And without further ado, here we are, face-to-face one last time for the last chapter of My Escape. Before I go any further, I'd like to thank everyone for following so far and for all your continuous support. I really couldn't have done this without you, you're the ones who have kept me going.
And so, with this chapter, I conclude My Escape. It's not long, more like an epilogue. This is the chapter that makes the link between my fiction and the canon storyline. I hope you understand where I'm taking this.
Also, I would never forget my lovely reviewers, without whom this story would have been nothing at all. Over 300 reviews guys? Wow, only a couple months ago, I was just the nerd sitting in bed at 11 o' clock, planning a Naruto fanfiction in her planning notebook, wishing and dreaming of sharing it with the world. And a couple months later, look where I am. I can't thank you enough.
So I'd like to express heartfelt appreciation to every single person who read and reviewed this story. Since I can't thank the people who read since I dunno who they are, I'll just settle for making a list for every amazing person who took the time to encourage me and push me forward. I'd like to thank Child-1763, LibiTheWolf, .lolcatsrule., CoolGirl150, Josephin Tonks, K.T. and Dead Nagato Russ for all the lovely reviews on the last chapter.
And now, without keeping you waiting any further, I wish to open the curtains and show you to the very last chapter of My Escape. I hope I don't disappoint, that's all I tried to avoid ever since the start. Enjoy~
Warning: Severe swearing and a bunch of light OOC-ness.
"Oh Kami, brat germs..."
"Shut up, Danna, un." I growled in a clogged voice seeing as my nose was stuffy. I grabbed a tissue from my bedside and blew my nose, wincing as I touched my abused nose. It was already red with all the friction.
"All you had to do was not get sick right before this really important mission." Danna sighed, spinning around from his place on his chair to look sceptically at me. "Leader-sama is gonna get angry if you don't get well soon."
"Oh hush, if you want me up so badly, let me recuperate already, un. Your voice just makes my head hurt even more." I snickered, lying back down on my pillow, breathing harshly.
"Stop lying to yourself, brat. You know you like me just where I am." Sasori-Danna shrugged with a smirk and turned back around to work on a new poison he was concocting especially for the new mission we were supposed to undertake before I got sick.
I don't really mind poison circulating easily in our room that much, actually. Not after what happened about a year ago. I shuddered once more as I remembered how close to death I'd been and how Danna had pulled me back. Just thinking about it made me shiver and I clutched my blankets closer. I'd been extremely careful while handling stuff that's been in our room now. Specially liquids.
I yawned and curled up tighter in my sheets, shivering. I hated this feeling of constantly being cold.
"Danna, I'm cold, un!" I whined desperately, so uncomfortable that tears even massed at the corners of my eyes.
"What the hell am I supposed to do about it, jeez, hold your hand?" he growled in annoyance as he interrupted his work once again for me.
I blinked a couple of times and secretly smiled against my fluffy blanket.
"Well you can forget it." Danna turned back around, leaving me sour and disappointed. "Just get better so that we can get this mission over with. Apparently, it's very very important."
"You only care about missions. Open your eyes and look at what's in front of you for a moment, un." I sniffled, turning around to give him my best uke face.
He was visibly shocked as he raised a brow at my face and sighed, turning around (to hide his blush, I'm damn sure of it) to get back to work.
That's when the door slammed open with a loud noise, making me squeak and hide under the covers.
Heavy footsteps clattered angrily across the wooden floor as someone headed for me.
"Where is he? Where's Deidara?"
Oh good, he doesn't know where I am...
"Cowering under his sheets."
Well how bloody tactful of you, Danna.
I winced as the blankets over my head were pulled back, and I was left staring into deep, caring ebony eyes.
"You're sick AGAIN?" Itachi almost yelled at me, frowning.
"Y-Yeah, sorry Itachi... I don't know what happened, I was on patrol duty and it was raining a lot so I guess I caught a cold, un..." I muttered shamefully.
"Come on, not again..." my protector sighed and put a hand on my sweaty forehead. "You're blazing hot Deidara, what in hell did you do to get this sick?"
