Disclaimer: See 1st chapter

Warning: See 1st chapter

To anonymous reviewer Guest – Thanks very much for taking the time to review :) I appreciate it.

To DeiDei-Lover1996 (Since I couldn't do so personally) – Thanks so much for reviewing! Don't worry they will but not for a good while. Hopefully it's not a disappointment.

Ok first off – I hate the fillers for the site! It's so darn irritating! Why in the world did they change it!? I could care less about inputting four characters, argh! Now whenever I search I get stuff I don't want. Also I am still looking for a beta, so PM me if anyone is interested!

I know it's been forever, so I got this chap done and while not thoroughly satisfied I really don't want to mess with it anymore right now, plus it's been what four months… This update is for my 100 fav!

For all those who celebrate: Happy Thanksgiving!

Hidden Underneath

Chapter 20 – Devastation

Kisame smirked deviously as Onoki struggled, he had one hand firmly planted to his lower back and the other held out in front of him covered in rocks. It would seem that the old man's back was giving out, no surprise fighting Deidara and then him was bound to wear and tear the old geezers frail bones.

There was a loud shrieking yet upset shout in the direction of his clone and Kisame could only smirk wider.

Onoki angled his head slightly towards the noise yet Kisame couldn't tell what he was thinking due to the indifferent expression.

"If you really care about them then I suggest you go help them." Kisame stated smugly, for if the old man did so, it would give him the chance to give Onoki the slip. "What's more important? Them? Or me?" Granted considering who he was taking too he knew the military troll would pick him.

Onoki grunted, his eyes darkening as he leveled a withering stare onto the mist nin. All of him was as always telling him that capturing the Akatsuki nin was more important, getting any kind of information was imperative and yet... Kurotsuchi and Akatsuchi were his students. He had known from the start that they would have difficulty against the mist nin and they weren't out of the way to go help. But by doing so he risked Kisame escaping and while he could attempt to track him and ultimately running into Deidara as well they were on their way to a very important meeting. Though it would have been even better to show up with a captured Akatsuki nin...

Onoki blinked as he realized he'd already made his decision with that last thought. In a way it was the better choice his bones were giving out and prolonging the fight was bound to end with the mist nin escaping any way the only difference being that his students would be dead.

He shot a withering almost loathing glare at the stationary nin before shooting towards his two students with a boost of speed, easily leaving a mildly surprised shark nin in the dust.

"Well, I'll be..." Kisame uttered distantly, his beady gaze staring at the empty place the rock Kage had just been standing hunched over in pain from his back. It was a shame though... he would have liked to shred Onoki to ribbons... He shook his head and didn't dwell on it a moment longer, using this chance to get the hell out of here. Hopefully he could catch up with Dei before he got to the rock village. He was pretty sure that Dei wouldn't wait for him and the whole point in him accompanying the blond was to help in getting in and out of the village, he certainly couldn't do that if Dei started without him.

Kisame sighed heavily and pressed forward with more speed.

~88

Kurotsuchi hacked and coughed, trying to regain her breathing after the vicious blow to her windpipe. She had just barely managed to get free of the water prism, in the process releasing Akatsuchi but as they recovered the mist nin sent a devastating hit to Akatsuchi, with a gurgling noise he'd collapsed leaving blood in its wake. With a shrill echoing shout she had sprung forward, unfortunately her rage had affected her thinking and she was sent to the hard, unforgiving ground by the vicious hit to her windpipe.

The mist nin had a beastly grin as he strode forward, his sword raised with the intention to gut her and therefore killing her when a strong gust of wind struck, followed by a thumping noise which sent the mist nin backwards before dissolving into a puddle of water.

Her dark eyes met her teachers as she tried to recover, startled shock plainly visible. She was grateful and yet her mind simply focused on whether or not Onoki had killed Deidara.

She struggled into a sitting position, her arms shaking as she pushed off the ground, "w-wh..." She broke off by a rough cough her lungs on fire; she shook her head rapidly mildly hoping it would help still the horrid noise.

Onoki spoke as soon as the coughing fit subsided, "they got away."

Kurotsuchi's eyes snapped open, having closed them due to the coughing and gapped, "S-sensei!?" She didn't wait for a response as she snapped an arm out in a swift motion, "then we should go after them!" her throat protested and she winced. They couldn't waste this opportunity!

Onoki however shook his head, "no, we have a meeting we have to get to." He turned at the strangled noise of protest, meeting unbelievable dark eyes, "or have you forgotten?"

Kurotsuchi felt her fingers flex, her eyes dropping from the stern gaze, "no, I haven't" she stated quietly, reservedly.

"Good. Because we can't not show up." Onoki informed, striding towards the fallen form of Akatsuchi, stopping besides the still form a heavy sigh left him as his eyes closed.

