Author's Note: I have a creativity-wave and finally managed to finish this. The plunny has been in my head for a long time and I started writing it... but then left it. Until yesterday. Disclaimer: I do not own naruto or any of the characters. Sasuke's condition is completely made up by my plunny-infected brain.
This story can be seen as either Alternative Universe or Alternative Reality.
The amazing C (Courtney/BelleDragon) beta'd this for me, as usual.
Disclaimer: I do not own naruto or any of the characters. Sasuke's condition is completely made up by my plunny-infected brain.
Through Your Eyes
Sasuke sighed when sitting down and letting the tree hit his back. He was angry and was intent on just listening to the sound of water for a while to help calm him. He didn't expect to hear something move pretty close to him on his right side.
"Uh... Hey." A friendly voice with a curious undertone said.
At first Sasuke simply felt surprised. After all the time he had come here he had never met anyone else. Then he became even more irritated. That's exactly why he came here! To be left alone! And now some other person was going to interrupt even that – today of all days? Then slowly he became curious. What exactly was another person doing here anyway?
"Who are you?" He said, scowling lightly.
He didn't turn his head. What was the point anyway?
"The name is Naruto. Uzumaki Naruto." The voice said cheerfully and he heard the whisper of moving fabric, meaning that this Naruto-person had moved.
A pause stretched between them, only a few seconds long. Then all of a sudden he heard slight movement again and his right hand was trapped in a warm embrace by someone else's fingers while that warm hand moved both of theirs up and down for a little bit.
Sasuke pulled back as if he had been burned; even though he was mostly surprised.
"Don't touch me!" He hissed coldly.
"Whoah! Sorry!" There was slight movement again, and Sasuke imagined this person to sit down properly with his back against the tree trunk – pretty much like how Sasuke was sitting right now.
"You're not very friendly are you?" The tenor voice sounded strangely, cheerfully curious and Sasuke's frown deepened just a little. "You seem pretty angry. Did something happen?"
Sasuke didn't answer. Maybe if he ignored Naruto he would go away and leave him alone.
"I've never seen you here before." Naruto said after a while. "But you seem pretty comfortable and so sure of your place here, so do you come here often after all? I come here every day."
Sasuke blinked – a pretty pointless motion, but old habits die hard. This Naruto-person came here every day? Then how come Sasuke hadn't ever met someone here before?
"Me too." He mumbled before he could stop himself.
"Eh? Really?" The voice sounded disbelieving and for the first time Sasuke realized how loud it really was. "No way! I'm here every afternoon! All the time! How can I not have met you if you're here every day? Wait, you're kidding!"
A laugh followed the last statement, making Sasuke glare into nothing.
"Dumbass, I'm not lying." Why did he even respond to this person at all? It wasn't like him. "I come here every morning."
"Only in the morning?" The voice was still tinted with surprise, then it went over to a mumble. "That explains why I've never seen you before."
Sasuke agreed mentally. If Naruto only came here later they never would have met, of course. Except for today, when Sasuke broke his routine and came late in the afternoon as well.
It was silent between them for a while, and Sasuke did what he had come here to do – listen to the sound of water and the wind rustling through the trees and grass.
The peace was suddenly disturbed when he heard Naruto move again and felt the air shift right in front of his face. He managed not to flinch.
"You..." The voice suddenly sounded unsure, and Sasuke started frowning again. "You can't see...?" Naruto said quietly.
"I am stunned by your brilliance."
"Shut up! You don't have to be a bastard about it!" The guy emitted something that was suspiciously similar to huffing. "It's not like you're wearing a big sign saying 'blind person' on it! You don't even have a blind-dog! Or black glasses!"
Sasuke felt his eyebrow twitch slightly.
"You're such a moron." He muttered irritably.
"I am not!"
"And you're too loud."
"Well you're a jerk!"
And that's how Sasuke found himself involved in a very childish contest on who knew the better insults – and he enjoyed it. Naruto didn't suffocate him with disgusting sympathy, and certainly didn't hesitate to call him out on his rude behaviour. It was very refreshing.
