When Tobi awoke the next morning to a cold frost, he looked around at the area he had slept in. Now that there was sufficient light to notice, he could see that there was blood all over him. He knew that the wounds he had received weren't life-threatening, but it was enough to still cause him worry – what would Zetsu say if he knew that Tobi had been injured already?

Tobi sighed and gathered his belongings before he made his way towards the Leaf. He wondered just how far into Konoha he had been driven by the ambush last night but, as he kept walking, he discovered that he was less than half-an-hour away from the Hidden Leaf Village.

Hurrying his pace, Tobi made it to the Leaf in good time after having stopped and cleansed himself of blood. Once he arrived at the front gates, the two Shinobi gate-watchers raised eyebrows at the sight.

"Hello!" Tobi called cheerfully as he waved to the two males.

"Hi…" The shorter of the two said in uncertainty. "…May we help you?"

"Oh, yes! Tobi came here for the Chuunin Exams! Here's Tobi's papers!"

The guards took Tobi's papers and looked over them. "…Ah, Tobi Uchiwa. Sixteen-years-old and from the Village Hidden in the Grass. You don't have a team already?"

"Nope! Pein-sama said that he would have a team meet Tobi here today!"

"Okay, Tobi. Here's your papers back. Tomorrow at the Academy you have to give them to the examiners and they'll register you and your team for the event. Good luck."

"Thanks!" Tobi took his papers back and bounded off into the town, deciding that he should eat something before he meets his new teammates.

Only an hour had passed before Tobi finished his lunch. He had gone back to wait by the gate, hoping that his new teammates knew him – because he had no idea who he was looking for. He hadn't waited very long before a girl with long black hair and a boy with short, spiky brunet hair approached him.

"Are you Tobi Uchiwa?" The brunet asked.

Tobi nodded. "Tobi's a good boy."

The girl squealed, startling Tobi. Said boy jumped off of his seat and covered his mask out of instinct. He had never really trusted loud people before and he wasn't going to start now without Zetsu around to protect him.

"Well, this is Saiki and I'm Daisuke," the male said in a cold manner. "If you're going to be a member of our team, listen to me and listen to me good; I don't put up with crybabies. If you can't handle these exams, I don't want to know you. Got it?"

Tobi was shaken by these words. "Tobi thoughts his new teammates would be nice to him…"

Saki shook her head and wrapped her arms around Tobi's shoulders. "Daisuke is an asshole."

Tobi gasped and tried to free himself from the girl's touch. "Saki-chan said a bad word!"

Saki looked at Tobi in confusion before she removed her arms and stood before Daisuke. Daisuke shook his head.

"You are not going to make it on this team." Daisuke snarled.

Tobi tilted his head. "Tobi is confused."

Daisuke sighed in defeat. "Whatever, baka! Meet us here tomorrow at sunrise and we'll take you to the Academy!"

Tobi nodded his head, happy to have made some progress already. "Tobi will do that! Tobi must go now! Bye-bye!"

Tobi turned and raced off to the motel room he had gotten. As he wondered what the exams would be like, he began to get nervous. Pein had told him that he had to take the exams and try to become a Chuunin as well as do the mission he had been assigned.

-XX-

Tobi had just gotten to the gate the next morning when a familiar figure stepped through said objects. As he looked closer, Tobi could recognise the figure of his Senpai.

"Senpai!" Tobi cried happily as he ran forwards in an attempt to hug Deidara.

"Get off me, baka!" Deidara yelled as she shoved the boy away from him. He then turned to the gate-watchers who had been observing the two's interaction and threw his papers at them. "Here are my papers for the Chuunin Exams, un."

"Right." The taller of the two guards took the papers into his hands. "Okay, Deidara Hysuka; seventeen; comes from Iwa… All good to go, Deidara. You better hurry to the Academy or you won't be allowed to compete."

"Whatever…" Without another word, Deidara turned and started walking into the village.

"Senpai, why are you here?" Tobi asked once the gate-watchers were out of earshot.

"Weren't you listening, dumbass?" Deidara spat. "I'm here for the Chuunin Exams! Just like you are!"

"No, Tobi heard that – but why is Senpai here?"

"Okay, dumbass, listen good! Pein-Sama got sick of hearing Zetsu worry about you so he sent me here to compete with you and help you with your mission! Understand?!"

"Deidara-Senpai isn't already a Chuunin?"

"No, Tobi, I'm not! Now drop the subject!" Deidara screamed at the younger.

Tobi flinched. He was used to Deidara yelling, but the blond had never raised his voice like that before. He could hear something in the elder's voice, a look in his eyes that indicated it was painful for Deidara to talk about anything that could relate to his past.

Tobi sighed and sat next to his Senpai just as someone called his name. He turned and saw Saki waving at him while Daisuke stood behind her with a sour look on his face.

"Who's your girlfriend?" the brunet sneered at Tobi as he eyed Deidara off. "She's got. Too good for you without a doubt."

"I'm not a girl!" Deidara shouted as he jumped to his feet and raised a fist.

"Senpai, no!" Tobi screamed as he grabbed the elder's arm in an attempt to stop the punch.

