And now, for my next serial fanfic! XD Wootz! Streamers and confetti! Yaaaaaaaay!

Okay, so this one follows Deidara and Sasori at their school, from the first time they meet to the fateful basketball game in which they meet Kisame. This is a prequel-thing to my "Manicurist" fic, and you don't need to read "Manicurist" to read this story, nor do you need to read "Manicurist" after you finish reading this story. But, doing so would make me a very happy author. XD

This takes place a year before "Manicurist," so that means that they're all in seventh grade, okay? Just wanted to make that clear.


Sasori grunted as he threw himself into a desk before homerooom. School. How he hated it. There were so many things to worry about there: exams, cliques, homework. God, what a waste of his time. Even so, there he sat, waiting for the school day to begin.

He watched as various students came in through the door. First came Anko, the punk-rock chick who had a reputation of beating up any guy that broke up with her. Next, Iruka, a quiet, studious kid. Thirdly came Kurenai, the school slut. But, the next person to walk into the door, he didn't recognize.

The kid was relatively tall, with long, blond hair that completely covered the left side of his face. Sasori couldn't tell if it was a boy or a girl, but he did know something: whoever they were, they were new. And definitely not going to fit in, since they were clad in all black goth-yet-not clothes. Too in-betweenish to fit in with the punks, and not bleak enough to fit in with the goths. Which meant that they would probably gravitate toward Sasori.

The new kid took a seat in the far right corner of the room. Trying to go unnoticed? Oh, we got a shy one here.

"Okay, kids," the teacher called. "Take a seat for attendance," she said, calling off the names from a long-looking list. Akimichi Choji. Here. Aramasu Dan. Here. Akasuna Sasori. Here. The last name she called out, though, was the one that most of the kids paid attention to. "Azumoji Deidara," the teacher yelled out.

The blond raised their hand routinely. "Here," he answered in a male voice. So the new kid was a guy.

After role call, people immediately began talking again. Psh. How predictable.

Sasori, however, did not partake in the socialization. He was too busy watching Deidara. First, he flipped through a notebook, dog-earing a page and writing something down. Then he took out a black pen and began hitting it against the side of the desk he was sitting at. And then-

Sasori stopped himself. Why was he so worried about the new kid, anyway? To Sasori, he looked a little less than a wannabe transvestite.

His morning classes drolled on, as usual, but lunch came soon enough. And, once again, Sasori noticed Deidara. This time, however, the blond was wandering the cafeteria. Trying to find a place to sit, no doubt. Well, he'd have a hard time doing that this period. The people in this lunchtime were vicious.

After about two minutes, Deidara made his way to the back of the cafeteria, where Sasori was sitting. "Do you mind?" he asked, placing his tray down onto the table.

The redhead (Sasori) shrugged. "It's a free country, isn't it?"

"Yeah…" the other boy replied, distantly, sitting himself down and beginning to eat. "So… what's your name?" he asked finally. "Mine's Deidara."

"I know," Sasori snapped. "And mine's Sasori. Don't wear it out, got it?"

Deidara nodded. "As you say, sir…"


The rest of the period was spent in silence, and when the bell rang, Sasori couldn't be happier. His favorite class was next.

Art class was traditionally a place to teach oneself about fine art. But, the public school system had twisted it so that it was now mere social time. Sasori was appalled by this. True art was something that lasted forever, and you must know about it in order to keep it alive, so to speak. Why couldn't the school system see that?

When he walked into the rather messy classroom, he detected Deidara sitting in the very back. Once again, the blond seemed withdrawn.

Taking up his normal seat next to the windows, Sasori lent a deaf ear to the teacher, who was rambling on about the clay projects they were currently working on. He didn't need to listen. He knew the directions: sculpt something out of clay, keep the clay wet, and don't throw the clay at one another. Easy enough to remember.

Strangely, he didn't mind working with clay; once it hardened, it stood the test of time. Almost all of the ancient relics that one found while on an archeological expedition were made of clay of some sort. True art was very amazing indeed.

Meticulously smoothing out his own sculpture's edges, his eyes trailed over to Deidara once again. The blond, who had just gotten a huge chuck of clay, was expertly rounding out some rough geometric shapes: a circle, two triangles, and a big semicircle as the base. What could he be making?

By the end of the period, Sasori's question was answered. In front of Deidara was a bird, remotely like a rubber ducky, with, a medium-sized beak, wings with rounded edges for feathers, and what looked to be a plume on top of its circular head.

People began to marvel at the new arrival's masterpiece. Deidara, however, had a very bleak expression on his face. What, did he not like it or something?

Apparently, he didn't, because he promptly pushed it off the table and onto the ground after its completion. Because the clay had still been fresh, the bird hadn't shattered. Instead, it had broken into a few pieces when it hit the ground.

The blond seemed pleased with what he had done; a smile graced his lips when the bird hit the floor. What was wrong with this guy?! It seemed that he had wanted to break his art. Why? Does he not like clay? Sasori wondered, as the blond picked up the clay that had separated into pieces and mashed them back together, forming a huge terracotta lump. Where the hell was this guy from, where they don't appreciate things that were supposed to last?


