Chapter VIII

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PART ONE 

Chapter VIII - The Illness

The next day, Sakura was late getting up. She missed her alarm and only got from the sound of Ino shouting through her window. The weather wasn't so nice. It was cloudy and grey. A damp hung in the air.

Sakura quickly got changed, grabbed her school bag and raced down to meet Ino. They were all smiles and giggles as usual but they didn't hang about to chat, they were late for school.

Sakura still wasn't feeling well. She was still coughing, but not as bad as the day before. She was trying to hide it but Ino could see straight through her.

"Are you ok?" Ino asked.

"Yeah, just picked up a cold. it's nothing."

"It's probably form all that time you spend in the library. You know Sasuke was looking for you last night."

"Yeah sorry, I just went to the library for a few hours and then went to bed."

"Please stop acting weird Sakura. Just go out with him. He seems like a nice guy."

"Yeah sometimes he is. But you saw how he was yesterday in the yard. Sometimes he's like that too."

The two walked quickly to school. They were really late. This was the second time in the last few weeks Sakura had overslept. She was bound to get in real trouble. They ran through the entranceway and into their classroom.

As soon as the walked into the classroom all the other students fell silent and turned to stare at them. Tsunade was staring at them too, arms folded, with a stern expression on her face.

"Late again, Miss Haruno?" she said. "You're in big trouble this time, young lady. See me after class."

Sakura gulped. She knew that punishment often meant a one-on-one training session with her and she knew that would be painful. Sakura and Ino still stood at the front of the class, frozen. 

"Are you going to sit down then?" Tsunade asked, throwing her papers on the desk.

The other students laughed and Sakura and Ino shuffled forwards towards their desks. There weren't many spaces left. There were just two. One was sat next to Sasori and the other was next to Choji. Sakura looked around the room hoping there would be another space. One next to Sasuke, maybe. But Sasuke was sitting next to Hinata. Sakura quickly moved to the desk next to Sasori and sat down. Sasori smiled. He thought that this was perhaps his lucky day. Ino groaned. She knew that meant she had to sit next to Choji, which wouldn't leave much room for her. She squeezed in next to him as both her and Sakura got out their books and focused on the board.

Tsunade taught the students about the ancient history of Konoha village. She told them all about the struggles of the Senju clan and the Uchiha clan, how they struggled to survive, how they fought and how they lived. Sakura usually loved this class, it was her favourite and she hated missing any of the great stories that Tsunade had to tell. But for some reason, Sakura just couldn't concentrate properly. Her vision seemed unfocused and she felt quite hot, with sweat pouring down her forehead. She thought it was yesterday's cold catching up with her again. She just had to fight through it. She didn't want anyone thinking she was weak.

Tsunade set everyone an assignment and handed out the papers. The students all sat in silence, scribbling down their answers. More sweat lured from Sakura's brow. She wiped it off with a handkerchief and then continued writing. Sakura coughed. This fought the attention of Tsunade who still looked annoyed at her. Tsunade didn't say anything but when Sakura coughed again. Tsunade had completed lost patience with the girl the last few days. She shouted at Sakura.

"This is your last warning!" she shouted.

"I'm sorry, sensei," Sakura spluttered out.

Her voice sounded raspy and off-key and the words were hard to come by. Her throat felt so dry.

"Excuse me, sensei," Sakura said, raising her hand. "Can I have a glass of water?"

"I'm sorry Sakura, can't you wait 15 minutes? You can have a drink between classes."

Sakura lowered her hand timidly. She accepted the teacher's instructions but her throat was getting drier and drier like a parched desert. She just needed a drink, a drink of anything. She held out her tongue for a moment, trying to catch the beams of sweat pouring of her face so she could drink that.

Sakura's hand then started shaking, just a little a first but then so much she couldn't even hold her pen. Sasori looked at Sakura who now seemed to be going into convulsions. Sakura coughed again, this time blood came up and landed on her assignment paper. Sasori put her hand on her back and massaged her shoulders. Sasuke saw what he was doing and scrunched up his paper in annoyance. Sakura stood up, she really needed the bathroom. She swayed as she stood and put a hand on the desk to keep herself upright.

"What is it, Sakura?" Tsunade snapped.

"Sensei, can I go to the bathroom, please?"

"Sakura, I told you to wait. Just sit down and wait 15 minutes!"

Sakura nodded her head. "OK," she said.

Sakura went to sit down but lost her balance and she collapsed to the floor hitting her head off the chair on the way down. Sasori immediately got up to check on her. All the other student stopped working and turned in surprise. They didn't see what happened but they just saw Sakura hit the floor with an awful thud. Sasori saw the whole thing. He knew she looked unsteady. He checked her breathing- it seemed fine. She had just fainted. Sasori looked down at Sakura for a moment and time seemed to stand still.

He looked down at the girl, unconscious, her sleeping face - so peaceful, so pure, so innocent. Her pink hair had fallen over her eyes. Sasori looked down her whole body, her whole slender form, narrow waist and soft thighs. He wanted to touch her. To hold her tight. Time stood still in that moment. No one was there but he and Sakura.

Tsunade raced over.

"What happened?" she cried.

"She fainted." Sasori said.

Ino stood up to try and look at her friend. Her view was obscured by everyone else trying to get close to look at her. 

"I'll take her to the infirmary," Sasori said.

Then without a moments hesitation he placed his left arms¥ behind Sakura's back and his arm under her thighs. Sasori stood up, lifting Sakura with him unitl he had her secure. She was so light, Sasori thought. He couldn't believe he was actually holding her. But he had to stop thinking. He had to get Sakura to the infirmary. She was in serious trouble. Sasori carried Sakura to the door when he was impeded by Sasuke.

"Hey!" Sasuke said. "What the hell are you doing with Sakura?"

"She fainted. I'm just taking her to the infirmary."

"No, you're not. She's my girlfriend. I'm the only one who can hold her."

Sasori couldn't really fault Sasuke's logic. He was right. Sasuke then grabbed Sakura out of Sasori's arms, cradling her, his eyes swelling with tears.

"Never touch her again!" Sasuke shouted. "I told you I'd kill you!"

Sasuke kicked Sasori in the stomach sending him crashing to the floor, winded.

Sasuke didn't even care if he was ok and he didn't care about Tsunade who was berating him and threatening to throw him out of the school. Sasuke just turned and carried Sakura out of the room.

Sasuke ran as fast he could, pushing past Kakashi as he went. When he got to the infirmary the nurse led him to a bed where he laid Sakura down placing a pillow under her head. Sakura's eyes flickered open. She could barely see anything, her vision blurred. The nurse was there and Sasuke too. But she could just make out their outlines. A terrible pain rushed through her as her body felt like it was on fire once more.

Her vision darkened and she blacked out once more. 

To Be Continued....

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