Reality came crashing back in on Ryan as he heard the door slam behind him. He abruptly blinked, realising his shirt was untucked, his hair was dishevelled and his tie… well, he honestly had no idea where his tie was. He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. Ryan turned, looking for somewhere to sit before his jellied legs gave out on him.
His eyes widened and he took a step back when he saw the predatory look on Archie's face. Archie himself blinked, the animalistic gleam fading slightly. He frowned, taking another step forward. Ryan took another deep breath as the Asian werewolf came slowly closer.
"You're freaking out again, aren't you?" Archie said in a soft voice.
Ryan blushed and cursed himself for it, dropping his head, "Can you blame me?"
Archie shrugged, looking, Ryan thought, inexplicably confused, "I don't know. I've never been human, so I don't know what its like from your point of view."
Ryan tilted his head at that, musing on it for a while, before taking the plunge and closing the distance between himself and Archie, "You could start by not looking at me like I'm dinner…" he murmured into Archie's chest, "That's a little disturbing."
Ryan felt, rather than heard, Archie's deep sigh of relief rumble up through his chest. He took a half-step back from the Asian werewolf, meeting his eyes for a brief moment and quirking a small smile at him. Then, with no further ado, Ryan dropped his eyes and bowed his head.
Archie felt a shudder run through him, and smiled at the answering shiver from Ryan. Reaching out, he cupped Ryan's face in his hands and tilted his head back up, biting back a moan as Ryan looked at him through his lashes. Archie leaned in and pressed his lips to Ryan's, smiling into the kiss as the other man seemingly melted in his arms.
Archie pulled back, eliciting a soft noise from the back of the other's throat. He watched Ryan's eyes slowly open, showing slightly dazed brown orbs. He gave Ryan a soft smile and was rewarded with a shy smile in return as Ryan dipped his eyes back to the floor and looked back up at him through his lashes. Archie's eyes bled into yellow at the sight, making Ryan shiver and slowly tilt his head to the side, baring his throat to the Asian werewolf.
Archie fought to breathe, fought not to just pin Ryan to the wall and claim him. A low, shuddering exhale fought its way free of him and he could breathe again. Archie curled his hands around Ryan's biceps and pulled the other man to him, effectively pinning him to his chest. A low whine escaped Ryan, his head lolling onto Archie's shoulder, stretching his neck out for the Asian werewolf.
Archie, at last, gave in to his wolf and nuzzled the other man's neck for a moment. Then, in a gesture that made Ryan's eyes fly open, bright yellow and wide, he bit down on the juncture between neck and shoulder. Ryan shuddered in Archie's hold, already jellied knees giving out on him, forcing Archie to catch him as he fell. Archie carefully guided Ryan over to the couch, lowering him gently down and sitting down next to him.
"Ryan?" Archie blinked as Ryan suddenly tucked his head under Archie's arm and giggled softly.
"Oh…" he smirked, "Endorphins, right?"
Ryan's arm snaked round his waist and he buried his head in Archie's chest, "Endorphins. Biochemical compounds that trigger a sense of happiness, lust or well-being in the body. They also work as naturopathic painkillers." the effect of this intelligent statement was ruined by a nuzzle behind Archie's ear and the quiet giggle that followed.
Archie raised an eyebrow, "If you say so."
A knock on the door startled them both, making Ryan's eyes widen adorably. Archie attempted to stand to answer it, put was halted by the added weight of Ryan. He looked down at his mate and sighed. Ryan stared back up at him with liquid brown eyes for a moment, before dropping them back down to the ground. The door was banged on again.
"Ryan," Archie said patiently, "I need to answer the door."
Ryan's devastating brown eyes turned back up to him, "Aw, Ryan, don't do that… I'll be two seconds…"
Archie was saved by a voice from the other side of the door, "Arch? That you?"
"Greg? Greg, if you've got your keys then let yourself in. I, uh, can't really come to the door right now."
An evil sounding chuckle was his only response as he heard the door open. Archie sank back down onto the couch, Ryan immediately pressing himself into his side again. He heard Greg throw his keys in the vague direction of the hall stand and braced himself for the inevitable merciless teasing. Dropping his coat over the back of a chair, Greg walked over to the two werewolves.
He smiled at his alpha, "About time."
Archie smiled back, shifting his gaze down to Ryan for a second as the other man pressed himself into his chest with a quiet murmur and closed his eyes, looking ready to go to sleep. He gently stroked a hand down Ryan's face. Ryan sighed and leaned into the touch as his breathing evened out and he fell into sleep.
Greg crinkled his nose at Archie, "Aw, how cute…" the cheeky smile abruptly faded, "Nick… I haven't checked on him, have you?"
Archie's eyes widened, "No. I thought you had."
Greg handed Archie the phone. One-handed, because Ryan was snuggling the other, Archie dialled Nick's cell, praying he was okay. He waited, biting almost nervously on his bottom lip as the phone rang and rang. Greg watched on, equally nervous. Nick was his best friend. Greg opened his mouth to ask, what he didn't know, but was stopped as Archie abruptly held up a hand.
