It didn't take long for Theo and Reese to quit their bickering, the growling amalgamite splitting up into the separate members of the pack. Only three of them laid on the ground, whining from pain, and the others crowded around them in an attempt to find a way to help.
Theo was the first to run over to the pack. "Are you guys okay? What happened?" He looked around, trying to seperate the injured from the others. He soon singled out Elias, who was laying in the tall grass with metal wrapped around part of him. Or, was the metal actually in him? Or a part of him?
Either way, Theo let loose a sound of distress, kneeling next to the Thyri and petting a paw that still had soft, fluffy fur on it. Elias snapped at him, surprised, but whined an apology before laying his head back down.
Reese looked around now, obviously not too concerned. They put their hands on their hips.
"Where's Kace?"
The pack-- or, the part that was up and about-- pointed their noses towards another wolf who seemed to have some metal that melded into him. At least he was sitting up, ears back but otherwise emotionless about the ordeal. Kace was curled up around another wolf. This one was a lot smaller than him, and the metal was only really at the surface, but she was still shaking and whining, face tucked into Kace's fur.
Reese stood still for a bit longer, then sighed softly. "Well, can any of you change back?"
One of the wolves growled, taking her more human form before shouting at Reese. "You could show a little concern, you know!"
"Okay, well, that isn't my thing. They're not gonna die, and they won't be in pain forever, but we need to get them home. So, if you guys would be so kind as to try and get them to take their human forms, so we could at least carry them home or to a place with reception, that would be... very, much, appreciated."
The woman glared at the slime while the rest of the pack tried to coax Elias, Kace, and Myra into shifting. It was painful for the three-- Elias, especially-- but they managed it. The others carried the injured on their backs, and they slowly made their way out of the dense forest and into a vaguely populated area. Theo repeatedly checked his phone for reception, and was eventually able to call Dillon.
"Hey, is Cain there? Elias said he came by before he left..... can I talk to him?"
Theo shakily explained the previous events and his current situation, and asked Cain to pick the group up. An hour later, the dragon-- along with Dillon-- came to the rescue, scooping up the Thyri and Slime creatures carefully and taking them home.
The flight was dead silent, aside from the occasional yelp from Myra when someone tried to tug a piece of metal out of her skin. They'd apologize, then go right back to seeing how deep the metal really was.
Now, at Elias' house, the three Thryiae were having trouble even walking. They were all sore, and Kace did his best to explain what happened and that the metal likely wouldn't come off by Reese pulling at it. Myra sat in a cuddle pile with all the uninjured Thyriae, and Elias sat with Theo, Cain, and Dillon. He hadn't said anything since the pack had separated, and tried to stay as still as possible.
Eventually, Theo called someone to come and separate the metal from the Thryi. They did so one at a time, and each person yelled in pain just like they had when the metal melded with them in the first place. At least they had gone to the other end of the house, so it wouldn't be as much of a "bother" to everyone else. Myra and Kace came back after about half an hour, but Elias was nowhere to be seen. Either way, the pair had noticeable scars where the metal had been. Myra seemed to find them interesting, finding a mirror and poking her skin repeatedly, while Kace was generally indifferent.
As time passed, Theo became more antsy. Reese tried to help at some point, but Theo waved them off, instead opting to curl up in a ball on the couch and listen closely for any of Elias' screaming, but he hadn't heard any the whole time. This just unsettled him more.
He held out a hand to Dillon, discreetly, just in case he got rejected and had to pretend he totally didn't want to hold hands.

Dillon was feeling guilty all over again, sitting curled up in a tight ball and hugging his knees. If only he could've gone too. If only he could be useful.

Somehow he was aware enough to notice Theo's hand. He took it, giving it a gentle squeeze. It did make him feel a bit better. He scooted closer to Theo to be able to lean into him. He needed some more physical contact and could only hope Theo didn't mind. So much contact lately… it was definitely nice. It was like while he cuddled some missing part of him was filled in by the other person, almost like a puzzle piece. Now all he needed was Elias on his other side….

“He's okay… right?” he whispered.

Theo rested his head on Dillon's shoulder, squeezing his hand back. He was staring off into space, and at first he looked like he hadn't even heard Dillon's question.
“I don't… know.” Usually, Theo would say something along the lines of of course he's okay! Or yeah, probably! Right now, though, he could feel that there was something wrong with Elias. He hadn't talked the entire time, and tried not to move much… He didn't even look at anyone directly. From the way Kace and Myra had been acting, Theo wasn't sure if the metal had really been hurting Elias and was the cause if him acting strangely, or if there was something else wrong.
The creature who had healed the trio came downstairs, crumpling a giant metal ball into a smooth, large shot-put. They asked everyone if they were okay, and after they were not needed anymore, they just… poofed out of existence.
Theo was a bit frustrated, since Elias hadn't come out with the creature, and the group wasn't given any updates on his condition. After a good five minutes, he shot up from the couch and turned towards Dillon, borderline scowling, but he offered his hand to the other man. “Okay, I can't wait anymore, I have to go check on him. I'd like it if you came with me, so we could potentially have a group cuddle, and also so we can check on our…” he paused. His cheeks became pink, and his scowl was replaced with a slightly flustered expression. “... Boy… friend…?” It sounded weird to say. Almost 60 years of Elias chasing him around, and 75 years of him being single because he was too busy making Elias chase him around, and he finally let himself say it.
“Don't tell him I said that,” Theo whispered, “I'll tell you why if you come with me.” He hoped this would encourage Dillon to accompany him, since he didn't really want to go alone.

Dillon flinched, startled by the sudden almost aggression, but he calmed quickly at what Theo actually said.

He gave a small shy smile and meekly took Theo's hand again. “Yeah… Okay” His voice didn't seem to want to be very loud. “Let's go find him.”

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