Disclaimer: Wolf's Rain does not belong to me. If I stole it, Tsume and his gang would probably just steal it right back.
Author's Notes: It's been a while since I was really involved in the Wolf's Rain fandom. I'll try to finish this story (I hate leaving things unfinished), but it will probably be a long and gruelling process. Sorry if I disappoint anyone.
[ AFTER THE RAIN | PART 2 ]
Tyrin stood outside the door of one of the gang's many hidden warehouses across the city. She knocked loudly.
"Who is it?"
"I'm here to speak with the warehouse master."
"Lady, you must be mistaken. This is no warehouse."
"Oh, but I know it is. I wish to talk to Tsume. Yolcin the shopkeeper told me to come here."
The door opened, and the man grinned. "Well, why didn't you say so?"
"I thought you might appreciate some discretion on my part, but I see subtlety is somewhat beyond you. Never mind. I would be grateful if you took me to him," she said and smiled. The man scratched the back of his head and grinned back.
"Are you sure you wouldn't like a tour of the warehouse first, miss?" He raised a brow suggestively.
"No, she wouldn't, Thad," came a deep voice from beyond the hallway. Golden glints sparked from the darkness, and the man in leather (Tsume, she reminded herself) stepped forward.
"Yes," she added. "I'm afraid I'm a little short on time."
"Indeed," said Tsume, and smiled. The tiny glint of teeth in that smile seemed threatening. He said, "Follow me," and turned on his heel.
In the meeting room, Tsume swung the door quietly shut and took a seat on one side of the desk.
"Now, what is your business?" he asked.
Tyrin spoke. "I had heard that Yolcin gets the majority of his stock from you. I spoke to him, and convinced him that we should meet. I told him that the goods he received were fake, which he no doubt knew, and suggested that his supplier wasn't being quite honest with him. Being a businessman, he immediately leapt upon the opportunity to keep his good reputation and told me where to find you. So here I am."
"Yes." Tsume narrowed his eyes. "But why are you here?"
"I want to join your gang."
He furrowed his brow in disbelief.
"I really am good at – "
Tyrin's mouth dropped.
"You've been…" he stood, walked around the desk, and put a knife to her throat.
"…following me." She could smell his musk, and it distracted her.
However, the lie came fast.
"Well, of course, I wanted to know what I was getting into – you must be better than I thought, if you knew I was following you." The knife bit into her skin. "I'm sorry if I offended you, but I only work for the best. Make your judgment of me now – did I do well, or badly? Would I make a satisfactory employee?"
The knife retreated, but his scent stayed, clinging to her clothes.
"You did very well. I could hardly even smell you."
His head tilted curiously. "You don't know?"
Now he was confusing her. "Know what?"
He laughed incredulously. "You really don't know. Amazing."
Tyrin felt the first twitch of anger. "Apparently not. Would you mind filling me in, oh most knowledgeable one?"
Immediately annoyance rose to Tsume's face.
"If you're going to work for me, you won't speak to me like that," he snapped.
"Fine. And if I'm going to work for you, I need to know what you're going on about." She lowered her head in submission.
His eyes rested heavily upon her for a moment. And then he spoke.
"It's incredible that you haven't yet realised. You reek of it. How could you not have realised that everything about you is so much different to everyone else – the way you move, think, smell? You are a wolf. How could you not know?"
This guy is crazy. "Just because I'm different doesn't mean I'm another species. And, uh, in case you haven't noticed, these are fingernails, not claws."
He raised an eyebrow. "Are they really?" Sarcastically. Like he was being spoken to by an idiot.
"Yes!…I'm not so sure I want to work for you anymore." You crazy nutjob.
That sharp-toothed grin.
"Oh, but you have to," he asserted. "Your instinct drove you to follow me, to come here, to be with some of your own kind. You're pathetic. You don't even know who you are, but still you follow those drives even as you deny their existence."
Instinct. Ha. I'd say rather a fat purse of coins for your death led me here. Yes, my instinct led me straight to the money I needed.
"You seriously think I'm a wolf?"
A short bark of laughter. "I seriously know it."
"And you would know because…what, you're one too?"
"You know it."
"No…I don't." She grinned. She had this guy. "Go on, where are your claws then?"
And then she saw.
Tsume's voice still somehow came from the grey wolf as if from a human. He panted and grinned.
"Now I may have me a believer."
Tyrin stood, and her head spun. This had to be a trick. "I'm going now, I'm going – " Tsume's full weight drove her into the ground as she reached for the door handle. She scrabbled to get up, but he had her pinned down. Her forearms were suddenly forelegs and everything moved in a grey-white blur. "No!" she cried, and pulled backwards. She fell onto her haunches and flipped onto her side. She ran again for the door and scratched frantically at the unforgiving wood. Come on need human need hands – and just as she saw her fingers reach out she was pinned down again even more firmly, in her human form again, by a furious grey wolf.
Tsume's teeth were so close to her face. The low growl coming from his chest made her whine in fear. He moved fast. He closed his jaws over her neck and Tyrin waited for the squeeze. She was breathing fast and her heart thumped loudly in her ear. She wondered if Tsume could feel the pulse beating in her throat.
Slowly the pressure eased, and her eyes fluttered closed in relief. There was a puff of doggy breath in her face, then Tsume's weight lifted off her body. When she opened her eyes again, Tsume stood over her in his human form. No. She curled up sideways on the hard floor and tried her best to look anywhere but at him.
She heard a drawer open in the desk, and the ruffle of paper. Squeak of chair, scratch of pen. Squeak of chair again and the sound of the door opening and closing. Lock click. Shit.
She stood and walked over to the desk. On the desk, next to the pen, was the notepad. It read, in a messy scrawl:
If you don't want to work for me anymore then that's fine. Do whatever you want. But understand this: if you can't accept the fact that you have always been a wolf then your life will be meaningless. Trying to pretend you're something that you're not always ends in disappointment. If you want to learn more about who you really are, don't be so afraid of the truth. Cowards don't deserve to live, and if you are a coward, then I will kill you. Be strong for your own sake.
Tyrin sat herself down in the desk chair, the note crumpled tightly in her fist.