Summary: When Alpha in training Blaine Anderson finds a wounded lycan in the woods all of his training is put to the test.
A/N: Whoops, I missed last week. Hopefully this will make up for it.
There were always a few wolves, usually preteens still growing into their bodies, or Were's just coming into the pack, that like to wear robes to the gathering and shed them at the last minute. Blaine wonders briefly if Kurt will do the same. It's unlikely that he's ever transformed freely, let alone in a group. He'd have to ask his mother to bring him one. Or maybe Joanna. They seemed to get along well enough. Blaine still hoped, even under all the shame and guilt, he hoped that Kurt would stay. The Anderson compound was the safest place for wolves in all of America. If there was any place, any place at all, that would be safer for Kurt Blaine would let him go without a fight. But there couldn't be. Blaine's family had worked long and hard to make this place a sanctuary for people like Kurt.
With the amount of Lycan's and Were's that passed through the possibility that Kurt would find a suitable partner skyrocketed. Blaine wanted to be that partner. He wanted to be Kurt's reason for staying but as things were now that wasn't an option. Everett was right about one thing, Blaine should just apologize. But he was afraid. Afraid of admitting his wrong. Afraid of acknowledging his weakness. Afraid that Kurt didn't remember it at all and that it would break the fragile progress that he'd made. The thought, the very thought that Kurt might not even remember what had happened, well that was just as horrible as the thought that he might. Blaine felt squeezed between two immovable forces.
“He's going to be a chore to wrangle.”
Blaine keeps his head down but tilts it towards Leah. She seems calmer than before. Robert kept his word and asked around about possible vampire activity. Predictably nothing had turned up. “Who?”
“Kurt. He's a sleepy one.”
“I saw.” Blaine had definitely seen. He'd just spent the better part of his afternoon trying to get it out of his head. “He's running with you and my dad right? And when he breaks off is he with us or the Omega's?”
“His scent is changing. I know you've smelt it. His body is settling back into it's natural state and his behavior will reflect it. So he'll run with us for a while then we'll let him go to who he wants.”
“And if he gets dangerous?”
Leah tips her head back. It's a sign of how close they are that she isn't bothered by the gesture. Blaine feels relieved. Just a little. An inch of the knot in his stomach slips loose. Leah has been like a second mother to him. Being the Beta it's in her nature. But she's never made a show of giving trust when it isn't true. “Then we'll take care of it. Or you can.” She listens for Blaine's reaction. The sharp inhale through his nose is a tell. He's worried that he'll do the wrong thing. “Do we need to talk Blaine?”
“About tonight? I think I've got it. I'm still point for my group even if I've taken a step back.” Blaine was secretly grateful that Robert hadn't taken that privilege away from him. Whether or not he was going to be Alpha didn't seem to matter to his friends. He was still their lead singer, their best friend. He could watch over them during a run. Wes was still in line for Beta. Everett understood that Wes was best for the job. It took a certain set of qualities to be a Beta and it was a combination severely lacking in their age range.
“I would like to talk about that with you. 'I don't feel right about it' isn't a good justification for stepping down. Not for something you've always wanted. But right now I'm asking about Kurt. What happened between the two of you?” Leah stepped closer to him, invading his space and wrapping him in her scent. It didn't calm him the way he hoped. His own scent was thick and agitated.
Blaine grit his teeth and put his hands on Leah's arms. For a second he enjoyed her presence, her calming matronly scent and the proud way she held herself. Blaine wanted people to leave him alone. He wanted people to respect his decision and stop questioning him. “Something that shouldn't have. I'm taking care of it. I'm...”, Blaine took a deep breath and looked her in the eye, “I'm going to apologize and see where it takes us. But tonight I need to be away from him.”
Leah smirks and bops Blaine on the chin. “Working on your impulse control?”
Despite the somber mood Blaine can't help but grin. “Yeah. Something like that.” Blaine felt a little lighter with Leah on his side. She would no doubt do her best to keep the two of them separated. She understood him in a way his parent's didn't. It was her nature after all.
“Eat something. I can handle getting Kurt undressed.” Blaine hurried to do just as she suggested, unwilling to linger with the thought of Kurt getting undressed. Leah watched him go with a small frown. She knew what had happened. Her son had tipped her off. Blaine wasn't the covert secret master he thought he was. Wesley had known the moment Blaine started licking Kurt in the puppy pile what would happen. He'd confessed to her that he'd stayed outside the room, just outside of sniffing range, to make sure Blaine didn't take things too far. He hadn't deemed their little kiss to be anything of merit. A kiss was arbitrary, a token of affection. The only hang up Leah could see was Kurt's lack of coherency. But even then she doubted he'd cry rape over a little peck on the lips. Personally Leah felt there was something else eating at Blaine and that this was a convenient outlet.
Robert and Malaya had always been so focused on Blaine, hyper aware of his actions and his potential. Sometimes it could be overwhelming. They wanted the best for him. She could understand that. She wanted the best for her Wesley too. But being an Alpha, it kept you from doing things by halves. And although Robert never admitted it he was desperate for Blaine to take the mantle. With his three oldest outright refusing the title Robert had found himself in quite the conundrum. It had never happened before in their history. Alpha's always had a litter of kids to ensure someone took over. If the Anderson's failed to produce an Alpha someone would dash out of the shadows to try and snatch up the territory.
The Beta in her wanted to scold Robert for his rigorous, and sometimes tactless, training. The mother in her wanted to smack him. Just one good smack that would snap his head to the side. She pursed her lips and made her way to the guest bedroom. Kurt was snuffling, his lithe body curled into a ball in the center of the bed. Leah cooed at him and grabbed him by the hips, helping him to the edge of the bed. He came easily enough, his body pliable with lethargy. He truly was adorable. “Come on little one. Up you get.” She pulled him up until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. His bleary eyes scanned her over and once he deemed her no threat he leaned in and rested his head on her chest. Leah wrapped her arms around him, resting on hand on the back of his head. She ran her fingers through the short hair on the back of his head. “It's time to meet the moon.”
