This is the sequel/companion-fic to Black Tears. It would make more sense if you read that first, but I guess this could be a stand-alone.

Anyways…

Enjoy!

-o-

Red Sand

Art/: Something beautiful that is preserved forever.

Sasori had walked this world for so long, everything had simply become a merge of colors and sounds with nothing distinct between each.

He had met so many people, that soon everyone was the same. They were no more than candidates and new additions to his ever-expanding collection.

But he liked to believe that he had felt alive at some point in life. There was a time when feelings had coursed through him, and his heart had once pounded with some unknown emotion.

Sometimes, when the puppet master tried hard enough, his mind managed to conquer up a faded black and white photograph with singed edges, and the small voice whispering "Danna" would echo hollowly through his head.

Danna…Danna…Danna…

Who had called him that? He would sit at his workbench tirelessly, day after day, and try to remember. The only things he could see in his mind's eyes though, was a whip of yellow and a flash of bright blue, and then there would be the chiming sound of someone's laughter.

Sasori sat on his workbench again. The wooden surface was still in perfectly good shape, even after God-knows-how-long. Puppets were still strewn across the top almost carelessly, and vials of different colors lined the right perfectly. He traced invisible pictures on its surface absentmindedly. When he glanced to the very corner of the room, where a wooden chair sat, he could see blurred images run past his eyes.

There were screams of pain and anguish, and then there was the flash of yellow and blue again. The vivid shade of red was suddenly splattered across the canvas, and Sasori dimly knew that it was blood.

Blood. Whose blood did it belong to?

Even as he tried to remember, the invisible scarlet liquid continued to drip steadily on the wooden floor as it had done before, so long ago.

Danna…save me…

Sasori stared at Haru. His partner. And he wondered, how many partners had he had? Was Haru his tenth partner, his twentieth, his fiftieth…?

How old am I? Sasori wondered briefly, but the number was lost in a fiery inferno of colors and sounds and names that the redhead no longer attempted to discern.

"What do you think art is, Haru?" Sasori found himself asking, and suddenly, Haru's coal black hair turned into a sunny, golden color, and his deep green eyes became bright and blue and beautiful.

As Haru pondered the question, Sasori suddenly found himself begging silently. Tell me art is supposed to be fleeting. Argue with me that art is something short-lived, like an explosion. Something that disappears in an instant, but you'll remember it forever.

"Well," Haru began, watching Sasori with cautious eyes. "Art is supposed to be something pretty, right?"

Sasori huffed, still pleading inside.

"I guess art is something that's pretty then." Haru finally answered, and Sasori instantly deflated inside Hiruko, though he couldn't understand why.

"Is that so?" Hiruko's deep baritone rumbled and Haru nodded. Sasori looked away and began guiding Hiruko down the callous trail.

Ridiculous. Art is a fleeting moment of beauty. Something that appears once and can never be copied again, like an explosion, yeah!

Sasori stared up at the empty, hollow faces of his puppets. Their glass eyes gleamed down at him as they clinked together in a chorus of hushed whispers. Sometimes, it felt like his puppets were his only companions in the world. They won't mock him, they won't betray him, they won't leave him. But as he stared up at them, he felt as though they were hiding something from him.

"Do you know something that I don't?" He asked blankly. They looked down upon him with their glazed eyes and sad, wooden faces. Sasori sat there for what felt like forever, waiting for them to answer him. But they never did.

I'm not scared of you, yeah.

"I feel like I'm forgetting something. Something that I'm supposed to remember." Sasori spoke to Kakuzu, one of his oldest comrades and one of the first people to join the Akatsuki.

Kakuzu just hummed, because he knew that Sasori didn't really want an answer.

"Or someone." Sasori trailed off with a slightly thoughtful expression on his face. "I can't tell." He finally said after the silence stretched out for long enough between them. Sasori sighed silently and without another word, walked away from Kakuzu.

He walked up to the door, and its familiarity seeped into his wooden body. Feeling nervous for some reason, Sasori gave the door a gentle push, and was unsurprised to find it unlocked.

The darkness of the room surprised the redhead, and Sasori looked around. Shadows waltzed across the walls, wailing silently, and abandoned clay sculptures lay scattered around the room, their moulded eyes glaring at Sasori in accusation for actions that he didn't remember committing.

A jar sat on the table pushed against the right wall, and Sasori found himself walking to it. Reaching out for the jar, he grasped it in his wooden hand. He could tell it was smooth beneath the cloth, and again, the glass object seemed horrendously familiar to Sasori. It was telling him that he should be remembering…remembering what?

Clutching the cloth, he pulled the darkened fabric away, and it fluttered to the floor. An eye greeted him. Its color was dark and sickening, and it gazed up at the puppet master with unhidden pain and anguish, as if begging him to not forget. Sasori closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, the eye in the jar was no longer black and dead, but blue and alive, and it glistened with unfathomable joy.

"Danna…don't!"

