𝘔𝘺 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘮;
𝘈𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵.
𝘌𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭, 𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘴 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘵-𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵.
𝘔𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯;
𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘪𝘥𝘦.
𝘓𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦, 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘴𝘢𝘧𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘣𝘰𝘳,
𝘉𝘺 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘮𝘯 𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘦.
𝑴𝒚 𝑩𝒐𝒚 𝑩𝒖𝒊𝒍𝒅𝒔 𝑪𝒐𝒇𝒇𝒊𝒏𝒔
Anxiety and adrenaline coursed through his veins with urgency, pulsating in a never-ending din.
He knew he couldn’t keep this up much longer. He’d already been on the run for weeks now with little rest. But that was the nature of the game for 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒔 like him. Once a hunter caught your scent, they never let you escape. Especially not this one. This one, in particular, was born and bred for the hunt.
He was a killing machine and stopped at nothing to execute his mark. From the moment they’d breathed their first breath, those of the Shimura clan did nothing but thrive on the hunt. They were crafted throughout centuries and trained in the intimate art of killing celestial beings, monsters, and elementals. Anything that wasn’t human, or of the like.
Shimura Tenko was one such hunter and Katsuki happened to be the one unlucky bastard to fall into his crosshairs.
A shot is fired off, not far from behind, reigniting his need for haste.
The motherfucker was literally keeping up with him on horseback.
Horseback. Was this the fucking dark ages?
On any normal night, Katsuki could outrun a mustang with no problem, but the unfortunate thing about hunters, was that they played dirtier than most monsters ever would. The douche bag literally shot him in the back with a silver bullet laced with wolfsbane. If it’d been anything more than a lucky graze, he’d be dead now from the toxicity alone.
But as it were, his family had their own age-old ways of combating hunters throughout generations passed.
His kind were no strangers to living like nomads. It was a way of life. Evading hunters was instinct. A skill forged over years of training. Years of discipline. It was ingrained into his every fiber. His very being. Stitched into the inner workings of his wolfborn soul. It was survival.
The antidote was ingrained into him on a molecular level and it was the only reason he was alive today.
But the wolf knew he wouldn’t be able to take another hit, not so soon after barely recovering from his first unlucky encounter with the hunter.
His pulse quickens yet again as another silver bullet, no doubt laced with wolfsbane, zipped past his hairline. Much too close for his comfort.
He only had one option.
It’d be stupid to do it now. At a time like this, but he had no other choice.
He was at a severe disadvantage in his human-esque form.
If he wanted to find his way out of this mess, he would have to do it.
He would have to shift.
The further he ran into the dense vaporous boscage, the harder it would be to evade his assailant.
He had to make this count.
The shift, though normally seamless, was not without its discomfort on normal nights. But with his injured shoulder blade, pain lit within him that was akin to liquid magma.
Down on all fours, Katsuki broke into a sprint, despite his body aching in protest.
His drive to survive steering him into an open clearing, where his paws pounded against the grassy range.
But Tenko would not let up.
Though now much further behind him, the hunter kept a leisurely pace. One of self-assurance. One of endurance. He was so confident he’d catch him that he wasn’t even trying now.
That alone chilled the very blood surging through Katsuki’s veins, allowing something more primal within him to awaken.
The more this dragged on, the worse it would become. Even under perfect conditions, he was at a severe disadvantage on a new moon night. That wasn’t even factoring in his injuries. He knew the hunter knew this. He was clearly trying to wear him out and lead him into a trap he couldn’t escape from, before he ultimately tortured and killed him.
He was royally fucked either way he looked at it.
His decision then, was made.
In a fit of desperation and probably stupidity, Katsuki turned on his heels and stopped dead in his tracks. Igniting that wolven instinct to fight.
He was a wolfborn damnit.
He had his fucking pride.
He refused to be corralled any longer by a fucking human.
He was the apex predator.
He was in his element out here in the wild, injured or not.
He was every bit as imposing as any other wolf from legends passed and he’d not be taken down so easily.
He had one chance.
There, in the misted haze of the open field, with burning orbs of scarlet, the wolf; bloodied, dusty blond of fur, hackles raised, stood his ground as the hunter grinned cruelly and urged his steed onward, no doubt aiming for a killshot.
Utilizing his one chance, the wolf breaks into yet another harrowing sprint. Speeding forward as pain spreads throughout him, ducking around a hail of gunfire, he lunges for the stallion. Sinking his powerful jaws into its left hind fetlock, startling the massive animal into a buck, effectively throwing Shimura from his saddle and onto the field below.
Landing harshly, the dazed hunter rolls to avoid being trampled.
Katsuki immediately lets go as the startled colt begins to thrash and retaliate in panic, kicking out with its powerful hooves.
Using this final window of opportunity, the wolf flees into the treeline, as if the devil himself were hot on his heels.
He didn’t even know where he was, much too delirious with pain.
He’d wandered in the dense dark forest for what felt like a millennia.
Until a light, so ethereal in texture, akin to the call of the moon itself, shone through the crisp foggy haze. Illuminating the cosp around him.
Its light was so resplendent, it stood in stark contrast to the obsidian darkness encroaching upon it, attempting to greedily swallow it whole.
Katsuki couldn’t think of it as anything other than 𝒃𝒆𝒂𝒖𝒕𝒊𝒇𝒖𝒍.
Like a moth to a flame, he slowed his aching pace and followed its beckoning call.
And he was met with a sight unlike any he’s seen.
Like a spectre from legends of old, only truly known through stories told by firelight.
A figure, wispy of being and blank of expression, hovered before him like an apparition.
A ghostly beacon in the dark.
As Katsuki finally succumbed to the agony of his overtaxed wound, he couldn’t help but see the figure; led by lantern light, yet a glowing source of its own, gently smile.
And as this angel of death flowed gracefully ever nearer, he couldn’t help but feel safe as the obsidian darkness finally took him.
“Hey, hey! Shh, shh, easy now, easy! It’s infected, I have to drain it,” a voice calls out from above him, the looming figure attempting to keep him restrained, with what felt like cool gloved hands.
A floral scent about his captor piques his interest.
“Y-you’re undead?” He rasps out, his throat raw and sore from disuse.
The man above him chuckles in amusement, “I’m a friend. And definitely of no threat to you, young one.” The man eases his hold on him with a gentle pat, applying what smelled like iodine to his reopened wound.
