Two weeks after living with Itachi, Kisame hated to admit it, but he found himself frustrated by the boy's lack of communication. Just being around the Uchiha was uncomfortable, and he was never sure if the boy was actually all right. He didn't seem upset, but he didn't seem happy, either. Occasionally, he would smile, or laugh in a silent, almost deformed sort of way, but most of the time he kept a calm, emotionless expression on his face.

Rather than taking a direct route and forcing the words out of Itachi, he called Hidan into his office during one of the store's usual slow times. When the albino initially walked in, he was paler than normal, and fidgeting like crazy. "Look, if this is because I swore at that old lady, I swear, she fucking deserved it," Hidan spewed out before Kisame could even talk.

"...What?"

"Oh. Uhm. Nevermind."

Kisame shook his head, trying his best to ignore what he had just heard. Ignorance is bliss, he kept telling himself. Especially when it came to Hidan. "This doesn't have to do with work," he began, noticing immediately that his words only seemed to be making Hidan more anxious. "It's about Itachi, okay?"

Hidan blinked once, then twice. "What the fuck about him?" the albino said with a raised brow. "The kids not that damn exciting, you know."

"He's driving me out of my mind," Kisame said as carefully as he could. The last thing he needed to do was have his only shot at getting close to the Uchiha pissed at him. "It's not that he's a bad kid, he just—"

Hidan rose a hand, signaling for his manager to stop. "It creeps you the fuck out that he doesn't talk, yeah?"

"It's not that it—"

"It's a yes or no question, dumbass."

"...Yeah, I guess," Kisame stammered, already feeling his face begin to burn from embarrassment. "I wanted to know if you knew anything about him."

Hidan shrugged. "How would I know, if he never fucking talks?" he inquired.

Kisame shot him a flat look. "I never asked if he told you. After all, I know you have a hard time minding your own business."

Damn, his boss had him there.

"Well, you at least know that we're all foster kids, right?"

Kisame nodded. "That's what I've been told," he said in reply.

"In Itachi's case, that explains most of it."

"How so?" the blue skinned man asked, raising a brow at Hidan's statement.

The albino shrugged. "His parents beat the shit out of him. Perfectionist assholes, if you ask me. It must have triggered something, and got him messed the fuck up."

"How is it that you're doing perfectly fine, but Itachi is still struggling horrendously, then?"

Hidan shrugged. "Itachi and I aren't the same fucking person. And just because my problems aren't as obvious doesn't mean they aren't there, dumbass," he muttered, smirking at the blue skinned man.

For a brief moment, Kisame saw something in the younger man's eyes. It wasn't a hint of depression, it was...insanity. He seemed crazed, almost...possessed. There was more to him that the foul, loudmouthed brat that made coffee for eight hours a day. Obviously, there was an issue. He assumed that Kakuzu had no idea, since the man couldn't give less of a shit if he tried. Often, Kisame was the most observant out of his friends. Kakuzu didn't care enough to observe, while Sasori struggled to interact with other human beings, so if he noticed anything, he didn't know what to do.

"What do I do?"

"Fucking...what?"

"How do I help him?" Kisame asked softly. "He must be driving himself insane, and I don't know how he can bear it," the blue skinned man murmured. Itachi was quiet, and sometimes emotional, but most of the time he looked nothing short of dead. He knew whatever was going on in the Uchiha's mind had to have been enough to turn him off to everything around him, and practically kill him for brief periods of time.

"Whatever you do, don't force him. Any fucking moron could tell you he hates that," Hidan suggested with a shrug. "I guarantee you, if you force him, the bastard will fucking relapse before you can even think about stopping him."

"But how—"

"Treat him like a Jashin damned normal human being," Hidan spat. How did these people never get it? Itachi didn't want to be treated any differently than any other average human. He wanted to be normal, and forget about why he was so fucked up. Kisame didn't need his knowledge of Itachi's past for that. "I'd tell you more about Itachi, but that's his fucking job. I'm not making shit easier for him."

"You're insane, you know that, right?"

At the comment, Hidan couldn't help but beam. "That's what I've been told almost every day for the past two years," he retorted, getting up from his seat as he spoke. "I'd love to chat more, but I have to get back to my fucking job."

"Hidan?"

"What, asshole?"

"Thank you."

