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Devotion

Chapter Text

 

 

They were sitting on the sofa, Sherlock’s lithe feet resting on John’s lap. The brunet had arrived home just half an hour ago, having spent the last two hours practicing at the university’s gymnasium which had been the only place where he could practice for free that day. Sometimes he got a few minutes at some local dance studio when a student cancelled but that was rare, and Sherlock kept complaining how he could never get better due to the lack of proper practice.


John was absentmindedly rubbing and massaging his calves, still hitting all the right places because he had spent hours memorising the muscles and nerves one afternoon (purely for his medical studies; Sherlock’s legs correlated quite well with his textbook charts, though Sherlock had still enjoyed the act immensely). Sherlock was still tense after his routines though he said he couldn’t do much other than stretching and basic moves, since there were no mirrors in the gymnasium.


Continuing the massage, John considered his plan once more. He wasn’t still completely sure if interfering with Sherlock's dancing was a good idea, the brunet was always defensive about his hobby.


He has a good reason though, John thought bitterly. Remembering how badly Sherlock’s interests had been received by the world, even his parents, so far was an endless source of angry, adrenaline-filled energy for the blond, and he opened his mouth before he chickened out again.


“Um, Sherlock?” John started. The brunet gave a noncommittal hum, apparently not entirely noticing John’s nerves. “Yeah, uh. I was thinking. About your dancing...”


Talking about Sherlock’s dancing was something that immediately put him on alert, John could feel his legs tense on his lap. When Sherlock didn’t comment, John continued: “I understand you, um, said you don’t have a teacher, right? I mean you haven’t, or...”


Sherlock raised his head to look at John, cautiously curious. Then he gave a tentative nod.


“Uh, right, so I was thinking. Maybe if you would like to, or want to – to get one?” John silently cursed his inability to be his normal, confident self about this. Instead he felt unnaturally nervous which was, well, unnerving. He kept his gaze downwards, stroking his hand idly across Sherlock’s legs.


Sherlock hummed again. “You know how expensive ballet lessons, especially good, private ones are, John, and you also know my parents refused to support my free-time activities after that incident with cocaine. Not that they had been very fond of the idea of me 'in a tutu' to begin with.” John could tell Sherlock was unhappy about the situation, every time he managed to mention it, and it made the blond slightly more sure of his decision.


“Yeah, I know. So, I did a few, uh, calls around, and well, there’s this… Mrs. Hudson if I remember correctly.”


Sherlock places his feet on the floor and sat up properly, and John had to raise his hands to rub at his neck, feeling very awkward. “And, uh, we talked and… Well, it’s only once a week, but it was something like 90 minutes, or... But it wasn’t a bad price and I figured I could -”


“John,” Sherlock interrupted his blabbering, “are you saying you’d pay ballet lessons for me?” He sounded so weirded out by the idea that John once again doubted himself.
“Of course you don’t have to, I just thought… You mentioned you weren’t progressing a few weeks ago, and I – well, I thought it could, um, help, maybe,” he mumbled, feeling hot and red already.


Sherlock stared at him, still unbelieving.
“Why,” he said with a small voice, “why would you do that?”


John couldn’t decide whether to look at Sherlock’s face or his own lap. “It’s just, I mean I’ve seen you dance, obviously, and you’re always happy after you’ve practiced… It’s something you want, or I thought… It’s fine if you rather not, it’s all f-”


Sherlock interrupted him again, but this time it was with a kiss as the dancer climbed onto John’s lap and hugged his middle tightly. Then he buried his head in John’s neck and gave a laugh.


“Of course I’d want that, I’d like nothing better. Thank you John, I’m really...” After squeezing the blond’s middle for the last time, he pulled back and swept his eyes over John’s face. “You’re really full of surprises, aren’t you?”


John gave him a huge smile and kissed the dancer again. They laid like that for a while, Sherlock laying his head on John’s shoulder and the blond just holding him. Then Sherlock had a thought. “How are you going to pay that teacher?”


“Mrs. Hudson agreed to give us a discount, for now at least, she’d really like to see who you are… But I did, um, I asked Molly if I could get more hours at the café, and since Greg’s been busy lately she said it would work out well, I can work some of his shifts. And I’m almost finished with my studies, so I’ll get proper shifts at the clinic too soon.”


Sherlock had to pull back again to stare at John some more. “Isn’t that – I mean you’re in medical school now, are you sure?”


John had to smirk at Sherlock’s concern. “I’ll be fine, plus I’ll get some savings too so it’s not all for just you.” The brunet shook his head while still watching John. “You keep amazing me, John, you really do. Just let me know if you get tired, please,” he added with firmness that John didn’t dare to dismiss.


