Gerard’s teeth had gotten in deep into Frank’s skin, cutting all the way through into his mouth and part of his lower jaw.
“Come on, let's get out of here.”
17-year-old Frank’s eyes drifted lazily toward the voice, his brain still half asleep from the catnap he’d taken while Gerard had to work.
The said man was stood a few feet behind Frank on the yellowish dirt, awkwardly placed between the scarcely scattered purple-flowered shrubs clotting the hillside. Frank smiled with as much enthusiasm as a rock and patted the ground next to him, “No, sit.”
Gerard’s face hinted confusion, but Frank didn’t seem to want to explain. He sat down next to the younger boy and watched the people bustle around beyond the hill they were sitting on.
Frank never liked workdays. They meant more sweat and dust than usual. Frank was old enough to be doing work, but he usually found ways to get out of it.
“Sorry about your face,” Gerard said after a minute.
“Hm… it actually feels kind of nice... Tingly sort of.”
Frank dreamily brought his fingers up to the two gashes down his left cheek. They would most likely be gone by the next hour. Another side effect of their craving was that wounds healed almost 50 times faster than a normal human being or any other person in the colony. Gerard’s teeth had gotten in deep into Frank’s skin, cutting all the way through into his mouth and part of his lower jaw.
Gerard laughed and reached out to put his hand on Frank’s unoccupied one, stroking the back of his hand faintly and reminiscing on the reason he’d bit him; his training was stricter than most, but he knew Frank would need it.
The contact snapped Frank out of his trance and his eyes were suddenly darker.
He looked toward Gerard and grinned.
“You need to eat,” he said, and then added as an afterthought, “While you still can…”
Gerard didn’t question, he knew Frank had the strange seemingly random phases, but he knew he wouldn’t want to, or know how to explain.
“Kay, come on...”
Gerard stood and brushed himself off as Frank did the same. They wandered off into the woods lining the stronghold.
Gerard’s skin rippled while he walked, his whole body lurching forward onto his hands and knees finally. His bones cracked and twisted and his teeth and nose shifted into a muzzle, soon covered by fur as his whole body was too a moment later. He had discarded his clothes a while back. The headache that should have been at least hinting to anyone else in the pack was only a slight blur of pleasurable dizziness in the back of his mind.
Frank was watching from his leaned position against a nearby tree. He was envious, but it wasn’t like him to complain. He liked to be taken along by Gerard to watch.
An hour later the two were trudging back to the village center, animal skins hauled over their shoulder before being deposited on a pile where other people’s kills were also dropped.
Gerard grunted weakly, looking at the pile of corpses grimly. Frank nodded and they walked back to the main shelter where most of the pack were, ducking under the curtain made from the same material that they had just set down outside.
“Pa, we’re leaving for tonight,” Gerard told his father as was the tradition.
His father turned and greeted Frank with a slight nod as was also the tradition. He let the two go and they walked back to their tent, Frank pouting about how it was unreasonable to use skins and natural material when the rest of the world was using metal and concrete.
They collapsed on the bear fur on the floor, looking up at the multicolored patches of pelts sewn together above them.