John became gradually aware that he had been asleep. The dream, something about a beach in China, was fading. The light around his curtains was still the diffuse London glow, not yet morning. The traffic noise was intermittent. He’d drop back to sleep again in a minute.
Except that something was pushing at his attention, holding him from sleep. Something. A rustle, and breathing. Someone. In the room...
A high laugh at that. “You wish.”
Who the hell...oh fuck! A second to recognise that voice and he was starting to roll out from under the duvet, towards his chest of drawers and the gun under his rolled socks.
“Oh, don’t get up on my account. You look so comfortable under there.”
He knew a threat when he heard it, under the drawled amusement. Knew the extreme danger he was in, right now. Stopped moving, propped up on his elbows agains the headboard, trying to make out the man in the shadows by the window.
God, was Sherlock all right? He could be lying dead downstairs, right now. John would have been woken by a gunshot, surely. Surely. He dragged his thoughts away from the floor below with a huge effort. He couldn’t afford to be distracted by that right now. Training. Survive this, then think about other survivors.
“It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Tell me he’s been pining for me.”
Three months. And not so much pining as frantic. John didn’t answer.
“Come now, Johnny boy.” Moriarty walked forward, sat on the edge of the bed, swung his legs onto the duvet and John snatched his own up to his chest, away from the muffled contact. The other man settled crosslegged at the end of the bed. John was sharply aware that he was keeping one hand always down somewhere near his waist.
“If you don’t keep up your end of this conversation I shall rapidly become bored.”
John could just make out briefly bared teeth in the poor light. OK. Bored was going to be a bad idea. So he’d have to speak.
“Ask him yourself.” Which was probably the wrong answer; he didn’t really want Moriarty hunting Sherlock through the flat with a gun. But on the other hand Sherlock would doubtless be better at looking after himself right now than John was.
“Itty-bitty defiance there. That’s cute.” A pause. “Don’t do it again.”
It didn’t matter what lilting tones the man used. John heard the cold and dark behind his words. Don’t get drawn into dominance games, he told himself. Survive. Hate doesn’t help. His spine was cold. Bare arms had wrapped around duvet-covered knees; he forced himself to relax.
“He knew you weren’t dead,” he offered. Feed the man’s vanity, just a little. “What are you doing here?”
“Visiting.” He could see Moriarty’s head turning to scan the shadowy room. “It’s a bit... military up here, isn’t it? No style. No warmth. No wonder you’ve been trying to crawl into his bed instead.”
John briefly forgot survival in a wave of indignation. “I have not!”
“You tried.” Moriarty’s attention was full on him now. “He turned you down, didn’t he? Was he all sweet about it?”
Sherlock hadn’t been sweet, no. It had been about three weeks ago. They’d been on forty eight hours without sleep, the criminal had been apprehended after a violent struggle and Sherlock had come way inside John’s personal space once too often, this time to run fingers over his bloodied cheek. John, who had been struggling with this particular problem for months, had somehow resisted the temptation to do anything direct about it and had instead just murmured his name, somewhat desperately.
And Sherlock had dropped his hand, frowning. Had said, “Not interested,” briefly, and turned away.
To be fair, John didn’t think that Sherlock had changed his behaviour, since. But he had. Things would go back to the way they had been before, if he gave it time, but right now it was still rather awkward and uncomfortable and he was unbearably sorry that he’d stuck his neck out at all.
To have Moriarty mock this was intolerable; his fear was being replaced by anger, and he knew that was dangerous but he couldn’t help it.
“Sherlock’s not gay. So what?” he demanded harshly.
“Wrong.” Moriarty’s laugh was high and piercing. “Sherlock’s just not interested in sex with you, Doctor. Nice and reliable doesn’t turn him on. He’s very fond of you.” He giggled. “Very fond. It would be so convenient for both of you. Such a pity.”
“What do you want?” Much more of this and John would punch the bastard out, gun or not. Temper, he told himself, could get him killed.
“By a bizarre coincidence,” the man’s voice had faded to barely audible, “I want what you do. I also intend to have it.”
Sherlock. Moriarty wanted Sherlock. Moriarty, who’d tried to murder him...anger pushed John forward, up onto his knees, half a head over the man sitting on the bed. The duvet crumpled between them, but he barely noticed the cold air across his skin. “Fuck off. Now.”
