It was, Louis thought sadly, just like Dee to plan ahead. Felix was the sort of man who rarely did anything special for himself. He was content to do favors for friends, and hesitant to accept favors in kind. Dee had known that, Louis had no doubt, and had made sure that her planned gift for Felix's birthday would still happen, despite her own, awful plans. She hadn't left a note, but it took one look inside the box to understand. Sugar packets from when the mess hall still had them, candies, packets of flavored sugar drinks from the ration packs, peanut butter and peanuts from the same ration packs. Felix had a sweet tooth. Louis knew that almost as well as Dee. He had actually worried at one point, about Felix's attraction to sugar because it seemed unhealthy. There had been times that he had almost gone to Cottle.
With Felix's injury, he had to assume that Cottle had run some tests. There were bigger problems now than a weird tendency to gobble sugar. He had planned something similar anyway, but he knew that Felix would be touched by Dee's gift. Touched and depressed, and that was why Louis planned to present Dee's gift well after his own. He had gotten a box of powdered hot chocolate. With some thermal tabs and a canteen of water, he and Felix could have something warm and sweet right in their bunk.
Since the gods knew Felix was still recoiling in horror at the idea of having sex. Louis wasn't pushing him, it was just a week after the amputation, and truth be told, he wasn't exactly in the mood for a hot frak, with everything that was going on, but the last thing he wanted was for Felix to think he was somehow turned off or grossed out by Felix's body. It wasn't pretty, but *that* wasn't why he was in love with Felix.
Felix was depressed though, about his disability, the pain, Dee's suicide that he blamed himself for, and the ruin of Earth. Deep down, Louis rather doubted that he was going to magically cheer Felix up with hot chocolate and peppermint candy and erase the crushing blows of the last week, but he figured at least Felix would know that someone gave a damn about him.
"Where is Felix," he asked when he entered the bunk room, holding his gaily wrapped gift. He tried not to look at the blood stains on the floor.
"He left," Seelix said casually from her bunk. "He said he needed to get away. He didn't look so good….He was going on about being off schedule…"
"Well, why didn't…" Louis stopped. No one went after Felix because no one cared. Everyone had their own problems to worry about. Humanity sometimes made him very sad, and very angry, but he forced that away. "Did he say where he was going?"
"Yeah," said one of the petty officers. "Down to storage level F. Something about needing something there…" The petty officer shrugged. "He left about a half hour ago…"
Louis felt his worry increase. Storage level F was essentially abandoned on the Galactica. It was where tyliem was stored, level B through G and at last check, the fuel lockers that were being emptied were on Level E. Level F was just empty fuel tanks and the smell of the fuel made it impossible to use for anything else. Even the most desperate for privacy didn't go there.
It was Felix's birthday and he was going to the most unpleasant part of the ship and Louis began to jog down the corridor. Something Felix had said started to ring in his ears, how *angry* he was with Dee. Not for killing herself, but for making her friends see the aftermath. He had vowed and promised Louis that he'd never do that. But dragging himself off to the cleared storage levels to die alone and unfound like some wounded animal seeking a hole to die in….That thought made Louis pick up the pace.
As he clamored down the stairwell into the main corridor of Storage Level F, he sighed in relief as he spotted Felix's limping form walking with his crutches. "Felix, dammit, what are you doing?" he said as he came up on the man.
Felix turned and looked at him, and Louis felt his worry increase tenfold. Felix looked sick. His skin was pale and dotted with sweat and the black circles under his eyes. He was gritting his teeth like he was biting back pain and his eyes… seemed off. "Oh gods, Louis, go away. Leave me alone."
"Felix, I know what you're planning and I won't let you do it." He held out the gift and took a step closer. "It's your birthday… I can't lose you on your birthday."
Felix's eyes widened. Suddenly, he punched the wall with such violence that Louis could see a dent in the metal wall. "Dammit Louis!" Felix said, sounding desperate and breathless. "I'm not here to kill myself… I…" He looked away, and then down at his foot. "I know this will sound crazy, but… I'm a child of Pan."
Louis couldn't help it, he laughed. "Felix, that's a story, just a story people tell children." He'd heard the stories himself, so long ago. "Did Dr. Cottle give you something? Something for the pain?"
"Do you know," Felix hissed, " what Gaeta means in Old Aqualon? It means Wolf Walker." And he seemed to cringe and hug himself as though pain was coursing through his body. Louis dropped the box and rushed to his side. Felix jerked away but Louis held him.
"It's going to be fine, you're going to be fine," he crooned, uncomfortably aware of how things seemed to *moving* under Felix's skin. Children of Pan, the shape shifters who turned into animals and hunted those who went against the gods… everything Louis Hoshi knew about science and technology told him it was impossible. But the sensation of Felix's muscle and bone moving told him otherwise. "Ok," he said softly, pretending not to notice how Felix seemed suddenly taller and how his teeth looked more pointy than they should, "why are you here?"
Felix tapped the door of the closest hatch. "The change… I can control it except once a month… the moon frenzy…." He opened the door and limped in. Louis followed, noting that the room was empty except for a storage ledge and some heavy chains and cuffs. Felix shrugged off his hands and began taking off his clothes. "Listen," he said quietly, "this… isn't how I planned to tell you but I did plan to tell you. Take my crutches, my clothes, and the leg…" Louis took the clothes, and watched in nervous awe as Felix hopped to the ledge, naked, and clicked on a leg shackle to his good leg. Louis could see, by the deep scratches on the wall, that the storage room wasn't just a one time hiding hole for Felix. Felix locked the shackle with a combination lock and looked at him, his expression devastated. "Go. I can't hold it back much longer. Close the door, and don't open it until you hear me, in my normal voice, asking you to." He winced and shuddered in pain. Louis almost stepped forward and Felix held up a hand to stop him. "Don't! Go outside. Call if you're worried. He knows. But go, and don't open the door until I say." He choked. "I love you, Louis."
"I'll be right out here," Louis promised. "I love you too. I'll be here." He closed the hatch door, and winced at the unearthly howling that suddenly sounded through the metal walls. Oh Felix, he thought sadly. He had known there was something that Felix was holding back from him, that Felix held back from everyone, but he had never expected this. He had seen it in the man's eyes that Felix didn't expect him to wait, or to keep the secret. The Children of Pan were the legendary bogeymen of all of the colonies, the shape shifters who only came out when the moon was full and took the lives of the unbelievers as Pan's due right.
"I'll stay," he promised. He owed Felix that.