Oh, DeiTobi, you still own my soul. I wrote this one a month or so ago on LJ, and I decided it was time to post it here.
Note: If you've read "Teach Me," you'll know that Tobi gave Itachi a cat. In a Halloween story I wrote (it's only up at LJ), I revealed that he named the cat Sasuke. I'm only saying this because Sasuke (the cat) is mentioned in here. ::grin::
I hope everyone enjoys!
Let Me Get That
Deidara is not in the best of moods today.
Rather than just being grumpy for the sake of being grumpy, he has a perfectly justifiable reason for his less than pleasant disposition.
"Deidara-senpai, I think the cake's cool enough to put the frosting on now, don't you?"
Screw the damn frosting. Screw the cake. And screw Tobi.
"Sure. Whatever, un," Deidara says. He's proud of himself for keeping his tone civil, especially when all he wants is to shove the tube of frosting Tobi's waving around through the eyehole of Tobi's mask and squeeze.
"This was a lot of fun, Deidara-senpai," Tobi says happily, oblivious. "I'm glad you agreed to help me. We should bake together more often!"
Deidara reaches forward and plucks the tube out of Tobi's hand before the dumbass can do something stupid with it. "Maniac," he says, voice a little more strained this time. "That's for the lettering." He puts the tube on the counter beside the cake—it's a carrot cake, appropriately—and removes the lid of a container of store-bought cream cheese frosting. "Gotta slap this stuff on, first." He picks up a thin tapered spatula and dips it in the frosting, and then starts to work.
Agreed…he didn't agree. More like Tobi volunteered the both of them without asking Deidara, so he's been stuck in the kitchen the entire afternoon making a cake for—
It's better not to think about whom he's making a cake for. Or, in this case, what he's making a cake for.
"Isabelle's going to love the cake. Did you buy her a present, Deidara-senpai? I got her some carrots, because I wasn't sure what else she liked."
So much for that.
Deidara makes sure not to look at Tobi, otherwise he'll snap. "No, I didn't buy her a present." His fingers tighten around the handle of the spatula. "She's a rabbit, un."
The Leader's rabbit, to be precise.
"It is Isabelle's birthday," he'd said after everyone had gathered in the living room that morning—you never disobey a summons by the Leader, no matter how early it is. Gazing around with those weird swirly eyes of his, he added, "She enjoys cake."
In other words, somebody better make a cake, or the Leader would break heads.
Predictably, Hidan stood up and walked out, muttering, "Fuck that shit" and "sacrilege" while he clutched his rosary beads.
"It appears as though Hidan has declined," Itachi remarked blandly.
"You're observant," Kakuzu muttered.
"Zetsu should do it," Kisame said. "He's a better cook than the rest of us."
"I can cook," the white half of Zetzu's face conceded. "But I can't bake," the black half pointed out, brooking no argument.
Deidara had been about to follow Hidan's example and book the hell out of there when Tobi piped in.
"I'll make the cake, Sir!"
Well. That was fine. If the dumbass wanted to do it, he could go right ahead and—
"I'm sure Deidara-senpai wouldn't mind helping."
"What? Wait a minute, I—"
But the damage was done.
The Leader smiled at him, and Deidara's blood ran cold.
"You agree to this, of course."
"Of course," he croaked.
Deidara sighs. It's an aggravated sigh, so it sounds like a growl, almost. He knows the Leader just wanted him there to supervise, since Tobi is disaster prone and leaving him to his own devices in the kitchen is asking for trouble.
Still, there are other things Deidara would rather be doing now instead of frosting a cake for a stupid rabbit.
Like sculpting. His thoughts turn longingly toward his workshop, where an uncompleted piece awaits his attention. He's set the shoulders and the neck, and he has the basic shape of the head and the ears, but now it needs details. A nose. A mouth. Two eyes, one completely blinded by a childhood illness, the other seeing so much but seeing so little. A scar…
Worse than thinking about the rabbit is thinking about the subject of the sculpture.
"When Sasuke's birthday comes, we'll make him a cake, too," Tobi says cheerfully.
Sasuke the cat. Not Sasuke the human.
Deidara is severely allergic to Sasuke the cat (he's never met Sasuke the human, but Deidara would probably be allergic to him as well, since he's Itachi's brother).
Itachi is very fond of Sasuke (cat and human).
"Speak for yourself," Deidara says darkly, and rubs an itch on his nose with the back of his hand. Left to him, he'd plant a bomb in Sasuke's cake.
He concentrates on spreading the frosting evenly on the cake. "Huh?"
Tobi touches his arm. "Look at me real quick."
Startled, Deidara does.
Tobi's mask rests on the top of his head, revealing his nose, his mouth, his blind eye and his normal eye, his scar.
"You have a spot, here..." He leans in close and brushes his fingertips against Deidara's cheek while Deidara stands stock-still, barely breathing.
But Tobi isn't finished.
He leans in a little closer, and Deidara feels rather than sees (because he's looking straight ahead) Tobi's tongue glide up his skin.
When Tobi moves away, he grins. "All better."
It is a while before Deidara trusts himself to speak, and once he does, his voice comes out in a hiss.
"Did you just lick my check, dumbass?"
Tobi's grin grows wider. "Mm-hm. You had frosting on it. I didn't want it to go to waste."
Deidara develops a tick in his eyebrow. "So that means you're allowed to lick my face?" The tick becomes more pronounced. "What if…Hidan had frosting on his cheek, eh? Would you lick him?"
Tobi tilts his head to the side. "No."
"Why not? I thought you didn't want to waste frosting, un."
He has no idea why the answer to that question is so important, but it is, and he needs to know now.
"So why wouldn't you lick him?"
Tobi isn't smiling anymore, but he isn't frowning, either.
He's wearing an expression that Deidara is unfamiliar with, one he's never seen on Tobi. It's as if something profound has happened, and Tobi understands what it is but Deidara doesn't.
Closing the scant distance that separates them, Tobi kisses his mouth.
"His face isn't your face, is it?"
As simple as that.
Deidara's skin flushes. He rubs his cheek to get rid of any trace of Tobi's saliva and scowls when another tongue darts out to taste the remnants of the frosting.
He glares at his hand. "Quit it."
Tobi laughs, picks up the tube of frosting that Deidara had confiscated earlier. His mask remains where it is.
"I want to write 'Happy Birthday' on the cake. Can I, Deidara-senpai? Please?"
Deidara consents with a shrug and watches Tobi have at it, unable to shake the feeling that maybe Tobi sees more than Deidara thinks.
The sculpture will never be complete. Its inspiration has more than one face.