Welcome to my latest brain child! I've just fallen in love with Karin as a character; she is wonderfully complicated and deep, compared to Sakura (IMHO), and I'd like to try to illustrate that with a collection of Karin-centric and Taka-centric fics.

A Note on the Title:

The Kanji for Karin's name spells out "perfume" and "phosphorus." A lot of people focus on the perfume aspect of Karin, which I think represents her outward, more girlish and annoying behavior (like flirting endlessly with Sasuke). But Karin's inner nature is more like phosphorus, which is a highly reactive and combustible element (e.g. "Phosphorus Burns"). Kind of reminds me like a more troubled version of Kushina in that way...

Ultimately, I want to get to know Karin better in order to write a chapter fic about her (it will probably be my last major chaptered work that I'll publish on FFnet, sadly). I've already done a bunch of character sketches for her; thought it'd be fun to share them.

There will be a range between humor, angst, etc, in this epic Karin collection. I'm starting off with an introspective piece wherein Karin thinks about her former teammates:)

Note: Sorry for any confusion, but I rearranged chapters one and two, just 'cause I'm anal like that:)


The People in my Head

That's it, Karin thinks. I'm officially going insane—they should put me in a straight jacket before I become a danger to myself. It's the lack of sleep, damn it, the unending insomnia. If she does manage to drift into that gray zone between waking and dreaming, they will be there: Suigetsu and Jugo and—Sasuke.

They're like ducks, swimming a mobius strip in her mind, quacking incessantly: the goddamned voices won't stop, and sometimes… Sometimes Karin finds herself screaming at the concrete walls, or throttling the prison bars, and then she thinks that perhaps her mental instability is no longer an affect with which to fool the prison warden.

The voices are crooning and quacking now, Karin can't stop them; not even when she steps into a pale beam of moonlight slanting down through the high barred window. Hey Karin, says Jugo, his voice soft like a cascade of white feathers; like the moonlight itself. Hey Karin—it's not your fault. I wish I had been there to protect you…

"Fuck you, Jugo," Karin mutters, staring resolutely into the moonlight suffusing her face. His words make her itch, make her fingers tremble for a kunai to fling into that silvered abyss above her head. Dammit it, Jugo, she mutters in her imagination, dammit, dammit, dammit.

Suigetsu is next, and his words are easier to bear, perhaps because it is a well-worn track. His effluvium is a stream of expletives that could melt the metal off of a kunai. She laughs at his garrulous Fuck, fuck, fuck, and Shit, Karin. Sasuke went all psycho killer on your ass, huh, Karin? But in her mind, underneath Suigetsu's bluster there is a genuine concern. Fuck, Karin. Shit. It's like a caustic balm that Karin clutches in her white hands.

Thanks, she tells Suigetsu. Thanks, shithead. It's oddly comforting to have Suigetsu here, even if it is only in her moonlit imagination. (Truth be told, she'd be happy to see even Suigetsu, now; now that she's stuck in solitary confinement, in the bowels of Konoha maximum security prison.)

The last voice is no voice—it is silence, an unseen but felt stare, the whorl of red eyes in the masked shadows. Karin, you were simply in the way, the silent shadows say, and Karin understands his meaning: Sasuke hadn't cared about killing her, one way or the other. You were in the way; that is all.

Except that this revelation does not make it any better: it makes it much, much worse. In the darkness, she stares down those red eyes that swirl, that coalesce in the shadows.

"What was I to you?" Karin whispers to the night, now fully awake.

No one answers.

a/n Please review! (or flame, heh heh;)