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This Year's Love

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“This year’s love had better last.
‘Cause who’s to worry if our hearts get torn,
When that hurt gets thrown,
Don’t you notice life goes on?”

 

There were no crimes being committed anywhere in London and Sherlock Holmes wanted to commit one to ease his boredom. He had gone through all the cold cases that were worthy of his notice and solved them all inside of the past three months. Lestrade was a dry cow. Molly gave him thumbs, hands, viscera, eyes, and a 5 meter-long tapeworm. Nothing helped.

He needed John… no, Irene. Sherlock texted the Woman. As he waited for her reply, he paced the sitting room of 221B. Why did he always look to John first when he was bored? It’s not as if John were the pinnacle of excitement.

No. John was not the pinnacle of excitement, but John was what Sherlock wanted. Irene had made that clear to him. Sherlock mentally dug in his heels at the thought. He had made the correct decision in breaking the two of them up. They were a complete distraction to one another. He was right. Of course he was right. John had Mary now. She was taking care of him now. Things were as they should be. John should have someone who deserved him and Sherlock should be alone.

Alone is what protects me.

Love was a weakness that he could ill afford. Sherlock recalled the warehouse crime scene when he was freshly fucked by the doctor (blow jobs, kitchen table, bed sheet, sweet sinful orgasm) and could barely concentrate on the blood trace he was following. He could see the good doctor out of the corner of his eye. He could still smell John on his skin. At the time he had the sudden urge to suck the doctor off against the nearest wall of the warehouse in full view of every Yarder there. As a result, he felt mentally sluggish and distracted. It was hateful.

And yet, he wanted John all the same. Sherlock did not like equivocating on any subject. And human emotions were a sea of contradictory feelings and actions. It was like trying to sail along a rocky shoreline during a tempest: doomed to failure eventually.

The only real benefit was that John was able to get his brain to shut down. That was worth all the confusion and miscommunication. But he threw it all away for the sake of The Game. John told him that. And John was right.

A pang wracked Sherlock and he recognized it as guilt. Well… there was nothing for it now. John had moved on. He lived with Mary now and that was an end to it.

Besides, Sherlock had other means of getting his mind to shut off the way John used to. He had Irene Adler, The Woman. For the past 6 months he had been under her ‘care’, enduring beatings that left him physically broken, bruised, bleeding… and blissfully mentally blank. Emotional turmoil was not Sherlock’s area. Physical pain was something that he could understand and wounds of the body healed, whereas wounds of the heart…

His phone went off. The Woman had a new address for him. Interesting. He could still make it there in under an hour. He put on his coat and went out into a dark and rainy London.

 

~080~

 

Slowly Sherlock opened his eyes. The lights were dim, but not so dim that he couldn’t see Irene standing in front of him. The tops of his thighs ached where she had been using the paddle. It was a good burn. But it wasn’t enough. Not nearly enough.

His throat was dry. “Water,” he whispered.

‘No,” she said simply. “I have another element I’d like to add to your torture tonight. I’m going to affect your senses. More than just touch. But sound, smell, and sight.”

“What are you up to, Woman,” said Sherlock. He just wanted the physical pain. The pain made his brain shut off. He needed the reboot. Why was she bothering with this?

What do you think, Mr. Holmes?” she asked. “I want to teach you a lesson about value. To teach you a lesson about taking care of what belongs to you. It’s a lesson you haven’t properly learned, have you?”

“What are you talking about?” said Sherlock, clearly frustrated. It didn’t help that he was currently tied to a chair. Usually when he went to her for her ministrations, he would be tied to a bed in a comfortable room. This night was completely different and the change set him on edge. He chided himself for trusting The Woman this much. He should have been more on his guard around her. “What do you have planned?”

“Just this,” she said and walked behind Sherlock, out of his line of sight and placed a silk blindfold over his eyes.

“This is a waste of time, Woman,” said Sherlock.

“Ooh…,” teased Irene. “Angry Sherlock is angry.”

“Irene--,” Sherlock whined.

“Are you safewording, Mr. Holmes?” she asked.

Sherlock thought a moment. “No,” he replied firmly. Whatever she dished out, he was sure he could take it. After all, six months worth of beatings that left welts and more than a few scars across his back, buttocks and the backs of his thighs were a testament to his fortitude.

“Then just shut up and use your senses, Mr. Holmes,” said Irene.

Sherlock heard a click after which could be heard an all too familiar voice: “And you know, Ms. White, if you continue to have these troubles, I would really tell your GP about them. If left unchecked, they could develop into more serious issues in the future,” John’s voice was cut off with another click.

“Not as strong a reaction as I thought,” Irene observed. “Auditory stimuli rate very low with you. I wonder why?”

