One Gesture Says More Than a Thousand Words

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 333
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor make profit of it. Kishimoto owns it.

Author's note: This is something I started a while ago and finally got around to finishing it. I do not mean to offend anyone with this fic. Also I have no idea whether such a score in an American football game is possible, but let's jut go with it, shall we? *coughs*

Warnings: Itachi's and Sasuke's pov; Alternate universe; fluff; drama; mute Sasuke; sign language; mature content; time skip; established slash

Additional notes: Sentences in bold means they're both spoken and signed; underlined sentences mean only sign language is used.

I hope you'll like it!

One Gesture Says More Than a Thousand Words

It was noticeable quite early on that there was something different about his little brother. The complete lack of sound was a very glaring sign of that.

Whenever he cried as a baby, it happened so silently they would often not know he was distressed until they went to check on him and saw him completely red-faced and with tear stained cheeks. They took to carrying him around everywhere and using a camera in the nursery to make sure they knew when he became upset.

The silent crying was the first sign. Their next clue came when Sasuke started laughing – again soundlessly. The little boy was a very happy baby, but sadly they could only ever see him laugh, never hear him. The fact that they couldn't even hear him laughing was enough for mother to take Sasuke to the doctor.

Her friends tried to convince her that Sasuke was just naturally a quiet baby, but mother was resolute: Sasuke would be examined by specialists, the best they could find.

Specialist after specialist was consulted for his quiet little brother. They even managed to convince Tsunade to look at him; a doctor who was said to be one of the best in the world, able to find a treatment long after other doctors had given up. The verdict fell after two long months of hospital visits and examinations: Sasuke was born mute.

There was nothing wrong with his brain, the doctors were quick to reassure them, and he would progress like any other kid his age. He just would never be able to talk. At best he would perhaps be able to utter some non-sensical sounds, but actually forming words and speaking them was off the table. They had suspected him of being deaf on top of that, but he reacted to what they said to him just fine, so hearing wasn't a problem.

Speaking was, though.

Mother cried that night after they had received the news. Itachi didn't see her crying, but he heard the stifled sobs when he sneaked past his parents' bedroom, wanting to check on his little brother. He paused in front of the door, noticing it stood slightly ajar, which explained why he was able to hear mother and father talking.

"It's not the end of the world, Mikoto," Father said, his voice a bit brusque. "So he probably won't ever be able to talk – there are other ways we can communicate and he can still hear perfectly fine. This is a much better outcome than we had expected."

"I know, Fugaku," Mother said and sighed. "But that doesn't make the news easier to process. My baby won't ever be able to talk – that's not something a mother wants to hear!"

"Don't think I don't know how you feel," he said, but his voice softened and there was the creaking of the mattress when he sat down on the bed. "But there's no point in wallowing in it. We know what's wrong with him, so now we can start looking for solutions."

"I'll start my research first thing tomorrow morning," she decided, sounding a lot firmer now.

Itachi left, having heard enough. On his tiptoes he completed his track to the other end of the hallway where his brother's nursery was. The door was left open and when he peeked inside, he spotted the tiny red glow, signifying that the monitor was activated.

The monitor had been placed just so that it would capture most of Sasuke's body on the screen, making it easier for his parents to notice if their youngest was restless or crying. This not being the first time he'd sneaked into his brother's room, Itachi knew just where to stand exactly to avoid being caught by the monitor.

Standing at the end of the crib, he watched his brother sleep with the aid of a small nightlight. The wind outside was picking up speed now, reaching almost howling levels, but the baby slept undisturbed; his small mouth pursed and his little hands balled into tiny fists.

Looking at him now, one couldn't tell that his little brother would never be able to talk. He looked just like any other baby and Itachi made the resolve to never treat him any different. Sasuke was still his little brother even if he couldn't talk. They would find other ways to communicate, he was sure. Mother would find a solution; she always did.

"Good night, otouto," he whispered and Sasuke smacked his mouth in return, his nose twitching slightly.

Smiling, Itachi went back to his room; time for him to go to bed as well.

