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Once in a Blue Moon

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Chapter I: Izuku

Sunlight illuminates pale skin littered with bruises as he peeks from between two buildings in the center of the small village of Shizuoka.  He doesn't dare step foot from between the buildings as a group of big, rich high school boys are congregated at a shop nearby.  Instead, he waits for his two best friends to come and get him so he can get some food for the week and go to the library.  As he waits, he observes the people he once called his friends as they go about their happy lives.

A big, heavy hand lands on his shoulder, making him jump and barely contain a yelp.

"Oi, you just scared him, Hanta!"

"Oops!  Sorry, Izuku!" Sero replies, lifting his hand off the smaller boy's shoulder and holding them both up in mock surrender.  "I forgot."

"I-it's okay, H-Hanta," he replies, still stumbling over calling his best friends by their first names.  "But why did you come up from behind me?"

"Huh?  Oh, well, we saw those guys and figured you wouldn't want us to draw attention to you so we came from the back.  Sorry again," Sero replies.  Hanta Sero, Izuku's first friend in the village of Shizuoka.  He's the only son of Akio and Nanami Sero, some of the wealthiest merchants that reside in the village.  He's extremely tall, towering over Izuku, with well-defined muscles from all the training he does as a part of his schooling over in the next city, and his smile is blinding.

"It's fine.  Thank you for thinking about me."

"Of course, Izuku.  Now, where are we gonna go?" He asks, flashing his signature smile and throwing his arm around Izuku's shoulders.

"Well, we were gonna go somewhere so I can get some food," Izuku replies, leaning against his friend.

"No, we were gonna go somewhere so we can get you some food, right Fumikage?"

"Right."

"W-wait, I can get some food for my-myself!  You guys don't need to get anything for me!"  Izuku's pleas fall on deaf ears. 

"Don't argue with us, Izuku.  You won't win," Fumikage states as they turn to head back into the alleyway to go somewhere else in the village to get some things for Izuku.  Fumikage Tokoyami is the middle son of Kouki and Aiko Tokoyami, prominent carpenters in the village.  His older brother, Daisuke, moved to the city to open a shop and is married with a few kids.  His younger brother, Michi, is an apprentice under his father.  Fumikage goes to school with Hanta and is preparing to take over his father's business in a few years.  He's tall, a good six inches taller than Izuku, with well-defined muscles from working as a carpenter.  Most of the town regards him as a mysterious person who isn't to be trifled with because of a dark aura that surrounds him, but he's actually really sweet.

Knowing that talking won't get him anywhere, Izuku just huffs and goes along with them as they emerge from another alleyway and head straight towards his favorite sweet shop.  "Guys, I need more practical food!" He protests.

"We know, but we're gonna buy you some sweets to eat while we're out!" Sero exclaims cheerfully.

"Then I'll just wait outside," he says, already feeling the eyes of the villagers on him.

"Okay." 

"I'll wait with him.  Get me my regular," Fumikage says, following Izuku over to an empty piece of wall.

"Sure thing."  Sero disappears into the sweet shop while Izuku and Fumikage wait outside.

"It's a lovely day out today," Fumikage states after a moment of silence.  "Perfect for an outing."

"Y-yeah."  Izuku wants nothing more than to just disappear back into his alley to be out of sight of all the prying eyes of the villagers.  Yes, I know you don't like me, but instead of wasting your time staring at something you dislike, why don't you just look somewhere else?  I'm not that interesting to look at.

"Ah, Tokoyami-kun!  How are you today?"  It's one of the enforcers.

"I'm good.  How are you?"

"Good, good."  Izuku can feel the enforcer's eyes on him.  "Having any trouble?"

"No; Izuku and I are just waiting for Hanta to bring us our sweets before we go shopping."

The enforcer laughs.  "Ah, well have fun, then."

"We will."

The enforcer walks away, leaving them standing in silence.

"He thought I was giving you some trouble by trying to beg from you."

"I know," Fumikage says plainly.

"He also thinks that I'm going to be carrying yours and Hanta's bags when we go shopping."

"What?"

"Oh, come on.  Didn't you see the look on his face?"

"Evidently not.  Looks like I'll be carrying your bags for you."

Izuku groans.  "That is not what I meant when I said that, Fumikage.  I'm just stating facts."

"I know, but the fact that they think that is just said.  I know you never were the richest family in town, but before your mother died, both you and she were well respected around here.  What changed?"

"Nothing changed, Fumikage.  No one liked my mother and me, they just pretended because of how close my mother was to yours and Hanta's parents.  I knew that once we weren't seen in public with your parents all the time the show would end and everyone would show how they really thought of us."

"That's bull," Sero states, walking over with three crepes balanced precariously in his large hands.  "Are you serious?"

"Would I lie to you?"

"Well, no…"

"It's okay, though.  I don't mind; I'd prefer to have only two real friends than a bunch of fake ones," he replies, shrugging his shoulders and accepting the crepe before biting into it.

"Why wouldn't they like you?"

"Because my dad was never around and my mom wore no wedding band despite being married."

"What?"

Izuku shrugs.  "I'm only repeating what I've heard since being on the streets.  Apparently, raising a child without a husband is seen as scandalous to certain people.  My mom was married, Dad was just never around for whatever reason.  It's whatever, though, because she still loved him despite never being around," he says.

"Dude, that's sad.  Do you know how many people have kids who aren't married?  And they weren't shunned by society."

"It could also be because we were outsiders."

"Outsiders my ass!"

"It's whatever, Hanta; I'm over it, and so should you."

Fumikage elbows Sero in the side after taking his crepe.  "We'll get there.  Now, let's go!"

"Oi!  Sero!" A loud, obnoxious voice calls from behind them, one that makes Izuku's skin crawl. 

"Oh boy."

"Yes, Mizuki?"

"The gang and I are going to the tavern for dinner; you and Tokoyami should come along."  He pointedly ignores the smaller boy munching on his crepe with his back towards him.

"No thanks," Sero replies, halfway turning to him.  "We're hanging out with Izuku today."

"Wh-what?  You love hanging out with us!"

"I do, but not today.  Plus, I've seen how you treat him; haven't I talked to you about that?"

Mizuki stiffens.  "Wh-what are you talking about?  Oi, that wasn't us, was it, Nerd?"

Izuku can hear the threat in his voice.  "N-no, it wasn't th-them," he stutters, not wanting to pay for it later when Sero and Fumikage aren't around.

"See, you heard him!  Besides, I wouldn't want to touch him anyways.  He's cursed; first, his mom dies and now he's homeless.  Plus, he's a freak; he reads about weird shit in the library and mumbles to himself all the time!"

Fumikage shoves Mizuki up against a wall.  "Bad mouth him in front of us again and it won't end nicely," he growls, power surging through his voice.

"A-all right!  I'll leave!"  Fumikage backs up and lets him go.  Mizuki shoots Izuku a dirty look before turning tail and almost running back to his friends.

"Guys…"  Izuku sighs, knowing that they've just created a problem.  "You didn't have to do that; I'm used to being talked about and to like that."

"It's not okay, Izuku; just because they don't like you doesn't mean they can treat you like that.  You don't like everyone, yet you still treat people nicely."

"I know I do, Hanta, but that's just my personality.  But thanks anyway."  He walks slightly ahead of them while Hanta and Fumikage share a look. 

"Okay, wanna go get you some food now?"

"Sure." 

Before they can go any further, running footsteps sound behind them.  Fumikage and Sero spin around, ready to fight, only to find one of their stewards running towards them.

"Give us a minute, Izuku," Sero says, knowing the stewards won't talk with Izuku around.

"Sure, sure.  I'll just go over there."  He points in a random direction before heading off.

"Ugh, there he goes again, leeching off those two boys."

"Either he's blackmailing them to hang out with him and buy him stuff or they're just using him."

Izuku winces as people don't even try to cover up their gossip with him around.  Geez, what did I ever do to you?

"I bet it's all his mother's fault; she had no husband after all."

"I heard she got knocked up by some noble in the city and had to flee in order to escape being killed by the noble's wife."  There's a collective gasp. 

"Well, I heard that she used to be a prostitute in a brothel and got knocked up by one of the customers before getting kicked out because of her uselessness."

He wants to go over there and shout at them to stop talking about his mother like that, but he knows he can't or else the enforcers will drag him away.  Tears come to his eyes as he ducks into the safety of an alleyway where he can't hear the voices anymore.  Mama, I miss you.  His appetite leaves him and he stares down at the half-eaten crepe in his hands.  I don't want to waste food, but I'm not hungry anymore.

"I-Izuku?"

"Kota!"  Izuku almost has a heart attack when a small, dirty figure emerges from behind a trash pile.  "What are you doing here?  Isn't your mother worried?"

"Mother is sick and sent me to get the doctor.  I got him and sent him to Mother, and then I saw you.  You're crying."

One of Izuku's hands flies up to his cheek to find it wet.  "Oh, I guess I am."

Kota creeps closer.  "Why are you sad?"

He smiles down at the child.  "Because I miss my mama, that's all," he replies in a whisper, knowing that no child needs to hear all those things they were saying about his mother and himself.  He hears a loud grumble and looks around in confusion.  His gaze lands on Kota's red face.  He chuckles.  "Hungry?"

"Uh-huh."  He nods sheepishly and tries to keep his gaze from the crepe in his hands.

"Here," Izuku holds the crepe out, "I'm not hungry anyway."

Kota's eyes light up.  "Really?!"

"Really."

He snatches it from Izuku's hands.  "Thanks so much, Izuku-onichan!" 

"You're welcome."  Izuku watches him eat for a little bit before turning to watch for Hanta and Fumikage.  He sees them still in a conversation with their stewards and the conversation doesn't happen to be a good one.  Hearing people nearing the alley, he shuffles Kota and himself back farther so they're not seen.

"Look, that's the Sero kid and the middle Tokoyami son.  They look like they're having such a pleasant conversation," one man chuckles.  Izuku identifies him as the baker.

"Wonder where their tail is?"

"Who?  The Midoriya kid?  Who knows; maybe they got tired of him or something."  They laugh loudly.

Izuku's eyes water as he physically holds Kota back while slapping a hand over his mouth so they won't be found out.

"Wonder why they always let the leech hang out with them.  He's a good-for-nothing homeless, son of a whore.  There's no merit in keeping him around because it will only lower your reputation.  How can their parents let them keep hanging out with him?"

"Who knows?  I'm just glad I can stop pretending to be civil to the kid.  It was getting tiring."

"Better not let your wife hear that; she'll skin you for saying that because she's got a soft spot for him."

"I know, but I don't let him in my shop anymore, so that solves that problem."

"Not that he'd have any money to buy anything.  My wife likes him too, but I don't give handouts at my bakery, so he doesn't come in.  I've forbidden my wife to give him any or else we'd have all the other homeless at our shop wanting handouts."

"What other homeless?"

"There is no other homeless; I just said that so my wife would stop giving him handouts.  I don't want him loitering around my shop just waiting for some."

"Oh, here come the Sero and Tokoyami kids; better make yourself scarce before they hear you talking like that and destroy your business." 

The baker and the other man, who Izuku now identifies as the blacksmith, scurry away from the alleyway. 

Izuku turns to Kota.  "Don't try to defend me if you hear someone talking bad about me, Kota.  It will only get you hurt."  He releases the boy.

"But they were saying all those nasty things about you!"

He smiles sadly.  "I know, but you can't go after them.  Who knows, maybe I'll come set up camp near your house someday."

Kota brightens up.  "Really?!"

"Really.  Now take your crepe and run along.  Make sure to stick to the back alleys or else people will think you stole the crepe."

"Okay!  Bye, Izuku!"

"Bye."  Izuku watches him run off into the gloom before moving back to the front of the alley.  He finds Sero and Fumikage standing there, looking around.

"Where could he be?  He said he'd be over in this general direction…"

Izuku places a hand on each other their shoulders and giggles as he watches them both freak out and spin around.  "Hi."

Sero places a hand over his heart.  "Don't do that, Izuku!  I could've hurt you!"

"Nah."  Izuku waves his hand in dismissal.  "My reflexes are too good for that."

"What are you doing back in an alley?"

"Hmm?  Oh, I saw some enforcers coming and I came in here so they didn't think I stole the crepe."  It's sad to think about how much lying has become a part of my life.  It's also sad that I have to lie to my best friends.

"Oh, I guess that makes sense.  Well, let's go."

"What did those guys want?"

Instantly, the mood shifts and Sero and Fumikage share a look before smiling back at Izuku with too-big smiles.  "They were just telling us that there are some important people coming to dinner tonight and that our families were entertaining them together," Fumikage replies. 

"Oh!  I know!  Izuku, you should come to dinner with us!  I'm sure our parents would love to have you!"

Red flags, loud warning bells, and flashing lights are all going off in Izuku's head right now.  "Uhm, no thanks," he says quietly.  "If you have guests, it's best not to bring someone like me to dinner.  Maybe some other time."

"It's no big deal, Izuku!"  Sero is more forceful than usual, trying to make Izuku come to dinner with them.  "Come one, let's go."  He reaches for Izuku.

He jumps back.  "No thank you, Hanta," he states a bit more forcefully.  "You two have a nice dinner.  I'll see you some other time."

Sero looks shocked at the refusal.  "I-ah, uhm, if you're sure?"

"I'm sure."

"Okay, well, we'll see you some other time then…"  Fumikage uncharacteristically trails off, avoiding Izuku's eyes for a moment.

"Yeah.  Well, you guys should get going since it's getting late and you have a pretty long walk back to your places.  I'll be fine and will get food for myself as it gets later."

Sero and Fumikage press a little bit of money into Izuku's hands.  "Use this and get yourself some halfway decent food."

"I will.  Thanks, guys."

"You're welcome."  With a wave, Sero and Fumikage begin their walk to their respective homes while Izuku disappears back into the alleyway to avoid being seen.

Now what?  Am I really confident enough to walk into a store with all this money and attempt to buy something?  He pauses.  No.  Definitely not.  I'll be accused of stealing it and have it all taken away.  I'll hide some in my shoe and only use the barest minimum to buy stuff.  Hiding the money in his shoe and only leaving a little bit out, Izuku weaves his way through the back alleys until he gets on the poorer side of the village where he's accepted more readily.  He goes inside a shop and buys some bread and milk for his dinner before heading on his way back to the alley that he calls his home.

As he's walking, he becomes aware of footsteps behind him.  Knowing that if he looks back he'll be attacked, Izuku hurries his pace and goes down alleys and back roads to try and lose his followers; he has no such luck.  Just as he goes to turn onto the main road again, he's suddenly grabbed from behind and thrown up against the wall harshly.  He loses his grip on his food and drink and watches as the glass container of milk hits the ground and shatters and his bread gets trampled underfoot of his assailants.

"Thought you were safe, huh?  Thought those words would keep you safe?"  It's Mizuki and his band of lackeys.  "Bet you felt so high and mighty when Sero and Tokoyami defended you, huh?"

"N-no…"

"Shut up!"  Mizuki punches Izuku in the stomach, causing him to double over with a loud wail.  "What a wimp!" He laughs, swinging again and catching him in the side of the face.

Izuku falls to the ground, gasping and trying to catch his breath while he wants nothing more to do than to cry.  Mizuki and his lackeys land blow after blow, alternating between punching and kicking him.  Izuku manages to hide his face and keep it from getting too hurt.  He loses track of how long they're at him before someone comes down the alley, yelling at the boys to go home.

"Oh, Izuku."  It's the baker's wife.  She kneels down beside him and takes stock of his predicament.  "They beat you up pretty good, huh?"

With a whimper, Izuku pulls himself up, wincing as he goes.  "Yes, ma'am."

"Please, I thought I told you to call me Ai."

"S-sorry."

She glances at his ruined dinner.  "Oh no!  That was your dinner, wasn't it?"

"Yes, ma'a-Ai.  Yes, Ai."

"I'm so sorry, Izuku.  Wait here, I'll go get some of my husband's leftover bread!"  As she rises to go to her husband's bakery, Izuku reaches out and catches her skirt.

"It's fine; I wasn't really hungry anyway."  I can't let her go and get in trouble for me.  He remembers the baker's words from earlier.

Ai gives him a look.  "Well, if you're sure…"  She knows better than to argue with him because it's well known how stubborn Izuku can be.  "At least let me give you my handkerchief to wipe up the blood coming from your nose."

Izuku gives her a shaky smile.  "Okay."

She fishes the piece of cloth from her pocket and crouches down next to Izuku again, holding it to his nose.  "Don't worry about returning it to me; I have plenty more at home."

"I-if you're sure."

"I'm sure."

"Then, once you have your breath, I suppose you'll be on your way?"

"Yes, ma'am."  She doesn't correct him.

"Very well.  Stay clear of the main streets and stick to back alleys.  I'll try and secure a shed or something for you to stay in as the winter gets closer."

"It's okay if you can't.  I know someone I could go stay with."  Izuku knows he can always count on Kota and his mother to provide him shelter in the winter.

"That's good.  The only problem is, the full moon is next week and I don't want you out for it."

That's right.  I forgot about that.  "I'll figure something out."

"Well, if nothing comes through, you let me know.  I have a shed that I use to store my preserves and it's kinda empty right now so I can squeeze you in there for the night."

"Okay.  I'll let you know."

"Very good.  I've got to get going now, so get back safely."  She rises to her feet again.

