D. Gray-man Fan Fiction ❯ Canis Luna ❯ Sheryl ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Warnings: YAOI, which means BOYS LOVING BOYS. If you dislike that, then the back button is easy enough to find. Please click that and leave. Possible OOC. Alternate Universe.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Wish they were, but Katsura Hoshino owns all.

Notes: Well, this fic started as a oneshot based off of Little Red Riding Hood. About two pages in, I figured out that this no longer had anything whatsoever to do with Little Red Riding Hood. >_< I hope you all enjoy!

Dedicated to SisterWicked, Niamh (both of AssHat Productions, a group I’m a proud member of), and Cackles for reading this over before I posted and giving me tips and the confidence boost I needed so I could make this fic available to the general public. All remaining mistakes are mine.

Super special awesome thanks to Niamh for coming up with the title of this fic!

Last Time:

The girl's eyes were fixed on the woods as well, a disappointed look on her face. Lavi looked at Tyki again, puzzled.

"Tyki, what-"

The werewolf shook his head, clasping his hand tighter around Lavi's.

"You can come out now, Sheryl.”

And Now, The Continuation:

Chapter 4

"You can come out now, Sheryl," Tyki said, tone civil but cold. The name seemed vaguely familiar to Lavi, but he couldn't place where he had heard it. He looked towards the trees, following Tyki's gaze, just in time to see a tall, thin man with a monocle and hair longer and tamer than Tyki's step out from between the trees. They were even dressed similarly, though the monocle-wearing stranger also had on a black vest and seemed slightly older. His skin was just as gray as Road's skin and Tyki's, his eyes just as brightly colored.

It clicked.

Sheryl was also the name of Tyki's older brother, wasn't it? This man must be that same older brother.

Sheryl walked over to them slowly, eyeing Lavi with interest before his gaze turned to Road. His face broke into a wide smile and he crouched down, opening his arms wide. Lavi stared as Road ran over to him and practically tackled him in a hug, just like she did with Tyki.

She drew back after a moment, staring up at him with a pout on her face.

"I wanted to stay with Uncle Tyki longer," she said, sounding much younger than her supposed fifteen years. Sheryl smiled dotingly back at her.

"I know, Road, but the Earl wondered where you ran off to last night. I wondered too, but I knew my little girl could take care of herself!" Sheryl said each word adoringly, like Road was the new Messiah and only he knew. "Still, next time you leave the pack, tell Papa where you're going?"

Road nodded reluctantly and Sheryl scooped her up in his arms, hugging her tightly and spinning around in a circle one full turn before setting her back on the ground. She was laughing as he did so, her mirth almost enough to make Lavi forget that Sheryl was one of the wolves responsible for the killings in the woods.

Road's words echoed in his head.

'"Papa doesn't like to get his paws dirty, so he hasn't helped. Much."'

He moved a bit closer to Tyki, recalling the man's warning that the other members of Tyki's pack would hunt him for sport. Lavi doubted that Sheryl would attack him in front of Tyki - if Sheryl did, Lavi was fairly confident that Tyki would defend him, but for all he knew Tyki might just literally throw him to the wolves - but being closer to Tyki made him feel safer.

His movement drew Sheryl's attention away from his daughter and back to the human-werewolf pair still standing in the roadway. Sheryl turned his wide grin to Tyki, looking just as delighted to see the gray werewolf as he had been to see his daughter.

"Brother! Handsome as always!" Sheryl commented, then turned his gaze to Lavi. His smile faded slightly, changing from excitement to interest. Lavi shifted uncomfortably, trying to sneakily hide behind Tyki's body. "And who might this be?"

The redhead heard Tyki sigh softly.

"You haven't changed a bit," Tyki said to Sheryl, sounding faintly exasperated. Sheryl nodded as though proud of himself.

Tyki gently tugged Lavi forward by their joined hands, but still kept him close. Lavi saw Sheryl's eyes dart down towards their clasped hands and then back to Tyki, a look of mild astonishment on his face.

