woo chapter 3!
This is pretty long compared to previous chapters being over 7100 words. I'm not gonna bother with the beta thing lol. By this point it should be clear I have no beta at the moment so I'm getting into the habit of doing maaaaaanny more read thrus. If this changes I'll let you know. Also I went back to the previous chaps and edited out some of the typos(and put in linebreaks. How could I freaking forget the linebreaks?). Sorry about that. Nothing else to really say here :P.
Friday morning in Konoha's inner city clinic at exactly 5:07AM, two blue eyes opened.
It was the weekend. The glorious, glorious weekend!
He still wasn't done setting everything up in his house and moving everything into his new office but he hardly cared. Walking outside in the cool, Friday night air, Kurama could only think 'I'm done'. He was done working this week. He had spent every waking minute these past few days making sure he had the bare essentials up and running; and so for tonight, tomorrow, and possibly Sunday, he would do what he wanted to do.
Oh! And see Tsunade. It's crazy how in the beginning she didn't like him very much(something about him being a 'bad influence'). But she toned the hate down after...a while and right before he left. Maybe by now she'll let bygones be bygones and there is no more hostility between them. Someone told him she called him back(though he had yet to find the time to answer) so if that's the case then that would be great. He'll head on over there Saturday morning. They are open all the time, but once again he could hear sweet and wonderful alcohol calling for him.
So make that Saturday afternoon then.
"You need to tell us what you have taken," Tsunade demanded. They had been putting this talk off all day to make Naruto comfortable, but they couldn't do so any longer.
"You honestly think my fucked up brain can remember everything it made me put in me? If it were that smart I wouldn't be here in the first place!"
"You mean here in this room or in this situation in general?"
Naruto crossed his arms, looking quite haughty to the two women. "You tell me."
Tsunade rolled her eyes and shook her head in disgust but Shizune kept up her concerned look.
"Naruto you've got to be suffering out there. You couldn't have been happy the way you were."
Naruto shifted a little in his bed. His eyes darted to every corner of the room and he blinked rapidly. He looked a little uncomfortable. Had Shizune's words struck a chord?
"There," Naruto began. He paused to lick his dry lips before continuing, "There was some times where I felt bad. Sometimes I would feel low and all. But I couldn't end anything! That meant giving up the happy moments too! And no one cares about sadness out there."
"That's not true. Sad people show up to our clinic all the time," the brunette nurse pointed out.
Naruto hesitated briefly. But then his eyes steeled into a hard blue and he bared his teeth. "Sad people show up or do you assault them and kidnap them against their will?! And they're unconscious and can't tell you to put them down?!"
Shizune gasped and tried to say something in her defense. Something to the effect of the medical oath every doctor and nurse must make which is the promise to do everything they can to aid the injured and sick. But Tsunade cut in sharply.
"Okay we're getting off topic here. Naruto we're not trying to upset you so we'd appreciate it if you could stay civil with us." And the way she eyed him showed she meant business. She had no real threat to give him, not that she knew what kinds of threats would work or not, but she could be pretty intimidating. And not even her old age could stop that magical effect she had on those who misbehaved in front of her, including mood-swinging druggies. Sure enough, Naruto faltered and backed down.
"Fine. But so you know I wasn't sad all the time. Or even happy. I was mostly just hungry. That's all I remember really," he spoke lowly rubbing his stomach. It growled loudly.
"Can I eat something now? I'm starving."
Shizune and Tsunade glanced at each other, each with varying degrees of worry. Naruto's weight was a major concern for them. He was well below was the normal weight range for his age and height. He was barely tipping the scale at 115lbs when he should be above 150lbs at least. This weakness was too their advantage in that Naruto couldn't sneak away under their watch(he could barely get out of bed). But still they would like to do something about that while he's still here.
"Well can I? I'm starving."
"After you answer some of our questions Naruto. Then you'll have as much food as you can fit in your stomach."
"Make sure it's a lot. I never feel full anymore."
'When has he ever?' Tsunade thought bitterly.
"So can you at least remember any of the drugs you've taken? Any that you've sought out?"
Naruto let out a frustrated sigh. "Why do you need me to tell you? Why can't you take me to a lab or something?"
