Warnings: The flangst, it kills. And the title is, yes, based off of Dancing With Wolves, which is one of the craziest and longest movies to ever exist. Crazy amounts of people die in that shit! Note: Crazy amounts of people do not die in this.
Summary: She couldn't leave. He hadn't known they even liked each other. Post-finale. RJ/Fran
staying with wolves
It felt like a cold hand was clenched around his heart and RJ fought the urge to vomit.
He told himself it was because his pack was leaving - he was losing his cubs, his team, his best friend - but the wolf inside howled that it was something more. He was losing his mate. To his best friend. RJ had never consciously thought of Fran as his - god, even now he was embarrassed to think it, like she might find out somehow - mate. But the wolf was insistent and the burning pain in his chest where his heart used to be seemed to agree.
RJ felt sick to stomach. He didn't even know they liked each other. It had always been friendship between his two favorite bookish friends. Dom had always told him - in an assuring tone that told RJ that Dom still knew him a little too well for RJ's own piece of mind - that he saw Fran as a little sister, nothing more.
And Fran had said… well, he supposed it didn't matter any more.
They were leaving. Together.
He hadn't know his friends well enough to gauge this. He was supposed to be the mentor, the teacher and his pack was supposed to be the thing he knew best. RJ wearily sunk further into his chair, at a loss. He was a failure as an alpha and the wolf inside him whimpered at the loss.
The tell tale creak on the steps behind him told him Fran was coming to say goodbye.
Goodbye. Something snarled and tore inside his chest and he had to clench his hands into fists to keep from echoing the sentiment aloud.
RJ gazed at her unblinkingly. She was babbling about something, but he couldn't concentrate on the words. He listened to the cadence of her voice, the highs and lows of the pitch; he saw her bright eyes and perpetual smile. "And so I was thinking that maybe I ha-"
"Don't go," RJ interrupted, immediately regretting it. He berated himself fiercely, even as the wolf in his chest howled in victory.
Fran blinked at him. "What?" she asked, after a moment of hesitation. Her eyes were unreadable - so unlike her. Usually she wore her heart on her sleeve.
"I said," RJ fumbled for a moment, his hands flailing in the air, "go…slow?" That didn't even make sense.
"That doesn't even make sense," Fran said, hands on her hips. "You said don't go," she said accusatorily. "Why wouldn't you want me to go?" RJ stared at her unseeingly.
"Because," he said desperately, grasping at straws, "Dom's irresponsible and it could be dangerous and-"
"He's your best friend," she said, sounding scandalized. "You don't trust him?"
RJ wanted to shout that of course he didn't trust Dom anymore, he was stealing his mate away from him! The goddamn rhino was taking what wasn't his and didn't give a damn what he was doing to RJ, his closest friend for all time. But he refrained and simply shrugged. Fran glared at him and RJ didn't know what to do. Fran never glared at him. Fran never even got angry at him.
He shifted uncomfortably.
"That's total bullwash and you know it!" she said, prodding him hard in the chest. "You're just too afraid to say what you really mean and argh!" She cut herself off a moment later, throwing her hands up in the air. "You-you-you," she seemed at a loss for words in her anger. "You're such a buttface!"
"Well, you know what RJ?" Fran said, almost deflating before his eyes. "Unless you can tell me one good reason not to, I'm going to go." She shouldered her pack, turned her back and started for the stairs.
Something inside RJ broke and before he could even tell himself this was the worst idea ever created, he was up on his feet and across the room. He blocked Fran from going any further and growled softly. "You can't go." Fran sighed and tried to shoulder past him, but he held fast. "You can't go because you're mine," he growled, his eyes more wolf than human. The wolf howled for something more but RJ held it at bay. He stared at Fran, who's eyes were suddenly wider than he'd ever seen them. His hands dropped from her shoulders and he took a step back, his gaze dropping. His wolf whined and pawed at the ground - it didn't understand why RJ wasn't holding his mate. As far as it was concerned, the matter had been settled.
RJ knew better.
"I told Casey that a Pai Zhuq master just knows," RJ murmured softly, not looking at her. "If there's anything that's made me more sure about myself and my Pai Zhuq, it's you. I just know it's you."
There was silence and RJ gave up. If Fran didn't - suddenly, his arms were full of Fran and soft, slightly chapped lips were pressed against his. There was a moment in time where RJ didn't do anything - he had been stunned into motionlessness - but that didn't last long. His petite mate was soon drawn against him, her arms twined around his neck as he finally claimed her lips.
"You're like two different people sometimes," Fran breathed against his mouth when they broke apart a moment later. "It's a little crazy," she admitted, grinning in a way that made RJ want to taste her smile. So he did.
A moment later, when he'd determined it was just as sweet as he'd thought it would be, he settled his forehead against hers. "I can't complain though," Fran said, "Because I'm not altogether very sane myself." Her breath was hot against his cheek and it made him want to kiss her again. So he did.
"Y-You-you've got to stop doing that," Fran complained, fumbling her words a little, even as her eyes sparkled.
"Can't," he replied simply, heady with the idea that he could kiss her now whenever he wanted. He tasted her lips once more before she finally pulled away from him. The wolf bayed half heartedly in protest, but had gotten its way enough that it settled down only a moment later.
"Just one question," she said, brown eyes peering at him from behind her bangs. "Well, actually, more than one, but I believe some of the others can-" Fran's tone turned from curious to babbling and RJ stopped her in the only way he knew how. (Or at least, the only way he wanted to now.) She glared up at him a moment later. "Anyway," she said meaningfully, "a question."
"Ask away," RJ said magnanimously, his eyes on the curve of Fran's neck.
"It is just the wolf and you inside… there," she asked, squinting up at his forehead like there was a list of inhabitants posted there and making an odd gesture that RJ took to mean 'in that psychotic space you call your head'. "Right? I don't have to be on guard for some other personality or animal to show up and decide someone else is a more suitable significant other, correct?"
RJ blinked, before grinning. Only Fran. No, he assured her, it would only ever be him and the wolf prowling around in his mind. "And both want you with equal certainty," he said, eyeing the curve of her hip and the line of her leg. Fran's blush was more than worth it and RJ promised himself he'd spend as much time seeking it out as he could.
There was an amused huff from the wolf, who then whined his agreement. His mate was more than adequate.
"I'll stay," Fran said a moment later, smiling softly. RJ marveled for a moment how lucky he was to find a girl that thought him sharing his mind with a wild animal was simply status quo. But only for a moment, there were more important things to do. He hadn't tasted this smile yet.
Dom watched from the loft above for only a moment longer, grinning, and gave a sigh of relief. Thank god his plan worked, because he hadn't really gotten another ticket for Fran.
Those things were really expensive.
Author's Note: My school does a Halloween parade with the elementary school nearby and there were like five kids dressed up in various Jungle Fury outfits. There was one Theo, two Caseys and three Doms. I was disappointed at the lack of RJ, but I suppose that's the peril of being the purple ranger.
Oh, and sorry about the excessive wolf references. RJ's chest!wolf is probably my favorite thing about writing him. That and his crazy, Jack Sparrow-esque hand motions.