Angela was already asleep when John looked back over at her, ginger hair spread across the pillow and a little smile on her face. John grinned to himself, feeling rather smug. It had been a nice, somewhat surprising evening -- the Italian place he'd tried on a friend's recommendation had gone well, and the controversial new play he'd bought tickets for had been tastefully done, so he'd seemed cultured but not crude. A bit racy towards the end, but that was all to the good, since by then the spritzers they'd had at the interval had been taking effect, and she'd been frankly naughty in the minicab on the way home. He hadn't really intended to ask her up, especially given the state of his bedroom, but she'd been keen to see the flat and the lights in the front room had been off, so he'd chanced it. A good job, too, given the way Angela had launched herself at him as soon as they'd tiptoed through the foyer and down the dark corridor. It was flattering, almost enough to give one a swelled head, how eager she'd been. John didn't like to think like that, though. He was lucky to have a pleasant evening with an attractive girl, and it ending in a bout of enthusiastic sex was a bonus he wouldn't turn down.
Perhaps a bit too enthusiastic, John thought, frowning. He wasn't actually sure whether the flat was empty or not, and Angela hadn't been shy about making noise. The mattress had come away from the wall, and he remembered thumping against it a few times. Well, Sherlock would certainly let him know if he'd been bothered. He wasn't one for suffering in silence.
His mouth was dry. John looked around the room, but didn't see the bottle of water he usually kept at his bedside. Kitchen, then. He held his breath and carefully eased his arm out from beneath Angela's head. She didn't stir, except to burrow her face into the pillow a little deeper. John brushed a stray piece of hair from her cheek, kissed her temple, and reached to the foot of the bed to pull on his pyjama bottoms.
She was really lovely, John thought, pausing with his hand on the doorknob. Her hair glowed in the light from his desk lamp, and her pale legs, tangled in the sheets, were long and shapely. He wasn't quite sure how much they had in common -- she talked rather a lot about that rubbish Essex program and the one about footballers' wives -- but it was early days yet. He was grateful just for her company.
John hummed quietly as he shut the door behind himself, padding barefoot down the corridor. The last remnants of wine mixed with the post-sex haze made him feel loose-limbed and happy. Amazing what an afterglow could do for one's state of mind. He felt like he could take on anything at the moment.
He felt so good, in fact, that he stood staring at the end of the sofa for almost ten seconds before realizing that what he was seeing was Sherlock hastily doing up his trousers.
"Er," John said.
Sherlock coughed convulsively, abandoned his efforts, and rolled onto his side, flinging his dressing gown over himself and hiding his face against the cushion.
"Sorry, I didn't know you were -- " John said, and trailed off lamely.
Sherlock didn't say anything. John suspected he was pretending to be asleep.
"Sherlock, I know you're awake," John said.
Sherlock made a murmuring, sleepy sound that struck John as comical, the sort of thing a child would do. The polite thing for John to do, really, was to get his water from the kitchen as if he hadn't just caught his flatmate having a wank, but it was too funny to see Sherlock off-balance this way, like a wet cat.
"Look, it's all right," John said, smothering a laugh. "I've lived with men before. I know what... happens at night." Though as he spoke, he realized he'd never thought about Sherlock doing anything like this. He seemed above coarse physical things like sex; he practically never ate, and he hardly even seemed to need a shave.
"It doesn't happen," Sherlock said, his voice muffled by the cushion, confirming John's unspoken thought in his usual eerie way. "Tonight was just -- oh, hell." He punctuated his words by curling up tightly, a tense ball of wounded dignity.
"Ah," John said, realizing. His cheeks flooded with heat. "I guess we were a bit -- that is, she was -- "
"Not her," Sherlock said, the words tight and grudging, like he didn't want to say them.
John froze for a minute, studying Sherlock's half-hidden face. He could hardly see anything in the dim light coming through the window from the street outside, but it seemed like Sherlock's color was high, his lips pressed together in a firm line. His shoulders were rising and falling quickly, like he was breathing fast. Sherlock could tell a lot about a person from little details like that, even a stranger. John didn't have the knack, probably never would, but he'd spent a fair amount of time around Sherlock. And he'd never seen Sherlock look like this.
John made a swift mental leap and took a chance, his second of the night. He was still ever-so-slightly drunk, and his body was still full of those happy sex chemicals that made him feel like he could do anything. Even patently bad ideas like this one.
He came around the edge of the sofa and knelt down next to where Sherlock had buried his face against the cushion. He could see one heavy, frowning eyebrow, beneath the drooping fringe of dark hair, and the pale curve of Sherlock's cheek above his arm. Sherlock's lashes lifted up a fraction as John settled onto the floor, then dropped again.
