Chapter Three ~ A Tool's Demise

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"Well," Yamanako coughed. "I'll give you the honors."

"Thanks," Ibiki grunted, stepping past Yamanako, and pulling the door open, pushing down any hesitance.

Immediately, spiders swarmed out, covering Ibiki. He let out a shocked shout, batting at the tiny creatures.

Cashile appeared, flickering into being right behind Ibiki. "They were guards!" Yamanaka shouted, "Cashile's cracked open a pathway into her mind. I need to fight her out!"

"Just do it!" Ibiki shouted. There was a sudden flash of light and darkness then light again and everything went quiet.

Ibiki sat up, the spiders gone. "Thanks," he breathed. Then his eyes narrowed. "You let me go first!"

Yamanako smiled sheepishly. "Of course... heh..."

Ibiki picked himself up roughly and yanked open the door, tired of mind games. Literally, mind games.

And what was inside the door, he couldn't believe.

***

I gasped awake, coughing from exhaustion. The blonde one looked the same way as I felt. We had battled our chakras, and he had won because I was weak.

It was unacceptable.

Ibiki gasped in horror. "They know... Everything."

"Elaborate?" Tsunade invited.

I lost track of their conversation as another coughing fit gripped me, too weak to suppress it any longer. I spasmed weakly, a small stream of blood dripping from the corner of my mouth. I collapsed, allowing my weight to hang from the shackles. My head lolled to the side as pain gripped my lungs and throat. I tried to catch my breath, gasps coming fast and shallow.

Kakashi was the first to notice something was wrong when I started to shake, teeth chattering. "She's coughing up blood, Tsunade!" He shouted, alarmed.

Tsunade placed two fingers on my throat. "Her heart is racing," she mumbled, "And she's running a fever." She inspected the blood that ran from my mouth. "Not just blood," she announced, "It's mucus, tinged with blood."

"What's wrong with her, Lady Tsunade?" Ibiki asks.

"Fairly easy diagnosis," Tsunade declared, "It's pneumonia."

"You can heal her?" Kakashi questioned.

"Simple treatment: antibiotics taken once daily. I also want to rehydrate her, get some fluids into her. She needs a meal, preferably a broth, some water and a roll to start. Keep it simple."

"Yes, Lady Tsunade," Kakashi and Ibiki said in unison.

"Tsunade?" Kakashi hesitated before swallowing and hurriedly asking, "The antibiotics... The drugs... Are they... Addictive?"

"Unless she enjoys possible stomach aches and nausea, no," Tsunade responded.

I grimaced in my pained state. Why was he so worried if the drugs were addictive or not? Was he worried I would turn into a drug addict? I almost laugh at the thought, but I should feel nothing so I don't feel anything.

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