Garou + Part 26 (cont)
Trowa

* * *

Trowa had fallen from the bed and was raked with convulsions; his face red and tensed as if he was having a stroke. Under the Japanese teen's wide eyes, his arms broke in tiny pieces to mold themselves into paws, and then halfway, reverted to being arms. Fur was growing out of his skin to fall down one second after as if from an old carpet, and the spasms shaking his back were so violent Heero thought he was going to break his backbone if it lasted.

"Trowa! Trowa..." he called, laying a hand on the boy's arm between two sudden starts. "Let the animal go... I know you're hurting, but let the animal go... he'll help...."

But Trowa wasn't in a state to understand words anymore, had been for quite some time. Heero gave a long, low whine, anguished, not knowing what to do...

... the green-eyed boy turned his head toward him, blindly, his hybrid body taking on a tense immobility, waiting.

Heero whined again, this time making the pitch go up like a question. His ears jumped forward when he heard the tired grunt in answer. Slowly, he crawled forward, whining and murmuring in sympathy, and huddled as close as he dared, reassuring the other Were through the contact. Heero's lower body was entirely that of a wolf, now, and his arms were covered in hairs and ended in paws. His face was elongating in a muzzle, even if the shape of his skull wasn't changing yet. He wondered if Trowa would recognize him if ever he succeeded in regaining consciousness now.

His friend's clawed hands closed on the fur covering his chest, with a stunningly strong grip, and the green-eyed young man pressed his face against Heero. Heero slid his paws-arms on each side of Trowa's shoulders to wriggle closer, still giving a long whine that sounded like a chant. Small cries were rising from the new hybrid's throat in answer.

The transformation had stopped fluctuating by now, but it only meant that Trowa was trapped in a malformed body. It could be very dangerous; Heero could feel it without knowing exactly why. Heero nuzzled him softly, his whimpers getting more urgent. Heero could feel it in his guts, that the more the boy lost strength fighting the change, the less chance he had of living to see its term. The boy's ribs began to creak again, slowly taking on an oblong shape. His limbs were already that of a beast anyway; a thick fur progressively grew on them, spreading to the rest of his body. His coat of fur was a clear brown, darker on his back, and the end of his hairs weirdly not the same color as the rest, kind of like a hare's. It gave him a nearly red tint on his back, and a creamy one on his belly.

Trowa finally relaxed, muscle after muscle. At first Heero was afraid that it was because he was dying, because he hadn't been THAT relaxed since his first fit, but his breath sounded regular, and didn't slow down farther than a normal rhythm. He was curled up between Heero's front paws, his face hidden in Heero's dark and thick fur. The Japanese were had never felt his protective instincts so violent, bubbling so close to the surface, than with his packmate rolled in a defensive little ball against him, as defenseless as a newborn.

Heero waited nearly a half hour for the beast to regain its breath and calm down before he nudged it with his paw to see what it looked like... but the smell had told him already, and his tail was wagging along with his nearly childish glee. A wolf, another wolf!

"Woof?"

A long and exhausted whine finally answered him. He stepped back and lay down along his comrade's back. Trowa lifted his head up a few inches to try to follow his movement, but his green eyes were still unable to focus properly.

Deciding that for the moment the other wolf was still too weak to move, and so happy and relieved to know that he had survived his first change without apparent permanent damage, Heero-wolf nestled close to his back, rested his muzzle on Trowa's shoulder, and decided to take a nap. The other canine wasn't long in imitating him.

* * *

In the middle of an insults exchange with Duo and Sally, Wufei jumped up with no warning, his stripes looking as black as his hair. The other three thought they had finally managed to truly piss him off, even though they had only been jesting, but he didn't look at them as he tore his clothes off him, growling continuously. They barely had the time to catch a glimpse of the hickeys and the claws marks before his whole body was covered with a thick, short golden fur.

"Duo, open the door," he growled in a rough voice, pointing at the heavy metal door.

"Wu?" Duo answered, troubled.

