It was too dark to go outside and wander, and even if he decided to, his mother would smell him get out of the bed and tackle him before he got a block away. Kiba stared at the white ceiling turned blue by the midnight light. Akamaru was restless too; summer nights created a new definition of insomnia. Crickets whispered outside, making music of the world slowly turning outside. Every way he laid was uncomfortable, the sheets heating up with his body heat.

A small whine from under the bed echoed his disappointed feelings. "I know, Akamaru, just try pretending your asleep. Maybe you'll fake yourself out," Kiba muttered, blinking slowly. He knew it wouldn't work, but it wouldn't hurt to try. As he felt Akamaru shift under the bed, chewing on the throw rug nearby, he smelled something on the warm air. Kiba looked out the window into the black and blue night.

The only thing he saw was stars. Those bright golden pen points poking through the dark velvet above were balls of heat too. Kiba's nose twitched again. What the hell was he smiling? He nearly fell off the bed when he saw the stars swarm and move.

Upon climbing back up to the window and Akamaru close at his heels, Kiba saw that it wasn't the stars at all, it was lightning bugs. Millions and millions of little lightning bugs fluttering and twinkling in the darkness, all stretched outside his window. Curiosity increased as Kiba noticed that usually lightning bugs preferred uninhabited fields and forests, not villages. For some strange reason they were right outside.

Akamaru let out a quiet bark as his tail thumped against the side of Kiba's leg. "Yea, it's odd," Kiba agreed; smiling faintly as Akamaru began biting at the glass. The little dog still felt awake enough to chase after the floating insects. They were beautiful, drifting gently around in a dance on the summer breeze. But that smell was still there. His nose itched with familiarity but he couldn't place the scent.

Suddenly the fireflies stopped moving. They hovered and shimmered, but failed to move. Kiba pressed his nose to the glass, wondering if they all spontaneously got tiny little heart attacks and were suspended in the air in shock, but the possibility of that ever happening was nonexistent. Several of them stopped glowing and Kiba stared in amazement as the remaining lights wrote a resplendent message: "I love you."

He didn't have to think who it was at all, but he stared at the lights wildly as Akamaru lowly whined out, questioning who had sent it? Of course, the only ninja he knew who could control bugs. The quiet, tall, intelligent guy with fuzzy brown hair and sunglasses, it had to be him. Kiba opened the window and softly said to the bugs, "Tell him to get up here."

The bugs flew off in a glittering river, flowing down to the ground below, outside the front gate. A dark figure jumped up onto the window ledge and stepped down into the room with the soft smell of insects and hyacinth around him. Akamaru wagged his tail rapidly as the fireflies followed Shino into the bedroom, closing the door behind them. "So, why are you out at night anyways," Kiba asked, flopping down on his bed again while Akamaru happily tried to eat the lights dancing above him.

"Couldn't sleep."

Shino was always one for short and concise answers, though they were both avoiding the subject. Shyly, the bug ninja sat next to Kiba on the bed, still wearing his sunglasses in the dark. "So you just decided to walk by?"

"You can't sleep when it's hot out, I knew you were awake."


Both the Genins stared at the floor. A firefly landed on Akamaru's nose. Somewhere in the house Kiba's sister shifted in her bed. With a small blush, almost inconspicuous under his red cheeks, Kiba lightly brushed his fingers against Shino's knuckles resting on the bed. He blushed deeper when Shino entwined their fingers. The warm air was still, only stirred up by the fluttering of tiny little wings illuminated around them.

"…Shino," Kiba smiled happily, leaning up to his team leader's ear. He didn't mind not being in charge of his team much anymore. "That was romantic, you know. Really romantic. You stay up thinking about that?" He could feel the furious blush radiating onto his lips. "I love you too, it's hard not to when you're so damn sweet about it."

Carefully, Shino leaned down, just breathing gently against the very inviting lips of his friend. "…You make me feel romantic."

Akamaru let himself out of the room. The fireflies stayed to add lighting to the summer night which was about to get very hot.