He had no idea how he felt. Wonderful. Vulnerable. Amazed. Terrified. Exhausted. Elated...
He'd relaxed his grip holding the condom around the base of his cock and the law of gravity being what it was...
"Don't... don't move, John. I need to clean this up."
John laughed then toppled over to one side and sighed contentedly. "I don't think I could move even if I wanted to."
Greg slid off the bed and padded out into the hall, trying not to drip anywhere. "Back in a minute."
"Stop worrying!" John called after him.
Greg headed into the bathroom trying to tell himself the same thing. It was OK - messy, but OK. None of it had gone anywhere near John. It would be fine.
He carefully disposed of the condom, had a quick wash and went back to the bedroom with a handful of toilet paper for John.
"Thanks." John cleaned himself off then looked uncertain as to his next move.
"Just chuck it in the bin there," Greg said, nodding towards a small wastebasket by the door. He took a pair of clean white boxers from the top drawer of his dresser and tugged them on.
John sat up, took aim and raised his arms victoriously when the wad of paper landed squarely in the centre of the metal cylinder.
Greg, who did the exact same thing most nights putting his socks into the laundry basket, frowned in mock disapproval.
John stuck his tongue out.
Greg pounced on him.
They wrestled, laughing and tickling and snatching kisses from each other, until they were both breathless again.
Greg flopped back on top of the bed and John snuggled into his shoulder. Greg marvelled at how right it felt to have him there.
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" John asked.
Greg gently stroked John's back. "I think I can safely say you're the best lover I've ever had."
John laughed. The vibration of it went through Greg's body and he closed his eyes, wanting this moment to last for... oh, the rest of time would be about right.
"Mm, 'lover'. Sounds good when you say that. Say it again," John prompted.
Greg hesitated before replying, "Are you mocking my West Country upbringing by any chance?"
"Wouldn't dream of it." Greg could feel John's grin as a stretch of stubbled skin against Greg's chest.
"Yeah right." Greg rolled over so John was on his back and he was leaning over him. He kissed John softly on the lips before thickly laying on his long-forgotten boyhood accent. "Whatever you say, moi luvver."
John laughed and pulled him close again. " I am yours, you know. You're stuck with me now. Not a hope in hell of getting rid of me this time."
Greg sighed. "S'pose I'll just have to put up with you then."
John's smile could have lit buildings. "S'pose you will." A small shiver ran through him. "Brr - don't suppose you can put up with me under the duvet?"
"Sorry - of course." Greg rolled off the bed and stood up. John did the same off the other side. They lifted the duvet and slid back under it, resuming their former position.
"You probably don't even feel cold, do you? You're giving off heat like a bloody furnace." John wriggled himself even closer to Greg's chest.
"Ah, I knew there'd be a catch - you only love me for my body heat."
"Mmm..." John agreed drowsily as his eyes closed.
Greg watched as John's breathing evened out and his muscles relaxed. The idea that someone could know what he was and still trust him enough to fall asleep naked next to him was making his head spin. It was so contrary to everything he'd ever told himself.
And yet, here they were.
Greg felt like he should be angry that he'd denied himself this simple happiness for so long but the more he thought of it the more he realised it would never have worked before now.
He'd needed somebody experienced, tough, but with the capacity for gentleness, and so level-headed you could balance books on him.
He'd needed John.
Thank Christ John hadn't given up on him.
He brushed a few stray hairs away from John's forehead and softly kissed it.
John made a tiny "Mmmh" noise but didn't wake.
Greg wasn't really that tired but he closed his eyes and let himself drift off into a light doze, with his nose buried in John's hair...
He woke as he felt John stirring against him.
John blinked groggily a few times then focused on Greg's eyes. "Have you been awake all this time?"
"No. I was asleep too. I don't know - something in your breathing shifted or something before you woke up and it woke me up. Good nap?"
"Yeah." John yawned hugely. "What time is it?"
"Umm, about eight I think?" Greg looked past him to the alarm clock. "Yeah, ten to eight."
"Mmm, mind if I use your shower?"
"Be my guest. There's towels in the cupboard in the hall."
John stood up and stretched his arms above his head, popping a few joints in the process. "Don't think I can't tell you're looking at my arse."
"Don't think I can't tell you're wanting me to," Greg shot back.
"Guilty as charged, officer." John turned and threw Greg a wicked grin over his shoulder. "Going to arrest me?"
"Going to spank you silly if you don't take that arse to the shower along with the rest of you."
"That a promise?"
Greg growled and leapt out of the bed.
John easily dodged him and fled, still laughing, into the bathroom.
Greg pulled on his dressing gown and went to find John a towel. He opened the bathroom door just enough to hang it on the rack above the radiator.
"Fancy a cuppa?" he asked the blur behind the shower curtain.
"Ooh yeah. Ta."
By the time Greg had gone downstairs, flipped the kettle on and collected together the mugs, tea bags, milk and sugar, John had finished his shower. He reappeared as Greg was stirring the sugar in, fully dressed again apart from his socks and shoes which he was carrying in one hand. With the other he was scrubbing his hair dry with the towel.
"Ahh, life saver. Cheers." John dropped the towel over the back of a chair, sat down, picked up his mug and took an appreciative sip. "Mmm." He looked at Greg over the top of the clouds of steam coming from his mug. "I could definitely get used to this."
