Author's Note (the one and only). Sasuhina. For the lack of a better title. This was initially written out of pure crack in my native language in order for me to refresh my rusty Lithuanian syntax, when I was studying in Korea. However, people sort of liked it, so I decided to translate it into English and post it in international sites as well. Please keep in mind that it was written during '08 October – '09 January and there definitely are some inaccuracies with the manga, since there has been some significant changes in the plot during these months (Kishi-san gave me a heart-attack a few times v.v). Anyways, not sure whether people will read it much here, but any kind of comment is very welcomed :)
When you have nothing, you need nothing. When you see nothing, it usually boils down to one of three options:
* you're blind;
* sight malfunction is temporal or induced by a certain drug;
* it's too dark in the room.
In this case, however, all the variants were possible. What was more, Sasuke was lying with his eyes closed and he totally wasn't interested in a possibility of seeing anything. It was pitch darkness at midnight in the middle of winter. He didn't know there was not a single star in the sky. The sky was covered by a thick layer of clouds, which did not let the ground get cold, but at the same time it was oppressing the villagers. The streetlights weren't much of a help. Due to dismal weather the usually bright light was now dim and wan, as if one was looking through a glass of a smeary bottle.
The window of his ward was covered with dark curtains which wouldn't have let in any rays of sun even during the brightest day possible. Everything looked gloomy in that small room – white ghostly walls, Spartan chair at the patient's bed and even the patient himself who looked more like a Grim Reaper than a young man in his early twenties.
Sasuke was blind. For a couple of weeks already. Ever since that day, when Sakura stormed into his ward as a case of typhoon and blocked his sight nerve using chakra channels, he has never opened those dark eyes of his. The eyes which have been causing him a severe case of migraine for a few years already. Their light would fade from time to time, and sometimes the eyesight would become more piercing than that of any bird of prey. When he scandalously returned to the renewable Konoha (after planning and trying for several times to wipe his homeland off the face of earth), Sasuke tried to use the sharingan as seldom as possible and depend solely on his taijutsu and ninjutsu, but the blood was some sort of a curse. The more you knew, the more you had to sacrifice in order to retain that knowledge or use it.
Needless to say, that as an illness is there for a long time, eventually a person gets used to it and shakes down to it, therefore eventually Sasuke was no longer surprised when his sight would disappear in the middle of a day and he would have to trust his hearing and touch, trying to get back home through a busy street of Konoha. That was one of the reasons, why he didn't undertake any missions. Perhaps the fifth hag would have given him the highest class missions, but he wasn't so crazy about his abilities to actually volunteer his services and risk the success of a mission. Maybe he was a highly individualistic emo prick, but he wasn't completely dumb.
However, it could not last long, because eventually that blonde understood everything and tattled him on Sakura. Sakura, in turn, told everything to the old hag and Sasuke didn't even register as he was hospitalized swiftly and he had to suffer weird analyses and experiments every single day. Everything, ranging from a mere eyesight check looking at a table of geometry shapes with one eye covered to the most fantastic medical jutsu, which would only leave him hungry or induce an indescribable itch on his back somewhere in between fifth and sixth rib on the left.
He was so tired of everything that he had no wish to object to any of that. He was suffering everything silently, without showing any positive or negative emotions. He didn't say a word when even the Hyuuga's were asked to "save Uchiha Sasuke", even though under normal circumstances his right eye would have started twitching and he would have experienced terrible cramps in his stomach, however right now he didn't care a bit. He could have easily called out for the Team Hawk, which these days was undertaking Konoha's commissions of S-class level. But whatever. He had no wish to hinder them. Besides, that madwoman Karin would start fussing over him again… needless to say, that after all these years he began appreciating people's concern and everything, but as of now he only wanted peace and quiet. Sasuke was sure that his chances to get better were very slim. An Uchiha could have only been healed by another Uchiha. But he was the only one left. Now REALLY the only one. Whoever had an eye wasn't a real Uchiha anyways.
So after a few months of totally futile search for the cause of the illness and after sending all the Hyuugas to hell (Sasuke partially believed that the clan wasn't even trying to help, they just stood there for a few days in front of the analysis data just for the sake of it), Sakura decided to block his sight nerve so that the eyesight wouldn't deteriorate any further, until she finds a reason why mangekyo damages the eyes so much. "You would go blind sooner or later anyways, if we didn't cure you," she told him then. "So what's the difference – being blind for a short time right now, or being blind for the rest of your life later?"
He just shrugged and let her blind him. At least she was no longer that crazy girl from the Ninja Academy who used to be all over him back in the days. She was really professional and she genuinely was trying to find out what went wrong. She was living on. The dumb blonde was living on. The whole damn Konoha village was living on. He was suspended in time.
Sakura rubbed her tired eyes and looked out of the window. It was snowing again. In big nice snowflakes. They were falling one after the other, fluttering above Konoha in the middle of a dark winter night, covering the village with a white fluffy cold blanket, which was of a treacherous beauty. She sighed and concentrated on a pile of papers on her desk again. Now, as she was basically a senior medical ninja, the scope of her work has expanded tremendously, but it basically meant that she had to deal with all the papers present. Sometimes she just wanted to clench her fist and cram these papers into the hospital floor with all her might, but that would have caused danger to the whole building, so she would contain herself and write further.
