Sasuke, Sakura, Naruto, and Kakashi walked along a path through the forest, on a mission to a village in need of assistance. As per usual, Sasuke and Naruto were in front and arguing, with Kakashi reading his Icha Icha book behind them, and Sakura bringing up the rear.
"I'm hungryyyy" Naruto whined. "I haven't had ramen in almost a full day"
"Oh the horror" Sasuke replied, rolling his eyes. Naruto growled and sprang at Sasuke, and soon the two were involved in a cat fight.
"Hey idiots, don't use your energy up before we even get there" Kakashi said, peering out from over his book. The two boys separated, still shooting dirty looks at each other.
Kakashi waited for Sakura to jump in and tease her two male teammates, but the comment never came.
"Hmm?" He turned to look back at Sakura, who was trailing behind the group, eyes down.
"Sakura, what's gotten into you? Usually you don't miss a chance to tease those other idiots" Hearing this, Sasuke and Naruto dropped back to look at their teammate.
Sakura raised her gaze, revealing dark bags under her eyes and a frown on her small lips.
"It's nothing" She replied, reverting back to looking down and walking on ahead of her team.
Sasuke watched her go with narrowed eyes before falling in behind. Naruto bounced along like a puppy, failing to realize Sakura's off manner.
Kakashi tapped Sasuke's shoulder, leaning down to whisper in his ear.
"Keep an eye on her"
Sasuke nodded in reply, fixing his gaze every so often on Sakura's back. Even though he was acting like he didn't give a shit, deep down he felt an inkling of curious concern for his pink-haired teammate.
A few hours later, Kakashi made them stop and rest as the sun began to go down.
"Sasuke, you gather firewood. Sakura, you get water. Naruto, help me with the tents. Everyone look out for the snakes that live around here. They can be poisonous" Kakashi barked out after they dropped their packs in a clearing. The members of Team 7 nodded and went to their tasks.
Sakura hummed as she walked to the river, swinging the water pot. She kept her eyes peeled for snakes, since she had been scared of them since she was a little girl. She could hear the rush of water on rocks, and followed it to a small river running through the trees. Sakura set her pot down by the low part of the river, then went to where a small bank overlooked the water.
Sakura peered over the ledge, looking at the rippling water below. It was so peaceful here. After the past few nights, this was sheer heaven. For the past week, she had been plagued by horrible and bloody nightmares.
Some of the dreams were about her parents dying, some were about her friends being murdered, but the worst was bout her teammates being slaughtered in front of her eyes. That one always returned at the end of the night. No matter what she tried to avoid it, the dream kept coming back.
The few moments here were bliss. She didn't have to walk, she didn't have to fight, she didn't have to face those nightmares.
A rustle behind her caused her to jump to her feet and spin around, heart racing. She calmed down when she saw it was only Sasuke shuffling through the trees some yards away. When he heard her scramble to her feet he looked at her questioningly.
"You scared me" She said, and he went back to looking for dry wood without changing his expression.
Sakura turned back to the river and slid down the side of the bank to where she had set her pot, and reached out for it. A low hiss caused her to stop in her tracks, hand still outstretched. The pot had tipped on its side, and coiled up inside of it was a large green snake, which was now poised to lunge for her hand, fangs gleaming.
Sasuke picked his way through the underbrush of the forest, occasionally picking up a dry log for firewood and putting it in the stack he was carrying. He had intentionally followed Sakura to the river to make sure she was alright, since Master Kakashi had told him to.
She was acting weirdly, usually she wouldn't be dawdling around by the water, letting her guard down. She was a weak ninja, but she wasn't that weak.
A sudden scream pierced the air, shocking Sasuke into dropping the pile of wood he held. The scream could only be one person's... He pulled a Kunai from his belt and raced back to where he had last seen his pink-haired teammate, unable to keep a shred of worry out of his mind.
When Sasuke reached the river, his eyes fell on Sakura's hunched form, huddled by the overturned cooking pot.
"Sakura?" He asked, and she let out a sob in reply. Sasuke hurried closer, and saw the blood trickling down her elbow from where her other hand grasped a spot on her arm.
"What happened?" Kakashi's voice came from behind them. Kakashi dropped from a tree, followed by Naruto.
Sasuke bent to pick up Sakura, accidentally kicking the cooking pot as he went.
A loud hiss erupted from it, and Sasuke sprang away as the green snake slithered out, skating across the river.
"Sakura, did the snake bite you?" Kakashi asked, his voice urgent. Sakura nodded in between sobs, and Kakashi swore.
"What's so special about the snake?" Naruto asked timidly.
"They're extremely poisonous. If we don't get her the anti-venom, she'll be dead in a few hours" Kakashi replied, pushing past Sasuke and scooping Sakura into his arms.
For once, Sasuke and Naruto were silent. Usually it was one of them that was injured, not Sakura. They hadn't been put in the position before where her life hung in the balance.
"I'll run to a farmhouse a few miles away, if they're smart, they have a supply of anti-venom" Kakashi said, handing Sakura to Naruto.
"If you're so smart, why didn't you carry it with you?" Naruto yelled at Kakashi's back. Kakashi ignored him and sprang off, running at top speed.
"Great" Naruto said, glaring off into the distance.
"Come on Dobe, let's finish setting up camp" Sasuke growled, trudging back to where he left his pile of wood.