Izuku smiles up at her.  "I will."

"I'm sorry, again, for what those boys do to you.  I suppose it's the fault of us adults for spreading such nasty rumors about you and your mother."

"It's all right.  I'll be okay."

She gives him a look full of doubt.  "Well, if you're sure."

"I'm sure."

"Very well.  Good night, Izuku."

"Good night, ma'am."  He watches as Ai walks out of the alley and down the street before painfully pulling himself to his feet and limping through different alleyways to his bed of newspapers.  He collapses down on it and looks up at the darkening sky, holding Ai's handkerchief to his face.  Izuku takes a deep breath and inhales the scent of freshly baked bread.

A tear rolls down his cheek as an overwhelming sadness washes over him.  Mama, I miss you so much!  More tears track down his cheeks as a sob spills from his throat.  As the sun sets and the sky darkens, as people scurry home after a long day's work, Izuku sits, curled up on his measly bed of newspapers in a back alley of the village Shizuoka, crying.  He's crying out in pain from being jumped earlier, from the hunger in his belly, and from the grief he feels from losing his mother.  Mama, why did you leave me?  He eventually cries himself to sleep, leaning against the wall with Ai's handkerchief clutched tightly in his hand.

**********

"Mama, you won't ever leave me, right?" Young Izuku asks, looking at his mother as she tucks him in.

"Of course not, Izuku!  Why would you ask that?" Inko asks, smoothing her hand over her son's cheek.

"Because I heard the baker saying something about how Daddy left us.  You won't leave, right?"

Tears come to Inko's eyes as her husband is, once again, brought up in conversation.  "Izuku, Daddy didn't want to leave us.  He had to so he could protect us.  But don't worry, Mama's not going anywhere."

"Good."

She begins humming a lullaby as watches Izuku's eyes droop closed.  "I love you, Izuku," she whispers, pressing a kiss to her son's forehead.

"Love you, too, Mama," he mumbles, almost completely asleep.

"I'll always be here with you, always."

Chapter Text

Moonlight illuminates the body of a bloodied, beaten, and bruised werewolf as he collapses in a shallow cave from exhaustion.  Shouto Todoroki is the youngest son of Enji Todoroki, the alpha of the Endeavor pack in the East, is wandering the countryside, hundreds of miles away from his pack.

I think I can rest here and be okay.  Shouto glances around himself lf to make sure that no one has followed him and is lying in wait before letting himself relax.  At least I know that Dad himself won't come after me.  As the crickets chirp out their lullaby, Shouto drifts off to sleep.

**********

Five years old

"C'mon, Shouto!  Let's go play!" Fuyumi giggles, grabbing his hand.

"Shh!  You have to be quiet if you want to sneak out, Fuyumi-onesan!  Or else Dad will hear you!" Touya hisses, sticking his head inside the tent.  "It's not a good idea either; I heard him yelling at Mom."

Fuyumi pouts.  "But I want to play."

"Some other time," Shouto replies, already too serious for his age.  "I don't want you to get hurt."

"Okay."

The move into sitting positions and read, knowing that it's one of the safer options if they want to spend time together.  Soon, Natsuo and Touya join in and a quiet conversation about their books ensues.

Suddenly, the tent flap is wrenched open and the alpha himself storms in, glaring at his four children.  Instantly, the boys are moving to get in between their father and their sister.

Enji sneers at his children.  "You think you can protect her?"

They tremble but hold their ground.  They choose not to say anything back, experience telling them that it will only make their beatings worse.

"Enji!  Don't you dare lay a finger on them!" Rei shrieks, bursting into the tent and flinging herself between her mate and her children.  "They did nothing to deserve this!"

Enji brings his hand up and down, backhanding Rei with a loud ‘slap' that makes the children cringe.  "How dare you talk to me like that, Omega!  I am your alpha!"

Rei's head snaps to the right and her body trembles as it forces itself to stay upright.  "They're just children," she whispers, a tear falling from her eye as she fights to stay in control of herself in front of her children.  "They don't deserve this."

Enji roars and hits Rei again and again while his children crowd up against the back wall of the tent in fear.  Touya and Natsuo move Shouto and Fuyumi behind them, making sure to hold on tightly.

"It'll be all right, Shou," Fuyumi whispers, covering Shouto's eyes.  "You'll see."

Knowing that it won't be all right, Shouto allows his sister to cuddle him close.  He cringes at every cry his mother makes and at ever hit his father lands.  When it goes silent, he cautiously peeks from behind Fuyumi's hands to find Rei on the ground, motionless, with Enji standing over her.

"I will do what I want, when I want, to them.  They are mine!" Enji roars before spinning and striding out of the tent.

The children wait a minute, to make sure their father wouldn't be coming back, before rushing to their mother.

Fifteen years old

"Alpha wants you."

Those three words bring dread to all those who live in the Endeavor pack.  The alpha is very rarely violent to anyone but his family or someone who has explicitly broken the rules, but no one can make eye contact with the man.

Shouto nods tersely, not looking at his sister.  "Lead the way."

"W-wait!  Shouto!"

"I'll be fine, Fuyumi-onesan."  Without another word, he continues on his way behind the messenger to his father's tent.  Before entering, he takes a deep breath.  "Alpha?  You called for me."

"Enter."

Steeling himself, Shouto pulls back the tent flap and steps inside the tent.  "How may I help you, Alpha?"

"Tell me, Shouto, who the alpha of the pack is?"

"You, of course."

"Ah.  Now, tell me who gives the orders around here?"

"You do."

"Ah.  Then, maybe you can tell me why the hell you decided to give orders to change our hunting party?!"  Enji's voice has risen to a shout.

"Forgive me, but our previous hunting party was exhausted.  I thought that if they were given a break, they'd be more efficient when they're more rested.  We're not hurting for food at the moment, so I created a new hunting party that will only be used when our main one needs a rest," Shouto explains emotionlessly.

Enji rises from his seat, fuming at Shouto.  "How dare you talk to me like that!"

Shouto braces himself, but it still always comes as a surprise.  A fist slams into his face, sending him flying backward and landing outside the tent.  Pack members jump in surprise before backing away and avoiding eye contact.  He struggles to his feet and wipes the blood from under his nose.  It only gets replaced by more.  "I don't see what's wrong with that, Alpha.  You're going to run those hunters into the ground and they're going to end up making mistakes and getting hurt."

Enji flies out of the tent and wraps his hand around Shouto's slim throat and lifts him into the air.  "How dare you undermine me in front of my pack!"

Shouto's eyes bug out as he gasps for air.  His hands claw at the large one around his neck, but nothing works.  Just as he's about to pass out, the hand around his throat pulls away and Shouto falls unceremoniously to the ground, retching and gasping for air.  He glares up at his father when he has enough breath.  "Fine," he spits, done with being a punching bag.  "Have it your way."  He limps away, wiping the blood from his face only to have it replaced by more.  His sister and mother worry over him as Touya patches him up. 

A week later, two members of the main hunting party are seriously injured due to mistakes made because of exhaustion. 

Seventeen years old

Touya and Shouto carry Natsuo back to the tent, their brother barely conscious from the beating their father just gave him.

"Why won't he quit?  It's not like we're living in the same tent areas anymore.  We've been banned from the alpha circle that one time we tried to rescue Mom," Touya spits as they duck into his tent.

"I don't know, Touya.  I'm tired of it too."  Shouto's ribs are screaming in pain from his last beating.  "At least you get to have your own tent out here.  I still have to stay in the alpha circle."

"Yeah, cause he thinks you're the perfect mixture of both him and Mom and he wants you to take over the pack."

"I don't want it."

Natsuo is set on Touya's pile of pelts and they quickly grab bandages.

"I know you don't.  None of us do.  But, think of it this way: if you take over, you can rule however you want.  You can turn this into a good pack where abuse is outlawed and hunting parties can be switched out to prevent injuries," Touya sounds wistful, "and where we can be a happy family."

Shouto sighs.  "That would be nice."

"See?  Maybe it's not so bad…"

"But do you really think he'd let me?"

Before Touya can reply, Fuyumi barges in and looks around frantically.  "I heard Natsuo was hurt!  Where is he?"

"If you'd calm down, Fuyumi, you'd see that he's all bandaged up and lying on my bed," Touya says, standing up and putting his hands on her shoulders.  "Breathe."

She takes a deep breath.  "Sorry, Touya-onisan.  Thank you for taking care of him."

"It's okay.  Stay here with him while I walk Shouto back.  We wouldn't want Father to come here looking for him, now would we?"  He gives Shouto a look.

"No, we wouldn't.  I'll see you later, Fuyumi-onesan."

"Bye, Shouto."

They walk out of Touya's tent and head towards the alpha circle.  Once they're out of Fuyumi's hearing range, Touya leans down close to Shouto's ear.  "You know you're going to get it when you get back, right?"

Shouto sighs and winces, already feeling the blows.  "I know.  But if he's serious about handing me the pack, he has until three days from now at three because that's when I'm 18 and that's when the pack gets handed over."

"Hopefully he chooses to hand the pack over.  If he doesn't, I don't think I'm going to stay here much longer."

"Same here."

They stop just outside the alpha circle. 

"Well, this is where I leave you.  If you need to get away, just come to my tent, okay?"

"Thanks, Touya-onisan."

"Sure thing, Shouto."  He turns with a wave.  "Good luck with the old man."

"Thanks," Shouto responds dryly.  He steps into the alpha circle and heads to his tent first.  After sitting in there for half an hour, he steps out and walks over to where his father's and mother's tents are.  He hears nothing from inside his father's tent, so he walks over to his mother's.  "Mom?"  He hears soft weeping.  "It's me, Shouto.  Can I come in?  Are you all right?"  Receiving no response, he cautiously enters the tent.  He steps in and crouches down next to his mother.  "Mom?"

She turns and stares at him, her weeping ceased and her eyes dead.  "Shouto.  My Shouto."  Rei puts her hand on Shouto's cheek, caressing it gently.  Her dead eyes travel over his face, making him shiver like they're trying to memorize his face.  "You look just like him on this side."

Shouto's startled by the revelation.  His right side, the side with his red hair and blue eye, makes him almost the spitting image of his father when his father was younger.  "A-ah."  He begins to feel uncomfortable.  "I-if you're all right, th-then I'll just go."

As he goes to rise to his feet, his mother's emotionless expression turns into one of rage as she slashes Shouto across the right side of his face before grabbing some water that had been boiling for tea and throwing it at him.  "Just like him!" She shrieks in rage, her small hands trying to wrap around Shouto's neck.

Shouto screamed.  The pain, both physical and emotional, was too much.  Tears poured out of his eyes and loud cries poured out of his mouth.  He weakly tries to fend off his mother, who admittedly isn't really choking him, and forces himself to sit up.

The commotion must've brought them some attention because Enji, Touya, and Fuyumi burst in.  Enji goes straight for Rei while Touya and Fuyumi pull Shouto away from their mother.

"It'll all be okay," Fuyumi whispers as Touya picks him up.  "We'll bring him to your tent.  I'll grab some of his pelts."

"Okay."

It's raining as they exit the tent, and every drop of rain that hits his injured face makes him sob even more.

He's quickly brought to Touya's tent where he's treated.

Two days later, Shouto is back in his tent in the alpha circle with a bandage around the right side of his face.  There's a loud commotion that has him peeking out of his tent.

"You are no longer a part of the Endeavor pack!" Enji is stating loudly.

Shouto grows curious as to who pissed off his father enough to throw them out.  He creeps out of his tent and looks over the heads of the other pack members who've gathered around.  He pales at what he sees.

"Good."  It's Rei.  She's beaten and bruised and kneeling in front of Enji.  "I hate it here."

"Insolent Omega!"  Enji backhands her and the crowd winces in sympathy.  "You have an hour to get out of pack grounds before I sent my hunting party after you.  If they catch you, they kill you!"

Rei turns and her eyes scan over the crowd.  Almost immediately, her eyes lock onto Shouto's.  She smiles warmly and rises to her feet.  "Goodbye, my children," she announces loudly before shifting into her wolf and bolting into the forest.

"After one hour, I want the hunting party to go after her.  If she's still in the territory, kill her."  Without another word or look, Enji turns and strides into his tent.

The crowds disperses, casting pitiful glances towards Shouto who stands there, frozen, with his face bandaged.  He doesn't know how long he's standing there before his siblings find him.

"Shou?  What's wrong?" Fuyumi asks.

Shouto can't speak.  He's in shock at what he just witnessed. 

Fuyumi gasps.  "Shou, you're crying!"

He reaches up and touches his cheek.  His hand comes back wet and he stares at it.

"Touya-nii, help me get him back to my tent."

"Okay." 

Touya, Natsuo, and Fuyumi guide Shouto back to his sister's tent where he's sat down in her pelt bed.

"Shouto, please tell us what's wrong!" She begs, grabbing his hands in hers.

"Please, Shou," Natsuo says, crouching down next to him and placing a hand on his shoulder.  "You're really worrying us."

"H-he…" he trails off.  "She…"

"Who?"

"Mom…she-she-she's gone!"

"What?" Natsuo asks.  "What do you mean she's gone?"

"Dad, he-he banished her."  Shouto's voice is weak and very transparent.

"WHAT?" Touya bellows.

"Touya-nii, right now it's about Shouto."

Gritting his teeth, he sits down.  "Sorry," he grunts.

"Shouto, please talk to us," Fuyumi begs again.  "Tell us exactly what happens."

"Dad banished Mom.  Like, he banished her from the pack," he finally says, covering his bandage with his hand.  "She's gone.  And if she's not out of territory lands within an hour, he ordered the hunting party to kill her."

Touya's back on his feet.  "There's no way she'll be able to make it out of the territory within the hour!"

Shouto rises to his feet.  "This has gone on long enough!  I'm going to confront him!"

"Shouto, you can't do that!" Fuyumi gasps, also standing to his feet.

"Fuyumi, this has gone on way too long and gone way too far," Natsuo says, also rising to his feet and moving to stand beside his brothers.  "We have to do something about this."

"Fine, but let me come with you," she says, conceding to the fact that nothing will be able to stop her brothers now.  "If you get in trouble, I'm going to stand right there with you."

"Fine but stay back.  He's stopped hitting you, but that doesn't mean he won't start again," Touya replies.

"Sure."

With purpose in their steps, they head towards the alpha circle and straight to their father's tent.

"I'll do it," Shouto says.  "I'll start this."  He clears his throat.  "Father."

Enji emerges from the tent a moment later.  "What have I instructed you to call me?"  He stops in surprise at seeing his four children standing there.  "What do you want?"

"Did you banish Mom?" Fuyumi asks, speaking first so a fight doesn't break out right at the start.

Enji glares at his youngest.  "I suppose you told them?"

"I did."

"Yes, I banished the omega.  What of it?"

"What did she do to deserve being banished?"

"She harmed Shouto."

"You're not so noble to banish someone on my behalf, Father.  What's the real reason?"

"I don't need a real reason!  I am the alpha of this pack and not even my children are allowed to question my decisions!" He roars.

"You're not making sense, Father," Touya taunts.  "Even if you did banish Mom on Shouto's behalf, what would your reason be?  Surely it can't be because she damaged your prize son?"

"That woman harmed my child!  How else was I supposed to react?"

"That woman is our mother and you will do kindly to remember it!" Fuyumi snaps, startling her brothers and father.  "And she only snapped because of your treatment towards us for all these years!  Surely you couldn't have been thinking that we wouldn't have harbored some ill will and negative effects from all the abuse you've been dealing towards us.  She finally snapped and Shouto just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!"

Enji is silent, surprise etched onto his otherwise angry face.  The surprise is quickly replaced with red-hot rage.  "You insolent little harlot!"  He takes a step forward only to be stopped by his sons.  "Get out of my way!"

"We won't let you lay a hand on her!" Shouto exclaims.  "This has gone on long enough!  I don't know what we ever did to deserve this treatment, but I won't stand for it!"

A loud growl rips from Enji's chest as he begins to shake with rage.  "Get out!"

"Gladly," Touya growls back, wrapping his arms around Fuyumi's waist and pulling her back.  "I never wanted to be here anyway!"

"Go," Shouto tells to Natsuo.  "I'll hold him off.  I'll meet you in the woods just beyond our western borders."

"Be safe," Natsuo replies, following after Touya.

"You think you're going to protect them?" Enji sneers, taking in the sight of his lone son.

"I don't think I'm going to protect them, I know I am."

Enji roars and shifts, launching himself towards his youngest.  Shouto barely gets time to react before he's defending himself against his father.  The fight lasts for less than ten minutes before Shouto's bolting away towards the western border.  He knows that if he can cross it, his father can't follow him.  He bursts over the border and stumbles to a stop, turning around and daring his father through his eyes to follow him.

Enji growls, glowering at him from the other side of the border before turning around and running back to the pack.  Shouto keeps his gaze on the border, making sure that Enji won't suddenly come back before lowering his nose to the ground and sniffing out his siblings.  He catches Touya's scent and follows it to a small cave near the border.  He shifts back to his human form.

"Touya-nii?  Fuyumi-onesan?  Natsuo-nii?"

"In here, Shouto."

Shouto walks inside the cave and takes a seat next to Natsuo on a rock.  "He won't follow us past the border.  That's the one thing about being the alpha, he can't leave his pack unattended without naming a temporary leader."

"Good."

Shouto frowns as Fuyumi's cries get a little louder.  "Mom went east."

