Sherlock knew he was not a very social individual. His family had worried about their “poor little cub” that didn’t like to play or participate in pride activities. He was happy when he reached the age of majority and was allowed, and encouraged, to strike out on his own and discover what kind of man he was.
Most young males spent a year or two away from the pride then returned, most of the time with a mate. Sherlock, on the other hand, refused to return to the pride, living in London, far away from the shifter community he had been born into. Very few shifters lived in large towns and cities. Cities meant that they had to be cautious about shifting, smog and smoke that dulled their sense of smell, loud noises, nosey people, and worst of all the lack of other shifters.
There were many different kinds of shifter, all of which were carnivorous creatures, but all but a select few species were social animals. Rarely did a shifter ever remain rogue or solo. Some groups were small, only four or five individuals, but most were large with at least twenty members. Sherlock’s birth pride had over fifty members, with his older brother Mycroft being the dominant male, after their father had stepped down.
Sherlock had never been fond of being a member of a pride. He hated being forced to socialize with idiots and just because someone was a shifter did not mean they were intelligent.
Now days it was rare that he actually got the chance to shift into his true skin. In the privacy of his flat, he could let go and let the wave of warmth spread over him. When the heat had settled deep into his bones, he could stretch out like the great cat that he was.
He was a magnificent example of a male lion. His mane was dark, the same color as his hair with a slight curl to it, and ran halfway down his belly. He had arranged his flat so that he could roam around a bit but mostly enjoyed lounging on his large bed or the couch. Sometimes he craved the idea of being able to run and roam free, but he was strong enough to ignore the urges most days. In the past, he had used drugs to dull his senses, numb the longing to be out and free away from the city, but that was in the past. Now he feed his craving to roam by working with New Scotland Yard.
Sherlock had never felt lonely until that day. Earlier, while he was at the morgue, he had run into a peculiar individual. At first, he had assumed the man was just another human, but when he had truly looked, he was surprised to discover he was a lone shifter, just like him.
Sherlock couldn’t tell what type of shifter he was, his scent was covered by the heavy odor of the morgue, but he could easily see the signs indicating the man, John Watson, was some type of shifter.
For a brief moment, he had thought to ignore the fact the man was looking for a flat-mate, but something called to him. Perhaps he missed being part of a pride more then he had realized. Therefore, he had offered the invitation to meet and see the flat.
John had never been part of any pack or pride, officially at least. Most shifters only mated either humans or other shifters of the same breed. Most mixed breed couples never had children, children rarely survived to birth and the ones that did could rarely shift.
John was different. His sister was like most shifter cubs that survived, unable to shift and suffered from aliments most of her life. When John had shifted for the first time Harry had screamed how much she hated him.
He had always wanted to be a part of a pack or a pride, but none would accept the mutt, so when he was old enough he joined the military, a human version of a pack. He had loved it, the comradery, the teamwork, working together as one unit, it was how he had always imagined a pack or pride would act.
When he was shot and forced out of the military, his heart broke. He would once again be alone, no pack, no pride, he would forever be an outcast, a rogue.
When Mike had told him about flat-sharing he was torn, although his flat-mate would most likely be human, having a companion of some type could hopefully fill some of the void in his life. The problem though, was that he would have to hide his ability. Living in London already limited the time he could spend in his fur but now even the privacy of his own home would be restricted.
When he met the man that was potentially his flat-mate, he could not say no. The man, Sherlock Holmes, amazed him. Something about the man called to him, beyond his intelligence. So he decided to take a risk, and meet the man who knew his life story, well most of it, by just looking at his phone.
Sherlock smirked when John finally entered the flat and he caught the scent of his new flat-mate.
“It is rare to find a lion in the city with no pride” was Sherlock's greeting the moment that Mrs. Hudson had left hearing range.
John sputtered for a moment looking at the man. It took him a few moments to realize how Sherlock had known what he was. The scent that hit him was strong, making John want to run away and at the same time take a deep breath and savor the scent of another lion.
“Sorry, I uh, probably should leave. I didn’t know you were a shifter or I would not have come into your territory.”
John began backing out of the apartment, unsure of how this particular shifter would react to having a stranger in their territory.
“Nonsense, it is not just my territory, I went straight ahead and moved in. I can, um, straighten things up a bit”
John was shocked, not sure how to proceed. It appeared that despite the fact that Sherlock knew he was a lion shifter, he was still being offered a place at the flat. Never had another shifter welcomed him in any way. It was very rare that shifters joined packs or prides that they had not been born into. Only through mating, could someone join a new pride. Rogues on occasion started new prides, but usually only with their mates.
“Well, I suppose…” John cut himself off when Mrs. Hudson returned. She was human, and shifter rules did not allow them to discuss much around her.