Insert Disclaimer Here: I own nothing. In fact, I own so much nothing that even the Naruto headband I have is a mere Chinese knockoff... Literally. The package was completely covered in Chinese stamps when it finally arrived.
Once a hidden village, Yugakure had changed dramatically since it was founded. The large walls had been torn down, and now, ordinary citizens greatly outnumbered the few remaining shinobi. The hospital, however, still served as a training ground for medical ninja, and the prowess of its diagnostics department made it a haven for anyone unfortunate enough to fall victim to unusual circumstances or rare disease.
Some days, however, were more exciting than others.
It had been at least a week since an interesting case file crossed the desk of special jonin House. The last one was a merchant who came in with high blood pressure and recurring headaches. In less than a day, his team had correctly found the pheochromocytoma, and the man underwent surgery. It was, without a doubt, another successful mission.
Since then, and in spite of the recent turmoil in neighboring countries, everything in Yugakure had been routine – an old woman suffered a stroke, a young boy fractured his arm practicing a complicated taijutsu drill, and a teacher was complaining of gallstones.
Doctors Alison Cameron, Eric Foreman and Robert Chase spent most of their afternoon on a leisurely break. A large window stretched across the hospital skybridge, one of their favorite places to gather, and from there, hey could see all the way to the edge of the village.
"Look at that." Foreman pointed out the scene first.
A foreign shinobi at the village gates was carrying a cloaked man on his back. He spent only a second talking to the border guard, before picking up speed again, and he was headed their way. Cameron glanced over and bit her lip. Anyone running that fast was obviously working against time.
"Okay, break time's over." Foreman announced. "House will be assigning us this case in twenty minutes. Tops."
"Don't you think the guys down in the emergency room can handle that?"
"Are you serious, Chase?" Foreman countered. "Don't tell me you didn't see anything out of the ordinary."
"No. Did you?"
"They were ANBU. One was in full uniform, and the man on his back was wearing their cloak." Cameron answered. "They're assigned only to the dangerous and most secretive missions. Assassinations, tracking, surveillance… we haven't seen Black Ops soldiers out this far in years."
"So whatever he was involved in has to be of national importance." Chase finally nodded. "Interesting enough to warrant House's attention, yeah. I'll give you that…."
"Not just that."
Chase fell silent, and turned to Cameron. Now it was her turn to be perplexed.
"His hands were bandaged." Foreman finally added, as he leaned up against the glass, scratching his chin in thought.
"He was obviously injured, or they wouldn't have been coming to the hospital in the first place. So what?"
"His legs weren't. And yet, he was being carried. Doesn't that strike you as odd?"
Cameron glanced at Chase for a moment.
"… Actually, it does…" Cameron spun back toward Foreman. "The ANBU are some of the most elite ninja in the world. When I did my residency at a facility in Kohonagakure, it was the ANBU who, more often than not, walked in under their own power, regardless of how badly they were hurt."
"Which means that can't be just a normal battle wound." Chase added.
"Right. There has to be more to that injury than meets the eye."
Chase cracked a grin and placed a firm hand on Foreman's shoulder.
"Nothing escapes you. Sometimes, I swear the Hyuga clan must have put you up for adoption."
"I'll take that as a compliment." Foreman laughed.