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“Your bright eyes are what the time is.
Twenty five past eternity.”


Mary is lovely and John feels himself falling in love with her more and more every day. Separation from Sherlock is not as painful when he’s with her. More often than not, he’s able to lose himself in their conversation and her dazzling eyes. John loves to make her laugh. Those eyes of hers disappear behind her cheeks, her nose scrunches just so and she becomes so completely beautiful his heart has a chance to forget about all the heartache Sherlock caused. He finds that he’s more at peace. But it’s not perfect.

The first night at her flat, John had his first nightmare in three years.

He’s in Afghanistan again. His unit is moving across a mountainous region. Because of the rough terrain and the uncertainty of the footing on the slope, they have to move their unit slowly along the craggy surface to a series of caves that their reconnaissance team has scouted out. It’s a dangerous mission, but a necessary one as their positioning is crucial for the next stage of the upcoming confrontation.

There are shots fired and the ground around him goes up where the bullets hit. Instantly John ducks for cover behind a large boulder and looks to see where his unit scattered to and who may need help. Most of the others are pinned down out of his sight, but in the dream he has the knowledge that they are all alright. But there is one soldier pinned down with no cover. He’s wounded and hovering over the body of another man who was obviously dead.

John runs to him and pulls him to safety. As he does, he gets a glimpse of the dead man’s face. It’s Sherlock. John stops dead in his tracks at the sight. The pain from his wounded shoulder screams with new agony as he’s shot (again) and falls to the ground beside Sherlock. The sniper is still firing at him and John is forced to use Sherlock’s body as a human shield against attack. Bullets riddle the back of Sherlock’s armor and his corpse shakes with the impact as John holds Sherlock’s limp body tightly and weeps, enfolded in the arms of his dead best friend.

I love you, Sherlock. Please don’t be dead. Please. For me. I’m so sorry… So sorry… So sorry…

He awoke to Mary gently shaking him. “John, are you alright? You were crying out and… Are you alright?” She looked so worried.

“I’m fine,” he replied. His breathing and pulse were rapid and he was covered in sweat. “Just a nightmare. Haven’t had one in a while. Not in about three years. Strange that it would happen now. I’ll be fine. Just go back to sleep. I’ll just get a drink of water.”

Mary still looked worried as she placed her head back on her pillow and closed her eyes. John got up and headed for the door, kissing her temple reassuringly as he passed her side of the bed. She snuggled down into the sheets and fell back asleep. John watched her for a bit and, satisfied that she was completely asleep, went to the sitting room to call Sherlock.

John’s sure he’ll answer. The man never sleeps. After a few rings, he got Sherlock’s voicemail. John listened to Sherlock’s voice on his message greeting like it was a lifeline. It had barely been a day’s separation and yet he never knew how much he missed that man’s voice. It tore at his heart.

‘Leave your message at the beep.’ John hung up.




After that night, John seemed to be plagued with nightmares. He never spoke about them with Mary but the images usually stayed with him throughout the day until the next night when he relives them. It’s always Sherlock. Always Sherlock dead. This has got to stop.

Only when he’s at the A&E did he allow himself to actively worry about the detective. He thought about what Sherlock might be up to when there aren’t any cases on. John fervently hoped that Sherlock hasn’t decided to go back to using drugs. He’s sure that Mycroft and his people are keeping an even tighter watch on Sherlock because of just that possibility. Sherlock must be rankling under his brother’s unwelcome interest. He’s got to be miserable. Miserable, but monitored – and that’s what mattered.

After living with Mary for three months, John established a pattern of contact just in case Sherlock ran into trouble and needed him. If more than a week passes and he hasn’t heard from Sherlock, John called Lestrade. If Lestrade hasn’t heard or seen him, he would make plans to go to 221B at his earliest opportunity. The thing is though, John is either on a case with the man or Lestrade has always been in touch with him, so there’s never been a reason for John to pay a strictly social call – until today.

