'I can feel him coming. I can feel it in my bones. He's close. The beast is close. I don't know how he found me...I'm not even sure that I want to know. Maybe he smelled my fear, maybe he heard me coming...I didn't mean to interrupt him...I only meant to watch him silently, just get a little taste of who this famed man-if you can call him a man- was...This wasn't supposed to happen.

Oh, what does it matter now? My ship's been sunk; I'm finished. I can't run any longer. He's too close...Even now as I write this I can practically smell the rotting flesh that clings to him...

To whoever reads this...Turn back now. Run fast and far. Don't go a step further. Don't look into his eyes, don't listen to him speak, just run. Don't let curiosity get the better of you...

Run.
-Professor Christopher Riddle, May 4th 1897.'

"Yeah...I really think this is a load of shit, dude." Alfred muttered, the crinkled and crumbling yellow paper held gingerly in his hand.

"Nah, look at the edges! You can't fake awesome!" Gilbert pointed to the yellowed, curled edged. They'd found the paper in the back of a rather deep, dark cave. It was tucked just under a large rock, one so big it took two people to move. They weren't really sure how it got there, or even if the paper was genuine.

Regardless, it didn't change the chilling message. Run. The note said to run...But...Why? What beast was the dude even talking about? Alfred...He'd never believed in ghosts or goblins or creepy things that went bump; things like that had never seemed possible. Humans were humans living in a human world; there wasn't anything else to be found.

"I dunno...I don't think paper would last that long out here. I mean, it's below fucking freezing. You'd think it would, like, disintegrate or some shit." Alfred shrugged, dropping his bag to the side. He and Gilbert were going backpacking in the vast Canadian wilderness. To find themselves or some shit. They started out somewhere on the border between Alaska and Canada and now they were probably somewhere in the middle. Okay, maybe not the middle...Oh, hell, they were somewhere. It had trees...And rocks...And stuff. That was all that mattered.

"It's awesome! Of course it lasted that long! This is probably some kinda sign...Don't put your bag down!" Gilbert gasped, scrambling and picking it up, tossing it back on his back. "We can't stay here!"

"Yeah. We can. Professor nutball probably just, I dunno, saw a polar bear and got freaked out. You know how they totally blew shit out of proportion back then. Shakespeare wrote some ungodly number of pages about a rose or something." Alfred muttered, taking the bag back and throwing it on the ground.

"Don't be an idiot! First of all, Shakespeare was born way before 18-whatever! Second, do you want the polar bear to get you!?"

"...Dude, whatever the thing was it's gone now. Just quiet down and go to bed, alright?" Alfred let out a long sigh, pulling his sleeping-bag from its curled chamber and rolling it out.

Gilbert finally relented, falling to the ground next to him and tugging out his sleeping bag. "It's still creepy as fuck."

"I don't care, Gil. We gotta get some sleep. I'm tired. We've been walking for-freaking-ever."

"We've only been out here for two days, man. We're only staying out here for a week." Gilbert rolled his eyes, while curling up into his bag and tugging the zipper nearly shut. Hispale white skin disappearing into the bag until only his nose stuck out a tiny hole he'd allowed for air.

"I'm still tired." Alfred said while following suit and cocooning himself into the bag. "'Night Gil. Don't die." He yawned and that was that. In seconds the American was fast asleep and snoring.

Gilbert, on the other hand, wasn't falling asleep anytime soon. Just as soon as he was sure Alfred was asleep he crept from the cave they'd somehow ended up in for the night; his rather clumsy feet treading with a surprising grace on the slowly falling snow. The cold white flakes fell around him, peppering his grey, ashy-colored hair. He stepped slowly across the land, edging around whatever obstacles lay in his path.

If there was a massive polar bear out here, so help him he would find it. True, he was probably out of his mind walking out in the Canadian wilderness all by himself, but he did have the tiny handgun on him, so it wasn't like he was totally defenseless! Besides, both he and Alfred took a three-week course on just how to survive in the wild! He was totally equipped for this!

Or, so he thought...

No matter how much prepping he'd been through or how many classes he'd taken there was nothing that could have prepared him for what lie only footsteps to his left.

The trees beside him rattled as a heavy weight landed on their branches, the limbs creaking under its weight.

Gilbert jumped, his hand flying to his gun.

"That's not going to help you" A voice purred. Something fell from the tree's branches, landing with a deep, heavy thump as it came to rest on the ground.

His heart jumped in his chest; the organ nearly stopping as it palpated. "A-al? Al, c'mon, this isn't funny, dude!" He called out.

"Al? Who's Al? Oh, I'm sure it's too late for him now..."

Gilbert could feel the voice smirking at him. His pale fingers fumbled with the gun, taking it out and pulling back the safety. "I swear to God, Al...Don't do this. This isn't funny." This wasn't good. God, no. They were alone...T-this was Alfred...This was just Alfred pulling some shitfaced prank on him...B-bastard.

"Oh, you're right..." The voice came closer still, a sudden stench filling the air. Gilbert clamped his hand over his nose, feeling a bile rise up in his throat from the putrid stench and the fear bubbling in his stomach. "There's nothing funny about death." And there he was...Whatever he was. Just like that he was there.

Gilbert screamed. A horrified shriek ripped from his throat; his fingers pulling at the trigger of the gun.

The bullets slammed into the thing, ripping tiny little holes through his massive and grotesque frame. "You really think that's going to stop me? Hmm? Oh, now that's funny..."

What the hell was this?! It wasn't...This wasn't...What?!

Gilbert couldn't speak. He couldn't say anything. He was far too paralyzed with fear to even think about speaking. The thing in front of him...He couldn't even get a word out.

It stood at least three heads taller than the average man with muscles rippling out so far they seemed to rip the skin. His (he assumed it was a he given the depth and tone of the voice) skin was white, pure snow white; like Old man winter had blown his icy breath on the mans flesh, freezing it instantly. But the skin couldn't handle it...It cracked and ripped and tore, leaving patches of exposed and rotting flesh in its wake.

Despite its size and girth where there wasn't muscles there seemed to be nothing but bone. It stood out exposed and chalky in contrast to the pink and rot of the muscle.

His head...His head was perhaps the most disturbing. The face was so humanoid; it had all the features! But there were horns...Massive, gigantic blood-tipped horns shooting out from his skull. And his eyes...His eyes were bright...A color Gilbert couldn't even fathom...They were such a stunning purple intermingled with a brilliant green, all swirled inside massive orbs of clue...Like...Like he'd had the Aurora Borealis trapped within his skull.

In a way they entranced the Albino, drawing him in in pure curiosity. In other ways they made him want to run, run far away, not stopping for anything.

He stared up at the man, his heart pounding a frantic rhythm and beat incapable of even the fastest drummer; his lungs ached for air that he just couldn't give; his legs longed to do nothing more than run.

"Nothing can stop me. I've been alive for decades and not a thing has even come close...You're wasting your bullets...Don't even bother." His voice was sickly sweet, deep and quite manly, but so...So horribly...small. It didn't match up with his size yet it still shook Gilbert to the core.

The beast advanced, stepping closer and closer; his intimidation heightening with each step. "G-go away." Gilbert managed to sputter out, stepping back from him as he moved. "P-please go away."
"Go away? That's cute. That's very cute indeed." His eyes locked with Gilberts, a smile twisting up his lips. He reached out with a quick hand, snatching Gilbert up and tugging him closer. The bullets flew from the gun at all angles as Gilbert shot around madly. One hit the thing in the arm, ripping a hole through it but doing nothing to his grip.

"What. The. Fuck!?" Alfred screeched; his fingers curled around a massive rock that he was ready to launch.