“I will, promise. It’ll be worth it, you are already brilliant. Make sure she knows how you do your best.”


Sherlock took his while to enjoy the lovely crooked smile John gave him and then relaxed against John once again, stroking his back and hair, feeling immensely happy.


“I will.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Sherlock spent the next few days working himself to a frenzy over the fact that someone else was going to see him dance. John was one thing, he would be impressed by mere pliés – not that he knew what those were, or anything else about ballet.

 

But someone who had actually studied and taught ballet and knew about arts… He could ruin this in so many ways. So, he spent all his free time dancing and stretching as much as he could. Even before going to sleep he would practice his balance, watching his face in the bathroom mirror.

 

John of course noticed how worked up Sherlock was, and somehow he felt almost guilty about it. He had had to practically demand Sherlock to sleep at least six hours every night instead of trying to practice in the dark of night. He definitely didn’t mind watching Sherlock stretch in the living room instead of doing his schoolwork, not with his leggings on, but he wasn’t going to give up sleeping because of that and neither was Sherlock as far as John was concerned. Maybe he was already more like a doctor than he had thought.

 

The brunet had also spent more time practicing at various spots, somehow getting more time at the university. But after one Thursday, Sherlock came home with a ban to the gymnasium and a fairly impressive bruise about to form on his cheekbone.

 

“I was there just a few minutes longer than I should have, nobody would have noticed a thing if I had been more careful. But apparently telling the caretaker his wife is cheating on him wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Honestly, I was trying to distract him to get away and it just slipped out.”

 

John just tutted at him and found a cold pack for his cheek.

 

 

 ---

 

 

It was still a week before Sherlock managed to get a date with Mrs. Hudson that didn’t collide with an important lecture or an experiment.

 

Technically, John got him the date. Sherlock hadn’t actually contacted the dance studio owner himself yet, letting John take care of the pleasantries for him (well, he really was afraid he’d say something Not Good and then his chance would be gone).

 

“It’s tomorrow, she’ll want to see you dance so she knows where to start,” John announced when he entered the living room after calling Mrs. Hudson. Sherlock nodded once, curtly, frowning a little.

 

“You don’t have to go if you don’t want to, really.”

 

Sherlock gave a somehow desperate hum. “I know, you’ve said. I want to, I do, it’s just -” He took a breath and reached for John, looking nervous. “Would you walk me there?”

 

John took his hand and let himself get pulled to the sofa. “Of course, love.” Anything for you.

 

Sherlock wrapped his hands around John and laid his head on the blond’s shoulder. John mirrored the actions and then wiggled a bit to get comfortable, which provoked a few giggles from Sherlock, and then they laid like that for hours.

 

 

---

 

 

Sherlock wasn’t very keen to show affection outside their small student flat but somehow he couldn’t stop playing with John’s fingers, the two of them holding hands the whole way to the studio. Even though John was usually the one to initiate casual touches and cuddles and things like that, he definitely didn’t mind.

 

When they reached the building, which contained one gym and another studio, Sherlock couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to let go of John. The blond probably had studying to do, definitely something more worth his time than watch Sherlock stumble nervously. And shouldn’t extra audience make him even more anxious?

 

“Sherlock?” John was probably already antsy to get home. Damn, this was likely embarrassing, Sherlock needing to be escorted like a little child. Sucking in a breath, Sherlock yanked his now minutely trembling hand from John’s, trying to fight the irrational impulse to hug the short man.

 

He was steeling himself and about to turn away and climb the steps to the third damn floor, when John laid his hand on Sherlock’s arm. “Would you like me to… I could -”

 

“Yes, please. Yes.”

 

 

---

 

 

Later, John would ask Sherlock how the brunet felt about his presence, why it didn’t make him more nervous. That was indeed weird, but at the same time it was nice to know that he was indeed able to share his dancing with John, he didn’t want to hide anything from the blond. He had gone for so long having to hide it from other people, only Mycroft knew and he didn’t care. And maybe John even understood his explanation since the blond gave him the tightest, happiest hug Sherlock had ever received.

 

The week before his first actual lesson, Sherlock spent almost every day practicing after school (and probably during school too, John knew he didn’t always attend his lectures anyway) wherever he could and stretching when at home.

 

Although he wasn’t as anxious as he had been before his “audition” (as he had called it), John tried to calm him and to get him to slow down but Sherlock was determined to be the best he could. And well, watching Sherlock stretch wasn’t exactly unpleasant for John either.

