Chapter Two:

Oh, How I Yearn

I groan in annoyance before even opening my eyes for the first time when I wake up this morning. Glancing to my left, I notice that my partner's bed is empty. It's likely that he has already locked himself in the bathroom down the hall, and knowing Deidara, it could be a while before I see him again.

I force my stiff, mostly-wooden body into a sitting position and stretch with a yawn. Leader hasn't assigned Deidara and me a mission lately, which is fine because I have work to do. A quick glance at the organized chaos piled atop the cheap desk between our beds confirms just how much toil I have left on my newest puppet. Despite this, my mind begins to wander.

In truth, my mind seems to have been doing a lot of wandering lately, and it usually ends on the same note—or rather, the same person.

My eyelids slip closed as an image of gold hazes before them. My hands yearn to run through those long, beautiful blond locks... But as lovely as his hair may be, the rest of him is just as gorgeous. Those ice-blue eyes filled with fire and emotion—I could get lost in them forever, and I would be perfectly content doing so.

Soon, however, my thoughts turn to dirtier imaginings...such as lightly tanned skin encompassing a lithe, perfectly toned body.

A slim waist and smooth chest with those little pale-pink buds on each defined pectoral muscle.

I remember the few times I've seen him fresh out of the shower, towel wrapped loosely over his sexy, somewhat feminine hips and water droplets clinging stubbornly to every inch of visible skin. And even then he manages to be adorable, with that pretty blond hair sticking to his forehead, neck, and cheeks, cascading like a golden river down his back...

I open my eyes upon realizing that I have a slight problem, and curse myself for getting so carried away.

Fortunately, I am fairly certain that Deidara won't be back for another ten-to-fifteen minutes, so I slip my hand beneath the sheets and into my boxers to wrap around my erection. A small hiss escapes me once I begin stroking at a steady pace, my mind once more indulging itself with fantasies of that blond marvel. My cock throbs dully; oh how I want him underneath me, moaning my name, writhing in pleasure. I squeeze my lids closed once more and pump myself a bit faster, already feeling that heated coil deep within me.

"God, Deidara..."

My thumb slides over my slit lightly and I pretend that it is Deidara touching me so intimately. A few strokes later and I grunt, staining the front of my boxers with my funk.

Approximately four minutes later I am cleaned, fully clothed, and seated before my work desk. I can sense Deidara's presence nearby, so I pick up the closest tool—a wood sander—and attempt to appear busy.

I raise a brow when several moments pass without a single disturbance or sound. He is clearly just outside the door—his chakra presence is conspicuous and unguarded. Acting upon the assumption that the blond is merely respecting our new "privacy" rule (can't have him walking in on me as I jack off and moan his name), I speak.

"Are you going to just stand in the hallway all day, Brat?"

Finally the knob turns and the door is pushed aside, revealing a perfectly put-together blond artist, an off smile gracing his features.

"Morning, Danna."

My heart flutters when his sweet voice chimes in my ears and he uses that title he's given me. I keep quiet, for fear of sounding idiotic, and run the sandpaper along rough wood. Though my eyes remain trained on the dull (everything is dull in comparison to Deidara) piece of puppetry I can hear his old bed squeak as he plops onto it.

Barely thirty seconds pass before he disrupts the quiet once more.

"Danna, un."

Repressing a smile (oh how I adore that cute little speech impediment), I press a bit harder on the wooden limb with the scratchy material.

Now that he is here, mere feet from me, my eyes ache for the sight of his stunning beauty.

The next time he opens his mouth, his voice is laced with a pout-ridden whine.


Both my left eyebrow and my member twitch simultaneously, and I suck a deep breath through my nose. I have a small internal debate as to whether I should give in and look at him, or let that sinfully sweet voice of his continue to utter my name.

Eventually I settle upon the latter.

As expected, every so often he whines out my name (or something similar) in an attempt to gain my attention. Soon I can stand it no longer—I simply must look at him—and I carefully lay whichever tool I had grabbed randomly, some time ago, onto the desk.

When I finally, finally, turn my gaze toward him I see that he has leaned back on his bed in a relaxed fashion, eyes closed restfully. I take this moment to check myself, making sure every possible emotion is hidden.

