Yes, he'd heard. How could he not? News spread through the Akatsuki like wildfire. Within an hour of Sasori returning, Deidara had become aware of his close brush with death. Immediately, he went searching for his partner.

"Danna?" Deidara knocked on Sasori's door.

No response.

Deidara sighed and pushed the door open, "Danna, I know you're in here."

Sure enough, Sasori sat at his desk, staring ahead at the wall, "What do you want, brat?"

Deidara no longer flinched at the harsh way Sasori talked to him. He had become more than used to it over the time that they had been partners.

"I heard about your mission…" Deidara began, stepping into the room.

"So?"

Deidara sighed and sat on Sasori's bed, "So I was worried about you, un."

Finally, Sasori swiveled in his chair and turned to look at his blonde partner. Deidara's visible blue eye was looking Sasori over, surely trying to personally check on his safety.

"Why would you be worried?" Sasori asked, keeping his voice as flat and monotonous as possible.

Deidara rolled his visible eye, "We're partners, un. It's our job to make sure the other is safe."

"I suppose," Sasori murmured. He then added, under his breath, "I doubt that's the only reason though."

Deidara's eyes widened as he caught his partner's comment. Did he know? Surely he couldn't, Deidara had done too good of a job hiding it.

"What?"

Sasori glanced over at his partner again, realizing for the first time that Deidara had heard what he said, "Nothing… brat."

This answer didn't fly with Deidara, who stood from the bed and stepped towards Sasori, "Don't lie to me, un! What did you say?"

The partner's stared at each other. Sasori's fiery red eyes met Deidara's cool blue. Silence ensued. Deidara was too stubborn to walk out without knowing what the puppeteer had muttered. Sasori wasn't sure he was ready to answer the bomber's question, not sure how he would explain the reason for said comment.

"I said nothing."

"You're lying."

Finally, Sasori sighed. He hated to admit it, but his stubbornness was surely rivaled by his partner. And with them leaving for a mission tomorrow, the last thing they needed was to start a fight.

"I said that I doubt that's the only reason."

"And why would you doubt that, un?" Deidara asked, trying to keep the venom out of his voice.

Sasori sat for a moment, contemplating how to respond. If he came up with some lame excuse, he would surely piss Deidara off more. If he answered with the truth, there was no way to know how Deidara would react. And if he simply didn't answer at all, a physical fight would ensue.

"Because I don't try to keep you safe simply because you're my partner. That's only one of the reasons," Sasori answered slowly, hoping that Deidara wouldn't push the issue any further.

Deidara stared back at him, his anger dissipating, "What other reason is there, un?"

"Can't you answer that yourself?" Sasori dodged, turning away from his partner.

Silence surrounded them again. Deidara mulled over Sasori's words. Indeed, Sasori was right and Deidara did have an alternate reason for worrying about his safety. But that reason surely couldn't be shared, could it?"

"That's not possible…" Whispered Deidara.

"Isn't it?" Sasori replied, equally as quiet.

"Sasori-danna, do you…?"

Sasori turned back to his partner after a long silence, "Yes." He breathed.

A small smile graced Deidara's lips. Part of him wanted to jump and shout and rejoice. The other part was in pure shock and wanted him to sit there, numb.

"Danna…" Deidara leaned down from his position directly above his red-headed partner and captured his lips in a kiss.

Once they parted, Deidara spoke again, "I was so worried. I don't know what I'd do if you didn't return, Danna. I'd be lost, un."

Sasori smiled, a rare, true smile. It was only the second or third time Deidara had every seen this puppet master so happy.

"Dei…" Sasori was at a loss for words, so he simply placed a hand on the back of Deidara's neck and pulled him into another kiss.