(A\N: So, I've been listening to sad music and sappy love songs ever since I found out about Deidara's death (because I really don't think he's going to make it out of this one) and I was super depressed. But, low and behold, inspiration comes from the strangest things! I felt it was my duty to write the long-awaited Deidara\Sakura alternate ending for my trilogy and here it is! Yay! I don't know if it will be anything more than a oneshot, depending on what you guys think.

And if you haven't read my other stories you might be slightly confused with the fact that Sakura is with the Akatsuki and she's friends with them. This story would probably have happened between the time when Diedara found out about her rape and before she got drunk and kind of messed up their relationship. My sister said she wanted their first time together to be something unforgettable, not because they were both drunk, so yeah. So, I hope all of you enjoy!)

A Potter's Hands

"Are you sure?" Sakura asked as she hesitantly sat down on the low stool before the wheel. "I mean, do you think I can do it?"

"Of course you can, yeah. You just have to get a feel for it first." Deidara grinned as he pulled up a stool behind her. "And you'll have yours truly here to help if anything goes wrong."

Sakura still couldn't remember how they'd gotten here. She'd finished her puppet training with Sasori and had been walking down the hall when she'd bumped into Deidara. She'd just stared at him before she'd blurted out that she wondered if Deidara could help her with her clay tactics. Clay tactics. Right.

Sakura let out a small, nervous laugh. However, she knew it wasn't because of the clay. She felt the heat of him from behind her. He wasn't pressed against her but she could still feel it. It made her want to shiver.

He's just helping you learn to mold clay, Sakura. Get a grip. She thought furiously as she blinked, before looking around the room. She'd never been in his room before.

Against one wall was a bookshelf and a desk, but both were a bit sparse of decoration. A few clay pots and birds sat on them, and two lonely books. A large table with a layer of dried clay over it's surface was placed against the other wall. The entire room smelled slightly musky, but Sakura liked it.

On the other side of the potter's wheel was a bed with black sheets. A bed, she noticed, big enough to fit two. My god Sakura! Get your mind out of the gutter! She almost slapped herself for such thoughts, feeling her cheeks become warm.

"Eh? What is it Sakura-chan, yeah?"

"Nothing." Sakura answered back, surprised at the normalcy of her tone. "So, are we going to start?"

"Hai, hai." Deidara chuckled, placing the clay on the wheel. "I haven't used this thing in a while either, yeah. Let's see if I remember." Then he pressed his foot against the pedal and Sakura listened as it whirred. The sound was soothing. It filled her ears and took over her senses, making everything else dissapeare except the sound of the wheel and the feeling of the clay beneath her fingers as Deidara urged her to try it.

She felt the moist clay press against her palms, which dripped with water. Deidara had said it was easier to mold the clay that way. She felt it rub against her skin, pressing into the creases in her hands. She knew it would be all over her hands by the time they were finished, and probably lodged too deep within her fingernails to ever get it out.

She blinked as she felt the clay begin to break and warp and she panicked. "Deidara!"

"Shhh. It's alright, yeah." Deidara soothed from behind her, chuckling. His slender hands held hers, pressing them back against the clay, guiding them. She listened to his laugh, which began deep in his chest, before it rumbled up to his throat and then it burst into the air. A nice laugh.

"Thanks, Deidara." Sakura said meekly, feeling a little foolish.

"It's nothing, Sakura-chan, yeah." Deidara answered back. She jumped a bit as his breath warmed her neck. She turned her head to look at him. His entire attention was on the clay in front of them, his gaze serious and…relaxed. She'd never seem him look so content.

This is where he belongs, among his art. I wish he could stay here forever, away from everything else. She thought sadly, knowing that would never happen. He was a shinobi, after all. There was never any rest for a shinobi.

"You look sad, yeah. What's wrong?" Deidara asked worriedly against her cheek.

She didn't even jolt at the contact, as she tightened her hold on the clay, his own hands surrounding hers. She watched as it began to mold the bowl they'd been shaping into something new. Thinner. More delicate.

"Nothing…" Sakura whispered. I just want you to be happy, for once. I want to know what I can do to make you happy. "It's going to be so pretty."

"Hai." Deidara nodded. "Maybe we can make it into a flower vase, yeah."

Sakura let herself forget everything else as she reveled in the feel of his arms surrounding her, strong and sure. In the way she fit snuggly against his chest, the way his hair tickled her and made her want to sneeze.



