Sherlock bent over the body slowly, taking care not to soak the ends of his coat in the pool of blood seeping from the head wound seemingly caused by blunt force trauma. This was the fourth in a string of murders, and Lestrade had finally decided that it might be prudent to call the consulting detective. Each of the previous victims had had a Greek symbol branded into the left hand. Now, as Sherlock lifted the limb in ginger fingers, there was a new image there: A pomegranate.
Instantly his mind made the connection. Persephone. “John,” he called, gesturing that his flatmate, who had been standing in unobtrusive silence nearby, should kneel beside him. Of course John complied, coming to rest on his haunches just behind him. Sherlock knew that John was sharp when it came to observing, more so than Sherlock accredited him. The detective brought the hand to rest on the wooden floor and moved back to allow the ex-army doctor room, then watched at him expectantly. John ran his hands over the woman’s arms and fingers before finally setting his gaze on the blistering burn. He nodded.
“That’s Greek symbolism again. The lightening bolt: Zeus, the trident: Poseidon, the flowers: Demeter--that one was hardest. Now this,” he lifted his gaze to Sherlock, who was wearing that excited grin that always both terrified and exhilarated John Watson. “This is a pomegranate. That’s… it’s Persephone, right?”
“Exactly, John,” Sherlock encouraged, still grinning. “Who was Persephone in Greek mythology?”
John thought for a moment, rubbing his neck, the blue plastic of his protective suit crinkling. “She was... Hades’ wife, right? He kidnapped her.”
“Yes,” Sherlock exclaimed, leaping to his feet. “Do you understand?”
John made a face, “You mean, do I understand that there’s a bloody nutter running about burning Greek symbols into the people he murders?”
Sherlock rolled his eyes. “No, John. What do all of the symbols, and the gods connected to them, have in common?”
“I don’t know, Sherlock. But you obviously do, so let’s just catch them, okay?”
Sherlock scoffed, “You people have no appreciation for brilliance.” The detective finally turned his attention to Lestrade, Sally Donovan, and Anderson, who stood in the corner. They had long since learned to get out of Sherlock’s way when he investigated.
“Anderson, go over there,” Sherlock snapped, waving his hand in a noncommittal gesture towards the other side of the room.
“What,” Anderson snapped. “Why?”
“I don’t want you looking at me with your glassy black eyes. They disconcert me, and I fear that it will hinder my ability to make Lestrade and the other, more competent, officers understand.” John had to bite the inside of his cheeks to smother the snort of laughter threatening to burst from him.
Anderson fixed Sherlock with a glare. “Sir,” he demanded of Lestrade, turning towards him.
Lestrade sighed, “You know how he gets, Mike. Just go.”
Anderson made a face that was only slightly more unappealing than his natural countenance and stalked to the other corner of the room. Sally Donovan narrowed her eyes and glared at Sherlock, who ignored her.
“All right, Sherlock, what is it,” Lestrade demanded.
“I’m surprised that you haven’t figured it out on your own,” Sherlock returned, before stopping. “Well, I’m not really all that surprised. You’re all barely qualified to do this job.”
“Sherlock,” John said in an exasperated tone, coming to stand beside his flatmate. The shorter man’s shoulder brushed Sherlock’s upper arm as John settled his weight on the silver cane that he had taken to using again after the incident at the pool with Moriarty. Sherlock had tried desperately to trick him into leaving it somewhere again, but John had learned a thing or two in his time with the detective.
“What, John,” Sherlock asked innocently. “You were just saying that it was a wonder that I had so much work all the time, because--”
“Yes, yes, get to the point before I knock you one,” Lestrade snapped.
Sherlock turned his icy gaze back to the Detective Inspector. Tired of trying to lead his slower colleagues to the solution, Sherlock barreled through his explanation. “Don’t you see? The symbols are the most important parts of the murders. They all relate to the Greek god of the Underworld. Zeus cheated him when he gave him the shortest straw that would banish him from Olympus; Poseidon let it happen, even though Hades was the eldest brother and the rightful king of the Olympians; Demeter stole Persephone back from Hades for the majority of the year; and now Persephone herself, who wouldn’t love the god, despite his best efforts.” Sherlock took an excited gasp of air, before plunging onward. “The killer has evidently drawn parallels between himself and the God of the Underworld, and has decided to avenge them both. The dead represent the slights paid upon Hades and, no doubt, upon the killer himself. Which, of course, means that it can only be the lawyer that was passed over for a position as partner in favor of the first victim.”
“How can you be sure of that,” Lestrade asked him.
Sherlock fixed him with a look that said ‘are you truly going to question me? I’ve never been wrong,’ before replying, “On the lawyer’s office wall is a reproduction of Titian’s ‘Rape of Europa,’ a rather odd painting that would indicate that he knew something of Greece and its mythology, and he mentioned having a date after we questioned him. I suspected that he was nervous about it, because there was moisture on his upper lip and his eyes had darkened slightly as he mentioned the dinner. From that I deduced that the relationship was failing. This must be the woman who undoubtedly left him. If I’m correct, and you fail to act, the next victim will bear the symbol of Hermes, who is the one to take Persephone to the surface at the end of winter.”
John stared. “Brilliant,” he breathed. “Just brilliant, Sherlock.”
Sherlock looked down into John’s face, pleasure washing over him at the praise. John was the only one who truly appreciated what he did. “Finally, an interesting murderer. Not so dull as insurance money and at least he does the cliche with a new perspective.”
Lestrade looked over at Sergeant Donovan, who had joined Anderson at the other side of the room. “Get an arrest warrant drawn up,” he instructed. There was nothing either of them could say, though Sally’s cold eyes were fixed on Sherlock.
“Right,” she said, before following Anderson out of the room.
Lestrade looked at the still grinning Sherlock. “You’re awfully pleased with yourself,” he groused. “But thanks for solving the case. I’ll need your report tomorrow morning. Come to the Yard.” With that, he followed his staff out the door.
“Amazing, as usual,” John told his flatmate fondly, unzipping the protective jumpsuit that he had donned before examining the body. “I’ll call us a cab. It’s only six o’clock. How about we grab dinner at Angelo’s?”
“If you’re hungry, John,” Sherlock said, still pleased with himself. “I shall most likely pass.”
John scowled. “You haven’t had anything all day.”
“I’m far too mentally occupied to consider food,” Sherlock offered by way of explanation.
John sighed. “We’ll talk about it when we get there,” he said finally, before heading down the stairs of the apartment building where the body had been found. He’d get Sherlock to at least eat a roll at dinner, if he had to feed it to him by hand. If John didn’t look out for his flatmate, who would?
Sherlock whirled in triumph, giving one final glance to the body, before peeling off the rubber gloves he wore and swaggering out of the room, still on the high associated with solving a case. It was an experience that could not be mimicked by any narcotic or other drug. He had tried.
As he was coming down the stairs, he heard a group of voices around the corner. One he could identify as Sally Donovan. “He seemed excited about it,” she said.
“Positively giddy,” Anderson followed.
“Well, we all know that he’s a nutter,” an officer said.
“Not just a nutter,” Sally continued. “He’s a psychopath. It’s a wonder anyone can stand to be around him. John Watson must be a bloody saint--or a stupid wanker. Sherlock Holmes is a bloody freak.”
