Chapter 5

3rd December, Saturday, Year of the Pearl

That fresh piece of paper on the table. It bore the worst news in the whole wide world, ever. Indeed, words kill you silently. Silent assassins, idiots. You know, just like how people get heart attacks because fraud letters tell them they've struck lottery.

Deidara stares at me, nibbling on a cookie from the half-empty kitchen jar. He pauses for a moment as he watches the colour drain from my face. My fingers tremble violently as I stare at the document with unbelieving eyes. Worriedly he moves up to me and gives me a almost-silent "un?"

And my mind finally burst. The floodgates let loose. The door left open. Whatever!

"Electricity bills have gone up again!" I shout exasperatedly, flinging myself on the bed, "if this continues I'm gonna have to use candles for lighting...not even the two jobs I'm taking now will be able to cover the cost of electricity and rent!"

"U-u-un?" Deidara places a soft hand on my forehead, checking for any signs of fever. I sigh as I take his hand off my head.

"It's not a fever, I don't get sick that, seriously, I'm poor enough to be called a pauper and yet life keeps strangling my neck. Maybe I should apply for college student help funding..."

My gaze turned towards the stupid black limousine which was waiting for me downstairs. From my apartment window I could see Sasuke Uchiha waiting for me impatiently. He had promised to take me and Deidara to a Cyborg Convention downtown, saying that I needed to learn how to take care of Deidara properly.

"Damn, he's so early," I curse as I slip on my jacket, "come on Deidara, lets go. It's time."

Sasuke's limousine is completely different from Itachi's - it has plenty of hidden gadgets and speakers. And it is simply filled with...Sasukeness. Sleek, modern, up-to-date, mysterious. Wo, talk about cars having a personality. This BMG2000 Limoucar totally fits Sasuke to a T.

" how are you faring with Deidara?" asks Ice King Junior as the car proceeds to the Convention Centre Carpark.

"Fine, I guess. He's learnt to say at least something already." Well, 'un' wasn't exactly a proper word, but at least Deidara could say something.

Sasuke folds his arms. "Alright, I presume it's what he's saying now?" He points to Deidara, as the latter mumbles a string of 'uns' in his sleep. My face turns slightly red.

"Uh - uh yeah."

"Good. There is improvement, at least. But there's room for more. If you could afford it, I'd recommend you to a certain Speech-improvement course for cyborgs, but I think you can't. So the only way you can help yourself and Deidara is to read more and take him to the library or the central bookstores," retorts Sasuke as he stuffs his hands in his pockets. The limousine then comes to a halt and the younger Uchiha opens the car door. As soon as he gets out of the car, he whips out a pair of stylish black sunglasses and puts them on. All seems well until -

"Now, Sasori, would you stand back for awhile?" he asks me as I slam the car door shut.

"Huh? Whatever for?"

Sasuke scowls some more. "An irritating bastard has appeared. Say 'lo and behold.' "

"Lo and beh - that's crazy." I roll my eyes.

"I'm serious, count to three and that guy - "

Suddenly, an annoying whiny voice echoes in my ear as a teenager approaches Sasuke happily, his arms open for embrace.


Sasuke's face grows darker. "What are you doing here? Screaming in public too - " He slaps the teenager's hands away, destroying the potential embrace, "you stupid good-for-nothing Uzumaki."

"Naruto it is," replies Naruto as he gives a cheeky grin, "and isn't it pretty obvious? I'm here to check out the latest cyborg gadgets for Kyubi." A solemn looking little boy dressed in orange then appears out of nowhere.

"Hmm," mutters Sasuke uninterestedly.

"And I see you've brought Sasori along too," smirks Naruto as his gaze fixes on me.

Sasuke looks up at the irritating guy. "You know Sasori?"

"Yeah, of course. He's in my college class, and he's a super dirt-poor guy. He can't even afford to get a 3d-calculator!" laughs Naruto. I scrunch up my fists and try to control my anger. Shit, it isn't even worth fighting against someone so stupid!

