Llyr was babysitting his sister again.
In the world they lived, people who had completed their stories could change their appearance all they wanted. Following this rule, the Little Mermaid, also known as mom by Llyr, had changed uncountable times.
In one of those times, she changed to blonde. The blue eyes were still there, though. Every baby she had during that period was born blonde, because it seemed their father genetics worked rarely. Llyr wondered why, but asking wasn't an option. Ariel also changed names regularly.
For that motive, Sophie Mermaid was a blonde, blue eyed five years old girl. And the redhead boy loved her.
He didn't care much about his siblings, but Sophie had a soft spot on his heart. The only problem was… He couldn't say no to her.
That's why they were on the city, the girl dragging him between people, in and out of stores, never stopping for more than two seconds. Llyr’s back was starting to hurt for being pulled down that much.
“Sophie, wait!” he exclaimed, trying to call her attention. It worked. “Do you want a doll?”
“No, I don't.” was the immediate response.
“What about a new dress?”
“I do not like dresses, they are boring and you can not run with them.” she pointed to her dress with a frown.
“So… What about some candy?”
“That seems spectacular! Like a blue shining fish swimming in the deep ocean!”
Llyr didn't really wanna know why this expression. Before he could say something, though, she was dragging him again, this time to the candy store across the block, but faster than before.
They were going so quick that it was bound to happen: Llyr run into someone, and the force of the impact made the redhead fall into his back, consequently dragging his sister down too. Llyr’s head was filled with static, and he was able to only hear some sounds.
“I am so sorry, sir. I was not looking where I was going. If I may ask, are you the Big Bad Wolf?” that was followed by a low chuckle that Llyr couldn't really register while getting up.
“No, miss. I’m just the Bad Wolf.”
“Oh, what a bummer… But you do not seems bad… You are not, are you?” the redhead held his head between his hands, the static slowly disappearing.
“No, Bad is just my name.” at that, Llyr’s eyes snapped open and he looked at who the other person was.
“Wait, your name is Bad? So you are my brother’s friend? That is great! He talks a lot about you! Usually under his breath, and he say a lot of words I do not comprehend, but it is nice to finally meet you!”
“He talks a lot about me, huh?” the wolf said with a smirk.
“Sophie” Llyr said, pulling his sister near him. “Let's get going.”
“No, I’m talking with your friend.” she pouted. The blonde got out of his grasp in seconds. “So, mister Bad Wolf-”
“Please, just call me Bad.” he said.
“So, mister Bad,” she continued like she wasn't interrupted, “if I may ask, what are you doing on this beautiful day straight out of a painting?”
“Straight out of a…” Bad murmured, amazed. “To be honest, little miss, I was just walking around, since both my father and my brother aren't home and my friends are away.”
“So you are alone?!” she sounded incredulous. “No, that cannot be. What you think about going with us to the dinner later?”
“Sophie!” Llyr exclaimed.
“Dinner? I'm sure I'm not invited, sweetie.”
“Nonsense” said the girl. “You are going with us, and do not try to go home. “
And she grabbed the wolf’s hand and dragged him to the candy store they were just standing in front of. At least Llyr’s back would be okay, but having Bad with them… He guessed he would have to trust his sister.
“What about the yellow one?”
“They taste like pineapples. I like them.” the wolf lowered the girl to the ground. “But have you ever tasted the pink ones? They taste like cotton candy.”
“Cotton candy?!” and there she went.
Bad held a constant soft smile, and while Llyr was still aware of him, he couldn't help but think he never saw Bad that happy before. He seemed to like Sophie, so while she was safe, Llyr was good.
The yellow-eyed boy turned to the redhead. Llyr froze for a second. The only time he saw those yellow eyes, things didn't end well for both of them.
“Your sister is cooler than you.”
“Shut up.” Llyr answered immediately. He saw Bad smiling again, this time a bigger smile.
“Can I adopt her as my sister? You can have my brother instead.”
