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Nothing So Sweet

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He heard the uneven gait, the crunch of the cane on the gravel before even lifting his eyes to view the man approaching his stall. It was late, and Sherlock was bent low, busy sorting his unsold goods, not fussed with straggling customers at the end of the day. It had sprinkled all morning, and the farmers' market had seen a smaller than usual crowd for it. He was ready to call it a day. When Sherlock straightened upright to finally lay eyes on the man browsing his display of Holmes’ Fine Honey, it surprised him. He wasn’t an older gent as he’d idly supposed, but a younger, sandy-haired fellow with a square, pleasant face. Sherlock almost dropped the box he was holding as the contents shifted. He hastily set it to the floor before he could break anything.

The man lifted a jar of his spring clover honey to the sun, admiring the way the amber liquid caught the light, then tipped it to the side to check the bottom. Oh, he was looking for a price tag.

“The jars are all six pounds,” Sherlock supplied helpfully. “Would you like to taste that one?”

“Oh . . . alright.”  The man looked caught off-guard, like a boy found with his hand in the biscuits meant for company.

Sherlock busied himself with the sample pot, finding one of the tiny plastic spoons he kept around for just such an occasion, and scooped up a dollop for the man to try. He held it out with fingers that were remarkable steady, hiding the fact that his heart rate had suddenly spiked in an alarming manner.

“Thanks.” Tan, sturdy fingers just barely brushed his own long, ridiculous ones as he reached for the offering.

The man raised the honey to his mouth, his brows drawing down slightly as he pulled the spoon back out, considering.

“Mmm, that’s really good.” He licked his lips.

Sherlock swallowed.

“If you liked that, you might want to try this one as well.” Sherlock moved to open a container of his prized borage honey.

Again the man reached for the small sample spoon, this time giving a smile instead of words as he accepted it. His eyes widened slightly as the taste hit his tongue.

“Oh, yes that is nice, but I’m not sure if . . .”

“Afghanistan or Iraq?” Sherlock asked. He couldn’t help it, it simply popped out.


“Where were you stationed? Afghanistan or Iraq?” Sherlock said without the usual flicker of irritation at having to repeat himself. He was truly curious.

“Oh, erm, Afghanistan, but how did you . . .”

Sherlock’s eyes roamed back over the man’s short haircut, the tan lines at his wrist, the way he’d almost forgotten the cane by his side, and settled on the frayed collar of his checked shirt. A recently discharged soldier, and one without much means it seemed.

“Lucky guess.” Sherlock shrugged. “This one’s on sale.” He lifted a jar of the borage honey.  “Only two pounds, end of the day clearance.”

“Ah well, then. Can’t pass that up.” The man looked relieved. “I’ll take a jar.” He fished out two pound coins from his pocket, and handed them over. They were still warm.

It seemed intimate somehow, almost illicit, cradling the coins warmed by this man’s body in his palm. Sherlock hastily dropped them into his strongbox, chagrined at where his thoughts were wandering. He focused on wrapping the honey up for travel, tucking a few bars of his homemade soap into the tissue paper, gratis.

“This will make a nice gift for the relative you’re staying with,” Sherlock said as he folded down the top of the paper bag.

The disarmingly-fit man’s mouth had fallen open. Damn. He hadn’t meant to say that out loud. You have to wait for them to tell you first . . .

“How in the world did you know that? Do you know my sister?”

“No, I’m sorry. I just assumed. Forgive me for making . . .”

“Amazing. So you’re some kind of mind reader?”

“Thankfully no. I  . . . observe, and draw conclusions.”

“Well, that was bloody spot on. I’m staying with my sister Harry in East Dean.”

“Ah, my apiary isn’t far from there.” Sherlock nodded.

“So are you the Holmes of Holmes’ Fine Honey, then?” The skin around the man’s eyes crinkled attractively when he smiled.

“The one and the same. Sherlock Holmes.” He extended a hand over the counter.

