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Blinded

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When he brought his hand to his forehead, he felt something cool and sticky instead of the heat he had been expecting. Someone must have placed a towel dunked in cold water on his head to keep his fever down. He wondered if the towel had been recently replaced--when he removed it, the towel wasn't even warm to the touch despite how high his fever was. He shifted to the left and noted the water basin next to his bed, most likely kept there for easy access. He placed the towel back on his head and laid down again. His head was pounding. Merely shifting around in bed had tired him out.

"Asagi, have you woken up?" came Tatara's quiet voice from outside the tent, as if she were afraid to disturb him. He hadn't thought his movements were loud enough to announce his state of consciousness, but apparently, she had heard him.

It hurt to talk, but he managed to grunt out an affirmative answer. She seemed to understand well enough, for she lifted the flap of the tent right after. Sunlight streamed into his dark haven. He tried to bring up an arm to shield his eyes, but it was too late. He had already been blinded. He was still blinking, trying to clear the dark spots from his eyes, when Tatara came up to his bedside.

"How are you feeling?" she asked, her eyes warm. At least, that was how she appeared among the dark spots that littered his vision. He blinked some more, but the action only served to make his headache worse.

He swallowed, his throat constricting and burning as if someone had lit a fire along the inner walls of his throat. He wanted to ask her how she would feel if she had been the one in bed, too ill to even sit up or leave the tent. All he could mumble, however, was a feeble go away that was mostly muffled by the blankets that were piled on him.

Instead of doing as he commanded, she handed him a jug of water that he didn't know he had been craving. If he hadn't been so thirsty, he'd have thrown the jug on the floor in an attempt to make her leave him in peace, but he was thirsty and not quite so idiotic. Drinking hurt, and it was damn embarrassing when the water trickled down his chin, but at least it made him just the slightest bit less irritated. He wondered if she would now take leave--he knew he wasn't exactly the best patient ever--but she was also one stubborn girl. She was always so full of life, so driven towards her goal, unlike him who easily fell ill from one single battle, who was more suited for shadows and treachery, stagnancy that didn't involve complicated things like friendship. He wanted to push her away. He couldn't keep up with her vigor. His dark, solitary tent was safe, but she just had to invade his space.

She placed a calming hand on his.

"Sleep well," she murmured. He didn't know if it was because he was still blinded by the sun, but at the moment, Asagi couldn't see her as anything other than a woman.