Beta'd by Chillybean


Deidara shivered as he hugged his knees close to his body and wrapped his better wing around him in an attempt to block the chilly wind.

"W-why is it so cold?" The blond stuttered as his steel blue eyes shifted to the mantis sitting beside him on the leaf of the orchid, seemingly unaffected by the cold weather.

Sasori didn't respond. He just sat there, his chin resting on his palm as his soft hazel-colored eyes gazed out into the distance. The butterfly noted how the other seemed to be lost in his thoughts shortly after they came outside.

Deciding to ignore the mantis, the blond tilted his head up to the sky. Although his body was trembling from the cold, a bright smile formed over his lips as he stared at the stars scattered in the sky.

'It's beautiful.' The butterfly thought in wonder as he curled up against his wing more. No matter how many times he saw those lights scattered across the dark sky, he could never get enough. They were absolutely breathtaking – much more beautiful than the butterfly could ever imagine.

The blond didn't know how long he had been watching the stars for, but he didn't care. He took his time, trying to connect the stars to see if he could form out any images like he occasionally did with clouds.

As the blond busied himself trying to draw a picture in the sky, Sasori was secretly gazing at him from the corner of his eye. The mantis stared at the innocent happiness over the Papilionidae's face and snorted. He still found it unbelievable how everything came to be the way it is now.

He couldn't believe how carefree his ex-prey acted around him.

He couldn't believe how he allowed the butterfly to live.

He couldn't believe how he co-existed with the butterfly without the thought of devouring the other.

But more than anything, he couldn't believe that he had allowed the creature to become part of his life.

'I'm changing.' Sasori thought with realization as his eyes shifted up to the stars. He was changing slowly, but surely. He couldn't feel it before, but as he looked back into his life and compared it to the present, he realized how he had changed ever since he brought the brat into his nest.

The question is: is this change for the better or for the worst?

Understanding the changed was one thing, but he couldn't figure out the strange feelings that came along with it. The best example of those would be the strange thirst that over-took over him whenever the blond was near. Since he could control it, it didn't pose as a problem, but the constant thirst was really starting to irk him. Sasori bit the inside of his mouth lightly, so his razor sharp teeth wouldn't tear through the tissue. He couldn't understand why he couldn't get rid of it. No matter how much he ate and how full he became, he always seemed to want something more.

Something in the form of a blond haired, Tiger Swallowtail brat…

"Danna! Danna!"

A sharp tug on his arm made the mantis loose his balance, and his fangs sliced open the small veins inside his mouth. He quickly put a hand over his lips, holding back a flinch as the heavy scent of blood flooded his taste bugs.

"Look at that! Up there!" Deidara's voice rang as Sasori felt his arm being tugged even more. He looked over to the butterfly, sending him a dark glare that could send any insect running miles. Too bad the blond was oblivious to his gaze. His bluebell eyes were too busy staring at the sky. The mantis reluctantly followed the other's gaze and saw a small speck of green light flying over their heads.

"That star is moving!" Deidara said excitedly, and Sasori took a quick second to turn his head and spit out the content of his mouth. As much as the mantis enjoyed the taste of raw flesh and the fluid that comes along with it, he hated the taste of his own blood. It was bitter and always left a disgusting after-taste.

"That's not a star." The red head said as he looked up to see the light disappearing behind the tall trees. "That's a firefly."

"Firefly?" Deidara's head snapped to Sasori, his eyes wide with shock. "Y-you mean like a fly that's on fire?"

"No you moron." Sasori snapped, and he felt blood gather inside his mouth again. "They are moon dwellers from the beetle order Coleoptera. That light is something they produce within their body through a chemical reaction called bioluminescence. The process usually occurs in specialized light-emitting organs in their lower abdomen."

"Heh." Deidara smiled as his eyes widened in wonder. "You know a lot of things Danna, un."

"I have dissected a couple of them out of curiosity."

