Acquainted With The Night.
Summary: There are times that Madara wonders why he poses as Tobi. He knows very well that it would be much easier, much less trouble to actually show his true identity. But then he realises by doing just that, he will never have the chance to get as close to his team as he does while wearing that infuriating orange mask. And now, when both Deidara and Itachi falls sick, he finally learns to appreciate his hidden identity and use it to his advantage to get closer and learn more about his young partner.
A/N: Hey, FanFictionFox49 here! Here's a little oneshot for ya'll. Enjoy!
Acquainted With The Night
''Senpai! Tobi have to tell something to Senpai! Sen-''
Tobi slid to an abrupt halt, frozen in place. His body shook with fear and his eyes were wide. A few feet from him stood a raging wild boar, kicking sand up with its back legs and making loud growling and snorting sounds as it twisted and turned its head from side to side, showing off the two razor sharp teeth that stuck out of the sides of its round nose.
The masked nin slowly moved back, careful to not provoke any aggressive reaction from the boar. He managed one step back and then he did something only Tobi would thought the right thing. He spun around on his heel and shot away like an arrow, his cloak flapping behind him and his arms flapping above him while he cried at full volume for help.
This alerted more than half of the Akatsuki and everyone gathered around to see what was going on. Zetsu tried helping, Kakuza was taking money of people to 'watch the show' and Kisame and Itachi kept drinking their tea, only every now and then glancing at their mask wearing teammate's antics. To them, it was normal. Last week it was a baboon and the week before that, an elderly lady.
The boar gave a loud angry snort and then chased after the orange wearing shinobi with astounding speed for an animal with such short legs. Its head was bowed down and the two tusks aimed at the orange and black flash in front of him.
Tobi was running as fast as his legs could carry him. Every now and then he would trip over his own two feet and fall on his masked face. Then he would jump back up, run around in a circle once, before taking off again, his arms still waving around in the air like an attention deprived puppy's tail.
The boar was starting to quickly catch up on him and Tobi was running out of breath. The rest of the Akatsuki was really enjoying themselves, all except Zetsu (or half of him at least), who tried to help his friend.
Tobi managed to glance over his shoulder withouttripping again, and saw that he was moving further and further away from the lair, moving more towards the uninhabited part of the forest. He kept running until he couldn't see a single Akatsuki member anymore, before he slid to a stop, and spun around.
The pig still came on full steam, his tusks gleaming in the sun. The boar charged straight at him, ready to bore a hole through his stomach, but he jumped out of the way quickly and the boar ran into a tree. Tobi let out a frustrated growl and delivered a swift kick to the thing's side, sending it squealing into a different direction, tail tucked between the legs.
He cursed loudly and yanked the mask off, giving it an unimpressed glare.
''Please inform me why the hell I picked an idiot as a disguise?'' He hissed under his breath in a deeper, huskier voice that did not belong to Tobi at all.
No. This was the voice of Madara Uchiha. And he most certainly was no idiot.
Madara glanced over his shoulder, his eyes searching through the forest for any witnesses. Luckily, no one was nearby. He turned back and ran through the forest, dodging every tree with grace only a Uchiha could have.
That distraction he created with the boar should be enough to convince his 'friends' that he wouldn't be back for a while. Of course they would think: 'Oh that idiot, Tobi, is probably hiding in some stupid place from the stupid pig!' he mused.
''Meanwhile this idiot would be in Sound.'' He said out loud to himself, smirking under the mask.
Suddenly something yanked him on his collar from above, hoisting him up into a tree. He cursed loudly and his arm instinctively grabbed his attackers' arm, twisting it in an attempt to break it while trying with all his strength to get back onto the ground.
Madara froze when he heard the voice, recognizing it as the voice of his younger partner, Deidara. His 'retard act' took over almost subconsciously and he flapped his arms, convinced that he must look ridiculous right now.
''Oh Senpai, Tobi found Senpai! Tobi been looking for Senpai all today long because Tobi wanted to tell something to Senpai that's very important!'' The voice Madara spoke in now was annoying beyond words and if someone told him years ago that he would someday have to imitate a moron, he would have never believed them.
