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The Beat of Your Heart Next to Mine

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The mission extends a day longer than scheduled and it’s already been too long in Jack’s opinion. In a call about it, Brock tells him it’ll be fine, sure he’ll be back on the day of the full moon instead of before but Jack’s much more controlled than he used to be. He’s got complete faith in him that he can stay in one spot. That’s not the point though but he agrees anyway and Brock knows it too, he’s just attempting to make the best of a shitty situation which is in itself a red flag of role reversal and Jack tries his best to just accept it while his entire body thrums in that ever too familiar fashion for the upcoming evening.

Brock’s not back yet when the day fades off and everything is awful. He fully shifts without his support and all the noises he could already hear before are worse now that he’s in such a sensitive state. He can hear talking and movement, cars honking and sirens all around him; there’s dogs and cats and other animals scurrying about outside and no matter how much he reminds himself that there isn’t any threat inside their Brownstone, it still feels like they’re all just a few feet from him. He paces in the bedroom because it’s where Brock smells the strongest and he hates that he can’t call him even if the conversation is one-sided.

He noses at Brock’s favorite sweater before he picks it up off the floor with his teeth and curls up on top of the bed into a tight ball the best he can, his tail wrapping around one leg. Unaware of when exactly he’ll be able to show up, Jack wills himself to relax as best he can and forces himself to sleep, at least for a few minutes.

The house is dark, and it’s striking on one in the morning when Brock finally makes it home, duffel bag in hand as he climbs the stoop steps before keys go into the lock. When Jack isn’t tearing down the stairs for him (and causing the house to quake a little), he gets to wondering where he is.

Jack knows the moment Brock finds him when his duffel drops near the doorway and he can hear him sigh a little. He takes only a few steps and finds him hidden in the walk-in closet. The noises had gotten worse after his nap, he was itching to get out, to hunt and chase, and the one person who grounded him wasn’t around. In his misery, he retrieved every bit of bedding and laundry he could find that smelled of Brock, piling it up in a sort of fort for himself and laying on top of it. He lifts his head to Brock staring at him with raised brows but then promptly buries his muzzle back under the sweater he’d retrieved first, pouting in his own little way.

And Brock? He laughs at him when he steps in closer and hits the light. Jack whines against clothing just to make a point that he doesn’t appreciate him doing so. “Hey, I ain’t gone that long, only a couple weeks this time. And I knew you’d hold out ‘nd wouldn’t go raisin’ hell. I told ya, didn’t I? Now c’mon outta there.”

Still, Brock wasn’t there when Jack needed him and he scoots back a bit, away from him because as a human he was able to hide his feelings a bit better; as a wolf he was having a tough time of it. He continued to sulk.

“Hey now, don’t be that way.” Brock croons low. Jack’s ears perk up to his genuinely apologetic tone and his tail betrays him by wagging to it. “You know I woulda been ‘ere if I coulda helped it. I missed ya.”

Jack still refuses to move and so Brock leans forward and grabs him carefully by the scruff in an attempt to coax him out that way. “C’mon ya big baby, ‘an people say I’m the dramatic one.”

Just because he can get away with it in this form, Jack struggles a little and his claws scratch across the wooden floor out of spite. Brock doesn’t make a jab about it because he’d already lost his shit about it the first time and realized things like that were going to happen whether he liked it or not, though he did tug a bit harder and Jack lets himself be pulled out. If Jack had really wanted to fight about it, Brock would have flat on his ass in two seconds time just out of sheer heft alone but it’s really the last thing he’d want to do to him unless of course he needed to keep his boyfriend still so he could use him as a mattress to sleep on. He keeps his ears pressed flat to his head either way to drag out the guilt trip he was putting Brock on but they both know it’s all just for show.

It’s when Brock hits the light to their actual bedroom that Jack finally notices the rips and tears of his gear. He smells terribly of blood and other disgusting smells, approaching him at full height that peaks around eight feet on rear legs, nosing along Brock’s hair, and then at his shoulder in sheer instinct. Brock goes to lightly shove him back because he hates when Jack’s being protective in this way but quickly accepts his fate when Jack lets out a low growl that’s not to alarm Brock but to assure him he’s not in a kidding mood, which his boyfriend already knew full well of. Claws are made sure not to scratch clothing or skin and Jack palms along his chest to confirm he’s completely safe. It’s now Brock’s turn to sulk. “The moment we got out of debriefin’ I came home to ya and this is the welcome I get?”

Jack makes a pitched noise of a whine through his nose and Brock sighs loudly in one last protest. He can’t help himself but lick at one of the cuts already healed over and Brock makes a noise in disgust, pulling his head back. “What I say about that? You ain’t exactly got minty fresh breath in that form. In any case, I’ll be fine, nothin’ broke and I’m mainly jus sore.”

Jack guides him in the general direction of the bathroom because it’s mandatory, there’s no way he will tolerate a smelly Brock and all the various disgusting scents clinging to him from the mission. It’s all offensive to his senses and Brock goes easily because he knows there would be no way to argue with him about it.

Brock purposefully takes his time stripping off the last bit of his gear and then his clothing, smirking while he does it because he has to get something in for all the effort. When he’s finally done, he steps into the shower and Jack parks himself down on the bath mat, green eyes studying each and every bruise Brock had hidden with clothing to make sure he really is telling the truth. To his relief though, Brock’s body language is casual, comfortable and it seems to only be fatigue following after him. He washes himself thoroughly with a practiced ease so there’s no trace of the outside world on him for the moment and Jack gratefully relaxes.

Stepping outside of the shower to towel himself off, Jack eyes a few red scratches along his back just for good measure but they’re mainly superficial and Brock grins at him as he dries his hair. “Are ya satisfied now?”

Jack only stares at him unimpressed before exiting the bathroom with Brock chuckling and following after him. He has to go into the closet to find clothes to wear and grumbles under his breath about it. Jack can hear exactly what he says but decides not to give him a look for it because they still need the pillows and blankets to come back and there’s no time for a delay.

“You’d better clean all that mess up in the mornin’.” Brock mumbles as he throws the bedding on the bed and then walks over to the heavy curtains at the windows to pull them all aside and expose the bedroom to a bright dose of moonlight.

Like a cat to sunbeams, Jack immediately walks over to sit down before the large windows and almost immediately every bit of stress slips away from him; the comfort of Brock being home finally and basking in the moonlight does it for him while the bed is hastily being made again. Brock drops down against the bed when he’s finished and then whistles low to beckon him over.

They’ll have to get a new bed at some point. Jack’s much too large for it in this form, he was just enough as a human but when they cuddle on the bed like this, his shoulders are much wider and he has to tuck himself in slightly so he’s not hanging off in any way. It’s hard for Brock too, if he feels too hot beside a breathing space heater, there’s no room for him to shift away unless he wants to roll off the bed and usually it means one of them has to hit the couch. Since Jack can’t fit on it..well Brock isn’t very happy.

They both play fight about how they get to lay out and in the end Jack wins despite Brock managing to put him on his back, even if they both know Jack only did it for the belly rubs, his tail thumping loudly against the mattress because he can’t help himself. Eventually he reverses them so that Brock settles out on his back. He wraps himself around the best he can, solid mass and fur practically consuming Brock with his head tucked under his chin and nosing along the fabric of his fresh shirt.

Every scratch Brock gives him between his ears, every stroke of fur and trail of his fingers disarms Jack further and further, his eyes closing. He lightly bites at Brock’s wrist when he cups a hand over his snout and Jack’s reminded again of how much push and pull they’ve had to do to get here, Brock’s hand fingering along dangerously sharp teeth as Jack lets him do as he pleases. All he cares about right then is Brock being there physically; the beat of his heart, his touch and scent. All of it combined produces a pleased rumble emitting from his chest. Brock radiates a happiness when they’re together too that Jack can never recreate with his memories and it’s become a constant he needs to be assured by, all of that is the only way he can dispel any dangerous urges to get outside and hunt mindlessly.

“Yeah, big bad wolf my ass.” Brock murmurs under his breath, and Jack cracks an eye open to glare before it closes again.

In retaliation he licks a long stripe up the side of Brock’s face and he reacts with an expected annoyed groan, features screwing up in slight disgust but nothing more and Jack rubs his head against him in fond affection.

When Brock begins to scratch just underneath Jack’s jaw at the spot that makes his foot involuntarily kick no matter how much he tries to stop himself, he’s sleepy again and lowers his head against Brock’s chest to settle in for the night.

He feels Brock turn his head in just before he does fall asleep, pressing a kiss at his temple and hiding a smile into his fur. The steady beat of his heart makes Jack forget all the anxiety he faced in the day and it’s good to know Brock’s safe back in their home again.

Tomorrow Jack plans to keep Brock as close to him as he possibly can, even if he’ll be shifted back by then. He feels the tug of a blanket over them and Jack buries his nose further into the space just under Brock’s ear, holding onto him a tiny bit tighter. Brock doesn’t protest and instead cards his hand through fur in a slow, lazy pattern as sleep began to overtake him as well.

Jack knows after all that time apart, tonight is going to be one of their better sleeps.