Two days later, special jonin House and his team found themselves on the hospital skybridge, watching one of their patients walk toward the gate.
"It looks like you were right about the Tsukuyomi." Foreman nodded pleasantly. "And it's a good thing, too."
"I spoke with Gai a few hours ago." Chase added. "Sasuke doesn't remember a thing about the actual fight with his brother. It looks like it was just part of one big nightmare to him. Something he doesn't exactly feel keen on retelling – or reliving."
"Good. That should be enough to keep that curse mark of his intact. At least for a little while." House replied. Cameron unconsciously rubbed her neck, a gesture that didn't go unnoticed by her superior. "But probably not for very long."
Foreman, Cameron and Chase all nodded reluctantly. As much as they hoped Cuddy's evil sealing method would have been unbreakable, they also witnessed, first hand, how deep Sasuke's desire for vengeance went. His anger was essentially bottomless, and when he released it, nothing, not even the most powerful sealing jutsu, would stop it. It was only a matter of time.
Time, of course, was exactly what their other patient didn't have.
House turned to Cameron.
"How about the other Uchiha? Any change?"
"We were able to wean him off the ventilator this morning." She reported. "He's still in critical condition, though."
"That means Cuddy's going to want him and his partner out of here and across the country by sunrise tomorrow." House added, not particularly in the mood for facing off with a second ANBU unit in the same week. "His kidneys should still be functioning well enough to metabolize a citrate anticoagulant. Start him on plasmapheresis to speed things up."
"Just one round?"
"It'll be better than nothing." Chase added, glancing back at House and Cameron. The former almost laughed under his breath.
"I didn't know you cared."
"Well… he did manage to save his brother's life… So I guess…"
Foreman shrugged, although he had to agree.
"It kind of makes me wonder whether that whole clan massacre story is as true as they say it is."
"Whether it is or not, don't expect him to take his secrets anywhere but his grave." House insisted, dropping the subject entirely. "Which is right where he's going unless you can get enough prednisolone and cyclophosphamide to last him the next four weeks. After that, and he's still alive, he can probably get by with methotrexate instead of cyclophosphamide."
"House, you do realize that'd make a two year supply, bare minimum..."
"And while you're at it, fill a scrip for a few months worth of vicodin too." House waved Foreman off. "Not for the patient, though. That one's for me."
Foreman rolled his eyes and shook his head in return.
"I wouldn't have guessed."
"Just get what you can." House added. His voice was soft, but serious. "It's not exactly like an Akatsuki can just step into the local village pharmacy for refills, but I'm sure you can figure something out."
He started to walk away, but Chase stopped him.
"Hang on." he inserted. "We can figure something out? What about you?"
"Me? I still have one more house call to make. Got kind of sidetracked from the last one." He smirked, as determined as ever. "Once you get me that vicodin, of course. After what the brat did to my leg, it's going to be a long, painful walk to Rice Country. Or should I say, the country formerly known as Rice Country."
As House left the Skybridge, the rest of his cell shared a series of long, nervous looks, calling his already tenuous loyalty into question once again. It was a concern, though, that they'd have to answer another time. There was still a lot to take care of before nightfall.
"… so, who's going to be the one to teach the other Akatsuki how to administer an IV?" Cameron finally broke the uneasy silence.
"Not it." Chase and Foreman both answered immediately. It was hardly a surprise, but in Cameron's mind, they were actually doing her a favor.
"Then you get to deal with the pharmacy." She smiled, heading off in the opposite direction.
The other two paused.
"Damn. We walked right into that one." Chase muttered.
"And for that, you're getting House's vicodin." Foreman countered just as quickly.
"Damn it!" Chase stomped his foot into the tile. "Why am I always stuck with falsifying records?"
Foreman let out a small chuckle.
"Just your luck, I guess."