The first thing Sai drew was a caterpillar.
At the time, his name was not Sai and his parents were not dead and he had not yet learned seventeen different ways to kill a person with the pencil he was coloring with. He was three years old, the sky was blue and the smile gracing his adolescent features would be the last honest one he made.
Though Sai’s teenage mind could no longer recall what his name was at that time, the color of the pencil he was holding, or the sound of his mother’s voice when she praised his art work, he remembered that the expression he was making was so very appropriate for the situation. But, for the life of him, Sai could no longer remember why. The emotion that had been associated with the smile no longer existed inside the youth.
Ten year later, when Sai’s ‘brother’ passed away in a small, sterile hospital room, the dark haired boy’s name was still not Sai.
“In Root, you have no name-”
And as the warmth left his companion’s hands, he looked to his sempai, as he had been taught to do every time he required guidance, in an attempt to ascertain the proper expression to put on for the situation. The man made none. Stony features did not change once the beepbeepbeep of the heart monitor faded from the symphony of background noises that made up the atmosphere of the cold, too cold, room.
There was a constricting in his chest he could not explain.
“- you have no feelings –“
And so Sai made the only expression his still young mind could recall: he smiled.
Sai once looked up ‘smile’ in a dictionary.
Main Entry: 2smile
1 : a facial expression in which the eyes brighten and the corners of the mouth curve slightly upward and which expresses especially amusement, pleasure, approval, or sometimes scorn
2 : a pleasant or encouraging appearance
The words meant nothing to him and nothing in his memory stirred. The emotion was lost to him.
Sai once asked Danzou-sama how it was that his parent’s death came about. Danzou told him it didn’t matter anymore.
“- you have no past -“
He’d brought his picture book to his brother’s room the day he passed away. As the older boy drew his last breath and Sai failed to produce the proper expression to convey his feelings for the dying boy, the image in his head of the middle pages of his book faded from his imagination, barely noticed in the midst of more prominent events.
“- you have no future.”
“All that exists is the mission.”