Seeing this as an advantage, Daisuke kicked Deidara in the stomach. The blond fell to the ground and, just seconds later, a sickening crunch filled the air as Daisuke aimed a chakra-fueled punched to the elder's face. The second that Tobi heard this, he remembered the state that his body had once been in which only caused him distress.

It was lucky that two nearby Jounin had separated the two males before any serious damage could be caused to either of the fight's participants. However, Daisuke had told Tobi he was to walk to the Academy with Deidara instead.

Deidara, who had put up with Tobi's sobs on the way to the Academy, couldn't resist asking questions any longer.

"Why are you crying? …Un." Deidara questioned in a blunt manner.

Tobi stopped walking before he turned to face his elder. "…Tobi… Tobi loves his Senpai very much, even though Senpai hates Tobi… Tobi heard Senpai's face break…"

"So what, hmm?" Deidara rolled his eyes as he ran a hand over his blackened cheek.

Tobi was silent for a minute. "…Zetsu-kun found Tobi with a broken body… Tobi knows how much it hurts…"

Deidara looked at Tobi closely. Was the boy telling the truth? How could such a skinny, frail boy survive something like that? "…What happened for you to have… gone through that…?"

"…Tobi was… He was crushed… under really big boulders… The pain hurt so bad… Tobi wanted to die, but Zetsu-kun… Zetsu-kun wanted to keep Tobi."

Deidara stopped talking after the boy's explanation. He couldn't get his mind off of Tobi. The kid couldn't have been very old when that had happened, judging by what he had heard other members talk about. As he became lost in his thoughts, he was unaware of Tobi tugging on his shirt.

"Senpai?" Tobi asked, effectively snapping Deidara back to reality.

"What? …Un." Deidara looked down at the shorter male.

"We're here." Tobi hesitantly removed his hand from Deidara's clothing.

"Oh…"

Deidara followed Tobi in through the Academy doors before they were stopped by someone they hadn't met before. It was a woman with long red hair, who appeared to be middle-aged. Behind her stood Saki and Daisuke – both staring evilly at Deidara.

"You're Deidara?" The woman grunted.

"Yes. …Un." Deidara rolled his eyes at the question.

"Get rid of that God-awful speech impediment, boy!" the Jounin snapped. She made Tobi flinch as she grabbed Deidara's arm.

"Do I know you?" Deidara asked in a cold manner.

"No, but right now I am in charge of you and your boyfriend! Saki, you're not needed here anymore. Go home."

"What?" Saki's eyes widened.

"Last minute change – Deidara is replacing you. Get out of here!"

Saki blinked as tears begun to drip down her face. She ran off seconds later. Daisuke glared at the blond Akatsuki member as if it were all of his doing. The Jounin backhanded both of them across the head once she noticed this.

"While you are in my team, you are all to respect each other! Got that? Now! You two! What are your specialties?"

Tobi was lost by this question. Deidara, however, lost no time in explaining. "I use Taijutsu and Tobi is Genjutsu."

Tobi looked at Deidara in confusion. The blond couldn't do anything without his clay! What was he saying? And Tobi… Hell, he didn't even know what he could do. Then again… being an Uchiha, he was built for Genjutsu.

"Whatever!" The Jounin snapped. "Get in there and register!"

The red-head pointed at a room before she forced the three males to enter without her. It was a dark room with only a long table placed at the back of it. There were three males sitting behind the object, all with paper spread out in front of them.

"More Genin." One of the males at the end of the row smiled. "Such lovely looking children. Just sign these forms, okay? There's one for each of you."

Once all of the paperwork was done, the three males each received a warm smile from all of the committee.

"Okay, Deidara, Tobi, Daisuke," a man with a large scar across his face began, "your team is number three with Sensei Yu. You may leave now, but the exams start tomorrow morning. Be here early, okay?"

The boys bowed low before they exited the room. Daisuke glared at Deidara once more before he left the two Akatsuki members to themselves.

Once Deidara began to walk as well, Tobi chased after him with a whimper.

"Tobi doesn't want to be alone in a strange village!" Tobi cried as he grabbed Deidara's shirt. "Tobi wants to stay with his Deidara-Senpai!"

"Whatever." Deidara rolled his eyes. "Just stay out of my way, yeah."

"Senpai?"

"What, Tobi?"

"Why did Deidara-Senpai tell them we use Taijutsu and Genjutsu? Why is Senpai's hands bandaged?"

"So no one sees my hand-mouths and gets suspicious, and because we had to tell them something and you, being the idiot you are, would have fucked up. So just keep your mouth shut and go along with everything that I say, hmm. Take me the hotel you've been staying at. …Un."

Tobi's heart began to race at these words; he was going to share a room with his Deidara-Senpai! However, just as quick as Tobi's happiness was boosted, he was then brought back down by Deidara's next words.

"You had better be quiet or I'm going to throttle you, Tobi."

Tobi flinched. "…Senpai… Tobi gets nightmares… Tobi yells and screams sometimes…"

Deidara was overcome with annoyance. "If you so much as make a sound tonight, so help me God…"