Everyone's a Critic

Chapter 1

"So what did you think of my killer attack Deidara-senpai?"

For the third time that day Deidara tried to keep himself from killing his new partner, but god help him Tobi wasn't making it easy.

They had just finished taking down another ninja with a bounty on his head and turning in the body for the reward, another collateral gain for the Akatsuki. It hadn't really been difficult mission, but it had been a bit…messy.

Deidara looked down at his Akatsuki robes, or to be more specific, his blood and dirt covered Akatsuki robes. He wasn't looking forward to washing all that out. If it wasn't for that cheapskate Kakuzu maybe they could have bought more than one robe apiece, but no, "too expensive." Lousy bum.

"So what do we do now Deidara-senpai?"

Deidara groaned once again at Tobi's nonstop mouth. What he wouldn't give for a few minutes piece and…wait a minute.

A smile grew on the blond shinobi's face as he turned to his masked partner. "Say Tobi…I think I have a new mission for you, yeah"

Tobi, always eager to please, jumped at the prospect. "I'm ready for anything Deidara-sempai!"

Trying to keep a strait face, Deidara removed his robes and handed them to Tobi, leaving him in nothing but his mesh shirt and black pants. "Take this back to the hideout and give it a good wash, after that wait until I return for further instructions."

"Do you want me to shine up your forehead protector while I'm at it?" Tobi asked as he took the robes.

"Hmm? Oh, sure why not?" Technically it was against to Akatsuki rules to remove it but screw them. After all he's been through for this organization he deserved a vacation, even if it was a small one.

Tobi eagerly took the forehead protector and saluted. "I won't let you down Deidara-sempai!"

"Will you stop calling me that? Makes me feel old, yeah."

Of course Tobi didn't hear that part and took off, running at top speed towards the hideout.

"What an idiot…" Deidara stretched out his limbs, feeling better now that he had those bulky robes off.

"Now let's find something to do, yeah."

Jumping through the treetops Ino was making her way back to the Hidden Leaf Village. Her mission, a simple scroll delivery, had gone off without a hitch. Even though she didn't mind getting an easy mission once and awhile, she was really looking forward to getting back to work with Shikamaru and Chouji. After all, what would those two do without her?

Deidara stretched out lazily on a tree branch, enjoying the peace and quite for once. Ever since Tobi came along things just got harder for him, why couldn't he have someone else to work with besides Tobi? Someone who wouldn't call him sempai and not ask stupid questions like…

Well, not Hidan. That weird religion of his was way too freaky.

And not Itachi, too much of an asshole.

Kakuzu was too homicidal, and coming from an Akatsuki member that was saying something.

Kisame was too…Kisame-like for him.

He didn't think anyone would want to work with Zetsu.

And that other guy was too creepy for to work with.

Actually, he could probably do a lot worse than Tobi at this point.

Sighing, Deidara reached into his pouch and pulled out a small lump of clay, the only bit left over from the previous fight. It was a shame he didn't get to use it all, even now his mind was going over ideas of what he could mold it into.

"Oh well…" Deidara sighed as he placed it back into the pouch, "always next time, yeah."

It was then his senses picked it up, the sounds of someone moving through the forest getting closer to his position. Within a second he was up and moving, jumping into the trees making sure he was well hidden from view.

After a few moments he saw her, a blond haired Kunoichi making her way through the forest. From what he could tell she was leaf ninja, and not a bad looking one at that.

Deidara smiled as he took the clay back out of his pouch. Looks like his luck was changing after all.

A flash of color caught Ino's eye as she made her way through the trees. With grace befitting a Kunoichi of her skill, she jumped down from the treetops and landed in a small clearing.

It was a really beautiful clearing in the middle of the forest, full of a variety of different flowers. Just enough sunlight was flowing through the trees to allow all the flowers to grow, and served to give the place a lovely glow. Ino smiled as she took in the sights and sounds of the area. She really loved spots like this; of course her family business might make her a little biased.


The Kunoichi had landed in a clearing and was busy admiring the flowers, totally oblivious to his presence. Not that she would have been able to sense him anyway.

"So like a woman to stop for some flowers."

Deidara smiled to himself as the mouth on his left hand opened, the tongue reaching out for the explosive clay greedily. Placing the in the mouth it immediately went to work, chewing and molding the piece to fit his vision. After a moment it spit it back out into his palm, and with a gentle squeeze it took the shape of a small bird.

Deidara stared at his work of art, quite pleased with himself. Raising his hand into the air and activating the jutsu the bird came to life, its wings stretching out and propelling it into the air. Following its creators wishes the bird set off for the unsuspecting Kunoichi while Deidara sat back and watched.

This Kunoichi was definitely going to see what a bang his art was, yeah.

