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It started, as these things usually do, with a kiss.

Somewhat less usually, the kiss started with an explosion. A literal one, just to clear up any potential confusion.

It is never a good sign, when confronted with a bomb, to see Sherlock Holmes come over rather white and have nothing to say but “ah.”

“’Ah’?” says John. “Well, that’s bloody perfect. Exactly what I wanted to hear.”

John proceeds by grabbing Sherlock by the collar of his coat and hauling him out of the derelict factory at top speed. In their case, “top speed” is very quickly indeed. They make it out of the building, in fact, and all the way across the street.

The explosion still knocks them off their feet and through the window of the cafe behind them. John smacks into the counter and hits the ground. Sherlock merely relocates a small table with his body and knocks over a chair or two with his head.

When John crawls over, Sherlock is still not moving. John’s nerves go haywire, heart thudding in his ribcage, and he’s saying Sherlock’s name over and over as he turns him onto his back—

—and he’s laughing.

“Oh, fuck you, Sherlock Holmes.”

John wants to be joking. He isn’t though, not entirely, because for a few seconds there he was really and truly afraid that his best friend, his—his Sherlock, was—

He punches Sherlock in the arm. Like his “fuck you” of a moment before, it’s a difficult punch, fraught with many emotions. It’s hard enough to hurt, but not quite hard enough to start a fight.

Sherlock returns the blow with equal force.

“Haha.” John is still not as amused as he’d like to be. “Ha bloody ha.”

Sherlock grins and slaps him open-handed across the face, and John really cannot be blamed for the ensuing escalation.

He returns the slap, and then there’s a bit where they’re tussling on the ground like goddamn puppies, and then Sherlock bites him, right in the shoulder. Of course John is obligated to retaliate. He can’t get Sherlock’s shoulder without losing too much ground in this ridiculous pseudo-wrestling match, so he bites Sherlock’s jaw instead. Sherlock twists his head to the side and bites at John’s ear. John really only tries to turn his head back around to get Sherlock back, but as he does their lips meet and Sherlock just sort of growls, and then they’re kissing.

It’s rough, with teeth and blood and noise. Something in John’s brain is going off, alarm bells, but he can’t be bothered to pay attention.

It’s barely like kissing at all, really, not the way John is used to it. John’s never sworn this much while kissing anyone, or bitten their tongue on purpose to see what they’d do, or ground his hips between someone’s thighs to feel them part and then pushed his cock into their groin and felt hard resistance instead of soft, damp give—

But then the sirens come into focus, and the police pull up outside, and John is springing up and away from Sherlock like he’s been burned.

“I...uh...Lestrade’s going to want to...let’s go.”

——

For several days after that, there was nothing.

The first day wasn’t awful. Mild concussions make Sherlock manipulable, or at least more so than usual. John is able to convince him to tidy up merely by taking his violin hostage.

“It’s afraid of the sitting room,” he informs Sherlock, “so it’s gone on holiday.”

Sherlock scowls. But John’s found a Sherlock-proof hiding place, so he’s got no choice but to obey.

Three hours later, the flat could practically be in a magazine. John retrieves the violin from Mrs. Hudson’s and is rewarded with several hours of intolerable screeching punctuated by the occasional Baroque concerto. John goes to bed with earplugs in. At no point do either of them bring up the events of the previous night.

When John leaves for work the next morning, Sherlock is unconscious on the couch. He sees this as a good sign.

He comes home to a disaster zone. Literally.

The hazmat team clears them to go inside near midnight, after determining that the smoke, while indescribably foul, is not actually harmful. John gives Sherlock an earful. Sherlock, shockingly, is unrepentant. They open all the windows and John goes to sleep under six blankets and two duvets and with his earplugs in his nostrils.

John wakes on day four freezing. Sherlock is definitely awake, as evidenced by the appalling racket he’s making on his violin, but he seems to have decided he prefers the flat at a subarctic temperature.

“It’s March, you twat,” John snaps, shutting all the windows in the house.

Sherlock is wearing his usual pyjama pants, robe and t-shirt and appears maddeningly unperturbed. He shrugs.

John grits his teeth and goes about making breakfast.

Over the course of the day, John does the shopping and the laundry, writes up the latest case for the blog, and accidentally opens a tub of cockroaches when he’s looking for the leftover Thai food from the other night.

In a fit of pique, John bins the cockroaches and asks Sherlock if, in the future, he wouldn’t mind labeling the vermin he keeps near the food.

Sherlock shrugs again.

John goes to bed reflexively clenching and unclenching his hands as if they’re around a long, skinny neck.

On day five, John is woken in the wee hours of the morning by a text. Duvet with the green stripes. SH. John digs it out of the pile he’s been sleeping under, as the flat is still practically too cold to stand, and drags it downstairs and down the hall to Sherlock’s room, only to find his bed occupied by a bird of unidentifiable species and undeterminable time of death.

His phone dings again. Bathtub. SH.

Sherlock, as it turns out, has attempted to use the shower curtain as a sheet. John takes pleasure in throwing the duvet at him. He aims for face.

“Something wrong with the sofa?”

Sherlock shrugs. Again.

John quietly swears that if he has to see that shrug again he is going to break Sherlock’s face and stomps back upstairs to his room. He lies there awake for another two hours before giving it up as a bad job.

When he makes his morning cup of tea, the water he pours into his mug comes out olive green.

John sets down the kettle and takes a deep breath.

Sherlock emerges from the loo wearing a bedsheet and flops down into the only usable chair in the kitchen. “Don’t use the kettle. Mold cultures.”

A muscle in John’s jaw twitches.

Sherlock blinks...and shrugs.

John explodes.

“FOR! FUCK’S! SAKE! I AM PRETTY GODDAMN SURE PEOPLE HAVE LITERALLY COMMITTED MURDER, ACTUALLY KILLED MEN, FOR LESS THAN YOU PUT ME THROUGH ON A DAILY BASIS.”

Sherlock grins. It’s not an improvement.

John grits his teeth, takes two steps forward, grabs Sherlock by the hair and yanks his head back. He hisses. His hands come up and grab at John’s arm more by reflex than anything else.

“What are you playing at?” John snaps. “Whatever it is, stop.”

Sherlock sneers. “If you still haven’t figured it out—”

“God fucking damn it, Sherlock, I shouldn’t have to figure it out.” He tugs at the roots of Sherlock’s hair, and the sound he makes isn’t quite as pained as it should be, but— “You should be—hey, what—”

Sherlock hooks his legs around John’s knees and pulls. John’s forced to either step closer or fall over and knock them both to the floor. He chooses well.

Sherlock’s eyelids lower. “Think, John.”

John scowls.

He thinks.

Oh.

“Yes,” Sherlock breathes, and pulls John down to his mouth.

They pick up almost exactly where they left off several days ago, with the kissing that’s more like warfare. Sherlock moans when John’s tongue slides hot and wet between his lips, tipping his head back for better access. John’s fingers relax in Sherlock’s hair, combing through the curls and smoothing them down again. It’s more to have something to feel than anything else, but then Sherlock’s legs pull John even closer, and it suddenly becomes impossible to ignore that Sherlock is functionally naked, snogging John breathless, and feeling John up with his feet.

“You,” he says, dragging Sherlock out of the chair by his hair and over to the sofa, “are the world’s biggest prat.”

He shoves him onto the sofa and strips off his shirt. Sherlock lost his sheet somwhere between the kitchen and the sitting room, so he’s stark naked.

“I’m going to fucking kill you someday,” John swears.

He strips off his pyjama pants and shorts. He’s half-hard already from their bit of power-play in the kitchen.

Sherlock’s sprawled out on the couch, one leg hanging off the edge. “Would you like a hand? Or should I go upstairs and take care of—”

“Oh my God, shut up.”

He climbs onto the sofa, crawls up Sherlock’s body, grabs him by the hair again and sinks his teeth into Sherlock’s neck just under his jaw. He bites, hard. There will be a mark, and it will be visible. Sherlock makes a high, shocked noise, and John barks out a brief laugh.

“Going to fucking show you—”

Sherlock’s teeth are bared, wilder than a grin, and his eyes are dark and wide. “It’s sweet, really. That you think you’re a match for me.”