 

Sherlock didn’t even need to ask John to come with him, he pulled his coat on as if it was the plan all along, and maybe it had been. They held hands the whole way again, and Sherlock didn’t even think about letting go.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

John woke up to a pain-filled groan that didn’t come from him. He rolled over to where Sherlock flopped back with another discontented sound. “What’s wrong?”

 

Sherlock threw a dramatic arm over his face with a grimace. “Apparently I have never really danced ballet. I’m sore everywhere, John. Everywhere! I’m never getting up.”

 

John laughed and without further thinking got up to carefully straddle Sherlock’s waist. He marveled again how comfortable it was for him to be with Sherlock, how easily intimacy just happened between them. He had never gotten anywhere with other guys before, too awkward to even try really. There hadn’t been any barriers with Sherlock, despite the fact that Sherlock lacked sexual drive most of the time. He did love to cuddle though, and that worked better than fine with John.

 

"So ballet is hard after all? Lucky you have a competent med student here and nowhere to go,” he said with a smirk. True enough, it was Saturday and they would have the whole day for themselves. With a gentle prompt from John, Sherlock lowered his arm and John started to massage his shoulders lightly.

 

“Where’s the worst pain?” Sherlock closed his eyes at the attention to his muscles and considered the question. John added pressure to his movements and Sherlock opened his eyes again, smiling. When he did that though, a blush started to spread over his cheeks and he swallowed, smile almost faltering.

 

“I think I should lay on my stomach instead,” he mumbled, still sweeping his gaze over John, eyes somehow distant. John eyed him for a moment and then hopped off. “Yeah sure, are you okay?” he asked, feeling a weird tug of worry in his stomach. Was Sherlock hurting?

 

The dancer just nodded and started to roll over. “’M fine, just, watching you… like that. Too much input, could’ve gotten distracted ‘s all,” he mumbled, the blush painting his cheek now appearing on his neck.

 

When he glanced at John’s gleeful smirk, Sherlock only groaned and buried his head on his pillow. “Oh please, John, just get on with it!” he managed to groan. John giggled and straddled Sherlock’s body again, this time sitting just above his arse.

 

“Okay, okay,” he chuckled and got to work. “Just say if I’m too rough, I might get distracted too.”

 

The resulting moan made the blond giggle again.

 

John began with the brunet’s shoulders, at first gentle but after a while he started to add pressure and found that Sherlock’s whole upper back was filled with tender spots. Every now and then Sherlock let out a gasp as John found a new spot.

 

After Sherlock’s so-called audition had gone very well - in John’s opinion at least, and Mrs. Hudson had seemed very happy but Sherlock still seemed to think he hadn’t been perfect, they had agreed that Sherlock would start there (Mrs. Hudson had almost insisted, which made Sherlock blush fiercely) with weekly private lessons. Since the dancer had asked John to come with him already and John had then tagged along again and without prompting, he wasn’t actually surprised when Sherlock made sure his practice wouldn’t coincide with John’s rugby practice. "Just in case," he had said, feigning nonchalance, but John had given him a soft smile at the somehow sweet gesture.

 

“I will definitely come with you every week I can.” John’s voice sounded slightly out of breath due to the massage, and that was probably why Sherlock’s answering “yes” was more like a moan than his usual witty voice. John found a particularly good spot between Sherlock’s shoulder blades and managed to turn that single moan into a longer series of breathy sounds that were almost too much for the blond’s self-control.

 

After Sherlock started to finally relax under John’s hands, the blond started to work his way downwards, following Sherlock’s spine and putting pressure on the muscles on either side of the bones. Now Sherlock was lightly pushing back and John could tell he was enjoying himself.

 

He had to shift downwards and straddle Sherlock’s thighs as he worked on Sherlock’s lower back and eventually his buttocks. The movement enabled his crotch to make contact with backs of Sherlock’s thighs and it took all his willpower to resist the urge to thrust. Instead, he focused on Sherlock. The dancer had really been working too hard, even his small back was littered with tense spots. John lifted and shifted to get better leverage to work the biggest muscles while Sherlock just laid there, breathing heavier every minute.

 

The dancer had now buried his face to the pillow which mostly muffled his gasps, but after a while John realised he had gotten so aroused, even without meaning to, that he really had to do something about it. He gave Sherlock’s hips one last squeeze and leaned back to sit up straight. Immediately, Sherlock got on one elbow and peered at John.

 

“Should I turn around or-” the brunet stopped as he took in John’s no doubt beet-red face. “Oh.”