Ino hummed gently to herself as she ran her hands over the colorful array of flowers, admiring the handiwork of mother nature. She recognized most of the different species and in the back of her mind started making a checklist of a few items she'll have to order when she got home.

Of course, Ino wouldn't have been much of a ninja if she hadn't noticed the bit of movement in the corner of her eye. Her head darting to the side, her eyes fell upon a little object resting atop a few, now broken, flowers.

"A little bird statue…" Carefully Ino picked up the clay piece and began looking it over, her eyes noting the craftsmanship.

Deidara's smile grew wider. He loved it when his victims spent their last few moments appreciating his art.

His hands began to go through the necessary hand signs…

A small frown appeared on Inos face after she finished looking over the piece.

"Someone really could have done a better job on you."

…and froze in mid-formation.

WHAT did she just say?

As Ino prepared to toss the bird away and continue on her way, she heard something much larger than the little bird in her hand falling from above her. Her training kicking in she immediately jumped clear, drawing out a kunai and entering a fighting stance.

Before her now stood a well-toned man, just a bit taller than she was, wearing nothing but a mesh shirt and black pants. If she hadn't been preoccupied with how angry he looked at her, she wouldn't have minded the sight too much.

The man suddenly pointed an accusing finger at her. "What the hell's wrong with it?!"

Ino just stared back at him, really starting to get confused. "Excuse me?"

Her answer just seemed to piss him off more. "You said I 'could have done better.' Now I'm asking you what the hell you meant by that!"

"You mean the bird?"

"Of course the bird!"

Ino lifted it back into view, the clay piece having never left her hand. "You made this?"

Deidara's hand slapped his forehead. "Of course I did! Are you dense or something?"

Ino huffed and stared indigently at the man, one hand going to her hip while the other held up the bird. "Well if you really want to know, the first problem is with how dull it looks."

"Dull?!" Deidara inwardly screamed, straining to keep his mouth shut. He had to keep himself calm in this sort of situation. What kind of artist would he be if he lost his cool over some dumb Kunoichis opinion?

"Also," Ino continued, "you could have done a better job on the details, maybe accentuate the feathers a bit more."

Deidara felt his right eye twitch.

"But the biggest problem would have to be this." Ino turned the bird on its side, pointing to the two little feet on its bottom. "Its feet are wrong. You have three toes on one foot and only two on the other. It ruins the whole piece."

Deidaras jaw dropped and he snatched the bird out of Inos hands, causing her to blink in surprise. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. He couldn't have overlooked something like that. He was Deidara: Akatsukis number one (and currently only) artist. This had to be some kind of mistake. He couldn't have let something like this happen. If he did it would mean…

…Oh God, was he getting RUSTY?

Ino watched the man in front of her apparently going through some kind of panic attack. Letting out a sigh she turned away from the pathetic sight to leave. "Look, it was…interesting talking to you but I have to get going."

"WAIT!" Deidara called out, getting her attention. "This was just a fluke! Give me a second, I'll show you something really good."

"Uh-huh." Ino replied, clearly skeptical.

"Just wait while I…" Deidaras eyes went wide in shock as he reached back into his pouch and remembered that was the last piece of clay he had.

Ino watched as the man frantically searched his body for something, looking pretty stressed over it. Tucking a loose strand of hair back into place she finally decided she really couldn't wait any longer.

Look, you can have your bird back. I really need to get going."

"No, wait!"

Ino tossed the clay bird back into Deidaras hands and waved goodbye before heading off into the tree once again. Deidara watched her as she took off, trying to figure out what he wanted to do now.

Sure, he could chase down the Kunoichi and force-feed the bird down her throat for daring to criticize his art, but…

…but what if she was right?

This was ridicules! Why was he getting so worked up over the opinion of one Kunoichi? What did she know about his art?

Satisfied, Deidara decided to just push this whole incident out of his mind and just head back to the hideout, but not before finishing the final stage of his art.

Sending his bird high into the air he started to perform the he started the hand signs once again, preparing to unleash a wonderful explosion in the air. Only problem was, he couldn't seem to finish the jutsu.

Now that he though about it, it had been a long time since anyone had ever said anything about his art. His victims didn't last long enough to comment, and none of the other Akatsuki members really cared save Sasori, but all he ever wanted to do was argue over the meaning of art and not whether it was good or not.

Summoning the bird back into his hand, he carefully scrutinized his work. How many of his victim's lasts thoughts had been like that Kunoichis? How many people had thought he "could have done better?"

His fist tightened around the clay birds, almost crushing it before he stopped himself. This wouldn't do, this wouldn't do at all. He was Deidara, the most artistic ninja in all the Akatsuki, Hell, the most artistic in all the countries! Yeah…he would work on his art, refine it, make it better, and then they'd see. They would all see what a bang art was, especially that Kunoichi!


Well? What do you people think? Should I continue this or not?