A/N: This happens to be a really long story that I intended to be about an eighth of this size... I hope it doesn't drag on for too long as I know the beginning will but please read until the end! I slaved over hours for this... T_T And my attention span wans.

Anyhow, enjoy the story~

Warning: Language, slight OOC, violence, changing of people's ages to fit the story, etc...

Disclaimer: ...not mine.

Summary: The Akatsuki are a close-knit group of friends. So what else would they do but try and help when one of them has a potentially dangerous obsession? Poor Deidara doesn't even know what's going on. And Hidan's just on the wrong end of his wrath...

Modern Day AU.


Monday. 1:04 AM

December 13th.


"This is driving me nuts..." Thirty-five year old Akasuna Sasori said, sitting at his apartment's kitchen table with his arms folded in front of him. He didn't look a day over twenty, having been born with some damn good genes. He was dressed in a casual black tee with white-washed jeans, shaggy red bangs falling just above his line of sight. His line of sight which was trained on eight other individuals surrounding him.

"Why are you staring at me?" Kisame asked in a disturbed voice. He was thirty-four, looked it, and in no way acted like it. Those that knew him said his brain refused to let him believe he was a day over twenty-one. He was in a pair of boxers and a night shirt, dark hair done up in a half-mohawk. There was no real description for his hair other than the fact that he used plenty of hair gel to get it to that point.

"I'm not staring at you because I want to," Sasori said. "I'm thinking and your face just happened to be in the way. Now kindly move it."

Kisame rolled his eyes. "No. You want it moved, do it yourself."

"Oh come on guys, don't start a fight now," Kakuzu grumbled. He looked the least alive out of the entire group and was the oldest at the age of fifty-three, dark hair out of its usual bandana and face currently connected to the table in an attempt for sleep. "I have work today and want to know why the hell Sasori's called us out here at one in the morning." He was in a jacket and pants. Anything to help block out the winter air. How Kisame and Hidan could walk around in practically nothing was a mystery to him.

"Oh hush up old man," Sasori said with a good-natured smirk. "I called you here to discuss something that has been bothering me as of late."

"Other than your lack of growth?"

"Shut up Itachi."

The dark-haired man gave him an un-amused look, resting his chin in a palm. He was second youngest of them all at the age of twenty-one but his maturity level could rival Kakuzu's. His un-straightened hair was out of its usual low ponytail, making him look like the long lost relative of a bog monster. Donned in nothing but sweatpants, he found it too troublesome to find a shirt when Sasori came barging into his room little more than ten minutes ago with a bunch of pots and pans. "I fail to see how Deidara didn't wake up at all that noise you made," he muttered.

"Didn't you know?" Hidan scoffed from next to him, propping his feet on the table. "He sleeps with fuckin' ear plugs to block out Kisame's stupid snoring."

"You snore too!" Kisame cried at him.

Hidan glared. "I do not!" He was born with silver hair, much to the disbelief of those that met him. But one trip into the bathroom was all it usually took to prove them wrong. Twenty-two and in green plaid boxers. There were three bedrooms in their cramped apartment. One for Pein and Konan to share like the happily married couple they were, and the other two for the remaining eight of them to fight over. As it was, Hidan ended up stuck in a room with Kisame, Itachi, and Deidara. The worst combination ever made in his opinion.

But then again, no one asked for his opinion in the damn place anyway.

"Feet off the table Hidan," Konan snapped. "I just cleaned it yesterday. And Sasori- why didn't you drag Deidara out here as well?"

"Because he's the one I want to talk to you all about," Sasori replied.

Konan was the only woman of the house, and liked to believe she was the only sane one. Her blue hair- natural- was the result of some very interesting parents with some whacked up genes, which made it sort of a problem when it came to wearing colors that clashed with her hair. Like the yellow shirt and shorts she was wearing. It was effectively blinding those around her. She was only in her late twenties, married to a man of the same age, and worked hard to make sure that those in the apartment were happy.

And she was not a happy camper at the moment.

"You called us out here to have a bitching session on Deidara?" Madara asked, leaning back in his chair with a bored look on his scarred face. He had an air of mystery and mischeviousness around him at all times, dressed in the oddest clothes to stand out, and loved to switch his personality around just to screw with people. Like at the moment he was wearing a long-sleeved dress he'd stolen out of Konan's closet. Madara's short brown hair currently looked as if someone had stuck an electrical socket to it. For hours. No one questioned his age, or even knew what it was except for Pein. And the orange-haired man didn't exactly go around broadcasting it.

"We couldn't have done this in, I don't know, eight hours from now?" Zetsu muttered from in between Madara and Hidan. He was an almost sickly pale with dyed green hair and peircing yellow contacts. One entire half of his body was tattooed in black ink which formed a steady chant of words up along his skin. One could only read the words with a magnifying glass. He was clad in a casual shirt and pants, being completely indifferent to the weather outside. Like Madara, no one knew his true age, but they all assumed him to be in his twenties.

Assumed, anyway.

"It's not a bitching session," Sasori muttered. "It's important to tell."

"Then tell us already," Pein said, blinking tiredly. His hair defied all laws of gravity, a natural ginger, and spiked to the highest levels of the ceiling. Well maybe not that high, but it was nearing it if he didn't get a haircut soon. He had quite the amount of peircings in his ears and nose from a late night party fifteen years ago- luckily neither Konan or his parents complained and thought it suited him well.

Boy were his parents nice.

But that wasn't the point. Or even the situation at hand. The matter at hand was that one of the most devious adults Pein had ever seen in his life, had woken them all from their peaceful slumber to talk about a roommate who wasn't even there to defend himself. And he wasn't wearing any pants. Thank Kami for the long shirt he was wearing.

He wasn't sure if his friends could handle seeing anything at the moment, what with the state they were in. But then again, he was sure they wouldn't mind. They had seen a lot of him over the years after all.

And he kind of owned them all in a sense, weird as it may sound...

~X~

The group of them had met through unusual circumstances, starting with Pein and Konan fresh out of college and engaged, and ending with them picking up a bunch of stragglers who had no where left to go in the city. Sasori, Kisame, and Kakuzu were among the first group that ran into the pair, having met regularly at a bar after their jobs to bitch about their bosses and horrible home lives which consisted of themselves in a box in the back alley.

"My boss is a bitch," Kisame slurred.

"Mine too," Sasori muttered. He had a high alcohol tolerance.

Kakuzu, apparently, did not and had face-planted on the bar counter long ago.

After being put on steady feet by Pein and Konan, the three went out to pursue jobs they actually gave a damn about and came to visit the man and woman on a daily basis. They weren't exactly going to refuse the offer to take refuge with them when they mentioned moving into a fairly large aparment out of the slums of the city.

The next to come in had been Madara, Zetsu, and Hidan. Madara and Zetsu had been high school buddies who traveled around together, not really doing anything except cruise and get into the occasional scruffle with others. They ran into Hidan during one of their 'scuffles', which actually turned out to be a bloody war with the silver-haired man leading it.

