Author's Note: THE IDEA WOULDN'T LEAVE ME ALOOOOONE. So I created a story out of it.
Disclaimer: I checked my facts, and I came up with two things. They were vague about the time of the Sandaime Kazekage and when Orochimaru left Akatsuki, and that Kishimoto-sama still owns Naruto. (I read on Wikipedia that it's possible that Deidara could've taken down another Kazekage, according to the dialogue between him and Gaara…) So this is set several years in the past…
Another Disclaimer: Eithne owns the idea of Kabuto's present. Because I could never think up something as awesome as that.
PS: This is one of two birthday fics for Flamewind. 'Cause I felt bad about having one so late (Which I STILL haven't finished…), and this one actually was about birthdays…so this is an added bonus. Hope you like it, Flame-danna!
It was Sasori's birthday.
Or so the others had insisted.
Truth be told, Sasori didn't care. He had stopped celebrating such trivialities long ago, even before he had stopped caring about time and became a puppet. If anything, they should be celebrating the day he turned himself into one…
Oh shit, Sasori groaned mentally, that's still today.
Still, aside from many loud 'Happy Birthday!'s from many of the other members, it had been a relatively quiet day. Which made him suspicious. Knowing Deidara and Kisame, they were probably planning some surprise party somewhere. So Sasori had stayed in his room all day, tinkering around with his other puppets, and practicing his aim with several of his assorted weapons.
Until the flaw in his suspicion finally hit him, halfway done with a round of shuriken; he hadn't seen Deidara all day. His own partner hadn't even wished him a happy birthday! Sasori almost felt angry, but then remembered that he didn't like his new partner or wishes for a good day.
Deidara was annoying, to say the least. Orochimaru had just left, and they had needed a new member badly; Zetsu had 'found' a subordinate named Tobi, who was obsessed with joining Akatsuki…So they managed to get the Iwa-nin, Deidara. He was hardly more than a boy at the time, but showed great promise. Plus, he managed to get away with setting off several explosions near Kisame and Itachi without getting himself killed by them.
The blonde boy (Sasori refused to refer to him as a real shinobi) was, of course, assigned to Sasori. The only satisfaction he got out of the forced relationship was that he was still taller than the boy. Mind you, as a puppet, he wouldn't grow and Deidara would…but for the moment, he was taller.
Deidara was a missing Iwa-nin who used explosions with chakra-enhanced clay in the shape of birds, spiders, scorpions, anything he wanted. He also had strange mouths on his hands to chew on the clay to make it into the shape he wanted. And while all that was cool and useful and whatnot, it was just annoying because he felt the urge to blow up anything that moved! And his speech…
He called Sasori his 'danna'. And he said 'un' after EVERYTHING. Sasori was thanking every god, goddess and other deity he knew of that he wouldn't have to deal with Deidara today.
"Sasori!" Of course, the redhead still had to deal with the other Akatsuki. Next thing he knew, Kisame had kicked the door to his room down, grabbed his arm, and was dragging him out into the hall--never mind the fact that he didn't have his cloak (or a shirt, for that matter) and he still had several shuriken in one hand! "Come on, come on. First, there is a visitor for you. Second, I have to give you a present."
"…No." Sasori wretched his hand out of the shark-man's grasp, turning to storm back sulkily to his room and repair the door.
"Come ON, Sasori! Besides, Sir Leader-sama says you have to come down! At least for a little bit!" It was weird to hear Kisame whine like this, but Sasori paid no heed.
"I am not going down there to get crap I will never use, and have to interact with it."
"Deidara." Sasori growled.
"Um…he's not there. We thought he was with you." Sasori stopped dead at these words, and whirled around to glare at Kisame.
"Just why would he be with me? I hate the brat! And he never lets me have a moment's peace and--you don't know where he is?" Kisame blinked in surprise, nodding slowly. Sasori narrowed his eyes, glancing around. "…If this is some sort of 'plan' or something, I'm going to kill you all. Deidara, if you're hiding, you had better come out NOW."
No reply. Kisame edged away from the angry redhead, glancing around as well, hoping Deidara wouldn't be stupid enough to surprise his partner just right now. When the silence was starting to get awkward, he slowly stated, "I doubt that Deidara wouldn't jump out right after that…So let's go get your presents!"
