Hello peoplez. My first rated T story. Yay?
I think... this is the most personal story I've written so far, apart from 'Will you save me?'. I rarely write stories based on my own life (and this isn't entirely either. Only one third of it, or so), mainly because I prefer not talking about it. I'm always afraid of letting too many of my problems slip, and having people withdraw from me after hearing them.
I guess it's only humane for people to act that way. Nobody wants more problems for themselves and listening to others' problems is like getting involved in them, right? Crybabies are regarded as attention whores and looked down on, and I'd hate to be one. There's a reason Ms. Sunshines are always complimented, but no one knows the full story behind them.
But I had this thought - maybe some would be able to relate to this story? Maybe some would enjoy it? I had a good feeling about it, since so many enjoyed 'Will you save me' (despite the awful writing style, I might add). So, even though this is only a one-shot, I hope you'll like it.
He is ill
It was the beginning of August when a warm wind was blowing past a red-roofed, one-storey house, with a metal number six hanging on the door, where two parents and their son lived. The sun was already low in the sky and it wouldn't be long until the sky would be tinted pink and the sun would set; twilight was nearing.
It was a crowded neighbourhood. People, both alone and in groups, were hustling past, wearing shorts, t-shirts and skirts. There was laughter and chatter, little kids' chiming and snappy sounds of their bicycles' ring bells' ringing.
No one looked at house number six twice, because it was completely ordinary. Ordinary, if anything a little messy, front yard; bright white stone walls and a set of beautiful, silver wind bells hanging under the porch roof. All the windows were closed, so there was no way for the people outside to hear the voices inside that would've gotten the house a bit more attention.
There was loud yelling. Judging by the quality of the voices, it had been going on for a while.
"DEIDARA! COME BACK HERE! DON'T YOU WALK AWAY WHEN I'M TALK-"
"LEAVE ME ALONE! JUST - GO AWAY!"
The dark purple metal door was burst open and a young teenager, with long blonde hair, ran out, holding onto the strap of a backpack that was slung on his shoulder. There were tears in his bloodshot eyes; he jumped over the gate and ran down the road, patting his fringe so it would cover his eyes as much as possible.
His name was Deidara.
Trying to swallow the painful lump in his throat that was suffocating him, he inhaled in gasps between sobs that didn't let him breathe properly. Once in a while he would feel as though a hand was squeezing his lungs together, not allowing them to take in oxygen, but he continued running no matter what. Because that was the only way he could get away; and he wanted to get as far away as possible for the time being.
Deidara passed many people on his way. Every time it was someone around his age, he made sure he was looking on the ground – he didn't want any of his peers seeing his eyes like this. It would've been too much.
No sooner did he stop than did he reach the local beach. It was more windy there and, even though he could see more people than he had hoped, he'd put a good distance of over 4 kilometres between himself and his home. It would do.
Deidara slid off his sandals and picked them up, letting his feet sink into the evening-warm sand. It was a nice feeling, although he regretted he hadn't brought a jacket with him; it would be cold soon. He only had a T-shirt on, but it would have to do for the following hours. He wasn't going back before the clock struck ten.
The lively people surrounding Deidara were beginning to get on his nerves. He zipped open his backpack and, wondering what exactly he'd taken along this time, rummaged through the contents until he found his phone and a pair of, fortunately working, earphones. He stuffed them in his ears and put a random playlist on play.
Deidara started walking in parallel with the sea-line, heading to the farthest, deserted part of the beach. It was almost always soulless because of the great amount of seaweed on the shore. Deidara didn't care about it, since he wasn't going swimming anyway. He just kept walking, keeping his sore eyes closed most of the time. His breathing was starting to return to normal. The tears flowing down his flushed cheeks were coming to an end.
He didn't want to think about the argument he'd just had. He didn't want to remember the names he'd just been called or the threats he'd heard. He didn't want to think about anything, actually. He would've liked to go underwater and see how long it took for a person to drown, if only it hadn't been so chilly. He wanted his headache to stop.
Deidara was a fifteen year old boy who lived with his mother, who was home most of the time, and father, who nearly wasn't home at all. Despite the nightmares he'd had about losing his mother in an accident, Deidara couldn't help damning her to the deepest pits of hell over and over again. He'd never understood what the woman exactly wanted from him. He only knew what she didn't like – and it was everything he was and did.
Deidara felt a new stream of tears start flowing and he stopped in his tracks, squatting and covering his eyes. Was it wrong to wish he'd been born into another family? Was it naive to wish he didn't have any parents at all? Was it wrong to wish for a better, normal family where people loved each other and didn't go for each other's throats whenever they got the chance?
Deidara wasn't certain about the wrongness and naivety, but knew very well that he'd had each wish more than once in his life.
The cold wind was what got him up and moving forwards again. He wrapped his hands around himself; shoulders caved forward, and continued moving. Maybe you should run away, a voice whispered through his mind, but he pushed it away.
Deidara shook his head. He knew how likely it was for him to not survive alone, and he would've felt guilty doing that to his father. As for his mother, he wished he could make her feel guilty somehow. He willed for her to feel the agony that was eating him up from the inside at the moment. He didn't want to be the only one to suffer.
Deidara had reached the end of the beach. He raised his gaze and saw, to his great surprise, that he wasn't alone there. There was a redheaded boy, perhaps a year or two older than him, sitting in the shadow of one tree, looking straight at him, his eyes unwavering. Deidara stared back, quirking an eyebrow. Why was this stranger staring at him?
Deidara decided to brush it off and, still rubbing his sides to get some warmth, sat down on the ground, letting his eyes gaze off into distance where the sky and sea met, merging into one blue mass. It was a beautiful sight, in his opinion; the only thing ruining the moment was the cold wind bristling the hair on his arms. He let out a shaky breath and closed his eyes again.
Something touching against his hand was what made him look up. He found a pair of nonchalant, brown eyes looking down at him and a hand was reaching out, holding a leather jacket. Deidara's eyebrows arched at the stranger.
"I thought you were cold," the redhead said, tilting his head to one side, his eyes looking as though he was measuring the blond – they seemed considering.
