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A House that Walks

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Hat Kid's feet hurt.

It doesn't matter.

Her stomach felt like a rock.

That doesn't matter.

No, nothing mattered but to keep walking, just keep going. Every time she looked over her shoulder, she expected to see the blue suits, the Mafia. They would have their guns, their plans to hunt Monster-Kind, and...and...

As panic started to rise, Hat Kid stopped a moment to wipe at her eyes, feeling a sting as emotion threatened to overflow. She knew, if she cried, the group would stop for a while, and she wasn't a little girl anymore. No, a Monster, like them, her life was just as much in danger, so she had to walk on.

A tug on her sleeve.

Mu stared up at her eyes, having doubled back to check up on her friend, and let out a bizarrely dog-like whimper. "Are you-"

"I'm fine...j-just a little tired." Hat Kid lied through her sharp teeth, and knew Mu heard through her words, then proceeded to let it go. Really, she wished she could thank her, but she was already gone. Probably a good thing, Mu's boundless energy was likely the only thing keeping everyone from taking a dangerous break.

Everyone.

Nobody looked good.

Bow and Peony lead the way, the only ones who looked half-alive. Hiding in the forest was their only hope, until the danger was off their backs, and they could move somewhere safe...hopefully. The fauns seemed frightened and skittish, knowing they had to help their friends, but that didn't stop the doubt, fear of being harmed in their own home.

Somewhere in the dim lighting, stomachs rumbled. They tried to hide it, but Hat Kid could tell it was the werebeasts and Snatcher. The beasts could tell, full moon was approaching, and nobody wanted to talk about what would happen when they ran buck-wild while trying to hide. Nope, not a word. The Conductor kept his mind off of it with under-the-breath, mean mutterings on what he would do to the "Peck-necks" that forced them on the run. It made Hat Kid feel better, at least. Mu made herself a nuisance running underfoot, nipping at heels that weren't moving fast enough, acting like the puppy she was. And Crowley. He was scared, Hat Kid could tell. Skin paler than usual, hiding shaking hands, but desperately containing himself with bravery Hat Kid didn't know where it came from. A new werebeast, hunted for what could only be described as existing, she wouldn't blame him for freaking out. 

DJ Grooves didn't dance through the forest, didn't groove, or hum a tune. He walked, like a normal person. Somehow, this scared her more, and she moved to rub away more threatening tears.

Hat Kid felt eyes on her that quickly broke contact. Snatcher or CC, maybe even Moonjumper. Worried. They rubbed their eyes one last time, and kept going, running, it was all the Monsters could do.

Still...it was a relief when light started to die and CC raised her voice above the agreed upon whisper. "Everyone, let's rest."


 They made no fire, no warmth, no nothing.

CC bundled Hat Kid up in what felt like the thickest blanket in the world, and hugged her tightly, knowing she was still cold, and whispered reassurance that she had heard nights before. "Just a little while longer, ok dearie?" Just one more day, and the Hunters would slip up or give up, let them make a new life, just a little more of hiding.

She hugged CC back, struggling to believe her, and never wanting to let go. Just a little more walking, a little more.

...never mind that there was going to be a full moon, just a little more...


 "Leaving?..."

"...Chase us...Dangerous..."

"Fellow Monster...hope...soon..."

Serpentine eyes opened, narrowed so their glow wouldn't give away her sense of awakeness. She could hear...Conductor? CC? Crowley?

Without moving, one of her eyes shifted to see a few figures were standing and awake. The werebeasts, looking near frantic but determined, and CC, caring and worried.

And as Hat Kid watched, the trio that would transform under the light of the moon turned...and walked in the direction the Monsters had just left from.

The reality hit Hat Kid suddenly. When they were transformed, no doubt would it be easy to track the group as a whole, catch them all just because of one night of feral fury. So they were leaving, towards the Hunters.

Some part of her optimism tried to suggest that they were planning on winning against the Hunters, that she wasn't going to lose three of her family in one night, but the grimness that flooded the scene spoke otherwise.

...So she didn't sleep, she watched, and she waited.

She listened as a squeaky wolf howl echoed through the forest, and loud human voices interrupted the silence. She listened as complete silence raged on.

She listened as a gunshot boomed.

And she ran as chaos exploded in the dark, away from voices calling her back, towards the friends she wouldn't dare lose.