I tried to go out and find some SasoSaku after people thought the Sasori plot line was going to be more developed in my story Rubicon. In the end, while I did have an idea of what was going on with him, I didn't think developing that plot line was worth interrupting the flow of the chapters as they had been thought out. Short version: the SasoSaku stuff out there was not quite to my taste. So here we are. You know you're been writing alt pairings too long when GaaSaku feels like canon and SasoSaku feels like a natural alt pairing. Oh man.

Mood Inspiration: Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?/Timothy Oliphant in Go

This is M for language, implied drug use, and lime-y moments. #^_^#

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto; fanfic is for the luls

When you live life as a predator, everyone is a potential victim.

He couldn't explain what had brought him to this point in his life, not exactly, maybe the feeling that mortality was so inevitable that fuck it all. Sasori sold drugs not out of need or because he was a slave to them (though he was fond of his ambien and some fairly common painkillers), but because it was just a means to an end. Small time dealers who wanted to be medium to big time dealers came to him, begging for a fix, begging for product, or just begging and he watched them dance. There was an art to the dance, to seeing the places where his manipulations had brought them under his control.

His partner in crime for their region, Deidara liked to get his hands dirty but that wasn't Sasori's way generally. Deidara thought Sasori's lack of ambition was pitiful, and Sasori thought Deidara's grasping forceful manner was pitiful so they forged a friendship through mutual disdain. They were effective, and that's all the organization cared about. Interactions between other teams were limited, even though the war against drugs had failed miserably long ago. Too many strong personalities in a room, perhaps. Sasori didn't care, he had his own agenda anyway.

How he came by her, he wouldn't say, but when Itachi deposited the girl at his doorstep he was more surprised to see another Akatsuki member more than the limp female form slung over his shoulder. It was nearly dawn, and Sasori had already climbed into bed when his phone had lit up with a warning that a special package needed immediate delivery.

"My bastard brother," Itachi said as if it explained it all. Sasori had been vaguely aware of Sasuke's struggle with addiction, and his intermittent crimes in pursuit of a quick fix. "Some friend of his from high school. I don't care what you tell her, or if she lives. I have Sasuke downstairs in the car. We're taking a little ride."

Whatever had gone down must have been bad if Itachi was in this much of a rush.

"It means you'll owe me." Sasori said, even though Itachi would have already known it. Saying it out loud brought it to light, made it a verbal contract. Itachi nodded and shifted the burden from his shoulder to Sasori's. There was a groan that let both men know that she was not, literally, dead weight.

"You'll owe me big." Sasori qualified. Dead body disposal came with the territory, but live bodies were a host of other complications.

Itachi nodded gravely and with a hushed click multiple deadbolts were between Sasori's world and him, with the exception of this girl. She smelled, he noted, her navy sweatshirt covered in unspeakable gunk, her black jeans ripped and dirty as well. All he could see was the back of her, but she was heavier than her slight frame would imply. Muscular, maybe.

Her hands flopped around against his back as he hauled her to the bathroom. He sat her in the tub fairly gently, more out of respect for the delicate tiles of his shower than what might be done to her head. Pink hair, he noted with a shimmer of unexpected interest, and he thought of his own recent dye job. Once he had noted the white hairs cropping up in his carefully tousled rusty brown strands he had immediately started coloring it red. Being inconspicuous was the responsibility of his worker bees.

She was lovely, he thought dispassionately, like he was cataloguing her traits for someone else. There was something vital about her, even with blood streaking her face and spotted all over her clothes, and there was something angelic about those lips with their stubborn pout. He smiled down at her, nodding softly to himself in approval as he turned on the shower full blast.

The girl sputtered, clawing at the porcelain sides of the tub, but did not scream. The thick concrete walls in his condo would never have let a sound escape, (which had been a valuable selling point) but Sasori felt like her fortitude was admirable.

