Katsuki finds that he has a love hate relationship with the winter. He loves the peace and quiet and the serinity of the still, white coating that folds over nature like a blanket. He loves the distance it allows him to make with other pedestrians, most of them hibernating away into their homes for warmth and shelter, granting him the time he needs to himself as his boots softly crunch into a cushion of snow.
What he hates is the cold, brisk air freezing the tip of his nose. Or how without the comfort of heat, his muscles and joints stiffen as if they too were falling under the icy confinement of the season. But most of all, one of the biggest cons to winter, are the wolves.
Katsuki’s house is out of town, at least a good mile away and into the woods where he can live his days without having to deal with oncoming travelers and busy village noise. He’s taken up the skill of hunting, and with this captures and cooks his own food quite regularly (provided he has a license). The problem with this, and especially during the winter, is that the wolves around the same time are also hunting down food and it mainly consists of his main options. Which infuriates the shit out of him. They’re scaring away the rabbits and the deer and stag and he hasn’t caught one bear for a fresh pelt in the past month because they’ve disappeared and he’s freezing his ass off because of it. Sure, he has a fireplace and blankets but his house is shit at insolation and he can’t just keep his fire lit at night and risk his frucking wooden house burning down. It’s a damn wonder the dogs haven’t accidently walked into his bear traps since they’re out all the time making his life a living hell.
He’s currently making his way around the frost bitten forest, rifle strapped over a shoulder and hanging loosely on his back in case he needs to use it, making sure all his traps for that day are ready and in check. His jacket can only keep his core to a minimum temperature, even with the fur laced on the inside that pokes out the collar over his turtleneck sweater, but his large strides through the inches-thick layer of snow that’s covering every surface of the woods allows his heart rate to pick up in a steady rhythm and keeps the blood pumping through his veins and up to his cheeks.
He stops dead in his tracks when he sees it. A large footprint. A wolf’s . It’s unmistakable by each divot of toes that have sunk into the snow, and crest shapes above that sink lower. Katsuki can feel his arms buzz with weariness. He did not want to deal with this today .
A vulgar, almost inaudible growl sounds a few trees away and Katsuki’s eyes widen as he realizes that’s where his next bear trap is placed. He hastily grasps his rifle and stalks forward, careful to stay silent as each step of snow does otherwise.
The noise starts again, but this time it’s more rugged, cut, as if each vibration were a stressed syllable. This means to Katsuki that the bear got trapped.
That or it’s pissed.
He stops behind the last tree, collecting his bearings before flicking around the bark, finger ready on the trigger-
There, lying in the crimson littered snow is a wolf. It’s a profound shade of black, almost a silhouette with piercing red eyes that shouldn’t be as vibrant as they are but contrast so nicely to the ebony fur it’s as if they’re glowing, and Katsuki’s gaze scans over to where a paw is promptly locked into his trap; spiked teeth penetrating thick skin and dripping blood onto the snow.
The wolf whimpers, but undertones of a growl reverberate deep within its throat to warn stay away between cries.
Katsuki drops his hands, but they don’t leave his weapon. He can’t assume the wolf is down; if it’s awake enough to send weary threats he doesn’t want to chance it. He lifts his boot out of white and closer to red. The snow around the black figure is melting, and Katsuki’s almost impressed by how warm the beast’s core has to be in order to affect its environment. The wolf’s vermilion eyes are locked onto his own, and each step feels like a weight has been added to his ankles; he doesn’t know whether to be entranced or terrified.
He’s a foot away from the wolf when it lowers its guard, allowing the hunter to come closer, but as Katsuki looks down at the trap where his hindleg lies limp, the wolf’s body contorts and shifts, back arching and limbs shrink with each heave.
“ What the fuck -!” Katuski wavers back, blinking furiously as what was black is now entirely red and human . Red hair, ears, eyes, tail. All red on the body of a man who’s ankle is still disgustingly stuck between the clamps of his trap.
The rumors of werewolves were fibs, just stories told to kids who felt the need to break curfew on darker nights. But before him now, is living proof. Pained eyes bare into his, seeping hot wet tears that trail down cheeks and fall off a sharp chin into the blood covered snow. Katsuki’s not holding his rifle anymore; it’s body swinging behind his back as he stares down at the naked man.
