Author's Notes: Old American West AU/AR, written as a gift to a friend. There's a good chance I'll continue to write in this universe, as well.

Disclaimer: The series Naruto and all of its characters do not belong to me. I am merely borrowing them for the duration of this story, and receive no profit from it.

A Prelude

"Yer kind ain't welcomed here, chink."

The sound of Billy Thorton's drunken slur carried all the way to the back of the saloon. Deidara noticed the frown form on the bartender's face, but felt no need to turn around himself; this sort of scene was common, considering how close they were to Chinatown. He continued to watch the dancing woman on the stage, a slow smile crossing his face when she winked at him.

"I... am looking for... a person. Have you... seen this person?"

The voice was young, and covered with a thick accent. It sounded Japanese to Deidara's ears, and that was enough to have him turn his head to peer at the intruder from beneath the brim of his overly large hat. It wasn't too often that they bothered to slum it in this area of town.

The boy looked like he was fresh off the boat, he noted with surprise. He could tell Billy had noticed that too, with the way he was sneering down at the short stranger.

"Yeah," the man was saying. "Down the street where the rest of you fuckin' chinkies stay. Now get the fuck out before I make you!"

The boy tilted his head up and and to the side with something like disdain as he looked at the giant man flatly. The sight made Deidara's smile widen to a grin, and this time he moved his body as well and relaxed against the bar. He pushed a lock of blond hair away from his eyes, and wondered how long the small and slender boy would last.

"Billy! You break anymore of my tables and Chinamen won't be the only ones not welcomed here," the bartender shouted from behind him. Billy, who begun to step closer, moved away from the boy with a snarl.

With a flicker of his eyes towards the bar, the boy calmly looked up at the taller man. Deidara was amused. "Down... the street?"

But Billy just sneered at him, and turned back to his card buddies who looked disappointed at the lack of a fight. Wisely, the stranger let him be, and started moving further into the saloon. Frowning, Deidara turned back to watch the dancer. Pity.

Yet he watched the boy's progress through the mirror behind the bartender. Slightly, so not to be obvious, while occasionally sparing a flirtatious smile for the dancer. The boy posed his questions again and again in his stilted english, and ignored the saliva that some spat at him. Most, however, ignored the stranger. Soon enough, he made his way over to the bar.

"Have you... seen this... man?"

Curiously, the blond glanced at the picture the boy was showing, only to lean in for a second, longer look.


He grinned maniacally, and then looked up at the boy, studying him. Yes, the resemblance was there for anyone who actually looked for it. It seems that the little brother his comrade had left behind had finally come looking for him.

And Deidara was lucky enough to come across him first. This day was looking better and better every second.

The dark-haired young man, of course, noticed Deidara watching him, and turned obsidian eyes his way. Arrogant, those eyes. Just like his brother's.

This was going to be so much fun.

"Chinkie fuck your mother?" he asked the boy, tilting his head just enough so that the stranger could see his own slanted eyes, but not enough that anyone else would catch a glance of them. The bartender snickered in the background. The boy's eyes darkened with rage. Deidara thought the sight beautiful.

The boy sneered. "My mother... was no whore." His glance turned contemptuous, even as his voice carried all the way to the other side of the establishment. "Unlike yours."

Deidara's grin widened further as sound vanished from the saloon. Oh, this was perfect.

The sudden snarl and crash had everyone's heads whipping to Billy, who even as they looked, was storming up to the bar. The boy watched his progress with narrowed eyes, even as he moved in a defensive stance. Deidara recognized that stance. This fight wouldn't be very long, and the thought made him frown.

Billy, meanwhile, had reached the kid and and grabbed an arm. Even as he started to whip him around, the boy was moving himself. His free hand moved in a jerky motion towards the giant man's neck. Billy screamed, and fell to the ground clutching his throat. Only Deidara had seen the delicate weapon enter and leave the boy's hand. The blond finished his drink.

No one else made a move.

"Get out," the bartender growled at the stranger. The boy glared at Deidara before doing a last look around the saloon.

"This man..." If nothing else, the boy was persistent.

"Get out."

Narrowed eyes glared at the bartender, but finally the dark-haired young man turned to leave. Deidara watched him go, a contemplative gleam in his eye. He threw money down onto the bar before following him out.

The boy was waiting for him out front.

"You have... seen him," he said flatly.

Deidara smiled at the boy, slow and lazy. He turned away and started walking down the street.


Deidara turned into an alley and waited the few moments it took for the dark-haired boy to catch up.

"And what if I have?" he drawled in Japanese. The boy looked startled at the switch from english, before he narrowed his eyes at him.

"Halfbreed," he sneered back.

The blond's eyes glinted in amusement. "I would choose my words with more care, if I were you."

"Why I should curb my tongue for one such as yourself?" He asked in disgust.

"Because otherwise I won't be inclined to tell you where your brother is, little Uchiha."

The boy's eyes widened. Deidara grinned.

"How can I trust you?" he growled.

The man shrugged. "You can't."

"Then why..."

"I don't like him. You here to kill him?"

The boy starred at him impassively for a moment before nodding sharply.


The boy starred at him for a moment, before a small, sly smile bloomed on his face. "Who are you?"


"My name is Sasuke," the boy told him. He looked outside the alley. "Those men, they don't know you are...?"

Deidara's grin took on a wicked edge. The boy looked at him in amusement.

"Clever," he said, "to make use of a half blood in such a way. You work for them?"

Deidara narrowed his eyes at the boy in warning, but Sasuke's gaze had slipped back to the alley entrance.

"Yeah," he said. "But I could give a shit, really. They're a bunch of assholes."

Sasuke slid his eyes back to Deidara in suspicion. "You run your mouth a great deal for a flunkie."

Deidara had Sasuke up against the alley wall before the black-haired boy could blink.

"I," he hissed into Sasuke's ear, body flush against his, "am no flunkie, little boy. If you were anyone else, I would be using your remains for explosives, but lucky for you we have the same goal in mind."

The boy's eyes had widened in outrage, but before he could move his arms, Deidara had caught both his wrists and held them in a vice-like grip above his head.

"Let go of me," he spat at Deidara.

Deidara grinned, leaning into Sasuke even further. The boy stiffened at the unwanted contact. "You want to kill your brother? So do I. All I ask is that you allow me to help."

The boy sneered, eyes blazing. He was a sight, flushed and helpless against the wall, body still under Deidara. "And what is to stop you from merely handing me over to them?"

"Revenge," he breathed into a delicate, porcelain ear. The boy shuddered. "I want Itachi's head on a fuckin' platter."

"Why?" The word was a whimper on Sasuke's lips, eyes starring at Deidara in horrified fascination.

"As long as he lives, I'm stuck here. Stuck hanging out in these dirty, filthy white man bars waiting for contacts who rarely show. I'm sick of this fucking place. I want out."

Sasuke snorted and turned his head away from him. "Why haven't you done it yourself then?"

Deidara ran his other hand around the pale throat, smiling at the way the boy began to breath faster. "Your brother isn't that stupid. He has friends, guards; he knows I want him dead. I have no one; he made sure of that." Deidara's mouth twisted in a bitter smirk. "If I could have done this alone, I would have."

"Let go of me," the boy ground out.

"And let you attack me again?"

"I... I won't attack. I swear."

Deidara shrugged, and slid smoothly away from him. The boy watched him warily, gripping the wall behind him.

"How good are you?" Sasuke snarled at him.

Deidara watched him with a small, mad grin. "Good enough to be singled out."

He seemed to be taking stock of the blond before pushing himself away from the alley wall.

"Just don't touch me again," the boy snapped.

The grin widened. They'd see about that one.

an end.