A/N: sorry this tok so long. It been in the making for a while, and I hve been really busy. I was goingot abandon this story, but someone here told me to keep going, so I am. If you like, please review, otherwise I will stop workingo n this story. again, the lines mean a break in the story. These are seperate stories all together. the title is supposed to say Night of the Moon. will make sense if you read it.

Noche de Luna

The leading wolf paused, looking behind him at his pack. He shook himself, ridding himself of the rain, and he continued to watch as his pack walked past him, leaving the two trailing even further behind.

" Tori, Cloud, can you keep up?" the wolf called. Tori continued walking forward, but Cloud paused, looking down at the gray wolf. Her wings were drooping so low that they appeared to drag on the ground, her ears hanging forward and her tail drooping as well.

"We'll be fine." Cloud called to the wolf, and he waited for the wolf to leave to talk to her. He continued to find footing in the slushy snow, the rain just melting and refreezing into ice on the white surface.

"Tori, if you change into your human form, I can carry you…" Cloud muttered to himself, but he knew that she could hear him. She jerked her head in what he guessed was a nod, and she was suddenly swaying on her two feet, the rain soaking through her dress. Cloud caught her as she fainted, holing her gently and cautiously. Even in human form, the changes were apparent. She had wolf ears on her head as well as a pair of wings and a tail even in her human form.

"Tori, what have we become?" Cloud muttered to himself, a single tear falling on her as he wrapped her in a cloak, trying to keep her dry and warm. She breathed out loudly, almost sighing, and she said a single word.

"Monsters." She said, and she shifted weakly in his grip. Cloud cradled her closer to his chest, walking quickly to catch up to the pack that waited for them.

"We're here." The leader said. He ran down the small hill, into the clearing, romping with his pack, getting all of their unused energy out. Cloud watched them, holding Tori still. He walked slowly down the hill, aware of the dangerous footing. The leader wheeled towards him, leaving the pack to continue playing.

"You two can have the den. We will go hunt. Do you eat?" the leader said. Cloud smiled, getting what he implied.

"Yes, we eat. Go, good hunting to you and your pack." He said, and the wolf wagged his tail, calling the pack to go. Cloud walked over to the den, brushing away the fallen snow as he placed Tori in it. He stripped off his outer cloak, allowing his wings to shield him from the worst of the weather. He walked towards the woods, looking for dry wood. He soon had enough for a small fire, and he headed back towards the den, humming aimlessly under his breath. He paused in the outer fringes of the woods, watching as a white wolf walked into the den.

"Zander?" he called out, moving out of the shadows. The white wolf looked at him clearly, than he rolled over, showing his belly in submission. Cloud walked quickly towards the wolf, his bundle of wood held tightly in his arms.

"I'm sorry Cloud. I wanted to know what was the matter with her." Zander, the white wolf said as he rolled over again. Cloud sighed, laying the wood next to the entrance to the den. He sat in the snow, staring out at the trees as the rain started to lessen.

"Cloud?" Zander asked, moving closer to the human. Cloud startled, looking from him to the den.

"Yes Zander?" He asked, closing his eyes and leaning against the den. He felt something warm lay in his lap, and he tensed, then relaxed. The wolf was young, and probably this was his way of telling Cloud that he can be trusted.

"Why are you here?" the young wolf said, sighing. Cloud opened his eyes, looking at the rain clouds as they ran over the forest.

"Because I have no where left to go." Cloud said, and he put a hand on he wolfs head, stroking him gently. Zander slowly fell asleep, and Cloud let his eyes close, still stroking Zander's head.

"When can I have my Tori back?" he asked, and he shifted again, a single tear falling on Zander's head. Slowly, he let the darkness overtake him.

"Cloud?" A cold nose poked its way inside his cloak, making contact with his warm skin. Cloud jumped, shaking off the snow that had fallen while he was asleep. He looked around, reaching for the sword that he thought was right next to him, still a little bit disoriented.

"Zander?" He asked, and the wolf laughed, backing up to give him a bit of space. Cloud looked around again, running a hand through his hair, pulling out the leaves that had gotten tangled up in it while he was asleep.

