.disclaimer : don't own.

.chapter one : eviction: forced and voluntary.

"Fuck, un."

The swear was followed by a contemplative grunt as the blonde twenty three year old looked around the street he was currently on. People passed by and occasionally glanced at him; the blonde probably looked homeless with his ripped jeans and paint splattered white shirt. However, he had stomped out of his apartment in anger because he was soon to be homeless. His landlady, Karin, had informed him that he had missed far too many payments and he had exactly seventy two hours to find another place to crash before she kicked him out onto the streets.

Sweet girl Karin was if one had dango. But Deidara barely had any money to feed himself, much less any to buy Karin some dango.

This was the problem with being a self employed artist, Deidara decided as he ran his fingers through his bangs. The source of income was very unstable. Sometimes he hit it big and could feed himself properly for a few weeks; other times, he was running around his apartment, looking for spare change just so he could survive the night.

Deidara had two types of income: shows and sales. He sold paintings. Odd sounding, yes. Typical, very. However, his paintings were different; he used spray paints. They weren't the typical water color paintings. These were impromptu and unique; layers of colors mixed and blended at his will. People watched in awe as he made a masterpiece come alive with a few cans of spray paint and a blank canvas and they quickly sold out. However, canvases and spray paints got pretty expensive. And Deidara didn't enjoy this as much as his other type of art; it was fun, sure, but it wasn't real art.

Deidara was known for his shows. These weren't magic shows or even art shows where he displayed his paintings or photographs (he took pictures as a side hobby though he was too lazy to go out and buy more film most of the time.) He exploded things. Sometimes they were a bottle with paint in it, so when it exploded, colors went flying up into the air. Other times he asked for audience participation and he blew up textbooks. But his favorite things to blow up were his own art. He would make sculptures or vases out of clay, sometimes decorate them intricately and bring them into the park and explode them. It didn't start out as a show; it was something he did for fun. However, people began to gather around and watch the young man unpack his things and toss money into the bag he arbitrarily left somewhere.

But, he had no clay left. Nor canvases, nor paints, nor film. He had a few sculptures, but that was about it. Deidara sighed and glanced at the apartment complex he had stormed out of earlier before stuffing his hands into his pockets and began walking, mixing in easily with the other Tokyo citygoers.

Stupid rich people, un, Deidara grumbled as he trudged along. He was a bright student and he followed the path his deceased parents had wanted for him: he graduated high school as valedictorian, went to a good college, and got accepted into medical school. However, at the last minute, something inside him snapped. It wasn't that Deidara wanted to disrespect his parents, it was that he knew that the only thing his parents wanted for Deidara more than a good education was his happiness. And he was not going to be happy if he had to cut apart dead bodies and learn about the human anatomy for four years then residency for God knows how long. Would he be able to do it? Probably; Deidara was incredibly stubborn and would succeed at anything he set his mind to. Would he enjoy it? Definitely not.

So, a week before school was to begin, Deidara withdrew his admission. He found himself a cheap apartment in Tokyo and moved in and began to paint and sculpt every day. His day was filled with art, whether it was his own or if he was going to some art galleries.

It was a pretty stupid decision. All the people that Deidara was friends with gawked at him and have severed connections with him ever since. He didn't mind; it just went to prove how good of friends they really were. It was hard now, ever since he used up most of the money he had left (he refused to touch his parent's inheritance unless it was for a life threatening situation) but what mattered was that he was happy. He was dirty, probably smelled bad, had gotten accustomed to swearing like a trucker when angry, and probably lost at least twenty pounds. But what mattered was that he was happy. No more holing himself up in a dorm, studying for tomorrow's organic chemistry test. No more papers on biochemistry. No more meeting with teachers to discuss his bright future. No more pressure, no more people, no more pursuing other people's dreams.