“John Watson.” The man let his cane fall unawares to the ground to clasp it in a warm, firm grip that lingered.

“Well, I can’t imagine that East Dean has much in the way of excitement after Afghanistan, Captain Watson.”

The man laughed outright. “Alright. You have to tell me how you figured that one out.”

“I’ve a better idea. Why don’t you come visit my apiary? I’ll give you a tour. If you’re still interested in how I make my deductions, I’ll tell you then.” Sherlock winked.

“Oh, well . .  I.” The man looked surprised, taken aback. 

Sherlock shriveled inside. Oh no. He’d read this all wrong.

“That is unless you aren’t free in which case  . . .”

“No, no.” The man hastened to stop Sherlock’s backpedaling. “I’d love that. What’s a good time?” He licked his lips again.

Sherlock felt a ball of heat pooling low in his belly.

“Tuesday next . . . if that’s convenient. Come for tea, and you can sample more of my honey.” 

The man, John Watson, looked away, and then back again. His eyes were a fascinating color. Not brown as Sherlock had first assumed, but a very dark indigo, something like the sky at twilight.

“Yes, that’s fine. Thank you,” John said, a curve tipping up the side of his mouth.

“Splendid. Let me get you my card. It has all my contact information on it.”

“Okay, great.”

John took the card, thanked him once more, and turned to go, his package tucked under his arm. Sherlock had to call him back again.


“Yes?” He turned, eyebrows raised expectantly.

“Don’t forget your cane.”




Sherlock had ample time over the next few days to curse himself a fool many times over. What in the world had possessed him to ask the beautiful man at the farmer’s market to his home? Sherlock was not a sociable man by any stretch of the imagination. He never had anyone over. Oh, his brother stopped in from time to time from London to check on him, but that was hardly his fault. He’d barricade the door if he could, but as co-owner of the property, Mycroft had a right to visit if he chose.  Still, Sherlock had invited the man to visit, Captain John Watson, and he spent more time than he’d like to admit tidying up the place before Tuesday afternoon arrived.

Sherlock was keeping vigil, playing his violin with an eye on the window when the taxi finally pulled up the drive.  He watched John exiting the vehicle, navigating with a cane and a bag. He paused for a long view of the place, and for an awful moment, Sherlock thought John might change his mind and get back into the car. He continued on though, waving the taxi off before turning to stump his way up the walk, his limp more pronounced than ever. Remembering the violin still clutched in his hands, Sherlock deposited the instrument on the coffee table, and hurried to meet his guest at the front door.  

He hesitated in the hall, listened for the doorbell, waiting a few reasonable moments before moving forward to answer. He had his normal person smile firmly in place as he swung the door smoothly open to find John Watson, here actually here, on his front step.

“John, so glad you could make it.”

“Yeah, thanks . . . I . . .” John frowned, clearly uncomfortable.

Sherlock returned the frown, puzzled. What could he have possibly done wrong already? Oh, the house. He should have said something.

“Sherlock, are you rich?” John spat out.

“You find the house intimidating,” Sherlock said. “My grandmother left it to me when she passed. I’d rather I still had her, but we don’t always have control of these things. Why don’t you come in?”

“Yes of course, thank you.” John blushed, and stepped awkwardly into the house, the bag he held bumping against his leg. “Sorry about your grandmother.”

“It was several years ago.” Sherlock waved a hand in the air. “I’ve had time to adjust.”

Sherlock led John through the front rooms back toward the kitchen. The parlors were the most opulent side of the house whereas the kitchen had a smaller, more homely scale to it. He should have directed John to come in by the back door he thought with a wince as John stopped briefly to admire a framed Turner on the wall.

“Pretty,” John commented before following on behind him.

Sherlock reassured himself that John was most likely not well-versed enough in English landscape art to realize the painting was worth well over a million pounds.

“It is, isn’t it?”

The cheery yellow kitchen decorated with pictures of bees painted by a relatively-unknown local artist brought a smile to John’s face.  Sherlock relaxed fractionally.

