A/N: This is going to be fairly short. At most, it'll be about ten chapters.
Oh, and the introduction was h*** to write. Typing out sensory overload like that was just… gah. I mean, have you ever realized just how much you think? It's a lot.
I once read an example of something similar in a webcomic called Institute of Metaphysics. If I remember correctly:
"If I say pink horse, something automatically comes to mind. Maybe it was just a flash of pink and something vaguely four-legged, but something was still there."
Now take that, and reverse it. Every bit of input you get triggers some sort of memory, some word, some feeling. It's disturbing. It's made even more difficult because most of your thoughts actually aren't put into words, they're flashes of emotion or pictures, or just a feeling that is 'box,' but the word, or emotion, or picture never actually comes to mind. You just automatically know that thought as 'box.'
I even had to look up their stats to get their stamina levels right for the chakra comparison.
He woke up confused.
He remembered a fight. A flash of white skin, black hair, yellow eyes… Orochimaru? Probably… Hand signs flashing, too fast to follow. Danna snarking at him to do his d*** job. Someone hitting him from behind. A flash of pain. A pulling sensation, right from where his largest mouth was. Right above his heart. Pulling in all directions.
Now where was he? It was dark, but not so dark that he couldn't see anything. There was a glow coming from the box he was in, purple, pale; long and wide enough for him to lie down in any direction, twice his height, and utterly bare and translucent, only barely crossing the line from transparent. He could see some ground outside his… box, but it only extended a few feet before the darkness took it over again. It looked like pressed earth, some grass sprouting here and there.
He looked down at himself, making a face as he realized that he was completely naked, not even having his scope, or his hair tie, or his ring. Even the nail polish was gone from his fingernails. His look turned to confusion as he also realized that there were no marks from his recent fight. The only marks he had were his old scars, the ones that would never fade, and the seal over his heart mouth.
Deidara looked around. Just where was he?
It had taken Deidara five minutes of trying to figure out where he was before he just gave up and sat down again. There was no scent, no sound other than his own breathing, and he really couldn't see anything more than a few feet away from the box. There was still the possibility of being caught by Orochimaru, but that snake would have been gloating at him by now. Not to mention, who would put dirt and grass inside? Darkness of this level wasn't natural, and if he'd been outside, he would have at least been able to see the stars; he could have even used them to pinpoint his location.
At that point, he decided to use a henge to at least cover up something. The clothes appeared before he even put his hands up into a sign. He looked down in astonishment, and then realized with a start that he couldn't feel his chakra. The clothes had appeared just as he'd decided to cover up, and he had lost no chakra doing it, because there wasn't any for him to use. If this was a genjutsu, he had no chance of breaking it.
What was going on?
He didn't feel anything. Well, it wasn't that he couldn't feel anything, but he couldn't feel the kinds of things that were… conditional. There was no pain, no thirst, no hunger, and no fatigue. He could still feel something when he touched it, but he didn't feel any sort of need.
The world began to lighten.
For half an hour, Deidara just watched. He watched the disjointed images, the people he'd never met, the people he had met, and experienced odd feelings along with everything he saw. The world outside his little box was a small vista of chaos, where an image or even an entire scene played out, and left a feeling he didn't recognize as his own while it was there. There were words, sometimes, though not often. There was a common feel to it all, and the various parts seemed to follow half a train of thought, but then break off, and something new would replace it. Everything was fuzzy, and subdued emotion was a larger part of what was going on than anything else.
Then the world darkened again.
Deidara didn't understand, though he did have some ideas now. What he'd seen had all had to do with Itachi, the b******. The images had been of a lot of things, but he'd seen at least one Konoha ANBU mask—each village had its own kind—and plenty of Uchiha. Kisame was in the 'show' far more than any other member of Akatsuki, and there were an inordinate number of scenes concerning a very young Uchiha that had said, at least once, "Itachi-nii-san." There was also a scene that involved dozens upon dozens of dead Uchiha and the same crying boy staring in horror while mouthing the word "Aniki." Obviously, this all had to do with Itachi.