Deidara coughed to clear his throat. "Um, yeah, I am. So?"
The redhead shook the jacket slightly. "Take the jacket then. It's warm."
Deidara got a creepy feeling about the situation. For a moment, he was afraid when he asked: "Why would you give that to me? You don't know me."
The redhead flashed a smile, but it was so brief that Deidara couldn't be sure whether he had imagined it. "I have my moments," the stranger replied, getting tired of holding the jacket, and threw the clothing item down on the blond. "It's not radioactive, don't worry. I'll take it back when I leave, I'm just lending it out for the time being."
Although Deidara found the situation extremely weird – way past the boundaries of ordinary weirdness – he gave a low thanks and shoved his hands into the sleeves, zipping the jacket closed. Instantly he felt better and warm.
The redhead had sat down next to him, staring off into distance as well. He was left in an orange printed shirt that flapped in the wind, but the boy didn't seem cold or bothered about it. Deidara caught himself staring at him.
"What's your name?" he asked. It felt strange talking to a stranger, but nowhere as strange as offering their jacket to one, so he decided he might as well give it a try. Might take his mind off of stuff.
"Sasori," the redhead replied briefly. "Yours?"
The blond was happy to have the other show interest. "Deidara," he said. "How old are you?" This question was merely to keep the conversation going; the blond wasn't particularly interested. But he didn't know what else to say.
"How old do I look like?" Sasori asked, still staring off into distance. He seemed distant, like there was a lot on his mind at that moment.
"Um," Deidara hesitated, giving him a measuring look. "Seventeen?"
Sasori's expression didn't change. "Let's leave it at that," he said. Deidara nodded, not finding need to pry further.
"Do you come here often?" Sasori asked, twisting his neck to look at the blond. Now it was Deidara's turn to stare off into space, avoiding his gaze.
He shrugged. "Not really," he said, then added bitterly: "But I think that's about to change." This place was strangely soothing and Deidara guessed the next time he'd get yelled at, he'd end up exactly here.
Sasori didn't question the reasons for the transition. Instead he asked: "What are you listening to?"
Deidara turned to look at him, eyebrows raised. He had all but forgotten about the earphones in his ears. He checked the name on his phone, before answering: "Perfect. By Simple Plan."
"May I...?" Sasori trailed off, his both hands reaching out.
Deidara hesitated, but gave him the phone and one of the earphones. He watched the other stuff the earphone in his ear and scroll through the playlist, before switching to library and clicking on Artists. He browsed through the bands, before halting and pressing on Three Days Grace. Deidara heard the familiar tune of 'Over and Over' start playing in his ears.
"I love that song," he muttered without thinking, looking stunned.
Sasori gave him a sideways crooked smile, but didn't return the phone. "Me too," he said.
Time went by with the two of them just listening to music and, with the warm jacket protecting from the cold, Deidara found himself enjoying the other's company quite a lot. They conversed once in a while, and simply stared off into distance for the rest of the time. Deidara felt himself becoming calm.
It was only when he noticed how late it had already gotten – the digital clock on his phone screen flashed 10.05 pm – and took notice of the dimness that surrounded them, that he got up and took back the mobile and earphone from Sasori.
"I have to go," Deidara said in a rush, slight panic knotting up in the pit of his stomach. He never stayed out so late. Then he remembered who was waiting for him at home and decided that he could walk home as slowly as he wanted. "I've stayed out too late."
Sasori nodded and got up as well. "Nice meeting you," he said politely as the blond stuffed the devices back into his backpack. Deidara zipped the bag closed and slang it on his shoulder, giving the redhead a smile. "Same here. Farewell!"
Despite his confident thoughts before, Deidara nearly ran back onto the road and only slowed down to walk when the beach was already left far behind.
At home he tiptoed to his room, making it there without encountering either of his parents. He was thankful for that. He dropped the backpack down on the floor and started undressing when he realized he still had the leather jacket on.
Deidara regretted greatly that he hadn't been foresightful enough to ask the redhead for his surname. He would've been able to find him on facebook or something, but now he was left with a stranger's jacket that had been loaned to him all too kindly. So this was how he'd repaid for the kindness – he'd taken the entire arm when he'd been offered only a finger. He felt like a thief.
Deidara went back to the beach the next day, but there was no trace of the redhead. There were actually people on the deserted spot he'd found the redhead earlier, though.
Deidara didn't want to lose hope and reasoned that the redhead's absence could be because it wasn't evening yet. Who knew where he might've been during day? But when the blond walked by in the evening at the same time he'd arrived the day before, he found the place empty. That's how the leather jacket remained unreturned.
"Deidara? Deidara!" the blond heard a soft voice calling out for him. He raised his gaze from the cereal bowl he'd been staring at and found his mother looking at him from across the table. "Are you falling asleep with your eyes open?" she asked.
Deidara shrugged, trying to seem as unforced as possible. "Maybe. I didn't sleep well. Nightmares." That was a lie. He'd stayed awake for hours searching for Sasori on facebook in his phone, using only the redhead's first name. No results, but he was waiting for friend acceptance from 5 people who didn't have photos of themselves as their profile picture.
"I think it's time we go out then," his mother said, picking at the fried egg on her plate. "Fresh air will surely wake you up. What do you want to do today?"
Frankly, to be alone, Deidara thought, but didn't voice the sentence. His mother had just started treating him nicely again and he didn't want to stir up another argument with her. So he just shrugged. "I don't know. Beach?" he added, knowing she was likely to get angry at his cluelessness. She usually took it as a sign of lacking interest.
His mother nodded. "Sounds nice."
Deidara almost smiled. Another minefield avoided.
When they got to the beach, Deidara quickly changed into his swimming trunks. Another effort to avoid a fight – showing willingness to sunbathe. They spread out the two towels they'd taken along and lay down. Deidara put on his sunglasses. He didn't care about the circles he might get around his eyes, if sunglasses also meant that the sun wouldn't hurt his eyes that much.
"Deidara? Do you want to walk with me?" his mother asked.
