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.

Chapter III: Escort

"Yeah, I'm Deidara."

Pein waved his hand dismissively. "Introductions are unnecessary at the moment. First of all, we must discuss how you will fit into Amegakure, what your everyday tasks will be, and what long-term goals you will expected to accomplish in the years to come."

"Y-years, yeah?" Deidara choked out. "Just how many?"

"Well," Pein folded his hands in his lap and shifted his position on the desk, "the goals I have for you are very difficult and time consuming. They will require all of your effort and cooperation. If you fail to complete any parts of them before the designated deadlines, you will fall behind and will be forced to remain a resident of this village for significantly longer."

Deidara clenched his fists and tapped his foot impatiently.

"Not to mention in the event that something else comes to my attention, it is rather unpredictable how many more tasks will be added to your quota. There have been many cases of this over the years in Amegakure, and though you are the first person to demonstrate a need in such a program as this one, we have trained many the same way, as you can see by the men that are positioned throughout the village. You will be required to endure the same that all other outstanding citizens have been subject to."

Deidara opened his mouth to speak, but was quickly cut off.

"There is also, like I had mentioned earlier, the matter of your cooperation and effort rate. If you are lazy, unwilling to accept orders, or otherwise disobedient, you will suffer greatly and will quite possibly never return home."

"We assure you that Deidara is quite... er... proficient in what he does. He does not lack the drive to succeed in his goals," one of the policemen interjected in a rush, flushing in his discomfort in his choice of words. He was not exactly lying about what he had said about Deidara, but he had twisted the personality of the blonde-haired boy to fit the situation. It was true that he was very talented and driven, but it only applied to the explosives that he created on a regular basis back in Iwagakure.

"He will not fail you," the other policeman declared, his strong words lacking confidence. He elbowed Deidara sharply in the ribs.

Deidara winced and looked up at the leader of Amegakure. He was startled to discover that the unusual gaze was piercing through his. "I will not fail you," he lied, crossing his fingers behind his back discreetly. A small smile tugged at his lips, and he forced himself to appear trustworthy. All that had been said to him had dropped his mood drastically, and all he wanted to do was escape and return home as quickly as possible. But nobody needed to know this.

They all jumped when the door on the far side of the room opened, and a woman stepped into the room. She was wearing the same cloak as everyone else. Her hair was ultramarine, which disturbed Deidara slightly. Her bangs hung on both sides of her face past her jaw, and while some of her hair was gathered up in a bun on the top of her head, the rest fell down the back of her neck. A white, stemless rose was nestled in her neat locks. Her eyes were drooping disinterestedly and were shadowed heavily with dark blue eyeshadow. A small stud piercing stood out from her pale skin on the underside of her bottom lip.

She took her place next to Pein and examined her nails in utter boredom.

"That is all that I feel I must share with you two gentlemen. The rest shall be taken care of in private with Deidara himself. Konan," he tilted his head towards the blue-haired woman next to him, "escort the policemen out of the building. Order Kisame to gather the others for a meeting in the usual place while you're down there."

"Yes, Pein." Konan gestured for the two men to follow her out of the office.

The policemen cast a final pleading look at Deidara before exiting.

The door was shut, and the leader and Deidara were left alone in the room; Deidara shuddered in sudden fear at the man's overwhelming presence.

Pein stood from his lounging position and circled the boy, seemingly examining every part of his soul. He stopped behind Deidara and was silent for a moment.

Deidara found himself too afraid to glance back to see what the man was doing. Instead, he maintained his ramrod straight posture. Beads of sweat collected on his skin that was beneath his heavy, long hair. Perhaps he had seen through his lie?

"Your first task," Pein spoke slowly as if in thought, "is to become familiar with the village. However, seeing as how you are new and your loyalty is most questionable, you will be guided every second you leave your living quarters."

Deidara cursed silently. There went his quick escape plan. Perhaps it was time for a new tactic: he would need to become friends with his guide and convince him that he did not belong in this village. It would take time, of course, but he was more than willing to sacrifice some time in order to restore normalcy to his life. This life he was currently leading was not acceptable. He did not enjoy the mystery surrounding Amegakure, and he grew tired of keeping all of his questions bottled up, unable to seek the answers he craved.

