Title: Denial: Not just a river of meatballs
Characters: Shiranui Genma, Namiashi Raidou, Yamashiro Aoba
Notes: Bio-fic. This story is a little more than ten years old, now, and it’s still funny — at least to me and "Rai".
The party was in full swing, with half the room cackling over Nightmare Before Christmas, and the other half trying to convince themselves that they were subtly concealing their favourite platters on the food tables. There were no fights, yet, and no-one’s jealous girlfriend was crying in the bathroom. Genma and Raidou surveyed the room and congratulated themselves on a party well thrown.
As Genma started to get distracted by the movie, Raidou elbowed him and pointed, wordlessly, to Aoba. The fool in the brightly coloured sunglasses was devouring a plate of… No, that couldn’t be right, Aoba didn’t eat tofu. In fact, Aoba had gone on passionate rants about the many reasons that tofu was not really food. Genma blinked and raised an eyebrow at Raidou, who nodded and snickered in reply. Aoba was cramming his face with Genma’s specialty — spicy tofu-balls.
This was just too good, he decided. It was too easy. Genma stood up from the couch and crossed the room, and Raidou followed. "Hey, Aoba, I’m glad you’ve finally decided my cooking’s tolerable."
Aoba ecstatically pointed at the platter of tofu-balls. "Man, you make awesome meatballs. I didn’t know you made meatballs."
Genma could hear Raidou desperately suppressing a mad cackle, behind him. "I, ah, don’t make meatballs, Aoba. Never did, never will."
There was a long pause as Aoba looked blankly between the two of them and attempted to figure out what he was missing. "I thought you said you made these."
"I did." Genma smirked, twitching the senbon in the corner of his mouth, and Raidou struggled to keep a straight face.
A terrified grimace spread across Aoba’s face. "What am I eating?"
Genma reached out and snagged a tofu-ball from Aoba’s plate with his senbon and ate it, just to reassure him that he hadn’t been poisoned. "Spicy tofu-balls. It’s an old family recipe."
Raidou allowed a snicker to escape him as Aoba looked from the two of them to his plate to the platter on the table and back. Aoba seemed to be struggling with the idea that he’d been eating tofu and liking it. After about a minute, Genma began to worry that Aoba’s brain had melted and was going to start running out his ears.
Aoba finally clapped a hand on Genma’s shoulder and looked him in the eyes, intent on doing the jounin equivalent of sticking his fingers in his ears and going ‘la-la-la’. "You make great meatballs, man."
Genma and Raidou collapsed into helpless laughter as Aoba made his way back to the food table for another plate of tofu-balls.