It also felt nice to get that anger out somehow creatively.
After a while the insults slowed down until they simply sat there in comfortable silence, both quite pleased with the whole thing.
Sasuke listened to the water, to the wind, and to Naruto's breathing. Maybe it was quite all right that Naruto was there after all, maybe Sasuke didn't mind it so much. At least not right now.
A while later he heard Naruto move.
"Oops, got to go."
He heard the guy stand up and the sounds of hands brushing dirt and grass off clothing.
"See you, bastard." Naruto paused. "Hey, I never got your name."
Sasuke turned his head towards the voice, even if the motion was pretty useless.
"It's Sasuke." He muttered finally.
"Sasuke." Naruto repeated thoughtfully. "Well Sasuke." The grin could be heard in his voice. "Have a nice day."
Footsteps walked off and Sasuke relaxed against the tree again.
Tsunade let go of his face and turned off the bright light.
"Well, Sasuke." She said slowly. "Your eyes don't seem to be healing on their own properly. It's been almost three months now and there hasn't been much change. I suggest it's finally time we try to help things along."
"Whatever." Sasuke muttered, frowning.
He felt irritated and was sick of all this and mostly he just wanted this check-up over with. It wasn't that he didn't want treatment – he did, it was just that things were moving so slowly and he really started to feel frustrated at it all.
"All right." Tsunade said. "I'm giving you eye drops. You'll take them every morning and every night. Hopefully they can help the healing along."
Sasuke just nodded in answer and he heard Tsunade do things on her desk.
He was hoping things would get better now.
Two weeks after his first meeting with Naruto Sasuke once again found himself "late". He arrived to the tree around lunchtime instead of in the morning as usual, but he calmly sat down when he realized that the other guy wasn't there.
He had been there for quite a while when he heard approaching footsteps. Sasuke tensed up slightly, but relaxed as soon as the other talked.
"Well hello, look who's here." Naruto said cheerfully and sat down beneath the tree as well. "Didn't expect to see you again."
"Hn." Sasuke answered.
"Nifty blindfold, if you had that the first time around it would have been easier for me to get things you know?"
Sasuke briefly touched the cloth covering his eyes. The eye drops he took had made his eyes even more sensitive to light, so much that too much brightness actually hurt him. So now he wore a black cloth around his head at all times to escape getting headaches.
Naruto seemed to take Sasuke's silence as a sign to keep going.
"Such a good day." He said slowly. "The sky is that nice shade of blue, not too blue but not too light. Sun is shining and there are small clouds littered all over, the kind that are fun to imagine weird shapes on."
Sasuke realized a few minutes later what Naruto actually did. Naruto let him see through Naruto's eyes. Let him see colours and shapes again in the way he wasn't able to do on his own. Naruto also told him random things about himself and his life. His thoughts, his friends and things that happened to him.
Instead of being annoyed Sasuke found it quite relaxing. It didn't feel unnatural; it felt like Naruto did it with ease. Naruto seemed to be made for odd small talk – so Sasuke let him.
It slowly became a habit for Sasuke to arrive "late" to their tree. First only now and then, but after a while more and more often. Naruto never arrived early, but he didn't seem to mind at all when Sasuke came on "Naruto's" time, actually he seemed to enjoy Sasuke's company.
Sasuke liked that. He could control when he wanted to meet Naruto and when he wanted to sit there alone. It felt good to have at least one thing in his life under control.
Naruto did most of the talking – allowing Sasuke to see through his eyes, be part of his world. It was so different from the world Sasuke remembered and he often found himself strangely fascinated.
They fought a lot too. Not physically, they never touched each other, but verbally. For Sasuke – who often felt frustrated – this was a way to release tension. And Naruto was good at snarky banter, which made it all more enjoyable.
It was never spoken out loud between them; but they were definitely becoming friends.
"Still not healing." Sasuke could practically hear the frown in Tsunade's voice. "It's been too long."
