Another dreamless slumber.
A small, lean figure began to stir beneath the warmth of the thick, white blanket. The bed creaked as he sat up, slipping out of the warm embrace of the white cloth. Running his slender fingers through his (h/c) tresses, he spun his legs around to dangle off of the edge of his bed.
He started feeling around to his right for his cane, which he had propped against the bedside drawer. Finally feeling the contact of the cold stick on his fingers, he grabbed it and slowly stood up—still hazy from sleep—before making his way out of his room, careful not to run into anything. He was slightly confident that he would not, since everything is always in their respective places. But he would fear stepping on the family cat, Tofu by accident.
He got to the bathroom just fine though. Removing whatever articles of clothing he had on, he stood beneath the shower as he turned it on. This wetness. This warm, relaxing wetness that traveled every inch of skin. This was most probably his most favorite thing in the world. Water. He loved how it felt warm to his skin, and how it would eventually cool as his wet skin became exposed to air.
It was like a sick obsession for him. The sounds, the feeling, even the faintest of the water’s smell.
He just wished that he could somehow see it. Even if it were to be a one time, brief thing.
After what felt like nearly a whole hour, the water-obsessed teen decided he should be getting ready. So he dried himself off—but not too much so that he could still feel the coolness of the evaporating water against his skin—and got out of the bathroom to put on a fresh set of clothes. He briefly returned to his room to get the bag he had prepared last night, then closing the door afterwards.
Then came the most dreadful part of his house;
Oh, how he wished his parents would let him have the downstairs room, but the two rooms upstairs would never be big enough for two adults sleep in a bed for two. Heck, the bed would not even fit in the first place. Besides, he even felt that the room downstairs was a bit too big for him.
He carefully prodded his cane on the edge of the steps, trying to find out how far he should step to descend one flight of stairs, all the while keeping his balance by holding onto the stairs’ railing tightly. Feeling the dip from the first step, he carefully edged his foot to the edge, feeling it and taking a slow, cautious step down. He relaxed, letting out the breath he did not even know he was holding.
One step down. Nine more to go…
The second step, he wobbled slightly. The third, he nearly slipped. But the fourth… Oh, how he hated himself for letting the cane slip out of his grip. “Crap…” He cursed under his breath, tightening his grip on the railing more out of fear than anything else. He wished his parents would be here to help him in this problem, but they were out somewhere and will only be back in two more weeks.
Holding his breath, he carefully edged his foot off of the fifth step, almost stumbling in the process. Then the sixth…
Turned out Tofu had been napping on that step, only to be jolted awake by a foot landing on her thin, tapering tail. “RWEEEOOOORRRRRR!!!”
The cat’s yowling shocked the teen into losing his grip on the railing, as well as his footing and balance. From the feeling of wind blowing onto his face, he could tell for certain that he was falling forwards. Instinctively, he closed his milky (e/c) eyes, bracing himself for the pain to come.
Though it never did.
Instead of coming into contact with the jagged surface of the stairs, he had fallen into something soft. And he knew he was still upright when his feet returned to the solid steps. Two arms were holding him now, one holding onto his arm, and the other wrapping around his waist from the front. The arms felt strong, protective even.
“Whoa! Careful there, (y/n)!”
Of course, this concerned voice would only belong to one person he knew: That person being the elected leader of the Iwatobi Swim Team, Makoto himself. The teen now felt silly for not having noticed the older male coming into his house earlier, and for not having heard the heavy footfalls as Makoto ran to catch his falling form.
Then again, Makoto did promise to come by and pick him up for today’s plans. He had even entrusted the male with a spare key to the house. (Y/n) trusted Makoto so much…He was one of the first people.
One of the first who didn’t make fun of (y/n) for being born blind.
“Sorry, Makoto-kun” He apologized as he was assisted back onto his own feet—thankfully at the base of the stairs so he did not have to go through that ordeal again—and being handed the cane which had betrayed him earlier.
Makoto sighed, still slightly worried from earlier events, but at the same time glad to see his friend was doing fine. “You should be more careful next time…”
Makoto then walked up to the younger teen’s left side and held onto his arm to provide him whatever guidance he could to the impaired male. (Y/n) stiffened slightly from the contact, letting his clouded eyes drift downwards. He still was not used to this closeness from someone other than his parents. After all, it almost always ended with pain in those times.
