Chapter 1 : Wake up call

It was a beautiful spring afternoon as it had been the past week. The usual chirping of birds in the trees, the distant mutterings of people going about their usual business as the morning sun drifted high into the sky , it's radiance sparkling down and reflecting off the clear windows. Or more specifically, reflecting off her window. A stray ray of light shone through, bouncing off her various stainless steel kitchenwares before landing squarely on her securely shut eyelids. She had fallen asleep on her kitchen table yet again for the third time this week as she sat there waiting for the kettle to boil, a mug with a lonely dry tea bag stuffed inside it still sitting in her loose grasp. Usually it would have only been a matter of time before the intensity of the light was enough to disturb her slumber but today, she did not even stir. Only her pink locks thrown carelessly over her face moved in rhythm with her deep breathing. It was almost a scary sight- one may have even imagined murder over her almost lifeless form but on a day so bright as today, no one would bother peeking through her top floor flat window. So she sat there, as still as a statue until the sun had finally hit its peak and an intruding shadow cast over her window.

On the rarest occasion when Sai would ever show any kind of genuine emotion was when he was surprised by an impromptu enemy attack or when a golden haired loudmouth explained pesky things called feelings (borne from natural human nature he himself was incapable of recognizing) as easy as breathing. So when Sai had stood by the small red bridge waiting for his teammate/friend/hag for over two hours drawing the drifting river beneath his feet with equal fluidity of his brush with no interruptions he was moderately surprised. If the hag was anything, she was punctual and if she was late it had a solid reason unlike the vague lies fed to him perpetually by his silver haired senpai.

Having filled a thick scroll with realistic images of the river, he finally set down his brush and watched the shadows of the trees surrounding him. By the angles of the shadows being cast, he could easily tell it was near midday- way past their arranged meeting hour. He did not click his tongue in annoyance, nor did he fret over her safety imagining impossible plans of kidnap and disaster like some did. He merely packed his brush carefully in his pouch and began walking to her flat, a distant "smile" constructed on his pale face.

Despite being skillful as a shinobi and teamed in the most famous team of the whole village, Sai was not known very well to the villagers. Old habits from his past ANBU days kept him naturally reserved about his real thoughts and intentions but the villagers thought otherwise. They were already wary of such traits since previous examples of naturally reserved personalities had caused nothing but pain and left naught but a trail of destruction. He unluckily suffered from vile precedence courtesy of the Uchiha brothers. Whether they assumed he would be yet another one of those disturbed quiet people or not was no matter of importance to him personally but he was aware of the effects this would have on the reliability and creditability of ninjas who made a living making deals with villagers to do their tasks for them. He rationally decided to take a leaf out of Naruto's book and plastered a friendly smile on his face. If this could be considered training, he was prepared to do it properly. The fact that after only 3 years of constant smiling in the exact same manner and degree of happiness gave him the adjective "creepy" a testimony of his diligence. Even today as he weaved his way between the villagers out grocery shopping, he gave them smiles, wondering all the same why people would consider him creepy. It made no sense to him at all. For all he cared anyway. Stepping up his pace, he made his way to the grey building in the distance.

The door was tightly shut and locked securely. The security man had remembered her trudging home. The bell buzzed loud enough for the next door neighbor to walk out in confusion but he heard no response. It was all very illogical that his teammate should not open the door and greet him under such circumstances. He knew from past experiences that 3 buzzes were enough to fly her into her infamous raging temper let alone wake her. Should he break in? That was something only a person as impulsive as Naruto would do. …Was that the natural humane response? But Kakashi senpai stopped Naruto from bombing her door open. So breaking in wasn't the right course of action to take? How had other people done this? Kakashi-senpai usually just sat outside waiting for the girl to wake up on her own, idly flipping through his book. Neji would use his bloodline limit to check if she were in the house and knock continuously like the mannered man he was raised to be until she opened. Sai had nothing but respect for Neji's perseverance and stamina to knock for a full hour. These were the better examples. More ninja like in their discreetness. Though it was discreet only when compared to Ino's preferred method. She would yell and threaten mercilessly at the door effectively waking everyone in the whole building including the subject of her rants. He was curiously confused and mulled over his options without realizing he had been contemplating on the subject for the past half hour at least before resorting to Shizune's idea of walking horizontally to the building's side to the only window the flat possessed and tapping or breaking it down. Putting his plan straight into action, he stepped onto the wall with thoughtless but practiced precision and easily walked around in search of the window. His gravity defying performance was earning him a few shouted remarks regarding his sanity but wisely choosing to block them out, he finally found the elusive window and crossed over to it. The distinct pink painted windowsill stood out from the other blandly colored windowsills, not to mention the smell of medicinal herbs growing thicker as he closed in proof he had indeed found the right window. He peered in and sure enough he saw a mass of pink sprawled over the table. He saw the mug in her hand quite empty and guessed she had fallen into deep sleep straight after returning home from a long grueling day of work at the hospital and felt the corners of his mouth twitch minutely. He dug for a kunai from his pouch and scratched at the edges of the lock but when the window creaked threateningly but did not budge, he decided to do this Naruto style, just how she likes it. Casting a black shadow as he stood over the window, he readied his position, shifting his weight on one foot before pulling back the other. He breathed in, then the next second, shoved his foot through the glass.

Hope you enjoyed this- I've rewritten it and hopefully will be writing a bit more consistently this time.

Best Wishes – Helst.