Author: Last Haven PM
A werewolf's first transformation is the most painful; Alfred's almost ended in tragedy. USUKRated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Supernatural - America & England/Britain - Words: 1,902 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 2 - Published: 06-17-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8227881
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Kinkmeme de-anon; original request was for: "Alfred endures his first transformation into a werewolf, which is always the most painful and terrifying. Arthur comforts the scared boy by giving him encouraging words, petting him, etc. I don't mind what sort of werewolf he is be it half man, half wolf or full wolf and you can include smut if you see fit but it's not essential." Beta-read by the lovely Ellarose C.
When one thinks of werewolves, one tended to think of the classic tropes: transforming each month during a full moon, silver bullets, and other garbage. Alfred knew it was garbage because after the Accident, he handled silver just fine. Wolfsbane did nothing to him, either.
The transformation process, however, was as painful as it looked in all those movies.
The first hurt the worst; Alfred clearly remembered that. But more than painful, it was the most terrifying, and probably not in a way you might think of at first.
After the Accident, when he began to show the signs, Arthur had been there with him. For someone who tried to present himself as gruff and reserved, he took diligent care of Alfred, always trying to encourage Alfred and help him through this. He'd been present at the Accident, and most likely, he was the reason Alfred survived at all. He was there when the infection nearly killed him; he helped nurse him when he was laid low by the fever; and he was the one to recognize just what had really happened. His presence had been a balm and a comfort for all the days leading up to the full moon.
But not that night. Not that night when the moon swelled full and the pain and the rage dominated his mind. That night, Alfred almost tore off Arthur's hand.
The transformation wasn't complete until the few short moments when the moon was neither waxing nor waning; the pain had started hours beforehand. Arthur did his best to help Alfred to the barn, locking him into one of the old horse stalls while Alfred swore he felt his blood began to boil. After that, things got a little fuzzy (no pun intended) (…mostly) until the moon reached its zenith. He remembered thrashing and screaming from the pain, and Arthur doing his best to soothe him from outside the stall. Alfred wasn't entirely sure, but at one point when he tired himself momentarily from the pain, he thought he heard an old faint lullaby coming from outside the stall.
Finally, there was a lull, and Alfred felt the most aware he been in hours. Arthur had lit a lantern and left it out of sight of the stall, but to Alfred, it was bright as day. For one moment, he thought perhaps it wouldn't be so bad, but then it seemed as though the whole world rushed in at him. He could smell the old hay up in the loft and the smell of horse dung, even though no horse had been in the barn for nearly five years—he could hear the mice scurrying around in the loft and stalls. But more than that, he could hear Arthur's breath like a strong gust of wind, despite being outside the stall.
It was dizzying, and he winced on reflex; the movement impressed a new of definition of pain and before he could stop himself, he was howling and whining again, trying desperately to stop from moving. Outside the stall, Arthur was calling to him, doing his best to distract him, but it took several minutes for Alfred to focus on him.
"Alfred, it's okay, it's okay. Shh, lad, you're okay—you've made it, see? You're doing fine," he shushed. Alfred tried to focus on the way the other man's fingers clenched the bars, how gentle his voice went as he tried to comfort him. After many long minutes of hushing and soothing, Alfred at last managed to fight back the pain enough. "Alfred," he called quietly, "Alfred, can you understand me?"
Despite the way it made his head swim, Alfred managed a nod.
Now, let's take a moment here—up until this point, Alfred had been managing. The pain was immense, but he had held his head above it. It was what came next that nearly sent the whole night into a spiral.
"Alfred—Alfred, listen. I'm going to open the door and come in now. Just stay calm."
Alfred gritted his teeth and laid his head down upon the bloodied blankets Arthur had laid down hours earlier. He hadn't like this part of the idea, but somehow Arthur managed to convince him to allow him in the stall with him. If he were to be honest, it was because Alfred was a bit of a baby when it came to pain and the thought of being cut off from any source of solace was enough to sway him.
Arthur was nearly silent, but very careful to make no sudden movements as he eased the door open and then shut it behind him. He edged closer, each step measured in consideration, hands up to show that he was unarmed.
That was when the first stirrings of the rage began to bubble up. What, does he think I'm so stupid as to have forgotten already?
It was an irrational thought and he recognized it distantly as such; that didn't calm him though. He had to fight not to bare his teeth as his lover crept closer. He closed his eyes and tried to control his breathing, not quite managing anything more than a ragged staccato.