Sherlock was sitting in his chair, plucking on his violin when John came up the stairs.

“I see that your limp has returned in full force,” said Sherlock drily.

So it was going to be that kind of a conversation. John leaned heavily on his cane and with a sigh took a look around. “And I see that this place is still a mess. Really Sherlock, you should put some effort into the place,” said John with a disapproving look. “Tidying up may be a bit of a chore, but if you’re entertaining private clients in here, you really should try and be more professional. First impressions and all.”

“I haven’t had a private client in months. You’re the one who always organized that. Are you still my blogger, or have you moved on from that too?” asked Sherlock.

“Your wounds have healed well if you’re able to slouch like that,” said John, not knowing how to respond to the detective’s last question or his stroppy glare. Sherlock was sullen and restless today; not a good combination.

“And your Mary has certainly been taking good care of you. You look… well fed,” said Sherlock.

“Sherlock… Don’t,” warned John.

“What?” said Sherlock, his eyes going wide with feigned innocence. “She certainly takes better care of you than I do… did.” His cheeks pinked up at the correction and his eyes went hard. “Honestly, John, did you think I wouldn’t be concerned as to how she would be looking after you? After all, we were so close for so many years and—“

“We still are close, Sherlock,” said John.

“Are we?” said Sherlock. “I really don’t see how you can say that. It’s not as if you’re here every day as you used to be. You’ve obviously moved onto bigger and better. Far be it from me to stop you, of course. She’s a lovely girl. I suppose you’re going to… marry her.” His last words were spoken with such disgust that John felt the need to punch him. Again. John took a breath.

“And what if I do?” said John defensively. “What happens if I marry her? I do love her, you know. And it is not as if either one of us objects to the idea. We’ve already spoken about it.” Technically Mary was the one to mention it and John thought it a bit of a sudden evolution at the time, but Sherlock didn’t have to know everything. Except that he usually did.

For a split second Sherlock looked shocked. He looked at the floor and said sadly: “Yes, I expect you have.” He suddenly looked John in the eye. “Bit soon, don’t you think?”

“Well that would be my business, now wouldn’t it?” said John. His hands had formed fists without his permission. He relaxed them and took another breath. “Look… Why are you being such a--? I only came by to see that you were… You know what? Never mind. I can see you’re OK. Just eat something in the next day, alright? I’ve got to get going.”

“John,” said Sherlock.

John stopped in the doorway. That voice. That voice could always get him. His back to Sherlock, he waited for the detective to say what he had on his mind. He was expecting a diatribe on marriage, the risks of living in his new neighborhood, or even a deduction and unsolicited opinion on the new cologne Mary bought him.

“Thank you for coming by,” said Sherlock simply.

“You’re welcome, Sherlock,” said John. “It’s what friends do.”




John left 221B with a knot in his stomach. He walked to Regent’s Park and sat on a bench.

He had been verbally attacked by Sherlock and he wasn’t sure why. It couldn’t be that Sherlock was actually jealous? After all the things he had said to John months before, after his last insensitive cruelties inflicted upon him, could this git actually be jealous of John’s happiness?

John had always thought of Sherlock as a machine who played at being human. It dawned upon John at just this moment that Sherlock, in fact, was altogether too human and playing at being a machine. Flashes of Sherlock on that first night of their lovemaking came to him: Sherlock hovering over him and searching his face when John was caught suddenly by the ridiculousness of this beautiful man kissing him so passionately; Sherlock sneaking glances at John at crime scenes; Sherlock holding his hand in cabs; Sherlock watching him drift off to sleep with a look on his face as if he were about to cry from sheer happiness.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of that Holmesian clockwork heart, John knew that Sherlock still cared for him. But it was too late to do anything about it.

It began to rain.




The word ‘home’ had once meant Sherlock. These days it was a bit of a grey area. As wonderful as being with Mary is, John just didn’t feel the same around her as he did with him. Of course he didn’t. Mary was not Sherlock. John wanted desperately for the difference between Mary and Sherlock to be a good thing. Perhaps in time he could start to believe that he could be truly happy with her. He had to believe it. If only for his own sanity.