Kurt seems to understand that at least. He starts plucking at his shirt. Leah notices the small splatters of broth near the hem. David and Wes had entertained him for dinner, helping him eat a thermos full of beef broth and some crackers. He makes a little progress, getting his shirt halfway up his chest baring his pale belly. Leah chuckles and takes pity pulling away enough to tug the shirt the rest of the way off his head. It's no different than helping a child get ready really. And Kurt doesn't seem to mind. He shouldn't. If his father helped him undress before chaining him up this should all be standard. She tried not to think about it.
As she peeled down his sweat pants Kurt flopped back on the bed and wiggled around in what could have been an attempt to help. It lightened Leah's mood just a little. He was wearing nothing underneath but living as a Lycan in a pack she'd seen more naked teenage flesh than a frat house. There was a robe ready and waiting for him draped over a desk chair and she plucked it up for him. But when she held it out he didn't seem the least bit interested. Kurt looked perfectly content to lounge nude on the bed. “Come on Jaybird. We're going to do something special tonight.” Leah tickles and plucks at his feet until he whines and scoots reluctantly off the bed.
At first he follows her normally, a little tired but otherwise fine. The as the other wolves begin to trickle out of their rooms all bare and jittery Kurt began tucking himself closer to her. Leah was still dressed for now. As the pack Beta she was typically one of the first one stripped and ready for the night. She would stand with Robert and Malaya in the front of the pack closest to the woods. Sometimes her husband would join her, other times he would stand back near their friends. Pack dynamics weren't always as clean as humans liked to think. Sometimes smaller packs tried to force it but Robert had never felt the need. She was grateful for it.
To keep him calm she wraps an arm around his bare side. She's careful to keep her hand at the base of his ribs and tucks him against her. “It's alright. We're all celebrating.” Kurt whines low in his throat but doesn't pull away. All around them there are wolves ready to greet the moon, wolves of all ages and looks. Kurt watches them with fascination. He's never seen so many of them in one place and never on the night of the full moon. His wolf is practically vibrating under his skin ready to burst out and greet the night in a way he was never allowed before.
Outside the air is crisp and cool on his skin shocking him out of his sleepy state. Now more awake Kurt feels confident enough to wander out of Leah's grasp. Not far, a few steps at most, but it feels amazing. There's a current buzzing under his skin drawing him to the open grass bathed in the low moonlight just beginning to spill over the treetops. He wobbled like a new born colt up to the boys who'd sang to him. Wes and David were there both naked and staring up at the sky. They were talking back and forth about something Kurt didn't understand but some of the words sounded the same as when they played games on the television. He crowded into their space, just as fascinated with the exposed skin as the sky above. They didn't seem bothered by his wandering eyes or obvious interest.
“Kurt, come see the moon.” Wes takes Kurt's hand and holds it up, pointing to the moon. Wes smiles and lets Kurt wind their fingers together and make grabbing motions at the sky. David joins in for fun, pretending to pinch the moon between his fingers. Kurt lets out an exasperated sigh and hip bumps him. David chuckles and nudges Kurt arm then goes back to his conversation with Wes. Kurt doesn't seem bothered by it, already bored with their skin and soothing voices. He backs away until he bumps into Leah's front and takes her hand again.
Together they look at the moon for a few more minutes until Kurt gets distracted again. The smell of blown out candles crosses his nose and perks his interest. His neck strains and his eyes widen as he searches for the source of the smell. Blaine has entered the clearing. He's just as bare as his friends. Kurt traces the lines of his body from his hairy chest down to the cut V of his groin. His eyes linger there, straining to take in every detail even as he moves farther away. When finally Blaine's back is to him Kurt turns his attention back to Leah. “Blaine?”
“Yes dear, that's Blaine. Come on, you're coming with us.” At first Kurt is eager to follow. The path she's taking leads him towards Blaine after all. But they're not alone. There seems to be a break, an invisible barrier between the pack leaders and everyone else. Stepping out towards them bathes Kurt in a thick heady scent. It's Robert and Blaine and an overbearing wheat. Under it all is the smell of burnt matches. Kurt jerks away from the offensive smell of wheat and veers towards Blaine but as he steps forward Blaine bows his head and turns. As discreetly as possible Blaine edges away from his family and back towards his friends. There are murmurs among the pack. Most everyone had heard that Blaine was stepping away but not everyone had seen it in action. Never before had Blaine started a run from a rear position.
Kurt felt hurt. His eyes burned with tears and a whine built in his throat but he swallowed it. “Blaine...Blaine?” Kurt wanted to follow him but Leah stood in his path.
“No honey, you run with us for now.” Leah gripped him firmly by the upper arms and marched him to Robert and Malaya. The both of them were nude as well, standing tall and proud in front of their pack. They stood on either side of Kurt. Robert's influence was enough to keep him from running. Even living with their pack for two weeks had not been enough for Kurt to properly acclimate to an Alpha. The sense of power that swaddled him made Kurt want to tuck his nose into his belly. With him properly corralled Leah stripped as well, tossing her simple shirt and loose jeans to the side. When she was done she stood on Robert's other side and faced the wolves gathered in the yard.
Each and every face was open and eager, their faces wide with the awe of a child. It was the feel of the moon. The feeling of calm and peace that settled over their bodies under the moonrise had laid the path for the myth of their origin. They felt so loved in the light of the moon. No one was watching Robert. It was expected. Even the most seasoned wolf couldn't fight the pull. Kurt could feel it now too. As the moon rose higher, inch by agonizing inch, his skin began to pull tight. All of his joints felt stiff like they needed to pop. Kurt's breath quickened, his chest fluttering and his head spinning. He'd never transformed like this. It was too open. Too much space. Kurt snarled and scratched at his own face. His growing nails cut thin red trails down his cheeks. Robert seized his arms stopping him with little effort. The Alpha's eyes never even left the moon.
