He nearly cried when Tetsu finally pulled away, hole clenching on the phantom feel of the tongue teasing him, he’d felt his balls tightening again, gut swirling, he’d been so close, so clo---
Denki felt the air punched out of him as he was filled to the brim without warning, hips jerked backwards, hole enveloping the thick, pulsating cock to the hilt, breath caught in his throat he choked out an aborted moan around Shinsou’s cock as a second orgasm ripped through him,
painting the furs beneath him in streaks of thick semi-clear white, he loved his mates… fuck he loved them so much… always knew just how to please him, how to touch… filled him so well.
He clawed into the furs beneath him as the Steel Weaver set a brutal pace, piston hips thrusting into him without any regard for his need to come down, nerve endings on fire, he couldn’t stop the tears running down his cheeks as his body struggled
to keep up choking around the cock being so forcefully rammed down his throat

“Ngghh th-there’s a g-good boy… s-so good for me baby… l-look at you… fuck you look s-so good choking on my cock…” he’d *preen* if he could think about anything other than how full he felt,
anything other than the thick knot already catching on his hole as it struggled to keep up with his mate’s pace, desperately clenching down, trying to move his hips back with each inward thrust,
fucking himself back but not even remotely fast enough to match the bruising pace his mate had set,

“S-shit… gonna breed you so good Denki… gonna… gonna f-fill you so full… so fuckin full of m-my pups, you want that lightnin bug? You want lil sparks, baby?”
God he could cry, he was crying, whimpering his yes around the thick hot length in his mouth, reaching to grab, to hold onto anything but furs and finding Shinsou’s thigh, gripping it tight earning a hissed “fuck!” From the human but he didn’t care,
he was too out of his mind to care, Shinsou was used to the odd little scratches and punctures from dragon claws, he’d be fine.

“M’gonna… fuck Denki m’gonna… s-shit… s-sh---!” Hot warmth hit the back of his throat, Shinsou’s movements becoming jerky, sloppy as he came,
painting the shifter’s throat with a load that Denki happily guzzled, thrusts slowing to a stop even when Denki began suckling on him, sucking every last drop he could from the softening cock in his mouth as his other mate fucked into him, knot catching with every other thrust,
almost there… almost…

Denki slammed his hips back on a particularly hard thrust inwards, knot caught, locking them tight Tetsu’s groan could probably be heard all the way at the firepit as he released into his mate, claws digging deep into Denki’s thick, juicy thighs,
blood pouring around his fingertips, it’d heal, it’d always heal, he’d feel bad the second he saw the injuries, what he’d done in his lustful haze, but he’d swipe his tongue over them later on anyway, just to help the healing process.
Shinsou eased his dick out of his mate’s mouth, even when Denki whined and pawed at him, attempted to pull him back in while Tetsu, far more gently now, rolled his hips through his orgasm, pumping his mate full of cum in hopes that maybe just *maybe* this time it’d take hold
“no baby… no it’s okay… you focus on making that baby yeah?” Kneeling down he planted a soft kiss to his mate’s forehead, earning a happy, sleepy little coo from the blond, then leaning over him he planted another kiss on the Steel Weaver’s head
“that’s my good alpha… you breed our baby good yeah? Gonna have so many little lightning bugs, right?” Tetsu jerked his hips forward in response, bed creaking as Denki’s limp body jerked forward with the hard thrust, the alpha pumping another thick stream of cum into his mate.
“That’s my good boys” he climbed onto the bed beside them, Tetsu pulling Denki back further onto his cock, pushing Denki over the edge in a dry orgasm, one last time as he was repositioned to allow Shinsou to climb in beside them,
sandwiching the spent little beta between the two larger men, Denki snuggling against his human even as he milked the knot still swollen inside of him.
A little sleep wouldn’t hurt, the tribe wouldn’t have to move on until the end of the day now no attack had been launched, they’d be safe to rest there for the time being.
-~-~-~-

Half an hour earlier, Kirishima had bee-lined directly for the tent he’d come from, trying to remain calm, it was fine, everything was fine, they were his species! They wouldn’t rat him out right? He couldn’t have lied to them even if he wanted to either,
and gods he’d desperately wanted too, telling a truth to hide the truth was good enough for now, it’d have to be good enough.

He walked in on something… very unexpected, and honestly if not for the immediate confusion and conflicting emotions, he would have snapped,
the alpha dragon within him demanding he get this human away from his mate but then the more rational side reminding him that this human was mated to two very capable dragon mates of his own.
Why bother with *his* human?
But yet here he was, watching Shinsou command his very naked human to stretch and the blond actually doing it, without complaint… the without complaint thing was what really made him pause.
“Don’t worry your pretty little head, he needs to be able to move but him stretching of his own accord isn’t going to happen” it seemed like his mate literally hadn’t been able to get out of bed. Kirishima didn’t want to admit it but the idea made him preen just a little bit.
“Oh... your uhm… your mates are uh… talking about babies? I think they’re about to start trying to make one” Shinsou took one look at him before sighing and shaking his head, as if this wasn't an irregular occurrence,
“Be ready to catch your mate, he’s going to fall once I let go” and Kirishima had to move *fast* too, because a moment after, Shinsou released his control over the blond, Kirishima darting forward to catch him before he crumpled to the floor, groaning in pain,
spitting out a spiteful “Fuck you, you prick! Told you I couldn’t fuckin get up you didn’t have to fuckin MAKE me you *ass*”
“You needed to stretch, you still need to stretch, Red make sure he stretches, do not stick your dick in him again, whether he asks for it or not, we don’t have time for him to recover from another round, if he wants to make it to the homelands in time before the season ends, ++
we have to leave soon” and with that, he paid no mind to the middle finger flipped his way from the blond, instead vacating the tent swiftly, in the direction Kirishima *assumed* to be his own tent where his mates were not even remotely waiting for him.
“Why do we need to go to your homelands before the new season?"
“Wedding, dumbass… shits unlucky if it’s in the middle of a season” a superstition Kirishima wasn’t aware of, it sort of made sense but… he was planning their wedding? “An the hag would fuckin kill me if I held a weddin anywhere but the Homelands, she’d wanna meet you first”
“…. The Hag?”

“High Queen, she rules over the homelands, all of the Homelands… and she’s my mother”
“T-The high… THEE high queen of YOUR homelands?” Oh shit… oh *shit* Kirishima had heard of her, honestly who HADN’T heard of Bakugo Mitsuki?! The woman was a renowned menace, she commanded the largest tribe of wanderers on the continent,
and she did it without batting an eyelid, no WONDER Katsuki was such a nightmare to deal with, he came from *THAT*.

“Mmhm, I’m assumin you’ve heard of her?”

“Who HASN’T… is… do you really think… she’d like me?” What if she recognised him?
He’d been around several barbarian kings by now, surely word of him had trickled down right? It wasn’t like he eradicated all the tribes along with the kings, he’d just cut the heads of the tribes, what if someone reported it back?
Got back to the homelands and managed to talk to the Queen?

“C-can we not just do this wedding thing now? Do we have to go there?”
“Sorry Eiji, has to be there, an besides… she’s gonna love you, you’re amazin… an y’know… Reds are kinda a big deal there, they nest up in the high mountains a few days hike away from the tribe, trust me Ei she’s gonna love you”
he’d already managed to worm his way into Bakugo’s heart, firmly sitting his pretty little ass there and refusing to budge. That didn’t stop Kirishima from being *terrified* or… or deciding at that moment that…
He’d have to kill his mate before they reached the homelands, he couldn’t be seen by that woman, he couldn’t be caught… it’d be okay, he’d be okay… the mountains were about three maybe four weeks away, maybe a little more if they made regular stops?
They really did have to leave if they wanted to get there for the new season though… but that meant he had at least three weeks with his mate… he had all that time he---
No… NO he didn’t… he had a week, a week at MOST before he was due back, back to his real life, not this one… this one wasn’t real… nothing about this was real “okay… wont she be mad that uh… that you won’t… y’know… have kids?” He was an alpha class right?
That’s what the other shifters said… alphas couldn’t get pregnant and human males sure as hell couldn’t either. Maybe that was enough of an excuse to stop this ‘wedding’ nonsense, stop this whole ‘going to see the mother’ bullshit, maybe they co---
“Nah, I can adopt if I want an heir, she doesn’t give a shit about that stuff, we gotta go back eventually anyway, the tribes gettin too big to travel easily, an with those three idiots still tryin for kids, I’m sure they’ll appreciate settin up a more permanent home back there”
it’d be shit to let them go but… they’d been with him for years now, and no doubt the stress of constantly having to move around wasn’t helping the beta’s struggle to conceive. “Ei… baby… seriously, you’re safe… she couldn’t hurt you even if she fuckin *tried*, ++
you’re a Red, an by the time we get there, you’ll be able to do all the shit a Red can do, *includin* hardenin yourself up, those idiots cant be fuckin around the whole way, ask em nicely an I’m sure they’ll help you figure your shit out”
Maybe… maybe he could take a bit longer this time…? If not for his mate at the very least to learn more about himself… and… and he could spend more time with his mate too. He could be selfish for a little while, right? “Okay… okay I trust you… now, about those stretches…”
-~-~-~-

The camp was mostly packed up by the time Tetsu managed to track down their elusive little spy, most tents broken down to tarp and wood, her magic was rare and incredibly valuable, but hiding from a dragon’s senses, even while technically invisible, was impossible.
Denki was still snoozing away, curled up next to his human mate, he’d done so much already Tetsu had decided that once his knot had deflated, *he’d* find Hagakure and get her to look into the nearby city.
“Yo, Hagakure, you there?” He had no idea what she was doing, whether she was looking at him or even acknowledging him, he just knew she was there, sat down by one of the log chairs at the still burning fire pit, she always did like to hide away during packing.
“We have a request, something to be kept on the downlow, you interested?”

“Hmmmm… okay big guy, it’s not like I’m busy!” He *knew* she was there, and after a short internal celebration for his success
“I know we’re not attacking the city, but somethin shady is goin on in there, I want you to check it out, check it all out, complete sweep, an seriously, keep it on the downlow, don’t let anyone know you’re goin, if the camp’s packed up an fucked off before you get back, ++
just wait for us at the treeline, Denki an I will circle back for you” nobody could know, the little Red had asked for secrecy, he’d been so scared, so panicked… Tetsu wasn’t even going to bring up who this was for, he didn’t want to give the teen any more of a reason to panic.
“Is Blasty asking for this or are *you* asking for this?” she just had to be certain who to blame if shit went sideways, it didn't often happen but... it was nice to have a fall guy when it did.
“Me an Denki are askin for this, Bakugo has no idea an I’d like to keep it that way, we’ve just got a bad feelin, call it dragons intuition, an with them just *givin* us a totally agreeable Red hybrid? Shit’s shady…” Reds were *not* agreeable, they were hard-headed,
aggressive, territorial, they were everything Kirishima was not, Kirishima was sweet, maybe a little jumpy and a little bit awkward but… so far he’d done nothing to irritate anyone! And you would *never* catch one agreeing to wear such flimsy garments.
The beasts were prideful, their power raw and impressive, rivalled only by the Steel Weavers in strength, and even then sometimes their rocky hardened exteriors could beat the Weavers in thickness.
Fully grown, their razor-sharp claws could tear through Weaver metals like a knife through butter. Something was *wrong* with this scenario, and Tetsu would rather put his neck on the line than leave his family in potential danger.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right about that, it *was* a little weird, an did you catch how smirky the emissary was when Blasty accepted?” No… no he hadn’t, but now that he thought about it… the emissary had been a little… weird, not to mention the weird scent he carried,
Tetsu hadn’t even been able to describe it, he’d just felt… weirdly compliant? Perhaps that was why he’d not raised any alarm when the shifter had been presented to the king
“Alright, T! I’ll check it out, shouldn’t take longer than a day or two so you WILL have to circle back, keep an eye on that hybrid in the meantime though, he looks cute but… I dunno, I get a weird feeling, didn’t wanna bring it up since I’ve not seen him do anything shady yet”
“I assume you’ve been watching close by the whole time?”
“Oh, like a *hawk* I’m surprised he hasn’t noticed” Tetsu and Denki could *always* tell when she was nearby, so she’d been attempting to be careful around this new hybrid, assuming he’d know too but… nope, not even a hint that he could sense her.
“Poor kid isn’t exactly in touch with his senses, it’s like he has no idea they even exist, you ready to go now by any chance?” Sooner she set off, the sooner they could get this dealt with
“Yeah sure, lemme grab a snack first and I’ll head out, seriously though… keep an eye on him while I’m not here, Don’t get all distracted, I know you guys are still trying for a bubbly lil baby but… just stay focused while I’m not there to keep an eye on him around Blasty”
she’d never *tell* Bakugo that she watched over him, he’d throw a fit about how he could protect himself, but… he was their King… he was a *good* King, a good man… keeping him safe was the least she could do for all he’d done for them. And boy had he done a LOT for them.
“No problem, remember, wait by the tree line, and gods above make it obvious where you are, I don’t wanna be circlin for hours trying to find you” the scrape of feet against grass alerted him to the fact that she’d stood up, then skin skimming skin, dusting herself off
“Sure, gimme two days just to be sure, I’ll make sure you can spot me on your first fly by, I’ll be there before noon so don’t keep me waiting, an good luck on the most recent baby attempt! I’m rooting for a baby girl!” she was walking away, foot steps appearing where she moved
“Thanks, Hagakure! Be careful!” She didn’t answer, her scent slowly vanishing as she left the area, for the sake of the King that’d taken them in… he really hoped she found nothing, but he wasn’t *that* naïve.
Hagakure hadn’t always been part of the Bakugo tribe, in fact his tribe got larger and larger with each city he sacked, one of the many reasons he was so widely renowned for being a monster, was that he stole *slaves*.
High born men, lords and kings spreading lies and fear, shoving bounties and stories onto him with each city he sacked. Nobody knew how he knew, how he knew which ones were decent and which ones were held slavers hidden within their streets, nobody knew how he *always* knew,
, but he’d leave the cities that held no slaves, and reduce the ones that did to rubble, maintaining the idea that his ruthlessness was random, that he’d enjoy a gift so much he’d let a city live, or enjoy a gift and just destroy the city anyway out of some kind of sick pleasure.
Some of his tribe came from the homelands of course, original members of the tribe that travelled with him from home on his mothers’ orders, he was harsher with those no doubt, the big brute Inasa being one of them, they *knew* better though,
with those he’d taken in he was kind, some might even say gentle, still a little rough around the edges, loud and brutish at times, but he’d never hurt them.
Sometimes, sometimes he was lucky with his raids, recovering slaves with gifts for magic, Shinsou had been such a slave, one of the earlier raids in Bakugo Katsuki’s rise to infamy, the boy had been being used as a negotiation aid, earning his owners millions,
forcing his masters will on his victims, it left him in pain each time, his young mind not capable of holding someone older for that long, but each time they pushed him, further and further, punishing him when he couldn’t accomplish what they wanted.
Bakugo had found him. Just like he’d found herself after she’d been ordered to infiltrate his camp, by then he’d already welcomed his dragons into his tribe, the biggest had her pinned in seconds, Tetsu’s claws caging her to the floor, roar deafening… she’d been near his tent
She’d never been caught before, Bakugo had two choices, let Tetsu kill her, or take her in and free her of the chains she’d been burdened with for so long, he chose to free her.
She’d quickly discovered Tetsu was a giant fucking teddy bear and that she’d just been far too close to his tent while his mates were sleeping off one of their regular attempts at conceiving a child. She was still really hoping they got lucky with a baby girl.
There were others, a beautiful creator, being used to make endless coin and luxuries for her masters, now sat at the head of his advisory council, she was smart, a brilliant tactician, he gave a woman a voice in a place where normally they’d have none.
He’d punish his mothers’ men with every bit of force she would, but his own? Those he saved? They were his to take care of, and he’d take damn good care of them.
That was why she happily found herself here by choice, slipping through the heavily guarded gates as they opened for someone who was actually meant to be there, silent and vigilant about not touching anyone, to these people she was a ghost, a spectre, invisible and intangible.
She’d weave through the crowds into back alleys, deeper and deeper into the city until she found something, if there was something to find, she’d find it, and they’d have no idea until it was too late.
The key to finding a cities dirty little secrets, was to start at the bottom up, so down she went, finding all the little doorways downwards into the catacombs of the city, where the noises of the bustling streets didn’t travel,
the only sound down there being echos winding down endless weaving hallways. The echo’s helped, people travelled with shoes normally, her bare feet carried no sound, so any guards that happened to be down there,
and she was surprised to find a fair number, were easy to dodge. Weaving around their bulky, chain mail clinking selves and following the direction they’d come from.

“Oh… my god” the hallways opened up in the end, all converging on one large, cavernous room,
her voice soft, rarely would she use it during an infiltration but… she couldn’t not at what greeted her.
Bones. Dragon bones.
As far as the eye could see, there were hundreds of skulls littering the cavernous room, some piled atop others, lit with torches flickering light onto the massive skeletal remains, the closer she looked, the smaller some of them were, young… old… *young*.
She climbed down the steps towards the pit they’d been dumped in, weaving around guards stuck watching the remains, she had to get closer, she had to examine them, Denki had shown her, he’d *SHOWN* her what to look for in a dragon,
how to tell what it truly was in a world where some could shift and change their forms and others couldn’t.

