The blue chakra strings attach so easily to my partner's body. In fact, he doesn't even make an attempt to struggle. If he was uncomfortable, he'd either start complaining or shoot me looks that practically screamed for me to release him. In the end, however, the choice is up to me. I can keep him captive however long I want, and as long as my chakra doesn't run out, he can do nothing about it.

I know he doesn't mind, though. Deidara will let me drag his body around however I please. Anything to make me happy. And I always tell him that as long as he doesn't struggle, I'm happy. He struggled with it at first, but in the end, ended up complying most of the time. Occasionally, a few snide remarks would slip out, but it wasn't anything a few poisonous injections couldn't fix.

Whenever he fell victim to hallucinogens, I found that he'd end up clinging to me, tears welling up in his eyes by the time the stuff wore off. I always found it interesting that he could barely keep his composure, despite being a feared S-ranked criminal. Surely he wouldn't be considered nearly as dangerous if he showed those tears to his attackers.

It was only in front of me that he cried, though. Never anyone else. They could pester him until he was ready to blow them to pieces, but he never dared to shed tears. That didn't happen until the door to our room was shut, and he was either buried in my arms or screaming at me from across the room.

With a single twitch of my fingers, his body stumbled across the room and fell against mine. Keeping the chakra strings secured to his body, I locked my arms around his slim waist. Still no objection. Instead, I found him grinning like an idiot. No matter what he did, the brat never looked normal.

And it was that lack of sanity...that one piece of sense that was missing from him that pissed me off so much. He could never look at me with a straight face. He was either enraged, spastic, or bawling his eyes out. Honestly, I can't remember the last time the brat managed to stay calm around me.

It was normal for S-ranked criminals to completely lose it like that...but it wasn't something I was willing to put up with. Especially not when I had to rely on him in battle. And upon realizing that he was never going to fix himself, I tried to do it for him.

The first time I struck Deidara, he began cursing at me and pulled several clay figurines out of his pocket. Like that was supposed to worry me. Unless he managed to get a good distance from me, he'd end up killing the both of us. And I had to assume that he wasn't crazy enough to blow himself up over a stupid fight.

The second time I struck him, he still shouted, but didn't bother to attack. The third time, the cursing turned into a small protest. The fourth, and he had completely stopped reacting. And each time after that, he just stayed wherever he was, taking whatever blows I would rain down on his fragile body.

The worst part wasn't that I ended up damaging him. It wasn't that I had, on multiple occasions, broken some of his bones. What could have been worse than harming my lover? Surely nothing...

Except he didn't mind.

These beatings would continue, getting harsher each time. It wasn't until Deidara ended up coughing up a mouthful of blood all over me that I stopped to think about what I was doing. I was killing him, but he didn't bother to try and defend himself anymore.

After all, I told him I was happy when he didn't struggle.

Knowing his past and what nonsense he had put up with thanks to his drunken father, I should have stopped. But why? I would ask myself. He didn't complain...no one noticed...so why did I need to stop what I was doing? Deidara still said he loved me, he'd still curl up next to me before he went to sleep, and he never uttered a complaint about the way he was treated.

It wasn't until months later, after being in our relationship for nearly a year, that he began speaking through his one visible eye. Or had he been doing it all along? I really can't remember.

When I rose my hand against him, his eye would widen, begging me to stop. But even then, I didn't bother. He still didn't say it out loud. Rather than complying with his silent request, I continued, making the beatings even worse. Smashing his leg bones to pieces, poisoning him with whatever I could find...

At that point, it wasn't that I didn't want to stop, it was that I icouldn't/i.

"Danna, stop, un," he finally whispered. That was what I told myself I was to wait for. I tried to stop myself. Did I really expect that to work? Instead, I seized his chin with one of my hands, pulling him to his feet with little to no effort. I could see tears well up in his eyes, but I ignored him. Even when he began to sob, it didn't affect me. The brat had plenty of emotional breakdowns...why was this one any different?

"Don't you love me, Dei?" I'd whisper before crashing my lips against his. I knew those words stung him. If that one sentence made it past my lips, I didn't even need to use chakra strings to hold him in place anymore. He'd kiss me back and wrap his arms around me. He'd tell me he loved me.

I twitch my fingers again, and his body is pressed firmly against mine, leaving no space between us. It's twisted, the way we function. Silently, Deidara's eyes beg for me to let him go. I obey, knowing very well that he's not going to run. His hands grab a hold of my hair, and his lips press gently against mine.

