every   moment   you can

A radiant sun was out, lighting the glistening sky, flicking through the rustling leaves, as the wind blew long gusts. A small boy standing outside, bundled what seemed like more than his little body could bear. A dark, warm coat covering his blue sweater and plaid shirt beneath. Thick, tan corduroy pants with little black boots. A deep blue set of mitts that barely had him holding onto his sippy cup as he stared at the world around him. Bright eyes taking in everything that could possibly be seen. Little time was ever taken outside in fear of him getting sick. It wasn't because he was a sickly child, but the point of overprotective parents.

The moment that his mother's own trained eye had looked away, he bent down to put his cup on the ground. Tugging off his mittens and the little dark hat that had been covering his head, the little boy giggled. The feeling of the wind blowing through his dark hair and tickling those spaces between his fingers. There was no better feeling in the world. Eyes closed for a moment, he soaked in the sun, smiling at his own luck. He wanted to experience everything, see, and touch it all. Little feet made the move to run but nothing would move as fast as he needed. More specifically due to the fact that he hadn't realize his mother sneak up on him. Hands slipped under the boy's arms and lifted him up. Rather than be bothered or startled by this action, he felt like he was flying. Sure, he wasn't moving by his own volition, but he was being pulled up into the air and off his feet. There hadn't been a better feeling in the world. One that he never wanted to end.

Rather than chastise him for running off, she took him in her arms and tickled him, adding to his own excitement. It didn't matter that the feeling was not as well felt because of the four layers of clothing he had on for her to get through. It was the motions and the knowledge of that feeling. One that he held in high esteem. The look on her face and the ability to laugh at the expressions she was giving to him. The grass crunched beneath her feet as she spun him there, giving way to more giggles. Matching rosy cheeks, dark hair, and brilliant azure eyes.

As he attempted to wiggle free, he would only find that there was no escape. Not that he really wanted it, but that was part of the fun. As his mother's arms began to ache, she put him down. The moment that his feet were upon the grass next to hers, he looked back up at her all too expectantly. Tiny, chubby fingers were about to be held out to her, but the look that he gave her left her in awe. In that moment, she couldn't imagine ever wanting anything more than what she had right now. How perfect this little child had been and become. The love in her heart had opened up and unfolded in so many ways that was hard for her to believe it could be allowed. Squatting down to his level, she smiled at him, hands up, fingers curled, prepared to strike. His eyes went wide, freezing in place, waiting on that one sound that always had him calling out. Her little roar sent him jumping and running away from her, moving as fast as his little legs could muster. It would never be fast enough, but she played it off, allowing him that moment. When he looked back at her, she moved to one side and then the other. Another squeal rushed out of him, trying to escape, but to no avail.

Squirming down on the grass, hair fallen away from his face, feet kicking as he continued his loud laughter. There would be no day better than this one.

Tapping the pencil against the desk, he barely recognized the noise it made. The eraser tapping against the paper that he was supposed to be working on. He didn't care for it, and his mind was everywhere else, as his legs kicked under the desk. The work to be done was useless, completely pointless and boring. Why couldn't he just be out at recess again or get to play with the clay again? Watercoloring was worse, but only because Michael didn't understand why he couldn't just play with the swirls that were in his water cup. That and how it was that Amanda kept going on about telling him how to do everything. He really needed to pick a better seat next year. Not that it would matter, since the teacher wanted him near her desk.

what did he do over his summer vacation? If they wanted a story, why couldn't he just say it. It was so much easier and more fun to interact. Writing it all down in paragraph form? They knew he could write. He had been doing that for a few years now. He knew what sentences were, punctuation and all of its components. Writing it all out though, just because he was told to? No. Digging into his desk, he went looking for his crayons, an eraser, anything he could bid his time with. Of course, that action only called for attention. His name being called in that tone again. The teacher didn't want to have to deal with another problem, annoyed, and tired of wasting her breath, yet again. The boy barely bit back a groan, but continued set on his own task, not closing his desk.

"What are you doing, Michael? Did you finish your paragraph?" she asked, voice still stern and full of annoyance, even though she tried to hide it behind a soft tone.

"No. I want to color my picture first." he spoke plainly.

"That's not how you were asked to complete the assignment." Because being asked doesn't really mean being told? No, he was young but he wasn't stupid. The pleasantries of adults knew no bounds. It was confusing and while his mind was bouncing all over the place, he couldn't really concentrate on whatever she was going on about now. This inadvertently led him to sitting outside the room in the hall. Not even the corner this time. Kicking his legs about, as he sat in the blue, plastic chair, Michael let his own eyes wander around. Spots on the ceiling, tiles, oddities on the walls were counted. Passersby were viewed with a dumbfounded look, followed by a goofy smile. All in hopes that someone would be able to talk with him or keep him company. The door to the classroom was open and there, but he really hadn't wanted to pay attention to what was being said there. Was it time to go home yet? Five minutes felt like an eternity, but ten was at its worst. Not bothering to ask to go to the bathroom, he was caught as he walked those few classes down the hall.

"Michael Morgan, I told you to stay in your seat." Great, just what he needed, this again.

Turning on his heel, he looked at the woman before him. Was it not obvious enough? "Yeah, but I have to go to the bathroom." Maybe she just hated him. Who could possibly hate him? His parents always told him he was the best. Why would they lie?

