captainryan: (Wolf Full Height)
There are other werewolves. Ryan knows this quite well, but thus far they have stayed out of his territory and in their own. Their own howls answer his when he calls, each letting the other know where they are so that no one runs into each other accidentally.

He is not impressed by this new wolf, the one that has called all night long for no reason, but in the end, it’s not an issue. As long as the newcomer keeps off his territory, there is little to concern himself with. To that end, Ryan answers the other’s howls, making sure he knows he’s not the only one out here.

When the stranger’s howls stop in the early morning, Ryan is set on edge a bit. Such silence after the nearly constant communication is unsettling, and he no longer knows where the other is. He still howls, about once every hour until sleep claims him again.

One night left.

November

Nov. 24th, 2007 08:02 am
captainryan: (Wolf Crouch)
Winter is coming.

Ryan never was all that fond of snow, mostly for practical reasons. You need more kit to survive in snow environments, it’s harder to move through, and it’s harder to hide your passage.

Now, though? Now he just doesn’t like it because it’s cold. They may seem something of a simple reason to not like snow, but how many patrons have to strip naked three nights a month? Sure, he could opt not to, but that would have him ripping through his clothes faster than he cared to. No, better to remove the garments. Besides, then he has something to put back on when he changes back.

He’s warmer when he’s in his other form. He doesn’t know why, probably because of the thicker hide, but he is warmer. It is that knowledge that encourages him to attempt to change early, rather than hold the change off. He’s been trying the latter for months, to no effect. Once the moon rises, no matter how much he focuses (a feat in itself considering his mindset at the time) the change sweeps his human form away.

But changing early, well, that’s another story entirely. He’s done it once before, when he and Le Chiffre were working out their differences. Only a few seconds before moonrise, but he had been so eager to begin the hunt that changing early had seemed easy. Tonight, he does so again, and once more a few seconds before moonrise, he changes. The difference between frail cold human and warm durable werewolf is large, and one he relishes when the air is cold enough that his breath hangs in it like a cloud. He howls a challenge to the stone angel, a warning to the other lycanthropes that he is here, and just for the sheer joy of it.

He is awake when the dawn comes, and deeper in the woods than usual. He promised Suzi he would try to avoid the angel and the deep woods seem to be the best place for that. The Dreaming seems to be gone completely, something he finds odd but has no complaint about.

He doesn’t return to his human shape. Not immediately, anyway. Instead he holds onto his other form for a good long while, occasionally sending up warning howls. Eventually the lethargy after a successful hunt and meal takes him, and he sleeps in the shelter he built months before. He wakes shortly afterwards, human and shivering and curled against the cold on the blankets Suzi gave him. He wraps himself more securely in the cloth, putting a few of the blankets over him instead of just under to better keep in his heat, before dozing off again.
captainryan: (Damocles)
He has a puppy. Why.

Could he give it to Suzi? No, that wouldn't be fair to Whistler, and anyway he doesn't want to hurt Deitmar more than he already has. Did he hurt Deitmar's feelings? Is that what happened? He must've done something wrong to make the pup run off the way he did, but for the life of him, he can't figure out what. Unless...he was misinterpreting the canine? Ryan'll have to explain the next time they speak.

If Damocles ever stops asking questions.

Why does this room smell like Suzi?

That's Joy's scent, Suzi's dog.

Why was she here?

Because I was watching her.

Why's that?

Suzi was on a trip.

Where'd she go?


He's been putting up with this ALL EVENING. He's rather proud of himself for not snapping at the dog. To Quinn's world.

Who's Quinn?

An Ancient.

What's that?

Someone who was born thousands of years before Suzi was.

Oh.


There's always a pause after 'oh' while the puppy think of another question. This time Ryan cuts him off before he gets there.

Are you hungry?

Yeah! Is there food? Can I have food? Do you have food?


Ryan does indeed, left over from when he had Joy. He gets the bag out while Damocles dances around his feet. It's only through similar experiences with Joy that he manages not to kick the thing.

If he's going to kick it, he wants it to be on purpose.

He pours a bowl of kibble for the puppy and relishes the sudden conversational silence as Damocles chows down. Ryan sets down a bowl of water for him, along with newspapers, before getting ready for bed.

Sir? What are those?

Good god, is the pup done eating already? What are what? Ryan half grumbles, heading to the bathroom, avoiding the paper just inside the door.

Those dark marks on your skin, Damocles continues, unfazed. Ryan's been half grumbling at him all night.

They're scars, places where the skins healed after a bad injury.

What's an injury?

When something hurts you,
Ryan tells him, brushing his teeth. The nice thing about canine is you don't always need your mouth to speak it.

The sudden silence makes him stick his head out the door. What's wrong?

That...that
thing was going to hurt us, Damocles whimpers quietly, hunching in on himself slightly.

The zombie, yes, Ryan agrees before spitting and rinsing. When he comes out of the bathroom, it's to find Damocles huddling under the desk. You're all right now, Ryan says, exasperated. Deitmar found you and brought you here. The zombies can't get you here.

But...but there was that one downstairs!
Damocles protests, shivering violently.

The one downstair--oh, Kaplan. And I told you I'd kill him before he tried anything.

The puppy looks at him with hopeful eyes. You'll protect me?

Ryan just looks at him a long moment. Yes, he half sighs in a gruff voice. Anything to make him stop huddling under the desk. Damocles yips happily and works his way back out.

Thank you, sir! Ryan just rolls his eyes, sparing the puppy a pat before he gets into bed. Damocles watches him with large brown eyes for a moment. Can I sleep with you?

...No.


Puppy. Why.
captainryan: (Not Feeling Too Good)
After his chat with Security, Ryan asked Bar for a copy of all the Intel Suzi's gathered on the disappearances and he spends the evening poring over the material.

Richard? The werewolf jumps slightly even as he realizes it's only Joy and not Suzi. Richard, I'm hungry. He gives the puppy an unreadable expression before rising from his chair and disappearing out the door. When he returns, he has a large bag full of food both for himself and her. Joy dances around him, and he has to watch where he puts his feet lest he kick her.