His life with Sherlock was hectic, bothered, stressful and thrilling. Mary was the polar opposite of that. She was steady, dependable, predictable and practical. It was a comfortable life. He was happy with her. He just wasn’t ecstatic. Perhaps that’s what life was supposed to be: a solid line of travel with clearly marked road signs as opposed to a rollercoaster of unpredictability and no map.

Then again, perhaps life is what you make it.

Mary had her quirks just like Sherlock. For instance, she was forever cleaning. It made John feel a bit out of place. But technically it was her flat and she had her own way of doing things. Her things were always neat and tidy. The flat was always picked up. There was always plenty of tea and milk in the fridge as she always did the shopping on Tuesdays. She was as predictable as the tides.

Her desk in the bedroom was neat as a pin with paperclips in one corner of a tray and pens arranged like flowers in a cup on the left-hand corner. John spilled that cup once and thought he had placed it back properly. Upon first seeing it hours later, Mary moved the cup back to the left side without comment. But John noticed. They were her things and had to be just so. Always.

And she hated surprises. She hated differences. She abhorred change in any form. It was absolutely amazing to John that she could put up with his presence at all. But his things had been relegated to specific places around the flat. He had use of any chair, save the one in the corner of the sitting room in which she read her book every night. His drawers were the top two in the dresser, his things went on the right side of the wardrobe, and his shaving kit and other toiletries had their own section of the bathroom vanity. It was comfortable with only a hint of the restrictive. Kind of like being back in the military. John could live with it.

But as he came to their door, fresh off his visit with Sherlock and in a possessive mood, John decided that he was going to do something that he knew Mary hated: be spontaneous.

John found Mary hoovering the sitting room. Perfect. She was bent over just so and he had a perfect view of her backside. He stood admiring her for a few seconds before slowly approaching her. He gripped her hips and she jumped up suddenly.

“Oh!” she exclaimed. “John! What are you up to then?” She looked back at him with a smile.

“Just this,” he said. His voice was passionate. He rutted against her backside with his building erection.

“Oh… my—,“ she said breathless and reached back to grip his hip.

He kissed the back of her neck.

“Here?” she asked, disbelieving his boldness. “Right here in the sitting room? In broad daylight?”

“Why not?” he said between kisses trailed along the back and sides of her neck.

“John --,” she began. He stopped her talking by turning her around and covering her mouth with his. He felt her melt against him as he gripped both sides of her face and deepened the kiss. She tasted of strawberries. It was wonderful.

His hands moved down her neck to her shoulders and along her back. He gripped her backside with both hands and ground her pelvis against his erection. Mary moaned her approval. He walked her backward until she was pressed up against the wall. John took both her hands and placed them above her head, holding them there with one of his as his other hand snuck under her shirt and traced lines of heat against the skin of her stomach. Mary gasped as his mouth reached where her neck met her shoulders. John licked at the little hollow there and Mary’s breath stuttered.

“Jesus, John…” Mary said. “What’s gotten into you?” She sounded vaguely annoyed.

“I want you,” said John as he traced kisses along her collarbone toward her shoulder and licked a stripe back to her neck. “Am I not allowed to want my girlfriend?” His eyes met hers.

“Of course,” she said. “It’s just… It’s all so sudden. You usually work up slowly to these things. And when we do shag, it’s always been in bed at night. Never in the sitting room. And never in the middle of the day.” Looking up she added: “And you’ve never pinned my arms before either.”

“Perhaps we could stand a change,” he said, a devilish grin creeping across his face.

“Perhaps…,” said Mary. She had a look of wonder in her eyes.

John let go of her hands and stripped Mary of her shirt, pulling it over her head in one smooth motion. She let out a surprised yelp and covered herself with her hands reflexively. John gently took her hands away and kissed along her chest. He buried his face in her cleavage, mouthing at her breasts, so warm, so soft. Cupping each breast, he kissed and tongued her through her lace bra until the nipples stood erect.