"Lavi is Uncle Tyki's Intended," Road said in a hushed voice, again speaking the last word as though it was something to be revered. Lavi looked down at the ground, feeling suddenly out of place.

What did he truly know about werewolves and their Intended anyway?

He frowned, realizing that he had thought about the term the same way Road spoke of it.

"A human?" Sheryl asked for confirmation. Tyki nodded and Sheryl studied Lavi for a moment before bobbing his head in reply, as though he had just understood something. "No wonder you left the pack when you found out what the Earl had planned."

Tyki 'mmm'd without really answering. Sheryl ignored the less-than-warm reaction and continued speaking.

"When are you returning to the pack, anyway? Once you've mated, the Earl probably wouldn't challenge his right to be part of the pack. He's never challenged Tricia's right, and now, without Skinn... Lulubell might back him up, but in a fair fight I'm sure you could take them both. The Earl isn't exactly young and Lulubell would submit once you killed him."

Sheryl spoke in such a conversational tone it took Lavi a moment to grasp the gist of what he was saying. Most of it made little sense, but the part about 'mated' and 'killed' came through loud and clear.

He opened his mouth to object; whether it was to object to 'mating' with Tyki or an objection to talking so cavalierly about killing someone else he wasn't sure. He hadn't known Tyki a week - that was hardly basis enough for the kiss they had shared that first night and certainly not enough basis for anything more, no matter how tempting his dream earlier had been. As to killing... even if it was the wolf supposedly responsible for all the deaths of humans, wasn't that a matter that should be handled by the law and not a one-wolf coup?

"Skinn is dead?" Tyki asked, surprised. Sheryl nodded pleasantly, as though the death didn't affect him in the least. Lavi couldn't help but stare in shock; hadn't Skinn been Sheryl's pack-brother, as he had been Tyki's? Shouldn't there be some kind of emotion attached with that?

What the hell had he gotten himself pulled in to?

"We told him to stop stalking the boy on the other side of the woods but he was determined to kill such a 'sweet boy'." The way Sheryl said it made it obvious that the words 'sweet boy' did not belong to him - perhaps they belonged to Skinn? Lavi didn't know. He had never met that wolf. "He finally got himself killed by that swordsman that always followed the boy around."

Lavi's eye widened in shock. How many boys had swordsmen following them around, especially on the other side of the woods? The only swordsman the redhead knew of that lived in the area was Kanda, meaning the 'sweet boy' had to be Allen.

He felt a chill travel through him. Kanda had been his friend since they were both small and he had befriended Allen when the white-haired boy had moved into town five years ago. To hear that either of them had been stalked by a wolf as fearsome-sounding as Skinn...

He shuddered inwardly.

"I don't suppose you had anything to do with his untimely death, Sheryl?" Tyki asked, almost sounding amused. Lavi jerked his gaze towards the werewolf in horrified shock. Surely Tyki didn't approve...?

He could hear Sheryl chuckle and looked over towards the man. He was smiling innocently, far too innocently. Another cold shiver went through the redhead's body and this time he couldn't keep it internal. He felt rather than saw Tyki look over at him. The gray werewolf moved closer to him, trying to offer him both heat and comfort, whichever he'd need, but Lavi tugged his hand free of Tyki's grip and shuffled a few inches to the side, crossing his arms over his chest and looking away. He could almost feel Tyki half-reach for him and then drop his hand, but didn't look up.

"I may have snapped a twig the swordsman might have heard at a time when it would be bad for him to look up," Sheryl said, looking curiously at the redhead. "Skinn probably should have stayed inside the forest itself rather than try to sneak on to the road. The boy would have eventually wandered too close to the trees without his swordsman friend hovering over him, but Skinn never did have much patience. If the twig I snapped happened to lead to Skinn's demise..." Sheryl shrugged, turning back to Tyki and smiling again. "Who could say?"

"Interesting," Tyki replied, sounding like he was giving something a considerable amount of thought. "And without Skinn..."

