Love and hate walk a thin line.

To say Sasuke was "unfriendly" would have been a terrible understatement. Words such as "temperamental, cold, or downright bellicose" would have better suited a description. He wasn't a people person to begin with, but there had always been certain people who could tug and tug at his strings until he just snapped. Deidara was one of those people, if names were going to get called. The blond was the bane of Sasuke's existence. He had been ever since Sasuke had been forced into the Akatsuki as a replacement for Itachi. It was just weeks after the fatalistic battle between the two brothers.

Deidara had never tolerated Itachi, nor had Sasuke been much different. With that infamous Sharingan and his impudent personality, Sasuke could drive Deidara's temper-control into the ground. The two almost never went a day without an argument starting, often over petty things, and often leading to violence. There were a few training grounds that had fallen victim to the destructive anger that surged between the two young men, as well as an occasional room inside of the base. That fact didn't make their comrades happy. No one could keep Sasuke and Deidara apart every day, one just had to learn when to vacate the premises whenever the two crossed paths.

Today was a day where an evacuation would have been the best choice.

Red was misting over Sasuke's vision, fury crackling at his fingertips as he tightened his fists. Once, he might've prided himself on not losing his temper too often. That tact had gone out with a bang the second Sasuke had started living around Deidara. The older man, for all that he was an idiot, had a knack for knowing what to say to get under Sasuke's skin. Bossing him around was a good example; Sasuke did not take kindly to authority or control. He always refuted it, rebelling against any who tried to command him. Deidara knew that. Deidara did that. Just like today, with the mission to Oto to repossess a scroll one of Orochimaru's lackeys had stolen. Sasuke had accompanied Deidara because the Uchiha knew the layout of Oto like the back of his hand, and Deidara could get them in and out in a heartbeat.

Deidara found it easy to rile Sasuke—too easy. Perhaps if Sasuke didn't react with such vibrant anger, Deidara would find it less entertaining. Too bad Sasuke didn't realize it, and too bad Deidara had next to no impulse control. He was older than Sasuke was, and of a higher rank. Whether Sasuke acknowledged those facts or not, Deidara was his superior, and Deidara never failed to act it. Any chance he had to deliver orders to Sasuke, he would take. Even if they were genuine, like they were during today's mission, where Deidara had Sasuke get the scroll. Sasuke never failed to fight back. Why he couldn't accept orders with grace so that things would go easier, Deidara couldn't say. It was pretty funny, at least, when he wasn't in a shouting match with the Uchiha and struggling to keep things from going awry. Also, when he wasn't faced with Sasuke barging into his room, uninvited and shouting.

Sasuke didn't bother knocking when he went into Deidara's room, he just stormed in, seething and ready for a fight. It had been him who delivered the scroll to Konan, who was often the link between the other Akatsuki members and their leader. Deidara had left Sasuke to take care of it, as he usually did with things, and Sasuke had had enough. He was sick of Deidara trying to control him, boss him around, and treat him like an inferior. Sasuke wasn't a child, and if he was going to have to drill that into Deidara's head, he'd do so.

Deidara cast his eyes from the book in his hands and towards Sasuke, his eyebrows furrowed with annoyance. "You know, kid, it's pretty rude to burst into places uninvited, un." Deidara set the book to the side of his bed as he stood, already anticipating the oncoming spitfire about to come out of Sasuke's mouth.

Sasuke's scowl narrowed upon hearing Deidara call him a kid. "I'm sick of you calling me that, and I'm sick of you thinking you can act like you're better than I am. I'm not a pawn for you to order around, you bastard," Sasuke snapped, speaking in rushed and clipped tones. He didn't speak Iwa, thus Deidara always spoke in the native tongue of Konoha, and even his fluency managed to grind on Sasuke's nerves. "You're no better than I am, quit acting like it."

Deidara's lips pulled up at one corner. Crossing his arms, he started towards Sasuke, closing the distance between them and leaning down in Sasuke's face. The raven wanted to step away to reintroduce some distance between them, but he knew that would only goad Deidara on. "You're just a replacement for your brother, un. I'm older, I'm stronger. I am better." Deidara spoke in a tone that was smug, but underlying anger sharpened the edge. Before he straightened up, Deidara cocked his head and smirked, daring Sasuke to challenge what he'd just said.

Sasuke couldn't be expected to let that slide. He lifted his chin and pinned a glare to Deidara. "Fine. If you're willing to test that, let's spar. The clearing, on the north side. It's big enough, and far enough that no one will interrupt. If I win, you'll stop your bullshit and belittling me."

The proposition was, apparently, a joke to Deidara. He snorted out a laugh and leaned forward, placing his hand on the wall behind Sasuke. The blond was a couple of inches taller than Sasuke was, at most, but this still made the younger man feel too caged. "That's a riot, un. And if I win?" Deidara asked, as if he were already certain of his own victory.

Sasuke scowled, seething malice. "You won't, but go ahead. Your pick."

Deidara didn't answer for a moment. He paused in mock thought, before lowering his gaze to eye Sasuke up and down. Something in the depth of Deidara's eyes darkened, and Sasuke couldn't help but feel like prey caught under a predator's sharp attention. Clearing his throat, Sasuke decided to ask again. "Well, what would you want? You're wasting my time."

Deidara smirked, and Sasuke regretted asking. The way the blond stepped forward, crowding Sasuke against the wall, nothing about it spoke of innocent intentions. Deidara leaned down, so that Sasuke could hear him whisper the words against the boy's ear. "Your body will be a fair pay, for putting me through all this trouble, yeah?" Deidara's breath was warm against Sasuke's ear, but his words felt cold. Sasuke stiffened so hard, so fast, that he thought his bones might crack. "Your virginity, then. If you're so certain you'll win, you have nothing to worry about." Deidara pulled away with a sly smile on his lips, as if he could treat this like a joke.

"You're disgusting," Sasuke snapped, pushing Deidara back. "I should have expected you not to take anything seriously." Sasuke began to walk out, but he had to stop at the door. If he backed out now, Deidara would know Sasuke was a coward, that he wasn't sure of his own abilities. So, as much as Sasuke wanted to deny the proposal, he couldn't allow himself to. With a deep breath, Sasuke wondered if this was all going to be worth it. "Fine, but you'll never win this. You're just a kid who plays with clay."

