Title: Red
Author: Simply Kelp
Pairing: none really, maybe Kimimaro/Juugo, or Sasuke/Juugo if you stand on your head, and squint…
Rating: pg-13
Summary: He was born in red, dripping blood, and screaming as they pried him from the void that had been his home for the past nine months.
Disclaimer: Yes, I am Kishimoto-sensei… really, I am.
A/N: I think Juugo is my new favourite character; he's just so sweet... when he's not going crazy.

---

He was born in red, dripping blood, and screaming as they pried him from the void that had been his home for the past nine months. Of course, he can't remember this, but from the distant look in his father's eyes, and the way they never speak of his mother, he knows.

His childhood was dominated by red. Red anemones in the field behind their house, red spots clouding his vision as the uncontrollable rage flits through him, and red blood from his father's death. He can't remember how it happened; the ninja found him crying as he sat in a pool of drying blood, and brought him to the lab.

The lab is white, and grey, but mostly he can remember the tubes of red blood lining the counter, and the red markings on the face of the boy in the cell next to his. He spends his days being poked with needles, and given red medicine until he goes crazy, and sees red again. This time, he remembers fragments of the event: red spurting from a broken artery, the clank of metal as the red forehead protector falls to the ground, the final gasps of the ninja he killed.

The boy's hands are red from coughing. He watches the boy leave, biting his fingernails until they are raw, and red, and bleeding. The part of him that's human (or as human as he is capable of being) knows that he is alone now. He smears red on the cement floor. The smudges, he thinks, look like carnations. As the days pass, they are choked by thin sprays of blood red spider lilies.

He's seeing red when they free him. Kill, his mind screams, rip, tear. He won't be satisfied until he sees bloodied bones, until his fingers are bathed in warm red liquid. But the door opens, and he is satisfied with something else entirely: freedom. The dark-haired boy promises the red will go away, and he feels a light feeling in his stomach, which he thinks must be hope.

He finds freedom in red eyes. Swirling red, and black as they calm his murderous rages. He sees other colours now: yellow daffodils, sweet-smelling bluebells, fine white pear blossoms. The world finally is how it always should have been, and for once, Juugo doesn't mind the colour red.

---

I unintentionally used a few flowers from the Japanese, and Western flower languages, and decided to add a few more. Here's a list of the meanings with 'J' for Japanese, and 'W' for Western.

Anemone: forsaken (W)
Red carnation: disappointment(J)/ deep affection (W)
Red spider lily: never to meet again, lost memory, abandonment (J)
Daffodil: respect (J, and W)
Bluebell: gratitude (J)
Pear blossom: lasting friendship (W)