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                Jaime had gone out alone; what for? They weren’t sure.

 

                But when the club room’s door slammed against the wall with a bang, something uncommon for when he would come back--one loud and potentially dangerous enough to alert the school’s security or anyone else--Luna and Katya couldn’t help but look over immediately to see him, rather than greet them in their typical, nonchalant ways.

 

                Is that blood? Shock kept Katya from opening her mouth; it froze her in place, and caused her blood to run cold. Why is he bleeding?

 

                Jaime stood there, in the open door--his face twisted in pain that he was trying to conceal--and, quite honestly, doing a terrible job at it--and holding his arm. Blood still remained on his face from what looked like a bloody nose--it had clearly dripped down and landed in small blotches on his white shirt; his black jacket was missing, and something had also caused a few rips and tears in the sleeve of his right arm--

                --The arm he was holding.

 

                “What happened?” Luna was the first to react, leaving the strings and corkboard of photos that they had put up to try and piece everything together. “You’re a mess!”

                “Take a guess.” Jaime said quietly, leaning against the door frame.

                “You look like you’re about to fall over!” Katya stood, moving towards him--she wasn’t the strongest, but she was still going to offer some physical support. “Lean on me, you need to sit down…”

                Jaime hesitated; she had approached her from his right. He slowly tried to move his arm, only to wince as pain shot through him--throbbing, intense, and causing him absolute misery.

                “Oh, wrong side--” Katya grimaced, looking ashamed at her own mistake briefly as she moved herself to his other side. He carefully leaned against her--honestly, he wasn’t even putting his weight on her, she never had the best balance of the three of them. “Sorry…” She led him over to the nearest chair, letting him sit. She sat on her knees in the floor next to him--she couldn’t help but stare a bit--after all, Jaime, of all people, had come back to the club room slightly bloody and bruised.

                "So, are you gonna tell us what happened, or are we really supposed to guess?” Luna crossed her arms. “Pretty sure you’re gonna need an ice pack.”

                Jaime averted his eyes briefly, as if debating his options; stay silent, have them guess, or tell them. Alternatively, he could lie, but what would be the point in that?

 

                “... I got in a fight with David.” There’ no point in lying; they would find out eventually.

                “Last loop, you said you could take him--skinwalker or not!” Luna huffed; she turned away, finding the emergency first-aid kit.

                “Think your arm’s broken?” Katya glanced up at him; tears brimmed her eyes, though it was clear that she had been forcing them back.

                “If it is, it’d be dangerous to go to the school nurse…” Luna sighed, pulling an ice pack out of the kit and giving it a few solid hits, squeezes, and bends. “I mean, we shouldn’t trust even the most basic kind of doctor, anyway. Especially not here.”

                “But--” Katya spoke up again. “If David actually broke his arm, shouldn’t we try to talk to a doctor or something?”

                “Okay, and ? If they make him drink the tap water? Remember all that funky bullshit that it did to my head?” Luna, with surprising care, put the ice pack on Jaime’s arm and held it there herself. “Plus, what are we supposed to do, tell them that Jaime got in a fight with him because of time loop knowledge? What side do you think they would even take?”

                “We could just say it was a fight between men!”

                “If you even try to suggest that it was a fight over me,” Luna moved her hands to her hips when Jaime took over holding the ice pack. “Then--”

                “I think I’ll be fine.” Jaime interrupted as calmly as he could. “We don’t need to go to a nurse or doctor; Luna’s right, we really shouldn’t trust them.” He glanced around the room, mentally working through how to make a sling from whatever they could find. Katya’s red blanket was out of the question, as was Luna’s jacket… And they never really used curtains for the big window in their clubroom--in retrospect, it would have been additional privacy, and currently, it would have been easy to tear to make a sling, but--

                “Any chance you could get a towel from the gym, Luna? For an arm sling...”

                Luna’s head shot up, her lips curling into a disgusted frown as she stared at him. “Gross--”

                “A clean towel.”

                “Alright, alright,” Luna waved her hand, taking a few steps towards the door. “I’ll bring you a towel--no guarantee on if it’ll be clean or not, but.”

                “Please bring a clean towel,” Katya whined quietly as Luna slipped out of the room. “I have to stay in here all day, I can’t live with the place smelling like that.”

