Wolf's Rain Fan Fiction ❯ Lullaby for a Stormy Night ❯ Chapter 1- It's called Common Curticy ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter 1- its something called common courtesy
4 young male wolves leapt down from the islands' towering walls as they entered the town that held the faint scent of the lunar flower they searched for.
A white wolf landed first. He was the presumed leader of the 4, yet that wasn't how this pack was run. They had no leader, no alpha amongst them, but he was the one to lead them towards the lunar flower. In human form he appeared to be a young man around the age 20 with sky-blue eyes and dark chocolate thick hair that lapped at his earlobes. He wore jeans, a white shirt, a torn pilot's jacket of dark leather brown and sneakers. This was Kiba.
Not a millisecond after he had landed, a scarred, gray wolf was at his side with a `I-could-give-a-damn-less' look shinning in his golden eyes. He had a cross shaped scar on his chest that he adorned in both human and wolf forms. He looked to be about a 25 year old human who wore tight black leather clothing that fitted his occupation of choice amongst the humans back at Free City. A tight black vest with the long sleeves gapping over his shoulders. A grey undershirt was the only other thing that kept his chest warm in the human form. His tops stopped about an inch or two away from his leather black jeans and his matching steel-toe boots topped him off. He wore a gold spike earring in the right ear and a matching stub and small square hoop on the left. His silver hair was buzz-cut with a small rat-tail in the back. This was the warrior, the ever doubtful and critical Tsume.
The 3rd of the group landed in time to Tsume. He was a 2 toned brown fluffy wolf. Unlike Kiba and Tsume, the third wolf, Hige was built for the heavier winter times with his stockier build. He also adorned something in both wolf and human form, a brown leather collar with a silver plated `X' on it. In human form, he wore a dark navy blue long-sleeve shirt with a baggy yellow short sleeved hoody that had black pinstripes on the sleeves and lighter blue sweatpants that also had the same idea of pinstripes. He wore thicker tennis shoes than Kiba and his dark autumn honey eyes glittered with mischief and showed off just how care-free Hige really could be. He was the tracker of the group, not just the jokester and pervert, with his abnormal sense of smell. Even for a wolf, his nose was a very delicate feature that his comrades took advantage of when they needed to find something like food or water.
The 4th and youngest of the group wasn't so fortunate to land on his feet when he joined his friends. He slipped to the ground with a yelp of indignity and whimpered as he pushed himself up. The red wolf was just out of his puppy years and Tsume never missed a chance to remind him of the youngsters' status amongst them. The Pup appeared as a young 16 year old boy with shoulder length light brown hair and honey golden eyes of naivety and curiosity glints. He wore a red plated button up shirt that had the long sleeves rolled up to his elbows and dark green cargo pants that tucked into his dark brown combat boots. A 3-ringed silver bracelet was hanging around his right wrist that also showed in his wolf form. The Pup wasn't much for fighting, he avoided fights at all costs and was often chastised by others for being soft hearted and a whiner, but his wolf song was beautiful to hear. His cheerful mood always seemed to lighten a rainy day for the others. This is Toboe, or the runt in Tsume and Hige's case.
Hige scrunched up his nose and snorted forcefully, “I know you smelt the flower from outside, Kiba, but this places' awful reek is too powerful to detect it from here, or even if there is such thing as a flower! My nose is burning it smells so bad!” the stocky wolf whined.
“So hold your breath, you big idiot.” Tsume jibed lightly as he started to walk through this foreign town.
“You know, I've been smelling it a lot lately since you've been around. So it's probably just your stench that has enhanced with the reek already here that's chocking me!” Hige growled back as he glared at the gray wolf's back.
Kiba ignored the 2 and started to walk through the deserted streets after Tsumes lead.
Toboe shivered and didn't move until Hige decided to follow the others' examples. Even then, the younger wolf attached himself to the larger, older one's side. His deep honey gold eyes scanned almost desperately for any signs of life and only caught glimpse of them. It's as if they were hiding in fear from them. His sensitive ears picked up the frightened snivel of a woman and her child as they passed and he wanted to plaster his triangular ears to his head in shame that they were afraid.