“Tch, as if I’d consider an undead a threat anyway,” he scoffs, feeling oddly exposed in the presence of this stranger.
“Ah well, we can’t all be as imposing as your… hunter friend, am I right?” He quips back, with an almost ‘fatherly’ laugh.
“Shit..." Katsuki sighs reluctantly, having the decency to look at least a little abashed, "look… thanks for the help, but I can get by on my own,” he mutters firmly, attempting yet again to pull away from the man.
The undead simply holds him there with an inhuman strength.
“Nuh-uh, not on my watch. You aren’t going anywhere until that wolfsbane is cleared from your system. The wound may only have been a graze, but the poison has spread and is ravaging you internally. You barely made it through the past few nights,” the man counters, crouching down to meet him at eye level.
Molten scarlet meets milky cobalt, a telltale sign of the undead he was.
Only momentarily distracted, something clicks in the young wolf’s mind.
“Past few nights?!” Katsuki shouts in a panic.
“Yes, my boy,” the undead relays, “you were delirious when he found you. The fever took you soon after. You were quite lucky to have fallen into such capable hands. You were brought here, to my mortuary, where we’ve looked after you ever since.”
“He? ...Mortuary?” Katsuki ponders aloud, his brow pinched in confusion and unease.
“My protegé. A friend and fellow undertaker,” the man explains.
Katsuki wonders about that.
Briefly recalling that light in the darkness. The beauty of it. The safety.
A gentle smile on an otherwise blank face.
No true distinct features, other than glowing green eyes.
“Listen, young one,” the undead appeals to him, “this is the safest place you could have ended up in. By day, this place is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill mortuary, where I assist the living in burying their dead, and where my protegé designs and builds customary coffins, but by night… this is a home. A refuge, so to speak, for beings of all kith and kin. 𝑪𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒔 like you and I. And you are welcome here, for as long as you’d like,” the undead explains.
“What’s the catch?” Katsuki grunts suspiciously.
“None to speak of,” milky cobalt eyes shine in earnest, “we only ask that you tell no one of this place should you leave here. While we are in the business of helping others, we… uh,” he laughs sheepishly, “don’t exactly advertise.”
Katsuki eyes the man; a tall lanky thing, blond of hair, eyes of milky cobalt, which were undoubtedly as blue as the ocean when he’d been alive. His scent, that of posies and spell-crafted herbs. He couldn’t detect even a hint of dishonesty in his voice.
The wolf exhales a sigh through his nose, weighing his options.
This man and his apparent ‘protegé,' as it were, could have left him to die like a dog in those woods. But instead, they brought him here, and have been tending to him, for days it would seem.
As he ruminated over this, Katsuki could find no motive for them to be anything other than what the undead said they were.
“I’ll stay until I heal… and no later,” he finally agrees.
The undead offers him a kind smile and a hand to shake, “welcome to the Underwood Asylum, my name Is Yagi Toshinori.”
But that wasn’t the weirdest part. Katsuki has seen all manner of weird in his lifetime. But this was new.
This kid had no scent.
Not even a whiff to speak of.
He’d noticed it immediately when the boy had nervously introduced himself. Offering to dress his wound.
What was weirder still, was that although this kid greatly resembled what he’d seen in the woods that night; sans the glowing wisps and grim reaper vibe, he looked totally ‘normal.’
It was kind of a letdown.
He wasn’t 𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍 or phantom-esque at all.
And he sure as shit wasn’t any badass angel of death, either.
The kid was a fucking dork.
Aside from his total ‘I listen to indie rock and cry in my bedroom over dark poetry’ vibe and the fact that he honestly did craft some badass coffins, the kid was awkward as fuck. He pretty much tripped over his words, often. He acted like a skittish cat whenever Katsuki even remotely raised his voice and he wore fucking cardigans with red slip-on shoes.
…Talk about hipster.
But Katsuki had to admit, the kid was pretty knowledgeable in all things ‘monster’ related and otherwise.
And he seemed to at least have some kind of backbone or tolerance for the obscure.
He didn’t even bat an eye when his mentor literally ate a bowl of some dead guy's brains in front of him. Acting, for all he was worth, like it was an ordinary bowl of fucking cereal.
Katsuki was beginning to question this kid’s mental health.
But even so, despite all of this, the kid seemed… sweet. And oddly soft. Way too soft for this life, in his opinion, and not at all like any of the other humans Katsuki had encountered.
The kid also seemed decidedly ‘punchable’ and was undoubtedly somebody else’s punching bag in grade school.
But the more the wolf hung around him, the more curious he’d become; the more curious he’d become, the more he felt this innate need to look-out for him. Someone had to.
It could have been some biological sense of loyalty, since this Deku had ‘technically’ saved his life, but...
Whatever it was, everything was weird as fuck ...and Katsuki didn’t like it.
At least, not at first.
The obnoxious Pikachu-wanna be was a demon.
The red-headed idiot that slept all day and stayed up all night was a Gargoyle.
The weird pink alien chick was a literal fucking Disney fairy. He always assumed the fae were terrifying, not annoying. That was some serious false advertisement.
The pink-cheeked bob-cut was a witch, a sometimes admittedly intimidating one at that.
The geek with the glasses and a knack for following the rules; who was a hodgepodge of human body parts, was the literal embodiment of Mary Shelley's; Frankenstein's monster.
The so-called ‘groundskeeper,’ who literally napped in a giant yellow sleeping bag at any chance he got, was a fuckin’ mummy of all things.
This place was literally as stated: a haven for all.
But the one that got under his skin the most was the vamp. That damn half ‘n half bastard…
Seriously, pick a fucking hair color and stick with it.
That douche was always hanging around Deku, like the kid was some sort of ...snack.
It was unnerving.
It could have been his instinctual hatred for vampires, but as time went on and Katsuki became stronger, he made it a point to keep an extra eye on Deku when the bloodsucker was around.
He felt… content.
In ways he hadn’t ever felt before.
His life was often one of violence, pain, strategy, and forward motion. Survival was a war he’d always have to wage against his natural enemies, the vampires and hunters.
“Trust no one and keep moving.”
Those were the words imparted to him by his mother before she’d died.
But those words didn’t apply here.
Not in the traditional sense.
This refuge was like a watering hole. For all living or animated things to come to and find some type of peace or closure. What Toshinori and Deku were doing here, was something special.
They helped others.
It didn’t matter who.
