Sasuke's eyelids flicker, and he tries to sit up a little straighter in his
hospital bed. Of course his ribs tell him that he shouldn't, but he doesn't
listen to pain, hasn't listened for a while. He stares at the blond young man
sitting at his bedside, who just a few seconds ago leaned over him and undid
the padded restraints and kissed him, stiff and awkward and painfully sincere.
Sasuke doesn't understand the kiss. He doesn't understand the restraints. He
doesn't understand anything.
He wants to ask why he's free. But that would be acknowledging how vulnerable he is, so he doesn't.
He wants to ask why he can see.
So of course instead he asks about what just happened.
"What the hell was that, dead-last?"
"A kiss," Naruto snaps back with predictable, welcome fire. The fire turns banked too fast, though, becomes flustered awkwardness. "You know, Sakura-chan told me that her mom taught her how to heal people with a kiss." He eyes Sasuke's body doubtfully. There are more bandages than intact skin.
"It's going to need a lot of kissing," Sasuke replies dryly, before he can think. A grin blooms on Naruto's face.
Sasuke would stare at it all day, but it would just remind him of the question he cannot ask. His one unbroken hand lifts, touches his cheek, his eyelid. It's not even puffy. He doesn't get it.
Naruto's smile has gone underground again. He reaches for Sasuke's hand, pulls it away from the seeking pattern Sasuke is tracing and tracing again around his eye socket. He leans forward, and kisses his brow, and when Sasuke closes his eyes, he kisses his eyelid too.
Awkward. Unsure. Sincere. ...Nice.
"He gave them back," Naruto whispers, so quietly Sasuke barely hears. "When Tobi -- Madara... who the fuck ever he was. When you wouldn't let me die. He gave them back."
Sasuke would shake himself apart if he started breathing again, so he doesn't. He's steady like the last second before the avalanche.
"... My brother."
"Yeah. Your brother."
Naruto doesn't say anything as Sasuke's shoulders tremble soundlessly and a damp spot spreads on his orange shirt. He plays with Sasuke's hair, at the back where it's been shorn and sticks up, soft like the fur of a cat.
A hour or two later, he kisses Sasuke's lips again, and his tongue flicks at the salty wetness afterwards.
"So? Healed yet?"
Sasuke snorts in contempt, though he doesn't straighten up yet. "No."
"Hey, they do so work!"
Sasuke doesn't point out that if they worked at all, it was only because Sakura happens to be a medic-nin. He could, but that's not what comes out at all. "Then it's just that yours are too weak."
"... That just means you need to be dosed up a lot of times."
Sasuke blows his nose and nods thoughtfully. "Yeah, probably."
Naruto kisses him again. This time Sasuke kisses back.