“Are they ….. Are these people here really that afraid of us that they'd hide like we're hunting them or something?” he whispered as he saw a few more humans peeking out of their hiding places to watch them wearily pass by.
“Well, we shouldn't expect a welcoming ceremony or nothing. This obviously isn't a tourist's town with how awful it's kept and smells.” Hige sighed as he too noticed the unnerving eeriness in the air around them.
“We are outsiders here. It's only natural for them to treat us this way and keep their distance.” Kiba said half-heartedly.
Tsume just snorted back at the three of them, “what a load of crap.”
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“Damn! What were those humans shipping back at that station? Elephants?!” Heart groaned as she stretched her back while they walked homeward bound, “it feels like I worked my ass off like a dog today!”
“Imagine that” Akira giggled at her friends expanse as she herself shifted the heavy chunk of Ham in her arms she was carrying for Shura back at the den, “I wander how and what Shura's been doing all day with out us. There was a large and heavy load today so we were stuck in over time, remember? She must be so worried and lonely all by herself without us,” the 19 year old looking wolf girl looked to the west in the sky and frowned at the twilight she saw, “its even the time when the Sun is setting and the Moon is rising at the same time!”
Hearts autumn red eyes didn't miss the worried flicker flash in her friends' bight orange orbs. Did this kid know how openly she let her emotions fly through her? She was like a mirror to her own soul with how trusting she was to let others know her feelings even if left unsaid. Akira wasn't what many would call a traditional wolf. Her upbringing near humans all this time evolved with the young she-wolf gaining a slightly different, more equal righted mind set. She treated humans and wolves as well as other creatures with respect the individual deserved, and for that, Heart admired the girl.
“Don't get to be such a mother hen! That's Shura's job, remember? Which one of you is pregnant with maybe quadruplets?” Heart clapped a hand harshly on the younger, smaller girls back, nearly shoving the poor little one over.
“Q-Quadruplets?!” Akira Eeped, “Cole said that it's for sure only Twins, or maybe even TRIPLETS, but not QUADRUPLETS!”
Heart blinked at her companion before laughing in her face, “Akira, I was joking! You just looked too serious back there and it doesn't seem to suit you very well to get all serious like that. Besides, I'm sure she's just lazing around like she probably has all day watching the waves from the cliff like she always does when she's day dreaming about the pups.” The taller girl suddenly caught something, “Wait, Cole thinks Shura's carrying Twins?! No way!”
“Yeah! Cole said Shura's too big for her to just be carrying only one. So she thinks its two! But Zali even thinks she's got 3 pups in her with how much she's been eating lately!” Heart smiled fondly as the younger wolf started to lead on again. Those Orange eyes lighting up with her Joy and happiness as she babbled on about the pups her step mother carried.
“3 hyper cubs running around frolicking on the dangerous train tracks here in town is really a comforting thought,” she smiled as the girl growled half heartedly back at her.
That made Heart happy as well. A little while after she met Shura and Akira, Shura had broke down to tears one night out of the blue when Heart had asked innocently why a nice pair like them wound up here. Akira had excused herself from the den that night and Heart didn't see her until work the next morning, but the emotional Shura spilled her wounded heart out to her about the tragedy of her late mate and step-son. Flashes of Hearts own life flashed at her.
A pair of pained golden eyes.
Gray fur.
A newly cross shaped wound her own mate put on him …..
She shook her head.
Now was not the time to go reminiscing about the past. She'd never see him again …
`Wait a minute'
Heart froze when the breeze brought an ironically familiar scent to her. Her senses went on alert and she didn't move a taunt muscle. Akira closed her mouth as she was about to retort Heart, but was stopped when the older wolf froze up.
Instantly alert and searching for what danger there seemed to be, Akira looked around before turning confused orange golden eyes to her friend, “Heart, what is it? What's wrong?”
“Someone's ….. Here. Outsiders.” Heart said quietly.
