Many Shades of Wolf Coats

Bosco walked through the station, heading for the locker room. For a change he wasn't late, so there was no need to hurry. He noticed the captain coming out of his office and stopped the moment he heard his name.

He turned slightly, facing the captain. He wasn't pissed off -- also unusual, and Bosco found himself just a little confused. Usually the captain ignored him unless Bos was getting into trouble for one thing or another.

As if reading his thoughts -- or maybe the captain just noticed that scent of guilt Bosco couldn't quite control, despite the fact he hadn't done anything -- the captain gave a slight nod and said, "Boscorelli. I haven't seen your name on any of the Lieutenant's reports lately."

Bosco blinked. That was good, right? So why stop him to tell him about it?

The captain gave Bosco a close look, then stepped forward and lowered his voice. In a casual tone he said, "In fact, I haven't heard of you getting into trouble at all, lately. Not since Delacourt moved in." There was a deceptively casual, but telling look in the captain's eyes.

Bosco froze. A half-dozen words leapt to his tongue and he swallowed them all, because yelling about how the hell living with Brian had nothing to do with anything was not something he wanted to do in the middle of the police station.

The captain suddenly gave him a tolerant, amused smile. Bosco felt a growl in the back of his throat and tried to clamp down on it. Too late; the captain's eyes narrowed and Bosco had seen the captain pissed at him, but he'd never really been pissed, pissed. Bosco took a step backwards and lowered his gaze and tried to think of something apologetic to say but he wasn't sure he could speak without making things that much worse.

He smelled Yokas coming down the hallway, and he glanced back, caught her eye. Save me, he asked her, silently.

She flicked her gaze from him to the captain, then grinned and pointedly walked the other way.

The captain cleared his throat and Bosco turned his attention back to him -- noticing that for some reason, the captain didn't seem like he was about to tear Bosco's throat out.

"Oops?" Bosco said softly. Bosco didn't really have much respect for authority unless it was someone who could and would rip his throat out -- literally. Like Yokas.

The captain smiled and Bosco felt the tension start to drain away. "You better get to roll call before you're late again, Boscorelli." He gave Bosco a brief clap on the shoulder; Bosco tensed the hell up again.

"Yes, Cap'n." Bosco turned away and hurried -- still had plenty of time but he thought maybe now was a good time to start avoiding the captain completely for a few days. Weeks.

Forever.

He got to the locker room and threw his bag in his locker, and wished for the billionth time since he'd woken up smothered under a sleeping werewolf, that Brian had kept his nose out of Bosco's business and left him the hell alone. Christ, now he had the captain's approval.

His life was officially over.

~~~

Once upon a time, Bosco had been in control. Shitty things happened, and he couldn't claim that everything in his world was champagne and roses -- or beer and pizza, since roses made him sneeze. But he'd had fun enough for any wolf, and he'd loved his job most of the time, and he'd been able to drag people to jail who deserved it, and really it was enough to make him happy.

Granted, he'd had to hide away in his apartment three nights a month, and he'd worried -- a little -- about lying to Yokas, and even though there was no way in nine hells he'd admit it, sometimes it did get a little cold and lonely when he slept by himself.

But it was not that big a deal and he was damned sure he would have been just fine living that way for the rest of his life. But then Delacourt had shoved his way in, rearranged Bosco's entire life, and made everything a living hell.

First he and Menetti had got Bosco stuck on K-9 duty, then told Yokas about the whole wolf thing, then he'd had fucking well moved in with Bosco and started sleeping in Bosco's bed. Delacourt ate more than half the pizza and brought home skim milk instead of whole, left the bathroom door open when he peed, and walked in on Bosco when he was showering, for god's sake, and flushed the john like he didn't care that it made the shower spit cold water.

Bosco was willing to throw Brian right back out the front door for all or any of those things. But what really, really made him want to bite Brian's ears off was this.

Bosco sat on his haunches, in wolf form and wearing the dog-sized Kevlar vest Yokas had fastened around him a few hours before. Standard issue, and he didn't actually mind, even if the damned thing was hot in the middle of summer. But they'd been heading into a warehouse to help trap a perp who'd shot a man. Three floors, pitch black, and abandoned, the warehouse was dangerous even without a criminal with a pistol in his hand.

Yokas had given him all the proper commands, and Bosco had done everything exactly as he was supposed to. Nothing more than another police dog, tracking down the guy who had been hiding on the second floor.

That moment of sheer joy when Bosco had gotten to jump on him and clamp down on his arm, biting as hard as he wanted before hearing Yokas' voice telling him he could let go, had made everything up til then, worth it.

The perp had wet his pants and had been taken away, screaming and crying, in a police car. Yokas had told him what a good boy he'd been, given him a milkbone which she still didn't believe he really liked.

Then she'd stepped away to talk to Officer Matthews, a new girl just a month out of the academy. And Brandon Stuart, one of the other K-9 officers whose dog was home with a sprained ankle, had walked up and started rubbing Bosco's head.

Scratched him behind his ears, congratulated him on his catch, petted him all the hell over. Given him another milkbone from Stuart's own stash, and all of that Bosco could have let go, forgotten all about afterwards and just acted like nothing -- nothing -- had happened.

Then Stuart had checked to see that yes, in fact Yokas hadn't called them back in as available yet, and they were technically kind of standing down for a few minutes while she made sure the new girl was settling in all right.

Stuart had gone back to his car and pulled out this... thing and Bosco -- disguised as a police dog and faced with a cop who knew the difference between a smart dog and a sentient being -- was faced with a man offering to play fetch with him.

Bosco made his plans to kill Brian, slowly. Inch by inch, and Stuart threw the knotted rope for the fourth time, and Bosco took off after it, following it easily in the street lights and the scent of Stuart's hands and Stuart's dog's saliva, soaked into the rope. He caught it up and brought it back and thought about how he was going to absolutely, positively, fucking murder Brian, and Menetti, and probably Yokas, too.

Stuart held up the rope, and Bosco started. On his feet, and Christ he was going to bite the first person who caught him doing this. Stuart threw, and Bosco was off, chasing it down, and Brian was so fucking dead and Bosco couldn't really remember the last time he'd had this much fun.

Other than biting the perp's arm nearly off, just half an hour before, of course. But working fun didn't really compare to play fun, and he kinda hoped Stuart would throw it farther this time, only there was no way to tell him so. Stuart let it go again, and it bounced off the wall and behind something; Bosco chased it down and was assaulted by every single bit of crap the thing had landed in, with one whiff. He resisted the urge to stick his nose in deeper, because something down there smelled really fucking interesting. Something dead, maybe, and he wasn't sure what it had been because it had been dead long enough to decompose pretty well. Probably a rat or a pigeon, but he couldn't exactly tell without getting a better sniff.

Maybe just one quick look. He pawed into the trash, moving the newspapers and empty cans and random crap out of the way.

"Whatcha find?" he heard Stuart ask, and Bosco ignored him in favor of digging.

A second later he hit paydirt and he pulled the stiff dead squirrel out of the pile. Half of it was gone already, eaten away. The rest was so old it was hard as a rock, nothing still trying to nibble away at its corpse.

Bosco presented it to Stuart.

Stuart looked at it and grinned; Bosco could tell it wasn't exactly forced, but then Stuart called over for Yokas and Bosco revised his opinion on biting Stuart, as well. He heard Yokas coming; he grabbed the squirrel back off the ground and thought about hiding it -- wasn't exactly dog-like behavior, he knew, and how the hell was he going to explain himself once Yokas dragged him by the ear in the morning, to tell Stuart all about it?

Yokas walked up, eying the two of them with some suspicion, and Bosco went up to her and gave her the damn thing.

"What the--"

"He's found a dead squirrel," Stuart explained, sounding like he was choking back laughter.

Yokas grimaced, then shot Bosco a glare. "If it isn't stuffed full of narcotics or contraband, I don't want it." She sighed, then gave the command to drop it, which Bosco did. Then he had to endure another round of head patting and ear scratching and atta boys -- then Yokas saw what Stuart was holding, and asked, "What's that?"

"We were playing fetch," Stuart said, and Bosco thought that really, killing Brian was just too good for him -- but it was a great place to start.

He caught the look on Yokas' face, delight and laughter and it was all directed at him. God, he was never going to live this one down.

"We need to get back to work," Yokas said, and the calm tone didn't hide her laughter in the slightest. Bosco followed her, moving to her side as soon as she started to walk away. He tried very hard not to listen to her thanking Stuart, and very deliberately didn't growl when Yokas said she'd never used a rope on him before, but it might be something to try.

He knew what she meant, of course, and he was pretty sure he hadn't pissed her off lately. But when she let him into the back of the vehicle, he curled up in the very back and put his chin on his paws.

He heard her get into the car and radio in to the station, then the vehicle rumbled to life as she started the engine.

He waited, and for almost half a second he thought she was going to let it go. Then she said, "You need to play more."

A slow death, he thought. For each of them.

"I could get one of those. Or a tennis ball?"

Bosco closed his eyes and pictured a tall glass of beer. An entire pizza, all to himself. A football game on the tv with nobody bitching about turning the sound down.

"Lou said they play Frisbee, sometimes. We could go with them tomorrow night; we all have the night off."

Bosco told himself there was no way in hell Yokas could see into the dark rear of the vehicle, so it was okay that his ear had perked up. Involuntarily.

He hated Frisbees, hated chasing after stupid toys that humans never threw far enough anyhow. Hated--

"I'll tell Lou," Yokas said, and there was absolutely no laughter in her voice this time. Amusement, sort of, but something that made Bosco almost wish there was no screen between them. He crawled up towards the front of the vehicle and laid down again, growling softly so Yokas wouldn't think he was actually agreeing with the plan. He'd have time tomorrow to explain how he was just maintaining the secrecy and just acting like a dog.

"Bos?" Yokas looked up in the rear view mirror, and Bosco caught her eye. He quirked an eyebrow at her. "That was a good catch, back there." Her voice was quiet, sincere.

Bosco opened his mouth to yip his thanks at her, when she continued.

"And you did a decent job catching the perp, too."

Bosco went back to the rear of the car and ignored her for the entire rest of the night.