Sakura came to painful and sudden consciousness. The cold water pouring over her stung twice over, from the sheer frigid nature of it and the drumming on her tender wounds. There were bruises that ached as she moved.

Her eyes fluttered open and regarded the strange man lounging on the toilet next to the bathtub as if it were an actual throne. He was shirtless, she saw first, something unavoidably obvious due to the attention his kanji tattoo drew to it. Scorpion. It seemed at odds with his pretty face, but seemed well suited to the unnaturally red hair he was sporting.

"Where am I?" She felt like she was moving through syrup, maybe even thinking through it, too.

"My condo."

"Why am I in the bathtub?" The water was finally beginning to warm, causing her shivers to subside somewhat. The water was cloudy as the blood, the mud, and all the unspeakable things that had been on the floor in that opium den washed off of her. God damn Sasuke, taking it to the ground like that hadn't been part of her plan.

"You stink."

"Ah." In her state she felt like that made enough sense. "How did I get here?"

The shrug he gave fluttered muscles through his chest and Sakura became instantly more wary. She cold take on most people, even half conscious and weakened from her earlier bout with Sasuke, but this man had that deceptive musculature that didn't proclaim strength but did whisper caution to the observant.

Alarmed as more of her memories came flooding in, she thrashed in the tub as if she could spring to her feet. All she managed was an ungainly splash before she roared, "Where's Sasuke!?"

"Long gone, so you can stop making a mess of my bathroom." He looked down with distaste as discolored water splashed onto his black pajama bottoms.

"I failed? I fucking failed?!" Sakura sank down, deflated. "Of course you failed again, Sakura. You ran straight in and punched him like an idiot."

"If you're speaking of Uchiha, then it does sound like you're an idiot."

"Don't you start, you don't even know. I spent weeks tracking him down through heroin flop houses, opium dens, meth labs, and I've spoken to every tweaker in this city only to ruin it all by running in and punching him the second I found him." Sakura wanted to cry, but from anger and pain more than sadness. "I give up. I finally give up. He can kill himself, I'm done with him."

Sasori, who disliked drama but enjoyed information, especially when it had the potential to give him an advantage on another Akatsuki member decided that maybe this wasn't as unfortunate an encounter as it could have been.

"Sounds like you were close once." The water falling on her was starting to steam, obscuring her vision of the man on the toilet.

"Once. But whoever I thought was Sasuke disappeared long ago." Sakura was still gathering her wits about her but looked at the man through narrowed eyes. "Who are you?"

If she had spent so much time among his puppets, as he liked to think of them, recently then it's possible his name would mean something to her, but he decided that the false trust truth provided was worth the risk.

"Sasori." He reached forward and turned off the water with a neat movement. "I'll get you a trash bag for those clothes."

Taller than she had suspected, Sakura thought. The world still seemed cloudy even as the steam dissipated. The open door from the bathroom showed a grey dawn over the city. Some random high rise in the city, expensive, anonymous, and she was stuck here with a stranger. Naruto had told her not to go after Sasuke. It was a dumb way to spend a summer, he had said, but he had been planning to do the same thing. Naruto's foster brother meant the world to him, and Sakura had thought she loved him when they were younger, but it was like a monster woke up in him in high school. The search for Itachi had ended with a needle in his vein.

She felt dead inside when she thought his name. It was time to cut those strings that bound them.

"Do I have a concussion?" She asked when Sasori returned, trash bag rustling at his side. He crouched down next to her, about to touch her face to check on a long cut which had started to bleed once crusted blood had been washed from it.

"Probably." He seemed unconcerned. A cellphone buzzing echoed through the condo, and Sasori looked back behind his shoulder. He was so close she could almost feel the puff of air he let out as he stood again. "I need to get that."

Sakura looked down to see his toenails with the black polish neatly applied. Weirdo. Her fuzzy mind came to the conclusion that the kind of man who wore black nail polish on his toenails would have no interest in a naked woman, and began to strip the filthy rags from her body. His voice rose and fell in the other room, and she closed the door to give them both some privacy. It was an oddly masculine voice for that pretty face, especially when he was on the phone.