Both wolfs heads turned on a hard right when they heard Zali's cold laughter, “And just what are you boys look'n for here?” came his gruff voice.
“That's Zali,” Akira started for the alleyway she heard it from.
Heart's eyes widened, “Akira!” she hissed, but the younger wolf didn't listen as she walked through it and stood out of sight from the 2 packs at the mouth of the other end of the ally. Zali, Cole, and the others were sitting around the fire while a small pack of 4 male wolves told them they were just passing though on their journey.
“Journey? Where the hell are ya going?” Hide, a scrawny bay wolf snorted.
“We're going to Paradise!” the youngest, red wolf stated rather proudly.
Akira's eyes widened, “Paradise?” she whispered. Was it true? Were these wolves really going there?
Zali laughed at them harshly and was joined by the others. Akira whimpered and pressed herself up to the wall. Why were they laughing? They got an answer didn't they?
“What? What's so funny!” the young wolf demanded. Zali just laughed harder.
The white wolf didn't seem amused and neither did his pack mates, “they laugh because they obviously have no idea about what or where paradise is.” He chided.
“Oh, we know where it is.” Zali said dead serious.
“You do?!” the other pack seemed shocked.
“Yeah, and its not paradise ….. It's more like a …. Well what would you call it Mose?” Zali looked down to another dark brown wolf who smirked.
“I recall HELL being the only word fit for it.” Mose said, “It took out half our pack and we barely came back with out lives. There is no such thing as-,”
“Stop right there!” Akira snapped.
Everyone looked back surprised to see her there. The wind was moving toward her so no one caught her scent!
Zali's eyes widened with something akin to concern, “Akira,”
“Paradise is real! Maybe the one you sought wasn't but that doesn't mean it's not REAL! You don't know a damn thing about it!” Akira snapped. Her orange eyes blazing with unshed tears.
“Shut up runt! Its you who knows nothing about it! You haven't seen what we-,” Mose was cut off when Zali gave him a dirty look that dared the lower ranking wolf to continue.
Turning to look straight at the young she-wolf Zali gave a commanding soft growl, “it doesn't matter now Akira. Just go home and forget what Mose said.” He looked back at the boys, “its best if you boys don't hang around here too much. The sooner you leave the better. You're welcome to do as you like, but get in the way of us and pay for it.”
The grey wolf growled lowly, but just left it at that. The large brown one at his heels with a sneer on his face in disgust. The red wolf tugged the last ones sleeve, “come on Kiba, I don't wanna stay here around them.”
And with that, the four of them left. Zali turned to confront the she-wolf he treated as a daughter to find her gone as well and sighed. She'd hold that against him for a while. He looked over to his mate, Cole who just glanced at him with her lavender eyes before looking back to the ally Akira had left.
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“There you are! What were you doing brown nosing like that!” Heart scolded the younger wolf as she came back out of the ally.
“Heart? Can you take this to Shura for me?” Akira handed the large ham to her friend.
“Huh? Uh …. Sure, but why?” Heart looked down at Akira who just looked down the direction those other wolves went.
“I ….. I don't really know, but something is pulling me to them. Ever since they mentioned Paradise as their destination, I feel like I need to at least meet them. They might be gone tomorrow so I want to do it tonight.” Akira looked back to the autumn red eyes pleadingly, “do you understand?”
Heart stared at her in disbelief before she sighed in defeat, “Sure, whatever. But don't do anything stupid, okay? Let's take care of one pregnant gal at a time, K?” she smirked with a joke.
Akira blushed, “N-N-No! T-T-That's not,”
“I don't really care, just meet me at the station in the morning if nothing else, okay?”
Akira nodded and the two went their separate ways.
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Akira sniffed at the concrete edge just outside of the towns' streets and sighed in frustration, “damn it! I just missed them too.” Looking around she shivered as the cool wind reached her through her old red leather trench coat, “the cold ground will mess up the scent trail. If I try to follow it now I cold just wound up walking around town following the wind!”
