Itachi stroked Choko’s head, her golden hair forming a halo around the pillow she slept on.
“Choko?” He shook her a little bit. “Choko?” One of her eyes opened, a hint of turquoise shining through. “Choko, listen to me.” She yawned and rubbed her eyes with her sleeve while Itachi tried to restrain himself from exclaiming how cute she was; that would just make her embarrassed. “Choko, I’m going to go teach. When you wake up, take a shower and change into the pajamas in the closet. I left medicine on the counter because you still have bit of a fever, so take that when you wake up. I also have a sandwich in the refrigerator, so make sure to eat as much of that as you can, alright?” She nodded and Itachi drew the covers around her again, giving her one last pat on the head.
Just as he was about the leave the house, Itachi heard the pitter-patter of bare feet down the hallway. The next thing he knew, the tiny girl was hugging him around the waist.
“Come back soon,” she said sleepily and yawned. Itachi smiled gently and fixed a stray piece of wavy hair.
“Yeah. I’ll be back soon, kiddo.”
Itachi was extremely busy at school. Not only did he have to register himself officially as Choko’s guardian, but he also had to inform the school of it, and that meant a whole stack of paper work.
“At least I know what those poor mothers go through now,” he sighed as he completed the last sheet in the stack. Just as he was about to stand to check his students’ questions, there was a flamboyant knock on the door. Itachi crossed over to the other side of the classroom and turned the knob.
“Ichi-kun!” He immediately slammed the door on S’s face, raising a wave of giggling from the students. “Ichi-kun, that hurt!” he heard from outside the door.
“Quiet, Momo, I’m teaching!”
“I told you not to use that name!”
“And I told you to stop barging in during class.”
“Momo.” By this time, the entire class was laughing at the exchange. A sound of dissatisfaction floated in from outside.
“And even when I ran all the way over here to tell you the bad news!” The class immediately became silent and Itachi crossed over to the door again.
“What bad news?” he asked softly, opening the door.”
“You know how you asked me to check on her?” S responded, keeping his voice equally low, “Well, she’s not there.”
“Did you check all the rooms?”
“You think I’m stupid?”
“Don’t make me answer that question honestly.” Itachi walked back into the classroom and grabbed his backpack. “Self-study for the rest of the period! Have a nice day!” He walked out, leaving the students chattering behind him.
Usually, the road back to his house was ten minutes if he walked, but if he sprinted, it was two.
“Choko!” he called out as soon as he had opened the door. “Choko! Where are you?!” There was no response, and he quickly went through all the rooms. “Choko?!” When he heard the front door open and close, he quickly went to the hall. “Choko?!”