Sai

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The dining area of the Yakinihu Q is busy as usual when Sai arrives, feeling more than a little out of place without Ino hanging on his arm. She hates going anywhere public these days.

"I look like I swallowed the moon!" she wails almost every morning, examining herself from multiple angles in their bedroom mirror.

And even though he assures her she looks gorgeous as ever (which he actually means with all his heart), that their continued healthy sex-life proves he still finds her attractive (he's enjoying her larger breasts immensely) and Sakura was way bigger than her at this point in her pregnancy (because Ino always likes to have people notice when she comes out ahead of Sakura), she will still yammer and complain about how awful she looks.

Sai has concluded, over the years, that his wife is vain.

Once she's exhausted her whining, she'll demand he pick her up the latest craving her hormone-addled taste buds require. It's led to some very interesting trips to the grocery store, that's for sure.

The cake-mix and canned tuna incident is particularly memorable.

Today the demand is rather simple – salted beef tongue and leeks – and it offers him the opportunity to address another rather pressing issue at the same time.

He heads to the counter, places his order quickly, and then scans the room. He allows himself a small smile of triumph to see that Inojin has fulfilled his part of the arrangement as well.

Indicating to the cook where he'll be waiting, he heads over to the booth where Inojin is sitting with a bored-looking ChōChō.

"Seriously, what's so important that I couldn't go home?" she is complaining. "Shikadai said Aunt Temari was making mochi."

"I told you, my dad wants to talk to you."

"Listen, is if this is some kind of twisted, pedo-love confession, I'm not interested –"

"You seriously need to get your head checked," Inojin mutters, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Is such a thing a common worry among teenaged girls?" Sai asks as he takes a seat beside his son. "Good afternoon, ChōChō."

"Hi, Uncle Sai – and it is on television, but you can never tell. There are some real weirdos out there."

"I will keep that in mind," Sai decides, and then bows his head in welcome. "Thank you for agreeing to stay behind."

"Yeah, well, Bleach-Boy here said there'd be free barbecue if I did."

"Of course. As Fatso's daughter, food is a key point of negotiation."

"If this is how ask for a favour, you hella suck at it," she makes a face at him. She appears unbothered, however, at a comment which would have sent Chōji into a fugue state.

"Sorry, ChōChō, you know my father..."

"Yeah, yeah, ex-brainwashed super-assassin, so over it," ChōChō drawls. She raises her hand and snaps impatiently for a server to come by. "If this was TV, he'd have gotten bashed on the head or amnesia. Or something else would happen to change his personality. I mean, considering your mom, I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet."

"Well, the day is young," Sai replies. "Now, about what I wanted to speak to you –"

"Hey, hold on there, mister! We order food first, then we talk business. Don't you get how super-secret meetings are supposed to work?"

"I see," Sai grants. He waits patiently for the walking appetite that Inojin's teammate to order enough food to feed three people – all of it for her.

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