"…do you think that sometimes, it would be easier to just run away and forget everything?"

"Nani?" Deidara looked down at her, confused.

"I mean, what if you just stopped being Akatsuki? You could head off to some small village and you could make pottery and you'd live a peaceful life and—" And I could live with you and we could be happy. She stopped as she realized that he was watching her strangely, as if he didn't know how to answer.

"It was stupid of me." Sakura shook her head. "Sorry for even bringing it up I mean, of course you don't ever think about that. I mean, you're Akatsuki right? You've always wanted to be."

"No." Deidara whispered. "I didn't always want to be Akatsuki."


Deidara's eyes became sad, and his grip on her hands tightened a little. Sakura liked that, even if it meant the clay beneath their fingers began to rebel, pressing into her palms.

"I just wanted to live my life with my art. I wanted to show the world how beautiful it was, yeah." He smiled, before he gave a laugh and shook his head. "But we don't always get what we want."

"No." Sakura agreed. "We don't." She leaned back against him slightly. She wondered if he even noticed. She closed her eyes for a moment. "Deidara?"


"What made you change your mind?"


"Nani?" Sakura stiffened against him. "How?"

"He defeated me in battle, yeah." Deidara murmured. "I was forced to become a member."


"Do you think she'd hate me now, yeah?" Deidara mused.


"…my sister."

Sakura heard the sadness and pain in his voice and she wished she could take it away. "She'd never hate you. I think she'd understand."

"I hope so, yeah." Deidara murmured.

There was a comfortable silence as Deidara continued to guide Sakura's hands along the wheel. She let him lead her as she felt his breath against her neck, his steady heartbeat thumping through his shirt against her back.

"It was worth it though, yeah." Deidara finally spoke. "I'm glad Itachi defeated me."


"I got to meet you didn't I, yeah?" His flashed her a bright smile.

Sakura flushed beneath his gaze, averting her eyes as she smiled to herself. "Thanks."

"I mean it." Deidara whispered into her hair. "You have no idea how many times I wake up in the middle of the night and thank whoever's listening that Itachi brought you here, yeah." His hands drifted slightly from the clay to her fingers.

"I wish I'd only stopped him from what he'd did that night, yeah."

"It's alright." Sakura answered back softly. "In a way I guess…I guess I'm glad I'm here too." She smiled at him. "I wouldn't have met you, ne?"


"Deidara-kun." Sakura sighed. "Can I…can I ask you something personal?"

"What is it, yeah?"

"Do you…" Sakura bit her lip. I can't believe I'm doing this, I can't believe I'm doing this! "Have you ever been in love?"

Deidara looked at her in surprise. "Well, once I was madly in love with a girl. She was everything I wanted, yeah. She was kind, and gentle, and she had the prettiest voice I'd ever heard. I gave her my grandmother's ring and I asked her to marry me."

Sakura stiffened against him. "Oh? W-what did she say?"

"She said yes, yeah."

Sakura began to get uncomfortable. You had to ask. What had happened to her? Was she dead? Or…or was Deidara still with his wife? He must have loved her very much.

"I'm…I'm happy for you." Sakura spoke, knowing her voice trembled a bit.

Deidara chuckled softly in her ear. "My mother made me go and get the ring back, yeah. We were five."

Sakura felt foolish the second he said it. Once again, she wanted to slap herself for being like this. And she wanted to ignore the fact that she was relieved he wasn't seeing anyone.

"Only you, Sakura-chan…" He whispered in her ear. "You're the only person I've ever felt like this with, yeah."

Sakura froze, eyes wide. "Dei…dara…" He kissed her cheek softly, and she reveled at the feeling. His lips were so soft…strong, yet gentle.


"…would you run away with me?" She asked softly. She had to know the answer. For some idiotic reason she needed to know what he'd say.

"…let's start packing." He murmured.

Sakura smiled at that. "I don't really want to go anywhere. I just…I just wanted to know."

"I know, yeah."

Sakura let go of the clay on the spinning wheel, entwining her fingers with his as she turned a bit so she could look up at him. "Deidara-kun?"


"If you had your grandmother's ring…would you ask me?" She reached up a hand to cup his cheek, running a clay covered thumb along his jaw as she brushed a bit of his perfect blonde hair aside.

His eyes were a bit wide at her touch, but he merely bent his head down, his lips grazing hers. He pulled back, breathing a bit heavier. She was so close to him…so close and so beautiful and so…

"I still have it." He whispered as he pressed his forehead against hers. "I'd give it to you in a heartbeat, yeah, if you want it."