"We've already sent some samples from you to a lab," Tsunade answered through gritted teeth. She was getting mighty pissed with his answer-dodging. "They're going to take a while to return and until then we'd like to have an idea of what we're dealing with so we can at least treat you now for what you have. Now please stop being difficult. If you can't remember what you've taken just say so!" Everyone in the room could tell Tsunade was reaching the end of her rope the way she clenched the pen and clipboard in her hand.
Naruto sighed once more and leaned back on his pillows. "Okay I can tell you what I remember. I was a bore in the world."
A wide smile broke out on Naruto's face and his eyes glazed over a bit. "Heroin. Cocaine. Ecstasy. I wanted those the most. They made me feel good," he frowned, "but they made everyone feel good. That's why they called me a bore drug addict. Cause I was addicted to what everyone else was addicted too."
"That's not surprising," Tsunade said writing what Naruto said down. "Those are some of the most common drugs to be addicted too. Especially heroin."
"Do you remember how much you took?"
"I don't know!" Naruto snapped, sitting up. "I don't know if I even GOT any of them at any point!"
"You obviously did if you say they were what made you feel good and they were what you sought after," Tsunade pointed out. Naruto grumbled under his breath because she was right. It was worrying, but not entirely unexpected that he honestly couldn't remember.
"Have you taken anything recently?"
"Ugh! I don't know!"
"What about that guy earlier? He stole something from you didn't he?"
"Who?" Naruto asked raising an eyebrow at Shizune. "Everyone tries to steal something from me be more specific."
"The one that you were chasing when you ran into me. You know, you tried to hit him with a pipe? That guy?"
Naruto only slowly blinked at Shizune and she frowned in return. She looked at her boss.
"Ms. Tsunade..." She barely uttered above a whisper. The doctor just narrowed her eyes at their patient and made a mental note to check his head again. Clicking her pen closed she stood up, Shizune following her lead right after.
"Ok I think we're done here."
Naruto yawned and laid down. "Good. I'm starting to feel really sleepy ya know? Gonna rest up."
"We'll bring you-umph!" Tsunade covered Shizune's mouth with her hand and nodded at Naruto.
"You do that. Call us if you need anything!" She said and quickly pulled her nurse out. By that point Naruto was fast asleep. Out in the hallway alone Shizune questioned her boss' actions.
"What was that for? I was just going to say we'd bring him his food!"
"Well we need time to prepare the food don't we Shizune? If you reminded him that he's hungry he would've stayed awake to wait for sustenance. Him being asleep is better because if he stays awake he's going to feel the withdrawal symptoms sooner and it'll be ugly. It'll make him more irritable and more stressed which is bad for him AND us. Let's just let him snooze for a bit while we make dinner."
A look of realization dawned on Shizune's face and she nodded and then she and Tsunade started heading towards the break room. To keep their spirits up, the younger nurse started pointing out the positive things.
"Well at least he could've been worse! It only took him a few hours to regain complete consciousness and now he's coherent and talking and responding normally. I mean sure he has a few memory problems and maybe he can get a bit defensive but honestly he doesn't look too bad to me. I guess I can't say anything else yet but I think he stands a real chance at getting help! What do you think?"
The blonde doctor just grunted in return. She wished she could share her employee's outstanding optimism, but she had to look at it from a realistic perspective. What they just went through now was only the beginning. As the withdrawal symptoms start to get to him, Naruto's only going to become more unpredictable and difficult. Possibly volatile given how he used to be before he ran off. Hell before he even got into drugs in the first place he could be extremely hot-headed and quick to anger. Who knows how much his temper has been amplified since then. Tsunade suspected he was only mostly calm now because he was still coming to from that blow to the head and possibly whatever else he had done before he ran into Shizune.
They had their work cut out for them. And none of their calls branded them with any success. The public and private health care centers and rehabs happily told her that Naruto needed mountains of paperwork done and that everything that hasn't been updated in the past four years needs to be updated before they could even consider taking him in(apparently they get a lot of patients) and even so they would not budge on their prices. All of his friends either haven't answered her phone calls yet or were too busy with grad school or work to say more than 'Hi! Sorry I'm busy. I'll try to call you next week. Bye!' and hanging up. Granted it was around finals time so there was that.