"Devitto is getting tired of hunting humans," Sheryl said, voice turning silky and very pleased. "Jasdero just follows Devitto, you know that. I never cared for humans, but I admit hunting them never crossed my mind until the Earl killed our previous pack leader and began directing us to attack travelers. Lulubell has always been indifferent to anything but the orders of the alpha. Skinn was the only one who posed and real sort of problem in taking the Earl down, and now Skinn is gone."

Sheryl definitely sounded pleased with himself at that. Lavi looked away again.

"Is this your way of trying to bring me back to the pack?" Tyki asked, sounding like he already knew the answer.

"Now brother, why would you think that?" Sheryl asked by way of reply. "You would make a wonderful pack leader. Who else could lead us?"

"You could always lead," Tyki replied indifferently. Sheryl chuckled at that.

"I'm not suited to it. I prefer the simple life with my beloved Road and darling Tricia." There was quiet for several long seconds and then Sheryl spoke again. "Now Road, time to say goodbye to your uncles."

Lavi looked up at the plural, stunned. Road was nodding at her father, acting not at all surprised by Sheryl use of 'uncles' rather than 'uncle'. Lavi's voice was stuck in his throat as he watched the girl skip over to Tyki and throw her arms around his waist in a hug. The older man returned the affectionate gesture, smiling faintly, and then Road turned towards Lavi. As she took a step towards him, he found his voice.

"But we're- I mean, I'm not-" he said, words tripping over his tongue as he tried to say five things at once. Road ignored his babble and hugged him tightly around the waist, just as she had done with Tyki.

"Oh-ho. He speaks," Sheryl said, looking pleased with himself again. "I was beginning to wonder if he was mute."

Lavi glared at the man, opening his mouth to protest hotly, but Tyki's voice interrupted what he had been about to say.

"Sheryl," Tyki admonished. Sheryl looked at his younger brother innocently, tilting his head as though curious.

"Yes, brother?"

Tyki sighed.

"Lavi is my Intended, true, but he is not mine yet."

Was that... regret?

The redhead felt Road's arms tighten around his waist and he moved his attention back to the girl. She smiled sweetly up at him.

"Aren't you going to hug me back?" she asked. Hesitantly, Lavi moved his arms so he was hugging her around her shoulders. She made a content sound and briefly tightened her hold before releasing him and skipping back to her father.

"He isn't yours yet?" Sheryl asked sounding truly surprised. "What are you waiting for?"

Lavi narrowed his eye into a glare, opening his mouth to object, but Tyki beat him to it again.

"I'm waiting for him. You remember that humans do things differently, correct? If I remember, it took you months to make your darling Tricia your own."

Lavi's anger dimmed. He looked towards Tyki, but the werewolf wasn't watching him.

Sheryl nodded, a broad, proud smile forming on his face.

"Tricia was a proper lady, true, and I did have to ask her father for her hand, but the wedding night made everything worth it. Her mother was half-scared that I had already impregnated her darling daughter when I showed up at their house and asked to marry her the next morning, but since the wedding invitations needed to be sent and the dress made, I ended up waiting three months for her to be mine." Sheryl sighed happily, putting one hand on top of Road's head and ruffling her hair. She shrieked, lifting her hands to bat at the hand in her hair, but she was smiling. "And nine months later, Tricia gave me my lovely daughter."

Road beamed up at him, standing just a tiny bit straighter with pride.

Lavi watched the scene silently. It seemed almost impossible that Sheryl had just been talking casually about murder moments ago and was now so doting on his daughter. It was hard to reconcile the two images, though not nearly as difficult as it was to reconcile the two images he had of Tyki - the man who had casually discussed murder with his brother and seemed to approve and the man who had held his hand and nearly kissed him last night.

Which was their true nature? Lavi didn't know.

He was still turning over the question in his mind when Sheryl and Road waved goodbye, only vaguely noting when both transformed into wolves - Sheryl's form was roughly the size of Tyki's wolf form, though Sheryl's fur was black - and ran off into the trees.

