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Hungry Like The Wolf

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“How extraordinary. I believed your kind to be all but extinct.”

The large grey wolf paused, his ears pricking forward as a low, melodious voice spoke to him from the gloom under the trees. He kept his posture neutral as a tall figure detached itself from the shadows, stepping into the light cast by the full moon and yet somehow remaining shrouded in darkness. Sniffing cautiously, the wolf did not move any closer, his ears swivelling at every soft crack of branches underfoot. Despite the soothing tone of the words, they meant nothing to him, and his hackles began to rise as all of his instincts clamoured at him to retreat. After all, his eyes and ears told him this was Man, but his nose said Other, and his olfactory senses were much more trustworthy while he was in this particular form.

The wolf sniffed again as the creature took another wary step closer, holding out a bone-white hand and crooning quietly. With a low growl to disabuse this person-shaped thing of the notion that he was so easily tamed, the wolf showed his teeth and flashed his backside as he bolted into the thicket of undergrowth. He sneezed as he left the intruder behind, clearing his nostrils of the odd scent that lingered, something acrid and damp, like mould flourishing under long-fallen leaves, like rot and decay.

He huffed excitedly as there was a mad scrabbling in front of him, a quickening heartbeat sounding in his ears before the frantic patter of tiny paws. Giving chase to the unfortunate rabbit that had bolted from its hiding place, he was at least grateful that his less than graceful retreat had flushed out dinner. Although there was still a bit of curiosity lingering behind in that moonlit clearing, the wolf’s thoughts were transitory, and he swiftly lost interest in favour of licking the sweet blood from his muzzle and renewing his scent all along his territorial borders.

Not that there was anyone else to warn away, or even to entice into his pack... Knowing that it was a hopeless cause, but compelled to seek and search anyway, the wolf called out to his lost brethren, his howl echoing back at him, empty and forlorn. He ignored the vague aura of longing that was radiating from a deeper patch of shadows, a strange cool otherness lingering at the edge of his senses.

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He woke curled up on himself in his den, a cosy hole dug at the base of the oldest tree in the Queen’s Wood. He grumbled quietly as an impertinent root poked at his ribs, neatly ruining his hopes for a bit of a lie-in. Shuffling out on hands and knees, he went up on tiptoe as he stretched his arms above his head, letting out a groan that startled a bird from her nest. With an inward shrug and a quick shake of his limbs, he reached up and took hold of the nearest branch, pulling himself up easily. He crouched there for a moment before climbing higher, his foot- and hand-holds well familiar and holding firm under his weight.

Once settled in the highest and comfiest crook, the rough bark worn smooth in the shape of his bare arse, he reached into a tangle of leaves and pulled out his pack, rummaging about for something to chew on. Although the rabbit that he had hunted the night before was adequate for the wolf, in his human form he needed something other than meat and fur in his belly to keep him moving. He dug out the last small packet of biscuits from the very bottom, humming tunelessly as he carefully picked out every crumbly morsel, consuming each bit slowly as he felt about for the small pouch that he kept his money hidden away in.

No - that was empty too. Dammit. Which meant it was time to poke his nose out for a bit.

Running a hand through his shaggy hair dislodged a twig, and the man chuffed to himself in vague amusement. Not that a trip to the village was all that arduous, really. He knew a few shopkeepers that he could rely on for a bit of dosh under the table in exchange for a few hours of solid work. They all knew that he was living rough, but he was a bit of a fixture as the weird woodsman at this point, and they didn’t ask any overly embarrassing questions. He was always quiet and respectful toward any of the villagers, and although most seemed to instinctively sense that there was something dangerous in him, he was a known quantity, and so they seemed to trust him all the same.

He sighed as he looked down at his bare body, streaked with soil and goodness only knew what. He reached for his small toilet kit before shimmying back down the tree, his clothes carefully tucked into the crook of one elbow. He kept his ears open as he padded stealthily through the wood, avoiding the overgrown footpaths as much as possible. It was a public park, after all, and even though it wasn’t likely that a random passer-by would be this deep into the wood, his roost had only escaped detection up to this point due to a heightened awareness of his surroundings and behaving in an extremely cautious manner.  

He set his burdens down on a dry bit of rock next to the briskly flowing stream that served as his impromptu bath, stepping carefully across to pick out a good spot in which to relieve himself. Although he invariably recognised his own scent, it still made his beast a bit wary when he came across the lingering odour of man, so he tried to leave his waste where the wolf didn’t roam too often. Having taken care of necessary business, a quick scrub with a rough cloth and a bit of soap made him somewhat more presentable, or at least a great deal less stinky.

He shuddered slightly as he donned his clothing, the fabric feeling foreign against his skin and restricting the freedom of his movements. He pressed his palms to the ground briefly after slipping on a pair of trainers, the barrier between the earth and the soles of his feet making his brain a little spinny. Stashing his toilet kit back up in his makeshift tree house, he paused for a moment as he stared into the darkness of the den underneath. How long before he would no longer wish to wear this skin, with all its frailties and trappings? How long before he simply let the wolf rule his head and his heart?

It was of no consequence, at least for today. No, today he would walk in this form and speak haltingly with this tongue, striving to keep up the pretence that he was nothing more than a strange bum trying to survive on his own.

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It became easier as he walked, as the trees began to thin out and the vague sounds of traffic drifted into his ears. His limbs loosened and his stride lengthened, settling into an easy loping pace. Soon enough he was at the back door of the most reliable of his occasional employers, resisting the urge to scratch at the door like a mongrel begging for scraps. Biting his lip hard as he tried to remember how to smile, he raised his hand and knocked.

He could hear a clattering within before the door opened just a crack, a dark face peering out and then a bright smile as the door was thrown open wide. “Ah, Greg! How lovely it is to see you, my boy. Please, please  - come in!” The man stepped back as he gestured, and Greg stifled a quick shudder as he stepped into the crowded kitchen. He held his hands in tight fists to keep his fingers from shaking as he looked around, nodding slowly as he took in the multiple pots and pans lying about. “Had a largish catering order this morning, and of course I didn’t schedule appropriately. Real dumbarse, me. But that’s all right, isn’t it? You always seem to know to show up just when I could really use an extra pair of arms...”

Greg rolled up the sleeves of his loose jumper without comment, only startling slightly as Mr. Chatterjee laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. Then he left him to it, calling out orders to the other side of the kitchen, where the food for the adjacent café was being prepared. Sinking swiftly into the white noise in his mind, Greg bent his head to his task, only blinking himself back into awareness when everything had been dried and put away neatly.

His stomach suddenly spoke up as he caught the whiff of roast beef, looking to the side to see that Mr. Chatterjee had left him a sandwich at some point during his labours. He slipped out to the back and sat down on a nearby stack of crates, balancing the plate on his knees as he wolfed it down. Lingering over the handful of crisps, he lifted his head and sniffed at the atmosphere, something odd hovering over the almost overpowering smell of the nearby rubbish bins.  

He straightened slowly as he became aware of the sensation of eyes on him, the hair at the back of his neck rising as a nearly inaudible growl echoed through his chest. Shifting his head carefully, he cursed the inadequate senses that he was stuck with at the moment, as he saw nothing and heard nothing beyond the usual background noises. He was just about to gain his feet and have a look around when the back door opened and his benefactor stepped out.

He raised a cheery hand and reached out to take the empty plate from Greg’s lap, replacing it with a brown paper sack that contained more sandwiches and also his pay. It would be more than he expected, as per Mr. Chatterjee’s usual, but since he always overrode his objections and absolutely refused to take any of it back, Greg simply clutched the bag close to his belly in grateful acceptance.

“I’ll have more work for you tomorrow, if you’d like to come back.” Greg nodded slowly, both of them knowing that one day among the villagers would be quite enough for him for a while. “And I know I’ve said this before, but I would be quite happy to take you on, even if it’s just part-time. You’re a very hard worker, Greg, and I would absolutely love to take advantage of that!” Mr. Chatterjee smiled to soften his words, shuffling his feet as Greg dropped his gaze to the pavement. “And we’ve cleared out some space above the shop - you’d have a place to stay. Just so you know... If - if you’d like.”

Greg cleared his throat and licked his lips, his voice coming out as a low creak. “Thank you, sir. I will certainly keep that in mind.” His fringe flopped in his face as he ducked his head, watching out of the corner of his eye as Mr. Chatterjee’s hand hovered between them before dropping.

“Please do.” Greg looked up as the hand gestured vaguely toward his forehead. “Ah, I think Sam’s shop is still open, if you...”

“Oh.” Greg stood and inclined his head as he backed away. “Yes. Thank you.”

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He waited until Mr. Chatterjee had retreated back into his kitchen before turning his back, taking a moment in a secluded alleyway to dig through his parcel for the crumpled twenty-pound notes. Six of them - one extra than usual, probably to pass on to the aforementioned Sam. Greg shook his head faintly, pondering how it was that he couldn’t find it in himself to be tolerant of people, especially when they could be so kind. Well, some of them, anyway.

Stuffing the money deep into his pocket, he continued on his way, his steps light and cautious as he passed quiet backgardens and only moderately busy side streets. He arrived at the back of the barber shop a few minutes later, hesitating to round the corner to enter at the front. Thankfully, Sam himself was taking a smoke break and saw him, waving him forward.

“Hey, mate. It’s all right, come on through.” He winked at Greg as he tamped out his cigarette butt and held the door open. “Nobody else is about - I was expecting you.”

“Mr. Chatterjee shouldn’t have bothered you, I’m sorry.”

Sam placed a light hand between his shoulder-blades, ignoring the tight pull of the muscles underneath his fingers. “It’s no bother, honestly. C’mon, let’s make you pretty, hm?”

Greg hummed noncommittally as he set aside his brown paper bag, easing himself into the seat in front of the sink. He appreciated the fact that Sam wasn’t the sort to blather on mindlessly as he worked, choosing instead to focus all of his attention on getting the job done quickly and efficiently. Despite his instincts to keep himself held tight in preparation of fleeing if necessary, Greg found himself relaxing under the man’s capable fingers as they worked at his scalp. He even allowed himself a moment to close his eyes and luxuriate in the simple intimacy of being touched, however briefly.

The corona of Sam’s body heat close to his was gentle and soothing, and he hummed quietly as he combed and snipped, reducing Greg’s floppy mass of grey hair into something short and neat but not austere. Greg blinked uncertainly as he was brushed down, looking at himself in the mirror and reaching out from under the cape to scratch at his beard. Far more grey than dark brown in it these days, not that it mattered all that much. It wasn’t like he needed to impress anyone.

“Would you like me to shave that off for you? Maybe trim it down?” Greg jumped almost guiltily and stuck his hand back into his pocket, his fingers closing over the cash as he shook his head. Sam smiled, waving away his concerns with an airy twist of his wrist. “No charge. Honestly, it would be a pleasure. I don’t get many who come in for that sort of thing anymore. It would be good practice for me - if you’re willing to be my guinea pig and all.”

“Oh. Um, well...” Greg settled back down, clasping his hands in his lap. “Off, please.”


Greg found himself looking up at the ceiling as his chair was tipped back, almost smiling at the tone of Sam’s voice, as though he were truly delighted that he could practice his craft on his crusty old face. He bit his lip as a warm towel was wrapped around his beard to soften the tough bristles, once again slipping into a quasi-contented headspace. Sam kept his movements slow and sure, seeming to understand instinctively that any quick gestures while wielding a straight-razor would not be taken well by his experimental subject.

Greg let out a low rumble as Sam hummed his satisfaction, opening his eyes to watch as the barber gently wiped at his cheeks and chin. “Lovely. You have extraordinary eyes, Greg. Has anyone ever told you that?”

He laughed quietly as said eyes went wide, and Greg quickly looked away, cursing the heat that was rising in his cheeks. “No.”

Sam backed away slightly as he rearranged the chair, stepping behind to remove the cape. He took the opportunity to look Greg in the eyes in the mirror as he ran his fingers through his hair, ensuring that everything was laying properly. “Real shame, that.”

He winked as Greg stood abruptly, thrusting a note in his direction. “Thank you, Sam.”

“Anytime, mate.” Sam’s fingers caressed his gently as he took the money. “I mean that. You come see me anytime at all.”

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Greg fled before his face could actually catch fire, clutching his parcel to his chest and glancing back as he burst out the back door. Sam was calmly sweeping up the stray bits of hair at his station, and he gave him a little wave before turning back to his work. Greg watched for just a moment more, something in the smooth curve of the barber’s neck, in the taper of his waist, calling to him. When he had been younger - much younger - he wouldn’t have hesitated. No, he probably would have swept Sam right off his feet and straight into his bed - quite literally.

But after the last time, after... Well. That basest of impulses was something that he did his damnedest to ignore these days, and he was largely successful. Yes, there was a price to pay for isolating himself from humanity, from the basic core of who he was. But it kept them safe, so he couldn’t find it in himself to regret his choice. If only the wolf’s will to live, to survive, hadn’t been so strong, he would have already relieved himself of any further choice in the matter.

But since he had decided to live, and since he needed to eat to accomplish that goal... He stepped into the small corner store, exchanging a somewhat wary greeting with the clerk at the register before loading up his hand-basket. Mostly packaged items concocted of nothing but chemical preservatives, but also staples that wouldn’t necessarily go bad. Peanut butter was a boon, as well as canned beans and veg, his favourite biscuits and a packet of jelly babies just for the hell of it. He contemplated a rather pricey jar of honey before deciding to go for it, clutching it tight as he carried the lot back up to the register.

He knew that his newly-earned cash would probably have gained him a bigger haul at the proper grocery a couple of streets down, but it was too big, too open and exposed. They were a little more suspicious of his type of character there, and would most likely have someone watching him the whole time in was in the shop - and that simply would not have done. The clerk gave him a tight smile as he handed over his crumpled bills, promptly passing his bags over along with his change in an unspoken bid for him to leave as quickly as possible.

Choosing not to bother with the requisite niceties, he left without a word, not that he had all that much left in him to give at the moment anyway. The low level of anxiety that he had been holding back on was beginning to break through his control, making his brain buzz unpleasantly. Seeking a bit of calm before returning to his home in the wood, he diverted his path slightly out of the way, heading for the cemetery a couple of miles away from the village.

He glanced up at the sky as he walked, noting that the early evening sun was just starting to travel downward. The gates would be closed soon, not that such a paltry barrier had ever stopped him from gaining access. He slipped past a bit of crumbling rock wall, tying the handles of his plastic bags shut before simply tossing them on the other side of the fence and following them over with an effortless scramble.

He shook himself slightly as he came up from his landing, pausing to breathe in the scent of the wild ivy, of the stones and the earth. He paused as he became aware of that same sense of eyes on him that he had encountered outside Mr. Chatterjee’s café, something in that strange regard that now felt approving, somehow. He held himself still as he considered, pondering whether to retreat or to keep to his purpose. After a while he felt it diminish, although the sensation remained as an almost constant pressure at the base of his neck. Shaking himself once again, he gathered up his belongings and crept around the oldest of the stones, finding himself a cosy spot to hide away in for the moment.

He had picked up a new book at the free library kiosk, a paperback that was of no importance but adequate enough to hold his attention for a short span of time. He decided to pick out one of the sandwiches that he had been given as partial payment for his day’s labours, and munched contentedly as he read, the cool of the stone at his back sinking into his flesh.

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He did not hear the stranger approach, which was odd enough in its own right, but it was when he couldn’t smell him that he knew that something was distinctly off. He forced himself to keep his butt on the ground as he looked up, his heartbeat telegraphing his anxiety to the world at large. The man that was standing a respectable distance away was tall and lean, wearing the most elegant ensemble that Greg had ever seen - an exquisitely bespoke three-piece suit in a dark navy with a delicate pinstripe, and a long wool overcoat. His shoes were polished to a lustrous shine, and the leather gloves that encased his hands seemed as though they had been ordered bespoke as well, as they clung to each long digit in an almost obscenely loving manner. Greg squinted as he looked at the handle that was being held in that divine leather glove, tilting his head back to glance up at the clear sky before looking into the hawk-like face, shaded by the unfurled canopy of the umbrella.

“Good evening.”

The man’s voice was smooth and cultured, and it triggered something in Greg’s head, a fuzzy recollection of the night before. But whatever it was, it was fleeting and uncertain and all too easy to ignore in favour of the sharp quirk at one corner of rather cruel lips.

Greg grunted quietly, offering neither encouragement nor disdain, although every instinct in him was clamouring that this creature was not to be trusted.

The man’s eyes glinted with amusement as he took in a breath through his nose, a sharp motion that he seemed to hold in his lungs even as he spoke again. “Come here often, do you?”

Greg shrugged. “S’quiet. Helps me think.”

“And of course the dead do not make any demands on your limited energy, unlike the living.”

Greg frowned as he tilted his head. “More like limited patience. Who the fuck are you?”

The stranger’s laugh was dry and humourless, a harsh croak that was a pale mockery of amusement. “No-one of consequence, I assure you. But since you are clearly not in any mood to entertain, I will leave you to your silence. Enjoy your book. Perhaps we can discuss it when next we meet.”

“Not bloody likely.”

“Oh, you think not?” Greg shook his head and pointedly stuck his nose back in his paperback, ignoring another dry chuckle. “We shall see, won’t we, Gregory?” Greg froze in place, his ghostly hackles rising instantly. “I like the new haircut, by the way. Sam does exemplary work.”

Greg growled as he leapt to his feet, his book falling to the ground with a quiet flump. But by the time his vision had cleared of the hazy rage simmering in his blood, the stranger had gone - swiftly and silently, almost as though he had simply magicked himself away. Greg huffed out a quick snort of disbelief, stalking over to the spot where he had been standing, looking down at the patch of grass that had been tamped flat. So at least he had been corporeal, although there were no other visible footsteps in the overgrown verge, and there was no discernible scent lingering in the air.

He turned on the spot slowly, extending his limited senses and coming up with nothing at all - nothing beyond that vague sense of being watched. Knowing now who the eyes belonged to did not make the sensation feel any less invasive, however. What manner of creature had the stranger been, anyhow? He knew it was something Other, but then again so was he, so what right did he have to judge?

He sighed with exasperation and spoke softly, calling out to his unseen stalker. “Things might progress much more smoothly if you dispense with the unnecessary theatrics, you know.”

Almost convinced he could hear that bone-dry wisp of a chuckle again, Greg retrieved his shopping bags, slipping out of the cemetery and loping quickly toward home. He tucked everything away into his leafy hideout as soon as he arrived, happily stripping down and swinging his bare feet in the air as he perched on his favourite branch.

Although he could shift any time he pleased, it felt more, well, right for him to be a wolf during the nighttime hours. He felt safer that way, more easily hidden and equipped with tools better suited toward defending himself if necessary. So he sat and he waited, watching the sky darken as the sun set beyond the horizon.

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Only when it was fully dark did he clamber down from his perch, giving his human limbs a good stretch before laying down on his side on the earth. He found it easier this way, especially now that he was older. He snorted to himself as he recalled the many accidents he’d had to endure through the stupidity of his younger days, the numerous twisted wrists and bloody noses that he had suffered due to his crashing unceremoniously to the ground during a shift.

No, he had finally learnt his lesson on that score, and so he curled up on himself slightly before closing his eyes and reaching down inside. He coaxed out the small ball of wild energy lodged behind his sternum, letting it expand within him, letting it take him over. He grunted quietly as his skin began to twitch erratically, the nerves sparking in his fingertips, his joints protesting as they were twisted and pulled out of shape.

There was pain, of course, but it was so beyond the ken of his fluctuating brain that his mind simply went off-line for a bit. It was almost as though he were watching the transformation from outside his physical form, taking it all in with a sense of clinical disinterest. Had he been a more scientifically minded man, he may have tried to analyse the mechanics of it all, the way the fur sprouted from skin, the manner in which limbs both shortened and lengthened, how the muzzle elongated from a stubby nothing of a nose.

Not that there was any point to determining the physics of it all, because it was quite clearly physically impossible, and yet...

And yet, there was now a two hundred pound wolf where there had been a man.

He whined quietly as his heartbeat settled, his paws scrabbling helplessly at the earth until the temporary paralysis in his spine had eased. He staggered slightly as he gained his feet underneath him, his head and tail hanging low as the last of the tremors worked their way through his body. He stumbled around the base of the tree in a few shaky circles as his brain re-aligned itself, and he stuck his nose into his den for a moment, sniffing around to ensure that nobody else had tried to take it as theirs in his brief absence.

No, it was still safe, still his, but he gave it a quick dig to mark it up anyhow, scraping up fresh earth and tugging at a protruding root with his teeth, finally managing to yank it free. He tossed it off to the side with a soft snort, scratching his back paws into the ground as he stretched. His small bit of home maintenance completed for the night, he started on his usual ramble.

The territory that he had staked out was relatively small, but even though he was a wolf in thoughts and actions, there was still a closely guarded part of him that knew not to expand his borders, to keep himself safe and contained. He shook out his coat as a light drizzle fell between the trees, feeling oddly listless as he sniffed about in the undergrowth, looking to perhaps flush something out to fill his belly.

He heard the soft snap of a fallen branch in a clearing ahead of him, pausing as something familiar sparked in his brain. That scent had returned, the coolness of Other, the damp of rot. But there was something else overriding it, the welcome smell of fresh meat. He did not allow hunger or greed to rule him, however, slinking carefully around the edges of the trees, crouching low with his belly to the ground as he settled down to watch.

The tall figure turned slowly, his keen eyes seeming to pierce right into the wolf’s hiding place. He extended his hand towards him, holding out a limp rabbit carcass by its hind legs, his lips twisted up in vague distaste as he offered it to him.

“For you, Gregory.”

The wolf’s ears flicked in annoyance as he stood cautiously, finding the voice to be oddly comforting, although the words themselves held no meaning. His tongue lolled briefly as he looked at his gift, but he kept himself close to the edge of the clearing, not moving in any further, indeed, not moving at all.

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“Ah, of course. Do forgive me.”

The man bent low and gently placed the carcass on the ground, quickly retreating back across the clearing. He remained silent and still as the wolf crept forward, taking minutes at a time with each wary step. He smiled sharply as the beast suddenly lunged forward and snapped his jaws closed around his prize, darting back into the shadows under the trees.

Rather surprisingly, the wolf did not go far with his dinner, busily tearing off chunks of flesh as the stranger watched with intense interest. The rabbit had been butchered, skinned and disembowelled, and although the meat was tender, it was oddly tasteless at the same time. The wolf whined quietly as he crunched through the ribcage, pawing uselessly at the empty spot where all the tastiest bits were usually to be found. He huffed impatiently as he sat up, staring across the clearing in an almost accusatory manner.        

“Hm. I obviously did not think this through properly, did I?” The stranger spread his arms with a little bow. “Again, I do hope you will forgive me my trespasses.” He sighed in quiet frustration. “Obviously, I have no prior experience to work with here, although I suppose I should have known.” He took a measured step closer, his eyes twinkling as the wolf made no immediate move to flee. “The flesh is far tastier when still blood-warm, yes? With the tang of fear to season it just so..." The stranger hissed in an approximation of laughter as the wolf’s powerful jaws parted briefly in a canine grin. Still moving forward at a slow but steady pace, he started to stretch out his arm. “Tomorrow I will bring you something to chase, to hunt and to kill for yourself. And perhaps, you will allow me to...”

The wolf’s ears pricked forward as a pale hand was presented to him, the fingers straight and palm flat. He growled, but it was only a half-hearted warning, as he truly did not feel as though there was any danger to be found in this odd semblance of a man.

The stranger stopped as still as a statue, not even bothering to breathe as the wolf whined softly. “Gregory, please believe that I truly do not mean you any harm.” He stretched just a bit further as the beast hesitated, finally catching at the aura of rabbit that was lingering on the tips of his fingers. He cautiously ducked his head just close enough so that they grazed at his muzzle.

He yelped quietly at the sensation of ice on his sensitive nose, leaping back and shaking his head as he sneezed. Aiming a look that was more wounded than angry at the stranger, who had both hands held up in a gesture of surrender and surprise, the wolf turned tail and bounded deeper into the wood.  

The rest of the night was spent in nearly ceaseless wandering, pausing every once in a while at an intriguing hole in the ground to see if perhaps anyone was home and wished to come out to play. He almost managed to coax out a mole, but the animal was too canny to rise to the bait, and so the wolf was left vaguely unsatisfied despite the meat in his belly. He circled around the clearing once or twice although the stranger had clearly gone, finally returning to the rabbit carcass and ensuring that it was stripped quite clean.

That accomplished, the wolf went back to his den and curled up inside, sighing through his tingling nose as he tried to ignore the lack of another’s warmth at his side. His dreams were frenetic and disjointed, making him twitch himself awake at numerous points during the earliest morning hours, although always as the wolf.

When he woke in the morning, however, he was back to his usual form. That was usually how he shifted back - sometime in the night, being totally unaware of the change, although it wasn’t like he really retained many memories of his wolfish experiences anyhow. This time he was vaguely unsettled by something, but he couldn’t immediately comprehend what it might be.  

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Crawling out of his den, he looked up into the sky as he rubbed at his face, noting that it was later than usual - early afternoon, by the looks of it. He shivered as he stretched, realising that the usual chill in the morning air had not fully dissipated. Autumn was nearly upon him, which would mean a slight alteration to his den. It was cosy enough while he was wearing his fur, but soon enough he would wake shaking from the cold, his core temperature dangerously low. That is, if he even managed to wake at all.

Perhaps he should take Mr. Chatterjee up on his offer after all... Shaking his head, he clambered up the side of his tree, digging around in the thick cover of leaves to root out his old sleeping bag and a number of threadbare blankets. He tossed them down to the ground unceremoniously, taking his favourite thick woollen blanket and wrapping it around his bare body.

Settling back on his makeshift chair with his feet propped up against the branch, he dug out the last of the sandwiches and munched away at it slowly before picking up where he had left off in his novel the afternoon before. Not that he was able to focus on it properly, as he kept recalling the odd encounter with the mysterious tall stranger in the cemetery the afternoon before. Not that he knew everyone in the village, of course, but he was fairly sure that the man did not live there, that he did not belong.

But neither did he, really. Perhaps... Perhaps the man was trying to tell him something - to suggest that perhaps they belonged together? He sighed as he shook his head violently. If so, then he should just bloody well come out and say so, dammit. The subtleties of human conversation had never been easily understandable to him, not even when he was still living among them. He far preferred honesty and directness, perhaps to the detriment of hurting people’s feelings - even his own.

Well, the next time they happened to run into each other, he’d be sure to give the fool a solid piece of his mind. And if he kept lurking and watching after that, well, Lord help him - he would just let the wolf loose on him and be done with it, even though that would mean moving on from his current home. He hadn’t ever killed anyone - at least to the best of his knowledge - but every time someone had been injured by his loss of control, he had simply fled to avoid the aftermath.

The last time it had happened to someone that he had cared for very much, someone that he could have even loved had circumstances been different. That was when he had decided to isolate himself from the rest of humanity completely in an attempt to keep them safe - and to protect his own heart, if he were to be perfectly truthful about it.

Shoving all of that down into a hole in his mind, he whiled away the rest of the afternoon with reading and sporadic naps, slipping into a state of hazy disassociation to keep from going a bit spare from boredom. At least as a wolf, there were endless things to sniff out and dig up and burrow into. As a man, he did not have the luxury of engaging in those simple pleasures, especially when he had to stay hidden from prying eyes.

He climbed down when dusk began to settle in, spending a few minutes arranging the blankets in his den, creating a cosy nest-like atmosphere. With the brown woollen blanket draped over the already nearly imperceptible hole, it became practically invisible to the naked eye. He stepped back and surveyed his handiwork with pride before preparing himself for his shift.

This time he was at the clearing before night had even fallen completely, waiting somewhat impatiently for his guest to arrive. The Other let out a soft noise of surprise upon seeing him sitting there, and the wolf didn’t bother to hide the brief wag of his tail.

“How lovely to see you again, Gregory.” The man held up his leather-clad hands, one of which was burdened by a rough canvas bag. “I do apologise for the shocking coldness of my touch last night - I do not feel it myself, and I had forgotten that hot-blooded creatures such as yourself find it uncomfortable, and even painful.” The wolf stood and stepped a bit closer as he bent down, carefully placing his sack on the ground. “However, I do hope that this will make amends, both for the searing touch and the rather lacklustre meal last night.”

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The wolf tilted his head as something in the bag moved, as there was an almost inquisitive squawk from within. Inching a bit closer, he nosed at the curious parcel, snorting a hot breath out from his mouth as he sniffed through the material. With his ears cocked forward and twitching at every soft sound, he pawed gently at the canvas until the neck of the bag opened.

He let out a startled boof of surprise as a bundle of red feathers burst out, ignoring the uncharitable peals of laughter coming from above as he jumped away from a flurry of sharp beak and claws. Oh, he remembered these creatures, although it had been a very long time since he had the luxury of feasting on one. They were domesticated, after all; not prone to wandering around dark woods waiting to be stalked and preyed upon.

They were apparently fairly stupid as well, since the bird was simply standing there, cocking its head in quick jerks as it took in its surroundings. The wolf circled it a couple of times before reaching out a cautious paw to poke at one scaly foot. He scrambled away as it squawked and flew at his face, tucking his tail low as he ducked his head. Snarling deep in his chest made the feathery menace pause, a soft inquisitive trilling preceding a small step backward.

Pressing his advantage, the wolf snarled louder, showing his teeth as he laid his ears flat against his skull. His chosen prey fled just before he pounced, raising a terrible fuss and leaving feathers scattered all about. The wolf barked joyously as he leapt after it, twisting in midair to follow the bird’s terrified if ineffective flight. Again and again he would gently catch at it with his teeth, bringing it back to earth just to startle it back into awkwardly reaching for the stars once again.

It was far too soon that his prey’s energy was utterly exhausted, unable to even voice another outraged squawk as he snatched it up in his jaws and gave it a vicious shake to break its neck. He felt invigorated by the frenetic chase, his blood singing with the hunt, as haphazard as it had been. With his tail held high, he brought the lifeless corpse to the tall stranger, laying it at his feet.

“Well done, Gregory!” The man took a small step back as the wolf sat in front of him, looking down at the untidy lump of feathers. “But are you not hungry?”

Snorting his displeasure at his gift having been ignored, the wolf very carefully laid a paw on the toe of the man’s shoe before placing it on the bird. He bent down and nosed it closer, looking up and tilting his head meaningfully. ‘You are cold. You are hungry. Feed.’

“Oh! Oh, I...” Instinctively knowing that to refuse would signal an end to the camaraderie that had seemingly been established, the man slowly went to his knees and gathered up the plump body. Biting his lip to hide his distaste, he quickly stripped away some of the feathers from the bird’s breast, knowing that to wait too long would leave him with a meal of cooling and therefore unpalatable blood. He met the wolf’s eyes calmly as he lifted the chicken to his mouth, letting his fangs drop before sinking them in deep.

The wolf whined his approval, his tail beating out a sharp staccato on the earth as the vampire fed, filling his belly with the sustenance that he had provided. He watched with delight as warmth filled the stranger’s face, his bone-white skin going a delicate pink. When the bird had been drained, he set it aside with a small cough, reaching for the handkerchief in his breast pocket to wipe up the few drips of blood that had escaped.

Chapter Text

He instead found himself flailing backward as the wolf pressed into him, winding up with the seat of his terribly expensive trousers flat on the earth. He sputtered softly as the beast gently licked his chin clean, reaching out to cup his powerful jaw in both of his leather-clad hands. He instantly released him as the wolf shook his head, worried that perhaps he had gone too far and had taken too many liberties too quickly.

But the animal simply settled down on its belly in between his legs, nosing insistently at his hands before laying his muzzle down on his outstretched paws. His hands fairly shook as he shucked the gloves off, tossing them aside before cautiously reaching out once again, the tips of his now-warm fingers grazing over the edges of large, luxurious ears. The wolf whined quietly and inched forward, clearly encouraging him to touch at will.

And so he sank his hands deep into the thick ruff of fur around the beast’s neck, crooning softly to him in his native tongue as he stroked and scratched, as he rubbed and caressed. He kept returning to fondle the wolf’s ears, the soft silky skin seeming to call to his fingers, to persuade him to run the edges between thumb and forefinger over and over again. The beast huffed contentedly, his eyes rolling with the pleasure of being touched even as he kept moving closer and closer still.

The vampire wasn’t even entirely sure how he wound up flat on his back with a large grey wolf half-pinning him to the ground, but it was not an unwelcome situation by any stretch of the imagination. It even seemed as though the animal dozed lightly, trust simply radiating from his limp form. Perhaps this meant that he had been accepted as pack? He shook his head slightly, staring up at the starry sky as he contemplated. As far as he knew, this was the first time that this level of communication had been attempted between the two - species. If he were to be perfectly honest with himself, he wasn’t even sure what he had been hoping for, but this - oh - this was simply divine. He stroked the furry ears again, almost wishing that he could press his mouth to them, to feel the silky texture against his lips.

The wolf let out a deep, rumbling sigh as it shifted, opening deep brown eyes as he looked into the vampire’s face. Grumbling gently, he raised himself up on long legs, standing over the prone figure lying flat on the ground as he shook out his coat. With a parting flicker of tongue over his fingers, the beast walked away, stopping to gather up the now cold chicken in his jaws. He looked back over his shoulder as he stepped to the edge of the clearing, blinking serenely as the stranger reluctantly got to his feet and began to brush himself down.

With a muffled bark, the wolf lifted his head to the sky, glancing back and tilting his nose meaningfully. The Other cursed quietly as he glanced at his watch, realising that there were only a couple of hours left before it would be fully light. He had completely lost track of time while lazing about with his new companion. Now he was grateful that he had been encouraged to feed, as he would not have time to hunt for himself.

With a soft chuffing noise that sounded remarkably like laughter, the wolf finally vanished into the lightening shadows of the wood, leaving the vampire to turn toward seeking his own rest and to further planning. Now he only had to reach out to Gregory as a man, but would the same tactic even work? He hummed quietly to himself as he gathered up his gloves and flew toward home, pondering all the way.

Chapter Text

He woke safe and snug in his little den, surrounded by the comfort of blankets and the smell of the earth. He allowed himself to revel in the luxury of warmth for a long while, blinking sleepily as light filtered in around the edges of his senses. The den wasn’t big enough for him to stretch out both arms and legs at the same time, so he unfurled his limbs in a slow rotation, feeling the pull of each his muscles with a low satisfied groan.

He stretched again as he emerged, this time going up on his toes and raising his arms high above his head. He tilted his head as he felt the tenderness in his body, that sweet burn that indicated that he’d had himself a rather vigorous hunt the night before. He huffed out a soft breath as the evidence of said hunt caught his eye, a few scraggly feathers scattered about in the bushes at the base of his tree.

He picked one up and held it up, tilting his head as he inspected it. Chicken? How had he managed to get hold of a chicken, here in the wood? Something clicked in his head, vague recollections crystallising into solid knowledge. He hadn’t merely happened upon a nice, fat domesticated bird, oh no. Someone had brought it to him, as an offering. As a gift. Oh! Oh dear... He threw his head back and laughed boisterously up at the sky, feeling oddly light and strangely exhilarated. The stranger was courting him!

At least - he was courting the wolf, which was a very interesting strategy on his part. But they were a package deal, so if the stranger wanted the beast, he was damn well going to have to earn the favour of the man as well, which would take more than a mysterious vanishing act and one bloody (or bloodless, in this case) chicken.

He decided to set out on his own to try and find the stranger, climbing up into his tree and once again digging out his togs to dress hurriedly. Uncertain as where to even begin, he grabbed his book and headed for the one place where he had actually seen him - the cemetery.

He noticed that the gates were open as he approached, but he skirted around to the back once more, knowing that at this hour, they would be running the odd tour group around the place. He had eavesdropped on one or two over the few years that he had been here, and although he usually did get a kick out of poking his tongue out at Marx’s bushy stone face, it was just a boneyard the same as any other, really. Not that he could ever resist giving Lion a quick pat on the muzzle on his way past Thomas Sayers’ grave...

He settled back behind a long-forgotten tomb, cracked and green with moss, pulling out his book and a packet of biscuits to munch on as he read. Listening to the far-off sounds of people wandering the grounds was oddly comforting, although he did tense up once or twice when it seemed as though they might be getting closer. He read, and he waited, but not once did he feel that now familiar weighty sensation of eyes on him, leaving him feeling somewhat ungrounded and oddly bereft.

Still, he forced himself to focus on his book, reading line by line until he reached the end, but of course he couldn’t really recall what any of it was about by the time he was done. Standing and shaking his head up at the early evening sky, he turned in a slow circle, extending what limited senses he had. Beyond the faint twitter of birdsong in his ears, and the sharpness of damp stone in his nose, there was nothing. Knowing that it was far too late for him to make any other ventures out into the village proper, he turned his head back toward home once more.