Anyway, it wasn't as if Deidara had no friends. He had met a couple of people. Once, at one of his "shows", he met Hidan and Kakuzu. Kakuzu seemed appalled at all the money Deidara was wasting until he saw how much the kid made and Hidan crowed with laughter, saying that Deidara's art was the "most badass thing he had seen in a motherfucking long time." The three hung out sometimes, usually with Pein who was yet another acquaintance.

The thing with these four was that two of them were screw ups and two of them were well established people. Hidan and Deidara both dropped out of school; Hidan came from a wealthy family so he relied on his parents and grandparents' inheritance money. So far it hadn't failed him and Deidara had a feeling Hidan would never have to work a day in his life. Deidara wasn't sure what it was that Hidan was passionate about, except his religion. Hidan was a devout Jashinist. He frequently praised Jashin and physically or verbally abused anyone who dared to voice a separate opinion. Part of his religion included a lot of blood sacrificing, but after the three walked in on Hidan almost cutting his arm off, they made him swear by Jashin's name to do that less. Though it was hard to tell, Hidan was a man of his word. And he kept his word; Deidara hadn't seen any sign of a cut or blood ever since that horrifying incident.

Kakuzu and Pein were both put together and well established people. Kakuzu was a banker and, as a result, was very frugal himself. He scolded the three when they went out and bought frivolous things (soda, apparently, was not a necessity). He often offered to help Deidara set up a bank account and get him a loan, but Deidara had declined kindly because he had no way of repaying the loan and if he accepted a favor from Kakuzu, he had no idea what would happen to him in the future.

Pein was, well, to be honest, Deidara wasn't quite sure. He never bothered to ask Pein, but he usually walked around in a crisp shirt and dress pants with a tie. He naturally assumed that Pein had a good job and was in a pretty powerful position, based on the conversations he heard Pein having with his Blackberry.

Despite their differences, they were still all good friends.

Friends, un. Deidara stopped walking and glanced at the office building he was passing and broke out into a grin as he headed in. Though he still wasn't completely sure what Pein did for a living, he did know that Pein worked there. The other three never bothered to visit him, but Deidara not only had nothing else to do but needed some help, so he figured he might as well drop by and see if Pein was in a good mood.

"Hey, un… do you know where I could find Uzumaki Pein, un?" Deidara asked as he approached the receptionist desk. She glanced up at him and he instantly didn't like the look she gave him as she ran her eyes behind her glasses over his disheveled appearance.

"Pein-sama is very busy."

"Yeah, well, tell him it's Iwa Deidara, un," he answered and glared at her, "See, if I judged a book by its cover like you did, I'd assume you're an old hag that never got laid, un."

"Why you disrespectful little—!" the receptionist looked like she wanted to throw a stapler at Deidara but luckily, Pein walked by at that precise moment. When he passed by the desk, both people stared at him. One willed for him to reprimand the blonde and exile him from the building, while the other willed for him to recognize him and invite him up.

"Hey, Deidara," Deidara grinned as he saw the receptionist deflate in her seat, "Need something?"

"Came to see if you were free," Deidara couldn't help but shoot a triumphant smirk at the woman and she huffed and looked away. "Are you, un?"

Pein glanced at his watch and nodded. "Lunch break. You want to come with me?"

Deidara grinned and ran up to his friend as he began to head out of the building, shooting one more triumphant grin over his shoulder. Pein glanced at Deidara with amusement as they pushed through the revolving doors, raising an eyebrow. Deidara had visited him at work, meaning that he was not blowing something up or making something to blow up. This was undoubtedly serious.

"Did you get kicked out of your apartment or something?"

The blonde looked at his older friend with surprise. Pein had always been a very perceptive and intelligent person, but usually there was some kind of catalyst; he didn't just come up with correct guesses out of nowhere. "Yeah, un. Three days to find a new place to crash. How'd you know?"