The bones were cold to the touch, rough, covered in dust and sand as they sat there untouched for gods only knew how long, the first to meet her hand was female…
the dulled, broken horns protruding from her jaw bone short… rounded, there was a crack, a hole just above her brow bone, the killing blow no doubt from a spear of some kind, she didn’t recognise the horn pattern, without skin or muscle,
without patterned scales it was hard to tell what dragon breed this one had been… it didn’t matter much now though. She moved on to the next, each one with a similar head wound, males, females, all different species, she even caught sight of Weaver bones,
until she found something else nestled between two larger skulls, a small, humanoid skeleton, with bones split down the centre, as Denki had once said… split bones could change, they could grow and move…

A Shifter.
“Hey are those footprints down there?” Hagakure’s head snapped up from where she’d stopped to investigate the small skeleton, young… couldn’t have been older than 12… bones had still been growing when this little one had died,
small aborted in growth horns similar in pattern to the larger skeleton to the left of it, a parent and child… but there were guards approaching fast, she had to move, a quick glance around gave her an out there were footholds in the cavern walls, larger stones to stand on.
She scrambled onto them, climbing onto the skeleton to the left first, using it to get to the rocky walls as the guards converged on where she’d been stood moments before, she’d seen enough of this, now it was time to climb.
Silently she moved, hopping from foothold to foothold until she arrived at the previously guarded exit higher up, on the opposite side from where she’d entered, the two guards that’d been positioned on either side of the doorway now down in the pit,
investigating footprints in the sands half burying the bones of dragons and shifters long since dead. She left them behind as she passed through the doors to the long winding staircase beyond it.
It wasn’t even hard to picture this city crumbling at this point, they had shifter children’s bones buried in their basements, she was already dying to relay the information back to her king.
The two dragons in their tribe would *kill* to reduce this land to rubble just from this alone, children… they had the bones of shifter *children* down there.

Time to see what they had upstairs.
Annoyingly enough, ‘upstairs’ wasn’t anything special, the long winding staircase leading up to a simple, average wooden door out onto a back-alley street. Hide something like that in plain sight of course people will pass it by.
She wouldn’t have even given the door a second look had she passed by that instead of the entrance she’d found originally, but she was closer to the palace than before, on a higher level it of the city it seemed, buildings were nicer, the clothes people wore,
even in the back alleys were better kept. The people there walked with confidence, no fear in their eyes, despite the fearsome and renowned *army* of barbarians at their gates… they weren’t afraid, they were acting as if this was a normal day, totally average.
Suspicious at best.

The soldiers were next on her list of things to investigate, there were many of them, and most of the ones she passed were silent and watchful, guarding as was their duty but Hagakure knew where to go to find the gossip.
The soldier’s barracks, so while it took a few hours of shadowing a specific guard, following him wherever he went, she was led directly there, slipping in after him before the doors had a chance to shut.
She had to be careful, had to let everyone else open her doors for her, people would ask questions if a door just opened and closed on its own.
She waited there for the rest of the day for something decent to fall into her lap, ate her snack when the barracks were empty, just sat in the corner out of the way, watching soldiers come in, watching them change for work and head out, watching, listening…
and oh the things she heard. It was always beneficial to hide where the soldiers felt safe to talk, brag between themselves, laugh and joke about shit that should never be laughed or joked about.

“Oi Gaku, you just come off the tower shift?”
“Yeah, the Slimese isn’t fighting anymore, didn’t even try and bite this time, took it real nice like a good little whore”

“What about the Vibra?”

“Dunno, that was Hiyora’s men, you know how most of those fuckers like a tight ass more than a pretty little cunt, ++
pretty sure the smug lil shit’s stopped cryin though, you up there tonight?”

“Mmhm, wife’s bein a bitch about shit, will be good to get some decent pu---” Hagakure didn’t catch the rest, the two men leaving the barracks,
leaving her there… mortified as to what the fuck those men had just been talking about… tower, she had to get to the tower, it was darkening outside, she had to get there, no doubt there’d be soldiers headed in that direction right?
She was right, there were GROUPS of soldiers headed in that direction, towards a large structure with several towers built off to the left of the palace, fuck checking out the palace, it was already dark and getting colder, the tower was her target.
The pit in her gut only grew as she neared it, but she pressed on, she had a feeling about what she was about to witness, but she had to witness it, she had to see what these people were doing, if only to relay it back, to ensure her kings safety she had to see it herself.
She didn’t have to wait long at the entrance to the building for a group of soldiers to head inside, ducking in straight after to avoid being caught opening the door, she followed them up, matching their pace perfectly to avoid the chance of her footsteps,
no matter how quiet they were, from being heard, this place was far more heavily guarded, if she made one wrong move she could easily be caught here, invisible or not this place was dangero---
She covered her mouth and nose quickly as something *strong* assaulted her senses, like she’d walked through a layer of some kind of scent? Whatever it was it was strong, cloying the air, if she wasn’t trying so hard not to gag she would have, the soldiers were still close,
she couldn’t make a noise, had to bear it, honestly how the soldiers just walked right on through was insane…
Was this something you had to get *used* to here? Shaking her head in an attempt to clear it, Hagakure followed the soldiers, hand on the wall to help steady herself, okay, she had to balance, she had a job to do, deep breath, let it in, and out again,
the scent was strong whatever it was, and it filled every corner of the oil lamp lit hallways, it began clearing the longer she breathed it in though, as though the scent wasn’t made for her, took her off guard, made her dizzy for a moment but…
it cleared up, like it was truly just something she had to get used to.

Catching up with the group of guards was done easily enough, they were headed for a door at the end of the hallway, she had to keep behind them,
had to be one step in their shadow, just to get through the door they went through without getting stuck, left behind unable to move forward, she couldn’t risk opening anything here, too many guards.
The room they stepped into didn’t *go* anywhere though. It was small, already crowded with the group in there, she had to hide right in the corner, unable to go anywhere else she very quickly realised she wanted to be anywhere *but* there.
The room was well lit, more of the oil lamps on the walls, not a single shadow in the room, the scent thick, thicker than out in the halls, she clocked reed diffusers on the tiny, barred window, incense sticks on the dresser, was that it? Was that what was causing the smell?
No… there were neither of those things out in the hallways and it was still so strong. She didn’t want to focus on the main thing in the room, she wanted to look anywhere else, BE anywhere else, because there, in the middle of the room on a large plush mattress,
lay a child… a young girl, no doubt a hybrid, couldn’t be older than 10 years of age, maybe 11, her tail slender but short in length, small yellow horns curling out of her pretty but wild pink hair, her body naturally a mixture of bubble gum pinks and vibrant purples…
a Slimese hybrid… oh gods this… this was what the soldier had been talking about…
The little hybrid glanced in her direction, brilliant but hazy amber eyes against black sclera locked on her, she opened her mouth, movements slow, almost like she was drunk, hand lifting as if to point, but before she had even the slightest opportunity to point the spy out,
(!!!🔞AWFUL NSFW STARTS HERE 🔞!!!)

there was a thick cock *shoved* into the open hole, the soldier burying himself to the hilt in her throat, forcing her to choke on him groaning as he wrapped one hand around one of her little horns, and the other on the headboard,
pulling her head forward until her little nose was pressed into the thick dark curls at the base of his cock “*fuck*, little slut’s throat’s still loose…goin right in…” she didn’t fight when the rest descended upon her,
eyes closed the only noises from her were gulped slurps as she sucked the cock thrusting into her throat, which bulged each time the man’s cock slid down it.
Another soldier climbed onto the bed behind her, pulling her little body onto his bare chest, pants still on but ties undone, cock out thrusting into his own hand in an effort to get hard “think her ass is good too? Gaku’s men were up here earlier, bet you’re still loose enough”
the little hybrid whimpered what sounded like a *confirmation* around the cock still roughly fucking into her mouth, she wasn’t fighting, wasn’t arguing, it was like… like she wanted this? Hagakure tried to look away, she really did, but the sounds kept drawing her gaze back,
the sounds of a little hybrid’s cry muffled around a man that simply tugged her head in when she attempted to pull it back as the soldier beneath her buried his cock into her, Hagakure’s stomach churning as a thick glob of cum *gushed* out of the little hole as the soldiers cock
was buried inside, cum that was probably already in there from a previous ‘session’, groans loud enough that Hagakure would *never* forget the sounds of them.
“M’gonna get that pretty little pussy, don’t fuckin start yet, hold her still” another soldier climbed over them, blocking Hagakure’s view for the briefest of moments, but a shift in his position gave her just enough of a view to see a thick, long,
veiny cock roughly shoved into the little hybrid’s hole, her small legs held out either side of the soldiers body by two others, massaging their own cocks into the pads on the underside of her toes.
Hagakure finally tore her gaze away when the man shoving his cock down the hybrid’s throat finally came, releasing her little horns long enough to pull away, choking on the cum now clogging her throat, she swallowed it all up so quickly though,
moans replacing her choking as the soldiers fucked into her little holes, Hagakure couldn’t see it, but she could hear every creak of the bed, every slap of skin against sweat and cum slicked skin, every groan from the soldiers pounding into the small body on the bed,
could hear the moment another hard cock took the place of the first, shoved into the little hybrid’s open mouth muffling a moan already halfway out not giving her even the slightest of chances to breath before he was fucking into her throat.
The door opened, another soldier sliding in late to his ‘shift’, nobody stopped, but Hagakure took the chance the moment it was offered to her to get the *fuck* out of that room, vowing that she’d come back,
she’d get the little hybrid out of there, she had too… this city would burn to the fucking *ground*, it’d be left in RUBBLE when they were done with it.

(!!!!!!!🔞AWFUL NSFW ENDS HERE🔞!!!!!!!)
She found a corner of a hallway void of guards and emptied her guts onto the stone floor, wiping away tears from her eyes that she hadn’t even realised she’d let fall after she was done retching, she wasn’t done there, there were more doors to check, more rooms to explore,
it couldn’t be worse than that. It couldn’t, that’s what she told herself as she wiped her mouth clean and continued on, it *couldn’t* be worse than that.
With a quick glance down each end of the hall she’d found herself on, Hagakure pressed her ear against one of the wooden doors lining the walls, no movement inside… deep breaths, she opened the door and quickly slipped inside, closing it behind her.
“H-hello?” She froze, soft, female voice coming from somewhere in the dark room “Is… is s-someone there? Hello?” Hagakure remained silent, there was no lights in there, the walls void of the oil lamps lining the walls down the hallways, and the smell… it wasn’t *in* there.
“I… I can hear you… y’know… I can… I can hear your h-heart beat… please… l-let me back out… p-please I… it hurts…” Hagakure’s eyes slowly began to refocus in the dark room, revealing a little figure was curled up in the corner,
shivering, shaking, dark eyes focused on her, hybrid… fuck… another hybrid…

“What hurts?” It went against everything she’d ever learnt about staying out of sight, but this little girl… she knew she was there, there was no reason to stay silent, the girl *knew* she was there.
“E-everything… h-heart… l-legs… m-my head… I can’t… c-can’t focus… h-hurts… b-breathing hurts…” Hagakure didn’t hesitate in crossing the room to the little girls’ side, trying to get a better look at the girl, the darkness making it difficult but not impossible.
The girls skin was flushed, pale and sickly, while definitely a hybrid, this little girl was stuck as a human… a proper shifter no doubt, she had to assume from this, that the pink little girl had been a full shifter too, and the Red… their newest addition to the tribe…
he was probably a full shifter too.

“W-why… why can’t, can’t I see you?” She seemed coherent enough, not nearly as drunk as the little pink shifter had been, maybe it was the smell?

“It’s my magic little one… what’s your name?”
“Kyo-Kyoka… you’re i-invisible?”

“Yeah, I’m gonna feel your forehead for a second, is that okay?”

“M-mh-hmm” Hagakure pressed the back of her palm to the child’s forehead, warm… too warm, sweaty, her hair already sticking to her skin

“How long have you been in here, Kyoka?”
“S-six… six days… h-hurts… can… can I come out?” Six days… six days had them like this then… their new hybrid had six days, maybe a week at most before… this happened to him.
Shit… okay Kyoka, you’re gonna have to be brave for a little while okay? I can’t let you out of here, but I’ll come back for you okay? We’ll take you away from here okay?” the small shifter looked up at her for a moment, deep onyx irises locked on her own,
fuck it felt weird to have someone focus on her face, very few could focus entirely on her face.

“D-do… do I have… do I have to kill someone? M’not… I don’t w-wanna… I’m s-sorry please d-don’t make me…”

Hold the *fuck* up “Kill?”
“Nnhmm… Ei… E-Ei s-says… his m-missions… he s-said w-whenever h-he leaves, he’s g-gotta k-kill… a-an that… that I s-should get u-used to it… he’s n-not being mean… I know h-he’s not he’s… he’s so nice… but… b-but th-they’ll hurt me… if, if I don’t”
Ei… who the fuck was Ei? Leaves… when he leaves… someone that leaves…

Someone nice that gets to leave… Ei… “does he have pretty red hair, Kyoka?”
“M-Mhm” oh *fuck*, but that wasn’t the only thing happening here, this girl was suffering *withdrawl* Hagakure couldn’t just LEAVE without knowing why, why these shifters were just letting this shit happen to them, that was a goddamn Slimese!
Those fuckers spat *ACID* why was she just… letting them…

“Okay, thank you Kyoka… I promise when I come back for you, you wont ever have to kill anyone okay? No killing, ever, but I need to ask, what normally makes these pains go away?”
“Oil… the smell… the lamps… i-it’s in t-the lamps…” the lamps that didn’t exist in this particular room, she’d been put in this room to force withdrawal, they were FORCING withdrawal symptoms onto her… forcing her to endure it.
“Thank you Kyoka, really thank you little one, we’ll be back soon for you I promise, you think you can handle it until we come back for you?” The quiet little nod made her smile, such a brave little shifter
“Okay sweetheart, I’m gonna go… don’t tell anyone I was here, or I won’t be able to come back for you… okay?”

“…. O-okay…” Hagakure gave the girl a quick hair ruffle and left the way she’d come in. Slipping down out of the tower and onto the streets,
she’d only needed a night to find enough of a reason to reduce this city to rubble, but that was fine, she had a whole day left to creep around, she still had to find where the fuck they were getting all these young shifters from.
And she *would* find it, if it was the last thing she did, she’d find it, and she’d make sure to *end* it.
Hagakure had seen the barracks, she’d seen the *Tower*, the one place she’d yet to see that ALWAYS held secrets, was the palace. She just had to take a moment, compose herself, she couldn’t get emotional, she’d get them out, she would, one way or another she’d get them out.
Unfortunately she was just one woman right now, she didn’t have her tribe or the dragons within it to back her up, so with a deep breath, she pushed on, pushing what she’d seen to the back of her mind for a moment, less she throw up again.
The palace was heavily guarded, more so than the tower, but nobody could see her, just getting in was a problem, the guards were stationed on the outside, none going in or out and all the entrances were guarded enough for her to be caught if she tried slipping in.
Which meant… she was stuck. In fact she was stuck for the next five hours, watching soldiers go too and from their posts, switching shifts, watching three more groups of guards going towards the tower, but just shortly after that five hour mark, she caught her window,
a wagon, likely carrying foods for the coming day was approaching slowly from the main road, perfect.

She hopped on the moment it passed by, slipping through the tarp covering the inside with practiced ease, and thankfully, her assumption was correct, just crates, fabrics,
simple wares and goods to be given to the palace, they were checked over thoroughly by the soldiers guarding the gates, of course missing her invisible self, hiding behind a few rolls of what felt like silks, and was then sent on its way in.
she hopped back out again the second it crossed the gates, she couldn’t wait for it to actually reach the palace, if she did she may not have a chance to get out before it was unloaded and sent on its way.
It wasn’t nearly as guarded inside the walls as it was outside, which was good… very good… it seemed like they’d gone overboard on guarding the walls but if someone got in? They had pretty much free roam,
not a guard in sight when she slipped into an open service door into what appeared to be a kitchen, the noises of water sloshing heard just around the nearest archway, perhaps emptying chamber pots? She wasn’t going to check.
Once she was in, there were even less guards, but the guards that were around, were stationed at every larger door in the palace. Important rooms no doubt. She had no interest in those though, she wanted the smaller doors, the doors that led down dark hallways,
doors that led to secrets not to kings and queens sleeping peacefully in their beds.

A seam in the wall at the very end of what appeared to be a dead end caught her attention an hour into her exploration of the palace, several guards had passed her by,
ignorant of her presence, the fuck was a seam doing in the wall? Honestly, it’d have been really easy to miss had she not been looking for something out of place, but she was, and getting closer to it, she heard noises, voices… felt a breeze that didn’t belong in a palace,
but she couldn’t just walk in, couldn’t poke around until it opened, that’d alert whoever was on the inside that someone was coming in, it’d only raise alarm if the entryway opened on its own and nothing came in.
She had to wait again, and so… that’s what she did, she waited, sat off to the left of the wall she waited, patient and quiet it took four whole hours before that passageway creaked open and honestly she’d almost fallen asleep by the time it did,
but the noise of brick shifting, hinges creaking had her wide awake again, that was the problem with drawn out investigations, sleep wasn’t possible.

She scrambled to her feet, ready to move as it opened, and fuck did it open, the doorway took up most of the wall,
opening up wide to let several exhausted guards out before it began closing again, she didn’t have time to really check over the men as they appeared a little roughed up as she breezed by them, slipping through the closing door before it shut again for gods only knew how long.
Behind it was a long winding staircase downwards, hard stone walls lining the tunnel, it echoed with noises, far louder than before, grunts, animalistic in nature, growling… Ok, deep breaths. It couldn’t be worse, it COULDN’T be worse… no matter what was down there,
those soldiers appeared more beaten up than fucked out, it couldn’t be worse than the tower.

