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[Quest-M] Lines Blur Between Beast and Men

#1
Dust’s sights were square on the man who’d interrogated him before, with a bit more defiance in his eyes than last time. It might have been the weakness that did it to him, the feverish nightmares, the internal struggled in the massive man’s heart that shouldn’t exist. Whatever the reason, he was ready more than ever to fight. Yet, still able to keep a leash on his actions enough not to outright attack. For one, there were hundreds if not millions of soldiers to stop him before he could attack the seemingly defenseless doctor. But also because he couldn’t see what benefit it would gain him to attack when this just seemed to be interrogation part two.

The doctor made a show of going through some files he’d had tucked away in some corner of his perfectly organized desk. Dust looked them over but he didn’t have the vision needed to read any of the fine print from this distance. He did make note of several files that stacked to one side and a single one on the edge beside his own which was open where they’d left off. A stack of apparent fan made stories and a few pictures of him as he had taken on Centurion.

Wolf knew that these files must have been The Avengers he’d been helping this whole time. He guessed the thickest ones were those with real promising power or stuffed full of additions to their permanent records. He tried to measure his own up with the stacks, but his angle left him without a good enough view.

Dr. Thomas picked up the coffee mug as he stood upright, moving around the desk and into Hokori’s line of attack. Wolf noticed he was relaxed, though he looked as if he had a lot on his mind to say he didn’t speak. Instead, he stirred the steaming liquid around with a silver spoon.

Dust’s heart still pounded in his chest from the abrupt actions that had him planted here, his whole body rose and fell as he took deep breaths. The chains clattered loosely before tightening again with every exhale and inhale. Still, the good doctor didn’t say anything.

There was a knock on the door, and then Dr. Thomas excused himself by placing the mug down and going outside. On his return a few moments later he had a guest. Crimson eyes went from Thomas to the stranger in a blink and bore into him as if he was a threat. He narrowed his eyes down on the stranger, his instincts pushed fire through his chest and every muscle in the werewolf prime’s body tensed up defensively.

The quick reaction must have made the new guest uneasy, Dust could see the hesitation in Mr. Lynch as the lean figure takes the invitation to take a seat. The mastermind of this plan offered a metal chair just as Volk sat in but with fewer straps, chains, and cuffs. It was a bit too close to the intimidating prime that was The Dying Star for Koal’s apparent comfort, but he took it with a couple of side glances.

Dust has already proven these percussions were a sham, but other than the observing parties and the doctor the binding methods should look sturdy. Either the younger male thought better just by his sheer mass, or he didn’t trust his roommate anymore than Wolf did.

“Now.” Thomas started, picking up his cup and sipping his hot drink. “I hope you are comfortable gentlemen.”

“Not really.” The other male said the Contractor beside him noted the strain in his voice despite the sarcasm coming through his lips.

“Good.” The doctor addressed or rather ignored their complaints. “Onto our business.” He said walking over to sit back down on his desk. It was still in the corner, apparently as far away from Dust as he could get while remaining in the room. It didn’t give Mr. Lynch any comfort about who he was sitting next to. “Hokori Hoshi, meet Koal Lynch. Koal, this is Dust.” He introduced them, waving the pleasantries off. He looked down into the files open on his desk. “Koal is guilty of almost every crime in the book. His favorite flavor of chaos seems to be murder. However, we have a list of things he’s done in his spare time and the Empire is not happy about it.”

“You’re one to talk.” Koal spat out, apparently something the doctor said rubbing him the wrong way.

Thomas’ eyes flick over the edges of his glasses before flipping to another file. “Dust. Your crimes are indeed mild compared to this criminal's. However, we have proof that while the initial fight had more to do with your friend Cade, you were the catalyst in the following disturbance. By attacking Cade first you’ve doomed the entire Avengers’ Team to containment here at this facility for an undetermined time.”

It has been a long time since Hoshi-Kun has felt anything quite like the ego-deflating, body-numbing, bone-chilling guilt that he felt at that point. In fact, had he been emotionally conscious at the time of his experience with Shock - the night Drake fell, he may be able to compare this mountain of chest pain to that night. It would seem the more people that were involved in his decisions the heavier his heartfelt when he was forced to face the consequences.

On the outside, he remained porcelain stone with his eyes digging deeper into the doctor’s throat, but inside a storm of desperation began to brew and swirl. He had to do something about this… In his mind, he was certain the head doctor in front of them had his own solutions to this problem, especially because he finally looked up with a mockery of a smile on his face. Because he reminded DA-389 of the same type of snake that his formal commanders were, he bet it would be unpleasant and only barely took care of the surface problem.

Thomas took his apparent silence of the matter as a reason to go on. He knitted his fingers together and sat his chin down on the hammock of phalanges. “Luckily I have a way for us all to be happy.” He paused, trying to still gauge the reaction of a stone-faced Lycan. When Dust gave him nothing again he continued. “Hokori Owari Hoshi, I purpose a deal. If you agree to a special... Program, where you willingly participate in the testing of weapons, drugs, and other equipment experiments I, Doctor Thomas, have the authority to release and discharge every member of the Avengers that had been involved in the disturbance related to your incarceration.”

Ookami’s immediate agreement caught firmly in his throat, it was a physical lump he could barely swallow back down like the pill it was. He would reflect later how eager his body had been to condemn itself for the sake of his friends. This was new to the contractor, mostly because of how little friends he had in general life. When did he become so selfless?

He lowered his head as it spun with the possibilities of what this could all entail. He had to consider the wording, carefully. Though he didn’t need a fine tooth comb to remember there had been exactly two people involved that didn’t quite fall under that net. “I will agree.” He said firmly. The doctor smiled greedily, but before he could say anything else, Dust continued. “But only if you agree to let Angel and Cade go as well. They, after all, are Avengers now, too.”

There stood two powers. Pillars against the storm grey walls of the interrogation rooms.

“I can arrange that, as long as you agree to the terms.” The doctor said, his jaw stiff.

“I’m all yours.” Dust said, as bravely as he could while feeling frightened for the others.

As if to finalize the deal right then and there, the wild card in this hand flung his metal chair back into the wall, leaving the back two legs slightly dent. Koal had his hands on his temples, squeezing his head as he struggled to breathe. This brought the attention straight to him and after a moment of hyperventilating Dust watched him raise his own eyes to the larger prime.

“You are a fool!” He spat. “You can convince the big guy here, but I-!!”

“You, Koal, don’t have a choice in the matter,” Thomas said, dryly. “You either agree to do the same, or you are dragged there..”
[Image: source.gif]
"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#2
Koal wasn't exactly sure what happened after that moment. In that single, horrid, blood-haze of a moment, all Koal could feel was panic. With panic came Koal's instinct to fight back. He could vaguely call the memory forth, like a half-forgotten dream that you couldn't quite place once you woke up. 

A snarl and his powers resurfacing for a moment.

A demonic screech and a lash of his claws, and a cry of pain.

Stun batons burning even more scars into his already marked and mutilated skin.

"...Damn kid, Doc was right, you got a thing for murder." Koal found the voice of the Stormtrooper to be just like the rest of them: hidden behind a layer of electronic white noise and very, very, annoying.

Koal could do little but glare at him. If looks could kill, the man would be dead before you could say "Oh no". When he had awoken from his pain-induced stupor, Koal had found his mouth bound with a muzzle, a reinforced straitjacket holding his arms at a painful angle across his chest, and a large, red-haired man sitting across from his, eyeing him with an unreadable gaze. The Infernal Swordsman would have made a sarcastic comment if he could talk, maybe even joked a bit with the monstrous Prime.

With nothing else to do, Koal ran his eyes over his companion's body, analyzing the prime for weakness. Lean, coiled muscles wrapped around his frame. And even though he was sitting down now, Koal recalled his immense height, towering over everyone else who had been in that interrogation room. A veritable powerhouse of a person, of that Koal had no doubt. And yet, he also sensed a definite sense of goodness that surrounded him. Eyes moving up his body, Koal then took in the man's facial features. Sharp lines and high cheekbones gave a distinctly... wolfish look to the man. That was when he locked eyes with his once more, blood-red meeting a warm crimson, and Koal found he couldn't tear his gaze away. That continued for a while, Koal wasn't really aware of the passing of time at this point, until the other prime shifted and sat a little bit straighter.

"I'd like to take that muzzle off, but I was told I wasn't allowed to." 

Letting his eyes focus once more on his face, Koal attempted to shrug. Keyword being attempted. As he hiked his shoulders up, Koal felt the chains and bindings dig painfully into his fresh wounds. Dropping them quickly, Koal forced back any sort of noise, his eyes flashing with pain and anger as he looked at the solider in the corner of the room. 

"Estimated time of arrival is five minutes out. Prep the prisoner and the test subject for departure." A distinctly female voice rang out over the ship's intercom, and the Stormtrooper moved almost instantly after the order was given, walking forward to throw another set of manacles onto Koal's wrists and ankles before unchaining him from the wall. Koal was dragged to his feet, his muffled growls of pain and protest promptly ignored as we was marched to the bay doors. AT this point, Koal could feel the noticeable shift in the body as the airship decelerated. Somewhere is his head, he heard the air-pressure door that led to the containment room open and close.

"Orders currently stand to transport the Prisoner to the Lab immediately to meet the Headmistress. The Big Prime here... Dust, was it? Is to follow me after landing to be escorted to holding and be processed and prepped for experimentation." The voice was pleasant enough, with smooth articulation and a bit more inflection on certain words than he was used to. Again, Koal was sure something about that voice was familiar, but as he furrowed his brows and his thoughts began to race, he couldn't place it.

"Understood." He heard a sharp noise, most likely a salute, and a small bit of shuffling cloth.

"If you would follow me, Dust, and I'll take you to where you and I will be departing from this particular group."

Koal heard the hiss of pressurized air twice more, and then nothing. 

Nothing and no one, save for himself, the Stormtrooper, and the tension that hung in the air.
“For the words of a vow are sacred not only among men and the angels, but among the demons as well.” 

― Howard Schwartz
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#3
The woman, whoever she was, addressed him by his name and with respect versus that savagery and cold tone they all used on the prisoner named Koal Lynch. Dust didn’t think this simple observation would go unnoticed by the muzzled kid either, but he wasn’t concerned about that so much as interested in the difference in treatment between captive and volunteer.

It started with the doctor striking deals with the werewolf, he was just interested to see where and when they stopped treating him with niceties that he wasn’t at all used to.

In full unadulterated honesty, Dust was much more used to being treated the way they treated the boy, which might be why he stopped where he did to look back at them with a sympathetic saturated stare. He desired that neither of them suffered more than necessary, but could see the pure delight in the hearts of those around him, these monsters craved to be let off their leash. They would do immoral things to Koal, he knew deep in his heart.

That’s not to say the morality of this place and the future promised anything different for him. It could just be that they will be more polite about it to the compassionate prime.

“This way, Mr. Star.” The woman said, gently nudging him out of his fantasies.

Dust turned to face her, a friendly smile taking place instead of the worried look he’d been displaying earlier. “Sorry. Lead the way.” He radiated kindness. Maybe enough to make her reconsider where she was about to take him because she hesitated for a moment before clearing her throat and leading him along with another path.

There were no cuffs to bound his thick wrists, leaving his hands free to run along the featureless metallic walls down a spacious hallway. He felt the tips of his fingers drag along smooth material as he thought about how strange it was there were no seams or rivets. Like they built the place with perfect measurements or internal locking mechanism, maybe even magnets…

“Please do not touch the walls like that, Dust.”

His thoughts cut short by the woman’s eerily clear voice. Volk jumped and brought his hands to his sides quickly, blushing as he looked away from embarrassment.

He muttered an apology.

There was a long silence that was only filled with the metal clacks of her pristine and polished heels as well as the muffled voices of others in lab coats. He glanced over the heads of several people, taking up a good portion of the allowed height even as he slumped. He could make out some talk of progress in a drug, or a machine, or a weapon. Colleagues talking about their work, nothing more despite the exotic topics.

From another group he caught whispered excitement of having a real Prime to test on, then they looked in his direction and he instinctively lowered his eyes to the floor.

His feet were bare still, slapping across the steel-like floor which was as cold to the touch as the walls had been. He must look so much like a primitive creature, a real caveman. He wondered what kind of judgment they laid upon him at that moment, but did not have the voice to ask.

“This way, Dust.” The woman instructed, showing him through a large opening in one of the walls, Just another opening to the prime, they all looked the same to him.

The large prime turned the corner where he saw a relatively empty mess hall. There were a few stragglers from whatever was the last meal served. He saw only one group larger than two and more loners dotting the rest of the room than anything.

His confusion must have been plastered over his face because she spoke up again. “I imagine the food in prison was rather pathetic, but if you are not hungry we can continue on to the decontamination portion…”

Wolf felt his face heat up from further embarrassment. “I just didn’t expect to eat with the same people that are going to be using me as a lab rat.”

“Rest assure, Dust. We appreciate that you volunteered for this program and we would like to start on good terms. A bit of personal freedom before your subjection. There will be attempts at this same positive experience whenever it is available due to the nature of the experimentations, but given the undetermined time frame of which you will be worked on my superiors have authorized some down time prior to that. If you feel uncomfortable, we can set something up in the kitchen where you may request whatever your heart desires to eat.”

It was more than he’d heard her say in a long time. He flashed a nervous smile. “No-no. That won’t be necessary, I can eat whatever’s on the menu.”

“That is on the menu.” She explained dryly and moved into the cafeteria as a way to lead him inside. “From our notes, you exhibit a healthy appetite that seemed only quenchable by a buffet.”

He laughed tentatively at her joke. “I hadn’t seen food in a while.”

“As a prime, it has been observed that you can just create food.”

“I can?” He asked, not a hint of sarcasm and saturated with surprise.

The woman stopped, turning her head just slightly before she righted herself and continued to lead him to the ends of tables which stretched out across the room’s length. “Yes. We ask that you don’t while in our facility on the account it may affect the results of our tests. As well, some of the things we’d like to test are the effect of poisons which may be given to you through the food.” She turned to him after motioning to one of the seats, Dust took it as commanded. “If you die during any of this that does not void your contract. Expect that if you do not return in a timely fashion, we will extract you violently if we must. Is that clear?”

This was probably the most he’d heard from the woman since being in her presence. She had the dry tone of a professional who’s not about to take any shit from him. He was yet again reminded of Shock. Except his freshest memory of Shock had been her compassionate pleas for him to join her side. “Yes, ma’am.” He said, his Russian slipping from his lips a bit thicker.

“Good.” The name tag on her lapel said ‘Jennifer’. “Now take a seat. Enjoy yourself. Have a drink if you’d like.”

Dust laughed nervously at her suggestion and waved it away. “Thanks, but no thank you.”

“Hm?” Jennifer stopped. “Are you a recovering alcoholic?” Her tone suggested that might have consequences…

“No. Nothing like that.” Hokori was quick to defend himself. Not wanting them to go back on their deal. “I.. Just don’t feel like drinking. Something happened last time is all.”

For a long moment, he thought she would ask him to explain, her stiff face never looking away. Finally, she spoke. “Bad hangover?”

Another nervous chuckle. “Y-Yeah.”

She nodded. “Well then I will leave you to your meal, please don’t think it’s polite to decline more food if you are hungry.” She then turned sharply and went into the kitchen. Dust could make out some voices, at least a bit, and then she left the mess hall altogether.

-

Later Ookami was brought to what he could best describe as a laboratory. Clean, the stainless steel walls and floors continue into a room with large holographic computer screens with a variety of statistics and readings hanging in the air. What they all meant was lost on his curious eyes taking in as much of the information as he could before one of the occupants spoke up.

“Who’s this Jennifer?” a man with a tired look on his face and a curious twinkle in his eye asked. He had long brown shaggy hair that feathered out naturally, thick brows, and dark stubble on his face.

“One of the two new test subjects,” Jennifer said, cryptically.

There was a second tall-lean man. He had black hair combed to perfect Asian standards and fashionable rounded glasses. “The volunteer, presumably.” His breathing came off as snobbish, but so did his point to push up the glasses so the light would reflect off them and hide his eyes.

“Of course. Another examination team is receiving the prisoner. This one seems obedient and will sit still for blood work.” Jennifer assumed, looking back at Dust for him to confirm.

He smiled sheepishly at her. “I’m not afraid of needles if that’s what you mean.”

“Good.” Jennifer turned her attention to the others. “He needs a full physical, a psychological analysis, and anything else you three can think of that would be vital to the testing procedures.”

The third, a slightly overweight man with a bowl cut chimed in with the other two as they spoke in unison. “Yes, ma’am.”

Lycan was then left to the trio’s mercy as Jennifer excused herself from the room. He heard the hissing and clattering of the door as it closed him off from the rest of the world. Well, what little of the world he’d been able to stay in contact with.

“What’s your name, buddy?” The feathered hair man asked. None of them made any approach towards their new plaything, yet.

“Hokori.” Explained awkwardly.