Gilbert screamed again, shooting backwards blindly. The bullet flew from the gun and hit Alfred square in the leg, tearing through his upper thigh.

Alfred cried out, falling to the ground, the rock falling with him and landing on his ankle.

"...What's this?" The beast dropped Gilbert to the ground, now edging his way around Alfred and stalking him like a cat would stalk prey. He inhaled deeply, smiling a little more devilishly than he had before. "You smell nice."

"Gilbert! What the fuck is this thing?!" Alfred asked, scuttling backwards in the snow.

Gilbert scrambled up, shaking his head and taking trembling steps backwards. "It's that fucking thing! The thing Professor what-the-fuck-ever was talking about! I-I thought you said he was talking about a polar bear!"

"I didn't know what the hell he was talking about!"

"Well, now look what you got us into! Idiot!"

"You're the one who got yourself freakin' trapped by it, dipshit!" Alfred yelped when the thing grabbed at his foot, tugging him closer.

"My, you two do screech a lot, don't you?" The beast pouted, gingerly lifting Alfred's leg to inspect the damage. "You're disrupting the quiet of my forest,and I don't like that."

Alfred winced and cried out in pain, kicking his good leg at the thing. "Dude! Gil! Help me!"

"You don't need his help. You're not going anywhere." The beast then lifted him up and into his arm, holding him like some kind of parcel against his chest. He turned his attention to Gilbert, smiling almost. "You're free to go. Leave...Unless you'd like to be our meal."

"What the fuck do you mean our meal!? Let me go!" Alfred squirmed in his grasp, gagging and covering his nose. "Gilbert! C-C'mon!"

Gilbert stood trembling, thin hands gripping and tugging at the fabric of his shirt. "Al...Al...I can't...I can't..I can't help you..I mean, what the fuck can I do? That thing...I don't know what the fuck it is...B-but..."

"So you're gonnaleave me. With that."

"Alfred! Does it look like I can do anything!?" What could he do!? Throw stones at it?! "I shot him. I shot him 7 times. He didn't die. He didn't even get hurt! I can't do shit!...H-he's letting me go...I can't...Lizzy. Think about her...I-I told her I'd make it back, that I wouldn't...But...Dude...I want to help...I just...I can't."

That was true. That was very true indeed. Alfred would give him that...but...Dammit, he was scared. Scared wasn't even the right word to use. There wasn't a word strong enough. He nodded, biting his lip and staring at him. "G-gil...Yeah...Yeah, I get it...Tell Liz I said hi...Tell mom I love 'er...Tell dad he's a jerk-off but I love him too." He muttered, smiling sadly and waving briefly.

"...Are you two done yet?" The thing rolled his haunting eyes, shifting his weight from one leg to the other.

"Shut up! You're taking me hostage or some shit! Let me have this, goddammit!" Alfred glared at the beast, batting at his shoulder.

The beasts eyes flew open, but he nodded, closing his mouth.

"Whatever. Anyways, love you man. Even though you're a total fucking ass for leaving me...Stay safe and get the fuck out of here...For all I know there could be a unicorn in here...Actually, if there's a unicorn capture and take it back for my dad...Yeah..." He turned his head to face the horned man, smirking at him. "We can go now. Catch ya on the other side, Gil. I'll be waiting."

The beast was stunned. Utterly and totally take aback. He wasn't sure what exactly had just happened...The man wasn't shrieking or afraid.

"Well, c'mon. You smell like shit, my leg hurts, and I'm hungry as hell...So if you'regonna kill me then just do it." Alfred said, smiling up at him.

"A-ah...Yes...Let's go, I guess." The thing turned its back on the stunned Gilbert, walking slowly away and deeper into the forest. Gilbert did indeed leave, tears streaming down his face and with a heavy heart.


"I still dunno why you're taking me."

"Because I want to."

"I don't get it."

"You don't have to."

"Why?"

"Why not?!"

"You're my care taker, you kind of ha-"

"Alfred! Shut up or I'll gut you where we stand!"

"...Fine." Alfred muttered, crossing his arms over his chest. "You don't have to be such an ass about everything."

"I'm not being an ass, thank you. I'm just being...Well...I'm being me. Now shut. Up."

"What if I don't want to?"

"I said I'd kill you." He muttered, finally stopping in front of a rather large and hidden cave.

"You won't kill me."

He snorted, pushing a curtain of vines away and stepping into the cavern. "And what makes you think that?"

"Well, if you were gonna kill me wouldn't you have killed me by now?"

"I...Well...Shut up!" He grumbled and tossed him rather roughly down onto a bed of leaves and some kind of fluff.

Christ, this guy was grumpy as fuck. Ugly too. Really ugly. That was a face not even a mother could love...Okay, well, not the face so much as his body. his body was beyond fucked up. There were little windows into his body, kind of. In some placed Alfred could see his ribs literally poking out of his skin. Yeah, it was gross and he really did smell like shit but at least he wasn't killing him? At the moment he wasn't.

Eh, whatever. For now he was alive.

"You don't have to be so pissy...Hey...If you don't mind my asking...What the hell are you gonna do with me exactly?" Alfred tilted his head to the side, stretching out his legs and yawning, getting comfortable on the bed of debris.

The other shrugged, rubbing a grimy hand through his rather well-kept hair. "I was planning on keeping you as a pet. Something to occupied...Though you're starting to look like a better meal..."

"Nah," Alfred shook his head. "I'm not very good. Trust me, I once tried eating myself; It didn't go very well."

He rolled his eyes and went to work, tossing random bits of stuff to the side. "I'm sure you taste fine...Now, will you do me a favor?" He held out a few strips of cloth. "That's not a question, by the way. You're doing this."

Alfred snorted, shaking his head. "Woah, man. We just met! I don't even know your name or an-"

"My name is Matthew. That's all you need to know. Now wrap the wounds your idiot friend made."

Oh. So it was that easy. "Oh. Well...Hey. I'm Alfred."

"Yes, I know." Matthew muttered, giving up and just tossing the strips of cloth at him. "Can we stop this chatting, please? My arm hurts." Yes, he could feel pain. No, he didn't bleed. He didn't really heal, either. Once his flesh ripped it stayed that way, like a scar that reopened and just wouldn't close; the skin too damaged to mend itself back together.

Alfred sighed, scooting closer. "You really want me to touch you? You kinda look and smell like shit, man. Offence intended." Matthew was scary! He was seriously fucking terrifying. But Alfred just had to deal with it, 'Cause until he could find a way out he was kinda stuck with this guy.

"Offense taken." He huffed, holding out his arm. "Just shut up."

"'Just shut up,'" He mimicked. "What about my leg? It's kinda been shot, ya know." He took a strip of cloth in his hands, running his fingers over the tattered and rather dirty fabric...It matched the cloth Matthew had wrapped about his waist...How...Weird. "Where the hell'd you get this stuff?"

"I took down a hiker once. About four times your size. He was wearing the flannel...I don't let anything go to waste." He shrugged, wincing when Alfred started the bandaging.

Alfred's fingers brushed over the wound, wincing at the odd feel of his skin. Some of it had dots of snowy white hair, other parts looked dry, rough and cracked. Painful. "That's good, I guess."

"Good...Yes. I used his fat to make candles." He muttered, gesturing to a small flickering flame near the end of the cave. "We'll fix your leg after this."

Alfred nodded, tying the bandage around the wound and giving it a knot just tight enough to hold it in place. "'Kay...What about the bullet? It's still inside." Not to mention he had a few more holes in him.

Matthew shrugged, flexing the muscles in his arm. "I'm going to be fine. It's just going to be a real bitch to deal with...The bullets will work their way out."

Right. Of course...Well, actually, that made sense. He was some kind of freak; of course the bullets would work their way out. "But...What if they get infect and you die? I mean, if you die, I'm totally out of here." He'd be gone faster than the edge pieces of brownies.

