Stripping in the Wilderness
z
zeldathemes
Stripping in the Wilderness.

Rusco. Werewolf AU. NSFW. Go nuts. - anonymous

I’m sorry anon, this is not as heavy on the NSFW as I would have liked.

The guy in the back seat is losing his goddamn mind.

That’s not so strange. Lots of guys lose their minds on the drive out to Oyster Bay. They scream or they curse or they tear at the bars that separate them from the front of the car or they shut down and don’t move at all.

Sometimes they cry. Fusco can’t stand the criers. Not because he thinks he’s above it, because he doesn’t know, really. He’s never been brought that close to death. Maybe he would cry. He hopes not, but he’s not gonna rule it out either.

They just make him feel guilty, is all.

This one, though, he’s not crying. He’s not even getting pissed off. He’s twitching. Twitching and convulsing and groaning, like he’s having some kind of fit. It’s freaking Fusco right out and he hopes that the psycho in the back will have calmed down by the time they get to the Bay, because Fusco doesn’t want to have to drag him out of the car while he’s like that. Not while he’s a fucking nutcase with no fear of the gun. Fusco would rather shoot him in the car and clean up the damn mess after than deal with something like that. That’s how you get killed.

There’s a loud, awful cracking sound from the back, like breaking bones, and Fusco wonders if the guy managed to break his own arm while he was seizing up or something. “Hey, buddy, you okay back there?” he asks.

The guy in the back screams.

Fusco decides not to glance in the rearview.

"Let me out," the guy says, after the screaming subsides to heavy, snarling breaths. "Let me out of the car."

"That’s not happening."

"Let. Me. Out." The guy’s grabbing at the mesh that separates them, moving in real close. Fusco can feel his hot breath on the back of his neck. "Let me out of the damn car, Lionel, or you are going to die. I am going to rip you limb from limb. It is going to take a panel of experts just to figure out what you used to be. I am going to kill you, and it will not be painless. Do you understand?"

"Yeah, got it." Fusco feels a little better. Angry, pointless death threats are familiar territory at this point. If the guy starts saying that he’ll pay Fusco thousands just to let him go, that he’ll disappear forever, really, then it’ll probably make bingo. "You finished?"

"No." The screen begins to rattle. "Not yet."

There’s an awful metal-on-metal grinding and it’s too late when Fusco identifies it as the sound of the mesh screen being ripped away and by that point there are big, fuckoff claws digging into his chest and ripping and big teeth sinking into his shoulder and everything is chaos and pain and confusion as he loses control of the car.

He’s not sure if he actually loses consciousness or just goes into shock, but when he comes back to himself, it’s probably not that much later. The sun is shining in his eyes. He turns his face away. He’s lying next to an overturned car. His overturned car. Shit.

He smells gasoline.

His shoulder hurts.

There’s something warm and wet and itchy pouring down his arm. A big, warm hand wipes it away.

With some difficulty, Fusco turns his head and finds the guy from the back of his car, the guy in the suit, sitting on the road beside him. His suit is badly torn and he’s sighing over ripped seams. “Finch isn’t going to like this,” he says, apparently to no one in particular. He spares a glance for Fusco, looks him over very carefully. “I guess I’m impressed with my own restraint. Even if you are going to be trouble.” He puts a hesitant hand on the top of Fusco’s head, starts plucking blood and grit out of his hair. “What do you think, Lionel? Are you going to give me trouble?”

Fusco tries to flinch away from him, but he doesn’t move so well.

"Not so bad," Reese seems to conclude. "You snap a little, but you don’t bite much." He gives Fusco’s head a parting scratch and stands with a groan. He stretches. He looks down at Fusco, moves an inch to the side so his shadow falls across Fusco’s face and protects him from the sun. "I know it hurts now. And I won’t pretend it doesn’t hurt worse later. But you’ll be good as new in no time. I promise." He bends, gives Fusco what is apparently meant to be a comforting slap on the thigh. "See you at work."

And then he’s gone.

He leaves Fusco to lie in the sun, on the hot asphalt, and slowly bleed out. And he knows he’s bleeding out. Fusco’s not a doctor but he’s seen enough people bleed to know how much is too much. What’s pouring out of his ragged chest right now, what’s seeping out of his shoulder, what’s pooling beneath him: that constitutes too damn much.

He tries to get as close to comfortable as he can on that blazing hot road. He turns, painfully, so he’s on his side, turned away from the sun, so at least his eyes don’t hurt and as little of him as is humanly possible is touching the blistering surface of the asphalt. It’s not comfortable, not really, but it’s better than nothing.

He kinda starts to miss the heat once his skin begins to go cold. He shivers deep into his jacket and wonders who dialed back the thermostat on the sun.

At the end, he doesn’t cry.