He just hope the young artist didn't hear his profanity from moments ago, because number on: it wasn't in the high-pitched, uneven tone of Tobi, but in his own deep voice and second: Tobi was a good boy.
Deidara gave him a decent shake and Madara grit his teeth, desperately wanting to give the blonde a piece of his mind, but cursing the bomber wouldn't be something Tobi would do. Tobi would rather say something stupid like:
''Senpai, Tobi is a good boy, he promises!''
The shaking stopped and he was pulled upwards and dropped with little compassion on the branch, next to his not-so-happy partner.
''Hidan said you bugged another animal and it chased you. Again! How many times to I have to tell you, don't run, un!'' He snapped, his baby blue eyes trying to glare a hole through Tobi's mask.
''Tobi knows Senpai tells him that a lot and Tobi am very sorry.'' He apologized, lowering his head.
''Tobi 'is' very sorry, not Tobi 'am', un.'' The sculptor corrected, running a hand through his hair and averting his eyes to the ground, as if in thought.
'No kidding…' Madara sneered in his mind. He glanced up and frowned. Little Deidara hasn't even once threaten to suffocate, explode or kill him and his mind seem to be somewhere else. Might as well ask.
Though he doubt the bomber would tell anything to Tobi. He himself sure as hell wouldn't.
''Deida-… Senpai?'' He asked carefully, hoping Deidara didn't notice his stumble.
''Hmm?'' Deidara questioned absentmindedly.
''Is.. something wrong? Tobi am... Tobi is very sorry if he made Senpai mad at him?''
Deidara looked up at his partner, who was most likely giving him an innocent look, even though he couldn't see it. Tobi was sitting on his knees, his head cocked to the side, giving his Senpai a questioning gaze. Deidara looked paler than normal and the was black rings beneath his eyes.
''No, it's nothing Tobi. I'm not mad un.'' He sighed and the masked nin lit up almost immediately. ''But next time you get chased, you ain't getting any help from me again!'' He added with a snap.
''It's you aren't Senpai, not you ain't.'' Tobi corrected him and then jumped off the branch with flapping arms and clucking noises, leaving the blonde stunned.
Either it was because Tobi had just corrected him, or because the idiot finally said something intelligent. Madara wondered about that and slowed his pace when he was out of sight, strolling in the direction of the Lair.
'Looks like Sound would have to wait.' He thought with a sigh. Tomorrow he'll go steel fruits from the farmer's trees a few miles away and have the old man chase him with a pitch fork again. Of course he could just ask Pein if he may go but then everybody would want to know where Tobi was, since he's not aloud out on his own.
Madara groaned inwardly when he saw Kisame and Hidan in front of the Lair. Great, more acting. He was starting to give himself a headache.
Tobi's gloved hand reached up to readjust the swirly orange mask he wore to hide his true identity. The thing kept sliding down from its place, obscuring his vision and annoying the masked individual endlessly. Removing the thing was unfortunately out of the question, as the younger Sharingan holder enjoyed stalking around at night. Madara had found it very entertaining to move objects around after dark. It was amusing to see the stubborn, near-blind Uchiha trip over articles with less grace than he was known for.
His hand traced the wall's pattern, feeling the rough surface through the black gloves.
He was here alone, in the middle of the Akatsuki lair's dark, empty corridors. This walking around at night, checking up on everybody, was becoming a strangely enjoyable habit to him. An addiction. It made him feel at ease, to know what who was doing, when and why.
And thanks to this idiotic façade, if he was ever caught, he could pass it off as this senseless twit he was suppose to act like, looking for comfort after a nightmare or some other dull-minded excuse.
He frowned slightly, suddenly recalling the one time he had actually been caught. It was by his blond-haired partner. When he first entered the bomber's room, he was sure that the boy had been asleep. There was after all, a very still little bundle under the covers. Unfortunately he had let his guard down and didn't notice that the artist wasn't in his bed, instead he was on( note well, 'on' not 'at') his desk, busy with yet another explosive sculpture.
At first he was speechless, completely unprepared for the encounter when the blonde confronted him. Luckily Deidara took it as stupidity, not the deer-in-the-headlights reaction as it originally was under the mask, and chased him out.