The man he was talking to turned to the guy with the glasses. It must have been a queue that they all were very familiar with. Their test subject went to add more, but the man with the combed hair sat up straight and spoke first. “You are correct in assuming it is Japanese, Allen. It means Dust. Like the stuff that covers your language books.”

Allen’s stubbled face grinned. “Or like your social skills.” he teased his co-worker and then turned back to their test subject. “Okay then, Hokori. Mind if we start with the blood work?” The hulking man just shrugged his large shoulders. “Excellent, just take a seat." he pointed to his own desk, the chair was already out and ready to be offered while he stood on the opposite end to discuss whatever it was they were speaking about prior to this.

Dust nodded and lowered himself into the tiny chair, it sank under his weight but didn’t complain otherwise. He watched as the scruffy man, Allen, walk over to some cabinets built into the walls and rummage through several of them. When he came back he had a few plastic covered objects and some labels for the tubes he carried. Using his foot he pulled along a spare chair so he could sit next to his patient.

Without permission, he grabbed Dust’s arms and looked for the proper vein. While lifting just the prime’s arm, however, he felt strained and his face frowned. “Christ, you are a big man.” he exclaimed, letting his bare fingers prodded for the veins. He didn’t need to. He could see the engorged blue lines under Dust's pale skin. “I bet you are all muscle, how much do you weigh?”

“Don’t know.” Dust responded, watching him as he took out a disinfectant wipe and ran it over the inner corner of his elbow. It felt cold and the hairs on his body prickled as he shivered involuntarily. Everything in this place was cold to him. The air, the floors, the walls, the people.

“We’ll find out before we're done,” Allen replied, unwrapping a needle from its packaging. Someone more knowledgeable in the medical field might notice there’d been no hand washing and there were no gloves involved. The only sanitation happening was the bare minimum. To the animal that they were sticking with the collection of kprovided needles, this was worlds apart from the treatment he’d received back at the recruiting camp in Russia.

“How tall are you?” The guy with the glasses asked he was already recording something on his screen.

“Roughly two-hundred and ten centimeters.” The Prime answered, turning his head away from the needle as it impaled his arm and Allen who was collecting the necessary samples.

“I would have guessed that.” The guy with the glasses said as he imputed the data. “Do you know your bloodline?”

“My father is Japanese, my mother from a place called Denmark. I cannot speak her language though.” Dust replied.

“Denmark, that’s a German-based country.” He looked up from his screen to add, “But you have a hint of Russian in your tone.”

“I was captured in Russia at a young age. I had to learn.”

“Young age?” the man sounded a bit in disbelief. “How old are you?”

Dust had to take a moment to do some math. “Twenty… Two or so..”

“You look like you’d be around that age, so how old were you upon ‘capture’.”

“I think I had just turned sixteen.” Dust said, turning his face back to look at the needle in his arm.

The man adjusted his glasses. “What on Earth would Russians need for a teenage boy?”

It occurred to Hokori at that moment that he was talking to someone who at least had some knowledge of his world and how it functioned. That was rarity in his experience in the omniverse. “I come from an alternate reality where the sky is filled with fake stars. One day after a mysterious gate opened up people started developing powers of the supernatural kind. Around adolescence, these people would die on the inside and no longer feel emotions as they’d been intended. They called us Contractors. We are often captured and used as living pawns on a chess board that no one else can see but the larger powers of the world. I was captured after a trip out of my own country turned sour. The Russians dug me out of the snow and I’ve only cared about survival since then.”

“That sounds fantastic and morbid.” The man said from behind his screen, then typed in a few things. “What supernatural power do you possess?”

“Lycanthropy.”

“Would there be any precautions we would need to take upon dealing with you? Silver bullets?”

“Negative… I am not a traditional werewolf. I borrow the form and the power, but the weaknesses in fairy tales aren’t going to work.” Wolf explained as he watched the needle being pulled out. He turned back up at Allen with a friendly smile. The scruffy man smiled back and couldn’t help the urge to ruffle Dust’s hair before gathering the samples and walking into the back room with the bowl-cut. “One thing that I do require before I can achieve this form is my payment.”

“Payment? Like a tribute to a god?”

“No. Yes. Kinda. All contractors have a price they must pay. Mine is…” Volk had thought he was ready to explain, but he hesitated. Telling them of the price will make things go smoother. Something inside him, however, argued that it would be bad for him as well.

“Yes?”

Hokori looked away in his shame, but couldn’t leave the conversation at that. “I am to kiss someone. Every time I borrow even a bit of the power of the inner wolf, I must kiss someone.”

“Someone? Does it matter the gender?”

“Not to my power, no.”

“And to you?” The professional asked taking off his glasses.

“Pardon?”


There was a sound of the chair moving on the other side of the space. A shadow came over him and the taller male looked up in time to see the scientist leaning over him. Embarrassment flooded Dust’s face as the doctor placed his hands on the broad shoulders of the werewolf. “What about you? What gender do you prefer?” The cold voice had been replaced, now it sounded sympathetic and soft. Beckoning…

Naturally, men wanted to kiss women. Right? Yet, Dust couldn’t bring himself to say that, or else he’d already had. Either the sudden heat of the rushing blood into his face was frying his brain, or the other man's face radiated enough to melt his thought process. Because Hokori was unable to even speak at this point. He felt his jaw moving but couldn’t form thoughts let alone words.

Ookami became aware of his heartbeat suddenly, pounding against his ears. It thundered loud in his chest as the opposing man leaned closer. His eyes dart to the other man’s mouth on instinct. Acknowledging it seemed to make the scientist stop. Dust looked lower as he flattened his back against the chair, catching the name tag on his lapel.

Yoi reached up and pressed his fingers against the bold eight branded into the side of Hokori’s neck, pressing into his vein. His fingers were cold, but out of habit, the volunteer didn’t move away. After a moment he realized the man was taking his pulse. His face burned hotter when he realized this and told himself it was all a plan to get him worked up. Dust just lowered his eyes from the darker haired man when Yoi spoke. “Did you think I was going to kiss you?”

SW-808’s whole body stiffened up at the question before he looked away sharply, brushing the man’s hand off of him casually. But he couldn’t say honestly he hadn't…

“You never answered my other question.” The man stated before pulling away and finding another set of instruments in his desk. It was a simple stethoscope. “What gender do you prefer to kiss?” His voice has returned to its dry tone, leaving Lycan to wonder if he got lost in a dream or something…

“I don’t care.” He managed, still looking away. “The more experienced the better but their gender doesn’t matter.”

“Interesting,” Yoi commented as he polished the silver round piece against his coat, trying to warm it up for Dust’s naked chest. “Does it affect you if they are a bad kisser?”

“No… It’s just less overwhelming to the other person when I have to kiss them much more... Passionately.”

“What does that have to do with things?” Yoi asked, pressing the instrument into his test subject’s heart. It hearty beats provided him with the fact that the man had a good one. He placed it against his large back, his attention breaking momentarily to finger the carved through flesh. The indentions came in a crisscross pattern over his back. They were deep for cuts, and they were old. Old enough to be there permanently.

“To achieve more power, the kiss has to be… Well, heated.”

Yoi noticed how hard this subject was for him. “Deep breaths.” he said, changing the subject after confirming his lungs were good, too. “Any sudden and abrupt deaths in the family?”

The memory of a woman’s head in his snow-covered lap fluttered across Dust's mind. “No.” He lied.

“Any history of the usual? Blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems?”

“No, sir.”

“Any inherited disablements?”

“No, sir.”

“Anything you feel like you need to inform us of your personal health?” Yoi asked, looping the stethoscope over his shoulders and pulled out a small flashlight from his pocket. With a rough touch, he grabbed Dust by the jaw and flashed the light over his eyes.

Soldier 389’s nose wrinkled in pain at the light but followed the silent order when Yoi tugged his attention to the it. “Not that I can think of.”

“If anything comes up in the blood, we will inform you. It will make things difficult if you have any special needs detrimental to the experiments.” The cold man squeezed the boy’s jaw in a way Hokori knew to open it. After inspecting his mouth and throat he pulled away and went back to his desk. The glasses went back on before he began typing away. “What do you know about your other half then?”

“Other…?” Hoshi-san questioned before realizing what Yoi meant. “Oh. The inner beast.” He looked down at his hands and fiddled his thumbs. “Nothing comes to mind. I don’t lose my mind or knowledge of my actions. It’s me, just a different body.”

“Are you able to speak?”

“I’ve never tried.”

“I assume the power you gain is significantly more than your already apparent strength?”

“I… Don’t know.” Dust said, still looking at his nails. “It feels plenty amplified.”

“Is there a way we can test that?” Yoi asked from over top his glasses.

“Wouldn’t you be the one to know that?”

“Excuse me?”

“If you want me to do tests in my wolf form I can. I just need…” He trailed off as heat slowly consumed his face. He actively stared down at his hands.

“We can find someone who is willing to make out with a handsome male, I am sure.” Dust thought he sounded mad. Maybe because he assumed the man didn’t already think of it. “It will be a matter of some small interviews. Until then, I’ll just give you a form to also fill out.” A few moments later the computer in front of the werewolf turned on. The screen nearly blinded Volk before fading to a more manageable brightness. “By the time you are done with that stuff they should be back. I will go find a volunteer for our volunteer…” He then pulled himself back up onto his feet and excused himself.

From his borrowed seat, Dust watched him leave. His perfect posture suffered for a moment as he sighed. Already he felt like a burden…

-

Leeanna had a reputation that lead Yoi to think she would be the best bet for this. She had golden-blonde hair, brilliant green eyes, and a body the male thought would please the standards of the caveman he’d left in the care of his co-workers. She had only asked a minimum of three questions about his request and quickly agreed.

To the curious, those questions were:
“Is this a private kissing lesson request?”
“Who are you asking me to kiss?”
“Is he cute?”

They arrived in front of a massive man tearing through the conveyor belt of a treadmill, sweat pouring off his body. The overweight scientist with the bowl-cut was barking orders at him as he snapped his belt across a chair. Allen was working over the paperwork Yoi left.

“There you ar- Ms Leeanna?”

“She’s here to assist in the second half of the tests,” Yoi announced.

“Second half?” Allen repeated, confused.

“Yes. I want to do the tests twice.”

“Don’t you think that’s a bit overkill?” Allen questioned the ethics.

“Not really. Especially based off of what Hokori has told me.”

“Whatever. Not really going to stop ya.” He waved a fan at him though. “But next time you go find a girl you’ll tell me about it, damn it.”

It was at that point that Dust had been allowed a break. The heart monitor angrily warned the doctors their subject’s pulse was dangerously up, though no one was surprised in the least. He trotted to a stop and then finally flopped against the machinery that controlled the belt.

Yoi pointed at him, and Leeanna smiled as she walked over. “Poor thing… You’ve tired him out already.” She cooed.

The voice sounded similar to Shock’s, making Lycan look over quickly. His eyes found a different woman entirely instead. One moment he was exhausted, the next he stood tall and obediently. “Ma’am.”

A smirk crossed her painted mouth. “Sweetheart. You don’t have to call me ma’am

“Um... What should I call you, then?”

“Leeanna’s my name, Hokori.”

Dust blinked. “Y-Yes, Leeanna.”

“Yoi here tells me I can be of some service to you. Something about how you need a good kisser.” Leeanna layered the charm, leaning over so he could look down her top.

The younger male looked away, however, and tried to avoid eye contact. “I said I prefer a person with more experience, yes.”

“You animal.” She purred, then giggled when Dust blushed hard.

“Take a break, Dust. Get some water.” Allen instructed, the volunteer was more than happy to oblige. When he had downed several cups of water, he poured the last cup over his head and let it run over him. His muscles and lungs were of fire, but that was the point of the stress test they had him do. Or at least in theory. Allen spoke again, this time to Yoi. “Now that you are back, mind explaining yourself?”

“No, I think it will be better if you find out alongside with me.” Yoi sounded arrogant, but he always did to Allen.

“What do you mean?” Allen asked, taking a seat on Yoi’s desk.

“After speaking with Hokori a bit, I found someone to assist in an early experimentation,” Yoi replied, still vague.

“Fine,” Allen said, folding his arms around his chest. “I guess I’ll just find out when it happens.” He finally admitted his defeat.

After a few moments of idle chit-chat between the three doctors, Dust returned to their side. While still avoiding eye contact with anyone who wasn’t Allen he spoke. “Okay, on to the next test.” He said, trying not to anticipate what he’d be asked to do next.

“Good. On to phase two then.” Yoi said, then motioned to Leeanna.

Dust felt his face warm up again as he was given his orders and nodded slowly. It wasn’t a punishment, but it always felt like one. Forcing a kiss on someone, even if they volunteer. He remembered his Dante’s Abyss kisses the most. Even now his cheek ached from where Dawn smashed in his face with her bare knuckles. Or when he kissed Tamsin without warning…

It was definitely awkward. His first natural kiss was with Tamsin, and even then he left that block with a burning desire to kill himself. Then again, that was the first time he kissed someone he liked. It was always as if the Russian’s put him with the most dislikable person on purpose. The way they treated him? He wouldn’t be surprised if they admitted to that.

He turned to the woman they’d found. Yoi said she volunteered, and she seemed to know what she was expected to do, but it still made him hesitant.

“Did you want me to start, big man?” Leeanna teased, but Dust found himself nodding just slightly. She giggled at him, forcing the shy prime further into his embarrassment. “Come here, then.”

Leeanna was the opposite of the male subject. She grabbed him by the wrists and pulled him closer, his bare feet smacked the naked metal floors on either side of her as she forced him to wrap his arms around her. She let them go to bring her arms around the back of his neck, which was more like interlocking fingers across his spinal cord with the size differences. She was all but hanging off of him.

Dust’s hands naturally fell to where she’d last left off, two solid palms crashed against her butt cheeks. A second later his body tensed up into steel-like material, rigid and unmoving. The fear was very real in his widened eyes, but the woman just laughed gently.

“Is that where your hands have to be?”

Blood flooded his face and he struggled to speak through tight lips and a clenched jaw. “N-No. N-Not at all. I-”

“You should have just said, ‘yes’.” She taunted as she pulled her body against his.

Natural his hands slid down the curves of her butt area and landed so he was cupping them under her. This only caused his body to tighten and clench with fear again.

“S-So-”

“Don’t be sorry, hun.” Her voice whispered directly into his ear. “Just give it a squeeze.”

Dust couldn’t feel his entire body at this point. He wasn’t quite numb. More like he no longer had control over his limbs. He felt the heat in his face flare like a thousand sons, maybe it fried his brain finally. Then as if to take advantage of his lack of control over himself, he felt his inner beast dig into the grey matter of his brain and felt his fingers curl into the crease of her ass. He felt the weight of embarrassment and pure shame smack him in the chest.

“You animal…” Leeanna purred and then pulled him down into a raw kiss.

Dust felt their lips collide. Physically it was a simple kiss, but to the beast inside the kiss meant much more. He stared blankly toward the wall, but her head tilted just slightly into his view and invited him into a much more passionate kiss than he’d expected. She bent herself backward, and naturally, his arms moved to catch her, to hold her, cling to her. His mouth began pressing harder into the kiss, controlled by another force that demanded he not stop. As if the inner wolf had become self-aware and now used his body.

There was a point where Dust eventually closed his eyes and let his body react naturally. Power rose into him in a warm and inviting fashion, as if to tempt him to use it. He withheld from using it immediately, knowing it would be better to take advantage of her participation to store as much of the contract payment as possible.

Already he felt his muscles twitch.

He dared to slip his tongue into her mouth, expecting it to be the end of that, only for her to accept his attempts without question.

The patience on the woman was worth her weight in gold. She remained attentive as he struggled with his dignity and needs. His tongue was messy and passionate but lacked any experience just instinct. Slowly she guided him through his first French session. All the while he let out soft animal-like grunts of pain and surprise.

Within the kiss, he lost all sense of balance and placement. They hung in the air one moment, and the next he was on top of her, his thick arms curled around her protectively. His fingers played with her golden colored hair. He didn’t know what he was doing, just that with every flick of his fingers it pleased the creature within and the creature under him.

There was a point where he remembered her bliss being directed right into his ears, he remembered it only feeding his contract more, and finally, he remembered being pulled on from behind. He remembered flashbacks of the Russians forcing him to transform without proper payment, only to offer tribute after several hours had passed. Like then, he can’t remember what happened beyond the point of them tearing him off of his partner.

-

Wolf woke up on the couch in the office. Nothing specifically woke him up but when he did come back to consciousness it was his sense of sound that was tickled first, then his sense of smell. He heard typing noises as well as musical beeps echoing off metallic walls. He could smell coffee, heavy on the creamer. Honestly, he could taste it, but out of reaction to knowing what that tasted like. He never had a preference for coffee though.

He rolled over, at the last second his senses failing to alert him that the couch was only so big. His whole body slammed against the floor with a low thud. His whole body screamed apparently every muscle was suddenly so sensitive. He groaned a long boring moan of pain.