"3d-calculators are stupid shit made for stupid people like you," remarks Sasuke coolly, a tinge of irritatedness in his voice.

"Oh man, Sasuke! How could you say that of me? After all, we're childhood buddies, aren't we?" Naruto says, patting the younger Uchiha on the back, "and anyway, who is that girl?" He points to Deidara, who is looking at Naruto quietly.

"It's a he," I growl.

"Shut up, I didn't ask you," snaps Naruto.

"It's a he, alright," says Sasuke, "and he's Sasori's cyborg. And get your frickin' hand off me."

Naruto stares in disbelief at me as I look back at him. "You've gotta be kidding," he mutters, "Sasori has a cyborg? Pfft!"

"It's true," I tell him blankly.

"Not asking you, stupid matchstick!"



As soon as Naruto hears that, he laughs even more loudly. "So I presume your cyborg can't talk properly," he snorts.

"You're seriously a public disgrace," I remark. Indeed, the orange-headed bastard is attracting a lot of unwanted attention from the public.

"Heh! So your low-grade cyborg wants to improve himself by coming to this convention?" Naruto makes a face, "alright now, let me show you what a real cyborg is."

I scrunch up my fists. "What exactly are you planning?"

Naruto ignores me completely. "Kyubi, introduce yourself to that cyborg over there." He points to Deidara, who looks at Naruto silently.

Kyubi walks up to Deidara slowly as the latter gives me a frightened look. Seconds later, the orange cyborg looks up at Deidara and stretches out a hand.

"Good morning, my name is Kyubi."


"What is your name?"

"...Un un."

"Do you know that melolight houses are made of protein blocks and modified jewel fibres? They're actually called jewellight houses but I think its not practical because light and jewels are totally different things. Jewels are hard and light is just light. Don't you think so? And the covalent bonds in the silicon are also modified so that they become unbreakable."

"?? Un?!"

"Fuck," I mutter as the cyborg finishes off his pretty little speech.

Naruto looks smugly at me. "Seems that your cyborg's a retard, eh? Did you get it from the junkyard?"

Deidara looks at me, extremely confused and upset. It seems that he understands what Naruto is saying.

"Naruto, I modified this cyborg. If you're gonna throw anymore insults, you'll be insulting me," said Sasuke, "now excuse me, if you don't want to go into the convention hall, we do." Sasuke gave his childhood friend a pissed look, and dragged me into the centre, leaving Naruto behind, sulking a little.

As we enter the convention building, a blast of warm air greets us and my heart settles down considerably. Fuck the Uzumaki and his blasted attitude! Embarassing himself outside in the cold wasn't going to be enough to put me down, but the only worry was the guy tugging on my sleeve behind me...

Sasuke sighs as he slows down and comes to a halt beside a vending machine, and examines Deidara's unhappy face. Then he puts his hand to his forehead and lets out another long sigh.

"I'm sorry it came to this. I didn't expect that idiot to do all that," he says.

I force a smile. "It's okay, Naruto was originally a bastard anyway, he has no limits and no manners."

"Spot-on," remarks Sasuke as he puts a hand on Deidara's head gently, "now don't worry, just ignore whatever that guy said to you. He's a mental hospital escapee."

I roll my eyes as Sasuke pulls out a few coins from his pocket. He then asks Deidara to look at the vending machine.

"Now - observe." The younger Uchiha slots in the coins and punches one of the colorful buttons on the side of the vending machine. In a few seconds, a cup pops out from the bottom of the machine and orange juice starts sloshing into it. Deidara's eyes widen considerably and he presses his hands onto the vending machine, marvelling at the power of innovation.

As Sasuke hands a cupful of juice to Deidara, my mind starts to grind and ponder. Actually, why did I even allow myself to keep Deidara? He is also consuming water bills and electricity bills like me, but yet I am the one who has to pay for the bills? And yet, even though he is a cyborg, he is a bit like a retard?