"Nick?" then the alpha's eyes widened slightly, "Oh, hi Sheldon…" an evil smile crossed Archie's face, "No, no problems, just wondering where he was. Thanks…" he hung up, trying to ignore Greg's muffled snickers.
Sheldon hung up the phone, cursing himself and his ingrained nature to pounce on a ringing phone. He flopped back down on the couch, listening to the running water that told him Nick was still in the shower, and slowly got lost in his thoughts.
"Why, Greg? He's not normally a violent person…"
"Ask him yourself."
Sheldon had sat down next to the Texan in the warehouse, had placed his hand on Nick's knee. The dark-skinned man took a deep breath; he was drawn to Nick, if he really wanted to admit it to himself. He'd helped the still-shaken Texan to his feet, held him steady as he stumbled and caught his eyes for a brief moment. Sheldon sighed, shaking his head at the memory of those eyes. The pain in them was almost tangible, the longing, the bruised hopefulness.
Then those eyes had dropped back down to the floor and stayed there, no amount of coaxing would bring them back up. Admitting defeat, Sheldon had simply led Nick out of the warehouse, bundled him into his car and drove him home, back to his apartment. He led the Texan in, tilting his head up and noting that Nick still kept his eyes downcast.
"You want a shower? Something to eat? Coffee? All of the above?" he asked, eyes concerned and voice gentle.
Nick nodded, "Please. Shower first, if it ain't too much bother."
Sheldon nodded, "Of course its not," still holding the other man's hand, Sheldon led him down the hall to the bathroom, "Bathroom's here… towels are in the second cupboard on the left… take as long as you like," he belatedly realised he was still holding Nick's hand and dropped it, "Um… Is there anything in particular you want to eat? I was just going to order in…"
Nick shook his head, pulling his shoes and socks off, "Anything that has red meat in it, preferably, but I'm fine with whatever you're gettin'."
Sheldon smiled, "I can do that. I have some sweats that should fit you, I'll leave them outside the door, okay?" he turned away to grab them, missing the full body shudder that passed up Nick's frame.
Nick quickly ducked into the bathroom, fighting to keep both his instincts and his body under control. He took deep, steadying breaths, leaning his head against the bathroom door. He heard the soft thump as Sheldon dropped the sweats outside, then moved down to the kitchen. Nick took another deep breath, had he blown it completely by attacking that wolf? Sheldon was confusing him. Shaking his head, he twisted on the water, stripped off and stepped under the spray.
Sheldon deposited the sweats outside the door, before heading out to the kitchen, scooping the phone up on his way. He paused for a moment, thinking about Nick's preferences in food, before deciding on a fairly safe option and phoning for a selection of Italian. He then went and dropped down onto the couch. It was there that both Nick and his thoughts found him.
Nick padded down the hall, bare feet making no sound on the carpet. He'd heard the phone ring. He'd heard Sheldon answer it and speak to Archie, reassure his alpha that Nick was fine and being taken care of. It sent a warm feeling right down to Nick's toes. He moved forward into the lounge, looking at Sheldon, who seemed lost in thought. Nick cleared his throat, deliberately shuffling his feet, not wanting to startle him.
Sheldon turned, looking over the top of the couch, "Hey…" he smiled, "I got a selection of Italian. All of which, except one, have red meat. Hopefully there'll be something in there you like."
Nick returned the smile shyly and ducked his head, "Thanks," he shifted his weight, making no move to sit down.
Sheldon looked at him curiously, "You can sit down if you like."
Nick blushed a little and curled himself gracefully into a corner of the couch. He sighed happily, snuggling himself deeper into the couch and stretching his legs, flexing his toes in the cushions. He looked through his lashes up at Sheldon as the doorbell rang, signalling the arrival of the food. Sheldon smiled at him and went to grab it.
Depositing the food on the coffee table, Sheldon went to the kitchen, returning with plates and forks, "I hope there's something you like in here," he said, looking concerned, "If not, I'll order a pizza or Thai or whatever you like, just let me know, okay?"
Nick got another flood of what he'd dubbed 'the warm fuzzies', "Y'all didn't have to do this, Sheldon. And I'm sure I'll find somethin' in here I…" his eyes lit up, "Is that veal ravioli?"
Sheldon laughed and nodded, "Yeah," he said, pushing it towards Nick, "Want cheese or anything with it?"
Nick shook his head and went to reach for the veal ravioli, before hesitating. He took the ravioli and offered it to Sheldon first. Sheldon looked confused for a second, before shaking his head and pushing the hand that held the ravioli back to Nick. It was Nick's turn to look confused.
"That one's yours," Sheldon explained, "I've got my chicken alla panna here."
"Oh…" Nick smiled, "Thank you."
The two men ate in companionable silence for a while, before Sheldon lowered his fork. He looked at Nick curiously for a few moments while he ate. Eventually, the Texan squirmed uneasily and lowered his own fork.
"Can I ask you something, Nick?" Sheldon spoke softly, as though he were afraid to spook him.
Nick nodded slowly, even though Sheldon could see that Nick's eyes didn't want him to ask. Sheldon took a breath and let it out slowly, carefully thinking his words through and methodically wording his sentences in his head.