"We have to find her!" She gasps.

"I think we should go find other packs and get them to join together to take Father down!" Touya exclaims, making a fist and slamming it into his open palm.

"But what about Mom?"

"I don't think she'll want to see me," Shouto murmurs.  "I'll keep heading west."

"I'll go north."

"Fuyumi-onesan and I will go east and south together."

"How are we going to see each other again?" Fuyumi asks tearfully.

"In two years' time we'll meet thirty miles from the northern border and discuss what we'll do next," Natsuo says, tapping his cheek as he thinks.  "That way it'll give us enough time to travel and make alliances with other packs so we can make definitive plans in two years."

"Ever the planner, Natsuo," Touya says fondly, giving his brother a small smile.  "I like that plan."

"I like it too," Shouto says.

"Then it's settled," Natsuo says, cutting off Fuyumi when she goes to complain. 

"I'll head out first," Touya states, standing up and brushing his pants off.  "A storm is on the way."

Fuyumi hugs him tightly.  "Bye, Touya-nii."

"Bye, Fuyumi.  Stay safe!"

**********

Shouto shifts uncomfortably in his sleep as small whimpers spill from his throat.  If anyone were to stumble upon him, they'd assume the poor wolf was in its final moments.  His dream, plagued by dark memories of his past, does nothing to help him get the rest he needs to continue on his way the next day.  All of a sudden, however, the whimpers die down and Shouto stops shifting in his sleep.  The cause is a certain light in his dreams.

**********

?? years old

"Shou-chan." 

He wrinkles his nose, swatting at the air and refusing to wake up.

A soft giggle fills his ears as hands cup his cheeks.  "Come on, Shou-chan.  It's time to get up.  Kacchan, Eijichan, and the kids are already making breakfast."  Soft lips press against his own for a brief moment before pulling away.

A whine leaves his throat as he tries to chase those lips.

Full out laughter spills from the speaker.  "Okay, now I know you're awake.  Come on, get up!"

Finally cracking his eyes open, he glimpses a freckled, smiling face, green, unruly hair, and emerald pools for eyes.  "Wha-?"

"Come on, silly.  As much as I'd love to lounge around in bed with you, we have things to do today."

BOOM!

"Wait…what's that?"

"What's what, silly?  I didn't hear anything."

BOOM!

"That!  That booming sound!"

BOOM!

"That booming sound?  Oh, that's just thunder."

BOOM!

Before Shouto can say anything else, there's an especially loud boom followed by a bright flash.

**********

BOOM!

Shouto jolts upwards, scared awake by the thunder outside.  Light flashes, illuminating the shallow cave he's in.  He shifts into human form, looking down at himself.

"No!" He groans, knowing he won't be able to get back into that dream.  "I want to go back!"  Well, now that I'm awake I might as well keep going.  Shifting back into his wolf form again, he stands to his feet and heads out into the rain.  Instead of heading straight west, he alters his course so he heads slightly more south than before.  He doesn't know why, but he has this feeling that if he does, he'll find help and maybe happiness.

Chapter Text

Birds sing, leaves rustle, animals chatter, and a breeze blows as Katsuki treks through the woods around the edges of his territory.  He inhales deeply as he observes his surroundings, keeping an eye out for any signs of intruders that he might need to take care of.  With the upcoming Blue Harvest full moon approaching, he needs to make sure his borders are secure before anyone can think of celebrating.

"Bakugo, there are no signs to the east," pipes up the high-pitched voice of one of the betas of the pack.

"Good.  I'd hate to have to miss out on the hunt because of a rogue creeping up on our territory."

"Someone else would volunteer to take over!  You're the chief and you finally have the chance to search for your mate!  No one would want you to miss out!  Plus, Kirishima would be upset!"

"I couldn't let you guys do that; I'm your chief, Ashido, and it's my responsibility to take care of you guys.  And if you spill any of the things I'm saying to anyone else, I'll kill you!" He seethes, realizing that he's being sappy.

She giggles and skips up beside her alpha, her pink hair is highlighted by the light shining through the trees.  "Aww!  Of course, I won't!" She coos, clapping her hands together.  "Though, if Kirishima were here, he'd say that you were really manly."

Katsuki rolls his eyes as the two of them continue walking.  "Of course, he would; we're mates so he has to think I'm manly."

"Whatever, Bakugo."

As she skips ahead, Bakugo growls under his breath.  "Oi, we're meeting up with Shouji and Round Face, right?"

"Yes, we're meeting up with Shouji and Uraraka," she puts emphasis on the latter's name, "and she doesn't appreciate it when you call her that."

Katsuki waves her off.  "Whatever."

They're quiet for a little bit, each lost in their own thoughts as they walk and scan the territory's border.

"Hey, Bakugo, can I ask you something kinda serious?"

Katsuki frowns and comes to a halt, turning to look at her.  "What's up?" He asks.  "Someone better not be bothering you!"

She smiles.  "No, no one is.  Thanks for the concern."

Pink blooms on his cheeks as he grumbles.  "Whatever.  What did you want?"

"Do you think that you and Kirishima will find your mate?  Like, do you two will be able to track them down and get to them tonight?"

"Of course, I do!"  Katsuki bristles as his pack member verbally doubts him.  "Eijirou and I are the best trackers out there?!"

"That's not what I mean-"

"Then what the hell did you mean, Mina Ashido?"  The alpha is one step away from shifting and putting his pack member in their place.

Ashido gulps as her full name is brought out.  Shoot, I pissed him off; how can I put this so he won't bite my head off?  "Wh-what I mean is don't you two ever worry that your mate will either be inaccessible because they're in another relationship, or that they'll be scared of you because of what you are.  What if they're in prison?  What if they hunt us?  What if you find that they're just a child?"

Katsuki sighs and runs his hand through his blond spikes.  "Eijirou and I will cross that bridge when we come to it.  We're trying not to think about it precisely for that reason."  He pauses for a moment.  "Plus, Eijirou had a breakdown when he started naming reasons why we wouldn't be able to have our soulmate, so I made him promise that we wouldn't talk about it."

"Ah."

Feeling a little awkward because the mood soured, he clears his throat and begins walking again.  "C'mon, let's go.  Round Face and Shouji should be just up ahead."  Eager to get out of the now awkward situation he's found himself in with Ashido, he quickens his pace as the sound of two voices talking drifts into his ears.  However, before they can reach them, a certain smell has reached their noses. 

"Bakugo, do you smell that?" Ashido asks nervously, her nose held high in the air as she tries to pinpoint where the smell is coming from.  "Is it coming from within our territory?"

Katsuki inhales deeply and traces the scent right to the edge of the territory.  "No, it's coming from over the hill," he answers shortly.  "A damn rogue is nearby."

"What do you want me to do?" She asks, ready to go and investigate on her alpha's orders.

"Leave it for now.  The rogue hasn't crossed our borders yet, so I feel no need to start a fight with them.  We'll need to keep a close eye on it though.  I'll talk to Eijirou about it later; he might have a strategy to take care of it."

"But what about the moon hunt in a few days?"

Katsuki sighs.  "I don't know, Ashido.  Besides, it's not your place to worry about it.  I've got it handled now, okay?"

Ashido looks like she wants to continue to protest, but knows she'll only anger her alpha.  And with it being so close to the moon hunt where he can finally hunt for his mate, she decides to drop it because of how irritable he can be.  "Okay.  Just know that I'm willing to help out so you can go and find your mate."

"I appreciate the thought."

They walk in silence for a little bit.  Ashido because she feels a little bit bad that she soured the mood and Katsuki because, well, that's how he is most of the time unless he's with Eijirou or a few of his other, closer friends.

"Bakugo, I know you said not to worry, but what are we going to do if the rogue makes trouble?" She finally asks quietly, the question weighing heavily on her mind.

He glances at her from the corner of his eye.  "Well, if he just comes in wanting to terrorize the pack, we'll be fighting him.  But if he challenges Eijirou and me as the chiefs, we'll be fighting him to keep the pack," he answers.  "But, again, I have this under control.  There's no need for you to worry about it at the moment.  Focus on the moon hunt in a few days.  Eijirou and I will handle it."

She sighs and nods reluctantly.  "Okay."

They lapse into silence again, listening to the sounds of nature as they continue making their way towards where they last heard Shouji and Ochaco.

"I don't hear them anymore," Ashido says as they reach a clearing where they had been.

"Well, either they moved on, or Round Face made Shouji hide so she could attempt at surprising me," Katsuki replies just as Ochaco jumps out of a tree towards Katsuki.  He steps out of the way and lets her fall to the ground in a heap as Shouji steps out from behind the same tree.

"Sorry, Bakugo, I told her it was a bad idea."

"Did you find anything?"

Uraraka pouts at her failed attempt at scaring her alpha.  "You're no fun."

"You realize that if you had actually scared you, I could've killed you, right?"

A look of shock crosses her face, making Shouji and Ashido facepalm.  "What?"

"It's a natural reaction amongst alphas, Uraraka," Shouji states.  "I told you this.  The same would happen if you happened to surprise me, or if you had managed to surprise All Might.  Especially with the pack around.  Bakugo is the pack's chief as much as he is an alpha."

Uraraka waves him off.  "He would never hurt me."

"Keep thinking that, Round Face, and you're going to get hurt.  Heed the words of an alpha that is your friend," Katsuki states, feeling the beginnings of irritation rise up in him at the flippant attitude of his pack member.  "Because next time, I'll put you in your place.  You shouldn't brush off our words so easily.  Yes, you're pack, and yes, I'm supposed to protect you, but you know how instincts can easily take over when you're frightened."

Uraraka grows quiet, her cheeks turning pink, and averts her gaze, knowing that Katsuki is right.  "Sorry," she mutters.

Ashido looks over at her friend sadly.  She steps over and wraps her arm around Ochaco's shoulders and drags her a little distance away.

Katsuki watches them for a moment before turning to Shouji.  "Did you find anything?" He asks again, knowing he might get an answer from the silent individual. 

"There were small signs of animal disturbances, but that's about it.  I caught no whiff of any rogue or lone wolf.  Uraraka didn't see anything from the trees either."

"Ashido and I scented a rogue wolf a few miles down the border from here.  It hasn't even come close to crossing the border, but it smells like they're just over the hill," Katsuki says, tapping his toe on the forest floor.

Shouji frowns and crosses his arms over his chest.  "What are you planning on doing about it?"

Katsuki sighs.  "Since they haven't crossed the border, I'm not going after it right now.  I'll need to talk with Eijirou before we make any final decisions.  It may impact our moon hunt in a few days though; I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be letting you guys hunt with a rogue so close to our home."

"It makes sense, but this is the only time this year that you're able to search for your mate.  I don't want either you or Kirishima to miss out on searching for them when there are other alphas that could easily take a look for you.  We only want happiness for our chief!"

"I'm not sure what I'm doing; we may just proceed on as normal with just a warning out to the pack about the stranger lurking nearby.  For now, though, I don't want you breathing a word of this to anyone.  I don't need the pack panicking right now; not this close to the full moon," he warns his pack member, knowing just how on edge all the wolves were feeling as the full moon steadily approaches.

Shouji nods in understanding.  "I completely agree.  I will make sure that Uraraka and Ashido keep it under wraps as well.  That way you can go and talk to Kirishima without any worries."

Katsuki nods in appreciation before turning to scan the woods.  "It's not just Eijirou and me that have a chance at finding our mates tonight, you know.  All alphas and omegas of the pack can find their mates; plus, the betas can find their mates on any full moon."

"We know," Ashido exclaims, suddenly right next to the two of them.  "But it's yours and Eijirou's first chance since coming of age to go looking for your mate!  We don't want our pack leaders to miss out on the momentous occasion it is to go and search for them!"

A pink blush tinges his cheeks, making Katsuki clear his throat harshly.  "I'm not worrying about this right now!"  He stomps off in the direction towards the clearing where their home is set up.  It's not a camp, per se, but more like a little village made of tents.

"So…"  Uraraka trails off, wiggling her eyebrows in Katsuki's direction.  "What are you hoping happens during the full moon, Bakugo?"

"That Eijirou and I find our mate, obviously," he replies.  "What else would I hope happens?"  He raises an eyebrow towards his pack member. 

She blushes.  "Well, I was wondering if you were hoping that anyone else would find their mates tonight…"

"Of course, I'm hoping that y'all find your mates tonight, but I know that it won't happen for everybody.  I'm also hoping Eijirou and I find our mate as it's our first chance to find them."

"You seem so sure that you and Eijirou will share a mate, Bakugo, but what if you don't?" Uraraka asks, tapping her cheek.  "I wonder how that would work…?"

Katsuki takes a deep breath, not wanting to lash out at her for such an innocent question.  He knows that Uraraka is merely curious.  "It's just a feeling I have, Round Face!  Besides, we would work it out!  Now stop asking so many questions!"

"What do you hope will happen tonight, Ocha-chan?" Ashido asks, her voice light and teasing.

Uraraka blushes even harder.  "O-oh, uh, well, I just have feeling that I'm going to find my mate tonight…" she trails off, looking away from the group and playing with her fingers.

Ashido squeals excitedly, jumping up and down and clapping her hands.  "Oh my gods!  Tell me who it is!"

"I-uh-I don't want to say anything in case it doesn't happen," she says quietly, a smile playing at the corners of her lips.

"It's Frog Face, isn't it?" Katsuki asks. 

Uraraka squeaks and turns completely away from them, confirming his suspicions.  "I just said I didn't want to say anything."

"You didn't have to," Shouji states, chuckling slightly.

"What about you, Shouji?" Ashido asks.

He shrugs.  "I don't know, Ashido.  We'll just have to wait and see."

"I hope we have more luck this year than we did last full moon; not many of the pack found their mates," Ashido sighs, tucking a strand of her unruly pink hair behind her ear.

"Let's not dwell on it!" Uraraka exclaims after a moment of somber silence.  "Or else we'll just get irritated!  Let's hunt!"

"The pack would probably appreciate fresh meat…" Shouji hums thoughtfully.

"I'll scent out some deer.  Wait here!" Katsuki instructs, shifting into his wolf form and trotting off.  He sniffs the air and the ground, knowing that a herd of deer are nearby.  Catching the scent, he turns to find the others already in wolf form and waiting for him.  Huffing, Katsuki turns and follows the scent, careful not to make any loud sounds as they track the deer herd.  Their forms are low to the ground as they move stealthily after the herd, making sure to stay downwind.

Once they're in prime position, they count off in their heads before leaping into action.  They work in pairs to take down the deer.  Katsuki and Uraraka are successful in taking down two deer while Shouji and Ashido get three.  The girls go for the necks while Katsuki and Shouji work on the backends, making it so the deer can't get away.  Once the deer is immobilized, they quickly move on to the next one so as not to lose any of the deer.  The girls shift back and drag the carcasses on top of Katsuki and Shouji to be carried back to their home.

"That was actually a really good hunt!" Uraraka exclaims, clapping her hands as she looks over the deer they got.

"It was.  The pack is going to be so excited!" Ashido squeals, puffing out her chest.  "And we'll become heroes!"

"I don't think they'll dub you heroes just because we caught a few deer," Katsuki snorts, shaking his head slightly.  "Besides, we didn't catch the deer to become heroes; we caught them to feed the pack."

"Bakugo is right, Ashido," Shouji agrees.  "We didn't do this to get a reward; we're not seeking glory here."

She crosses her arms over her chest as she deflates slightly.  "You guys are no fun…" she mutters, pouting slightly.

Uraraka snickers.  "It's not worth pouting over, Mina.  Besides, you'll get thanked for helping bring dinner.  Is that not enough?"

"I guess."

"Hey."  Uraraka turns serious.  "Don't get greedy; you know what happens when you get greedy."

"Yeah, yeah," Ashido waves her off.  "Whatever."

Katsuki is fed up with this conversation, but he's even more fed up with Mina.  "Watch yourself, Ashido," he warns lowly, a growl rumbling deep in his chest.

If she hears Katsuki, she doesn't show it.  "Let's go back and drop the deer off!  I can't wait to eat!"

"You three are going to prepare them while I go talk with Eijirou about the rogue situation," Katsuki says, stopping Ashido in her tracks.

"But I don't wanna!" She whines.  "Can't you have someone else do it since we were the ones that caught them?  Whenever I catch anything, I always have to prepare it!  Why can't the ones who caught it just drop it off and have others prepare it?"

Finally fed up with her, Katsuki shakes off the deer from his back and lunges at Ashido, forcing her to shift into her wolf form and roll on her back.  "That's enough, Ashido!" He snarls, sending out his pheromones to force her submission.  "That's not how the pack works, and you know it!  You catch it, you prepare it!  No complaining, no whining; it's how it's always been!"

She whimpers and bares her neck, holding still so as not to rile up the alpha any more than necessary.  "S-Sorry, Chief," she whispers, casting her eyes to the ground.

Once he's satisfied with her submission, he gets off of her and shifts to his human form.  "Take care of the deer.  Once it's cooking, you're free to do whatever you want.  I'm going to see Eijirou now," he states, lifting his nose to scent out the other chief.  If I have to deal with these idiots any longer, I might kill one of them!

Uraraka coos while Ashido picks herself up.  "Aww!  So cute!"

"Get it, Bakugo!" Ashido cheers, brushing off what happened earlier and gaining back her cheerful personality.

