Categories > Celebrities > Def Leppard > Moonlight #1: Moonlight

Chapter One

by Brambleshadow 0 reviews

The silver moonlight tracked him even backstage, trapping him in its glow, and Joe knew he had to either give in or let the burning inside consume him. [Pre-slash/Slash. Lycanthropy.]

Category: Def Leppard - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2012-10-13 - Updated: 2013-04-14 - 3053 words - Complete

Notes: Inspired by "Burn" by ObsidianJade on ArchiveofOurOwn in the Bon Jovi fandom, "The Act of Submission" by AddictedtoPuzzles on in the Teen Wolf fandom, and Stephen Cole's The Wereling trilogy.

DISCLAIMER: Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, et. al., are real people and property of themselves. No harm is intended or implied and no profit is made. I just have a wild imagination and am currently suffering from an intense werewolf and Def Leppard fetish.


Chapter One

Pale moonlight streamed through the windows of yet another hotel on another city on the band's latest tour. Outside, the moon gleamed full and bright, barely cresting the craggy outline of the Sangre de Christo Mountain Range. Everybody in the city of Colorado Springs—and the members of British hard rock band Def Leppard—were asleep, save for one.

Joe's blue eyes snapped open; for a second they glowed in the darkness before returning to their normal shade. He was so, so hot . . . all thanks to the full moon and the bite he'd been given years ago. His eyes quickly scanned the room, flicking over the sleeping forms of Rick, Sav, Phil, and Steve, before fire shot through him. He bit his lip hard to keep from groaning, drew blood, and instantly rolled out of bed. Joe landed on all fours, hard, and the pain helped urge on what he'd been trying to fight.

His bones burned white-hot as they cracked and reformed. Muscles turned to mush, then returned in harder, more powerful designs. Coarse hair—fur—wormed its way through the pores in his skin; nails darkened and lengthened to form claws even as his hands became paws. Inside his mouth, his teeth grew longer, sharper, blood emerging from gums as his jaws became part of a powerful muzzle. Transformation complete, he glanced again around the room with phosphorescent blue eyes—eyes that were still human whichever form he was forced to take. Suddenly nothing in the room mattered to him anymore, not even his bandmates, his adopted pack. All he owned was the night world and everything in it. Maybe that was the wolf talking, but right then it was true.

Unfortunately, they were in the hotel penthouse and all the windows were shut. Since he was in lupine form at the moment, Joe had no way of opening the window. A soft, frustrated growl escaped him as he paced the length of the wall, his movements short and tense. If anyone had been watching, he looked like he might explode at any moment.

One of his bandmates, maybe Steve or Phil, rolled over in sleep, grumbling, and Joe froze. When one of the Terror Twins suddenly sat straight up, the golden wolf dove for cover and curled up in a ball, trying to make himself as small as possible. It would have been funny if the situation hadn't been so serious. After a few tense moments, Steve went back to sleep.

Joe sighed and draped his tail over his nose. He had a feeling he wasn't going to get much sleep tonight. Then again, he never did when it was the night of the full moon. None of his kind did.


Sav glanced up from raiding the fridge the next morning to see a sleepy-looking Joe pad into the kitchen. The bass guitarist greeted, "Hey there, mate. Didn't sleep well, huh?"

"No. Full moon," was all the band's singer said in response. Sav just nodded and returned to hunting for breakfast. Out of everyone else in Def Leppard, he was the only one who knew about Joe's lycanthropy, even if he'd found out about it completely by accident. One night he'd been unable to sleep, had gone in search of water, and somehow found himself opening the door to Joe's room and finding him in mid-transformation—a sight he'd been sure would give him nightmares for the rest of his life. This was back when Pete Willis had been one of their guitarists while they were making Pyromania in '82. It was now 1987.

"Where're Rick and the Terror Twins?" Joe asked, jerking Sav out of his recollections. The lupine had come closer and was now leaning against the counter, his blue gaze raking over the contents of the small refrigerator.