"Did… did you attack that wolf in the warehouse… for me?"
Nick's heart sank. Now came the time for heartbreak. Sheldon was his mate, but Sheldon wasn't a werewolf. He could be refused. He could be rejected. Never to have anyone to love or be loved in return. He took an unsteady breath and look through his eyelashes at the dark-skinned man.
"I… I'm sorry… it… I couldn't… he hurt you…" pain made Nick's voice hoarse, made Sheldon's stomach clench.
"Nick?" Sheldon reached out a hand, gently touching the tips of his fingers to the underside of Nick's chin.
With the barest amount of pressure, Sheldon tilted Nick's head up. He waited until the other man's eyes flicked up to meet his, pain evident in the brown depths. He held Nick's eyes for as long as the other man would let him, then removed his fingertips from Nick's chin and let the other man dip his head again.
Nick could've cried with relief. Sheldon wasn't running. He wasn't throwing him out. He wasn't… he just wasn't. Nick could feel Sheldon's eyes on him, knew they'd be filled with concern. He took another breath and looked up at him through his lashes.
And Sheldon smiled at him…
"You know," he said conversationally, "Being friends with Marty has its benefits."
A curious head-tilt was his answer, "He explains a lot of things… Answers questions…" Sheldon elaborated.
And Nick understood. Sheldon knew. He knew. And he didn't care. More than that, he accepted it. Bracing himself, Nick looked up, actually meeting Sheldon's eyes instead of just looking through his lashes. He blinked at what he saw. Sheldon's eyes weren't yellow, didn't hold the same predatory hunger that he saw Adam look at Marty with, or Archie at Ryan. But, my God…
Nick was confused. His wolf instincts were telling him to bare his neck and be claimed by his mate. But… Sheldon wasn't a werewolf. Did it work the same way? Or would Sheldon think… God, he didn't know what Sheldon would think. His hands twisted and clenched a hapless cushion within their grasp.
Sheldon decided for him, "You're thinking too much, Nick," he said, before leaning in and pressing a kiss to the corner of Nick's down-turned mouth.
The down-turned corner tilted up, so Sheldon moved over and pressed a kiss to the other corner, making it tilt up as well. An adorable blush coloured Nick's cheeks and a shy smile graced his face. Sheldon returned the smile before leaning in and gently coaxing Nick into another, deeper kiss.
Danny looked up from his paperwork as he heard Greg's voice echo down the corridor. Greg was grinning a little manically at a scowling Archie and a blushing Ryan before he turned to Nick who, Danny raised an eyebrow, was leaning into Sheldon's hand on his shoulder.
Danny jumped a little as Lindsay's voice floated over his shoulder. He turned with a bit of a scowl and she smiled at him as she repeated herself.
"What's going on?"
"I'm not sure, but watch Hawkes." He said with a frown, motioning to Sheldon whose hand was still resting on Nick's shoulder.
"I don't know Danny, but he kinda reminds me of the way Adam gets around Marty at the moment." Lindsay said with a grin as she watched the confused look on Danny's face.
They watched as Greg turned back to Archie and Ryan and started up the chant that had drawn Danny's attention in the first place.
"Archie and Ryan, sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G…" He stopped to jump out of reach when Archie's hand shot out to hit him upside the head. He jumped the wrong way though, as the hand Sheldon wasn't resting on Nick hit him lightly on the back of the head.
Danny and Lindsay both jumped as they heard Flack's voice next to them, "Well, it's about damn time. I was gettin' real sick of Archie growlin' at me every time I talked to Ryan about the case."
Danny goggled at Flack, then at the two werewolves, "You mean…?" he blinked, "Well, hell… I guess that's why Greg spent most of Friday at my place on the PS3."
Greg scowled at Sheldon as he got smacked and then at Nick when he laughed, but his grin returned and he turned to Nick and Sheldon.
"Nick and Sheldon, sitting in the tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G." He skipped backwards as he sang, staying out of reach.
Danny's eyebrows flew into his hairline, "No way… the Doc's shackin' up with Nick?"
Flack raised an eyebrow himself, "That moved quicker than I thought…"
Danny scowled at him, "Damn it! How do you find out all this before me?"
Flack just wiggled his eyebrows at him and grinned, before turning his attention back to the spectacle in the hallway. Danny glared at him a moment longer before turning and watching as well.
Greg was still moving backwards as they reached the corner of the corridor, so it was only moments after the others spotted Mac and another man that Greg, oblivious, smacked right into them, knocking the other man to the floor.
Greg was blushing darkly as he scrambled to his feet. He turned around to help the man to his feet and his heart skipped a beat. The lanky man was sprawled out on the ground, papers around him and dark blond hair falling in his eyes.
Nick brushed past Greg with a snigger at the gob smacked look on his face and reached a hand down to help the man up.
"I'm Nick Stokes." He gestured to Greg was still staring dumbly at the man. "This idiot is Greg Sanders." Mac broke into the conversation, a slight smile on his face.
"And this is Dr Spencer Reid, a transfer from the FBI and the newest member of the Taskforce."