Title: A Fateful Meeting

Title: A Fateful Meeting
Rating: K+ (10)
Anime: Naruto

#--...--#
Choji

It was rather pathetic to watch. The poor kid sat holding his belly and groaning with deep hunger pains that could be felt vibrating through the earth itself. It was typical. Choji had missed a meal.

The kid was well known in these parts for being a big eater. Actually, it was a trait that ran through his entire family. Nobody knew why, but that family was probably one of the biggest bunch of ninjas you could imagine to see, especially here in the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Something about their family trained abilities made eating an important factor to their every day existence. Still, non the less, it was a sad sight to behold.

His back rest against the back wall to a cheap but decent restaurant. He had attempted to get in earlier, but to his misfortune, he had forgotten his money. He was to weak from hunger to turn back around and make it all the way home, so instead, he slumped over in his pitiful position trying to convince the restaurant chef to take pity on him and just give him something, anything to eat.

Everybody knew better. What a small something is to Choji would be ten meals to any normal ninja.

So Choji sat dealing with each and every rumble of hunger by wincing and groaning.

Ryo sat a hundred yards away in a roman shop watching as he tried to convince those who passed by to buy him so food to fill his hunger.

Each was refused.

Ryo sighed with sympathy as she picked at her ramen. Maybe sympathy isn't the right word. Ryo didn't really know what it was like to be hungry, she wasn't one to eat often and the little food she did it could satisfy her for days. A habit she had picked up from learning to eat on a low

budget. None the less, she felt sorry for the kid.

Ryo and Choji didn't really know each other. In fact, they had never spoken to each other. The only reason she knew his name is because he was singled out as the fat, not-so-quick kid in class, just as she was singled out as the not-so-fun kid. There had been one point where they almost spoke. They were placed on the same team for a training exercise in class, but even than the team leader did all the talking.

The train of thought stopped as Ryo noticed to kids stopped by Choji, talking to him. One was a girl with long blonde hair. Ino. An easy one to remember for being a well known Sasuke fan. The other girl Ryo couldn't remember the name of, but she wore her hair in a short cut, and it was brown. Maybe there was some hope for the kid after all.

Their voices, well, Ino's voice, could be heard from where she stood.

"What is your problem Choji? You know, if you didn't eat so much you wouldn't have this problem to begin with."

"But, I can't help it. I just, I get so hungry."

"That's your own problem Choji. You shouldn't be giving into your hunger, you should be controlling it. You will never get anywhere in life if you let your hunger control you like this. How do you expect to be a great ninja?"

If Choji answered his voice was too low to hear from where Ryo sat. But no one could miss the pained expression that crossed his face. That was a look that could be miss construed as many things, but there were some that recognized it. All the failures and times where hunger had gotten in the way of his training crossed his mind all at once and he felt like a loser. That's what he had been led to believe anyway. Everyone saw him as the fat loser.

Unaware of any of this Ino went on, "Just think about it. All those who are top of our class and all the strongest ninja have had a great similarity. Control. They know how to control the habits and desires that could get in the way of them being great. Like my Sasuke. Now Sasuke has perfect control, perfect balance, he knows how to get things done. Not like you. You would do well to take a lesson from Sasuke and be more like him." And with those last words she left in a satisfied I-know-what's-best expression resting upon her face.

The girl with brown hair turned to Choji before following Ino "She's completely right Choji. Stop thinking of your stomach for a change and focus your priorities."

Their words had left a bigger pain on Chojis mind than the hunger had. It was easy to see. And the sadness that coursed through his mind shown all too well through his eyes. It really was a pitiful sight.

"Have a good day!" The ramen shop owner called out to Ryo as Ryo took off, out the curtained door way.

The convenient shop was around the corner. Not that far a walk from the roman shop, but they were pricey. Ryo couldn't afford much here on her budget so she tried to make a habit of simply passing by this place, but today she had happened to notice that they were having a sale.

"One bag of barbeque chips, please." Ryo passed the money for the chips and took off before the cashier could return the small amount of change.

Of course, he was still sitting against the wall once she got there and as far as things looked, no one else had stopped to talk to him. Choji had also stopped begging people for money or food. The obvious expression of defeat rest within his eyes. It was depressing.

"Hey," Ryo stopped two feet away beside him.

He looked up, staring straight into her eyes. No glimmer of hope even crossed through the dull sparkle in his eyes. However, confusion did manage to fill his face for a moment. He didn't seem to remember her well.

"Uh, Shogai Ryokan, right? You're in my class?"

So he did remember her. She was surprised.

"Most just call me Ryo. Here," She tossed the bag into his lap "I accidentally grabbed a flavor I don't like. So, I thought you might like them."

Choji stared at the bag than up at Ryo, extreme happiness taking over the depression that filled him before.

"Thank you so much." And without hesitation, the bag was open and he was attacking each chip with the most delicate of care, as if each little flake held his life within its folds.

"Er, just, don't think anything of it. See you around Choji." Ryo scratched the back of her head and turned away before feeling even more embarrassed.

Ryo grinned to herself as she turned a corner and saw Choji stand up and stretch, empty bag in his hand. What a strange way to meet somebody, was the only thought that crossed her mind as she walked the streets filled with unnamed faces.

#--...--#

Heh, and that is the first short story to A Fateful Meeting. Don't hate on it too much, it has been a while since I have written anything and my skills have become a little rusty. Anyway, I know that it sucks. Later when my skills get back I'll re-write it to be acceptable. Until then, later.