A/N: I wrote this in honor of Kiba's birthday (yesterday), but didn't get it typed up in time. An Extra Special Thanks (big bright anime eyes style) to my friend Marilynn whose medical knowledge far, far exceeds my own (meaning I don't have any but she has lots!). I am forever your minion!
Doushita no-What's wrong?, Onegai-shimasu-polite form of "please", Iiya-no
Disclaimer: If Naruto belonged to me, Sakura and Kiba would stand a snowball's chance in Antarctica.
Twelve hours into a forty-eight hour shift, Haruno Sakura lay asleep on a futon in the hospital break room. Her last patient had been seen a half hour ago, and she wasn't scheduled to do rounds for another hour. Her body was lax and there was a tiny puddle of drool pooled on the pillow she was hugging tightly. A CD player on a nearby table filled the dark room with soft music. The pink haired medic sighed in her sleep and rolled over on her back. In the next few seconds, the serenity of the afternoon was destroyed.
"Sakura-san?" A female's voice called as the break room door slammed open and the light from the hallway flooded in.
Sakura sat up shielding her eyes from the glare. She recognized the tiny silhouette of Shizune's newest apprentice.
"Hikari-chan?" She asked muffling a yawn. "Doushita no?"
"Sakura-san, please hurry, onegai-shimasu." Hikari beckoned. "Shizune-sensei sent me to get you, she needs to see you right away."
Sakura nodded and followed the girl to where Shizune was pacing in front of Operating Room 7.
"Shizune-san?" She called softly, "doushita no?"
The dark haired woman swung around and Sakura was momentarily taken aback by the rage in her expression. But as Shizune reached out her hand to her commrade, the anger was transformed to sadness.
"Sakura-san," she whispered, clasping hands with the younger woman, "it's Kiba-san."
"Kiba?" Sakura repeated. "Iiya, Kiba's on a mission with his squad." She shook her head disbelieving, yet felt the panic begin to rise within her. "It was C-Rank, just a simple mission escorting a Tea Merchant. Nothing dangerous."
Shizune shook her head sadly.
"You know we make a point of checking up on the clients before we send anyone out. There was a Tea Merchant who requested an escort, but this guy wasn't him."
Despite the warmth of the hallway Sakura felt a chill run through her.
"This guy was a thief named Sato Namaru. He was wanted for crimes committed in Amegakure. It appears he killed the real merchant and stole his identity. When the party got to Numa Bridge they were ambushed by Ame Jounin.
The Hokage's still trying to find out why they didn't try to contact Kiba-san and give him a head's up. We think they might have thought we were trying to help him get away, this could very easily have started a war," Shizune sighed. "Kiba-san and his squad fought valiantly, but the genin were no match for the Ame Jounin. You've fought them, you know how hard they are to defeat." The brown eyes began to fill with angry tears. "If it hadn't been for Akamaru, they would've been killed, Kiba-san included."
While she spoke, Shizune had watched as Sakura's expression morphed from disbelief to worry to horror in the space of mere moments.
"They're being cleaned and prepped now. Tsume-san personally requested that you be the one to treat Kiba-san. Listen," She said quickly as Sakura opened her mouth. "What you're being asked to do is nothing less that what Tsunade-sama faced when she tried to save my Uncle Dan, but only you can decide if you're up to it. If you think it'd be too much I need you to tell me now and I'll assign you to one of the genin. Make no mistake, every one of them has serious injuries, and any one of them could die. I wish I could give you more time, but we've wasted enough as it is, I need you to make your decision now."
Sakura took a deep breath. As a Medic, she'd always known that this was a possible scenario, but she'd always hoped…
"Where's Akamaru?" She asked, knowing that would be his first question.
"Hana-san's got him at her clinic. She said he's pretty bad off, but he'll pull through."
Sakura nodded, taking off her gloves.
"Let me know as soon as there's word on his team," she said grimly before striding through the doors of the operating room where her boyfriend lay.