Moriarty didn’t flinch. “Sweet. And stupid. Down, boy.”
“He’s not going to sleep with you. You’re a murderous psychopath.”
Moriarty smiled at him, teeth again in the darkness, close up now. His breath smelt slightly of peppermint, his clothes of...leather? “I’m the smartest murderous psychopath in the world. Can you imagine him being able to resist me?”
“Yes.” He had more faith in the man than that. Though God knows, Sherlock might just be tempted.
Moriarty reached out. Fingers touched John’s bare chest. The other hand was still by his side. Holding something. “He doesn’t come up here. I imagine that if something happens to you, he wouldn’t find you till later. Much later. Too late. Shall we play that game? Or are you going to behave?”
John struggled to regain his control. A shot from this distance wouldn’t give him a chance. Or a knife. He pulled back from the hand, sat down. “You don’t have a hope. Even if he wanted...he’s not going to let you anywhere near his back. Or anywhere else. He’s not stupid.”
“Which is where you come in.”
“What?” John looked towards the darkness of the bed, the hidden gun. Dropped his voice further. “Enough crap. What exactly do you think you’re doing in my bedroom.”
“At gunpoint? Am I meant to be flattered? I’m dull, remember. And you’re so much not my type.”
John was struggling not to laugh hysterically, or hit the man, or something. He was trying to be quiet; bringing Sherlock charging into a room with a man with a gun who wanted to kill him really didn’t seem like a good idea. Bringing Sherlock into a room with a man with a gun who wanted to fuck him probably wasn’t great either. But he wasn’t sure that he could take much more of this conversation. What on earth did it mean? Sherlock could doubtless follow Moriarty’s intentions, but Sherlock was downstairs, asleep, or worse.
“Utterly dull. But dear Sherlock is fond of you.” The word was a sneer. “Sherlock will let you play with the grown-ups. He’ll find your presence reassuring.” Moriarty’s voice turned high and mock excited. “You’ll have his back. And if you play your cards right, all his other bits, too.”
John stared through the darkness, wishing he could see more of the man’s face. “You’re proposing a threesome?” He couldn’t quite believe that he’d got that right.
“You’ll love it. Widen your provincial horizons.”
“I’m not helping you. No.”
“My chances of seducing him without you tagging along are still over 60%. And then he’ll be ...all alone... with me.” He elongated the last few word, clearly delighted at the prospect.
John was uncomfortably reminded of the taxi driver and the pills. Sherlock did not have a highly developed sense of self preservation. No better reason than curiosity and boredom might lure him. And John was sure that there was nothing so benign as lust behind Moriarty’s intention.
Nothing benign about this invitation, either. John wasn’t stupid enough to take it at face value. But at least it would give him some chance of protecting Sherlock. He ran the argument over and over, looking for the flaws. Apart from the massively obvious one.
“He won’t go along with this.”
Nothing but a giggle.
Sherlock wouldn’t. John had been turned down once. He didn’t have such poor manners to put himself forward again. Not to mention the fact that he was not sure that he could cope with another ungracious rejection.
On the other hand, he thought, with a certain guilty thrill, it wasn’t as if his choices right now seemed to extend beyond this and a bullet in the chest. He didn’t have any pride where guns were involved. He’d been shot once.
So he nodded, once. He didn’t intend to actually do it.
“Wonderful. Do try to look a little happier, doctor. This is going to be fun.”
John counted the steps down, silently, gathering his unsteady nerve. At six he took a deep breath, called up a voice he’d barely used since Afghanistan.
“Sherlock! Incoming!” he barked, surely loud enough to wake the man, if Sherlock had managed to sleep through the conversation upstairs.
He’d half expected the vindictive shove between his shoulder blades, was already taking the remaining steps two at a time, fast enough not to overbalance. The momentum carried him several paces into the dark living room; he dodged the table, caught his foot on something unanticipated that Sherlock had left on the floor and tumbled forwards. Combat reflexes had him curled up on the carpet behind the limited protection of the table by the time he’d stopped moving.
