Title: Courting Behaviors of an Atypical Homo sapien lupis
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Wordcount: ~4,000
Warnings: werewolf!Sherlock, mentions of knotting
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock, and I do not make any money from this fanwork.
Summary: Sherlock has chosen his mate. John just doesn't know it. Yet.

"Dull," Sherlock says disdainfully after approximately four minutes at the crime scene. John just sighs and sends Lestrade an apologetic glance. Lestrade doesn't meet his eyes, staring pointedly down at the notebook in his hand. "Let's go, John."

Sherlock heads towards the door, obviously expecting John to follow him. John stands his ground. Sherlock easily figured out who killed the woman, but if he doesn't explain what he's observed that doesn't help Lestrade and the Yard .

"Explain it to me, Sherlock," John says, knowing the best way to get Sherlock to talk is to admit that he doesn't understand. "I don't see it."

He expects Sherlock to make one of his typical derisive comments, but his friend refrains.

"Look at her fingernails," Sherlock tells him. "Long, well-manicured. This is not a woman prone to gardening. So why does she have 14 books on gardening in her sitting room? No children. A friend would not leave that many books behind. No. She has a lover. A secret lover, as none of her coworkers or supposed friends knew of her."

"Her?" John asks.

Sherlock shoots him a disdainful look.

"Yes, the victim's lover was a female. Married woman, mid-thirties. Two – no, three children. The victim likely met her through one of her book clubs. The murderer is almost certainly the husband," Sherlock says, and then leaves the room in a flourish.

John shakes his head in exasperation, before turning to Lestrade.

"That enough to go on?" he asks, knowing that it will be a pain to get Sherlock to explain any further.

The detective inspector just nods, waving at Anderson to return to the crime scene.

"I better go before he leaves without me again," John says, walking towards the door.

Lestrade only mumbles a soft good-bye, before turning back to his work. Odd. Usually the detective inspector is a bit more friendly. Sherlock is waiting with a cab when John gets outside. He blinks, surprised his friend waited. Sherlock huffs impatiently, so John climbs into the cab without comment.

"Baker Street," Sherlock barks at the cabbie.

They lapse into a comfortable silence.

"Good work in there," John compliments after a few minutes.

Sherlock doesn't reply, but John sees the pleased smile that crosses his lips before he controls it.

"Any idea why Lestrade was so standoffish today?" John asks after another moment or two.

Sherlock's only response is a "hmm", so John just puts it down as Lestrade having an off day. Sherlock would tell him if there was something really wrong.

He thinks.

****
The next morning...

John opens his drawer to find a distinct lack of clean pants. He frowns, because he hates doing laundry. Well, he'll just have to go without pants for the day, he supposes. He can do the laundry this afternoon, if Sherlock doesn't pull him along on another case. John enters the sitting room to see Sherlock sulking on the sofa again. Not surprising.

What is surprising is the folded piles of clothes on the coffee table.

"Um... are these mine?" John asks, looking down at the sorted piles: trousers, jumpers, pants.

"Obviously," Sherlock responds sharply.

"They're... clean," John says, raising one of the pants to his nose for a quick whiff. It smells like laundry detergent.

"I washed them," his friend says. "I was bored."

John blinks, because he has never known Sherlock to do anything other than sulk and be destructive when he's bored. Household chores? John didn't even know Sherlock knew how to do laundry.

"Well, thank you," John says. "I appreciate it."

"Bored," Sherlock tells him.

John smiles faintly as he gathers up his clean clothes and brings them up to his room. He wonders if he can get Sherlock to clean the kitchen in his boredom. The eyeballs in the microwaves are starting to liquefy.

****
That afternoon...

John stands with his back straight and his hand steady. He can do this - can't be any worse than Afghanistan, right? John opens the fridge, ready to jump out of the way in the case of explosions, projectiles, or other dangerous objects.

Nothing.

John blinks, closing his eyes for a moment before opening them again.

Still nothing. Except - is that a pint of milk? John pulls it down off the shelf. He decides to treat it as a dangerous chemical, gently wafting the scent towards his nose. He doesn't smell anything, so he tentatively leans over and sniffs.