"Really?" Shouji asks, rolling his eyes at his two companions after shifting back and pulling one of the deer over to the cleaning area.  "Just let him go."

Feeling even more irritated, Katsuki picks up his pace once he spots the familiar red head of hair near the main center of their little camp.  "Eijirou!" He bellows, anger painting his features.

Wolves clear out of his way, knowing not to intervene when their chief is this irritated.  Katsuki's mate says something to the wolves he's working with, probably apologizing for leaving them, and moves slightly away from them so they won't receive the wrath of his mate.

"Eijirou!" He bellows again, his irritation rising.  All he wants to do is bask in his mate's scent and relax (if you tell anyone he'll kill you) before having to deal with the pack about the rogue.

Chapter Text

"So, this goes here?"

"No!  It goes over there!"

"Here?"

"No!  Over there!"

"So, here?"

"Gods, Kirishima!  You're hopeless at this!  Let us take care of it!"

"Sorry, Kaminari.  I tried," he replies sheepishly as he releases the items he's holding and scratches the back of his neck.  "It doesn't look as hard as you're making it."

Denki Kaminari looks offended.  "I'm not making it hard, Kirishima!" He exclaims, rising to his feet and putting his hands on his hips.  "It's not something just anyone can do!"

He sighs.  "Okay, fine.  You do it then."

"I will!"

"It's okay, Kirishima-kun.  It's something that omegas like Kaminari are very particular about, kero.  An alpha naturally has a hard time understanding why it's so important and how to do it correctly in the eyes of an omega.  Besides, you're more suited for the other things that we need to do," a beta with long, sea-green hair and a frog-like appearance, very uncommon in werewolves.

"I suppose you're right, Asui-chan," he sighs.

"Call me 'Tsu' please.  Why don't you go get a bunch more firewood while Kaminari finishes weaving the sleeping mats?  That way, you'll both be out of each other's hair to calm down for a little bit?"

"I can do that.  I'll be right back!"  Eijirou stands up straight and tall before heading into the forest towards their wood pile.  As he walks, he keeps a sharp eye out for others in the forest who might try to attack him; namely, his mate, Katsuki Bakugo.  He would sneak up on him every chance he got, and frankly, Eijirou found it a little bit annoying but cute at the same time.

As he bends over to pick up a stack of wood, some of his bright red spikes flop over into his face, making him grumble and pull out his handkerchief to tie them up and away from his face.  "It's only the middle of the day!  Is it so humid that my hair is falling already?"  Once his hair is tied back, he grabs a bunch of firewood and starts his trek back to the middle of their little camp.  "Got a bunch!" He sings, throwing it down in the already huge pile of firewood next to the big fire.

Denki snickers.  "Hair falling already?"

Eijirou pouts.  "Stop laughing!  It's really humid today!"

"Sorry, sorry.  Anyways, these are done.  All that's left is to spread them out for us all to use after the hunt."

"Good job, Kaminari.  The pack is going to love these!"

A light blush tints his cheeks.  "Th-thanks."

"So, Kirishima, are you looking forward to the moon hunt in a few days?" Tsuyu Asui asks.

He nods his head.  "I am.  I hope Katsuki and I can find our mate during the hunt tonight."

"What would you do if you had different mates?" 

The question itself is innocent, but for some reason, it rubs Eijirou the wrong way.  "Well, Katsuki and I are still mates, so if we have different ones then they'll just have to deal with it!  Besides, I have this feeling that we're going to share the same mate."  His normally cheerful tone takes on a sharp edge, warning the beta to watch her next words.

"I'm not trying to make you angry, Kirishima-kun.  I apologize."  She bows her head slightly, her eyes cast to the ground as a sign of respect.

Eijirou sighs and runs a hand down his face.  "No, I'm sorry, Tsu-chan.  I just get a little bit testy about that subject."

"You should; it's not every day that two alphas are mated together; that means that you have at least one omega mate and possibly a beta or more alpha mates.  I can be too blunt sometimes and apologize for not thinking about how things are with two mated alphas."

"This is boring.  Let's talk about something else!" Denki drawls from his position next to the piled-up mats.  "But first we need to figure out what else we have to do for preparations."

"Uh, well, the betas are taking care of the food.  Katsuki, Ashido, Shouji, and Uraraka are out patrolling the borders.  You just took care of the sleeping mats for everyone.  I guess all that's left is to wait for someone to be done with something so we can help them set it up," Asui states.  "Besides that, isn't it your first moon hunt to find your mate?"

Eijirou's eyes widen.  "Oh yeah!  I forgot that omegas can only find their mates during the Blue Harvest full moon that comes only once a year.  Plus, you only just came of age a little while ago like Katsuki and me, huh?" He asks.

"Y-yeah."  Denki clearly isn't happy talking about it, but he does anyway.  "Uh, I hope I find my mate tonight, but I'm not banking on it.  It's usually the alpha finding the omega anyway."

"Maybe; who knows?"  Eijirou tries to get his friend to see that he might be able to search out his mate.  "Besides, you won't know unless you try?"

Denki shrugs.  "I don't know; maybe.  We'll just have to wait and see."  He's clearly done talking about it.

"Do you think Bakugo and the others will find anything while on patrol?" Asui asks, changing the subject.

Eijirou shrugs.  "Who knows.  I've been getting this weird feeling that something big is going to happen soon, but that could just mean that Katsuki and I find our mates."

"That's true."

"Plus, I don't think that we'll have anything to worry about with any of the neighboring packs.  At least one of us come from each one, so I doubt they would attack us during the full moon.  We'll just need to make sure to stay in our territory lines during the hunt unless you're searching for your mate."

"True."

"How was the meeting with Bakugo's blood pack last week?" Denki asks, suddenly chiming into the conversation.

Eijirou grimaces.  "It went as well as could be expected.  There was a lot of yelling between him and his mother, which is normal.  What is not normal is the amount of arguing he did with the elders during the meeting; I think he was posturing or something."

Denki snickers.  "Oh boy.  You've got yourself a handful."

"I mean I know he wants to prove to me that he's a good mate, but he doesn't have to do that by arguing with pack elders; especially if those elders aren't from our own pack."

"That just proves how much he cares for you," Tsuyu says.

He sighs and sits on one of the benches heavily.  "I know."

"When do you go and meet with your blood pack?"

"A few weeks after the moon hunt."

"How do you think Bakugo is going to do then?"

"I think that he might be okay during that meeting.  What I'm worried about is posturing to him this time around.  My older siblings like to tease me a lot, so in order to prove to Katsuki that I'm worthy to be his mate, my alpha is going to make me react to every single thing they say.  It's going to be a nightmare!"

Denki bursts out laughing this time.  "You?  Posturing?  That has got to be hilarious!"

Eijirou pouts at him.  "Kaminari, don't laugh."

"Sorry; it's just too funny to think about you posturing to Bakugo!"

"I've done it before.  Plus, I think I did a little bit of posturing during our visit to his blood pack.  There was this alpha that kept getting too handsy with him and I may have postured a little bit."

"Oh boy."

"You might think it's funny now, Kaminari-kun, but as soon as someone starts posturing on your behalf, you'll be singing a different tune."

Instantly, Denki turns bright red and ducks his head down so the others can't see.  "Nuh-uh!"

"Whatever you say, Kaminari," Eijirou sings, smiling when he realizes that they just successfully embarrassed Denki.  He then gets a thoughtful look on his face.  "Though, when Katsuki was posturing for me, I thought it was really hot.  Like, it just made him even more manly in my eyes because my mate was showing off for me.  He told me almost the same thing when I postured for him.  He told me I made him horny."

"Oh my gods, Kirishima!" Denki shrieks.  "Have you no shame?"

Eijirou can feel the light blush on his cheeks, but he refuses to feel embarrassed.  "No, not really.  Besides, when you find your mate, you'll find that sometimes having no shame is the best way to go."

"I cannot believe I'm listening to this!"

Before Eijirou and Asui can continue teasing Denki, there's a commotion at the entrance of the camp.  Whistles and cheers fill the air before wolves start clearing a path to them.

"Eijirou!"

"Oh, there's Katsuki."

"He sounds very mad, Kirishima; are you going to be all right?"

Eijirou steps away from them, knowing that Katsuki could very well blow up at the beta and omega.  "Uh, I should be okay.  Will you two be all right finishing up preparations without me?  I don't think he'll let me alone for a while."

"It's fine."

"Eijirou!" 

"Katsuki, just calm down, okay?"  Eijirou tries to calm down his mate but cannot.  He's grabbed and dragged away towards their tent.  "Katsuki?  Are you okay?"

Katsuki grunts but doesn't say anything as he continues to drag his mate to their tent.  When they get inside, Katsuki forces Eijirou to sit down on their pile of pelts that make up their bed before securing the tent flap shut.

"Katsuki?"  Eijirou is worried now.  Very rarely does Katsuki close the tent flap the whole way; normally it's kept unlatched so pack members could get them if they're needed.

Katsuki walks over and situates himself right in Eijirou's lap.  "Shut up," he mumbles, snuggling close.

Eijirou turns bright red but welcomes the rare snuggles from his mate.  "Okay."  He wraps his arms around Katsuki to pull him closer before releasing calming pheromones to help calm his mate.

He leans his head on Eijirou's shoulder, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath.  They sit like that for a while, each of them breathing in each other's scents.  They end up laying on their sides with Katsuki as the little spoon.  Eijirou buries his nose in his mate's neck while Katsuki holds tightly to his arm that's thrown around him.  Their legs are tangled with each other while they lay there.  Eventually, Eijirou's lulled into such a state of oblivion that when Katsuki does finally say something, it startles him.

"We scented a rogue near our borders."

Instantly, Eijirou's sitting up.  "What?!"

Katsuki grumbles at being displaced suddenly.  "It hasn't crossed our border, or even come near it for that matter.  The wind has been pushing its scent to our border.  I think that if the wind had been blowing the other way, we would've never known it was there."  He sits up and turns to face his mate with reddened cheeks.  "And thanks for cuddling with me," he says quietly.

Eijirou practically beams.  "You're welcome!  I love cuddling!"  He then turns serious.  "But what are we going to do about the rogue?"

Katsuki sighs and starts rubbing his palm.  "I don't know; what do you think we should do?  Ashido and Shouji both volunteered to do something about it, but I don't feel right sending our pack members out there to risk their lives when it should be our job."

He nods thoughtfully.  "Yeah, you're right."  Sharp teeth pull his bottom lip into his mouth slightly as he thinks.  "I feel like it's almost too dangerous to try this close to the full moon.  All of us are on edge, so I can only imagine what the rogue is like.  They always have to be on the lookout, so the approaching full moon probably just makes it even worse."

Blond spikes bob slightly as Katsuki nods thoughtfully.  "Makes sense."

"Could you tell what it is?"

"I'm pretty sure it's an alpha."

"So, it could just be feeling the pre-full moon pull to their mate?"

"I guess that's possible."

"Hmm..."  Now those sharp teeth are softly chewing on his finger.  "They haven't crossed our border?"

"No.  As I said, I think the wind just pushed their scent over to us."

"Either they don't know we're here, they're biding their time before they attack, or they simply aren't interested in our pack.  I'm really hoping it's the first or last one."

"Me too."

They sit in silence for a few minutes, trying to come up with a plan.  Outside their tent, they can hear the laughter and voices of their pack members as they go about their lives.

"Our pack members are strong," Eijirou states, breaking Katsuki out of his thoughts.  "They can take care of themselves."

He nods affirmatively.  "They can.  There's no doubt about it; they're a tough bunch to beat."

"Then, I think that if we warn them about the rogue, they should be fine."

Katsuki nods again, but this time it's slower.  "I think that should work."  He purses his lips.  "We'll set up a patrol out all the time, switching every few hours or so, so that we can always be prepared.  Even though I know they can handle themselves, we'll tell the omegas to always be with an alpha or a beta if they go out into the woods.  And we'll tell them that if they suspect the rogue coming closer to the border or crossing it to come and get either you or me."

"That's a good plan, Katsuki.  I think you should lead the first patrol out there to show them where you smelled the rogue.  I also want to get their scent into my nose so I know what I'm looking for when the time comes."  Eijirou smiles proudly at his mate.

Once again, Katsuki's cheeks redden at the praise from his mate.  "Th-thanks."

"Do you want me to tell the pack, or do you want to do it?"

"You do it," he replies gruffly.  "I don't want them thinking I'm getting sappy!"

Stifling a chuckle, he nods.  "Okay, I can do that," Eijirou says, pulling Katsuki back into his arms.  "Can we cuddle some more?"

Katsuki shoves him off.  "No, we've got a pack to inform and deer to eat!" 

Eijirou pouts at the rejection but immediately brightens up.  "Deer?!" He asks excitedly, his red eyes glinting with excitement.

"Yeah, uh, we caught some deer on the way back from our patrol.  Thought it'd be a nice treat for the pack before the full moon."

"Wow, so thoughtful!"

"That's exactly why I want you to explain the plan!"

"Fine, fine.  I'll explain the plan as long as you feed me."

Instead of just his cheeks reddening, this time, Katsuki's whole face turns bright red.  "F-fine!"

Eijirou beams and pulls Katsuki into his arms.  Before Katsuki can fight it, he melts into a kiss.  "I love you, Katsuki, and I hope we find our mate tonight," Eijirou breathes after breaking the kiss and leaning their foreheads together.

Katsuki shows one of his rare smiles.  "Me too, Eijirou," he whispers.  "Me too."

They stay like that for a moment longer, staring into each other's eyes with love and adoration before Katsuki has finally had enough and pushes out of his mate's arms and to his feet.

"Okay, let's go!"

They walk out of their tent and to the center of the camp where the deer are getting cooked.

"Everyone, gather around!" Eijirou booms in an authoritative voice, letting the pack know that he means business.  It takes a few minutes, but soon everyone is there and watching the young alpha expectantly.  "As some of you know, we have scented a rogue off our eastern borders!"  A low murmuring goes through the crowd and Eijirou waits for it to quiet down before he continues.  "As your chiefs, Katsuki and I have decided to just maintain a watch on it.  I have been informed that the rogue has not crossed nor come near our borders; that the wind has simply been pushing its scent closer to us.  Therefore, we are going to have patrols out constantly, switching out every few hours, to make sure that this rogue doesn't cross our borders.  Katsuki and I will go with the first group so he can show us where the scent is and tell us if we're smelling the right scent.  If you spot the rogue, you notice signs of it drawing too close to the border, or have evidence of it crossing the border, you will come and get either Katsuki or me.  Do not, I repeat, do not go after the rogue alone!  It is too dangerous, even for you alphas.  We will form a group and go tactfully, seeing if this rogue will talk first to see if we can come to an understanding.  Am I understood?"

Shouts of, "Yes, Chief!", "Yes, Kirishima!", and "Of course!" fill the air.

"Good.  Now, the patrol group has kindly brought back some deer for us to feast on tonight.  I assume they prepared it as well.  When it is done, we are to feast in preparation for the Blue Harvest full moon hunt!"

Cheers fill the air as wolves scatter to start getting ready for the feast.  Low tables are brought out along with cushions.  Plates are set along the table and drinks are poured.  Laughter and boisterous talking fill the air as the two alphas watch their pack members proudly.

"How was that, babe?" Eijirou asks, turning to Katsuki.

"Hot."

"Huh?"

"It was hot, Eijirou.  I like it when you take control," Katsuki replies, smirking at his mate.

His face turns as red as his hair as he crouches up into a ball.  "Katsuki" He wails in utter mortification.  "We're out in public!"

Katsuki chuckles and pulls Eijirou up and into his arms.  "You never complain when I do this in private," he says, his voice a low timbre as he tilts his head.  "Do you?"

Eijirou gets lost in his mate's crimson gaze.  He unconsciously licks his lips and leans closer.  "N-no."

Just before their lips connect, something knocks into them and sends them sprawling onto the ground. 

"Who the hell..." his voice trails off when he sees Denki sitting on the ground and rubbing his head.  "Kaminari!" He growls.

Denki glares at the alpha.  "Oh, stop!  I was pushed!" He growls back, feeling irritated with the pink haired beta that he used to call his friend.

"Ashido!"

"Deer's ready!" She interrupts him.  "Plus, I didn't want to watch that!"

"Then look away," Eijirou grumbles, picking himself and Katsuki up off the ground.  He extends a hand to Denki.  "Besides, don't throw someone else to Katsuki's fury.  Do it yourself."  He normally doesn't mind Mina's antics, but today, for some reason, they bother him more than usual.

"Sorry, Eijirou," she replies.

Both he and Katsuki growl at her.  "Watch yourself, Ashido!" Katsuki rumbles, his tone demanding submission.  "You're already on my shit list today!"

She averts her eyes.  "S-sorry."  She quickly makes herself scarce, knowing that if Eijirou's angry at her, he won't defend her from Katsuki's anger.  She also knows that she was pushing her luck after the stunts she had pulled earlier in the day.

"What did she do?" Eijirou asks once she's out of sight.

"I'll tell you later when there aren't ears nearby."

"Okay."

"Food is ready!" Uraraka announces from her spot by the fire.

More cheers go up as everyone sits down at the tables.  Drink flows and the food is plentiful as the pack enjoys a communal meal before the moon hunt.  Wolves watch in amusement as a blushing Katsuki feeds a starry-eyed Eijirou his dinner, taking bites in between.  Their little feast turns into a mini-celebration that lasts long into the night.  Eventually, all pack members stumble into the tents for some much-needed rest.

