She'd passed by the shop several times before, but she'd never worked up the courage to actually go inside. She wasn't quite sure why she could never seem to get the guts to go in. Maybe it was the bright colors of the outside that put her off. Bright colors weren't really her thing; she actually liked darker, softer colors better. Or perhaps it was the fact that the store dealt with a certain type of art that she was fluent in - they were her rivals? She didn't like conflict, so if she found anyone who was looking for what was referred to as an "art battle", she tried to not have anything more to do with them.

Or maybe it was that new boy who worked at the counter.

That boy was gorgeous, in her opinion - and she got nervous around gorgeous boys. He had this feathery blonde hair, tied into a low ponytail that went somewhere between his shoulders and the middle of his back. He had his left eye partially covered, but his eyes were a lovely baby blue color, and had been traced with black eyeliner. It looked like he was always giving somebody a grin, or apologizing while blushing when he'd made a mistake. She had yet to see him when he wasn't smiling. He wore a grayish green ninja-styled outfit, with black trimming and a dark red obi around the waist. The part of the outfit that covered his top half was open, but someone (presumably his mother) had sewn fishnet over it - and besides that, he usually wore a tank top under it, though the color of the tank top varied from day to day.

Maybe it was him that prevented her from going in. She didn't want to embarrass herself in front of him. She could say the wrong thing, get all tongue-tied, or she could trip over something in the store. She could let the blush overtake her face and then he would tease her about liking him.

But today was finally the day. She was going to go inside, and she was going to talk to that boy. She was going to do this if it killed her.

Katsuko swallowed, drank down her pride, and strolled casually up to the door. There was nobody else in the store right now; this was the perfect time to go talk to him. She took a deep breath, pushed the door open (making the little bell ring), and walked inside.

The blonde boy looked up fom the magazine he was reading and smiled at her. "Good morning! Can I help you, hmm?"

She gave a wavering smile and held up a hand. "Um, h-hi."

He laughed. "You look so new here - you remind me of a lost little kitten, hmm. Just tell me what you need, I don't bite. I mean, usually, hmm... but if you tick me off I can't promise you won't get bitten. Hmm."

Why did he end his sentences like that? It was... weird. Katsuko quickly shook the thought from her head and took a few steps toward the desk. "Oh really? You don't look like you'd bite ever. You look nice."

"I am nice... most of the time. It's just when people deliberately tick me off that I get not so nice, hmm." He rested his cheek against his hand. "So... do I get the privilege of knowing your name, hmm?"

"Only if... I get the privilege of knowing yours."

He laughed again. It was a pretty sound, a rasping drum beating over and over again. "So you're into bargaining, hmm? That's fine, so am I. My name's Deidara, hmm. I'm almost sixteen. You?"

"Um, I'm Katsuko."

"That is such a beautiful name. Katsuko - means 'child of the explosion', didja know that?" He chuckled, rubbing the back of his head. "Can't say it really suits you though, hmm. You're actually kinda quiet. How old are you?"


"Wow, you're young. Hmm."

She pouted at him, clenching her fists. "Am not. Maybe you're just old."

A laugh escaped him. "Young and funny. That's not a combination you find often besides kids saying 'underpants', hmm."

Katsuko grinned. "So what kinds of stuff do ya have in here, old man?"

"Hey hey! First of all, I ain't that old, hmm. Second, I just started here, like... two weeks ago. Third... we've got all kinds of stuff, hmm. I can't list everything - you name it and I'll tell you if we have it."

"Do you have sparklers? I need some for my cousin's birthday next week."

"Ooh-hoo, so people put an itty bitty pretty one in charge of something so important, hmm? Maybe you're more responsible than I thought at first. Hmm. Yeah, we have sparklers." He ducked down behind the counter. "How many packs do you need?"

"Uh... better play it safe and go with three. There's, like, twelve in each pack, right?"

"Ten, but you were pretty close so you're awesome anyway." He put three packs on the counter, then stood back up himself, grinning at her. "Now, uh... just let me mark these real fast, hmm." He grabbed a permanent marker from the desk and started writing on the backs of the boxes.

"Mark 'em? For what?"

"Oh, I just have to mark that these are the new kind, hmm. I'm writing it down because one time this lady forgot what I told her... yeah, that fire last week wasn't from a stove... hmm..."

Katsuko laughed. "You're funny too, Deidara."

"Thanks." He handed her the boxes. "There you go, hmm. Now where's my payment, girlfriend?"

She blushed a little, then handed him the money. "Um, there."

"Did you look at what I wrote on the box, hmm?"

"Yeah, I'll do it later."

"No, no... look real close, hmm." He turned the box over, leaning across the counter. "'Cause I wrote my phone number on it."

She blushed and looked at the back of the package. "... Cool. I might call you sometime."

He grinned and she saw that he was blushing too. "Well, I'll, um... heh... I'll be looking forward to it. Hmm."

Katsuko smiled and strolled confidently out of the store.

He liked her. He was a boy and he wasn't her family and he wasn't someone she already knew and he was cute and he liked her.

There were a lot of ways to go with that.

... I don't own Naruto? Aww, I thought I did... oh well...

And yes, the title is from Katy Perry's song "Firework". XD I actually made a video of Deidara with that song... it reminded me a lot of him. Like "Baby you're a firework, come on show 'em what you're worth" 'cause a lot of people in his village made fun of his art. (Lots of people make fun of Katsuko's too, but we'll get into that later...)

Sometimes I have to wonder if some of the music artists today watch anime... every time I turn around it seems like there's another song that relates directly to one of my favorite anime characters. Like Katy Perry's "Peacock" and Yumichika from Bleach! XD And "Gotta Be Somebody" by Nickleback for Gaara. Got anymore? I might actually have to make a story about that... message me with an idea if you think I should! ^^

... Oh, and tell me if you liked the story too. XD