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Beast of Fog Woods

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“Damn it nerd drive faster!”  The voice from the back of the car was barely more than a growl.  Izuku glanced in the rearview mirror to where Kacchan was laying upon the seat, holding his stomach looking as if he was in great pain. Chances were he was, the sun was setting and they had to get home before the moon began to peak beyond the horizon.  If they didn’t, everyone would be in great danger.  Kacchan was powerful as a human, and he was lethal as a wolf.  The change would claim him, ripping away the humanity and leaving in its place a creature whose sole purpose was to hunt and feed. It was the reason why Izuku was speeding down the road that led to their home, why the trunk was filled with enough raw meat to feed an army, and enough tranquilizer to kill a small elephant.

It wouldn’t kill a werewolf though.

They had been children when the first wolf had appeared.  It had been a game of hide and seek, the sun had been setting.  Izuku had seen movement and went closer, thinking that it was Kacchan. It wasn’t. The wolf had chased him, and Izuku, with tears and snot running down his face, had only been able to run. His quirk hadn’t developed, his mom said he had an appointment with someone later to figure out if he would develop one at all.  All he could think about was his mom and All Might, how he needed to see them again and how said his mom would be. But he had tripped, and the wolf had jumped towards him….

And Kacchan saved him.  Kacchan jumped in the way of the wolf and sent the explosions towards it, but not before it had ripped his hand open with its teeth.

“Deku watch out!” The bark had stolen him back from his thoughts, just in time to see the reddish brown blur in from the car and slam his foot down on the break.  The tires squealed in protest, and then was a loud thud as whatever it was hit the bumper, then the windshield, shattering it, before the creature rolled over the top of the vehicle and behind them. 

Izuku’s head snapped forward against the steering wheel, pain blossoming in his skull from the impact.  Then Kacchan was there, holding his face roughly in his hands and sniffing at him.  The closer the moon got, the more like a wolf Kacchan would act.

“I’m fine,” Izuku said pushing his head away from him as he moved to open the door of the car.  So long as it would still drive they’d be fine.  They just had to get home and make it back in time for Kacchan to go into his room for the evening until dawn.  It would be a long and exhausting night for them both so long as they made it back in time.  His eyes scanned the front of the car, there was a dent, blood on the blue hood, but other than that and the windshield it seemed okay to him. Then he moved towards the back of the car wanting to see just what it was that they had hit.

Kacchan was snarling, on all fours, lips curled back baring his teeth.  Izuku was certain if he had fur, it would be standing on end.  There laying on the road, chest moving up and down in labored breaths, was a massive red wolf. Every fiber of Izuku’s being told him to stay back, to not approach the injured animal but his feet were moving on their own, carrying him slowly forward towards the animal.

It was his fault, he always wanted to help even when maybe it was not the smartest idea.  It was how he and Kacchan were together.  Well…their was more to their relationship than just Kacchan’s furry little problem, but that was how it had started.  Izuku wanting to help Kacchan out after the first time he had changed forms. Now? They were together, they had been dating for the past several years, a relationship that had had so many twists sand turns but they had come out stronger in the end. 

“Deku.”  There came the warning growl, the protective nature of the wolf starting to kick in as Izuku grew closer to the red wolf.

Izuku reached out his hand towards the animal’s snout so it could smell him. The wolf moved suddenly jaws opening and moving to snap at his hand only to close on nothing.  That was Izuku’s quirk, Phatasm, the ability to manipulate his body to phase through objects.  In essence, he could turn into a ghost.

There was confusion in the animal’s eyes as it stared at him.  They shown like rubies in the dying light. “We’re going to help you okay?” Izuku sad kneeling down by the wolf, making sure to keep his quirk activated so he’d have no more snapping surprises awaiting him.  “We just gotta get you into the car and somewhere safe so I can fix your wounds.”  Well, he could at least bandage them, hopefully there wasn’t anything worse, though he feared it was. The impact had damaged the car and, in Izuku’s mind, he could at least give the animal a couple hours of comfort before the inevitable happened.  If it didn’t, then great, he would help the wolf until it could leave.