"Attack! Attack the motherfuckers!" Hidan excitedly screamed, having nothing better to do than try and scare whoever stepped into his turf.

Madara glanced at Zetsu. "Well we're screwed."

"Well said," Zetsu mumbled.

Damn psychopath.

After that, the three of them had a fateful encounter with the cops which happened to be just outside Pein and Konan's apartment. Pein bailed them out, saying that it was just a couple of his old college buddies messing around. Later when they asked, Pein merely told them they had a spare room and for them to get off their front lawn.

As for Itachi and Deidara... well Itachi was already running away from his home to pursue a career of his choice, and he managed to run into Deidara who was selling some of his self-painted works on the side of the road. Let it be known that two angry and frustrated boys, hardly into manhood, did not get along when one stepped on the other's foot.

"Excuse you un. You just stepped on my foot," Deidara angrily spat.

Itachi turned around to look at him, a heavy glare on his face. "Back off hobo."

"Who the hell are you calling a hobo un?" Deidara screamed at him.

When Konan drove by on her way to take Sasori to a job interview and saw the two young men, one looking far too composed to be slugging it out on the streets, and the other weilding a paintbrush as a potential fatal weapon, she screeched the car to a halt and went to break them apart. Sasori took interest in Deidara and his talent and Konan took interest in the dark-haired teen whose intelligence could practically be seen.

~X~

And that's sort of how they ended up together in this apartment. Sort of all getting along until they molded themselves into their own type of family. So maybe the place wasn't so spacious anymore, but the atmosphere inside was lovely enough.

On good days that is.

Konan and Pein were very kind people with ideals too far out of the world to believe. But they wouldn't say they regretted picking up any of the men now living with them.

Except maybe now.

"Well come on Sasori," Pein egged in annoyance. "What seems to be the issue you have with Deidara?"

"Oh I have no problem with the brat. He's very lovable. Makes me want to punch his head in," Sasori convincingly said. "It's a problem that I think could be dangerous for him though. I know that none of you want to see any of us get hurt. Especially our little blonde orphan."

"Hey I'm an orphan too," Hidan protested.

"But you're not little or blonde, so shut the hell up," Sasori told him. He stared at everyone else all very seriously. "Deidara...has an almost psychotic obsession. One that could harm him fatally."

"What? With who?" Pein looked alarmed.

"I never said it was with a person," Sasori soothingly murmured.

"Then what with?" Zetsu asked.

Sasori looked away. "He's obsessed with..."

"With?" Kakuzu raised a brow.

"With..."

"With?" Itachi asked.

"With..."

"With what goddammit!" Hidan yelled, banging his fist on the table.

"Hot chocolate."

Everyone blinked at him. "Eeeeeehhhhhhh?"

"Come...again?" Konan said.

"I said he's crazy for hot chocolate," Sasori repeated.

"Deidara does not have an obsession with hot chocolate," Kisame laughed. "Don't be silly Sasori."

"I'm telling you he does," Sasori insisted. "He poured half of the box's contents into a mug! There was hardly any room for the water!"

"Sasori speaks the truth," Madara said. "The kid's crazy. I went to get a packet last night because of the major temperature drop, but Deidara mauled me before I could take one step away. I still have the bite marks in my wrist..."

"That's pretty whack," Hidan muttered.

The one they were talking about walked into the kitchen unexpectedly, a wide grin on his face as he glanced at those at the table and made a beeline for the pantry.

"Hey brat," Sasori called.

The blonde didn't answer, digging through a box of hot chocolate mix to pull out three packets.

Sasori furrowed his brows. "Deidara!"

He turned around, cocking a brow before pulling the ear plugs that had been in his ear out. "What do you want un?"

Sasori stared at him. "I'm trying to figure out what you're doing this early in the morning," he said.

"Speak for yourself," Deidara snidely responded, motioning to the group of older men and woman who were now staring at him. "What are all of you doing up? Are you excluding me from 'adult' night again?" he asked, face morphing in rage.

"Adult night is every Saturday idiot," Sasori muttered. "And you're too young to join us anyway."

"I am not!" Deidara protested, throwing his ear plugs in the trashcan under the sink before grabbing a coffee mug out of the glass cabinet above him. He was nineteen years old and attending the Art University downtown, making him the youngest out of the group of ten. His long blonde hair had made him the target of several muggings in the past, but those that attacked him weren't so keen on doing it again after he beat the living daylights out of them. Instead of the half ponytail he had taken to putting it up in, all of it was down. Probably because he didn't plan on leaving the apartment until another seven hours. He, much like Itachi, found it pointless to put on a shirt when he was just going back to his room, and wore nothing but a pair of shorts.

Madara's shorts to be exact.

"Are those mine?" Madara asked, lifting a brow.

Deidara looked over his shoulder from where he was pouring hot water from the sink into his overly-filled cocoa powdered cup. "No."

Madara blinked. "They are mine, aren't they?"

"They're Itachi's un," Deidara lied.

Itachi gave him a dark look but didn't bother saying anything.

Pein cleared his throat gently as Deidara stuck his cup in the microwave. "Why are you up so late though? You were asleep a moment ago."

"My sweet tooth was aching un," the blonde honestly replied, his back turned to them. "So I thought I'd get something to drink. But then I noticed no one was in their rooms so I thought you guys were either planning to prank me again like last week or getting drunk."

"You assume we have nothing better to do than get drunk?" Kakuzu questioned.

"Do you have anything to prove me otherwise?" Deidara grumbled under his breath.

"What would you do if you couldn't drink your hot chocolate everyday? Huh brat?" Sasori suddenly prodded, looking surprisingly intent.

Deidara stiffened, turning around to face him. "What was that...?"

Sasori felt himself smirk. "No sweet beverage for you to drink."

Deidara looked so angry, all of them were taken aback for a moment. But then he grinned, waving at them as the microwave beeped and going to retrieve his hot chocolate. "That would never happen hmm."

"Holy shit," Hidan whispered to Zetsu. "I almost pissed myself."

"It was like seeing Itachi on a good day," Zetsu whispered back.

Itachi heard and snapped his head over in their direction, watching as they blanched before looking elsewhere.

"Well I'm done here," Deidara suddenly said, staring into his mug of chocolate with a slightly deranged look. "Good morning everyone un."

There were muttered goodbyes and mornings as the artist passed by.

Sasori watched as the blonde left the room and then turned back to everyone else. "Right. Something has to be done about this."

Pein sat back with an exasperated sigh. "You guys do what you want, but I want no part in it. I refuse to be on the receiving end of that kid's wrath."

Sasori shrugged. "Suit yourself. So-" he began planning with the other seven at the table, speaking in a hushed voice.

Pein merely watched them in minor disbelief.

They had no idea what they were getting themselves into...


