Re: The Truth of the Matter
The classroom was empty. It was cold too, Naruto thought as he stood shivering with his arms across his stomach and his hands gripping his sleeves, but most importantly it was empty and he couldn’t remember what came after that. There was a line of reasoning, a logical conclusion where ‘if the classroom is empty’ then…
But he couldn’t think of it no matter how hard he tried.
You’re not trying hard enough, Naruto!
This is the kind of third-rate results I’d expect from you.
You don’t know?! You’re so stupid Naruto! What a moron!
I’m disappointed in you.
“No, no, no,” he tried to growl (keep on the mask, don’t let them see) but it came out as more of a moan. He was tired, damn it. He was tired and cold and his head hurt so much. Wasn’t he allowed to be a little tired? His arm was throbbing too, but he’d never tell anyone that, he’d never let them know that he had hurt it again just so they could tie him up in the hospital and ignore him. At least when he was in trouble people looked at him. People talked to him. In the hospital they stuck him in a room behind a curtain and forgot about him.
But there wasn’t anyone here now. He tried again to think where they would be and a wave of exhaustion forced him to stumble to a desk and sit down. At least the laughter had stopped, the haze was gone and his vision was…well it was still blurry when he could get his eyes to open all the way, but it wasn’t orange. That was good. Naruto was pretty sure people didn’t normally see in orange.
Or maybe they did. Maybe people did see in orange, only he had never asked because he didn’t and that’s why they all looked at him like he was a freak. Because he was, because he didn’t see things like normal people did.
More coughing and hacking and gagging drained what little energy he had and suddenly it was a good idea to lay his head down on the desk. Not forever—he still had to figure out where everyone had gone—just enough so that he wasn’t so exhausted.
Someone was speaking to him.
“C’mon Naruto! Don’t be so lazy! You weren’t even here this morning, how can you fall asleep on my desk?! Naruto, get out of my seat!”
Someone was yelling at him. Why were they yelling at him?
“He’s being stupid, Sakura, what do you expect? Just push him out.”
“Ewww, gross! I’m not gonna touch him! He’s like, one big pile of cooties! And he’s all sweaty too!”
Oh, good. Maybe they would leave him there. He was tired. And hot. And in pain.
“Well I don’t want to sit next to him! Seriously, if you don’t get him out of your seat, you’ll have to sit next to Kenta. You really want that?”
“Ino, he’s sitting in my seat! That’s just as bad as sitting in his seat. Of course I want him out. I just don’t want to touch him!
They really should stop yelling. It was almost as loud as the ringing.
“Fine, if you won’t do it, I will!”
Ow. That hurt. Stop shoving.
“Get off the chair you stupid lump!”
He was trying. It was just that his legs wouldn’t seem to work together anymore. It was hard enough when he couldn’t breath. Or see. He misjudged where the edge of the desk was and another shove from behind made him smack both the bandaged arm and his chin against it as he slipped out of the chair to the ground.
“What? It’s not my fault, Chouji. The clumsy idiot missed the desk on his own.”
“Guys, I don’t think he’s breathing.”
“Don-don’t be stupid Sakura-“
More coughing. It felt like someone was dragging a rake down his throat. Through coals. Why was it so hot?
“—See. You can’t cough if you can’t breath.”
“That sounded more like a dog barking than cough.”
“I told you something was wrong, Shikamaru. I think he’s really sick.”
“Ew! I’m not sitting in that seat if he’s sick! I’ll catch his germs!”
Panic suddenly crept through his body. The ringing hadn’t stopped, but it was changing. Changing like it had before. His eyes snapped open and he pushed himself up shakily.
“Maybe one of us should go get Iruka-sensei.”
“Shikamaru, you should go.”
“What? Why me?”
“'Cause…'cause you were the last one in and I said so!”
“Naruto are you okay?”