You're Falling – Chapter 7: What You Want

A/N: Right, I think I owe it to you all to give you a once-and-for-all straight-out answer about my updating schedule. I have decided to update once a week, which was basically what I was doing before. Although I would absolutely love to update once every twenty four hours, I just don't have the time any more. I'm too busy with my school work, considering I have to be top three ranking for every subject I take, and all my other duties take up even more time, not to mention my extra-curricular activities. Oh, and TGTYEL is still going to be my primary fic. Once that is finished, probably in a number of weeks, 'You're Falling' will become my primary fic, but until then you'll have to settle for once-weekly updates. It's not that abnormal – it's actually more abnormal for updates every twenty four hours. Yes, it's annoying, but at least I'm giving you an update schedule rather than leaving you in the dark. Yes, I've lost readers for my slow updates, but I'm writing this for myself as much as you. Self-centred bitch-sounding rant over, we're on with the story! Can I repeat how sorry I am about not updating? You all understand, right? I'm a busy little woman, 'kay? Song of the chapter is 'What Do You Want From Me?' by Adam Lambert, because I'm stuck for ideas. This isn't a very thematic piece, so it's hard to pick songs!

This is thinking/dreaming.

This is regular story.

This is author's note.

This is title

Warnings: Nothing of note, darlings. A little bit of language, maybe, but nothing of any note that's violent or really worthy of mention. But I'm mentioning it anyway because some people I know get weird about swearing and it's a habit…same applies to sex. There be no sex here! Generally, the lemon I have planned will not be what you are expecting. If you've read my Uchihacest fic, you might have a clue. If you haven't, trust me. You don't.

Disclaimer: It isn't mine, guys. I don't own any of the lovely (and not so lovely) gentlemen of Naruto fame, they all belong to Masashi Kishimoto – it's a little known fact that he keeps them chained up in his basement for personal pleasure when they aren't featuring in his manga…didn't know that, did ya? Haha, I kid…unfortunately. If they were real, I would have kidnapped them and put them in my dungeon of pleasure already.

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Yeah, there might have been a time

When I would let you slip away

I wouldn't even try

But I think you could save my life

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"I'm sending you on a mission," The cloaked figure announced. He paced across the raised dais towards the back of the room, mostly shrouded in shadow. The pacing wasn't fast enough to be nervous; on the contrary, it was very casual and self-assured. This was a guy who knew he was in control. It was dark enough to completely obscure his features, although I thought I saw light reflecting off metal when he turned. I quirked an eyebrow at that; was he wearing a lot of jewellery? Wasn't that a bit girly?

"What? Already?" I squeaked, a little surprised. I hadn't been a part of Akatsuki for twenty four hours and I was already being asked, no, ordered, to risk my life for it. Wasn't that a bit excessive?

"Think of it as a test of loyalty," The figure paused in its pacing, turning to look at Sasori and me. "To both your partner and to Akatsuki. There is a reason I ensure every member has a partner, and it isn't just for assistance in battle,"

"But Sasori no Danna has already tried to kill me once, un!" I said loudly, shooting a pouting glance at the short figure next to me. He just looked back with an unreadable expression, a single eyebrow rising slowly.

"Please elaborate on Deidara's claim, Sasori," Leader-sama said, resuming his smooth back and forth movements.

"It was merely a test of strength. I was determining his reaction to imminent death, and he reacted…sufficiently," Sasori explained, eyes sweeping up and down my body. I resisted the urge to shiver; I hated being treated like an object or like a piece of meat. His look said it all; I was just another puppet until I proved myself.

"What do you mean, 'test of strength'? You pinned me to the bed, Danna!" I exclaimed. "And what would have happened if I had failed?" Although I thought I already knew.

"Killed you," He said shortly.

"See? Why are you sending us on a test of loyalty mission thing if I'm more at risk from my own partner than anyone else, un?"

"It's character building," Sasori said blankly, though I thought I could detect a note of amusement in his voice. He was hard to read, since I had known him for a number of hours, but I thought I might be getting a better hang of it. Or I would, provided I lasted long enough.

My loyalty to Akatsuki was already ensured by my defeat at Itachi's hands, even if I did feel more than a twinge of irritation about the method of recruitment. Still, it made more sense than trying to buy my services since I was steadily gaining a reputation for killing my employers. My loyalty to the organisation was also nicely ensured with the ever-implicit knowledge that even if I did somehow manage to escape, I would be hunted down and exterminated like vermin. On the basis that I fully intended to end my life on my own terms, that was a threat.

Death – the death of my targets, the death of my employers, and eventually my own death – all had to be on my terms. It was something I could control, something to feel break as soon as I detonated my bombs, something to revel in. I had control over my own life, and I wasn't about to let that go. The first years of my life, too many years in my opinion, were beyond my control, but I was my own person now. I could be in control and lose it all when I wanted.

"So what's the mission?" Sasori's calm voice broke my train of thought. I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, watching as one slim hand rose to brush an errant strand of hair out of his eyes.

That was when I noticed it. His sleeve slipped just enough to reveal joints at his elbows. I have never thought to look for something like that before, since every movement he made was smooth and natural, but the joints were clearly not human. I recognised them from somewhere, from his puppet arsenal.

Sasori was a puppet.

I violently repressed the indignant shrieks that wanted to burst from my lips at the realisation, to ask exactly why he hadn't mentioned something so major sooner. Surely that's something obvious to tell your new partner, considering it would really affect battle strategies and all.

It did explain a lot, though. I felt a little stupid for not realising it, actually. That explained why he could be thirty two and still look about twelve, and why he didn't eat.

I also realised what it meant on an artistic level. Sasori no Danna had become his art, and that was the greatest achievement of all.

"Your mission is threefold; you will infiltrate the Daimyo's palace in the Land of Valleys and take a set of scrolls from the library. The current Daimyo is to be removed, and then replaced with the leader of an Akatsuki allied opposition group, known locally as Renzu. As this is your first mission, Deidara, I'm not giving you a time limit, although I expect you to have returned well within two months. Any questions?" Leader-sama spoke quickly and efficiently as though he was reading a shopping list instead of plans to steal and murder. I blanched a little at the mission; assassination already? That was more than a little hardcore for a first mission. It wasn't anything I hadn't done before, though, although the finer points of politics tended to escape me. Usually I just made beautiful artwork out of my targets and ran before anyone tried to stop me. "Leave within two hours. I expect this mission to go well; it is in your best interests not to disappoint me,"

"We'll leave immediately, Leader-sama," Sasori said. I shot him a look of mild outrage.

"What? I just got here, I have no possessions, and I'll run out of clay before long, un! We can't leave immediately," I said indignantly. "That's just mmmf!" I was forced to stop speaking when a solid, cold hand pressed over my mouth, and another started dragging me back by my collar.

"Come on, brat. We don't want to be late,"

"You're so mean to me, Danna!" I shrieked, working my way free of his hand. The other, though, stayed firmly latched onto my shirt, no matter how hard I twisted. "And how can we be late when we have two whole hours to get ready?"

"I fully expect you to procrastinate and hold me up, that's why,"

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A/N: Yes, it's short. Yes, I'm a bitch. No, I don't have the time. Either way, you got your weekly chapter, and I promise next week will be longer. So bear with me until then :3