Author's Note: My first Naruto fic, and the first story I've ever posted on here. I don't normally do comedies, so I hope it's not one of those fics where the author completely fails at being funny. I hate those. They're all between 17 and 18 years-old in this story. Also slight hints of NaruSaku and NejiSaku, but just a little. Please note that Sai has learned to hold his tongue better with age.
This was not beta'd, so I apologize for any errors, grammatical or otherwise.
Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Masashi Kishimoto. I do not own.
"Y'know, I've got this feeling that Tenten'd be be really hot if she wore her hair down."
Sai closed his eyes. The discussion had come to this. Yet Again.
In his attempt to better his understanding of human emotions and behavior, to cement those 'bonds' which Naruto spoke so passionately about, Sai had started hanging out with the boys of Konoha's Rookie Nine (or was the proper moniker, "Konoha Eleven"? He couldn't recall) with increasing frequency. They would try to gather together at the training grounds once a week – half the time someone was off on a mission, although today was not the case – for some sparring and good old fashioned male-gloating, and then spend the rest of the day lounging about and shooting the bull; currently, most of them were sprawled out on the grass in varying positions. Choji always brought something for them to eat.
Neji, who was leaning against a tree, crossed his arms and frowned. "What's wrong with her hairstyle?" Tenten was his closest friend on Team Guy, and he found Naruto's comment just a little insulting to her honor.
Before the kyuubi container could open his mouth to reply, Kiba cut in.
"No, no – I know exactly what you mean, Naruto." Those two were always on the same wavelength. "The buns, while cute, make her reminiscent of a panda."
Naruto gasped and put a hand to his forehead, as if enlightened. "Of course! That's what it is! Ugh, this is why I love hanging out with you, Kiba! You always nail people with the animals they remind me of, but that I can never seem to place!"
Both boys grinned and high-fived.
Kiba continued where Naruto left off. "But man, if she let it down–"
"– and wore a black bikini –" Naruto added with exuberance.
"– while holding a sword!"
"And throwing shuriken in the heat of battle!!"
And at this point, Sai began to tune them out – there wasn't much left to glean about humanity from these sorts of discussions anymore. Guys his age liked to imagine girls dressed in next to nothing doing something sexy – he got it. It was the one downside to hanging out with guys his age – the conversation always reverted to women, and having had no romantic experience with them, he always felt like he was on the outside looking in. Sometimes conversation was centered on the older kunoichi – the jounin and members of ANBU (because experienced women were hot), sometimes even the Hokage herself (although that particular subject was always clipped short when Naruto reminded them all that she was really older than their mothers underneath that jutsu, and they'd all shudder and find someone else to talk about). Other times, it was about the civilian girls who were oh-so-boring, but oh-so-enjoyable to look at. More often than not though, they talked about their female teammates, undoubtedly because they were the women they interacted with on a day-to-day basis.
"It is not proper to discuss Tenten-san that way! She is a lovely, youthful woman – not something to be demeaned as if she were a piece of meat!" Lee exclaimed, getting to his feet and striking a valiant pose that would have had Guy beaming with pride if he were there to see it.
"Aw, fuck. Who keeps inviting you?" Kiba growled.
Naruto, as strange as it was, usually played the diplomat when he was out with the guys. Since Sai felt so out of his element, he stayed pretty silent, so there were no insults related to his penis size or questionings of its existence. Plus, in Sai's mind, making fun of Naruto's penis had gotten old; it was much more fun to make fun of that traitor Sasuke's. This kept Naruto in a pretty good-natured, live-and-let-live mood.
"Now, now, take it easy, Lee." he put his hands out in a placating gesture. "We'll find something else to talk about."
Silence reigned supreme.
And of course, Kiba was the one to break it.
"So... Ino, or Temari?"
The question wasn't posed to any one of them specifically, but everyone knew who it was aimed at, and they wouldn't answer – in argument or agreement – until he had.
After not responding for a good thirty seconds, Shikamaru finally muttered, "Temari. She's just as troublesome as Ino, but about things that are less girly."