OOOOOOOOOO

A few hours later, Hidan held a blade against his wrist, and sighed. If Kisame saw him come into work with fresh marks, he'd get pissed beyond belief. "Fucker," the albino muttered to himself, before moving the blade so that it rested right below his collarbone. After years of doing this, he didn't even think twice before digging it into his skin and pulling down so that it created a substantial wound. Automatically, he inhaled sharply, and his body tried to make him cry out from the substantial amount of pain it had just suffered. Instead of allowing the noise to slip through his lips, Hidan turned it into a twisted, almost deformed laugh. He needed to be joyful about his gift to Jashin, and not show the true pain he was feeling.

What use did Jashin have for an unwilling servant? Hidan shuddered at the pain, and leaned forward so that the blood trickled quickly from the fresh wound. He held a hand out to catch any stray drops before they hit the carpet; the last thing he needed was Kakuzu yelling at him for messing up the carpet. Again.

How was it that he cut himself like this without any sort of depression, or even remotely negative thoughts? He sliced his skin open, and let himself bleed out, and watched happily. Meanwhile, Deidara was probably doing the same thing, but trying to kill himself. Why did things work out so cruelly?

Hidan made another cut on his torso, this time, digging the blade a little bit deeper. This one was for Deidara. Perhaps, if he made an extra offering to Jashin, the blond's life would get somewhat better. But, even as he watched his blood spring out of the wound, he practically knew it wouldn't make any difference. Deidara was too damaged, and not even this deity could help him.

The albino wiped the blade off on his pants, and slipped it back into his pocket. By now, he knew better than to hide blades in his room. Most morons would check every nook and cranny before even laying a hand on Hidan to search him.

When he finally managed to dull the bleeding, Hidan slipped his jacket back on, zipped it up, and casually exited his room.

"Oi, fucker."

"What is it, Hidan?" Kakuzu grumbled, looking up from a stack of paperwork. "...Why is your jacket zipped up?"

"I'm cold, dumbass."

"...Right."

"How was work?"

"Not quite finished, obviously," the miser replied, motioning to the papers on the table. "Employee evaluations. I could hang myself."

"Sound fucking stupid."

"...Do you want something, Hidan?"

The albino shrugged. "I'm not sure. Have you talked to Sasori lately?"

"Obviously."

Hidan sneered at the reply. "Jashin, I was just trying to be fucking nice, okay?"

"I'll repeat myself: do you want something, Hidan?"

"Have you heard anything about Deidara?"

Kakuzu blinked once, then twice. "Nothing significant. Why?"

"I was just wondering if maybe he tried to...I don't know..."

"Kill himself?"

Hidan's eyes widened, and it took a moment for him to even process the words. "Yeah. Something like that."

The miser sighed, and put down his paperwork. "Look, Hidan. You probably don't want to hear this, but you should probably worry about yourself first. Sasori has him under control."

"I'm perfectly fucking fine."

"I'd beg to differ."

"...What?"

Kakuzu stood up, and approached the younger man. In one swift move, he had Hidan's jacket unzipped, revealing the two cuts on his chest. "You know I don't give a fuck if you cut yourself. It's almost ninety degrees out. You put it on so that I wouldn't see them, because you went too deep this time." When Hidan said nothing, the miser knew he was right. "For fuck's sake, Hidan, pull yourself together."

"I'm fucking fine," Hidan growled, narrowing his eyes at his guardian. He wasn't depressed, he was just doing this for religious purposes.

"Just because you don't want to kill yourself doesn't mean that you're fine, you idiot!" Kakuzu snapped, pushing the boy back enough to make him stumble and crash to the ground. Even then, he didn't stop speaking. "You're losing control again, Hidan. And I don't want to find you dead because you did something stupid."

OOOOOOOOOOOOO

Deidara sat on the couch, thinking to himself with a blank piece of paper in front of him. He had eaten cereal and fruit for breakfast. Damnit, it had been so long since he had counted calories, that all the numbers were beginning to slip from him. Cursing to himself, he jotted down what he thought was the correct amount of calories for each item. Since he was unsure, he leaned more towards putting down too many calories than too few. That way, he wouldn't gain any unwanted weight.

Easier said than done with Sasori constantly breathing down his neck. The only reason he was able to make his list was because the redhead was at work. Before the older man got home, Deidara would have to hide this somewhere in his room. Usually, Sasori didn't go in there...or at least that's what he was supposed to think. Especially since he was in charge of keeping the blond "healthy", he couldn't be too cautious.

