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He just wants to kiss him, just once. One time feel those petal-soft pale lips open beneath his own, pale, so pale like the rest of him, his skin, his luminous eyes. He wants to feel hot breath trickle against his mouth, a soft tongue wind against his, a shudder and tremble along a graceful, arched back. He wants to explore pearl white teeth, learn the shape of them, bump noses, apologize and laugh against his skin.

He wants all of this with more fire than he can imagine, more burn in his stomach than he can bear, and when he sees Sherlock cross the street to reach the front door of the flat, he drops the curtain for fear Sherlock can see right through him, right into the heart of him, even through the window and gauze of fabric, understand what he wants. Fear keeps him silent, craven fear to see those ice-light eyes twinkle, or worse, watch them darken in pity.

He’s given everything he can, all he can manage and quite a bit more, without hope of anything in return.  But he dreams of a whisper, a brush of lips, a shock of dark curls spilling across his ruined shoulder in bright moonlight, so he turns to the opening door with a smile that belies a held breath.

Title from Damien Rice, Delicate

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When he gets enough oxygen to think, just a thin thread that trickles down his throat, all he can think is he can’t believe he’s being strangled to death with his own scarf.

A shout, a curse breaks through the fog in the next moment; a tenor exclamation of fury that gets closer before the man on top of him is suddenly thrown to the ground. A figure in a black jacket leaps on him and lays a fist across the man’s jaw, hitting him over and over until the man is still, quiet.

“John, stop!” Sherlock says weakly. “Stop, before you kill him.”

John drops his fists, his back slumping.  He slowly turns to look at Sherlock, chest heaving, blood dripping down his face into his collar. His expression is open, naked.

Look. This is what I have become, for love of you.

Sherlock is awed – the revelation of what he sees rumbles through him like an earthquake, shaking down what was old and making space for something new in a single, shattered minute.

He rolls to the side, reaches for John’s hand and pulls it to his chest, leaving wet crimson streaks across his shirt. John pulls their interlaced fingers back toward his chest and presses his lips to Sherlock’s knuckles, pledging their troth with a kiss of blood.




Title from Kings of Leon - Closer

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“You’re not going first.” John Watson puts his hands on his naked hips and glares at Sherlock Holmes, who is equally as naked and has his arms folded across his chest.

“I am, too.”

“You aren’t. You’ll wear him out with your ‘I’m Sherlock Holmes, let me show you my stamina’ routine. Then I won’t get a turn.”

Sherlock snorts. “You’re thicker than me. If you go first you’ll stretch him out, and it’ll be as good as hanging it out an open window.”

Greg Lestrade lies on the duvet watching this verbal sparring match for first possession of his arse with a bit of a puzzled smile. His eyes flick back and forth between John and Sherlock, wondering if this is normal for the two of them in the bedroom or if he’s just the lucky one.

“I can’t help it if I’ve got size on you,” John smirks. “Besides, its not like you ever complained.”

Sherlock’s scowl softens into a smile.“Of course not,” he says softly, and slips his hand along the curve of John’s jaw. “I think you’re perfect.” Sherlock leans down to kiss John softly. John reciprocates, and their kiss becomes hungry, desperate, their arms wrapped around each other, Sherlock’s knee slipping between John’s thighs.

“Sherlock, love,” John pants, “We’re being rude. Our guest.”

John and Sherlock turn back to the bed and find Lestrade sprawled on his back, snoring softly.

“I still say I should have gone first,” Sherlock sulks.

“Dammit, Sherlock!” John huffs and pinches his arse, starting the argument all over again.

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When John slips on his aviator glasses, Sherlock’s heart starts to thud.

They had been driving all night, skidding out of California at the end of a tense case, and John insisted that since they still had some time left on their visa, they were going to indulge one of his not –so-secret fantasies and rent a lethally fast car to drive across the United States.

The new Challenger is vibrantly red, powerfully built and has a 470 horsepower engine that roars like a living thing and brings a maniacal grin to John’s face.  As the mountains smooth into the flat plains of Nevada, John doesn’t hesitate to step on the gas and let that power loose, Sherlock hoping against hope there aren’t any speed traps set in their path.

