Since feeling is first
Sherlock wants to kiss them again, to feel that burst of anxiety, exhilaration in his stomach. It feels like falling, oddly, a dizzying sensation which bursts behind his eyes, pulling them further into his sockets until he feels like they’re going to implode violently in his skull.
He’s been kissed before, merely because he felt he needed to at that time. Four awkwardly curious kisses in his life, three of which he doesn’t hold in any high regard. His first kiss was from a little Indian girl with two braided plaits when he was seven. She sat at the back of the classroom, twiddling the tails of her braids as she scribbled in her notebook. Sherlock would watch her, his mind wondering what it would be like to pull those plaits, what it would look like if she didn’t wear them and let her hair down. He asked her how long her hair was, mainly for the sake of it, because as a seven year old boy, he knew no other way to express his odd affection for the strange girl. She smiles, braids his curls for him and kisses his cheek. It was pleasant.
His second and third kisses are uneventful.
Sherlock is certain he’s deleted them.
His fourth kiss, at the age of thirty-four, is from none other than John Watson.
It’s a nice kiss, enough to express what he wants in the six seconds they’re joined together briefly. John blinks, licks his lips and blinks again, a sure sign that he is either confused or he hasn’t quite grasped what has happened.
If Sherlock is certain, which he is, John is currently experiencing both symptoms.
Sherlock merely smiles softly, running his thumb across the other’s lips briefly before exiting the flat, a bewildered but not entirely unsatisfied John in tow.
It was eight days ago.
Neither have said anything since the moment, quietly basking in the soft afterglow it created. The misty fog surrounding them, sizzling with electricity is heady, addictive and Sherlock all but basks in its sensation. He rolls in it like a cat in heat, lapping as much as he could. Soft touches, withering sighs, lingering looks. Sherlock loves the feel of John’s eyes against the back of his neck, creeping, burying themselves there like beetles. It makes him shiver every time he catches John staring at him, watching, trying but failing to pick him apart.
It becomes too much, this restraint from one another. The tension in the air crackles and bites sharply at their skin, rooms stinking of semen, of masturbation. They touch themselves to the thought of each other, wrapping saliva slicked palms around their cocks in the dead of night, crying, moaning toward the ceiling.
Sometimes Sherlock will be adventurous. He’ll flip himself slowly onto his stomach, naked as the day he was brutally ripped into this world, his burning erection sliding against the sheets. He’ll pull his knees under him, the cool air tantalising against the bare skin of his arse. He’ll just rub his fingers against his furrowed entrance, playing with the skin, breathing into the pillow as his anus flutters in anticipation, trying to swallow his fingers as if they were John’s cock.
He strokes and pushes and fucks until he moans into the pillow, spilling messily across the sheets, wet and sticky against his stomach and thighs.
He’ll never scream, his orgasms aren’t exciting enough yet. He doesn’t want to breathe. He wants to choke in pleasure, to drown in sensation with John.
John, John, John.
No one but John touching him, running his hands across his skin, across his thighs, inside him.
Sherlock’s room permanently stinks of sex, of the pure, animalistic, salty musk of humans. It smells disgustingly of semen, of sweat, of the shampoo he uses. It rolls around him, thick and wet in the air, sticky against his skin and it’s both glorifying and base.
Sherlock will never understand it, why his body thrums for John as if it was made for him. He scrubs himself furiously with soap until his skin is pressed pink with heat and his eyes blaze with fury and confusion as he stares at his distorted reflection in the fogged bathroom mirror.
What a poor excuse for a sociopath he is, letting these feelings and affections command him so. Every brush of John’s hand against his enough to set a burning blaze of fire in the pit of his stomach.
Or maybe that’s wrong? Maybe he is the perfect example of a sociopath- wanting nothing more than to want John. Wantwantwantwantwant-
He wants John. He wants to touch John. He wants to tie John to the bed and fuck him over and over again until the man is moaning, screaming for every fucking one to hear. So hard that John needs crutches, that whenever he sits down, all he can think about is Sherlock burying himself hard and fast in him again and again.
Sherlock wants to write his name in John’s skin with his come. White, sticky letters marking him over his back. He’ll blow on them, drying them cool and crisp until they’re stuck on him, pulling sharply on the faint blonde hairs across the man’s back. He wants it to hurt when John scrubs it off.