Sakura felt tears rise in her eyes. "I think I'd like that." Then she pressed her lips to his once more. Deidara let out a small groan against her lips, as if he'd just been released from a great burden. Little did she know how truthful that was.

…her lips tasted sweeter than before. He didn't know how long he'd merely sat and watched her, waiting to run his fingers along her soft skin and be surrounded by her love. He'd always felt jealous to anyone who had come in simple contact with her because they had enjoyed, even for a second, something that he'd wanted to belong all to him.

"I wish we could go away from the hate and the violence for a while." Sakura breathed as their lips parted.

Deidara ran his fingers through her hair. "You deserve better than a place of violence. You don't belong in a world full of hate, yeah." He bent his head once more. "Let me make you forget all that ugliness and sorrow, Sakura-chan. Let me take you to a place far away from that, yeah."

"Take me Deidara…" She mumbled against his lips. "Take me…"

His lips crashed down upon hers. He bit her lower lip slightly, feeling her tremble. She let out a moan against him, and he took the opportunity to entwine his tongue with hers.

She felt his hand brush against her back, pulling her closer to him. She wanted to stay that way forever. She felt wrapped up in him, safe. And she felt heat coursing through her body, and she was drowning in that heat. She had to…had to…

And that was when clay splattered all over both of them.

They both jumped back a little to see what had happened, blinking.

Sakura lifted a hand to her face, wiping a goey clump of clay from it.

She turned to see a large glob of it had landed right on top of Deidara's head, in that beautiful golden hair of his.

And then Sakura began laughing, a soft giggle that became a full-fledged roar as she looked from the still spinning potter's wheel to the clay all over Deidara.

"Y-you look." She couldn't even finish as she doubled over. She had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard as she clutched her side. "S-so…oh god you look…" She didn't finish as Deidara cocked an eyebrow, frowning.

Then he was laughing too as he took in the sight of her, covered in clay and laughing her head off at the absurdity of it all. Her green eyes were dancing and her voice drifted through the room.

Sakura held onto him for support, laughing into his chest. When she finally had to stop laughing to regain her breath the two of them merely sat there, covered in clay, holding onto one another.

"Ugh, I'm a mess." Sakura whispered.

"I like you like this, yeah." Deidara argued.

"I don't think that clay and sex go hand-in-hand, Deidara-kun." Sakura mused.

"You sure know who to turn a man off, Sakura-chan, yeah." Deidara muttered.

Sakura grinned as she grabbed his hand, pulling him up from his seat. "Let's go clean up, shall we?"

Deidara's face turned a few shades of red before he grinned back at her. "By all means, yeah."

And so he let her lead him down the hallway.

Her hand still held his even as they walked passed Itachi's open door. He saw her stiffen a bit as they had neared it, but she had merely held his hand tighter, holding her head up high as she walked passed. And Deidara knew in that moment that she was letting go of all those bad memories between the two of them. She was shutting off the thought of her rape and everything else that had ever happened to her because tonight wasn't about sadness or hurtful memories. It was about love and sunshine and sweetness.

And that made something bloom in Deidara's chest as he realized that she'd chosen him to share this night with. Not Sasori, not Kisame, not Itachi.


Deidara wondered if Itachi saw anything. He knew that he would have to deal with those consequences later, but he didn't want to think about them now. He knew how angry Itachi would be, how he would threaten him for touching what was his. But Sakura wasn't a posession to be taken out and used whenever Itachi felt like it. She was a person. She was his Sakura-chan. And he would protect her from Itachi in any way he could. He would keep all of that darkness away from Sakura's light because he was afraid it would swallow her up and then there would be no Sakura-chan.

He didn't think he could survive a world without her now. Before he'd met her it would have meant nothing, but now that he'd been illuminated by that cheerful, loving air of her's he didn't think he could go back to the way it had been before her. It would be dull and dark and depressing. He doubted the others would be able to survive without her either, now.

Sakura let out a lilting laugh as she dodged Kisame stumbling out of the kitchen. He was mumbled something incoherent, completely drunk with another bottle of sake in his hand. He blinked as he watched her run past, brow furrowed in confusion before his eyes met Deidara's as he was dragged along behind her.

Then a slow grin appeared on Kisame's face and he winked, before walking to his room, whistling a tune, yelling back, "Lucky bastard!"

