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Crocodiles and Cannibals and Putting Things in Sherlock’s Hair

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So little changes about their relationship John almost considers being offended by it. They already live together. They already sleep in the same bed. They already follow each other around like co-dependent puppies and they already have their little tiffs about who has to do the shopping and why did you leave the cap off the toothpaste again. All those little relationship things people generally grow into over time they’ve already mastered, which makes going from just-friends to woops-boyfriends-after-all surprisingly easy. As an added bonus, nobody actually realises they’ve just done and gone for it. This is good. John doesn’t enjoy the idea of parading their relationship around for all to see. He considers telling people close to them but chickens out, not quite ready, typing a text to Harry up to five times and discarding it again because he just can’t find a way to tell her which doesn’t sound too cheesy or too flippant or just too damn mushy.

Mrs. Hudson knows, however. He tells her, one Thursday afternoon when he’s sitting in her kitchen helping her fill out a tax form and eating those lovely custard pastries she gets from the Speedy’s bloke. The words just fall out his mouth (“I’m in love with him. He’s in love with me, too. It’s all a bit wonderful really, even if it’s still very new”) and she gives him this look that somehow manages to combine ‘well that took you long enough’ with ‘I’m so happy for the two of you’ and he can only hope everyone else in his life will have the same reaction, when he’s finally ready to tell them.
“You be careful with that silly little heart of his though,” she warns him as he goes back upstairs. “He talks like he’s made of concrete but we both know he shatters like glass.” That hurts, for some reason, and he sits and he stares at Sherlock the entire evening until Sherlock finally snaps and asks him if he’s got something on his face.

Still it’s not as earth-shattering as he’d somehow feared it all would be, which is equal parts comforting and embarrassing (because apparently, yes, he has been in a relationship with this man for over a year without noticing, thank you brain for not catching up with that). This is probably all because of the one thing that he had expected to change more than it actually did - the physical side to their relationship. Not that there isn’t more touching now. Sherlock sits closer to him when they watch television, and Sherlock sleeps closer to him now too, usually an arm or a leg draped around whatever part of John’s body he finds nearest.

There’s the kissing, too, though it doesn’t happen as much yet as John would like. Sherlock’s mouth is an addictive thing, especially when it’s not spitting insults. It’s warm and soft, usually a bit sweet (that man puts a lot of sugar in his tea, he learns), and there’s this odd sense of pride that he’s the only person in the world who’s ever gotten to explore it so thoroughly. Nobody else knows that look in Sherlock’s eyes when he’s properly kissed, like John just had the most brilliant idea, like he is the most brilliant idea come to life as a short podgy blogger. Nobody else has ever seen that, and making that happen is like a tiny adventure all on its own and John is itching to, so to speak, further that expedition into foreign land, even if the foreign land is frightfully unfamiliar and potentially riddled with crocodiles and miniature cannibals.

Still, it all ends there, with the stolen kisses and Sherlock occasionally hanging all over him when he’s trying to tie his shoes or brushing his teeth. It’s not that Sherlock seems to be ignoring the physical on purpose, it just doesn’t appear to occur to him that the option exists, which is somehow worse.

Sherlock stands in the kitchen, spreading butter on toast, as John watches him and imagines. He does that a lot, actually. It lands him on a place between happy and uncomfortable and he quite likes it there, like being fifteen again, thinking about getting his hand up his first girlfriend’s shirt.

“I think we need to talk about something,” he says, testing the waters carefully. Might just as well - bringing things out in the open has proven the best way of moving things forward with Sherlock throughout this entire thing, after all.
“What, again? You already told me you love me, John, no need to relive that.” Sherlock bites into his toast.
“Not that, you prat. I’m talking about. Well. Sex.”
Sherlock raises an eyebrow at him mid-chew. “Last time I brought that up you almost inhaled an entire cup of coffee.”
“That was then,” John says, feeling ever so mildly embarrassed. “This is now. I just think we should. Get it out in the open. We’re really doing this out of order, you know. I lived with you first, and then I started sleeping in your bed. I told you I loved you before I even kissed you. There’s all these stations you go past when you’re building a relationship with someone but we’ve just jumped so far off-track and it’s. Well. I don’t know where you stand, on the whole issue. You know I hate that feeling.”