It smells like milk.

"Sherlock?" he calls. "Did you buy milk?"

"Bored!" Sherlock yells back.

John takes that as a 'yes'.

"Did you do anything to the milk?" he asks. "Mix it with a new chemical? Add arsenic? Anything?"

Sherlock does not respond. John wonders if he should chance it, or just bin the milk and go to Tesco's to buy his own. He has to pick up beans and bread anyway.

"It is milk, John," Sherlock says quietly in his ear. John startles - he hadn't realized his friend entered the kitchen. "I didn't contaminate it with chemicals or poison. I purchased it, and placed it in the fridge. The rest of your shopping list is in the food cupboard. You are vexingly non-specific, so I bought a variety."

John wonders if he woke up in the twilight zone. He gives Sherlock a soft 'thanks' before walking over to the cupboard labeled 'Food Only - No Experiments'. He opens the cupboard with some apprehension.

Huh.

There appears to be 4 kinds of beans, 3 kinds of bread, and 5 kinds of honey in the cupboard. Along with a variety of peanut butter, jam, and canned soup. Sherlock also put apples, oranges, and bananas in the cupboard. John considers moving the apples and oranges to the fridge, before deciding that they are safer where they are.

"Thanks," he tells Sherlock again, walking into the sitting room to see his friend sprawled on the sofa once more. "That was very helpful of you. You didn't buy any meat for the full moon, though?"

Sherlock shoots John an indecipherable look.

"The meat is in the fridge in my room," Sherlock replies.

John wonders if it's a possessiveness thing. Sherlock has to know that John wouldn't touch his food - not when he knows it belongs to Sherlock. John has actually bought the meat himself quite a few times, in preparation for his friend's transformation. Either way, he supposes it's nice not to have the bloody beef and ham leaking all over the kitchen fridge. It took him forever to scrub the blood out, last time.

****
Mycroft visits that evening. He sits in John's chair, smirking at John, at Sherlock, at the world in general.

"Interesting," he says, taking a delicate sniff and shooting a pointed glance in John's direction. "You haven't done your own laundry since university, brother."

Sherlock just growls at his brother, before perching in his own chair with his violin on his shoulder.

"Tea?" John offers, wanting to give the brothers their privacy if they need it.

"Stay," Sherlock tells him. "Mycroft doesn't need tea."

John stands there uncertainly for a moment, before nodding and going to sit on the sofa.

"Will you be running with us this moon?" Mycroft asks, in a tone of voice that says he already knows the answer. Sometimes John wonders how Mycroft doesn't get punched in the nose on a weekly basis. Then again, he thinks the exact same thing about Sherlock all the time.

"No," Sherlock responds firmly. "Go away."

Mycroft glances at John out of the corner of his eye. John would think that Mycroft didn't want him to see the glance - but John did so, so obviously Mycroft didn't really care. Or maybe he wanted John to see? Is there something John is missing?

Mycroft stands, but does not move any further. John looks at Sherlock, who simply ignores the both of them. So John stands with a sigh, ready to lead Mycroft to the door. Really, the elder Holmes brother can find his own way out - but he does love his power plays. John has learned to just go along with them, most the time. It reduces the number of times he gets kidnapped in the average week.

Mycroft smirks at him smugly when John opens the door to let him out.

"You smell," he tells John, his voice a sotto whisper. Sherlock stops playing the violin immediately, setting it aside and springing to his feet. Mycroft is out the door in a flash, closing it behind him.

John blinks. Mycroft is not usually so juvenile in his insults - at least not to John. Or anyone other than Sherlock. John tries to discreetly sniff his underarm - but of course Sherlock notices.

"You don't smell bad, John," his friend informs him stiffly, his arms folded across his chest. Sherlock looks nervous. Uncertain, even. It is not an emotion John is used to seeing on his friend.

"Thanks?" he replies. "What do I smell like, then? Mycroft said I smell – if I don't smell bad, I have to smell like something else."

Sherlock swallows heavily. John watches his Adam's apple move with the motion.

"You smell taken," Sherlock tells him.