It was too early to prepare for his shift, but he disrobed anyhow, his loose jumper and even looser jeans leaving him itchy and irritable. He sat in his tree, his legs pulled up against his chest, wearing his blanket like a cloak to keep out the chill.

Chapter Text

It almost seemed as though he felt him before anything else filtered through his senses, although his presence was accompanied by the spicy-sweet smell of - ohhh - Thai food. He let his bare legs dangle from the branch as the tall stranger stopped underneath his tree, his unfurled umbrella held high in one leather-clad hand, a takeaway bag in the other.

“How did you know where to find me?”  

He carefully set down the plastic bag and tilted his head back, tapping one side of his rather stately nose. “Quite easily, as a matter of fact.”

“Oi! I’m not that rank!” He stuck his nose into the warmth of the blanket and gave himself a healthy sniff. Oh - right. “Fine. You may have a point, but that’s still not a very nice thing to say to a bloke.”

“But you aren’t just any bloke, my dear Gregory. You are something altogether more remarkable.” The stranger paused as the man in the tree wrinkled his nose uneasily, swinging his feet with just a little more vigour. “Was there anything amiss in what I said?”

“No, not really... It's just - my name. It’s strange to hear you say it - out here.” He shrugged helplessly. “Most days I don’t even remember it - not really. I’m just - me, y’know?” He tilted his head. “Or the wolf, of course, and he doesn’t answer to any name.” He nodded down at the takeaway with a lopsided grin. “This how you bought his favour too? By bringing him food?”

If the stranger could have blushed, Greg was quite sure that he would have, and quite brightly at that. “I - yes, well... I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it, but...”

Greg laughed quietly. “You’ve done very well, apparently.” He leapt down from his perch, keeping the blanket tucked tight around his shoulders as he landed on light feet. The stranger’s eyes followed him down, gleaming in the dimming light as he watched him come up from his crouch. “Our bellies will always be our undoing. He likes you, I think.”

“I... You think?”

“Hard for me to say, actually.” Greg shrugged as he came a bit closer, showing his teeth briefly. “I don’t really remember much from my shifts - it’s just odd flashes, different sights and sounds and smells. We’re one, but not exactly the same, you see. What I do know is that the first time I saw you, you managed to irritate the pure living hell out of me.”

The stranger barked out a quiet laugh. “That I did, yes.”

“But now... Now I find that I’m rather pleased to see you. I missed you today.”

An oddly pale tongue came out as if to wet the stranger’s lips, but there was no resulting shine on them when it retreated. “M-missed me?”

“Mm-hmm...” Greg gestured vaguely to the back of his neck. “I felt you watching, before. Couldn’t feel you today. Went looking and all.”

“You did?”

“In the cemetery. Isn’t that where you lot like to hang out?”

The stranger arched an elegant eyebrow. “And what lot would that be, dare I ask?” He shook off Gregory’s smug grin and waved a hand airily. “As it turns out, I had to be in London to deal with a situation that came up rather unexpectedly.”

Greg stalked a bit closer, taking an inordinate amount of pride in the way the pale stranger shrank back against the tree. “A situation more important than whatever is going on here?”

“U-unfortunately, yes. I - I hold a minor position in a low-ranking governmental office, a-and as I said, there was a situation, and well, nobody else could attend to it, so - so I...”

Greg hummed low. “Bloodsuckers in the government. Why am I not surprised?”

“Gregory, really now...”

The stranger swallowed as Greg moved in closer, letting the blanket slip from one shoulder as he reached out to brace his hand against the bark next to his head. “You’re cold. I can feel it from here.”

“M-my colleagues call me the Iceman.”

“Rude. And what else do they call you?” Greg grinned as the stranger blinked rapidly, clearly trying to assess the question and not getting very far in his thought processes. “What is your name, lovely?”

“Oh.” There was a bit more blinking, during which the stranger’s brain seemed to come back online. “Mycroft. Mycroft Holmes, at your service.”

“Why, yes - that you will be. Mmmycroft...” Greg tested the syllables on his tongue with a sharp bite at the ‘t’. “Properly growly, that.”

The newly named Mycroft snorted quietly. “No more so than Gregory.” He made a point to roll his ‘r’s quite thoroughly, grinning wickedly as the man hovering so near to him shivered slightly.

Chapter Text

“So. My Mycroft... Care to tell me why I couldn’t stand you a couple of days ago and now I’m fighting back on the urge to shag you utterly senseless up against this tree?”

Mycroft sagged, his knees threatening to give out on him as his umbrella drooped. Seeing as how the sun had finally dropped below the horizon, he let it fall from his grip, his mouth gaping open gracelessly, his tongue palpitating in his mouth. “I’m sure I haven’t the slightest idea!”

The blanket slipped a bit more as Greg pinched at the bridge of his nose with an exasperated sigh. “Right. Walk me through it, then. You brought me - him - a chicken. That much I was able to figure out on my own.” He gestured at the feathers scattered about. “Messy eater, me. So what happened after that?”

“You - he - played with it a bit.” Mycroft smiled faintly before abruptly covering his mouth with his fingers, his eyes going a bit wide. “It was strangely joyous, even if you seemed a bit taken aback at first.”

Greg huffed and scooted just that much closer, his dignity now being held together with only two fingers. “Chickens are right bastards. Probably went for my eyes.”

“Um, yes. Not that it was able to get in a single strike. You’re very graceful, Gregory. And powerful. It was like watching a ballet.” Mycroft’s lips turned up at the corners, even though he was still hiding his teeth behind his hand. “A ballet of death.” Greg laughed quietly, shaking his head in bemusement. “And after you snapped its neck, you brought it to me.”

This time it was Greg’s turn to blink mindlessly before huffing out a short breath. “The wolf shared his kill with you.” Mycroft nodded silently. “And you took it.”

“Well - part of it.”

“The blood part.”

“Um. Well, yes.” Mycroft shrugged as he nodded, humour dancing in his eyes. “And then he - he let me pet him.”

“He..." Greg sputtered quietly. "You...”

“He was rather insistent, actually - had me flat out on the ground. In my - ahem - thousand-pound suit.”

Greg ducked his head sheepishly, his cheeks warming abominably. “Um. Sorry? That would explain it, though.”

“Explain...” Mycroft’s voice went up slightly in excitement. “Am I pack now?”

Greg grinned, letting the blanket finally fall as he planted his other hand against the tree, neatly caging Mycroft in with his naked body. “Oh, you dear sweet naïve little batty - more than that, I think. It seems as though he’s marked you as his mate. So that’s why I want to toss you to the ground and have at you so badly.” Mycroft’s hand balled up into a tight fist in front of his mouth, his eyes going wide. “Oh, my - my Mycroft - what have you done?” Greg sighed heavily, his head hanging low between them. “This is why I avoid them, you know. I have to keep it in check, have to hold back on these impulses. I hurt people when I’m horny, you stupid bloodsucker.”

Mycroft hissed quietly, his entire body held tense as a wire. “But Gregory, that is the whole point. You can loose your beast on me - you can hurt me, even tear me to shreds, but I will not break. I will heal, and then I will beg you for more. Let me take just a bit of your warmth, and then you can do with my body as you damn well please.”


“Don’t you see? This is the answer - we’ve both of us been alone for too long, without touch, without love... Do either of us even know what it means to live in this world anymore? But together - together we might be able to learn all over again. You must tell me that you can see the same wonderful possibilities that I do.”

“I see that you are a tragically romantic fool, which already makes you infinitely more human than I could ever be.” Greg rolled his eyes as he sighed deeply. “But I also see that you are a lovely little thing, and I really want to touch your naughty bits. And I mean really really.” Mycroft giggled in relief, although it was muffled by that same fist. Greg gestured at his face impatiently. “And what’s all this, anyway? Afraid to show me your weird boner?”

“Gregory!” Mycroft cleared his throat. “It’s - it’s unseemly.”

“In what way? You were just talking about me fucking you half to death - or well, undeath - and you don’t want me to see how turned on you are by the whole thing? C’mon...” He nodded down at himself as his voice dropped low. “I’ve shown you mine - let me see those sharp pearly teeth of yours, hm?”

Chapter Text

Mycroft’s eyes positively glowed as they glanced down Greg’s torso, and he raised his free hand to trace lightly over his collarbone, the leather of his glove sliding smoothly over his skin. “Oh, but you are simply exquisite. Wearing your fur or absolutely nothing at all, you are nothing less than the most enchanting creature I have ever seen.”

“Prove it to me, then. Show me what I do to you.” With a tiny roll of his eyes, Mycroft finally dropped his hand, trying in vain to keep his lips closed over quite prominent canine teeth. Greg’s breath quickened as he smirked, feeling a searing if somewhat confusing flash of arousal deep in his belly. “Oh, but you’re rather well-endowed, aren’t you?”

Mycroft surprised himself by snickering before freezing absolutely still, as Greg’s face was suddenly hovering only a couple of inches away from his. The levity in the air between them thickened into something laden with meaning as Greg lifted a cautious hand. With a solemn nod, Mycroft tilted his head back, opening his mouth and granting him access. He shivered with delight at the first tentative brush of fingertips against his sensitive teeth, his hands reaching out to clasp Gregory around the waist almost against his will.

“Oh... Like that, do you?”

“I - hngh. Oh, Gregory.”

Greg felt a swift welter of heat race down his spine, his heartbeat thudding in his ears. “This is it, isn’t it?” He slowly dragged the pad of his finger along the tip of one fang, smiling wickedly as Mycroft’s body jerked hard, his fingers digging into his hips. “This is sex to you.”

Mycroft’s head knocked back against the tree with a hollow thud as his eyelashes fluttered. “This - this is foreplay. Th-the ecstasy, the bliss - it comes w-with... Oh...

“With the blood.”

Mycroft nodded almost desperately, his tongue dabbling at Gregory’s fingers, instinctively pressing them closer to his sharp canines. “Yes, oh yes...”

Greg tilted his head curiously. “Do you get off every time you feed?”

Mycroft’s eyebrows drew together in consternation. “Good heavens, no. That would be obscene!”

“We’re already talking about sucking someone’s blood here, my daft bat. Is that not obscene enough for you?”

“No! It isn’t at all the same - most of the time a standard feeding is a fairly simple transaction, as not much is needed to sustain us. We cultivate donors, and it’s all done in a rather clinical fashion. There are no feelings involved, and thus, none of - this. I have not experienced - this - for a very long time.”

“Feelings, hm?” Mycroft nodded tremulously as Greg licked his lips. “For me or for the wolf?”

“For both of you, Gregory - for all of you. I first saw you as the wolf, yes, and your grace and power are truly astonishing things to behold. But you...” Mycroft brushed the backs of his leather-clad fingers over Greg’s cheek, smiling broadly as he tilted his face into his touch. “You are the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life. And I have had a very long life, my dear.”

Greg cleared his throat faintly. “And that’s it? My rugged good looks turned your head to such a degree that you decided to court a bloody werewolf?”

Mycroft rolled his eyes. “Your beauty drew me in, but as I watched I saw your determination, your strength and compassion. Yes, compassion - don’t you scoff at me, you insolent pup. If you did not feel for the humans, then you would not avoid them as assiduously as you do. You would simply take your pleasures as they came and think nothing of it.”

“Oh yeah - beast with a heart of gold, that’s me all over.”

Mycroft gave him a firm tap on the nose, making Greg snort with indignation as he shook his head. “That tone again! Yes, damn you. You hold within you a great shining beacon, but as I watched, I saw that it was dimming, saw that you were succumbing to an overwhelming loneliness. I could not allow that to happen.” The vampire paused, once again stroking over Greg’s face and neck in a nearly ceaseless motion. “And of course I am far too selfish to allow such a magnificent specimen to slip from my fingers... Although when I first approached you as a man, I did not receive the most welcome reception. Rightfully so, of course. You may not have known exactly what I was from the beginning, but your senses are keen, and you instinctively understood that I was not entirely human.”

“Your little vanishing act had a great deal to do with that, Houdini.”

Mycroft rolled his eyes. “I admit that I succumbed to the impulse to try and impress you, which of course failed utterly. Hence my courting the wolf instead. He was much more easily won over - all it cost me was a butcher’s bill and the suspicions of a rather shrewd farmer.”

“Ah, I see. All of that just because you want a big puppy-dog to curl up at your feet like in some gothic romance novel.”

“I want you, Gregory. What must I do to prove that?”

“Kiss me.”

Chapter Text

Greg started to move in, halted only by a firm hand against his chest. Once Mycroft was certain that he would not try anything foolish, he held up both of his gloved hands. “My kiss will burn you - my lips are no less frozen than my fingers.”

Greg smirked as he reached up to tug gently at one sharp fang, shivering as Mycroft moaned quietly. “Then we’ll just need to warm you up, won’t we?” With a decisive push, he speared the tip of his forefinger deep, wincing as the blood welled up and began to drip down onto Mycroft’s tongue.

He hissed as cold lips closed down on him, and yes, it burned, but only for the barest of moments before Mycroft began to suckle at him, his eyes rolling back with the pleasure of it. Greg watched with fascinated arousal as the vampire’s cheeks began to turn a delicate pink, as the tongue that was working at him began to adjust to his own external temperature. He sucked in a soft breath as Mycroft’s eyes opened slowly, the cool grey irises seeming to glow silver in the moonlight.

“Oh, you beauty.” Mycroft’s cheeks briefly flushed a bright scarlet as he let Greg’s finger slip from his mouth. “If you need more, take it.” He wiggled both hands in front of his face before cautiously reaching out to stroke his cheek. “I’ve nine more for you to choose from.”

Mycroft turned into his touch, nuzzling at his palm and flickering his tongue over his skin. “Oh, but my darling beast... As delightfully thick and delicious as your fingers are, there is no power on earth that could possibly compel me to limit myself - not when I have the whole of your magnificent body to choose from.” He quickly put paid to his words, tipping Greg’s head back with a solitary finger under his chin, running his exposed fangs lightly along his neck. He scraped at the shelf of his clavicle, dragging his tongue over the faint trail of fire his teeth left behind. Greg trembled as his fingers dug into the rough bark of the tree, his brain spinning wildly as he felt his control beginning to slip out of his grasp.

It crumpled completely as Mycroft ducked his head and abruptly sank his teeth into the meat of his right breast, his tongue working at his nipple as he sucked languidly. Greg went up on his toes, swaying into every greedy pull of that hellish mouth, all of the hairs on his body standing up on end as though he had been struck through with lightning. His stiff prick throbbed with every thunderous beat of his heart, but Greg was barely even aware of his own need for release. No, it seemed as though every nerve in his body had suddenly converged on the spot where Mycroft had pierced him, a divine swirl of blended pleasure-pain that he never wanted to put an end to.

He snarled wordlessly as he felt his fingertips erupt with fire, claws ripping their way out of his nail beds. He dug them hard into the tree to keep them from tearing at his violator, lifting his face up to the sky as his jaw began to contort, his own teeth lengthening and sharpening. His skin tingled as his fur started to come in, shaking his head violently as his bloody ears started to change shape, moving their way up his skull.

Mycroft withdrew, and the half-man, half-beast howled his loss up to the sky, his cries thick and garbled. He started to move, eager to pin a warm body underneath his to rut into, but the vampire was quick, and strong. An iron band wrapped around his hairy chest as he was clasped from behind, a divinely leather-clad hand reaching down to tug at his tight bollocks before starting to stroke his cock almost leisurely.

His hips jerked in a rough rhythm as a low voice purred in his ear, as a nimble tongue came out to caress the silky edges. Mycroft snarled quietly as he pierced the tip of one gorgeous ear with his teeth, digging the fingers of his left hand into the fang marks that he had bestowed upon his Gregory’s lovely breast. He smeared the blood over and around, coating his fingers with it before bringing them up to the fearsome mouth. He carelessly shoved them inside as he continued to jerk at his lover’s hard, hot cock, feeling his low grunts deep in his own chest as he moved faster.

“Oh, my Gregory, my fierce beast - the smell of your arousal, the taste of it. Do you even know what you’re doing to me, you horrid creature?” Mycroft ground against the taut buttocks that were flexing and straining as Gregory fucked into his fist, the muscles in his upper back tensing as he dug his nails into the tree even harder. “How long has it been, my love? How long since anyone has touched you - since you’ve even touched yourself?” He ran his teeth up and down and around, flicking his tongue in time to the strokes of his hand. “So tense, my poor darling - such an urgent need, isn’t it? Give in. Let me feel you. Let me taste you...”

Chapter Text

Mycroft curtly hooked his fingers into the corner of Gregory’s mouth, yanking his head to the side as he sank his fangs deep into his shoulder. The beast’s strong jaws closed down reflexively as he started to come in great spurts up against the tree, every muscle in his body twitching and jerking with the intensity of his release. He dug great furrows in the bark as his fingers clenched, his arms trembling as he fought to keep himself upright.

Mycroft moaned low in his chest as he felt the bones of his fingers crack under the pressure, but the pain was inconsequential in the face of the overwhelming bliss that he was experiencing through the transfer of his Gregory’s life energy into him. His blood was hot and oh-so-sweet, rich and tangy with his desire, sharp and spicy with his hunger for touch and for love. The pleasure rolled through him and exploded at his centre, and had he anything in his own shrivelled bollocks, he was quite sure that he would have left a substantial mess in his trousers.

But he didn’t, and so his release manifested as a wave of heat washing over him, a quick thudding startstop of his unbeating heart. He tightened his hold on everything within his grasp as his vision went white, his entire body as tense as a steel cable. He heard Gregory’s quiet whines almost as an afterthought, shaking himself back into awareness as the solid body that he was clinging to heaved for breath. Mycroft let his arms fall, licking cautiously at the scrapes that his fangs had left behind on his lover’s back. He shuddered with the memory of the pleasure in the beast’s blood as he stepped back, letting Gregory turn himself around to brace himself against the tree.

Mycroft licked idly at the mess on his gloves as Gregory watched, his chocolate-brown eyes gone absolutely huge in his misshapen face. He hunched in on himself as the vampire approached, trying in vain to make his appearance smaller and less grotesque. Mycroft tutted quietly as he finally removed the leather from his hands, reaching out to run his injured fingers through the mass of silky fur that had sprouted out of nowhere. Gregory rumbled low in his chest, his mouth struggling to form words with a thick tongue and seemingly too many teeth.


Mycroft laughed with quiet delight as his lover reached out to draw him in with one enormous paw clutched around the whole of his backside. He wriggled into the hot, hairy body as the tips of those claws threatened to dig into his clothing and also the skin underneath. Leaning up into him, Mycroft tilted his head just so and finally pressed his blood-warm lips to his beast’s.

Gregory huffed into his mouth, a low susurrus rumbling through his chest as he seemed to melt into him. Their enhanced teeth clashed, but they both laughed it off in their own fashions, liberally employing their tongues in favour of being able to seal their mouths together. Mycroft quickly learned just how talented his beastie was as he lapped at his over-sensitive fangs, pressing his lips and his tongue to them, stoking the embers of the fire that was still burning in his chest. Gregory whined low as Mycroft drew back slightly, his eyes once again glowing silver as he reached up to tug at those delightfully soft ears.

“Take care how you provoke me, my love. I may be forced to take you yet again.”

Gregory’s only answer was to chase after his mouth, grinding into his hip as he tickled and teased with his tongue. Mycroft smiled wickedly as he felt that divine cock beginning to plump up again, licking his lips in anticipation of perhaps taking him into his mouth. But before he could realise that desire, before his beast was even fully hard again, Gregory suddenly groaned and collapsed against him.

His body shivered and shook as it shrank back into its usual form, that of a somewhat wan-looking if still unfairly handsome man. His head lolled forward as his eyebrows drew together, and he leant on the unbreakable strength of his lover gratefully.

“My - wha?”

Mycroft cursed quietly as he swiftly gathered his lover’s limp body in his arms, kicking at the blanket at their feet until it was spread out on the ground. He gently lowered them both until Gregory was sitting between his legs, his back to Mycroft’s chest as he supported himself against the tree trunk. He took in a shaky breath as the vampire stroked him, waiting until Gregory’s head seemed to clear enough to be able to comprehend his words.

Chapter Text

“I am sorry, my love. It seems that I was perhaps a trifle - overly enthusiastic.” He carefully reached out to snag the takeaway bag that he had dropped earlier, dragging it over to them. “You need to eat before you pass out on me.”

Greg chuckled faintly. “You...unh, damn... Greedy bastard.” He laughed again at the vampire’s noncommittal hum, holding one hand out for the food and the other to his spinning head.

“Oh, but this has gone cold.”

“Doesn’t matter, silly bat. I’ve had worse.”

Mycroft clucked at him and gently pushed him aside so he could rise, dangling the bag from one finger. “It matters to me. One moment, please.”

Greg blinked as Mycroft pulled the vanishing trick again, starting to shake his head in disbelief but quickly putting a stop to the motion as his field of vision began to tilt. He instead leant back against the tree, tipping his head up to the night sky and staring at it through the canopy of leaves. He just had enough time to consider the possibility of climbing up to dig out his own provisions when he heard the soft rustle of the plastic bag, and he breathed in the welcome smell of freshly heated food.

Mycroft handed him a small bottle of orange juice before crouching down and beginning to unpack his haul. “Drink that, please.”

Greg quirked an eyebrow at him. “O.J. with peanut sauce? Hardly a stellar taste combination...”

Mycroft tutted quietly. “You need the sugar, and I will compel you if I feel it necessary.”


Mycroft cracked a soft smile as Greg tipped his head back, draining the bottle and sighing deeply as it hit his empty belly. “I need you well, my fine beast.”

“Mm.” Greg smiled back, wide and dopey and simply not giving a damn. “Just so you can ravish me all over again, I bet.”

“Naturally.” Mycroft watched with a bit of pride as his lover began to consume the meal that he had brought for him, nodding satisfactorily as a bit of colour began to return to his cheeks.

Greg chewed thoughtfully for a bit, eyeing his new companion up and down. “How long does the blood last?”

“Do you mean how long will I stay warm?” Mycroft fiddled with his cuffs as Gregory nodded, continuing to stuff his face. “It depends on the manner of creature, and how much I consume. Tonight - I was far too eager. I will carry your warmth with me for a goodly number of hours yet, perhaps even into the new day.”

Greg gestured at him with his plastic fork, speaking around a mouthful of saucy meat and veg. “Off with it, then.”

Mycroft’s eyebrows surely could have spoken for him, but he decided to vocalise his confusion anyhow. “Off with - what - exactly?”

“Your kit - all of it - off. I want you to strip for me, sexy.” Greg made a show of swaying slightly as he tilted his head up, his eyes fluttering as if he were still woozy. “I think it’s the least you can do for me after using me so terribly.” Greg fought the urge to lick the empty styrofoam container completely clean as he tossed the fork into it, swallowing and licking his lips. He smirked through his sham as Mycroft tilted his head just so, but the merry twinkle in his eyes softened into genuine feeling as he looked up at him. “Consider me courted, my fine gent.”


Greg reeled slightly at the reverence in Mycroft’s voice, reaching out to him as he fell to his knees at his side. “Yes, you did a very thorough job.” He sighed quietly as Mycroft pressed his hand in between both of his, as he gently kissed his fingertips. “Although I’m not quite sure how to go about it... I’ve been by myself for such a long time, and I will need my freedom to run and to hunt.”

“I have no intentions of keeping you prisoner, my love.”

“I know that wouldn’t be your intention, however... Wait.” Greg pulled Mycroft’s left hand a bit closer, looking intently at his broken fingers. “What the hell happened here?”

“Oh.” Mycroft shook them out, casually yanking the crookedness out of the first two fingers. Greg winced at the cracking sound they made as they snapped back into place, watching incredulously as Mycroft shrugged. “My fault for sticking my fingers in a werewolf’s mouth in the midst of a rather powerful orgasm. It’s only natural that you would get a bit bitey, my dear.” He flexed his fingers into a tight fist with a satisfied smile. “See? No permanent damage done. So you were saying?”

Chapter Text

Greg gaped at him for a moment before shaking some sense back into his brain. “Right. I was telling you to get naked, that’s what I was saying.” He pulled Mycroft’s fingers to his lips, kissing them gently as he covertly examined them. “If we’re going to do this, we need to talk about it. And I need to feel your skin up against mine as we do that.” He rather slyly drew the very tips of Mycroft’s fingers into his mouth, dabbling his tongue against them. “Please, my love.”

Mycroft abruptly sucked in a breath that he did not strictly need, but there were times that a body simply had to draw in extra oxygen, no matter the physical necessity or lack thereof. “Oh.”


Mycroft rocked back under the force of soulful puppy-dog eyes, shaking his head as he started to undo his cuffs and buttons. “As if I could deny you anything, especially with you looking at me like that.”

“Best not let the wolf find out that you’re susceptible to that trick. I’ll have you know that he’s a right little beggar, and if you give in to him, we’d both be nothing but fat and fur for the rest of our life together.”

“All the better to cuddle with you, my dear.”

“Wait.” Greg blinked up at him as Mycroft stood, draping his tie over a conveniently protruding branch. He paused with his fingers poised to pull off his jacket, raising his eyebrows expectantly. “No, not that.” He gestured impatiently. “Off with it - go on.” Mycroft graciously tilted his head and continued, his eyes fixed on Greg’s face. “I meant the cute little innuendo. You’re Red, right? I’m the Big Bad. I get the ominous quips.”

“Cuddling is ominous, is it?” Mycroft chuckled softly. “So it’s to be like that - no switching roles from time to time?” He tugged his shirttails out of his trousers before slowly drawing down the zip, coming to loom over his lover, making him tilt his head back awkwardly to look up at him. “Are you saying that you’re never going to go down on your knees for me, Gregory? How terribly disappointing.” He let his trousers fall, smiling as he felt an immediate if tentative touch at his knee.

“N-no. That’s not what I meant.” Mycroft staggered slightly as a rough hand wrapped around the back of his thigh and squeezed. “Oh no - not at all...” He braced himself against the tree and shuffled closer, angrily kicking away the fabric tangled around his feet. He tried to ignore Gregory’s warm chuckle, but there was simply no way to ignore the sensation of a rather chilly nose running up the inside of his thigh.

“Ohhh..." Mycroft bit his lip to curtail another unseemly exclamation, hastily shucking his shirt and vest as Gregory laughed again. The hot puffs of breath over his skin made Mycroft shiver with joy, and he could almost swear that he felt his silent heart jump in his chest.

“Like that, do you?”

Mycroft swayed as he looked down into fathomless brown eyes, jerking his head in a curt nod. “I haven’t felt anyone else’s touch in so long - you must understand...”

“Yeah.” Greg slid his hand up a bit further, reaching up to tug at the bottom hem of Mycroft’s expensive silk pants. “I get it.”

“And for it to be you - you touching me, oh my love...” Mycroft giggled, holding his hands up to his face, turning them this way and that as though they held the wonders of the universe. “Oh, but I feel. I feel so much right now, I cannot even...”

Greg smiled up at him, feeling his lover’s delight through the trembling in his body, shifting on his earthen seat as it spread through his own limbs. He cleared his throat before tugging a bit more insistently at the fabric between his fingers.

Mycroft looked down at him, his fangs quivering in his jaw, simply aching to drop again. He fed as much need and hunger into his voice as he could, letting his arms hang loose at his sides. “Please, Gregory. Oh, please.

Greg hummed as he moved, holding tight to the silken material and drawing it down. Mycroft swayed on the spot as he was caressed, as the hairs on his body were stroked the wrong way, as his lover laughed with quiet delight as he raised gooseflesh with his touch.


Chapter Text

Mycroft shook his head as his hands were captured, as he was coaxed into sitting, straddling Gregory’s thighs and settling easily into place on his lap. “Some things are understood, some are not. When freshly-fed, a vampire’s skin behaves much the same as a living person’s, although perhaps a bit more sensitive to touch.” He sighed with bliss as his lover ran his hands over his shoulders and down his arms only to come up again to run down his chest. Mycroft hissed in a short breath as his nipples pebbled underneath an exploratory pinch. “Ungh, yes. Like that.” He threw his head back as they were rolled and plucked and teased. “Oh God, it’s been so long - I had forgotten how good...”

Greg growled quietly as he fiddled with the delicate pink nubs, his tongue poking out as he watched every little twitch of Mycroft’s alabaster skin. “Oh, but you are going to be so much fun to play with.”

Mycroft shuddered as he clenched his jaw, forcing his damn teeth to stay sheathed. “Gregory, p-please try to behave. I shouldn’t - I cannot - not in your current state. I could - damage you.” He shook his head gently as his lover pulled a pitiful moue on him. He patted Gregory’s hands where they had come to a stop on the tops of his thighs, running his fingers up his forearms. “Ask me what you will, my love.”

Greg gave him a little squeeze to show that he understood, and he leant back against the tree once more. He simply looked at him for a while, his eyes tracing over the elegant column of Mycroft’s neck, skipping merrily over the expanse of freckles on his shoulders. “Beautiful.”

Mycroft blushed, a quick flash of colour to his high cheeks that started to fade almost immediately. “Gregory, I hardly think...”

“Doesn’t matter what you think.”

“I...” Mycroft blinked rapidly. “I do beg your pardon, my good man, but...”

“Nope.” Greg popped his ‘p’ as he shook his head emphatically. “No. Now you’re mine, and you’re going to listen to me, and not that stupid voice in your head.” He lifted a hand that was trembling only slightly, running the very tip of his forefinger along Mycroft’s clavicle. He stopped for a moment at the hollow of his throat, watching the progress of his finger as it continued to move, tracing down his sternum and even lower. Greg sighed as he raised more gooseflesh in his wake, biting his lip as Mycroft threw his head back and arched into his touch. “You are simply - mesmerising, my love.”

“Oh.” Mycroft hissed quietly as his flaccid member was toyed with idly, listening to Gregory’s quiet chuckle and again feeling that odd double-thump start-stop in his chest. “Hnghk.”

Greg laughed again at hearing the strangled exclamation, but he stopped as he looked up and caught sight of Mycroft’s fangs digging deep into his bottom lip. His body was held in a tight bow, all of his muscles standing out in stark relief as he struggled to regain control of himself. Greg stilled his fingers and cautiously reached out to turn Mycroft’s face back to him. “Shhh, love. It’s all right - please look at me.”

Mycroft gasped out something approximating a sob, keeping his eyes closed as he shook his head. “It’s so much - too much - I cannot...”  

Greg hushed him again, gently taking Mycroft’s hand in his and pressing it to his chest, taking in deep breaths and counting his own heartbeats. They sat in silence for a long while, Greg nodding to himself in satisfaction as Mycroft’s stiff posture eased back into something resembling human, or at least something that wasn’t as unyielding as a marble statue. He smiled as his vampire’s eyes opened slowly, still gleaming silver in the moonlight even as his teeth started to retract.

Greg licked his lips as Mycroft tilted his head in acknowledgement, as he started to comb through his chest hair almost absentmindedly. “Continue, my love. I know that you have many questions, and I would like to answer all of them to the best of my ability.”

In response, Greg poked gently at Mycroft’s rather concave belly. “Can you eat?”

“Conventional human fare?” Mycroft grimaced as Greg nodded. “I can, yes, but I avoid it if at all possible. Unfortunately, there are still a number of people who feel that business is best handled over a hearty supper, so if I wish to maintain my ruse of humanity there are times that it is sadly unavoidable.”

“Is it honestly that unpleasant for you?”

Mycroft snorted out a quick laugh. “I long ago lost any pleasure I once derived from the taste or the feel of a good meal, and to be perfectly honest, I now find the mechanics of it to be a bit vulgar. Although the food itself is mostly inoffensive to my senses, it’s what happens afterwards that makes it rather a trial for me.” Greg tilted his head in a gesture so reminiscent of canine enquiry that Mycroft had to stifle another laugh. “Like all of my internal organs, my digestive system has atrophied, Gregory. Anything that I consume that is not blood will simply sit in my stomach until it is forcibly expelled.”

Chapter Text


“Quite.” Mycroft watched with a small amount of amusement as this information was processed, waiting patiently for the next query.

“So you don’t eat, don’t breathe...”

“Ah - I don’t need to, necessarily, but that is something that I strive to mimic in order to appear less, well...”

“Dead?” Mycroft rolled his eyes as Greg grinned at him brightly. He suddenly reached out to ruffle at the vampire’s carefully coiffed hair, guffawing out loud as his silver eyes widened comically and then narrowed dangerously. “Helps to look a little less than perfect if you actually want to come across as human, silly bat.” Greg tilted his head as Mycroft huffed and tried to comb his suddenly unruly forelock back into place. “No human ever looks as effortlessly put-together as you do.”


Greg blithely cut him off. “No sweating or shitting either, then.”

Mycroft’s nose wrinkled. “Definitely not.”

“But you do realise that I do all those things, correct?”

“I fail to comprehend your point.”

Greg shook his head and looked up at the sky. “Obviously. Look - if you bring my mangy old hide into your neat and orderly and perfectly clean little world, I am going to muck it up royally. Dirty dishes, dirty clothes, dirty old wolf tracking dirty old mud onto your nice bright floors and maybe even up on the pristinely posh furniture. I will fart in your presence and do something even worse in your toilet. You will be subjected to my rank breath nearly every morning and have to suffer through truly horrendous snoring.”

Mycroft once again rolled his eyes. “I still fail to comprehend your point, and I hardly believe that it’s going to be as bad as all that. Do you truly think that I am so far removed from the stark realities of life that such a thing had not occurred to me? While I suppose I should be flattered that you seem to think that I am above it all, believe me when I say it will be a relief to be surrounded by those sights and yes, even the smells. My existence is so...” He gestured vaguely, a certain sense of desperation making its way into his voice. “Dull. I am so dreadfully bored, Gregory. I will welcome any chaos you might bring into my life, will even delight in it. And hopefully...” Mycroft dropped his eyes and twiddled his fingers, something so hesitant in his manner that Greg had to reach out to him, encouraging him to speak with a gentle squeeze at his upper arm. “Hopefully... You can allow yourself to seek comfort in the security that I can offer you.”

“I will not be kept as a pet, Mycroft.” Greg tried to keep his voice gentle, but he still felt his heart drop in his chest as his lover turned stricken silver eyes on him.

“No, Gregory, no! I would never wish to keep you against your wishes. I understand all too well how you would chafe and languish under such restrictions. You would be free to run, and to hunt howsoever you desire. But you would also have a safe, warm home to return to, and companionship. Never again would you have to isolate yourself. You are not meant to be alone, my love. I know that I could never take the place of your true pack, but I would very much like to try.”  

Despite all his best efforts, Greg felt his eyes begin to sting. He abruptly pulled Mycroft down into his chest, putting his lips to his temple and counting his breaths to stem the incoming flood of tears. Mycroft kept his silence as Greg fought his emotions, settling his ear over his heart and smiling at every solid thump. “I... I need a little time, Mycroft.”

“Of course.” Mycroft pushed himself back up, tracing the backs of his fingers up Greg’s cheek. “I did not expect you to come back with me tonight.”

“To - to London?” Greg bit back on the crack of fear in his voice, growling at himself faintly for letting it slip out.

“No, my dear - that would be far too much to ask of you. I’ve let a cottage on the outskirts of the village.”

This time Greg had to quirk an eyebrow, amusement colouring his tone as his rapid heartbeat began to settle itself. “A cottage. In Highgate?”

“Fine. I suppose you could consider it more of a country manor than a cottage, but that’s purely semantics. It does have a deplorable excess of bedrooms, but still. I wanted something semi-private with access to the heath, and it satisfies both of those requirements. Perhaps tomorrow you can come see it with me, and if you do not approve, I will look for something else.”

Chapter Text

Greg stared at him blankly as his mouth fell open in disbelief. “You don’t have to bother with all of that just for me. I’ll find some way to manage.”

Mycroft clucked his tongue. “It isn’t about managing, Gregory, it’s about coming to a mutually acceptable agreement. In this particular situation, that means finding a home that works for you. Whether it’s here or in the wilds of Scotland, it honestly doesn’t matter to me.” He blinked placidly as Greg gaped at him dumbly. “I will adapt to your wishes and will happily accommodate you, my love.”

“This is quite a lot to take in all at once, you know.”

“I do. Please take whatever time you require, in whatever manner you require it of me.” Mycroft smiled a little bleakly as he folded his hands in front of him. “Even if that means some additional time to yourself. I will leave whenever you want me to.”

Greg felt a quick swoop of unease in his belly and he reached out to grab Mycroft’s hands, lifting them to his mouth and kissing each fingertip. “No, don’t go - not yet. I’ve had enough of being alone for a little while, and I do still have questions...” He looked aside to the vampire’s umbrella, still resting where it had dropped. “Is the sun actually dangerous to you?”

