coming home to you (GH pt 4)

takes place immediately after talk me down 

Something seems to settle a little, after that. Astrid still isn’t speaking to him beyond what’s necessary and that hurts, but the ache is a little easier with Ari and Kyah there.

They get lunch, or dinner, or even breakfast a couple of times, sometimes all three of them, but more often just two. When he can’t make it, Ari sends pictures; Kyah smiles more around him.

But she also shows up unannounced at Tate’s apartment one day after work just because her day was shit. Lets him fold her against his chest and stays there even after she’s run out of things to yell about. Later, well after she’s gone home, she sends him a text saying she’d brought cookies but forgot them in her car.

The most unexpected of all comes with the start of the second week after the full moon. He loses track of time at work, despite the fact that Ari coming over that evening was the only thing getting him through. Even frazzled and worn thin as he is – especially with the looming threat of his meeting with Astrid and Kyah the next morning in anticipation of the pack meeting that Friday – getting home to find Ari waiting in the parking lot makes the rest all seem less terrible.

It’s still tense. Another situation they have no established pattern for, for all they’re trying. But it’s easier. Even when they somehow go from watching a movie with Ari’s cold-ass toes shoved under his thigh to-

He needs to sink his teeth into something, and not in a good way. But he can’t. He has to squash the feeling, especially before Ari picks up on it and misunderstands-

So he says one dumb thing, and then another, but Ari laughs. He’ll say a million more, if that’s what it takes. If that’s what’ll make things better. And if that doesn’t work, well, he knows people who are far better suited to those kinds of problems than he is.

“Can I, um-“

His brain turns to static for a moment, resuming only long enough to prevent a terrifying mishap involving Ari’s knee, and then he’s gone again in a whole other way.

The entire night is like that. Emotional whiplash. But it feels like progress. It’s something in a direction that feels like forward instead of nothing. Instead of an empty house and even emptier touch.

By the time Tate falls asleep with Ari’s arm around his chest and his face smooshed against Tate’s back, he’s exhausted in a way that he can handle.

The exact opposite of the exhaustion he feels after the meeting with Kyah and Astrid. He expected bloodshed from that. Somehow, Astrid and Kyah ended up at each other’s throats – which never happens – and he wasn’t even sure whose side to take.

It’s been long enough by the time he gets home that he’s sure Ari will be gone, but he can hope. Reuben is out of town for some trip that didn’t require Ari, so it’s possible that he might-

The smell that hits his nose as soon as he steps inside. It makes his mouth water and every hair on his body stand on end. It makes him want, every other thought or impulse gone in seconds. He follows it to where it’s strongest – his room, his bed – and flops face-first into it.

His sweatpants – the ones he’d given Ari to sleep in – are hanging off the edge of the bed and before he can judge himself, he grabs them. There’s no stopping the whine that claws out of his throat in the face of unmistakable evidence of what had happened. He shoves his jeans down, growling in frustration when he remembers he still has shoes on, then kicks everything off with a huff.

After snapping a photo of the sweatpants and sending Ari a series of texts he only hopes are comprehensible, Tate pulls the sweatpants on. He has a hand wrapped around himself when his phone rings.

“You miss me already?” Ari sounds smug, and it shouldn’t be that fucking hot but it is.

“Yeah because you didn’t do a single damn thing to make sure that happened,” he replies, voice rough.

He squeezes himself in an attempt to alleviate some of the pressure, but tells himself he’s not going to do anything else. After all, he’d been joking on the sexting, and hadn’t actually expected Ari to call. At most, he’d figured Ari would laugh at him and then he’d go about his business.

But now they’re on the phone, and one hundred percent of the blood in his body is in his dick. He can’t do this. It’s too dangerous.

“I uh. You didn’t actually have to call,” he says. “I was just messing around.”

“Uh huh. So I shouldn’t tell you what happened?”

Tate fights the whine but it slips out anyways. Anyone else might not even hear it, but of course, Ari is both a werewolf and a fucking asshole because he laughs.

“I mean that’s fine if you’re busy. I should probably go to work anyways.”

“Reuben’s out of town.” He squeezes harder, trying to force his breathing to something normal.

“Yeah, but I still have a job to do, and it’s not like I have anything else going on…”

His next breath comes out more of a shiver. “How long?”

“Hm? Before I should probably be there, or?”

“How long have you been gone?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Half an hour, maybe?”

Half an hour. He’d been so close.

“And what would you’ve done if-” Swallowing, he tries not to picture it.

“If you’d come home to me, in your bed?”

“Yeah,” he says, barely more than a whisper.

“Well that depends. If you’d caught me on the first go ’round, probably freaked out, stopped, and left. But if you’d gotten back during the second, or even the third? When the rest still wasn’t enough?” Ari’s little laugh is almost worse than the rest, and Tate is definitely picturing it now.

He doesn’t even have to guess blindly. The smell is strong enough in certain places: the pants – which he might never wash again, disgusting though that may be – his pillow. His side of the bed in general, almost like-

“So you wanna explain what happened? Because after last night, I didn’t exactly expect-“

“Yeah that’s a great question and my plan is mostly to blame you and your weird werewolf bullshit. I’m assuming that’s what the whole smell thing is, yeah?”

Tate groans something like confirmation, his hand and hips both moving of their own accord.

“Because that’s really what did it. I mean it’s not like super uncommon for- well. I’m not like, a morning person. But if I get to wake up on my own time, I-“

“Ari, fuck.” He puts the phone on speaker, reaching for his nightstand with his free hand. It isn’t hard to find the bottle, although there’s no way Ari doesn’t hear the cap.

