Beta'd by Chillybean
Sasori threw a small clump of dirt into the distance, and he watched it vanish into the dark shadows cast by the trees. He leaned back on the soft petal of the orchid he was sitting on, a deep frown marring his face.
He watched as two fireflies flew over his head, their green tails glowing under the moon as they circled around each other before vanishing into the trees. The memory of the night he had spent with the dumb blond forced its way back to his mind, causing the mantis to flick his tongue in irritation.
"Damn that Yahiko…" He cursed the orange haired milkweed bug. It was his entire fault for bringing that kind of thing into his home. He frowned at the remembrance of his behaviour that afternoon. The mantis couldn't understand why he had acted that way. When he saw that other Swallowtail Butterfly, he couldn't help but see that annoying brat. The illusion forced him to stop both himself and Yahiko from bringing any harm to her.
But then, the main question was why?
Even if it really was the brat, why did it matter?
The mantis stared at the stars as though expecting some sort of answer to just fall from the sky. Obviously, that didn't happen. If anything, the plain looking night only made his thoughts drift to the blond even more. Irritated at how he couldn't find peace no matter where he went, Sasori leaped off the pink flower and headed for his home. However, just as he reached the entrance, he saw the remains of what used to be his door and remembered why he had stomped out in the first place.
He originally came outside for the same reason as to why he was returning home right now: to escape his thoughts of the blond. He could recall seeing the blond everywhere in his home, remembering the pieces of scattered moments he had spent with Deidara; moments with his supposed meal. He couldn't even sleep without turning around and expecting to see the butterfly curled up behind him. So in a moment of frustration, he blasted open his door and came up for air.
The mantis glared at no target in particular. When it came down to it, it was Yahiko's fault all over again. If that damn bug didn't meddle with other people's business…
Sasori froze when realization suddenly hit him. He had been so busy trying to get the blond out off his mind that it didn't occur to him until now. Why had Yahiko suddenly show up at his home? Like all the others, they hadn't been in contact for cycles, but he had to appear now of all times, and with a Swallowtail Butterfly that resembled the brat no less.
"Nagato." The red head growled out that despicable name with venom dripping off every syllable. His head then snapped to his surrounds as his senses heightened. His eyes darted around the dark forest as he listened carefully in the quiet air. "I know you're there! Get out here!"
He waited. But when he was met with nothing but silence, the mantis formed his crescent blade that glowed ominously under the soft moonlight. "I'll give you ten seconds." His fallow brown eyes narrowed into a dark glare. If looks could kill, the entire forest would have been set aflame by now, along with the Assassin Bug that was hiding somewhere within the area.
"You know I hate being kept waiting. If you don't come out in ten seconds…" Sasori wasn't able to finish as he suddenly sensed something coming towards him from above. Reacting quickly, the mantis shot his blade upward, only to have it come into hard contact with a blackened arm.
"You…" Sasori retracted his blade when he saw who it was. He watched as Kakuzu landed on the ground, followed shortly by Itachi.
"As usual, not very patient are you, Sasori?" The stick bug said as the arm he had used to block the mantis' attack slowly returned to its normal hue. "Next time, confirm your target before attacking."
"You're trespassing on my turf." The red head scowled. With a wave of his hand, his blade scattered into threads and withdrew back into his fingertip. "What do you want?"
"Sasori, did Deidara come here?" Sasori froze at Itachi's question before he glanced over to the moth.
"What do you mean?" He asked quietly as he studied his two past companions. "What happened to the brat?" The mantis knew that neither of the two insects were ever the type to go around asking other creatures questions. If they both came to him with regards to the butterfly, then it was clear something had happened.
"Deidara is gone." Kakuzu replied, and those words froze the mantis' heart. "We thought he had went for a walk this afternoon, but he didn't come back even after sunset."