" Oh, sorry Nightshade." Cloud said, standing up. He shook himself, much like a wolf does to get the rain or snow off its pelt. Nightshade waited until Cloud appeared more focused to ask his question.

"Is Tori here?" He asked, his tail making a half circle in hope. Cloud felt his heart momentarily stop, then start up again.

"She isn't in the den?" He asked, fear filling his voice and spiking his scent. Nightshade wrinkled his nose, backing up.

"No. Her scent was faint when we returned, when we saw you here with Zander we wondered what was going on." Xero said, coming up on the right of Nightshade. Cloud sighed, rubbing a hand over his hair again.

"This is going to sound really weird to you, but I need you to do something." Cloud asked Nightshade. Nightshade cocked his head, his ears pricked forward.

"Go on, you've got me interested." The black wolf said, moving a step closer to the man. Cloud sighed, closing his eyes.

"Can I use your voice for a minute?" Cloud asked, cracking one eye open at the wolf, looking hopeful. Nightshade nodded, standing utterly still as Cloud walked forward.

"This may feel really odd, but I will need you to stand very still, okay?" Cloud asked, and Nightshade nodded once. Cloud sighed, closing his eyes, and he leaned against the tree behind him as he left his body behind.

'Nightshade? Can you hear me?' Cloud asked, and he could feel Nightshade, no, them, jerk at the sound of their name.

'How can you talk to me?' Nightshade asked, and he breathed out in a harsh breath. Cloud felt like laughing.

'No time for explanations.' Cloud said, and with that, he raised their head and howled at the sky. They could hear the others join in the howl, but they weren't too concerned about them. they only had one goal with this howl. When they were finished, they listened, and heard an answering howl from far away. Cloud pulled out of Nightshades body, his eyes on the foliage on the other side of the clearing.

"Tori, why did you go?" He asked to himself, and he started walking purposefully towards the other side, ignoring the wolves that tumbled around him. Nightshade was walking ahead of him, aware where he was going was where Tori was.

"I was looking for you." Tori said, and Cloud stopped, looking to his left. Tori was there, standing in her human form, her wings held open loosely, and her ears flattened to her skull. Cloud walked closer, but he stopped when Nightshade walked closer than him. She looked at Nightshade, and he had to look away. He was relieved when he remembered that he was her Chosen, and nothing could change that. Unless she died. He turned to look at Tori, his eyes narrowed, as she changed back into her lupine form, her wings held open for the dim sunlight to reflect off of. Cloud turned slowly back towards the clearing, his own wings drooping and brushing the floor.

"Cloud?" Zander asked as the white wolf caught up to the human. Cloud glared down at him, the fiery tint coming back into his eyes. He spread open his wings, running faster to the clearing. The white wolf ran with him, keeping pace with him easily. At the edge of the clearing, Cloud pumped his wings, once, getting him air borne. And with that, he flew, letting all of his frustration and anger at the problems Tori and he were having, allowing his wings to do the work as he tried to get his emotions under control. He didn't even look below him as the white wolf he left behind started up a howl.

It was many hours later, under the cover of night, which Cloud settled into a tree not far from the den, his anger spent and his feelings jumbled. He was aware that while he was off, Tori had done something to send the Companion link back into action. The flare of emotions he had gotten from her brought him out of his rage and made him want to be closer to her.

So, he came back, slowly, trying to figure out what she did to make her more like her old self. At this point in time, he didn't really care anymore. He looked up at the sky, the half moon winking in and out from behind the clouds that were scattered across the sky. He was about half way up in the tree, and he was aware that he was being watched.

"Cloud?" The silence was broken by the words of a white wolf companion that was below him, looking up at him with piercing amber eyes. Cloud looked down at the wolf called Zander with out a sign of emotion. The wolf whined, setting himself down at the base of the tree on his haunches, continuing to watch Cloud.

"You okay?" Zander asked, his head cocked to the side now. Cloud looked away from that gaze, looking once again into the sky. The wolf followed his gaze, looking at the sky.