“Are you okay, (y/n)?” Makoto asked as he noticed the teen’s reaction to his touch, concern laced around and within every word in his question. The male in question only nodded in response, stuttering out a “fine” soon after.
“So then, should we get going? I’m sure the others are waiting for us.”
“Y-yeah. Let’s get going.” Satisfied with the answer, the taller, more muscular captain of the school’s swim team gently lead his younger friend and team mate out of the house, locking the door behind them before continuing their journey to the promised location.
X X X X X
A certain bouncy teen bounded towards the two approaching teens and immediately engulfed the slightly shorter male in a tight bear-hug.
“O-Ohayou, Nagisa-kun…” Again, the teen tensed at the sudden contact, but quickly relaxed as the bright, friendly teen broke the embrace. “I’m so excited for today! Aren’t you excited, (y/n)-chan?” Hearing Nagisa’s cheerful, albeit loud voice always brought a smile to (y/n)’s face. It’s just one of the few things he loved besides water. “Yeah. I’m pretty excited.”
Another familiar voice spoke from somewhere in front of (y/n). “You’re late…” Yes, Haruka—the only person whose love for water rivaled (y/n)’s own—spoke out, clearly unhappy and growing rather impatient. “Sorry about that, Haru. We kinda…got caught up with something, you know..?”
“You mean (y/n)-kun nearly fell off the stairs, again?” A familiar, but still quite new voice inquired. (Y/n) could pretty much tell that Makoto only nodded or made some other form of non-verbal gesture in response, since an understanding “oh” resounded from the male. Rei was still pretty new in the group much like (y/n) was, but he still held a sense of seniority for being two years older than the visually-challenged male.
Another new voice sighed loudly. “You need to be more careful than that, (y/n). Someday, none of us would be there to catch you in time, you know?” This strong, almost powerful voice that warrants superiority over the young teen while still holding a slight hint of worry from his disability sounded a bit unfamiliar and unrecognizable. (Y/n) took his time to realize the voice belonged to this male named Rin.
He did not know much about Rin. All he knew was that Rin went to a different school and had been close friends with Haruka, Makoto, and Nagisa since they were all still in junior high.
‘Must be nice to have close, childhood friends…’ (y/n) thought.
“Alright. Should we go inside now?” Makoto asked, flashing the tickets to the camping site to his sighted friends, and letting (y/n) feel one of the tickets with his fingertips. The young male was a bit surprised since he did not even notice their leader leaving the small group to buy tickets.
Yes. The six friends were out camping. And it could not have been in a better location.
X X X X X
“Whew! Well guys, the tents are successfully set up. I’d say this is mission accomplished~”
Makoto, Rin, Rei, and Nagisa stood in the center of their chosen spot after setting up the tents. (Y/n) just sat on a big, flat rock close to the pool they were camped beside, listening intently to the soft sloshing and splashing of water as Haruka lazily floated on the surface, already stripped and only wearing his swimming trunks. Of course, there was no reason to worry about getting washed away in their sleep for camping this close to water, since they pitched their tents on a highly elevated piece of land, designated for campers in the first place.
“Hey! Let’s decide on which tents we should sleep in!” Nagisa suggested to the group, except for Haruka who was too busy enjoying himself in the crystal-clear pool. (Y/n) listened closely, wanting to know who would he need to share a tent with. After all, with six people and only three tents, of course they would need to share.
“Nee, nee, can I sleep with Rei in the yellow tent?” Nagisa asked hopefully.
“I-I don’t want to sleep with you! You grind your teeth when you sleep.”
“No I don’t!” The short male stuck his tongue out to the one with glasses.
“Well, I don’t care where any of you are sleeping, as long as I get the dark blue tent. I bought that tent with my own money, and I think I should sleep in it.” Rin said, followed by a fluttering of the tent ‘door’, which made (y/n) guess Rin had went into the tent he chose.
“Well then, I guess either Haru or (y/n) can sleep with me tonight in the green tent, or either of them can join Rin in his tent?”
“Fine by me!” Half-yelled Rin from within his tent.