"I don't know, I told you I went out in the rain..." I turned my eyes away from him.
"In any case, the damage is done now, so no use in yelling at you..." Itachi sighed and sat down next to me, letting the mattress dip under his weight.
"Yep, so you should just let me off the hook again, un." I laughed nervously, pulling my blanket up to cover my sheepish grin.
"Oh, I don't think so." An evil glint suddenly lit up in Itachi's eyes and I squeaked, pulling the cover up until only my eyes were visible. His hand suddenly pulled out a bottle of dark brown liquid and he snickered evilly.
"No, no, please, un, NO!" I whimpered, watching him get close.
In an effort to get away, I fled to the far side of my small bed, against the wall, forcing him to get completely up on the mattress and crawl towards me, bottle in hand, grin on his face.
"NOOOO!" I screamed, only interrupted when the bottle was shoved into my face and the contents forced down my throat.
I tried to pry it off but Itachi simply grabbed my hands and held them down, tipping the bottle to force me to swallow the contents. I snapped my eyes shut in disgust as the thick mixture slid down my throat, the dull taste of rotten cheese lingering in my mouth as it went down.
I gagged as the bottle was pulled out and coughed, wheezing for breath. Itachi finally let my arms go, satisfied as he pulled the bottle back, standing over me in a victorious pose.
"Oi, if you're gonna go on doing things like this, go do it in someone else's room, not while I'm here and listening." Danna sighed, irritated.
"You like it, don't you Sasori?" Itachi wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and laughed, making me smile.
Things sure had changed a lot ever since I got here.
A small silence hovered upon us for a moment.
"Besides, I'm 19 now, I'm legal, un." I simply muttered to end the discussion, drawing another laugh from Itachi as he backed up and got off the bed, throwing the bottle in the garbage can.
Just looking at it made the disgusting texture and taste of the mixture come back to me. I'd had to swallow that crap a million times till now since I usually got sick really easily. Thankfully, it tasted awful, but I worked extremely well.
"My special blend of raccoon intestines, wild poisonous oak and snake poison should fix you quickly." The black-haired male simply snickered proudly as I felt my lunch coming back up. Surely he couldn't be serious...?
"R-Really?" I uttered out, white as a sheet.
"No, actually it's just herbs crushed in sleeping medicine, but I just wanted a good reaction." The Uchiha snickered before going for the door. "Get better soon Deidara-chan~"
"OI Itachi, that wasn't very..." my vision blurred and my jaw felt numb. I tried to finish my sentence and found I couldn't as the sleeping medicine took effect.
I only heard Danna mutter "Thank Kami for the silence" or something along those lines before I slipped into the darkness.
I woke up later to the sound of humming and groaned as I sat up. My headache was feeling a little better although my vision was still blurry.
I immediately noticed the black-clad person next to me though and froze. Oh gosh. It's... It's... IT'S-
"TOBI IS A GOOD BOY!"
I groaned as Tobi turned around to meet my foggy eyes, obviously grinning underneath that curious mask of his. In one of his hands was a cup of steaming tea, and in the other was a big fat delicious plump-looking rich chocolate chip cookie...
"Cookie, un..." was all my mind could register as I reached out and grabbed it, immediately nibbling on it.
"Hai Deidara-senpai, Tobi was a good boy and heard you were sick and made you tea and a cookie!" Tobi nodded as he held my tea up.
Grateful for his efforts, I smiled at him and grabbed the cup, wincing as I felt the heat.
Then again, hot is the way I liked it.
Bringing the steaming cup to my lips, I took in a small portion and winced as the heat burned my throat as it went down. Although I did somewhat enjoy it as the tea was extremely sweet, just the way I liked it.
"Thanks Tobi..." I smiled again, happily nibbling on my cookie. Moments of bliss like this were rare for people like me who were supposed to be the lowest of the low.
Lowest of the low...
I hated that title they'd given us. Whoever said we were the lowest scum on the entire face of the planet? Maybe we had feelings too, had they considered that when they labelled us? Maybe we had our values and morals too, had they considered that?
