The Winds Can Whisper
A Naruto Fanfiction by TKCat
Summary: Sometimes, Naruto knows things he doesn't really want to know. It's not his fault, though; he can't close his ears every time a breeze blows up. That's his ability: Every secret spoken out loud is caught by the air currents that absolutely love telling him everything they know. Basically, the winds talk to him. But according to Naruto, knowing the cheerleaders' worst dating secrets, the secluded talk from the teacher's longue, or the fact that your best friend has been jerking off to your face for years, is completely unnecessary…
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Warnings: Shonen-Ai (BL), Yaoi (M/M), Sexual Content
Beta'ed by: [Un-Beta'ed]
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto
A/N: Hello! I know: it's a miracle… I'm not dead. Really, I'm not. I'm just in some much stressed out situations right now, and I'm hoping to make it up to you guys by writing this. ^^ I know most of you are waiting for "WTF ILU", but due to unfortunate circumstances, that will have to wait for a while longer. Explanations can be found in my profile.
To tell the truth, this is sort of a gift for Acire-chan that I'll be working on until I can start with WTF ILU once again. I want to tell her I'm sorry for not giving signs of life over the last months, and I want to say that if she's still interested in helping me out I'm working on a one-shot request that I'd really love to have read through by another set of eyes before publishing. She's been really amazing and kind to me and my stories. She deserves a BIG hug. Thank you, Hun!
This is sort of the beta to one of my upcoming stories, "Taught by the Winds". Naruto's strange ability is the only thing that connects the story to this one, as this is a modern-world-AU while the other story involves more fantasy. "The Winds Can Whisper" will only be three-four short chapters though, while its follower will probably be on 12+ longer ones.
Other than that, please enjoy!
Chapter 1: Breeze
'What—! She slept with… with him?'
'Yeah, it's true… unbelievable, right? She could do so much better!'
Make it stop…
'But then again, that just proves how easy she really is.'
'Uhu, just last week I heard she was checked up by Tamaki Isshu in our English class – and she didn't do anything to stop him! She even acted like she liked it!'
'Ugh! What a slut! That's so… so disgusting!'
Please, make it stop… I don't want to hear it…
'Don't go on telling everyone, though. If it gets around, it'll be bad for the squad image.'
'Yeah, we should deal with it internally. Threaten her position; mess with her make-up, or something. I never liked the bitch anyway.'
Stop it, stop it, stop it…!
Soft laughter… 'Oh, I can't wait to see her face! Yoshino Kaede, you're going down, bitch—'
"Just make it fucking stop, damn it!"
Only after the horrible buzzing sounds in his head settled down, Naruto noted the awfully awkward silence in the usually noisy classroom. It took him a second to feel every pair of eyes in the room staring at him, another to realize he was gripping the rough edges of his desk to the point where splinters were digging into his palms, and yet another one to grasp the fact that he had just had an outburst in the middle of Iruka-sensei's math class. Not good.
That was the fifth time that week, and Wednesday had just started.
Exhaling shakily and swallowing his overreacting nerves, the blond loosened his grip on the desk, wincing as the wooden needles were pulled out of his skin. He sat down properly and nursed his reddening palms underneath the desk to avoid anyone seeing the small wounds. Some people tended to overreact over such small things, like he was too dense to know what his body could take. Small cuts were far below that limit.
Iruka cleared his throat, catching the students' attention. "Well, Naruto-kun," the brunet teacher spoke slowly, eyes calmly directing their attention at said student. If one squinted, slight concern was hidden underneath his strict tone. But Naruto knew he wouldn't get unnoted out of this one; of the five times this had happened this week, three had been in Umino Iruka's class. "Your choices are the principal office or the answer to exercise four point twenty-three b, please. No, the nurse office isn't even an opinion when you're really not considering actually going there."
Muting out the mocking sniggers coming from his classmates, Naruto shrunk behind his worn-out, doodle covered rough book to hopefully find the answer scribbled down somewhere. Depressingly, as if his mess of a life wasn't enough at the moment, he couldn't even say he remembered doing the exercise he was asked to answer.