She wanted to burn these clothes, not just throw them away. She stripped to the skin and then looked at herself in the full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door. Too skinny, she thought, but that had been from being too distracted to eat the past couple of weeks. Bruises on her hip where she had landed when Sasuke had tackled her following the punch. A gash on her forehead from the elbow he had given her that had knocked her out cold. Various small scratches and bruises peppered her body from when they had been rolling around on the floor before said elbow landed.

A dull throb in her head told her that a mild concussion was her reality, and the dull throb in her throat told her she was going to start to cry at any moment. She deposited the trash bag on the other side of the door, and started the shower up again. Sakura washed away the weeks of filth, feeling the warm thrum of water beat on her body and allow her to ignore the little aches. It was hard to believe she had to go back to school in a little more than a month. It seemed so trivial, the pre-med classes. She had just spent half a summer with living cadavers it almost seemed comical that she would go spend a semester with real ones.

Soap options were limited: foreign body wash, color-stay shampoo, and nothing else. She smelled like expensive cologne when she stepped out of the shower. Wiping off the mirror, she tried to piece together the past few days again as if it would cure her fuzzy minded thinking but all she got was a blur of images. Nothing good could come of memories from this summer. Absently she opened the medicine cabinet and slowly read some of the labels. Bottle after orange bottle greeted her, and a lone little white bottle of aspirin in the corner.

"To be fair, one of those is a sleep aid." Sasori said and Sakura shrieked this time grabbing a nearby towel and hastily covering her body. She slammed the cabinet door closed too hard and it swung back open perversely, physics betraying her. "Would you believe me if I said I had a lot of chronic unspecific pain problems?"


He chuckled and narrowed his eyes at her. Kindness, disinterest, it was all about playing a part. Sasori was still deciding what to do with this girl, but he was changing his idea about the kind of game to play now that he had caught a glimpse of her innocently covering herself. The only women he usually came into contact with were either addicts or dealers, and none of them had her aura of innocence.

Hair limp and dripping, Sakura tried to look daggers at the man leaning against the bathroom doorframe. "Thank you very much for helping me. If you'll let me borrow or have some clothes I'll get out of your way right now."

"I'm afraid you're going to have to stay a bit longer than that." He didn't say it as if a threat was implied, but she had the distinct feeling that there was one involved. "Until an associate has a moment to bring the proper tools to silence and blindfold you, I can't let you leave. I wouldn't want you finding your way back here, you see."

"Sasori…" Neurons fired at last. Scorpion logos stamped on empty bags of powder on the floor, stories of blood and old territory wars, it hadn't sparked a memory because Sasori had always been Sasori Akasuna. That meant…

Not missing a beat, he had already observed all the emotions flicker over her pretty face. From realization to fear and back to determination mixed with confusion. She was so uncomplicated in this state he found her charming, he realized. It was inconvenient that she knew his name. The gun in the bedroom, stolen as it was, flickered through his mind as an option only to find he actually didn't have the stomach for it. She was too pure somehow, this girl who had fallen into his lap due to the idiocy of those messy Uchihas.

He tossed a thin red robe at Sakura, and it pooled at her feet. "No underwear?" She actually blushed at that. Walking around his apartment in nothing but a robe seemed somehow more indecent than walking around stark naked. And why couldn't he put on a shirt? There were more important things, like was she coming out of this alive, but her brain just couldn't put together anything properly like a box of jigsaw pieces and no picture to guide her in assembly.

Sasori didn't stay to watch her dress, and she took longer than necessary to towel dry her hair before slipping on the robe. It was thin, and it swept near the tops of her toes. Covering as much of herself as possible, she cracked open the door and rounded the corner to see him brewing coffee in the kitchen. The front door was next to the kitchen and she briefly thought about how far she would get with a concussion and in nothing but a robe.

