Sweat trailed down John thighs, catching against coarse hair and puddling in the pits of his knees before soaking into the towel beneath his stomach. The sun glared against his bare back, slowly darkening the skin in what had to be indiscernible increments, but Sherlock insisted on making stupid little notes in his stupid little notebook. Every time John opened his eyes they stung with the glare of the sand, even through his sunglasses, so he kept them closed.
“Sherlock, I’m hot.”
“Drink some water.”
“I’m going to burn.”
“I’m keeping a close watch, you won’t burn.”
“Says the arsehole under the umbrella.”
Sherlock huffed and scribbled and languished in his shaded little circle, not justifying John's griping with a response, even while John roasted for his stupid little experiment.
Minutes passed, long fiery minutes that left John at the very end of his patience and then taunted to see what would happen if he were pushed a bit more.
"That’s it!" John pushed himself to his forearms, sand shifting and spilling onto his towel like sugar. “I’m going to get skin cancer at this rate.”
“I’m serious.” John rolled over to his side and glared at Sherlock as severely as he could through his sunglasses. “I’m a doctor, I can’t in good faith just lay here.”
"Take this and stop whining." Sherlock reached into the cooler beside him and handed John a canned beer, shiny surface already sweating as much as John.
"Oh, you saint." John reached for the beer, relishing the feel of cold metal against his palms. Sand from his hand stuck to it in clumps, even slipped past his lips on the first pull. He didn’t much care.
"Oh, now I'm a saint," Sherlock muttered under his breath, taking a water bottle out for himself. "Give the man a beer and he's all nice and friendly but leave him in the sun for a few minutes—"
"—half an hour, with no sunscreen!"
"—and he turns into a tetchy brat."
"Look who's talking—are you actually pouting?” John laughed. “You, the one under the umbrella with the cooler and the sunscreen?”
“I’m not pouting,” Sherlock continued to scribble and John drank the rest of his beer.
“Where are all the people?”
John looked down the sandy expanse of beach, first left and then right and saw not a soul. “He can’t possibly do that.”
“He owed me a favor.”
“And you asked him to free up a beach in a foreign country for a stupid experiment?” John crunched the aluminum between his fingers then tossed the rubbish at Sherlock. Sherlock swatted it away.
“I thought you wanted a vacation.” Sherlock looked away dramatically and fiddled with his pad, ripping away the paper at one corner in tiny, precise strips.
John sighed and held out his hand for another beer. “Yes, of course. Don’t want to return to London looking like a tomato though.”
Sherlock handed John another beer and contemplated this. “I have everything I need.”
“Oh, thank god.” John moved to sit up again and Sherlock waved his arms.
“Now with sunscreen.”
“You have got to be—”
“It’s been in the cooler.”
John huffed—well, at least he’d get a little cool before baking again. “Fine.”
Sherlock perked up and grabbed a bottle of sunscreen from the cooler and crawled out of the shadow cast by the umbrella. “I can apply it?”
John hesitated. Sherlock that close was probably a very, very bad idea.
“I need to make sure just the right amount is applied or we’ll have to do this all over again.”
“Then by all means,” John said and then immediately regretted it as Sherlock popped open the tube and straddled John’s thighs. John cursed his moment of weakness; there was no way he would be able to hide the effect Sherlock had on him with literally nowhere to run. The close contact seared where his outer thighs pressed against Sherlock’s knees and he failed to blame that on the sun.
John yelped as the first dollop hit the small of his back, the lotion as cold as the beer forgotten in his hands.
Long fingers swept up from his back and over the wide breadth of John’s shoulders, spreading the cool lotion to every corner before digging into the knots there. John, finally remembering the beer, drank from it deeply to keep from groaning, aluminum creaking under his desperate grip.
Sherlock moved lower, thumbs grazing along John’s spine and John let his head fall. He felt hot and he could no longer blame it on the sun. He should have insisted they do this standing, having sunscreen applied standing could hardly be considered erotic, right?
