A/N: Established relationship, first wolfstime. If you haven't noticed, these one-shots have no connected plotline, they're just things I wrote. So if you're wondering how this can be their first wolfstime when I wrote one with them being friends during wolfstime, the answer is there is no canon here.
"I have to go."
She could feel it there, burning, just beneath the surface. Desperate to be free. The wolf. Her cloak wasn't here and there was no way she'd be able to get to it in time. It was too easy to lose track of time while she was here but she had to leave. She couldn't lose someone else that meant so much to her. The wolf wouldn't care though, it never did. It wanted to run and it wanted to hunt. Normally animals in the woods were the only thing it took but she was with him and it was hungry. His house was near the outskirts of the town, fittingly for his terrible social skills, and if she hurt him no one would be able to hear him scream.
Viktor frowned, confused, as he ran a hand down her arm to reach her wrist and tug her closer, asking softly, "What's wrong? Did I do something?"
Trembling, she leant forward to press her lips against his, struggling to keep the wolf at bay for just long enough to escape into the woods where it'd be safe to turn. It had been twenty-eight long years since she'd turned consistently thanks to Regina and her curse. She didn't know if she could stop her wolf from doing something stupid, something horrible. It was a wild animal and wild animals rarely left humans alone.
"Ruby, what's going on?" he pressed, tightening the grip on her wrist as the trembling worsened, fire rushing through her veins. "Let me help you."
A whimper escaped her lips as the wolf grew more demanding, snarling at the inside of her mind as it insisted on being released. It was too hard to try and talk or explain as she pulled herself away roughly, turning and heading straight towards the door in an attempt to calm the wolf. She'd been suppressing it with her cloak every full moon she had. One night she ran and the rest of them her cloak had been in place and now the wolf was mad. It wanted to be free.
A hand caught her arm, pulling her backwards as panic laced his voice. He didn't keep track of the moon's cycle and he had no clue what was wrong. A bitter sound escaped her, an almost growl, and the hand on her arm slipped away. No matter how dumb he could be, he recognised that noise.
It was too late. The wolf didn't want to be reigned in any longer and Red lost the hopeless fight. The wolf was a part of her but she couldn't control it the way she once believed she could. It didn't hurt to change. It didn't need to hurt to terrify her. Control slipped away in a second as her bones melted and twisted instantaneously, leaving a snarling wolf in the place she'd been standing.
In the time she'd turned before the curse, things had changed. Even when she fought the wolf, she could see what it did, feel what it did. She accepted it as part of who she was but when she fought the change, something in the wolf stopped listening to her. It was a punishment of sorts. She could see what was happening but she had no control over it.
The world was miscoloured as the wolf looked around, eyes quickly locking onto Viktor. It was harder to read him when she was like this but he didn't seem scared. She didn't like that. It didn't like that. A low snarl spilled from behind her bared teeth, making the doctor flinch slightly but he still didn't seem scared. Surprised. Curious. Not fearful.
"Ruby. I know you can still hear me," he murmured, slowing crouching down. His voice was calm and controlled, and his expression was gentle. "I know you won't hurt me."
He seemed calm. Inside, Viktor Frankenstein was absolutely and utterly terrified. There weren't many things that scared him but a large wolf snarling was one of them. Despite every instinct screaming to run, he knew what would happen. It would attack if he ran, if he made any sudden movement. Ruby would never forgive herself, even if he lived.
Keeping his face neutral, the scientist quickly ran through his options. Run and probably die. Stay and probably die. The choices were terrible either way but there was a chance with the second. He knew she could hear what people said and she might just understand him.
"Ruby. I know you can still hear me," he murmured, struggling to keep his voice steady as he tried to move slowly. Animals hated sudden movements. "I know you won't hurt me."
The wolf's head tilted in curiosity, dark eyes filled with confusion and what seemed to be anger. It wanted him to be scared. Of course it did. A wild animal would want its prey to be cowering in terror.
Viktor slowly extended his hand, trying not to flinch as another snarl escaped the wolf's bared teeth. He couldn't be scared. That'd ruin what they had and it would ruin her.
"I'm not scared. I know who you are," he insisted quietly but firmly, fingers grazing her nose and slowly running up the fur-covered muzzle. "I know you won't hurt me Ruby."
A confused whine escaped as his hand reached her cheek, gently caressing her fur soothingly. Viktor kept his eyes on her, remembering one of the many books he'd read. It was about wolves, one of many he'd read to sate his curiosity. Her body language was changing, from angry to puzzled. That wasn't necessarily good. A confused animal could be just as dangerous.
"You can trust me," he promised, knowing she probably had no idea what he was saying but the tone should be helping. "Come on. You know me."
He could feel warm breaths on his arm as the wolf pressed her nose against him, snuffling noises escaping as she smelt his arm curiously, trying to figure out if he was a friend or foe. Carefully and slowly lifting his other hand, Viktor kept stroking her fur soothingly, waiting for her to make her choice. Hopefully it was a positive one. He liked having his arm.
Something seemed to change as she sniffed at his sleeve. Narrow darkened eyes widened and softened before her tongue darted out, lapping at his hand reassuringly as the wolf slowly calmed, letting the woman take back control. Another noise escaped, this one happier, as the large wolf looked up at him, tongue lolling out as her wolfy mouth pulled into a half-smile. Something was different in her now and it was definitely a good difference.
"You should run, I know you want to," Viktor chuckled, ruffling the fur behind her ears before standing. "Go and play. I'll leave the door open for you."
In the space of two sentences the wolf seemed to get even happier, leaping up and stepping backwards excitedly. It was a reckless and childish enthusiasm, influenced by the wolf rearing up on her back legs, paws coming to rest on the doctor's shoulders. Staggering under the sudden weight, Viktor lifted his hands to rest on Ruby's ribs, spluttering as a long tongue lapped up his face. Before he could do anything the wolf spun and turned, running out through the half-open door and disappearing.
A sleeve was dragged along his face before he sighed, smiling fondly, as he turned and headed upstairs. For their first wolfstime, it could have been a lot worse. He was intact, if slobbered on, and she was running through the woods like she desperately wanted to. All in all, it had worked out quite well.
A few hours later, the door creaked open and dark eyes peered into the empty house. Quietly padding back into the house, the panting wolf snuck upstairs after her human and easily found her way to his bedroom. He was lying there, fast asleep, and Ruby felt a rush of happy and possessive endorphins before carefully climbing onto the bed next to him. He didn't stir even slightly as she curled up next to him, resting her head very gently on his arm with a content huff. It had been a good night.
His arm was dead. The first thing that truly registered to the scientist was the lack of sensation in his arm, followed by the comforting warmth next to him. It was nice but confusingly so. He wasn't expecting to wake up with anyone.
"Ruby?" he asked, voice muffled with sleep as he pushed himself up carefully enough to see if he was right. Then again, no one else would be in his bed these days.
The dark-haired woman was next to him, face relaxed and peaceful, and the dead arm was suddenly worth seeing her like this. Normally she woke up before him and then got him out of bed so she could get to the diner on time and he would actually go to the hospital. He normally didn't get to see her look like this and it was worth it.
A soft kiss was pressed to her temple before he leant back, getting comfortable and looking up at the dull ceiling with a smile. Nothing was going to spoil this day, least of all work. If there was an emergency the hospital could page him. Granny could run the diner for one morning without the wolf. His wolf. There was another night of wolfstime tonight. They may as well make the most of their day before she turned again. Then again, maybe she'd stay tonight.
Soooooooooooooooooooooooo. Yeah. Sorry about this random crap.