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dis·place·ment [dis-pleys-muhnt]: Psychoanalysis. the transfer of an emotion from its original focus to another object, person, or situation.


It's been an unbearable three days, and John knows what he really needs is to sleep for the next twelve hours. He also knows that he should stay in the flat, make sure that Sherlock eats something, make sure he goes to bed, but John just can't.

More than seventy-two hours of nothing but Sherlock: it's enough to drive anybody round the twist. John knows he's not just anybody, that he has a greater capacity to cope with Sherlock Holmes in full-on case-solving mode than just about anybody. But the lack of sleep combined with the lack of privacy—seriously, the man barely gave him time to go to the loo without thinking aloud at him the whole time—and the constant worry that they were about to get shot, John has reached his limit.

“I'm going out,” he says, pulling his coat back on. “Eat something, for god's sake. And get some sleep.”

“John? Where are you going?” Sherlock is momentarily distracted from poking at his experiments.

“Just for a walk. I'll be back later. There's pad thai in the fridge. Eat it and go to bed. Doctor's orders.” He escapes from the pressure of 221B, of Sherlock's constant presence.

It's a running joke down at the Yard how John Watson can't keep a girlfriend for more than a few weeks. Those who've seen the sometimes public break-up discussions will say it all comes back to Sherlock. And it does, it always does. Sherlock is too demanding of John's time, his energy, his brain-space for anyone else to fit.

But those are just the women John Watson brings home. There are others, who never so much as shadow the door of 221B. One-night stands are never going to be his preferred method of achieving orgasm, but it's a method that works, and no one is getting hurt by it. He prefers to go off on the pull farther away from Baker Street—he's never really stopped to think about why. He winds up in a pub miles away, relishing a moment of solitude while waiting for his pint, eyes moving restlessly over the weekend crowd.

He spots her almost immediately. He hears a throaty laugh from one of the tables and turns to see her, creamy idealized English skin startling set against coal black hair (he learns later that she dyes it and he doesn't care). She's all sharp angles and smooth planes, not quite model-thin, but not far from it. He can't hear the conversation she's having with her companions, but the spark in her eye is enough to hold his interest.

When she stands to head to the bar, he catches her eye and smiles, raising his glass. Entirely coincidentally, she winds up talking to the barman from just a few feet away from him. She's a good five inches taller than him in her heels, and he can't stop stealing glances up at her. They exchange names (she's called Maggie) and when she goes back to her table, he follows, a little surprised to be so drawn by such a pair of narrow hips.

If there's one thing he can be, it's charming. After a flirty conversation, and a laughter-fueled, tipsy game of darts, the evening ends in her flat, the two of them panting and pulling at each other's clothing before the door is properly closed.

It's odd, at first, to be kissed by someone leaning down to him, waves of her dark hair falling to either side of his face. He tells himself it's the novelty that makes it so intense. He undresses her in the entryway of her flat, pressing her back to the door as he peels away layers of fabric and tosses them aside.

“A man who doesn't waste time,” she murmurs, “I approve.”

John huffs a short laugh, but remains intent on his task. Once she stands before him in nothing but a wispy pair of knickers and her heels, he pulls her mouth down to his with one hand while his free hand wanders over curves that aren't quite there: slender hips, tiny pert breasts. Maggie gasps against his mouth when his fingers tweak a nipple. He presses his teeth into the smooth white line of her neck, grinding his hips against her so she can feel his arousal through the clothing he still wears.

When her breathing spins into a low whine, his fingers trail and dip down over the almost concave curve of her ribs and belly, toying with the edge of the fragile fabric at her hips. He drags just the tip of his fingers downwards, and they pull the fabric with them. As the gossamer threads fall to the floor, he nips his way down to her collarbone, sucking lightly at the pale skin to watch it redden then fade.

She reaches for him, tugging at his jacket, which he never managed to take off. He hears it land somewhere across the room. But when she moves to unbutton his shirt, he stops her, pressing her hands firmly back against the door as his mouth slides inexorably lower, keeping her hands pinned until his mouth reaches one peaked nipple, keeping them pinned until she gets his meaning. She groans and wraps one long-fingered hand around the doorknob for support and fists the other one against the door panel and he lets go.