Monday 7:30 AM

December 13th


Deidara sat up in his bed as his alarm clock went off, face the epitome of the living dead and hair closely resembling a cat that got run over twice before being thrown in a blender.

Poor cat.

He grabbed his alarm clock, which was still going off, and stared at the blurry numbers on the flashing monitor.

"Will you shut that damn thing up!" Hidan yelled from the other side of the room, a pillow brought over his face.

Deidara, never one to hold in his anger, chucked the clock at the man's head. "Shut the hell up un! I can't read it anyway!"

Hidan threw his pillow off of him as the clock made contact and gave him a big red welt on his forehead, glaring fiercely at the younger blonde fumbling on the side of his dresser for his glasses. "You're lucky it's so early in the fucking morning and I don't have the energy to pummel your face in."

"So sue me," Deidara grumbled, shoving his thick frames onto the bridge of his nose.

"No contacts today Dei?" Kisame tiredly propped himself up on his bed's edge, watching the blonde trip out of his mattress and run headfirst into Itachi who was just getting up.

"Not yet un..."

Itachi pushed Deidara out of his way with an annoyed expression. "You need new lenses," he muttered. He knew he should have taken up on Hidan's offer and taken the bed next to Kisame instead. Now he was woken up every morning with either an alarm clock to the head like Hidan, or a body crashing into his bedpost. Neither were appealing in the slightest bit. The only good thing about it was that he was never late for his job.

And he didn't particularly like where he worked either. He was just there until business could be set up with his true career.

Singing.

Deidara huffed, moving to get changed. "Well sorry Uchiha. It was Hidan's fault anyway hmm."

"Whatever Iwa," Itachi said with a roll of his eyes, throwing a shirt at the blonde.

"Hey- who the fuck are you accusing over there?" Hidan shouted across the room as he also began to get changed. He was so not looking forward to working for social services today. Any other season of the year was fine with him. But winter? Hell no!

"I'm accusing you un," Deidara mumbled, trudging out the room to brush his teeth in the bathroom across the hall.

"Damn bitch," Hidan ground out, angrily trying to pull a pair of jeans up his legs.

"Keep it down will you?" Kisame rolled back over in bed. He didn't have to go to work for another few hours- and he'd be damned if he had to get up now.

Itachi walked out of the room a moment later, ignoring the string of annoyed curses coming from the bathroom and instead knocking on the bedroom door next to it.

There was a few moments wait before the door slowly opened, a groggy-looking brunette staring up at him.

"What...do you want?" Madara asked.

Itachi stepped back. "Just making sure Zetsu was up. He said he'd come with me this morning to the store to pick up groceries for this place," he said in a bored tone.

Madara opened the door all the way, allowing Itachi to see Kakuzu fixing his tie in the mirror and Sasori sitting on his bed reading a book. Both looked over at the sound of their door opening.

"Itachi," Sasori said.

"Hi," the dark-haired man shortly replied. He gazed around the clean room, slight envy picking at his insides when he thought back to the utterly trashed room he dared come home to every day. His roommates were such slobs... "Where's Zetsu?" he questioned, seeing no sign of the man.

Madara shrugged, throwing himself back down onto his bed face-first.

Itachi stared at him and then looked to the other two for an answer.

"I wouldn't know," Sasori idly muttered, going back to his book.

Kakuzu straightened his tie out and then grabbed his briefcase, heading for the doorway. "He should be in the kitchen with Konan. They're cooking something I would assume."

"Something is right," Madara's muffled voice came. "It can't be identified."

Sasori snickered as Kakuzu and Itachi rolled their eyes, stepping out into the hall and heading for the kitchen.

Where a very loud scream from Deidara could be heard.

Madara's head snapped up. "What was that?"

Sasori smirked. "Oh nothing."

Kisame groaned to himself in the room across the hall. "Goddammit. I'm not getting anymore sleep today am I?"

Hidan stuck a band-aid to the cut on his head the alarm clock on had made. "Fuck no."

Down in the kitchen, Konan and Zetsu were staring at Deidara with something akin to horror as the blonde dropped to his knees in front of the pantry and began screaming his head off.

Konan ran over, worriedly placing a hand on his shoulder. "What's wrong?"

"It's...it's...!" Deidara looked over his shoulder at her, looking absolutely terrified. "It's all gone!"

Kakuzu and Itachi hurriedly walked into the small room, glancing around.

"What the hell is wrong with you Dei?" Itachi hissed, stalking over to the blonde artist.

Deidara jumped to his foot, pointing frantically to the pantry. "Someone threw out the brand new box of hot chocolate mix I just bought un!"

"..."

"..."

Itachi seized him by the front of his shirt, glaring down at him. "You. Are. An. Idiot," he said. "Don't go around scaring people like that."

Deidara blinked and then wiggled out of the older man's grasp. "I scared you un?"

"No." Itachi let go of the blonde, turning away to make himself a cup of tea for his frazzled nerves.

"I think I did," Deidara said with a grin, forgetting all about his missing cocoa mix to pester his friend. "You were worried I had gotten hurt, weren't you?"

"I definitely wasn't."

"You definitely were."

"Shut up and leave me alone Iwa," Itachi growled.

"No way Uchiha," Deidara snickered.

"What was all that shouting about?" a voice asked from the doorway.

Everyone glanced to the side to see Pein- standing in all his birthday suit glory.

Kakuzu and Itachi looked away with frustrated sighs as Deidara wolf-whistled and said, "I like that view un!"

Pein looked down at himself and then rolled his eyes, going to sit down at the table. "Shut up."

Konan had gone a beet red, spluttering uncontrollably. "W-What the hell do you think you're doing?" she shrieked. "Put some clothes on before you blind someone!"

"But honey-" Pein innocently looked at her. "I thought you liked me like this."

Konan almost threw the knife in her hand at him. "I'm going to kill you," she seethed. "Clothes...now."

"Later," Pein said with a smirk, turning his unusual eyes onto Deidara. "So why were you waking us all up with your own personalized alarm clock?" he asked.

Deidara had the decency to look embarrassed, scratching the back of his neck. "Um...someone threw out the cocoa mix."

Pein blinked. "I'm sorry, did you say that you screamed as if someone was murdering you because your cocoa mix went missing?"

"...Yeah."

"Good grief," Pein exhaled. "Look- Sasori told me that the mix you bought was stale so he threw it out. If you want to take your anger out on someone, take it out on him."

"Fine..." Deidara started to trudge out the kitchen. "I can go one day without it I suppose un." He looked back at Itachi. "When are we leaving?"

Itachi gave him a dark look. "When I finish my tea. Zetsu's coming with us so you're riding in the back today."

"Can we stop at the cafe on the way to the Uni?" Deidara hopefully asked.

All eyes went to the dark-haired man, waiting for his answer. They didn't have to wait long because Itachi set his tea down and sternly said, "No."

