Part I of the Want Me Down to the Marrow series
READ ON AO3: Follow the Blood
If you were to ask Iruka what scared him the most he wouldn’t say revenants, or demons, or goblins and ghouls. He wouldn’t even say it was the dark itself, and what the imagination could twist it into. No, what scared Iruka the most had a very real face, one that said it was his family but then locked him away like a dirty secret. He was absolutely desperate to get away from that face that was as unmoving as a Noh mask, but just as uncannily emotive and terrifying.
So when Iruka claws his way to freedom and runs for his life, the tragic irony of him being discovered by a literal monster of legend isn’t lost on him. It was almost funny, how he escaped one monster to wind up found by another, but the joke fell flat when he lost consciousness in the oddly gently grasp of the beast, and woke up alive and well in an unfamiliar but welcoming room.
Iruka would come to learn that, sometimes, it’s the actual monsters in the world that are the safest to be around, while those who hide amongst us humans were the ones to be truly feared.
And sometimes…sometimes falling in love didn’t always start with seeing a beautiful face, or hearing a charming laugh.
Sometimes it began with the sound of rattling bones.