This, of course, resulted in a raucous of negatives and affirmations from his friends. (Excepting Sai. And Neji, but Neji's lack of response was out of his superiority complex, and Sai's quietude was the result of an inability to not be socially awkward and say the wrong thing and be scorned as a result. It was best if he just kept his mouth shut during these male bonding sessions)
"Right on!" That was Naruto.
"Temari's hair makes me nervous." Shino usually only said one thing every time they were all together, and it was always queer.
Chouji quietly put in his two cents. "I don't know about that. I think Ino means well, she's just... a little more demanding than most girls, is all. She's got high standards."
And was promptly ignored.
After the conversation took on a bit of a lull, Kiba spoke up once again. Because he had no appreciation or tolerance for companionable silence.
"Naruto, you've got the hottest teammate out of all of us. How'd you luck out?" He said it as if he knew his comment would agitate. He probably did. Kiba was like that.
This caught Sai's attention. He turned his head to watch the interaction.
The Hokage-hopeful bristled. He was at that point in his life where he couldn't discern whether his feelings for Sakura were veering in a brotherly or amorous direction, but he certainly didn't want any of the guys talking about his Sakura-chan like that!
Narrowing his eyes to slits, Naruto replied, "I'm sure Kakashi-sensei would be flattered by your words, Kiba."
Even Neji snorted at that one. Daintily.
The challenge to get the other's goat was on, and Kiba was an expert button-pusher. The rest of the boys looked on from their sitting positions, intrigued to see the outcome and hoping to instigate in any little way they could.
Not one to be gotten the best of so easily, Kiba smoothly countered, "Actually, I was talking about Sakura, but we'll keep that little Freudian slip of yours between us."
It was starting to get reminiscent of their academy days. Except nobody had made a reference to anybodies mother yet.
He continued. "I mean jeez, those long legs – that ass! Especially when she wears that new little training outfit of hers!"
A small scowl formed on Sai's face, and it deepened with every word that passed the inu specialist's lips. They'd never brought up Sakura before. She'd always been an untouchable subject of sorts, for reasons he wasn't quite sure of.
But Kiba was on a role. "I mean the pink hair is a little off-putting, and her tits could be bigger, but she's got those beautiful blue eyes and –"
The proverbial record had been scratched. Every male present shot him a what the fuck? look that had Kiba mentally backtracking to figure out where he went wrong.
"... What?" he looked utterly perplexed.
The slip-up was so egregious that Naruto, who'd been internally seething only moments before, was now bent over in laughter, slapping his knee.
"Apparently you're as colorblind as Akamaru, dog-boy!" he exclaimed mid-howl.
The insult was so fitting that no one, not even Neji, was going to remind Naruto that dogs saw only in black and white, and the colorblindness he was thinking of was deuteranopia, a vision deficiency only affecting the green retinal photoreceptors, inhibiting the eyes from seeing green and putting blue in its place. Besides, it would have taken too much effort to explain.
"Everyone knows that Sakura-chan's eyes are green!" Naruto's tone was dripping with what are you, stupid?
"A mere green does not do the color justice. Emerald is the more precise hue." Lee added proudly.
Shikamaru clicked his tongue. "Eh, I think emerald's a bit too dark, Lee."
Naruto scratched his head. He'd never given it thought before. Just what kind of green were Sakura's eyes, exactly? "... Sea-foam?" he offered without any real conviction.
That didn't seem right.
The Hyuuga smirked confidently from where he was leaning against the tree. "It's obvious her eyes are jade."
They were all a bit surprised that Neji had joined in, and even more so that he would have a specific color in mind. Since when did the biggest block of ice in Konoha (since Sasuke had left, that is) notice women's eyes, let alone the specific hue? Was he not asexual and able to reproduce sporadically? And since no one could think of a more fitting color, they were ready to deem him the winner when Sai spoke up for the first time that day.
"They're viridian." His voice left no room for argument.