Kurotsuchi rubbed her eyes with her shredded red sleeve before dropping to her neck to wipe the drying blood, despite it leaving an itching feeling behind. "I-is he...?" she trialed off, afraid to know.

"Let's go." was Onoki's only words.

Kurotsuchi scowled but shakily stood, obediently. She gazed up at the dark sky, a light wind ruffling her short black hair, reminding her of days long past, Akatsuchi...

~88

Kisame peered at the interesting sight before turning to face the silent blond. He had managed to catch up to Deidara while he was resting. He was quite surprised that the artist had actually taken the time to do so. He knew how anxious Deidara was in getting to rock, especially after their run in with Onoki. But he supposed even Deidara knew when to be reckless and when not to. Despite Onoki not being in the village didn't mean that it would be easy getting in or out. And Dei had not been in the best of state after his fight. It would have been practically suicide to charge in without taking some time to recover.

"So," Kisame broke the veil of silence that had stretched up after the massive structure that was the rock village came into view. "How are we going to do this?"

Deidara blinked, the sound of Kisame's rough voice bringing him out of his thoughts and stilling the sting of nostalgia. Vaguely he wondered how much nostalgia he'd feel once inside the village.

"Well..." Deidara trailed off with a furrowed brow, he hadn't actually thought of a plan to get in prior to getting here. Which would have been the smart thing to do but not usually how he did things... "I was thinking, maybe send you to cause a commotion, keep as much ninja's (and civilians) occupied while I sneak in Onoki's office and see the document."

Kisame stared at the shorter male blankly for a few moments before heaving heavily, "Wouldn't it be a better idea to sneak in entirely? It would be better if we got in without drawing attention to ourselves."

Deidara snorted, crossing his arms, "I seriously doubt we'd manage to get in and out without being spotted. While we could henge and pose as ninja's or even civilians of the village that would take more work and effort hmm. It'll be easier and simpler to have you attack and I sneak in." Deidara glanced up at the shark nin, noting the furrowed brow and the slow start of a continued protest no doubt and added, "besides, I thought the main reason you came, (not putting up a fight in coming) was to fight? Surely that small brief fight from the other day wasn't enough?"

Kisame's mouth closed with a thin line.

Deidara shuffled a few paces closer; his head dipped to the side, causing his bang to drop away from his face to dangle in the air, "aren't you just itching to shred people up?" He couldn't fathom why Kisame was against his plan. Was he simply not in the killing mood? Something he could not believe to be so. Then perhaps he just felt a swift silent move would be better? They were after all going into one of the five hidden villages. And Rock was known for its natural defense.

Deidara tore his imploring gaze from the silent mist nin to gaze over the massive structure, he just didn't think things would go that smoothly if they simply snuck in. Besides he wanted to leave a parting gift.

Kisame sighed, bringing Deidara out of his musing, "fine. You're right, I am itching to shred." A slow shark like grin etched onto his face as he finished speaking.

Deidara straightened, "great! Hmm." Grateful that he didn't have to try to convince the former mist nin farther.

Kisame turned, his back facing the blond, "I guess no time like the present." He muttered already heading towards the village.

Deidara opened his mouth, intent on stopping the nin but figured that starting right now would be best. No sense in delaying, so he snapped his mouth shut and snaked his mouthed hands into his clay bags, quickly scooping up clay. As soon as his mouths spit the blob of clay out he swiftly formed several medium sized birds with four thin wings. Activating the necessary seal, they came to life (as alive as they can) and sent them into the heart of the village; each one of them would go to the outer edge of the village and detonate at a properly ideal time.

That done Deidara formed an owl bird and shot up high into the air, while he knew that there would be ninja watching the sky, he hoped as most people tended to do was mistake his bird for an actual bird. He was a little uneasy seeing as the people; the ninja's of this village had seen his clay creations before, but seeing as how he was seen as dead by the world, it should be over looked. After all no one else possessed his ability so if the village believed him to be dead and he was sure they did since Onoki had, they wouldn't see his bird as a clay creation of his and see it as not a threat just a bird.

The village sits among a mountain range consisting of small narrow waterfalls, with the buildings being composed of rock and stone; shaped from large, elevated formations of rock into tower-like structures. Many of rock's buildings sit on cliffs connected by a network of bridges. But the only building Deidara was interested in was the tallest structure that had a cone shaped roof. That was where Onoki dwelled as Kage, which should also contain the document. No one in their right mind would dare to rifle through Onoki's things – unless they were planning to become a missing nin or already one. But the inhabits of rock were insanely loyal, so much so that as soon as the Tsuchikage gives an order, the Iwa-nin do so without hesitation, even if it means death. The only mild exception would Be Kurotsuchi and Akatsuchi, but even they were like the rest.

