Without You: Bloodstone (Part 1)
Genre: AU, werewolf, fantasy, angst
Warnings: language, violence, suggestive content
Word Count: 3.2k
Summary: Werewolves, contrary to popular belief, are usually gentle creatures. Except for a very specific set of circumstances, they would never hurt a human (on purpose). The few unfortunate times when mistakes were made put a permanent dark mark on the beasts and people began labeling them as monsters. What the human population failed to recognize was the fact that they were protecting us from something much more sinister. Luckily, a few survived and the gene was passed down hereditarily until one day finding its way to me… in the form of my best friend.
Loyalty is often as blind as justice should be, as unstable as a lightning storm ought to be, and as misplaced as an opinion in the truth.
The night air is crisp, burning slightly but pleasantly in my throat and lungs with every rapid inhale. Overhead, the full moon casts a delicate, silvery glow on the surrounding trees, dappled pattern changing with every soft breeze. Leaves crunch under my shoes, making it easy to trace not only my whereabouts, but also his, even at a distance. I lighten my steps, hoping to buy myself a couple meters and thus a few more seconds.
The bag in my hand is heavy, but I force myself to put up with the weight a little longer. Taking my lips between my teeth, I press myself against one of the many trees that peppers the forest, sparse when standing among them, dense when taking it in as a whole.
I can hear him pause, listening for me.
Suddenly, it’s too quiet. The leaves have stopped rustling and my heartbeat sounds like a drum. Trying to further muffle my breathing, I place my free hand over my mouth, ears straining to find any sign of life. Where is he-?
My scream cuts through the night air as his warmth wraps around me, pinning my back to the rough bark, but stopping me from falling with a sure yet gentle grip. Jungkook’s nose presses into my hair, putting his lips right next to my ear as he says, tone teasing, “Gotcha.”
I push him away playfully, making sure the bag hits him, “How do you DO that?”
Pulling off the scarf I had wrapped around his head, covering his eyes, he shrugs, lightly rubbing his upper arm from the impact, “Maybe you’re just really bad at hiding, Eun-ah.”
“Yah! No, that’s definitely not it,” I laugh, walking around him; yet glancing over my shoulder to make sure he follows. “But if it makes a difference, that was the fastest one yet.”
Jungkook smiles as he jogs to catch up, “I’m getting better.”
“You’re getting CREEPIER,” I tease, eyes searching for the clearing, “Now help me find it.”
“Remind me why I’m doing this?”
“Because I play YOUR stupid games all the time and this only happens once a month,” I hoist the bag over my shoulder, a more comfortable resting position for its heavy contents. “I know you know where it is.”
“Yeah,” he sighs, wrapping his fingers around my wrist and guiding me forward, “I do.”
Despite us having gone there only twice, Jungkook guides me with the surety of a professional navigator. Within the first thirty seconds, I give up trying to recognize the trees that all look the same, instead choosing to watch my companion’s face. His features are tensed in concentration, but I’ve always thought the expression suited him.
Living in a rural town with a population that is constantly teetering on the edge of one thousand means it is easy to become best friends with a next door neighbor, especially one as sweet and smart (and handsome) as Jungkook. It also helps that we are two of less than sixty people around our age within a ten mile radius, but I still count myself as fortunate.
“You’re the best,” I tousle his dark hair before sprinting forward, into the field sprinkled heavily with bright purple and blue Hepatica flowers.
Jungkook follows me hesitantly, glancing at the tree line as if he’s expecting someone to emerge, but I ignore him, opting to throw down the heavy bag in the middle of the clearing and start sifting through the various rocks and jars of herbs.
“Eun, are you sure you should be messing with stuff like this?” his low, apprehensive voice makes me pause. Squatting like the well-mannered girl I am, I swivel around to look at him with a questioning expression, but my friend’s attention is locked on something above us, presumably, the moon.
“You were fine with it last month.”
A small, uncertain noise comes from the back of his throat, “Yeah, but this time, it feels different. Bad.”
“It’s not like I’m summoning demons,” I scoff humorously, locating and taking out the old leather bound book I had somehow found on Ebay of all places, “Divination is harmless.”
“Really? Because standing in a flower field at midnight during a full moon…” his sentence trails off as I find the second object I need, a cloth pouch, removing the smooth bloodstone carefully, running the pad of my thumb over the bright crimson speckles.
“I need to concentrate, strong smells help with that, I like the smell of Hepaticas, and this is the only place we can find a whole bunch of them,” I explain as I stand, glancing down at the text near my feet for further instruction. “And the book says the full moon will bring me closer to the spirits.”
The lack of protest from my usually highly responsive companion catches my attention and I can’t help but pause, turning to see if something is wrong. Unmoving, painted in the harsh, highly contrasted, yet grey tinted colors of night, Jungkook stands with his back to me, gaze still fixed on the unobscured moon above us. Suddenly, I notice how eerily silent it is, the air itself seeming to hang, suspended, stifling, which makes the hair on the back of my neck prickle.
“Are you okay?” I ask hesitantly, but receive no response. I’m not even sure he heard me, so I try again, taking a step toward him, “Yah, Jungkook-”
My friend immediately collapses.