The last update was in August… holy fuck, what the hell have I been doing?! Facepalm much?

Sorry for the delay. I've been working on a lot of other projects and totally forgot about this one. Whoops… I hope most of you are still reading it. Please forgive me for the wait. I'm working on it again now, so you'll be seeing some more updates.

Hidan glanced at the two, who were getting up slowly now. Deidara's bionic eye was on the fritz, spinning wildly. Apparently, something had been done to it to short it out somehow, and now all Deidara saw in one eye was a blur of color. He closed it to avoid making himself dizzy.

"E-excuse me?" Sasori said, glancing the man up and down. His body was toned, skin slightly tanned, and he wore a white sleeveless shirt with pants so covered in grime, dirt and blood that the original color could not be determined. It was brown now.

"I asked what you two were doing here. It's been a while." The man said, offering a hand and pulling up the two. "We heard that some guys were being put in Key City, but my scouts weren't sure what to make of you bitches…"

"So… you're from the Akatsuki, hmm?" Deidara asked.

The man frowned. "So the rumors are true. Fuck." He said, and then shook his head, chuckling. "Well then, I'll have to introduce myself, since you guys can't remember a damn thing. I'm Hidan."

Suddenly, he paused as someone ran up behind him. It was a female, with a tantalizingly short shirt, and a blue top that had been ripped to reveal her midriff. She brushed long brown locks away from her face.

"Yeah?" Hidan asked. "What is it?"

"Seryou's causing a ruckus… again." She said, then glanced at Deidara and gave a small wink, puckering up her lips. "Hey there, sweet thing."

Deidara blushed, but before he could reply, Hidan was pushing her away. "Hey hey hey! No flirting, bitch!" he grumbled, and the girl giggled.

"Fine. Mighty cute friends you have there, though." She said. Sasori glanced over at Deidara, who was still blushing madly, and felt rather… jealous? Uhh, no. Obviously, he wanted the female for himself. That was it.

"Seryou again, huh?" Hidan grumbled. "That fucking ass whore. So, is it a protest or is he throwing firebombs again?"

"Firebombs." The female said, rolling her eyes. "I gotta get back to the bar. See you later."

And, with that, she took off. Hidan placed a hand to his head.

"Come on, guys. Let's get going…" Hidan said, waiting for the two to get up, before walking off. Deidara and Sasori glanced at each other, and then followed him.

While the outside had been clean, bright, and well kept, this place was the opposite. The streets were covered in grime. Buildings that weren't being used for strip clubs and sports bars were broken, decript and dirty. Neon signs flickered and flashed as they passed, and bums seemed to be in every dark alley. Hidan would look behind him every so often.

"Why do you keep doing that?" Deidara asked.

"To make sure you guys aren't being raped or something."

"But, we're guys, hmm."

"Hey, this is a crazy town." Hidan said, smirking. "There's a bunch of fucked up people here… don't get lost. In fact, usually people buddy up 'round here."

Deidara glanced at Sasori, who glared back. "Touch me and you die."

The room was smoky, but mostly empty, save for a few late night card players or pool players. Small lamps that hung from the ceiling illuminated the tables and the bar, though they occasionally flickered.

Hidan placed his feet on the table, glancing at Deidara and Sasori. They didn't say anything for a while.

"So… did you lose your memory, Hidan, hmm?" Deidara asked, finally.

"Nope." Hidan said, giving a small grin. "I didn't die, that's why. I just got crushed for a while."

"Because… you're immortal." Sasori said, slowly.

"Yep." Hidan said, nodding. "I think it has something to do with dying, yeah?"

"Maybe it's reincarnation, hmm." Deidara said, and then noticed Hidan giving him a death glare.

"Hey, you can talk about your stupid religious crap somewhere else. Jashin doesn't allow fucking reincarnations." Hidan said, ignoring the fact that he was the only Akatsuki member to worship Jashin. He grabbed a martini off a nearby platter, and sucked it down in one gulp. "So are you guys still gay for each other or what?"

Sasori went pale. "Whaaaaaat?!" he said, breaking his "devil may care" exterior for a second for complete and total outrage.

"You heard me, Mister Akasuna no Yaoi." Hidan said, smirking and drinking yet another martini. "Geez, I had the room next to you at the base… damn those thin walls. I never got a fucking moment's rest unless you guys were out on a mission. Hey, what's wrong with you?"

Deidara was clutching the edge of the table as if his life depended on it, his skin pale, and his non mechanical eye was wide in terror. Sasori glanced at him for a second.

"I think he's tired." Sasori concluded.

Hidan laughed. "Sure, let's go with that."

It was a library. Even without books, you can tell a place is a library because of its smell.

It smells like history, it smells like fantasy, it smells like comfort. And it is always warm, on a cold rainy day, like this one. Deidara turned back, seeing the pour down outside. And Sasori.