"I think Rick's still asleep, and I have no idea where Steve or Phil are at the moment." Finding nothing of interest, he closed the fridge. "How rough was it?"

There was silence for a long moment. Finally Joe replied, "Well, the window was shut so I couldn't get out, but considering we're so high up anyway . . ." He shrugged, and a smile twitched at his mouth as he added, "I had to dive for cover when Steve shot straight up. Somehow I ended up behind the couch."

At the mental image of a large blond werewolf ducking behind a leather sofa, Sav had to fight hard not to laugh. He couldn't help chuckling a little and Joe, with his sensitive lupine hearing, heard it and scowled. "At least you think it's funny."

"So do you, mate. That's 'cause it is funny." Sav shot his bandmate a grin. The grin faded as a more serious thought occurred to him. "So, how is it, really?"

Joe sighed, and his eyes flared bright blue for a moment. "Sav . . .," he said, a warning note in his voice. "You've known about this for five years. And I'm not giving you the bite, so forget that idea."

"Wouldn't think of it," the bass guitarist said smoothly. Then, in a quieter voice: "Pete found out, too. Remember?"

The muscles tightened in Joe's jaw, and Sav noticed that the lead singer's nails had darkened and lengthened and were now digging into the countertop. That gave Sav his answer.

Back then was the first time he'd seen the some of the extent of Joe's wolf powers, without him shifting into his werewolf form. Pete, his courage bolstered by alcohol, had threatened to tell the truth about what Joe really was to the rest of Def Leppard, the media, everyone. Joe's eyes went phosphorescent, canines turned into fangs, and he'd grabbed the rhythm guitarist by his shirt collar and slammed him up against the nearest wall, his claws tearing through the fabric in Pete's shirt, a low growl rumbling from his throat. Sav hadn't been able to hear what words were exchanged, but when the lycanthrope stepped back, Pete's face was blank and eyes wide with terror. He'd left the next day, and since there were no werewolf stories in the tabloids, both Joe and Sav assumed the secret was safe.

When he'd asked Joe about it later, about why Pete's reaction was the way it was, Joe had simply replied, "I'm the alpha. It's my responsibility to look out for the pack."


"Us. The band."

"Oh." That was the first he'd heard of any werewolf pack mentality, but it also made sense as to why they wouldn't let Rick leave the band when he'd lost his arm in the car wreck a few years ago. Sav wouldn't say Allen was the band's pet, but he was their friend—and packmate, in Joe's mind—and none of them turned their backs on friends.

Gradually the tension in Joe's face and body drained away and he relaxed. Sav, meanwhile, had finally found a box of cereal and was starting to open it. The crinkling of the plastic bag inside the cardboard box alerted Joe to the fact there was food afoot and he swung his head in Sav's direction, stomach growling. Even without super-sharp senses, the bass guitarist could hear it. He ignored Joe's piercing blue glare as he dug out a handful and popped it in his mouth.

"Sav . . ." Joe's voice was a low growl. "Hand over the box."

He pretended to think it over, then smirked. "No."

This time it was a wordless snarl, and Sav had to dart out of range. "Wow, you're not a morning person, are you?" he teased.

"I'm always cranky the morning after a full moon; you know that." Joe snatched for the box again, only to be treated to the sight of Sav's retreating figure, his mane of curly brown hair flying every which way. He growled softly with irritation before giving chase. It took a couple minutes, but after a flying leap over one of the couches, he had Sav pinned underneath him and they were wrestling for control of the cereal.

Steve suddenly came walking in, his blond hair wet, freshly clothed, and pulled up short when he saw Sav writhing on the floor underneath Joe. He cleared his throat and said, "Hey, guys take it somewhere else, huh?"

