Title: Sai Doesn't Aprrove
Fandom: Naruto (by Masashi Kishimoto)
Character(s): Neji, Lee, Sai, Naruto
Genre: General, Humor
Word Count: 985
Notes: Request fic for berserkerm
Summary: Sai just doesn't understand.
Sai Doesn't Approve
Neji's muscles were aching as he sunk down to his shoulders in the steaming water. He was able to, for the most part, ignore the enthusiastic shouts from his teammate and focus solely on the feel of the hot spring.
"Oh, how this heavenly spring revitalizes our powers of youth!"
Lee sounded more like Gai every day. He groaned and rubbed his temples.
Ever since the encounter with the Akatsuki, specifically the monstrous Kisame, he had been pushing himself to his limit. The end results were headaches and torn muscles. But it bothered him. The Akatsuki was connected to something very important – something he was missing. And there was something about what he had seen beyond the rock wall – though he couldn't begin to explain it – that made his insides curl up like shredded bits of paper. Despite protests, Gai had refused, in a surprisingly serious manner, to cough up the secrets relating to the whole puzzle, despite the fact that his team had been the ones to fight the damned cult.
He leaned his head back against the rocks and resisted the urge to bang against them.
"…may join me and my comrade in this zestful spring!"
"Sure!" a chipper voice shouted. Neji heard a series of splashes, announcing Naruto's arrival. He smiled and raised his head.
"Naruto," he greeted.
"Hiya, Neji!" Naruto said enthusiastically, swimming over to loop an arm around his shoulders. "How ya been?"
Naruto had the uncanny ability to relax him, which was dichotomous considering Neji's uptight personality and Naruto's exhausting supply of joyous energy.
"Fine," he said, though it was practically a lie. "You?" He gripped the boy's wrist and shifted him onto his shoulder better.
"Just great!" Naruto crowed. "We just got back from eating ramen!" He rubbed his stomach for emphasis.
Neji craned his head around to look at the boy accompanying Naruto. He had seen him a couple of times before and heard about him from Tenten. Sai – Sasuke's estranged replacement. He let his eyes wander over the other, resting briefly on the mark on the other's deltoid and then up to his blank black eyes. As soon as their gazes met, Sai crinkled his eyes up and displayed a very fake smile.
"My name is Sai. Pleased to meet you."
He was the picture of politeness, but for some reason, his presence irked Neji – in a way similar to but not quite identical to the way Uchiha Sasuke irked him. Neji was about to reply, but an overly boisterous Lee beat him to it.
"Hello, friend Sai! I'm Rock Lee!" Lee pounded a fist once over his chest. "And this is my teammate, Hyuuga Neji!"
Neji contemplated snapping at his teammate to never introduce him so flamboyantly again, but he was distracted by Naruto's whisper.
"Lee gets more like Gai all the time, doesn't he?"
Neji hummed, agreeing. Naruto shifted off of him and settled back in the water.
"Ah…" he sighed, closing his eyes and rolling his shoulders around. "This is the life."
Sai drifted over to sit next to Naruto, squeezing in between him and Neji.
"Sai!" Naruto complained, shifting further away to make room. "Why couldn't you get on my other side, huh? It's too crowded that way!"
Sai looked confused for a moment, but masked it with a smile.
"I don't want him sitting next to you, Naruto-kun," he declared bluntly, smiling too sweetly at Neji for it to be genuine.
Lee blinked and displayed a ridiculous thumbs-up.
"Not to worry," he said with a sparkling smile, "my teammate Neji may not have the best of personalities, but he's a good guy. He's Naruto's friend, too!"
Sai's face took on a sharp look.
"I feel the need to test if his so-called friendships are valid," he said defensively.
Naruto looked ready to leap on the poor, unsuspecting boy, but to Neji's surprise, Sai flicked a hand back and caught Naruto's jaw, effectively clamping a palm over the wide, loud mouth. Neji knew what and who Sai was alluding to, but made no mention of the missing nin that had been Naruto's best friend. Naruto squirmed against Sai's grip, muffling obscenities through his hand.
Neji quirked a brow.
"And what makes you think you have that right?"
Sai wrinkled his nose.
"I just do," he said pleasantly.
Naruto broke free.
"Sai!" he shrieked, whapping the other boy across the head. "Neji and Lee aren't dangerous, okay? Sheesh!" He growled deep in his throat and crossed his arms.
Sai tilted his head and stared at Naruto.
"Sakura-san said that Lee was all right, but I need to watch out for the name Hyuuga," he stated boldly, as if this information would completely redeem him.
Naruto sighed in an over exaggerated way and cast Neji a look of apology.
"Sai," he huffed. "Please, just act normal."
Sai looked hurt for a split second but quickly regained his expressionless face. After a few seconds of awkward silence, in which he stared sourly at Neji, he turned back to Naruto and stared pointedly downward. Naruto rolled his eyes and pulled his legs close to his body.
"But Hyuuga's penis is huge," Sai said blankly, by way of explanation.
The dramatic pause that followed was punctuated by a rattling gasp from Lee.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Naruto roared, throwing a punch at his teammate and missing.
"Sakura-san told me that a Hyuuga liked you, and I don't approve because his penis is much too big for you. You'd rip."
Neji almost died right there. He thought about blurting out that it was Hinata with the hopeless crush, but a surge of brotherly protective feelings kept him from doing so. So he stared, mouth agape, and Naruto turned red with anger and embarrassment before walloping Sai more violently upside the head. It was the last time, Neji mentally noted, that he would ever bathe with Sai in the room.