‘Please no!’ Reni chanted as she crashed into the space only to be greeted by carnage. As if broadsided by a bag of bricks all she crumpled under the weight, knees hitting the red stained floor as she stared in disbelief of what she saw. Time stopped and she was unsure when she started to cry but the warmth dripped down her cheeks and mingled with the dark pool. Eventually people buzzed around, masked faces blank and uncaring trying to coax her out of her state, to no avail.
The scenery eventually changed yet nothing really registered. Reni was a shell of a woman being poked and prodded, listening to distant voices drowning them out with the imaginings of her mind. Sickly it played out the events of the previous scene in gruesome detail. Crunching of bones, smell of blood and the pleadings of those who left the stains on the floor but it was the sound of her name being cried out over and over again that shot her into awareness with a cry of her own.
Warmth encircled her quickly with a hushing, soothing rush of sound. Reni gulped at air like she’d held her breath too long, body shaking in the source of that warmth. The scent told her who held her, whose grip grew tighter trying to ease her shakings. It was Tsunade who clutched her and spoke words whose meaning didn’t form in Reni’s mind but their sound was calming.
Slowly Reni regained herself only to break again at the realization of it all. Who called her name, who she rushed towards and who she failed to protect, it all processed at once.
Tears flowing freely she cried into the blonde’s embrace “Too late…I was…” sobs breaking off any other words that might have come. A hand stroked her hair as she wept till she had none left then a pinching sensation and then nothing but blackness.
Waking Reni registered a room and knew by the white she was in the hospital. In and out her memory slipped, fuzzily unable to recall the details and hurting her head if she tried to clear them. Gai was in a chair near the bed and dozed haphazardly, his soft snores filled the room with much needed noise. It was something about this scene that seemed funny, off somehow and all of a sudden the fuzziness cleared Reni shot up with a start with breathes going uneven in panic as she tried to leave the soft cushion.
Scrambling, clawing but having no strength to succeed it just compounded her panic. Beeps and alarms shrilly sounded out and the dozing man startled awake then took hold of her. “Reni calm down!” But the words were futile and several more people crammed into the space. Roughly she was pushed back onto the bed as one pumped something into her IV and all her fight faded. With that the crowd faded and she watched Gai drag a palm across his face and resettle back into the chair as a lone nurse worked in the background.
The worry was etched into every feature of his face, aging him significantly. The tear trails and bandaged knuckles told her everything she needed to know. Everything congealed in her mind and silent tears rolled down her face and pooled in her ears. Trying to swallow the lump in her throat before dryly croaking “He’s….” and at her words Gai took her hand, stroking it, shaking his head then eying the nurse before speaking softly. “I-I’m sorry Reni….” The words seemed to pain him as if something about them psychically cut the man that spoke them.
“B-but why?!” The nurse moved up, waited for a nod from Gai then pushed something else through her IV. Reni could only glare at the woman before she faded out of sight. Her attention brought back by the stroking of her hair then a chapped kiss pressed to her forehead “We will figure that out and I promise they will pay.” With words like that she wondered why he lingered here with her but it was probably Tsunade’s doing. Gai, like her, was in no state to handle that task of seeking them out and finding the answers they desperately sought.
Reni started to feel heavy and her eyes wouldn’t stay open but she fought against it. “Too late…I was too late!” she cried out as he hushed her trying his best to usher her back to sleep but Reni refused to go. “I….failed....dad…I…” But slowly Reni lost the war and her eyes closed and stayed so as she muttered “‘m sorry.” then drifted off to a dreamless slumber.