Okay. So this is like, my first fan fiction. Ever. I'm finding this uploading story thing a lot more complicated than I had anticipated. But it's okay. I'll figure it out. Hope you enjoy.

-Crysthur

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It was a bright, beautiful, sunny day in the village of Konoha. Sakura was out on the town, enjoying the bright, beautiful, sunny day. Or rather, she was stalking Sasuke who was out on the town, enjoying the bright, beautiful, sunny day. From the barrel she was hiding behind, Sakura watched as Sasuke bought some vegetables from a vendor. His back was turned towards her, and Sakura marveled at the sexiness that seemed to emanate from him. His hair, the way he moved, his impeccable complexion... "Hell..." she thought, "even the back of his neck is sexy!"

While engrossed in her musings of how sexy Sasuke was, Sakura failed to see him leave. By the time she snapped out of her sexiness-induced stupor, the object of her obsession was nowhere to be seen. Sakura mentally berated herself for letting him get away as she scrambled out from her hiding place. The last thing she saw was Shino's surprised face (well, what she thought was his surprised face... it was difficult to tell, what with his sunglasses and that ridiculously high collar and all...) before finding herself falling ungraciously to the floor.

"Sakura?" said Shino in his oddly deep voice that one would not expect to hear coming from the mouth of a 13-year old boy.

Normally, Sakura would have exploded at the person who had gotten into her way, but she didn't really know Shino, and what little she knew about him scared her very much so. So instead of yelling and screaming and throwing numerous insults that could not be repeated in mixed company at him, she merely said, "Ah... Shino... I uh... didn't see you there..."

"Well, maybe that's because one doesn't usually see people when they come running out from behind a barrel with their head down..." said Shino dryly as he extended a hand to help her up. Sakura, thinking about the millions of bugs that were swirling around in his body, was loathe to touch his hand, but had no other choice. "What were you doing behind there anyways?" Shino asked.

Sakura twitched. "I was uh..."

"Holy Mother, what am I going to say?? I can't tell him what I was REALLY doing cause that's just plain pathetic...for the love of all that is good and holy, think of a lie, any lie!"

"I was looki-"

"AAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!" came an unearthly and very girly shriek from Shino that echoed down the street. Surprised, Sakura looked and saw Shino looking disheveled (well, what she thought was disheveled... what with his... you know the drill) and pointing at the spot where her foot had been a moment before.

"You... you... they're... killed... dead...." gasped Shino.

A thoroughly confused Sakura gaped at Shino. "What are you talking about??" Shino seemed unable to speak, and continued to point at the floor. Frowning, Sakura looked closer, and to her surprise saw three little black specks on the floor. It took her a while to figure out exactly what they were, but when she did, she let out a chuckle and said, "Oh geez, and I was all concerned. It's only three little bu-" she stopped. She remembered who she was talking to. She gasped. She slowly looked up to see Shino looking decidedly more grim and scary than usual.

"Only... three little BUGS... you say..." murmured Shino. "Only three little bugs... three little bugs..."

Suddenly, Shino exploded. "THREE LITTLE BUGS... I'LL TELL YOU ABOUT THOSE THREE LITTLE BUGS!! THEY HAD LIVES!! THAT ONE THERE HAD A WIFE AND THREE KIDS!!! THE MIDDLE ONE JUST GOT ENGAGED!!! THE OTHER ONE JUST HATCHED!!! AND NOW YOU'VE KILLED THEM!! THEY'RE DEAD BECAUSE OF YOU!!"

Shino continued to shriek, and as he did, a cloud of bugs slowly began to seep out from his sleeves.

Sakura shrunk down in fear. She was in shock. Shino was yelling at her. Aburame Shino, who never showed any emotion, was livid, and yelling at her. Needless to say, Sakura was scared beyond belief. And that was before she noticed the bugs. When she did notice the bugs, she fought down the overwhelming impulse to run away screaming and tried to calm Shino down.

"Shino, SHINO!" she shouted, trying to get Shino to stop ranting. "I'm soo sorry!! I was being... insensitive! Just tell me what I can do to make it better... I swear, I'll do anything!"

At this, Shino stopped. "Anything, you say?" The cloud of bugs began to dissipate.

"Uh-oh..." thought Sakura. "What have I gotten myself into??" Seeing as she had no other choice, and also not wanting the bugs to come back out, Sakura nodded.

"Fine then." Shino said. He knelt down and picked up the three black specks with a tenderness that Sakura didn't even know he was capable of. "Follow me." he said and began walking quickly.

They walked in silence. Sakura chanced a glance at Shino's face. She sighed and looked away. Trying to guess what Shino was thinking was like trying to dig a hole with a toothpick. The silence got oppressive. Sakura racked her brain for something to say, and just as she was about to remark on the weather, Shino stopped. Sakura looked around in surprise. They were in what appeared to be field of dirt in the middle of nowhere. Shino knelt down and started digging three little holes in the ground. At first, Sakura thought that Shino had gone off his rocker, but then she realized what he was doing. Ever so carefully, he lovingly laid each little black speck into a hole and covered them up, forming little piles of dirt over them. He then turned to Sakura.

"You have to apologize to them."

"... excuse me?"

"You have to apologize to them."

"By them, you mean..."

"Them. The bugs. That you killed."

"..."

Sakura was at a lost for words.

"LOOK, if you don't apologize to them, their spirits cannot move on. You have to say you're sorry so that they can be set free."

Shino was getting impatient. Bugs were beginning to crawl out of his sleeves again.

Sakura took one look at the bugs and jumped. "Okay, okay Shino!! No need to get upset... just calm down... Of course I will apologize."

Looking around to make sure that no one was around, she knelt down and said "I'm sorry for stepping on you." to all three of the mounds of dirt. As she got back up, she noticed that there were many other little mounds of dirt all over the field. She turned to Shino and asked, "Do you uhm... do this... a lot?"

"Yes."

"You mean like... every time?"

"Yes."

"So... every single bug that di- er.. passes away... you bring them here and.. bury them?"

"Yes."

"So... this is like, a bug graveyard?"

"Yes."

"Oh."

An awkward silence ensued. Sakura was getting very uncomfortable, and Shino looked like.. well, like Shino. Finally, he broke the silence.

"If you don't mind, Sakura, I'm going to ask you to leave. I would like a moment alone... to say goodbye."

"Oh thank you GOD!" thought Sakura. She nodded, turned around, and began making her way back to town. As she left, she heard Shino let out a sob.

As Sakura walked, she went over the past half hour of her life.

"Wow. That did not just happen. Who knew that Shino was such a sensitive guy? Is this one of those, life-altering experiences that I should be thinking long and hard about? I mean, I basically just killed three of Shino's friends... He has to deal with his friends dying all the time, and all I do is obsess over Sasuke... Sasuke. I bet Sasuke is more sensitive than Shino. I wonder what Sasuke is doing now. I think I'll go find him."

So she did.

THE END