There were murmurs of accord at the statement, and the simper fell from Sherlock’s lips. He hurried on, out the doors of the apartment building. Freak. The word rang through his head and he swallowed hard. It was a moniker that he had born as early as primary school. All his life, he had been called psychopath, weirdo, arse, arrogant sod, and freak. None affected him so much as the last. Even now, he blinked hard to stop moisture from accumulating in his eyes as he trudged swiftly down the street, hands shoved in his coat pockets. It annoyed him to no end that an imbecile such as Sally Donovan could bother him, especially in the face of a solved case. Normally, he brushed her off, but the general agreement with her statement had stung his pride. Was he a freak? An abnormality? A defiance of nature?
“Sherlock!” John’s voice suddenly cut through the heat surrounding Sherlock’s thoughts as his throat constricted. He didn’t stop walking. “Sherlock, where are you going,” he heard John demand behind him.
A hand clamping around his elbow finally stopped the consulting detective. “What the hell, Sherlock,” John snapped behind him. “I thought we were going to Angelo’s.”
“I want to return to Baker Street,” Sherlock said, starting to move forward again, and again finding himself restricted by John’s grip on his arm. John had heard the tightness in Sherlock’s usually velvety tone--a tone that should be dripping with arrogant triumph. He had just solved the case, after all.
The insistent pull on Sherlock’s arm forced him to turn. Rather than meeting John’s gaze defiantly, as he would have normally done, Sherlock dropped his eyes to the earth in an attempt to conceal the infuriating tears that still formed mutinously beneath his eyelids. Of course, John still noticed and his own eyes widened.
John had only seen Sherlock cry once, and it had been an act. Seeing genuine tears from the man about whom he cared so deeply, more than he would probably ever have the chance to reveal, put the ex-army doctor into a rage and readied him to destroy whomever had upset his normally so collected friend.
“What’s wrong, Sherlock,” John demanded, his voice gentle.
Sherlock pulled his arm from John’s grip and began to walk again, trusting that John would follow, albeit behind him because of the limitations of the cane. “There’s no problem, John,” he replied cryptically, desperate to put his emotions back into careful check.
“You’re lying,” John challenged, once again stopping Sherlock, more rough this time in his jerking on the detective’s coat. “Now tell me.”
Sherlock fixed John with a glare, the full effect of which was lost due to the moist eyelashes. He had no desire to discuss the source of such a gross display of weakness that would no doubt pass momentarily. He didn’t know why the situation was affecting him in this manner. Normally, he was above petty insult. “There’s nothing wrong, Watson,” he said, placing a deliberate emphasis on each word, before spitting the last one.
John flinched. Sherlock only used his surname when he wanted to leave no room for argument. In general, John would abide by the warning and drop whatever the issue was. But not this time. He was not to be deterred by Sherlock’s stubbornness. He seized the detective’s wrist, treating him like the petulant child that his behavior was reflecting, and pulled him sharply into a nearby alley. He pushed Sherlock against the wall, much to the detective’s surprise, and fixed him with a hard stare. He stood just close enough to Sherlock that he could feel John’s cool breath on his neck. The whole situation sent an involuntary shiver through Sherlock, whose breath caught as John spoke. “You’re not leaving this spot until you tell me,” he asserted.
It was John’s military voice, gruff and commanding, and Sherlock pulled his lips into his mouth to run a nervous tongue over them. There was a strange fuzziness in his brain that had been appearing more and more since the events at the pool, much to the detective’s confusion. He took a moment to gather himself and managed, “John, I’d really rather not discuss--”
“I didn’t ask if you wanted to tell me,” John snapped. “Just do it.” His gaze was piercing, seeking to intimidate the information out of Sherlock. If it were any other person, it would have been comical. But this was John and, at this very moment, the difference in height did not affect the power of the man’s voice whatsoever.
There were several long moments of hard eye contact between the two men, both wearing looks of defiance. When John did not give in, as he usually does with Sherlock, the detective understood that his threat was not empty. They would stand there, John slightly too close for comfort, for the entire night until one dropped from exhaustion, or until Sherlock revealed what was bothering him. Sherlock had no desire to remain in the cold London air as the sun began to sink behind the taller of the buildings, and thus gave a great sigh that told John that he resented being forced to share his thoughts. John was sorry for that, but he was not going to allow Sherlock to ignore whatever was causing the problem. Not when it had affected him so profoundly.
“John,” Sherlock began finally. “I know that I am… not gifted with conventional social graces. Am I… abnormal in any way?”
Instantly, John understood. “What’d they say this time? Psychopath? Sod?”
“Apparently, you’re an idiot for remaining in contact with me,” Sherlock said simply.
A wince and a sigh. “Why?”
Sherlock replied levelly. “I’m a… freak.” The pause was minute enough that someone who didn’t know Sherlock well might have missed it. John was not one of those people. That was what was bothering his friend. He felt another flare of anger at the officers that had undoubtedly been the source of the insult, no doubt headed up by Anderson and Donovan. They knew nothing of John and his motivations, and they clearly understood very little about Sherlock Holmes.
John took a breath, still standing close to Sherlock, who had made no move to push him back, having grown used to the proximity. “Sherlock, you are not a freak. Do you understand me?” John was a doctor. He understood the nature of Sherlock’s difficulty with social conventions, and he was not, by any stretch, deserving of the cruelty bestowed upon him. They just didn’t understand. John, however, understood perfectly and didn’t give a fig if Sherlock was one of the most difficult flatmate in all of London. “They’re idiots who don’t deserve to be privy to your skills. Your mind is too valuable for you to let yourself get caught up on some ignorant comment.”
Sherlock said nothing, merely staring at his flatmate and friend. He knew that John was right, and he hated himself for letting it get to him. John continued. “You are the most brilliant, talented, amazing, utterly fantastic man I’ve ever met, Sherlock. There’s nothing you can’t solve, and you’ve saved their arses more times than they can probably name. You’re on a different plane than they are. They’re jealous, Sherlock. Don’t you see?” Still no response, merely the averting of the blue gaze as John continued his praise. “They don’t understand you, so they react by trying to belittle you. You may be an arrogant sod, but they have no right to decide that you need changing. If you believe for one minute that they’re right, that you’re some kind of freak of nature,” John grinned a bit now, “then you’re more of an idiot than I thought.”
Sherlock gave a tiny smile as well. John’s breathing had picked up during his speech, and the detective could see the fire in the blazing eyes, delineating a passion for what he was saying that Sherlock hadn’t realized existed. He had known that John cared, that they were friends, but he hadn’t understood to what level. It was one of the things that fascinated him about John. He couldn’t always tell exactly what he was thinking like he could with others. John was unpredictable, constantly keeping Sherlock on his toes for the first time in his life. It had been almost eight months that they had been living together, solving cases together, and still Sherlock lacked all of the pieces to John Watson, who always came out with something new.
John was searching his flatmate’s ice blue eyes when his lips began to move again, seemingly of their own accord. “You’re… so special, Sherlock,” he said in reverence. “And I stay with you because watching you deduce, seeing you solve puzzles and chase down dangerous criminals without fear, it makes me feel alive. Meeting you... it gave me a sense of purpose for the first time after leaving Afghanistan. You saw through all the sodding bullshit that I was letting myself hide behind. And it was so clear. I was supposed to help you, both with work and with… well sort of life in general. Now, I can’t imagine going back to how it was without you whispering deductions to me, without you mocking Anderson over tea, or even without you playing violin at three in the morning.” He smiled again. “In your words, it would all be so dull.”