John thought about the wide span of Sherlock’s palms, the knobbed fingers and squared tips and knew he was kidding himself if he thought this would be any better standing.
He was fucked. Sherlock would know and they were stuck together across an ocean from home.
Sherlock shifted and the place their legs touched stung cool as he moved lower and away. Cold splashed across his thighs and then seared hot as Sherlock returned to massaging the lotion in.
John looked heavenward; he tried thinking of this one nun he’d been rather terrified of as a child. She’d been an ancient, matronly woman who could probably have inspired the fear of God into Sherlock himself if she’d been so inclined. Her face, lined and wise as it was, would wrinkle up in waxy rage and that was all it took to scare poor little John into good behavior.
Sherlock swiped a thumb under the edge of John’s swim shorts and John couldn’t in good conscience associate the way his cock twitched with his old church and he accepted that he was doomed. Upon acceptance, guilt took something of a nice long walk off a cliff and John allowed himself to enjoy the close proximity he’d always craved of Sherlock.
Sherlock went back to work on John’s shoulders, and John should have been grateful for that. Maybe if Sherlock obsessed over the exact whatever it was that he was interested in, John could calm his growing erection; thus avoiding embarrassment and getting a taste of what he wanted.
Of course, that was when Sherlock’s hands slipped and he came crashing down against John, long wiry chest plastering against John’s broad back.
The shock of having the air knocked out of his lungs delayed his mind from fully understanding the situation, but then Sherlock let out a horrified little “oh no,” and John became very, very aware of Sherlock’s own erection pressing into his arse.
Sherlock scrambled up before John could react, shifting back on his haunches.
John stayed in place, brain scrambling to put together the information just thrust at him. Giddy embarrassment lit his skin up red like the sunburn he was so afraid of getting, arousal bit at his blood, demanding to be acknowledged, and he just lay there.
Sherlock let out a garbled little groan of distress and then John just couldn’t help it—the uncertainty in Sherlock’s tone was more of a turn on then he would ever care to admit and so he rolled onto his back to display how okay he was with Sherlock’s little slip up.
“You should come here.” John said, squinting to see Sherlock’s face through the glare of the sun.
John groaned and pushed himself up to a sitting position so that he could grab Sherlock and pull him within breathing distance. “I said you should come here.”
John barely caught Sherlock’s wicked grin before he found himself pressed back against the towel, wiry body trapping him in place as lips descended on his neck. John gasped, arching up as sudden sensation chased into his veins and his hands grabbed at Sherlock’s curls, digging into the scalp. Teeth scraped against his carotid, thin hips rolled down and provided friction that John wasn’t prepared for; glorious, electric friction that had him squirming and moaning and funny enough every time he had imagined this situation he wasn’t ever the one squirming and moaning and trapped beneath a body.
He loved it.
Sherlock slid down, leaving John bereft of the glorious pressure he’d had against his straining cock, and that was just not on. It wouldn’t have been, but then Sherlock kept going and going and going and then his curly head was level with John’s cock and his fingers were dragging along John’s rib bones and John was lost because how the hell did they end up here?
Sherlock looked up, eyes bright and mischievous behind his own streamlined lenses; color the only thing lost. “May I?”
“You have to ask?” John laughed. His heart rate kept climbing, beating against his chest as he tried to make sense of the sudden change in their dynamic and then his swim trunks were down around his knees and he had a sharp cheekbone nuzzling into the coarse and light hair there. Sherlock’s breath was warm and humid against the root of his cock, directly competing with the summer beach air settled like a blanket around their bodies.
John, wanting to grab back at Sherlock’s curls again but unable to properly reach, dug his fingers into the sand, tips reaching into the cool underlayer that proved an anchor to the heat coating every other inch of his being. Sherlock gripped at John’s thighs, licking a long swipe over the muscle to his iliac crest, teeth nipping before he trailed back down.
John moaned and Sherlock chuckled and god he had a deep and rumbling voice that struck along every nerve John didn’t know he had.
