Rating: PG-13 probably? At the moment, probably a K+.
Pairing: Eventual Sherlock/John (Although I don’t know if it’s friendship or love as of yet)
Summary: AU. In a world of supernatural creatures, John is a werewolf who’s having trouble finding his place again, and Sherlock is a vampire that never had one.” ‘Your wolfsong is your heart,’ his father had said. ‘Share it sparingly.’”
Notes: Only I would hear Yùu say she dislikes werewolf and vampire fics and take it as a challenge. I hope she likes it, and I hope you all like it too!
When John comes back to London, it smells all wrong. He knows in the rational part of his mind that it isn’t London that has changed, that it’s actually him who left and came back different, but the wolf in the back of his mind doesn’t care and whimpers restlessly, searching for a familiar aroma to curl up in.
He briefly toys with the notion of visiting Harry. Once you’re pack, you’re pack for life. But he dismisses the idea almost as quickly as it comes up. She hates what she is, the way their mother had, but John had been taken under his father’s wing and grew up as half-wolf, half-boy. Harry had grown up fully human, trying to hide the darker smudges of a nature unfulfilled behind makeup and pastels. If it was possible to sever the bonds of pack loyalty, he and Harry would have done it, and it’s much easier to love someone when you don’t have to have them right beside you, begging you please just act like a human this once, John, I know you don’t have to act like a freak, you’re doing this to spite me and it isn’t fair—
She had refused to tell Clara about what they were, and decided to cope with their marriage instead through the mediator of wine. A horrible relationship counselor, John knows, not firsthand but from watching his mother and father’s married bliss decompose with calculated speed. Clara was not human either, as John had frequently reminded Harry, so it’s not like she would have cared that the Watsons were a decidedly lupine family.
John had been inordinately fond of Clara, a Kissiae nymph. Like the ivy she was tied to, she was gentle and delicate, usually pleasant but with small spells of bitterness. She was business-minded, soft spoken but matter-of-fact, the kind of person who tried to grow from a lonely past but still found themselves haunted by the memory of it. Their practical natures helped them immediately identify as kindred spirits, and even now his wolf identified her scent as pack more than it did Harry’s.
But Henry had argued that being a twining plant was hardly comparable to being a monster, and the words had stung more than he cared to admit. He would have liked to say that she was just like their mother, but Harry would have taken it as a compliment, and John didn’t mean it that way. So he had stayed quiet and tried to convince himself the words came from the red-tinted, chipped bottle instead of her red-tinted, chipped soul.
He hadn’t gone to visit her again.
But he does call up Mike, a goblin he used to run with on full moons because goblins like playing pranks during the witching hour, and his scent (despite being tinged with the rotten-egg smell of goblin magic) is reassuring enough that his wolf settles and he smiles at Mike. For the first time, his smile isn’t bared teeth, teeth large and gleaming with a warning, but a warm, close-lipped smile that lets his packmate know how much he missed him.
They meet at one-forty five in the morning, when the air is cool and still as if with bated breath. John shifts into a wolf since the first time before the army (werewolves were known about, but talking about them made people uncomfortable and outright changing into one was socially taboo), and suddenly everything in his life seems to click on. He forgets his rooming problems, he forgets the gore of Afghanistan, and he even forgets the drunken messages Harry left on his mobile. His wolf is in control and howls, a keening sound of sudden, fierce joy, and he takes off, Mike shifted as well and running beside him, barely keeping apace.
He can smell humans, other supernatural creatures, and some animals, and he wants to feed like he’s never wanted anything in his life. It’s been so long, and eating a fresh kill somehow feels twice as filling. He’s tried to go vegan at Henry’s insisting, but he didn’t take it seriously at all and she was eventually disheartened enough to stop pushing it. He knows it still upsets her when he eats rare steak, and she fainted clean away the time he came in after shifting with the blood of a killed deer dripping down his chin. No, John Watson is a predator, but he is not a monster as Harry implies, and he decides instead to steal a hot dog from a street vendor.
He splits it with Mike, because one never lets a packmate go hungry. He’s inordinately pleased when Mike gives him the bigger half.
They eat in companionable silence, John finishing much faster than Mike, despite that he’s much more dexterous as a two-foot tall goblin and that John doesn’t have opposable thumbs. As Mike finishes, licking the last remains from his careful fingers, John tips back his head and howls his wolfsong. His father taught him to do that when he was just a wriggling pup, threading between his Papa’s legs when his Mum wasn’t home to scream at her mutated spouse for misleading her mutated child. ‘Your wolfsong is your heart,’ his father had said, and John had listened eagerly, naked but kept warmth from the pre-change heat tripping across his skin. ‘Share it sparingly.’
And he shares it now, a song of relief and belonging and home. Mike knows what it is and smiles kindly, the motion making wrinkles in his dark reptilian skin. “Welcome back to London,” he chitters. John affectionately nips at his ear.
They stay out until the moon is gone, and as always, when it sinks beyond the horizon, John is drained suddenly of color and life and left bone-tired. He staggers under the weight of it and it displeased to note that his psychosomatic limp translates to his lupine form as well. Mike flitters his hands, unsure of where to put them but wanting to help anyway. John drags himself away instinctually, because he and Mike may have been pack, but it’s been a long time indeed since they ran together, and John can’t show weakness like this. Mike looks upset for a split second, but he knows John better than the werewolf realizes, because he gives him a sad smile and lets him limp back to his flat alone.
The next day when they meet, John and Mike start off human and stay that way throughout. Mike’s eyes are sad when he sees John’s cane, but he tries not to focus on it, and for that, John is grateful. They make small talk for a bit, and John mentions his need for a flatshare. It’s distressing to him that he has to get one, as werewolves don’t like to share and hate a stranger’s scent cluttered with their own, but finances demand it. He tries not to make his reluctance apparent.
Mike laughs. “You know,” he says, his smile tinged with goblin trickery, “You’re not actually the first person to say that to me today.
Which is how John finds himself in a sterile lab in a hospital (his wolf stirs uncomfortably, remembering a time when its kind were chained up in places like this, with probing scientists and toobright lights).
His tongue pokes out between his lips and samples the air, a habit gleaned from his father while shifted. He can taste metal and chemicals, which is to be expected, but there’s a surprising taste of old, crinkled paper and of blood. He recognizes the scent almost immediately. ‘Vampire,’ his wolf growls, and as if he heard, the creature looks up at him with eyes so pale they look like death.
“Afghanistan or Iraq?”