Mycroft smiled shyly, wiggling his fingers gently against his lips. “Mostly, it’s just an annoyance. If my bare skin is exposed to its light, it will burn quite badly, but popular cinema does us a great injustice by insisting that we will suddenly burst into flames at first contact. Being out in the day does affect me negatively, but even at my weakest state, I’m still stronger than the vast majority of humanity, so it doesn’t matter all that much. There are only two times in the daytime during which I am truly vulnerable. The first..."

“Stop.” Greg shook his head definitively. “Mycroft, you don’t have to tell me your weaknesses.”

“But I trust you with this knowledge, Gregory. I have no reservations about letting you know all my secrets.” Greg bit his lip uncertainly as Mycroft turned a placid if sincere look on him, finally nodding his agreement somewhat reluctantly. “The first break of a new dawn, of course, and when the sun reaches its zenith. I drop into a sort of stupor that I am unable to resist, and so I am vulnerable for an hour or so around those times. I suppose you could consider it a type of sleep, even though that isn’t something that my body strictly needs.”

“How do you manage when you’re out during the day? And your job?”

“My personal assistant is sympathetic to my - condition - and ensures that I have the proper window of time appropriately blocked off every day. She is very assiduous in ensuring my safety and well-being.”

“Another vamp?”

Mycroft shook his head. “No, Anthea is simply a very enterprising young woman who recognises that true loyalty is often handsomely rewarded.” He sighed quietly as he played with Greg’s fingers. “Although not quite as rare as those of your ilk, we vampires are not as plentiful as we once were. I believe that our long dominion is finally coming to an end, and in truth, I think that it’s about time.”

Greg tilted his head. “And yet, here you are, seeking out a companion for your dwindling days.”

“Perhaps I wish to end my existence on a happy note, my dear. To go out with a bang, as it were.”

“And are all vampires as cynical as you are?”

Mycroft threw back his head as he laughed boisterously up to the sky, and Greg could not hold back on his dopey grin when he finally looked at him again, his eyes sparkling and cheeks a delightful shade of pink. “I suppose that a certain sense of fatalism comes with the territory, although it does depend on the span of our respective lives. A newly-turned vampire does tend to be terribly excitable.” He shrugged idly. “To be perfectly honest, I simply do not know, as we generally do not congregate in significant numbers. If there are too many of us in one area, gossip quickly follows as certain similarities are noted, and we are driven out by the suspicions of nosy neighbours. We do - network, and I have a few acquaintances that I might even consider friends, but we do not ‘hang out’, as such.”

Greg tried to choke back his giggles. “Like a flock of bats!”

Chapter Text

“Gregory...” Mycroft smiled fondly as he saw another enquiry light up in his lover’s eyes, and he quickly forestalled him. “No, I cannot turn into a bat. At least, not as you’re most likely imagining it. The same physical laws apply as in your transformation - I cannot magically shed my usual mass. If I somehow managed to shrink myself down to the size of a typical vampire bat, there would be no way my tiny wings would be able to accommodate my considerable weight. However...” He shook his head as Gregory squirmed with excitement. “I do have another form, something in between this and - other. I don’t transform often, as it takes a great deal of energy, but it is something that I am looking forward to sharing with you.”

Greg squirmed again as he captured Mycroft’s face and brought him in for a swift if very thorough kiss. “I’m honoured that you want to share that with me, love. And I am so looking forward to seeing it.”

Mycroft licked his lips as he traced over the bite that he had left behind on Greg’s chest with gentle fingers. “Oh, are you really? I couldn’t quite tell..." He snickered quietly as Gregory glared at him halfheartedly. “I have never seen myself in that form, but I believe that it is something rather similar to the magnificent creature that you turned into right underneath my touch.”

Greg shivered delicately. “It was those damn teeth of yours. Made me lose all control... I have a feeling that we’re going to have to find a way to keep them tucked away while I’m having my bit of fun with you, or else it will all be over far too quickly.”

“I do believe that all contingencies have been accounted for.” Mycroft shrugged idly as Greg growled faintly. “I have an extensive collection of - ah - specialised equipment that I would be more than happy to share with you.” He smiled sharply at Greg’s hot blush. “A bored vampire is a very inventive vampire, and it helps that I don’t actually need to breathe around any obstruction that happens to be in my mouth or - mm - throat.” Mycroft purred low as his lover reached out to take his face in his hands, bringing him closer. “I assure you that you will have all the time with my eager, willing body that you need or desire, my love.”

“Mycroft...” The vampire’s eyes fluttered under the soft assault of Greg’s warm breath washing over his face, and he let himself go limp as he was drawn in for another fervent kiss. He whimpered in response to his lover’s low growl, pressing himself in closer as he tightened his thighs around Greg’s hips. Once again that devilish tongue was put to use in caressing his fangs as they slowly dropped, and Mycroft sent up a silent cheer to the heavens as he felt Gregory’s member twitch heartily against his own.

But then the jubilation swiftly transitioned to concern as his lover’s eager motions faltered and he groaned loudly, his head dropping onto his shoulder. Mycroft smiled as Gregory let out an overly-dramatised exclamation of sorrow. Petting his silver hair as he muffled his faux sobs against his skin, Mycroft hushed him as best as he was able. “It’s all right, my love. You just need a little time to regain your strength.”

“To top off the tank?”

Mycroft rolled his eyes and snorted as Greg fell back against the tree, his face gone a little pale and quite a bit morose. “I do not intend to keep you around as naught but an ambulatory buffet, my dear.” He let one fang peek out as he smirked crookedly, tracing a light finger up his lover’s neck. “No matter how terrible the temptation...”

Greg shivered and quickly reached up to clasp Mycroft’s hand tight. “Now who needs to behave?” The vampire shrugged idly as Greg tilted his head. “Why me? How did you even know to come here to find me? I mean, if you’re based in London and all...”

“You were seen by one of my aforementioned acquaintances during one of your rambles in the cemetery. Or, well, he heard about you from some of the other residents, and shared that information with me.”

Greg blinked rapidly. “Residents? In the boneyard?”

Mycroft’s eyebrows went up slightly. “Well, yes. Although you can hardly say that they’re living there as much as bound.”

“Ghosts? We’re talking about spooks now?”

“Gregory, honestly. You are a werewolf, and you currently have a vampire sitting on your lap. Did you think that we were entirely unique? Nearly all of the legends and tales have an element of truth to them, even if some of the peoples or creatures mentioned have since ceased to be.”

“I suppose I never thought about it like that. I knew about you lot because - well - because.”

Chapter Text

Mycroft drew back slightly as Gregory suddenly avoided his eyes, staring resolutely off to the side. “A-as I was saying, my acquaintance and I had often talked about the rarity of your kind. He was particularly interested because he had been quite close to a werewolf before she...passed...due to some otherworldly unpleasantness. From what I understand, she was quite the formidable force of nature, and extremely loyal. She called herself - oh, what was it...”

“A Hound of God.”

“Y-yes. That was it.” Mycroft subconsciously dragged his nails up his bare thighs as he looked at the bleak expression on his lover’s face, almost afraid to reach out to him. “Um. O-once Silas had confirmed for himself what you were, he contacted me.”

“So you could come gawk at me like some circus freak.”

“Gregory!” Mycroft sputtered helplessly as Greg scowled, finally reaching out to hold his face in both hands, forcing him to meet his eyes. “I will admit to some curiosity at first, but it only took me a moment to become completely entranced by you. You, Gregory, not some shadowy ideal in my head. Yes, you were utterly magnificent, but I could feel your loneliness and your sorrow and I thought I might understand you because I felt the very same way.” He leant forward to touch their foreheads together, feeling the tension in Gregory’s body starting to leach away. “I do sincerely hope that you can rid yourself of the notion that I wish to keep you as some prized pet, my love. I only wish to stay by your side for as long as you will allow me to.”

“Pretty sure I’m going to drive you straight up a wall at some point, and then we’ll see who gets tossed out on their ear.”

“Stop.” Mycroft bumped their heads together gently. “I have no doubt that there will be - issues. But we will deal with them as they come, and nobody will find themselves out in the middle of the street with no warning.”

Greg huffed out a hollow laugh. “We’ll see.”

“Gregory. Gregory, please. I have not cohabitated with anyone for a very long time - decades. But I am willing to give it a try.” He pressed a gentle kiss to the tip of his nose. “Are you?”

“I don’t know, Mycroft." Greg sighed unhappily as he dropped his eyes. "I really don’t know if I can...”

Mycroft blinked rapidly against the odd sensation of his eyes prickling with an overabundance of emotion. “But you will think on it, yes?”

Greg nodded, smiling as Mycroft’s thumbs ran over his cheeks. “I can promise you that much at least. When you come to me tomorrow night, I will have an answer for you.”

Mycroft pulled back, frowning slightly. “You can take more time than that, my dear. Although if you agree, I would very much like to get you inside before the winter hits.”

“Nah. If I allow myself to, I’ll dither for weeks.”

“Very well. But if you need more time, take it. Please.” Greg nodded his agreement, something deep in his stomach twisting as Mycroft’s expression went a little guarded. “Can - can you tell me about it, Gregory? How you came to be so alone?”

Greg instantly dropped his eyes again, subconsciously putting the finger that he had used to feed Mycroft earlier into his mouth, worrying at the nail and biting down on the puncture gently. Rather than shaking him out of the fugue that he was slowly settling into, he seemed to find the pain somewhat comforting, as he continued to apply varying amounts of pressure to the wound with his teeth.

Mycroft sat back and watched for a little while, completely at a loss as how best to comfort his lover. He wasn’t even sure if he should try to bring him out of it long enough to retract his enquiry, although he sincerely wished he had not uttered it. Gregory shivered gently underneath him, his skin breaking out into gooseflesh. Realising that even he felt a little cold, Mycroft silently slid off his lover’s lap and went to dig around in the wolf’s den, pulling out an old sleeping bag and a couple of blankets.

He worked quickly to get Gregory’s body wrapped up in the sleeping bag, cradling him in his lap and up against his chest as he situated himself against the tree trunk with the blankets pulled up over his shoulders. Mycroft tucked his face into the warmth of Gregory’s neck and simply held him close for a very long time.

Chapter Text

“We were travellers.”

Gregory’s voice was quiet, almost childlike in its hesitance, and Mycroft shuddered upon hearing it. “Gregory, no. You don’t have to, it was an impertinent question and I’m very sorry I even brought it up.” His dead heart clenched in his chest as his lover took in breath on a soft sigh, his eyes distant and unfocused.

“My people - nomads. We had no ties to the land, only to each other. True wolves are born, not made, so we mostly kept to ourselves. All we had was the knowledge passed down by our elders. We never settled in one place, and as the sons would come of age, they would marry girls from other wolf families and mate and go off with their own packs. The eldest would usually stay with their parents until they passed on, and so the tradition would continue on down the line.”

Gregory shifted slightly in his cocoon, and Mycroft loosened his hold as he watched his lovely face relaxing into a blank mask. “My father was the youngest son, so he had a bit more freedom than his brothers, and he tended to wander a little further afield than most. He met my mum - a normal - at some music festival or other. She was a free spirit in her own right, but I don’t think she quite understood what she might be getting herself into by going off with him. And of course there was friction from the family, but our numbers had already been dwindling, and so my grandparents let him go off with her. Not that they really could have stopped them, since she was already pregnant with me at that point...

From what they told me, the first time he shifted in front of her was a bit - traumatic. He hadn’t kept it a secret from her, not even the first time they met, but I think she may have thought it was a bit of a joke at first. I dunno. She probably would have left him if it weren’t for me, and for the fact that they truly loved each other terribly.” Mycroft hummed low as Gregory wriggled in his grasp, burrowing deeper into him. “Sometimes you see each other and you just know, don’t you? You simply know that you were meant to be together. That’s how it was for them, too.”

Mycroft blinked, hardly daring to believe his ears, but it wasn’t like he could request clarification on that particular point, as it was clear that Gregory had more that he needed to say. He instead pressed a soft kiss to his lover’s temple, running his nose along his cheek in wordless encouragement.

“In a way, I think that they were both hoping that I wouldn’t have the ‘family condition’ since I was only half wolf-born, but of course I shifted sometime in the night just after my first birthday.” He laughed quietly. “Took a bloody picture of me in my cot, for God’s sake - tiny grey pup wearing a nappy and all.” He shook his head and shifted in his seat again, tipping his head back as Mycroft kissed his neck gently. “My dad started taking me out into the wood not long after that. We would shift, we would hunt and we’d come back all filthy and Mum would make a fuss, but I think she was actually proud of us. They were good to me, and good to each other. It was...nice, even if we were almost constantly on the move.

That life was all I knew for quite a few years. Then we just - settled - one day in a small village. I don’t know how or why, exactly. I think Mum wanted me to be around other kids, to try and learn how to be human. She probably missed it herself, having no friends to talk to, to laugh with. Dad never seemed quite at ease with the villagers as Mum was, but I could tell that he was trying to make her happy. I went to school, and I had mates that I played footie with - got told off a few times for being too rough, so I did what I could to curb the wolf inside. Never worked, of course.

Dad and I would still go off on our own, and they even let me wander around by myself a few times - told me it would be good for me to know how to live off the grid.” Greg huffed out a humourless laugh. “Didn’t that just pay off?” He bit his lip as he sighed. “They taught me well.”

Gregory paused long enough that Mycroft began to think that he had told as much of his tale as he wished, but he suddenly cleared his throat and continued.

Chapter Text

“It was a bit of a novelty for any of the family to have one place to call home, and my father’s brothers would write often. The news wasn’t always good - the other packs seemed to be vanishing for some reason, and nobody quite knew why or how. They simply wouldn’t show at any of the usual gathering spots, and no trace of them would be found when others went looking. It was worrying, of course, but we were in a good place, well-liked among the villagers and left to our own devices for the most part. And then my eldest uncle suddenly stopped writing, and we lost contact with my betrothed’s family as well.”

“Betrothed?” Mycroft nearly bit his tongue as he snapped his mouth shut, mortified that the word had rudely shoved its way from his throat in the middle of his lover’s tale.

Gregory just nodded dreamily, completely oblivious to the unseemly wave of jealousy radiating from the vampire’s features. “We often had arranged marriages - almost had to, really. Couldn’t let the outsiders know what we were, after all. I only met her once, I think I was eight, and she was maybe...six? I dunno. I only remember that her hair was done up in ribbons and braids, and she had the most wonderful sparkling laugh. We ran around a bit together and wrestled in the grass, and she bested me. I remember being proud that she was going to be my mate, as if I really had any say in the matter. God knows, she was probably like a third or fourth cousin anyway...

Then it came time to meet again, to start making plans, but there was no response to our calls. There was just - nothing. So my Dad went looking. I - I think that’s what may have started it all for us. Having a small pack settled in one place hadn’t occurred to them - we had more or less fallen off their radar. But then... When Dad came back, he immediately started packing stuff up to take to the van that we had stashed away in the wood. I was a bit excited to be going on the road again, even though I didn’t quite understand why we had to do it right then and there. Mum objected, of course. I think that was the first time I had seen them argue over something that wasn’t as trite as what to make for dinner that night...  

I got sent out to pick up the van before I really heard anything of consequence - Dad just tossed me the keys and shoved me out the door. Two hours, he said. Take two hours to say goodbye. I didn’t bother to try and track down any of my mates - I knew that it wouldn’t be long enough, and what could I tell them, anyway? So I just took my time walking through the wood, thinking of all the times I had shifted there, how it was my Dad’s territory, but mine too, and maybe I’d come back one day, with my own little pack.

Took some time to straighten out the van, since I knew Dad wanted to pack it right up and get back on the road soonest. Ended up being a little longer than two hours.” Greg looked up at the night sky. “A lot can happen in two hours. I knew something was wrong the moment I pulled up - the front door was open. Just a tiny bit, but it was enough to put me on alert, and sure enough - as soon as I stepped out of the van I could smell the blood, even with my human senses. Not quite sure how I managed to make it into the house - I can still feel how my knees were shaking even now.”

Gregory squirmed uneasily, and Mycroft forced himself to loosen his grip, his arms as solid as steel cable around his poor lover’s vulnerable body. He caressed his cheek softly, gently turning his head and striving to catch a bit of recognition in his eyes. “Gregory - my love. You can stop, you don’t have to. Please, I do not wish to cause you any more pain this night.”

“Actually, I do have to.” Greg smiled faintly, although his eyes were still hooded with anguish. “I haven’t told anyone - haven’t had anyone I even could tell. I think I need someone else to know.” He settled his head on Mycroft’s shoulder, taking in a deep breath and letting it out slowly. “They did my Mum quick, although that wasn’t as much of a blessing as it should have been. She didn’t suffer physically, but they made damn sure that the dirty wolf-fucker watched as they tortured her husband to death.”

Chapter Text


“I think they did it just for fun - as a celebration. They must have thought that my Dad was the last wolf-born, that the mighty hunters had finally wiped out the scourge. And yet we’re the monsters, right? I still don’t know how they could have been so oblivious to my existence. I mean, my footie kit was all right there in the front hall, for fuck’s sake. They had even kicked the ball around a bit - it had my father’s blood smeared all over it...

I do wonder that if we hadn’t been living in a proper house whether or not they still would have been there when I came back. They probably felt too exposed, maybe they thought they could catch up with me later. They obviously didn’t bother to clean up like they had with their other kills. I mean, all trace of the other packs had just disappeared. I just don’t know... I don’t remember too much from that point - went a bit numb when I kissed my Mum goodbye.” Gregory’s voice faded slightly as he gnawed on his bottom lip. “She was still warm.” He suddenly shook his head and cleared his throat. “I gathered up what money we had, whatever food was in the cupboards, some clothes - and then I left. Traded in the van for something a little less conspicuous, and travelled on my own.

I tried, a few times - to blend in, to be human. But I could never shake the feeling that those damn hunters were just around the corner. There were always too many people, and so many of them were hiding something. I could feel it, y’know? Could feel the duplicity just pouring off of them, even though it was usually insignificant shit. I knew that it was just the masks that they needed to wear to get through the day because they hated their bosses or because they’d rather have stayed in bed, but still. I felt it, I knew it - it always put me on edge and an anxiety-ridden wolf is not a good thing to put in the middle of a bunch of easily-frightened people.

But I did try, and there were even a few that I got close to before allowing myself to get physical with them. Some were into getting it rough, but not that rough - all it took was one slip of my control, and I’d be running again. The last time..." Greg shook his head and tried to curl up on himself in his lover's arms. "I was too close, too emotionally involved, and it had been too long since I’d been with anyone. He - he saw the wolf, I know he did. He certainly felt him.” Gregory’s eyes were suddenly fixed on Mycroft’s, glittering almost fever-bright in the darkness. “Do you know what it’s like to wake up next to someone that you claim to love - to wake up and see the contusions on their body and know that you were the one to put them there, only you can’t remember doing it?

He tried to tell me that it was okay, that he consented - that he even asked me to - but he could barely move his limbs and I could see that fear in his eyes, could smell that deception in his sweat. And I couldn’t even remember doing any of it - there was just a blank spot in my memory. He wanted to talk it out, but I just couldn’t. I ran.

I’m good at running, and at hiding. I travel here and there, I shift whenever I please to let the wolf run and most of the time I’m okay with it. There might be more of my people scattered about, but it’s been a very long time, and I haven’t seen or heard anything. I may very well be the last - I just don’t know. The hunters did a very thorough job. Maybe they did know about me, and they decided to leave me alive as a special kind of torture.”

Mycroft hissed aloud. “I will find them for you, Gregory. I will find them and take them apart atom by atom. I will bring you their hides and make ornaments from their bones. They will suffer for what they have done to you and your people. This I do swear to you.”

Greg struggled briefly in his fluffy cocoon, somehow managing to free a hand. He cupped his lover’s cheek and brought him down for a tender kiss, huffing out a shaky breath as Mycroft remained as immovable as a stone statue. “I’m a little surprised to find myself thinking that would be a very sweet gesture, but as I said, it was a very long time ago. I doubt any of them are still alive, and if they are, they would most likely be too frail. They would die too quickly, too easily, to satisfy the wolf.”

“How long ago did this horrendous event occur?”

“It’s been over three decades, my love - I turned fifteen just a couple of months later.”

Chapter Text

Mycroft stared at him in horror. “You were but a child!”

Greg smiled faintly. “Perhaps by human standards, but as a wolf-born... I mean, I was due to be married the year after that. We always started our families early in the hopes of having large packs. I suppose we are just going to be relegated to legend now, like you said. We’ll be tales told around the fire and nothing more.” He chewed on his bottom lip a little absentmindedly. “I wonder if we’ll be a cautionary tale told to keep the little ones in line, or something more like a faerie story - full of wonder and mystery and hope. Will we always be seen as monsters?”

“You will be able to tell your own story, Gregory. You’ve only searched a small island thus far. Surely you cannot be the last in the whole of the world.”

“Perhaps not.” He shook his head wearily. “But even if others were found, I’m too old and just too damn tired for a pack of my own.” Greg huffed out a humourless laugh. “They’d probably oust my furry old arse out anyway.”


“Nah. That’s just the way of things - the pack looks out for itself. Outsiders tend to be shunned, and usually for good reason.” He stretched to press a somewhat awkward kiss to the underside of Mycroft’s chin. “It’s a good thing for me that you found me, really.”

Mycroft let out a surprised hum of pleasure, already feeling as though he had succeeded in his objective, that he had secured Gregory as his own. The jubilant sensation lasted for only a moment, as his lover suddenly slumped into him, his body trembling minutely. If it weren’t for his heightened senses, Mycroft may have been at a loss, but as it was, he was able to smell the sharp tang of saltwater in the air, he was able to hear the nearly inaudible murmur as Gregory’s breath ghosted over his clavicle. “I miss my mum.”

“Oh.” Mycroft ran his fingers through Gregory’s hair, cradling his head to his chest and rocking him gently. “Oh, my love.”

He held Gregory close as he excised the pain from his heart, his body shuddering with silent sobs as hot tears cascaded down his face. Mycroft did not offer any useless condolences, choosing to offer his support by retaining his silence, by being the one person that his lover could open himself up to with no fear of mockery or reprisals. He pressed his lips to Gregory’s forehead as he felt his body begin to go limp, his head growing heavy on his shoulder.

Greg stirred as Mycroft shifted his hold in an attempt to make him more comfortable. “My... You’ll - you’ll stay, yeah?”

“For as long as I’m able, yes.”


“Tomorrow evening, my love. There is no power on this earth that would keep me from you.”

With a low grumble, Gregory finally succumbed to sleep, leaving Mycroft to watch over him until the sun was close to rising.

As loath as his was to leave his lover’s side, Mycroft stayed a great deal longer than perhaps he should have. Gregory had proved to be quite the fascinating subject to study as he twitched and whimpered in his sleep, even letting out a sharp and sincerely startling growl at some point during his slumber. It seemed that perhaps even while in his human form, he dreamt as the wolf, his limbs occasionally jerking spasmodically as though he were running, perhaps chasing after prey.

However, he did not stir as Mycroft gathered him up and tucked him down into his den, muttering under his breath as he backed away somewhat awkwardly on his hands and knees. “Honestly, Gregory. I know you’re very proud of your little home, but it is a hole. In the ground.” He reached in to run his fingers through his lover’s spiky hair as he curled up on himself, finding it to be almost as soft as the fur that had grown in during their exciting tryst earlier in the evening. “You deserve far better, my love.”

Gregory did not give any outward indication that he had even heard, and Mycroft spent a few more precious moments simply watching him before he felt that swift spike of pseudo-nausea in his gut, the swirl of impending unconsciousness in his mind that spoke to him of the sun beginning to make its trek across the sky. Cursing his own foolish besottedness, he quickly gathered up his belongings and ran home more swiftly than the human eye could register, not even bothering to don his trousers. After all, there was a certain delight to be found in feeling a brisk wind on one’s nethers, a sudden recollection that he would have to thank Gregory for later. Effusively.

He barely managed to make it into the small bedroom that he had claimed for his shelter, having hung black-out curtains over each window and also across the door to keep out even the barest hint of sunlight. Even though Mycroft could not see the first rays of the sun rising over the horizon, he could certainly feel it, and he slumped gracelessly onto his bed, face-first in the mattress with his arms twisted awkwardly underneath him as the familiar but hated stupor overtook his brain and body.

Chapter Text

When Mycroft roused some time later, able to freely move his limbs again, he was momentarily confused, as it was his usual pattern to take to his bed in a much more civilised manner. His pre-dawn ritual of donning silky pyjamas and settling into bed with a book or a file to be reviewed was something that he looked forward to every night, and was one of the few pleasures he had that he actually seemed to share with most of the human race. What could be more comforting than slipping under the covers and laying your head on a pile of fluffy pillows? Unless it was laying your head on your lover’s fluffy chest instead, of course...

Electric light was an invention that he had embraced early and with much enthusiasm, since it eliminated the danger of a gas lamp breaking or a candle tipping over. Although Mycroft was resistant to many forms of attack, just the idea of a lively fire raging while he was lying immobile and vulnerable was enough to give him the shivers. As accustomed he was as to falling ‘asleep’ with his bedside lamp glowing brightly next to him, to awaken in the dark was a bit disconcerting.

Mycroft sighed as he flipped himself over, finding even his enhanced sight to be somewhat useless in the utter darkness. He laughed quietly at himself, recalling the days long since past as a relatively young vampire, when he would drive his sire almost to madness by testing the very edges of his limits over and over again, often racing the sun as he sought his shelter. He understood his sire’s frustrations much more easily these days, of course. Not all of the chances that he had taken back then had been worth the risk to his person.   

But Gregory would be. Whether he consented to his proposal to come live here with him, or whether he decided to keep to his cosy if filthy little den, he would be worth any risk to Mycroft’s physical being that he chose to undertake. Hell, he would even consider throwing aside his sham of humanity and going to live with him in the wood if that was what he wanted - whatever it would take to be by his side, he would gladly acquiesce.

Gregory. Mycroft hummed low in the darkness as he ran his hands down his body, his skin still silky-warm and responsive to his touch. He had not yet completely absorbed all of his lover’s essence, and it took only a slight pricking of his lower lip to draw forth a single drop of blood. He moaned quietly as he rolled it around on his tongue, the taste still sharp and piquant with the aura of the wild creature that it had been taken from. It was enough to transport him back to the moment when he first tasted his darling wolf’s ecstasy, when he experienced his own form of sexual release for the first time in several years, if not decades - truthfully, he had quite lost count at this point.

Mycroft was a bit astonished at the depth of the sensations that were still racing just under his skin, the sparking of atrophied nerves making his fingers and toes twitch gently. He did feel a certain sense of shame at the knowledge that taking too much from his lover had a great deal to do with it, but never before had anyone’s blood affected him to this degree, no matter the intensity of the relationship or the quantity consumed. His love truly was a remarkable creature, although Mycroft did not know if it was Gregory’s own special qualities that were affecting him so, or if it could possibly be the strength of their newly-formed bond.

For goodness’ sake - he really was a tragically romantic fool, wasn’t he?  

He bit his lip as he writhed against the duvet, even that incidental touch making slow, rolling waves of pleasure work their way up his spine. Mycroft wasn’t entirely surprised to feel his flaccid member twitch faintly against his thigh, a phantom throbbing at the base of his bollocks. Although that was one question that Gregory had not explicitly asked, it had been rather clear to Mycroft that he was a bit disappointed at the idea that his ‘equipment’ would not work in the strictest sense. Yes, it might plump up a bit when there was fresh blood in his system, but no beating heart meant no blood pressure, and without that, an erection simply was not going to manifest, at least not in any useful configuration.

But that was quite all right. Mycroft had never been one to shy away from seeking his own forms of bliss, which often entailed simply giving pleasure to his partner for the night and sampling the heady taste of the aftereffects in his post-coital snack. Perhaps some of the things that he took delight in could be considered less than savoury, but it was of no consequence. He was confident enough in the skills that he had honed during his countless decades on this earth, and he had the proper tools at hand to cater to absolutely any of his lover’s whims. He was certain that he would see Gregory satisfied by any means at his disposal - he had to make himself indispensable to his newest paramour.

With a quiet sigh, Mycroft reached up toward his bedside table and turned on the lamp, determined to find some way to keep himself occupied during the interminable day - until he could see his Gregory once again. He had a number of files forwarded to his secure email for him to review, and perhaps that would be just enough to distract him. Although... Mycroft paused briefly before composing a quick request to Anthea, relaying some of the scant details that Gregory had shared with him the night before. After all, he hadn't specifically asked him not to throw any of his considerable resources at the problem...

Chapter Text

Greg woke slowly, feeling as though he were wrapped in a warm embrace and reluctant to spoil the illusion. His eyes opened somewhat stickily, still feeling a bit swollen from his surprising overflow of emotion the night before. He blinked rapidly and then closed them again, letting them rest a bit longer as he tried to judge his - well, his everything, really.

It was easiest to gauge the state of his body, of course, and he wriggled briefly, feeling out some minor aches and the lingering tenderness in the areas where Mycroft had pierced him. Both his right pectoral and left shoulder were sore, but not to any significant degree - after all, one of the pros of being wolf-born was that he healed rather quickly. Greg was a little surprised to realise that his finger was the most painful, the puncture pulsating rather angrily. Although that could be because he had no idea how best to feed a hungry vampire, and perhaps been a little over-eager when he had blatantly offered himself by spearing his own flesh with one of those horribly intriguing fangs.

Even now, just thinking of it, his wounds seemed to conspire to throb together in an almost unbearably sensual manner, making his cock jerk against his belly. But no - that wasn’t an option, at least not until he had his vampire in his arms again. Especially since even the barest twitches of his blood being redirected down below were enough to make his brain go a bit spinny again - it was clear that he hadn’t fully recovered from the night before just yet. Food was obviously going to have to be his next priority if he were to have any energy to expend later.

Greg tried to roll over, but he was only able to wiggle halfheartedly, his limbs bound fast to his sides. Finally blinking the rest of the sleep out of his eyes, he glanced down his body and started giggling madly. In order to keep him from getting chilled, Mycroft had apparently wrapped not only the sleeping bag, but also every single blanket he had around him rather tightly. He shook his head and sighed, pondering just how he might get his unwieldy burrito-like body out of his cosy little den.

He managed to extricate himself by impersonating an inchworm, working his way out with small undulating motions, pushing against the earth as best he could with his trapped feet, wiggling with his shoulders and bum until he was able to see the sky above him. Pausing to catch his breath before breaking out into another bout of giggles, Greg was rather astonished at how - light he felt.

He had obviously never allowed himself to dwell on his emotional or mental health, knowing that to do so would render him so lost and hopeless that he simply would have given up. No, better to lock that all away, to simply refuse to acknowledge the emptiness inside. He had never talked about his parents to anyone before - not even when he had come across one of his mates from that all-too-brief moment of blissful domesticity when he had still been a child. No - he had agreed to meet for a reunion luncheon, and then he had done what he always did best - he had turned tail and fled.  

He still had a lingering ache in his chest, but where it had been little more than a ball of lead weighing him to the earth, now it was a ghostly half-remembered pain, a tenderness that he cradled at his centre. It wasn’t gone - not that it should be. No, now it was something that he could stop and think on without the fear of letting it overwhelm him, something to use to help him shape a new future. A future that he had never allowed himself to think he might be able to have - a future with someone at his side, with someone that he could lean on and support in his turn. With someone that he could even love.

Greg knew that his decision had truly been made last night, when he had opened his mouth and let it all come drifting out as if in a dream. If he had even the slightest idea of where to start looking, he might have tried to seek Mycroft out, but no. He was in no fit state to go wandering about the outskirts of the village, and if he did, he would undoubtedly edge his lover out in the category of ‘most romantic’, and that would most likely start off a competition of sorts. A man could handle only so much fluff and nonsense in his life, for goodness’ sake.

Chapter Text

No, he would wait for his vampire lover to come collect him, and then they could start their lives together - this very night. But in the meantime... Greg sighed as he wiggled against the earth, finally managing to work some of the blankets around him loose by simply rolling over a few times. He shivered as the cool air hit his overheated skin, his stomach quivering with a slight nausea as his head spun. Food - he needed food. Greg’s knees trembled as he pulled himself to his feet, and he draped his ‘cloak’ over the highest branch that he could reach as he shakily and clumsily pulled himself up.

Once he had his arse firmly planted in place, he reached into his pack and pulled out nearly every edible item he could get his hands on. The peanut butter was repeatedly subjected to numerous biscuit crumbs as was the jar of honey, leaving him a satiated if rather sticky mess about half an hour later. Greg let his head fall back against a branch as his equilibrium started to straighten itself out, his blood sugar returning to whatever counted as his normal.

Greg sighed heavily as he tucked himself up in his impromptu cloak, closing his eyes and letting his brain drift as he dozed fitfully. Today would be spent in quiet contemplation and frequent snacks, focusing on regaining his strength for tonight. After all, Mycroft would be coming to him cold and hungry, and what kind of a loving partner could he possibly be to him if he let that stand?

He lifted his head some unknown quantity of time later as he felt a distinct charge in the air, something in the atmosphere around him alerting him to the impending fall of night. Uncertain as to whether it was the dimming of the light, or a sudden drop in temperature, Greg determined that it ultimately did not matter, especially as his stomach swirled with barely suppressed excitement.

Shifting the blanket that was draped over his shoulders, he wrinkled his nose and immediately starting rooting around for his toilet kit. Although Greg was very much anticipating being spirited away to Mycroft’s cosy ‘cottage’ and quite definitely looking forward to the amenities that such would provide, he could stand to have at least one more cold as hell bath to make himself a bit more presentable. Shaking his head in vague exasperation as something else twitched eagerly, he hoped that it would perhaps serve to keep him from getting prematurely excited as well.

Greg grabbed one of his smallest and cleanest blankets to use as a towel and carted himself off to his little stream for one last bathe. He bit his lip to keep from yelping as the chilly water made him break out into harsh gooseflesh, his dangly bits trying their damnedest to crawl back into the warmth of his bodily cavities. He shivered as he washed every inch of his body as thoroughly as he could, finally decimating the small sliver of soap as he ran it over his hair.

The roiling of his stomach only increased as the wood grew steadily darker around him, and he let his feet lead the way as he ruffled at his head and body with his improvised towel. Soon Mycroft would be back for him, and maybe they'd have an exciting little romp before retiring to sleep in a proper bed and in the morning he would take a long hot shower and drink real coffee from a real mug and  ‘oh, I hope there’s bacon for brekkie’ ...

When he got back to his little den he contemplated for a moment, looking up into the branches and debating whether or not to pull his pack down in preparation for leaving. After all, his decision had already been made, but then - there was no reason to not have a little fun by letting Mycroft fret a bit. So he just gathered up all his blankets instead, and made himself a cosy little nest at the foot of the tree, hunkering down and rubbing at his arms and legs until they felt a little less like blocks of ice.

Greg had just stopped shivering as night truly fell, and he heard the soft footfalls of expensive leather shoes carefully picking their way through the mouldering leaf-litter. He looked up as Mycroft stopped a short distance away, a soft smile gracing his lips as he gazed at him hopefully. Greg leant his head back against the tree as he looked him over very slowly, licking his lips and blowing out a contented sigh. One of Mycroft’s elegant eyebrows quirked as his lover tilted his head inquisitively, having noted a distinct absence of something that had been a very important factor in their burgeoning relationship thus far.

“You haven’t brought me anything to eat.” Greg crossed his arms over his chest and pulled an exaggerated pout. “If you’re going to win my heart, you know you need to appease my stomach.”

Mycroft laughed quietly even as his leather-clad fingers twisted anxiously in front of him. “Yes, well. I thought that perhaps we could - hunt - instead.” His hands suddenly ceased in their incessant motions as Gregory gasped softly. “To-together.”

Chapter Text

“Mycroft.” Greg stood abruptly, shedding all of his blankets and standing in full view, proudly nude.

Mycroft’s eyes flashed pure silver for just a moment as he took in his lover’s fine form, especially as something down below twitched heartily. He lifted his nose in the air and sniffed delicately, a wicked smile slicing across his features at the scent of his beastie’s arousal, quite prevalent even over the lingering odour of cheap soap.

He hastily covered his mouth as his fangs began to drop against his will. “I take it you approve of the notion.”

Greg crooked a finger and beckoned with it purposefully. “You come here and you’ll find out just how much I approve of it.”

Mycroft took a reluctant step forward, his fingers trembling over his lips. “Gregory, you know very well that I should not.”

“Please, my love.” Greg extended his hands, turning his wrists so that he exposed the pale flesh of his inner arms. He held them out in his lover’s direction, blatantly offering himself as a willing banquet. “I rested all day long. You won’t hurt me, I know you won’t.” Greg tilted his head a bit lower as he looked pleadingly at his mate from underneath his lashes. “Come here - come to me. Come kiss me sharp so I can kiss you sweet.”


