Sickness and Health:

An extraordinarily loud commotion filled the base in the early hours of the morning, rousing the members from their slumber. As random as the noise may have sounded while they were half asleep, the longer they stayed awake the easier it was to tell that it was a person. Hoarse screaming, accompanied by coughing along with a higher voice filled the air.

Groaning the raven haired man held a hand to his head, trying feebly to stave off the migraine he could sense coming on due to the unusual ruckus in the base. The noise was driving him insane; he preferred the silence of when most of the members were out on missions. Not only that but his vision was beginning to get worse, so he normally confined himself to his bedroom when at the base.

'This is ridiculous…' He thought to himself as he moved to lie back down on his bed. There was no way he was going to leave his room to investigate.

"Would you shut the fuck up?" A loud voice yelled down the corridor with vulgar language that could only belong to the religious fanatic Hidan. He was of half a mind to have a little talk with the immortal about yelling in front of his room when someone knocked on his door. When he made no effort to tell them to go away the door swung open to reveal his blue skinned partner.

"What?" Itachi mumbled, glaring at the intrusion of light. The shark man grinned apologetically but didn't close the door.

"Pein's called a meeting." Kisame informed him, standing patiently in the doorway as he waited for his partner in crime to get up. Itachi didn't appreciate the morning meeting and his eyes narrowed, showing his displeasure. Still, an order was an order, so he climbed to his feet and followed Kisame to the meeting room with a grunt of irritation.

When everyone was seated in the meeting room except for Deidara and Tobi Pein turned to examine his subordinates. They were all in varying states of either distress or just plain irritation as they sat in their seats. He cleared his throat and they turned to face him.

"Previously I never felt the need to worry when Deidara fell ill, since Sasori seemed to know exactly how to deal with him without getting on everyone's nerves." The pierced man started, resting his chin on his interlaced fingers. "However, it would appear that Tobi has no such skills." He turned slightly and glared in the direction of the bomber's room.

"So Blondy's gone and fucking got himself sick?" Pein shifted his glare to Hidan as his voice broke the relative calm of the meeting room, just like it did at least once during every meeting.

"Correct, and since he is driving me insane I have decided that we need to decide on someone to look after him. Anyone will be better than Tobi." Kisame, Kakuzu and Itachi all sent a sceptical look towards Hidan, silently questioning the sanity of their leader.

"Of course I'm sending Hidan and Kakuzu out on a mission, because even I know that Hidan will only add to the noise and distress around here." The immortal growled and muttered curses under his breath at the blatant insult, but otherwise didn't say anything.

"That leaves Kisame, Itachi and Zetsu, since Konan is already busy."

"Somehow I don't think Zetsu would be the best choice." Kisame pointed out, thinking about the plant man's cannibalistic tendencies. The ginger haired man nodded once, cautiously eyeing his faithful spy out of the corner of his spiral rinnengan eyes.

"I also agree with that assumption." He turned so that he was facing Kisame and Itachi. "Do either of you wish to offer your time or will I have to choose for you?" The shark man tensed before glancing at his partner.

"I think Itachi should do it. He's good at that sort of thing."

'Damn, is he trying to make my day worse? He knows Deidara hates my guts. Not to mention my migraine…' Itachi's sharingan activated itself without his notice as his mouth twitched downwards at the corners, displaying his discomfort with the proposition.

"Itachi?" The raven quickly quelled his frustration and his eyes dimmed back to their normal onyx colour.


"Alright then. Itachi's in charge of Deidara and the rest of you can just stay out of the way." Pein then dismissed the members, hoping for some peace and quiet once Hidan was out of the base.

Deidara had been far less than happy with how his orange masked partner had gone about trying to look after him. He had been screaming at him so much that he had almost completely lost his voice. The blond hadn't been able to relax at all knowing that Tobi was in his room, so when someone finally came and forcefully removed the newbie he let out a sigh of relief. When the quiet had properly enveloped his room he managed to drift off into a fitful sleep.

Something cool and damp being placed on his forehead roused the bomber from his inconsistent slumber, drawing an unintentional sigh from his lips as it soothed his raging fever. The newcomer didn't speak, the only sound being a chair scraping along the floor. His own voice was still barely there, and he slowly opened one eye. He could barely see through his fever induced haze, but he was almost certain that the person seated in the chair next to his bed had black hair. That more or less meant that for some unknown reason Tobi had taken his mask off, or it was the Uchiha whom he despised so much.