She sighed and Sasuke felt his eyebrows knit together.
"The eye drops helped a little but now it's been standing still for weeks. I'm afraid the drops can't do more for you."
"So now what?" Sasuke felt restless and irritated, and his voice came out dark as a result.
"Now it's time for important decisions." Tsunade answered somberly. "Now you're good enough to see light differences, and you told me that on good days you can see shadows, but the thing is that you're not getting better than this."
She paused for a second and Sasuke could hear a pen move over paper before it was put down. Sasuke could feel her eyes on him.
"There is surgery." She said. "But the success rate isn't very high; actually it's more likely that it fails and you'll go back to seeing nothing."
"I'll do it." Sasuke said.
"Sasuke, you should really think this through before you-..."
"Enough!" Sasuke snapped before he calmed down. "I've been doing nothing for months other than thinking. I'm sick of thinking. There is a chance for success and this is my only chance at it. So I'll do it."
He really missed glaring. Very much. Glaring was such a wonderful way to communicate.
"When can it be done?" He finished.
Tsunade sighed before apparently giving up and he heard the rustling of papers.
"Two weeks." She said.
The following two weeks Sasuke met Naruto every day. That was new, but it actually seemed to make Naruto happy. Sasuke didn't tell him about his upcoming surgery, Sasuke never talked much about his condition in the first place so in a way it made sense.
Of course he was nervous. This was something that could change his life again after all. And when Sasuke was nervous he had a tendency to be restless and easily irritated. Naruto's presence worked soothingly on him though, which was partly why he spent so much time with the guy.
The day before surgery he was worse than ever, and he ended up sitting beneath their tree already from early morning – his usual time – and until Naruto showed up.
Naruto noticed something was up, Sasuke could tell, but he didn't pressure Sasuke to say anything about it. He just went on as usual – Sasuke was very grateful for that.
They ended up staying longer than usual as well, just enjoying each other's company, even if Sasuke was quite tense.
"Naruto." He said at last.
Not "idiot", not "moron", or any other of his usual insults. Naruto took it calmly though.
"Hm?" He answered, and Sasuke could hear the smile.
"You always tell me things, letting me see through your eyes." Sasuke said slowly, this wasn't something they had really spoken about before, it just happened. "But you never let me see you. What do you look like?"
Naruto had never told him, and Sasuke had never asked. It had never seemed important before. But tomorrow Sasuke was going through something that could take away his sight forever – or give it back to him, and somehow he found himself curious for the first time.
Not that it really mattered, but it would be nice to know.
Naruto chuckled gently.
"All right." He said. "Relax."
And he took Sasuke's hand. Sasuke couldn't help but flinch a little before he fully realized what was happening. Naruto's hand was big, even if his fingers felt rather short, and the skin was calloused.
Then Sasuke's fingers were put on skin and Sasuke's other hand was shown the way to Naruto's face the same way.
Sasuke felt his heart beating faster, this felt... intimate. But at the same time safe, because this was Naruto, so it was all fine.
His fingers were resting near Naruto's temples on both sides of his face.
Sasuke took a slow breath and moved his hands. First up a little, feeling Naruto's hair. It was soft, but thick. In the way when every strand is really thin but there are plenty of them.
"Blond." Naruto informed him quietly.
Slowly his fingers trailed down a smooth forehead and moved over soft eyebrows. He was careful when travelling over closed eyelids, just brushing eyelashes that weren't very long, but not exactly short either.
"Blue." Naruto said.
Fingertips followed a straight nose, ending in a soft tip, before going back up a little to feel over cheekbones and down. There were bumps along the way, on both sides. Sasuke investigated carefully. Three long ridges on both cheeks. He felt his eyebrows furrow a little when he felt over them. The pattern made him think of whiskers but it felt like-...
"Scars." Naruto confirmed softly.