Another deep breath, and she began her trek downwards, down and down she was almost sure this staircase would never end, the scent from earlier,
the same oil lamps replacing torches on the walls the further down she got, into a similar cavernous room to the one that’d held all those bones, but this one…

These people really did bury their secrets.
The room was lit with those same lamps, oils burning strong, a quick glance to her left as she exited the tunnelled staircase revealed a stationary guard, eyes locked on the pit below, silently she passed him by and continued on, only to stop dead at the edge of the walkway,
frozen in speechless revulsion.

(!!!!!!!🔞CW🔞!!!!!!!!)
Adult shifters, fully grown, chained in small, cramped pens, males and females chained down, fronts pinned to the floor, the rest of them raised, *presenting* to the rest of the room, presenting their multiple… females *AND* males… presenting multiple… multiple genitals.
Omegas.
Rows and rows of Omega shifters bound, trapped like broodmares some already mounted, alphas in chains bent over them, thrusting their knots in lazily, drunkenly, in one case a group of soldiers were physically forcing an alpha’s hips back and forth
while the beast limply lay across a male presenting omega’s back, others left forcibly presenting themselves for the next alpha shifter to be dragged in and forced to mate.
They weren’t even moaning, just soft, breathy grunts, exertion forcing the noises out of them more than pleasure was.

(!!!!!!!! 🔞CW ENDS🔞 !!!!!!!!)
Omega shifters, while incredibly fertile, were rare… that’s something Hagakure knew… they were rare, everyone knew that, numbers rapidly declining each year, most assumed it was because alphas could be rough while breeding and omega’s were soft, gentle, easily harmed,
and yet here there were rows upon rows of them lined up to be bred over and over again, she’d never seen so many omega’s in one place, like cattle to continue the monstrosity in that tower.
Those kids had to grow up eventually and Hagakure assumed that if they got old enough to no longer be wanted as gifts, they were either killed via spear to the head like the head wounds in those skeletons suggested, or shoved into this room,
drugged and forced to breed for the rest of their lives.

No wonder Omega’s were going extinct.
A door at the far end of the room opened, the loud creak of hinges not oiled in god only knows how long, ridiculous considering their apparent vast knowledge of the stuff, she wasn’t going down into the pit, fuck that that would be insane, there were alphas breeding down there,
she’d already come into contact with one post-mating protective rage, she sure as fuck wasn’t going to risk having it happen again now. They could catch her out in a heartbeat if she wasn’t careful, the little Slimese had already proven that, even though the drug induced haze,
she’d known the spy was there.

A quick look around her surroundings revealed a walkway, the steps up it were across the room but still nowhere near the breeding pit, the walkway extending all the way around the far side of the room but…
gods it was narrow, if someone walked down the opposite way she’d be done for.
/okay, this is fine, I can do this… I caaan do this, totally dooo this, just… walk along it, and if anyone comes up, hop over the side and dodge, it’s cool, it’s doable, I wont fall to my death and get ripped to shreds by alphas, not at all/
was her internal monologue as she decided to chance the walkway, at least with that there was a better than 50% chance of being mauled. She climbed the steps hesitantly, slow just in case anyone started climbing the opposite end,
at least here she could jump off and get out of the way quickly but… nobody did.

So on she went, eyes never leaving the pit, even as one or two of the omegas in the furthest away pens looked up at the walkway,
hazy eyes trying to figure out of there was actually something there or if it was just their imagination, her heart ached for them, but she couldn’t do anything right now, as much as she wished she could, even if she got the chains off of them,
there was a overwhelmingly large chance that they’d just… stay there. With that drug in their systems there was no way she was getting them out on her own.
A wall opened up to her left and she nearly jumped out of her damn skin, slamming herself against the wall to avoid the soldiers that came trekking out of the hidden doorway, so many fucking HIDDEN THINGS!
She slipped around the guards exiting and into the previously hidden tunnel before the door once again closed, that walkway was too dangerous, and there was no guarantee of anything interesting behind the door at the other end of it.
This one however, she heard voices, human voices, talking, too quiet to make out right now but the closer she got, the further down the tunnel she walked, the clearer they became

“---ow about outpost 4?”
“Well, it’s near Red territory, can’t get any closer than where it is here, see? The beasts have nested here and here, any closer and they’d storm it, we’re already too close for comfort, some of the men are just refusing to man it”
“Damn thing hasn’t given us an Omega in over a month, pull it, we can’t risk getting any closer for stragglers”
Hagakure slipped in through a door left open by the soldiers that’d left through the walkway exit, the room she’d snuck into was one without any other exit but, this one? This one she didn’t mind being in.
The room was spacious in size, a simple rectangular room with stone walls and stone floors, almost like it’d just been dug into the cavernous pit and bricked up, there were no oil lamps in there, torches instead lit the room in a flickering orange,
two on each of the four walls and a central lantern hanging above, plenty of light. In the middle of the room, lay a table, large enough that it took up most of the space there, it held a map pinned to all four corners of it, stretched out and vast, a map of the entire continent.
It held pins in several places, larger than the ones that held it in place in the corners, they stuck out, shaped like spirals screwed into the wood beneath the map, they seemed randomly place, except one… one which was FAR too close to the Homelands for comfort.
Outpost 4 she presumed, she knew that one, that specific area was Red territory, or at least close to it.
“Maybe we could just switch out the brat with a younger one? Just for a month or two, see if it helps, what’s that kid now? 6, 7? Damn things would class it as practically self-sufficient by now, kid needs to be younger to draw them out” Hagakure stepped closer to the map,
but kept far enough away from the two men in the room so as not to risk being touched.

The pins were set apart from each other, each one in an area marked with darker ink like a border line, she needed a good look at this if she was going to recreate it later.
“S’pose we could shove one of the newborn’s out, the stock from pen 3 aren’t decent enough to use for anything else, wouldn’t be that much of a loss”

“Alright, I’ll get one of the carts to take one of em out there tomorrow”

“What about 5 and 6?”
“5 is still down from that last storm, damn thing nearly capsized, gonna need to send another brat out to that one too, but 6 caught a Chaser last week, should be bringing it in on the next round of deliveries with that new Vibra from 2”
“The fuck happened to the kid at 5?”

“Bolt struck the supports; cage went off the edge of the cliff”

Hagakure had heard more than enough to figure out what was happening, they’d worked out a perfect little cycle here,
Omegas were always caring to young in distress, natural care givers and nurturers, they’d care for *any* young in need no matter the species, but shifter children, dragon children? They’d be drawn straight to them like moths to a flame.
They were using the children of the Omega’s they already had, to draw in more and more. Removing them from the wilds they called home, fuck she’d never seen a city so spread out before, they were steering clear of territories that belonged to other settlements,
by staying close to what looked like *dragon* territories, hiding in areas normally people wouldn’t dare go near, ballsy bastards. Getting one last look at the map, just to make sure she had it in mind, she slipped back out again, she didn’t need to hear anymore,
she didn’t need to SEE anymore, she had it all, everything she needed, now she just needed to get out of there.

Wouldn’t be difficult now she knew the way, all she had to do was wait for opportunities to slip through doors and get out, it'd take time but she had time to spare.
----

The sun was already high in the sky by the time she'd dodged and weaved her way out of that pit, sunlight streaming through the windows of the hallway that held the hidden door in the wall and more guards now lined the hallways, but it didn’t matter much,
she walked behind a group on their way out after a long shift and continued to follow them right out of the front gate. Way easier than getting in, they weren’t interested in stuff coming out, just what was going in.
Once out, she went directly to the marketplace stalls she’d spotted on the way through to the palace, and snagged herself something to eat, sneaking things away from vendors without paying because *fuck* this city.
Nobody caught her, nobody ever caught her, walking through she grabbed a cloth wrap from another stall, a tunic-like dress from another, breezing through the stalls snagging pieces from each of them without ever looking back,
by the end of it she had a nice pile of things, clothes and garments to wrap herself up in, a bag to carry the food items she’d pilfered from unsuspecting vendors, shoes to rid the pains from walking on stones barefoot for so long.
She wrapped herself up in a complete outfit that covered her whole body, face veil and and left the city in amongst a group of other civilians heading out, the city and its secret keepers none the wiser to the fact that she’d been in and out.
None the wiser to the fact that their days were now numbered.
The two dragon mates arrived to the area at noon the next day, sun rising high Denki used his superior speed and small size to fly low enough to catch her signal on the first fly by, then quickly relayed her position to the Weaver in waiting,
staying back in the area their camp had already moved on from, nothing from the camp remained except for charred earth where the fire pits had been, but it was far safer there than near the city.
Tetsu approached on foot, immediately catching the scent of their spy and locating her moments after “Oi, Hagakure, you awake?”

“Mhm, it’s about time, T I’ve been waiting all night”
“You said two days and I said I’d arrive by noon; did you find anything?” There was hope in his voice, hope that she’d found SOMETHING to explain the weirdness going on in that tribe, the strange behaviour of the Red shifter, something had to be wrong there.
“Oh you have *no* idea, but this isn’t something I can just tell you here, I need Katsuki, I need to talk to him directly”

“But… this was to stay betw---”
“NO, Tetsu, this needs to go to him directly, this is huge, and you need to detain that Red the second we get back, do not ask questions just *do* it” well, it seemed like he got the answer he needed, something was very *very* wrong, the urgency in her voice,
the barely contained rage he felt rolling from her in waves. He nodded his head and began the slow transformation to his full, immense Beastly form, horns curling from his skull, scales replacing skin, bones shifting one by one as wings sprouted and grew outwards,
growing and growing until his sheer size rivalled the tallest of trees in the woods behind them.
She wasted no time in climbing on the hooked talon on the top curve of his wing as it was offered to her, the large shimmering silver wing lifting her up and onto the dragons back, nestled safely between two person-sized spikes at the base of his neck.
Once she was comfortable and secure, Tetsu opened his wings out wide and took off running, powerful legs crossing the distance to the camp ground in mere moments, his wings beating once, then twice, the third lifting him up off the ground and into the air,
Denki catching up within seconds, the speedy little Chaser flying beside him at a pace considered ‘snail slow’ in Chaser, but still pretty damn speedy in Weaver.
The flight was silent, Hagakure couldn’t have heard them even if they did try and speak, the wind rushing by, she was just glad she’d wrapped up, at this height she would have frozen had she remained unclothed, the only downside to her magic,
she couldn’t be wearing or holding anything if she wanted to remain unseen, soon enough though, the tail end of their tribe became visible on the horizon, horses and carriages making up the bulk of it.
The two dragons began their descent near the head of the hoard, landing right smack in front of the head of the tribe, dust kicking up in their wake, the horses weren’t bothered, long since used to the antics of dragons, but Bakugo Katsuki sure kicked up a fuss about it.
“What the ACTUAL fuck are you doing you ass clowns?! Where the fuck have you been?!” The hoard stopped as he did, the king climbing from his large horse leaving the confused but curious Red behind on its back, the redhead watching with a brow raised as Tetsu moved his wing,
lowered it to the ground as if there was something… something… was someone THERE? Now that he focused on it, really really focused, there was a scent there, something familiar something… lingering…
He had no time to react, mind fogged, before Denki, still in his dragon form, *tackled* him off the horse, no time to avoid, Kirishima went down like a sack of bricks, head hitting the ground harshly but managing to instinctively activate his hardening before his body hit,
the rocky exterior softening the blow but still knocking the wind out of him long enough for Tetsu to slam his ridiculously oversized, long talon-like claws around his body, caging him in.
It all happened so fast, Bakugo barely had any time to react as one thing happened after another, warriors jumping from their horses as the clear threat became evident, Tetsu never attacked unless something was very wrong, Bakugo knew that, he knew Tetsu was kind,
he knew he was warm and welcoming, he knew the alpha shifter wouldn’t attack unless warranted but…

All Bakugo saw was red.

Explosions crackled from his palms, small pops one by one, growing larger and larger each second his Shifter remained caged “Let. Him. Go”
“No. Hagakure, explain!” The Red had begun to struggle against his cage, trying to bash his way to freedom, but to no avail, the weaver was too big, too strong, he was trapped, and his head felt weird, why did it feel weird…?
Felt… it felt like home… like he should be calm… he could be calm, yes, calm was good… calm was better, relax… happy… he could… no, *should* be happy… he stopped fighting.
“He’s a time bomb Katsuki, stand down!” The explosions still popping as the king turned his attention towards the invisible girl, clothes giving her position away “I’m serious stand down, we have to stop here, ++
I need to talk to you and I need you to be calm while I do it, LOOK at him, he’s fine, he’s not hurt, he’s okay see…? Shit okay, calm down Katsuki… your Alpha is okay, Alpha’s safe, Tetsu’s not going to hurt him see…? Calm, my King… calm”
Bakugo didn’t know why that was working, why the soft tones and promise that his *alpha* was safe, was working? His alpha? He didn’t… have an alpha, what…? But then slowly but surely his explosions stopped.
Eijirou was okay, trapped, but okay, he looked so peaceful in there, so sleepy… why was he sleepy?

“Tetsu what’s up with him?”

“You got the same weird smell as that emissary all over you, maybe that’s it?” She visibly lifted the wrap around her head and took a sniff of it,
“Holy FUCK it’s in their fabrics too?! What the fuck, can someone get me some clothes that AREN'T these please?! Tetsu, lift your hand for a second” the shifter did it without complaint or question, something he would have definitely normally questioned,
the smell… it had to be the oils, she had it *on* her. They all had it on them, their clothes, all of them… it wasn’t just the soldiers, the guards, the secret keepers, it was the marketplace vendors, the citizens, worked into their clothes, their foods,
they were all involved in it, they had to be. Well she felt a little less bad about how many people were about to die.

She took off her head wrap, carefully tying it around the young shifter’s shoulders, the little Red automatically flopping to the ground,
purring into the fabrics he was given.
“What’s… what’s wrong with him?” Bakugo had never heard himself sound so… quiet, so small before now. This was his mate… his fiancé, his Red… and here he was, reduced to a hazy, seemingly drunk state by a simple wrap of fabric around his shoulders.
“Bakugo, I’d set up a camp here for the night if I were you, just a temporary one… there’s a lot I need to go through with you, and we don’t have a lot of time to get through it either, it’s already been three days”
and while that wrap may extend the effects of the oils for a bit longer, she had no doubts only direct exposure to the actual oils would keep Kirishima from experiencing those withdrawal symptoms.

“Three days?”
“Yeah, we have just over three left, trust me okay…?” Bakugo’s gaze remained on her for a prolonged pause, he knew her tone, he knew what it meant… and if Denki *AND* Tetsu had detained Kirishima then… he turned towards the hoard, eyes hard, brows pinched
“Set up camp! We’re pitching up here for the night! Once everything’s set up, I want the council by the fire pit… Tetsu?” The dragon eyed him, brow bone raised in silent question “… I trust you to keep him safe”
the dragon nodded his head in a slow bow before curling around the Red shifter, Denki having climbed up onto his shoulder to also keep an eye on him just in case.

They had a very long night ahead of them.
Bakugo kept pressing her for information as they set up camp, horses coming to stop at the temporary stalls the tribe set up for them, trough filled with water and hay bales laid out for them to nibble on,
but Hagakure remained adamant that they needed to be totally set up before she could reveal anything, she’d even had Momo create a roll of parchment large enough for her to recreate the map she’d seen in that room,
using old quills in place of the spiral pins the soldiers had been using to mark their map.

By the time she’d changed her clothes and had the map prepared, the camp was set up, Momo had created a nice area for Kirishima to be kept within,
the clothes Hagakure had been wearing set within the area to keep the Shifter docile, keep him downed for the time being. Tetsu and Denki had returned to their human forms but remained close by to the area Kirishima was being kept in, they had a job to do,
the third in their relationship already by the fires, waiting as part of the council that kept the tribe running smoothly.

By the time she’d set up the map, stretched it across two well-spaced posts at the front of the gathering, the rest of the small council had assembled,
Bakugo Katsuki himself, Momo, Shinsou, Inasa to represent Bakugo’s mother, and several other less important members of the tribe had gathered as well, curious as to what was happening.

Nobody ever stopped them from attending.
Bakugo of course, started them off “Okay Hagakure, you got your map, Ei’s in fuckin shifter time out, and we’re all here, the fucks going on?” He seemed… tired, no doubt separation from his shifter, he wanted to be with him, wanted Kirishima by his side, where he belonged.
“Okay, first of all, I wanna preface this by saying we have to go back, we have to go back, don’t interrupt me” silencing her *king* before he had a chance to interject, he frowned at the attitude but, let it slide this time…
something was clearly wrong here and only she knew what it was “The markers on this map are outposts from this city, each one, you will notice, is located just outside of dragon territories, Bakugo, look here” she pointed to the one closest to their homelands, the Red territories
“So, they have outposts? Tons of cities have outposts”

“These outposts are manned by their soldiers, and each one holds a dragon shifter new-born in a cage, luring Omega’s in from the wilds” silence, complete silence greeted her,
so she continued “they have hundreds of them, Omega’s… trapped beneath the palace, chained in pens being bred like cattle”

“W-why?!” Momo broke the silence, her expression aghast
“I don’t know, but from the looks of the dragon bone yard beneath the rest of the city, they’ve been doing it for a very long time, there were skeletons down there so old the rest of their bones had crumbled to dust”
honestly she didn’t even know if the people of the city themselves knew why they were doing it, what need had started it, how it’d even come to be… she just knew they were complacent, they accepted it as what was done, nobody trying to stop it, instead contributing to it.
“I do know… that they train the best of the ‘stock’ as they called them… to… be *given* away… to please their new owners… and then… then *kill* them” her eyes never left Bakugo’s as she spoke, although he probably couldn’t tell, the look on his face spoke volumes.
Confusion, pain… distress... sadness. Expressions not common on their King, so uncommon that it left an uneasy pit in their stomachs.
Shinsou was next to speak, their King remaining silent as he processed “How do you know for certain that they’re trained for that purpose, they could simply be gifts, could you perhaps be guessing that they’re given to kill their owners?” she knew what he was doing,
Bakugo had done so much for him, in his own way he was likely just trying to give their king SOME hope… some hope that his shifter mate and chosen fiancé wasn’t actually there to kill him.
“Because I watched several guards rape a drugged up 10-year-old Slimese hybrid and her just accept it as normal, I watched a girl that couldn’t be older than 13 suffer withdrawal symptoms as whatever drug they have filling their awful cesspool of a city left her body, ++
she TOLD ME herself that ‘Ei’ says every mission he has, he has to kill, and so she should get used to it, she wouldn’t have known that I knew who ‘Ei’ was” there was no way for that little shifter to know who she was, or that Ei was in her tribe, getting close to her king.
“And if that’s not enough, I watched a group of guards rape a Slimese shifter that couldn’t have been older than 10-years-old, and honestly… I don’t think that was the first time they’d done it that night either, it’s a city full of monsters, and it deserves to crumble”
Shinsou nodded, returning to silence, he couldn’t argue with that.