Ten minutes later, when they were pacing in the ankle-deep water on the shore, Deidara carrying their valuable stuff in his backpack, he was caught off guard and brought back to reality (he'd been scanning the crowd on the beach in hope of spotting Sasori, thus losing himself in his thoughts) by the woman.
"You know, Dei darling, I really do feel bad for sometimes yelling at you like that." The woman seemed uncomfortable. Deidara listened carefully. "It's just that... I overreact very easily, you know that. And some things about you" - Deidara mentally rolled his eyes at 'some things'; more like everything - "just tick me off so greatly that I snap." Deidara wasn't sure where this was going, even though he'd heard the speech a million times before; the ending always varied.
He sensed his mother looking at him and deliberately cast his eyes down on the transparent seawater.
"Is there a way I could make it up to you?"
Deidara's heartbeat raced. He'd been waiting for a chance like this for so long, yet he wasn't sure whether it was worth the risk. Knowing a chance like this only ever came once a year, he decided to take his chances. "I want to... cosplay," he said hesitatingly. "I was thinking maybe you could help me with that." His voice wasn't louder than a whisper when he finished the sentence.
He peeked up, catching sight of the considering look on his mother's face, which told him that the woman was listening closely. He decided to continue. "I've always envied some of my friends who have really close relationships with their parents. When they want to cosplay and need a costume for that, they tell their mothers, and start working on it together. The mothers get into it too, and don't think of it as such a big nuisance, you know?"
The woman considered it. When she spoke, her tone was thoughtful. "I remember you mentioning it a few weeks ago."
Deidara nodded. That had been the last time she'd been in a really good mood. "I was just wishing I could be like that too. I know you'd never allow me to order anything from the Internet on my own, especially since I don't have a bank account..." So this is my only way for cosplaying.
"What exactly do you need?" his mother asked.
Deidara's face lit up a notch. "Well," he started, trying unsuccessfully to not get his hopes up, "I was thinking of cosplaying this one guy... I have a shirt that would suit him and his shoes, so those are something we wouldn't need to buy. But he wears a pair of leather pants that I don't have... And although he's blonde as well, his hair is shorter, so I'd need a wig for that. I'm certain I could find it on ebay. And then he wears some necklaces, one's definitely with a cross, but I was planning on buying one for myself anyway, so it's not something you should think about..."
Deidara halted for a moment and unzipped his backpack, fishing out his phone. He looked up a picture of said character and showed it to her mother.
She regarded it for a minute, then handed the device back. "I see," she said finally. "I'm pretty sure we can organize that." She gave her son a pleasant smile. "But, from what you showed me, I can tell that he's quite skinny. You need some serious work-out, if you don't want to look like an overgrown snake in those pants."
Deidara nodded knowingly, deciding to ignore the offensive part. "I've been thinking that, too. Now that I know I can cosplay"- he gave his mother a suspicious look that went noticed - "I'm thinking of working out daily. There's still two months left until the anime convention, so I think I can make it."
His mother smiled warmly. "Then we have a deal."
Deidara was happier than he'd been in months, maybe even years. Although a knowing voice in his head kept warning him not to get too excited – things tended to go awfully wrong when one expected too much – he couldn't swipe that ridiculously broad smile off his face. He was on cloud nine.
Feeling exceedingly motivated, Deidara kept his promise on working out daily. He started jumping rope every other day 2000 times (he was quite obsessed, one might say) and jogging on the days in between. It was exhausting and quite a pain, but the image of what he hoped to look like in two months flashing through his mind kept him going, even when his lungs felt like they were going to burst.
He changed his diet – more soup, instead of fries (despite his dislike for soups of any kind) and nearly no sweets at all, in spite of his sweet tooth. It was exhausting in its own way, but Deidara deemed it to be worth it.
What was more, in his mind he kept playing his version of the day he'd meet Sasori again like a movie – how he'd be fitter and skinnier, and he'd get the chance to ask more about him. They could get to know each other, and he'd be able to return the jacket. The thought held a wide smile in place on the blond's face for days.
Deidara's relationship with his mother got better, too – she didn't snap at him as often as she had before, and there was no yelling or tears. Although the boy wasn't foolish enough to dream it would stay that way, he cherished the time it did.
It wasn't a rare routine when Deidara spent his evenings at the beach. Hopes of seeing the redheaded boy again never left him, although each night he returned to home without seeing him saddened him greatly. As time went by, he stopped bringing the jacket along. To himself he reasoned that if he did see Sasori, he'd be able to get his number and return it later anyway, but the truth was that without the jacket, it was easier to fool himself into thinking that he hadn't come to the beach to meet the redhead at all.
Apart from that, there was another thing bothering Deidara – his mother still hadn't gotten around to ordering the wig. Deidara had gone on shopping tours that took hours and finally found a pair of leather pants; they didn't look exactly like in the anime, but were similar enough.
Whenever he tried talking to his mother about ordering the wig, though, and how they did have a deadline, she was always busy or not in the mood. It kept bringing the blond boy down and so the smile on his face started disappearing more often.
One morning, Deidara got up from his bed, wincing at the pain in his legs when he stood up. His muscles were extremely sore from all the work out. He paced to the kitchen, face crumpled up. He was home alone, but not for long. His mother had gone away to some festival out of town, but was supposed to return in the afternoon. Father was at work as usual.
The boy poured some cereal into a bowl for himself and went to the TV room to eat when the phone rang. Deidara picked it up, turning down the volume with the remote control. Phone cradled between shoulder and ear, he picked up his bowl from his lap, eyes watching an old episode of Tom & Jerry on Cartoon Network. Jerry was such an ass.
"Hello?" he said, slurping the milk and cereal off his spoon.
"Dei darling! How's it going?" It was his mom. She sounded energetic.
"Great so far. Just woke up."
"What are your plans for today?" Deidara easily recognized the demanding note in the woman's sweet voice and knew this to be another hidden trap. His plans definitely had to include being outside and doing something that his mother could've called 'useful'. Like cleaning the house or ending the global warming. He chose his following words carefully.
"After I've woken up for real, I was thinking of going outside for a walk and then cleaning the house. When will you be here?"