~~~

He didn't even know exactly what he was angry about; all Bosco knew was that he really, sincerely, wanted to punch Brian in the face. Possibly more than once.

Yesterday had been a fucking good day. He'd got home from work in time to turn human again; he'd met Brian just coming in from work as well. They'd made breakfast together in the kitchen, getting in each other's way and Bosco telling him about bringing the perp down and wanting to tear his arm off and decidely not mentioning the rope or the dead squirrel. Brian had had a quiet night, but still full of stories about stupid people and insane drivers and things Menetti had said.

They'd headed off to bed soon after, and Bosco had woken in a tangle of blankets and arms and legs and feeling pretty good. He'd shoved Brian away and headed for a shower, then he'd started arguing his way out of going to the park with Lou and Faith and Brian. He'd still been protesting by the time the moon came up and then Lou and Faith trundled them out to Lou's truck and Bosco still couldn't make any of them understand that he didn't like this sort of thing.

Faith had hit him in the nose twice with the Frisbee as he'd refused to chase it, until the third time she threw it at him he'd got up to get out of the way and the thing had flown right past him and... well, it was an easy catch, you know? Just one quick snap of his jaws and he had it and he didn't take it back to Faith because she'd just throw the damn thing again.

He hadn't counted on Brian fetching it for her, and she'd thrown it again and Bosco hadn't really intended to do anything about it except let it go by.