“Oh, here, I brought this.” John extended the bag his way.

Sherlock took it, opening the box inside to discover a jam-filled sponge cake. It looked magnificent.

“You got this from Milly’s.”

“The girl at the shop said it was their specialty.”

“Thank you, it’s my favorite.”

“Good, then.” John blushed again, pleased, and Sherlock had to stop himself from moving in to press a kiss to the side of John’s cheek. It seemed a bit presumptuous at this stage of things.

They’d been standing, grinning stupidly at one other for several moments when Sherlock’s rational thought processes kicked back in. God, he was acting with all the suaveness of a sixth former.

“Here, why don’t I show you around the garden and the hives?”

“Sure, I’d like that.” John’s eyes shone warmly.

Sherlock wanted to simply stand and catalog the tiny flecks of amber he had just discovered interspersed with the deep blue of John’s irises, but he forced himself to move, leading the way to the back door.

The flowers of the garden nearly glowed in the buttery afternoon light cascading down. The sun seemed to be making a special appearance just for them. Sherlock shook off the fanciful notion, and showed John to the gardening shed where he kept his supplies.

“You aren’t allergic to bees are you?” Sherlock remembered to ask.

“Nope, no allergies. Well, a bit of rhinitis in the spring, but nothing serious.”

“You’ll need to wear these if you want to get in close.” Sherlock passed John a netted hat and a pair of heavy canvas gloves.

“Not quite the height of fashion is it?” John laughed.

“No, but it gets the job done.”

John looked adorably silly in the netted hat. For just a moment, Sherlock spared a thought at how ridiculous he might look in his beekeeping gear, but as they moved toward his hives, his excitement at showing them off took over, and he forgot to be self-conscious.

He didn’t mean to babble, but the words spilled out as he showed off the bees, how the hives were doing, and the special beds of hyssop and hollyhock he’d planted recently for their honey production. John nodded, asked some interesting questions, and only flinched once when several bees landed on the hand gripping his cane. Sherlock opened a box at the top of the hive, and pulled out a frame to view the progress of the comb being filled within. It never failed to impress him, the symmetry of the six-sided wax cells lined in grids cradling the precious drops of fluid. John murmured something approving at his elbow.

Sherlock took John back to the house after they’d removed their gear and showed him his work room where he processed and bottled the honey.

“Some apiaries use heat to extract the honey, but that changes the chemical composition, destroys the enzymes,” Sherlock sniffed. “I prefer to let it run free with gravity alone.” He patted the gravity filtration equipment fondly. “It takes a bit longer, but preserves its natural state.”

“Fascinating.” John smiled.

“Here, have you ever tasted raw honeycomb?”

“No, I can’t say that I have.”

Sherlock moved to his shelves, selecting the jar he wanted. He found a knife and pulled out a chunk of the wax and honey together, sawing off a bit for John to try.

“Ta.” John took the dripping offering and popped it into his mouth. “Mmmm, God, that’s delicious.”

Sherlock cut a bite off for himself, letting the sharp sweetness burst over his tongue as he watched John licking the remaining stickiness from his fingers. Just the sight of John sucking the top of his thumb into his mouth stirred something below Sherlock’s belt. He willed himself to behave as he wiped his own hands clean with a rag.

“What do you do with the hard bits?” John asked, still chewing.

Sherlock instructed himself not to flush. “It’s not harmful to eat the wax, but you can spit it out if you like.” 

He demonstrated by delicately removing the ball of wax from his mouth and dropping it into the nearby rubbish bin. John followed to lean over and spit his directly into the can. Sherlock tried not to be charmed by John’s every move, and failed.

“I make my soap over here,” Sherlock led John to the worktop where he mixed the ingredients in large buckets, showing John several finished bars.

“Yeah, thanks for the soaps the other day. Harry and her wife really enjoyed them.” John crowded in close to see, and Sherlock found himself enjoying the smell of the man, the hint of some bath product on him, but beneath that, the warm, masculine scent of John himself.

