The surface of the water was very smooth.

Like a mirror.

From time to time small ripples would form because of some fallen leaves or some bugs...they were rare though and altogether did not affect the general tranquillity.

This gave Sasuke Uchiha a good opportunity to study himself in the reflection, something he wanted to do for a while now.

His right eye was the first thing he noticed.

It was obsidian black and it stared unblinkingly back at him with an unfazed feel to it (if such thing could be said about an eye that is…).

Funny how he could never make out his own irises though, even back when both of his eyes were still black.

The long bangs of his dark hair covered his other eye, the famed rinnegan. Both a curse and a gift that he had to learn to live with.

And he did of course.

Sasuke continued with his observation.

His face was angular with high cheekbones and relatively small nose.

His lips were thin and unmoving.

His shoulders straight and firm.

Everything was as it always was about him.

Nothing changed, he concluded.

Everything stayed the same.

He was still himself.

He was still Sasuke.

But…

A small ripple went over his reflection making it swirl and slightly change its shape.

….

Things did change...

Sasuke could no longer let his mind fool him, no, it was time he saw the truth.

He looked at the water once again but now with a small frown.

And there they were.

Those small changes.

His eyes, for example, already had wrinkles around them. Because of all the frowning the same thing had happened around his mouth also. His long, jet black hair was no longer such as gray specs were already visible here and there. And his high cheekbones, a widely know Uchiha clan trait he was secretly very proud of, were somehow subdued making his face almost round.

What he remembered of himself and what he saw now in front of him were two different things.

Because in truth...

Sasuke Uchiha was old.

A quiet quake shook the surface of the water making ripples big enough to actually scatter away his reflection.

Sasuke ignored it.

He knew what it was.

And he knew what he had to do...

But instead he choose to observe some more once the water calmed down.

He wondered how others would look now.

His mother and father…

The age would probably make them unrecognisable…

In the end we all will have grey hair and a frail body… he thought solemnly.

Nothing lives forever. And he knew that.

Itachi would somehow still look the same, he figured, no matter the year count.

He was just that - Itachi. A genius who would make even time abide his will, and not because he wanted it…

No. It would just happen.

Somehow.

That's how he was...

A pink petal gently fell down near his reflection making Sasuke think of his wife.

Sakura would probably look just the same thanks to that seal of hers. Green eyes would still sparkle with love and affection, pink hair would still stick out at ends and frame her heart like face...

Sasuke always noticed everything about his wife's look so it was no wonder it came up to his mind at a time like this.

"This pond sure brings back memories eh?" a raspy voice asked from behind, a second later another face showed up in the water near Sasukes. "When I first saw you here, sitting on this same dock it was the first time I thought of you as a human being you know, and not just as a walking brick wall." a quiet laugh escaped the man's mouth. "I think if both of us weren't so thick skulled we might have become good friends all the way back then! Imagine how many problems could have been avoided if that happened."

Sasuke stared at his friends face with a hint of a smile.

He was crazy.

"I know what you're doing, teme... Since when did the mighty Sasuke Uchiha start stalling?"

"I am not." the dark haired male answered back immediately.

Another laugh was heard around the pond but it was immediately covered up by a loud explosion from somewhere within the Konoha village.

"You're really telling me you're not? You do know-"

"Shut up." Sasuke ordered. His eyes were still locked with the blue ones through the reflection.

"You do know!" the blond confirmed with a victorious smirk. It made Sasuke feel uneasy.

"Come on," the blonds voice suddenly became serious. "You said it yourself that the way of the ninja never changes, so go prove it! Go and help my son protect this village." the last part for some reason sounded almost like a plea.

Sasuke spend few more minutes just looking at those blue eyes trying to find something there. When nothing happened and nothing more was said he finally had enough courage to get up.

The Uchiha slowly turned his head and looked behind his back. Somehow hoping that he was not severely hallucinating.

But there was nothing there.

No one was behind him.

I really am crazy.

And then he heard the same raspy laugh saying how it was about time he finally admitted it.

Maybe, Sasuke thought while giving up on trying to understand.

"Maybe I am crazy, but, you better have survived, dead last."


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