Atopos - So, even though I want reviews for other pieces I do, I still post up new stories... Life is a cruel, cruel mistress. Regardless of me not owning this, I still love Deidara and his relationship to others in Akatsuki. Hopefully this piece of mind trash captures your interest.


Marionettes

Deidara was a doll in the Akatsuki.

He obeyed every command given to him without thinking about himself and carried out the order perfectly. His face and body were also flawless, just like a china doll. However, unlike the other members, he was often dirty, scratched, and bruised. When the blond walked around after a mission, he could even be burned from handling his favourite weapons.

According to everyone who knew him well enough, Deidara was a puppet.

He was controlled far too easily, mostly by Sasori. The redheaded puppet master had Deidara bond to his very soul. It was possible that if one looked close enough, there would be strings tied to him, or that was what they believed…

"Deidara?" Kisame asked softly, masking his tiredness. He had awoken in the dead of the night to footsteps in the hallway. When he peeked out, he saw the blond boy walking the hall with a dazed look on his face. "What on earth are you doing up at this time?"

The blond glanced over his shoulder. He looked tired as well. "Sasori-danna hasn't come to bed yet, un. I want to see if he's alright."

Kisame leaned on the door frame thoughtfully. "Sasori doesn't need sleep as much as you do. He's a puppet, you know that."

Deidara nodded slowly. "I know, un, but…I get worried when he doesn't come… I just wanna see if he's okay."

The boy walked away from Kisame that night. Kisame could only watch in silence. He hoped Sasori knew what he was doing to the youngster. There was nothing worse in the world than the feeling of being alone.

Kisame found Deidara wandering the halls one more time after that. He had the same glazed expression, only this time, he looked drunk. His body would shift to the side, and Deidara would reach out to take the wall. Finding it in the darkness, Deidara slid down it so he could sit with his back against it.

"Deidara…" Kisame sighed, approaching him carefully, "Are you alright? What are you doing up?"

Deidara had his knees up to his chest, his arms wrapped tightly around them, and his head buried deep. Kisame could see his shoulders shaking with every breath which meant he was crying.

"I…" Deidara whimpered as if someone had struck him, "I'm…looking for Sasori-danna… He… hasn't come to bed yet, un… I just wanna see if he's…okay…"

Kisame's eyes widened. It sounded as if Deidara was awake, but the boy knew Sasori was dead. Everyone knew the redhead was dead. Deidara had seen the body, touched it, tried to save his partner's life despite knowing it was no use. Sasori was truly gone. Now Deidara was sleep-walking. There was absolutely no way he could be in his right mind at this moment.

"Kisame…" Deidara's voice cried harder to him, haunting him. "I…need him… Please…tell me where he is, un… He isn't in his workshop…or in the kitchen… Hiruko isn't here either, un…"

Of course not, Kisame thought. Sasori was buried with Hiruko and a few of his favourite puppets. That was the way the boy wanted it to be if he ever did die in battle. They were his treasures, but now he realized that they forgot one. Deidara was still here. They had forgotten Deidara was Sasori's most prized possession and vice versa.

"Deidara, do you need someone to stay with you tonight?" Kisame asked politely.

The blond shook his head. "No, un. He must be out on a late mission… Leader didn't tell me about, though… Sasori-danna will come back to me, un… If danna sees me with someone else, he'll be very mad… I'm just gonna wait up for him…"

Kisame was surprised when Deidara leapt to his feet and ran for the kitchen. He could feel his stomach drop to the floor. Deciding that he wanted to be there for Deidara, he grabbed two blankets and made his way to the kitchen despairingly.

The shark man could remember when Deidara stopped walking down his hall. It was also when he could feel his heart being ripped from his body. Still in his mind, "Deidara is dead," repeated itself like a chant. His face went paler and his hands went cold. A shiver took over his body for the rest of the day.

That night, another set of footstep were heard throughout the hall. This time they were headed towards Deidara's workshop. Kisame got out of bed just to see who they belonged to. Of course, he should have known already. Tobi.

"What are you doing up?" Kisame repeated the question he was so use to asking Deidara at this time of night.

Tobi turned ungracefully to face Kisame. His body shook nervously, but he answered quickly. "Deidara-sempai hasn't come to bed yet. Perhaps he has fallen asleep in his workshop. It isn't like him to miss a good night's sleep, right, Kisame-san?"

Kisame allowed Tobi to walk on. Deidara was in a very peaceful sleep where the thought of his danna not being with him would no longer bother him. He was finally at peace and wouldn't have to see the fall of the Akatsuki. Now he could rest on, laugh at people, and blow up whatever Heaven or Hell had to offer.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Kisame could hear footsteps. That was impossible, though. Tobi no longer dreamt about Deidara's demise, Deidara was long dead to the cold world, and no one else cared about who was dead. The noise haunted him for the longest while. There was only one thought in his mind. Deidara truly was a puppet on a string. He would continually stalk those who helped him in life.

Sure, there were the moments in life when Kisame would leave the safety of his bedroom without waking Itachi, and check to see who was out there. His eyes would widen and all he could remember was the vision of a blond in a long white outfit. It was Deidara, looking as pure as an angel. This was what they had amounted to. Kisame was actually horrified at the thought, yet he never told anyone about it. He couldn't even recall of a time when Sasori's spirit would search the earth for his partner.

Sasori must have counted himself lucky for having a partner that cared so fondly for him, though. Deidara was a partner he successfully turned into his playtoy to wander the world in search of him forever.

His little marionette.

- Atopos