After a while more of ‘friendly’ bickering over who sleeps with who, the friends finally came to a conclusion:
Makoto and Haruka will be sharing the green tent, Rin and (y/n) will share the dark blue tent, and finally Nagisa gets what he wanted and shares his yellow tent with Rei. After that little discussion, a small, nagging thought occurred to (y/n), tugging at him in the back of his mind. He had never thought of it since it seemed insignificant to the blind teen.
But he never did know what colors were.
What they looked like, how to describe them. Having been born blind, all he could ever see was darkness, and sometimes bright light when he faced the sun directly or if someone were to flash a flashlight in his face.
So, once Nagisa joined Haruka in the pool, Rei and Rin went off to search for firewood, Makoto for some reason decided to sit with the youngest of the six. After a while of silence only being broken by Nagisa’s splashing around in the pool as he raced Haruka from one bank to the other, Makoto noticed the strange silence of the small teen.
“Something wrong, (y/n)? You don’t seem to be enjoying this…”
Snapped out of his thoughts, (y/n) turned his face towards Makoto’s to show he was listening, his milky (e/c) orbs looking at nothing in particular. “N-no…I… I was just thinking…” Makoto replied with an understanding “oh”. Though he still had questions, he decided it best to not push further. (Y/n) stayed still and silent for a while longer, his head slowly moving so he should be gazing at his lap, dull eyes downcast.
“Hmm?” Makoto watched as the teen visibly pondered over his next course of action, before he swallowed hard and spoke:
“Can you teach me about colors?”
Makoto felt… a little surprised at the request. Then again, he should have seen it coming, especially since the male had never been able to see since his birth. “Well…It wouldn’t be easy, but… I’ll do my best.”
“Thank you…” (y/n) said quietly, clearly a bit embarrassed for his lack of knowledge on colours. Makoto only smiled in return. Though he couldn’t see it, (y/n) could almost definitely feel his smile.
So with that, he took (y/n)’s small hand in his and guided it to feel the rock they were sitting on.
“Tell me…What do you feel?” The young (h/c) frowned at the question, clearly confused. “A rock.” He stated blandly. Makoto chuckled softly at that, earning a very confused look from (y/n), who was trying to look him in the eye for that. “That’s not what I meant. Describe the texture.” The young teen nodded.
“It’s…rough…and hard…” Makoto hummed his approval in response. “That’s what grey is like. It’s strong and sturdy. But at the same time, it’s lifeless and cold. It’s also a bit depressing, like a storm. When there’s a storm, it gets dark and cold outside, and it feels depressing.”
(Y/n) nodded, finally understanding what the older male is trying to do. Before he could say anything, though, Makoto gently helped him to his feet, guiding him somewhere. He felt a bit uncomfortable from being led somewhere he did not know, but he trusted that Makoto would never bring any harm to him.
And he was right. Makoto had led him to a tree, guiding his open palm to touch the rough, hard bark.
“This is…rough…and…uneven..?” He questioned himself at the choice of words, but feeling Makoto lead his hand elsewhere made him guess it was no big deal. He was guided to bend down to a crouching position, then felt his fingers brush against something soft. Dirt perhaps? “This is coarse…and soft?”
“Brown feels like the soil or earth, or the dead parts of things that grow out of the earth.” (Y/n) nodded in response.
“So…are dead people brown?”
“W-well…I guess…” Then, Makoto helped him up and guided him closer to sounds of splashing and sloshing.
“Hey, Mako-chan! Did (y/n)-chan decide to join us?” Nagisa called out to the two approaching, swimming closer to the bank and finally settling to sit at the water’s edge. Haruka noticed the youngest member of their team and swam close too.
“Nah…I’m just teaching (y/n) about colours.” Nagisa felt a bit confused. He did not understand how a person could learn about colours without seeing. But when Makoto guided the hand he held into the water, the blonde felt that he understood somewhat.
“This is wet…and cool…”
“Yeah. When water is collected in a small amount, such as in a glass or a bowl, it’s a very light blue, almost clear. But when it’s collected in large amounts, like in this pool or the sea, it becomes a deeper shade of blue.”
Haruka cuts in, settling beside (y/n) and grabbing his hand gently. “The way you feel when you swim in the water, how it feels cool and relaxing…That’s what blue feels like.” Of course. Leave the water expert to describe what he constantly obsesses over. The blind male nods. It was easy for him to understand this since he too, had an obsession over water.
“Hey, since you’re learning about colours, would you like me to explain what yellow is like?” Nagisa asked, finally fully grasping the idea of describing colours to a visually-impaired person.