Everything in here was dark. No crack of light under Sherlock’s bedroom door; the man could be anywhere. He could hear the steady tread of Moriarty coming down the steps, wanted to warn of the gun, but surely Sherlock anticipated that?
Harsh light flooded the room and John blinked. Moriarty, in styled black leather jacket and tight black jeans with his hand on the switch at the bottom of the stairs. And Sherlock, pale and lanky in his dressing gown, with his on the switch by the kitchen.
A few seconds felt like an age. Then Sherlock spoke, in a tone as normal as if it weren’t three in the morning and in this company.
“You can stand up, John.”
Moriarty’s hands were loose by his sides. John could still see the small bulge in his jeans. Sherlock must see it.
“Gun in his right hip pocket.”
“No.” Sherlock’s brief amused smile still didn’t move from his enemy. “That’s a phone. But understandable mistake, in the dark.”
John came up onto his feet. Obvious now, in the light, as Moriarty flipped the sides of his jacket open mockingly, demonstrating that the slim t-shirt, tight jeans left nowhere for a gun. He’d been psyched out. Fucking bastard had played him. In which case...
Sherlock’s urgent command stopped him just short of the swing that would have taken the bastard out for the rest of the night. He flung his hands up, exasperated. “Don’t tell me, he’s got a detonator or something.”
“He’s got a phone.” Sherlock’s voice had dropped slightly, carefully. “What is it this time? Surely not bombs again?”
Moriarty squealed in pleasure. “Who knows? Maybe a poor defenceless puppy gets kicked to death. Maybe London’s water supply gets poisoned. What does it matter, Sherlock? Neither of us give a fuck about any of them. But you’ll do what you have to keep them alive anyway, because that’s how you and I keep score.”
John glanced back at Sherlock, hoping to see something of his own disgust reflected. Sherlock was bright eyed, focussed. Not arguing that premise at all.
“That isn’t going to work as coercion.”
“Of course not.” Moriarty sketched a bow. “I’m almost offended that you would think me so crude. The phone’s merely a personal insurance policy. I wouldn’t want a night so promising to end up with your heavy handed friends from the Yard involved.”
“And if it doesn’t?”
“I’ll save the bodies up for next time.” He licked his lips. “There’s always a next time.”
A dead man’s switch. John grimaced, backed up a couple of feet towards the window. Out of the line of sight; he wanted to watch both of them. Close enough to tackle Moriarty if necessary. The flat was cold, the heating off for hours. He wished that he’d grabbed something more to wear than the shorts he slept in.
Sherlock was scanning the other man, slowly.
“No need to ask why you’re here.” He paused, a hint of derision in his voice. “Cheap tramp.”
Moriarty’s smile grew wider. “I was so much hoping you’d talk dirty. I couldn’t be sure, and we do hate guessing games, don’t we? But I did hope.“
John saw the twitch of Sherlock’s mouth. He coughed slightly, just to remind his flatmate that he was there.
“Why did he bring you down here, John?” Sherlock sounded genuinely curious.
“He thinks,” John found this rather difficult to explain, “He told me, anyway, that if you had someone to watch your back, you might be...easier.” He felt he needed some further excuse for even passively contemplating this. “I thought he was armed.”
“He thought he’d got the perfect excuse to suck your cock. He’s got it bad. But then you knew that. You just don’t care.” Moriarty was cheerful.
“Shut up.” Sherlock was abrupt. “Keep your nasty little mind away from John, or you’ll find out just how unamusing I can find you.”
“I’m not the one who’s breaking his poor grubby little heart.”
John had never got used to the speed at which Sherlock could move when he wanted to. Before he’d moved more than a couple of paces hand had collided with cheek and Moriarty was hissing, mask dropped for once in what seemed to be genuine fury.
“You’re going to regret that!”
“I very much doubt that.” Sherlock spread himself across the couch. “Where were we? Oh yes. You had a proposition for me. Civilly, this time.”
Moriarty was sulky. “Half of them could die. I could arrange that.”
“You could get what you came for. I could arrange that. If I chose.”
John shifted on the thin carpet. “Sherlock,” he said quietly.