He spends the eight days doing nothing but thinking. And thinking. And thinking.
He thinks about John (who else is there to think about? No one.) and whether or not the man will let Sherlock do such carnal things to him-
Will he let me penetrate him?
The normality they strive to protect around their usual routine, the small touches and soft looks when they think the other isn’t looking-
I want to feel my fingers inside him.
He thinks about how to kiss John again. Sweep him off his feet with a heroic, mind blowing kiss, or sneak upon him, bore his eyes into John’s and lick his lips open softly, gently drinking the man in until they’re both drowning.
How many fingers can I fit in his mouth?
Sherlock considers the ordinariness of him. The plain, placid look upon his features, the slight furrow in his brow, the oatmeal jumpers. This man, this plain, commonplace man who has affected Sherlock so much. Why though? Why can he do this? Why John Watson and not some other brilliant mind? Sherlock is destined for great things- it was drilled into his mind as a child. And yet he clings to this doctor, an ex soldier with a bad leg and even worse shoulder. This man who likes two sugars with his tea and crap telly. Sherlock clings to him as if he were a childhood toy- a ratty old bear-
Can I run my tongue between the lines on his face? Every wrinkle?
It’s too much today.
Sherlock sits on the sofa, staring listlessly ahead of him while his mind fends off the static threatening to invade. He wonders what it is, this condition he’s in. Is he sick? Were he to suddenly fall, overcome by illness, sickness of the mind, it would be nothing short of a comfort for Sherlock. He would then finally be in the place he is in control of.
This unawareness, this refusal to accept that he is so uninhibited in this torrent of emotion for John, is destroying him slowly, piece by piece.
He wants to take and take and take and take and take-
The words play in his mind over and over again like a broken record, smashed and cracked and just repeating.
He can’t do that though- it’s not . . . it’s not normal. Not proper. It’s not good.
Bit not good.
How Sherlock loathes those words.
It’s barely touching evening, four thirty judging by the sky. It won’t darken yet, but by seven London will be shrouded in the ethereal amber glow of streetlights. Sherlock almost has come to prefer them over daylight itself. He loves the dark- he feels, with an odd sense of satisfaction, that he owns the night.
John is the day, the sun. He flourishes in it, in the heat, in the light. It’s where he belongs. They complement each other nicely once together, however- John and Sherlock. A juxtaposition in itself and its breathtaking.
He wants to feel like he fits with John.
Like he’s the only one who fits with John.
Me, me, me.
Not Sarah. Not Harry. Not Clara, or Lestrade or Ms Hudson, Mycroft, Sally, Anderson, Mike Stamford, Moriarty, Molly, Bill Murray, the girl who smiles at him in the Starbucks near the practise, not Mrs Watson, Mr Watson, the nurse who pulled John into this world, no one no one no one no one no one no one-
Sherlock cuts the thought off quickly, snapping it shut and gasping as he tries to ground himself. It’s getting worse, whatever it is in his chest festering painfully.
It has to be love. What else could it be?
But love itself is so banal and cliché. Sherlock would very much prefer cancer.
He turns to lounge back on the sofa, stretching his legs out languorously like a cat, his toes curling and pressing into the arm rests. He digs them in, trying to bury his chilly toes into the cushions, ground himself firmly into the sofa.
John isn’t home for once. Instead the man opts for mundanely busying himself in pedestrian activities. He calls it a job.
Sherlock calls it dull.
But it allows Sherlock a moment of calm, of peace. John isn’t disruptive, he will not- and Sherlock likes to think this is one of his better qualities- disturb the man when thinking. John can amazingly predict the specific moments of Sherlock’s black moods, of his torrential wave of apathy that disturbs him during the best of times. And during these times, Sherlock is left alone to fester and to brood and to hopefully pull himself out of them.
It’s only been eight days since their kiss.
Eight days since Sherlock had come to the awful realisation that there was a minute possibility he was in love with the man.
It has, however, been weeks, months even that he has been in love with John Watson. He just didn't know it.
He should have really guessed.
But Sherlock hates guessing.
He won’t lie though, this realisation has come as quite a shock. He doesn’t even know if it’s love- no one can really know. Love isn’t something to be measured, as much as Sherlock would like it to be. It isn’t a variable. Which is why he finds it tremendously easy to cast away the notion of such a ambiguous factor in his life and call it merely an anomaly.