"What's your poison?" He said, catching her in her thoughts with a start.

"Excuse me?!"

"Would you like something to drink?" He turned around to face her and gestured to the coffee.

"I can get some water for myself." She didn't want any drink that hadn't passed through her own hands, as if he were going to drop drugs into whatever he gave her.

He gestured as if she were welcome to root around in his kitchen and exited it to make the invitation more palatable. She was so intent on not making eye contact with him that when he glanced down at the gap at the top of the robe she didn't see his eyes flicker. Unwilling to give up other clothes to her, he was oddly pleased to see her in such an intimate item. Having braced for disgust at intrusion, he wondered what was going on in his own usually well-ordered mind.

Sasori sat down on the couch and heard her clink and bang around his kitchen as she searched for the cupboard with the glasses in it. It was a very late night for him, being nocturnal for the most part, and the coffee was to help him stay awake through what would be a very long day. He couldn't get Deidara here until dusk and he wasn't going to sleep with her here. Sasori rubbed at his eyes, wondering when the last time it was he had watched the sun rise.

Water in hand, pink hair messy and only half dry, she looked down at him on the brown leather couch with pure horror. She didn't want to sit knowing full well anything could have happened on it. The beautiful, expensive looking, wood coffee table was probably covered in drug residue, and who knew what unspeakable things had happened behind those closed doors.

"It's an office. Papers. Computer. Nothing else." Sasori said, interrupting her horror with shock at how accurately he had noted her train of thought. "The other room is a bedroom. And if you're so worried about sitting on the couch there are disinfecting wipes under the sink."

"Are you going to hurt me?"

Sasori stood up, and strode over to her. He was so close she expected heat to come off of him in waves, but the air was so still around him it was almost like he wasn't there. He rolled some strands of her hair between two fingers, and his brown eyes seemed soft as he regarded her, but the words were hard. "I wasn't expecting I'd need to, as things stand."

Then suddenly she could breathe again and he was in the kitchen pouring black coffee into a mug and sipping it silently.

"Sit down, Sakura. The couch won't give you hepatitis or whatever other thing you were thinking." He formed the syllables of her name like the were ungainly.

She sat down mechanically, looking at the nearly bare room. He existed here rather than lived, with nothing present other than what was strictly necessary like the coffee table and a few chairs, a couch and a long dining room table with seats for ten. Nothing personal, no knick knacks, just a mirror near the entrance way and a large nondescript painting with random splotches of color. It felt like a waiting room, and maybe that's what it was, in a sense.

Sasori sat on the other side of the couch from her and set the half full mug of coffee down in front of him before leaning back and staring at her in a way that made her feel exposed.

"What are we supposed to do all day, then?"

He leaned closer to her, never breaking eye contact, and her heart leapt into her throat. Inexplicably, fear was mixed with anticipation and she scolded herself mentally even as she wasn't sure her heart was in it. Her thoughts were just confused, she told herself.

When he reached in front of her and opened a drawer in the coffee table she was sure she was going to die from embarrassment. He withdrew a remote and hit a button that had the picture sliding apart to reveal a huge television. When he turned his attention to the TV she was sure she saw a smirk flash across his face. Bastard. He was playing with her. He turned on Al Jazeera and flipped between that and stock updates, which was so very dull Sakura started to chat just to keep herself awake.

"I meant it," she said, possibly just to herself, "I'm done trying to get Sasuke back. I won't stop Naruto but Sasuke is dead to me now."

Sasori appeared to be absorbed in a report about a minor military coup in Africa so she launched into her monologue.

"I thought I loved him, you know. He was so pretty in high school, or handsome, whatever. I knew he wouldn't even think of liking me because Naruto liked me, but that's just what I told myself to spare my own pride. I'm not the sexiest girl and I just didn't do it for him. Man, I thought it would take therapy before I admitted to something like that." She drank down her water and continued. "Maybe I just wanted to mother him a little, really. He seemed too handsome and too tragic. He was abused by his father, you know. Sexually. My mom told me one time that it was one of those open secrets. We came from such a small town, practically the middle of nowhere. People don't talk about those sorts of things. Goddam I hate small town life."

