After a prompt defeat thanks to Itachi's sharingan, Deidara was wise enough not to protest as the elder Akatsuki members led him into the base. His face burned thanks to the humiliation of losing so easily to a fool who had no appreciation for the arts. There must have been some reason that he hadn't won besides sheer skill. The Uchiha had to have cheated somehow.

There was no way true art could be defeated by a kekkai genkai.

As he was led through the base, Deidara tried to think of as many possibilities as he could. However, by the time he reached his new room, he could only come up with the Uchiha cheating. Not exactly a valid argument.

Unless, of course, he was trying to get himself mocked the first day here.

"This is going to be your new room," the leader said calmly. Without waiting for Deidara's response, he threw the door open to reveal a short redhead that looked no older than twenty. When the two stepped in, he didn't even bother to look up from his desk. "This is Sasori. He's been with the organization for over ten years, so I'm sure he'll be more than capable of teaching you the ropes."

"Over ten years? He doesn't look more than twenty, un," Deidara murmured, advancing towards his new partner to get a better look at him. "And he has poor taste in art, un. Are you sure this is a good idea, un?"

As soon as the last sentence came out, Sasori was on his feet, carving knife in hand. "Just because I haven't been on as many missions lately doesn't mean that I'd like to take up a baby sitting job in my spare time."

"Babysitting? You're barely even older than I am, un!"

Pein visibly grimaced as the two stood in front of each other, staring each other down. It didn't take a genius to realize that this was a mistake. Why did he think putting two artists together was going to be a good idea? He had seen the fight Deidara had with Itachi only hours ago. With the kid's arrogance, he wasn't going to last a week with Sasori.

"Barely older? I'm at least ten years your senior." Sasori paused for a moment and sighed before looking at his leader. "Pein, most of the time I respect your decision on these kinds of things, but this kid is-"

"Watch your mouth, un! I'm just as capable as anyone else here-"

"-so useless that even Itachi was laughing after that excuse for a fight. I'm just wondering why-"

"-of functioning as an S-ranked criminal. Besides, how old's this kid-"

"-I, after being in this organization for over a decade, have to be responsible for-"

"Both of you shut up!" The Akatsuki leader shouted, silencing the two criminals immediately. Sasori simply stared at his superior with a bored expression, while Deidara's eyes widened and he recoiled. Pein inhaled sharply before continuing. "Now listen…you two are working together, and at this point, I can't say I'm any happier about it than you are."

"Then why don't you-"

"Deidara, if you say another word, I'll kill you." The blond bit his lip, signaling that he was going to keep quiet. "I know it's going to take some…getting used to. However, if I hear anything about you two trying to kill each other, so help me…"

Sasori nodded and smirked. "We understand, Pein."

"Leader," he murmured, correcting the puppeteer. "Don't set anything on fire while I'm in my office." As soon as he left the room, Deidara exhaled softly. That had to be one of the most terrifying things he had experienced in a while. Not the fact that he had threatened to kill the blonde; that was something he was used to by now.

It was that he could tell, just by that man's chakra, that he'd be able to. And for some reason, the dozens of piercings on the older male's face didn't comfort Deidara any.