“Perhaps you could conduct an experiment on me another day,” said Sherlock. His anger was rising. He knew she went to go see John at the A&E in order to obtain that voice recording. The fact that she did it was not surprising. But if John ever knew that Irene Adler sat across from him pretending to be a legitimate patient… he’d be furious. It angered Sherlock to know that she would disrespect his doctor so.

“This is futile, Ms. Adler,” said Sherlock.

“Oh,” said Irene. “Humor me, Mr. Holmes. Stage two starts now.”

Sherlock heaved a sigh and as he inhaled afterward, he smelled something. It was… familiar. It was… home. Oh dear God, it was John’s cologne. How the devil…? Of course: Mycroft. Big brother lends a hand once again. He got Adler back in the country for the sake of his baby brother and now he was supplying her with the means to break him regarding John. Well he wasn’t going to give in.

But oh… the smell. The comfortable smell of John Watson. It was intoxicating and despite his determination, heat spread in his groin. He missed that man so much. John’s face swam up before him. All Sherlock wanted to do was to kiss that mouth one more time. He caught himself before he could utter John’s name aloud.

“Before you suspect your brother regarding the obtaining of this scent,” Irene said. “I didn’t need his help. Remember, I’m fairly clever. You came home one night to find me in your bed, if you’ll recall. What makes you think that I didn’t explore the rest of the flat when I had a chance? I deduce people too, Mr. Holmes. I get to see their innermost selves. I get to know their fantasies. Why wouldn’t I want to know more about these two men who were kind enough to cause trouble in my life?”

Of course, Sherlock thought. Stupid. Obvious.

Sherlock also felt that if she had more to do to him, he might actually crumble. For the first time in his life, Sherlock doubted himself. The feeling was terrifying. Sherlock lashed out, belligerent: “You know what I want, Woman,” he said. “Why the hell aren’t you keeping to our normal routine?”

Irene didn’t answer him. He heard the shifting of cloth. A zipper. More cloth moved about. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“Getting to stage three. You’ll see in a moment, Sherlock. Patience,” she said.

“I can’t ‘see’ anything, Ms. Adler,” Sherlock said. He was getting petulant.

The blindfold was removed. “And now you can,” she said. She stood before him once again, but her clothes had changed. They had changed dramatically.

“Don’t worry,” she smiled. “I only borrowed it.”

She was wearing John’s favorite beige jumper.

And nothing else.

The same jumper that John wore when they first met. The same jumper that Sherlock held to his nose that night when he lay on John’s bed, stared at John’s army uniform, and masturbated.

John’s jumper… was on… that whore.

It was a difficult thought to process for Sherlock. His eyes flew open wide and he stared at that smug, arrogant, foolish… bitch. His heart ripped in two. He felt sick. He struggled against his bonds and came close to screaming his head off.

“And we have a winner,” she said as she coolly watched him strain against the ropes that held him in place. “Now really, Sherlock, can you honestly tell me that this isn’t the best torture yet?”

“It’s not the kind I need, you… you…,” Sherlock was at a loss for the appropriate insult for her.

“Sherlock Holmes at a loss for words,” said Irene. “I never thought I’d see the day.” She turned and sauntered away from him, her naked bottom wiggling in her triumph.

“Take that off,” Sherlock spoke in clipped tones in a vain attempt at control over his emotions. If he were to express his emotions at this moment, he would probably do it by strangling her.

“Oh for God’s sake, Sherlock!” she said as she turned to face him. “Don’t you see?”

“All I see is an expensive whore in a wool jumper,” he said with great distain.

She regarded him silently for a moment and then spoke: “You have absolutely no idea what you are doing, do you, Mr. Holmes?”

‘What are you on about?” he said. She could tell that he was on the breaking point. Sherlock had been comfortable the whole time with getting beatings from Irene. But physical wounds heal. The heart never forgets.

Sherlock became vaguely aware that his breathing was labored. He was suddenly exhausted. He was practically on the verge of tears. He wanted to get away from Irene and he wanted to take that jumper with him. He needed to feel its softness on his face, to take in what lingering scent of John there was to inhale. He needed that more than anything in this world. He needed John to come bursting through that door and save him. He needed his John.

John, where are you? I need you. I’m so sorry.

“You love him, you pillock,” she said.

He looked at her, his eyes two crystalline pools pleading for mercy.

“Say it,” she said, a wicked look in her eyes. “Say that you love him. Say it and mean it. You know you do.”

“I love him,” Sherlock whispered.

“Sorry,” she said. “What was that? I couldn’t hear you.”

“I lo— I love him,” he said in a half-choked but louder voice. He was a broken man.

She gave him an appraising look. “Very good, Sherlock,” she said soothingly. “Now that you’ve finally and soberly admitted the truth of the matter, we can get down to brass tacks.”