“Oh, you’re awake.” He heard the bored tones from Yoi.

“Can I go back to sleep?” Dust asked, face against the floor.

“Nearly all the tests are done, so we just need to do a vision and hearing.” The sound of ruffling papers. “I believe after that you will be allowed to relax, Ookami.”

“Wolf?”

“It only felt appropriate.”

“How’s Leeanna?” Dust asked, remembering only a little of what happened.

“She had a good time. She left you the message that if you ever need her help again, she’d be happy to come to your aid.” Yoi explained, then stepped around him. Dust listened to each foot fall.

“So she’s okay? Good to know…”

“How often do you have sexual intercourse, Hokori?” Yoi asked bluntly.

The question brought on the possibilities of what had happened after he blacked out. His face felt like fire exploded under the skin and his only relief was the coldness of the floor. While the aspect of standing up was so hard a moment ago, Volk found it easy to leap to his knees and hands. “N-Never!” He blurted out and then felt another strong layer of embarrassment wash over him like a waterfall. “Wh-What I mean is it has never happened. As a contractor, I didn’t have any… Desire. Hey, wait a minute…” He could feel the red-hot fires of shame and guilt run through his shoulders and chest, leaving a blush so powerful it turned his skin. “I- Leeanna and… We didn’t- Did we?”

Yoi was staring at him past glared out glasses, his face flat and neutral. There was a long silence as if he intentionally wanted Dust to think of the worse possible cases. “Have sex? No.”

Relief was not a strong enough word to express how Dust felt. He fell back to the floor, another muffled thud.

“After that kiss, she probably wanted to though,” Yoi added, enjoying the pained groan that escaped his test subject. “I ask only because there is a theory out there that athletes perform best when they deprive themselves of any sexual activity before games and tests. The levels of passion in the kiss and the results may have some correspondence to that. But if you’re a virgin…”

He rolled his head so that the locks of maroon fell away from his face. “More passionate the kiss the more power I gain. I must have missed that in my explanation. I’m afraid I have no idea how heated the kiss ended up being because I blacked out. I don’t even remember the tests.”

“Well after you took a bite out of my desk, which I guess we can assume was reactional instead of conscious hate, you excelled in the tests to the point of breaking every last bit of equipment.” Yoi chose this time to step aside to let him see the damage he’d done.

Allen was hovering over a man who was trying to do an analysis on one of the computers of the machine. Probably to see if it was salvageable. He had a wide grin on his scruffy face when he came over and leaned down. “You did just fine, buddy. Don’t let Yoi intimidate you.”

“Correct. If there’s any consolation to all this destruction, it's that you were fairly obedient.” Yoi announced, but with some subtle salt.

Allen grinned harder. “He’s just mad that you would only do as I said.”

“Subconsciously you could see him as the alpha.” Yoi offered.

“I wouldn’t say that.” Dust said, then flushed a little in the face, looking away. “If I had to guess its because I spent more time with Allen, that’s probably all.” He didn’t admit it, but the werewolf prime was sure they understood Yoi was probably more dominant than Allen.

“I’m sure whoever is in charge of your experiments will want to explore that as well,” Yoi responded, coldly. Then turned back to his work.

“Did I really take a bite out of his desk?” Dust asked, quietly.

Allen nodded. “It let us at least see how strong your bite was. Which if you can take out a chunk of the desk means a lot. Specifically that I don’t want to be on the wrong end of it.”

“I didn’t hurt anyone, did I?” Dust asked, concerned.

This made the other male pause for a bit, but then looked around. “Other than the mechanic’s feelings? No. The tests only lasted half as long because you broke all expected results by a shit ton.”

“Is that a scientific term?” Dust asked with a bit of a smile.

“I used it, didn’t I?” Allen teased back.

-

None of them were eye doctors, but they were able to do the most basic types of tests, including a color blindness test. “What number do you see here?” Allen held up a card.

Dust looked at the presented card. The question wasn’t odd in any way. He’s been nursing a cup of green tea for the past few minutes just answering similar questions. So far it has been numbers and letters of different sizes, which he had to answer from the distance between both desks. About six foot. He could get most of what people would be expected to get, and lucky on a few guesses for the smallest print. But when Allen raised this one, Dust was at a loss.

“What? Like the number of dots?” He asked as he looked up at Allen.

The long-haired scruffy guy flipped the card over to make sure he had the right one. Then turned it to face Volk once more. “You can’t see that?”

“See what?”

“The twenty-seven?”

“Where?”

“In the middle here.” He rolled his finger over it, circling it to better help narrow it down.

Pecs shook his head. “Nothing.”

Allen paused to look over the back. It explained that someone who could not visualize the number twenty-seven had a high probability of being red-green color blind. So he put it down and tried another card from that section. “This one?”

He couldn’t tell what colors they were, but the number stood out. “Three. Zero and three, to be exact.

He was correct. Allen put it down and pulled out another. Dust stared at if for a long time but then shook his head. “I can’t see that one.”

“It appears that you have red-green color blindness. You generally have trouble between greens and reds, and browns and orange.” Allen said, reading off the information from their small discovery. “Which I wouldn’t get too beat up about, orange and brown is hard to normal people. In my opinion.”

“Will this be a problem for the tests?” Dust asked.

“I don’t know. The likelihood of us working on your case is probably zip to none. We’ll put it in the file and make the commander aware of it. If they need to adjust anything I am sure it will be minor.”

“I hope so…”

“What made you volunteer anyways?” Yoi asked, sipping at his coffee.

“Um...” He looked away. “Well, I was given the choice. Either I volunteer or every one of my teammates and myself stay in prison for an undetermined time. So… I didn’t want them to suffer needlessly.” He lowered a little, his perfect posture failing for the first time in a while. “I’m used to cages, I’ll be fine.”

“Noble.” Allen said, putting down the cards and picking up his own tea. “Loyal.”

“Stupid.” Yoi replied harshly.

Dust only nodded.  That’s him, loyal and stupid.

With the physical done and the exams, Jennifer was summoned once more. They handed over the findings to her and her volunteer. She nodded respectfully to them as she thanked the trio, and then lead Dust away from the group.

“Two more stops then.” She announced as plainly as ever, and then guided him through hallway after hall.

Between the physical exams and the psychological tests, Hoshi Owari Hokori was given a clean bill of health and the stamp of ‘mentally sound’. The head doctor would see him regularly to keep him sane, but for the sake of the tests, the visit was brief. After all, she only wanted to know if his decision as a volunteer was perfectly valid. And according to the man who returned him, he was conscious of his actions.

Pleased she guided him to the last stop before he was given his assigned cell.

“A bath? Why?” Dust asked, but then could only guess…

“I imagine even primes sleep better after a good hot shower.” She didn’t look at him. “It will sufficiently relax you, and you will need your rest. We will hose Koal down, no telling what he might do if we give him the same courtesy. But you have been nothing but cooperative and I wanted to offer you the ability to bath in closed off bathroom where you can enjoy some privacy.”

Dust wasn’t sure how to react to that. “You don’t have to go to those lengths… I have used public bathhouses before.”

“Is that your preference?” She turned over her shoulder to look at him. Her brown eyes were ice cold. “Do you consider yourself a social person?”

Lycan felt his walk slow to a stop at that question. No. As a contractor, any social gathering was for the sole purpose to gain something. Not that he’d been let off his leash at all for things like that. He’s never learned to dance to gather information from a spy. He’s never faked friendships with anyone for trust just to double cross them. He couldn’t flirt with a woman just to have access to the top floor at a party… And yet, since the omniverse he couldn’t stand the idea of being alone anymore. “Not until this point…” He answered honestly.

“If you would like instead you can use the public bath with staff, though it is a bit late.” She offered.

Dust took a long moment to himself. He eventually shook his head. “Thank you… But whatever is easier for you is fine.”

She didn’t even hesitate, she nodded and began to lead him to the private bathroom. It was attached to someone’s living space, an empty one. At least, it looked empty. From the front door to the shower curtain it looked inhabited. But Dust found soaps behind the flimsy curtain and towels across the rod on the wall. He tested the towel by rubbing it between his fingers before he turned to the shower.

-

When everything was said and done, Dust laid on the bed provided for him in the single cell he’d be sharing with Koal. He’d been picked clean of any stray fleas, ran through tests all day, and fed. He’d been treated more or less like a volunteer. They even provided warm grey sweatpants and a loose cotton black T-shirt to wear. He’d been afraid of the room’s temperature, but the cool air was just comfortable enough for the thicker trouser’s material.

The large prime laid there recalling certain parts of his day, reflecting and re-reacting. Blushing at the idea of Yoi leaning down and kissing him, like your typical girl with a crush. He immediately shook his head free of the image and tried to think about something else. Specifically, would the person in charge of his and Koal’s experiments cater to this need of a kiss, or if they expected him to get that from Koal?

The idea of kissing Koal also made him blush. This time less so as a fantasy catching him off guard. More because it meant he’d have to explain to yet another person the awkward position his power puts him in. That or just do it.

It occurred to Hokori at that point that he hasn’t seen his cellmate since the ride over here. He had no clock to sign the time, so what felt like hours could be but a few minutes. Still, he’d been there in that bed for an awfully long time… Long enough for his hair to be mostly dry. He wondered if he understood them incorrectly if Koal would have his own cage instead.

Then as if on cue, the door opened up abruptly. Dust flung himself upright and around so his bare feet touched the floor. As he did, none other than the demon of pride was shoved through by too larger guards. They sneered and patted their hands clean before closing the door quickly and leaving the two amongst themselves. Not ready to upset his new companion, Wolf just sat there, bewildered and holding back a frustrated whine as he struggled with what to do. It might be presumptuous to greet him in a friendly way or crush him in a hug of pure relief. Either way, he was happy to see the other prime, even if wasn’t sure how to proceed.
[Image: source.gif]
"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#4
“How’s that feel, you monster?!”  

“How about you let me show you how it feels you impotent fuck!” Koal’s scream matched his tormentor's in intensity, the former snarling manically at the latter, who bore his teeth in a similar yet not as threatening fashion. The Demon bore new scars today, electricity burns and chafed wrists and ankles, and large, hand-print bruises on his neck. Torture wasn’t a subject Koal was unfamiliar with, and his attitude proved that. 

“Up the voltage, and let's see how much more this fucker can take!” The Torturer’s face was red and mottled, almost reflecting his prisoner’s eyes, which flashed red with the promise of a painful death. 
 
“Why stop there?! MAX IT OUT! YOU CALL THIS TORTURE?! THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO ME THAT HASN’T BEEN DONE BEFORE! MAKE ME FEEL SOMETHING YOU BITCH!” Koal’s voice reached a fever pitch, his power sparking for a moment, manifesting in a small arc of crimson lighting that struck his captor in the face, searing the skin with a wet sizzling noise. The Pride Demon let out a guttural laugh then, even as the manic doctor dropped the electric rod and began beating him with his bare hands, landing sloppy hay-makers to Koal’s ribs and cheeks alternately. After that moment, the only sounds in the room was Koal’s insane laughter and the sound of flesh hitting flesh and breaking bones.  
 
Koal wasn’t sure how long that lasted. Maybe an hour, give or take a few minutes? He never was any good at time management, in his own world or in this one. So, some time later, Koal wasn’t sure how much, he snapped out his daze, his body being carried on either side by a man and a woman who both wore white plate armor that identified them as stormtroopers. He almost laughed at the situation, and would have if he could feel his body. 
 
Drugs. Great. Koal mentally rolled his eyes, before trying to move his body, succeeding in shifting his weight a little to his left side, alerting his guards to his consciousness. 
 
“We hosed off the blood and grime from your filthy body, you animal.” The woman sneered, her sharp features twisting as she regarded him. Koal, not willing to let that slide, suddenly found his voice. 
 
“Thanks sweetie, I’d tell you that I hoped I wasn’t a burden, but quite honestly, I wouldn’t care if you bungee jumped with regular rope.” His snarky voice earned him a sharp elbow to the ribs, further fracturing them. He could practically feel his lungs filling with blood as the sharp edges ground into the vital organs. He choked back a cough, the blood staining the back of his gritted teeth and he strained to retain his sarcastic composure. 

Determined to be as big a problem as he could be, Koal made every effort to hinder their progress through the facility, knocking them off balance and dragging his feet the entire time. He earned a few more bruises and broken bones, but such is the price of being a smartass. As they progressed through the maze of hallways and chambers, He noticed the guard detail was surprisingly low. But then again, what did they have to fear here? Koal was wrapped up in his own pain and thoughts as they trudged on. 

Then came Koal’s favorite part. Poked and prodded, his body bare to a group of scientists, headed by an older woman with a generous number of wrinkles and silver hair kept in a tight ponytail. Using a flashlight to finish examining his mouth with a gentler hand than he was used to, she began to speak to him, even as the other scientists scuttled around like insects taking notes on various things. 

“Nice teeth, and excellent bone structure. Muscular structure appears to be in excellent physical condition, despite the amount of scarring and bruising. Six foot four in height, and around two hundred pounds, you could stand to gain a little more weight, young man.” 

“...” 

“Please...what was the name agai-” 

“Koal. You may use my name if you wish. It's better than being referred to as “monster”. So, if it would please you, call me Koal.” His rough voice grated on her ears, rough from disuse and his session earlier with her colleague. Koal almost smiled himself as her face brightened a fraction from his words, before jotting something down quickly on her clipboard and leaning to whisper something quickly to one of her underlings, and then finally turning back to him. 

“Alright, Koal, I’m going to unshackle you okay? We need to get a range of your physical capabilities, but we can only do that if you agree not to go insane and start killing us once we unshackle you. I’d like to prevent any more bloodshed today, okay?” Her eyes implored his for an answer, wide and glowing with warm amber tones. He nodded wordlessly. “Unshackle him and disable the nullifier please.” She paused and then added, “And bring in a vial of the regenerative serum. I need him in peak physical condition for these trials.” 

A couple of people ran forward, white lab coats flapping slightly as one handed her a vial, and another a sterilized needle. He wordlessly extended his forearm to her, his eyes narrowed suspicion as she slowly pushed down on the plunger. As she withdrew the needle and stepped back, Koal stayed attentive to his own body to see if she had poisoned him or drugged him. After a few moments of detecting no change, he noticeably relaxed as he felt reassured that the serum was doing its work. After a short click, the shackled holding his wrists fell to the floor, and Koal felt his collar vibrate slightly as he rubbed the circulation back into his hands. As his powers surged back into effect, Koal felt the pain from his injuries subside, and the strength he was so accustomed to return to his limbs. Grinning slightly, he looked to the doctor for instructions. 

“Alright Koal, just follow my instructions and everything will be fine. Place your dominant foot across and in front of your other foot and then try and touch your toes.” Koal obliged her, feeling a slight burning sensation as his hamstrings groaned in protest after not being used for a while. Holding the pose for a few moments, he stood back up straight, feeling his hips and knees pop as more tension was released from the joints.  

“Good, good. Next, do you see that wall over there? I want you to run there and back when I say go. Take up position, get ready, and... go!” Koal shot like a bullet, hitting the wall with more than a little force, using it as a springboard to give him a bit more momentum on the sprint back. As he passed the doctors, he saw her scribble a bit more on her pad before calling him back over to her.  

“Not bad, Koal. I’ve seen faster, but not bad.” She gave him a thumbs up before tucking the clipboard under her arm and extending a hand in a friendly gesture of respect. 

“I don’t want us to be enemies, Koal. For your time here, I will try to protect you, but you have to be willing to work with me. My colleagues will still treat you like sub-human and abuse you, but I have never believed in that approach. So, if you're square with me, I’ll be square with you, got it?” She sobered up, her amber eyes boring into hi as he tentatively gripped her hand and gave it a slight pump before stepping back. Hearing the beep on his collar, he felt it grip a bit tighter as his power left him.  

Feeling the fatigue hit him like a gut punch, Koal staggered to a knee, holding his dizzy head with a hand, the other braced against the floor. He registered the form of the doctor crouched next to him, a hand on his shoulder. A motherly presence. 

“Are you okay?” 

“Just tired. My powers were just blocked, so I’m feeling the pain from my injuries again. Thank you for the concern.” Koal whispered hoarsely back at him as his body throbbed in a response to his words. She patted his shoulder softly before standing back up. 

“I have to go, and someone else is going to be coming in after me. Be strong and make it to tomorrow, and I’ll see if we can’t negotiate a bit of a tone down on the nullification, alright?” 

“Much obliged, Doctor.” 

“You’re very wel-” 

“Look who I get to see again! My personal punching bag! Oh, how I’ve missed you for the past hour, you little monster.” 

Koal hissed softly in response, even as his mind began to desensitize itself for the coming beat down he knew he was going to get.  

I just have to make it to tomorrow... 

Again, Koal was unaware to the passage of time. It could have been minutes or hours, but all he focused on was the cold floor or the metal wall. Anything but the throbbing of his body as he was dragged yet again down a corridor. 