Deidara glided as stealthily as possible to the small flow of water, getting a nice view of the village. His lone blue gaze surveying his former village with hate burning in his eyes, judging the best way to get to the cone shaped structure without any trouble.

He pulled back some, away from the village as an alarm sounded and Deidara knew Kisame had provided distraction. Now that most would be dealing with the attacking mist nin, he could hopefully, safely fly to the structure. He waited a few moments, watching as numerous ninja's bolted in the direction of the commotion, some snapping out orders, others yelling, trying to find out what was going on. One lone rock nin was dealing with the curious yet somewhat worried civilians, urging them to stay inside.

Seeing that no one was looking his way, all far too busy with their current task, shifted towards his desired building, moving at a steady pace, exactly like a bird. So that should anyone spot him, they'd have to do a double take to realize there was something off with the so called bird.

His heart thrummed loudly in his ears, the excitement and the possibility of getting caught had his blood flowing rapidly. He grinned widely, manically as he got closer. He scoffed in derision as he made it safely unnoticed to the Kage's building. He eased his bird to the highest window carved into the stone structure and carefully pressed his face to the slightly dusty glass. He glanced both ways, straining to see as far as possible inside, making sure that no one was in the room before slowly easing the window open, twitching lightly as it gave what sounded like a loud 'screech'. Obviously this window wasn't used very often.

Once fully open, Deidara glanced over his shoulder and seeing no one paying him attention (that he could tell) swiftly ducked through the window and entered the relatively big room. He left the window open so that he'd have a quick way out (and he wouldn't have to crash through glass). Also, leaving his owl bird to fly on his own, but near the building as it would be suspicious to have a stationary bird pressed up near the Tsuchikage's building.

Deidara's felt his smirk widen as he realized how lucky he was, he'd actually picked the exact window that lead into Onoki's office. His lone blue gaze landed on the brown, sturdy desk, lightly coated in papers.

'Hmm, where was the best place to put a classified document? One that no one but the Tsuchikage should have access?'

His gaze landed on a gray filing cabinet, no doubt his secretary would have access to that. Then perhaps locked in Onoki's desk? He surveyed the rest of the room, noting it still looked as bland as it did the last time he was in here. The wall's were bare, save for one simple picture, which he didn't look at close enough to determine what it was of. There were several somewhat comfortable looking chairs before the desk, colored brown, though if memory served they were hardly comfortable. The only brightly colored object in the room was the lone rug that covered a good portion of the stone floor, the chairs and desk positioned on it. It looked exactly as he remembered it...

Deidara walked cautiously towards the desk, while he knew Onoki wasn't in rock, didn't mean that there wasn't some kind of trap left for just in case. Granted Deidara was partially sure that there was no trap seeing as rock was known for the rock-hard attitude of its shinobi, for being overly loyal. But there was also the possibility that someone could attack the village while Onoki was gone, so a trap could have been left.

He stopped a few paces from the desk, and raised his hands just in case and uttered softly, as quietly as possible, shattering the silence of the room, save for the distant shouts wafting up from outside, "release!" he waited a few seconds but nothing happened, at least he knew there wasn't a genjutsu in place, at least not one that could be easily undone.

Dropping his hands he continued his approach, swerving around the desk, he'd never been on this side, and quickly roved over the few drawers. Kneeling, he tentatively inched a hand to the very bottom drawer on the right and closed his hand around the cold, stone handle. He pulled only to be met with resistance, a scowl worked its way across his face, the blasted drawer was locked!

Well on the plus side, the drawer being locked could be a good thing; after all you wouldn't put a classified document in an unlocked drawer if you didn't want it to be read by anyone else. Distantly he hoped the blasted document was in one of these drawers, because if it wasn't the only other place he could think of it being would be in Onoki's sleeping quarters. And he really didn't want to gallivant around the building looking for said room.

He dipped his mouthed hand into his clay pouch, once done chewing he rolled the clay into a small ball, about the size of his pinky and pressed it into the key whole, a small part remained on the outside but that was no big deal. Standing, he shuffled a few paces away and uttered, "katsu!"

A light thud echoed, as it was a very small bomb and he bent back down, waving a hand through the small amount of smoke and once again grabbed hold of the handle. The drawer opened easily this time and he tilted his head a little as he was met with a yellow folder, the size of a notebook. Slowly he picked it up, noting it felt almost feather like, his throat tight his heart back to hammering in his chest, almost like it was going to shoot out.

Was this...?

