Foreword:Hello, Hello! Welcome all to the spectacle that I am about to make of Hibari Kyouya's life! XD Please fasten your seatbelts and do try to enjoy the ride!

Disclaimer: I do not own Katekyo Hitman Reborn a.k.a. Katekyoushi Hitman REBORN! This series is owned by Amano Akira…although I cannot say that I'd have done much different…well aside from the addition of more worthy kick-ass females. (I mean c'mon, the only real kick-ass female characters we have are Lal Mirch & I-Pin…and one of them retires to become a ramen delivery girl. -_- It's really no wonder the fandom has so much yaoi!) The image used for the cover was found at all-about-wolves. c o m.

Summary:When a routine hit goes horribly wrong, an unseen series of events finds a grievously wounded and exhausted Kyoya in unfamiliar territory, surrounded by wolves, and with a shotgun to his face. Not even his fangs can handle this particular beast.

The Nature of the Beast

Off the Beaten Path

His dress shoes clopped and drug across the tar paved road like thudding sand paper. The spattering of blood was lost in the torrent of rain that washed down the empty stretch of road. He mused to himself with a smirk; the weather was covering for him. His eyes narrowed at the thought and he grimaced. He needed cover. He stopped his slow pacing as every instinct in his body cried for him to turn and face his pursuers. His hands twitched as they sought his weapons, but as he began to straighten his back, he was suddenly hunched over. A silent hiss slid out between his snarling lips. Heaving labored breaths, he straightened slowly and continued to trudge on.

He could turn and wait. Wait for the scavengers to come and finish him off. He'd kill most of them. He knew. But, there would always be that one. No matter what scenarios he could put together, in each one, Hibari Kyoya would die. He'd never been a strategist; he'd never needed to be one. If there was a problem, he'd simply tear into it until the only thing it could do was die. He preferred to leave the planning to others. Of course, Kyoya never took part in any planning whatsoever. Let the herbivores crowd each other for safety. He mentally snorted at the imagery. He didn't care what they did, so long as his enemies; the interlopers, the rule breakers, the pests-so long as they all paid in blood, he couldn't care less what the herbivores did.

…and look where that kind of thinking got him. He clenched his fist. The rain was beginning to slow and he knew it wouldn't be long before the scavengers picked up his trail again. He stared ahead, the empty plains ended soon-a forest springing up in its wake. He picked up his pace.

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He was running. Wet branches slapping and tearing at him, slicing into the few remaining unscathed bits of Armani and flesh, water logged twigs and foliage squishing beneath his feet, a sudden squelch every so often. He was noisy and in far too much pain to continue. A shot rang out and years of experience were the only thing that saved him as he snapped his head to the left. The bullet streaked across his cheek and embedded itself into a tree. His agitation grew. He would continue regardless of what his body thought.

He could hear them behind him, calling to each other-a few rookies laughing as though catching him would be no easier than catching a cold. He could hear their superiors snapping at them because they knew better. Hibari Kyoya was no easy catch and by all means, they should be the ones fleeing from him. The urge to stand his ground came back with a vengeance, but the former prefect shoved it away. He had no intention of dying-not at the hands of scavengers. He would make them pay in due time, but for now he had to recuperate and the thought disgusted him. He was weak-too weak to take out a pack of pathetic scavengers.

Again the urge surfaced, only to be quickly extinguished as his footing slipped and he landed harshly on uneven ground, the action jolting his broken ribs. The pained grunt that followed was heard by his pursuers. "Over there!"

He scowled and kept moving. Despite his being out of sight, it was no surprise they could still hear him crashing-or rather sloshing through the wet forest. His current condition weighed down on him heavily, affecting more than just his body, but his mind. He knew that, normally, a few broken ribs and gun shots would barely slow him, but today was not a normal day. Today was the fourth day of his injuries and the fifth day since the incident. His body was falling apart. He'd survived this long with little to no-medical care just on sheer will and the remaining power of his flames. He was starved and his body exhausted.

He could attempt to fight, but he was slow. His injuries had worn down his strength and endurance. A direct confrontation would be the death of him, so he did what was necessary for him to survive-what was necessary to pay back the wretched herbivore that would dare put a hit out on him.

Despite the soaked forest, the rain had ended hours ago, the dark night sky was brightened by a full moon and Kyoya cursed its appearance for it made him all the easier to find. Yet there was a glint under the moon's light that kept making itself known to the corner of his gaze. It wasn't his pursuers, that he knew; he could hear them traipsing behind him. So, he slowed. The persistent glimmer would not be ignored. Steel-a wire fence, ten feet high and bordered by spirals of barbed wire ran parallel to his chosen path. Now that he'd noticed it, he could see that it ran on for several yards, perhaps further. He was hesitant to the idea emerging in his mind, but whatever hesitation he'd felt was quickly erased by the black, white, and red sign that clearly stated the words: NO TRESSPASING.

He couldn't make the climb, not in his state. Even if he somehow made it over the barbed wire, he'd be far too noisy. They'd find him quickly. He'd have to get over the fence without touching it. His eyes narrowed in agitation. Clenching his jaw, he picked up his pace, running as fast as his wounded body could manage. Dredging up what little remained of his strength, he lunged forward with a leap, the balls of his feet meeting and shoving off a tree five feet up, and then, with another shove, he hurtled himself over the fence. He fell gracelessly, the wind smacked from his body as it met the ground. It took everything he had to stay silent as the hillside, laden with rain water, slid beneath him and sent him tumbling with it.

He didn't fall long, but the pain he felt with every rough tumble and spin made the time stretch onward. When his body finally came to a stop, he left it that way. He forced his lungs to expand against broken ribs. He was silent beneath the towering tree's canopies, listening as the scavengers called to each other. They were still searching for him. He listened for what seemed like hours. After a stretch of time filled only by his contemplation, he made to stand. He made it two feet before his body collapsed beneath him and darkness took him.

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The sun stung his heavy-lidded eyes and he tried and failed to block out the loud chirping as birds chattered back and forth. There was an unfamiliar sound as well: panting. A whine came next, he shifted in response and the sound that followed suggested his movements were ill advised. The snarl that tore through the air found him locking his stare with the golden gaze of a wolf. It was large and impressive. It's lips pulled back taut against cruel white fangs, covered in gray fur that was dappled with shades of white and black. He could hear the others—their paws shifting on the forest debris.

There was a sudden flick of the beast's ears and a new sound entered the clearing. It was an odd metallic-like shuttle sound that vaguely reminded him of a rattle. It was a sound that he was-irritably- familiar with. He rolled his head forward and found himself face to face with twin black depths; the barrel of a shot gun. He lifted his gaze and followed the barrel back down to its handle. It was a woman of tan complexion, her grip on the weapon was sure and familiar, and the way her grey eyes glared down at him in undisguised annoyance assured him that she had no problem pulling the trigger.

Her voice cut through his inspection. "You look a little lost."

Afterword: Well, I hope you enjoyed! I'll have the next chapter up in a week…depending on if I can find a beta quick enough. .

Update:As of 9/2/2012 I have found a beta! This is the beta'ed version of the prologue and I expect to have ch. 1 posted within the next 5 days. Presumably sooner. :D

-S.T.