The poor she-wolf huffed in frustration as she plopped down on the concrete that held their scent to it. They must have rested here not too long ago, but that was all she could pick up. Her tracking was very rusty; she never had to use it! That was Jazz's job!
`But Jazz's not here is he!' she chastised herself in the back of her mind then stiffened when she caught herself getting on to herself!
“Great, now I really AM delusional!” she hissed.
“I like to call it `Youthful Mental Disorder'.” Came Zali's voice from her left flank.
Akira barely glanced over her shoulder to acknowledge his presence, “It's such a nice term for troubled thoughts you have made up.” She rolled her eyes as he approached her side and looked down at her a moment. Feeling conscious with his gaze, Akira met him with her strange orange colored eyes.
“What?” she asked trying to hide the fact that she was uncomfortable just by someone staring?
“What do you think you're doing out here by yourself at this time Akira?” oh great! Zali's going into `Surrogated Father' mode! He had that `don't-lie-to-me' look; arched eyebrow and all.
“I'm a wolf, aren't I? Don't we thrive on Moonlight?” Akira evaded.
“Akira!” he snapped warning.
Akira was caught. She flinched at the snap and he started to regret reacting like that. She was still tender from losing her blood family and he should have known not to snap at her.
“Just a moonlight stroll, Zali. Nothing more nor anything less. I just needed some air. I know not to go near the others.” She said submissively with a small smile of an apology. Her voice was softly spoken and she turned her head to gaze up at the crescent moon, “So how about you, oh `Great Leader'? What are you out for? I was under the impression that the fearless love-sick alpha wolf didn't like to leave Cole's side at night.” She couldn't resist a small tease at the mighty wolf beside her.
Zali sighed, “The old man's still in the Cemetery digg'n his whole again. I don't want him too tired for work tomorrow and miss out on his fair share of food.” He admitted.
Akira's expression saddened and she downcast her gaze to the crashing waves under the moonlight below them, “He's really at the end of his rope, isn't he? Who knows, he might not even live long enough to see our next beautiful full moon.”
Zali looked down at the crimson red hair that covered her face from his eyes briefly before looking to the moon once more, “Yeah…. He knows his time is nearing. That's the way it is around here. You dig your own grave when you're instincts warn you about it. The rest of us can't and won't do anything to stop him from going down there to dig his grave. It's just something he and other elderly must do. It's the way things are.” Zali glanced down before snorting at a passing thought and turned to leave, “Speaking of which, I should hurry up and get to him before he works himself to death just digg'n the damn thing.”
After he had taken a few steps, Akira looked up and stood to follow him. He stopped to wait for her when he heard her trotting after him to catch up, not surprised in her decision to follow in the least. Soon as she was at his side, the two of them continued on to the cemetery about 4 blocks down the road. It was where Akira, Shura, and Heart's den was located anyways. So Zali wanted to make sure the young wolf got home safely. He didn't much trust those new boys around her. She was a pretty little thing and he was sure they wouldn't mind trying to take a go with her.
`Over my dead body' he snorted in thought. She was his charge along with her mother and friend. The rest of his pack didn't accept it yet, but he wouldn't let anything come near the little she-wolf with those intentions!
Further down the road, Akira's soft alto voice broke the companionable silence they shared on the walk, “It's….. Ironic,” she said softly, “How life Ends and Begins almost at the same time. It's almost as if the world doesn't want us to despair our losses for very long and gives us something new to love in the old ones place for our hearts to heal. Birth seems to always come around death. Some how, it's like the world wants to cheer us up and keep the hope for the future in us. The will to live always surges in us even though some one dear to us dies.”
Zali looked down at her with surprised dark golden eyes as they walked on. He was at a loss of words at her out spoken statement. Then it seemed to click and he smiled warmly at her then looked back to the road, “You mean how the old man is dieing and your step mothers pups are about to be born into this world?”
Akira nodded with out looking at him, “Yeah,”
“You know, that's not something many wolves claim to believe or even mention now-a-days” he said, “its admiring to hear you say things like that. Such a serene out look on life and death and all……,” he looked down at her through the corner of his eyes, “who taught you such philosophies?”
