I. I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You
They were interviewing employees at the legendary RAK Studios. David Bowie, The Smiths, and Radiohead had all recorded here, but Sherlock only cared about the case.
Earlier that day Sherlock had confirmed for New Scotland Yard that the death of one Simon Stuart, a recording engineer, was not entirely accidental. John held firm to his scheduled morning hours at the surgery, but joined Sherlock after his shift.
“What a colossal waste! We've been here for six hours interviewing his colleagues,” griped Donovan. “Next one, I’m slipping in a question about working with The Stones.”
A wail that was probably intended to be melodic sounded from down the hall.
“What’s a colossal waste is the studio time two doors down,” John replied. “Do you hear that?”
Another wail resounded, at a slightly lower pitch.
Sherlock winced, and started laying out his deductions for the team. “The victim was a sound engineer. There is no reason he’d make noises of such damaging volume alone. He knew he had hemophilia and would have phoned 999 if he were bleeding.”
“Taaaaaaaaake myyyyyyyy haaaaaaand—”
He attempted to ignore the noise, talking over it to continue his explanation. “The smear pattern in the grit on the front stoop indicates the person who stood there was nervous or agitated — the victim obviously is unattached, so that must be our murderer. He — definitely a man from the shoe size and stance — came in the front door.”
“Take my whooooooole liiiiiiiiife tooooooooo—”
“There was no sign he was in any other part of the house, inside or out, so theft was not a motive, and they have some professional association. But neighbours and colleagues all speak highly of the victim, so our murderer must have been involved in a side project that went sour.”
“Cuz Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii caaaaaaaaaaaan’t heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp—”
He flinched visibly. “The time of death was late at night. The victim would have invited him in to avoid bothering the neighbors. The studio was thoroughly soundproofed — some of his projects included heavy metal music — so the neighbors would not have overheard even a vigorous argument.”
“—falling in loooooooooooove—”
“As the altercation escalated, the murderer made some noise that burst our victim’s ear drum.”
The singer’s notes started to climb in pitch “—wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith—”
“You waited too long to come to me. The murderer will have seen the death notice printed in yesterday’s paper and gone to stay with a relative.” Sherlock took a breath, but his next words were interrupted as her final note screeched out still higher and a bit flat.
“Dear god! What is she doing?” He stomped out, down the hallway, and burst into the studio two rooms down.
John was hot on his heels, and the Yard’s team not far behind.
“Stop! Stop! I can’t bear your yowling any longer!”
The young woman was silenced by the intrusion.
An annoyed, “Hey! You can’t come in here!” issued from the control booth.
Donovan exclaimed, “It’s Cher Lloyd!”
“You should never have been let near a microphone,” Sherlock continued, ignoring the reprimand and shaking with indignation. “This — you pathetic excuse for a singer — this is how it’s done.”
He then launched into his own rendition of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” in a pants-melting baritone, pitch-perfect and emotive. John immediately found his trousers suddenly and unfortunately tight. Lloyd did her best to keep her expression insulted. Most of the investigative team stared at each other incredulously. Lestrade seemed the least affected, simply scowling at the wall impatiently, while Donovan’s mouth gaped and a blush crept up her cheeks..
The speaker from the control booth, silent through Sherlock’s performance, crackled to life again. “Would you mind doing that again with the tape rolling?”
“I loathe repeating myself.” Sherlock turned to Lestrade. “Check his office for recent demos that are missing from his home studio. Being dissatisfied with their collaboration, the murderer took it with him when he left,” Sherlock advised before sweeping out of the studio.
“John?” he demanded from the hall, almost an afterthought.
“Jesus, Sherlock!” John sputtered even as he started out of the room.
Spectacle over, the investigative team filed back out into the hall, stunned.
“Did you know he could do that?” Sergeant Clark asked.
“No,” replied Donovan emphatically, “and I hope he never, ever does it again.”
II. What a man wants
Sherlock pulled a still-stunned John Watson along by the wrist out of the studio building and to the street where he hailed a cab.
“Where are we headed now?”
“Stockwell. I want to have a look at his flat.”
“You already know who the murderer is.”
“Of course. The challenge will be finding him. His shoes had fresh soil from four different parts of London.”
“You didn’t tell Lestrade.”
“I gave him a key clue. He’ll sort it out himself in a few hours. It’ll give us time to find leads before Forensics tromps all over the evidence.”
Secure in the knowledge the cab ride would take at least 20 minutes, John allowed his mind to wander a little.
John shook himself of the image of Sherlock flushed and on his knees before him, only for it to be replaced by an image of himself kneeling at the detective’s feet, one cheek pressed against his thigh while he sang. He pointedly shifted his thoughts to tinned beans and pigeons before clearing his throat.
“So, um, I didn’t know you could sing.”
“Of course I can, but I prefer the violin. It has a greater expressive range.”
“You mean it’s better for sending Mycroft packing.”
Sherlock smirked. “Among other things.”
“I hear you sometimes when you play late at night.”
Sherlock flushed slightly. “Does it disturb you?”