Slowly, tentatively, Deidara griped the flap of the envelope and peeled it back, ducking a hand inside, he pulled out several sheets of paper. Nothing immediately stood out; a part of him had thought he'd just know that these were the right papers, no matter how absurd the notion is. He focused on the words, trailing a few lines before lowering his arms with a heavy sigh. These papers were not the ones he was looking for. He should have known he wouldn't be that lucky. He stuffed the papers back inside and shoved the yellow envelope back inside the drawer, and closed it with a loud bang, not caring if someone heard.

A hand pressed against his forehead as his eyes closed, releasing another drawn out sigh. He really didn't want to try to find Onoki's chambers... he couldn't imagine why the document would even be in the Kage's sleeping quarters. Onoki spent the majority of his time in his office; it would make more sense to lock it somewhere in the office.

Hmm..., perhaps...

Deidara's eyes opened to rest on the lightly cluttered desk. His arm dropped from his face as a thought occurred. The document he was looking for was classified... perhaps Onoki hid it in a secret compartment?

Deidara placed his hands on the lightly rough desk, slowly roaming his hands on the underside of the desk, his visible eye widening as his fingers bumped into a small circular bottom, so small that if he hadn't been looking for something he would have missed it. Quickly, he pressed a finger over the bottom till a small 'click' resounded and a small latch opened on the underside of the desk. His heart sped up once again, echoing loudly in his ears and he quickly yanked the thin latch forward. There before him rested another yellow envelope, the same size as the last one.

This should be it...

Swallowing thickly, Deidara picked up the envelope with care; almost as if he was afraid the envelope would attack him. Opening it, he carefully slid the contents out; an official looking seal was the first thing that caught his eye, before gliding his eyes slowly across, soaking up the words.

It was true...

He really was related to the fourth Hokage... It was nice to know for sure that Tobi and Pein hadn't been lying. Not that he had really believed that they were. They certainly wouldn't have let him come if it wasn't true.

But... there was no name of his mother...

Deidara couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed. He quickly ignored the feeling and resumed scanning the paper, only to flip to the nest page when nothing worthwhile was stated. What he wanted to know was why he was in rock.

Yet as he got to the last page, nothing of the sort was mentioned. The few pages just listed his relation to the fourth, his birthday and other important info along with keeping quiet about the untimely birth. Apparently whoever his mother was had gotten pregnant at an improper time and didn't want anyone to know. But it didn't say how he came to be in rock... perhaps he had a different mother then... Naruto, he was sure that's what the kids name was? He couldn't imagine something like that going over very well... After all it was near the ending of the war and Minato just becoming Hokage. It would be unbecoming if the Hokage had been cheating...

Or maybe his parents simply didn't want him?

Deidara scowled fiercely, he could make up all kinds of assumptions but that's all they would be! He had hoped that the blasted document would have said! Angrily he shoved the papers back inside the desk, rubbing a hand over his face, flicking his bang aside as he did so. Then he swept his hands across the desk, throwing everything off in a fit of rage. The papers twirled in the air before slowly descending to the ground while a few other objects hit the floor with a solid thud.

Damn it! He inwardly cursed, now he wished he'd gotten answers from the old fart!

He rested his mouthed hands firmly on the cluttered free desk with his eyes closed, his bang hanging loosely in the air due to the tilt of his head.

Well... at least he knew that he was truly related to the fourth and... Naruto, and ultimately it didn't matter that he hadn't found out, he no longer lived in rock, no longer had anything to do with his ex-village. The fact was he had grown up in rock and knowing why wouldn't change that. And his parents, at least one of them was dead, so it wasn't like anything ever could have happened there, except the kid... Naruto was still alive...

If he had known before defecting from his village all those years ago... but that wasn't the case, and... he was fine with just knowing that he had a blood brother. But now he was a criminal and he, Naruto was a jinchuuriki, they simple weren't meant to be.

Sighing, Deidara slid his hands off and straightened, at least this trip wasn't a waste.

"You!"

The sound of a hissing shout, riddled with shock jolted him and he swung towards the door that due to his inner musings had failed to realize anyone entering. No doubt it was due to the noise he'd caused that had alerted someone... A random rock nin dressed in the customary red and brown flat jacket stood pointing a shaking finger due to his growing rage, in the doorway. Deidara swept his lone gaze over the face but didn't recognize him, he wasn't familiar yet the other clearly knew who he was.

Not wasting any more time Deidara flung towards the open window (ha he knew leaving it open would come in handy!)And before the rock nin could attack, only managing to stumble forward, his mouth open threatening to shout a command. Deidara stalled a few seconds at the window, waiting for his bird to show up, but it wasn't enough time for the other nin to do anything. He hopped onto his bird and shot away and up towards the sky.