Ever so slightly, he regretted he hadn't at least dropped by and convinced the nurse to tell the teachers he'd been there the last time he'd been offered to go. That way he could've avoided a great deal of this mess. The truth was that Naruto really hated the school's nurse office, more than he hated the three minutes it took for his instant noodles to cook – and that was saying something. He "heard" too much in there. It was more like a common chat room on the internet, filled with thousands of people rather than a sacred place to escape from his "problem". Thanks to the God damn air-conditioning…
And yet, the nurse office was his only excuse to get away from class when these episodes hit him.
He felt a slight rush of relief flush through him as he finally spotted the messy numbers of the exercise. After reading them out, he caught Iruka's satisfied expression. The teacher smiled pleased at his student and went back to the lesson. Naruto let on a small grin. He was off the hook – for now, anyway. While smiling wryly to no one in particular, the blond felt relieved that all the eyes from before now found everything else more interesting than him. Well, all but one pair. Turning his head towards the back, azure orbs meet with blank, dark grey ones. Only Uzumaki Naruto could read the anxiety, worry and warning hiding behind the blank screens.
Damn. Sasuke would want a long talk this time.
Sighing in displeasure, he sent a discreet glare at the window standing open at the other side of the room. A soft breeze blew by, casting a slight waft of wind into the classroom. He winced as a last buzz ran through his mind.
'—tell Sakura at lunch. We'll get it done and over with after practice.'
Class ended, and the bell rung out to lunch at St. Lyrical Academy – or "La High", as the students dubbed the old law school that worked as the local high school nowadays. The grand building housed more than nine hundred students from the region, plus teachers and other employees, and had quite the collection of forgotten rooms, old hideaways and sacred gardens for students searching to get away. Not to mention all the secrets echoing in the walls. Naruto was convinced he was the only person who knew them all – unwillingly, at that.
For those who glanced up when he walked by, Naruto would appear to be the typical disorientated guy who always disturbed the class and got in trouble with the teachers. Those who looked a little closer would catch that there was something that made him different from others – and then they'd blame it on the fact that he wasn't exactly the most popular guy around. To those who looked close enough it was quite obvious that Naruto wasn't like any other teen around his age.
Sometimes, ever since he was a child, Naruto knew things he shouldn't really know. Secrets of all kinds found their way to him, ranging from where people kept their spare keys, to the person (in some cases this noun was in plural) they spent their moments of passion with. He wasn't psychic, or telepathic; those were theories he had scratched off of the list ages ago. Nor was he at the wrong place at the wrong time; some of these secrets, he shouldn't physically been able to know. There had been other theories swirling in his mind, but he had found ways to shut them all down until all that was left was the suggestion of insanity.
Only after he turned fourteen, Naruto understood what was happening to him, why he knew all those things. He hadn't believed it himself right away, but after weeks of testing and noting when he "heard" things, he came up with a conclusion. Every time this buzzing happened he was either outside or in a room where windows or doors stood open. Every time he heard someone's voice in his head, the howling of a wind or a breeze could be heard in the background. Every fucking time his problem occurred there had been natural movement in the air currents around him.
The answer was simple, really. As unbelievable as it sounded, Uzumaki Naruto talked with the winds. Or rather: the winds talked to him.
Naruto was no genius when it came to science, biology and every other subject connected to how the world worked, but he had followed classes for long enough to understand that all of sound he heard was actually vibrations hitting the mechanism in his ears. Using his slight knowledge, he had puzzled together a not quite secure theory on how he could hear what people had been saying when he wasn't even near enough to catch the vibrations. The air current, he concluded, could've carried the vibrations from the source and to him. The reason why the theory wasn't trustable was that if it was indeed true, other people should've been able to hear it as well. But he was the only one.
The fact remained the same, though: the winds carried the secrets to him. The winds talked to him. That was the reason why he knew all the school's secrets, plus some other things people would rather have no one knowing. That was his ability.
And he absolutely hated it – especially today…
While stuffing his math books into his locker, Naruto made sure the plate in the back was in its proper place. In the outdoor PE class, just a few weeks ago, he had learned that the back of his locker was loose, and worked as a secret entrance into the fifth locker from the showers in the girls' locked room. Perhaps he'd make use of it one day, but for now he let it stay a secret. Sighing heavily, he dragged a tan hand through his blond mess of hair. Yet another secret I'm not supposed to know in the first place…
He was bringing out his lunch from the upper shelf when a pale hand – unsurprisingly – slammed the locker door next to his shut to reveal the presence of a mildly irritated Uchiha Sasuke. About time, the blond couldn't help but comment to himself as he eyed his slightly older classmate.