Deidara scowled. "Bitch," he muttered before leaving the room.

"Morning brat," Sasori's voice came from down the hall.

"Shut the hell up you old man un!"

Itachi sighed heavily. "Great. Now I have to deal with a moody kid for twenty minutes," he said.

"You can handle him," Sasori said as he entered the kitchen, looking very entertained. "Just give him a pack of sugar or something."

Pein shook his head, glaring a bit at the devious Sasori. "He doesn't even know what's going on. You are so screwed up."

Sasori gave a mock bow. "That I am."

Hidan walked into the kitchen then, mumbling a greeting to everyone before looking at Pein. "HOLY SHIT!"


Tuesday 4:32 PM

December 14th


Itachi impatiently drummed his fingers on his steering wheel, parked towards the front of the supermarket lot they were in on a steep hill. He had just picked Deidara up from the University and the artist insisted on coming here to pick up a few supplies. Itachi was by no means stupid. He knew that by 'supplies', the blonde meant he wanted to stock up on cocoa mix.

But it had been over thirty minutes.

How long did it take a person to buy a damn box of hot chocolate?

"Relax 'Tachi," Zetsu said from the passenger seat.

After getting a ride the day before, he soon discovered he was needed the next day as well and opted to hitch a free ride with Itachi rather than pay a bus fee. The bus was crowded and everyone jostled each other like a bunch of party animals. Cars were much better in his opinion. But now he was trying to get the seatbelt around him to loosen up. For some reason it refused to budge. It had probably gotten locked in place...

"I can't relax," Itachi said in a low tone. "If he comes out with cocoa, Sasori will want us to take it away from him. I don't feel like dealing with a rampaging blonde right now."

"Oh- there he is," Zetsu mumbled, nudging his head towards the exit of the store where a cheery looking artist was walking out with a box of hot chocolate mix in his hands.

Itachi made an annoyed huff under his breath, starting to put the car in drive. "It took him long enough to-"

They both stared with wide eyes as the blonde was caught in a flying tackle from the side by a screaming man with pantyhose over his head.

"What the hell!" Itachi exclaimed, practically throwing himself out his car door.

Zetsu waved his arms frantically as the car, he was still buckled quite securely into, began rolling backwards down the parking lot hill. "Itachi! You didn't put this thing in park! Get the hell back here!"

Itachi ignored his friend now rolling away and causing other cars to swerve out the way in favor of throwing Deidara's attacker off of him.

The man scrambled to his feet before booking it down the street.

Itachi wasn't looking too happy. The dark-haired man made sure the attacker was out of sight before turning his attention to his petrified friend. "Are you-"

"Shit!" Deidara leapt to his feet, tripping over himself as he shouted, "Get back here you thief! I want my hot chocolate dammit hmm!"

Itachi steadied the blonde before glaring at him. "Shouldn't you be more concerned about the fact that you were attacked by some stranger instead of worrying about your cocoa mix?"

"I know but... I just wasted four bucks un!" Deidara exclaimed.

Itachi released a deep breath of air. "Never mind that Dei. Let's just get home before someone else goes crazy in this city."

Deidara, having considerably calmed down, now stepped away from Itachi and looked around. "Hey- where's your car un?"

Itachi blinked, also searching for his missing vehicle. "I have no idea."

Five minutes later they found Zetsu at the far end of the parking lot with a gruff look on his face.

Deidara took a look at the mass of jumbled cars around them and quickly got into the backseat with a quiet, "Let's get outta here un."

"Thanks for leaving me," Zetsu said, breaking the silence as they manuevered around the cars that had almost crashed with him on his way down.

"I didn't mean to 'Su," Itachi scowled. "Why couldn't you drive the wheel yourself?"

"I would have," Zetsu said with a barely restrained growl. "But someone's seatbelt got jammed and wouldn't allow me to move!"

Deidara looked in between them, starting to feel bad. "Come on guys, don't fight."

The older men huffed at one another before looking away, Itachi's cell phone ringing.

Itachi answered it with a feral snarl.

"Hey- it's Sasori."

"What the hell do you want?" Itachi snapped into the speaker, pulling out of the supermarket's lot and onto the road.

"Geez? Who pissed in your pants today?"

Itachi rubbed his brow, coming to a halt at a red light. "Sorry... it's just that some guy tried mugging Deidara a few minutes ago..."

"I know. I paid Hidan to jump him. I watched the entire thing from the far corner of the parking lot too. Pretty fuckin' hilarious."

"You did WHAT? Goddammit Sasori!" Itachi yelled, hanging up at the snickering on the other end of the line.

"What's the matter?" Deidara asked in surprise.

Itachi threw his phone at the dashboard. "Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We live in a world full of psychos," he muttered.

Deidara looked at him in slight worry before glancing at Zetsu. "I think he's gone crazy un," he said.


Wednesday 8:10 AM

December 15th


Deidara didn't even get a chance to enter the kitchen the next day before he was ushered out by Sasori. "H-Hey! What the hell are you doing un?"

Sasori continued to push him towards the apartment door. "You're going to be late for your morning classes if you don't hurry."

"What are you talking about?" Deidara said, trying to get back to the kitchen. "Itachi always drives me on his way to work!"

"Not today. He already left so you'll have to take the bus," Sasori quickly muttered, shoving the blonde outside the apartment.

Deidara looked horrified. "What! But you know how much I hate riding the bus un!"

Sasori gave a sympathetic smile which actually ended up looking quite sadistic. "Sorry brat. Have a good day!"

"But-!"

Sasori slammed the door shut.


Thursday 7:53 AM

December 16th


When Kakuzu walked into the kitchen the next morning, donned in his business suit with his briefcase on one hand and newspaper in the other, the first thing he saw was a very satisfied-looking redhead seated at the table. "Okay. What did you do and how much is it going to cost me?"

"Well good morning to you too," Sasori said with a smug expression.

Kakuzu sat across from him, setting his case on the table with a wary look on his face. "Sasori... What are you wearing?"

Sasori glanced down at himself and actually laughed. "Zetsu messed up the laundry and threw everyone's clothes in there together." He was dressed a pair of red and black knee high socks which belonged to Deidara, a pair of Pein's burgandy shorts, and one of Itachi's work shirts. Now Sasori might have cared what he looked like had he been going out in public that day. But as it was, the garage he worked in had been snowed in with the latest blizzard to hit their city and he now had the entire week off to do as he pleased.

Which currently involved torturing his blonde friend.

Kakuzu shook his head. "Well ignoring that, you're never up this early unless Pein's cooking. And he's not. So spill what you're up to," he said as he started to read his newspaper.

The younger man looked positively chipper as he said, "I broke the microwave and stove."

"WHAT!"

Sasori waved a hand at him. "Don't sound so alarmed. I'm a mechanic, I can easily patch them back up."

Kakuzu felt his brow crease in annoyance and lips turn down in a frown. "Then do so before anyone else wakes up."

