Hahaha, leave it up to me to typo the story title~ XD I was too excited, I swear!

For the record, since you can't see it, this chapter is titled 'Blonde'.


This is Tiikerikissa, yours truly, with a new SasoDei AU story, one I've been planning and plotting for a few weeks now.

I'm doing this a bit differently than stuff I've written before; I plan on updating this every Sunday. That's only if I get some reviews or faves or alerts though. Please don't get me wrong here, I'm not trying to be mean. I simply don't want to write that often if it doesn't make other people happy. If this doesn't get some love, I'll just update every other Sunday.

Oh and the chapters will be 2-3K words each (This is 2,571 words without the A/N). That's because that much I can always brainstorm during Friday-Saturday even if I somehow catch the writer's block.

Yeah, as mentioned before (I mean, in the summary?), this is an AU story, meaning there's no Konoha and Suna and Akatsuki and ninjas - at least not in the way they originally were.

Warnings: The rating may go up.Couldn't fit that in the summary, so I'm saying this now. There might be lemons later, you see... /shot But I'll warn you if needed! As of the first chapter... There shouldn't be much to warn about... I think. And umm, any messed-up formatting is all courtesy of your darling . That's not me.

Also, this will be a tad darker than most of the things I write.

Disclaimer:I only thought this up, but I only own the plot and writing. Not the names of characters and places offhandedly mentioned. Disclaim'd

Go ahead, story starts from here.

Sasori had practically the whole life ahead of him. Even though he was already twenty, and people rarely-if-ever lived to be much older than seventy, with all the diseases running around, he held certain promise that was bound to get him far in life.

You see, Sasori was an Ace, and only the best, luckiest and most talented people of them all were Aces. He was an Ace of Clubs, actually, so he was born to be an artist.

Being given such extra-ordinary fate, he would only be one of the most talented artists there would ever be. It was his destiny, something some powerful deity had tattooed on the skin on the right side of his neck (he considered himself lucky it was such an easy location as his neck, somewhere else might've been down-right inconvenient) before he was even born. Needless to say, his parents had been rather ecstatic, having given birth to an Ace.

Hell, the whole village had been joyous! Only one person in a few thousand would ever be born as an Ace, and so, in a small village such as that, it was near a miracle. That someday, Sasori would tell them how he came from the small village of Aka in the land of Suna. And then they could brag with how that famous artist was their neighbor/friend/relative.

They didn't have names other than the ones given to them, but some people liked to use their home village/town/land as such. Sasori wasn't one of these people, he thought that his own name was just enough, though he was sort of intrigued by the sound of 'Sasori Akasuna'.

Both of his parents were Hearts, in general kind-hearted people that usually ended up working in jobs that required them to be around other people a lot; jobs like that of a doctor or a salesman.

His grandmother, though, was a Club like himself. Unlike him, however, she was way lower-ranked than an Ace, probably a Eight or a Nine. Or so he had heard; he didn't actually remember the lady in question all too well.

The suits other than the two mentioned were the two that some French also used as a design for playing cards, ones that became rather popular in a short span of time. The two suits included Diamonds, who were all-in-all normal workers, everything from miners to people who studied the stars.

And then there were Spades, who preferred keeping their feet steadily on the ground; people who often became farmers, builders, plumbers; people that made living possible in the first place.

Of course, there were exceptions to these rules; sometimes a Diamond became a widely-known artist or a Club became a farmer. But it was only that indeed; an exception to the rule.

And then there were people who were never mentioned unless someone wanted to remind their children why they should never walk through the cemetery at night, why they should never talk to strangers, why they should always be grateful for what they had and never ask for more, because some people were far more unfortunate.

The Jokers.

The Jokers, unlike everyone else, didn't have their suit and number tattooed on their skin, only the curse; 'JOKER'. They were said to bring bad luck wherever they went, and they were often accompanied by certain signs of the Devil.

If one in a thousand was born an Ace, one in a hundred thousand was probably a Joker. One never knew how many of the children born every year actually were Jokers; some of them were killed right after birth, some of them were denied existence by their parents and were killed later on, some of them were never even seen by anyone and all of them tried to hide their identity to keep their lives.