"Stop that," he admonishes her, but if he means it, he doesn't have the will to make it sound so. He shifts the papers on the desk to make room for the food and grabs a bowl out of the top of the bag. He fills it with tap water and sets it down for her, saying, "Don't make a mess."

Okay, Joy agrees, lapping at the water. Ryan watches her a moment before his stomach rumbles. He hadn't realized that his last meal was that morning until Joy said something. He sets her food bowl down.

Richard? Where's Mommy and Deitmar? Joy asks when she's finished, long before Ryan's done.

I don't know. He answers without meaning to. Nonverbal communication is always easier, and the words are out before he realizes he's said them.

When are they coming back?

I don't know.

Are they oka--

I don't know, Joy, I don't know,
he snaps at her, glaring. She looks away, ears down, and rolls onto her back. Satisfied, Ryan returns to eating.

...I miss Mommy, Joy says after a moment. Ryan says nothing at first.

Me, too. Both of them. There's a pressure against his calf and Ryan looks down to find Joy leaning against him. I lost them.

They'll come back. Mommy always comes home.

I wish I could believe that. The words are out before he can stop them. It's his greatest fear that they won't, and by saying it out loud...

Joy may be all that's left.

He looks down at the pup leaning against his leg. He looks down and he pets her. She's all thats left.

What is he going to tell Whistler?
captainryan: (Greatly Concern Me)
[From here]

The infirmary doors slam open and Ryan strides in, Wesker's corpse in his arms. It's quite obviously a corpse, what with the amount of blood missing and the gaping hole in the young man's neck. Suzi's next to them both, the tentacles reassuringly wrapped around Ryan's arm. The werewolf stalks towards one of the open beds and gently lays Wesker down on it.

"You're sure he's not dead, Suzi?" Ryan asks the Sime,  a faint thread of hope in his voice, but much much more worry.
captainryan: (Civvies)
There's a full moon tonight. No surprise, then, that Ryan is outside. He's still feeling twitchy, though it's not from lack of space. This is an anticipatory twitch, the kind a predator gets before it stalks its prey.

If his prey is even out here. There's no guarantee that Le Chiffre will leave the safety of the bar, even in daylight. But the thought that he might, the possibility that Ryan may be able to carry out his self-imposed objective, is enough to keep him on his toes. He's been keeping tabs on the man for some time, now, and he knows that Le Chiffre will occasionally step outdoors.

And so he paces the tree line and watches the door.
captainryan: (Not Amused)
It takes Ryan a few minutes to determine where the cables from the GameCube connect to the telly, and another second to remove the dust from the unused set. He inserts the first disk before switching on both system and set, and settles on the edge of the bed. He frowns dubiously as the game starts up and loads the menu screen. He takes a look at Options, but he isn’t sure what most of it means, so heads back to start a new game, selecting Chris Redfield as his character.

It begins with a film, and he watches and listens with one eyebrow arched. Alpha Team is searching the downed helicopter when Ryan sees a familiar face, or thinks he does. He stares at the screen, waiting to see if it’ll show again, and if it’s who he thinks it was.

He keeps trying to scent the air while on screen Joseph is attacked by a dog. Cerberus, Ryan realizes, as a shot is fired and the camera returns to the rest of the team, including, as he suspected, Albert Wesker, much older than the one he knows. 

Ryan scrambles for the game’s box, checking the back for any mention of Wesker while the scene continues to play out in front of him. He pries the booklet out of the front cover, flipping through to the character bios, but they only list Chris and Jill.

On screen, Joseph is killed by the zombiefied dog, by now joined by its packmates. Idly, he notices that the sounds they’re making make no sense. Either they’re incapable of speech, or, more likely, the designers simply chose sounds that fit with the scene. He wonders where Deitmar, no, Wesker has gone to as Chris and Jill flee the pack.

He doesn’t have to wonder long as Wesker soon saves Chris’ life, and the three of them, joined by a fourth whose name he doesn’t know yet, head toward a mansion hidden in the woods.

As the scene inside the mansion plays out, Ryan can’t help but wonder what’s going on. He knows Wesker is involved with the development of the BOWs, but when did he join STARS? It doesn’t seem like the other members know of anything beyond what they’ve seen, so why is Wesker on the force at all? Unless…perhaps this is different version than the two he’s already met?

His musings are cut short as control of Chris is finally given to him. He lets the character idle on the screen while he looks through the instruction manual for movement and to check his weapons.

To his annoyance, he has nothing but a combat knife. Apparently, Chris has wasted all of his rounds already, and doesn’t even have a handgun. He glares at the character for his stupidity and attempts to return to Wesker and Jill and request a weapon from them, but that fails. Wesker just says that he's counting on Christ to investigate. Frowning, he returns to the dining room, and continues towards where the shot was heard from.

He’s already unhappy at the amount of finesse the character has. There’s no option to attempt stealth, and even walking slowly is terribly loud. He wanders around in the corridors past the dining room, literally, since Chris seems determined to hit every wall. He finds several locked doors, and eventually a zombie over another deceased member of STARS. Ryan’s so busy looking at the thing (is it wearing a labcoat?) that he’s taken by surprise when it attacks. Having absolutely no experience with any sort of video games, Chris is soon dead and Ryan has to start again.

Why doesn’t Chris know any hand-to-hand combat?

The second time around, once Ryan sees the zombie, he heads back to Wesker and Jill. Maybe now he can get a useful weapon, only he finds that Wesker and Jill have both wandered off.

Ryan’s starting to wonder if this team has any training at all.

There's something sparkling on the ground, and Ryan checks the manual before pressing the green button. Chris picks up what turns out to be a Berretta, and Ryan clicks yes. Of course he’ll take it. Why would they even ask that? Scowling, he looks around the area, but finds he can only return to the dining room again. He equips the gun and heads back towards the body he found earlier, prepared for a contact.