“You fucking tease.”
Sherlock hummed and nuzzled and finally slipped plush lips over the crown of John’s cock. John dug his fingers deeper into the sand, trying to ground himself even as his hips gave little aborted thrusts up, butting further and further into Sherlock’s warm mouth and Sherlock did nothing to stop him; just stretched his jaw open wider to accommodate.
And it all would have gone great, John getting a leg over and Sherlock being the devious whatever it was he was being but they had forgotten one disastrous component of sex on the beach.
The cold that was glorious against John’s fingers was nothing against the heated white surface and the grains catching on every inch of skin not perched on the towel: Sherlock’s knees and feet and hands where they slipped off of John’s legs and John’s forearms and toes and thighs where Sherlock gripped again. It was fine at first, a weird sandpaper texture that John ignored for the mouth sliding up and down his cock, but Sherlock moved his hand upward and sand trickled against John’s bollocks and stuck in the crack of his arse.
John didn’t notice. Who would with lips around their cock, tongue undulating like...like that? John moaned and arched and did nothing to stop Sherlock’s wandering fingers. John could feel the slick of sunscreen no longer cool against his skin, had no resistance on his tongue until the sand made itself known.
And it really, really made itself known.
Sherlock didn’t stop, not at first. Later John couldn’t blame him, John’s voice sounded almost on the cusp of orgasm until he thrashed out and Sherlock jolted back so fast he fell into the sand. A white cloud of grains puffed around him and the world seemed to go silent.
“John?” John winced at the uncertainty in Sherlock’s voice and forced himself to sit up, wincing again as his arse cheeks chafed a bit.
“Sand, Sherlock,” he said as explanation and Sherlock stared blankly for a moment before huffing and falling fully back into the white expanse behind him.
“I should have brought a bigger blanket.”
“You planned this.”
“Very poorly, apparently.” The pout was so heavy in Sherlock’s tone that John could perfectly imagine it.
John couldn’t help it, he started giggling. Sherlock pushed himself back up and glared, but the ridiculousness of their situation had to have sunk in; maybe he realized John was still pantsless, erection wilting in the bright sun’s glare, or that they were alone on a sugar white beach fumbling and failing like teenage boys; whatever it was, John was happy to see the glare melt and Sherlock’s face crinkle in that delightful way it did when he truly laughed.
“Maybe we should pack it in for the day?”
Sherlock nodded and cuffed at his eyes. “Yes, alright—this was botched.”
John lay back and lifted up his hips so that he could shift his swim trunks back into place. Sherlock stood and attempted to dust himself free of sand. Some fell away, but the rest clung as if glued in place and he eventually gave up with a dramatic puff of breath.
“The experiment?” John stood as well, grabbing his towel and forgotten beer can before moving to gather up the umbrella. Sherlock’s journal lay open on the picnic blanket Sherlock had spread out for himself—the much larger sandless surface that they should have used instead of John’s towel—and John stooped to read it.
“Of course the—John, don’t read that!”
It was too late, though and John didn’t know if he should laugh or rage at Sherlock for what he saw there.
“You tricked me.” Was all he managed. And Sherlock had, for the pages open to John bore nothing but illegible lines of ink and sketches of John’s arse in swim trunks. Looking closer, there were actual notes on how quickly John’s skin tanned without lotion, but their scientific efficacy was undermined by the illustrations.
“No, I conducted an experiment as I said I would.” Sherlock averted his eyes as he tried to snatch the journal from under John’s nose. John dropped the umbrella across Sherlock’s outstretched arm to stop him and had the journal in his hand before Sherlock could recover.
“No, you drew pictures of my arse!” John exclaimed, holding the pages out for Sherlock to see. Sherlock stood, face now flushed with embarrassment, and grabbed for the journal once again. John danced back.
“I took notes!”
“You did.” John turned the book around so he could read from it. “‘I wonder if I could convince John to remove his swim trunks in the name of the experiment?’ or ‘It’s hard not to—‘ oof!”
