When eight year old Sasuke wakes up after his aniki… after That Man killed… After…
When Sasuke wakes up After, hollowed out and muddled and crushed under the weight of his own grief, he thinks maybe he’s just dreaming. Not about what happened–he knows the truth–but now, currently.
Either that or maybe, instead of sparing him, That Man really did kill him. Maybe he’s dead.
The medic who checks on him has wings, feathery and small and light brown like a sparrow’s. He’s never heard of a bloodline like that. He must be dreaming, then.
He is not.
It takes a while for him to figure out what is happening, mostly because there are so many possible explanations for it and, frankly, he has other more obvious matters to worry about. But on the few occasions when everything grows to be too much, or he needs to just take a break, or on those lighter days when he can pretend that this mystery is the greatest problem in his life, he can ponder it freely.
It’s not a bloodline: The medic from that first day was civilian born, and more besides, he sees other people with wings around Konoha, none of whom are related to each other whatsoever and some of whom are in different clans.
It’s not a genjutsu either, he’s already learned how to dispel them with a kai, and the hospital would never let a patient leave while they’re under one.
He wonders for a while if maybe it’s the Sharingan. Other people can’t seem to see it, not even the Hyuuga, and its not as if it’s so far a leap.
But he doesn’t remember anyone from his clan talking about wings Before, and besides… he doesn’t have the Sharingan yet.
Not everyone has wings and, while he hasn’t exactly been taking notes, there doesn’t necessarily seem to be any correlation between the person and their wings’ size or colors.
Some people match what he’d think of them:
Kakashi-sensei has small, grey wings. A little darker than his hair but just as messy, feathers ruffled and out of alignment. Frequently they look like they’re broken, except they can’t be because they’re not real.
Naruto’s are a riot of color–though not yellow like his hair–they’re always up and reaching as if, maybe this time he’ll actually be able to fly.
Some people don’t:
Sai’s wings are fluffy, a white so bright they nearly hurt to look at, and constantly moving around.
Sakura’s are sleek, plumage dark but iridescent like the surface of a bubble in the sun. They only flare out when she’s angry, but are otherwise still for the most part.
Yamato-taicho doesn’t have wings–which somehow doesn’t seem like much of a surprise–but neither does Shikako, which is one.
Sasuke doesn’t either, and he’s not sure how he feels about that.
Tsunade-sama’s wings are massive, wide enough to touch either end of the Hokage’s office at the same time, and ever so expressive. There’s a few patchy, ragged places, but her wings don’t look any less magnificent for them.
He’s never seen her in battle–not one outside the political arena, that is–but he thinks such a sight would be awe inspiring.
This is what a Hokage is, this is what a Hokage should be.
(The Sandaime visited Sasuke in the hospital, once, After, but before the wings became his norm. Now, looking back, Sasuke remembers that there were no wings behind the robe and hat.)
He may be Hawk, but Tsunade-sama is the one who looks like she could rule the skies.
(The first time he sees wings without feathers, skeletal and horrific, sharply painful things, they are jutting out of Orochimaru.
The second time they’re on the back of That Man, a terrible silhouette to an already nightmarish figure.
It doesn’t take much to figure out what that means.)
Whenever he uses his Sharingan, Sasuke can no longer see the wings.
He’s not sure how he feels about that, either.
A/N: Um… so… very little Tsunade in this, anon, except for the section with Sasuke’s fanboying, but I guess my brain caught more on the “wings” part of the prompt and ran away with it. Please enjoy, regardless.
Highly influenced by the BBC Sherlock fic (written in 2010, so before all the awfulness of the later seasons) called A City on the Head of a Pin by Mad_Maudlin. I tweaked it a bit so that going bad didn’t lead to bat like wings but rather just skeletons.
Because bats are cool and fuzzy and great.
I guess if you really tilt your head and squint this isn’t necessarily canon noncompliant? (And if you tilt your head the other way and clap three times you can maybe consider this as part of the Walking Around aka Sakako Uchiha ‘verse.
Sakako sees dead people, Sasuke sees angels in the living.)
[If anyone else wants to do a softer world prompt that isn’t on the list, you can just send the page id number for the original comic instead.]