No one paid Kurt any mind as he struggled with the change. Not even Blaine, though he had to clench his fists tight enough to draw blood. This was not a new struggle. Newly bitten Were's faced the same self doubt and aggression. They weren't at peace with their wolves yet. In time Kurt would feel nothing but a welcome stretch. Kurt's loud terrified scream could have broke Blaine's resolve. Could have if the change were not upon him. All around the lawn the pack was dropping to their knees, the young and old, the pregnant women and teenage boys. Everyone was shedding their human selves and growing into their lupine forms.
The change itself blinded them. It was a white out that lasted for the duration of the change. The time varied depending on the person, the age, the health, Were or Lycan. During this blindness the body changed. Bones popped and snapped out of place, skin molted away and fur grew out in thick sheets whisking away the blood. Although it looked gruesome it felt oddly satisfying like peeling dried glue from your palm. The most uncomfortable part of the change was sprouting new teeth. They burst from your gums pushing away the dull human teeth. It felt like a cork popping under pressure.
Once the change is done the clearing is full of the sound of panting wolves. No one dares make the first move, not until Alpha has had his say. A long deep howl broke through the panting cutting free their inhibitions like a knife. A chorus of howls joined the Alpha's, all muzzles pointed up at the moon offering her their love and thanks. There was no doubt which howl belonged to Kurt. It was new and to Blaine's trained ear it was easy to weed out. His howl was high and sharp coming from a place of pain and fear rather than joy. It ended with a husky huff. Then Kurt was warbling again, making the horrible noises he had the first time they met.
Everett took point, bounding off into the woods with Leah and Malaya. The rest of the pack followed suit trusting their Alpha to protect their new member. Blaine lingered behind as did Wes and David. He'd asked his friends to keep him away. They would do anything he asked but this was different. Blaine felt no urge to mount and take Kurt. Any lingering desire had been washed away by the sheer sorrow rolling off of Kurt in waves. The slight wolf in front of him seemed almost feral, his white and tan coat bristled with rage and fear. His hackles were raised but his tail was tucked tight under his white belly. Kurt was snarling at Robert and backing towards the woods.
Blaine waited for his father to make a move, to exert his dominance and send Kurt rolling onto his back in submission. But Robert held still. He watched Kurt like he watched prey. It sent warnings off in Blaine's mind. Kurt wasn't a target. He wasn't food or a rouge. He wasn't a risk to anyone but himself. Blaine prowled forward. He wanted to make his presence known but didn't want to challenge his father. Blaine had given up that right. As a wolf he didn't have a leg to stand on but as Robert's son? As Kurt's friend? He would do anything to keep him safe. He kept low to the ground, almost dragging his belly through the grass to get to his father's side. David and Wes stood on either side of him back just a few paces.
Even though it went against his better judgment Wes was prepared to separate Blaine from Kurt. If his friend felt out of control then it was best to placate him for the time being. But truth be told Wes wanted nothing more than for Blaine to run in and save the day. The pitiful sight before them could be solved easily enough if only Blaine had the confidence to assert himself. Wes's attention shifted from Blaine to Robert as the Alpha leaned forward and bared his teeth.
The reaction was instant. Kurt's noises ceased and his whole body lurched. In one powerful movement Kurt was turned away from the group and off like a shot into the woods. Blaine forgot everything he said about keeping his distance and charged after him. David leapt into action, hot on his heels. He kept his eyes peeled and his muzzle low. David wasn't going to bite his future Alpha over a misunderstanding. As quick as they are however Kurt has an advantage. He's frightened, scared for his life and determined to survive.
Blaine admires his determination. Kurt is running away from the rest of the pack, taking the area of the forest that's the densest. The sound of his large paws hitting the ground is audible over three sets of harsh panting. Kurt has power. He's a bundle of raw energy careening through the trees as quick and careless as fire. Blaine was relying on his own endurance levels to outlast Kurt's. An untrained wolf could easily expend their energy in a short burst of wild carnage. That's why Blaine kept a small distance between the two of them. As easy as it would be to pounce and bite Kurt around the neck he held back. Blaine didn't feel like mating now but if he had Kurt under him? If he had Kurt helpless and tired under his riled up body? Blaine didn't think he had the restraint to test it.
The three of them ran through thick clusters of trees, dodging and leaping over wayward branches and wild overgrowth. It looked like Kurt was finally running out of steam. His lean body was heaving in tune with his breaths and his large paws were fumbling over the undergrowth keeping him from getting decent leverage. Blaine and David slowed accordingly keeping their distance for everyone's safety. Just because Kurt's too tired to run it doesn't mean he's too tired to lash out. He'd have a right to. Blaine doesn't even know what his father was doing, baring his teeth like Kurt was a threat. Every first timer reacted that way. Kurt was no different. He'd never felt a free change. Robert should have been more patient.
Or, a nasty little voice in Blaine's head supplied, he could have taken better care of Kurt. He could have been standing front and center next to him and calmed him through the change. Instead he'd let his weakness control him, force him away. He won't let that happen this time. He may not be the Alpha in training anymore but he had been in line. He still had the training, the know how. And what's more, he actually wanted to help Kurt. It wouldn't be going through the motions. He could really make a difference here. How he handled Kurt in this moment could be the deciding factor between him leaving or staying.
