The room was so… quiet. Even though the sunlight filtered in through the window, I didn't bother to try and catch dust mites, as I always had, when he was here. I would jump around, cupping them in my palms, only to find them empty.
"You can't catch them, un." He would growl, glaring at me. "Stop jumping around like a moron."
I would stop, go back to my bed, and watch him make clay figures. When we had first met, we had been so far apart. How did I know those "un"s would awaken feelings in me I didn't know how to react to?
You're not supposed to fall in love. The other Tobi would say. You're the leader of this group! Shape up!
I guess I didn't listen well. I followed him around like a puppy dog. I suppose he mistook it for just being loyal. Yet, I suppose, there was some sort of relationship forming, though it wasn't the one I wanted. I didn't know that he wasn't getting my hints. I thought he was just playing along. But now I realize that there wasn't anything there, no matter how much I held on, like some ferocious otaku, to my love.
Let me take over. The other Tobi soothed, as the pillow grew wet with my tears and blood, not bothering to patch myself up after I stumbled back, the explosion still ringing in my ears. I'll boss some people around… make everything better.
I let him. I didn't even pay attention as I ordered Pein to go after Naruto. No more failures, I had said, marching away, back to my room.
You see? You're in control. The other Tobi said. You're back in the driver's seat. You can't possibly lose.
Couldn't he see that I had already lost? That the one I loved was gone, gone forever? Dead? I couldn't bring myself to face it.
He is dead. People die. That's that.
Then why don't I die? Why can't I join him, wherever he's gone?
Because your purpose is not fulfilled. Deidara fulfilled his purpose long ago. You still have a job to do. Now sleep. Tomorrow will be better.
And sleep I did, though tears still dripped down my cheeks, splattering the pillow. Before I closed my eyes, I noticed one was in the shape of a heart…
I woke up early the next morning, earlier then everyone else. I washed my face, and then put on my mask, not bothering to glance at myself and yell Good Morning at the top of my lungs like I always did.
I walked around. The place was empty. Strange. Usually somebody else was up by now. This had happened once before, before Deidara died, but I tried to push those thoughts out of my mind. I passed by the old Victorian vase… the old vase? I turned around. Sure enough, there it was, light blue with delicate red flower patterns painted on it. Hadn't I broken that?
"Why the hell are you staring at a vase, un?" a rather familiar voice behind me said. Needless to say, I shrieked, and probably flew into the air. Deidara also gave out a cry, falling over in his surprise. I helped him up. "Christ, Tobi-kun, you scared me out of my wits, un."
"How?!" was all I could splutter. The hand taking mine was real. How was he alive?
"You screamed your head off, that's how, un."
"But… how are you alive, Deidara-sempai?!" I said. It was so good to see his face again. I wished I had a camera of some sort, just to take a picture.
"Alive, un? What are you talking about, Tobi-kun, un?" he said, now looking utterly confused.
Then, it all connected. Deidara was alive, nobody was awake, and the vase wasn't broken… I had traveled back in time. Before Deidara had decided to hunt down Sasuke, and try to kill him. This was my last chance, to try and persuade him to not attack.
"Deidara-sempai… I, umm, had this crazy dream. You were going to go after this kid, because you were mad, and you ran out of chakra, and so you used the mouth in your chest and you… you died." I said, trying to sound convincing. The way I said it, however, made it sound so fake. "I'm sure it's going to happen."
Deidara laughed. "What? Me, run out of chakra, un? Never. Nobody can escape, un."
Fine. Time for the truth. "Okay, I didn't have the dream, Deidara-sempai. I traveled back, from the future, after you died! I know this is going to happen, Deidara-sempai. Just… don't go after him!"
Deidara was giving me a very confused stare now. "Why do you care so much, Tobi-kun?"
"BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, DEIDARA-SEMPAI!" I burst. I hadn't meant for it to come out, honestly. He seemed shocked, and then the tears were flowing, dripping off the sides of my mask.
And then he had caught me up in a hug. It was a gentle hug, and I carefully wrapped my arms around him.
"Tobi-kun… you can't change the events of the future, un."
I didn't say anything for a few moments. "Why not?"
"Because it could have dire consequences, un."
"I don't care." I said. "We can change just one little thing…"
Deidara laughed. "I'm sorry, Tobi-kun, I must face what fate has for me, un."
And then, he drew away, leaving me standing there. I sniffled, but I realized what sense there was in those words. "Okay."
"Thank you for telling me, though, Tobi-kun. Perhaps we'll see each other again, sometime, un." He said, smiling down at me. I had only seen him smile when he made his clay figures, and seeing him smile at me made my heart skip a beat. "For now, possibly…?"
I realized what. "Yeah."
And then, he lifted up my masks, and our lips touched each other, just for a second, then it was over.
"Hey, sleepy head, up and at 'em."
I awoke, looking up. Kisame stood over me, glaring down at me. I still had my mask on, thankfully.
"Hmm?" I mumbled, sitting up. Had that been a dream? It had felt so real. I shook my head, still feeling the kiss on my lips.
"Package for yah. We would've killed the guy who delivered it, but it wasn't a guy."
"Well, what was it?" I said, blinking.
"A bird. Pretty big one. Anyway, here you go." Kisame said, shoving the package into my hands. I nodded my thanks, and then opened it.
A picture? How worthless. The other Tobi said, obviously annoyed. However, my heart filled with joy at it. It was a picture of me and Deidara. I was making bunny ears behind his head, and he was frowning. As usual. I turned it over to see spidery handwriting.
"Tobi, Something told me you would like this. I can't explain why… but I hope you take good care of it. I just kinda sent it to the hideout… I want to see the look on your face when you get it. Show me what's under that mask! Your partner, Deidara."
Maybe… it hadn't been a dream? I clutched the small picture to my chest for a second, and then slipped it under my pillow.
You were right, I thought, tomorrow was better.
I'm always right. The other me said.