A R C A D A E
( This was something I wrote before, but fixed up. It was some brief drabble to peek into Vaughn's younger life and confront the night of his first transformation. I will probably find some other works and rewrite more insight on his past in certain areas. )
The one who cursed him with the bite of the wolf.
Her eyes he remembered most.
---A color like the forest with the morning sun illuminating through. She was soft spoken, gentle, shy and ever so curious, curious enough that when she’d caught wind of a young Vaughn chasing down a changeling, she’d jumped in beside him and laughed when they’d end up losing ground and came to a dead end and Vaughn had finally turned on her, with that ever confused expression.. She’d laughed and he remembers the sound.
That was so long ago, but he wouldn’t forget.
---Just as he wouldn’t forget the night she’d tracked him down.
The night Darren had told him to never return and practically threatened him even he clearly held regret and sadness in his eyes. Of course Vaughn had respected his wishes, for he respected the alpha of the pack and knew the man only did what he had to, to protect his family. He would not allow his hurt to bring forth a selfishness and put everyone in danger, even there was no profound proof Vaughn had brought any of it to them, but how could he argue? How could he face the alpha and not expect a worse ending?
And he hadn’t gotten very far when he'd left.
Upon passing the third path to the Grand park, the presence behind him became familiar and he could not ignore it any longer, so he’d turned and faced the beast..
Her eyes were much the same, if not brighter with an unnatural light behind them as they looked deeply into his eyes, leveled where the beast stood tall on all fours. He seemed not to show he was surprised to see her and for that she whined, a soft sound, before she stepped closer to him. Vaughn looked away at this and simply said “ Don’t. “ And her wolf mind knew the english word and in response, she’d whined again, this time her ears also falling back. She was begging him, he knew, but he also knew it was no use. This was how it had to be. A terrible ending, but surely not as terrible as romeo and juliet, he thought bitterly.
For a long moment they both stood there and he thought he should turn and walk away, when she boldly came closer and all Vaughn could do was watch her. This was their goodbye, he thought. This was it. Her head came to his, about the same height, those eyes reminding him of the mornings they’d played childish games along the river, through the fields, when they’d shared lunch; Vaughn often bringing food beside the one time Arcy had caught a rabbit and had forcibly taught him how to gut and cook it. He remembers the shimmer of light through the trees, upon her bare back as she’d ran ahead.. He blinks and is standing there looking into the eyes of a wolf. Her breath is hot where it leaves her nostrils in a sad sounding chuff before she closed the distance left between them and nudged him with her head, prompting him to run his fingers through the light tan and grey mix of a her fur. She is warm, a heat all the wolves seem to radiate and it’s..comforting. He closed his eyes, trying to run back to those memories previously, but he doesn’t have the chance..
It’s a sharp and sudden sting.
His skin breaks so easily, so fragile as it was, but the pressure is clearly not what it could have been. Her jaw could have broken his arm in seconds, but this is not her goal and the moment that jaw quickly let’s go of his arm is only when Vaughn yells in surprise and pain, taking steps back before tripping over an unseen rock and falling back onto the ground harshly, hearing that whine again, but before the beast could come close again, Vaughn yelled again.
“ Stop! No! Wha… What did you do?! “
The wolf whines and whines and lowers herself to the ground, ears back, looking so guilty and yet satisfied, almost relieved and.. He realizes why.
He says again, more softly and quieter, “ What did you do…”
. . .
He stands at the edge of the forest. He watches the trees sway with the wind, but it is dark and not lit with the light of the morning sun like before. Like her eyes..
A sharp sting permeates his thoughts and he realizes he was picking at the healing punctures upon his forearm and he stops, dropping his other arm back to his side. Beside him, Acry watches him with quick glances he can feel. Another breeze passed and chilled him.
“ You should undress. “ She tells him.
He doesn’t look at her, instead swallows thickly and stares at the ground at his feet.
“ You’ll want something to change back into.” She adds and finally Vaughn nodded in reply and reached to first unbutton his vest and the dress shirt beneath, but he hesitates and sheepishly glances over at her. She has the nerve to laugh and he narrowed his eyes, but she explains herself.
“ I’ve seen you naked Vee, so why so shy now?”
He huffs, looking away, but he doesn’t know why he would be when what she said was true. When he hears her laugh again, he realizes she probably saw the heat rise upon his face, an evident blush along his cheeks and even burning the tips of his ears.
He undresses fully.
He’s freezing. Once his underwear had been removed, he'd gone to cover himself, uncomfortable in the night air, bare and vulnerable and so damn cold! He hunches over and gives a stuttering breath, but the misery evolves…
He feels the moon before he sees it and this would be the only time he’d feel this for the moon only has it’s power upon a beasts birth... His senses are whitened out by a blinding pain. There is nothing but the pain and this heat that quickly rids the bite of cold in the air and he can’t quite make sense of anything as it all becomes meshed together into some blur he just can’t fathom. He remembers a scream and it’s only later he realizes it’d been his own and some part of him remembers Acry’s voice somewhere there, even he could not understand a word she spoke, nor the soft noises she’d made to try and shush him, uselessly. The burn lasts eons, forever and infinitely until it does actually come to an end and leaves him feeling like he’s just ran a marathon that lasted a whole damn week, straight.. Dramatically put, but justified in his opinion. He couldn’t move for some time and laid there just simply breathing.. Nothing but breathing all until something or someone came close to him.
He startles himself with the sound.
Had that been him?
His mind adjusted and all at once he’s assaulted with information--
His body was heavier, his head impossible to lift at the moment where it rested on the ground, the tall grass obscuring his view when he tried to open his eyes. He spread his fingers, his toes, but it felt odd.
A scent is inhaled in the next breath and it was.. He breathes again ..familiar.
Next, a warm presence presses up along his back and a heavy weight gently lands upon his shoulders.
Eventually, he can put together what he is and where he is and who he is and Arcy who lays protectively and patiently by him, breathing calmly, her breaths disturbing his fur where she’d nuzzled into him and somehow, after it all; the pain, the fear, the anger, Vaughn included this memory within all the other memories of Arcadae. Perhaps it was her death later that had made it easier to label them all good. That no matter the detail of the events, it’d been time with her, time he’d never get again.