They held such beautiful and fulfilling funerals for their clients. They offered a kind of closure for the grieving families that most never get. They offered their services in blessing homes or exorcisms. They even made arrangements for grief counseling with a friend and a psychic, called Nighteye.
Katsuki would spend hours with him at night, in his workshop, watching him handcraft coffins.
It was a shame really.
To be able to make something so beautiful, only to have it be buried with the dead underground. Never to resurface again. Never to know the time or dedication that went into each one.
These were much more than just pine boxes.
And it reminded Katsuki of just how little he actually knew about the guy.
“No shit, sherlock! He’s not exactly the phantom of the fucking opera. And he’s not nearly as impressive to look at as that hallucination was that first night. The fuck was I supposed to think he was?!” Katsuki gripes in embarrassment.
“Hallucination? Young one, did it ever occur to you that he might not have had a scent due to some more supernatural reason?” Toshinori muses, a coy smile perched upon his pale lips.
“Fuck if I know?! He could have been cursed for all I know. Witches curse shit all the time,” the young wolf gripes, his cheeks a traitorous shade of pink.
“Actually, no. That’s a common misconception. Not ‘all’ witches believe in cursing or hexing others, ask young Uraraka,” Toshinori corrects him.
“What the fuck ever… what is he? I’m dying here. Trying to figure it out is driving me fucking insane,” Katsuki pouts, dropping onto a rolling chair. He watches as Toshinori made his way around the sterile morgue. Looking for supplies, it would seem.
Toshinori quirks a brow, “you really don’t know?” He asks, skeptical.
“Would I fucking ask if I did, old man?” The wolf counters, crossing his arms over his chest, unamused.
Toshinori smiles and rolls his eyes before coming back around to the observation table and proceeding to embalm someone’s dearly departed.
“You already know the answer to that, my boy, you saw it yourself,” Toshinori explains patiently.
Katsuki’s pout becomes even more pronounced the more perplexed he becomes.
“There is no way that that nerd is a ghost,” the younger blond ripostes.
Toshinori laughs a full-bellied laugh.
“Well… ghost is… such a simple term to classify what he is,” the undead reveals.
“The hell does that mean?” The wolf asks, testily.
“Our dear Izuku is… more of a 𝒑𝒐𝒍𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒊𝒔𝒕, actually,” Toshinori remarks, a certain listlessness to his voice, “an extremely powerful one at that.”
If it weren’t for his tone, Katsuki would have never bought it.
While part of him did, that didn’t stop him from countering with: “a poltergeist… seriously? You expect me to believe he’s some tortured vengeful spirit? There is nothing spooky or dangerous about him! He’s a fucking bunny rabbit in human form! The guy literally cried over ‘The Notebook’, Toshinori… that movie is like… 15 years old. He acted like he'd only just saw it for the first fucking time.”
Toshinori scratches his cheek awkwardly, “that might very well have been the case, you never know. Romance movies always make him cry.”
“A poltergeist?” Katsuki tries again, deadpanning.
“So to speak, yes,” Toshinori confirms.
“He can touch things and pick them up. People can see him and touch him too, hell I picked his ass up and slung him over my shoulder the other night to aggravate him and he sputtered until I put him down, that doesn’t scream vengeful spirit, Toshinori,” Katsuki counters, unamused.
“I never said vengeful, at least… not anymore,” the undead corrects him again. “think about it, young one, have you ever seen him eat?” Toshinori queries, looking up from the body he was currently sewing shut.
“He cooks,” the blond counters.
“For others,” Toshinori defends, with some amusement, “have you ever felt his pulse, or the warmth of his skin?”
“1, that’s weird. 2, he’s always covered up in one of his stupid hipster sweaters,” Katsuki retorts.
“You know he doesn’t have a scent, but have you ever heard his heartbeat? You’re a wolfborn, young Bakugou… I know you can hear a person’s heartbeat. You identified me by some flowers and dried herbs alone.”
Katsuki considers all of this.
“He’s gotten so good at blending in… he’ll be so proud of himself, I’m sure,” Toshinori murmurs to himself, almost affectionately. His gaze, seeming far away as he trails off.
This gives Katsuki pause.
Izuku really didn’t ever eat anything, at least not in front of him. He had no scent, and… Katsuki couldn’t say for sure if he’d ever heard the sound of his heart, or if he’d ever felt the warmth from his skin. Those were aspects of his senses that he usually tuned out because they were so loud. And again, Izuku always covered himself in long-sleeved clothing.
This revelation left him… feeling odd.
Almost like there was this feeling of loss.
Like he’d lost something before he’d ever even had it.
“Look. If you don’t believe me, ask him,” Toshinori decides, letting the subject die.
Fucking hell… this was hard.
The wolf bounces his knee anxiously, trying to figure out a way to form the words. All the while sitting in Izuku’s workshop, watching him sand down his newest project, a cherry wood coffin.
“Hey, Deku,” he starts, finally summoning the courage from somewhere. He truly didn’t know where yet.
Izuku perks up from his musings, “yes, Kacchan?” He asks in that innocent ‘Deku’ kind of way.
“That night… when you found me in the woods…” he continues nervously, “was that…” he clears his throat. “Was… that really you? I wasn’t hallucinating… or anything?”
Izuku eyes him blankly at first.
‘A dead expression,’ his mind supplies.
“Well, you were in pretty bad shape, I can’t confirm exactly what you did or didn’t see, but that was me, yeah. Why do you ask?” The forested boy replies curiously.
“Just… this is gonna sound fucking stupid. But, I thought you were a ghost,” he explains.
A pregnant pause settles between them.
Izuku is quiet for a long time.
“But… that couldn’t be right. Right? I mean… you’re kind of… stupidly corporeal. Like… very solid. In mass,” Katsuki gestures lamely, his cheeks heating despite himself.
That sounded stupid even to his ears.
Izuku bursts into laughter, fully startling the wolfborn before him.
“S-solid?” He laughs, “in mass?”
His giggles wrack through his entire body.
Until they don’t.
Until, Izuku sat there, quietly. Holding his upper arms like he were holding himself together.
He peers up at him, those big green summery eyes, so at odds with the autumnal season, each orb sheened with unshed tears.
Katsuki’s pulse begins flickering anxiously like a candle on a window sill.
The boy gives him that same gentle smile that promised Katsuki safety that night in early September.
“I’m… so glad you think I’m corporeal,” Izuku finally replies, teasingly, with yet another laugh.
But this one was so much different.