How could the man even think of it? Sherlock was remarkable; no doubt about that. He’d not been surprised that his flatmate didn’t find him equally attractive; there wasn’t much going for him, objectively. But he wasn’t actually physically repugnant. He didn’t sound like Mickey Mouse on acid and dress like something out of a sleazy nightclub.
Most of all, he wasn’t a mass murderer. Moriarty had forced him into that jacket of explosives to taunt Sherlock, had tried to kill both of them. And this vile...thing got a “could be arranged” while he got a “not interested.” Never mind fair, how was that even possible?
Sherlock raised an irritated hand. “Thank you, John. Let’s take all your objections as read, shall we?”
“If you know what they are.” John was bitter, “why the fuck aren’t you paying some goddamn attention to them?”
“I’m paying attention to everything. You don’t normally doubt my judgement.”
“I’ve yet to see any evidence of your judgement tonight, Sherlock! Tell the bastard to go to hell, for God’s sake.”
“No.” Sherlock was thoughtful. “As propositions go, it’s worth a little further consideration.”
“He’s jealous,” Moriarty commented, walking across to the armchair. “Send him to make some coffee, or something, so we can flirt.”
“Shut up.” Sherlock flicked a contemptuous hand at the chair. “I’ll talk to you when I’m ready.”
“Lovely.” Moriarty’s tongue flickered across his lip again. “Bit of trash talk. We are going to have so much fun.”
“Come on, Sherlock. He must make your flesh crawl.”
“Not precisely, no.” Sherlock tugged his dressing gown a little closer, watching the other man. John resisted the temptation to shake him. Sod this.
“If you think you can keep your legs crossed for five minutes, I’m going to put some clothes on.”
Sherlock frowned up at him. “Clothes. Yes. Fine.”
John couldn’t resist a parting shot. “For Christ’s sake, Sherlock. Look at him!” Moriarty grinned, blew him a kiss, camp as they came.
“I am looking.”
“Well then. You can’t surely say that that he turns you on.”
“Of course he... Oh.” Sherlock nodded. “You mean in appearance. Not important.”
“So it’s his charming personality?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
Moriarty was amused. John desperately wanted to talk to-shout at- Sherlock alone but he feared that their enemy would see it as an admission of weakness. John wasn’t going to lose Sherlock an inch of room right now.
What he wanted to do was to go upstairs, get dressed and walk out. Leave them to each other. Even at three in the morning he could find somewhere to get drunk in London. But “I told you so” was going to be no consolation to Sherlock in the morning, less still to Sherlock’s corpse. He could not walk out in clear conscience, knowing that Sherlock might gamble his life again. So he stalked off upstairs for clothes.
He had one leg inside his trousers when he heard footsteps on the stairs. Sherlock, surely, but he dropped the garment anyway, to be unencumbered, just in case.
It was Sherlock, with his laptop. He dropped it on the pillow, tilted the screen so that John could see the video feed from Sherlock’s own machine, and Moriarty still in the armchair reading John’s discarded copy of yesterday’s Times.
Sherlock was ...watching him. Eyes flicked down to the trousers he was pulling on again.
“Don’t,” John said, furious, “you dare look at me like that!”
“John.” Sherlock’s voice was deep and thoughtful and definitely interested.
“No! You get him to fuck off and maybe we’ll discuss it.”
He watched Sherlock’s face. caught the second’s unguarded expression. “You still don’t want me. I’m like his phone; just something to stop you getting killed in the process. No, Sherlock.”
“You’re considerably more than that.” Sherlock sat down on the bed, crossed his legs, unconscious imitation of Moriarty before him. “He is ...difficult to resist. I don’t want to do so. I don’t need to do so. The risks are acceptable, with you there.”
He raised a hand against John’s protestations.
“‘Not interested’ was a decision, not a description. We had a perfectly functional relationship, something that I rarely, if ever, bother with. I wasn’t prepared to tolerate destabilising complications. Circumstances have obviously changed.”
John snorted, buckling his belt. “If you’d felt anything you’d have risked the complications.“ He sighed. “I don’t think that our functional relationship is going to withstand your hopping into bed with the man who kidnapped and tried to kill me in a particularly sadistic manner. But destabilising it for someone you actually want is clearly fine for you.”
Sherlock’s eyes were bright, frustrated. “I want you.”