“Sure.” Nagisa then excitedly jumped out of the water, sitting beside (y/n) in his trunks, smiling the whole time.
“Okay! So, describe me.” (Y/n) frowned a bit at the request, but did so anyway.
“Well…You’re always happy…friendly…and cheerful.” He smiled as he spoke the last verbs.
“Well, that’s what yellow is like! It’s always happy, cheerful, friendly, and bright. It’s like the sun, it’s always cheerful.” The unsightly teen could hear the smile in his friend’s voice. So now he knew he could associate the colour yellow with Nagisa. Thus, leading him to assume that blonde is like a yellow-ish colour, since when he asked, people said Nagisa had blonde hair.
“Hey. What the hell are you guys doing?” Rin called out as he and Rei approached the group by the pool, finished with their search for firewood. “We’re teaching (y/n) about colours.” Nagisa chirped at the grumpy male who was a year older than him. Rin’s gaze shifted to the male in question as said teen tried his best to stand and look in the general direction of Rin. Before anyone could say anything, Rin left the scene with a grunt.
Thinking Rin left because he was mad at him for some reason, the small teen’s seemingly lifeless eyes drifted downwards to where his feet should be, standing in a dejected manner. Then, he heard quick footfalls approach him in a rush, when he realized Rin had returned for some reason.
The older teen took hold of (y/n)’s right hand quite roughly and placed something inside of it. “Describe it.”
(Y/n) hesitated for a moment before doing as instructed. “It feels…smooth.” Satisfied, Rin caught the teen’s left hand and placed something else in it. “What about this?” Trying to feel the new object, the teen felt an unpleasant surprise when the object seemed to have fallen apart and crippled in his hand.
“W-w-what happened?” Panicking, he tried to bend down and pick up the fallen pieces of the object, only to be stopped by Rin.
“Don’t worry. That’s just a dead leaf. The leaf in your other hand that felt smooth is still alive, though. The smoothness and suppleness of the leaf is what green feels like. Green is a natural colour that feels like life. And the dead leaf is crispy and brown. Do you know what brown is like?”
“Umm… Makoto-kun already explained to me.” Said the teen, taking Rin’s hand and putting the green leaf in it.
Makoto then stood and glanced at the sky as it started to change colour. “I think we should get the campfire going soon. It’s getting dark out.” So with that, Nagisa climbed out of the pool and ran to his tent to get dressed, leaving Haruka to swim one last lap before heading to his tent to change too. Rei helped (y/n) to his feet and to the camping area, sitting him on a log in front of the pile of twigs and sticks that would be their campfire.
“I knew you actually cared.” Cooed Makoto as he left Rin by the pool. Rin fumed at the comment, but said nothing about it, since it was the truth anyway. Looking down at the small leaf, already yellowing at the edges, he discreetly smiled, putting it back in nature—where it belonged—of course, not forgetting to apologize for plucking it in the first place.
X X X X X
Night had already fallen. The boys were now gathered around the campfire, (y/n) especially enjoying the warmth emitted by the flame in the center of their circle. He watched behind the cloudiness in his eyes how the light from the flame flickered and danced, chasing the darkness in his ‘vision’ away to the very corners of his eyes.
He enjoyed the visions so much that he did not even notice the spooky stories Nagisa was telling to the others which was making Makoto quiver in fear behind Haruka. Seemingly finished with his stories, he looked at Rei, inviting him to say something.
“Hey, (y/n). Would you like to know what the colour red is like?” Said teen immediately looked up to the general direction of Rei, his face illuminated by the flickering light of the flame. The light made the life hidden behind the cloudy window of (y/n)’s eyes seemingly glow. For once, they all thought his eyes did not look dead. Instead, the (e/c) orbs looked alive with a new glow of life.
“Well… Red is like the fire…It’s hot and bright. Like the sun burn you got a few months ago at the beach, it turns your skin into a red colour. Or, maybe when you blush, the heat on your cheek is red.”
“Red is also like Rin-chan, always angry and demanding attention.” At that added remark from Nagisa, Rin yelled angrily, further proving Nagisa’s point. (Y/n) softly giggled from their antics.
“Oh! And blushing cheeks can also be pink sometimes, because it’s a really light shade of red.” Rei continued.
