Like a freight train he almost wasn’t stopped.
He’d have started for them as a machine of sorts, heeding the loud, omnipresent calling of the programing that was down to the marrow of his bone. Prey. Take. EAT. It was the loudest voice he ever remembered hearing.
Wait, someone hissed.
He was yanked.
He was pulled around and from his direct path stopped. Turned, and pressed to the chest of a man he wasn’t fully seeing at the moment. In some parts of his mind, that great and staggering bond they shared remained. Laid to ruins by this change. And yet like the debris of a world too young to be forever forgotten, it would await the arrival of the dawn when the presumed liberation from the grip of this curse would come. Somehow, it was all clear in Yuan’s mind; they had been cursed, and if this was any like their first tango, it wouldn’t last long.
And yet while it did he was like this. A piece of a monster locked behind the cage of an all too tight, unpleasant skin. With the withered form of a once powerful bond somewhere in the head of his. Next to the neighbors of kill and eat. He recognized these two instincts as since there. He supposed that being this creature born of death, it made sense that he clung onto every artifact of life he had had. Flesh. Blood. As a shifter, he’d seen the world in clear colors. As a hybrid, it made sense too. But those were beings of survival, even if literal death was required to turn him into the latter. A wendigo, he assumed, from what horror tales he had gorged on when he first heard Soren had been it for many days, was the stolen child of mother death. It was an escapee, a prisoner of life always looking above their shoulder to see that death followed long miles behind them. If they ate, they kept her, a mouthful at a time, farther away.
And yet in time they still became lifeless like flowers winter come. In time, he’d maybe see himself sprout long, ugly claws, exactly as described on that one page in a book about: the wendigo, what he presently was. Staring down at Soren with milk and clouds in his eyes. He saw the man in colors, in red, a lot. Not as a person. He saw him as a pile of flesh, and bones, as delicious, as food. It must have been logically what every new wendigo went through, the transition from being a person, to the rake that plowed through the world. It scared him, for a moment. It scared him. Somewhere in his head, where the person remained he knew that this wasn’t him, and neither was this an existence he would ever willingly choose for himself. If this curse didn’t lie, and every wendigo felt like this, a mere pawn to a hunger that roared their blood, then he’d write a pamphlet and then rain a million of them from the tallest building here.
Never accept the offer, they would read, to becoming a wendigo.
He feared massive uproars shaming those who had though.
He was dragged.
It was dragged--- dragged. Yuan couldn’t open his mouth to say anything back. Copper on his tongue, its flavor occupied him, but also anchored, and unleashed him, deepening this thirst that he had foolishly thought sated. He half struggled against Soren, half lacked every ability for it, instead looking at the man as though he were caught amidst deep and ravenous contemplation about what to do.
What was he hungry for? The sharp teeth poking out from his gums and stabbing through the opposite rows remained hidden. Yuan placed a hand over his mouth.
He’d have rather bitten through his tongue and swallowed it in an idea of being sated than opened his mouth. The hand remained there.
You needn’t say.
He was silent, regardless, even as Soren pulled their bodies into a painful embrace. They remained locked together, Yuan trying not to struggle and the vision of Soren’s golden eyes a hopeful distraction. His own remained white for a while. And when he opened them eventually, he saw the whole world once more.
His own skin felt a piece of cloth, although if shedding it meant leaving his eyes that devoid, white color, body fanged and clawed then he didn’t want it gone. He tensed, breathing shallowly and through his mouth, dodging the concoction of smells that reached his nose.
“Wendigo,” he said, slowly. He hallucinated his voice was hoarser than normal. “I know,” he added, “I realized… I read up on them,” he slowly said, his hand moving away from his mouth, and though both wanted to rest on Soren’s frame, it felt like a step too close to making a frenzied mistake.
“After you told me,” he added, “I know.” He knew. What they were like, and how they were made, as much as had been compiled and published about this mysterious, and dangerous species. Yuan hadn’t returned to the book for seconds. He had hardly finished his first and only round, before putting it down like a knowledge he would prefer burned along with other hundreds of books that had fallen to ill ideologies before. He swallowed.
He still tasted his own blood.
“What do we do,” he said, pulling away with difficulty-- so he could stand upright, his hands on Soren’s shoulders, though his own courage as pertaining to the man gone. “Should we call Law?” he asked. Should they? Reluctantly, Yuan looked up, making a private note of Soren’s stubbornly golden eyes. Hesitating, he smiled.
“They look good on you,” he said. His own eyes were so lovely and plain, he hoped it was a sight that Soren could appreciate. But Soren’s shone with a power that Yuan had never assumed to miss in his own. Now gone, it left him with a useless ache for the details of his person that were as integral to him as the sun to the world.
They looked good on him, and slowly, Yuan’s smile spread to something more genuine. Laugh lines creased his face.