"Around four. Where are you going for a walk?"
Mentally Deidara groaned at his mother's need to inquire about every little detail. Hurriedly racking his brain for a safe answer, he started: "Well… I'll walk to the beach and… to that park near the asylum… and… yeah. There somewhere." He crossed his fingers in hope that this answer was sufficient enough.
"Okay, good. Listen now, go outside and stay there as much as possible, you can clean later. It's already bad how much time you spend indoors, so go out and to the beach. Go swim, it's good for your health."
Deidara rolled his eyes, knowing very well what would come after her mother enters the messy house. Better clean it before her arrival or disappear for another evening. "Yeah, sure. I will. How's the show there?"
He heard his mother give an impatient sigh. "It's great... you know what, I don't feel like talking anymore at the moment. I'll see you around four, okay?"
"Yeah, sure. Bye."
The line went dead.
Deidara sighed and tossed the phone on the sofa, continuing to eat the cereal. When he was done, he turned off the TV and put the bowl in the sink (he'd wash it later). He got ready to go outside, changing into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Tossing a book he'd been reading the evening before into his backpack, he zipped the bag closed and went out.
Deidara spent the morning at the beach, reading a book and listening to music. He'd found a free bench right after checking the end of the beach from force of habit. He'd kicked his sandals off and crossed his bare feet on the bench. The warm wind that caressed his hair felt nice.
Around 2 PM he deemed it to be the right time to return to home to get everything done before the arrival of his mother. Their house wasn't big, quite small actually, but it'd take at least an hour and a half to clean it all.
By 3.50 Deidara had finished cleaning everything but his own room. He was slightly exhausted and decided that he'd vacuum his bedroom some other time. Today he'd already done enough. As if on cue, the bell rang and the boy hurried downstairs to open the door.
He let his mother in and was happy to see her in a good mood. Festivals had that effect on her. Deidara let her unpack and made small talk with her while she did so, before spilling what was really on his mind.
"Um, mom, we only have two weeks left until the deadline for the registration. Maybe you could take a look at that wig I found on ebay?"
His mother looked up from the soup she was eating, gazing at him with warm eyes. Only after seeing that expression could Deidara relax, knowing he hadn't pressed on the wrong button again. "Yeah, sure. Right after I finish eating," she said.
Deidara's pulse leaped. He smiled broadly and went out of the kitchen, right into his bedroom. He turned on the laptop, rapping his fingers against the desk while waiting for it to load. He opened Google Chrome and went on ebay, quickly looking up the blonde wig he wanted.
While waiting for his mother, he busied himself by checking his inboxes on various sites, but eventually just ended up browsing through different cosplay photos. He sighed happily. Finally.
The door cracked open and Deidara's mother stepped in. The boy quickly switched to ebay and pointed at the screen. "Look, this one! And the price has been lowered as well, how awesome is that?!"
The woman eyed the photo of the blonde wig and frowned. Deidara got off his seat and offered it to his mother, who sat down immediately. She examined the photo carefully, before copying the name of it into google's search engine. She scrolled down the results and checked a few sites, before searching 'medium blonde wig europe' and browsing through the results she got from that. Deidara guessed that she was worried about the shipping fees.
Finally she switched back to ebay and turned to her son, a solemn frown on her face. "Deidara... I don't think this is such a great idea after all. I mean, paying 15 euros for a wig just so you could go show yourself with it to some weird adults and teens who have nothing better to do with their lives than dress up as cartoon characters? I don't think that's right. I know I promised you, but..."
Deidara's heart sank. He'd known this was too good to be true. For him at least. All those dreams about him looking in the mirror and smiling at the handsome reflection of an anime character could merely be a fantasy, nothing more. Why had he let himself believe otherwise?
He watched his mother get up from the chair and plopped down on it instead.
"I mean," his mother continued, "It's not even about the money. I'd rather give the money to you as allowance. Go buy an ice cream for it or something. Just not a wig. It's ridiculous! Competing at who's prettier? I'd be embarrassed to have my son participate in something like that. The truth is there will always be someone more beautiful than you."
"I'm not going there to compete," Deidara hissed through his teeth, getting angry. If this was her answer, she could've just disappeared. He didn't want to hear any of her explanations.
She didn't seem to be on the same page with him, though. "Then why are you going there? It's a competition, correct?"
Deidara had been staring at the computer screen until then, but he snapped and turned to his mother, eyes full of rage. "I'm going there to have fun! Other teens party by getting drunk and high-"
"Everyone doesn't," the woman snapped.
"-anime fans party by cosplaying!" Deidara ended his sentence, paying no mind to her comment. "It's for fun and good memories!"
The woman's expression was strict now. "What does it give to you? What good is it?"
Deidara didn't need any time to think about his reply; his brain was shooting bitter responses out of his mouth. "What does going to festivals and concerts give you? It's only for fun, just like cosplay! It gives happiness!"
"Festivals and concerts are different. It's not only the happiness, but the energy you gain from it. Cosplay doesn't give you any energy; it steals it from you."
And that was when Deidara knew he officially did not want to be engaged in this conversation. His mother had always been about fitness and spiritual energy. There wouldn't be any rational explanations, simply excuses why he shouldn't go there.
"Look, I didn't want to argue," Deidara said, voice husky with emotion. He turned his gaze away to the computer screen. "I just wanted to cosplay with my friends-"
"Friends?" his mother snapped. "What friends? Those who haven't called you the entire summer?"
That was a hit below the belt. Deidara shot his mother the dirties look he could muster, biting the insides of his cheeks to stop himself from shrieking in fury. When he could breathe normally again, he muttered: "Hidan has called. And I've talked to the others on messenger." Oh, how he hated his mother at that moment.
"You know what, Deidara?" his mother snapped angrily. "I'm getting sick of listening to all the new things you want." Deidara felt like strangling her; a tear flowed down his cheek. He rarely dared to ask his mother for anything new and he knew this would be the last time he risked it. It just wasn't worth it. "It's so selfish. When was the last time you did anything for others?"