“God, this is just fucking brilliant, isn’t it?” John squints into the sunrise despite his shades, and Sherlock catches his breath at the sight of John’s handsome profile bathed in the pink-orange glow breaking across the horizon. This is John unleashed, and Sherlock’s view of that unfettered creature makes him burn, makes him fight not to writhe in his seat. He wants to reach out, wants to touch this gorgeous, thrilling man, absorb his enthusiasm through skin. Perhaps it’s time indulge in love as John does – completely and utterly without bounds.



Title from: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Runnin' Down a Dream

If you're interested, Here's what the boys are driving.

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I won’t let you slip my bonds, let your mind twist down blackened paths laid down with the ash of a thousand lives, a million souls perished in the course of history, your burning need to know consuming you from the inside out. It’s everything I can take and nothing I won’t give, but more than that, it’s a need, like breath, like sunlight, like the kiss of adrenaline I feel every time you’re near. God, what I wouldn’t do to have you look at the living the way you look at the dead, giving their concerns your full grace.

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John watches Sherlock gather the ends of his dark blue scarf in one hand, flip the scarf behind his head, slip the ends through the loop at the other end, and pull it tight around his elegant neck.

“I really wish you’d stop wearing your scarf like that,” John says for the hundredth time, irritated, jabbing his arms into his coat. “One of these days someone’s going to strangle you with it.”

“Don’t be absurd,” Sherlock replies, smoothing his gloves over his hands. “By the time anyone got that close they’d—oof!”

John drops a shoulder into Sherlock’s waist, and the unexpected blow knocks him off balance so well that Sherlock sprawls into the armchair. John snatches at the ends of Sherlock’s scarf and pulls, tightening the impromptu noose around his neck until Sherlock claws at him, getting a good kick in at John’s hip. John swears but hangs on, steps in-between Sherlock’s legs, and after about ten seconds of Sherlock’s panicked eyes he lets go.

Sherlock takes in huge gulps of air, chest heaving. He looks murderous. “What the hell were you trying to prove with that?”

John steps back, pulls Sherlock upright. Straightens the lapels of his coat and pulls the scarf free from Sherlock’s neck. “Isn’t it obvious, you great stonking genius? Breathing really isn’t so bloody boring.”

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When John sleeps, he does so completely, utterly, and deeply.

Sherlock assumes it must be from his long years in the army, grueling shifts at the hospital or in the field that are measured in days instead of hours, and that have his body primed to extract as much rest from as little time as possible.

So he sleeps, curled on the sofa, slumped in a chair, his face so relaxed he loses ten years and a lifetime of sorrows, only some of which are Sherlock’s doing. His mouth is always slightly open, his eyes shuddering beneath thin, blue veined lids lined with fine blonde eyelashes.

The fact he sleeps so beautifully, so trustingly only weeks after the pool is a testament, Sherlock knows, not to Sherlock’s ability to keep him safe, but to John’s own confidence that he can keep Sherlock safe. His sleep is deep but his wakefulness instant, and Sherlock knows the day that will surely come when someone tries to take advantage of John’s rest, foolishly assuming him unaware and helpless, defenseless.

But until then, Sherlock will revel in the protective comfort of John’s soft snores on the sofa, his compact body relaxed, his face soft and sweet and gentle, the fierceness and fire of his personality banked to a low ebb by a fine tartan blanket.

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There are things he can’t say, can’t tell Ella in the privacy of her office, simply because he’d only ever wanted to say them to one person. Because he never got the chance to say them to Sherlock himself.

Things like, “I wish you and I had gone on holiday together. It would have been a complete lark and I’d have tried to punch you at least twice and you’d have gotten sunburned but we would have had a fantastic time.”

“I wish you’d met my Grandfather. You’d have adored each other.”

“You were the best thing at the perfect time, and I’d never have survived without you.”

John knows he may not have ever had the courage to say any of those things, not ever, not with those ice-green eyes staring at him, full stop. Sherlock is—was—not one for sentiment, but even then, he called John. Wanted him there to witness his final act, and by the tremble in his voice, John knows that at least some of it wasn’t a complete lie. That there’s something true he can hold close to his heart, to light the darkness within.

And so the one thing he will always wish, more than anything, that he’d had a chance to say is: “I love you, and I will always, always believe.”

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“I want it. Give it to me.” Sherlock punctuates his statement with a demanding, outstretched, grabby hand.

John looks down at the decadent brownie topped with mint-green swirled frosting. It’s almost four inches square, and John’s going to eat every last bite of it if the sugar coma kills him.