Greg blinked as there was a quick blur of motion in front of him, grunting loudly as his breath was knocked from his lungs. In the next moment he found himself pinned to the solid wood of the tree trunk, his hands held fast over his head in an iron grip. He moaned and whined as he wriggled against the thigh that was tucked up tight between his legs, straining to reach his lover’s bloodless lips. It was rather like rutting against a marble statue that had been stored in a freezer, but it did absolutely nothing to cool Greg’s ardour, the heat in his blood keeping certain bits quite inflamed and eagerly insistent.

“Take care...” Mycroft’s nostrils flared as Gregory struggled to reach him, his hips moving in quick, short jerks as he panted hot breath into the small distance between their lips. “Take care how you tease a hungry vampire, naughty pup.”

“Not - hnghh... Not a tease. A promise.” Greg whimpered quietly, his eyes huge and pleading. “Please. Just a little, just enough. A kiss, my sweet. Take what you need so I can have what I need. Need to feel your hands, your lips. Please, I need...” He bit his lip as his brain stuttered helplessly. “I need.”

Mycroft took in an astonished breath, his still lungs expanding almost painfully against the cage of his ribs. “You need - me?”

“Yes, God yes.” Greg wriggled a little more desperately, finally managing to find purchase against the tree with his feet. He pushed and heaved, getting his legs up high enough to wrap around Mycroft’s waist, struggling to pull him in and not managing to budge him even the least little bit. He glanced down at himself, his florid cock leaving smears of pre-come on his lover’s expensive trousers. “Tell me what that is, if not need.”

Mycroft growled low in his chest. “That - is quite the tasty treat is what it is. But I cannot allow myself to indulge just yet. After all, I would not wish to cause you any irreparable harm.” He suddenly bared his fangs in a fierce grin, his chest filling with a suffuse warmth as Gregory let out a soft if sincere declaration of lust, his eyes widening and going nearly black with desire.

“Ohhh...” Greg closed his eyes as his body shuddered hard, his neck twisting awkwardly with the force of it. He took a moment to breathe, finding the odd absence of his lover’s scent comforting, somehow. He forced himself to go limp except for the grip of his thighs around Mycroft’s waist, and of course another bit that absolutely refused to diminish itself. Shaking a little sense back into his brain, Greg slowly opened his eyes and looked into a lovely face that had gone almost feral with hunger and desire. “A kiss, my sweet. Please - that’s all I’m asking of you.”

Mycroft glanced down, the tips of his fangs pricking at his bottom lip. “And that little annoyance?”

Greg sputtered in utter outrage as his lover canted his eyes toward him with sly amusement. “Little?” Mycroft simply shrugged idly, his true interest betrayed by the glint of pure silver in his eyes and in the way his tongue darted out to caress his prominent teeth. Greg sighed and shook his head again. “I’m quite adept at ignoring said annoyance, as well you know.” Unable to hold back on his pathetic whimpers, he once again strained to reach Mycroft’s lips. “Kiss me, you horrible creature. Bite me - take me.

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“Insolent.” Mycroft hissed in exquisite agony as Gregory tilted his head back, deliberately exposing the fine, strong curve of his throat to him. “Oh, but you foolish...”

“Trust you, love. Please.” Greg spoke his entreaty up to the leafy branches of his erstwhile home, but his captor heard him clearly, finally relenting - as if he had any choice in the matter. He hitched in an agonised breath as he felt the cold aura surrounding Mycroft’s body move closer, a delicate pinpoint of icy fire tracing over his Adam’s apple. Greg groaned as his lover sniffed at him, almost but not quite probing with his nose as he followed the path of the arteries in his neck.

Mycroft swallowed hard as his fangs throbbed in his skull, seemingly in time to the beats of his lover’s heart, Gregory’s pulse pounding visibly at the thin skin of his neck. Not there, not just yet, no, that was to be saved for a special occasion, for when he had his precious beastie cosseted away in his own home, for when he would be able to pamper him and give him the proper care afterwards. If - if he were to agree to be his, of course.

He crooned low as Gregory whimpered, his head colliding against the tree with a quiet thunk as he fought to keep himself still. Shifting his head to the side, Mycroft once again sampled his lover’s aroma, the sharp sting of his desperate sweat caressing his tongue as his nose passed over his armpit. He leant back slightly and watched the play of the muscles in Gregory’s arms as he subtly fought against his implacable hold, shaking his head in fond amusement. Perhaps a lesson in obedience was in order...

Mycroft hummed quietly, and his lover must have heard something of his intention in the soft sound, as he abruptly went quite limp, his breath catching in his lungs. But that hardly mattered now, did it? With nary a warning, the vampire struck at the soft flesh of Gregory’s inner arm, sinking his teeth deep into the muscle and snarling as his willing victim jerked involuntarily against his mouth.

‘Aveți nevoie doar de un pic, nu fi lacom.'* Mycroft admonished himself in his head even as his lover’s blood trickled down his throat, thick and rich, coppery sweet and oh so intoxicating. 'Nu-l rănesc, lipitoare prostie.'**

He pulled out slowly as he felt the tips of his fingers start to tingle, the nerves sparking back to life as the warmth of his lover’s blood began to flow into his cheeks and lips. Gregory moaned as he withdrew, his hips once again moving in quick, choppy jerks, striving to find purchase, seeking the friction that he needed to chase his own bliss.

Mycroft reluctantly loosened his hold on his lover’s wrists, trailing his leather-clad fingers down his arms, tracing the winding blue veins that were standing out in stark relief from the receding pressure of his grip. Gregory shivered deliciously at every light stroke, his beautiful big brown eyes looking at him somewhat dazedly. He obediently kept his arms over his head until Mycroft’s focus had shifted, until his attention was held fast by the dusky nipples that were standing almost painfully erect under his reverent gaze.

Taking just a moment to shake a bit of the blood back into his somewhat numb fingers, Greg reached out to cup Mycroft’s now-warm face in his hands, taking advantage of his distraction to bring him closer. He kissed him softly and sweetly, pressing his lips to cheek and eye and jaw before moving to the corners of his mouth. He nipped at his upper lip and sucked on it lightly, keeping his wicked tongue tucked away from those delightful teeth to prevent from stoking his vampire’s hunger any further. He took what he needed with low sighs and quiet whimpers, rubbing against Mycroft’s cheeks and nuzzling into the small strip of neck above his starched white collar.

“Touch, love - need your touch oh please...” Greg breathed his plea into Mycroft’s ear as he wrapped himself around him, pressing close and snaking his arms around his back and neck. He laid his cheek on expensive fabric and nosed at whatever skin was close to hand. “Touch me...”

Mycroft hastily shucked his gloves, tossing them into the darkness before lightly trailing his fingers along the ladder of his lover’s ribcage. He grinned foolishly at the soft gasp in his ear, humming low in approval at every shiver of delight in the body held so closely to his. Mycroft backed away from the tree slightly so he could run his hands over Gregory’s back, the muscles under his rough-smooth skin shifting as he tightened his hold with arms and legs, clinging to him almost as a child might.

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Mycroft took deliberate care to caress each twitch of his lover’s skin, letting his fingers dance over every knob of his spine as he slowly moved his hands downward. Gregory responded with more rubbing at his cheek and jaw, his wolfish tendencies coming to the fore as he lost himself in his vampire’s touch, nuzzling at him mindlessly. He whimpered through his nose and panted hot breath over his ear as Mycroft continued to stroke and caress, his long fingers travelling ever downward until they finally settled under the full swell of his arse-cheeks.

With a soft snarl of approval and delight, the vampire curled his hands around those deliciously firm globes and squeezed hard. Gregory threw his head back with a soft yelp, unwittingly exposing his fine throat to his lover once again. The smell of his arousal spiked harshly in Mycroft’s nose, the calming effect of his caresses having been shattered by his eagerness and the stark hunger he felt for the man in his arms.

Gregory turned desperately lust-blown eyes on him as he tried to rut against his body, Mycroft’s fierce grip making any motion on his part somewhat impossible. His voice was but a quiet echo in the small space between them, the barest whisper of, “Oh please...

Mycroft responded with a soft snarl, reaching behind his back to unlatch Gregory’s ankles, to clasp his thighs firmly as he easily broke the hold that he’d had on him for untold minutes. He shook his head at his lover’s unhappy grumble, the pout on his lips far too tempting for him to ignore. Dragging just the tips of his fangs over that protruding bottom lip, Mycroft gently drew Gregory’s hands from around his neck and stepped back slightly.

He put one cautionary hand to his lover’s chest as he started to follow, pressing him back against the tree. Taking his right hand in his, Mycroft gently unfurled Gregory’s fingers from the fist that they had clenched into, dabbling his tongue at the tips. He dragged his teeth across his wrist and grinned sharply at the harsh intake of breath that made the strong chest under his touch expand before slowly deflating. With a long, wet lick of Gregory’s palm, Mycroft directed his hand to his groin.

“Show me.” Mycroft’s tongue darted out and flickered over his exposed fangs as Gregory’s fingers closed around his own stiff prick with another soft gasp for air, a hint of understanding gleaming in dark eyes as his lover tugged at himself firmly. Mycroft tilted his head with a soft cluck of his tongue as he took another step back, his fingers going for his tie. “Slowly, my love.”

Greg nodded, watching those elegant hands as they began to divest his lover of his clothing. His free hand wandered over his chest and belly as he dipped the fingers of his right below, tugging gently on his bollocks and scratching lightly at his inner thigh. He left his prick mostly untouched to bob and twitch mournfully, a nearly steady stream of clear pre-come dripping onto the ground at his feet. He teased himself almost to the point of madness as Mycroft slowly and deliberately removed each of his bespoke layers, neatly draping his discarded clothing over a nearby branch.

Greg left off on truly touching himself until there was nothing left on Mycroft’s lean body but his underpants, the black silk a striking contrast to the creamy paleness of his vampire’s skin. Greg squeezed and stroked, biting his lip hard as Mycroft met his eyes, teasing him unbearably with the tips of his thumbs running underneath the waistband of the expensive material over and over again. Greg narrowed his eyes as he slid his foreskin up and over the head of his prick, tugging it taut before letting it retract smoothly on its own, elastic and supple.

He tilted his head as he deliberately folded his hands behind his back, ignoring his own throbbing need as Mycroft pursed his lips in feigned disappointment. Although with as desperately as he wished to see his lover’s release, of course Gregory’s ploy would work rather handily. Mycroft sighed as he abruptly stretched out the waistband of his pants, tugging them downward and letting them fall to the ground. He looked up as he stepped out of the bundle of flimsy fabric, his eyes flashing silver as he watched his lover take himself in hand once again.

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Greg pushed his upper back against the tree trunk, his body bowing in Mycroft’s direction, and the vampire obeyed his unspoken demand, almost stumbling on the uneven ground as he moved closer, his eyes darting between face and hand. Greg bit his lip to keep from pleading, his eyes rolling back slightly as his grip on himself tightened. He let out a soft moan as Mycroft tucked himself close to his left side, trailing his cool fingers along his clavicle and down his sternum.

In lieu of kissing him, since his blasted teeth refused to subside, Mycroft leant in to bestow tiny nips, dragging the tips of his fangs over Gregory’s skin, smiling broadly as he twitched and shivered with delight with each light scratch. He bent to tongue at his nipple, cursing under his breath as he inadvertently nicked the sensitive flesh, a dark drop of oh-so-red blood beading up from the tiny wound. There was nothing for it but to lick it up, especially as his lover’s back arched with a sharp gasp, shoving it harder onto his tongue.

Gregory’s fingers threaded into the hair at the back of his head, and Mycroft tilted his face up obligingly as he tugged at him. “Oh God... So beautiful...”

Mycroft licked the small smear of blood from his bottom lip as he blinked up at him languidly. Not fighting his hold, he let his legs go limp, his knees folding gracefully until he was kneeling in front of him. He tilted his head coquettishly as Gregory’s grip tightened on both hair and prick, as he squirmed against his own touch, trying to hold back and yet clearly desperate to come. “And now, my love?”

Greg growled under his breath as Mycroft stuck out his tongue and swiped it delicately over the head of his prick, just that incidental touch enough to make him completely lose himself. With a bitten-back curse, his hips jerked wildly as his cock swelled and burst, painting a thick stripe of semen over his vampire’s tongue. Mycroft opened his mouth wider as Gregory wrenched his head back, giving him just enough room to aim carefully between the fearsome weapons trembling in his jaw, gifting him the rest of his load in two, three strong pulses.

Mycroft gratefully swallowed it all down before licking at the soiled fingers that were suddenly shoved into his mouth, winking up at a face flushed with satisfaction and heady bliss. Gregory snarled quietly as his thumb swiped over his lover’s cheek, gathering up a splash that had gone a bit wild and making sure that his eager supplicant got it all. “Fucking gorgeous is what you are. So beautiful and filthy and all mine, oh yes.”

“Yes, Gregory.” Mycroft folded his hands in front of him as he dipped his head, blinking down at the ground between his lover’s feet. Yes, he would be proud, ecstatic even, to be called his, but would Gregory say the same for him? He shifted a bit closer as he felt a gentle caress along his jaw, an insistent finger under his chin.

Lifting his face, Mycroft once again bared his fangs as his lover prodded at his lips with his thumb, his eyes glimmering in the dark. Gregory shifted his flesh over the protuberances, rubbing at them gently as he brought his lover’s face closer to his body. “Please, love.” He smiled softly as Mycroft’s body jerked, as he willingly went where his lover tugged him. “Mark me. Make me yours.”

Mycroft moaned wordlessly, going up on his knees and simply burying his face in the soft flesh of his lover’s lower belly. He sniffed and nuzzled at his thick and somewhat sticky member, running his nose along the seam of thigh and groin, inhaling the heady aroma of his sweat, his musk. With Gregory’s strong fingers once again wound into his hair, Mycroft opened his mouth and bit into the cradle of his hip, the flesh so soft and tender there that his teeth sank in without the least resistance, making him groan low in his chest. He suckled deeply but briefly, knowing that his lover was still weakened from his excessive display the night before.

Disengaging carefully and licking at the pinpoint wounds until they stopped leaking, Mycroft sat back on his heels and closed his eyes as he let himself feel Gregory’s energy surging through his body. It wasn’t the overwhelming and almost painful hot-sharp-swirl of immediate bliss that he had experienced during his orgasm the night before, no. This was far sweeter and heavier, a deeper warmth spreading through his insides, leaving him languid with second-hand euphoria. Mycroft’s head lolled on his neck as he looked up and up, the corona of his lover’s body heat shimmering and sparkling in his enhanced vision.

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He giggled quietly as Gregory sank to his knees in front of him, gently cradling his face as he pressed soft kisses to cheek and temple. Mycroft combed his fingers through his lover’s chest hair as the endorphins trapped in his liquid meal induced his fangs to recede, his otherworldly hunger seemingly satiated with just the small amount that he had taken. Oh, but he truly was a marvel...

“Thank you, love.”

Gregory chuckled low as Mycroft’s cheeks flashed bright pink, realising a bit belatedly that he had spoken the praise out loud. But what did it matter? It was only the truth, after all. He smiled as Gregory knocked their foreheads together gently, tilting his face to press a sultry kiss to his lips.

In the next moment, Mycroft found himself flat on his back as his de-fanged mouth was thoroughly and quite enthusiastically explored with lips and tongue. He snarled playfully as Gregory exhaled a rough growl, easily rolling him over and pinning him to the ground. His lover did not protest at finding their positions so reversed, although the very moment that Mycroft was distracted by Gregory’s heat and fervour, he unwittingly relented in his hold and was bested again, all too easily.

Blinking up at a face that was alight with unfettered joy, Mycroft frowned briefly as that odd double-thump startstop once again echoed in his chest. He dismissed it as Gregory ground down on him with an impudent wiggle, sighing with faux exasperation as he swiftly and easily rolled him over yet again. He smiled as Gregory continued to writhe up against him, bending down to take his mouth even as he clamped his fingers tight around his upper arms, holding him fast to the earth.

“Are you always this exuberant after sexual release?”

Gregory shrugged, a bit of the laughter in his eyes dimming as he subsided. “Dunno, really. Usually felt too guilty, if I could remember doing it at all.” He visibly shook off his impending black mood, grinning irrepressibly up at his lover. “But you - oh, I am going to have so much fun with you.”

Mycroft must have swooned, not that he would ever admit to such a thing, as he was suddenly flung back down to the ground with a solid thump. He thrashed his limbs obligingly as Gregory dug into his sides with his fingers, low snarls accompanying the stunted pleasure-pain of nails and teeth scraping at his flesh. He absolutely did not let out a sharply yelped giggle as that odd spot under his arm was tickled, no matter how Gregory’s face lit up at the discovery, his glee almost manic in its intensity.

They tussled momentarily as Gregory dove for that damnable spot once again. Mycroft was rather astonished to find that when his lover was actually intent on holding him down, he did quite a fine job at it, but with his superior strength, he ultimately succeeded in his goal of regaining the upper hand. He sat up triumphantly as his unconventional mount panted happily underneath him, his cheeks rosy with their exertions and his dark eyes sparkling with mirth.

Mycroft’s brain went a bit fuzzy around the edges as his lover gnawed delicately on his bottom lip, presenting quite the intriguing tableau with his ludicrously lush eyelashes fluttering coquettishly up at him. “Gods, but you are magnificent.” Gregory’s grin sharpened as he reached out to clasp at Mycroft’s waist, holding him down as he ground up languidly, his stiffening prick pressing almost painfully into the crack of his arse. He shook his head, rolling his eyes to the darkened skies. “And absolutely incorrigible.”

“Your fault, looking at me like that.” Greg tilted his head back as he pushed up with his legs, moaning softly. “And feeling the way you do, oh...” He laughed softly as Mycroft let out a strangled noise of approval, looking up at him with a tinge of all-too-enticing blood warming his cheeks. “Whaddya say - another round?”

Mycroft shook his head a little mournfully. “While my body is yours to do with as you will, your body has not had a proper meal, and so I must regretfully decline.” Gregory harrumphed at him grumpily, although he didn’t stop the slow but purposeful rolling of his hips, either. Mycroft bit back on the sounds of encouragement bubbling up in his chest, his fangs beginning to tingle in his upper jaw, albeit reluctantly, as his belly was not gnawing at itself in hunger. Although Gregory’s apparently was, and Mycroft let his eyebrows telegraph his surprise victory as the deep rumble of its displeasure shook through the both of them.

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Greg groaned and flopped back against the earth, curling in on himself as best as he was able with his rider still clinging to him gamely. He clutched at his belly as it spoke up again, digging his fingers in hard as he snarled down at it. “Fucking stomach...” He ignored his lover’s faint giggles as he poked at himself viciously. “Selfish, that’s what you are. Other bits finally get to have a little fun-time and you just can’t have that can you? Always got to be priority number one, you greedy tit.”

“Gregory, are you sincerely...” Mycroft put a finger to his mouth and bit down on it gently to keep from breaking out into uproarious laughter.

Greg ignored him, sighing heavily as the body part in question growled loudly again. “See if I ever feed you again, you nuisance.”

“Oh, but Gregory - do you not wish to hunt with me after all?” Mycroft put just the barest hint of regret in his voice as he turned his lips into a soft pout. “You seemed rather keen on the idea earlier.”

He smirked as Greg lurched into a seated position, throwing his arms around his middle and squeezing tight. “Oh, but I’d forgotten!”

“You’re so easily excitable.” Mycroft hummed quietly as he slipped his arms around Gregory’s neck and kissed him gently. “Like a great big puppy-dog.”

Greg’s eyes narrowed, but there was no holding back on his grin, so he just shrugged helplessly. “Haven’t had much I could get excited about. Not until you slipped into my life, anyway.” His fingers barely traced up and down Mycroft’s spine, making him shiver deliciously. Greg tilted his head as he watched the minute twitches of pleasure dance across his vampire’s face. “But you don’t need to, do you?”

“What - nghk - whatever do you mean?”

Greg nuzzled at his jaw briefly. “You’re warm - truly warm. Your skin, it’s come alive.” He scratched lightly at Mycroft’s arms, watching with delight as the skin pebbled into gooseflesh under his touch. “And you’re blushing.” He smiled as he swiped a thumb over a high cheekbone as it blazed merrily. “An honest, sincere blush, not just that weird spotty flush that vanishes as quickly as it appears when something’s embarrassed you.” He tilted his head in thought. “Whatever you took from me, it was enough, wasn’t it?” Mycroft nearly snorted as his lover’s eyes widened almost comically with a salacious if utterly ludicrous thought. “Oh! You swallowed!”

Mycroft rolled his eyes heavenward. “Of course I did, you silly beast. It would have been a terrible waste otherwise.” He put a finger to Gregory’s lips as he took in a sharp breath. “But before you go off on a wild tangent, no, your semen does not contain any magical properties besides conveying a certain sense of pride in a job well done.”

Greg pulled a slight face even as his cheeks warmed. “But it’s not blood. Won’t you need to, y’know...” He mimed sticking his finger down his throat as Mycroft bit back on his laughter.

“No, you ridiculous creature. It contains proteins that my body will absorb quite handily. Liquids aren’t necessarily a problem for me.” Mycroft pulled himself up slightly. “In fact, I quite enjoy a bracing cup of tea from time to time.”

“But you’re satiated. If you don’t need to hunt...”

“If I were to remain like this, no, I would not need anything else this night. The small amount of your blood that I did consume would be more than sufficient. It's very - hearty.” Mycroft dropped his eyes shyly, tracing over the faint marks still left from the night before on his lover’s chest. “But if I transform, I will undoubtedly need another meal afterward. The process is rather - trying.”

Greg captured his hands and cradled them carefully. “Mycroft. You really don’t have to. I know how exhausting and - well, private such a thing can be. We can still run together after I shift. The wolf already recognises you as his mate, so I’m sure he won’t mind.”

“I want to share myself with you, Gregory - I want to lay every aspect of my life open to you.” Mycroft sighed as his face was lifted, as his face was caressed with broad, strong fingers. “I want you to see me.”

“Oh, but I do.” Greg breathed against his lover’s lips before taking them gently. “And I would be truly honoured to be a part of all of that. I just want you to know that I won’t care for you any less if you decided not to, that’s all.”

Mycroft blinked at him, a shy smile spreading slowly over his face. “I appreciate that, my love. But my decision has been made.”

“And of course once that beautiful mind of yours is set on something, I imagine there’s no hope of persuading you otherwise.”

Mycroft laughed softly. “That depends greatly on the manner of persuasion, my dear.”

Greg snorted out a quick huff of air, reluctantly releasing Mycroft as his long fingers pushed at his chest, sitting back and crossing his legs in preparation for the show.

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Mycroft stretched before kneeling some distance away on a clear spot of earth, twisting his head from side to side. He turned a small and somewhat flustered look on his lover, shrugging his shoulders ruefully. “It has been quite some time since I have attempted this, as it isn’t necessary to my survival. I - I’m not sure...”

Greg smiled softly. “I don’t have to watch if that will make it easier on you.”

“No.” Mycroft blushed again as Gregory’s eyes widened at the volume of his voice, and he made a visible effort to swallow his distress. “Don’t - don’t leave me, please.”

Greg shook his head firmly. “Of course not, love. I’m not going anywhere, I promise you.”

Mycroft nodded and once again closed his eyes, shaking out his fingers before laying his hands carefully down on his thighs. Greg abruptly shook himself as his brain went a bit fuzzy, suddenly realising that he had been holding his breath, subconsciously mimicking his lover’s unnatural stillness. His lungs burned briefly as he sucked in air, fighting to keep his annoyingly human noises to a minimum. Other than the barest curve at the corner of Mycroft’s lips, he gave no indication that he had even heard, and Greg forced himself to relax against the tree once more.

He pondered to himself as Mycroft’s face twitched minutely, a myriad of expressions flitting over his features. It was clear to him that this sort of thing did not come to the vampire as easily as it did to him. After all, he had been born with the ability to shift already inscribed indelibly in his base structure, in his bones and muscles and mind. His transformations, while jarring in their own right, were rather a simple matter for him to endure - he had the tools at hand with which to deal with the pain and the disorientation, and he recovered very quickly as long as he had the means to replenish his energy. For Mycroft, this would have been a learned process, and from what it seemed, it had been rather a hard-won lesson.   

Greg swallowed uneasily as he watched his lover’s mental preparation, fighting the urge to go to him, to once again insist that he did not need to go through this trial to prove himself to him, but there was no denying the pull of curiosity and the almost overwhelming sense of pride that he was willing to go through this process just for him. He watched his lover’s beautiful face shift into deep thought and concentration, yes - but there was also a certain sense of doubt present in the tilt of his eyebrows, and his jaw clenched in obvious frustration before that apprehension was suddenly washed away, replaced with certainty, with peace. Mycroft’s chest rose and fell with respiration that he did not technically need, simply to provide oxygen to muscles that were unused to this type of activity.

Greg blinked as Mycroft’s skin seemed to ripple slightly under his gaze, a swift tremor running from neck to shoulders and down his arms. He blinked again as Mycroft’s long fingers flexed and then snapped out straight, lengthening even further, a thin translucent membrane stretching out between the digits. Greg once again held his breath, cursing the loud thud of the beat of his heart in his ears. He wanted to see everything, to hear everything, to stand witness, to cherish every second of this precious moment and hold it in his memory forever.

After all, even though they would be going home together after this night was through - not that they had actually discussed that - ‘oops’ - Greg had a feeling that this wasn’t something that would be happening very often or indeed ever again. He shook his head as an indistinct haze settled over Mycroft’s kneeling form, blinking rapidly to try and clear his vision. Despite the visual confirmation that the bones in the vampire’s limbs were changing shape much as Greg’s did during his shift, the only sound in the clearing was that of his own harsh breathing.

There was no strange cracking or snapping, no overt creaking as bones and muscle shifted, his torso shortening as his physical mass was redistributed. Mycroft’s chin had dropped to his chest, and so Greg was denied the sight as his face morphed, but he still took in a soft gasp of delight as ginger-hued fur began to spread downward, as his ears expanded and flattened into rounded points at the side of his head. He winced slightly as those damn finger-bones continued to stretch and lengthen, pondering the delicacy of them even as they turned outward into the all too recognisable shape of wings. Greg bit down on a finger of his own to keep himself from bouncing on his bum in heady glee, fighting to keep from clapping his hands like a giddy child - his lover really was turning into something very like a giant bat, and oh what a cute little fuzzy-wuzzy thing he was going to be!

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Greg hissed out a startled exclamation as Mycroft suddenly convulsed and fell down on his back, his shortened legs twitching as they were harshly wrenched out of joint. He was standing over him before he even registered his own action, taking a step back as he realised that it was all still a part of the transformation, and that Mycroft truly did not seem to be in any distress despite the awkward torqueing of his limbs. In fact, it almost looked as though it might be over for the most part as Mycroft flopped back against the earth, his arms and legs both spread wide.

Greg tilted his head as minute tremors continued to ripple up and over Mycroft’s skin, now covered in a fine if abundant ginger down. He went down on his knees before him, cautiously reaching out to delicately caress the paper-thin membrane of his wings between his fingers. Although it was now connected to the skin of his torso, it didn’t quite stretch all the way to the tips of his fingers, making Greg wonder if he was even capable of flight. Glancing up at the rather thick canopy, he thought that it might be a rather moot point anyway - at about five feet tall with a wingspan of over six feet, anything close to Mycroft’s current size would have difficulty navigating through these trees.

Mycroft stirred slightly as Greg continued his silent explorations, running just the tips of his fingers through the soft fur covering his chest and belly. He crouched over him, planting his hands on the earth on either side of Mycroft’s head, looking down into a face that was oddly recognisable, still lovely, but in an otherworldly way. Greg couldn’t recall seeing many pictures of vampire bats, but he supposed that this must be what they looked like - the oddly squashed, almost pig-like nose, except - curly, somehow. He traced his thumb over Mycroft’s bottom lip, gently pulling down on the strange channel that had formed in the middle.  

Mycroft’s mouth trembled slightly, his upper lip curling upward to reveal two jagged triangles where his front teeth had been. Greg sucked in a soft breath as his fingers almost grazed over them, drawing back quickly. After all, they looked positively razor-sharp, and he had no idea how Mycroft might react to his mouth suddenly being filled with his lover’s blood. There was no way to tell what state his mind might be in - whether he was capable of reasoning as a human, or if it was all animal instinct as it was for him as the wolf.

Greg shook himself and started to fall back on his heels. He shouldn’t be crowding him like this - in fact, he should probably be up in his tree to be on the safe side, but he couldn’t leave him, not when Mycroft had explicitly asked him not to. Oh, but his ears, his ruffly little ears... One touch. He would allow himself one more touch, and then he would give his adorable wee beastie time to recover, to come back to him. After a quick glance at his face to ensure that his eyes were still closed, Greg cautiously reached up and traced just along the inner edge of one silky ear. Ohhh... Seemingly unable to help himself, he crouched lower, stretching up to run his nose along the path that his fingers had already traversed.

He let out a startled “Eep!” as Mycroft suddenly chittered at him in what seemed like irritation, a harsh staccato bouncing against his eardrum. Greg flailed backwards and tried to ignore the next sound he heard, as he was fairly certain that the somewhat high-pitched rolling huffs could be construed as rather uncharitable laughter.  


Greg’s breath left him in a puff as his bare arse hit the earth, staring unabashedly as Mycroft struggled to roll over onto his feet, his knees sticking awkwardly out to the side as he folded his wings and rested on his elbows. He grimaced slightly and put a hand to his head as the bat-like creature shook itself out. “You... You can talk to me? In here?”

Mycroft shuffled toward him awkwardly. “ this...” He tilted his head curiously as Greg hissed out a short pained breath. “Difficult.”

“Yeah - ow.” Greg put his other hand up to his temple, applying firm pressure until the throbbing in his brain had stopped. He lifted his head as there was a softly inquisitive sound in front of him, looking into starkly black but strangely concerned eyes. Greg shuffled a bit closer on his knees, reaching out to cup Mycroft’s strangely familiar face with both hands. He shuddered in relief and comfort as light wings enveloped him, tucking his face into a softly furred neck. “It’s okay, love. I’m sure you didn’t know.” He hummed low as Mycroft chittered again, nosing into his hair. “Maybe it will be easier for me to handle as the wolf...”

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Greg cautiously reached down and around, pulling Mycroft up into his lap as he fell back into a sitting position. He pulled away slightly to look at him, running his fingertips over his jaw and down his chest. He wasn’t entirely sure whether or not a bat could look discomfited, but that was certainly what he saw in Mycroft’s face.

“Stop. You’re beautiful.” Greg stroked Mycroft gently as he rumbled quietly in his chest, his wings fluttering softly against his sides and along his bare back. “I can’t believe you went through that just for me - my gorgeous monster.”

This time the look was quite bashful, and once again Greg found himself wondering if bats really could blush like that, but the lovely flash of colour drained far too quickly. Mycroft’s head rolled back on his neck as his eyes squeezed shut, his body trembling almost violently.

Greg tried not to let the panic in his chest come through his voice as he held a finger to Mycroft’s lips. “Here. Take what you need.”

He shrank away as Mycroft’s voice suddenly resounded in his head, booming like a thunderclap. “NO!” Greg gasped and trembled as he clutched at his temples. “Need...more... Would”

“Sorry, love, sorry. Wasn’t thinking.” Greg curled in on himself slightly, attempting to control his breathing as the throbbing pain in his head began to subside. Mycroft tried to comfort him with tiny squeaks and cautious licks of his pointed tongue, making Greg giggle quietly as his ears were inadvertently tickled. Once his head had stopped spinning, he gently disengaged from Mycroft’s embrace and set him back down on the ground, leaning in to press a kiss to the top of his head. “Right. Let’s get me sorted before you pass out, my darling beastie.”

The squeak that met this comment was decidedly a snort of disbelief, and Greg turned his brightest grin on his lover before curling up on his side on a bare bit of earth. He held out a hand as Mycroft shuffled just a bit closer, clearly as eager to witness his transformation as Greg had been to see his. “I need a little room - just there should be fine.”

He was surprised to find that his stomach was quivering with nerves, doubt stealing into his brain and settling down quite firmly. Greg tried to shake it off as he closed his eyes, concentrating on that warm, wild energy that resided just underneath his breastbone. He caressed it mentally, gathering it up and shaping it into a small ball before trying to flatten it wide. It resisted his touch, and for just a moment, Greg felt a swift flash of panic, realising that the sensation was reminiscent of the first time he had tried to shift after his parents’ death. It had taken him nearly half the night to regain his confidence enough to make the shift, and it was still lodged in his memory as the most painful transformation he had undergone to date.

Of course, he had been a boy then, cold and alone and frightened nearly out of his wits, but still - releasing the wolf within was such an instinctual thing for his people. Why was he faltering now? He tilted his head as he heard a soft sound close to his ear, a low trilling cry of encouragement. The cool aura surrounding Mycroft’s body retreated slightly, and Greg let his own body go limp. Of course. He had never shifted in front of anybody before, save his family. But Mycroft was his family now, was his pack - in all the ways that mattered.

So he simply let the anxiety go, sighing out a long breath of relief as he felt that warmth spread to his limbs, his very skin tingling in anticipation. His mind once again disengaged from the pain as the familiar spasms crashed through his frame, knocking his bones all askew and assembling them in a different form. He was on his feet before brain and body were fully aligned, his head and tail hanging low as his skin pinged with overactive nerves.

The wolf lifted his nose, the thick ruff of fur between his shoulders raising slightly as he sniffed at the air, his eyes still shut tight. He staggered as a low growl ripped through his chest, scenting ‘intruder’ before taking in a longer breath, huffing it out through sharp teeth. His tongue lolled briefly as he blinked his eyes free of the gummy haze, his posture shrinking into something less forbidding and far more welcoming. 

His legs still trembled uncertainly, but he pushed through the shakiness as he approached his mate, sniffing cautiously at the air around his new form. The wolf settled down onto his haunches a small distance away, keeping himself still and allowing the bat-shaped creature to move closer at his own pace, chittering softly all the way. They touched noses briefly before the wolf simply swiped his tongue over the entirety of Mycroft’s face, snorting out canine laughter as the creature squeaked at him in indignation.  

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Mycroft obligingly lifted his chin and allowed the wolf to scent his throat, spreading one wing wide as an impertinent nose nudged at his armpit. He trembled at the sensation of a rough tongue on the delicate membrane stretching from torso to finger, finding it alluring and yet terribly ticklish at the same time. He tried to speak to his mate mind-to-mind, but although the intrusion into his brain did not seem to affect Gregory as harshly while he was in this form, neither did it seem to even register. Words. What even were words to a wild animal such as he?

Mycroft himself maintained his intellect while transformed, was able to think and reason as usual, even if some of his baser instincts were a little more difficult to ignore. Gregory plainly did not have that same advantage, simply becoming the wolf in thoughts and actions during his shift. This became abundantly clear as the intrusive nose twitched and the large head dipped down, a warm blast of breath washing over Mycroft’s nethers.

He squirmed slightly, but Mycroft allowed his mate to take in his scent, to lave his tongue over and around and oh - under. Gregory abruptly flattened his belly to the ground, whining unhappily as he sniffed and nudged and licked. Mycroft shuddered hard, almost wishing that this body, that his body, was capable of responding to such stimuli. Not that he would have been able to do much with it at the moment, as his head spun and his knees went wobbly.

Gregory immediately pushed his head up to his torso, giving Mycroft something to lean against until his weakness had passed. He conveyed his gratitude with an inoffensive nibble at the tip of one large, soft ear, neatly avoiding the capillaries that were visible even through the thick fur. Of course, each one was like a shining beacon to Mycroft’s enhanced sight, pulsing enticingly with every beat of his lover’s heart. His reverie was broken as the wolf gently nudged at him, pushing him toward his back as he settled down on his belly again.

His intention was clear, and Mycroft felt a swift swell of gratitude that almost threatened to engulf him as he climbed somewhat awkwardly onto Gregory’s back. He dug his thumbs and back claws into the gloriously thick silver-grey fur, unfurling his wings and cautiously wrapping them around Gregory’s middle as he stood. With a small rumble of warning, the beast shook himself slightly, ensuring that his passenger’s grip was secure. Mycroft settled himself in more firmly with a little wriggle, turning his cheek into the ruff of fur between his lover’s shoulders.

His belly rumbled with hunger, yes, but also with nervous anticipation as the wolf began to trot deeper into the wood. Gregory was perhaps a bit overly cautious at first, but soon picked up confidence as his stride began to lengthen, although Mycroft noted that he was careful to skirt around the odd obstacle rather than simply going over it. The wolf was obviously extremely wary of possibly throwing off his unconventional passenger, but Mycroft tried to reassure him, both with encouraging little squeaks and by speaking to him in his head.

The wolf heard the voice, and although it was a familiar and comfortable weight in the back of his mind, again, the words themselves meant nothing. So he concentrated on his other senses, on the soft trilling chirps that made his ears perk, on the aura of cold seeping through his thick hide that spoke of his mate’s growing weakness. But it was the smells that truly drove him on, oh the smells.