The leader just admitted that he lacked trust in the blonde-haired boy. However, he had no intention of becoming friends with the creepy leader. He wanted nothing more than to crawl into the ground to put some much-needed distance between them. He never consorted with adults—most of all, adults that wore that many piercings. Or adults with blue hair. Or with blue skin. Or with haunting crimson orbs and bells that resonated in his mind.

"Now, who should I pair you with?" Pein finally appeared in his sight as he retreated to his desk once again. He tapped a finger to his jaw in thought. "I'm thinking that Sasori might be a good match for you. He is rather quiet. He won't cause trouble, and he will keep you in order." Nodding to himself, Pein addressed Deidara with, "I will take you down to Sasori. From then on, you will be seeing more of him than anyone else."

Deidara stifled a yelp as the leader's hand clamped down on his shoulder, and he was led to the door. They both exited and began their descent with the staircase after Pein had retrieved the torch outside of his door.

"Your tasks will be given to you by various cloaked men," Pein informed him idly. "It will almost always be a different one. Along with the task, you will be given a deadline. If you fail to meet this deadline, your tasks will build up, and the deadlines will be extended greatly as punishment."

"Tasks, yeah?" Deidara inquired weakly.

Noticing the anxious expression on the boy's face, Pein elaborated, "The tasks will be hard work, of course. Mostly things that will be needed to be done around the village to increase productivity and order. You will not be the only one working. We have others that are not necessarily in your position; rather, they are working towards another goal: the ultimate ascension in the village 'ladder,' so to speak." He left the topic at that.

They changed direction once they had reached a landing, and Pein continued speaking. "There are also rules you must be familiar with. These rules will govern every aspect of your life in Amegakure. Failure to follow them will result in reprimand. You will not, under any circumstances, speak badly of me. You will not interrupt me. You will not question my orders. You will not disobey any of my men. You will not upset any citizens. You will, however, work with all of your effort and strive to get along with those working beside you. Do you understand?"

Deidara's head was spinning. Rules... He absolutely hated them. He knew he would not survive very long in this place. Outwardly, he nodded to Pein's question.

They had reached the bottom of the staircase, and they journeyed down the hallway Deidara had been unable to see the last time he had been inside of it.

Doors lined both walls, and the blonde-haired boy found his fingers twitching with the urge to open the doorknobs and find out what was behind them.

The hand on his shoulder squeezed to the point of pain. An exhalation from lips next to his ear unnerved him.

"You will also never explore where you shouldn't be. This village is not your own. You are not permitted to know everything about it."

Deidara nodded weakly, desperate for Pein's close proximity to end.

Once they had neared the doors that led to the open air, Pein pulled one open, and guided him outside.

The only guard that was stationed was the shorter, quiet one that Deidara had encountered earlier.

The leader dragged the shorter of the guards off to the side to talk privately. He glanced over at Deidara several times and gestured calmly with his hands. Once he was satisfied that he had said enough, he nodded to Deidara and straightened. "You have a long couple of years ahead of you. I suggest you do your best to shorten it if you would ever like to return home."

The blonde-haired boy rubbed at his temples. "I got it, yeah."

With a swish of his cloak, Pein had disappeared into the building, slamming the door shut behind him.

Deidara doubted he would ever see him again, which was more a relief than anything. If he saw the heavily pierced man again, it would only be too soon. Comforted slightly by his own thoughts, Deidara turned his attention on his new escort. "So, uh... what's your name, yeah?"

The short cloaked man showed acknowledgment to his voice by tilting his head and ringing the bell dangling from his bamboo hat softly. It seemed like forever that he had contemplated the boy's question before he decided to answer it. "My name is Sasori."

"Sasori, huh? Well, nice to meet you, yeah. I'm Deidara of Iwagakure," Deidara greeted. "Have you always been part of this village?"

"No. I am originally from Sunagakure. However, it has been quite some time since I had last graced it with my presence."

Deidara arched an eyebrow at his choice of words. "Yeah?"

Sasori nodded absentmindedly, annoying Deidara with the bell. "Enough with the small talk. There are much more important things to be accomplished today. You have a task, do you not?"

"Ugh. Yeah, I do. You were supposed to show me the village, yeah."

"That is correct. If you will follow me, we shall begin," he announced quietly, walking in a random direction, ignoring the steadily sprinkling rain.

Deidara fell into step beside him and eagerly scanned the surroundings, more curious than he had ever been. He would begin the first phase of his escape plan after he had seen the mysterious Amegakure.

All in due time; it was not as if he had much to return to.