The redheaded Suna-nin let himself get dragged along by the larger man, grumbling darkly under his breath. This was turning out to be a simply rotten day…
"Besides…you have a visitor!" Kisame was saying, and that particular phrase caught his attention. Sasori raised a scarlet eyebrow, wondering who the hell would visit him…even on his birthday… "He says he's your spy and his name is Kabuto, and we'll see if he's lying or not when we get down there and if Itachi-san hasn't killed him…"
"I do have a spy named Kabuto, you know…" Sasori admitted, wondering why the Oto-nin would visit him, today of all days. "Did he say anything about important information?"
"No, no, he's just avoiding Itachi's eyes like the plague and keeps saying about he's your subordinate and oh! He has a present for you." Kisame smirked, shooting a glance at the puppet master. He was rewarded with a scowl and a half-hearted escape attempt.
"And how many hours will he actually survive?" Itachi was asking, meanwhile. He, Zetsu, Tobi, Hidan and Kakuzu were enjoying tormenting a surprised and scared Kabuto. They were currently discussing how long Kabuto would hold up in Itachi's infamous Sharingan seventy-two hours of torture.
"I'll bet that he doesn't make it past the first twenty four." Zetsu's white side grinned evilly, while his black half added, "I'll give you all of my assassination missions for a month if you let me eat him afterward, Itachi-san." Kabuto cringed inwardly, hoping that the blue-haired shark-man (Was his name Kisame? the medic nin thought) would come back with Sasori soon. And it appeared that someone upstairs loved the boy dearly, for his supposed superior pushed through the cloaked crowd, looking very irritated. However angry Sasori was, however, couldn't stop how glad Kabuto was to see him.
"Get away from him, he's my subordinate. And if I catch any of you tormenting any of my spies again, I'll kill Tobi!" He dragged Kabuto up to his feet, pausing to send a very dark glare in Zetsu's direction. The schizophrenic Akatsuki, however, merely blinked then grinned.
"You can kill him," White side said, "As long as I get to eat the body." Dark side agreed. Everyone else present merely nodded in slight agreement, while the masked Akatsuki-wannabe stood frozen beside Zetsu, trembling slightly. No doubt he was as pale as a ghost underneath the mask.
"I'll kill him AND turn everyone else into my puppets!" Sasori, fuming, spat as he pushed his way out of the small crowd, still dragging the medic nin behind him. Once a few feet away from the others (Sasori never did like crowds), who stood, frozen with shock and fear, the redhead glared at Kabuto, demanding his reason for appearing. The Oto shinobi nervously adjusted his glasses, glancing back to where the other Akatsuki stood. "Well?"
"Ah!" Kabuto's attention snapped back to his superior, and the boy hastily withdrew a small box from his pocket, offering it, "I came here because I was informed that it was your birthday, Sasori-sama."
"How come he gets to give you a present?" Kisame shouted from the background.
Ignoring his ally, Sasori studied Kabuto intently. Kabuto wasn't more than a mere boy, but he had already proven himself numerous times in both battle and information gathering. Still, however polite he was, Sasori hadn't pictured him as the present-giving type…and even so, he should've recognized Sasori as the hater-of-presents type. Nonetheless, he took the small box, holding it up in one hand while watching as the medic nin's face broke out into a broad grin. "Uh…arigato, Kabuto-san…?" Sasori replied awkwardly, ignoring Kisame's groans and shouts in the background.
Kabuto made a small bow, "You're welcome, Sasori-sama. Now, I'm afraid I must go, as Orochimaru-sama might miss me if I am gone too long." Still smiling, he turned to leave, suddenly looking rather eager to get out of there. Regarding him for a moment, Sasori opened the small box.
"…" It was wood polish. "…" Kabuto, seeing that the puppet master had opened his present, was suddenly overcome by a fit of nearly-silent giggles, all the more eager to get away. "…Itachi, you may have him now."
The Sharingan master most likely would've killed Kabuto then and there, generally not needing a reason to kill, but he had caught sight of Sasori's present. Kabuto was free to escape as the black-haired shinobi leaned over Sasori's shoulder, staring at the wood polish for a moment. After several moments of silence, in which both stoic shinobi stared, Kisame decided to go over to investigate. Since he was much taller than both his partner and ally, it only took a moment for him to see the gift. Unfortunately for Sasori, one moment was all he needed. And then all hell broke loose.