"I love you, Eijirou," Katsuki mutters as they collapse onto their bed.

Eijirou hums and snuggles into Katsuki's arms.  "I love you, too."

********************

"We'll be together forever, right?"

"Of course, Eiji!  You're my mate and I'm never gonna let you go!"

"Yay!  Love you, Kat!"

"Love you too, Eiji!"

Chapter Text

Chapter V.I: Izuku

Izuku sits on his pile of newspapers, playing with a bunch of sticks he’s collected while he waits for the sun to start setting.  It’s been a long week, especially with getting beaten up by Mizuki and his friends.  He hasn’t dared step foot out onto the main streets until it’s almost dark out so he can go and buy food with the money he received from Fumikage and Sero.  Another thing that made his hard is that he hasn’t seen either Fumikage or Sero since he refused their dinner invitation earlier in the week.

I wonder if they’re mad at me…I mean, I did kinda refuse them harshly.  He nibbles on his lower lip nervously, hoping that the reason his friends haven’t been around isn’t him.  He groans in pain when his teeth hit the place where his lip split as a result of the attack from earlier in the week.  “Ow!  I have to make sure to watch where I put my teeth!” He mumbles, cupping his lip and testing it to see if it started bleeding again.  Once he makes sure that it’s not bleeding, he sits back and stares at the slowly darkening sky with a sigh.  “I wish I wasn’t stuck here in the alley.  I’m so bored!”  His stomach grumbles rather loudly.  “Well…”  He stands to his feet carefully, wincing in pain every now and then.  “I guess I could start on my way to the other side of town.  Mizuki and his friends shouldn’t be out and about.”

Slowly and carefully, Izuku limps his way down the alley, away from the main roads.  He’s learned his lesson and is going to stay off the main roads unless he’s with Sero or Fumikage.  He knows that he wouldn’t be able to withstand another beating like that without more serious repercussions.  He also knows that no one would step in, not even Ai, the baker’s wife.  They would let Mizuki and his friends beat Izuku until he was dead, except they really didn’t want to have to clean him up off the road if that really did happen.  Well, I guess that itself is a blessing in disguise, he thinks ruefully, glimpsing some townspeople as they walk by the entrances to the different alleyways.  At least I know they’ll eventually stop them because they don’t want my blood dirtying the roads too much. 

The dark, intricate maze of alleyways that leads to different parts of the town is, in Izuku’s opinion, very useful.  He can go from Sero or Fumikage’s house to the baker’s shop and not be seen until he emerges from the alley by the bakery.  He’s very thankful that his mother taught him how to navigate through the streets.  It takes some time, especially because of his current physical state, to reach the shop he’s heading to, but he eventually reaches it.  It’s starting to get dark, so Izuku knows he only has a short period of time before the shops close because of the full moon.  He reaches down and takes his shoe off, pulling some money out before putting his shoe back on.  Then, he limps to the edge of the alley and takes a look around.  He notices that not many people are around, so he makes his way into the store.  He buys some bread and milk and heads back out into the dusk.  Sitting in the alleyway, he quickly fills his stomach before standing to his feet once again.  “Better head to the baker’s house now.  Hopefully, Ai will let me use her shed tonight.”  Once again using the maze of alleys, he heads to the section of the village where the baker and his wife lived.  Peeking out from between two houses, he notices a group of people standing outside the baker’s home.

“Now, I want you keeping that street rat away from my house!  It’s bad enough he’s got my wife’s sympathy and handkerchief that I gave her for our anniversary, but I’m not letting him into my shed where he could steal things!  And no making a scene in front of my house.  You take him into one of those back alleys and do it there, understand me?”

“Yes, Sir!”

Izuku’s heart sinks when he realizes that they’re talking about him.  Oh no!  I hope the Ai-san doesn’t get into any trouble because she helped me!  Then he realizes that he has nowhere to stay because those people are blocking the only way to Ai’s shed.  He takes a closer look to see who it is that’s standing there and blanches when he sees Mizuki and his friends.  There’s no chance that I could sneak past them.  Guess I’ll just have to tough it out tonight.  He turns and makes his way back to his pile of newspapers.  I was really hoping to stay indoors tonight; full moons make it really bright outside and that means it’s harder for me to sleep.

Making it back without incident, Izuku lowers himself down carefully and stares at the wall opposite of him.  Well, I guess I’m sleeping here again tonight.  He sighs and rubs his eyes as tears threaten to fall.  “I just wish I knew why everyone hates me.”  Getting control of his emotions, he lies down and sighs.  “Why is it that everyone wants to be inside when the full moon begins to rise?”

Oh yeah, it’s because of the stupid lore.  Apparently, it’s because beasts roam the nights during the full moon and will snatch you away if you’re caught outside.  That isn’t true though; it can’t be.  I’ve done so much research about the story that there’s no possible way for that to even be possibly true.  The only “beasts” that would be crazy enough to be out during the full moon are werewolves, and they would just kill whoever they found.  They wouldn’t snatch you away, or whatever.  Unless they’re looking for their mates and you happened to be mated to one of them.  Which, I guess could be where the lore came from.  But still!  It’s not plausible enough for this to be an every full moon occurrence.  Maybe they’ve had problems with people being killed during the full moon, so they just started hiding inside.  Hmm… 

His thoughts trail off when a yawn splits his jaw.   “Hmm, I guess I should get to bed now.  By the time I wake up, it’ll just be another day.  Nothing will happen tonight.”  He rolls onto his side and closes his eyes, letting the sounds of nature lull him to sleep.

Chapter V.II: Shouto

Shouto can literally feel the moon as it begins to rise.  It pulls at his gut and makes him extremely restless.  Against his will, he shifts into his wolf and rises to his feet.  He pads to the entrance of his cave and looks out, inhaling deeply and seeing the moon as it begins its ascent.

It’s beautiful.  I just wish I could share it with my family right now.  He continues staring at the moon for a while, letting its pull build up in his gut.  He reminisces about his family and all the good times they had during the full moons.  Those were the only times he could remember them all, minus Enji, smiling and having fun together because Enji was out leading the moon hunts.  He remembers how beautiful his mother’s smile had been; how innocent and young it made her seem. 

Suddenly, the pull gets really strong and jerks him forward a step.  Maybe I’ll be able to find my mate!  Following the pull the moon sends him, he pads out of the cave and heads west a little bit.  He nears a territory line and begins paralleling it.  I don’t want to piss off the neighboring pack, so I’ll just stay outside the border.  If my mate’s in there, they’ll also come to the edge of the border and we’ll be able to meet there.  Plus, if my mate is part of this pack, then maybe the pack will help me take down Enji! 

He can feel the moon continuing the rise because the pull gets stronger.  He makes sure to stay a good distance away from the territory line so the pack doesn’t think he’s meaning them harm.  But he finds it harder and harder to concentrate on anything but the pull as the moon continues rising.  He often catches himself straying too close to the border and has to wrench himself in the opposite direction of the pull for a few steps.  I don’t want to cause any trouble with this pack!  I have to stay away from the territory line!  He continues following the pull, feeling it take him around to the north side of the territory.

The moon is almost at its peak when, suddenly, all Shouto can see is the moon and all he can do is follow its pull.  Everything else becomes unseen as he’s focused on his goal.  His feet take him in the direction of the pull against his will.  In his mind, he hears the laughter of his mate and sees the smiles they have.  He doesn’t notice when he crosses territory borders and heads straight for the heart of the pack’s home.  It doesn’t register to him that this could cause a fight between alphas as they protect their home, their honor, and the omegas in their pack.

Must find mate!  I must find them!  His feet continue taking him further and further in the direction of the heart of the pack’s home.  His eyes are glazed over as they stare at the moon through the trees.  His nose catches two scents that permeate the area.  One smells like burnt sugar and the other smells like pine trees.  He follows those scents, as well as the pull from the moon.  Animals scramble to get out of his way, scared that a wolf is coming near their burrows.  Growls escape his throat as he thinks of finding his mate and claiming them.  His growls, however, quickly stop as he doesn’t want to scare his mate or make them think he’s being aggressive.

All sound has fallen away by now; his vision has tunneled so his gaze only sees the moon; his feet take Shouto somewhere against his will (not that he really minds).  He’s become completely unaware of his surroundings.  Even though that makes him an easy target for other predators desperate for a meal, the Blue Harvest full moon has cast a spell on the night making all the creatures quiet and content to just sleep in their burrows or dens.  At this point, nothing short of finding his mate (or mates) could break him out of the trance he’s in.  If another wolf would stumble into his path while he is in this state of mind, Shouto would most likely attack them because he’ll think they’re going to try and take his mate from him. 

Must find mate!  Must protect mate!  Must keep mate safe from Enji!  My mate!  My family!  My new beginning!  I wonder what my mate will look like…my mate will be the most beautiful one out there!  They’re mine!  Mine, and only mine!  I’ll protect them, mate them, make them mine!  We’ll have puppies and make our own pack, safe from anyone who wants to harm us.  No one will lay a finger on my mate and we’ll be happy for the rest of our lives!

However, something does break him out of his trance.  Loud growling, so thunderous that it makes the ground shake, stirs Shouto from his reverie, bringing him face to face with two wolves that will forever change his life.  His mates.

Oh no!  I crossed over to pack territory!

Chapter V.III: Katsuki and Eijirou

Gathered in the center of the village, the pack waits impatiently for the signal to be given by their chiefs to be able to begin the hunt.  Excitement and anticipation thrum in the air, as many of the wolves are hunting for their mates this full moon.  Especially since this is the only time in the year that alphas and omegas have the chance of finding their soulmates.  Also in the air is a sense of dread for some who know that this time they probably won’t find anything.

“All right, everyone.  Transform and wait for our signal!” Katsuki bellows.

“Yes, Chief!”

Almost instantly, instead of human bodies filling the clearing, it’s wolves.  Their loud panting pierces the silence, as well as a few excited whimpers.

“Can you tell that everyone is excited?” Katsuki asks, nudging his mate with his shoulder.

Eijirou snickers.  “I wonder what gave it away?” He responds wryly.

“Oh, I don’t know…maybe the fact that none of them can stand still!”

The two of them chortle as they alternate between watching their pack and watching the moon.

“It’s almost time,” Eijirou whispers, nuzzling Katsuki’s neck.  “Only a few more moments before we can go and find our mate.”

“Are you excited?”

“Probably just as excited as you, Katsuki.  And don’t even try to deny it!”

“I won’t.  now, hush.  It’s beginning!”  Just as Katsuki begins to address the crowd, the scent of rogue hits their noses.  “Rogue!” He snarls, swiftly moving to get in front of the pack.

Eijirou quickly follows.  “Do you think their mate is here?” He asks, his hackles raised.

“I don’t know, but I don’t like how they’re just barging their way onto our territory!  The moon hasn’t reached its peak yet, so there’s no reason why they would’ve lost their awareness yet!”

Everyone can hear the rustles of the rogue moving through the woods towards them.

“Everyone be ready.  Do not attack unless I give the order!” Katsuki orders, trying to see through the dense forest to get a good look at the offending rogue. 

Everyone is tense and waiting for the order to spring into action.  They’re all thinking the same thing.  Is the rogue friendly?  Or is it a foe?

They’re stunned when a rogue alpha stumbles through the tree line, completely entranced by the moon.  Katsuki begins to snarl as the rogue pays no attention to him or his pack.  Eijirou and the pack also begin to growl and snarl, not liking how their chief is getting disrespected by the rogue.

The loud growling seems to shake the rogue from his stupor.  He looks around him in shock.  Panic flits across his eyes before it’s replaced by an emotionless look.  “I apologize for crossing into your territory!”  He bows and speaks clearly, shocking Katsuki.

“You’re…not looking for a fight?”

If the situation wasn’t so tense, Eijirou would’ve laughed at Katsuki’s confusion.  But he knows it’s not the time.  “What is your purpose for crossing the border?”

“I was following the pull of my mate and did not realize I crossed into your territory.  Again, I apologize for crossing into your territory!  I mean no harm and am not here to start a fight.”

“Pull of your mate?  The moon’s not even at its peak yet!” Eijirou exclaims.

The rogue shrugs.  “I don’t know.  It’s just what I’ve been doing.  The moon led me here.”

Eijirou goes to say something else when, suddenly, his nose picks up a delicious scent.  One that belongs to his mate.  And it’s coming from the rogue.  “Katsuki, do you smell that?” He asks, breathing deeply.

Katsuki, confused at the question, also inhales deeply, growling when he catches on that the scent of his mate is coming from the rogue.  “What the hell?  He’s our mate?”

“What’s your name?” Eijirou asks softly, stepping forward slowly to walk closer to his mate.

“Shouto Todoroki,” he replies, watching the two alphas cautiously.

“I’m Eijirou Kirishima and this is Katsuki Bakugo.  It seems like we’re mates.”

“It does seem that way.  But I have this feeling like there’s one more.”

“Me too,” Katsuki says gruffly, stepping into Shouto’s space and scenting him.  “Just know that I’m head chief here!  And Eijirou ranks above you!  So, know your place!”

Shouto nods his head.  “I understand.”  He allows both Katsuki and Eijirou to scent him, then scent each other before he scents them.

Katsuki turns back to his pack.  “This wolf is a rogue no longer!  This is Shouto Todoroki, your third chief and Eijirou’s and my mate!” He announces.

The tension immediately lifts and they howl quietly.  “That’s great, chiefs!  We’re happy for you!”  “Congrats!”  “Congratulations!”  “We’re happy for you!”

Katsuki looks back up at the moon and notices its position.  “Silence!”  The pack falls silent, watching their chief.  “It’s time!” 

The pack shifts excitedly, waiting for their chief to give them their signal.

Katsuki turns to Eijirou and Shouto.  “Are we all in agreement that we still have another mate out there?”  They both nod.  “Okay, then we’ll go and search for them.”  Katsuki raises his head and howls, long and loud, into the night.  The pack takes off into the darkness, either feeling the pull to find their mates or to just go to hunt and enjoy the beautiful night.  Katsuki, Eijirou, and Shouto take off in different directions, trying to scent out their mate and find the pull.

As Eijirou’s running, he catches sight of something in the distance.  That’s a village; the village that believes we’re killers.  For whatever reason, he feels drawn in the direction of the village.  The people there are very closed minded.  If our mate came from there, would they even accept us?  Or would they try to escape to go back to the village and get people out here to kill us?  He shakes his head.  I shouldn’t be thinking like this.  If our mate is down in that village, then we have to give them a fair chance.  I’m sure the others would agree.

Katsuki screeches to a halt.  Shit!  I’m getting farther away!  Our mate must be in the direction that Eijirou took!  He quickly turns around and runs in that direction.  But the village is that way!  Oh well…if they don’t like us, we’ll just lock them up until they do!

Shouto finds himself veering off the path he chose and heading in the direction that Eijirou took.  I feel the pull coming from this way!  Our mate must be in this direction!

They all take off in a run and are surprised when they run into each other.  Falling to the ground with grunts.

“Oi?!  What’s the big idea?”

“Our mate is in this direction!” Shouto exclaims.  “I can feel it!”

Katsuki and Eijirou look at each other.  “Well, you were the first one of us to follow the pull, so lead the way!”

“Okay.”  Shouto takes a deep breath, smelling for the scent and listening to the pull of the moon.  He catches onto the scent and howls, long and loud, into the night, taking off in the direction of the village.

Eijirou and Katsuki aren’t far behind, letting out their own howls into the night.  Their paws thunder against the ground as they set out to find their mate in the superstitious village of Shizuoka.  

Chapter Text

Chapter VI.I: Izuku

Something wakes him up.  Izuku doesn’t know what it is, but something wakes him up.  He sits up with a jerk, looking around in confusion.  I’m still in my alleyway, and no one would dare be out during the full moon, so what woke me up?  As he ponders about what woke him up, long, loud howling fills the air.  Izuku freezes, fear shooting straight down his spine.  Howling?  Maybe there really are beasts out there!  Taking a deep breath, he looks around.  It probably was just a random wolf pack out there.  There’s no need to get all worked up.  He chuckles nervously as he lays back down.  Closing his eyes, Izuku takes a deep breath.  It was nothing.  Just my imagination.  He justifies it to himself so he can go back to sleep.  Just as he starts to drift off to sleep, three howls, perfectly in sync, shatter the silence of the night.  Jolting up, Izuku tries to take deep breaths to calm himself and quell the pain rising from his ribs.  Okay, I need to get to Ai-san’s shed!  Scrambling to his feet, he suppresses a groan of pain and heads out into the streets.  Since it’s the night of the full moon, it’s safe for him to move around without fear of being attacked.  I should be able to get there with no problems.  Hopefully it’ll be open for me!

He reaches the baker’s house and looks around, double checking to make sure no one was lingering around before heading around the back of the property where Ai’s shed is located.  Okay, no one’s here; no dogs are out!  I should be safe!  His heart drops when he sees the door of the shed boarded up.  “No!” He whimpers quietly, tugging on the boards to see if he could make a hole small enough for him to slip through.  “No, no, no!”  The boards don’t budge, so he circles the shed, looking for a window he could slip in through.  I should have guessed that the baker would do this after putting Mizuki and his friends up to guarding his place!  Why does everyone hate me?!  He sniffles and trudges out of the yard, walking aimlessly for a few minutes.  What do I do now, Mama?  He glances up at the moon, silently wondering if he should just go back to his newspapers and let whatever’s out there kill him.

