Originally inspired by the prompt 'Yamato/Sai; inebriated'. This is the first thing I started writing when I fell for YamaSai well over a year ago; there's been a lot of evolution and revision along the way, as tends to happen when I initially set sail with a new ship. It's ended up in three parts, the last of which is still not fully drafted. I hesitate to post this first part because chances are I'll need to change something in relation to whatever ends up happening with part 3. On the other hand, it's just gathering dust on my drive and having it out there will hopefully provide some useful impetus toward finishing part 3 in the very near future, so. Plus, I still feel bad about not having Yamato's birthday fic done. ^_^;

Started: 1/28/11 - still unfinished

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"You all did well," Yamato congratulates his team as they gather along the main street of a small village in the Land of Rivers. "I know this mission turned out to be more than we expected going in, but the three of you handled yourselves admirably." He realizes they're not kids who need to be told they've done a good job, haven't been for a long time, but he's always been the type to believe in the value of bestowing praise where it's due.

"I thought it was just gonna be a boring tracking-and-retrieval mission, no matter how important the old guy was," Naruto says, hands laced behind his head, "but it turned out to be pretty exciting!"

"It made sense to neutralize the criminals behind the Patriarch's abduction, even though it wasn't part of the original mission." Sai's tone is bland and impartial, but Yamato can hear a mild hint of satisfaction underneath it all the same. "It was...the right thing to do."

"The whole country's better off with that drug ring out of operation," Sakura agrees decisively, her fierce grin a match for Naruto's.

"Thanks to you three and your diligence and hard effort, relations between Konoha and the Land of Rivers just got even friendlier." Yamato gives them all an approving smile; he's very pleased to see how they've grown as a team since the first time they all worked together what seems like ages ago now. "We're invited to the festival they're holding tonight to honor the Patriarch's return," he continues. "It's good for relations if we make an appearance, and I don't think any of us minds a party, so we'll stay for that and leave for home tomorrow. Sound good?"

"Yep!"

"Mmhm."

"Agreed."

"Alright. They're getting things started now, so we may as well head that way."

"Yamato-taichou," Sai asks as they start walking, "will there be alcohol at this celebration?"

"Pretty sure there will be," Yamato answers, mulling it over in his head and deciding it won't do any harm. "I'm an easy-going guy, you know, so I'm not going to scold anyone for letting loose a little bit tonight. You deserve it; and if you're old enough to fight and die for your village, or anyone else's, you're certainly old enough to drink a little in celebration."

"All right!" Naruto exclaims.

"Just a little," Yamato emphasizes, stopping and turning to face the three of them. Naruto is grinning hugely, while Sakura sports a smug little smirk and Sai looks vaguely thoughtful behind his default neutral expression. "A word of caution - moderation is your friend. We leave for home bright and early tomorrow, and anyone too hung over - " here he pulls out his old 'creepy eyes' face and pauses for dramatic effect " - will find the journey very harsh indeed."

Naruto and Sakura quail just like they used to - it gives him such a little pang of nostalgic warmth - while Sai blinks placidly beside them.

"Alright then!" Satisfied that they'll heed his warning he smiles, all laid-back squad captain again, and leads them on to the town square.

The party is lively, and while Yamato has never been very big on such things, he can fake it in the name of diplomatic relations. He mingles as expected for a short while, accepting thanks from the hosting villagers with gracious humility and keeping an eye on his team as food and alcohol flow freely. Satisfied after a time that Sakura can keep either of the boys from stepping too far out of line, he wanders the length of the square and eventually finds himself a comfortable bench in an out-of-the-way corner.

He is warm and pleasantly buzzed awhile later, slowly nursing his sake and watching the crowd, content to spend the rest of the evening doing nothing else, when Sai approaches him with weaving steps and a rosy flush in his pale cheeks.

Yamato raises an eyebrow. "Sai. Are you...drunk?" It is such an alien idea that the word sticks on the end of his tongue.