John struggled against the jolt of lust and anger. “Send him away and we’ll talk about it.”
“I don’t want to.”
“I want you to. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”
Sherlock contemplated that for a moment while John hunted for socks, encountered the solid cold lump of pistol. He considered taking it out, but you don’t bring a gun into a situation unless you can see at least one way that shooting someone was going to improve it.
He glanced at the screen; nothing had changed.
“You’re presuming on an emotional attachment to make demands about exclusivity.” Sherlock sounded a little less sure of himself than usual.
“Yes, right.” John sat on the bed to pull on his socks.”That’s what I’m doing. Just being possessive. I’m not in the slightest concerned about what your bloody nemesis might do to you once you’re naked with your eyes closed.”
“It would be less risky if you were there.”
John shook his head, unbelieving. “Just don’t do it. Kick him out.”
And that was quiet, almost embarrassed.
“Of course you can.” John felt cold. Was there coercion here, despite their denials?
“No.” Sherlock was up, pacing the small space beside the bed. “I need to know, John. He’s a puzzle- I can’t walk away with it unsolved. He’s extremely dangerous; I don’t want to take unnecessary risks, alone. But I can’t.... he’s a psychopath and he’s brilliant. He’ll kill people again, John, that’s certain. I can’t turn down the chance to find his weaknesses.”
John was almost relieved. This did at least sound something like Sherlock reasons; reckless and logical. But Sherlock caught the direction of his glance, tugged the dressing gown a little closer, hiding little. “Also that,” he said, with a wry smile.
At least Moriarty’s motivations were finally clear.
“H’s here to find your weaknesses too.”
“Of course he is. But I’m cleverer than him.”
“Don’t do it. You don’t have to do it.”
John took a breath. “Even if I can’t stand it? If I leave?”
Sherlock stopped pacing, eyes wide. “Now that’s coercion, John!”
“Will it stop you?”
“No.” Sherlock looked distressed, annoyed. “Don’t leave.”
John took a glance at the laptop. Moriarty was filling in the crossword, barely pausing for thought between clues. He remembered the smell of chlorine, the taste of blood in his mouth. Nothing that he was going to say would dissuade Sherlock from this.
There were things that you didn’t do. Out of decency, out of self respect, out of a sense of self preservation because they would always come back to hurt you. Taking someone strung out on another man, as the song put it, was one of those things. But John was desperate and Sherlock was aroused and anything denied to Moriarty tonight was something won.
He half expected Sherlock to pull away from the tentative hand round his waist, the other across the back of his neck to tilt his head down low enough to be kissed. But Sherlock, always stronger than he imagined, was instead pushing him back onto the bed, clambering lithely, fast, on top of him, kissing him fierce and unrestrained. The dressing gown was no hindrance to his own hands across the backs of hips and thighs, tugging Sherlock closer in, feeling him grind again John’s own erection. This was faster and harder than he’d anticipated and for a moment he wanted to pull away, but he was underneath and his own body was reacting as if this were the way it should be.
And at least it was his name that Sherlock was now murmuring between small bites at his neck, pulling back just long enough to attack his belt and trousers as if they personally offended him. No question but that Sherlock knew exactly where he was and with whom. So John tried hard not to think about exactly who this passion might rightly belong to, to push aside the feeling that he was doing something underhand. No-one took advantage of Sherlock; the idea was ridiculous.
Still, he wanted this quick and over, because Moriarty was still downstairs. Nothing subtle; not how he’d imagined things, but this wasn’t for him, this was to keep Sherlock safe. Spit moistened hands on each other, moving fast, and lips and teeth at necks hard enough that they’d both be showing this in the morning.
When the movement stopped, he thought at first that the man had done, but tension was still there, everywhere that they touched. And Sherlock had raised his head.
Moriarty was leaning against the doorpost, smiling. He had never looked less amused.
“I underestimated you, Doctor Watson. I thought you more...coy. I take it that argument failed.”
John uncurled his hands, let them fall limp. “Sherlock.” he said, quietly. Meaning something like “I really don’t like being underneath right now and could you please let go of my cock before you start talking to him.”