Half an hour ago, Deidara thought bitterly. I cleaned the entire house, but I guess that doesn't count.
"If you want to pretend to be an adult, you'd better start off by acting like one and looking at things through the eyes of a grown-up. I refuse to pay for some damn wig, when all my son does is lounge."
Deidara slammed his laptop closed. He'd been working out like crazy these past few weeks and even spent his summer vacation studying. He got up from the chair and grabbed his backpack, hoping he'd left his mobile and earphones in it, and marched past the woman; tears ran down his cheeks and he whispered: "I just wanted to cosplay. I didn't want to be lectured on every single thing I've done wrong in the past."
He ran down the stairs and slipped on his sandals, dashing outside. He couldn't curse himself enough for believing for a second that his wish would come true. And now it wasn't even only about cosplay, but all his faults his dear mother had reminded him about. If she wanted a perfect son, why had she bothered giving birth to one and didn't just buy a robot?!
Deidara hadn't paid much attention to where he was going, but his feet already knew the way. In less than half an hour he was at the empty part of the beach. He threw his backpack on the ground and sat down on the sand, drawing his knees up to his chest and hiding his face in them.
It was when he heard the soft footsteps on the ground that he realized he'd been wrong when he'd thought he was alone there. Deidara raised his head, hating how sour his eyes were again, and looked up. He couldn't believe who he found standing front of him.
After all the dreams he'd had about losing weight and meeting Sasori when he was really fit and maybe even attractive seemed ironic now. Here he was, in the same shape he'd been two and a half weeks ago, with bloodshot eyes and a flushed face, looking like a crying brat, no doubt. How wonderful.
"Hey," the blond muttered quietly.
Sasori gave no greeting. He squatted down in front of him and reached out, running his hand through the blonde fringe covering the flushed face, combing it out of the way. Deidara froze, gazing at the other with eyes full of tears and wonder. Sasori wiped away two tears that had been caught in the younger male's eyelashes.
"What happened?" he asked.
Deidara felt strange. This was the second time he saw the boy, yet he felt zero hesitation when telling him about his mother and what had happened. He was constantly afraid of boring the redhead - he tried to be as brief as possible – but Sasori never showed signs of disinterest. He looked considering by the time Deidara finished.
"Do you want to go catch a drink somewhere?" he asked, tilting his head to one side.
"I don't drink," was Deidara's automatic answer. He regretted it immediately, though. Maybe he could've made an exception if it meant being able to enjoy the other's company.
Sasori smirked, looking amused. "I didn't mean alcohol. It's summer; what about milkshake?"
Deidara blushed slightly. Suddenly, he felt like a baby. But he couldn't help it – he'd never liked the taste of alcoholic drinks. Not that he'd tasted many, but even the thought of drinking it sounded disgusting.
"Okay, yeah, sure," he muttered, getting up. He brushed the sand off his plaid shorts and picked up his sandals. "Where to?"
Sasori gazed at him wordlessly for a minute, his smile baring his snow-white teeth. It looked like he found something very entertaining.
Deidara frowned. "What?" he demanded.
"You're just going to come along with a total stranger? Didn't your mother teach you anything?"
Deidara winced at the word 'mother', but smiled nevertheless. He'd caught on. "I figured you wouldn't kill me just yet, since I still have your jacket."
"Let's hope you're right," Sasori mused, starting to walk. Deidara followed him, staying by his side. He gave the redhead a questioning look at first, but let it drop then.
They went to a small cafe situated in the vicinity. They ordered two milkshakes to go and walked to a park, sitting down on the grass to enjoy their drinks and the sun that had come out from behind the clouds. It was warm and the cold drinks made the scene perfect.
Deidara found out quite a few things about the redhead. He learnt what bands he liked (their tastes were quite similar) and that they both enjoyed watching skateboarding and breakdance. They swapped phone numbers after ten minutes of Deidara's persuading, and he was even allowed to take a picture of the redhead. Sasori didn't respond to the blond's attempts to get him smile in front of the camera by saying 'cheese' at all, though.
When the clock struck ten, Deidara's face fell. "I have to go," he said, starting to sit up. His expression showed exactly how much he hated the fact.
"You told me that you have nobody home," Sasori said, giving him a level look.
Deidara raised his eyebrows. "Well, yeah. My mom was supposed to go visit her friend in another town and stay the night, and my father's-"
"But do you want to go home?" Sasori interrupted him, "Or would you rather stay?"
Deidara was clueless of what the redhead was getting at, but he blushed when he realized how much he actually wanted to stay. Even though he'd gotten the other's number, he had no idea when they'd meet again. Letting go of this one chance was definitely not something he would've done willingly.
"I'd rather stay, if I had the chance, I guess," Deidara admitted, avoiding the other's gaze.
"You do have a chance, if there's no one home. Nobody would find out you didn't spend the night at home, or returned extremely early," Sasori pointed out casually, as though it was part of common sense and the blond had just been too careless to think of it.
Deidara was left speechless for a moment. A possibility like that had never even occurred to him. He felt doubtful about the idea... but also an eerie tinge of excitement. Self-preservation held him back from giving a quick yes, though, and forced him to inquire first.
"It's dangerous at night," Deidara stated.
Sasori chuckled. "If you're not afraid of me, I doubt there's much else you'd need to worry about."
Deidara turned the idea over in his head. "I'll get cold," he said. Because, as usual, he'd forgotten to bring a jacket with him, and only had his t-shirt on.
"I can give you my hoodie," Sasori argued. "And we can make a campfire at the beach. I have a lighter."
Deidara gazed at the redhead, and his eyes wandered down to the black sweatshirt the other was wearing. It did look warm. Deidara still wasn't convinced yet, though.
"You're not going to try to rape me, are you?" By no means did Deidara consider himself attractive or 'fuckable', but there were perverts of all sorts out there. He gave Sasori an I'm-not-joking-so-don't-laugh-but-answer-honestly look.
Sasori laughed anyway. He shoved his hand into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a miniature portable comb. He tossed it to the blond who caught it with both hands. "Take that and protect yourself the best you can."