He paused again, tilting his head and listening intently for any sign of life.
It most likely wouldn't matter if he was found anyway. He was good at lying. Always has been. Acting was one of his many talents. Now Madara Uchiha was usually a modest man, but if a group of S-ranked criminals still hadn't discover that he wasn't the hyperactive retard he pretended to be, there was no denying that his acting must have been marvellous.
Tobi stopped at a half open door, lingering his hand on the wood a little before slipping inside soundlessly. He wandered towards the bed, taking note of the scattered clothes and various items that either belonged in the trash or that was highly illegal in every second state.
The masked nin jerked his body back when there was an unexpected loud crack next to him. He froze, his eyes darting to the figure under the blankets. The person hasn't move. It took three and a half minutes for his heart beat to return to normal and he grit down on his teeth, shooting a look of annoyance at the steel trap he almost stepped in. The razor sharp, iron teeth were now compressed together tightly, the force of the spring most likely strong enough to keep even a bear in place.
Trust Hidan to have an animal trap in his room.
Stepping over the dangerous object, Tobi made his way over to the Jashinist's bed, hovering over his sleeping figure. He stayed like that for a few minutes, until the silver-haired male began to shift, muttering profanities in his sleep.
He straightened up and his eyes trailed to the missing part of Hidan's left ear and then to the other bed in the room where Kakuza was fast asleep. He turned around and left without a word, closing the door behind him.
In the hallway, Madara stood motionless. His eyes was on a figure in the distance, passing the hallway's entrance. The shadow was moving slowly, one arm stretched out in front of his body. Suddenly, the individual stopped and his hand went to his mouth, supressing a cough.
'Itachi', Madara realised.
Tobi vaguely wondered if he was up because of his state of illness he so obstinately refused to admit he had.
The Uchiha didn't see him, but he chose to wait until he was sure Itachi was gone before he continued his journey down the hallway.
Much to his dislike, he saw that neither Kisame nor Itachi was in their beds as he passed the open bedroom door. Kisame must be with Itachi then.
Madara moved on to the next door, his hand tracing the wall again. While he was walking, he considered checking in on Konan and Pein, but decided against it since Pein had proven to be a very light sleeper.
Finally, he stopped in front of another door, his last one. The room which he and Deidara shared. He looked up at the door, reading the two names carved on the silver plate.
Deidara & Sasori
Deidara's name was left unattended, but Sasori's name was crossed out with crayon and written underneath it was 'Tobi', also in crayon. Not to mention the 'b' was facing the wrong way.
Madara scowled, remembering the redhead. Deidara's old partner was a strange man. Well, a strange puppet. He was Deidara's idol, his Danna, as the bomber called him. From what Madara could tell from the little he heard about Sasori was that the puppeteer was very impatient, short-tempered, moody, remote and he never smiled.
Personally, Madara had no idea what his blonde partner saw in the redhead. Maybe because he was so young, Sasori was like a parent to him.
''The aggressive, stern, military-type parent…'' Madara muttered softly to himself before opening the door and slipping inside.
When in the room, the first thing he did was check Deidara's desk, in case the artist was having another midnight art session. Luckily there was only half a dozen unfinished sculptures, but no sculptor.
He strolled to the bed on the left side, narrowing his eyes at the little bundle under the blankets. He picked up the edge corner of the blanket, peeking underneath, before yanking it off with a irritated sigh.
In the bed was a piece the head of a clay horse. But no Deidara.
'Kid, if you pop up somewhere again, you'll learn a whole new dictionary of words you didn't even knew existed.' He thought, his eyes searching the room. He crouched down and checked under the bed. The boy seems to love sculpting in weird places, whether its under the bed, in the closet or on the roof, he's always somewhere.
His eyes fell on the bathroom door. The light was on and the door was open. He cocked an eyebrow and stepped closer, glancing down in irritation when he his foot crushed a clay sculpture of a cat.
Madara rolled his eyes as he kicked the broken remains under the carpet, having not much compassion for art or the fact that it was one of his partner's works of art. The brat was always leaving his things lying around and it was usually him who tripped over it, slipped in it or stepped in it.
