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Stupid Games, Stupid Prizes

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Inui Takumi awoke in the dim grey light of predawn, the sun just barely peeking over the edge of the horizon and letting thin streams of light trickle gently between the trees. He always hated this part, but today was worse because when he tried to get up blinding pain shot through his torso. He gasped, shockingly loud in the quiet of early morning, and fell back on the carpet of pine needles that blanketed this part of the woods.

“Inui. Don’t move yet.” A gentle hand touched his bare chest and the warm scent of Kiba Yuuji flooded his senses, the man’s face looming over him in the half dark. Kiba was just as naked as he was. He sucked in a sharp breath when Kiba touched his right shoulder, as gently as possible but still exquisitely painful.

“It’s dislocated, I’m really sorry.” Kiba carefully pulled him up by his left side and helped him sit with his back against the trunk of a nearby evergreen.

“What-” Takumi moistened his lips and started again “What happened?” He turned his head slightly and saw his right shoulder was swollen, a purple and black mass of bruising.

“You don’t remember?” Kiba said while he picked up a backpack lying nearby and pulled on some pants.

“It’s… foggy.” Takumi admitted.

“You chased me.” Kiba said softly. “I kicked you, and you ran away limping. I tried to see if you were ok but you were afraid of me.”

Out of the fog of smells and sounds that defined his full moon nights came a recollection of the joy of chasing prey. He’d eaten, Takumi always made sure to buy a big bag of dog food on the way to the wooded park, but to chase was in the other him’s blood. The pure joy of moving, driving the prey back and forth, dodging ahead, nipping behind, and then an impact that had sent him tumbling. Fleeing the prey coming after him .

“You’re…” The shock was a cold twisting in his gut. Once again, his life was over. Better Keitaro and Mari think he had a drinking problem because he told them he was going out drinking before being gone all night than know the truth.

“Yeah. Same as you.” Kiba said, pulling a shirt over his head and picking some needles out of his hair.

“You can’t tell them.” Takumi’s voice was on the edge of panic. “Please, I’ll do anything.” He pleaded.

“I won’t.” Kiba knelt and touched his uninjured shoulder gently. “I’m not going to do that, that’s not my secret to tell. Can you tell me where you left your clothes? I’ll get them for you. Then we can get you some help.” Takumi was shaking but Kiba’s round face and warm brown eyes were so sincere he couldn’t help but trust. He didn’t have much choice at the moment, anyway.

Takumi caught his breath and told him. Kiba returned with the bag quickly and helped him rise and dress, picking dry brown needles out of Takumi’s luxurious mane of hair. Takumi desperately hoped the heat he felt creeping up his cheeks wasn’t visible on his face.

It was almost noon by the time Kiba pulled up at the curb in front of Kikuchi Cleaners. Takumi opened his eyes, blearily. He had a pharmacy bag in his lap and his arm in a sling. His arm had been set back in place, and the bag was full of pain killers for it. They’d already given him some at the hospital and all he wanted to do was sleep. Kiba walked him inside, and he was grateful for the supportive shoulder. His gait was unsteady.

Keitaro was behind the counter in his apron with a kerchief tied around his head. He shot to his feet at the sight of the two of them. “Takkun! We were worried about you, what happened?”

“... got kicked by a horse.” Takumi answered sullenly.