"EEEH?" A voice cried, causing all three insects to turn and see a certain Funnel-Web poking his head out from behind a flat rock. "What do you mean Deidara-senpai's gone? D-don't tell me that he's been…kidnapped!" He shrieked out the last word, causing both Kakuzu and Itachi to wince at the volume.
"That's Tobi, isn't it?" Kakuzu asked with annoyance lacing in his voice as he looked over to the moth for confirmation.
Sasori was the only one who didn't reacted to the spider's sudden appearance. He was drowning in his own thoughts, forgetting all his previous anger as his mind refilled with images of the butterfly.
It can't be… The look in the red head's eyes darkened at the remembrance of his meeting with the black-haired cicada shortly after he had captured the butterfly.
The moth and stick bug watched, oblivious to the look on the mantis' face, as an Assassin Bug appeared from behind the spider. "Calm down, Tobi." He ordered, but the spider wasn't listening.
"But Nagato-senpai! Deidara-senpai disappeared!" The masked insect waved his arms around as he stressed the keyword.
"So I've heard." Nagato looked over to Kakuzu and Itachi, completely dismissing the murderous glare that was drilling holes into his skull. "Itachi, Kakuzu. Give me the details."
"Hmph, it seems we have quite a few nostalgic faces." The stick bug commented towards the eavesdroppers while Sasori snapped his head to Itachi.
"Where was the last place you saw the brat?"
Kakuzu stared down at Sasori. The look in his eyes obviously showed that he didn't expect the mantis to care.
"Kakuzu's mate last saw him at the cotton field in the north, near the spring." Itachi responded. The mantis paused for a few seconds, stuck in his own thoughts, before he suddenly darted away from the group and vanished into the tall grass.
"Ah! Sasori-senpai!" Tobi shouted. "Where are you going? The cotton field is that way!" He pointed in the opposite direction of where the mantis had run off to, but he never got a response.
"Ugh…" Deidara moaned as he gripped his head tightly. He curled up on the soft bed as he waited for the headache to pass, but it wasn't working. It felt as though there was something inside his head, constantly pounding on his brain and producing wave after wave of pain. With a scream of frustration, the butterfly sat up, forcing his steel-blue eyes to open to the bright light.
The world spun from his sudden movement, but he gripped onto the soft ground he was sitting on to steady himself. Once the dizziness passed, the butterfly opened his eyes again. His sight was a little blurred, but not to the point where he couldn't see. He slowly looking around, taking care not to move his head more than necessary as he took in all the colours sparkling around him.
"What is this?" He mumbled to himself before gazing down to realize that what he had thought to be the ground was actually a soft bed made out of cotton, bound tightly together by threads of silk. The butterfly blinked and his eyebrows knitted together in confusion. He carefully touched the bed, then looked to the blinding sparkles of colour that decorated the wall.
It was a beautiful sight, but the blond couldn't find it in himself to enjoy it. The last thing he remembered was being knocked out by someone that had snuck up behind him. So why was he here, in such a glamorous looking room? Last time he checked, predators didn't throw their prisoners into a nicely furnished room. Sasori was a perfect example of that.
"Danna…" Deidara gripped the bed sheet at the memory of the mantis. He slowly looked back around the room, making sure that he wasn't seeing things. Could it be that somebody had rescued him? There was a blank in his memory, so perhaps someone had saved him when he was out cold?
The butterfly held onto his head as he carefully pushed himself to his feet. He stumbled in his footing, but he quickly placed a hand on the soft wall to steady himself. The place didn't seem familiar, so the blond was certain that it wasn't any of his friends' homes. For one thing, none of them had such colourful taste, even Sasori, who always seemed to enjoy a more elegant and classic design rather than something flashy.
"Ugh…" Deidara held the fabric pasted over the wall harder. The headache didn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Overwhelmed by a sudden wave of dizziness, the blond fell forward. His fingers scratched the soft fabric covering the wall as he fell, causing a fuzzy powder-like substance to gather under his nails. He sat still on the ground. After waiting for his sight to somewhat adjust again, he looked down at his hand that had been gripping the wall.