“Not a chance in hell. This thing was almost five pounds.” John turns to reach for a fork, but somehow senses Sherlock’s diving ambush and reacts with lightning-quick reflexes, brandishing his utensil with menace. “I said back off. I’ll stab your sleeve to this table, so help me.”

Sherlock retreats to his chair and sits, arms wrapped around his knees, and stares daggers at John. “Greedy,” he grumbles.

John grins, takes an extra-large, smug bite, and chews in Sherlock’s general direction.

“I’ll trade,” Sherlock says. “Something you want for something I want.”

“There is nothing you can offer me that would be better than this,” John says, and licks the frosting from the tines of the fork with relish.

Sherlock rises, saunters over to John’s chair and leans against the table. Locks eyes with John and slowly, carefully, drags a long finger through the frosting and holds it up to John’s lips. The minty-sweet frosting is even better sampled from Sherlock’s skin.

“Come to bed,” John murmurs, “and bring the brownie.”

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A look, a touch, a kiss. Hands on his face, on his waist. A touch to the back of his neck.

The dreams are ever-present, slow and languid, deep and enticing. Soul-wracking and impossible, now.

John usually wakes startled and grieving, his head full or words he cannot say, can barely string on a shimmering line of a sentence of care and adoration and lust. They’d never gotten that far. They’ll never get that far, and the empty chair in the living room is testament to that fact. Mostly because Sherlock, extraordinary but nervous and unsure, wouldn’t have said, and John himself was too afraid to try, too afraid of stepping in it, of having Sherlock turn him back out into the cold dark night of bland beige bedsits and empty bottles of whiskey, anonymous fucks and his own terrifying, black-shrouded thoughts.

He’s afraid of becoming that man again. And yet, here he sits, black thoughts and whiskey bottle and all. He knows there’s something there, something he’s missing in all of this, in Sherlock’s last, calculated, and unbelievable words. Something jagged to hold onto, to give purpose to his life, to work for. Perhaps even rewarded by.

Because he thinks he just may find it—that eclipsing brilliance, that brave heart. That which is more unique, more intimate, more beautiful.

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Sherlock has never had a problem with nudity.

He struts, he preens, he saunters around the flat with careless grace, as if his nakedness were just another persona he puts on, an opportunity to be something other than expected.

John, on the other hand, does not affect such easy casualness. He’s always dressed, shirts buttoned up to the top. Tucked in, prim and proper, covered within an inch of his life, and he looks askance at Sherlock’s bare skin at two in the afternoon even as he savors it.

Sherlock, when he bothers, dresses to look exactly as dangerous as he is—slick, smooth, and so sharp that the cut is made without knowing you’ve been touched, a whisper that leaves blood. John likes to dress to blend into the background, look so charmingly normal, but oh, the surprise when his flame is unleashed, his brave heart awakened, and afterward Sherlock can peel them both back to the core, nothing between them but sweat.

Sherlock likes it, the slight jolt of shock to John’s sensibilities when he’s unclothed, the hunger in his eyes when his gaze cuts across Sherlock’s body. The clash of sweet heat when they intertwine. When he can strip John’s modesty and his disguise, leave his outer shell on the floor in a puddle of denim and brandywine.

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The water laps up against the riverbank in dark, oily undulations that catch the tips of John’s shoes and leave them glistening in reflected moonlight.

“Once I cross into Pomorskie there should be a car waiting. At least, Mycroft said there would be.” Sherlock looks around, catches sight of the small boat motoring its way toward them across the flat black water. “It’s time.”

John swallows heavily, the suddenness of the end, their end, a weight that’s immobilized his tongue and left him struggling to speak. “Be careful, please,” he rasps out. “It’s been,” and his voice catches. “It’s been fucking unreal.”

Sherlock chuckles, smiles for a moment, then turns serious. “If I’d known how things were going to turn out…if I’d had any idea…” Sherlock looks miserable, gaunt and haunted and John aches to see it, glad Moriarty’s brains are plastered across the rooftop because this corner they’ve been painted into leaves him angry and desperate. “It has been a wonder getting to know you, John.” Sherlock looks ready to break, and John doesn’t feel far behind him.

But he still smiles. It’s been a pleasure. A gift. A joy. A heartbreak. “I wouldn't have missed it for the world,” he says, and steps forward, kisses Sherlock’s cheek before watching him disappear into the dark night and across the border.

