. Karin-centric fic. I know I'm going to get flamed for this and I say, BRING IT! I'll flame back. I thought of this while I was writing Freed. Karin has two sides, the bitch and the fighter. The bitch is simply a bitch and I hate her. The other side has potential. This is dedicated to the good side of her. And to all reviewers…

I do not own.

Red is our color, the color of team Hebi. It represents us, as individuals and as a team. We are stained and tainted by the crimson. Nothing good comes from the scarlet. We are marked by it, changed by it forever. Irrevocably.

Red is the color of my hair. The color that marks my head, the color that makes me stand out. I used to hate the brightness, that made me different. Now I am used to it, as anyone must get used to it. It is a color that expresses me, the real me, inside who is bloodstained with the blood of people like Suigetsu and Juugo, people who had gifts and paid a terrible, terrible price for having them.

Red is the color of Sasuke's Sharingan. Sasuke embraces the crimson. Welcomes it and the power it gives him, the way it makes him separate from everyone else. He is special in that way too. He is the only one who welcomes the color. It is the color of his brother's blood, and his brother's eyes. It is the color that he dreams of at night. Sasuke swims through the scarlet river in his dreams, he bathes in it. He enjoys the blood that he spills. He enjoys the thrill of the battle and the victory. He likes the way that crimson blood is hot when it gushes from a body. He imagines it is the blood of his brother that has been spilled and he smiles when he thinks of it. Sasuke has become the red.

Red is the color of the blood that runs down Suigetsu's sword. Suigetsu is a fighter, always has been. I remember when he was brought to the base as a child, small and frightened but with eyes like a storm. He will always be colored by the scarlet of his enemies' blood. He does not enjoy it, he is merely resigned to it.

Red is the color of anger, the color of Juugo's rages. Juugo is different too, he cannot control the color. The color controls him. He fights it but can never win. He only can keep fighting and trying even when he knows he can never win. I admire him really. He is the only one who the crimson has not tainted as it touched him. It marks him but has not consumed him. Not truly. He does not live his life defined by it like Sasuke or Suigetsu, or is resigned like I am. He fights on and on. Even when it seems to have won, the real Juugo, one who is not red at all, shines through. He is the one who keeps us sane.

Red makes up purple, the color of Orochimaru. Just like we, and our blood, supported him. Just like the blood of the Sound's Four and Kimmimaro supported him. Just like he preys on our bloodlines to keep himself alive. I am not foolish. I knew why I was allowed to live. I had a gift. An affinity with chakra and some healing. If I had not had it, I would have been doomed, like so many others, to an experiment. I aided Orochimaru but I was not under any sort of spell. I knew that the crimson taint of the innocent's blood was getting on me, too. That is why Suigetsu hates me, cannot stand me. Because he knows that once, I would have spilled his blood, and the blood of those he cared about, with out a qualm.

But I will break free of this accursed color. Someday, I will shine again, as the real Karin. The Karin who is not marked with blood. The side of me who is not the oppressor of the innocent. Then I will be able to look my teammates in the eye with out shame.

I know that day will come. Until then, I am crimson.

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