Fortunately Sherlock seemed to pick all that up from the single word. He sat up, shifted a leg over to free John, rested back on his heels. The dressing gown tangled behind him, disregarded. He took a moment to catch his breath.
“You’ll get your turn.”
“Do I look like someone who takes turns?” Moriarty’s voice was high, unstable. “You can do the pet any time. I’m a one night only deal.”
Sherlock seemed to have recovered his usual aplomb. “Very well. You can join us.”
John had managed to pull up his shorts by this point. He squeaked, much to his embarrassment. “Sherlock! This is my bed!”
“Yes. Mine is unsuitable and the couch is too small for the three of us.”
“You’re not actually going to do this.”
Sherlock sounded exasperated. “Have you listened to anything I’ve said in the last 30 minutes? Here with you, couch without you. Make up your mind.”
His voice softened slightly. “We’ll get back to this.”
Get back to it? John couldn’t even begin to count the number of ways in which that was offensive. Not to mention the possibility that Sherlock wouldn’t survive long enough to get back to anything. That decided him. That and not being able to bear the thought of them downstairs.
“I’m not leaving you alone with him.”
John closed the laptop, slid off the far end of the bed to put it out of the way on his chest of drawers. Moriarty had dropped the leather jacket,was still standing by the bed. This really wasn’t going to be a threesome; John had seldom felt less inclined to sex, even with Sherlock sprawled back on his duvet. But he wasn’t leaving. And afterwards he would have this out with Sherlock, properly, which might mean sex but was more likely to involve a lot of shouting and quite possibly his finding somewhere else to live.
He stood beside the chest of drawers, drawing a little comfort from the loaded gun in the third drawer down. Sherlock was intense on Moriarty. Moriarty had turned deliberately away from the detective, was looking at John.
“What is that he sees in you? You look dull enough to me.” He flashed a cold smile. “Still, let’s see if you’re any good.”
Two paces and he was in front of John, hand sliding out to his crotch. John batted it away. “Fuck off.”
“Be nice.” He tried again. John abruptly decided that he’d given enough warning. A grab at the offending wrist with a knee to the groin and Moriarty was face down on the bed, both arms twisted high up his back and his legs trapped by John’s own.
A bite of satisfaction at a skill well applied, then a twinge of guilt. He was messing up Sherlock’s night. He glanced up at Sherlock, knowing he was going to have to back off, hoping he’d done enough to keep the man off him.
Sherlock looked...speculative. Then smug. “Hold it there.” John was happy to comply. Moriarty wasn’t struggling. Wouldn’t do him any good to start.
Here was Sherlock, crawling on hands and knees across the bed towards him , and God, wasn’t that a sight! Settling himself with one knee either side of Moriarty’s shoulders. Sitting on the man’s neck, hands running slowly from his shoulders, up the twisted arms, across to the hands holding them flat against the back, all the way up to John’s own shoulders. Long fingers around his neck, as Sherlock pulled him in, leant forward to kiss him.
Nothing like the rush of earlier. This was slow, considered. Far more Sherlock. John resisted the oddness for a moment, then gave in, kissed him back. This was more of the way he’d imagined their first time might be, if he could ignore the man underneath. Sherlock’s hand was across his jaw, pulling it firmly to where he wanted it. John missed having his own hands free, acutely; there were half a dozen places where he could think of them to be.
Still, there was something not quite right...he identified it with a stab of annoyance. Sherlock was playing to his audience, as usual, and it wasn’t John. He might at some point get at least fifty percent of his flatmate’s attention, but it wasn’t going to be tonight.
Somehow he must have huffed exasperation with Sherlock’s tongue still halfway down his throat because Sherlock pulled back. For a moment he expected an apology, an explanation, maybe even something defensive. But this was Sherlock, who instead pressed warm lips up against his ear to murmur, quiet enough that there was no chance of Moriarty hearing, “We’ve got him, John!”
Then he pulled away, back onto the bed, cross-legged, facing John and his captive. Jerked a chin upwards and John tugged Moriarty up to face him.
John couldn’t see the man’s face. Sherlock could. Sherlock looked entirely satisfied.
“My apologies, Jim. We neglected to ask you for a safe word. Want to give me one now? Or maybe I should deduce it?”
