She is exactly the sort of person he hates.

He followed Pein here because he had been upset to find his soul to be eternal. Eternal, unseen, and with no way to continue practicing his art. He wonders if his old partner is also floating eternally as a– a whatever he is now. He wonders if Sasori's smug: forever is what he always aimed for. And the afterlife seems to agree that's how it should be.

Deidara still disagrees. His final moment should have been that: final. And it would have been the most beautiful art he'd ever created if his damn soul hadn't decided to keep going.

So he came to float above the destroyed Leaf Village, reveling in the little pieces of art flickering to life before him and then going out as soon as they started, leaving only rubble behind.

But now that damned kyuubi kid has shown up, and the chaos is dying down into a normal fight. His glee at the art show is fading.

She happened to come to stand below to where he had chosen to float to watch the fight. The kyuubi vessel is pinned to the ground and he and Pein begin discussing something irrelevant to Deidara, and he begins to grow bored. He glances down at her and immediately hates her.

Her face is delicate and pale, framed by inky black hair that flows down her back like silk sheets. Her white eyes are wide and focused on the kyuubi kid. She looks like a frightened doll. She looks like the perfect noblewomen, to sit in a receiving room and smile gently at visitors, and murmur soft and comforting things, to live a long and peaceful life and age gracefully and then die with a sigh in her sleep.

Deidara thinks her ugly.

He guesses she's the quiet, shy type. The air of someone with no self-confidence lingers around her, and he'd wager a guess she'd stay quiet at problems rather than face them.

And so he hates her.

Then suddenly, without a word, she sprints off toward the fight. The injured man who had been squatting behind her screams her name.

Deidara watches with surprised amusement as she leaps toward his once leader and positions herself between him and her fellow leaf-nin. Her body tenses into a stance trademark to her clan and she announces,

"I won't let you lay another finger on Naruto!"

Her voice is filled with such raw determination Deidara would have never matched it to the nervous girl he'd seen just minutes earlier. Her face matches it. Suddenly she seems much more mature. Much more dangerous.

Then she confesses she loves the kyuubi kid, that he saved her. Deidara is less than impressed by this, but her body is still tense with the certain death she's given herself, her will to protect, her sheer determination not to cry and give up the way the rational, frightened part of her is demanding.

And then she lunges at Pein, throwing her best jutsu at him. He immediately swats her off, like a fly, and she knew it was going to happen. But she did it anyway, and in the few seconds it took for her to explode toward him, and in the even briefer moment it took for him to throw her back, Deidara sees a hint of beauty in the ugly girl.

It's a pity she didn't die, he thinks.

I hope you enjoyed.

For those of you who may be wondering about my other fanfictions, I have in fact written a bit. The delay is a combination of not wanting to put up absolute crap and that I have several real-life priorities over fanfiction. Thank you for understanding.