Sherlock was rendered speechless by the intensity in John’s voice, the softness in his eyes. When he did finally manage to make his voice work again, all he could manage was “John.” He was confused. He wasn’t sure that this was a normal exchange for two flatmates who happened to be good friends. Sherlock understood quite a bit about human interaction, but this was new territory and he was unsure how to proceed. He couldn’t begin to voice his reasons for admiring the man before him, even when it had come so easily to John. Sherlock was not wired that way.
John didn’t give him the chance to form another lame sentence, for he allowed pure impulse to lead him into pressing his lips to Sherlock’s. The detective’s eyes widened in surprise and he stiffened as John moved his lips insistently over his. Sherlock’s heartbeat had accelerated and his hands fluttered in uncertainty at his sides. His mouth was still as he struggled to process what was happening.
At Sherlock’s lack of response, John pulled back, instantly dropping his gaze and stepping way away from his flatmate. Why had he done that? He had told himself that he would never cross that line with Sherlock. John had known for quite some time that he was in love with his friend, despite the idea that he was heterosexual, and it had been a constant battle with himself once he had accepted it. Now, he had lost that battle, gotten ahead of himself, and may have just ruined everything. His heart tightened in pain as Sherlock stated in quiet bewilderment, “You kissed me.”
In response, John gave an ironic scoff, and shook his head at his own stupidity. “Excellent deduction, Sherlock,” he said in a manner eerily similar to the detective’s own when he mocked someone who had stated the obvious. It hurt John to see the surprise in Sherlock’s eyes, because it indicated that he had never thought of John that way.
“W-why did you kiss me, John,” Sherlock tried again, his brain still struggling to process. This data was causing an overload in his hard drive. When they had first met, Sherlock had wondered if John was attracted to him, what with their conversation at Angelo’s, but his observations had led him to believe that the man was straight. Thus, he had ruled out any sort of relationship beyond platonic friendship. Not that he had wanted anything beyond that. At first. After realizing that he was attached to John in such a way that might suggest that he did indeed want more, Sherlock had done extensive evaluation, and learned from research that people like him generally developed intense connections with very few people, and tended to cling to such connections because they were so rare. At first, the idea had almost abhorred Sherlock. What if it had distracted him from his work? He had always allowed people to believe him asexual, because it suited his needs and his desire not to get close to people, but John was a different situation altogether. He needed the doctor, much to his irritation, because he functioned better with John around. With John, he had solved cases faster and more efficiently than ever before, not to mention received emotional insight from the doctor that he had rarely considered in previous cases. If John were ever to leave him, Sherlock wouldn’t be able to cope with returning to the level at which he had been before, a level he hadn’t even realized was one of mediocrity until he had surpassed it. Therefore, he had decided to leave his attachment to John alone, to keep himself from pursuing anything more than friendship. If he had brought it up, it might have made John uncomfortable and driven him to seek alternative lodgings, away from Sherlock. Sherlock could not have allowed that. Now, the equilibrium of what he had established with John was shattered, and he needed to know where to go from there.
“If you can’t deduce that, Sherlock, then you really are an idiot,” John returned, his tone a little more harsh than he had intended. His pride stung from the rejection for which he hadn’t prepared himself. This wasn’t supposed to have ever happened. John had denied himself precisely for this reason, telling himself that he could ignore how he cared for the good of the friendship, for Sherlock’s good. It wasn’t fair to have pushed this on him, and it would no doubt irritate the detective if it distracted John from the cases, which it would.
John reached for the cane that he had leaned against the wall beside Sherlock and turned to go, wondering how long it would be until Sherlock asked him to leave Baker Street.
It was Sherlock’s turn to catch at John’s elbow. “What, Sherlock,” John snapped, before his voice turned miserable. “I don’t know how to explain,” he said in anguish. “It’s something you feel or you don’t.”
No, Sherlock thought frantically. He did get it and he did feel it, but he didn’t know what to say. He hadn’t been prepared, having always thought that he would be the one to to initiate something like this. In his haste to show John what was happening, his arm muscles tightened and he yanked John back against him. The force of the jerk led John to drop his cane, the metal striking the pavement and reverberating through the alley. “I… might understand,” he struggled, “if I had more data.” He hoped that the invitation was clear as he stared at John, desperation in his eyes. He realized that John knew him better than anyone, and he prayed that the pleading tone of his voice would make his flatmate understand.
John was floored to say the least. Sherlock wasn’t rejecting him. He just needed to process the situation. Of course he would, John thought. According to what others had told him, along with what he had learned from Sherlock himself, he had never been presented with such a scenario. All of his sexual endeavors at university had stemmed from scientific curiosity and had had nothing to do with emotions. Realizing this, John lifted his head slowly, eyes never leaving Sherlock’s, and placed his lips against the detective’s again. This time was less forceful and more tentative, and he waited patiently for Sherlock to adjust to the new development.
Sherlock’s heart fluttered again, and this time he brought his trembling hands to rest on John’s shoulders. The position was a bit awkward as he struggled to compose himself, and John realized that he’d probably never really done it like this before. Helpfully, he grasped Sherlock’s waist and jerked him flush against his chest, thus shortening Sherlock’s reaching distance and allowing him to readjust by sliding his hands to rest more comfortably on the back of John’s shoulders. It was then that John began to move his lips slowly against the detective’s. For several moments, Sherlock floundered to match the easy pace set down, as he had only ever kissed someone as a necessary preface to sex, meaning that it had been rough and sloppy as the other person had pulled his clothing off. Now, he met John’s mouth with a softness that he didn’t really understand, but felt himself beginning to get the hang of.
John let it go on like that for several moments, before tightening his grip on Sherlock’s hips and sucking the full lower lip into his mouth. Sherlock gave a tiny moan as John expertly pulled back enough to let that lip slide from his in a manner that Sherlock found positively erotic. The sound he had made had opened his lips enough for John to slip his questing tongue into the depths of Sherlock’s mouth, and Sherlock felt the brick at his back again as the pressure John exerted upon him moved him backward.
John’s tongue took store of all of the secrets of Sherlock’s mouth as he carefully catalogued the texture of the other man’s tongue, reveled in the softness of his gums and the sides of his cheeks, and learned the crevices of his teeth and the roof of his mouth. The thorough snogging had Sherlock panting against John’s lips.
He pulled back to look at Sherlock, whose chest heaved from the contact. “Do you understand now,” he ventured.
Sherlock gave him a challenging grin and replied with, “I’ve nearly got it, but you could stand to clear it up a bit more.”
John returned the grin before slamming his mouth back to Sherlock’s, causing his skull to connect with the wall behind him. Deft hands moved to Sherlock’s scarf, and he could feel it sliding off, probably falling to the ground as John seized the hands that still rested on his shoulders and placed them against the wall on either side of Sherlock’s head, intertwining the fingers. He dropped his lips to Sherlock’s jawline, laying warm, wet kisses down it until his mouth rested just under Sherlock’s right ear. He listened to the audible breathing accelerate as he nipped the soft flesh there and responded with a grunt of his own before continuing down to the spot on Sherlock’s neck where his pulse was pounding insistently. “Oh God. John,” Sherlock managed to gasp as John sucked and licked the sensitive skin. Sherlock had a fetish for having his neck bitten, which he had learned early on in his sexual escapades at university, but had rarely had satisfied. When John closed his teeth over the pulse point he was worrying with his lips, it drew a nearly obscene sound from Sherlock, who tightened his fingers over John’s as the shorter man pressed closer to him. “Again, please,” he muttered, eliciting a small chuckle from John.