“If he's anything like you, I say no, thank you.”
He didn't expect the wolf to start laughing.
“No, he's way worse.” he said finally. Then, he turned to the redhead and offered him some kind of candy he picked from a stand. Llyr took it with care, expecting some kind of trick. Soon, Sophie appeared in front of Bad and extended her arms. He picked her up and she pointed to the cashier, the candy package in her hand swinging with her movements. “Did you get everything you wanted? Good, let's go, Princess.”
Bad paid for the candies. It was really expensive, but Llyr wasn't caring. Sophie seemed to change her mind as she pulled her new friend into the toy store, her eyes shining when she found a wolf plushie. Llyr took the opportunity to check the candy the other gave to him. It was a caramel one. His favourite kind. The bastard knew what he liked.
Bad was really good with kids. Llyr watched as the wolf received a splash of water on his face.
The thing about going out with two merkids is that you'll always end in the water. And so the guy got pushed into a lake. He was fast though, and pulled Sophie with him. Now the siren girl was swimming around him, talking about how awesome her orange tail was.
Llyr put his legs in the water too, his blueish-yellowish tail forming and allowing him to sink in the lake. He saw some fish passing by, and one of them bit Bad’s toes. He could hear the wolf complaining. He swimmed to the bottom and sat down on a rock. He started singing lightly while he searched for abandoned shells. But suddenly, a hand covered his mouth and dragged him up.
“What the f-” the hand covering his mouth tightened. Llyr was able to identify the claws digging in his skin quite easily.
“Shhh. Hunters.” Bad whispered.
Sophie had only her eyes over water, scared. And Llyr felt as he was a little kid all over again. The crippling fear inside his head and his heart. He had already dealt with hunters, and things turned to the worse. It wasn't the first time he saw one of his siblings being captured, but it was still horrible.
They got out of the water as silently as they could. Bad was carrying Sophie, the blonde hiding her face in the crook of his neck. Now on firm land, Llyr was petrified in place.
You're gonna die.
You'll be sold as a piece of decoration.
You'll never see your family again.
They'll hurt Sophie.
It's all your fault.
All your fault.
The words on his head hurting more than a knife. He couldn't shake them out,no matter how much he tried. All your fault.
He felt a hand insistently pushing him on the back. He turned his head to see Bad staring at him worriedly. At that, he gulped. The wolf shouldn't worry for him. He shouldn't be scared. Llyr took a deep breath and nodded slightly. The taller started walking ahead of him.
He was watching every side. His wolf ears twitching - and Llyr wondered when they appeared, since he hadn't seen it. They were going as fast as they could without making much sound. Bad gave Sophie to Llyr, and again walked ahead of them. Llyr understood why when suddenly he jumped out of the way, barely escaping from a trap. A wolf trap, Llyr noticed as Bad growled to the cage on the floor.
The next thing Llyr knew, hunters were coming out of the trees and surrounding them. They were a group of ten: five had guns, two nets and three had their hands bare and ready to fight. They were probably just some part of the group of hunters in the area, and that only made the redhead feels worse. He was again frozen in the spot.
“When I say it, you gotta run” his voice was low and HOLY SHIT he had fangs and his eyes were yellow but for the first time since forever it wasn't directed to him.
He knew what was coming, but he couldn't move, even when Sophie started to lightly slap his face over and over again. Bad sent one look to their direction when one of the men took a step forward.
“You're now property of the Captain Hook Society, you will come with us,” and he pointed his gun towards them “dead or alive.”
“Run” it was a little more than a growl, but it was still recognizable.
Llyr stayed still. He wasn't able to move. He wasn't able to move! He saw as Bad entered battle mode, hands and feet turning into paws, his nose and mouth turning into a muzzle, more fangs appearing, claws sliding in the dirt, brown fur appearing and his tail swinging close to the floor. Soon, a wild wolf was in front of him and his sister, clearly angry, growling at the hunters.