“Kacchan come help.”

“Oh hell no.”

Izuku looked back over his shoulder towards where Kacchan was still on all fours, eyes full of suspicion and anger. “Kacchan. Help me now.”  There was a far more demanding tone in Izuku’s voice then, enough that with a growl, Kacchan made his way over to Izuku and helped him to lift the wolf up off of the road and get the creature into the car.

The vehicle protested when Izuku started it back up, not wanting to go any farther than it had to.  That was fine, all he had to do was make it the rest of the way home and then everything would be good.  Izuku glanced over towards where Kacchan sat in the seat next to him now, seeming angrier than normal.  “What?”

“He doesn’t smell right.”

“Excuse me?”

“Shut it nerd. He doesn’t smell right. I don’t know how else to tell you that this ain’t right. Nothing bout this situation is right. Wolves aren’t that color Deku. Should have left him-“

“Should I have left you behind in the pipe?” Izuku asked, glancing towards Kacchan before he looked towards the road once more. He turned onto the driveway that led to their home in the woods.  It was set back pretty far away to keep it from being seen by those just walking around in the woods. A dog was barking as they pulled up, their dog, a chow named Biscuit. The dog had been a present from Kacchan, and he loved it to pieces.  The dog would spend time with him when Kacchan couldn’t.

And no one questioned why they would hear barking and growling around their house when they had the dog.

Izuku parked the car, moving to get out and open the door in the back.  When he did so, what he saw made him freeze in his place.  Where once there had been a large red wolf, there was now a young man, about their own age, curled up on the backseat of his car. He looked up and met Kacchan’s gaze.

“Told you we should’ve left him behind.”  Kacchan was snarling, his eyes more wolf like than human anymore, hair starting to sprout from around his eyes, teeth sharpening even as Izuku watched.

“Enough Kacchan,” Izuku stated, tossing the keys over the roof of the car looking towards him. “Go get in the basement I’ll be down there soon.” 

“Yeah right, I’m not leaving you alone with this….”

“Werewolf?” Izuku finished as he got a blanket from the back of the car, passing it to the young man in the back seat. “Cover up, we’ll get you inside and get you cleaned up.” There was a kind smile on his features, the young man watching him cautiously. “What’s your name.”

“Kirishima. Kirishima Eijirou.” His voice was hoarse, as if he had not used it for a while.

“I’m Midoriya Izuku, and that ball of sunshine is Bakugo Katsuki.” Izuku held out his hand help, Kirishima from the car. 

Nothing else was said until they were all inside.  “The bathroom’s right there, can wash up, I’ll put some clothes out for you.”  Kirishima nodded disappearing into the bathroom.

And that was when Kacchan pounced, shoving Izuku up against the wall, staring down at him. “Bad idea Deku. Don’t know him.  Don’t know what he’s gonna do.”

“He’s hurt and we hit him with our car.” Izuku said defiantly even as Kacchan nuzzled at his jaw and his throat. “We’re going to help him but you have to get downstairs Kacchan.  Now. I’ll bring your food down but please listen to-”

“No. Not till I know that man is gone.”

“Kacchan.”  The only way to get out of Kacchan’s vice like grip was to use his quirk, allowing him to phase through objects like he was a ghost. Kacchan slammed into the wall with a growl, turning to glare towards Izuku.  “Go.  Now.”

It was hard for him to be so stern with Kacchan, it always had been.  Especially since he often felt as if this was his fault that Kacchan was in the situation that he was cursed each full moon to turn into a wolf, a state where he could barely control himself.

If he had not been so stupid, maybe things would have been different, maybe they would have been able to live different lives rather than ones so dependent on the moon.  All Izuku knew, was that ehe would do whatever he could to help Kacchan even when he did not want to listen to what he was saying.

