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there's a reason "cry uncle" means defeat

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"Hiro-ji!" Sakumo laughs, doing his best to shove the wolf's snout out of his face. "Hiro-ji, wait!"

Hiro-ji gives a snuffling woof of laughter in response but obediently sits back onto his haunches, the tongue that was attacking Sakumo's face just a few moments before hanging out of his mouth as he grins down at Sakumo.

"My win," he declares haughtily, one giant paw firmly on Sakumo's chest holding him down, and Sakumo makes an affronted noise even as he wipes his face on his arm as much as he can in his current position.

"What?! No way!" he protests, unable to stop his own grin from splitting his face. "You played dirty! I was totally winning before you started tossing me around like that!"

There's a hint of a superior smirk on Hiro-ji's face even as he hunches down into himself, doing his best to look up at Sakumo vulnerably. It's a ridiculous sight, especially since he is easily five times Sakumo's size.

"You wouldn't deny an old wolf like me his handicaps, would you?" and against all odds, his pleading puppy eyes are remarkably convincing.

When Hiro-ji flattens his ears too, Sakumo can't stop himself from giggling, "Hiro-ji, don't be ridiculous! You're not that old!" and then Hiro-ji lets out this sad, pitiful whimper that sounds just like the newborn pups Sakumo has only seen a few times, when they're hungry and waiting to be nursed. Sakumo shoves futilely at the paw still trapping him on the ground, kicking his legs with a whined, "Hiro-jiiiiiiii."

The wolf blinks at him innocently, eyes still wide and pathetic, and whimpers again, and Sakumo groans and stops fighting, an arm flopping over his head as he complains, "Fine, fiiiiiine, it's your win. You can't cheat like that next time though!"

"It's not cheating if you don't agree to the rules," Hiro-ji chuckles, tongue lapping gently at Sakumo's face even as he squirms and giggles at the ticklish sensation, but he lifts his giant paw off Sakumo's chest and lets him up.

"It was implied when we started playing, cheater," Sakumo pouts, indignant, as he sits up and rolls his eyes, but he still clambers onto Hiro-ji's back without complaint, fingers weaving themselves gently through the fur, more an afterthought from habit than any actual need to help keep him from falling. “I’m too tired to run anymore,” he declares. “Let’s go home—Nanako should be done with her mission by now, and I want to be there when she gets back.”

Hiro-ji huffs something that sounds suspiciously like “lazy” under his breath but obediently lopes off at a brisk but easy pace towards their home, long limbs eating up the ground before them. Sakumo shifts his weight with the movements almost subconsciously, and as the world blurs around him and the wind whips at his skin, stinging but warm, he thinks about how happy Nanako will be if she comes home and he’s already heated the bath and food for her.