Everyone here would be happy about it.

A thought comes to his mind.  “Hanta and Fumikage have always said that their cellar doors stay unlocked all the time!  I’ll try there!”  With a hopeful smile on his face, he makes his way to the more privileged side of the village where the big houses of the Sero’s and Tokoyami’s stand.  He stands in front for a moment, silently trying to see if any guards or dogs are out.  Seeing and hearing nothing, Izuku glances nervously at the woods behind both houses.  I didn’t realize they were this close to the house.  He goes around the back of Sero’s house to where the cellar is located and glances around, making sure no one is watching him.  I’m dangerously close to the woods.  I really hope the doors are unlocked!  Izuku pulls at the door and whimpers quietly when it doesn’t open.  Please let it be that I’m not strong enough to open it with one go!  He tries again, pulling harder this time.  The door rattles, but still doesn’t open.  It’s locked! 

Izuku quickly limps over to Fumikage’s house.  Please let it be open!  But, like the other door, this, too, is locked.  “What am I gonna do now?”  They promised me that their cellars would always be open!  But, I guess they’re still mad at me for turning down their dinner offer…

He trudges away from his friends’ houses, not wanting to be too close to the woods.  If anything, I need to get away from the woods!  He jumps when the three howls sound again, this time closer.  My house should be open!  I don’t think the landlord rented it to anybody!  Forcing himself to run despite the pain, he heads to the house where him and his mother stayed.  On the way there, Izuku’s forced to stop and take a moment to rest from the screaming pain in his side.  I think they broke my ribs…and just about every other part of my body.  If I get out of this, I’ll have to use the rest of the money Hanta and Fumikage gave me to get treated by a doctor.  Placing his hand against his side to act as a brace, Izuku straightens up and wipes some sweat off his face.

Starting off again, this time at a much slower pace, he continues in the direction of his old home situated on the outskirts of the village on the poor side.  He remembers growing up there, playing with his mom and Sero and Fumikage.  He remembers their parents coming over to spend time with them just so Izuku would have friends to play with.  A tear drips unbidden onto his cheek and he angrily swipes it away.  None of that!  I don’t have time to cry right now!  The howls sound again, further punctuating his thoughts as he continues on his way.  Rounding a corner, he spots his old home sitting there, illuminated by the moonlight like a giant prize.  He glances at the landlord’s house, wanting to make sure he wouldn’t be seen sneaking in.  No lights, no people, no risk.  It’s safe!

Breathing a shallow sigh of relief, Izuku quickly limps inside and shuts the door, making sure to lock it.

“Wow, no one has touched anything,” he breathes, glancing around the dimly lit house.  Nothing has been moved since he was last here; not the furniture, not the few pictures, not his books, nothing has been moved.  It’s almost like someone ordered the place to be left alone.  No matter, I can gawk at it in the morning; maybe I’ll see if Hanta and Fumikage will talk to me again and I’ll ask them.  Squaring his shoulders, he glances back at the locked door.  First order of business: barricading the door!  I can’t have something breaking through too easily.  Carefully and slowly, Izuku starts dragging things and packing them up against the door.  Soon, the entire door is covered with furniture, large and small, to block the door. 

His entire body throbs with pain as he leans against a wall, breathing heavily.  Raising a shaky hand, he swipes some sweat off that has gathered on his brow and wipes it on his pants.  Okay, now to get as far away from the doors and windows as possible.  He goes to the closet and pulls out his old futon that his mother and he slept on while they still lived there.  He unrolls his and places it against a far wall that’s not directly seen by the door and also close to a closet in case he needs to hide better.

Sitting on the futon, Izuku breathes a sigh of relief that he feels somewhat safe now that’s under a roof.  Placing a hand over his throbbing ribs, he takes a glance around the room, drinking in the familiar, yet sad, sight of his old house.  Tears begin to well up in his eyes as he remembers all the good times he had in the house when his mother was alive.  They sang, they danced, they cooked, they cried, they celebrated, they slept, they read, they lived in this house and it was all ripped away from them both when she got sick and died.  Izuku leans his head back against the wall, trying to will the tears away as he sits there.

I miss you, Mama.  I wish you were here.  I’m so scared.  Everyone hates me, and it’s the full moon!  I had nowhere to go but here!  What will the landlord do to me if he finds me here tomorrow morning?  What about Hanta and Fumikage?  I haven’t seen them in a week when I rejected their offer to go to dinner with them.  What if they don’t like me anymore?  What if they don’t want to be my friends?  What if I’m all alone now?  I’m so scared, and I have no one to go to.  Mama, I wish you were here!

Slowly and carefully lowering himself down so he can lay down on the futon, he finally stops suppressing the urge to cry and sobs into his arms.  He cries because he’s hurting physically and emotionally.  He cries because he’s scared.  He cries because he misses his mother.  But most of all, he cries because he’s alone.

********************

Izuku’s eyes shoot open.  I must’ve cried myself to sleep.  He glances at a window and finds that it’s still dark out.  But why did I wake up?

Low growls and a snuffling sound catches his attention, and he turns his eyes towards the door.  Outside his home, he can hear the sounds of at least two beasts snuffling around his door.  They keep growling lowly to each other, like they’re talking.

Izuku freezes and doesn’t move, barely breathing in fear of them hearing him.  They’re right outside!  What am I going to do?  Are they going to try and come in here?  If they are, I’ll need to hide!  Deciding to wait to see if the beasts try to get in the house, he listens closely.

They continuing snuffling outside the barricaded door, growling quietly to each other.  They must be speaking to each other!  If he wasn’t so scared, Izuku would be impressed and trying to learn as much as he can.  Unfortunately for him, he’s terrified that he’ll be found and killed in the same house his mother died in.

The beasts stop growling and Izuku’s heart leaps into his throat when they begin pawing at the door.  He puts a hand over his mouth so he’ll stop himself from making any noises and slowly stands up, being as quiet as possible.

The noises outside stop, making Izuku stop moving as well.  Did they hear me?  Or did they leave?  Or are they preparing to launch themselves at the door?

The growling starts up again, making his shoulders sag in relief that they didn’t hear him and that they’re not trying to launch themselves at the door.  Okay, I just have to get inside this closet!  I’ll be able to lock it from the inside, so I should be safe in there!  Painstakingly slow, Izuku makes his way into the closet where he got the futon from.  He turns the knob soundlessly to open it and steps inside, slowly closing it and latching it behind him with a soft click.  No sooner does he do this then the door and all the furniture barricading it is sent flying into the room.  There are lots of bangs and crashes as the furniture hits things around the room.  A lot of the furniture ends up piling up in front of the closet.

Shuffling to the back corner of the closet, which really isn’t that far back, Izuku slaps a hand over his mouth to muffle his small shriek of terror as the loud noise and the beasts coming into his house scare him.  Please don’t find me!  Please don’t find me!  Please don’t find me!

Chapter VI.II: Katsuki, Eijirou, and Shouto

They had made it.  After they reached the village of Shizuoka, they followed their mate’s scent all over the town.  It went back and forth to different people’s property, always stopping in front of small sheds or cellar doors before turning around and heading in a new direction.  But, finally, they traced their mate’s scent to a little house (“More like a hut,” Katsuki grumbled) on the poorer side of the village.

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to just push the door open.  For one, it was latched; and it also seemed to be barricaded from the other side, or so Shouto had said when he looked in the front window.

“How are we gonna do this?” Eijirou asks, sniffing at the door to try and see if he could sense a weakness.

“We should just break the door down!” Katsuki exclaims, getting ready to rush the door.

“No!” Both Shouto and Eijirou exclaim.

“What if our mate is on the other side of that door?  All that furniture, some of it is quite big, would hit them and hurt them!”

“If you could see the furniture, couldn’t you have looked to see our mate?” Katsuki snarls.

“At the angle I was looking in, I could only see a little bit of the furniture by the door and a quarter of the room.  No, I didn’t see them in that small little quarter I saw, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not in the room!  They could be sleeping in a back corner for all I know!” Shouto replies, his voice (which is a growl in wolf form) gradually getting louder.

As Katsuki goes to reply, Eijirou shushes them both.  “If our mate is awake or wakes up and hears you two, they’ll be scared to death and I’d rather not have to chase a screaming human down the street of a village, naked, in the middle of the night!  I also wouldn’t want to deal with the humans that would possibly come to save said screaming human!” He hisses quietly.

Katsuki and Shouto both lower their voices before mumbling an apology.  Before they can go back to trying to figure out what’s going on, a small noise from inside the house (“Still say it’s a hut!” Katsuki grumbles) has them all pausing.

When they don’t hear it again, Eijirou turns to Shouto.  “You don’t think that was them, do you?”

Shouto tilts his head to the side.  “Hard to say.  That could’ve been them shifting in their sleep or moving around if they’re awake; but it could also be something else in the house, like a mouse or other animal, reacting to us big, huge predators outside.  Or the house could’ve settled slightly.”

“Ah.  That makes sense.”

“So, how do you think we should go about getting in?  Even if we transform into our humans again, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to get the door open safely.”

Eijirou hums.  “We could try climbing in through a window.  That way, we won’t risk injuring our mate and there’s less of a chance for them to escape,” he suggests.

“That’s a good ide-”  Shouto is cut off when Katsuki bolts past him.

“Ah!” He howls quietly, ramming into the door and sending it and all the furniture barricading it flying into the room.

“Katsuki!” Eijirou exclaims.  “What were you thinking?!”  He darts into the house and immediately starts sniffing around to make sure their mate isn’t hurt under any of the furniture.

“Good job!  If they’re dead, it’s all your fault,” Shouto drawls, quickly following suit.

Katsuki rolls his eyes and transforms.  “That sound was our lovely mate standing up.  While you two losers were busy yapping, they moved into a separate part of the hut.”

Eijirou quickly transforms.  “Katsuki!  Don’t be mean!  This is probably where they live!”

Shouto also transforms.  “He’s got a point though; this is pretty shabby.  But, look at where we are in the village.  Obviously, the people who live here aren’t too rich.”  He glances at the other houses nearby with distaste.  “Even the tents I lived in at my blood pack were much more luxurious than this!”

Rolling his eyes, Eijirou turns back to his first mate.  “Okay, so if you know they moved to a separate part of this house, then where did they go?  I don’t see very places they could go.”

“Well, I don’t know exactly where they went.  All I heard was a door closing right before I slammed into the front door.”

“Thanks, Katsuki,” Shouto drawls, raising his nose into the air and inhaling deeply.  “Use your nose and help us find them!”

The three of them set to work sniffing around the house.  However, they find it hard since their mate’s scent is all over the place.  And it’s really strong.

“They must’ve been sweating a lot for their scent to be this strong all over the place,” Eijirou observes as he looks in a doorway.  Just a bathroom, then.

“Look at all the furniture they had against the door.  Some of it was quite big too,” Shouto replies.

“Okay, that’s all the doors and they’re not behind them!” Katsuki exclaims, walking out of a small room by the small kitchen.  “I know for a fact that they’re still here!  I can hear their heartbeat and their breathing!”

Shouto and Eijirou strain their hearing as they listen for the sounds Katsuki hears.  They catch on the faint sound of a scared heartbeat and heavy breathing.  “Oh, yeah I can hear them.”

Walking over to a big pile of furniture, Katsuki begins removing things from it.  “I think they’re behind here!”

The breathing and heartbeat pick up, signaling that Katsuki is right.  Shouto and Eijirou quickly move to help, clearing one piece of furniture away after another.  Soon, a door becomes visible and Shouto grabs the handle.  Just as he goes to turn it, the lock clicks.

“What the hell?” Katsuki mutters angrily.

“They’re probably scared of us,” Shouto states.  “I know I would be apprehensive if someone just kicked my door in like that.”

“It’s a good thing that a damn lock means nothing to us!” Katsuki snaps, shoving Shouto out of the way and grabbing the handle.

However, before he can wrench it open, Eijirou puts his hand on his arm.  “You’re going to scare them even more, Katsuki.  Calm down,” he coos, nuzzling his mate’s neck.

Allowing himself to relax, Katsuki takes a deep breath.  “You’re right.”  Gripping the handle once more, he twists it open, easily breaking the lock, and throws the door wide open.

The occupant inside the closet, their mate, lets out a loud, shrill scream that has all three alphas gritting their teeth and covering their ears.

Chapter VI.III: Izuku

When the closet door opened, Izuku let out a loud scream when he saw three naked men standing there.  When he sees them distracted because of the scream, Izuku takes off running in between them and bolts out of his house.  Adrenaline is flowing as he runs to get away from them.  He doesn’t get very far before he’s tackled to the ground.

“No!” He exclaims.  “Let me go!  Help!  Someone help me!” He screeches, clawing at the ground to pull himself away from them.  “Let me go!”  Tears form and overflow from his eyes as his ribs begin screaming in pain.  His breath begins coming out in shallow pants.

“Katsuki, it’s probably not good to keep laying on him.  Just hold his arm or something,” one of the men says.  “He can’t breathe with you on top of him.

“Eijirou, I’m putting all my weight on my arms.  It’s not me,” the one on top of him replies.

The other man crouches in front of him.  “Are you okay?” He asks Izuku.

“J-just let me go!” He stutters.  “I won’t tell anyone that you were here!  I promise!”

“We can’t do that.”  The one on top of him stands up and pulls Izuku into his arms roughly.

“Ah!”  Izuku cries out in pain.  The man holding him immediately releases him and Izuku crumples to the ground.  “P-please don’t hurt me!” He whimpers, the edges of his vision fading fast.

“Of course we won’t hurt you.  You’re our mate!”

“P-please j-just l-let me go-go.”

“We can’t do that.”  Arms wrap around him again and pull him into another embrace, this time much gentler than the one before.  “You’re coming home with us.”  Soft hair tickles Izuku’s cheek as the stranger nuzzles his neck.  “I’m so glad we found you,” he whispers.

Resisting the urge to lean into the stranger, Izuku struggles in an attempt to get out of the man’s arms.  “I can’t come with you!  My home is here!”

“Not anymore.”  The one who tackled him to the ground grunts and begins walking towards the tree line.  “Come on, Eijirou.  Let’s get out of here before the humans decide to wake up.”

Izuku lets out a tiny whimper as the man holding him also begins to move in the direction of the trees.  No!  Suddenly, his eyes catch on something that makes him freeze.

All of the men have long, bushy tails sprouting out their backends and tails peeking out of their hair.  T-tails?  Feeling completely overwhelmed, Izuku’s eyes roll back in his head and he passes out, going limp in the man’s arms as he’s carried away from his village to the unknown.

Chapter Text

Glancing back at Eijirou, Katsuki kisses his teeth.  “He’s passed out,” he grunts, slowing down so he’s walking next to Eijirou.

Looking down and noticing that their mate’s head is just lolling back, Eijirou adjusts him so he’s more supported.  “He must’ve been so scared,” he whispers, pressing a kiss to their mate’s forehead and inhaling his sweet scent.

“I’ve never seen anyone act so scared before,” Shouto comments, walking on the other side of Katsuki. 

“Well, what kind of lies was that village feeding him?  That’s one of the most superstitious villages around the Enchanted forest.”

“Who knows what kind of bullshit they were spouting,” Katsuki spits, glad to be away from the village.

“Ah, that’s probably why he was so scared then.”

“There’s no probably about it.  That’s the reason he was so scared.  Whatever the superstition is about the full moon, or wolves, or whatever really freaked him out,” Eijirou replies.  “When he wakes up, we’ll be able to dispel his worries though.”

“As long as Katsuki controls his temper,” Shouto replies dryly.

“What was that, Halfie?”

“Good gods, he’s made up another terrible nickname!” Eijirou groans, rolling his eyes.

“Shut up, Shitty Hair!”

“Wow, those are terrible!”

“Oi!”

As they walk through a clearing, the moonlight illuminates them like it’s daylight and Eijirou takes a moment to pause and look down at their mate.  “His hair is like an emerald,” he breathes.

Noticing that he stopped, Shouto turns back.  “What’s wrong?” He asks, causing Katsuki to also stop. 

“Look at his hair,” he replies, wonder painted over his face.  “It’s so pretty!”

Katsuki chuckles.  “You look like a pup that’s just been handed their first bone, Eijirou.”

“Katsuki, you can’t not say that he looks precious like this!”

“I think you look just as precious,” Shouto replies, seeing Eijirou’s eyes sparkle in the moonlight as he looks down at their mate excitedly.  His eyes then go to their mate and he frowns.  Walking closer, he strokes the unconscious boy’s cheek with his thumb.  “And I also think our mate is precious; however, I don’t think the bruises are precious.”

Katsuki snarls and stalks closer.  “Bruises?”

Shouto nods.  “Yeah, you can see some on his cheeks and a few peeking out of the top of his shirt.”

“He was in a considerable amount of pain earlier,” Eijirou hums.  “What do you think these are from?”

“Yeah, he cried out when Katsuki grabbed him and pulled him off the ground.  That obviously hurt him, but why?”

“It’s not like I hurt him,” Katsuki replies, crossing his arms over his chest.  “I made sure to grab him carefully!”

“We’re not accusing you of hurting him, Katsuki.  We’re just trying to figure out why he’s hurt.”

