Disclaimer: Blu Rose does not own Naruto or any of its characters. She only owns her OCs and this fic.

Warning: Timeline is somewhat AU-ish compared to the SiNful Rose story. Originally posted on LiveJournal.

A Single Rose

Others had given her far bigger and more uncommon things for her birthday, but he... All he gave her was a single red rose. It wasn't some rare breed that grew only in the deepest recesses of the Netherworld. It wasn't the essential ingredient to a spell, or a potion, or a recipe that could help her gain more power (as though she needed to). Its lovely fragrance didn't force her to fall asleep and sharp fangs didn't appear in the petals of the flower. In fact, the rose still had thorns on its steam, showing it was hand-picked, not bought. She was used to her servants giving her expensive gifts--Hell, she expected them to give her expensive gifts!

So, puffing up her cheeks slightly and placing her hands on her hips, she asked him, "Why did you bring me such a...common gift? It's not unique. It's not rare. It's not even magical! Are you trying to insult me?"

The orange-clad ninja standing before her blinked in confusion. "What? What are you talking about?"

"This," Rozalin held up the rose, and despite her rising anger at the moment, her thin fingers were careful to not touch the thorns.

"Ohhh, you're upset because I forgot to cut off the thorns, right? I thought you'd like that."

"It's not the thorns!! It's the entire flower!!"

Naruto arched an eyebrow in confusion. "What, don't you know?"

"Know what?"

"Your name practically symbolizes one, but you don't know..."

A vein began to throb on Rozalin's forehead and, in her anger, slipped out of her royal demeanor into what Naruto recognized as "Pissed-Off Princess Mode". "WHAT...DON'T...I...KNOW?!?" The blonde Overlord shouted, pausing every time she shook the young shinobi by the collar of his jumpsuit.

"T-take it easy, Rozalin!! I'll tell you, I'll tell you!"

She released him from her grasp. He cleared his throat and spoke, "Well, you see, you think of roses as a thing of beauty and death, right? Well, there's another thing that roses symbolize that most people know upon hearing its name. Roses are supposed to symbolize love."

The blonde demoness's face became the same color as a tomato. "I know that, you imbecile!! But wh-what are you doing giving one to me?"

Naruto gave the female Overlord one of his brightest grins and said, "What? Did you think that I was kidding when I said I'd protect you for all eternity, Rozie?"

". . ." Rozalin held up the rose and stared at it for a long time. "...Stupid fool. Mere mortals like you can only live for so long. Like you could protect me for all eternity when your kind can't even make it past 100 years."

"Well then, I'll just keep coming back to find you every time I'm reborn. But, in case I don't, come and find me, okay?"

"And in case you haven't noticed, demons such as myself do not love."

The blonde frowned and folded his arms across his chest. "Now that's a load of crap... You love me and you're too chicken to admit."

"I-I am not!! Like I would love a colorblind, moronic, asinine human like you--!" She was cut off after he wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her on the lips. As soon as he pulled away from her, the orange-clad ninja gave a smirk.

"How was that for a colorblind, moronic human?"

"...Not bad. But I still don't love you. Hmph!" She turned her back on him and folded her arms across her chest, nose sticking up in the air.

"Heh-heh. Sure you don't, Rozie." Naruto wrapped his arms around her waist again and held her tightly against his body, his azure blue eyes suddenly softened. "Happy Birthday, Rozalin."

A light red blush appeared on Rozalin's cheeks, and she gave a small smile as her pale hands held onto the callused tanned hands that were lying on her waist. "Thank you..."

FiN

"Sealed by a single red rose bought by my true love,

A love sent long ago to me from above."

--Excerpt from "A Single Red Rose" by Brenda Sparkman