“What was that, Sherlock,” John asked him tauntingly as Sherlock strained to renew the contact with him.
“My neck, John,” he whimpered.
John quirked an eyebrow. “You like that,” he whispered into Sherlock’s ear.
Sweat was forming on Sherlock’s forehead, and he struggled for air as he nodded emphatically.
John obliged, again placing his teeth on Sherlock’s neck, a little lower than before, and biting down. “Like that,” he moaned against Sherlock’s febrile skin.
“Exactly like that,” he replied, before he began to moan again as John took up the task of marking the white expanse of flesh between Sherlock’s chin and shoulder with teeth marks. As John pushed even closer to Sherlock, he felt an unexpected hardness against his stomach. He had ruled Sherlock out as incapable of arousal. Clearly, he was mistaken. Judging by that hardness, and by the erotic grunts, whimpers, and moans falling from open lips as John sucked on his neck, he was very, very capable.
John pulled back a third time and stepped away. Sherlock, whose eyes had fallen closed when his head had gone back, looked up in panic at John. His lips were swollen and red as he questioned, “John,” in a breathy voice that sent a jolt through the man in question’s body.
“Lemme call a cab,” he rasped out, before abandoning Sherlock and his cane in the alley to violently flag down a black car. Sherlock stooped to retrieve his scarf as John returned and seized his hand, dragging him towards the taxi that would bring them to Baker Street.
“John,” Sherlock said quickly. “You’ve forgotten--”
“Leave it,” John snapped, practically shoving Sherlock into the car and grunting the address to the cabbie, who pretended to take no notice of the frustrated state of the men in his taxi. He drove as fast as he dared, fearing that the two would explode if he did not get them some privacy soon.
Thankfully, the cabbie pulled up to the house in record time, accepting the wad of bills that came flying at him through the passenger window before watching the shorter man drag his companion through the black wooden door. His lips quirked knowingly as they disappeared.
Sherlock was barely through the door of 221B Baker Street, before John had his coat off and found his hands on Sherlock’s own coat, sliding it open and letting it fall gracelessly to the wooden floor. The detective was thankful that he had opted not to wear a suit jacket, and only lamented the loss of buttons as John pulled open his light blue shirt for a few seconds before John’s lips were again on his, hands splayed against Sherlock’s bare back beneath the silk.
They snogged for several long moments, until John was breathless. He looked at his flatmate, feeling his desire for him tight against the fly of his jeans, but this would go no further tonight unless Sherlock took it to the next level. John was not going to be the one who pushed this. He had to know that Sherlock wanted it just as much as he did.
Sherlock stared blankly at him, his shirt flapping open to reveal alabaster skin. John could see the bruises from his attentions already forming on the flawless flesh of Sherlock’s neck.
“I presume that my bedroom would be best,” Sherlock said, matter of fact. “It’s closer, and the bed is significantly larger.”
“Is that what you want, Sherlock,” John asked, guarded, despite the straining erection in his trousers demanding that he throw chivalry to the wind.
Sherlock blinked. “Judging by my physical reactions, that is exactly where I would like this to progress.”
It was almost enough for John, but not quite. His body screamed at him for pressing Sherlock, as opposed to taking him against the wall of their flat. “Sherlock’s body wants that, but what does Sherlock want?” He had to know that for this to work. Sherlock needed to tell him that he wanted him, or John knew that he couldn’t bring himself to continue this.
Sherlock stiffened. John was asking for his emotional desires. This was where it became difficult for the detective to articulate. He had never been one to talk about his feelings, but he sensed that his response was of the utmost importance based on the look in John’s eyes. “I want… I…” he floundered as John waited patiently, not taking his hesitation personally and understanding that Sherlock very rarely disclosed what he wanted regarding this sort of thing. Finally, he stuttered out, “Please touch me. I want you to touch me.”
It was getting painful for John, but he had to have just a bit more. “You just want to be touched,” he asked quietly, ever patient.
Sherlock jaw trembled with effort. “No,” he forced out, eyes pleading with John.
John came up to pull Sherlock against him. “What else,” he prompted. It wasn’t about arousal anymore. It wasn’t about how much John wanted Sherlock, or how he wanted to bring Sherlock to the point where he lost his hold on that careful control. This was something much deeper. This was about what John needed from Sherlock. What Sherlock needed from John.
Sherlock’s head fell to John’s shoulder. “John, I can’t. I’m not... very good at this sort of thing. Isn’t it clear enough?”
“Sherlock,” John said gently, ghosting his fingers over his back. “I need to be sure. You need to tell me what this is to you. What does Sherlock want from John?”
“Sherlock,” he started, knowing that he would have to say it, “Sherlock wants…”
“Yes,” came the whispered encouragement against the dark curls.
“Love,” Sherlock finally gasped out. The word felt so weighted that Sherlock’s tongue was like lead as he said it. However, now that it was out, the rest came in a rush. “Sherlock wants John to love him, to feel as though he deserves John’s love.”
John felt moisture collect in his eyes. Gently, he took Sherlock’s hand and led him to the white door that opened into the detective’s room. John had never been inside the haven, and he was surprised to see that it was perfectly tidy, unlike the rest of the house after Sherlock had been through it. He was thankful, though, that there was nothing underfoot as he led Sherlock to the made bed and pulled him down onto the soft duvet. The dark red fabric stood out starkly against Sherlock’s skin and pale eyes as John gently applied pressure to his chest to get him to lay back, to get him to rest his head on the black pillows. The dark colors were elegant and so very Sherlock, and John was transfixed for a moment on the way that Sherlock’s hand supported his lean body as he stayed in a sitting position. John kicked off his shoes and socks, before taking a gentle hold of one of Sherlock’s legs and removing the polished black dress shoe slowly and methodically, untying the laces and then loosening them to the third cross section before grasping the tongue and heel of the shoe and pulling just hard enough that Sherlock’s foot slid out. Sherlock watched him as he repeated the process before tickling his fingers up his ankle to the top of the trouser socks he wore. He rolled them down slowly, revealing more of Sherlock’s pale skin. John was not a particular fan of feet. Then again, he had never seen feet as elegant as Sherlock’s. The bones were small and surprisingly fine for a man, and there was but a light dusting of dark hair over the long, well formed toes. It was clear that Sherlock kept himself well groomed, judging by the short nails and the general cleanliness of the limb. John traced a finger over a pale blue vein that stood out against skin that was paler than the rest of Sherlock, as it was always covered.
Tenderly, John climbed up Sherlock’s long, lean body to meet his eyes. They searched John’s face, questioning. John felt as though he could get lost in the pale blue of those eyes as he stared at them. They were so clear, and almost crystalline in nature. The most expressive part of Sherlock by far, they could stop a murderer in his tracks, delineate any range of emotion, and were the only eyes John had ever encountered that could absolutely take his breath away with just one glance. In short, they were beautiful.
