~This is my first ever fan fiction I've actually spent time on and posted. I'll write more chapters when I can. ^^

Hakumei

A sigh slipped through his lips as he hurried through the darkening forest. "What the hell am I doing?" Deidara sighed once more and leapt through the trees, "I must be crazy."

His limbs were aching so badly, he had yet to notice that his lovely blonde hair was charred black at the ends. Deidara's skin was blistering and red. "Sasuke will pay. I must remember that is why I am doing this; for vengeance."

As he said this, a small clearing showed up ahead, leading to tall, crimson gate, painted with the hiragana for Konoha.

The moon was only a small sliver in the menacing, cloudy sky, and it seemed as though Deidara was meant to come here this day. He quickly created a large, clay bird and hopped on its back. As he flew over Konoha, he noticed that the streets were bare, and lights in houses were just beginning to shut off.

"Now… where is the old man buried?" Deidara whispered to himself, but his question was soon answered when he spied a corner of the cemetery that was unmarked. Only a few mounds of dirt were scattered here and there; covered in ungrateful footprints.

Deidara softly landed on the ground and hopped down off of the bird. One mound, in particular, had a few grey tendrils poking out of the top: something that would go unnoticed if you were an unappreciative Leaf citizen.

He dug his fingernails deep into the unsettled earth and began pushing it away until a small coffin came into view. Deidara heaved the casket from the ground, ignoring the burning, searing pain from his burns, and placed it next to the hole he had just dug. Now, the tendrils hanging from knots in the wood were more noticeable. The large, clay bird silently swallowed the coffin while Deidara refilled the hole.

When he was satisfied, he jumped back on the bird and soared back over the gate. Eventually, he landed on a large branch, kilometers away from the Leaf Village. The bird regurgitated the coffin and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

"Hmm… I suppose it's time to open this thing up." At this, Deidara split open the poorly made, wooden casket.

"Ugh…" A deep groan echoed throughout the forest.

"Welcome back," Deidara was unsure whether to be happy or regretful when the tall, dark man rose from the coffin remnants.

"I wasn't expecting you to be the one to rescue me," Kakuzu smiled at this and began to reattach a few fingers he had lost while being dissected by Shizune.

"Well, it won't be without a cost," A smile arose on the blonde's lips – it had been a while since he had socialized with more than a stray spider or lizard.

"You know that won't be easy for me, Deidara." Kakuzu brushed the dirt off his pants and stretched. "Where is Hidan?"

"Tomorrow, we will see him." Deidara lie back onto the thick branch of the tree, and fell almost instantly asleep.

In the morning, Kakuzu awoke to Deidara's thundering snoring. He sat with his back against the trunk of the tree and realized how lonely he felt without Hidan to insult.

"I wonder if that black-haired boy got to him…" Kakuzu's words awoke Deidara.

"I need to talk to you." Deidara went into his plans. "I have decided to form a new organization. It will be called Hakumei. And its purpose will be revenge. I am personally inviting you to join me."

"Revenge? Against who?" Kakuzu laughed deeply.

"Surely there is someone you would like to annihilate in this cold, unforgiving world, eh, Kuzu?" Deidara looked hopeful; almost like a child.

"Don't you EVER call me 'Kuzu'. I'll rip your head off and nail it to a tree." Kakuzu threatened.

"Don't make me beg on my knees, Kakuzu."

"Fine. Whatever. I'll be in your stupid club. Let's just find Hidan" He followed Deidara through the trees for what seemed like an hour.

"The ultimate goal for Hakumei is to bring a close to the Akatsuki – the very thing that nearly ended us forever." Deidara was silent after this; until they reached the very place Kakuzu was defeated.