Deidara heaved a grateful sigh even though he was slightly disappointed that he didn't get to destroy the old fart's office. Ah well, he still had his bombs stationed around the village, ignoring the still ongoing fight from Kisame's commotion pressed his hands together with a gleeful "katsu!"

The following explosions were glorious. A loud rumbling sound tore through the village, echoing lightly due to the mountains before an enormous bang struck, his bombs detonating all at once. Wonderful colors formed, orange and some red like a sunrise before grey destroyed them. Screams slowly filtered up, growing louder as the explosions died down.

Deidara ginned manically all the while, as the smoke billowed, Deidara sucked up more clay, creating his C4. As his mouths chewed he positioned himself about the center of the village, which was near the cone shaped building, this would be big enough to destroy the old farts office.

He surveyed the damage with glee, the four outer walls of the village had collapsed, rock nins who had escaped unscathed were trying to get pinned and injured civilians and ninja's alike out while others shouted to find the source of the bombs.

But even if they caught sight of him, they wouldn't have much time to formulate much of a plan, sure throwing weapons at him was a fine idea but he could easily dodge those and they couldn't add an explosive tag to the end of the kuni for they risked harming people of the village... then again this was the rock village, they probably would throw explosives at him. Still he could avoid those as well. Besides it was a moot point, for in a matter of moments he'd be done creating his C4 and fireworks would flare again, but this time more massive and powerful.

As he prepared to drop the ghost like face clay bird, Deidara idly wondered if Kisame was out of range, he had no plausible way of alerting the former mist nin without alerting everyone else to. Peering down over his owl with a wide manic, gleeful gin dropped his C4. As it dropped, he enlarged it, it slowly took on more speed as it fell, unlike last time – the fight with the Kazekage, he waited till it was close to touching the buildings before detonating.

A few seconds after he detonated a still silence took place before his bomb erupted outwards with a thundering noise, a bright fiery color morphed, looking like actual fire before exploding. The explosion tore throw buildings like they were made of cheese and silenced screaming ninja's and civilians, leaving ash in its wake. Those farther away kept their bodies from dissolving but were left in numerous pieces. Grey smoke, like that from a chimney filtered up into the sky as the explosion died down.

A shocked silence settled over the rock village, those who had been fortunate to be out of range gaped at the billowing smoke, disbelief and mild horror etched on their faces.

Deidara flew backwards a little ways with a light cough as the smoke slammed over him, waving a hand to rid the irksome substance. He covered his mouth with a sleeve so that no more smoke would filter into his lungs and reduce him to an irritating coughing fit. Angling his head he strained to see through the remaining smoke, his bomb had been enormous so the smoke would take a while to dissolve, though he didn't need to see to know that a massive crater had replaced the buildings.

"Dei!" A loud shout tore his attention away from his handy work, and he turned to find an alive Kisame standing on a fallen building, his Akatsuki coat coated in dirt and little tears.

Deidara raised an inquiring eyebrow but Kisame, instead of replying waved a blue hand in a clear gesture – they needed to go.

Deidara glanced away his eyes slowly settling back onto the slowly thinning smoke, sighing lightly. He would have liked to see the full actual crater, oh well; he could see the end of it and it wasn't like he hadn't seen his past craters from his C4. But Kisame was right, it was time to leave, it wouldn't take long for the remaining ninja's to get into gear and he really didn't want to deal with them. That and he was running severely low on clay now, the use of his C4 had costed him almost all of it.

Deidara locked gazes with Kisame and nodded, signaling his agreement and that he was leaving. The shark nin offered a toothy grin and propelled away.

Deidara followed, leaving one last look to the once proud village, a satisfied smirk etched on his face.

~88

Deidara touched down once the village could no longer be seen; only the smoke from the explosion was still visible.

"Damn Dei," Kisame muttered, sounding awed, "but you could have blown be up to!" he snapped quite pissed, which was pretty rare for him as he was normally somewhat easy going. It took something profound to really get him mad.

Deidara offered a sheepish look, "well I didn't." He placated.

Kisame's face darkened drastically and for a moment Deidara thought the shark nin was going to attack him but he didn't, only striding closer and –

'Smack!'

The not so unexpected hit jolted a mild "ow!" and a glare. It didn't help that the dull throb of pain in his head had flared up from the rather hard punch to his head. Great now his headache was going to be back with a vengeance! "That was un-called for hmm!" Deidara snapped rubbing a hand over the place Kisame had hit, a scowl fixed to his face, and trying not to wince from the throb of his temples.