The zombie’s no where to be found.

Ryan scowls, nostrils flaring uselessly as he sends Chris down the hallway. He can’t even peer around corners, he grumbles to himself. What sort of nonsense is this?

Which is why he’s startled when he finally does come across another zombie. How the hell are you supposed to shoot in this game? This is absolutely nothing like aiming and firing a real weapon.

“Absolutely ridiculous,” Ryan mutters as the zombie rips out Chris’ throat. And people think these games are fun?


He starts again.

captainryan: (Wolf Full Height)

It’s the last night of the full moon, his last chance to try and hold back the change from man to wolf. He’s failed utterly the first two nights, not even able to postpone it for a few seconds. Once he’s capable of wondering why, he’ll be irritated and annoyed with himself, but that won’t be till at least tomorrow morning.

But now is now, so that is what he focuses on. He leans against a tree, head bowed, hands on the rough bark so his claws will have something to dig into besides his palms. But despite all the focus he pours into it, despite his attempts to even slow it down, the change still sweeps over him within seconds of the moon having risen.

He can’t stop it. He can’t even slow it down. But, as he’ll remind himself tomorrow, he’s only ever attempted this three times. There’s no reason to think it’s impossible and rather foolish to believe he would succeed the first time. He simply needs to keep trying until he does succeed. He strongly suspects that it will take a while. After all, he only has three nights out of twenty-eight to attempt it, and only one opportunity each night.

He’ll not waste them.

captainryan: (Wolf Torso)
Ryan attempted to hold off the change again tonight, to no avail, and quickly distracted himself with a successful hunt and the exploration of Belar’s leftmost mountain. He’s searching for a suitable area to bring Wesker so he can teach him how to survive in the wilderness. He knows the pup will be irritated at the task, but it will do him good. Not to mention that it’s an opportunity for Ryan to spend more time with a packmate.

He’s looking for a stream that isn’t raging from the influx of melting snow, but it’s taking far longer than he thought it would and instead of drifting asleep in the wee hours of the morning, as he is wont to do, he keeps exploring the lower slopes. Just before sunrise, he finds a swollen stream still calm enough that, even as a human, he’d be able to wade in it. He laps at the icy, clear water before standing and shaking his fur free of the remaining droplets. Then sun will be rising soon and he rushes to return to his den in the woods.

The fiery orange ball peeks over the horizon, bringing an urge to return to human form with it. He’s not home yet, though, so he shoves that aside and pushes himself even harder. This is no distance eating lope but a flat out sprint towards the (relative) safety of his shelter. The sun rises higher, the urge to change back rising with it, but he’s not ready until he can see his base, only then allowing the metamorphosis to shudder over him.

He’s never been awake for this before and as much as the change to wolf involves stretching and growing, the reversion is all compressing and shrinking, though still just as painful and fast. He stays kneeling on the ground for a long moment, panting hard and shifting only slightly to remove a twig digging into his knee. He’s terribly tired and would like nothing more than to curl up and go to sleep, but he remembers all too well what happened the last time he slept in the woods whilst human. There’s nothing for it but to climb to his feet, put some clothes on to protect his skin from the underbrush, and slowly jog back to the mountains.
captainryan: (Silhouette)

There’s something he’s been meaning to test ever since Wells told him it was possible. He had meant to try the last moon, but due to extenuating circumstances at the time, he hadn’t seen the point. And the moons before that, well, he’s not going to attempt to stay human while Wells goes through with the change, thanks ever so.

So it’s this moon that he’s finally going to attempt to hold off the change. He needs to know that he can hold it, just in case he’s ever in a situation where he needs to. He breathes deeply (earth, trees, petrol) centring himself as he disrobes. He can feel the smallest beginnings of the change, the way his insides start to subtly shift, rearranging themselves. Another deep breath (water, deer, himself) and he forces it to stop and tells it No.

Or tries to.

His eyes are closed so he doesn’t see the colour leach away from the world, but he can feel the now familiar sharp pain as his nails lengthen into sharp claws, bone spurting forth from the tips of his fingers to give them shape and substance. His gums itch madly as new teeth force their way in, the jaw bone and old teeth aching as they lengthen to points. He doubles over, grunting in pain as his organs start to rearrange in earnest, closing his hands into fists and forgetting that he has claws now. He tries again, using the new pain as a focus, to stop the change, to slow it down, to do something, but it sweeps over him regardless.

He snarls in frustration as the puncture wounds in his palms knit themselves together. If Wells can do it…but he’s hungry and the thoughts are fleeting. Belar told him that there were deer colonizing the lowest slopes of the mountains and he fully intends to put that to the test. He starts running with a tireless distance eating lope towards the god’s territory. He would be nervous about it had Belar not given him permission. And not only permission, but where the best hunting was. Already he can practically taste the deer, scent the sharp tang of fear.

The night is still young when he reaches the centre mountain, stopping just inside the tree line, downwind of the deer on the open, exposed slope. There are several fawns among the herd, new and still fairly gangly. He knows, he knows he can run them down. Hell, he could run down any deer he wanted to, but the fawns…well, why do more work than you have to?

Prey selected, he tenses, ears and eyes focused forward, nose twitching. He stalks slowly out, one careful step at a time, keeping his head low. But you can only hide so much when you’re seven and a half feet tall and there’s no cover around.

The herd breaks and he follows suit, charging forward at top speed, a blur of black fur and hide with the occasional glint of moonlight off metal. That he should black out the shine slips through his mind just before one of the fawns slips and goes down. It’s small. He’ll have to hunt again before morning.

Ryan’s looking forward to it.

captainryan: (Wolf Torso)
((From here))


Scotland. That's what the landscape looks like. If you could smell it, though, you'd know it isn't. There's a petrol-prey smell that sticks to it, just like the woods outside of Milliway's. It's the only territory the werewolf knows. The waning moon in the sky casts the foliage in an almost silver light. An overgrown path nearby practically glows, disappearing deeper into the woods. The black werewolf, Ryan, shakes himself off and  sticks his head into the wind, feeling it through his fur.