I can't believe how long it took me to figure out he was scared. During a mission in Kirigakure, one of the lords had apparently gotten too close for comfort, and for the next week, Deidara refused to say a word to me. Me, of all people! And when I was in our room, throwing him around because he wouldn't speak...it hit me.

Deidara didn't talk when he was scared. In fact, Deidara didn't do ianything/i when he was scared. He just accepted whatever was going to happen to him, tried to mask his emotions, and took it. I'm still not sure why, but that really disturbed me. Disturbed me to the point where I couldn't bear to look at him. How had I not figured it out sooner? We had been dating for so long...It was embarrassing.

"Why didn't you tell me, brat?" I grumbled, trying my best not to sound agitated. I rested my hands on his shoulders, only to find that he was shaking. Why didn't I notice that before? I tightened my grip, and almost immediately, the tremors got worse.

"I didn't want you to hit me harder, un," he whispered, nursing his bruised wrist. Never before did I feel so guilty. Tears ran down his cheeks, and I gingerly brushed them away. "You told me you didn't want me to struggle, un." I kissed him as softly as I could, and he hesitated before returning the gesture.

That was my only way of apologizing. And that's the way it stayed. Whenever I messed up, one gentle kiss would be all it took to get him running back to me.

I let Deidara throw my cloak off before quickly reattaching the chakra strings. He pouts, but I give him a quick kiss as an apology. Sometimes, he can be even more impatient than me. My hands wander his body, causing him to shudder every so often and try to move either closer to me or away from me. Really, I can't tell. Not like it matters, since he can't move. He's like my puppet, under my control no matter what.

"Danna, un," he whispers, a shudder running down his spine. He inhales sharply as I run my tongue over his lips. No matter how many times I do this, he still tries to struggle. It's amusing, actually. Not once has he managed to break away, and I plan to keep it that way.

Even under the control of my chakra strings, his body still jerks when I begin to attack his neck with my mouth. Still far too sensitive. He inhales sharply, and I dig my wooden nails into his leg. Deidara bites his lip and tries not to cry out, even when blood begins to break from his skin.

All because he insisted he didn't mind.

"Don't do this to me, un," he begs, inhaling sharply when I dig down harder. "Please, un." I can see tears well up in his eyes, and he furiously tries to blink them away. As soon as the first one makes its way down its face, I feel awful.

"Dei, I love you," I whisper, trying to reassure him. I kiss him on the cheek before attacking his lips again. He kisses back halfheartedly, and that's when I realize there's really something wrong. His body shakes violently, and I release the chakra strings, only to have him dart away from me. His eyes are wide, frantic.

"Do you really, un?" he asks me, and I stop. It felt like time had decided to freeze where it was, leaving us to do nothing but stare at each other while I try to formulate a response.

"Of course, Dei."

He shakes his head, blond hair going everywhere. "Then why are you hurting me, un?"

My mouth tries to form words, but I hear nothing. The little demon has betrayed me. Normally, I'm so good at giving him quick, witty responses. Deidara waits for me, giving me the same frightened look.

iWhy?/i That one word rings in my head, over and over again. When Deidara sees that I can't seem to give him a response, his crying worsens. "Where did I go wrong, un? I thought you'd be happy..." His sobs begin to violently shake his body, and I can't help but shake my head. All I see before me now is a frightened, helpless being. No longer an S-ranked criminal, a murderer, a psychopath. Just...a scared child.

"Deidara, I'm sorry," I apologize, unable to say anything else. I take a step forward, and just as I do, he takes one back. I go towards him again, and he's back another step. I worked so hard to get him to stop doing that around me. I guess I scared him back into the habit.

"No, I am, un." The door opens, he strides out, and it closes.

I'm alone.

It takes a while to process what had just happened; we were kissing, having a completely routine interaction, and the blond decided he had had enough. He decided that he did mind, and that I wasn't going to do this shit to him anymore.

How could I not expect this day to come? The day where he completely snaps, pushes me away, and decides that he's going to move on with his life. And after he wasted so much energy to get my attention. Ridiculous.

I decide not to chase after him, and simply hope that he'll come back soon. If I give him enough time to cool off, surely he'll forget about it.

And sure enough, he's back in our room three hours later. The only difference now is that he refuses to speak to me. I suppose I shouldn't be shocked. But I have to say, it's certainly different without his voice droning on and on in the background while I try to work. Whenever I glance over at him, he's reading. Reading the only book he's ever had since he arrived at the base. Must've read it at least two dozen times. Doesn't he get tired of it?