He really can’t see it as anything else.
The room is too quiet for Sherlock’s tastes. There is no rumble from the kettle, no pitter-patter of rain against the window panes. There is hardly a sound, not even the screeching of foxes hunting around their bins.
He wonders briefly what the time is.
It’s a lie. He is actually wondering when John will come back.
Sherlock’s eyes flicker upward, his lips pressed to the vent of his steeped fingers, touching lightly, pretending it’s the kiss. The ceiling is bare save for a stray scattering of black spots by the window. It’s damp. He should alert Ms. Hudson when he can.
John will do it.
Who will alert John, then?
It’s hardly surprising the speed in which he is able to snatch his phone from the coffee table, pressing the buttons violently before the sudden thought escapes him.
We have damp. SH
Sherlock loves- wrong, love is wrong- admires the way John is almost always able to respond to his texts swiftly. A military man by nature. Precise.
Damp? Where? You should tell Ms Hudson.
You tell Ms Hudson. It’s why I’m telling you. SH
I’m working! Why, what are you doing?
It’s amazing how one can still be formal enough to use punctuation in their text messages. Hunting for the correct symbol though the buttons, skimming and skipping and repeating until the perfect one is found to connote the ideal feeling behind the meaning. John’s exclamation mark, or use of, signified Sherlock’s importance to him. Would he make such an effort for anyone else?
Probably. Sherlock is over-thinking this.
He frowns at the text, glaring perplexedly at the mark. Punctuation- a sign of love? Yes or no.
Most likely no.
But then again, John is an anomaly-
No, John is not the anomaly. Love is the anomaly.
But what if John is one as well? A variable we cannot measure. He has surprised me on a number of occasions, it is becoming increasingly harder to pinpoint his exact thoughts. I cannot read him anymore-
Sherlock snaps the thread of thought away, finding himself tangled in its mess of knots. The best way, he decides no little than a second later, is to ask.
Do you always use punctuation in your texts? SH
His phone chimes approximately fifty-eight seconds later.
Ah so that’s a yes then.
Sherlock taps the phone against his lips, an unwitting thought passing through his mind, confusing, begrudging. It’s a horrid, ghastly, monster of a thought.
John makes such effort for others, am I nothing to him? Does he place me with them, tie us together, group us in his little categories. Am I in the same league as Harry, as Lestrade, as Mrs Hudson? Am I nothing more, nothing special? Damn the man.
At that particular moment, Sherlock glares at the damp spot on the ceiling and wishes nothing more than for it to crumble, crack, and fall onto him. Let it kill him, crush his face, dent his skull until there is nothing left of the marvel that is Sherlock Holmes save pinkish brain matter and blood. Bits of matted down hair from the grey, sharp ridges of his skull and maybe, just for effect, an eye staring accusingly in the direction of the door. John will walk in, see it and scream.
Will he scream?
Maybe not. Too stoic. Too military. He doesn’t care enough about me to scream.
He’ll walk up to Sherlock’s body and see the crushed head, tut perhaps and then make tea. Sherlock wishes he’d kiss his forehead.
Suddenly he receives a text message, his thoughts interrupted by the vibrations from the phone against his lips, touching like a kiss.
He pauses, blinks and stares at the phone, its screen watching him innocently, curiously.
1 text. John.
He opens it.
What are you doing?
Thinking of you.
Observing the damp. SH
Well, be careful. Wouldn’t want it falling on you. :D
Sherlock narrows his eyes at the icon, the smiley face John has put into his message. Is he concerned? Is he making a joke? Does he care?
A smiley face.
Sherlock lets the warm beam stretch onto his face, allowing himself but a moment to bask in giddy happiness, in childish acknowledgement of the fact that his insides are back-flipping joyfully. An exaggeration, yes, a metaphor stretched into the hyperbole, it is. But it’s nice all the same.
He pushes the buttons.
Duly noted. SH
When John returns from work, heavy footed on the abused stairs, Sherlock is no longer on the sofa. He has slid to the floor, staring up at the ceiling from the space between the coffee table and the sofa, contemplating everything, nothing.
His mind is never blank, never quiet. But soon enough, after a while, the insistent thought process, the buzz of theories, of deductions and words that pass though the frontal lobe of his brain he becomes accustomed to and there, that it becomes a comforting blanket of white noise.