A crippling silence passed by. Sasori didn't look at the butterfly. He stared uninterestedly into the shadows, cast by the moonlight, of some bushes. He waited, expecting some kind of outburst or a voice of disappointment, but he got none of that.

Instead, he got laughter.

The blond butterfly was laughing in such a carefree manner that almost made it seem like the mantis had just told a very good joke.

'Of course.' Sasori rolled his eyes, not even the slightest bit surprised anymore at the butterfly's weird and unnatural reactions.

"I didn't know you had such hobby, un."

"You never asked." Sasori retorted.

"Who would ask something like that?" Deidara asked dully before he turned back to the sky. "I wonder where that firefly is going."

"Most likely the northern spring." The red haired predator replied as he forced himself to swallow the disgusting contents in his mouth. "They party there nearly every night."

"A spring?" Deidara hummed as he glanced back to Sasori. "There's actually a– Danna!"

At the blond's outburst, the mantis had to fight against himself not to snap at the brat. He couldn't understand why the thing had to shout so often. He glowered at the other only to discover how close their faces suddenly were.

"There's blood on your lips!" Deidara said, and before Sasori could respond, the butterfly used his sleeve to wipe the crimson liquid off the corner of the predator's pale lips.

"It's just a small cut." The mantis said. He looked away only to have Deidara appear in his face again.

"A cut doesn't bleed that much, un. Let me take a look. I might be able to help stop the bleeding."

Sasori stared as Deidara reached a hand towards him, the distance between them closing by the second. The mantis tried to move away, but he couldn't force his body to respond. His eyes were fixed upon those rosy lips that were leaning closer to him. A strange heat flared within his chest, and Sasori felt his, usually silent, heart beating painfully inside his chest. Those lips moved, but Sasori couldn't hear what they were saying. He couldn't make out a single word because the sound of his heart beating clogged his ears. When he felt something touch the side of his cheek, his russet colored eyes dilated. His instincts took over, and his hand shot up, swiping at whatever had touched him; blood splattered into the air.

The mantis couldn't comprehend what had happened until Deidara's scream reached his ears. He snapped out of his trance and, for the first time, caught the heavy scent of fresh blood. The scent of the blood did not belong to him as it smelled too sweet. He slowly looked up and saw the blond sitting a few feet from him. Deidara's face was twisted in pain, and he was clutching onto his hand that was dyed in crimson liquid.

It had taken Sasori a few seconds before his mind was able to register what it was: blood.

He slowly stared down at his hand and found his fingers stained in the same liquid. Sasori stared in disbelieve. He couldn't understand what had happened. He couldn't even remember hurting the butterfly.

"D-Danna?" At the weak call, Sasori slowly looked up and met those gentle blue eyes. "Danna, you alright?"

A normal insect would have laughed upon hearing that, but Sasori was far from normal right now with his brain unable to function properly. He couldn't believe what the idiot was asking. The brat was the one who got hurt, not him. So why was he, the injured one, asking if he, the assailant, was alright? Why wasn't the dumb blond fleeing from him by now?

Why was he smiling when he was obviously in pain?

"Danna–"

"Don't touch me." Sasori growled, his eyes snapping to the blond's outstretched hand in a cold glare.

Deidara blinked. He stared at Sasori for a long moment before he weakly smiled and withdrew his hand. He mouthed an inaudible apology.

The red head froze with wide eyes. He didn't physically hear what the butterfly had said, but he somehow felt it deep down within his heart.

"I'm sorry, un." Deidara repeated a little louder. He didn't know if the other heard him or not. If he did, then the red head was being a jerk again with the silent treatment. He turned his focus back to his still bleeding hand, and he pressed the sleeve of his robe deeper against it. Thankful for his decent reflexes, the wound wasn't as deep as it would have been, but the pain was still there.

"Your cut," Sasori said after a long while, "show it to me."