Sasori shook his head side-to-side. "No can do," he said.

Kakuzu gave the redhead a dark look. "And why not?"

"By cutting off his means of making the beverage, I'm successfully preventing him from being able to drink it and do further damage to his body," Sasori reasoned.

"I assume by his you mean Dei?" Kakuzu questioned, the cloud over his face never lifting. "Sasori what the hell is wrong with you?"

"Are you saying I can't be concerned for a fellow friend?" Sasori asked, an eyebrow raised. "Or more specifically, my best friend?"

Kakuzu rolled his eyes. "You're fifteen years older than the kid."

"At least I'm not eighty," Sasori snapped.

Kakuzu felt a vein on his neck bulge out in disbelief. "Who the hell are you calling eighty?"

"What's with the argument hmm...?"

Sasori and Kakuzu quieted down as the blonde man they had been previously talking about entered the room. "Morning brat," Sasori greeted.

Kakuzu grumbled something that could have either been a greeting or muffled curse, staring holes into the kitchen table as he rolled his newspaper back up to read later. "Laundry must have gotten really screwed up," he muttered. "This is the reason why I wash my clothes separately from all of you."

"I don't know," Sasori said with a smirk. "I think it suits the kid."

Deidara groggily blinked, wearing one of Konan's pink shirts and Kisame's blue plaid pajama pants. "Oh hush hmm." As if there was a button built into him, the blonde immediately went to the cup cabinet, pulling out the biggest coffee mug he could find. After all, three days without his beloved drink was starting to grate on his nerves.

Hidan strode into the kitchen a moment later, dressed in a pair of Madara's basketball shorts and Konan's black tang top. "Morning everyone!" he cheerfully shouted, walking right up to the only blonde in the room.

What happened next, both Kakuzu and the Sasori could attest to as an act of sexual assualt and self-defense.

Hidan grinned, wrapping his arms around Deidara from behind with a laugh. "Hey there cutie. I like your shirt~"

Deidara narrowed his eyes, taking the closest thing to him- which happened to be his coffee mug in his hand- and smashing it onto the older man's head. "Get the hell off of me un!"

"I was just fuckin' kidding!" Hidan hollered, holding his fingers to his bleeding forehead. "Why can't you ever take a goddamn joke!"

"Because I don't like being touched," Deidara snapped, throwing the remains of his mug at Hidan. "Thanks a lot. Now I have to find another cup you ass!"

"I should be calling you that you little fucker!" Hidan scowled, turning around and stomping out the kitchen. "Nevermind! I have to wrap my head before I die of fucking blood loss!"

Deidara's face was red in anger, lips tightly pressed together. "You pansy un! A little cut won't kill you!" he furiously shouted, letting out a short scream of anger before turning back to the cabinet and pulling out another cup to make his hot chocolate in. He was careful enough to step over the area where there was shattered pieces of glass, heading for the pantry to get his cocoa mix.

"Don't even think of using the microwave," Sasori spoke up.

Deidara paused. "Why not?"

"It broke."

"What?" Deidara looked completely lost. "Wha- how did the microwave break un?" he asked in a devastated tone of voice.

Sasori shrugged. "Some idiot put metal in there. We just have to wait for it to be fixed, that's all."

Kakuzu shot the redhead a hearty glare. "Some idiot like you," he muttered.

"Shut up," Sasori muttered back. Luckily for him, Deidara was too occupied with trying to get the stove to start to hear what had been said. "Oh yeah- and the fuse for the stove broke. I guess it was getting old," Sasori told the blonde before he ripped the stove dials off in his obviously growing fury.

"Old?" Deidara furrowed his brows and looked at the redhead. "I thought you put a new one in last week un. That's what you told me at least."

Sasori rolled his eyes. "I was busy with other stuff brat. I'll fix it soon enough- but until then it looks like you'll have to wait to get your cup of hot chocolate huh?"

"...Seems that way, doesn't it?" Deidara mumbled, resting his cup on the counter. His eyes trailed across the kitchen floor to the broken mug he had yet to pick up.

"Don't worry about the mess," Sasori reassured him, having watched the path his eyes took. "When Hidan comes back out I'll tell him to clean it up. After all, he did touch you first."

Deidara frowned a bit, nodding and then leaving the kitchen.

Sasori grinned as soon as he disappeared, turning to Kakuzu whilst triumphantly waggling his eyebrows. "What did I tell you?"

Kakuzu glared at him. "Was breaking the stove and microwave on purpose really worth it? Now you'll have to fix it," he grouched.

Sasori blinked. "Why can't we call someone in to do it?"

"Because that costs money," Kakuzu mumbled, getting to his feet and adjusting his work bag over his shoulder.

Itachi walked into the kitchen just as the older man was leaving, nodding a greeting to him before shooting Sasori a vicious glare. He was still dressed in his night clothes which consisted of a pair of pants and a shirt. And the shirt wasn't even his. It was Hidan's that had somehow gotten mixed in his laundry- if the bloody corpse on the shirt design had anything to say about it. "Is there a reason why Dei is crying to himself on my bed?" he asked the redhead sitting at the table.

"Dear Lord, he's crying?" Sasori said, brows raised. "It's only been the fourth day!"

Itachi huffed under his breath, going to the glass cabinet for a cup to make his tea in. "I don't care what day it is. I want that punk off my bed before he soaks my sheets in his tears of deprivation." He stepped back and narrowly avoided having his foot peirced with several shards of glass. "And someone needs to clean this mess up."

Sasori completely ignored what was said in favor of watching the dark-haired man grab a tea bag to put in his cup. "Hey Itachi-"

"No I do not have an obsession with tea Sasori," Itachi said without turning around. "I just find a cup every other day necessary to calm the high amount of stress I gain from living in the same apartment as eight other men and a woman." He went to fill his cup with water and then padded over to the microwave. He opened the door and stared at the missing plate and fuses hanging down from the vents.

"I was trying to tell you that the microwave was broken," Sasori's amused voice broke him out of his stupor. "I did it this morning with a nice pair of forks and aluminum foil. That way Dei couldn't possibly make himself anything to drink until they get fixed. Genuis- right?"

Itachi growled, slamming his cup on the counter before glaring at the sheepishly smiling redhead behind him. "You broke the microwave and stove just so Dei couldn't get a mug of hot chocolate? What the hell is wrong with you?" He raised a hand to stop the older man from answering. "No- you know what? I'm going to leave for my job now and take the kid with me. And then we're going to make a stop at the cafe for coffee before both of us go mad."

Sasori nodded. "As long as it's not hot chocolate I can deal," he said."

Itachi glowered at him for a bit longer and then stomped out the kitchen doorway, shouting, "Get the hell off my bed Iwa! I'm giving you a ride to the Uni so hurry up and get changed!"

"Never un! Go get changed yourself Uchiha!"