Sasuke walked out to the sound of Deidara's chuckle. The whole situation had done nothing to quell the fury surging in Sasuke's gut. But now, something else was dwindling in alongside the vicious mixture, something darker. Crossing an arm across his abdomen, where his emotions often boiled as he ignored them, Sasuke thought it a good idea to head to his room for a little bit. He wanted to clear his head before the sparring match later. If he went in like this, his mind wasn't going to be able to focus. He had a hard time staying concentrated, whenever the bomber was around.

"Annoying, cocksure jerk," Sasuke muttered. He would show Deidara who was in control.

Meanwhile, Deidara had watched Sasuke leave, wearing a smile on his face that was softer than his previous smirk. Sasuke was too self-assured, too hot-headed to think or react clearly, once he really got going. It made it that much easier for Deidara to rile the Uchiha up. Deidara was fond of that, now. Sasuke was clever, witty, and a pain in the ass. But, he could spark Deidara's passion like a live match, and that was something Deidara was drawn to. The interest was like a moth to a flame—the flame was stunning, deadly if you didn't know what you were doing, and fleeting. Yet, even when extinguished, a fire could be rekindled. Sasuke was strong, indeed, but Deidara was stronger. He was going to enjoy proving that to Sasuke.

The clearing Sasuke had chosen was a secluded, peaceful slice of greenery. The branches of the tall, old oak trees twined above to block out most of the sunlight. This was where you could feel the heartbeat of the forest, if you were to stop, lie down in the soft grass, and just breathe. Each breath in would fill your lungs with crisp air, and soon you might swear that the forest was breathing with you.

Sasuke liked it here, where it was quiet. He had gotten to the clearing earlier so that he may sort his thoughts out. The idea of what Deidara wanted, should he win, hung over Sasuke's head like a nervous cloud. It was reflex when Sasuke tensed, his mind whirring with warnings against participating in this, even if it had been his idea. Sasuke shut the alarms down; Deidara wasn't going to win, so why worry?

Leaves began to rustle on the opposite side of the clearing. Sasuke raised his head, watching as Deidara swaggered into the clearing. It vexed the raven to look at the lazy smirk on Deidara's face, but he reminded himself it wouldn't be in place for long. Sasuke pushed off the tree he had been leaning against and rolled his shoulders, loosening his muscles in preparation. "Are you ready?" he asked, shifting into a familiar, defensive position.

Deidara cocked his head to crack his neck. "When you are, kid." Deidara couldn't even drop the moniker for something as serious as this? Sasuke's lips turned in a sneer, but the anticipation glittering in his eyes belied his excitement. He wanted to wipe Deidara's smug attitude out for good. Crimson bled into Sasuke's eyes as he activated his Sharingan. It was all the signal Deidara needed to reach for his clay pouch.

All hell broke loose, and to this day, Sasuke would say that the Devil had competition in Deidara.

With a flick of his wrist, Deidara tossed a bomb into the middle of the grass, where it blew up, and smoke swallowed the clearing. Sasuke cursed the pitiful diversion, of which he could see through, as long as he didn't lose too much chakra to keep his Sharingan activated. Deidara had already scaled one of the oak trees, having pushed his hair back to use the scope on eye. Sasuke had speed to his advantage, though, and he was going to use that in any way possible.

Keeping track of Sasuke was going to be difficult. Deidara had anticipated that, he knew Sasuke was quick, but Sasuke was also unfamiliar with how Deidara's scope worked. He likely didn't believe it would be capable of outmatching the Sharingan, but Deidara was confident in his craft. Sasuke had briefly disappeared amidst the smoke, but he didn't stay that way for long. Deidara heard the crackling electricity ahead of the muttered "Chidori!" that followed. Blinding blue light sizzled and surrounded the tree Deidara had taken up. Had Deidara not been so pumped full of adrenaline, there was a good chance he'd be suffering a serious burn.

The top half of the tree burst into splinters from the impact of the jutsu. Burnt tree bark and leaves scattered onto the carpet of grass below, crackling. Deidara, having jumped from the tree, decided to test how good Sasuke's perception was. Pulling his hand from his clay pouch, where he had taken a handful and formed a few small, clay spiders, Deidara dropped them onto the forest floor. He took up in another tree, where he glanced down to the where his spiders had burrowed into the dirt, now unseen. That would make for a nasty surprise later—Deidara was counting on it, anyway.

The smoke was still billowing around the clearing, and though Sasuke still had his vision to his advantage, he couldn't say the same for his lungs. Heaving a cough to expel some of the toxins from his chest, Sasuke looked up through the haze, searching to pinpoint where Deidara had moved to. Sasuke had landed beneath the tree he'd just destroyed. From that vantage point, he could see the outline of Deidara's body in another of the trees. Idiot, did he really think hiding this entire time would grant him a win? "Stop being a coward," Sasuke snapped, now on the move towards the tree. If he had to destroy them all, he could, and he probably would, if he let himself go too far.

Deidara almost rolled his eyes, but unfortunately, he needed to keep them on Sasuke. He waited until the younger boy was close enough before jumping down. Deidara landed behind Sasuke, but while that may have worked in favor with any other ninja, it wouldn't with Sasuke. Almost before Deidara was even straightened up, Sasuke was whirling around. He turned his body with such fluidity it was a wonder the boy wasn't made entirely of water. Deidara hardly had the time to brace his arm up to deflect the kick Sasuke had reared back for. Sasuke had tried to catch the blond in the gut, but Deidara's hand gripped Sasuke's ankle and swiped his other leg out from under him. In the second (if even) that Deidara had taken Sasuke's balance, he planted a foot in the boy's stomach and kicked him back into the tree behind him.

The air in Sasuke's chest left him in a choked gasp, it was a loss he couldn't afford much of. He felt almost lightheaded, and he wondered how Deidara wasn't feeling the same effects of the smoke. Had he simply grown used to it, or did he have some other tact up his sleeve that Sasuke wasn't in on? It wouldn't matter. Sasuke had Deidara out of his element. The bomber was better at long-range battle, he favored his distance. Sasuke pushed himself off the tree and swung his left arm, catching Deidara in the jaw. With what was left of his momentum, Sasuke swung his knee up and hit Deidara in the stomach, doubling him over. Before Sasuke could land a third hit, Deidara had braced his arms in front of his face to block it.

