Plot Summary: Stuck interrogating the obnoxious, yet dangerous, Deidara of Akatsuki, Yamanaka Ino must make him talk. How far will they go to piss each other off? Crack pairing, DeidaraxIno

Author's Note: Since the pairing is so weird, I expect no one to actually give me a review. Although, it would be nice if you, yes you, gave me some feedback regardless. /shameless plug/

Rating: Rated T for some bad language and violence.

Story Genre: Humor/Romance; more of the former than the latter. I don't believe in romance. It's long-a-comin' before you'll see me write some torrid scene of unbridled passion


Fancy That!
---Chapter 1. Stepping Up---

Deidara was a particularly arrogant hostage.

"I consider myself more of a guest-age...yeah."

Yeah, indeed. In the confines of the interrogation room, the blond Akatsuki made it his personal mission to be as annoyingly useless as possible. Even the torture specialist by excellence, Morino Ibiki, already neared the limit of his patience with his irritating subject. Every single ANBU in his corps stood guard over the S-class criminal who was brought back as hostage after the perilous rescue mission of Kazekage Gaara. However, this interrogation was proving more difficult than anyone had imagined. The hostage, although deadly and dangerous, was disturbingly irksome.

One yeah short of a nervous breakdown, Ibiki, who was hovering over the edge of sanity, abruptly reined his thorough questioning when the thundering voice of Naruto resounded in the middle of ANBU operations. "Where is he? Where the hell is he? I'm gonna kill him," the fox-boy said, stomping down the stairs at precarious speed.

Peering through an opening, curious as to who the author of this insurrection in the—supposedly—secret department of torture and interrogation was, the head of operations instantly recognized the young Genin he had tested a few years back. "Go away, boy," he snapped brusquely. "This is a restricted area."

"I'm not going anywhere until I know he's good and dead, that bastard," Naruto retorted even more heatedly than before, ignoring Ibiki's previous admonition. Following the man's voice towards the room where Konoha's elite had sequestered Deidara of Akatsuki, he flung the door open and instantly stilled, impressed by the amount of ANBU guarding the perimeter. The department had been very cautious, considering it was the first time Konoha captured such a dangerous Nunkenin.

At wits end, Morino Ibiki sighed heavily, half disturbed by Naruto's presence, half discouraged with the Deidara-situation. "Can't you see we are thoroughly questioning him," he insisted and, taking a short pause to side-glare at his unpleasant prisoner, he pursued, "On second thought, this is going nowhere. You can give it a try, kid. This prisoner is irksome and counterproductive..."

"Yay!" Was the only answer that came from the blond-haired Genin. However, Morino-san was far from finished in his discourse. "And hopeless, not-so bright, obviously inept, probably a makeshift member of Akatsuki anyway..."

Strapped down to a chair in the cold and sterile interrogation department, Deidara raised a finely arched eyebrow at the little exchange between the pushy jailor and the Jinchuuriki. "Hey, you," he challenged, not upon taking offense but with the single intention of triggering a new range of emotion in his normally expressionless captor. "I heard that, un."

"Ugh!" The placid and stoic Ibiki exclaimed, finally cracking. "He's grating my nerves! I'm taking this to The Fifth," he said, leaving Deidara in the company of Naruto.

Pleased to have a new audience, Deidara resumed, faking some semblance of seriousness, "The conditions are just deplorable here...yeah." Perusing the scene as if he suddenly realized where he was, he audibly sneered in contempt. "Almost like a prison, hmmm?"

"It is a prison, you idiot," Naruto contented himself with stating in a grave tone. Pulling up his sleeves, he figured he could at least give Gaara's killer a thorough beating before Morino Ibiki returned with Tsunade. Since the members of the ANBU squad remained still and unmoving as marble statues, he figured they would not give much interference.

Nevertheless, Naruto's violent impulses were abruptly curbed when he fell face-to-face with Deidara's blasé expression. "Say something, before I pound the shit out of you," he gritted out threateningly.

"Hmmm? You look pretty dumb yourself...yeah."

"You scum. I should-" Naruto started but was soon cut off by a convulsive foot-stomping he recognized all too well.

Standing right behind him was Haruno Sakura. The pink-headed girl decided it was best to keep an eye on her friend—especially in regards to Deidara. Aware that Naruto had little to no self-control, she knew she had to prevent her rash teammate from doing something he would later regret. "Naruto!" She cried out, stopping the fox-boy dead in his tracks. "This is none of your concern. Don't go beating up the hostage until Tsunade-sama orders it."