 

“Yeah, oh indeed. You do sound very nice when you’re getting a massage.” John climbed off Sherlock and slid up again to sit with his back on the headboard, his pyjamas embarrassingly revealing his current state.

 

“I didn’t mean to get this excited,” he mumbled, feeling almost awkward now that Sherlock was just watching him.

 

Sherlock laid his head on his arms, still watching John. “You are allowed, you know.” John just tilted his head.

 

“To get aroused. And I might even want to watch you get off,” he added with a smirk. John immediately felt how his blood shifted place. “You would? Isn’t that… I don’t know, selfish?”

 

Sherlock rolled to his back now with only the smallest wince. “You demanding for me to participate would be selfish. I don’t mind. Just get on with it, I need to use the loo soon and now I really want to watch.”

 

John let out a laugh and, before he would change his mind, lowered his pajamas and pants a little, just enough to make room and got to work. Admittedly, the idea of Sherlock watching him made his excitement climb even higher as he put a hand on himself.

 

After that, it didn’t take much time. Massaging Sherlock had already gotten him so close to the edge, and knowing the dancer was lying there, watching him, it all did him in eventually. While John was still panting from his climax, Sherlock got up and headed for the loo. He turned to look at John from the doorway with a cheeky smirk.

 

“You know, you still didn’t do my legs. I might need to stretch them first though.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Massages became a regular occurrence, even though Sherlock quickly got used to the new standards and rarely got so sore anymore. But secretly he did like to have John take care of him, so he just shrugged and nodded every time John offered to massage him. Of course John knew this, so he made sure they would have time every Saturday morning for that.

 

He also tried to come watch his lessons every week. It was lovely to see Sherlock get better every time, even though he had no idea how it happened since everything looked like the same sort of brilliant to him. John quickly learned that Mrs. Hudson wasn’t one to give compliments in class easily, but she did like to chat with John before and after Sherlock’s lessons, always praising Sherlock’s diligence. John smiled at Sherlock’s direction fondly, and always agreed with her.

 

At first the dancer had changed into his ballet attire at home, pulled on his trousers and shirt before leaving and then waiting until they got home to shower. But he seemed to get comfortable with the studio after a few weeks and started to change and shower there, claiming that it was nicer than walking home sweaty after all.

 

Right when Sherlock’s class ended, the showers were still empty for his use. But soon after they’d be full of other dancers getting ready for their class, a shared group class for advanced dancers. They were mostly the same age as John and Sherlock, John noticed as he was waiting for Sherlock on the corridor.

 

To his surprise, he spotted Molly on one Friday as he was waiting for Sherlock, waving at her. They chatted for a bit and Molly hoped Sherlock would start attending the group lessons soon, since she had been eager to meet John’s boyfriend for ages, ever since John started talking about him all the time.

 

Actually, not many were there for private lessons since Mrs. Hudson was running the place mostly on her own and she didn’t have the time to tutor each dancer privately. John wondered if Sherlock would soon join them in group classes, but he didn’t think it was his place to ask. So, he let Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson figure it out. Sherlock seemed to be advancing pretty quickly after all.

 

He seemed very happy with the studio, and John loved the big grin he always wore at home before the lesson. He seemed to love the professional-looking studio, and he even ended up buying a better pair of ballet slippers after Mrs. Hudson recommended them. John caught him trying them on in the bathroom, grinning widely down at his feet before doing some sort of ballet-posing. John left him at it, smiling to himself.

 

He knew Sherlock didn’t have that much extra money to spend on his ballet attire, so every new piece of clothing was considered closely. Plus, the new black slippers matched his old tights well, “making his legs look even longer” like Mrs. Hudson had said. John had agreed vigorously.

 

 

---

 

 

“John?” Sherlock called his name tentatively, coming to the living room with a piece of clothing clutched against his chest. John frowned at him and lowered his textbook.

 

“Yes?”

 

“I…” Sherlock sniffed and then tossed the garment at him. “Is it okay? For, you know, dancing?”

 

John wanted to point out that he still knew absolutely nothing about ballet or the clothes needed in it, but he held his tongue and lifted what he now recognised as one of those one-piece garments which most of the other dancers wore, but he couldn’t recall the name of it. It was dark green and made of something light and silky, and John nodded as he ran his fingers over the material.

 

“Looks very professional to me,” he nodded, trying to sound smart, and smiled at Sherlock. “And the colour will fit you perfectly, it’ll look very nice on you.”

 

He ignored the urge to comment on the ‘hot as hell’ aspect of the tight piece of clothing, only letting his gaze wander over the garment appreciatively. Sherlock nodded and blushed, sitting down next to John and leaning into him.