The battle was grueling. Sasuke had hoped it would be quick, but he could see now he'd been wrong to think that. It was true, Sasuke may have favored hand-to-hand combat, but that didn't mean Deidara was a slouch in that area. The taste of blood in Sasuke's mouth proved that, as did the bruises spreading across his torso and arms. It was violent and it was loud, a flurry of hitting, blocking, and taking hit after hit. Blood had dripped onto the ground, smeared into the grass. Sasuke's chest heaved and, finally, he could tell that Deidara was suffering the same. The smoke hadn't gotten to him, but the exertion was.

Reaching for his weapons, Sasuke flung two kunai and sent them careening towards Deidara. The bomber dodged one by leaning right, but that made him catch the other in his shoulder. A pained swear bled past Deidara's lips. He didn't wait to process the pain before yanking the kunai out, causing blood to drip down his arm. Deidara had gotten distracted in that moment, and he didn't notice Sasuke until the Uchiha was right in front of him. Deidara leaned to avoid taking the brunt of Sasuke's punch. He had leaned almost too far, but instead of losing his balance, Deidara was going to try and use it to his advantage. Twisting his body along with the momentum, Deidara kicked his leg out and landed a hit right to Sasuke's ribs. Sasuke went down, and Deidara took his chance to put some distance between them.

Sasuke came to rest, crouching on one knee as he tried to cool his burning lungs with several swallows of air. His eyes cut up to survey the clearing, only to find Deidara nowhere in sight. Sasuke cursed his falter in attention and began to straighten. Halfway standing, Sasuke felt a shudder go down his back, and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. Before Sasuke could react, Deidara wrapped his arm around the raven's neck and held the kunai to his throat, digging in only a slight. Sasuke suspected that, if he were to swallow, it would cut into him. "Gotcha, yeah," Deidara's grin was clear in his voice.

Too bad for him, it was Sasuke's turn to smirk. "Not this time," he said. Not ever. With a burst of smoke, Sasuke's clone vanished. A cheap tactic, but a good diversion. Deidara had no time to prepare for the attack that came from behind him. Sasuke could be such a sneak, when it came down to it. Deidara braced himself for impact just a beat before Sasuke landed a hit that sent Deidara sprawling. That wasn't exactly what hurt, but the tree that he collided with sure did. Deidara put a hand to his head, where he had hit against the trunk of the tree, and it came back red with his blood.

Great. Deidara scowled up at the Uchiha standing a few feet away, but a spark of satisfaction came from seeing how worn down Sasuke looked, himself. They were both bruised, bleeding, and growing drained, but neither were willing to give up yet. Sasuke sucked in a deep breath and brought his hands up, his fingers forming a familiar sequence. Deidara had seen Itachi use the same jutsu, in the past. "Katon, Gōkakyū no Jutsu!" Sasuke had just gotten the words out of his mouth when he raised his hand close to his lips. The fireball was massive and, in the small clearing, almost impossible to dodge. Deidara escaped any deadly injury, but the fire still skimmed his right arm and burned Deidara's forearm and bicep. Deidara swore with conviction, sweat dripping down his brow.

Deidara came to rest against a tree, where the trunk supported his weight. Even through his own exhaustion, he still had the energy to aim a cheeky grin at Sasuke. From his pouch, Deidara pulled out a bomb. They had all been small, for Deidara only wanted to inflict minimal damage, not to kill Sasuke. With expert precision, Deidara tossed the bomb towards his weakened opponent. Sasuke blocked his arms ahead of his face to brace against the force of the explosion. He knew that no matter where he moved, the blast would still knock him back. It did little for him.

The force of the explosion was enough to blow Sasuke backwards, where he skidded several feet across the ground, tearing up the grass. When he slid to a halt, Sasuke was scraped and winded, but able to stand, though he did so slowly. Deidara, who had been working on catching his breath, looked up in time to catch the final hand seal Sasuke was performing. He hadn't even heard the boy speak. Several small furls of fire hurtled towards Deidara, the vibrant orange flames glinted off the blue in Deidara's eyes as they neared. The impressive array was too much for Deidara to avoid in its entirety. One of the fireballs clipped his arm, another his thigh, and a third hit him right in his abdomen. The impact was searing and knocked Deidara back a few feet. He didn't get up right away, and even when he did, his muscles protested.

Sasuke had taken up in a tree, to better observe Deidara and take in the damage. Blood dripped in small beads down to the tree branch and forest floor. He watched as Deidara stood, looking steadier than he might've felt. The two men stared one another down, either planning or trying to predict the other's next move. Sasuke narrowed his eyes when he saw Deidara's mouth pull up into a sneer. "What is he…?" Sasuke let his inquiry trail off when Deidara, moving faster than Sasuke would have liked, considering the blond's injuries, scaled one of the nearby trees.

Endurance was something both men had much of, they had trained their bodies to the breaking point countless times. Sasuke may not be surprised, but he could be annoyed. Things were coming to a close, now was when they were both going to have to pull all the stops.

Sasuke turned his head towards where he expected Deidara to attack from, starting to lean in preparation. Too bad that wasn't where Deidara was. Sasuke realized it too late, Deidara landed his hit into Sasuke's side, and Sasuke couldn't stay on the tree. Deidara knelt on the branch Sasuke had before, watching as Sasuke managed to twist himself in the air and land on his feet. The damn kid reminded Deidara of a cat. And, when Sasuke scowled up at Deidara without any lack of malice, Deidara could picture the Uchiha bristling. Deidara started to laugh, but it died in his throat when Sasuke's Chidori lit up the forest in blue. Deidara gave a wry smirk. The kid sure liked that jutsu, didn't he?

Deidara dropped back off the tree and landed hard on the ground. It was his only choice, lest he wanted to get electrocuted. That wasn't that appealing of a death, Deidara thought. Sasuke didn't land with much grace, himself, though that didn't deter him. Almost as soon as he was steady on his feet, he was launching into another jutsu—the Uchiha sure had favored their fucking fire, hadn't they? Deidara didn't bother stopping to figure out what it was. The words left Sasuke's mouth at about the same time the fire burst forward. Deidara collapsed backward, launching himself into a carved ditch—one of the older ones. They were to practice stealth and hiding for overnights.