"You already look like a hobo," Pein answered and smiled slightly. He had met Deidara largely by chance; with an odd twist of events, he had ended up lending him and two others money at a bar when they realized they did not have enough to pay for all their drinks. Kakuzu, refusing to be indebted to a stranger, immediately demanded his phone number so they could return the money promptly. Ever since then, somehow Deidara or Hidan (or both, since they were best friends) had gotten his number and continued to call him to hang out.

Deidara was a nice change of events from his mundane job as the CEO of his company (not that the other three knew. They were too wrapped up in deciding when to go drinking next to bother to find out what he did). All day he was bothered by morons trying to impress him, other companies trying to merge, and paperwork all day. He never thought he would associate himself with someone like Deidara, who dropped out of medical school before it even began, or Hidan, who cursed every other word.

"What brings you to my workplace?" Pein asked as he stopped and glanced up, motioning for Deidara to follow him as he pulled open the door to Starbucks. Instantly, Deidara was enveloped with the mouth watering smells of baked pastries and coffee; he loved Starbucks, but he didn't have enough money to treat himself to a frappuccino daily. Kind of pathetic, he would think to himself as he miserably passed by, but he had to suffer before he made it big.

"Three days to find a new place to live, un," Deidara said as the long line moved forward slightly, "Didn't know what to do so I took a walk and happened to see where you work. You know anyone that wouldn't mind taking me in, un?"

Pein glanced at Deidara and smirked. "Not many of my acquaintances have the kindness in their hearts to take in a self-employed artist who dropped out of medical school before it began."

"Oi! Stop giving me crap about that, un!" Deidara replied indignantly, flushing angrily, "I'm damn proud of my decision! Can I crash at your place for a few days?"

"Sorry," Pein shook his head as he took another step forward and irritably glanced at who was taking forever ordering coffee, "Not so sure if Konan would take kindly to you. I'll be sure to tell you if anyone is willing though. What about Hidan or Kakuzu? And what do you want?"

"I think I'd rather sleep in the subway before asking either of them. Hidan would try to convert me the minute I unpacked my toothbrush and Kakuzu would charge insanely high rates, un." Deidara sighed and kept quiet for a few moments before jerking his head up in shock. "…Eh, what did you ask?"

"I asked, what do you want?"

"…You're going to treat me, un?" Deidara's blue eyes widened and he grinned. "Wait, seriously, un? You're not just being an ass and teasing me like Hidan does?"

Pein couldn't help but smile ever so slightly at his younger friend's reaction. "It's the least I can do after you get cast out of your lame apartment—"

"Hey, don't insult the apartment, un."

"—and I can't do anything to help you about it. So, what do you want?" he asked again as he pulled out his wallet and they approached the cashier. His eyes flickered up to the menu on the wall and he looked at Deidara expectantly to know what he wanted so he could order.

Deidara put his hand on the taller man's shoulder and nodded solemnly as he looked at him with a grave, serious expression. "You, my man, have become my new god."

-X-x-X-

Sasori was usually calm and collected. He was the model student at the School of Law at Tokyo University. However, today, he glared at anyone that dared look at him. It was rare for him to be so emotional; usually he permeated an aura of scary intelligence and a calm demeanor. He was approachable enough to talk to to ask a question, but not approachable enough to ask to hang out, go on a date, or tutor. Raised by his grandmother because his parents passed away when he was young, Sasori never bothered to get close to anyone. He did have close friends, but aside from them, very few people he could call a friend.

He was always this image of perfection. He was the straight A student that everyone wanted to be, the valedictorian that people would talk about for years to come, and the kid that got into one of the most prestigious law schools on a full ride. His work ethic was impeccable, his demeanor personable, his intelligence scary. On the outside, he seemed perfect. He never fought or talked back with teachers and he was polite to most people most of the time. However, what people didn't know was that Sasori was severely unhappy with his lifestyle. He hated studying all the time and he hated law. He hated the pressure that people put on him as well as the expectations. All he wanted to do was stay home and make puppets, his true hobby, but his studies took up so much time that he rarely had any time for himself. It pained him to return to his apartment with puppet materials strewed everywhere, yet he headed straight to the room he had set aside especially for his studies so he wouldn't get distracted.