This one was so, so sad, as those tears finally fall.
“It’s nice... to know that you actually thought I was human… if just for a moment, solid and breathing. Sometimes...” he softly confesses, “I feel like I might ...blow away and cease to exist forever. It’s silly, isn’t it?”
Shocked scarlet orbs watched as his friend was once again taken by tears and laughter, and a sense of resolve floods through him.
He’d 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒄𝒕 this kid, no matter the cost.
And his sense of resolve would become all the more solidified.
It’d been a crime of passion, a violent murder, by the hands of a lover.
That was all he could remember.
Izuku had no idea how long he’d been dead.
Or how long he’d been listlessly destroying the lives of everyone who’d entered his domain.
All he knew was that he’d fallen in love with the wrong man and had suffered the ultimate consequence for it.
His soul, as Katsuki would find out, was attached to an object, rather than a person or place.
It was an ornate silver ring, set with an 𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒍𝒅 as vividly green as his eyes. It looked old. By at least hundreds of years.
He listens as his friend explains his history, with shame in his eyes.
Izuku had become a problem.
One that many an exorcist couldn’t get rid of.
Every family that entered his home would be tormented, sometimes injured, and eventually chased out in fear by the enraged spirit.
And that was when Toshinori was called in. Due in part to his ‘expertise’ in aiding volatile spirits in passing over.
But even for him; Izuku, fueled by centuries of pain and rage and unrest, was much too powerful.
So Toshinori had to fight dirty.
He’d done some digging, metaphorically and literally, and had found Izuku’s remains on the property.
This only served to further incite the poltergeist’s wrath.
So Toshinori struck up a deal.
If Izuku would agree to move on and no longer chase people away from his final resting place, Toshinori would agree to not salt and burn his bones. He would instead, transport them, and take Izuku away from his prison and give him purpose.
With great reluctance, the spectre went willingly.
The deal was struck and Izuku upheld his end of the bargain.
However, over the years, as the threat of hunters and their methods became too great, Toshinori would do him yet another favor. So long as he never hurt or scared the living again, Toshinori would bind his soul to an object; the ring in question, so that no hunter could ever find his bones and destroy him.
It’d been the easiest decision to make. The poltergeist, now years into reformation, humbly agreed.
And so the deal was struck and his soul was bound.
Now Izuku got to walk around freely. Away from the remains of his broken body, which were hidden in a safe place. Still as powerful as ever. Strong enough to move objects, strong enough to emulate a human form. He’d focused his rage into purpose and for that, grew strong enough to lead a reasonably normal afterlife. Free from the bondage of his past. Devoting himself to helping others like himself, passover.
Knowing what he knew now, Deku would never just be ‘normal’ or ‘average’ to him again. Katsuki knew he could more than protect himself and others. He was a sight to behold. An inspiration. He was his equal.
Together, in the dark of the crisp night, sitting quietly atop the leaf litter, they shared themselves.
Amicable and unspoken. A spectre and a wolf.
He had a feeling he knew what his attachment was, innately all wolves knew, but this was so different. So out of the ordinary. He’d never heard of anything like this. A wolfborn… forming an affinity for a 𝒔𝒐𝒖𝒍.
But was that not the same as loving the moon? Which was another entity, always seen but never touched?
If that were the case, he was sure he’d found his moon.
Izuku and Toshinori were currently upstairs with a client, busy making preparations for a funeral. Apparently the family had some last-minute requests for floral arrangements and detailing to their loved one’s coffin.
Katsuki huffs to himself, looking up to find the bane of his existence, leisurely drinking cow’s blood from a wine glass, like some high class broad.
While it now made sense that Izuku’s best friend was a vampire, it still annoyed him greatly.
“Piss off, IcyHot,” the wolf grumbles to himself. He was definitely not pining. Or being mopey.
The vampire above him tuts with his tongue before sarcastically replying, “it’s almost disturbing really, how once you mutts form a bond, you wait in the wings for your mate to return, just like a dog would await its master.”
Now, normally, a remark like this would piss him off.
It would equally incite his rage knowing a fucking vampire had said it.
But right now, this was not the case.
The closest thing he could describe it as, was water rushing past his ears. Or an adrenaline spike. Or his heart literally jumping into his throat. It was an epiphany at its finest.
His eyes had blown wide, startling the vampire, no doubt.
“Do you really think that?” He asks suddenly enough to give the bi-colored man whiplash.
"… Yes?” Shouto queries, uncertain as to where he was going with this sudden desperation.
Katsuki sits there silently, for the first time Shouto has surely ever seen him do so.
“How much would you say you know about Were’s?” Katsuki finally replies.
The vampire quirks a brow, but humors him and takes a seat across from him at the table.
“I’ve been alive a lot longer than you have, so I’d assume I’d know quite a bit,” the vampire supplies.
It was an olive branch.
Katsuki fucking hated olives, but he was willing to bite.
“Okay… fucking humor me. Because I know this is weird as hell, but do you think it’s possible… to form a bond with a non-living creature?”
“You’re right, that does sound asinine,” Shouto quips, taking a slow sip from his wine glass.
“Fuck you, answer the question,” Katsuki all but growls.
“Well… considering I’ve seen all sorts of things, I assume a union between something like a wolf and an undead would be possible, a bit on the weird side though, he’s like everyone’s dad," the vampire deadpans.
This motherfucker, seriously went there?
“Okay, firstly, go die. Secondly, you are a gross fuck for suggesting that, you know damn well what I fucking meant, now tell me if you think it’s fucking possible or not!” He all but shouts.
The douchebag had the gall to smirk.
If he wasn’t Izuku’s best friend, he would fucking dust this asshole.
“Okay, I’ll play along, for the sake of all our eardrums. I’m sure even Kirishima could hear your wailing and it’s not even sundown yet,” the vampire sasses.
“Fucking please?” Katsuki growls as politely as he could muster.
He never used the P word and never toward a bloodsucker.
“Let’s go over the basics, shall we?” Shouto acquiesces, to which Kastuki nods. “You’re a 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒘𝒐𝒍𝒇; curseborn or wolfborn?”
“Wolfborn,” Katsuki mutters, but gives him his full attention.
“Even better,” Shouto quips, “so… all wolves can form an affinity, or bond of some type. The difference here, however, is that while curseborn wolves bond and trot, wolfborn’s form affinities for life. It’s got something to do with your chemistry. Curseborn’s were initially human, they don’t often form lifetime bonds. Wolfborn’s, however, do.”