He lets his body relax. It's about waiting right now. Kurt has to make the first move. He has to offer some signal that he's ready to be approached or that he needs to be restrained. But that has to be broadcasted by him. Blaine can't assume. He can't let David assume either. Right now David is to function as a last line of defense. It's written out in the lines of Blaine's back, the tilt of his muzzle. To two wolves who've known each other this long it's almost second nature. They don't need speech to speak what's important. Kurt doesn't know that yet. He's not aware that right behind him there are two fully in sync wolves ready to do whatever necessary.
Kurt is not fairing very well. Everything is too much. It's very similar and not at all like when he opened the bedroom door for the first time. There's smells everywhere, earth and dew and flowers. But underneath there's something lingering, something so soaked into the earth that its become a part of it. He thinks it's them. It's wolves, generations and generations of them running over this very land. He tries to breathe it in; tries to focus on it through his panting. His heart is still beating a mile a minute and his paws ache. It's terrifying. It's exhilarating. He's never experienced anything like this before. Moons were always chains or cages. He'd never seen the moon full. Not even as a cub. Slowly he sticks his nose into the earth, deep in a patch of damp grass, and inhales. It's the first long steady breath he's had since the change began and it centers him.
He feels clear. For the first time since the last moon he can think. There's no fog clouding his mind or sickness numbing his body. He feels reborn. Kurt lifts his nose from the ground and straightens his body. His back arches into a tense line, his form poised and ready. There's a sound behind him. Blaine, David. They're with him. Kurt lifts his head to the sky and howls.
The sound of it cuts through the clearing. Scattered throughout the trees and clearings wolves hear the sound and pause. They know, they all know, that it's Kurt. Some wolves stiffen. The Were's know he's reached a moment of clarity and although he's not the same as them they feel kindred. The Lycan's are more on edge, the ones who cared to think about the howl. Most don't care. They feel safe with their Alpha and Beta in the woods with them. But some can not shake the feeling that this has a potential for disaster. There's no doubt that there's a correlation between abused children and rage. Kurt could have a killer inside. Almost as quickly as the thoughts come they are dispelled, washed away by the sound of two more howls. Another chorus starts with every wolf tipping their head one by one to the moon to say hello. Blaine's howl is easily distinguished from the din.
At the edge of the woods, perched still and not making a sound, is Robert. He is staring into the woods as if he could see Blaine standing there through the trees. Wes is behind him still, also quiet. He understands what Robert did. As a Beta he was fined tuned to guess the leads of his Alpha. Robert had baited Blaine. He'd set up a situation where Blaine would have to face his insecurities head on and take the lead. He'd forced Blaine to act like an Alpha. Wes could appreciate the gambit. He'd been trying to work out something similar and simply hadn't had the opportunity. There would be no forced mating, no too rough horse play. Blaine would be in the mindset of an Alpha and Kurt would be his charge. Once Blaine saw he could manage that the rest would fall into place. Their human bodies could hash out the finer details.
The soon to be Beta pads quietly to his Alpha's side and bares his neck for a moment. He waits for Robert to lick it before moving again. Wes bounds into the forest with the speed and lightness of a child. Robert is slow to follow, trotting into the forest at a sedate pace. The night is young still and he has no need to be anywhere in particular. He takes a different path than Wes. He can smell his mate in the air, her sweet scent weaves through the trees with his son's heavy, earthy wheat. Leah went another direction, taking the little ones and Omegas with her. No one had gone so far to the right as Kurt, Blaine, and David. Robert knows he's not going to wander into their part of the woods tonight. If he showed himself all of his work will have been for nothing. Blaine was old enough to stand firm on his own paws. He didn't need his father licking him behind the ears for this.
Across the forest Blaine felt freer, lighter, than he had since the kiss. The look in Kurt's eyes was clear. There was an intensity there, a depth that had been missing before, bogged down by the last traces of Monkshood. Blaine had done nothing to jeopardize his standing with Kurt in this moment. Right now they were simply wolves regarding one another. After Kurt had finished his howl and after the chorus of answers died down he'd turned to them. His body still held a trace of uncertainty, a touch of distrust. It occurred to Blaine that they'd never sat down and talked to Kurt about why he was there. Did he even know packs existed? Did he know packs keep their own, that no Were or Lycan was shipped away to an orphanage or foster home? They would have to talk in the morning. Properly.
With Kurt's breathing under control and his stance not overtly aggressive Blaine decides it's time to come forward. It would do no good to crouch low to the ground as easy as it might make their interaction. Blaine wants it to be very clear he's in charge. Regardless of semantics he can't allow Kurt to exert dominance over him, not without causing problems down the line with the pack. So his belly stays clear of the ground and Blaine walks the fine line between dominant and welcoming. It's not as hard as he'd thought. It's in the eyes mostly, even if his body screams tension his eyes can give comfort.
He can offer no words and with a new wolf body language is finicky. With David behind him to give him confidence Blaine knows he can at least try. Kurt seems receptive at any rate, cautiously curious of Blaine's slow forward advance. He stops barely five inches from Kurt. He wants his smell to wash over the lighter wolf. For a tense minute they simply stare at each other. Blaine doesn't waver, Kurt has to break contact first. He has to submit. Blaine can feel David beginning to grow restless behind him. By now they should all be running out their boundless energy. David hadn't had the benefit of tiring himself out before the moonrise. As a teenager it was harder for him to settle. Blaine flicked his tail, a small sign. It's okay to leave. David accepted it slowly. His lanky dark form left their cluster of trees slowly with the feel of a wary deer.
With the two of them alone Kurt seemed more relaxed. It seemed that almost as soon as David was away Kurt was willing to bow. He tipped his head to the side hesitantly like he'd never completed the action before. He was running entirely on instinct. Blaine rewarded him instantly licking over his neck in a soothing rhythm until Kurt's body sank to the ground. Over time the tension in Blaine's own body eased as well. Grooming was common, safe. He'd done it a thousand times to his friends and the younger members of his pack. He licks the white expanse of Kurt's neck to his light brown ears, nibbling here and there to soothe him. It feels different than it did before. He doesn't feel like this is going to lead to anything sexual. His human mind is hazy but at peace with his wolf. Tonight is for comfort, for protection. There will be time for baser things later. The next moon maybe.