I guess they didn't, considering we were still labelled as bad guys, criminals, hated people, outcasts, rejects, anything else they called us.
I hate it. Maybe they should take the time to investigate and realize that we too are human. Not monsters. Not creatures. Not... freaks.
We are the freaks of nature... and yet while we are together like this, everything just fits into the slots so smoothly. We aren't freaks alone, we are normal in our gang. If we dream alone, then it's nothing but a dream... But once we come together and dream together, then it's the start of reality...
My dreams... My dreams have been fulfilled, and so I have nothing more to do than help others achieve theirs.
Because they're my friends. And that automatically makes their dreams my dreams. And no matter what those dreams may be, I have to help everyone get there, because they helped me reach my goal.
After all, the Akatsuki, isn't it a huge, complicated getup to hide the fact that we are technically nothing more than a big dysfunctional family?
Leader-sama and my guardian angel –whom I'm pretty sure is in the Akatsuki too- care like parents should... Itachi is the calm big brother while Hidan is the psychotic, hyperactive cousin. Kisame is the awesome uncle and Kakuzu's like the wise grandfather or something. Zetsu's like the mischievous little brother, and Tobi... Well, I did consider Tobi being the family dog, but then again, he's been a great friend, almost like a great person to confide in, just like a close cousin would be.
And Danna... Danna...
Danna is my saviour.
If I had to give him a title, he'd be the cold, emotionless big brother who doesn't outwardly care but melts inside whenever he sees his siblings. He's the one, I know it. He just won't admit it, that's all.
That's all we are. One big dysfunctional, criminal, happy family.
"Ne, Deidara-senpai, are you okay?" Tobi's concerned voice snapped me back to reality. My eyes whipped open from their previously half-opened state and I gasped, looking at him. He was sitting on my bed, looking at me caringly (or so I could guess seeing as he was completely silent) and grasping my sweaty hand from under the covers.
"T-Tobi, un..." I moaned as a harsh pain assailed the back of my throat. "T-Toughen up... We're members of the Akatsuki, we can't give ourselves the pleasure of being so caring..."
"D-Deidara-senpai, why are you so pessimistic all of a sudden?" Tobi gasped in surprised sadness.
"I don't know, I've been thinking about it, I guess. We're the biggest and baddest bunch of S-class criminals out there, and we can give ourselves the pleasure to hold hands and take watch shifts when someone is sick, un?"
"W-Well, Tobi won't hold Deidara-senpai's hand if Deidara-senpai doesn't want him to..." Tobi whispered sadly, pulling his hand out of mine and clutching it to his chest. "After all, Tobi's a good boy..."
"H-Hey, Tobi, I never said I didn't want you to. It's just that I was thinking how everyone thinks we're the worst of the worst, the lowest of the low... And yet... Here we are, indulging in these simple little pleasures and living our life when we are supposed to be the struggling, the suffering ones, un..." I laughed, weakly putting a hand up and grasping Tobi's hand. He immediately snapped his head up and looked at me, seemingly gaping, I can't tell behind that mask of his.
"D-Deidara-senpai..." he whispered, gripping my hand tighter, so tight it hurt. "I-If you keep thinking like that, you won't be happy... Don't think of yourself as lowest of the low because you are the king of your world... You can't label yourself a bad guy because in your mind, you're not. That's all that matters. You should pursue your dreams, no matter what it takes. Cause they're yours, and no one can take them away from you..."
"Guess you're right, un..." I laughed softly, making pain shoot up my throat. So I settled for turning around and snuggling in my covers.
The stuff Itachi gave me usually works after a couple of hours or so, so I should get better any day now. So we could then take the bloody super important mission and go back to living our lives, Danna and I. And the rest of the Akatsuki. Because nothing can touch. No one can touch us. We are... invincible.
We are Akatsuki.
"So... Why so serious, Tobi, un?" I chuckled after a moment.
"Tobi does not like the atmosphere... It's like something bad is gonna happen. Tobi is scared..." Tobi whimpered, and I couldn't see him since my back was turned to him, but I'm sure he was hugging himself or something like that.