A voice suddenly cried out, and Sasori looked around frantically, searching for the one responsible for the broken cry. But there was no one, and only clay eyes greeted him.

He looked back at the eye and watched in unconcealed horror as the blue began to wither away into darkness and the voice continued to shout, "Danna, please, stop! No, don't!"

Taking in a deep breath, he retrieved the cloth and recovered the jar. The voice instantly stopped crying, and everything became silent again. Sasori carefully placed the jar back onto the desk, and without a second glance, the redhead turned around and made his way back into the dimly lit hallway. The shadows reached out to cling onto his cloak, but Sasori refused to look and they soon relinquished their hold.

What would you do if I died, yeah?

Why had he turned himself into a puppet in the first place? Sasori leaned back on his bed, one that he rarely used, and pondered the question carefully. Something about pain…pain…pain…

Sasori sighed; feeling tired all of a sudden. His wooden joints felt heavy, and the voice in his head wouldn't stop whispering.

What would you do if I died, yeah? What would you do?

Closing his eyes, the redhead allowed the pictures to unfold. Everything was blurred, and yellow and blue and black and red clashed and mixed together until you couldn't tell red from blue and yellow from black. The faded image of the person continued whispering words that Sasori knew held some significance to him before, but he just couldn't remember. "What would you do if I died, yeah?"

Sasori gave out a humourless chuckle, and opening his eyes to the inviting darkness, he asked to the pitch black, "What do you want me to say?"

The voice only repeated its question.

What would you do if I died, yeah?

Sasori glided Hiruko into the deep underbrush of the forest, his newest partner, Kappei, following the large puppet.

Kappei seemed to be the rather talkative type, and he continued his one-sided conversation happily, despite the fact that Sasori was ignoring him and that Hiruko's scorpion tail had begun waving dangerously above their heads. After another few minutes of chattering, Sasori's nonexistent patience snapped and Hiruko's tail lunged at Kappei.

Kappei failed to dodge even though a voice in Sasori's head continued whispering, He should have been able to dodge that. He was always able to dodge that.

Blood began pooling in Kappei's mouth and it began bubbling over and dripping in crimson streaks down his chin. Sasori stared at the display in vapid amusement, and when his partner fell over, the puppeteer just scoffed, rolled his eyes and glided away.

Art is fleeting. Everything has to be fleeting so you can learn to move on.

Sasori sat in the room again. He couldn't help himself. The room brought him some sort of twisted comfort, the clay eyes made him remember…just a bit, and the covered jar made him feel just the slightest twinge. The shadows continued their own intricate dance, complete with difficult twists and muffled begs and pleads to stay.

The redhead was staring at a burnt mark decorating part of the wall. It seemed as if someone had either burned it or had thrown some sort of explosive on it. Laughter echoed through his mind again and again as if throwing explosives was something of great amusement.

Staring at the dark, Sasori asked, "Who are you?"

A light, tinkling voice answered him, and Sasori lifted his head in surprise. "I'm Deidara. I'm an artist, yeah!"

Remember…remember…remember… Sasori felt as though he'd had this conversation before, but he continued on.

"Do I know you?"

Silence greeted him, and Sasori feared that the unknown voice had left him alone with the shadows and the accusing eyes and the yells and screams in his head. Finally, the voice replied, "I'm your partner."

Sasori tilted his head in confusion as a light laughter resounded around the room. The shadows seemed to rejoice and the clay eyes brightened at the familiarity of the sound. "Don't forget me, okay, yeah?"

And then everything became quiet again. The shadows stopped and the sculptures seemed to wilt. Sasori stared.

"Who are you?"

But this time, no one answered.

Danna…Danna…Danna…

Sasori glared up at his puppets and they stared down at him piteously. We're sorry; they seemed to whisper in hushed tones. Usually finding it calming as his puppets began to chime together in unison, Sasori only found it irritably this time.

"Tell me what you know." He snapped at his creations. They only stared at him with sad faces, begging him not to leave. Stay with us, they seemed to cry, Stay with us and keep us company.

Sasori only glared. Finally, seeing as the wooden contraptions refused to acknowledge him with an answer, he turned on his heel and walked away. The puppets reached out with wooden hands and stretched fingers, but they couldn't reach him in time.

He was gone as if he hadn't been there in the first place.

I'm a fiery inferno. I'm art. I'm fleeting. Sasori's not fast enough to catch me, yeah.

"I'm sorry," Sasori offered the darkened eye blandly. "I'm sorry for whatever I did."

The withered eye stared up at the redhead. Sasori sighed as he saw the orb continue to slowly die with each passing moment. He turned back to stare at the sculptures. Their eyes seemed to soften a bit at Sasori's apology, and the harsh accusations lessened.

"I'm sorry." Sasori repeated one more time, firmly, and the clay eyes softened completely.

You're a bit too late…but we forgive you.

The puppet master just nodded and placed the cloth back over the jar. The eye seemed to be shouting out its farewells, but Sasori refused to answer. Placing the jar back onto the table, Sasori stood there and frowned. Why, why, why?