Mary relented. She let down the straps, unhooked the back and gave him access to both of her tits. Pink nipples turned almost red under his mouth as he sucked, licked and teased each with his tongue, lips and teeth. Mary collapsed against the wall and moaned with each flick of his tongue. She was undone in moments.

“More, John,” she said, her voice gone dusky. “I have to have more. If we’re going to do this, let’s do this. Sofa. Now.” She moved away from him and stripped off the rest of her clothes. John quickly removed his and guided her to kneel on the sofa, hands gripping one arm. Gently, he pressed her shoulders down until her head and hands rested on the sofa cushion. This was just what John was hoping for.

They had discussed having anal sex before, and Mary had no out-and-out objection to it, but she wasn’t thrilled at the prospect. But here and now, John thought he’d never have a better chance.

“We’ve never done this,” he said. “But we have talked about it. Tell me if you hate it. I’m not going to hurt you, Mary. I will be gentle. I do love you.”

Mary became suddenly nervous, but remained silent. John spread her arse cheeks and slowly licked her hole. Mary jumped at the sensation and John pulled away, looking at her side-turned face for a clue as to how she felt. “Alright?” he asked, rubbing her arse in soothing circles.

“Mmm,” she said. It was a non-committal sort of noise and John took it to mean ‘proceed with caution, but proceed all the same’. He bent to her arse once more and placed a kiss on the inside of one of her cheeks. He trailed kisses closer to her opening and once there, he traced the tip of his tongue around the edge of it. Mary moaned with pleasure and John’s mouth quirked into a grin.

She had a perfect, tight little opening and he couldn’t wait to enter her, but he knew she would want to go incredibly slowly; much more slowly than Sherlock did. After all, Sherlock had actually had anal sex in the past, albeit a bad experience. Mary had no history of this as far as John was aware and he really wanted her to like it. Hell, if he was honest, he needed her to like it.

He licked at her arsehole for what seemed like hours until she was jelly on the sofa. She was so relaxed, John decided she was ready. Carefully, he stuck his tongue inside. Mary let out a moan and pushed back against the sensation. John couldn’t be more pleased. He was getting so hard from hearing her moan. He wriggled his tongue inside her until she gasped and writhed for him to get deeper.

John pulled away and got up quickly asking Mary to wait. He went to the bedroom and came back with their bottle of lube and a condom. As soon as he returned, he put on the condom and licked at her hole again, making sure she was still loose and relaxed. He lubricated his hand and her opening liberally and slowly inserted his finger inside her. Almost instantly, Mary moved back and impaled herself on his digit.

“Oh… Yes… God, John… Yes...,” she said. “This is… so good.” She sounded amazed.

John watched her body writhe, fascinated. He should have done this months ago. Very lightly he kissed at her lower back and over the base of her spine where he knew she was most sensitive. He wasn’t at it long before her skin was covered in gooseflesh. He added a second finger slowly. “Jesus, you’re beautiful,” he said.

Her hair was spread out over the sofa cushion, her hands curled up beneath her and squeezing her nipples as she moved in a slow, circular rhythm against his hand. Perfection. He added a third finger.

As she hissed and adjusted to the girth of it, he leaned in close to her and whispered, “I can’t tell you how badly I’ve wanted to see you like this. You are so damn beautiful. But I need to come, Mary. Will you let me come inside you?”

“Yes, John,” she said. She was almost breathless in her speech. This was better than even she supposed. “I want to feel you inside me. Please, John. Please.”

Her words were almost enough to make him come on the spot. He set about lubing up his throbbing cock and placed it at her opening. Slowly, he pressed in and, as with Sherlock, he made sure that he did it carefully and in stages to where she could become accustomed to it.