“Ah, I’m glad. Here, you can take all of these back if you like. They didn’t come out looking quite right, and I don’t like to take the wonky ones to sell.” Sherlock found a small bag, and dropped the bars inside to hand John.

“Well, thank you, it’s like Christmas come early.” John smiled broadly, and Sherlock did blush that time.

“Why don’t we go in and have tea?”

“Yeah, great.” John stepped aside to let him lead the way.

Once they were back in the kitchen, Sherlock busied himself with filling the kettle as John hovered nearby.

“Can I do anything?”

“No, please, you’re my guest. Just sit. It won’t be a moment.”

“Okay.” John took a seat. “So, how long have you been doing all this?”

“Only a few years,” Sherlock admitted, flipping the kettle on, and moving to the cupboards to get what he needed. “I lived in London after uni for several years.”

“Ah, and you gave it all up to become a gentleman beekeeper?”

“Something like that.” Sherlock moved to the table to set plates and silverware down. “And you’re an army doctor just back from Afghanistan.”

John looked surprised again. “Now how did you know about my being doctor? You’re doing that mind reading thing again aren’t you?”

“Hardly, I see things. I simply observe the facts.”

“Right, you said you’d tell me how you did that.”

Sherlock brought the tea things to the table as he explained noticing John’s short hair, his mannerisms, and the use of the word “rhinitis” to explain his runny nose from pollen allergies. He managed to bite his tongue stopping the flow of words before he confessed his deductions on John’s reduced financial situation.

“I add things up to form a whole picture.” Sherlock shrugged. “I don’t even do it consciously half the time.”

“God, that’s fantastic.” John’s smile lit the already bright room even more.

“That’s not what people normally say.” 

“What do they normally say?”

“Something quite rude.” Sherlock risked a smile, and John laughed.

When the kettle clicked off, Sherlock filled the teapot and brought it to the table, slipping into a chair across from John. Sherlock was certain John didn’t usually take sweetener with his tea, making an exception as he added a spoonful of fresh honey to his cup. It made Sherlock’s chest feel unusually warm.

They spoke easily of this and that. Sherlock suggested a few points of interest in the village John might check out if he hadn’t seen them already. John cut the cake, and they enjoyed it along with the scones and honey that Sherlock provided.

“So, what made you leave London?” John asked, leaning in as they lingered at the table, nursing their third cups of tea.

“It wasn’t exactly my own choice,” Sherlock said, shifting in his seat. He wasn’t sure how much to reveal, and then something reckless took hold of him. If John was going to accept him, he might as well hear the whole of it.

“John, I did some things I’m not quite proud of.” Sherlock stared resolutely out the window as he spoke. “My brain, I’ve told you how it works. Sometimes when I can’t turn it off, I need ways to quiet it. I found some  . . . pharmaceutical solutions. It got out of hand. My brother had me admitted to rehab when I accidentally overdosed.” Sherlock paused, bracing to hear John’s condemnation.

“Oh, Sherlock, I’m so sorry.” John reached over to take Sherlock’s hand on the table. His sturdy thumb smoothed a line over the back of his knobby knuckles, and Sherlock risked a glance at John’s face. It was creased with concern, but thankfully not pity.

“While I was in rehab, my grandmother died. I wasn’t even allowed out to attend her funeral.”

“Well, that’s not right.” John frowned.

“After I was finally released, I came here to her house. It made me feel closest to her.”

“And she kept bees?” John asked.

“No.” Sherlock shook his head. “That was my idea. I was still sick, at loose ends. I needed something to keep myself busy, and an article I read in a journal about the recent decline of the bees stuck with me. I decided to try my hand at apiology. I soon had so much honey on my hands though that I needed to find some reasonable way of getting rid of it.”

“So, Holmes’ Fine Honey was born.”

“I haven’t regretted it,” Sherlock said.