Deidara opened his palms and saw that it was a red Swiss Army pocket knife. He shifted his bewildered gaze to take in Sasori. The redhead looked nonchalant, as if he wasn't acting weird at all and had been making normal, everyday suggestions this whole time.
Deidara shook his head in disbelief and sat down. "Okay, I'm staying. But I won't promise to be here for the whole night."
"I'm not asking you to," was Sasori's reply.
It turned out to be the most memorable night in the blond's life so far. The beach was completely empty by 11 and finding firewood turned out to be easy, since the beach was situated on the verge of a forest. Deidara found a useless notebook in his backpack, which, ironically, proved to be quite useful when starting a campfire. One click on Sasori's lighter and they had to wait for only about 10 minutes, until it was warm enough for Deidara to take off the hoodie.
They had stored quite a big pile of firewood next to the dazzling campfire that filled the quiet night air with crackling. Deidara watched it in a daze; its beauty was overwhelming him. It felt so warm and the way the dancing flames' shapes changed from sharp to almost round seemed more interesting than any movie he'd ever seen in his life.
Sasori threw in more sticks from time to time as the older ones burned to ash. Deidara raised his gaze and watched the fire illuminate the redhead's pale face, turning it golden-beige. The light emphasized his dark brown eyes gorgeously and Deidara couldn't be sure anymore whether he was blushing because he was too close to the fire, or because of the person sitting across the campfire from him. The phrase "Is it hot in here, or is it only you?" ran through his mind and he smiled. How humorous.
It was only when Sasori caught him staring at him and their eyes locked that Deidara realized what his eyes had stopped on while he'd been staring off into space. He quickly averted his gaze back to look at the campfire. Neither of them said anything.
Suddenly, Deidara felt some itchiness at the back of his throat. He tried to swallow and make it go away by moistening it, but it didn't work. Finally, he coughed, and did it quite a few times, until he felt better. His eyes then met the redhead's again.
"Are you cold?" Sasori asked, poking the burning wood with a stick, so the small pile wouldn't collapse.
Deidara shook his head. "There was something stuck in my throat, is all." His attention shifted to the sea and the dull sound of the waves roaring in a great distance. He couldn't see any big waves on the shore, but knew that they were out there somewhere on the open sea. It made him thoughtful. He'd all but forgotten about his mother.
"Do you have your earphones with you?" Sasori asked.
Sasori didn't answer verbally, but motioned with his index finger for Deidara to come closer. The blond fished out the earphones from his backpack and circled around the fire to him, handing them over. When he started to return to his spot, he was stopped by the redhead grabbing his arm.
"Wait, stay here. I want you to listen to some songs."
Deidara arched his eyebrows, his eyes glancing at their linked hands and then back up at the redhead's face. Sasori was smiling.
"Last time you let me listen to songs on your mobile, right? It's time I return the favour."
Deidara plopped down on the ground beside him gingerly, staring into the fire while Sasori whipped out his own cell phone and plugged in the earphones. He offered one of them to the blond, and inserted the second one into his own ear, before turning on the phone.
Deidara waited patiently while Sasori searched for a song, not really knowing what to expect. When it started to play, he noticed that the redhead's eyes were glued to the fire as well.
At first there was a quick-paced guitar solo, before the drums and bass joined in. A female voice started singing and it took Deidara a few seconds before he realized that he had no idea what the woman was saying. Was it in... Russian? But her voice was beautiful; a high soprano, who could scream at various parts. Deidara caught himself nodding his head in rhythm with the song.
Sasori noticed this. "It's the SLoT. They're a Russian band."
Deidara nodded. "I figured," he muttered, and added as an afterthought: "I like them."
Sasori smiled. "I thought you might."
The night rolled on, the sky becoming several tones lighter eventually. Sleep was soon knocking at the door for Deidara, demanding its own time of the night. The blond's eyelids were becoming heavier and heavier, not staying quite open anymore, but he couldn't give in. How could've he allowed himself to fall asleep there? Who knew when would be the next time he got to talk to Sasori? On the other hand, sleep was a tough opponent to fight against...
"You know, I won't mind you leaning against me, if you want to get some sleep," Sasori muttered, nudging him in the ribs. Deidara gave him a suspicious look, but its effectiveness was decreased greatly by the weariness on his face. Sasori rolled his eyes. "I won't do anything funny. Promise."
And that was how Deidara gave in, leaning against the redhead's shoulder and closing his eyes.
Deidara woke up to his coughing fit; he pressed one hand to his mouth and the other one to his stomach, sitting up, shoulders caved forward. His eyes were still closed, when he kept hacking so hard that it felt as though someone was running thorns down his throat and punching him in the stomach repeatedly.
The boy opened his eyes when he was sure he could hold his mouth shut without going into another fit. He glanced around and, blushing tomato red, realized that he'd been sleeping with his head on the older male's lap. The hoodie had also been put over him like a blanket.
Sasori was looking at him with a concerned look. The campfire had shrunk a great deal and they had run out of spare firewood. There were now small flames dancing on the piled sticks now; they still emitted heat, but nowhere near as much as they'd had before.
"Are you alright?" Sasori asked Deidara, notes of worry sounding in his voice.
The blond nodded, taking the hoodie and slipping into it. "I'm alright. I think I just might be coming down with something. No biggie." He straightened up, crossing his legs.
"Is this how long you usually sleep?" Sasori asked. "It hasn't been over four hours."
Deidara's eyes widened. The sky was already bright, hinting that he'd missed the sunrise. He whipped out his mobile from his pocket and saw that it was barely past seven. Deidara blinked in surprise.
"Um, no, but it will do for now," he muttered, putting the mobile back in his pocket. "What about you? Don't you sleep? Or get cold?" Suddenly he felt guilty for taking the hoodie all to himself and momentarily wondered whether he should give it back.
Sasori chuckled. "I slept for an hour and a half. And I wasn't cold when you were lying on my lap."
Deidara wanted to argue and say that an hour and a half of sleep was hardly enough for a human being, but thought better of it. Sasori was old enough to decide what he did for himself; it wasn't his business to teach him how he should be. Instead, he let a small smile curve his mouth and he lay his head on the redhead's lap again.
