Lazarus: Respect.

"I think I'll leave at the next stop if that's okay with everyone else." I hadn’t really been paying attention to what was going on til that point. Why was Mog threatening to get off? I looked over at him, resisting my wolf’s natural instincts to overthrow him when he met my gaze. He probably knew nothing of how wolves communicated, so I tried to let it slide. "You didn't really fancy me, did you?" I put my ears up, wagging my tail a little. It’d been a joke, but I was more sober now than I had been when I’d told him he was cute, and he was still cute. He let out a sigh. "No. I've not changed sexuality. Why don't you go for Russell? He seems interested enough,” he said, making this Russell guy blush. I doubted him. That he was straight, I mean, not that Russell was interested. Though... It did seem a little odd that someone who had been on the bus no more than half an hour could already be interested in me.  

I flattened my ears back against my head. I didn’t have any real interest in Russell.

"He's not that bad," Mog said graciously. "Maybe you'd change him for the better." My wolf let out a laugh. I could hear him thinking about how he’d tried to change me for the better and had been failing for the better part of three centuries. No, I was certainly enough trouble for him. "No? Oh well. Sorry that you'll be left with scary lady." He made a gesture with his head to the woman I’d gathered was called Isis. It was almost like he was talking to a dog rather than a werewolf the size of two Newfoundlands. A warmth had appeared in his eyes. I was trying to think of a way I could tell him that I didn’t like being treated like a domestic mutt, but he had already sat up straighter and let out a sigh.

"I used to like animals," he said reminiscently. "Cats especially. But creatures like foxes and badgers too."

Russell looked like he was remembering something. “Yeah, you used to go into the woods a lot. I used to love following you." Well that wasn’t creepy or anything. Mog’s face hardened and he leant back into his chair, falling silent. I stood and reached past Mog to nip at Russell’s leg. He yelped and pulled his legs up onto the seat, huddling up into a satisfying, human shaped ball.

Mog flashed a wry smile in my direction. "How can you care about my feelings, wolf? You don't know me at all." I just gave him a sort of shrug, lying down in the aisle. I watched as Russell fell asleep and Mog fell silent again, his arms crossed over his chest. I glanced over at Isis, who was staring out of the window in a world of her own. Eventually, Mog fell asleep too, his hand falling out into the aisle and brushing against my fur. I shuffled a little closer to him until his hand was resting on my back, deciding to lie there and rest until they woke up or until Isis left her dream world behind.

"Wolf... you're a beautiful wolf," I heard Isis murmur to the window after a while. "Your white fur. Your green eyes..." I wondered who she was talking to. "He was ever so slightly larger than you," she said, turning to face me.  "But you have power within you." Russell woke up again, listening in. I looked over, listening to her as well. “I can sense the wisdom within you, the power and strength. It's the look in your eyes I can't stand. That sadness, like if you could, you'd constantly be crying..." She stared at me, "I wish I could help you, your beauty shouldn't be marred by such sadness," she barked the last bit at me, aware of Russell's eavesdropping. I wanted to howl back at her, but I had no idea what to say.

With a shrug, Russell looked out of the window. I just shuffled toward her, resting my head on the seat next to her. I wished she could help me too. I didn’t know what to do anymore. She ran a hand over my head. "I admire you a lot, Bane,” she said, using my wolf’s name. She smiled, her eyes becoming glassy and cold again as she pulled back her hand, "just take care of him as I know you have and will." She bowed her head to me, keeping it there for a moment or two in respect, and I sat back, bowing my head too. The respect was mutual, for now at least. I’d never met another creature like her before.

The End

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