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I wrote something! And I like it! \o/? This is hopefully the first part in a series :)

Title: Howling At The Moon, Or, How Mike Wasn't A Total Cliché, Thank You Very Much Tyson
Author: Lullula
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Mike/Chris
Warnings: Mention of intense pain off-screen, RPF
Summary: Mike's a werewolf. Mostly that involves snuggle piles in the back lounge and occasionally handing out advice to techs on Warped tour.
Notes: Very kindly beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] xaritomene, cheerleading by [livejournal.com profile] xrysomou




Mike breathed in deep, filling his lungs with woodland air.

It was beautiful.

The clean fresh air was undercut with the sweet scent of decaying plants and the sharp green smell of pine. If he concentrated, he could pick the smell of animal trails through the forest, a couple of rabbits, a herd of deer. On the trees closest he could pick out the weaving paths that the squirrels had taken.

After too long spent cooped up on a tour bus and in crowded cities, it was like heaven to his enhanced senses and the urge to run was almost overwhelming. He couldn’t, they had a photo shoot to do, but if it had been a full moon, nothing would have kept him from taking off and letting the miles disappear under his feet.

He glanced around once more, letting the stillness of his surroundings seep in. He might not be able to run off his pent up energy, but he would remember this place the next time the bus started to feel too close, too claustrophobic.

He took one last deep breath and fixed the scents in his mind before making his way back to the rest of the band. Time to be human for the camera.


*~*


The photo shoot was easy, they just had to sit around a camp-fire looking ‘natural’. Mike spent most of his time leaned up against Chris’ shoulder, listening to the crackle and pop of branches burning happily. It could have almost been perfect, if there hadn’t been a photographer poking his camera over their shoulders or directing them into different positions. There was also a distinct lack of marshmallows.

The light started to fade quickly and after a few shots of them lit up by the fire and with the darkening forest looming behind them, the photographer wrapped up the shoot.

Chris remained next to him as the others packed up around them, Mike heard him tell Tyson that they’d follow them back to the van soon. It wasn’t hard to ignore them though, and keep his eyes focussed on the fire before him. The patterns that flared up were hypnotic and soothing, it wouldn’t be hard to sit here all night and just watch.

“Come on, nature boy, you’ve gotta get your ass kicked on Mortal Kombat again.” Chris stood up and winced at the unfortunate cracking noises emanating from his knees. He was getting too old to be sat in the cold for long periods of time, and wasn’t that depressing?

“You ever want to play a man’s game, and not one where you button mash like a jittery pensioner, we can talk about ass kicking.” Mike grinned at him, more a show of teeth than a friendly smile. “I see the way your lip quivers when Ty pulls out Fallout 3, you giant baby.”

Chris rolled his eyes and pulled Mike up to stand next to him. “Reel in those fangs, wolf boy, I submit to your alpha status. You are the best, and I’m sure you’ll wipe away my tears when I cry about how inferior I am.”

Mike thought about plastering himself against Chris, breathing in the scent at his nape, leaving bruises decorating his neck, pushing him back down, showing exactly how alpha he was. He thought about it, but said, “Sorry dude. Moon’s coming closer, y’know?”

Chris shrugged and nudged Mike in the direction of the van, “Yeah, but you’re being good. We get back to the van and I’ll give you a Scooby snack.”

“If that doesn’t mean blow job, I’ll tell you now, I ain’t interested. How about I show you exactly how good I am at Halo?”

“Why, Mr Kennerty,” drawled Chris in a truly atrocious Southern accent, “you do know how to charm a dame! Show me your prowess sir, and I’ll show you mine.”

There was a moment of silence as they regarded each other, before they both broke into raucous laughter and made their way back to the rest of the group.


*~*


The tour was going well, the support group were a bunch of really sweet, eager to please dudes, they hadn’t encountered any crazy stalker fans, and best of all, they’d managed to keep the back lounge nice and empty. Nights spent as a large wolf went much more pleasantly if he wasn’t trying to avoid guitar cases, amps, the odd snare drum and once, memorably, a battalion of blow-up dolls in period accurate uniform.

