Some nights, Deidara had a hard time slipping into unconsciousness. Usually it was due to sudden inspiration to create a specific type of sculpture (a habit that he hadn’t let go of despite the fact that school regulations forbade it), but other times, there were more serious issues that flew through his mind and kept him up long into the night.
This was one of those nights.
Deidara stared at the ceiling, hands folded behind his head and eyebrows furrowed contemplatively. It had been weeks since his fight with Itachi, and though he’d done a believable job pretending that it had never happened, he still remembered nearly every detail about it. Every last line he’d
screamed uttered and every slight change of expression on Itachi’s face flashed through his mind, forcing him to recall the reason they’d even argued in the first place.
Deep down, he had always been aware of the fact that he admired Itachi’s Sharingan to an extent (he hated the man much, much more than he admired his eyes, though, because Itachi was perfection and that alone was enough reason for Deidara to loathe him) and that he wanted him to look at his art with something other than cold indifference, but he’d always vehemently denied it both to himself and anyone who got too close to the truth.
He grit his teeth, body tensing up at the reminder of the fact that Itachi himself had been the first one to learn about Deidara’s dependence on his recognition. It was embarrassing—no, humiliating—and infuriating and made the blond want to kill the bastard even more for making him confess something like that.
(Maybe this was what Sasori had been talking about all those times he had called Deidara too brash for his own good.)
It was Itachi’s fault, he thought scornfully. It was always Itachi’s fault.
Except deep down, Deidara knew that it went back further than the first time he met the older Akatsuki member.
He remembered a time in his childhood—he was probably about ten or eleven years old—where he had been sitting in his room, staring dejectedly at one of his earliest sculptures, his pride stinging from the recent criticism his work had received.
“It’s not trash,” he’d muttered, eyebrows knit together. “Those idiots don’t know what real art is.”
Deidara’s mouthless hands, much smaller and less practiced at the time, had tightened around the clay spider as his voice took on a more determined tone. “They’re just jealous of my talent. Yeah, that’s right. They have no taste at all.” He had nodded to himself, a steely resolve reflected in bright blue eyes as he looked down at the figure. “Yeah!”
It had been the beginning of the verbal tic he rarely noticed but was still aware existed, as well as a complex that would lurk in the back of his mind despite the confidence he’d gained after leaving the village.
Confidence that had been temporarily destroyed the day he had met Itachi Uchiha.
Deidara’s need for recognition might have started in Iwagakure, but Itachi had been the one to take away his self-respect as an artist.
And he would never forgive that bastard for that.
A sudden sound from outside his window jolted the artist out of his thoughts, but it was so light that he doubted it was anything to think twice about. Deciding that he might as well forget about it and try to get some sleep, he turned over and was about to close his eyes when he heard a second soft tap against the glass.
Well, well, it seemed like he had a nighttime visitor. Who the hell could that be so late at night?
Frowning at the unwanted intrusion, Deidara rolled out of bed and slowly made his way over to the window, careful not to rustle the curtains too much as he stealthily peeked outside.
At first he nearly missed the figure, as their dark coloring blended with the nighttime atmosphere, but there was no mistaking Itachi’s tall frame lurking out on the balcony.
Deidara scowled, blood boiling at the unwanted sight of the man he hated standing right outside his dorm room. The blond had already ignored Itachi’s first attempt at contacting him; what the hell did Itachi want from him? Wasn’t beating the shit out of him enough?
A disgusted noise passed his lips, and Deidara moved away from the window, intent on going to sleep and ignoring the bastard.
That was when a third pebble struck the glass.
That damned prick certainly was persistent, wasn’t he? Deidara let out a long, irritable sigh and ran a hand through golden locks, which were down from their usual half-ponytail. It looked like there was no way out of this confrontation. Itachi was a very patient man (most of the time, he reminded himself), and Deidara definitely didn’t like the idea of listening to taps against his window all night.
Grabbing the uniform shirt he had carelessly discarded earlier off of the floor, he strode over to the sliding glass doors, slipping it over his bare torso. He didn’t bother buttoning it; he had no intention on spending more time than necessary out there.
The moment his feet touched the balcony floor, Deidara looked over at the other man and demanded, “What the hell do you want, Itachi?”