"It was Tori, wasn't it?" Zander said, his voice said and clear. Cloud gazed impassively down at the small wolf, his eyes their normal blue, his blond hair ruffling in the breeze. His wings twitched, then they spread out under the moon's clear beams, and Cloud closed his eyes, his head resting on the rough bark of the tree he was resting on. Down below him, he could hear the white wolf settle down at the base of the tree, and the last thing he heard was the sigh of the wolf as he fell into an uneasy rest, full of dreams and forgotten fears.

"Cloud's gone again." Healer reported to the head wolf. Nightshade raised his head, looking over the melting snow into the forest beyond. He shook himself, looking over at the gray wolf beside him. Her wings were tucked in close to her body, and she was beginning to change. Her slim body was fattening up, and she was no longer looking like the half wild companion she had been when she first came into his pack. The fact that she came with her chosen was the only thing that was wrong. The fact that Cloud was gone was not. He had been leaving for longer periods of time, seemingly more moody and less talkative then he had been when Nightshade had first met him. He was changing in his own way too.

"Is Zander with him?" Nightshade said, careful not to alert the sleeping wolf beside him. Healer nodded, then he looked at the forest line, his ears cocked forward. Nightshade got up and started to walk towards the forest line as a frantic stag raced from the forest's edge. He growled, recognizing the stag to be a Companion.

"Who are you?" He growled, showing his canines and flattening is ears. The stag balked, his eyes rolling in fear, and then he caught a glimpse of the wolf still sleeping in the den.

"Tori Companionmother?" the stag said in a clear voice. He shook himself, keeping a wary eye on the wolves that surrounded him. Nightshade took a menacing step towards the stag, repeating his earlier said question.

"I repeat, who are you?" He growled, and the stag bowed his head, his eyes partially closed.

"I have forgotten my manners in a few minutes of haste. I apologize." He straightened his shoulders, glaring down at the black wolf; for all of Nightshade's height and bulk, the stag was more powerful and tall.

"I am Marcus. Marcus Hoshi, an acquaintance of Tori Companionmother. Where is her Chosen, Cloud Arashi? I desperately need to speak to him." The stag, now identified as Markus, said. Nightshade stood tall, his ears thrust ahead warningly and his eyes locked onto Marcus's.

"I cannot take you to Cloud Arashi. He is not here." Nightshade said, and he walked forward a step. Marcus lowered his head a fraction, letting Nightshade see his antlers.

"Don't push me, Nightshade. No matter what, I will see Cloud." He said, and he threw back his head and he called out for Cloud in his loudest voice. Nightshade shook his head, but his eyes were alight with curiosity. It wasn't everyday that things like this happened. Within a few minutes of Markus's bellowing, a answering howl came from the western part of the forest. Markus quieted himself, his ears cocked to catch every part of the howl. After it was over, the forest seemed unnaturally quiet.

"Well? Can you tell me what that was?" Markus asked to the silent wolf, his ears flickering back and forth. Nightshade nodded, sighing.

"He said he was on his way. Knowing him, he will be here in a few minutes. Zander, on the other hand, will take much longer." Nightshade said, and he turned from the stag, his attention elsewhere. Markus watched the wolves vanish into the forest surrounding the field, his senses already telling him to be careful. Even as Companions, predators have to eat. He waited, pacing quietly along the clearing, his ears flickering back and forth from the forest to the sky. Soon, powerful wing beats were heard, and the trees started waving aback and forth from eth strong wind.

"Cloud Arashi, I need to talk to you!" Markus called, and an answering call echoed off the trees as a winged figure swooped down from the sky. It landed lightly, the wings slightly extended, its back to the Companion. Markus took a few steps toward the figure, his ears straining to hear any sound form he now still figure.

"Stones. Air, fire, earth, wind……" the figure muttered under his breath as he turned. Markus startled, unused to Cloud's changes. He looked blindly, the fire that had built up in his eyes flaring out and dying, allowing him to see again. He blinked, struggling to find his focus point, and he took a step towards the startled Companion.

"Marcus? Markus Hoshi, is that you?" He asked, and Marcus shook himself, his fur shedding into the wind. Cloud inhaled, catching he scent of the stag, and he nodded, looking around him.