"I won't die. I can't die." Matthew stood, his horns nearly knocking against the ceiling of the cave. He stooped his head as he wandered around the cave, pulling out a slightly cleaner makeshift bandage and a tiny tub of what looked like an ointment.

"What do you mean 'can't die'?" Everything could die. Everything had an expiration date. Everything.

Matthew knelt in front of him, pressing him down and picking his leg up, setting it down on one of his. "I can't die." He repeated, ripping the fabric open and away from the wound. "Well...I suppose the tangible part of me could die...But I don't think I can actually die...I'll just move onto the next body...Well, I won't...I mean, I guess I'll die with my body...but it's not my body, but it is..."

"Matt, dude, what?" Alfred raised his eyebrows at him, shaking his head. "I really don't get it...If your body dies you die. That's how it works."

"No, it's not." He smeared a bit of cream onto the wound, working it in with surprisingly gentle fingers. "...You have no idea what I am, do you?"

"I'd guess goat demon."

"You'd be guessing wrong. I'm...Something. I don't really know the name for it, but the natives...Well, they've called me a wendigo...But then I ate them..." He shrugged, sitting back once his job was done. The look on his face was different before. When he'd been cornering Gilbert he'd been all malice and spite, angry and rather demon-ish...But now, here, he was a great deal calmer. Still looked like shit though. "I never got to ask what that meant."

Alfred nodded, trying to understand. That made sense, but at the same time it made no sense at all. Wendigo. Okay. But...What the hell did that have to do with bodies? "I don't get it...You're...A wendigo? What the fuck is that?"

"...I'm not a wendigo." As far as Matthew was concerned he was still Matthew, the little immigrant French boy who moved to Canada with his father so many years ago. "But I've got the spirit of one inside me. He doesn't talk or control me, but he changed my body. His form took it over, making me look like this..." Matthew still controlled his thoughts and his actions, but "he" did influence him. "It's weird, I know, but it makes me really hungry. Really, really hungry...I have to eat. A lot. Human is what I crave the most. I don't want to crave it though. He craves it. And that makes me want it..."

"Who's he, though?"

"I call him Sam. I don't know who he is." Matthew shrugged. "But now he's in me. And I eat people. And people try and kill me because I eat them...It's almost like a curse, I guess." He laughed softly, burying his face in his knees.

This wasn't...This wasn't who he'd met in the forest. God, no. Alfred was probably more shocked now than he had been when he first saw him. Even though he still looked rather scary, he wasn't acting it. He was sitting there with his knees drawn up to his chest, talking softly and honestly...Like a damn normal person. He wasn't snarling and stalking, by god, he was being normal.

It was freaky.

"You're kinda bipolar, aren't you?" Alfred muttered, using a few tatters of cloth to cover his thigh.

Matthew laughed a bit louder, nodding. "I am. People tell me that. Out there I'm quite big and mean, aren't I?"

"Yeah. Kind of an asshole."

"That's insulting." He shot a quick glare at him, his smile fading for only and instant. "I guess so. Though, when the hunger takes over...You can't really stop it. To be honest I'll probably end up eating you as soon as I get hungry enough. Don't take it personally, though."

He laughed and rolled his eyes, waving a hand at him. "Oh, of course not! I totally get that. Just kill me quickly and eat me with ketchup."

"Will do. You know, I don't like killing people; It's not fun. I try and snap their necks as soon as I get them. And I never ever let them go to waste. I'm sure I could make a few candles out of you. You have nice clothes. Good teeth. Strong bones. I could probably use your glasses, too. If your hair was longer I could make something out of it. I don't really get many women coming through here. I had a couple once. The man offered to let me take him if she could go free. I ended up eating them both." He spoke softly, shrugging.

"I really don't get you. You went from total dickwad to kinda nice dude...Why?"

"Why not?"

"I asked you first."

"I asked you second."

"What's your point?"

"Do I need to have one?"

Alfred huffed and gave up, flopping back on the 'bed'. "Whatever...I still don't get it."

"You don't need to get it. You just need to accept that you're now the possession of a wendigo...Kind of." Matthew smirked, standing and making his way to the rear of the cave. He shoved a boulder to the side.

Boulder...Rock...Note...Oh! Alfred sat up quickly, his leg screaming in protest. "First off, you said you weren't a wendigo. Second, did you ever eat, like, a professor dude?"

"Alfred, I've eaten more men than I can count. I'm sure I have...And I am a wendigo. Kind of. I mean, I'm not all wendigo. Though, I'm sure part of me is. I'm mostly me. It's like the wendigo is the distant cousin I met that one time and taught me a naughty word." Influenced in a way, but didn't really have any power over his life. Okay, maybe the wendigo had a lot of power in his life. Lots of power. Most just the angry mood changes, the unfortunate body, the smell and the was still Matthew inside, though. For the most part.

Matthew hummed softly as he moved around, tugging a little chunk of meat from a whole in the ground. He popped it in his mouth, chewing happily and noisily.

"Hmm?" He opened his eyes a bit wider, taking another chunk out and holding it in his palm, offering it to him. "Did you want some...?"

"Dear God no!" Alfred shook his head as bile rose up in the back of his throat.

"I wasn't planning on giving you any." He shoved the chunk into his mouth, rolling the boulder back. He returned to his sitting position across from Alfred, criss-crossing his legs. "Cannibalism is frowned upon."

Alfred scooted just a bit back, wrapping his arms around his legs. "No shit...How'd you get a wendigo in you?"

"Cannibalism." He stated, using a long and thin bone to pick at his teeth. They were rather sharp, weren't they? Ah, that was scary.

"P-pardon?"

"Cannibalism." He repeated, a small amused smile playing on his lips. "I ate a person. That essentially invited the wendigo spirit inside of me...And now I'm here."

Alfred's brow furrowed and he leaned forwards. "I don't get it. Why?"

"I was born in 1870. I forget the actual date but I'm pretty sure that was the year. Papa didn't have very much food...We were really hungry. He bought a tiny packet of meat from a vendor once. He brought it home, and cooked it for me. I guess it ended up being human." He shrugged. "I was about 19 when I turned into, well, this." He gestured to his body with a gaunt hand.

So he became a cannibal unknowingly and out of necessity. That wasn't too bad, really. Disgusting and the outcome sucked, but it wasn't too horrible. At least he still had his humanity? Kind of?

"I've been living like this since then. I eat, I sleep, I pillage and scare the daylights out of poor people...It can be fun. But it really sucks, too. Sometimes people beg for their lives. Like your little friend did. It makes me sad, but...I have to eat." It wasn't a choice. Matthew had to eat or he went crazy and binged on women and children. "I've grown and adapted over the years. Mentally, at least. My speech pattern has changed and I'm not totally naive to everything." He knew about most of the newer trends and gadgets. He'd even played with a few of them! A couple of the people he'd taken down ended up having cell phones of computers on them. He usually ended up breaking the things, but they were pretty fun while they lasted.

Alfred nodded, confused less than he had been. "That's good...So you know what these things are?" He tugged a slim phone from his pocket, powering it up and holding it out to him. "I don't get any service out here, but it's still pretty fun." God, he used to play on that thing for hours! The thing where you had to run and jump over stuff, the bird game, all the camera tricks and giggles. Yeah, good times.

Matthew took the offered phone, holding it as gently as he could. He'd learned from experience that these things were rather fragile, and when they shattered and splintered, really were a pain to get out of his skin. He nodded. "Cell phone. They were bigger way back when. They usually have buttons, too."

"Yeah. It's a newer one. You just touch the screen and things happen. See?" He touched an icon and made the screen light up in a flurry of bright colors.

Oh, that was new. Normally the phones he'd seen didn't really do all that. They did make pretty colors and funny noises but it was never because you touched them in a certain spot. Heh. That was kind of cool. He grinned and touched the screen again. More colors popped off and the sounds started going, making Matthew giggle.

Alfred grinned at him, laughing just a bit. Well, who would have thought the bigger scary guy was a total goofball for electronics? That was kinda cute. He still looked and smelled like utter shit, but to be honest the more Alfred looked at him the less terrifying he was. He still stunk but it's not like Alfred couldn't get over it. Hell, his uncles smelled just as bad (if not worse) than Matthew. "Cool, huh?"

Matthew nodded enthusiastically, touching the colorful birds that were on the screen, dragging his finger around and watching them fly. "Look! They fly! They look nothing like normal birds, though. I've never seen a red bird. I've seen a few black and white ones...No red birds. I think I've seen a few blue birds though." He mused. He'd been all over the Northern bit of the landmass, roaming around Canada and dipping just a bit into America, sticking to the wooded areas. He always ended up back at home, though. Right in this cave.

"They're not real birds! They're angry birds! See? Angry." Alfred made a frowny face, adjusting his eyebrows to make them look like the birds on screen.

Matthew glances up for a moment, laughing at his comical expression. "I see...Why aren't there happy birds?"

...Alfred had honestly never thought about that. Ever. Not once. "Y'know, I don't know...Maybe if you don't kill me I can make a game like that."

"No, I'll still kill you. Don't worry about that. I kill everyone I have over." He glanced up again and smile, quickly turning his attention back to flinging the birds on the screen.

"Everyone? Like who?" He raised an eyebrow at him. So he'd had more than just him over. Huh. "And here I was thinking I was special."

"Nope. I think the longest I've ever had a guest over was, ah, three weeks. I ended up eating her. She was one of the only ladies I've ever had over. She was nice, though. Only puked twice." That was how Matthew learned. He'd have people over, take them prisoner, and just talk to them as much as he could. Over the years and talking to so many people he slowly started to learn, understand and adapt. Fifty or so years ago he was still talking like he was fresh out of the 18th century. Nowadays, though, he was talking in a more normal, suitable and modern fashion. At times he be a bit dated, but for the most part he was 'hip with the lingo'. "You're not special in the least."

He huffed and rolled his eyes at him, sticking his tongue out for the briefest of moments. "And you still smell like shit."

"I'm aware. I've tried bathing. It doesn't work very well. It stings the open wounds." He gestured to a spot where his ribs were exposed, still mindlessly tapping on the screen. "I used to be quite clean, thank you. Bathing was something I did at least once a week. Now it's a bit harder, as you would imagine."

No kidding. Alfred couldn't imagine living like that; unable to bathe or clean himself. That really didn't sound like fun. He wasn't the cleanest guy around (he wasn't going to trip out if he missed a shower), but he wouldn't be able to handle himself if he started smelling like that every day and night. "Maybe get some perfume or something?"

Matthew picked his head up, looking at him incredulously. "Right. I'll just go traipsing off into town and pick some up from the corner store. Great plan. Oh, you're a genius, Alfred."

"Be quiet." He grumbled. "You seem to get around."

"Well, yes. But only to the forests and little villages. I don't think there's just buckets of perfume laying around. Besides, I've grown quite accustomed to my scent. I think it makes me a little more, ah, intimidating."

Alfred chuckled and nodded. "Yeah, but do you really need to be more intimidating? Why not try and go the more...Charming route? Like a vampire?"

"A vampire? Really?" He sighed and set the phone down, turning slightly to face him more straight-on. "I don't think I could pull that off. I'm not the prettiest."

"No, really?" Alfred chuckled and scooted forwards just a bit, leaning and brushing a bit of hair from Matthew's face. "Your body looks like shit, but your face isn't all that bad...Your eyes kinda creep me out though. They're pretty and all, they just don't look like they should be there. They're like a blue-toned hazel." They were all swirly and changing, flickering and shining even in the rather dull and darkened cave.

His face really wasn't that bad though. Sure, his skin looked like hell and he did have a patch of cracking skin just below his ear, and he kinda had that whole 'white as a ghost' thing going on, but it wasn't terrible. He had human features. A nose, some eyes, ears..Horns. Which weren't human at all, actually. All the same though they fit his face.

Matthew flinched back at the touch, his brow furrowing. "Please don't touch me unless you ask." How long had it been since someone had touched him willingly? He'd forced people to touch him before. Not inappropriately (he'd never been touched like that at all) or anything, but sometimes he'd have an itch that needed scratching or get something stuck in his hair.

"Sorry, sorry...Can I touch you?" Alfred was just a little bit curious. His skin looked so rough and calloused, so damn painful. And those bones that stuck out...He just wanted one little touch, just to satiate his curiosity.

"I guess you can. But if you try and hurt me I'll eat you. From the bottom up. I'll make you suffer."

"Yeah, yeah. Make me suffer." Alfred edged closer again, reaching a rather bold hand out to stroke at the oddly textured skin.

He ran his fingers along his, his lips pursing. It was rough, but it wasn't painfully rough...Almost leathery. God, it was weird. He touched it a few more times, lightly brushing his hand over the area of exposed bone. "You really need to moisturize, dude."

If Matthew could have blushed he would have. Gah. The feeling of having someone touch him like that...It was just too weird. He pulled away, letting out a pitiful whimper when the exposed bones were touched. "That's enough. We're done. And don't be an ass. I let you touch me. We're done."

"Fine. We're done." He sighed and leaned back, cursing softly when his injured leg was jostled. He yawned softly, rubbing at his eyes. "Can I sleep now? Or are you gonna eat me?"

"I might. Depends on how hungry I get. I have a little bit of meat left in my storage but I really do need to get some more."

"Can't you eat deer?"

"Yes. But deer isn't very good. It's like...It's like hamburger and steak; would you rather have a cheap, crappy hamburger or a nice, big and fat juicy hunk of meat?"

"Personally, I'd rather have the burger." Alfred grinned. Oh, God. He hadn't had a good burger in a long damn time. "Do you have any? I'm starving!"

Matthew sighed and shook his head. "No, but I've got Caucasian, Archeologist, researcher and venison."

Alfred narrowed his eyes at him. "What kind of venison?"

"I don't know, but I only have the shank left. He was pretty thin, though. Sickly looking too. Not much meat at all."

"Human? Human." Alfred groaned and shook his head. "I'm not eating human. 'Sides, wouldn't that turn me into you?"

"Not necessarily. It depends. If there's a lingering wendigo spirit around, then yes. It probably will."

"And you'd risk turning me into one of you?"

"Of course. I get very lonely, you know. There's not many wendigos around. And all the visitors I get I end up eating...Besides, you're one of the few that actually talk to me. You're not sobbing."

"Nah, I'll probably end up crying by the end of the night though." Alfred was a very emotional guy. It would probably hit him sometime later that night when he was all curled up next to a gigantic goat looking guy who smelled like Uncle Scott after a visit to a sheep farm.

"Shame." Matthew sighed, laying back on the ground and using his arms as a pillow. "Then I'll have to eat you. I won't have you interrupting my sleep."

"Speaking of sleep, can I get some of that soon?" Alfred was pretty damn tired. He and Gilbert had spent the whole day walking, hiking really. They were just lying down to sleep when all hell broke loose.

"You can sleep when you like. I just can't promise you'll wake up." Matthew didn't really have any plans on eating him anytime soon, but he couldn't really control himself if he got hungry enough. Once hunger took over he might as well be blind.

Alfred scoffed and scooted further onto the crude bed. "Oh, that makes me feel great. Thanks."

