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You swear he would have just kept going until he dropped dead if you didn’t stop him. He’s lucky you hadn’t called Dr. Swineheart. The man has the patience of a saint, but the last time he saw Bigby with an injury severe enough to almost cripple him (and kill any regular man), he swore he’d do it himself next to time and save them both the trouble.

“I have a lead!”

His gruff voice protests, wincing away from your touch when you make a sloppy attempt at a stitch. You’ve told him to hold still multiple times, but the wolf doesn’t want to listen. Instead he drones on and on about how he’s got better things to be doing than being poked and prodded at by you. You want to yell at him for being so selfish, but keep your mouth tightly shut, your jaw clenched so hard you’re surprised you haven’t chipped a tooth yet. He goes to rise to his feet, but doesn’t make it very far.

“You have a stab wound. Sit down.”

You catch him before he falls forward, a soft ‘oomph’ sound followed by a groan coming from Bigby when your hands land on the tender skin surrounding his injury. You frown, then purse your lips as you carefully guide him back into his chair. Colin watches from the other side of the room, languidly draped along the floor, looking severely unimpressed.

“And you’re getting blood all over the floor.” He comments. You shoot him a look, and he does what you assume is a shrug before the pig rests his head back down, your expression silencing any more comments from the peanut gallery.

“That’s enough, Colin.” Bigby adds, clearly catching the look you sent his roommate. He’s been at this case for weeks. A fable has been going around vandalizing and destroying the property of many of the other fables, including the Trip Trap and The Lucky Pawn. Shit-holes to begin with, but as the towns sheriff it’s his job to put an end to it, regardless if the vandalism seemed to be an improvement.

Bigby still hasn’t explained how he had gotten stabbed, and you’re a little afraid to ask. It’s not often that someone gets the slip on him, and since the nightmare that was The Crooked Man, Bigby has been especially vigilant at making sure the Fables he goes after don’t leave him worse for wear when he returns home to you. He had almost died multiple times during the course of that investigation, and you had pleaded with him to take it easy. It seems you two have very different definitions of what that word means. You assume this lead had been the reason he came home leaking blood from his side like a faucet.

You’re speaking to him, but he doesn’t really hear you. The scent of his own blood mixed with the cigarettes he smokes sets his teeth on edge. Bigby swears it was one of the Tweedles. He wouldn’t put it past one of the ‘investigators’ to go after him (they have before and they certainly would again for a steep enough price), but he figures they’re both too stupid to be anything more than just hired muscle. They aren’t directly behind this. Whoever’s committing these crimes has caught wind of Bigby’s break, and doesn’t want him gaining any more footing. His dedication to his work is often admirable, but right now you just wished he’d focus on something other than who he’s going after next.

The sound of you snapping your fingers in front of his face has him crashing back into reality. His expression looks pinched, and you want to reach out and soothe the worry from his face. You know it’s no good when he’s like this. It’s the only time you really see him for the predator that he is, and the monster people feared. He’d never hurt you, but the look in his eyes is dangerous. He’s not going to stop fighting until you let him do what he has to. Bigby vowed to protect Fabletown, and you’re in no position to stop him.

“I need to go.”

Bigby rises to his feet and presses a lingering kiss to your hairline. You haven’t finished yet, but he’ll heal on his own. You close your eyes and savor the gentleness of it. It’s easier for him to succumb to the darker parts of his personality, so when he chooses to show the softer sides of himself it reminds you that they’ve got him all wrong. You mourn the loss of his lips when he leans away. His gaze stays on you for a few moments before he looks around, as if just now realizing what big of a mess he’s made, and even has the forethought to look sheepish.

“Sorry about the..blood.” He grimaces a little, rubbing the back of his neck. It’ll stain the wood if it hasn’t begun to already. He knows how much effort you’ve put into making his apartment look good. All you do is huff and usher him towards the door, not so eager to let him go, but not willing to let him leave without a goodbye.

“Hurry back.”

You’ve stopped telling him to be careful months ago, the sentiment falling on deaf ears. Standing in the doorway, he leans down and kisses you, soft and slow and filled with everything he can’t bring himself to say out loud.

“Don’t wait up for me.”

He turns on his heel then and fishes the pack of cigarettes out of his pocket. Lighting one, he looks at you one more time before walking away.