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pink_medicine in narukorp

[Thread] The Doctor is Out [Sachiko, Sakurai]

[[backdated to earlier this month]]

"Haruno-sensei, you have a visitor here for you. Should I direct her here, or...?" A pause. "Um, Haruno-sensei? ...Sensei?"

"Huh?" Sakurai looked up from the book in his hands and at the male-nurse standing in the doorway. The newbie male-nurse. No one in the hospital called him by his last name unless they were a patient or an intern, and thus it sometimes took him a while to realize he was being called by any of them. Like just now for example. "Oh, sorry. Me, right? ...Visitor you said?"

The intern was now giving him a rather doubtful look, as though he weren't sure what someone like Sakurai was actually doing here in the employee section that didn't involve mopping floors. Tsurude's pupil had come to believe Rin got these kinds of looks too, but he preferred to believe he got them because of his young age, not because he was...well, Rin. "Uh, yes. At the desk. Asked for you by name. It's the Uchiha girl, I think. She--hey!"

The male-nurse was left behind as Sakurai quickly made his way to the desk. Sachiko was here? Was she hurt? Didn't seem likely without raising more fuss. Maybe she just wasn't hurt that badly. Maybe she'd been suffering symptoms from something else. Maybe something was wrong with Naruko or Kakami-sensei! The more these thoughts rushed through his mind, the faster Sakurai got down the halls, soon coming into view of the nurses' desk and immediately spotting the dark-haired young woman. His slippered feet jogged right over.

"Sachiko!" he panted, not because his haste had stolen his breath but because his anxiety had. "I was told you were here." He took a second to brace himself. "...What's wrong?"


Sachiko leaned against the high counter of the nurses' station as she waited for Sakurai, occasionally yawning. In light of the day's training with Kureno-sensei after the day's team-training, she had decided discretion is the better part of valor (or something like that) and she had trained enough for the day. She was sore and exhausted tired, but obviously still ambulatory for one and actually kind of hungry for the other. She idly scratched the back of her neck. Hair's getting long again, she mused. Probably should cut it soon. And then she yawned again. Really, why couldn't the nurses let her go find Sakurai himself? It'd take less time in the long run, but they were quite adamant about keeping her in the small waiting are.

Funny how many waiting areas hospitals had. And how many people walked the halls, not all of them medical personnel.

She was shaking off the thought as the rapid slap of slippered feet heralded someone's approach. The sound wasn't unusual, so she didn't look up until she heard her name. ...He hadn't needed to run, honestly.

"Nothing's wrong," she said, stifling a yawn and giving him a slight apologetic smirk for the yawn. After this, a nap would be good. "I just thought I'd come see you in your new home."
Nothing was wrong? So this visit was really just...a visit? Oh. How unexpected.

It took Sakurai a couple of blinks to realize he was looking more surprised than thankful, something he tried to rectify with a smile. "A-ah, I see! Well...I'm not sure that there's terribly a lot to see other than doctors and sick people. Um..." Sakurai rubbed the back of his neck, not sure what he was supposed to do. Give a tour perhaps? "So...do you want to be shown around?"
"Thanks but no," Sachiko replied, shaking her head for emphasis. "I've seen more of the hospital than I care to. I actually wanted to ask if you're interested in getting some food--and not from the cafeteria here."
"Oh!" Sakurai said, still a bit surprised but now definitely more pleasantly so. "Uh..." Unfortunately there was still the matter of skipping out on his shift a little if he did accept Sachiko's offer. But he hadn't seen her in a long while, and really, how often did she come around looking for him for just a lunch date thing. Still, if something came up while he was out playing hooky...

"...I'd like that. Let me just make sure someone's around to cover for me." Or something like that.

Ditching wasn't going to mean the end of the world. Shishou did it all the time, and he was the Hokage! Sakurai could just say later he just wanted to be more like his master. That always got 'em, heh.
Sachiko nodded and waited a bit while he got his cover and his shoes, which didn't take long, and then they were on their way. There were a few though not many places to eat within immediate walking distance as the hospital had a lot of administrative buildings around it. Two blocks over, however, displayed a considerable amount more, so that's where Sachiko chose to go. Sure, it meant more walking, but she wanted some good coffee with her food to help wake her up.