Rachel's nearby. He gives her a cautious sniff, rumbling a bit at the back of his throat. He stands up to his full height and the sound goes from a rumble to a full blown growl. It's a warning. This place is mine, he tells her, showing his teeth.
captainryan: (Wolf Torso)

(Living risky, never scared)
He’s not lost. Lost implies you don’t know your way back. He knows where he is. He’s content to be there.
(Wander closer to the edge)
He’s living very much in the now. Past and future are vague unimportant concepts. Betrayal…not so much, but the wolf has no ties to England. Even if it did, it wouldn’t dwell on it. That’s why he let go.
(Nothing valued, think no fear)
He hadn’t really meant to.
(Always wondering why you're here)
Mr. Ingram refuses to use anything found from my unlawful confinement and torture. He said that it would cost what little remains of England's soul.
(All your purposes are gone)

Worthless. His sacrifices, his life, his soul, worthless. Ingram was a moron. What little remained of England’s soul? England’s soul was untouched! He gave his so hers could stay pure. And to suddenly hear that it was pointless, that it was all for nothing…
(Nothing's right and nothing's wrong)
He’d meant to beat his anger out on the pells, but when the sword snapped any shred of control he had went with it. Sane people don’t break their hands by pounding on pieces of wood.
(Nothing ventured, nothing gained)
The wolf understood blind fury. Always just below the skin this time of month, he let go and let it take over, almost completely. He would have had Suzi not shown up. He almost did anyway. Almost didn’t care enough to come back, and even then it’d been a struggle as he wondered if it was worth it. If Suzi hadn’t been pack…
(Feel no sorrow, feel no pain)
His thoughts are simple. Hunt when he’s hungry. Rest when he’s tired. He’s constantly moving through the woods, checking his territory, but staying in the deeper sections. Not so far that things start getting strange, but deep. His mind never goes further than reacting to his surroundings.
(Looking forward, not behind)
He has the sense to disrobe when the moon rises, more from a sense that what pieces of uniform he’s wearing deserve respect. He keeps his dog tags on. He always has. He’s proud of what he’s done for his country. Oh, he never expected a medal. They don’t hand those out for the things he’s done. But to have it all go to waste because of one man…
(Everybody's got to cross that line)
Those thoughts, the complex ones, are fleeting and brief and so far beneath his current mindset that they’re barely noticed. The house ring stays on. It’s the only link to his pack that he has; it’s not coming off. There’s barely a change in the way he’s thinking as he trades his form for another.
(Free me now to give me a place)
He spends the night hunting and marking his territory against the other werewolves. They can use the woods, but they damn well better know who owns them. When the sun comes up, he cleans away the blood from the night’s hunting and dresses because his skin isn’t as thick as the wolf’s hide. There’s a bit of meat left over from the night’s kill, and he’s able to put off the day’s hunting while he does something just as important. Selecting a spot far away from any tree that used to smell like Witherspoon along with Wells’ lakeside area, he starts making a den of his own.
(Keep me caged and free the beast)
On some level, he knows he can’t stay like this.
(Falling faster, time goes by)
It’s easier this way. He knows what happened. He remembers it. He doesn’t care. The rage is still there, but wolf instincts don’t understand prolonged anger. He sees it. But living like he is, mingled with the wolf as he is, he doesn’t really understand it.
(Fear is not seen through these eyes)
He could. He could flip that switch and step back into it. He could push the instincts back down. He’s aware of that the same way he’s aware that he can’t let go completely. But he doesn’t know how to deal with the rage.
(What there was will never be)
He’s never liked anger. Like happiness, it blinds you, alters your perceptions and you can’t see what’s what. And like the puppet’s all-consuming happiness, he’s never dealt with such all-consuming anger before. He wasn’t thinking straight before he let go. If he steps back, he’s not sure he’ll be able to.
(Now I'm blind and cannot see)
But he knows he has to. Eventually, at some point. Simple living is as good an answer to his problems as being happy or angry. But it won’t do him any good to come back to unthinking rage. He has to figure out how to get around that first.
(Kiss me while I'm still alive)
That all of this is undercurrent complicates matters. He’s aware of it, but the wolf’s on top and sees little point in pursuing such things. It doesn’t relate to the current situation. It will not help ease the hunger or build the den or protect the pack. Why bother?
(Kill me while I kiss the sky)
He feels the same way about the indoors of Milliway’s. If it weren’t for the rest of the pack choosing to live there, he’d avoid it completely, except for when Suzi needed his assistance in the workshop. The interior of the Bar isn’t his. That belongs to Security and he would have to abide by their rules or face the cells. The thought is fleeting, but he shudders anyway.
(Let me die on my own terms)
He has no plans, none that concern him now. He's content to live moment to moment and not much more. The second night the demon rabbits launch an attack on his den and he gorges. There are enough carcasses left that when light comes again he's able to snag bites between adjusting the shelter so it's a metre or so off the ground. It's not difficult. He remembers his training, still has access to it and, well, the wolf hasn't made him stupid. He does not want to have to deal with sieges by demon rabbits every night.
(Let me live and let me learn)
The den is well hidden, something else he remembers to do. It's surrounded by bushes that should only serve to hide it further when the leaves start to come in. But there is no planning for it. It's just whatever comes to mind is what he adds to it. If what he added doesn't work, he takes it away again. Utterly content to build it by trial and error.
(Now I'll follow my own way)
Which is good, because it looks like he'll be doing a lot of that in the coming days.
(And I'll live on to another damn day)
(Freedom carries sacrifice)
(Remember when this was my life)

captainryan: (Not Feeling Too Good)

