Zen- ItaNaru Drabble Collection

Prompt: Candy Stripe

Rating: T

Words: 731

Setting: Modern AU. Itachi is blind, Naruto is his volunteer.

Summary: The surgery was a success. Now he wanted to see the face of the man that cared for him.

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"It's almost time, Itachi," his mother's gentle voice filtered through the stale hospital air. Itachi could hear the worry and excitement flowing off her voice in large quantities and he could only grunt in surprise. "Your nurse should be here soon."

It'd been about a week he supposed since he underwent the surgery to correct his eyesight. The doctors had said that the surgery was successful, but Itachi had yet to see for himself as his eyes were covered in bandages. Bandages, that would be coming off today.

The sound of the door opening and soft, staccato steps drew his attention. Those footsteps had been quite frequent during the past week.

"Good morning, Itachi!" the cheerful voice greeted before gasping and apologizing to the other people in the room. "Oh I'm sorry! You must be Itachi's family. I'm Naruto, his nurse."

He could hear his younger brother, Sasuke, grunt in annoyance. The young man had issues with cheery people in general. Itachi did too, but Naruto was different. He wasn't just cheerful, he was gentle, kind and the young man's voice made Itachi feel warm. It was like a warm candle lit in a dark room.

The creaking of his hospital bed caught his attention. A delicate hand rested on his own.

"How have you been today, Itachi? No nausea or headaches?" Naruto inquired.

"Fine. No nausea or headaches," Itachi answered gently. Something about Naruto's prescence lightened a bit. A smile was probably on the man's face. The eldest Uchiha son suddenly found himself wanting to see that smile in person.

"That's great! Now we can get these bandages off and get you seeing the world again! Mr. Uchiha, if you would please dim the lights. We don't want to shock your optical nerves with the bright lights."

A moment passed and there was a quiet clicking sound, most likely his father flicking the light switch. Itachi inhaled and exhaled to calm his nerves as he felt delicate hands cut the bandage tape and slowly begin to unwind the guaze. It felt like eons passed before Naruto paused in his unwinding.

"There's only a little left, Itachi. Please close your eyes and wait until I tell you to open them again."

Itachi nodded his agreement and followed the request. Naruto didn't waste time removing the rest of the bandages.

"Okay. Itachi, who would you like to see first?"

Itachi considered this for a moment. His family was important to him, no doubt about it, but he could still remember what they looked like and he could always see them later. He'd only been blind for a little under a year. He feared that Naruto would suddenly be something different or something disgusting if he dared wait to see him.

"You." He could feel the shock permeating the air from all over the room.

"Wouldn't you prefer to see your mother or your father?" the young man protested and made to get off the hospital bed, but Itachi was quick to grab Naruto's wrist and pull the smaller man back onto the bed.

"I want to see you. Just you."

The skin beneath his hand heated up and Itachi found it amusing. Naruto gave a sigh, but it was not one of exasperation.

"O-okay then! Um...you can open your eyes whenever you're ready."

Itachi didn't waste anytime. He peeled his eyes open and took in the lithe figure in front of him.

The lights were dim, but Itachi could see everything about the man in front of him very clearly. He was blond, bright blond. He had tanned skin, like the color of beach sand from the sky. His face was rounded and gently carved. The light blush that dusted whiskered cheeks made Itachi's heart skip a beat. His eyes were so vividly blue and were illuminated by the lack of light. He wore the ridiculous white and red vertical striped scrubs, typical of nurses in this hospital, but Naruto did not look ridiculous. He looked cute.

Naruto had obviously been crafted by the heavens and placed on Earth for the sole purpose of tempting Itachi's self-control.

Now that he could see that the blond was, indeed, both beautiful on the inside and out, Itachi could only realize that this was the one.

Naruto's blush darkened.

'The one indeed.'

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Thank you Carousel on AFF for the idea. I had already planned on writing a blind Itachi story, but your candy stripe idea really inspired me. This is dedicated to you.