"Tell me what you were thinking about," John said, quiet but conversational. Light, like the answer didn't matter much to him.
Sherlock twitched in response, his knees jerking up under his dressing gown, and made an inarticulate sound.
"Were you listening to us?" John asked, as if nothing had happened.
Sherlock shook his head, a brief, emphatic movement.
John nodded to himself. "Were you listening to me?"
This time Sherlock didn't respond. John let the moment hang, wondering at his daring, wondering if he'd read things completely wrong, if he was bollixing up everything. He liked living here. He liked the way things were.
"Yes," Sherlock said at last, very quietly.
John let himself smile. Not completely wrong.
"So you were thinking about...me?"
A long, soft sigh.
"You were on the sofa when we came in, yeah? Asleep, maybe? Or almost?"
Sherlock didn't say anything, and John went on with his imagined story, seeing it in his head. The way Sherlock must, when he was reading the truth from a handful of pocket lint or an apple core.
"You woke up when the door shut. You thought about going to bed yourself, but then we started making noises. You've got great hearing, better than mine. You could probably hear everything we said to each other. No way you wanted to sleep next door to that. But if you got up and left then, we'd hear you. So you stayed. Right so far?"
It was hard to tell in the dark, but it looked like Sherlock nodded a little.
"And then..." John paused. "Well, I suppose it started getting to you. I mean, we weren't being quiet. I think I pushed her up against the dresser, and I know we knocked a lot of stuff over. And she's a noisy girl. When I got my hand down her knickers, you could probably hear her two flats down. But you didn't care about that, did you?"
John swallowed. This next bit was pushing things.
"I expect it was the noises I was making, then."
Sherlock's shoulder rose up quickly, and John heard a small huff of breath.
"She was going down on me, you know? Well, I suppose you did know. You're clever. You work things out."
Sherlock was definitely breathing faster now. John swallowed again. He'd never done anything quite this dirty before.
"It was good. She's good at -- that. Lots of tongue, little bit of teeth. Just right."
John flicked his gaze down the hall, where he could just see the glow of his light under his door. No movement there. Still, he moved in a little closer, and lowered his voice, until it was almost a husky whisper.
"I didn't say her name, though. 'S not really something I do. I bet you liked that. You could imagine -- "
John stopped, licked his lips. His mouth was very dry. He dropped his voice further.
"You could imagine it was someone else making me sound like that," he whispered.
Sherlock made just one sound, more of an exhalation than a moan, and shifted his hips on the sofa. John realized he had him, had total control over the situation. It was a strange feeling to have around Sherlock.
"We were at it for a while," John said, keeping his voice low. "Dunno when you finally had to touch yourself. Maybe it was when we started -- started fucking. She wanted it pretty hard. I guess you could hear every squeak of the bed out here."
"Yes," Sherlock breathed. The hair rose on the back of John's neck at the sound of his voice.
"You didn't finish though," John went on, encouraged. "Do you like to -- tease yourself? Or maybe we just finished too quick. She got off like a shot, she was wound up so tight. And it's hard to hold back when a girl's like that. Yeah, I think we surprised you. And you didn't expect me to come out so quick after."
Sherlock shook his head.
"You must have been right on the edge," John realized. "So close you could fucking taste it. You hardly even noticed I was here at first. God, sorry, Sherlock."
And he really was. He could remember furtive wanks at home when he was a kid, in the dormitory, in the barracks, ruined at precisely the wrong moment. His university roommate had been shite at noticing the sock on the door.
"Let me -- " John stopped for a second, and took a breath. "Let me make it up to you." He reached forward, his hand hovering as he tried to think what he wanted to do, and Sherlock's whole body tensed up, shrinking back slightly. John made his decision then, a little disappointed and a little relieved.
"Don't worry," John said, brushing the hair off Sherlock's forehead. "Just -- roll back over, all right?"
It took a little while, but Sherlock obeyed (for a wonder) and rolled onto his back. John couldn't help but glance at the bulge in his trousers, partially covered by Sherlock's dressing gown.
"That's better," John said, looking up at Sherlock's face instead. His eyes were still tightly closed, but his mouth was open, nostrils flaring as he breathed quickly. "Now -- I want you to touch yourself."
He used the light tone from before, but put an undertone of command in it as well. Once he'd known how to give orders he knew would be obeyed without question, and it seemed to work on Sherlock. After a slight hesitation, Sherlock moved his arm down, underneath the dressing gown. He fumbled with buttons for a moment, and then John could see his hand moving in that telltale gesture, up and down. He seemed to be pulling at his foreskin, pinching it with his long fingers, but it was hard to see.