Will you remember me, Danna, yeah?

"Who am I supposed to remember?" Sasori asked the darkness again. Blue, yellow, laughter. "Answer me."

Remember me, Danna…

"Who are you?"

A voice echoed painfully through his mind, shouting "Danna, save me!" over and over and over again. The puppets clinked together, trying to comfort the redhead, and the shadows' cries mingled with the sound of his puppets' pleads, and the haunting undertone of it all caught up with Sasori.

"Who are you?"

The voice stopped.

You were supposed to remember me, Danna, yeah.

Sasori walked through the forest alone. He was on a solo-mission, and he didn't feel the need to drag along Hiruko. It was a simple 'get-the-scroll-then-get-out' mission, a fairly simple one at that, and Sasori expected to be finished with the mission quickly.

As he walked down the path and deeper into the green foliage, everything was silent. Sasori looked around briefly and frowned, everything seemed so dead, too quiet, as if the forest knew something horrible was about to happen.

The sudden despairing cry shocked Sasori, and its reverberations echoed deep into his body and shook him to the core. Again and again and again. Cry after cry after cry. It was a symphony of anguished tears and Sasori tried to remember.

I'm Deidara! You're supposed to remember me, yeah.

Yellow, blue, laughter, cries, tears, blood, eyes, clay, puppets…a faded black and white photo with a chiming, chilling laugh. An explosion.

Are you scared of me?

A flash of yellow, a glimpse of blue, and that manic voice calling "Danna! Danna! Danna!" continued on, and Sasori watched as the photo regained some color. Yellow, blue, yellow, blue, yellow, blue.

I'm not scared of you, yeah.

Sasori followed the cries. The despairing voice seemed to be leading a crooked trail through the woods, and when the voices quieted, the redhead looked around. The trees grew up in twisted, mangled ways, as if someone had caused some great destruction in its wake forever and ever ago, and the voice cried again.

I would do nothing. What do you expect me to do? Mourn for you? If you die, you die. Pain will just get me a new partner.

How many partners…? Sasori tried to remember. How…? Yellow, blue, yellow, blue…and it continued on and on and on.

"I think…you seem familiar to me…"

The redhead looked up, and the leaved fluttered down. The sun continued to shine and the world continued to spin, but in that moment, Sasori finally and truly stopped. And while everything grew and aged around him, he stayed there, and suddenly he wasn't God-knows-how-old anymore, but he was thirty-five and younger than he felt in a long time and he felt happy.

Really and truly happy.

Are you happy, yeah?

Sasori smiled lightly (for the first time in forever) at that inquiring voice that he had loved so much. The yellow whipped around and the blue sparkled and shined, and the redhead felt a warm presence envelope him.

"Deidara…I'm happy…"

The voice continued to cry, and the Sasori began moving again. He reached in his cloak and withdrew a normal senbon glazed over with poison. Maybe this was foolish, and maybe this was pathetic. But Sasori felt as though he had lived enough. He had lived longer than an eternity, and he just felt so tired.

Danna…will you remember me, yeah?

"I remembered you in the end…"

Will you miss me, yeah?

The world continued turning, people continued moving, the sun continued shining, but once Deidara died…Deidara had made him feel alive inside. And even though he was no more than wood and metal, his heart had pounded with unknown emotions, the feelings had surged through his artificial body, and Deidara…Deidara helped him remember.

"I forgot who I was without you…"

Are you happy, yeah?

Sasori just smiled at the bluntness on the brat's end, and lightly pressed the senbon into his heart container. Purple liquid bubbled over, and soon the red splattered canvas was streaked with purple as well, and the liquid bubbled over Sasori's lips.

"Deidara…I…I never hated you that much…" That light, tinkling laughter was his reply, and Sasori just smiled lightly. "I just thought that you…should know…"

And then there was nothing. The world continued, and no one cried for him. And maybe Sasori hadn't gone out with a bang like how Deidara had done so before him, maybe he had went out quietly without anyone knowing, but that was how he liked it. Dying by himself in the same place Deidara had died in, the smile stayed on his wooden face for eternity.

And then, the despairing cry stopped echoing through the forest, and instead, it was replaced by a chiming laugh.

-o-

A/N: Gah, this was supposed to be 'Black Tears' written in Sasori's point of view, but everything took a turn, and instead, this happened. A sequel of a sorts to what happened to Sasori after Deidara died.

Not what I expected, but I kinda like it. :)

Sasori…that's completely up to you. In how I see it, it was almost like he snapped or something, like he lost the last bit of sanity he had when Deidara died. The ending wasn't terribly amazing (I like the ending to Black Tears more), but that was because my muse had left, but I had wanted to finish today…but…I kinda like it. Just my opinion.

This story would've meant more and made more sense if you read Black Sand, but I guess it could be a stand-alone. Kinda…sorta…

Hope you liked it, and to anyone who reads my other story, I'll try to update 'Let's Fall In Love' as fast as I can!

Hugs,

Harmony