"Taken by what?" John asks without thinking.

"Taken by me. Your clothes smell like me," Sherlock answers.

John blinks, thinking about it. He certainly couldn't tell that his clothes smelled like Sherlock. But werewolves have a much more acute sense of smell, even when they aren't transformed. It is possible that Sherlock left his scent behind on the clothes when he washed and folded the laundry. But Sherlock wouldn't be so nervous if that was the explanation. There has to be something more to it.

"Did... you only do the laundry so my clothes would smell like you?" John asks. "I know - well, werewolves like to mark their territory, according to all those pamphlets they hand out in secondary school. We really haven't talked much about how your instincts are dealing with my presence. Is it better if I smell like you? Less like a threat - more like pack?"

Sherlock lets out a strangled laugh.

"Oh, you see but you don't observe," he states, somehow lacking the usual derision. "My instincts don't see you as a threat. Not at all. Not since the cabbie. You've always been pack."

John blinks, flattered. He hadn't realized Sherlock's inner wolf accepted him so quickly.

"So... you were just marking me as pack?" John questions, offering an alternate explanation that fits the facts.

"I was marking you," Sherlock agrees.

John nods, ready to accept that answer. Except, there was something...

"You were marking me," he says again.

"Yes," Sherlock confirms. John can tell he's apprehensive: something about the way he holds himself - his posture, his hands.

"You bought the food," John continues. "Cleaned the fridge of experiments. Put the meat in your fridge because you knew I was annoyed that blood spilled last time, even though I didn't actually complain to you about it. The laundry - leaving your scent, yes. But also taking care of me. Oh. That's... that's courting behavior. That's why Lestrade wouldn't meet my eyes, yesterday. Why Mycroft looked smug."

John is shocked at his own observations, stumbling a bit before sitting heavily in his chair.

"No, not there," Sherlock tells him, guiding him up and onto the sofa. "It still smells like Mycroft. I haven't had a chance to reclaim it yet."

Sherlock rubs a hand across John's back, across his arse and the tops of his thighs - everywhere John touched the chair. Oh.

"You want me to be your mate?" John asks.

Sherlock just looks at him. John can see his walls going up. He's getting emotionally defensive: ready to deal with scorn and hurt. John doesn't like that look on Sherlock's face: especially when he's the one to put it there.

"You want me to be your mate," John repeats, testing it on his tongue this time. "But..."

"I was never going to mate with a female to reproduce anyway," Sherlock tells him, practically reading his mind. "The pack will just be satisfied that I found someone to put up with me. They won't give you a problem. I mostly live outside the pack's rules, anyway. Mycroft and Lestrade are the only two I come into any regular contact with."

John nods.

"But what about..?" he starts.

Sherlock cuts him off.

"Many werewolves mate with non-werewolves," he answers. "You've always accept this part of me, John. You've never called me a 'freak' or a 'monster'. We'll be accepted. As long as you don't have a problem with it?"

"I don't," John says. "You know I don't. I told you once that it's all fine. I meant that."

They lapse into silence. It is not quite comfortable.

"I've never been with a man before," he tells Sherlock.

"I know," Sherlock acknowledges.

Well, of course Sherlock knows.

"You're my flatmate and my best friend," John murmurs softly. "What... what if it doesn't work?"

Sherlock blinks at him.

"John..." he says, before taking a deep breath. "I am not good with the softer emotions. But you must know that I... treasure your company. Greatly. I would not take such a risk without calculating the associated costs and benefits. I believe we are sexually and romantically compatible. I made a spreadsheet, if you would... mmph."

John cuts off his genius with a soft kiss. His genius. He likes the thought.

"I don't need to see any spreadsheets to know we would be good together," John whispers softly. "So you don't have to show me unless you want to."

Sherlock looks at him with assessing eyes, before nodding firmly. Those eyes then trail down to John's lips. He feels his mouth go dry under the intensity of that gaze.

"Sherlock..." he murmurs, and then it is John's turn to be cut off by a kiss.

"Are you amenable to sexual relations at this time?" Sherlock asks stiffly.