Deidara glanced up at the mantis before he slowly held up his wounded hand, which Sasori grabbed without missing a beat. The butterfly hissed loudly at the searing pain, but the red head ignored him.

The mantis stared at the hand that was trembling against his own. With a wave of his other hand, the blue threads extended out from his fingertips. Just when he was about to wrap the threads over the wound, Sasori's eyes suddenly narrowed, and he quickly pulled the surprised butterfly into his arms and jumped to the side. A blur of white shot by them and slammed into the spot where Sasori once sat, piercing a hole through the thick orchid leaf they were on.

Grabbing the blond by the back of his kimono collar, Sasori roughly tossed the brat aside before he spun around to meet his attacker.

The threads dangling from his fingers formed into a crescent shaped blade, and Sasori raised it to meet the oncoming one. A large, heavy sword slammed down to meet his more elegant one. Sasori adjusted the angle of his arm, causing the heavy sword to slide down his upturned, slimmer blade. By the time the wasp had reacted, having stumbled forward from the blow, the mantis had vanished from sight.

"No!" Deidara's scream tore through the air when Sasori appeared behind the wasp. Sasori froze, his eyes snapping to the blond in hidden surprise at what he had just said. It was only a second of distraction, but that distraction gave the wasp more than enough time as he spun around and slammed his sword down.

The mantis, having no time to escape, raised his arms over his head as both swords clashed. The sword didn't stop there though. The wasp was far too strong, and the only thing Sasori could do was slow it down for a fraction of time so he could call out his other blade. He crossed his arms over his head to fully block it. The orchid leaf swayed heavily from the impact. Neither was giving in, but it was obvious that the red head was at a huge disadvantage. Being an Orchid Mantis, power was not one of his species' strong points, as they specialize in stealth. Their body-builds were smaller, more fragile compare to other predators, and wasps were the worst choice to be paired up with because strength was their specialty.

Sasori gritted his teeth. Every muscle in his body was screaming out in pain, unable to withstand the pressure. With the wasp pressing his sword against him like this, he couldn't escape. The instant he pull back his blades, he would be crushed. The wasp, knowing that as well, slid his sword roughly against the mantis' blades, creating a sickening screech as the duo blades began to deform.

"Wait! Danna! Stop!" Sasori heard Deidara's voice cry out, but it made no sense to his ear. He glared at the rounded eyes of the other predator. He ducked his head lower, the larger sword now only a mere finger's length from ripping out a hole in his skull.

From the sidelines, Deidara kept pleading them to stop, but neither of them was able to register his voice.

Sasori bit down on his lips before he abruptly pulled himself down into a crouch, taking the wasp by surprise as one of his blades scattered into threads, which tied themselves around the large sentient sword. With a hard tug, Sasori changed the angle of the sword as it narrowly missed his shoulder.

"Web?" The wasp gasped in surprise, but he quickly regained himself as he adjusted his grip on the sword and made a quick, horizontal slash. While the wasp aimed for the mantis' undefended left side, Sasori thrust his right arm out, and his blade shot forward, aiming directly towards the muscular neck of the enemy.

Before both predators' attacks could meet, blue threads similar to Sasori's showered down from the sky. The threads wrapped around the two, and before either of them could react, they were forcefully pulled apart and thrown opposite directions.

"Sasori no Danna!" Deidara gasped, quickly giving the blue wasp a look of concern before he rushed to the Orchid Mantis.

"Danna, are you alright?" The butterfly reached out his better hand in attempt to help the mantis up, but the other just leaned away from him.

"I'm fine." Sasori spat out as he used his elbows to push himself up, though he had a little difficulty due to the blue threads that were binding him tightly.

"Phew! That was close!" A familiar, annoyingly cheerful voice shouted.

Both Sasori's and Deidara's eyes snapped up just in time as two figures dropped down from the sky and landed between them and the wasp.

"Tobi?" Deidara gasped at the sight of masked raven before his gaze shifted to Itachi who had hurried to the wasp's side and was helping the other up.