John brushed his fingers over Sherlock’s eyelids and down his face. He paid special attention to Sherlock’s cheekbones, which were both sharp and soft simultaneously. When the light hit them, Sherlock looked as though he was formed from perfect white marble. It was bone structure that could make Michaelangelo’s David look like a flabby sod past his prime.
Sherlock’s nose was the perfect nose for such a face: long, elegant, but not feminine. There was very real masculine appeal when it came to Sherlock’s nose. It was a smooth, swooping nose that rounded gently without the slightest upturn or downturn. John leaned forward and laid a kiss on the tip of it, thinking about how he so loved seeing Sherlock from the side--bent over a case file, or even examining a corpse--because of the way his cheekbones and nose worked in tandem to create a seductive profile that was more perfect than any Victorian cameo or Greek profile.
Then there was Sherlock’s mouth, with lips so full that they dominated the lower half of his face. It was a mouth that John had found himself staring at on so many occasions. The top lip formed the perfect bow, the symmetry mesmerizing, while the bottom lip was so exquisitely curved and soft. John had noticed just how soft when he had pulled it into his mouth earlier, and the thought drew a wanton whimper from him as he drew a weak kiss over those lips. It was a dangerous mouth, and always so brutally honest, almost never feeling the need to bite back the first thing that came to Sherlock’s head. Yet, John loved everything that it said, even when the biting remarks were directed at him, or when it was being especially cruel. Now that the invitation had been made, John was sure that he would be content to kiss that mouth for the rest of his life, cutting off long winded deductions, waking its owner from a trance, or even just as a greeting.
John’s hand came to rest behind Sherlock’s neck as he held his lips to the detective’s for a few more seconds, reveling in the clean, almost herbal, taste that was Sherlock.
“John,” those lips breathed, the sound ghosting over John’s chin.
“You’re so beautiful, Sherlock,” John whispered into one of his perfectly formed ears, the moist breath causing a shiver to run down Sherlock’s body. John had never used the adjective to describe a man before, but he found it was the only one that would be appropriate to apply to Sherlock. John knew that he, although not bad looking in his own right, would always pale in comparison to Sherlock’s almost incandescent perfection.
Sherlock knew somehow that this was not a statement to which John expected a response and thus stayed quiet as he watched him slide the light blue fabric of his shirt, which still hung open, down his arms. John discarded the shirt, uncaring of its worth and quality, for it hid from view something far more valuable than it could ever hope to be.
The planes of Sherlock’s chest were toned, but the lines of his abdomen and pectorals were soft and muted. It was the chest of someone who did a lot of running, but not much by way of cosmetic exercise. He was a bit too thin in places, probably due to his aversion to food, which he feared would make him slow and awkward and limit his ability to chase down criminals. John would eventually fix that, though. It was, of course, not his goal to make Sherlock fat, but he could clearly stand to put on just a few pounds; John could nearly trace his ribs. Any more lost weight would be borderline unhealthy.
There was surprisingly no hair on Sherlock’s chest, which really didn’t surprise John, as the man never seemed to require a shave. Upon further inspection, the doctor brushed his fingers over a bit of fuzz-like strands on the sternum area, but not much else.
Finally, John hands ghosted over Sherlock’s belly, making the muscles beneath them quiver and convulse. John smiled. Sherlock had been monitoring John’s worship of him warily. He knew that he was physically attractive by most standards, but generally did not consider it much. To see the reverence in John’s features made him wonder, as he had before, how he was physically perceived by others. He made a note to ask John at a later date to describe him so that he might understand better.
Now, his attention was fully fixed on the path of John’s hands, which had come to rest at the top of his black slacks. He met John’s gaze, need being projected from those expressive eyes, and John responded by sliding the button from its eye so deliberately that it seemed an eternity before he grasped the zipper and eased it down. The movement caused John to brush a particularly sensitive part of him that had been straining against its confines since John’s attention to his neck in the alley. Now, the slight contact drew a loud gasp from Sherlock and his hips bucked of their own accord. “John,” came the velvet baritone shrouded in desire.
The way he said John’s name made him shiver as he began to guide the black trousers over Sherlock’s narrow hips, helped along by the detective, who raised them from the bed to give him easier access. John traveled down the impossibly long legs to strip them off at the feet.
This left Sherlock vulnerable in the fitted black boxer briefs. He shifted uncomfortably under John’s gaze, and finally found his voice. “I find myself at quite a disadvantage, John.”
John met his eyes. “And why is that?”
“As you can see,” he breathed. “You are fully clothed, and I am decidedly not.”
John grinned at him before stripping off his heavy cream jumper, followed by the white cotton undershirt. His chest was almost completely unlike Sherlock’s in every way. Fine blond hair that matched what grew on his head dusted a physique that was not by any means flabby, but was no longer toned from constant army drills and combat. The flesh itself was riddled with scars, all culminating to the great gunshot wound in his left shoulder, pink and puckered. He was so self conscious about the imperfection that he rubbed it religiously with cream that would fade the scar. He prayed that the sight of it didn’t deter Sherlock.
Quite the opposite. Sherlock found scars fascinating, as they spoke of experiences and obstacles in a human’s life and they could tell him all sorts of things when they weren’t hidden under layers of clothing. The detective sat up and passed his lips over that shoulder as John breathed a sigh. As his arms encircled John’s waist, he made note of the smooth back and the slightest of extra weight around his middle. It was so comfortable, so utterly appropriate to his John. Sherlock wanted nothing changed, nothing about him could be improved. “You, John, are also beautiful,” he asserted after drawing back.
John gave him a look, and Sherlock met it with defiance. “Everything is as it should be on your body. I would find it odd if you lacked scars and other definitive marks, as it would delineate that you were a coward on the battlefield, which I know is false. You do not focus on fashion and other such frivolities that would lead you to be overly vain, therefore the light hair is logical. Finally, you have an attachment to raspberry jam and Mrs. Hudson’s biscuits that is kept in check by the requirements of being my assistant. Thus, you are softer than you once were, but by no means heavy. Everything is logical, and all is explainable. Perfect.”
John knew it was no use arguing with Sherlock as he stripped off his jeans, leaving him in his white and red checkered boxer shorts. He was spectacularly average, and Sherlock seemed to approve of this. John climbed back onto the bed over Sherlock and leaned down to kiss him again, but, to his surprise, Sherlock turned his head. “John,” he whispered.
“I am at… another disadvantage.”
John drew back, his expression puzzled. “What are you talking about?”
“I…” He swallowed hard. “You know what I want, but I don’t know what you want.”
“Oh,” John said, lamely. “I want you. All of you. Your body, sure, but more your mind. I want everything about you. Your deductions, your stubbornness, even your childish tantrums.”
Sherlock’s gaze turned to meet his, the silver one full of apprehension and confusion. “Most people don’t want those other things. They want this,” he gestured to the bed, “but not the rest.”
John placed a hand on Sherlock’s cheek. “Well, I’m not most people, Sherlock.”
“What’s different,” Sherlock asked him.
“What’s different is ‘most people’ aren’t in love with you,” he replied, voice soft and gaze softer. “I am.”
Sherlock’s breath caught. “Why,” he wanted to know.
“Well,” John began, taking Sherlock’s hand in his. “You’re an arrogant sod,” he said, caressing the knuckles with his lips. “You can’t be bothered with people that don’t directly affect you.” His mouth found the inside of his wrist as Sherlock watched him. “And you can be downright cruel sometimes.”