But the fact was, the only person who actually called them was Naruto's ex Kurama. And even he hasn't answered her calls yet! He at least he promised to visit, but he called on Tuesday and it was now Friday evening with no word from him. And a part of her wondered if he was even up for the job. Although she used to see him as nothing more than a psychopathic, little trouble maker and was extremely nervous when he started seeing Naruto; looking at where the both of them are now and how they got there, she could see her early dismissal of him was way off base. At the same time however, he was the only one who left Konoha City and she had a strong feeling it had everything to do with the sleeping blond patient.
She could only hope that now that he has come back, he's ready to face Naruto and can hopefully put up with him again.
Shizune continued to make mindless chatter about Naruto's chances in the background, completely oblivious to her boss' worries.
It was around 1:02PM on Saturday when Kurama finally showed up at the clinic.
He didn't know if it was the quality of the liquor or the quantity but that hangover lasted an unusually long time this morning. None of his usual tricks worked either. He was feeling okay enough now to move around but he won't lie. He'll likely ask for some painkillers. Walking into the main lobby he saw it changed very little since he had last been here.
The front desk and the chairs looked nice and new and there seemed to be a fresh coat of white paint on the walls. But it was still squeaky clean and the room was still arranged how it has always been. Tsunade and Shizune however were nowhere to be seen so he cupped one hand around his mouth and called out for them.
"Hello? Tsunade, Shizune it's me Kurama! I promised I'd visit remember? You guys here? And if you are, have any painkillers?"
There was no answer for a few seconds and just as Kurama was about to walk down the hall he heard Shizune call out, "We're coming!" And so he stopped and waited.
It didn't take long for Tsunade and Shizune to show up. Both looked incredibly tired though Tsunade more so. Probably because Shizune was smiling and she wasn't(he hoped that coffee in her hand put her in a good mood at least). Still it was his first time seeing them in years. He'll keep his appearance comments to himself.
"Hey you guys look...well." Or he will sugar coat them. Shizune only smiled brighter.
"Assuming that's sarcasm then the same could be said to you." As always Tsunade was brutally honest. With a sheepish laugh Kurama put his hand behind his head.
"Yeah I have a killer headache leftover from a bad hangover this morning. Got any painkillers I could use?" He asked. To his surprise both Tsunade and Shizune shook their heads.
"We'd like to help but due to one of our patients, at this time we are asserting our policy that we will only give medicine to patients," Shizune explained. Well damn.
"Don't tell me that the only reason you are visiting is to get some painkillers."
"No no! I actually did come to see how you guys are doing and catch up a little. Soooo how are you?"
"Tired mostly but a little relieved!"
"And disappointed," the blonde doctor added.
Tsunade and Shizune shared a glance that had Kurama puzzled. He became even more puzzled when they told him to sit down.
"The chairs are nicer than I remembered," he commented, hoping to somehow brighten the suddenly bleak atmosphere. But not even Shizune cracked a smile.
"So we have a new patient as we told you. We got him a few days ago and unlike the others we've had to keep him here for a while. There haven't been any issues that we can't fix so far. Except for one...He's the same as he was before," the young woman hesitantly explained.
"Same as he was before?" Kurama repeated. His heart rate was rising and his stomach curled a little. That headache that was hurting him was now the very least of his worries. There was no way she could be referring to who he thinks she's referring to.
"I know you figured it out. Naruto you idiot!"
Hearing his name again just sent a surge of emotion through him. He knew this was inevitable the moment he found out he needed to move back here. Though he remembered hearing shortly after he left that Naruto had disappeared. That was the last bit of info he heard about the blond since moving away. And now he's come back to hear that things haven't changed at all.
He bowed his head and grinned a little. Honestly he didn't know what to expect. He knew what he had hoped and a part of him still kind of does hope.
"He...hasn't broken free of his addiction yet," Shizune nervously said. Kurama glanced up to see she wouldn't even look at him. It was clear that she thought this was a huge matter and wanted to handle it as delicately as possible. Bless her but Kurama didn't want to hear 'delicateness' at the moment. He wanted to see Naruto and see if everything was the same.
"...Is he here? Right now?"
"Of course he's in one of the back rooms."