Sasori was half-listening to her patter on, tired and slightly irritable now that the flush of excitement had run out from the newness of the intrusion.

"His brother too, with the whole father thing. Man, they are sure a screwed up family. No wonder Itachi killed him in the end. Justice, I guess, even if it's wrong. Everyone's wrong."

In that moment he loved her. This little pink haired girl—glancing at the robe beginning to gape at the top he amended that—this pink haired woman had just given him the only gift that ever mattered to him: power over someone. None of his investigations had turned up anything about abuse in the Uchiha family. He had dug up information on everyone in the Akatsuki over the years, planting spies among his 'friends' as he did with his rival dealers. Itachi, other than the obvious outstanding warrant for a very messy murder committed he was a teen hadn't had anything remarkable for Sasori to grasp from his past. It was like he had murdered his father and launched himself into notoriety among the Akatsuki simultaneously and there had been nothing before. Sexual abuse left deeps wounds and Sasori knew where he could twist a knife if the time ever came that he needed to for whatever reason. This girl—no—Sakura had delivered him something rare and fantastic.

He hadn't realized how long he had sunk into his own twisted and triumphant thoughts when he felt her hand snake over his thigh. Muscles tensed in anticipation and he felt his own latent arousal spring to life, surprising him. But something didn't seem quite right when the seduction attempt stopped as suddenly as it seemed to begin.

"Oh for fuck's sake." She was asleep, slumped over awkwardly and her hand had merely slid over the soft leather and landed next to his thigh. How embarrassing, reacting like an eager teen over this girl, more than a decade his junior.

"Wake up," he almost growled at her, pinching the soft skin on the back of her hand. He was annoyed with himself, for not being in control when he was in control of everything all the time. "WAKE UP."

He found he had to slide himself over to her side of the couch and gather her up back to a sitting position. Sasori slapped her face lightly, watching with unasked for relief as she opened her eyes with a flutter.

"Did something happen? I'm so sleepy." Her face was inches from him as she huffed. "You watch the most boring shows I've ever seen."

"You have a concussion. You can't sleep until tonight."

Sakura felt so annoyed at him for pointing out the obvious. "Well, of course I know that. I know all about concussions. I'm going to be a doctor." She smiled up at him. "A surgeon in fact. I'm going to save lives."

Should she succeed she'd have some worth to his world on her own, which was another point he stored in his mind to consider. Knowing a doctor who was beholden to him might be worth pursuing.

"Make me mad." She was still bundled in his arms, but her muscles had stiffened a bit and he noted how firm they became. Whatever punch she had landed on the Uchiha he was probably feeling today. Disentangling, he looked at her with the question unvoiced.

She forged on. "If you make me mad I know I can stay awake."

"There are other ways to keep you awake," His hand, with his long tapered fingers, grasped her knee.

"What?!" She balled her hands into fists and was about to strike out at him when she saw the expression on his face was pure condescension. "Oh I see, well done." The alarm inside of her deflated but not entirely as he hadn't moved his hand from her knee.

"But you can't just touch me and expect it will make me angry every time."

"Can't I?" Sasori started to slide his hand over her knee, forcing the material of the robe to pull apart in a way that immediately set her pulse racing.

"Stop stop stop, ok you made your point." He finally lifted his hand from her, leaving a cold spot and a lot of confusion in its wake. Sasori was the scum of the earth, he twisted people's lives and existed in this pristine life at such a high cost of human suffering it was unfair he could look so good, so untouched by time or basic empathy. It was her duty as a moral person to hate him, but the fog in her brain shook her convictions and all she could conjure was how nice he had been to her, how solicitous, how (almost) gentlemanly. Any moment the mask would drop.