"Oi, Akasuna! What's wrong?" a blue haired man came out of nowhere and clapped Sasori on the back. The redhead turned around and gave a half hearted nod to acknowledge Kisame's presence then returned to a stony silence. Kisame chuckled. Most people would proceed to running away after experiencing Sasori's glare, but Kisame knew better. The redhead was at least a head shorter and wouldn't dare pick a fight against him. His strength laid in his intelligence, but around Kisame, brute force always won.

"Got assigned a crap load of reading for tomorrow," Sasori grumbled, "No time to sleep, eat, or breathe. I hate my grandmother. She even assigned me extra work."

"You know, if you sent her a happy birthday card every couple of years, maybe she'd be nicer."

"I hate the old hag."

Kisame laughed again. "What do you say to a night out at the bar with the guys? Now don't pull that 'I have to go home and do homework' because everyone on campus, even non-law students, know that you never read the book."

Sasori's brown eyes flickered up momentarily at his friend. He and Kisame had been friends ever since they met at Tokyo University as undergraduates. Kisame had arrived on a full scholarship for swimming and studied marine biology. However, pretty soon he realized marine biology wasn't the thing for them considering he hated the sciences, and so he switched over to business and was currently studying for his MBA. Kisame had always proved to be an extremely loyal friend and good defense against bullies who took him as a quiet, short nerd. When Kisame appeared, the bullies would always learn their lesson.

"…What time?" Sasori sighed, knowing full well Kisame wouldn't leave him alone unless he agreed. Besides, he supposed he owed it to his friends to grace them with his presence. Itachi, who was also studying for his MBA, probably didn't mind not seeing him. However, Konan was always that fussy type of person, who constantly felt the need to protect him and pinch his cheeks. Speaking of Konan, she had mentioned she had a new boyfriend, but he never bothered to ask…

"Seven. Meet you at the Akatsuki," Kisame looked absolutely joyous at the fact that he had gotten Sasori to agree instantly. "I have to go; I'm meeting with Itachi; we have a partner project and I think it's safe to say that he's going to do most of the work and I need to help at least a little…"

"I guess you'll be snoring away and just ask Itachi to put your name on top of the project."

"Smart man you are, Sasori!" Kisame clapped him on the back again, causing the redhead to stumble forward slightly from the force. "I'll see you around, all right?"

Sasori gave a nod of acknowledgement as Kisame walked off toward the library and continued to stalk through the quad, starting to feel the weight of his backpack and textbooks become heavier with each passing step. He noticed several people pause from their activities and he ignored the stares. Yes, he was short. Yes, he had vibrant red hair. Yes, he looked like that and wasn't dating anyone. He wished he could turn around and flip them all off and tell them to get off his back, but that wouldn't be in character. And the girls would probably flip out because Akasuna Sasori actually talked to them. And he couldn't make them happy; that would be bad for him.

The cold October wind blew as Sasori made his way down the stairs to the subway after leaving the campus. Some people lived on campus, but most opted not to, since undergraduates were everywhere. It was like high school; the graduate students (seniors) absolutely loathed the undergraduates (freshmen). And Sasori, who had a natural tendency to dislike everyone, loathed the undergraduates even more. With the money he had saved up, whether it was from his previous jobs or prize money for those random competitions he found himself winning, he had found himself an apartment about a fifteen minute subway ride away from campus. His grandmother also wired some money into his bank account every month from the inheritance his parents had left him. She, apparently, didn't trust him with bestowing all the money upon him at once.

He pushed his way past the crowd of people through the ticket booth and mindlessly navigated his way through the subway. Something good was happening, he decided, when he stepped onto the platform and the subway instantly arrived. As he walked in, he leaned against a pole and took out his phone to entertain himself. He was surrounded by so many people that he felt as if he was suffocating; Sasori never liked people very much.