Some people said that Jokers existed simply because people were cruel; they needed to be able to look at someone who wasn't as fortunate and them and think 'Thank the deity that's not me.'

Others claimed that like demons, Jokers were simply a nuisance. Dangerous, maybe, but on the simplest level, they were only something that needed to be rid of.

Whatever was the actual truth, one may never know.

But at least they could agree on one thing; a Joker around was nothing good.

Sasori, personally, had never come across such cursed creature, and was content if he could keep it that way for as long as possible, preferably for the rest of his life.

He didn't have anything personal against those things, he just had a life he was rather satisfied with and he didn't want anything or anyone messing it up.

Sasori had moved from his home village to one of the bigger towns five years ago, at the age of fifteen. His parents, no matter how they had wished that Sasori could stay with them, understood that he could never have a life in that small, pathetic excuse for a village.

Two years later, the word reached Sasori that his father had been killed in the war and his mother had committed suicide afterwards, leaving his supposedly existing grandmother as his only still living relative. This only considering that she was indeed real and not just one of those countless tales parents like to tell their children, little innocent children who are never supposed to doubt what their loving parents tell them.

Sasori was currently living in a slightly worn house with rats and mice practically always keeping him awake at night. And most of the windows were also broken, so the wind howled throughout the house often. But if he had to say something good about his home, he could always say that he had enough space to fulfill his passion; making puppets.

Even though he was still rather young, he had already made countless puppets (though he did keep a close count, as it was important to him) and even sold a few when he had to. He preferred keeping them, though, since he always poured his heart into the making of his puppets, and so they all held a part of him inside of them. He had plenty of other kinds of art he could sell, after all.

He wasn't exactly famous - yet, at least, but as mentioned, he held promise. And whenever he went out in the market, the local salesmen easily recognized him already, greeting him kindly and offering him all kinds of sweet deals just because of what he was; an Ace.

It wasn't to say that he didn't take advantage of his stature, because he did, rather often, actually, but he just really despised people who had to try pleasing the fortunate ones like that. They should just be fair to everyone; Sasori didn't need any pity, but some other people seriously did.

That being said, Sasori saw some of these less fortunate people each and every day. Not Jokers, of course, but people who just weren't good enough to fulfill their destiny, or worse, people whose destiny was so minor that it wasn't important at all to even bother to fulfill.

He didn't like to say that he pitied these people, but how was he supposed to not to? He could already recognize most of the people begging for money in the street corners or offering to clean ones shoes for a copper coin or a piece of bread. Those people included Granny Sakura, an older lady who knew how to bake just about the world's most wonderful bread. Sasori remembered eating it as a little kid and smiling at the acute taste.

But Sakura had lost both of her arms to some awful sickness when it wiped across the country fourteen or fifteen years ago. After that, her life had taken a turn for the worse, and feeding her five children had turned into a horrible burden that had her working night and day, even when there was very little she could do without her hands.

Sasori gave her a coin, or maybe two if he was feeling generous, whenever he passed her on the street. Usually it was copper, sometimes bronze. Once he had given her a silver coin he had got as a leftover after getting himself some new tools for his puppets. He was delighted to hear from her later on that she and her children had got an actual full meal that day.

These unfortunate people also included the woodsmith, Might Guy. He was blessed with good looks, and, being the King of Spades, he was meant to own a large farm south from Konoha or somewhere else where it was beautiful and fertile.

Then what went wrong?

Well, Guy had been a little too cocky, in his younger days. How could he not be, with all the girls swarming around him and every adult he knew telling him how proud they were of him when he didn't try to do anything for it?

So when he had his farm, he went to play some game with his friends. Suddenly, he was challenged by a man wearing a black mask, and of course, with all of his buddies and girls watching, he didn't back down, even though he knew full well that he should have. Everyone knows that you don't agree to deals and dares with total strangers; they always end up in misery.

The stranger skillfully won everything he had. Every single thing he owned was lost in that game, from his farm to his pride, girls, friends and even his clothes. And as he cursed the deity for letting this happen to him, the stranger gave him his hand to shake hands with him.

The stranger gave him his hand, where on his palm read in capital letters, 'JOKER'.

That afternoon, Sasori walked down the street like any other morning, following his usual everyday route. If he had known what awaited him in the bazaar, would he have taken the longer way there?

Would he have gone at all, had he known?

That was something he would never know, but he did go, oblivious as he was. Oblivious to the fact that in the bazaar, there was a blonde waiting for him (well, not necessarily for him, just for someone with a few coins, really). A blonde that could stray him from the path the deity had chosen for him.

He was all about going to the market, getting himself some things like, I don't know, food? Also, he could use some paint, as he had recently ran out of a few colors.

But when he finally did get there, there was a lot of commotion gathered around one spot. And of course, he was curious as to who or what was attracting all the attention, especially since he knew most of the people around here, and none of them were this interesting, really.

Sasori made his way there, as close to the spot as he could get, and ended up finding something worth his while; a street artist that he didn't remember seeing before. Scratch that, he had never seen anything like himbefore, even.

He (yes, Sasori decided, the person was a he until proven othervise) had most of his hair tied up in a ponytail, and a fringe covered the left side of his face fully.

It was certainly interesting; he had never seen a person with that kind of golden blonde shade of hair. Even under all the dust and dirt, Sasori could tell that it was a special color indeed.

The blonde had extra-ordinary clothing, most likely made to attract attention and to suit his current job, if it could be referred to as such.

As a mean of collecting coins, the blonde had a hat set on the ground, a hat that Sasori imagined he could have made from white canvas all by himself and then used some certain flowers to dye it so it wouldn't get dirty all too soon. The hat was now a dirty yellow-orange, a shade darker than his hair, and it had two red diamond-shaped patches. Judging from the hat's overall condition, Sasori could almost swear that the patches were not made because of cosmetic reasons, but to prevent it from tearing into pieces.

The hat had three spikes that made it resemble that of a clown or something, with bells jingling on the ends of two of them. On the third, there were stray pieces of string, suggesting that a third bell had been there at some point to accompany the other two.

He wore a dirty yellow-orange matching shirt with long sGuyves, long enough that his gloved hands only barely reached out of them, and a red undershirt, both so short that his midriff was clearly visible from underneath them. The yellow shirt had more patches, symmetrical to each other, so that it would stay in one part for as long as possible. It also bore a collar that was flipped down. The shirt was tied with a loose knot around his neck.

On his bottom half, he wore shorts, with one of the pant legs almost reaching his knee and the other one not even half as long, appearing to have been ripped off.

He had knee-length socks that might have been white, had they been treated with care and money the young man most likely didn't have, but were dark gray from all they had gone through. Had Sasori still been counting all the diamond-shaped patches the blonde had made in his clothes, he would've found a few more in those dirtied-with-age socks.

He also had worn out leather boots with two wooden rings around each of them, making a pleasant, gentle knocking sound as he walked about.

Sasori had long since noticed that there were three kinds of strays:
-begging ones, the kind that couldn't do anything but beg for a few coins
-talented ones, the kind that usually had a certain profession but would do practically anything for money
-stealing ones, the kind that would always lie and cheat to get something from you

He decided that the blonde would have to be a type 2, seeing how talented he seemed. Being a street-artist could easily be his profession, and his clothes seemed to only address the fact perfectly.

The blonde did cartwheels and all sorts of things as Sasori watched him. Not seeming to care if there was five or fifteen or fifty people watching him, he kept going, smirking slightly each time he heard a cling as someone dropped a coin in his money jar and thanking them politely with a bow if he wasn't in the middle of doing something at the moment.

He was far more talented than most people living on the street, so Sasori figured he was either a professional only pretending to be a stray, or he was simply so poor that he absolutely had to be great in order to survive in this cruel world.

Sasori ended up shrugging it off and leaving; he had other things to do, and there was no way the young blonde would stay here for long either way. Soon he'd either grow too tired to keep going, or simply continue to whatever major city he was headed to. This because most people that talented were usually headed somewhere, Sasori had come to notice.

How wrong he was...

Hope you liked it. ._. This story is basically already real and moving forward in my mind, so it would mean the world to me if you reviewed and told me if you liked it or not. Or favorited. That would be cool too. *happy sort of sigh*

Also, if you've got any cool music in mind that would fit this, my Inspiring-playlist is kind of meant for other purposes and most songs don't fit this all that well... So tell me. *laugh*

Hope to see you... in a week?