Sherlock’s white noise, his nothing, is in fact, everything.
He listens when John opens the door, stepping into the sitting room and flinging his keys onto kitchen table. There’s a faint clinking, his shoes laces are loose, the aglets smacking unceremoniously and repeatedly against his heel. He’s walked home then, the slow heaviness in each tred indication. The footsteps are off, the bulk of a step switching to the light taps in favouring the ball of the foot, his heels no doubt aching from the long day.
There is a pause in the steps.
“Should I ask why you’re under there?”
It’s blank, perhaps even a little amused, John’s tone doesn’t seem to indicate much at the moment. It’s bland and calm. Just a question which irks Sherlock slightly. He thinks he’s worth more than just this.
“You already have.” He promptly replies, the surliness behind his words entirely without meaning.
“Ok, fine then. I’ll reword. Why are you under there?”
Thinking. Thinking, thinking, thinking. It’s always thinking, isn’t it? There’s always something else, another motive. I cannot just lay here because I want to. God John, why can’t you just think?
“It doesn’t matter anyway,” John remarks from the kitchen, pottering around, the taps whirling as he refills the kettle and sticks it on boil. “Where’s the damp?”
It takes a moment for Sherlock to respond to his words, registering them but unable to muster enough energy to promptly answer them whilst carefully concealing all emotion and feeling within them. Contrary to popular belief, it takes him a few second to switch the sociopathic mask on, fitting it carefully around his words in order to successfully bypass unnecessary questions and conversation. With John, the mask is slipping ever so slightly. A response that would have taken him 0.8 seconds to formulate now consists of 1.7, sloppy by his standards.
He blames it on three things-
One- John requires him to think past the usual cutting responses that come before even reaching his though processes.
Two- On some level he is captivated with the need to impress John with his words. And if not impress, then inject some hint into how he possibly feels for the man. For example the request for tea is now ‘make tea’ opposed to his customary ‘make tea’. The significant difference disturbs him somewhat, he will admit.
And three- He vehemently blames the maddening lust now coursing through his veins. A cliché, he’s sure. Banal and gauche at best but it’s there nonetheless, screaming violently in the back of his mind, clawing and scratching its way from his skin. It makes him want to pin John down, to tear his clothes off and mark him. To lick him all over, to fuck him through the floor boards. To trace every line in his fingerprints, label each one his. It’s frustrating and it clouds his mind at the worst of times, leaving him breathless and sticky, his own come drying on his hand in the dead of night.
It’s these three reasons as to why it takes him a fraction longer than 1.7 second to reply to John’s question.
“Ceiling,” he remarks finally after another agonizing millisecond. “Sofa.”
“You going to talk in single words all day?” He can hear the smile in John’s voice.
There are steps and soon enough he can see John’s shoes between the gaps of the coffee table, see him alter his steps as he moves to find a better spot to inspect the ceiling.
“Hmm. I’ll talk to Ms Hudson about it,” he says. Sherlock merely grunts in approval and closes his eyes as John walks off, feeling himself melt into the floorboards. He wonders briefly about the possibility of melting through the floorboards, dripping through the cracks and falling into a limp, rippling puddle on the floor. How boneless it must be being water? The lack of bone, of vertebrae. He could do anything, morph into whatever he wanted to, whatever he saw fit.
Maybe he could be John.
The thought is preposterous, Sherlock can never be John. No one can.
Sherlock suddenly hears a shuffle, the rug shifting on the floor boards, gathering together followed by a breathy grunt. He cracks an eye open, greeting dirty white, a growing grey shadow looming from the window across the ceiling, reaching across it like hands, grasping claws. But that’s not what he’s meant to look at.
The subtle burst of heat beside him, there but barely touching, is what grabs his attention. And he tilts his head slightly, gazing at John Watson, who has managed to shuffle beneath the coffee table, lying flat on his back with his head to the side, smiling at Sherlock.
“I don’t know why you like it down here so much. Nothing special about it,” he comments wryly, his smile stretching into wonders. Sherlock blinks at him, his heart slowing, a dull, languid thud with each sluggish second that passes by.
“You wouldn’t understand,” Sherlock finally responds, the usual bite behind the insinuation murdered violently. His lips are begging to quirk in a smile but he won’t let them.