Naruto had many times – although hesitantly – come to the conclusion that there was no wonder the girl population of La High absolutely adored the mature teen. Sasuke was, for lack of better words, smoking hot. At least from a girl's point of view, the blond could imagine. Pale skin, six feet in height, deep, dark eyes and a fair share of muscles on arms, torso and legs were top priority on the "ideal boyfriend list" for any girl that had ever caught a glimpse of the Uchiha Sasuke. It was said he could even make the dreadfully boring school uniforms look like they were taken out of a soft porn movie. There was also something about a "cool hairdo", but Naruto ruled that out on the list of things he could understand people liked about the guy. It stuck up in the back like some bird had made a nest in his head and was struggling to get out – ass first.
Other than that, Uchiha Sasuke was also a genius at school and a complete bastard. Any insult was thrown back at you in a way that only left room for a half-assed, stupid reply. His vocabulary could vary from extremely limited grunts to the point where you believed you were listening to a dictionary speaking (all those words, and you don't know half of them), all depending on his mood. Additionally, he was known to have turned down every single offer he'd received regarding dating and relationships since he enrolled the school as a freshman, no matter who it was asking. A complete bastard, indeed: a bastard who also happened to be the Naruto's best friend.
Sasuke was also the only person who knew about his… ability.
"Naruto…" Sasuke's voice warned as the blond smiled nonchalantly at him, as if the meaningful look he'd sent him in class hadn't meant a thing. A growl escaped him, showing his seriousness regarding the situation. "What was it this time?"
Naruto let his smile drop at the grim tone Sasuke gave him. As he thought, there was no avoiding this conversation. He exhaled slowly, avoiding eye contact to fiddle with his lunch pack as he replied. "Same shit that always happens, duh."
Sasuke gave an intolerant grunt. "I know what happened. I want to know what you heard." When silence and a blank expression followed the demand, he groaned impatiently, rubbing his temple with his right hand. "Look, Naruto, I only want to help out, but if you won't talk about whatever it is bothering you now, I—"
"Well, I didn't want to know that shit in the first place!" the blond bit back, slamming his locker shut with the force of an angered bull. The sudden exclamation attracted a few puzzled glances from other students to the duo. Naruto's infuriated glare sent most of the onlookers packing, but a few still remained to stare mildly interested at the fuming blond. Swallowing his rage and exhaling some heavy steam, he once again turned to Sasuke. "Alright, I'll tell you, just not… here."
Sasuke nodded understandingly, most of the annoyance from before forgotten. "Rooftop greenhouse sound good to you?"
"Yes, that's perfect."
They quietly agreed to bring their lunch up to the greenhouse as well, both to save time and to save Sasuke from the endless line of girls waiting to sit with him in the cafeteria. Naruto personally didn't mind the girls. They were all mostly pretty faces, and some of them were smart as well – he could think of a couple he wouldn't mind dating, if it wasn't for his thing. It became a real pain when he ended up knowing things about the girl she didn't really want him knowing. Then again, it was because of this abilitythat he'd discovered the rooftop greenhouse. Someone who'd graduated some years ago had left a copy of the key under the fifth stone from the right of the entrance of the janitor's hut. That Naruto had learned during his summer job a couple of years back as a pool boy for the school.
Every good thing came along with a bad thing. That was another reason why Naruto absolutely despised his ability. For everything useful, something he'd rather not know anything about came along. He had a feeling that today would be no exception from that norm.
The walk up the old, creaky stairs was always unpleasant. The steps were slim, the climb up was narrow, and the smell of rotten wood wasn't exactly thrilling for the nostrils – but that's usually what you got with a secret entrance hidden in the back of a broom cottage. When they went together, Naruto would always go first, seeing he was smaller and had better luck with fitting the key into the lock on the lid leading up to the roof.