“Kirishima told us he’s not ‘pure’ like he said he was…” Denki’s voice spoke up from the entrance to the pit, his tone every bit as remorseful as he could muster,
having left Tetsu to watch over Kirishima to find out just why Hagakure had been so enraged. “He was uncomfortable about something, like he was reliving some weird memory… we pushed and he panicked… probably realising he couldn’t lie to us, ++
told us he’d lied when he was given to you… that’s when we started realising that something wasn’t right” all eyes were on him as he crossed through the small gathering, stepping up to his king, head down, apologetic… he should have told him.
He *knew* he should have told him but…

“Go on” Katsuki finally spoke, his voice still so quiet, it was… unnerving, how quiet he was, how much pain was laced into his words as he processed all the information being given to him. Nobody liked their king sounding so small.
“He said they forced him to *experience* things… trained him in how to please his new owners, forced him to learn things… things he had no choice in learning and… well… I believe him, I know you’re human Bakugo but Humans are *awful* to us…++
they always have been, they see shifters as things to be owned, things to be used and flaunted like prizes, they don’t see us as people, they never ha---” his rambling cut off by a hand placed on his shoulder, Bakugo’s eyes soft, his grip gentle on the other blond as he squeezed,
reassurance, comfort… in his own little way he was trying.

The King looked back to his spy, “Go on Hagakure, I want you to explain it all to me before I make any decisions”
“Okay… from what I can gather, this city uses its outposts to capture Omegas, pens them in, breeds them, and saves the best of the children for this… training, sending them out whenever the city is threatened, while the others are used as bait to trap more Omegas”
a cycle easily continued as long as Omega’s continued to be born, and Omegas could always be born, there was nothing stopping it, evolution wasn't cutting them out, they were being taken, let them go back to the wild and Omegas would once again grow in numbers
“alphas like Kirishima, seem to grow up being trained to please their masters, made dependant on this drug of theirs, only to end up as studs to breed the omegas if they survive their teen years and the cycle starts again”
“This drug, is it dragon specific?” Momo, whom had gone silent after hearing about the little Slimese girl, clearly disgusted, finally spoke up
“Looks like it, makes humans dizzy for a moment but it passes fast, Dragons seem to be especially sensitive to it, they have it everywhere, in the places they keep the dragons it’s set in oil lamps, the tower where they were *training* their little time bombs, ++
it was so thick I nearly choked when walked through it”

“So, we can’t send the dragons in to destroy it?”

“I wouldn’t try it, Tetsu’s already proven that he’s susceptible to it”

“He has?” Denki’s confused voice breaking through it all, when had his mate shown that?
“He lifted his hand without even attempting to question why I was risking Kirishima getting free, he didn’t argue when I told him not to ask about it back at the tree line, he got REALLY compliant Denki… like… I don’t even think he realised he was doing it, ++
honestly, I don’t think any of them realise they’re doing it, look at the Red, he didn’t even fight you, you’re no bigger than one of our horses, just one of Tetsu’s arms is bigger than your whole head and you haven’t charged up any electricity to use against him! ++
Even Kirishima could take you right now, but yet he didn’t even try, he just got really loopy and collapsed, this isn’t a fight we can win using dragons… we might lose you both if we try it that way”
The Chaser knew she was right, but that didn’t make it sting any less when she highlighted just how weak he was right now, it was true, they’d not seen a storm in days, and he’d discharged all of his stored energy two days before with Tetsu,
he was pretty much useless in a fight right now.
“Momo? What do you think?” Bakugo turned to his tactician, their original plan of attack for this city wouldn’t work, it relied too heavily on the dragons being the first ones in to do the most damage, they’d be taken down too quickly it seemed.
“Humans only, magic wielders in first, warriors in second, I suggest heading to the homelands for back up first, rather than attacking now, we don’t have the numbers yet, and as frightful as your mother can be, she has heavy hitters, and I think she’d lend them to us for this…”
“That’d mean you’d be in the front lines too”

“I’m aware sire, in light of what we’ve learnt tonight… I wish for nothing more”

“So, do we kill the shifter?” All eyes turned to Inasa, Bakugo instantly reminded just who this member of his tribe allied with
“That would eventually kill your king” Denki finally speaking up again after such a harsh put down, his eyes hard, this one… this he actually knew about
“Bakugo has been mated and claimed by an alpha, right now, even as a human, he has mentally aligned with the mindset of an ‘omega’, and until it balances itself out, you kill that shifter, he’ll spiral and eventually likely kill himself to be with his mate”
“Nobody is killing my shifter, even if it WOULDN’T fuckin kill me, nobody is killing him, in fact, you touch him in ANY way that’d hurt him, and I’ll shove my foot so far up your ass you’ll be brushin my damn toenails instead of your teeth, you got it?”
Maybe it was the omega talking, overprotective of his alpha, but… he truly wanted no harm to come to the Redhead, it wasn’t his fault, none of this was his fault, from the sounds of it he was *born* into this.
He’d been prejudged all of his life because of where *he’d* been born, slaves had been born into slavery, Eijirou had been born into… *this*, he shouldn’t be punished for something he had no control over, and honestly…
Bakugo had never before felt so damn comfortable with a person before, he’d had flings, he’d slept with people, but he’d kick them out come morning and that’d be that.
He wanted his Red to stay. He’d felt nothing but comfort falling asleep beside his shifter the past two days, waking up wrapped up in each other’s arms…

He couldn’t let him die here. He wouldn’t.
--

Kirishima felt groggy when he finally came to his senses, the familiar haze he usually felt in his room back home slowly drifting away, gaze sharpening, sight focusing to see Katsuki, sat there in front of him, but… but *not* in front of him?
There were bars in the way. With a soft, grumbled out groan he reached up to rub his head, only to find his other arm go with it, metal chinking noises forcing him to look closer at his hands.
Cuffs. He was cuffed? He tried pulling, tried yanking them apart, he was strong! Usually… usually he could break cuffs easy! Why wouldn’t these ones break?!

“Don’t bother, you ain’t getting out of them”
attention right back on Katsuki his brows pinched close, hurt on his young face “and don’t give me that look either, it won’t get you out of there…” shit… had he made a mistake? Had he pushed too far? He’d felt so groggy maybe he’d done something…
“D-did… did I do something wrong sire?” Play dumb, maybe that’d wo---

“Not yet you haven’t, but I hear you were planning too” shit… okay, he could still play dumb, they had no proof, right?
“Everytime you head out on a mission, you gotta kill, right? That’s what you told that other little shifter girl back home, yeah?” Bakugo had never seen the fight drain out of someone so quickly before, he’d never seen confusion switch so quickly to fear,
fuck his heart ached watching his shifter go through this shit… it ached knowing he was doing this to him, but he had to know, he had to hear the truth, and more than anything, it HAD to come from Kirishima. The shifter’s body language changed again,
like he was trying to work out a cover in the moment and Bakugo wasn’t having any of it, he could SEE it happening, he wasn’t about to fall for it.

“N-no… no I don’t… I don’t know what you me---”
“Cut the shit, you know exactly what I mean, you’re a good liar, I give you that, you’re pretty fuckin good at it, but I guess that’s cause it’s what you were born for, wasn’t it…? Let me get this straight, and if you lie to me, that’s it, we’re done” it would be agony,
Bakugo knew that, but he couldn’t stay with a person that lied to him, he refused, he *hated* liars. He’d just have to figure something out, there had to be a way around this claim, right? Kirishima went silent, good… it meant something to him at least… enough to be quiet
“your masters… the fuckers that gave you to me, those assholes, they trained you right? Made sure you knew how to please the people you were given to, right?” Kirishima’s wings drooped, tail shifting behind him, gods he looked so small…
“And tell me… how many people... have you been given to?”

Kirishima had two options, just two, he could lie… plead innocence, but he’d never been caught out before so experience in that just wasn’t something he had… or… or he could tell the truth…
he had a feeling though, that if he tried that first option, that’d be it. He’d be digging his own grave. “I…” Bakugo leaned forward, as if trying his best to listen “I… I’ve uh…” never tell… never speak of it… be a good slave,
a good cog in the wheel to keep his city running, keep it moving forward… he really didn’t want to lie to his mate. “I’ve lost count” head bowed, he didn’t see Bakugo’s shoulders sag… he didn’t see the king breath a sigh of relief, it was good enough
“What about claiming me? Have you eve---”
“NO! N-never… I… I wasn’t supposed to do it with you… I shouldn’t have… t-that’s, that’s why I panicked I… we’re not meant to have attachments, or connections… But I’ve never… nobody has ever DONE what you did… nobody ever… y’know… ++
let me have any control, An I lost it… I lost control, you’re amazing Katsuki… you’re nothing like what they told me you were… I thought you’d be like the others’, but you weren’t” he hadn’t forced him into anything, hadn’t forced an alpha shifter to take a dick,
hadn’t forced him to submit… he’d given him the reins, relinquished control. “I… I wanted to keep you, even though I knew I couldn’t”

“And why couldn’t you?”

“I have to go back… I have too… I don’t have much time left; they’ll expect me back soon I gotta…”
“No, Ei, you don’t, you’re a fuckin Red, an ALPHA Red no less, you don’t HAVE to do anything, for ANYONE, in fact those fuckers should be doin shit for YOU”

“You don’t understand… you couldn’t understand you---”
“No, he can’t… but I do” a voice to Katsuki’s left caught Kirishima extremely off guard, the redhead startling, trying to find the person who’d spoke
“they didn’t train your senses like they’re training the others, did they? What… were you just pretty enough that they figured your looks would be enough?”

“Hagakure” Bakugo’s warning was low, side eyeing the space to his left,
Kirishima squinted, something… something was there, female clearly but… why couldn’t he see her?

“What? He’s practically human, it’s ridiculous… all the others could sense me, even the omegas in the pens could catch that I was there, this is stupid” Kirishima’s ears drooped,
so… so they hadn’t taught him about himself, so what? He wasn’t *stupid* it wasn’t like he’d had help! The others… the others had come from their fathers! He didn’t even remember parents!
“Oi Ei… why *can’t* you sense her? She’s sayin the other kids could, plus you didn't even know your own species, why is that?”

“… They spend their first years with their sires, they learn about themselves and their natural abilities… I didn’t… I don’t remember my parents…”
His earliest memory was waking up in his room, a sweet but thick smell in the air, he remembered being so happy, so relaxed… remembered not even minding when the soldiers came to give him his first lesson.

“So, the fuck made you different?”
“I’m not sure, honestly, I don’t know… they taught me what they could as humans, and that was that, I’ve relied mostly on… how *pretty* I am, as your invisible woman says, I’ve never needed anything else…” except for the hardening, he could have used that SO many times.
“I charmed my targets and in the end, killed them then returned home, only to be sent out again when the need called, and with the city being directly on a main travelling route, it called often” so much so that he really had lost count of how many he’d been with.
How many men had touched him, how many times he’d been forced to submit to lesser people, to weakness… how much blood had spilled onto his hands, funny… he’d never felt sick about it until now.
“How were you going to kill me?” Kirishima lifted his head to look at his mate, eyes wide, expression twisting in pain at the thought of what he *would* have done. He knew he’d have done it, no matter what happened to himself in the end… he’d have done it. That was his job.
“Answer the question Ei, how were you gonna do it? Were you gonna give me a chance to fight back? Gonna just fuckin stab me in the back an hope nobody killed you for it? The fuck were you gonna do?”
“I was going to kill you in your sleep, let you go peacefully, then go home before anyone noticed” he’d thought about it already, watching his mate sleep, so peacefully curled around him, expression so calm, at ease like nothing could bother him,
he wanted his mate to stay that way in the end… to be peaceful… to not hurt. “… Are you gonna kill me?” he spoke as if he expected it, as if he believed his time was up, his voice quiet, shallow in fear, he didn’t want to die, he didn’t know why he didn’t want to die,
what exactly did his city have in store for his future?
He was already 15… soon the attackers wouldn’t want him anymore, he was getting older, too old… Kirishima had already seen shifters his age vanish from the tower, their rooms given to new children. Was this to be his last mission maybe?
Did he have one more left before they’d vanish him away too?
“No, I’m taking you home” Kirishima’s head snapped up, brows furrowed, home? He was going to take him back? But… wh---
“Not your home, mine, you’re not gonna to see your city again Ei, because we’re gonna to bury it, we’re gonna get those kids out of there, get the omegas out of there, get ALL of the shifters out of there, and then, we’re going to burn it and its vile people to the ground”
“Wha--- B-but… but NO you… you can’t, t-that’s my home! You can’t just…”

“Oh we can, an the only reason you’re fightin so hard is cause they have you trained like a fuckin *dog*, you’re not a Red, you’re a *slave*, trained an conditioned to be loyal to them, ++
but if you weren’t? You’d want those fucker’s dead too; you know what they’re doing, don’t you?! You know they’re raping CHILDREN Eijirou, your little friend, the one you spoke to about your missions? You think they haven’t done it to her? ++
How many times did they do it to you huh?! You think she gets left alone?” Kirishima shrunk back, wings shifting to tug around himself, he didn’t… he didn’t want to think about that, it was a necessity, right? They always said it had to happen to prepare them.
“Do you know what they do to the little ones, Kirishima?” The invisible lady rested her hand against the bars of his cage, he heard it, the subtle brush of skin against metal… she was human, just invisible, it irritated him endlessly that he couldn’t SENSE her, like she’d said,
why could everyone else sense her but he couldn’t?
Why was he so useless as a shifter? She was right… if it wasn’t for the horns, the wings… the tail… one might actually just think he was human!
“…. The same thing they do to everyone else, b-but… but they’re just… it’s how they protect their city, we’re born for this, it’s… it’s the only reason we’re alive that’s what they made us for” at least that’s what he told himself,
what they’d drilled into him from as early as he could remember, he was there to please them, he was born to be used, he only existed to serve. He wasn’t allowed more.

“Ei… We’re gonna let you out”

“We are?”
“Yes, we are… because I don’t want him in a cage, a shifter shouldn’t be fuckin caged I don’t give a shit what any of you say, Ei, you said you were runnin out of time yeah? Well we know why” Funny because Kirishima didn’t even know why, he just knew he had a week,
couldn’t go longer than that, he’d humoured the idea once or twice but no… no couldn’t be longer than a week, had to be done by then. “You’re gonna go through withdrawal, they got you hooked on this stupid fuckin drug, an you’re gonna go through withdrawal, ++
you’re gonna feel sick, gonna hurt a lot… an you’re gonna probably freak out through it, but we’re gonna get you through it, an I think, at least I *hope* you’ll be fine after that”
“Why?” Kirishima pitched forward, crawling to the bars, whether he admitted it out loud or not, he wanted to be closer to his mate, he *needed* his mate closer. “Why would you do that?”
“Cause you’re…” he paused, turning to his left “Hagakure if you tell *anyone* what you’re about to hear, I’m gonna set you on fire” he wouldn’t, but the threat had the desired result anyway

“Sure thing chief, lips are sealed” he turned back to his mate, a small grin on his lips
“You’re my alpha… you belong by my side”
Kirishima didn’t know what to say, his chest just felt… so *full*. This man… this powerful, feared, terrifyingly strong man… wanted him, even though he *knew* what he was, even though he’d lied, even though he was there to kill him,
this man still wanted him by his side. Either he was extremely dumb and hopeful, or… or Kirishima was being given a real chance at something else, at another life, was that even possible? Should he take that opportunity?
Every instinct screamed at him not to, to shuffle back as the door to his cage opened, to refuse to come out until his mate just gave up on him and killed him, because of course that would happen right? His mate had to give up on him eventually, right?
He didn’t belong there, he belonged to his city… he belonged to them… he’d been trained that way… it was all the training, they’d drilled it into his head from day one, he wasn’t worth anything, had no status, had no title, would never have either, he existed solely for them,
a tool to be used.

Could he belong somewhere else? Was that really possible?

