The Healer's Secret Jutsu
'I will not heal him.' I replied, almost casually. I was stating a fact that I was not going to be swayed on. Not. One. Inch.
'B-but he has requested you personally! Look I don't make the rules here, I'm just doing my job and–'
'I know that, and I'm not disputing the rules or your job. I'm simply saying, if you assign me to Sasuke Uchiha, I will not heal him.' Of course, it was just my luck to end up on the squad that housed that bastard. I stared at the fumbling man before me, weighing him up in my head. He was young, possibly only one or two years older than myself, so I did feel a bit sorry for him, but only a tiny bit.
I let him fumble awkwardly a few more minutes before leaning over the desk between us, catching his eye and staring him down. 'Assign me someone else and we have no problem. Anyone else.'
So that's how I ended up here, grumbling and glaring across the room at the red-haired nuisance who was making it his life's goal to piss me off.
'If the wind changes, your face will stick like that, you know.' Sasori stated matter-of-factly.
I didn't even bother with a response, far too involved in my own downward spiral of self-pity. Why did I have to say anyone?
The squire who had been teamed with us was a boy my age, named Kichiro, who I knew vaguely from high school but had never really spoken to before. He seemed nice enough so far, but as his head cocked from side to side to glance between Sasori and myself, a small smirk began to form across his mouth.
'Don't you start as well!' I snapped irritably.
He held his hands up in the air, smirk settings on full power. 'I'm saying nothing. You guys obviously have some weird issues going on.'
'I don't know how you could form issues with someone after only ever speaking to them twice.' Sasori muttered, half to himself as he unravelled his sleeping bag in the otherwise bare room of the hotel.
We were two days from Ookiimura, and I had yet to be given a spare second to wander off and look for my sister. I still had no idea who she had been assigned to, though I hoped her subject was better and far less irritating than mine. Since there had been no fighting as of yet, there had been nothing for me to do medically, but Sasori somehow always found something for me to work at, despite my refusing several jobs he gave me.
'You're lucky you aren't getting paid for this, I'd have docked your wages so far off the scale by now if you were…' He had mumbled late last night after I had refused for the third time to fill up our water supply. I was here to heal, not fetch water.
Of course I had snapped back a sarcastic comment that I should be getting paid for this with all the crap I was putting up with. I suppose in a way I was actually lucky, in the sense that Sasori didn't seem to get too angry at anything I did or said. Not yet anyway.
The hotel we were staying in tonight was smaller than the one from yesterday, but it was much cleaner. I shuffled down further into my sleeping back and rolled onto my side, facing away from Sasori, who I had found out was often referred to as 'The Red Scorpion' by his comrades. Thankfully, I had yet to encounter that damn Uchiha, but I knew he'd be lurking somewhere.
'Emiko?' Kichiro whispered after a few minutes of lights out.
'Why do you hate Sasuke Uchiha so much?'
The question threw me off guard and I had to really concentrate on whether or not I had imagined him speak. 'What? How do you know about that?'
'…Don't get angry…'
'Don't get angry!'
I huffed and agreed impatiently.
'Well, you talk in your sleep,' he began slowly, but I already knew that. 'Last night you were mumbling about him being a jerk… You said a bunch of other stuff but most of it was just gobbledegook.'
I rolled onto my back and stared at the bland ceiling above me. Sasuke really was a jerk. 'I just don't get on with him, that's all.'
'Oh.' He seemed unconvinced, but seemed to guess that I really didn't want to talk about it and dropped the subject.
The next evening, I was bored. So, painfully bored. We were still at the same location, but apparently were moving on again tomorrow. Sasori and Kichiro had both been absent since the early hours of the morning, and I had been incredibly irritated to find that they had taken both keys to the room, so I was stuck. I let out a warm breath on the windowpane, watching in mild fascination as a small cloud of condensation appeared on the glass.
I lifted a finger to lazily draw a squiggly outline of a flower, before rubbing it off and breathing a clean cloud to draw on.
I was just finishing off a particularly detailed window-finger drawing of a Chinese style dragon when the door was swung open with a loud bang, and Kichiro stumbled in carrying a large bundle of what looked like summoning scrolls.
I leapt up immediately and crossed the floor in a second, pointing an accusing finger in his face. 'And just where the hell have you been? Do you know how bored out of my mind I have been all day trapped in here?!'
'You could have gone out.' Sasori commented dryly, strolling in after the squire. 'We left you a key on the windowsill.'
'…No you didn't?' It was more of a question than an argument.
Sasori tilted his head to look around me at the blatantly blank windowsill, his eyes momentarily skimming over my window art. 'Oh, I thought we did. Apologies.'
My hands closed into tights fists at my side as he brushed past me calmly.
'Deep breaths, Emiko.' Kichiro patted my shoulder teasingly before kneeling on his sleeping bag and spreading the scrolls out in front of him.
I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying not to let them get a rise out of me, but it was obvious they were winning.
'So,' I ground out through gritted teeth. 'Where have you been?'
'The troops started their training this morning, which you'd have known if you were paying attention to Sasori yesterday.'