"It's just the truth."

"You want me to thank you for being honest?"

"No, but I would like you to thank me for not eating you. Which I could. And might."

"Fine. Thank you, oh great and powerful Matthew the wendigo, for not devouring my flesh." He gave a slight bow, curling into a rather painful ball. His thigh was killing him. Was the bullet still in there? Probably. They'd have to take care of that at some point. Then again, he'd probably be dead and eaten before that actually became an issue.

"You're welcome. Goodnight."

"Yeah, yeah. Goodnight and all that shit.

"Bonne nuit mon petit chou."

"...What?"

"Nothing."

"Whatever...Just try not to eat me, alright?"

Matthew smirked at him, shaking his head. "No promises."

Alfred rolled his eyes and that was it. Just as soon as he let his eyes slip closed he was out like a light. Despite the fact that he was sharing a room with a rather creepy and demonic goat-deer-human thing, sleep really did come easily.

As for Matthew...Sleep was slightly harder to come by. He spent a few hours of what was left of the night watching his little house guest sleep, watching his chest rise and fall. Alfred...He was one of the few humans who had enough courage and balls to actually, well, talk to him like he was still human. It was a nice change of pace. Normally everyone was sobbing and screaming and begging for freedom. He never gave it, of course.

He just ate them.


A few beams of sunlight filtered into the cave, shooting through the vines and hitting Alfred square in the face. Ugh. He groaned and rolled over, throwing an arm over his eyes. "Turn off the sun, Gil. It's too damn early." He muttered, wrinkling his nose at the unfortunate scent filling the cave.

"Gilbert isn't here. You're my prisoner, remember?" Matthew cast a quick glance over his shoulder. "Did I wake you?"

Oh. Right. He was with Matthew. The creepy goat-demon-thing. Of course. He moaned a bit and sat up, lightly running his fingers over his thigh. It was swollen a bit. Perfect. What a wonderful way to start the day. "No. The sun did."

"Yes, it tends to do that." Matthew chuckled softly and turned his attention back to the tiny firepit he was tending, mussing about the coals and roating the meat that was skewered on the spit. "Did you at least sleep well?"

"Why the fuck would you care?" Alfred really wasn't a morning person. At all.

"Because you're my guest. I may be inhabited by a wendigo but that doesn't mean I've forgotten how to be hospitable."

"Whatever...What's cooking?" He sniffed the air. There was some kind of scent mixed in with the usual stink. "Meat?"

"It's not human. I caught a moose last night. Butchered some of it. I buried the rest." All animals deserved a proper burial. Everyone did. After Matthew finished eating his fill and put back what he thought he could save then buried the rest.

"Moose? Like, real moose? The big thing with antlers?"

"Mhmm. It was pretty big. I picked the good meat, I think...I've never really paid attention before." Meat was meat.

Alfred smiled just a little, edging closer and sitting just as close as he could manage. "But why moose? Couldn't find a human?"

"Actually, if you must know, I caught it for you. You don't want to eat human and I'd rather you not starve the first day you're here."He shrugged, picking up a small bit of skull filled with water, tossing it onto the flames to put it out. "It's hot." He muttered, standing and making his way over to the boulder that hid his breakfast.

Alfred dug into his rather eagerly, ignoring the burning sensation. He'd been living on granola bars and bottles of melted snow. "You don't cook it?"

Matthew shoved it aside, tugging out a hunk of meat and shaking his head. "No. Cooking it kills the flavor."

"Not if you have seasoning."

"Does it look like I have spices?"

"You do kinda live out in the woods. I'm sure you could find some dill or something." Not that dill would taste good with human. It might. Oh, whatever. He didn't care.

"Dill makes me sneeze." He pushed the boulder back then sat across from him again, taking smaller and much daniter bites of his meat.

"Then use lavender."

"Lavender's a flower."

"Do you have something against flowers?"

"Alfred, would you kindly shut up and eat your meat?"

Alfred smirked and nodded, smiling as he ate the meat. It was pretty bland, but hell, it was better than dried oats any day.

The two ate in silence, both glancing up to steal glances every so often. Alfred eventually broke the silence. "So what now?"

"What?" Matthew jumped, slightly surprised by the random outburst.

"What now?"

"I don't know. Usually I stay inside during the day."

"Do you honestly expect me to sit inside all day? Really?"

"Yes. I do." Matthew sighed and stood, tossing the little scraps that had dropped from their meal out the mouth of the cave.

"But I'm bored! If you're gonna keep me trapped in here at least keep me entertained!"

"And just how the hell do you expect me to do that?" Maybe he should just eat him. God, Alfred could be annoying.

"I dunno. Go play with that phone thing you have."

He did have his phone...That could be pretty fun. He smiled and nodded. "Will do, Captain."

Matthew rolled his eyes, turning his back on him and getting to work cutting more strips of cloth.

Alfred crept around behind him; the camera on his phone creating a video of his surroundings. "And now we watch the elusive and beautiful wendigo in his natural habitat. He's tearing cloth! What for? Nesting? Clothing? No! It looks like he's making shitty bandages. Let's watch!" Alfred edged closer, focusing the camera on his face. "Look at the skill, the focus...Oh, he's a smart one!" He grinned and did his best impersonation of an overzealous wildlife host, complete with Australian accent. "What's this?! He's noticed us?!"

"Alfred, what the hell are you doing?"

"Crikey! He's spotted us! Looks like we're going to be wendigo grub tonight!"

"I should just eat you." He sighed and stuck his hand up in front of the camera, nudging it to the side.

Alfred laughed and sat next to him, switching from record over to view. "Oh, shut up and watch. I make you look good." He winked at him and held it up closer to his face, chuckling at his own voice on the recording.

Matthew watched in awe. That was him! The phone had him inside! Rather, moving pictures of him. Still, though...That was pretty cool. He smiled and watched, his own voice shocking him just a bit. He knew what he looked like...but did he always sound so annoying?

"God, does my voice always sound like that?" Alfred whined, shutting off the phone as the video ended.

"Usually, yes." Matthew chuckled and nodded, taking the phone from him and turning it over in his hands. "Do I always sound like that?"

"Usually, yes." Alfred mimicked his tone and pitch.

Matthew frowned, tossing the phone back at him. "That's not very nice, ass."

"Neither is calling me an ass."

"I'm just calling you what you are."

"Does that mean I can call you a useless hunk of rotting flesh?"

"Oh, now that's just being rude."

"You started it."

"Well then I'm ending it." Matthew glared at him and grabbed him roughly by the shoulders, tugging him closer and baring his teeth.
Alfred yelped and squeezed his eyes shut, muttering some form of a prayer under his breath.
Matthew gently bit his shoulder, pulling back and laughing. "I'm kidding, idiot. I'm not going to eat you. Yet."
Alfred trembled a bit, staring at him with wide eyes. "That's cruel. That's downright evil."
He grinned at him and ruffled his hair, standing and taking the bundle of 'shitty bandages' with him. "Shush."
"I hope you realize I'm going to have to get you back now."
"And when you do I'll eat you for sure." He gave a toothy grin, walking away and swishing his hips slightly.

Over the course of the next few days they took turns 'getting each other back'. Alfred would do stupid little things to annoy Matthew like grab his horns or scream loudly when everything was quiet. Matthew would retaliate by waking him up in the middle of the night by gnawing at his ankle or whispering cryptic and creepy things into his ear.

Honestly...they were getting along better than Alfred could have ever dreamed and Matthew would have ever thought. True, they did have a few close calls and Matthew did almost eat Alfred more times than once, but all in all, it was really going well.

"Alfred...Alfred, get up. Now." Matthew gently kicked at his hip, nudging it and jostling him around.