“Tell me something I don’t know, asshole,” Katsuki gripes.
“I’m getting there, you impatient twit,” Shouto scowls, taking yet another sip from his wine glass. “This has to do with souls.”
That seems to pique Katsuki’s interest, his attention now rapt.
“Human’s, very rarely, will have soulmates. It happens, but not often. It literally has to do with if the timing is right. A person could have a soulmate that wouldn’t be born until they’ve died. It’s… rather unfortunate how fickle their lifespans are. However, wolfborn’s have much longer lifespans, thus increasing their chances of forming affinities.”
Katsuki nods, showing he’s still following, so Shouto continues, “Due to this fortunate circumstance, a wolfborn forms the affinity with their soulmate. Bonding them together, heart and soul, correct?”
“Yeah, so?” Katsuki replies with uncertainty.
“So, it stands to reason, that if a human boy who indeed had a soulmate, died, and their soulmate wasn’t born yet, and years later this young wolfborn just so happens to stumble into their afterlife like an angsty foulmouthed dog, pining at their kitchen table like a dumbass…” the vampire trails off, gesturing to the wolf belatedly.
Katsuki’s eyes widen yet again, “then you do think it’s possible?”
A rare smile quirks the vampire’s pursed lips, “wolfborn’s have soulmates, because they fall in love with their souls, Bakugou. If a poltergeist isn’t a soul, I don’t know what else is. But I’ll tell you this, if you fuck up… even once. You’ll know what true wrath is. And I don’t think I need to explain the ways that I’ll gut you, if you hurt him.”
Katsuki stares at him in awe, like this vampiric cur just handed him the keys to the kingdom.
They’d never been more on the same page than they were right then.
His biggest mistake was letting Shimura Tenko 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆.
It wasn’t uncommon for them to take human lovers either, so most people here were pretty well informed and accepting. So seeing a poltergeist and a werewolf wander into town together for food and supplies, wasn’t that abnormal.
Besides, they had one another’s back, should anything go sideways.
In getting to know the poltergeist, Katsuki had heard many stories and had been given innocent demonstrations of just how ‘un-helpless’ Deku could be. Most left the wolf grateful they were on the same side. Others left him with an unexplained thrill at simply being allowed to know him.
“So… you can’t eat, but you enjoy grocery shopping?” Katsuki asks, his tone laced with skepticism as they leisurely walked through a bodega.
Deku nods brightly with a full sun-warmed smile. “It’s cathartic. I might not be able to enjoy what I make, but I know some of the others do. Mina loves it when I make fairy cakes and Ochaco loves my pies. Kirishima enjoys my curry as well-”
“Wait, you make curry?” Katsuki interjects.
“I do!” Izuku replies earnestly.
“How hot?” the wolf queries, all but innocently.
“Uh…” Izuku seems to ponder this, “depends really, I tend to make it decently hot and adjust the temperature to everyone’s individual liking.”
A feral grin overtakes the wolf’s features, “you’ve been holding out on me, Deku. It’s time to pay up.”
The forested boy’s already bright smile blooms enough to crinkle his eyes, “if it’s curry you want, I’ll gladly make you some.”
“Hell yeah,” Katsuki replies, trying and failing to reign in his excitement, “so what exactly are we here for today?”
“Just like with the equinox, I like to make a big meal for Samhain,” Izuku explains, his viridian eyes bright.
“What’s that?” Katsuki inquires, his brow quirked.
“Everyone calls it something different. Halloween, Samhain, The Day of the Dead, for example. But in almost every culture that celebrates it, it usually all means the same thing. Everyone celebrates death. They celebrate the lives of their departed loved ones, or the changing of the seasons, new beginnings, or just like regular old Halloween, people dress up and just have fun. Ochaco likes to think of Samhain as the pagan new year,” Izuku explains.
“You coulda led with Halloween and skipped the cultural lesson, ya nerd,” Katsuki kids, giving Izuku’s shoulder a nudge.
This makes the forested boy laugh, “sorry, Kacchan! I just get so excited about this time of the year!”
“I bet you do, what ghost wouldn’t want a license to spook people?” Katsuki teases.
Izuku smiles and shrugs, scratching behind his head awkwardly, “Uh… I dunno. I think I’ve had my fill of spookiness to last most a lifetime. For me, it’s about the deeper meaning, you know? 𝑹𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 loved ones who have passed, or embracing the new opportunities the coming year can bring. That sort of stuff.”
Katsuki nods as he listens.
He hadn’t considered that and it leaves him wondering, “say… Deku, do you think anyone remembers you?”
A small sad smile overtakes the boy and immediately, Katsuki begins to regret asking. That is, until resolve also etches within his features.
“Who needs anyone to remember me back then, when I have you now,” Izuku replies sincerely.
A traitorous heat begins to flush the wolf’s face.
“I’m serious,” Izuku continues, taking his silence for skepticism, “I have you, and Toshi, and Shou, and everyone else who loves me, here and now. That’s… all I need.”
Katsuki eyes him carefully, his own affectionate smile forming despite himself. Giving in, he slings an arm around Izuku’s shoulder as they continue their walk, feeling content as Izuku presses lightly against him.
“Yeah… you're damn right it is…”
And like the big heart Toshinori was, he’d offered him asylum.
The wolf couldn’t help but feel like this was a mistake.
Izuku, bless him, was doing all that he could to aide the new addition, by helping wrap his wounds and feed him substantial meals. He dedicated himself to his care, like any other refugee they’ve taken in.
Still, Katsuki felt like he should feel like an ass for being so dickish about this, but something truly unnerved him about the guy.
And his scent was weird.
Almost as though it were both familiar and not all at once.
It was like familiarity, mixed with rot and 𝒅𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒚.
And with everyone being so busy tending to both the weirdo and the holiday preparations, Katsuki’s concerns went amiss.
By all except one.
This piques the wolf’s interest.
“Which one?” He mutters, belatedly, propelling Yoshi faster down the rainbow road.
“Scarface,” the demon replies, distractedly, attempting to hit Yoshi with a turtle shell.
Katsuki sighs, “which one?!” He retaliates with a banana peel.
Denki rolls his eyes, “new guy, not Shou.”
As the turtle shell knocks into Yoshi and he spins out, Katsuki couldn’t care less, his attention was now hooked.
“How do you mean?” the wolf demands, his voice suddenly very low.