And now there was that Sasuke's case on top of all that. She didn't want admit it, but she had no idea what the cause of his illness was. There had to be some reason for it. Some kind of a clue, hidden in his iris, at the bottom of his eyes, in his blood or DNA. Perhaps she just wasn't adept enough in blood limits. That was why she had asked the Hyuugas for help, hoping that at least Neji or Hinata would help to convince the old heads of the clan to help their former comrade (or the former traitor, most of the people considered him that really). After all it was a common belief that sharingan has evolved from byakugan. However, the young generation wasn't even allowed to approach the Uchiha. The old ones merely stood there for a couple of times, watching the examination, and eventually they walked away, after giving some absolutely abstract and ambiguous pieces of advice.
Sakura couldn't blame them. Uchiha with a high-level mangekyo sharingan was a very handy yet unstable weapon, yet a blind Uchiha was an absolutely harmless mediocre jounin and an inexhaustible source of information. Especially now as he would answer any question concerning any technique he knew about. Unless one would ask something about himself, Uchiha was calm and lazy like an overeaten leopard.
Sakura signed another document and put some stray strands behind her ear. The pink hair was at her elbow level again and she was seriously considering cutting it out of practical calculation. For one, it was getting in the way during missions and at work. Second, she was becoming more like the Fifth, and she didn't want to be compared with her teacher at least in that aspect. Especially as Naruto would remind her eagerly all the time, that "you still need to grow to reach babà Tsunade's level of b00bs… maybe you should drink some concoction or something?"
The medic broke her pencil in half and looked at her hand surprised. There, she got carried away again. She shook her head and stood up. Her office was spacious, but without all those cupboards with files and books galore it would have been even bigger. She sometimes wished she had some sort of a mechanical gadget or a medium, slightly bigger than her pinky or at least smaller than a human head, to store information. She should mention it to the scientists of Konoha. Enough with all that ninjutsu. About time to think of technology.
She switched off her table-lamp and grabbed a few files of papers with intention to bring them to her superior's office. She also was going to visit Uchiha Sasuke before leaving the hospital. Actually she would have gladly missed that last visit, but it was necessary to check over his health indicators, and besides, she had promised Naruto to look over their former teammate. It was neither her duty nor her obligation, but he was constantly alone. Alone in an absolute darkness. It must have been terrible.
Sakura smiled. Perhaps the word "terrible" was not present in Sasuke's individual vocabulary. However, as she headed towards the door she felt her stomach churn with anxiety. The girl knew why. She was afraid she would feel pity the moment she would cast her eyes on Sasuke. She was afraid he would feel her pity. She had spent way too many years with him not to realize that her pity would only upset him further.
When she reached for the handle, she heard a silent knock. Sakura opened the door surprised and met with transparent foggy eyes. Hinata pushed back her snowy and furry hood, and smiled tentatively.
"Hinata-chan?" Sakura blinked.
"Sakura-chan," Hinata unzipped her warm Eskimo jacket and pulled out a dark blue notebook, "I copied a chapter from a book on our clan about blood limits, just as I promised," she offered Sakura the notebook, "I hope it helps."
Sakura took the notebook dumbfounded and opened the first page. Lots of lines in a neat and tidy handwriting of Hyuuga Hinata were telling of an eye structure and special skills of particular clans. She remembered that Hinata had promised to look for any kind of information which would be useful in Sasuke's case, but she had to be extra careful as to not raise her father's suspicion. Every single member of her family would have realized immediately that she was trying to help the Uchiha. Therefore it's been two weeks since her promise and its fulfillment. Suddenly Sakura wished there were more people like Hinata, who were helping without any reward, helping simply because they were genuinely kind.
"Thank you very much," Sakura said silently, thumbing the pages. She bit her lip, trying to hold back that lump in her throat.
"Are… are you alright?" in the course of a few years Hinata learned to leave her stutter behind even in Naruto's presence, but even so her speaking manner remained silent and timid.
"Actually…" Sakura leaned onto the door and looked at the girl in front of her. They were never too close. Hinata wasn't Ino, but there was something in that dark-haired that made her trustworthy. "I don't want to go to his ward… I don't want to pity him," Hinata weighed down her head, when Sakura's turquoise eyes glistened. "But I also don't want him to be alone… and I still need to deliver these papers to my superior…" she perked up suddenly. "Do you have a curfew?"
"Excuse me?" Hinata looked up surprised. "I… me… I have no curfew. I'm... an adult."
"Could you spend some time with him, please?" Sakura cupped Hinata's hands. "It starts oppressing me; I can't take another night like this."
"Me?" Hinata blinked. "But I… I don't even know him… I've never talked to him properly in my entire life…"
"There's no need to talk," Sakura shook her head. "Just sit near him for a while, please? At least for 10 minutes. Pretty please," Hinata gulped as those turquoise eyes pierced right through her.
To be continued…