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.
The week flew by.
It didn't take much for Deidara to convince Sasuke to choose a room. He'd almost been able to convince him to choose Sasori's (mostly out of spite), but the young man was a little too perceptive, and wouldn't budge past the doorway. Pity.
It didn't take much teaching after that day for Sasuke to adapt to gunfighting. By the end of the week, Deidara started him on how to aim while moving about, and after a few hiccups, Sasuke was shooting as if he had been born with a gun. The blond couldn't wait to shove it in Sasori's face.
Deidara was relaxing in the living room on the day Sasori came back, while Sasuke continued to practice with the gun outside. He'd found a stash of cigars in the redhead's room, and was enjoying one when he saw the outside door open. He waved merrily at Sasori, who froze as soon as he had seen Deidara.
"What do you think you're doing?" Sasori said mildly, adjusting the packages he was holding in his arms. Deidara suspected he had another ham.
"Enjoying myself," Deidara replied, attempting to blow a smoke ring.
Sasori watched the attempt, with a tick in one eye. "Is that what I think it is?"
"I thought I told you never to go into my room."
Deidara shrugged with a lazy grin. He took another drag on the cigar, and blew the smoke in Sasori's direction.
"Fucking no-good lazy... go smoke on the porch!" Sasori snarled, waving the smoke away and striding past him towards the kitchen. Deidara followed.
"I was surprised to find the second floor clean," Deidara said in a bored voice, leaning up against the frame leading from the front room to the kitchen.
"I can't work in filth," the redhead snapped, separating the goods he had brought. "Shouldn't you be out there teaching that little bastard?"
"Nope," Deidara replied, unable to hide the triumph he felt at Sasuke's accomplishments. "He's beyond me now."
Sasori paused and looked at him. "What?" he said, incredulous. "You must be worse with a gun than I thought."
Deidara refused to be baited. "Go take a look for yourself."
Sasori twisted around to look at back door. He looked at Deidara, and then back again.
"Put this shit away," he said, and walked out of the kitchen. Deidara did as he was told.
He lingered in the cellar, though, taking stock of the meats Sasori brought, and frowned. There was more than he had left last time. And he grimaced when he noticed three times the vegetables.
"Damn it," he muttered, before leaving everything in a pile.
When he stepped outside, he first noticed the way Sasuke was holding himself. Stiff, defensive, and it looked like he was trying to look back at the house without appearing to be looking. But Deidara blinked, and then Sasuke looked the same as always. He frowned as he walked towards the pair of them.
Sasori was growling something at Sasuke, and as Deidara closed in on them, he heard, "and don't think I'll let you get away with..." but the redhead trailed off as he noticed Deidara.
"Took you fucking long enough," he snapped at the blond.
Deidara shrugged. "There was a lot of shit to put away. You two having fun out here?"
"This little fucker has been showing me how piss poor he still is," Sasori growled. "Better than you, my ass."
That made Deidara frown, and he turned that frown on Sasuke.
Sasuke scowled. "This idiot kept giving me impossible targets! Like I can hit a tree that far away!"
The young man pointed to a tree just on the far side of the enclosure.
"Why not?" Deidara said, still frowning. "You can hit it with your little ninja knife, right?"
"Then just remember how you did that, and what you've learned."
Deidara's frown turned into a glare, and he walked close to Sasuke, putting a hand on his should as he leaned down to snarl in his ear, "Listen, you thrice-damned little fucker - you've already embarrassed me once in front of my teacher. Don't fucking do it again. Now stop playing around and goddamn do it!"
Sasuke paled and took a step back to look at Deidara with wide eyes, rubbing his shoulder all the while. He nodded once, and turned around.
He took aim, and shot.
"Well, I'll be damned," Sasori said, surprised. He looked at Deidara sharply. "You didn't throw out the vegetables did you?"
"You brought vegetables this time?" Sasuke said. Deidara switched the scowl to him.
"This time?" Sasori said, frowning. "Did Deidara throw out the ones I left?"