"Like this?" he asked teasingly.
Sasori smiled down at him. "Yeah."
Deidara went back home around midday. Sasori walked him there, but when the blond had asked whether he wanted to come inside for a bit, he'd given a polite no.
"I've got places to be, sorry," he'd explained. "But some other time." He'd given the blond a tender kiss on the forehead and walked away, leaving the other looking after him and wondering when on Earth they'd meet again.
When Deidara's mother returned, she was in a good mood again, acting even a little humble. "Are you still mad at me?" she asked Deidara, smiling sweetly as her son shook his head.
"No, I'm not," the boy mumbled and turned his head away.
Truth was Deidara had forgotten none of the insults he'd heard that day, and he believed he'd die sooner than he'd be able to forgive her, but he didn't want to fight. It was better to keep it bottled up in him than to go through another argument with her, he'd decided a long time ago.
Despite the lighter atmosphere in the house, Deidara was as happy as he would've been had the atmosphere been as thick as a brick. Pretending to be content and calm was very hard when you knew that there were so many things on your mind that you wanted to say, but couldn't. Even his mother's smiles became too much to bear, so Deidara just turned his head away whenever they were together.
The only things that kept the blond going were his meetings with Sasori, and those were far from weak motivators. Unlike he'd expected, the redhead was easy to run into, and not only at the beach. He often seemed to appear from thin air at the most random places – the street, the mall, the park. Deidara wasn't sure who was stalking whom. He couldn't have been happier about it. The list of his favourite days had begun to grow.
Deidara's coughing and health seemed to get worse, though. Often he would pale for no apparent reason and almost faint, only to have Sasori catch him. The redhead had insisted on seeing a doctor about this, but Deidara had declined, reasoning that it must've been from a weak breakfast or the stress falling upon him at home.
Deidara couldn't get enough of their time spent together. Often he would leave home around 9 in the morning and return minutes before the clock struck 10 PM. There wasn't a milkshake bar in town they hadn't visited and a single flavour they hadn't tasted. When it was raining, they used to visit the mall and check out the CD shops in there, or just sit on a bench and talk.
It was another sunny day when Deidara had bought himself a milkshake (Sasori drank a coke, he was getting sick of milkshakes) and they strolled through a park in the northern side of town. Since Deidara's home was situated in the southern part, he rarely came there, but Sasori seemed to know this place well.
"I didn't think it would come down to it, though," Deidara mumbled, chewing on the red-striped straw. "I thought they'd just arrest the guy and it'd be done with, but no, they had to discuss his motives with him on the spot and give him the chance to grab the gun. Such an unrealistic cliché in movies." The blond was commenting on a crime show he'd seen the day before; when passing a garbage bin, he dropped the empty cup and straw into it. "Don't you think so?" he added, looking at Sasori.
Sasori was about to say something, but stopped when catching a glimpse of the younger male. He smirked. "Dei, you've got some milkshake on your-"
Automatically, Deidara raised his hand to rub his mouth, but Sasori caught his arm, holding it firmly.
"Wait," he said. "Let me."
Deidara went very still. His eyes widened as the redhead tilted his head and raised his chin with two fingers. The moment Sasori's lips brushed against his own, Deidara's eyes fell instantly closed as he felt the gentle touches against his skin. He exhaled as slowly as possible.
Then Sasori pulled away, smiling down at him. "All better," he said.
"No, I think you missed one spot," Deidara muttered, rising to his toes and already pressing his lips against Sasori's when he felt a familiar pain at the back of his throat. He pulled away quickly, already knowing what was coming next. He pressed his hands against his stomach and squatted; he started coughing.
"Deidara? Are you okay?" Sasori asked, sounding worried again. He squatted next to the blond, putting one hand on the younger male's back and the other hugged his side.
But Deidara didn't hear him, although he was right next to him. Actually, he hardly heard anything. His head was swimming and ears felt plugged up. He'd closed his eyes; his whole torso seemed to be in pain. It was like every time he coughed one of his ribs cracked. Deidara could feel his eyes tearing up from all the hurt.
And then it stopped. He didn't cough anymore. He opened his eyes and carefully looked at Sasori. The redhead looked half-shocked, and fully concerned. Deidara looked at him questioningly, until he tasted some weird liquid in his mouth. It didn't taste good.
"Deidara... we're going to the hospital, now," Sasori said, standing up. "No arguing."
The grass in front of the blond was tinted strangely reddish-brown. With a belated shock Deidara realized he'd just coughed up blood.
Sasori called a taxi that transported them straight to the nearest hospital. Once they got there, the redhead quickly ushered Deidara inside to the lobby and the registration table. A young woman with glasses, dressed in a white overall, looked up at them.
"Pardon us, we need to see a doctor immediately. My boyfriend just coughed up blood and-," Sasori explained hurriedly to the lady, but Deidara wasn't listening. He was too busy keeping his mouth shut to suppress another fit of coughs that threatened to break loose.
When he raised his gaze he was surprised to find the woman's scared-looking eyes staring into his own.
"Yes, of course," she said, getting up from her chair and coming out from behind the desk. "Right this way. Please wait in this ward until I get a doctor who can see you."
She guided them to an empty ward and went to find a doctor. Deidara lay down on the bed (he was feeling dizzy again) and Sasori pulled a chair away from the wall and sat himself next to the blond. He took his hand, giving it a light squeeze. Deidara smiled at him.
"It'll be alright," the blond murmured.
He was about to close his eyes, but the door was opened and a man in his late forties, wearing an overall and a stethoscope hanging around his neck, entered. He stepped closer and Sasori got up from the chair to avoid getting in the way.
"Hello, what's your name and how old are you?" the man asked, clicking his pen and taking out a notepad.
"Um, Deidara. Deidara Iwaga. I'm 15."
"And what's been bothering you?"
"He coughed up blood half an hour ago," Sasori explained and sent Deidara an encouraging look.