"But-"

Coming down after Sakura, Ino also wasted no time in interrupting Naruto. "Yo! So this is the department of torture and interrogation," the curious Kunoichi remarked, taking her time to glance left and right, getting her fill of the dull scenery before forcibly coming to the natural conclusion. "What a dump."

"That's what I said…yeah."

"So it's true," Sakura commented, her emerald pools fixating themselves on Deidara. "He really is annoying."

"Hey! Hey, now! Nobody asked for your opinion," he replied in a playful display of satirical anger, his lips curled into a comical pout. Regaining composure, Deidara shifted his glance from Sakura to Ino; pouting, he gave the girls a devilish stare. "Take the henhouse outside, un."

Jarred from her thoughts, Ino sprung to full-attention. "Henhouse?" She repeated on the tone of surprise. "I'm with Naruto on this, we should beat him up."

"Cool it, children," Tsunade's voice startled them as she observed the situation from a few paces back, accompanied by a completely dejected Ibiki. "Nobody is beating anyone up."

"Heh, so she's the Hogake, un. Don't broads belong in the kitchen, hmmm?"

"Nobody is beating anyone up...yet," the fifth Hokage reiterated, emphasizing each word, trying—with great difficulty—to convince herself that violence was not the answer. "Meanwhile, put something in his mouth. I already can't stand him..."

"Consider it done, Hokage-sama," Ibiki said, a smile forming on his lips as he moved to gag Deidara with his kunai.

"Maybe with something less...offensive, Ibiki-san?" Tsunade said, a hint of scowling in her voice, as Ibiki stepped back in disappointment.

Deidara furrowed his brow as one of the ANBU pulled away from the white brick wall and filled his mouth with a thick, old cloth, preventing him from further disturbances. Convinced no cloth could hamper him, the Akatsuki cringed as he cockily tried to protest, and almost suffocated himself in the process.

"Tsunade-sama, how will the department interrogate him if he remains gagged like this," Ino inquired on the tone of casual conversation. "Not that I mind," she obligingly added considering the image of Deidara choking himself was nothing short of hilarious.

"That's a good question little girl," Morino Ibiki shot back rather aggressively, quickly seizing upon her question. "Because I'm sure as hell not doing it. This...this...f-"

"...Ibiki-san, not in front of the kids..."

"...Idiot has pissed me off for the last time. I quit!"

-------------------------------

Back at her office, Tsunade racked her brain with the situation at hand. "This is going to be harder than I thought," she voiced through a long sigh as she sunk her head in her hands. Two days after she granted Morino Ibiki a duly deserved vacation, she had yet to find a replacement willing to pick up where he left off. It was quasi-impossible to find someone with the nerves, and enough tolerance, to cross-examine Deidara of Akatsuki.

After a few faint knocks on the semi-opened door, Shizune tentatively entered The Fifth's peaceful sanctuary. "Tsunade-sama, are you still on this problem with the Akatsuki interrogation," the medical Jounin advanced with concern. "If so, I have a suggestion..."

"You want to volunteer?"

"Not...exactly," she hesitantly said, instantly petrified at the thought of being assigned to that mission. "Maybe one of the Chuunins could do it. At least until Morino Ibiki returns."

Tsunade looked up, half-interested in Shizune's proposition. "And where are we going to find one willing to take on the task?"

"Well, perhaps Sakura-san would be capable," Shizune casually suggested. "She's been quite the hard-working student."

Detecting the rather obvious flaw in her apprentice's idea, the disabused Godaime brushed it off. "There's no way Sakura would consider interrogating that Deidara."

"Why's that?"

"She already knows what he's like," Tsunade blatantly pointed out, as if that would be reason enough for anyone to decline. "If I want this done, I'll have to manipulate someone into doing it."

Clearing her throat to signal her presence in the room, Yamanaka Ino stepped forward as all eyes turned towards her. "Hokage-sama," she began slowly, handing out a massive pile of papers to the disabused Godaime. "Here is the report Team 10 produced for our latest mission. Asuma-sensei asked me to bring it to you."

"Leave it on my desk," Tsunade sighed, discouraged to see the workload pilling up. As the young Kunoichi politely acquiesced and gracefully bowed out, a desperate plan slowly formed in the Hokage's head. Quickly glancing at the front sheet of the report to make sure she got the girl's name straight, she halted her exit. "Hold on, Yamanaka Ino," she commanded at length. "Take a seat, please."

She must have noticed Chouji-kun and Shikamaru botched the damn thing, Ino thought as she complied to Tsunade's request and sat down. "If this is about the report, I can explain..."