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Sherlock’s arse is always perfect—perfectly hot, perfectly slick, perfectly tight. A sight to behold; round, plump, and smooth, perfect to carry a little hint of a ripple when John’s groin smacks into it, skin setting up a sine wave of pleasure that seems to roll up Sherlock’s back until it arches his neck, and the deep, vibrating moans that fall from his lips every time John strokes into him slide icy hot down John’s spine. His hips perfectly fitted to John’s hands and made to hold on to, milky skin betraying the tell-tale pink of John’s passion, his grip sometimes too tight, too possessive, but never not loving, pleasurable.

John revels in the blood-hot softness, the tight grip of muscle, the tremble from within that tells him he’s found the right pace, that Sherlock is seeing bright sparks behind his eyelids. The hit of want, of triumph, when Sherlock takes over the rhythm and pushes back, greedy, enveloping and demanding, like his mouth, like his brain, always seeking the next high.

He knows Sherlock finds it in the rush of orgasm, the crush of inevitability when the world collapses into the fine point of pleasure, when it expands again into a cacophony of sound, of light, of heat, of love. When they coalesce, intertwine; make of themselves one existence, one being.

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Despite what he tells himself, what he's told her, John can feel his heart constrict with something more than surprise when he hears Sherlock's text alert. The dim, filtered light highlights the flare of Sherlock's coat as he turns and swiftly strides away, head held high, back straight and proud and rigid.

John knows better. He's heard the music, the long nights of violin-painted, plaintive sorrow in the sitting room and slow notes of sweet confusion from his bedroom, and in this instant of forced self-awareness all he can think is how wrongly he’s played this himself, how John’s let Sherlock’s pride, his attitude, push him away.

And now Irene Adler’s careless flirting has shown him what he should have known himself, that he knows Sherlock, he knows how that beautiful, exquisite brain works even if he doesn’t know if he’s had a lover. The strange interconnectedness he’s felt, the inevitable fall into mute fascination with a man like no other in the world, is what Irene is feeling. The same desire that drives her to flirt, to preen even as Sherlock refuses to play is what keeps John home on danger nights, abandoning relationship after relationship to protect and care for him. To give him almost everything, and now prepared to … yes. Oh yes.  Just look at them both.

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mazarin221b:  sherlock-in-heels:  Prompt: In the bottom of John’s wardrobe there is a box of photos.  photo source unknown  Sherlock prods, he pontificates, he provokes. But when he doesn’t get his way he positively pouts. “You promised, John,” he says, with a little outhrust of his lower lip that makes John’s neck hot and his cock stir to life, “that if I solved the Andrews case you’d buy me new ones.” John nods, watches the smooth, graceful slide of silk up those long, pale legs, dextrous fingers snapping the garter clasps in place. Of all the colors of all the delicates he owns, John loves the red best, a crimson splash against milk-white skin that burns behind his eyelids when he’s alone, hours after Sherlock has left his bed. “But you know these are my favorite,” John says, and hands over the lethal black Louboutin’s with red soles. “They were the first.” Sherlock sniffs, regards the shoes with the white worn soles with a raised eyebrow. “Yes, I know. But that was two years ago.” Yes, John thinks, I’ve watched you strut around the flat knowing what’s underneath your clothes and even now I still burn for you, ache when you’re not near. I loved you then as I love you now, and no matter what we said it has never been a game, not to me. “Indulge me,” he says aloud, instead. “But these are for posterity,” Sherlock huffs, but slips the shoes on his feet, takes a long, hip-swaying stride across the bedroom to where John has the camera at the ready. Traces an elegant finger around John’s mouth. “Don’t you want perfection?” “No,” John whispers, and gently guides Sherlock down so he’s bent over the bedside chair, lace-clad arse in the air and legs crossed daintily at the ankles. “I want to remember.” Sherlock stills for a moment at John’s words, the weight of the unspoken in the quiet, too-dim room. John begins to quietly panic, wondering how to regain the casual footing they’d always been on, when Sherlock arches his back, looks over his shoulder with smoldering eyes, and preens.


Sherlock prods, he pontificates, he provokes.

But when he doesn’t get his way he positively pouts.

“You promised, John,” he says, with a little outhrust of his lower lip that makes John’s neck hot and his cock stir to life, “that if I solved the Andrews case you’d buy me new ones.”

John nods, watches the smooth, graceful slide of silk up those long, pale legs, dextrous fingers snapping the garter clasps in place. Of all the colors of all the delicates he owns, John loves the red best, a crimson splash against milk-white skin that burns behind his eyelids when he’s alone, hours after Sherlock has left his bed.