Sasuke nodded slightly. That seemed right. He kept going down, following a strong jaw, ending in a square chin. Almost holding his breath he let one finger go up, lightly touching dry, almost chapped, lips. They moved suddenly when Naruto smiled and Sasuke removed his hands completely from the other's face.
"Thank you." He said quietly.
Sasuke felt himself slowly waking up. He didn't rush it; just let his consciousness float upwards in the speed that felt most comfortable. He lay there, relaxing his body even when he felt fully awake.
A door opened.
That was Tsunade's voice. Sasuke didn't feel like answering, just nodded slowly. The door closed and Tsunade's footsteps came closer to the bed.
"For all we know the surgery went well." She said slowly and he heard her handling what probably was his journal. "We won't know for sure until about three weeks though. We're giving your eyes the chance to heal completely before doing anything else. I want you to stay here at the hospital, and we'll keep your eyes covered to not strain them and possibly damage something. This is an important time, anything going wrong now may impact the healing so you have to be careful – which is why I want you right here, resting. Understood?"
"Good." And she left.
Sasuke sighed. Three weeks of resting in a hospital? Great. Now that wouldn't make him restless and irritated at all.
But he understood. And he wanted this. If focusing on healing and hoping for the best was what he had to do for the next few weeks, then he would do exactly that.
Exactly three weeks and five days later Sasuke was walking the very familiar way towards their tree. And he wondered briefly since when he started to think "their" tree. It used to be only Sasuke's.
Being in the hospital had been just as awful as he had thought it would be. But he kept his temper in check and tried to be patient with stupid nurses and his own restlessness. He had spent 23 days in that. The longest 23 days of his life, he was sure of it.
Then Tsunade finally told him that he could uncover his eyes. The moment he had been waiting for all this time.
And he found himself unable to.
It was a low blow to his pride to admit that he wasn't ready. Was he scared? He wasn't sure. He didn't know what stopped him, but he simply wasn't ready to face the outcome of all that waiting.
Tsunade was surprisingly understanding, told him to take his time and sent him home.
And so he spent two days brooding in his apartment.
At least he was out now, on his way to that familiar place. It was morning, he wasn't sure if he could handle meeting Naruto when he felt this unstable. He missed him, they had never been apart for such a long time before, but it just felt weird. Sasuke felt like he had lost his confidence somewhere – maybe that was what was really wrong with him.
With a sigh he reached out one hand to touch the bark on their tree, steadying him.
Sasuke flinched in surprise at hearing the familiar voice uncertainly say his name in a quiet manner. Then he was pulled into a strong embrace, two arms holding him against Naruto's chest tightly. Naruto's scent of forest, grass and something slightly spicy invaded Sasuke's nose.
"I was worried." Naruto confessed. "You didn't show up for so long and I started to come here in the mornings but I didn't see you."
Naruto let him go and Sasuke slowly leaned his back against the tree.
"You bastard." He heard a smile in Naruto's voice now. "You're fine. Don't worry me like that! You're such a prick."
Sasuke relaxed, finally. This was fine; everything was fine.
It was Naruto that held his confidence all this time, he understood that now – that's where it was. Because now with Naruto he finally felt like himself again, and the waiting was definitely over.
Slowly he reached up to loosen the cloth from his eyes.
Everything was blurry, and he was happy that he was standing in the shadow of the tree because it felt like everything was a little bit too light. He blinked a few times and the world came into focus.
Such bright blond hair, not light or dark but almost yellow – especially with the morning sun shining into it. Orange clothing, what kind of person wore orange? A person like Naruto; actually it made sense. Skin that was a golden tan as well, and whisker-like scars on both cheeks, just like Sasuke knew would be there.
And finally their eyes met.
Naruto's extremely blue eyes widened impossibly and his mouth fell open when he finally realized.
"Sasuke." He breathed. "You..."
Sasuke reached up and lightly touched Naruto's jaw. He was, if possible, even more amazed than Naruto.
"Were you always this bright?" He mumbled, astonished.
He was almost blinded by Naruto's answering smile.
Thank you for reading.