You fell to your knees, wincing. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. You were at your limits, and it was only a matter of time before your team mates collapsed from exhaustion. She was toying with you. She had the nerve to hide behind that damned book and unleash creatures from its pages to attack you. Not a single member of your team had landed a scratch on her. Not yet.
What had started as a routine house call, catching word of a domestic disturbance, had quickly spiralled out of control and landed you and your four-man team in a world of trouble. You had unknowingly wandered into the house of a very powerful and very dangerous villain known by the nickname Bookworm.
She was a relatively new villain and little was known about her, but she was strong. Her quirk specifications were obscure, but it had something to do with her books. She could create things, or unleash things from inside the pages. You weren’t sure which it was, but you sure as hell planned to find out once you had Bookworm in custody.
“____, stay down! We can handle this!” Kirishima bellowed towards you, fending off a phantom-like creature that seemed intent on clawing his chest open. You were bracing yourself, holding your arm out in front of you, aiming it at the woman, aiming it at her book.
“This isn’t enough to stop me,” you demanded, squinting with one eye closed to focus on your target. Before you could unleash your quirk, a rush of wind blew past you as your other teammates flew forwards, charging at Bookworm with a roar.
“You’re in the fucking way, ____.” Bakugou growled, drawing his arm back as he closed the gap between the villain and himself. At first, Bookworm looked startled. Her eyes flew wide, alarmed that anyone could breach the wall of her creatures, but at the last second her panicked expression slipped into a smirk.
“Kacchan, Denki! Stop!” You tried to stand, to get between them, but you stumbled from exhaustion. Bookworm’s gaze found you. Before Bakugou could unleash the explosion she vanished. For a split second, she was gone. Kaminari looked around, desperately searching for her amongst the shadow-like creatures.
“Where did she go?” He sounded alarmed. You searched the large, dimly lit room but before you spotted her, your three team mates did.
“____, behind you!”
You turned, but you had no chance to react. Her voice was sweet. Her hands were vice-like. Her book was open. “____, it’s time to sleep. Men tend to lose their fight when their damsels in distress disappear.”
If she thought that, she did not know your team mates.
All it took was one touch. She gripped your hand and forced it against the inside of the book, wishing you sweet dreams as the world of Heroes and Villains slipped away from you, into darkness. The last thing you heard was the sound of your name, called out by your friends.
You woke from a strange dream, comfortable in the many folds of your quaint cottage bed. You rolled over and stretched, your body aching from a night of deep sleep. As you woke yourself from your drowsy state, you tried to remember the dream. Something about super heroes and things called quirks. The more you thought about it, the more the dream slipped through your grasp. Not that it bothered you much. What a silly thing to dream about— superheroes. There were no need for superheroes here. Nothing ever happened. No one was in danger. The kingdom of Grimm was a very safe place.
You slipped out of bed and dressed yourself for the day in a white laced dress, brown hiking boots and your usual red riding cloak. Though you would much rather stay in bed, you had to deliver a package to your ill father who lived just on the other side of the woods. Honestly, he was a stubborn man. Why he refused to relocate into town where the shops and his friends and the pharmacy lived was beyond you.
Your body really did ache. You couldn’t understand it. It was as if someone had beaten you ragged. Entering the kitchen, you leaned over the counter, stretching your arms as far forwards as they would go, clicking and soothing your muscles.
You decided that once you were back from your father’s you would have a long, deep bubble bath. You deserved it. The round trip was two hours alone.
Scooping up a collection of treats, goodies and your father’s medication, you put them all in a large wicker basket and set off on your journey.
The town buzzed with the gentle hum of people going about their days, enjoying the warmth of the early sun. As you strode by, stallholders and shoppers waved and called out to you.
“Morning, Little Red!”
“You’re looking well, Little Red.”
“Is your father still not well? Send him my regards.”
You smiled and thanked them for their concerns. Passing by one particular blacksmith’s shop, the hulking owner appeared, wiping the dirt from his face with a white handkerchief far too small for his hands.
“Little Red,” he exclaimed in a booming voice, always happy to see you. You tried to greet him with a wave and a smile, but before you could stop him he had taken you in a bone crushing hug.
“H-Hello, All Might.” You wheezed as he squeezed the life out of you. “Good morning.”
Thankfully, he let you go and put you down. He was nearly double your height and built like a titan. He did not know his own strength.
“Are you off to see your father, again?” He asked with a loud laugh. “Honestly the man should take better care of himself. You should be spending your days enjoying yourself.”
You wanted to agree, but you were so used to doing it by now that it didn’t bother you too much. It was nice for All Might to say so, though. Honestly, he was more of a father figure to you than your father ever was.
You turned to leave, but All Might fixed you with a stare, smiling his impossibly bright smile. “Little Red, stay on the path. Understand? It’s easy to get lost in those woods.”
You nodded. You knew that. “Thank you for worrying, but I’ll be alright. I’ll be back before you know it.”
He nodded goodbye then returned to his shop, leaving you to set off.