Kisame scoffed, "was not! You deserve more than that!" He crossed his arms with a heated huff, eyeing Deidara's sour face, noticing the occasional wince but declined to probe about it. He knew it didn't come from his lone hit and it didn't take much to know that the artist was probably suffering a few injures due to the previous fights. Kisame turned his attention to their barren surroundings; it was bland, nothing of interest, other than the still visible smoke. He was quite impressed; he had never seen such a large scale attack from Dei, granted he's seen the aftermath but not the initial explosion. The kid sure had a hell of a knack for massive destruction.

He sighed loosely now feeling calm, the former mist nin returned his beady eyes to the rather quiet artist. "Well? Did you see what we came for?" Kisame surely hoped so, seeing as Dei had just demolished roughly half the rock village he couldn't go back and look.

Deidara dropped his hand from the side of his forehead, where he had been kneading the skin trying to help lower the persistent throbbing with little success and crossed his arms, a smug grin replacing his scowl. "I did."

"Satisfied?" Kisame questioned. He knew full well that Pain wouldn't want this continued line of questioning to continue. Frankly it was bad enough that Deidara had learned the truth. If the artist was satisfied, he'd drop the subject and put it behind him. But he also knew that it wouldn't really be behind the blond so long as Naruto lived. For even if Dei shoved forward there was a good chance that Naruto wouldn't, if not for himself then for the leaf.

"Hmm," Deidara muttered slowly, "mostly."

Kisame's eyebrow shot upwards, "mostly?" he parroted. A frown formed, "is that enough?"

Deidara exhaled heavily, his eyes closing slowly, almost as if they were too heavy to stay open. Contemplating the others words deeply, a frown also etched onto his face replacing the smug grin.

Was it enough?

He had wanted to see the document personally, and while it hadn't contained anything of real importance – such as why he had been in rock, he had found out that he was indeed related to the fourth. And that was all that should matter. So while he was disappointed and bummed he couldn't complain.

His eyes opened to lock with Kisame's imploring gaze, "yeah."

Kisame searched the blonds face intently, almost creepily but found no hesitation in the reply and straightened, quite content with that reply, he hoped Pein was as satisfied as well.

Kisame nodded, dropping the subject, "nice parting gift." a feral grin forming, showing his razor sharp teeth.

The words had an instant reaction, the smug, pleased grin reformed and with sparkling azure eyes, like the sun glisterning off water Deidara stated, "It was."

Kisame nodded lightly, not blind to how Deidara loved getting compliments when concerning his art. He had, however hoped at a time to have Sasori do the same, to see that his form of art wasn't just loud noises, but Sasori would never view it as art nor praise Deidara in anyway. And while he couldn't say he understood that much about art he could appreciate Dei's abilities.

Speaking off… he turned his far off look onto the blond, "I never knew you could blow someone up from the inside." Repeating his words from earlier when he'd stepped in between Onoki and Dei. Such a thing though was truly intriguing if not a bit... scary, for lack of a better word. But to be able… to be capable of such a feat was very impressive. He wondered how strong Deidara would be in a number of years… the kid was after all very young, he was bound to become stronger, his explosions more powerful and devastating. Pein was fortunate to stumble onto Deidara when he did; having the kid against them was not an appealing concept.

Deidara blinked, replying blandly interrupting the mist nin's musings, "you never asked."

Kisame smirked briefly, "true." It wasn't common to talk about ones individual attacks unless you were partners. Knowing what your constant companion could do was ideal, and imperative. For not being privy to everything could cause a bad fall.

Kisame shook his head to dispel his thoughts, running a blue hand through his even bluer hair, "so I guess we should get going." He was mildly eager to get back to his drama shows and see what he missed. He had tried to bribe Kakuzu into taping for him but the greedy bastard had wanted for too much and was also heading out indefinitely with Hidan to collect more bounties. He didn't know why Pein needed vast more money but it kept the zombie pair occupied and Kakuzu happy. Unfortunately he couldn't ask Pein or Konan and no one else was using their current base… Ah well, there was such a thing as re-runs. A second later he recalled that he'd have to wait even longer to get back to his show. The reason he had been late to meet up with Dei, was simply because Pein wanted him to head to Iron once this mission was completed.

"Hmm," Deidara uttered, "yeah," bringing the former mist nin back to the present. Deidara was quite anxious to see Tobi, even though Tobi had informed him that he had things to see to, what things he didn't know and now that his mission was over and done with he wanted to know.

~88

"Say," Kisame uttered, breaking the silence that had stayed with them for the last hour, both lost in their personal thoughts. They were roughly a day or so away from the base and Deidara silently felt the compelling feeling of his somewhat soft bed calling him. He was dying to sleep on something comfortable, and couldn't be more grateful that they were almost there. Despite the fact that they had holed up at an Inn for a day to recover, but the beds there had been lumpy and not very soft, though not surprising considering how cheap it cost.