He wandered towards the bathroom door, peering around the corner. His eyes softened and he stepped in, immediately feeling a strong feeling of sympathy towards his younger partner.
The blonde was bent over the sink, his hands gripping the edge and his shoulders shaking. His breathing was ragged and uneven. His long, blonde hair was tied back in a low ponytail, so Madara figured he must have been here a while already.
He sighed and stepped back, knowing that the artist would hate him for coming in and seeing him in such a state. The masked nin knows how much Deidara hates getting sick. It's the one thing he couldn't handle.
When Sasori was still around, Deidara got sick only once and he hated every minute of it, afraid that his Danna would see him as weak. It was during a mission when he caught a bad case of flu. He tried hiding it form Sasori at first, but eventually the redhead found out when Deidara lost his stomach's contents during a battle. First he scolded the very embarrassed bomber for being irresponsible, then because he didn't tell him earlier and then because he started crying. After that he only received a small amount of empathy from the puppet when Sasori told him that he refuse to allow Deidara to continue with the mission in his condition and should rather stay home until he felt better. Of course Deidara had argued, insisting that he felt fine, but Sasori wouldn't hear any of it.
In a way it was probably meant well, but what the puppet didn't know is that it made Deidara feel like Sasori thought of him as fragile and weak. After that, Deidara hadn't had many time to prove himself, as Sasori died shortly after that.
Madara sighed and left, allowing the bomber space. He wandered down the hallway aimlessly, his mind with his sick partner. Absentmindedly, he went into the kitchen, stopping when he saw Kisame and Itachi at the table.
Itachi was resting his head on his arms that were folded on the table. Kisame were sitting next to him, quietly observing the Uchiha. The shark-like man looked up at Tobi and raised his eyebrows.
'Here we go…'' Madara thought tiredly, not feeling up to his moron act right now.
''Itachi-san is sick?'' He wondered out loud in the annoying voice that belonged to Tobi. ''Tobi thinks Itachi-san shouldn't walk barefoot at night because that's what cause sicknesses.'' He drawled innocently, pointing under the table.
''Here that, 'Tachi? Tobi is right. You really should be more careful.'' Kisame said with a slight smile, poking his partner's side.
Itachi made a soft sound in reply, neither of them really sure if it was intentional or not. Kisame narrowed his eyes as he looked at Tobi.
''Tobi, why are you walking around?''
''Tobi is a good boy.'' Madara informed them, not in the mood for a long, animated explanation.
Kisame rolled his eyes and turned his attention back to Itachi.
''I told you not to go out last night. Your immune system isn't exactly what it used to be, you know.'' Kisame whispered in a sigh.
Itachi rolled his head to the so that he could catch the shark's eyes and then replied back in a voice that most likely didn't come out the way he indented it to.
''I am completely fine.''
Kisame raised his eyebrows and his hands in defence, but said nothing. Madara smirked beneath his mask. The Uchiha's eyes were on something distant that he most likely assumes was Kisame's. The damn weasel couldn't even see properly, how the hell did he expect them to believe that he's fine?
''Looks like there must me a sicknesses monster in the house, since Deidara-senpai is also sick… Whoopsy!'' Tobi said loudly, making sure to obviously clamped both hands over his mouth. Well, over his mask.
Either way, it definitely raised the shark's suspicions. Itachi glanced up too.
''Deidara is sick?'' Kisame asked , getting up.
''Tobi thinks so. Senpai Deidara looked like a wall to Tobi.''
''A wall?'' Kisame frowned.
'White, you idiot.'
''Yup. Tobi thinks Senpai is a wall.'' Tobi exclaimed confidently, waving one hand in an exaggerated motion towards the kitchen's wall.
Kisame gave him a clueless stare.
'And here I thought Tobi was stupid,' Madara sneered in his mind. Then again, he would probably give the same look to anyone who told him that they thought of Deidara as a wall.
''Oh, you mean he was pale?'' Kisame said when Itachi pointed at the white flower pattern on the table cloth.
Tobi nodded enthusiastically. ''That's what Tobi said! White as a wall. Senpai is also talking to little people in the sink. Must be them who keeps stealing Tobi's fish.''
