Warm rays of the early afternoon sun danced on black and brown fur, the latter cowered in it’s own blood. The black wolf teared in his prey with delight, happily munching on the meat of an unlucky rabbit. Still a little high on andrenalin from his hunt, Theo’s ears twitched in the direction of a distant noise, not paying too much attention to it, focusing on breaking a tougher bone with his teeth.
The next time he heard it however, ears twitching in the direction of the faint noise, he immediately recognised it, dropped his lunch and bolted down the now familiar paths of the woods. One of my own is hurt.
Theo knew that he had to shift back soon for longer than his showers and small meals at the Geyer family’s home. It started to get harder to think rationally day by day, to think as “Theo” , the “wolf’s” primitive, instinct drawn mind slowly taking over. But a few more hours couldn’t hurt, right? Especially when a packmate needed him.
Ever since his friends went back to school for their senior year Theo stayed close to the lacrosse field but still cautious, not to scare any kids that a wolf was lurking so close to the school. Anything could happen considering the recent events, he couldn’t risk not being there for his pack.
Getting closer to the lacrosse field the wolf slowed down to a trot, scanned his surroundings to make sure noone but his friend was around. Slowly not to scare the boy, Theo got closer to the bleachers and crouched down on his elbows to crawl next to the other until his nose touched the younger’s ankle. I’m not a treat, don’t be afraid of me.
The cold and wet sensation of a canine nose touching his bare skin startled the boy, but the minute Theo sat up his friend grabbed him in a bone crushing hug, buried his face in the soft mane on his neck, grabbed the fur on the sides of his chest and silently cried into the black fur of the wolf.
“Hey Fluffles!” Corey whispered after a while as a sad smile thugged on his lips, eyes red rimmed. The scent of sadness and helplessness around the boy was suffocating. Theo pulled away slowly, tilting his head sideways. What’s wrong? Talk to me!
“I had a fight with Mason last night...” Corey let out a long, miserable sigh as Theo flopped down onto his butt gracefully, but still showed interest. “I mean we had fought before but this one was the worst so far. I’ve never seen Mason this angry... He never hurt me this bad before.” The boy shook his head as a lone teardrop slid down his pale cheek. Theo, not wasting any time, got up to crowd close to his friend and started sniffing him franctially, all over his body.
“Wha... Theo, what are you doing?” Corey tried to push the wolf off of him, but the other chimera had none of it, now pulling at his jacket, still sniffing him loudly.
“Come on, don’t...” Then it hit him. Theo was searching for injuries. “No, no Theo nothing like that happened! Mason would never lay a finger on me, I promise!” Corey grabbed the wolf’s cheeks, looking at him with pleading eyes. Even if Theo weren’t listening to his friend’s fast hearthbeats he would have known that Corey wasn’t lying to him. “His words hurt more anyways...” The boy looked down at the wolf’s large paws.
When they all realised that Theo wasn’t going to face them as a human anytime soon, Deaton gave them all a lecture on wolf behaviour, the most important part of it being body language so they would know, at least partially, what Theo wanted to tell them with his body, the black wolf listening with his head tilted sideways, showing his interest, huffing and scoffing at the vet’s words from time to time.
“I swear I didn’t do anything to deserve this... Not in my knowledge at least.” Getting up, the wolf pinched Corey’s sleeve gently between his fron teeth, pulling him up and making the boy follow him into the woods.
The trees and various bushes looked beautiful this time of the year, the sun shining through the roof of the forrest. Following the wolf silently to a large tree, Theo let out a small yip going down into, what seemed to be his den. The boy crouched down to take a look inside, noticing Liam’s missing lacrosse hoodie but not saying a word about it. He was too large to follow Theo so he waited for him outside, the wolf coming up with a toy in his mouth.
“You kept this?” Corey took the small stuffed beaver in his hands with a fond expression on his face. Yipping again, Theo started to jump around his friend. “What, you want to play?” The boy looked surprised but his features softend, the beginning of a smile thugged at his lips. The wolf yipped again and as Corey threw the toy Theo ran after it... If it takes playing fetch to cheer his friend up than so be it. With each throw Corey’s scent shifted into something better than before, small whiffs of joy floathing in the air. After one particularly long throw a pained whimper and a loud splash sounded from behind a bush.
“Theo, are you alright?” The boy ran closer to him and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw what actually happened. There sat Theo, the big bad wolf in a puddle of mud, wet and dirty, looking so pathetic that Corey couldn’t contain his laughter any longer. “Oh my god Fluffles, you should see yourself!” He backed away as the wolf tried to shake the mud off of himself, sneezing once, twice than a couple of more times until he fell over from the last one.
“You’re going to murder me with laughter.” Corey tried to say between inhales. Getting closer Theo stood in front of his friend and started to let out a series of yips, occasionally standing on his hind legs, spacing back and fort. You wouldn’t laugh at me if you were the one being all wet and dirty, would you?!
He never learned how to bark anyways, not as a true wolf would. He never had anyone to teach him how to... A bitter reminder that he wasn’t a real wolf, just a knock-off. He could only howl, growl, chirp and yip, so yipping that is. Really scary angry yipping, mind you.
“You know that throwing a fit like a puppy is just making your situation worse, right?” Corey smirked at his friend but leaned down to take a towel out of his lacrosse bag. “Come here, I’m not that cruel to leave you like this.” He strated to dry the wolf’s fur as best as he could. As he put the towel back in his bag he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.
“It’s Liam... He want’s me to come over his, he wants to borrow my biology notes.” Sighing, Corey swung his bag over his shoulder and waited for Theo to take his toy back to his den.
When they arrived at Liam’s Theo already knew that Mason was there as well, smelling his scent from around the corner. Corey dropped his bag on the couch but grabbed it almost instantly when he saw Mason standing in the doorway.
“Hey... I just wanted to ta...” He couldn’t finish his sentence as the wolf stood in front of Corey, head lowered and ears flat against his skull, face pulled into an angry snarl and hackles raised, a loud growl sounding deep in his throat. Don’t mess with me or what’s mine.
“Easy Fluffles... “ Mason put both his hands in front of himself but the nickname only flared Theo’s anger and the wolf took a measured step forward, standing his ground. I’m not joking.
“That’s not helping Mason.” Liam chimed in, shaking his head but ready to jump in front of his friend in case Theo snapped. When Mason tried to take a step towards Corey the wolf showed at the boy’s thighs with it’s side, making him stumbe. He wasn’t gonna hurt the other boy, he was part of his pack after all, but he sure as hell will teach him a lesson.
“Let him talk Theo, it’s okay.” Corey rasped looking at the wolf, his eyes gleaming with sadness. Theo, huffing in defeat but letting out one last woo-yip at Mason, make it right, went to Liam, showing his muzzle under the boy’s hand.
“Let’s give them some privacy.” Liam told his friend. Going outside, they sat down on the stairs in front of the house, Theo’s ears twitching in the direction of the living room from time to time.
“You really do care about them, don’t you?” Liam asked softly, watching the wolf carefully as the latter rolled his eyes before put his head in the boy’s lap. “But I think that you scared the shit out of Mason. He’ll never raise his voice with Corey again.” Theo let out a small, huffed sneeze at that. Good, my job is done.
Liam stroke the wolf’s head absentmindedly, watching the sunset. Only after he felt that his friend’s breaths evened out did he speak.
“Sometimes I wish you would come home as “Theo”, you know? I didn’t realize how much I missed you until now... I think I forgot your smile.” Liam whispered to the chimera sleeping on his lap, wishing that the wolf heard him in his sleep.