It took mother and father a week to find a solution for their youngest son: sign language for their whole family. Sure, Sasuke would be able to understand them perfectly when they talked to him, but mother thought it was unfair if only Sasuke had to learn sign language once he was old enough.

To prevent him from feeling left out, she decided that they all should learn it so they would be able to communicate with Sasuke without him feeling lesser than them. It wouldn't be fair to expect him to keep writing his answers down when they could easily learn how to share the same communication system with him.

Itachi didn't mind. Sure, it was a bit puzzling at the start, trying to figure out how to learn this particular means of communication, but it was for his little brother. He would gladly learn the entirety of the sign language alphabet if that meant his brother would feel like their equal.

And so they did. They followed classes four times a week and started helping teach it to Sasuke once he was old enough.

And while they would never be able to hear him actually laugh or talk or cry, Sasuke's expressive face combined with the sign language made them feel like they weren't missing anything at all.

Because Sasuke was Sasuke and there was nothing wrong with him.

And so, everything was fine for the first nine years. Until one early spring morning, during breakfast, when Sasuke made a peculiar request.

"I'm sorry, honey, can you repeat that?" Mother asked stunned after lowering her cup of tea.

"I want to go to school like nii-san," Sasuke repeated, a smile on his face. His breakfast was nearly finished, only a bit of egg left behind in the bowl.

"What brought this on?" she questioned, exchanging a look with father.

Sasuke shrugged, poking the remainders of the eggs with his chopsticks. "I just think it would be fun," he signed. At nearly ten years old he was quite fluent in sign language and only very rarely still needed to write a word down in order to be understood.

"Don't you like your private teacher?" Father inquired with a slight frown.

Mother looked at Itachi, but he merely shrugged. Sasuke had never given any indication that he didn't like the private teachers their parents hired for him. They had decided years ago that private tutors would be easier than trying to find a school which would want to work with an interpreter for sign language.

"I do, but I want to go to a regular school," Sasuke replied and paused, hesitating visibly. Biting his lower lip, he continued, "I just want to feel normal."

"You are normal, sweetheart," Mother immediately riposted; her eyebrows furrowed together. "There's nothing wrong with you."

"So can I go to school then?" Sasuke looked at her hopefully, his hands hovering in the air.

She traded another look with father, whose lips were pursed and his eyes narrowed in contemplation.

"We'll think about it," she eventually promised, making Sasuke smile widely.

"Are you really going to look for a school for him?" Itachi braced his shoulder against the doorframe of the living room where mother was working on her laptop.

He'd just arrived home from his own classes and was waiting for his brother's tutor to leave so that he could go upstairs without disturbing them.

Mother looked up and sighed softly, running both hands through her hair. She wore it loose today, the dark locks feathered out across her back. "I promised him we would and that's what we're going to do," she replied. "It might be good for him, then he can socialise with children that aren't part of our family."

"Do you think they'll accept him?" he asked apprehensively.

Their family had never looked down on Sasuke – Itachi was pretty sure mother and father would have lashed out at them if they ever tried to do that – but there was a difference between being accepted by family and being accepted by a bunch of strangers who most likely didn't have any experience with mute people.

Children – and adults – could be quite cruel and awful to those they considered to be different, Itachi knew. Some guys had attempted to bully him, because he was two years younger than the rest of them. After his teacher in the first year had seen his test scores, he'd been promptly moved two years higher because she had felt she couldn't teach him anything. His age had made some guys think they could get away with bullying him, assuming he had to be a weak nerd, too bookish to know how to defend himself.

They had been quickly set straight about their wrong assumptions and Itachi had made it clear that he wasn't someone they could bully.

Would Sasuke be strong enough if the children in his class turned against him? He didn't like the thought of his little brother being taunted simply because he couldn't talk in the same way as most people did.

"I don't know, Itachi," she sighed again, staring at her screen. "But we owe it to him to at least give this a try. Your father is looking for a suitable interpreter in the meantime."

He couldn't say he was a fan of the idea, but he also wanted his brother happy. If attending a school would make him happy, he supposed they should give this a try.