"Mnn… 'Chiha?" Deidara mumbled almost incoherently, rolling over and whining in protest when the damp cloth slid off his head.

After settling in a chair Itachi had picked up a book and buried his nose in it, pretending to read. He personally had nothing against the Akatsuki bomber in the bed next to him, but he knew well enough that the blond seemed to despise him. With his vision beginning to fail him it was difficult to actually read the small writing on the pages of the book, but he figured that if he put up an uninterested front the younger male might not get as wound up when he noticed him. It wasn't long before he heard mumbling from the bed and he lowered the book half an inch to peer over the top.

"Deidara?" As he examined the blond he slowly lowered the book and placed it on the floor next to the chair. Deidara didn't seem overly excited about the situation, but his cheeks were flushed from the fever and he figured that he was too weak to warrant proper complaints. Reaching out hesitantly he picked up the cloth and placed it back on his forehead. Azure eyes glared weakly up at him so he quickly removed his hand and picked the book up once more.

Deidara frowned as the raven's fingertips brushed against his forehead. For all he would deny it later and blame it on his fever he had to admit that it felt sort of nice, reassuring almost. He had to clench his mouth shut to avoid letting a disappointed moan slip out when the hand moved away, putting more effort into a glare instead. To his surprise he was actually depressed when the older man went back to reading. That made Deidara frown, confused as to why he would care if his greatest in-organisation enemy was ignoring him.

"… 'tachi, why are you here?" He asked quietly, fever freeing him from his usual speech impediment. When he felt eyes watching him he turned slightly so that he was looking at the wall.

Itachi was definitely surprised by the question, although it didn't show on his face.

"You're sick." He reminded the other boy, trying to keep any form of emotion out of his voice. It really did seem like a pity to him, that the bomber was so useless when he was sick. He was sure Deidara hated the fact too. A criminal can't afford to be weak after all. Deidara drifted off to sleep again and Itachi watched him as he tossed and turned. He was acting just like Sasuke did when he was ill, and it was surprising how easily Itachi was falling back into his old role. A tiny smile graced his lips and he stood up, wandering off to try and find some medicine.

When Deidara woke up again he was panting heavily from a fever-induced nightmare. His room was empty and it only added to his distress. Coughing harshly he forced himself to stand up, leaning on the chair when the room began to spin. It was too much, he felt like he was going to black out, so he gripped the chair tighter. He heard the door click and it swung open, revealing the dark haired Uchiha. Smiling weakly he stumbled, falling forwards only to be caught by a pair of strong arms. Itachi was incredibly fast when it was necessary.

"What are you doing, idiot?" Itachi reprimanded him, picking him up and sitting him down on the bed once more. The blond was clutching his arm so he had no choice but to sit down next to him.

"You were gone, un."

"I-" His explanation was cut short as Deidara continued to speak.

"I thought I was going to be left alone again, un." Onyx eyes widened a fraction as he gently removed the hand from the sleeve of his cloak. The noise of protest was shushed when he pushed a glass of water into the bomber's hand instead along with a pill.

"For the fever." He informed gently, shifting so that he was sitting with his back against the wall. Deidara sent him a curious look before swallowing the pill along with a generous mouthful of water. Itachi quickly retrieved the glass when Dei nearly dropped it.

"Thank you, un." He rested his head against Itachi's shoulder, yawning loudly. There was an amused glint in his onyx eyes as he observed the younger man willingly getting so close to him. Perhaps it was the medicine, perhaps it was the fever, but even if Deidara went back to hating his guts when he recovered it was worth his time to see this other side of him.

It meant that there was hope for him yet, the blond man didn't hate him with all his heart or he would never act the way he was.

When Itachi stopped speculating he had to smile. Deidara had fallen asleep leaning against him. It didn't seem fair to move him when he obviously needed sleep, so Itachi let him stay there, eventually falling asleep himself.

A/N: Hey all :) I was sick last week, not fever sick but I had a cold :P That pretty much inspired me to write this, 'cause I'm sort of odd like that.

I guess this is romance if you squint. I was originally going for romance but it is what it is. I guess this is more of a friendship thing, but if I ever write a sequelish one it will be romance! Huh...

That's about all I've got to say, I hope you enjoyed this random production of my mind :P