John moves down in a slow, fluid crouch until he flickers the tip of his tongue against the sharp angle of her hip. She whimpers and he looks up, pressing his open mouth at the top of her thigh. “Jesus, yes,” she gasps. Smiling against her skin, he nudges her knees apart by trailing fingernails up the inside of her thigh until his knuckles brush the wet curls of her pubic hair. She nearly falls in her haste to open her legs and let him brush his thumb over wet lips, nudging them aside to barely flicker a feather touch against her clit. He can smell her, the damp heat making his mouth water just a little.

Drawing one smooth thigh over his shoulder and keeping one hand firmly curled around one buttock with fingertips just barely teasing open the crack, he nuzzles his nose against her pussy, inhaling her scent once more before sneaking out his tongue for a long, slow lick. He may occasionally trip over his tongue while chatting someone up, but here it never lets him down. Her heel slides up his back and the hand not clinging to the doorknob moves to clutch at his hair. John presses the flat of his tongue firmly between her lips and laps at her clit, while he catches the hand in his hair with his left hand and presses it back against the door. This time he doesn't let go so quickly, keeping her hand pinned while his mouth explores every sweet, wet fold. He's rewarded with a rush of wetness over his tongue, salty-sweet.

“Ah, Jesus,” she cries, and he can feel her legs start to quiver. He lets go of her hand to slide his fingertips over the cool ivory of her hips, grasping with both hands so he can bury his face in her, jaw and tongue and mouth all working in concert until her hips start to jerk against him. “Oh fuck, please don't stop,” were the only coherent words he hears from her before she gasps and jerks hard enough to lose contact, but his hands pull her back to his mouth where he drinks down every bit of her orgasm, his head spinning with need.

John slides up the length of her body, tormenting himself with the heat of her skin pressing through his clothes. He draws her down for a long kiss, a test of sorts to see how she responds to her taste in his mouth. She moans and breaks the kiss to nibble and lap all around his mouth and chin, seeking out her own taste and scent on his skin. He gives over to her then, knees weakened by the greedy way she devours any trace she's left behind.

They wind up on her bed and John lets her undress him, moving only to wriggle out of his jeans, and to shoulder out of his shirt. Maggie straddles him, and she's glorious, absolutely glorious, glowing with heat as she takes his cock in her hand and guides it straight to where he most wants to be. But he knows himself, and he knows this will never do. He pulls her down to him, biting at her lips before rolling her over to fuck her properly, the way he needs to.

He's inside of her, she's writhing beneath him, but it's still not enough, it's still not what he needs. He draws back, jaw clenching at losing the sensation of her wrapped around him. She whimpers and he answers, “Turn over.”

She hesitates and he teases her by dipping the tip of one finger between her lips and inside her. She arches her back and moans before curling to her side and rolling to her knees. “All right, but no funny stuff.”

He leans over her back in answer, lapping at the base of her spine before sliding upwards, angling his cock to nudge at the lips of her pussy, parting them and sliding deeper with exquisite slowness. John's breath catches in his throat. The long, pale, slender back undulating against his cock, shadow of dark curls at the nape of her neck--the rush of heat that floods his body from cock upwards catches him off-guard. He has to close his eyes for a moment to keep from losing control too early. Realization makes them open again, wide.

John's hips move of their own volition, dragging slow and steady, in and out, as he tries to make sense of what he's seeing. You see but you don't observe, comes a mocking voice in his head. He resists the urge to close his eyes again and focuses on the body moving beneath him. “Oh god,” he groans, not entirely out of just pleasure. The longer he watches her slim, boyish body take him in, the longer he watches sweat droplets form on smooth white skin, dampening her short dark hair, the greater the pleasure grows until he finally has to close his eyes, his head dropping back. “Oh god,” he says again, the only warning he has time to give her before he spasms hard, jerking quick movements of his hips until he feels the rippling curl at the start of her second orgasm, hurriedly replacing his softening cock with his fingers and mouth until he feels her sag against the bed.

Maggie reaches out to him with a trembling hand and he lets her pull him up, too spent to resist. “Where did you come from and how long can I keep you?” she breathes shakily.

He laughs and kisses away salt from her shoulder. “I'm on loan from the British government, I suppose.”

“Bloody hell.” She rolls to face him, wrapping an arm around his waist. “Can you stay?”

He freezes for a moment. “I'd like to, I really would--”

“No, that's fine,” and it actually sounds like it is, as she's still snuggled against him with no hint of tension in her body.

“Another time?” he asks, because Jesus Christ does he hope there's another time.

“Mmm,” she says, and bites at the side of his neck. “Next time you don't get off so easily.”

God. He doesn't bother to hide the shiver.