Chapter 4: Deidara
Konan knew she had to be careful, even if Deidara was her new target. He may not be as big a challenge as Itachi, but she couldn't afford to get careless with him. She also had to keep in mind that he had trained one of his eyes to counter genjutsu. What if hypnosis was the same and he managed to counter it? She had to be careful.
She made her way to the end of the long hall and knocked on the wooden door where Deidara was working by himself in his newly claimed room. He made sure he got it before Sasori so he would have the largest room to himself for his unnamed tinkering. He claimed to be working on his artwork, which was possible, but who knew what else he was up to in there? Konan knocked on the door and waited for an answer.
"What do you want?" he called. "Who is it?"
"It's me, Konan."
There was a pause. "Come in."
She opened the door and found him sitting on a stool at a long wooden table with his back turned towards the door. She stepped inside and closed the door. To make sure no one opened it again like last time, she made sure to lock it discreetly.
He kept working, ignoring her until she sat down beside him on a second stool. "What is it?"
"I just wanted to see what you were doing."
He was working the clay in his hand to a soft, mushy ball and then formed it into a small beetle. He gave it a satisfied look and set it aside. Konan looked at the mouth on Deidara's hand with a frown. She didn't find it gross, just strange. It licked the clay on the table and swallowed it up, chewing it and then spitting it out again. Smiling, Deidara worked the clay until it was soft and smooth. Then he began to mold it into the shape of a bird.
"They're lovely," she said.
For the first time since she had entered the room, he looked up at her. He looked happy and a little surprised by her comment. "Thanks." He looked back at the clay with a smile on his face.
"You have real talent."
Flattered, he began to boast. "Well, of course! I've been doing this for a long time, hn."
Her strategy was to flatter him and make him more likely to listen to her and let his guard down. After all, a swelled head made it much harder to be observant. Plus, it was a good way to put him at ease.
"Tell me," she said. "How did you get so good at this? You're a master of art."
He laughed and started to go on and on about things she wasn't paying any attention to. He continued to form the clay in his hands, mouths closing and fading into his palms. When he was finished, or stopped to take a breath, she spoke again.
"I love art myself. But all I can do is fold paper. Clay is different. It won't rip or tear." She picked up a wad of clay and started to work it over in her hand, making sure he saw her. "If you mess up, you can always start over. You can do more with it. Paper is so fragile."
He nodded, glancing at the clay she held in her hand. "That's true. But paper is lighter, hn. But you're right, it is fragile. It tears easily and it can burn and… it can…" He started to lose his train of thought, watching her play with the clay, rolling it and squishing it in her hand. He shook himself free and cleared his throat. "It's… uh… But it's a good medium, too. You can do a lot with it and stuff, hn."
She watched him watch the clay in her hand and smirked. This was coming along well. Now that she had his attention, she began to speak to him calmly and soothingly. "You like working with clay, don't you?"
He nodded. "Yeah. It's… it's nice." His eyes stayed on the clay, watching it. She molded it and squished it and pulled it and flattened it. It made him feel strange. It was like watching a lava lamp. He couldn't look away.
"And Sasori… He likes art, too, doesn't he?"
"Wood, right? He works with that instead of clay."
He blinked slowly. "Yeah. Puppets, hn."
The clay moved rhythmically with her voice. As he watched, his eyes started to feel funny. Kind of heavy.
"Clay feels nice, doesn't it?"
"Mm-hm." He didn't want to talk anymore. When he spoke to her earlier, he spoke with such passion and energy that he had worn himself out. He suddenly remembered the clay in his hand. He squeezed it in his hand and felt the soft smooth form against his skin. He felt it squish between his fingers and relaxed. He felt like a child holding a stuffed animal. It gave him comfort. It put him at ease.
Konan continued to speak to him softly but he was barely paying any attention to her at all. His mind was wandering. "It feels warm in your hand. Doesn't it?"
"Mm." His eyes started to droop. They were getting heavy and warm. Very heavy.