“I dunno dude,” Denki shrugs, “I’m a demon… and it’s not weird for us to make deals with humans, but… this guy is on my ‘red alert’ radar, ya feel? He… doesn’t seem 𝒉𝒖𝒎𝒂𝒏, but he does at the same time. It’s messin’ me up.”
Katsuki is quiet for a moment. For once, glad that the Pikachu reject seemed more intuitive than he first thought.
“I think you’re right,” he replies after some time, much to the astonishment of said demon.
When Kirishima barreled into his room that night, Katsuki knew something was dead wrong.
It was October 30th and a 𝒔𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎 like no other rattled the very walls and shattered the silence of the night.
"We're under attack!" The redhead relays with urgency.
A feeling like fire blazed within him, a searing pain.
And as he jumped out of his bed, he knew.
Something was seriously wrong with Izuku.
Katsuki and Kirishima couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Their loved one, ablaze, and writhing in pain.
His screams like that of a banshee, wailed through the night, shattering the windows around them and rattling the mortuaries very structure.
Panicked, Katsuki tries to leap into action, only to be halted by Kirishima’s firm grip, “Dude, no!”
“Let go, Shitty Hair!” The wolf barks in protest.
“It’s almost funny,” a raspy voice pipes up from a darkened corner, “his soul might not be bound to his bones, but burning them still hurts like hell.”
The man emerges, analyzing his fingernails nonchalantly. As if he had nothing better to do.
“You,” Katsuki growls lowly, enough so to startle his friend into letting him go.
“He helped you!” Kirishima protests, “why would you do this?!”
“Oh, he helped, alright,” Tomura trills cruelly, “he helped me realize he was the only true threat here. If I took him out first, well… all of you would be much easier to kill.”
As Izuku continues to writhe in pain, he utters “h-hunter,” before succumbing to a state of unconsciousness.
“Oops,” Shigaraki shrugs, “he spilled the beans, ah well… I was never going to let any of you live anyway, so here we are.”
As cruel vermilion eyes meet that of enraged scarlet, familiarity sparks within the wolf.
The reason his scent bothered him so much. Or Denki’s confession of how ‘odd’ he was. It all suddenly made sense.
“You… you’re Shimura Tenko,” Katsuki utters, his blood running cold, “but… how?”
“Well, when you can’t beat an enemy, the only other option is sacrifice. And believe me when I say, Bakugou Katsuki… I sincerely wanted you dead badly enough to make a deal with a demon. Killing your boyfriend in front of you, though? Now that’s just a lucky break," the hunter grins in sadistic amusement.
A growl so feral; that Kirishima flinches and backs up, rips through him as he shifts.
With just a shared look, the gargoyle nods and flees from the room in search of back up.
The wolf, in turn, stalks forward, his body poised to kill, only pausing when Shimura’s steel-toed boot hovers over Izuku’s left hand.
Just above the amulet containing Izuku’s bound soul.
“Ah, ah, not a step closer, or your mate here, takes a more permanent dirt nap,” Shimura threatens.
Katsuki's ensuing bark rips through quiet of the room, his muzzle pulling back in a fierce snarl, bearing nothing but razor-sharp fangs. His expression promising nothing but pain.
"Ooh, scary!" The hunter taunts him, "you really do love this pile of plasma, don't you? How unfortunate. How about I do you a solid and level the playing field? Once you're dead, you can both finally be together! That is… until I destroy this amulet, of course. We can't have a pissed off and out of control poltergeist on our hands, now can we? That would be awkward."
Katsuki’s self-control snaps as his lunges, tackling the hunter to the ground.
Together they roll, each trying to gain the upper hand, in a flurry of limbs and teeth.
Katsuki yelps as something strange occurs, leaping back, he watches as patches of his fur fall to the floor, dissolving as they went.
Panic spikes within him.
“Heh, a neat trick, isn’t it?” The hunter brags, “it’s kind of fascinating, who knew selling your soul would grant a person such power? I can dissolve anything I lay my hands on. Imagine what that will be like, watching your mates amulet deconstruct in the palm of my hand. I wonder… would he feel it?”
Katsuki gnashes his teeth and he begins to circle the hunter, stopping only when he was in front of Izuku’s prone form.
“Oh? And that help your friend was going to get? Don’t count on that falling through. I came prepared after all,” Tenko shrugs.
Suddenly, the distinct smell of smoke begins to filter through the air. Followed by shouts and sounds of a struggle. More enemies were laying siege to their refuge.
“There is only one way this will end,” the hunter sneers.
The ensuing clash, was one of desperation, blood, fangs and claws, as Kastuki fought with his all against an opponent that was literally taking chunks out of him at a time.
Each man willing to fight to the death if need be.
One aiming to destroy.
One aiming to protect.
Until suddenly, everything stops.
He feels his fur literally stand on end.
An almost electric energy, unlike anything Katsuki has ever felt in his life, explodes around them. The atmosphere of which was decidedly eerie, thick, and heavy with hatred. So much so that it stops the wolf in his tracks, making him cower near Izuku’s bones.
Turning, ever so slightly, he sees him.
A 𝒘𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒕𝒉, the likes of which only came from the darkest of horrors.
The visage of what could only be his love; twisted, malformed, and utterly unrecognizable. Gone was that feeling of peace. The flow and beauty of him. Leaving nothing but a deep darkness, crawling and coiling. Wispy tendrils like putrid green ink, writhing and choking the oxygen from the very room he’d once been so at ease in.
Katsuki couldn’t form into coherent thought, how much the sight had hurt him to see. But for some reason, he still felt it. That safety. That same feeling from the night they met.
This was still his Izuku.
The wolf limps out of the way as the enraged poltergeist flows ever nearer, that inky blackness mixing with green static. Raising a gnarled ghostly hand ever so slightly as he went.
Katsuki watches in shock as Shimura Tenko is lifted 3 feet off the floor, hovering, as though petrified in midair.