The fire seared overhead as Deidara flattened himself against the ground, silent even as he thanked the skies for this turn of luck. Had they not been so near the ditches, Deidara would've been in a world of pain. He waited until the flames had vanished, leaving only heat behind, before he stood again.

Sasuke was out of breath, and scowling with disgust when he saw Deidara emerge, unharmed. Well, that wasn't quite the right word—Deidara looked like hell, but that jutsu hadn't taken him out. Sasuke had confidence that it would have been his victory. Deidara trudged out of the ditch, his hand reaching for his clay pouch. Sasuke followed the movement, intent on not suffering another blow from a bomb. Instead of a bomb, however, Deidara had used his other hand to reach for two shuriken, and those were what he threw. Sasuke caught on in time to duck the first one, but the second one embedded itself in his torso, to the left of his navel. "Fuck," Sasuke hissed, ripping the sharp blade out of his flesh. His eyes lifted, looking over at Deidara, and not holding an ounce of restraint. Sasuke wanted this to be over, and he was going to be the one who ended it. Reaching down, to where his sheathe was, he drew his katana.

Deidara watched Sasuke, truly he did. That silver gleam in the sunlight caught his attention and he zeroed in on it. But, even then, Sasuke was fast. Deidara hadn't thought Sasuke as possessing the strength to throw the sword, he had only ever seen Sasuke fight with it in close range. But, Sasuke threw it, and the damn thing punctured Deidara's abdomen. It had missed any vital organs, but Deidara knew it would kill him, were they somewhere without a medic. Sasuke wasn't an idiot, but he was reckless. Deidara heaved a cough and gripped the handle of the sword, but he didn't pull it out.

Sasuke's smirk was as sharp as his weapon had been. "I win," he hissed, oozing arrogance. Deidara cut his gaze up, looking at Sasuke through the scope while the other closed in a wince. Despite the obvious pain he was in, Deidara's lips tilted into a sly, red-tinted smirk. Sasuke felt the pride in his chest freezing into a heavy block of ice. Deidara laughed, once, a jarring sound considering his current state. "I'm afraid not, kid, un." Deidara opened his eye to watch Sasuke, drinking in the expression of panic and suspicion. Raising his hand, the one not covering his stomach, Deidara's lips began to form the familiar command. "Katsu."

Sasuke wasn't sure what happened. Yes, he had felt the ground beneath him crumbling and giving way as the explosions carried through it, but he didn't feel the pain. Not at first, anyway. No, first he felt the dizzying, nauseating sense of loss and of dread. He could only watch Deidara's lips complete the order and await the inevitable. Sasuke couldn't see the bombs, but it didn't matter. They burst around him and every bone in his body felt the impact, jarring and vehement as he went flying backwards, propelled by the blast. Sasuke heard someone cry out—was it him? His hearing was muffled, he couldn't quite tell.

The explosions stopped, eventually, though Sasuke wasn't sure how long the initial attack had lasted. It had probably only been seconds, as surreal as that thought was. Sasuke didn't get up, he doubted he could. He couldn't feel anything in his bones or muscles aside from an insistent ache, and a vibrating thrum. Through bleary eyes, Sasuke watched as an unclear figure stopped in front of him and knelt, brushing Sasuke's bangs away from his face. Sasuke's vision was turning dark, and as much as he struggled to clear his head, the fog still came. He started to slip out.

"I won."

"Ugh," Sasuke's throat felt dry and cracked when he groaned. He was just coming back into consciousness, a gradual process full of confusion and irritation. His limbs felt heavy and his head was full of cotton, but as he flexed his muscles, he found no pain. Sasuke blinked, though the only thing in his sight was an abyss of white ceiling. Had the entire fight been a dream? No, why would he be in the infirmary otherwise?

Sasuke tried to sit up then, determined to assess himself and figure out what the hell had happened. He had woken up before his memory had, and it was still lagging. Before Sasuke could get all the way upright, a slender hand rested on his shoulder, urging him to slow down. "Easy, Sasuke. You're in the infirmary, everything is all right." Sasuke would recognize the saccharine, cool tone of Konan's voice anywhere. He allowed her to push him to lean back, if only so she could remove the needle in his arm. He hated those things, necessary or not.

"Do you care to tell me why you and Deidara were out in the middle of the forest, having nearly killed one another?" Underneath Konan's calm question, Sasuke heard a note of both frustration and amusement. No, he didn't care to tell her, and his silence suggested as much. Konan hummed when she didn't receive an answer, raising her gaze up to Sasuke's for a moment. "Well, you both sustained serious injury, but I took care of it. You've been out a full day, though. Since yesterday afternoon, at least. It's evening, now."

Sasuke closed his eyes as he listened, trying to process the information she was feeding him, as his brain was still half asleep. She continued, unaware of Sasuke's plight. "Deidara came to a few hours ago, you both are still drained. You wasted most of your chakra out there, Sasuke. Please be careful until it replenishes."

Hearing Deidara's name made Sasuke's ears ring. Hoping to appease the woman, Sasuke nodded his understanding, all but brushing her off. Konan smiled to herself, resting her hand atop Sasuke's head. She was somewhat fond of the boy, he was still quite young, and he reminded her of someone she'd known a long time ago. Misguided and passionate, but with a good heart. "Just a minute, and you can leave," she told him. She turned, preparing to check Sasuke's vitals a last time and to take out his IV needle.

The door to the infirmary opened with a soft whoosh of air, and Sasuke glanced towards it, curious. Deidara walked inside, but he didn't come in much further. He leaned back against the wall, his gaze pinned to Sasuke all the while. Deidara wore a broad, smug smirk on his lips, prompting Sasuke to scowl in confusion. Why was Deidara looking so pleased, he had suffered serious injury as well. Sasuke didn't—

Realization dawned on Sasuke. Or, rather, crashed on top of him like a burning building. His eyes widened when it all came back to him. Deidara had won the battle, Sasuke had passed out. Deidara had won.

Deidara had won him.

Sasuke felt his chest tighten. Beside him, Konan made a disconcerted sound as she checked Sasuke's pulse, which had begun to accelerate. "Sasuke, are you sure you're feeling all right?" she asked, but she didn't receive even a glance. Deidara snickered, but it was too quiet for Konan to hear. Had Sasuke not been staring right at him, he'd have missed it, too.

No, Deidara hadn't been serious. It was a joke, a sick one, but still just a joke. It was Deidara's way of trying to startle Sasuke, to make him uncomfortable and mess up his concentration during the battle. Sasuke refused to believe anything otherwise!

Sasuke was lying to himself. He was in trouble, and he knew he couldn't beat his way out of it. He had been the one to initiate the battle and the deal in the first place. Trying to get out of it would seem cowardly, and unfair. Sasuke had never spoken about his sex life, not once. Deidara's certainty over Sasuke's preferences and his experience was enough to make Sasuke blanche. Had Deidara even been certain, or had he been guessing? Why would Deidara even want to? Was it strictly to embarrass Sasuke, or to have the upper hand and take control over him, to make him vulnerable and weak?

Was it to hurt him?

If he continued letting his thoughts go on like that, Sasuke was going to pass out again. He didn't want to lie with his enemy, more open and intimate than he had ever been with anyone in his life. Sasuke had hardly been willing to allow medics to touch him, at times. He didn't have much grasp on how intimacy worked, having spent more of his life without it than with it, at this age. Now, he was meant to just hand those reigns over?

He held onto his mask of stoicism throughout Konan's quick checks, until she agreed he could leave. Sasuke stood, a bit shaky but still managing, and looked towards the door. He didn't want to pass Deidara, but the blond hadn't left, and Sasuke couldn't stand to stick around any longer. Squaring his shoulders, Sasuke clenched his jaw and started forward. Deidara watched him, his smirk still in place. When Sasuke was close enough, the blond cocked his head. "Feeling better, un?" Deidara didn't bat an eye at the scowl Sasuke sent him. "I'll be at your room later tonight. Leave it unlocked, yeah."

Sasuke almost choked on his next swallow. He didn't want to let on any reaction or expression that Deidara could read. Without gracing Deidara with an answer, Sasuke skimmed past him and headed down the corridor, struggling not to look like he was in a hurry. He wanted to escape the situation as fast as he could, and the real night hadn't even started. He had a few hours to prepare himself—if possible. All he had to do was pleasure Deidara, right? It could be over in an hour, surely. Deidara was at least easy on the eyes, Sasuke couldn't deny that. Deidara was a lot of things, actually.

Sasuke had only just made it to his room when he realized the tightness in his pants.

Sleep was completely out of the question, Sasuke realized. He had stared at the blinking lights of his clock from the time they had read 9:13 until now, when they read 12:21, and he was growing impatient. Impatient might not have been the best word, but it was all Sasuke could think of to describe his need to get this out of the way. The anticipation and apprehension were going to be the death of him before anything else ever got the chance.

Turning onto his side, Sasuke clutched the pillow he'd been clinging to closer to his chest. It offered some sense of security, if only because it was something Sasuke could squeeze all his nervous energy into. He had struggled to convince himself that tonight wouldn't be that bad, but he hadn't quite managed it. In spite of those misgivings, Sasuke couldn't help but feel a stirring in his chest. Be it nerves or curiosity, he wasn't sure. Sasuke hadn't ever had much time to devote to exploring sexuality. Of course, he'd had thoughts and urges, just like any other non-asexual person. Maybe he could use tonight to his advantage, too, instead of acting as a passive participant. That wouldn't be such a shameful choice, would it?

Sasuke had just begun to relax when he heard his door clicking open, and all his previous inhibitions came tripping back into place. Sasuke sat up when the door opened, letting Deidara inside before the man shut it behind him. It was so rare for Sasuke to feel uncertain and out of control, that he wasn't sure how to handle feeling those things. He wasn't sure what he should do, or what he should say, so he simply looked. His mouth had gone dry at the sight of Deidara—mostly from anxiety, Sasuke would say, but it was also partly from attraction.

Deidara stood, wearing his casual pants and tank-top, and his hair was down around his shoulders. He looked so calm and collected, as if this wasn't anything unfamiliar to him. Deidara held Sasuke's gaze, those dark eyes were round with anticipation, and he smirked. "What, no special greeting, un?" he asked, watching as Sasuke's face flushed. The boy's shirt was slipping off his shoulder, exposing an expanse of smooth skin that Deidara thought would look much prettier covered in marks.

"Just get it over with," Sasuke was proud of the way his voice came out much more commanding than he felt. "I didn't think you would need any of that romantic bullshit."

Deidara scoffed. "You wouldn't know romance if it blew up in your face, yeah." Deidara started towards Sasuke with a haughty tilt of his lips. Deidara reached down to grip the hem of his shirt (Sasuke watched all the while) and pulled the article up over his head in one motion. The shirt rustled to the ground, the only thing that laid on the otherwise immaculate floor. As he approached the bed, Sasuke tucked his legs closer to himself, as if to further the distance between them, even as the older man neared.

Placing one knee onto the bed, Deidara stilled for a second, drinking in Sasuke for a moment. Sasuke hadn't said no, he hadn't tried to run. His eyes were narrowed with suspicion, but there was a glaze in them that belied some of the less open parts of Sasuke. Deidara took care of his body, even when he relied on his bombs in fighting, he never slacked in training himself to be the best he could be. In the dim room, shadows defined curves of muscle, rippling beneath the weak light. Sasuke sucked his lower lip between his teeth. The line of his gaze traveled up, only to find Deidara watching him with an almost disgustingly smug grin. Sasuke dashed his gaze to the side, embarrassed at getting caught.

Deidara put his other leg on the bed and climbed forward, reaching out to cup Sasuke's face and bring the boy to face him. Deidara wasn't going to have any of that tonight, he wasn't going to let Sasuke ignore or deny or hide. "Don't do that," Deidara murmured, the pad of his thumb brushing against Sasuke's cheek, which had grown warm to the touch. "It's okay. You can go back to pretending tomorrow, un. Tonight, just let yourself feel for a change."