Naturally, the scent of his mate, something coppery and vaguely gamy, an aroma that he wanted to roll about in with utter abandon. Even if that sharp tang was under laid with a mossy exhaustion that threatened to seep into his own bones, he still wanted to mark himself with it. The wolf pushed himself through the sympathetic fatigue as something else lit up in his nose, a peppery-sweet bite of excitement, a sensuous, rich earthiness that conveyed comfort and trust and contentment - love.

He put on a little burst of speed just to hear his mate squeal excitedly in his ear, to feel the scrabble of his claws as they clutched at his fur. Leaping over a fallen log and bounding sideways to avoid an inconvenient boulder, he opened his jaws and let his tongue loll out as there was a volley of enthusiastic chitters from behind. And then he no longer bothered to detour around the odd bit of protruding landscape, choosing instead to simply go over, either with a powerful leap or a mad scrabble of his paws, pausing at the top to let out a triumphant snort before continuing on his way, the cool weight of the rider on his back a reminder of his purpose.

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As he approached his territorial borders, the wolf slowed his pace, letting his heartbeat settle as he lifted his nose to the air. Mycroft stirred against Gregory’s back as he whined quietly, sensing his unease, but not entirely comprehending it - all he saw was another bit of the forest just like any other. He understood logically that Gregory had a particular plot of the wood marked as his, but it wasn’t like there was a competing predator of his size around these parts that he had to avoid. Gregory was not only the last of the wolf-born that he knew of, but likely the only wolf running wild in the entirety of the UK.

But Mycroft also understood instinct, and the powerful hold it had on the creatures that depended upon it for their survival. Still - their foray this deep into the wood hadn’t flushed out any potential prey, and even though Mycroft’s own sense of smell wasn’t picking up anything remarkable, Gregory’s nose was twitching at something just beyond their immediate line of sight. Mycroft lifted his head and strained forward, kicking his back feet deeper into his mount’s haunches for more purchase.

Intentionally or not, this seemed to serve as the impetus that Gregory needed to take a wary step beyond his border, his ruff bristling slightly as he proceeded forward with caution. Mycroft once again did what he could to encourage his lover by speaking to him mind-to-mind, choosing to keep his heretofore embarrassing vocalisations locked in his throat while the wolf explored this unknown territory.  

He moved forward in a fairly straight path, carefully placing each paw as noiselessly as possible, his ears swivelling at every small sound - the rustle of leaves in the wind, the scrabbling of claws on a tree trunk as a squirrel bolted for the safety of the upper branches. The wolf ignored the temptation - squirrels were only ever good for a bit of a chase, and he was in no mood to indulge in that small bit of fun on this night. No, he needed a proper meal for his mate, who was steadily growing weaker as they plodded through the forest together. Even the incomprehensible voice in his head was starting to fade away, filling the wolf with a sense of dread and urgency.

Just then his nose caught the scent that had enticed him to cross his own borders, and his ears picked up a soft snorting as sharp claws dug at the ground. Whatever it was, it was obviously seeking its own supper of nice, fat grubs or perhaps nutritious roots. The wolf let his jaws open as his nose probed the air again, parsing out the shape and size of the unknown creature. His heartbeat picked up slightly at the realisation that it was larger than his usual prey, and he carefully skirted around in a wide circle, hoping to catch a better glimpse of the beast before the hunt truly began.

Fortune seemed to be smiling on the odd couple, as they managed to approach from behind. The creature was broad and powerfully built, rather low to the ground but with sturdy legs and formidable claws. Although its sense of smell seemed keen, its eyesight was apparently far less so as the black and white striped face turned in their direction and noticed nothing amiss. Gregory simply froze where he stood, and the badger seemed oblivious of their presence as he resumed digging up his dinner.

Mycroft felt Gregory’s sides trembling as he stalked ever closer, and he attempted to crouch as low as possible so as not to impede any of his movements, keeping his wings tucked in tight around his middle. With his ears pricked forward and jaw parted, the wolf moved inexorably forward, placing each paw with care to ensure his silence. But of course Fortune was not quite that generous, and a snap of a dry branch alerted the creature to its impending doom.

With nothing more than a swift glance to verify that it was in danger, the badger simply barrelled off into the undergrowth, its speed rather surprising both of the hunters. The wolf took off after it, and even though the flight was rather impressive, it was clear that the animal was only a short-distance sprinter, and that it would quickly be overrun. It realised the same as it came up against the enormous root-ball of a tree that had fallen some time ago, and turned to face its attackers.

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Gregory tried to move in before the animal turned fully, hoping to catch a back leg, but again, the badger’s speed and determination surprised him. The wolf skipped back as a threatening snarl burst from his potential prey’s chest, delivered along with a vicious swipe of formidable claws. The blow did not connect with flesh, although Mycroft did note a dusting of silver-grey fur flying through the air as Gregory retreated.

Thus began an ancient choreography as the two beasts circled each other, one continually darting forward in hopes of catching a vulnerable piece of flesh, the other standing its ground as best as it was able with only the protection of its teeth and claws. Mycroft’s stomach churned as Gregory moved in again, his hackles raised as he snapped his jaws around nothing but air. He couldn’t help but think of the pseudo-hunt that he had witnessed only a couple of nights prior, of the joy that Gregory had exhibited in giving chase and bringing down his prey. Of course, his target that night had only been a chicken, a fat, domesticated bird that had never faced true danger in its life until that life had been taken with a soft growl and a vicious shake.

This was something entirely different, a wary beast that had survived this long in the wood by fending for itself, by following the rule of instinct. Even though his lover was fierce and strong, Gregory clearly wasn’t used to his meals fighting back, and he seemed to be at a bit of a loss. Mycroft tightened his grip with wings and claws as his mount reared back slightly, barely escaping another well-placed swipe. The badger pressed his advantage, its fur standing on end, its stubby tail fluffed out to twice its normal size as it stood up straight on its backside, making the animal seem much larger.

It huffed and growled as it stomped its feet, taking small, threatening leaps towards its attacker. Gregory drew back and shook his head, one paw raised uncertainly as he contemplated his next plan of attack. But of course he only had two options at this point - to press forward, or to retreat and perhaps find simpler fare. Mycroft knew the latter truly wasn’t an option, especially since he had been brought along for the adventure. Whether wolf or man, Gregory had his pride, and it would not allow him to slink off with his tail firmly between his legs, especially not without having provided sustenance for his mate.

Especially since said mate was growing weaker with every aborted lunge, his weight shifting as his hold loosened, his body now little more than a block of ice atop the wolf’s back. With an uncertain sense of panic setting in, Gregory renewed his attacks, snarling loudly as the badger hissed in indignation. He snapped and growled and lunged, getting in at least one solid blow with his paw to the beast’s thick skull. Dipping his head, he went in low in hopes of getting hold of its neck, but only got a hefty scratch across the nose for his troubles.

Gregory yelped as he backed away, shaking his head as his sensitive nose throbbed at him, his eyes watering against the pain. The badger snorted, something of triumph in the set of its broad back and in the manner in which it dug its claws into the ground. Mycroft rallied himself briefly, almost feeling the sting of tears in his own eyes through the tenuous connection that he had forged with his mate. He soothed Gregory with a gentle nudge at his neck, gathering his strength as a strategy occurred to him.

‘Once more, my love.’

Gregory’s ears perked up slightly as his mate’s voice resounded in his head, a profound relief making his chest swell as he took in a short breath through his tingling nose. He lowered his head and showed his teeth as he pawed at the ground, crouching slightly before leaping full-bore at the badger. Mycroft used Gregory’s momentum as a springboard, pushing hard with his back legs as he flung his wings wide, flapping them madly.

The badger let out a startled squeak as it reared up, trying to put its claws between itself and this unexpected attack from above. Its short stature served it well when burrowing, but the beast was not made for standing on its hind legs, and it let out another squeak as it upended and landed on its back. Gregory swiftly darted in again, slashing his teeth at its lower belly before planting his paws on its chest and holding it down. He ducked his head low to avoid the frantic slashing of the badger’s teeth, managing to nose underneath its chin and setting his jaws around its throat.

Gregory held on gamely as the beast thrashed and squirmed, slowly crushing the breath out of it, growling low in his chest as its claws dug into his fur and made purchase with the flesh underneath. He abruptly laid his entire weight down as he increased the pressure of his teeth, waiting until the last spasms had passed through the limp body trapped beneath his, until the death rattle of the badger’s last breath sounded in his ear.

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Waiting a few minutes longer to ensure that he had truly won the battle, the wolf wearily got to his feet, prodding at the badger’s exposed belly before taking hold of a leg and dragging his prize over to where his mate had fallen. He whined unhappily as he reached the awkward bundle of leathery wings, nudging gently at Mycroft until he managed to raise his head.

Mycroft’s nose wrinkled at the smell of blood, blinking his bleary eyes at the vibrant patches of red matting his lover’s fine silver fur. He hissed quietly at the sight of the limp mass of black and white, enraged that the beast had dared to harm his Gregory. With another heave, the wolf pulled the carcass closer, nosing at his mate until he obligingly crawled over to the corpse, slashing open a vein with his razor-sharp teeth.

Gregory panted softly as Mycroft began to feed, lapping up the blood with quick flicks of his tongue. Settling down on his belly and watching as his mate regained his strength, the wolf pawed gently at the slash across his nose, trying to assuage the persistent throbbing. In the next moment, said nose was eagerly probing the air, Gregory’s jaws parting as he took in short huffs of breath.

Mycroft squirmed against the odd sensation in his groin as his bladder released, his kidneys processing the excess water from the meal that he was consuming and then promptly getting rid of it. He had forgotten that some of the physical processes that he no longer had to endure as a man were still very much functional while in this altered form. Logically he understood that it was to ensure that the liquid in his belly would not keep him weighed down to the earth if he chose to reach for the sky, but it was still terribly embarrassing.

Not that Gregory seemed to mind in the least, his nose wiggling madly as he shuffled a bit closer on his belly, sniffing at the liquid that was streaming out behind his mate’s hunched body. With a gentle if undeniably happy boof, the wolf flipped over onto his back and kicked his legs in the air, rolling in the patch of urine-soaked ground, doing quite a thorough job at marking himself with his mate’s scent.

Mycroft took a moment in the midst of appeasing his hunger to look over his shoulder, rolling his eyes in a manner that no bat should have been able to do.


The wolf turned his head and let his jaws fall open, his tongue protruding from the side in a foolish canine grin. He wriggled some more, pushing out contented little snorts of breath with every grind of his body into the wet earth. Mycroft sighed internally and turned back to his meal, finally beginning to feel the warmth returning to the tips of his toes and ears. He didn’t allow his mind to linger on the numerous gashes that he had seen on Gregory’s chest and belly, knowing that there wasn’t much that could be done about them just at that moment anyway.

No, that would have to wait until they were both fed, perhaps even until they had both reverted back to their usual forms. Of course, it would be easier back at the cottage, with the appropriate medical supplies at hand, but that wasn’t very likely to happen tonight. Mycroft shuddered slightly to think of the filth that Gregory was happily rubbing into his fur just at the moment and consoled himself with the thought that his mate had managed to stay alive thus far, and would not succumb to little more than a bit of dirt being introduced into his system.

And of course there was no denying his own base animal instincts, the pride he was feeling at having secured such a strong and handsome mate, and how willing and eager Gregory was to show himself as taken. In fact, it seemed as though he intended to broadcast it for any creature with half a nose within a ten-kilometre radius of their current location, the way he was going on about it.

With the blood in the badger’s veins trickling to a sluggish stop, Mycroft chittered quietly as he stretched his wings, flapping them a couple of times to aid his mate in his apparent mission to spread their combined scents far and wide. He turned at the soft sound of chuffing from behind, tilting his head as Gregory looked at him with an upside down grin.

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Mycroft shuffled over and draped one wing over the wolf’s belly, nosing at the wounds that had been left behind by their prey, doing what he could to assess the state of his mate’s health. Although rather messy, the damage didn’t seem as extreme as Mycroft had feared, the cuts prodigious but thankfully shallow. Gregory whined low as Mycroft’s tongue flickered over the clotted mess of blood and fur in an attempt to clean the wounds.

Although his saliva had mild anaesthetic properties and could be helpful in relieving some of the pain, it also served as a bit of an anticoagulant as well, and that was quite the opposite of what his mate needed at just this moment. And so Mycroft held himself back, no matter the temptation - although a great deal of his restraint could be credited to the lovely meal that Gregory had provided for him. The meal that they were meant to have shared, in fact.

Clambering carefully over Gregory’s exposed belly, Mycroft set his shoulder against his ribcage and pushed, attempting to roll him closer to the still-warm carcass. His mate seemed to find his efforts rather amusing, and let his body go completely limp, his body weight somehow increasing exponentially. Mycroft quickly set to cursing at him both mentally and vocally, his sharply staccato chirps echoing through the wood. Mycroft stopped abruptly and sputtered as a warm tongue swiped over his face, the wolf doing what he could to appease him before gaining his feet.

He watched with a fierce sort of satisfaction as Gregory put a paw on the limp corpse, holding it down as he tore into the soft belly with his teeth. He laid the carcass bare, gorging himself on meat and viscera, soft growls punctuating the sounds of tearing flesh.

This time when Gregory kicked his feet up in the air, his movements were sluggish and uncoordinated, his belly almost painfully distended from the quantity of meat that he had consumed. Mycroft clucked his tongue sympathetically as his mate howled low, the wolfish version of a long groan of satisfaction. Or perhaps it was dismay instead?

Mycroft shambled to his side, crooning quietly over Gregory’s vague noises of distress, carefully avoiding jostling his straining gut. He nuzzled at the side of his head until his mate turned to him, his eyes somewhat glassy and distant. Mycroft combed his thumbs through the thick ruff of fur around Gregory’s neck as he began to groom him, whisking away all traces of their meal’s blood from around his muzzle and under his chin.

Gregory made low sounds of lazy bliss as Mycroft worked at him, his chest rising and falling with steady respiration as his eyes slipped shut and his limbs relaxed. Mycroft straightened up and tilted his head as the first rasping snore caught his ears, nodding to himself with satisfaction. With his mate firmly under, he turned his attention back to the scratches on Gregory’s chest and belly.

He was cautious not to probe too deeply at the wounds themselves, carefully licking away the dried blood from the edges. Although as he worked, Mycroft took note that it seemed as though they were already well on their way to being fully healed. Well, with his mate being wolf-born, he supposed that he shouldn’t have been surprised, but at least that took a bit of the worry from his mind.

Mycroft sighed quietly as he watched Gregory sleeping peacefully, content just for the moment to be there with him, to look after him and make sure that no harm would come to him. He pondered whether it was usual for him to sleep this way while on his own, out in the open, exposed and vulnerable. Mycroft’s chest warmed slightly as he realised that this was highly unlikely, and that the only reason that Gregory felt safe enough to do it in the moment was because he knew he would be looked after.

He also couldn’t help but feel a bit envious of the easy grace with which his lover inhabited his more primal form, but of course it would be rather instinctive with him, wouldn’t it? Mycroft himself had been born as any other man, and had lived as such until he was turned at the rather advanced age of thirty-seven. That was a great deal older than most sires preferred for their protégés, although Mycroft had of course excelled in all of the tasks that had been set for him before he was granted the privilege of immortality.

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Being older and more set in his ways had meant that Mycroft had to work all that much harder to overcome his natural tendencies, to actively battle his subconscious biases toward humanity. Even now he could feel his human form pushing against the nebulous membrane of the mask that he had donned, his spine tingling, his skin itching to be smooth once again. Mycroft looked down at Gregory’s unconscious form, his large paws jerking minutely as he chased something down in his dreams.

Chittering softly as there was another grunting snore from his mate, Mycroft determined that there was no need for him to remain as he was now. Although he would happily transform whenever his mate asked it of him, there were clearly no more beastly gambols to be had on this night. He closed his eyes and let the tension of the form that he was holding around himself go as he exhaled, wiggling his fingers and toes as his wings retracted back into his torso. Mycroft fell back as his body contorted, as his limbs regained their normal length, as his hips popped back into their normal configuration.

He sighed with relief even through the spasms, spreading his arms and legs wide as he stretched out into his human body. Mycroft laid there for a moment as his consciousness realigned itself, blinking up at the small pinpricks of the stars visible through the thick canopy of the trees surrounding them. He sat up slowly as Gregory whined under his breath, his limbs jerking a bit more spasmodically as he tossed his head in distress. Hastening to his side, Mycroft cautiously leant closer to his snout, letting him take in his scent and hoping that it would soothe him through whatever wolfish nightmares he might be experiencing.

He hummed low and spoke quietly as he felt his mate’s hot breath huff over his neck and chest. “Right here, my love. I’m here for you.”   

The wild convulsions petered off into gentle twitches as Gregory whined again, and Mycroft shifted to sit cross-legged on the bare earth, taking the wolf’s large, heavy head into his lap. He caressed the luxuriously silky ears, running his fingers over the furrow between his mate’s eyes, trailing over his snout and down his chin to his jaw. He combed through the thick fur at Gregory’s ruff, his nails working through any knots he happened to encounter along the way.

Mycroft kept his movements slow and steady, sinking into a sort of languorous fugue as the night whiled away all around them. The only sounds he attuned his ears to were the steady beats of the wolf’s heart and the soft susurrus of his deep even breaths. He tilted his head as there was a discordant rumble from his mate’s belly, and he snorted out a quiet laugh as Gregory rolled over and once again kicked his legs up in the air. Mycroft reached out to run his fingers over the reduced bulge of the wolf's stomach, his eyebrows raising as he realised that a great quantity of the meat that had been consumed seemed to have been digested already.

He sat back and contemplated the rather unpleasant sanitary issues unfolding in his mind’s eye, realising that some of the domestic worries that Gregory had outlined the previous evening may have an unfortunate basis in reality. Mycroft’s nose wrinkled as there was definitive confirmation, as the wolf’s tail twitched and a soft puff of air was exuded from his backside. Mycroft wafted his hand before his face in an attempt to ward off the odour, but of course it was of no use. He chuckled softly to himself as he imagined what Gregory’s reaction to his reaction might be. Most likely a cheeky ‘told you so’ along with a healthy dose of childishly unbecoming pride...

He lifted his eyebrows in surprise as he came to the realisation that perhaps it had been a prelude to Gregory’s transformation back to man, as his fur started to ripple under his astonished gaze. Mycroft hastily laid the wolf’s head down on the earth as he backed away, not wanting to impede any of his movements or unwittingly cause any injuries. Amazingly, Gregory’s eyes remained closed through the extent of his spasms, no matter how his spine contorted or limbs flailed. Mycroft winced and wrapped his arms around himself as the cracking of bones filled the air, fighting the urge to gather his lover up as he threw his head back and howled through a muzzle that was shortening and flattening, turning his mournful cries into something more guttural, more - human.

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When his Gregory was finally sprawled out on the earth in his usual form, somehow still fully asleep even with his chest heaving for air, Mycroft carefully dropped to his knees next to him. He was better able to assess the state of his wounds now, thankfully finding them to be mostly healed except for a few faint red lines across his torso. The scratch across his face, however... Mycroft hissed as he gently prodded at Gregory’s swollen nose, swiftly drawing back as he shook his head and whimpered.

He pondered briefly, debating whether it would be more time-efficient for him to run home now, or to carry Gregory back to his little den before fetching some antiseptic and bandages. Understandably loath to leave him, he decided on the latter, and carefully gathered up his lover’s limp body. He cradled him to his chest as he walked, choosing each of his steps with care. He had to pause momentarily as Gregory shifted in his arms, flinging one arm around his neck and snuffling into his skin.


Shaking off the odd sensation, Mycroft resumed his trek, following the faint scent trail back to their point of origin. He was hampered slightly by a strangely compulsive urge to bury his nose into the top of Gregory’s head time and time again, relishing in the heat of his scalp and the prickling of his hair against his skin.

Far sooner than he had hoped, they had arrived back at his mate’s cosy if filthy little den. Mycroft snorted quietly as he took in the state of it, looking at the blankets piled up where they had fallen when Gregory had eagerly exposed himself earlier in the evening. His own suit was decorating the branches of the grand tree like some exotic bespoke fruit, the fine fabric fluttering in the faint breeze. He frowned slightly as he glanced around, shaking his head as he finally spotted his silken pants lying bunched up in the dirt.

As much as he wanted to see his lover made completely hale and hearty, Mycroft was reluctant to run home starkers as he had after their encounter the night before. He cautiously lowered himself to his knees, intending to lay Gregory down in his nest of blankets so that he might dress, but the arm that was looped around his neck abruptly tightened as he started to pull away.

At first, Gregory could only mumble into his skin, and Mycroft shook his head as he crouched lower. “I don’t understand, my love.”

“Home.” Greg’s eyebrows drew together as he nuzzled at Mycroft’s neck mindlessly. “Take me home.”

Mycroft blinked rapidly, staring into the hole dug into the base of the tree as the beat of his lover’s heart sounded in his ears. “But - you are home, Gregory. See?” He caressed his forehead, brushing lightly over his eyebrows and down the bridge of his nose. “All nice and cosy.”

Greg harrumphed, renewing his grip and wriggling in closer. “No. Home is with you. Always you...”

His eyes resolutely slipped shut again as Mycroft’s legs abruptly went out from underneath him, landing them both in the pile of blankets in his shock. He felt a quite uncharacteristic urge to whoop his victory up to the heavens, managing to restrain himself, but only with great effort. Mycroft trembled as he pressed soft kisses to forehead and cheek, smiling through a sheen of red-tinged tears as Gregory mumbled his wordless approval.

“Yes. Oh yes, my love. I will happily take you home with me.”

Once again there was that strange double thud-thump in his chest, and rather than shaking it off or trying to ignore it, Mycroft let himself ponder the implications of such an impossibility. Now that he had succeeded in his goal, now that he had made Gregory his, he felt that his oddly unnatural family - by nature, not by birth - should be notified. Mycroft’s stomach twisted slightly as he stroked his lover’s face, listening to him snoring away quite happily. It had been quite a while since he had initiated contact with any of his vampire siblings, and he knew that his ‘Father’ would not be best pleased with him. Although he could hold off for just a bit longer - at the very least until he was called into London again. The communication channels that he had established there were much more secure than the laptop that he was currently working with here, in his temporary domicile.

Besides - this was to be a joyous occasion, and he would not allow doubt to sour the taste of victory in his mouth. Whether Father would approve or no, Mycroft was quite certain that Gregory was the one that he had been destined to find, even though he had to wait for centuries to even determine that he needed such a thing as love in his life. Or, err - death.

Chapter Text

But now he had found it, and he was not going to let it go - not ever.

Gregory apparently felt much the same way, as one leg was suddenly thrown around Mycroft’s waist and winched in tight. Not that his lover actually had any amorous intentions, as he settled deeper into the blankets and snored quite deafeningly right in Mycroft’s ear. Shaking his head and striving to hold back on the heady giggles that wanted to burst from his chest, Mycroft somehow managed to wriggle free from Gregory’s grasp, who seemed to be just as much octopus as man at the moment.

He dressed hastily and somewhat inappropriately, neglecting to don his underpants as he had no desire to endure the chafing that the dirt would surely cause, no matter how quickly he would heal from it. Instead he kicked them into Gregory’s den, smirking slightly as he imagined what the wolf might do if he came across them later. He pondered briefly about pulling down the rucksack that he knew was hidden up in the leaves, but decided that Gregory might appreciate the ceremony of coming to collect his items himself, to perhaps say goodbye to his self-imposed solitude.

Wrapping Gregory up tight in what seemed to be his favourite blanket, Mycroft once again lifted his lover in his arms effortlessly. He blinked rapidly as the enormity of the occasion settled on his shoulders, but shook it off easily. It would mean much more in the morning, when they would be able to sit together and talk like any other cohabiting couple might.

Without any further delay, Mycroft set off for home, his steps hurried but not rushed as he did not want to jolt Gregory from his much-needed slumber. His mind wandered as he walked, considering what manner of items he might need to stock in the larder, trying to remember the last time he had even done anything as mundane as buying groceries. There was no need to go overboard, of course - he rather imagined that Gregory would prefer to choose his own comestibles. Oh, and toiletries, oh dear oh dear...

Mycroft’s whirling thoughts settled as he approached the outer edge of the woods, casting a cautious glance around to ensure that they were alone. The surrounding area seemed to be clear, but then, it was much harder in these modern times to remain completely unobserved. The cottage that he was currently letting had been equipped with cameras even before he took up residence, although of course he had found them to be rather inadequate and had immediately replaced the entire security system.

He had been lucky enough to secure one of the homes that actually abutted the wood, and even luckier still, the last in a row of semi-detached structures so he had been afforded just a little more privacy than some of his immediate neighbours. Still - Mycroft made sure to keep to the shadows as he slipped through the back gate and into his substantial garden, skirting around the periphery and counting on the trees planted along both sides of the adjacent fence to keep them hidden.

The side entrance opened easily as he keyed in the security code, and then he and his mate were safe at home - their home. Feeling the indistinct pull of the dawn in his bones, Mycroft didn’t hesitate to ascend to the top floor. He carefully laid his burden out on his bed, switching on the lamp on his side table and wincing as Gregory grumped and turned his face to the wall. Mycroft quickly crossed the hall to the small toilet, rummaging through the cupboards. The house had come moderately furnished, and there were various items that had been left behind by previous occupants as well.

He managed to find a small first aid kit and dampened a few flannels, bringing it all back into the room that he had designated as his. It wasn’t the largest by any means - after all, there were seven of them total. But it was the largest that had only one window to cover, and the door opened out into an interior corridor, so it was extremely easy to block out unwanted sunlight.

Crooning low under his breath, Mycroft carefully cleaned Gregory’s face and applied a bit of antiseptic cream to the angry-looking scratch across his nose. He pressed a soft kiss to his lover’s hair as Gregory’s head twitched on the pillow, deciding to forgo the bandage that was for some reason whimsically adorned with comically drawn primates. Mycroft then took a moment to wipe away the most obvious streaks of dirt from his mate’s unconscious form, perhaps lingering a bit longer in certain areas than was strictly warranted.    

Gregory began to writhe somewhat sensuously under his touch, and Mycroft bit his lip as he drew back, feeling just a bit guilty of taking advantage of the situation. He hastily wrapped him up again as his head began to spin, knowing that the sunrise was upon them. Stretching out at his lover’s side, Mycroft reluctantly succumbed to his torpor, his eyes open but unseeing.

Chapter Text

Mycroft regained consciousness slowly, his brain flickering back online and his eyes blinking in the soft lamplight even before his body was fully capable of independent movement. Looking down at the silver head that was tucked up on his chest, he tried to hold back on the emotion he felt rising up in his eyes. He was fairly successful until his body began to revive itself, the warmth of the man pinning him to the mattress seeping into his skin and even deeper, into his very bones, somehow.

Mycroft rather graciously ignored the significant patch of damp that was spreading out on his shirt beneath Gregory’s half-open mouth, reaching up with stiff fingers to cup the back of his head. He turned into his lover’s presence, curling protectively around him as Gregory let out a gusty sigh of pure contentment and tried to burrow deeper into him.

Mycroft wasn’t even entirely sure how long he laid there, utterly still but for the tiniest of touches on Gregory’s face, watching over him in his unfettered slumber. He prided himself on his apparent healing touch as he noted that the scratch across Gregory’s nose was no longer swollen and angry-looking, having faded to nothing more than a faint red line just like those on his torso.

He slowly became aware of something other than the strong beat of his lover’s heart, a muffled but persistent electronic chirp. Sighing heavily, Mycroft carefully fished about in his pockets, searching out his mobile phone. He supposed that he should have felt some guilt for not checking it immediately upon returning home, but he was damned if he was going to allow his dubious job to interfere with the progress of this union. He could not deny the sense of power that he felt in dealing with humanity’s petty problems day in and day out, but he had also existed long enough to know that they were ultimately of no concern. Mycroft’s own sire had been witness to the fall of Rome - there was no knowing how many civilisations might rise and fall during the span of his existence on this earth.

He scrolled through his messages, feeling his face pulling down into a considerable scowl. Although the situation in question was not yet considered life-threatening, it could easily become so, and he would indeed have to make his way back to London for the day to handle it appropriately. Dammit. He had wanted to be here with Gregory when he woke, to perhaps share this special occasion together. But then - perhaps it would actually be better this way. It would give his lover the freedom to explore his potential new home at will without feeling overly scrutinised.

Mycroft pressed his lips to Gregory’s forehead as he once again attempted to extract himself from his surprisingly tenacious limbs. After tending to his own toilet, which mostly consisted of ensuring that there were no wayward twigs stuck in his hair, he donned a clean suit and texted Anthea as well as his driver, alerting him to pick him up in an hour. That would give him an adequate amount of time to ‘run to the shop’ to ensure that his lover would not go hungry.  

He covered himself well with coat and gloves, unfurling his umbrella to shade his face from the early morning sunlight as he strode out the front door and toward the grocery a couple of streets down. Modern inventions had made his life as a creature of the night enormously difficult in a number of ways, but Mycroft could not deny that having certain services available at any hour to be of tremendous convenience.

Not that he necessarily knew what to do with this particular convenience, as he had no true need for any of the items within himself. Mycroft paused just inside the door, his usually self-assured posture wilting slightly as the lone cashier turned to stare at him unabashedly. He ducked his head as he stepped out of the direct sunlight streaming in through the windows, furling his umbrella and hanging it on the handle of the nearest trolley. Fighting the urge to whistle nonchalantly as he strolled away, Mycroft was suddenly struck quite dumb by the sheer opulence that met his eyes.

Of course he did what he could to keep himself up-to-date with the current era, but seeing images in publications and on television hadn’t quite prepared him for the abundance laid out before him. There was so much food... Apples of every hue, grapes and oranges and even such exotic fruits as bananas and pineapples. Mycroft bit his lip as he checked his watch, realising that he had no time to dither. He started to simply toss items into the trolley as he walked, giving little heed to what they were.

Bread was obviously a staple as it had always been, but what was it that he had seen the people on television eating it with? Oh, yes. Beans, of all things. Mycroft shuddered slightly, but placed the cans into his trolley anyhow. He walked briskly around the perimeter, his eyes lighting up as he caught sight of the meat department. He practically clapped his hands in excitement and once again started loading up.

He took a bit longer in the ‘personal hygiene’ section, sniffing at the various soaps and imagining how they might meld with his Gregory’s natural scent. Mycroft’s lip curled in slight distaste as he picked out a package of disposable razors, resolving to get a proper shaving kit at the first opportunity and hoping that he would be able to persuade Gregory to let him handle that particular task himself. He felt a tinge of shame remembering the day that he had spied upon him in the village, watching Sam the barber laying his hands on that lovely face with envy burning in his chest.

With his rickety trolley full to the brim, Mycroft made his way up to the registers and started unloading. The girl at the till tilted her head at the odd assortment of items as they passed through her hands and into sacks. Her eyebrows lifted as her odd customer bit his lip and met her eyes a trifle bashfully. “I have a houseguest - I wasn’t entirely sure what...”

She smiled reassuringly and continued to pass his items through the scanner. “I think you’ve got it pretty well covered, mate.”

Mycroft hid his grin behind one gloved hand, feeling warmth spreading through his belly as he shared a small laugh with a sympathetic stranger. How odd it was to feel as though he actually belonged in this world once again. Even with their relatively brief association, Gregory had already enriched his existence immeasurably.

He nodded his head in polite deference after running his card, taking no note of the girl’s astonishment as he walked away with the handles of all seven totes looped around one forearm. Mycroft hastened back home with umbrella held firm in his free hand, simply tossing it aside as he strode into the kitchen. Skirting around the sunlight pooled on the floor, he shook his head in befuddlement and simply stashed items wherever he found adequate space. So Gregory would have an organisation project to entertain him for a bit - that would undoubtedly be a good thing.

Mycroft scribbled out a hasty note as he heard his driver pull up just outside, running up the stairs to deliver it and perhaps to purloin one more kiss. He paused for far too long in the doorway of his bedroom, looking at the gentle curve of Gregory’s body, his eyes following the line of his spine to where just the barest hint of succulent round flesh was peeking from the edge of his blanket. Mycroft could almost swear that his mouth watered ever so slightly, but surely that was just his overactive imagination.

He laid his note on the side table, but was unable to resist putting one knee on the mattress and leaning over to press a kiss to Gregory’s cheek. He groaned quietly as his lover turned his head to capture his mouth, his eyes open but still clouded with sleep. “Mm - running off to save the world, then?”

“Oh, my love... I wish...”

Gregory pressed a finger to Mycroft’s mouth, smiling sleepily. “S’okay. We have time. I’ll -” He yawned mightily, something in his jaw creaking with the force of it. “Shite. I’ll be here when you come home.”

Mycroft sighed as he ran his fingers through his lover’s hair, pressing soft kisses over eyelid and cheek. “Yes. Get some more rest, my dear.”

“Mm-hm... S’so soft n’warm...”

Feeling unreasonably proud of himself for taking such good care of his mate, Mycroft left his note and what felt like his heart behind as he strode off to save the world as he had been bade.

Chapter Text

Although Greg did manage to snooze a little bit longer, the curiosity that he felt building up in his chest made him restless and eager to explore. So he gave up after less than an hour or so, slowly sitting up and glancing around in the dimness of the room. He nodded faintly as he noted the outline of blackout curtains over the window, wondering what else in the house might be barricaded against the sunlight. Shifting in the bed, Greg threw his legs over the edge of the mattress, tapping his toes on the hardwood floor before running them over the throw rug nearby.

The difference in textures fascinated him for some odd reason, hard and smooth versus soft and plush - so different from the gritty soil that he was used to under his feet. And even though he was sitting there naked, for once he wasn’t feeling the cold all the way down to his bones, or his skin trying to turn itself inside out from the chill. For the first time in a very long time, he was simply - comfortable. Of course, as other bits started to wake, he became aware of an achy bladder as well as as grumbling belly, but that was hardly anything new or noteworthy.

Greg sighed quietly as he stood and stretched, pausing to take up the note on the bedside table as he padded across to the door that had been left cracked open. He peeked around the door frame, blinking slightly as his eyes adjusted to the higher level of light in the corridor. Most of it was coming from the bathroom across the hall, the door open wide. Gratefully, Greg slipped inside and immediately made his way to the toilet, glancing around the surprisingly modern surroundings as he relieved himself.

He smiled at the small pile of toiletries nearby that had obviously been hastily purchased, razors and shampoo and two kinds of soap in addition to a bloody shower gel... Greg frowned slightly as he looked in the mirror once his business was done, prodding at the faint red line across his nose and also some along his torso. There was a small first aid kit lying disembowelled next to the pile of goodies, and he poked at the open packet of antiseptic gel, smiling as he pictured Mycroft acting as nursemaid for him.

Whatever they had got up to the night before, it was obvious that their meal had fought back and had managed to land a few blows of its own. Greg ran his hand down his chest, his fingers tracing the track of obvious claw-marks. Good for it, then. Even though he could never recall exactly what happened during his shifts, he had always felt vaguely guilty over the blood that he knew he must have spilt to fill his endlessly complaining belly. For something to have taken a bit of his blood in return left him feeling proud in a strangely optimistic fashion.

Greg leant back against the sink as he finally read his lover’s note, shaking his head fondly at the rather florid language that Mycroft had used to apologise for being unable to share this moment with him. For the first time he found himself wondering just how old his vampire was, in what age - which century - he had been born. Well - they would have time to learn everything about each other, wouldn’t they?

The brief mention of the food that was waiting downstairs for him made his stomach perk up a bit, but Greg simply poked at it and turned to the shower instead. It took him a little while to figure out the ultra-modern taps, but soon enough he was stepping under an almost obscenely hot waterfall-type shower head, blinking languidly as it sluiced over him, easily rinsing away the muck that had been built up for far too long.

He scrubbed and rinsed and scrubbed again, making sure to really get into all his nooks and crannies, feeling vaguely triumphant as the water under his feet started running clear. Even though Greg knew that this was possibly the cleanest he had ever been in his life, he was extremely reluctant to turn off the deliciously hot shower. It simply felt too good, and there was no reason not to indulge - it was fairly obvious that Mycroft had the means to support the odd luxury here and there.

Greg sniffed at the bottle of body wash, finding it to be a pleasantly light citrus scent, and he rubbed a little between his fingers, smiling faintly at the slippery sensation. Well then. If he was to indulge, why not go all in? Taking up an almost ridiculously plush flannel, Greg squirted out a healthy dollop of the gel and ran it across his chest, giving his perked nipples a little tweak. He forced himself to go slow, trying to remember the last time he had even touched himself in this manner - simply to touch, and to feel.

