a note from the author: I'm not sure how to introduce this, I hate author's notes, but I don't wantthis to seem strange. Each chapter here will be a little bit different. This is intended to read like a series of snapshots in which you can feel time passing. Some of the chapters are from Kurenai's POV and others are Asuma's. At the beginning of the chapter the name of the speaker is given so it should be easy to understand. Some chapters may be in present tense while others are past. Some might be poetry. I will try my best not to let it come off as haphazardly slapped together. Please feel free to give feedback and tell me what you think. Thank you.

a prologue of sorts

A rose begins as a tiny bud, not much more than a bump on the sprig it is growing on. You may not even notice it at first. As time passes and it soaks up the heat of the sun, it becomes more and more noticeable. The green peels back to show a bit of color, and you can now see the petals as they form and take shape. Inside, something amazing is happening. Amazing, and yet so completely ordinary that none of us stop to think about it much.

The bud will grow and change as each new day comes. Its petals begin to unfurl and open. A rose goes through many stages of bloom on its way to full maturity, and each stage is charming in and of itself. A full-blown rose is considered by many people to be the most beautiful of all flowers. Sometimes, indeed, they are heartbreakingly beautiful. Maybe it is because of this that the rose is considered a symbol of love.

Yet the rose was a bud once. The rosebud is a symbol of friendship.

This is a story about Asuma and Kurenai and how they became friends.