"You're really not bothered, hmm?" Deidara asked. "We can always come back later."

"Just go find your stupid book, Deidara. Stop apologizing." Sasori said. "I'll be in the history section."

"Typical, hmm." Deidara said, watching Sasori's lips curl into a smile.

"Indeed." Sasori mused, before shuffling off into the correct section.

The library was deserted, really. There were a couple people, reading books of various types, but they paid no attention to the two. It was like they weren't even there. Deidara made his way up the spiraling staircases, to the upper floor. There, the reference section. He walked along the isles, looking at the titles closely.

"If you're looking for rare books, they're in that room right over there." An old man said. Deidara was too confused to ask how the old man knew what he was looking for… he just entered.

The walls in the cramped room were obscured entirely by floor to ceiling bookshelves. There was, however, the occasional window, though they were closed and the views obscured by dark rose curtains. Deidara paused, gently shutting the heavy wood door behind him. He wasn't sure where to start… the books seemed entirely out of order, as though someone had read all of them, and not bothering to organize them, put them back in completely random order.

"This is hopeless, hmm." Deidara grumbled. Perhaps Sasori-danna could've helped… no, he was too short. There seemed to be no stepladder… what if his book was on the very top shelf?! Perhaps his clay birds could fetch them, if it was needed.

"What if your book's not here?" came the voice of the old man. Deidara whipped around.

"What if… my books not here?"

"That's what I said. You're looking for The Book Of Darkness, right?"

Deidara slowly nodded. "Indeed, old man. But how do you know all this, hmm?"

"I know many things, Deidara." The old man replied, giving a small smile. It made the skin around his eyes crinkle.

"So, is it here?"

"It is. The only one left. Many have come looking for it… none have found it here. But you have the gift of the palm mouths, so therefore, you may read it."

The old man walked over to an old looking desk, and pulled open the drawer. Inside was a book, bound in worn old black leather. The pages were yellowed with age, though the text still bold, and readable. The old man delicately pulled the book out of the drawer, and handed it to Deidara, who seemed rather stunned to be holding it.

"You may read, but this book may not be checked out, nor is it for sale. Do you see a barcode on it, Deidara?"

"No, hmm."

"You can steal it. Hide it under that cloak of yours, and walk out the front doors. No alarm will ring, as it does for all the other books you see here. But, be warned… even though you have the powers of legend, the book's powers will not hold back on you, or the ones you love. I am telling you now, before you go and try to steal it. It would be a shame to see such a world changing gift go to waste."

And with that, the old man exited the room, leaving Deidara in the muggy silence with only his gentle breathing and the patter of the rain on the rooftops to break it. Suddenly, Sasori pushed open the door.

"Just checking on you to make sure you didn't get a paper cut and bleed to death." Sasori said, glancing at him from half lidded eyes. "Did you find it?"

"Yeah, hmm. Did you see an old man on your way over here?"

"Old man? No." Sasori said. "There's nobody else up here. Nobody wants to read reference books. Well, anyways, come get me when you're done reading."

Deidara paused, and glanced at the book in his hands. Here was the answer to his questions. Everything about the Palm Mouths. He found his hands trembling as they opened the book, his eyes scanning the Table Of Contents.

"Come on, come on, come on…" he mumbled, frowning. "Ahh, Palm Mouths."

He sunk into a chair, and began to read.

Deidara woke up, gently, to faint sun coming in through the window. He yawned, stretching, and rolled over… to come face to face with Sasori. His eye shot open, but rather then screaming, he gently edged out of the bed, falling to the floor with a gentle thunk.

He only had his pants on, and the floor was very, very cold against his bare skin. Deidara covered his mouth to keep from yelping. Did this place have no heater?!

Sasori woke up, and peered over at Deidara, who froze. Did Sasori know that he had just been… that they had been…?

"Good morning, Deidara." Sasori said stiffly. "I wouldn't suggest sleeping on the floor in this kind of place, but you do what you like."

Deidara let out a sigh of relief. So he didn't know. Good. But, then, who had put Sasori in the same bed as Deidara?

"Good morning, muthafuckers!" Hidan said cheerfully, pushing open the door. However, seeing Deidara on the floor, his face fell. "So Deidara sleeps on the floor?"

"Yes. Have a problem with that?" Sasori said, glaring at Hidan. Hidan quickly smiled again.

"No, no. Not at all. Well, anyways. Welcome to your first day in Key City. It's going to be quite a ride, so keep all arms, feet, heads and other certain extremities inside the vehicle at all times. Get dressed; I'll wait for you outside."

The door slammed shut. Sasori turned to Deidara. "Did you have any strange dreams last night?"

"No, hmm." Deidara lied.

"Good. Me neither." Sasori lied.

There. They were even.