Beta'd by Chillybean
Deidara stared at Itachi numbly as he tried to process the words he had just heard.
In love? With Sasori?
He wanted to laugh at the moth's ridiculous suggestion, but he couldn't. If it was Hidan breaking such news to him, he would without a second thought. But this was Itachi…and Itachi never joked. The Scarlet Tiger Moth took everything literally without even an ounce of humour.
"No way! That's impossible!" Deidara quickly denied, ignoring the sudden thumping of his heart.
"Why not?" Itachi asked calmly.
"Well for starters he's a mantis!"
"Hidan is a predator and you two are considered best friends."
"That and this are different things, un."
"It's– well…argh!" Deidara scratched his head furiously when he couldn't find anything to counter the moth. "Look, you don't know anything! Just leave me alone!"
"…I do." Itachi whispered. Though his voice was almost inaudible, Deidara managed to catch it. The butterfly stopped and slowly glanced over at the raven who was gazing into the distance. He couldn't believe what he heard. For once in his life, Itachi spoke with emotion. The moth had always kept a calm, monotone voice, and the blond never thought he was even capable of expressing feelings through words.
"I didn't always live here." Deidara quickly snapped out of shock when his fellow sap-sucking friend continued softly. "I used to live near the forest's lake before I met Kisame."
"Ok?" Deidara mumbled, wondering what Itachi was playing at. Or rather, why in the world was he even telling him this?
"I tried to kill him when we first met."
Deidara nearly choked on his own saliva and fell off the flower. "W-what?" He coughed as his bluebell eyes fell to the moth with a stupefied look on his face.
"You tried to kill Kisame no Danna?" Deidara asked, wanting to confirm that he had heard right. That was the least he had expected from Itachi, seeing as how him and his mate were always so close. He couldn't really tell with Itachi, but Kisame adored the moth more than anything else in the world.
The blond had always thought that they met- well, Deidara hadn't really thought about how the two had met. But however it went, it was definitely not the two of them trying to tear each other's throat out.
"During the time I was in the forest, I was chased."
"Chased?" Deidara's eyes widened when he realized who Itachi was talking about. "Orochimaru!"
"Yes…" Itachi said slowly. "You have heard from Hidan?"
"He kind of told me once…but it's very vague, un. Danna and the others didn't say much about it either."
Itachi stared at the blond, but he didn't question who the others were that Deidara was referring to. "Like the rest of the Akatsuki, I was born an outcast."
"That's the name of our group. It was the name that Tobi insisted upon." The raven explained. He slowly closed his eyes, opening them a few seconds later to reveal scarlet irises. Deidara gasped slightly, recognizing those eyes as the same ones that had glared at Sasori.
"I was born with these eyes – the reason I was an outcast from the sanctuary." The moth began. "They allow me to create illusions in the minds of individuals. The illusions I create are ones that harm and even take away lives."
Deidara's eyes grew wide in shock.
"Orochimaru liked these eyes, so he wanted to make me his. When I rejected him, he began sending insects after me. Having nothing to defend myself with from attacking predators, I had to rely on these." Itachi slowly raised a hand and brushed his fingers gently over his eyelids. "Although I was able to survive by this power, there was a drawback. The stress the illusions caused my eyes was great. I was forced to activate my eyes at all times, and due to that I was on the boarder of becoming blind. Although my sight has healed with time, my eyes have become overly sensitive and I can no longer stand the light of the sun."
"So the reason you can't go out in daylight is because of that?"
The moth responded with a curt nod. "I met Kisame one moon and had thought that he was one of Orochimaru's followers, so I attacked him."
Itachi slowly looked up to see how drawn into the story the blond was. There was so much excitement flashing in his eyes that the moth couldn't help but find himself smiling lightly.
"I despised him because he made me feel strange. Never had I felt so infuriated by another's presence before. I didn't know what it meant back then until I lost the warmth…"
"What did you mean by lost?" Deidara asked, but Itachi didn't answer his question. He just looked up and his crimson eyes glistened in the moonlight.
"As living creatures, we never know what we have until it leaves us."
The butterfly blinked. If he didn't know any better, he could have sworn that the sentence was directed at him.
"Deidara, do you understand why I am telling you this?"