One of his lids peaks open lazily, and though I know my face is neutral as ever I am worried when I feel my heart stutter. God, those eyes.

"Brat..." I manage, hoping my voice does not sound as love-struck and awed as I feel when staring into his brilliant blue orb.

He simply arches one of those thin, pale brows of his in mock ignorance and I suppress a smile. Might as well have a little fun with him.

"Don't give me that look. How many times have I told you not to bother me while I'm working?"

He sits up at hearing this, undoubtedly indignant, and I let a smirk cross my lips.

He plays along.

"Hmm... I vaguely recall you mentioning something like that, un... perhaps..."

Potential argument or not, I am simply glad his full attention is on me; I press on.

"I am entirely aware that you are entirely aware what I'm talking about."

With a bit of effort (and for good measure) I add, "My patience is wearing thin with you, Deidara."

Can't let him go thinking I've gained some patience or anything. He would be too suspicious.

I do not recognize my mistake until hearing the dumbfounded "Huh?" from Deidara.

Well, shit. Why did I have to go and say his actual name? That is definitely not something the Sasori he (thinks) he knows would do. Now I've gone and done it, and my mind is all fucked up for a minute and I have the outrageously strong urge ravish him, willing or not, on that lumpy old mattress. Because, in my brief moment of insanity, I figure why the Hell not?

With another great amount of effort I manage to force that urge deep down into the recesses of my heart. I turn away from my confused fellow artist, knowing that if I remained staring into those wonderfully enrapturing eyes I would possibly molest the poor boy to the point which a new mattress were required, and God knows what Kakuzu would have to say to that.

Evidently I am so concentrated on trying to slow the rapid hammering of my heart (and stifling the accompanying lecherous urges) that I do not notice Deidara has stood until he is right next to me. Actually, it takes the slamming of open palms on hard metal to startle me out of my entrancement.

I look up at the teen and notice something unsettling in his fiery blue eyes—something that does not quite belong on such gracefully gorgeous features.


Pure, unadulterated anger.

His voice is astonishingly bitter and filled with contempt when he speaks,

"What, Danna, am I not even worth your insults anymore?"

I cannot stop my eyes from widening in wonderment. Where in the world had that come from? Surely he did not think I truly disliked him. How many times have I come to his aid in the thick of battle? Doesn't he realize that I've opened up to him more than anyone else ever in my life?

Doesn't he know how much I love him?

What a stupid question, Sasori! How could he know that when you're always—

"Don't you fucking ignore me anymore, you selfish ass!"

Right. Now is not really the time for such musings.

With practiced ease, I slip on my mask of indifference.

I am worried.

Afraid, even.

Not for myself, but for this boy. For his sanity. I have to somehow placate him, and then we can talk.

"Brat, calm down."

In my defense, this whole being in love thing is new to me. I've never been good with emotions.

Immediately I feel (and see) a change within the blond, a flash of something frighteningly familiar (yet foreign when directed at me). Clearly that was not what he wanted to hear at the moment.

I know he is going to move even before he does, but I do not attempt to stop it. There are tears in his eyes. My heart clenches painfully at the sight and I almost reach up to brush them away with my thumb. But I don't. He looks confused, and I realize there must be some sort of emotion on my face but I really don't care right now. I can practically feel the hurt, the loneliness and the yearning, all the suppressed emotion he must have kept buried ever since joining the Akatsuki, and I wonder with a sharp pang of guilt how I never noticed any of it before.

Unsure of what else to do, I finally answer the silent question in his eyes with a simple, "You're crying, Brat."

Seconds later my cloak's collar is released and he is stumbling backward, away from me. His right hand comes to touch hesitantly at his wet cheek and he seems astonished to witness for himself that I've spoken the truth.

As quickly as it had come, the rage is gone. Suddenly he is my Deidara again, only more vulnerable, more broken than I have ever seen him. I'm just about to stand—to embrace him, comfort him, anything to erase that horrid look of anguish from his face—when he turns away.

He says, "Don't follow me."

He walks out the door, closing it quietly behind him.

I do not move.

I do not blink.

I do not even breathe.

The way he'd spoken those words before he left... It echoed in my subconscious.

"Don't follow me."

The voice was calm; empty.

But the words...the words were not empty.

And I suddenly knew what I had missed beneath them: