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That's Hallowed Ground

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There is a house far up in the mountain, buried in the forest.

A moderately sized cabin, made of wood and stone, in a small level clearing.  

Quaint and simple.  The only bits of flourish are the navy blue door, the gray shutters on the windows, and the dark metal handles on them.  Oh and perhaps the delicate looking glass-looking chimes that hung on the porch. Everything else appeared as natural as it could come.

It was a place few people saw.

One had to be truly lost to stumble upon it on a hike.  Or just at all really. It was well out of the way of paths and roads.  Truly hidden within the nature of the forest. Difficult to get it, without knowing the right way to get to it. 

But just because it was hard to find, didn’t mean it didn’t exist.

Everyone in the small town at the mountain base knew it existed.

It was something of an old story of the town’s.  An old wives tale that no one can really remember how it started, or what was the right way to tell it. .

Some people claim a monster or two lives there.  Beasts never seen before. Others say a werewolf, or a vampire live there.  A daring few say one of each lives there together in a forbidden sort of romance.  There are some that say ghosts live there in trapped in a peaceful plane they don’t want to leave.  A few others claim it is just a simple couple that lives happily in seclusion.

Everyone knew some variation of the story

And, no matter what it is, at the core they are all similar

In the 60s two men came to the town, and bought supplies to build the cabin.  They would come to town every so often, for odds and ends here and there. Usually cloudy days or in the evenings before everything closed down.  They kept to themselves most of the time, hung close to the the other They had an edge to them, but they were both well mannered and kind.

No one ever really figured out where they actually lived or built the cabin.  They either came back paler, dazed, not remembering where they went and did for the day, or they were chased off by wolves.  Or they were just never seen again. 

Only the two men seemed to go to and from with not issue.  And it is claimed they still visit the town, looking like they haven’t aged a day.

Some people in the town believe the story to be an attempt to attract tourists.  A silly sort of attempt to make folklore out of a simple story of two men that moved to the town, and lived in seclusion to hide a relationship.  Or something used to scare children into behaving or stop them from running into the forest and getting lost.

Others claim it to be real.  

They know it to be real.

Either way, there is a cabin hidden in the mountainside forest.

And two beings live inside it.

Shiro could feel himself slipping.

He had collapsed on the forest floor hours ago.  

Too weak and battered to try and get up without a small rest.  One he that should have ended hours ago, but he kept extending it.  Always just a minute or two more to collect himself, summon his strength to keep moving.  But there is nothing left.

He was weak and drained.  

Everything about him was running on empty.  

Had been since he managed to escape the horrible place he was in.  And to be honest, he ran on the bare minimum there. Honestly it was probably a testament to his willpower he wasn’t feral like half the other that had been there.  That he survived on what little they gave him.

But now Shiro could feel himself losing his grip on his consciousness and control.

He needed to feed.

On anything really.  He didn’t care at this point.  Any blood would do to just take the edge off.  Help him make it somewhere safe, and didn’t make him jump the first human he stumbled across.

Of course to feed, he needed to get up and…

He just can’t.

There is a rustling sound in the bushes to his right.  Followed by a low rumble of a growl and more rustling all around him.  All of it closer than it had been before, shuffling into formation. Shiro wasn’t surprised when he turned to his right to see a wolf stalking forward out of nightly fog.

He had heard them circling for the last half hour.

And he was sure this was going to be his endd.  Which was maybe something he deserved for everything he did in that horrible place.  This was the universe getting back at him, while also giving him a silver lining. Because they can’t take him back if he’s dead.

The wolf bares it teeth and growls.

Shiro can hear the other members of it’s pack start to close in.  All sounded off as they moved into place, while he just... surrenders. Ripped apart by wolves after escaping really honestly doesn’t sound like the worst way to go.

Then he smells it…

Werewolf .

Shiro’s eyes widened when a human figure walked out of the fog by the first wolf.  Carefully keeping their distance. Because as much as they could kill Shiro with a bite, he could very much do the same.  

They stare down at him with glowing blue eyes.

And a darkness overtook Shiro.

They made a mistake.

They had always walked a dangerous line.  

Ever since they meet.  Ever since they become friends.  Ever since they fell in love. They always had walked it.  Always been mindful of it and where it was. Because old myths come from somewhere, and if they weren’t careful it could go bad.

But they made a mistake.

In the heat of a passionate moment, instinct took over.

And they bit down.

Now Lance was growing cold, and Shiro’s bones are cracking.

They left to get away.

The two of them they had become something else.  Something else that hadn’t existed before. That shouldn’t even technically exist if the old texts were supposed to be believed any more.  People got scared.

So they left.

Run to some little, far off, not even on the map sort of place in the mountains to live out their lives, however long they were going to be.  Where they no one could find them. And they wouldn’t bother anyone.  