Sasori, now curious about the enigmatic new kid, decided to confront Deidara and get his answer. After the last bell had rung, he saw Deidara walking home, in the same direction in which Sasori himself lived. Looks like the wannabe transvestite lived in his neighborhood.

Pushing that train of thought aside, the redhead ran up to the blond. "Deidara!" he called.

Deidara stopped in his tracks and turned around. "Oh. Hi, Sasori," he said as the other boy caught up with him.

Sasori panted and he spoke. "You have some explaining to do," he said in a commanding tone.

The blond shot him a puzzled look. "Uh, okay…which is…?"

"Why did you break that bird you made in art today? It was really good, and people seemed to like it. Why'd you destroy it?" he asked.

Deidara shrugged. "I wasn't destroying the art, I was creating it. See, from my point of view, art is something that comes suddenly, stays for a couple seconds at the most, and disappears."

Sasori couldn't believe what he was hearing. Art? Not lasting? There's no way. "You're foreign, aren't you?" he inquired incredulously.

"Well, I 'unno. It depends on what you consider 'foreign.' I was in Burbank before coming here," the new kid answered. Turning away, he looked out at the sidewalk. "Look, I'd love to get acquainted, but I gotta get going. See you tomorrow, 'kays?" And with that, Deidara continued on his way home.

Wow, Sasori thought. Yet another crackpot at this school. Just what we need.

Getting home that night, Sasori opened and slammed the door shut on his way in like he always did. "Grandma Chiyo! I'm home!" he yelled out, heading straight for his basement.

Turning on the light as he went down the stairs, he immediately headed for the small corner in which Sasori's prized possessions were both made and worked on. His beloved puppets.

He was somewhat of a carpenter, because said puppets were normally made of wood. No other material was better for them. Both durable and workable, it provided the perfect medium for the everlasting art.

And, the redhead took some real pride in his work; he never stopped until he felt that his inventions were exactly as he wanted. Which, with Sasori's high expectations, took a while.

Inspecting a puppet arms that he had made the night before, he began to carve another one in its exact likeness. First the arm, them a pair of legs, then the torso, and so on. He always did the head last, though. Something about working on a project that could stare back at you didn't appeal to him.

At about 10:30, Sasori stopped working. It was getting late (no duh), and sleep was a definite necessity. But, something else needed to be done first…


In his upstairs bathroom, Sasori opened the medicine cabinet and reached for the back corner. Feeling a wooden handle, he took it out carefully…

He stared at the kitchen knife that he held in his right hand. Small, sharp, and with blood splatter-stains all over it. If Grandma Chiyo found this, Sasori'd be dead by now, both metaphorically and physically.

Sitting himself down up against the door, he began with his nightly ritual. Slice, slice, pause. Cut the other way. Let bleed while repeating with the other wrist.

Sasori continued this 'treatment' for a bit. He had started cutting himself a ways back, after his parents had died and he was convinced that his life sucked. Now, he took refuge in his art, his puppets. Even still, he kept cutting himself out of habit. It was a sort of addiction.

Dropping the knife, the redhead relaxed his arms to encourage the blood flow. It felt so nice, so relieving. Like a warm bath that smelled like new coins.

After the blood had clotted in both of his wrists, Sasori painstakingly picked himself up and wet a paper towel to clean the red splotches off the tile. No need to give anyone evidence of his dependency.


That next day at school, Deidara once again sat with Sasori during lunch. He could tell that the other boy was still shy, since the blond wouldn't meet Sasori's gaze or speak unless spoken to. Which was more or less what Sasori wanted. Why talk to weirdoes like him, anyway? He probably didn't have anything interesting to say.

This was where Sasori was wrong. During English class seventh period, which he and the blond had together, they were told to think up a saying that described themselves the most. To build self-esteem or something. He (Sasori) couldn't care less about this, and just scribbled down whatever came to mind.

Deidara, however, had something rather philosophical to say when he was called on. Instead of something stupid, like 'Knowledge is power,' or 'Always keep your chin up,' he posed a more original answer.

"I have two," the blond said when it was his turn. "The first is, 'You're only lame if you're a cripple.' The second is, 'A body will heal eventually, but almost nothing mends a broken spirit.'"

This earned him a chuckle from the rest of the class. Lame if you're a cripple? To most of the people in the room, that didn't make sense. And, what was with that dorky spirit comment? No one really believed that stuff.

Sasori, however, became curious. Maybe this wannabe transvestite was more than he appeared to be.


There ya are, the first chapter! Whee!

Please bear with me, the first few chapters of this fanfic are rather bad. I had some real writer's block when trying to get from Point A to Point B, and…the bad chapters are the results of my efforts. No worries, though, it get better as it goes on (already has first four chapters written out).

And, I sure hope that this fic can live up to "Manicurist." Hope and pray, right?

Anyway, review, please:D