Faintly hearing a door open, Koal was almost surprised when they threw him in. Almost. They must have been done with him for the day. Not that he cared. He lay helplessly on the floor of the cell, not even trying to get up until they left, and failing to do so when they were gone. He was not aware to anything else in the room, his dull gaze trained on his weak body, broken and bruised as he tried once more to rise to his feet. 

After more than a few of these trial and errors, Koal felt a gentle hand grab his arm and pull. In any other circumstance, Koal might've reacted poorly, attacking the offender. Feeling his own weakness, Koal opted to a weak growl in his chest before subsiding to unconsciousness.
“For the words of a vow are sacred not only among men and the angels, but among the demons as well.” 

― Howard Schwartz
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#5
Dust couldn’t help himself. Compassion would be his biggest flaw throughout his life in The Omniverse, for sure. His strong sense of justice, probably birthed by the injustice he’s lived with his whole life up until the de-shackling upon his arrival her, would probably be the death of him one of these days. For now, however, at least someone could benefit from him.

Watching the guards toss the boy in like a sack of rocks was especially hard on Hokori’s heart, but the shape that he’d been left was even worse. Simply unable to move after the personal attack on him, evident by the struggles of even getting up and the ugly set in yellow-green bruises, the deep purple-blue markings in less brutally abused place, and the broken flesh which showed he was flesh and blood the same as him - crimson colored fluids seeping from them. The image left the werewolf prime in the worst of moods.

Wolf approached slowly, his shadow washing over the mess that was the boy. He lowered his massive body by bending at the knees, reaching down and touching the physical form that they’d left at his doormat. The warning growl somewhere from within the boy’s bruised throat, but his weak attempts to assert dominance quieted down quickly. It just broke the contractor’s heart - ironically. He ran the back of his knuckles through hair as dark as the night sky in some vague attempt to comfort the guy as exhaustion pulled Koal into slumber.

They only had one bed, presumably for the volunteer. If Dust had to take a guess, that would be his. All too used to the floor, colder and crueler than this cell, while the more important guests slept soundly in beds that were as comfortable if not more than this one. Two-Hundred pounds of deadweight was nothing as the werewolf prime rolled the body into his arms, lifting him like a child that fell asleep in front of the television, Dust carried Koal over to the bed and lowered him into it as gently as he could not disturb his cellmate.

As he tucked him in, pushing the blankets under his body to wrap him up securely, Hokori wished he could do something more… All he could think to do at that point was just try to give the pitiful guy whatever comfort he could protect him in any way he could.

He lowered himself to the ground, sitting so that if they checked in they would see his heavily scarred back first, and the bed second. He didn’t stay up particularly late, it would upset the people that had put in the effort to make him comfortable if he did. His companion might not understand if it ever came up, but then again that would be unlikely. Either way, he laid his head down on the side of the bed, having to bend over a bit to do so. He was still young, so this kind of position for sleep wouldn’t bother him at all. Eventually just laying there in silence pulled Ookami into a dreamless night.




The next thing he remembered was the jerking of the bed as the other man woke up in a panic. Apparently, against any kind of restraints, Koal only needed to rock in the bed violently enough for the covers to come loose. Dust’s eyes opened and he was lifting his head when the blankets were flung off - thankfully without ripping - of Koal and then fell gently over the giant prime, anti-climatically to say the least.

“Oi…” Dust spoke sleepily as he pulled the blankets off while sitting up straight. When his face appeared he was yawning. His mouth wide open revealed normal teeth, abnormally white for someone who looked so lazy right now. Pulling it off the way he did, made the blanket run over his hair so it covered his eyes, a quick comb backward with his fingers showed off those sharp features again to Koal. “Ohayō.” His tired voice said as pleasantly as possible as he took in the scene.

Like a cat who’s been scared out of its wits, Koal was pressed hard against the steel walls of the cell, gasping for breath. His heart - or close enough - beat so loudly the guards could have heard it from the other side of the door. His eyes wildly darted from one corner of the shared space to the other.

They provided them with precisely one bed, a steel toilet, a writing desk in the corner, and not much else. The available space was large enough for two beds of the same size as this one, more so if you stacked the two as there had to be about twenty feet above their heads. No windows, no decor, nothing. Just each other.

When Koal glanced back at his companion, their eyes met once more. Even in his sleepy state, Dust’s eyes held his attention for a very long period of time, and without a clock, it was hard to say how many minutes passed. Enough for the startled demon of pride to slowly relax back into the bed.

It was Dust who broke the silence first. “That’s nice.”

“What is?” Koal’s voice strained.

“They took your muzzle off,” Wolf replied, smiling a bit.
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"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#6
Koal felt his panic slightly falter at those words, his breathing gaining some semblance of regularity as he locked eyes with the other Prime. 

Then he realized the dull ache in his arms, strained as they were in bracing the young Demon’s body against the steel walls. Letting them flop to his sides, Koal swallowed past the lump in his throat and began to breathe deeply through his nose, letting his eyelids flutter shut as he collected his thoughts. He just let the sound of his own labored breathing be his focus for the next few moments, as he slowly corralled his herd of thoughts into their respective pens.  
 
He remembered bits and pieces of the previous day, the gruesome scenes arranging themselves into a misshapen timeline. His uneventful walk to the first “examination” chamber. His torture and beating. The kind doctor and her promise, and another beating. After that, the timeline got muddy, murky, meddled. As if his memories were a pond and someone had skipped a rock across them. And within those murky water, Koal found the emotion he despised the most.  

Fear.  

He feared them. And he feared himself. No, that wasn’t it... He feared for himself. He feared what they would do to him today. He could practically feel his body pulse with the pain of his injuries, and Koal whimpered slightly before strangling the sound in his own throat, the soft cry cutting off with a violent sharpness. 

Swallowing tightly again, moving forward with a slowness that insured he would not aggravate his wounds, Koal bent down slightly, avoiding Wolf’s eyes and picking the soft blanket off the floor. 

“Yeah. I’m sure they would have hated it if I couldn’t scream to their heart’s content. Of course, you were probably treated marginally better.” The bitter words escaped his mouth before he could stop them, not that he tried. And judging from the silence, Koal figured that the larger Prime either didn’t know how to respond, or was trying to figure out how to.   

Sighing heavily, Koal threw the blanket across the single bed before smoothing it out, cocking his head slightly to get a better view of it, before ultimately deciding it was even and bending down slightly to tuck the corners under the mattress. After the deed was done, he straightened and pivoted on a heel and careful wound his way around the prime before tentatively sitting down in front him, trying his best not to meet his eyes. 
He opened his mouth to speak again, before closing it and gritting his teeth, turning his head away from the other prime to hide the frustration in his eyes. After a moment, Koal turned again, his gaze much softer, his crimson eyes having now faded to a soft violet hue, before his hoarse voice carried itself the scant few feet to Dust’s ears. 

“They...they called you Dust before, on the transport... That’s... that’s your name, right? Is it okay if I call you that?” Koal, still not looking at him, sensed the movement, and assumed an agreement. 

“I... I realize that you know nothing about me, and I know nothing about you. Forgive my manners and if this seems a bit strange... but I don’t want you to hate me. I have enough hate. I just want... A friend? I don’t know...” Koal agonized before he scoffed at himself. What was he thinking? 

They all thought he was a mindless killer. A monster with no feelings or remorse. This man had sacrificed himself for his friends. He didn’t deserve Dust’s friendship. Not in the least. 

“Never mind. I’ve overstepped my boundaries. I’ll leave you be.” Koal made a move to get up, before a gentle hand landed on his should, and the young demon froze in his movement.  
 
“For the words of a vow are sacred not only among men and the angels, but among the demons as well.” 

― Howard Schwartz
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#7
Dust pushed him gently back into his seat, a smile firmly on his face and growing. If he had had a tail it would threaten to crush the bed beside them under its swift wagging he was in such a better mood. Admittedly he was having a bad morning when Koal spat venom about their treatment. He would have traded places with the guy if he could.

Now that they were talking though, and about friendship. Ookami couldn't help himself. Joy exploded inside him as the battered man pleaded for forgiveness. Koal had it the second it left his cracked lips. SW-808 dared to hope at that point that they would make it through this together. Like Koal said, there was enough hate.

“Dust is easiest for most people. You can call me just about anything you want honestly. I answer to most forms of Wolf, like Volk or Ookami. Hell I even answer to a few numbers.” he assured. Sure it was absurd to answer to numbers. Yet, the bold three digit number which has been branded into the side of his muscular neck might suggest otherwise. It didn't look too far off from a serial number the nazi's branded into their victims; Not much different from the tags they put in the ears of purchasable livestock.

“The crazy doctor called you Koal, is that okay to use?”

He watched at his comrade shrugged noncommittally, the pain of doing so flashing over his bruised face. Briefly it reminded them both of the beatings of their pasts. One more recent than the other. He found himself wanting to hug him and comfort him.

“Do you want my shirt?” he asked abruptly, almost at random. Then he realized the strangeness of his question. His face turned a slight hue of red. “Your clothes are all torn up and… Well it isn't freezing in here but they don't look very warm.” he added. Innocently enough.

Koal possibly struggled with the concept that someone was actually and literally offering the shirt off their back to him. He didn't answer right away. If he was going to reply at all it didn't show enough to stop the awkward prime from continuing.

“I bet they will give you new clothes before the end of today, so if that's weird then I understand… I just thought, you know, you looked cold. So.” Hokori lowered himself in his seat, not at all unlike a dog who was in trouble for begging. Perhaps a bit less pathetic.
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"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#8
It took Koal a moment to process those words, along with the ridiculously... dare he say cute manner in which the normally imposing figure was acting. Almost like a puppy desperate to please its owner. Looking down at his own clothes for a second, Koal took the ripped and bloody fabric between his fingers, feeling the coarse material and considering the offer.  

“No, I wouldn’t want to ruin your shirt too.” Koal finally answered, and he almost could swear that Dust visibly deflated at the rejection, and the demon scrambled to interject once more.

“It’s not that I don’t appreciate the offer! I just... I already know that I’m gonna get the shit beat out of me again. Don’t wanna ruin your clothes, ya know?” Koal practically vomited the words out of his mouth before clamping his lips shut, an unfamiliar heat rising in his cheeks as he disgusted his outburst. Swallowing heavily past his embarrassment, he leaned backwards a bit and racked his brain desperately for a topic to get away from the current situation.  

It was at this moment Koal realized he had the social finesse of a blunt and rusty axe.  

Damn. 

And his traitorous eyes were practically glued to Dust’s shirt, which fit a bit tighter than most of the clothes Koal was used to wearing. He could practically see the chiseled form of the man across from him...Koal felt the heat in his cheeks replicate in his chest. 

Oh. 

Oh

Koal ripped his eyes away from the Wolfish man, coughing into his hand and running the other through his messy black hair. His eyes, having now fully returned to their natural violet hue were wide open and fixed on a particularly interesting section of the wall, and Koal prayed to whatever the fuck counted as God in this universe that his blush disappear.  

And as if in answer to his prayers, Koal felt something bubble up inside of him.  

“Say, Dust...?” 

“Yes?” 

RIIIIPP 

Koal ripped the few remaining bloodstained tatters of his shit and threw it to the floor beside him before getting close to the Ookami. 

Uncomfortably close.  

Koal flashed his best smile and cradled his head in one hand, his eyes drooping to a half-lidded stare. 

“Whaddya think?” The cool and seductive mask he was keeping up was almost hilariously at a contrast with his thoughts, the maddening cacophony of individual thoughts all now focused on a singular sentence.   

What the fuck did I just do?
“For the words of a vow are sacred not only among men and the angels, but among the demons as well.” 

― Howard Schwartz
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#9
With that, Dust stopped. The stiff blank face he made mimicked his confusion about what just happened, and the struggle to deal with it. Silence consumed the available space around the two men, and the larger of the two just stared blankly trying not to offend him. A bead of sweat trickled down Hokori’s temple, the words for the situation a lot less fluid… Though they must be as transparent, as he could not find them.

After long strokes of the minute hand where the ticks of each second chuckled, Koal threw his hand over his mouth and snickered as he couldn’t hold back a moment longer. A moment later the Prideful Demon roared with laughter and thus giving himself and his minor prank away. Dust watched, even more perplexed than before, as the abused man tapped his closed fists into the ground to aid his projection of how funny he thought it all was.

“You should see your face!” Koal exclaimed from behind his folded arms. Tears came to his eyes but it was unclear if it was his reaction to rejection the demon was so used and he was merely laughing away his pain, or if the pain of truthful laughter made his eyes water.

The larger prime felt ears fall into an annoyed pose as his facial features slack under the accusations… Only for a smile to quietly take its place, his gentle face showing the compassion that not even Dust understood why he held so much of.

Hokori smile grew larger and from a depth that didn’t exist before Omni. “You should see yours, its turning blue.”

Koal sat up as he wiped the tears from his eyes with his fist. “Nah, that’s from the beating last night.” he informed his companion bluntly, managing a smile of his own to make the statement confusingly positive.

Lycan looked back at him, a heavier heart.

“Don’t.” Koal said suddenly, as pity sank into the depths of Dust’s stomach. He could feel it as well, cursed as he was.

Confusion bloomed back into the large prime. “Don’t what?”

“Give me that look… I have survived worse.” the demon promised.

“Just because we can endure the blind hate of others as they break our bodies, it does not mean they will succeed in crushing our souls.” Dust added some potency poetic images to their prison cell.

“Lovely. Truly inspirational. Do you do birthday parties?” Koal began to rebuild his wall. Never again would he trust anyone else. It was much to painful for the already suffering existence that was his life. Part of him wished he had Dr. Doom’s company, then this void in his life could be filled with anger.

Only as he was starting to seeth under the mask of apathy did he notice how silent it had become. And moreso, how low Dust’s head hung. So much for his torpor, or illusion of.

Not really the type to cheer someone up, his voice still held a tone of lassitude. “As you can probably tell, I am an inept source of sunshine. Especially after the night I have had. So while I appreciate your kindness,” he really did, “do yourself a favor and don’t get too close. I am insufferable to be around, if only because people tend to suffer when I am around.” Koal finished by shrinking back, folding his body into itself by hugging his needs and wishing to avoid any attachment.

Things would honestly be easier that way, as indicated by his past. Why did he ever think he could make a connection with anyone else?

Giving Dust no chance to reply, the door to their shared cell was tossed madly into the wall behind it. There was a solid ’gong!’ to announce the intrusion on their private conversation. Not that prisoners of the Empire had much of anything in the terms of privacy. Dust would be wholly disappointed if he assumed anything less.

He protectively pounced Koal as a reaction to the sound of metal crumpling under the boot of someone stronger.

The massive man’s body pressed the smaller male to the floor. Forcing him to endure the cold stone flushed against his back, soothing the fresh bruises and cuts - as well as the werewolf’s ready body, radiating heat from one body to the other. There was a growl a moment later, lower and warning, but Koal wasn’t sure it was his throat this came from.

“Morning boys!” Came a harsh voice from within the quarter machine white plastic looking armor. “Rise and shine, the bosses want to see their new toys in action. So get the FUCK up, scum!” The woman’s angry voice barked while her teammates snap their shock-sticks to their full lengths.

They closed in on them like hyenas. Dust’s nose wrinkled as he flashed his teeth, the elongated canines looking a little longer than they should. However it was hard to tell if he was in the middle of transformation, or if  that was a trick of the light.

“You must be that mutt. Hokori, aren’t ya?” the leader questioned, grinning from behind the helmet. “Allen told me to tell you to come along without a fight. Says you’ll listen to him. If ya do what you are told, you won’t be messed with. Don’t and… Well my job is to make you.” she tapped her inactive nightstick in her other hand. “I hear you are a good boy, so do us all a favor and get on your fucking feet.”

The werewolf prime glared his shining crimson red eyes up at the woman who was speaking to him. Apparently the niceties have hit a wall of pure business overnight. The tightly coiled muscles flex in waiting once again, hunching closer to the prime under him.

“Does that stand for him as well?” Lycan asked.

There was a small bit of laughter from the trio, one that didn’t instill SW-808 with confidence.

To his utter surprise, however, after the laughter settled into leering grins. “Sure. If he is a good boy, we’ll treat him like one.” the leader of the pack promised.

There was another long moment of decision making, his heart beating hard enough for Koal to hear from under him, but surely enough the massive man began to uncoil from around the demon. Each move the contractor made was made slowly and as unthreatening as possible. He climbed to his bare feet, stepping away from the prisoner to show they weren’t going to do anything.

The embodiment of pride had low hopes of this going as smoothly as they promised. Even when there had been no immediate movement one way or the other, it was much like a pack of lionesses looking for the weakest member to pick off as quickly as possible. He knew that feeling of power and satisfaction when sinking his teeth into the throat of the intended prey. The sweet taste of terror and betrayal lingered on his tongue every time he resorted to primal tactics similar to this.