"Dei," I murmur, trying to grab his attention. Thankfully, he decides not to ignore me and looks up. I find it interesting that he looks bored out of his mind. With his face as stoic as some of the most serious S-ranked criminals, I can only imagine what's wrong now. Surely it must be something I've done.

"Sasori, un." I inwardly roll my eyes at the loss of my title. This happens whenever he gets mad. And as of late, that's been at least once or twice a day. It doesn't frighten me as much as it used to. The first time he had dropped the suffix, I very nearly dropped dead. And a few times after that, it still made me nervous. But now...what's the point of even bothering? "Come here, un."

I do as I'm told, mind trying to figure out what he's going to do as I make my way over. He holds out his arms like he wants a hug, and I wrap my arms around him. You know, after being a missing-nin for almost twenty years, something should have tipped me off that he was probably still pissed. Scratch that, infuriated.

But I guess that really didn't click until I found myself being flung to the ground and tackled with a force much greater than I would expect from him. I try to push Deidara off of me, but he doesn't budge. He's screaming incoherent nonsense, just like every other time he's gotten mad. I've learned just to block it out and take whatever he throws my way. His fingernails scrape against my wooden face, and I make no move to escape; it's not like I can feel it, anyway.

I really don't know what's wrong with me. How could I not expect him to go after my heart container? He's seen me with my shirt off plenty of times to know where it is, and I've told him specifically not to touch it because of its sensitivity.

That wasn't a moment of brilliance on my part.

His hair brushed against my wooden skin as he leaned closer to my face. Normally, this would be a signal for me to shift my position and kiss him. Now, however, I was being threatened. If I dared to move one more time, his hand was going right through my heart. And considering the sharpness of his fingernails, I didn't have trouble believing that he would. Even now, he was shaking, and a prickling sensation ran through the heart container.

"Deidara, get off of me," I command, my voice staying steady. I decide to give him ten seconds. If he's not off by then, he'll regret it.

"You're just going to hit me, un. One wrong move and you're dead, un," he whispers. Unlike myself, however, he's shaking. I can tell that he's still afraid. Whether it's because he thinks I'll be able to escape (which I probably can) or he's afraid that he might hurt me, I'm not quite sure.

And yes, had I been given the chance, I would probably slap him in the face and scold him for being an idiot. And that's the problem. "What do you plan on doing now, Deidara? You've got me trapped, but now what?"

At first, he doesn't reply. Instead, he looks away and frowns. He doesn't know. "I just...I..." His fingernails scrape against my heart container, and I wince. "You're killing me, un."

"Oh?"

Deidara lets his hands fall limp, and immediately, my arms are around him. I feel his body tense up...not good. He doesn't trust me anymore, that much is obvious. "If you can't be around me without beating the shit out of me, I'm finished, un."

I don't know what happened, but the verbalization of that thought terrified me. How did I let it get this far? When Deidara confessed that he loved me, he expected to be loved in return. Not to be thrown around like a rag doll.

And I thought he didn't mind? Ha!

"Dei..." At the nickname, he briefly makes eye contact with me. "I'm so sorry," I apologize, but I know that's not enough. Three words can't fix months of pain and abuse. And when he says nothing, I know that's exactly how he feels. "I love you, I really do."

"Why do you hit me, un?" He pauses and sighs. "It makes me feel like I'm back in Iwagakure, un."

No matter who someone is, and no matter what they've done, a reminder of what they had to put up with while in their home village is unbearable. Tears well up in Deidara's eyes, and as they try to run down his face, I wipe them away. Even after being a S-ranked criminal for twenty years, memories from Sunagakure still haunt me.

Even if just for that, I pull him onto my lap and kiss his forehead. He looks shocked; I'm usually never this careful. "I'll stop," I whisper to him. It'll take work, and sure as hell am I going to mess up. But if it means losing my comparison to the bastards back in his home village, I'm sure I'll be able to do it.

"Really, un?" he whispers, resting his head on my shoulder. I'm sure he doesn't fully believe me, and I don't blame him. I've lied to him more times than I can count.

"I love you, Deidara." And just from the tone of my voice, he knows I'm serious. He kisses me full on the lips, and my arms wrap even tighter around his midsection. His hair rests on both my shoulder and his as he moves himself closer to me.

"Thank you, danna, un," he murmurs, and put his head back on my shoulder. My fingers lace themselves in his hair, and he stays completely silent, too busy thinking about what the future is going to be like to talk.