 

~080~

 

Sherlock got home just as the sun came up. He was exhausted even though his evening consisted of very little beating and a whole lot of talking. And since mental exhaustion could be as powerful as physical exhaustion, he was knackered. He’s been here before. Case after case solved thanks to his brilliant intellect and what always happens afterward? Sleep.

Sherlock showered and lay naked in bed listening to his heart beat. He replayed the conversation he had with Irene in his head.

Sherlock told her everything. Why he did so was still a mystery to him, but it was as if he were looking to unburden himself all along. She didn’t have to work hard to get him to confess that he loved John more than anything else in the world. Her point, she had said, was that Sherlock didn’t realize what that truly means.

Sherlock insisted that their break up was for the benefit of both of them. Irene disagreed and cited examples that were irrefutable: Sherlock’s masochistic outbreak, John’s limp returning with a vengeance. Both were indicators of deep-seeded feelings of emotional distress. It could no longer be ignored.

Sherlock asked her why she was doing all this. What possible advantage could this have for her to ‘educate him’ in what it means to care for someone?

“I’m being paid handsomely to perform a service,” she said in that cool voice of hers. “You were on a path of self-destruction earlier in your life, Mr. Holmes, and up until you parted company with John Watson, you were beginning to improve. Now that you’re without him, you’re spiraling out of control again.

“Your brother requested that I entertain your needs for a time, but now it seems that the good doctor may actually marry that Morstan woman and time is fleeting. While divorces are still possible, your brother feels it to your mutual advantage (you and John, that is) to wake up to the fact that together you are two sides of the same coin. You need each other, Sherlock. You’ve admitted that already. All that’s left now is to teach you how to behave so that your instincts react in the proper way.

“But your question remains: what do I get out of this? Well… first of all, let’s face it, Mr. Holmes, I am a hopeless romantic. And second: having money never hurts. Especially when the idea is to move to the States to start up a new life. That’s what I get, Sherlock: A fresh start. And so do you.”

Sherlock thought her further instruction was going to be parochial and meretricious, but it turned out to be quite illuminating if not common bloody sense. He should have known that one day Mummy’s lessons on etiquette would be like those proverbial chickens come home to roost. And besides, Sherlock reasoned, it was for John. He could be accommodating for John. He loved John.

And John loved him. It was obvious. He still came to crime scenes. He still helped out with investigating things when Sherlock was investigating other things. He still texted. He still carried his Browning into hostile situations. Occasionally, he even bought the milk.

And every once in a while, Sherlock would catch him staring.

John never knew he was caught, but Sherlock saw the man clear his throat and look away way too often for him to be having ‘allergy troubles’. John didn’t have allergies. What John had was a tendency to undress Sherlock with his eyes.

There he would be at a crime scene, huddled up in the cold watching Sherlock work and all the while his eyes would drift over the length of the detective slowly, lingering over his chest and crotch. And if Sherlock had his coat off, the man would drink him in as if he were the last glass of water on earth.

Sherlock stared up at his ceiling and thought about John’s chest and crotch. He thought about that jumper that Irene had. She had not given it to him as it was actually John’s that she had nicked from his flat and she did intend to return it, but she did give him the small sample bottle of John’s cologne. Sherlock had placed it on the bedside table. He took it now and inhaled it, closing his eyes to concentrate on the scent alone.

Instantly, heat began to build in his groin. He felt his cock twitch and he whispered John’s name to the empty room.

He unstopped the bottle and put a bit of the cologne on his hands. He spread it over his face and chest. Oh dear lord… John. Sherlock kept his eyes closed and palmed his growing erection through the duvet.

I still don’t deserve you, but I will try, John. For you, John. Only you.

With his eyes still shut, he could picture John above him, giving him a lop-sided grin. Sherlock dreamed of taking that man’s face in his hands and kissing him soundly, tongues sliding against one another, teasing, exploring. The weight of John on top of him was there in the dream as well, made vivid thanks to the olfactory stimulation of the scent that now surrounded him. Sherlock felt his hands on John’s hot skin, moving down his back to the base of his spine and back up again to lightly trace the scar on his shoulder. How many times had Sherlock seen that scar? How many times had he kissed it? Caressed it? It was such a symbol of the man to which it belonged. It labeled him as brave, courageous, determined, strong, marked forever by war, made beautiful by nature.

Sherlock wanted to mark John like that scar. He wanted to make John his own forever. So he did the next best thing: he kissed John on the neck and chest until it bruised him, sucking his mark onto John’s skin.

Mine. All mine. My doctor. My soldier. My John.