"Shut it. I'm sleepy. Let me sleep!" He groaned and threw a makeshift pillow at him.

" up. I already make breakfast." He sighed and stooped down, leaning next to him. "Please?"

Alfred picked up a small pebble and sleepily tossed it at the giant Matthew. "No, I'm sleepy. Now buzz off."

The pebble hit him right in the nose, a soft noise of confusion leaving him. "What was that for?"

"For bugging me. Now let me go back to sleep!" Alfred may have been getting just a bit too comfortable, but he couldn't help it! He accepted the fact that he might be eaten at any time. He also accepted the fact that he was probably never going to see his family again. Ever. It did make him teary at times, but what could he do? This was his life now...And dammit, if this was his life he was going to live it how he wanted. Even if that meant him sleeping in 'till noon and eating until he puked.

"Can you stop? I'm bored!" Normally he was used to solitude and amusing himself by counting his toes, but now that he'd gotten accustomed to the rather annoying and bold American the silence became quite unnerving.

"Go play with the phone!"

"It's been dead since yesterday!" They actually had a lot of fun with that phone, taking pictures and videos, playing all the stupid games that made Matthew giggle to no end.

"Go play pretend with it, ya big softy." He picked up another piece of rock from the ground, tossing it at the others larger frame.

"I'm not soft, thank you very much." He huffed and sat down next to him, laying back and draping himself over his back. "You're soft."

Alfred yelped and flailed a bit under his weight, covering his nose with his dingy jumper. "Jesus, Matthew! What died?"

Matthew huffed and rolled over, pinching at the tiny little bit of fat settled around his waist. "You're going to die in about five seconds, hoser."

"You won't kill me."

"What makes you think I won't?!" He growled a bit and shifted him over, sitting on his hips and pinning him to the ground. "I will." He bared his teeth, flicking out his tongue and brushing it over his lips.

Alfred smirked up at him, worming his arms out only to have the pinned down at the wrists. "You won't."
"Yes I will." He leaned down, their noses nearly bumping together. "I'll eat you and I'll laugh while I do it."
Alfred closed the gap, pressing their foreheads together. "Prove it."
"Make me." Matthew muttered.
Alfred grinned and wrenched his arms free, reaching up and squashing Matthew's cheeks together. "You know, for an ugly guy you're pretty cute!" He chuckled and squished them around, pinching the rough skin.
Matthew grinned back at him and followed suit, taking hold of his cheeks and squishing them. "Yeah? Well for a hoser you're not too shabby."
"I still don't know what a hoser is." He chuckled and kept hold of his cheek, lessening his grip and settling for just a gentle hold.
"Neither do I." Matthew muttered, idly rubbing circles into his cheek. "For all I know I could be calling you a God."
"I am a God. I'm God of the burgers!"
"And you're king of the idiots."
"But you like me anyways."
"I never said that."
"You never said you didn't."
"Don't play games with me."
"You started it."
"Well I'm ending."
"Are you gonna eat me?"
Matthew smirked down at him. "Something like that." Matthew grinned slyly down at him, their noses pressing together. He brushed his lips past Alfreds, pressing a gentle kiss to the others rough cheek.

Alfred flushed, his eyes flying open. "T-the hell was that?"

"Just tasting you...My, you do taste good...And you need to shave."

"And you need to bathe, asshat." He grumbled and pushed at his shoulders, trying to ease his way up. "Now get off me. My legs still hurts!"

"We need to fix that, don't we?" Matthew muttered, wracking his brain for solutions. "Suppose I could take you to a hospital...But then you'd leave me. We can't have that."

Was it weird that Alfred almost didn't want to leave? Of course he wanted to see his family, his friends, maybe catch a bath and a shave...But at the same time he really didn't feel like leaving Matthew. Yeah, he was ugly and smelled like shit, cannibalistic and kinda inhabited by a fucking wendigo...But he was kind too. Sweet. He had his dickish moments but he had more than enough redeeming qualities.

"We'll have to handle it here!"

"Pardon?!"

"We'll do it here." Matthew wasn't really sure what they'd be doing yet, but oh, they were going to do it.

"We're going to operate on my leg...My festering, infected leg in a shitty, dirty, smelly cave? No offense, man...But I don't think I want you touching it." He was very gentle and was probably capable, but the guy didn't exactly look like he was disease free.

"And why not?" Matthew huffed.

"You're smelly."

"Do you really need to rub it in so often?"

"Yeah. When you're gonna be touching my leg, I really, really do."

"Ass." Matthew rolled his eyes at him, standing and moving to the back of the cave. Hidden in a crevice was a tiny medical kit. Basic first aid. He took it out and threw it at him, lobbing it right at his head. "Fix it yourself then."

Alfred gasped and dodged it, the kit crashing open and the contents spilling over the ground. "Dude! Did you really expect me to catch that?!"

"Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. I don't care. Just fix yourself up. Now."

"Now. Right now?" Alfred scooted over, gathering the supplies into his lap. There were little packets of gauze, a few plastic wrapped needles with surgical thread, hell, there was even the tiniest bottle of rubbing alcohol. He really did have everything to fix himself up, didn't he? But...Poking a needle into his own skin. Ah, yeah, no.

Alfred shook his head. "No."

"Why not? Scared?"

"Frankly...Yeah. I am. Scared shitless." A slight blush dusted over his cheeks, making him glare down at the ground and hunch his shoulders up to his ears.

Matthew smirked and sat across from him, leaning his head in his hands. "Me doing it doesn't seem so bad now, does it?"

"Nah, it still does. I think I'd rather just lose the leg."

Matthew groaned and pulled him into his lap, elevating his leg up and pulling the fabric back. "You're not losing it. The infection will kill you...And then I'll have no choice but to eat you." They were going to do it. They were going to just bite the bullet and fix up his leg.

Alfred moaned softly and let his head droop to the larger mans shoulder, closing his eyes. "But I don't wanna!"

"I don't care. It has to be done so we're doing it." Gentle fingers prodded along Alfreds thigh, pressing around the infection. The bullet was still in there. Lovely. This should have come out the first day it was in. Then again, bullets could stay in the skin. They didn't always kill. If he could manage to fix it around the bullet...Yes, he'd do that. "We need to drain it, clean it, then sew it up."

That didn't sound pleasant. That sounded like hell. "Matthew...Are you even remotely qualified?"

"No. I did try to sew myself up once but that didn't go over well." It had only ended up making it worse. He shrugged and wrapped his arm around Alfred's trembling shoulders, smiling slightly. "It would have worked if my flesh weren't like it is. Just calm down and let me handle this...It's going to hurt you...It's going to hurt you quite a lot. You can scream as loud as you want and hold my hand as tight as you need to. Just...Don't worry?" That was the best he could offer.

The 'surgery' went off without a hitch. There was plenty of screaming and Matthew nearly lost a finger, but in the end all was well.

Alfred collapsed against him, his face buried in his stinking flesh, fingers gripping his hand tightly. His chest heaved and he panted, crying into his chest. "Mattie...Mattie that wasn't okay!"

Matthew wrapped his arm tighter, gently stroking his arm. "I know. It hurts. It's all going to be alright. Most of the infection was on top, not deep inside. I think you're going to be fine." He'd be perfectly fine. Besides, if worst came to worst Matthew would just end him. A mercy killing, of course!

Oh, whatever. Alfred would be fine. They'd both be fine. Alfred whimpered into his chest and curled against him, ignoring the fact that he was a disgusting creature, taking the comfort he offered.


A lot could happen in a cave. A lot could happen in two weeks.

A lot happened in two weeks in the cave. For one, Alfred's leg healed. It managed to get totally get better and nearly mend itself. He walked with a slight limp and did have to be carried by Matthew for the first few days, but really it turned out much better than he ever would have guessed.

