Disclaimer: I do not own Red Ninja: End of Honor or the story concerning cherry blossoms. Just a random one-shot I came up with while trying to get over writer's block.

What The Future Holds

A lone woman with short raven hair and wearing in a deep red kimono, stood before a vast number of trees, all of which were decked in pale pink blossoms. The thin branches swayed as a bitter wind swept through them, causing their flimsy petals to fall to the ground like a gentle rain.

She held out her hands and a few of them brushed against her skin, the silver glow of the moon giving them a ghostly appearance.

Cherry blossoms or Sakura, were so much more than just a fragile flower, whose very existence was fleeting. To her, they were an intricate part of her past as well as the embodiment of nature's delicate and timeless beauty...For this young woman, they symbolized life and rebirth...Yet the flowers also symbolized that the world, though full of many wonders, contained great sadness too.

She sighed and closed her eyes, lifting her face towards the sky, so that the moons light shone down on her.

In the old stories, it was always told that the blossoms used to bloom pure white, like freshly fallen snow. Slowly, over time however, the blossoms began turning pink...Tainted with the blood of the dead, or so legend has it. Due to war and greed and feuds and constant fighting, blood spilled from the veins of the innocent would seep in to the ground...And flow in to the trees roots, forever staining the heavenly flowers with it's dark crimson tint. The pinker the leaves of an area, the more blood shed, with petals falling like crystal tears to remind the living of their sins...Some believe that this shows there is beauty to be found in death...That's how she preferred to see it anyway...But others believe that Sakura shows the world that life is fleeting, and like the pink blossoms, it should be treasured...Not wasted.

The crimson-clad woman opened her eyes and breathed in deeply, before turning slightly to face the very tree that was meant to have been her final resting place. She approached it carefully and placed a hand upon it's deep brown bark...Bark that was almost as scarred as she was...

Her fingers slowly traced the paper-thin lines ingrained along the trees surface, lines that had been created by the very wire which had also imprinted patterns upon her own skin...A wire she now used as her signature weapon to protect herself...A wire that was supposed to have killed her.

We are ninja, Kurenai. We can never die... Akemi's dying words still haunted her memories to this day, reminding her of what she had lost.

A sad smile tugged at the corner of her lips and she didn't know if she wanted to cry or laugh at the bitter irony that was her life. Everything she had ever known or believed, had been a lie-Shingen Takeda had been dead for years and her Father had been killed by the very clan that had found her and saved her life. Everything she had once valued or loved, no longer existed or would never belong to her-Her Father had been murdered, Akemi was gone and Zenzo was now her enemy whether she liked it or not...And Master Chiyome, was not who she had pretended to be...

Things for her had been so certain before; revenge, honor, love and duty...But now those ideas had been blurred, swept away, and replaced by anger, sadness and confusion.

The assassin in the dark...Who was she now if she no longer had something to fight for? Where did she go if she no longer had a place to call home? Why was she alive if there was nothing left for her in this world? What did the future hold for her, now that it seemed like she was lost with no where to turn? Maybe she should just end it all now?

Kurenai removed her hand from the tree and turned away to find the sky becoming lighter and a soft red glow emanating from the horizon. She watched as the sun slowly rose, climbing higher in the sky and illuminating the land with it's warm rays. She marveled at how such a simple act could transform the hauntingly beautiful cherry blossoms in to something that seemed so peaceful...So unaffected by what the world suffered daily.

No matter what, never choose death...Her sad smile was replaced by a more contented one and she thought of the blade hidden within the sleeve of her kimono...It brings luck...

Maybe her past was shattered, unable to be mended...And maybe her future was uncertain and unknown...This was her moment to take things in to control, to decide her own fate and see where the path may lead. Though her past would always remain a part of her, she didn't have to let it hold her back...It was time to accept it for what it was and the fact that she could never change what had happened...The time had come for her to learn from those events and move on.

Sure, the future was hazy, but like the cherry blossom, life was fleeting and you had to make the most of it while you still had the chance.