“But you know these are my favorite,” John says, and hands over the lethal black Louboutin’s with red soles. “They were the first.”

Sherlock sniffs, regards the shoes with the white worn soles with a raised eyebrow. “Yes, I know. But that was two years ago.”

Yes, John thinks, I’ve watched you strut around the flat knowing what’s underneath your clothes and even now I still burn for you, ache when you’re not near. I loved you then as I love you now, and no matter what we said it has never been a game, not to me. “Indulge me,” he says aloud, instead.

“But these are for posterity,” Sherlock huffs, but slips the shoes on his feet, takes a long, hip-swaying stride across the bedroom to where John has the camera at the ready. Traces an elegant finger around John’s mouth. “Don’t you want perfection?”

“No,” John whispers, and gently guides Sherlock down so he’s bent over the bedside chair, lace-clad arse in the air and legs crossed daintily at the ankles. “I want to remember.”

Sherlock stills for a moment at John’s words, the weight of the unspoken in the quiet, too-dim room. John begins to quietly panic, wondering how to regain the casual footing they’d always been on, when Sherlock arches his back, looks over his shoulder with smoldering eyes, and preens.

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The cold wind shatters across his face, breaking in buffeting sheets that rob him of what little breath he has as he and Sherlock pound their way down echoing alleyways filled with rubbish and puddled water and the dreck of humanity that tends to skulk in the dark.

It’s brilliant, exhilarating, to run at Sherlock’s side, and despite (or because of?) the looming fight they’ve so far avoided, John wouldn’t choose anything else, ever. Sherlock’s infectious grin when he’s on the chase is a beacon John never fails to follow, and it makes him feel young, fleet of foot, his mind brilliantly sparking and alive with adrenaline and fear and righteousness.  

The soles of their shoes snap a double-quick rhythm in perfect cadence, ducking around obstacles, weaving through tourists and partiers on the pavement until Sherlock dives through a doorway and up the stairs and they emerge on a rooftop under a deep night sky tinged with London’s ever-present glow. When they catch each other’s eye, the insanity of what they’re doing breaks free in a burst of mirth.

John feels relief, complete with Sherlock beside him, exponentially more together and greater than the sum of their slightly broken parts.  It’s glorious; the two of them ready to take on the world again, burning bright as the sun against the blackness.


Title from: Fun, We Are Young

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Goddammit, he knows better than to make tea before checking to see if there’s milk first. He knows.

But he’s done it anyway.

“Sherlock!” John calls from the kitchen. “You promised to get the damn milk. Twice, if I recall correctly, and I do. Yet here I am, completely milk-less.”

“That’s not even a word,” Sherlock retorts from the sofa, where he’s been thumbing through a forensic journal. “And I’m busy. Get it yourself.”

John narrows his eyes, walks to the kitchen door and gives Sherlock his best disapproving glare. He’s such a spoiled child, and it really doesn’t matter that the haughty curve of his jaw and the wrinkle in his nose when he’s being particularly impudent turns John on six ways to Sunday.

Doesn’t matter at all.

John crosses the room and pulls the journal from Sherlock’s hands, eliciting a squawk of outrage that decends to a purr of contentment when John sits on the edge of the sofa and draws a gentle finger down the vee of Sherlock’s shirt collar.

“You promised, my lovely. And you know I always reward you when you obey.”

Sherlock shivers, tries to sit up and kiss John at the same time. As he does, John slides backward into the corner cushions on the opposite side.

“Ah ah,” he teases. “Not until there’s milk.”

Sherlock huffs annoyance and rolls his eyes. “Are you seriously withholding your sexual favors in return for milk?”

John snickers, ready to hold his ground despite the vision of a flushed and obviously aroused Sherlock gazing at him ravenously with heavy-lidded eyes. He’s determined to win this round so he stands, surreptitiously adjusts himself in his jeans, and leans down to ghost a kiss along Sherlock’s jaw.

It’s a little unfair, because he knows exactly where Sherlock’s weaknesses lie, and at the touch of John’s lips to the corner of his jaw Sherlock whimpers just slightly, just a tiny hint of sound that can barely be registered, if it weren’t for the fact that John was waiting for it.

“Not withholding, my love,” John breathes in his ear. “Simply providing ample incentive.”