They ended up finding a school two weeks later, who let their parents know there wouldn't be any issues with an interpreter joining Sasuke's classes – as long as the interpreter was paid by their parents. The school didn't have the necessary funds to pay an interpreter, the headmaster had apologetically explained, but they could certainly accommodate Sasuke in other areas.

And thus it was decided: one week into the new schoolyear, Sasuke would finally be part of an actual class for the first time.

Sasuke's excited face greeting him on his first official day made Itachi think that perhaps his parents had made the right choice in allowing Sasuke to attend a school.

As the days turned into weeks, however, Sasuke's excitement visibly started to dwindle down until there was barely even a smile left on his face when Itachi dropped him off at the school gates.

"Is everything okay?" Itachi asked on Thursday evening at the end of May.

He'd been tasked with picking up his brother from school after mother had got held up in the grocery store; the queues longer than she had anticipated. His brother had been looking rather forlorn as he stood there waiting at the gate, appearing rather lonely as the rest of the students seemed to give him a wide berth for some reason.

"Sure," Sasuke replied, but he barely moved his hand, the sign halting halfway. He didn't look at Itachi either and there was definitely not chatting about what he had done in class.

As a matter of fact Sasuke had been rather withdrawn for the past couple of weeks, his silence even more pronounced with how stilted and unenthusiastic his signing had become.

Making a quick decision, Itachi turned left instead of right. "Come on, follow me," he said and while visibly confused, his little brother did follow him.

They walked into the park, following the broad path until they reached the centre where several benches around the fountain had already been taken up by students and mothers with their young children. They went around the fountain, choosing a bench which was further away from the rest and offered them a form of privacy.

He waited until Sasuke had sat down as well before he said, "Tell me what's wrong. Did something happen at school?"

Sasuke stared at the ground, his face blank, looking unwilling to answer.

"You know you can talk to me about whatever you want, right?" Itachi prompted him, patting his knee. "Doesn't matter what, you can talk to me."

Slowly the younger boy raised his hands, wavered, staring at his hands as if they were something strange and not attached to his own body. Then he started, "The other kids, they … They stay away from me. They think – they think I'm weird."

Just what he had been worried about. "Have you tried to approach them?"

"Yes, but – they say that it takes too long to talk to me because Karin needs to translate everything I say," Sasuke answered subdued.

"I'm sorry, Sasuke," Itachi said and pulled his brother in a hug. "We'll figure something out, okay?"

Sasuke nodded, but didn't look like he really believed him.

To be fair, Itachi didn't have a clue how to solve this problem either.

"What if we organise a party?" Mother suggested out of the blue.

Both father and Itachi stared at her. "A party," Father repeated sceptically. "And how is that supposed to solve his problem?"

They were in the living room, discussing the problem with Sasuke's class. Sasuke himself was already in bed, having refused to discuss it further with their parents after Itachi had explained the issue.

It appeared as if Sasuke just preferred to forget the entire problem and tough it out in his class alone, but they weren't going to let that happen. There was no real point in having Sasuke attend class if none of the students wanted to talk with him, but father and mother weren't ready to give up just yet.

"Yes, a party," she said determined. "We invite the entire class and let them get to know each other in a relaxed environment where they aren't distracted by classes or their studies. Perhaps if they see how easy it actually is to talk with Sasuke, they'll give this another chance at school as well."

"That might work," Itachi said slowly, pondering over the idea.

It was true that the students hadn't had really the opportunity to actually talk with Sasuke, given how quickly the classes followed each other and how short the breaks were in general. Perhaps if they were able to talk with Sasuke without being pressured for time, they would realise that it really wasn't that odd to speak with Sasuke with the aid of an interpreter. It wasn't like Karin had to interpret for both sides. Sasuke could understand what was said perfectly fine and Karin only needed to translate for him. The red haired girl was very fluent in it as well, so her translations didn't take up that much time either.

"We'd hold the party here then?" Father questioned, looking around the living room.

"Yes or the garden, the weather's warm enough for it," Mother replied briskly. "We need to do something; the only reason those children are acting like that is because they aren't used to dealing with this way of interaction. Maybe if we show them how it exactly works, our son can try again with them."