The journal went flying as Sherlock tackled John to the sand, wrestling his way up John’s body to where it had landed a few hand-lengths away.
“Christ, Sherlock, your knees!” John arched up and pivoted so the Sherlock was beneath him.
“John, you’re heavy—” Sherlock struggled and John’s cock made its interest known before the sand made itself known again in places it had no right to be.
“Oi, are you call me fat?” He let his full weight drop down, knocking the air out of Sherlock. Sherlock wheezed and cursed, trying to throw John off.
“Yes!” Sherlock finally managed to push John off, but John already had the journal clasped in his hand.
“Oh, you’re in for a world of payback.” John said, glaring up at Sherlock above him. Or trying to—his sunglasses had fallen off in the tussle and now lay somewhere hopelessly buried in the sand and the sun glared back at him, white and angry with Sherlock a frizzy-headed shadow in its center
“Give it back.”
“No. I want to see what else you wrote.”
“John.” Sherlock whined, pitching his voice to sound absolutely pathetic. Manipulative git.
“Sherlock.” John mimicked and then squirmed uncomfortably, sand shifting where they connected inner thighs to outer thighs, sweat causing it to clump together. Still, it’s nice to be this close, John thought, giddy with heat and proximity. Sherlock bent over him and if John could see he knew a smirk would be curving those gorgeous lips.
“I’ll make it worth your while.” Sherlock husked before kissing him; his lips were just as soft as they looked, if not a bit grainy. Sand cascaded from where it had stuck to Sherlock’s back and whispered against John’s shoulders, pooling against his chest. He opened his mouth in invitation and found that sand was even less pleasant coating his tongue than chafing his skin. Sherlock pulled back and they both coughed, dissolving once again in breathless giggles.
“Shower,” Sherlock said before plucking the journal from John’s slack fingers.
“Yeah, good idea.”
“You should take the first shower.” Sherlock said as they dropped everything on the porch of their rental. John shook his head and brushed his hands along his torso to dislodge what he could before going inside, but it was a fool’s battle and soon he conceded.
“Yeah, not gunna argue.” John replied, stepping inside. A shock of cold pebbled his skin and he shivered. “Christ, it’s cold.”
“Central cooling.” Sherlock said as he closed the door behind them.
“I know, but didn’t we adjust the thermostat before going out?”
“Change it, will you?” John didn’t wait for a response, instead picking his way to the master bath. It wasn’t much, just a shallow square tub and shower combo—toilet tucked between it and the sink. John grabbed a towel from the rack and started the water, planning to rinse off and be done with it. Not paying much attention, he stripped off his trunks and stepped under the spray, surprised by the strength and heat of it.
It felt good, seeped into the knots he hadn’t known he had until Sherlock had kneaded and bullied them mostly into submission. Steam quickly filled the room, filling his lungs as he inhaled deeply. Sand caked and sluiced free, settling at the bottom of the tub like cream and sugar grains before swirling down the drain. A knuckle’s worth of water gathered around his feet when the drain couldn’t swallow it all.
John wiggled his toes, freeing more sand, before searching for the shampoo and rinse the landlord had left for them. Instead, he found an army of bottles standing at attention around him, no cheap complementary anything in their ranks.
John sighed, knowing he should have expected at least the addition of Sherlock’s expensive and unnecessary products, but he had never considered using anything of Sherlock’s. It smelled good, yes, and Sherlock’s hair always looked so soft and tuggable and if John was going to travel down that path, he might as well fully indulge. So, he searched out the body wash first and squeezed a large dollop of it into the center of his palm. Concentrated Sherlock in a bottle, minus the erroneous chemical tang from an experiment gone wrong. It was a visceral jolt down John’s spine to smear the gel across his chest and arms and down his thighs, stepping away from the flow of water to work up a lather. If he closed his eyes, he could almost imagine long fingers against his skin instead of his own blunt ones, could feel the way they would explore and dig and cover every inch of him in their wide expanse.