“I don’t understand,” Sherlock admitted.
John put a finger to Sherlock’s lips. “Because I wasn’t finished. As I was saying, you’re all of those things, but you’re also inquisitive, eager to learn, and so bloody smart. It makes my head spin to see how fast that brain processes and understands.” He laid his mouth against the inside of Sherlock’s elbow, which was marred by old track marks. John paid special attention to each of them, before he looked up, still holding Sherlock’s hand. When he had finished, he continued explaining. “Your face lights up when you finally make a connection that will solve the case.” He continued to kiss up Sherlock’s arm as he spoke. “And you’re so sodding witty. I’ve never seen someone insult people and think up comebacks as quickly and with as much elegance you do.” The bend where his arm met his shoulder. “You can be so wonderfully observant, but at the same time so hideously oblivious.” The top of the shoulder. “Beneath all the bravado and swagger, there’s fear of rejection. You hide behind it because you don’t want to be vulnerable, but when you let that vulnerability out, it is so beautiful. I saw it at the pool, when Moriarty threatened me, and I fell in love with it. You were so unsure when you pointed that gun.” His lips met Sherlock’s clavicle. “You’re so incredibly brave, and you care so much more than you let on. About Lestrade, me, and even Mycroft. You care so much that it hurts inside sometimes.” The bend where neck meets shoulder. “You light up a room when you walk into it, because you seem so sure and confident. People don’t see the uncertainty in your eyes, but I catch it sometimes. Just glimpses, but it shows me that you really are human, not some ambivalent god among men.” Each bruise on his neck. “You have a laugh that is little used, but is intoxicating. The day I met you, I knew that that laugh would be trouble. To this day, my memories of laughter are eclipsed by the ones I share with you.” His jawline. “And, perhaps most importantly, you desperately want someone to understand you. To want to understand you. You claim to have no interest in people or their lives, because they show no interest in you. So you call yourself a sociopath, in hopes that the connotation will deter people. Its a defense mechanism. But you can’t hide from me. I know you aren’t a sociopath. I understand so much, Sherlock, and I want to understand it all. There’s so much depth to you, and I want you to teach me all of it, level at a time. Please let me learn.”
He kissed Sherlock for the umpteenth time that day, and the passion behind his soft lips clouded over Sherlock’s brain, making him dizzy. He clung to John, arms around his neck as he finally took dominance in their kiss, pushing inside of that mouth that had laid him bare in such a worshipping tone. It was eloquence that Sherlock had never heard from his flatmate, and the way his voice had crafted the response made him shiver. He tasted John with reverence of his own and felt the other man sigh.
When they drew apart, John looked at Sherlock, who couldn’t tear his eyes from John’s perfect face, with all of its lines and bags. “What is it,” John asked.
“John, you are… extraordinary,” he said in response, a bit bewildered by the realization.
John shook his head. “Not really. I’m just a bit more observant than people think. Never be as good as you, though.”
“Can we… that is… would you make love to me?”
It was such a formal term, ‘make love’, but when Sherlock said it, it seemed right to John. If they did have sex, it would never be just shagging. It could never be that. That was too animal, too impersonal. With Sherlock, it would be making love, even when it was fast and hot and quick. Even when it was in the shower, or against the wall, or in a broom closet at the Yard. It would always be making love.
With that, John moved his legs so that one knee rested on either side of Sherlock’s hips. Their lips met as John moved his hand over Sherlock through the soft cotton of his boxer briefs. The contact led Sherlock to bite down hard on John’s lip, drawing a growl from him. He took Sherlock in hand through the fabric and squeezed, making Sherlock’s head snap back, their lips separating with a loud, wet pop. Sherlock moaned under John’s ministrations, and his hips bucked hard in the excitement. “John,” he cried. He was approaching a coil that hadn’t formed in his belly since university, and even then it had taken so much longer than this, because it had all been so severe and scientific.
John quickly grasped the elastic of the pants and yanked them down and off of Sherlock with none of the tenderness with which he had removed the rest of his clothes. Now, John took in the sight of a completely bare Sherlock. Like the rest of him, there was surprisingly little hair surrounding the arousal. He was proportionate to his height, which meant he was a good size, and he was perfectly pink and white in all the right places. Now, the head was swollen and he twitched in anticipation as John brought his fingers back to that spot, taking hold of skin like a length of velvet surrounding iron. He was so deliciously hard in John’s fingers and each pass of his hand made Sherlock moan and bite at his own lip. John passed his thumb over the slit at the top, which was now leaking the clear liquid that indicated an approaching explosion. The lubrication made John’s hand slide even faster and he began to add a twist of his wrist at the end of each stroke. Soon Sherlock was shouting and rutting against John, perspiration forming on his brow as he tossed his head. Finally, he called out, “John… I’m going to… I’m afraid that I can’t control myself!”
John slowed his hand suddenly, making Sherlock groan from the loss of friction, his back arching in an attempt to regain it. He found John’s eyes, and was surprised by the sound of his voice, reduced to pitiful begging. “Please, John,” he moaned. Sherlock never said please, but John was clearly an exception to that rule as well.
At the look on Sherlock’s face, the pathetic pleading that sent a jolt through him, John brought his mouth to Sherlock’s flesh. Sherlock should not have to beg for anything. He did not deserve to be denied such luxuries and John would not be the one to keep him from the pleasure he so clearly sought.
When his lips closed around Sherlock’s weeping length, a string of profanity the likes of which John had never heard from the detective came tumbling from his mouth. John renewed the pace with fervor, and soon had the detective on the edge again, his hands digging into John’s hair and clutching at the duvet. His lips trembled as he fought to maintain some semblance of control and failed when John drew him all the way into his mouth and he hit the back of his throat. He came with unprecedented force, screaming his completion into the empty room.
John swallowed all of the hot seed that filled his cheeks, before withdrawing from Sherlock. The detective had turned to jelly against the bed, and his chest heaved as he stared at John through eyes clouded over with an orgasmic haze. He reached out tentatively to grasp John’s hand, clinging to it as his senses began to clear. For a split second, he had been completely unable to think. His brain had been completely shut down and he had given himself over to the sheer sensation of it all. Now, as his mind took hold again, he saw John pull his hand away from him.
John needed to come. The pressure in his groin was far too much to handle, and he had to alleviate it before he died of repressed sexuality. Unabashedly, he placed his hand down the front of his boxers, thoughts of Sherlock making him moan as he took hold of himself.
Sherlock stared in horror, before he lurched over to John, the lethargy draining from his limbs. “John, stop. Please.”
John gave a groan. Stop. Why? Did Sherlock want him to suffer? Sherlock’s long fingers suddenly joined his to catch at his moving hand and pull it away forcefully. John could have cried when his arousal lost the friction he had been struggling to build. “What,” he whined, almost wanton.
Sherlock kept hold of John’s wrists in one hand as he reached his other to the nightstand beside his bed. From the top drawer, he withdrew a bottle and held it out to John, a question in his eyes.
The fact that Sherlock had lubricant on hand, in his nightstand, sent another jolt through John. “Please not like that, John,” Sherlock said quietly, meeting his gaze.