Luckily, it was only fifteen minutes. Sasori all but patiently pushed his way through the mob of people and walked quickly back into the fresh air. Though cold, at least he felt like he could breathe. Feeling better already, he headed towards his apartment building, which was located extremely close to the subway. He pulled out a card and slid it through the machine, sliding his way in before the door even fully opened. As he trudged through the hallways, up the elevator, then more hallways to his room, he fumbled about in his pocket for his key, his already very short patience dwindling away. Finally he found his key and shoved it into the lock and shoved his door open angrily. "Oi. Zetsu."

His roommate rolled over and onto the floor, cursing as Sasori heard a loud thud. "Shit! What do you want, Sasori?" the pale boy with green hair sat up and looked curiously at Sasori. Most people were freaked out by Zetsu's appearance; besides the green hair and sickly white skin, he also wore yellow contacts and half of him was black from, Sasori guessed, tattoos. Zetsu never told him but Sasori assumed he had some kind of a multipersonality disorder; there could be no other reason for the sudden and frequent changes in his personality. He also seemed to be conscious of this other personality, as he would talk to himself sometimes. Most people avoided Zetsu. But Sasori never judged a book by its cover, and he was thankful he didn't. Zetsu had become one of his closest friends, being serious and easygoing.

"The Akatsuki tonight at seven to catch up," Sasori said as he carefully set his textbooks down on his coffee table and leaned his backpack against the couch. He frowned as he noticed one of the pencils in the pencil holder was put in tip up and fixed it immediately, also organizing some of the papers. Zetsu watched this with amusement. Both had unspoken serious problems. He had multipersonality disorder, and Sasori had obsessive compulsive disorder. The man organized anything he could; it was a wonder he didn't gel his hair down every morning and left it looking like he rolled out of bed.

"And you agreed?" Zetsu asked as he crawled back onto the other couch and picked up the textbook he had been using as a pillow, "That's unusual. Hey, can we stop by the nursery on the way there? I need to buy some seeds. You know you're a botanist when you realize you're broke from buying soil and seeds. College sucks ass."

Sasori smirked at his friend's complaining and threw himself onto the couch, crossing his leg so his ankle rested on his knee and folded his hands behind his head. "Oh yeah," Zetsu's voice interrupted him, "I'm moving out."

"Hm?" Sasori lazily moved his head to look at Zetsu. "Any particular reason?"

Zetsu pushed himself up and shook his head. "You know how far this place is from the science buildings? A dorm opened up there and since I was first on the waitlist they gave it to me. Finally. No offense or anything, of course, but it's cheaper and closer."

Sasori shrugged as Zetsu hopped off the couch and headed into his bedroom to collect his stuff; apparently he had forgotten until he had told Sasori. "No worries. Nice rooming with you."

"You too, Sasori. We'll keep in touch, right?"

Sasori chuckled dryly. "Of course, unless you find yourself surrounded by a mob of new friends."

Zetsu poked his head out of his room and grinned. "Right, I'll be immensely popular. Hey, I'll be closer to Kisame and Itachi, right? That should be fun. I hate people." Sounds were heard as Zetsu pulled his clothes off his hangers roughly and threw them carelessly into the suitcase on his bed and a duffel bag. Sasori got off the couch and walked over, leaning against the doorframe, watching as Zetsu's very few belongings were all quickly stored away.

"When're you leaving?"

"Uh… tomorrow morning," Zetsu answered and picked up a dirty sock and raised an eyebrow, holding it towards Sasori. The redhead blinked and shook his head and Zetsu shrugged, throwing it into his suitcase. "You can never underestimate the use of a sock these days. With that atrocious smell, I could probably knock a rich guy out and steal some of his money."

Sasori smirked and glanced up at the time. "Should we get going soon? It's four; no matter how much I dread going, I don't want to keep them waiting. And we both know you spend forever looking at seeds."