“Papa taught Jasper and me differently from other wolves. Our family has always been a little rebellious of the older wolf traditional outlooks on life and how we should think. He never wanted us to think that life was just some dim road to paradise only for us to walk it and leave it with out a second thought. He wanted us to help out who ever we could on our way as well. To help others find their own happiness along with our own. Why should wolves be the only ones to reach happiness? Isn't that what everyone else lives for? To find some kind of happiness that draws them out of their hiding holes?”
“It's difficult to really comment on something like that. I've really never thought of it like that….,” Zali said in thought. She was so open that it touched him at the trust she showed him. He decided to drop it at that though. He didn't like adding salt to her old wounds of her deceased father, “You're really an odd one, you know that?” he chuckled and ruffled her hair affectionately.
Akira pushed his hand off her head and glared half-heartedly at him as she smoothed out her crimson red locks again, “I get that a lot.”
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Hige covered his nose when the old wolf showed them the `entrance to paradise' which was an entrance to an underground tunnel, “Ah! It reeks of death and decay in there! It's worse than Tsume or the town!”
“I was …. Well, kinda hoping it would look a lot nicer than this really,” Toboe confused with a crestfallen expression as the 4 young wolves stared at the `Tunnel to Paradise'.
Kiba stared in wonder at it. He started to approach but when he came to pass the elder wolf's side, the old man spoke out against it.
“I wouldn't if I were you,” Kiba stopped to here what he had to say, “Many young wolves have traveled down that path, but sadly few none have ever made it there. The few that do survive come back to weave a living out here….. Just like the rest of us.”
Kiba thought about it a moment, but was alerted by a new presence behind them. There stood Zali and at his side was that young girl who had spoke against the others back in the ally. She had long crimson hair that was thick and had a wave to it as it was pulled in a low ponytail that reached her middle back. Her chin length bangs were parted to the side, letting a good portion of them rest over her left eye. She wore a black t-shirt that was a size too small even in her slight form as it clung to her and stopped just above her navel. She wore hip hugger grey cargo pants with a utility belt and black combat boots. Around her neck was a dog chain with a silver crucifix as its tag. She wore a red leather old trench coat to stave off the cold air. Her strange bright orange eyes stared back at him and the others as she held up her human form tightly. Not letting them see her wolf reflection.
“That's enough digging for the night, old man. Don't forget you have work tomorrow.” Zali called to the old man in a calm voice.
“Really now? It's that late already?” the old wolf shrugged and walked through the young males to Zali's and the she-wolfs side, “I suppose its deep enough.”
Kiba's blue eyes glared at the older pack leader “Wait a minute….. When your pack tried to get to paradise, is this the path you took?”
“I thought I told you to get out of here.” Zali growled lightly.
“Zali” the old man lightly begged for him to keep his temper in check.
“If you kids disrupt the peace of this pack in anyway, I'll show you no mercy!” it was a threat that he felt needed to be let out in the open before anything else was said or done.
Akira started to reprimand him, “That's not fair to go around accusing people of such things when you have no idea if that's their intention! They said they were only passing though so why are you being so harsh!?” she didn't yell, but her raised voice spoke levels about how far she was willing to take this should he continue this hostility.
“It was just a fair warning. You should get back to your den before the others get worried about you Akira.” Zali brushed her concerns off, but glared at the other 4 wolves, “Now get out of town before dawn, ya hear?”
With that, he led the elder wolf away. Leaving Akira and the other 4 wolves behind.
Akira bristled at his high and mighty attitude, “Sometimes he can really be an ass you know.” She mumbled, “It's not fair that he has to be such a nice guy too.” She then sighed at the curl fates.
“Him? A nice guy?” Hige snorted, “Not likely”
“Really, it's just a front he puts on around new comers. Trust me, I know how it feels.” Akira admitted turning to the other wolves with a welcoming smile, “I'm Akira by the way. I apologize on Zali's behalf if he offended any of you.”