Sherlock blinks open his eyes, and John watches in amusement as his gaze goes from soft and dreamy to laser sharp in an instant. He bolts for the door, turning quickly to point an accusing finger at John. “You had better be naked when I get home,” he says, and slams out of the flat.

John waits until he hears the front door slam as well, before giving over to a fit of laughter that only subsides when he hears the doorbell. He staggers downstairs still wiping the tears from his eyes to find Lestrade on the front step.

“Oh, hello,” he says, a bit surprised and hoping like hell his still half-hard dick isn’t obvious through his clothes. “Sherlock’s just gone out.”

“I’ll wait,” Lestrade says, and John shrugs and follows him up the stairs, offers him tea, and privately figures he’s got about five more minutes before Sherlock comes back and the earlier thread of the evening is dropped for more intellectual pursuits.

Four minutes go by (must be eager, John thinks with a smile, to get home so quickly), and Sherlock throws open the door and waves the milk about.

“You told me to get the milk, so I did!” he crows, and hands John the jug like a pleased cat bestowing a treasured offering on the doorstep. His mouth twists in a little frown as he takes in John’s shirt and jeans, still resolutely in place. “Why aren’t you getting naked?”

Oh God, he can feel the heat rising up his neck. “Because we have people over,” John hisses, and gives a sharp gesture toward Lestrade sitting at the desk behind him. John waits for that tell-tale spark of interest in a new case to light Sherlock’s eyes, but instead Sherlock tosses his head and arches a dismissive eyebrow, turns his back on Lestrade and leans close to John.

“Then make him go away,” he snarls, and walks past John and back toward the bedroom. “I did, after all, get the milk.”

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The wool of Sherlock’s coat is cool, slightly rough between his fingers. It’s a lifeline, something tangible, when he can’t allow himself to grasp Sherlock’s hand outright and anchor himself with the blazing touch of skin on skin.

That sort of thing reeks of desperation, of pushing back against a lifetime of regrets. Of accepting that they may not get out of this, acknowledging  that this may be his only chance. It’s fear driving him, twisting his heart into a coil so tight it may never fully loosen again. But in spite of all that John has faith. Sherlock has a plan. What more have they ever needed?

So they run, climbing fences and dodging searching lights, stopping every so often to catch their breath and look their fill at laughing eyes and amused smiles. Feeling a moment of safety, John lets go of Sherlock’s coat for an instant, testing the independent strength of his heart.

It’s not strong enough. He scrambles for a grip again and Sherlock lifts his eyes, looks at John with such wild desperation John misses the coat entirely, tangles his fingers in Sherlock’s own. It’s an admission, a plea, and he can’t shake the feeling of a sealing of fate. He deliberately lets go of Sherlock’s hand again, and searches for the edge, rough and black.

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John watches the sweet, slow slide of a dollop of honey slip down Sherlock’s spine, inescapable momentum rolling it lower, lower, until it pools, suspended, in the dip of his back just above his arse.

Its nights like this John relishes. When they can take their time, indulge in the sensual, the unusual. A little something new, a little something wicked. He’s still not over shaving Sherlock absolutely bare from groin to feet, nor of the sensation of heavy silk bindings around his thighs, of the tinkle of silver chains.

“Shhh, hold still,” John tells him, and kneels across Sherlock’s long legs, bends low and follows the golden sweet line the honey left behind, teasing and tasting with lips and teeth and tongue until Sherlock is shaking with need and his back arches almost involuntarily, the shimmering reservoir of honey cascading down his sides and across his arse, dripping in sticky rivulets into the sheets.

God, he’s a sight: skin gleaming, muscles beautifully cut and defined, black curls glossy and a little bit mussed.  John catches what honey he can on his fingers, holds one out in offering so Sherlock can suck it clean. Good Christ, he thinks, desire is made of this: of the heat of Sherlock’s love, of dark nights twined together, the shimmer of honey down his back.


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It’s got to be the walk.

That barely-there hip sway of a strut that knocked John for six the first time he saw it, Sherlock’s coat painted over the strong line of his back to flare and swirl around his legs. It’s a vision that makes him bite his lip, makes him hunger in the dead of night when he’s alone, makes him want when they’re together, the steady snap of Sherlock’s shoes on the pavement a staccato rhythm that makes John think too much of sex.