Tyki was quiet for several moments after Sheryl and Road had disappeared. Lavi watched him as the werewolf watched the trees, looking away only when Tyki's gaze moved to meet his own. He could feel the older man watch him for half a minute, then Tyki spoke.

"Shall we return you to your home, Lavi?" he asked softly, as though dealing with a particularly skittish animal. Lavi considered the question for a moment.

Did he want to go home?

He did, if only so he could process everything he had heard today, but he wanted to stay with Tyki too. That urge frightened him somewhat, but strange as it was he still felt safe with Tyki. The gray werewolf hadn't hurt him, even if said werewolf had been casually discussing murder less than five minutes ago.

He wanted to stay. Besides that, there was one issue that had gone unspoken between them long enough.

He shook his head, almost able to feel Tyki's surprise at his refusal. Taking a deep breath for strength, Lavi looked up and met the older man's gaze.

"Tell me about Intended?" he asked. Tyki seemed even more surprised by the request, but nodded. He stepped towards the redhead but stopped when Lavi tensed uncomfortably. With a regretful look in his eyes, Tyki turned away from Lavi and the forest, eyeing the grassy hillside. He nodded decisively, then looked back at Lavi and motioned for the human to follow. After a second's hesitation, Lavi did.

Tyki walked to the middle of the grassy area, then laid down and folded his arms behind his head and looked up at the stars. Lavi stared at him, momentarily puzzled, then Tyki spoke.

"You might be more comfortable sitting down or laying down. That particular legend is a long one," he said, not looking at the redhead. Lavi bit his lip and sat next to the werewolf, hugging his knees to his chest and looking towards the sky as well.

"No one knows exactly how our race began," Tyki started, speaking softly and slowly. "Legends passed down from pack to pack attribute our existence to the gods of long ago. One jealous god saw the humans and wanted to create something with similar intelligence, but with greater powers and strength. Not knowing how humans were made, he waited until a mother wandered outside the walled gates of the Great City with her son in her arms and stole away the child."

Lavi nodded. Neither he nor his grandfather had ever been particularly religious, but stories of the first human city were hardly myths. Bookman had been part of the dig that had discovered ruins predating recorded history, so it was possible that the gods had existed at some point even if the redhead put no store by them.

"To differentiate his creation from humans, he darkened the child's skin and colored his eyes the same shade as amber. He gave the boy the power to change his shape into a stronger, more powerful form. He gave the boy four strong legs designed for running fast over great distances, thick fur to protect him from the cold and sharp teeth and claws to defend himself with. He gave the boy excellent hearing, extraordinary night vision, and a sense of smell far superior to a human's."

Lavi looked at Tyki, resting his cheek on his crossed arms as he stared at the werewolf. He could feel his eyes - both the good one and the useless - slide partway shut as he listened to the older man speak. He was sleepy and Tyki's voice was oddly soothing, but the words coming out of the werewolf's mouth were interesting enough to keep him awake.

"Soon after, he stole a girl-child from inside the Great City itself and gave her the same coloring and powers he had to the boy. He raised each child separately, training each to be a powerful warrior. When they were old enough, he let them meet. Years later, he wanted to show off the race he had created and introduced his creatures and their children to the humans. The humans did not react... favorably to what they saw as monsters."

Lavi watched the man's expression grow tight, perhaps able to sympathize with the family in the story.
Had Tyki been seen as a monster when he was younger?

Unconsciously, Lavi shifted closer.

"Within a fortnight, all but two of the children and their parents had been killed. Fearing for the lives of themselves and their remaining son and daughter, the parents took them both and fled to the forests. They traveled from town to town, seeking a place they would be accepted, but each town turned them out. The god watched his creations being turned away time and time again and despaired, but found hope when the family took to living in the forests in their beast form. The children soon forgot that they ever were human and split from the parents. Their descendants lost the ability to change and became wolves.”