“Heh, we'll live.” Tsume snorted.
“Why did you stand up for us against your alpha? It's not respectful to speak against your superiors decisions.” Kiba asked.
“Superior? Alpha??” Akira giggled out loud at the assumption, “No, no, no! You've got it all wrong; Zali's pack isn't my own.”
“That explains why you didn't follow him and the old man just now.” Tsume said rather crossly.
Hige sighed, “And here I thought this chick took an interest in us.”
“If Zali isn't your alpha, then why are you around here? Is there another pack?” Toboe asked as he approached her. She seemed nice and her smell was ….. Different. She wasn't like Tsume or the others. He had never met a she-wolf so close before. All he'd met were Kiba, Hige, and Tsume, and they were the first wolves he'd ever seen!
“Some what ….” She decided to evade their eyes.
“Some what?” Tsume just had to pry…..
“My step-mother and I are refugees from Free City where my passed father's body still remains to our knowledge and we were separated from my brother in our attempt to escape the confusion of the stolen flower maiden. We stumbled here and met up with Zali and the others, and while they did show us mercy for our resent tragedy, it didn't feel right to intrude on them. It's hard enough to get where they are now. A friend of ours lives with us in those ruins over there,” she nodded to an old sanctuary house that was only half standing, but it was shelter.
“You're from Free City? We just came from there. How do you know about the flower maiden?” Hige asked curious as the rest.
“My family portrayed as guard dogs or search dogs at the keep in the heart of the city where Cheza, the flower maiden lay in their labs. Something happened and they found out that we weren't dogs so Papa wanted us to leave. He said Cheza would be safe since other wolves have arrived in the city.”
“So you decided to hunt down your own kind with the humans in favor for staying close to Cheza!?” Tsume accused with venom.
Kiba glared at the untrusting grey wolf, “Cut it out, Tsume!”
Akira's eyes widened, “NO! We didn't hunt any of you! Papa and Jazz were the only ones you'd probably would have seen on the streets. Shura was only a tracker and I was too young to be much help! Papa always led the humans away from you or other wolves so you WOULDN'T get caught!” she snarled in self justice.
Tsume looked surprised, but Hige just laughed, “It would explain why your little `gang' of humans were hardly ever caught if you had a wolf on the inside covering up your tracks for ya.” He joked.
Tsume snarled at him.
Toboe just smiled good naturedly, “Don't take it to heart. Tsumes just untrusting like that at first. He'll lighten up sooner or later.” He smiled at the she wolf. She really seemed like someone he wanted to get to know.
Akira smiled back and nodded then rolled her eyes as something just occurred to her, “I wont then. Believe it or not, he's not the only one with a gruff exterior around here.” She walked to the other side of the group and looked over her shoulder expectantly, “well, aren't you coming? You can crash at my place if you'd like. There's plenty of room and Cole should come around sometime tonight to drop off our dinner.”
“Really? FOOD?!” Hige salivated at the mere thought of following this cute female and getting food too, “I'm all for it!” he quickly followed her lead. Toboe trotted up to her side as well. Kiba took one last look at the underground entrance before he too followed her. Tsume just growled in frustration.
“Come on Tsume! What's the hold up! Aren't you hungry?” Hige shouted over his shoulder.
At that time, Tsumes stomach decided to remind him just how true the boy was as it growled nice and long in protest of being empty. So, grudgingly, the grey wolf followed at his own pace.
“I'm coming.” He caught up with Kiba and let out a frustrated sigh, “how do we know she's not trying to trick us to lead us in a trap this Zali guy made up for us?”
He underestimated the she-wolfs hearing abilities, because Akira stopped and stiffly turned on her heels to glare at him disapprovingly, “Really, you'd think a `proud' wolf like you would know about a little Common Courtesy” she huffed. And with a flick of her long pony tail she whirled around and continued to lead them up the slope to her den.
Kiba smirked, “Does that answer your question?”
“I'm like'n this place more and more by the minute! Who cares if it stinks when it's got fiery cute girls like that?” Hige grinned goofily.