But he doesn’t die either, so he’s not gonna get too cocky about it.

888

He gets found by his own people, which he supposes he should be grateful for. Getting brought to a real hospital would have been reassuring, but it also could have been a fast ticket to Rikers. HR’s pet doctors don’t really inspire confidence, but they’ve got deep pockets and short memories. There’s a certain security in that.

Still, when Fusco wakes up strapped to a metal gurney in a dark, dank room, he doesn’t feel very fucking secure.

It takes twenty minutes of struggling and banging against the gurney before the doctor turns up. The doctor is smoking and looks like he’s under thirty. The doctor is probably still in med school. “Oh. Hey,” he says. “You still crazy?”

Fusco starts swearing at him.

The doctor leaves.

Fusco very deliberately calms himself down. The doctor comes back.

"Have I been crazy?" Fusco asks.

The doctor nods. “Yeah. Thrashing. Biting. Seizures or something, man. I don’t know, I don’t really have the equipment down here to figure you out. You should probably be dead, like, twice, though.”

"What?"

"Yeah, you were bleeding out on the road for at least two hours, not counting the time it took for them to get you back to the city and me to here. You should have been dead ages ago. If this wasn’t so fucking illegal, I’d be writing a paper about you." He takes a drag. "Anyway, you healed up pretty okay. You want unstrapped?"

"Yeah," Fusco says. "Yeah, I want unstrapped."

So the doctor unstraps him, gets him a bottle of water and an orange, and explains how it’s going to be. “You had a pretty bad fever, but that seems to be gone. You’re probably gonna feel weak for a while, and that’s normal. Maybe take a few sick days, you know? You’re healing up great, but if they start to open up or look infected, get yourself to a hospital and just tell them…I don’t know. Not the truth, probably. What actually happened to you?”

"A guy in the back seat of my car attacked me."

"Really? Was he also a grizzly bear?"

In the end, Fusco takes only two days off work and never goes to the hospital. Not because he’s so tough, but because the wounds are so small. It’s strange because at the time he thought his flesh had split open, soft as butter, but the cuts seem very shallow, now. By the end of his first day home, they are neatly scabbed over.

It seems strange that he should have bled so much from such a little thing.

888

A few weeks later, Fusco’s back to normal.

Or, he isn’t. He’s better. He’s more energetic, more alert, like caffeine without the crash. He gets tired less; he feels stronger, more in shape. He notices things now, all the time. Not just the stuff he always noticed, like who’s lying and who’s a no-good piece of shit. Tiny details in crime scenes suddenly become blazingly clear. For a month there, he’s like a real detective.

One day, he comes home to find a bloody, naked man sitting on his couch.

"Hello, Lionel," says the man in the suit who is no longer the man in the suit. "How have you been?"

Fusco draws his gun.

"I understand you’re upset…"

"Who’s blood is that?"

"…But I’m not here to hurt you. Relax."

"How did you get in my fucking house?"

"Deep breaths," the man who is not in the suit says. "Just deep, calming br-"

Fusco, who is very tense, shoots him. The bullet disappears into his chest, blasts a hole out of his back, and passes through the couch and into the floor. The man who is not in the suit goes very, very still. Fusco sits down on the floor, just really sits and thinks, and then finally takes those deep breaths.

On the couch, the man who is not in the suit wheezes. “I’m sorry,” he says. “We got off on the wrong foot.”

"You bit me."

"You were going to kill me and bury my body on a lonely beach. Let’s not point fingers." He sits up straight. The hole in his chest is shrinking. "I need to talk to you."

Fusco sits quiet on the floor and waits for him to begin.

"I’ve just had a very…a very strange night," the man begins, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees. "A good night. But a long one. And it’s brought some things to my attention. One of which is that I can’t carry on doing what I do without…help. I have help. I have good help. But he can’t always be in the field with me and I wouldn’t want him to be. I’d worry too much."

In the distance, Fusco can hear sirens. Right. Gunshot. Or maybe the crazy unkillable naked man covered in blood. Maybe both.

"I came here, like this, because I needed you. Because you were nearby. Because you’re loyal. Because you have a conscience, twisted and soiled as it might be. Because I bit you and now you’re one of mine."

"I’m not yours," Fusco breathes. "That’s something you made up."

"Not yet," the man admits. "You haven’t started changing yet."

"Changing into what?"

He shrugs. “I don’t want to spoil it. But it’s a doozy, Lionel.”

The sirens are louder. Fusco stands up.

"Listen," he begins. "You’re crazy and all, but I don’t want to catch any heat for shooting you or whatever got you bloodied up in the first place. Go take a shower, get yourself cleaned up. I’ll deal with the cops."

The man without the suit brightens. “Thank you,” he says. He rises to his feet, stretches, scratches at what remains of the bullet hole in his chest.