Okay so Naruto was here. He could actually see him again, hear him again. It's been so long and he remembers vividly everything about the blond. Shizune's words shouldn't leave him with much hope but...the urge to see him again was powerful. Kurama wanted to lie to himself and believe that Naruto may have recovered somewhat, not caring at all about being disappointed later. They did share something even though things ended horrendously. He wasn't looking to go back to where they once were(in fact he wasn't entirely sure he wanted a relationship with him again) but, if there's a chance that seeing him after four years will somehow miraculously make things alright...
It's been four years. Was it right to still cling onto old wounds and pain after all this time? He had moved away from this city to move on. Surely...he has done so right?
"Can I see him?"
"Well...it's not like you'll hurt him right? And he is awake so I don't see why not."
"How long has he been here?" Kurama asked standing up.
"We told you. We found him only a few days ago. I ran into this guy and he-uh...yeah."
Kurama had a feeling there was something they weren't telling him but he put that off for later. What he wanted to know was why Naruto was left on his own for all this time.
"You mean you just found him now? You've been here all this time, how did you not find him earlier?!"
"Do NOT get an attitude with us! Look at the size of this city do you really think we had the time and the patience to look in every corner for this sneaky kid?"
Kurama shut his mouth then because she had a point. Shizune and Tsunade then started to lead him to Naruto's hospital room and he was just thankful they didn't mention the fact that he didn't try to find Naruto in all this time either.
As they got closer, Kurama held himself together. He always had a good grip on himself. And now would be no different despite the circumstances. He would not break into sweats or panicky feelings or anything silly like that. He didn't even feel the physical urge to. For some reason, he felt as cool as a cucumber; very little actually in terms of nervousness. Just a little sense of...it was hard to describe. He just didn't know what was going to happen.
"He's in that room over there. Again he's awake so just try and stay calm please? He's been a little explosive since he woke up so no matter what he says please don't react in an extreme way. It may just aggravate him even more and stress is not what he needs at the moment," Shizune advised as she leads Kurama to Naruto's room. Kurama simply nodded. Next to him Tsunade took another sip of her coffee before chiming in with her own advice.
"We've already decided to let him just sit and rest for a while before we tell him all that he's missed so be extra cautious about what you say. Like Shizune said stress will only make him worse."
"So I can't talk about myself?" Kurama asked raising an eyebrow. Tsunade shrugged.
"You can mention your successes but you should probably hold off on expressing your disappointment until a later date. The only thing that will do is make him get defensive and he'll close up, probably say some incendiary words... So it's best for you to just keep things calm and neutral."
"Okay," the red-head sighed, feeling more baffled than before. What a new situation. He actually had rules for talking to Naruto. It hasn't been like this since they first went out when the blond's friends would form protective metaphorical circles around him(and crash their dates to 'babysit'). They reached the door quickly and suddenly he was on his own. Tsunade and Shizune left with a 'good luck' and he steeled his nerves.
It wasn't like he was going to die or anything(though suffer was still up in the air). Just see Naruto. Kurama mentally counted to three and opened the door.
Naruto was wide awake and sitting up. He was fiddling with his bed covers when Kurama walked in at which he immediately looked up.
He had gone through some...changes...
One thing Kurama immediately noticed was that Naruto was much tinier than before. The gown he wore and the covers seemed to swallow him up. But his hair was still blond and his eyes still blue. He looked a little paler than he used to be, but otherwise he was virtually the same. The dark bags under his eyes were just as prominent as they had been when Kurama ended things. Noticing that, he realized, means things really haven't changed.
Their first time speaking to each in over four years and Kurama felt a little overwhelmed. He didn't have any idea what to say despite having all that time to think. The problem was he thought too much and now there's so much to say that he couldn't pick what to bring up first. So he could only trust Naruto to say the one thing that had ran through his head several times.
There was no joking tone. The blond pointed at him accusingly. He glared, his stormy blue eyes dark with anger. He shouted in a scratchy voice that had Kurama nearly cringe. And all that did was break the dam. Kurama felt consumed with bitterness and pain and all he could do was not act like the mature adult he was, but lash back.
"Oh ha. HA! How mature! And completely priceless coming from you!"
Naruto growled fiercely but Kurama matched it with a glare.
