Disclaimer: Don't own, and never will :(

Summary. Sai's first meeting with Shin!

A/n: Sorry for the long wait... Like I said, it's a really important academic year for me this year so there's a really strict ban on computers in the house now... I'm sorry! *hides behind computer screen* A... Anyway, please enjoy this chapter as a humble and sincere apology of my extreme lateness...

"A name is not something that belongs to you. It is just a word that represents you and that you respond to for sake of convenience, nothing more." This sentence was repeated to him almost every day for the past two years since he had entered the Root.

His new name was decided to be Saito, but as Danzo-sama always told him, he must not get attached to the name and had to always be ready to change his name at will.

He was 6 now.

Although he had trained alongside several other Root members of the same age for the past two years, he had not established any close relationships with any of them.

However, while he was in the Root, he had discovered an innate talent for drawing and painting, and always spent his free time sitting quietly at the edge of the training arena to sketch the trainees in action.

It made him feel at peace somehow, if he could capture the world in pictures, instead of letting each fleeting moment slip by.

Just like his existence. He still didn't know what his mission in life was, nor what he wanted to achieve in the future. But one thing was for sure.

He would serve Danzo-sama with his entire being. That was the least he could do.

He was sketching like he always did in his usual spot at the sidelines of the training arena when out of the blue, a cheerful-sounding voice unexpectedly piped up behind him.

"Whoa, that's amazing! Are you sure you're only six?"

Startled, Saito spun around to face the owner of the chirpy voice. A boy about his age was peering down at his drawing.

He had pale violet hair tipped with indigo at the ends, an unusual colour among the commonly-seen black and brown hues in the Root. His eyes, Saito noted, were the same jet-black colour as his own, but instead they shone with mirth, a sharp contrast to his own wary ones.

"Saito, this is Shin," Danzo said, coming up behind the boy.

"Shin" grinned down at him, making Saito inhale sharply.

That grin, so bright and lively lit up the surroundings around him, so unique in comparison to the emotionless, sombre expressions that were always on the faces of the older Root members.

In that moment, Saito decided that he wanted to capture that smile in his sketchbook, no matter what it took.

He only hoped that he had enough talent to express it in its full glory.

"From today, the two of you will live together as brothers, until the day of your initiation test, when you officially become a full member of the Root," Danzo continued.

Saito looked up at Shin, who grinned even more widely. "Nice to meet you, Saito nii-chan!" he laughed, holding out a small hand.

Shin's infectious attitude affected even Saito, who had the sudden urge to return the smile. So putting his hand in Shin's, Saito smiled back tentatively, making Shin and even Danzo's eyes widen in surprise.

"Nice to meet you, Shin... Nii-san."

Watching them, Danzo smiled inwardly. His plan was just beginning.

A/n: I apologise for another short chapter! *hides behind computer screen again* But this short exchange is to show ya'all awesome people about how Saito (or Sai as we all know him) meets and quickly feels some chemistry between them (NOT hinting at a pairing!). Now what exactly is Danzo's plan, hmm?

Please R&R! :)