Since I've been receiving lovely feedback on the two Live Journal DeiTobi stories I've posted here so far, I decided to share another. And considering the recent bout of snowy weather we've had (where I live, at least), I figured this one was appropriate. XD As always, I hope everyone enjoys, and if you're looking for other DeiTobi stories I've written, check out my homepage link at my profile. ::grin::

Snow Angels
"I don't see why you're so cheerful today," Deidara groused, slouching a bit further down in his cloud-patterned Akatsuki cloak. In retrospect, he probably should've worn another layer beneath it, but Tobi dragged him outside—by the sleeve, no less—before he had the chance to do much of anything besides grunt indignantly and set his brush on the edge of the bathroom sink, where it teetered for a moment and then hit the floor with a resounding clatter.

He didn't have any solid evidence to support this theory, but it seemed to Deidara that Tobi had an unnerving habit of cornering him whenever his hair was out of its customary ponytail, and he never gave Deidara the opportunity to pull it up until he finally left him alone.

Granted, he'd rather his hair down than up presently, to help keep his head insulated from the biting wind, but still. His fellow Akatsuki members teased him enough about his hair—never mind Itachi wore his long, too, and they didn't pick on him—when it was up. When it was down

"Oy, Deidara. What conditioner do you use? Your hair's so shiny. You have girl hair, dude." (Kisame.)

"You're looking quite…womanly today, Deidara. Perhaps you ought to consider growing a goatee." (Itachi.)

"Can I have your number, babe?" (Kakuzu.)

"…I knew you were a fucking cross dresser." (Hidan.)

"Are those breasts I see?" "No, no, his cloak is wrinkled." "Ah." (Zetsu.)

"I was unaware of accepting two females into my organization…" (The Leader.)

And lastly (perhaps the worst of the bunch): "I wish I was as pretty as you, Deidara-senpai."

The more derogatory comments he could handle without much of a problem, because they basically invited retaliation, and as far as Deidara was concerned, if you dish it out, you're gonna get it back.

Okay, great. But how the hell do you defend yourself if someone calls you pretty and means it?

Well…uh…it's not my fault I'm pretty?

God, he felt stupid even thinking about it. And a little uncomfortable. Tobi shouldn't say stuff like that, shouldn't go around confusing Deidara and making him wonder what the fuck kind of psychotic shit went on in Tobi's head and if some of that psychotic shit was leaking out and infecting Deidara, because that's the only viable reason why being called pretty would do strange things to his insides.

He refused to consider alternative explanations at this point in the game, regardless of whether or not it'd hurt him in the future. The way his chest grew tight and his throat went dry around Tobi hurt already.

"Snow doesn't make you happy, Deidara-senpai?"

While Deidara had been lost in his thoughts, Tobi removed his mask and turned his face to the sky, eyes closed, expression so contented Deidara was almost envious. Flakes of snow caught and glistened in his eyelashes and his spiky black hair.

"It always makes me happy." His eyes opened, though he kept them fixed on the stone gray clouds. "It's pure no matter what it touches." Slowly, he lifted his hand and loosened his glove finger by finger, then slipped it off. Deidara could see the mottling of tiny scars, scars that Tobi hid from everyone else but him. "Watch." He held out his hand, palm up, and allowed the snow to gather there, stark white against coffee brown. "A miracle, isn't it?" He smiled, looking at Deidara now. "I love snow."

The tightness was there, pulling like a rubber band, compressing his ribs, his thawing heart.

He asked himself, not for the first time, what Tobi was doing in Akatsuki, what he hoped to achieve. Did he realize what he was sacrificing, what they had all sacrificed to become merciless, power-driven machines?

One day, the snow wouldn't make him happy. One day, he'd learn to hate it, to resent the purity that drew him to it. One day, he'd understand that his touch bred corruption, and even the baptism of the snow couldn't wash the filth from his hands.

Deidara may not have been a religious fanatic like Hidan, but he wasn't ignorant of the state of his soul.

It was dirty, chaotic. A waiting explosion.

"Tobi, you—"

He cut off abruptly when he heard laughter, and his brows snapped together sharply. Tobi had disappeared. "Hey…where'd you go, dumbass?" He scanned the area, seeing nothing but scattered bunches of fir trees and bushes.