Sasori watched her struggle and felt an unusual amount of amusement, like he had pinned a live butterfly to his wall. Vaguely, he wondered if he had ever been that naïve. The competing line of thought, while he noted clinically that his treacherous body was stirring, was exploring a small undercurrent of fear. It had been so long since he had felt so many competing emotions, let alone desire, and it touched on the threat of attachment. He knew all too well that attachment only lead to suffering. The urge to run to the bathroom and pop a vicodin was so strong he felt like he had to resist it on principle.

So the morning passed, with Sakura and Sasori slowly winding themselves up in their own heads but both of them working so hard to deny it was happening an outside observer might think nothing was happening at all. Casual sporadic touches, comments about bad television that neither was really watching, and the occasional buzz of Sasori's phone which he would look at briefly before ignoring. Lunch was crackers and cheese, finding almost nothing else edible in the condo. There was no talk or ordering in, that just wasn't something Sasori did and Sakura felt mildly nauseated from the crackers so didn't care for anything more substantial.

"What about music?" It came out of nowhere, Sakura trying to cut through the tension between them. "Do you listen to music?"

Sasori thought about the radio in the car he hardly used, then glanced down at his phone. It was a tool, the number often changed. He carried nothing on it that could be considered personal on the off chance he would have to abandon it somewhere. His laptop contained some music Deidara had downloaded onto it when he had been stuck waiting here while Sasori had prepped the body of an OD in the bathtub. That had marked the last time he allowed deals in the condo itself, or for dealers to bring along their strung out hangers on. Then again, that had been over a decade ago and that music probably hadn't survived the computer switches since then.

"Never on purpose. But I don't dislike it."

People said it stirred the soul, Sakura thought. Maybe he didn't have enough soul to be stirred.

"Is there anything you like to do? Like a hobby?" Sakura tried to lead in a little more specifically. "I read a lot of medical texts in my spare time, but my hobby is kickboxing. I started taking classes in an MMA gym and branch out, but I'm terrible at the jujitsu stuff. I'd rather throw a punch than hug someone." She wrinkled her nose. "This is not my first concussion. I'm going to have to stop fighting soon if I want enough brains to get into med school."

Unexpected, but at least it explained her unusual muscularity. "I collect art."

No one was more surprised than Sasori that he had answered the question honestly.

"Really?" Sakura's doubting tone was totally understandable when she once again took in the completely bland surrondings.

"Mostly sculpture. I've donated some of it to parks and buildings anonymously." Now that he was talking about he felt eager to share a little more. The only person he could talk about art with was Deidara and that man was a philistine. He went in for those dumb performance spectacles like when people set themselves on fire, or created delicate glass sculptures that got thrown into a trash compactor in front of an audience. 'Art of the moment' he called it. What was art if not immortality? Without permanence it was just children screaming to be looked at. "Naturally it's too heavy and conspicuous for here. There's a warehouse."

He wanted her to see it, he thought, and he knew that that thought was both sentimental and unrealistic. Whatever she was doing to his brain, he did not approve. Maybe concussions were communicable. She was too sensual, too sweet, too perfect. He felt like a fool for not seeing it before, and the familiar cold walls came crashing down with the old numbness stealing over his heart like an old friend.

"So how much is Itachi paying you?"


He moved closer to her, grasping her hand and moving cool fingers over the skin of her arm, creating goosebumps. "I said," and his friendly voice turned low and vicious. "How much is he paying you to be here? To lure me into some trap. You're unreal, some perfectly innocent bystander that needs my help. No one who gets this close to me could possibly be…" He tried to find a word that described her. "Pure." It was spit out, a curse tossed in her direction.

"That's hurts!" He had begun to constrict her arm and twist it just so. He was too close for her kicks or punches to have much of an effect. "How can I prove anything to do if you already think I'm guilty? I don't have any ID or clothes, and you won't let me leave here or call anyone! What's left?!"