“What is pink like?” the blind teen asked, tilting his head.
“Umm…It’s a feminine colour…Kinda motherly, I guess…Usually people associate it with love too. It’s a warm, nurturing, and soft colour.” (Y/n) nodded. He guessed mothers are always wearing pink, since they’re always so nurturing and loving.
“Let me tell you what black and white is like.” Haruka suddenly spoke. “You can see darkness and light, right?” Nervously, (y/n) nodded. All his life, that was all he could see. Just the darkness and light dancing around his figure in an eternal abyss. He did not enjoy it, but he did not hate it either.
“The darkness is what black looks like. It feels overwhelming and depressing, and also a bit scary at times. White on the other hand, is the colour of light. The flashes of light you can see from looking at this fire right now is what white looks like. It’s pure, clean, and simple. Black and white can balance each other out, like how darkness and light balance each other out. Grey is somewhere in between, neither dark nor light. Grey is neutral.”
(Y/n) nodded understandingly, taking it all in as he tried to picture in his mind what the colour grey might look like. Feeling that he might have gotten it right, he settled on the colour of a very thin line between what light and darkness he could ‘see’. It felt neutral. It felt…almost lonely.
“Hey…what colour represents physical comfort?” asked the blind male, waiting for a response from anyone. He did not care who would answer. He just wanted an answer.
“Hmm… I guess orange feels that way?” Makoto answered. “Orange feels secure and comforting.” Reaching into his bag, Makoto felt around for a round fruit. He then walked over to the youngest of the six, gently placing the fruit in his hand. “This is an orange. Oranges are…well…orange. Why don’t you try and describe how it smells?”
(Y/n) lifted the fruit, taking in a couple whiffs of its scent. “ It smells refreshing.” The smell reminded the teen of the fruity bubble soap he had at home.
“Mhmm. The colour of orange is like that. It’s refreshing, sweet, and has a tropical feeling to it. Orange things need lots of sun to grow. They can also be warm and cheerful, like red and yellow mixed together.”
“Do hugs… feel like the colour orange?” He felt his face heat up at his own question, guessing his cheeks were red then.
Nagisa then suddenly wrapped his arms around (y/n)’s waist from behind, hugging the latter. “Yup! This is what orange feels like~” He giggled playfully. (Y/n) began to like the feeling of ‘orange’. This was much better than what he had been through as a child growing up blind.
The people with him now are making him feel…dare he think it, ‘pink’.
X X X X X
It has to be sometime in the dead of night.
Everyone had gone to their shared tents to sleep. Rin was laying with his back towards (y/n), his breathing slow and steady.
The teen had been laying on his back for a good hour or two now, still unable to get any sleep. Eventually though, sleep crept up to him, forcing his muscles to lax as he slipped into a state of light sleeping.
Then, he suddenly felt…surrounded.
The laughter around him sounded so close, as if it was right beside him. He felt that he was choking. He did not know what or why, but something was choking him, and enjoying it.
The laughter continued to grow louder, pounding within his skull alongside nasty remarks about his disability.
That’s right. He was blind. He had always been. He was different. The others refused to accept him. They made fun of him, pushed him against lockers or walls, placed trash bins in his path so that he’d trip over them, stole his cane and hid it out of his reach, watching him as he pathetically tried to act normal.
He wished he was normal.
“…./n)..? (Y/n)? (Y/n) wake up.”
His cold, lifeless (e/c) eyes flitted open, not that it would change the fact that all he could see was the shadows. But he felt that everyone was there.
Haruka, Rin and Makoto, he could feel they were sitting very close to him. Nagisa and Rei were probably nearby. Haruka had helped him sit up slowly. Then he felt a strange wetness on his face. ‘Are these…tears?’
“Are you okay?” Makoto’s voice laced with worry, soft and caring as he traced a finger to the young teen’s cheek, wiping away the tears which had formed a path down his face. To this, the teen shook his head, feeling the tears threaten to spill out. He could not speak. He was afraid that his own shaky voice might cause him to cry more.
Makoto then gently pulled him into a comforting, ‘orange’ embrace, joined by the other four who gathered around the two in the center, sharing their ‘red’ warmth with each other against the cold, ‘grey’ world outside.
“It’s okay…It’s just a nightmare…” he said, rubbing the crying teen’s back and humming a soft melody, effectively calming him down.