"Well, I suppose there's no harm in trying," Father said, linking his hands together. He smiled faintly then. "I leave it up to you to create the invitations, however. I never was quite good at that."

She chuckled, leaning forwards to kiss him. "Don't worry, leave that up to me."

As Itachi made his way upstairs a little while later, he couldn't help but wonder what they would do if this party wasn't successful.

The invitations were created and divided between Sasuke's classmates five days later. The party would take place in two weeks at their home, which would hopefully give the parents of the other children enough time to decide whether they could drop off their child or not.

Mother hoped that everyone would be able to attend the party, but she was also realistic enough to understand that not everyone had time to be there. With twenty-five children, not including Sasuke, she did hope that at least half of them would be free to come over.

The first thing Itachi heard when he waited at the school gates for Sasuke to show up, wasn't exactly what could be called a promising start to the party next week.

"And do you want to attend this boy's party, honey?" a woman asked as she passed by Itachi, a pink haired girl following at her left side. "What's his name? Sasuke-kun?"

"Not really. He's cute, but he also can't talk at all, so what's the point?" the girl blithely replied. "It's not like he can understand me anyways, so it wouldn't be any fun going to his party."

Itachi tried to contain himself, telling himself there was no point in confronting one stupid girl who obviously wasn't worth it to call herself Sasuke's friend anyways, but weeks of seeing his little brother miserable had him turning around in the end.

"My brother is mute, not deaf, so he can understand you perfectly fine. Perhaps you should have paid better attention to his introduction the first time unless you're the one with hearing problems? If so, my apologies," he smiled icily.

Both the mother and the daughter coloured a deep red instantly. "I apologise, my daughter is sometimes a bit too quick with her mouth and doesn't think enough with her brain," the woman said, throwing the girl a warning glare. "She would love to get to know your little brother better."

"If she acts in class the same as now, I very much doubt my brother will want to get to know her better," he said critically. "But that's a decision I leave up to him. You have a good evening."

He turned around again to greet Sasuke, having heard him approach him. He smiled at the younger boy, who looked slightly more optimistic than the previous weeks.

"You ready to go?" he asked, ignoring the way the girl was gaping at his hands.

"Yes, you think mother had time to make those vanilla and chocolate biscuits?" Sasuke asked; a smile gracing his face for the first time in weeks.

Itachi smiled in return. Even if one girl had reacted less than ideal to the invitation, Sasuke's mood seemed to imply that the rest of them had reacted better and that was good enough for him for now.

"No one called?" Itachi asked softly, lingering in the doorway of the kitchen.

Mother stood in front of the counter, her eyes icy as they stared at the phone clenched in her hand. She looked up at his question and pressed her lips together, shaking her head.

"None of them. I guess some of them can be running late, but …"

But not all of them. He looked at the clock and sighed when he saw it was half past two. The party was supposed to start at two and four cakes were already lined up on the kitchen counter, awaiting the moment they would be sliced to be divided underneath the children. Boardgames had been collected and put on the kitchen table and Karin was in the living room, talking with father and trying to distract Sasuke as much as possible from the fact none of his classmates had shown up so far.

Sasuke wasn't a little kid anymore they could easily fool, however. Itachi worried it wouldn't be long anymore before Sasuke would storm upstairs and lock himself up in his room.

None of the parents had even warned mother that they wouldn't be coming, even though she had made sure that their phone number was included in the invitation, so they could be sure of who would come and who not.

Fourteen people had assured them they would be able to attend the party, yet none of them had shown up so far.

"What are we going to do now?" he asked, crossing his arms.

Not only had they bought all these cakes, but Karin had also made sure to keep this day free so she could be here to help translate in order to get the children to become used to her too. All those parents weren't only wasting their family's time, but also Karin's. Why was it so difficult to just be honest and say their children wouldn't come? Instead of making his brother hopeful that finally he would be able to connect with his classmates.

That was what angered Itachi the most: how they had made his little brother so hopeful to finally be accepted, only to snub him in the worst way by not even showing up to his party.