Zetsu paused from his packing and straightened up and laughed. "Hey, you don't understand just how important seeds are. And are you ever going to sort out some of your weird habits? Like your obsession with neatness and time?"

"Only if you make your other personality go away."

"Like we've never heard that one before."

-X-x-X-

Meanwhile, Sasori had no idea that Kisame and Itachi were planning to destroy his life.

Zetsu had told those two first about his moving out since the three dined together that day, after Konan mentioned she promised to meet her history professor for some extra help. Kisame and Itachi blinked and looked at each other after Zetsu's announcement and smirked in unison. All five of them were close, and as a result, cared for each other, though they would never show it. And Kisame and Itachi were dead convinced that Sasori needed some friends other than them.

"Did you distribute the flyers?" Itachi asked as Kisame entered the dorm they shared, looking up from his laptop. After the library, Itachi had dropped a stack of bright orange flyers into Kisame's arms and returned to his dorm. Kisame, being loyal to Itachi, immediately went out and distributed them on every pole and windshield he could see and get close to without being run over.

Kisame nodded and collapsed onto his bed, stretching. "Hey, what time is it? Sasori's going to absolutely murder us if we're late. You know how punctual that kid is." The swimmer rolled over and grabbed his alarm clock, squinting at it. "Oh, it's only four. How's the project progressing?"

"Swimmingly."

"…Is that supposed to be funny? Because, you know, I swim and all…"

"Yes, Kisame. That was intended to be a joke."

"Oh. Well, I really couldn't tell," Kisame admitted and grinned when Itachi glanced up at him. Ever since high school they had been the best of friends and they could read each other perfectly. A more impressive feat to be accomplished by Kisame, considering Itachi had one facial expression. They spent a lot of time together, yet they could be independent. When Itachi would have to leave to go research something, Kisame wouldn't tag along. He wasn't some lost puppy that followed Itachi around everywhere and he certainly wasn't dependent on the Uchiha. A little crush. That's it.

As Kisame snuck another glance he rolled over and buried his face in his pillow to hide the tiny blush arising. He hadn't meant to, but sometime he had developed the tiniest of attractions towards his best friend. The impassiveness but undying loyalty and the rare smiles; all of that and more never failed to make Kisame smile. It was unlike Itachi to get into a conflict with others, but he sometimes would, usually if the other party had wronged Kisame in some way.

"Kisame."

"Hm?" the blue haired man snapped out of his daydreaming and rolled over so he could breathe and talk to his friend. He blinked when he realized Itachi had closed his laptop and stored it away neatly, now sitting on his bed and looking at Kisame with the utmost concentration. Immediately, he felt his heart begin to race. "…You're scaring me, man."

"Do you think Sasori is lonely?"

"…Heh?" Kisame sat up and rested his elbows on his knees so he was slouched over, a very opposite image of the Uchiha who sat up with his back perfectly straight. "Sasori? I don't think he particularly enjoys the companies of others to begin with. It was pretty hard to get him to talk to me without feeling like he was going to sue me. The kid is going to become a lawyer, after all."

Itachi shook his head. "He only associates with us, Zetsu, and Konan. I believe he is insecure about his social abilities, thus inhibiting his potential to meet people."

Kisame raised an eyebrow as he reached into the slightly open drawer and took out a piece of gum. He took out a piece and offered it to Itachi and popped it into his mouth when the raven haired man declined politely. "So," he said as he began chewing, "What do you suggest?"

"The roommate that we find for him must be the complete opposite of him. He will have to be extremely social, loud, reckless, and not a perfectionist. That is the only way Sasori will be able to break out of his shell."

Kisame laughed as Itachi blinked before smirking, realizing that Kisame saw through him. "You know, normally I'd ask why you were being so considerate. But you just want to take advantage of this opportunity and make his life a living hell, don't you?"