Once you were out of town, the edge of the woods appeared on the horizon with a long beaten path scuffed into the ground. Stay on the path. Get there and back before nightfall. It was easy enough.
You entered the forest the same as you always did, humming a tune to yourself, swinging the basket at your side. The warm morning sun had heated the woods. Birds and bugs alike sang into the welcoming of a new day. It was a lovely sound. You felt content, stopping to lift your face towards the sun where it broke through the canopy.
Walking along the path, lost to the sounds of the animals of the forest, a feeling nagged at you. It was only gently, in the back of your mind, but it was there. It was something you had forgotten. You weren’t sure what. You knew in time, if it was important, it would come back to you so you tried not to let it bother you too much.
Suddenly, you heard a cry. At first you weren’t sure if it was merely an animal calling to its brethren but then you heard it again.
Thinking only of the person in trouble, you left the path and headed in the direction of the sound.
“Hello?” You called out, hiking your dress up to your knees so as not to trip. “Hello? Can you hear me? Are you okay?”
You did not know who you were calling to or if they could hear you. But you called, and hoped with a sudden sense of duty swelling inside you to help anyone in need.
You called out again, but had no reply. You ran for some time towards where you thought the noise had come from but after a while without seeing anyone, you slowed your pace. Finally, you stopped. You searched with your eyes, clutching the basket to your chest as you caught your breath. There was no one in sight.
You were in the thickest part of the trees now where the sunlight could barely reach. The trunks cast great shadows along the forest floor, casting areas in to total darkness. If someone was here, you had no way to see them.
“Hello?” You said quieter, feeling an eerie stillness in this part of the woods. The birds had flown and even the bugs lay still. “Are you hurt?”
You waited to hear something—anything—but the forest stayed silent. The longer you waited, the more you wondered what you had actually heard. At first you had been certain it was a human crying out, but now you weren’t so sure. Perhaps it had been the forest, playing tricks.
Relenting in your search, you headed back towards the path. Only, you could not find it. The trees looked the same and stretched on for miles. You followed the patches of light, hoping they would bring you back to the path, but the canopy was impossible to follow.
After wandering for some time you noticed, a way off in the distance, a clearing. Your heart felt giddy with the prospect of stepping back into the sunlight. You picked up your pace then started running, hitching your dress up once more.
“Stop…” someone whispered in your ear, their voice carrying on the breeze. You halted, looking around for the owner of the voice. There was no one there. You wiggled your finger in your ear, wondering what on earth was getting into you today. You seemed to be hearing things.
You carried on towards the clearing. The closer you came, the louder the voice was in your head, telling you to stop, telling you to turn back. You shut your eyes, charging blindly on towards the clearing, hoping the forest would leave you alone once you were out from below the canopy.
Stop… stop… stop…
You snapped your eyes open, twisting to look back when someone called urgently from behind you. You skidded to a halt but your foot caught in a protruding tree root. You looked forwards to catch your footing, and that’s when you realised you were at the edge of a very sheer drop. You stumbled forwards, over the edge, trying desperately to grab the earth to stop your fall.
Fortunately, hands grabbed you before the forest could claim you. Their nails dug painfully into the skin of your thigh as you fell head first into the gorge. In an effort to pull you back, a searing pain erupted across your leg as they tore their nails across the skin to keep hold of you.
You lurched once they had a grip on you and found their footing in the undergrowth, using it to pull you back to safety. You had no time to figure out what had just happened before the tall figure rounded on you.
“You stupid fucking human. Are you fucking blind? Did you want to drop to your fucking death?”
Crouched on the floor, coated in mud from being dragged to safety, clutching your now bleeding leg in one hand and the unscathed wicker basket in the other, you took in the appearance of your rescuer.
He looked to be the same age as you, with ashy blonde hair, shaggy from lack of attention. Wearing a large green coat, black pants and white vest, he was glaring at you with crimson eyes, panting as if he had charged to catch up to you. Most strikingly, though, was his tail and the second set of ears, fluffy ones, protruding up through his hair.
“You’re a werewolf!” You exclaimed, too shocked by your revelation to answer his questions. His glare intensified. Werewolves were practically unheard of. They were a myth and legend in the kingdom of Grimm. Long since believed extinct by your peaceful town, the last of their kind should have died out generations ago. Grimm was a peaceful land.
“And you’re a gullible, half-baked human with no sense of direction and a death wish. What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Are you sure you’re a werewolf?”
The way you ignored his questions and insults bothered him. He was not used to being ignored, not by humans. Not by prey. You continued to stare up at him from the floor, your irises large and doe-eyed. He stiffened, seeing the way you looked at him. You weren’t scared. You weren’t pleading for your life. You looked awed by him. The curious expression on your face made his heart thump loudly in his chest. What the fuck was that about?