Problem here is… Koal wasn’t as sure as he usually was to which one of them was the weakest member of the pack. Here Dust was trusting these sharks to keep their word. Not only that, but he was trusting a perfectly strange stranger to follow his example. Based on what credit!? The arrogance of this action was not lost on the demon.

And yet, Koal felt the infectious effects of someone believing in him sink into his very soul. He questioned if this made him the fool because it meant that Dust’s kindness and caring nature was not only the wolf-man’s downfall, but his own. Desperation to do something, to be someone, to accomplish a place in someone’s mind and heart ran thick in the boy’s veins. With that, he made a stupid decision to believe in the man who believed in him.

Koal slowly stood up as well. Where Dust had his wrists raised in the air as a sign of submission, the demon let his arms dangle between his knees as he stood, and at his sides when he was standing. His dark bags beneath his eyes hadn’t vanished simply because he managed to pass out last night, and only added to the perpetual glare on his face as he eyed the leader.

“Go ahead, Koal. Just do as they say, okay?” Dust tried, offering a warmth the trio lacked.

“Yeah. Koal.” One of the girls mocked the larger male in a nasally voice.

Koal obliged, taking a test step closer to the door. He expected a backhand with the stick for assuming just as much, to his shock it was not the corrective equipment that hit him upside the head but that maybe they’d told the truth. This was such a new sensation that it almost floored the dark haired man.

He took another step, and another. Before he got too far though the leader’s armored form came up beside him.

“Hold it, Koal. We don’t want you getting too far ahead.” She looked back at her company. “You two, on Dust. Keep him in line if he tries anything.”

With her orders given, the group began to walk along the halls. Koal was in front with the security’s lead right next to him, suffocating him with her negative energy despite how genuine she’d been. Behind the two, a few steps behind, Dust and a bodyguard at his side. Almost directly behind them, another.

Even with their limited freedom, something didn’t settle in the banks of the emotional rivers running through the demon prime’s corrupted heart. It clawed, gnawed, and nagged at the back of his throat like a cold coming on, one he assumed wouldn’t wash away with a spot of tea and some lemon. He held back the coughing attack for a solid clearing of his throat.

“Uncomfortable?” the leader’s voice whispered to Koal.

He said nothing in response, this was the same woman who delighted in his pain earlier.

“It’s not like you to roll over like a little bitch.” she tried again.

Koal blinked slowly as he kept his eyes forward.

There was a wave of silence, just the slapping sounds of Dust’s feet on the ground echoing behind them. They made a few turns and entered a bigger hallway that would lead them deeper.

“Pathetic… Is that all it took? One beating into submission and you break? So much for the claim of pride.” she jabbed at him spitefully. She was quiet, hushed in a way that they shouldn’t be heard easily. “I was looking forward to seeing what a real prime was capable of, but you suck.” Despite the growing anger in her voice, she glanced calmly behind her. “What about the big boy there? Does he know what a piece of shit you are? Are you friends now or something?” There was another group coming up to them, a noisey mini mech shook the ground, letting her speak a bit more freely. She turned back to him, so he could hear the words she had to say. “Does he know about her?”

Instantly flashes of a girl he’d met in a dark hour of Coruscant came to him. He tried to hold back the wrath that consumed his heart, he was failing but he managed to keep himself physically frozen.

“I’ll tell him all about it while I am breaking in my new equipment on him. I’ll let you watch, I bet he will beg for your help, too.” she assured him.

Koal stopped where he was, forcing everyone behind him to follow his lead. His body was trembling. Not of fear, but anger. “Don’t you fucking touch him.” he demanded as rage-filled eyes lock in on her’s.

“Try to stop me, scum.” she challenged, sill in a whisper. “Like you stopped us from destroying your little girlfriend.”

There was a snapping noise that echoed through Koal mind. The air around them all became thick with energy as it spilled out from him. Like an oil leak or gas flowing into the room, it reached every nook and corner of the place. His body moved on it’s own as he stepped his foot back so that he completely turned to face the guard.

The stun-stick unfolded with a flick of the leader’s wrist as she faced him. “Stand down.” her voice boomed with authority and a heavy taste of satisfaction.

A current formed in the air as Koal let out a heavy sigh. Between his hands scarlet colored sparks snapped to life. His angry carmine eyes locked in on her, and he had only one thing left to say…

“I’ll kill you, bitch.”

The woman raised her stun-stick with fury, and when it was brought down she expected it to land brutally on the body of her prisoner. Koal instantly knew he had fell into her trap as soon as he took action against her, he no longer cared. He was beyond weak, he would die here and now. Not before taking this stuck up woman down with him! He prepared to release his attack onto her as well, forcing his hands out.

In this instant, a massive shadow shot forth taking both blows.

Both Heaven’s and the Empire’s wrath ripped through Dust’s body, the scarlet lightning meeting with the electric blue of the shock-stick and turning the werewolf into a beacon of dancing violet. His gifted clothes split open in delayed response to Koal’s vicious power. His howl of pain echoed through the corridor without mercy. Upon seeing him take the attacks, the boy steps back with a heavy heart and full disbelief.

The hyena queen also disengages, her reaction hidden behind the plastic armor. Already the attack has gotten the attention of the other group, but the cameras watching them also record his attack.

While the thunder of a mini-mech bounding back towards them bounced off the mechanically alive walls, Koal watched in partial horror as Dust was released by the attack. Bloodless gashes have been torn open all over his body, angry burns covered him from head to toe, all of Koal’s frustration and power released into it. The boy felt his life-span ticking slowly away.

That is when Dust’s massive hands come down onto his shoulders as he fell to his knees. Hokori made sure to give him the biggests smile when Koal looked up. “Oops.” he said, with a chuckle.

Oops!? “Is that all you are going to say!?” Koal screamed, then lashed out again, punching the larger prime with what little strength he had left! Dust took the punch rather well, given how much damage he’s already taken. It knocked him off balance, and to the floor. A dissatisfactory slumping fall. “HOW DARE YOU!?” his limit met, tears fall. “HOW FUCKING DARE YOU STEP IN THE WAY OF MY ATTACK LIKE THAT!? PROTECTING HER LIKE HER FUCKING HERO!”

Dust had fallen onto his face, or close to it. He chuckled loud enough for Koal to hear him, even if it hurt to do so. His powerful body trembled under its own weight as he tried to get back to his feet. “Baka… I wasn’t protecting her.”

That struck the boy harder than any bullet has. He then heard the man in the mech ask, “What’s going on here!?”

Yoi stepped up behind Dust, straightening his glasses. “From where I stand, it would appear that Dust was a bit eager to start a fight with Koal.”  he explained, looking down at Lycan with a highly disappointed look. “If you had just waited a moment longer, you would have gotten your wish Hokori. As punishment though, we’ll have you two separated, permanently.

Ookami lowered his head so that the his hair washed over his face and nodded.

Yoi put the clipboard in his hands behind his back. “Miss, will you and your group please take this mutt to the testing chamber.”

“But he’s hurt.” Koal argued, his emotions still high.

“Hokori has advanced healing, he’ll be fine.” Yoi explained curtly, his sights turning onto the other subject. “You on the other hand… You seem on the verge of death. Alabaster, take this prime to the TEAR facility. He’ll be better suited for whatever abominations they are working on.”

The leader of the three woman clan jumped in. “Sir, he’s my charge.”

“You forfeited that right by letting the two subjects engage in unauthorized battle. Count yourself lucky, that I don’t terminate your position here. Koal doesn’t mean all that much, but you allowed MY subject to be damaged. I ought to have you executed…” Yoi’s tone was cold.

The threat of this one scientist seemed to silence the trouble maker.

“Alabaster.” Yoi commanded. The man in the mech responded by picking up the boy by his tattered clothes. What little fight Koal had left was used to struggle uselessly against the overpowering might of a mech. “Goodbye, Koal.”
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"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#10
“On second thought,” Yoi said when Koal was on his way and out of earshot. “Why don’t you three take this time to think about what you might have cost us by allowing this to happen. If you’d properly restrained the two-”

“Allen said that Dust would obey us on merit, sir.” The leader argued.

There was a forced silence, Dust could assume the superior was glaring them down. “Dust is a volunteer, yes. However, it is your job to keep him in line just the same. We don’t let the mice in our labs run around freely and just expect them to stay in the testing area, do we? Correct me if I am wrong, ma'am, but I don’t recall anyone even telling the subject to stop. If you can’t even issue a simple order to the volunteer then perhaps you aren’t fit for this kind of work and should implement some kind of transferal form.”

The forced silence continued for a few good breaths.

“I suggest you three leave before I change my mind about the execution. After all, we have yet to test what kind of effects this prime's attacks have on live subjects, and our only guinea pig is being shipped to tier 4.”

At this point, Dust had regained some strength in his legs and could stand as long as he had a solid enough wall to support his extra weight. The werewolf prime’s skin had a dark tone from the burns and blood oozed patiently from the cuts inflicted on him, giving the tall man a rough appearance all around. It took a short while, but he was able to get to his feet without anyone helping him. This didn't sound like a feat but it sure felt like one to him.

He witnessed the end of the spat, the trio submitting to the accusations and Yoi standing his ground confidently while they turned away to leave as commanded. It wasn’t until they were closer to the end of the hall before the scientist turned to his subject.

Yoi took in his subject’s situation from behind the thin rims of his glasses. The tension in the air hasn’t yet fully dissipated, “And as for you.” Dust lowered his head, not at all, unlike a dog who understood the tone that meant he was going to be punished. “What would you have done had I not been here to save the boy with my authority?”

Hokori’s tired eyes glanced back down the hall. “I… Wouldn’t have stopped until they did.”

“You idiot.” Yoi scoffed. “Since when do you have a death wish?”

Wolf’s turn to scoff, and laugh freely. “I don’t wish for death… Just can’t stand the idea of someone else suffering when I can stop it.”

“Wanting to save everyone from pain is just as stupid as wishing to die.” Yoi’s reply was cold.

Dust just smiled warmly past the dark strands in his face. “Is the reason you think it's fool’s errand because you failed to save someone you cared about, or because you were the one that needed saving and no one did?”

An uncomfortable silence followed before Yoi brought his clipboard in front of him and checked his watch. “Were late as it is, can you walk?”

“Yes, sir,” he said without hesitation despite how much pain he was left in, smiling still.

Yoi didn’t look very amused or convinced. “You told us you have an affiliation with healing and regeneration. Is it slow acting?”

Dust looked away. “Well… Like everything with me, I need to kiss someone to be effective at it.” he chuckled sadly.

“I see,” Yoi responded, waited, and then took a few steps forward.

Dust was left with the impression that he is meant to follow him. The prime limped his aching, stiff body after the Japanese man. He’d been left behind in a sense as Yoi rounded the corner of the next hall. He only hoped the scientist didn’t get too far ahead so that he didn’t get lost. In case though, he forced himself to speed up so that he didn’t lose sight of his new escort and guide.

When the wolfish man turned the corner, however, to his great surprise Yoi had stopped and was waiting for him. His arms were crossed lazily in front of him while his foot impatiently tapped against the floor.

Without provocation Dust’s face warmed with embarrassment as he spoke, “S-Sorry.”

“As I suspected… You're not even fit to follow me at normal walking speeds.” he sighed. “I guess it can’t be helped,” he added, motioning for him to a spot against the wall closer to him.

Confused but not willing to upset Yoi, Hokori came closer. He was forced to use the wall as a crutch, but that made it easier for the improvised two-step dance Yoi did. Without fully understanding how, he soon had his back against the wall.

Dust was uniquely tall for his genetics, but for some reason, as he looked back at Yoi he felt suddenly short. It might have something to do with how his body partially covered a low hanging light in the corner.

As the secondary moved his hands fell to his side, the clipboard limply cupped at his side. “I can’t let you return to the other’s in this kind of shape,” he announced, taking a step closer, making the halo of light vanish behind him. “How many seconds?”

The prime tensed up at the approach, and more so with the question. “E-Excuse me?”

“Approximately, how many seconds of kissing do you need to heal?” Yoi confirmed.

Dust’s eyes went a little wider. Was he going to do it? “Uh… Well, depending on the damage-”

He was interrupted by Yoi taking off his glasses. He closed the arms by pressing them into his shoulder before pocketing the collapsed set into his lab coat's front pocket. “How many seconds for moderate electrical surface damage and multiple lacerations?”

Hokori struggled to think. Every time someone volunteered it was really awkward. Typically the Russian's chose someone to be his destined kisser and the whole group took turns. How they were selected he’d never found out, but he theorized it was somewhat a punishment. This was an educated guess because most times than not it was one of about three people in the group of several. They also always seemed to know it was coming despite complaining out loud at debriefings.

Between the brainwashing and the side effect of being a contractor, Dust wasn’t too bothered by it. He was a weapon, it was no different than loading a cannon, gun, or launcher.

“S-Six seconds should do it.” he finally answered Yoi. “And…”

“And?”

Hokori swallowed hard. “The kiss has to be ‘sweet’ or ‘passionate’. L-Like a lover tending to my wounds.” he explained, wishing for death. This would never get easier, would it? This was his life. Always having to explain the most embarrassing parts about his powers. He seriously considered making a business card, or a scorecard… Something that broke down how many seconds of kisses required for each of his abilities, it would be so much easier!!

Yoi shoved him out of his thoughts though, the clipboard made a snapping noise against the wall behind Ookami's ear as he placed his flattened hand in position. Dust felt himself shrink back and press himself into the wall. Yoi’s other hand came up to his chin and positioned the taller prime for what came next.

To Wolf’s surprise despite understanding where it was going now, Yoi leaned in. With a slight twist of his head, the scientist closed in before closing his eyes. Dust’s were wider than plates at this point, and he could do nothing but watch as he pinned himself to the wall. He felt Yoi’s breath against his lips and even smelt the man’s coffee of his breath.

He was sure the man would pull away again, mock him, tease him, something. Just like in the office. Right up until the moment he felt the graze of his lips on his own.

Hokori’s face turned red-hot, but inside him, the wolf stirred. At that point, the balance shifted and his disbelief was replaced quickly with a need that jolted from his lips to his head, and then down to his toes. His pupils began to glow in anticipation as his hands clawed into the wall behind him. An attempt to hold back from grabbing at Yoi forcefully.

Thankfully, Yoi’s lips slid closer. He pressed deeper into the needed kiss, gently closing the gap in their connection. Dust’s breath caught in his throat and he began to kiss back. A pleased growl escaped the contractor and then he felt Yoi’s hand slide across his wounded cheek and back behind his jaw. Further back it went, and into his hair.

It was like that for a couple seconds, of which Dust mentally counted patiently. Then Yoi acted as if he was about to pull away early, forcing a desperate whine from the werewolf prime. The urge to grab him was overwhelming, and yet Dust couldn’t bring himself to force the other man to stay. His fingers curled, nails dragged along the side of the metal walls. However, he was rewarded, the scientist simply meant to part their combined lips to slip him some tongue.

A soft moan escaped one of them, Dust wasn’t too sure who.

The kiss lasted a few more seconds more than it needed to, but by the time Yoi ended the kiss the only evidence left of his injuries were the unmendable gashes in Hokori’s clothes.

When Yoi was finished, he pulled away slowly so that the separation wasn’t abruptly disjointing. He pushed himself off the bigger male by pressing against the wall so he’d land back flat on his heels. While he left Dust stunned momentarily, he pulled out his glasses and slid them back on casually.

“I hope you didn’t mind a few extra seconds, I merely wanted to increase the chances you would be fully healed,” he explained, checking his watch. “If you are ready, we really should have already been there.”

-

When they did arrive shortly afterward, Allen greeted him with a smile. While Yoi explained with the driest tone he had that the help they’d sent had been completely incompetent Allen examined him out of concern for the rips in his clothes. He would, of course, find nothing, thanks to the Japanese man who'd brought Wolf back with him.

Because Yoi had been made it like it was a chore to cater to his subject's needs, Dust gathered he shouldn't say anything.

“Unfortunately, because those idiots couldn’t properly do their job, I was forced to send our other subject to T.E.A.R.S. I suggest pitting Dust here up against one of our battle droids, should give us the same information,” Yoi explained.

“Except now we don’t have anyone to pay for this contracted cost we observed before when he told us about it,” Allen complained, running his hand through his scruffy beard.

The third scientist with the bowl-cut nodded sagely but didn’t add anything to the conversation. What he was thinking was pretty clear though: ‘This is a predicament.’

Dust stole a glance at Yoi who didn’t even flinch at this.

“That is a problem… Hokori?” Yoi turned to look him dead in the eye. Lycan felt his face get slightly warmer as he acknowledged him. “How exactly does the payment work? What happens if you don’t kiss someone?”

Flashbacks of the hallway trample all over his thoughts. Though the seriousness of the issue at hand sobered him up. “Most things I can make a payment for before or after I use my abilities.”

“Most?” Yoi asked, the lights now cast a mask over his eyes.