"The moon's here... open the door!" the Asian boy roared, leaning forward, his arms around his own ribs.

Without answering again, Duo obeyed. The weretiger jumped forward as soon as the door cracked open and was running down the corridor right away, his ringed tail floating behind him. Cautiously, in case Heero was still searching for them, Duo closed the door again. The thought of getting mounted by a furry beast didn't really interest him... He DID like Heero, but maybe not that much, eww. And the idea that it would only be to satiate a hormonal imbalance...

The girls and him glanced back and forth for a while, and then decided without a word that since they were prisoners here for the night, there wasn't much to do now that Wufei wasn't here to tease. Getting installed more comfortably, they gave their goodnights to each other and closed their eyes, trying not to think about everything that could go wrong before morning.

* * *

The seaside path was bordered by trees, rendering it nearly invisible from afar. He had been told that only hikers and cyclists used it; that it wasn't probable that he'd meet either after dark at this time of the year. Quatre hid his clothes not too far from the end of the little path that led to the bay and began the change, greeting with open arms the tearing pain that accompanied it.

He tried to stop thinking; he didn't want to remember what was happening at the moment. Howard had suggested that he run to clear his head... he would do it. But not the short jog the old man had been thinking of, no doubt. No, he would run until he couldn't breathe, until he fell on the ground, until his painful muscles refused to obey. He needed to feel like he was punished, he needed to expiate the wrong he had done to his friend with his inconsiderate desires.

Quatre trotted on the path, stretched conscientiously ­ no need to get seriously injured while he was still needed ­ then sprinted, going in a few seconds from nearly total immobility to 80 kilometers/hour. His paws were hitting the packed dirt of the seaside path, violently. He didn't permit himself to listen to the instinct that told him not to run too long, that tried to remind him that he was a sprinter, that he wasn't built for endurance. As tiring as a sprint could be at the moment, he recovered too fast to give him a long enough oblivion period.

He ran for hours, sprint after sprint, briefly slowing down to catch his breath when he couldn't go on any longer to accelerate again without even having stopped entirely, pushing himself way past the limits of his resistance.

But as fast as he could go, he never managed to leave behind the echo of the pain of the boy he loved. It was always there, weaker and weaker, but he could still feel it anyway. Softly most of the time, as if a memory more than an actual perception, then suddenly a few bursts of pain... and he would sprint once again, hoping to outstrip the feelings.

And then a new, weird feeling flooded him from his Uchuu no kokoro, nearly unknown in its strangeness, pushing back most other feelings out of his consciousness.

In his heart, hidden away, a dream of calm forest was coming to life.

Trowa was awakening.

Trowa was awakening, and his dreamscape awakened with him, became more alive, more vibrant than it had been when he had only been a simple human, changed, amplified exactly the way Heero's dreamforest and Wufei's mountaintop, and probably his own dreamscape, had been changed and amplified.

Quatre nearly stumbled, stunned by the sudden revelation, and lifted his head, relieved beyond all words. Trowa had survived!

It felt like a bubble of laughter born of pure happiness growing under his ribs, pushing against his heart, making it beat faster, stronger, instilling strength in his aching muscles, beating in his whole body... He would have liked to burst out laughing, and laugh until he fell... But he couldn't, not in this shape. The exaltation found another escape route.

His back paws pushed, harder, harder, on the packed dirt of the path, his front paws clung to the ground, pulling him forward. His neck stretched out, muscles bulging, mouth wide open as if to taste the wind, galloping, his paws becoming blurred with speed, his whole body participating in the run. He nearly didn't touch the ground anymore; he rushed, so fast the trees became indistinct shapes, so fast he had to screw up his eyes to protect them from the wind. He barely needed to hit the ground between each step now, covered bigger and bigger distances every time, as if he was taking off.

