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A Study in Intimacy

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John’s hand is warm and solid against Sherlock’s shoulder, and the heat from his palm bleeds through his shirt to his skin. There’s the slightest hint of pressure from John’s fingertips as he squeezes, carefully. The touch lingers for several more seconds as a cup of tea appears on the kitchen table in front of Sherlock, delivered by John’s right hand.

John finally lets go, fingers slipping away slowly and making the physical contact last as long as possible. Sherlock wonders if John is even aware of what he’s doing. Sherlock has been up all night, bored and listless without a case, and John knows his habits well enough now to no longer pass comment. At least, not until he believes it’s becoming detrimental to Sherlock’s health.

John collects his own tea from the counter and reaches around Sherlock to steal the long ignored paper from in front of him, his chest brushing Sherlock’s back and shoulders. John doesn’t speak, merely takes The Sunday Times sport section and shuffles sleepily into the living room, dropping into his chair with a soft huff.

Sherlock feels a sudden flood of warmth that has nothing to do with the tea his hands have curled around. Sherlock does not remember a time when anyone touched him the way John does. Casually, mindlessly, as though Sherlock were any other man, not just a brain to be used when questions require answers.


John kisses Sherlock. It’s the first time and his entire body tenses without permission.

In fourteen years only one person has kissed Sherlock other than his mother and that single kiss had been a drunken, sloppy mistake. Sebastian had made that very clear once he’d sobered up and his idiot friends had told him just what he’d been up to after half a bottle of tequila.

“What’s wrong?” John asks, taking a step back and licking his lips. Sherlock is momentarily distracted, watching the teasing, tempting path John’s tongue traces over his bottom lip.

“Nothing,” Sherlock answers with complete honesty. He just never imagined that he could have this, not until John Watson was so tangled up in his life and nothing like Sherlock has ever known.

“Because, I thought you wanted-” John starts, and he’s getting entirely the wrong impression. Sherlock is having none of it.

“I do,” he confirms, “I want.”

“Good-o,” John says with his widest, brightest smile. Something inside Sherlock’s chest sparks into new and exciting life as John presses a quick, almost familiar kiss to the corner of Sherlock’s lips. “I’m going to be late for work, we’ll finish this later, yeah? No running off without me.”

Sherlock nods and watches John go. He touches his lips, a little unsure if he should trust his senses. That he has been kissed for the first time in over a decade and it was John doing the kissing for no reason other than because he wanted to, because he suspected that Sherlock wanted it too.


“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Sally Donovan spits in her most venomous tones. “Who knows what he’s got, but it’s probably contagious.”

Detective Inspector Gregson freezes. His hand stopping, half-raised to meet the one Sherlock is currently offering him after their exchange of standard niceties and pleasantries. It’s an attempt to make a good impression and gain access to the crime scene, and it’s all undone in an instant by Donovan’s petty spite.

Gregson hesitates and though he recovers himself quickly, it’s not enough to stop Sherlock from taking account of it, from noting the way Gregson considers just not shaking his hand. No doubt in response to the combination of Sherlock’s reputation at the Yard and Donovan’s words.

Gregson finally shakes Sherlock’s hand, and John watches with a blank expression and his hands firmly behind his back. Sherlock isn’t fooled for a second. Gregson’s momentary slight has not gone unnoticed by John, who could only look more like the solider he is if he were in uniform.

“You’d know all about contagious, wouldn’t you, Sally? How’s that itching, by the way? Still using the cream?” John asks conversationally, ignoring the hand Gregson is now offering him.

Donovan looks like she’s been slapped, and John gives her a cheerful smile. He nods at Gregson and then Donovan as her face pinches into something angry and vengeful.

“We’ll be off for now then,” John continues in the same calm, conversational tone. He reaches out to Sherlock, presses his hand to the small of his back and starts to guide him away.

Sherlock is too preoccupied with John’s hand, solid and strong and touching him with such obvious familiarity in public that he doesn’t react to John’s declaration of their departure. Donovan and Gregson watch John’s hand so casually pressing against Sherlock’s body with shock-wide eyes.

This doesn’t escape John’s notice either.

“Give us a call when you need Sherlock to tell your arse from your elbow,” John calls over his shoulder, slipping his arm around Sherlock’s waist in an even more surprising and overt gesture of affection.