Arthur's hand on the dome of his head should have been a comfort, and for moment it was. Deep beneath the pain and boiling emotions, the human part of him sighed in relief that Arthur could manage to touch him without betraying revulsion. Alfred was no looker at this point, not if he looked anything like the thing from the Accident; at a distance he could past for big wolf or a small, mangy bear, but up close a werewolf was no beauty queen. It was shallow, but Alfred had always been a little vain about his good looks. Now look at him. It was like someone had some sick, twisted wish to lay him low.
The hand against his brow was warm, but incredibly distracting once it slowly glided over the surface of his head. Arthur had repeated the motions a few times before it occurred to Alfred what was going on.
Arthur was petting him.
That was the exact moment those bubbling emotions surged up like a tsunami, bathing Alfred's existence in rage.
Arthur was petting him like a fucking dog. Like he was a pet, a dumb beast, like some damn Pomeranian.
Alfred damn near lost it then; for a moment, he would have to honestly—and with great shame—admit that he was so enraged, he truly forgot who and what he was and nearly became that monster that had attacked him before.
It was Arthur's sharp gasp of fear that snapped him to, a sliver of pure ice that cut through to his core, stopping him in an instant. His jaw wasn't yet wrapped around Arthur's hand, but his teeth were still open to bite down. Stunned, he let his mouth hang open while Arthur jerked the hand back.
Oh God, the truly human part of him thought, I nearly bit Arthur. I almost turned him into—this.
The realization left him literally reeling; his emotions plunged at a dizzying rate and Alfred lost himself to the despair for a moment. He threw his head back and howled a lonesome, heartbroken cry, ignoring the pain to try and fling himself into the corner. Just as long as it was away from Arthur.
Arthur, whom he loved, whom he tried to turn into a monster.
Monster, monster! A voice jeered. Like you—a monster!
Had Alfred still been man, he would have broken down weeping. Instead, all he could do was cower in his corner. He never knew despair until that moment, had never ever wanted to hurt himself until then. He was a monster, some rabid beast who had tried to hurt Arthur.
He whimpered and pressed his face to the wall; he deserved this pain, he decided. Better himself than Arthur at any rate.
Arthur's voice, rough and quiet, managed to reach him. Instead of comforting him, he only winced in horror and tried to tuck himself further in the corner.
"Alfred, look at me," he commanded. Alfred's shame was too great, but Arthur was not deterred. There was a shuffling as he crept over to him, a hesitant pause at his side before he crawled up to Alfred's head. "Alfred, love, look at me."
It was the pet name rather than the command that caused him to look; when he did, he found Arthur sternly staring at him, hand edging toward him. A heady spike of fear shot through Alfred and he whimpered again, turning away.
There was a warm touch against his shoulder—when he looked up, Arthur caught his face between his hands. Alfred nearly jerked away, shying away hard, but Arthur's grasp was firm against his snout. "Alfred," he nearly pleaded (nearly because Arthur did not plead, nor did any other form of begging), trying to catch Alfred's eye. "Alfred, git, listen!"
It took all the dregs of his will power to focus on Arthur—his rapidly swaying moods left him little control, but he kept his gaze on Arthur's stricken face.
"Alfred, it's all right—you're all right. I—I am all right," he added, voice firm.
Oh, yes, Arthur was all right for the moment, but that was no thanks to Alfred; Alfred failed to bite back a whimper at the ugly thought and pulled his head from Arthur's hands. Before he could bury it beneath his paws, Arthur's hands caught his face once more, pulling it back up so they were facing each other once more.
"Don't do that, Alfred. Everything will be all right. Just—just focus on me. Can you do that, Alfred?" he asked, their gazes finally locking. The feral, animal part of Alfred sneered at the held gaze, taking it as a challenge for dominance; fighting down the urge to attack his lover, Alfred closed his eyes and moved his head to gently butt against his Arthur's chest. He wished he had hands again so he could grip the fabric of Arthur's shirt between his fingers; instead he could only bury his face against Arthur's shoulder and whine.
Arthur's arms carefully wound around his shoulders, tucking him in closer to him. "There, my love. Hush now. Everything will be alright."
Alfred sighed and closed his eyes, knowing he would have to wait until tomorrow night when the full moon waned into a gibbous and returned him to his humanity. Arthur would wait with him until then, holding and comforting him until the dawn.
It wasn't much, but in the end, perhaps it would be all right. All they could do was wait.