Kacchan was glaring at him, grumbling and growling as he made his way down the hall towards the door to the basement.  It had been designed to hold a monster, concrete walls and floor, heavy chains and a reinforced door to the basement all to keep Kacchan in, to keep the rest of the people safe.

It was why they lived as far away as they did, there were animals that Kacchan could hunt if he happened to get loose.  The worst had not happened, but it was better to be prepared and there wasn’t much time life. 

After setting a pair of pajamas down outside the bathroom, Izuku went back out to the jeep, grabbing one of the slabs of meat that they had bought and carrying it inside, down to the basement where Kacchan was waiting.

There was more fur on him when he pushed the door open, those eyes almost feral.  It was always worse when the full moon occured during a solstice. They had never figured out why, and the moon that evening? Well…it was falling on Halloween that year.

Using his pocket knife, Izuku cut open the package and tossed the meat into one of the corners of the room before he approached Kacchan, picking up the collar.  “Come on Kacchan.”

All he got in response was a snarl even as Kacchan held still long enough for him to place the collar around his neck, and the braces on his arms.  Special designed from a friend while they were at school, it was designed for them to grow and shrink as Kacchan’s form switched from human to wolf.

“I’ll be back down soon Kacchan,” he told him in a calm voice. Another growl was the response he got from Kacchan.  He was too far gone. 

Climbing the steps as quickly as he could, he turned and began the process of securing the door.  The door itself was reinforced steel, designed to look like and blend into the rest of the house.  The locks were meant to keep someone from barreling through the door, which is what Kacchan would do if he was a werewolf. Izuku had just hoped it was enough.

They had never had a full moon on Halloween before and already it just seemed more intense than the transformations that had happened through the past year.

“Bitten or born?”

The voice caught Izuku completely off guard, jumping as he turned to look at the young man, wearing the pajamas he had set out. His red hair was falling down over his face, watching him curiously as they stood in the hall.

“What do you mean?”

“The guy you just locked down there, your boyfriend. Was he bitten or was he born?”

“We’re not…” Izuku started to say staring towards the other guy. Kirishima, that had been his name right.

“You are, he’s possessive and protective, that is what happens when a werewolf is with someone.”  Kirishima stepped forward seeming to sniff the air.  “You smell like him. Gonna answer my question now?”

“He…he was bitten.  When we were kids.” Izuku hated thinking back to the moment when Kacchan had been bitten by the wolf.  It was the day that their lives had changed forever.  Izuku had vowed to stay by Kacchan’s side, wanting to do everything that he could possibly do to help him survive what had happened.

Kirishima nodded, glancing towards the door as a new round of snarls and howls began to occur.  “You insane? Locking him down there alone? That’ll drive a wolf mad.”

“He’s not alone. I go down there with him every time.”

“And how do you manage that?”

Izuku blinked and then walked through the door, coming back out of it. “My quirk, Phantasm.  I can become a ghost.  He can’t hurt me.”

“That’s pretty wicked man,” Kirishima flashed him a grin, even as he kept his hand on the door. They were silent for a moment, listening to the sounds of the angry werewolf within the basement of their house.

“It’s worse when it’s near the solstice,” Izuku suddenly said wondering if maybe this stranger knew more about Kacchan’s situation, or maybe even knew a way to help him break whatever it was.  If there was a way to break the curse that Kacchan was under.

“Werewolves, those who are born a werewolf or those who are turned into them, are tied into the moon, during the solstice it is worse because of the connection to the spirit world. This time of year that veil is weak, and wolves act as the guardians for the humans chasing away the spirits that would claim lives of innocents.”

Kirishima then grinned towards Izuku. “Or at least that’s what I was told growing up. My family protects the forest.  Everyone in my family is a wolf.  My folks, my baby siblings. All of us. Never gonna believe me when I tell them I got hit by a car carrying a ghost and another werewolf.”

Izuku gaped at him for a long moment, then moved towards the kitchen to get himself something to eat before he went downstairs.  They had leftovers from the take out they had had the night before, noodles and soup, stuff that Izuku could eat cold the next day.  Any added aromas to the air, especially from cooking, only seemed to anger Kacchan. 