Sherlock’s brain comes to a crashing halt as John leans in close enough that Sherlock can feel his body heat. In public, in front of other people.

John leads him, still momentarily mentally derailed, away from the police tape and panda cars to the main road and a taxi home. Sherlock can feel Gregson and Donovan’s eyes on them until they round the corner and are definitely out of their sight.

“John-” Sherlock finally says as he manages to find his tongue, even though John doesn’t let go.

“What a twat,” John cuts in, pulling Sherlock in even tighter and looking up and down the street for an empty taxi. “I can’t believe he was going to listen to that spiteful cow.”

John’s fingers squeeze Sherlock’s side as an empty black cab pulls up to the kerb. “I give it three hours tops before they ring, begging you for help.”

Sherlock is speechless again as they climb inside. John gives their address to the driver and sits back beside Sherlock, hand resting on his knee.


"Mrs Hudson!" Sherlock chastises, scandalised.

She is making kissy faces at John, who is bright red and laughing, while she holds a piece of mistletoe over his head. Mrs Hudson looks at Sherlock and giggles drunkenly in a manner far too girlish for a woman her age.

“But it's tradition," she complains before turning back to John. "Bad luck if you don't."

John laughs so hard he almost falls off the kitchen stool he's sitting on. He's just a little bit drunk and very full of good cheer after sharing three bottles of wine between them over Mrs Hudson's Christmas dinner.

As a matter of fact, Sherlock might be a little bit drunk too. It's the only way to explain how his chest tightens when John recovers himself enough to speak.

"If you wanted a snog, Mrs Hudson, all you had to do was ask!"

“I do like a man in uniform!” she declares, before grabbing John’s face in her hands and planting what looks like a rather unpleasant and wet kiss on John’s lips.

It barely lasts a second, and they both dissolve into cackles when she releases him. John attempts, and fails to take some deep breaths and wipes tears of mirth from his eyes.

Sherlock looks at the mistletoe, Viscum album, and cannot stop his mind from wandering. From thinking about all the occasions he has avoided the dreaded parasite. John, he imagines, has shared more than a few kisses, and a great deal of them better than the one Mrs Hudson attacked him with, under sprigs of it.

Sherlock finishes off the dregs of his wine with a hard swallow and firmly instructs himself not to think of it. Just because- No, he isn’t John’s first anything.

"Oh look at his face,” Mrs Hudson coos, snapping Sherlock out of contemplation of his empty wine glass. She chuckles, patting John on the cheek. “Silly little bugger."

Sherlock isn’t sure why he’s a silly little bugger all of a sudden but he’s certainly insulted by the insinuation.

John tumbles off his seat, righting himself before crossing around the end of the table to where Sherlock is sitting. "Daft git," John says with complete and utter affection when he reaches Sherlock.

Sherlock belatedly notices that John has taken the mistletoe from Mrs Hudson when he holds it over Sherlock’s head. John leans down and kisses him.
For a moment it’s a chaste press of lips on lips, then John is licking greedily into Sherlock’s mouth, and he can taste John and wine and Christmas pudding. It should be disgusting, but it’s not. Mrs Hudson giggles and cheers them on as she retreats into the living room to switch the telly on for Doctor Who, and John keeps on kissing Sherlock, deep and needy, like he’s drowning.

It’s better than any kiss under the mistletoe he could have ever imagined.


“Come here,” John says into the comfortable silence they’ve been sitting in for the past two hours.

Sherlock is reading all the news on the Internet, and John has been doing the crossword from yesterday’s paper. Outside it’s starting to get dark, and the drizzle that’s been hanging over London all day has turned to heavy rain hammering on the windows.

Sherlock belatedly realises that John has moved from his armchair to the sofa and has the telly remote next to him.

“Why?” Sherlock asks, suspiciously. It looks an awful lot like an attempt to get Sherlock to watch another terrible James Bond film.

“Because I asked you to,” John answers unhelpfully. He grins widely and something turns over in the bottom of Sherlock’s stomach.

Sherlock stands from where he’s sitting at the desk and crosses the room to John. “What are you going to make me watch?”

Antiques Roadshow,” John answers and curls his hand lightly around Sherlock’s wrist. It’s not John’s usual Sunday-evening telly, but Sherlock has been known to enjoy it over any of the other options available.

