Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Title: The Reluctant Envoy
Summary: Pein/Deidara. Deidara, a trouble-making boy, is expelled from his village and sent to live in Amegakure. He intends to cause trouble in the new village, and his mishaps catch the eye of the leader, Pein.
Content Codes: AU, Language, Pedo, Yaoi.
Notes: This is set in an alternate universe where there are no ninja. They're all just regular people living in villages. The locations and representations of the hidden villages contained herein are not completely canon to the anime/manga.
Chapter I: Removal
"Do you have anything to say for yourself, kid?"
Deidara remained silent, staring straight ahead, avoiding the eyes of one of the village officials speaking to him. He glared, dissatisfied with how his latest plot had played out. He hadn't intended for it to end in getting caught.
"You've done something very terrible. Your family owes Iwagakure a lot of money."
The blonde-haired boy shifted uncomfortably as he felt his father's enraged stare focus on the back of his head. He could hear his mother stifle a sob of shame.
"How do you intend to make it up to the village for everything you've destroyed with your," the official sneered as he uttered, "toys?"
Still, Deidara refused to say anything. He knew that even if he did say something, they wouldn't listen. They would only find some way to turn everything he had said in his own defense against him. They would make him sound like the only person who's doing something wrong.
Deidara scoffed to himself, turning his head to observe the wreck of a village called Iwagakure out of the window. The village of poverty and despair. Of depression, of failure, of oppression.
He was merely trying to stir up some excitement. He only wanted to make things more interesting for everyone.
"Don't turn your face away from me, boy. Look at me."
Deidara shifted his eyes in the man's direction, his boredom showing on his face. "Yeah?"
"I asked you a question. I expect you to answer it."
"Sorry. I don't pay attention to annoying adults, yeah."
The man froze, lowering his fist, which he had intended to strike Deidara with. He coughed quietly, taking several steps backwards.
Deidara smirked at him, watching with uncontainable glee as he glared back. This was the guy who had to deal with him every time he did something "bad."
The leader of the village, a surprisingly wealthy and well-dressed man, stood from behind his marvelous cherry oak desk that was rimmed with gold and various jewels. He pushed his cushioned, matching cherry oak throne—at least, that was what had Deidara dubbed it—back into place underneath the desk and sighed, rubbing his forehead wearily.
He fixed his tired eyes on the blonde-haired boy. "Deidara."
Deidara arched a surprised eyebrow at him. They were on first-name basis now? That's funny. The leader had never told him his first name.
"I hate seeing you in here all the time."
And I hate being in here all the time, Deidara thought angrily. Why bother? My parents just let me off with a "Son, we're so disappointed in you," and I make a new explosive or two. Then my mother goes off to cry and pray for me. My father goes to stare off into space and—no doubt—wish I was never born.
"You're the only, yes, the only person in this entire village that causes trouble."
You've taken away the spirit of everyone else. Nobody has the guts to stand up to you and your oppression, old man.
"The damage you cause is enormous, I might add. Highly dangerous. You could severely hurt someone."
The damage I cause can't compare to what you've done to this village.
"We're lucky that hasn't happened yet, but it's only a matter of time. I can see by how you've destroyed our Academy that you are… very talented."
Was that a compliment? I think I might cry from happiness.
"However, talent isn't always a good thing. You're uncontrolled. You're wild. You need to be stopped."
What are you going to do? Take away my clay? Fat chance. There's plenty of it all around this dump. And you'll never find where I stashed my explosives.
"I regret to inform you that numerous requests have been filed for your eminent removal."
Deidara pursed his lips, again arching an eyebrow in question. "Removal, yeah?"
"Yes. This means that you will be transferred to another village and put under the care of another family. You will undergo severe correction. If you have become a decent, law-abiding citizen, you will be permitted to return to Iwagakure."
Deidara froze, struck cold. He found that his quick tongue, which had gotten him out of many situations, was useless. Leave… Iwagakure? Leave his small resistance group? His family? His precious clay? His explosives?
"You will be transferred as soon as we're done here. If you would like to go home to collect any personal belongings that you feel you will need in your new village, one of our policemen will escort you to your place of residence."
Deidara dropped his eyes to his bare feet, following the dried trails of blood that he had acquired from his run from the police. He didn't have anything but his clay and explosives. They had taken everything but the few rags his family wore as clothing.