“On the contrary, I find it soothing.”
“You’re the first person I’ve lived with to think so.”
John smiled, sat back in his seat, and cautiously let his mind wander again.
III. Love the One You’re With
The visit to Stockwell had not netted much, nor had it been the cake walk Sherlock had expected. They had a few brisk runs to evade nosy neighbors and a protective mum before they returned home.
As soon as they got in the door, John announced “I’m knackered. Going up for a nap,” and trudged up to his room.
When he laid down, he let his mind wander among both real and imagined scenes from earlier in the day. As the images became more vivid — and Sherlock’s voice more prominent — John found his hand creeping southward.
Sherlock sang ”I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” again, his voice like liquid sex, and in the stunned silence afterwards, he looked knowingly at John. Instead of dragging him outside and hailing a taxi, he paused outside the studio door. Taking advantage of this pause, John frantically pushed him into a secluded nook at the end of the next hallway and snogged him senseless.
Foreheads pressed together, Sherlock whispered to him, “Lestrade will sort this on his own in a couple of hours. Let’s go home.”
Sure that if he kissed Sherlock in the taxi they would be thrown out, John stroked Sherlock’s knee instead. The twenty minute ride felt like hours. Finally at Baker Street, they shared another clinch halfway up the stairs to 221B before tumbling through the sitting room and up to John’s bedroom.
Once in the bedroom, clothes were discarded between white-hot, desperate kisses. Soon after Sherlock pushed him onto the bed, John lost the plot a bit in flashes of snow-white skin, hot mouths, eager hands, and twisting sheets. It was over quickly, in the way most first times are. John turned toward his flatmate-turned-lover to suggest they could try again once he got his breath back—
—only to return to the unpleasant reality of lying on his back alone with a sticky hand.
John turned on his side and buried his face in his pillow. He thought about heading to the loo to clean up, but leaving his room meant risking running into his flatmate, and Sherlock would deduce what he’d been up to immediately. He'd known for some time that his admiration for the man was more than strictly platonic, but he certainly wasn’t ready to admit it to a self-proclaimed sociopath who seemed both uninterested and insensitive on the matter. He decided to use a t-shirt from his laundry basket to wipe up the worst of the mess and tried not to dwell on the fact that his unrequited attraction was rapidly spiraling out of control.
John returned to bed, curled up, and hoped if he dreamed it would be of Afghanistan.
IV. I’ve Got to Admit, It’s Getting Better
In the morning, John braved an excursion to the kitchen. Sherlock was flitting between Petri dishes on the kitchen table and a flask of boiling blue liquid on the hob.
“You found the murderer, then?”
“Of course. He was still going to work, and staying with an aunt in Greenwich by the dust on his jacket cuffs. It would have been easier had I not been interrupted by no less than fifteen calls from that recording studio.”
“Were they that anxious for you to find who murdered their employee?”
“Actually, they were rather intent on getting me to sing for them.” The last words practically dripped with disdain.
John cleared his throat. “Your voice is quite lovely.” He blushed slightly at how lovely he really thought it.
“Is it? Usually after people hear it, they act quite awkwardly for some time and then disappear.”
“You are married to your work after all.”
“That’s relevant how?”
“You can’t have missed that every person in that studio was aroused after you sang...”
“Everyone but you.”
“I wasn’t certain about the people in the control booth.” Sherlock studied the wallpaper for a moment. “Every person, hm?”
John shifted uncomfortably and studied the carpet by his left foot. “Yes,” he admitted quietly.
Sherlock frowned. “I really would rather not contemplate the implications regarding half of Lestrade’s team.”
John made a non-committal sound, but hunched in on himself a little further.
“Ah!” Sherlock’s face suddenly brightened. “But what about you, John...” His tone was predatory as he approached.
John braced himself for the scathing remarks he was sure were coming. He knew he was foolish to indulge in even one fantasy when Sherlock always brought reality crashing in.
Sherlock reached out and turned John’s face up toward his own. He studied it for a long moment in silence.
It was unbearable.
John’s eyes closed, shutting out that piercing gaze. “Your voice, Sherlock—I’m sorry. I didn’t want to— It doesn’t need to change— It won’t happen aga—”
Sherlock silenced his sputtering with a chaste kiss. “You, John, are exceptional.”
John’s eyes flew open, wide with disbelief, as Sherlock bent for another kiss. Hesitantly, John placed his hands on the other man’s shoulders. Then, he was shaking in relief, clutching those shoulders to keep from falling while he pressed desperate kisses up to his mouth. He keened softly when Sherlock held his face away for a moment with both hands, studying it again.
“I was right...”
“You almost always are.”
“No, I thought I was missing something to think you were attracted to me. I kept looking for other data, but I was correct after all.”
“And I thought you weren’t interested in anyone, let alone—”
“John Watson!” The man stopped. “You are not just anyone. Don’t you dare think otherwise.”
Sherlock resumed kissing John, silencing him. For his part, John wasn’t inclined to argue.