"Don't worry so much, Tobi. We're all alive, we're all healthy..." I chuckled at that, coughing lightly. "It's okay now. Besides, you were the one who told me not to worry, un."
"D-Deidara-senpai is right..." my orange-masked friend sighed and shook his head. "Tobi feels better now!" he chuckled, getting up and punching the air, back to his usual self. "But Deidara-senpai doesn't seem to be feeling better at all, so Tobi will just let senpai get some rest!" the hyperactive Akatsuki-nin nodded and went for the door. "Get well soon, Deidara-senpai!" and with a slam, he closed the door behind him.
I simply chuckled and closed my eyes, letting darkness envelop me. What would I gain from spending my days worrying? I should just relax and concentrate on getting better, for now...
When I woke up, my throat wasn't sore anymore, and I felt... pretty good, actually!
I pushed myself up and stretched, yawning as I looked around, spotting Danna at his desk, working again.
I silently slid out of bed and walked to his side, observing his work for just a moment, but finding it too hard to understand. My art is so much simpler and more beautiful.
"Oi Danna, un." I grinned. "Do I still have a fever?"
Sasori-Danna absently raised a hand to my forehead, and removed it a few seconds after, shaking his head.
"No, which is a good thing. Leader-sama has called us to his office in five minutes, so I guess he knew somehow you'd wake up now. Go on, get dressed, we're leaving."
"Yes Sir." I laughed, feeling extremely jumpy after being so long in bed. That nasty cold had pushed me down for too long! Now it's my turn!
I quickly ran for my drawer and practically threw it open, pulling out and my clothes while shrugging off my pyjama pants. I then put my ninja pants on and pulled off my pyjama top, letting my skin meet with the cold air before pulling on my fishnet shirt and a black shirt over it. I then crashed onto my bed and pulled on my ninja sandals, grabbing my socks and pulling them up to my knees right afterwards. My hands went for the ring and headband on the night table and I quickly tied the hitai-ate around my head, slipping the teal ring on my finger right afterwards.
"Ready!" I announced while picking my Akatsuki cloak off the floor and dusting it off.
"Grab your pouch too, I'm suspecting Leader-sama wants to assign us an immediate departure." Danna sighed as he pushed his chair and got up, stretching his puppet limbs a bit.
"Kay, un." I smiled to his back, getting to my knees and fumbling under my bed to grab my pouch of clay. Getting up, I strapped it to my waist and hastily pulled on my cloak as Danna opened the door.
"Now, if sleeping beauty is done with her makeup, we can leave." He sighed in a monotone voice, watching me sceptically as I grabbed a hairbrush from my night table and quickly combed through the knots in my long blonde hair. Before leaving, I also grabbed a hair band and ran out even before tying my hair up.
I only did so once we were out, walking towards Leader-sama's quarters. As soon as we stepped out, though, our gazes went to Itachi and Kisame, who were coming in from the kitchen.
"Oi, Sasori, Deidara!" Kisame called. "So, off to that super important mission, I see."
"Yep. Catch you guys later, un!" I smiled, waving as they passed by us with light smiles.
We walked a little more in silence before we encountered Hidan and Kakuzu, coming in from the outside, obviously, since they were soaking wet. Also, a minor detail would be that Hidan's head was clutched in Kakuzu's arms, his body dragged along behind him by a rope tied around his left ankle.
"Oi Kakuzu, you bastard, don't be so fucking rough with my bloody body!" Hidan's head screamed as Kakuzu rolled his eyes.
"Such a damn shame I can't kill you and shut you up for good..." his eyes lit up as he saw us and he raised a hand. "Deidara, Sasori, where are you off to so late at night?"
"Leader-sama has assigned us a very important mission. We are to get a briefing and depart immediately." Danna answered calmly, making eye contact with Kakuzu.
"Yeah, well, good luck with the rain outside, although it is lighter than when we left for our mission." The medic sighed and shrugged.
"Yeah, fucking rain won't ever fucking stop." Hidan growled.
"Oi, language, Hidan, un." I scolded amusedly as Danna nodded to Kakuzu and started walking again.