“You want anything to eat?” He asked turning around only to find Kirishima standing very close to him, peering over his shoulder towards the containers he had pulled out.  Oh, he was very close, why did he have to be standing so close to him?  His cheeks flushed pink as he turned around and slid himself out from in-between the counter and Kirishima.  “W-We can’t heat anything but it’s pretty good cold.”

“Why don’t you heat it up?” Kirishima asked plucking a dumpling from one of the containers and popping it into his mouth.  “God this is fantastic. Haven’t had something like this in a while.”

“Kacchan can smell it, pulls against the chains even more, I don’t want him to get hurt….” 

“Chains?” 

“He’s very strong during these full moons, dangerous.  I don’t want him to get hurt but…”

“But you don’t want him to get out and do something he’d regret.”

Izuku nodded grabbing two bowls and two plates so he could divide up the food. He put some of the stir-fry noodles, and dumplings on the plates, and a bit of the soup into the bowls.  “I always eat before I go down.”

During every transformation, Izuku would be there till daybreak, would be the one to help Kacchan back upstairs and into bed, tending to any wounds he might have, cleaning up the blood from around his mouth from the meat.

“Smart, means you don’t necessarily gotta leave him,” Krisihima commented taking the plate that was offered moving to sit at the table. Izuku watched as Kirishima dug into the food, eating quickly, stuffing the food into his mouth as if he had not eaten in weeks.

Izuku nodded, quietly working on the food on his plate, taking his time to make sure he did not make himself feel ill.

“You must care a lot about him.”

The words hung in the air having a weight to them that Izuku could not quite pot a finger on.  They were together, had been for some time.  They had moved past the stage where their relationship was awkward and new, past the stage where neither had yet told the other they loved them.  But admitting that to someone he barely met?  That was the difficult part. There was no way of knowing how Kirishima would react if he admitted the truth about their relationship.

But Kirishima had pointed it out earlier that they were together, so perhaps it would not be too bad to admit it.  It would be nice to talk to one of his friends about what they were going through.

“Been together since high school,” Izuku replied taking a bite out of one of the dumplings. “But we’ve always been friends.  Always together.  Deku and Kacchan.”

They had had the dreams of becoming heroes together, and while the bite from the wolf had not changed that for both of them, it hadn’t stopped them from doing what they could.  They had a few rough years, Kacchan’s anger pushing him to say things that he did not mean. Izuku knew that it had come from a place of pain, that he was angry that suddenly his entire life had been thrown upside down from what had happened.

So Izuku had not taken any of it to heart, he had put on a brave face and pushed forward no matter how bad things had gotten.  They reached a point during high school where they had managed to start talking things out, working through the pain that they were in.  By the time they were in their second year, they were friends again.  By third year, they were together, in a relationship. 

They were pro-heroes, the schedule and money from their jobs allowing them both to live where they did, and the flexibility keeping them able to simply not work during the nights of the full moon. 

Kacchan was the person who Izuku cared more about in the world, and who he would do anything for.  So much time and care went into planning what would happen during the full moon, and into the construction of the basement meant to keep Kacchan safe from harm, and from himself.

“Are you okay?” Izuku asked after a moment, glancing towards Kirishima.

“Yeah, I’m good. The crash stunned me. Got good healing, a plus side of being a werewolf,” Kirishima replied with a wink.  “Don’t have to worry about getting hurt.”

His spoon stopped halfway to his mouth, his hand beginning to shake as a howl ripped through the silence.  Everything was his fault.  The entire situation was his fault.  The spoon clattered down to the table as he covered his mouth, the tears welling up in his eyes. It wasn’t that these thoughts hadn’t occurred to him before, but there had never been anyone to share it with before. No one else knew the story besides himself and Kacchan.

“It’s…it’s all my fault…  We were kids and playing in the woods.  This thing appeared and we ran. I wasn’t fast enough.  Kacchan, Kacchan saved-”  Izuku managed to get out before the tears began to fall once more.  It wasn’t fair.  Why had this happened to Kacchan?  He should have been the one down in the basement, not Kacchan.