He blinked at the orange dust that filled his palm. With his clean hand, he rubbed his eyes and squinted, forcing them to adjust as he studied the sparkling orange dust. Goosebumps sprouted along his skin. His eyes dilated and his breath hitched when he quickly recognized what the powder was. He slowly turned his head, not wanting to believe it, but needing to make sure at the same time.
When he looked up, the blond found himself staring at the torn wing of a monarch butterfly. There was a definite scratch mark there, made by Deidara when he scratched off the colourful scales in a moment of pain. Being able to see properly now, the blond realized that what he had thought to be a glamorous room was nothing but a torture chamber, a prison far worse than any cell a predator would throw him into.
The walls were decorated with dozens of insect wings; all of them being the wings of Papilionidae. There were colours and sizes of all species pasted over the walls and around the brightly glowing sunstones; the rocks bringing out the shine in the flawless scales. The blond took a sharp breath before he quickly wiped his stained hand on the ground.
He had to get out. He didn't know where he was, but one thing he did know was that if he hung around, his fate wouldn't be as lucky as it was with Sasori. Whoever kidnapped him obviously had a sickening hobby.
The blond quickly looked around the room, but the only exit seemed to be the lone door in the corner. He hesitated, knowing that it would definitely be locked, but he decided to give it a try anyway. He staggered over to the door and reached out for the handle. When his fingers brushed by the wooden surface, the door suddenly swung open on its own.
The butterfly took a small step back, watching as the door creaked eerily to reveal the total darkness on the other side.
"This should be it…" Sasori muttered as he landed on a piece of leaf that gave him a perfect view of the wide lake. He stared at all the fireflies that had gathered, partying and chattering away without any sense of danger. The mantis swept his eyes over the brightly lit land, thanks to the moon and the small lights produced by the glowing insects. His finger tapped against a nearby branch, showing his impatience while his face remained impassive.
When he found who he was looking for, the mantis leapt down and swiftly whizzed through the tall blades of grass.
He came out on the bank of the lake, where he found the insect he was looking for hiding behind a rock and staring at a grey furred rabbit coming her way.
The insect was a mosquito, with bright crimson hair and practically drooling as she eyed the animal. The mantis stopped behind her, but she was too engrossed in her own thoughts to even realize the threat.
"That's it, just come closer." She cooed as the rabbit hopped by her, causing the ground to shake at the movement as it stopped right next to the lake. Just as the animal stretched its neck down to take a sip of water, the woman quickly stood up. Her wings only managed to flap twice before they were tangled by a glowing blue web.
"Ah!" The mosquito gave out a sharp scream as she was thrown back. By the time she reacted, she was being held in place by a bruising grip on her shoulder. "Get your stinkin' hands off me! Who the hell do you think you are?" She was quick to shout out insults as she struggled to get away, but she found it difficult with her hands bound to her body.
"Let me go you bastard!"
"Shut up, Karin." Sasori all but growled. Dark shadows were cast over his face and his irises dilated to show the irritation that he had been holding inside. The mosquito immediately stopped. When she turned her head, she immediately shrank down, suddenly not as bold as before under the piercing glare.
"S-Sasori!" Her voice trembled a little. "What a-are you doing here?"
Sasori didn't say anything. Instead, he threw the red haired mosquito over his shoulder and broke into a run. Karin's scream was lost in the night as they entered the dark forest before arriving at the orchid field where Sasori's home was located. The mantis brought the blood drinker down the hall and into his bedroom. He casually dropped the mosquito down and went to his closet, fumbling around before pulling out the blood-stained yellow kimono Deidara had worn when they first met.
"Memorize this scent." The mantis tossed the torn kimono and it landed in front of the girl.
"What for?" Karin questioned despite the fear she felt towards the predator. She looked down at the kimono that screamed the style that only butterflies would wear.
