A/N: Following the Chapter in which Shikamaru approaches Sakura in Tsunade's tent after the battle with Pein, asking for permission to kill Sasuke.

In the short time that Sai has participated as a member of Team Kakashi, he's come to realise that Team 7 (as it's really referred to though never admitted aloud) has the capacity to become a terrifying force.

As a member of Root, there were rules – many rules that he had to learn and apply while under Danzo's tutelage and though some are rather extreme, a lot of them are still followed by the shinobi populace of Konoha – of all shinobi countries in fact. But that's exactly what makes Team 7 so terrifying.

He doesn't feel much but even the most emotionless of creatures knows when it should fear something. To not fear is foolish.

But it is not a scary kind of terrifying Sai reflects as his eyes drift between a frowning Shikamaru and a tearful Sakura. Shikamaru is stern and unyielding and the sadness and grief flows out of Sakura like the waters of a powerful river flinging itself off cliffs and down steep mountain sides.

She doesn't want to kill Sasuke. She loves him and it is that very thing that makes Team 7 so terrifying: it is their capacity to love. They will go above and beyond for one another, something most other shinobis will not do and where those that do fail, Sai knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Team 7 will succeed. They will succeed where all others fail because their teacher has given them a gift no other has ever given: Kakashi has given them hope: hope and belief in one another.

That is why as Sai stands quietly by and listens to Sakura declare she will go to kill Sasuke herself (knowing she most certainly won't), he promises himself that he will do everything in his power to help her.

It is so strange for him but she and Naruto have lit a fire in his heart. It is a small flame but it burns fiercely and it only grows with time. He finds himself wanting to save Sasuke, wanting to meet this incredible person who is a genius; who loves tomatoes even more than he does; who quietly looked out for Sakura; who competed with Naruto and taught the blond boy to burn so passionately. He wants to meet this person living within the being called Uchiha Sasuke.

He knows that the powerful individual he encountered months ago in Orochimaru's lair contains this person and Sai would love nothing more than to tenaciously dig his way under that pale skin and drag that sometimes scowling boy from the photograph of Team 7 as genin to the surface, just so he can meet him. He has already picked out a nickname that he's dying to give to Sasuke. Ironically Teme was his first choice but Naruto had already bagged that one.

Nicknames aside, he thinks to himself as he promises Shikamaru he'll join the mission to kill Sasuke; he's going to help them get their friend back – his friend too. Even if he hasn't met Sasuke, Sai already knows him as well as the back of his own hand.

He's going to do all that and more because if Team 7 can love and believe in one another so passionately, then even if that's terrifying, it's the good kind of terrifying and unlike Shikamaru and the rest of Konoha, Sai knows he's got the balls to go after Sasuke alongside Naruto, Sakura and Kakashi.

Maybe the rest of Konoha haven't got it yet, he's not quite sure. The Hokage though, is one day going to be Naruto and if Naruto wants Sasuke at his side, not even the slightly crazed Avenger will be able to deny him in the end. Naruto's just that kind of guy and Sai believes if he can become even half the man Naruto is then he probably won't turn out so bad after all.