“Uh, yes. Well. I can’t turn into a werewolf without a fifteen-second long kiss.” he said nervously.

“What happens if you don’t?” Allen asked thoughtfully, though with curiosity in their face.

“I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “My biggest fear is that it will kill me.”

Yoi put his clipboard onto a desk and took a seat. “That would be inconvenient. Primes tend to take about a week.”

Allen’s hand ended up running through his hair in thought. “That would be an expensive experiment…”

“But one we should explore.” Yoi finished.

“Why don’t we test the ones you can do?” Allen suggested, then Hokori felt a flat palm pat him on the thick shoulder. “Does your payment have a time limit?”

There was a bit of silence. “Kind of. If I overdo it, or I take too long to make a payment… I become weakened and more a liability than an asset. I’ve made a point to not let it get that bad in the past.”

“So it’s more of an experienced feeling kind of thing?” Allen asked, “Interesting.”

“That means we can proceed,” Yoi said, coldly. “Please push yourself until you can’t anymore, we’ll take care of the payment afterward,” he spoke seriously.

The look that Dust saw his colleagues give Yoi made him aware that they weren’t completely on the same page. They had the look that said Yoi just made a decision they hadn’t fully agreed on. As for the prime, he was more concerned about the idea of pushing himself for the sake of their experiment…

He quietly objected to the idea of dying, not really wanting to test the theory about him coming back to life.
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"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#11
Allen led Dust to the testing chamber. A large room that was open wide over the span of a hundred feet easily. His company had explained already that they have tested explosives in this part of the building so as not to worry too much about what happens. Apparently, they run simulations here as well, so they can make just about any kind of battlefield. That said, it's been brought to his attention that a flat surface will be chosen for their tests so that the observers will be able to see everything happening.

Allen walked their test subject to the middle and pointed up at the top of the dome-like room. It had slots of two-way mirrors - observation windows - which didn’t allow Hokori to see where his testers were, but Allen assured him he was being watched by man people.

“I don’t know how to feel about all this, you seem like a really nice guy,” Allen said, running his fingertips through the scruff on his throat again. “But we do need the test subjects, and you’ve made the contract.”

Hokori laughed at his comment, and when the other man looked back at him with confusion in his sleepy face Dust just shook his head.

“Sorry. I’m just not used to people caring about what happens to me. It just feels odd. Especially coming from people whose job it is to poke and prod me.” he turned to his strange friend who has joined him in a good smile. “I appreciate it, I really do. Still, please do not worry about what happens to me. Keep being honest with me though. Do that, and we will never be enemies.”

Allen must not have been expecting such jovial conversation when he decided to say this. He looked surprised. He smiled and touched the taller man’s shoulder firmly. “You’ll be fine,” he assured. He then stood a bit taller and pointed at himself with a thumb of confidence, “If it comes down to it, I’ll kiss you myself.”

Dust laughed at that, but inside was happy to know he had a friend. He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “You wouldn’t be in the mood to prove that with a good luck kiss, would ya?”

Allen let out another good laugh as well, one that echoed through the space. “You wish!” he teased, giving the guy a push. “I couldn’t though, it would contaminate the test.”

“Bah… You aren’t really my type either way.” Hokori jokes, giving him his own light push with a step back.

“Ouch.” Allen played like he was hurt. It lasted a moment before he gave him a fitting smile. “Good luck, Dust,” he announced before sauntering off.

This left Dust to contemplate what to do about his stored seconds from the kiss Yoi had given him… Lycan touched his own lips as he debated with his inner wolf. It was the happiest with excessive kiss power, but he felt it was his obligation to get rid of it. Especially given that comment from Allen.

He could hear Allen’s steps echoing off the empty walls, guessing how long he had left to decide. Not very long based on how long it took them to walk to the center like this. A few minutes, surely. Just a couple of moments to enjoy the feeling a bit longer? Then… Back to his usual uncomfortable state of worry.

Dust hung his head with a heavy sigh. “Better get rid of it…”

With just his will he transformed his hands. Lycan winced at the feeling of his fingers snapping and the nails elongating. He looked down at his hands and watched the nails turn black with trauma before extending to an inch. He examined them closely with a curiosity he hadn’t been given the privilege of before.

Often he didn’t get the chance to look at anything of his during his transformations. So this rare opportunity was thanks to the Omniverse and forcing him to be able to do partial transitions like this one. Only now that he knew he could do it, did he wonder if he always has…

“Hokori.”

Yoi’s voice interrupted him, and very quickly did Wolf drop his partial transformation. His hands went to his sides and he stood taller, more rigid. Soldier like. “Sir?”

“We’ll be starting the test now, are you ready?”

Dust relaxed his shoulders but not his spine as he sighed. “Y-Yes, sir.”

“Good. Launching the first test in… Three, two, one.”

Panels began to unfold from a random spot about thirty feet from the center. Gears clunked together and engines purred while machinery hissed. A surface lifted a single figure, the B1 series of battle droids. It was beyond short compared to the large prime standing before it. Its head had a very dog-like feature and the body looked like just a basic skeleton. Its stark white paint job unified it with its organic members of the same army. When it was activated it jerked to life and aimed a blaster at Dust.

The werewolf in front of it stepped back into a position of halfway down on his hands and knees. His fingers of his right hand pressed into cool metal, his right knee bent for potential momentum. His left hand up and ready to attack, his left leg used mostly for balance. His eyes stared straight ahead and eyeing the gun’s muzzle, before darting to the droid’s hand to anticipate the incoming shot.

This tactic was successful, but only moderately as the droid’s fingers weren’t subtle. Nothing about this robotic creature was subtle to Dust. It didn’t squeeze the trigger as a human would. Its shoulder didn’t jerk back from the force like the gun would to a human’s. It was smooth in its calculations and rigid in its activation.

A bright light shot from the gun’s muzzle and splattered against the metal floor where he’d just been standing at. Actually, just a bit behind the spot because its aim was for his body.

Instead of standing around to see what kind of damage it was going to inflict, he’d already launched himself into the air. As if it was capable of human thought, it sent its gun upward. Unlike human thought though, it shot where he was and not where he was going to be. Due credit to the thing, the jump had been backed by more power than even SW-808 remembered. The trajectory, however, was spot on from his internal calculator as it often was. Wolf landed behind his foe and with a single swipe of newly formed claws, the B1 is cut into four pieces. These fragments were launched ten feet across the span of their battle space, skittering to an anti-climatic stop.

Dust wasn’t at all impressed by his achievement, but he hoped the overlords were.

He could hear the machinery around him still moving like the test wasn’t over. It was hard to explain, it just didn’t feel like he could relax just, yet. His eyes shifted across his view of the battleground, brows raising and lowering on his face to express his suspicion. He lowered his body so both clawed hands are on the flat surface. His knees bent and his backside raised just above the ground like a feral werewolf ready for trouble.

“Very good, Hokori.” Yoi’s voice came through the speakers, but Dust didn’t look up. “We will be starting the second test now.” Ookami gathered as much and he’s sure Yoi didn’t think he needed to say what he did.

There was another hissing noise as large pieces of the floor began to move. There were parts of the test chamber that rose, sections that opened up with chambers sliding apart, and some were flat metal that swung open like doors. The ground under him lifted and grew into a building-sized platform. Ten feet high but only ten foot long and wide, it made for a boring box-like shape.

Dust hadn’t moved an inch on his ride up. As his platform came to a steady and slow stop, he noticed the other parts have as well. On top of a dozen raised section which varied from five to fifteen feet up in the air, a mix of B1 and B2 droids. The B1’s were as unimpressive as the one he’d sliced into, but the B2’s had his attention.

They had the same dog-like face but surrounded in a domed mane of matte grey armor. They stood over twice as big as the first droid, and nearly as tall as him. All at once, the droids lurked into activation, the blasters at their sides jerking into place and aiming all at him.

Hoshi-Kun’s body coiled in preparation as Yoi’s voice came back through the speaker. “Three, two, one…”

Round two was easy. Not nearly as easy as the single B1 battle droid he’d faced in test one, but the experiment hadn’t been very strenuous on him. It was not without its struggles in the least. He was facing more foes and stronger ones. Certainly, nothing to sneeze at, especially when he finally did address a bigger and better droid.

The B2’s didn’t just fall apart. They were considerably hardier and built to take damage before malfunctioning. He noted as well how more effective their aim was, as it was a B2 that finally gave him a taste of the Empire’s wrath. The first time Dust had finally been hit with a blaster’s bolt would forever be engraved in his memory.

The force behind it was only slightly more than a large gun’s. At least this was the only comparison Dust would be able to make at this point in his life. Having been shot at by a shotgun more than once, Hokori knew what he was talking about.

In his human, nothing special form, it knocked him on his ass. The fact that it carried him off the edge of the ‘building’ he’d been standing on had no extra impression on him, but it left a solid mark on his backside. Yet, the force of the bolt wasn’t anything in comparison to the pain.

Wolf liked to believe he wasn’t arrogant. He was as humble as a werewolf can get, he imagined. Yet, if someone had warned him that when he got shot by one of these things that he’d feel the fire or a thousand suns punching him with the same force as Cade had on that fateful day, he wouldn’t have believed you until he took one to the shoulder. It felt like time slowed around him just so that he would really appreciate how horrible this one bolt felt.

Plasma was a concept that was about on the same level to Dust as ever feeling emotions again in his life. Admittedly, the tears he cried at the pool upon his entrance to the Omniverse probably would never come to his memory as many times as when he felt red hot energy drilling into his skin and then his muscles.

Dust landed on his ass - the metal somehow surviving his dead weight crashing into it - and instantly expelled all breath in his lungs in a voiceless gasp. The next lung full of air was spent in pure agony. On the ground he rolled and kicked like a child having a temper tantrum, his tightened fist slamming against the floor below him and the wall next to him as he tried to comprehend what constituted as pain before this instant. Even when he interfered with Koal mere moments ago, electricity felt mild compared to this.

DA389 was only snapped out of it by approaching droids, apparently, some B1s and B2s were waiting on ground level. He struggled to ignore his newest wound and keep going despite the wolf inside him demanding he survive this. Internally he knew what he needed to do to both please the beast and Yoi.

Lycan forced himself to lay still against the steel, pressing his burning flesh to the cold metal. He bit his lower lip and forced his healing factor, localizing it into his shoulder. The fibers in his muscle rapidly regrew over the smoldering crater in his body. He looked up with glowing red pupils and glared up at the army. The tester B1 that beat the rest of the crowd aimed its blaster into Wolf’s face.

His hand came out from its protective position of his wound, grabbed the barrel of the gun swiftly, and crushed the end of it by flexing around the metal and plastics. He then wrenched the broken weapon from the B1’s grip and shoved it back into the droid’s face. This smashed through the processor and the B1 fell. With his shoulder healed, he was ready to take on this army, prepared to risk the pain that had floored him to do well.

Round after round the power and intelligence levels of the droids were raised, the number of robotic foes grew, and the size of the playground rose larger. There was a point when numbers overwhelmed Dust and the scale between winning and survival tipped. After that, it was a matter of time. How long before his steam would run out? This was the test, after all, the purpose of them putting him through this madness. He wasn’t sure when it clicked back into place that he was meant to exert himself not win, but he believed it was about the time the balance DID switch.

Over the next few rounds, he held back as long as he could before succumbing to the instincts of his wolf. A howl eventually erupting from his throat and the next time Lycan was seen by the observing party he had ears and a tail. Apparently, he could transform without a kiss.

Exhaustion was a new sensation. Mentally and physically, he began to fade. This was well after the partial transformation he had hoped to avoid, and for the longest time, he did. The change was especially draining, especially when he had to constantly rack up more payment. Each swipe of his claws, each ripping of metal with his fangs, he put himself through an extra layer of strain and debt. Dust remembered blacking out, but also that he didn’t stop moving until some time later.

-

Hokori’s consciousness came to him abruptly and harshly. Like a hammer in the chest.

He felt someone’s lips on his and the next second his eyes were open. His vision is still gone, but his other senses were on fire. He could feel his body move on its own, much like when he used to transform. His hands felt numb to him and heavy, but he understood what was happening as they lifted quickly to grab them by the shoulders and squeeze them. His grip felt weak, but he was unclear about if he was hurting whoever was saving him.

The massive beast inside him couldn’t be controlled or contained anymore, it was as if it has taken his body for itself. He felt himself push off of whatever surface he laid on, and onto whoever he was kissing. All the while their lips never left another. He could feel several people coming closer to him, and he growled possessively. Dust would have sworn he was back home and in his usual werewolf form.

He thought he heard someone try to argue, and then he felt the presence of many people vanish in small pockets of time.

Time was irrelevant, warped… He felt at times he was awake, and at times he was dead. Breathing made the Omniverse shrink and expand. Existence swayed back and forth for a long time before he realized his position has changed again…

SW-808 felt himself laying on his side. It was comfortable and yet uncomfortable. His body felt heavy and like it hadn’t moved for a long time, though it was impossible to guess how long. It was a chore opening his eyes, but when Wolf did, he saw a blank wall a few inches from his nose. This didn’t alarm him because he recognized the smooth metal. The pads of his fingers touched it weakly while he struggled with consciousness once more.

He felt deaf until he heard a slight beeping directly behind him that sounded like a keyboard. It took him an extra moment to realize he wasn’t alone in the bed. Briefly, he thought of Koal once more, how they’d been expected to share the space. However, a stray thought reminded him that his companion was gone. The only person who he had a connection with left, forcefully disposed of for both their sake.

Hokori tried to speak, finding it harder than he did most normal days. His body barely wanted to react to his thoughts, as if his wolf had had control of it for so long that it no longer knew who he was. Hokori tried to groan, sighing heavily against the wall.

He watched as the shadow of the person who was in his bed looked up. They moved whatever device was in their lap out of it, and then Lycan thought he saw the figure removed something from his face - like glasses. It didn’t register immediately what that meant, but when he felt the figure’s weight shift and cold hands touch his bare skin Hokori finally had a thought about who it could be.

Yoi’s scent filled his nose just as the scientist rolled his fellow Japanese man over in the bed. “Hokori?” he whispered, leaning closer.

Without much input from him, Ookami’s hand reached up and cupped Yoi’s face. There was a pause between them. Again, as if the action was embedded into his muscle memory, Dust pulled Yoi down into a kiss.

Mentally he screamed in terror and in embarrassment, but physically he felt Yoi’s mouth press harder against his own. Naturally, the scientist hovered over him before lowering his body into the bed beside his subject. Dust felt the entanglement of their limbs happen, but couldn’t believe it. Clearly, this was a dream from some fever or some delusion created by him exerting himself.

After what felt like hours, he felt Yoi pull away. “Can you hear me, Wolf?”

But SW-808 wasn’t sure if he could speak. Let alone if he should. A storm of confusion played at his fuzzy mind. He was still very tired… It showed on his face, surely.

“Subject is still not responding.” Yoi’s voice pulled him deeper into sleep. “Will continue to administrate solution in intervals.”

-

Ookami woke up again, an undetermined span of time later. He took his time waking up, only to remember what he believed had happened. He shot up in a sitting position, doing so he threw his blanket off of him in his hurry. His head whipped around in search of Yoi, determined to say something about it.

The problem was that the scientist was nowhere to be found.

The room was large enough to house two people and fairly open in concept. It didn’t look much different from his old room, the bed was even just as small as it was when he was growing up… In the center of the available space laid a solid colored rug, and a short table sat in the center of that. He didn’t remember this being here.

He expected to see the scientist at it, honestly. And found no one. There was a small potted plant centered on the table. Close to the plant, his phone laid with the screen up and off. The surprises kept coming, as the only other thing that sat on the table was a tray. On top of it, a classic Japanese lunch covered in plastic wrap. Much like his father left him when he was sick at home. Even from here Wolf could smell the miso soup and other items.

He glanced towards the other side of the room, where a simple metal desk sat, a rolling chair in front of it. Empty. Except for a mechanical pencil, a notebook, and an eraser. In the chair, he expected Yoi, but found a set of clothing instead.

With a start and a face of fire, Dust looked straight down at his body. Dread settled into relief when he realized he was fully clothed. With a heavy sigh, he decided to fall back into his pillow and close his eyes.

Among the scent of shrimp, chicken, and rice, he could smell the scent of laundry detergent and fabric softener… He smelt green tea, honey, and fresh oxygen from the plant… He rolled over into his bed and buried his face in the pillow, taking in a deep breath and finding it full of the scent of shampoo and sweat. He smelt Yoi…

“Wait!” Dust yelled, sitting back up with a glare. “That means nothing!” he growled, pushing himself back on to his feet. Stubbornly he stomped over to the food and flopped down on the cushion waiting for his butt. He grumbled to himself as he unwrapped his meal, gently pulling off each piece of cling-wrap and balling it up together.