Kurt is floating in the feeling of being groomed. He had a distant memory, hazy from time, of this feeling. Something close to it. He remembers a cold floor, a cage probably, and the smell of popcorn and strawberries. His mother had done this for him before she passed. She licked him on full moon nights from his ears to his belly. It feels much the same now. The ground, being actual soft earth, is more of a comfort. And there's a stirring in his belly, a low simmer that was easy enough to ignore, that was never there before. Other than that though it was the same. It felt safe, comforting. Kurt still didn't know where he was or where his father was but he knew Blaine. He knew the smell of burnt matches. He knew that smell was the first thing in over a week to block out the acrid smell of monkshood. He knew that smell came with a beautiful voice and a warm bed.
Kurt finds himself rolling onto his back without a thought. Blaine follows his lead moving his muzzle from neck to chest, licking down the wayward fur that got mussed in the run. By the time Blaine has licked his way to his belly Kurt feels like he could fall asleep. The wild energy is seeping away from him, seemingly draining with each swipe of Blaine's tongue. He's never felt this either during the moon. Being chained or caged angered him. His father's large calloused fingers were unnaturally ginger the morning after. Like Blaine his bulk and menacing outer appearance was a shell. There was kindness to them. His mind drifted, content in the knowledge that burnt matches meant safety. Even if he didn't know where he was that smell would keep him safe. Blaine had done a wonderful job so far.
The simmer in his belly from before sparks. Kurt's body jackknifes and he rolls away from Blaine's tongue. His body still feels sluggish from the near doze he'd been in but it's quickly sapping away. He shakes his head then his body like a dog shaking off water. He snaps his jaw at Blaine, uncomfortable with the sudden change. Blaine looks sufficiently cowed but doesn't back away. Instead he crowds Kurt's space again and nips him on the scruff of his neck. There's a tug in his body and urge Kurt's never felt before, to lie down and submit.
Kurt wants to fight it. As safe as he feels surrounded by the smell of burnt matches the fact remains that he's alone and away from everything he's ever known. He summons every ounce of rebellion in himself to keep his stance. His will grants him a few more moments, just long enough for Blaine to relax then reclamp his jaw over a wider expanse of his neck. The sharp pin pricks of pain along the scruff of his neck dismantle him. A wave of calm rolls across his body originating from the bite. Against his will his joints buckle until he's lying against the ground again. Kurt whines low in his throat and lazily flicks his ears, desperate for Blaine to release him.
And he does, slowly, after he's sure Kurt has gotten the message. Don't be aggressive. Never be aggressive to an alpha. He leaves Kurt's neck with a single lick, smoothing down the rucked up fur. For a moment Blaine enjoyed Kurt's lupine form. He was lithe, maybe a little too thin still, and lightly colored. His back was light brown with dark brown hairs sprinkled in. Spreading from his belly out and down his legs and tail was a snowy white coat. He wasn't the lightest wolf in their pack but he was close. Blaine was the darkest of their pack, the only pitch black wolf this side of America. It was odd to not have at least a spatter of secondary color. His parents had seen it as a good omen. Over the past few days Blaine hadn't been so sure.
When Kurt shows no sign of rising Blaine bites his ear then straightens up and points his body towards the next clearing. They can run away from the rest of the pack tonight. Kurt's first free moon doesn't have to be a spectacle. As Kurt brings himself up Blaine rubs his nose across his flank, encouraging him to come along. He hadn't meant to break their peaceful evening. But it shouldn't be too hard to bring it back. Running was therapeutic, it could bring out the best of them. He waited patiently for Kurt to come around and get up the nerve then he bounded into the trees. Playful this time.
Blaine starts and stops dashing this way and that but never going far from Kurt, teasing him into joining along. It's a squirrel that catches Kurt's attention though. One second he's stooped near a mossy tree and the next he's darting past Blaine to catch the little rodent. Blaine joins in, keeping pace but his focus is Kurt not the prey. He doesn't have much of a taste for them anyways. He prefers to hunt rabbits. With squirrel's it's less about hunting, mostly you just lunge while they dash this way and that. Kurt doesn't have much hunting form so it's really for the best. He's learning like the children would, lunging face forward into clumps of grass and recalculating for the next go. Blaine watches him with something akin to parental fascination. He supposes this is what an Alpha feels like, what his father feels like when he watches his pack run.
Kurt doesn't catch the squirrel and to be honest Blaine isn't sure he's actually trying all that hard. It seems like he'd just been interested in the chase, the freedom and ability to do something as a wolf. Eventually Kurt just lets the squirrel run up a tree and turns away from it like he'd never chased it to begin with. Blaine accepts the change easily enough. Cubs changed tracks so fast it could give a person whiplash. This time he tries to direct their play. He still wants to take Kurt to the anise field. There's bound to be a few wolves there but the night is winding down. By now the Omega's are all asleep in a pile, readying themselves to help with breakfast in the morning. The rest of the pack is clustered here and there, pointedly away from the old Miller house and the section of woods Kurt first howled in.
Blaine herds Kurt with yips and nudges, keeping him on track. He allows Kurt a few seconds here and there to explore a new flower or insect but he's eager to get them to the field before the moon sets. The anise field is a place most wolves go to in the beginning of the night. The little brown stars act like catnip, egging on their wolves and riling them up until they're all like cubs again. There's not much point in hyping yourself up before the change back but Blaine thinks Kurt will enjoy it. He wants to show him that not all outside influences have to be bad. For every monkshood there is an anise.