“There’s a lot I don’t understand, isn’t there?” John’s expression seems far from wounded though. As if he is stating a fact.
Sherlock can only blink as he processes this.
You have no idea how wrong you are, John
God, why can’t you think for once, can you not see that you are the only one who does understand
More than anyone else and yet here you are claiming otherwise what is wrong with you
Why do you never listen, why can’t you see, just look, why can’t you look
You stupid, stupid man, god, what is wrong with you, can you really not see me
I don’t want to hurt you, John, I don’t, I don’t, I can’t, but I can’t help it, I want to pick you apart, know everything and then put you back together
I’ll be careful, I promise, I swear
His heart stops on that lie.
John’s voice is ambrosia, thick and steady and calm and it oozes into his ears, seeping into his brain and seizing it in its firm grasp. He snaps out of his reverie, the sound of his heart beat now gone, a steady presence, no doubt, but he can’t hear it, can’t feel it.
It is no different to any other day.
It is, in fact, a comfort.
He twists his gaze toward the ceiling, his eyes wide, bright with thought, with substantial shock. That moment, the moment the darker recesses of his mind took over, he could feel his self control slipping, falling through his fingers while he scrambled for purchase. He watched as a direct mirror of his self, beckoned him, smile wide and menacing, eyes cold and empty, pulled him closer with frigid hands, touching his own clammy skin as Sherlock toed the line between normality and himself.
He saw the schism, the crack in himself, watching as his smile melted from his face, his cheekbones drooped, falling in gentle patters to the floor. The eyes melt from his sockets and drain away into nothing.
John did this.
John pulled him back from the edge again. And in the space of a few seconds.
The man truly is a marvel.
“John,” he finally croaks, turning to face the other, every nerve vibrating with tightly wound tension. “John, I-”
But the man interrupts him. “There is one thing I understand, though.” His voice is steady, an undertone of amusement within it that surrounds Sherlock and holds him tightly. He smiles knowingly at him, the thin line of his lips absolutely beautiful and Sherlock wants to trace them with his fingers.
He instead opts for speech, replying quietly, almost subdued. “What?” The vulnerability scares him.
“You kissed me.”
“I did,” Sherlock comments, his cheeks pressed against the floorboard, mirroring John as he watches him. And that’s almost what they are, in a sense. Reflections of each other. What they could and could never be.
John chuckles but there is little space for him to move under the table and he tries to suppress his laughter as best as he can, his grin fading into a soft smile.
“I know you did. I was hoping you’d sort of do it again.”
And there it is, the electricity crackling between them, the static buzzing across their skin, sparking at the tips of their fingers, igniting fire across their gazes. Sherlock remembers the kiss all too vividly, the soft acceptance, the chaste press of lips, a token and a memory. After that moment, he knows how much he wants to relive it, to kiss John again and again and again.
But has he the capability of committing to something so wondrous, so dangerous?
“Now?” he instead murmurs, unable to feign any shred of decorum, of control. He lets the wonder drift from his words, lets the amazement roll from the tip of his tongue. The words exchanged and breathed between them are like soft caresses, kisses. Exchanging gifts, exchanging thoughts, ideas.
It is ecstasy to Sherlock.
John, if even capable in his position, shakes his head. “No, not now.”
Sherlock’s breath catches, his heart stuttering at the decline. But John catches the look and smiles indulgently, sighing to himself.
“Think about it first,” he continues wistfully. “I know you want to. Kiss me when you want to.”
I want to now
“How will I know when?” The genius is now the one without knowledge. The one following is now the one being followed. The role reversal is dizzying.
John smiles and reaches out, his finger gently brushing a stray curl from Sherlock’s cheek, his thumb rubbing over his brow before retreating slightly. “You’re the genius,” he chuckles. “You’ll figure it out.”
Will I though?
Will I ever?
He considers John’s proposition, the way in which his mind is working and nods his assent. He is confused, and isn’t sure if he quite grasps the weight of his request but he trusts him, and that seems to be all that matters.
The sky transforms, melts from dark blue to black, the moon full and glowing ethereally though the window and across the floorboards, over the two men as they lie there though the night, fingers entwined and listening for Sherlock’s heart beat again.
A/N- I hoped you liked it! Thoughts are love. Sequel- Now that we talk of dying