And they could sort themselves out more…

Because well they didn’t know what they were.  What it meant to be what they were. They had to learn what things meant and what they could do.  Relying on the other to explain things they didn’t understand about the new part of their being. Adjust to the new pros and cons they maybe didn’t have before.

It was perfect for a while.

But then the Hunters came one dawn.

They found them again.  

Followed the trail of mistakes back to them, and invaded their home.  

Both of them sprang into action.  Showing no mercy, because they just wanted peace.  The Hunters didn’t want them to exist. To be fair, most of them don't want any supernatural creatures to exist, period.  And they were something that really shouldn’t exist.

Lance had shifted into his wolf, and had roughly taken down two of the hunters.  Shiro had snapped the neck of three others. He turned to look at Lance as pounced towards a third hunter with a loud bark.  The hunter died almost instantly when Lance closed his jaw on their body.

Then Shiro hear the cock of a gun.

He turned to see a hunter take aim on the massive form of Lance’s wolf that was tearing off a limb or two, with fluid ease.  Shiro knows it loaded with silver.

Shiro called out in warning.

But it was too late.

The gun had fired.

Shiro woke up with a slight start.

As he usually did when he had that dream.  

In comparison to some of the nightmares he wakes up from, it isn’t the worst.  There were far worse things for sure. Things that had him waking up screaming, crying, or in the middle of a panic attack.  

No, that dream was left him with a gasp escaping his lips.  Sometimes staring at the ceiling or the wall for a sec, before he rolled over.  But that was really it.

Shiro was fine with that.

But he was surprised by the feeling of something heavy on his chest.

Slowly, he lifted his head from his pillow.  His eyes quickly adjusting to the limited light of early dawn as he did so.  Quickly finding a massive wolf head on his resting on his chest. And a hulking mass of the wolf’s body on the left side of the bed.

Most of the wolf’s body was under the covers of the bed...or attempted to be.  Shiro can see the edged of the navy comforter flipping up oddly over the wolf’s far shoulder.  Not to mention the wolf was curled up tightly to fit on the other side of the bed. Fitting in a loop side way, in a way that Shiro knew a decent amount was hanging off, with their paws shoved under the pillows on the other side.  Their fur tickling at Shiro’s bare skin in a soft, warm, and familiar way.

The wolf took a deep sleep filled breath and released it.

Which quelled the bit that was started to form in Shiro’s stomach.

Shiro smiled down at his husband.

He shook his head slightly as he sighed to himself.  Carefully moved his left arm out from under the wolf’s neck.  Bringing it up to gently pet the top of his husband’s head and relish the feeling of his soft multi-tone brown fur.  He took in a deep breath of the familiar scent and let it wash over and calm him down complete.

“Lance,” Shiro chuckled out soft as his husband nuzzled closer at the feeling.

He chuckled more, when Lance smacked his lips in protest at the sound.  Sleepily expression his want to not get up just yet. 

Shiro let him settle comfortably into a new position.

Then he weaved his fingers into Lance’s soft fur.  

Welcoming the calmness is brought him as he lazily pet and scratched at the other’s head.  Easily letting himself get lost in the moment and the feeling. Running his fingers and playing with bits of fur the way he knows Lance enjoys.  Even lightly tugging at Lance’s tucked back ears the way he knows is pleasurable.

Shiro let his mind wonder.

He didn’t know where he would be if Lance hadn’t shown him kindness.

Well...maybe he did.

But he didn’t like to think about it too much.  

Because well Lance had saved him that night in the forest.  

Saved him, when every law of their species practically forbade it.

Not only from the pack of wolves that ran with him...but in general.  The first being to show Shiro true kindness after so many years of horrors he experienced in the arena.  All with a warm smile, a pleasant laugh, and a decently stubborn resolve. Because well, his family believed in helping those in need no matter what .

It was never something Shiro would stop being thankful for.

He would never stop being thankful for Lance.

Nor would he take anything back.

Not even the Bite Incident.

As problematic, confusing, and scary as it was, not to mention as impossible as it should have been to even happen.  All the new pros and cons they had to learn, and adjust to over the years. The ties they had to cut. The hunters they had to dodge, discourage, and hide from.   

It had been so liberating.

For one, no one really bothered them any more.  Sometimes an old friend swung by when they were nearby and wished to check in.  Sometimes there was a Hunter that tried something. But they had yet to find something that could do any real damage to either of them.  Occasionally some lost hiker or towns person would find there cabin, but they were quickly sent on the right back.

It was nice considering they were the only two of their kind.

The only two Vampwolves as Lance like to call them.  Much to Shiro's dismay.

Another reason was Shiro could experience the sun again with just the mildness of discomfort.  And Lance was now as immortal as Shiro. Both of them share the same strengths and weaknesses.

And Shiro was so happy.

He hummed lightly as he looked down at Lance’s giant wolf head resting on his chest.