"Well…no, not really." The butterfly admitted sheepishly. "But I'm really happy, un." He quickly said. "This is the first time you've actually talked about yourself. The only parts of your past that I've ever heard never came from your mouth."
"Sasori and I are the same." Itachi said softly. "Emotions are something we cannot understand as our only goal is to survive in this world. Friends and companionship aren't sensations we are fond of. There was a time when I believed that such things only got in the way. However, after meeting Kisame, I came to realize something I thought I wasn't capable of." The moth turned and slowly raised his pale hand. His index finger reached out and lightly jabbed the butterfly's chest, over where his heart rested.
"Affection." Itachi's eyes captured Deidara's and the butterfly suddenly found himself unable to look away.
"Umm, I don't think I'm following. I mean, I get what you mean, un. It's just, I'm not really sure what you're trying to tell–"
"What I am saying is that your feelings for Sasori are mutual."
Deidara stared at the moth, mouth agape as he slowly let the words sink in. "What!" He exclaimed when he finally found his voice. "Wait, I mean– you're saying that Danna…likes me?"
"I told you. Sasori and I are the same." Itachi smiled.
"No, that's a huge stretched! How did you come to a conclusion like that?"
"When I saw Sasori, I could see the confusion and frustration of not being able to understand the foreign emotions he had never felt before. I didn't think much of it at first, but now that I have sat down and given it some thought, I realize that he had the same expression I had shortly after meeting Kisame."
"Look, I'm happy you came to cheer me up, and no offensive, but I really think you're over-thinking these–" The blond cut himself off with a fake yawn. As much as he enjoyed hearing some of Itachi's past, he has no desire to listen to anymore of the moth's ridiculous deductions.
Falling for the act and believing that the butterfly was tired, Itachi let out a light sigh as he got to his feet.
"Let's go back."
Deidara nearly beamed, but he quickly put on a tired expression and nodded. The blond stood up only to remember that he was on a flower. He peered over the edge of the bud, frowning at the realization of how high he was. The height didn't seem to matter when he was climbing his way up. The countless leaves he had used for support to get up now seemed like an obstacle in his way down.
As he was busy trying to figure how to climb down, Deidara didn't notice Itachi standing behind him until he felt a hand suddenly push him off. He let out a startled scream as gravity reeled him down.
Then, he felt something grab his wrists and his fall stopped.
Deidara stared at the ground below him and slowly tilted his head until the moth entered his view.
Itachi was hovering above him, his colourful wings flapping quicker than usual to stay airborne with the extra weight.
"Warn me next time, un!" The blond shouted up at the moth. For a moment there he seriously thought he was going to die!
Itachi didn't say anything. Gripping onto the tan wrists tighter, he was flying towards the direction of his home when he caught sight of a flash in the bushes in the distance. Instantly, the moth flew down to the ground, dropping a confused butterfly onto a blade of grass before darting off.
"Hey!" Deidara clenched onto the swaying grass as he watched Itachi land in the distance. "What's his problem?" The blond wondered out loud. He waited for a few seconds. When he didn't see the moth come back up, he slid off the grass and hurried towards where the moth went.
Once he pushed past the tall grass, Deidara emerged into a small clearing of dirt and saw Itachi pushing at the leaves of a bush. The butterfly didn't know what the moth was doing, but from his actions, it seemed as though Itachi was searching for something.
"What are you looking for?" The blond walked up to the raven. Itachi didn't reply. He just kept pulling at the leaves and twigs. Although Deidara had no idea what was going on, he decided to help. He pulled apart the leaves and looked inside, but it was too dark to see. The thought of a spider or some sort of predator jumping out sent an unpleasant shiver down his spine. He looked over at the moth with uncertain eyes, but Itachi didn't seem frightened in the slightest. Then again, Itachi was technically a moon dweller, so he must be used to these things.
"Let's go." Itachi's voice snapped Deidara back to reality as he pulled his hands from the leaves.
"Aren't you looking for something though?"
"No…I just…" The moth looked over the bush with slightly narrowed eyes. "I thought I saw something. I suppose it was my imagination."
"Oh…alright." Deidara shrugged, deciding not to question anymore. He followed Itachi away as the two vanished into the tall patches of grass.
Shortly after their departure, a pale hand stretched out from within the dark bush, peeling open to reveal a white-haired beetle.