It was open the door was open to him, Bakugo stood there taking a chance on him, knowing what he was, he was taking a chance “what… what if I hurt you?”
“Then you hurt me, m’gonna take a chance, if I die, then fuck it, I die… I mean I’d rather not die cause I got a lot of shit to do before I go, but I’d rather risk it if it means I get a chance at havin someone I actually fuckin like by my side, an fuck Ei… ++
I really fuckin like you… even when you’re bein a little shit, I like you, an maybe it’s this weird fuckin omega shit, maybe that’s what it is, but… I’m willin to bet it’s not” he’d liked the shifter before he’d bitten him, he was beautiful,
that was really all he needed to know at first, but now…

Now he’d found out he had attitude, he was a smart ass, a little chaotic, and even if that was just a ploy to make him feel comfortable… gods he hoped it was truly him.
He knew there was the off chance that maybe it was all a lie, that he really didn’t know him at all, but he had to have hope that during these days, he’d seen a glimpse of something he liked, and that it was real. “C’mon Ei, m’givin you a chance”
“I don’t deserve a chance…”

“I don’t give a fuck what you think you ‘deserve’, now come out yourself, or I’m comin in and draggin you out, I guarantee… you’ll like one of them way more than the other”
voice tapering off to soft as he spoke the same threat he had their first night… the same promise… Kirishima’s head lifted, eyes locking on his mate’s face… he was… he was smiling, Bakugo was smiling, he knew exactly what he’d said.
Kirishima let out a soft little whine before pushing himself up and trudging to his mate, wings drooped, tail dragging along the floor, and just pressed his forehead against Bakugo’s chest, wings stretching to wrap around them *both* in response to Bakugo’s arms encircling him.
“I’ve hurt so many people Katsu…”

“Yeah? Guess you’re in the right place then, s’not like you’re marryin into a stand-up family y’know… I’ve hurt people too, you really should meet the old hag, she’s hurt a *lot* of people” Bakugo’s hand gently stroked through his hair,
fingers threading through pretty red strands “just don’t kill me okay? We… we can get you through this shit… they don’t own you; they gave you to me remember? Means you’re mine now”

“Your alpha?”

“Mmhm… my alpha”
“I’ve seen what you’re gonna go through, Kirishima, the little girl, Kyoka? She was going through it when I found her” Kirishima finally *caught* her, head lifting from where he’d rested it against the softest pecs he’d ever had the privilege of resting against, she was there,
about 5’3, hair just brushing her shoulders but he couldn’t quite see the colour, slender build but one built for speed, agility, one built for manoeuvrability, he could see her outline, could smell the meat she’d eaten an hour ago, she was there clear as day, literally clear,
she was invisible but… he could *SEE* her there. “You’re looking at me… good” was that relief in her voice? “Can you see me?”

“…. Sorta?”
“Sorta is good enough, means your senses are actually working you just don’t know how to use them, Bakugo, I’m gonna go let the others know what’s going on, Kirishima, you’re gonna be watched like a hawk by literally everyone until you’re through the withdrawal, ++
I dunno how long that’s gonna last, none of us do, and don’t you even think of objecting, Bakugo, I can see that look on your face, just cause you cant see my face don’t mean I can’t see yours Sir Pouts-a-lot” Bakugo took a lot of shit from his people, but they were his,
and that was his choice to do. Instead of reacting he simply squeezed his arms around his mate a little tighter.

“Don’t give a shit, watch all you want”
“That’s… that’s okay… am I still… am I still okay to stay in your tent with you?” Was it too much to ask? He’d been given a chance at a new life, one he knew deep down he didn’t really deserve, but was he allowed to ask for just a little bit more?
“Fuck Ei, of course you’re stayin with me… m’gonna trust you… I know I probably should be a little more cautious but… m’gonna trust you, I can’t hurt you, and you… you don’t wanna hurt me, right?”
“No! No, I don’t, I *really* don’t, at first? Maybe I did, I didn’t know you, I didn’t really know anything about you, but that changed so fast” he wanted to stay, he wanted to be by his mate’s side, he did, the alpha within him had been demanding he stay by his mate,
protect him, keep him safe, he knew killing him would have been torture, probably torture he wouldn’t have recovered from.
He wanted to stay… he *desperately* wanted to stay here, he could belong here, fuck he *did* belong there. He’d just felt like he didn’t have a choice.
“For the better?”

“Yeah Katsu… definitely for the better…”
“Good, then we’ll be fine… we’ll figure the rest of this shit out along the way, now let’s get you somethin to eat, you missed the food, all loopy outa your head” was it that late? The sun was high but…
normally the tribe ate later on in the evening to keep their hunger down during the night, had they stopped early or something? Kirishima couldn’t actually remember most of the day, all a little vague, hazy and confusing, he remembered packing up the camp,
he remembered helping his mate stretch himself out, he remembered getting on the horse and the slow journey back towards their homelands, but then everything became a little vague.
“Oi Invisibitch, you can go now, m’sure you’re tired or whatever, we’ll be stopping here for a bit longer”

“M’kaayy” Hagakure let out a long yawn mid-response, clearly stretching with how her voice changed “be careful Blasty”
and with that, she was walking off, probably to go to sleep after two straight nights without sleep.

“Katsu…? How much did I miss?”

“Huh?”
“I don’t remember how I got into the cage? Or… or anything really, how did you know? I mean… I know your invisible lady, Hagakure was it? I figure she snuck into the city and saw stuff, but… we packed up camp I don’t… I don’t understand how she got back to us so fast?”
“Dumbass one and two brought her back” at Kirishima’s raised brow, his questioning gaze, the King elaborated “Tetsu and Kaminari, they were behind it”
“…. Oh…” well… well that hurt more than he expected it to hurt. He understood their reasons, he’d lied, and they had a family unit to take care of, not just their tribe they had their own little family, of course they’d do that… but it hurt all the same,
they hadn’t trusted him, their own species, Denki had been *mothering* him and he still…

“Oi, don’t look so goddamn betrayed, look… they made sure to keep you safe while you were all loopy, until Momo made your cage they both looked after you, ++
fuckers growled at anyone who went close, the purple dipshit had to shoo them away so Momo could build the cage around you, pretty sure they’d have attacked anyone who tried to touch you, they were just takin care of the tribe okay?”
Of course… of course that’s all it was, and maybe the knowledge that they’d kept him safe while he was…. Loopy? Was nice…

“Why was I loopy?”
“Hagakure had some clothes from your home city, shit had that weird drug all over them, sent you all… I dunno… weird, loopy, I dunno, I don’t fuckin like it” he didn’t like his dragon all pliant and submissive, he liked him strong, powerful, dominating,
liked his attitude when he felt comfortable enough to show it, he couldn’t imagine how anyone would *like* a submissive Red.

Where was the fun in that?

“Are the clothes gone?”
“Yeah, I set them on fire a ways away from the camp, didn’t want the smell hitting the other dragons” especially not with the troublesome trio still *trying* to have a baby, nobody knew anything about this drug, even Momo had no knowledge of it,
he didn’t want to risk it harming their chances, even though it was proven shifters could still conceive while under its influence, he wasn’t going to put them under any risk that wasn’t necessary.
“You weren’t even a little bit tempted to use them?” To have that much power over a dragon… some people would kill for the chance, clearly a whole city of people would kill for the chance, he was sure many of the men he’d killed would have given anything to have that power,
to be able to have a dragon pliant and willing to do anything for them.
“Not a chance, Dragons ain’t supposed to be controlled, anyone with half a fuckin brain cell could tell you that, I’d rather you dumbasses be here willingly, you fuckers are stronger when you’re fightin for somethin you give a fuck about”
the two shifters had gone against their very instincts to protect the young shifter in need to protect their tribe. They’d go further if they had to. “You should talk to em though, I know at least Sparky feels bad” Tetsu was protecting his family,
he was an alpha, he refused to feel bad for protecting his family, but Denki? Denki was a beta, a Beta in a baby craze, he felt *awful* for his part in unveiling who Kirishima was.
He’d betrayed the redhead’s trust by revealing what he’d said in that tent. He’d looked so uncomfortable telling them all what Kirishima had told him.
“I’ll… I’ll talk to them I promise, but first… if you don’t mind… can we get that food? I really haven’t eaten anything have I?” He didn’t remember, but his stomach felt empty, had it been that long since breakfast? His stomach grumbled in protest of how empty it was.
Apparently, it HAD been that long since breakfast.
The tribe were, obviously wary of him when he sat beside their king at the firepit, Kirishima had admittedly wanted to hide away in their tent, he wanted to eat his food away from the eyes of everyone else and just hide for a bit, but Bakugo wouldn’t let him,
or at the very least he didn’t want him to. He had to face them, he was a Red for crying out loud, and none of this was his fault, literally none of it. He hadn’t hurt anyone, at least nobody in their tribe, he had no reason to fear any of them.
Except maybe Inasa but Bakugo would literally rip the guys head clean from his neck if he even dared touch the shifter, Kirishima was his mate, his alpha, nobody else could touch him. Plus, he was starting to access a few of his hidden Red traits,
so it’d be much harder for anyone to actually hurt him now anyway, they’d all seen that ripple of hardening roll over him before he’d hit the ground.

“They’re staring at me”
“You’ve recently been discovered to be a secret agent of death here to kill me, *of course* they’re gonna fuckin stare at you, now eat your turkey leg” Kirishima took a bite from his meal, trying not to think too hard about how badly he’d fucked up here, he should just go home…
he didn’t belong there, he couldn’t belong there, not now they knew, he’d always be a threat to them, he’d always be a threat to their king he--- “Oi… Ei… baby” warm hands held his cheeks Katsuki now in front of him, red eyes swirling with concern,
his wings had been curling around himself, tail wrapping around his own leg, he’d been withdrawing into himself without realising it.

Nobody was actually looking at him, in fact they were doing their own thing, pitching up tents for the night,
getting themselves ready for the night ahead, “can… can we go back to the tent, Katsu? I think… I think we should talk about stuff… an… I don’t wanna be out here when we do” plus he wasn’t actually all that hungry, okay no he was, but… he couldn’t find the will power to eat.
Bakugo didn’t argue with him this time, clearly the shifter needed a moment, he needed some time to process, to get used to the idea that this WAS his life now, he didn’t have to go back to whatever he’d been before, he was free and safe.
“Yeah Ei, we can go back to the tent, get your food lets go, m’not havin you waste it”

“You wasted that plate of food the other night, don’t lie and say you didn’t”

“Special circumstances”

“Oh?”
“Didn’t expect to be fucked out of my mind” okay that got a laugh out of him, a soft, snort of a laugh, but it was enough, Bakugo planting a kiss on his forehead, hand sliding the red strands up out of the way so he could smooch that pretty tan forehead “c’mon, up you get”
it’d be okay, he had Katsuki… it’d be fine. He stood from his seat, his plate of food in hand and allowed Bakugo to lead him to their tent, which… he was glad for because he had no idea where it was.
The camp was set up differently than before, everyone was closely packed in together, Bakugo’s tent wasn’t separated from the others, the only one that was, was the one Kirishima *assumed* housed two dragons and their human.
The Alpha Steel Weaver didn’t like people in close vicinity to his mates while they slept.
He could breathe easy when they were finally alone, Bakugo removing his jewellery, sitting his pretty ass down on the bed, he wasn’t a prisoner… it was insane, this man, renowned for his cruelty and destructive impulses, was just… sat there, waiting for him to join him,
even after all he’d learnt that day “aren’t you even a little bit angry at me?” Kirishima placed the plate down on the nearest surface, a makeshift wooden table. “It’s… it’s weird that you’re not, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop” for him to snap,
he deserved it, he’d lied, he’d planned to kill him… there was no reason why he SHOULDN’T be angry right now, no reason why he shouldn’t put the shifter to death for his planned treason.
“Well, stop it, nothin’s fuckin changed Ei, yeah, I found out you lied a shitton and yeah I’m a little pissed about that but the fuck kinda choice did you have?”

“But you’re not mad! You’re acting like nothing’s even happened!” He didn’t understand
“Because nothin HAS, crisis averted before shit spiralled out of control, you didn’t hurt anyone”

“But I COULD have, I was GOING to”

“Intendin to do it isn’t the same as fuckin doin it Ei, m’not gonna string you up just cause some assholes forced you to do shady shit, ++
I’d rather string THEM up” Kirishima didn’t understand, he didn’t know why this man so adamantly defended him, why he’d yet to yell, scream, beat him, all of his other targets would have, they’d have killed him for much less, but Bakugo…
“Ei… c’mere, seriously fuckin c’mere” the shifter stepped forward, tail still wrapped around his leg in a show of uncertainty, wings still tucked close, he stepped into the open arms of his mate,
allowed himself to be tugged onto the bed into his arms allowed himself to be wrapped up in them, maybe he was just biding his time… maybe Bakugo was just waiting until he got comfortable again.

Then rip it all away as punishment…
“M’sorry…” voice cracking as be buried his head into the King’s chest, trying his best to relax with the mans fingers stroking through his hair, he tried so hard, Katsuki didn’t want to see him cry, he knew the blond didn’t want to see him cry so he’d hide,
hide his face even as tears gathered “m’so sorry… you’ve… you’ve been so nice to me… I d-don’t deserve *any* of it I… I s-should j-just go… go back…”
“You’re not goin anywhere Ei, this is your home, right here… you belong with me, you’re never goin back there, not even when we destroy it, they will never hurt you, ever again” god it broke him how his shifter *sobbed* into his chest,
wings curling around them both as he clung to him, he’d never thought ANYONE could matter this much to him before Kirishima, before this beautiful shifter had walked into his life.

“B-but… you… you only wanted me… c-cause I was… w-was *pure* or w-whatever”
“Don’t be fuckin stupid Ei… I wont lie an say I’m not irritated that someone got to touch you before I did, that someone else has had their hands on you cause yeah, I’m pissed as hell about that, but that’s not gonna stop me from wantin you… ++
I mean I wasn’t a damn virgin, an you haven’t turned your nose up yet” he couldn’t exactly get pissy over something he hadn’t stuck too either.

“T-to be fair… I k-killed most of them” spoken in between tiny sniffles

“Most?”
“…. I don’t… I d-don’t remember the soldiers all that clearly, but you guys can kill them if you want”

“Oh, we’re gonna, m’gonna take great pleasure in ripping that city apart” Kirishima shouldn’t have enjoyed that thought as much as he did, he knew he shouldn’t,
that was his home, it’d always been his home, everything he knew was there, but… everything he *cared about* was here, perhaps he could learn to know this place better.

“An… an the young shifters? What about them?”
“We’ll take em home, plenty of shifter colonies out there that’d be glad to take em in, or they can stay, whatever the fuck they want, the more the merrier” no doubt Denki would *love* to have a gaggle of shifter kids to mother.
“First we’re goin to see the old hag though… we need back up for this, Ei… an the Red Shifters in the mountains might be able to teach you some shit too so you’ll be stayin with them while we go fuck shit up”

“… Will they just… let me stay with them?”
“Sure, you’re a Red Shifter, no reason why they wouldn’t, you’ll be safe with them, I promise” and at the very least, if they wouldn’t let him stay, he knew his mother would let him remain in the homelands until Bakugo returned.
---

The journey to the homelands was long, with a few rest stops along the way, they were no longer truly interested in getting there before the end of the season, Bakugo just wanted to get there, as quickly as they could.
It was halfway into the 6th day riding towards home when Kirishima collapsed, falling off of the back of his horse, he’d mentioned a headache hours before, a stomach-ache that’d ebbed with food, they’d assumed that was it, no real problem.
Denki was the one to catch him, he’d been trying to find the nerve to talk to the Red after betraying his trust, watching him, waiting for an opportunity to approach and apologise when the youngster had drifted, swayed a little more than one normally would on the back of a horse,
the air changed around him, Denki dove forward just in time to catch the young shifter before he collapsed.
Bakugo had been there of course, but he hadn’t caught the change, only when Denki appeared beside the shifter’s horse did he realise what’d just happened, Kirishima locked in the Chasers arms, shivering, shaking, chest heaving rapidly like he couldn’t breathe.
“Shit!”

“We’ve hit our deadline!” Hagakure hopped from her horse, she’d been riding close, as promised keeping an eye on the shifter “T! Can you fly him the rest of the way?”

“M’not fuckin LEAVING him!” Bakugo was off his horse and by his mate’s side in moments,
he couldn’t even hold his mates hand, he knew if he did, Kiri would crush it, he was clenching down on thin air, blood pooling in his palms where his fingernails dug into his own skin

“I’ll fly all three of you, Denki’s gonna need to go too, he’s the only one who can hold him”
“MOMO!” Bakugo hollered, the tactician rushing through the gathering crowd to her rulers’ side “You an Shinsou, you two are in charge, you get these assholes back to the homelands okay? You get them home”
With a nod, she didn’t hesitate to harden her gaze, switching from follower to leader in the blink of an eye “Of course”
They all gave a *wide* berth as Tetsu began to shift, horns growing first, curling from the back of his skull up and around, twisting to point forwards, smaller horns growing out of his nose, growing larger as scales overtook skin, spikes forcing their way out as he grew,
wings sprouting out shimmering silver in the sunlight, spreading wide and flapping once, kicking up dust and dirt as he beat them, the ground shook as his body dropped to all fours, it wasn't long before he towered over them all.
“Get on his back, I’ll get Kirishima up there, go on” they had no time to lose, Bakugo launched himself up with an explosion, Denki growing his wings out to carry himself and the youngster up safely on his mate’s back, holding him steady as the redhead shook,
struggling, dry heaving without anything coming up, “Go Tetsu!” Wings spread, Tetsu took off running, charging in the direction they’d all been riding, wings beating to give himself enough of an up draft to take off, he was in the air in moments, leaving the tribe behind.
They couldn’t take the slow route anymore.
--

Bakura was… a surprisingly peaceful land for the type of people it contained, both entrances were difficult to get through so outsiders were rare, and invasions from any other angle were impossible so it was a mostly peaceful city,
it was built within the empty caldera of a long since extinct volcano, homes made from wood and fabrics of various sizes, they had no need for stone houses, you couldn’t move them, and many of her tribe came and went as they pleased.
They needed to be mobile even in the stationary city.
High cliffs of volcanic rock surrounded the main city, only two entrances to speak of, one, a carved path through an over-cropping of rock constantly monitored by bow wielding barbarians, and another which led up through the rocky slopes…
but the only way to get to that one, was to go through Red Territory into the mountains surrounding the old extinct volcano.
Safe to say nobody ever came through that way, the only ones who could venture into that space were the royal family, and recently… even that had been difficult, even the humans of Bakura weren’t welcome there anymore.
It made dragon sightings particularly worrisome, so when one was called out by the watch towers, everyone scrambled for cover, bunkers built into natural old volcanic ventilation shafts provided excellent cover usually, today though,
the dragon was too close by the time they spotted it, large and approaching fast, the Queen barely made it out of her stronghold before the beast was upon them, large… imposing… lowering into the city with strong, powerful beats of its silve--- Silver?
“IT’S TETSUTETSU, STAND DOWN!” Only one steel weaver around those parts “Make room damnit!” as if they were ever going to argue, they moved like their asses were on fire, scattering to give the weaver adequate space to land, he didn’t need it for very long though,
because he was shifting back within seconds of landing, three figures hopping down as he reduced in size, two of them struggling to hold a barely conscious but struggling heavily third.