"And you know, I would think after all this time you would've realized by now that you were the one that left me first!"
"Whatever! I want nothing to do with you now."
Naruto faced away with his arms crossed. Well that impudence hasn't changed a bit he could see. It would be amusing had this not been so serious. Now that Naruto's been found, it would be easier to get back into his life. Question is, if he hadn't changed at all, does Kurama even want to get back in his life? Was the heartbreak and pain worth it the first time? Of course not because Naruto never recovered.
But if he can recover now, will it be worth it?
"Are you going to stand in here all day?! Go away I don't want to see you!"
That question can only be answered if Naruto can actually recover.
Kurama only spat out that the feeling was completely mutual and stomped out of Naruto's room. He stomped passed a bemused Tsunade and a panicky Shizune without saying a word to either of them. He was going home and he would not come back.
This visit ultimately proved that he was wrong. Four years away and he had not moved on or forgot about all the pain Naruto put him through. Seeing him again has just brought all the ugliness up to the surface. He needed a freaking drink.
Despite his best efforts, in the following week Kurama could not stay true to his word and came back two more times on two different days to see Naruto.
Each visit went just as badly as the first meeting and went almost the exact same way. Kurama would go home angry and upset. He would spend a few hours distracting himself and giving no thought to Naruto. He then would spend a few hours telling himself that he didn't need the blond and shouldn't care at all what happens to him. And then he would spend a few hours hating himself for running away when he prides himself on being a fighter. It ends with him coming to the conclusion that running away was the coward's way out and he was not going to do that again. Ultimately, he was concerned despite every effort he made not to be.
Naruto on the other hand, spent every waking moment hating himself. He would take out these unwanted feelings aggressively on his doctor and nurse. Making shouts and demands to be let back onto the streets where he could find ways to stop feeling so bad, and start feeling good again(by feeling nothing) that were rejected each and every time. When he wasn't yelling at them he was just yelling in general as the withdrawal symptoms from everything he took started to happen. So when Kurama would show up again, causing a new burst of self-hate and guilt, he was an irritable and spiteful mess.
Naruto would show the opposite of appreciation for Kurama's concern for him. Kurama would be angry that his efforts at reconciliation were in vain. They'd have a one-sided shouting match(Naruto doing the shouting) that was always short in duration as either Shizune or Tsunade would kick Kurama out(not necessary as Kurama was always in the process of stomping out of the room when they show up).
The cycle of self-hate would start again when they were away from each other.
But Kurama's next visit, would go a little bit differently and would change things significantly.
Back again? When will he learn?
Never he realized. He thought he learned the first time. He even managed to move away from this dreadful city. But still he came back. And even while he was gone thoughts plagued him(except when he was too drunk to think). And now that Naruto was here, he was completely powerless to stop his urge. He had to keep seeing him. Even when he really, really didn't want to.
As he walked into the clinic, Kurama had no good expectations on what will happen. They will probably fight, again. A yawning Shizune waved him down the hall. Naruto will shout loud and nasty words of hate and vitriol, again. He will most likely stomp out of the room angry, again. And there will be no hint-not one-of reconciliation on either of their parts. Kurama wondered if keeping his expectations this low was healthy. Contrary to what he tells himself it doesn't save him from disappointment every time.
He made it to Naruto's room and was slightly baffled to see the lights were off under the door before he remembered the time. Well it was pretty late so he must be sleeping(even though he used to be quite the night owl). In that case Kurama should leave and visit him again another time. No need to make sure he's sleeping. No need to check on him. That's Tsunade's and Shizune's job as they were his caretakers for the time being.
Once again, the commands Kurama gave his body were deftly ignored. He quietly as he could opened the door and stepped in. First thing he saw was Naruto laying under the covers, chest moving up and down in a slightly erratic rhythm but not enough to be worrying. His expression was peaceful, eyes closed and lips slightly parted. He was definitely and assuredly, 100% asleep. So Kurama could go now as there was no talking to be done that night obviously.
But he stepped closer to the bed. And he took another step and another step. There were still all of these machines around him. ¥99000 equipment monitoring his every vital sign. They looked alright. Naruto looked alright. He looked more than alright when he was asleep like this. Just like with everything he's done so far, Kurama didn't mean to reach his hand out and lightly run it over his ex's soft hair. Still as soft as it was when Kurama used to do it(though it has probably had a good washing since he's been here).