"I think so!" Sai beams happily, listing a little to the left and taking a quick stumbling step to rebalance.

Yamato thinks of the standard ANBU poison-resistance conditioning and wonders how much alcohol his young teammate has had to imbibe to reach such a state of inebriation.

"You're probably going to feel awful in the morning," he says sternly, and Sai blinks.

"Yes, I'm aware of that possibility." He appears to think for a moment, then beams happily again. "But I chose to get drunk, and I accept the consequences; I promise not to slow the team down."

"I did warn you all to indulge with moderation," Yamato sighs, mentally scaling back his expectations of Sakura's ability to keep Sai out of trouble.

"I wanted to experience intoxication," Sai counters, "to find out what it's like."

Amused and dismayed in equal measure, Yamato gestures for him to continue. "And?" He can hear that note of fondness in his own voice and tries to tone it down, not wanting Sai to interpret it as approval. "What have you discovered?"

Sai makes an adorable face in approximation of a contemplative frown and Yamato decides he's had enough to drink himself if he's letting 'adorable' and 'Sai' cross his thoughts in conjunction to one another.

"I do not think I will do it again," Sai says, "although the feeling is certainly interesting. But I don't feel that I am entirely in control of my own body; it is very...disconcerting." He navigates carefully over the last word.

Yamato glances down despite himself at Sai's body, lithe and fit and temptingly on display, as always.

Yes, definitely time to lay off the sake.

"May I sit with you, Taichou?" Sai asks, and Yamato motions at the bench beside him.

"Feel free."

Sai sits, straight-backed with his hands folded in his lap, and looks out over the clusters of celebrating villagers. After a moment, he turns his head to Yamato and says, "I'm not actually drunk, Yamato-taichou."

"Er. What?"

Sai beams one of his bright smiles. "Did I act the part convincingly enough?"

"...Yes," Yamato decides, trying very hard to keep up with the conversation despite the buzz of alcohol in his own system. Why on earth would Sai pretend to be drunk?

"I decided this was a good opportunity to observe drunken behavior and learn to imitate it, in case I ever need to do so on a mission," Sai says then, like he's reading Yamato's mind, which is - to borrow Sai's phrase - very disconcerting.

"But...your face," Yamato says, and then of course he notices that the color has faded from Sai's cheeks.

"Also an imitation," Sai confirms, and demonstrates by pinching up his cheeks a bit until they're pinkish once again.

Yamato is struck by just how much it highlights Sai's prettiness.

"...Ah," he finally says, blinking at Sai, and cracks a bit of a smile. "Well, good job. But really, it's a party - you should try to enjoy yourself for the rest of the night." His tipsy brain presents him with several corny pickup lines about helping Sai find a way to enjoy himself, but he's not so far gone as to actually say any of them.

Sai turns and leans toward him, tilting his head to one side. "Are you drunk, Yamato-taichou?" he asks then, and beams that smile again.

"A bit," Yamato admits, letting his eyes unfocus briefly so he won't stare at the full curve of Sai's lips, and reiterates to himself that he's had quite enough to drink if his inappropriate attraction to his young teammate is getting the better of him so readily.

"Good. That's supposed to make things easier," Sai says, and then he has climbed into Yamato's lap and curved a hand along Yamato's jaw to tilt it up and his mouth is touching Yamato's -

Oh -

Yamato realizes, when he does nothing to stop it, that he has in fact had too much to drink by this point.

There's a sober little voice in the back of his head jabbering about Stop, stop, you can't, you shouldn't! but Sai's lips are warm, and soft, and do far more to obliterate Yamato's inhibitions than the alcohol swirling in his bloodstream.