“OI HAG, WE GOT AN EMERGENCY HERE!”
“Katsuki?! What are you doing home? An where the fuck is your tribe, you brat?! Who’s that?!”

“He’s a Red shifter your highness, we need help getting him up into the mountains, Tetsu an I can’t go up there but… but you and your son should be able to!”
Tetsu would have flown straight to the mountains and bypassed Bakura entirely, but he couldn’t fly into those territories, he’d be taken down in an instant and so would his mate.

“What the hell happened to him?”

“We really don’t have time to expla—”

“Well, make time!”
“PLEASE… Ma, please… help me” the queen quietened, staring at her son with wide eyes, gods how long had it been since he’d called her something other than ‘hag’? “He’s… he needs help… please…”
the young king’s arms desperately trying to hold onto the shifter struggling in his grip, she couldn’t even get a good look at the poor youngster with how harshly he was trying to break free, how much pain his young face held
“I… I can’t promise anything, Katsuki, the Reds… you know them, they’re… they’re diffi---”

“He’s one of them though! He’s a Red, he’s a Red shifter, you gotta help me get him there, please, they can help him, they can keep him safe… please help us” he was desperate,
Bakugo Katsuki didn’t plead for *anything* in fact Mitsuki herself had instilled that sense of pride in him, he took what he wanted, and got what he demanded, him pleading for something… Gods above she couldn’t say no.
“We cant take him up there like this, and don’t give me that look either, we can’t, if we take him there like this, they’ll assume we’ve had something to do with it you know what they’re like… let’s get him into my tent, we’ll stabilise him there, Tetsutetsu dear, ++
go and find the healer, Chiyo, we’ll need her now, Kaminari dear, help Katsuki bring him to my tent, let’s go” Tetsu didn’t dawdle, rushing off to locate the old healer, using his sense of smell to track her down without delay,
the Queen knew they couldn’t keep the young shifter in the city, no doubt the Red Shifters would already be able to scent him, they were always close, always watching.
Often Mitsuki actually thought about relocating her tribe, just to get away from the constant threat of the lurking dragon shifters, they’d been on edge for years now, their omega population dwindling and as a result, their numbers growing less and less each year.
Betas could only rarely conceive, omegas were *needed* to keep a population from going extinct.
Once in the tent, Kirishima was placed gently down into the Queens own bed, she didn’t mind, it was the most comfortable and spacious surface in the whole tent, and he needed space, his wings had begun trying to flex, they couldn’t tie him down either,
tie him down and he might hurt himself, all they could really do was sit and wait for the healer, Katsuki having manoeuvred himself so Kirishima’s head rested in his lap, focused entirely on him, stroking through his sweat damp hair, Mitsuki had never seen her son like this…
she’d never seen him so…

“Katsuki… who is this shifter to you?”

“He’s… he’s mine…” how vague, a quick glance to Denki gave her the answer she needed, he tapped his own neck, then pointed to the blond on the bed,
and a closer look gave her all the answers she needed, spotting the rapidly healing wound on her sons neck… a claiming bite.

“Oh Katsuki… no wonder…” she spoke under her breath before taking a deep breath,
squaring her shoulders in determination “Alright, we’re gonna fix this shifter up, we’ll have him in top shape in no time then you’re both going to explain what the hell is going on, why he’s like this, and where the fuck your damn tribe is, okay?”
“Yes ma’am” Denki nodded his agreement while Katsuki made a soft noise of compliance, focus entirely on his struggling, shivering mate.
Tetsu returned quickly, the elder healer literally up in his arms, he was NOT waiting around for her to hobble along behind him, the woman was old, and as such couldn’t move as fast, but her healing abilities were second to none so he’d rushed,
plucked the old woman up into his arms despite her initial protests and carried her back to the Queen’s tent, putting her down the moment they got to the small group in the Queens chambers.
“Alright youngsters clear a path, let me see him” Denki quickly grabbed a stool for her to step on, the old lady quietly thanking him before hopping up to see exactly what she was working with “Mitsuki, come here… I need your eyes for a second” the Queen stepped forward,
rounding the bed to her healers’ side, Katsuki stiffened, his hand stilled in his shifters hair as they neared his weak mate.

“Easy now, it’s going to be okay, we’re not going to hurt him, stay calm” everything would be okay, they’d deal with this calmly “what is it, Chiyo?”
“Look at his face child, my old eyes may be fooling me, but… look at his face, tell me do you see it too?” Mitsuki took a chance, leaning in to look at her sons shifter mate, knowing all too well that her son could easily snap with her getting so close to him in this state,
he already seemed irate, already stressed, stiff and uncomfortable with them so close to him while he was weakened and unable to fight back. “Let your mother look, Katsuki, you’re both safe” Mitsuki reached forward, stilling only for a moment when Katsuki’s palms crackled,
a warning, before she shook her head, renewing her resolve and continued, gently brushing his thick, red hair to the side, revealing the subtle scarring on his eye.
Katsuki had never seen his mother turn so pale so quickly, eyes wide, full of emotion he wasn’t aware she was entirely capable of, a mixture of surprise, horror, but at the same time, relief… amazement… *happiness*
and then she uttered something that had the three members of the Katsuki tribe turn to look at her in confusion, her voice soft, almost as if she couldn’t believe her eyes

“…Eijirou?”
---

Mitsuki remembered all to clearly the first time she’d laid eyes upon Kirishima Eijirou, a bubbly little black-haired baby with the biggest ruby red eyes she’d ever seen, swaddled in the finest of red and gold silk wraps
gifted to his mother by the Queen of Bakura herself upon his birth. She remembered his little hands, reaching up to her, stubby little fingers open as wide as his beautiful eyes as he tried to desperately reach for the pretty necklaces dangling around the Blonde’s neck.
She remembered so clearly how he blew little spit bubbles before dissolving into the most melodic little giggles she’d ever heard; her boy had never giggled so sweetly before.
Gods above it’d made her desperately broody for another of her own, but alas, one hellion was enough for her, and hers was already out on adventures of his own, starting his own tribe, leading his own people,
learning how to be a ruler before he would eventually take over the crown of Bakura when his mother eventually passed.

“Hisa… Gods above he’s *beautiful*… I only wish Katsuki was here to meet him” maybe next time, they could make a day of it! Or a week... or more?
Kirishima Hisa had descended from the mountains with a small group of Alpha shifters acting as her guards, they were all men and women who had been to Bakura before, they knew the people, and the people knew them. “Has he slept through the night yet?”
“Gods no, he doesn’t cry though, he laughs like a little lunatic, we’ve found him sucking on his own big toe five times now, he shifted his tail last night, was chasing it for hours” the only reason the little shifter child was all bundled up because had he not been,
he’d likely be off on an adventure of his own.
Shifter children were fiercely independent, able to crawl from as early as 2 months, and walking? As early as 4, they developed fast, they could shift from as early as 5 weeks but they started slow, limbs first before they managed their whole bodies,
a shifter that could transform into their animalistic form, was a completely independent shifter, at that point, they thrived on their own. Eijirou was a quick learner.
At just 4 weeks, he was already crawling, he’d already shifted his tail into existence, Eijirou had so many people so *hopeful* for the future.

“So soon? Gods he’s coming into it fast, isn’t he?” Mitsuki wiggled her fingers just out of the little boy’s reach,
earning a lip wobbling pout as he struggled to reach for them, she relented, giving him her index finger to curl his little hands around.
“Yes… too fast, we do anything new around him and he’ll pick it right up, I fear he’ll be independent long before I’m ready to let him go… would you like to hold him?” Hisa seemed so amused by the Queens divided attention,
she understood of course, Eijirou was truly the cutest little attention hog, everywhere he went he drew the eye and oh how he lived for the attention.
“You let me hold that adorable baby boy and you might not get him back, honestly Hisa how did this adorable little thing come from *Daiji* of all people?”

“He’s LOVELY in his own way Mitsu, you know that” she laughed, while still bouncing her little bundle of joy in her arms
“besides, Irila likes him, happy wife, happy life and all that”

“Ehhh too ‘big Alpha’ for me, I like my partners submissive, you know that” a wink from the blonde had the shorter red haired woman laughing just as sweetly as her son, breath taking, like the sweetest of melodies.
Hisa was truly beautiful, just like her baby boy, not too tall, coming up to just under Mitsuki’s nose, in height as a human, long red hair thick and straight, layered beautifully, the way it caught light sometimes… gods, truly a thing of beauty,
her soft skin tan with the slightest hint of dark freckling across her nose, stunning. “Where IS Irila anyway? I’m surprised she didn’t come down with you to present such a cute little one”
“She’s still struggling with her heats, Daiji’s up there with her, helping her through it, I figured I’d bring lil Eiji down here to avoid it” Hisa hadn’t had a heat since she’d birthed her little boy, often the shifters natural reproductive cycle would stall for a few months,
just to give the Omega plenty of time to recover from the birth and dote on their babies before the cycle started anew.
Irila had always had such irregular heats, starting when she’d abnormally presented at 3 years of age, her alpha guard losing all sense of control, nobody knew until morning, until they’d found the young newly presented Omega bloodied and unconscious,
in the arms of a terrified Alpha guard. He’d been banished from the tribe, death too quick a punishment, irreparable damage had been done, she’d been in crippling pain every other month, struggling to cope and Hisa… gods above she’d tried her best,
unfortunately with her being a fellow Omega, her best just wasn’t enough. Enter Kirishima Daiji, a simple guard, he was strong, powerful, large and every bit the alpha he’d presented as so early in his life,
he’d hesitantly offered his assistance to the pained Omega in her worst hours, knowing her feelings about Alphas, knowing how lacking in control they were around an Omega in heat, but… he’d offered, and with Hisa’s hawk-like observation,
had sat with her at her bedside for the majority of her heat, belting out wave after wave of calming alpha pheromones to lessen the pains, he never touched her.

Left that entirely to her fellow Omega mate.
Even as her heat ran strong, he’d fought every instinct, every primal urge to mate, to claim, Irila had a chosen mate, she’d been hurt enough by alphas, and he did not have anywhere near the status necessary to take her. He was but a lowly guard, a servant.
But… it’d been quickly discovered that having a powerful Alpha presence nearby was essential for helping her deal with them, and so, after several months where he’d join them in their chambers, helping Irila through her struggles with his presence alone… they’d tried for more.
They liked him, he was attentive and kind, treated them well, respected them, and not to mention he was *excellent* with the tiny infant he eventually helped sire. Seeing something so *small* in the arms of a man so LARGE,
seeing how such a small thing reduced such a large beast of a soldier to a cooing, affectionate softie was just… well it gave the two Omega females something to giggle about.

Eijirou was the first young to come from their little family, they hoped he wouldn’t be the last.
Hisa always did enjoy the Queens company more than her mates though, Irila LIKED Mitsuki, but Mitsuki was a little too ‘alpha’ for her tastes, they got along but not nearly as well as Hisa and Mitsuki got along, and Daiji… well… they’d butt heads more often than not.
Two alpha presences in a room would do that, and despite being human with no presenting secondary gender, Bakugo Mitsuki was a clear Alpha presence.
“So, will you be staying for long then? As usual we’d love to have you stay, can have a tent set up for you in no time at all” the alpha guards shifted, uncomfortable with the idea of staying for too long, but Hisa seemed thrilled by the idea,
she did adore spending time with Mitsuki and it seemed like her little angel of a baby boy was a fan as well, Eijirou still lightly tugging on her finger, his whole little hand wrapped around that one digit. “Gods Hisa he’s so small… I want one”
and Hisa knew her little boy could only be safer in one other place, and that was back home, Mitsuki would likely give her life for this child.
“You know what… I’d love to, if you really don’t mind us being here, I feel like he should get to know you all better before he grows up, he’s getting so big so fast… maybe we could stay until Katsuki comes back, they’d be fast friends I’m sure!”
Hisa’s hopes crashing moments after she said it, Mitsuki had frowned

“He’s only just left this past week, Hisa… he won’t be back for months unless there’s some kind of crisis and well… he’s a powerful little brat, I wish you’d have come a week sooner” she knew they would be,
knew these two would be as close as possible, Katsuki’s magic was heat, pure explosive power he was a true force to be reckoned with even at his young age… no doubt this little baby Red would be drawn to him like a moth to a flame. And Katsuki?
Katsuki had always wanted to have a Red for a friend, thought his mother having one was *SUPER* cool, Hisa was always such a badass, had been absolutely blown away when she’d shifted and roared in his face when he’d been being a bratty little kid.
Mitsuki had laughed herself silly, patted the large Red on the side of her jaw while her son screamed about how COOL she was. No fear, she’d never once seen fear on her boys’ face, not even in the face of an angry Red,
just a defiant grin and a confident stance that’d put the shits up many a weaker man.

“We can still stay though, right?” Eijirou’s little hand wiggled the finger still in his grasp, bright, happy laughter bubbling from him as the Queen simply let him play,
her attention breaking from the little bubbly baby to return to his mother

“As if I’d *ever* turn *you* down, Hisa” The guards behind Hisa visibly rolling their eyes at how thick this Queen was laying on that charm, no wonder Irila rarely wanted to descend with her,
the damn Queen of Bakura flirted shamelessly with her mate!

“Your highness” one of the guards coughed, awkward and uncomfortable in the presence of such *heavy* eye contact.

Could cut that tension with a fucking *knife*.
“Yes, settle down, I’ll be staying here for the next week with Eijirou, please tell my mates to enjoy their time together, you may leave” the worst part for those guards, was that eye contact was *mutual*. Even while the cutest little child in existence played with her finger,
Mitsuki held Hisa’s stunning red gaze, a confident smile on her lips, a true Alpha presence, daring her to look away first.

“B-but Your hi---”
“Leave. Now” Hisa broke the contact first, but only to shoot her own sharp, cat eyed gaze at the guards, ruby hues blazing in barely contained rage. The guards jumped back, Alphas in their own right but Gods above *none* of them wanted to tangle with Kirishima Hisa,
especially with her son nearby, omega or not, this woman was a force to be reckoned with, the larger out of the two Omegas, Hisa towered over Irila in her dragon form, not nearly the size of an alpha but she knew where to bite, to scratch and claw to win a fight against one.
They backed down, of course they did, bowing their heads in submission, the omega was in charge here, not them, never them. They backed out of the tent quickly, following her commands to the letter, she’d be safe there at the very least,
as would her young son, Mitsuki would *never* allow any harm to come to them in her city.

Not that anyone there would want to harm them anyway.
“So… about that tent” Hisa returned her gaze to the Blonde still so close to her, still technically playing with the happy little bundle of joy in her arms despite her hands now being free from his grip, his little chubby fingers now back to reaching for her necklaces,
dangling so close to him as she stepped in close to his mother “Are you really going to set up a *separate* tent for me, Suuuki~?”
“Hmmm…” soft, smooth fingers cupped Hisa’s jaw, gentle in their touch of the smaller woman “no” the redhead leaning in to meet Mitsuki in the middle, lips brushing lips in soft near reverent kisses “Gods above I’ve missed you… my beautiful Queen”
Her words murmured quiet against plush lips, almost drowned out by the excited little giggles and coos from the little shifter Prince cosied up between them.
-

Mitsuki remembered the very last time she saw Eijirou, it was that same week, that same week she’d spent bonding with the little Prince, chasing him around her tent, that same week she’d been totally wrapped up in her beautiful guest and barely secret love affair.
She hadn’t known at the time that it’d be the last she’d ever see of Kirishima Hisa, sending her on her way with her guards at the end of the week, sneaking one last kiss in her tent before shuffling her away up the mountain with a teasing grin playing on her lips,
Eijirou’s pudgy little fingers waving at her from around his mothers’ bicep, a little expertly stitched cut over his eye where sometime during the week he’d managed to careen headfirst into Mitsuki’s throne while chasing his tail, cutting his little head on a sharp piece of wood.
Her healers had claimed it’d be fine, it’d scar, but it’d be fine.
Hisa vanished into the woods a week later, her son trailing after her like he always did, like her own little shadow, she’d been acting odd for a few days, claiming she could hear something, sense something in the woods, and then… she was gone, little Eijirou chasing after her,
Neither to return.