But not only did he not mean to do that, it also turned out to be a bad idea. Naruto apparently was a lighter sleeper now. He let out a tiny cough that had Kurama scrambling to back up. When his sleeping ex let out a little moan he froze, not sure if he should leap towards the door or stand still and hope Naruto would immediately go back to sleep. But the odds were against him. Naruto shifted around a bit and slowly blinked his eyes open. Too late to do anything then as Naruto obviously caught sight of him.
Kurama could imagine hearing the shouting and demands to get out but that's not what he actually heard.
"K-Kurama? Kurama hold me. Please! Just...hold me. I need you Kurama. I missed you. So much..."
It sounded like a dream; a dream that was going to turn horrible in a few seconds. But this wasn't one of Kurama's nightmares from years ago. No he was here, wide awake in real time standing in Naruto's hospital room while the blond, more than likely very drugged(at least it was legal this time), called out for him.
It was such a contrast to his earlier attitude, where he clearly stated he wanted nothing to do with him.
"Kuramaaaa." The blond moaned making the red-head gulp. He sounded so needy and yet...and yet...
No, Kurama thought shaking his head and remembering. He was no stranger to this side of Naruto. It happened a lot in the ensuing weeks leading up to their break up. Naruto would shout and be angry and irrational for no reason. But at night, after a bit of sleep(ranging from a few minutes to a few hours)a much more vulnerable side would come out. He would wake up calling for Kurama and making pleads and begs for either him or mercy or forgiveness.
It never lasted long. And Naruto would wake up every morning with no recollection of what he said. It was the same old trick that Kurama fell for again and again and again.
He slowly made his way back towards Naruto. He wasn't going to touch him again but being physically close should be enough. It should be more than enough to get him to go back to sleep after which Kurama will do what he should've done in the first place and run. Sure enough, a few seconds later and Naruto was dozing off again. Kurama gave him one last look of mixed emotion. Pity. Sympathy. Pain. Longing. Regret. No emotion stronger than the other.
The red-head then turned around and he left.
But before he could get out the door he heard Naruto mumble one last thing that made him freeze in his tracks. He clenched the doorknob tightly and almost slammed it before continuing on his way.
"We really can't keep him much longer. He's out of the red zone now so it's safe to send him somewhere else."
"Is this even legal?"
"Of course. He's supposed to go live with family, but if he doesn't have any we choose the next best thing. And right now that's you."
"Please Kurama? If you don't take him in his other options don't look very good!" Shizune pleaded. He could picture the truth behind her words. A jail cell, back on the streets, in a dumpster...And this is assuming Naruto is allowed access to his fortune. Like it was even probable at this point that Naruto would seriously help himself get over his drug addictions. The boy couldn't even admit he was miserable enough to do so!
The best thing to do would be to leave Naruto under the care of someone else. Someone who cares enough and is rich enough to do so. Someone like him...
"Come on what's your answer?! We don't have much longer!" Tsunade shouted. Kurama couldn't answer because he was still thinking. He may care about Naruto's recovery and can easily cover the expenses. But they were asking for something huge here. They want him to watch over his 23-year-old ex again? Given their attitudes towards each other?
"We're going to have to turn him in to the police..." Shizune said sorrowfully.
So should he? Should he? Should he? Last chance. Should he? Should he take it? Should he? Should he? Should he?
Tsunade heaved a heavy sigh. "I figured. Well-"
In that split second, Kurama made a subconscious decision and spoke without thinking.
"Let him stay with me Tsunade. We don't need to turn him in."
It was the first time since he came back that he actually saw Tsunade smile. She looked grateful and hopeful. But only for a split second as she then looked incredibly serious.
"Now are you absolutely sure? Naruto won't be easy to handle and care for. He'll need constant supervision and you need to make he follows my orders every day. Rehab is a must and no matter how stubborn that brat is he will have to go. And you need to keep yourself in check around him. For God's sake control your temper a little! I understand how difficult it is, believe me, but it doesn't help anyone to blow up at him! The only reason we are still asking you is because we can't keep Naruto here for much longer and you are the only one who keeps coming here."
