DeidaraxHinata serious. An outcast Hyuuga tries desperately to become stronger. A bored missing nin is undercover as a painter. Sometimes only an artist can see the true beauty hidden in the portrait.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto
Imperfect Portraits: Prologue: Of Snow and Sorrow
The wind screamed as it whipped snow violently against anyone stupid enough to be outside in the blizzard. Deidara pulled his coat more tightly around him as he trudged down the street, reminding himself that he had survived worse weather than this. He debated the risk of using his mechanical eye, currently covered by a long fringe of hair. The snow had dyed the town completely white and made it impossible to see anything more than a foot away. It was unlikely that anyone would see him. Still...if Sasori found out he'd never hear the end of it. Deidara sighed, sending a cloud of vapour out that was quickly snatched away by the wind. He hated undercover missions.
He paused at a narrow alleyway, sheltered by the two towering buildings on either side and reasonably free of snow, as the wind got worse, debating whether to camp out there until it let up some. As a particularly strong gust sent a wad of snow flying in his face, he made up his mind and quickly ducked into the alley. Shivering slightly, he shook his head in an attempt to shake the snow off, remembering why he didn't like the Snow Country. As he was returning the hair (unbound for once, since ponytails and wet hair did not go together), he noticed a dark, huddled shape just a few feet from his boots.
Squatting beside the figure, Deidara could tell by the way the shoulders were shaking that he or she was crying. He hesitated - he hadn't the faintest idea how to comfort someone - but not even he was heartless enough to leave a child, since the figure was about the size of a fourteen year old, there. Reaching one hand out hesitantly, he brushed some of the smooth, raven-black hair from a pale, noticably feminine face.
"Hey," he half-whispered, just loud enough to be heard over the wind, trying to get her (for she was a girl) attention. "Why are you crying?"
He thought for a minute that she hadn't heard him, and was almost about to try again before giving up, when she slowly lifted white, tear-filled eyes to his. Recognition flashed briefly across her face, confusing Deidara, who had never seen the girl before in his life.
"N-Naruto..." she whispered, and he could barely hear her over the wind, before lurching forward and collapsing into his arms. Deidara, startled, forced himself not to flinch away as he tried to figure out what to do. He knew enough about the major bloodlines of the Hidden Countries to recognize the girl's eye colour. She was no doubt a shinobi - and almost certainly an enemy - and if he was smart he would have left before she came to her senses. Judging by the purple tint to her lips and the unfocused look of her eyes in the brief moment they made eye contact, however, he doubted she would survive long enough to come to her senses left here. Which left him in a situation, since (conrary to popular belief) the idea of leaving a girl to die didn't sit right with him. Besides, right now he was supposed to be a civilian. And a civilian would see only a girl in need to help.
He sighed, letting out another cloud of white vapour. Sasori would kill him if he found out what he was about to do. Taking off his jacket, he wrapped it around the girl, trying to keep her body temperature from falling any farther. Then, ignoring the freezing wind biting at his skin, he lifted her up bridal style and set off toward the apartment he'd rented for the mission as fast as he could without drawing suspicion. Not that anybody was likely to see anyway, but Deidara was taking enough risks as it was.