Sasuke glared at Deidara.
"He does that," Sasori muttered. He frowned thoughtfully at Sasuke. "I suppose it's a good thing I'm staying here this week. Looks like Deidara has taken you as far as he can go."
"What do you mean," Sasuke said, looking now at Sasori.
"He's always been a better shot than me," Deidara replied instead. "He knows more tricks than I do."
"Which you would have learned if you had ever left your little toys alone long enough to do so," Sasori said dryly.
"...do I have to?" Sasuke asked, uncertain. He was looking at Deidara.
Both men looked at him, surprised.
"Well, yeah," Deidara said. "Trust me, you want to know what he does."
Sasuke nodded, but he didn't look happy about it.
"You'll be cooking tonight, Deidara," Sasori said. "I want to get a move on with the brat's training."
Now Sasuke looked horrified. Deidara grinned.
"Sure," he said, and headed back to the house.
"Don't burn the food," Sasori shouted behind him. "And cook some fucking vegetables!"
"You surprised me," Sasori said later that evening during dinner.
"Didn't take him long to run out of here," Deidara mused, ignoring Sasori, looking back where Sasuke had just left.
Sasori rolled his eyes. "Focus, boy, focus." The redhead took another bit of the meat, and grimaced at the crunch. He spat it back out, and wiped his mouth before looking back at the blond. "I wasn't expecting this kind of improvement. Didn't even think the little bastard would be hitting the front post, let alone a tree that far."
Deidara smiled. "I had faith."
"Like hell you did." He waved his fork around. "What the fuck happened while I was gone?"
"He's still an Uchiha," Deidara said, leaning back in his chair. "He didn't know about recoil. After that, everything else was simple."
"Huh." Sasori pushed his meat around his plate. "I guess he'll be of some use after all."
"That was the hope."
He looked at Deidara sharply. "And you?"
"And me, what?"
"Do any thinking while I was gone?"
Deidara cocked an eyebrow. "Plenty."
Deidara grinned. "The less you know, the better."
Sasori smirked. "So that's how it is, hmm?"
"How long do you think you'll need with Sasuke?"
"First name basis, now?" Sasori tapped his plate thoughtfully. "Few days, at least. Maybe five. That boy is quick... I wasn't expecting it." He grimaced. "So much for months."
Deidara chuckled. But Sasori concentrated on his food after that, and Deidara chose to look out through the window.
The other man glanced at him.
"How were things in town?"
"Nothing to worry about," Sasori said dismissively. "I had a contact come in, and a couple of our own, but there was nothing to raise an alarm about. Itachi is pretty fucking livid, I might add."
Deidara frowned. "How can anyone tell?"
"Hidan claimed his eyes are twitching a little more frequently."
Deidara hummed, thoughtful. Sasori looked at him suspiciously.
"Whatever you're planning, don't."
Deidara gave him a wicked grin. "And what makes you think I'm planning something?"
Sasori pointed at him. "I know that expression. I don't know what caused it, but I know it means too much trouble for me. So, don't."
Deidara shrugged. Sasori sighed.
"I'd heard a rumor, a long time ago, that Itachi was thinking of going rogue," Deidara said, idly.
"Not exactly a rumor, hmm?"
Sasori swallowed. "No, not exactly. How did you hear about that?"
Deidara just grinned.
"Goddammit, Deidara..." Sasori rubbed his face. "It was only a fucking rumor."
He looked at the blond sharply. Deidara just grinned at him.
"I need to go into town," he said.
Sasori's eyes widened in alarm. "Why?"
"You're not the only one with contacts," Deidara said. "Besides, this meeting was arranged before I even got here."
Sasori's eyes narrowed. "If you do anything that'll bring attention to this town..."
Deidara shook his, and with a lazy grin said, "Relax. Even I am not that stupid."
The redhead snorted.
Deidara rolled his eyes. "Just don't worry about it. Just focus on the brat, and after this week, we'll both be out of your hair."
Sasori looked surprised. "This soon?"
