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The gloves, Sherlock thinks, may be the best part.

Touching John through the leather is terribly intimate. It feels taboo, as if experiencing him even in this muted way is a transgression. The effect seems to work on John, too, judging by the way he squirms. His body chases the sweep of Sherlock’s jacketed hands in hungry undulations. Even in the midst of slow, reverential sex, Sherlock can’t resist asking.

“The gloves, John. What do they feel like?”

John tosses his head, blinks his eyes open, trying to find himself. It takes a moment. Sherlock feels pride in his work. “L-lubricant.”

Sherlock drops his eyes to his hand, splayed wide on John’s chest, and grazes slowly over the hard nub of a nipple. He notes how delightfully John cranes into his touch, and the nuances of fine kidskin on skin. Smooth, yes; slick, even. He has to drag a breath into his lungs. Now that the association is there, it’s inescapable. Everywhere he touches John with these gloves, it’s a preparation.

“But I’m already penetrating you.” He rocks his cock inside John to make his point.

John keens through his nose. His head drops back, incapable of speech.

Sherlock has him bent double on his back, pressed down into the mattress and covered jealously by Sherlock’s body, hot and heavy on bare, craving skin. John is perfectly, gloriously nude, in every sense of the word that Sherlock can manage. He is carefully butterflied open, held exposed and accessible so Sherlock can ravish him at leisure with long, lush drags against his inner walls. His hands are bound safely out of reach above his head by his own belt, to shield him from any temptation to interfere with the veneration of his body.

Sherlock is more than fully clothed. The only part of him that’s naked is the cock that’s oh-so-sweetly taking John apart. They’re both trembling delicately, overheated and sweat-soaked. Sherlock’s shirt is drenched to translucence, clinging fervently to both of them. It feels like a coupling in its own right. Each time Sherlock pulls back, it peels away from their bodies with the reluctance of a lover’s mouth.

John is so painfully aware of himself like this, his own desire, his eroticism, and that awareness makes him even more vulnerable. The sensations take him twice as strongly when he’s so alert to them. How could Sherlock resist taking advantage? He grazes, lips gripping and prehensile, along the hard sinuous line of John’s collarbone, and admires how heightened responsiveness only makes him more beautiful.

Their bodies quiver with strain against each other, but he’d gladly suffer all the post-exertion stiffness in the world to see John flayed open for him like this.

The premonition of them both groaningly sore, John unable to sit comfortably, for the next several days—because of him—fills Sherlock’s gut with a blanket of silky warm ash. It feels very like the velvet grip of John’s body around him. Sherlock groans, eyes squeezed tight, and buries himself painstakingly back in that wonderful enveloping sheath.

It must be torturously sensitive by now. John can’t stop moaning. They’re low, gorgeous sounds rich with need and a falling edge of futility, because John knows they only drive Sherlock on but there’s nothing he can do about them. Sherlock hums encouragingly into his shoulder and feels those hips roll pleadingly against him.

John’s got zero leverage like this, after all, and only the slightest range of movement. Those tiny begging surges stoke the fever in Sherlock’s bones till want threatens to burn him down, but he can be made of patience and self-denial when he chooses. Sometimes Sherlock likes to hurt, and they’re in such a splendid agony of need for one another right now.

John likes to hurt too, but he has the easier part in this. He only has to suffer, a role for which he was practically created.

Sherlock pushes John’s left leg down a bit more firmly towards his chest. It puts an extra stretch on John’s anus, already pulled taut around Sherlock's thick shaft, and he whinges. He is a figure of luxuriance straining in his bonds, cast of bronze in the low light but warm and yielding as a hearth, sensuously powerless, unspeakably Sherlock’s.

He cloisters John with his own body, cocooning him in the groping fabric of clothing and bed sheets. Who can blame him for wanting to seal this man away from the world? Who wouldn’t want to keep this for himself? John, open and moaning and given up, is for Sherlock alone.

Even the touch of Sherlock skin-to-skin is too much of a trespass. The only naked contact John is allowed are the cock that’s systematically deconstructing that taut, compact body and, grudgingly, Sherlock’s lips, because he simply can’t resist tasting John’s bared expanses. Everything else is locked away, covetously guarded. Sherlock doesn’t know which of them he means to deny, but it’s sensory deprivation of a sort. Sensory control. He’s got their orgasms locked behind a door and he’s holding the only key.

He can’t bring himself to let this end, because right now they’re one, tied together and drowning in their shared desperation. Orgasm would mean being pulled apart, divided into their own separate pleasures. It would mean John pulling his skin closed around him again, wrapped back up in composure when, like this, he is a being of sublimity.

At last Sherlock's stopped thinking about anything but the body, the humbly gorgeous, strong, trembling man trapped between Sherlock and the mattress. And John…Sherlock doesn’t think there’s a thought left in John’s head except for Sherlock and please. Which is just the way Sherlock wants it.

“You’re exquisite, John,” he sighs into overheated skin, moving in time with the drawn-out breaths that carry his words. One sentence into that gripping heat, one sentence out. “Look at you, offered up for me.” He squeezes his eyes shut and groans. “I want to keep you, preserved for me just like this.”

John’s breath catches in his throat. Sherlock can feel it in his own chest, pressed against John’s. Sherlock pants open-mouthed into that hot flushed skin, admiring the way his own hair sticks to John’s body in damp, greedy tendrils that don’t want to let go of him. The intimacy drives him mad. He exhales with iron control and takes him again with desperate deliberation.