Frowning, the blonde crouches down, careful not to seem as if he’s going to advance against the stranger and temporarily drops his concentration to the metal clamps that are attached to a tanned ankle. He lowers his hand, gloved fingers grazing the device when a choked gasp, almost a sob, sears out of the redhead’s throat.
“Spare me.” He whispers, and Katuski looks down into wet eyes, brows knit. Did he not see that he was trying to get the damn trap off of him ? Sure, he didn’t like wolves and they’re a nuisance to deal with when they got in his way while trying to obtain food, but he’s not going to kill any of them.
Katsuki doesn’t respond within the long, overwhelming seconds he simply stares before tearing his eyes away and he carefully unlocks the trap. When the clamps open with a reckless click, a loud shriek rips into the cold winter air. The redhead’s chest convulses, body jerking from the burning sensation and Katsuki looks up to see a scrunched expression of pain. The were is still crying, probably from pain, but he can instantly tell it’s not as severe after a few seconds with the trap off.
Kasuki hikes out a leg, pulling the fabric of his pants out from inside his right boot and rips it clean off under the knee. Tearing it once more, he begins to wrap the cloth over the wound that has began to leak thick claret more so than before. The stranger’s leg twitches as he works, but Katsuki ignores it, focusing on clotting the blood flow and he gingerly applies pressure to the sharp indents of skin beneath his torn pants.
He can feel heat build from under his gloved fingers and he doesn’t know if it’s from the guy’s body temperature or blood, so he decides to take the ladder and stands up along with outstretching his hand in offer.
“You’re going to bleed out, come on. I’m taking you back to my fucking place to propery treat your wound.” He says, and is met with a hesitant stare. The redhead is confused, at least that’s what Katsuki thinks as his once flinching expression has curved soft; brows knitting together in thought. But, because he’s not a very patient person, Katsuki shakes his hand once more as a final call because if the wolf didn’t want his goddamn help then so be it.
The redhead extends his shaking arm to takes his hand, and Katsuki realizes the warmth in his glove previously was most definitely blood because the searing heat emanating off of this guy’s palm alone is burning and his body wants to crawl into the heat of his space right then and there.
Fuck , he’s been so fucking cold.
He doesn’t let go of the stranger’s hand, instead, after he’s lifted him off his feet and realized how much thicker stature wise the redhead is, wraps an arm over his shoulder to help hoist him up. He may be taller by an inch or so, but Katsuki isn’t about to attempt to pick up the hunk of muscle.
They distance back to his house isn’t long, but the pace at which the two move compared to Katsuki alone is deriding. It’s sloppy and the were is obviously unstable from only walking on one leg since the other drips blood on the shuffling show path they’re making. Katsuki makes sure to keep his gaze forward and focused, sneaking peeks to his right to make sure the redhead isn’t about to pass out on him from blood loss.
When they arrive to his lonely, wooden home, he’s quick shove his rifle onto the counter, to place the guy in his kitchen, to run into the living room to grab a few blankets, toss them at the were without a second glance and to make his way into his bathroom for his first aid kit. Katsuki tells himself, that despite how obnoxiously warm the stranger is, he needs the blankets to stay that way and not only to cover his exposed dick while Katsuki prepares to manhandle his ankle. He’s cooling off from the adrenaline and smaller details of his surroundings are becoming more accentuated because of it, such as this very attractive werewolf who’s sitting on his kitchen counter wrapped from the waist down in his blankets with fluffy red ears sticking out of spiky red locks of hair. Katsuki mentally curses himself, because this is just what he fucking needs; a hot, warm, bleeding mythical creature half naked in his kitchen.
And he’s down on his knees for the guy, quite literally.
“This is going to hurt like a bitch.” Is all Katsuki says as he works mechanically , removing the soaked cloth from the redhead’s leg and grabs for his bottle of alcohol to clean it’s gashes. He’d removed his gloves and jacket when entering his front door, leaving him in his turtleneck and torn pants, knowing the house wasn’t as frigid as the white outside, so the fabric in his hands are warm with drying blood that stains his exposed fingers.