"I still think you used some kind of wendigo magic." Alfred chuckled and walked next to him, ducking under the lowhanging branches.

"I didn't. You healed on your own." He smiled and walked next to him, holding a few branches for him as he passed under.

"Whatever." He grinned up at him, taking his arm and tugging him towards the slowly flowing brook. "Let's just hurry. I smell like shit and you smell like death." Alfred had finally managed to convince Matthew to bathe. Kind of. He said he'd wash the places he could but he wouldn't dare actually get in the water.

They reached the water, Alfred shedding off his clothes immediately. He stood there, totally naked and exposed. He turned to face him, grinning and waving. "C'mon! Get in!"

"I told you I'm not getting in...But I'll wash as best I can." He sighed and lowered himself to the bank, keeping his eyes downcast and averted. He took out a tiny bundle of cloths from the hem of his bottoms, laying them out on the bank. Gingerly, he dipped one in the water, wringing it fully before pressing it to his skin.

"You're not gonna get clean if you do it like that." He tutted softly and stepped into the water, lowering himself down into it in front of Matthew. He took the cloth from him, dipping it into the water again and gently brushing the dripping thing across his skin. He rubbed softly against the areas he could, rubbing whatever dirt and grim he could from it. He shivered a bit, instantly regretting this choice.

In what way did he think bathing nude in a Canadian river would be a good idea? "S-shit...Mattie...Mattie I'm cold!" He whined, taking a cloth and rubbing the freezing thing across his skin. Oh, this was a bad idea. This was the worst fucking idea he'd ever had in his life. "F-fuck this, I'm getting out." He clambered out onto the bank, yelping when the frozen ground touched his bare skin. He scrambled for his clothes, throwing them on haphazardly, his shirt ending up on backwards and his pants unbuttoned. "You don't feel it?"

Matthew blinked a few times, confused. "Feel what?"

"The cold, dipshit!" He rubbed his palms together, tucking whatever he hadn't' thrown on under his arm.

"No...Then again, I've been living here for over a hundred years. I'm kind of used to it." Matthew lived his life day to day wrapped in nothing but a thin little cloth that he mostly used to keep himself decent and covered.

"Freak." Alfred latched onto his arm, curling his around it and pulling him forwards. "Let's just go back. Please. Now."

Matthew smirked a bit and nodded, patting his head. "We'll go."

The pair walked back to the cave. Alfred immediately burrowed into their shared bed, wrapping in the blanket they'd fashioned from a few old shirts. He cuddled into it, peeking his head out. "Make a fire?"

"Already on it." Matthew set up a quick circle of stones, tossing a few scraps of cloth and paper into it lighting it with a match.

The fire was roaring in seconds, the highly flammable kindling going up quickly. Matthew gestured for Alfred to join him, patting the spot next to him.

Alfred obliged, scuttling over and plopping down next to him. He wrapped the blanket around the two of them and cuddled into his side, teeth chattering lightly. "You still stink."

"You still need to shave."

"I shaved last week."

"Alfred, you're two hairs away from being a lumberjack."

"I'll shave later!" He groaned and hid his face in his side. His arms looped around his waist, lightly brushing the exposed area of bone. "You need more skin."

"You need more class."

"You need to stop being a jerk."

"I'll stop when I feel like it."

"And when will you feel like it."

Matthew smirked. "When I get what I want."

"And just what the hell do you want, hmm?"

"Something."

Alfred whined and sat up, shoving his shoulder. "Tell me!"

"No, I don't think I will." He smirked teasingly.

"Mattie!" He crawled up into his lap, shoving him gently. "Tell me!"

"Why should I?"

"'Cause! You brought it up! You can't just...You can't just, like, not tell me! I'll die!" He moaned and leaned against him, pouting.

"I don't have to do anything."

"Yes you do!"

"Alfred, I really don't. Remember, I can eat you."

"I won't taste very good."

"How would you know?"

"Goddammit, Mattie! I just know!" He grumbled and reached up, tangling his fingers in his hair and tugging the others head down. "Stop being a dick and just tell me!"

"Make me." Matthew smiled at him, pressing their noses together.

Alfred flushed, pressing against him and glaring. "Fine."

"Fine?"

"Fine!" Alfred snapped, pressing against him ever more. He shoved the larger man down, perching on his stomach and smirking.

Matthew yelped and flailed out his legs, finding his arms suddenly pinned to the ground.

"Tell me what you want and I'll let you go."

Matthew laughed and shook his head, tossing it from side to side. "Nope. I wouldn't dare."

"Matthew, I don't think you realize what's going on here...The hunter's become the hunted."

"I don't think you realize a lot of things."

"Like?"

"Things." He paused, pursing his lips. "Have you ever considered that maybe, oh, I don't know...The hunter likes being hunted for a change?"

"The hell is that supposed to mean?" Alfred raised his eyebrows, leaning down over him.

"I think you know exactly what I mean."

"Do I?"

"I think you do."

"...Prove it." Alfred muttered, slumping against him, propping himself up on his elbows.

So Matthew did. He proved it, alright. Hell, he did more than just 'prove it'. He made it a damn fact.

Without an ounce of shyness he took hold of Alfred, drawing him closer and pressing their lips together.

Alfred gasped, his eyes widening and locking with Matthews.

Matthew's eyes fluttered shut, his hold slackening, their lips staying connected.

Honestly, Alfred wasn't sure how to react. There was a part of him that wanted to rip himself up and run, run fast and far, putting as much distance between them as he could...

Then there was that other part of him. The one that wanted to curl up with him and nuzzle softly, card his fingers through the surprisingly soft hair, brush his lips over the rough skin...Touch and be touched.

Was that so terrible? Was it really so taboo?

He'd been taught all his life it was. He's been taught that two men being together was perhaps the absolute worst sin.

And here he was kissing a boy. Not just a boy, oh, no. He was kissing some god awful pile of rotting flesh that shouldn't by any realm of logic even exist.

Oh, whatever.

The kiss was chaste. Simple and sweet. They broke apart, cheeks flushed as they could be.

"I-I still don't get it..." Alfred muttered, rolling off of him and landing beside him on the ground.

"Are you really that dense?"

"Apparently."

"...You were supposed to do that." Matthew sighed, rubbing at his eyes. "I wasn't supposed to be the one to...Ah...to do that thing. I didn't want to be the one to do the courting, dammit!"

"Oh..." Was that it? Was that really all he wanted? But...What?!

What the hell had Alfred missed?!

A lot, apparently.

Actually, now that he thought about it...There were a few 'signs'.

Like when Matthew had insisted on sharing a blanket one night.

Or when his legs had just 'accidentally' gotten tangled in his.

Or when they somehow ended up spooning. Just...Yeah.

He'd missed some things.

"I'm a fucking idiot, aren't I?" Alfred groaned and slumped against him,

"Yes. You are. But that's alright...I'm a big stinking pile of flesh." Matthew chuckled and pressed a soft kiss to his forehead, stroking back his hair.

"I can get over that." After all, beauty came from within, right? Cliche, but it was kinda true. Really true. So Matthew was kinda big stinking pile of absolute shit...At least he had pretty insides. Well, figurative insides. Considering Alfred could actually see some of his insides and they weren't all that pretty...

Yeah, he had a nice soul, or something...Yeah.

Time passed and the two only grew closer. They went from someone awkward housemates to totally comfortable room mates. Alfred would lounge around, sleeping or just being lazy. Matthew would lay out beside him and they'd just coexist in the best possible way. Their difference had no place and they didn't matter.