"Itachi?" Sasori muttered, unable to hide his shock this time. He had never thought he would see the moth again, not after he had left the group and had went his separate way. His eyes darted between Itachi and Kisame, noting how unnaturally intimate they seemed. When his eyes finally drifted to Tobi, everything clicked together.

"Itachi, Kisame no Danna!"

Sasori glanced at the butterfly who was staring at his friends longingly, confirming the mantis' suspicion. The mantis had expected the butterfly to run over to those two, but he didn't. Despite how much he looked like he wanted to, he remained by the mantis' side.

"Sasori-senpai! You can't attack Itachi-senpai's mate!" Tobi shouted as he flailed his arms around, making the threads that were still wrapped around the two predators constantly tighten and loosen.

"Tobi! Stop that!" Deidara quickly shouted. He reached out and grabbed one of the blue threads in attempt to get the other to stop, only to have his palm glue to the surprisingly glutinous substance; he was unable to pull away. The blond would have smacked himself if only his free hand wasn't stinging with pain and blood. Tobi was a spider, and this was his web, so of course it would be sticky.

Sasori, fed up with being tied down and the spider's stupidity, slashed his blade through the threads, effectively freeing himself while Kisame had simply broken the threads through sheer force.

At the sight of how easily the two broke free of his web, Tobi jumped back with a loud gulped. For once, the spider seemed to have enough common sense to know when to quiet down.

"Sasori." Itachi stepped up and met the mantis' gaze silently.

For the first time, Deidara noticed the Scarlet Tiger Moth's eyes. They were the strange shade of crimson, not the usual black he was accustomed to. His happiness died away when he finally registered the emotions swirling within those foreign eyes.

Itachi was angry.

Deidara wasn't as good as reading the moth as Kisame was, but he knew enough about the other to know when he was truly pissed off. He literally saw the murderous intent rolling off the raven's lithe frame. For the longest time, nobody spoke a word. Kisame stood behind Itachi with his hand firmly gripping the hilt of Samehada. Tobi edged away, not wanting to be caught between the two intense stares.

A chilling breeze blew by, and Sasori was the first to break the contact.

The mantis reached over to Deidara, seizing his injured hand in a tight grip that made the blond yell out in pain. Kisame looked as though he was ready to pounce, but stopped when his and Itachi's eyes met for a brief second to exchange silent messages.

"Danna– ow! It hurts–Ah!" Deidara yelped when Sasori's grip tightened. The mantis dragged the butterfly over to the moth and the wasp, slowly closing the distance. Once he was close enough, Sasori stopped and, with his predatory strength, threw Deidara across the rest of the way. Itachi quickly stepped back, his wings stretched out behind his back as Deidara crashed against him. If not for Kisame, who had quickly stepped behind his mate, the two nectar-sapping beings would have surely been knocked off the orchid leaf from the force.

Itachi bit back a wince as he held onto Deidara. His crimson eyes shot up, narrowly glaring at the mantis who simply returned it with a dull look.

"Take that piece of filth and get off my turf." Sasori hissed, his eyes quickly darting away when those blue eyes, that carried a hint of grey, looked up at him with hurt.

A deep growl rumbled in Kisame's throat. The blue wasp looked as though he wanted nothing more than to tear the mantis apart, but he knew better because the blond was their priority.

"Da–…Danna…?" Deidara whispered, his voice too low for any of them to hear as he watched Sasori walk away without once looking back. Deidara quickly tried to follow, but Itachi's grip on his arms held him back.

"That is what we came for." Itachi replied emotionlessly. He turned to Tobi, giving the spider a light nod before he and his mate walked away, dragging the butterfly with them.

"Wait, Itachi please–" The butterfly tried to reason, but knew his words were deaf to them. He looked over his shoulder, trying to catch a glimpse of the mantis, only to have the rest of his heart, or whatever that still remained, shatter at the sight.

Sasori was gone.

He had left him.