This was so different from vaginal sex. The tightness of it, the feel of the entry, it was all so achingly, fucking sexy. John loved Mary like this. Once he was balls-deep inside her, he paused. “How do you feel, love,” he asked her softly. In truth, he was aching to fuck her into the sofa.

“Oh dear God, John,” she said. “Fuck me. Oh please fuck me. You feel amazing. Please.”

He began to thrust inside her, his balls slapping slowly against her wet pussy. John closed his eyes and focused on the sensation of it all. Tight, hot, wet, his prick slid its full length back and forth slowly inside her. It was glorious. John’s mind took him back to a certain night with Sherlock.

Wait. No. Unfair. Stop it.

John’s eyes flew open. He was here with Mary, loving Mary, fucking Mary. Sherlock was not here. Focus, John, focus. But it was too late. His mind had opened up the pathway, his heart approved, and he had no other option.

John closed his eyes again and saw his beautiful detective sprawled before him. Dark curls in the firelight, perfect alabaster back awash with sweat, muscles rippling beneath that gorgeous skin, moaning his pleasure in that deep baritone he used only for their lovemaking, moaning John’s name over and over.

John’s eyes flew open and he gripped his prick at the base to prevent himself from coming too quickly. He wanted to reach around and get Mary off so that she would come when he did, just like he used to with Sherlock. He leaned forward and fingered her clit. Mary let out a deep grunt that did everything to help John’s fantasy.

He and Sherlock were in 221 and fucking on the sitting room floor (as usual) by the firelight. Mrs. Hudson had gone out and they knew they wouldn’t be interrupted as they had just come from Lestrade and were fresh off of a case. Mystery solved, bad guys in jail, there was nothing to do but to congratulate each other by fucking.

They chose to take it slowly that night. John wanted to watch Sherlock come undone. He wanted Sherlock to weep with anticipation. He wanted to see Sherlock fall in love with him.

John remembered how his darker skin looked against Sherlock’s back in the firelight; so different and yet, completely compatible. They fit perfectly together, physically and emotionally – or so John thought at the time.

A sudden ache in his bad leg required him to straighten it. Up until now John had knelt behind Mary. Slowly he lowered his right leg to the floor and found a bit of relief. This changed the angle and Mary moaned. John guided her hips a bit more to his right and found his rhythm again.

Her skin was beautiful too. Not as pale and perfect as Sherlock’s, but with a soft peachy-pink undertone that tanned well when there was a bit of sun. He leaned forward and kissed her back between her shoulder blades. Her back arched and John was instantly reminded of Sherlock again.

Sherlock's back would arch in the most seductive way. Thin and lithe, he looked for all the world like a classical painting of a dying saint: too beautiful to be real.

All John wanted to do was to kiss every inch of that skin. He’d start at Sherlock’s feet and work his way along the back of him, pausing to tease the backs of his knees with soft kisses, licking up his thighs, taking his time at Sherlock’s perfect arse, moving up his splendid back to his neck. Laying his body on top of the detective, he would card his hands through all those curls and ever so softly lick, kiss, and nip at the nape of Sherlock’s neck until Sherlock couldn’t stand it any longer called out John’s name in his passion.

Then he’d turn Sherlock over and start from the top down. He could kiss that man for hours—no, days. John’s hands still caressing his hair, he’d bite at those delicious lips just to hear Sherlock’s deep baritone moan. On one particular occasion, Sherlock had taken both of their cocks in his hand, wrapping those long, elegant, tapered fingers around their shafts and worked them until they were both panting and stuttering out cries of pleasure as they came simultaneously.

John was so close. His rhythm became deeper and more powerful. He needed to come and badly. And in his mind, there was Sherlock calling out his name as he thrust into that beautiful man over and over and Sherlock coming all over own chest and God you are so fucking gorgeous Sherlock and… and… and… With eyes closed he came shuddering into Mary crying out: “Oh, Sher— ah… shit…shit. Fuck! Yes! Yesyesyes… Only you… Oh God, only you.”