Sherlock lets John tug him down on the sofa next to him and blinks in surprise as John shuffles along the cushion so they’re pressed together from shoulder to thighs. John switches the TV on and turns the volume up so they both can hear before rearranging Sherlock, who allows himself to be manhandled, though he’s not entirely sure what John’s trying to do.

By the time John is settled and satisfied, he’s tucked himself under Sherlock’s arm, which lies over the strong line of John’s shoulders. John has his arm curled around Sherlock’s waist, fingers tracing idle patterns over the curve of his hips. John’s head is resting against Sherlock’s chest, rising and falling with the slow, steady rhythm of his breaths, and it’s natural for Sherlock to rest his chin on the crown of John’s head.

Sherlock isn’t entirely sure what they’re doing, or why, as the BBC logo gives way to the Antiques Roadshow theme music. Though it seems to be making John happy, judging by his contented little sighs.

“This is nice,” John finally says, sounding just as pleased as Sherlock imagined he would. “Thought you might like it.”

John snuggles in a little closer and holds Sherlock a bit tighter around the waist. John is solid and warm and reassuring. He’s right, it is nice and that’s as surprising as the notion John thought about Sherlock and this, wanting this.

“You did?”

John laughs into Sherlock’s chest and gives him a gentle poke in the fleshy part of his side. “Why wouldn’t you? Everyone needs a good cuddle now and then, especially on rainy Sundays with no cases.”

“Of course,” Sherlock’s mouth says, though his brain is still caught on everyone needs a good cuddle now and then.

Cuddling. Much better than he’d imagined.


“Come to bed,” John says between long, breathy kisses on the sofa. His hands are warm and smooth against Sherlock’s skin, one against the curve of his hip and the other against his collarbone, slipped under his half-unbuttoned shirt. “If you want to, that is. I’d like that. Like you to.”

It takes Sherlock a moment to process John’s request, he’s so thoroughly distracted by licking the taste of the wine they’d shared over dinner from John’s skin. He’s hazy around the edges, a little lost in snogging on the sofa and John.

Then he realises.

John wants to take him to bed.

John wants to have sex.

Sherlock sits back, and the evidence of just how much John wants to have sex is apparent. The hard outline of John’s erection presses against his jeans, and Sherlock stares helplessly at his obvious arousal.

It’s impossible for Sherlock to stop his whole body from tensing as he tries to wrap his head around the notion that John wants him. Not just emotionally, not just for kisses and cuddles and affectionate touches, but sexually.

John desires him, and it is so foreign a concept that Sherlock is speechless.

“Sherlock?” John questions, his face instantly heavy with concern.

“I-” Sherlock attempts but fails to find any words suitable for the blind panic he is rapidly being overrun by.

Sherlock is not a person that others desire, sexually or otherwise. He has even less experience in this area than any other he has so far embarked on in his relationship with John.

“It’s okay, you know,” John says softly. His face softens into something like understanding as he takes one of Sherlock’s hands in his and gives it a gentle, reassuring squeeze. “If you’re not ready.”

Sherlock doesn’t have the first idea what to do. John would not have asked him to bed if he didn’t want Sherlock, as hard to believe as he may find it.

“But you are,” he ventures, attempting to relax his body language. He does not want to lose John because of sex, something he has spent nearly all of his adult life convincing himself he doesn’t want or need.

John leans in and presses the sweetest, chastest kiss to Sherlock’s lips. “I’m not interested in anything you’re not ready to give.”

Sherlock leans into the touch, rests his forehead against John’s for a long moment just for the contact. He has to find the words to let John know that it’s not him. That Sherlock is just not used to this. From anyone.

“I think you should know, that I-” Sherlock begins, but John cuts him off, hushes him with quiet affection.

“It’s alright. I understand,” John says, but Sherlock doubts John realises the full extent of Sherlock’s fears.

“No, John, you really need to know, I’ve never - never,” Sherlock attempts to confess for the first time in his life. He doesn’t think about it often, that he has made it to his midthirties as a virgin. To say it, to say it to John is an entirely different matter, and he can’t do it.

“Oh,” John breathes. The shock shows on John’s face, but only briefly.

As terrifying as the notion of John wanting him sexually is, Sherlock doesn’t think he can bear to see his virginity change that.

