Bane. Lazarus felt the name fitted, though he heard Melissa's warning. He wasn't about to tell her why he thought it fitted so well. Bane; the goddamn bane of my life. Of course it fits, he grumbled inwardly.
"And you, my dear Mr. Thorn, are the big fat thorn in my side." It wasn't the most encouraging start to the first conversation Lazarus had ever had with his wolf.
"That isn't particularly making me want to give you control more often, Bane," he growled.
"Y'know if you'd had faith in me, the last three and a half centuries would have been much easier," Bane told him bitterly, "you can't really blame me for rebelling against you when all you wanted to do is kill me." Lazarus sighed and fell silent; Bane was right, Lazarus still resented him lashing out and killing his old lover. "Christ, I made a mistake! I didn't know he was your lover!"
"The sun's coming up. Take Melissa back inside." Lazarus muttered, and Bane stood, nudging Melissa in the side.
"Let's go back inside," Bane said in Melissa's mind. She nodded, rising to her feet and he walked back over to the door, batting it open with a great paw. He walked in ahead of Melissa and closed it behind her. When they were back inside the apartment, Bane sat on the floor near the piano and curled up.
"Are you okay?"
"Lazarus doesn't want dog hair on the bed," Bane muttered shifting so he was more comfortable for his wait for the moon to release him.
"Ahh, is there anything I can do?" She mumbled, sitting on the floor beside him.
"Stop your husband from being such a whiny bastard," he grumbled as Lazarus ranted about hating transformations in the back of his head.
"I can't do anything about that, I'm afraid."
"Shame. Three hundred and seventy three years of moaning gets kinda boring after a while," he sighed in a quiet growl and Lazarus stopped talking. He turned his head to the window, sensing the sunrise creeping closer.
"Excuse me," she murmured, rising to close the blinds before sitting next to him again, "I'll be seeing you tomorrow then."
"Yeah..." he trembled slightly, whining. Melissa hugged the wolf for a single comforting moment, shuffling back out of his way as he growled, shuddering violently. His muscles tore and snapped and healed over his cracking bones. They howled together as one, their forms fighting for dominance until eventually Lazarus won.
He slumped, quiet again on the floor, eyes closed as the pain slowly faded.
"Welcome back," she whispered, moving back to hug him again. He returned the embrace weakly, resting there until he could move again. He pulled away and shuffled over to his clothes, tiredly pulling them on before lying back down on the floor.
"You know, you can sleep on the bed now," she whispered, watching him as he moved even though she didn't. He turned his head to look at her and smiled feebly.
"I know," he murmured, "I just feel really weird. I've never let... Bane take over that much before." He couldn't help the fleeting disgust in his voice as he said the wolf's name. It felt unnatural to let the creature take over, let alone name it.
"I guess you're gonna need to get used to it." She swallowed, about to say something she never thought she would, "if you're going to pull us through this- fight," she shuddered at the word, "you're gonna need to become one with Bane and stop fighting yourself." Lazarus grimaced. He didn't want to accept the creature; he didn't want to be one with it. It had ruined his life, and plenty of other lives.
But he had to swallow that argument. He knew Melissa spoke sense. His acceptance of the beast had been a long time coming. His resistance had become a habit, however and old habits die hard.
"I know," he muttered, looking back up at the ceiling.
"I'm ready for this, whatever comes our way." She nodded, "I trust you, I trust Bane." He couldn't help the snort of laughter as he pushed himself up into a sitting position.
"You trust a creature that's better at destroying things than doing something useful?"
"Destroying things is all we need." She had a point and he just nodded, trying to remember what he had done with his cigarettes. Slowly, he stood, wobbling slightly as he walked into the kitchen and picked up the box off the counter, pulling one out and lighting it. He couldn't help but think about the cancer warning on the packet as he filled up his lungs with the smoke; he already had a cancer. His name was Bane. After all, a cancer was a genetic mutation, wasn't it?
"You need to stop looking down on him, he has the brute strength and speed you need and you have the intelligence and emotion he needs. Together you can beat anything. Most of all you both need to trust each other and stop bickering!"
"Yep," he muttered, leaning back on the counter, staring at the wall opposite him.
"Sorry, I'll be quiet about it now." She sighed, moving to her violin. He nodded, listening silently as she played until he had finished his cigarette.
She paused, taking a deep breath before allowing the bow to glide across the strings, her fingers caressing the neck as she played the music flowing through her mind; she glanced to the violin, then up to Lazarus. "For you," she mumbled, thinking of him as the sombre notes played out, filling the apartment with the melody.
"It's wonderful," he breathed quietly, standing in the doorway, watching her intently.
"It's rough." He shook his head.
"It's not; I love it," he smiled, walking over to her and kissing her gently on the cheek, "I love you."
"I love you too, I can guarantee it will never stay the same, it never does."
"At least that makes it more interesting," he smiled, "my compositions rarely change, unless I scrap them and start again."
"Mine is just a feeling portrayed through my violin. It never stays the same, because the situation and feelings change." She shrugged, lowering her violin again and sitting on the couch. He nodded, understanding as he sat beside her.
"So what's it like having a conversation with the wolf... sorry, Bane?" He asked, curious.
"Strange, he's very polite though."
"Huh," he mumbled, "he's polite to you."
"I don't bicker and complain." She giggled, but Lazarus scowled.
"He doesn't give you reason to complain."
"It's not like the transformation's his fault."
"Doesn't stop him being the Bane of my life," he grumbled.
"Really bad pun."
"Accurate, though. You're good at choosing names, I'll give you that."
"You're never gonna accept him, are you?" He sighed and leant his head back on the sofa, staring blankly at the ceiling.
"I'll try. I have a three hundred and seventy something year grudge against him, though. Those kinda grudges are hard to forget."