Brian was chasing his Frisbee like a loon, barking at Lou to throw the damn thing farther and really, Bosco had been willing to curl up and ignore them all when Faith had thrown the Frisbee again, hard and the damn thing had flown past and the next thing Bosco had knew he had been on his feet and after it and carrying the damn thing back to Faith.

They'd stayed at the park for an hour, until Brian had flopped down on Bosco's feet, panting. Faith and Lou had said something about a late dinner and Bosco had just bent down and given Brian's ear a quick bite. Brian had pawed him in the face, and Faith had picked up the Frisbee and they'd all gone home and....

Today, after sleeping in and waking up to find there was no bacon and no milk, Bosco had started bitching. Brian had bitched back without really sounding like he meant it, then gone out to buy some breakfast, and when he'd got back Bosco had found himself pissed off all over again.

Now, an hour later, he was in the bedroom trying to throw some of the dirty laundry in a bag and ignore the way Brian kept coming in from the bathroom and living room, bringing bits of dirty laundry like Bosco was tossing them out to be caught.

"If you'd put your fucking laundry in the hamper you wouldn't have to go dragging it over now," Bosco snapped as Brian dropped another shirt into the pile.

"It's from my gym bag," Brian said, snarling a little but walking away again. He'd been mostly ignoring Bosco all day, letting Bosco's words float past him. Bosco could tell he hadn't really been pissed off -- yet. Like he thought Bosco was just in a mood, and that thought made Bosco want to punch Brian in the face again.

He dumped the shirt, and everything else of Brian's, onto the floor. What the hell was he doing all of their laundry for? He started re-stuffing the bag, making sure it was only his stuff that went in, and he found a towel that he honestly couldn't tell, even by sniffing hard, which of them had used it.

"Fuck!" He threw it over into Brian's pile, and turned away when Brian walked over and picked it up.

Brian sniffed it and dropped it on Bosco's pile.

"It's not mine!" Bosco grabbed it and threw, missing Brian's pile by a foot, but hitting Brian in the leg which was just as good.

"It is so," Brian answered, and there was a little heat in his voice that time.

"It doesn't fucking smell like I'm the one who used it last," Bosco sneered, catching it when Brian tossed it towards his pile. He wadded it up to throw again, and this time he thought maybe it did smell a bit more like him than Brian, but he couldn't really tell.

And that was reason enough to make Brian wash it, anyhow, if he couldn't keep his paws off Bosco's things. He recognised the towel as one he owned, had owned for years before Brian ever moved in. But his towels had always smelled like him, or the rare visitor using his shower come morning, and there was no reason for his towels and washcloths and everything else to smell like Brian. "Use your own goddamn towels," Bosco snarled.

Brian just looked at him and said, "I didn't use this towel, Maurice." He walked over and dumped it on Bosco's pile of laundry, and Bosco had fucking well had enough..

He grabbed Brian's hand and yanked it away, making him drop the towel on the floor. Brian tried to pull his hand free, then tried to push Bosco back when Bosco wasn't having any. Bosco kept his hold on Brian's wrist, yanked him hard to one side, then pulled back his fist and let it fly.

Brian deflected the punch easily and pushed Bosco aside, knocking them both against the bed. Bosco tried to get back to his feet and try to hit Brian again, and found himself yanked sideways again. They fell off the bed and Bosco threw a punch, catching Brian on the side of his face, then felt a leg wrap around his and he was flipped over, onto his back. Bosco tried to push Brian off him, tried to get a knee up or get his hand back for another hit. He found Brian's hands on his arms, and Brian's legs holding his own down, and he tried to push them over, get Brian the hell off him. He only managed to knock Brian backwards into the side of the bed, but it was enough for Bosco to sit up.

