I'm a DeiTobi nutjob. In every sense. This pairing (more specifically, Deidara) lives in my brain. Wrote this a month or so ago on LJ (one of many DeiTobis that I have yet to post...), and I figured I ought to share here, too. ::grin:: Hope everyone enjoys!

Concerning Nail Polish
"If I wear gloves, do I still need to paint my nails, Deidara-senpai?"

Though Tobi had been a member of Akatsuki for a couple months now, the thought hadn't occurred to him until just this moment, and he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep unless the issue was resolved.

Unfortunately for Deidara-senpai.

Tobi had learned rather quickly that his partner wasn't a morning or a night person, because he was grouchy when he woke up to the alarm (that Tobi set religiously each night), and he was equally grouchy before he went to sleep (even more so when something—or someone—prevented him from drifting off). Tobi hated to bother him, but really, this was important. The leader's mental stability fluctuated from day to day, and things would not go well for him if he were breaking protocol and the leader found out on one of his crazy days.

Deidara made an incoherent noise, and Tobi heard sheets rustle. The sound stopped soon after.

Oh dear. What should he do? If Deidara-senpai were asleep, he'd be furious at Tobi for waking him up. But he'd be furious if he were only pretending to be asleep, too, so any which way Tobi looked at it, the situation was impossible.

Since Tobi's bed was flush against the right hand wall and Deidara's the left, he flung his daisy-print comforter to the side, flipped onto his stomach, and twisted his body around horizontally so he was facing Deidara. He would've just gotten out of bed altogether, except the floor was cold, and the last time he'd hovered over Deidara's bed while Deidara was sleeping, the bloodcurdling scream his senpai emitted once he became aware of Tobi's presence had disturbed the entire household. Tobi was certain he'd never forget the diatribe Hidan directed at him for that, and he'd much rather avoid any further demonstrations of Hidan's extensive vocabulary.

Not to mention he felt terrible about scaring Deidara-senpai so badly.

Ah well. He'd make this work.

Supporting his weight on his forearms, Tobi cupped his hands around his mouth.

"Deidara-senpai," he whispered loudly.

The sheets rustled again, but Deidara still didn't say anything.

"Deidara-senpai," Tobi repeated, raising his volume a little.

That seemed to do it.

"What?" Tobi saw Deidara's outline in the dark; he was sitting up, and his long, blonde hair, unbound, practically glowed. Tobi wouldn't say it aloud, ever (only because Deidara would get mad), but he thought, with his hair down like that, Deidara was as pretty as a girl, maybe even prettier.

"I have a question." He wanted to touch his hair. Right now. While his gloves weren't on and Deidara wouldn't be able to notice the scars mottling his fingers. Tobi had a lot of scars. Deidara didn't have any, as far as he could tell.

"You'd better have a question," Deidara snapped acidly, "and it better be a good question, un."

Tobi winced. It was a good question to him, but it might not be to Deidara-senpai. "Should I paint my nails?"

"Should you…oh god." Deidara flopped back dramatically, the mattress squeaking beneath him, and covered his head with a pillow. "I'm sleeping." His voice sounded buried and distant. "Don't talk to me anymore, un."

Tobi puffed out his cheeks. He ought to have gotten to the point earlier.

"I meant should I start painting them. In case the leader checks. Does he check? Would he ask me to take my gloves off and—"

The pillow groaned.

"Go. To sleep," it said. "Go to sleep, Tobi. Just do it."

But Tobi couldn't sleep. The more he considered it, the more worried he became that the leader would decide to do a random nail polish search, and kick Tobi out of Akatsuki for not wearing any. Who would take care of Deidara-senpai then?

Nobody else knew that he needed extreme quiet to construct his bombs and that his favorite fruits were pears and that he looked pretty with his hair down and that he was allergic to cats and peanut butter. Nobody else knew that he didn't like to be alone when he went to sleep (and Tobi only knew that because all the times he'd gone up to bed after him, Deidara would open and close his eye quickly once Tobi came in, and then his body would relax).


No, he was not leaving Akatsuki.

The pillow sailed through the air, and smacked Tobi in the face.

"There's nail polish in my drawer." Deidara's remaining pillow went back over his head. "Make sure you screw the cap on tight when you're finished." He added, "Dumbass," under his breath, but Tobi was so happy he didn't care. He'd gotten accustomed to dumbass, anyway, and he figured it must be a term of endearment, what with the way Deidara-senpai used it so often.

"I can really borrow yours?" He set the projectile pillow beside him and drew himself onto his knees, nearly bouncing with excitement.