His cock filled, becoming heavy and proud between his thighs, but John didn’t touch. He stepped back, let the water rinse away the soap, languished in the scent that lingered. He didn’t notice the door open as he searched for shampoo next.
“You’re thinking about me.” John yelped, clutching the bottle he’d just opened to his chest, cold washing over him as Sherlock pulled back the shower curtain.
“Warn a man!” Sherlock smirked and John gripped the bottle tighter; shampoo oozed out of the top of the bottle, slick against John’s fingers. He inhaled, unconsciously trapping the scent in his lungs.
“But you are.”
John gathered himself, letting the water chase away what he had spilled. As he bent to put the shampoo back on the soap ledge, Sherlock slipped out of his own trunks; creamy thighs and an erect cock at immediate eye level when John started to straighten.
“And who are you thinking of?”
“Even you aren’t so dense.”
“No.” John rolled the rest of the way up and stepped away from the shower spray so that Sherlock could join him. Sherlock stepped in close, crowding John against the wall, but John turned around and pushed him back gently.
“Rinse, first. No more sand.” Sherlock pouted, but John stayed firm—the burn against his stomach and chest and between his arse cheeks smarted, justifying his stubbornness.
“Fine,” Sherlock conceded before running a hand across John’s chest, collecting a sizeable amount of the shampoo that John had spurted against himself. Long fingers lingered at the juncture between John’s collarbones before pulling away to run through thick, dripping curls. John let his eyelids lower and his erection, which had flagged at the sudden onslaught of cold, perked back up. “I don’t want to waste any, it’s expensive.”
“I don’t even want to know how much.”
Sherlock grinned at him before stepping fully under the spray, suds and sand chased away by the hot water. John took a long moment to appreciate the expanse of seafoam-pale skin, pinking with heat. Too skinny, John thought as he always did when he saw the Sherlock beneath layers of designer clothing worn like armor. Sherlock turned to grope for the bottle of rinse, revealing the back of his neck and shoulder causing John let out a started snort.
“What?” Sherlock demanded, eyes still shut against the shower.
“Your shoulders—they’re burned to hell, Sherlock. Don’t you feel it?”
“No.” Sherlock straightened to look at his back and sputtered when he inhaled water. John bit his lip against the laughter bubbling in his chest.
“You’ll feel it later, I promise—you’re as red as I’ve ever seen.” Sherlock coughed and glared at John through squinted eyes. “Serves you right for molesting me under false pretenses.”
“You weren’t complaining!”
“Actually…” John said and Sherlock let out an exasperated growl.
“I didn’t account for the sand being so...so pervasive.”
“Make it up to me.”
Sherlock’s eyes widened comically, bright verdigris rings in a sea of white before the color drowned in black arousal. “Turn around.”
John did, toes pressing up against the curved back of the tub as Sherlock once again crowded him forward, lean stomach pressed flush against John’s broad back, slim cock nestled in the low divot of his spine. John shivered as Sherlock slipped an arm around his chest, large hand splaying wide; his other hand braced against the wall level with John’s eyes.
“Let me watch,” he breathed against the shell of John’s ear, his voice so low that it rumbled through to the pads of John’s toes. God, John thought not for the first time, he could come from that voice alone if he let himself. Instead he placed his right hand opposite of Sherlock on the wall for balance and let his left curl around his cock loosely, intending to start slow, to enjoy the feel of Sherlock draped against him. Sherlock rested his chin against John’s shoulder to better see, hips giving a little roll when John slid the foreskin up and over the darkened glans and then back down, thumb sweeping over the crown.
Sherlock inhaled deeply, nuzzling into John’s neck as his hand wandered over John’s chest; squared fingers coming to rest over John’s ribs, squeezing and scraping gently. Sherlock exhaled. John continued to pull at his cock, fingers tightening just a bit for better friction. Little sparks of pleasure warmed his skin fever hot and he let his head fall forward, eyes left half open to watch the path of Sherlock’s hand.