“Haven’t you been lonely in this big house by yourself?” John tipped his head to the side. He kept Sherlock’s hand curled warmly in his own, and Sherlock hoped he might never let go.

“Well, I do have internet access, and I make it back to London on occasion. Beekeeping isn’t all that I do. I’m a consulting detective.  New Scotland Yard contacts me when they’re out of their depths, which happens really quite frequently.”

“Wow, how did you set that up?” John looked impressed.

“It’s an embarrassing story.” Sherlock peeked at John from under his fringe.

“Go on, I won’t laugh.”

“I was off my tits one weekend, bored as usual, and I stumbled on a crime scene a block from my flat. I solved the crime in a few minutes, pointed out all the clues the morons investigating had missed. They thought I was the murderer. Had me arrested.”

“Idiots,” John growled.

“Indeed,” Sherlock agreed. “I wasn’t a left-handed asthmatic butcher.”

Oddly, John chuckled at that but he held Sherlock’s hand tighter.

“One of the officers though, an older DI, checked out what I had told them, and found the killer. He contacted me after that, and began feeding me cases he couldn’t solve. It was beneficial to us both.”

“Clever.” John smiled.

“I’ve been called worse.”

“No, I think that’s really something, Sherlock, you’ve quite a gift.”

“Thank you,” Sherlock said quietly having gone over shy.

“You know, I don’t think any less of you for the drugs,” John said. “We all have our . . . coping mechanisms. You aren’t still using though are you?”

“Six years clean.”

“Good.” John nodded. “That’s quite an accomplishment.”

“Well, it seems hard to count something you DON’T do as an accomplishment, but . . .”

“It’s a lot. My sister is two years sober. I know how hard it is.”

Sherlock looked up to see that John had somehow drawn even closer, leaning in across the table. His eyes from this angle looked impossibly huge. Sherlock felt like he might tumble right into them, lose himself in those dark depths.

“John . . . I . . .” He wanted to say I’m sorry, I don’t do this. I don’t really date. I have no idea what we’re doing here, but the words stuck somewhere near his adam’s apple and refused to budge.

John smiled the softest smile, closed the last few inches left between them, and kissed him.

 Sherlock’s mind went blissfully silent as the feeling of being kissed by John Watson roared over him. He reached blindly to grasp at John, one hand sliding up to feel the soft slip of John’s hair at the back of his neck.  John reached for him too, fingers burying themselves in the fabric of his shirt, hanging on.

It was a simple thing, a press of lips, a breath of air, but it rocked Sherlock to his very core. Sherlock parted his lips, and John’s warm tongue sought entrance. Something electric crackled over him then as their tongues met and danced over each other. It was  . .  . amazing. He simply had no idea.

Sherlock might have sat there forever, straining over the kitchen table to kiss this glorious man if the angle hadn’t been awkward, pulling. John broke off, panting, breathless. Sherlock stared at him, John's pupils blown wide, his hair beautifully mussed.

“John, if this isn’t too forward . . .”

“Want to touch you . . .” John murmured. “Please . . .”

“Oh, God, yes.”

Sherlock stood. The erection tenting his trousers might have been awkward if John hadn’t been suffering from the same state. He reached out to take John’s hand, pulling him gently around the table, down the hall to the stairs. As if in a dream, Sherlock led John slowly, inexorably toward his bedroom on the first level. They moved through the door, over carpet, toward the large four poster bed.

“This is your room?” John laughed, breathless, looking about at the antiques that filled Sherlock’s sleeping space. “It looks like something out of a museum.”

“Is that a bad thing?” Sherlock frowned.

“No, no it’s fine. Come here.” John turned his attention back to Sherlock, greedy fingers pulling him into another searing kiss. John urged him down as they moved toward the bed, tumbling over to land on the mattress together. John wasted no time in crawling over him.

“God, you smell good.” John nuzzled at Sherlock’s neck, kissing under his jaw.

“Unnng.” Sherlock tipped his head back, reveling in the wonder of John’s lips and teeth moving over the sensitive skin at his throat.

