Bane paused and turned, his eyes flashing dangerously as he glanced back at Melissa.

"Get up," he growled, looking back ahead of him as he continued to walk as Lazarus berated him inside his head.

"Yes, Alpha," She snarled back, reluctantly rising to her feet. He said nothing, fighting Lazarus for control as they walked.

"I'm sorry, Melissa," Lazarus muttered in her mind as Bane insisted on walking ahead, not waiting for her to catch up, "you challenged his authority. Stupid mutt," he said as Bane made a noise as though he'd been kicked in the side.

"I did it because if you challenged him and you got beaten down and killed where would that've left me? I'd have to fight the hunter alone, complete my plan to take down the coven on my own. I'd be left to walk into the sunrise on my own. Bane, you have to listen to Lazarus as much as he needs to listen to you!" Bane said nothing, and Lazarus sighed. Don't let this freedom get to your head, Bane, he warned the wolf, giving him another flash of pain to get his point across. Bane said nothing, and Lazarus was too tired of fighting for control to say anything either and they simply walked on in silence.

"Fine, I'm sorry for thinking you were more than a pathetic mongrel," Melissa snapped and Bane stopped dead, his hackles up, his teeth bared.

"Bad move!" Lazarus yelped, struggling to stop the wolf doing anything stupid.

"I had hope in you, more than what Lazarus did and you have done nothing but prove me wrong! You think you're better than me? You got it all wrong, pup." Inside his mind, Bane wailed mournfully. On the outside, he was still snarling.

"I was doing my job, just as you said. You made me look weak. The pack was laughing at me before for not having a pack, but now I can't even make you move aside!"

"You have your job and I have mine!"

"I'm sorry you no longer see me as anything more than a pathetic mongrel, but the way your kind and the way my kind handle conflict is completely different. He wouldn't have torn me apart, he was bluffing!" Lazarus wished the moon's influence on him wasn't so strong.

"I... oh go, I'll come back later."

"No, Melissa!" Lazarus protested, "it's only an hour til dawn, please, come back to the apartment."

"I'll be safe... don't worry."

"Where are you going?"

"I... don't really know."

"Then how can you know you'll be safe? Darren might still... look, just come back to the apartment. Please."

"Fine, Alpha knows best. Right."

"This isn't Bane talking to you, Melissa, it's Lazarus." he muttered, confused.  

"I know."

"Then why did you call me alpha?"

"Let's get back." He frowned slightly at her dodging his question, but waited for her to catch up before moving again. She moved at a labored pace, trying her best to keep behind him. They walked like this back to the apartment until they reached their door. Melissa opened it for him and let him walk in ahead of her and he flopped on the floor by the piano again, waiting for the transformation back into his human shape to take him.

She sat on the couch, staring blankly at the wall before her, and Lazarus whined quietly, making Bane move around to sit in front of her. He rested his head on her knee and gazed up at her with sad eyes.

"I'm sorry," Bane mumbled, apologising as Lazarus urged him to.

"You're short-minded, you can't help that." She murmured, looking away from him.

"I didn't mean to snap. Please Melissa... I don't want to be seen as a pathetic mongrel by you as well."

"You have my friendship, pup, don't push it." She growled, still not meeting his eyes. He moved back, whining again as this time the transformation began to kick in.

When his cries had faded away, he sat up, rubbing his temples.

"Floor's cold today," he shivered slightly, looking around for his clothes. When he found them, he pulled them on quickly, tugging them around him tightly, "I'm really cold, are you really cold?" he asked looking at Melissa.

"I'm dead idiot, of course I'm cold. I'm stone cold," she said.

"Alright, alright, I meant colder than usual. There's no need to talk to me like that just because Bane's an asshole." The wolf growled inside his head, protesting weakly.

"Sorry, no, I don't get colder unless it's my death day. I only get warmer."

"Right," he nodded, still cold. Suddenly, he wished he had his big fur coat back. He walked into the bedroom and pulled the duvet from the bed, wrapping it around himself before he walked back into the living room, sitting beside Melissa.

"Are you okay?"

"I think so. Just cold. You?"

"Hmm apart from making the biggest mistake yeah, I'm fine."

"What mistake?" he frowned slightly, "you stood in front of me to try and protect me. I appreciate it, even if Bane doesn't."

"But I've just made you seem weak in front of the pack, you're meant to be showing your authority, now Albert will be even more cocky." He sighed and pulled his arm out from the duvet and put it around Melissa.

"I don't think he could be much more cocky, to be honest. Not unless he was turned into a giant cock... It'd be an improvement," he laughed slightly.

She shook her head slightly, deciding to ignore the comment, "you are quite cold. Normally you'd warm me up when you touch me but, you're not really doing anything."

"Mmm, I don't like it. I can tell me and this duvet are going to be friends, though," he smiled, "it's cosy."

"Best stay away from me then." Instead of moving away, Lazarus simply hugged her tighter and shifted to kiss her gently.

"I love you too much to do that," he mumbled with a smile.

"Is Bane listening, or is he asleep?"

"Do you want him to be listening?"

"I just want to tell him I'm sorry." He nodded and paused, frowning. Bane grumbled slightly, waking up. Lazarus' arm around her went limp as Bane came forward in his mind, but not his body.

"What?" Bane asked, using Lazarus to talk. Lazarus' expression turned to surprise as Bane's voice left his mouth. That's weird, he thought.

"Oh, I'm sorry." She mumbled, looking down as she twiddled her thumbs awkwardly.

"It's okay," he sighed, his arm shifted slightly and he moved forward awkwardly to try and kiss her on the cheek, "this body's wrong, how do you...?" he moved his lips, finally figuring out how to kiss her. "Well this is weird," he laughed quietly, looking around, "never seen in colour before," he mused before looking back at Melissa. "Anyways, you can have Lazarus back now."

"Wait, you're not a pathetic mongrel, I take that back too," she mumbled, suppressing her laughter as she kissed him softly.

"Thank you," he smiled.

"I'll never do it again; you can handle it from here." He fumbled another kiss on the cheek before his eyes went blank and his muscles went limp as he gave her Lazarus back. 


The End

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