Every image with an Uchiha had held a heavy dose of regret that was most definitely not Deidara's, especially the ones that were about the kid that was probably Itachi's little brother. He'd never met these people, so why would he feel anything like that about them? At most, he'd hate them for having a Sharingan.
It wasn't that feeling these things meant anything to him yet. It was just kind of confusing.
This had to do with Itachi, but what? Yes, Orochimaru had an unhealthy obsession with the young man, but as far as Deidara knew, that had all been transferred to the Uchiha's little brother, according to Kisame's random gossip at the base. Maybe Orochimaru wanted to study Deidara's Kekkei Genkai, or maybe his Kinjutsu, and was trying to get to his head like this?
He sat in the dark for what felt like another hour, mulling over what he'd seen. Then the sky lightened again. This time, there was a somewhat linear feel to it all, but the plot, if it could be called that, was more like a dream than anything else. It was still fuzzy, and it made his head hurt a little, but it was there. Something about Kisame being a shark, catching a unicorn that looked and acted like Hidan, and Kakuzu was a princess in a tower… Deidara himself was even there, as a constantly-angry fairy only a few inches tall and frequently using his magic to make things explode rather than turn into flowers or something ridiculous like all the other fairies. There was less emotion behind these scenes, less images as well, and what little emotion there was happened to be mostly either amusement or bemusement.
The 'story' ended abruptly, ending what little there was that would have tied up the plot of the show, and the entire… plane? Room? Whatever it was, it shook horrendously, enough to make him fall to the ground, seeing as he couldn't access his chakra for some reason.
Deidara cursed as a large amount of pain suddenly came to him. It was detached, though. It didn't hurt, it just felt like it should, and for some reason, he knew exactly how much it would hurt had he actually felt it.
He suddenly felt things, heard things, smelt things, tasted them. They were like the pain. Detached, as if his body knew that these weren't his own sensations, but felt it anyways. Maybe this was what mind-reading would be like… If it was, he wasn't sure he liked it. It was strange. It was too much.
He sat down and closed his eyes, entering what could probably be considered a meditative position. No way would he try going through whatever was coming while standing. The weird scenes had been enough of a sensory load, and this, from what he could feel, could quickly become sensory overload. It was still fuzzy, but quickly and steadily getting clearer.
He could hear things… birds chirped somewhere to his left, though nothing existed there, while the shuffling noises of something large came from his right. He could smell something a little floral, along with some wood smoke, and maybe some sweat. There was a sensation of lying down covered in thin blankets, in a humid and warm atmosphere. It wreaked havoc on his sense of balance enough that he was grateful for having sat down; he definitely would have fallen over if he'd tried to 'feel' while standing up, or at least stumbled into a wall. There was a taste of morning mouth, ugh, along with something that may have been the taste of dango consumed a number of hours earlier.
There was also the feel of a chakra system, but it was weaker than his. Finer control, certainly, he could feel that, but much weaker.
He felt eyes sliding open, looking around with murky vision; it was probably a part of the fuzz factor again. He was sure it would clear up soon. He felt himself, or whoever he 'was,' looking around, and there was a sense of resignation, of tiredness, of pain, of irritation that all washed over Deidara at the same time. Several flashes of the earlier dream appeared as back-thoughts, bringing a tiny sliver of amusement, but they were quickly shoved away. The eyes kept looking straight out, and Deidara felt the body that he was… inhabiting sit up, gracefully sliding the blankets away.
The body certainly was graceful, more graceful than Deidara's. Still, there was a sense of weakness that suffused it, particularly in the torso, where the pain mostly resided. The strength itself wasn't much higher or lower than his own, but the body itself seemed far more… brittle.
Deidara was, to put it simply, feeling a little overwhelmed. With every feeling, every sight, there was a connected emotion, or the impression of a word or a hazy glimpse of a memory that flashed for a fraction of a second and disappeared. There was also the disorienting effect of having no control, which was even worse than the one time he'd asked Sasori what people felt when a puppet master took control of them.