The extra space also made it easy for Chris to pull down all the cushions and blankets they owned into a nest on the floor. Mike had once said that the best part of coming from a family of werewolves was the family snuggling on full moons. Since then, Chris had occasionally invaded Mike’s space under the pretence of “bein’ too lazy to get a blanket” whilst they watched a film.

It was kind of sweet, in a gruff, manlier-than-thou fashion. Eventually, Chris had given up pretending he was doing anything other than snuggling, and then they had started to build blanket nests.

Mike thought it was the best decision ever, especially when Nick and Ty joined in. Partly it was just great to be surrounded by pack on a full moon, but mainly, it was touching to realise that they trusted him so much.

Despite the fact that Mike had never so much as snapped at a bunny, it was still an undeniable fact that he was a predator. It would be no effort at all to use his powerful jaws to rip apart his band mates, and one accidental swipe of a paw could leave someone needing stitches. They’d have all been well within their rights to lock him away, covered with silver restraints.

Instead, they piled in the back lounge and had movie marathons, eating popcorn and chips until they all eventually fell asleep, in a heap of warmth and fur.

So yeah, this was turning out to be a great tour.


*~*


The tech inclined his neck, a subtle but clear message – no contest, no challenges, not looking for any trouble. Mike smiled, open and easy. He didn’t need anyone showing him subservience, but it was cool when they did.

After looking around Warped’s coach park quickly, the tech jogged over to Mike.

“Hey man, my name’s Conner, can I uh, can I ask you some questions?” He smiled hopefully, but looked ready to back off if Mike wasn’t interested in talking.

“Mike, and I guess you can, but I gotta tell you, I don’t really have the time to hand hold you through everything. I can smell you’re new n’ all, but…” Mike paused, feeling uncomfortable. He didn’t want to have to turn anyone down, but explaining werewolf lore would take a lot of time, and he just didn’t have it to give, especially not to someone he’d just met.

“Oh no! Nah dude, no, it’s just the one thing. It’s probably real dumb, but I uh, I was turned and dumped, y’know? There’s a vampire in the band I’m with, and he can tell me most stuff, but there’s some things he don’t know.” There was a blush spreading across Conner’s cheeks, and as he lifted a hand to scratch self-consciously at his neck, Mike saw the beginnings of a large scar peeking out of his sleeve. It looked pretty rough, like there’d been a lot of damage to cover.

“Yeah? Who’re you with? Maybe I know him. There ain’t so many vampires on the circuit, but they’re all pretty decent dudes. You’re probably in good hands, and vampires know a whole lot about the history and lore and shit.” Gerard Way, for example, knew so much about vampire lore that he was making a killing under a pseudonym, writing trashy vampire romance novels. “Fire away with your question.”

There was a moment where Conner honest to God shuffled his feet, and he looked almost painfully embarrassed as he asked, “So the uh, the transformations? Are they gonna stop, like, being so damn painful?” He glanced quickly at Mike’s face, before hurrying to add, “I mean, I know my whole body’s changing and bones are snapping and shit, but I don’t know how much more I can cope with.”

Instinctively, Mike winced in sympathy. He’d been born a werewolf, but that didn’t make the first changes any easier. They’d kicked in when he’d hit puberty, and he could vividly remember the agony of the first few years.

He laid a hand on Conner’s shoulder and smiled wanly, “It does dude. But I’ll be honest, it’s gonna take a while. It’s maybe a couple of years of complete suffering, and then your body gets used to it, I think. The pain doesn’t really stop or anything, but it becomes a lot more manageable. You just have to grit your teeth and get through it. If you can get some, there’s a wolfsbane tincture that helps a lot. I won’t lie and say it stops the pain, but it gets you high enough you don’t mind so much.”

Conner didn’t look so much relieved, as less desperate. It was about what Mike could hope for, it definitely wasn’t an easy fact to deal with, the thought of regular bouts of excruciating pain for the next couple of years. In all honesty, it would have been fair for Conner to start crying. Mike was glad he hadn’t though, that would have been awkward.