John kept his legs tight against Moriarty’s, along the edge of the bed. Sweat was streaking the black t-shirt under the twisted shoulders. Uncomfortable, but not in pain. Not while he stayed limp.
“Ah, Sherlock.” Moriarty’s voice was still gleeful. “I love it when you play rough.” His voice dropped, disappointed “You’re only playing though. You won’t let him see what you really want to do. Still pretending to be a good guy.”
Sherlock’s head snapped up, startled, then he was laughing. “You really haven’t been paying attention to John at all, have you? Idiot. I don’t keep pets.”
His eyes went up to meet John’s.
John twisted the right arm. A wide, clear smile from Sherlock. “More.”
A few heartbeats, then Sherlock again. “More.”
The shoulder was now very close to dislocating. He held it there, listening to the whimpering. He’d never done this before, not like this. Pain imposed necessarily, to incapacitate, or professionally, to mend. Not to hurt. He wondered, briefly, what it said about him, that he was so willingly Sherlock’s tool in this. He didn’t care. Moriarty deserved far worse.
Moriarty wasn’t silent any more, but he wasn’t talking. Sherlock was still, eyes wide. Still, John couldn’t help noticing, hard.
John caught his glance. Just confirming. Sherlock understood anatomy as well as he did. Without pause he resettled his hand over the arm, feeling out exactly where he needed to jerk.
Moriarty’s voice, low, close to unrecognisable. John waited.
“You’ve made your point. No need to overdo it. Get his hands off me.”
There was a pause. Long enough for John to discover that he felt entirely comfortable with whatever Sherlock decided, for Sherlock to read that, and to smile at him.
“You can stop hurting our guest.” Silky tone. “This is, apparently, not what he came for.”
Sherlock had not said let him go. John eased off, back to mere discomfort, compensating a little for the soreness in the right shoulder that he’d doubtless caused.
“Shall we find something that pleases you better?” Sherlock’s voice didn’t slide up and down in a deliberate facade of madness. But, John thought, there wasn’t much to choose between the words they used when they spoke to each other.
Sherlock had bent forward, was... oh. Undoing the narrow black belt, then the buttoned jeans. Lifting his head to smile at John, not at the man he was holding, then pulling himself onto his knees to kiss John over the other man’s shoulder, one hand around the back of his head, the other still somewhere down near Moriarty’s groin.
Which should not have the effect that it was having, really it shouldn’t, but John couldn’t help it; Sherlock’s lingering kiss, the fingers curling in his hair, the man he’d been scared of all night helpless underneath him, all that boasting come to nothing. He rested his chin on Moriarty’s shoulder and relaxed into the third kissing session of the night.
When he felt himself stir, he did try to pull back, but he was still trapping Moriarty’s legs with his, and short of letting the man loose there seemed little he could do. Sherlock, of course, had read the small movement, was running a hot tongue up his cheek to murmur in his ear.
“Shall we show him that we’re more than he can handle?”
We. He liked that ‘we’. Yes. Part of him simply wanted to be cold and vicious. Not a good idea, because... oh shit. He manoeuvred his own mouth up to Sherlock’s ear.
“What about that phone?”
Sherlock spoke aloud. “Want to go home, yet, Jim?”
“Are you actually trying to kill me with boredom here? Because I think it might just work.”
“Let’s wake things up a bit, then.”
John wasn’t sure where the condoms and lube appeared from. He was more interested in where they were going. He should have guessed that when Sherlock said ‘we’ it inevitably meant ‘you doing the actual work.’
He thought maybe he ought to protest, just for form’s sake, but Moriarty was listening. United front, and all that. Besides, with Sherlock brushing up behind him, firm hands removing his trousers yet again, he found himself uninclined to object. Moriarty had asked for this in pretty much every way possible, including, almost incidentally, directly and verbally.
He’d never had anything but well mannered sex before. Even when things had got a bit rough on occasion, it had been second nature to be sure, all the time, that everyone was still having fun. The habit of a lifetime turned out to be remarkably easy to shed; he just needed to remember the weight of that coat across his shoulders. You could hurt a man, like this. He did his best to do so.
