Sasori moved as fast as possible. He reached out to grab Deidara's arm as he fell. He grabbed the sleeve of his jacket as he fell. Deidara looked up at him as the sleeve tore.

Sasori did not hesitate to jump after him. He grabbed Deidara's hand and spun around. Three curved blades shot out of his forearm and he plunged them into the side of the cliff. The fall stopped in a spray of rocks.

Sasori looked down at Deidara whose eyes were squeezed shut. His head was bleeding, probably from a falling rock. He opened his eyes and looked at his partner.

"I'm sorry...the cliff..."

"It's alright. Are you hurt?"

"Not badly." He reached into his pouch and pulled out some clay. He molded it for a bit then tossed it into the air below us where it expanded into a giant hovering bird. Sasori released his hand and he dropped onto his clay creation. Sasori followed in suit once Deidara had settled. He looked again at his partner; his pale hair was already plastered with blood.

"You better let me see that," Sasori gestured at his head.

"Yea," he leaned forward and Sasori parted his hair. "It was a piece of rock, not very big I think but it must have had a sharp edge."

Sasori gingerly parted his hair more and inspected the cut. It was small and not too deep but it must have been over a vein because it was still bleeding generously. "It looks okay but I am going to heal it a little because of the bleeding."

"Okay."

Sasori began healing the wound, consciously aware of how close Deidara was. Having a non-living body Sasori could not feel the warmth of having another near, something he never knew he could miss, but he made up for it slightly by focusing on another's chakra. To feel the younger shinobi's vibrant flow of chakra in such a close proximity excited Sasori in ways he wanted to dismiss immediately. When he was done healing the wound Sasori realized that he had moved to rest his hand upon Deidara's head rather than just above the injury. They were both very still. Sasori moved his hand down the side of Deidara's head, his finger's running through his hair, Deidara jumped back suddenly and sat stiffly as far away as he could given the small area they had to share.

"Thank you," the blonde said quietly and began moving the bird back in the direction of the hideout.

The sudden absence of his partner's chakra left Sasori feeling empty. I cannot allow myself to slip like that again. What would he think of me? He made a silent oath to never be so careless again. Sasori would be left to admire his beauty from a safe distance, which was where he was most comfortable anyways.

When they returned a short time later the two silently went their separate ways. Deidara headed to their room while Sasori went in the direction of his workshop. Deidara took a shower to rinse the blood out of his hair and to collect himself. He felt…disturbed? No that wasn't it. He just felt strange in the fact that he was taking this so coolly. Yes, initially he was heated but now he just…accepted it?

He finished with his shower and laid down. Am I really over him? It hasn't even ended officially between us but it isn't bothering me that Itachi could just so easily step out when I had so much invested in the two of us. I loved him…I know I still do. Maybe I am just in denial?

Deidara decided he would rather sleep than over-think everything that had happened today. No doubt when Itachi came to speak to him, he did say he would, Deidara knew he would not be this cool about it but he hoped he wouldn't completely crumble.

But he never came.

A week (or was it two?) after Itachi returned Deidara approached him, he wanted to talk. Itachi merely said he did not have the time and turned a cold shoulder to him.

One year lapsed and Deidara did what he could to forget, but he still wanted answers. He still awaited Itachi's final words on the matter. So one night he caught up to him, he nearly had to corner him. The blonde yelled and threatened and Itachi said nothing.

The breeze was cold that night but Deidara was overheated. His cheeks were flushed and he was glaring at Itachi who stared back passively.

"WHY WON'T YOU SAY ANYTHING?" Deidara demanded he speak but Itachi only stood there, under the dark midnight sky, for a moment longer then turned to leave.

A clay bomb whizzed its way over to Itachi who barely had to do anything to dodge it. It exploded in the empty air before Deidara caught up to what had happened.

