Jade muttered a goodbye and snapped her phone closed. She would have gotten a smartphone like everyone else, but there was just something she loved about phones with hinges.

She looked at her watch, gauging the time she had before she had to go to bed, giving herself a few good hours to just read or laze around.


The girl in question jumped back in surprise. As far as she'd known, only a few of the shinobi should have been human, and the one in front of her wasn't one of them.

"What do you want, Deidara?" Jade sighed.

"I figured it out, un!" He backtracked. "Okay, Itachi helped, but I can hide my birds enough now."

"You accepted help from Itachi?" Jade teased, ignoring the growing excitement in the back of her head.

Deidara frowned at her. "Do you want to fly or no?"

Jade grinned at him, an expression that, Deidara realized with a start, he rarely saw on her. "Let's do this."


Flying was fun.


But fun.

Deidara knew what he was doing. It was obvious from the beginning that he did. And he was careful to keep a good grip on Jade as well, given the fact that, as she was a civilian, albeit a very well-armed one, she couldn't use chakra.

At all.

Which meant that she was at risk to fall off of the bird at any given moment if Deidara made a sudden movement with it.

Of course, this meant that Deidara had to hold onto Jade, or vice-versa, though having Jade hold on was the riskier option of the two, given that she only had the strength of a civilian.

And that was how Jade ended up having to sit in Deidara's lap, his arms wrapped securely around her waist, having the time of her life as Deidara flew in loops and spirals.

She also felt incredibly awkward, given that she was in a boy's (man's?) lap, pretty much being snuggled in an area where no one else could see them.

At least Deidara didn't try anything on that front.


Jade was actually laughing when Deidara finally landed the bird again. Partially in relief of finally being on the ground again, but mostly out of exhilaration. "That was amazing!"

Deidara didn't say anything, not wanting to bother with putting in the effort to actually speak English. He just grinned and chuckled along with her.

"You two didn't have sex up there, right?"

Hidan dodged Jade's punch with ease. Deidara's… was a little more difficult.

Kakuzu's was unavoidable.

"Ow, what the f— Kakuzu, you b****rd, what the f*** was that for?!"

Kakuzu turned around and went back inside without answering the question.

Hidan ran in after him. "Oi, get back here, a**hole!"

Deidara glanced over at Jade, and then behind them at the bird, and then back to Jade. "You want to go again, un?"

Jade blinked at him. "Right now?"

Deidara shrugged. "Eh… no. Tomorrow, un?"

Jade turned to go inside, shrugging back. "If I feel like it. I might end up with plans of some sort."

Deidara followed her. "Plans?"


As it turned out, Jade did end up having plans, even if they weren't the kind that she had no part in creating for herself.

She'd actually been contemplating asking Deidara to go flying again (the sensation was addicting), sitting on the couch and watching TV in the meantime, trying to ignore the mewling coming from her ankles. Naruto had taken to trying to twine around them and meow whenever he wanted to try and ask her for something. There was also the noise of arguing drifting down from the upper story.

"Not now, I'm busy." Jade nudged him with her foot, trying to track the story on the screen before her. It was a Spanish soap opera, one that she'd never seen before, and thus meant that she had no chance of understanding what was going on. Of course, that's what made it so much fun to try and understand what little semblance of a plot the melodramatic mess contained.

Suddenly, music blasted through the house.

"Giant tropical centipedes…"

Well, the introduction to a dubstep song blasted through the house. And while dubstep is technically music, it is not traditional music. Moreover, this was only the introduction, which sounded more like the soundtrack to a documentary on tropical bugs than the introduction to a technology and bass-ridden piece of modern music.

But we're not here to discuss music at the moment, or bugs. We're here to discuss Jade's reaction to them.

Jade froze. She swore.

She ran upstairs. "Oi, idiots, whoever's human needs to change back now!"

"Why do we—" Itachi poked his head out of one of the rooms.

"Now!" Jade snapped, going to the room across from the one that Itachi had been in, filled with whoever was currently human and arguing.

Apparently, it was Yahiko and Sasori.

…Never mind, not important. "Both of you, human, now."

"Why should—?" Yahiko began.


Jade turned back around and sprinted downstairs. Okay, only two left. Who else was…

Deidara and Obito! And he's in Tobi mode, so…

A door snapped open and Jade froze and turned around with a smile on her face, only half-faked.

A boy came in through the door to the garage, pulling two large suitcases and a duffel bag with him. He wasted no time in dropping all three large bags to the ground, though he was more careful with the backpack on his shoulder, and stretching.

Then he began to dance.

He wasn't a professional by any means, but he seemed to know enough of the basics to do a passable imitation of… whatever he was trying to do.

The dance was really rather jerky in its movements, but it was still interesting to watch.

