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vi. nouns & nonsense.

~


Deidara sleeps like the dead. This is one of the first things that Sasori learns about his new, albeit uninvited and undesired, houseguest.

He is nearly impossible to wake up, which would have been a dire temptation for anyone other than Sasori, who is simply glad for any extra hours of pseudo-peace he can get these days and could care less whether the blonde is merely sleeping like the dead or actually is dead when he sleeps for extended periods of time. His sleep schedule seems to be entirely random as well, something that gives Sasori (whose own sleep schedule is so regular that one could set their clocks by it) a headache just contemplating it. There is no discernible pattern that Sasori can see as to when Deidara goes to bed, when he gets up, or even how long he stays asleep; the only thing that is at all certain is that, regardless of date, time, or place, and where all else fails, his alarm clock will wake him up.

He’s always bleary immediately after waking, unable to walk straight or open his eyes more than a crack or even brush any straggling strands of hair out of his face; this changes only once he’s managed to stumble his way into the bathroom. Once he’s washed his face, he’s energy incarnate once more, as well as a terribly cheerful morning person, even before his first cup of coffee.

Sasori, who is not given to be any more or less cheerful at any particular time of day (due to the fact that he is never cheerful, though at times he is perhaps somewhat less inclined to be ill-tempered), finds this personality quirk grating.

It doesn’t help that Sasori sleeps lightly and fitfully; the slightest noise brings him fully awake, and thanks to a mild case of insomnia (if any sort of insomnia can really be termed ‘mild’), getting back to sleep after he’s disturbed can range from difficult to outright impossible. The fact that more often than not Deidara bangs through the house on his way to his own room, literally hours after Sasori has retired for the night, does not endear him to his host, though for some reason, the redhead has let him stay in spite of this. (Quite possibly it’s because he knows Deidara would likely wind up dead in a gutter somewhere within a week if he didn’t, and it’s not that he particularly cares about the blonde’s fate, but they had a hell of a time hiring someone new after the media circus surrounding Orochimaru's abrupt unemployment, and the library is short-staffed as it is. Besides, he's already trained, and he does more or less decent work when he's not focused on driving Sasori into an early grave.)

The random fits of insomnia are not always a curse, however; Sasori puts his sleeplessness to good use, reading or else indulging in some form of music. Classical is his genre of choice, and it is obvious from the many CD cases he has lining the shelves of one of the bookcases in the den, the one nearest the CD player and the grand piano. While a part of him prefers listening to music, trusting each and every note to hit precisely the way it did the last time he listened to the CD, there’s still something to be said for playing it for himself. He’s played both the piano and the violin since he was a small child, and as regularly as he plays, he is quite good by now, easily concert-level on both if not better, though he does favour the violin just slightly. It’s a small and elegant instrument, producing something much larger and more moving than would be expected, a work of Art in and of itself, and he feels a certain kinship with it for that, admiring the sleek varnished wood and wishing there were a way to make himself into something just as smooth and eternal.

The violin truly is a masterpiece--it's a Stradivarius, the best of the best and outrageously expensive to boot, but the age and the quality of sound and just knowing that he’s holding a piece of True Art in his hands make the thousands he paid for it and the years he had to save to do so more than worthwhile. Cleaning it, playing it, even just looking at it is a joy; oftentimes he thinks it is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.

It is to this physical representation of all that he sees as Art he most often turns when faced with another night of empty, sleepless hours, falling into the arms of Euterpe and letting her music vibrate through him, filling those vacant hours with something lovely, albeit woefully fleeting.

He’s picked a piece by Brahms tonight, a graceful, soothing andante piece that has often helped to calm his mind and generally sends him to bed after just two or three times through it. He carefully cleans the strings of rosin both before and after each of these sessions, wiping any extra rosin dust from the body of the instrument as well long before it can fuse to the vanish and ruin it, checking the tuning pegs to ensure they’ll neither stick nor slip.

When he closes his eyes, he can see the notes in his mind, and for a time he forgets that he’s standing in the middle of the floor in his study, forgets that it is far past his self-appointed bedtime and that his house is a wreck and he’s been shaking with exhaustion all day, and that he hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep for well over a week now. All that matters, all that is, are those notes, each in the same perfect, pristine order that they have been ever since Brahms first wrote them down and thus granted them immortality.

When he thinks back on this night, he never knows quite what to make of what happened next; only he does remember it, he will always remember it, and with the bittersweet sort of clarity that sets especially meaningful moments in eternal crystal that even the many varied ravages of time cannot dislodge from one’s memory.

He’s just finished his first play-through of the piece, just paused to tighten a string minutely, just picked up his bow and begun again when it happens: the sound of piano music comes drifting through the wall Sasori’s study shares with the sitting room. Sasori abruptly stops playing, frowning in surprise when he realises that Deidara must have heard him, must’ve still been up at two in the morning on a weeknight, the thoughtless little horror of a houseguest. An instant later his frown deepens when he realises that Deidara is playing Brahms as well--the accompaniment to the very song he’d been playing moments before.

Still frowning, and without putting down his violin, he slips down the hall, pausing in the sitting room doorway and watching with something that approaches astonishment but is too much like stunned disbelief to be truly flattering as the blonde finishes playing the piece alone.

“Bet you didn’t know I played, hmm?” Deidara says, somehow knowing Sasori’s there even without looking, even though the redhead hadn’t made the slightest of noises. The blonde finishes off Brahms and moves on to a faster, livelier piece—Mozart’s Piano Sonata #8 in A Minor.

