Location: Nearing the outskirts of Konoha, at the beginning.
Time: June 24, the day after the initial fight.
Recap: Hinata was injured, Kiba went off to find where Akamaru had brought her to, and Shikamaru and Shino were left to fight the ghostly enemies.
Warnings: None at the moment, I hope. ):
It had been far too long and tedious a fight, but as ever, they had come out victorious. Shino had considered that he might not have a fear for ghosts, but a sort of respect. However, it was not the sort of respect that would make him want to be near another anytime soon. Once the fight had ended (Shikamaru finished just before him, though he had no clue by what means he defeated his enemy), he'd thanked Shikamaru once, and wordlessly set out for Kiba and Hinata, not worried about if the shadow manipulator chose to follow or not.
After searching a full night on little to no energy, which he was sure Shikamaru could easily sympathize with, he'd finally found the rest of his team, hiding out under a genjutsu as they'd been instructed to do so many times before. It was a shock that Kiba had managed to hold it for so long, though.
"Is Akamaru well rested? We need to use him to transport Hinata." He spoke softly, afraid of waking the girl he was so sure probably hadn't rested at all. Though for all he knew, she could have been unconscious, which would both be a blessing because they could handle her without worrying about her stirring, and a curse, because losing consciousness was never good. Either way, he wanted her home as fast as they could manage it. "And you, Kiba? Are you well enough to travel? If you need, I'll carry you long enough for you to get some sleep."
It had been agreed to long before that if one ever needed to assist the other on a mission, if it would normally be able to be used as a threat to their pride ("Remember that one time I helped your ass out?!" or "If I do recall, Kiba, last time you were in such a predicament and I..."), it was never to be spoken of again. 'What went on in the mission stayed in the mission' sort of deal.
While he was in no condition to be carrying someone else, he would manage. Though he was only the self imposed leader of the team, when push came to shove and times were bad, he took control; even Kiba knew (though would not admit) that most situations were better handled by the calmer boy, rather than letting them act brashly and unplanned.
They arrived at the gates of the village only a short time before the sun was at its highest for the day.
Shino had a sleeping Kiba on his back, and he was fairly certain he might have gone into shock at some point, or something similar, that was allowing to keep him standing. As it was, years of practiced calm were being put to good use to keep his hands and knees from shaking.
Akamaru carried Hinata, who was as still as she'd been when he'd first found her with Kiba, though he made sure to check on her vitals regularly to see that she was still alive.
A face appeared over the top of the gates, calling something down to them, and he was fairly sure he remembered Shikamaru answering--or maybe he was catching Kiba--before things got fuzzy.
Sterile, white and quiet, he noted. He was in a hospital.
He opened his eyes to find he was given his own room, wrapped carefully in bandages, and he wondered if his normal doctor had been in to tend to him. Aburame often only got one doctor for themselves for the whole of their lives because they didn't want to have their body seen by too many people. There was reasons behind them covering up so thoroughly.
Deciding to ask later, he closed his eyes, not used to the bright lights quite yet. He tapped to his right, and found no table, so he felt around blindly for one at his left. Once he'd run his hands fully over the surface of the bedside table, and came back dry, he decided to simply make the effort to keep his eyes closed. Kikaichuu would have been sent out to search for it, but he didn't want to risk them destroying the bandages around him as they left him.
That, and the nurses got a little uppity about bugs being let loose in a hospital that was expected to be clean. (As if they were dirty.)
He would simply have to wait for assistance, it seemed.
And when assistance came, he'd have to question them endlessly about Kiba, Hinata, and Shikamaru. Yes, that seemed like a good plan.
Until then, he laid back, pulled the blanket up to his nose, and closed his eyes.
[Psssst, Shika-mun, can I drop Kabuto and pick up Leeeeeee? :D]