A Face to Your Voice

Sasuke walked into the little ramen shop, half disbelieving it really existed. Things could have changed in the three months he'd been in a coma and the following two during rehab. Yet the ramen shop stood right where it had been described, glaring out at him as though to loudly and boldly say: proof. Naruto had mentioned the name and general location a few times; Sasuke was just grateful for his good memory.

He wasn't sure exactly what to do or say upon going inside. As far as he could remember from his hospital roommate's excessive talking, his family owned the business. Sasuke assumed that meant Naruto worked there or at least went there sometimes. But Sasuke had no idea what Naruto looked like other than blond, blue eyed, and tan. Didn't that describe about half the population in California?

What if he couldn't find Naruto with just those small details?

Sasuke disregarded the thought. After all, Naruto had gone out of his way to continue to see Sasuke. According to the doctors, Naruto had been released from the hospital three weeks before Sasuke had woken up from his coma and had still come to visit him, not even knowing his name. Shouldn't that count as something?

Someone should know the name Naruto, at least, but how was he to walk in and say that he'd never officially met him? Naruto didn't even know his name, just called him Mister all the time. Would Naruto recognize him? It didn't help that he'd had bandages covering half his face. What was he to say to the man who had pulled him out of the darkness of the coma? "Hi? Remember me? The guy in a coma sharing a hospital room with you? The guy who you talked to because you felt sorry no one came to visit? The guy whose life you saved when you pulled me from the burning vehicle? The guy who vanished as soon as he woke up?"

Part of Sasuke felt bad. After all, his family had been looking for him, but he'd been two states away from his home when his life had turned upside down. He, Naruto, and an idiot driver who had caused them all to crash, had been in a horrible accident. The other driver had sped through a red light, crashing into the driver's side of Sasuke's car. To make things worse, Sasuke's car had spun and hit another car: Naruto's car. According to witnesses from the police report, the driver who had caused the crash had come up to Sasuke's window. At first, it appeared that he was trying to see if Sasuke was okay, but then he stole Sasuke's wallet and ID, taken a look at the flames coming from the hood, and run off on foot. Thankfully Naruto had been there and pulled him out of the car before it exploded, but both of them had still gotten badly hurt due to the accident itself.

With the severity of his accident leaving him in a coma, his car totaled, being two states away on business, and no ID, his family had had no idea where he was. When he'd woken up and told the doctors his name, he'd been moved immediately to a hospital in his own state. He always wondered if Naruto had come back to visit him. For the umpteenth time he wished he'd been more aware upon waking up to leave contact information just in case Naruto had come back to visit.

Needless to say he was grateful that his family had found him, but he had always wanted to see the man who had rescued him. The man he'd never seen, only knew his voice, calling him back from the darkness caused not just by the crash, but by his loneliness. Sasuke was also grateful that the thief who stole his credit card finally used it and was now rotting in jail for theft, identity fraud, grand theft (as the car hadn't even been his), hit and run, and DUI.

As soon as Sasuke had been released from the hospital, he had gone in search of Naruto, if only, he told himself, to let Naruto know that the man who had hurt them both had been brought to justice.

Sasuke opened the door, looking into the small ramen shop. The booths were filled with smiling customers, happily slurping their noodles. The floor was clean, the music tasteful. Something about the whole place seemed warm and inviting just like Naruto

"Can I help you?" The hostess appeared with a large smile on her face.

"Is Naruto here today?" Sasuke asked bluntly.

The woman seemed a bit taken aback by his question before nodding. Something Sasuke could only describe as giddiness bubbled inside him.

"I need to speak with him," Sasuke demanded. After months of not seeing him, Sasuke's patience could not take sitting in a little booth eating ramen while the person who had been by his side when he'd had no one else was within reach.

"Just a moment," the woman spoke before wandering off into the back, giving him a strange glance over her shoulder.

It felt like an eternity before the hostess appeared followed by a man with blond hair, blue eyes, and a natural California tan. However, what caught his attention were the scars on the man's face, crooked due to shattered windshield glass. One of Naruto's many stories bubbled into Sasuke's mind, his excited voice explaining in detail about when his bandages were removed, how he looked like he had whiskers. Sasuke would have been mortified. Naruto apparently found it cool.

Naruto's eyes looked curious as he approached. There was no recognition in them, nothing to show he had any idea who Sasuke was.

"Can I help you?" Naruto asked, crossing his arms, looking impatient. Naruto's voice was just as Sasuke remembered. It was strange to place a face to the voice, to see the handsome stranger belong to the voice of someone he felt he knew so intimately. Sasuke could merely stare, memorizing the face to go with the voice he knew so well.

There were so many things Sasuke could say, so many things he needed to talk about, to let loose. He should at least thank Naruto for all that he'd done, but he didn't even know where to start. But still, the only thing he could think of to say seemed far too simple.

"Hi. I'm Sasuke," he said, reaching out his hand in greeting. Naruto's eyes widened. Before he knew it, instead of shaking hands, Sasuke was engulfed in a warm hug.

"Sasuke…you're okay," Naruto whispered. Sasuke had to blink his eyes, unsure of why that simple statement, knowing that Naruto knew who he was, knowing that he cared so much, made his eyes burn.

Sasuke awkwardly hugged Naruto back and let out a soft, relieved breath.

Naruto chuckled a little embarrassed and pulled away. He rubbed at his eyes, and Sasuke gave a small smile.

"Uh, hi. I'm Naruto! Nice to officially meet you. Wow! You look really good without your bandages. And your voice is a lot deeper than I thought it would be. It's nice to finally hear what you sound like. And aren't you from Washington? The doctors said you were moved back there instead of staying here in California." Sasuke couldn't help the tug of his lips.

It felt so good to be cared about.

"Do you have some time to talk?" Sasuke asked. Naruto grinned.

"Yeah. You've no idea how much I missed chatting with you, or well, to you. It'll be nice getting to have you talk back to me too."

If Sasuke could think of all that he wanted to say he was sure he'd enjoy it too.


Just a sweet little something. :) Hope you liked it! ~ Jelp