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A Thought Exercise In Futility

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"It's Red." Shikamaru commented, feeling a distant sense of foreboding as he looked out at the rising moon. He'd never seen it red before, but he also didn't tend to pay attention to it. He was more of a cloud watcher, then a star watcher- if the stars were out, he'd usually much rather be asleep, thank you very much.

"Hm?" Sakura hummed, stirring slightly at his voice, and he shifted the arm she was laying on to point at the moon in demonstration. She peeked an eye open and hissed, hauling his arm down before he could finish the gesture. "Don't point at the harvest moon, braniac. It'll make your ears fall off." She yawned.

"Oh. Well, we wouldn't want that to happen now, would we?" He grumbled, rolling his eyes. He received a not-so-gentle smack up the head in retaliation as Sakura sat up, looking at sky. "Ok, wise girl, why's it red?" He asked, curiously, and she tensed up. He shifted his eyes over to her, and caught a pensive stare on her face.

"The light....passes weirdly. Moonlight is just reflected sunlight, right? Sometimes the atmosphere scatters the blue light that the moon generally has and it turns red." She mumbled absently, eyes far away. Shikamaru grabbed her hand carefully and she jumped, crashing back into the present moment.

"I'd buy that." He nodded easily enough, finally turning his head away from the moon and towards her. "What's on your mind?" He prompted lazily. He knew full well how superfluous it was to ask if she was ok, or if she wanted to talk, or any of the other things that were more then obvious from her body language. He had a attendance to cut out the middle man of conversations.

He was a bit too blunt, many would say, but he didn't see why that would be a problem. Didn't see why anyone would bother with the repetitive formalities of most small talk- it sounded exhausting.

"...Did you know," She started slowly, still staring up at the moon, "That there was another old wives tale about the Harvest Moon- A red one is mean to signal war." She informed, and licked her lips. "It's just, given the Infinite Tsukuyomi- you think maybe they were on to something? Maybe it was a warning about the Eye Of The Moon Plan from someone thousands of years ago, bastardized and obscured by localized folklore about ears falling off. I mean think about it- if the Infinite Tsukuyomi happened, you wouldn't want anyone pointing at the moon to draw more attention to it, right? And you'd want everyone to be wary and distrustful of a red moon." She pondered, and even though she just woke up from a nap she sounded exhausted

"Civilians and their superstitions. Is there no such thing as coincidence, to you?" He scoffed, unsure exactly how to respond to that. No one talked about Kaguya outside of gallows humor, and it was uncomfortable to hear Sakura bring the moon goddess and her plan up so seriously. Shikamaru, for one, was more then happy to never think about it again and move on. He settled for a groan. "Honestly, I don't see why it would really matter. I guess it's possible, but it's just as likely that the instinctual reflex of 'red equals blood equals evil' led to those myths."

"Asshole." She growled, but she turned away from the moon to glare at him, so he counted it as a win. "It's just a sobering thought, is all. What if someone had looked into the origin of the myths a little earlier? Would we have been spared the Fourth Shinobi War? Or at least more prepared for it?" She continued, and Shikamaru bit his lip.

He wasn't good with comforting words like Choji, and he wasn't good at distractions like Ino, but he had to say something. Her thoughts were bordering on the edge of a dangerous spiral into what-if's- and he was intimately familiar with how pointless and unhealthy those were. 

"Probably not." Was all he could offer, though, because that's what he was good at. methodical logic, with as little bias as he could manage. "It's unlikely such a vague and apparently wide-spread superstition would leave much of a paper trail, so there wouldn't be much to trace back. If you were lucky, investigation could have led to the Uchiha farmers, if we're taking your theory as fact. It was written on one of their tablets, right? But the Uchiha as a whole either knew nothing of it or were very tight lipped about it, so the trail would likely go cold there." He pointed out, and she sighed.

"....But-" She tried, visably grasping at straws, before biting in a breath and deflating. Shikamaru out a small puff of relief- kunai dodged. "Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. No point think about it now anyway, huh?" She said, and he nodded. She finally grabbed his offered hand back, smiled, and looked up at the moon again.

"Either way, the moon looks cool. It's almost worth being awake past sundown." He transitioned with as much grace as he could, and she rolled her eyes and scooted closer to him.

"Lazy." She commented, with no real bite- it sounded more like an endeared observation, then an insult. "Honestly, if you're avoiding work, and Naruto's avoiding work, and Kakashi-sensei never worked in the first place, then who's running the village?" She scoffed.

"Hm, it varies from day to day. Mostly Shizune, Ino, and Hinata-chan." He shrugged, waiting for her enraged sharp intake of breathe to add- "And you too, I guess."

"Damn right, me too." She muttered, and he smiled.

Sure, the moon was beautiful, and a red harvest moon was apparently rare, but Sakura, in the pale moonlight, was breathtaking