"I could lock you in the bathroom until Deidara comes to take you away. I could torture you until you tell me why you're here. I know you saw barbeque skewers in the kitchen, but you know I don't keep any food here." He had leapt into something like madness, as if any other explanation of her presence made more sense than the current premise.

"Sasori," her use of his name only made his fingers dig in a little harder. "Take me to your computer. I'll show you!"

He didn't want to give her the benefit of the doubt. She represented weakness, and his world didn't allow weakness. Sakura stumbled into the computer room, partially due to him pushing her, and he furiously unlocked the login screen only to watch her click open the internet browser. She pulled up everything, social media sites, high school website, college mail and grade readout and as he examined the date/time stamps and the long history of interactions he got the sinking feeling that he might be wrong. Some of this would be easy enough to fake, but other pieces would be very hard. Loan information from the state, pictures on file with the private college she attended, and photo after photo in high school. It could be a very deep game Itachi was playing at, but he realized after looking at her digital life spread out before him, he didn't care if it was or not. The cc camera monitors surrounding them were the only light, casting ghostly shadows over them and reinforced how no one was around, practically in the entire building, but them.

"See? I told you I'm just me not some—mmph" His mouth was on her full and possessive. His hands were untying the knotted robe belt as she tried to process this complete shift in his demeanor.

He pulled away, finally looking today like it wasn't ice water in his veins and heated brown eyes searched her face. "I'm not going to have you crying rape to the police. Tell me now, yes or no." He wished he could force a yes from her mouth, to end the excruciating loneliness, the emptiness he had filled with pills and violence.

It's just a biological imperative, she told herself. You're going to regret it if you say yes. No decisions based on lust ever seemed smart in the light of day. But the sensible words from inner Sakura didn't seemed to have made a dent on the decision she came to almost immediately.


Deidara knocked on the door, knowing he hated it when people didn't call first. Any little thing he could do to annoy Sasori seemed like a win. He didn't hate the guy, he was efficient at what he did, but he wished he'd have a little fun for once.

Sasori answer the door, impeccably dressed as always in a black suit and white shirt, no tie. The man always looked crisp, like he had sprung out of a factory assembly line for rotten to the core bastards.

"You're on time at least."

"Yeah, well." Deidara didn't rise to the bait. "So where's the girl?" He didn't see her anywhere in the main apartment. That meant in the bathroom. Like Schrödinger's cat she might be dead or alive at this point. Deidara got a little excited at the prospect of guessing.

"I brought bags as well as gags, since I didn't know what you meant by 'get rid of.' Not like you to be so cagey. She in the bathroom?"

It would take a heart pumping blood to allow the body to blush and Deidara had almost come to believe Sasori was made of wood or stone the way he acted. The flush of blood to his cheeks immediately told Deidara that something was up.

"Not in the main room, not in the bathroom, never in the office so… bedroom, yeah?" The dangerous look Sasori gave him told Deidara he was right. "Well, well, human after all are we?"

"Shut up." It was a command not a joking suggestion. The man had no light side. Apparently even sex didn't get that stick out of his butt.

Deidara walked over to the kitchen and pulled the bottle of vodka out of the freezer. He took a swig straight from the bottle, wishing it would make Sasori wince but knowing he would never give him the satisfaction.

"She's braced herself for this. I'll put on the headphones and the blindfold and you will escort her down. I'll be watching if you decide to take liberties."

"I'm guessing you already did." All he got was a frown for his barb, but that was more than he usually got. "Hey, what's the deal with this girl? She something special?"

Sasori seemed to consider the question. "She might prove to be very useful to me."

That was as good as a love confession for Deidara's purposes. The cheesy grin he plastered on his face almost hurt it was so wide.

"Just drop her in a suburb and make sure she's unharmed."

Deidara couldn't stop grinning. "We going to see more of her in the future?"

"None of your fucking business."

"I'll take that as a yes." He tried to laugh loudly enough that it followed Sasori into his bedroom. He felt satisfied that he had hit a nerve when the door slammed behind him.