“Wanted to kiss this neck so badly,” John murmured, mouthing his way down to the top buttons of his shirt.

“Yes,” Sherlock sighed as John unfastened each one, pressing kisses down his sternum.

John’s hands moved to part his opened shirt, weaving magic in their wake as they smoothed over his chest, grazing his nipples to move down his sides. He continued mouthing along Sherlock’s goosebumped skin, until he hit trousers. John leaned back, a look of pure awe on his face as his fingers went to work unbuckling his belt, popping open the button. He shoved Sherlock’s trousers down just enough to reach his straining briefs.

“Ooh, there you are, you beauty.” John swooped in to lay his mouth over Sherlock’s engorged cock, exhaling hot breath through the cotton, tonguing over him, wetting the fabric.

Sherlock groaned, arching his back as fire washed over him.

“Here, let’s just . . .” John thrust his hand down to grasp Sherlock’s erection, shoving his pants aside.

“JOHN!” Sherlock jackknifed upright, pushing the man away.

“What? Did I hurt you? I’m so sorry!” John fell back, horrified.

“No, I’m sorry, no . . . I just.” Sherlock raked hair back that had fallen into his eyes. “I didn’t want this to all be over in under five minutes.”

Sherlock was sure he looked a right disaster, red cock straining out of the top of his pants, his clothes rucked aside while John knelt on the bed still fully clothed. Christ, they still had their shoes on.

“I mean, is that all you want, a quick bang, and out the door?” Sherlock took a deep breath, trying to gain some control over himself.

“No, God, no. I’m so sorry.” John turned to sit on the edge of the bed, dropping his head into his  hands. “That’s not what I want at all. I’m an idiot.”

“No more so than most.” Sherlock pulled his pants back up to cover himself, and moved to sit beside John.

“I . . . this is the first time since I got back. I think I forgot how to be with someone. I’m sorry. A quick nameless shag is the last thing I want.”

“Well, too late for that anyway. We know each other’s names,” Sherlock pointed out.

John let out a burble of mirthless laughter.

“Let’s start over, shall we?” Sherlock put a hand to John’s shoulder.

He turned to look at Sherlock, his expression hopeful. “Alright.”

“Why don’t we take off a layer, and lie down. I’d just like to hold you if that’s okay?”

“Yeah, that would be nice.” John ducked his head, bashful.

They bent over to remove their shoes and socks. Sherlock pushed off his shirt letting it fall to the floor as he stood to shimmy out of his trousers. Stripped to his briefs, he scooted back on the bed, pulling a pillow under his head as he waited, watching John undress. When he was down to a white vest and grey briefs, John moved to join him.

Sherlock held out his arms, and John lay down, folding in against him. Sherlock wrapped him close, breathing out, allowing himself to calm. Gradually he felt John’s muscles relax as they melted together, letting time settle and unspool around them. Dust motes danced lazily in the afternoon sunlight spilling in through the window, warming the room with a honeyed glow.

“Where were you shot?” Sherlock murmured against John’s hair.

“Left shoulder.” John said into Sherlock’s chest. “It’s ugly, I don’t want to . . .”

“You don’t have to show me. It’s fine,” Sherlock reassured him. He ran a hand down John’s back, soothing him. “I knew the limp was psychosomatic.”

“Yeah? How did you figure that?”

“You left your cane in my workroom. You didn’t even notice.”

John huffed a laugh. “You’re right, I did. It comes and goes.”

“I hope it stays gone.” Sherlock smoothed the hand back over John letting it drift down to rest over his waist, holding him without gripping.

“Sherlock, I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I have to ask. Why me? Why did you ask me over to your house?”

“Are you kidding?” Sherlock moved back to better see John’s face. “A gorgeous army doctor with a psychosomatic limp who doesn’t mind my company? You’re one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met.”

John snorted. “That can’t possibly be true.”

“Well, some of the fascinating people I met were already dead, but barring crime scenes, yes, you are. Fascinating. Worth getting to know better.”