Then there was someone near him, a pair of arms wrapping around him, lifting him up and out of the chair.  He stared at Kirishima with wide surprised eyes. The redhead had placed him in his lap just holding him. This wasn’t something that people just did, not with someone they barely knew.

Yet Izuku leaned against him, and let the tears fall down his cheeks for the first time in so very long. He had gotten good at putting on that brave face, smiling even when things got tough because the bravest people are the ones who smiled.  Or something like that.  Right then it just felt nice to have someone else there with him, someone who wasn’t judging him or even angry with him for what had happened, someone who actually seemed to understand.

“I-I don’t know how to help him. I want to but I just don’t know.” 

Kirishima sighed softly giving him a firm squeeze. “You’re doing all you can.  Without a pack, those who are bitten become angrier and angrier.  You’re doing all you can.” He grinned nudging his nose against Izuku’s temple. “And you got me now. I’ll help how I can. Just gotta let me down there.”

Izuku’s eyes went as wide as the bowls that their soup had been in. “W-What? You want to go down there with him?”

“Yeah. I do. Come on kid let’s go.”

“N-no I-”

“You want to help him don’t you?”

Izuku hesitated then nodded his head, carefully unfolding himself from Kirishima’s lap going to unlock the door.  The growling got louder as the door opened. He felt a wet nose press against his palm, looking over to see the red wolf once more.  “Kirishima?” he asked hesitantly as if it could be anyone other than the redhead who had been at the table a few moments before. In the hall, he saw the pile of clothing left behind. 

Well at least that was one thing he knew Kirishima and Kacchan had.  Clothes did not just seem to disappear when they transformed. 

The red wolf disappeared down the stairs, and Izuku closed the door behind him locking it.  It took him a long moment before he phased through the door, heading down into the basement.  His steps quickened at the sound of snarls and growls that signaled a fight.

“Kacchan!” Izuku shouted as he got to the bottom of the steps staring at the two wolves down there.  Kirishima had Kacchan on his back, pinned snarling at the blond wolf. Why were they fighting? How was fighting going to help him?

Kirishima slowly got off of Kacchan who, upon catching sight of Izuku, was on his feet and lunging forward.  Izuku wasn’t afraid, in his ghost form, Kacchan could not hurt him.  That did not stop the massive red paw that slammed down on Kacchan’s muzzle, forcing his head back down.

It was a strange sight watching as the two wolves seemed to keep standing off with each other.  It lasted for an hour possibly more, back and forth.  Kacchan snapping at Kirishima, swatting at him and trying to attack.  Each time, Kirishima would do something in return, whether it was pinning him to the ground, biting the back of his neck, or flipping him to his back exposing his belly.

It made absolutely no sense to Izuku.  God he wish he could understand what they were saying. To him, it just sounded like snarls and barks.  Whole lot of help that was to him.  What had he gotten himself into? 

Eventually, Kacchan payed down and whined at Kirishima.  The red wolf looked positively triumphant, sitting beside Kacchan with a paw on the back of his neck.  Then Kirishima looked towards Izuku.

Izuku gave a bit of a shy smile as he watched them, the look on the wolf’s face seeming to say that everything was okay.  Izuku dared to turn back to his human form taking one step forward, and then another.  He held out his hand to Kirishima waiting for him to place his muzzle in his hand before he pet him.

“Don’t know what you did…but he’s calmer,” Izuku murmured to him, wrapping his arms around the wolf to thank him. “But thank-”

That was when they all heard it, a blood curdling scream, a howl of a monster from outside. Kacchan was on his feet growling deep in his chest.  There was a creak from the ceiling above them and Izuku covered his mouth in horror.  Something was in their house.

Kacchan began to tug at the chains, snarling and clawing at the air.  Kirishima was on his feet, eyes fixed at the stairs silent. 