The blond smiled at him. "Yeah, I did. I've been feeling quite weird for almost a week now. Constantly dizzy and coughing... but this was the first time I coughed up blood." Deidara paled when looking at the doctor and swallowed, fear crawling into his mind. Was he really sick?
The doctor gave him a considering look. He examined the boy's face and pulled down both his eyelids, checking his eyes. "I see." He held up his index finger and moved it around, watching as Deidara's eyes followed it. "And... where exactly did this happen? Were you alone?"
Deidara shook his head after the doctor had stepped back. "No, Sasori was with me. He was the one who escorted me here."
The doctor's eyebrow arched. "Where is he now? Waiting in the lobby?"
Deidara looked at him with a look that momentarily questioned the man's ability to use his eyes. "This boy here" – Deidara pointed at Sasori – "is Sasori."
The man looked unsure. He gazed at the blond for a while, then nodded. "Yes, of course," he said. "I will be right back."
"I don't like him," Deidara told Sasori after the man had left. "He acted so strange."
Sasori, who was back on the chair next to the bed, squeezed the blond's hand again. "I'm sure he's a professional and knows what he's doing. You needn't worry."
Deidara grimaced. "I still don't like him. Maybe we could go to the hospital near my house? I know some of the doctors there." His expression and tone were pleading; he was getting scared of what might've been wrong with his body. What if it was something serious? What if he should've gone to see a doctor the first time Sasori had suggested it?
Sasori smiled and kissed him softly on the forehead. "Alright, babe. Get up and we'll go." He offered Deidara a hand and the blond took it, getting off the bed. They crossed the room to the door and Deidara opened it slightly, but halted when he heard his name being mentioned in a conversation outside the ward. He stopped to listen.
"...he seems to hallucinate and see a person – a boy – named Sasori with him in the ward. From what he told me, Sasori is a friend of him and has been with him before as well. I think you should contact Mr. Prinzle from the department of psychiatry, he might be able to give better suggestions. The boy's parents need to be contacted, though, he is still underage... only 15."
"Do you know whether he's gone through any sorts of treatment before?"
"No, I am yet to ask him that."
Deidara moved away from the door. He felt his heart sink. "Sasori..." he whispered, "Did you hear that just now? What do they mean I hallucinate?" He swung around and, grabbing the redhead's both arms, gave him a highly panicked look. "What are they going to do? Are they going to take you away from me?"
Sasori shook his head and wrapped his arms around the blond, rocking them from side to side soothingly. He heard the younger male starting to sob. "Shh, Dei-babe, relax. It'll be okay. No one will separate us."
"But you heard what they said," Deidara sobbed, his tears leaving wet marks on the redhead's shirt. "They're – gonna – take me – to some psychiatry clinic. I can't lose you, Sasori – you're – everything good in my life. Without you there's nothing."
Sasori rested his chin on the blond's head, keeping swaying from side to side. He listened as Deidara's sobs grew quieter and finally stopped. Sniffing, Deidara looked up from the embrace, determination covering his face.
"We need to go. Now. Together. We can't let them get us." He untangled himself from the redhead's arms and moved to the window, checking whether it would open. It did, and they were on the first floor. Perfect. "C'mon now, Sasori. There's no time to waste!"
Sasori looked uncertain and worried. "No... Deidara, this isn't right. You're ill, you need treatment. You can't risk with your health just for me."
Tears started flowing down the younger male's face again. "You need to come," he managed to get out. "We need – I need you. I'll take on any illness, if I've got you by my side, but these doctors want to take you away. I won't live through that!" He looked at Sasori with pleading eyes. "Please," he whispered, "Come with me."
Sasori couldn't stand seeing the blond like that. He followed Deidara out the window. Deidara grabbed his arm and started running, smiling despite the tears that still flowed down his cheeks. He was happy. He had everything he'd ever wanted in Sasori; if he didn't lose him, everything else he could handle. They'd stay together, that was all he cared about.
"DEIDARA, WATCH OUT!"
Deidara came to a sudden stop, glancing around him. He caught of Sasori's shocked face and then something coming down the road. He saw a flash of bright flash approach at an extreme speed and felt something hit him hard, throwing him in the air. He lost his grip on Sasori. He collided hard with the asphalt. The cars beeping and people's screams he heard faded to the back of his mind and shrunk into nothingness until he couldn't hear them at all.
"Mrs. Iwaga, please understand, no one can see him at the moment. The doctors are doing what they can- I know you're upset. Of course you are. Do you want me to go get a doctor who could give you more information? Okay, I'll be right back. Please, wait here."
Mrs. Iwaga kept staring at the wall with tears streaming down her face when the nurse left. She sat down on the chair, burying her face in her hands. Her son... hit by a car... this couldn't be happening... not to her... not to her precious Deidara. This couldn't happen. This was wrong.
The words of the doctor that had contacted her and come to meet her in the lobby when she arrived swirled around in her mind, playing again and again like a broken record.
"Your son got hit by a car a few hours ago. The doctors are doing what they can to save him at the moment. He came to visit the hospital earlier today because of haemoptysis. Were you aware of your son's hallucinations?"
Her own answer rang in her mind as well, leaving her breathless with guilt. "No, no I didn't." She hadn't known there was anything wrong with her son. Had she known Deidara at all?
Explanations are probably necessary now.
The whole story revolves around how Deidara felt like there was something highly important and vital missing in his life - a person he could trust. He always felt uneasy when around his mother who came across as unstable and unpredictable. He longed for someone calm, caring and stable - and that's why his subconsciousness decided to give him that missing detail.
Sasori might've not been real, but who was to say that he wasn't exactly what Deidara needed? And if he made Deidara happy, how could've he not been real? Just because he existed in someone's mind, doesn't mean he didn't exist at all. He did, he was Deidara's reality and as real as anyone else's reality.
Originally I had it planned so that Deidara would be in coma after the accident and wouldn't wake up. In my opinion that might've been the happiest considerable ending - Deidara would be able to be together with Sasori in his own mind. He would be happy.
My personal opinion is that there's a Sasori for everyone. Whether he's real or not is up to you to decide. Amen to that, fangirls (/ fanboys).