“I’m home!” Sougo called as he came in the door, but there was no answer. ‘Uncle must be out,’ he thought. He headed for the kitchen to grab a snack, but when he rounded the counter he found Woz lying on the dining room floor. Sprawled face down on the tile in between the dining table and the chaise longue.
“Woz!” Sougo called. He dropped his book bag and knelt next to the fallen man, who only groaned pathetically. “Woz, can you hear me?” He asked. He gently rolled the tall man face up and gathered him into his arms. Woz’ head rested limply against his chest.
“Waga maou…” he murmured softly.
“Woz…” Sougo said softly. “Did Another Rider do this? Or the Time Jackers?” Woz wasn’t obviously wounded, his face was clean except for a red mark from his cheek pressing against the floor, but something had clearly happened to leave him lying on the floor groaning like this. Woz made another small pained noise and clutched loosely at Sougo’s shirt.
“Waga maou…” he repeated.
“Yes, Woz? What is it?” Sougo smoothed the hair out of Woz’s face with his free hand.
“Forgive me… waga maou…”
“Woz!” Sougo cried. In his arms Woz groaned and shifted uncomfortably.
Just then Junichiro walked through the door with some grocery bags. He swung them onto the dining table in an almost melodramatic manner, which was unusual for him.
“Uncle! You’re alright?” Sougo asked, still holding Woz.
“Of course,” Uncle said. “ I’m not the one who ate two entire pies.” His words were laced with salt. Sougo looked at Woz.
“Forgive me…” Woz groaned. “They were so delicious…”
“Woz!” Sougo admonished.
“He knows he’ll be paying me back for the ingredients.” Uncle offered Sougo a bottle of Pepto Bismol out of the grocery bags. “Why don’t you take him up stairs and put him to bed while I start on some fresh pies for dessert?” Sougo took the bottle and stuffed it in the pocket of his uniform jacket.
“C’mon, Woz. Time to get up,” Sougo said as he hauled Woz to his feet, a little more roughly than was strictly necessary. Woz clutched his churning stomach as he was guided up the stairs by Sougo under his arm.
‘Damn delicious pie,’ he thought. ‘Making me disappoint my overlord so.’