Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Hope this chapter is as good as the first one! Please tell me if you think I'm babbling on or not. I actually wrote the very last chapter today... I think it's so I'll have something to work twoards. I'll have to remember to keep my facts strait, though! Okay, enjoy the chapter.
"Well… it's rocky, for one thing." Kakashi admitted.
While he had been outside of Konoha before on ANBU duties, he hadn't visited the Village Hidden in the Rocks before, and now knew it was named well. A barrier, a rock wall, surrounded the entire town. Inside, almost all of the buildings were carved into or around the stones. Might Guy wasn't so impressed.
"What a dump." Guy remarked, running a hand through his bowl shaped haircut.
The Hokage glared at them both. "Come, come. The Iwakage is expecting us."
"Ahem hem." Came the cough of a very small and shrewd looking person. He was only about 4'3, wearing the typical outfit of a Kage. He had tiny eyes with pure black pupils, a large bulbous nose that protruded about an inch out in front of him, and a small puckered mouth, along with what looked like the wispy beginnings of a mustache. Kakashi was silent, taking in the Iwakage's… interesting appearance, but Guy couldn't help but give a quiet snicker.
"Ahh, Iwakage. Nice to see you."
"I would say the same, but I feel that you bring the same complaints as the others." Said the Iwakage in a hilariously deep voice, made even funnier by his short stature. This deep booming voice, coupled with the height of the Iwakage, caused Might Guy to burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter. The Hokage and Iwakage glared at Guy until Kakashi was able to calm him down.
"Sorry, sorry. I just remembered something from a while back… continue, please." Guy said quickly, though his lips still trembled with laughter.
"… Indeed." The Iwakage said, and glanced at Kakashi. "And you must be the famous Kakashi Hatake?"
"I am, Lord Iwakage." Kakashi said, giving a small bow.
"My name is Benru Hitame. Please, call me that." The Iwakage said, giving a small smile. "Follow me… I have much to explain."
The group made their way towards the clearing, the forest's trees all around them. Tamaki and Deidara walked at the head.
They reached the open area, with only a stone in the middle. Deidara walked up and made a few hand signs. The rock split down the middle and opened like a door, revealing a staircase leading down. Tamaki lead them down the dark corridor, the light of the sun soon leaving them all together.
Then, lights lit up the underground passageway. It looked to be an old mineshaft. They continued walking as the door closed behind them.
Then, they entered the main room of the base. Lights hung, lit by unseen electricity. Tables were set up, and many sat at them and read books, or played cards, or ate. In fact, the whole room was full of people doing various things. They all stopped as the group entered. There was a pause, an uncomfortable silence. Then, Tamaki gave a thumb up, and the group went wild with cheering.
The others split off to go talk to their friends within the group, but many crowded around Deidara… mostly the females.
"Deidara-sama! Please, tell us how it went!"
"Did you get attacked?"
"Did the ANBU come after you?"
"Are you hurt?"
Deidara took a few steps back. "Tamaki-danna would… Tamaki-danna?"
Tamaki had vanished, suddenly, as he always did, to go do something or other. Deidara sighed, seeing as he would have to tell the story anyway. He turned back to the females.
"It took a while to get there. Everybody had their bombs ready…"
Kakashi blinked, once, and then broke the solemn silence.
"You say his name is Deidara?"
"Yes. He is my son." Benru said, getting up and pacing over to the large glass windows that overlooked the city. "And, as I have said, his powers are beyond compare. I did what I could to have him incorporated into society, as a normal person would, but the fear was too much. And if it wasn't fear, it was wanting him in our army forces."
"He has mouths on his hands and chest. And what's more, he can turn clay into living, breathing bombs." Kakashi said. "You can't expect him to be treated as normal."
"I know. I should've thought better. I should've tried to let him be who he was. If I did anything good… at least I installed in him a passion."
"A passion, Benru-sama?"
"Indeed. A passion for the fine arts."
Guy laughed. "Are you quite serious?"
"Can you not take me seriously?"
The Hokage glared at Guy, and he got the message. "I can, Benru-sama, it's just that… man, that's weird!"
Kakashi resisted the urge to punch his rival and best friend. "I think the passion is a wonderful thing. The wanting to blow up towns… not so much."
"He's with that Tamaki kid, that's the thing. Tamaki was always a rebellious youth. I didn't really want him near Deidara… but they gravitated towards each other like the opposite ends of a magnet. I think Tamaki was the one who unearthed Deidara's powers. That was how it all started."
"Indeed." Kakashi said. "And that brings us to where you started your story."
"It was a bit depressing, wasn't it? I'm sorry… but that's the truth." Benru said.
"The truth isn't always beautiful." Kakashi put in.
"Oh… wasted youth." Guy mumbled.
"Not wasted, in his opinion. In his opinion, his life is art." Benru said, shaking his head slowly. "He wants to live a short life… I doubt he'll reach 30."
Kakashi glanced out the window. "How old is he now, you think?"
"About 18… same as you, wouldn't it?"
"I'm 19, actually." Guy said, and got elbowed in the side by Kakashi.