With a small shake of his head, he turned with a raised eyebrow, Kisame's voice sounded rather depressed. And it was slightly concerning seeing as he hadn't portrayed a hint of it since they started this mission, he'd just about forgotten that Kisame was depressed.

"Yeah?" Deidara urged when the mist nin remained silent for over two minutes.

"How did you deal, when Sasori died?" Kisame questioned quietly, after forcing the words out.

Deidara's eyes shot wide and tripped with an inward curse, he hadn't been expecting that. Deidara closed his eyes wearily, running a hand over his face and into his hair, bumping his small pony tail. "I wasn't that upset." Deidara answered honestly, knowing Kisame was seeking some kind of way in dealing with Itachi's death. The problem was that Kisame and Itachi had been in a relationship, Sasori and he hadn't, nor had they been remotely close.

Kisame turned, befuddled, "but you were partners, sure you two weren't together but I- and the others, always felt that someday you would be. When Sasori got over himself…" When he allowed his emotions to process. "You're eating got worse…"

Deidara dropped his eyes to the lightly grassy field; the others really thought Sasori and he were… close? Where had their eyes been? Perhaps he was a really good actor, but when did Sasori come off as wanting anything with him? They argued constantly, which dwindled when the abuse started, so how did they come to that conclusion? Deidara grunted it didn't overly matter… As for his eating… it had nothing to do with being depressed over Sasori, but it was because of Sasori that he had gotten so bad about it. Sasori had been known for his complete lack of waiting and he was quite proud of getting missions done at a good time, which had tarnished ever since he had become the red heads new partner. To say Sasori was not pleased (when was he ever) and cut detours out as much as possible, which meant no stopping and eating since he didn't require it. So as more missions took place the less he was allowed the time to eat unless he packed something and ate it along the way, but the Akatsuki base was never known for having very much food on hand- food that wouldn't expire quickly. So he had often gone without eating till he returned to their current base. Ultimately he had grown accustomed to the change and it got to the point that he would forget to eat. At which point the others had taken notice…

"That wasn't because of Sasori, I wasn't depressed about him un." Deidara informed with a bit of stress, waving a hand as if that would help prove his words.

Kisame frowned, studying the side of the artist's face, not hearing any inflection to signal that the blond was lying and his expression-from what he could see didn't hold anything either. "But you were still partners…, Surly you were upset to an extent?"

Deidara's eyes glanced briefly at the unyielding staring mist nin, he hadn't been the slightest bit upset, except for the fact that Tobi was becoming his new partner. "No. Not in the slightest." Deidara stated firmly.

Kisame opened and closed his mouth several times, clearly having trouble believing that, "how…?" He shook his head in shock disbelief, "why?"

Deidara grunted, thoroughly annoyed with this conversation and wishing that Kisame hadn't opened his big mouth, "he wasn't very likeable… after all he was made of wood, he didn't posses an ounce of good emotions, hmm."

Kisame stared, not sure to take the artist words for true or not but, "you called him Danna!"

Deidara's forehead creased, his eyes closing as the shout reverberated in his ears and sent tendrils of small throbbing pain to flare in his head, "well yeah… I admired his art even though it wasn't true art hmm." He'd respected Sasori, up until a certain point.

"Just because I called him that didn't mean that I had any romantic interest in him." Deidara added to still the continued protest from Kisame, "besides I called you that a lot back then to – still do, just not as often hmm." Deidara turned to look at the thin lipped male, "are you saying that because I call you Danna that I have romantic feelings for you?"

Kisame opened his mouth, but closed it a moment later with a small shake of his head. He ran a blue hand through his dark blue hair and finally said, "I see your point." He knew that Deidara didn't feel that way about him yet it was odd how it hadn't occurred to him that the term 'Danna' was simply for respect for the both of them. The way Dei went around saying Danna when referring to Sasori always felt more to it. But now that he thought about it Dei did seem to hold up exceedingly well for someone who he had supposedly loved and had died. So Dei didn't love Sasori… never had. That was… interesting. But also a bit of a downer, out of everyone he knew Dei was the only one who had lost a partner, like him. He couldn't ask how someone else was dealing because they didn't know how it felt.

"So?" Deidara encouraged when Kisame stayed silent after his agreement.

Kisame angled his head away to look at the passing scenery, "never mind."

