A/N: I am a fairly new convert to this series, but here it is…my attempt at a fanfiction? Heh…spoilers for Wolf Captured (halfway through it right now). A ONESHOT.

What a funny thing it was.

When he was running with Moon Frost on Misheemnekuru, still he found himself comparing her, always finding her less worthy than his dear heart, his Firekeeper. She had been a pup for so long, his Little Two Legs to protect and play with, that now he found it hard to believe that she was growing up, finding her own way in the world that was hers and not. He knew, somewhere in his heart, that he should have been long gone as soon as she had adjusted suitably, back to his pack to rejoin the rest of his family, or to find a mate and begin his own pack as a wolf, to run and hunt in a forest untouched by humans and to mate with a she wolf in spring. That was the life of a wolf, not this. This existence touched undeniably by humans, living with them and beginning to understand their ways. Firekeeper dug in her heels and refused to admit that she belonged here, but he was preparing, subconsciously, for a life in human society.

Why? He wondered. There was nothing holding him back. Firekeeper could live on her own, with Fox Hair and Elise's help. He couldn't hold on to that feeble excuse that she needed him to guide her. After all, he was no human, and her education was far enough along that it was human guidance she needed, not wolf sense. And that did not explain his blind panic when she had run away. She was a weak, helpless pup no longer. Hadn't her fight with Moon Frost served to show him that? And later, her rescue from the pit that would have starved all of the wolves in one stroke had she not used her human cleverness to help them out.

His tail drooped with shame as he thought of his attempts to make her jealous – his romps with Moon Frost, purposefully ignoring her, hoping that she would come to him. He had behaved like a puppy, misbehaving to attract attention, whether positive or negative did not matter. What must she think of him? He had demeaned himself in Firekeeper's eyes, and for some reason that thought was intolerable.

Pride would not let him admit to what he knew to be true. He felt stupid for denying it, turning his head to pretend that it was not there, but not denying it would be worse. No proper wolf loved a human, no matter how wolfish her heart.

And so he let her lay her head on his flank, taking comfort from her warm presence, the sister who had been with him through all the strangeness and all the night time hunts, and had, in the process, become something more. He closed his pale blue eyes with a small wuff of air that was bitter laughter at his own pretentiousness. After all, how could a wolf ever love a human? And how could a human ever love a wolf? But in his dreams, Firekeeper was four legged with a magnificent dark coat the color of her hair, running beside him through familiar forests west of the mountains. Maimalodalu. The word somehow contained all his hopes for that dream, and he whispered it into his dear Firekeeper's ear, hoping against all hope that a wolf's heart could somehow make her a wolf.