The full moon lights the Scottish landscape making it easy for even humans to see tonight.
(Throw away my dreams,)
Which is good because otherwise he would have tripped by now.
(this fight for my life isn't getting behind me.)
He’s running, fleeing, jumping at every shadow. That’s the thing about light. Light always casts shadows. He knows what’s behind them, in them, knows that he can’t really escape them. But he’s trying anyway.
(And I've been told to scream.)
There’s dirt in his mouth. He doesn’t remember falling, but he starts crawling, trying to escape the massive weight on his back.
(When no one can hear me, it doesn't mean nothing.)
He can hardly move until it’s off of him, dragging him back, flipping him over. He’s in its shadow, seeing nothing but its silhouette.
(So make me believe.)
“No!” The teeth are already flashing towards him.
(Just take me away from this hell I've created.)
The blood is ecstasy. He cleans his muzzle before looking back down at the kill, his own body.
(And I'm afraid)
Except it’s not. Its Suzi’s, throat torn open, blood burbling out, pooling around her on the ground. He crouches to lap at it, following the flow back to its source.
(I'm breaking my own vows)
Her eyes are open, watching him, face smiling.
(knowing I'll go down in flames)
“I really do love you, Richard,” she says, extending her tentacles to his muzzle.
(I know this can't be right.)

Ryan jerks awake, mouth open in a silent cry. After a moment-a moment of horror, disgust, and fear-he realizes it was just a dream. The same dream he’s been having for a week. He doesn’t heave. He hasn’t since the first time he had it.
(There's got to be something more that I can live for.)
Spoon woke the memory up. Suzi made it terrifying.
(And I can only hide,)
He throws the covers off and pads to the bathroom. Bare-chested, he glares at the scars in the mirror.
(inside of this sickness for so long again.)
This is ridiculous. The same dream for a week? Utter nonsense. Yet here he is, looking at himself in the mirror once more. He turns on the faucet till it’s spewing forth ice-cold water.
(So make me believe)
She said she loved him. She said it and he starts having nightmares. He splashes his face. This is why he doesn’t connect with people. It made him weak. If he didn’t love Suzi, he’d still be sleeping right now. He pauses in his movements.
(Just take me away from this hell I've created)
If he didn’t love Suzi?
(And I'm afraid)
He loved her, Lord help him. Lord help Suzi. The faucet is shut off. It’s a dangerous position, especially with Witherspoon coming to the Bar. She’s in danger because of him. That man was insane. Yes, Ryan was using the new soap Bar gave him to help mask his scent, and that would help some. The problem was would it be enough?
(I'm breaking my own vows)
There are other options, he’s aware, grabbing a hand towel. He could avoid her completely, but he already knows that wouldn’t work. Not only would Suzi never agree to it, there’s that part of him screaming that she’s pack.
(knowing I'll go down)
Pack?
(Make me believe.)
He turns the term over in his head a few times, but it’s really no surprise. It only reinforces what he already knew. He starts patting his face dry. Another option would be to simply kill Witherspoon. Unfortunately, he told Wells he would only do so if Witherspoon attacked again. He could always provoke the other werewolf, but he would honestly rather not.
(Just take me away from temptation that's calling me.)
The final option, then, would be to keep Suzi out of that situation. He flashes back to the two of them being eaten and he realizes that it’s easier said than done. He already failed her once. They were lucky that they both made it out alive. She should never have been in that position. It was his responsibility to keep her safe and he failed.
(And I'm afraid)
Live and learn, Ryan. Yes, he failed, but what’s done is done. Learn from it. Don’t let it happen again.
(I'm breaking my own vows)
He can do that. He can try harder.
(knowing I'll go down in flames.)
He only hopes it’ll be enough.

captainryan: (Is that a smile?)

((From here))

 

Ryan makes his way to his own door and heads straight for the bathroom. He’s halfway tempted to just bin the clothes he’s wearing, except they’re his BDUs. And, well, they’re his BDUs. Best to see if he can’t get them clean first.

He removes the ordinance that managed to avoid being slimed by being in a pocket: a few stun and incendiary grenades and the ammo for the P226. The pistol itself was not so fortunate.

But he absolutely has to get out of these clothes before he cleans it.

A minute later there is a slimy black pile on top of a clean white sheet waiting to be taken to the laundry room. He digs out the gun cleaning kit he purchased when Bond first agreed to bring him a firearm. He didn’t expect to be using it before that, but he’s not going to complain.

That was wonderful, wasn’t it? He enjoyed holding a firearm again, even if it was one as strange as a Korlian XT-17. Magnificent weapon. He’s missed being active, the thrill of a firefight, the satisfaction of winning and completing the objective. Even if only one was successful. The infiltration and recapture of MiB headquarters went well, as far as he can tell. Unfortunately, that was only his secondary objective. The first was the protection and safety of Suzi Darley, and she was eaten by a giant alien worm.

That’s failure as far as he’s concerned.

Now she was suffering from PSD and hallucinations, causing her to say things she didn’t mean.
Couldn’t mean.
It never should have happened. He should have gone after her as soon as she disappeared. Instead, he had assumed she would be safe.

Stupid, moronic, incompetent mistake.

Bitterly, he sets aside the P226 and finally steps into the shower himself. With the water set to near scalding, the alien gunk finally begins to slough off. He washes again because he can still smell it clinging to his skin and once more for any traces he may have missed. And then he just stands there, soaking up the steam. He’s grateful that the Milliway’s showers never seem to run out of hot water. It’s good to be home.

Home? Did he truly think of the Bar as home? He’d been here a little over three months, and it wasn’t as though he was going anywhere else. It was as good a place as any to call home. Which also explained why he’d been on edge as of late. Putting it in terms of his condition, another werewolf in the Bar was a threat to his territory, as foolish as it sounded. Thrice damned werewolf instincts. He sighs in annoyance as he shuts off the shower.

Thinking of Witherspoon has already put him on edge, but he knows he’ll adapt to the new werewolf’s presence. No, that won’t be a problem. The problem is will Witherspoon adapt to his presence? Or is Ryan going to have to be wary every time he goes downstairs?

