A/N: One-hundred word challenge. Could be shounen ai, could be friendshippy. I'm really not sure myself, t'be honest. ^_^;; Sad, I know. But anyway, yah- set during that whole "Sasuke, you stupid bastard!" mess (a.k.a. the thing with the Sound Nins and the coffin and the three pills and so on).

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"Red Pepper Butterfly"

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Shikamaru doesn't know why he left the arrow.

And he doesn't know why the sight of that butterfly was so scary. Not terrifying or frightening, but scary, like the monsters in the dark are for normal children.

Scary like the monsters in the light had been for him.

Shikamaru has always been smarter than most of the people around him. Not necessarily more intelligent or better educated or anything like that, just naturally smarter. But he isn't used to caring. Isn't used to feeling pain or feeling sorry.

And he especially isn't used to missing anyone.

Chouji should be here.

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* final *

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. : i'll see you again : .