It pays to have a steady source of blood, but even donors need to take a break sometimes.
Hunting typically isn’t to my taste - it’s messy, unpredictable, boring, and honestly? It’s in no way filling. I could chug a pint of human blood and be happily on my way, but animal blood just doesn’t have the same effect. It’s a pity. Human donors are so hard to find, and I know damn well this area has a seemingly never-ending supply of squirrels.
I mean, I could just go to some party that’s inevitably happening right now, but the last couple attempts at feeding there has left me hyperaware of the fact that I’m certainly not the only monster at this university - after the incident a month ago, I’m still paranoid that I actually managed to chip a fang. Hell, he was a cool guy, but really? A dragon? They’re rare enough as is, and even I can’t pierce their skin - what were the chances I just so happened to try hooking up with one at some frat party?
A twig snaps and I realise I’m just wandering aimlessly through the dense forest instead of actually focusing on the task at hand. With a natural curiosity, I cast my gaze towards the source of the sound and am pleasantly surprised to see a doe stood amongst the trees, seeming to have not noticed me yet.
My footfalls are light, silent, not a breath escaping me, a smile slowly creeping across my face. This’ll curb my thirst until my donor gets back, ten times over. This is perfect.
I narrow my eyes when the doe’s head suddenly snaps to attention, staring cautiously not at me, but something else I can now hear rapidly approaching.
The something bursts through the trees and directly into me, sending us tumbling to the ground and pinning me down.
I groan from the impact, rocks and twigs digging uncomfortably against my back, the weight of a heavy body on mine an unwelcome restriction. It takes me a moment to open my eyes and actually focus, but coming face to face with a pair of angry red eyes is enough to jolt me into action.
“What the fuck are you doing?” I snap, shoving the man aside. I push myself so I’m sitting upright, maintaining my glare at the stranger.
“What was I doing? Why the fuck were you in my way?” He snarls, revealing an inhuman set of teeth. Ah. Right. That explains it. He seems to notice my eyes widen and is quick to close his mouth. Too little, too late, buddy. Fortunately for you, we’re in the same boat.
“Fuck you, I haven’t fed in ages,” I continue to bicker, rising to my feet, brushing off the dirt and foliage now stuck to my clothes. A glance around us confirms what I had already assumed. “That deer would’ve been perfect for me, but no, you had to come rushing in like a rabid mutt and scare it off.”
He looks personally offended by my comment. “I didn’t scare off shit! If you weren’t in my way, I would’ve caught it-“
A branch snaps underfoot and we go silent. That wasn’t us.
“Did you come out here alone?” My voice is hushed, sharp eyes watching the darkness from which the footstep was heard.
“Do I look like I hunt with a group?” The man’s quick to snap back.
“Just answer the fucking question.” I hiss.
“Yes, I’m alone. You?” I let out a breath at his answer.
There’s a pause as we listen for any other signs of movement, our already heightened senses kicking into overdrive.
A shuffle of feet, the faint rustle of a coat. A silhouette unnoticeable to human eyes.
“Shit,” I whisper, feeling a flicker of panic in my cold, undead heart. “Run.”
“What? It’s one guy, I can take him-“
I grab the man’s wrist, dragging him away with supernatural strength as I meet his defiant glare with fury. “If you want to expose your secret and bring every monster hunter in the country flocking to this city, then be my guest, but just know if you do, I will kill you before they get the chance.”
A tap sounds from the figure - a fingernail against a screen, maybe? - seems to reinforce my point. The man tears away from my grip but, to my relief, chooses to run, easily matching my pace, albeit less elegantly than myself.
Well, he’s definitely not a vampire, at the very least.
We don’t stop running until we’re out of the thick forest that surrounds the city and acts as a backdrop for the university. Under a streetlight I get a better look at the stranger that crashed into me. He’s breathing more heavily, though the sprint doesn’t seem to have affected him that much, crimson eyes watching the treeline for any sign that we were chased. He’s well built, with hair as messy as his hunting methods.
I can’t deny he’s attractive, but he’s proven himself to be a pain in the ass, and I’m no closer to figuring out what kind of myth he is.
“I think we lost them.” I speak up eventually.
“Shut up,” His response is quick but unpleasant and I find myself rolling my eyes. He pauses before finally looking at me. “What are you?”
“I said, what are you?” His patience is fast wearing thin, if there was ever any to begin with.
“What makes you think I’m something?” I cross my arms, defensive.
“You’re strong, you’re fast, you’ve got better senses than most-“
“- that wasn’t a fucking compliment - and you flashed your fangs when you got pissy,” He glares at me. “You’re not human, so what the fuck are you?”
“I could ask the same of you,” We’re at a stalemate, aware of our shared status as myths, but unwilling to divulge information regarding what kind of myth. “No human hunts deer with just their teeth, and they sure as hell don’t snarl like you do.”
It’s silent as we size each other up, the only movement being the fluttering of moths towards the yellow light of the lamp above up.