"Why you-"

Back in the empty kitchen, Sasori listened to the argument starting up in the shared room with Kisame trying to break it up. His gaze wandered to their broken household appliances and then to the ceiling. He could either spend all day getting dirty and moving his lazy ass to fix something he screwed up, or go read a book in solitude as his roommates left for work.

He liked the second option so much better than the first.

"Well," Sasori pushed up from his chair, hands on his knees. "I guess things will have to stay broken for a bit longer then."


Friday 8:13 AM

December 17th


Madara walked into the kitchen with a cheery grin on his face. Even though the weather had been absolutely horrible lately, the action inside the apartment had been nothing but entertaining. So far, he and the others in their small gang had been forced to retrieve a crazed Deidara off their apartment roof, drag him out to his University classes, and make him get changed into fresh clothes.

He had never known the artist to act so deranged.

It was quite hilarious.

But not matter how funny- the wellbeing of his friend was still at stake. And it was his duty to make sure the blonde didn't go off and get himself killed. However, walking into the kitchen that morning and seeing Deidara facing off with Hidan over the last coffee mug in the glass cabinet, made all thoughts of protecting the blonde fly out the window.

Madara took a seat at the table, watching them fight physically over the cup.

"This cup is mine you little brat," Hidan sneered, tugging on one end the mug.

"It's mine so let go already!" Deidara yelled at him, tugging on the other end.

"I touched it first bitch!" Hidan hollered back.

"Fine! Take it you asshole un!" Deidara released his hold on the coffee mug- and his fist.

"Holy crap!" Kisame yelped as the blonde tackled the silver-haired man to the kitchen floor.

Everyone in the room stepped back, expressions of either shock or exasperation on their faces.

Except for Sasori. He was smirking and muttering, "Fascinating..." under his breath.

His enjoyment didn't last long however, seeing how the man who brought them together under the same roof had just entered the kitchen. And he did not look happy. He shoved Itachi out of his way without an apology and stormed straight towards the shouting pair on the floor who had resorted to slugging each other as hard as possible wherever possible.

Pein pulled the two men off of one another, glaring stonily at them both. "There will be no fighting in my apartment."

Hidan wiped the blood pouring from his nose, staring lividly at the blonde across from him. "It's not my fuckin' fault! This little bitch over here just can't take it when someone else takes the last coffee mug! He needs to see a goddamn therapist!"

"Hey fuck you un!" Deidara shouted with his cheek swelling, starting to lunge again.

"Enough," Kakuzu muttered, grabbing the blonde from under the arms.

Kisame had to do the same for Hidan.

"It's too early in the morning to deal with this," Pein said with a weary expression. "Kisame, Kakuzu- dump those two in the shower until they cool off. I'm going back to sleep."

The two men nodded before dragging the screaming blonde and silver-haired man out the doorway and towards their cramped bathroom.

"Sasori, I don't know how far you plan to take this, but I think it's obvious what happens when you separate Dei from his hot chocolate," Pein said before leaving.

Sasori watched him go and then faced the expectant gazes on him. "I'm not giving up yet. The brat can last for another two days."

Everyone sighed.

"If you say so," Konan said. "I think you may be driving Pein more insane than Dei at this point."

Sasori shrugged. "He'll be fine."


Saturday 7:45 AM

December 18th


On the sixth day of the week, Pein was ready to shoot himself.

He had been woken from his peaceful slumber yet again by the sound of smashing glass and Hidan's screaming. The laughs that followed afterwards let him know that everyone else in the apartment was also awake and in the cooking vicinity.

"DAMN YOU DEIDARA! I SWEAR TO JASHIN IF YOU HIT ME AGAIN-!"

"BACK OF BITCH!" Deidara's slightly crazed voice cut him off.

Pein rolled out of bed, positive he wouldn't be getting anymore sleep that morning and figuring he ought to put an end to the argument before it turned into a full-scale fist fight like the day before.

He stumbled out his bedroom door in time to see Hidan stalk into their shared bathroom, throwing curses left and right behind him.

"Damn assholes. All of them. Using me as fucking bait. Why don't they try and get bashed in the same spot on the head for a week?"

Pein sighed heavily, eyeing the occupants of the small kitchen as he entered with a tired expression and shoulders hunched. "Okay. Does anyone want to tell me why Hidan's in the bathroom cursing and trying to wrap his head with three-year old gauze that still has blood on it from Madara's last motorcycle accident?"

All fingers pointed to the blonde in the middle of the room who stood with a baffled expression on his face.

Pein rubbed his brow. "Deidara for the sixth time..."

"It's not my fault!" Deidara protested. "It's just that every time I try and make myself something to drink, Hidan just has to come down and interrupt me. And by then everyone comes walking in and uses up all the water in the pot and all the coffee mugs, leaving me without my daily dose of sugar! Normally it wouldn't bug me un, but it's happened every day this week and I have no idea why a-and maybe I overreacted a bit...but...Look! All I want is my fucking hot chocolate before I lose what's left of my sanity in this damn place!" Deidara finally exploded, cheeks red and eyes wide.

There was an awkward silence.

And then Sasori and Zetsu broke out into tiny sniggers.

Deidara's eyes zoomed in on them like a hawk. "Something funny hmm?"

"R-Relax Dei." Kisame hesitantly patted the seething young man on the back. "It'll be okay kid. Just try it again tomorrow."

Deidara clenched and unclenched his fists, feeling a brow quirk unintentionally. "Kisame...you're the one that took the last cup today dammit!"

Kisame offered a sheepish grin.

And then turned around and ran.

Deidara didn't hesitate to give chase.

Pein brought a hand to his head, sighing heavily. "This is insane," he said. "And this apartment is cold as shit. Sasori- fix the furnace before we all die of frostbite. There's supposed to be another snowstorm tonight."

Sasori nodded from his position at the kitchen table. "Sure."

Pein shook his head to himself, turning to leave. "I'm going to stop Dei from killing Kisame now. Any extra hands will be appreciated."

Sasori remained seated as Itachi, Konan, Madara, and Zetsu trailed after Pein to sedate the blonde they could all hear screaming throughout the apartment. Kakuzu also followed the group, but he fully intended on turning towards the door once out in the hallway. He's rather go to work in a blizzard than stay in this obviously insane apartment.

Sasori was now left alone in the kitchen to think about his schedule for the day.

Well- he could either go to work all day at fixing their broken furnance so they wouldn't freeze their asses off, or go to his room and wrap himself up in several blankets while watching T.V.

They always did say first was the worst and second was the best.

Watching T.V. it was then.


Sunday 10:23 PM

December 19th


It was late at night the next day when a cocoa deprived blonde stumbled out of his shared bedroom and out into the hallway. He was bundled in snow pants, a ski hat, scarf, and black trenchcoat he's stolen from Itachi's side of the closet.