“I’ve already told you once I’m curious about it,” Sherlock says, licking buttery crumbs off his thumb.
“You told me you weren’t curious enough to do something about it.”
“That was then,” Sherlock retorts, corner of his mouth curling up. “This is now.” John isn’t sure whether to kick him or to kiss him for that. “I’d do it for you, if you wanted, anyway,” Sherlock continues.
“Oh now that’s a turn-on,” John says grimly, reaching for an empty beaker sat in the middle of their kitchen table and turning it over in his hands.
“No, Sherlock, really isn’t.”

Sherlock observes him, eyebrows knotted together in a way that suggests he’s having trouble working John out. John enjoys those moments. Nice to know he’s not that much of an open book to him just yet.
“Do you want to, though?” Sherlock asks him. Fair enough question. John shrugs.
“Yes. I do, I suppose. But it’s complicated, isn’t it?”
“Is it?”
John sighs, putting the beaker back. “You seem to be missing the fact that we both have a penis. That presents something of a logistical issue I’ve not been faced with before. I’m just… quite green, on the subject, if you must know. It makes me feel a bit self-conscious.”

Sherlock makes a face that tells John he can work with that. He’s not sure if he should be scared.
“We can figure it out together, then. If you’d like,” he says. “An case study.”
Oh, goody. Just what John’s life is lacking. “I’m not so sure if that’s the right –“
“No no, it’s perfect, John. You already said to me once that it’s a bit silly I can’t accept other people’s data on most subjects but am fine at living my life without any empirical evidence of my own about sex. If there is anyone in the world I would want to gather that with, obviously it’s you.”
“I don’t want you to have sex with me because you want data, I want you to have sex with me because you want me,” John throws out and Sherlock gives him a funny look, like it’s silly to assume the two are mutually exclusive.

“Look. Let’s just. Leave at that for now, okay? I’m glad we talked about it. Not really, actually, but I’m glad I know you’re. Open to further discussion.” John sighs and feels stupid. Sherlock steeps his tea with a vaguely maniacal grin that makes John want to run for the hills.


One afternoon John comes home from work and finds Sherlock absolutely engrossed in a gay porn flick, a look of utmost serious concentration on his face. He is scribbling in his Moleskine like his life depends on it – is that a diagram?? – and the whole thing’s such a turn-off John considers just joining a monastery and embracing a beautiful sexless existence.

“What are you... Sherlock, do have you have to do that with the door unlocked? What if Mrs. Hudson walks in?”
“Research, John. It’s not like I’m sitting here fiddling with myself.”
That, at least, is very true. John might have had a heart attack if he’d walked in on that, so he thanks God for small favours and stands besides Sherlock to warily eye the screen. “What the hell are you researching... no, wait, don’t answer that, I already know. But from porn? Really?”
“You should watch it with me, John, just to get a basic idea of the options. Those two... oh, pardon, three gentlemen don’t seem to have any logistical issues concerning the numbers of cocks in the room.”

Sherlock just said cocks. John doesn’t think he can handle it. “Oh for God’s sake, Sherlock, I’m not from a different planet, I do know what sort of things guys could theoretically do with each other. I’m just not. Sure how to go about it. Or if I’d like it. And porn was never a good sexual educator, okay, and good grief what the hell is he doing to that showerhead?”
They both stare at the screen in awe for a moment before Sherlock shuts it off, looking vaguely disturbed. “Let’s forget about that.”
“I’m so happy you feel that way,” John says.