Finally getting the creaky mechanism to open, Naruto lifted the lid and had Sasuke hand him their stuff, which he sluggishly threw up onto the roof before heaving himself up the hole and into the open air. Standing up, he brushed off himself before picking up his lunch, only to drop it again as a small gust washed over the rooftop. He unconsciously clutched his head, trying to block out anything trying to push its way into his head.
"Fuck…" he cursed quietly, concentrating all his energy on stopping the intruding information. Luckily, it didn't last for long this time, and all he could pick up was a meaningless giggle.
However, Sasuke had climbed up in time to see it. The raven frowned at the pathetic smile he tried giving him, sort of to say "I'm okay", but didn't say anything else. Instead, Sasuke lead the way to the greenhouse and opened the door for them. Naruto picked up his lunch and follower suit, making sure to close the door tightly behind him.
Only when the door and any other opening were locked secured, Naruto could relax. He flopped down next to Sasuke onto the wooden bench placed inside the greenhouse for potential gardeners to take their breaks. A heavy groan of exhaustion left him as he relieved every muscle in his body of the tension he had felt all morning. Taking in the calming scents of the building – flowers and greenery blending together in a heavy aroma – Naruto terminated that it was at times like these he was happy to have such a heavenly free place.
The four, green framed glass walls of the wind-tight greenhouse provided exactly what he needed when hearing voices and buzzing all the time became too much for him: shelter to rest and escape the mess his life was becoming. It hadn't always been as exhausting as this.
Before he hit puberty the buzzing had been more muted, more pleasant. But after he turned thirteen it had been like a broken radio was pushed into his head where it desperately tried to catch something useful for the (unwilling) listener. As the years passed it became absolutely terrible. Every single waft of find, every movement in the air currents, became a danger zone to him, and the air-conditioner – which hadn't had a single effect on him before – had become his worst enemy. At times, all the stress became so much that he was sure he'd have turned to self harm to keep the buzzing from starting – if it hadn't been for Sasuke.
Sasuke was just about the only friend Naruto could act normally around. Sure, he had a few other people close to him, and he used to have a lot of friends, but those relationships were often devoid of trust and honesty – at the fault of the blond's "gift", if you could call it that. Knowing things about his friends that he shouldn't know really affected him nastily. Every person had their dirty secrets, and knowing it often made it hard to look at the person as the same person you first knew.
Sasuke, however, was different. Sasuke was an unsocial creature by nature. Like said, Naruto couldn't read minds, and only secrets spoken aloud could ever reach him. Sasuke didn't share his secrets with anyone, and at times Naruto didn't even think he had any secrets to share. The point was that he never caught anything unpleasant on Sasuke. Sasuke was therefore the only person he could act somewhat normal around.
Naruto smiled wryly at that remark. As "normal" as it gets when you talk to air, he commented to himself.
Sasuke also understood him better than anyone else. Though he knew it was burning the Uchiha not to know what was bothering him, Sasuke kept quiet about it. He knew Naruto wanted some time to enjoy the peace before firing the cannon. When the blond finished up his lunch, the raven saw it as the perfect time to start.
"Well…?" Sasuke started, grey eyes drilling into Naruto's blue ones, preventing him from turning away from the subject.
"It's just… some gossip in the cheerleading squad," he finally replied after gulping down the last pieces of his food.
"And…?" Sasuke urged, scowling at the faked questioning look he got in return. "If it was only some meaningless gossip you wouldn't have reacted that way in the hallway. Tell me the rest."
"There is nothing to tell, really. I just… I…" Naruto trailed off, chewing on his bottom lip in discomfort. The Uchiha waited in silence for him to formulate his words. The blond looked wretchedly up at him. Damn Inuzuka Kiba for opening that window. "I know the girl they were talking about. Kaede-chan… she's a good friend of Konohamaru, you know. She's a good girl and all, but after she stood up for some lonely geek in her drama class some nasty rumors started following her. I've known for some time, but now they're starting to bundle up, and some bitches in the squad want to kick her out and shit…" He paused, swallowing to moisten his throat. "They're going to tell Sakura today at lunch, if I'm right. They said to deal with it after practice, and they went on a break earlier this week because of the painting going on in the gym."
