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Room 89

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There’s a certain art to being able to look into someone’s face and tell them exactly how they’re going to die. The time. Method. Place. Perhaps, if they’re very lucky, even the person.

Sasori looks at Deidara and knows he will die young.
(he also hates him on first sight, but deidara will never possess that information.)

“So you’re my new roommate?”
“Seems like it. Hm.”
“So what do you do?”
“Do? Oh, I’m an artist.”
“What kind of art?”
“Sculpting. Painting. All kinds of art. A little bit of modelling.”
“Yeah, nude. Hm.”
“What about you?”
“I’m a puppeteer.”
“Oh gross.”

(and that is their first full conversation.)

They sit and eat a meal together, cold chicken and couscous salad, and somehow Sasori can’t quite figure out why or how he’d ended up with a teenage delinquent roommate who’d been kicked out of his first high school for deliberately blowing up a chemistry lab.

He looks into Deidara’s eyes and sees youth, nothing but bright burning youth, and suddenly his heart beats a little colder in his chest.

He goes to bed early that night, and refuses to look at Deidara in the morning.




(in retrospect, they didn’t even see each other that often: sasori working long hours with the company, ignoring the rude catcalls of pre-pubescent schoolboys pretending to be older than they were; deidara spending hour upon hour in his studio, calloused fingers working the clay into an owl, or a snake, or perhaps today a giant centipede.)




One day Sasori seizes Deidara’s hand, and inspects the toughened, white broken skin of his palms and the pads of his thumbs.

“You should take better care of these. Buy some lotion or something.”

(and at night, he doesn’t dream about those rough hands running down his sides, cupping his cheek, warm mouth placing kisses across his jawbone, and up into his hairline. he doesn’t wake up in a cold sweat and cry until the sun rises.)

He is thirty five years old, and he doesn’t know what he’s doing with his life.


Deidara comes home one day with a copy of a Monet, and spends the afternoon nailing it above the kitchen table, with hammers and nails stolen from Sasori’s personal collection that had been locked away under his desk. Perhaps he’d blown up the lock in order to get in.

Sasori surveys the work with feigned disinterest, doesn’t say anything about how Impressionist art isn’t his thing, or that now there’s a mess all over the floor, or about how buying art and hanging it up is the first step towards becoming a couple in a personalized little house of their own.

He isn’t sure if Deidara is old enough to realise. It’s the one jarring fact that keeps Sasori away as far as possible.

(sasori surrounds himself with realism. deidara is an impressionist, crammed full of movement and free, broken brush strokes.)


Christmas comes and goes, and soon three unopened bottles of lotion (sandalwood, cinnamon and myrrh) sit on Deidara’s bedside table, while on Sasori’s there is but one addition. A small clay scorpion.


As he lies in bed and surveys the ceiling, he’s faintly aware of a low moaning from the bedroom across from his.
Sasori throws a pillow over his head, and tries to drown out the sound of restless youth.

The next day Deidara has a friend over, who is loud and annoying and introduces himself as Tobi.

“Yeah, so I’m modelling today, and he’s gonna be drawing me nude, so don’t walk into the living room unless you want an eyeful of dick.”
“I’d rather die.”
“Really. You might enjoy it. Ha-ha.”


Eventually, he calls up Itachi, because when all is said and done, Itachi is the best listener.

“I think you need to tell him.”
“I’d rather kill him and myself.”
“I’m aware it’s not conventional, but-”

Sasori waits for the inevitable coughing to cease.

“Not conventional? There’s sixteen years between us, and I’m just trying to be a decent roommate and to put up with the clay he leaves everywhere and his, his pop art, and his wild ideas.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s classed as ‘superflat.’ Anyway, you must have been the same, once.”
“I don’t think so.”


The first time Deidara gets drunk, he crashes the car and stumbles into the apartment at four in the morning, blood running down his left arm and his face a mangled wreck.

(he ended up losing the limb.)

Sasori sits in the hospital bed, looks at the stump, and wonders what Deidara will do with his life once he wakes up.


He gets a prosthetic one soon after, but it will never be the same. Deidara sits in the studio and lets the hot tears fall down his face, because he isn’t at home where Sasori could see him, could start to pity him.

He wonders when he started to care about what Sasori thought.


Sasori is a careful man. Thirty five years of living without one mark against his name. Never drank, never smoked, never went out partying or hung around with those sorts of people. Never let himself feel anything but for his craft, letting emotion run from the tips of his fingers into the doll, letting dolls live for him.

But when Deidara presses a warm mouth against his, breath tainted with alcohol and a thousand different dubious substances, Sasori doesn’t pull away.


The studio blows up a week later. It’s all over the newspapers: Young man dies in freak explosion. Suicide or tragic accident?

Sasori pauses in the doorway of Deidara’s room, scowls at the Cézanne and Monet and Renoir. He locks the door and steps away.

Returning to his room, there is an addition to his desk. An unopened bottle of sandalwood lotion, and a post-it note stuck to the side.

Never liked sandalwood scent. Besides, your hands are as rough as mine.