After the great porn fiasco of 2012 Sherlock doesn't mention the subject for two days. John is just fine with this, but knows that such things rarely last – does he want it to, anyway? Sherlock is sitting on the floor in front of the sofa, doing something to an old fax machine with a screwdriver that John doesn't really think worth knowing. He'd already asked Sherlock if he was trying to flash back to 1993, which only earned him a murderous glare and a snide remark about usable spare parts. John is sprawled across the sofa, one eye on BBC3. Something about foxes. Sherlock likes foxes, which is why he put it on, but he's more engrossed in his fax machine and John wonders if he will notice if he switches to a movie on E4.

"How many people have you slept with?" Sherlock inquires so casually it's almost frightening and John puts the remote down because all right then.
"A few. Not an extreme number, I don't think. Obviously more than you." He pokes the nub of Sherlock's spine visible over the collar of his shirt, but Sherlock doesn't respond, digging a pair of pliers deep into the fax's belly.
"All women, never men," Sherlock continues on.
"Where exactly are you going with this?" John asks. There's a pen on the floor, just beside Sherlock's bottom. John reaches, picks it up and twiddles it between his fingers.

“I take it you have engaged in certain sexual practices with women that do carry over to men.”
Ah. Right. “I’m not talking about that with you," John counters, because there's simply no way Sherlock can get him to make a list of things he's done to girls he might do to Sherlock, too. He's just going to have to use his imagination a bit. It might even be good for him.
"Sure," John responds. He holds the pen between his index fingers, then leans over and slides it into Sherlock's hair, tucked neatly into his curls. It doesn't fall out which John finds absolutely delightful.

"Are you less comfortable with the idea of doing those same things to me than you are doing them to a woman?"
John sits up, spirited, looking around for little things he might be able to suspend neatly in Sherlock’s hair as well. He finds a plastic cable-tie Sherlock had pulled out the fax machine earlier and expertly threads it in, pleased with this little game. Sherlock doesn't move or even say anything, either grudgingly humouring John or simply too engrossed in the fax's innards to notice.
"It's not about comfortable. I'd say I'm pretty damn comfortable with you." A teaspoon joins the pen and the cable-tie, dangled precariously above Sherlock's ear. "But it's just different, isn't it?"

Sherlock is quiet for a moment while John hides a paperclip on the top of his head. "Yes, I suppose it is. Are you putting things in my hair?"
"Because it's not falling out. It's kind of fun."
Sherlock frowns and shakes his head, sending the little items flying everywhere. John falls back onto the couch, laughing, because that might just be the single funniest thing he's ever seen Sherlock do. Sherlock puts the pliers down and jams the screwdriver into the fax and turns, grabbing John by the shoulders and kissing him fiercely and that's all right, then. This conversation was getting more than a little silly, anyway.


One rainy Wednesday afternoon John flips his laptop open and is immediately confronted with a white and purple website entitled ‘Gay Sex Guide’. He almost chokes, flips his laptop shut, and calls for Sherlock.

“What?” Sherlock says, appearing around the kitchen door with his goggles on.
“What the bloody hell have you done with my laptop?”
“Research. Thought you might find it useful?”
"You told me once your theoretical knowledge on the subject was quite comprehensive, already. Does you really need to nick my laptop to do some more research?"
"It is quite comprehensive, yes. But I've never studied up on it knowing I was going to put it to practice shortly."
Putting things to practice. Shortly. Oh, God, yes. “Do your research on your own laptop,” John grumbles. He shoves it under the sofa and stalks out the living room.

Later, after Sherlock has quite abruptly left the flat – something about requiring a car jack that left John fairly puzzled and wishing he’d not been quite so distracted because he felt he was missing something rather important there – John retrieves his laptop from underneath the sofa. He spends nearly an hour reading every last word on the website and spends the next hour wandering the flat aimlessly feeling unbelievably worked up, after which Sherlock comes home covered in soot and he spends the evening trying to figure out how to get motor oil out a cashmere scarf.


It’s Friday and Sherlock hasn't mentioned the subject in nearly 48 hours now and John is starting to feel a bit paranoid about it. There are two options, there: option the first, Sherlock is still studying up on all the dirty kinky little things he might wish to do to John and won't come out and say something about it until he's figured something or other out for himself again; or option the second, Sherlock has gotten bored with it already and has moved onto something else. John doesn't particularly want either of those to happen.

