This is the end of one of the first drafts of the scene where Regina and Theodore Thane first meet. Thane is a formative presence in Regina’s youth and I really struggled getting their first encounter *just right*. This didn’t make it into the final version of Moonshine but I wanted to share this with you because I thought it was an adorable interaction between Regina and Thane where he shows more of his human feelings and she acts like the adorable wolf pup she is.
Note: This is a deleted scene from the early drafting stage. It is extremely rough and has not gone through the editing process.
“Did you live in a cage too?” Regina looked up at him, eyes wide. There was sorrow there but with it was something Thane did not expect. Kinship. When she looked at him she was looking for something familiar, something that transcended blood and humanity. Like a bolt to his brain he realized she was looking at him because she was him. She saw herself in his scarred face, his rage filled, emerald eye.
His own son never looked at him like that.
Thane felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time: a smile. Not a whole one, a small, half-smile that the scar trailing down his lower jaw turned into a grimace. He reached out and rested his hand on her head, tousled her tangled, red hair. She made a noise half way between a purr and a bark and smushed her face into his hand.
He smelled like silver and bitter plant matter, acidic blood and dry, cracked leather.
Reluctantly, he pulled his hand away, “Let’s get you back to the main compound. I don’t want Atlas trashing my lab looking for you.”
“Okay,” she chirped, tucking herself against his leg. She reached out and snagged his hand again, pulling it back onto her head. His fingers curled under his chin. Like a little chick under its mother’s wing, he thought. The small smile faded.
“I’m not your mother,” he said, stepping away from her. “And you are not a pet. Now, I need to get—” before he could finish she darted away from him and when she turned around, her arms were wrapped around his mask. The whole thing was almost as big as her torso and the tip of the curved leather beak almost touched the ground.
“My mask,” he finished. “We’re going to have to do something about your weight. You’re too small for your age. Malnourishment and repeated lymphatic stress have severely degraded you.”
“I’m okay,” Regina said, pushing the mask up toward him. Her arms were like twigs, literal twigs. If she was a tree she wouldn’t make good firewood. If she was a tree he would cut her down and salt the earth she grew out of. Then he would cut down all the other trees in a three mile radius to make sure whatever blight corrupted her didn’t spread to the rest of the forest.
He took the mask from her and fastened it over his face once again. “No, you are not. You need to eat something.”
“I already did,” she beamed. To his horror, she pulled a brown and silver wrapper out of her pocket. “Atlas gave me chocolate.”
“Of course he did. Sure, go ahead and wreck her metabolism you fuckwit,” he said as if actually speaking to the werewolf Alpha. Then he rounded on her, “And you, why would you take candy from a stranger?” Before he could stop himself, he pointed his finger at her, “Never eat candy ever again.” He was shaking his finger now and his detached, objective, scientific ego was having a heart attack.
Regina’s eyes got big, “But it was yummy.”
“I don’t care,” his irritation was muffled by the mask but it was still there. “Never again. Now, we’re going to the galley and you’re going to have real food. Protein. Lots of protein.”