"Yeah, try not to die, you little shit!" Hidan yelled back as our two teams separated to go our own ways.
We walked a little more before stopping in front of the crossroads that led outside and to Leader-sama's quarters. After a small pause of a second, Danna turned towards Leader-sama's quarters and started walking again.
I found myself nostalgic as I walked through the dark hallway, black shadows practically painting the walls. Not a single torch was visible around us, not until we reached the double door, where two torches by each side lit up to show us in.
Danna simply knocked and pushed the double doors open, letting both of us stride in.
"Sasori, Deidara..." Leader-sama's voice cooed immediately. "Glad you could make it. Are you better now, Deidara?"
"Yes sir, un." I nodded seriously, staring in front of me even if I knew he wasn't there.
"Good, good, for you'll need to be in top shape for this very important mission I'm about to assign you."
My heart clenched. Why was I paralysed like this? It's just a mission, we've done so many like this before and I've never gotten a problem with it. So why now?
"I don't like beating around the bush for I'll tell you immediately." Leader-sama sighed almost in a bored tone. "Akasuna no Sasori and Iwa no Deidara, you two are assigned to the retrieval of the One-Tailed Shukaku from its Jinchuuriki, Sabaku no Gaara of the Hidden Sand Village."
I don't think I've ever felt this shocked in my entire life. All the emotions whirling around my head only bowed to one: complete and utter surprise.
"A-Are you sure it's wise to send us, Sir, un?" I immediately protested. "I'm only a rookie and the youngest in the Akatsuki, I'm sure to mess things up and-"
"Deidara, Deidara, Deidara..." Leader-sama's amused voice rang out again, freezing me in place. "You know better than to defy my orders. I chose you two for a reason. You are one of my most capable Akatsuki, and I trust you with this task. Surely you'll be able to measure up to my expectations..."
I looked down for a moment, and sighed.
"Yes Sir, un."
"Good. Now, Sasori. You are in charge of conducting this mission as the leader of your team. You are to infiltrate the Hidden Sand Village and challenge its Kazekage, Sabaku no Gaara, who is the Jinchuuriki of the One-Tailed Shukaku, then suppress him but not kill him. You will then retreat to our rally checkpoint where you will hide and contact us so we can extract the Shukaku from his body. Any opposing forces shall be terminated. I expect results from you in about four days. Is that clear?"
"Yes sir." Danna nodded solemnly, very serious, as usual.
"Good then. You may depart. This is our very first step towards our goal, the very first capture of the very first tailed beast. Do not fail me and set a good example to all those who will follow. Dismissed." Leader-sama's voice echoed one last time before disappearing.
"Yes Sir." Both of us bowed at the same time and turned around to leave.
"Danna." I immediately called once we were out and the double doors were closed. "Isn't this a little... dangerous, un? Going straight to Sunagakure like that?"
"Are you afraid, brat? Because if you are, you are free to stay here." Danna raised a brow.
"No, no, that's not it... It's just..." I looked at the ground for a second, cheeks burning in shame. Why am I getting worked up like this? It's just a simple mission, we're strong enough to handle the Kazekage. Heck, I'm pretty sure I can do it on my own. The Kazekage's just a kid, he'll be easy to capture. "N-Nothing, un." I finally smiled, hearing him grunt in approval before we fell into silence again.
We kept silent until we exited the hideout, ending up in the darkness and the rain outside. We never ever stopped to look back, though, because Danna simply summoned Hiruko and slipped inside, walking straightforward immediately.
Guess he's also a little nervous about returning to his home village after so long, even if he won't show it to save his life.
We were just about to leave when my eyes suddenly fell on something bright and I turned around, recognizing Tobi and Zetsu perched on elevated rocks, looking mournfully at the distance.
"Oi, Tobi!" I called, waving. He immediately turned around and waved back sombrely, which had me worried for a second.
"So, heading off, senpai?" Tobi asked in a dead voice as he approached us, Zetsu trailing right behind him.
"Yeah, going to Sunagakure to capture the Shukaku, un." I grinned, trying to make ourselves look fierce and strong, just like S-class criminals should be.