"I would never." The smirk gave it all away. Itachi reached over his bed and pulled a dark grey, plastic folder out of his backpack and opened it. "Kisame, I need your half of the report."

The chewing stopped. "…Come again?"

Itachi's eyes flickered up. "Your half of the report on the condition of today's society and why it has turned out this way."

"It's… uh… oh, I need to print it out!" Kisame jumped up and grabbed his keys before sprinting out the door. As the door slammed, Itachi smirked upon hearing the sound of frantic footsteps hurrying away towards the library in the dorm building. He then glanced down at the due date, which was one week from today.

Itachi always knew how to handle procrastinators quite well.

-X-x-X-

"Blondie!"

"Stop calling me that, un!" Deidara growled as he drained the last of his drink and sadly chucked the empty cup into a nearby trash can. He and Pein had wandered around the city after Starbucks before Deidara's cell phone began ringing. Pein always reprimanded him about the phone; Deidara could save so much money and live in a decent apartment if he would just settle for a simple flip phone and a plan that didn't include a data plan or texting. However, Deidara was adamant: he liked his smart phone and the ability to go on the internet and spam text people. That was one thing he would never give up. Besides, Deidara would counter, he needed texting. What if he was kidnapped and couldn't talk but could text?

Pein would then groan in exasperation and say that the first thing the kidnappers would do is tie up his hands. Deidara would ignore this and change the topic immediately.

As soon as Deidara answered his phone, Hidan's voice came through, demanding that they all meet at the park. When Deidara asked why Hidan would choose the park, he answered because Kakuzu was "too much of a motherfucking cheap asshole to go anywhere else." Deidara didn't mind the park; this was the one where he tended to blow things up in.

"Hey," Kakuzu looked up and gave a small wave in acknowledgement to his friends' arrival. He was possibly the quietest and most mature in the group; even now, in his crisp black suit, he looked incredibly out of place next to Hidan whose shirt's buttons were not being used. Deidara couldn't help but wonder how the four of them could be such good friends when they looked like they had nothing in common. Kakuzu blinked and frowned, looking at Deidara. "Why do you look like a hobo?"

"Do I seriously look that bad, un?" Deidara asked and looked down. He didn't look that bad, at least nothing was torn. "Pein called me a hobo too, un…"

"Yeah, you really do," Hidan smirked and looked at his friend, "What'd you do; roll out of your damn bed this morning?" Hidan always looked like he stepped out of some kind of a fashion catalogue, thanks to his never ending bank. Today, he donned a deep white v-neck and washed out jeans that hung loosely around his hips. If he kept his mouth shut, he really could pass for a model. However, Hidan's mouth was never shut.

"Shut up," Deidara mumbled and sat down on the bench next to his foul mouthed friend, "Just found out I'm getting evicted in three days, un. Didn't really feel like looking decent before storming out of my house." He ran his fingers through his blonde hair and frowned when he realized he had forgotten to put it up in its usual half ponytail. Maybe that was why everyone called him a hobo, he mused; his hair wasn't even brushed. Hastily, he began to finger comb his hair, hoping to make it look a bit more presentable.

"Pein," Kakuzu interrupted and glanced at the Rolex on his watch, "Isn't it four thirty?"

The orange haired man blinked and pulled out his cell phone. "…Yes. Yes, it is."

"Shouldn't you be back at work?"

"I suppose," Pein sighed. He did not look forward to going back. Technically speaking, he didn't have to. After all, he was the boss; no one would dare reprimand him for taking a four hour lunch break. But then again, that wouldn't be setting a very good example for his employees.

"Pein!"

The four men looked up and saw a blue haired woman approaching them, grinning broadly. Hidan whistled. "Damn, she's looking fiiine."

"Hidan, shut up," Pein muttered as Konan neared and he looked at her, smiling softly. "Konan."

"Hi! Coincidental seeing you here!" she said and looked at the other three before waving at them, "Hi, I'm Konan!"

