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Konoha loves everything about Shintaro, but it’s always the smiles that draw him the most.

Shintaro is faint and fleeting, even when showing his love. Shintaro never gives overbearing kisses like how Hiyori does with Hibiya, never gives face-splitting laughs like how Seto does with Marry. No; Shintaro grumbles when Konoha asks for special dinner, but will cook it anyway. Shintaro sighs when Konoha phones to ask for a forgotten thing, but will show up to deliver it anyway. Shintaro glares when Konoha catches a cold after forgetting the umbrella, but will nurse him to health anyway. It’s Shintaro’s smile when Konoha thanks him that makes everything worth it. Shintaro smiles faintly; just a quirk of the corner of his mouth, a smile that says everything and nothing at once.

So, when Shintaro stands before him, a gun cocked to his forehead, smiling that faint little smile, Konoha thinks, Ah, so he knew, and resigns himself to death in the hands of his most beloved.

“I always knew it was you who killed Ayano. I couldn’t let Kano or Kido to have this kind of work, so forgive me for doing it.”

“No,” Konoha says, “you’re not sorry.”

“Yeah, I guess I’m not,” Shintaro admits. “Goodbye, Kuroha.”

Shintaro pulls the trigger.