"Are you…" Fusco gestures. "Are you okay?"

"Yes. In a minute." He smiles at Fusco. "Perks of the trade." He ambles stiffly in the direction of the bathroom, rolling his hard shoulders.

There’s a hole in the back of the couch, spilling stuffing. Fusco holsters his gun.

When cops show up at the building, Fusco meets them to explain. He’d come home to find a friend of his waiting unexpectedly at his apartment, and he’d thought it was a break-in. Just shot the couch and they’re both very shaken up, but no harm done. At this point the man emerges from the shower, sopping wet and wrapped in a towel and smiling with a mad kind of satisfaction. The first responders seem to not quite believe Fusco’s story, but they believe something of the kind must have happened. They leave. The man not in the suit drops his towel. Fusco protests loudly.

"You’re going to have to get used to it," he says. "One of your jobs is going to be ensuring that I have clothes at all times."

"You lose ‘em that often?" Fusco asks, shielding his eyes.

"Constantly." He creeps closer. "My transformations can be very violent."

"Transfor…what?"

The man doesn’t answer. Not with words. He just stands very still, closes his eyes, tilts his head like he’s listening to far away music. In this way, the change comes on gradually. The fine hairs on his arms and legs grow thick and silvery. His bones pop, not the hideous snapping from the back of the car but a neat, careful pop, like a simple machine clicking together. His face elongates. His spine elongates. He stretches like he’s coming out of a nap. All at once, he drops to all fours, a massive gray wolf with pale, blinking eyes.”

"Oh," Fusco says. He leans back on the couch. He swallows hard. He wonders if he has any hard liquor. "Oh."

The man in the suit, who is not wearing a suit and at the moment, is not a man, prowls toward Fusco, hops onto the couch, and promptly falls asleep across his lap. His fluffy gray tail thumps once, twice, and then stills.

888

Fusco loitering outside a warehouse in his car, with the engine still running and a duffel bag filled with another man’s clothes lying across his lap. He feels a little bit like he’s stuck out shopping with a girlfriend, and she won’t even give him a tease. The man in the suit, who at some point became Reese, shucks off his underwear and passes it over Fusco’s shoulder. With a wince, he takes them and they join the rest in the bag.

"Just drive around for a while," Reese orders. "Don’t go too far. Be back here in about five minutes and be ready to let me in." His bones are crackling again.

"So what’ll you be doing?" Fusco asks.

"That’s hardly your business, is it, Lionel?"

"Alright," he says. "Have fun."

"I will."

There is a pause.

"Lionel." His voice is odd. His jaw must be changing.

"Yeah."

"Could you get the door?"

888

He wakes up to a furry body against his back. “Can you not?” Fusco asks.

A wet, hot pink tongue laps against his ear. Fusco shudders, drives his elbow back into the wolf that is Reese. He feels the weight distribution on the mattress next to him change, feels thick fur give way to smooth skin. “Time to wake up, Lionel.”

"It’s my day off," he groans.

"Crime doesn’t take a day off, Lionel."

"Go away."

Reese is quiet. For a moment, Fusco lets himself believe that he’s won, that he’s not so important to Reese’s stupid, dangerous plans that he has to get up right now.

Then a wet, pink mouth sucks gently at his earlobe and Fusco’s up with a yelp.

888

The next time out, three people get shot. One is Reese, who takes a bullet to the face from a corrupt cop. One’s the corrupt cop, when Fusco whips out of cover. One’s Fusco, when the corrupt cop’s also-corrupt partner takes issue with Fusco’s aim.

The second cop, he doesn’t get shot. He gets bitten by Reese’s half-healed, toothy, ragged jaw until he’s not a threat anymore.

Fusco grips his bleeding arm and goes to see to Reese, who is trotting on all fours and looking very proud in spite of the horrible, unfinished look his head has. Fusco takes the unshot part of Reese’s chin in his hands and holds it. “You okay, guy?”

Reese shifts without changing position, tilts his head so his human cheek is resting on Fusco’s hand. “Getting better. It hurts a lot.” He must still be in the wolfish part of his head because he leans down to nudge at Fusco’s upper arm, where he’s bleeding through his shirtsleeve. “What about you?”

"Hurts," Fusco admits. "I should probably get to a hosp…"

He never finishes the sentence because of the clattering noise. The clattering noise is the bullet falling out of Fusco’s sleeve like a loose button. “The hell?” He rolls up his sleeve to find a big ugly scab where the bullet hole once was.

"I’m gonna be like you," he says. "That’s what the bite did. I’m gonna be whatever you are one day."

Reese presses his reformed lips to the wound.

888

He’s driving around the block like Reese has him do sometimes, ready for the wolf to run for the car with a wagging tail and a bloody snout. It’s been ten minutes, which was the limit Reese gave him this time. Reese isn’t here. Reese isn’t here yet.