He’s going to be thoroughly annoyed if it’s the latter. He was here first, after all, and the only werewolf who is always here. The Bar is his home, and just a visiting place for the others.
It’s not fair!
He’s just going to have to watch his step for a time and see what develops. He’s nothing if not patient. In the meantime, my God, those clothes stink. The steam had been masking them, but now the shower is off. He throws on a robe. These are going to the laundry room right now. Gingerly he gathers up the corners of the sheet and holds the bundle away from him, trying not to gag, and failing.

But it's not nearly enough to make him wish he had declined the offer to go out of Bar.

captainryan: (Not Feeling Too Good)

((After this.))

 

His hands are shaking. Ryan closes his door behind him, leaning against the wood. He brings his hands up and watches them quiver. He watches them quiver and when they don’t stop he folds them into fists and slams them against the door.
(I'm not supposed to be scared of anything)
He’s breathing hard, short and fast, heart pounding faster than any human’s. That was so close… He slides down the door, still leaning against the wood, propping his arms up on his knees.
(But I don't know where I am)

He’s still bleeding.
(I wish that I could move but I'm exhausted)

He looks at the furrows on his arm, not really seeing them. Not seeing the blood drip.
(And nobody understands (how I feel))

It catches him by surprise. He’d thought it was near, thought he was being watched, but it was so damn fast... It comes out of nowhere. He remembers the claws flashing in the moonlight before the dark red of his own blood arcs out, splashing the creature. The sound of his ribs snapping under the blow, the sharp pain as they bend inward…

(I'm trying hard to breathe now)

He falls. Collapses without a sound. Watches the werewolf lick its claws clean.

(But there's no air in my lungs)

Another one? More than one? Where-How?-another appears, ripping his MP-5 away, but he’s lost so much blood already, why does it bother? He’s shaking. Shock. There was only supposed to be one.
(There's no one here to talk to)
One of them, he doesn’t know which-does it matter?-reaches past his head, leaving a scratch, and roughly picks him up by the back of his jacket. His feet drag in the mud as he’s carried back to his camp.

(And the pain inside is making me numb)

The rest of the pack is already there, already feeding. Eating. Devouring his men. Hammel-was it Hammel? Hard to tell when the face is missing. Bowne he could recognize. Bowne’s eyes are open, staring blankly at nothing, a werewolf muzzle deep in his innards. It hurts to breathe.

(I try to hold this under control)

There aren’t enough men for each werewolf to get its own, and a fight breaks out over Foss. The one who initiated it manages to riptearwrench a leg off before scampering away with its prize. With Foss’ leg. Almost daintily, it removes the shredded clothing, then strips away the flesh, crunching the end of the femur when it hits bone.

(They can't help me, ‘cause no one knows)

If he wasn’t so weak, if he could move, he’d roll sideways to heave. It hurts to breathe. It’s hard to think. There was only supposed to be one.

(Now I'm going through changes, changes)

One is moving towards him, another whining at its heels. He can seehear his men being crunchedtornripped apart. He tries to move, gasps as his ribs pierce something, collapses again. The whining werewolf is nudging at the other’s chin, its ears folded flat against its head. The other’s ears flick back and forth a moment before it gives a rough chuff and turns away, snapping a growl at the one tearing at Pennant. That one grabs an arm, leaving the rest of the carcass behind. The whine, though, turned into a joyful yip. There was only supposed to be one.

(God, I feel so frustrated lately)

It’s standing over him now, and he tries again to move. It crouches, watching him, head cocked and nose twitching. He tries to ignore the pain, but every motion sends a knife dagger through his chest. It hurts to breathe.

(When I get suffocated, save me)

It catches him by the ankle, drags him back, a groan escaping from his lips. Its head comes down, muzzle approaching his chest. He swings weakly, using the very last of his strength. The werewolf snarls and stops it easily, slamming the hand into the mud, holding it there. The other claws grab his neck, one digging into his chin.

(Now I'm going through changes, changes)

Yes, at least kill him before eating him. Don’t rip him apart alive.

(Feelin' weak and weary)

But it doesn’t. Its teeth stay bared at his face a moment before moving back down to his chest, snuffling the wounds there. He moans and the grip at his throat tightens. It hurts to breathe.

(Walkin' through this world alone)

Something forces its way into the gashes and he jerks upward, or tries to since the claws are holding him down tighter now, choking off his cries of pain. The thing works its way from one end of the gash to the other. Its muzzle comes up and he watches blearily as it licks his blood off its nose. Then the head goes back down to repeat with the next cut.

(Everything they say, every word of it)

God, why won’t it just kill him and be done with it?

(Cuts me to the bone, (and I bleed))

It repeats, cleaning the blood out of each gash in turn, and eventually he passes out. From blood loss or pain, he doesn’t know. It doesn’t matter. He won’t wake up again. He won’t be conscious when it finally tears him to pieces. Like his men. There was only supposed to be one.

(I've got something to say)

And again, he’s surprised. His eyes flutter open to see the sun has risen. Is he alive? The dagger pain in his chest says yes, just as sharp as when he was first mauled. He blacks out again.

(But now I've got nowhere to turn)

He wakes twice more. The first time he lies still in the mud, gazing up at the grey sky, the night playing over and over in his head until the rain starts. He tries to roll, to move so it isn’t hitting him directly in the eyes, making him blink. He forgets about his ribs, and he hears them crack again before he loses consciousness.

(It feels like I've been buried)

The second time he wakes, the sun is lower. It’s enough to make him try moving again. They’ll be back, he has no doubt. He has to be gone by then, gone before they come back. They’ll come back. There was only supposed to be one.

(Underneath all the weight of the world)

He moves, crawling slowly oh so slowly towards the radio, and it takes him a moment to realize it’s pointless. They ripped it to shreds. He panics, slipping in the mud, until he spots the kit with the flare gun. It’s not that far, a miracle he can see it at all in the current state of the camp. He doesn’t notice that it no longer hurts to breathe.

