Understanding Emotions

Sakura dropped her chopsticks, the ramen fell from Naruto's mouth and back into his steaming bowl. "I've started dating Ino and would like advice." Sai/Sakura

Author: Skipping.Alice

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

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Sakura dropped her chopsticks, the ramen fell from Naruto's mouth and back into his steaming bowl. Sasuke shifted uneasily, Sai continued eating watching everyone's reactions with thinly veiled interest. Sakura's mouth moved as if trying to form words, words that she couldn't seem to say.

"I've started dating Ino and would like advice." Sasuke repeated, still looking uncomfortable.

Naruto's slack-jawed expression only worsened, "but why?!"

"What do you mean, 'why'?"

"She--she's a bitch!"

Sasuke glowered, "shut up, loser."

Sai ignored the boys, wondering if he should follow the advice his books had given him; after all Sakura did look forlorn. Making his decision Sai leaned in closer to Sakura. "Are you feeling alright?"

"Hmm? Oh, yes!" She flashed him a smile, a fake smile at that. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"But--" he tried again, only to be interrupted by Sasuke.

"Sakura, you see...Well the real reason I brought this up was because I would like your advice."

Something flashed behind her eyes, Sakura smiled brightly nodding her head, "of course I will Sasuke!" She had left out the infamous, 'kun', no one had seemed to notice. Sai frowned; of everything his books had told him of emotions this was by far the most baffling. Sakura was pretending to be fine, of that he was sure, but why? Wasn't she over Sasuke?

The group, with a only a few more barbs between Sasuke and Naruto, returned to eating. Sakura's soft voice explained the kinds of things girls enjoyed, flowers, a nice date. And, she stressed, that he remember to be polite. She glared at Naruto as the words left her mouth, the boy continued to eat, small bits of ramen flying to and fro.

Sai wouldn't have been surprised if Sasuke had suddenly whipped out a note pad and began taking notes. Naruto had a dazed expression on his face, more than once his chopsticks missed his mouth and ramen sloshed down onto the counter.

The rest of the meal was spent with Sakura giving lessons about proper behavior while one was on a date (still glaring at Naruto). Sai soaked up her words, knowing he would never need the advice but still wanting it.

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Sakura fell limply to her bed, her breath leaving her lungs in a sound- woosh! Who knew, Ino-pig would finally win Sasuke after all these years. Sakura flopped onto her stomach, groping on her nightstand for her phone. Grasping it, she pulled the heavy old fashioned phone down.

Sakura sat up and pressed the phone to her ear, listening as it rang. "Hello? Ino's voice crackled over the line, wavering in and out.

"Ino, are you in the garden?"

"Oh, hey Sakura. Yeah, I am, why?"

Sakura laid down again, twirling the cord around her fingers. "Your breaking up." Ino cursed and after some banging and louder curses the crackling stopped.

"Better?"

"Better," Sakura affirmed.

Ino heaved a tired sigh, "you're calling about Sasuke, right?" She didn't give Sakura chance to answer. "Well, I'm a shocked as you. Today he just walked up to me and asked me out. I know, I know. You don't even have to say it. Sasuke was totally out of character."

"Hmm." Sakura bit her lip and frowned.

"So, how'd he tell you?"

"He asked us for advice."

Ino choked, "us? What do you mean, US?"

"Sai and Naruto were also present."

"Aww, damn it! With Naruto's big mouth it'll be all over by tomorrow." She grumbled and Sakura could hear her stomping about her house. The whir of Ino's fridge brought a smile to Sakura's face.

"Look, Ino. I know your depressed and all, but if you keep stuffing your face in the kitchen, you'll get fat."

Ino choked worse than before, spitting curses that would have made a sailor blush. "Shut up Sakura! At least I have a boyfriend!" Ino realized her mistake the second the words had left her mouth. "Oh--Sakura, I'm sorry."

"It's fine Ino." Sakura cut her off sharply. "I've got to go." Before Ino could continue on with her apologies Sakura slammed the phone back to the receiver. Sakura punched her pillow into submission and roughly pushed her head down on it, squeezing her eyes shut.

She lay there, tense and scrunched up for quite some time, finally giving up on sleep as she realized how silly she was being. The phone rang loudly in her ear, startling a scream from her. She picked up the phone her hands still shaking. "H-Hello?"

"Sakura-san?"

Sakura sat up, nearly yanking the phone cord from the wall, she tried not to sound as eager as she really was. "Sai-san? What's wrong?" Could this be the big break? Was this finally Sai coming out and having emotions?!

"Well...It's about your advice from earlier." Sakura fell sideways, banging to the floor. Sai looked at his phone in confusion. "Sakura-san? Are you alright?"

"F-Fine. Now, Sai-san, what did you want to a-ask."

"Well, when asking a girl about, you said a man has to be suave. I know what suave means." He rattled off the meaning of the word. "But...How can I be suave?" Sakura fell right back off her bed and the ground once more. "Sakura-san, are you sure your alright?"

"Are you asking me how to be suave?"

"Er, well, yes."

"Oh," Sakura rubbed her forehead, trying to piece together the best way to explain how to be suave. "I suppose it means you should spend extra time grooming yourself."

"Grooming?" he interrupted, sounding eager.

"Yeah...Um, making your hair look nice and wearing clothes that suits you best."

Sai murmured in understanding, she could picture him nodding his head. "I see. Sakura-san?"

"Yes?"

"Would you like to go out with me?" Sakura fell from the bed once more, twitching and staring at the phone in her hand in disbelief.

"Sai-san," she breathed into the phone, "that was not suave."

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I really love Sai, he's so fun to write with. Review and all that jazz.

Skipping.Alice