“Ok, well, that’s not great, but it’s not as bad as it could be, right? And I think Sashi knows some dudes that could get me some wolfsbane. He’s mad connected, but I guess he would be. He’s pretty old.” Conner took in a deep breath and shook himself a little, before he looked Mike straight in the eyes and smiled. “I’m seriously grateful dude, thank you for explaining that to me. I know it’s not cool to have a stranger come asking questions, and you didn’t have to answer me at all. If there’s ever anything I can do for you, you just gotta ask.”

Conner had really striking green eyes, and a really pretty mouth. Mike could feel some baser instincts calling out, telling him to take Conner and make him part of his pack. It’d be real easy, and real nice, to have a sweet pup hanging around.

“Well you got an attractive smile, so I didn’t mind.” Mike grinned and ignored his base instincts. His pack was perfectly formed, and there was no need to add to it. Plus, dealing with an angry Disashi was not his idea of fun, and it was clear to him that the vampire had claimed Conner as his own. The two tiny holes at the base of his neck were a clear warning to anyone who knew how to look. “It’s pretty hard dealing without anyone who’s been where you have, so if you end up with any more questions, you can just text me, ok? There’s a lot of time on bus rides where I don’t have shit to do, and I don’t mind answering.”

They swapped numbers and Conner grabbed Mike in a quick hug, before jogging back over to his bus. Mike saw Disashi raise an eyebrow at him through a window, and gave a grin and a wave in return. He hadn’t realised that Disashi had been watching them, but it was good to know Conner had someone looking out for him. Newly turned werewolves without supervision didn’t tend to last long.

But that wasn’t Mike’s problem, he didn’t have anything to worry about, other than the distressing new tendency Tyson had of locking him and Chris into small rooms.


*~*


Mike followed Nick off the stage and handed his guitar off to a waiting tech. His cheeks were starting to ache from smiling too hard, but this was their last show and it had been great. Nothing had gone wrong, the crowd had been amazingly into it – his ears were ringing, their screams were still echoing – and during Mona Lisa, Chris had been staring at him just as much as he’d been looking at Chris.

They’d always been close friends, and of course there’d been the odd drunken make-out session (and maybe Mike remembered those when he was alone in his bunk, but no one else knew that) and Mike never failed to notice Chris was a good looking guy, but they’d never really taken their relationship any further.

But when you both looked at each other when asked if you loved anyone? There was a pretty clear message, right there.

So maybe it wasn’t a candle-lit declaration of forever and there hadn’t been any intense pining against rain-lashed gothic windows. As far as he knew, Chris hadn’t been writing tear-drenched entries in his diary, lamenting the lack of his true love and Mike had never felt a need to get all wistful about what-might-be. That wasn’t what they were about anyway, and even if Mike turned large and hairy once a month, they weren’t dramatic dudes. Tyson could have all the expansive gestures he liked, Mike and Chris were quieter.

And ok, maybe Ty hadn’t been completely insane to start locking them into small rooms together.

Chris came up behind him and Mike felt his smile stretch impossibly wider as he turned to face him.

“So, uh.” Mike said eloquently.

“Uh indeed.” Chris rolled his eyes fondly at Mike, before leaning in and kissing him.

And oh, that was excellent. Adrenaline was still rushing through his veins from the gig, and all of his senses were heightened. He could smell the sweat cooling on Chris’ skin, feel every inch of skin that was plastered against him. Warmth seemed to spark between them like fire, curling around them and binding them together. Even behind closed eyes, Mike could see the tendrils of light pulsing around them, following the path of the heat.

Chris gasped and pulled away, “That some crazy wolf shit going down? Because that doesn’t normally happen when I kiss someone.”

“That’s uh, magic dude. Just means we’re in this for the long haul.” Mike kissed Chris again, quickly. “Kind of what you get for being with a werewolf.”

“Y’know, I feel like maybe I shouldn’t be cool with our relationship being pre-determined? But I wasn’t goin’ anywhere anyway.”

Mike probably wasn’t ever going to stop beaming, but that was ok. He had a real good reason to keep on smiling.

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