It's quiet in their flat that night as John lies in bed, awake but comfortable. London murmurs beyond the bedroom window, people on their way home from the pub, a police siren giving a single whoop somewhere in the distance. He's fairly certain Sherlock is awake too, lying behind him, breathing deeply into the static darkness of his room. There's a rustle and a shift of sheets and John gets the confirmation he needs as Sherlock curls around him, pressed tightly against his back, a slender arm curling around his waist.

"Why are you awake?" he murmurs, voice right behind John's ear.
"Can't sleep. Not bothered though," he answers lazily, closing his eyes for a moment. Sherlock is spooning him. He's never done that before and it's a moment, really, something that scoops up John's heart and warms it and it's lovely.
"What are you thinking?" Sherlock's nose rubs into his hair, to the back of his neck, his lips just about brushing the patch of skin right above the collar of his t-shirt, and it makes the breath hitch in the back of John's throat.
"Can't tell you what I'm thinking now, far too scandalous," he says, and the deep chuckle Sherlock offers into the crook of his neck sends shivers down his spine.
"How about you?" John asks and Sherlock is quiet for a moment, worrying a bit of John's shirt between his lips.
"I'm thinking this is nice, you sort of fit right into me. I'm thinking your shirt is clean, and I'm thinking I might like you to wear one of mine some time. I'm thinking about the police siren we just heard too, and about the neighbour because he's coming home drunk for the fourth time this week. I could go on, if you'd like, but the list might get long."
"Only you would have so many thoughts in the depth of the night snuggled against your boyfriend's back," John comments, hooking his left foot around Sherlock's ankle and pulling it between his own.
"Boyfriend," Sherlock repeats, trying the word on his tongue and enjoying the taste.

The night drifts leisurely through Baker street and they listen to it for a few beats. John realises they're breathing in tandem and wonders if that's a conscious effort on Sherlock's behalf. He's laying there, warm and half-aroused (okay maybe more than half) and they're breathing like they're one person and for a few shared heartbeats John's entire world is one big yes.

"Is there room in that jumble of thoughts for consideration of more amorous activities?"
"You assume such considerations are not already in there?" Sherlock teases, the arm around John's waist tightening for a moment.
"You didn't mention them. You've been pretty preoccupied with that stuff the past week."
"Different now. When we're like this, I mean."
"Too much?"
"No. Maybe."

John draws little circles on Sherlock’s forearm with his fingertips, smiling to himself when he feels little goosebumps rise up on Sherlock’s skin. “If it’s too much just say so, I won’t get angry.”
“Don’t worry. You know me, I never do anything I don’t want to do.”
“But you do want to, though? That’s the real important question. Do you have this burning need inside of you to just get that close to someone else? To me?”
Sherlock is quiet for far too long and John considers taking it all back and calling the whole thing off.
“Yes,” he then says, carefully. “I do. I think I do. I am curious, I do mean that. I fantasize about it, too, just like you do. It’s just all a bit. New.”

And there he has it, then. So perfectly human, all of a sudden. Take away all the science, all the walls he’s put up, all the problems Sherlock has with other people but doesn’t have with John, and you’re left with simply an inexperienced man who’s just a bit daunted by the whole thing. He shatters like glass John thinks and it’s so beautifully simple he could nearly have something of a cry over it.

“We can take all the time you need. I don’t want you to feel rushed or anything.”
“I don’t. I’m not some wilting flower, John.”
John would honestly never dare suggest such a thing.
“But are you okay with it? With waiting. You’re a healthy man, you have… needs.” The words come out of Sherlock’s mouth carefully, porcelain that might break if John steps on them.
“I do have needs,” he admits honestly. “But also a heart and wouldn’t dream of making you do something you don’t want to.”
“I do want to,” Sherlock breathes into the nape of his hair. “May I… please.” And then his hand snakes into the front of John’s pyjama bottoms and that’s all a bit all right. Better than all right, actually. John writhes and gasps and presses back against Sherlock’s chest and it doesn’t last that long, actually, but that was hardly what he was supposed to do in this instance and it takes a pressure off him he didn’t realize was there until it’s gone.