'She's telling me to control MY temper?' Kurama thought before the rest of her words sunk in.
The young man hesitated. Did he really feel like he could take on this responsibility? Did he really want to take care of his ex-boyfriend as if the blond was a mere child(only instead of school it is rehab he is forcing him to go to)? He didn't even know if he would have the time to be by his side that much throughout the day. Although...he did have his home employees now. And he always was just a phone call away.
And if he recovers-even if they have be a little distant from each other in the beginning-if he recovers and becomes the Naruto he knew before...It would take probably a shit ton of effort on his end, almost if not as much as the effort required on Naruto's end, but if he succeeds...Naruto's words from the night before rang in his ears.
"I'm so sorry everyone."
It would be worth it, wouldn't it?
"Kurama we don't have much time-"
"I'll do it," he repeated.
"Are you sure? I'm telling you if Naruto screws up anymore there will be some rough consequences for him. I don't want that to happen so please. Assure me and promise me you'll do your best to help Naruto."
"I promise," he nodded.
"Good," Tsunade sighed. She then stood up from her office chair. "Glad this talk is over. I thought it was going to be the hardest part," She said while stretching. The blonde doctor then smiled a simple smile. "Naruto should be waking up soon so we'd better go and get him some food before he starts yelling. We'll keep him here one more night. Sorry I know that's a pretty short time for you to get your place ready. But in return we have been working on Naruto's paperwork so once you find a rehab center for him you should be ready to just check him in."
"It won't take me that long to set things up anyway," Kurama reassured her. Truly this would be a breeze compared to all of moving necessities he's been doing.
Shizune grinned and said, "I know it's been a while and he's so stubborn and drugs are something else when you have an addiction, but Naruto is not out of the ball park yet. I'm confident that he'll get better. I know he will!"
"Still as optimistic as ever."
Tsunade was right. But he would believe with Shizune that Naruto will get better. Thinking back on those words he mumbled before he left the last time, gave him hope.
Kurama was outside when he heard the dramatic scream.
"THIS IS TORTUUUUUUUUURE!"
It was definitely Naruto. He sighed, told his driver not to worry, and walked in. He was alone of course but he remembered Tsunade telling him that he should wait in the lobby while they break the news to Naruto and convince him to go with him. So he sat in one of the comfy lobby chairs and picked-up a magazine; patiently waiting for Naruto to come out.
Naruto was rocking back and forth in his bed.
"No! You guys don't understand what I'm feeling right now! It's torture!" The 23-year-old flops back onto his bed and then sits back up again.
"I can't even sit still! Just let me-!"
"No!" Tsunade shouted her patience already being tested once again by the loud blond. "And hold on we're preparing something that will make this easier to handle!"
"Just a few more seconds Naruto and you'll be fine in a jiffy!" Shizune added with a smile as she continued making measurements. Naruto gritted his teeth and leaned forward.
"I don't want that! Fuck you just give me an easy fix!"
Tsunade turned to scowl at him. Asking for drugs? That was something even Naruto knew was a stupid thing to do. But Naruto could hardly find it within him to even act sorry even though he did feel guilty.
"Do you want to sit there with nothing?" Tsunade threatened. The threat only served to make Naruto even more agitated. It was not a good feeling with what he was going through already. He squeezed his eyes shut and screamed towards the ceiling.
"No no no no no! I just want this all to end damn it!"
Naruto stopped and looked at the pills and glass of water in front of him. Without even a thank you, he greedily grabbed the objects from Tsunade's hands and gulped both of them down. When he didn't immediately feel results he flipped again.
"What the hell I still feel bad!"
"Give it a few minutes to kick in."
"I'm not patient! I'm ready to kill you guys if you don't give me a fix and let me go!" It's not like Naruto meant to get violent despite his threat and his clenching of his fists. But he felt a disconnect between what he wanted and how he wanted to get it. He didn't want to hurt Tsunade and Shizune despite everything(and he knew despite being a meek woman and an old lady, they alone could easily dispatch him while he was like this). And he did feel bad threatening them. But at the same time he wanted to end this suffering. A withdrawal like this felt worse than anything he remembered experiencing before. Not even a stabbing felt this bad. Not even rolling off of the top of a dumpster onto the hard asphalt felt this bad. It felt bad and he needed to stop it.
