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Off-kilter

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"That's enough for me." Kambei announced, standing from his seat around the kotatsu and dusting his knees off. "I think I'll be heading to bed now, if it's alright with the rest of you."

A chorus of "yeah, sure." , "sleep well!" and other forms of goodnight rose from the other occupants of the kotatsu as he left them with a wave, in varying levels of a drunken slur. The firefly inn was certainly very hospitable; he hadn't taken such advantage of their eagerness to serve alcohol, but it seemed the rest of the party was glad to, or a lt least easily peer pressured.

Kyuuzo stood as well, swaying slightly and dusting himself off similarly. "...Me too."

Another round of goodnights followed the declaration, though he was out the door mostly before he heard them, joining Kambei in the cooler air outside the room. It chilled his bare shoulders, making him shudder slightly. He leant slightly on the wall before stepping out onto the walkway, a few paces behind Kambei.

It seemed that the few pace difference didn't last long, however. Kambei soon noticed as he walked that Kyuuzo seemed to have fallen behind, slow footsteps sounding hesitant. He turned to find Kyuuzo carefully, shakily putting one foot in front of the other, swaying on his feet and looking at the floor as if it might jump up and bite him. Under the natural cold light it was clear that his face was red, and Kambei could only come to one conclusion.

Kyuuzo was very, very drunk.

He shook his head and walked to him. Kyuuzo stopped, looking from the floor to him with just the faintest traces of embarrassment on his face.

"What."

"Do you need help?" He offered.

Kyuuzo shook his head and determinedly took another step, going over on his ankle and finding himself falling to the floor. Kambei caught him before he could hit the floorboards, looking him over. He never thought Kyuuzo would be so careless as to overestimate how much he could drink.

"Are you sure?"

Kyuuzo didn't try to wriggle out of his hold, instead seemingly to resignedly relax. He looked to the side and mumbled something that Kambei didn't quite catch.

"What was that?"

Another mumble. Kambei leant down a little to try and hear him better.

"You'll need to speak up."

No answer. On closer inspection ot seemed that he'd fallen asleep. Still clearly breathing to his relief, his eyes must have closed at some point that he hadn't noticed. He picked him up in his arms easily- he was surprisingly light- and went back to pop his head around the door where the others still sat, drinking, with Kyuuzo out of view to preserve his dignity. Kikuchiyo noticed him first.

"Eyy, Kambei! Come back to drink some more, huh?"

Consequently, Katsushiro looked up from where he was trying not to pass out. "Kambei-dono! You're... Um, you're back!"

"Not for long. Which room is Kyuuzos?"

Heihachi waved from across the room, looking gleeful. "To the right of mine!"

"What number?"

"Um..." Kambei could practically see the wheels turning in his head as he did the mental gymnastics needed to do any kind of math in such a drunk state. "Twenty...six. no, seven. S'twenty seven."

"Thank you."

He left then, with Kikuchiyo calling out something vulgar about what he thought he would be up to with a drunk Kyuuzo, followed by a dull clang of someone hitting him for being rude. He shook his head and carried Kyuuzo easily to his room, glad to find the door unlocked. He nudged it open with his foot and stepped in, glancing around to find the futon and, once he found it, knelt down by it to put him down gently, folding back the covers with one hand before he put him down and putting them over him once he had been laid in bed. He stayed kneeling for a moment, just looking at him before standing to head to the door. His hand had just brushed the doorway when he heard a small, sleepy noise from behind him. He glanced over his shoulder to see Kyuuzo looking at him through hair that had fallen into his eyes tiredly.

"Thank you." He said finally, quietly.

Kambei nodded and left, sliding the door shut behind him. As he headed to his own room he stopped, and noticed that it was actually the room two to the left of Heihachi.

At least he would be able to check on him easily.