Sasori’s silence speaks for him, and after a time the blonde finally turns a brief smile over his shoulder at the redhead, his fingers continuing to dance over the keys.

“I’m surprised you have the patience for it,” Sasori admits after a moment, almost (but not quite) sounding just the tiniest bit contrite.

Deidara’s smile instantly expands into a grin, though he doesn’t turn his head again, focused as he is on the keys before him. “I’m not very good, really,” he confesses amiably, blundering through a few particularly complicated bars of the song even as he says it; he just keeps grinning and plays on, seeming not the slightest bit upset at the fact that he’s hitting more wrong notes than right at the moment, though he makes an admirable recovery once that particular passage is done. “Don’t have the patience to practise all too much, but when you’re as dedicated to live theatre as I am, it helps to know a thing or three about music, yeah.” He finishes the piece with a flourish, rather more Vivacissimamente than it’s meant to be played even if it is Mozart, and turns face Sasori fully, total self-satisfaction radiating from his smile. “Besides, I’m a quick study.” He gestures to the scattered piles of sheet music currently surrounding the piano that were certainly not there a few hours earlier when Sasori straightened the room before he went to bed. “Maybe we could play together sometime, yeah?”

Sasori makes a non-committal noise, his closed stance radiating a clear not in this lifetime OR the next; then, catching the faint but sincerely hopeful expression on the other’s face, he mutters (mostly just to get the brat to stop looking at him like that) a low and unpromising, “Maybe.”

“So why are you up at this hour, danna?” Deidara pulls his feet up onto the piano bench, hugging his knees and looking like nothing so much as a curious puppy.

“Nothing serious,” Sasori says flatly, shifting his grip on the violin to cradle it a little more securely. “I was merely having some difficulty falling asleep. At times musical expression helps to clear my mind somewhat.”

“Huh. Well, if you ever want me to play for you to give you something to listen to while you’re falling asleep, all you have to do is ask.” It’s been a while since the blonde has had any sort of real audience, a fact that is betrayed by the eager note in his words.

The Head Reference Librarian just gives a loud snort and rolls his eyes, pointedly turning to go back to his study and his own music, though if Deidara stays up and keeps banging away at the piano for another three hours as Sasori (correctly) suspects he will, even Brahms will be rendered powerless in the redhead’s fight against insomnia. Honestly, he might as well give up now and use the time to finish reading a collection of Byronic verses he’d picked up at the antique bookstore last week. He only narrowly resists turning back and telling the blonde to put away the sheet music once he’s done, but he knows Deidara will simply make an even bigger mess if he does, and might ruin some of the pages while carelessly stuffing them back into folders and music books, and Sasori isn’t planning on sleeping tonight anyway. He’ll just pick them up himself after his “guest” loses interest in the piano and finds some other way of making his host’s life a living hell.

Deidara grins at Sasori’s back as he disappears back down the hall, grabbing his ankles and idly rocking back and forth on the bench like a small child, even more pleased with himself than before. He’s found an even better way of getting to Sasori, though it’s not entirely spiteful; Sasori might drive him crazy with how incredibly anal and OCD he is about everything, but Deidara likes the flickers of emotion he gets every now and then, and enjoys the out-and-out fights even more. He’s a stuff-shirted old man in what looks like a teenager’s body, a contradiction that still fascinates Deidara somewhat, and although his superior attitude and icy silences are galling at best and almost literally maddening at worst, somehow the blonde can’t help but sort of like him, and he definitely can't leave him alone.

Sasori hasn’t evicted him yet either, Deidara notes, and there has to be a reason behind that. “Just for the night” had somehow stretched into “just for a few days” and then into “just until you find another place of your own, but it had better be soon or I’m kicking you and all of your outlandishly tawdry possessions out into the street regardless”. Like it or not, Deidara has already become something of a permanent fixture at Sasori’s house, a riotous and stubbornly deep-rooted weed disrupting the orderliness of a carefully-tended flower bed. (Sasori hasn’t noticed yet that Deidara has changed his home address to Sasori’s in the library system’s computers, and thus far the former actor has been very good about swiping any letters addressed to him that come through the post before Sasori even knows they exist. But discovery is inevitable, and to be entirely honest, Deidara is actually looking forward it a little—he loves seeing people react to different things, and this reaction promises to be epic.)

With a snicker that is honestly closer to a giggle, Deidara releases his ankles and turns to the nearest pile of sheet music, shifting through it, carelessly tossing pages right and left until almost the entire floor is covered, only then coming up with something he likes. Setting it before him, he pushes up the sleeves of his sweater and starts playing.

It’s a surprisingly soft piece, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27/2, the “Moonlight” excerpt, and the blonde plays it through twice, and both times the music flows, moonlight on water, starlight on sand, surprisingly smooth.

It’s all misdirection though, of course; he brushes aside the sheet music on finishing that second play-through, and the papers haven’t even hit the ground before he’s enthusiastically pounding out the beginning of Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 from memory, glorying in each and every mistake, as well as the fact that the light beneath the door at the end of the hall--the door to Sasori’s room--remains on even after he stumbles towards his own room a few hours later, yelling a sickly-sweet “Goodnight, danna!” over his shoulder as he goes.

Comments

irishmastermind
Dec. 7th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
AHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, this is fantastic! I love how much of each character you bring out just in describing their sleeping habits and the way they play music.

Poor Sasori. XD