“I just want you to know, Sherlock, that this doesn’t change anything,” John finally says. Cupping Sherlock’s face in his hand, John guides his attention back to him and the earnest, affectionate, honesty written all over his face. “It’s pretty obvious that I want you Sherlock, and I’d be mad not to, so I’m not going to deny it. But I still mean it, only, and only when you’re ready. I promise.”

Something in Sherlock’s chest twists and turns itself into knots. John’s word is extraordinary, his promises set in stone. This should make him feel better, only it doesn’t because John is hard, and Sherlock doesn’t know how long it is going to take for him to be ready.

If he ever will be.

“And until then?” Sherlock asks, carefully.

John catches Sherlock’s meaning quickly, and where his eyes are being drawn to. He shifts on the sofa beside Sherlock, eyes flicking down to his crotch before his expression changes into an awkward sort of embarrassment.

“Sorry, er- about that,” John blusters a little, his cheeks flushing pink again, but this time not with arousal or alcohol.

“It’s perfectly normal,” Sherlock attempts to placate though he’s unsure if the words have any effect on either of them.

John huffs out a little breath before lacing his fingers with Sherlock’s, “And the thing is, it’s probably going to happen again. That’s biology. But I want you to know, nothing is going to happen that you don’t want. I’m not going to ask for it, for anything. You’re in control.”

John leans in and presses a kiss to Sherlock’s forehead, and something like relief shudders through Sherlock. He believes John and here, like this, he feels safe.


London rolls past outside the taxi window. It’s damp, grey and unpleasant outside, and they’re on their way to a summons at Scotland Yard from Lestrade. The empty middle seat separates John from Sherlock, and not a single part of them is touching.

John has been staring out the window ever since they climbed in outside the flat, watching their progress through the mid-morning traffic. Sherlock watches John. It is how they always sit in the back of taxis and suddenly Sherlock hates it. Resents the distance and lack of contact between them fiercely.

Halfway through the journey a pedestrian too engrossed in his phone steps out when the lights have already changed. The driver does a sharp, jarring emergency stop in response, and they both shoot forward in their seats. John recovers himself and winces as he rubs the back of his neck.

“Alright?” Sherlock questions, though he already knows the answer. Something sparkles in John’s eyes, even though his neck is still aching, because Sherlock asked.

The urge to touch him is overwhelming.

“I’ll be fine,” John assures him as the driver rants through the safety screen about bloody pedestrians and mobile phones.

John offers Sherlock a soft, affectionate smile and Sherlock stops resisting. He realises that he doesn’t have to anymore and shifts into the middle seat. Their bodies press together from thigh to shoulder and Sherlock reaches out to take John’s hand in his own, lacing their fingers together.

John’s smile turns bright and wide. Sherlock can’t help but offer his own more subdued version in return. For just a moment his heart races.


“She blew me off, you know?” John says, his tone far too conversational and casual for such a declaration.

“Excuse me?” Sherlock demands, turning to scrutinise John rather than keeping an eye on his overbearing git of an older brother and his number one masochist-come-minion.

Mycroft and ‘Anthea’ are sitting in the living room of the flat and are about as welcome as a case of the clap. John is responding in the way he responds to most things, by making everyone tea and cracking a few jokes. It is comforting and familiar, or it would be if not for Mycroft, and John’s unusually poor attempt at humour.

Anthea,” John says with a nod towards the living room. Mycroft is making no attempt to hide that he is listening in. “After Mycroft kidnapped me, the first time.”

“You propositioned her?” Sherlock snaps, though manages to keep it to a whisper. “After she abducted you?”

John shrugs and offers Sherlock an amused-looking half smile. Something twists inside Sherlock’s stomach. “Don’t even know why I did it; it’s not like she’s my type. Still, being turned down wounds a bloke’s pride.”

“She rejected you?” This baffles Sherlock, and it must show on his face as John laughs.

“Yes,” John says cheerfully, and a pressure Sherlock didn’t even know had been building inside his chest releases.

Behind John the kettle boils and clicks off. John goes to turn his attention back to tea making, but Sherlock stops him with a hand curled around his hip.

“Then she’s even more of an idiot than I thought,” Sherlock declares and leans in to kiss John, a long and careful press of lips on lips.

Let them watch, he thinks and smiles against John’s lips. Kisses him again as he feels it mirrored.


Harry is drinking again. It’s apparent from the set of John’s shoulders, the way he’s slumped forward on the sofa with his head in his hands when Sherlock returns from making himself scarce.