The field isn't very large and the ground is mostly uneven but the grass is long and thin. It looks more like hair than grass and it feels amazing under their paws. To Blaine it's the most beautiful part of their property. He watches Kurt. He sees the way Kurt's ears have perked and the questions in his eyes. He watches Kurt take his first slow steps into the field like treading ice. It feels good to see him this way. It's good to see him acting like a child. It erases anything sexual, anything unwholesome. It's easier than Blaine thought it would be. Even the moment back in the woods when he'd licked too much, it hadn't broken the mood. Blaine hadn't felt the need to take, even when the opportunity had presented itself beautifully.
The thought of that, to have seen for himself that he can control that baser part of himself during a time of need, it makes Blaine wonder if that was his problem at all. There's a nagging feeling deep in his gut that it wasn't. That he'd blown the kiss entirely out of proportion. He'd done wrong, Blaine couldn't deny that he'd wronged Kurt. But was it as bad as he'd made it seem? Did he deserve the self exile or the demotion? Blaine wasn't so sure. And thinking about these things was difficult as a wolf. Some things were sharper, other things dulled. He wondered if Kurt felt a difference, a real one that he understood, or if every moon before this had been a sad cold blur.
It's impossible to guess for now. Kurt is rolling in the grass his mind high and floating from the smell of anise in the air. It's different than the monkshood. Before he'd felt like he was drowning, bogged down under his own weight. Now he felt light as if at any moment he could float away. He felt giddy. The moon had never been like this before. Never had he felt such a joy while he wore his fur. Kurt stretched as far as his body would allow from the pads of his forepaws to the very tip of his tail he stretched every bone to it's limit. Then he curled into a ball and nuzzled his nose into the sickly sweet smell that surrounded him. The whole field felt like heaven. Kurt wanted Blaine to feel it too. But the black wolf was standing at the edge of the field letting the wind carry the scent to him.
Kurt yipped and rolled onto his back again. Blaine had liked that before. It was an invitation right? He wiggled, grinding his back along the grass and anise blooms igniting a new plumb of smell. The wind picked it up, mixing the licorice with caramel and carrying it through Blaine's fur. It urged Blaine forward. Of their own accord his paws carried him into the uneven ground of the clearing, over the clumps of anise and long soft grass to Kurt. He stepped over Kurt. It felt right having Kurt under him even in this way. It was innocent, a symbol of protection and camaraderie. Blaine tipped his head up into the wind. He could smell three other wolves, all young, probably basking in the wind carried scent of anise for a moment longer before they found their parents. Besides that they were alone.
Blaine allowed himself to settle. He laid himself down partially on top of Kurt but mostly at his side. He rested his head over Kurt's and put his muzzle to his paw. When Kurt whined to be free Blaine soothed him with a few licks. Sleeping in anise was a peculiar feeling. It almost felt like those few moments when you're aware your dreaming and that you're waking up but you want to go back to sleep. Blaine liked to indulge in it once in a while. The past few moons he hadn't had the chance. His training with his father kept him in the center of the woods with the largest bulk of the pack.
Against his flank he could feel Kurt's tail flopping restlessly. His body was too wound up. He wasn't letting himself just float in the feeling. Blaine tried to let it pass but Kurt wouldn't stop fidgeting and he was tired. Finally Blaine cuffed his ear and growled. After that Kurt settled, the trilling energy settled and he let himself take deep steady inhales. They fall asleep together. It's easiest to change back that way. As the sun starts to rise their bodies pop and lengthen, shedding away fur and knitting together any small wounds picked up in the night. It doesn't hurt at all, not even for first timers.
They wake together, Kurt now lays belly down in the grass, his legs sprawled far apart. Blaine's face is tucked into his neck. He's got his hand clasped tight around Kurt's side, just under his armpit. They're barely chilled and the bright mid-morning sun peeking over the trees is welcome. Blaine stirs first, a veteran of exhausting runs, he's always been able to shake off the lingering lethargy of the change. He rolls closer to Kurt and tosses his leg over the boy's hips. The pale skin is cool to the touch. Kurt doesn't have much in the way of body weight to conserve heat. Blaine let himself indulge in Kurt's body, in his scent. He pressed his nose tight to Kurt's neck and inhaled.
For a moment he felt content, happy that Kurt still felt right underneath of him. But then it clicked. There was a difference, another subtle change in smell. The transformation must have worked the last dregs of monkshood from his system. Blaine held him a little tighter. Kurt was no Omega. He smelt closer to a Beta but that wasn't right either. He had no distinct classification, he was just a wolf. That was good, and bad. Kurt had nothing built into his system to tie him here. But there would also be no doubt that if they did mate it would be entirely Kurt's decision. There would be no instinct guiding him.
“Blaine?” Kurt had woken up, more than likely because of Blaine's grip. He sounded unsure of himself but aware. Blaine released his tight grip and edged away until they were merely next to one another. Kurt wasted no time raising himself to his knees and curling his body forward and away from Blaine's wandering eyes.
Kurt's head jerks to the side in confusion. Blaine can see the profile of his face, the strong line of his jaw and the small up swoop of his nose. “What?”
“Have you always smelt like burnt sugar?”
“I...” Kurt rubs his hands over his arms and looks down at his naked lap. “I don't know. I guess.”
Blaine nods and stretches. He feels a satisfying pop in his lower back. He expected as much. Unless you constantly surrounded yourself with other wolves it was hard to know your own scent. He couldn't see Kurt's scent changing again. His facilities seemed completely back to normal and that included scent. He was only mildly disappointed that the caramel hadn't stuck. He'd gotten use to catching traces of it around the house while he'd been isolating himself. “Is your name really Kurt?”