No, Sasori! What are you even thinking about!

Yes, it does seem selfish and unreasonable for me to think this way. This guy had been a potential to-be-scrapped cyborg. And I had been the one who chose to keep him. But after listening to Naruto Uzumaki, somehow, my mind..

But the reality is, even though cyborgs don't need to be fed and stuff, and even though those little things aren't a must, they are vital to his mental growth. And I want to see Deidara reach that blooming stage, where he can become mentally independent.

Deidara toddles towards me and hands me the cup of juice, completely untouches. I bite my lip and shake my head.

"No, I don't want it. I'm not thirsty."

As a cyborg owner, I think my attitude is currently unacceptable. But the conditions and the current situation...and, stupid as it may be, my pride... Geez, how could I let all this take over, even if it was just for a moment?

But what can I do? I'm just a mere college student. But I'm afraid that what I have just thought of is nothing but an excuse.

4rd December, Sunday, Year of the Pearl

It's four in the afternoon.

And now I am at home, staring blankly at my Biology textbook, five hundred pages thick. But my mind cannot function.

It's confusing sometimes, being a human. When your brain is thrown into a great frenzy. And when you start hating yourself on how much another person's words can affect you so easily. For me, I am pondering over what to do next. Financially speaking.

As I look across the room, I spot Deidara cuddling a soft object which looks like a scrap doll. Heh?Where did he get it anyway? And besides, did he know how to sew?

"...Deidara, what's that cloth thingy you're holding. Sasuke gave it to you?" I ask as my eyes meet Deidara's soft blue ones. He merely shakes his head and jumps up from the floor and walks over to me.

"Un. Un, un un un. UN!"

Basically, the doll is made of scraps of unmistakeably familiar shades of coloured cloth. Glued together. I guess he was too frightened to handle even a needle. But where on earth did he get those cloth bits? That familiarity...

"Un!" Deidara seems to have read my mind. He drags me over to a cupboard over at the end of the room and points to it happily. And suddenly realization hits me as panic and anger starts to sink in. Quickly I rummage through the cupboard, and the end result confirms my suspicion.

"You - you - used my old clothes to - do this thing?!" My voice cracks. Deidara nods innocently and mumbles something I can't understand.

My face must have looked pretty angry, I guess. "Did I even allow you to come near this closet?!" I growled fiercely as Deidara finally notices my anger.

"Do you have any respect for me at all? In the first place, do you know what it is? No you don't. These are not yours, they're mine! Don't freaking treat my apartment like your playground!"

Deidara's eyes start to sparkle with tears.

"I've already got enough problems with finances, are you going to destroy my whole house before you're satisfied?"

More tears stream down Deidara's face as my anger reaches a peak level.

"I am paying for everything. Even if its old clothes, they're still worth something. Have you ever lived a scrimp-and-save life before? Can't you understand? Or are you really like what Naruto Uzumaki said? A retard?!"

Deidara quickly presses a button on his left finger and holds it up in front of me as a familiar voice drones from the speakers located on his left palm. I flinch slightly.

"Why don't you make a doll of your own. Then you could hug it all night and day. If you don't know how to sew, I'll teach you how to sew. I have some old clothes at the back of the cupboard for you to use."

Fuck. That's my voice.

I have some old clothes at the back of the cupboard for you to use.

For you to use.

"" I freeze at the words. What was this? Deidara recorded everything I had said before?

"D-do you know what is the meaning of privacy?" I stutter as my fists clench up involuntarily.

"Un!" Deidara sniffs as he gives me a pleading look and clutches my hands. But I swat them away, pushing him towards the dining table.

"Get out of my sight!" I yell, giving him my fiercest glare. How I want him to disappear right now. To live in my house, you've got to know the rules.

And after throwing me a last tearful look, Deidara runs out of the house.