Title: The Yellow Riding Hood
Once upon a time, lived best friends of three in the forest. It consisted of a sibling, Sho and Kazu, and their best friend named Masaki. They lived in a house that was Sho and Kazu's. One day, Masaki moved to the village, saying that he didn't want to be a burden to his best friends any longer, while Sho and Kazu stayed in the forest as gardeners. They had insisted Masaki to live with them, told him that he wasn't a burden, but he rejected. So once a week, the sibling visited him to check his condition and gave him a basket of freshly-picked vegetable they planted. But that day, Sho need to prepare lots of herbs for a guest in the afternoon, so he asked Kazu to go.
"Listen, Kazu", Sho grabbed his brother's shoulders, "Come back before the sun sets, because―".
"Wolves will be wondering around the forest and you will get eaten. Yes I know, Sho. This is the twelfth time you said that since I woke up", Kazu cut him, "Now, if you please, let me go or else I will come back late because you won't let me go. It's almost midday and you know it takes you an hour to get there and more for me".
Sho looked so conflicted but let him go anyway, "Be careful".
Kazu nodded while putting his yellow hood on, "I'm going!".
It took about two kilometers from their house to Masaki's, and they usually got there in about an hour. But since that day Kazu was alone, he thought of resting on the way. He stopped walking when he reached a big tree near a stream. He circled the big tree and almost sat, when he saw a wolf there, laying comfortably below it. He almost screamed, but he quickly stopped himself from doing so and stepped back to hide himself. Unfortunately for him, he stepped on a branch that fell to the ground, making the wolf turned in alert.
He turned around and was ready to run when suddenly a hand caught his, "Don't run!".
He turned his head and found a boy with a pair of ear and a tail like a...wolf?!
"Wh―Who are you?! No, what are you?!", he panicked and took a step backward, but then he lost his balance and almost fell before a pair of arms reach him.
"Woah.. Careful there..", the boy chuckled and helped him to stand straight again, "I'm Satoshi, a half-human and half-wolf. But don't worry, I'm not gonna eat you. I don't eat human and I prefer cooked food much".
Kazu stood in silence, couldn't believe what he just heard. It's his first time seeing a half-creature. He only knew they existed in folktales but never seen one that still lived. Not even seeing, he even thought that they didn't exist anymore. Okay, half-creature aside, he just said he's half-wolf, right? By wolf he meant those big animals with furs and sharp teeth that eat meat, right? Doesn't this mean he's in danger? If yes...well..he needs to run ASAP.
With that in mind, he glared at the boy. Satoshi, isn't it? "And can you kindly tell me the reason why I need to believe you?", he asked sarcastically.
"Are you scared?", Satoshi asked with a sad voice. And if that voice didn't make him regret the way he acted, Satoshi's sad face did. "If you are then I will lea―".
"Don't!", he said instantly. He know this could be a trap and he might regret it, but how could he ignore such a sad face with wet eyes? "I'm just kind of shocked so, don't go".
Satoshi stared at him confusedly and smiled brightly, showing his chubby cheeks, before releasing his hand and stared at the stream.
Kazu sat next to Satoshi, leaning his back against the tree and followed Satoshi's sight. They stared at the scenery without saying anything, letting a comfortable silence fell over them for some minutes.
"Are you the last one?", Kazu broke the silence and Satoshi turned at him with frown in his face, "I mean, I've heard about werewolves in the folktales, but I don't know they're still exist. I never heard about their whereabout and I never met one so... Um..."
"I'm a half-wolf, not a werewolf", Satoshi pouted at him. Oh, how cute he was, "And for your information, it's not like half-wolves have a clan or something like that. It's just that one of our parents is a pure-wolves and one is a human".
Kazu raised his brows, "'Pure-wolves'?".
"Yes. Pure-wolves are those whose ancestors never had a human blood, they're the one you actually called werewolves. They can disguise as a human perfectly, without wolf-ears and wolf-tail like me. If they mate with human, the woman will give birth to a half-wolves", Satoshi explained, "And half-wolves like me can also mate with human. Actually, if we mate with a human, our child will totally be a human without wolf-blood at all. But if we mate with a werewolf, our child will totally be a wolf, or we call them the drown-wolves, wolves which ancestors had a human-blood. And of course if we mate with another half-wolf, our child will also be a half-wolf. Oh, and actually these rules are not only applied for wolves, but also some other animals. Though it's not like all animals have this rules".