He'd drawn her so many times, he'd memorized the technical name of the color he used for her eyes. Although he could never completely capture their vibrance the way he wanted to, viridian was the closest he could get to it. It was strange, he didn't take the time to get Naruto's eyes just right – normally he just mixed a few blue tones together and called it a day. It was understandable, he didn't paint Naruto nearly as often, or really anyone else for that matter, so he felt no compulsion to perfect the hue. Sakura, on the other hand, had an entire folder dedicated to works of art in her likeness. The terms had turned more amicable between them over the past two years due to numerous missions together, and it seemed that the closer they grew, the prettier Sakura became to him. He didn't call her hag anymore (because he didn't want to lie). It was a big step. He couldn't help but draw her; sometimes he'd space out in front of his canvas only to return from his reverie and realize he'd drawn her in a battle pose, or a traditional kimono – once, he'd actually started a nude sketch of her before he realized what he was doing and painted a sweater over it (not so much for propriety's sake as it was the fear that someone else would see it and tell her. Then he'd be that creepy friend who drew naked pictures of her). He kept his secret muse to himself.
The Hyuuga eyed him in a less-than-friendly manner, and the rest of the boys gave him a stupefied look; the Root agent rarely took part in their banter, and if he ever did, it never had anything to do with the fairer sex. Sai only gave one of his little fake, mystifying smiles in return.
"Tch. You're the artist." Kiba replied which a shrug. He got over shock quickly. And he was a little preoccupied with silently worrying about his vision.
Before anyone could add anything else, or ask Kiba what color he thought the grass was, they felt a familiar chakra signature heading towards them. A minute later, she appeared.
Dressed in that new training outfit Kiba had mentioned earlier.
Her ensemble consisted of a black sports bra, matching black medic shorts, and her standard knee-high boots. Needless to say, she was more than a little distracting during Team Kakashi's training sessions. Sai considered it both the bane of his existence and the best part of his day.
Over her shoulder rested an enormous axe. This was new.
It was at this moment that Naruto decided his feelings for his female teammate were definitely closer to amorous than brotherly. Brothers didn't get hot and bothered at the sight of their sisters in tight clothing, holding large weapons.
The rest of the guys tried to look preoccupied out of some strange respect for Naruto (and because they feared the medic-nin's monstrous strength if she caught them leering) – even Kiba. Actually, it was Neji who was the last to drop his gaze, Sai noted, an unpleasant feeling rising in him. He had the sudden urge to draw some birds to peck the prodigy's eyes out. That'd learn him.
"Hey guys!" Sakura grinned, unaware of the affect her clothing was having on her friends. She figured that since she wasn't particularly curvaceous like Ino, she could get away with the outfit without giving off promiscuous vibes. Besides, the clothes were comfortable and gave her a lot more flexibility while fighting. She turned to Sai.
"Tsunade-shishou suggested I train with this to keep my chakra control in tip-top shape. I was wondering if I could try it out against some of your ink techniques?"
He felt his cheeks grow warm as they tinged with pink, contrasting against his pale skin. He was pretty sure his books would categorize this as a "crush". Sai blamed the outfit. And those viridian eyes of hers that practically sparkled when she was in one of those giddy moods. He wasn't one to deny her these days.
"Sure." he replied with one of his little, closed-eyed smiles. To the untrained eye, it looked identical to the the fake smile he had a tendency to give people, but those who knew him better, like Sakura, could tell when it was genuine. Like now.
Her grin only widened. "Great! Let's head over to Training Ground Four."
She gave a nod to the others in parting before she started to make her way over to the other field.
Sai ignored the dirty looks some of his friends (Naruto and Neji) shot his way as he followed her retreating form. He would probably learn more from Sakura than these guys, anyway.
No one said anything for about a minute and a half after that as they all just laid down and gazed up at the clouds.
"You know, Hinata would look really hot if –"
"Shut the fuck up, Kiba."
Author's Note: Don't you just love Kiba? I always think of him as that asshole friend that always pisses people off, but nobody can hate. Like Dwight from The Office.
This was just written for laughs and as such, some personalities were exaggerated.
I hope you liked it. Critiques are welcome.