"I only want my clay, yeah."
The leader was surprised. "That is all? No photographs or clothing?"
Deidara held his tongue. He couldn't afford to start a fight. Since he will no longer be a citizen of Iwagakure, anything he did now would hurt his family. "No."
"Very well. Escort Deidara to his home so that he may pack his… clay."
There was so much that Deidara would have loved to say to the elder man.
But he'd be back. One day, he'd return to this village and confront the man. He would get his family and friends out of his oppression and depression. He swore it.
One of the uniformed men took his place in front of Deidara and walked him out of the mansion.
Seconds before he disappeared outside of the towering double-door entrance, he cast a sideways glance at his mother and father. He didn't smile. His parents didn't smile back.
"There is it. Amegakure."
Deidara lifted his eyes from the clay he was digging his fingers into, shaping carefully. His uninterested eyes squinted to take in the sight of the magnificent village, which was at quite a distance. "Hm." When he was molding his clay, he found that his interest in anything else was withdrawn. He'd fully appreciate the village once he had finished with his clay.
He was in a horse-drawn carriage with a couple officers. One of the men was sitting next to him on the wooden seat inside the carriage.
"Listen, Deidara," the policeman next to him began.
Another person who knows my name and fails to introduce themselves to me, Deidara scoffed mentally.
"I know this is a hard time for you…" The man looked out of place in saying this.
As he damn well better. He doesn't know what it feels like to be expelled forcibly from his village.
"But I want you to know that not everyone in Iwa hates you."
Deidara forced a mildly surprised expression.
"Your family will be anxiously awaiting your return. I think it's best if you don't cause any trouble while you're here. You see, if you act civilized and participate in the community service projects we assigned you to—"
"Community service projects?! No chance in hell!"
"—you will not only be doing your self a great deal of service—hard work does wonders for character—but your family will be given a significant amount of money and assistance. You see, your presence in Amegakure is a new thing we're trying out. You're our guinea pig, so to speak."
Deidara fumed silently.
"We transfer our citizens to another village, and if they do hard enough work to benefit the other village in some way, our village gains an ally, as well as financial and military aid. It's of the utmost importance that you don't upset anyone in Amegakure—especially its leader, Pein."
I'm just an experiment to them. A piece of meat to throw to the dogs to see if they'll accept it.
"Well? What say you?"
"I think this whole thing is stupid, yeah."
The policeman growled softly to himself, but he refrained from commenting further.
Deidara watched with a twist of nervousness as the magnificent Gothic-style Village Hidden in the Rain loomed in front of them. Droplets of water had began sprinkling onto Deidara and the policemen as soon as they reached the massive iron gates of the village. Walls encircled the entirety of the location. Without realizing it, he slowly smashed his unfinished clay figure into a disfigured blob. He tucked it away into his pocket.
Men in black cloaks decorated with red clouds and bamboo hats that shadowed their faces were stationed on both sides of the gates, as well as high up in the guard towers.
"Halt," a commanding voice rang out.
The policeman in the front of the carriage pulled the horses to a stop and climbed off to speak quietly with the cloaked man that had stepped forward.
The man seated next to Deidara turned his weary gaze to the blonde-haired boy. "Behave. I mean it."
"Whatever, yeah." Deidara smirked in triumph when his flippant response caused the policeman to clench his hands angrily.
"You may pass," the mysterious man in the cloak announced, stepping back.
The other policeman remounted the bench from which he steered the horses and whipped the reins to urge the animals forward through the gates, which were swinging open to permit them access.
Deidara tilted his head curiously at the man standing completely still to the side as he passed him.
The hat lifted slightly, and Deidara could see red eyes glinting dangerously from underneath it. They locked eyes for a moment that seemed to last forever. Those eyes sucked Deidara in, luring him into their depths. Deidara leaned forward for a closer look at the crimson orbs, but he was forced to avert his eyes when the man next to him elbowed him painfully in the ribs.
The man in the cloak lowered his face to the ground impassively, the bell hanging from a string of beads on his hat tinkling softly, seemingly echoing in Deidara's mind.
The blonde-haired boy shuddered as the gates swung closed behind their carriage with an ominous moan.
This was it. There was no going back now.