"Naruto..." It was the first time Naruto saw Tsunade look sad or even vaguely uncomfortable. Shizune already wouldn't look him in the eye and was biting her nails. He could feel the disappointment and the sadness coming off of them and that only made him feel worse. He needed another fix and he needed it now. So he changed tactics. He went the pathetic route. He already felt pathetic anyway.
"Or I'll do whatever else you need! Anything! Anything! Anything!" He kept shouting. He probably looked as desperate as he sounded but it was inevitable. He only stopped when Tsunade gave him the command he least expected.
"Go home with Kurama."
He said he would do anything. But every single time he made that pseudo-promise he found out that if he didn't say the words 'I promise' he never meant it. He didn't want to do anything and anything he didn't want to do he wouldn't. He just wouldn't. Naruto had to say what he could to get his fix, but when push came to shove only half of the time was he even willing to back up his talk.
This was not one of those times.
"No way! No way! I ain't going ANYWHERE with that traitor!"
"You have few other options and I am telling you now that Kurama is the best one!" Tsuande pointed out to him.
"Who the fuck are you to decide what option is best for me?! Can't Ionly decide what's best for me?" It's sad because Naruto knew that was one of the stupidest things he could ask. He knew it. But at the same time he did in a way, honestly believe he can decide what is worst for him. Going to live with his ex would just be a baaaaad idea. Logic or even thinking about the future wasn't a skill Naruto has been working on these past few years. He couldn't see staying with his ex being a good option for him presently, so he couldn't see it being a good idea in a long run.
They were both traitors so to speak. Naruto has had time(a LOT of time) to guiltily acknowledge his role in being dumped and he hated the horrid feelings he got doing so. The benefit of the drugs was that they pushed those thoughts, memories, and feelings out of his mind. If he was going to be forced to face Kurama upfront, then he doubted all the heroin in the world could make him feel better. Living with Kurama would just cause misery. And they had been through enough of that together.
"Tell him he's a STUPID ass motherfucker if he agreed to this!"
"No need. I heard you."
Naruto and his doctors turned to see Kurama standing in the doorway looking bored.
"I agree with you somewhat. Maybe I am stupid for doing this."
"Didn't I tell you to wait?"
"I got impatient. Anyways Naruto as stupid as you think I am, I AM giving you chance here. My house is more than big enough to fit the both of us and I can keep you well fed and warm. The only real problem I see is us being civil to each other. But I think that's possible too. I can avoid stepping on your toes even if you can't avoid stepping on mine."
"So what do you say Naruto? A roof over your head, food, a chance for a better life?" The nurse asked. She had a bright smile on her face too as if that would make a difference. Naruto hardly acknowledged what she said.
The blond instead stared at Kurama for several minutes without saying a word. He couldn't believe this guy was dumb enough to include him in his life again. Well. Naruto wouldn't be that dumb.
He crossed his arms, closed his eyes, turned away, and let out a firm sounding, "NO!"
Finished finally haha.
It feels weird to end there, but it also feels right so that's where I'm ending. Next chapter you'll learn how they convince Naruto to go with Kurama and we will finally get away from the clinic. Sorry for all the breaks here. THis chapter jumped a lot haha.
Sooo I guess you should know that I am doing my homework for this story. Researching this is actually fun in that I'm learning a lot of interesting stuff. I just definitely don't want to fail on a subject like this lol.
Also a little note: If Kurama comes off as boring to you in the beginning or w/e then that's good. I'm aiming to make his character a little different in this story so it won't read the same as Cheater Cheater(another modern Kurama helps Naruto out story lol). It occured to me while writing this chapter and I even wanted to go back and change his job to add a little more variety haha. But I figured it would be better to just work on making the characters unique so...yeah there's a heads up. You probably also notice that in this story he has a little 'issue' of his own.
So DCLT is going to be updated next because that is the closest to being done(but please give me a few days as finals time is among among me). October 10th will be updated after that since I know exactly what I want to do there(just need to flesh out, connect, and edit scenes). As for the rest? Ehhh they'll come later :P. Keep an eye on my profile.
Hope you enjoyed!