Kazu gaped at Satoshi's explanation. He never known about this. All he knew was that there WERE wolves, or to be precise, werewolves, and they're very dangerous. He even thought that werewolves were only in folktales. But, what were those? Pure-wolves? Half-wolves? Drown-wolves? There were types or classes of wolves too? And morever, it's not only wolves but also some other animals? This was new to Kazu and he couldn't keep his amazed feeling controled. It's clearly showed in his face, mouth opening wide and eyes glittering with amusement. And Satoshi giggled at that, at how cute and adorable his face was, making him blushed in embarrassment.
"Oh! Now that I think about it, I haven't known your name yet! What's your name?", Satoshi then glanced at the basket he brought, "And what do you have in that basket?".
"Kazu", he shrugged, "There are bananas there".
Ohno tilted his head confusely, "For picnic?".
"Not a picnic, Satoshi", Kazu rolled his eyes, "You see, I need to give this to my friend, Masaki. His house is two kilos away ―okay, one kilo from here― to the north, on the border of a village".
"Hmm...", Satoshi hummed, "But how come we just met today? I'm always here, you know".
"Oh, usually I visit Masaki with my brother, Sho, and we usually don't rest on the way. But he need to prepare herbs for a guest in the afternoon ―we're a herbalist, you see― so he told me to go. And here I am", Kazu yawned and laid his head on the tree trunk, clearly indicating that he's sleepy. Unconsciously, his head slowly fell onto Satoshi's shoulder.
Satoshi shifted closer to give him a comfortable position, brushed his fingers through Kazu's hair like it was the most natural thing between them. Kazu, comforted by his surrounding, finally fell asleep.
Kazu woke up when the sky was already started to have a blush of orange, meaning the sun would set in about 2 or 3 hours. He looked around and found himself alone and his basket gone. His eyes widen with rage, "THAT HALF-WOLF BASTARD!". He ran to his Masaki's house as fast as his legs could brought him with boiled blood, cursing Satoshi along the way.
Kazu stilled at his place. He just arrived at Masaki's house and entered the diningroom when he found Satoshi sitting there peacefully.
"Huh? The two of you know each other?", Masaki asked.
Satoshi nodded while Kazu still processed the sight before him.
"Wait. What are you doing here in Masaki's house?", he finally snapped.
"I wanted to deliver the bananas to your friend but then I remembered I don't know your where your friend's house is, not even his name. But when I wanted to turn back I smelled something warm and delicious so I knocked and he told me to come in. Is this person your friend?", Satoshi explained while Kazu simply nodded at his question. He got up and gave Masaki the basket he took away from him.
"Thank you, Satoshi-kun! Well, well.. Kazu-chan, don't snap at him like that. He had delivered your carrots, you know", Masaki scolded him.
"Huh? Delivered? Why must he delivered it when he knew I will come here in the end?!", he said sarcastically.
"Because they'll rot, won't they?", Satoshi blinked innocently to which Kazu raised an eyebrow i question, "My mother always put fruits and vegetables in the fridge. When I asked her she told me if she didn't put them there they will rot. Huh? Am I wrong?".
Kazu gaped, surprised. Fridge? Well he did said about not like eating raw food so he kinda understand if he put his foods in it to cook it later. Or maybe his mother was the human one, and a rich one at that. Okay, maybe both. But bananas wouldn't rot in just 5 hours! Even he knew that since he was small! Oh well, maybe because he was raised as a gardener. But still..
"Is that so? Sorry", Satoshi made a guilty face, making him realized he said his thought aloud.
"Kazu-chan! Satoshi-kun already apologized. Let's not bring this up again, okay? Morever he just wanted to help you", Masaki cheerfully said, trying to lift up the mood. Kazu opened his mouth to protest but Masaki cut him again, "For now, let's eat the soup I made, okay? Or do you prefer mabo tofu?".
Kazu's eyes brightened. He really liked his friend's cooking because it was really delicious. "Mabo tofu!", he answered enthusiastically and sat beside Satoshi.
Kazu gave Satoshi a warm smile to told him he already forgave him, making Satoshi smiled and said to Masaki happily, "Mabo tofu, please!".
Masaki smiled and put a bowl of mabo tofu in front of each of them. And they dug in instantly.
"One hour ago, I saw a wolf came into that house!"
Jun remembered how the woman had pointed her index finger to Masaki's house. He approached the house's window silently and took a peek, he saw Masaki eating his soup happily with two boys, one was normal (probably his friend) and one had...a pair of wolf's ears and wolf's tail. A half-wolf. Maybe before he entered he's in his wolf form and that's why the woman said a wolf, not a boy with wolf's ears and tail. But he pushed that thought to the back, focusing himself on the fact that the half-wolf was in the same room as his (admittedly) crush.