"Ah... Just... Be careful, senpai. Don't get hurt, okay?" Tobi almost pleaded, although if I had to place an expression on his face, I'd give him a melancholic smile.
"Oh Tobi, you worry too much. I'll be back home safe and sound before you even notice I'm gone, un." I grinned.
"Let's hope so. And Sasori-san..." he turned to Danna and bowed. "You too, please come back home safely."
"Tobi, let us handle this and get back inside before you catch a cold like this idiot here." Danna muttered, making a vein pop in my temple.
"I'm not an idiot, un." I growled, crossing my arms.
Danna sounded like he wanted to respond to that, but Tobi cut him off with a giggle.
"Alright, safe travels, Deidara-senpai, Sasori-san. Catch you later." He waved again and started skipping back inside.
"Yes, contact us soon." Black-Zetsu smiled.
"And have fun travelling!" White-Zetsu added before the two of them bowed and left behind Tobi.
"Now that the goodbyes are over, let's leave." Danna sighed, heading for the edge and jumping off without a moment's waste.
I followed him, feeling momentarily free as I soared down towards the ground, the wind and rain harshly whipping my face, yet giving me a sense of newfound freedom.
I think... I knew why everyone gave us such solemn goodbyes.
I think it's no secret anymore.
It's about time I admitted it to myself, too.
There is a great chance that none of us will return alive from this mission. And Danna and I, as well as everyone else in the hideout, knew it.
But we can't die. Like I said, we're the untouchable ones. There is no way anyone can harm us. Things are just like that.
But even if we do somehow get hurt, I won't be scared. I promise myself.
Even if this is the last mission I ever go on, I will prove to Danna I'm strong. I will prove to Leader-sama that I'm strong. I'll prove to Itachi, Tobi, Kakuzu, I'll prove to them all that I'm strong. I'll prove to the world that I'm strong and strike fear into the hearts of those who despised and rejected me.
Because I'm not afraid... And I will never be. Even if they rip me apart limb from limb and break me in every way possible, I will not bow. Because I am not afraid. I will take a stand, I will show them how far I've progressed. Especially to Danna.
He deserves to see the most.
He's the one who's been following me so carefully during all this time. He's the one who's been teaching me and mentoring me. He's my hero, he's my saviour, and I must show him I've grown to meet his expectations.
And no matter what, I will not cry. I will not scream... And I will not die. I will live to tell everyone that I'm strong and that I only learned from the best.
This is my dream.
And I will follow Leader-sama to the end of the earth because he's the one who gave me this dream. He helped me fulfill my old one and gave me the opportunity to reach this one. I will show them, I will show them all.
And I will follow Danna to the end of all eternity, because he's the first one I've been able to call a hero. I doubt I'll ever find anyone like him. He cares, I know it, and I love him for that.
"Listen brat. This mission is extremely important, so I want you to proceed with utmost seriousness." Danna ordered as we took to the trees, towards Suna.
"Of course, Danna, un." I nodded.
Of course I'd take it seriously. How else could I show him my power?
"Mask your feelings. One leak could be your downfall. And this mission is critical. If you fall, I will not hesitate to leave you behind, but you must do the same for me. Wear your mask, and wear it right. Don't let anyone read your thoughts on your face." He added in a dark voice.
I gulped down nervously, and trying to speak past the nervous ball in my throat, I coughed out.
"Sure thing, Danna, un."
"The mission comes first. No matter what happens. Clear?"
"Yes, Danna, yes, it's perfectly clear, un."
I will follow you. And when it's time, I will fight for you. And if it happens, I will abandon you. Because I know that that is what you would want me to do and you would have it no other way. You know it'll break my heart. You know it'll mend itself back together. You know all of this, and yet you tell me to make me stronger. This is what I admire about you, Danna. Your art may not be comparable to mine, but your charisma and your character: they're irreplaceable. I'll never have anyone else than you, and I cannot fathom living in a world without you.
Because you're the one who saved me from this hell. You're the one who gave me a reason to live. The Akatsuki have given me a home, friends and family. Yet you have given me hope, power, confidence, dreams, and a reason to live. And nothing will ever take that away from me.