“You smell like me,” Sherlock said after a moment, gentle, sodden curls tickling the side of John’s neck. John startled out of whatever trance he had fallen into, fingers stuttering to a stop. He snorted.
“What?” Sherlock didn’t lift his head to speak, lips grazing along the tendons and thin skin of John’s neck. Water trickled and slicked the places they weren’t sealed together and for a second John lost his thread of thought, before giving a little laugh.
“I wonder why?” He mused waggishly, voice breathy. “S’not like you left anything but your posh whatever the hell all of this is. Rinse and shampoo and conditioner, I get—but there are five—count them, Sherlock, five other products here I don’t even begin to understand and christ do that again.”
Sherlock chuckled and sunk his teeth again into the stiff slope of John’s trapezius muscle, worrying the spot briefly before pulling back to swipe his tongue across the stinging spot. John melted, forgot what he ought to be doing with his hand and instead arched his neck further to the side to allow Sherlock more space. Sherlock reminded him, wrapping long fingers along the stubbier length of John’s and circled them back around John’s cock, settling him into a firmer rhythm than when he started.
John moaned and huffed, breath panting as he fought to keep his eyes open to watch the movement of Sherlock’s hand on his. They slipped shut as pleasure pooled heavy and insistent at the base of his spine, releasing suddenly in a wave. John’s toes curled against the tub and giving a muted cry as his paroxysm briefly stole the strength from his legs, he slumped forward. Cum painted the shower wall, their bodies preserving it from the spray as Sherlock stroked John through the last jolts of pleasure with their joined hands.
“Well, hell.” John finally managed.
“Mmhm,” Sherlock hummed into John’s neck. He released his grip from over John’s and spread his hand along the trail of blond hair traveling up from John’s drooping cock to his bellybutton. Sherlock’s hips rolled minutely, bringing John’s attention back to the fact that an erection still pressed insistently at the small of his back.
“Trade places with me,” John suggested. He could feel Sherlock smile against his shoulder and then he stepped back, letting the full force of the shower rinse over John; it wasn’t quite as warm as it had been and John suspected it would soon give out to cold. Better hurry, then, he thought, maneuvering around Sherlock. Their bodies bumped and jostled and John barely caught the water rinsing away the evidence of his pleasure before Sherlock took his place against the wall.
His feet slipped.
Sherlock came crashing down in a jumble of limbs around John, knocking bottles off the ledges and striking John in mouth with an outstretched hand. John yelped, the sudden taste of copper heavy on his tongue as he fell forward, just barely managing to catch himself before he crushed Sherlock’s still prominent erection beneath his full weight.
The thought caused him to wince dramatically.
“John, you’re bleeding.” John licked his lip, the tang of blood blooming as bright as it had when Sherlock struck him.
“No thanks to you.” But John said it with a laugh so that Sherlock knew he was not cross. Around them the water started its descent into frigid and John pressed himself up so that he could shut off that spray. Bottles fell into the space he had just occupied, covering Sherlock’s waning erection in expensive plastic.
“You made me turn around.” Sherlock was grinning now, eyes squinting against the lukewarm water dripping into them from his curls pressed in ringlets against his forehead. John brushed them aside, shaking his head with fond exasperation.
“You’re gorgeous, you know that?” Sherlock wrinkled his nose, looking away with cheeks brilliantly red.
“And you’re a sap.”
John laughed and kissed the corner of Sherlock’s mouth turned to him. “I get like that when someone gets me off.”
“Charming.” Sherlock started moving bottles out of the way, tugging the shower curtain back so that he could drop them over the side of the tub. John snickered before nosing into Sherlock’s neck, kissing and sucking at the exposed tendons before traveling to one sharp shoulder.
“Let me return the favor?” he whispered into the skin there. Sherlock nodded hard enough that his hair smacked John about the temple. Sherlock tried to spread his knees out wide to allow John a better path down, but the tub was narrow and refused to cooperate. With a growl of frustration he threw one leg off the open lip and then frowned when he couldn’t do the same with the other. John barely scrambled back fast enough to avoid a knee to the jaw.