John can't help but giggle just a bit, wondering if that is Sherlock's idea of dirty talk. Sherlock pulls back with an offended expression, but John pulls him down for another kiss before he can make a derisive comment.

"You don't want to be traditional and wait until after the third date?" John whispers teasingly between kisses.

Sherlock scowls. John just pulls back from his lips to press a soft kiss to the frown lines between his eyes.

"You're right," he says, placing a soft peck to Sherlock's nose. "Tradition is dull. Why don't we go to your room now? The sofa isn't exactly made for this sort of thing."

Sherlock is standing in a flash, and John is thrown over his shoulder before he can find his own feet.

"Hey...I'm not a sack of potatoes," he protests as Sherlock strides towards his room. "And don't think you can pick me up whenever you want just because I'm shorter than you! I will kick your arse!"

Speaking of arses: John's position over Sherlock's shoulder presses his face against the small of Sherlock's back - and his hands within groping distance. Sherlock doesn't even break stride when John reaches down to fondle him.

"Planned this, you cheeky bugger," John mutters, as Sherlock dumps him gently on his neatly-made bed and opens the nightstand drawer to pull out the lube.

Sherlock just smirks at him and starts pulling off his clothes - jacket, shirt, and trousers fall to the floor in short order. Sherlock stands in front of John in just his pants, nothing self-conscious about his movements as he climbs gracefully onto the bed to pull John into another kiss. John goes to take his jumper off, but Sherlock stops with his a growl.

John is surprised for a moment, until Sherlock grabs the hem of John's jumper and pulls it over his head. Oh. Maybe he just wants to undress John himself?

"Yes," Sherlock says, though John is not sure whether it is just a general exclamation or an answer to his thought. He puts neither past Sherlock.

Sherlock's nimble fingers make short work of John's trouser buttons and zip, quickly pulling them down and off John's legs. Then Sherlock gently presses him down against the bed, kissing him the entire time. He trails his lips down to John's jaw, his neck, his collarbone - soft, wet kisses and sharp little nips that he soothes with gentle rasps of his tongue.

"Sherlock," John moans, as the other sucks hard at a particularly sensitive spot under his ear. "My jumpers won't hide that."

"Good," Sherlock replies throatily, his eyes intent and possessiveness. "People will be less likely to sign their death warrant by attempting to flirt or touch you, then."

John has the feeling he should be frightened - by that voice, that expression, that intensity.

But he's not frightened: just unbearably turned on.

"I want you," John tells him, pulling Sherlock's mouth up for another kiss.

"I'm not going to fuck you tonight," Sherlock informs him seriously. "Not for our first time – it's too close to the full moon. We'll wait until the new moon."

John's confused for a moment, but trusts that Sherlock knows best. He knows that a werewolf's aggressiveness waxes and wanes with the moon's cycle - the closer the full moon, the touchier and more territorial a werewolf gets. Maybe Sherlock wants to wait until he has more patience?

John has to admit he's a bit disappointed, though. He was sort of looking forward to...

"Don't look like that," Sherlock tells him. "I'm still going to make you orgasm."

He punctuates that sentence by rolling his hips against John's. John can't help the cry that escapes his lips. Oh, he hadn't quite realized how hard he was already.

"Shh..." Sherlock murmurs, reaching his hands down to pull John's cock out of his pants. Oh, he's so hard, and Sherlock's hand is so warm and... Sherlock pulls John's pants completely off, before shucking his own. He grabs the lube and pours some into his hand, before coating both of their cocks with the liquid.

"Oh," John gasps, as that talented hand wraps around him once more. Sherlock presses their cocks together, his fingers encircling the both of them - before thrusting gently into the grip. Sherlock's length rubs against his own, and John can't help but buck into the touch.

"Sherlock!" John grunts, his louder noises almost drowning out Sherlock's softer gasps of pleasure. "Please."

Sherlock lets go of them, pulls back, and flips John onto his front. Then he pushes and pulls until John is on his hands and knees.

"I thought..." John gasps, losing his train of thought when Sherlock reaches around to stroke him once, twice, before pulling his hand back once more. Then he is slathering lube between John's thighs, and John gets an idea of where this is going.