The guy above has stopped crying, thankfully, but the noise that comes out as Katsuki begins to pour the disinfectant is a muffled bawl behind a clenched fist. Weren’t werewolves supposed to be indestructible or some shit? Weren’t they supposed to be supernaturally strong and pain tolerable? This, of course, is coming from no experience whatsoever of actually interacting with the beasts.
Katsuki’s haste yet cautious when he fetches a roll of gauze and sports tape to properly wrap the guy’s ankle. He might get a scar from his bear trap considering how deep the spikes sunk into the flesh of his leg. After that, Katsuki presses firmly on the now wrapped bandage and gathers his kit together.
He stands, and is met with thankful eyes that are just as curious as his are.
“Thank you.” The redhead says, voice hoarse and quiet. “I- um.. Was that your trap? I’m sorry about that, I didn’t see it.” he adds, and Katsuki wills himself to behave because this guy’s voice is nice . It’s deep and sort of rough like how Katsuki can make his own on a bad day, and he really wants to keep listening to it. Instead, he tsks in response. The stranger’s hands are in his lap, thumbs moving idelessly atop the blankets that are wrapped around his waist, that’s attached to a thick pecs and broad shoulders-
“Doesn’t fucking matter.” Crossing his arms, and noticing how the redhead’s eyes follow his movement to his chest, Katsuki looks away and asks the obvious, “So you’re a werewolf huh? With your big ears and big eyes and big tail and shit.”
As if just realizing, the stranger lifts a hand to touch the top of his head, and sheepishly grins as an ear flicks.
“I guess I didn't quite finish my transformation huh.” he chuckles airily and Katuski frowns.
“What do you mean.”
The redhead’s avoiding his gaze now, looking anywhere but where the blonde stands and he replies, “I guess I was just so nervous you’d end me right then and there, man, I began shifting into my human form but just didn’t finish it.” He says it mildly, as if the whole process of it wasn’t mind boggling to Katsuki, or all together in general. He watches as the were blinks slowly, concentrating on a central focus point as the very obvious ears that were once perched atop his head now disappear behind a mop of hair. Katuski’s heart might’ve just skipped a beat.
He’d never admit outloud how fucking cool it is to watch this. How surreal it is to have seen a wild animal turn from beast to half to whole man.
A soft exhale of air is released from the redhead and Katsuki drops his arms in concern. Their gazes meet and sharp teeth are revealed in a chuckle; at least those didn’t go away, Katsuki thinks.
“Ah- sorry. It takes a lot of energy out of me to shift. After a few hours though, I’ll be out of your hair, promise.”
First, why did this fluffy asshole think he’d be even allowed to stay in his house? And secondly-
“Stop fucking appologizing, shit . I should be the one saying sorry since you got caught in my trap.” Katsuki grumbles, cheeks warming at the admission. Suddenly, he doesn’t want to just keep standing in the middle of his kitchen to a stranger who’s also half dog and half naked. So, instead he takes a deep breath, composing himself and meets crimson.
“You got a fucking name or am I gonna have to call you something of my choosing?” Katsuki asks.
The redhead smiles crookedly, sharp incisors exposed as he says, “My name’s Kirishima Eijirou.” Kirishima shifts from where he sits and as Katsuki’s eyes roam over the toned planes of his biceps, his eyes narrow and he turns around, making his way to his room. “W-wait where are you going?” Kirishima asks behind him.
“I’m getting you a fucking change of clothes, keep your ass there.” he calls out once passing the door frame across his house. The guy is large, more filled than Katsuki’s physique, and he’s finding that his very small collection of shirts might be the death of him. As well as bottoms. Fuck , did he have to run into a guy with such opposing hip sizes as him? After settling with the largest sweats and shirt he has, along with a clean pair of briefs because he wasn’t having the wolf bare-balling it in his clothes, Katsuki walks back into the living area to hand Kirishima the outfit.
“Thanks.” He says, taking ahold of the neatly folded pile. Kirishima stands, blankets falling and Katsuki curses aloud, frantically turning away as he hears the blankets hit his wooden floor. His cheeks burn as he sputters.