Sakura merely shook her head as she and Deidara headed out of the house. She wondered what Deidara was thinking. Was he nervous, like she was? Or did he think that since Itachi had raped her she was fair game for any of them to try?

Don't think that Sakura! You know better than to ever believe Deidara would do something like that. She rebuked herself. Her fingers entwined with his. He was all she could think about. He'd been all she could think about for days now. Every waking moment had begun with the simple, happy thought that it had been time to train with Deidara and his clay. And at night she would fall asleep with the knowledge that tomorrow would be a new day full of more clay and more Deidara.

She felt stupid and foolish for her thoughts. Even to her they sounded almost...impossible. How could she be so obsessed with him? He'd always been there for her. She'd known he had some kind of feelings for her before but she had ignored them, thinking of him as nothing more than a friend. But...why was she suddenly realizing that maybe it was Deidara she had wanted all along?

For once I'm happy that everything in my life went wrong up until now. She thought wryly. Because if Sasuke hadn't left I never would have become ANBU and I would have never been captured by Itachi. I never would have realized that not all the Akatsuki are evil, and that Sasori and Kisame are like family. And I never...I never would have met Deidara.

He's more than just family now, I can feel it.

Sakura's feet padded against the soft grass as she tugged on Deidara's hand harder. "Come on," She called back to him. "We have to get this off before it dries."

I think I'm ready to love again, Deidara. I was afraid before. I was afraid of being hurt and left on another cold stone bench. But you'd never leave me in such a place. You'd hold my hand and walk alongside me. I know you'd never leave my side if I asked you to stay.

"Alright, yeah." Deidara laughed as Sakura pulled him inside of the bathhouse, before she closed the door behind them. There was an awkward moment of silence, as Sakura breathed out deeply, looking down at her feet. A deep blush splashed across her cheeks.

I think I love you.

It was a good thing she didn't look up, because she could have seen an answering blush on Deidara's face. There was no sound, save for the slight slosh of the water as it brushed against the sides of the large bath.

Then Deidara lifted up a hand and rubbed the back of his neck. "I guess we should er, get clean now, yeah."

Sakura nodded. Deidara knew how awkward both of them were feeling at the moment. The passion had dissipated for the moment, and both of them didn't know how to deal with the feelings they were feeling. They wouldn't be able to blame it on simple lust or the heat of the moment now.

Deidara knew that he had to put Sakura at ease, so he slipped of his shirt, throwing it over in the corner of the room. Sakura looked to the article of clothing, then smiled softly as she began slipping off her own shirt.

Deidara watched her take it off slowly, her bra still in place. Deidara hurriedly slipped off his own pants as he saw Sakura doing the same, a blush still on her face. A blush that was becoming more and more prominent as Deidara slipped of his boxers.

He gave a grin as he slipped into the water, turning to look at her. "Don't be shy, yeah. Come on Sakura-chan. Take it off."

Sakura opened her mouth to snap back at him, but closed it and shook her head with a sigh, before she unlatched the hook on the back of her bra and her breasts swung free.

Deidara was lost in reverent awe at the sight of her body. Her breasts curved deliciously as she bent down a bit to slip off her panties. He couldn't ignore the inviting contour of her thighs or her long legs as she suddenly found herself naked before him.

She hurriedly slipped into the water, apparently embarrassed with the whole situation. She slouched down a bit, so that the warm water lapped her chin.

Deidara blinked a few times, trying to get the image of a naked Sakura out of his mind and failing miserably. "Er…so I guess we should start washing yeah."

"Uh-huh." Sakura smiled back feebly, before she picked up her washing cloth and began running it over her arms. Deidara watched the movement. He didn't know why, but the way the water droplets moved along the silky smoothness of her arms made a strange heat bubble up in his stomach.

Deidara realized he was staring and hurriedly began washing himself, hoping she hadn't noticed. Then she breathed in deeply, before immersing herself completely in the water.

A few seconds later she burst to the surface, taking in another lungful of air. This time Deidara couldn't help but stare as she sat up completely, no longer slouching. The water lapped at the sensual curve of her breasts, giving him a tantalizing view of what lay beneath the surface.

He swallowed.

Sakura looked over and him and smiled. "Need help?"

Deidara blinked, before giving his own sly smile. "Do with me what you will, yeah."

"Oh I intend to." Sakura murmured as she moved across the small distance between them, settling down in front of him, all embarrassment forgotten. "How on earth did you get so much clay on you?" She asked as she grabbed her washing cloth and ran it down his neck.