"All I'm saying is that though they're both from the Rock Village, they are considered missing-nin now. These attacks are not us."
"They're from… what was the name of this roving band?"
"I didn't mention it. They call themselves the Sky Dragons."
"The Sky Dragons…" Kakashi mumbled.
"Thank you, Benru, for this information. Do the other villages know of it?"
"All that came got the same story. It doesn't look like they're going to do anything about it, though." Benru said, sadly, sinking into his chair.
"We'll help." Kakashi suddenly said. "The ANBU. Let us team up with your best jonin, and we'll bring back your son."
Benru glanced up. "No."
"Don't bring him back. He won't want to come back… he will only cause destruction. If you must, kill him."
Kakashi was shocked. "Benru-sama, this is your son."
"He used to be. He isn't anymore."
It was Tamaki. Deidara paused, glancing as the rock opened up and Tamaki stepped out.
"Why do you call me danna? Isn't that reserved for kings?"
"You are a king, un." Deidara said, defensively.
"Of what? The skies? Stupidity?"
"I… I don't know." Deidara said.
"Of your heart?" Tamaki said, jokingly, and he laughed, not noticing the faint tinges of red that touched Deidara's cheeks. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I know your heart will one day belong to a woman. I don't think I'll trust anyone."
"A woman, un." Deidara said, resisting the urge to scoff. Girls disgusted him, though he didn't show it. He'd love anything other then a girl, and he did. That was art, fleeting art that lasted for only moments.
Tamaki sat next to Deidara, dark brown eyes gazing up at the stars. "I'm going to travel the world, alone, a bachelor forever."
"No, un!" Deidara said. "I'll be by your side. We'll travel together, un."
"Of course. We're friends, forever. But, I meant, I'm never going to get married. I'm never going to fall in love."
"Same here, un."
Tamaki laughed. "And what's with that? That little grunt?"
"What little grunt, un?"
"See? I think you're doing it unconsciously."
"Oh… is it annoying?"
"No. I think it's kinda cool. It makes you sound tough"
The moon was full, and bright, a big white circle among the blackness. A gentle breeze, still carrying some of the sun's warmth, blew past them, making Deidara's ponytail wave.
"Do you remember your parents?" Tamaki asked, for Deidara hadn't noticed him staring.
"I don't remember much of my mother… but I remember my father. Too well. Living with him for 16 years does that to you, un." Deidara said, glancing over at Tamaki. Their eyes met, but Deidara pulled them away. Ever since that day, he's always been afraid to look people in the eyes, Tamaki noticed.
"I understand." Tamaki whispered, memories subduing his speech. He pulled his knees to his chest.
"That day was… terrible, un." Deidara whispered, his visible eye full of sadness. "I wish it had never happened."
"I wish that every day." Tamaki said, and then he noticed a single stream of tears dripping down Deidara's cheek. "Deidara?"
"It was all my fault!" Deidara cried, voice choked with sobs. "My fault, my fault, my fault!"
And then, Deidara felt Tamaki's arms wrapped around him, and Deidara sobbed on his friend's shoulder.
"I won't deny your claims." Tamaki said, slowly. "That would be lying. But you need to forgive yourself, Deidara. No matter what you think, there will be worse things you could've done. You made the right choice… it was your father's decision to over exaggerate the claims."
Deidara didn't reply. He let the tears come, though inside, Tamaki's words rang true.
"It was nice of Benru-sama to let us stay the night." Kakashi said, laying down on his bed. It was comfy and soft, though the room was a bit cold.
"Yeah. Roads are a bit dangerous at night." Guy said, laying down. "Though, bet you Hokage-sama's room has heating."
"True, it probably does. But, at least the beds are soft."
"He accepted our plan." Guy added. "And that new captain is going to help lead the team."
"I heard of him, but I don't know his name yet." Kakashi said, pulling one of his favorite books out of his pocket.
"Urrgh! You're still reading those?" Guy grumbled.
"What?" Kakashi said, glancing up.
Guy shook his head. "Never mind. I heard the captain's name, though."
"Really? Who is he?"
Guy gave a small smirk. "I think you'll really like this guy."
"Guy. Tell me the name." Kakashi said, annoyance tingeing his voice.
"Great name, actually."
"Fine, fine. His name's Itachi Uchiha."
Kakashi froze. "Come again?"
"You heard me. He's an Uchiha."
Kakashi gave a small sigh, and leaned back into his pillow. "Thanks for the big build-up."
"I thought you'd be all excited to meet an Uchiha." Guy said.
"I would've, a while back. But now, I realize it's not so important."
"Liar. You're excited." Guy said, glaring daggers at his friend.
Kakashi didn't respond.
"Well, I hear the boy is full of youth, so I shall be glad to meet him." Guy said, turning over. "I'm going to sleep. Good night."
"Good night, Guy." Kakashi said, as Guy turned off his light and went to sleep.
Kakashi sat there, in the darkness, for a while, pondering. An Uchiha, huh? This would prove to be a strange and exciting experience. Kakashi fluffed up his pillow and quickly fell asleep.