Kokoro

Mind, Heart, Spirit

Love.

Really the artist nin was beginning to wonder the true meaning to the word.

If you were to ask all sorts of different people off the street they'd all give you different definitions. But not a single one was definite. And this bothered him because he wasn't sure if he was in love. It felt like he was, but he wasn't too sure. Who could be sure when you were around someone like Chika?

X

Flashback

Sai wanted to get away from Naruto and Sakura after they returned from their failed attempt at bringing Sasuke Uchiha back. He sighed, his normal smile gone from his pale lips as he trudged through the streets of Konoha. Thoughts of Chika filled his mind. He realized, lately she was the only thing on his mind. Her cheery disposition intrigued him, and he really wanted to spend more time with the girl. Just thinking of her made him excited to see her again. He found his black eyes wandering for her light brown hair in it's unique style atop her head.

"Sai-kun!" A cheery, seemingly female, voice called. Sai smiled. The very woman on his mind was jogging to walk beside him. "There you are!" She sighed and giggled nervously. Sai smiled and raised a black brow at her.

"You were looking for me?" He sounded shocked. Though he shouldn't. It was obvious the girl liked him very much. Chika nodded enthusiastically with a wide grin and held out a small wrapped package. "What's this?" Sai asked as he took the small black box. Chika giggled in response.

"A present," She stated bluntly. Sai opened his mouth to ask why she was giving him a present but she beat him to it. "I just saw it and thought you would like it." She clarified, biting her lip in anticipation as Sai's fingers touched the gold ribbon holding the box closed. "Go on!" She urged.

Sai smiled at her before gently removing the ribbon and started opening the box. Inside was a paintbrush; a black paintbrush. Beautiful, detailed crimson dragons were imprinted on the sides. He gaped at the beauty of it, and then gaped at Chika. "Do you love it?" Chika nearly squealed, a small blush on her cheeks.

Sai nodded vigorously. "This is beautiful, Chika." He smiled brightly. "I've… never received a present as…sentimental as this." He spoke quietly, still in wonder of the brush. "I can't thank you enough. I'll always keep it with me."

Chika blushed a bit deeper now. "I'm glad you like it." She whispered, barely high enough for the artist-nin to hear. Sai smiled at her and took her hand and raised it to his lips.

"Arigato, Chika-chan."

X

Not to mention he confused himself even more when he added the affectionate suffix to her name. But she was so cute sometimes- so sweet- it was hard not too. He took the small black brush out of his pocket and examined it. What is this feeling? He asked himself with a small blush. I should ask Sakura-hag.

And when he did, she yelled at him, hit him, and told him he was an idiot, which didn't really help his situation at all. He sighed, rubbed his now sore head, and found himself trudging through the streets again. He remembered a few days after Chika had bought him the paintbrush. He, in turn, bought something for her.

X

Flashback

Sai absentmindedly walked through the streets of Konoha at night sometimes. Just to look at the stars, he figured. But tonight he was actually searching for something specific. He watched as merchants packed up their carts for the night and began cleaning around swiftly. Storekeepers swept and placed their 'closed' signs out. What was he doing? Walking around like he'd randomly run into Chika? He sighed once he noticed he had no clue where she even live. Way to go, Sai. He told himself sarcastically.

"Sai-kun!" That was her voice again, undoubtedly. How did she always find him first?

"Let me guess- you were looking for me?" He cut her off with a smile. Chika blushed and nodded no. "Good. Because I was looking for you."

"S-Sai-kun…" She stuttered. Sai smirked and took a small box out of his pocket.

"Open it." He ordered and handed it to her. The package was red and velvet feeling. Chika giggled as she shook it- almost like a child would with a Christmas present. She removed the bow and opened the lid. "Well?"

"It's…" It was a gold ring, simple, like a promise ring. Into it was embedded the word 'Kokoro'. The word was Japanese for mind, heart, and spirit. He didn't know why he'd ask the blacksmith to engrave that out of every other word he could think of. But he remembered his brother bringing it up once, so it must've meant something to him. "Wonderful." Chika finished with a breath as she slipped it on her ring finger.

"The word means mind, heart, and spirit. It was something my brother said a lot." Sai explained. Chika's grin widened and tears came to her eyes. Sai's eyes widened in worry. How had he made her cry?! "Wh-What's wrong?"

"This… is just… the best thing anyone's ever given me. It… I will cherish it for as long as I live." Chika moved closer to Sai and hugged him.

"Arigato, Sai-kun…"

X

He smiled fondly at the memory. Chika was a woman of many principles. But under that was a girl who just wanted affection. Any sort of affection he offered, she was all over it like a dog on a bone.

"Sai-kun!" And she'd found him yet again- wandering. He smiled again and turned to look right into her blue eyes. He blushed slightly and moved back a small step.

"How do you always find me first, Chika?" He just had to ask. It had been bothering him for a while that she always found him first.

"You were looking for me?" Chika asked in a small voice, her feet kicked the dirt nervously as she blushed.

"Sort of," He responded dully. "You see… I was thinking of you." Sai continued. Chika offered an 'Oh?' of interest and he nodded and went on. "Yes. You've been on my mind a lot lately. You, and two other words."

"Me and two other words?" She repeated as they began walking through the streets together. Sai nodded. Soon, he led her to the bridge where Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto would all meet their sensei. He jumped up on the railing and sat down. Chika mimicked his movements and watched him closely.

"You, kokoro, and… and ai." Sai responded. Chika smiled.

"Ai is Japanese for love." She noted with a large blush. He nodded at her with a smile.

"And it's been confusing me. I'm not the type of person who wear their emotions on their sleeve, so I think I'll just give you another present." Sai concluded. Chika nodded for him to give her his present.

"I'm waiting," She sang tauntingly. Sai chuckled and moved closer to her, his breath hitting her lips.

"Close your eyes." He whispered. Chika nodded with a small blush, her heart pounding. She held out her hands and was surprised when she received no present. She opened her eyes and mouth to ask Sai what was wrong. He responded by pressing his lips to her's in a soft kiss. She gasped, moving back as he smiled at her- unblushing.

"Arigato, Chika-chan."

Now, Sai knew what love truly was.

(This was a piece written for my friend Kerri, and her OC Chika. I think Chika and Sai are a great couple! Whoosh! Please review. But I won't blame you if you don't cause I never do! n.n)