They both grew quiet for a bit before Sasuke spoke again. "So, basically… you know that an innocent girl is in for trouble, and you're telling me that you wish you didn't get to know anything about this in the first place." Naruto nodded solemnly, agreeing to the statement. Sasuke snorted, digging his intimidating gaze deeper into his friend. "I'm not the one for honesty, justice, and all that shit, but you know damn well that you are. You're always looking for reasons not to have this gift, but you never stop to think of what good this thing could—"
"Good? This gift…?" Naruto interrupted, glaring daggers at the Uchiha for even trying that statement. "I'm fucking talking to air, bastard! And the air lets me know whatever the fuck it wants me to know, and that's mostly things I don't even need to know exists! This gift of mine is ruining my fucking life! For every small good thing I get out of it, something ten times worse on the bad-scale comes bouncing back at me! How can you even call this… this curse a gift…?"
Only heavy breathing filled the greenhouse after that. Naruto slowly realized how childish he sounded, and confirmed that by catching Sasuke's blank stare. The blond let out another breath, and then stared apologetically at his dark haired friend. "I'm… sorry," he started, and then looked away, unable to keep the eye contact with such a blank expression. "I just needed to blow off some steam. Sorry to take it out on you."
Sasuke closed his eyes for a brief second, nodding curtly to his friend as if to say "apology accepted". He then picked up the subject again. "What I mean to say is that maybe the point of it all is for you to help Kaede out of this situation."
Naruto thought about it for a moment, glaring softly at the floor. "How…?"
Sasuke shrugged at the question. "How'd I know? Try warning her; prove the rumors wrong, talk to Sakura…"
"Talk to Sakura?" the blond snorted. "Yeah, right… Little old me talk to the schools beloved squad leader and class president? Such popular divas are out of my league. You're an exception," he quickly added the last part as he saw Sasuke about to comment on just that. They grew into yet another silence after that. Naruto found the orchids standing a little away from them very interesting while Sasuke simply continued staring at the blond. The pair sat like that for a good couple of minutes.
"I could help, you know," Sasuke suddenly said.
A couple of seconds ticked by before Naruto burst out laughing at his friend's words. "Ha ha, yeah, I can imagine! Uchiha Sasuke taking contact with the school's cheer queen: that's gonna make a hell of an uproar, I bet ya!" He then winked over at the raven. "Thanks for the laughs, though."
Sasuke nodded slowly in reply, and the subject was left alone after that. He had accomplished the one thing he could do to help his friend through his problems: be there for him, humor him – keep him happy. That's all he could do. Naruto wouldn't let him get too mixed up in the mess his ability often caused him. The blond had been furious when he had offered to take him to the nurse a little while back, to escape the classroom. What really bothered him though, were Naruto's incredibly good acting skills. Other people were easily fooled by his act, and then they stopped noticing him anymore. But Sasuke kept noticing. He always noticed. Sasuke was also the only person in Umino Iruka's math class who noticed the wounds in the blond's palms.
Sasuke noticed because he cared. Naruto knew that. And yet, he wouldn't let the Uchiha help him any further than he was already doing. That's how it had always been.
The rest of the lunch hour was used to talk about other, less depressing things – or rather: Naruto did the talking while Sasuke listened. Unless Sasuke found something incredibly interesting, he barely said a thing in a conversation. That didn't make him any less of a good listener, though, and when being the listener day in and day out, having someone listen to him for a change meant a great deal to the blond.
When only five minutes remained of the lunch hour, they made their way down and to their next classes. On his way to history, a class he didn't share with Sasuke, Naruto only had one small case of his problem. While walking down the grey, near empty hallways, he had noticed a window opened wide on the other side of the corridor. A breeze was all needed, and the noises started up again. It was a groan mixed in with the regular buzzing, nothing of importance, really.
The only thing that came to mind was that the sound was awfully familiar. Yet he couldn't quite replace it.
Shrugging it off, Naruto continued on his way to history.
Every good thing came along with a bad thing. Too bad, for Naruto's sake, the "bad thing" had yet to come…
A/N: So… what do you think?
I'm still a bit rusty after summer vacation, I know, but I'm trying. I hope that I'll be back on track soon, so until then some cheering comments would be helpful. Thank you all for reading. *bows* (_ _)