Sasuke started when a soft pair of lips covered his own. He was still at first, debating what he should do, before he realized he was doing just what Deidara had told him not to. He was still overthinking it, trying to form a plan that wasn't necessary. So, before he could think about his decision, Sasuke leaned into the kiss. It was warm, and that warmth seemed to seep from Sasuke's lips and down through his nerves. It wasn't a bad feeling, Sasuke decided, even if he didn't have much to compare it to.

When Deidara pressed his tongue against Sasuke's plush lower lip, Sasuke hesitated, uncertain if he should open his mouth. That was what Deidara was suggesting, wasn't it? Still wary, Sasuke allowed his lips to part a little, and in return he felt Deidara's tongue slip past them to press against Sasuke's own. Startled, but not entirely turned off of the act, Sasuke didn't pull away. He rested his palm against Deidara's chest, where his fingertips grazed overly-warm skin. The tip of Deidara's tongue teased at Sasuke's lips, pulling a groan from the younger boy that traveled through the kiss.

After separating, a thin string of saliva broke apart from their mouths. Sasuke's cheeks flushed, a faint a pink color that left him looking dazed and pretty. For it being his first kiss, Sasuke caught onto things fast, not that Deidara would have expected any less from the Uchiha. He was always eager to learn. With their lips only a breath apart, Deidara cocked his head to press a kiss to Sasuke's jawline. From there, he grazed a trail of kisses down to Sasuke's throat, the naked skin looked too bare without any marks on it. Sasuke tilted his head, following Deidara's lead. It felt necessary to expose his throat, to let out a quiet hum of contentment at the pleasant attention of Deidara's mouth.

Deidara smiled against Sasuke's neck, his teeth hinting at the skin before he opened his mouth and nipped. Sasuke started a bit, surprised at the sudden sharpness, but he didn't find the following tingle to be unpleasant. Bringing his hand up, Sasuke buried his fingers in Deidara's hair, letting the soft strands slip through them as he stroked. Deidara's lips made a wet sound against Sasuke's neck as he sucked a hickey onto pale skin, the lightness of it making the mark appear all the darker. It would be undeniable, should Sasuke not cover it. Deidara knew he would.

Dark eyelashes fluttered shut in pleasure when Deidara ran his tongue across the splash of hickeys he'd left on Sasuke's throat. Sasuke hadn't anticipated his neck being so sensitive to the attention, he'd never noticed that sensitivity before. He sure was now, though, and the tightness in his pants was evident of that. Deidara noticed it too, and he pressed his palm over the warm bulge, causing Sasuke's thighs to quiver.

"So sensitive," Deidara murmured into Sasuke's neck. Moving his hand up, Deidara took Sasuke's shirt and tugged it up, nudging Sasuke to raise his arms. Tossing the shirt to the side, Deidara dropped his hands to Sasuke's wrists, coaxing Sasuke into lying back. The sheets were cool against Sasuke's flesh, rousing a shudder from him. Deidara rested his palms against Sasuke's stomach, calloused fingertips sliding upwards and appreciating the smooth, lithe body for the beauty it was. Sasuke leaned up into the touch in a languid arch, hoping to push himself further into the attention. A heady laugh trickled off Deidara's lips. He had wanted Sasuke to be sensitive, responsive, but this was rich.

Raising his attention a bit higher, Deidara's fingertips found two pert, pink nipples that were hard and aching for attention. He pinched them both between his index and middle fingers, giving them a slight twist. A choked noise hit the air and Sasuke pushed his chest out, whether he was trying to ease the pressure or encourage it, he wasn't sure. It hurt, but not in a way that Sasuke wanted to stop. It was a hotter, dizzying sort of pain that left his nipples throbbing and his cock aching for friction.

Deidara gave Sasuke's nipples another pinch, if only to listen to the frantic whine bleeding past the boy's swollen lips.

Ducking his head down, Deidara wrapped his lips around one of Sasuke's nipples, and kept his fingers on the other. Sasuke flinched at the suddenness of the new sensation, his nails scratching a path of red lines down Deidara's back. Deidara laved his tongue over Sasuke's nipple while he rolled the other one between his two fingers. Once Sasuke started to shake from the pleasure, Deidara left it alone and kissed down Sasuke's navel. The younger boy rolled his hips forward, only to groan in annoyance when Deidara pulled back.

Clasping Sasuke's wrists, Deidara sat back and tugged Sasuke upright, until the boy was straddling Deidara's waist. Sasuke blinked, struggling to clear his head and to not slide himself off Deidara's lap. It wasn't that he didn't like the new position, but more that it was still too new. Deidara pressed Sasuke's palms against his chest, encouraging Sasuke to take some initiative. He returned his mouth to Sasuke's neck, maybe a bit for the incentive. Sasuke, although cautious, skimmed his fingertips down Deidara's torso. His nails scraped gently against the blond's skin, and he felt Deidara's muscles quiver in response. It was reward enough for Sasuke to go on.

Deidara hissed in pleasure, the noise muffled by Sasuke's own mouth when the boy pulled back to kiss him. It was the boldest Sasuke had been all night. With an appreciative moan into the kiss, Deidara arched his back a bit when Sasuke's hands dropped lower, toying with the hem of the blond's pants. Deidara couldn't blame Sasuke for any impatience—virgins always went too fast. They were too curious to wait, to know that going slow felt better, sometimes. Smirking to himself, Deidara pushed Sasuke back, where the boy landed with a startled huff on the mattress. He aimed a glare up at Deidara, but it might have been more effective had Sasuke not been so flushed.

Divesting himself of his pants, Deidara reached for Sasuke's own. Sasuke didn't move for a second, a pause that was hardly noticeable, before he raised his hips up. He didn't want to stop now, nor did he want to give Deidara that impression. But, with only one article of clothing between Sasuke and nudity, he felt a hint of his earlier nerves rapping at him.

Warm hands rested against Sasuke's thighs and massaged, rousing a trembling exhale from Sasuke as he relaxed into the mattress. Tension began to dissipate from his muscles, and he opened his legs to allow Deidara to sit between them. Deidara pressed his lips first to Sasuke's mouth, a brief kiss meant for reassurance, and then to his neck. Hooking his thumbs in the band of Sasuke's boxers, Deidara tugged them down, greedy to look at every inch of Sasuke.