                “Whatever!” Luna shouted from the hallway, her tone more playful than serious.

 

                Silence filled the room again; it was an uncomfortable silence that made Katya shift nervously on the floor--what could she even say, Jaime was injured, they weren’t seeing a doctor, Luna had been gone for an eternity --or, maybe just five minutes--

                “Are you sure you want to use a towel as a sling?”

                “I think it’s our best bet.”

                “We could always use one of Patricia’s altar cloths? She has at least twelve of them in her clubroom.”

                “I think she would kill us if we tried.” Jaime smiled a bit as his gaze shifted towards the door expectantly, as if he thought Luna was going to come into the room at any minute. "Plus--we would have to get through the salt traps again."

                He sort of hoped she would; he wanted to stop holding his arm himself, and… She also hadn’t given him a cloth or paper towel for the ice pack, so the cold had started to bite into the hand that he used to hold it.

                At least his shirt sleeve protected his poor arm from aching chill.

 

                It felt like ages since Luna had left--but as faithfully as always, she did return to the clubroom. “One of the teachers held me up,” She complained. “I said we spilled something, and he tried to argue with me about getting a janitor. He knows we don’t like people to come in here.” She made a quiet ‘pah’ sound, rolling her eyes as she helped Jaime form the towel around him. “I brought you an extra one, so it can kinda be used for padding?”

                “Shouldn’t you have put that on before you actually put his arm in a sling?” Katya pointed out.

                “Shit--” Luna reached out, almost taking Jaime’s arm in her hands; she froze when she realized just how terrible of an idea that would be. “Okay, so, what do you want to do. Wanna get your arm out of that for a second, or move it to kinda put the towel under it, or?”

                “I think I’ll just live without it for now,” Jaime laughed anxiously, leaning back in the chair and away from Luna a bit. “But. Thanks.”

                “Psh, okay, okay, I get it.” Luna plopped down on the other side of the chair; she rested her elbow on her leg and looked up at Jaime with concern and curiosity. “So, what did you guys fight over?”

                “It…” He hesitated, he tried to keep his expression blank, but it was futile--his anxiety seeped through as an unconvincing smile as he pushed out an answer. “It was just a fight between men.”

                Luna’s mouth opened for a second, her nose crinkling in disgust as she processed his answer. “Why did you say it like that ? Don’t tell me it actually was some kind of fight over me.”

                “He said some things he shouldn’t--”

                Luna delivered a rather light--at least, for her--punch to Jaime’s side before he could finish.

                “Ow!”

                “Are you really beating him down?” Katya gestured at the sling. “Come on! He’s broken enough…!”

                “I’m not broken!”

                Now Luna raised her hand to gesture at his sling. “Your arm sure is! So much for Judo-Master-Jaime , who can take David Parker-- skinwalker or not !”

                The three froze for a moment, all exchanging glances.

 

                Despite the pain in his arm--and the slight ache to his side (that came about from surprise more than anything)--he was the first to start laughing.

                “What? What’s so funny?” Luna sat upright, crossing her arms. Katya started giggling on the other side of Jaime; she pressed her hand to her mouth, and her forehead into Jaime’s chair. 

                “Usually, I would have been able to take him!” Jaime said, still stifling his laughter. “Just… I was caught off-guard this time, that’s all.”

                “I’m so sure,” Luna chuckled to herself, a small grin curling on her lips. “Just caught off-guard, huh. That’s all?”

                His laughing stopped for a second, only to be replaced by a confident smile. “Hey, I mean, you did take down one of the school security guards. You could probably beat David Parker if you really wanted to.”

                A flush formed across Luna’s cheeks; she was taken aback by the sudden compliment, especially combined with that smile, something about it--

                She pinched her own arm, hissing when the pain hit her.

                “Why’d you do that?” Katya raised her head from hiding, peeking around the front of the chair. After a moment of observing Luna’s flustered, frustrated expression, a small, teasing grin crept across her lips. “Oh, oh, I get it, you--”

                “Don’t even try to insinuate anything--no, no, no !” Luna groaned, throwing herself backwards--she kept her right arm behind her head, avoiding a nasty headache--and her left arm over her eyes. “I’m just embarrassed that he complimented me, that’s it !”

                “Okay, okay.” Katya held her snickering back as she glanced between Jaime and Luna. “I won’t say anything else.”