Sherlock’s erection began to throb. He threw aside the duvet, exposing his naked frame to the chill of the room. Sherlock hardly noticed the temperature difference. His skin was aflame with the image of his doctor hovering over him, head tilted back as Sherlock marked him once again, this time on his right nipple. Sherlock recalled how wonderfully sensitive John’s nipples are. He imagined rolling John onto his back and sucking on them for an hour, each one being teased, licked, blown on, sucked on, and hummed over until John was a writhing, sweaty mess calling out Sherlock’s name as though it were a prayer to God.

He could feel John’s hands in his hair as he kissed, licked and sucked his way down John’s chest. Sherlock had very sensitive follicles and the thought of John’s rough, strong hands carding through his dark curls did wonders for Sherlock’s precum production. He was leaking onto his abdomen something awful and he stroked himself lightly, occasionally running a thumb or finger over his slit and slicking up his cock with a trail of fluid. He cupped his balls with his other hand and squeezed gently.

“Oh John… yes John… let me taste you… please…” said Sherlock. His own voice reverberated in the empty room. Sherlock imagined John’s reaction to his voice. Sherlock’s voice was always a trigger for John. Always. More than once the man had practically come from Sherlock calling his name. He imagined murmuring these words into John’s crotch, breathing hot air against John’s beautiful cock. Sherlock then imagined licking the crease where John’s leg met his balls. John’s hips bucked at this. Sherlock hummed his approval against John’s scrotum and John moaned at the sensation.

In his mind’s eye, Sherlock saw himself ghosting his mouth over John’s throbbing cock, breathing along the length of it, watching John’s hips thrust in a shallow rhythm in response. Sherlock licked the underside of the glans and John’s breath stuttered. Using just his mouth, Sherlock took in John’s glans and slowly sucked in his head and shaft down as far as he could go. He then curved his tongue along the underside, pulling it along as his mouth withdrew. John would let out a hiss of appreciation at this. Sherlock knew what John liked.

Sherlock vaguely wondered if Mary could suck John’s cock half as well as he. Sherlock guessed not.

John liked his cock sucked just so: light sucking at the head with lots of tongue along the slit, frenulum, and around the glans itself with intermittent deep-throating thrown in to keep him guessing. The whole experience performed intentionally slowly. Achingly slowly. Sherlock loved to hear John beg to come. When that happened, he would hum his approval and increase the rhythm. John would usually cry out his name: ‘Fuck! Sherlock! Fuck… oh Jesus you are so good at this… please let me come… please… fucking Christ, Sherlock… So close…please please pleasepleaseplease…’

Sherlock arched his back with his orgasm, his ejaculate spreading over his hand and abdomen and cried out: “Oh God, John! Oh… only you… John… Only you…John… My John…JohnJohnJohnJohn….”

I really want to try for you, John. Only for you. I love you.

Sherlock fell asleep with the scent of his beautiful doctor/ soldier/ lover/ friend surrounding him. There were no nightmares for him that night.

 

~080~

 

It was two days and three nicotine patches later that Sherlock found himself in front of Mary’s flat. The thought of getting John back into his life and into his bed never left Sherlock’s mind. It was his brain’s new obsession. (At least he wasn’t bored anymore.) But how was he meant to go about it?

He could tell Mary the truth about him and John’s history. Sherlock was sure that she was completely ignorant that John used to bugger Sherlock senseless. Irene had warned him about thinking only about himself. Sherlock took a moment to consider how John would feel about telling Mary the whole truth. He decided that John would hate him for that. He would feel betrayed by Sherlock and that would not be good. No, that was not a good option at all. That would simply alienate John further.

My God, is this what Irene meant about what it means to love and value someone? It was easier than Sherlock ever imagined.

The problem still remained. How was he to win John back? He needed more data.

Mary’s flat was on the first level of the building and the window curtains were not drawn. Perfect. It was nine o’clock at night and Sherlock could clearly see John sitting on their sofa watching telly and looking bored. Suddenly John jumped and looked toward the back of the flat. Mary came out holding a smashed tea cup. She was angry and shouting. Sherlock could hear her voice through the glass and across the quiet street, but he couldn’t make out her words. John stood and placed his hands on his hips. Sherlock knew that stance well. John was angry.

John threw his hands wide in exasperation and shook his head. Mary was quite close to him now and held the pieces of the smashed cup up to John’s face, shaking them. She was still shouting. John looked to the ceiling and closed his eyes as she continued her tirade.

Sherlock wanted to burst into the flat, grab John and leave Mary standing there. Again, this would probably not be something John would approve of. So he just watched the domestic scene build until John grabbed his coat and left the flat. Sherlock ducked further back into the alleyway behind him and pulled the collar of his coat around his face. John hurried away from the flat, no doubt heading toward the nearest pub.

Mary stood in the sitting room shaking and crying. Sherlock heard her scream in frustration and throw the remnants of the cup against the far wall.

Temper, temper, thought Sherlock and he smiled a wicked grin.

Suddenly, things seemed much brighter than before.