During his bouts of self-imposed isolation, he had quickly learned that it was better just to ignore certain urges. Even the most mechanical of wanks had involved a certain degree of fantasising on his part, and that would lead to longing, which would elevate to desperation and to eventually seeking out a partner. And that had always led to a swift abandonment of whatever he had called his life up to that point. So after a while, there had been no touching with sexual intent, nothing more than the basic handling that was required when pissing and in cleaning up after himself. Greg simply ignored his cock every time it had demanded his attention, and eventually it had grumbled itself back into quiescence, and that would be that.

But now - oh. Now he had an honestly willing partner that not only would be able to withstand whatever his beast unleashed, but also seemed rather eager to be put to the test. Greg had honestly believed that he was most likely going to die alone in some nameless wood, but then that infuriating stranger had stepped into his life and had quickly become the most important person in his world. His impossible mate, his vampire lover.

His Mycroft.

Greg shuddered slightly as he cupped his bollocks with the soapy flannel, subjecting them to a gentle rolling massage. Since he knew that he would have an outlet for his desires later in the day, he let his mind wander as it liked. He closed his eyes and imagined that Mycroft was there with him, the hot water streaming over his lovely freckled shoulders and down the expanse of his long body. Greg gasped quietly as his mind easily conjured up the sharp smile, the gleaming silver of his eyes as they pierced him just as deeply as those gloriously damnable teeth.

It was all too easy for Greg to feel the phantom touch of his lover’s fingers, the way they would wrap around him, the way they would tug and tease. Oh, if only Mycroft were here now... Greg would slather the both of them with slippery shower gel, would rub their bodies together, would mark that creamy skin with his teeth and that lovely arse with his come. Greg leant his forehead against the wall of the shower cubicle, spreading his legs slightly as he thrust gently into his sudsy fist. Oh, oh yes - holding him down, shoving his cock between his thighs, rocking into his body as Mycroft squeezed down around him, and when Greg knew he was close, he would press his hand or his arm against those teeth, willing him to bite and oh oh ohhh...

The low cry that was forced from Greg’s clenched teeth as he came echoed through the cubicle, and he opened his eyes to watch as his cock jumped and released over the tiles. With his knees trembling and head spinning in the aftermath of his orgasm, Greg listlessly rinsed away his mess, his lips quirking up slightly as he thought of tonight, and of the many nights to come. He had a feeling that Mycroft would try to make sure that this sort of thing didn’t happen often - not necessarily the wanking, but the heedless waste of the end product, as he had seemed rather intent on keeping it for himself at every opportunity that they had shared so far.

Chapter Text

Greg heaved out a sigh as he finally cut off the miraculously still-hot water, shaking himself out before stepping onto a plush mat. Even without his mate here to dote on him, he almost felt as though he were in a royal palace, as everything felt as though it was a luxury. He was already finding it difficult to believe that just the day before, he had met the morning by crawling out of a hole in the ground.

But since this was to be his new life... Greg hummed quietly and dried himself off with a fluffy towel, draping it over his head and vigorously rubbing the water from his hair. He absentmindedly dropped it on the floor as he stepped out of the bathroom, tilting his head as he looked down the corridor. Well, Mycroft’s note had encouraged him to explore at will, so...

The room next to the one that seemed designated as Mycroft’s was just a bit smaller, and although there were thick curtains over the two windows, they weren’t quite as opaque, so there was a fair bit of light filtering in. Greg blinked as he looked at the built-in wardrobes lining every available wall, reaching out to the nearest one and opening it wide.

He wasn’t entirely surprised to see the numerous suits hanging neatly side by side, nor by the next one that was full of neatly pressed shirts in several hues and patterns. Greg laughed quietly at the almost overwhelming array of ties as he continued to investigate, whistling softly at the three different tuxedos that had a wardrobe all to themselves.  He felt a briefly confusing swirl of nerves mixed with anticipation and desire as he reached out to finger one satiny lapel. Oh, to see Mycroft decked out in one of these for a night out on the town... But he would obviously be expected to dress similarly, and he would be surrounded by people, by lights and noise, and well - humanity.

Greg shuddered and swiftly exited the room, leaving the wardrobes all open behind him. He strode across the hall to where a promising amount of light was pouring from the cracks in the door. Throwing it open wide, he took in a solid breath as he caught sight of the french doors opposite the hall and immediately pulled them open, stepping out onto a moderately-sized balcony. Greg blinked as he leant against the railings, looking surprisingly far down into a meticulously well-kept garden, the shrubs and hedges trimmed into geometric patterns. He lifted his head as he gazed past the back gate, feeling his heartbeat settle as he noted the wood lying just beyond.

Although Greg couldn’t ignore the vague suspicion that things were just a little too perfect to be anything less than a dream come true, he also had to give props where they were due. Whatever Mycroft’s plans entailed, he had also clearly put a lot of thought into how to make him as comfortable as he could possibly be under these unusual circumstances. And really, he wasn’t being fair. Although he was sure that Mycroft would appreciate parading about town with his mate on his arm, Greg knew that he wasn’t expecting it by any means. And who knew - in time, perhaps he would be able to don that mask, to pretend to be just another human, rather than a hungry wolf in sheep’s clothing. If Mycroft could control his urges, then he could as well, right?

Time. He just needed a little time, and that was something that his lover had in abundance, and would be more than willing to give. This he knew, and absolutely, too.

Greg tilted his face up to the sky, feeling the late morning sun on his skin, breathing in the fresh air as a brisk breeze blew over his body. He shivered slightly as gooseflesh popped up on his limbs, the wind biting delicately at his nethers. Oh. Greg blinked rapidly as he looked to the right, suddenly becoming aware of the home just a few metres away.

There didn’t seem to be anyone roaming about, but it wasn’t necessary to startle the new neighbours with his indecency, either. Greg took in another fortifying breath before retreating, closing everything up securely. He went back into Mycroft’s dressing room with an eye for pillaging this time, and managed to find his lover’s stash of ‘casual’ attire, which was still far too formal for his liking - snug slacks and fitted tops that no doubt fit Mycroft like a bloody second skin. Greg bit his lip as he held up a navy blue cashmere jumper, running his fingers over the pleasing softness and imagining his vampire wearing just that and nothing more. He coughed gently and put it away as he felt a twitch from below, mentally chiding his anatomy for taking liberties and also for distracting him.

None of these clothes would work on him - especially since he was a bit broader than Mycroft just about everywhere, and would surely split some seams or stretch the lovely fabric out beyond recognition... He continued to rummage until he came across some pyjamas in various dark hues, all silky and satiny and once again doing nothing to cool his reawakened libido. Dammit. Although his indulgence earlier had done quite a bit to take the edge off, he was quite determined that he was not going to wank the entire day away, no matter how many times his lover popped up in his mind’s eye.

Greg finally dug out a pair of bottoms that seemed a bit stretchier than the others and held them up to his hips, nodding decisively. The burgundy material was still rather clingy, and he found himself running his hands over his own bottom in a sort of pleasurable fugue, but at least the waistband wasn’t cutting into his flesh or restricting any other - ahem - parts. Feeling oddly at ease in the form-fitting and yet flowy garment, Greg steeled his nerves and set about exploring the rest of the house.

Chapter Text

It was rather obvious that this was an older home from the creaking of the floors under his feet, even though there had clearly been improvements made, or at least as far as the plumbing was concerned, anyway. Greg ran his hand over the railing of the wooden staircase leading down, feeling the past century almost as a tangible presence under his fingers. In a way, it felt a bit like Mycroft himself - weighed down with the years and yet, being re-invented with every passing decade.      

Descending to the next level, Greg shook his head as he realised that it was nearly the same as the floorplan above - three more bloody bedrooms. These were all unused, without even the most cursory of furnishings, except of course for the heavy curtains over each window. Greg wondered briefly why Mycroft had chosen to skip this level in favour of the next highest for his dark little nest. Although for some reason, these rooms felt more cramped and oppressive to him, even without any extraneous clutter. In an odd way, perhaps it was precisely because they were so empty - seemingly devoid of life or character.

Whatever it was, it made Greg’s breath catch in his chest, and he shuddered slightly before quickly descending the stairs again. He came out on what appeared to be the ground floor, although the staircase continued down another flight. Ignoring that route in favour of the generous amount of light surrounding him, Greg peeked around doorways and took note of a smallish sitting room situated next to a larger entertainment area that had been decked out with quite the impressive array of electronics. He stared down at the various remotes that were neatly lined up on a side table and shook his head. He would definitely need some fortification before tackling that particular task.

The room across the hall appeared to be a smallish if well-appointed study, and Greg leant against the doorway for a moment, picturing Mycroft seated at the elegant desk, perhaps with his suit jacket off and sleeves rolled up to the elbow as he harangued some poor soul about some terribly important affair of state. Smiling faintly, he popped his head into another bafflingly ultra-modern toilet before rounding the corner of the staircase and stopping in his tracks.

Oh. Oh, now that was more like it... He skirted the colourful dinette set in the middle of the white tile floor and went straight to the wall of windows, eagerly pressing up against the glass and looking out into the expanse of garden beyond. Thank Christ. Stepping back briefly, Greg quickly released the catch and pushed at the folding doors until they were as wide open as they could go, spreading his arms as he stepped out onto a small concrete patio. He ignored the lounge chairs at the edge of the lawn as he moved forward, choosing instead to dig his toes into the grass and into the dirt beneath, tilting his face up into the sunshine.

He was still aware of the neighbouring house just a few metres away, but as there was a rather dense line of trees along each side of the fence, he was fairly confident that he could not be seen. And even if he could - so the hell what. Chuckling softly to himself, Greg plopped his arse right down on the ground and laid back, staring up at a surprisingly blue sky. He resisted the urge to wriggle in the grass, even though it was almost ridiculously plush against his skin. He laid there until his stomach was positively growling at him, sighing heavily as he hauled himself back onto his feet, practically skipping into the kitchen.

Mycroft had clearly done his homework, bless his black little heart. Greg didn’t think he would have been able to even dream up a more perfect place for him to embark on this new adventure. Safe and secure, yes - warm and dry, but light and open and with easy and immediate access to the wood should he feel the need to run, or to hunt. It was clearly fairly private as well, so he wouldn’t feel as though he was constantly under surveillance or subject to the whims of humanity at any given moment throughout the day.

But now he had a rather important task in front of him - figuring out a new kitchen and trying to remember how to even boil water... Greg snorted quietly as he looked at the pristine white counters and cupboards, reaching out to snag an apple from the somewhat tidy pile of fruit that had been left on the centre worktop. He grimaced as he bit into a mealy spot, realising somewhat awkwardly that his dear mate probably didn’t even know how to pick out fresh produce. But then, it wasn’t like he’d had much of an opportunity to enjoy it much himself in the past few years, either. Greg chewed thoughtfully as he began to open cupboards, seeking out pots and pans and dishware.

It was odd, but he actually found himself looking forward to learning certain things all over again, or perhaps having the opportunity to share such trite domestic tasks with his new partner, or - hrm - spouse? Greg inhaled a little too harshly as the word popped into his head, and he coughed up a bit of apple, turning away to spit it into the sink. Could they even... Would they? He tossed the rest of the fruit into the sink and flailed his hands over his head as if to shoo the thoughts away from him. Too soon for that sort of thing - there was time to figure that all out. He just needed to concentrate on food for now, and not let his imagination get carried away, right?


Chapter Text

Having dealt satisfactorily with the main issue that had called him into London, Mycroft turned his mind to the somewhat thankless task of initiating contact with his sire to inform him of the exciting new turn of events in his life. Although he quickly found his brain diverting itself with thoughts of the items that he would need to purchase now that Gregory had conceded to taking up residence with him, new linens and clothing and...

Oh dear.

Clothing - how had he not foreseen the need for so simple a necessity? Mycroft shrugged as he felt one corner of his mouth turn up. No doubt his oversight was nothing more than a subconscious impulse to have his lovely mate’s body fully on display at all times, but there was no need to be quite so obvious in his lusts. He shook his head as he forced himself back to his original purpose, once again steeling his nerves before reaching for his laptop and situating it properly.

Mycroft smoothed down his tie as the call connected, striving to look as calm as possible despite his muddled thoughts. The ancient visage that appeared on his computer screen looked almost more like a dusty stone statue than a man, his face and hair seemingly stripped of color, as if the long millennia had leached all vitality from him. The vampire opened his ghostly blue-white eyes, his ashy lips curling up slightly in a sneer. “Ah, my most favoured child - to what do I owe this most rare honour?”

Mycroft winced slightly, as his sire never had to articulate his displeasure for it to be felt, even across hundreds of miles. “Apologies for my negligence, Father. I have been - occupied.”

LaCroix eyed him, his features softening slightly as he sat back. “So I see. Another infatuation?”

Mycroft kept his hands out of sight as he was unable to curtail his nervous habit of scraping of his nails over previously immaculate cuticles, no matter how his Father disapproved. He lowered his gaze and shook his head, his shoulders rounding inward. “More.”

LaCroix sighed exasperatedly. “Out of all of my children, I would have believed you in particular to be above all of that paltry nonsense. You never seemed to have any use for lovers while you were living - why fall prey to their rather questionable delights now?” Feeling a bit like a petulant child, Mycroft scowled as he met his sire’s eyes on his computer screen. “Ah. Your ennui has struck again.” LaCroix rolled his eyes and shrugged halfheartedly. “I cannot say that I have not suffered the same affliction from time to time, nor am I completely immune to certain human - charms - when I am thus compromised. After all, there are still rather unique individuals to be found on this earth, and if once every couple of centuries you find a new pet to entertain yourself with... Well...” LaCroix reached out to trace over the outlines of his child’s face, his most successful progeny. “I suppose I should not begrudge you the need for distraction.”

Mycroft smiled faintly. “I assure you, Father, he is - unique. He is stirring feelings in me that I had thought lost. Feelings and - other things.”

LaCroix leant forward with a look of avid curiosity on his face. “Such as?”

Once again, Mycroft started scraping at his skin as he dropped his eyes. “Such as...” He took in a comforting if unnecessary breath and heaved it out again. “Such as a heartbeat.”

“Do not joke with me, child.”

Mycroft froze at the cold intensity of his sire’s voice before it all came out in a rush. “No. No, Father, I would never. It doesn’t seem to happen on any consistent basis, and it’s never more than a double beat before it goes still again, but yes, it is my heart, my dead heart beating in my chest and I simply do not know what it could mean, and I...” He hesitated, feeling an odd urge to reach out, to seek comfort from his Father’s hand - not that he had ever offered it, or ever would. “I’m frightened.”

“Love.” LaCroix snorted as he looked upon his child, his voice simply dripping with disdain. “I chose you specifically because of your lack of interest in more earthly pursuits, Mycroft. You with your heart of ice - you followed me across so easily that it seemed as though you had already severed your soul from your body before I even had a taste of your blood. Never before has a vampire turned as smoothly as you did, your thirst for knowledge and for power completely negating anything in you that was once human.”

“Perhaps I simply needed more than the usual mortal lifespan to discover what being human truly means.” Nearly six times as long, of course, but Mycroft knew better than to acknowledge that out loud.

His sire scoffed again, flicking his fingers at the screen as if trying to shake off something unpleasant. “Love. Pah!” He suddenly leant forward again, his ghostly pale face nearly filling the whole screen. “His blood. Have you taken it during or immediately after physical -” LaCroix’s lip curled back in distaste, "- congress?”

Mycroft’s mouth dropped open, his mind immediately going back to that first night, how he had taken his fierce beast up against a tree, sinking his teeth in deep and drinking in his bliss. “I...”

LaCroix swiftly shook his head, holding up a hand for silence. “No need, I can see it on your face. For God’s sake, Mycroft, you are a vampire, do stop blushing like a simpering virgin.”

Mycroft blinked slowly. “The first night - the first time...”

“The very first?” His sire sucked in air, hissing it back out through his teeth. “Child, you will either refrain from taking his blood or you will turn him - turn him before he turns you.”

“Wh-what do you mean? I’ve behaved no differently than with any of my other conquests...”

“But he isn’t a conquest, is he? You love him, Mycroft, and he must love you in return. True love. Only that could explain what is happening to you. If you continue to feed on him in this fashion, you will begin to live again.”

Mycroft fell back in his chair, raising his hands to his face and dragging them down his cheeks. His sire clucked his tongue as he took in the state of the peeling skin on his fingers, shaking his head in annoyance. “I don’t... I don’t understand.”

“I have already lost two of my children this way - I will not lose you as well. You are mine and if you allow this to happen, if you start to breathe again and live again then I will find you and I will take you back.

“Father...” Mycroft stared at LaCroix beseechingly. “You know that I have never entertained thoughts of that folly. I would never seek to hurt you in that way. Not after...”

“No.” The ancient vampire tilted his head, composing himself with some obvious difficulty. “No, you wouldn’t. Do forgive me, my dear. Janette - the pain lingers still, you understand.”

“You never explained - I didn’t know how or why...”

Chapter Text

LaCroix smiled forlornly. “I thought that if I kept the knowledge to myself, perhaps it would curtail the possibility of it happening again. Now I see that I should have forewarned you. What you are experiencing now is more or less what happened to Janette. She brought a human into her bed, and fell in love. Through the course of their - consummation - she became mortal once again, and was consequently taken from me.”

“From us, Father. I lost a sister, remember - and I never truly knew why.”

“Yes.” His sire waved a hand wearily. “Of course. Again, I beg your forgiveness. I do have a tendency toward - selfishness, as you well know.” They stared at each other for a long moment, neither of them willing to bring up the other member of their forged family to have succumbed to the urge to regain his humanity, his soul. “Please. Please, my child - proceed with caution. I truly do not know what may happen to you, but I fear the worst.”

“I swear to you that I have no intention of becoming mortal again. In fact, if I did, I’m fairly confident that my lover would leave me, for fear of damaging me irreparably. And what use would it be to live if I no longer had him by my side?”

“Whatever do you mean, child? What manner of man could possibly harm you?” Lucien levelled his best glare at him, raising one eyebrow as Mycroft hesitated, high spots of colour blooming on his cheeks.

“I - my lover... He...”

“Spit it out, for God’s sake!”

Mycroft sighed heavily. “He’s a werewolf.”

“Wolf-born!” LaCroix leant forward, and Mycroft fought the urge to shrink away as his sire’s presence nearly overwhelmed him, even through the impersonal computer screen. “You must be cautious, child. He poses a danger to you, not only in the bedroom, but by his mere presence in your life. They have enemies.”

“Not - not our people?”

“No. I cannot say that we ever - mingled - in any manner, as they were of no threat to us or to our preferred prey. We wandered different paths, and so had no conflict. But the humans...”

Mycroft stared blankly. “But if they are only human - what threat could they pose to the likes of us?”

“The ones that hunt the wolves - they are of a different breed. They are - persistent, and unfortunately, rather canny.” He twirled his wrist offhandedly. “Some sort of eternal blood-oath to wipe out all wolf-born, blah blah blah - they’ve been at it for generations.” LaCroix sat back, absentmindedly scratching furrows across the surface of his ebony desk with his nails. “In truth, I’m rather surprised that you happened upon a wolf-born running healthy and unfettered, my child. As far as I am aware, the hunters have done a very thorough job. There may still be some left in the homeland that you share, but rumours of such are very faint.”

Mycroft sat back and tapped his fingers on his thighs gently, his cuticles that he had shredded moments before already healed. “The old country...” LaCroix folded his hands in front of him, anticipating the next question. “Father - what would happen if I did try to turn him? Would his body resist, would it even work?”

LaCroix shook his head a little sadly. “I have no answers for you, child. I would think...” He nodded curtly. “From what I have seen of them in the past, I would think that they could be brought across the same as any other human. We are capable of transforming our physical forms as they are, but it’s easier for them, obviously. Once turned, they may prefer to hunt and to feed on animals instead of our typical prey...” At this, he gave a little shudder of disgust, ignoring Mycroft’s quiet snort. He paused in his narration as his child tilted his head in thought, his mouth opening slightly. “Out with it, then.”

“He... His mother was human - would that make a difference, do you think?”

“Only half wolf-born?” Lucius paused again, tapping his chin idly. “That may increase the chances of a successful turning, yes. I have never heard of it happening, but then - I have never considered such a thing, either. And as you know, if something does not intrigue or entertain me, it is easily ignored. Perhaps further research is required before you decide to make that attempt.” LaCroix fixed his child with a meaningful stare. “As long as you make that decision together - it will never take unless it is something that he desires, and agrees to implicitly.”

“Of course!” Mycroft tried on his own withering scorn and attempted to heap it upon his sire. “What use would it be if it worked and then he left me for taking his agency away from him?” He ignored the sardonic smirk on LaCroix’s lips. “Gregory is a very headstrong and independent individual. He would resist if I tried to take him against his will, and I believe that he is fully capable of besting me in a fair fight, if he truly put his mind to it.”

LaCroix shrugged airily. “Then I would of course kill him, and there would be nothing at all fair about it.”

“Father.” His sire nonchalantly brushed an invisible speck of dust off his lapel as he ignored the reprimand in his child’s voice, and Mycroft could only shake his head in resignation. “I must go - I need to prepare for another dreadful meeting with the PM.”

LaCroix smiled with cold pride. “My precious little dictator... Fare thee well, my child. I do apologise again for my tone earlier, but rest assured that I meant my words quite sincerely. If you allow yourself to become mortal again, I will come for you.” He lifted a stern eyebrow. “Do keep me apprised of any developments so I am not compelled to do anything rash.”

“I understand, Father.” Mycroft hesitated, his finger hovering over the ‘disconnect’ button. “And I thank you.”

With the screen gone blank, Mycroft leant forward in his chair and began to slowly and repeatedly knock his forehead against the surface of his solid oak desk.

Chapter Text

Greg clutched at the box of cereal a bit harder as he stared at the rest of the items that had been stored rather randomly into the large refrigerator. He’d already found several cans of beans (lima and green as well as baked) in with the glassware and a couple of loaves of bread (cinnamon raisin and pumpernickel, neither of which he relished the thought of topped with any combination of the beans on hand) stashed on top of the plates, but finding the cereal in the fridge was just the icing on the cake, really. Especially since it was his favourite fruity kind from when he had been a kid, and just seeing the box had instantly brought back a surprising flood of pleasant memories. Mostly of his Mum half-heartedly raising a fuss about the sugar content and how it would affect his growth rate, and his Da placidly countering with, “Well, he’ll get his protein in later, won’t he?”

Greg blinked back tears and reached for the milk, staring blankly at the substantial roast that had been lurking just behind it. He reached in and patted the monstrous lump of meat perfunctorily, hoping he’d be able to find a cookbook lying about somewhere so he could figure out what to even do with it. His dear sweet batty had probably purchased it with the wolf in mind, but something cold and all but bloodless would be shunned unless there was absolutely no other option, so it would be up to his human side to find a way to consume the damn thing.

Shaking his head, Greg got out a bowl and spoon and hauled all of his goodies back out into the sunshine, setting it down on the patio as he settled into one of the lounge chairs. He slowly ate his way through half the box before the sugar began swirling through his bloodstream, making his lingering curiosity a little too persistent to ignore. Remembering to stash the milk back in the fridge, he left everything else on the centre worktop as he finally descended down to the basement level to complete his exploration.

At first glance, it appeared to be a standard bonus room, with a couple of comfy chairs and a scattering of plush floor cushions all arranged in front of another alarmingly large television screen attached to a considerable number of gaming consoles. But then Greg noticed the somewhat industrial door set into the far wall, equipped with a heavy deadbolt lock. Of course the handle didn’t give when turned, and the door itself didn’t budge when he yanked at it. His brow furrowed, he ran his hand over the metal, knocking on it gently and listening to the dull thud from beyond. Soundproofed, maybe? Greg took a step back and pondered the possibilities - some kind of cage for his beast, perhaps, or maybe something a little more - exciting?

Greg turned to head back upstairs before his brain had a chance to go any further down that path. Although his mate was a vampire and had no doubt done some less than savoury things in his past, Mycroft certainly wasn’t Bluebeard, for goodness’ sake. Greg was sure that he would know the purpose of that locked room before the night was out - he just had to be patient. In the meantime he would simply have to find ways to entertain himself that didn’t involve indulging the nuisance that had woken up at nothing more than the barest thought of a potential romp with his loving mate.

Chidingly wagging his finger in a vaguely downward direction, Greg shook his head and wandered back into the room with all the electronics, picking up the largest remote and staring at it with determination. In the end, it wasn’t as difficult to figure out as he had feared, although he did switch off the global news after only a few minutes, his stomach threatening to unload its sugary contents at the horror before his eyes. Greg muted the sound and closed his eyes, forcing himself to take in deep, even breaths. Jesus Christ. Ignorance really was bliss, wasn’t it?

The turmoil in his belly began to settle as he thought of Mycroft - he would help. Greg would just have to wait until his lover could update him on the current state of the world, hopefully in palatable bits and pieces rather than in an overwhelming rush. Yes, Mycroft would make it better, but until then...

Greg got up and headed back into the kitchen, filling up the kettle and switching it on. Since he hadn’t come across any booze on his haphazard ramblings, tea would have to soothe his troubled spirit instead. Greg shrugged as he dug out a mug and retrieved the box of teabags from the silverware drawer. This was probably the better option for him right now anyway - he hadn’t imbibed in a very long time, and there was no telling how his body might react if he blithely lowered his inhibitions, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.

Tucking the package of biscuits that he had discovered in the freezer under his arm, Greg trundled back into the small room and settled back down, pulling the blanket that had been folded on the back of the sofa over his shoulders. He switched to something called ‘Netflix’, scrolling through a seemingly never-ending selection of films and television programmes. Chuckling softly to himself, Greg queued up a classic that he remembered very well, squinching his eyes up against the steam of his tea as the credits for The Wolf Man lit up on the screen.

Chapter Text

Clicking on ‘Recommended’ after each film had ended had Greg spiralling down a path of classic and also newer monster movies, giggling happily into his tea nearly all the way. There were a few of the newer variety that took themselves far too seriously, but those he simply stopped mid-play, very much not in a serious state of mind. He took piss breaks and wandered out into the back garden to stretch occasionally, but was actually pleased with the amount of time that he remained indoors without experiencing that feeling of enclosure that he had been dreading.

Step one in domesticating an antsy wolf-born - distraction via mindless entertainment with easy access to tea and biscuits. Check. Step two? Greg patted his stomach as it grumbled at him, eyeing the empty packet of biscuits. Step two probably involved some actual food, so he set out back toward the kitchen. He blinked in surprise at the total darkness outside, realising that it was nearly eight at night, and he’d yet to hear from his mate.

Greg quickly shook the impending worry out of his head. Mycroft was a big boy, he could take care of himself. Perusing the contents of the fridge, he settled on the idea of an omelette, thinking something relatively simple like that wouldn’t be too difficult for even him to put together. Although as he started to gather the ingredients, he heard a fumbling at the door, and he hastily shoved it all back on the shelves, suddenly feeling far too excited to even countenance the idea of food.

He paused as he heard footsteps rounding the corner, stopping to watch as Mycroft stepped into view. He was as neatly put together as ever, even though Greg thought he could detect an odd sort of fatigue present in the set of his shoulders and in the tilt of his head. Greg eyed the numerous bags that his mate was carrying, raising his eyebrows as he lifted them up onto the small dining table and gestured at them expansively.

“For you, my dear. I must apologise for my appalling lack of foresight - I had completely forgotten that you had virtually no clothing to speak of.” Mycroft quirked a small smile as Greg huffed out a quiet laugh, stepping back and tilting his head to watch as his lover stalked toward him. “Although I must say that those particular pyjama bottoms fit you in a much more pleasing fashion than they ever fit me.”

Greg laughed again, putting a little extra shimmy in his hips as he moved closer. “Perhaps you should slip into a pair yourself and allow me to be the judge of that.” He frowned slightly as he came to a stop, raising the back of his hand to Mycroft’s cheek. His mate’s pale lashes fluttered against the warmth of his breath and he started to lean in, but Greg took an abrupt step backward, throwing Mycroft off balance. “You... You’re warm.”

Mycroft blinked rapidly, one hand pressed to the table for support. “Um.” He nodded, cautiously watching Gregory’s features as they seemed to ripple slightly. “Yes. I stopped off for a bite on the way home.” Mycroft attempted to put a bit of saucy humour into his voice as he took a slow step forward. “I thought that perhaps you would appreciate the opportunity to properly ravage me the moment I walked in the door.”

“You fed. On - on a stranger.” Greg shook his head, clenching his teeth against the familiar ache in his jaw, the sensation of sharp canines pushing through his gums. “You... Smell wrong.” He bent in on himself, holding a hand to his stomach. “Ugh.”

Mycroft reached out to him, wincing as his wrist was snatched out of the air, the delicate bones grinding together under Gregory’s harsh grip. “My love - you must realise that I cannot feed from you exclusively.” He was brought to his knees as Gregory fell to the ground, still holding tight to his arm. Mycroft shook his head helplessly as his lover thrashed in front of him, knowing that his words would most likely have no effect, but desperate to try and get through to him somehow. “I don’t require much, but I do have to feed daily, and if I were to take it all from you, you would be left weakened. Gregory, Gregory, please - I would not wish this harm upon you, and you must not ask it of me.” He deliberately left out the startling knowledge that his Father had shared with him earlier in the day, that his lover’s blood may cause Mycroft a different kind of harm altogether.

Greg growled incoherently, shaking his head as claws began to split through his nail beds, biting deeply into Mycroft’s flesh. He suddenly yanked him closer and threw him down on his back, hunching over him on all fours. Mycroft kept his hands in view and tilted his chin back, exposing his neck and hopefully indicating his submission. Gregory showed his teeth, his eyes both hard and somehow lost. “Mmmine...” It came out harshly garbled, a low whimper of need underlying the demanding tone.

Mycroft winced as he nodded, reaching up to cup his lover’s contorting face in both hands. “Yes, Gregory. Yours. I do so swear.”

Greg howled low as something in his back cracked loudly, and in the next moment he was scrambling over Mycroft’s prone figure, running in an awkwardly hunched posture toward the wood. Mycroft swiftly got to his feet and followed, stopping in the middle of the back garden as his mate vaulted over the gate and disappeared into the darkness beyond.

Chapter Text

Mycroft cursed low and long, pausing to listen to the distant crashing of his lover’s flight through the wood, to his harsh pants for breath and the cracking of his bones as his beast pushed its way from his body. He should have known that Gregory’s mind was more fragile than it seemed, that he would have been overwhelmed by their new situation and perhaps seeking comfort from his mate after a long day alone in unfamiliar surroundings. Instead he had been offered a betrayal of sorts, an assault on what his primal nature rightly viewed as his territory.

Of course it had not been meant that way, but Mycroft knew now that his feeding habits should have been discussed in greater detail, that certain decisions should have been made together rather than him simply showing up smelling of a stranger. He hung his head at the sound of a mournful cry from deep in the wood, frowning down at the droplets of blood decorating the otherwise pristine lawn. Holding up his arm, Mycroft blinked at the gouges that Gregory had left behind before putting his mouth to the wound, absentmindedly taking the seeping blood back into his body.

He did not let his thoughts linger over the fact that he should have healed already, choosing instead to fuss over the state of his clothing. Thankfully, it seemed that only his shirt had been torn, and although there was a fair amount of staining on the arm of his jacket, if there was one skill that a vampire was absolutely required to excel at, it was removing bloodstains. Moving gingerly to avoid getting any more mess on the fine fabric, Mycroft shed his jacket and rolled up his shirtsleeves as he walked back into the kitchen.

He studied the damage to his wrist in the light, licking away the trace amounts of blood and nodding satisfactorily as the wounds finally closed, leaving behind faint scarring that would disappear over the next week or so. Mycroft rounded the corner of the centre worktop and sighed quietly at the mess Gregory had left behind, a scattering of fruit and soiled dishes and an open box of cereal. Shaking his head slightly, he carefully rearranged the produce and stuck the cereal back into the fridge before ducking his head under the sink to look for some form of washing-up liquid. Since it seemed as though his plans for the evening had been neatly foiled by his own thoughtlessness, he might as well try to make himself useful in some capacity...

Mycroft pondered as he attempted to tidy, experiencing a mild panic attack as the suds in the sink nearly overflowed onto the floor before he was able to contain them adequately. Clearly he didn’t need to use quite so much soap - something that he must remember for the future. He briefly contemplated seeking out his mate in the wood when he was done, but he had a feeling that he wouldn’t exactly be welcome, no matter Gregory’s current form. But he could at least make a gesture...

Mycroft rifled through the parcels he had brought home, pulling out some warm jogging bottoms and a jumper in a chunky Aran knit that he had practically fondled all the way home, his mind full of images of his lover bedecked in it and lounging about in front of a fire. Shaking those thoughts out of his head, Mycroft set those items as well as a pair of slip-on trainers into a tote of their own. He swiftly set out into the back garden and out of the small gate, picking his way through the dense foliage until he found a tree with an acceptable branch to hang the tote on.

Leaving his mute offering behind, Mycroft paused briefly to listen, but either the wolf was too far for even his ears to pick up, or else he was curled up in his den licking his invisible wounds. Unknowingly picking at his cuticles, Mycroft took a few more steps, but the thought of causing his mate any more distress stopped him in his tracks. Gregory would return to him or not, and he simply had to wait to see which. And what was a vampire’s life if not a life of unending patience?

Mycroft straightened his shoulders and headed back toward the house, deliberately leaving the back gate unfastened. He did close one side of the folding doors just off the patio, but left the other wide open, hopefully indicating that Gregory would always be welcome, in whatsoever form he chose.

Resolving not to fret about the situation and immediately failing in that resolve, Mycroft sighed heavily as he gathered up his parcels and carried them up to the third floor. He paused at the open door to the bathroom, blinking down at the lump of sodden towels piled up on the floor next to the shower. Right then - he would obviously have to amend his agreement with the laundry service that he currently employed. Mycroft was quite willing to make certain sacrifices to ensure that his mate was comfortable and well taken care of, but laundry was most definitely not on that particular list.

Shaking his head, he continued on and once again had to stop at the door to what he had come to think of as his personal wardrobe, hanging his head briefly at the state of it. He eyed the open doors and half-disemboweled drawers, his fingers very nearly twitching at the urge to tidy everything away - but that was something that could be attended to a bit later. Instead he stepped across the hall to the largest of the upstairs bedrooms, smiling as he noted that the curtains had been hastily rearranged at some point in the day. Mycroft set his packages aside on top of the low bureau that lined one wall, dipping his hand into a bag and caressing the contents.

He knew that a great many of the items that he had purchased for his mate would be viewed as too extravagant, but Mycroft could hardly be blamed for wanting to clothe his Gregory in the finest of fabrics. He would at least restrain himself from arranging everything to his particular standard, and so he stepped aside, drawing back the curtain and opening the French doors. Mycroft stood on the small balcony and looked out over the wood, sending his silent pleas out into the night.

Please, my love. Please come back to me.

Chapter Text

Mycroft was rather unaware of the time that was passing as he stood vigil, the warmth that he had taken from a random donor seeping out into the night. Eventually, the gradual lightening of the sky brought him back into awareness, and he retreated back into the house. He closed the doors to the balcony, but left the curtains open as a concession to his wayward lover, since this was to be his sanctuary. Mycroft bit his lip as a gruff voice spoke up in his mind, chiding him for once again making decisions without his mate’s input into the matter. No. He would offer him any room of his choice - even the whole of the second floor, if that was his wish.

He shook his head and slipped his tie off, calmly putting his wardrobe back to rights in between removing his suit one careful piece at a time and casting the ruined shirt aside to go into the bin. Mycroft paused as he took up a navy blue jumper that had been taken from a drawer and left neatly folded on the top of the bureau. He caressed the material and held it up to his nose, catching the faintest whiffs of Gregory’s scent on it. So his mate had a feel for the finer things in life, did he? Mycroft knew that Gregory had no doubt been imagining him in this jumper while fondling it, and picturing that in his turn did absolutely nothing to assuage the keen ache that he was feeling.

Still... After Mycroft had slipped into a pair of silky pyjamas just as Gregory had bade him earlier in the evening, he put the jumper on, smoothing it down after tugging it into place. He felt a little bit ridiculous, but what did it matter? He was hoping to please his Gregory, after all.

If he even were to return to him.

Mycroft swiftly shook that thought out of his head, settling into bed as per his usual pre-dawn ritual. He wrapped himself up in the blanket that Gregory had left behind, inhaling the scent of the earth and of his wolf-born lover until the sunrise stole his consciousness away. As was often the case, his vision returned before the use of his limbs, and so he stared up at the ceiling blankly until he could move, contemplating how best to distract himself from any negative thoughts during the day to come.

There was always work, of course, but Mycroft didn’t feel as though he would be able to concentrate properly. He made a mental note to contact Anthea at the nearest opportunity. Although he would always be available if strictly necessary, she was more than capable of handling any of his more mundane day-to-day affairs. His neck creaked slightly as he turned his head, forcing it to move before the stupor had properly lifted. He stared at the half-read novel sitting atop the bedside table, frowning intently. No, that wouldn’t do either. Perhaps... Yes - a film or two. It had been a rather long time since he had allowed himself to indulge, although the medium had fascinated him from its very inception.