“I didn’t think you’d want to… do that,” John replied sheepishly. True, John had had this kind of sex with some of his more adventurous girlfriends, but he had no idea how to proceed with a man. Sherlock was his first. He liked that. It was a way to make John feel as though he were a fumbling virgin. He had regretted the first time he had shagged, because it had been meaningless. He could think of no one better to redeem first times in his eyes. Sherlock would be the most meaningful thing that the world could give him.
“Clearly a misjudgment on your part. And even if I hadn’t wanted to do this in particular, that you would rob me of the right to return the glorious favor that you just bestowed upon me is entirely reprehensible.”
“I’m sorry,” John responded. “I guess I just thought that you were a bit… spent.”
“Please, John,” the detective replied sardonically. “How many times have you run all across London after me? You think making love with you is going to exhaust me?”
John grinned. “I guess not. But Sherlock, we don’t have to do this. It’s not something you’re obligated to do.” The talk was frustrating him, and his erection was leaking fiercely as it remained engorged and begged him to relieve the pressure that was becoming painful. However, he wanted Sherlock to feel that John respected him, because he did, so much. He loved him, and if Sherlock didn’t want this, now or ever, then John would not allow it.
“You should know by now, John,” Sherlock countered, “that I never do things that I don’t want to do, or at least can’t see the prudence in doing.” With that statement, Sherlock’s white fingers seized the waistband of John’s boxers and he had them off with an almost inhuman speed. He raked his eyes appreciatively over John, taking note of how much his arousal craved completion.
Sherlock’s white fingers found the lubricant that had fallen between them and he lifted it gingerly, before making a realization and stopping dead in his tracks. “John, you aren’t opposed to--?”
“God no, Sherlock,” John interrupted almost violently. “Never.”
Sherlock grinned, his smile taking over his lips in such glee that John couldn’t help but smile too, though it was a pained smile that didn’t quite meet his eyes as he adjusted his hips. He didn’t know how much longer he could bear the waiting and he would have to wait while he stretched Sherlock and that would be torture enough. He reached forward to grasp the bottle in Sherlock’s fingers and nearly cursed at the detective when he pulled it out of reach. “Sherlock,” he said through clenched teeth.
The detective ignored him and squeezed a huge dollop of the gel into his palm, warming it slightly between his delicate hands before he was over John, who fell backwards. John cried out as Sherlock took him in hand, coating the flesh with wet, cool gel, and reveling in the give of the skin surrounding the head. He squeezed in curiosity, and John bucked violently upwards. “Sherlock,” he rasped. “If you want me to get anywhere near you, you can’t do this. This will have to wait for some other time. I’m too close.”
Nodding his understanding, Sherlock released John, having sufficiently prepared him. He rolled onto his stomach, offering himself to his new lover, wanting to share the most intimate of acts with John. Sherlock couldn’t remember the last time that this position had been his and not his partner’s. It had been so long, but he trusted John with all of himself because John understood.
He clenched his teeth as he felt John’s finger at his entrance, and moaned as it penetrated the thick ring of muscle. The sound nearly brought John to collapsing as his sex twitched. He was finding it difficult to think straight, what with all the blood that had left his brain to support… other parts of him, and he prayed that Sherlock stretched quickly.
“John,” Sherlock keened, his voice muffled into the pillow, as a second finger joined the first and brushed a long ignored part of the detective.
“Sherlock. Good God.”
Sherlock could hear the pain and frustration in his voice, and he clenched his jaw before finally saying, “Forget preparation. I want you inside of me now.”
John nearly bit through his tongue. “Sh-Sherlock, that’s ridiculous. I’ll hurt you.”
“I’m not made of glass, and I’m tired of this insipid waiting.”
“You’re insane,” John said, adding a third finger to make the point that he had no intention of complying.
Sherlock moved quickly, pulling forward to free John’s fingers before seating himself in John’s lap.
“Sherlock, no--” John tried to scold, but was cut off when Sherlock seized him and brought him to where the detective desired him most. He ran John over his entrance twice to lubricate it, before gritting his teeth against inevitable discomfort that he was too impatient to avoid.
Both men grunted when Sherlock slid himself onto John, one in a bit of pain, and one in excruciating pleasure. Sherlock was warm, wet, and tight as anything. The way his body squeezed John made tears spring to his eyes. His fingers dug into Sherlock’s waist as he struggled to keep the detective from sliding onto him too quickly.
“John,” Sherlock whimpered. He had adjusted to this first hasty joining and he wanted to feel his lover deeper, knowing that once the thickest part of John had passed his tight muscles, it would become significantly more pleasurable. When John made no move to continue, Sherlock circled his hips, making John bite into his lip.
“I need you, John. If you’re worried about hurting me, then go slowly. But, for God’s sake, you must move.”
In response, John tipped Sherlock back onto his stomach, taking control once again, before raising himself onto his knees and pulling Sherlock’s hips up for better leverage. The movement brought John in a bit deeper and the detective beneath him writhed. The pain was there, but it was acting as an aphrodisiac on its own. In fact, when he pushed back against the doctor, continuing to take him deeper, the accompanying discomfort translated itself into pleasure and Sherlock made a half strangled sound. He was sick, simple as that, but John, who was already panting, liked it very much.
“Finish, John. I want to take all of you,” Sherlock gasped.
John was too far gone to refuse and he did as he was told, making Sherlock writhe as he relaxed his way into pleasure. It was tight and a bit uncomfortable, but it was eclipsed by sensation.
John’s chest came to rest on Sherlock’s back as he trembled viciously. Sherlock pushed himself up so that he could turn his head and nip John’s cheek. “Move, John, I’m fine. For the love of God, move.”
John barely managed to set a pace before Sherlock was wantonly meeting his thrusts. It was by far the most erotic thing that either had ever done, simply based on the sheer gravity of the coupling. Sherlock was hard again and his arousal hung in the air beneath him as he was propelled forward and yanked backward by the rhythm in John’s hips.
“Harder. I want it harder,” he found himself demanding the form of a loud moan. “I want to have evidence of this in my stride tomorrow.”
“Sherlock,” John chanted like a prayer before agreeing to Sherlock’s request and snapping his hips into the thrusts, roughly hitting the detective’s prostate and digging his fingers in a bruising grip on Sherlock’s waist. The action gained guttural growls and moans from Sherlock, who met the force behind him with his own.
“Now fast. Fast and hard,” he gasped. “Fuck me, John. I want to be fucked.”
The dirty talk was causing John to throb harder inside Sherlock, and, with a cry, he complied again. The pace was rough and bruising and Sherlock was shouting again, louder than before. This was sure to blow out his lungs, but he didn’t care.
“Touch me, John. Please. I want to come with you.”
John seized the flesh of Sherlock’s erection a little too roughly, which was all well and good with Sherlock. “Take me until you come, John.”
It was enough and John thrust violently while jerking Sherlock’s flesh with equal ferocity. “Oh God. Oh God,” he kept crying. “Yes. Fuck. Sherlock.”
“That’s right, John. That’s it. I want it just like that.” Sherlock became very demanding when he was close and he needed to feel John come. Needed to feel that part of his lover deep within him.
“So close. You’re wonderful.” Thrust. “Beautiful.” Thrust. “I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want you.” Thrust. Thrust.
“You have me, John. My God you have me.”
He bent close to Sherlock’s ear. “Mine,” he snapped. “Only mine.”
“Yes, John,” Sherlock agreed, rocking his hips back. “Yours.”