Kurt nodded, his back still turned. His mind was going a mile a minute. He felt clearer now that he had under the moon. The flowers under him did little to slow his thoughts. He remembers Blaine and his friends. He remembers the house and the kind woman who fed him and bathed him. He remembers the strong wolf who promised to keep him safe and give him shelter. He remembers the decaying house and the cold basement, the heavy chains and the tomorrow that never came. He remembers being scared, then angry, then so very hungry. Where had his father gone? Why hadn't he come down and unlocked him like every other moon? Kurt's nose and eyes burned with the effort. He didn't want to cry in front of this boy. But he was weak, tired, and scared. He wanted his dad.
Kurt's shoulders shook with his cries, his breath shook and his fingers dug deep into his skin. Kurt wept for his father and his mother. He wept for change in his life and future he wasn't prepared for. He curled into himself, crushed under his own sorrow, until his nose was pressed to his knees. He cried until his cries turned to dry heaves and his head felt like it was going to burst. Throughout it Blaine sat behind him quietly. He'd seen this with Weres after their first night. They felt disconnected with the world, finally and truly different. Kurt's reason would be different of course. But it was part of a process. It wasn't until Kurt's cries quieted entirely, turning to long heavy breaths, that Blaine felt he could approach.
He places his palms on Kurt's shoulder blades. It's safe and not in wolf territory. “Just breathe Kurt. Just breathe, we'll work it out.” He rubs his thumbs across Kurt's smooth skin trying to calm him. Kurt doesn't seem particularly moved one way or the other. Blaine's not sure what to say. He'd been so focused on finding who had hurt Kurt that he'd never thought about life after he got better. He wasn't prepared to talk to Kurt about his past. It seemed cruel almost to ask him what he'd lost, or maybe what he'd never had. “Do you want to go inside? It's warmer.”
Kurt shrugs out from under his hands and crawls forward a pace on his knees. Blaine is poised forward on his knees, hands hovering in the air over Kurt's back. Kurt sucks in a deep breath and pulls himself together again. He's crouched with his thighs tucked under his belly and his arms bracketing his legs. It's obvious he doesn't want Blaine to look. “I'll...I can go get you a robe. Just stay here okay. It's not safe to run.” Kurt jerked his head back to look at Blaine. The distrust was clear on his face. “I don't mean you can't leave. Leave the pack I mean...I mean...we don't know what happened to you. To your family. Anything could be out there.”
It settles Kurt to hear that he's free to go, in the greater sense. He's never stayed in any one place for long. He doesn't like feeling boxed in. Being boxed in is for the moon and only for a handful of hours. “I'll stay. Just...bring me clothes. Please.” Kurt doesn't relax his body until Blaine is gone. Truthfully he does contemplate running. He could stand up and run as far as his feet could take him. Eventually he'd hit a road or another house. He could beg to use a phone. But the thought puttered out. His father hadn't come to unlock him after the sunrise. His father hadn't visited him at the mansion. He could be anywhere. He could be hurt. Kurt was adrift without an anchor. He'd have nowhere to run. If Blaine's family turned him away he'd have nowhere to go.
So he waited. The flowers that smelled like licorice were nice. They helped calm him. If he managed to find his father he'd have to tell him about them. Maybe he could put them in his teas. Kurt plucked up one of the brown star like things and held it to his nose. Something inside of him told him to eat it. He was about to put it into his mouth when he heard footsteps. Kurt shook his head and tossed the plant aside then clasped his hands in his lap. Blaine's scent was carrying over the field.
“I've got a robe. And some pajamas too. We normally don't get dressed today at all.” Blaine shuffles closer and holds the clothes away from his body. He's still too far away for Kurt to grab them though. He doesn't want to expose himself. He remembers letting Leah undress him but that was different. She'd acted like his father. She'd just been preparing him for the moon. Blaine was a boy. An attractive boy that had saved his life and kissed him. He couldn't let Blaine see him like this. He was healed but covered in dirt. Oh God there was dirt smeared all over his face and his hair was an absolute mess. Kurt flung his hand back and shook it for Blaine's to hurry up with the clothes. And when that didn't get the response he wanted quickly enough he started snapping.
“Blaine!” He looked behind himself to see what was taking him so long. Blaine was just standing there, a few feet away, looking angry. Kurt recoiled. “Blaine? I need clothes.”
“Alright Kurt but you don't need to snap. It's rude.”
“I always snap. I just—“
“You shouldn't. It's rude.” Blaine sighed and walked closer, then placed the clothes in Kurt's outstretched hand. He turned politely away so Kurt could dress. Blaine wasn't sure why he'd been surprised. The pack had been operating under the assumption that Kurt had been locked away for most of his life. It stood to reason that he'd have poor people skills. It was just odd to see such a rude gesture come from such a sweet looking person. Blaine hears Kurt clear his throat and looks over. Kurt looks considerably better now that he's in clothes, more confident in himself. He's still filthy though and Blaine wishes he'd had the thought to grab a washcloth. There's dirt caked all over his face except in the places where his tears washed trails down his cheeks. Blaine longed to reach out and wipe away the rest of the dirt.
“I'm sorry I just...I didn't want to be naked.” Kurt whispers out naked like it's taboo. Blaine supposes it could be to him. Nudity isn't the blase thing to humans or new Were's as it is to Lycan's. Kurt was very much on that level still.
“It's okay. Next time we can keep something closer alright.”
Next time. Blaine wanted Kurt around for the next moon. It was hard to hear it said out loud. Kurt wasn't quite ready to face the possibility that his father was gone for good. He wasn't sure he was ready to face another moon out in the wild. What if he hurt someone? “I'm allowed to stay? Even after...” Kurt trailed off, not exactly sure how to put into words what he was ashamed about. He'd caused a scene, he'd angered the lead wolf, and he'd ran from Blaine. Fought him a little even. Kurt had always been under the impression that packs were very strict and rigid about the behavior allowed. That's why his father had never let him be a part of one. He'd feared that Kurt wouldn't be allowed to be himself.
