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Signs of Three

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It starts in the cab on the return journey. John’s been with Sherlock through the whole case, doesn’t need anything explained, there’s nothing to reveal, nothing for John to praise. The adrenaline buzzes in Sherlock’s veins, he could vibrate apart but for the solid presence of John next to him. The negative space between them varies from inches between the toes of their shoes, down to a hair's breadth between their shoulders, all socially acceptable for flatmates sharing a cab. 


Baker Street is quiet, no signs that Mrs. Hudson is in, so it could continue in the hallway. The line of John’s jaw keeps Sherlock moving up the stairs and into the sitting room. Nothing as cliched as shedding his clothing as he goes. Coat on hook, shoes carefully toed off and angled precisely beside the door. Motions mirrored by John, the vibrations under Sherlock’s skin tamped down, given direction. He inhales sharply through his nose, John’s fingers just brushing against his sleeve as they navigate the ever decreasing spaces. 


John puts the kettle on and Sherlock huffs out a breath. John just shakes his head and pulls down his mug. 


Sherlock wants to stay, to let the calming effect of John’s presence keep him grounded. He can feel the vibration building again under his skin, if he goes to the computer, or the cigarettes hidden in the skull John will simply drink his tea and forget. Well... not forget, but certainly won’t push, he’ll drink his tea and read his trashy spy novel and they will go on as though nothing else could have happened. Sherlock will know, even if he deleted it there would still be a missing patch of time, the potential for something more.


He turns on his heel and strides down the hall, the almost imperceptible difference in noise level from the street side of the flat feels heavy against his ears. He manages to strip off suit jacket, shirt and his trousers and socks before John comes into the room. 


John sets his mug down, using the crystal ashtray as a coaster and begins his own preparations. John insists on taking the ropes off the bed after every one of their sessions, he cleans them and neatly coils them, stores them away in a box under Sherlock’s bed. He hadn’t commented when Sherlock had installed discreet rings, bolted into the frame of the bed, merely used them to secure his ropes. Sherlock waits, letting John complete his first circuit of the bed, securing and testing the knots, before he strips off the duvet and tosses the pillows onto the floor. 


His pants join the pile of bedding and he crawls into the centre of the bed, positioning himself. John waits until he is still to wrap the first coil of rope around his ankle, careful to keep the rope from twisting, so that when Sherlock strains against them there won’t be any damage. Sherlock watches the movement of John’s shoulders, the shifts in his body as he pulls the ropes. Sherlock knows how much the ropes weigh, knows there can’t be any transference of weight from the bed, but that doesn’t stop the sensation of being pulled down, being held down by the weight of the bed, by the entire block of flats. 

John checks him, turns his chin to the side and pries open his eyelid. “Alright?”


“Fine.” He probably isn’t, but he’s not going to stop now. 


Even with his eyes closed he can track John’s movements around the room. Knows that John has returned to his nightstand and is standing beside the bed, watching Sherlock for signs of stress and drinking his tea. Sherlock in the past would have started making demands, he’s not above begging even now, but he’s learned to enjoy the quiet time John gives him before they begin.


The sound of the mug being placed back in the ashtray and the drawer of the nightstand opening register nearly simultaneously in Sherlock’s awareness, but he knows from experience that there is nothing rushed in John’s movements.


“Would it make a difference if I blindfolded you?” John’s voice is quiet, pitched so only Sherlock can hear. He’s worried about the thin walls, about the married ones, about Mrs. Hudson. 


Sherlock thinks through his answer before he speaks. “Yes, I like the option of being able to see.”


“Noted. You just hardly ever open your eyes... I wondered if it was easier not to be able to.” The crack as John opens the tube of lube is so much louder than his conversation, and far more likely to alert the married ones to their activities. 


John’s considerate, warms the lube on his hands before reaching down and running fingers over Sherlock’s cock. Sherlock still inhales sharply, the sudden contact electrifying his nerve endings. 


Sherlock sighs into the contact, pushing his hips up to match John’s teasing strokes. John likes this part the best, likes taking the time to reduce Sherlock to a pleading mess with slow build up. Sherlock can’t say that he finds any fault with John’s methods, he gives himself over to drowning in the sensations John draws from him. 


If Sherlock bothers to think about it, John isn’t actually giving him a hand job at this point. Well, he’s touching his cock, stroking it and his balls, running fingers over his perineum and teasing over his hole. None of this is actually about getting Sherlock off, and it isn’t strictly speaking foreplay. It borders on clinical, necessary, and yet Sherlock knows from the tone of John’s breathing that it excites him. When John’s fingers finally penetrate him, John sighs, and Sherlock tilts his head away. Strains for something to hold onto or push back against, his fingers just brushing against the headboard, not enough contact for leverage. 