"Don't worry, this is about you," Tsunade said on a detached tone, gradually working out her banter. "According to these reports, you haven't progressed as much as your partners, Nara Shikamaru and Akamichi Chouji. And, with Jounin examinations coming up soon..."

"But I don't understand, Hokage-sama. I've been working just as hard, if not more."

Tsunade smirked. "Well, perhaps your talents simply haven't been put to good use. "

Slapping her forehead, all too aware of where this was going, Shizune deeply sighed. Poor girl, being tricked like that by Tsunade-sama.

"With Shikamaru supervising the Chuunin exams, not very many options are open to you," Tsunade continued. "Although, luckily, a position just opened recently for which I think you'll be perfect for."

"WHAT? You don't mean the torture and interrogation department..." Ino trailed off, sensing her impending doom. Being transferred to ANBU's interrogation department was not so bad. Problem was, Deidara surely was part of that deal and, based on first impressions, the man was a dastardly mix of arrogance and annoyance.

"That's right, Konoha's division of torture and interrogation," the Sannin avidly affirmed, confirming the young Chuunin's worst suspicion. "You'll be starting tomorrow interrogating Deidara of Akatsuki. Welcome to ANBU, Yamanaka Ino."

As a slouched and depressed Yamanaka Ino sluggishly exited from where she came, Shizune angrily turned to her satisfied master. "Tsunade-sama, I can't believe you said that. Poor girl, you led her to believe that there was a decline in her performance as a Shinobi just so she would proceed with the interrogation," she frantically scolded, incredulous as to what just happened.

"Yeah, but at least I don't have to do it myself...hate that guy."

-------------------------------

Ino spent the whole day wandering about town, thinking about that awful event. Anything but that awful man, she thought to herself as she dragged her feet towards the flower shop. It was already dark when she noticed it was time to head home.

The blonde-headed girl never considered herself a poor addition to her team—especially since she trained twice as hard as the lazy Shikamaru or the gluttonous Chouji. How can it be that she got stuck on a hopeless examination that even the authority on the subject rushed to abandon? Seriously, poor Ibiki, who could blame him? Deidara was a knave.

"Ino! Ino!" Sakura called from behind, tightly gripping an impressive stack of files under her arm. Catching up to her blonde comrade, she jubilantly handed her what she was carrying. "I just saw Tsunade-sama, she told me to give you this."

"And what the hell is this crap," the dejected Kunoichi replied.

"Files from Iwagakure on Deidara. Oh! And the Bingo Book. And more profiles from...places he destroyed. Tsunade-sama suggested you skim it."

"Thanks, that's very thoughtful," she dismissively said. It was easy for Sakura to be positive about the situation; she wasn't the one stuck with that troublemaker. "See you around, forehead-girl." Giving Sakura an insulting parting shot was childish, but it made Ino feel better.

Ino quietly stepped in her house, dragged herself up the stairs to her room, and threw herself on the bed, sinking deeply in the mattress. She left the files a mishmash of paper over her crème color bedcover.

It took a while but, shaking away her fatigue in a single moment of determination, she sat up cross-legged and glanced through the documents Tsunade had relayed to her. "Let's see," she said upon finding Deidara's picture in the Bingo Book. "Besides being an arrogant pain, what kind of person are you, Deidara?"

The information in the Bingo Book was nothing to ease her up before going into her new job. Apparently, Deidara destroyed a lot of villages during his days as a Shinobi of the Stone Country; this before becoming a Nunkenin and joining the Akatsuki. "They threw him out because he blew up those places, I bet," she nonchalantly voiced out as she read on to confirm her suspicions. "Uh huh, by explosion. Who knew the Bingo Book was such a page-turner," she sighed sarcastically, unfazed by bite-sized horrors Deidara caused wherever he went.

There was an endless list of things Deidara did in the name of art. For Yamanaka Ino, all of them spelt psychopath. Making good use of her own artistic talent, she proceeded to draw little whiskers on the Nunkenin's search warrant picture. She knew this interrogation was going to be hell. Even his Shinobi I.D. looked like an add for Conceited Bastards 'R' Us.

Tired, and almost disgusted, Ino pushed the files on the floor of her already very messy room and got ready for bed. It was enough that she would have to see Deidara during the day, she sure as hell did not want to see him at night. "What a complete prat," she voiced a loud as she closed the light on her nightstand. "I'm going to hate him for the rest of my life"


References:

Guest-age, I know it's a reference to something. I just don't know what; Buffy maybe?