"Down here, Deidara-senpai."

Scowling, Deidara lowered his visible eye.

"Holy shit. I knew it. You're an idiot, un."

Tobi lie sprawled on his back in the snow, arms and legs splayed out. He moved them in lazy half-arcs, scattering puffs of white. His cheeks were rosy and his mouth stretched in a wide grin.

"Come on! This is fun!"

Deidara stared blankly. All that grave contemplation about souls and feelings and Dr. Phil-type crap, and there was Tobi, flopping around dementedly like an upside-down turtle.

And he wanted Deidara to join him.

"No," he said flatly.

"Aww, don't be a spoil sport. Please?"

"No," Deidara repeated, just as flatly. He'd rather lick a recently vacated toilet seat. Or streak through a shopping mall.

Streaking, obviously, was preferable to licking a toilet seat, but whatever.

"Hmm…guess I have to fix that."

Before he could so much as blink, Tobi's foot shot out and knocked Deidara off balance, sending him flailing and spluttering into the snow.

Tobi's laughter was decidedly merrier.

"You should've seen your face!" He wheezed between strangled breaths, tears leaking from his eyes.

Ha ha. Funny, funny, funny. You're fucking hilarious, Tobi.

Deidara was not amused.


"Yes, Deidara-senpai?" His voice was hoarse.

"Do that again, and I blow you up."

"Okay, Deidara-senpai."

"I'm serious, un. There'll be pieces of you everywhere."

"Ew. That sounds messy."

Deidara snorted, reaching beneath him to grab the twig that jabbed him in the back. He supposed there were worse things than lying in the snow.

Like licking toilet seats. Now that he had time to think about it, he probably wouldn't resort to that.

"It is messy," he replied. But beautiful. Art at its best. Too bad Sasori-danna disagreed with him. They might've had some nice conversations.

Actually…he never talked like this with Sasori-danna, completely at ease. Sure, they'd bantered occasionally, but the banter usually dissolved into a heated argument after a few minutes, and then they wouldn't talk for the rest of the day.

Tobi, on the other hand…


He glanced to the right, noticed that Tobi was sitting up. "Yeah?" he said warily.


A snowball walloped him in the face.

It was cold.

For a moment or two, silence reigned, Deidara's brain processing what had occurred, and then he snapped.

Not bothering to form a proper ball, he bunched as much snow in his hands that would fit and flung it at Tobi. A great deal of it was carried off by the wind rather than reaching its destination.

To compensate, Deidara flung himself at Tobi instead.

Desperate times, eh?

What ensued was part wrestling match and part 'let's see who can shove the most snow down the other person's cloak' competition. Normally, Deidara didn't behave with such reckless abandon—other than when he was in his workshop creating—but this situation was a bit different. He had a lot of pent-up frustration to get rid of.

Which is possibly what brought the tussle to a screeching halt when Deidara, finding himself in a position of dominance, hands on either side of Tobi's head, leaned in and roughly kissed Tobi's mouth.

Tobi gave a muffled grunt of surprise, but he soon reciprocated, parting his slightly moist lips and tangling his fingers in Deidara's hair.

And the only consistent thought racing through Deidara's mind was that he wanted more, no, needed more. This barely scratched the surface.

Instinctively, he shifted his hips, gasping, and his eyes flew open.

"Stop," he rasped.

Tobi was as aroused as Deidara. At this rate, if they continued…

"Deidara-senpai." Tobi touched Deidara's cheek.

Heart pounding, Deidara met Tobi's clear, trusting gaze.

"Don't be afraid," he murmured huskily. "I made a snow angel. It's a guardian. It'll protect us, so don't be afraid."

Snow angel…

That's what he'd been doing. Deidara briefly recalled an image of children lying in the snow, moving their arms and legs the way Tobi had. Out of curiosity, he went over and examined the ground after the children had gone, and the imprints they left behind resembled angels, their wings outspread.

"Naïve," he'd remarked with a clinical sort of detachment, though nostalgia convinced him to allow the images to stand unmolested.

His mother had believed in angels.

Another touch to the cheek.

Deidara swallowed.

"It can't protect me from you," he whispered.

Nothing could.

So he surrendered.