“Don’t hunt in my territory again.” He warns, shoving his hands in his pockets. The tank top doesn’t seem to offer much protection against the chill that this late September night brings, and I can’t help but think a hoodie would do him good right now.
“Your territory?” I scoff. “Please, this isn’t yours. Don’t tell me what to do.” He scowls at my words but doesn’t respond, instead sauntering off into the night.
I remain in place for a minute longer, getting my bearings, and find myself displeased by the fact I have to travel in the same direction as he did. Without any other options, eventually I start moving back towards my accommodation, but I’m feeling sluggish and irritable, all too aware of my surroundings. After a moment of absentmindedly patting my clothes to find where I stashed my phone, I call an old friend, hoping to find a distraction.
“[Y/N]? What‘s wrong? It’s 2 in the morning.” My friend’s words are nearly unintelligible, spoken through a yawn, and I feel a pang of guilt at having woken him up at this time.
“Sorry, I didn’t realise,” I apologise. “Nothing’s wrong, I’m just pissed off.”
“So something is wrong.”
I hum, waiting a beat before I try changing the topic. “When are you getting back?” If this were an 80’s chickflick, I’d be twirling my finger around the telephone cord.
“Tomorrow. You know this,” He sighs. “Is your appetite really that bad? Because if it’s not, it’s really unfair that you’d use that tone-“
“Sorry, I know, I’m just-“ I take another deep breath. “I’m tired, and I’m hungry, and some asshole ruined my hunt tonight.”
“Wait, what?” I can practically hear them jolt awake.
“Some dickhead scared off the deer I wanted to take a bite out of. The guy was so noisy he drew the attention of someone-“ The words get caught in my throat as I realise how severe the situation could’ve been. “Shit, some human almost got the jump on us - I don’t think it was a hunter, though, and even if it was, they were clearly inexperienced.”
“Are you sure? Did they see who you were? Did you see who they were? Wait, did you-“
“Izuku,” I interrupt his rambling. “It’s fine. We got away.”
“‘We’?” He questions.
“Me and the guy that was there. I managed to get him to run instead of letting him pick a fight,” I chew my lip. “He definitely wasn’t human, and he wasn’t a vampire, either. I can’t figure out what he was, though. It’s beginning to bug me, like I should know.”
“You sure it wasn’t one of your, ah,” He clears his throat. “Other ‘donors’?”
I stop dead in my tracks, an unamused pout on my face. “Okay, no. He wasn’t. I remember the myths I get with, and I definitely would have remembered this guy. He came charging in like a bull in a china shop-“
“Maybe he was a minotaur?” Izuku chimes in, trying to be helpful.
“Nah, I’m pretty sure minotaurs prefer veganism to venison, and this dude sure as hell didn’t have the teeth of a bull,” I tell him. “His teeth looked like… ugh, I dunno, but they were familiar.”
I can hear my friend thinking aloud on the other end of the line, mumbling theories to himself, but I don’t interrupt, too busy trying to place why those fangs were familiar.
A snap breaks the silence on my end when I click my fingers, putting two and two together. “That’s it! That fox girl from a while ago - uh, wait, shit, what kind of myth was she?”
“Fox girl?” Izuku repeats, puzzled. “Wait, you mean Yaoyorozu?”
“No, no, this girl wasn’t a myobu, and she sounded like she spent more time going through twitter than she did dictionaries, and her blood didn’t kill me,” I give myself a moment to try and remember the myth name. “A kitsune! God, how did I forget about kitsune? This guy had teeth kinda like that, but he lacked any and all of their tact.”
“So he’s something similar to fox myth, but definitely isn’t one?” He pauses, mulling over the possibilities. “What about a hyena, or a dog? Wait - a wolf! Were they a wolf?”
“Eugh, I hope not.” I wrinkle my nose at the thought.
“Right. Well, whatever they were, I don’t think you should go hunting anymore. At least, not for a while. It’s not safe if someone saw you,” I appreciate his concern, but I really wanted that deer. “I’ll give you blood the moment I get back, but if it’s really that bad, I’m sure Uraraka or Shinsou wouldn’t mind helping you out.”
“Ochako has the sleep schedule of a bird, so she’s definitely asleep right now, and I don’t really feel like drinking briny blood at this hour,” I respond, sighing. “It’s fine though, really. I can last another day, it’s no big deal.”
“I mean, if you’re sure…”
“I’m sure! Hey, I’ll see you soon, okay? Get some sleep and enjoy the science museum.” I tell him.
“It’s a genetics lab,” He corrects me. “And goodnight, see you soon!”
“Night night, don’t let other vampires bite.” I reply, smiling at the sleepy laugh I hear in response before hanging up.
By the time the call ends, I’m home. I take a moment to just stare up at the uni accommodation building, sighing as the events of the night catch up with me. Between that and the recent lack of blood, I find myself exhausted.
But at least it’s over now. I won’t have to deal with that myth or that human again. It’s just one weird experience I can put behind me, and tomorrow is a new day.