The man that spoke earlier fired, but Bad easily dodged it. He turned and a little forcefully pushed Llyr back. He growled at him, a warning. He returned to the battle, biting one of the men who were holding nests. And who had the two merkids in sight.
Thinking about his sister’s safety, Llyr turned and ran as fast as he could.
They found a cave after a long run. It wasn't too profound and seemed to be abandoned for some time. Llyr sat Sophie on a rock. The girl was evidently tired, but refused to fall asleep. She kept looking to the entrance of the cave. Llyr knew she was waiting for Bad.
He sat on the back, against the cave wall. He was still so scared. He didn't knew how he was able to run, carrying his sister even! In his mind, they were going to find and kill them. And no one would miss them.
Suddenly there was a sound at the entrance. Llyr sat upright, looking to that direction. The sound brought something to his mind but he couldn't grasp what. He stood and picked Sophie again. No one was going to take her.
But when a bloody wild wolf entered the cave, he relaxed. The yellow eyes and the slightly irritated buff , the way the ears twitched nervously and the way it looked at Sophie gave him away immediately.
Llyr let Sophie run to Bad, jumping over the wolf, what made him fall down, and automatically transformed him into a giant pillow, as she fell asleep over him. The wolf just left an amused buff.
The merboy noticed Bad had a cut on one of his legs, but he seemed fine beyond that. A major part of the blood clearly wasn't his, as it marked his muzzle and, when the wolf did something akin to a smile, his teeth. Llyr felt strangely relieved. They were all safe. All safe.
And there was the opportunity for the tears to start falling. He curled into himself and let them fall. He wasn't properly crying: the tears were out but he wasn't even sobbing. The thing about being a merchild was that water answered to their emotions. Llyr kept his head down, but he could hear a soft tune in the air. He could also see a clawed hand tapping the floor in the rhythm of the music. Bad was back to normal, and singing. And Llyr soon fell asleep.
Sophie woke Llyr up by opening one of his eyes and blowing it. Of course he screamed, and Bad found it quite funny. He was tired still. The fight was complicated and it took a lot of himself to get rid of the hunters. The only thing he did with little effort was finding the siblings. After years studying with Llyr, it was easy to recognize his smell.
He didn't sleep, because he needed to keep an eye on them. One part of him wanted to just go away and be done with it all, but the other side, the one that apparently controlled his actions, couldn't do it, and it wasn't only because of the blonde girl.
He wondered back to the moment the hunters appeared. Llyr seemed so lost, so scared, so hopeless… Bad had a heart, after all. He couldn't just leave the other boy like that.
They decided to go back, since it was almost night and they had a party to go, which the mermaid called a dinner. Sophie insisted on bringing the wolf. He knew it wasn't a good idea, but neither he nor Llyr could say no to the little princess.
On the way back, Llyr wanted to know what happened with the hunters. Bad chose to not talk about it. He still felt the pain of the knife on his leg and the feeling of flesh tearing. And, because of the strange taste and texture on his mouth, probably there was still blood on his teeth. He knew it was better to don't tell them what happened. They didn't need to know. It would only scare them even more. He breathed out. He was born as a villain, after all.
They walked slowly now. Partially because of Bad’s leg, partially because Llyr still felt tired. Emotionally exhausted, Bad guessed. Sophie walked between them. She was happy and apparently recharged, as she ran as fast as she could a little ahead of them before coming back. Bad always liked kids, and kids liked him. Sometimes he wondered if that wasn't related to his family's powers, since some wolves ate children. He really didn't want to think about that part of his family.
He glanced over at Llyr. The merboy seemed a mess. Bad guessed he was going to pass out on that party, or maybe, if he had a little sense of self-care, he would go home earlier. He also guessed the former was out of question.
He would have to stay with them, wouldn't he?
Bad wasn't fazed. On the castle were the party was being held, so many people were looking at him while Sophie dragged him around and pointed everywhere. Llyr had already disappeared between the crowd, putting his “popular child” mode on. He was okay being with Sophie, but he didn't like the things he was hearing.