"Move your robe, please," John said, again with that of-course-you'll-do-as-I-say tone of voice, when he was feeling anything but that.
Sherlock's cheeks were definitely flushed now, but he did as John said, flipping the edge of his dressing gown aside with a flick of his wrist. Now John could see the head of his cock, emerging from the opening in his trousers. It was dark and shiny where the foreskin had been pulled back, and Sherlock gripped himself just below, running his thumb over the wet slit.
God. He'd come not ten minutes earlier, but John could feel his own prick stirring a little in at the sight. He wasn't gay, hadn't done anything like this since he was 16 and bored after rugby practice with a few mates, but he couldn't deny it was turning him on.
"That's better," John said, talking more to distract himself than with any real purpose. "Is that how you like it?"
Sherlock nodded, lifting his hips and arching his back before settling down.
"This is how you were doing it before, yeah? Stroking yourself while you were listening to us? Did you time it so our rhythm was the same?"
Sherlock made a frustrated, embarrassed sort of sound. John chuckled quietly.
"The question is, Sherlock, what did you imagine? That you were fucking her? Or that I was fucking you?"
It was the boldest thing he'd said yet, and the moment the words were out of his mouth John could hardly believe he'd said them. Sherlock scrunched his face up and turned away, into the cushion.
"All right, don't answer that," John said. "Just keep stroking yourself. Yeah, like that," he said, as Sherlock began to wank in earnest, moving his hand up and down quickly. The wet, slick sounds it made went straight to John's groin, where his prick was fully hard now.
John shifted on the floor, sitting cross-legged instead of kneeling. He was suddenly aware that he was shirtless, and that his pyjama bottoms were thin enough to show everything. Thank god Sherlock was bent on keeping his eyes closed.
He watched Sherlock for a minute, trying to think what to say next, as Sherlock's breathing sped up and his body grew tenser. Sherlock lifted one knee, then slid his bare foot back down, tilting his hips forward, into his hand. John could see his cock getting more swollen, darkening as the blood rushed in. He looked back up to see Sherlock biting his lower lip.
"She has a lovely mouth," John said, inspired. "So hot and wet. It was all I could do to keep from coming right down her throat."
Sherlock groaned quietly, his face contorting. He tossed his head towards John, his curly hair flopping over his forehead, his mouth falling open, and then back again.
"But I wasn't thinking about her," John said. It wasn't true, but that didn't matter. "She was sucking my prick, and I was thinking -- thinking of -- "
Sherlock was panting now, his whole body rigid. His free hand clutched at the back of the sofa, and he was stroking himself hard and fast. It made John tingle all over, watching him, knowing what he was doing to Sherlock with just his voice. He'd never felt this much control with Sherlock before, and it was exhilarating.
"God, come on, Sherlock," John breathed. He leaned in, so he was whispering in Sherlock's ear. "You're so close. Keep wanking yourself like that. I want to see you come."
John had the sudden longing to cover Sherlock's hand with his own, but held back. It didn't seem like Sherlock was ready for anything like that, and he wasn't sure he was either. He reached forward to pull the edge of Sherlock's dressing gown back over him instead, so there wouldn't be a mess, and let his hand brush Sherlock's as he moved away again.
"You can do this any night you like," John whispered fiercely. "I'll bring home a girl, fuck her good and loud, and you can be out here getting yourself off like this. I'll get off too, knowing you're touching yourself, knowing you're listening to me, so fucking hot, Sherlock -- "
Sherlock let out a soft, strangled cry and came, his whole body arching up. John murmured encouraging words -- yes and good and like that -- as Sherlock soaked the front of his robe, until he finally settled down, breathing so hard he was practically gasping. John didn't move away, and when Sherlock turned to face him, his wild hair brushed against John's forehead. John could feel the warmth coming off him, Sherlock's breath on his cheek.
Neither of them spoke for a minute, their eyes closed. John was still hard, and he thought about dealing with that before deciding he'd already taken things far enough for one night.
"Good?" he asked, finally.
"Well then," John said. There didn't seem to be much else to say. He wanted to kiss Sherlock's temple, so close to his lips, but that didn't seem the right thing to do just then. Instead he rested his hand on Sherlock's shoulder for a moment, then stood up.
The last ten mad minutes hadn't made him any less thirsty, and he turned for the kitchen. A hand on his leg stopped him, though. He looked back to meet Sherlock's half-open eyes, his expression unreadable as always. Sherlock glanced down for a moment, then back up, a slight smile quirking the corner of his mouth. John realized that his profile in the streetlight probably showed exactly how hard he was, and flushed.
"Thank you," Sherlock said.
"Any time," John said, and meant it.