"What's wrong?" The look on her face already said so much. Deep brown eyes holding some struggle to look up at him, the slight pout as her bottom lip jutted out, the drooping shoulders, which she really did need a better posture over, but he wasn't going to tell her that.

"i was told I'm not allowed to date you." Well, that was news. He had only asked her yesterday, and she seemed happy about it. Okay, so it wasn't to her, it was through friends, but she had smiled and waved at him from across the room while everyone was working on their group projects.

"Why not?" The question seemed fair enough, but was only, at first, answered with a shrug of the shoulders. Staring at her, he just raised a brow, waiting.

"Dad says I'm too young. My mom thinks you're cute. My sister thinks there is probably something wrong with you." So that was new. What was supposed to be so wrong with him? What was wrong with being cute? Was this supposed to mean puppy cute? Because by that equivalent, he could do better there. How did they even know what he looked like? As if she had read his mind, she gave him an awkward smile, pushing the hair that hung past her face behind her ear.

"Dad says I need to be way too old, but mom said something about needing to be old enough to drive. I showed them your yearbook picture. We can still hang out though, I mean, if you want?" As of now, he didn't really want to. What would this lead up to? Moving to step beside her, he wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

"So what is it about me that makes me cute? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?" he asked, all too seriously. The blonde girl just raised a hand over her mouth to attempt to cover her giggles. "Like you don't know." she started, raising a hand to push at his chest lightly. If only he weren't so clueless. He wasn't one for extracurricular activities and noticed her looking back at him with that smile in their science class. He was all too sure that he either had something in his teeth or that she had really been looking at that soccer player behind him. the one that never seemed to really know what was going on. Apparently so had the other boy, much to no avail. But that was what happened when you were playing around instead of working. Trying to balance a pencil on your nose was important. He had even made sure to argue that with the teacher in a way that the man couldn't do anything but smile and nod, then direct Michael back to the necessary work in class.

"No, really, I think I need you to explain this to me in great detail." That only landed him more giggles, a kiss on the cheek, and her walking in the other direction, away from him and into her classroom. Maybe that wasn't so bad after all.

He was aggitated, aggravated beyond all means. Stress upon stress. The time was ticking down and he needed to understand what it was he was working against here. It felt like a lost cause but he had to do everything he could here. This mattered. They mattered. It was the one time in his life that he didn't actually feel like what others saw him as. A monster.

A fight came about over it all. One with a green reptile-like man. He didn't understand and only pushed at him. Michael was busy. There were things to do, not mourn the loss of someone that had technically died thousands of years ago. But the words came rushing in as he was speaking, bringing everything to a halt.

"Jack's dying. Fix him." That's all it took, that's all that mattered. No one else was going to die here. There had been an attack, the man had turned human after it was all over. Why did that happen? This was bad, bad all around. Werewolves healed faster in their actual wolf state. This shouldn't be happening. He needed more information and hopefully the adrenaline. His heart rate worried him, more so once he caught how his pupils were not dilating. The adrenaline didn't work.

Oh no, he was crashing. He needed the cart, and now. But no, she stopped him, blaming him, putting a gun to his head and asking questions about things no one was to know about. This wasn't the time. The life there, it was what mattered and no one was going to really shoot him if he was trying to bring the man back out of a critical moment. Her own boyfriend was the man on the table. The werewolf and the hunter. Not exactly the most understandable setting, but it was what it was. Her own emotions were getting the best of her. Right now, what mattered was to look at things logically and less emotionally charged. The fact that he was losing him, it was a hard enough moment. She had to go or at least let him do his job. And that's what she did, going off onto her own search for answers.

Now, the only real problem with this was how long it would really take. Between the Legion of Monsters, the virus attacking monsters, running the city, he was already handling a large workload here. One that had been larger and taken upon himself than he had ever fully taken. All for the sake of trying to set an example. To not want to be seen as monsters for the rest of their lives. The stigma alone was enough.

Working together and closely with Manphibian, rather than continuing their previous argument, they both let it go. Tired and mentally exhausted after everything, they both were able to realize what mattered above it all. Emotionally charged moment on themselves only to be brought back to reality by this near tragedy. With the sick monster menace outside of the room, he had to go after her. There was no time to sit around with all of this.

What he found out, it was ridiculous. His own qualms about Dracula and how everything works, it left him with a hand over his throat. Realizations leading to larger ones. He was still partially human. He had been a carrier. The virus had all happened over his own ignorance and arrogance. What had he been doing all of this time? Everything could have been stopped early on. If only he had known all of this sooner, but he had never asked. Only thought the worst. Over a woman.

Things only became worse, as more realizations became abundantly clear. Fights with friends that had become infected. People actually listening to him afterwards. All of his greatest fears coming to life in one strict blow after another. The city being turned to rubble, even as there was a barrier over any of them leaving. Not that anyone was looking to, except once he began to build a bomb. How else was he to go about getting rid of this? There was no other time left. He had to end it now..except there was something else. As they were all fighting and he was shaking his head about it all, he called out to it. Explained how he was prepared to blow it all up. Himself and everything he had set himself up to build. But he didn't. Instead, he told it to sit, and that's just what he did. Why couldn't he have realized all of this sooner? Why did he have to be so ignorant to it all?

~laurel & ~hurst