She chose something of a slight hole-in-the-wall that had good staples for a decent price that was right next to green-signed coffee place that sold good coffee despite the odd names for the sizes. "Coffee first," she said, seeing as they would pass the coffee shop before reaching the food stall. "Do you want any?"
"Can't ever say no to coffee," Sakurai answered, imparting one of the truths all doctors shared. They got into line and chatted a bit, mostly about the variety of choices that lay ahead of them and what sounded best. Coffee was soon in hand, and they left for the other shop nearby to get something that qualified as actual food.

"So," he medic began as he held the door open for her, "I hear you're pretty busy these days. That sounds like a nice change of pace for you compared to before." 'Before' of course referring to the long, more idle days she'd had before Tsurude had started giving her more responsibility.
"Thanks. And yeah. Probably a little too busy." Sachiko paused in the conversation while the hostess showed them a table and gave them the menus. The coffee drinks were eyed by the hostess but only a resigned sigh was her comment. Apparently, people coming in with coffee was a common occurrence that was more tolerated than condoned. The hostess told them who their waiter would be before going back to her station.

Sachiko sipped her coffee. Mmm, raspberry-flavored with only a little bit of sugar to take off some of the bite, and cream more for flavor. "I like being busy. Better than not doing anything, and I'm learning stuff. Always good. Asuka's not specified when we'll actually start going on missions, but when she does it's going to be hell on my schedule."
Ah. Sakurai felt he understood now why Sachiko had asked him to lunch.

"It's sounds like it's going to be getting harder and harder for any of us to meet up with each other anymore, doesn't it." He set aside his own coffee, which he'd already begun to forget what he got in it. Something with almonds? Normally he just took it black, not bothering to take a lot of time gussying it up between emergencies, but with the opportunity to get fancy this time, he'd tried something new. ...Mocha-something.

"Sometimes I really miss the old days, when we didn't have to worry about anything other than Kakami-sensei being late to training."
Sachiko let out a little hnf of a chuckle. "Yeah--" She cut off abruptly for a yawn, which she covered with a hand. "Sorry. Had team-training and then genjutsu training with Kureno-sensei," she explained. "How've things been with you? I wasn't kidding when I called the hospital your 'new home'. I don't really see you at all outside of it, lately, which translates to not seeing you at all, period. And then Naruko's off gods-know-where..." She did hang out with Kiba (when she could; Sakurai'd hit the nail on the head when it came to the difficulty of visiting people), but Kiba wasn't Naruko or Sakurai. While Sachiko and Kiba had a pretty good friendship going, it wasn't the same. And though it wasn't true she couldn't help but feel a little bit abandoned by her old team. She didn't mind too much cutting down on how much training she did in a day in order to make time to visit with someone, but to get the chance of finding either one of them with free time was becoming nigh impossible.

She shrugged. "Not that it's anyone's fault, but... I do miss you guys."
Sakurai gave a lopsided grin at that which was both glad and apologetic. "I guess I have been a little-- Well, there's no guessing about it. I've just become so wrapped up in my medical training and work...I don't give nearly the amount of time to personal things as I used to. Shishou's been giving me a lot of my own individual responsibility at the hospital. I don't even see him as much as I used to. I guess lately I've just really felt--" --'like an adult'-- "--like I want to prove to him I'm capable of doing a lot on my own now." He looked up at Sachiko, scratching his chin sheepishly. "I didn't mean to ignore you or anyone else though... Sorry."
"S'okay. Like I said, my schedule doesn't leave me too much free time, either." Though she wondered how much sleep he got. Sachiko could at least depend on a fairly regular schedule with a set block of sleep. (She'd learned long ago the value of getting enough sleep instead of skimping in order to get in more time for training.) Whereas Sakurai had some... She frowned faintly and leaned in a little closer to better see. He did have pink fuzz on his chin! Faint, owing to his own pale coloration of skin and hairs, but there was growth around his mouth. She sat back and drank more of her coffee, feeling absurdly amused by this fact.