For some odd reason the furnace hadn't been fixed the day before. And when Sasori assured them that he would take care of it today, he left the apartment and didn't come back yet. It was now well below freezing in the tiny living area, and everyone inside had taken to wearing snow clothes. What really made it sad was that it was warmer outside than in this place- and it was snowing out.

Oh well. It was nothing a cup of warm hot chocolate couldn't fix.

Deidara's nerves stood on end as he entered the dark kitchen and blindly stumbled around. He would have turned on the light, but that would have alerted the others in the apartment to his presence which would somehow lead to them disrupting his 'drinking cocoa in peace' time one again. His fingers wrapped around the knob of their small cup cabinet, his free hand reaching inside to grab onto a large coffee mug before pulling itself out. Maybe now he could finally get that long-awaited cup of chocolate he had been craving for the past week.

A hand clamped down on his shoulder.

Deidara turned on his heel, all self-defense mechanisms activating as he smashed the cup he held into his attacker's head.

"GODDAMMIT DEIDARA!" Hidan roared as he fell to the ground, bleeding from his temple.

Deidara blinked. "Whoops."

Hidan writhed on the floor, eyes livid. "Is that all you can fucking say? You could've killed me!"

Deidara defensively glared. "I didn't tell you to stalk me un. And what the hell were you doing anyway?"

The lights flicked on, revealing a less-than amused Itachi in the doorway. He was bundled from head-to-toe in layers of coats and a scarf, the thin layer of snow on top his head being the only thing that let them know he had just arrived back from work outdoors. After all, the apartment wasn't getting any warmer, and no one would be surprised if they woke up with their bodies covered in frost.

Madara already had a nice collection of icicles hanging above his closet.

"What are you two doing?" Itachi asked, looking as if he really didn't want to know the answer. He walked into the kitchen as Hidan picked himself off the floor, taking his scarf off before pausing and wrapping it back around him. "Why has this place gotten colder?"

Deidara looked at the jagged handle that remained of his coffee mug and then went to throw it away. "Kakuzu tried to fix the heater on his own because he's too stingy to pay the money for proffessionals to come in un. So now the heater's screwed up and blasting cold air instead of heat."

Itachi sighed, moving to the cabinet above the sink for a cup. "Great. Just what I needed to hear."

Deidara shrugged. "Hey. You asked un."

Hidan glared at them both, an offended look on his face as he pressed a hand to the side of his head. "Why the hell are you two ignoring me? Hello- I'm kind of bleeding here!"

"And I kind of don't care," Itachi muttered, offering the blonde across from him a mug.

Deidara grunted his thanks and then went back to what he had been trying to do until Hidan had snuck up on him.

Make a goddamn cup of hot chocolate.

Something he never seemed to be able to do in this apartment without the silver-haired man or Sasori interrupting him or causing their cup supply to run out.

Hidan scowled and then stormed out the kitchen, muttering under his breath about 'finding a motherfuckin' band-aid' before his head fell off.

Itachi watched the slightly older man leave and them leaned against the counter, gazing at Deidara as the blonde set a pot of water to boil on their stove. It had been broken up until yesterday, and Itachi could only assume that Sasori had taken care of it- because if it had been Kakuzu- they'd either be dead or looking for a new place to live. "Why didn't Sasori take care of the heater?" he questioned, breaking the silence that had fallen between them. He might have made an attempt to stop the blonde from making hot chocolate, but the poor boy had already gone mad.

And he really didn't feel like ending up like Kisame two days ago.

Deidara spared him a glance, snorting as he grabbed the broom and dustpan from the corner of the room. "He went out before any of us could stop him. Apparently he had a very important meeting with a fellow co-worker," he said as he began sweeping the glass shards from his broken mug into the pan. "Everyone else told him to call it a date and leave it at that un. But that guy is so stubborn."

Itachi rolled his eyes. "I doubt he'll tell any of us his personal business," he said.

Deidara threw the glass into their trash and put the broom and pan back where he got it from. "Yeah- well he should at least tell his best friend," he grumbled, checking on the water on the stove. "What are you making anyway 'Tachi?"

The dark-haired man shrugged lightly, wandering over to the younger blonde. "Tea. You should know that by now."

"I swear that's all you ever drink hmm..."

"Better than all that sweet junk you fill yourself up with."

"It's perfectly good stuff!" Deidara cried, affronted as he looked at Itachi.

Itachi merely stared at him. "Until it clogs your system and causes you to fall sick."

Deidara started to glare. "You have a sweet tooth you hypocrite un. Don't think I haven't noticed you sneaking candy and chocolate up to our room. That crap is under your pillow and in your drawers yeah!"

Itachi began to glare back, onyx eyes narrowing slightly. "And how exactly would you know that?"

Deidara didn't answer.

Itachi made a low growl in the back of his throat, grabbing the blonde by the front of his jacket and pulling him up to his height. "You were the one who ate the last Snickers bar, weren't you?"

"No!" Deidara struggled in the surprisingly strong grip, also keeping an eye on the boiling pot of water at his side. He didn't feel like getting burned anytime soon. "Back off Uchiha!"

"I would if you stopped lying for once in your life Iwa," Itachi snarled, looking postively livid.

Chocolate made people crazy.

Deidara could fully attest to that, having been on the man's bad side on several occasions in dealing with the heavenly sweet.

"I can't help it un!" Deidara exclaimed, staring into the dark eyes looking down at him. "The doctor told me I was a compulsive liar! Please don't kill me!"

Itachi blinked.

Deidara blinked back.

"...I can't believe you just said that," Itachi said, releasing the blonde and taking a step away.

Deidara didn't miss the way the raven's lips twitched. He gave a lopsided grin, poking at Itachi's pale cheek that was closest to him. "You know it was funny."

"It wasn't." Itachi moved his head away, going to get the tea bag he had completely forgotten about.

Deidara followed him across the kitchen, beginning to laugh. "It was un. Your lips are twitching and your eyes just closed very slowly. You're trying not to laugh!" he gleefully shouted.

Itachi rolled his eyes and cracked a smile, pushing the artist out of his personal space to grab a box of tea out of their pantry. "Fine- it was funny. Now leave me alone," he said, heading back over to the stove to turn it off and pour the scalding water into his cup. He didn't care if he burned his hand. It was really too cold to be worrying about setting his fingers on fire.

In fact, he started to think he would enjoy it.

Deidara snickered, reaching into the pantry a moment later to pull out a packet of cocoa mix. "You'll have to deal with me in our room anyway. Me and Kisame's snoring yeah. And Hidan's bitching when he comes in," he added as an afterthought.

Itachi scoffed, motioning for the blonde to walk over so he get water. "I deal with that on a daily basis. Remind me why I'm sharing a room with three of the most obnoxious idiots in here?"

Deidara handed his dark-haired friend his mug filled with chocolate powder, brows raised. "Because you turned down the offer to room with four of the most boring people on Earth instead?"