Lavi listened with rapt attention. At some point during the man's story, he had laid down and was now resting in the grass on his side, facing Tyki as the werewolf spoke. He doubted the werewolf even noticed - the man's eyes were staring distantly into the sky.

“The mother and father were devastated at losing their children but the god gave them longer life in the hope that his creations would survive. The couple bore more children, but taught them to not trust the humans and to live a life separate from them. Their children did as they were told even after the parents died and the children went their separate ways, avoiding the humans and well as each other. The god knew that the end of the werewolves would come and despaired again, but the goddess who created the humans stepped forward. She took pity on the poor creatures and it is she who gave that first true generation of werewolves the ability to see their Intended."

Lavi’s attention perked up at that. His eye had begun to slide shut, despite his interest in the tale, but with the mention of Intended he was brought back to full alertness and his stare towards Tyki intensified.

"She looked through the mind of each child - supposedly there were nine. The goddess paired each werewolf with a human that would be compatible to them. She sent visions to each wolf-child for exactly one month from full moon to full moon to make sure that each wolf would remember their Intended and then set the humans she had handpicked into the path of the wolves. Recognizing their mates for what they were, each werewolf took human form again and wooed their Intended. And so, the race of werewolves became as they are today."

Silence fell over them for several minutes. Lavi was reluctant to break the peaceful quiet and he could see that Tyki wasn't planning on it. The older man's eyes were still looking at some far away point, not focused in the present moment or present location.

Lavi rolled on to his back, looking up at the stars. They twinkled overhead but provided no distraction for his mind.

"Are the Intended always human?" he asked after several minutes had passed. He heard Tyki's dry chuckle and glanced over at the man. Tyki had moved, now laying on his side and watching the redhead with his head propped up by his arm.

"No. Sometimes a werewolf's Intended is another werewolf, but there are so few of us it is more common for the Intended to be human," the older man replied. Lavi nodded, rolling over to lay on his side and mirror Tyki. Their eyes met, amber burning into green.

"Do you believe the story?" Lavi asked, somewhat curious. Tyki shut his eyes and shook his head, chuckling quietly.

"It's just a legend."

Lavi shrugged.

"Most legends have some grain of truth in them," he said, then frowned slightly, glancing away from Tyki so he wouldn't be distracted by the other man's face. "Wouldn’t the Intended usually be, uh… female?”

He could feel the other man’s stare and flushed, hurriedly continuing on.

“I mean, to have children you kind of need a man and a woman, so-”

Tyki’s soft chuckle cut him off and he clamped his mouth shut.

“The Intended are not so much about having children as finding someone you can spend your years with. Males have had other males as their Intended and females have had other females. It’s not common, true, but hardly unheard of.”

“Oh,” Lavi said. He didn’t turn his gaze back to Tyki. “Do the Intended... um, well... did the goddess make the Intended more sympathetic to the werewolves or something?"

If the goddess had made the humans in the myth feel for the werewolves, maybe there was some sort of reason Lavi already felt like he could trust his life and heart with Tyki and not have to fear for the safety of either thing. A scientific one - maybe this 'Intended' business had something to do with smell? Tyki had mentioned scent as one of the three things a werewolf supposedly recognized his Intended by and if Tyki gave off some sort of pheromone-

Tyki was shaking his head.

"The goddess merely found humans that were naturally sympathetic and manipulated events so that the wolves could find them. Any emotions you feel, Lavi, are entirely your own," he said, smiling in amusement. Embarrassed at having been caught, Lavi looked away as he felt his face heat.

He heard movement to his side and glanced back at the werewolf, but too late to stop the man from pouncing. He let out a startled yelp as Tyki playfully tackled him and rolled with him several feet before pressing the redhead against the ground with their hips firmly pressed together. Lavi stared up at the older man, face slowly turning redder and redder. Tyki's forehead rested against his own, meaning their mouths were extremely close together.

