tale of galant jiraiya
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanked 107 Times in 62 Posts
Re: The Truth of the Matter
In the end Naruto decided to skip supper. He skipped most of his homework too, although he actually felt bad about that knowing he’d have to make it up somehow later and that it would be even more work, but he was exhausted and his chest was starting to hurt from all the coughing (his room must have been getting really dusty, he’d have to clean it soon.) His head was throbbing, which made trying to figure out all the hiragana nearly impossible—forget learning the kanji—and he still felt really hot no matter how wide he opened his window or how still he sat. It was only when Naruto crawled into bed an hour and a half earlier than normal that he realized how cold he actually was—and how weird was that when his face felt like it was on fire?
He slept badly that night. When he wasn’t tossing and turning, the blond-haired boy shivered uncontrollably with nothing but a ratty old quilt to cover him or sweated until he wondered if there was any liquid left in his body at all. His throat sure felt dry enough for that to be the case and another bout of coughing emphasized this point. Even if he did shrivel up from lack of water, though, he didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. And yet, as tired as he was, his mind wouldn’t shut down.
His thoughts were scattered and incoherent. The one thing that did come through clearly Naruto didn’t really want to acknowledge; he was beginning to become frightened, unsure of what was happening to his body. Even though he had never experienced it himself, he was sure he wasn’t sick. He had seen sick when Kanon had thrown up all over her desk last year. This was different, pain and hot and cold and so much loneliness that he was afraid he would start to cry. He couldn’t though, couldn’t cry after so long without it, trying so hard to never let it get to him, to be better—no, the best—to prove he was worth it, prove that his existence meant something, that he did have a right to live, he did—
Succumbing to the darkness was a relief as he passed out tangled in his bed sheets, wet tracks sliding down his cheeks and silent screams echoing into the warm spring air.
When he was finally conscious enough to look at the battered clock next to his bed that morning, Naruto realized that he was already forty-five minutes late for school. His entire body protested the idea of getting out of bed, hands trembling so badly that he knocked the timepiece off the nightstand when he went to turn off the alarm. The blue-eyed boy groaned in frustration as the ringing continued and literally tumbled out of bed to chase after it.
He managed to stay standing for a few moments while the world spun drastically, but the quilt he had kicked off in the middle of the night tripped him up as he went to take a step. He slammed into the hard wood floor, trying to bring his arms underneath his body in an attempt to keep from hitting the ground too hard. Unfortunately, he was too weak to really support his upper body and they twisted beneath him so that his injury was crushed into the ground. The blond gasped as his arm screamed in protest and he curled it closer to his chest, waiting for the pain to pass.
He wanted to stay there. He wanted to stay there so badly, curled up on the floor with nothing to worry about but the occasional involuntary hacking episode and the pain from the injury (and he could make that go away, push it to the back of his mind so there was nothing to think about, nothing but the emptiness of his thoughts which flittered into the echoing yawn of the apartment he lived in) but the ringing of the alarm was still going on, so loud and jarring that if he didn’t stop it someone would come and complain. He knew they would, they always did as if they were looking for an excuse to throw him out.
Naruto pushed himself back to his feet laboriously and surveyed the apartment (there’s two of everything, when did I get two of everything?) before finding the alarm clock face down near the foot of his bed. He stumbled towards it and half knelt, half fell close enough to reach it and flip the switch.
The ringing continued, constant and thundering in his ears, in his brain it felt like, and he twisted the clock around in bewilderment to look at its face as if the numbers and hands would provide some clue as to what was going on.
It turned out ‘what was going on’ was the time being a quarter past nine, and when had that happened? He’d just gotten out of bed, it had only been…only been…well he’d been late for school when he got up…or was that yesterday, he couldn’t really remember—no it must be today, because he was late now, wasn’t he?