The clay flattened in her hand and was then stretched and rolled into a ball. Her voice was like a lullaby. His shoulders began to slump. "It feels good, huh?"
"Hm…" He blinked. "Mmm…"
"It's so soft and smooth. But it must be hard to make it that way. You must be feeling pretty tired from working for so long. The muscles in your hand must be sore and tired, right?"
He slowly stopped playing with the clay, his hand suddenly heavy and tired. His fingers tingled with exhaustion. So did his brain. It was getting a warm fuzzy feeling behind his ears and spreading throughout the back of his head and to the front. His jaw grew slack. He was spacing out.
"You must be feeling very, very tired. So tired from all that hard work. You deserve a break, don't you think?"
"Feel the muscles in your legs relax."
His feet began to tingle and the feeling spread up to his knees. He let his legs dangle.
"Feel the muscles in your back and hips relax. And up to your chest. And your shoulders. To your arms and to your hands."
He started to slump forward, his body feeling heavier and heavier. His whole body grew numb and heavy.
"Feel it in your neck and your head."
A shiver went up his spine and he gave a little shutter. Blinking, he started to pick himself up and tried to look away. He had no energy to do so. And he liked the feeling he was getting from doing so. He felt like he was slowly falling asleep.
"Feel your jaw relax. And your eyes. Feel your whole face relax."
He closed his eyes for a moment and swallowed. His head started to bob and he opened his eyes again. Konan had gotten closer to him. He was staring right into her eyes.
"Look into my eyes and relax."
"You're getting sleepier and sleepier. Deeper and deeper. More and more relaxed."
He said nothing and stared.
"Your eyes are getting heavier. And Heavier. And heavier."
His eyes drooped.
"You're getting sleepy. Very sleepy."
He stared at her eyes blankly.
"You're getting very, very sleepy. Sleepier and sleepier and sleepier."
Deidara blinked and moved closer to her, still staring into her eyes. "Pretty…" he slurred sleepily. "Pretty eyes…"
She moved closer to him as she noticed him slumping forward. "Relax. Relax." Deidara looked on the verge of passing out. She reached down and took his hand that was holding the clay. He didn't put up a fight. The ball of clay in his hand fell to the ground with a dull splat. She began to draw lazy circles on the back of his hand with her thumb. He relaxed further, enjoying the feeling. She was massaging his overworked hand. It felt good. "Relax."
His mouth hung open, staring into her eyes. The warmth of her hand massaging his brought him comfort and made him feel safe. Like nothing could hurt him. His eyes drooped a little more.
Now was the time to do it. "When I count backwards from ten, you will feel more and more relaxed. When I reach zero, you will be completely willing to do whatever I say."
He only stared.
"Ten… Nine… Eight… Seven…"
His eyes drooped.
She could feel the muscles in his body relax.
"Five… Four… Three…"
Deidara's eyes fluttered. His mouth closed for a moment, then opened again, drool appearing on his lips. His head bobbed.
His eyes drooped again, his head hanging forward.
His eyes clamped shut and he fell forward into her chest, out like a light. She looked down at him. He looked quite comfortable. She started to lift him up but he started to stir so she let him stay put, rubbing his back soothingly. He melted into her with a contented sigh. At least she knew it worked. Or did it? She managed to knock him out but could she command him?
He didn't move.
She needed to test this. She would start out small just to test it and go from there. "Whenever I clap my hands and say 'sleep', you will fall back into this trance, even deeper than before. Whenever I say 'up and at 'em', you'll wake up from your trance with no memory of being hypnotized."
He only lay there, dozing on her chest. Now the moment of truth.
"Up and at 'em."
Deidara shifted and started to sit up. He looked around blearily and wiped the drool from his chin. "What…" He stifled a yawn. "What happened?"
"What do you mean?" she asked, feigning innocence.
He looked around the room. "I… Did I fall asleep or something?"
"I don't know. You were zoning out. Am I really that boring?"
"Maybe, hn." He gave his head a shake. Spotting the clay on the floor, he bent down and picked it up, setting it down on the table. He scratched his cheek, looking over his clay figures.