"Mattie, can you bring me a drink?" Alfred rolled over on the bed, smiling up at him. "Please?"
"Why should I?"
"I rubbed your back last night. I also rubbed your feet...I swear, those are probably even stinkier than your rotting flesh, man."
"Oh, shush. I cleaned up after you puked." Alfred had managed to get a bad piece of meat and well, he'd kinda been feeling shitty since last night.
"I rubbed your feet."
"...Fine." Matthew relented, grabbing a little skull (of an animal) and filled it, sitting next to Alfred and handing it over.
Alfred crawled over and cuddled into his lap, nuzzling into his stomach. "Thank you Mattie~" He purred, gently kissing the flesh of his stomach.
"Don't get used to it, hoser." His fingers carded through his hair, gently scratching at his scalp.
They weren't shy about touching. Not anymore, at least. In the beginning of their relationship (if you could call it that), they had been just a little bit awkward about their touches, never sure where to lay their heads or wrap their arms. Now, though, they had it down pat. If Matthew was on his back Alfred end up on his chest. If Alfred was on his back Matthew's head ended up on his stomach. If either of them were sitting of course the other ended up in their lap, positioned somehow. They'd touch gently, stroke carefully (Alfred always minding Matthews gaping wounds), but they handed out kisses without reserve.
They weren't awkward about that at all. Not at all. Alfred rolled over, smirking up at him. "I'll repay you."
"Will you? how?" Matthew grinned down at him, leaning closer.
Alfred chewed at his lip, blushing just a bit bashfuly. "I think you know."
"Do I?"
"You do."
"Can we not start this?"
Alfred chuckled and leaned up, scooting into his lap and cupped his cheek, running his thumb along his cheekbone. "Fine." He nuzzled their noses together gently, kissing him slowly.
Ah, yes. That felt nice. Even though the smell wasn't the best, if he closed his eyes and let himself get lost he didn't feel anything but Matthew..Soft, kind, gentle Matthew. There wasn't any wendigo or beast, just Matthew...Wonderful, sweet Matthew.
They pressed together, Matthew curling his arms around Alfred's waist, Alfred wrapping his arms about his neck. Muffled noises escaped them as they kissed, both hearts beating quickly in their chests.
Matthew applied gentle pressure to the small of Alfred's back. They moved against each other, in sync with every shift and touch.
Somehow the two got heated. Lips parted and suddenly both of them were eagerly exploring. Alfred's tongue brushed over the sharp, pointed teeth, prodding around it and rubbing at the roof. Matthew's did the same.
Alfred straddled over top of him, pulling back and gasping for air. "T-that was unexpected."
"A-ah...Y-yeah..." Matthew shivered and stared up at him, his back pressed flat to the ground. "I didn't mind it though."
"Neither did I." Alfred smirked down at him, leaning in again. The palm of his hands pressed against Matthew's chest, his lips hovering just above the others. "I actually enjoyed that."
"More than you expected?" Matthew smirked up at him, wrapping his hands around Alfred's thin wrists.
"Much more."
"...Care to do it again?"
Alfred nodded, pressing down into him and kissing just as passionately as he had before.
They got lost in each other for quite some time, the world around the melting away, their physical bodies drifting off until only the sensations and surges of heat remained.

A comfortable silence fell between them when they parted, goofy smiles on their lips. Their fingers knitted together, eyes locked and foreheads pressed together. "Hey, Mattie...Wanna hear a secret?"

He grinned and squeezed at his hand, kissing the tip of his nose quickly. "That depends...Will this secret make me cry?"

"Maybe, maybe not."

"Mmm, I'll take my chances. You know, I have a secret too."

"Tell me yours first!"

"No, you!"

The two giggled like giddy school girls, laughing in playful banters, firing little insults back and forth, poking fun at one another.

Ah, it was nice. Really nice. To just lay with him, both curled in each others warmth...It was bliss.

Of course, though, that all fell apart and they came crashing back to reality.

"They're in here!"

Oh...No. No no no.

No!

"Well hurry the fuck up!"

No! Alfred jumped up, nervously tugging his clothing into place. Had to run, had to hide, had to leave. Right. Now.

"What is it?!" Matthew sat up after him, his chest rising and falling in a rapid rhythm.

"I don't know...B-but...No!" Dammit. He heard it. He knew that sound...The sound of heavy combat boots crunching against the snow. No!

There wasn't just one pair of boots either. There were at least ten, maybe more. No! This couldn't...Not now. Not right now!

"Matthew, we gotta go. We gotta go now." He tugged him to his feet, the taller man staring down at him utterly confused.

"But wh-"

"Don't ask. Don't you hear them!?"

"Hear who? All I can hear is yo-"

"Don't get sappy, godammit! There's about twenty heavily armed people coming."

"And just how do you know that?"

"Well maybe if you shut up for five seconds you'd hear them!"

"Al, I don't think."

"Shut the fuck up and listen!"

"Alfred, there's no one out there." Not that he could really hear past the thudding of his heart. Matthew sighed and ruffled up Alfred's hair, pressing a quick kiss to his cheek before pulling away. "Stop being silly...I'll go look." He grinned and nearly trotted out the mouth of the cave, all smiles.

"See? Told you there was nothing you silly g-" His words were cut short by a flurry of gunfire.

Alfred screamed as Matthew fell to the floor of the cave, his head crashing into the ground as he fell with a thud.

No blood spilled from him. Nothing spilled from him. He just laid there, lifeless and still.

His pale snow white body was laying lifeless on the ground. He didn't twitch or move...He was just...Gone.

Alfred fell to his knees beside him, jaw hanging slack. "B-but you said you couldn't die! You said you couldn't die!"

No answer.

"M-Mattie! Mattie, you can't. die! I-It's impossible." He slammed his hand into his chest, tears streaming from his eyes.

Still no answer.

"Matthew!" He cried. "Matthew! Goddammit, this isn't funny! Y-you win! Y-you got me back! C'mon! Matthew!"

Soldiers gathered around him, encircling the two men in camouflage and bullet belts.

"Sir, sir you need to get up now."

"No! Fuck you!" Alfred sobbed, laying himself over Matthews bullet ridden chest.

Gilbert walked up behind him, putting a gentle but firm hand on his shoulder. "Al...Al, I'm sorry I didn't come sooner...I-I didn't think he'd hurt you like this."

"He didn't hurt me you selfish bastard!"

"Al...Listen to m-"

"No! Get the hell away from me!" He sobbed, clutching at Matthew's arm.

He wasn't dead. He couldn't be dead. He was just...He was just playing dead! S-so they'd leave them alone!

"Alfred!"

"Why can't you just leave me alone? Why? You didn't have any problem leaving me that day, did you?" Alfred snapped, glaring up at him.

"I had to g-"

"You didn't have to go anywhere! You didn't have to do shit!"

"Alf-"

"No! You fucking left me! You abandoned me! But guess what?" He smiled at him. "I'm not mad! You wanna know why

I'm not mad? Well, do you?!"

"I, well, y-"

"I'm not mad because you left me here and I got to meet him."

He got to meet Matthew. The most wonderful man on the damn planet. No, he shouldn't exist. He shouldn't be real. But goddammit, he was! He was and that was all that mattered!

"I got to meet Matthew."

"But Alfred! He's not even hum-"

"Yes he is! And don't you even try to tell me he's not! Look at his eyes, Gilbert! Do those look like the eyes of some kind of senseless...Beast?!"

"Alfred! Snap the fu-"

Alfred buried his face in Matthew's chest.

"W-why did you stop? I didn't even cut you off that time." Alfred muttered, clutching the body beneath him.

Gilbert didn't say anything.

No one said anything. The murmurs stopped.

Everything stopped.

A cloud of smoke puffed up around him, blinding his vision.

A single voice broke the silence.

"Get off of me, hoser. We're in public. Can't you see we have guests?"