He shifted on feet that should have taken a chill from the cold ground but somehow were not doing so, restless for something that he didn’t quite understand. Looking around him at the sixteen other men and women waiting with an eagerness he could almost taste, he found an eagerness that he too felt but didn’t understand what it was for. Within him the Beast that he was slowly growing accustom to was restless, a soundless energy begging to be released. Glancing around he looked for something, anything to take his mind off the energy in him.
Within the house behind them, clearly visible through the large glass door leading out to the backyard, Tablo’s wife and mate Hye-jeong moved. Carefully she struck a match and held the flame out to a single candle until its wick caught fire. When it was lit she shook the match to extinguish the flames before they licked up the match to her fingers. Then, looking out at the werewolf that was her husband, she pressed two fingers to her lips before holding them out towards him. With a strange air of tenderness that the man rarely showed, he repeated the gesture toward his human mate.
“What is the candle for?” Sungkyu whispered, unable to hold his curiosity for a moment longer.
“For our safe return,” Woohyun whispered back. “She always burns one when the pack leaves. Something to do with a child they lost, I don’t really know. He doesn’t say.”
“Sungkyu,” Tablo called, turning to face him.
Instantly the new werewolf felt guilty as if he had been caught doing something he shouldn’t. “Yes?” he asked hesitantly.
“This will be your first change,” Tablo told him, his voice gentling. “It will be easier for you since the moon is full and the pack is ready. Don’t fight your instincts; your body knows what to do.”
He wasn’t entirely certain about that, but clearly no one in the pack was waiting for him to reassure himself. Piece by piece the members of the pack were removing their clothing, unmindful of their nudity in the presence of others. It was a bit unnerving for him to see so much bare flesh especially that of women that he barely knew. A blush stained his cheeks as he looked at his feet.
“Oh for heaven sakes,” he heard one of the females say, Suzy he thought she may be called. “How hard is it to fold your own clothing? Men.” He snuck a peek to find her picking up the clothing of her mate Chansung and folding it neatly before adding it to the pile of her own.
“Clearly he needs some more training,” another female, Jia teased.
“Clearly,” Suzy agreed. Their banter, for some reason calmed his nerves marginally and helped his fingers find the zip on his pants.
“You want some help with that?” Woohyun’s voice called to him from just to his right.
Sungkyu made the mistake of looking over at the man, a quick peek that nearly caused him to forget what he was doing altogether. “No I have it,” he hissed, not trusting himself this close to his mate let alone if the other man’s hands were on him. He would have thought he would have been beyond the new sensations of their bond, but clearly he was not.
“Let me know if you change your mind,” Woohyun leered, actually leered in front of the entire pack. Embarrassing was the mildest word Sungkyu could describe it with.
Quickly he shed the rest of his clothing, placing it in a somewhat orderly pile and resisting the urge to cover himself. Clearly the rest of the pack was not body shy, but he wasn’t certain he would ever get used to this part. There must have been an unspoken signal that he didn’t yet know because as soon as he was finished disrobing, silence fell on the wolves and every eye turned to Tablo their Alpha. Pulled in, Sungkyu was helpless to stop himself from doing the same.
It started slow at first, a small showing of fur that crept along his spine up all the way to his neck, a subtle start that rapidly degraded into the twisting of limbs as they reshaped. Sungkyu has seen it before, the physical change slowly twisting the form of a person to that of a beast. He had never wanted to see it again, certainly not multiplied as it was since as soon as Tablo’s had begun so had every other wolf’s in the pack.
Sungkyu took a step backwards clutching at his chest. He could feel in himself, the desire to do the same, the shift, to run free. This was the energy he had felt all night, the flow of excitement to release himself and be wild, to be free. The idea terrified him. Yet no matter how much he wanted to, he couldn’t resist the change.
It started slowly, as if his body knew the reluctance of his mind to follow suit, as his hands began to rearrange in structure. What he had found to be sickening to watch also turned out to be painful to experience. He could feel each of his bones rearrange themselves, growing and shifting to an entirely different frame that seemed to come upon him in no particular order. It hurt worse than anything he had felt before in his memory, but he was determined not to make a sound. None of the others were and if his mate could do this soundlessly so could he.
His fur was last to shift, tearing through his skin and relieving the last of the pressure within him. It was a deep black judging by that which was now on what used to be his hands. He felt the change complete, a final ripple of fur down his tail and he was finished leaving him aching and oddly enough tingling.
Slowly he rose to his feet embarrassed that he had collapsed in the first place and shook himself much like a dog would. That seemed to settle the last of the tingles and they faded into a faint memory along with the pain. Sungkyu took in his new surrounds with his senses, not necessary new since he seemed to have just as sharp senses in his human form now, but senses that certainly felt less out of place.
Most of the wolves were watching him, subtly in their own way, having finished much quicker than he had and clearly curious about him. They ranged in color and size from the lean and auburn furred Dongwoo to the stocky and cream colored Taecyeon. Strangely enough he found himself just as easily able to tell them apart in this form as he had been in the last, especially his mate who stood next to him covered in chocolate brown fur.
The large wolf licked his muzzle, a form of affection that would have grossed him out only a short time ago and he offered the wolf a playful nip of the ear. It was a new side of their relationship that he fully planned to explore when he had the time to do so and the Beast within him agreed whole heartedly. In fact the Beast inside him was much closer to the surface then he typically was and eager about what this night would mean. Sungkyu wasn’t certain about anything they would be doing, but he did find that he was willing to explore it.
Tablo gave him an approving look conveyed through golden eyes and then threw back his head and released a howl. The pack listened to the note, clear and pure, before adding their voices to the song. It was a melody to the moon, Sungkyu realized a moment before his voice joined theirs, an answer to the song she sang to every werewolf.
They sang to her for an immeasurable amount of time before the Alpha let the song fade, and trotted off signaling that the hunt had begun. One by one the wolves trotted off after him, their assent into the hills a silent movement of bodies. Sungkyu easily fell in with them moving gracefully on his four paws as if he had been born with them instead of a pair of legs. He belonged with them he realized, and his fear slid off to remain behind in a moonlit backyard with the flame of a single candle flickering behind a glass pane.
AN: Really muses you can't just write a simple drabble without adding in all these subtle points? Come on!