"Have you fallen in love with me yet?" Tyki asked, tone teasing but with a faint undercurrent of hope and lust. Each word sent a soft puff of air across the human's lips and the scent of something unidentifiable but sweet. Lavi was so distracted by the man's proximity he almost missed the question.

"What?" he asked before his mind caught up. He shook his head in denial, pressing himself back against the earth and turning his head away from Tyki. "I've haven't known you four full days! There's no way-"

"Many of your human legends revolve around love at first sight, do they not?" Tyki asked him and Lavi could hear the smirk in the werewolf's voice. "Is it so impossible to believe?"

Lavi hesitated, then shook his head.

"I don't believe in love at first sight. It's not possible. Lust-" he began, turning his head to look up at the older man before being suddenly silenced. Tyki had placed one elegant finger across Lavi's lips, gently hushing him.

"You know enough to know that this isn't merely lust," Tyki said softly, leaning forward slowly and slipping his finger off the redhead's mouth. "Though I admit that lust is part of it."

The werewolf's finger was replaced by his lips, brushing softly over Lavi's mouth. The redhead froze in indecision for several heartbeats, but then his eye slid closed and he tentatively pressed his lips against Tyki's.

The older man made a soft, approving noise, breaking the kiss for a moment before dipping back down to press his lips to Lavi's once more. The redhead met him partway, lifting his head up off the ground.

Tyki's lips parted, his tongue coming out to trace pleadingly over Lavi's lips. Still somewhat hesitant, the redhead let his mouth open and the older man's tongue immediately moved in. The slick muscle touched Lavi's tongue, just like it had the first night, but unlike the first night Lavi did not pull away. He shifted beneath the older man's body, his own tongue moving tentatively against Tyki's.

It was as though that gentle brush lit a fire inside of Tyki. The werewolf moved one hand to the back of Lavi's neck, angling his head to kiss him more deeply as he moved more firmly into the redhead's mouth. Lavi's yelp of surprise was muffled by the other's mouth, but any resistance he may have felt quickly subsided and he gave himself over to the kiss. He moved both of his hands to the back of the werewolf's head, pulling the older man closer as they kissed.

It still wasn't close enough, somehow.

The kiss broke and both drew in a lungful of air before their lips met again, more passionately than before. Neither wasted any time, tongues meeting almost before their lips did. Lavi moaned into the kiss, gasping quietly when Tyki ground down against him. The redhead instinctively arched his body up to press more firmly against the older man, unconsciously parting his legs. Tyki slipped in between his thighs, their kiss slowly growing more and more heated. Their new position allowed Tyki to better press against him, desire collecting in both their bodies.

Lavi couldn't hold in his gasp at one particularly hard grind, breaking their kiss. He turned his head to the side to breathe, the air between them too stifling for his lungs to take in. Undeterred, Tyki pressed his wet lips to Lavi's cheekbone and slowly trailed his mouth down the redhead's neck. He nipped at the side of the column of flesh, sucking on the skin over the bite to leave a mark. Lavi tilted his neck to allow the other man more access, digging his knees into Tyki's sides to encourage him to grind their bodies more firmly together.

One of Tyki's hands trailed down to the hem of Lavi's shirt, playing with the edge of the material for a moment before sliding up under it to touch skin. Lavi felt those fingers, slightly chilled from the night air, caress his abdomen and froze, the touch bringing his mind back to reality.

He could feel the other's arousal pressed against his own, the other man's lips on his neck, and the other's hand slowly moving up his chest. Lavi's own hands were entangled with the wild strands of Tyki's hair, encouraging the man.

Tyki had noticed his partner's sudden lack of response and had lifted his face from Lavi's neck, locking eyes with the redhead. Lavi could see the concern in those amber eyes and looked away, untangling his hands as quickly as he could and moving them to push at the werewolf's shoulders. Tyki moved off of him without complaint, trying and failing to capture his gaze again.

Lavi scooted away from the older man as soon as he could, knowing his face was flushed and that his arousal was obvious. He drew his knees to his chest, wrapping his arms loosely around them.