“Could you believe it?”
“Is she crazy?”
“Abnormal! Unnatural! Yes, it is absurd!”
Oh, right. For some time, Bad was able to forget the huge gap that separated people like him from people like Llyr. He stopped those people by showing his teeth to them. Very sharp teeth. He didn't need people to destroy Sophie’s mood.
She was showing him a flower she found when Bad saw Llyr not too far away from them. The boy was worse, and the wolf was barely able to catch him when he stumbled on air and almost fell. He got some satisfaction, though, from startling people when he ran. Llyr just blinked to him, like he couldn't tell who he was. He seemed drunk, even if Bad knew he didn't drink. He still followed laws.
“Llyr” he made the guy stand upright. “We should go now.”
“No, I'm partying.” he pouted. Bad couldn't help but smirk at this. The similarities between the siblings were just too much.
“No, Llyr. You need to sleep.”
“Llyr.” he was a little harsh this time.
“Alright, alright. Where's my sister?” he was stumbling on his feet.
With a sigh and a shake of his head (mostly because everyone was looking at Llyr strange for talking with him), he turned to go get Sophie. Only to stop on place with a small grow.
A group of guys a little older than the blonde was surrounding her, one of them holding her up by her shirt. She was crying, but he wasn't going to stop on his mockings.
“You must be a very lonely child! I bet no one wants to be your friend, that's why you're with a Farkas!”
“He is a good guy!” she screamed back, squirming on his grasp. “The opposite of you!”
He only laughed maliciously. Well, he was laughing, when suddenly a very cold feeling surrounded him. It was his time to scream and let go of the girl. He turned, only to found the wolf he was talking about hovering over him. He sure was tall.
“Leave. Her. Alone.” he said, slowly and menacingly, his fangs bare.
The boys screamed almost in unison, and ran to different directions. The only one left was the boy that was bullying Sophie. Bad let the empty punch bowl drop on his head. The glass thing was heavy, and the boy, now crying, ran too. He wanted to hunt the boys, but he knew it wasn't the best idea. They would only hate him more. And hate Sophie, too.
The girl was on the floor, sobbing. It was breaking Bad’s heart. He picked her up and held her close to himself. Then, he pulled Llyr out of the castle by his wrist. He needed to take them both home safely.
Bad put Sophie down. She was a little better, apparently. He wished he could've done more to her. But she was going to do fine.
Llyr was almost asleep by the time they arrived on his castle. He was kinda glad Bad came with them, because sometimes he just closed his eyes and let the wolf guide him back. He also couldn't believe he was trusting him.
Sophie walked through the gates and disappeared inside a lake. The thing was probably deep, knowing how merchild were.
The boys exchanged a look.
“Thank you.” Llyr said. “For everything.”
“It's alright.” Bad sighed “Just keep an eye on her from now on. They'll talk shit about her everywhere.”
Llyr didn't knew if he was more surprised by the fact that Bad was worried about his sister or because he said a swear word. Today was really an amusing day.
“I will. But I bet they'll talk about the real shit of the story too.” he pointed at the wolf.
Bad burst out laughing. This time the redhead didn't startle. He was only wondering how he was still able to maintain a conversation. The wolf fixed yellow eyes on the direction the girl disappeared.
“Hey, if you ever need someone to take care of her, count on me. I know you have my number, just call and I'll happily do it.” he paused for a second before giving a smirk to the sleepy boy. “And who knows, maybe I can get some... interesting stories about a certain someone out of her.”
Llyr gave him a small smile. A strange thought passed through his head for a moment, but he couldn't grasp it, so now it was nagging him at the back of his barely conscious mind. He just shrugged.
“You can try, but my sister is a complex girl. I'll think about it. Goodbye, Bad.”
He closed the gate. Bad was left there for a second wondering if the use of his nickname was an error caused by tiredness or a conscious act.
Now that wasn't going to let him sleep at night.