/faster, faster... I'm flying/

* * * * * *

It was around midnight when Heero woke up from his nap, unable to sleep one second longer. The violent, limitless energy of the Wolf was bubbling in his veins, and he had troubles preventing himself from squirming from paw to paw like an overexcited pup. His comrade, finding himself deprived of support when he jumped up, slowly rolled on his flank, unable to summon enough strength to stop his own momentum. He stayed unmoving for a minute, opening confused eyes on the four-legged dark mass in front of him. Heero-wolf barked, leaning forward, rump in the air in the classical position of canines inviting someone to play, his tail wagging without his noticing.

The clear brown wolf sat up slowly, pushing on his front paws as if he was afraid of falling, shaking slightly. His packmate supported him as well as he could until he found his balance. Trowa stopped moving totally, not daring to do anything else than get his breath back under control for a long while. Then, gathering his courage, he tried to get up all the way... and fell back on his ass with a surprised yelp.

The darker wolf pushed his muzzle under Trowa's chest and pushed him up, and Trowa tried to block his legs in position to stay up. He staggered for a few minutes before a hint of strength came back into his aching muscles.

And then the smells attacked him. From all sides, demanding, reclaiming his entire attention, intriguing, fascinating, mysterious... For a long while, he was content just closing his eyes and let the scents flood him, making a mental picture using a sense of his surrounding he had never been conscious of before.

He had trouble pinpointing what was happening to him. He remembered pain... for a long time, so atrocious, so absolute, that he had nearly forgotten that his body could be source of anything else than suffering. But now, it was gone, and he was dizzy with the simple pleasure of being free of pain.

Only, he still felt like his body was a stranger to him. The sensations were so weird... or was it only because he wasn't used to them anymore? But he didn't remember receiving as much information through his sense of smell before, or using his eyes so little... and the angles his body had taken felt weird too. They didn't feel strained or anything, but he had certainly never been able to bend his neck back that much compared to the line of his vertebras. As for the new restrictions of his hands, they felt like wearing too-narrow mittens...

The clear brown wolf shook his head, trying to chase away the mist in his mind...

... and lowered his eyes on his spread out paws, with big clawed fingers splayed open to help keep his balance.

/I'm a wolf, / he realized with a start.

A few hazy memories were coming back, the existence of the virus, his contamination, the fact that he was now, forever, something that was not fully human...

He would have felt horrified, but then he remembered his childhood. /Whatever. I never felt like I was human before anyway./

But what exactly was telling him with such certainty that he was a wolf and not something else?

/I'm a wolf, I know. How is not important./

He shook himself, took on a more natural position, clumsily. It felt so weird to be that uncoordinated, when usually he was limber and precise. The Wolf's body was powerful, so powerful he wondered how he'd ever manage to judge the necessary strength to every action or if he was condemned to breaking and tearing what he would try to touch and hold. It wasn't made better by the tiny flickers of pain in his aching muscles that were refusing to leave, hindering his movements. But even with all that, he could feel that this body, too, was limber and agile, only... not really the same way, not in the same places. He'd have to learn again.

Heero bumped into him with his shoulder and redirected him toward the door. Trowa followed... tried to follow, at any rate. Which paw to put forward first? He felt like a puppet in a child's hands. How did Heero do to make it look so natural?

... Maybe because he let it come naturally. Trowa was too used to controlling each of his moves with precision, he didn't know the body of the wolf enough. He was thinking too much.

The proof that he could do it if he didn't try so hard came when he realized that Heero had disappeared in the corridor; he ran after him without thinking, and only realized the distance he had ran unassisted when he crashed into Heero, who had been waiting for him just behind the turn.

"Kai!"

Heero laughed silently, amused, and turned to go to the exit. Trowa followed, head low, still dazed, totally fascinated and invaded by the scents coming from his surroundings.

++

They slid up to the bridge, Heero in silence, graceful, Trowa stumbling and as limber as a wood puppet, and crouched in the shadows of the staircase to watch. No one in sight. Howard had apparently followed the advice.

Trowa's eyes were half-closed, his nose in the air, and seemed totally engrossed in the afflux of new smells coming in from the sea. Heero could understand... he too had been stupefied by the diversity the first time he found himself at sea. And he had been a human this time, meaning less sensitive. And already used to the extraordinary sense of smell wolves have.