(I try to hold this under control)

It takes time, but he reaches it. He rests a minute before digging through the kit to find the flare gun. He rolls to his back and fires it up, tossing it aside once it’s spent. The sun is too low. Even if anyone did see it, there’s no way they’d reach him in time. They’re coming back. There was only supposed to be one.

(They can't help me, ‘cause no one knows)

He starts crawling again, finally coming to a stop where he’s hidden behind some of the larger remains of the camp, underneath the camo net. They’re coming back. Has he still got his pistol? Yes. He pulls it out. God, he’s tired, but they’re coming back. They’re coming back. They’re coming back. He lies down behind the containers, knowing he can’t be seen. They’ll have to move things to find him, give him a chance to shoot. He knows it won’t do any good, but not all the bullets are for them. He won’t let them play with him again. There was only supposed to be one.

(Now I'm going through changes, changes)

He must’ve blacked out again because when his eyes next open, he hears voices. There’s a surge of adrenaline, enough to make him snap up with a wordless yell, gun raised. Soldiers? He pants as his aim wavers from one man to the next till at last he’s satisfied that they’re all human. The gun slips from his grasp. “Help me.” There was only supposed to be one.

(God, I feel so frustrated lately)

Blood smell finally breaks through. There’s a sizable puddle from his arm. It’s still dripping, and without thinking he’s licking one of the furrows clean.
(When I get suffocated, save me)

A moment later he’s staring at the blood in horror, even as his stomach rumbles. One hand claps over his mouth because it tastes good and he wants to do it again. He wants to drag his tongue from one end of the gashes to the other until the bleeding stops.
(Now I'm going through changes, changes)

He’s on his feet in a second, in the bathroom another, dry heaving into the toilet. Dry heaving because he never did get to eat his dinner and he’s been working out all day, using up every bit of energy. Now he’s hungry. He’s starving, and all he can do is flash back to his men and how they were torn apart and how good they must’ve been to eat.
(I'm blind and shakin', bound and breakin')

NO! No, dammit! If he has to be hungry, if he has to be starving and picturing something in his head, it’s not going to be human. It’s not going to be Hammel or Bowne or Foss or Pennant. Not when a deer can do the exact same thing.
(I hope I'll make it through all these changes)

He climbs to his feet and starts running his arm under the sink to clean it, water turning red before it disappears down the drain. How did this happen? How was Wells’ man able to change outside of a full moon? His hands quiver under the water.
(Now I'm going through changes, changes)

He suspects it was time spent under the government’s supervision that made it possible. Three years of being pushed to his maximum by scientists, it’s really no wonder that the soldier can shift at will. And naturally, he blamed Ryan for everything. Charming.
(God, I feel so frustrated lately)

Which one was it? He never saw a body for Campbell or Milburn, so it could easily be one of them. After all, Ryan survived. One of the others could have easily done the same. He turns the water off, and rummages through a cabinet a moment before grabbing a hand towel and pressing it against the gashes in his arm. He’s missing something.
(When I get suffocated, save me)

Witherspoon should also be on that list. Just because he survived until Ryan left doesn’t mean he escaped completely unscathed. It could be any of those three, and there’s no way to know which until he sees who attacked him in human form. Or unless Wells tells him. Ryan scowls. He’d have to ask who tried to eat him.
(Now I'm going through changes, changes)

He keeps pressure on the wound, keeping the towel down tight as he moves back to his bed and sits. His gaze falls on the puddle of blood by the door and he glares at it, shivering once.
(Now I'm falling apart, now I feel it)

He’s going to have to be careful now. The soldier attacked him in the Bar. He was lucky to get away with only the one set of scratches, and he knows it. So close to that night all over again. So close to being eaten alive. He has no doubt.
(But I'm going through changes, changes)

He wants a weapon. He wants a firearm. He hasn’t spoken to Bond for a while. It’s possible that the other man is no longer Bound. And there’s the mission with Suzi coming up soon. Maybe he can manage to bring something back from that. He hasn’t felt this exposed since coming to the Bar. He’s never felt in danger here.
(God, I feel so frustrated lately)

But now there’s another werewolf soldier to worry about, one that seems to have completely mastered his abilities. Ryan knows he can’t win that fight. He knows all too well.
(And I get suffocated, I hate this)

So right now, retreat is his best option. He doesn’t like it in the least, but it’s better than…what would happen otherwise. It’ll have to be the cells. It’s the only place he knows that can keep a werewolf in. Or in his case, out. He’ll need to speak with security. He refuses to just let the soldier kill him, if that's even possible. For all he knows, he could just be eaten over and over and over again.
(But I'm going through changes, changes)
He shudders.

captainryan: (Frown)

(After this.)

He enters his room and slams the door shut behind him. He paces a moment before catching sight of himself in the mirror. He’s still in the puppet suit. Suppressing a snarl, he starts taking off the fabric as quickly as possible. Where are his clothes? Probably still outside somewhere, along with his jackets and boots.

That’s just great.

He remembers everything. Everything. Babbling to complete strangers, playing with dominoes, God, he clung to Wells.

 

He told people to call him Richie.

He hasn’t realized it, but he’s growling.

Wait.

 

Didn’t Suzi say she found him as a werewolf? This meant he’s been running around the Bar as a soft and furry puppet, getting into who knows what trouble. Oh, no, don’t be stupid. People know. Whoever he was bothering knows. Hopefully, they just don’t know it was him.

 

Suzi. The last time he saw her was two mornings ago. He’d woken both her and Whistler up with a yell at being a puppet, a shock that had worn off all too quickly. But he knows how she gets about the Bar when it does…things like this.

 

At the moment, he’s inclined to agree with her.

 

But, what’s done is done, and he’s just going to have to deal with the repercussions of his actions. It’s not like Wells will let him forget. Bitter? Oh, yes.

 

The worst part of it all is that he knew exactly what he was doing. And he’d just been so damn happy throughout it all. He’s never been that happy, and if he were to admit it to himself…he misses it. Everything was right. Everything fit. He’s never experienced that before.