He found disposable chopsticks. With both hands, he gave them a twist, the wood breaking easily in his large hands. He positioned them in his fingers, fitting like a glove he missed… Dust then began to pick through the food, alternating between the cold tea and cold soup to wash it all down. Nearing the end he picked up the phone with his left hand and began to search through it.

They’d taken it away from him when he arrived at the prison, but it seems they decided he was responsible enough for it during his stay here. He looked through his empty mailbox, not at all surprised to find it empty…

He considered what to do with this new power. He assumed if he sent a message it would go through, but who would he text? Ash was the first on his list, for obvious reasons. She was also almost the only one he had. There was the option to call the Avengers via the signal given to him in the chaos of what had happened… But he thought it might be wiser to not. They could be busy. If his stay with them had any truth to it, they were a ‘no idle hands’ kind of group.

Dust let out a heavy sigh and dropped the phone. No sooner than it left his fingers did the door open. Allen stood in the middle of the door, tired eyes blinking. In his hand, he carried another tray, apparently here to change out the food. “Oh… You’re awake.”

Hokori’s eyes narrow in on the food. “Does this mean I can’t have that?” he asked, pointing with his sticks. “Smells like beef.”
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"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#12
Quote:Storyteller stepping in due to request.  


The beast ripped and tore through the droids like they were merely scraps of paper. It was almost impressive but not that impressive, Isard thought to herself. The B1and B2 battle droids were just the beginning of the tests that were to come. If only the prisoner, Dust, the Avenger, the Prime knew what was in store for him. He would surely want to take his own life or at least try to make an escape but that was doubtful, very doubtful.

Placing her right hand on the side of her face, she began twirling the grey strands of her long hair. She was the Director of Imperial Intelligence, it was her job to analyze, criticize, and make plans for the best and the worst. And what she saw in Dust, the Prime was potential, potential indeed, at least for the grand scheme of Imperial plans.

In analyzation of the bulky, well fit man, she realized that in all of her knowledge and experience that she had actually never seen a werewolf before and even yet in action. It was almost as outlandish as the fabled Force that Emperor Palpatine commanded.

“Fascinating isn’t it?” General Moch boomed in his raspy voice, his large frame shifting over the right arm of his chair in an attempt to gain the Director’s attention.

“Perhaps.” She retorted keeping her eyes on the transparisteel viewing glass, they were locked on the Wolfman’s ferocity, studying his raw display of power.

“Perhaps?” Mohc repeated confusion expressed on his face. “Madam Director, do you not see the sheer display of personal combat that the beast commands? The mere power of its blows upon the droids is almost honorable.”

Slowly Isard directed her attention from the wolf, turning her gaze to the General. Both blue and red eyes narrowing at the thought process of the man’s words. Like daggers, they stabbed at him from across the room. 

“There is no honor in the ferocity of animals my dear General Mohc and besides don’t let your sense of self-combat cloud your perspective. This is only the beginning of the experiment, your prized Dark Troopers haven’t even been put to use yet. Now, anyways I feel like we’re being too easy on the werewolf.” She took a moment to let the word werewolf hang in the air.

Turning her gaze away from the General, Ysanne directed her attention to Yoi who was only standing a few inches away from her chair.  The tall, black haired man pushed up his round glasses, keeping his attention focused on noting down anything and everything that the Prime did.

“Yoi.” Isard called for his attention.

Jolting down some notes as quickly as he could, he turned back facing the Director.

“Madam?” 

“Order your men to increase the number of droids, I wish to see how much this… Wolf-Man can handle before being overwhelmed.” She said knowing full and well that the only way of getting results for their tests was to amp up the stress and difficulty.        

Yoi gave a bow then ordered the technicians down below in the test chamber to increase the number of droids. It didn’t take long for the Prime to start its handy work dispatching most droids. Rip, tear, repeat, rip, tear repeat. The animal ravaged the mechanizations like it was in a cycling pattern it only being fueled by pure rage and instinct. However, as do like all things, Dust The Dying Star, the Werewolf grew tired and the droids eventually overcame him.

Ysanne to her own amusement was impressed with how far the Prime had lasted, even with it being just a savage beast. The man could handle himself well, which was good-- very good. 

“I believe the tests went wonderfully.”  She said standing up out of her chair. Turning her attention to Rom Mohc, she folded her arms, her face stern in expression.

“General ready your Dark Troopers, tomorrows their big day. And as for you Commander Yoi I want everything on the Avengers on my desk by morning and reward the beast for its efforts.” She commanded before stopping at the blast door, turning back around facing Yoi, she gave an almost eerie smile. 

“Oh and tell Commander Allen that I want to talk to him in my office-- today.” And then she was off.
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#13
Allen rambled off some numbers while Dust finished off the second meal. His chopsticks going a mile a minute to collect clumps of rice until his cheeks puffed out. Then he grabbed a slab of perfectly cooked meat, stuffing it in his mouth - even slurping it inside. He’d chew a dozen times until he could swallow it down. Washing it down with another helping of soup when he paced himself poorly. Neither of them were really interested in what they meant, but in the end Allen was just trying to fill out the space it took for his test subject to finish off his minor feast.

The scientist was only very barely paying attention, even as his mouth made the motions and the air is pushed out to recite words his tired eyes read. This gibberish didn’t even register on his current workload. In fact, now that Hokori was awakened, he had a lot more on his mind than just statistics of some computer spit out. He was replaying the meeting with Ysanne Isard even now.

***

“Commander Allen” her voice commanded him as he stepped in.

Already Allen was sweating under the sharp collar of his lab coat. He wasn’t even supposed to be on this case. They’d been told they were just there to monitor Dust’s numbers in the beginning. Because of the mess with the troopers and Koal, they were forced into the situation. It didn’t help that half the staff have heard about how the rabid beast that was Hokori listened to him when Yoi couldn’t command the prime.

Now he was being called commander and demanded to talk to people who were way too big for him to even dream of meeting!?

“Madam Director.” he greeted with his best smile and straightest back stance. “You requested my attention. How can I assist the Empire?”

“Yes. Take a seat.” she commanded rather than asked, looking over the report they had on Hokori and Hokori’s werewolf form. “I was wondering why he hadn’t full transformed in the test. Apparently he needs a kiss?”

Allen sat down as commanded. Apparently Director Isard was under the delusion that he was the lead in this case. Not willing to tell her she was mistaken, Allen did his best to act as though he was. “Yes, ma’am. From what he’s told us, a fifteen second long passionate kiss. It seems to work with full contact or partial contact with his lips to theirs.”

Her brows knitted together in thought. “Why was there not one present?”

“We had a second subject, Madam Director. As you’ve no doubt read in the report, Koal Lynch was to be a partner to Dust for the stay. Yoi’s report of the incident was put in after the test that you witnessed, but allow me to summarize?”

She looked up over her device’s edge, all the permission he’d apparently recieve.

“From what Yoi perceived of the situation, Dust had possibly been told that he was going to fight Koal and decided on his own to attack Koal. This resulted in Koal’s transfer to T.E.A.R. Labs with his potential in mind… Yoi added in the report that this might have been some stupid plan to try to save Koal, apparently Dust has a strong need to save people. As evident in the process used to recruit him as a volunteer and the company he was with prior to this.”

“The Avengers, yes.” Isard said, already flipping through Yoi’s report now. “When I was looking of your team’s notes for his physical, it mentioned how wild the prime acted in his transformation to everyone except you. Apparently you’ve tamed him?”

’Damn it, Dust…’ Allen thought to himself. “We theorize that he views me as the alpha, for whatever reason.”

“It was you who took him into the chamber, was it not?”

“Yes, ma’am. After inspecting him for damage.”

“He either respects, fears, or trusts you. With some direction, hopefully all three.” She paused. “What about you? Do you trust DA389?”

The scruffier looking male was stunned into a stupid silence. “E-Excuse me?”

“Do. You. Trust. Dust?” She repeated herself, a little irritated.

This made Allen nervous. “O-Oh. I wasn’t sure I heard you, sorry.” he laughed nervously, but he was screaming on the inside. What kind of question was that even!? What does she mean!? “In what sense, exactly? Because I can certainly trust him to wreck any treadmill or droid within a 2 mile radius if it ever comes to it.”

He noted she didn’t look amused. “If you and he were in a room and it was attacked, how do you think the subject would react in regards to you and him?”

Without thinking about it Allen began. “He would cover me and protect me from any serious or unserious attack made against me.”

Allen could even imagine the pitiful face he’d be making. Blood spilling from his body and he would somehow still be able to smile… He just sorta came off like the type.

“That's rather Noble for a beast as savage as a werewolf.” she observed.

“That's him though.” Allen had mused.

***

The next thing he knew he was excused. Then a couple days later they got word that Dust would be testing out a new soldier type. They made as many preparations as possible while Dust was in his Kissless Comatosed state. Yoi researched how to revive the prime while he and their colleague worked on equipment. They also needed a volunteer for the kiss because they have been promised this would be required for the testing process. That meant they had to procure a kissing partner and one they could protect when Dust couldn't. That was a much bigger issue than anyone anticipated.

He stopped mindlessly throwing out the numbers and turned to the tall man chewing through the beef. “Hey Dust?” The Prime looked up at him. “You asked for a kiss before our tests. What was that about?”

The prime sucked on the strips of meat, pulling it and noodles into his mouth as he chewed. His cheeks puffing out comedically. He blinked a couple times before cutting the feed off with his front teeth. He chewed half a dozen times, broth dribbling down his chin. He turned to the scientist. “I can… How do I say this? Store? Kisses in seconds and use them afterwards for a bit.” he tried.

“Do you know for how long?”

Dust shook his head.

“How many ‘seconds’ can you hold?”

The prime shrugged.

The secondary sighed, hanging his head. “Is it at least possible that if we gave you someone to make out with, that you can use it to fuel a transformation for a long period time?”

The werewolf was drinking the tea now, but when he was done and after he wiped the spillage off with his arm, “Yes. Or… At least I should. Back when I was in my world… It used to only lasted for a few minutes and I’d need another k-kiss.” The prime was made aware that he was a little comfortable with talking about it now. “But that could be different, since several other aspects have proven to… Well adapt to this place. The Omniverse.”

In the time that he’s spent between the prison and here, he’s learned a few things about not only himself, but also his new surroundings. He imagine this is the stuff his friend Gildarts would have addressed had they not be separated… Rumor was that he’d gone back to Dante’s Abyss. Dust liked to think maybe he was searching for him, but there was nothing the werewolf actually had to support that. Just hope…

“Maybe we can test that before the official test. We were instructed that you would have to transform this time in order to survive. Since it was a direct order, I can’t exactly let you go in there without some preparations.” Allen said, running his fingers through his stubble again.

“Speaking of kisses…” Hokori started, turning to his friend. “Would you happen to know how I am back to normal? Who is responsible?” he asked, carefully avoiding anything he thought he knew.

“Hm?” Allen hummed, looking up. He then turned to the paperwork in his hand. “Yoi took care of you. I don’t know how he managed it or what he did while you were unconscious… But you might has well have been dead. We were able to call the droids off using a swift command, but you went straight into a comatose state. We were going to rush you to medical, but Yoi pulled his seniority card and took you somewhere else. When you were stable they got you back here, and then he monitored your recovery for a couple more days. We’ve all been taking turns bringing you food in case you woke up.”

Hokori nearly choked on some rice, but he held back the sputtering well by downing three gulps of soup. But then the soup was gone. With a warmth still framing his face, he looked back at his bed. “I think I woke up before… I thought I could smell someone in the room with me.”

“Interesting… You have enhanced senses like that even outside your transformation?” Now the scientist put his attention on his subject.

“Well… Yeah. Didn’t I mention that?” he chuckled nervously.

“If you did… I must not have caught it.” Allen said, nodding. “Either way, it might come in handy… We’ll see if we can get a volunteer that you can kiss, and then we’ll test how long you can hold it. Whenever you are done eating that is.”

Hokori gulped. “S-Sure. I can brush my teeth, too?” Allen nodded absently. It wasn’t that part that made him nervous though. Last time they got a volunteer he blacked out… But with Yoi it didn’t drive him too madly. He wondered if that mattered at all. Still, he was too fearful of what Yoi would do to him if he mentioned the kissing. Especially when he didn’t know if what he’d seen and felt were dreams or not.

-

Their volunteer was not the bombshell blonde from before. It wasn’t Yoi… It wasn’t Allen. It was a girl he’d never met. She was a pretty girl, sure. A black straight hair bob to her prominent jaw line, smokey blue dyed underlayer, contrasting her pale chocolate skin. Her lips were full and painted purple. She had a very goth style. Under the crisp white lab coat, she wore a combination of fishnets, lace, leather, and spikes. All black, except the cool blue of everything metal. And several piercings.

Her name was Vox, though if that was her real name he’d probably never know.

“This is him.” Vox asked, pointed long purple nails at Dust, directing her question though at Allen.

“Yes, Vox. Is it still ok?” Dust heart sank as Allen was forced to plead on his behalf.

Her dark brown eyes move sideways over to Hokori. She looked him once over, but then her head turned to look over at Yoi. Which left no impression on anyone else, but if the Prime had ears to perk they would have. Before he could question what it was, verbally or nonverbally, she looked back at him. By now her hand has turned over, dangled in the air, and relaxed her fingers. She gave him another look over, exaggerated to make a point. One that Dust read as a bad sign.

“Yeah, okay. I just was expecting someone less attractive when you asked.” Vox stated.

Allen, Hokori, and the bowl cut sighed in relief.

“Is he to your liking then?” Yoi’s voice stabbed at the silence.

“I mean… He’s cute, sure.” she came closer to Wolf and while he didn’t know what to expect he went stiff in her hand as she picked him up by the jaw. She was shorter than him, but still had the arm’s length to twist him around. “His bone structure is immaculate. Stunningly handsome, if a bit pointed. Like an Ookami.”

She released his jaw and her hands touches his chest. The test subject didn’t know what to do about this, or if he could at all.

“Broad shoulders, thick muscles. He is basically a cave-woman’s wet dream.” Vox went on. She made Dust flex his large biceps, and poking at the muscle. “I don’t think there is an ounce of excess fat on him. A perfectly balance between lean and muscular.” she continued to state.

Yoi came to his rescue though. While vox examined Dust’s calf through his pant leg. “We can discuss genetic makeup and possible experimentations later, but will you kiss him?” Yoi’s tone was dry, and his words made Volk a little nervous...

“For sure.” Vox said, standing up fully. “You’ll have to lean down though, men come to me, that’s the deal.” Her brown eyes meet his, admiring the crimson color probably in her silence.

Allen cleared his throat. “Uh. We require you to kiss him for at least 15 seconds.”

Vox turned slowly to face her fellow scientist, a face that obviously was insulted but not by too much. “Uh, yeah. You said that already. Is there more, spit it out man.” she commanded.

Where did the Empire get these girls? “N-No.” Allen replied, taking a step back.

Vox shook her head so that the silk-like hair fell open before settling back to black. She turned to Dust in the meantime. “What about you, hun? You need anything else? Some tongue?”

The werewolf prime turned hot red in less than a minute. “N-No ma’am.”

A cat-like smile curled up on her pierced lips. “Okay, but do you want tongue?”

The bead-like eyes that his pupils have shrunk back to look down at her, she liked her lips like she was hungry for him. His face turned even warmer. “Th-th-the more passionate a-a-a kiss is the m-more power-erful the transformation…” he stuttered out. Clearly intimidated by her confidence.

Dust then would feel her hands crawl up his chest, setting fire to his skin suddenly, underneath the shirt. His wolf growled with pleasure in his head, but his heart pounded in panic. He felt her fingers splay over his neck, then wrap around the back and meet by interlocking. She would then give him a firm pull to remind him that she wasn’t going to come to him. Like the obedient dog that he was, he followed. Leaning down as his large hands found purchase on her hips.

When their lips met he could feel the difference between metal and flesh. He paused at the odd feeling, but then leaned deeper. She had her own plans though, already parting their mouths so that she could slip him her tongue. Hokori opened his eyes as they fitted their mouths together and she tenderly started the act of Frenching him. He felt layers of his cheeks melt away because he was so hot in the face now.


He could make out a melta bar in the middle of her tongue, it stroked his tongue as her’s twisted around it. He didn’t understand the allure of it at first, but it added a little extra pleasure. Coming from someone as experienced as he was… They made out for more than thirty seconds, she held him there for at least two minutes. If he didn’t know how to do this, he did by now.

She pulled away and they were both gasping lightly. He rested his eyes on her’s, which flutter open and smile up at him. “Not a bad kisser, either.” she chuckled quietly. This made him somehow even more red. She slid from his hands and stepped safely away, pocketing her hands as she did. “So then… Why did you guys have to ask me to come kiss him?” she directed her question to Allen.

Meanwhile Wolf’s eyes fixate on Yoi who immediately looked way to play with his tablet. Lycan wasn’t used to cold shoulders, and lowered his gaze to the floor. “Because I need it for my powers… Nothing more.” He said, his thoughts were now out loud. It just happen that it was both how he felt and how to answer that question.