There was barely any room for his own thoughts. He tried to distance himself from what he was seeing and feeling, but it didn't work. He opened his eyes, hoping that an alternate input would drive out what he was seeing. It just made things worse, and all he got was an eyeful of several dilapidated houses before he shut his eyes again. He let himself go, telling himself that it would be easier if he just accepted the information and thought about it later, when the darkness came again.
Everything that just happened, everything after the abrupt end of the dream, for that is what it must have been, had taken place in no more than five seconds.
He felt 'his' hands moving, rubbing away sleep from the eyes. They grew no less fuzzy, looking to the ground, half-closed, while getting out of the bed. The hands were, from what Deidara could catch from watching, pale and had painted nails; it was too smudged for him to be able to tell what color it was, just that it was dark. The body was slimmer than his own, probably taller…
The body stood up, walking towards a fuzzy rectangle, probably the door. The view didn't change the way Deidara had expected it to. He'd thought that this person might just be nearsighted, but it seemed that they just had bad eyesight at all distances.
He tried very hard to ignore what happened next, feeling extremely uncomfortable. Oh well, at least there was no need to be jealous. The difference in size was negli—no! Don't look! Ignore it, Deidara, ignore! That is none of your business!
In any case, whoever it was finished with their morning business, the teeth brushing, hair brushing—nice long and black, but somehow better cared for than Deidara could imagine with Orochimaru—and face washing. The person, whoever they were, had spoken not a word the whole time. There was, at most, some exasperated sighs.
The thoughts were oddly subdued as well, it was probably just the monotony of the morning routine, because most of the thoughts that Deidara 'felt' were of a faded nature, regarding fairly mundane things. The thoughts had eventually just settled into the main thought train of a song that had often been on the radio recently, and side thoughts regarding the motions of the body and the feelings from the hands, which were slim and rather feminine, and the scents and more were flittering in and out, dismissed as inconsequential. There was a distinct lack of worded thoughts, something that made the thoughts being thrust into his head both harder and easier for Deidara to understand. Harder, because he had a harder time classifying them in their own twisted way. Easier, because the thoughts weren't 'bound by mere words' or some claptrap, and so were easier to understand in their entirety.
It would have made his head hurt, if it weren't for the fact that he was fairly certain he didn't have an actual head, just a mental representation of one and… okay, that was confusing too.
The body sighed, walking out of the room, and down what appeared to be a hall in an inn, though the bad vision kept Deidara from being certain.
Kisame… the one word flashed through his head, along with some colors, light blue, black, red, white bandages. A mocking chuckle, irritation at being teased, but a sense of friendship and affection, subdued. Fatigue, a late night? Something about a fire…
A hand reached up, knocked on the door. 109… the number on the door, 107… the number on the door they'd left, with a vague sense of recognition and a feeling that meant the numbers would be dismissed as useless soon.
Impatience, quickly stamped down, replaced with a meditative calm. Eyes closed, giving Deidara respite, but they opened less than a second later with a burst of chakra that he didn't recognize, directed right towards the eyes.
Deidara didn't have enough time to think, but if he had, he'd be panicking right now at the conclusion he would have come to.
The eyes, when they opened, could suddenly see clearly, too clearly. Every tiny indent in the wood of the door stood out, and there was even a large smudge on the door, bright blue, very bright. It got larger, probably closer, and the door opened.
Kisame stood there, and the body was looking up at him. He was grinning, while the body wasn't showing emotion, the back-thoughts indicating something about how not feeling a need to show emotion.
"Hey, Itachi. You ready to go? I need a few more minutes."
"Hn. We will be leaving at seven."
No one heard Deidara's scream.
A/N: I decided to finally post all the stories that I've been considering writing but have never gotten around to. Which one I continue quickest will be a determined by both my own interest in the story, and the number (and QUALITY) of reviews. The chance of one of these stories dying isn't high, but they will definitely be slow, so if you really want to see one continued, leave a review, one more than just a line or two long. The other story so far that I've posted that falls under this labeling is A Child's Fantasy.
Ooh, what did Orochimaru do? Was it even on purpose?
Well, I'll say right now that Oro-chan didn't achieve his objective. I won't say anything else.