It’s not better for John’s concentration when they’re running, either; the rolling grace of Sherlock’s shoulders when he sprints, the fluidity of his body when they climb, the shift and play of his muscles under shirts and coats and trousers. John can’t help watching him from under lowered eyelids, trying as hard as he can manage not to be caught out. It only takes an instant, though, for that self-control to falter, for John to admire that long-legged stride just a moment too long, and find himself flushing hot when ice blue eyes catch his own.

Hard, too, not to reach out and snag Sherlock’s hand with his own to arrest that walk, beg for more when he notices Sherlock’s triumphant smirk and just that little bit of extra, sultry swing in his backside.

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It starts with a cup of tea.

John had just moved his last box into the flat, the February wind cold and damp around his ears as he kicked the door closed and looked up with a groan at 17 steps plus 23 to the top floor. He dropped to the bottom step and rubbed at the ache in his arm, and glanced back up in surprise when Sherlock carefully picked his way down the stairs with two cups of tea, silently handed John one, and sat on the fourth step to sip in companionable silence.

John shrugged it off as evidence that Sherlock does, at least, have some semblance of manners.  While he isn’t expecting to repeat the experience (dusty floors and filthy worktops are testament to Sherlock’s customary lack of general helpfulness), he is pleased and polite when Sherlock, a few weeks later, does the shopping and nestled in the biscuit tin is a new package of John’s favorite Tim Tams, with only one taken out. Days pass, sprinkled with small kindnesses, one after another, that build in John’s heart like beads filling a jar.

“Noone would believe it if I told them,” John says, kissing the top of Sherlock’s head as he passes his chair.

“They don’t deserve to,” Sherlock says, and ducks his head with a blush.

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Even now, in the dim, warm recesses of their bed, Sherlock’s mind works.

He feathers kisses across John’s cheeks, brushes his nose down John's neck; snuggles, for want of a better word, curled up under John's arm. Relaxed, yet still with that feeling of coiled strength, of power, ready to be unleashed should someone so foolishly interrupt them.

John smooths Sherlock’s curls back from his forehead, tucks them around his ear before cupping his hand over Sherlock’s long neck. Relaxed, yes, John thinks, feeling the corded muscle under his fingertips, but never quiet, not entirely, always calculating and prepared.

“You should sleep,” Sherlock says, and pushes up on an elbow to press a kiss to each of John’s eyelids.

“As should you.”

Sherlock sinks back under the cover of John’s arm and rests his head against John’s chest.

“I am,” he says, and John can feel the way his body shifts, settled yet not, into a low hum of alert meditation. Even in quietude, Sherlock’s mind fractures problems into a thousand glittering pieces, ready to be swept up into the vast ribbon of his swirling intelligence, a never-ending mobius that winds around them both, around London, around the problems that threaten, big and small. John smiles and drifts off to sleep, knowing Sherlock’s brain won’t still, even as dawn breaks.


Chapter Text

The most common assumption about Sherlock Holmes, John knows, is dead wrong.

He understands why people believe it—even John himself isn’t sure at times— because the cold-bloodedness that marks Sherlock’s methods, colors his conclusions, lends itself to the belief that the man is utterly lacking in human empathy, or sympathy, or even compassion. That he’s emotionless. John really does understand how people believe it, and how it’s led to Sherlock’s isolation.

But not tonight. Not as John sits on the floor, Sherlock crumpled on his lap, hot tears coursing down pale cheeks and into John’s collar, the phone that bore the news of Sherlock’s mother’s death still clutched in his hand. Sobs wrack his thin frame, the grief tearing from his throat in a low moan that makes John ache with the pain of it. He thanks whoever is out there that he met Mike that day, if for no other reason that ten months on he’s where no one else would think to be, would consider to be.

John cards his fingers through damp curls, trying to soothe, to settle, to give Sherlock in some measure the love and compassion he deserves but no one gives. And because of it, they never see or know the man John holds on a dreary afternoon and watches as his heart breaks.

Chapter Text

“Sherlock,” John says, and the sound is long, drawn out, as if John is tasting the syllables of his name, rolling them around his tongue. “Sherrrrr-lock.”

Sherlock quirks an eyebrow. John’s had a couple of drinks, not too much, but enough to make him, to Sherlock’s never-ending befuddlement, adorably introspective. And yet.

He sighs.  “That is my name, yes. As it has been since the second day after I was born.”

John squints at him in the low lamplight. “Well, and you know I’m saying this as a friend, but. It’s odd, isn’t it? Never met anyone else with your name. Or Mycroft, for that matter.”