After, Sherlock disappears into the bathroom and stays away longer than it would take to simply wash his hands. It takes John a moment to catch up and when he does he feels stupid for accepting this from Sherlock and not offering to return the favour. Before he can decide if he’s going to get up to do something about that Sherlock has already returned, however, visibly more relaxed, and snuggles against his back again. He kisses John’s ear, pressing himself comfortably close, and John thinks he could just happily be the little spoon for the rest of his life.
“That was nice. Thank you,” John says awkwardly.
“No, thank you, for letting me,” Sherlock answers contentedly and drifts off into sleep in no time. He talks about him in his sleep, but John has no idea what he’s saying as for some reason he can’t quite fathom it’s in Portuguese. It sounds like he’s talking of love, however, so he decides to enjoy the soothing deep tones and falls asleep thinking it’s not so bad, getting a handjob from Sherlock Holmes.


John hums his way through the entire next day, resisting the urge to do a little dance every now and then. Sherlock eyes him with a look that manages to combine the delight at having pleased someone with deeply smug self-satisfaction. John reckons that if cats were ever to decide to perform tricks, this would be the face they would make upon fetching you your slippers. Bow down and worship my greatness, you infidel, for I did something you liked.

John hums his way through Tesco, hums even while he queues, hums his way back home and hums as he clears up the shopping, not even bothered by the pair of human lungs sitting neatly on a plate in the fridge (even if he really does need to talk about that to Molly sometime - for the sake of his sanity and the general liveability of their flat she really ought to stop giving Sherlock all these bits of people). Only then does he realise that there's an eerie silence hanging in the flat and Sherlock's absence from the living area lights up like a Christmas tree.

"Sherlock?" he calls out carefully.
"Bedroom," is the response he receives.

He finds him there, sitting cross-legged on his bed, surrounded by what John recognises to be several different boxes of condoms, over a dozen bottles of lubricant in all shapes and colours, and one frightfully orange thing of silicone rubber he tries very very hard to ignore. Sherlock is reading the instructions on one of the boxes, the top opened, several wrapped condoms scattered on his lap.

A beat. John stares and tries to wrap his brain around it but fails.

"Hey, is that a reason to leave?" he says flatly before turning on his heels and leaving the room.
"John! Get back in here."
"Yes. Look at this."
John sighs, standing in the hallway, a hand pressed to his forehead. Good grief he thinks to himself before turning back again. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I went to a shop. There are so many options, it's utterly fascinating. The shop owner was very helpful though."
"I can tell," John says weakly. Curiosity wins over, however, and he picks up a bottle of lube. Cherry flavoured. Who knew? Oh God, the mental images might just be the death of him. He tosses it back onto the bed. "We don't need this much stuff, Sherlock."
"I didn't want to run the risk of needing something and then not having it around," Sherlock says absently, screwing the lid off a bottle and sniffing. He makes a face, screws it shut again and tosses it over his shoulder.
"Looks like you're planning quite the party though."
"Maybe I am."

That one hits home. John is squished into that tense spot between incredibly awkward and unbelievably aroused and stands dithering for a moment, trying to figure out what to do with his hands. "Okay," he finally settles on before sitting down on the bed, between the oddly intimidating boxes, tubes and bottles. "Christ there's a lot of variety here, it's a little creepy actually."
"Hmm. They had more. The possibilities, it appears, are endless."
John picks up a box of Durex and holds it up to Sherlock, one eyebrow raised. "Ribbed for her pleasure?"
"Oh, shut up."