John turns even this into a tease, pulling his fingers out to stroke Sherlock’s cock, dipping back in halfway and then pulling out. Until Sherlock can’t help but relax into it and roll his hips up to demand more on John’s back strokes. John indulges them both, giving in to Sherlock and pushing deep with three fingers. Sherlock groans and arches his back, toes pointed and fingers curled tight around the ropes. The noise in the back of Sherlock’s throat when John withdraws isn’t fully a whimper, he knows what is coming next and his cock jumps at the thought. John makes an aborted amused sound and then there is another click of the lube bottle. 


The head of the dildo breaching him brings a curve to his lips. This is his favourite part, John takes extra care with this, letting Sherlock feel every ridge and curve as it enters his body. John had been horrified, and then intrigued. He’d followed the directions on the kit Sherlock had found on the internet precisely and without any fuss had included the cast of his own cock in the box of their toys. Sherlock had discarded the other dildos shortly thereafter and John hadn’t commented on the waste. 


John’s hands leave him and he is allowed to rest, he works the muscles of his arse around the dildo, shivering at the sensation. His eyes flicker open and he catches John watching. Sherlock groans and pushes up off the bed, balancing for a brief second on his feet and shoulders before John pushes him back down. 


The cord from the magic wand is cold against his leg, feels foreign and hard on his skin. The position of the bed and the room’s only sockets left little in the way of options and the contact makes his skin crawl, until John turns it on and places it against the base of the dildo and Sherlock forgets about it entirely.


The contact is singular, powerful to the point of harshness after all of John’s careful preparations. Sherlock stretches into it, knocking his head against the mattress as John adjusts the angle to match his movements. Sherlock writhes, pulling against the ropes until they creak and groan, there is enough play in the rope that he can actually shift his body, can thrust desperately at nothing and if John allows it push himself hard against the vibrator. 


John allows only so much before he pulls back. Sherlock holds his breath until he regains control of himself and settles. When he resumes breathing it is in steady even draws, not the pleading gasps and groans of the previous moments. 


“Good, well done, Sherlock.” John’s fingers brush against Sherlock’s inner thigh as he starts again. This time Sherlock fights to stay still, to let John have his way and to resist the natural urges of his body. 




John keeps up the lazy circles he’s making with the head of the vibrator. Sherlock breathes through his nose and recites the periodic table. He gets stuck in a loop at Silver, unable to recite the atomic weight.




John’s sigh is half acceptance and half disappointment. “Yes.”


Sherlock comes, broken groans and fingers curled into rope, chest heaving and bouncing against the mattress. He thinks he might swallow his tongue, that he would gladly die this way if it meant John’s hands on him bringing him back. 


The waves of pleasure ebb and Sherlock registers the lack of sound that means John has shut off the wand, he sighs and relaxes into the ropes.


John’s hand strokes over his cock, milking another wave of pleasure from him and Sherlock presses his face into his bicep, catching his skin between his teeth.


John’s grip changes and Sherlock arches again, tense as his cock is engulfed in something hard and tight. He forces his eyes open for just an instant, the sight of John working his cock back to hardness with a fleshlight burned instantly onto his retinas. “Oh, god, John.


“You’re okay. You can do it.”


John’s motions are brutally hard and efficient, Sherlock whimpers and strains unable to do more than twitch under the assault of sensations. The ropes keep him from curling in on himself but he turns on his side, rolls himself as close to John as he can manage. 


John pushes his hip back down, forcing Sherlock flat onto the bed. “Tell me I should stop. Tell me you don’t want this.”


“Please John, please don’t stop. Please, I want you to... please John. I want you to fuck me, please.” Sherlock comes again, blindingly bright, heart beating hard enough to fill the room with sound. Fills the vulgar toy with his come until it pours out over his cock and John’s hand, the sound in his throat somewhere between a scream and a groan of John’s name. 


John pulls the toy off, tosses it to the end of the bed. He frees Sherlock’s hands first, but Sherlock can’t move, his brain has given up control of his limbs, handed it over to John. John’s hands are delicate as they clean him up, the soft pull of flannel over his skin drawing gasps, shocked inhalations from Sherlock. 


There is some shifting, and Sherlock has forgotten about the dildo, it has become part of him. When John removes it Sherlock cries out, his body reacting to the loss, the change in sensations. 


He gentles Sherlock, pressing kisses along Sherlock’s collar bones, the sudden hot rush of contact, skin pressed against skin, of John entering him. The gentle slow strokes as John fucks deeper and deeper into Sherlock. “There... so good, god, still so tight for me, Sherlock.” 


Sherlock groans and does his best to press back into John’s thrusts, gains a measure of control over his arms and pulls John’s mouth up, kissing the desperate gasps from John’s lips.


When John, finally, comes Sherlock feels the ghost of it all through his body, in every pulse and desperate thrust. 


“Don’t move, please. John, please just stay with me.


John hums into Sherlock’s skin and lets Sherlock wrap his arms around him, sweat and come dissolve the spaces between them.