Sense

The rush of the waterfall was loud, and vibrated deep in the rock. He sighed, shifting a bit to sit more comfortably on the ledge. The water was loud, but he still heard her call his name.

"Shiryu," her footsteps came closer, and she knelt beside him, touching his shoulder lightly, "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," he assured her, reaching out to grip her fingers a moment, before dropping his hand again. "Does Master need something?"

"No," he felt her move slightly, and there was moment before she settled beside him, her body not quite brushing against his. He tipped his head back a bit, inhaling deeply and letting the faint mist blow over his face. They were quiet, though he could feel Shunrei was tense. He wasn't sure how to approach that really. Before, he could read her face. She was very expressive, rarely could she hide anything because it would all be plain from her expression. He used to be able to tell what was bothering her. Now, he was, quite literally, going in blind.

"Is…there something bothering you?" he asked awkwardly. He heard her breath catch a moment, before she forced herself to relax.

"No, I…I'm alright."

"Shunrei," he began, but stopped himself. He really didn't know where he planned to go with this. They fell into silence again.

She made a noise that he barely caught. He straightened slightly, fumbling a minute for her hand.

"Are you crying?"

"No," she denied, but he could hear the lie in her voice. She had been a terrible liar since they were little, he had always been able to tell. "I'm not crying," she asserted, but he turned to her.

"Why are you crying?"

She didn't speak for a moment, and he could feel her tremble slightly beside him. He squeezed her hand slightly, imploring, and she finally replied. "You sit here so often now, I…I don't want you to regret." She began to ramble, the words muddled and fast, "I know this is your path, and I…I support you, because I know this is what you want. I know this is how you want to live, I just…worry you regret it, and I don't know what to say. You've given up so much Shiryu…" She took his hand in both of hers, and for a moment he was taken back by the softness of them. They were so different from his, hands that were calloused and scarred from fights and training. Hers were delicate, thin fingers and smooth palms that grasped his in a gentle grip. "Please, after all this, don't regret it."

"I…don't really," he said carefully, "You're right, this is how I've decided to live. And that has consequences. I don't regret it."

"I'm glad," he could hear the relief in her voice. One of her hands pulled away, and she sniffled.

"Then why are you crying?" he asked.

"I'm not crying," she said stubbornly again, "At least, not in the way you think. How…How can you even tell?"

"I've always been able to tell," he told her, "Just like…" He paused. He had always been able to tell. He didn't need his sight for that. Shunrei didn't hide things from him, and he knew if she tried. They had been close for long enough that those things just weren't possible. He snorted a bit, shaking his head. "I know you well enough Shunrei."

He could sense her confusion, even if she didn't speak it. But she didn't touch on it, instead simply squeezing his hand.

"Yes."