It looked kinda cute on him, not that he'd appreciate the thought when she couldn't think of another adjective than "cute". The color prevented it from looking very manly, especially when she recalled what Tentsuke-sensei's facial hair had looked like, the last time her current team trained with him.

The waiter came and took their food orders before walking off to put them in with the kitchen.
"We should plan a regular meeting time!" Sakurai suddenly proposed with equally sudden determination. Oblivious to her amusement he continued, "Or a meeting place. Once a week or a couple times a month or...something. Just a time or place especially reserved for us! You know, so we never really lose contact with each other, no matter how busy we get. Our schedules are only likely to get worse, so may as well put a priority in it now to keep in touch somehow. Don't you think?"
Sachiko considered only briefly over her coffee. "That sounds like a good idea," she said, meaning it. It would be nice to be able to get to see him more often. It'd give her something more to look forward to, besides training. "I like it." She did wonder and not pleasantly at how much 'worse' his schedule could get. Her biggest worry for now wasn't really a worry - D-ranks were shit though necessary missions, and Konohako and Moegi needed them to get the experience necessary before attempting the chuunin exam. As for Sachiko herself, she would relish the chance to actually use what she had been learning. Mainly precision, efficiency, and control in pretty much every action/jutsu.

She'd also enjoy just getting out of the village. Even on a mission, at least she'd get the chance to 'stretch her legs' and see something new.

.......Damn, it really had been years since she'd been outside village walls, if she discounted the gala and the Akatsuki missions. (Which she did, in this matter.) Both of those had been so tense that she hadn't really been able to enjoy simply being outside.

"When's good for you?" she continued. "Asuka-taichou usually has us starting bright and early in the morning, though not always bright. Afternoons or evenings are easier to adjust."
Afternoons? He could swing a couple of those with some advanced notice, no problem. If he were looking to stay more scheduled, then the best day would be...

"How about Sundays? That is the easiest day for me to get time off."
"Sundays it is," she agreed while her mind began shifting the 'blocks' of her schedule. A ghost of amusement touched her face; she wondered if she would've thought of his suggestion. Probably not, as again she had no notion of his schedule.

A comfortable silence settled quietly, and she stirred her coffee with the provided stick. "I found a snake in an empty lot a few days ago. Aki says its called a Smooth Green Snake, and we both think it used to be someone else's pet. I'm looking after him--the snake, not Aki--until someone comes forward to claim him. If no one does, then I think I'll keep him." Not that she was attempting at all to find the previous owner(s), but Sakurai didn't need to know that. Instead she kept her head bent towards the coffee, watching him from the periphery. He had as good a reason as she to dislike snakes, what with the reminder of her.
A pet snake? ...For Sachiko? Honestly Sakurai didn't know what to think of that, and his expression made that obvious. For starters, Sakurai had a terrible dislike for snakes ever since their very first chuunin exams, something that sometimes displayed itself when he gladly took opportunities to dissect them for medical reasons. He wouldn't call it a fear or need-to-kill instinct when he saw them, but they did make him rather...uncomfortable. And now Sachiko was going to keep one?

...No. Only if she couldn't find the owners, she said. That's all.

"If you need help finding out who it belonged to before," he said with a slightly forced smile, "I'll be happy to help you out."

*shifty eyes*

"Thanks," she said quietly. She only hoped he wouldn't take offense to her not asking for help. "Anything new in your life, aside from greater hospital responsibilities?" she asked to change the subject to more general topics while they ate.

As they talked, she found herself feeling inordinately pleased. They almost never just talked. Usually conversations tended to involve some crisis or problem either affecting the village or them personally. Not so this time. Just a nice, peaceful chat about mundanity that she could actually keep up with because she did things other than train. True, a lot of what she talked about involved either her current team or Kiba or the Inuzuka clan in general, but she was talking and that's what mattered.