"THE BRAT GOT YOU WOOD POLISH!" Kisame positively howled with laughter, and, of course, the others had to come see after that outburst. Sasori had snapped back to reality, and was caught between killing Kabuto and killing everyone else present.
Several hours later, Sasori was still shut up in his room. After several casualties (but sadly not fatalities), he had retreated to his room. Mostly to brood. Today was turning out to be simply horrible…and he had lost several of his favorite blades in that fight.
The only upside was that he had yet to see his 'partner'. Who knew where Deidara was, but Sasori didn't care. He was Akatsuki, and thus could take care of himself.
So much for feeling worried over his own ally.
Sasori reclined back in his bed, now cloaked, rearmed with new blades, and door safely locked. With as many locking and sealing jutsus as he could think of. At least he'd spend the rest of the night in peace. Closing his eyes, the redhead brooded over what horrible revenge he would use on each of the other members' birthdays, although most of his thoughts of revenge strayed to Kabuto. He was, after all, the one who started all of it.
Just then, a sudden thought hit Sasori. If Kabuto, who was quiet and polite and respectful managed to pull that off, what would Deidara do? Sasori deemed it not safe to go out of his room for the next week. (Of course, it was great that he didn't have to eat. Aside from battles, this was one of the first times Sasori was thankful for his puppet body.)
Sasori groaned, rolling out of his bed and onto the floor with a thump. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt so…so…drained. He felt completely exhausted from today. Practice on his aim, getting dragged around the hideout like some rag doll, Kabuto's idiotic gift and the following harassment and fight, and then many hours of just…laying there, glaring at the ceiling. He hadn't even really done anything all day, and he just felt tired.
I'm not supposed to be this tired, Sasori thought loudly, wincing as he got up off the floor. If I'm going to be feeling like this all week, Deidara is dead when I come back out…
All energy suddenly leaving him, Sasori decided to be content to merely rolling over and glaring at the ceiling again. Deidara is dead, Deidara is dead, Deidara is dead, he chanted mentally, and only when it began to lose it's original meaning did it strike him as funny. Or at least worth slight concern over. Deidara is dead…that's why we haven't seen him all day…He ran off and died in some stupid fight with an ANBU…I'm partnerless yet again…I'm going to kill Deidara if he ran off and died and left me to become Tobi's partner…
The redhead nearly jumped when he heard Kisame shouting and banging on his door. This had to be the, what, third time since Kabuto departed? And once again, Sasori was going to ignore him.
"SASORI! Gomen, but I ate your present!" That had to be the stupidest comment the sword user had come up with yet. "His name was Frederick, and he was red like your hair! GOMEN! I ATE FREDERICK!" Sasori refused to reply to such an idiotic apology. He hadn't even seen the fish to begin with…he hadn't even known Kisame had gotten him a fish!
Then the stray thought that crossed his mind made him shudder; Kisame hadn't even stated whether or not Frederick was a fish…
After awhile, the pounding on the door ceased. Sasori smirked when he heard Itachi's fire jutsu as well; he knew that Kisame would drag his partner over to burn the door down eventually, and had prepared for it. In fact, he had prepared for every Akatsuki's attack. No one would get in or out of this room for the next year. Or so. Give or take.
Sasori's thoughts strayed back to his partner, yet again. Deidara wasn't here on his birthday…what luck. In fact, it was too lucky. Lucky enough to be incredibly suspicious. Sasori increased the time in his room to the next two years. For safety. Of Deidara or any other fool who dared to annoy him in the next few hours. But after a bit of time had passed, Sasori began to actually worry about where his partner was. Although he hated the brat, he did not want to get used to a whole 'nother style of fighting again. It had been bad enough adjusting from Orochimaru to Deidara.
If that kid doesn't come back soon, I am going to hunt him down and drag him back by the ponytail, the puppet master concluded, ignoring the contradiction to his vow to stay in his room. And he absolutely refused to acknowledge the fact that he was actually concerned for Deidara. Stupid brat. How a child like him could get into Akatsuki is beyond me.
As the time passed, his worry for the blonde increased as well. (And the amount of time he promised himself to stay in his room. It must've been up to at least a decade by now.) Sasori paced back and forth in his room, Akatsuki cloak billowing around him. One more hour, and I'm going out looking for him, he declared mentally, glancing around his bare room for his summoning scrolls. To calm himself down and keep himself distracted, Sasori grabbed the nearest weapon, deciding to sharpen it.