"Press your legs together," Sherlock growls in his ear, and John shudders at the dark promise in that voice as he does just that - closing his thighs around Sherlock's hot, hard prick.

Sherlock reaches around again, wrapping his fingers around John's cock as he starts to thrust. John keeps his thighs together, creating a tight passage for Sherlock's cock - and he can't help the gasps and moans that escape as Sherlock nudges his balls, his perineum: all the while never stilling the pleasurable twists of his fingers.

"Come for me," Sherlock murmurs, softly commanding as his thumb gently rubs the head of John's cock. One more stroke, two, three...

By the fourth John is writhing in Sherlock's embrace, bucking his hips and coming all over that hand and the bedsheets. His arms give out and he collapses onto his stomach. Sherlock follows him down without missing a beat. John has just enough presence of mind to keep his thighs together as he waits to Sherlock to finish.

"John," Sherlock grunts softly, his hips stuttering in their rhythm. John feels the warm splash of his semen between his thighs.

"Mm..." he hums. He knows he will have to get up in a moment or two - he's lying in the wet spot, and his thighs and arse are covered in drying lube and Sherlock's come. He's going to be sticky and itchy if he doesn't wash off soon.

"Don't," Sherlock growls when John tries to get up. "Wait until the knot goes down."

Oh. Right. John forgets, sometimes, that werewolves deal with more than just a tri-monthly compulsive transformation (the full moon, and the nights before and after). Born werewolves like Sherlock can transform whenever they want, night or day: the ease of transformation just varies with the moon's cycle. But they also have to deal with a few more inconveniences than bitten werewolves - a knot like a real canine, for example.

This might be another reason why Sherlock wants to wait until the new moon before any actual penetration.

"Can... can I see?" John asks tentatively after another moment or two. He's curious. He's never seen so much as a picture of a born werewolf's penis. The packs are very protective and secretive of any and all information relating to werewolf anatomy and abilities.

Sherlock doesn't respond, just rests more of his weight against John's back and keeps his still-hard cock pressed between his thighs. John squirms a little bit as his own oversensitive penis is pressed into the wet spot.

"I... not right now," Sherlock tells him, pressing him down more firmly. "Just stay still."

John relaxes under Sherlock's weight, trying to give him what he needs. He keeps his thighs pressed together. Sherlock presses a soft kiss against his good shoulder in thanks, before raining kisses up along the back of John's neck. John sighs in pleasure, tilting his head forward. Sherlock takes advantage of the offer - pressing a few more soft kisses to the skin before starting to suck and lick at that particularly sensitive spot behind John's ear.

John shivers at the sensation. He's definitely going to have a mark tomorrow.

"Good," Sherlock whispers softly. John still doesn't know whether it is a general statement or Sherlock is somehow deducing John's thoughts. "Up now."

Sherlock has finally gone soft, pulling his weight off John and rising from the bed. John turns lazily onto his back.

"Shower?" he asks.

"Together," Sherlock confirms. "You're going to use my shampoo and soap, and then we're going to change the bedsheets and lie together."

"Cuddles?" John teases, rolling off the bed to lean against Sherlock's side. "I didn't take you for the cuddling type."

Sherlock gives a disdainful sniff, but ruins the effect by grinning happily. John reaches up to touch that smile, unable to help himself. He gently caresses Sherlock's lower lip with his thumb. Sherlock presses a soft kiss there, before catching John's wrist in his hand and bringing it up to his mouth. He licks and kisses John's pulse point, pulling back to obviously sniff that spot before nodding in satisfaction.

"Well, I have to make sure to rub my scent all over you once you're clean again," he murmurs throatily. "Cuddling is the most efficacious was to accomplish this task, unless you wish for me to ejaculate on you once more or completely cover you in my saliva. I do not believe you would appreciate the more traditional mark of urine."

John blinks in surprise as Sherlock just smirks and pulls him toward the bedroom.

Yes, cuddling is definitely the best post-shower option. And besides, John is the type to cuddle. If Sherlock needs to use scent-marking as an excuse, it's all the same to him.