“Well, we’ll be able to figure out where he’s hurt when we get back to camp because we need to bathe him; he looks filthy!” Katsuki exclaims.  “We’ll give him something of ours to wear too because I can’t stand that he doesn’t smell like us and I doubt he’ll let us scent him so soon.”

“You’re probably right,” Shouto hums.  “And I think it’s a good idea to at least wipe him down because, as Katsuki said, he looks filthy; almost like he’s been living out on the streets.”

“Yeah.”

They stand silently for a moment, just gazing at their unconscious mate when Katsuki suddenly holds his arms out.  “I wanna carry him now.”

Eijirou chuckles.  “Okay.  Take him carefully.”

“Of course I will!”  Katsuki carefully takes their mate from Eijirou and gently cradles him to his chest.  “He’s so tiny,” he says quietly.

“He’s way too light,” Eijirou comments.  “I was carrying him for a while and my arms aren’t even sore.”

“We’ll have to fatten him up,” Shouto says, moving in to get a closer look at their mate.  “No mate of mine will ever go hungry.”  His mind goes back to memories of how his father treated his mother.  “Once we get our mate settled, I have something I need to tell all of you.”

Eijirou and Katsuki glance at him, then look at each other.  “Well, okay.”

Starting off again, Katsuki ducks under a branch as they exit the clearing.  “I won’t forget it, Halfie.”

Eijirou groans again.  “You really need to come up with better nicknames, Katsuki.”

“Like you’re any better!” He shoots back.

“That’s why I haven’t called you any nicknames silly.  I know my limits, unlike you.”

Katsuki goes to charge, but then remembers the precious parcel he’s cradling to his chest.  “You’re lucky I’m carrying him right now, Shitty Hair!”

“You two sure are energetic,” Shouto observes.

“We have our moments,” Eijirou replies.

“We’re almost there,” Katsuki says, ignoring the obvious dig towards himself.  “Do you wanna carry him now?”

Nodding, Shouto holds out his arms.  “Please.”

They carefully transfer their mate between them and continue on their way to the village.

“Now that we have our mate, we’ll be able to expand the village and make more permanent residences!” Eijirou exclaims as the thought hits him.  “I’m sure everyone will be so excited now that we’ve found our omega!”

“Omega?”  Shouto’s brow furrows.  “But he’s a human.”

“Well, yes, but during the next full moon, he’ll turn.  Because he’s our mate.  And because we’re all alphas and we’ve found our last mate, he’ll be an omega,” Eijirou explains.

“He’ll…turn?”

Katsuki nods.  “Yeah.  Apparently, if a wolf has a human mate and they meet each other on a full moon, by next full moon, they’ll transform into a wolf as well.  And they take on the secondary gender that their mate is not.  Unless they’re a beta; then they’d also become a beta.”

“I love how you say apparently, Katsuki; you know it’s true.  Just look at your parents.”  Eijirou rolls his eyes.

“It’s not like I was around when Dad changed!” Katsuki exclaims, glaring at him.  “I wasn’t born until years later.”

“Huh, I never knew that,” Shouto muses, looking down at their mate.  “I guess Father never felt that information was important since he believed that he was superior to all species, humans included.”

“What was that, Shouto?” Eijirou asks, looking back at them.

“Nothing,” he replies, not ready to talk about his family yet.

Silence falls over them as they continue walking towards their territory.  The woods around them is quiet and still, all the smaller, prey animals hidden because of the beasts roaming the woods under the full moon.

“It’s pretty quiet tonight,” Eijirou murmurs, grabbing Katsuki’s hand and lacing their fingers together.

“It is,” Katsuki grunts, giving Eijirou’s hand a slight squeeze.  “It’s surprisingly nice.  If only we got nights like this more often.”

“Admit it, Katsuki, you love the hustle and bustle of our pack,” he chuckles, squeezing back.

“Of course, I do.  But it’s nice to have a quiet night every once in a while.”

“Maybe now that we’re all together, we’ll be able to get away every once in a while to have quiet nights like this,” Shouto muses, glancing down at the unconscious form of their mate fondly.  “I’m sure dealing with a loud, noisy pack right away will be stressful.”

“Especially with the idiots we have in our pack,” Katsuki snorts.  “I just hope he adjusts quickly.”

“Me too.”

Shouto shivers as they cross the territory border.  “I’ll never get over the weird feeling of crossing into a territory border,” he murmurs, shifting their mate closer to his chest when he notices their mate shivering as well.  “Let’s speed up a little bit.  Our mate is shivering.”

“Probably because of how thin he is,” Eijirou replies, picking up his pace.  “I know a shortcut!”

Carefully making their way through a thicker part of the forest, they take Eijirou’s shortcut and make it to their village sooner.

“Where is everyone?” Shouto asks when he can sense no one around.

“Probably out hunting,” Katsuki replies, also glancing around.  “Tonight’s a big night as most of the alphas and omegas have just matured and have their first chance of finding their mate this Blue Harvest full moon.  A few of the betas who have just recently matured have also gone out to search for their mate.  The rest are just out hunting for the feast tomorrow.  Don’t worry, as the moon begins to descend, we’ll hear their howls of victory and joy when they succeed in finding a mate or a kill.”

“Ah.”  Glancing around, he notices the number of tents.  “You have quite a large pack.”

“Hell yeah, we do!” Katsuki exclaims.  “We’re the biggest pack around here!”

“Nice.”

“There’s our tent,” Eijirou says.  “I’ll go get some water and cloths so we can clean him up.  If you two wanna get settled and scent some clothes for him to wear afterward, that should give me enough time to get the water and get back.”

“Okay, I can—we can do that,” Katsuki says emphasizing the ‘we’ in his sentence.

Shouto confirms with a nod.  “We can.”

“Okay, sounds good.  I’ll be right back!”  Eijirou quickly veers to the left, heading to the first aid tent to grab the cloths he needs.  I hope the bruises we saw are the only ones.  I’d hate to find more on him.  He looks so small and fragile.  Grabbing a bucket, he makes quick work of heading to the river and filling the bucket with water before making tracks back to the tent.

Inside the tent, Katsuki rearranges the pile of furs that made his and Eijirou’s bed so it would support their mate completely before Shouto kneels down and carefully lays the greenette on it.  “I figure he can just wear one of either mine or Eijirou’s shirts that we’ll all scent before we take the both of you to market and get some clothes for you guys.”

Shouto nods.  “That sounds like an acceptable idea.  I suppose I’ll borrow some clothes from you guys tomorrow morning?”

“Yeah.”  Katsuki rifles through a large chest before pulling out a large shirt.  “This is big even on Eijirou, so this should be huge on our mate.  Enough that he won’t feel exposed when he wakes up.”

“Good.  We should probably work on scenting it while we wait for Eijirou to come back.”

Nodding, Katsuki immediately begins rubbing the shirt along his scent glands, soaking the material in his scent.  “When you scent it, make sure you do it well.  If we don’t get to market for a few days, it’ll need to stick until we can scent his new clothes.  We can borrow a pair of pants from another omega if need be, but I want everyone to know that he’s ours and to not mess with him.  Just like we’ll scent each other’s clothes to ward off other betas and omegas who try to be flirty with us.  We don’t need to be irritating our mate before he even knows exactly what’s going on.”

Feeling immense relief, the tension in Shouto’s shoulders releases.  “Good.”

Katsuki eyes him strangely, pausing in his scenting.  “You okay?”

Nodding, he takes a deep breath.  “I-yeah.  My childhood and the concept of mates my father had was not the greatest and I was worried that it was common practice among other wolves.  I’m really happy that it’s not.”

“We’re going to need to have a conversation about that because that’s the second time you’ve tensed up and relaxed weirdly.  Obviously, you came from somewhere where you didn’t have a good childhood and we need to address it right away.  Even if it’s just you, me, and Eijirou talking at first while we’re still getting our mate settled, we need to figure out what’s going on.  Obviously, I have some shit you need to know and Eijirou has some shit you need to know.”

“Yeah, sounds like we do have some things to talk about.  I think I’d feel better if we talked before our mate is completely up to date with everything.  That way, our feelings and misunderstandings don’t confuse him.”  Shouto looks down at his hands as they twist around each other.  “Besides, it’ll be, hopefully, a little less intimidating with just you and Eijirou.”

“Okay.  We’ll have a couple of the omegas and betas watch him one day so we can go talk.”  Katsuki stops scenting the shirt and looks at it before handing it to Shouto.  “Okay, you scent it while I start brushing this rat’s nest he calls hair.”

“Okay.”  Beginning to rub the shirt over his scent glands, Shouto watches as Katsuki grabs a brush from inside the chest and carefully cradles their mate’s head.  “If you need help, just let me know.  I used to brush my sister’s all the time.”

“Okay.”  With short, gentle strokes Katsuki begins working at the knots in their mate’s hair.  “Oh, do you wanna light the lanterns?  I just realized we’re operating with night vision and it would probably help out a little bit if we had some actual light.”

“Sure.  Do you have something to light it with?”

“There are matches in the compartment right on the bottom.  Thanks.”

Standing up, Shouto carefully drapes the shirt over his shoulder and lights the lamp.  This allows light to wash over them in the tent and also allows them to get a good look at their mate and each other.

Katsuki whistles, pausing his brushing and looking up at Shouto.  “Damn, Halfie, you don’t look too terrible.”

“Neither do you, Katsuki,” Shouto answers before lowering his gaze to his mate.  Seeing the bruises and split lip his mate has, he cringes as he knows his fears have been confirmed.  “He’s covered in bruises; someone hurt him.”

Katsuki growls.  “How can you be so sure?”

Sighing, he places a hand over his scar.  “Let’s just say I have experience.  Plus, after looking at the damage to his face, don’t you think that there would be more?”

“I…guess you’re right.”

“I’m back!” Eijirou exclaims, bursting into the tent.  “Wow.”  He stops short and stares at Shouto.  “You’re really hot.”

Shouto nods.  “You’re rather good looking yourself.”

Blushing slightly, Eijirou looks down to get a good look at their mate.  “Wh-what happened to him?” He asks, slightly horrified to see just how many bruises were on the greenette’s face.

“Shouto thinks someone hurt him, which I agree.  You don’t get these kinds of bruises by running into something.  Halfie also thinks that there are more bruises further down.”

“I mean, it would make sense why he was crying out in pain back in the village,” Eijirou hums, setting the water down and placing the cloths beside the bucket.  “I see you were brushing his hair.”

Katsuki nods and looks down at the now somewhat tamed green curls.  “It needs to be washed, but it’s fine for now.  Let’s get him out of these clothes and wipe him down.  I’m sure the cool water will make him feel better.”

“And we have bandages here in case he needs to be bandaged any further,” Eijirou exclaims, diving into another chest and pulling out strips of cloth and some ointment.

Shouto chuckles.  “I guess we’re all set then.”

Very carefully, the three of them work to undress their mate.  As each inch of skin is exposed, feelings of arousal, anger, and terror fill them.  They feel arousal because they’re seeing their mate without clothing.  They feel anger because someone hurt their mate.  And they feel terror because they see how many bruises, both old and new, cuts, and scars cover their mate’s small frame. 

“What happened to him?” Eijirou whispers as they all take a moment to stare at their mate.

“I don’t know, but I’ll kill whoever did this to him!” Katsuki seethes.

Feeling phantom aches from past injuries, Shouto winces.  “I think that, right now, we need to focus on cleaning him and bandaging his wounds.  Tomorrow, when he wakes up, I think he’ll feel much better and be more willing to talk to us.  Then, we can figure out what to do.”

Taking a deep breath, Katsuki nods and takes a cloth.  “Yeah.”  Dipping it into the water and wringing it out, he carefully begins wiping down the greenette’s face.  As the dirt and dried blood comes off, Katsuki glimpses a smattering of freckles peeking out from under the bruises.  “I’ll kill those bastards!” He whispers.

Eijirou picks up a cloth and dips it into the water before wringing it, starting on his chest.  “His ribs look severely bruised or broken,” he says, wincing because he knows how painful that can be.  “We’ll see if Kaminari can mix up some herbs for pain tomorrow.”

“Yeah.”

Shouto grabs the bandages and the ointment, looking at the ingredients.  “I’ll bandage him,” he murmurs loud enough for them to hear.

“Okay.”  Eijirou and Katsuki quickly finish wiping him down and stand to their feet.  “We’ll dump the water while you start bandaging him.  Holler if you need any help.”

Shouto nods and slowly begins wrapping up a gash on their mate’s arm.  “I will.”  He pauses for a moment to watch Eijirou and Katsuki lug the bucket of water out of the tent before going back to his task.  He applies an ointment and wraps gashes all over the greenette’s arms and legs.  When he gets to the ribs, he wraps the chest tightly to give his mate the support he needs when he wakes up; Shouto also knows it will help minimize the pain.

“Done yet?” Eijirou asks as he and Katsuki pull back the tent flap and step inside.

Shouto nods as he finishes up.  “I am.  I’ve bandaged up all I can.  I also used up all your ointment.”  He holds up the empty bottle.

“It’s a simple matter to get more.”  Katsuki waves it off.  “Let’s get him dressed and then climb into bed.  The sun will be up in no time and we need to be fully rested for when he wakes up tomorrow.”

Carefully, the three of them slip the shirt over their mate’s head and situate it so he’s completely covered.  Then, they climb in around him.  Eijirou curls up on his right side while Shouto goes on his left.  Katsuki lays behind Eijirou.

“You know, he’s going to freak out when he wakes up tomorrow morning right?” Eijirou asks.

“I know,” Shouto replies.

“Don’t go getting angry and freaking him out even more.”

“Why does it feel like you’re talking me, Shitty Hair?!”

“Because out of all of us, you’re the one who’s the most volatile.  If you scare him, I’m going to tie you up and sit on your while Shouto holds onto our mate.”

Katsuki pouts and curls up even tighter into Eijirou.  “I’ll try not to scare him.

“I guess that’s all we can ask for,” Shouto says with a sigh.

Katsuki goes to retaliate when Eijirou shushes the both of them and tells them to both settle down.  Before they fall asleep, however, the howls of their packmates fill the air.  They’re happy howls, filled with triumph as they celebrate the finding of a mate or of a kill they’ve successfully completed. 

Katsuki, Eijirou, and Shouto soon fall asleep, snuggled up close to each other and their new mate.

**********

We’ll never let you go!

Chapter Text

As Izuku begins to wake up, he’s aware of three things.  The first thing he’s aware of is how warm he is.  Normally, he wakes up chilly because of the morning air and his usual sleeping place.  But now he feels warmed completely, from the inside out.  And the heat seems to be radiating from around him.  The second thing he’s aware of his how comfortable he is.  With sleeping outside comes the uncomfortable hardness of the ground.  Especially with only newspapers to make his bed.  But as he lays in the warmth, he finds himself laying on a soft, cushiony like material that’s also somewhat fuzzy.  And the third thing he notices is the soft rumble going on around him.  It’s a comforting sound and feeling as it feels like a giant purr.  It’s relaxing and he melts against the warm, softness of whatever’s he’s sleeping on.

As he becomes more aware, however, he notices that he’s pressed up against something firm and smooth.  There’s something thick and heavy around his waist and there’s another something thick and heavy tangled with his legs.  Yawning, Izuku’s eyes flutter open and he barely holds back a scream when he realizes that’s face to face with a man with a scar on his face and his hair split into equal parts of white and red.

What the heck?  Where am I?  Who is that?  Looking down, Izuku sees that there’s a thick, muscled arm wrapped around his waist and a leg pushed between his own.  Daring to look behind him, he sees that another man lays there; this one has bright red hair.  He also sees blond spikes poking up from the behind the red-haired one.  Did I get kidnapped?  But why?  Where did they take me?  What did they take me for?  What do they want from me?  He slowly sits up, displacing the arm around his waist and the leg in between his own.  Why am I in the middle of a bunch of naked men?!  Panic begins to rise in him as he realizes that these men took him and undressed him.  They took everything off!  Did they touch me?  No, I don’t feel sore down there.  He cautiously reaches down and feels between his legs.  There’s nothing there.  Feeling relieved that he wasn’t taken advantage of, he slowly rises to his feet.

Looking around him, he notices that he’s in a tent.  It’s oddly familiar here.  And it’s very lush.  Stepping over the men, he heads towards the tent flap with the intention to leave.  Before he gets there, however, he turns around and dares to peek at the men.  His face turns crimson when he sees that they’re all naked.  Why are they all naked?  Did I get kidnapped by nudists?  Holding back a squeak, Izuku turns around and continues on his way to escape.  As he walks, his foot knocks against a chest and he freezes.  Turning back to the men, he waits with bated breath.  The one with blond hair stirs and shifts as Izuku’s heart races.  Please don’t wake up!  Please don’t wake up!  The blond settles, light snores exiting his mouth.  Izuku breathes a sigh of relief and turns around, taking care to watch out for anything that might make noise if he were to hit it.

He reaches the tent flap, but before he can make it out, a blond blur burst in and knocks into him, sending them both sprawling to the ground.

“Oof!  Sorry!”

Izuku begins to shake as tears come to his eyes when he realizes that he’s now completely surrounded and that the sleeping men could possibly wake up at any moment now.  I just wanna go home!

“Hey, don’t cry!  Are you hurt?  Did I hurt you?”  This blond seems to have an aura around him that sends calming vibes towards him.

He stiffens as the blond pulls him into a hug.  What is he doing?