Lavi didn't look at him, concentrating on breathing deeply and getting his body back under his control.

"Lavi? Is something the matter?"

He heard the older man shift and looked up, meeting Tyki's eyes. There was real concern there, worry too, making a heavy sense of guilt settle in the redhead's stomach.

"You say it isn't lust," he said quietly, fighting the urge to look away. Tyki nodded, opening his mouth to speak, but Lavi continued. "You say it's not lust, but then you do things like that and make me..."

He trailed off, shifting his gaze to the grassy hillside they sat on. He had enjoyed that, enjoyed it much more than he should have.

"Make you what?" Tyki asked, voice searching rather than accusatory or exasperated. "Aroused? Lustful?"

There was a pause.

"Disgusted?" The werewolf's voice was carefully neutral, but Lavi could hear an underlying hurt.

Lavi jerked his eye back to Tyki, seeing the man stare disinterestedly at the grass, plucking a few blades from the ground. The human uncrossed his arms and had crossed the foot or so of distance between them in less than a heartbeat, arms already reaching for the older man. Tyki, hearing the motion, looked up, eyes widening slightly. He caught Lavi, absorbing the slight impact without difficulty. His arms automatically went around the redhead's slighter form, staring down in surprise at the head of red hair pressed to his chest. The human shook his head violently, his arms wrapping loosely around the werewolf's body.

"Lavi, what-"

"No," Lavi said, voice quiet but firm. He tightened his grip. "You don't... I'm not disgusted, Tyki."

Tyki relaxed slightly, a tenseness leaving his form Lavi hadn't even been aware of until that moment. He continued, something in his chest easing with each word spoken.

"I couldn't be disgusted," he said. "I don't know what this is. I've only known you four days. I can't - I mean, it isn't possible-"

"Shh," Tyki murmured, his hands slipping to the sides of the redhead's face and gently pulling him back. Lavi let himself be pulled, staring up at Tyki's face with a pleading expression. The werewolf seemed to understand, leaning slowly forward and pressing his lips gently against the redhead's. There was only a spark of the desire in the kiss, enough to warm them but not enough to fan into a roaring blaze. This kiss was meant to comfort and sooth, nothing more.

They broke apart after a moment and their eyes met again.

"I don't believe in love at first sight," Lavi said again, sounding more like he was trying to reassure himself than state his beliefs. Tyki nodded, smiling thinly.

"It's all right. You don't have to believe in love at first sight, but let me ask you this." Tyki pulled him in to another embrace, tucking Lavi's head under his chin. The redhead shifted to get comfortable, ending up with his ear pressed to the werewolf's chest while his legs straddled the other's thighs and his arms wrapped loosely around the other's torso. One of Tyki's hands rested on his lower back and the other around his shoulders, keeping him pressed close.

Lavi made a quiet noise of agreement, listening to the steady beat of Tyki's heart.

"Do you believe in true love?"

There was silence as Lavi pondered the question. The older man waited patiently, simply holding the redhead.

A week ago, Lavi would have laughed outright at the question and dismissed the concept of 'true love' being something real only in fairytales. He had seen enough of hate in this world - the war he could barely remember, the bandits who had killed his parents while he had hid - to confidently disbelieve in 'true love'. Love that never faded, only grew stronger day by day? Love supposedly strong enough to transcend the boundaries of life and death?

Love that could come on strong very suddenly and mark a person forever?

"I guess I do," he replied. He buried his face in Tyki's chest, inhaling the man's scent. There was something intoxicating about it, though Lavi couldn't put his finger on what. Perhaps it was just the fact that the scent belonged to the werewolf?

Tyki chuckled quietly, arms tightening around Lavi.

"That's good news, Lavi. Very good news."


A/N: Sorry for the lateness and sorry about the delay on A Game of Poker, for all of you who read that fic of mine as well. I’ve been sick for the past two weeks and didn’t feel much like writing.

The next chapter of Canis Luna should be released on schedule. I hope you’re all enjoying the fic.