"I don't know, Itachi, I really don't know," Mother said wearily, her shoulders slumping. "I guess we need to seriously considering taking - "

The doorbell ringing had both of them freezing up for a couple of seconds before she rushed straight past him and into the hallway. He followed her quickly, father coming to a stop in the doorway of the living room with Sasuke peeking around the doorframe, a frown etched on his face.

The door swung open to reveal a red haired woman with a kind, round face standing on the porch, her hand resting on the shoulder of a blond haired boy.

Her cheeks were pinkish when she said, "I apologise for being so late, but my GPS ended up completely malfunctioning and it took me a while to finally find the correct street. I hope we're not too late?"

Before mother could answer, the blond boy stepped forwards, his blue eyes locked onto Sasuke's, and his hands rose up to clumsily sign, "Hello, my name is Uzumaki Naruto. Very nice to meet you!"

The boy's – Naruto's – mother laughed gently, stroking his hair back. "Ah yes, ever since your son enrolled in his class, Naru here insisted on learning sign language so he can talk to your son without him feeling left out. It took us a bit to find a decent teacher," she explained a bit embarrassed.

Itachi could only stare as Sasuke stepped forwards, a cautious smile blooming across his face as he replied, "Hello, do you want to play one of the games with me?"

Naruto stared intently at his hands, mouthing something quietly to himself. Itachi decided to help him out.

"He's asking if you want to play a game with him."

"Oh, so that's the sign for game! Good to know!" Naruto beamed. "Yes, a game with you!"

Sasuke beckoned him to the living room, more eager now, and father stepped aside to let Naruto follow Sasuke; Karin greeting Naruto enthusiastically.

"Naruto insisted on knowing the basics at least before he attempted to talk to Sasuke-kun," Naruto's mother explained, rubbing the back of her neck. "Said he wanted them to be equals. I'm sorry if that gave your son the wrong impression. Trust me, Naruto would love nothing more than to be Sasuke's friend, but sometimes he had a peculiar way of going about creating friendships." She looked both chagrined and fond.

"What your son has done for mine is something nobody has done so far, so no need to apologise at all," Mother reassured her, smiling. "How about a cup of coffee and a slice of cake? Or do you need to leave now?"

The woman blew some wayward red strands out of her face and placed her hands on her hips. "Hell, why not? I finally got here, I might as well stay until the end. God knows how long it would take me to find the way back," she huffed. "Minato is going to have a laugh about this, I just know it. Name's Kushina, by the way. Uzumaki Kushina."

"I'm Mikoto, that's my husband Fugaku and my oldest son, Itachi," Mother introduced her and them, waving Kushina inside. "It's very nice to meet you."

The rest of the children had turned out to be a no show, but looking at both Sasuke and Naruto playing a game and teasing each other, Itachi thought Sasuke didn't mind the lack of classmates that much.

Sometimes, one person was enough to make a difference. Naruto was ample proof of that.

Eight years later

"God, that one guy is amazing! Do you see how quickly he runs?" a girl with her blond hair in two pigtails gasped; her glossy lips parting in shock.

Her friend, a brunette with her long hair pulled up in a high ponytail, grinned. "Number sixteen, right? I've heard they call him the Fox because of how fast he runs – and probably something else as well if you know what I mean."

The two girls giggled, hiding underneath a big umbrella as the rain continued drizzling down. "Well, he can definitely run me all night long," the first girl smirked. "God, his arse looks amazing in those trousers!"

"We really shouldn't be ogling him, though, him being of the enemy team and all that," the brunette sighed, though her dark brown eyes remained glued onto the slender form on the field, who currently had the ball in possession and was rushing past his opponents, aiming for the goal line on the other end of the field.

"Fuck not ogling him because of a different team," the blonde snorted. "Have you seen how many hunks the Bijuu team has?! Compared to them our team looks like they're made up out of trolls!"

"Toneri isn't that bad," the brunette pointed out, referring to the white haired man currently sitting on the bench, awaiting the moment he could switch out with the defence.

"Of course not," the blonde girl agreed. "But Mister Fox is a hell of a lot better. Or that number one guy, the quarterback? I wasn't expecting much of him, given his height, but he's completely annihilating our team with those long throws of him."