Sasuke threw his arm over his face in a bid to preserve some of his dignity. He hated to think about how red and wrecked he looked. Though, if he looked half as good as Deidara did…maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Lifting his arm up a bit, Sasuke was granted with the sight of Deidara, fully nude after having kicked off his own underwear. Sasuke felt his breath hitch in his chest. Before Deidara could move, Sasuke was already leaning up. He grazed his knuckles against Deidara's hip, moving his hand towards the blond's erection, and wrapped his fingers around it. He couldn't' believe how hard Deidara was, and Sasuke had hardly touched him.

Deidara sucked in a sharp breath, his hips thrusting forward into Sasuke's hand. Pre-cum smeared against Sasuke's palm, making for a smoother slide. Lust wove its way through Sasuke's veins now, unadulterated, and hungry. Deidara leaned forward and crushed his lips against Sasuke's, a kiss that was nothing like the softer ones they'd shared earlier. It was every bit as capable of making Sasuke's heart skip a beat.

If this went on, Deidara worried he might come, and he didn't want this to end so soon. He pushed Sasuke to lie back again. Deidara was going to reach down to his pants, (where he'd brought a small bottle of lubricant) but instead, he watched Sasuke. The surprise of how beautiful Sasuke looked right there caught the blond off guard. He was splayed out before Deidara, open and wanting, with his hair sticking to his forehead and his cheeks pink and warm. Sasuke was watching Deidara, curious and impatient, if a little timorous for what Deidara's next move would be. "Are you going to just stare?" Sasuke asked, but no answer came.

Dropping his gaze down to glance at Sasuke's cock, he noticed Sasuke's thighs twitch, as if he wanted to close them. The older man rested one palm against Sasuke's thigh, where the mouth on his palm nipped at the vulnerable skin. Sasuke shivered and emitted a soft gasp, one that Deidara couldn't be sure was out of surprise or pleasure. Moving his hand up, Deidara wrapped his fingers around Sasuke's cock in a loose fist. The contact seemed to jar Sasuke, who jolted a bit. Pale pink lips fell open when Deidara started to pump Sasuke's erection. Though it was too slow to appease Sasuke much, it was still enough to draw a long moan from the teenager.

Deidara snickered under his breath. "You're so loud, un," he murmured, lowering his head to press a kiss to Sasuke's navel. Sasuke muttered something that, while Deidara didn't quite catch it, sounded pretty rude. Before he straightened up, Deidara opened his mouth and licked a wet stripe down Sasuke's cock, garnering a jerk from the boy, who was already edgy.

Deidara couldn't delay any longer, Sasuke looked ready to burst, and he could feel his own arousal growing too painful to neglect. Fetching the tube of lubricant, Deidara came to settle back between Sasuke's spread thighs. Sasuke blinked open his eyes, his vision misty as he struggled to focus on the bottle Deidara was holding. The blond popped the lid and poured a generous amount of clear liquid onto his fingers, where he smoothed it over three of them. The sight alone brought tension to Sasuke's muscles, and he started to sit up, but Deidara placed his clean hand against the boy's leg to still him. "Relax, un, it's just lube. It'll make this easier. I haven't hurt you yet have I?"

Sasuke's lips curled in lingering disapproval. "You still might," he muttered, reclining back once more. Deidara smirked and dipped his head, kissing against Sasuke's inner thigh. He started to circle the tip of his index finger against Sasuke's twitching entrance, smoothing some lubricant over the ring of muscle. Once Sasuke exhaled and relaxed, Deidara began to push it inside.

"If I do, I'll kiss it better," Deidara promised. Sasuke let out a bemused, breath of a laugh when he heard the lewd statement. It was just one, it didn't hurt, but Sasuke couldn't say it was a good feeling. He struggled not to tighten his muscles when Deidara started to move it inside of him. Now, that was uncomfortable, and made it hard not to clench around the intrusion. Sasuke grit his teeth, he knew that would just make it worse.

Sasuke flinched when a second finger pushed in, stretching him open more than the first. It was a slick push in, yet Sasuke still winced. His hips raised up a bit, not in any real attempt to move away, just an instinct to alleviate the odd stinging pain. Deidara used his free hand to rub Sasuke's thigh, whispering a quiet hushing noise as he started to push his fingers in and out of Sasuke. The warm, soft muscles clamping down around his two digits was enough to make Deidara want to stop altogether and fuck Sasuke into the mattress.

Deidara glanced up at the younger man's face. Sasuke had moved his arm away and had both of his hands at his sides, fingers buried in the sheet. He was biting his lip, whether to help himself ignore the pain or to stop himself from making noise, Deidara wasn't sure. Deidara spread his two fingers apart inside of Sasuke to test the waters, it was still tight, but Sasuke was starting to loosen up. "Good boy," Deidara murmured, his eyes focused on Sasuke's face to watch the way Sasuke's teeth sunk deeper into his lip.

Hearing the words sent a flush of heat through Sasuke's veins. The slip of Deidara's fingers inside him was starting to feel less strange, but it still didn't feel like it was going to be good—oh.

Deidara shifted his hand a bit and pushed his fingers up in a different way. The tips of his fingers pressed against Sasuke's prostate with gentle pressure. Despite how careful and brief the pressure was, Sasuke still stiffened up, surprised at the sudden and weird sensation. Sasuke's cock twitched, still hard and smearing pre-cum against his inner thigh. A groan rose from Deidara at the reaction he'd received. He paused, then repeated the slow press of his fingers. Sasuke was sensitive, becoming more pliant as he arched his back. The motion pushed his hips down against Deidara's fingers,

Sasuke noticed the stretch of a third finger opening him up, but he accepted it without much protest. His muscles had become more pliant and loose with Sasuke's relaxing. Also with how he kept rocking his hips and struggling to get Deidara to press against the right spot again. Deidara avoided the small bundle of nerves on purpose, now, because he doubted Sasuke would last for long. Deidara felt his cock throb, aching for relief. He watched his fingers stretching open the tight ring of muscle, disappearing into Sasuke, and decided he couldn't wait anymore.

