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(I finally made her post first, WAH HA HAAAA. Even though I still had to upload the damn pic for her first. SHEESH.)

It's basically the last day of August, but let me tell you, it was struggle enough to get this thing thought up, let alone written down. I don't know why I always forget that I can force ideas out if I just start typing away, but it's a nice thing to be reminded of.



Featuring: Christopher Larkin, Matthew Nanami
Word Count: 812


Crush chamomile, sage. Add to pot. Swirl right thrice. Spark. Rotate left thrice. Spark. Swirl right thrice. Finish with clover blossoms...

Chris lifted his head when his hand grasped at air. Where were the bloody things?

A soft growl came from the floor behind him and ended on a rattling breath. Chris froze before glancing nervously over his shoulder at the injured beast bleeding on his only spare blanket. He had managed to get the thing into a false sleep, but it was wearing off. He had to move fast.

Treading softly, he moved along his workbench and scanned the neatly organized jars there until he found the one with the dried purple buds he needed—he was nearly out, but he had enough.

As soon as the innocuous blooms hit the murky brew, hundreds of tiny, fizzing, sparkling bubbles surrounded them and swallowed them up, spreading until the entire surface of the potion glowed in a pale, golden light.

Chris let out a shaky breath; he'd done it right after all.

There was no time to bask in his relief though. He grabbed a shallow bowl and ladled his concoction—now subsiding to a deep blue—into it, and turned with growing dread toward the animal by the fire.

No choice, he reminded himself, and he walked over carefully.

It looked like a wolf if wolves were actually part bear. Thick, muscular legs and huge paws, wiry dark fur, brawny shoulders; but it was the long, sharp teeth that worried him at present. The beast growled faintly again as Chris knelt beside it, baring the tips of those deadly canines even in enchanted slumber. He couldn't put it off any longer.

Setting the bowl down, he reached out with cautious fingers to tilt the beast's head back, gently gripping its lower jaw to get its terrifying mouth open. He hesitated; but another growl came out and he jumped, grabbing the bowl and tipping as much of the contents as he could down the beast's gullet before letting its muzzle snap shut. He clamped his hand around it and massaged the animal's thickly furred throat until he felt it swallow, then scrambled back to where he hoped would be a safe distance away.

The beast began to thrash, tossing and rolling on the bloodied blanket, though its eyes remained shut. Then that soft, golden glow began to emit from its wounds, shining like dappled sunlight through a canopy of trees. The beast yelped and threw its head back before abruptly going very still. The light spread across its entire form, enveloping it as the silhouette began to change.

The nose rounded and shrunk. The back and shoulders shifted. The forepaws lengthened, the tail vanished, the knees inverted. When the light faded, a man lay in the beast's place.

Chris had sensed the enchantment. But he'd honestly expected someone had cursed a harmless dog and set something after it to cause the wounds. He hadn't expected a man, let alone such an attractive one—and especially not a naked one.

He blushed instantly and stumbled to his feet to try and grab anything to help cover the man with, when he was stopped by a big and heavy hand on his. He looked back reluctantly.

“Who're you?” The man was hoarse, his eyes dark and befuddled. And he was so very naked.

“I-I'm—I'm Chris,” he gurgled, and swallowed hard. “Wh-who're you?”

“Matt,” the man croaked. Why wasn't he letting go? “What're you?”

Chris hesitated, but it wasn't like the guy could disbelieve him after all this. “A witch.” He blushed anyway. “A-and you?”

“Shifter. Got stuck from a curse.” Matt coughed, then smiled faintly. “Thought witches were girls...?”

Chris tried not to blush again. It didn't work, and he couldn't help pouting a little, not sure if he was being made fun of by a guy he'd just rescued. “Can we g-get into this l-later? You're... y-you need clothes.” Could the ground please swallow him up now?

But Matt's hand suddenly grew heavier with exhaustion, and before Chris could move, it fell back to the floor.

“Are you—”

“You saved me,” Matt mumbled, his eyes already closing. “Thank you...”

Chris didn't know how to respond, but it didn't matter. Matt was asleep now, properly. And he would probably remain so for some time.

Since he'd already bled all over the spare blanket, Chris had no choice but to use the one from his bed. He draped it carefully over Matt's prone form and watched as the tension left his handsome face.

His cell rang just then, startling him like it had caught him staring. He hurried to answer before it could wake his wounded ward.

“Hi, Mum... no, the cabin's great... um, n-no, not too much going on yet... a-actually, I might s-stay another day... yeah... got more herbs to find...”

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