Winter, Year Six (2nd Moon)

It was snowing when he opened his eyes. Warm snow. No, wait, that was just water. It was raining then. Was he outside? He couldn't focus his eyes. It was very warm to be outside. Something was tickling his nose. Hair - fur? He sneezed. Fur.

He tried to sit up. A strong hand pushed him back down. Alright. Lying down it was, then. He moved one hand to his eyes. His arms felt rubbery, slow, his fingers dangling from their sockets. He blinked twice.

"Are you alive or not, human?"

He tried to answer in the median, but his tongue wouldn't quite obey.

"I guess you're live enough if you can move."

The figure, still blurry, rose and disappeared into the blended shadows of the room. He began to work on not allowing the blurry shadows to be quite blurry-shadowy, but the whole scene seemed oddly resistant, and quite determined to remain a fuzzy blob. Gustin gave up and tried to swallow. The figure must have been watching him, because immediately he was being hoisted upwards by his shoulders and his lips were pressed against a cold rim. He did his best to take a sip. It was fucking cold, but he swallowed it and the room reagitated itself; when it settled, he could distinguish colors. He swallowed again and his tongue moved freely in his mouth. He tried to bring a hand up to grip the cup. The moment it was released to his care, he realized he'd overestimated his muscle control, but the shock of the cold water on his groin did enough to compensate.

"Dammit, human!"

He fell back onto the bed. A low growl and now the shapes were getting clearer. He recognized a head, shoulders - a face, a body (not a bad body), legs, a tail. Fuck. A tail.

He wished his vision would re-blur so he wouldn't have to deal with this, but he seemed to be inexorably drawn towards lucidity. The figure was back in front of him now, bent over with a cloth, trying vainly to sop up some of the water.

"I ought to make you clean this up." the figure groused.

"Wha'r yu?"

The head looked up at him but didn't answer. He could make out a face, sort of - features were coming into focus now. A heavy jaw, strong nose, low cheekbones, dark eyes with slivers of grey, and - fuck, there was that tail again, moving behind him. Pesky thing. Shattering the illusion that he'd been rescued by some tall, dark and handsome Psire and reestablishing the fact that he was in fact now a prisoner of war in the Wolfish Empire - or something like that. What was he lying on? It felt...fuzzy. He moved his hands. His fingers wiggled a bit. It was furs. Lots and lots of furs. A pile of death. Nice.

Then hands were on his hips, lifting him, beginning to slide his pants down -


the figure looked up, startled by the sudden clarity in the speech, and the strength in the hand which stilled his own.

"Wha'r you doing?"

The surprise disappeared, and a scowl returned.

"Wet. You and me and my bed, thanks to you. Can't sleep wet, human."

Gustin frowned. He didn't like this guy's attitude.

"'f I wan'em off...I c'n do it myself."

The wolfe put his ears back against his head and stepped away from the bed. His face (a very handsome face, sulky though it might be) came fully into focus, as did his size, as he drew himself up to his full height.

"If you're going to behave like this, then the next six months are going to be very difficult, for the both of us."

Gustin had no idea what the hell that meant, and he didn't want to ask. Luckily, his feet had recently begun working again, so he didn't have to. He just bolted.