"You ready, un?" Deidara's voice had lowered into a husky rasp. Sasuke shivered and, unable to find his voice, nodded his head. He opened his eyes (when had he shut them?) to watch Deidara pull his fingers away and reach for the bottle of lube. Deidara was careful as he coated his cock in the slick substance, ensuring there wouldn't be any unnecessary friction. Just his own hand on his cock made the blond exhale a sharp breath; he'd ignored his own lust long enough.

Situating himself, Deidara gripped the boy's legs behind his knees and tugged him closer. Placing one hand on Sasuke's hip, Deidara used his other to guide his cock against Sasuke's entrance. He pressed against the pucker, using gentle pressure for a moment until the head of his erection popped past the loosened ring. Sasuke sucked in a gasp and shut his eyes tight. Deidara didn't stop, but he was slow as he pushed inside Sasuke, trying not to force himself inside all in one go.

Sasuke's chest shuddered as he breathed, hoping to focus on that instead of the slow, burning pain that was growing worse as Deidara pushed inside. The blond's fingers were digging bruises in Sasuke's hips until he was all the way inside of his trembling lover. Only then did Deidara relax his grip. He smoothed his thumb over Sasuke's hip, looking over the pretty raven with glazed blue eyes. "Shit," Deidara cursed, "you're so beautiful." He leaned over Sasuke and pressed their lips together, sheathed inside of the younger man and basking in the pleasure.

With some hesitance, Sasuke reached up and hugged around Deidara's shoulders. Deidara's teeth nibbled at Sasuke's lower lip before he spoke, "can I move, un?"

Sasuke's nails dug a bit into Deidara's skin. Before answering, Sasuke moved his own hips, grinding them into Deidara's. The blond groaned against Sasuke's mouth. "Y—yeah, it's fine," Sasuke decided. The throb was still there, but tolerable. Sasuke could take that until it started to feel good, which he now knew it would. Deidara's palm rested against Sasuke's lower stomach as he withdrew his hips. Sasuke winced, Deidara's cock slid slowly out of him, the friction wasn't painful as much as it was something Sasuke would have to get used to. It wasn't exactly natural, Sasuke reminded himself.

When Deidara thrust inside, it wasn't as slow as the first time. Sasuke gasped, pushing his body upward into Deidara's chest. Deidara murmured incoherent nothings against Sasuke's neck, continuing to move his hips. He couldn't bring himself to stop, his body molded so perfectly against Sasuke's. The noises Sasuke kept making were too much for Deidara's self-control. "You feel so fucking good," the blond hissed, and Sasuke clamped down around him. Fuck, were his words affecting Sasuke that much?

If that were true, Deidara wasn't going to quit. "So good," he murmured, continuing his spill of praise and pleasure as he rocked his hips against Sasuke's own. Sasuke's voice caught on a pitched whine and he scratched down Deidara's back.

"Right there," Sasuke's breathless plea was frantic, "right there, again!" Sasuke's head tilted back against the sheets, lost in a haze as Deidara kissed at his neck, and held Sasuke's hips in place as he rocked against that spot. Deidara's back may be a wreck by the time this was over, he looked forward to it. Sasuke's legs spread further and he hooked them around Deidara's waist, drawing Deidara closer each time he thrust inside.

Sasuke could feel a terrible, wonderful pressure building in his gut. It was like fire and ice water all at once, leaving his skin over-sensitized and his cock aching for attention. Frantic to relieve the torrent, Sasuke reached down and finally wrapped his fingers around his cock. His body screamed with relief, even from the simple touch. Lewd noises spilled past Sasuke's mouth when he started to pump his erection, struggling to match the rhythm of Deidara's thrusts. Both were growing erratic now, at least, having started to reach their peaks. Deidara had anticipated Sasuke not lasting long, considering this was all a brand new, stunning first experience. "Come for me, un," Deidara breathed. He had let go of that "be careful" notion, his hips were slapping into Sasuke's loud enough to make a sound that echoed alongside their voices. "Come on."

Maybe it was the sex, maybe it was Deidara's voice, Sasuke wouldn't ever tell. His orgasm seemed to bubble up just seconds after Deidara had ordered him to come, though, he knew that much. Spurts of white spilled over Sasuke's hand and lower stomach, his cock twitched as he rode through his orgasm. Deidara watched the sight, as if it were a private show just for him—it was, Sasuke supposed. When would anyone else ever see this?

Sasuke's mouth fell open when Deidara continued to thrust. It was too much, that became clear immediately. Deidara was lucky he was already so close to the edge. He hadn't had to hold himself back or pace himself, so he'd brought himself to the edge once already while he was trying to ease Sasuke into this, earlier. Deidara rested his forehead against Sasuke's shoulder when he felt himself starting to come. He was still inside Sasuke, spilling inside the tightened channel while Sasuke whined at the hot, wet sensation filling him to the brim. "Shit, Deidara…" Sasuke breathed, basking in the warmth surrounding him. His limbs were too heavy to move, and his nerves were still abuzz.

The raven couldn't even open his eyes, he was quivering and a mess, and he'd crossed the line past being satisfied. Deidara stayed inside of Sasuke for several moments, until he was soft and slipped out of the boy's spent body. Sasuke made a noise in the back of his throat, but he didn't move, not that he thought his muscles would even listen to him. The boy was blissed out and already on the edge of conking out. Deidara couldn't fault Sasuke for being oversensitive, he had time to teach Sasuke what real stamina was.

Too lazy to get up to shower at that moment, Deidara maneuvered so that he could flop down on the bed without crushing Sasuke. Sasuke muttered something incomprehensible when Deidara's weight caused the mattress to bounce. Turning to his side, Sasuke curled a bit into the welcoming warmth and comfort of another person beside him. Deidara would let him, for now. Until morning, when he was sure their previous caustic ways would resume.

As Deidara brushed his fingers through Sasuke's hair, his own breathing just now starting to even, he stared at the ceiling in thought. Unlike Sasuke, he wasn't on the verge of passing out from just one round. He'd have to tease Sasuke about that, later.

Maybe this had added another level to their odd, rivalrous relationship.

Me on the previous version of this story: haha this is so long, even I don't have the patience to read it all!

Me now: I fuckening added three thousand words, what's wrong with me?