Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
A/N: Technically this will be 1 day, as experienced by 12 people, thus 12 different days. It will of course be mostly drabbles since it's 12 days in a row that I'll be updating (hopefully), so yeah... hope you all enjoy it XD
On the 1st Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... A partridge in a Pear Tree.
DAY ONE: NEJI
Christmas was not a holiday that was celebrated in the village hidden in the leaves. In fact, it wasn't a holiday even known or recognized in their part of the world. Still, since Ino had heard about it, and discovered that it came hand and hand with gift giving and parties, two of her favorite things, the blonde girl had become very excited about the idea of celebrating it with their friends. Somehow, she had convinced them all to have a party and exchange secret gifts.
Two days before the party was scheduled, they had all written their names down on tiny pieces of paper and shuffled them in a small hat. Each of them, including the Kazekage and his siblings – who were conveniently scheduled to be in the village that week – had pulled out a name, one at a time. They had kept the name secret, as per the rules of the game, or at least according to what Ino had told them was the custom. They were then informed that that name represented the person they were meant to buy a gift for. The rest of the party details had been quickly worked out, and each person was assigned to some part of the preparations.
It was all last minute, but everything pretty much seemed to be going smoothly. Originally the party was to be held in Ino's apartment, since she had been the one to suggest holding the festivities in the first place. Having heard about the event, however, and the fact that the Kazekage would be attending, the Hyuga elders had quickly volunteered one of the great halls in the compound for the party.
It was fortunate that there were very few missions during this time of the year, and so everyone was mostly free for the three days of planning and preparations. Gaara of course, being busy with political affairs, had been excused from helping out, as had Temari, who had snuck off with the excuse that she was his escort so she couldn't participate in the preparations either. Their brother, however, had not gotten off so easily. Along with Chouji and Shikamaru, Kankuro had been placed in charge of the food and drinks, while Lee, Tenten, and Shino took care of music. Ino, Hinata, and Sakura had been put in charge of making all of the decorations, along with Kiba who had somehow been convinced into making flora arrangements – donated from the Yamanaka shop of course – along side the girls. As for Neji, Naruto, and Sai, they had been tasked with the job of putting up the decorations the actual day of the party.
It was convenient that Naruto had so many shadow clones at his disposal, so that Neji could sneak out to buy the gift he had yet to get. Looking down at the small piece of paper in his hand, which he wasn't quite sure why he was still holding on to considering he didn't really need to look at it to know who his gift was supposed to be for at this point, the Hyuga furrowed his brow, still racking his brain for an idea.
The name he had received was that of the mid-drift wearing ROOT member whom he didn't particularly know all that well. The gift giving was meant to be kept secret, so Neji hadn't been allowed to ask anyone for what kind of things the socially awkward teen might liked.
To be perfectly honest, the Hyuga knew very little about the other man. He knew he that Sai was on Naruto's team, as a replacement for Sasuke. He knew Sai was a member of ROOT, a special branch of the ANBU forces. This obviously met that he was a skilled shinobi, as it was rumored most ROOT members were trained mercilessly from a very early age. It also meant he was an orphan, as all ROOT members generally were. Everything else about him, however, was a complete mystery to the Hyuga prodigy, as he had never actually interacted all that much with the younger man. Knowing this, when they were assigned to do the same work together, Neji had thought it would be a good opportunity to observe Sai and perhaps come up with an idea for a gift. Unfortunately he hadn't really learned anything other than the fact that, like most of them, he seemed to really admire Naruto and hold him in high regard. That piece of information didn't particularly serve Neji of much use, as he couldn't very well give Naruto away as a gift, so another thought occurred to him instead. While the Hyuga was hardly ever the type to shirk off his responsibilities, he decided that since Naruto was using his shadow clones to get the job done more quickly, that would be the perfect opportunity to go check out the ANBU's apartment for clues.
Yes, it was sneaky and a bit stalkerish, but really he didn't have any other ideas and there wasn't all that much time til the party. Thankfully, Neji knew where the ROOT dorms were and he was very skilled at finding things. It didn't take him long to come upon the younger man's apartment, and with his byakugan eyes, he was able to maneuvered through any traps with ease. As soon as he stepped into the small bedroom and looked around, Neji had a pretty good idea of the few things Sai might be interested in.
Around the room, small paintings and portraits lined the walls. There were also bookshelves with lots of books, most of them with bookmarks and lots of highlighting in them. At the farthest end of the room, Neji was rather surprised to see a small bonsai tree, with a book on gardening next to it, and besides those a small gilded cage with a toy bird inside of it. On the opposite side of the cage, was a book on quails that had been left open to a page of fun facts, such as 'there is no difference between a quail and a partridge,' 'quails usually mate for life,' and 'the male has been know to look after his chicks if his mate meets with mishap.'
At that, it occurred to Neji that perhaps a real bird to place in the cage instead of the toy, would be a good gift to give the younger shinobi. However, knowing that ANBU's life was more busy and chaotic than even that of a jounin, he decided against it. He also didn't particularly like birds in cages, for personal reasons, so that was definitely not an option.
The more he looked around, the more he thought perhaps something for his art would be a good gift idea. Unfortunately, it was at this time, that stumbled across a quickly, but beautifully, drawn sketch of a very familiar bun-haired girl among the unframed drawings on the middrift-wearing shinobi's desk. It did not, in the least bit, amuse the Hyuga, and so he ended up rushing back to the compound to give the man a few 'critiques' on his art, forgetting completely about the gift he was supposed to go buy.
A/N: don't worry this isn't a love triangle of any kind (well maybe a little hinting of NejiTenGaa), this was just a bit of an amusing thought for me... I think Sai would draw people. And I think he would especially like to draw Tenten because of the "curves." Plus you all know how much I like to torture Neji XD