Yes. Hitchcock, or perhaps a viewing of The Thin Man series - that would set him to rights. Humming softly as the heavy weight was finally lifted from his limbs, Mycroft stretched before getting to his feet, making the bed and folding Gregory’s blanket to place at the foot of the mattress. He had stepped out into the corridor with the intent of getting dressed, but he abruptly turned back and snatched up the blanket instead, wrapping it around his shoulders.

If he was to engage in a sulk, then at least it should be done properly.  

Bypassing the second floor and turning left at the first landing, Mycroft walked into the last room on the right and paused as he took in the dirty mug and empty biscuit packet sitting next to the remote on the small coffee table. Of course. Even though Gregory had been here less than one full day, he had managed to leave behind untidy reminders just about everywhere in the house. Mycroft carefully swept up the crumbs and carried everything back into the kitchen, suddenly deciding that a cup of tea would be most welcome.

After brewing a cup nice and strong, Mycroft settled himself in the corner of the sofa with his legs tucked up underneath him, pulling the blanket up so that only his face was peeking out. Giggling quietly at the ridiculousness of it, Mycroft picked up the remote and started scrolling through his queue. He did peek at the ‘recently viewed’ items, but for some reason, looking at all of the films that Gregory had watched the day before felt a bit more like spying than he was entirely comfortable with.

And so Mycroft started up The Birds, sipping at his bitter tea, whittling his consciousness down until his entire brain was focused only on what was in front of him, and nothing more.  

Chapter Text

Mycroft was nearly all the way through his second choice, Psycho, and was debating whether to indulge in Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart for the third when his ears caught the faintest sound of bare feet on tiled floor. He lifted his head just a bit, sniffing at the air and breathing in the scent of his wolf-born mate. Mycroft blinked rapidly against the odd sensation of impending tears, made intolerably more uncomfortable due to the lack of any actual tears to exude. His fingers tightened around the mug that had long gone cold, still half-full of dark liquid.

He resolutely kept his head turned toward the television, even if he could no longer make sense of the pictures moving on it. It wasn’t until a shadow from the hall fell on him that he turned his head, looking up into a face of exquisite sorrow. Mycroft murmured something low in his native tongue as Gregory collapsed onto his knees next to him, burying his face into the blanket and shaking his head from side to side.

Mycroft put the mug aside as he tried to curl in around his lover, tugging his fabric shelter out of the way so Gregory’s grasping fingers could make contact with his skin. He knew that he had long since shed the stranger’s warmth that had initially caused the disruption, but that didn’t seem to matter to Gregory at all, who had crawled up into Mycroft’s lap as soon as he had opened his arms to accept him.

“Sorry sorry, so sorry I know you didn’t mean to hurt me I know that I can’t be your only source of blood I know this but the wolf... He doesn’t know, he doesn’t understand and I tried, but I just couldn’t hold on - I couldn’t get through...”

Mycroft tried to shush his mate, wrapping his arms around him and holding him tight. “I know, my love, I know. And I shouldn’t have done that without warning you, without discussing it first.”

Greg pulled away briefly, worry crinkling at his brow. “The - person you… Your d-dinner...”

Mycroft laughed softly. “Donor. We call them donors, my dear.”

“Your donor, then. The wolf has their scent. You should tell them to be careful.”

Mycroft ran his thumb between Gregory’s eyes in an attempt to smooth out that unbecoming wrinkle. “If you happen to come with me to London at any point, then they will most certainly be made aware. However, I hardly think that the wolf will be able to sniff them out and run them down from this distance.”

Greg frowned deeply. “You’d be surprised. We aren’t all that far away, and...” Greg heaved out a sigh, meeting Mycroft’s eyes and holding them fast. “You are my lover, and I want you to be my partner in whatever will pass for my life from this day forth.” He smiled shakily as Mycroft’s chin wobbled just a tiny bit. “But you are the wolf’s mate. There’s something much deeper there than I can explain - that bond is almost elemental. And if he thought that anyone else would try to lay claim to you, there’s no amount of logic that would stop him from simply tearing that person apart - especially since you’re the only pack we have.” He huffed out a humourless laugh as Mycroft’s eyes went a bit wide. “Jealous rage doesn’t even begin to cover it, love. My Da once put someone in hospital just for trying to chat up my Mum - the bloke never even touched her!” Greg shook his head bleakly and cuddled up close again, mumbling into Mycroft’s skin. “Like it or not, you’re the wolf’s territory now. He will defend it if he deems it necessary, and what he feels is necessary won’t always make sense to you or to me.”

Mycroft nodded dazedly, putting his lips to Gregory’s head as he burrowed into his neck, smiling faintly as he felt his lover’s hands smoothing up and down his torso, absentmindedly caressing the cashmere of the jumper he was wearing. Mycroft hummed low as he returned the favour, letting his fingers map over the chunky contours of the jumper that he had gifted to his mate the night before. He blinked as he caught sight of Gregory’s knapsack leaning against the doorway, realising with a jolt of relief that his intent was to stay. “I - I understand. So how do we ensure that this doesn’t happen again?”

Greg took in a solid breath, reluctantly letting go of Mycroft only long enough to tug at the blanket. “This is helping.” He ran his nose behind his vampire’s ear and along his cheek, dragging his lips over his jaw as he inhaled deeply. “Makes you smell like me.”

Mycroft bit his lip as Gregory’s low growl of pleasure vibrated through his chest, as he pressed closer, grinding down on him not-so-subtly. “I see. So I should strip down as soon as I get home and put on some of your dirty clothes, is that it?” He smiled wickedly as Gregory shuddered hard, nodding his head blindly.

“Um. Yes.” Greg renewed his hold, squeezing his knees around Mycroft’s hips as he wrapped both arms around him. “Yes. That would - um.”

“Perhaps go down on my knees and let you mark me - perhaps even have you leave your scent on me before I leave for the day. What about if I roll over and show you my belly - would that appease the wolf?”

“You - shameless hussy, you.”   

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Mycroft chuckled as he felt Gregory’s face heat up against the skin of his neck, as his voice went deep and breathy. He slid his hands down to cup his lover’s bottom, giving it a healthy squeeze. “Only for you, my love. Only for my mate.” Mycroft opened himself up for Gregory’s eager kisses, slipping his chilled fingers up his jumper and dragging them over his skin. He disengaged as his enthusiastic lover started to run his tongue over his canine teeth, inducing his fangs to drop and sending little shivers of delight shooting up into Mycroft’s brain. “Wait. I have -” Mycroft shuddered as Gregory dropped his face into his neck, letting out tiny grunts as he licked and sucked at his throat, rolling his hips with abandon. He had intended to finish with ‘something to tell you’, but what came out was, “A notion that m-might help.”

Gregory blinked and sat up slowly, licking his lips as he pushed himself back just a bit. “Help how?”

“T-to appease the wolf, to perhaps make the bond stronger, to reassure him.” Greg tilted his head and lifted an eyebrow, and Mycroft nodded. “You said he felt as though his claim was threatened, correct? Well, maybe that’s because I haven’t been claimed at all.” Mycroft felt his spine stiffen slightly as Gregory tensed atop him, his eyes going hard. “Not properly, at least.” He ran his hands up his lover’s thighs, briefly kneading at the fine muscles before continuing on, tickling his fingers up and down the enticing bulge at Gregory’s groin. “Perhaps before I can be considered the wolf’s true mate, you have to actually mate with me, Gregory.”

Gregory’s hand closed around his wrist, just as it had the night before, but this time there were no claws, only a firm grip holding his hand in place as his lover rutted against his palm. Mycroft groaned quietly as Gregory’s head went back, as his mouth slackened in bliss. “Ohhh... Yes, my love. Want to fuck you, want to make you mmmine.” He shook his head in an attempt to clear his mind, trembling faintly as he tried to hold himself still and swallowing against the growl lodged in his throat. “If you want to be taken properly as you wish, we’ll have to let the beastie out to play, my sweet little batty.”

“Yes, my love. I want to be taken. By you, by him. Please.

Greg slipped off Mycroft’s knees, tugging at both sides of the blanket and drawing him forward. He grasped his head and brought it closer to the cradle of his groin, letting his lover get a good solid whiff before tilting his face up to his. “I guess you better take me downstairs, then.”

Mycroft smiled wryly even as he ran his nose up the underside of his lover’s cock, the outline clearly visible under the loose fabric of his jogging bottoms. “Figured it out, did you?”

Greg shivered and shrugged, tugging at Mycroft’s hands and backing slowly out of the room as he rose from the sofa, the blanket still tucked around his shoulders. “Seemed like the construction was fairly solid, and from what I could tell, probably soundproofed. At the very least, I imagine that it’s a convenient place to stash me away if I unexpectedly go primal. Although I have a feeling that your actual intention was perhaps a bit - naughtier.”

Mycroft stopped at a small table set up next to the staircase, opening the single drawer and pulling out a shiny new key. He smiled sharply as he held it up, gesturing down the stairs. “See how well you already know me, my love.”

Greg fiddled with the hem of his jumper as he descended, pulling it off and draping it over one of the chairs that was arranged in front of the gaming station. He bounced on the balls of his feet as Mycroft passed him, his excitement already threatening to overload his brain and body.  

“But where are your shoes, my dear?”

Greg stopped bouncing, his momentum carrying him forward a bit. Mycroft had stopped turning the key about halfway through, his eyes fixed on Greg’s dirty feet. “Buh.” Shaking his head, Greg blurted out, “Kitchen.”

“Did they not fit properly?”

Greg shrugged helplessly, his tongue already feeling a bit too thick for his mouth and his brain beginning to go too hazy to form proper sentences. “Fit fine. Just...” He wiggled his toes into the carpeting. “Balance.”

Mycroft’s eyes widened as he nodded slightly, hastening to get the door open as he chided himself for thinking that any of his gifts had been summarily rejected. Gregory was used to feeling the earth underneath his feet, of course he’d have to get re-acclimated to footwear all over again. He opened the door wide and turned back, jolting slightly at the sight of his lover standing proudly nude and smiling at him wickedly. Mycroft shook his head in exasperation, gesturing toward the secret room. “In, you beast.”

Greg hummed as he slipped past him. “Not just yet.” He paused after a couple of steps, breathing in the scent of freshly worked lumber in the darkness. He closed his eyes at Mycroft’s soft warning, carefully blinking them open after he heard the click of a light switch. He blinked again as he stared at the rather impressive bed that was tucked up against the far wall.

Greg stepped closer, lifting his nose in the air and subconsciously cataloguing all of the different scents. Wood, yes, and metal - leather and freshly laundered cotton sheets. He wrapped his hand around one of the bedposts, or at least as much of it as he could. It was rather difficult, as each of the main posts was easily six inches square. Greg gave it a shove, placing both hands on it and grunting as he pushed harder.

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Mycroft chuckled quietly behind him, making the hair on the back of Greg's neck stand up. “Nearly a tonne of solid oak.” He gestured to the ceiling and down at the floor, where the posts were secured with metal plates at each point. “Held together with industrial rivets and bolted quite firmly into concrete.” Mycroft moved to the foot of the bed, his fingers tracing over the grid made up of slightly smaller pieces of lumber.

Greg swallowed as he noted thick metal rings set into the wood with more heavy rivets. Still holding tight to the bedpost, he let his eyes wander over the rest of the room, the walls painted in a medium-dark hue, a somewhat comforting shade of blue. It seemed as though the bed was the main piece of furniture aside from a generic cupboard and a rather intriguing old wooden trunk, although there were clearly areas where other items could be secured, bolts in the floor and in the wall simply waiting to be attached to - something.

“I thought it best to start slow.” Greg gasped as Mycroft’s voice tickled at his ear, as his cool fingers traced up the back of his neck. “I can have the other items brought in when you feel you’re ready for them.”

Greg shivered and nodded to the far corner. “What goes there?”

Mycroft hummed and ran his hand down, tweaking his mate’s bum and grinning wickedly as he squeaked in surprise. “Convertible spanking bench. It’s an ingenious little thing, really. Can arrange you in nearly any configuration I wish, leaving this quite at my mercy.” He dug his fingernails into the meat of Gregory’s arse hard. “Oh, to have you spread out and begging for me...”

“Guh.” Greg turned, his eyes going a bit wild and dark as they skimmed down Mycroft’s body. “I thought you couldn’t - y’know...”

Mycroft clucked his tongue. “Gregory, my dear. I have any number of - apparatus - to assist me in such matters. I most certainly can fuck you, and since I feel no need for a traditional release myself, I can do so very slowly, and for a very long time.” He pressed close, rubbing the cashmere of his jumper on Gregory’s torso as he reached down to cup his bollocks, giving them a hearty tug. “You’ll simply be howling for release long before I’m done with you.”

Greg growled low, clenching his hands into fists as a harsh shudder wracked his spine. “Mycroft - quickly!”

Without a word, Mycroft swiftly pushed him down onto the bed, brandishing a set of restraints that Greg hadn’t even noticed - heavy leather with substantial buckles, padded well to prevent bruising. Quicker than blinking, they were around his wrists, secured somewhat loosely, and Greg snarled quietly as he twisted his arms. “Not tight enough.”

Mycroft grinned. “They’ll be plenty tight for him.” He held up the short chain, flicking at the toggle with his thumbnail as the sharp smile diminished, eyeing his lover seriously. “Gregory?”

Greg nodded, showing his teeth. “Yes. Do it.”

Mycroft secured the wrist restraints to the solid bed frame and swiftly moved to lock down Gregory’s ankles as well, stepping back as his lover’s body tensed and quivered. He watched with interest as Gregory fell back against the mattress, his chest heaving for air as he shook his head wildly. When he subsided, he was still Gregory, if just a bit hairier and thicker in certain areas. Mycroft reached out to run his hand up his leg, digging his nails into his lover’s inner thigh as he got a quiet snarl in return.

He bent over and licked away the moisture that had beaded up at the very tip of Gregory’s cock, drawing back as his hips jerked reflexively. Mycroft adopted an impassive face as his lover thrashed and growled, tugging ineffectively against his restraints. Although he was still more man than beast, and that wasn’t what Mycroft needed to make his idea feasible.

Nor was it what he particularly wanted just at this moment. No, it was time to draw his beloved beastie out.

Stepping out of Gregory’s sight at the head of the bed, Mycroft paused and listened to his harsh pants for breath, his low snarls of displeasure. He contemplated briefly even as he retrieved some necessary supplies from the nearby cupboard. Although he had not been expecting their first proper fuck to happen under these particular circumstances, it wasn’t like he hadn’t pictured his Gregory in exactly this same position many times since first meeting him. But how best to provoke him, to bring out the gloriously wild half-breed monster lurking within his lover?

Absentmindedly running his hands down his torso, Mycroft lit upon an idea, quickly shedding all of his outer layers before pulling the cashmere jumper back over his head and stretching at the fabric so it seemed a bit too big for him. He ruffled at his hair, breaking it free from the rather restrictive style that he preferred for his work day. Wishing that he had enough blood in his system to bring a rosy blush to his cheeks to complete the illusion of virtue, Mycroft sauntered back into his lover’s view, puckering his lips into a sensual moue as Gregory tugged at his restraints.

He stared at him, his beautiful dark eyes so huge and round that Mycroft almost thought that he could see stars twinkling in the depths. He shifted his weight onto one leg, making his hip jut out underneath the fabric of the jumper. With the sleeves pulled low over his hands and adopting a sweet demeanour, he swayed from side to side before turning his back and looking over his shoulder, playfully tugging the hem a little lower in a seemingly futile effort to cover up his naked bum.

“When you held this lovely soft fabric in your hands, was this how you imagined me, my love?” He lifted up the hem slightly, smiling coquettishly as the bed shook minutely with the force of Gregory’s thrashing. Mycroft affected an expression of utter innocence as he turned back around, slowly climbing up onto the mattress between his lover’s bound legs. “Or perhaps it was more like this?” He bit his lip as he went down on his hands and knees, dragging as much of the jumper as he could over Gregory’s needy cock.

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Smirking internally as he noted the squareness of his mate’s jaw, of the multitude of teeth that no longer seemed to fit properly in Gregory’s mouth, Mycroft shimmied up his body and came to a rest perched over his hips. He lightly bounced down in a gentle tease, biting his lip as he looked down at his chest, idly smearing at the trail of pre-come that had been left behind over the cashmere. “Oh dear, but what a mess you’ve made.”

Although there was a low growl and a tensing of muscles underneath his bum, there also seemed to be no further deterioration of Gregory’s condition, and so Mycroft paused, sucking idly on his finger as he eyed his willing captive up and down. He realised with a start that his lover’s eyes were still those of a human, and that the twinkling that he had noted earlier was that of high humour, and not the desperation that he had originally taken it for. His Gregory’s control was simply too sterling - the little devil was deliberately holding his beast back; taunting him, daring him to take his naughty game to the next level.

Right, then. If it was war he wanted, then Mycroft was all too willing to oblige.

Grinding down a bit harder, Mycroft straightened his spine and rolled his shoulders back, dragging his nails down the length of Gregory’s torso. Tipping his head back, he shivered and let his own control go, moaning quietly as his fangs descended, as his vision sharpened, making the very veins under his lover’s skin light up, pulsing with each beat of his heart. Mycroft smiled wide as the twinkle in Gregory’s eyes faltered, the first sign of his inevitable defeat.

With his Father’s voice in his head, reprimanding him for being rash and foolish - for being really rather stupid - Mycroft reached up to tip Gregory’s chin up and to the side, forcefully exposing his fine throat to him. Snarling quietly as his mate started to thrash in earnest, small whimpers escaping from behind clenched teeth, he tightened his grip and lowered his head, pressing just the very tips of his fangs to the tanned skin. Marvelling at the odd sensation of flesh rippling and changing underneath him, Mycroft closed his eyes and slowly dragged his teeth down, scraping oh so gently and leaving behind only the faintest of scratches all along Gregory’s collarbone.

He allowed himself to press in a bit deeper as he moved down his sternum, his fingers closing tight around Gregory’s jaw as he tried to shake his head free. Mycroft ruthlessly pinned him down, showing no quarter even as he tickled at his exposed chest with the faintest of deadly touches. Oh, but this was dangerous - he knew that he had to be careful, but oh, that smell, the sharp-sweet tang of his lover’s blood, his desire making the aroma even more rich and piquant to Mycroft’s senses, awakening that ancient craving deep within him.

Hissing quietly, Mycroft pierced his mate’s right areola, his tongue darting out for a taste before he could stop himself. He quivered with delight as Gregory groaned, his body seizing underneath him as that beautifully half-breed beast finally began to break free. Internally shrinking away from temptation, Mycroft tried to close his lips over his teeth, clamping his knees around the broad hips as they bucked wildly underneath him, the wood of the headboard creaking under the force of Gregory’s transformation.  

Smearing his mouth and chin with the blood that was beading up from the tiny wound, Mycroft lifted his face as he released the beast’s jaw, narrowing his eyes as Gregory instantly tried to snap at him, an almost constant growl rumbling through his entire body. Mycroft cooed as he reached out to caress his mate’s fine, strong arms, running his fingers up the side of his head until he was tickling at the edges of those lovely soft ears. Licking his lips, Mycroft leant forward until he was nearly nose-to-nose with the creature, shivering as hot breath blasted over his face.

“Oh, but there you are, my sweet beast.”

Gregory showed his teeth and yanked hard at his restraints, his eyes alight with a hungry lust that very nearly made Mycroft lose control of his limbs. To cover up the awkward jolt of his body, he shifted his hips and pushed backward slightly, rubbing the crack of his arse over his mate’s throbbing cock. Gregory whined even as he strained toward him, striving to angle his hips just so as he futilely attempted to reach his mouth.

Mycroft relented slightly, lowering his face and giving himself over to his beastie’s eager kisses, more tongue and teeth than lips, artless and messy and so beyond perfect. He tried to keep his own teeth somewhat sheathed, but of course his mate knew just how to provoke him even without the benefit of words or proper touch. He simply nudged his way beyond that flimsy shield, caressing Mycroft’s fangs with the tip of his tongue, panting hot blood-scented breath into his assailant’s mouth and inciting his own primal instincts into taking action.

His Father’s warning lost to the dimmest corners of his mind, Mycroft snarled and nipped at Gregory’s lip, tearing it open and lapping hungrily at the blood that dribbled out. Snorting in triumph, his beastie thrust his tongue deep into his mouth and yelped quietly as it was pierced almost immediately and sucked at ferociously. Gregory’s happy growls petered off into needy little whimpers as he continued to buck his hips, seeking more friction as he dragged his cock over Mycroft’s arse.

Blinking rapidly as his nerve-endings began to tingle, shocking him back into awareness, Mycroft sat up abruptly, trying to ignore the trembling in his fingers as he put the back of his hand to his mouth. Eyes wide, he stared at the blood smeared over his lover’s face, cursing his own rash foolishness and overconfidence in his ability to restrain himself. Oh, but how quickly the tide of battle could turn...

Gregory was clearly picking up on his sudden anxiety, the muscles in his arms jumping as he relaxed them, letting himself go limp and docile underneath his mate. With his shaggy eyebrows turned inward in consternation, he licked his lips and tried to speak in spite of his distorted jaw and uncomfortable excess of teeth. “M’crof - wha?”

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Mycroft immediately shook his head, resuming a hopefully wicked demeanour as he finally stripped out of the jumper, casually tossing it on the bed behind him. Later - he would tell him later. It wouldn’t do to burden Gregory with this knowledge at this particular moment - this moment was something that they both needed almost desperately, and Mycroft was quite determined to see it through to the end.

So he reached behind himself and grasped his lover’s member, giving it a good hard squeeze as he exposed his bloodied fangs. “Nothing at all, my dear. It just occurred to me that we could put that delightful tongue of yours to a much better use, that’s all.”

Once again, Gregory’s eyes lit up and his body tensed, pulling hard against the restraints as he fruitlessly tried to get hold of him. Mycroft let out an internal sigh of relief even as he shifted positions, throwing a saucy look over his shoulder as he straddled his mate’s chest. Gregory’s eyes were fixed on his pert little bum, and as Mycroft watched, a distinct dribble of saliva dripped off his waiting tongue. Already shivering in anticipation, Mycroft went down on his elbows, nestling his chest over Gregory’s hips as he dropped his arse onto his beastie’s face.

He was not strictly prepared for the liberal application of teeth before tongue, and Mycroft shouted out as his left cheek was subjected to a swift and unfairly hard bite. He dug his nails into the meat of Gregory’s thighs in retaliation, grinning fiercely as his mate jumped and whimpered quietly around the flesh held firmly in his teeth. Gregory withdrew and nuzzled solemnly at the bite mark in mute apology, licking at it until the throbbing had diminished.

Then he moved his head just a fraction, rumbling low in his chest as he dragged his nose up and down and around, taking in his mate’s basest scent. Quivering slightly as his internal muscles flexed, Mycroft muffled his soft cry into the cradle of Gregory’s groin as that wicked tongue was finally put to its purpose. He was not as frenzied as Mycroft had assumed he would be, his tongue eagerly insistent and yet slow and methodical. Mycroft groaned as the small amount of blood that he had taken from his lover began to spread through his system, making his body and mind more susceptible to the pleasurable sensations Gregory was subjecting him to.

Working at him soft and slow, hot and wet, Gregory hummed in satisfaction as his mate’s hole began to open up for him, quivering snugly around his tongue. He pressed deeper as Mycroft rolled his hips, grinding down onto him, moaning deliciously all the while. For his part, Mycroft could no longer ignore the treat that was throbbing insistently right under his nose, and so as he rocked back he also rubbed and licked, making Gregory’s steady rhythm falter.

Lost in the bliss of being thoroughly eaten out, he didn’t even note his minor victory, choosing instead to reach between and down, cupping Gregory’s heavy bollocks as he stretched his middle finger underneath, stroking at his lover’s perineum. Mycroft tugged as he wrapped his other hand around the base of Gregory’s erection, holding it still as he suckled at the very tip, relishing the tang of salt on his tongue. Oh, if only he had thought to retrieve the necessary equipment so he could take this glorious member fully into his mouth...

Gregory growled low as he began to lose his composure a bit, becoming a little more ferocious, thrusting in hard and wiggling his tongue in deep. Mycroft moaned around his small mouthful, pressing back in a desperate bid for more. He sat up abruptly at another low rumble of pleasure from his mate, unable to bear it any longer. Mycroft glanced back as Gregory whined quietly, shaking his head as he happily panted for breath, his tongue lolling from his mouth.

Fully aware that he had lost this particular battle and no longer capable of keeping an accurate tally, Mycroft decided that it would be simpler just to forfeit the entire game. And so he reached for the little bottle that he had retrieved earlier, squirting out a hefty dollop of lube and smearing it up the crack of his arse before sliding two fingers in deep, tilting his hips back to ensure that his beastie got a good eyeful. He knew that he was making an impression by nothing more than the way Gregory shook underneath him, his cock somehow growing even larger right before his eyes as another level of control was stripped away.

Looking back in slight shock, Mycroft’s eyes widened at the lengthened snout, at the additional tufts of fur and sharpened claws. Gregory once again yanked against his restraints, growling in a sort of triumph as the wood creaked alarmingly. Deciding that the time for teasing was over and unable to deny the overwhelming need to feel his beast deep inside him, Mycroft stroked Gregory’s cock, liberally smearing it with lube, before lifting himself up on his knees and shuffling into position above it.

He winced slightly at the first hint of pressure, but his body opened up easily enough as a result of his beastie’s previously loving ministrations, allowing his mate to breach him in one smooth move. Gregory immediately bucked his hips again, but Mycroft sank down as far as he could and held himself there, locking the muscles in his arms and legs as his beast snarled and thrashed, nearly throwing his rider free. Once Gregory had settled himself somewhat, his breath coming in short blasts in between sharp growls, Mycroft relinquished his grip and raised himself up on his knees, leaning forward slightly to grasp at the footboard of the bed.

Turning his head, he watched over his shoulder as Gregory’s face went feral, as his eyes flashed and teeth clenched. And then he could only hold on as that thick, heavy cock was driven in deep, his mate’s hips bouncing off the mattress as he fucked up into him. And although it felt divine, he could see the frustration in his beast’s face, almost felt it building in his own chest until Gregory fell back onto the mattress, practically roaring out his displeasure.

Mycroft slipped off of his trembling form, reaching behind to feel how wide open he had been fucked, biting his lip as Gregory growled and snapped at him, his entire body one beautifully tensed mass of muscle. Without speaking, knowing that he wouldn’t be understood anyway, Mycroft reached out to unhook the ankle restraints from the bed frame. At least that gesture was easily understood as it subdued the beast for the moment and he laid back, his eyes hot and demanding.

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Mycroft obeyed that demand, choosing to face him this time as he straddled Gregory’s hips, once again lining that gorgeous cock up to his hole and waiting for it to be driven in deep. With his feet planted on the mattress, his mate had more control over his movements and he tilted his hips at a very precise angle as he violated his eager rider, driving his cock against the front wall of his passage and knocking unerringly at his previously dormant prostate. Mycroft’s eyes flew open wide as the damn thing positively throbbed at him, having completely forgotten how wonderful it felt to have it manipulated by someone who knew what they were doing.

Gregory showed his teeth and made a noise in his chest that could have been laughter, steadily pulling with his arms as he pushed up into Mycroft’s body, striking at that spot again and again. Gods, how could it feel so good - how could he have forgotten? Mycroft shuddered hard, blinking rapidly as there was a pressure down below that was only distantly remembered, as it had become completely foreign to him. Looking down, he blanched slightly as his own cock let out a distinct twitch, as it grew a bit harder than the vaguely plump member that he was used to experiencing after a particularly heavy feeding.

Gregory glanced down at him as well, and although his eyes flared with something hot and hungry, Mycroft could also see a glimmer of confusion in the depths. He knew something wasn’t quite right, but of course his beast couldn’t parse out exactly what it was. And again there was a slight snarl of displeasure, his jaw clenching in frustration even as his hips continued to buck wildly.

No, this wasn’t right, was it? Mycroft threw back his head and moaned up at the ceiling, the sound echoing dully in the somewhat confined space. No, it couldn’t happen like this. Tensing his muscles and locking eyes with his mate, Mycroft dug his nails into his sides, making the beast stop in mid-thrust, his teeth showing in outrage. Stretching his body forward, Mycroft slowly reached for the wrist restraints, biting his lip as Gregory let out a harsh whine and went limp in anticipation.

Working the buckles open with both hands, Mycroft took in a fortifying breath as he tugged on the leather, setting his beastie free. In the next moment he was flat on his back, blinking up into dark, wild eyes, hot saliva dripping onto his collarbone. He went easily as he was rolled onto his stomach, obligingly arranging himself however his mate wished him. Mycroft let out a quiet grunt as one thick arm was tucked in around his hips, holding them at the right angle, tilting them back as he was immediately breached again, as his mate mounted him the way he needed to in order to truly claim him.

He clutched at the bedding as Gregory’s massively gnarled hand wrapped around his throat, his sharp claws digging into his flesh, piercing him and holding him absolutely still as he was violated. Beyond the sounds of the grunts in his ear and that of hard flesh being driven in deep, Mycroft was only aware of the heat of his mate’s body, the weight of him pinning him down, the almost unbearable pressure of his cock within him.

No, he could only hold on, trying not to picture any of Gregory’s human lovers being put through this same trial - he couldn’t imagine that they would have survived. But then, even though they may have seen the beast, they wouldn’t have seen this beast. Because this was his beast, and Gregory had known that he could unleash the true animal within on him, because Mycroft could take it. He was immortal, after all.

Mycroft hissed as his mate’s thrusts became a little more haphazard, the almost constant rumbling susurrus in his chest rising in volume until it erupted into a vicious snarl. Mycroft tried to brace himself for what was to come, but the sensation of his shoulder bursting into fire was not at all what he expected. He screamed and instinctively jerked away before he could stop himself, making Gregory’s teeth sink in even further. His mate’s climax was almost lost in the haze of the pain throbbing through his body, even though he felt the rapid pulse of his cock and the warmth flooding his insides. Gregory howled through the clench of his teeth, his cries of pleasure muffled against his mate’s flesh.

Mycroft cried out again as those fearsome teeth were removed, shivering with both agony and delight. At first he was unaware of the offering that was pressed to his lips, but he blindly shook his head as Gregory growled low, trying to pry his mouth open. He moaned quietly as his mate pushed deeper into his body, shifting his hold and pulling him up as Gregory settled back on his knees.

Mycroft tilted his head back on his beast’s shoulder, simply lolling against his chest as there was a soft grunt behind him. He blinked open gummy eyes as his nose twitched, taking in the heavy scent of blood. This time when Gregory’s arm was presented to him, it was with an inch-long gash sliced into the pale flesh, the dark blood welling out in a thick stream. Snarling low and quite unable to stop himself, Mycroft took hold and sank his teeth in, drinking deep.

There was a sharp swirl of heat down below as his mate’s body jolted, holding him tight as they both twitched and shuddered in shared pleasure. Mycroft withdrew as he was slowly lowered to the mattress again, absentmindedly licking at the wound as his mate’s bliss surged through his veins, making his body heavy and his brain light with song. He only whimpered once as the heat of Gregory’s body was lifted from his, as he dragged the tips of his claws down his back and over the globes of his exposed and quite raw arse.

Gregory rumbled low and deep as he beheld the ruin he had wrought, holding his mate open as the evidence of their bonding dribbled out. Mycroft hummed mindlessly, all of his senses alight and yet numb at the same time, his nerve-endings quite overwhelmed. Heaving out a satisfied sigh, Gregory lowered his head and began to slowly lick his mate clean.

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Throughout all of Mycroft’s squirming and writhing, moaning at every gentle hot touch, he was somehow aware that his mate was shrinking back into his usual self, the claws that were holding him open diminishing into blunt nails, the tongue that was working at him going small and pointed as opposed to long and slithery. He shivered as Gregory hummed behind him, the sound more subtle, less of a rough growl and infinitely more welcome.

He almost sobbed as he was turned over, letting his arms simply fall away as he splayed out over the mattress, looking up into his lover’s beautifully serene face. Gregory ran his hands up his legs, kneading gently at the muscles in his thighs before tentatively tickling at Mycroft’s half-hard cock. “And what do we have here?”

Mycroft’s head went back as he was stroked, the remnants of his mate’s bliss in his system making the sensation feel a hundred times more pleasurable than he could ever remember it feeling during his life. Letting out only a strangled,“Ah!”, he tilted his hips up, inviting Gregory to do whatever he liked with him.

Greg hunkered down low, somehow understanding that this occurrence was unusual, that he might not ever get the chance again. So he eagerly took advantage, huffing quietly as he took in his mate’s scent, overlaid rather heavily with his own. Marked - his beautiful strong mate had been marked, he was his, and now no other could lay claim. With the wolf within letting out a triumphant snort, Greg shivered in delight. Taking a moment, he nibbled delicately on Mycroft’s tidy scrotum before moving his way up, swiping his tongue up the entirety of his length and then taking him into his mouth.

He cradled the spongy flesh on his tongue carefully, gently palpating the muscle and rolling it against the roof of his mouth. Greg almost grinned as he suddenly felt fingers in his hair, choosing instead to slide down as far as he could, rubbing his nose into his lover’s pubic bone. Although there was a minute twitching, a subtle thickening, he knew that this was most likely as hard as Mycroft was going to get. But that was quite all right, as it meant it was easier to swallow him down.

Breathing evenly, moving slowly and deliberately, Greg hummed and swirled, sucked and tickled, bobbing his head in an unsteady rhythm, delighting in every twitch and low cry that his touches generated. When the fingers in his hair tightened, insistently pulling upward, he let Mycroft’s cock slip from his mouth, bending down to wipe his spit-slicked lips over his lover’s lower belly. Grinning at Mycroft’s exhausted giggle, he crawled up his mate’s body and obediently took his lips as he was silently bade.


Mycroft lifted his hand to cradle Gregory’s face, blinking back tears as his lover's beautiful dark eyes crinkled with a gentle smile. “Gregory. My love, my mate.”

This time it was Greg who sniffled somewhat unbecomingly, feeling no shame as he felt the tears beginning to fall. “Yours. As you are mine.”

Mycroft nodded solemnly as he wiped the moisture from Gregory’s cheeks. “Forever and always.”

“Guh." Mycroft snorted at the random noise, muffling his laughter into his lover’s mouth. When Gregory pulled away again, his eyes were filled with an undeniable need, a need that Mycroft could feel throbbing at his own centre, as impossible as it was. He knew that Gregory would not ask, would not impose himself on him, and so he silently wrapped his legs around him, offering himself willingly, granting unspoken permission.

Gregory’s eyes fluttered in pleasure as he slipped back inside his body, biting his bottom lip and looking so absolutely gorgeous that Mycroft nearly swooned. It was ridiculous, it really was, but hovering in the twilight between humanity and immortality as he was, Mycroft was clearly susceptible to many of the finer emotions that he had never experienced when he was alive. Watching his lover’s face shift and tremble as he moved smoothly within him, looking into eyes that seemed to hold the wonders of the universe, Mycroft finally understood what the term ‘making love’ truly meant. Gasping aloud as Gregory’s hand insinuated itself between their bodies, grasping his half-hard cock and stroking gently, Mycroft simply allowed himself to fall into those eyes, lifting his hips to meet his mate’s increasingly deep thrusts.


Oh. So this what it was all about - all those ridiculous stories that had never made the least of sense to him - this was why. Mycroft only had time to think to himself that if he had known this, if he had understood what love truly meant before LaCroix had come to him with his seductive promises of knowledge and power - oh. Well, then he simply would not be here today. Because there was absolutely no power on this earth that would have stolen him away from this.

Mycroft trembled as he caressed Gregory’s face, shaking his head slightly. “So long. Oh, my love, but I have waited so very long for you.” Swallowing up his mate’s quiet groan with a deep kiss, he pulled away as Gregory’s easy rhythm began to falter, pushing up into his fist almost desperately. “D-don’t stop. Oh please...”

Gregory’s eyebrows drew together with determination, and Mycroft almost laughed, but with one twist of his wrist he was once again lost in unfamiliar but overwhelmingly divine sensations, his eyes rolling back as he experienced the echo of a human orgasm, heat washing up his body from his centre, blood pulsing in his brain, his cock jerking and dribbling out the barest amount of spend.

Gregory moaned low in his ear as he pushed in deep and held himself there, his hand still moving sluggishly over Mycroft’s member, squeezing and twisting. Mycroft wrapped his limbs around his mate and held him tight, pressing his mouth to the pulse point in his neck as he returned the gesture. His heartbeat jumped against his lips, but Mycroft felt no need to strike, suddenly unsure whether or not he even could.