Blaine was not oblivious to the storm of thoughts gathering in Kurt's mind. It was clear on his face that he was thinking down a dangerous and upsetting path. He didn't fight the openness of his face, now wasn't the time to be a strong alpha. Kurt needed a friend. “Oh Kurt, of course you can stay. Packs protect their own. Wolves never get sent away no matter where they come from or how they came to be alone.” Blaine was careful to not say orphan. He didn't want to open that can of worms right now.
“But I'm going to be punished?”
“Punished? No! No, you've done nothing bad. You got spooked and ran. It's not a big deal. It happens to the best of us.”
“But your father growled at me.”
Blaine took a deep breath and let it out slowly through his nose. His father, he wasn't sure what had happened with him. “He was being an idiot. He was probably just trying to make you calm down.”
“By growling at me?” Kurt looked skeptical at best and Blaine couldn't blame him. He didn't know what his father had been playing at either. And quite frankly he was miffed that it might be a clenching factor in Kurt wanting to leave. Blaine hadn't worked so hard to keep Kurt just to watch his father ruin it all.
“My dad...I don't know what he was thinking. He means well. He's had your best interests at heart this whole time. He has. You've got to understand that no matter how things looked last night he wanted to help you.”
Kurt could understand that. His own father had done things, hurtful things even, to ensure his safety. Being a parent meant you had to make tough decisions. Sometimes even ones that upset their children. He didn't know Robert well, only having seen him two or three times since he arrived in the house, but he gathered that Robert was a good person. So he'd been misguided last night? It was a scary thought sure but Blaine had never laid Kurt astray. “Okay.”
“Okay.” Kurt rolled his eyes and walked past Blaine to the treeline. His feet were still bare and Blaine was still nude. He just wanted to get inside. He couldn't remember the trail back to the house, everything look the same. And scent was no help. Everything smelt like damp earth and wolves. He hoped that if he wandered too far Blaine would come to his senses and start leading the way.
And he did, come to his senses, that is. Blaine loped after Kurt until he could walk next to him. They walked in companionable silence out of the woods and to the Anderson back yard. There were a few teenagers and children lounging in the sun, all mostly nude. There was one little girl in pigtails lounging in a patch of sun wearing only cotton panties. It made Kurt mildly uncomfortable. Too much skin, too much familiarity. He kept his eyes down at his own feet, taking care to not let his sight stray to Blaine's still bare legs. He clutched the robe closer to his chest feeling as if it were his only armor.
Kurt started at the feel of a hand on his lower back. But it was only Blaine. The young alpha smiled softly at him and guided him into the dinning room. Piled high across the table were pancakes, sausages, ham steaks, hash browns, and cut up fruits of every variety. Kurt's so hungry he forgets about the mess on his face and staggers into an empty seat. The table is full of people in various states of undress all sitting before plates piled comically high. Kurt had always had an appetite after the change but nothing quite like this. It must be from all the running. With Blaine's help he gathers up his own overflowing plate and digs in.
He's about six pancakes in before someone mentions the dirt on his face. Johanna is standing behind his chair holding a couple of wet wipes. “Here. You look like you've have a rough night.” Kurt looks a little stunned and a bit embarrassed. He takes the wipe gratefully and gingerly wipes away the dirt and muck from his face. His hair is still a lost cause but he feels more human with clean skin. It also helps him slow down on eating. Maybe the random people around the table hadn't notice him eating like a wild man but Blaine is staring at him.
Kurt had never had the opportunity to impress a boy before. While he'd been on the run with his father he'd barely looked at other people. He didn't trust them. But every once in a while he'd notice a waiter or a cashier and he'd allow himself a few moments to just appreciate how they looked. For a while he'd been touch and go with his father on his sexuality. But it seems that after you've watched your son morph into a beast every month finding out he's gay isn't such a big deal. They didn't talk about it. Or the future much at all really. Kurt didn't have the luxury. His father had always told them they were hiding but he'd never mentioned from what. It was always just this vague sense of oppression. They were always running from 'the pack' or 'the Alpha', from wolves in general.
It stung. Kurt sometimes felt like his father hadn't really loved him, not in the conventional way that other parents loved their children. Kurt could appreciate that his father had thrown his life away to keep them moving, to keep them safe. But that had caused a lot of strain. It felt like too much sacrifice to him and the strain showed. And what were they even running from? This? The pack had done nothing but care from him. When his father came back they'd have to talk about staying. Kurt wasn't sure he could run anymore.
Before he'd realized it Kurt had eaten his way through the massive plate. He felt uncomfortably full. While he'd never gone hungry before he'd never really eaten half his weight in breakfast food either. He felt like he could just fall asleep at the table. And he didn't seem to be alone. Johanna and the other Omega's were slumped against each other or other wolves, lightly snoozing, in front of them all were picked clean plates. Kurt took a look around the table, finally really seeing it. When he'd been absent he hadn't really seen a room and its contents. It's like his eyes had been on auto-focus. He saw certain things or people sharply, things like Blaine or the gilded frame in the guest room. Most other things had been blurry, shoved into the background like an afterthought.
Now he could see everything. No one at the table looked like he imagined. To him wolves had always seemed like an ambiguous hive like entity. He'd imagined they'd all look vaguely similar and act the same way. But taking a glance around the table showed that the only common trait was sleepiness. It settled him. A lot of his cautious fear had stemmed from the thought that Lycan's operated on some unified aggressive front to oppress wayward wolves. Seeing a bunch of dirty half asleep teenagers slumped over plates eased his mind. If this were the face the Lycan's showed the world then there wouldn't be any fear.