"As expected of Itachi. His senses are sharp." The insect snarled out the last part in distaste as he adjusted his round glasses. He waited inside his hiding place. After he deemed that it was safe, he ran out from the bushes and into the nearest shadow to keep hidden.
"Orochimaru-sama will be pleased to hear this." Was all he mumbled before he vanished into the darkness.
Deidara whimpered at the pounding against his door. He dug his face deeper into the dried patches of grass, but he was unable to block out the sound.
"Deidara! You awake or what?"
Finally unable to take it anymore, the butterfly walked over to the door, swinging it open just as the dragonfly was about to give another hard knock.
"I'm up, un." He yawned into his hand tiredly. "What is it, Hidan?"
"Breakfast." Hidan replied as he took in the dark bags under the golden-winged insect's eye. "You look like shit."
"Couldn't sleep, un."
"Seriously, how do you survive the Silent Cycle* if you can't sleep without flowers?" Hidan asked as he stared at the grass-knitted roundish bed. The inside of the bed was clearly hollow, stuffed with various soft things to give the bed a bouncy texture. There was no doubt that it was Itachi's work; the moth was the only one with hands delicate enough to create such a feat.
All that was missing were some cottony bed sheets (which the owners lacked in all the guest rooms).
"Yeah…well…" Deidara trailed off. He couldn't tell Hidan that the reason he couldn't sleep was because of the lack of floral comfort. The real reason behind it was because of Itachi's words from last night. Even after returning, he couldn't find himself to forget about everything the moth had said to him.
He couldn't help but wonder, what if Itachi was miraculously right?
What if Sasori really had…some degree of feeling for him?
Whenever Deidara thought of the possibility, he felt his heart threatening to leap out from within his ribcage.
"Come on." Hidan rolled his eyes as he headed for the living room where everyone was waiting. Deidara trailed after his friend with tired eyes.
Deidara briefly wondered what the red-haired mantis was doing, but that only brought back the reminder of the harsh words he said before throwing him right into Itachi.
"Hah?" Hidan turned, thinking that the butterfly was saying that to him. Just when the Jashinist was about to counter with his swears, he stumbled just in time to avoid getting walked into by the butterfly.
Deidara continued his way down his hall while muttering a string of inaudible words, seeming to not even realize that the dragonfly wasn't in front of him anymore.
Hidan stared until the blond disappeared around a corner. "What the fuck did I do?"
"Oh? Itachi?" A sinister chuckle echoed through the hollow of the tree. "There's a nostalgic name. And you say this Deidara is with him?"
"Yes, Orochimaru-sama." The white-haired beetle replied as he stared at the cicada sitting before him. "I couldn't hear anything due to the distance, but from what I could tell, they appear to be close companions. Unfortunately, Itachi seemed to have detected my presence, so I was unable to follow them to their living location."
"Hn, I expected as much." Orochimaru smirked widely to show off his sharp fangs. "If Itachi is with him, then that means so is that wasp and those friends of theirs. This is perfect."
"I don't think I understand."
"Just think, Kabuto." Orochimaru rose from his seat. "If I have that butterfly, then he'll become the perfect bait to capture Itachi."
"But what about those friends of Itachi's?" Kabuto questioned. "Last time–"
"The only reason Itachi slipped through my grasp was because of his eyes." The cicada cut off his follower. "That butterfly is a meadow insect. Those creatures have no experience in combat. As long as I have him as a hostage, even Itachi won't dare to attack. In the past, it may have been different, but he has grown weak after meeting that wasp."
Snickers echoed into the darkness as golden eyes gleamed in delight.
"Soon, Deidara…I'll have you very soon, and then Itachi."
Silent Cycle – The silent cycle has been mentioned in the Christmas special. It indicates winter – a time of truce between all insects.
Due to school works getting heavier, I can no longer guarantee a monthly update. I will try my best to keep up to schedule, but I just want everyone to know that if things starts to get tough, I will leave my story for a while and resume when summer comes. I'm hoping not to get to that, as this story doesn't have that many chapters left…but like I said, there are no guarantees. I will try my best and write whenever I get the time, but I hope everyone can understand if I missed a month…or two. If I do decide to put it on hold till summer, I will definitely post a notice to tell everyone.