I think Masaki-san and (maybe) his friend don't know he's dangerous. I must get rid of him before he eat them he thought. Luckily for him the window was opened a little so he could shot from there. But unfortunately, when he moved to the other side of window, Masaki saw him slightly.
"Who's there?", Masaki asked alertly. Jun was quick enough to hide himself especially from the half-wolf, and Masaki was too afraid to check it (what if it is a wild animal or a murderer?!).
Satoshi sniffed the air. "Gun powder", he suddenly said with widen eyes, making Jun jolted, "I smelt gun powder! Cover yourself!".
Kazu and Masaki quickly hide themself behind the cupboard while Satoshi changed his form fully into a wolf, baring his fangs in caution.
Jun carefully show himself from his hiding and Masaki gasped, "Jun-kun?".
Jun bowed his head slightly, "Sorry for disturbing, Masaki-san".
Masaki smiled, "Nah, it's okay... Come in, Jun-kun".
"Wha―Oi! Satoshi said he stinks of gun!", Kazu yelled, trying to stop his friend.
"Kazu, I've known him long enough to be sure he won't hurt us", Masaki giggled.
Kazu gave Masaki a glare before walked toward Satoshi, "Satoshi, he said it's safe".
Satoshi stared at Kazu before changed his form back to a boy (with wolf's tail and ears) and pulled Kazu behind him to shield him.
Jun made his way in while mumbling 'sorry for disturbing' faintly, the gun still in his hand.
"Well, for now... Why don't you put your gun away first?", Aiba said.
Jun did as he told, put his gun near the door and stepped forward, but just a step.
"What do you want? Why are you bringing a gun?", Kazu hissed fiercely, ignoring the way his friend scolded him for not being polite.
Jun didn't say anything for a moment and Kazu almost opened his mouth again before Satoshi stopped him, "Is it because of me?".
They looked at Satoshi the second he said that, "It's because I'm a (half-)wolf right?".
Jun nodded, "Of course. Why else would a hunter like me―".
"Jun-kun, coffee or tea?", Masaki suddenly asked.
"Oh, tea plea―Wait, why do I need to choose?!", Jun snapped.
"Ee~h? You came here to join us, right?", Masaki asked innocently.
"The heck, Aibaka!", Kazu hissed, ignoring Jun's 'Oy! Your manner!'. "He brought a gun! And he just said he came here to kill Satoshi!", he squeezed Satoshi's hand tightly.
Satoshi squeezed Nino's hand back, "Kazu is right, Masaki-san. I'm afraid if we let our guard down, he will hurt you and Kazu".
"What--! I won't hurt Masaki-san!", Jun hissed and in instant, his face went red. Kazu and Satoshi gaped at this sight (while Masaki know nothing and making him a cup of tea).
"You! Don't tell me you―", Kazu started to said but Jun cut him by putting a hand above his mouth.
"Say.that.thing.out.loud.and.I.will.shoot.you.to.die", Jun glared at him.
Kazu slapped Jun's hand away and grinned, "Oh, sure. Do that and Masaki will surely hate you for the rest of his life".
Kazu ran away before Jun started to chase him, leaving Satoshi alone. Satoshi, didn't know what to do, finally chose to help Masaki with his tea and soup, and got a slight 'thank you' from him.
"Nee, Satoshi-chan...", Masaki suddenly called.
"Hm? What is it, Masaki-san?", Satoshi turned his head slightly, finding Masaki smiling.
"What do you think of Kazu-chan?", Masaki asked softly.
Satoshi stared with questioning eyes before prepared the tea again, "What do I think of Kazu? Well, he's a good boy―".
"No, no. That's not what I meant by that", Masaki quickly corrected his question, "You know, Kazu isn't the type who'll get friendly with someone he just meet―no, it usually takes him a long time to get close with a new 'friend'. So...uh...is there something special between the two of you? Or am I wrong?".
Satoshi's hand stopped moving. He let his mind wondering to the time they spent under the tree. He remembered he felt warm, he remembered he found Kazu's face cute, and more than anything..."I guess... Because I myself don't want us to be separated. I want us to be together, side by side, no matter how long it is".
Masaki gaped at this, "You know, Satoshi-kun, that feeling is actually called--".
A loud bang on the front door cut Masaki, and at the same time stopped the chase between Kazu and Jun. They all stood in defensive stance until a shout was heard, "MASAKI! KAZU! ARE YOU THERE?".
Kazu and Masaki, recognizing the voice as Sho's immediately rushed to the door.