"Oh really brat? Who's the boring one here?" an amused voice asked.

Both men turned around, looking at the short redhead in the doorway who was dressed in as much winter attire as them.

"Sasori," Itachi greeted.

"Don't call me a brat you old man!" Deidara snapped.

Sasori smirked, walking inside the tiny room. "I'm hardly old Dei. Don't get angry because you were stuck in a freezing cold apartment all day. I did tell you to come out once in a while for some fresh air. But nooo, someone wants to remain a hermit for the rest of their life." He took the cup of hot chocolate right out of the blonde's hands, drinking it himself.

"What are you doing?" Deidara hissed, reaching for the cup and growing more angry when Sasori simply moved out the way.

Itachi watched the scene in slight amusement. "Sasori- I heard you went on a date."

"It wasn't a date," Sasori protested in a bored tone, but the flush on his cheeks gave it away. He coughed lightly. "And anyway, I won't be going out on a study session with anyone else anytime soon. It's obvious I can't trust anyone in this place but me to fix up our mechanical difficulties." He stuck out his foot as Deidara lunged, causing the blonde to trip and bash his head against the kitchen table.

"Ow, ow, ow!" Deidara yelled, rubbing the growing welt on his forehead. He glared fiercely at the man he dared call his best friend.

Sasori innocently looked away in response. "So Itachi-" he started to say. "I take it you just came back from work. How was it?"

"As it always is," Itachi said, taking a placid sip of his green tea. "Uptight and bland."

"Fits you perfectly," Deidara muttered under his breath, going over to the freezer for an ice pack since it felt like his head had been rammed several times over with a garbage truck. He had been hit with one once- and it was an experience he'd rather forget.

Itachi smiled, shaking his head to himself before beginning to leave the kitchen. "You can always make another cup Dei," he said. "Honestly, you get angry too easily."

Deidara shot him a poor look, using a bag of frozen brussel sprouts to soothe his headache. No one liked the damn vegetable except for Zetsu and Konan anyway. "Shut the hell up un."

Itachi waved his farewell. "See you in a few minutes candy muncher," he teased over his shoulder. "Don't take too long."

Sasori laughed, following shortly after. "Thanks for the drink brat," he called as he left.

Deidara snarled at their retreating forms, stomping over to their glass cabinet and throwing the door open with one hand.

He stared at the empty shelves that welcomed him.

"Sonuva- Damn you bastards!" he yelled.

Sasori and Itachi's chuckling could be heard from down the hall.


Monday: 7:45 AM

December 20th


Deidara was fast asleep at the desk he shared with Itachi and Hidan, arms hanging at his sides and neck turned uncomfortably to the side as a pool of drool formed around his cheek. The sky was just starting to brighten, but Deidara was in no way eager to start his day. Another cocoa-less day he was forced to go through. There were bags under his eyes for Kami's sake!

Someone placed a hand on his bare shoulder. "Come on Dei...there's breakfast in the kitchen."

Deidara mumbled something unintelligable, unmoving. Sasori had gotten around to fixing the furnace in the apartment alright, but he also managed to get it jammed on the heat section only. Now while it was freezing cold outside, it was burning hot inside.

The hand on his shoulder removed itself before grabbing the top of his mussed ponytail and slamming his head into the desk surface.

Deidara was up in a flash, face covered in his own drool and brows creased as he fell out the desk chair. "Ow!" He wiped the saliva off his face in disgust and then looked up at his offender.

Madara grinned at him. "Mornin' sunshine!"

Deidara growled something fierce, getting up from the floor and immediately chasing the older man out into the hall. "Imma kill you un!" He noted briefly in the back of his mind that his room was oddly empty, but pushed it aside in favor of thinking about pummeling Madara's head into the floor.

The two of them skidded into the kitchen, greeting everyone inside with their otherwise utterly deranged presences.

Or rather- just Deidara's.

Madara went over to Zetsu and sat next to his trusted buddy, knowing the man would never let Deidara lay a hand on him.

"Whoa! You look like shit!" Hidan exclaimed.

Deidara glowered at him. "Shut up un. I'm not in the mood to hear your voice."

Sasori stared at him, having the decency to look minutely horrified. "He's right. You look like you got into a fight with a chainsaw."

"And let me guess?" Deidara sneered. "The chainsaw won?"

"No." Sasori shook his head, beginning to snicker. "The weedwhacker that joined in won."

Deidara gave him the finger.

An arm was slung around his shoulder. "Leave him alone guys," Kisame said. "This has gone on for long enough. It's been a full week and he's proven he can live without his hot chocolate and not kill himself."

Deidara gaped at him. "What are you talking about?"

Kakuzu sighed from where he was standing by the counter, flicking through a newspaper. It was Sunday, therefore the paper was new and they were all home for the day. "Sasori made a plan to try and get you away from your precious cocoa mix for a full week. It obviously worked- although the crazed stunts you did to cope weren't exactly sane."

"Sasori did what?" Deidara looked at the older man. "And what were all of you doing while this was going on un?"

"Helping him out," Madara chirped.

Deidara ignored him for sanity's sake. "You were all in on it?" he asked with wide eyes.

Pein held up his hands as did Konan. "Hey- I had nothing to do with what went on," he said.

Konan nodded. "Sorry Dei."

Deidara nodded at them and then shot Itachi a nasty glare. "I hate you Uchiha."

"The feeling's mutual Iwa," Itachi assured him, taking a sip of his green tea. "But I did save your ass back at the supermarket you know."

Hidan scoffed, subconsciously rubbing his chest. "You also landed a few good punches on me you bastard. I couldn't even see straight out of the fuckin' pantyhose on my head."

Deidara stared. "That was you?" he asked Hidan.

Hidan looked caught. "Er-"

Deidara sat down at the table, looking very dejected. "You guys are horrible yeah..."

Sasori smiled, sitting next to him. "Only because we love you. Now cheer up! I bought you something," he said.

Deidara glanced at him, doing a double-take when he saw the styrofoam cup in the redhead's hand. "I-Is that...?"

Sasori pushed it across the table to him. "Yup."

Deidara eagerly seized the container, lifting to his lips and greedily gulping it down as Sasori said-

"A cup of perfectly hot water to satisfy your craving."

Deidara spit out its contents on the laughing redhead's face.

Everyone else in the room merely stared at Sasori in exhaustion. The one day they thought he was doing something nice...

"I'm..." Deidara crushed the cup in his hand, turning his furious gaze on his best friend. "Going to MURDER YOU UN!"

Sasori, nearly doubled over in laughter, made no move to get out of harm's way, taking the blonde's punishment as it was.

Besides, he'd have an excuse not to go to work now.

Damn was he lazy!


A/N: And there is an end to a really long story I had a blast writing :P

I might write more with these guys in this sort of setting- so seriously- let me know how it was so I know what to do for future stories :D

And because I just like messing with Deidara-kun.

I call it- tough love ^v^