Izuku’s eyes moved to Kacchan, their gazes meeting.  Let me go Deku, his gaze seemed to say.

Swallowing past the lump in his throat, Izuku reached over and opened the restraints on his legs, and around his neck.  Then both wolves were placing him behind them, protectively, not ready to let the human be in danger.

Thud.

Something was trying to get through the door at the top of the stairs.

Thud.

Kacchan snarled, claws scrapping at the floor.

Thud.

The hair on the back of Kirishima’s neck stood on end.

The door burst open with a huge crash, falling down the stairs into a heap.  Through the dust a figure appeared, a massive black wolf.  Izuku felt his blood run cold.  It was a figure that had haunted his dreams since he was a child.  It was the wolf that had come after him and Kacchan when they were children.

The fighting began, the two smaller wolves darting in to attack the larger black one, the creatures all growling and snapping their jaws at each other. Izuku watched in horror as Kirishima was thrown across the basement against the cement wall, sliding down, not moving. 

Kacchan was pinned the black wolf going in for the kill bite to his throat.

Izuku acted without thinking, running forward and shoving his arm between the beasts jaws at the same time as drove his pocket knife into the beast’s eye.  His arm felt like it was on fire as he was tossed backwards. 

The black wolf shook its head, clawing at his own face trying to ease the pain. And then it froze as Kirishima howled, and a chorus of howls answered in response. The black wolf turned and fled back up the stairs with Kirishima and Kacchan following in response. 

Arm bleeding, Izuku pushed to his feet stumbling up the stairs after them.  They had left without him, they had run away without him after the bad guy.  “K-Kacchan!” He called into the night.  “Kirishima!”

No answer.  No response.  His arm was beginning to throb as he sank down onto the ground staring off into the woods.  Somewhere in the distance he thought he heard the sounds of howling and fighting.  That could have just been the wind as it danced through the trees, chilling the night air.

Izuku held his injured arm to his chest, knowing he probably should get to the hospital, that the wound was bad and it needed to be taken care of.   But he wouldn’t leave without Kacchan knowing where he was, that wouldn’t be fair to him.  Not knowing was worse than anything else in his opinion. Izuku closed his eyes, not planning on sleeping, just trying to relax and keep himself calm.

When he opened his eyes, the sun was out, birds were chirping and he was in bed, his right arm heavily bandaged.  Izuku pushed himself up into a sitting position looking around the room.  It was his room, the one he shared with Kacchan and he could smell…food?  Moving carefully, Izuku got out of he bed, walking down the hall towards the kitchen where he saw Kacchan standing in front of the stove, and-

“Kirishima?”

The two turned looking over towards him.  “Damn it Deku you shouldn’t be out of bed,” Kacchan scolded setting the spatula down to go over to him, guiding him towards a chair.  “You’re a real idiot you know that? What the hell were you thinking with that move of yours?”

“Didn’t want him to hurt you Kacchan,” Izuku replied looking up at him as Kacchan touched his cheek.  It was a loving gesture, tender and kind that they shared for each other.  “I had to keep you safe.”

“Yeah…doesn’t mean you’re not an idiot for doing that.” Kacchan went back to the stove to finish cooking. “Making your favorite. Thought it would boost your mood.”

Izuku smiled tiredly nodding his head.  That would certainly help him feel better. 

That was when Kirishima pushed to his feet. “I should get going,” he stated rubbing at the back of his neck. “Glad you both are okay.”

“What are you talking about shitty hair.”

“What?”

“You’re one of us now. You can stay here long as you like.”

Izuku glanced towards Kacchan, nodding his head in agreement.  Kacchan did not make friends easily and if he figured that Kirishima was a good one to keep around, then he was going to stay around.  “You told me last night wolves need a pack.  Right?”

Kirishima looked between the two of them, then let out a laugh nodding his head. “Right.  They do. We’re a pack then.”

“We’re a pack.” Izuku agreed watching as Kirishima settled back down in the chair.  No matter what the future held for them, at least they would be able to face it together.