Some Things Never Change
Sasori returned shortly, just as he'd promised, but he paid me no mind as I glared angrily from the windowsill where I sat. He slumped into a chair that had been tucked neatly under a narrow wooden desk, pulling out a scroll from one of its drawers. I didn't even bother to ask what he was up to, I probably wouldn't care.
In truth, I had calmed down considerably, and was now much more composed than before. Enough to at least think clearly. I turned my head to stare out the window miserably, watching with mild fascination as the raindrops dribbled down the glass. There wasn't much of a view, not that it would have mattered, it's not like I was familiar with this land even if I tried to escape.
A rhythmic knock in a strange, almost comical pattern broke me out of my thoughts, and I peered at the door curiously as though daring it to open.
'Knock, knock!' It did open, almost swung off its hinges to be precise. A man I did not recognise, with long dirty blonde hair and a fringe like a curtain that obscured his left eye, strolled in casually, as though he hadn't a care in the world. 'Hey, Sasori no Danna!'
Sasori glanced up from the scroll he was scribbling on to raise an unimpressed eyebrow. 'Why do you even bother knocking if you're just going to waltz right in?' He muttered, turning back to his desk and trying to ignore him.
The blonde didn't seem too offended as he leaned obnoxiously over the redheads shoulder. 'What's that, yeah?'
'What for, hm?'
'Again? Come on, Danna, live a little. Let's wing it!'
Sasori let out a sharp breath, slamming his pen flat on the wooden surface and turning 180 degrees to face the intruder. 'Deidara. What do you want?'
'Aw don't be like that, man. I'm just bored, yeah.' I frowned lightly at the strange speech impediment. Or maybe it was just a habit?
'Well go bother someone else. I'm busy.' Sasori grumbled, reaching up to rub his temples at the blonde's persistence.
Deidara pouted. 'There isn't anyone else to bother, yeah…'
Was I that invisible? I let out a small chuckle at his obliviousness, unable to hold it in. Their eyes suddenly snapped to mine, and I bit my lip in regret for giving my position away.
I swallowed loudly as I watched the blonde's surprised look change to a sly grin. 'So this is the girl, huh?' He elbowed Sasori lightly in the ribs, missing the slight grimace the ticklish redhead was unable to fully hide.
'Don't you have supervision duties to be getting on with?'
'Now, now, don't be a stick in the mud, Danna, I'm just curious is all, hm…' He smirked, starting to head in my direction.
I subconsciously tucked my knees further into my chest as he approached, my eyes never leaving his one blue eye as I stared suspiciously.
He stopped a few meters away, chuckling at my expression. 'Poor girl is scared to death, what've you been doing to her, Sasori, hm? Here.' He offered me a hand, which I frowned at. What was his game?
Reluctantly, I shifted forward so my legs hung off the edge of the windowsill, glancing at Sasori nervously. He was watching the exchange through guarded eyes, but he didn't offer any encouragement or warning.
My stubborn nature taking over and acting on instinct, I hissed, 'for the record, blondie, I am not scared. I'm pissed off.' I pushed past his open hand and made to stand beside the desk, subconsciously and irrationally feeling safer around the redhead than the blonde.
To my surprise, Deidara laughed out loud. 'Well, my apologies, yeah. I'll be sure to make a note of that in the future.' He finished with a grin, switching his gaze to Sasori. 'So, has she healed you yet, hm?'
'What?' I frowned again, throwing him a weird look.
Sasori sighed and ran a hand through his hair, standing up from his desk and moving to slump into a couch I hadn't noticed. 'You're such a brat.'
'Oh~, so you haven't told her?' Deidara's grin widened, clearly thoroughly enjoying himself in his game of drive-Sasori-insane, which, I had to admit, I too would have been enjoying had I not been so confused.
'What is he talking about?' I demanded, rounding on the puppet-master as he rolled his eyes at my tone.
'Cats out of the bag now, buddy!' The blonde practically skipped over to sit in a couch opposite Sasori's. I took a moment to actually observe my surroundings while Sasori scolded him for using such a ridiculously insulting term such as 'buddy'. The room was quite square, with a desk and long window covering one side of the room where my window seat was, while the other held two small couches, an arm chair and a short table in the centre. Other than that, it was fairly bland. I did, however, notice another door in the corner by the desk. If I had to guess, I'd peg that as the bedroom, since I figured this was one of the base's dormitories.
'Come on, Danna, may as well show her now, yeah.'
'Show me what?' I huffed, gaining their attention again.
Sasori scowled equally at us both, clearly extremely irritated that his comrade and his prisoner were ganging up on him. And yes, I said it. That was technically true, I was being held here against my will by his order, the very definition of a prisoner.
