Kakashi sat down at the hospital bench, his head buried in his hands. He had seen Aoi's blood stained mutilated body. She was barely breathing. Everyone had lost hope. There was no way she could live.
He didn't notice when Guy came and sat down beside him looking equally grave. He didn't speak. He had seen Tsunade-sama's face. She didn't look all that hopeful.
Kakashi didn't look up to see who had come to give him company. He was still too shocked and lost in his thoughts to notice. The first time he had seen Aoi like that he had become petrified and unable to speak or think coherently.
Tsunade-sama came out of the room and heaved a sigh. Kakashi's head shot up at the sound of her sigh.
'Tsunade-sama!' Guy exclaimed jumping up from his seat and standing in front of her. Kakashi remained seated. He just looked at her.
Tsunade-sama looked at Gai and then at the seated Kakashi. Her face became sad.
No! Kakashi's mind shouted. He buried his face back in his head no longer able to look at the best medic nin of Konoha.
'She's alive,' Tsunade said. 'But she went into a coma. We can't say when she's gonna wake up or if she ever will.'
Guy collapsed on the seat too. Aoi was his childhood teammate and one of the closest friends he had. He couldn't take the news well.
Kakashi got up from up the bench and strode past Tsunade without a word and went inside the room where Aoi was lying. Tsunade didn't object. She just sighed sadly and walked away. Guy went in after Kakashi.
Aoi was lying there, without any movement, her eyes closed. Even with everything going on with her, her face looked at peace.
'She'll wake up!' Guy said, tears running down his face. 'I just know it! She always had the Power of Youth within her!'
Kakashi didn't reply. He just sat down on a stool beside the bed.
'Guy-san,' a man peeped into the room. Most probably a chunin. 'Sandaime sama is looking for you.'
Guy nodded, took one last look at Aoi and left.
Kakashi sat down and kept looking at Aoi with such intensity as though the mere power of his gaze could bring Aoi back to consciousness again. He didn't leave her side for 24 hours straight until Guy came and sent him home.
Kakashi came to the hospital everyday and spent at least and hour or two beside the immobile Aoi. He even talked to her only to be replied by silence. He never gave up hope.
The first thing he would do after returning from any mission was to visit Aoi and see her progress which was still stagnant at near nil.
His heart stopped the moment Tsunade announced that Aoi had to be removed off the life support system as she clearly saw no hope.
'You can't do that!' Kakashi protested.
'It has to be done, Kakashi,' Tsunade replied, sympathetically. 'I'm sorry.'
'No, no!' Kakashi refused to believe that she would never wake. Why did he have to keep losing people in life? His father, Obito, Rin, Sensei! And now Aoi! 'She'll wake up,' he said.
Tsunade sighed. 'I could give her one more day, Kakashi. But that's all I can give. If she's not awake by then the life support system has to be removed.' With that she left to attend another call.
Kakashi went back inside Aoi's room.
'Damnit, Aoi! Wake up!' he ordered. 'Didn't you want to live to tell everyone what my face looked like? Well wake up! And do it!'
He slammed his head down on the bed, desperate, frustrated and angry. She had to wake up in a day! Now even he started to realize that it was not going to happen.
He fell asleep like that and woke up to find that it was almost morning. He didn't lift his face up. He sat like that waiting for Tsunade sama to come and relieve Aoi of her life support system anytime. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to stick around to watch.
Then suddenly he felt a hand in his hair. His head shot up.
'You've been sleeping like the dead!' Aoi muttered.
Kakashi was too shocked to reply for a moment. Then the relief and happiness spread through him making him light headed for a while.
'Look who's talking,' he replied, his visible eye filled with felicity. He sighed with relief. 'So you decided to wake up and tell everyone about my face.'
Aoi thought for a moment. Then shook her head, slowly. 'Naah, it wasn't worth announcing about!' she said, smiling softly at him.
Kakashi shook his head and laughed.
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