When all of the tremors had ceased and they had unfolded themselves from around each other, Gregory sat back on his heels, reaching for the jumper that had been discarded earlier and wiping them both down with it. “There.” He smiled crookedly as Mycroft rolled his eyes. “This will be my security blanket. If I start to get all irrational on you again, just throw this at me. Or maybe put it on and then throw yourself at me.” He buried his nose into the soiled fabric briefly. “Mm. You and me and mating hormones. Perfect.”

Chapter Text

Mycroft giggled and heaved out a sigh as he closed his eyes, frowning slightly as he tried to assess his condition. He could feel the tingle of his lover’s blood working at healing the most minor of his wounds, the scratches and bruises, the sprained limbs. But the bite to his shoulder was throbbing uncomfortably, as was the one on his arse-cheek, albeit to a lesser degree. He flexed his muscles and felt his mouth pull down into a deeper frown. Yes, he was much more sore than he should expect to be, even if it didn’t seem like it would prevent him from moving freely.

“Hey.” Mycroft jolted slightly, opening his eyes and practically melting at the look of concern on his mate’s face. Gregory reached up to cup his hand around the bite on his shoulder, taking care not to squeeze too hard. “You... You’re not healing. Do you need more?” He waved his arm in a clear offer, his own wound mostly closed but not quite healed, the marks of Mycroft’s teeth still standing out angry and red around the scabbed mark where Gregory had sliced his own flesh open.

“I - yes, most likely.” He sighed heavily and shook his head definitively as Gregory started to move. “But not from you.” He felt his chin quiver as he looked at the crestfallen look on his lover’s face. “Your b-blood... It’s - um - not good f-for me.”

“What?” Greg felt his stomach drop at the expression on Mycroft’s face, something weary and forlorn, something altogether too human. “Not good how?”

Heaving out another sigh, silently marvelling at how good it felt to expel air from his lungs, Mycroft gestured him closer, tapping lightly at his chest. “Come put your ear over my heart. You’ll see.”

Confused, Greg leant forward and very carefully nestled his ear over the left side of Mycroft’s chest. Closing his eyes in concentration, he took in a deep breath and then held it, listening closely.

Thud-thump... Thud... Thud... Thud-thump...

Scrambling upright in his surprise, Greg fell back on his arse, his eyes wide with shock. “Mycroft! You - your heart - it’s beating!”

Mycroft would have laughed at Gregory’s startled reaction, except for the clear distress and confusion in his mate’s eyes. Instead he trailed his fingers over his sternum, nodding slightly. It was faint and rather erratic, stopping for long moments at a time, but this was the first time his heart had continued to beat for so long. He blinked as it seemed to still again, leaving behind a strange pressure in the cavern of his chest, an indefinable ache.

Gregory crawled up to sit next to him, and Mycroft hummed low as he was pulled into his embrace, weakly nuzzling into his mate’s broad chest. “I - I’ve done this to you?”

Mycroft nodded faintly. “Your blood has, yes. Apparently, true love seems to be a handy antidote to my particular condition.”

“You were weakened by me - made vulnerable. Oh God, you - you’re turning human again, aren’t you?” Mycroft kept to his silence, once again blinking against the odd sensation of tears as he was rocked gently. “Oh God, I let him loose on you, really let him loose, I hurt you and you aren’t healing this is why I can’t - I shouldn’t - this is what happens, I hurt people I hurt you, oh my love...”

Mycroft sat up as best he could, cradling his lover’s head as it drooped in anguish, trying to soothe him through the harsh sobs that were wracking his chest. Although lost in despair, Gregory was still holding him as though something precious and fragile, something to be treasured and protected by all means necessary. Cognisant that he would not be able to point this out to him in his current state, Mycroft bent low to his ear, pressing small kisses to his heated skin.

“Gregory. Gregory, my love, you cannot be blamed for this. You didn’t know - I didn’t even know until yesterday myself. There have always been a number of vampires that have ultimately regretted their decision and sought ways to regain their humanity. You and I just happened to be lucky enough to stumble across a solution without meaning to. I didn’t even know it was a possibility until I described the situation to my Father and he confirmed the truth of it.”

Gregory raised a hand to his face and swiped at his tears viciously, his eyes searching Mycroft’s face. “You don’t want this.”

“I...” Mycroft bit his lip and shook his head. “No, I do not. Although I will admit the sensations I’m experiencing are rather novel, I cannot say that all of them are entirely welcome.” He shrugged his wounded shoulder and hissed quietly, lifting Gregory’s face up to his. “If I regain my humanity, then I lose you. I know which of those options I value most highly.” He leant forward for a kiss and then met his mate’s eyes, holding them fast. “I do not regret what happened in this room today, and I will not accept any apologies from you, as well-meaning as they would be. We needed this - the both of us.” Mycroft gently drew out Gregory’s right arm, shakily wrapping his hand around the bite mark he had left behind. “We both took and were taken, and that has cemented our bond.”

Greg sniffled quietly, renewing his hold and tucking his vampire closer to his chest. He let out a single bark of laughter that was nearly a sob. “Oh, so we’re married now, is that it?”

Mycroft giggled merrily, his eyes closing almost against his will as his voice started to fade. “If you want to be all human about it, I suppose...”

Greg felt a quick spike of anxiety as his mate went limp against him, shaking him gently as his head lolled against his shoulder. “Mycroft! No no no... What do I do, what do you need?”

“Mm... Silas - he will help.” Mycroft sighed quietly. “Graveyard.” He shivered as Greg slipped from the bed, yanking up the sheet and wrapping him up with it. “A-anthea too...” He waved a hand at the pile of clothing at the head of the bed. “Phone.”

Greg retrieved it as well as his mucky old blanket, tucking it securely around his lover’s body as he watched Mycroft’s fingers trembling over the tiny keyboard. “I really don’t like the idea of leaving you alone, love.”

After Mycroft sent his coded text, he let his mobile fall from his fingers, shuddering hard as he felt an odd swirl of nausea deep in his belly. “Then run, my darling protector.” Rallying his ebbing strength, he drew Gregory down for a fierce kiss, his eyes darting over his face as if committing it to memory. “Run hard.”

Chapter Text

Greg bent down to press his lips to Mycroft’s forehead, hissing slightly at the heat that was coming off of it. He took in a deep lungful of his mate’s scent and held it in his chest as he bolted for the door, barely even remembering to snag his new jogging bottoms off the floor as he flew past them.

Somehow managing to hop into them without falling on his face as he ascended the stairs, Greg paused at the door to the back garden as a sudden spasm wracked his lower spine. Growling low, he shook his head as his body trembled, the wolf beating against the cage of his ribs. No. No - he had to maintain control - had to retain enough of his mind so he would keep to his purpose. If he let the wolf loose now, he would just return to his mate and refuse to let anyone else near.

Looking up as he tried to control his breathing, Greg was surprised to see that dusk was quickly falling. He and his mate had apparently been sequestered away for far longer than he had realised. Still struggling internally to lock his beast down, he trotted to the back gate, slipping through and trying to orient himself as he skirted the edges of the wood. Greg lifted his nose, looking out over the green and going still as his eyes abruptly focused on a point in the distance.

There. Taking in a deep breath, Greg started to run.

He mostly kept his head down, only glancing up every once in a while to ensure that his flight was relatively straight. He may have passed one or two villagers out for a leisurely twilight ramble, but he had flown past them before they even fully registered. Feet pounding and lungs heaving, Greg ran as though his very own life was at stake, for he felt as though it might as well be.

After having been alone for so long, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to return to that solitary existence, couldn’t live without his mate. If he lost Mycroft - well, he would simply have to give up. After all, a wolf needed his pack.

And a man couldn’t go on without his heart.

He was so focused on keeping himself moving that he very nearly ran into the gates, swerving to the right and slowing his steps as he skirted around to the back. With his heart pounding in his brain and his lungs expanding painfully in his chest, he scrambled over the rock wall and fell to the ground in a trembling heap.


Greg gasped and scrambled away from the indistinct shape hovering nearby, raising a hand to his eyes and rubbing at them furiously. When he looked around again, whatever it was seemed to be gone, although there was a lingering coolness in the air that gave him pause. He suddenly thought back to their first true conversation, when Mycroft had mentioned that there were spirits bound to these grounds. Feeling a bit silly, but completely at a loss, Greg flung out a beseeching hand.

“Silas! Please - I need to see Silas, I need his help!” There was a softly sibilant hiss to his left, and Greg turned, blinking at the impression of eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Please. It’s Mycroft - he... He’s sick. Only Silas can help him.” He curled himself up into a ball as the vague outline of a person vanished, growling low as his spine cracked loudly. No no no...not now - not now!

“Sick how, exactly?”

Greg went up on his hands and knees at the abrupt question, looking up into the pale face of a stranger dressed all in black. His voice was smooth and yet somehow dusty, and even in his enhanced sight, he seemed to blend into the shadows all around him. Silas waited, patience personified.

“He...” Greg dug his fingers into the earth as his body quaked, panting quietly until his tremor had passed. “Heartbeat. Turning human.”

Beyond a slight raising of eyebrows, this startling information hardly seemed to register on the impassive face. “Interesting.”

“Doesn’t w-want it - my fault. Said you would h-help.” Greg tried to stumble to his feet, falling against the stone wall and holding onto it for support. He heard the vaguely chiding ‘tchk’ in his ear before he felt cool hands on him, assisting him to clamber over. He rolled as he landed hard on the other side, coming up against Silas’ surprisingly shiny shoes.

Greg drew back as the vampire crouched down in front of him, his dark eyes intent on his face as he felt it ripple with his impending change. “I may be able to help, yes.”

“Please.” Greg shook his head in frustration as he fell back, the muscles in his back pulling his arms in odd configurations. “Can’t...”

“Let go - let him out.”

Greg snarled loudly. “Stupid bloodsucker.” He showed his teeth as Silas huffed in indignation. “Lose myself. My-Mycr... Hnghrr.

“Needs you, yes. But you’ll be of no use to him like this.” Silas stood and appraised Greg coolly as he thrashed at his feet. “Let the wolf out. He knows that his mate is in danger - that’s why he’s fighting your control, and that’s why you’re losing the battle.” He gestured vaguely to the expanse of green, looking up into the night sky. “There is nothing out here that will keep him from running back to protect his - your - mate.”

Suddenly bone-weary, Greg sagged against the earth, his reserves of strength nearly depleted. He frowned slightly as Silas looked down at him, his pale face infused with an odd sort of nostalgic wistfulness. Huffing out a quiet laugh, he smiled crookedly as Silas’ expression twitched with annoyance. Of course he had a selfish motive for pushing him to transform - he had run with a wolf-born before, hadn’t he? Somehow settled by the idea that this cold creature - a being beyond the reach of time - could even desire to reminisce over the loss of a mortal life, Greg nodded his agreement.  

As if recognising the difficulty of Greg’s capitulation and also of the ultimate reason why, Silas dipped his head in gratitude. “Thank you.” Then he let out an almost silent sputter as the one item of clothing that Greg had been wearing nearly smacked him in the face.

With only enough time to let out a single bark of laughter, Greg laid back and opened the floodgates, willingly letting the wolf loose from his cage.

Chapter Text

It was more painful than usual, as his brain hadn’t time to cut off the pathways to his nerves before they started to crackle like lightning under his skin. Silas stepped back as Greg let out a strangled scream, his back bowing with an impossible curve. For the first time, he found himself feeling a bit of empathy with the different versions of B-movie werewolves that he had previously laughed at, as it felt as though his beast was just ripping his way out of a human skin-suit.

He was on his feet before the paralysis in his spine had fully passed, his legs trembling with the effort of keeping him upright. The fur at the back of his neck started to rise to attention as an unfamiliar scent invaded his nostrils, and he began to growl before he could even move. But as he sniffed, the wolf caught an underlying note in the aroma that did seem familiar - the coolness of Other, the rot of decay. It smelled like his mate and yet - not.

The wolf whined quietly as a stranger approached, holding out a bone-white hand. He shook his head violently as the stiffness in his spine eased, taking a wary step back. The stranger’s features shifted then, a sense of uncertainty settling in around his shoulders. In a flash of intuition, he held out the jogging bottoms that Greg had tossed at him before his transformation, attempting to smile reassuringly at the beast.

The wolf didn’t seem all that impressed with the rather ghastly smile, but he nonetheless moved forward, nosing at the soft material and letting out a high whine of distress. The scent was heady, his mate and himself, but something else too - something not right. Blowing out a harsh breath from his nose, the wolf turned in place and sniffed at the air, his muzzle pointing out the path that his human form had taken. He pawed at the earth and without looking back, took off for home.

He was of course aware of the black shape flitting next to him, the vampire’s footfalls so light and swift that it seemed as though he was flying. And although the wolf knew that his mate was in danger, he couldn’t help but absorb some of the sombre joy that was radiating from the ancient creature at his side. It settled into his bones, the quiet soaring ecstasy of a good run merely for the sake of running, the exhilaration of life coursing through his blood. The wolf snorted and shook off his anxiety as the sensation loosened his spine, lengthening his stride until he also seemed to be floating above the earth, his paws leaving only the barest impressions in the rich loam.

But of course the joy was fleeting, and the wolf’s steps slowed as the smell of Man invaded his senses. Silas kept a step or two back as the animal’s ruff lifted in warning, as he trotted carefully around the edges of the wood, his head low but ears alert. He followed the scent trail that his human feet had left behind, recognising it from the article of clothing that his silent companion still had clutched in his fist.

He hesitated as he came to the end of the line of trees, cautiously inching forward as his head bobbed, his nose picking out the scent of his distressed mate lying just beyond the partially open gate. With a quick dash, the wolf was past that simple barrier, although he paused once again at the open expanse of lawn, slinking along the edge of the green with his tail held low. He sneezed as the scent of an unknown human tickled at his nose, looking at the neat shrubs that decorated the borders of the property. Sniffing disdainfully, he lifted his leg, taking a brief moment to both mark his new territory and obliterate the foreign aroma of the intruder that had been amongst the greenery.

He showed his teeth in a silent snarl as the vampire that was accompanying him raised an almost disbelieving eyebrow. The wolf faced him and snorted as he kicked his back legs into the grass in a ‘so there’ gesture. Even with as anxious as he was about his mate, the necessity of claiming his new territory was something that the wolf could not easily ignore. Once again picking up the scent of his human half, the wolf stepped delicately into the house, his paws uncertain on the cool tile. With his nails clicking quietly on the flooring, he passed through the dining area and turned the corner, only pausing to scent the air before carefully descending the staircase. 

Once in the basement, he skirted the furniture and headed straight for the room that smelled heavily of his feverish mate, of sex and blood. Uncertain of what to do, the wolf whined quietly as he paced at the side of the bed, pausing to nose underneath his mate’s unmoving hand. He pressed closer as the elegant fingers twitched feebly, sliding up to tug listlessly at one large ear. Following his mate’s unspoken demand, the wolf climbed up on the bed and crawled closer, nudging underneath a limp arm.

Mycroft roused slightly as Gregory tucked his cold nose into the hollow of his throat, as he nuzzled at his cheek and whined low in his ear. Turning his head, he tried to blink the hot tears out of his eyes as he looked at the impassive face of one of his oldest friends. Well, mostly impassive. Mycroft snorted mirthlessly at the almost imperceptible wrinkle of distaste between Silas’ eyebrows, at the flaring of his nostrils. If he had been more himself, he may have even apologised for the miasma of hormones that lingered in the air, but no. As he told Gregory earlier, he regretted nothing, and was even a little proud of the debauchery that he and his mate had partaken of in order to solidify their bond.

“Well then.” Silas stepped closer and tossed the wolf-born’s clothing at the foot of the bed, reaching out to take Mycroft’s wrist. With the beast’s wary gaze fixed on him, he did a swift examination, frowning intently at each delicately uneven beat of Mycroft’s heart.  

“Silas?” Mycroft licked his dry, burning lips his voice croaked, watching as Silas tilted his head and shrugged faintly.

"I do not know, old friend. While I do believe that you are on the precipice of regaining your mortality, I think that I may be able to drag you back.” He showed his teeth in a rare flash of humour. “To act as your life-line, as it were.” Silas put his cold hand to Mycroft’s heated brow, humming low as he moaned in relief. “Reassure me - tell me what it is you want.”

“I wish to remain as I was - as you have always known me, prieten vechi. I wish to be vampir.”

“Very well. I will need to feed first.”

Chapter Text

“I imagine that would be why I’m here.” 

Mycroft smirked as both Gregory and Silas looked toward the doorway in surprise. Anthea had taken to some of his more unconventional teachings very well, and these days she could move nearly as soundlessly as he did. She was less put together than usual in casual training gear, although she could hardly be blamed for that, seeing as how she had most likely been at the gym when Mycroft had summoned her. 

Silas looked her up and down before turning back to Mycroft, one eyebrow elevated. “My personal assistant.” 

“And emergency ration, from time to time.” Anthea’s voice was drily amused, even though her eyes were tight with worry as she looked over her employer's prone figure. Silas coughed delicately at Mycroft’s weary nod, folding his hands in front of him. But before he could say anything further, Anthea gestured at the mound of beast that was draped over her boss’ shivering body. “That.” She gestured again. “Is a wolf.” 

“Indeed it is, young lady.” 

Mycroft cleared his throat as Gregory’s tongue lolled out briefly. He was rather pleased that his mate seemed to sense innately that Anthea was no threat, especially as she sidled just a bit closer than was strictly wise. “I will explain later. In the meantime...” He weakly clucked his tongue as she held out a hand for Gregory to sniff, giggling childishly as the enormous beast boofed out a greeting and licked her fingers. “Time is of the essence, my dear.” 

Anthea straightened her shoulders and nodded curtly. “Of course, sir. I do apologise.” 

Silas stepped back and bowed slightly, gesturing to the door. “Perhaps we should step outside for a moment?” 

Anthea swallowed and attempted a smile as her vampire employer nodded faintly, preceding yet another vampire out of the room. Oh, the fuss her mother would make if she could see her now - surrounded on all sides by bloodsuckers and great big bloody wolves that could bite her in half but instead chose to smile at her in an endearingly canine fashion. Just what the hell was going on, anyway? 

Straightening her shoulders, she turned on the unwary predator behind her, crossing her arms over her chest as she voiced her last thought. “And what the hell is going on here?” Anthea shivered as the vampire raised an eyebrow, a gesture so reminiscent of her employer that she almost found herself reaching for her mobile to take notes. 

“Mycroft is - ill.” 

Anthea narrowed her eyes and widened her stance slightly. “Ill how? He doesn’t get ill. If you had anything to do with this...” 

Silas huffed out a humourless laugh. “Rest assured, I did not.” He paused as he gathered his thoughts, licking his lips. “Love is a tricky emotion for our kind - when it is felt deeply, when it is returned wholeheartedly... Well. It seems that his lover’s blood is not entirely compatible with his condition. I will attempt to rectify the situation by reintroducing the contagion that enables us to exist in this twilight world, by giving him a - booster, if you will.”  

Anthea gasped and rubbed her hands together gleefully, ignoring just about everything but the word ‘lover’. “When do I meet the person who swept the Iceman off his feet?” 

Silas frowned slightly. “But you just did - after a fashion.”  

Her eyes widened. “Th-the wolf? No!” 

Silas showed his teeth as she wobbled with shock. “Werewolf, young lady.” His eyes followed her down as she let her trembling knees fold, landing on one of the large beanbag chairs with an audible whoomph. “Surely you did not think that vampires were the only supernatural creature that existed outside of legend.” 

“I...” Anthea blinked at the open doorway, her brain skittering away from imagining what may have happened in that rather imposing room. “I just didn’t let myself think about it.” She smiled shakily up at the pale face looking down on her. “City girl - have been all my life. You don’t fear the things that go bump in the night when you’re surrounded by concrete instead of trees, and I never had the most fruitful imagination, even as a child.” Anthea swallowed hard as Silas slowly went to his knees next to her. “Naïve of me, huh?” 

“I wouldn’t say so, no. After all, we do what we can to stay hidden in the shadows. Mycroft is rather rare in that he chooses to live a somewhat public life.” Silas tilted his head as Anthea rolled up her left shirtsleeve, looking at the faint marks in the crook of her elbow. “It’s extremely fortunate for my old friend that you didn’t fear him, that instead you chose to learn from him and also to protect his secret.” He gently took hold of her wrist as she held out her arm. “I think you’re rather extraordinary.”  

Anthea just gaped at him for a moment before dropping her eyes bashfully. “Thank you, um...” 


“Yes - Silas. I’m Anthea.” 

Silas nodded. “Very nice to meet you.” He started to duck his head, but paused as he glanced up at her. “Allow me to apologise in advance if I unintentionally hurt you. This is typically done in a much more impersonal fashion and I will only be taking a relatively small amount, but of course we are a little short on options at the moment.”  

Anthea nodded and took in a deep breath, blowing it out slowly and closing her eyes as Silas lowered his head. The initial bite wasn’t too bad - she had long ago discovered that a vampire’s teeth were exceedingly sharp, slicing into flesh as neatly as a scalpel. No - what really unsettled her was the - well - sucking part of the transaction. The sensation of her lifeblood being forcibly extracted, her veins hopelessly resisting the vacuum being created by the vampire’s mouth, her circulatory system fighting back so hard that she could almost feel the suction all the way down to her toes. And then of course there was the undeniable intimacy of the act, made all the more frightening because of the way her body responded to it. This creature existed purely to devour humans - they were the truest apex predator. And yet...

And yet, the tingling in Anthea’s veins made every little hair stand on end, puckered her nipples and made warmth gush from her centre. Every pull of that fiendish tongue was followed by an almost painful throb down below, leaving her squirming against her will and biting her tongue to keep any unseemly noises locked down.

Chapter Text

Was it any wonder that these creatures persisted in humanity’s collective memory, that they continued to fascinate and repulse in equal measure? The promise of eternal life, of eternal bliss, clad in night and bathed in crimson... Anthea gasped as the vampire withdrew, her head rolling back on her neck as she shivered in relief. She blinked her eyes free of haze as Silas shook out a handkerchief and dabbed daintily at the corners of his mouth before pressing it to the puncture wounds he had left behind. 

Anthea reached for it, nudging his fingers out of the way and holding tight to her own arm. She licked her lips with a tongue that almost felt foreign in her mouth, tilting her chin toward the room where her boss was waiting for - whatever. “Go see to Mycroft.” Silas nodded, his nostrils flaring as she squirmed in her seat, wondering if she was going to leave a spot of damp behind when she got up. Anthea almost snorted as Silas’ cheeks flooded with blood - with her blood, thank you very much, but he made no comment on her clearly obvious if uneasy arousal.

Silas stood and backed away, bowing rather formally in Anthea’s direction. “Rest. I will...”

“I know the drill.” Anthea folded her arm, keeping steady pressure on the wound. “Get on with you.”

Blinking in disbelief, Silas turned away, his lips quirking as Mycroft’s remarkable assistant chuckled at him behind his back. The wolf-born lifted his head as he walked back into the room, whining softly as he nudged at his mate’s seemingly unresponsive body. Silas felt an uncharacteristic doubt enter into his mind as he looked down at the unmoving face of his old friend, swiftly undoing the buttons of his shirt.

Sitting down sideways on the mattress, Silas reached out to pull Mycroft up, his body heavy and almost unbearably hot to his touch. Although the beast was clearly alert for any mischief, he seemed to trust Silas, seemed to understand that he was trying to help his mate. He found himself explaining the process to the animal, finding some comfort in speaking the words aloud even though he was unsure of whether or not he would even be heard properly. “First I will need to take back what you had given him - ensure that his veins are quite empty. And then I will feed him my contaminated blood. I believe that should stop whatever process is happening here.”

The beast’s ruff began to prickle as Silas drew Mycroft’s body closer, lowering his mouth into the crook of his neck. He paused as the wolf tried to shake himself free of his anxiety, whining quietly as he dipped his head in acquiescence and shuffled just a tiny bit closer. Hesitating momentarily, Silas reached out to place his hand on the beast’s large head, running his thumb along his muzzle and up between his eyes. “Peace, Gregory. I will bring him back to you. This I do swear.”

With a low rumble, the wolf settled his head down across Mycroft’s legs, his eyes fixed on his mate’s face and his ears alert for any danger. Putting thoughts of the creature out of his mind for the time being, Silas sank his teeth into his old friend’s neck and set about divesting him of any blood that lingered in his system. His head began to spin almost immediately as he tasted the dregs of the wolf-born’s ecstasy, feeling a pang of sympathy for Mycroft’s upcoming trial. Never before was there a vampire that displayed his friend’s level of control, but it would be sorely tested against this temptation - little wonder he hadn’t been able to resist thus far. But hopefully after this little scare, he would take more care to keep his fangs to himself. 

Pulling away as Mycroft’s veins threatened to collapse under the strain of his feeding, Silas cradled him against his chest as he went utterly limp and all but lifeless in his arms. Moving swiftly, he drew the sharp edge of his thumbnail across his breast, over his own unbeating heart. Wiping the blood that welled up over Mycroft’s lips, he waited for his pale tongue to quiver in his mouth, for it to dart out for a taste. 

Sighing in relief as Mycroft’s fangs slowly began to descend, Silas pressed his friend’s mouth to the wound he had created, ignoring the low growl from nearby as his arms came up to cling to him weakly, as his teeth sank into his flesh. Closing his eyes and laying his cheek on the top of Mycroft’s head, Silas held him close and rocked their bodies together as his infected blood was slowly drained from his body. When Mycroft shuddered against him, his body convulsing gently as his heart once again stilled in his chest, Silas laid him down, brushing his forelock back from his face.

He stood as Gregory suddenly nudged him to the side rather rudely, reaching out to brace himself on the bed’s headboard as his head spun briefly. Silas watched the wolf-born anxiously tending to his mate, tenderly licking the remaining blood from his chin, nosing at his cheek and whining quietly in his ear. Mycroft responded with a soft if nonsensical murmur, laying his hand on Gregory’s head as he settled it down on his chest. He quickly fell into an unmoving stupor moments later, and the wolf looked up at Silas almost accusingly.

Silas waved a hand vaguely before buttoning his shirt back up. “He’ll be fine - the contagion needs to be absorbed into his system before he can wake properly.” He rolled his eyes at the wolf’s irritated huff and started for the door, turning back after a couple of steps. “You should go hunt for yourself - chances are he won’t be alert until after the morning passes.” Silas nodded in weary understanding at the wolf’s disbelieving glare and continued on his way, leaving him to sit his anxious vigil in peace.

Chapter Text

Silas was not surprised in the least to find that Anthea was not where he had left her, although her scent lingered enticingly in the air. Taking it into his lungs, Silas quickly blew it back out again. It would not be wise to tempt his own predatory nature at the moment, seeing as how most of what he had already taken from her had been transferred to Mycroft instead, leaving a hollow ache in his belly. Not to mention how delightfully - ripe - she smelled at the moment... Silas shook his head violently before ascending the stairs, half-hoping that he would be able to make his exit unseen.

But of course that was not to be, and he caught another whiff of her scent before entering the kitchen. Silas did what he could to curtail his hunger, digging his nails into the palms of his hands until they pierced the flesh, relishing in the brief flash of pain. He noted with a certain amount of relief that she had the foresight to bring a medical kit with her, and there was evidence lying about that she had already dressed the wound. Remarkable indeed.

Silas heard a small grunt as he rounded the corner, his eyebrows lifting as Anthea backed away from the open refrigerator clutching a large roast in both hands. She grinned at him as she thumped it down on the counter, reaching for a small glass of orange juice. Silas took a step back as she drank it down, throwing her head back and unwittingly exposing the pale column of her throat to him.

Anthea seemed to realise her mistake in the next moment, retreating to the far corner of the kitchen. She reached up to open a cupboard as though that was her intention all along, blinking at the cans of beans stacked up amongst the plates. Sighing heavily, she began to pull them down.

“You should rest.”

Anthea shivered as Silas’ voice seemed to travel straight down her spine, making gooseflesh pop up all over her body. “After I organise this place properly.” She tossed her head and threw a bright smile over her shoulder, continuing to shift the contents of the cupboards. “It’s obvious that those two down there are hopeless bachelors. Might as well do what I can to make sure they start their, erm - life together out on a positive note.”

Silas blinked slowly. “Well, as you know, Mycroft has very little use for any of - this.” He gestured vaguely to the whole of the kitchen. “And until very recently, Gregory was - I believe the term is ‘sleeping rough’?”

Anthea turned, bracing herself on the worktop as her head went a little wobbly. She bit her lip as Silas shrank back slightly, his hands clenched into fists. “How rough, exactly?”

Silas tilted his head with a little frown. “In the wood, naturally. Where else would a wolf sleep?”

Anthea let her head drop as she huffed out a quiet laugh. “Naturally.” Silas made a small noise, something between anguish and intrigue, as she propped her chin up in her hands and smiled at him crookedly. “Blimey. I think I’m starting to crack.” Anthea abruptly narrowed her eyes at him, and Silas felt a swirl of relief deep in his belly as he sensed the shift in her purpose. “And just how is he?”

“I believe Mycroft will be perfectly fine. He showed signs of returning to his undead state during the - treatment. I think we stopped the process just in time, however it will take a little while for his body to readjust itself. He will most likely be unresponsive until the afternoon.” Silas paused, tilting his head meaningfully. “And he will wake hungry.”

“I figured as much.”

“It should not be you.”

Silas fidgeted as her keen eyes passed over him, but she just shook her head. “Yes, I know - I promise I won’t serve myself up as breakfast. I have someone arriving with fresh - supplies - tomorrow.”

“If I may?” Silas waited for her wary nod. “Would this new - supply - be male?” He blinked as she let out a high, girlish giggle, nodding briskly. “I would advise caution. I imagine that Gregory will not be best pleased with that option.”

“Shite. I didn’t think of that.” Anthea tapped her fingers on the worktop, biting her lip in consternation. Mycroft’s driver had been the obvious choice, as George was the only other person in their organisation who knew of their employer’s rather unique nature. “Dammit.”

Silas shrugged faintly. “I must admit that I am unfamiliar with the mating habits of your average garden variety werewolf, and it seems as though he marked his territory very thoroughly earlier in the day, so perhaps it will be of no great concern. However...”

Silas paused as Anthea broke out into hysterical giggles, nearly falling over as her breath caught in her chest. Tossing aside his caution, he swiftly took her by the elbow and led her to a barstool, pushing her onto it without ceremony. Anthea managed to calm herself by the time Silas had refilled her glass of orange juice, handing it to her without comment. He did glance back into the fridge though, his eyebrows raising as he pulled out an opened box of cereal and waggled it in her direction.

Anthea shrugged wearily as she cast her eyes down. “Hopeless.”

Silas carefully put the box back and shut the fridge. “Gregory will no doubt be hungry and perhaps a bit weak when he wakes as well. His transformations take a lot out of him.”

Anthea nodded at the roast. “Perfect excuse for me to try my hand at cooking that up before it goes bad, then. I sincerely doubt that either of them would know what to do with it.”


Anthea twirled her glass between her hands, keeping her eyes fixed on her own fingers as her voice trembled slightly. “You could stay and - help?”

Silas abruptly stepped to the open patio door, shaking his head firmly. “That would not be at all wise.”

“No.” Anthea sighed, turning a small if shaky grin on him. “No, I don’t suppose it would be at that - I shouldn’t have asked. But maybe you can stop by later tomorrow... To see how Mycroft is getting on.”

Silas nodded warily. “Perhaps, yes. To check on Mycroft.” He clucked his tongue as Anthea dropped a cheeky little wink in his direction, shaking his head in vague chastisement. “Finish your juice, young lady.” He stepped out of the house as she lifted a hand in farewell, an unspoken understanding passing between them that to meet again would be a very bad idea indeed.

Chapter Text

Anthea dutifully followed Silas’ final edict, emptying her glass and propping her chin on one hand as she surveyed the mess that she had left on the counters. Once her head had stopped spinning, Anthea propelled herself into motion, knowing that if she lingered too long she would lose her momentum. And if she allowed herself to stop for any considerable amount of time, the anxiety for her boss that she was steadfastly resisting would swiftly overwhelm her. Good things never came of her silly little panic attacks.

While shifting all of the canned goods to the proper cupboard, Anthea kept a running list in her head of all of the items that might prove useful when it came time to put that beast of a roast into the oven. She sighed heavily as the list came up decidedly short, but no real surprise there. After all, what would an immortal vampire or a werewolf need with fresh herbs?

Right. Anthea brushed herself down and swept her hair back, grabbing her car keys and her employer’s expense card on the way out the door. She was fairly certain that she had passed a shop on her way here, and even if it was nearly three in the morning, it was worth checking out. Anthea knew that even if her adventure proved fruitless, roaming the streets of a rather quaint village was infinitely better than remaining in that eerily silent kitchen.

Feeling strangely energetic despite the loss of her blood and the rather ridiculous hour, Anthea bobbed her head in time to the insipid music being piped in, even daring to cart-surf down a couple of deserted aisles. Coming to a screeching halt near the meat department and breaking out into nearly hysterical giggles, Anthea realised that she was quickly approaching the point of collapse, all of the night’s events beginning to crowd at the edge of her brain. Shaking her head to clear it, she diverted only to grab another carton of orange juice and some sickly-sweet and yet oddly appetising-looking pastries on her way to the tills.

There was only one attendant, and he surveyed Anthea rather cautiously as she sang broken snatches of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ in accompaniment to the elevator music over their heads. She put the orange juice down with a bit of a start as he cleared his throat, looking at him almost accusingly.

“Alright there, miss?” Anthea nodded, pursing her lips in thought as he started to run items through the scanner. “And how’s your night, then?”

Anthea huffed out a weary breath, closing one eye as her fringe threatened to fall into it. “It has been... A. Night.” The cashier lifted his eyebrows, his lips closing into a thin line as he heeded the unspoken ‘You really don’t want to know’ underlying her tone. Anthea almost laughed, the hysteria starting to bubble up in her chest, but she fought it down. Not much longer now... She watched his nimble fingers as he ran everything through, typing in the numbers on the miscellaneous produce items. Her mouth opened without full awareness as her eye lit on one particular item. “Do you really think vampires are sensitive to garlic?”

“Erm.” The young man took a half-step away from his customer’s unnerving stare, blinking rapidly in disbelief. He shrugged his shoulders awkwardly. “I - guess? There has to be a reason it shows up in nearly every story.” He continued to ring up the rest of her items. “Could just be Stoker’s influence, of course.” He grinned suddenly. “Best thing to do would be to find a vampire and ask them.” His smirk faded and his voice died away as Anthea’s eyes narrowed, her expression rather calculating. “Uh...”

Anthea tapped her fingers on the card reader, waiting for it to finalise the transaction. She hummed absentmindedly and muttered under her breath without quite realising it. “Suppose you’re right - I’ll ask when he wakes. Not that he’d be eating it, but his boyfriend... I dunno.” She sighed heavily as she hoisted her haul up into her arms, tilting her head as the attendant cleared his throat.

“Miss? Are you quite alright?”

Anthea swallowed down a little lump in her throat as the young man looked at her earnestly, his crystal-blue eyes tight and concerned. She smiled as brightly as she could, nodding gently. “Very much so. Just a bit tired and feeling silly. I’ll be right as rain after a nap. Promise.” Anthea smiled again as the cashier relaxed, nodding his head sagely. She gave him a little wave on her way out of the shop, feeling his eyes on her as she loaded up the passenger seat of her car with the groceries.

Although Anthea could see through the shopfront windows that the attendant had gone on to his other duties, she still felt like someone was watching. Turning her attention to the darkest shadows, she shook her head. “There’s no need. I’m sure he didn’t take me seriously.” Feeling rather silly speaking into nothingness, Anthea ducked into her car and headed back to Mycroft’s home, relief blooming in her chest as she took note of a darker than black shape flitting along just at the edges of her rearview mirror.

Then it was back to that strangely silent kitchen, where she prepped the roast and set it aside, vowing to keep the promise she had made to the shop boy before popping it in the oven. She found blankets and a couple of pillows in a cupboard down the hall and laid herself out on the sofa in the media room, putting something inconsequential on the telly to distract her overactive imagination.

Setting her mobile alarm to wake her in four hours, Anthea finally let her body and mind go heavy and dark with sleep.

Although Anthea generally didn’t need a lot of sleep in order to function at her maximum capacity, the excitement of the previous evening had obviously sapped more of her energy than she had realised. The alarm roused her sufficiently to get the roast in the oven, but after setting the timer for two hours, she curled back up in her nest of blankets and pillows and fell fast asleep again.

Anthea was marginally more functional after her second little cat-nap, and managed to pull the roast out of the oven without fuss and set it up on the worktop to rest. She glanced at her watch and briefly pondered before steeling her nerve and quietly tip-toeing down the stairs, the box of pastries held tight in one hand.