“This all implies... a very specific set of activities, though.” John can’t believe he’s saying that. If Sherlock throws Latin terms for it his way he might have to hurt him, just a bit.
“Yes, obviously. Not to worry, I’d gladly take on the receiving part, if you’d so desire. I understand you might have been brought up with a certain set of preconceived notions about the role of the male during intercourse which makes this an uncomfortable idea for you, but I don’t believe I’m bothered by that.”
Oh, good lord. “We really need to do something about this habit of yours where you open your mouth and sound comes out,” John says darkly.

“I just think it might be useful to discuss these things beforehand,” Sherlock continues.
“Look. Sherlock. Sex is not like that, okay. It’s not a science project with parameters you can set beforehand. You’re best off just sort of letting it solve itself on its own.”
“You’re not feeding my enthusiasm, here,” Sherlock says. John’s pretty sure he’s lying about that, though. Sherlock might be the only person in the world with a fondness of spur-of-the-moment decisions to rival his own.

“Wait. Did you just give me permission to bum you?” John says. It only just hits him and shorts out a worrying chunk of his brain that he might need some day but has now been rendered completely useless by the idea of bending Sherlock over whatever item of furniture he can find and... well.
“No. I’m taking it back. Go away.”
Sherlock throws a box of condoms at his head.


In the end, as such things are inclined to do, it all happens pretty much on its own.

John is sitting on the edge of the bed just a few nights after when Sherlock walks into the bedroom, scratching the back of his head, and there's a beat where they lock eyes and time drags to a halt and the moment just changes entirely. It goes from just-another-Tuesday-night into oh, now, and they don't even require the words to let each other know they're both right there. Sherlock straddles him, all slender lines in soft cotton sleepwear, and kisses him slowly.

They peel each other out their clothes and John loses himself in Sherlock entirely, his taste, his scent, the warm slide of his skin. He touches and presses his mouth everywhere he can manage, mapping the places that make Sherlock squirm and press his head back into his pillow. Sherlock is surprisingly vocal, not holding back a thing, and it's all so new and thrilling it makes John's head swim. He kisses confessions of love down Sherlock's ribcage and in his turn Sherlock's fingers write essays of adoration on the inside of John's thighs. He finds poetry in the curve of Sherlock's spine, the hollow of his knees, and nearly drowns himself in the concave of his hips. He realises he could do this forever but at the same time that glowing little ember of blatant need that had been simmering inside him for weeks grows into a roaring fire between his ears and he needs more.

He takes a moment to compose himself, face pressed into Sherlock's neck. Sherlock is nibbling on his shoulder, fingers playing down his spine.
"Do you want to go on?" he manages, kind of surprised he's capable of making his voice work at all.
"Yes," Sherlock breathes against his skin. "Yes please, yes please, yes please." That goes pretty much straight to John's cock and he needs another moment, breathing against Sherlock's skin, before he rips himself away and dives into Sherlock's bedside drawer.

"Good lord you've bought a lot of lube," he mutters, surveying the jumble of bottles.
"The lady in the shop said there's no such thing as too much lubricant," Sherlock counters lazily.
"I don't think this is quite what she meant," John says but it doesn't matter, not really, so he just grabs the nearest one and nearly has an aneurysm when he turns back to Sherlock because, oh, God.

Sherlock is spread out across the bed, knees apart, looking at him with his eyes dark and his hair tousled and a delightful touch of pink to his face. He's so entirely open, surrendered, submitting himself completely to John with such abandon and John thinks he would have cried about the sheer fucking beauty of it all if he hadn't been so intensely, painfully horny. He starts working him open, unravelling him one finger at a time, and Sherlock's response is of such raw, slack-jawed enjoyment John thinks he could just sit there and do this forever. There's a brief hysterical moment where his slick fingers fail to rip the condom wrapper and Sherlock bursts into a fit of nervous giggles while he tries to tear it open with his teeth. "For God's sake John, you're killing me," he titters, covering his eyes with his hands. John giggles with him even as he unrolls the condom, but then they both go very quiet, very still indeed, as John pushes in and Sherlock stares at him with wide, startled eyes, holding his breath.