He tried to pull himself free, but Brian was sitting on his legs, straddling them and still fighting Bosco for possession of Bosco's wrists. Bosco yanked hard, and Brian tumbled forward, still not letting go. Bosco caught him with an elbow, not really hard, but enough to encourage him to try it again. Brian pushed his arm back and Bosco tried to hit him with the other arm, shoving himself forward and trying anything at all to knock Brian back, away from him.

Brian held on, and every time Bosco tried to wrench his hands free, all he got was Brian moving forward, leaning sideways, not letting go and not giving him the space to get away.

He tried one more time, shoving his hands against Brian's chest, then Brian was on him, pushing him back and spinning them around, pressing Bosco's back up against the bed and holding his arms and legs tight. Trapped, Bosco tried to wrestle free, tried pushing and kicking and couldn't get free to do anything.

He turned his head and bit down, hard, on Brian's neck. For a second he didn't let go, then he was shoved, hard, and he felt Brian's teeth on his neck, and his teeth fucking hurt, and Bosco realised that somewhere along the way he'd started screaming.

As Brian bit him, the screaming shook in his chest, and Bosco tried one last time to shove him away. Brian held on, and Bosco stopped fighting, arms and legs limp as he gave up. Still wanted Brian off him, away from him, out of his apartment and his life and.... He found Brian holding him, and his face was buried against Brian's shoulder, and Brian didn't smell pissed off or scared and anything. All Bosco could smell, with his nose pressed close against him, was comfort and familiarity -- a little bit of sadness, and a little bit of arousal, neither of which made any sense at all.

Brian was saying something, soft in his ear, and focusing on the words took more effort than it should have. Bosco found himself clutching Brian's shirt and tried to let go, but his fingers didn't seem to want to listen. Brian's own hands were rubbing him, running through his hair and petting him gently, pulling him closer.

Bosco raised his head, wanting to apologize at least, even though he still had no idea what to apologize for. All day long Brian had been pissing him off, just by being there.

Before he could say anything, Brian kissed him. Bosco let him, but didn't try to kiss him back. He wanted all of this to stop, wanted things to go back to the way they were supposed to be. Alone, when no one who knew or cared what he was. No one pushing at him to do things he didn't want to do.

"Come on," Brian said, and he shifted back, tugging at Bosco.

"What?" Bosco let him pull him to his knees, feeling confused and a little exhausted. He let Brian manhandle him, pushing him up and back onto the bed. When Brian started pulling his clothes off, Bosco knew he should probably help -- except there was no way Brian would want to have sex, when he should be rightfully pissed at Bosco and maybe threatening to break something.

"Come on," Brian said again, peeling Bosco's jeans and underwear off, throwing them into the pile of laundry Bosco had created. He stripped his own shirt and pants off and crawled onto the bed, holding himself above Bosco, who still just lay there, wondering what the hell. Brian kissed him again then said, "Let me fuck you."

Bosco's body had an immediate answer for that one, and he felt his dick getting hard even as he started to roll over. But he shook his head and asked, "What...?" Only he didn't have any idea what his question was, or what Brian could possibly say to make sense of this.

He felt Brian's hands on him, felt him nudge Bosco's leg to one side with his knee. Bosco went with it, letting Brian move him into position, letting him kiss and pet and act like they hadn't just had...whatever it had been.

It occurred to him that maybe Brian just had a kink about fighting, and maybe he'd get pissed off at Bosco later. But then Brian was kissing him again, and he didn't smell mad at all, and he did smell something that Bosco hadn't realised he'd been smelling before, smelling all along and for a while now. He suddenly realised it had been all over the towel, and it was ground into the sheets and permeated the carpet and wiped from the light switches and shower door every time they cleaned.

Bosco gasped, and he turned his head towards Brian again, even as Brian's hands slipped down, one around his cock and one underneath his ass. Bosco shoved his hips forward, against him, and he inhaled the scent that had marked his home, his clothes, and his skin without his noticing.

"Love you," Brian said, whispering in his ear.

Bosco closed his eyes and breathed in the words again, and found himself breathing the same ones out.


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