“That.” Allen said, pointing to their subject. If you’d like to observe, he will be demonstrating later in the week. Which if this experiment works, then we may need your help later.”

Vox smiled, “Of course. It would be a pleasure. Especially if his keeper can’t do it.” she spoke, her eyes going straight for Yoi again. Only to look away. “Good testing, boys.” the goth woman said with a wave of her hand and hip swinging walk away.

-

The three scientist, or at least the two that Dust knew more about, made their subject sit with them in their office for the rest of the day, monitoring his condition. Which was mostly them just asking if he could or couldn’t transform if he wanted to still. Surprisingly, it lasted for a long time At least in theory.

At some point he’d gotten so bored of doing nothing, he fell asleep. That was an hour and a half into it, and when he woke up three hours later he didn’t feel the same. While they debated on how to deal with this info, he sat to the side all scrunched up with his head in his hand. It was a rare moment when he didn’t show perfect posture.


“We can’t keep pulling people away from their stations for our issues.” Allen snapped at Yoi. “If you want someone to kiss him so badly, why don’t you do it yourself?”

They have been arguing for the past ten minutes about how they need to work on different parts of the project. Allen had been put in charge of kissing experimentations, but now he’s just had enough of Yoi pushing him an bowl-cut around. Not to mention Dust.

“I will then.” Yoi countered, sharply. To emphasize his point, he smacked the table he was setting at. He stood, taking off his glasses. “This was something you should have been doing instead of pushing it off on others!”

As Yoi approached, SW-808 set up. Alarmed. After all the secrecy of the hallway and the revival of the prime, he was going to just waltz up and kiss him!?

I should have been doing!?” Allen chased after him, grabbing the guy’s shoulder and spinning Yoi around so they could face each other. This was about five feet from Dust himself. “What about you!? You’re the one that skips out on the work when we need you.”

“When have you needed me Allen? You are, after all, the one that Isard asked to see. Clearly you are the most competent.”

“Oh! Is that why you are so freaking upset? Because you wanted to be considered the head of this operation? You do realize that she thinks I’m some commander, right? That I have some kind of backbone!?”

“Probably because Dust didn’t take a bite out of your desk!” Yoi argued back.

The guilty prime glanced over. There was indeed a deep set chomp taken from the edge of Yoi’s desk…

“That was ages ago Yoi.” Allen continued, the Japanese man was shaking his head and pushed past the scruffy scientist. “You and I both know this place would be an absolute mess without you. Don’t be so salty over a mistake I could get fired for correcting!”

Yoi twisted around, looking over at Allen now. It was like watching a bitter tango. “Salty!? Excuse me! I’ve poor countless hours into everything were assigned, and you get recognition? Then you act all cool about everything, never even trying to apologize for the mistake.”

“You want an apology!?” Allen scoffed. “What about all the cold, heartless comments you make. Towards me, towards Hokori, towards-”

Yoi cut him off. “Heartless?!”

“Yes. Heartless. Why no wonder people cower behind clipboards as you adjust your glasses in judgement. Hell, even now you are acting like an apex predator! You want to be top dog, but you want me to do your dirty work.”

“Dirty work? Allen what in Omni are you actually trying to say?” Yoi was touching his unguarded temple. “Are you saying you think I am not working?”

“N-No. Maybe… I don’t know what exactly you are doing, and I know that you keep telling me to do shit you could be.” Allen straightened up.

“I see.” Yoi said, tossing his head so that his combed over bangs fall. He motioned to his desk. “Fine. Take the reins. We’ll trade work, and when Director Isard is disappointed in us, you may take her heat.” he turned and snatched Hokori’s wrist with his hand. “In the meantime, I’ll be doing the assignment you’ve also failed to do.” he announced, yanking the Prime to his feet and dragging him along with him. He snatches up his tablet on the way out, and at the last minute Dust snatched his glasses. It seemed like something he might not want to leave but ran out of hands for.

This left the other two in the room, empty of Yoi and Dust. Allen glanced at bowl-cup for a moment before sighing and heading into Yoi’s computer...


The next moment they were in Dust’s cell. Yoi dragging him in and shutting the door. He left Dust’s wrist to go over to the single camera they observed him with, and pulled the plug. While he did, his test subject laid Yoi’s glasses carefully on his desk. So when Yoi was finished and brought his tablet over he would see them.The straight arrowed guy stopped and blinked at them.

“Thank you.” he simply said, then turned to the taller male.

A sheepish smile formed on Dust’s face, nerves filling his gut. “Are you really going to kiss me again?”

“Yes.” Yoi said, no hesitation. “Does it bother you to be kissed by me?”

The face Hoshi-kun made was confusion, which forced all the nerves away. “What? No. I’m not bothered by your kiss at all. I am bothered by the fact that…” he trailed off to look away sadly. “That you have to do it at all… I would like to be less of a problem for you, Allen, and-”

He was cut off by Yoi picking up his chin to meet his eyes. “You baka… Don’t you get it, yet? I want to kiss you.” he admitted.

“Huh?” Is all Dust managed, before he was cut off once more by Yoi’s lips. He tried to pull away to finish this conversation, but Yoi fiercely gripped him by the arms. So Wolf had to sit there and take it, a whirlwind of questions twisting inside his head.

Though the other male did not give him a chance to stew, forcing the werewolf to follow him towards the bed. Yoi fell back as his knees hit the bed. Pecs, thankfully, was quick to react, wrapping his arm around the scientist and pressing his knee into the bed. He caught them both with his arm on the wall.

The beast inside Dust drunk of the kiss once more, this time nudging him to go a little further for the sake of power. Making a needy canine whine escape from his throat. Yoi only seemed to add to this plead as he arranged his arms to move around Dust’s neck, hugging him into the kiss while Ookami held him slightly in the air.

Yoi’s fingers entangle themselves in maroonish hair, kissing deeper and more passionately than before. Moaning softly into the kiss and opening their lips. Their tongues collide in a tender, wet dance. Dust’s transformed claws dig along the stone, leaving large gashes deep along the mason work as he was pulled gently down into his own bed by one of the last people he’d imagine being into… Well him.

He was by far the strongest one, but this coming straight out of nearly nowhere really threw him off. He tried to resist, however, between the inner beast lapping this up and Yoi’s passion… It would have been difficult for anyone to stop this. No one weaker willed could have said no to this. And yet, it took approximately eighteen seconds for him to be able to even think about pulling off.

A small window, but he raised his head, gasping for breath he couldn’t catch, grasping for thoughts he couldn’t form, toes curling at the feeling of Yoi’s lips across his jaw and throat, his face burning even hotter than molten lava… His lips felt suddenly chapped and his tongue dry… While Yoi clung to him faithfully, Dust’s weight shifted to the hand on the bed while he raised the other one and raked his nails through his lengthy hair.

“Come back.” the other man muttered, send a fresh flash of red across Dust’s cheeks. “That couldn’t have been thirty seconds…”

He sighed. “No… About half.” he answered, and felt Yoi try to yank him back down. “Jihi… Watashi o awarende kudasai, Yoi-sama.” Ookami pleaded breathlessly.

“Īe! Kiss me, Hokori-kun. Let me erase her from your lips.” Yoi whispered, offering his lips.

Dust took a few more breaths, but was weak to Yoi’s request. “Mōsukoshi dake…” he whispered before leaning in and taking his offer.



“You can’t fall asleep this time.” Yoi said, after a few minutes of locking lips with the handsome prime. He sat on the edge of the bed now, fixing his collar around a large hickey on the lower right side of his neck. With some coaching, he’d gotten it out of Dust.

Star Dust rose from the bed behind him, scratching at his jaw. “Fine…” he groaned like a zombie rising from the grave. “But I’m going to need something to do.”

Yoi began to run his fingers through his hair, pushing his hair as straight as he could. “Like what?” he asked, particularly frustrated with a few strands that refused to cooperate. That is until a large hand came over and helped him part the strands that wanted to lay the other side.

“I don’t know… Last time I was free to do whatever I want, I was friendless fifteen.” Volk said gently, but not sadly. “If I wasn’t fighting, I was healing.”

“Which you apparently do very well.” Yoi said, a hint of annoyance as he looks Dust over again, specifically where he should be red and purple. Which no lack of trying, his efforts of returning the mark were fruitless. At least in the end.

Dust let out a loud playful laugh. “Unfortunately, the perks of my contract.”

“You better not be using the kisses I gave you to heal, those are for an experiment.” Yoi turned on him.

But the Contractor just smiled. “Even if I was, I know where to get more.” he said smoothly. Whether he meant to or not. And it sent burning blood to Yoi’s face before he pushed the werewolf down into the bed again and left to grab his glasses and tablet.

-

Yoi enjoyed his time doing nothing but a piece of the puzzle that was their work. It gave him time to slack off. He took Dust to the cafeteria to let him fill his stomach as a mini reward for not falling asleep. By doing so, they were able to clock his timer to about 73 minutes. It wasn’t precises, that just happen to be when he noticed the change.

But as fun as it was to do a fraction of his usual work with the added bonus of making out with DA-389, he belonged behind a desk with something more to do than play a game with half interest because he had hoped to understand Allen obsessions with them. He eventually dropped Hokori off at his cell and returned to his partners. Apparently feeling a lot better after letting off some steam with the test subject.

On his return, Yoi found Allen rubbing his temples and trying hard to make sense of his work. There was an apology on both halves, and a trade off of their responsibilities once more. When he brought up the data, no one asked how Yoi got the information. Partially because they could take a guess after his outburst, but also because it didn’t matter. Results mattered.

They day came shortly after that.

Yoi volunteered to retrieve the test subject, as he did before. This time with the full intention of waking the young man up himself, and prepare him for his fight. He left early so they had some extra time.

Meanwhile, Allen did his best to receive Director Isard and General Mohic. He lead them to the observation room, while another team was setting up a feed for Captain Keller - who couldn’t be here in person but was able to set aside time specifically to watch this. Allen forced himself to play the role he’d been given - by force - and tried to be professional, positive, and calm. He didn’t know how a commander was supposed to act, but he was hoping for the best as they all took their seats.

-

Below, ‘charged’ and as ready as he will ever be. The werewolf prime stepped through a door that locked directly behind him. His face was forward and his eyes trained onto the center of the room where he should see his next obstacle. He took a deep breath, his cotton sweats and tee shirt the only thing protecting his body at the moment.

“Starting the test.” Allen’s voice announced over speakers. “In 3… 2… 1.”
[Image: source.gif]
"Centurion: I'll leave you to your work then Dust. Thanks for chatting!
Me: no problem. stay awesome!
Centurion: It's more of a passive ability"
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#14
Though he knew that Allen, Yoi, and many other scientists were studying him, he would never have suspected that he alone had caught the eye of some very important Imperial officials. So in respect of the very test, he was to overcome, the Empire’s eyes were watching.  

Isard sat up straight in her chair her red and blue eye’s watching Commander Allen as he directed the great General and war hero of the Clone Wars, Rom Mohic, to his seat. Further left past her and Mohic stood the holoprojection of the head Director of TEAR Labs, Captain Keller. Three very prestigious Imperial officials Isard thought to herself. 

A smirk slowly grew from her mouth as her eyes were locked onto Allen. The man seemed stressed from the past few days of preparing everything for this moment. Hopefully, the subject down below in the test chamber didn’t fail him or it would he who had failed Isard and worse, failed Emperor Palpatine, but he was not alone on that punishment as well. Yoi being the other scientist on the project would face the same fate as Allen as well. Cheers for success, however, Isard had once heard before. 

“I assume that the subject is prepared, Commander Allen?” Isard asked keeping her smirk. 

Her eyes still followed Allen, the scruffy man taking his position in between both the Director and the General. Already nervous he slightly turned his head to face the Director. Though he would not let it be the best of him, Isard’s eyes locked onto his. It was almost as if he were starring at both fire and ice, the two matching her personality well. The blue for her cold and calculating demeanor the other, the red, being her wrath. It was not only her eyes that made him more nervous however but the smirk glued to her face.

"You will not be disappointed, Madam Director." Allen confidently assured her, if only to prove his point from their earlier conversation: He trusted Dust.

“Good.” She replied back soberly then turned her gaze to the right of her chair, her eyes catching sight of Yoi. The man was oblivious to the world around him, his head buried in the note pad that his hands held tightly too.

“How about you Commander Yoi do you feel confident in today’s test?” She inquired.

"I'll say this, if the subject fails your expectations I will, firstly, be forced to assume god is dead, and then secondly request permission to slap the boy in your stead before being escorted off the property." He answered calmly not taking an eye from his notes. Isard responded with only a single sharp laugh.

“If everything is set, may I begin the presentation?” Mohic spoke up leaning forward in his chair, the question itself being directed to Allen.

“Of course General.”  Allen simply responded giving a nod. Clearing his throat the General motioned to start but was cut off by Director Isard. Mohic narrowed his eyes at her but his expression lowered as she made her explanation. 

“I am sorry to interrupt General Mohic but before we begin I must make the following statement. It appears that the security cameras from last nights feed reported back that you Commander Yoi had personally escorted the test subject: Dust,  back to their holding cell. At the same time as they made their entrance, the cell camera was somehow miraculously shut off.” She gave a pause to allow the others to take in the information she had just fed them. “It could only be assumed that you Commander Yoi had tampered with the security camera. Do you understand that tampering with security can and will be considered an act of treason?”

For a moment the room was quiet, deathly so. Crossing her right leg over the left Isard leaned forward in her chair, her fingers lapsed folding together. The other Imperial officials kept to their silence their eyes laying back to Yoi. Mohic himself had leaned back in his chair while the holoprojection of Captain Keller folded his arms. Even in the dark of the room, a smile could clearly be seen on the man’s face. 

Yoi stiffened in his seat, and there was a follow-up pause to let his director know that he was not only guilty but preparing a response.

"Ah. Right. The camera." he started, but his voice made it sound like the act had been an afterthought. "I hadn't even considered the implication Madam Isard. Thus, I should deeply apologize for my arrogance. I simply did it without thinking." He looked up at her through the lenses of his glasses. "I promise it won't happen again."

Isard blew a single breath from her nostrils, she was… somewhat pleased with his response.

“I would hope so Captain, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.” She leaned back in her chair.

Yoi’s only response to such an embarrassment was a nod and a bow. From the other side of the room, General Mohic leaned forward in his chair once again, clearing his throat. Shifting his right hand he pressed a small silver spherical button on the leg of his seat. Suddenly in front of all five of them, a holoprojection fizzed into view dead center of the room. The holoprojections were of Mohic’s prized creation, they were seemingly the prototype frame and model of the famed Dark Troopers. 

The trooper’s body itself was black in design but yet it seemed almost too skinny to be a fully functional combat droid. There were also visibly seen openings in its joints that revealed wires and circuits. It all gave a sense of something menacing to even see on streets but yet it also gave a sense of incompletion.    

“As you can see by the schematics and images displayed in front of you, this particular model of the troopers are part of the first phase of the program.” The General’s deep-voiced boomed in his explanation. 

“Looking to the right arm of the droid it sports a single cortosis vibroblade that is melded to its frame. And to left is a personal riot shield which is also weaved with cortosis. Thanks to Captain Keller and his science team at TEAR labs it was possible to obtain the nearly indestructible metal”

"It's always a pleasure to serve, sir." Captain Keller’s voice cracked through his blue holographic image.

“So it only carries a vibroblade?” Isard questioned him raising an eyebrow.

Mohic turned away from the holo-image of his creation and gave her an excited smile. 

“Of course not, back at the main factory my engineers and I are working on ways to add other weapons two examples being a grenade launcher and a flame-thrower,” Mohic replied folding his hands together. 

“And what are these… Phase One Dark Troopers built for?” Ysanne asked putting her right hand to her chin.

“Why riot and crowd control, of course.” The General answered confidently. “If you read the report on the Avengers, several of the droids were dispatched to handle the riot they caused.”

“Yes… From the report, I’ve noted that the Avengers as a team are most formidable in dangerous scenarios. How many of the troopers didn’t returned to you?” She replied then asked a different question.

“A least two of them were damaged to the point of not functioning without repair,” Mohic answered assuringly.

“Two?”

“Yes.”

“Huh, then, in that case, I am eager to see how the test subject will fair to the first phase. How about you Captain Keller? Are you eager for the test’s results? ”  

"I'm always eager to see results," Keller replied eagerly, his holographic right hand reached out from its display area and then returned with a mug that he sipped from before putting back from view.

“Then in that case.” Mohic chimed back in. “Commander Allen, shall you initiate the test?”

“Of course General.” Allen gave a nod, secretly in the back of his head he hoped by the Force that Dust would make it out somehow alive. Taking only several steps he stood close to the observatories display glass. Pulling out a small comlink from his lad coat pocket, he ordered the technicians down below to lower the chambers platform.

“Starting the test.” He announced over the speakers. “In 3… 2… 1.”
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