Because the past has been rough with me, I am weak.
Because the present is harsh, I am trying to grow stronger.
And yet, I have no idea what the future has in store for me, which is why I need you to stay by my side and watch me grow. I can't do this without you.
Because I know that you know you mean a lot to me. And I know you know that deep inside you don't hate me. I know you know I'm not annoying you on purpose. And I know you know I'm strong.
Because even if the tides change and we all start dying, and the end of the world comes to get us all, even if we all start straying or losing each other, you know that this will be the last promise I intend to break. Because I know you know that I fully intend to follow you forever. And I know you know I'll be able to keep all bad influences away from my heart. And I know you know I will never give up or bow down to anyone, no matter what the past or the future have to say about things, because you, Akasuna no Sasori, my friend, my brother, my hero, my mentor, my Danna... You have been, you are, and will always be My Escape.
And that's the end of it all, everyone. If you are reading this, then I am forever indebted to you for helping me reach such a high point in the world of fan fiction. Thank you.
It's my traditional way to end fics. The very last words are the title. I think it came out pretty well, actually, I really like how I drawed out the ending. Sorry if I annoyed you with the "I know you know"s, I guess it sounded poetic to me xD
Well, here we are. This chapter was basically a summary of everything going on in Deidara's head, before and after he receives the deadly mission to go capture the Shukaku. And why does the fic end here, you ask? Well, why should I write how they captured the Shukaku? Isn't it already in the anime?
Yes, you got it right. This is the part that lets my fic join reality. Right after the end, Deidara and Sasori travel to Suna, where they take out the guards with the help of Yura and let Deidara sneak in and fight Gaara, "kill him" and kidnap him and take him somewhere to pull out his Bijuu. Right after this chapter, Naruto, Sakura and Sai go out to rescue Gaara, and meet up with Deidei and Sasori. And everyone knows what happens next :x
So basically, the technical "sequel" to this story is the entire plot of Shippuuden. If I ever make an endlogue, I guess I'll center it on Deidei's thoughts during his and Sasuke's fight. That's that.
So anyways, I doubt I'll be writing more Naruto for a while now. For the moment, I have my hands full with a Bleach fanfic and a Zelda fanfic that I can't seem to pull out of writer's block, plus planning a Death Note fic and brainstorming for an original novel. As you can see, not much time to give to a new story :/ Although it's sure I'll write more. The next one I'll write will most probably be a Naruto/Sasuke friendship/angst oneshot, but I dunno about anything else. If you'd like to see me write something, you can always PM me or something, contact me and tell me, if I like the idea, of course I'll write it as a "request" from whoever asked me to do it (:
Yep, yep, this is it. The very last words of this story (unless I make an endlogue, that is xD). About the artwork for everyone who has reviewed on this story, I still haven't coloured it, sorry, so when I post it on DA, I'll post a new chapter to this fic announcing it, or just post it with the endlogue. You can add this story to your alerts if you want to know when it's out (:
Well, seeing as this is the very last chapter, the least you could do is tell me how you liked/disliked the story. Is there something you would change if you were in my place? Would you have added more arcs? About what? More characters or interactions? More fight scenes, romantic scenes, angsty scenes, friendship scenes, yaoi scenes (WHUT? xD), humoristic scenes? Tell me all about it. Even if you don't want to, a simple "loved it" or "ew" will do. I just want to know how many people this fic has touched (:
Enough. I won't bother you any longer. Thank you so much for reading and staying by my side for this long, I never could have gotten anywhere without you. You have all my heartfelt appreciation and I would like to thank you personally with a review reply, if you decide to review, that is (please?). To anonymous readers who have stayed by me this entire time, I wish I could thank you personally, but I can't communicate back to you, so thank you, thank you, thank you (special thanks to K.T., the amazing anonymous reader to whom I owe a lot for all the encouragement and ideas).
So yes, this is it. Thanks for following, reading and reviewing. I think the biggest thrill in writing My Escape was reading you guys' encouraging words. Thanks again, guys!