"Studying to get her Ph.D in history at Tokyo University," Pein said as his own introduction of her and stood up next to her. Immediately, all three eyes zoomed in on their intertwined fingers. Deidara nudged Hidan, who nudged Kakuzu, who shot a glare at the silver haired man. That's the girlfriend. Act cool.

"Deidara, un."

"Hidan."

"Kakuzu; nice to meet you."

Konan nodded politely at them, "Pein's talked about you three a lot! I'm glad to finally meet you guys; he makes you sound… interesting…" Immediately, the three noticed the bright voice falter slightly and they all glared at Pein who smirked in response and tugged at Konan's hand. "Let's go."

"Eh? Where? What about your friends?" Konan asked as he dragged her off somewhere.

"I don't care about them."

"Bastard!" Hidan muttered, "Scores a hot chick and pretends he doesn't know us! He's almost as much of an asswipe as Kakuzu!"

"I'll pretend I didn't hear that. Deidara, you're being evicted?" Kakuzu leaned over and frowned again, worry creasing his face as he looked at his younger friend. Kakuzu wasn't one to show that he cared for his friends, but he did, with the exception of Hidan. He had a particular soft spot for Deidara; the kid was young and reckless, giving up what could've been a very stable and successful life to chase something that he wanted to do. It was admirable, but Kakuzu had a feeling Deidara wasn't exactly using his bright mind when he made the decision. He didn't want to see the artist get crushed by the reality of the world; deep down, where a tiny sliver of kindness laid, he hoped Deidara would succeed. Because, as Deidara had once confided when he was drunk, he had actually pursued his art because he wanted to make his parents proud. His parents always loved his art; once he made it big, Deidara promised, he'd dedicate his first art show to his parents. Then he promptly passed out and Kakuzu dragged him back home.

"Yup," Deidara sighed, "Missed too many payments, un. Three days. Know anyone looking for a roommate that doesn't mind if I can't pay for like the first three months, un?"

"You can always go work as a whore. You look girly enough."

"Fuck off, Hidan. I'm an artist, not a prostitute, un!"

Kakuzu rolled his eyes at their bickering before his eyes landed on a bright orange flyer. Usually he ignored the trash in the park but this time he picked it up and read it. ROOMMATE WANTED. Apartment, 15 minutes away from Tokyo University by subway. Ability to pay rent immediately is not required; please call 555-656-7878.

"Hey guys…"

"Well then, do something about that fucking hair! Even I have to say, it's starting to get sad to watch guys mug you because they think you're a damn chick!"

"Oh shut up, Hidan, un! Why don't you wear something that actually covers your chest, un?"

"Hey, the ladies like it!"

"Do you even like girls, un?"

"That doesn't fucking matter!"

"…Forget it," Kakuzu muttered and crumpled up the flyer, tossing it into the trash easily and smirking as he glanced at Hidan Deidara who were attracting looks with their fighting. Kakuzu cared for Deidara; he really did. There were times where Deidara found his bills "magically" paid (of course, Kakuzu only did that when it was serious and not too much) or he "magically" found new clothes in his drawer (once again, Kakuzu would pass by a garage sale and see clothes that Deidara may wear). However, he had to let go. The kid had to learn to live by himself.

And Kakuzu's first lesson was letting him live on the streets.

Author's Notes: It's at times like these when I really wish I took a writing class. Not a writing intensive class like AP Lang/AP Lit (which kill me, by the way) but a creative writing class. Something to help with story writing, not analysis. I can't wait to go to college…

Never have I attempted KisaIta nor KakuHida. Is Kakuzu out of character? Yes, definitely. Is Hidan not swearing enough? …Possibly. Are Pein and Itachi talking too much? Probably. Is anyone in character? …I don't believe so… If you have any critique or advice on how to portray characters better, I would love and appreciate to hear them. Thank you for reading, please review!

And yes. I changed my pen name. I may change it back because I hate change, but for now, I think I may keep it...