“Yes, I’m a fucking werewolf you bimbo-brained—”
“Ah-!” Your pained noise shut him up. His heart thumped heavily again. You clutched your leg, directing your attention away from him to the gashes in your skin. You could stand the blood, but the pain was another matter. It came in waves and right now it was killing you. You didn’t want to complain. It was the price for being rescued. But God it hurt.
He watched you, breathlessly. The blood seeping from the wounds he had inflicted on you and the soft sound of your whimpering was having a strange effect on him.
“Shut up,” he warned. You stifled your whimpers, worrying you were coming across as rude.
“I’m sorry,” you said, “Thank you for rescuing me. You really did save me. Can I do anything to repay you?”
He flared his nostrils, looking away from the soft skin of your thigh and the way your blood invited him to eat you, directing his attention to the wicker basket.
“What’s in there?” You pulled back the cover, showing him an assortment of sweets, drinks, and the medicine. He sniffed the air, smelling something delicious. “I smell chillies.”
“Chillies?” You brushed your hand across the top of the basket, then realised what he must mean. “Ah. There’s some spicy apple chutney. Is that what you can smell?”
You fumbled in the hamper until you pulled out a small jar of homemade chutney. You doubted he could smell it through the glass jar, but to your surprise he nodded.
“Give me that.” He demanded, holding his hand out. You clutched it tightly.
“It’s for my father.”
He clicked his tongue, frowning. Why wouldn’t you just obey him? He retorted testily, “And I just saved your fucking life. Give it to me.”
The fact you didn’t drop it straight into his hand infuriated him. You looked at the jar as if deciding what to do. He had told you what to do.
“I guess you can have it…” you said slowly, holding the jar out for him. “But my father loves spicy food.”
“Tough shit,” He swiped the jar from you, his talon like nails grazing the side of your hand. “I like spicy food too.”
He opened the lid and stuck his tongue in the chutney, guzzling it down with delight. You watched him eating then after a moment you tried to stand. It hurt, but you could move. As you wiped some of the mud from your clothes, the werewolf watched you. You were like a lamb; small, lost, and an easy target for anyone who wanted to take you. His ears twitched at the sound you made when you tried to walk. You mewled, his scratches stinging you. He revelled in the thought.
“I have to go, I’m sorry,” and you were. You were a long way from the path and needed to set off if you had any hope of finding it before nightfall. You picked up the basket and started to limp away, but the werewolf followed you.
“Where the fuck are you off to in such a rush?” He glanced down at your limp, his infliction, and the way the blood trickled from the wound, down your calve. He felt excited.
“I have to deliver medicine to my father.” You responded, unaware of the wolf’s attraction towards your sudden vulnerability. “He lives on the east side of the forest.”
“The east side?” He said in a sort of dazed reply, before catching himself, realising what the two of you had just said. “The east side? What do you mean, the east side? There’s only one house over there and-- How the hell did you end up here?”
He confirmed your suspicions that you were lost. You explained about the voice you thought you had heard, and the clearing, and the voice telling you to stop. The werewolf listened quietly, pondering what had happened as you limped beside him. You had to wonder if the cry and the clearing were the forest’s doing, but then what about the voice whispering for you to stop? The one that had tried to warn you about the cliff.
After a long while of walking, the werewolf brought you back to the path.
“There,” he said, eyeing you with a glare. “You’re on track. Now don’t act like a fucking idiot and go off by yourself in search of someone who may or may not be in trouble again. Fucking human.”
“I’m sorry,” you hung your head low, letting him chastise you. In a strange way, his telling off felt almost familiar to you, like he had done it a hundred times before.
“Look at me when you apologise.” The werewolf demanded. Your cheeks stained pink, aware of the piercing strength of his gaze. You looked up, trying to hold your stare, but the way his defined jaw clenched as he waited made your heart falter. You only managed to hold his gaze long enough to mutter a soft apology then had to look at the floor.
The werewolf bared his fangs as he smirked.
You were beautiful. An angelic lamb, full of innocence, naivety and forgiveness. Now that you were beginning to obey him, he wanted to destroy you. Looking into your large, glassy eyes, he wanted nothing more than to tear you, and violate you, and make you his. He wanted the marks on your leg to scar, to tell the world that he owned you.
He shook his head, trying not to let his fantasies run rampant. All in due time. You were worth the wait.
He flared his nostrils, trying to calm himself—with little effect. After a few moments of walking you along the track, he bowed out.
“I’m fucking off. I’ve got shit to do and I can’t babysit a clumsy human like you all day. Don’t. Leave. The path.”
He turned on his heel to get away from you, to do what he had to do, but you caught him by the sleeve of his jacket.
“Wait,” you asked in mild desperation. He looked over his shoulder at you, waiting for you to say what you needed to. “What’s your name?”
He flashed you a toothy smirk, pushing his thumb into his chest. “Katsuki. Don’t fucking forget.”
With that, he dashed off into the woods, leaving you to limp towards your father’s house. Little did you know he knew a shortcut to the house. Little did you know he knew that house all too well.
Katsuki had unsavoury plans for you. He couldn’t wait for you to arrive at daddy’s house.