A/N: Ah…*scratches neck*. I sort of updated rather late, didn't I? Oopsie. But I need to finish this, so here you go. I really hope you like it, because I tried. I just had to get this done! Sorry! Enjoy!
Chapter Fourteen – Lights - The End :)
"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."
- Charles Darwin
She was awake. She could see Kakashi, she could see the lights. The burning, aching lights. But she could also see Madoka, climbing through the wooden floorboards beneath her like a ghost. He smiled a vicious smile at her before he faded away. She whimpered, feeling a cold cloth on her forehead.
"He's dead, Kurenai. He's not here," Kakashi murmured. "Dead, dead, dead."
He sounded bitter and relieved. A strange mix, but Kurenai felt too dazed. Everything was swirling into colorful patterns and shapes. She saw memories from her mind play out like an old movie in front of her, frequently finding herself reaching out to touch them. She couldn't understand what doctors were saying to her. Something about pain medication that would help her.
As soon as she felt the liquid injected into her veins, she knew the memories would keep playing and she would keep seeing Madoka in her mind even though he was dead, dead, dead, and they wouldn't stop even if she was asleep from the drugs. But Kurenai was distantly happy. She was alive. She had made it.
Naruto opened his eyes twenty-five minutes later, to find Kakashi slumped in the hideous beige and green hospital chairs, his mask pulled down. Scratches littered his face, with a thick red-lined wound on his lip, his mask pulled down and hanging around his neck loosely. Those wouldn't scar. They'd heal, according to medics. Naruto blinked at the sudden brightness, glancing out at the birds chirping on the tree outside the window.
He listened, hard. No sounds of anyone coming to get him. Though there was some beeping sounds, and the sound of footsteps outside his doors as doctors and medics and nurses hurried back and forth to their patients. There were some flowers on the desk at the end of the room, bright red flowers with 'Hope you feel better soon Naruto' scribbled on the front.
"We got you those," a voice boomed.
Naruto jumped five feet in the air, gripping his heart.
"Gai, you idiot the kid just woke up," another voice sighed. Naruto recognized that guy, barely, as Goro. Gai stood beside him, looking apologetic. Naruto hadn't seen them enter, but they held some coffee cups in their hand. Iruka walked in, smiling gently at Naruto, who stared at the flowers. Goro followed his gaze and frowned.
"I told you we shouldn't of wrote 'Hope you feel better soon Naruto' on them. It sounds corny. I wanted to write 'Ramen's on me', for the kid."
Naruto eyes lit up at the sound of ramen, but when they landed on Kakashi they became worried. Kakashi's eyes flickered open slowly. They landed on Naruto, before he lunged out of the bed and hugged Naruto so tightly the machines beside the bed went flat for a minute.
"Easy, easy, Kakashi," Goro chuckled. "The kid's fine. Kurenai will be up soon. She'll be as good as new in no time."
"I was just…I wanted to make sure he was...okay," Kakashi said plainly, though he had wanted to say 'alive' instead of 'okay'.
"We'll just…give you guys some time, to talk!" Iruka smiled softly, and he pushed both Gai and Goro out. Naruto and Kakashi could hear them as they walked down the hall, as Goro loudly said, "I told you, 'Hope you feel better soon' was a totally stupid thing to write on his card. Maybe next time you'll listen to me and we won't make things awkward!"
"There won't be a next time," Kakashi muttered, rubbing his eyes tiredly. They had a dark red rim under them. Naruto sat up in his bed, feeling more than refreshed.
"Ne, Kakashi-sensei, are you really tired?"
Kakashi glanced at him. "Yeah, a little. But don't worry Naruto, at least you're okay, right?"
Naruto chewed his lip, eyebrows drawn together in frustration.
Kakashi watched him, the sunlight almost burning his eyes as much as the disinfectant-ridden hospital lights did. "What's wrong Naruto?"
"I forgot to bring my Shibo! cards."
Kakashi blinked, and stared at him for a few moments before he burst out laughing. How could Naruto think he had forgotten the stupid Shibo! cards if he had been unconscious? He didn't stop laughing until tears were pouring down his face and he was clutching his side.
Though Naruto didn't really understand the joke, or even know he had made a joke, he smiled too before he began giggling at his own unintentional joke. Naruto began his silly babbling, wondering if Kiba had gotten some extra-special card that suddenly was more important than the others because this character had three stars instead of two.
"I could swap him all the money in Gama-chan, my frog wallet, Kakashi-sensei! Do you think Kiba would give it to me then?"
Kakashi did the usually, 'mmm', 'yeah', 'no', and 'maybe's' that he was required to do. Naruto didn't even know if Kiba had the card, but he was certain he could get it from him. He was filled with confidence, especially for a kid who had been through so much. As always, Naruto put on a bright smile.
"Ugh, Naruto, don't you think about anything other than Shibo!?" Kakashi exclaimed tiredly, smiling a little and covering his eyes with his hand as he sighed.
"Well, of course I do, Kakashi-sensei. I want to be Hokage, and make you proud of me," Naruto shrugged simply, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
And Hatake Kakashi knew then that the best decision of his life was to help Naruto. He was glad he took an interest. Naruto had joined his life, and Kakashi would make sure that he never left it again.