“Shut up, shut up—going to fuck you til you scream—”

“Not without lube you aren’t.”

John grits his teeth. “If either of us have to get off this sofa—”

Sherlock holds up a finger, bites his lip, and works his hand between two of the couch cushions. He searches for a moment before resurfacing, wielding a bottle of Astroglide. He arches an eyebrow.

“I trust you know what to do with this.”

John snatches the bottle, squeezes out a generous amount onto his hand and drops it onto the floor next to him.

“If you lose that—”

“I swear, I will fucking gag you, Sherlock.”

He slaps Sherlock’s thighs apart and, with little preamble, wiggles two slicked-up fingers in.

The effect is electric and immediate. Sherlock gasps and shudders. His hips twitch. He’s not quite fucking himself on John’s fingers, but he’s close.

“Hurry up,” Sherlock demands. The sex-flush spreading from his cheeks to his thighs detracts from the threat. “I didn’t spend half of last night preparing only for you to do it all over again.”

John, on the other hand, is a master of maintaining calm under less than ideal situations, like when your bedmate informs you he spent the previous night fingering himself to get ready for your cock. “That was optimistic,” he says.

“Please. I’m never optimistic.”

“Oh?” John says mildly. He curls his fingers—Sherlock’s back arches and he just writhes—and pulls them out. Sherlock grunts and clenches his jaw. “Turn over.”

For probably the first time all week, Sherlock obeys immediately. He rolls over onto his hands and knees and grabs hold of the arm of the sofa. “Hurry up!”

John takes his time lubing up his cock and lining up. “I’ll take as long as I bloody want to, I think.”

“John—”

“Want to hear you say it, Sherlock.”

He scoffs. “What? You want to hear me beg for your big, throbbing prick? Please. It’s a puerile, adolescent fantasy—”

The end of the word tapers off into a groan. John’s leaned forward just a smidge, enough to push maybe half his head into Sherlock’s arse. Sherlock pants and grimaces.

“Look, I can stay here all day,” says John, pretending he feels as calm and collected as he sounds.

He twitches his hips very slightly, enough to pop out and back in again, maybe a centimeter further than before. Sherlock’s thighs tremble.

“Fuck you,” he spits. “John, won’t you please fuck me until my legs won’t hold me up, pretty—ah—please.”

He probably thinks he sounds haughty and derisive. He might have, if John hadn’t pulled out and pushed back in again in the middle of his sentence and forced a break in his voice that gave him away.

“Good little pet,” John says, and thrusts home.

Sherlock gives a loud cry of relief. His back arches and he grabs at the arm of the sofa to brace himself. John breathes deeply and thinks of cockroaches in his Thai food.

“Are you going to move or—”

John snarls and moves.

From then on, their lovemaking devolves into back-scratching, name-calling and hair-pulling. John latches on to a spot on Sherlock’s shoulder and sucks a bruise into it that should last for days. Sherlock keeps up with the insults and remarks along the lines of “is that all you’ve got to give? I had better when I was seventeen” throughout the slow disintegration of his verbal abilities.

Eventually, he’s just holding onto the arm of the sofa for dear life and swearing brokenly between moans. The flat’s still freezing, but they’re both dripping sweat. John dips his head and licks a trail up Sherlock’s spine. Sherlock shudders. John thinks he’s left scratch marks down his sides, but he can’t be sure, as his face is buried in Sherlock’s hair.

“John—God—hurry up, I’m—John—”

“You’ll come when I’m good and ready,” he growls out. "Jesus—so fucking good, so tight—”

His hips slap against Sherlock’s thighs and his hands clamp down at Sherlock’s shoulders. He can feel his orgasm building, climbing from his chest outwards—

“Just a—fuck—almost—”

He can’t even breathe to shout as he comes. His arms lock around Sherlock’s chest and he shakes and shakes, coming for absolutely ages. He’s still coming when he feels one of Sherlock’s hands reach down to wrap around his own cock, pull once, twice, three times.

Sherlock does have the air to shout, as it turns out.

He flops down on his back after they’ve both relaxed and shuts his eyes with a satisfied sigh. There’s a perfectly John-sized spot next to him, so John joins him.

“Five days. You utter wanker.”

Sherlock shrugs.