Kisame and Itachi gave each other a look. It wasn't the little people who took the fish, it was Zetsu. Every morning Zetsu would quickly gather all the floating fish, or as Tobi says, 'sleeping' fish, and dispose of them before Tobi could see. Then they would lie to Tobi and say someone stole his fish to avoid him repeating the first episode when one of his fish died.
Madara was very well aware of that. He also can't figure out what's wrong with the stupid things. They keep dying. Tobi feeds them, Tobi cleans them, Tobi plays with them- Oh, that might be it.
''Wait, what do you mean by little people?'' Kisame asked again. He looked at Itachi for help, but the Uchiha gave a one shoulder shrug, making his over sized shirt slide off one milky shoulder.
'Eat more, maybe your clothes will fit then.' Madara suggested in his mind, raising an eyebrow at his thin frame.
''Tobi means the little people that steal Tobi's fish. Deidara-senpai was bent over the sink so he must be talking to them, right?''
Kisame ran a hand down his face and Itachi gave a small smile, lying his head down on his arms again with a contented sigh.
Kisame gave a crooked smile as well.
''Poor kid, he hates being sick. I'm gonna go get him, see how bad he is. Hopefully he will at least admitt that he's sick unlike somebody!'' He said and shot Itachi a meaningful glare. Itachi didn't respond, clearly convinced that Kisame was talking about someone else.
The shark shook his head and turned to Tobi, who was staring at the roof, his eyes following something moving over it. Kisame glanced up but saw nothing and gave a shudder.
''Okay Tobi, stay with 'Tachi. I'll be right back.''
The masked nin gave him two thumbs up and shot to the open seat next to Itachi, getting comfortable against his shoulder. The younger Uchiha allowed it and Madara suspected that it was because he was half asleep.
Kisame left and they were alone.
''Itachi-san, do you want to play cotton ball, paper, stick?'' Tobi asked hopefully, grabbing his arm tightly and tugging on it. Gently though. He might just break it off since this kid doesn't' t seem to want to eat. Or talk. Ever….
Itachi turned his head and gave him a questioning smile, asking with his eyes what Tobi was talking about.
''Tobi means rock, paper, scissors. But Zetsu-san says that Tobi shouldn't play with rocks or with scissors so now Tobi uses cotton ball, paper and stick.'' Tobi said happily, sitting closer to the dark haired male, his gloved hand already in a fist, ready to play.
Itachi gave a light smile.
''What beats what?'' He asked.
Tobi scratched his neck and gave half a shrug.
''Can't it be a fun game where everybody wins?'' He asked optimistically, flapping one arm in the air.
Before Itachi could respond, Kisame came in dragging a very unwilling Deidara along by his arm. The artist gave a heated growl but stopped when he saw Itachi and ducked his head, hiding his tear stained cheeks, not wanting the Uchiha to see his weakness.
Lucky for him, Itachi's eyes fell close and he was now about ninety percent asleep. Kisame gave Deidara a searching look and the blonde sighed and looked away.
''Is there a reason you dragged me here, un?'' He asked, watching Itachi out of the corner of his eye.
''Yes. You're sick.'' Kisame said simply, grabbing a bottle and a spoon form the counter. He tipped some of the bottle's contents into the spoon and Deidara watched with mild interest as the purple liquid settled onto the metal surface.
''What's that, un?'' He asked, eyeing the bottle suspiciously.
''It's medication.'' Kisame informed him as he screwed the lid back on tightly.
Deidara raised both eyebrows, his gaze moving from the bottle to Itachi, and then back to the bottle again.
''Doesn't look like he's in the mood to take it, un.'' The artist said, jerking his thumb in the direction of the sleeping Uchiha.
''Don't worry, he already had his. This is yours.'' The shark held out the spoon, the thick purple liquid not even swishing with the rough movement.
Madara gave a wry smile. No wonder Itachi looks half dead. Kisame drugged him.
Deidara's eyes widened and he took a step back.
''No way I'm putting that in my mouth, un!''
''Deidara, don't be a baby. Drink it!''
''Not 'yuck, un'. It's good for you. Now drink it!'' Kisame growled, following the bomber around the kitchen with the spoon held out in front of him.
