I'm finally ready to put this story up! It's been too long since I've written anything, and I really liked this and thought it was cute. I'm quite addicted to short fluffy one-shots, but this one didn't actually turn out as fluffy as I had intended.
Note: If you have been living under a rock and have no clue who Sai is, go to my profile. My icon is a picture of him.
I don't really see this as a romance, but more of a friendship fic. Some people might disagree with me, so I put romance as the genre anyway.
Sakura collapsed to the ground, completely worn out. "S-Sai..." she gasped. "I'm done, I can't go any further."
Sai looked up and flashed his adorable, yet fake, cat-like smile. "Alright," he said. "It is getting late, after all." The ANBU shinobi closed his sketch pad and rolled his blank scroll up. He screwed the lid on his ink bottle and wiped his paintbrush clean on the grass.
"You go on ahead," Sakura said. "I need a minute to catch my breath."
He shrugged. "Alright..." When Sakura looked up again, he was gone.
The pink-haired medical nin stood up and brushed herself off, moving towards the log Sai had just a moment ago been sitting on. She threw herself onto it, her leg muscles enjoying the brief break. The orange sun disappeared behind the trees and relieved Sakura's eyes, making her realize just how late it was getting. Sakura sat her hand on the log, but her pale skin didn't meet the rough wood. Instead, she felt something smooth and papery. Her emerald eyes flitted down to the unknown object.
It was Sai's sketch pad. He must've left it here accidentally, Sakura thought, but she was slightly confused. I've never seen Sai with a sketch pad. Only a scroll. Why does he have one? Curious, she flipped open the top page, and what she saw made her eyes widen.
It was a perfect drawing of her. Down to the smallest, most minute detail, it was absolutely perfect. It was like looking in a mirror without the glass. Sakura flipped the page again, only to show another picture of her. Quickly she flipped through page after page, and each was the same: a picture of her in various poses. The final picture was her in a fighting stance, and she realized that it had just recently been drawn while she had trained.
Sakura felt slightly creeped out, but a feeling of flattery mingled with it. She smiled slightly. I should probably get this back to him. He'll be missing it.
Sai hadn't even noticed that his sketch book was gone.
He was at his home, sitting on the roof and looking out over Konoha when he noticed a bright pink color heading his direction. There was only one person he knew with hair so conspicuous. "What does Sakura want?" he wondered aloud.
Sakura, with the book under her arm, knocked on the door with her fist. "Sai? Sai!" she called.
"What do you want?" the person in question said, peering over the gutter at the girl.
Sakura jumped, causing Sai to shake his head. "Don't scare me like that!" she exclaimed. "I just came by to bring you this. You left it at the Training Ground." She held the notebook for Sai to see.
Any color in the shinobi's face drained instantly. "Did you-?" he said hoarsely.
"Um, yeah, I did."
Sai leaned back, out of Sakura's eyesight. He covered his eyes with his hand. "Sai?" Sakura's voice said. Sai uncovered his eyes and saw her sitting on the roof right next to him. "Here."
Sai took the book from her hands. "Thanks..." he said, completely emotionless. "I...I..."
Sakura held her hand up, signaling him to stop talking. "It's okay. I'm not mad or anything. Actually, I'm really flattered."
The artist looked up. "You're not horrified or anything? You're not going to call me a 'stalker,' punch the living daylights out of me, then avoid me for the rest of your life?"
"No. You're my teammate, Sai, so I could do the first two, but the third would be rather hard to accomplish."
The two sat in silence for a very, very long time. Finally, Sai found the nerve to speak. "Sakura..."
"Do you mind if...I draw you?"
Sakura stared at him for a moment, then a pale blush crept across her face. "Why not?" she said. "Oh, wait..." She reached into her pack and pulled out a soft white lily. "I found this on a mission and was going to take it home and press it into a book." She rested the flower by its stem in her hair just above her ear. "Does it look alright?"
"It looks fine," Sai agreed. He removed all of his art supplies from his bag, shifted himself around to face her, and set to work. After a long, agonizing wait, he removed the paintbrush from the paper and sighed. "Done."
"How does it look?" Sakura asked.
"You tell me." Sai held up the book for her to see. Again, it was like a mirror image, but there was something different about this one that was obvious. In every picture besides this one, she was looking away, her face usually locked in concentration and firm.
But this one was the opposite. Sakura was looking directly forward. She had a small smile on her lips and was looking calm and relaxed. Every feature was articulately drawn; even the petals of the lily in her hair were curved beautifully. "Wow," was the only thing she could say.
"I'll take that as a 'it looks good,'" Sai put in.
"How did you learn to draw like that?" Sakura asked.
Sai shrugged. "Practice, I suppose."
"Do you think...maybe I could try to draw you?" Sakura said.
"Go right ahead. It's not like I have anything better to do." Sai passed his beloved sketch book, as well as the paintbrush and ink bottle, to his teammate. Sakura dipped the tip of the brush in and began to draw.
"Whew...I'm done," she said after 10 minutes, wiping sweat from her brow. Sai leaned forward to glance over the top of the book at his portrait.
"Very nice...is it supposed to be a giraffe?" he joked, a rare occurrence.
Sakura glared at him. "It's supposed to be you."
"Let me show you how I draw," Sai offered. He moved behind her, flipping the page as he went by. Sakura heard him shuffling around, and in a moment he stretched his arm across her shoulder, barely brushing it. In his hand was a picture of himself, Sakura, and Naruto. "We'll use this as a guide, shall we?" Sakura took the photograph from his hand and placed it against the paper, holding it up with her left hand. Suddenly she felt arms curling around her, and saw Sai's hand take her right hand in his own. Slowly and carefully he guided it to the ink bottle and dipped the brush in. Still holding her hand and occasionally glancing over at the photo, he guided her hand gracefully across the page. Sakura watched in shock as an exact copy of the photograph emerged on the page, perfect down to the last detail.
Finally, the drawing was done. Sakura stared at it for a long time before she realized that Sai still had his arms around her and their hands still clasped together. "S-Sai," she whispered.
"Yes, Sakura?" He answered without emotion.
"Can you please let me go?" Her face was slightly pink.
"Oh, sorry," Sai withdrew his arm from around her.
Sakura kept looking from the drawing to the photograph, aghast at how perfect the drawing was.
"Sometimes..." Sai said quietly. "I find solace in these. I can't feel much emotion, but for some reason these always calm me."
Sakura turned around to face him. Her eyes were deadly serious. "You can't find comfort in these drawings all the time. Maybe if you spent more time with someone, you could understand your emotions more."
Sai raised an eyebrow. "Like you?"
Sakura shrugged. "Yeah, I suppose so."
"I'm willing to take up on that offer."
Sakura smiled, then reached over and grabbed Sai's hand, squeezing it gently in her own.
How was it? A bit short, I know, but I couldn't think of anymore to do with it. It's the first story I've written in about 2 weeks. I'd like to hear about what my readers think about this story, so I'd appreciate any reviews. But please, keep flames to yourself.