In the warmth, (y/n) slowly slipped back into a dreamless sleep, which was better than dreaming of the past. Makoto decided to stay and watch over (y/n) in case he gets more nightmares, so he traded places with Rin, who joined Haruka to sleep in the green tent, while Rei and Nagisa returned to their yellow tent.
X X X X X
“Alright…Is everything packed up?” Makoto looked around at his fellow friends, who were busy hauling their own bags and the tents. Just like how it was when they first arrived two days ago, (y/n) sat on a rock beside the pool, unable to help his sighted friends. As they finished packing everything up and tidying the campsite, Makoto guided everyone out of the park, carrying his own bag as well as (y/n)’s.
(Y/n) was now walking side by side with Rin, who at first only pulled him along by his sleeve, but now was entwining their fingers together, thanks to the smaller male nearly tripping on a slippery rock earlier, even with a cane in hand.
The milky (e/c) eyed male focused on keeping his pace similar to the Samezuka Academy student’s speed, at the same time enjoying the calming breeze playing with the loose strands of his (h/c) hair.
He started to recall all the colours he had been taught: The calm blue, the friendly yellow, the earthy brown, the fresh green, the hot red, the sad grey, the balancing black and white, the comforting orange, even the motherly pink. Then he realized something.
“R-Rin?” he stuttered. Said male hummed, signaling that he was all ears for what he had to say.
“What does…purple feel like?” The visibly-disabled boy then felt the other male stop, forcing him to do the same. Rin remained quiet for a while, thinking of a way to answer.
“Hmm….Well…Purple feels mysterious and strange. Sometimes it can feel expensive and luxurious too, but it’s usually mysterious. Like a person you’ve just met and still don’t know what colour they really are.” He answered, discreetly mentioning the kind of relationship they have right now.
“For example, I might still be purple to you, but you’ll probably soon figure out that I might be yellow, or grey, or blue, or red…” during the pause, (y/n) could feel Rin’s breath close to his face. The older of the two must be leaning down right now to be in such close proximity.
“…or…I could be pink..?” He chuckled at the end, leaving (y/n) with a red face, utterly confused and frozen in place.
After a while, Makoto had to come back to get the blind one and lead him home, realizing that Rin had purposely left the poor boy alone in the wooded park.
“Damn it, Rin…Why would you leave (y/n) alone like that? Prank or not, that’s just mean.” Makoto cursed under his breath, quiet enough to not be heard by the blind male clinging onto his arm for balance as he prodded his cane in front of him, feeling for any sudden dips or rises in the ground.
The two walked along quietly for a long time, until Makoto felt uncomfortable enough to break that silence. “So, did you enjoy the camping trip, (y/n)?” The (h/c) male looked in Makoto’s general direction, faking eye contact and smiled. “Yeah. I had a blast. The pool was really nice.”
Although the younger male was blind, he was still fully capable of swimming like a sighted person. Makoto had always been fascinated by that fact. He wanted to ask how he could do that, but decided to do so in another chapter of their story, since the walk is finally coming to an end, with (y/n)’s house coming in sight.
“Come on, I’ll help you to your room.” Makoto offered, opening the door for his friend and picking up the male’s bag. “N-no, it’s okay, really. I can make it on my own—” Instead of saying “okay” or “if you insist” and leaving, Makoto slid his hand into (y/n)’s. “Come on. It’s no big deal.”
So, albeit against his will, (y/n) was led up the stairs by Makoto, his cane rendered useless in that moment. Reaching his small room, Makoto decided it would be for the best if he did not step inside, since his blind friend would much rather have everything in their respective places. He gave the male’s bag to him and watched as (y/n) carefully made his way to his small, white bed, dragging his feet to avoid stepping on top of anything.
Satisfied that his teammate will do just fine right now, Makoto smiled at him despite knowing the friendly gesture could not be seen by the youth. “See you at school tomorrow, (y/n).”
“Mhmm. Thanks again, Makoto-kun.” Once he heard the door shut, he strained to hear light footfalls moving further and further away, until it was completely gone. Setting his cane to prop against the bedside drawer, (y/n) sighed and lay face-down on his bed, suddenly remembering what Rin had said earlier.
“What did Rin-kun mean, when he said he could be ‘pink’?”