The agreement sent John reeling into oblivion, his teeth sinking into Sherlock’s shoulder. The bite led Sherlock to his second finish, warm liquid spilling onto John’s fingers, which still squeezed him hard.
Moments later, John pulled out slowly and fell to the duvet, pulling Sherlock on top of him. He ran his fingers through the thick, lush, ebony curls on the detective’s head, which rested heavily on John’s chest. “God, I love you.”
“Thank you, John,” Sherlock moaned. “I… I’ve loved you for a long time, I think.”
Both men fell asleep to the sound of the other’s pulse thrumming in their ears.
The following morning found the two men entering Scotland Yard on their way to make their reports to Lestrade. John walked a tad closer to Sherlock than he usually did, and Sherlock seemed to move with a bit of difficulty in his stride. Earlier, when John had woken his sleeping flatmate, they had exchanged knowing glances when Sherlock had groaned at the soreness in his back usually associated with a pulled muscle.
The self satisfied look still rested proudly on Sherlock’s face and he was fighting the urge to take John’s hand, forget what these incompetent officers thought of them. It really made no difference to Sherlock anymore, not when John cared for him. That knowledge was enough to sustain him always.
When they reached Lestrade’s office, John was gritting his teeth. A vision of taking Sherlock over the Detective Inspector’s desk had flashed brazenly through his mind, and he shook his head to clear it as they sat down. Sherlock made a tiny huff of discomfort as he did so, adjusting his seat so that he was more comfortable. His posture, however, was bordering on the unprofessional.
Lestrade eyed them, puzzled. The man was nowhere near as useless as Sherlock made him out to be, and he was damn good at observing, even if he wasn’t some high functioning sociopath. There was something different about Sherlock today, he noticed, but that was neither here nor there, as the detective was always going through some strange phase. What was more disconcerting was John Watson’s behavior. Normally, the man was silent and nonintrusive. Today, the ex-army doctor wore a grin that seemed completely unprecedented, as though he were remembering a joke that he had no intention of sharing.
“Good morning, Sherlock. John,” he said as they looked at him. “I trust you had a good night? Do a bit of celebrating?” Lestrade knew that John and Sherlock frequented Angelo’s in east SoHo after a case.
John looked at Sherlock, the grin still turning up the corners of his mouth. Sherlock, for his part, kept his eyes trained on Lestrade. “We did have a rather… exciting night. Wouldn’t you agree, John?”
“Oh, absolutely,” John answered, biting back a peal of laughter.
Lestrade raised an eyebrow, but thought the better of asking about the behavior. Clearly, Sherlock’s eccentricity was rubbing off on John. He simply hoped that ‘exciting’ wasn’t anything illegal, or having to do with the body parts Sherlock kept in the refrigerator.
“So, er, I’ll just have your reports, then you can go. I haven’t got anything new for you.”
Each man gave their report, watching as Lestrade recorded what they said into his laptop and a small tape recorder placed discreetly on his desk. They had done this several times before, but never quite like this. John itched to tell the Detective Inspector to sod off, take Sherlock’s arm, and push him into a supply closet that they had passed on the way in. Sherlock kept his eyes forward and his voice did not change as he delivered his piece, but John watched as the muscle in his jaw repeatedly clenched and unclenched.
“Well, that’s all set then,” Lestrade said, seeming not to notice the palpable tension in the air. He looked up from his laptop and grinned. “I’m sure we’ll call you again at some point. In the meantime, don’t let me hear about you blowing holes in the wall again,” he teased the detective. “John puts up with enough from you.”
Sherlock blinked, sliding his gaze to his flatmate, and replied, “I have recently made several discoveries about myself and about John. I think I shan’t be bored for quite some time.”
Lestrade stared, his mind refusing to register what was right in front of him. His eyes trained on Sherlock’s scarf, which had come loose, and then on the white skin beneath it. He swallowed hard, forcing his brain to think of other possibilities for the violet and red marks that adorned the detective’s throat. He didn’t know why it was such a big deal for him, as he had been waiting for this since he had first seen John Watson on scene with Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps he was in shock. Where was an orange blanket when you needed it?
After a few long moments of silence, Sherlock rose, struggling to keep his back straight. John followed immediately. “Goodbye, Greg,” he called back amicably, adjusting the hem of his green jumper to hide the evidence of his thoughts.
“You know where to find me, of course,” Sherlock added by way of a goodbye.
With that, the two of them left the office.
They were barely two steps away, when John stopped and seized Sherlock by the arm, whirling him around. “I don’t give a bloody nut who sees us,” he said vehemently, before jerking a surprised Sherlock to him to take his lips. A startled noise passed through Sherlock. He had never expected John to do something like this in public, especially not at the Yard where he conducted his business. However, he surprised himself further when his hands found John’s shoulders.
Suddenly, a familiar scathing voice gave a great guffaw of ironic laughter. “What the bloody hell do we have here?”
John released Sherlock’s lips with a loud pop so that he could turn towards the voice. It was, of course, Sally Donovan, flanked by an exceedingly pleased looking Anderson.
“Hello, Sergeant Donovan,” John said brightly. He clearly did not care in the least that he had been caught kissing his flatmate.
“I always suspected you were a bit off. This just proves it,” Sally sneered.
John looked over his shoulder to Sherlock before asking innocently, “Whatever do you mean?” For the first time, it felt as though he and Sherlock were in reverse roles. It was the detective who was flushing furiously while he, John Watson, bantered with Sherlock’s rivals.
“I think she means that you’re both freaks,” Anderson chimed in, grinning even wider when Sherlock winced. Anderson made a face. “I hate to imagine you shagging. Good God.”
Sherlock’s head snapped up now and he met Anderson’s gaze defiantly, a grin of his own lighting up his features. “Likewise, imagining you and Sergeant Donovan is equally… disconcerting. However, you seem perfectly content to broadcast it to all of London. At least John and I broadcast a satisfying physical relationship.”
“What the bloody hell are you on about,” Sally shrilled, glaring daggers at the detective.
Sherlock’s lip curled cruelly, before he responded. “Based on the small stain on Anderson’s left trouser leg and your particularly cowish behavior, there seems to be a bit of a problem in that department. Could it be because you’re a bit too overeager, an aging woman with no prospects but a man who by some strange ends managed to already find a wife? Or could it be because Anderson is just as incompetent in this area as he is in his occupational field?”
Anderson sputtered, and Sally’s eyes bugged out of her head rather unattractively. Yet, Sherlock wasn’t finished. “If I am a freak, as you call me, I’d much rather be a contented one whose needs are fulfilled, than one who refuses to admit what she is and clings with yellowing claws to a married man. Good day, Sergeant Donovan. Anderson.”
With that, Sherlock whirled on his heel and swept passed an utterly amused John, who didn’t follow for a few moments as he stared at the two flustered police officers.
Sherlock stopped, thought for a moment, and held his hand out to John. “Problem,” he inquired.
John took the proffered hand in a now dumbfounded surprise. When he said nothing, Sherlock raised an eyebrow.
John found his voice a few seconds later. “None whatsoever. Home, then?”
Sherlock gave a catlike grin before nodding. “It think that would be best. I seem to have developed a problem that may require medical attention.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
With that, the two men walked proudly from the Yard, ignoring the stares from all of the officers, not to mention an amused employee of Mycroft’s. John Watson and his freak, Sherlock Holmes.