Fusco’s gotta go in.

The good news is, Reese won. The bad news is, Reese is hurt. He’s got a long, bloody gash on his side.

Reese isn’t getting better.

Fusco picks him up. This big heavy furry dog gone all floppy with pain and blood loss and he picks him up, puts him in the back of his car where Reese lies whimpering. He starts out driving for the nearest hospital, realizes how dumb that is and drives to the nearest animal hospital. He talks to Reese on the way there, says comforting things, but Reese can’t answer him.

He spends too long in the waiting room, panicking and pacing among concerned cat owners while his friend is bleeding out on an operating table, literally dying like a dog

Except he doesn’t die. 

Although the folks at the hospital are curious about how he came by what appears to be a wolf. Still, it’s calm and sleepy and it licks Fusco’s palms when it wakes and they let Fusco take him home. Or, nearly. What happens is that Reese changes almost immediately as soon as they start to drive away.

"You okay?" Fusco asks.

"Yeah," Reese says. "I need to call in." Reese gives him a number. Fusco calls it.

The man at the other end of the line is frantic.

Eventually, they arrange a meeting place, where Fusco can unload Reese from his car and this other guy can load Reese back into his own.

The other guy looks like a professor, but it’s obvious he’s wolf. Fusco can see it immediately from his movements, from the way he and Reese communicate with a touch, from the way the other guy can look at Fusco for the barest second and know that he’s no good. He guides Reese’s broken body into the back seat of his long black car and Fusco gets this idea like he might never see him again.

888

He thinks maybe he’s catching that cold that’s going around, because his skin feels hot to the touch. He doesn’t feel bad enough to miss his shift, not after he’s taken time off already, so he powers through, pops ibuprofen like it’s candy, and waits until he gets home to collapse in an exhausted, shivering heap on his bed.

His joints hurt. He must be getting old.

He camps out there, wraps himself in blankets and turns on the TV to distract himself from the pain. He feels like he’s burning again, like he’s still lying out on the road with his skin blistering and his chest ripped open. He feels pressure on his limbs and the shape of his being, like weight is being piled on and his bones are going to break.

It’s happening. He knows this must be it. He takes off his clothes and lies there, sweating and waiting and whimpering in anticipation. His legs are going to break.

Then they do.

His legs go first as they begin to pop out of shape, to change and shift and twist. He tries to clutch at them. He doesn’t know what he expects to accomplish, just by touching his rogue legs, but in a minute his arms begin to change too and he can’t hold on anymore.

From there, he can do little more than thrash, yell, tear at the couch cushions while his bones pop out of place and grind into new positions and his face elongates and his skin begins to itch and something terrible happens to his spine and there’s nothing he can do about it but scream and bite a pillow, wrenching his head until it explodes in white feathers.

Suddenly, there are hands on him. Reese is beside him, Reese is arranging him, Reese is lying Fusco out on his back. “It’s okay,” he says, very calm. “You just let it happen.” Warm, calloused hands sweep over Fusco’s chest and belly.

It still hurts. It doesn’t stop hurting just because Reese is here. But it’s better. Someone’s here to guide him through the change, to help him pop limbs back into place. To scratch at his skin when the growing fur starts to itch. To soothe him with words. To say, “Yeah, that’s what happened to me.”

Once it’s over, Reese gets him a mirror. He’s thick, stocky, exactly like a big friendly dog should be and exactly like a wolf shouldn’t. His fur is a deep brownish red and according to Reese, very soft. His teeth are sharp and white and his claws are like knives, but it’s all kind of undermined by the fact that he looks like a fluffy, oversized corgi. He guesses he doesn’t look much more ridiculous now than he does usually. Reese tells him he looks amazing and transforms mid-tackle to fight him on the bed, clawing and biting and snarling and utterly happy.

They separate, temporarily bruised and bloodied, but human. They lie there grinning among the tangled blankets, teeth too long. Reese is squirming against the bed, hips twitching. Fusco’s just hard.

"You want to?" Reese asks, panting.

Fusco nods.

He strikes fast and hard, tackles Fusco to the mattress and flips him face down. Fusco lets it happen, presses his hips back, lets his legs slip apart. Reese pins Fusco’s hands and sinks his teeth into the spot on Fusco’s shoulder where a while back, somebody bit him. Reese pushes into him with only spit slicking the way and he fucks in slow and careful until Fusco complains and he fucks in hard. He tightens his jaw’s death grip on the flesh of Fusco’s shoulder, grinds his teeth, bucks his hips, claws desperate fingers over Fusco’s front and Fusco is tumbling, crashing, tumbling, and somehow, even now, they’re changing.

  #poi hiatus fics    #person of interest    #Rusco