Title: These Could Hardly Be Human Emotions
Description: Tobi doesn't know whether to embrace this dream or shatter this reality. But Deidara was magnetic, spitfire drawing him close and stripping him of his chaste goodbyes, and Tobi found himself staying.
Pairing: DeiTobi
Disclaimer: No ownage, no sue-age

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Blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night

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The forest light trickled through his palms, creating a dreadful illusion that perhaps he was cradling the sun. The blackness of his gloves, and the stark red of his fingers beneath, juxtaposed harshly with the golden tresses that dared to tiptoe the smudged lines – tangling around his digits as if he had a right to caress each strand. His mask was steaming up, either due to the humidity or his panting pulse (this he did not know), and his hands were shaking.

This was what they called Bliss.

Tobi revered at the nuances tracing his fingers, the way the golden hair illuminated white vertigo when the sun stroked its many locks. He was holding this – cupping aureate that shone more fluidly than the mere sun. But Tobi was scared.

This was Peace.

The wind sighed across his own hair, such a deep chocolate that others pointed and proclaimed "black", and Tobi felt the screws within his arms loosen. He couldn't stop staring, even while his limbs sagged and eyes burnt from the cold wetness lapping at his cheeks. It was beautiful, the masked nin decided, proudly professing (whispering) to the nimbus clouds and thistle buds –

This is what they call Awe.

Tobi bit his lip, incisor stabbing flesh, digging deeper and deeper to penetrate all he was and wished he could be, and his hands still trembled. The trees drooped around him, scorched bark rotting and crippled leaves twirling around them like shriveled blackbirds. Tobi let a wan smile swim across his face alongside the clear rivulets.

This was what they called Heaven. His thumb tentatively traced across Deidara's navy lips.

It wasn't so surprising, not so bitterly shocking, that Tobi's haven of pearly gates and crystal roads would be bartered for unseeing eyes and death-kissed cheeks.

Deidara lay still in his arms, endlessly patient for when Tobi would decide to finally release his tenacious grip and hide the evidence of this offense. He did not blink and Tobi was ironically joyful – Deidara didn't want to miss anything. And Tobi didn't want to forget exactly what shade of cobalt his irises beheld.

This was Compromise, Tobi soon relayed.

The wind was soft, slowly caressing Deidara's hair, gently rippling through Tobi's green scarf. The forest was quiet, gurgles of blood and the plea to kill me please hushed and finally content. The ambience was quite lovely, despite smears of red across the emerald wisps of grass and the frozen lungs resting upon Tobi's hands. He wanted to scoop the Iwa-nin up and take him someplace far away, where the sun no longer burned and the heart no longer tugged and ripped and bled. But Deidara seemed content to stay where they were, reposing upon this crumpling pedestal, with Tobi's lips parted and fingertips tingling with regret.

Tobi pretended not to see the rippled skin, the harsh texture of burnt flesh and the 'peek-a-boo' of milk-white bone. Because he had those same scars, the malformed skin cupping his left cheek so fondly, nuzzling and kissing as if it had won. The missing-nin let his lips exhale, his composure slowly crumpling, the blearing illusion of Deidara's smirk and his own hands touching soft countenances of nirvana shattering, piece by piece clattering to the scarlet-marked dirt.

Tobi gently patted Deidara's limp hand, voice soft and careful, "It's okay, Deidara-senpai."

Deidara remained silent, tongue too saturated from his own blood, heart too still from his fleeting art. He didn't berate Tobi for saying such a stupid thing, nor did he comment that the masked nin was probably saying it more for his own sake than for Deidara's. He merely continued to lay in lackadaisical limbo, soaking up the sun's rays that pierced the eyes he could no longer close.

Tobi couldn't stop the shaking, trying so desperately to be strong for both of them (something he didn't know would be so hard), still tangling his fingers into Deidara's gilded hair, the only part of him that was still so close and warm. Tobi buried his face into the tresses, not daring to rip off his mask and breathe because then Deidara would see the tears, the scars, and the weakness. The mask would stay, along with the pungent lie of yes, he can do this.

As he swallowed down a laconic whimper, Tobi realized that this was called Breaking.

He had heard such tragedy tales of loves lost, soft whispers of the inane, and secrets sealed tight in coffins. The charcoal sunlight was drifting past his eyes, still buried in the scent of his senpai (the chalky whiff of clay and the tenacious presence of smoke) and Tobi prayed fervently that he could still run away.

It's all he had done before.

But Deidara was magnetic, spitfire drawing him close and stripping him of his chaste goodbyes, and Tobi found himself staying.

He didn't think of the future, how he would have to face the garb of noir and scarlet alone. He didn't ponder on how long until he would have to rid the world of explosive art, smash the clay within Deidara's pouch, and leave no traces behind. Tobi merely hung in the vertigo Deidara had instilled within him, a fast-paced world of smirks, tangos with Death and haughty laughs at immortality. And without the one who took him by the hand so many times, sprinting past the idle hands of time, Tobi found himself slowed and stuck between the hour and minute.

Deidara was the essence of fire, the quintessence of life at high velocity, the epitome of apathy towards Death...

– Tobi's confidante. His senpai. His (only) friend.

And as the warmth of Deidara's lips trickled through Tobi's fingers, the childlike Akatsuki found himself muttering with acute frustration, new tears on the horizon and a fear of facing this cold world alone without fire gripping him tight –

"Why didn't you take me with you?"

– and Tobi knew this was the end.

–.–.–.–.–

A/N: Another little TobiDei fic. It seems whenever I write about these two, Deidara's always dying or dead... I promise I'll write a happy, fluffy fic one of these days about this dynamic duo.

For those who did not grasp the situation, this is post the Sasuke/Deidara fight. I have ignored the rules of physics and have made Deidara's body all in one piece, when it's pretty obvious he'd have more than ten-degree burns (coughbodycompletelyblownapartcough), but I'm seizing my artistic license tightly to my chest.

I love Tobi and find this partnership so endearing. Oh, if only more light was shed upon these two...

Soundtrack:
Blackbird – Across the Universe soundtrack (huge inspiration for this fic)
The Shake – My American Heart (MAH)
Speak Low If You Speak Love – MAH
Are You There? – Oleander

Thanks for reading and drop by a review if you enjoyed/have comments/want to yell at me for killing Deidara/ etc! And be sure to look out for my new multi-chap story, Missing Detail.

'Till next submission,

- - H. 92