“Blast this infernal tub!” Sherlock groaned, slumping against the wall at his back. He had one elbow situated on the soap ledge and the other on his outstretched leg, hands stuck helplessly up in the air with nowhere else to go. John was positioned only marginally better between Sherlock’s legs, a hand on the shoulder he had just kissed.
John pressed his lips to the center of Sherlock’s chest to keep from laughing again.
“There is no possible way to make this work.”
John kissed lower, scooting until his toes scraped the drain and he could feel the drip of the faucet at his lower back. Drip, drip, drip. A kiss for each cold drop slipping between the crack of his arse.
“It’s too cramped.”
Sherlock’s cock slowly filled back out, pressing against the curve of John’s neck and into the soft underside of his chin. He placed a hand on the exposed thin-soft skin of Sherlock’s spread thigh and used the other to help wriggle his shoulder beneath Sherlock’s cramped knee. Sherlock slipped a little, arse tilted up and against John’s stomach. Sherlock was right, it was far too cramped, but John Watson wasn’t anything if not stubborn.
John swallowed Sherlock whole, no warning. He nearly choked for his efforts, Sherlock’s cock swelling completely and blocking closed John’s nasal passages; but Sherlock’s sudden noise of surprised pleasure—John could only think to describe it as a squeak-moan—made the sudden lack of air worth it. He pulled up just enough to catch his breath before sliding back down with his tongue flush against the pulse point. John hummed and bobbed, cheeks hollowing on each upward suck; saliva slicked past John’s lips, gathering in the hyper-curled pubic hair where it brushed John’s chin. Sherlock managed to curl a hand against John’s head, too pleasure-addled to do anything more; the thought made John’s own cock twitch in languid interest.
“John, John.” Sherlock tugged at John’s hair, and that was all the warning he got before Sherlock convulsed, hot come spurting against the back of John’s throat, his tongue and over his lips as he pulled off. The taste was bitter and salty and not at all pleasant but John swallowed, even suckled at the tip of Sherlock’s cock as it wilted.
“You need to eat pineapple or something,” John groused as he let his head fall forward to rest on Sherlock’s stomach. Sherlock chuckled, a low, sleepy rumble that vibrated against John’s forehead.
“You won’t be any better with all that coffee you drink.”
“I drink it to keep up with you.” John shifted and his knees screamed dissent. “ Oh god.”
“We should get up before you’re fused in place.”
“I think I’d prefer that.” John sat up and arched, wincing as the faucet scraped against his arse and his back and shoulders twinged. “I feel so old.”
“You are old.” Sherlock swung his leg back into the tub, hissing as the distended muscles retracted.
John glared, forcing himself up with a groan. “I’ll show you just how old I am next time, you little shit.”
“Yes, next time,” Sherlock grinned, content.
They’d need to talk, hash out parameters and ground rules. Well, John would probably do most of the talking and Sherlock would pretend to listen until John gave up and they just went forward headfirst. But for now, John gathered his things out of the room he had claimed for himself and moved them into the master room. The bed was only marginally bigger than John’s, but anything would beat the tub.
Once he’d settled, John found Sherlock leaned against the porch railing, arms crossed as he stared out at the ocean painted across their horizon. With the sun setting, the water flared to life like glass on fire and bits of orange and red and pink caught in the curly strands of Sherlock's hair.
John watched him like that, statuesque watercolor illustration that he was, for nearly ten minutes. He enjoyed the way the colors shifted and changed as the sun dipped lower and lower into the water.
It made his heartache in a way he'd grown familiar with, bittersweet and hidden from the rest of the world because he could never reach out and touch and hold and speak freely.
Except that he could.
The stinging between his thighs was a good reminder of that.
"Are you going to stand there and watch me all night," Sherlock said without moving. "Or will you join me?"
John smiled and took his place beside Sherlock.