Deidara shrugged. "Art's messy, yeah."

Sakura smiled at that, as she ran the cloth down his chest. He could tell she was taking in the sight of him, memorizing the muscles on his chest and the ones that rippled on his arms as he grabbed the bucket sitting on the edge of the tub, dipping it into the bath before he splashed it over his head.

Sakura gave a small yelp as the water splashed onto her as well and Deidara shook out his long, wet, silky mane with a childish grin. Sakura reached up and grabbed a few of the golden strands, rubbing them between her fingers.

You can be such a child sometimes. She thought fondly.

Then she noticed that she had somehow moved between his legs and was sitting far closer then she should have. Her breasts were almost pressed against his chest and their noses were close to touching.

This wasn't the closeness of a friend. This was the closeness of a lover.

They stared at each other for a few moments, before Sakura's eyes drifted shut as Deidara's mouth came down upon hers.

Deidara's arms went around her waist and he pulled her against him. She complied willingly, her own arms snaking around his neck. He marveled at the feeling of her against him, skin to skin. He'd never forget it. He sucked on her lip, hearing her give soft mewling sounds from the back of her throat that were making it very hard for him control himself.

"Sakura…" He growled out.

"Say it again." She whispered as she threw her head back, letting him ravish her neck.


"Mmmm…" Sakura purred. "I like that."

Then his lips found her breasts, those perfect breasts that he'd been admiring for quite a while now. She let out a soft gasp as he took one into his mouth. His tongue was just as expert as his hands were, apparently, sending chills down her spine and making her tremble.

Deidara didn't know how much longer he could stand without taking her. He didn't want to end up plunging into her in the middle of the pool, either. So he stopped his minstrations on those beautiful breasts of hers—something she didn't like by the way her lips formed a pout, before he crashed his own down upon them.

His mouth, good God, he was starving, out of control. She wondered if she should have been afraid, because the passion in his eyes and in his touch was overwhelming. Yet she wouldn't have stopped him for the world. This was what she wanted. Twice they had to come up for air and Sakura was worried that he would pull back or stop them. But then he'd groan and draw her back, his mouth just as voracious and she'd rejoice.

"We're going to go up in smoke before I ever get you to my bed, yeah."

She would have laughed for sheer joy if she'd had the chance, but he was kissing her again, his tongue delving deeply, and all she could do was keep herself from going out of control as well.

They did somehow get back inside the house and to the mattress in the far corner of the room. Sakura wondered how he'd done it, but he was Deidara and that in itself was explanation enough. She noticed that the bed wasn't as large as she'd first thought but they weren't there to sleep or to stay out of each other's way so it made little difference.

He couldn't stop kissing her; his need to taste her was still too strong. She couldn't stop touching him, her need to know his skin as well as her own too compulsive. But soon it wasn't enough.

She had to tell him with her body, since he was barely giving her a chance to breath, much less to speak. But she wasn't exactly sure how to communicate what she wanted, so she just pulled him down upon her.

She was sure she'd caused him pain, his groan was so loud. His hands caressed her, and she was glad they didn't have the hindrance of clothing. She didn't know if either of them would have been able to stand that.

She stretched beneath his gaze, and his eyes were riveted to her body. How could she make all the right moves, say all the right things, when she actually had no experience of such things? And how could he resist her when she was lying there on his bed, naked, and deliberately provoking his passion? He couldn't. And he didn't want to.

He looked down at her uncertainly, and she knew it was because he was afraid of what could happen. He was afraid of hurting her like Itachi had. He didn't want her to think of him in that way.

But she didn't want him to stop. She felt like she'd splinter and dissolve into a puddle of raw nerves if he did.

"Don't think, just feel," she whispered as she pulled him back down and kissed him for all she was worth.

He tore away a second later, his breathing harsh and labored. He felt passion beginning to take over him and he didn't want to give in just yet. She deserved better than that. So he merely rolled off of the bed a moment later and she sat up, looking at him hesitantly, worriedly.

"Are you angry?" She whispered. He was raking a hand through his hair, staring off at something far away.

"Did I do something wrong?" Her voice was full of hurt and confusion.

You could never do anything wrong, Sakura. Then he looked back at her and his control completely dissolved. She looked so frail and lost and she needed him. Deidara had never been needed by someone before.