He touches Sai at the waist, touches bare skin, and his heart rate trips into a faster beat; he splays one hand at the exposed small of Sai's back, lets the other slide up beneath the edge of that half-length shirt to press him closer. He tells himself a brief moment is allowable, will help to let Sai down gently since he's going to reject this advance just as soon as the kiss is done, but he knows even as he makes the rationalization that it's incredibly weak. Blaming the sake, and telling himself that he can't let this continue, not more than a minute, he tilts his head into the kiss, lips parting and tongue licking out into Sai's mouth.

Sai exhales softly through his nose - whether it's surprise or relief or pleasure or simple mundane breathing, Yamato has no idea - and wraps an arm behind Yamato's neck, fingers lacing up into his hair. His knees tighten on either side of Yamato's hips and his tongue slides along Yamato's with the careful finesse of one who is learning new skills; Yamato knows there are reasons he's always telling himself this is not a good idea but Sai unexpectedly willing in his arms and Sai's mouth meshed to his and Sai's weight pressing warm in his lap make them seem quite forgettable.

Sai draws back from him at last, and the sight of him - pretty face and full wet lips and half-lidded fathomless eyes - goes a long way toward undermining Yamato's flagging strength of will; he wants nothing more in that instant than to kiss Sai again, and again and again and again.

His head is spinning, and it's not entirely to blame on the alcohol.

"Yamato-taichou," Sai breathes, and for all that he is still learning to feel and express normal human emotion, there is a soft darkness in his voice that bespeaks desire.

Their corner of the square is not particularly dark or hidden, and Yamato involuntarily tightens his arms to keep Sai close against him, as if that will shield them from curious eyes; he wishes for cover, for privacy, for the will to stop this now. Trying to pull himself together, he searches desperately for the words - any words - that will put him back in control.

"Sai - " That won't do it, not when he can hear the need thick and vibrant in his own voice. He tries again. "Are you sure you're not drunk?"

Sai is still holding him with that depthless gaze, dark and promising; he leans in, closer, and the scent of him - steel and ink and ricepaper and leftover sunlight caught deep in the black of his hair - makes Yamato's head reel as it fills his senses, close and warm and enveloping.

"Yamato-taichou," Sai breathes again, hardly more than a whisper, "I'm not drunk." His lips are barely brushing the ridges of Yamato's ear as he speaks, intimate and electric. "I want to have sex with you."

It's close enough to what Yamato has imagined - deep in the night when he's tired enough and alone enough to let himself imagine things - that arousal flares hot and wild in his gut and he realizes with giddy dismay that he's not going to say no.

Sai's hand in his hair moves down the back of his neck, fingertips sending little jolts of warmth against his scalp as they withdraw, and around to toy with the corner of his face guard; Sai's other hand has a light grip on his shoulder. "You look at me, watch me, all the time," Sai murmurs, still torturously close to his ear. "You are very subtle about it, but once I noticed, I started to wonder why." His body heaves slightly with a short breath, and he turns his face so that his words are nearly lost in the collar of Yamato's flak vest. "I have done some research, and I'm fairly certain that this is one of several 'tells' you exhibit that indicates a sexual attraction to me." He draws back, just a little, just enough to catch Yamato's gaze. "Or have I interpreted things incorrectly again?"

Yamato stares at him, at the fragile uncertainty creeping underneath Sai's placid expression, and the last of his ragged defenses fail. "God, no," he breathes, desire surging warmly in his chest, and kisses Sai again.

Sai's fingers are curled tight underneath Yamato's face guard by the time they separate, and his voice when he speaks is somewhat breathless. "Then...we can have sex?"

The sober little corner of Yamato's mind is flailing at him to say no, and he knows he should be listening, but the fact that Sai has put effort into getting them here, has said 'I want', has taken the initiative, blunts the sharp voice of reason even more than the sake still swimming in Yamato's head. It's good for Sai to want things, even if what he wants is not the best idea in the long run. He doesn't know what's possessed Sai to proposition him here, now, tonight, but turning him down would take a stronger man than Yamato has ever claimed to be.

"Yes," he groans, low and heartfelt, and it feels like surrender.