Pushing the other wolf with his muzzle, Heero trotted out of the shadows, across the large deck, toward the narrow bridge that led to the coast. Followed by his comrade, he crossed the bridge to the rocks. The waves had made them slippery, and Trowa nearly fell a few times, but Heero slid between him and the sea and let him lean on his dark body until they were out of the dangerous zone.

Trowa-wolf stopped a few minutes to get his breathing back under control before climbing the steep path. Arrived at the top, he began to sniff here and there, totally fascinated by that new world that his new sense of smell was offering him. The Japanese left him to his explorations for a whole twenty minutes. He needed to get used to his new senses.

The new werewolf acted a little off to Heero, as if the human side of him wasn't really there yet. Heero knew that the trauma of the transformation had not yet been erased, and that because of his illness and his time in a coma, Trowa's psyche hadn't gotten the time to accept that he was -- now and forever -- part of a wolf.

So, if for now, he preferred not to think too hard, bask in the good sides of the transformation, build up good memories, revel in the simple fact that he wasn't in pain anymore, even if it meant letting his animal side in control... might as well humor him. He was still not mentally strong enough to deal with all those changes yet.

Yes, might as well make Trowa feel better by letting him forget that sometimes… he was also a man.


+++++

A/N: Yes, a wolf. ^_^

Some people seem to assume that because Trowa is good with lions, it automatically means he'd be a lion too. Well, no. It does mean that he likes animals, and respects and admires powerful predators a lot, which they respond to. True, he has good balance, too, which would indicate a cat more than a canine.

BUT those aren't psychological characteristics.

One of Trowa's main psychological characteristics is that, as aloof as he may seem, he is a pack animal. Sure, he's silent, and keeps on the fringes of any group he belongs to. But the point is, he needs to belong to a group. He can do without, he can be a lone wolf. But between getting a cover that will leave him alone to do as he wish, and join a group of people to hide with them, even though he does put them in danger, Trowa will join the group, like he did with the circus. Ok, he does this to be able to hide in plain sight. But still, there should have been other ways. The other boys found them after all.

True, he's cautious of Quatre at first, but that may be more because he sees Quatre as an innocent civilian that shouldn't be on the battleground. At first Quatre doesn't really seem to be a peer, but someone to protect. He's not part of the pack, but of the flock. After a while, when he realizes that Quatre can handle himself, Trowa won't question his presence at his side anymore.

When he meets Wufei, and Wufei reveals himself to be on his side, well, he could just play loners like Wufei himself do. Instead, when Wufei loses against Treize, Trowa gets him back to the circus to help him, because Wufei is a possible ally, and they have more things in common than he has with the circus people. Was Wufei friendly to him? No, he wasn't. (In fact he was kind of a jerk U_U) He just was a peer. That was enough for Trowa.

He take a big risk to help Heero when Heero self-destructs, endangering Cathy and the circus, then following him around, giving him support without Heero even having to ask. He reacts to Heero like Heero's someone he admires, respects and obeys without too much questions, like he would with a superior officer, or like he would with an alpha. This may be because he grew up in a mercenary unit, thus in a group with a hierarchy. He is used to hierarchy, to depending on other people and have them depend on you.

Even amnesiac, he will still choose to go back with his friends to space, to fight alongside them, because he feels like he belongs with them. This isn't the mark of a loner.

Yes, Trowa is aloof, and he doesn't talk much, doesn't participate much in the social life of the group. But that doesn't mean he doesn't like to be a part of it.

Okay, lions are social creatures too... but... Male lions are kind of macho, obviously proud. I don't see Trowa as macho. And in my little world, Wolves are by far the more common predator type of personality. And otherwise, Heero would have been the only canine. Don't you see?! The Plot demanded it!!!

So, for me, Trowa is a wolf. ^__^

Asuka Kureru

[part 25] [back] [part 27] [back to Asuka Kureru's fic]