"Just find me the owner of this scent*." Sasori ordered. The stubborn girl was testing his patience, and that was just the same as stomping over a field of carnivorous plants.
"Why the hell should I?" As soon as she spoke, she was answered by a hard slap to the face that sent her sprawling over the ground from the force.
"Karin." Sasori hissed dangerously. "Do I need to remind you where you would be right now if I hadn't saved your pitiful life from Orochimaru?" Although he had spoken in a very light voice, his words rang loudly in the girl's ears. With a grudging look, Karin used her legs to push herself up and bent over the kimono. The smell was strong thanks to the dried blood and sweat that covered it, making it quite easy for the red head to memorize.
"I got the scent." The mosquito informed as she climbed to her feet. "At least free my hands. I can't work tied up like this." She complained, but she was ignored as Sasori walked passed her, forcefully dragging her along.
Karin mumbled colourful words which were once again ignored by the predator. She stared at the back of the mantis, giving the flower-imitating insect a pointed look before speaking up again.
"Hey…did you change or something?" The mantis kept walking. Although his back didn't show it, his eyes twitched at her words. Karin stared at the other red head before she continued. "You never settle anything with a simple slap. By now, I should be headless regardless of whether you needed me or not."
"What are you trying to say?" Sasori paused in his steps. He slowly turned his head and the dark look on his face made the mosquito jump back, but she was fast to gather her scattered courage. "Want me to end your life right now?" The mantis flexed his fingers, causing the joints inside his flesh to crackle.
"L-like you're going to kill me." Karin snorted, though there was a small hint of doubt in her voice. "You need my help, don't you? Otherwise you wouldn't have bothered…"
"You think you're the only mosquito in this forest?" Sasori questioned coldly. With a hard tug on the web, he began walking once more. "Don't flatter yourself. The only reason I even bothered taking you with me was simply because your tracking ability is a little above average for your species. You're really just a replaceable fly without any value."
"Don't call me a fly!" The girl snapped while a vein throbbed in her head. Before she could make any more comments, she screamed as the mantis suddenly leapt upward, pulling her along as they flew up to the surface. Unprepared for the sudden movement, the mosquito landed harshly on her side. She coughed in pain, the air having been knocked out of her lungs thanks to the impact. Without giving any time for adjustment, the web that bound her yanked her back up and right into a pale, waiting hand that seized her throat in a suffocating grip.
"Ugh!" Karin kicked as she felt her feet leave the solid ground. Her wings flapped wildly, creating a heavy buzzing sound, but she couldn't escape from the unyielding grip. She gritted her teeth and parted her amaranth red eyes. For the first time she was showing fear towards the mantis that was literally holding her life in his hand, finally realizing the gravity of her situation.
"Karin." She shivered at the chilling voice that spoke her name. "I will only say this once. Find me the owner of that scent. If you can't by dawn, I will lock you in my storage and with every passing day, you'll be wishing that you were back in Orochimaru's lab. Am I clear?"
Karin struggled to speak, but couldn't due to the hand that was crushing her windpipe. When the mantis didn't get an answer, he tightened his grip, causing the girl to let out a breathless scream.
"Answer me!" The mosquito felt her heart skip a beat and she managed to force out a nod.
"He was last seen at the cotton field." Sasori said before he released his grip. "Now get going."
The mosquito didn't need to be told twice as she hastily flew off to begin her search. As Sasori watched the insect vanish into the forest, an image of the blond's cheerful face flashed back into his mind again.
"I've changed?" He gritted his teeth as his hands curled into fists so tight that blood began to seep from the self-inflicted cuts on his palms. "…How ridiculous."
The scent – mosquitoes has a high sense of smell. They prefer the victim's sweat due to the fact that it smells better because of the proportions of the carbon dioxide and other compounds that make up body odour. The other large part of the mosquito's sense of smell is devoted to sniffing out blood sources.