Sherlock studies John from the doorway. Harry is also most likely blaming her fall off the wagon on John and adding insult to injury by making wild accusations based on the fact that John met Clara for coffee the week before.

Sherlock did not want to leave John alone when he said Harry was coming over. It’s not been hard to see recently that another storm has been brewing between the siblings, but John had asked Sherlock to respect his wishes on this one, and he had. He now thinks it might have been a mistake.

Harry has the power to make John feel guilty to extremes, for failings that aren’t his own. John has never been looked after by his older sister, at least, not in any way that counts. Perhaps John was right to banish Sherlock from the flat, for Sherlock has little more than resentment and pity for Harry, for tossing John aside when he is clearly worth so much more.

“Don’t say it,” John mumbles from under his hands. Sherlock imagines John believes he’s going to say I told you so. He has enough reason to, but no intention of actually saying it.

There’s a slight tremor in John’s shoulders and Sherlock only wants to console him. He has little experience in this, in offering or receiving support and comfort. He does, however, have experience in John.

Sherlock says nothing. He silently removes his coat and scarf, hangs them on the back of the living room door, and then goes to John. Sherlock sits beside him on the sofa, close enough that their thighs are pressing together, wraps his arms around John’s shoulders and tugs him in close.

John doesn’t resist, falls willingly into Sherlock’s embrace and turns into it, removing his head from his hands to bury his face in the crook of Sherlock’s neck instead. John’s breath is hot and damp against Sherlock’s collarbone, and his hair tickles Sherlock’s chin.

John shudders in relief, and the shaking stops. “Thank you,” he murmurs into Sherlock’s skin.

Sherlock rests his chin on the top of John’s head and holds him tighter.


It's John's birthday. He has been thirty-five for just over seven hours when he shuffles into the kitchen still sleepy and soft around the edges.

Sarah has been texting Sherlock for the last week. The first saying: It's John's birthday on Sunday. Do not forget. He won't mention it but it'll upset him if you do. Every day after bringing a count down, a one character reminder that he does not ignore.

Sherlock ensures that he is prepared.

He has a large cup of tea, and a Guinness and chocolate cupcake from the Hummingbird Bakery in Soho waiting for John on the kitchen table. He's put a small silver candle in the centre of it, which he lights as John sits down, while his eyes are still bleary and aren't quite seeing yet.

Sherlock can tell the exact moment John comes to life and realises what Sherlock has done, has waiting for him. His eyes and face soften in a new way that has nothing to do with sleep, and it makes the inside of Sherlock's chest cavity feel warm and full.

"But I didn't tell you," John says, nodding at the cake and candle with an amused curl to the corner of his lips.

Sherlock laughs. "Did you really think you could keep it from me?"

"Didn't seem like the sort of thing you'd be looking for," John answers without a trace of offence given or taken.

The warm feeling grows.

"Anyway," John continues, his smiling widening into a face-splitting beam before he takes a deep breath.

"Make a wish," Sherlock instructs as John blows out the candle.

"Not telling," John says with a chuckle, pre-empting Sherlock before he even opens his mouth to ask. "It won't come true otherwise."

Sherlock is certain that he's about to burst with the pure undeniable affection he feels for the man sat opposite him. There is nothing to do other than lean across the table and kiss him.

"Happy Birthday," Sherlock breathes against John's lips. The position is uncomfortable, the table jabbing him in the hips and his neck stretching painfully but he doesn't care. It's John.

Sherlock kisses him again. Long and slow and deep until his lips are numb and his jaw aches. When they finally part, John's cheeks are flushed, and so are the tips of his ears. It is possibly the most wonderful sight Sherlock has even seen. That he can do this to John, that he is allowed to whenever he wishes.


Sherlock washes the blood off his hands with surgical precision and water so hot it's almost scalding. He was too late. He'd caught Beth Taylor's stalker, but not in time to stop him murdering her. Her body was still warm when John and he found her.

There had been nothing even John could do for her. Except for execute an expert rugby tackle on Arthur Manners to stop him from escaping and wait until the police arrived.

They have to go to the Yard in the morning to give their statements. John is making tea, and Sherlock changes into clean pyjamas and tries not to think about the sharp smell of iron, blood, still lodged in his nostrils.