Both men froze and glanced up, Joe's eyes glowing sky-blue again and fangs bared before he realized it. Suddenly realizing the awkwardness of the situation and what it must look like to Steve, he abruptly scrambled off Sav and helped him up. To one half of the Terror Twins he said, "It's not what it looks like." Then he glared at Sav. "Are you going to give me the cereal now?"

A smile twitched at Steve's mouth before he gave a short laugh. Joe had to hand it to the guy: he had a great sense of humor.

Sav grumbled good-naturedly and handed over the box, but not before Joe saw the broad smirk. He gave a warning growl, not caring about letting some of the wolf come through, and started heading for the kitchenette to look for a bowl.

"Well, that was . . . interesting," he heard Steve comment to Sav. "All that over a bloody cereal box?"

Joe sensed rather than saw Sav shrug. He didn't care; his mouth had flooded with saliva at the word "bloody". Since the moon remained full for two more days, it was easier for his wolf to take control, even though the moon was a constant influence on lupines all the time—and he could bring on the change whenever he wanted. At last he clamped down on his werewolf instincts in time to hear Sav's reply of, "Yeah, well, he's always irritable the morning after a full moon. And I'm pretty sure I started it."

"You did," Joe called from the kitchenette. He'd finally found a paper bowl and spoon and was now going for the milk jug. "And stop smiling." When he came back out and set breakfast down on the table, he noticed how abruptly their faces had become neutral. Only slightly amused, he asked Steve, "Where are the others?"

"Getting dressed, I think," Clark replied. "The noise the two of you were making sure woke them up. What time is it, anyway?"

Joe glanced at his wristwatch. "Six-thirty."

"We're not performing until what, six? Seven?"

"Seven," said Phil as he entered the room. Rick was right behind him. "In the evening."

Joe opened his mouth like he was about to swear loudly and snapped it shut when the others stared at him. Sav would know what was troubling him, of course, but Rick, Phil, and Steve were in the dark about his lycanthropic condition. Ah, well. He'd made it through evening concerts on full moon nights before. He could handle tonight if he just tightened control on his lupine instincts.


The sun had just set and the full moon was making itself visible in the night sky. Joe glanced at it nervously before sweeping his gaze over the crowd of fans, most of them teenage girls. After they'd released Hysteria and, subsequently, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" as a single, it seemed like more of their audience had become that of the young female variety. They'd been playing for maybe an hour already, after Bon Jovi opened for them (and yes, they kicked Jon's tail), and Def Leppard's resident werewolf—as well as Sav and the Terror Twins—were hot, sticky, and sweaty, mostly from running around the stage. In Joe's case, some of it might be from paranormal causes, but right now he was refusing to think about that.

During the hour-long rehearsal and setting-up phase, they had gone over the set list ("Stagefright", "Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)", "Love Bites", "Another Hit 'N' Run", "Women", "Rocket", "Foolin'", "Too Late For Love", etc. etc.), and behind him, Joe heard Steve, Rick, Phil and Sav launch into "Animal". This time, the lyrics had a ring of truth: The animal inside Joe was itching for release. He couldn't give in to the wolf, not while he was onstage. Aside from the fact the media would have a field day, he had no idea how Phil, Rick and Steve would react. Sav was totally cool with it, but there was no way of knowing for sure.

As he sang, "Huh! Oh cry wolf baby, cry tough / Gonna hunt you like an, uh uh, animal" with the others on backing vocals, Joe could feel the wolf shadow pricking at the back of his mind. He knew he was losing control when he looked in Sav's direction and the bass player hissed softly, "Your eyes" and he felt his canines growing sharp in his mouth, but he was suddenly finding it hard to push back the wolf. And no matter where he went onstage, the moonlight seemed to follow him.

Somehow he made it through the last two songs in their set, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Bringin' on the Heartbreak", and the usual parting words. Then he was off that stage, aware all the while of the moon's glow. It seemed to mock him as he jogged backstage, hearing the distant footfalls of his bandmates—packmates—as they followed from a few yards away. The silver moonlight tracked him even backstage, trapping him in its glow, and Joe knew he had to either give in or let the burning inside consume him. His breathing had become harsh, labored, and again he felt the shadow of his wolf in his mind, pushing, trying to take over.