“Y̴͙̖̦̞̼̓̿͛̎õ̷̫̮̭͕͋̚͝͝ú̶̢͉̙̟̹̲́̾͗͝ ̴̧͔̗̲͙̒̎̏̅̆͌c̴̛̞͎͙͙̳͐͊̅̌͛ö̴̦̦̦͚́̈́́͠m̵͙̘̭̯̤̌̔̽̈͜ͅe̵̖͔̓͊́́͑͂̾̿͝ ̵͈̭̓̌͘ĭ̴̩͉̫̹̠͉̫̳̗͖̅̐̈́̔͗̊͘n̴̫̮͈͊̍̂̇͜t̸̡̖̘̱̃̓̓͗̔̔o̶̙̾̓͒̑̇̚ ̸̮̻̝͚̘̦̳̥̄̔̃̆̃̐̿̐̕͜ō̶͍̼̹̣͚̙̜̓̐ư̵̼̤̰̏̎̒̚͠͝ř̶̻͇͐̅̌͂ ̵̤͇̬̪̜̖̟͈̭͓̏͐̃̈́̅h̵̯̣͓͎̞͍̋̐o̴̧̧͍̟͇͇͚͍̜͛͛̔͝ḿ̶͍̳͉̟͔̑͋̂͛̒̑̆͊̕ͅe̶̢̛͗͂̋̓̕͝͝…̴̯̗̞̭͂̍̈́͌̽̀͑͝”
Katsuki shivers involuntarily as Izuku speaks. The very sound of his voice, loud enough to rattle the foundation, yet leaving soft ghostly echoes in its wake.
“W̷͓͔̯̝̑̐̃̔ͅě̶̄́̀̅͜͠ ̵̧͔̱̙̯̈̌͗o̵̹̜̟͔͗f̵͍͈̺̆͛ͅf̷̡̡̯͈̰̳̰̠͒̀͂͆̌̓̾͗̍̕ě̸͔̱̻̯̜̏̀ȑ̴̺͋̃͌̀͌̉͜͠͝e̵̡̢̮͉̘̹͉͖̹͐͛̓̍͜d̴͎̫̫̳̔̉͛̀͛̓̽̕͜͝ ̵͔̱͈͕͔͇̱̭̿̌̂̈́̓ͅy̶̡͉͉͓̖̪͛̏̍̉̓͜ͅǫ̷̢̡̘̼̲̖͕̬͊̊̑̔͘͝u̵̢͚̠̹̝̱̬͍͆͂̓̍̅̉ͅ ̴̨͖̤̫͍̼̯̻͖̈̅̾͆͝͝ȃ̵̡̘̠̗͇̳̓̉͐s̴̡̬͚̦͋͘ȳ̷̡̲̟͖̱̥͆͋̀̊͒̄͝l̴̡̹̬̠̩̏̔̽͝ư̵͇̞̪̠̿̿̿̌̓m̴̙̻̠̗̉̑͊̏͛.̷̨̤̫̫̥̩͂̔̍̊̎̄̚.̵̤̬̻̩̗͂̊̓͑̿̊͆͘͜.̴̝͚̳̑ ̴͇̣̈́̎̇́ͅa̶̧͔̘̣̞̝̱̺͚͐̐̿̑n̴̨̢̜̖̹̣̭̾͐̂ď̴̛̙̣̫̟̰̫͊́̎̚͜ ̶̧̧͙͚̖͙̰͕̔̃͗͐̆͒̅̔t̵̰͙̬̋͂͛̌͛͌̂̅͗͠h̶̨̜̖͍̳̰́̓ͅi̷̪̼̔̂̏͘s̵̢̯̩̻͇̮̱͑̓̽͛̆̑͆͜ ̴͚̪͐̌̍̃͘ị̵͓̏̾̈̏̋͑͒̂͝s̷̡̰͖͍̀̀̊͒̏̄̉ ̶̺̥͎̮̰͚̈́͛̏̽̑̑͘ĥ̵̨̭͙͍̪̗̝̜o̷̞̯͝w̵̡̼̥̌͛̈́̎̓̈́͗̚͜͝ ̸͚͔͐̈́͆̕͝o̴͕͓͍͎͓͖̺̜̽ù̷̟͍r̶̛̯̙͓͎̖͔̘̖̬̻̈́̌̈̇͂̊ ̶͚̽̑̅̊̈̿̎̽̓͘͜k̸̨̗͎̂̌ì̸̢̮͚̆̔̾̊̚͝n̵̡̛͍̫̦̘̝̹͕͇͔̈́d̷̢͔̖̠͇̰̲̾̿n̷̨͎̞̘̱̓̔͘e̸̡̛̥̻͎͕̅͌͆͘ṣ̴̝̲̂̈́̔̓ś̷͖̬̣̞̏̔̅̈́̎̄͌ ̶̢͚͖͕̜̊͘ͅȋ̷̹͗̆s̴͚͐̿ ̵̟̫͙̈̊̇̽̏̊͛͛͊̃r̶̢̠͉̰̱̭͍͔̊͗̐̓̾͒̚è̸̹̩̋̏͊p̶̛̹̼̥͍̒͊̋̍̉̋̽̈å̴̪͓̳̥̼̗̳̣̣͑̒́̐̑̃i̶̱̼̲̱͖̅̍̇d̷̤̂̈́͆?̶̬̬̥̖̻̯͍̈́͛͛̄̀̓͜͝”
The hunter writhes in panic as he attempts to break free from the spectre’s invisible hold.