Itachi was standing beside him, his hand grasped over Deidara's face threateningly. The dark night became impossibly darker and the moon seemed to glow red. Deidara's eyes widened with the sudden fear that gripped him. He remained like that, trapped, for what felt like centuries before Itachi spoke, and when he did he merely muttered "It's over" before releasing him.

Deidara fell to his knees. No doubt that was Itachi's genjutsu, the second time Deidara had carelessly been caught in it.

It was strange it ended like this when it was this same technique that caused the artist to fall for the Uchiha in the first place.

Another year passed, then yet another and the two hated each other. Itachi dismissed Deidara and Deidara insulted and challenged him every time he could. They were nearly unbearable.

When Sasori died Deidara was relieved he was replace by a fucking idiot. Now he had someone to fire his pent-up anger and frustration on and Tobi did nothing to stop it. He made a nice little punching bag. But really it ate Deidara up inside to lose Sasori. They functioned well despite little arguments they had, but when they were not on missions, when they were alone Deidara really had someone to confide in. He told Sasori everything, and the older shinobi listened, giving only carefully-worded and short advice when he needed to. He was really the best partner Deidara could ever have had.

Then came the day Itachi had been dreading.

It was Pein who told him. He said that his brother had been able to locate them, that it was known that Sasuke was looking for him and now he knew where he was.

"You will not have to worry about a thing," Itachi left him with that. He knew what he was going to do and he was more than ready to do it.

His time was over.

Before he could leave and find Sasuke himself, more news came his way. It hit him hard in the gut and the stone raven nearly lost composure.

"I'm sorry," Konan whispered as she left him.

Itachi couldn't breathe. He stood there; every muscle in his body had tensed up. When he finally settled enough to will himself to move he hesitated for fear he would fall to his knees. Somehow he made it back to his room and shut the door. Thankfully it was empty.

He exhaled deeply, staring down at his feet. He had been dressed to leave; he had been ready to meet his fate at his brother's hands. But now he had to wait. Now Sasuke was injured, he had been attacked and now Itachi had to wait for him to recover.

And Deidara was dead.

He left, unprecedented, and attacked Sasuke on his own. Of course everyone would believe he was trying to prove himself, to insult and challenge Itachi by defeating his brother.

But Itachi knew better.

He knew all these years that Deidara's hate was only a façade. Of course he was angry and confused about what Itachi had done, and he had never forgiven him for being so cold, but Itachi knew he had never stopped loving him. Even without his sharingan, it was always there in his crystalline eyes.

Itachi felt two heavy tears fall from his eyes.

He learned to accept that he would never stop loving Deidara a long time ago. He would not allow himself to let Deidara know this for fear they may start down the same distracting path as before, but he loved him all the same. And he knew Deidara must have gone out to kill Sasuke because he knew he meant to kill Itachi. He hated him for being such a fool.

More than that, Itachi hated love for betraying him…time and time again.

In the end, despite his heart being filled with love for his brother. Despite Itachi being faced with Sasuke, the one he cared for above all others, Deidara crossed his mind. In his last seconds, as the vision of his brother blacked out completely, Itachi saw Deidara as they had been so long ago. Happy and without a care, loving one another without worry or interruption. Sitting side-by-side in contented silence, it was those days Itachi remembered what an honest smile felt like.

As we go out of this world we may experience happiness or pain, heaven or hell. I have my heaven, and now I go to meet him.

Fin.

.

..

Okay so it's done! Sorry it had to end tragically. That's just how I am. I'll write a happy one next time, promise!

Did I ever mention I ABSOLUTELY HATE THE TITLE OF THIS STORY? Well, I do. Need to think of something better….this one is too long, too hard to remember (I would imagine), and it just sounds annoying (at least to me).

Open to suggestions!

Well please review and keep your eyes out for more of my stories! And/or go check out ones I already wrote (**cough** SECOND CHANCE **cough cough** which may have happy endings already **cough**) Sorry I tend to cough when there's ItaDei around *wink*

Happy Reading!

~Laura