First off, I've updated the story. Yay for me. On another note, I would like to (though against my better judgment) apologize for the long three or so month wait. I didn't really get on the computer much, and I sort of got so wrapped up in so many other things that I completely forgot. I wasn't GOING to apologize, but my best friend goaded me into doing so. In fact, she wrote this thing for me, though I do SORT OF feel this way. (Note: I, Merks, typer of this apology, would like to mention that as I type this, Ryusei is laughing like a maniac.) Ryusei: Wow, you must hate me. All of you! Life is cruel. T.T

-:-

Hinata woke up that morning to the rising sun peeking through the curtain. Groaning as she sat up she grabbed some clothes and wandered off to take a shower. The hot water soothed the sore muscles she had gained sleeping on Deidara's couch.

Deidara got no sleep that night. He could only sit watching the full moon glow through his window. He remembered dozing off a couple of times but those were only nightmare filled escapades brought on by his own stupidity and fears. He really was an idiot.

Deciding staying in bed was useless Deidara rolled himself out of bed only to end up on the floor. He was really tired. He pushed himself to his feet and slowly made his way to the bathroom.

Deidara didn't notice when he went to flip the bathroom lights on that they already were, or that the shower was running. Oh the gifts of insomnia. He wasn't more than three steps into the room when a growl alerted him to the other occupant of the room. It took his lethargic brain a moment to figure out who the figure behind the opaque curtain was. The second it clicked in his mind a small trickle of blood streamed out his right nostril.

"Are you deaf you idiot?! Get the fuck out of here!" Hinata yelled as she wrapped a towel around herself. Deidara hastily wiped the blood that trickled down onto his lips away. He then turned slowly, looking behind him at Hinata's angry figure for as long as possible, before exiting the room and closing the door securely behind him. Well, that woke him up.

Hinata left for school after an uncomfortable breakfast filled with glares, nervous laughs, and an apology from Deidara. Deidara left just shortly after, rushing to find his friends.

-:-

"So… Tell me why we're here," Kisame said as he plopped down on Sasori's couch.

"Indeed," Sasori commented as he carried a box through the door. "Isn't this stuff supposed to go to your house?"

Deidara let out a long sigh as he lowered himself onto the box he had recently set down. "Guys, I'm an idiot."

"So you finally came to that realization on your own, huh?" Itachi chuckled as he brought the last box through the door. "But seriously, what's going on?"

Deidara stared down at his hands shamefully. "Tayuya stopped by last night."

Kisame and Itachi looked at him questioningly while Sasori's face clouded over with worry.

"Who's Tayuya?" Kisame asked.

Deidara gulped. "My fiancé."

"You bastard!" Itachi yelled as he shot up to rush at Deidara. He himself might not care for Hinata, but he didn't like Deidara doing that to anyone. Deidara let Itachi shove him off the box he'd been seated on. He hit the ground with a thud and only stared sadly up at a fuming Itachi. Itachi calmed down after a moment and returned to his eat on the couch. Wearily Deidara picked himself up off the floor and returned to his perch.

"What did you do that's got you so worried?" Sasori asked in a soft voice.

"I told her I loved her," Deidara answered meekly.

"Which one?" Kisame asked, scratching his head.

"Hina-chan of course!" Deidara yelled out indignantly.

"Then what's so bad about it?" Kisame asked. "She doesn't seem like the sort to become clingy."

"In fact, she doesn't seem like the sort who's ready to fall in love period." Itachi added.

Deidara looked dejectedly down at the floor. "I wasn't planning on telling her," he started, his voice wavering slightly. "I know she wasn't ready for it," he took a deep breath. "But I was desperate to get rid of Tayuya. It just sort of slipped out."

Sasori frowned worriedly. "So Tayuya heard this confession of yours?" he asked slowly, fear edging into his voice. Deidara gave a small nod in answer. "I see the idiocy in that," Sasori declared as Deidara plodded off to the bathroom, leaving Sasori to finish the tale.

"So why aren't we beating the shit out of Deidara playing with Hinata-chan like that?" Itachi hissed after he heard the door close.

"Because if he had a choice, which he's trying to give himself, there'd be no competition," Sasori answered. A retching noise could be heard coming from the bathroom and Sasori stared at the door with pitying eyes. "Deidara hates Tayuya."

"Then why's he marrying her?" Kisame asked, confused. "Don't tell me he's really that stupid."

"He's not," Sasori assured him. "It's an arranged marriage."

"All the more reason to beat him up," Itachi murmured.

"Stop being so harsh," he told Itachi before continuing. "Deidara's father has been holding Deidara's schooling over his head. Deidara can't graduate unless he's engaged to Tayuya. Hell, he wouldn't even have been able to take half the courses he is if he hadn't made a deal. He minored in business because his father wanted it."

"So he made a deal so he could take the college courses he wanted. But in exchange he has to marry Tayuya," Itachi mused. "Wouldn't he be able to just call the engagement off after he graduates? Obviously his father didn't think things through."

Sasori shook his head. "I'm sure Pain-san has a plan to take care of that loophole. It's not like him to miss things, especially something as obvious as that. And now that Hinata-san's come into the picture I'm sure he'll try and use her to his advantage."

"Advantage how?" Kisame asked.

"He'll probably threaten her to force me to go through with the marriage." Deidara answered as he walked out of the bathroom. He walked over to the sink to gulp down a glass of water. "And if he finds her a threat he'll probably have her killed," he added solemnly.

Itachi and Kisame looked shocked and looked to Sasori for confirmation "Pain-san would and could do such a thing."

"So what're you going to do?" Kisame asked frantically. "You can hardly just let her die."

Deidara spun around to glare at Kisame furiously. "You really think I'll just let her die because of my mistake?" he asked, his voice loud and harsh. Kisame shook his head, hoping to pacify his friend. "Good." Deidara breathed deeply for a moment, calming himself, before rejoining his friends in the living room.

"You okay?" Sasori asked.

"Fine," Deidara mumbled although his face was still pale.

"So, what're we going to do?" Itachi repeated Kisame's question.

Deidara looked over to Sasori. "You have a second bedroom, right?" he asked. Sasori nodded slowly, he thought he knew where this was going. "Could she stay here with you?"

Sasori nodded again. "I'd be happy to let here stay with me. But, how does Hinata-san feel about this?"

"I haven't told her yet," he answered sheepishly. "But that's not all. I also need you two to pretend to be together. For added precaution."

"Aw, but I wanted to pretend to be her boyfriend!" Itachi jokingly whined.

Deidara ignored him and looked at Sasori imploringly. Sasori sat thinking for a moment. He didn't mind pretending to be with Hinata, as long as she knew it was pretend. But he knew Deidara wouldn't risk losing Hinata before he even really got a chance. Of course Deidara telling her to pretend to date any guy was risky, to him mostly; she probably wouldn't take well to being ordered around.

"I guess this shows how much trust you place in me," he finally said. "Enough to trust me not to whisk her away from you."

Deidara's eyes widened. "You wouldn't dare?"

Sasori sighed at his friend's stupidity. "It was a joke."

It took him a second to gather his courage. Them he picked up the phone and dialed his number. Hinata picked up and told her the proposition. There was some wincing on Deidara's side before he hung up.

"Well?"

"Well, its, um, on?"

-:-

This is where I left off to let it sit for three months.