Sasori stood up, his joints making creaking noises.

"Pein-san said..." Sasori sighed, stretching his puppet body, "To pretend to die fighting if I fought anyone after the jinchuuriki was dealt with, and wait until he sent someone to get me. I assume that's why you're here?"

"No, actually!" Deidara yelled angrily. "I thought you were dead, un! Leader-san said to clean your room out so Tobi could use it, and I sort of... read... your diary." He trailed off embarrassedly. "I um... baked you a chocolate cake, un. Not sure if you're able to eat it..."

"You read my diary?"

"Well, yeah, un. Umm..." Deidara suddenly found it impossible to look Sasori in the eye. "So... is it true, un? What you wrote?"

Sasori sighed. "Yes, brat. I really do have an affinity for the Pipettes over the Spice Girls."

"That's not what I was talking about, un! Do you love me?!?" Heat rose to Deidara's face, and he looked at his feet. "Or did I spend eight hours baking a cake for a joke?"

Sasori froze (heh. sasor-ice. heheh.).

"Oh..." the puppeteer mumbled, "Iwaskindofhopingyouwouldn'treadtgatpart."

"Well, I did, un," Deidara spat. "So, what're you gonna do about it, un?"

Sasori stood up. "Nothing."

Deidara glared. "I go to all that trouble, un... and you're gonna do nothing?"

"Look, brat," Sasori sighed. "You don't love me back, right? So there's no point in my pursuing you. I owe you a favor, I suppose, because you did bake me a cake..."

Deidara looked at the cake-box, which he'd left on the ground. "I did, un, didn't I?" he chuckled. "But it was pointless... you can't eat anyway, can you? You're a puppet."

"I can 'taste'," Sasori explained. "Anything I eat goes into a box in my shoulders. I can't 'digest' the food, though. So I don't eat all that often..."

He held his arms out. "C'mon, brat," he sighed. "If you bothered to bring me a cake, I should at least taste it."

Deidara handed Sasori the box, an unexpected feeling of nervousness welling up inside the blonde.

Sasori opened the box and used a Swiss Army knife procured from... Deidara wasn't sure where... to cut himself a slice.

The knife attachment on the Swiss Army knife was switched with a fork attachment, and Sasori slowly took a bite.

He smirked. "You seriously out an effort into this, didn't you."

"... I did," Deidara admitted, feeling very embarrassed for no clear reason at all. "It probably tastes like crap anyway, but I tried... so you can't say I didn't do my best, un."

"Nah..." Sasori said. "It's okay... I'm glad you made the effort."

Deidara suddenly found he was pleased with himself. What the hell, un? Am I suddenly bipolar or something? I think I've felt, like, five different emotions in the past minute! Maybe I'm fatigued from baking that cake, un...'

Sasori swallowed the bite of cake he had been working on, and stabbed his slice once again with the fork. "You want some of this?"

"Nah, I'm good, un," Deidara chuckled. "Already licked the bowl. Chef's Rights."

"... 'Chef's Rights'?" Sasori raised a wooden eyebrow.

"I made the pastry, so I get to eat the batter," Deidara explained.

Sasori blinked. "Isn't there some sort of disease you can get for eating raw eggs?"

"Yeah," Deidara said, "So? I'm in Akatsuki, un. It's not like my life expectancy is that long anyway. Besides... I've been consuming cookie dough and cake batter since I was old enough to digest it properly. Why would it hurt me now, un?"

"Just because you've survived this far doesn't mean your chances have gone down," Sasori said. "Don't risk it."

Deidara stuck out his tongue (the one in his head) at Sasori and scooped up a large handful of cake with his hands, shoving the cake unceremoniously into his face.

When Deidara finished eating, he licked some spare cake crumbs off the palm of his hand.

"... Deidara?" Sasori ventured. "You're licking your hand."

Deidara looked up. "...And, un?"

"And... you've got mouths on your hands so... Isn't that..."

Deidara rolled his eyes and licked his palm again, exaggeratedly. "I don't think of them that way, un. It's about the same as licking my lips on the mouth that they belong to."

"I guess that makes sense..." Sasori said.

"Yeah, un," Deidara laughed. "Hidan doesn't get it though. Whenever I do anything with my hands, he goes 'oooh, kinky, Deidara,' and I whack him upside the head with Kakuzu's ledger."

"... Why do I not find that surprising?" Sasori sighed. "You have such a temper, brat..."

"I have a name, un!" Deidara yelled.

Sasori smirked. "And?"

"Use it!" Deidara spat.

"Use what?" Clearly, Sasori was looking to die for real.

"My name!" Deidara grabbed Sasori by the shoulders and shook him. "SAY MY NAME!"

The blonde stopped shaking Sasori and gave him one of his better glares.

Sasori nodded, startled, not being able to keep from noticing how very close Deidara's face was to his.

Deidara brought Sasori's face closer, cutting the distance by about two thirds.

"Say it," Deidara said quietly. It was not anger that shone in his eyes this time, but hurt. "Use my name..."

"D-Deidara," Sasori said haltingly. He'd never actually uttered the name aloud, save to whisper it to himself when he was alone.

"Say it again," Deidara whispered, a strange look coming over his face. "Say it..."

His face loomed closer.

"Deidara," Sasori said, feeling a warmth spread from the part of his body where he really kept his heart.

Closer. "Again."


"Again..." Closer still.

"Dei--" But Sasori could speak no more, for another pair of lips had found their way to his own. His eyes widened, then closed, and the only thing in the world was Deidara.

Deidara's hands, still grasping Sasori's shoulders. Deidara's hair, running through Sasori's fingers. Deidara's lips, soft and warm against his own.

Sasori wrapped his arms around the other man, holding him tightly. Breaking apart the kiss, he whispered:

"I love you, Deidara. More than I can say... more than I can show."

Deidara smiled awkwardly. "Well, un... I'm not sure I can say I feel exactly the same way, but I certainly don't hate you quite as much as I let on."

"That's a start," Sasori chuckled. "That's a start."

"... Danna, un?" Deidara grinned uncertainly.

"Yes, Deidara?"

"I do my hair like Link because he's gay."