it, either.

Ino meant more to him than anything.

"I want you to want to do that. What are you embarrassed to be seen with me or something?" she asked, words muffled against his shirt. The hand holding had only been one thing but she supposed it would be the easiest for Chouji to understand. Ino wanted to be treated differently than any other girl in his life. Wasn't that her right as his girlfriend? Or had she just watched too many romance movies?

It had been too long since he held her like this. She forgot how nice it felt. With all the stress from work and school both of them hadn't really had a chance for down time. It was all of that stress that had finally broken her down. As put together as she seemed there were times when even Ino couldn't always be strong.

"I want to. I wanna make you happy." And honestly, he wasn't sure why he was embarrassed. It could be because he'd never really been in any relationship before being with Ino. Who wanted to go out with a big guy anyway? Or be seen snuggling and kissing in public? But if that's what she wanted, he could do that for her. he liked doing those things with her, too.

"...I'm sorry for making you upset."

How could she be upset when he said things like that? Chouji really did have a way of making everything all better. He genuinely was a nice guy, wasn't he. Finally gathering the courage to look up at him, she shook her head. "I'm not… really upset with you. Not even hand holding or anything like that, I just don't want you to be embarrassed, even when we're alone. I mean come on, we've seen each other during our most embarrassing teenage and adolescent moments. There's nothing to be embarrassed about now."

Chouji had been there when she had braces and got her first training bra. There was nothing sacred now. "I also just don't want you to get tired of me and leave."

"Heh, I don't think you ever have to worry about that." He hugged her tighter and rocked back and forth slowly. "I'm not going anywhere." He hadn't been, even since he was little.

And it was true, that being embarrassed was a moot point now. If he'd survived her teasing about when his voice started cracking or that one time he'd tried to shave and had little bandages all over his face, this was nothing. And everyone knew they were together--he made no show to hide it.

"How is it you always say the one thing that I really want to hear?" she asked amusedly, wrapping her arms around him. It was what Ino had wanted to hear her whole life—that she was worth sticking around for and wasn't going to be left aside. She did feel lighter, better than she had in a few days. Even if the world was against her and she lost a thousand jobs at least she had Chouji to come back to.

"Kiss me. Right now."

He didn't need much encouragement to follow that order. And he had a little fun, adding the element of pinnage to it by pressing her up against the fridge (careful of the handles, of course). Ino wanted him to prove how much he cared, well...

No holds barred, or whatever the saying was.

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