Not a moment after he had tucked the slip of paper away into his suitcase, Deidara heard the front door open. Was Sasori home already? A quick glance at his clock confirmed that it was far after five o clock, and that the redhead had been out of work for a while. As casually as he could, Deidara made his way out of his room and smiled at him. "How was work, un?"

"Uneventful."

"Oh, un."

"Did you do anything today?"

"I drew, un."

Sasori nodded once, and made his way into the kitchen. "May I see?"

At this, the blond froze. "Uhm..."

"It's okay, you don't have to show me. What would you like for dinner?" the redhead then asked,

Deidara looked at his guardian. "Honestly? Nothing, un." By now, he figured there was no point in lying to Sasori. If the man wanted to see how broken he was, then by all means, let him see.

At this, Sasori sighed. He should have expected that much. "You know you have to eat, Deidara."

"I'd rather shoot myself."

"Don't joke about that."

"I'm not joking, un."

"Dei—"

"If you're going to lecture me about my attitude, don't fucking bother, un," the blond grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest with a heavy sigh.

Sasori blinked a few times, then took a deep breath. There was no point in yelling at him. No point in lecturing him. The redhead practically found himself at a loss for what to do. So, he decided to try another method.

"Come here."

"...What, un?" Deidara blurted out, completely caught off guard .Was Sasori going to hit him? Immediately, he pushed the thought out of his head. He felt guilty for even thinking that the redhead would do something like that. Mostly out of guilt, he stepped towards his guardian, continuing to move closer until they were only a foot or two apart. "What is it?"

Wordlessly, Sasori shifted his weight and wrapped his arms around the blond. He approached him gently, knowing very well that his touch could set the boy off. Thankfully, though, Deidara seemed too shocked to do anything.

Instead of speaking, the redhead focused on the fact that he could feel every single one of Deidara's bones through the shirt he was wearing. Wordlessly, they stood across from each other, while Sasori counted his ribs. "Deidara."

"What, un?" said boy repeated, softer than ever. He didn't know what to do. His mind was beginning to panic, and his body refused to do anything. Why was Sasori touching him? He didn't like it. His body was too disgusting to be touched...to be comforted, even. He wanted to die, right then and there. Sasori's fingers brushed against his ribs, and then his spine, and there was nothing he could do about it. If he pushed Sasori away, the redhead would get angry. Rightfully so, too. So, the blond settled on standing there, frozen like a deer in headlights, hoping for the display of affection to stop.

Sasori sighed heavily, his breath tickling the younger boy's neck. Deidara, unaccustomed to the sudden warmth, shuddered.

"I think you're beautiful," the redhead murmured. The words were dangerous; he knew they were. They could help, or they could trigger. Right now, he was hoping for the best. He hoped that what he had done wouldn't worsen the boy's condition. He just wanted to help ease the burden that this boy was carrying on his shoulders.

He moved his head back, forcing himself to look at Deidara's single eye. It was wide, shocked, and beginning to tear up. The blond opened his mouth to talk, but said nothing. Instead of words, a weak sob made its way through his lips.

"Deidara, are you—"

"I'm fine, un," the blond choked out. "Thank you, un," he murmured, avoiding eye contact with Sasori. Shit, this was bad. He didn't want to lose it now, especially not in front of the redhead. Too many thoughts were going through his head, and he didn't know how to handle any of them. He needed to get out of this situation. More importantly, he needed to be alone.

"Deidara?"

"Thank you, un," he whispered again, disappearing into his room before Sasori had a chance to say anything else.

When he realized that the boy wasn't going to come out, the redhead shook his head and threw together a small dinner. He made up two plates, and put one into the refrigerator in case Deidara wanted some later. Already, he knew that he was going to end up throwing the food away.

A few hours later, the redhead passed by Deidara's door as casually as he could, mortified by the idea of the younger man opening the door as he was eavesdropping on him. The lights inside of the room were off, but he knew that the blond wasn't asleep. He strained to hear any sort of noise beyond the door, but as his ears got used to searching for such low frequencies, he could feel his stomach begin to sink.

From inside of the room, Sasori heard the blond sobbing himself to sleep. He rose his hand to knock on the door, but let it fall back to his side instead. Talking to him now would only make it worse. After all, it had been his words that had set Deidara off in the first place.

With a heavy sigh, the redhead made his way into his own room. He would have to wait until the morning to talk to him.