Instead of replying, Deidara flapped his hand as a consenting gesture. Eagerly, Tobi climbed down from his bed and proceeded toward Deidara's nightstand on tiptoe, wishing the floor was carpeted. He'd have to talk to the leader about that. Or Kakuzu. He'd know where to find a cheap rug.

At the nightstand, Tobi pulled the drawer open slowly and squinted into it. He would've appreciated a lamp or a flashlight, but he figured he'd annoyed Deidara-senpai enough already. Chewing his lip, he plunged a hand inside and prayed he didn't break anything. His fingers encountered a few paperclips, some rubber bands, a book, a jar, a squishy ball (Kisame had one of those as well…they were called stress balls or something), and finally, the nail polish.

"There you are," he murmured, and shut the drawer just as gently as he'd opened it, then returned to his bed—also on tiptoe.

It might be tricky, painting his nails in the pitch black, especially since he'd never done this before, but Tobi was determined to try.

Tongue between his teeth, eyes narrowed in concentration, he twisted the cap off and recoiled almost instantly from the potent odor that assaulted his senses.

"Oh yuck!" He held the bottle as far away from him as he could, nose wrinkled. "That's so gross!"

Deidara's hands clenched around the pillow covering his head, and Tobi immediately regretted his impulsive reaction.

"I'm sorry, Deidara-senpai," he said hurriedly. "I didn't mean to wake you up again, but…this stuff reeks! Eww…"

The second pillow of the evening flew across the room, however Tobi managed to dodge it and keep the polish from spilling all over the place—namely his comforter.

"Shut up, Tobi." Deidara's tone was flat. "Nail polish smells, un. Deal with it." Lacking pillows, he burrowed under his sheets like a mole.

Tobi blinked, then looked at the bottle, expression cagey. "Are you sure there's nothing wrong with it?"

"Yes. I'm sure," the Deidara lump replied, each word clipped.

Not that he knew much about nail polish, but Tobi was rather skeptical. Yet…if Deidara-senpai said there was nothing wrong…

He'd have to trust him.

"Okay." Steeling himself, Tobi took a deep breath and dipped the brush into the bottle, trying not to gag. "I can do this." Brush coated, he poised it above his left thumbnail. His hand trembled a little. "I can do this…"

"No, you can't."

Startled, Tobi almost dropped the brush.

Soft light bathed the room; Deidara had switched a lamp on.

"Here." He reached for the bottle, and Tobi, a tad shell-shocked, passed it to him.

"Move." Tobi promptly complied. Yawning, Deidara sat down, plucked the brush from Tobi's weakened grip, and grabbed his right hand. "Two in the morning," he grumbled, "and I'm painting your nai—" Deidara cut off abruptly.

Anxious—had he done something to make him even more irritated?—Tobi entreated, "What? Deidara-senpai?"

But Deidara didn't answer. Eye trained on Tobi's hand, he ran the pad of his thumb over the knuckles, then the fingers.

He was tracing the scars.

Tobi shifted uncomfortably, his heart thrumming against his ribcage. He didn't want Deidara to see them, to scrutinize them like that, because they made him less than perfect. They made him ugly, ashamed that someone so beautiful should have to look at them…

"I know," he said, sheepish. "They're disgusting. I…got into a lot of fights as a kid." He still remembered a few of them vividly.

Deidara's brow puckered. "You are a kid, un." Without elaborating, he released Tobi's hand as if he couldn't bear to touch it.

Tobi smiled sadly. He was repulsive. "I'm so—" He closed his mouth with an audible click when Deidara glared at him.

"Shut up, wouldja? God…" He put the brush back in the bottle to free one of his of his own hands and tugged the hem of his shirt up, revealing his stomach, and—

Tobi gawked.

A large, shiny burn mark disfigured his otherwise pale, flawless skin.

"My first bomb," Deidara explained, voice containing a hint of bitterness. "Damn thing backfired…I was such an idiot, un. Thought I was invicible." His gaze met Tobi's. "You're not the only one who has scars," he said quietly, readjusting his shirt.

Tobi had wanted to do it before, but he didn't feel like he should then.

Now…nothing would stop him now.

He slid his scarred fingers through Deidara's long, blonde, unbound hair, believing for an instant that they might come out purified.

"You look pretty with your hair down, Deidara-senpai."

Though it was faint, a blush colored Deidara's cheeks. "Dumbass," he said eventually, and, shaking his head, he grabbed Tobi's hand again to pick up where he left off with the nail polish.

Tobi grinned.

That "dumbass" had definitely sounded affectionate.