Jade's smile slowly grew less fixed as she seemed to melt into exasperated amusement. She folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the wall, smirking.


The boy was actually in a fairly long coat, but wore a black tank top underneath, in contrast to the long, dark pants and dress shoes that made up the bottom half of his attire.

He also wore dark sunglasses and had his short, nearly-black hair gelled up into spikes.


The music finally ended, and the boy struck a pose with a grin.

Jade clapped slowly, full of sarcasm, and fully smirking. "Nice job, dumba**."

The boy reached up and pulled off the coat and glasses, hanging them up nearby. He turned back around and spread his arms, still grinning. "C'mon, give your big brother a hug!"

Jade rolled her eyes, but she ran forward and embraced her brother. "Carlos, I think I'm going to kill you for rigging that up one day."

Carlos, for that is who he was, laughed as he pulled back out of the hug, putting his hands on his little sister's shoulders. "Aw, give me a little credit. How many guys do you know that would be able to play around with the wireless garage door activation to the point where it played a chosen song whenever he, and only he, came home?"

"It wouldn't be for just you if I stole your car." Jade contradicted. "Besides, how does that help in everyday life?"

Carlos pointed to the door he'd just come through. "It makes everyday life ten percent more awesome, and don't you dare even try to deny it!"

Jade snorted, but let the issue slide. She pointed at the bags. "Those better not be full of dirty laundry. If they are, you better not be expecting me to be the one that washes them."

Carlos tilted his head to the side. "Eh. Yes to the first, no to the second. I just got off a road trip that took me halfway across the country, part of which was through the Rockies, so I kind of have a lot of laundry that I had nowhere to wash. I'll do it myself, though, seeing as you're… you."

"Good choice." Jade punched him in the arm, playful as many siblings were. "And what did you mean by that?"

"Eheheh." Carlos rubbed the back of his head. "You know… you're like… Hermione."

"I'm like Hermione." Jade deadpanned, looking him right in the eye. Her arms were folded again, and one eyebrow was raised, unlike the flat, unimpressed tone of her voice. "…Hermione."

"It was the first person that came to mind!" Carlos protested.

"She's a fictional character known for being bossy and smart. Are you calling me bossy, or are you calling me smart?"


"You're pathetic."

"No, I'd rather call myself a doting older brother."

"Again, pathetic."

Carlos pouted at that, in a manner that was actually rather cute and, alas, pathetic.

Jade wasn't buying it. "I'm four years younger than you, and you're acting like I'm a parent."

"Well, would you rather I do… this?" Carlos lunged forward and grabbed his sister, pulling her into an awkward headlock, leaving one hand free to knuckle her skull. "Noogie!"

"Stop it, you idiot!"

Carlos let her go, laughing loudly. "Ah, family time. How I missed thee."

Jade held a hand against her head, but the glare she sent towards her brother held no real bite to it. "Tch. Moron."

Carlos grinned, opening his mouth to say something, and then stopped, confusion taking over his face. He stared at a point behind his sister. "Jade… I know you said you took in a few cats, and I was okay with it because you said you were being paid for it and that you could keep up with your schoolwork and extracurricular stuff without a problem… but when you said 'a few,' I was expecting, like, three."

"I know."

Carlos pointed behind her. "That's not three."

"I know."

He turned to look her in the eyes again. "That's, like, twenty."

"I know."

"Jade…" There was almost a warning tone in his voice.

Unfortunately for… well, just about everyone, there was a loud crash outside, followed by a muffled explosion and loud yelling in Japanese.

Jade cringed. "Um… I have a totally reasonable explanation for that."

Deidara ran in, livid, grabbed a pitcher of water, and ran back outside, shouting again.

"…And that."

Tobi ran in, Deidara following, and ended up turning into a cat after taking only a few steps into the room as Deidara shoved the pitcher over the masked man's head.

"…And that."

Deidara noticed them at that point. He shuffled awkwardly for a few seconds and then waved. "Um… hi?"

The tongue from his palm lolled out.

"…Okay, maybe it's not totally reasonable, but I have an explanation."

"Just please tell me you're not dating this guy." Carlos looked almost sick at the idea.

"I'm not."



A/N: I know it's short. I know it's late in the week. I know you expect more out of me by now.

I. Don't. Care.

Those of you who follow me on DA already know this, but I'll say it here, too. My grandfather died on Tuesday, and as a result I just haven't been in a writing mood. Deal with it any way you can.

Now, on a nicer note, there are ongoing contests for these stories on DeviantArt. There haven't been any entries for AK:PCO-based things yet, so someone go and draw some stuff for the current one. If you can't find me, just look for the most recent "contest" journal I've written. If you still can't find it, just leave a question on my DA profile and I'll give you the link there.

Ja ne,