There, in front of the front door, stood Sho with eyes wet and red from crying, clothes and shoes full of dirt that he got from running here, seeing how much he was sweating. The moment Kazu's face came into view, Sho hugged him immediately.
"Oh my god, Kazunari, you made me so worried!", Sho sobbed arms thightened around his brother.
"I'm sorry, Nii-chan. I kind of fell asleep and played here instead of going home right away", Kazu confessed, ignoring the way Jun snorted behind him. He really felt guilty, moreover after Sho called him 'Kazunari' because it meant that Sho was deadly serious. Kazu hugged his brother back, "But I'm okay. So don't worry, Nii-chan".
Sho just nodded, his sobs could still be heard. Masaki walked closer and rub his palm on Sho's back and tried to soothe him. After a few minute, he calmed down and released Kazu before pinched his right cheek, making him hissed, "That's for carelessly fell asleep". In the next moment, Sho pinched his left cheek, "And that's for making me worried. Don't do that again, okay?".
Kazu nodded while rubbing his cheeks that got red after all the pinching, well it's not like he could get angry at Sho when he's the one who caused all of this. He was about to apologize when Masaki suddenly pat his head,
"There you go. Everything is okay, Sho. So why don't you join us for dinner and stay over for the night?", he said in a soft voice.
Sho smiled before nodded. His expression had softened and tension left his body. He stepped inside, following Masaki and Kazu, before stopped abruptly. Kazu, being curious, took a glance at him and found him standing still with wide eyes. He follow his brother's gaze and found it landed on his new friend, on Satoshi.
"Why is there a wolf here?", Sho hissed, pulling Kazu to behind him.
"Sho, he's not a bad guy!", Kazu yelled while trying to release his arm from Sho's grip.
"No! Kazu, he just hasn't revealed his true nature!", Sho yelled back.
Kazu used all his strength until he finally able to walk away and stood beside Satoshi, hand brushing his before they finally held hands, "I believe in him".
Sho hesitated. For the first time after so long, he found determination and trust in his brother's eyes. But the boy was still a wolf (or half-wolf) and he could be dangerous, "But--".
"Nah, Sho-chan.. Satoshi is a good boy. He won't hurt any of us", Masaki said, trying to calm Sho down.
Kazu just stared at his brother as series of expression walked past his face. He knew that Masaki was Sho's weakness. He knew that Masaki had a spot reserved for only him in Sho's heart. He knew that this time, too, he'll believe in Masaki. And his thought was proved to be correct when Sho let out a sigh,
"Fine! But if something happen what will you do?"
Masaki smiled, relieved, "Don't worry about that. Jun-kun here is a hunter--"
"And he didn't shoot the wolf down", Sho growled, his gaze turned toward Jun.
Jun just shrugged, "Oh, I've tried to but--"
"But Masaki talked to him and he immediately believe him! Oh~ the two of you are the same", Kazu rolled his eyes.
Sho's gaze turned into a glare, a challenging one. Hell, he won't even give Masaki to his brother, moreover to Jun, a man he just met. And Jun, didn't want to lose, glared back.
"Kazu, why are they glaring at each other?", Satoshi finally talked after all the commotion.
"Because both of them want to be with Masaki so they need to fight to win him", Kazu whispered, not wanting Masaki to hear it. Satoshi stared at him, making him furrowed his brows, "What?".
"No, I'm just thinking how lucky I am because there's nobody else that want to be with you beside me", Satoshi said innocetly. In an instant four pairs of wide, surprised eyes (and a red face) turned toward him. Sho, Jun, and Masaki's eyes went from and to Kazu and Satoshi as they fell into silence, making Satoshi felt uncomfortable, "What? Did I say something wrong?"
The other still didn't say anything until suddenly Masaki laughed and they were back to consciousness. "Oh my god, Satoshi, you're so cute! I didn't think you're this innocent!", Masaki continued to laugh. "Well, well.. Why don't we chat while having dinner? Let's eat!", he said while walking toward diningroom.
Sho and Jun shook their head and followed him, leaving Satoshi and Kazu, whose face already less red but eyes still looking at Satoshi's. "Kazu, what's wrong? You're scarying me", Satoshi's brows furrowed.
Kazu stared at him a little longer before shaking his head, "Nah, nothing". Satoshi opened his mouth to protest but he cut him, "Do you really mean what you said?".
Satoshi blinked, "What did I say?".
Kazu stared at Satoshi, who was thinking what he said, in disbelieve. Then, he sighed, "Nothing. Don't mind it". He then pulled Satoshi with him to the diningroom, getting some teases from the other three.
Arashi-related one shot fanfics.
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