The camera shook violently as small, inexperienced hands held it tightly. The holder grunted quietly as she grabbed the edge of the door and slid it open, though all that could be seen was the bottom edge of the door and the tatami mats on the floor. "Tommy! Tooooommy!" she called out.
White completely covered the lenses. "What, Kimi? What are you doing here?" someone snapped. "What the-? Don't hold the camera so low."
"I wanna see Hebi no Me," she responded honestly, pointing the camera up at her cousin, who frowned. "Cousin, how is he?"
Tomisaburo sighed before walking back into the room. "Come see for yourself."
Gingerly, Kimi tiptoed in. The room was neat, small, and had two sleeping mattresses - one for Snake, and one for Tommy. Both ninjas-in-training had told her that the masters had arranged for them to share a room to make sure they learned how to get along, but Kimi was convinced it was so that they could protect each other from monsters.
Her cousin kneeled gracefully and placed a hand on his brother's forehead. "Still burning," he informed her as he tucked Snake's blankets tighter around him. "Hebi," he called quietly. "Kimi is here to see you."
Snake-Eyes looked terrible. His face was flushed with heat, and he looked incredibly weary. Very slowly, he turned his head. Unfocused eyes stared at Kimi before the corners of his mouth twitched briefly upwards. "Ki... Kim-" he was interrupted by a coughing fit, his body shaking from the effort.
"Maybe it's better if you don't speak for a while," Tommy suggested as he patted his brother on the chest. "Kimi, when is Healer coming?"
"Right now." The door slid open, followed by the slightly spicy scent of herbs.
The camera jiggled then suddenly went still as the little girl placed it down and ran over to the man. "Healer!" she chirped, hugging him before looking up at him seriously. "Hebi no Me is not feeling well."
"I can tell." Healer stroked Kimi's hair affectionately before gently nudging her aside. "When did this happen?" He approached the mattress. Kimi scrambled to pick up the camera and hold it in his direction.
"I... I don't know," Tommy confessed as he watched the man produce a thermometer and pop it in Snake's mouth. "I think he's been hiding it until he collapsed earlier today during training. I heard you were busy, so I dragged him here and waited for you instead."
"Has he done anything between then and now?" Healer took the thermometer out and frowned at it.
"Other than moan? No." Straining a little, Tommy tried to read the thermometer. "So, just how bad off is he?"
Very gently, Healer felt around Snake-Eyes' throat. "Not too bad, but not too good either." After donning a pair of gloves, he got out a swab. "I'm just going to do a nasal swab. Nothing to be afraid of," he told the boy. "It's not going to hurt."
Tommy snorted as he patted his brother reassuringly on the arm. "Usually, when doctors say that, it ends up hurting like hell."
Healer didn't comment. Kimi couldn't hold back an, "Ewwwwww..." at the scene that unfolded before her eyes.
"See?" The clan doctor slipped the swab into a tube and tightly capped it. "That wasn't so bad, was it?"
"THAT WAS GROSS!"
A hand clamped down tightly on Kimi's mouth as Snake winced at the loud noise. "Is this how you show your respect for him?" Tommy gently scolded. "By screaming when he's not feeling well?"
Kimi's eyes widened. "S-sorry," she whimpered, but couldn't hold back a yelp when Healer unexpectedly tossed a bundle at Tommy.
Without looking, he caught it, and immediately wrinkled his nose. "... His medicine, I presume?"
"No, just something to help him feel better until I can determine what he needs." He peeled his gloves off. "Steep the leaves for five minutes and have him drink it. Add honey if it is too bitter."
"Thank you," Tommy breathed.
Healer shrugged. "What kind of a clan healer doesn't look after his own clan?" He walked out the door, but poked his head back in. "Alert me if he gets any worse."
The door slid shut. "Is he going to die?" Kimi couldn't help asking.
"I highly doubt it. It's just a little sickness." A musky, almost-tangy scent rose from the bundle when Tommy untied it. "What is this?" He picked up a dried, shriveled leaf and examined it.
A series of coughs caught his attention. "Aww, I know you feel awful, sweetie," Tommy teased as he patted the blond's forehead. "Wait right here. Uncle Tommy is going to go make something that will help you feel better."
"Bastard," Snake grumbled miserably as he watched him stand up.
Kimi set the camera down and immediately attached herself to her cousin. "Can I be Aunt Kimi? Please? Pleaaaaase?"
A laugh escaped him before he could hold it in. "Kimi, I was just messing around with Snake's head. I'm not going to actually act like an uncle."
"... Oh." The little girl looked disappointed. "Okay."
Tommy stroked her head. "However, could you watch over him while I go make him some tea?"
Her eyes lit up. "Okay!" She eagerly sat down by Snake again, patting his cheek and crooning words of comfort while Tommy smirked and disappeared down the hallway.
"... Leave it running like that. You'll just be wasting batteries for no good reason."
Tuning her cousin out, Kimi stared at the camera. "... YAY! It's on!"
"And recording," Tommy sighed. "You know, you don't have to record everything..."
"But I want to!" Grabbing the camera, she trotted off towards Snake and Tommy's room, closely followed by the grumbling teenager. "Hebi no Me is going to feel better..." she chirped on the way.
Snake forced his eyes open when he heard footsteps. "Food?" he muttered.
"This?" Tommy held out the steaming bowl of herbal tea. "I don't know if this qualifies as food. Are you hungry?"
"No." Grunting, he propped himself up on his elbows. The room seemed to immediately tilt, and he struggled not to collapse back on his pillow.
"Easy, easy..." His friend's arm was immediately around his shoulders, supporting him. "Is it getting worse? Do I need to call Healer?"
"No to both." Snake coughed, his body shuddering as Tommy and Kimi helped him sit up. He stared warily at the sharp-smelling drink presented to him. "Did you make this?"
"Can I boil water? Yes. Can I pour? Yes."
"Smart aleck." He reached for the bowl, only to have it moved out of reach.
Tommy arched an eyebrow. "Are you going to drop it?"
"I'm sure." Another coughing fit.
Snake could barely keep his hands from shaking as he took the bowl. His chest and throat itched with the urge to cough, and he felt really, really tired. Taking a deep breath, he unsteadily brought the bowl to his lips.
"Yeah. I didn't think so." Once again, the bowl was taken away from him. Tommy gave him a told-you-so smile as he settled down into a comfortable position. Something hot touched his lips, and Snake stared wearily at the liquid-filled spoon. "Well, Snakey? You going to drink this or did I waste my time brewing this?"
Frowning, he took a sip. And promptly wish he hadn't.
Kimi looked on worriedly as the Caucasian began to cough loudly. "Hebi?"
"Bitter!" he gasped, doing his best to glare at the remaining tea in the spoon.
"Really?" Unwisely, Tommy also took a sip and struggled not to make a face. "Uhh... wow." Clearing his throat, he stood up. "I'll go get the honey. Kimi, turn that camera off and make sure Snake doesn't start vomiting or something. It's not polite to record a sick person."
"Awww..." Kimi lifted one of Snake's hands and awkwardly waved it at the camera. "Bye!"
A/N: I'll be honest - I have no idea what Healer gave him. Then again, most Asian medicines are made with weird stuff (cupping therapy, anyone?). My mom used to (and still will!) give me extremely bitter liquid to swallow and the taste would remain in my mouth for hours. To this day, I have no idea what the liquid is or what it does; I just know that it freakin' works.