Eventually John pulled away from the deep kisses, still clinging to Sherlock’s shoulders. “Shall we carry on on the sofa?”
“Why not here?”
Sherlock threw him a scowl. “It’s psychosomatic.”
“In the best way. Do you intend to keep kissing me?”
“Of course,” he scoffed.
“Do you plan to hold me up the whole time?”
Sherlock frowned. “I would rather not.”
“Then shall we move to the sofa?”
Sherlock led him over, slid onto the sofa, and spread his legs wide. He turned John so he faced away and urged him to sit down, nestling him close between his legs. He gently tipped John’s head back, exposing the line of his throat above his jumper, and kissed him thoroughly once more. Sherlock supported John’s head with one hand, and curled the other around to alternately caress his chest and his thigh. Soon his kisses trailed down John’s jaw to just below his ear and continued down the side of his neck, John tilting his head to the side and leaning into the sensation.
John’s breath hitched and stuttered as the feelings he had hidden and denied for months were brought to the surface, raw.
“You weren’t the only one caught fancying his flatmate,” Sherlock murmured. “I’ve been thinking about this for some time.” He brushed a hand over John’s belly and down to his groin. “This exactly.”
“Oh god...” John gasped. He arched a little and pressed his back and his hips more firmly against Sherlock. “Oh god, me too.”
“I thought you caught me out a few times there.” Sherlock continued to trail his fingers over him through his trousers.
“I thought— ah—you showed interest a few times, but I didn’t ah— dare hope—”
Sherlock kissed him on the mouth again and pressed his hand more firmly to the hardening bulge in John’s trousers for good measure. He briefly wondered if such emphatic displays might cause John to express more uncertainty, but rejected the idea in favor of proving the point. And focusing on kissing. He had forgotten how marvelous it was to kiss someone who was enjoying it so thoroughly.
The hand on John’s neck slid down to the hem of his jumper and tugged at it. As he lifted the jumper over his head, he felt Sherlock opening his shirt buttons behind him. At another tug, he took off his vest too. Sherlock pulled him back, returning his hands to their previous positions, and they both gasped as their bare torsos pressed together.
“God— I never thought—”
Sherlock kissed him hard, like he would crawl inside John if he could and pressed his hips forward to rub against John’s arse. “Please let me touch you,” he whispered, lips against the shell of John’s ear.
Sherlock’s left hand quickly opened John’s flies, and then pushed down his trousers and pants. He explored the roughness of John’s naked thigh and the weight of his balls before grasping his full prick. He briefly let go of John’s neck to free his own member, then pressed it to John’s lower back, the base rubbing pleasantly between the tops of his buttocks. Sherlock’s right hand reached back up to John’s neck. His mouth found John’s again, and he began to stroke John off while rolling his hips against his lover.
John’s hands fluttered over Sherlock’s arms and his own lap, the left finally settling on Sherlock’s forearm while the right reached back to pull Sherlock’s hips still closer. He twisted a bit, trying to push forward and back into both movements. Sherlock twined his legs over John’s, holding John tightly to himself.
John let out a breathy moan at the sensations and chased after Sherlock’s lips when they left his to nibble at his collar bone.
Sherlock desperately kissed and licked at John’s neck and shoulder, as if he wouldn’t survive without his mouth somewhere on John. All the while, he eagerly rutted against John’s backside in time to the motions of his hand. Their breathing pitched higher, faster, and louder as they moved together, punctuated by groans of pleasure.
After what could have been five minutes or an hour, John came with a high-pitched noise and a breathy moan.
Sherlock slowed his hand on John's shrinking cock and guided his mouth back to his own for a kiss. He moved his hand to John’s stomach and continued rutting against his new lover’s arse, hands clenching at the side of his neck and over the curve of his belly.
John ran his trembling hands over Sherlock’s fingers, savoring where they touched. Just as John started to reach back between their bodies, Sherlock cried out into the kiss and came in the small of his back. Sherlock sagged forward, his chin now thrust over John’s shoulder. His right hand dropped to John’s thigh, but his left still skidded idly over John’s skin, trailing sticky swirls over his belly.
“Budge up, you bony thing,” John said with an affectionate toss of his shoulder. He guided them to lay down on the sofa, still wrapped together. While Sherlock settled, he grabbed his vest to dab at the come smeared on his front. After a second, he gave it up as a lost cause and tucked the shirt under him to keep the mess off the leather.
They lay together, spooned on the sofa for some time in silence.
“Do you have anything on today?”
“I had thought to continue my experiments with the fingers before they get too old.”
“Fancy another go first?”
Sherlock just kissed him.
That evening, Sherlock picked up his violin while John was preparing for bed. John had invited him up, but Sherlock was insistent he was not sleeping that night, having ignored certain projects during the day. John squeezed in a quick snog after Sherlock had finished tuning before he went upstairs. Once in bed, he let his mind drift as he had the previous night, this time guided by the music. Sherlock started with a popular classical number, then played something of his own composition. Eventually, as sleep started to claim him, John recognized “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” drifting up the stairs.