Cookie Shaped Hearts

Choji watched three young female rain nin walk past him. Only when he was behind them did one look back and giggle. Choji heard her friends start laughing and knew they were laughing at him. He sighed and finished the walk to his former sensei's house. He knocked on the door and stepped back to wait.

"Coming!" A familiar voice called.

While he waited he admired Kurenai's garden figure collection. When she went on missions she'd bring back a figure from whatever village she'd been to. Currently she was staying home on maternity leave. (If shinobi have that…)

Her 16 year old daughter, Anri, opened the door and smiled at Choji. She hugged him. "Hi, Choji!" She let go and stepped back and looked at him. "Did someone say something again?"

He nodded slightly and picked up a now fuming 16 year old.

"Choji! Put me down!" Anri tried to escape his hold, but ultimately failed.

Choji laughed and carried her inside. He kicked the door shut behind him and carried her to the kitchen.

Asuma and Kurenai passed them on their way out. Kurenai was pregnant, and they were headed to the hospital for a check up.

Asuma smiled at them. "We'll be back later. You two stay out of trouble."

Kurenai waved before she and Asmua left.

Choji set Anri down and smiled at her. "What are we making today?"

Anri grinned and handed him a recipe card.

Since Anri was 10, Choji came over every Friday and they would make something.

Choji read the recipe. "Cookies. These are pretty simple." He noted.

Anri shrugged. "I didn't really want something complex."

Choji understood what she really meant. She was worried about her mother. He smiled at Anri. "Don't worry. It'll be okay."

Anri returned the smile and started pulling out the ingredients they'd need. Choji watched her and remembered the first time they started baking. She was 10 and he was 13. She made him swear to a flour pact. They agreed to bake every Friday and only cry on Sundays. Choji had thought it was silly at the time, but it became one of his favorite memories.

Anri waves her hand in front of Choji. "Hello? Earth to Choji."

"Sorry. Is everything ready?" He asked.

"Yup. Here's your stuff." She handed him a bowl with a spoon and grinned. "Have fun." She picked up her own things and started.

Choji smiled to himself. They always made two batches of everything, so they'd know who was better at making what. He thought back to last week when they'd tried to make coconut cream pie. Choji's hadn't baked correctly, while Anri's was perfect. They'd turned the bad pie into a pudding and let it set. It turned out better that way. He laughed quietly to himself as he measured and mixed the ingredients.

Anri gave him a questioning glance then returned to her work, wondering why he was laughing.

Choji started mixing everything together. While he mixed, he slipped back into his memories.

When he was 16 he fell in love with Anri. She was making a cherry soda and stopped in the middle of it. "Choji, when we get older let's get married."

He had thought she was joking, so he agreed. She'd smiled and walked over to him and kissed him.

He blushed at the memory of the kiss. That was her first kiss and his second. Ino had kissed him once then told him after that she didn't like him at all. That was a bad memory. He pulled himself back to the present and finished the batter. He looked at Anri. She was waiting for him. "What's the next step?" He asked.

"Put it on the cookie sheet and flatten it. Then we make shapes." She handed him a dusted sheet and started flattening hers.

He watched her, then did his. Another memory floated to the surface. Anri was 11 and he was 14. Sasuke had found out that Anri had a crush on him and he humiliated her in front of everyone on a Sunday afternoon. She'd run home, crying. Choji was going to hurt Sasuke, but Anri was more important at that moment. He'd found her and comforted her. She never really talked to Sasuke after that. Choji looked at his mixture, it was flat and ready to be cut. He reached for one of the cookie cutter Anri had set out for them. His shape was a heart.

Heart shaped cookies. Choji thought for a minute, then got a very sweet idea. He set to work cutting the cookies and finished quickly. He waited for Anri to finish hers. When she did, he took both sheets and placed them in the oven and set the timer. While the cookies baked they both cleaned up the kitchen. Choji put away the ingredients and wiped the table and Anri washed the dishes. Soon after they finished the timer buzzed and Choji checked the cookies and pulled them out, one sheet at a time. He smiled at Anri. "Do you have any icing?"

She handed him a medium sized plastic container. "This was left over from the week before last."

It had three small compartments inside it, each with a different color. Pink, white and purple. Choji opened the container and set it beside the cookies to thaw. While the cookies cooled, Choji told Anri a fairy tale about a foreign princess, who loved cake. When he finished, the cookies were ready to be iced. Choji quickly iced each cookie white and wrote on them in pink. When he finished he went over to see Anri's. She used many different shapes and was having fun coloring them in. Choji watched her, enjoying the fleeting expressions she made for each cookie. Finally she finished and offered her hand to Choji, Her fingers had icing on them and she was sucking on her other hand.

He stepped closer and placed one finger to his lips. Anri blushed and looked away. Choji laughed and used his finger to wipe off the icing on her fingers. Anri giggled and washed her hands before looking at Choji's cookies. She looked at him, then the cookies, then him again. "You remember?"

He nodded. "Of course I do. I love that day."

Anri grinned and hugged him. "Yes, Choji I still do and I still want to."

Choji smiled and placed a sweeter than icing kiss on Anri.

Choji's Cookie Message:

I love you. Do you still 3 me? Do still want to get married? I do. (Only took 16 cookies out of 20)