Ỷ̷̤̩̰̦̻͑́̒̓͑͋͘͜͝ơ̶̧̹̫̹̰̩̲̲͖̓̑̓͒͗̕ų̶͙̬̬̼̎́̊͜͠ ̶̼͇̮̤͒̌̍͝h̸̟͌̈̋̀̇u̷̦̭̗͊͒͘ȑ̷̠̅̈́ţ̵͖̹̪̠̥̟͓̱̖̊ ̷̰͍͕̋͑̈́̿̾̍̂̕m̷̱̗͙̞̟̙͔̃̋̔͋̒͂̕͜y̷͈̬̦͠ ̶̧̟͕̪͈̰͉̟̮̀͛͋̈́̒̈́̓͌̉̿f̸͓͙̠̝̙̱̭̹̪͕̈̐ȧ̷̢̛̛̤̗̃̓̾͛̚͝m̷̦͋̆̄̂̆͂̈͆̓͘į̶̞̩̥͍̪̥̗̫͙̀̐̋̏̈̈͠l̴̜͇͆͗͛̈́͗͊͛̉̈́̕y̴̨̢̢͓͔̳͈̫͉̌͊͐̇̿,̶͇̜̠͕̻̩̹̅͋̏͝͝ ̴̡͈̜̘̤̙̜̔͛̂̈́̍y̶͖͖̭̙̖͔̯̿̇̕ơ̷̦̙̤͕̪͚͓̈́̈́̅̓̂͑̀̏͜u̸̹͎̽̉̍͂̃ͅ ̵̧̯̩̞̟̭̬͈̣͚͐͆͐h̶̡̢͇͇̹͋̅͑͐̽̓̕͘͠ͅu̸̺̳͆r̵̨̛̺͔̪̱̫͉̃̿̉͐͂͠t̸̼̱̬͍̗̖͉̥͗̏̽͊̓̋͛͠ ̴̹͇̼͖͖̪̖͙͕͂̈́̿m̴̜̹͙̣̥̃̏̍̂y̵̨̳͍͛͒̆͝ ̷̧̺̗͍̘̰̻͔́̊l̷̡̛̰͉͇̭̗͕̋̉̆̐͐̿͛ò̷͛̈́̽ͅv̶̠̟̭̺͓̘͓̝̹͖͊́͂̃̔̂̓͘e̶͕̮͓͈͇̠͓̣̞̚,̷̦͇͚̹͇͙̍̏͆̎̀̔̃͝ ̷̨̢͈̯̠̮̒̐͒͜a̶͚͖̐̆̅n̴͉͍̬̰̦̖d̵̟̣̳̜̺̠̆͆̐̅ ̸̦̏͆̈́͋̄̿̅́̄f̵̢̘̻͊͜o̶̬̥̾͛̾̉̚r̶̞̩̿̕ ̴̘̰̹͙͊t̶̙̰̃̄h̶͔͖̜̫̣̅̃͛̌̊͝a̴̯͇̐̏̚̚͠t̸̡̢̧̹̣̝̺̟͓͂̂̈́̀̉͠…̵͉̬̎͛̿̆̒͗͜ͅ”
In an instant, the shaking of the foundation, the smell of smoke, the sounds of echoing struggles, all cease. And suddenly everything around them is thrust back into its proper place. Shattered glass zipping around the room until the windows were once again whole and undisturbed. As though time itself were being rewound.
Katsuki watches in astonishment as each of his wounds heal before his very eyes.
It came as a whisper.
And Katsuki watches closely, as Shimura Tenko’s skin begins to peel from his flesh and curl away as it dissipates to ash. His own power turned against him.
“Ȯ̷̧̼͇͕̗̾̓͝ṉ̷̪̮̯̟͔̱̝̦̖̊̊̓̂͂̉́ẹ̷̝̝̠̬̬̾̒ ̴̮̖̦̟̤͚̣̘͛̈̏͂̅͗͠ͅw̶̧̪͖̔̽̈́͗͑͋̄̈͝i̸̢̧̹̬͉͐̎͜͜ḽ̸̡̟̹͈̿l̶̤̼͍̯͈̟͔̙̦̍̔̔̎̄́ ̶̻̖͑d̸̲͔̠͎͕̜͔̾̽͑͘͝ĩ̷̲̲̣͖͓̳̟͉̗̾̇̑͛̀͘̚͝ě̶͍͎̫̼̈́̌̅ ̵̧̲͚̲͌̌̉t̷̨͔͍͈̜̰͙̮̘͖̅̅́̓͛o̷̧̡̳̺̩̬̼̪͇͛̊n̶̛͕̂͐̈́͒̐̆̈͠͝i̶̢̡̭̦͍̫̺̬̓̈͒͊̈́͜g̷̨̧̦͉̩͌͛̐̌̔̍̏͐̃͘ḧ̵̰̜t̶̹͈̤̩͖̓͜.̵̯̺̠̖͌͊̄̇͘͘͝”
And while everything was back in one piece, and everyone had mutually decided to carry on with their traditions, all of them were decidedly subdued.
Tonight was the night in which the dead were celebrated, but none of them would ever have suspected that it would hit so close to home.
That one of theirs would be taken, in a cruel twist of fate.
It was a cold night, colder than usual, but Katsuki didn’t mind.
He’d always run a little hotter than most, anyway.
He much preferred sitting on the cold porch to sitting inside, pretending his world hadn’t just collapsed.
He’d been out here for hours. And though the other’s occasionally checked on him, they were understanding enough to give him space.
Familiar footfalls and the smell of posies draw Katsuki from his ruminations.
The wolf barely moves as the undead walks through the front door and sits next to him on the steps.
A sorrowful, but comfortable silence falls between them.
And to Toshinori’s surprise, Katsuki is the one who breaks it.
“Do you think he knew?” He murmurs, worrying the knit pattern of a sweater that wasn’t his, between his fingers.
Toshinori exhales a sigh from his nose, taking a moment to ponder this before replying, “I think… that Izuku knew where his choice would lead. I think… he didn’t regret it for a second.”
“He didn’t want to betray your trust, he… he was protecting me. Protecting all of us,” Katsuki defends hurriedly, hoping the man would understand.
Toshinori smiles sadly as he eyes the wolf.
Katsuki was sure that if he could cry, tears would undoubtedly be streaming down the older man’s face.
“I know, young one. I know. There… was no humane way of dealing with a monster like that. Izuku… knew he had to be put down. He understood that more than most. It just… must have scared him, knowing that in order to make things right, he too, would once again... tread in dark waters to do so,” Toshinori replies sadly, his gaze far away.
Silence hangs between them.
Toshinori shifts after a while, putting a reassuring hand on Katsuki’s shoulder and gives it a squeeze.
As the older man stands, he holds out his hand to the confused wolf, who offers his in return.
Rather than pulling him up, like he expected, the undead sets something in his palm, closing both of his hands around it.
Katsuki eyes him in silent curiosity.
“He would want you to hold onto it. And… I trust you to keep him safe,” the undead explains.
Opening his closed palm, Katsuki eyes the ornate silver ring, still set with that beautiful emerald, so akin to his eyes. He watches as it very faintly pulsates with the tiniest of 𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔.
Katsuki can’t help the hope that blooms within him as he locks eyes with warm-milky cobalt.
“Is he…?” He breathes.
Toshinori shrugs, “he’s always been full of surprises. Maybe he'll give us one more?"
Offering the wolf one last smile, the older man takes himself back inside.
Because as he slips the tiny amulet onto his finger, he knows.
That come what may, his 𝒎𝒐𝒐𝒏 would always be his guiding light.
𝘔𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘸,
𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦,
𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘐 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘮,
𝘐 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘦'𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦.
𝘉𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘮𝘯 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵,
𝘔𝘺 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵.