|Tousaki Ryouma (fallen_ryouma) wrote in fallen_leaves,|
@ 2010-01-31 00:29:00
|Entry tags:||ginta, ryouma|
This Time Is Different [Ryouma, Ginta]
[[Takes place the morning of April 9, four days after All My Regets Are Nothing New, three days after Meant To Live, and a day and a half after Let's Not Speak of This Again.]]
The soldier pills Ryouma had taken on the long run home hadn't quite worn off when Katsuko left him in front of the hospital doors, but the corners of his vision were beginning to haze with a purple blur. He pushed his mask back and palmed another soldier pill stealthily, behind the potted plant in the foyer. The purple haze didn't go away, but the dying buzz in his veins quickened again. He smiled sunnily at the receptionist. "Morning! Got a medic free?"
The receptionist didn't smile back. Her eyes skidded from his bandaged shoulder to the glossy wetness on his hip and upper arm where the cuts had broken open and bled again, and back to the livid bruises purpling his bared arms. Her lips firmed when she met his eyes. Probably bloodshot, he guessed. At least his nose wasn't bleeding yet. Well, that was what medics were for.
Of course the medic, when he arrived, wasn't happy about it. Eight soldier pills in twenty-four hours was a hell of a stupid move, and the medic wasted no time saying so. Ryouma, who'd heard the same lecture half a dozen times before, smiled and nodded and fell half-asleep on the table. He woke with a yelp when the medic seared a budding infection out of his hip and again when the bandages peeled off his oozing shoulder. But the man's hands were steady and cool as he sank healing chakra deep into the burnt wreck Masahiko's lightning jutsu had left, and Ryouma was used to lectures.
The IVs of saline and clotting factor helped a little; the new bottle of pain-killers helped a lot more. He was still light-headed when he slid off the table, but at least he didn't fall. "And you can sleep the rest of that off," the medic said, tossing his gloves in the bin. "Too bad you can't treat stupidity the same way."
"Hey," Ryouma said. "This last mission, I was a hero."
The medic snorted. "Aren't you all."
Ryouma would have argued that, too, but the man was already gone. He struggled back into his shirt, scrabbled all his gear up into an untidy armload, and staggered out into the hall.
It was barely mid-morning, and the last soldier-pill he'd taken wouldn't let him crash for another few hours. Ryouma turned in an aimless circle, spotted an elevator, and punched the button for the fourth floor.
Hatake Kakashi had checked out the previous day, the woman at the desk informed him as he thumb-printed the register. Sakamoto Ginta had been moved from the ICU to room 438 in the regular wing. And, from the look of him, shouldn't he be checking himself in?
Ryouma waved an airy hand. "I'm good." He considered the pill bottle in his fist. "I'm really good."
She looked dubious, but she let him in. He ended up wandering into the ICU anyway, before a passing nurse sorted him out; some habits were hard to break. Ginta's new room was a large one, a double with an east-facing window and a carefully arranged spray of cherry blossoms in a vase by the only occupied bed. Ginta himself was sitting up with his breakfast, reading a magazine and sprinkling crumbs on the sheets.
Ryouma leaned very carefully against the doorframe. "Got a piece of toast to spare?"