Red Hoods and Wolves
A/n: Are we gonna have a third chapter?! I doubt it, haha. Thanks for stopping by!
Summary: Estelle stumbles upon a wolf-like creature while foraging through the forest. The animal leads her to her destiny.
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN!
He came to in the silent stillness of snow falling heavily outside. The cracking sound of a fire poured into his eardrums next, followed by the soft breathing of a hulking mass beside him.
Yuri forced his eyes open, groaning loudly as waves of pain, hunger, and ache rolled into him all at once. He winced involuntarily, making a terrible attempt at sitting up. His sudden movement woke up Repede.
The dog lifted his head, sniffing the air slowly. He opened one eye, regarding his master in his ever thoughtful gaze. Yuri turned his head and smiled at his silent companion, ruffling his mane with his closest hand. Taking a deep breath, Yuri tried to sit up against the pillows again, this time succeeding in the motion.
He took in the small, quaint cabin and suddenly, it all came back to him. That pink haired girl had saved him, and brought him to her home, he assumed. He looked around the room once again, and sniffed gingerly. Sure enough, the girl's scent was all over the place, a sweet aroma that covered nearly everything around him.
But the owner of the home was no where in sight.
Yuri shifted under the two wool blankets that covered him, removing one as he pondered on his next steps. He wasn't even sure if his leg could handle him running all the way back home and anyway, he didn't want the girl to worry about him if he just up and vanished.
Not that he cared or anything.
Running his hands through his hair, Yuri tried to formulate a plan that would get him out of the girl's cabin as quickly as possible. He couldn't very well stay there; it wasn't safe for either of them.
At the moment, the sweet scent that filled the cabin struck him full force and he was staring at the door before she opened it wide, her wicker basket in her arms. She hurriedly shut the door and stepped out of her boots, rubbing her hands together for warmth. When she turned to face him and saw his dark eyes gazing at her, she smiled widely.
"Oh, you're awake! Great!" She walked over to the fire and stirred the large kettle she had dangling over the fire, then walked over to him. She rubbed her hands together once again, before moving to touch his forehead with her bare hand. After turning her hand over, she crept closer, making Yuri blink rapidly.
"W-What are you doing?"
"Sorry, I think my hands are still cold so..." Estelle leaned forward, pressing their foreheads together. She closed her eyes, counting to five before she finally moved away from his personal space. She smiled and gave him a thumbs up, "Good news! Your fever's just about gone."
"...How long have I had a fever?"
"Hmmmm, about three days?" She nodded to herself as she walked over to the other side of the cabin, reaching into a box where she stored all her food. "Yes, that sounds about right."
Yuri licked his lips as the smell of dried meat hit his sensitive nose. Even Repede lifted his head, "So I've been here for three days?"
He watched as Estelle dropped the dried meat into the kettle and stirred it again. She gazed at the fire somberly, "No, a week."
Yuri's heartbeat pounded in his chest at her words. He had been out for an entire week? And the entire time, this girl had been taking care of him. He watched her as she tended to the food, noticing the way her cheeks had slowly regained their normal color as she warmed up in front of the fire.
"Ah, I'm sure you're extremely hungry. I did my best to feed you broth while you were… incapacitated, but I think you're ready for something a bit more filling."
Yuri gave her the faintest of nods, as she scurried about the place, grabbing a bowl and spoon from a small cupboard. She filled the bowl with stew as high as she dared, then turned back into her little kitchen to cut off a hunk of bread. She brought both foods to Yuri while he sat in her bed, and handed them gently to him.
"Be careful, it's very hot."
"Thank you, ummmm…" Before he could finish the sentence he had uttered, Yuri realized that he actually didn't know the girl's name.
"My name is Estelle," She said, with a girlish giggle, "Pleased to meet you again, Yuri." She gave him a playful curtsy, which earned her a sliver of a smirk.
"So, Estelle," he asked, forcing himself to eat slowly. He didn't want to upset his stomach after being unconscious for a week. "Why do you live so far away from the other humans?"
Estelle's spoon hovered over her bowl for a moment before she finally set the spoon down, setting her bright green eyes on Yuri's face, "My parents died when I was very young. My grandmother took care of me in this house, until she too, passed away."
Yuri turned sad eyes to her bright face, taking pity on the poor girl, "I'm sorry I-"
"Oh no, don't apologize. I was loved well while they were alive, and I still feel their love everyday. Even though their physical forms are no longer of this world, I know that they are still looking out for me."
A lazy smile stretched across Yuri's face, "That's one way to look at it."
Estelle nodded in agreement and went back to her meal. The two ate in silence before Estelle broke it, standing up to get the both of them mugs of water, "Yuri, may I ask you a question?" She asked, as she filled both cups.
"You said 'the other humans', as if you, yourself aren't one," Estelle walked over and handed him the mug, sitting comfortable on the edge of the bed, "But if you aren't human, then what…?"
"You saw me, didn't you?" Taking a healthy drink from the mug, Yuri held it near his mouth as he looked directly into her eyes, "What do you think I am?"
For the first time in his life, Yuri was truly curious about what some else; this girl, truly thought of him. Did she think he was a monster?
"Well I know that you were a wolf when I met you in the forest. But then you turned into a man right in front of me! It was amazing!" She cried, a glint of astonishment twinkling in her emerald orbs. "So you're… a wolf-man?"
Yuri chuckled and took another sip, "Other humans call my kind werewolves." He said, with a wry smile.
"Well, to me... you are Yuri." She took a sip of her own drink and stared down into her cup, "And I am very glad that you are finally awake."
Maybe it was her sweet scent finally getting to him, but her lonely words wormed their way into his heart. Sitting his cup down gently, Yuri leaned forward and placed his hand over Estelle's. His violet eyes melted into her green ones, and she tried not blush, "I'm sorry I worried you."
She nodded, diverting her gaze from the intense look in his eyes, "W-Would you like more to eat?"
Before he could answer, Estelle had already scooped up the bowl and went back to the fire to fill it with more food. Yuri chuckled to himself as she handed the food to him - her face was as red as the cape she wore.
Maybe he would stay here a little while longer.