In unison they looked at the scoreboard where it boldly announced that it was 41-16 for Team Bijuu, the rivals.

"I'd be disappointed if they all didn't look so hot," the brunette sighed whistfully.

"You think Fox has a girlfriend?" the blonde girl asked interested, leaning forwards. She squeaked when rain hit her nose and hastily pulled back.

"As far as I know he doesn't have a girlfriend, no."

The blonde girl turned to look at her friend and grinned. "You think he might be up for some fun after the game? Maybe we can share him."

"At the same time?" the brunette smirked.

"Whatever the hell he wants. I bet all that running and training has given him some nice muscles," the blonde said excitedly and clapped her hands together. "God, I can't wait to get my hands all over those!"

He listened to the two gushing over the running back, announcing in quite intimate, filthy detail what they would love to do with him once they got their manicured hands on him. They seemed to have completely forgotten that they were watching a game of American football and not some kind of stripper show.

It was honestly kind of revolting to hear them discussing what kind of sex acts they wanted to perform on someone they didn't know at all and he shuddered in disgust.

When the whistle was finally blown, announcing the end of the game, the final score was 45-24 and the home team stood there like drowned rats, staring at the scoreboard completely stumped.

"Oh my god, he's coming over!" the brunette gasped, practically vibrating on the spot, pointing at number sixteen who was jogging his way over to the spectator stand – or what was supposed to be a spectator stand for a secondary school anyway.

"Do you think he noticed us before the game started?" the blonde asked eagerly, smoothing down her short skirt.

"Maybe, but this means that - " Whatever she wanted to say was abruptly cut off when the running back stopped in front of the fence, his uniform smudged with mud and green stains of the grass from when he had been forcibly thrown onto the ground.

Pulling off his helmet and lowering it on the ground next to him, blue eyes glittered brightly as he grinned widely, leaning over the fence and said, "Hey there, I'm so happy you could make it!"

"Wouldn't miss it for the world," Sasuke told him with a small smile. A smile which grew into a smirk when Naruto pulled him in for a deep kiss. "Congratulations on winning again."

"How could we not win when I have my own personal good luck charm in the form of my handsome boyfriend?" Naruto teased and winked. "I'll be back as quickly as I can, wait for me at the car, okay?"

"Sure." They shared another deep kiss, one which was only broken when Gaara clucked his tongue and grabbed the back of Naruto's shirt, dragging him away.

"I'll be right back!" Naruto shouted, before twisting around with a laugh, clapping Gaara's back.

Sasuke looked at the two girls then, who stood there gaping at him rather unattractively he might add.

Smirking he signed, "He doesn't have a girlfriend, no, but he does have a boyfriend."

He didn't even care that they wouldn't understand him and shouldered past them before they could think of something to say.

He had a victory to celebrate with his best friend of eight years and his boyfriend of two now.

"You're in a good mood," Naruto gasped; the signs cutting off halfway when Sasuke pushed into him, filling him up completely with one long thrust.

The dark haired man smiled and gripped Naruto's hips, turning them swiftly around so that the blond ended up straddling his lap. Inner muscles squeezed around his cock in surprise and he smirked.

"Just happy that you won." He reclined against the pillow; his eyes hooded as he took in the way firm thigh muscles tensed when Naruto started smoothly moving up and down, falling into an easy rhythm.

"Yeah? Me too," Naruto panted. "Now shut up and let me ride you. I've got to thank you for being my good luck charm."

Well, he wasn't about to say no to that. He pulled Naruto down for a kiss, slipping his tongue between parted lips and swallowing his moan.

Those girls had been right about something, though: Naruto was definitely a fox inside and outside the game.

Too bad for them, he was Sasuke's fox and while Sasuke didn't play any sports, he did play for keeps with Naruto.

The End

AN2: As I said, I don't want to offend anyone with this fic. I came up with this idea somewhere last year and finally sat down to finish it. I hope it wasn't too bad!

Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.

I hope to see you all back in my future stories! Please stay safe and take care of yourselves!



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