Deidara leaped behind the table, holding up a colander in defence.
''Deidara, come here.'' Kisame's voice was threatening, pointing at the spot in front of him with the spoon. Madara was amazed at how the liquid still remained in the spoon, even when held at a vertical angle.
The blonde flinched, holding up the colander again.
''But I don't need to, un, I'm fine! Give it to Itachi, he looks a little pale.'' He suggested with a nervous laugh. Kisame rolled his eyes but glanced at Itachi just in case.
Tobi was sitting next to the Uchiha, lightly pushing him on his shoulder, his index finger tipping the Uchiha closer to the edge of the chair. Itachi was now completely out and didn't even notice. Kisame opened his mouth to scold Tobi, but decided against it since every time, just before Itachi could fall off his seat, Tobi would lightly grab his sleeve and gently pull him back to his previous position and start the whole process all over again. Simle things…
Kisame sighed and turned back to Deidara, who switched the colander for a pan.
''Put it down and take the medicine before I shove it down your throat!'' He snapped, startling Tobi which caused him to drop Itachi. Luckily just before he could hit the floor, he frantically grabbed his collar and pulled him back up.
Kisame, who was holding his breath, gave a relieved sigh and then shot Tobi a look, which made him yelp and crawl under the table.
Deidara kept his gaze on Itachi, waiting for a reaction. Nothing. He didn't even wake up.
'Maybe he's dead.' Deidara wondered gleefully.
Suddenly he felt a hard yank on his hair and yelped. Kisame took his chance to shove the spoon in Deidara's mouth. The artist gave an angry snarl and ripped the spoon out, the liquid already in his mouth. He made a run for the sink but Kisame grabbed him from behind and forced a hand over his mouth.
Deidara shook his head and clawed at Kisame's hand, trying to pry it off. Tobi gave a loud laugh, earning a glare from the bomber.
''Come on Senpai, take your medicine. It will make you feel better!'' Tobi exclaimed happily, risking to stand within killing distance of the artist. Luckily Kisame was still holding him back.
''Stop biting me you little imp!'' Kisame hissed.
Tobi gave a loud laugh an clapped his hands loudly as he jumped up and down. Deidara finally gave up and swallowed, just so Kisame would release him and allow the sculpter to get his hands on Tobi and sculpt his neck!
Kisame did and the artist shot forward.
The shark sighed and shook his head, making his way to his sleeping partner. He looked at him for a while thoughtfully before scooping him up easily and taking the Uchiha back to his room.
Meanwhile Deidara and Tobi was on the ground. The bomber's hands were locked around the masked nin he was straddling's neck, who was begging and apologizing in his highly annoying voice.
''Tobi sorry, very sorry, really Senpai, he promises!''
Deidara muttered something uncomprehendable and dug his nails into Tobi's skin. Finally, after another five minutes of assault, he relaxed and sighed. Tobi lied very still, watching his Senpai through the one eye hole in the lollipop mask. Deidara leaned forward and rested his head on Madara's chest. At first, Madara thought he was just exhausted from trying to suffocate him, but after a couple of frozen minutes now he got worried. Deidara still hasn't moved yet or even made one of those sounds. He slowly moved his hand to brush away a blonde strand. He relaxed when he realised the artist just fell asleep, his breathing deep and even.
He smiled a little and sat up slowly, picking Deidara up with him. He went up the stairs and to the bomber's room, lying him down in his bed and pulling the covers up until only his eyes showed.
He stood back, watching the artist seep peacefully.
''Good night Deidara…'' He said softly and turned around.
He froze when he saw Kisame in the door frame. His mind searched anxiously for something stupid but the best he could come up with was:
''Tobi is a good boy!''
Kisame smiled and nodded.
''Yeah, Tobi is a good boy. Let's leave our patients to rest, shall we?''
Tobi smiled and nodded enthusiastically. He followed Kisame out the door and down to the kitchen, where each had a spoon of purple liquid before they went to their own beds, preparing for a long night's rest.
A/N: And done! Please leave me a review and tell me what you thought about it, I would really like to know! Thank you so much for reading, have a nice day!