'You two will be the death of me…' He grumbled as he shifted on the couch, lifting the hem of his shirt up to reveal his stomach.
Unable to hide my surprise, my mouth felt open slightly and my eyebrows raised. I certainly hadn't noticed that when I had mentally scanned him for injuries earlier. But what shocked me more was that he had managed to mask the pain so easily. That had to be bothersome in the very least.
'When did you get that...?' I asked, though I wasn't sure I'd like the answer.
Apparently Sasori thought so too, since he ignored the question. 'The wound itself wasn't that deep, but as you can see it seems to have become infected.'
I stared for a moment, my fingers twitching as the medic in me longed to take over, but I was no longer tied to this warrior, and he was no longer who I thought he was. Deciding to be smug about it, I let out a humourless breath. 'I'll bet you cleaned that yourself, didn't you?'
He glowered at me and dropped his shirt back down. 'Yes actually, I did.'
'Some things never change…' I tilted my head and smiled as sweetly and sarcastically as I could. 'Well I do hope you've learned a valuable lesson from that.'
Deidara chuckled at his comrade's sour expression. 'Wow she really has you figured out, doesn't she, hm?' He turned to me then, his laugh subsiding as he asked, 'So, are you gonna heal him?'
'On what, yeah?'
I pursed my lips, thinking for a moment. 'I have two conditions.'
Sasori raised an eyebrow in half amusement, half surprise. 'Do tell.'
'Firstly, I want you to bring my sister to me and I want her to stay by my side from now on.'
He nodded, clearly having seen that one coming and apparently opting not to comment on the fact that that itself had been two requests.
'And secondly,' I paused to glance around the room. 'I want a room for Mina and myself. Preferably with a lock…'
The pair exchanged a weird look, as though internally debating something extremely unnatural, but after a moment Sasori sighed. 'I'll see what I can do…'
I started to complain about the vague response but Deidara grinned and slapped me hard on the back, shoving me forward a few steps and startling me. 'Wonderful! Now that's all settled you can get to work, yeah.'
I managed a small growl before making my way over to the couch where Sasori was perched. 'Lean back, let me see.'
He hesitated, but after a warning glare that I like to think was mildly threatening, he complied, lifting his shirt again just enough to reveal the wound.
I didn't bother to hide my grimace as I prodded experimentally at the blackened edges and not missing the way Sasori shrunk back slightly from the pain. The actual gash itself had closed up, leaving an ugly jagged line much paler than the rest of his skin, surrounded by angry blue and black blotches that, to the untrained eye, may have been mistaken for bruises. It looked to be a few weeks old, and he was lucky that the infection hadn't spread further throughout his body.
'Well?' Deidara questioned when I sat back.
'There's not much to tell. It's clearly become infected from poor medical treatment…' I glared momentarily at the redhead who threw me a withering look. 'But it's easily fixed. Why didn't you get this seen to before? By one of your own medics?'
'Because they're all incompetent.'
'Yeah, and they're also dead.' The blonde finished for him and I frowned at his bluntness, but didn't dare to ask what happened to them.
'Alright then. Sit still.' I muttered, despite the fact that Sasori had barely moved an inch since my examination had begun.
I made the relevant hand signs quickly and felt the familiar flutter of my healing chakra flare around my palms, glowing bright jade as I pressed them against his gut. We sat in silence while I healed, but I was painfully aware of Deidara watching observantly from his seat on the opposite couch.
It only took about ten minutes, but as my palms flickered out and I made to lean back, I faltered. I still had plenty of chakra left should I chose to follow up my work with my soothing bubble technique, but did I want to grant him that privilege? In theory, it could be classed as further relevant healing since my jutsu moistened the affected area, which was beneficial for healed infections. But he certainly didn't deserve it…
So why was I so tempted?
He seemed to sense my deliberation and made the decision promptly for me, tugging his shirt back down and standing up.
'Right. I guess I'll go get your sister then.' He mumbled, heading for the door. 'Come on, brat. You have work to do.'
'See you round, erm…'
'See you round, Emiko, hm!' The blonde threw me a friendly grin as he left and I waved a hand half-heartedly in return.
He was a strange character alright. Too laid-back and teasing to be considered a true warrior, in my opinion. Then again, there was nothing wrong with having a personality and a sense of humour. In all honesty, it was a breath of fresh air to meet someone like him in a place like this. The enemy camp.
I groaned and flopped back into the couch cushions, wishing with all my might that they would just open up and swallow me, never to be seen again. What have I gotten myself into?