[ i’m a 

                                                                                 or am i a
                                                                       monster? ]


Are you the full moon?


Hermann had to force himself to look out the window each time Bishop showed him places around the town; he was too tempted to keep glancing at the rearview mirror and try to catch Bishop’s eye. Finally, when they had run out of buildings to look at and they were on a rougher road, he indulged and glued his eyes to the mirror, letting himself admire Bishop’s concentration on driving over the rocky terrain.

He was so enraptured and captivated by Bishop, he started when he heard the man’s voice again. “What?” He looked away, eyes darting down to the cane by his legs, feeling his face heat up a little. “Oh, of course. Yes, that would be lovely.” When the car had come to a stop, he peered out of his window at the sky, not quite dark yet, then at the ground. He opened his door cautiously, before slowly lowering himself down, all the while gripping the side of the car tight.

When satisfied with his stability, Hermann walked around to the back of the car to meet Bishop. “This really is a wonderful idea,” he said, meeting Bishop’s gaze shyly. “Thank you.”

Bishop hurried around to the back of the car. He was anxious, in a hurry for some reason, his skin starting to crawl with anticipation. He wasn’t usually this nervous on dates, but for some reason he just found it difficult to keep his cool around Hermann. He’d be better maybe, once he had a few of the beers he’d stashed in the back of the car, and once he started talking. He considered himself a pretty competent storyteller, and if Hermann was receptive to it he at least could keep him entertained for the evening.

Hermann seemed to be enjoying himself so far. Bishop was surprised at his comment— he thought maybe things had gotten irreparably thrown off with Tozake’s perpetual sourness, but then again maybe the professor was just happy to be away from Cassandra’s. And alone with him? Perhaps. He smiled. “I thought it would be fun. I’ve got my qualms about being stuck in the desert, but the stars sure are nice. I come out here a lot and just sort of…” Run around, he almost said, because that was what he liked to do, when there was a degree of anxiety or frustration or loneliness that even an evening’s worth of whiskeys at the Blackadder couldn’t solve, he would come out here and change and just run. Chase the long-legged jackrabbits just for fun. Enjoy every scent on the hot desert air, sniff the messages left for him by the skittish coyotes. No drug he had tried compared to running his long canine muscles into exhaustion. But he certainly didn’t want Hermann to know that. Not yet at least… if they continued to see each other he supposed there would eventually come a time where he would have to come clean, though he had no fucking idea how to even begin that conversation. For now he made a constant effort to keep his wolf characteristics under wraps— under normal circumstances his eyes would flash with a ring of bright gold whenever something caught his attention, and he very often found himself twitching the furred tips of his ears. But at least in the time since he’d been bitten he’d mastered a certain amount of control. He could keep it under wraps for now. He wasn’t exactly sure when the right time was to tell a paramour you were a werewolf, but he imagined it was sometime after the second date. No sense ruining a perfectly good stargazing experience if they weren’t even going to keep seeing each other.

He cleared his throat, fighting off another shiver. “Just sort of wander around, you know?” he finished finally. He occupied his hands opening the back gate of the Blazer,  spreading out the blanket in the back of the car to cover some red wine stains from previous backseat exploits. He’d already cleared out the space and buried everything behind the front seats— after a decade of roadtripping and occasionally living out of cars, he was a bit of an overly prepared packrat. But for the sake of the date preparedness meant a nice blanket and a six pack of quality beers, and the back of his car looking perfectly presentable for a change. He settled down on the back of the car, legs dangling, and dug into the bag from Cassandra’s. Tozake had, in cheeky fashion, labeled the styrofoam containers “Bishop” and “Date” in his loopy hand. Bishop smirked. He had to admit he appreciated a waiter who remembered his taste in burgers.

He took a beer for himself, and held one up for Hermann. “Want a beer? I guess I should’ve asked if you drank. I didn’t think to bring anything else.”