You said if you could fly, you'd never come back down

You only have eyes for that blue, blue sky.

-Blue Bird

"There's something seriously wrong with Sasori."

Kakuzu looked up from the newspaper he was skimming over (something or other about one noble jumping the other and kissing him during some sort of peace ceremony involving a scroll...) and raised an eyebrow at his pink-eyed partner. "Pray tell, what gave you that idea, Hidan? Was it the amnesia, the sudden sicknesses, walking around outside of that puppet of his, or possibly that elaborate prank involving switching that wind scroll with a love poem?"

Hidan just glared at him. "Not any of that shit, dumbass. Just look at him! Can't you see it?" gesturing out the circular window carved through the stone wall. Kakuzu raised his gaze from the paper and directed it outside. For someone previously so obsessed with spending almost every waking moment cramped in a workshop with all of those puppets, Sasori had been spending an uncharacteristically long time outside. At the moment, he was standing out in the grass at the edge of the hill, gazing upward at the sky.

Deidara could only smile sadly, his eyes belying a certain amusement to them. "It's all my fault."

"And how, if you don't mind me asking, is your guilt-ridden psyche taking the blame for Sasori's incessant cloud-watching?"

"You remember we took that mission to Grass and had to fly on one of my clay birds?" the bomber nin inquired. Kakuzu made a affirmative noise in the back of his throat, recalling the puppeteer's apparent apprehension about climbing onto the back of the bird. If Sasori could help it at all, they'd walk at a snail's pace wherever they went, never trusting any of his eccentric partner's clay creations of so called abominations of art. "Yeah, well," he heard Deidara begin a bit awkwardly, before a grin tugged at the corners of his mouth.

"I dropped him."

Sasori's pale amethyst ideas reveled in the crisp, never-ending blue sky, unobscured by buildings or telephone poles or electric cables and planes. Clouds of the purest white streaking across the expansive blue, untainted by toxic smog. The cool, fresh air brushed past him, tickling the thick carpet of grass under him as it rushed into his lungs. He couldn't get enough of it. It was purely intoxicating, just breathing. The only sounds were of the wind tussling through his crimson hair, the birds and not far off, the river could be heard sloshing against its sandy banks. It felt as though he hadn't been living before so much as just merely existing, as if he wasn't breathing so much as just taking in enough oxygen to get by before letting it out in a miserable, weak puff.

There was only one thing missing. Sasori closed his eyes and allowed himself to drop back onto the grass, momentarily relishing the tiniest rush of adrenaline as his body fell his meger height and landed with a muffled thud on the grass. He took a deep breath, recalling the tingling sensation that shot across his skin, the cold rush of air around his entire being, the feeling of pure weightlessness as he fell, plummeted, flew towards the earth. It caused him to shudder softly, His eyes fluttered open softly only to catch the gaze of the blonde nin standing, leaning over him, pools of sapphire locking with amethyst. No, that wasn't right. Deidara's eyes weren't sapphiire. No mere rock could match the color that reflected back at him. Blue bird. That was all he could think of, staring into those eyes that were only rivaled by the sky itself.

"Sasori no Danna."

"Brat." he acknowledged. Normally Deidara would have been aggravated by title bestowed on him by his senior partner, which would then lead to another fight about whose art was better or the bomber nin's maturity, but as of late, it had turned into one akin to endearment. He smirked, walking around his red haired partner and sitting down on the grass next to him.

"How are you feeling, un?" the blonde asked, turning his gaze back to Sasori. He watched as the boy's expression turned thoughful for a moment, eyes upward, unfocused on a particular spot.

"Alive." he turned his head towards his partner, smirking. It wasn't an arrogant one, but more of a content, amused one.

Deidara nodded, leaning back in the grass and crossing his arms behind his head. After a few minutes of quiet, he managed to work up the nerve to ask. "Danna, un?"

"Yeah, Dei?"

"Are you... still mad at me?"

"Why would I be mad at you?"

"I dunno," he shrugged. "I figured maybe dropping you off of the bird might have done it." Deidara couldn't help but cringe inwardly as the utterly peaceful look left his partner's face, replaced with something he couldn't quiet read.

"About that..."

Deidara felt his heart skip a beat, wondering what sort of punishment was floating around in the puppeteer's head. Probably something involving eviceration. He swallowed the nervous lump that has formed in this throat before answering. "Yeah. Sasori no Danna?"

"Can we do that again?"

Deidara sat up, staring incredulously at the redhead lying on the grass next to him. All he could really do was open his mouth a bit, but his brain hadn't supplied anything to come out of it.

"That is," Sasori started, turning and looking him in the eyes, a serious look on his face, "if you promise to catch me again."

After another moment of incredulous staring, the blonde's face lit up with a wreckless grin, the kind he tended to get when he was about to do something stupid, dangerous or both. "Promise. Only question is when you're up for another ride?" A hint of a grin tugged at the corner of Sasori's lips, a mischievious glint in his eyes.

"Now good for you?"

"Hmph, you are always so impatient, un."

Akasuna no Sasori gave a lazy shrug. "I simply don't see the point in waiting longer than I have to."

Author's Note: I am aware Sasori is out of character. This is because this is part of a much longer series I have yet to post, "Tsukekae", and he goes through quite a bit of character development/torture by this point in the story. This particular chapter would be placed probably well over twenty chapters into the story. If and when I ever get around to posting the rest of the series, I may combine this chapter into it, or possibly leave it as a stand-alone extra. Advice and constructive criticism are welcome.