"Where's Zander?" He asked, looking into the deepening shadows of the forest's edge. The stag walked up to his side, nudging him slightly. Cloud absentmindedly reached out an arm, catching Markus around the neck and rubbing the opposite side of his neck. Markus was soon rubbing against the man, making happy sounds. Soon, movement was visible in-between the trees, and a white wolf burst out of the forest, panting and aware of the two newcomers. Cloud nodded, letting go of Markus.

"You wanted to talk to me?" He asked the stag, and he nodded, his antlers gleaming in the dying sunlight.

"We need your help, Cloud Arashi. You and Tori Companionmother." He said ,and Cloud took a step back, his wings flapping and creating a breeze strong enough to flatten a nearby sapling.

"Why do you need us? What happened?" He asked, the whit wolf sitting at his feet. Markus sighed, walking over to the other side of Cloud, looking towards the forest.

"They are burning the forest, Cloud. We have nowhere to run anymore. This is our last chance to fight and survive." He said, and he looked towards the still figure. Cloud's wings were retracted, tucked back into the fabric that kept them invisible from sight. The wolf was still there, watching the stag. Markus ignored the hungry stare that the wolf was giving him.

"I can't help. Neither can Tori." Cloud said, his voice subdued. Markus snorted, his antlers grazing Cloud's arm. The scratch started to bleed, the crimson liquid dripping slowly to the floor, but Cloud didn't even flinch. He never felt pain anymore. Markus shook his head flinging droplets of the iron smelling liquid over everything.

"She's…changed. So am I, if you didn't notice." Cloud said, turning around, the wolf standing behind him. The wolf started to growl, the red stains on his white fur causing the stag to startle again.

"Why wont you come? You are our savior, our own hero." Markus said, and his control slipped, his warform showing for a brief second. He soon gained control over his anger, slipping back into his original shape. The wolf ran in front of Cloud, his ears pinned and his stance threatening.

"We cant help you. We can hardly help ourselves." Cloud said, and he rubbed his scratch, healing it instantly. The blood was still there, but it was no longer flowing down his arm. The stag sighed, moving towards the forests edge. Before he left, Markus looked back at the figure one last time.

" You were supposed to save us, not drag us down with your hands." He said, and he left, disappearing into the forest's shadows. Cloud closed his eyes, his heart lurching for a brief second. A drop of water fell on his arm, causing him to look up at the clear night sky with confusion.

"Stones. Hands, water, fire…" Cloud muttered in his sleep, rolling form side to side on the cold forest floor. His dreams were troubled, flickering back and forth.

He was in the clearing, on top of the den. He had on only a ripped shirt for his wings and a loose pair of breeches. He blinked, looking away from the moon. His wings lifted, shaking off the gathered dew. He stood up, looking around the clearing. He could hear whispering, but no of it made sense. He couldn't pinpoint where the voices were coming from. They were in the air, floating with the clouds.

"Only you can save us."

"Why can't you come?"

"..drag us down with your hands."

"-listen to the wind-"

"-your hands-" He looked down at his own hands, and was slightly surprised to see them covered in white paint. Soon, the paint turned red, running crimson under the moon's rays. He walked through the woods, stumbling over the roots he could not see and ducking from eth creatures he could not hear. Every time he touched a tree, it burst into flame, his handprint burning red onto the bark. He continued to walk, his had pounding and the paint on his hands never running out. He cried out for Tori, but she never showed, staying out of the way of him. Soon, the whole forest was ablaze, and he found himself in the middle of a panicked mixed herd of Companions. Then, there was only the fire, and soon, darkness.

" TORI!" he cried, bolting upright, wide-awake. He looked around, trying to figure out where he was. This wasn't where he had originally settled for sleep. He stood up, only clothed in the clothes he remembered form his dream. His wings hung loose, the tips of his first feathers dragging slightly in the dirt. He looked around, the moon lighting up the forest's shadows.

"Oh jeeze." Cloud said, his breath whooshing out in a gasp. He was in the middle of the forest of his dream, the blackened corpses of the trees surrounding him with their burned smell. He looked closer at one of the trees, and a single handprint was visible. He slid his hand into the handprint, dreading the result.

It was a perfect match.