By the time the third pebble had fallen and rolled across the ground for several centimeters before eventually coming to a stop, the very last dredges of his resolve for the night had near slipped through, only lingering by the hold of the fingers of his concern and worry for his ex-comrade. Funny, seeing how though the pair of men had worked together in the same criminal organization for years and were rather familiar with each other’s general behavior, they barely even knew one another, if what had transpired about a month ago was of any evidence. A gentle exhale of breath escaping his lips, that breath curling as a cloud of white as it rose in the air before dispersing in its surroundings. Itachi’s gaze made one final sweep for any signs that denoted that Deidara had awakened and would answer to his call, though as seconds slid past—none came to surface. Itachi’s fingers curled into the palm of his hand then, nails gently scraping against skin as his heart sank. There can only be two likely reasons for the lack of response given, the reasons being that; Deidara had not heard him, or the bomber was simply ignoring him.
The latter seemed the most probable.
Possessing a keen alertness of one’s surroundings was one of the key elements to increasing a ninja’s survival in the world. It simply went without saying that an S-Rank criminal would have to hone this particular trait to the utmost due to the hostile environment that they are immersed in, for even the most minute of details could prove to be vital. Going by the lack of reception that he had received from his previous attempt of striking communication between the two, perhaps Deidara still did not wish to speak to him—not that Itachi blamed him, really. This was not exactly the most welcome of topics that needed to be breached, lest they wished to allow this matter to go unresolved. Raven strands brushing across his cheeks as he shook his head lightly, shoulders lowering slightly in dejection – he really should have heeded the warning signs before that argument had escalated to such a point – Itachi was about to move away from the area when he caught sight of movement behind one of the sliding doors, the gentle reflection of moonlight against the glass obscuring half of Deidara’s face.
“What the hell do you want, Itachi?”
Blinking, somewhat taken aback that Deidara had actually emerged from his room, no, had actually chosen to address him –
in that usual rude fashion of his, but still – any word that he had wished to relay to Deidara had fallen short, the message leaving him before he could even attempt to recapture it. Again, what was he supposed to say? This meeting of theirs could be likened to one shared by two strangers, a concept that did not quite settle well with Itachi, considering its significance. Dark eyes met striking blue, the raven-haired Uchiha’s jaw tightened slightly in determination, deciding to simply push on with his intention of confronting him. He had never exactly been one to give up so easily, as denoted by his endurance with continuous hardships faced following the formulation of the plan to carry out the coup d’état. –And besides, what sort of person would he be if he were to leave this be? It was not like Deidara meant nothing at all to him, though admittedly, the status of their relationship could barely help in backing up this statement.
But above all, despite many things going against him, Itachi really did wish to understand Deidara better, and he really did care.
“I just wish to speak to you,” Itachi finally said, his voice clear. “Please, Deidara?”
A breeze picked up then, carrying with it a chill that ruffled through his dark locks of hair, brushed across his skin. And remarkably enough? The prodigy of the Uchiha clan still had yet to formulate a proper message to give to Deidara, and from the less than friendly countenance that Deidara was depicting, he was not about to make this any easier for Itachi either. Must Deidara insist on being so difficult every single time they so much as spoke to each other? Speaking again, he added;
“I’ll try not to take up too much of your time.”
Finally, Itachi spoke up, his voice floating clearly up to the balcony on which Deidara stood.
At this, Deidara’s eyebrows furrowed, his mouth set into an unhappy line. He wanted to talk? Was this some kind of joke? The two of them hadn’t had a pleasant conversation in the four—or was it five now?—years that they’d known each other. In fact, Deidara had made it a point to avoid the prick as much as possible. So what the hell made Itachi think that he’d want to talk to him now, of all times?
Still, though he had half a mind to go right back to bed, a small part of him was curious about what Itachi had to say.
Then again, if it was going to be anything like the day the pair had fought, Deidara would much rather not hear it at all.
Deidara was silent for a moment, contemplating whether or not he should hear him out. Azure eyes met onyx as a slight breeze blew past him, sending blond hair over his shoulders and onto the sun-kissed skin of his chest. The Sharingan weren’t activated, but just the sight of those loathsome eyes was enough to make Deidara grip the guard rail angrily. He hadn’t forgotten the things Itachi had said just the other month or the way he had blatantly put him down and pointed out all of his flaws. He still remembered every detail of his second humiliating defeat at the Uchiha’s hands, including how he was easily overpowered and effortlessly held in a chokehold against the wall.
Right then and there, the bomber made his decision. Whatever it was Itachi wanted with him now, Deidara wanted no part of it.
Not bothering to wait for a reply, Deidara turned back toward the sliding doors that led into his bedroom. He was going to sleep tonight, and he wasn’t going to let that damned Uchiha waste any more of his time.