"Do you want me to stop?" John barely manages, the more primal part of him informing him he'd really rather not because oh God so good, so good.
Sherlock shakes his head vigorously. "If you stop I might have to kill you," he gasps and there's something of a strain to his voice so John pulls him close and holds him there. Sherlock moans into his neck as they begin to move into each other and the noise of it drowns out everything else around them. John thinks he's babbling but can't say for sure, might just as well be reciting the entire Hippocratic Oath into the damp hollow of Sherlock's throat, but if he's managing something intelligible he knows it's the truest confession of love he's ever had tumble past his lips.

Sherlock, in his turn, comes completely undone. After his initial bit of shock fades he grows bolder, noisier, long legs wrapped around John’s waist. A few thrusts and well-timed strokes of John’s hand and he’s gone completely, all control he ever had over himself stripped away, head thrown back and crying out in a way John fears for a moment might worry Mrs. Hudson enough to alert the police. But then John is lost, too, and the entire fucking Yard could burst in through their door for all he cares and he wouldn’t have noticed, anyway. It’s a moment of pure, perfect brightness, John wondering for a moment if Sherlock and him have somehow fused into one person made up of pleasure and heat and he explodes and implodes and that, then, is that.

After the world has hesitantly started turning again he lies slumped atop Sherlock, catching his breath. Sherlock’s fingers are writing on his shoulder blades – notes, he suspects, composing a symphony on sweat-slicked skin and he can’t wait to hear him actually play it. He pushes himself up but is halted by Sherlock, legs still wrapped tightly around his hips.
“Sherlock, I have to –“
“No,” Sherlock mumbles an interruption. “Stay here.”
“Sherlock. Unless you fancy a trip to the emergency room to remove a slipped-off condom from your backside, I do suggest letting me up.” That does the trick. Sherlock makes a face and lets his arms and legs fall to the side. John awkwardly moves off and makes his way to the bathroom on wobbly knees. He cleans himself up in the harsh bright light, feeling positively giddy. He catches himself in the bathroom mirror – hair standing upright, face blotchy, eyes large and shining and a grin on his face he can’t manage to tame – and gives himself a spur-of-the-moment thumbs up.

“I shall refrain from commenting on that,” Sherlock says as he, of course, follows into the bathroom. He reaches for a washcloth and starts cleaning himself up a bit and John stands back and just stares.

He doesn’t think anybody in the world has even been as naked as Sherlock Holmes is capable of being, so unapologetically, completely unashamedly nude. He’s seen Sherlock naked before – he has something of an unfortunate habit involving sheets and finding pants inexplicably dull when he gets bored – but it’s different now, like this extra layer has been peeled off and he’s seeing more of him than he was able to before. There’s a hickey to the left of his ribcage that John put there and it’s basically the purplest thing in the world, contrasted against the impossible pale, and even as he stands there valiantly scrubbing away at the spunk spattered in his pubic hair he’s easily the most beautiful thing John can ever remember seeing. Sentiment, Sherlock would say.

He waits impatiently until Sherlock is done before he pulls him close, standing naked together in the middle of their bathroom. “You okay?” he asks into the crook of Sherlock’s neck.
“Hmm...” For a moment he considers perhaps a shower, dragging Sherlock in there, soap and water and all that skin to keep himself occupied with.
“Tired,” Sherlock mumbles, and cuts that train of thought short. Bed, then. Stellar idea, as well.
“Yes. Sex does that to you.”
Sherlock chuckles into John’s hair. “Good to know.” He pulls back with a decisive sort of squeeze of John’s waist and gives him one of those mad, brilliant smiles he seems to have reserved only for John. “You got to steal my virginity, you know. Pleased with yourself?”
John returns the smile, trying to get his face to do the same incredible thing Sherlock’s can do. He knows he couldn’t possibly manage to come even close, but doesn’t really care. “Oh, yes. Very. Dead chuffed.”
Sherlock laughs and grabs him by the arm and they tumble back into the bedroom.