Despite years building up resistance to being twitted about his name, Sherlock feels unaccountably annoyed, and a touch hurt. “I’m named after a famous 19th Century violinist, Alfred Sherlock. My mother knew what her children were, even from the start.  Can you imagine I’d be named something so pedestrian as John?”

John flinches, ever so slightly. “Well, you don’t have to be such a brat about it. I didn’t mean odd, really. I guess I meant unusual.  I was only asking.”

“No,” Sherlock says, and he’s actually sorry he snapped at John, and then annoyed at himself for feeling sorry. How is it John can discomfit him so thoroughly?  “It’s  … fine.” Sherlock twists in his chair so he’s sideways across the seat, and watches John for a moment.  He looks so soft like this, lamplight highlighting the gold strands in his hair, lending distinction to his nose and chin with little touches of shadow.  Soft, and kind, and good. Conventional.

But Sherlock knows better. Knows the steel under the soft wool jumpers, understands the valiant heart hidden beneath a calm, placid exterior. Just a touch exotic and unusual, himself, honestly, but so quiet a manner Sherlock almost envies him for it.

“Ormond,” John says, the words almost muffled against the rim of his glass.

Sherlock is startled from his reverie. “What?”

“Ormond,” John says again. “My parents were originally going to call me Ormond.”

Sherlock blinks.

“Hah, surprised Mycroft didn’t root that one out. My birth certificate was originally Ormond Hamish Sacker Watson.” He grins at Sherlock as Sherlock wrestles with the completely unfamiliar sensation of being surprised. “Ormond is my paternal great grandfather. The Sacker is my maternal grandfather,” John adds.

“But that’s not—“

“Nope. My mother had it out with my father, and if he had to get rid of the Ormond, then she had to get rid of the Sacker, and the both could only agree on the most common of names. So, John. And they both liked Hamish. And here we are.” John puts the glass back on the table and grins at him, obviously pleased at telling Sherlock something that, for once, he didn’t already know.

Except…Sherlock stops, assesses. Thinks about John’s quiet strength, his way of being more than expected. Than his demeanor, than his name, suggests. He should have known, really.

“John,” Sherlock says, and he feels his mouth shape around the name, likes the sound of it, how it fills his ears. His mind.  “It suits you.”

Chapter Text

There’s a little curl, a tiny wisp of a thing, that always finds its way loose and wild against Sherlock’s nape, and never more often than on sleepy, golden Sunday mornings when they’ve both slept in, their legs touching under the covers after a particularly passionate night before. John cooks, and if there’s not case on, they spend the day doing absolutely nothing of consequence other than eating, talking, and sometimes shagging until they’re too lust-drunk to string a coherent thought together. 

It’s perfection.

That passion never really is far under the surface, John realizes, as that little curl peeps out from the collar of Sherlock’s tee shirt when he bends his head over a plate of eggs.  John can’t help himself; he steps up behind Sherlock’s chair until he can lift that little curl with a gentle finger and place a single lush kiss against the nape of Sherlock’s neck.

It’s a delight to watch him arch his back, and his jaw twiches as he smiles.

“What was that for?” he asks.

“Just…Sunday,” John says.

Chapter Text

Holmes lies back in the hot rooms, grateful beyond measure for the scorching heat that eases his muscles. It’s quiet, today, only he and an older gentleman lounging, wrapped in sheets, on the leather divans under mosaic-tiled arches. It’s a difficult to see in the flickering gaslight, but there is one more – ah, yes, he stirs, there in the shadows. The stranger swings his legs over the edge of his divan and stands, and his face, well-known, is suddenly clear.


“A delight to see you, Holmes,” Watson says and settles near, sheet  wrapped loosely around his waist and trailing across the floor. “Its been months.”

 It has been months, months since his marriage, months since his decampment to a new wife, new home, new practice. But it wears on him well, and Sherlock finds himself tracing the lines of Watson’s broad chest, pectorals strong, stomach still firm. Holmes gropes abruptly for a glass of water under his seat.

“Yes, well. Needs must. Busy. Cases.” He takes a gulp and nearly chokes as Watson smiles at him, unbidden.

“Indeed. I do miss those adventures of ours. I should … like to come on another, sometime.”

“And your wife?”

“Won’t mind a bit,” Watson says, and smirks as Holmes watches a bead of sweat trace its way down a perfectly formed bicep.