Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Crimson

"Kasumi, come and play with me!"

Two girls run through the forest, their agile footsteps causing the dirt to rise and leaves to scatter. They are giggling and in general having a fun time. Although the day may have been sunny in the morning, clouds are gathering in and casting a shadow over the entire area.

Despite the dull weather, laughter shines in honey brown eyes, and the expression on the purple-haired girl's face is all smiles.

A blade flashes.

"I love these flowers." The brown-haired girl stops and bends down to inhale the scent of purple blossoms.

The other girl continues to run past her, a small smile lingering on her lips. She suddenly stops and stands still, her short purple hair hiding her face. Her body visibly stiffens, and the smile turns into a sneer.

The metal is very sharp.

The brown-haired girl stands back up, and the sound of laughter fades, although the happy grin remains on her face. She turns to face her half-sibling.

The purple-haired girl speaks rather quietly. "Come here."

The older girl obeys, trotting happily up to the purple-haired one. She sees the flash of silver about a second before the pain is even absorbed. A shower of rich, red blood sprays the air, splattering the outfit of the younger girl.

She says nothing, only smiles.

A brief look of shock can be seen in the honey brown eyes before they drift shut and her body falls limp.

-x-

Ayane wakes with a jolt, breathing fast and sweat covering her forehead. She is an experienced ninja; nightmares should not affect her that way. Her hands, however, are coated suspiciously in a sticky red substance.

It smells coppery.

Author's Note: For any of you that may not understand the meaning of this particular story, it is focused on the darker psychological impacts of what can happen to a person who has been constantly [emotionally neglected throughout their childhood. It does not make any "real" sense because psychology is often a complicated issue for those who may not recognize it for what it is (eg. a killer, a masochist, abuse, depression, etc), and the ending is left vague for deliberate interpretation of what actually happened.

No, therewill not be anycontinuation to "clarify" anything.