Deidara frowned but not totally surprised at the mist nin's change of mind. After all how much help could he be since he didn't love Sasori like Kisame did for Itachi. Kisame was clearly hurting, oddly enough. He wasn't used to this kind of thing and yet if it had been Tobi… he remembered the scare he'd had after his suicide bomb thinking Tobi had died. And he hadn't even been in a relationship with him then… so now he knew he'd probably be like Kisame if Tobi died. But…

Deidara raked his visible eye over the tall, broad form, despite the way he stood, his head was bent down slightly towards the ground, a clear indicator that he wasn't feeling great. He was depressed. How Kisame could love someone like Itachi, Deidara wasn't sure but he also didn't know that Itachi had been a spy for the leaf since the beginning. So why had Itachi gotten together with Kisame? Did the weasel actually feel the same? Or was he simply using Kisame? A part of him wanted to say that Itachi had been simply using Kisame but he remembered when Kisame mentioned Itachi pushing him away shortly before he died. That signified that Itachi wanted to break things off to limit Kisame's hurt. But he didn't know for sure… Perhaps telling Kisame the truth about Itachi would help him move on, even though Tobi had forbidden him from doing so. Granted if Kisame didn't keep the truth to himself and went to Pein, or Pein found out, and Kisame said he'd heard it from him then he'd be in quite the difficult spot. After all Pein would wonder how he'd known of such information, which could possibly lead to the fact that he knew about Tobi and Tobi would not be pleased. And even Kisame would wonder how he knew…

Argh… maybe it was better to keep his mouth shut…

Deidara glanced again over at the taller, silent male. Well he didn't have to necessarily say that Itachi was for sure a spy. He could just suggest it. Deidara glanced skyward, as if by doing so that would give him the answer to his small dilemma.

One more glance at Kisame sealed his decision, "what if…" Deidara trailed off, unknowingly catching Kisame's immediate attention, since he was busy scowling at the grassy ground.

"Yes?" Kisame prodded, urging the artist to continue.

With a frown and a vague thought of regret continued, "what if Itachi... what if he was a spy?" spitting out quickly before he could really think of how much this could be a bad idea. Because he wasn't paying the shark nin the slightest bit of attention he missed the abrupt stop.

"What?" Kisame growled out feral like, sending a chill down Deidara's spine.

Deidara slowly came to a stop and turned to face the furious mist nin, who had a not so pleasant look on his face. His teeth shown sharply as he scowled, his beady eyes bore into him scortingly, like he was trying to set him on fire. Feeling nervous and mildly wishing he hadn't said anything muttered quickly, trying to appease the other, "well I just meant that if Itachi was a spy, then surely it would make it easier that he died un!"

Kisame took a step towards the fumbling blond, who stubbornly stood his ground as Kisame snapped, "How could you suggest something like that!"

Deidara felt several beads of sweat inch their way down the side of his face and he swallowed tightly, he'd never been faced with furiously pissed off Kisame before. And he was somewhat afraid of what the other would do. "You know that I despise Itachi!" Deidara snapped loudly, waving a hand to help his case.

Kisame's eyes narrowed dangerously and just as Deidara blinked a blue hand shot forward gripping tightly to the artist's throat.

Deidara stilled entirely, resisting the urge to pry at the others almost suffocating grip, knowing that it would only spur the shark nin on.

"He would never!" Kisame roared, shaking the blond a little, watching detachedly as his forehead creased, no doubt having trouble breathing but he was far too lost in his rage to think clearly.

"I-I never said he was!" Deidara choked out, his visible eye scrunched up, his hand's fisted tightly at his sides. "Same!" Deidara shouted hoping to bring reason back to the other. If Kisame didn't let go soon, he was going to throw a blasted bomb at him!

The grip tightened, and Deidara felt the little air he was receiving recede and he snapped his hands up, pulling at the arm wrapped around his throat, "S-same!" he gurgled out. Just as Deidara realized that tugging on the vise like grip wasn't going to get the other to let go and suck up some clay the rage flaring in the mist nin's eyes faltered and shock realization crossed his face and he was suddenly released.

Deidara staggered a few paces away, his head positioned downwards towards the ground as he coughed; a hand found its way to his abused throat and began rubbing it, hoping to help ease the coughing.

"I-I'm sorry Dei," Kisame whispered, his head turned away from the hacking blond. "I don't know what came over me…"

Deidara waved a dismissive hand, "I-its fine," straitening once the coughing subsided. "I should have known that you wouldn't take well to such an idea." Even though it was true. Well it didn't look like knowing the truth about Itachi would help Kisame in anyway…

Deidara sighed, dropping his hand from his throat, raking his eyes over the upset and mildly shocked mist nin. He didn't hold it against the other for attacking him like that, it wasn't like he wasn't used to it – Hidan loved to charge at him with his red scythe quite often and they were missing nin, no surprise. But instead of continuing on about it he decided that it was better left dropped and muttered, "We're almost there." a silent urge to keep going.

Kisame nodded, despite it not being seen and in silence they continued back to the base.

~88

End chap. Use your imagination on what happened to Akatsuchi.

Posted: 11/28/2013