The shifters that searched, didn’t return, vanishing just as their Queen had, the humans that searched tirelessly for months, couldn’t find anything, not a trace left behind.
Mitsuki was not a crier, she wasn’t, she held her head high, jaw set steady, she was a warrior through and through, she’d rather fall on her own blade than let someone see her cry, but the day they gave up searching…
the day the soldiers from the mountains came down to deliver the news, the Warrior Queen collapsed in the dirt at the shifter soldiers’ feet, her own guards too slow to catch her as she dissolved into inconsolable, heartbroken sobs, defeated.
---

“Ma?” Katsuki’s voice, uncharacteristically soft as his mother’s eyes began to water, hand over her mouth, skin paler than usual it was like she’d seen a ghost… and now she looked at him, now she really looked past the pain on his young face… oh gods he looked like her…
“S-sorry, shit, I’m fine, I’m okay, Chiyo, please ensure he recovers from whatever *this* is, can someone please explain to me where *he* was, and what’s wrong with him?” She had to be strong, wiping away the tears that’d gathered in her eyes quickly on the back of her hand,
she had to be strong, she was a Queen for god’s sake, she would not lose herself now.
“Uh… Denki? You’re uh… you’re better at explainin shit, can you…” Katsuki didn’t want to leave his mate while he struggled, didn’t want to move, even as the healer started her work, wasting no time at all. Her magic would speed up the healing process,
took a little out of the person though, so… she’d have to be careful, Eijirou didn’t have a lot left in him to give, she had to balance it perfectly or risk making everything worse.
“Y-yeah… yes, I’ll uh… Your highness, why don’t we… go somewhere else so I can take you through it all” Denki felt so unsure of himself in that moment, Mitsuki was a Queen, a fearless, rough, warrior Queen, she’d spoken his name before any of them had been able to say it,
she was *crying* whether she’d wiped those tears away or not, something was very off here, suddenly they didn’t have the whole picture.

Suddenly once again, they were thrown into uncertainty, the whole picture now cast in shadow, part of it in Mitsuki’s hands.
The Queen nodded “my study will do, come” she led him through the draping fabrics separating her ‘rooms’, the ‘tent’ was huge, big enough to house a large family with several separators, her study was all the way on the other side of it,
far enough for her not to hear the whimpers and groans of pain from the redhead laid up in her bed.

“Can I… Can I ask how you know Kirishima first? You knew his name, and well… we didn’t have a chance to say it”
“No, explain first, where was he?” Her voice even, a threat woven into it but unspoken, she was angry… he could hear it, he could smell it on the air, her sadness had very quickly switched to rage

“Maybe… maybe you should sit do---”
“Kaminari Denki you will tell me where you found him this INSTANT” he flinched back, head bowing in submission, straight to it then, a deep growl cut him off before he could even begin, a growl he recognised and deep down felt incredibly grateful for in that moment,
Tetsu stood in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest, sharp eyes trained on the Queen, top lip slightly upturned, twitching in a subtle snarl “Stand down Steel Weaver, I’m not going to hurt him, I just… I need answers”
“Then perhaps you ought to calm before making demands of my mate” this dragon wasn’t hers to command, neither of them worked for her, they were her sons’ people, she had no power over them and couldn’t pretend any different, they were Dragons, they weren’t meant to be controlled.
Honestly Katsuki didn’t control them either, but… they still did as he asked because they cared about him, he cared about them… they didn’t know Mitsuki well enough to take *her* shit as well as her sons.
She may have been a warrior, renowned for her ferocity, but her magic wasn’t offensive, she couldn’t tangle against a Steel Weaver alpha and she knew it, especially not while his mate was in the room.
“… Very well… please, Denki… tell me how you know the son of the woman I love, please tell me where you found him… and how he came to be in such a state”

“Uh…” even Tetsu stood down, stepping back a fraction, she was calm, but she was talking about loved ones,
not something a Bakugo did very often, at least not the blonde ones “he… he was given to Katsuki, like… like as a gift? From a city a few weeks ride from here, we can fly there fast but… by horse it’ll take time” they didn’t find him, they were given him
“But uh… Kirishima was meant to kill him? It’s a really long story, your highness, he’s… he’s not gonna hurt Katsuki now though, but he’s in a lot of trouble, they had him on this weird drug, as far as we know, dragons can’t get near it, sends us all weird”
“They have an outpost hidden in the woods just outside of Red Territory, we believe it’s taking shifters from the Red tribe, they have more posted around other shifter territories, doing the same” Tetsu spoke up, his voice breaking through Denki's shaky attempt at explaining,
Mitsuki always did make people a little nervous.

“Can you take me to it?” She had to get answers, and she’d rip each and every one of the men on that outpost apart to get them.
“No, neither I, Denki, or ANY dragon can get near it without ending up all fucked up in the head, it’s strange, makes us… compliant, easy to manipulate, it bypasses even a Red’s naturally stubborn nature, hell Kirishima acted *nervous* the day he was given to us, ++
a Red… NERVOUS, can you imagine that?” because before he saw Kirishima doing such a thing, he couldn’t “You need a *human* guide to take you”
“You didn’t bring one” Mitsuki didn’t mean to sound irritated, she really didn’t, but… she was, she knew it wasn’t their fault, how could they have known? How could they have possibly known what’d happened all those years ago, how could they have known that she’d know him?
“No, we didn’t… we had no idea you’d demand one, we’re here to request aid to storm the city which was using him, we can’t get close without losing ourselves to whatever it is they’re using against us, they have others, they have children… ++
they apparently have hundreds of omegas being bred like cattle, we’re here to ask for your aid to destroy it”

“… Who gathered this information?”
“Hagakure, our spy… she remained with the tribe, they’re on their way here, they should be here within the next week” good… she nodded her head in acceptance, good… that’d give Chiyo plenty of time to get Eijirou through this,
plenty of time for her to call for the rulers in the mountains… they deserved to know he was alive, even if they *had* stopped searching.
Not something Mitsuki had ever really forgiven them for, they had no right to stop, neither of them were the rightful rulers of the mountains, that was either Hisa, or Eijirou, Daiji was nothing but a soldier, a low born alpha who got *lucky* by being half decent,
and a foreigner brought in to unite two distant tribes.

Mitsuki would never forgive them for giving up so quickly.
“Y-Your highness?” Denki finally spoke up again, voice soft, uncertain in the face of such a stern, alpha presence, he was used to Tetsu, he was harmless to him, but Mitsuki? Fuck this human was intimidating even to him, maybe if he had some electricity stored, he’d be fine but…
god he was so weak right now “Can I… can I ask about her? His mother? I know it’s not my place but… You’re a Queen, you said… you said you love her?” Sure, a Queen could love whomever she wanted, but… to admit it out-loud meant they would likely be of equal status.
Mitsuki’s stern, neutral expression softened, only for the briefest of moments as her lover’s face flashed across her mind, no matter how long they’d been separated, she could still remember her smile, truly a sight to behold.
“Kirishima Hisa… She was one of the two Queens of the Red Tribe in the mountains…”

Their twin responses were both as shaken as each other, Tetsu’s calm façade snapping like a twig as his jaw dropped to release a soft “… Oh” at the same time as his equally shocked mate.
Explanation unspoken, it didn’t need to be elaborated on, both of them reached the same conclusion at the exact same time.

That made Eijirou… a Prince.
“She did think our two little hellions would get along… I doubt she had a *claiming* bite in mind though… does that mean he’s an alpha class like his father?” Little Eijirou had been so young the last time shed seen him, he had yet to present, but such an energetic child…
always running off on his own, always chasing something, starting fights with his own reflection, a Red through and through, an Alpha class made sense. Even if he did have the beauty of an Omega.
“Y-yeah… Your highness we really ought to tell your son about this” Denki recovering first, Tetsu still trying to process the news he’d been given, to think… they had a Prince with them, to think Denki had basically attacked him, holy shit…
nobody would know, nobody would say anything, Kirishima wouldn’t say anything. Did he even remember it? Fuck he hoped not.
“I agree, but FAR more importantly, we need to speak to the Reds, I need to get Daiji and Irila down here as quickly as possible but I flatly refuse to leave my city while he’s here…” she’d lost him as a child, thought she’d never see his little bubbly smile ever again,
but here he was, in deep water struggling to cope, she wasn’t leaving his side, much like her son, she’d stay beside him.

But someone had to tell the Shifters.
“… Only you or Katsuki could go up there and come out without a beatin though, right?” Who else was there? Masaru wasn’t in the city, he was in his own little village three days west of Bakura, and since he didn’t live there, he didn’t have the same rights as his wife and son.
“Not necessarily” the Queen sighed, rubbing the space between her brows, before turning to the blond beta in front of her “a small beta could go up, Denki wouldn’t be seen as a thr---”
“No” Tetsu’s growl reverberated throughout the entire room “We’ve only just recently tried again for a child, we don’t know yet if it took this time, I will NOT risk him or our potential child on some stupid trip up the mountain, either you go, or we wait until they come down”
a continuous growl rolling from his throat as he breathed, the very idea of Mitsuki willingly risking his mate resulting in him *pouring* alpha pheromones into the air, rage, pure *rage*.
“Alpha… alpha you need to calm” Denki rounded the blonde, whom couldn’t smell the pheromones anyway, just so he could gently slide his hands up to cup Tetsu’s jaw, thumbs massaging little circles into the sharp bone structure,
trying to ease the rage in the air with his own calming pheromones “it’s okay, she’s right, my big alpha, and if I am carrying, they’re even less likely to hurt me… I am just one, very small beta with no electricity stores, I am no threat to them, they will not see me as one”
he hoped, someone had to go up there, and clearly even with his mate threatening, growling, *posturing*, Mitsuki wasn’t budging on staying put.
“What if… What if they do… I can’t go up there with you, if I go up there they’d rip me apart, what if… what if you don’t come back” concern replaced rage, waves of worry, distress rolling off of the alpha as his attention diverted from Mitsuki to his mate,
maybe if Shinsou were here, it’d be fine, he could be there, keep Tetsu company, keep him occupied until the Chaser returned, but… he wasn’t, he was still on route to Bakura.
“I’ll come back; I’m really fast remember? I promise I’ll come back, she’s right… someone has to go up and get them, if we wait… and they find out we’ve been holding him here without telling them? He’s their prince, they’ll decimate Bakura, nothing would survive”
they’d jump to conclusions, Reds were volatile, easily angered, stubborn, once they get an idea into their heads it was really hard to get it out again.

If he was their lost prince… the only real heir to their throne, they’d want to know.
“I can’t lose you, lightning bug… I can’t…” Mitsuki turned away, this wasn’t for her eyes to see, she’d give them privacy but honestly there was nowhere else she could go, and also… it was *HER* tent.
“You’re not gonna… I’ll be back before you know it, I promise… an then… then we’ll try again, maybe if we stay here for a bit… maybe settling for a while will help? I doubt Katsuki will be moving on for a while since Kirishima will need to recover, we could stay…++
relax… maybe make a real nest for once?” the little makeshift pile of blankets and pillows in the corner of their tent just… wasn’t good enough.
It always made Denki feel very inadequate every time he tried to make one only to realise that was the best he could do with what time and resources he had.
Tetsu took a breath, shoulders slumping in defeat as his mate continued to try and soothe him with gentle touches and calming pheromones, and of course a soft kiss to his lips which really did the trick “… fine, but I’m taking you to the border, and… and You, your highness, ++
if he doesn’t come back, the Reds are gonna be the *least* of your concerns, you get me?” Mitsuki could only sigh, nodding in response to his very clear threat, the Weaver would riot, and without his second mate around to stop him, very little would be able to.
“I get you, now not to rush you both but… the sooner you go, the sooner you get back, please… we can’t delay any more than we already have, if you go now, you should be back before the sun sets” which would be ideal, Chasers had a strange glow about them in the night,
bioluminescent scales could easily be seen as a threat display but really they were used more often to fly through lightning storms at night without being noticed, the luminescence camouflaging them perfectly with the flashes of light in the clouds.
Chasers didn’t fly around those parts all that often though, Reds weren’t used to the pretty displays their scales could give at night, to reds… flashy meant threat, to these Reds, ANYTHING meant threat, during the day was the safest time to go.
“Fine… fine we’re goin, NOT sure how I’m going to explain this to them, I couldn’t even explain it to YOU properly, but… let’s go Tetsu, she’s right, day time is best” he wasn’t comfortable, Tetsu was not comfortable with this, he reeked of apprehension,
of barely restrained anger and really all Denki could do was continue to pour calming scents into the air for him, but it did very little once they were out of that tent, the natural air around them masking it all,
spreading it further out until it was barely even noticeable against Tetsu’s own Alpha pheromones. “Tetsu… alpha, babe please… you need to calm down… I can’t take you anywhere near them like this…” they’d smell him coming before he even left the city, wouldn’t even get close.
In fact… if he kept this up, Denki knew he wouldn’t get close either, they’d smell alpha, they’d smell lingering Steel Weaver, they’d assume ambush and well… “Okay, no, Tetsu, go back in there and help them keep Kirishima stable, I’m going to go, and you’re going to stay here"
“No, what the fuck Denki m’comin with you!”

“I think the fuck not, you can’t keep your pheromones in check, gonna get me killed, don’t make me tell you twice, I promise I will be back before dark, now get your ass back in that tent” he didn’t want to,
he didn’t, a whine clawing itself up from his throat, but he couldn’t control it, he was worried, he was scared, he was defensive, he couldn’t stop those feelings from drifting out of him in waves, especially after having mated not long ago.

“By dark?”
“Yes, I will be back here, before dark I promise, I’m fast remember? If something happens, I’ll just fly away, it’ll be okay, trust me”
“Those are some famous last words lightning bug, one last kiss…” a request the chaser wasn’t about to deny him, up on his tippy toes, Kaminari planted a kiss onto his mate’s lips, the Weaver giving him a gentle squeeze of a hug before releasing him, letting him go “be careful”
“I’m always careful” one last quick peck, and Kaminari was shifting, much faster than Tetsu his body didn’t have to grow much, simply changing, muscles shifting in places, bone structure altering, spines growing long and sharp,
he’d fly to the pass which led to Red Territory, then walk the rest of the way until someone stopped him.

It’d be fine, he’d be fine.
He was not fine.

He felt their presence the moment he stepped foot onto the dirt path that lead up the mountain, even as he reverted back, shifting to his human form, he could feel their presence, he couldn’t see them, but he knew they were there.

They were watching him.
He’d come from Bakura, still had their scents, the smells of the city still lingered on him, that was the only reason they hadn’t struck him down yet. He pressed forward, deep breath, he continued up the path, creaking of the woods around him forcing a shiver down his spine,
hands shaking with nerves he couldn’t control.

Instinctively, he wrapped his arms around his stomach, just in case. Amber hues darting around him, trying to see them, he could FEEL them but… seeing them amongst the rocks? Amongst the mountain side?
Where scents and sounds all pointed to everything being completely normal? Impossible.
A rock tumbled to the ground as his path changed from soil to stone, forcing a jump out of the Chaser, he’d crossed the border into their territory, he was trespassing, but he had a mission, a mission to keep Bakura safe no matter what,
he had to get to the rulers of the shifter tribe, and so… despite that rock, he took another step in, and another, he kept going until he reached a pass, steep rocky walls on each side, the pathway narrowing to a drop on either side down into a dark inky abyss,
even if he fell he could fly, but he doubted others that’d attempted this trek had the same advantage.

Movement.

To his left, and right, both cliff faces moved on either side, just by a little, but it was enough, more than enough to know this pass was guarded.
Two of them, as they moved, their bodies became clearer, eyes opening gods above just their EYES were as big as his head, one bite and he’d be gone. Alphas, Alpha Reds guarding the cavernous path by camouflaging themselves into the cliff face.
Genius, and absolutely fucking terrifying.

He was frozen as the two shifters moved, crawled along the cliff face, eyeing him as they both moved, twin growls echoing around the chasm, the arms around his waist tightened, taking a deep breath, he steeled himself,
no going further without explaining his presence, Reds were not patient by nature.
“My name is Kaminari Denki, I am a Storm Chaser Beta from the western reach, I’ve come on behalf of Queen Bakugo Mitsuki of Bakura… I humbly request an audience with your rulers, Queen Irila and King Kirishima Daiji it is in regard to the king’s son, Kirishima Eijirou”
both shifters froze in their movements, movements that’d been steady, slow, as if sizing the little beta up.
Both shifted at the same time, switching to their half states to effortlessly remove themselves from the cliff face to the pathway without risking a nasty fall. No wonder they were so in sync… twins. Twin alpha Red’s as guards to the city… not a bad defence.
Fuck they were massive, their half states putting them probably just over 7ft, broad shouldered, skin hardened in places as a defensive move, just in case the Chaser had weapons on him.
“Speak, Chaser, how do you know of that name?” The one on the left growled out, threatening, trying to intimidate him.

