by Hic Iacet Mori
After years of dreaming of tears and blood, Uchiha Sasuke dreams of the sky.
It began ten years ago after he woke up from a coma. Four years as a missing nin of Konoha ended the fateful day he stepped over the gates of his home village—four years as a traitor reached its pinnacle with the death of his brother by his hands, the brother who loved him enough to sacrifice everything for peace and for him. It was a belated discovery that shattered everything he had believed in, leaving him far more broken than he already was. His emotions burning and wild within him, he sought to avenge his brother—something the man professing to be his blood relative took advantage of. But though he was young, shinobi learn faster, grow wiser—they stumble deeper but stand taller. He knew what the man was doing, understood it and played along as his homage to his brother. After a battle that finally led to the death of the man who was everything his beloved brother never was, he had no more reason left to live.
He raised his sword to end it all and, as his eyes traveled the length of the crimson blade, his eyes saw the sky.
And he stopped.
His sword clattered and he just knew—
After four years, he went home.
He was tried and found guilty of treason. However, the death of the enemies of Konohagakure no Sato by his hands considerably worked in his favor and lightened his punishment—that, coupled with the Godaime Hokage's knowledge of the true story behind the Uchiha Massacre, contributed to it.
He only told everything to Senju Tsunade. He expected disbelief, even mockery, but she had believed him. She had understood and kept it hidden from the council that he knew. He recognized that he didn't deserve this kindness, this consideration and respect, and so he vowed with everything he had that he would protect the Hokage and the office it represented with his life.
The first year of his life as a convict of Konohagakure was tedious. After completing the requisite number of low-ranked missions as a part of his punishment, after enduring the humiliation of guardians 24/7, after tolerating chakra restraints of all kinds, he easily climbed the ranks and—less than three years later—became ANBU captain of his own squad.
Slowly and after many years, he was accepted by the people who somewhat mattered, something that went far above his expectations. He had worked hard and had shown his loyalty, and he was soon completely pardoned of all his crimes. He was forgiven by the villagers but not entirely so by his peers.
They who knew of most of what transpired found it hard to, and they surely wouldn't forget. But time heals all wounds and turns them into scars—and then there was the sky.
For some reason the sky was reminiscent of forgiveness, and one day his comrades allowed themselves to forgive. One day everything was just the same as it was before he willingly embraced the world of tears and blood.
But not entirely so. Nothing can ever come back to what it was before, after all.
He dreams of the sky.
Sometimes the sky was a light blue with puffs of white clouds. Sometimes the sky was an expansive gray with hints of dark, dark blue. Sometimes the sky was almost white with hesitant brushes of blue. Sometimes the sky was all gray.
And sometimes the sky was a clear, cloudless, impossible blue.
When the sky was in its vivid blue, he knew he would have a better day ahead of him.
His dreams of the sky always leave him with an odd pang in his heart.
His dark gaze would follow his hand as he tried to reach the ceiling, trying to grasp the sky of his dreams in vain. There would be searing heat in his stomach and ice would suddenly chase it away, and his sight would blur.
And a wisp of smoke would curl at the far recesses of his consciousness, wondering why the sun was never there.
It was always the sky, the sky—and after ten years, he still couldn't understand why the sky made him feel content and empty at the same time.
Because with his wealth, his prestige, his power, his fame—
He couldn't reach the sky.
After many years, Uchiha Sasuke finally woke up.
The sky is in his eyes.