A/N: Okay, first off, I am EXTREMELY sorry to those of you who were actually anticipating my continuation of this story because I completely lied when I said I would be updating soon! I didn't mean to not update, it's just that a lot of personal stuff happened to come up right after I posted the first chapter, and after that I just did not have time to write. On the bright side, it is now summer, so I should have time for more frequent updates! Hooray! Anyway, enjoy the chapter!
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, for if I did, Gaara would have eyebrows.
I sat with my legs crossed and my chin resting in my palms as I stared at the now unconscious brunette across from me. It hadn't been long after his questioning of my identity that Kiba passed out from what was probably a mix of fatigue and blood loss. I had since bandaged up his wounds to the best of my ability, but heck, I definitely wasn't a medic and his condition was a bit more serious than I could handle. The guy looked like he'd been to hell and back. His hair was partially saturated in sticky blood and his complexion was sickly pale. Crimson stains were also apparent on random parts of his clothing where flesh was torn from obvious signs of torture and struggle. I found myself deeply frowning at the sight; he needed medical attention that I was far from able to providing.
We'd been flying for a good two hours and the sun was just beginning to sink below the horizon. If we were lucky we'd be home before morning.
Sighing at my inability to do anything further, I rummaged through my pack and pulled out a container of soldier pills. I needed to be able to stay awake in case anything happened to confront us on the way home. I popped a couple of the capsules in my mouth and swallowed hard; it was going to be a long night.
For the next few hours I simply sat and stared at the sky as it changed from hues of orange and pink to ones of navy blue and black. The stars danced gaily above my head as Tiny continued to fly towards home. The night was chilly and the cold air bit at my bare arms, making my hair stand on end. I would occasionally slap my cheeks to keep myself awake; the soldier pills weren't doing much after the first four hours and the last thing I needed was an overdose.
The entire time we traveled Kiba remained asleep. His slumber was a restless one. He would groan in pain at random intervals and his limbs would flinch and twitch. It wasn't long before he broke out into a cold sweat and began to shiver, a fever taking over at a violently fast pace.
I'd never felt so helpless. I was never one to take care of others. Even when I was still a kid living with my grandfather, I just took care of myself. Grandpa did the same. Our independence was something we shared…as contradictory as it sounds. I never got sick much, so I had no idea what to do in a situation like this. If I ever had a fever, I would just suck it up and tough it out. On the few missions I'd been on with other shinobi, there was always a medic who actually knew what they were doing. I, obviously, did not know what I was doing.
I knew basic first aid, but that was as far as my medical knowledge went. For all I knew the man laying in front of me could be getting hypothermia or suffering from internal bleeding, and there was nothing I could do. I felt useless; I felt stupid; I felt guilty. But, instead of just sitting there to watch the brunette in front of me die, I followed instinct.
I covered him with the traveling cloak I had brought with me and shifted him onto his back in an attempt to make him more comfortable. I then rummaged through my pack and found a rag. I doused it with water from my canteen and used it to wipe the sweat from his face and neck. It seemed to be helping at least a little. Kiba's facial features relaxed a bit and the fists he made with his hands loosened up. The rest of the flight home was about the same; Kiba remained unconscious and I worried over him.
A sigh of relief raced its way from my mouth when the walls surrounding Konohagakure appeared just over the horizon where the sun was beginning to rise.
"Good job, Tiny!" I proclaimed, patting the giant hawk on the side of the neck as the morning rays of sunlight began to kiss my skin.
The avian squawked in approval of my praise and continued toward the nearing village. A smile stayed on my face as I turned back to check on Kiba. He seemed a lot more peaceful than earlier, but his face was still extremely pale and a muffled moan would escape his lips every now again.
"At least we're almost home," I muttered to myself, still smiling.
Soon enough Tiny was swooping down low enough to fly through the northern gates of the village. I flashed my ID to the guard and advanced on to the hospital. We were upon the large building within minutes. I pumped chakra throughout my body as I carefully heaved Kiba onto my back.
"Geeze, you're heavy," I muttered to the unconscious man as I turned to send off the bird that had flown us home for nearly twelve hours, "thanks, Tiny!"
Tiny gave a nod of understanding before flying off. I then turned and proceeded to kick open the ER doors of the hospital with Kiba still strewn over my back. The room was surprisingly empty with maybe two or three patients sitting in the waiting room chairs. One person looked like they were suffering from some sort of complex wedgie. I repressed the urge to point and laugh and instead focused on getting help for Kiba.
"A little help here!" I shouted.
Kiba shifted and groaned on my back; I guessed the sudden change in motion paired with the increased volume of my voice was waking him up.
Within seconds, a pink-haired girl I had seen a couple times around town skid around the corner and rushed toward me, a mix of panic and relief coating her pale face, "Kiba!" she gasped as she recognized the now conscious man whom I was now helping off of my back, "Someone get me a stretcher, stat!" she yelled.
The rosette's request was quickly granted as a nurse dressed in light blue scrubs came dashing down the hall, stretcher in tow, "here you are, Dr. Haruno!" the nurse chirped as she parked the stretcher in front of us.
I wish I had people to order around like that.
Dr. Haruno and I helped the now half-awake Kiba up onto the stretcher while the nurse held it in place. Once he was safely lying on the contraption, Dr. Haruno went straight to work examining him. She pulled out her stethoscope and quickly checked his heartbeat. She then checked his pulse and carefully probed his upper abdomen. Once her mini examination was finished she turned to the nurse.
"Take him to exam room 6 and get him hooked up to an IV with some saline and anesthetic. Have a couple bags of type B on standby and keep an O.R. prepped," she rattled off to the nurse before turning to pat me on the shoulder, "really, thank you so much for rescuing him. We've all been really worried. I'll have to properly thank you some other time."
She didn't even give me time to reply before she quickly turned and dashed down the hall, determination and professionalism radiating off of her as she went. The nurse was just about to follow with the stretcher when Kiba's hand suddenly shot out and caught my wrist. I looked down at the man curiously. He seemed to be just on the edge of consciousness.
"You never…said your…name," he huffed out in a strained voice.
I frowned at the fact that my name was the most important thing to him at the moment when he was practically dying on a table. When I didn't immediately answer his face twisted into a scowl and he tightened his grip on my wrist.
Still frowning, I complied with his silent demand, "Nao Adachi," I said quietly.
With a nod of understanding, Kiba dropped his hand from my wrist, all the while keeping his tired gaze directed at me.
"Thank you," was all he managed to say before his eyes fluttered shut once more and the nurse wheeled him away after Dr. Haruno.
A/N: Sooooo, I admit this chapter was a bit rushed, but I just needed to get them back to Konoha :X The next chapter should be more entertaining! Thank you to everyone who reviewed my first chapter! I hope you also review this one and I encourage others to do the same! Peer-pressure is a good thing when it comes to reviews! :3