'Suck up.' I accused him quietly. I was secretly growing to like Kichiro though, he could take a joke and was quite a laid back, light-hearted character, which I appreciated. 'So, how was it? Were you the best quire in the field?' I asked sarcastically, pretending to be interested.
'Geez, you sound like my mum.'
I rolled my eyes at his response and went back to my window dragon, which was starting to fade.
'It was good actually. It was really interesting to see everyone's abilities…Did you do that?' I glanced over my shoulder to see him pointing at the window.
'No, Santa's elves snuck in while I was tidying around and drew it on.' I plastered a stupid grin on my face, pleased with my newest level of sarcasm.
Sasori appeared at my side and traced over one of the fading lines with his index finger. 'That's obviously not true since you'd never be caught dead tidying.'
I swatted his hand away and stuck out my tongue, lacking another witty comment after my last brilliant one. He chuckled quietly at my childish action and moved to continue his previous objective of straightening out his sleeping bag, which is when something on his arm caught my eye.
I stood over him and folded my arms, coughing obnoxiously when he ignored me.
Seemingly satisfied with his handy work, he pushed his pillow up against the wall and leaned back leisurely, finally meeting my gaze. 'Yes?'
'What is that?' I pointed to his arm and he stared down at it dumbly.
'My arm.' He deadpanned, knowing full well what I was talking about.
'Har har.' I knelt down on the wooden floor beside him, careful not to disturb his now tidy sleeping bag. 'Let me see.'
He retracted his arm into his chest, about to shoot me down when Kichiro grassed him in.
'One of the other warriors managed to graze it with a kunai early this afternoon. It looked a lot worse before all the blood was cleaned off.' The younger male grinned, clearly unfazed by gore.
'Sasori!' I snapped, turning my irritated glare on the redhead again. 'What did you clean it with?'
He broke away from giving Kichiro the evils and raised an eyebrow stubbornly. 'With water. It's just a scratch, I'm sure I'll live.'
'Let me see anyway, it could get infected or reopen if you catch it on something.' I droned, the medic in me taking over as I made a grab for his arm, which he managed to pull out of my reach.
'Leave it, it's fine!' He frowned as I leaned forward in another failed attempt of catching it.
I sat back and huffed. 'Will you just cooperate already? I've been sat in here all day bored stiff drawing dragons on windows and waiting for someone to get hurt so I can do my damn job. Now let. Me. See!'
He glowered at me a moment longer, before letting out a breath of resignation and extending his forearm to me.
'Thank you.' I pulled it a little closer and leaned over the graze to get a better look. It was a little more than a minor injury, but as he said, he'd live. 'It's not infected, yet. One sec I'm gonna grab my pack.'
Thankfully he didn't protest again when I returned, simply sat back and watched curiously as I rubbed my forefinger over the small red line, not missing the face he pulled as I did so, confirming that it stung. I decided against commenting in case he refused my treatment again.
'It's not too deep, so it should be simply enough to heal.' I mumbled, more to myself than anyone in particular. I pulled a small cotton bud out of my bag and smeared a tiny blob of disinfectant gel on it, dabbing the wound before the healing process, just to be sure. Then I made a quick hand sign and hovered my palm over the reddened area, allowing my chakra to seep through my palm and onto his skin, glowing green as it met its target.
The process only lasted a few minutes, but when I finished, my hand lingered over his arm as I debated with myself.
I could feel his eyes on me, waiting uncharacteristically patiently to see what I was going to do next.
Decision made, I made a slightly more complicated hand sign.
'What's that one for? I don't recognise the sequence.' His head tilted, intrigued.
'It's something I made myself. It'll stop it from itching.' Holding my palm flat against his skin, which was still warm from the healing process, I slowly lifted my hand up until it hovered about two inches from his arm, drawing with it what looked like a shimmering yellow bubble. The bottom of the bubble squashed onto his arm slightly, while the top clung to my open hovering palm. I held it there steadily for another few moments before dispelling it completely.
'All done. My medical opinion is that you'll probably survive in this instance.' My purple gaze flickered up to meet his almost fascinated-looking brown ones.
'Why would it itch?' He seemed genuinely interested for once.
'Because of the intrusion of my chakra into your system. Healing chakra works in a similar way to damage inflicting chakra. When you enforce an attack with chakra it enters the other persons body when you land the blow, and puts more strength into hurting them. Healing chakra has the same properties to an extent, so it can still be uncomfortable afterwards.' I babbled, enjoying the opportunity to talk about something I understood.
He nodded, rubbing a hand over the area I had healed thoughtfully.
'I erm, don't usually use that last one on people outside my family, so I'd appreciate it if you didn't mention it to the others…' I twiddled my fingers nervously, wondering why I had decided to use it on someone who was practically a stranger. Maybe I was just showing off.
A faint trace of a smile crossed his face, but it was gone as quickly as it came, replaced with a short nod.
Retreating to the safety of my sleeping bag, I curled myself into it and zipped it over my face so that only my eyes were left peeping out. It was only now I realised how shattered I was. A long day of drawing on windows will do that to you.