N/A: I was going to call this story: Pigs and Emotions, but I figured I wouldn't read something with a stupid title like that, so I tried to think of something more profound...

-grins- I know it's short, but I had to get it out of my system! –sighs with relief –

Disclaimer: I don't own Ino and Sai (why, God, WHY?!) or any other Naruto character for that matter.

Beginning of Change


He turned his head to look at the girl who was interrupting his studies. He knew he'd made her acquaintance not long ago, but he just couldn't bring himself to remember her name. The book he was reading made it very clear that it was impolite to forget someone's name, so he tried harder. The ever-present smile on his face greeted her, as he decided to use the nickname he gave her instead. After all, girls seemed to be flattered by the acknowledgement of their physical attributes. Even when said attributes where less than impressive.

"Hello, beautiful."

She blushed heavily and he wondered how it felt like. He had read about blushing, of course, but he couldn't do it for some reason.

"What are you reading?" she wanted to know.

Finally, something easier to answer.

"It's called "Introduction into the human behavior". I find it very interesting." he told her.

She looked at him with a speck of admiration in her azure eyes.

"You know, most guys hate reading." she said.

He tried to figure out what she meant by that. It was a useless information, unless it carried some sort of hidden meaning. Did she want to say he was different from most guys? And if so, was this a good thing or a bad thing?

Sai sighed, defeated. This was so complicated! He'd rather be doing S-class missions instead of figuring out this "emotion" thing.

"I can't imagine why." he answered, not knowing what else to say. "Learning new things can always prove useful."

She nodded and he figured he should put the book aside, while talking to her. It said that it was rude to focus your attention on something else while having a conversation. For some reason though, she was avoiding eye contact with him and blushing heavily when his eyes caught hers. This behavior seemed strange to him, so he decided to investigate. If only he could remember her name...It was the name of an ugly animal of some sort...

"So, Sai-kun...are you getting along well with Naruto and Sakura?" she asked him.

"I'm starting to develop bonds with them. Sakura-san is very friendly for an ugly girl and..." he stopped abruptly, remembering that he should never expose his true thoughts about a girl's appearance. Now she was probably going to get mad at him.

To his surprise, she was smiling at him and seemed happy and amused at the same time.

How very odd. Naruto-kun and Sakura-san always get mad if I say something like that about either of them or about Sasuke-kun. I have to look into this matter.

Then he remembered something he'd read a couple of days ago. Women tend to be competitive with each other, especially when it comes to looks.

He felt wiser now that he unlocked another secret of women's behavior. It's so much more complicated than a man's! he noticed. If men get angry, they can just fight and get it over with, but if a woman gets angry with you – Lord have mercy.

Seeing how he'd stopped mid-sentence and she wasn't saying anything, he continued.

"Please, call me Sai. I'm not that fond of titles."

"Sai..." she said in an unsure tone. He didn't imagine it would be that hard, since he never gave names much importance. He was starting to get used to being called Sai, though. If only he could remember her name!

She took a deep breath, as if preparing to say something of grave importance. He was all ears.

"At first I thought you resembled Sasuke-kun." she started and he shrugged. She wasn't the first person to comment on their physical likeness. "But now I see you're very different." That caught his interest. His new teammates had also said he wasn't as cool as Sasuke.

"How so?" he asked, curious.

"He was always cold and detached...unreachable." she replied, her eyes somewhere far away.

And I'm not? Sai found himself thinking. Cold...detached...unreachable - seemed words perfectly fit to describe him.

"You're more..." she paused, searching for the right word. He looked at her intensely, wondering how she pictured him to be. Perhaps she saw the change he could not yet feel.

"...open." she finished, looking at him with a bright smile on her face.

In that moment, he understood why people said his smile was fake. She was smiling with her whole face. Her eyes were smiling, her nose, her cheeks and finally her mouth and that couldn't be faked.

I'm more...open? Perhaps I can change...maybe one day I will feel...like she does. And he smiled back at her, a true, sincere smile.

"I have to go now...I'll see you around, Sai!" she got up.

Before he could say anything in return, he saw his teammate approaching and looking rather pissed.

"Harassing Sai-kun now, are we, Pig?" Sakura spoke in a loud tone.

Pig? That's it! Her name is...

"Jealous, forehead girl?" the object of his thoughts replied heatedly, walking over to Sakura.

"As if!"


"I'll see you too...Ino." he called after her, softly.

Sakura looked at him, dumbstruck, but he wasn't paying attention. He had a hunch that Ino could teach him more than any book...

Sakura was now in front of him and he noticed that she looked at him as if her pride had been severely hurt.

Must remember to compliment all women equally to avoid getting hurt, Sai made a mental note.

A/N: I'm not sure when or if I'll continue this, but I'd appreciate it very much if you told me your opinions! Oh, and for those of you who didn't quite catch the point: Ino means wild boar XD