Shiro listened to the sounds of the birds outside chirping brightly, and fluttering about as they started to stir.  Before he sighed contently.

“Lance, darling.”  Shiro spoke gently, as he ran his hand over the wolf's head.  “It’s time to wake up.”

The wolf shifted in response.

Moving onto the bed, and nuzzling his massive head into Shiro more.  Before settling back down with a content sigh.

“Lance!”  Shiro exclaimed with a chuckle.  “No, you have to wake up.”

The wolf shifted again in protest. 

“I know dear, but come on now.  It’s time to…” Shiro continued, carefully wrapping his hand around one of Lance’s ears.  “Wake. Up. Now.” He added on with a sharp tug on the ear with each word.

The wolf moved with a loud sound that loosely sound like ‘Shiro’ in dog noises.  And there is a playfully annoyed flare that is tossed at him through the bond.

Shiro chuckled as he easily moved his arm out of the way grasp of the other’s teeth, as Lance flopped towards the pillows on his side of the bed.  Denying even the smallest playful of nibbles. Which in turn did earn him another huff from the wolf beside him. One that blended in with a series of protesting noises the wolf made before sitting up on the bed and a shake of the head.

Before the wolf turned to glare at him with sharp blue eyes.

“Good morning, love.”  Shiro grinned out easily.  “Did you sleep well?”

A small wave of annoyance through the bond they shared with the other, is the answer Shiro received.

“Yeah, I know.”  Shiro returned with a roll of his eyes.  

Because, he very much did know, Lance could have slept the morning away if Shiro didn’t tug on his ears like that.  Shiro was well and truly aware of that.  

However he knows they need to hunt.  

He could feel the familiar drains and aching fatigue that was starting to set in.  Similar to how they were when he needed to feed. But it was different. More of an actual hunger than a the thirst it had been.  But also something of a thirst as well.

And he knew if he was feeling, Lance was too.

And morning was a good time to hunt.

"But we have things to do this morning."  Shiro pushed on though. “Do you want to tell me why you shifted into a wolf at some point last night, or are you going to keep it a secret?”  He asked casually. He loosely knew the answer, but he still wanted to hear it from his husband.

The wolf looked at him for a moment.

And then the sickening sound of bones cracking and joints dislocating as they shrunk and rearranged themselves into a different smaller form.  

Shiro will never get used to it.

No matter how many times he sees, hears it, or does it himself.

He just never will.

He looks away as Lance started to shift from his wolf form to his...more human looking one.  Giving him some privacy. 

Even though Lance doesn’t really need it.  He grew up as a werewolf, he was use to shifting in front of his family and other members of his pack.  It is second nature to him. Lance teases Shiro all the time about Victorian politeness, but it's playfully meaningless.  

And though Shiro knows it doesn’t exactly... hurt in the way it sounds, that is was just sort of like cracking knuckles after the first initial turn.

Shiro looks away mostly for himself.

To avoid slipping into a darker place.

He only turned back when he heard Lance let out a long breath.

He found Lance sitting on the bed in all of his naked glory.  Because well werewolves didn’t really have much modesty. That and Shiro is his husband who has seen him naked many many times.

Shiro rolled his eyes as he helped Lance pull the covers out to save him from a slight morning chill.  Knowing Lance is not use to that even after so many years.

“You were having a nightmare last night.”  Lance answered as he loosely wrapped the comforter over his shoulder.  Before adding on a bit sheepishly. “I know me shifting into a wolf helps you a lot, and you started settling down pretty quickly.  So please, spare me the lecture about how I should be careful. Cause I was, okay. And like, you know, I can totally handle you in a fight, so like don’t get on that hor--”

Shiro moved forward to capture Lance’s lips.

Smiling into it as he left Lance relax.  

Soaking up the pleased humming rumble his husband made at the feeling.  And the way he cupped Shiro’s faces. And how he forced Shiro to lean back so they toppled back against the bed in a fit of giggles.

“Thank you,” Shiro said when Lance pulled back for air.

“You’re very welcome.”  Lance returned with a happy sigh.  “I want to just lay in bed all morning.”

“We need to hunt, love.”  Shiro stated lovingly, pulling Lance a bit closer to him. “Morning is a good time.

Lance let out a bit of a slight whine.  “Nighttime is better.” He huffed in with a pout of his lips.  Before Lance dove into Shiro’s neck, humming pleasantly at the warmth.  “Shifting into a wolf and back took a lot out of me. I want to cuddle with you in bed and recharge.  Then we can go hunt tonight.”

Shiro sighed lightly.  

Knowing for a fact he already lost the fight.  They were going to stay in bed way later than they should.  Even though they have nothing to do all day most days.

“Alright.  We can stay in for the morning.”

He laughed at Lance’s muffled ‘yeah’ against his throat.