An hour came and went, and that kunai he had been sharpening could split a hair down the middle. Throwing it as he stood up, Sasori turned with a whirl of his dark cloak, not bothering to watch where the blade buried itself up to the hilt in his wall. As he walked toward the door, the scarlet-eyed man began the seals to unravel his locking jutsus. Two tigers and a rat later, someone was pounding on his door.
"SASORI!" Strange, this time it was Hidan's voice. He sounded urgent. Sasori strode over to the door, yanking it open, glaring up into Hidan's pale eyes.
"What?" He snapped, irritated and frustrated over his lack of partner and horrible day.
"It-it's Deidara!" The silver-haired man was panting slightly; it was now obvious that he had ran all the way to Sasori's room, and was worked up as well. Sasori, on the other hand, just froze and stare at him. "He-he…came back…He's nearly dead! The kid's all-all covered in blood and he's talking nonsense…and--" Sasori had pushed past him, already halfway down the hall.
Shit, SHIT, that stupid brat, what did he do now? Sasori shouted mentally, clenching his fists at his sides.
The first thing he noticed was all the blood. The second was that Deidara's cloak was torn (soaked with blood) and he was missing one sleeve and a good chunk out of the same side.
The blonde Iwa-nin was laying on his back, visible eye closed, panting heavily. Kisame was running back and forth frantically, delivering medical supplies to Itachi. The Sharingan master was bandaging up a rather nasty gash on Deidara's leg, his black hair falling haphazardly into his face. Kakuzu, Zetsu and Tobi were standing in the background, looking mildly worried, but not overly. Zetsu had that look in his golden eyes, but one searing glare from Sasori banished the thought of eating Deidara from his mind.
Aside from turning to glare at Zetsu, Sasori stood stock still, staring at the bloody mess that was his partner. Kisame, two steps from dumping a new load of bandages and some antiseptic, noticed Sasori. "Ah, Sasori…Deidara just arrived about five minutes ago, looking like that and dragging that along behind him." He jerked a thumb back toward another bloody lump on the floor, before scurrying off to get more medical supplies.
Sasori paid no heed toward him, staggering robotically over to his teammate. Wordlessly, he picked up a roll of clean bandages, gently lifted Deidara's arm and began to wrap up a long cut from his elbow to his palm. Reaching back to wipe a stray lock of golden hair out of his partner's face, Sasori didn't acknowledge that Deidara had opened his eye and was staring tiredly at him. The redhead continued tending to the wounds, helping Itachi yank what was left of the Akatsuki uniform off of the boy's torso. Sasori couldn't help but wince at the wound; whatever had taken out that chunk of cloak had taken out a fair chunk of skin as well. He heard Itachi sigh, and silently handed him another roll of bandages, deciding to let him take care of it.
So instead, the redhead sat down, setting Deidara's head in his lap, watching sullenly as Itachi dressed the wounds. Sasori had seen many, many injuries in his lifetime, and knew a fatal wound when he saw one. Still, he couldn't be sure in this case…
"Danna…I brought you a present…un…" Deidara breathed, closing his azure eyes again with a small smile. He lifted his good arm up and gestured limply toward the bloody, dark lump a few feet away. Sasori pushed his hand back down, making it clear that he did not want the shinobi moving right now. Hell, he shouldn't even be conscious, Sasori thought blandly, glaring down at his partner when he reopened his eye. "Aren't you gonna look at it…un?"
"Shut up. You should be resting." It came out harsher than he had intended, but it got his point across.
"N-no…I feel better now…"
"Liar." Sasori hissed, narrowing his eyes. Deidara smiled weakly in reply. "Deidara, just what were you doing today? You were gone for the whole day, and then you come back…like this…" You had me worried sick! Sasori couldn't bring himself to add the last part, of course. He had been humiliated enough today.
"I wanted…to get you a good present…Sasori-danna…un." The blue-eyed blonde whispered, now watching Sasori intently. "So…I went down to Sunagakure…"
"That is a three day trip by foot!"
"I flew…un. Much faster…" Deidara grinned, chuckling softly. He tilted his head, leaning it on the crook of Sasori's knee, closing his eye once more. "I fought…the Kazekage…and I brought him back for you. To make…into a puppet, un…"
If he wasn't already in critical condition, Sasori would've tried to kill his partner for his stupidity. "You flew down to Sunagakure, twice in one day. You fought…the KAZEKAGE, and dragged both you and his body back here for me to make into a puppet?" He didn't add how amazed he was. At that, and the fact that he heard that the Sandaime Kazekage was the greatest shinobi of the Sand yet…
"It's not his body…" Deidara protested, brows instantly furrowing. "He's still alive, just out cold…un. Because he has this really…really strong ability called the Iron Sand…and I want him to be able to use it as a puppet." At the comment of the now-deemed-Kazekage, Kakuzu and Zetsu both went over to inspect the bloody, unconscious leader. After checking on him, Zetsu instructed Tobi to sit on him, to pin him there. (Also, in case he woke up, he'd take out the masked nin first.)
"There." Itachi said quietly, sitting back. He wiped a few locks of dark hair out of his eyes, glancing at Sasori. "That's all I can do for him." He nodded in response, looking down at his partner. Deidara's head was still resting in his lap, almost snuggled into the crook of his knee. The blonde was smiling slightly, a peaceful, restful expression on his face. If it weren't for the fact that he was chuckling slightly, Sasori would've guessed that he was already dead.
"Happy birthday, danna, un." He muttered.
"…Arigato, Deidara." Sasori murmured in reply.
"You accept gifts from him, too? That's playing favorites!" Kisame commented dryly from his spot beside Itachi.
Several weeks later, things had returned to normal. Deidara had recovered, for the most part, and wouldn't leave Sasori's side at all. Sasori was still annoyed as ever with his young partner, but he forgave him for all the irritation whenever he saw the scroll for summoning the puppet of the Kazekage.
Kisame had gave Sasori another red koi fish, although this one promptly died of fright when it saw the shark-man. So Frederick the second passed on, although Kabuto appeared to take his body away for experimenting. The silver-haired medic nin disappeared after a comment from Sasori, however, "And where were you when we actually needed a medic nin!"
"I miss Frederick…" Kisame and Deidara sobbed in unison.
"Deal with it. I'm just not destined to have a fish." Sasori growled in reply.
"...How about a bird, Sasori-danna? Un?" Deidara asked hopefully. "I like birds..."
"Fine. You get a bird, then. Just keep it away from me." The puppet master replied.
"You and Kisame-san both." The blue-eyed blonde grinned at Kisame's expression. The Mist shinobi mumbled something inaudibly in reply, glaring at nothing in particular. "OH! I JUST GOT A GOOD IDEA UUUUNNNN!" Deidara suddenly shouted, startling both of the others.
"WE SHOULD ALL GET PETS. UN! Yeah, like I would get a bird, Kisame-san would get a fish, Zetsu-san would get...a plant...or something...un..." The excited boy trailed off, deep in thought.
"Hai!" Kisame agreed, grinning as well. (Sasori sighed in the background and muttered something about idiots.) "Sasori should get another Frederick, too!"
"Well, maybe a scorpion instead..." Deidara glanced at his partner with a sly smirk. Sasori sighed again, pointedly looking away. "And then Itachi-san can have a weasel or a ferret or something cute like that! And Hidan-san can have...hmm...un..." He and Kisame both began plotting about getting pets for the other members, although they kept getting stumped whenever coming back to Hidan or Sir Leader-sama. Eventually, Sasori noted with a sort of amusement, they decided to get a cat for Sir Leader-sama and a dog for Hidan. And keep them apart.
"So then. We'll name Itachi-san's weasel Sasuke, Zetsu's flower shall be called Tobi, my fish shall be called Frederick the Third, and your bird shall be named...?" Kisame listed, prompting Deidara's bird's name. The Iwa-nin merely looked thoughtful in return, and shrugged. "Right...Sir Leader-sama's kitten shall be called Fisshu-Fluffykins, and we're shipping off Eithne-the-snake to Orochimaru, right?"
"Hai, un." Deidara replied cheerfully. Turning thoughtful again a moment later, he looked at Sasori. "Wait, danna...are you sure you don't want Frederick the Third? Because since Kisame sort of killed the first two, it'd only be fair if you wanted him...un..."
"I do not want a fish, Deidara."
"...You sure? Because it's sorta hard to come up with a name for a scorpion, un."
Kisame coughed loudly, a cough that sounded strangely like, "Name it Deidara." After many glares and a bit more coughing on the blue-haired shinobi's part, he straightened up and continued. "And then Kakuzu's bunny is going to be named Flute, and Hidan's dog shall be called Yuko. That's mostly everyone who's gonna get a pet. Except your bird, Deidara..."
"I'm not getting a pet until Sasori-danna gets one, un."
"Great. Then I win both ways."
Kisame stood between a glaring Deidara and a stoic-as-always Sasori, glancing from one to another. After what had to be at least ten minutes of silence, the blue-haired man shuffled over to the younger shinobi, bending down to whisper something in his ear. Deidara's visible eye widened, and he was instantly shouting and trying to kick Kisame.
Itachi, of course, had to arrive at that moment. Without a word, he grabbed his partner by the back of the collar, dragging the taller man away from a tantrum-throwing Deidara. Sasori silently thanked his ally for taking away half of the immaturity...but scorned the teen at the same time for not taking the other half. The Iwa-nin and Suna-nin were left alone, resolutely staring at each other in an impromptu staring contest.
"If I win this, you drop the whole pet scheme. And you quit bugging me about that day." Sasori was, of course, referring to his birthday. Wood polish and koi fish aside, the others wouldn't stop pestering him about he had been kinder to Deidara since then. Of course.
"If I win this, we get the pets, un...AND...um...You'll throw a party for me on my birthday." Deidara replied, sticking his tongue out. He raised his hand as well, holding it out so the palm-mouth faced Sasori, sticking that tongue out as well. The redhead's expression didn't change.
"Agreed." He replied monotonously.
"Wait...Sasori-danna...do puppets blink?"
"We usually don't need to." Sasori smirked as Deidara nearly sobbed. He narrowed his eyes a fraction, though, when his partner brightened considerably and smirked back. "...What?"
"Do you blink when you're surprised?"
"...Hai..." Sasori immediately steeled himself for whatever was coming, of course.
"...Guess what Kisame-san had whispered to me. He said you didn't need a pet because I was yours already."
...Damn, Sasori thought. Judging from the look on Deidara's face, he had just blinked when he had fallen over from shock. "That's hardly fair, Deidara."
"I WIN, I WIN, SASORI-DANNA!" The boy was busy doing a strange sort of victory dance, hopping around and waving his arms. "WE GET THE PETS, WE GET THE PETS!"
That, of course, went over like a lead balloon.
Itachi did not appreciate his pet Sasuke, Sir Leader-sama merely gave Fisshu-Fluffykins away (to Tobi), Frederick the Third somehow managed to wind up with Itachi for his own protection, and Sasori would never forgive Kisame, Hidan and Zetsu for the prank they pulled.
It started as the typical ding-dong-ditch. Ninja style, of course.Still...their plan evolved, and evolved, until a half hour later, Sasori received a knock on the door, and opened it to reveal a ticked, bound-and-gagged Deidara. Who had somehow gotten dark red, scorpion-like pincer-gloves on his hands and a scorpion tail was poking up behind him. There was a note on his hair; without bothering to untie Deidara, he reached down and picked it up. It said: 'Dear Sasori, here is your pet. Happy belated birthday, -Akatsuki'.
Without any change in expression, Sasori threw the note over his shoulder, and knelt down to untie his partner. "Deidara, do you wish to help me hunt down Kisame?"
Nodding enthusiastically with an evil grin, "And Zetsu and Hidan! Un!"
"Ah. So they were in on this as well..."
"How much clay do you have?"
"Good." Sasori grabbed the summoning scroll for Hiruko and the Kazekage both, and beckoned his partner to follow him down the hallway. "I have a feeling I am going to really appreciate your gift, Deidara."
Dedicated to Frederick the Koi Fish, and his successor, Frederick the Second. And all the other animals sure to be maimed/injured/killed because of bad naming jobs.
Frederick the First/Second/Third: Belong to Eithne.
Eithne: Belongs to Kabuto, since Orochimaru couldn't take care of a pet.
Flute and Yuko belong to themselves (Although in here they're Kakuzu and Hidan's, respectively.)
And Deidara belongs to Sasori.