John giggled, the sound music to Sherlock’s ears. “Ah, well, then, if I’m beating out some corpses, I guess that’s okay.”

Sherlock bend down to drop a kiss to John’s forehead. Tenderly he placed a kiss on each of John’s eyelids as they fluttered closed, then one for each of his cheeks. John shifted, tipping his face blindly upward, begging for a touch on his lips. Sherlock happily obliged, taking John’s mouth in a slow, sweet kiss. They moved together languidly, legs intertwining as lips caught and dragged slowly across each other. Gradually, the heat built between them as the kiss shifted to something hotter, and wetter.

Sherlock dropped his hand to cup John’s bottom, and John threaded his fingers into his curls, holding him still as he plundered his mouth, licking into him with abandon. Sherlock could feel his erection returning from half-mast to aching need. He pressed in, driving John back into the mattress as he dragged his clothed cock over John’s answering stiffness. John gasped, surprised.

Sherlock chuckled, undulating against him, over and over as John moaned, pushing back, riding the wave of movement between them.

“Mmmm, feels good.” John arched his back deeply, bringing them into better contact.

“I have something that will feel even better.” Sherlock rolled away briefly to search a bedside drawer. He returned with a tube of gel. “May I?” he tugged gently at the waistband of John’s pants.

John bit at his lower lip, and nodded. Sherlock dropped the lube to help John out of his briefs. John lifted his hips as Sherlock pulled them down, easing them over his erection, and off. John’s beautiful full cock sprang free to fall against his belly. Sherlock couldn’t help reaching out to stroke a finger down the length of him. John shivered.

“You too, please.” John’s eyes had gone nearly black with need.

Sherlock nodded, reaching down to shuck his own pants away, flinging them somewhere off the side of the bed.

They rolled back together, groaning in unison as skin met skin. Erections slid side by side as they slotted together, John’s shirt pushed up out of the way.

“God,” John breathed out reverently, eyes closed, mouth open.

“Mmmm,” Sherlock agreed, groping for the tube on the bed.

When he found it, he flipped open the cap, squeezing the gel into his palm. Reaching between them, Sherlock gathered their cocks together, slicking them generously.

“Uuuuunh, yes,” John groaned from somewhere deep in his chest.

Sherlock found a rhythm, moving his hand over them, pumping both cocks together. God.

“Fuck, yes, fuuu . . .” John exploded, spurting hot warmth over Sherlock’s hand as his orgasm shook through him.

Sherlock released him, focusing on his own throbbing prick, bringing himself off, as John reached up, smoothing a hand up his leg.

“That’s it, come for me, baby, paint me, come all over me.” John’s voice was wonderfully ragged.

Sherlock shivered and did as he asked, ejaculating over John’s belly.

They fell together, waiting for breath and heartbeats to even out. Sherlock eventually rolled over to grab a handful of tissues off the nightstand, using them to mop up as best he could.

“Thank you.” John’s midnight eyes were soft and warm.

“Yes, of course.” Sherlock kissed him gently, a sweet coda. They settled back down, Sherlock pulling up the blanket at the foot of the bed to cover them both.

Sherlock wouldn’t have thought he could nap an afternoon away like a child, but when his eyes opened next, dusk had come leaving the room in deep shadow. John stirred beside him, stretching luxuriously before his eyes opened and sense returned.

“Oh, Christ, what time is it?” John looked around, searching for a clock.

“Probably around eight. Do you need to be somewhere?”

“No, not really. I just didn’t mean to fall asleep like that.”

“Me either.” Sherlock smiled. “It was lovely.” He reached out to find John’s hand, tangling their fingers together.

“Yes, it was.” John yawned. “I should probably get going though.”

“Please don’t go. Stay.” Sherlock might have meant stay for dinner, or even stay the night, but really he just meant what he said. Stay.

“Okay.” John smiled, pulling their entwined hands up to drop a kiss to the back of Sherlock’s. “I think I will.”