He dropped to his knees in front of her, his hands drawn straight to her breasts--God those perfect breasts. She arched into his palms, a sound of pleasure purring deeply from her throat, one leg coming up to rub sensually against his back. Deidara closed his eyes to learn her by touch alone, and because he'd never last otherwise, she was so beautiful…

Silky smoothe, so delicate, so innocent. Deidara's eyes opened to stare at the curve of her hips, the fullness of her breasts, and the sultry expression she wore as she watched him looking at her.

Deidara's fingers slipped into the heat between her legs as he leaned over her to say against her lips, "I'm going to love you right, Sakura. How it should have been for someone of your innocence, yeah…"

She sighed into his kiss as she let the pleasure he was invoking within her well up and swirl out of control. Those nimble, slender, artist's hands that had molded so many masterpieces were creating a new type of art, an art full of an array of emotions and feelings that neither of them could describe at the moment.

"Deidara." She groaned as she dug her fingernails into his back. "Please…I want…I want…oh god…"

And Deidara knew what she wanted, even if she couldn't say it. He stood, pushing her back softly upon the bed, surrounded by the softness of the silken sheets. "Sakura-chan…"

One hand buried itself in her hair, the other reached down to guide her legs around him, lifting her up before he slipped inside.

She let out a soft gasp as he entered her. It felt so different then when she had been with Itachi. There was no pain, no remorse, no fright or disgust. There was only love and gentleness and a promise of pleasure she'd never experienced before.

She readily, greedily accepted that promise, arching up against him. Her breasts grazed his chest and he groaned as he thrust inside of her. She let out her own moan as his mouth covered her body, showering it with kisses, worshiping her in the only way he knew how. Because to him she was perfect and delicate and he needed to make her happy.

Sakura wished she could tell him how much she loved him in that moment, but she was breathless and wanting as she met his lips and their tongues played a game of chase inside of her mouth.

It was more thrilling than anything she could have imagined, the maelstrom of pleasure that followed her into the storm, then burst into unrivaled bliss. And he was there to hold her, to share it, to lengthen it, and to guide her gently back.

Both of them were breathing raggedly, their sweat mingling. Sakura didn't know where Deidara began and she ended because in this moment they were one and she never wanted it to end.

"…perfect…" he whispered against her neck. "You're absolutely perfect Sakura, yeah."

"I love you." She wrapped her arms around him as she kissed his cheek. "I love your messy clay and your adorable hair that's prettier than mine and your idiotic habit of saying 'yeah' after every sentence. I love your definition of art and the way you joke around with Kisame and Sasori and that crazy obsession of yours with bombs. I love you so much and I never want you to let go." She finished and she knew she was crying and laughing at the same time but she couldn't help it.

And his strong arms held her close against his chest and he ran his hand down her back, comforting her as he murmured into her ear, "I love you too, Sakura, yeah. I love your laugh and your insane strength and your short temper and the way you can't stop from helping someone in need. I love your idiotic shinobi code and the fact that you have forgiven all of us, even Itachi. I love you because you're perfect in every way."

"...you love me..." She whispered. "That's all I need. It's all I'll ever need." And she clutched at him, afraid he'd disappear. But he didn't. He was there and he was holding her and his breath against her neck felt so nice that if this were a dream she wished she'd never wake up. Because if she did she'd surely die.

"You were right, Deidara. Even if it was only for a little while, you took me to a place without pain and hatred." Sakura kissed his forehead, then the tip of his nose, then his lips. "Just please…take me there again sometime."

That was all she needed.

Deidara smiled and she smiled back. Then he hungrily began to devour her lips once more. He'd take her back whenever she wanted him to, because Sakura, of all people, deserved to live in sunshine and happiness and pleasure forever.

And so he took her back there once more.

(A\N: So? I hope it lived up to everyone's expectations. I really couldn't wait to do this one, since I finally got to have someone be all lovey dovey with Sakura like she deserves. After all, Itachi is anything BUT affectionate, so I've been deprived of gushiness for far too long. I probably went a little overboard but that is what happens when you're stuck writing a romance with a stoic Uchiha.

I hope you all enjoyed. This was a tribute to our loveable Deidara who I am really going to miss. I am very angry at Kishimoto right now. I'm still a little in denial, hoping that maybe Deidara isn't dead and he'll come back in the next manga chapter to scold Tobi for being an idiot (sob). If that happens then I have no doubt everyone around the world will hear my loud scream of joy. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to happen. :(

And so, this story is dedicated to the loving memory of Deidara.

Sincerely, Lady Hanaka)