 

And it’s pissing him off. It wasn’t real. None of it. There was no reason for him to be that happy, and now there’s a hole and it hurts. The world was perfect, but it was fake and now that’s gone. And he doesn’t know how to feel about that.

 

Live and learn, Ryan. It’s gone, but he never should have had it in the first place. It. Wasn’t. Real. Happiness like that…it’s too good to be true. It dulls your senses, and you can’t see what’s what. His conversation with Wells is enough evidence of that. He looks at the model of his other form that Bar gave him. That’s real. Everything that thing represents, all sharp claws and violence and cold hard death. He'll take that over blinding happiness any day. Being happy like that is dangerous.

Anyway, he doesn’t deserve it.

So he’ll move on, like he always does. The hole will scar over eventually.
 

They always do.

captainryan: (Puppet Ryan)
For once, Ryan comes awake slowly and feeling very happy, but reluctant to move himself from the cozy warm spot he's found. Wait, warm? He should be freezing, he thinks as he opens his eyes.

...

How did he get inside? The dread he felt upon waking yesterday has been completely eclipsed by the wave that slams into him now. He snaps up into a sitting position as various scents assault his nose. The one that really grabs his attention is Suzi's.

Oh, God, please no, please God, no...

It's hard to ignore the dog scent, though, since it's coming from right next to him. He was sleeping on a dog? A very large dog. Alright, what the hell is...going...on...

Is that his hand?

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
captainryan: (Apologetic)

Ryan’s almost used to waking up freezing after the moon nights. He should really consider adding a fire starter kit to his clothes cache. He spits out a particularly irritating bit of fur from between his teeth before starting to work at the dried blood.

(I can see inside you the sickness is rising)

That’s odd. There seems to be an awful lot of it. And (sniff) not all of it is rabbit. A thread of dread worms its way through his mind. He keeps working at the mess, using the snow to wash it away, frowning as he tries to remember what happened last night.
(Don't try to deny what you feel.)

He’s scrubbing at his arms when the first bit comes, a white shape slamming into him, a dog from the remembered scent. It, no, she, ripped into his arm. He runs a hand over the healed skin, scowling worriedly. The dog belongs to the white woman.
please, God, no

(It seems that all that was good has died)
What happened last night?
(and is decaying in me.)

He keeps working at the dried blood, moving to what’s congealed on his face, wincing as his hand passes over his temple. He prods the area gently and comes to the conclusion that there’s a still fading bruise there. But from what?
(It seems you're having some trouble)

He shivers, mostly from the cold. He’s clean enough, he decides, to slip inside to shower. Nothing further slips loose till he’s hitting the knob to turn it off the water. Hands over his face, the chase flashes through his mind.
Shit.

(In dealing with these changes)
He presses his hands into his eyes, trying to follow what happened. Did he…?
catch claw bite eat her?

(Living with these changes.)
No. No, he didn’t.
thank God
(Oh, no. The world is a scary place)
The dog attacked. She stopped him from...making a mistake. Then, he ate the dog? But there was only red fur, none of the long silky white. What stopped him?
the grey werewolf
(Now that you've woken up the demon in me.)

Of course. Wells did. It's the only thing that makes sense. The man said he’d be watching. And for the first time, Ryan is grateful. It was only a dog, but if it had been something more, something worse…
bodies hanging from meat hooks in black unmarked BDUs
It’s…reassuring to know that someone’s there to make sure he doesn’t repeat certain actions.

captainryan: (Infirmary)

Ryan’s been thinking a lot. Lying in a hospital bed with 40% of your body covered in second degree burns doesn’t leave you able to do much else.

The first is a cause for some relief. He no longer considers Wells a superior, not after that last conversation. Sure, he’s been meditating on it, but it wasn’t till they spoke again that it finally seemed to click. He doesn’t consider Wells much of anything, now, other than someone to be wary of. You don’t follow traitors. That’s something that’s engrained in him very deeply. And apparently, every part of him agreed.

The second is what he’s truly focusing on. He’s in a lot of pain right now, and there’s no way to return the favour. Favours. He owes more than one.

Not yet, anyway.

He’s laying plans, though, and he can wait. He’s nothing if not patient. And he might be waiting a long time. First, Bond needs to bring him the P226. Then Ryan needs to get used to the sound and smell and using it with the suppressor. He’s out of practice anyway. And then…well, after that it’s simple, really.

There’s a small satisfied smile on his face. He just has to bide his time.

captainryan: (Not Feeling Too Good)
When Ryan blinks his eyes open this morning, he's on his back looking up to the morning sky. He scrambles to his feet quickly, a scowl on his face as his clothes, once again, are no where to be seen. Grumbling silently, he uses the snow to clear at least his face of the blood before heading towards his nearest clothes cache. There must have been a successful hunt last night then. Doesn't smell like rabbit, though. There is fur, however, so he knows it wasn't human.

He isn't much warmer once he gets his skin covered, but it's reassuring to be wearing clothes again. Still grumbling, Ryan tracks himself back to where he was last night, running across the remains of the kill in the process. With two sets of tracks in the area, he's not surprised to see that there isn't much left. And...he remembers bringing the animal down, enough to know it was a deer. That gets a pleased sort of smirk out of him that lasts until he finds his clothes and slips inside and upstairs for a shower.

For a while he just stands there with his eyes closed, letting the hot water cascade over him, taking the dried blood he missed outside with it. Wells must have followed him the entire night, then, even though he didn't go after humans. It explains the second set of tracks, anyway. Did they fight over the carcass  at all, he wonders? He doesn't think so. No, that doesn't match up with the memories he's getting. No,  he...
it's because the Alpha sent the deer his way that makes him step back
He didn't.
Alpha?!
He did not. 

Ryan hits his head against the tiles a few times in the vain hope that that'll change what he's remembering. He let Wells have his kill! How could he have-he couldn't have. He would never-but he did. It rankles with every part of him, but he did. He treated Wells like a superior. A grimace of self-disgust plasters itself on his face.

He's never going to live this down.

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captainryan

August 2009

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