Greg sat down and took a sip from his own mug before replying, "There's something you have to do first."
"Thought I'd just done it." John grinned.
"I'm serious, John. You have to talk to Sarah. I don't know where things are with you two but if you were starting anything, it's only fair you let her know it's not going any further."
John's smile vanished and he sighed. "You're right. I've been a bit of a bastard there, haven't I? I'll give her a call, see if I can go over and talk to her."
"Yeah, sooner would be better. Oh - and I've got a couple of things I need to do online at the flat too."
"You can use my laptop if you like."
"Thanks but it doesn't have my logins stored on it and I can never remember them."
"But once that's done I'm going to come straight back over here, so don't go anywhere."
"OK. You want to bring in some dinner with you or...?"
"No, I don't know how long I'll be with Sarah. You go ahead and see to yourself."
"Thought I didn't have to do that any more?"
"Cheeky bugger - and no you don't... unless I get to watch... and join in."
"I'll try to resist until you get back. No promises, mind."
John finished his tea and stood up. "Fair enough. If I were you I'd have trouble keeping my hands off myself too."
"Get your socks on and get out, you charmer."
John tugged his socks and shoes on and gave Greg a quick peck on the cheek as he went out the door. "See you later, moi luvver."
Greg shook his head as he watched John head up his front path to the gate. "Worst accent I ever heard," he called after him.
John just laughed and gave him a quick wave before disappearing...
Greg went back indoors, took a more leisurely shower, threw on some clothes, wandered back downstairs to the kitchen and made himself a light dinner of pasta and sauce.
He flicked between a variety of cooking and property shows while he ate, did the washing up then went back upstairs and stripped and remade the bed. Even once he'd put the dirty sheets in the laundry hamper he could still smell John and sex all through the house.
He grinned and shook his head when he caught himself whistling as he worked.
He took care of a few more chores but couldn't help feeling he was forgetting something. When it finally hit him, he closed his eyes and groaned. "The match."
That made it official; he must be smitten if John managed to make him forget an Arsenal game - a Champions League match, at that.
Greg grabbed a beer from the fridge, plonked himself down on the sofa, picked up his laptop and navigated to the BBC website.
He read through the match report as he swigged his beer. Sounded like he'd missed a cracking game. Somehow though, he couldn't quite bring himself to be that disappointed. Of course he'd have to come up with a different excuse for his mates who had the seats next to him in the stand. "I was losing my virginity to an ex-army doctor at the time and completely forgot" probably wouldn't be the best line to give them.
He put the TV back on and turned to the news so he could at least see the goals on the match report. Once the news and weather had finished he turned the TV off and glanced anxiously at his watch.
10:50pm - what the hell was keeping John?
He should call him.
No, that would be pathetic.
He'd give him a bit longer, maybe Sarah had had more to say than John reckoned for.
He went back to his laptop and looked at a few more statistics and match reports on some other web sites. A draw was a good result against a team of that quality. Return leg was going to be a tough one though.
Speaking of which, he suddenly remembered, wasn't there still one more pip to go in that other "game"?
Please God let it wait until tomorrow - even mad bombers have to sleep, don't they? Although if this guy was some twisted evil version of Sherlock then maybe not.
Greg chuckled. He'd have sworn when he first met him that Sherlock was the twisted evil version of Sherlock. It had taken time to realise Sherlock could be a good man, was a good man, especially now he had John around to remind him how it should be done.
His main concern about the final puzzle was that Sherlock had to wait for that damn pink phone to ring and Greg had to wait for Sherlock to tell him what it said. So far Moriarty had made sure that the Met had got involved very early on in each round of his insane battle of wills with Sherlock but that was no guarantee.
Greg had a nasty suspicion round five was where it was going to get personal.
Sherlock had typed the solution to the first three puzzles into his website. This last time though he'd been talking to Moriarty directly at the denouement - sort of. So was the next step actually talking to the man himself? Would they finally get a face to go with the name?
Greg hadn't looked at Sherlock's website since he'd typed in his solution to Connie Prince's murder. There would be no mention of the Vermeer but might there be something else? It was Sherlock's only way of initiating contact with the bomber before he called.
He tapped in the address of Sherlock's site.
What the hell are the 'Bruce-Partington plans'? 'The Pool' - which pool? 'Midnight' - midnight tonight?
Greg checked his watch - just gone 11:30. He grabbed his phone and called Sherlock.
It went straight to voicemail.
He fought down a horrible tightening sensation in his stomach as he called John.
"Hello, this is John Watson. I'm sorry I..."
Shit. Not good. He hung up without leaving a message. John could still be at Sarah's - he could be lots of different places - but somehow Greg just knew that John would be where Sherlock was. And Sherlock was at "The Pool".
There must be thousands of pools in London. That's even assuming it didn't mean just a pond or something. Gyms, schools, hotels, public swimming pools...
Wait! Carl Powers - those trainers, Sherlock's first case - he drowned at a swimming competition, didn't he? Where was the pool?
Greg scrabbled through his coat pockets and dug out his notes on the case file he'd retrieved earlier, muttering as he flipped through them. "No... no... Yes!"
He grabbed his car keys and sprinted for the door, dialling Donovan's number as he ran...