A hand came down on his shoulder as a voice asked, "Joe, you okay, mate?"

Startled, he growled and whipped around, fangs bared, eyes flashing bright blue. Sav jumped backward to avoid having his hand turned into a hamburger patty. The bassist answered his own question, "Guess not." Concern swiftly etched itself onto his face. "You're close to changing, aren't you?"

Unable to speak, Joe nodded. As if from far away he could hear Steve, Phil, and Rick's footsteps as they walked closer. At the thought of fresh meat, saliva flooded his mouth and in the back of his throat he could taste the metallic tang of blood. He bared fangs in a sick parody of a smile and lunged, trying to dart around Sav, only to be held back as his friend's strong arms grabbed and held him in place, drawing him close. Normally Joe would have pulled away because he wasn't that way and neither was Sav—or so he hoped—but the animal inside was too strong. All he could feel at the moment was the heat of his bassist's body; smell Sav's unique scent . . . and then it was delicious pain coursing through him as his wolf leapt out from the shadows to dominate.


Sav instinctively tightened his hold on Joe as the change engulfed his friend. To be honest, this was the first time he'd actually seen Joe transform fully into the lupine state and, although it was horrifying, he couldn't tear his gaze away. That is, until the rest of Def Leppard turned the corner and he heard Rick's puzzled voice: "Sav, what are you doing?"

Joe, fully wolf now, growled from behind Sav's leg and drew his lips back to expose yellowed fangs. Before Sav could grab him again the werewolf had darted out from behind him, narrowed bright blue eyes at Rick, and lunged.

"Joe, NO!" the bassist yelled, diving for the huge wolf. Was he crazy? Yeah, probably, but he also knew Joe would never forgive himself if he hurt Rick or any other members of the band. Sav hit Joe broadside and the wolf yelped in surprise as he was tackled to the floor. Blue eyes glared accusingly at Sav, who tightened his hold in the thick golden pelt. The bassist hissed, "Come on, Elliott, get a grip. I know you're in there, mate. You're the alpha of this little pack, remember?" The words sounded strange coming off his tongue, but if they would help Joe, he didn't care if he sounded like a nut. "Change back. Now."

Gradually the accusing look in those bright blue eyes faded and the big lupine stopped struggling. Sav released him and stepped back, and the werewolf padded out of sight.

"What the bloody hell was that?" Steve demanded.

Sav glanced over at his bandmates, who had frozen in place, faces pale. He'd almost forgotten they were there. "Uh, well, I'm probably not the best person to be telling you."

"But you know what's going on, don't you?" Steve accused, eyes flashing. He calmed down a little when Phil lightly touched his arm, but not by much.

There was movement out the corner of Sav's eye, and, turning, he saw it was Joe, human again. The band's lead vocalist looked shaken, sick, and Sav's heartstrings tugged. He wanted to comfort his friend, but didn't want to do so with other eyes around.

Joe could feel Sav's concerned gaze on him, and he, too, wanted the comfort his bass guitar player provided. Just not right now, not with three pairs of eyes watching him warily. His wolf was calmer now, but Joe could still feel the moonlight prickling his skin. He hated being so different from his friends when nights were like this, when his wolf side was stronger than his human side. It took him a while to meet the wary, cautious gazes of Rick and the Terror Twins, but when he did, all that came out was a hoarse, "I'll talk to you later."

They left, albeit reluctantly, and then it was just him and Sav standing there together in the moonlight. Joe's gaze rested on Sav, who stepped forward, arms open, and said, "Come here, mate."

Phosphorescent-blue eyes smiled as a hint of the wolf came through, along with very human desire.
Sign up to rate and review this story