 

“Why did you buy one of these now?” John prompted, folding the piece of clothing carefully and leaving it on the coffee table.

 

“Just wanted to try one, finally,” Sherlock shrugged and peered at John’s textbook and the messy notes taped to it.

 

“I also got a pair of new tights to go with that as well, since my old tights aren’t very compatible with leotards,” he said casually, now picking up the book and smiling a bit as John just stared at the garment. “Do you need help with this? I could quiz you.”

 

John pursed his lips, trying to ignore the image of Sherlock strolling around the flat on a new pair of tights and that leotard, and sighed. “Mmm, if you have time. Chemistry had never been my strong point.”

 

Quizzing turned into a tickling match which then turned into snogging. Sherlock still tried to ask about chemical reactions in between kisses, and John giggled and answered every single one wrong until Sherlock gave up. In the end, they cuddled up on the sofa and watched the telly until John yawned and suggested they went to bed, where Sherlock still ran his tongue over John’s ear and neck, tickling him until they both fell asleep.

 

 

---

 

 

Sherlock had practically trembled with nerves when he’d entered the ballet store, something he so rarely did. He scolded himself a dozen times for it as he stuttered his question to the girl behind the counter.

 

It was just a piece of clothing, he told himself. He knew everyone in the advanced class wore one, he’d stayed behind to sneak a look at the studio after his lesson had ended. Most of them also had soft flowing wrap skirts, and the few masculine figures he’d spotted had been wearing leg warmers and wrap tops for warm-up. The fact that everyone else his age seemed so professional, with their appropriate get-up and all, made him feel inferior somehow.

 

So, he needed a leotard. And that was what he told the girl at the counter of the ballet store Mrs. Hudson seemed to prefer. Of course he wouldn’t take chances with his store choices, it was going to be an investment after all.

 

The girl had winked at him – winked – and showed him to the leotards. At least she let him choose in peace after giving some advice on things that Sherlock mostly knew about already. He hadn’t had to look for long since the dark green, short-sleeved piece seemed just perfect, and he had quickly gone to try it on before buying it, deciding on a new pair of tights as well.

 

And the way Mrs. Hudson nodded at him approvingly on the next lesson made him grin widely on the inside, however hard he tried to stay neutral. He had had no idea dancing – really dancing – could make him so happy, from the actual dancing to everything related to it.

 

He took his place at the barre and got ready, starting his routine. He could feel the novel feeling of the silky fabric, the way it clung to his chest and hips as he lifted his arm to the third position.

 

From the corner of his eye, Sherlock could see John watching him intently and he couldn’t entirely suppress the smirk. He tried to focus on the moves, but he might’ve been a little sloppy towards the end. Mrs. Hudson seemed to notice the glances Sherlock and John exchanged since she only tutted and shook her head instead of giving Sherlock a talk like she usually would when he wasn’t one hundred percent concentrated on his routine.

 

Sherlock nodded sheepishly at her before getting his things, changing and all but pulling John out of the studio. They walked briskly the few blocks home, giving small, meaningful smiled to each other as they hurried towards their flat.

 

Sherlock basically peeled John from his clothes, pushed him onto the bed and got on top of him, running his hands all over John’s torso and arms. He only had to brush his thumbs over John’s lower stomach to get him to harden, smirking to himself as he fixed his gaze on John’s groin.

 

“John, this is almost too easy. A little bit of ballet and eye-fucking, and you’re already leaking?” he teased, now wrapping his fingers around John.

 

“You know, I’m not fetishizing ballet or anything, believe me…” John panted, his hips twitching under Sherlock’s as the brunet stroked him slowly, smirking from where he was straddling John’s thighs.

 

“But you’re just… God, I shouldn’t get so horny from seeing you happy in your new kit,” John groaned, letting his head fall back to the pillow. “Is happiness even a kink? If it is, I’m super kinky then,” He sighed, letting his back arch as he rode the waves of arousal that coursed through his body.

 

“John Watson, shut up,” Sherlock murmured with a grin, bending forward to kiss him briefly. “You’re way too talkative for someone who’s supposed to be drowning in ecstasy,” he purred quietly, tightening his hold.

 

John cried out, coming rather loudly and pulling Sherlock into a kiss to muffle his moans. When the last wave had passed, John sighed and threw his arm over his eyes. Sherlock just chuckled and wiped his hand and John’s stomach clean before flopping on his back right next to John, giggling.

 

“You know, I don’t mind that you find ballet erotic sometimes, just try to keep yourself in check at the studio.”