“This is for them to hear, not you, I am unarmed, I have no stores of electricity, I need to speak with them immediately, please”
Denki lived with Tetsutetsu though, a Steel Weaver, one of the only dragon species who could actually give a Red a run for its money, he could handle the waves of intimidation these two were trying to belt out.
They looked at each other for a moment, seeming to communicate in expressions before returning their gaze to the little Chaser in front of them, one stepping forward while the other stayed put.
“You’re very brave for someone in your condition, come, I will take you to the city, you’ve come at a good time, the Queen is in good health”
“W-wait… in my condition?” Both brothers looked to each other again, before the one offering to guide him snorted a soft laugh
“You’re pregnant, Kaminari Denki, congratulations, now come” but Denki did not move, he didn’t, he couldn’t, he was frozen, arms tight around his waist, he… it took… he was…
“Tah’il, he’s shaken, he’s not going to move now you’ve told him *that*, dumbass, why have you no tact? You of all people should know better” The other guard that’d remained still stepped forward, rounding the blond’s body, placing a large hand around his shoulder,
Kaminari would have most definitely shocked him had he had any electricity stores, but… he didn’t, he was walking into a city of Red Shifters, violent, Red Shifters, and… and he was *finally* pregnant…
He couldn’t move… he couldn’t risk it “I… I need to go back… I can’t… we’ve… we’ve been trying for so long I c-can’t…” he knew there was a chance of death when venturing up into the mountains, he was an outsider, he couldn’t risk it now.
“Come little Chaser, we cannot let you leave now you’ve spoken that name, you have information, you have value, you and your young will be safe, we give you our word, Tah’il will take you up the mountain, there’s no safer guide than a Red up a mountain”
there was an interesting twang to his accent Denki had never heard before, Kirishima definitely didn’t have it but that was to be expected, it wasn’t anything like what he’d heard in Bakura, but… it seemed friendly enough.
The threatening vibes he’d been getting from them both diminishing, even the hand on his shoulder was gentle, reassuring “You’ll be safe” the alpha trying to calm him, at least he was trying.
“…Okay… okay” he had to, he had to move, he had to, he had a job to do, and he’d do it. If something went wrong… at least Tetsu and Shinsou wouldn’t know, they’d never know of just how much they lost.
He pushed forward, step after step, he allowed ‘Tah’il’ to lead him further up the mountain, leaving the other shifter to revert back to his dragon form, guarding the cliff face alone, he looked back once, but the shifter had already camouflaged himself once more.
The rocky face of the cliff wall completely indistinguishable from the dragon hidden against it, even though Denki knew the alpha was there, he couldn’t see him.
He had to wonder just how many there were on the way up, it was all rocks, all steep cliffs, how many lined these walls just waiting, watching for intruders. He tightened his grip on his stomach, nerves increasing
“Easy, Kaminari, I can feel your anxiety, while they watch, they will not harm you when you walk with an escort”

“It’s… it’s really hard not to be anxious, I know they’re there, but I can’t *see* them” it felt like he was being watched by ghosts,
beings that were there but couldn’t be seen unless they wanted to be seen. “An now I know I’m… now I know, you have no idea how long I’ve tried for this” it’d been years, so many years of attempts, each one disappointing when it came up a failure,
he’d always felt… so inadequate, he couldn’t give his mates a family, he couldn’t give them young, he was a failure.

But he wasn’t now, he’d managed it, despite everything he’d managed it, and here he was risking it all for someone he’d really only known for a little while.
“I do actually, I mean… I have an idea, my mate is a beta like you, she struggles too” maybe… the knowledge that this alpha knew at least a little of what he was going through made it easier to relax, made him lessen his grip on his stomach just a little,
this alpha had a beta mate, he got it, he’d shared those pained days when things clearly hadn’t worked, when hormones simply never changed, just remaining the same over and over again no matter how many times they tried.
“I have been with her for 13 years now, and we have only managed it once” yes… yes that helped a lot.

Hearing this monster of an alpha talk of his mate, it made him normal… it made him seem less like a threat and more like just another shifter
“Come on little Chaser this way, we are close” Denki didn’t doubt it either, he could smell more things, more shifters, meats, spices, various aromas usually found primarily in the heart of a city.
The mountain City of Rodaru, in the very heart of Red Territory, if there was any hint of a chance of going back, it was gone now.
--

It was like he’d entered another world as they crossed the archway into the city, built into the heart of a great chasm between two mountains, several arching bridges connected the two intricately carved walkways opposite each other, and if he looked down,
far down into the chasm, beyond levels and levels of buildings, more walkways down connected by staircases and bridges, he’d be able to see the palace, lit up bright with torches, lava flow and naturally occurring bioluminescent rocks,
shimmering red with the collected red glow from the lava surrounding them. Royalty lived at the bottom of the city, where it was safest.
The city was ginormous, Denki had never felt so small in his life looking at it, doorways were at least five times his size, probably to comfortably accommodate the bigger shifters, even in human forms these shifters were huge, Tah’il stood at least a head taller than Tetsu,
and Tetsu was nearing 7ft, he was broad, muscle built onto muscle and honestly everywhere he looked, there were shifters LIKE him. Alpha Reds were tanks, he’d always heard it, never really had the experience of meeting many to prove it though.
They dominated the crowds milling around the city, crossing the bridges, betas barely visible amongst the masses.

“Come little beta, it’s a long way down”

“I can fly down, I’m small I shou---”
“Leave my side and they’ll-” he pointed to the eyes decorating the dark, rocky overhang, moving figures in the rock, one two three... four… shit there were four of them, four sets of eyes, watching, waiting “attack, I would rather not risk you or your young by letting you stray”
“Why are they up there? Isn’t this your home?” why would they need to be up there watching in a place like this, it was already guarded on the way up, and no way could anyone scale the top of the mountain without being spotted by the *actual* full born Reds living across it
“We’re losing Omega’s every week, we’re down to five, and each of them have started acting as strangely as Queen Hisa did before she and young Eijirou vanished, Her Highness Queen Irila seems to be the only one unaffected, we don’t know why, ++
we don’t know how they’re being taken… the guardians are to ensure nobody comes in without an escort, if you slip away, they will have you in minutes, no matter how small you may be, no matter your condition, we cannot lose the last of our Omega’s” this was their last resort,
the Guardians were not Shifters, the Guardians were *Dragons*.
They did not abide by the same unwritten rules that Shifters seemed to abide by, they didn’t care if a shifter was pregnant, or innocent. The four on the overhang had been employed by the King and Queen when the omega numbers had dropped to single digits.
Only a Red Shifter could request aid from a Red, and the Red Shifter's were desperate.

A civilisation could not survive with only Betas and Alphas, they would die out within a few generations.
Denki wrapped his arms around his waist once more, eyeing the figures slowly moving along the overhang, one of them had already spotted him, tracking his movements “be at ease little beta, I will not leave you, come, stay by my side you will be fine” Denki nodded quickly,
falling into step beside the large alpha “are you sure you wont tell me of little Eijirou? You said his name…”

“I can’t tell you anything, I’m sorry… if I say anything, I could risk you all” gossip could spread, Shifter's could head out looking for this lure,
they’d fall to it, he couldn’t risk them by letting anything slip, especially to a soldier, they always seemed a much higher flight risk when a villain was revealed to them, they always had to go and fight it.

“Oh?”
“Like I said… I can’t say anything, trying to trick me into hinting it wont help, I’m sorry, Tah’il, this is for the good of all of you…” the guard didn’t seem to like it if the frown on his brow was anything to go by, but he didn’t press further,
accepting with a soft “Okay” Denki reached out, gently patting the shifter's arm, offering him a small, thankful smile.
“Thank you for understanding” not something he expected to happen so quickly with a Red, but… maybe he had an advantage being pregnant and all that, it seemed the guard was a little softer around the edges with his own experience of a pregnant Beta.
“Will we find out eventually?”

“Probably”

“Then why not right now?”
“Because soldiers are flight risks” or perhaps he HADN’T accepted it “please let this go Tah’il, you said you have the Guardians to protect your people, well right now, me not telling you anything, is protecting your people, stop asking questions and take me to your rulers”
“You really *are* brave for a pregnant beta…”

“I am mated to a Steel Weaver and a human with mind manipulation magic, not much frightens me” the guardians up above frightened him, but they were true Dragons, nothing could stop a true Red if it decided you were its next meal.
“Very well little Chaser, this way” much better, the guard finally leading him down into the chasm, those big yellow eyes following his every move even with his escort, watching him just in case he slipped away.
Down and down he went, occasionally, the eyes following him would lose track as they passed under a bridge or an archway, but they always found him again, he was an outsider there, he didn’t belong, and if not for his guide, he’d be dead. It was hot though,
hotter than he felt entirely comfortable being, and the smell, sulphuric, they lived like this through necessity, no way would royalty live down there had it not been for the disappearances.

They’d live up high, overlooking the city not below it.
He didn’t expect the King and Queen to be there waiting for him, he didn’t expect them to have been told already, and actually come out to meet him, but there they were, waiting in the entry way, only one of them looking the part, the Queen, Irila.
She was small, clearly an Omega, her features soft, cheek bones decorated with similar red scales to Eijirou but smaller, horns growing up out from her hairline, waving only to curl down and around where Eijirou’s grew upwards towards the sky, perhaps that was a gender thing?
Or a tribe thing? Denki didn’t know, he wasn’t about to ask either, even though warmth radiating from her soft red eyes, danger still lurked with her having partially shifted, not quite half-state, not quite human… somewhere in between, added armour.
Her brilliant red hair long, several small braids tied and weaved around a silver and gold crown adorning her head while a much longer, thicker braid fell down her back, the crown encrusted with the same luminescent stones that decorated the area around the palace.
The long flowing tunic-like garbs she wore were suited well for the environment but still incredibly modest, coupled with functional pieces of armour in important areas, chest, waist, her boots had armour plated to the length.
She was a Queen dressed fit for battle even at home. An Omega in a land where Omegas were vanishing in droves.
The king however… he didn’t need armour. The king stood at least half a foot taller than his escort Tah’il, his torso could make TWO of Denki in width, maybe more, skin scarred, tanned, his red hair rough and spiked down his back, he wore no crown like Irila did,
he had the same strong jaw as Eijirou… and the same kind eyes. His attire was far simpler than the Queen, he’d decided against a shirt, instead a long, thick draping robe hung wide open from his bare shoulders,
chest and stomach visible beneath it but tied at his waist by a sheer fabric sash, hiding the fabric trousers he had on beneath, his feet remained bare, he was home, why would he need shoes?
“Thank you Tah’il for bringing our guest, please come in out of this dreadful smog, both of you” Irila’s voice matching her soft demeanour as she beckoned them both in, Tah’il would need to take him back up when they were through here.
Denki hesitated only for a moment before taking a breath he bitterly regretted because gods above it was *awful* down there, and stepped inside, the King pausing to walk *behind* him instead of in front with his mate.
Falling into step beside Tah’il and easily striking a conversation up about how things were outside the city, another soldier, not a born king.
“May I call you Denki, little Chaser?” The Queens voice broke through his stupor, she was looking at him from over her shoulder “don’t be alarmed, I’m not psychic, we were made aware of you the moment you stepped onto our path, you gave your name in the chasm”
were there more guards there that he hadn’t seen? How well connected could this woman BE while down in the depths of a mountain?

“It would be rude of me to refuse the first request a Queen has of me, your highness… You may call me Denki”
“Good, you may refer to me as Irila, now I hear you have news of my wife and her son, Eijirou?” There was an edge to her soft tone, many would miss, but Denki… Denki travelled with Bakugo Katsuki.
He knew how to pick up the subtle edge in a person’s tone of voice to find their actual motive to a conversation, he knew how to catch danger in a voice.

And Kirishima Irila, was NOT as soft as she appeared. But then… she WAS a Red, never underestimate a Red.
“Eijirou… yes… I know nothing of her majesty, Queen Hisa though, only Eijirou, If I may request though, this information is private, I wish to only disclose it to yourself and the king, to avoid any unnecessarily rash decisions”
he’d spent some time trying to avoid telling the guard that’d accompanied him down there, he didn’t want that time wasted by revealing it all now in front of him.

A large hand was placed on his shoulder,
and honestly Denki was getting a little bit tired of being touched by people he didn’t know, and definitely didn’t trust, but he held his tongue, he had to.

“Don’t worry, Tah’il, go to the kitchens, find you and your brother a good meal, take it back on your return trip”
the guard bowed his head once before breaking off, turning into a corridor to the right and disappearing down it. Denki… now alone with the two rulers, felt… very small.
Tah’il had been his protector for just under an hour while trekking through the mountain pass and down through the city, and now he was back with strangers. Strangers who could no doubt snap him like a twig.
Strangers he didn’t know if he could trust or not. He couldn’t turn back, he couldn’t even get out from the King’s grip, the guardians would kill him if he left the palace alone, and he quite liked his life, he looked forward to what it’d have in store for him soon.
The room the two led him to was just like everything else in this city, larger than life itself, tall intricately carved ceilings held up with pillar supports which ran down the length of the room to a short staircase, leading to two thrones, one much bigger than the other.
Any human would naturally assume the larger of the two would be for the king, but Denki knew better. The king was only a king by marriage, no blood line or any claim to the throne otherwise.
The larger belonged to Irila, and she had no qualms about climbing those steps and sitting on it to address him

“Please Denki, come” beckoning him to the foot of her little staircase, Daiji remaining behind him, he was safe… he was safe, they wouldn’t hurt him, he was safe.
“You needn’t give off so many pheromones little beta, you’re in no danger here”
“Forgive me your highness, I have just discovered I’m pregnant and I’m in a land foreign to me where clearly I’m not entirely welcome… I would request you bear it, I cannot stop” he was scared, and rightfully so.
“Yeah Irii, cut the kid some slack, quit posturin already, he’s not here to hurt anyone are you squirt” Daiji spoke with a grin that revealed far too many incredibly sharp teeth, holy shit. Deep breaths.
“No… I’m here to inform you that Kirishima Eijirou is in Bakura, he was recovered by the prince of Bakura, Bakugo Katsuki, from a city to the south it’s about a three week ride by horse, a three to four hour flight for you depending on how fast you fly”
the smile dropped from Daiji’s face, clawed fingers curling into fists only to release again
“And how do you know it’s him?” Daiji questioned before Irila could speak, this was his son, Irila had nothing to do with him, perhaps if they had word of Hisa she’d get a chance, but not Eijirou, this was Daiji’s territory, this was *his* son.
“We didn’t, we had no idea who he was when he was given to us, until the doctor of Bakura, Baba Chiyo identified him by a scar on his eye, I believe he also has no idea who he is” why would he? The poor teenager had been missing for years,
no doubt the city had never revealed his actual parentage to him.

“*Given* to you? Why do you use that word? You said he was recovered…” Irila quick on the draw, leaning forward in her throne, perfectly arched brow raising in challenge.
“I know why your Omegas are vanishing… he was given to us as a time bomb, by the people who are taking them” both Reds were on him in an instant, Daiji rounding him, and Irila down from her throne into his space,
Denki had his arms around his waist in seconds, uncaring about the rest of him, wings shifted wrapping around himself just in case, they wouldn’t protect him if they chose to lash out, but… it felt better to have the barrier between them.
“EXPLAIN, Chaser” Daiji snarled, all traces of friendliness vanishing to reveal the beast of an alpha within.

“You won’t learn ANYTHING unless you calm down and back off, if you kill me the knowledge I have dies with me!” He was mated to a Steel Weaver; he would not be bullied.
that didn’t make him any less terrified of the two royals though. “I know why your omegas are acting strange, I know why your wife acted strange, I know where they all are, and I know what’s happening to your SON, now will you BACK. THE FUCK. OFF”
electricity rippled across his wings, just for a brief moment, pulling the last, little drip from his stores to emphasise his point.

They took a step back, but upon peeking around his wings, he found both shifters had changed,
Daiji now twice his size while Irila had grown a good two feet in height, wings out, horns grown in and talons long, they’d changed to their half-states. Eyeing him with clear irritation but stepping back as demanded of them, he had the knowledge they sought.
“Speak Denki, or we’ll have your tongue” all traces of warmth having left the Omega Queen. Nothing soft about her anymore.
“There’s an outpost in the woods just outside of your territory, our spy, Hagakure, knows the exact location but she’s still on the way to Bakura with the rest of Bakugo Katsuki’s tribe… it’s using, what I believe to be, a combination of… a new born shifter, ++
and some kind of drug, to lure Omegas into their traps… they have hundreds of them, omegas are not dying out, they’re being taken, but with that drug as a back-up, shifters like us, can’t get near it without losing ourselves to it” they both seemed to take a moment to process,
before Daiji stepped forward again, forcing Denki to shuffle back.

“You said *given* to you, explain why”

“The city he was being held in trains young shifters to… to…”

“Go on”
“To seduce and kill anyone they’re given to, Eijirou was given to Katsuki as a gift to be used, we assume he was supposed to make Katsuki care about him, lower his guard, and then kill him, instead your son claimed him as a mate, and… and well… ++
now he’s in Bakura suffering withdrawal from the drug they were using to control him, the drug they use to control all of them, baba Chiyo is treating him, Queen Mitsuki wanted me to come and get you immediately”
“If this outpost, as you call it, is luring in Omega’s, why is Irila unaffected? She’s the oldest of our omegas now, but she’s never even once acted as strangely as they are”
“I don’t know, is there… is there some thing different about you your highness, that they don’t share?” He didn’t want to presume, he could be suspicious all day and night, nobody could possibly rule out everything, but… he didn’t want to assume the worst of her,
even if she had been ready to rip him apart moments ago.
“You said they use the young yes? Dai… I had no instinct to care for Eijirou… you know that, I’ve had no instinct to care for any young…” she turned to Denki, expression pinched, troubled, uncomfortable “unlike our other Omegas, I cannot carry”
the children playing on an Omega’s natural instinct to protect and care for young, Irila didn’t have it. The damage done to her as a child rendering that part of her completely dormant.

An infertile Omega.
“This city, can we get near it?” Daiji quick on the draw without giving Denki a moment to address the painful admission from the Queen, he knew what that felt like, for quite some time he’d thought he may be the same… probably best he didn’t,
the sentiment would feel quite lacklustre now he’d been proven capable he was sure of it.
“No, the city is drenched in this drug, it’s woven into their clothes, their food, it’s everywhere… according to our spy, they have omegas being bred beneath the city, creating more young for their outposts and their training regime”
The expression on the king’s face changed for a moment, and Denki was honestly terrified of the answer he was going to have to give to the question the King was guaranteed to ask next.

“… How do they train the children?” Shit.
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