"Deidara." She had to test it and see if it really worked. She gave her hands a single clap. "Sleep."
His head slammed into the table with a thunk and he started snoring.
It really did work. Now to see if she could command him. She had to test and make sure he wasn't faking it, either.
"Deidara, sit up and face me."
He picked himself off the table and swiveled around in his seat. He looked like a doll someone had tossed onto a chair. His shoulder were slumped and his head hung limply over his chest.
"Now…" She gave it some thought then gave him the command. "Whenever I touch your hand, you will hug me." That should be good enough. "Up and at 'em."
His head picked up and he looked around. "What?"
He stared at her in confusion. "Did you say something just..? What were we talking about?"
He had no memory of anything that had happened. She reached for a clay ball, deliberately touching his hand as she did so. The next thing either of them knew, Deidara and flung himself into her arms and hugged her tightly.
"What are you doing?"
"I…" His eyes were wide with shock. "I don't know." He pried himself away and sat there, staring at her with huge eyes. "I… I didn't… I mean, I…"
She touched his other hand this time and he threw himself forward, wrapping his arms tightly around her body and nuzzled her neck. "Deidara..?"
"I don't know why I'm doing this!" He pulled himself away and backed up to the other side of the table. "What the hell's happening to me? What's going on?"
"I don't know. But you know what I think you should do?"
She clapped her hands. "Sleep."
His panicked expression melted away to a look of peacefulness and he fell forward. Konan caught him and held him up in his seat.
"Now, Deidara. Here's what I want you to do." He drooled onto the collar of his jacket. "I want you to forget the last command I gave you. And I want you to forget that you ever hugged me."
He mumbled something and sat quietly in his seat, relaying on her to hold him up.
"Next, I want you to stand up."
He stood up on her command and waited for further instructions.
"Now open your eyes, while remaining in your trance."
His eyes opened and he stared straight ahead. His blue eyes were dull and lifeless, holding no emotion at all.
"Deidara, I want you to dance for me. Dance now."
Deidara spread his arms out like a pair of wings and spun to the center of the room and started to dance. It had a lot of spins and twirling. He stayed in one place for a while. Then, he conjured up an imaginary partner and started to waltz with them across the floor. Even though he was hypnotized, he had a lot of grace to his movements.
After a few minutes, Konan had enough and called him over. She told him to sit down and he did. "Now close your eyes." He closed them and let out a relaxed sigh. "Now this time when you wake up, you will feel really sleepy. You will feel so exhausted and drained of all energy. You will want nothing more than to sleep. You will sleep as long as you wish and when you wake up, you will feel very refreshed and happy."
That should do it. Maybe he would be more pleasant to be around after this.
"Up and at 'em."
Deidara opened his eyes and yawned loudly. He moaned tiredly and rubbed his eyes.
"Are you ok?" she asked.
He looked up at her drowsily. "I…" His eyes drooped. "I'm really sleepy."
He nodded and yawned again. "I'm so sleepy all of a sudden." He turned, looking at the wooden table. It looked rather inviting. He had no strength to carry himself all the way over to a bed. This would do just fine. He brushed the clay aside with his arm and started to make himself comfortable.
"You're going to sleep here?" she asked, surprised.
"Mm-hm." He made a nest with his arms and settled down with a sigh. "Too tired."
"Are you sure? There's a bed…"
Using his arms as a pillow, Deidara nestled his head down and let out a deep sigh, closing his eyes. "Night."
"Night," he said again and started snoring.
Guess he couldn't make it. Konan shrugged and tiptoed out of the room and closed the door, leaving him alone to sleep.
Now she knew that it really did work. But she didn't feel like going after everyone so soon. They would be here for a week. Besides, she needed ideas. Maybe once she saw everyone together again she would have some idea what she should do to everyone then. Until that time, she walked down the hall to her own room to rest herself. All should be quiet for a while so she might as well enjoy it and think of ideas and a new target later.
This is going well so far. Who's next?