Sherlock joins John in the kitchen, sips the tea - hot, milky and overly sweet - that's put in his hands. John doesn't tell him it’s not his fault, and Sherlock is grateful for the lack of platitudes they both know he doesn't, can't, believe.

"If you need anything," John offers as Sherlock finishes the tea. Their fingers almost brush as John takes the cup, and then puts it in the sink with his own.

Sherlock swallows and wishes they had touched. Every time he blinks, he sees her face. He's not accustomed to such failure, to facing the catastrophic consequences up close.

"Can I-" Sherlock starts but almost can't get the words out. "Can I stay? In your bed. With you. Just-just to sleep?"

John nods and brushes Sherlock's hair back from his face with a smile his mind can only describe as loving. "Just to sleep, as long as you want."

Sherlock doesn't need to say thank you, just allows John to lead him up the stairs to his bedroom. He sits on the edge of the bed and watches John change into a well-worn T-shirt and pyjama bottoms and then turn back the duvet.

"Left or right?" John asks, though its obvious he sleeps on the left, closest to the door.

"Right," he lies, climbing beneath the duvet before John switches out the light, pitching the room into blackness.

The bed dips beside him as John joins him, but he remains on his side of the bed. It's a reassuring gesture of patience Sherlock appreciates, but he doesn't want the cold, empty expanse between them.

"Is this alright?" Sherlock questions, tentatively, shifting across the sheets to the warmth of John's body.

"Always," John promises, opening his arms. Sherlock accepts the invitation he was hoping for and curls into John, burrows himself into the curve of his neck and tangles their feet together.

John takes the hand Sherlock rests against the solid plane of his stomach and laces their fingers together. Sherlock breathes in deep the smell of sweat and John and nuzzles in as close as possible.

John's lips brush the top of Sherlock head, and for the first time since he found the body, it doesn't hurt to breathe. He shuts his eyes, surrounded by John, and sees nothing but welcome black.


Sherlock leans down into John's space, their bodies touching from toes to chests, and brushes his nose against John's cheek. He breathes him in, and it's perfect. More so than he ever imagined it could be, having John so close and invading all of his senses. If he could climb under John's skin just to be closer, he would.

"Hello," John breathes, eyes falling shut as he tilts up into Sherlock and lets the Tesco bag he’s holding fall to the floor. If he's surprised by the sudden closeness, he doesn't show it. He just smiles, soft and content.

Sherlock whispers John's name. He wants to keep him like this for all eternity, warm and happy and Sherlock's.

“Mmm?” John mumbles in question as Sherlock nudges at John’s nose, moving him just enough to the left to make their lips brush.

Sherlock kisses John instead of answering. It starts off as a tender, tentative press of lips, sweet and almost chaste. Sherlock’s fingers thread into the hair curling at the nape of John’s neck, and he hopes John keeps forgetting to get it cut. John’s hands move to Sherlock’s waist, holding him with a light but solid grip as Sherlock presses in. Deepens the kiss to a lazy tangle of tongues and shared breaths, licks the taste of tea and jam and John from his mouth.

It’s perfect, and when they part, Sherlock’s lips tingle. His heart is beating a mile a minute as John’s eyes open and he beams up at Sherlock.

Yes, he thinks. It’s exciting and terrifying and right. John is right.

"Not that I'm complaining,” John says, his left thumb rubbing circles over Sherlock’s hip bone through his trousers, making the skin spark under the touch. “But what was that for?"

"Because I can,” Sherlock explains with a smile and kisses John again. It’s slow and sexy, and the little whimpers of pleasure John gives sends shivers of desire down Sherlock’s spine. If he hadn’t been sure before, he would be now.

He drags himself away, with quick, firm kisses to the corners of John’s mouth and the bow of his top lip. He has to say it before he gets distracted, lost in the low, warm pleasure of kissing John. He trusts John, who has waited this long, shown more patience than even Sherlock imagined John possessed, who he wants.

“Would you take me to bed?" he asks, lips pressed against John’s temple and voice shaking if only a little.

"Really?" John questions, and there’s no demand or expectation in his voice. Only understanding laced with concern.

"Really," Sherlock promises. “I want.”

Sherlock takes John’s hand in his own, entwines their fingers, and slowly leads him up the stairs to the bedroom. His palms are sweaty and his heart is still pounding and he knows he can back out of this any time he wants to.

He won’t.

It’s why this is right. Why John is right, and Sherlock is ready.