"This was never something that could wait, and you knew it." Deidara's grin was razor sharp. "Especially when it's only a matter of time before Itachi manages to track us down."
"Do you know how you'll manage to avoid it?"
"I don't plan to. I just need to make sure he never knew we were here."
Sasori stared at the blond for a moment before shaking his head in disgust. "I suppose I should be grateful than that at least." He stood. "I'll make sure you get a decent funeral. She would have wanted that for you, at least."
"Always the optimist."
The one thing that Deidara had always hated was the occasional need to dress up as the other gender.
Sasori had claimed it was the long hair that brought it on, but others had mentioned it was also the way Deidara sometimes carried himself. Including his own mother. Nevertheless, when the need to remain anonymous came up, he usually donned a dress and a fairly concealing hat, and then went about his business.
In this case, it was easier to be seen as a woman meeting another woman, rather than a man meeting with another woman, if for no other reason than to keep people from looking at them in curiosity.
"You're late," his contact said idly, watching Deidara wrestle with his skirts as he sat down.
"The dress tripped me up," he remarked idly, being careful not to stab too many more holes in the bottom of his dress with the heels. He fucking hated heels.
The girl grinned at him, eyes barely visible under her own hat. "Could have fooled me."
He shrugged, and was about to answer, when a loud noise from one end of the saloon caused him to look over for a moment.
There weren't many people in the saloon at this time of day. Most people in town worked during the daylight hours, and Deidara had chosen to meet his contact in one of the more classy saloons, in hopes of avoiding anyone Sasori might know. There was a man playing on the piano in one corner, and a group of wealthy men, merchants Deidara guessed by their attire, playing cards. He turned back to the girl in front of him.
"I've heard that's not difficult, Tayuya," Deidara said dryly.
"Funny, Deidara," Tayuya said with a scowl. "Now, what the fuck do you want this time?"
"I need out."
She blinked. "And what's different from the last fucking time?"
"For one, I have something he might be interested in."
She looked at him skeptically. "Doubtful. Anyway, he doesn't let just anyone in." Her eyes narrowed. "Especially not traitorous little fucks like you."
Deidara stared at her, all humor gone. "I wasn't feeding information to your organization on a whim, bitch. And I was given a guarantee from Kabuto himself."
"There was a condition, and you haven't fulfilled it."
"I understand this. And I'm going to."
She snorted, and raised her cup to her lips. "This isn't the first time you've said that, asshole," she said, and took a drink. The color on her lips left a residue on the rim of her glass. It reminded him of the colors favored by the whores in the city.
Much like the one he had used on himself for this little outing.
"But this is the first time I'm giving you a date."
She put her cup back on the table, and studied him. "Okay, yeah, that would be different." She looked at him expectedly.
"I want you to tell your boss that in a month's time I'll be brining him the heads of two of Akatsuki's elite."
Tayuya arched an eyebrow. "Two, huh? Got any names for me?"
"Hidan and Kakuzu," Deidara said with a grin. Across from him, Tayuya's eyes widened.
"Ambitious," she said. "Especially on your own."
Deidara laughed. "Who said I'd be doing this on my own?"
She frowned. "You don't have a partner anymore." She tilted her head, curious despite herself. "Earlier... you said you knew something he'd want."
"Not something, someone. Itachi's little brother will be coming with me."
"Fucking hell," Tayuya said with crazy grin. "You have been busy."
Deidara laughed. But before he could say anything else, one of the card playing merchants came up to him and asked him what his rates were.
Things degenerated from there.
Closing Notes: Are you shocked? Because I am shocked. I mean, it's been like 2 or 3 days since the last chapter... and BAM, now this one is ready. I can only claim Hidan as my inspiration, because I've got some crazy stuff planned for me. Don't know if he'll be in the next chapter, but he's coming soon. Here's to hoping this writing spree lasts!
As always, if mistakes are noticed, I'm begging you to leave me a line. I don't always notice, but will fix anything brought to my attention. I don't bite! Honest!