“ Fuck ! Shit , fucking hell, my bathroom is right around the corner dumb-ass! Don’t just- you can’t-” He hears the redhead laugh behind him and soon the soft pats of feet disappear around the corner of his house. Jesus fuck, Katsuki needed to get it together. A part of him, a deep, deep part of him screams this is his fault for isolating himself so much, but he ignores it as he calms down and picks up the blankets off the floor. He’s going to wash them- no, he’s going to burn any last traces of ass that linger.
Eventually, Kirishima emerges in his grey sweats and black-T, which is snug around his chest like Katsuki knew it would, and the two settle casually back into the kitchen where they sit on opposite ends of his island. He offers the were food, which is humbly accepted and they both eat two-day old leftover rice and ask one another questions.
Kirishima asks a lot about him, and it’s surprising how more alive the redhead is after having been so quiet when they first met. Though, Katsuki doesn’t forget he was hurt, supposedly low on energy and shy from having a stranger take care of him.
He asks Katsuki why he lives alone.
The answer, “I don’t fucking like people.”
“But social construct is how we thrive! Even the most isolated have to interact every once in a while.” Kirishima pouts, resting his chin in the palm of a hand and looking pointedly at Katsuki.
“Well then after this, I’ll be good for a goddamn year.” He spits, shoving his empty bowl aside. The redhead laughs and proceeds to ask more questions that Katsuki reluctantly answers. He normally wouldn’t be so open, with anyone , but he’s wary of the fact that any questions he has for the were might be too personal considering he’s not entire human and it’s probably not supposed to get out.
Katuki learns that Kirishima lives in a normal house as well, not in a cave somewhere deep in the forest to live in his own filth. He’s a normal person, but every so often has to shift into a wolf to release pent up energy since that’s something supernatural beings like him deal with. Katsuki’s quick to learn that the idiot lives in his fucking town as well, but doesn’t get out much since he moves quite regularly due to his more mythical side. That disappoints him, to say the least, but it’s good if it means he can get over this temporary crush.
Soon, the sky’s dripping red and Kirishima reluctantly proclaims that he should head home to his “pack”. It’s a wolf term Katsuki’s not willing to delve into, but from what he’s learned, Kirishima’s friends mostly consist of humans.
Katsuki stands to aid the redhead off the stool, but Kirishima’s up and walking to the door just fine before he even gets to think about it.
“ What ..” Katsuki mutters, brows furrowing as he looks down at the ankle he wrapped. Kirishima stares at him in question before his eyes widen.
“Oh! I, um, I heal quickly.” Is all he provides and Katsuki takes it.
He doesn’t grab his coat, or his gloves as he walks outside into the freezing winter. The trees surrounding his house draw long, dark, silhouetted shadows over his front porch as they both stand next to one another; steamed breathes floating out of open mouths and into the setting sky.
Kirishima tilts his head up to meet Katsuki’s gaze, and the blonde tries not to overthink how adorable that is. This guy could probably kill him, if he let him. Smiling, the redhead strides forward and waves a hand, gesturing his goodbye.
“I’ll see you around.” He says, bare feet penetrating the thick layer of snow that covers the few remaining steps of his porch and Katsuki shudders from an upcoming breeze.
“No you fucking won’t.” he barks back, regretting how dispite the frigid air that stings his ears and nose, his cheeks are profusely warm from the lingering gaze that meets his. He also regrets not changing his pants because his right leg is absolutely numb.
Another laugh builds its way out of Kirishima’s chest and he winks, actually fucking winks before concluding,
“Yes, you will, when I return these clothes of yours I borrowed.” and with that, lifts his arms up and over his head, bringing the hem of Katsuki’s shirt with it and the blonde turns his gaze away when he realizes the were’s undressing once again. Looking back, for a brief moment, he watches in awe as Kirishma’s red shifts to black as he hunches over, body contouring and cracking similar to when he first laid eyes on the transformation, but rather than shriveling down, his limbs expand as dark matted fur spreads.
The ebony wolf looks back, ears flicking as cardinal red eyes somehow say goodbye and see you all together at once. Kirishima gingerly picks up the pile of clothes from the snow into his sharp jaw, and with one final glance disappears into the woods from where they came.
And Katsuki really fucking hopes he comes back.
For his clothes, that is.