“Oh, getting fancy?” Ari asks, the smirk audible in his tone.

He squeezes some into his hand and closes the bottle before he says, “Well, some of us can’t make our own, show off.”

Somehow, Ari laughs. And god, that’s a thousand times worse. Anything else and he might be able to maintain some semblance of composure, but not like this.

Because it isn’t judgmental or haughty, either. Just… a laugh. Like he’s pleased with himself, and really he has every right to be.

“No, I guess that’s fair. Wait, is this um- a one hand job or two?”

This time it’s Tate’s turn to laugh, although the sound comes out more of a breathless groan as he works two fingers into himself.

“That’s-” he chokes on another little sound at the stretch, too much and not enough all at once. Just like his hand isn’t nearly enough. “That’s on a strictly need to know basis.”

“Fine, be that way. I can speculate. But I’m going to guess two, because you were awfully quick on the offer last night and you mentioned it more than once. Plus, I feel like Astrid’s not gonna roll over for anyone, no offense.”

At that, Tate actually chokes, his hands stilling as his mind comes to a skidding halt. “What was that?”

“Is that like, one of those traditional duties of seconds, or…?”

Fuck, he really can’t be having this conversation right now.

“Sorry, did I throw off your groove? I honestly didn’t mean to, I sort of just ended up thinking out loud, and, well, I mean I stand by my logic, but-“

“Who told you?” Because it can’t have been many people. Reuben would literally rather die, not that he can see Astrid bringing it up either. Making Kyah the most likely, but that’s too petty even for her.

“Uhh I mean I guess you, right now, but really no one. I asked Astrid something a few months ago because she was talking about how y’all grew up together and she dodged real hard. But I figure of the two of you, it’s gotta be you and not Kyah.”

“I see,” he manages, voice rough.

“Is it like… not common knowledge or a big deal or something?”

“Well it’s not exactly dinner table conversation, much less one I expected to be having with you, now.”

“Oh. Sorry? I mean I don’t care. You two seem to be perfectly functional friends or whatever. But was I right?”

“You really wanna know that bad?”

“I mean kinda, now that you mention it? I dunno, I like knowing things.”

Tate closes his eyes, trying once again to steady his breathing. He should’ve just stayed in bed when his alarm went off this morning.

“It really just depends on who I’m in bed with, honestly. Some people are more flexible than others and I’m… adaptable.”

“So you’re what, like some kinda service vers?”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that,” Tate says, exhaling another silent laugh. “Is that really a bad thing? I mean I was under the impression that it was supposed to be a good time for everyone. You ask Kyah about the FDA story?”

“No? I sorta forgot. Why, should I dial her in so she can tell it?”

“Nooo. Definitely not. Especially right now. She and uh- this morning was rough. I can tell you about it later if you want.”

The way they’d both flared their nostrils when he’d walked in, smelling the air. Smelling Ari.

An unbidden groan claws out of his throat, the smell hitting him all over again.

“Ok so back to the topic at hand. Ha. So you’re telling me if you had come back while I was still there, you would’ve done like, whatever I wanted?”

His cock pulses in response and he clenches around his fingers. It’s not enough, on either end. Even if he gets himself off, his knot’s not going to go down and he’s just going to be more frustrated, and-



“Just wasn’t sure if you were still there.”

“Yeah, Ari, I’m still here. And to answer your question, yeah, probably.”

“Yeah, probably?” Ari echoes.

“If it seemed like you actually wanted me to? Like beyond any shadow of a doubt? Yeah, absolutely. But it’s generally something I like to be solidly on the same page about ahead of time.”

“Good to know.”

Tate hums a vague acknowledgment, letting his mind actually get away from him now. Imagining a version of the morning where he got back just a little bit earlier. Where he might’ve at least gotten to follow the smell permeating his bed to the source.

“Is it always this uh, bad?”


“The smell thing. Like it was bad when I woke up. Not like- I mean it was kind of weird, and definitely strong enough that I decided to, y’know. And so I figured you’d smell it, especially after what you said last night, but it seems like it’s getting to you even more?”

“It’s uh- I’m-” he fumbles, his brain once again fully consumed by the thought of Ari waking up and smelling him and it leading to this. “I pick up more than most people do. Smell wise. It’s always been a thing.”

“So which is worse, last night or now?”

Fuck,” he growls, speeding up the motion of his fist. “Now. Last night I was- I dunno. Nervous. You were here and clearly uncomfortable and that sort of sours it. Literally, even. It’s like- I don’t know how to describe it, you’ll pick up on it eventually. But this is like- fuck, Ari.”

He rolls over without quite meaning to, his body adjusting automatically to support his weight.

“Can you come on command?”

“What?” The question knocks the air out of his lungs, his entire body seeming to contract around it. God, what he wouldn’t give to have Ari here right now.

“Like if I said, Tate you’re either going to come right now, or you’re going to have to wait until-“

Whatever Ari is about to say, Tate doesn’t hear it over the moan that slips out of his throat as he spills over his fingers. The smell of his own release mixed with Ari’s scent is heady. It melts away the hour and a half of stress and leaves him boneless, even though his knot is still insistently solid with nothing more than his fingers to wrap around it.

“I’m gonna go ahead and take that as a yes,” Ari says, sounding slightly smug. And then, “You ok?”

He thought Ari actually staying was a dream, but this- even if they never do anything else, he’ll always have the way Ari’s voice sounds on the phone as he comes.

“Yeah,” he says. “Yeah, I’m ok.”

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