“I know you’re probably really freaking out right now, but I promise you’re going to be okay.  They won’t hurt you and I won’t hurt you either,” he whispers.  “My name is Denki.”

“P-please let me go home!  I-I just want to go ho-home!” Izuku whimpers, fighting slightly in the blond’s arms.

The blond begins to run his fingers through Izuku’s messy green hair.  “When they wake up, they’ll explain everything.  But I can assure you that they won’t hurt you.”

Izuku’s lulled into a state of oblivion slumped against the blond with his eyes drifting closed.  This is nice; better than what I felt back in the village.  Do I even want to go back?

“Oh, Kaminari,” a soft voice, thick with sleep, says.  “I’m assuming he tried to leave and you caught him before calming him down?”

“Yeah.  He’s really freaked out right now.  It’s lucky that I’m an omega because even though he’s human right now, he can sense that I’m a nurturing sort of person.”  Omega?  What’s an omega?  And what does he mean that I’m human?  Aren’t we all?  “He’ll be freaked out around you alphas because, even though he’s human for now, he can sense pheromones because he’s your mate.”  Again, aren’t we all human?  And…mate?  As in friend?  “You all need to watch your pheromones because he’ll be extremely sensitive to them.”  The blond talks in a quiet voice so as not to alarm Izuku.

Pheromones?

“Why does it smell like a tentful of omegas worked out in here?” A rough voice grumbles, stirring Izuku from his daze slightly.

“Katsuki, keep it down.  Kaminari was just calming our mate.”

There they go with mate talk again.  What is a mate?

“Oh.  I guess he’ll be super sensitive to pheromones because he’s our mate, huh?  I’ll try and keep my pheromones in check.”

“Good for you, Katsuki.  That’s very mature,” a dull voice chimes in.

“Shouto, don’t tease him,” the soft voice says, laughing lightly.

“Sorry, Eijirou.  I’ll try harder not to,” the dull voice, now known as Shouto, says.

Shouto…that’s an interesting name.

“Lies!  All lies!” The rough voice, also known as Katsuki, hisses.

Izuku whimpers and buries his face in the blond’s chest, startled by Katsuki’s outburst.  Why are they so scary?  I know he said that I don’t have to be scared and that they won’t hurt me, but the blond one scares me!

“Katsuki, you’re scaring him,” the one called Eijirou says.  “Hey, my name is Eijirou Kirishima.  What’s your name?”

Eijirou’s soft voice encourages Izuku to peek over with one eye while leaving the rest of his face is still buried in the blond’s chest.  “I-Izuku,” he stutters quietly.

“It’s nice to meet you, Izuku.”  Eijirou smiles at him, exposing his sharp teeth and making Izuku whimper quietly.  “Would you mind letting go of Kaminari?  I promise we won’t hurt you!”  He holds out his arms like he wants Izuku to climb in them.

“Hey.”  Denki catches his attention by tilting his chin up so their eyes meet.  “I’ll stay in the tent to make you feel comfortable, is that okay?”

He’ll stay…and make sure the others won’t hurt me…  “Okay,” Izuku whispers as he pulls away from Denki.

The three men, Katsuki, Eijirou, and Shouto all move into sitting positions on the bed, leaving room for Izuku.  “You’re probably really confused right now, but I promise to explain everything to you.  Last night was the Blue Harvest Moon and it’s the only time of the year where we can go and search for our mate.  Sorry if we scared you when we were hunting.  Our methods aren’t the greatest when it comes to searching and actually getting to what we find.”  Eijirou pauses to catch his breath and Izuku takes this moment to ask a question.

“W-wait…mate?  You were talking about that earlier.  What does that have to do with me?” He asks.

“Oh right.  Let me do introductions really fast and then I’ll answer your question.  You already know my name, so I’ll start with the guy with red and white hair.  That’s Shouto Todoroki.  The guy with the spiky blond hair is Katsuki Bakugo.  We’re your mates.”

That still doesn’t answer my question.  What do your names have to do with this?  “N-nice to meet you.”

“We’re werewolves.”

Izuku’s jaw drops.  “Wh-what?”  I must’ve been hearing things.  He couldn’t have just said that!

“Seriously, Shouto?  You can’t just drop something like that!” Katsuki exclaims before turning to Izuku.  “He said that we’re werewolves.  It doesn’t matter if you believe us or not.  And because we’re werewolves, we have mates.”  He pouts and crosses his arms over his chest.

Is he…pouting?  Not gonna lie, it’s kinda cute.

“Saying it like that is the easiest way to say it.  I’m not sugarcoating it for him, he needs to know it full on and straight out like this because he’s our mate,” Shouto replies.  “The three of us share a mate, which is why we went hunting together.”

All three of them were hunting together because they have the same mate…and they found me.  Or, I guess they hunted me.  Wait!  That means…  “Me?!  I’m your mate?”

Eijirou smiles.  “Yes.  You’re our mate.”

“Oh my gods!  Are you serious right now?” Izuku asks, starting to panic.

“Calm down,” Shouto says.  “There’s no need to panic.”

He freezes, staring right at the alpha male.  Did he seriously just tell me to calm down?

Denki winces from his position beside Izuku.  “Man, he doesn’t excrete pheromones, but man can I sense his hostility to that statement.”

“What?” Shouto asks, looking at them innocently.  “There truly is no need to panic.”

“Dude, there’s every reason to panic!  Three strangers hunted you down, made you pass out from fright, took you from your home, told you that werewolves exist and that you’re mated to three of them!” Eijirou exclaims, throwing his hands up in exasperation.

“Oh.”

Is he serious right now?  Of course I’m freaking out about this!  “Uhm, I guess I have some questions, then…”

“Go ahead and ask,” Katsuki replies.  “But come sit over here, please.  I’m getting antsy with you so far away.”  He pats the empty space on the bed in front of him.

Izuku hesitates.  Well…I guess I really have no choice if I want to know what’s going on.  Plus, it seems like they won’t hurt me; if I’m remembering properly from my research, the term mate is short for soulmate and soulmates are sacred.  Any species would rather cut off their arm than harm their mate.  “Okay.”  Slowly, he moves so he’s sitting on the bed closer to the three of them.  “So, I guess my first question is: how do you know that I’m even your mate?”

The three of them look at each other.  “Hmm, well I guess it’s really more of a feeling.  I’m not quite sure how to describe it other than that,” Eijirou replies.

“Ah.”  Tapping his lip, Izuku comes up with another question.  “How does this all work?  Do I have separate relationships with each of you, or is this a group thing?”

They all blink at him, stunned.  “You’re surprisingly…calm about this,” Eijirou says cautiously.

He shrugs.  “I have self-preservation.  I’d freak out more if I wasn’t surrounded by people who could probably snap me in half,” he replies.  Trust me, I’m freaking out plenty right now.  I just need to lure them into a false sense of security in order to make a break for it.  “Trust me, it’ll hit sooner or later.”

“Ah.”

“To answer your question, this is a group thing.  We are all mated to each other,” Shouto explains.  “It’s non-negotiable.”

Izuku blinks.  “I didn’t think it was going to be.”

“Oh.”

Kaminari facepalms.  “You guys…”

“Are they always like this?” Izuku asks him.

“Not usually.  It seems that being around their mate has made them stupid.  Let’s see what I can explain to you so you understand.”  He pauses to think, giving Izuku time to catch up to his thoughts.

Where would I go?  I really don’t want to go back to Shizuoka.

“Those three are alphas.  They’re also the leaders of the pack.”

“Alphas?  I think I’ve heard of those before.”

Denki’s eyebrows rise.  “Oh?”

“How?” Katsuki demands, leaning closer and reaching a hand towards Izuku.

In two seconds, Izuku is up and standing right before the tent flap.  He’s breathing hard and shaking.  He’s not…he’s not going to hurt me.  He was just reaching towards me to put his hand on my shoulder.

“Izuku, are you…okay?” Shouto asks, his face twisting in concern.

They’re not…going to hurt me.  They promised.  Flashes of Mizuki and his gang go through his mind and all rational thought flies out the window.

“O-oi, Izuku?” Katsuki asks, moving to his feet.

Izuku bolts.  Tearing out of the tent he aims to make his way into the trees.  People let out shouts of surprise when he runs by them.  He can hear Denki, Katsuki, Shouto, and Eijirou calling after him frantically.

“Someone catch him!” Katsuki bellows.

Barely managing to dodge an arm reaching out to grab him, he leaps over a pile of boxes and firewood.  The person crashes into them with a yelp.  Izuku takes a sharp corner, almost careening into somebody before quickly sidestepping and taking off again.

“Holy shit!”

“Get him!”

Knowing he won’t get a minute to take a breather, Izuku heads to a part of the tents where there aren’t a lot of people around.  He ducks into one of the tents and peers out to see if anyone is coming.  A muffled gasp has him tensing and turning around.  His eyes go wide with what he sees.  “Hanta?” He asks in a hushed whisper when he sees a lavender haired man asleep next to his friend who is tied up on a plush looking bed.  Taking careful steps over to his friend, he makes quick work of the ropes and gag.  “What are you doing here?”

“Hell if I know?” Sero replies, pulling Izuku to his feet and away from the sleeping man.  “Fumikage and I were out looking for you last night when we were grabbed.  I wake up and find myself tied up with some blond guy telling me he would be right back.  This dude’s been sleeping next to me the whole time!  Not to mention that my clothes were stripped off me and I’m wearing someone else’s clothes!  What are you doing here?”

“I was shut out during the full moon and three guys hunted me down.  I must’ve passed out last night and when I woke up, I was dressed in a huge shirt, wiped down, bandaged.  Everything was going okay, but I guess I panicked when one of the guys went touch me and took off.  My flight instinct kicked in, I guess.  Now I’m just trying to get out.”

“If we manage to get Fumikage and get home, I know you’ll be able to stay with one of us.  Our families would be forever grateful, not that that’s the only reason I want you to get us out of here, and you would be guaranteed a home!” Hanta hisses.

They both freeze when the lavender haired man stirs.  “Let's get out of here!”  Izuku peeks out of the tent and sees that no one is around.  “Okay, follow me closely!  If I tell you to run, then get the hell away.  I’ll be fine.”

Nodding, they begin to make their way through the tents.  Sero suddenly stops Izuku.  “That’s the guy who took Fumikage!” He exclaims quietly, pointing to a huge man who steps out of a tent and heads towards where Izuku came from.

Once he’s safely away, the two of them creep into the tent and find Fumikage in a similar state as Hanta, only there’s no one sleeping next to him.  His eyes go wide and he wriggles around.  Sero and Izuku make quick work of untying him and explaining their plan.

They creep towards the woods, keeping an eye out for anyone who might try to grab them.  However, just as they make it to the last line of tents, multiple loud growls and howls fill the air.

“Shit!  This is bad!” Izuku exclaims, glancing behind them.

“What do you mean?  Did they let their dogs out or something?” Fumikage asks, looking nervous.  “I don’t like dogs.”

Sero wraps an arm around his shoulders.  “Don’t worry, Fumi; I’ll protect you.”

“That’s not it.”  His voice has dropped to a whisper as his green eyes scan their surroundings.  “You probably won’t believe me, but they’re werewolves.  All of them.  And they can probably smell us right now.  I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before!  We need to get in the trees!”

They bolt for the tree line, desperate to escape.

“Werewolves?  You’ve got to be kidding me!” Hanta exclaims.

“Think about it, Hanta!  The people who grabbed us last night had ears and tails!  What else would it be?  I’ve heard tales of stranger things,” Fumikage responds. 

“Izuku!”  A loud shout has the three of them stumble in surprise.  “Come back!”

“Shit, this way!” Sero exclaims, grabbing Izuku and Fumikage’s arms and pulling them into a small circle of trees that gives them sufficient backing so they won’t get grabbed from behind.  “Stay back, Izuku!”

“W-wait!  Guys!”  Izuku tries to push between his friends, but they block him.

“No, Izuku!  Stay back!” Fumikage replies.

“Izuku, come here,” Shouto says, beckoning for Izuku to come closer.

“Izuku isn’t going anywhere with you!” Sero exclaims, glaring at the dual-haired male.

“Hanta, please!  I’ll be okay!”  Izuku begins begging and pulling at his best friend.  “I don’t want you to get hurt!”

“Back away from Izuku!” Katsuki bites out, barely holding back a growl.

“Hey!  That’s my mate you’re growling at!” Denki exclaims, glaring at the blond alpha.

“Your mate is keeping me from mine!” Katsuki spits back.  “When were you going to tell me about him?  Not to mention the other one?”

“That’s what I was going to do this morning.  However, I was a little preoccupied calming down your mate since the three of you were all still asleep!  Who knows where he would’ve ended up had I not caught him?”

Katsuki growls at Denki, glaring at him.  “We would’ve woken up!  You did nothing!”

“Hey!  That’s my mate you’re growling at!”  The lavender haired man growls, putting himself in between Denki and Katsuki.

“Not to mention that you’re growling at my mate as well,” a deep voice speaks up, startling Izuku, Fumikage, and Sero.

“That’s the one who caught me and had me tied up in his tent,” Fumikage whispers to Izuku.  “The little blond one and the lavender haired one are the ones that took Hanta.”

“Your mate hasn’t said anything yet, Shouji, but as soon as he does, I will growl at him!” Katsuki exclaims.

“Katsuki, nothing is going to be solved by growling at everyone,” Eijirou says, trying to calm his mate down.  “Let me try.”  Katsuki grunts and relents.  Eijirou steps forward and smiles at Sero, Fumikage, and Izuku.  “Hey, we’re not going to hurt you or Izuku.  Can you please let him out?” He asks cheerfully.

“You assholes sent him into a panic attack so bad that he ran from you!  I think not!” Fumikage snaps, glaring at the redhead.

Looking taken aback, Eijirou’s cheerful smile drops from his face and a small growl slips from his mouth.  “Look, we didn’t do anything to hurt him!” He exclaims, feeling his instincts begin to take over to rip apart the ones keeping him from his mate.

Suddenly, Shouji’s right in front of Eijirou.  “That’s my mate, you’re growling at, Kirishima!” He rumbles, clearly upset.

“Yeah?  Then you should get your mate and get them out of our way!” Eijirou responds, his eye beginning to twitch.

“You okay, Izuku?” Sero whispers when the others are all arguing amongst themselves.

Gripping the back of Hanta’s shirt, Izuku shakes his head.  “I’m scared,” he whispers back.  “They promised they wouldn’t hurt me, but all I can see in my mind is Mizuki and his gang.”

Fumikage turns around and pulls Izuku into a hug.  “I’m so sorry we weren’t able to protect you, Izuku.”

Sero joins the hug.  “So sorry.”

“Get your filthy paws off my mate!” Shouto explodes, surging forward towards the trio of friends.

Izuku’s own instincts kick in and he somehow pulls Sero and Fumikage behind him while swinging his fist forward and connecting with something.  “Stay back!” He yells as the clearing goes silent.  Opening his eyes that he didn’t even remember closing, Izuku finds that his fist connected with Shouto’s face.  “Stay back,” he says again, this time quieter, withdrawing his hand and backing him and his friends to the trees.

“You tell them, Izuku,” Sero cheers in a whisper.

Izuku looks back and glares at his friends.  “You two were part of the problem.  I thank you for trying to protect me, but did you learn nothing when I rambled on about werewolves?”

Their cheeks turn pink as realization washes over them.  “Oh.”

Turning back to the werewolves, Izuku finds Katsuki, Eijirou, and Shouto staring at him with hurt expressions.  Taking a deep breath, he steps forward.  “Stay here, guys,” he whispers.  “Look, I’m sorry I hit you.  My instincts kinda kicked in and I swung without realizing.”  He runs a hand through his unruly curls and takes another deep breath.  “I don’t appreciate you growling at my friends, or yours, either.”

“We wouldn’t have if you hadn’t run away!” Katsuki snaps, still feeling hurt.

Chuckling bitterly, Izuku nods.  “I know, and I’m sorry about that.  I didn’t exactly have the best life and it got even worse within the last few weeks.  I’m a bit flighty and startle easily.  I guess you startled me earlier, which is why I bolted.  I’m sorry.”

Their expressions soften and their stances ease a little.  “We’re sorry we scared you, Izuku,” Eijirou says before turning to Hanta and Fumikage.  “And we’re sorry that we growled at you.  We mean no harm to Izuku at all.”

“Yeah, you’re mates.  We get it now,” Sero says, running a hand down his face.  “What I wouldn’t give to go back and listen to all those nonsense ramblings Izuku made about the supernatural.”

“Me too,” Fumikage responds.

“Look, can we just sit somewhere and talk this all out?  I want to know how you know about alphas,” Katsuki huffs, feeling impatient that he can’t touch his mate.  “I also want to know why you’re so skittish.”

Izuku becomes nervous as the prospect of being alone with the males again.  “Uh…”  He glances over at Kaminari, hoping to get some support from him.  However, Denki isn’t even looking at Izuku; he’s staring at Sero.

“I think that’s a good idea,” Shouji pipes up.  “Let’s head to the meeting tent so there’s enough room for us all to sit.”

“I think that’s a good idea,” Denki finally says, ripping his eyes away from Sero.

“Okay,” Izuku says hesitantly, nodding at the others.

They begin making their way towards the center of the village where the big meeting tent is located.  The three friends stick close, unaware of the big changes that are going to be taking place in their lives.