Sherlock had returned to his sprawl across the headboard, was watching Moriarty, expressionless. John was intensely glad that Sherlock wasn’t watching him, right now. He had no idea what he looked like; didn’t want to know. Just wanted to fuck the man beneath him, arms still twisted, until he begged to stop. And then some more. ‘You don’t get Sherlock’ he muttered to himself, silently, in time with his movements. ‘You don’t get anything except my bloody cock up your bloody arse.’
The bastard was disappointingly resilient. Not silent, not after a while, but not verbal. It was the squeals that did it in the end, pushing him over the edge into a surprisingly satisfying orgasm. When he looked up this time Sherlock was watching him, looking as smug as if the man had been responsible for that particular result himself. It was Sherlock; maybe he considered that he had.
Sherlock tore open a second condom wrapper, came round to take John’s place. John let go of the arms, grateful for some relief there. Moriarty’s shoulders must be seriously aching by now. He followed Sherlock’s jerk of the head to his place on the bed. Watching was part of this; he understood that.
Not that it was easy, because Sherlock was watching him over Moriarty’s shoulder, and damn, the man was gorgeous. Even fucking someone else. Fucking someone else while making bedroom eyes at him. When this was done he was going to make sure that Sherlock made good on all those unspoken promises. For the moment he just tried to watch Moriarty for at least half the time.
The man was hurting. He might also have been enjoying himself. It was difficult to tell. Certainly he had his eyes screwed shut and was making no attempt to keep quiet. Sherlock was no gentler than John had been. John watched the horrible little screwed up face and sincerely hoped that the yelps represented a great deal of pain.
And then he got distracted because Sherlock was panting, eyes wide, and there was absolutely no way that he was going to let the man do that with anyone but him ever again. He was pretty sure that his expression must have said as much because Sherlock was laughing as he bucked into the man underneath, shuddered to a standstill.
When he spoke his voice was steady. “Come and hold him again.”
John climbed off the bed, returned to his previous position. Sherlock settled himself on the edge of the bed next to them, reached out and curled his hand around Moriarty’s limp cock.
“You have all three of the burgundy mugs in here.” he complained.
John shrugged, awkwardly, around the man he was holding down. “Do I? There are plenty of others.”
“I like those.” Without looking down he began to jerk his hand, smoothly.
“I thought you liked the caterpillar one.” With anyone else it would have been a game. With Sherlock it probably was what he was actually thinking about right now.
“That one feels nice, but the coffee goes cold nearly a minute faster.”
“We could always get some more of the burgundy ones.”
“You could always do it yourself.”
“I’m busy tomorrow.”
“Fine. I’ll do it.”
The hand had speeded up. John wondered what expression Moriarty might have now. Sherlock was still looking round his bedroom.
“This is more practical for sex than my room. Even with two people.”
“Two people,” John said, definitely, “is what there are going to be.”
“Mmm. We seem to be,” he paused, twisted his wrist, let go, “done here.”
“Not on the...oh, never mind.” John was going to have to wash everything in here about six times anyway before he could face sleeping in the room again “Can we throw him out now?”
Sherlock stretched, smiled. “Why not?”
Moriarty had recovered the power of speech, but John lost patience halfway through the first insinuated threat. His hand wrapped around the man’s mouth as they physically dragged him down the stairs and dumped him outside the door.
John closed it and leaned against it, laughing.
“We shouldn’t have done that, should we?” he tried, when he had breath again.
“No.” Sherlock was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
“He’s too dangerous to fuck with.”
“There’s going to be trouble.”
“We are not doing that again.”
Sherlock paused. “Not unless he comes back.”
John took a breath. “Sherlock!”
“Not,” Sherlock conceded, “without you there.”
“You just like trouble.”
“You like it more.” He started up the stairs. “He comes back, we’ll have some other ways to see him off. Better get in practice.”
John snorted, followed. “So you’ll sleep with me as rehearsal for Moriarty.”
“Best to be thoroughly prepared.”
“Sure. Did you find out any of his weaknesses?”
“He underestimates you. Constantly.”
John thought about that one. Being a weakness of a psychopath was probably not a comfortable place to be.
But, hell, being a psychopath, fucked over and dumped probably wasn’t such a great place either. He’d rather be in here with Sherlock than out there in the cold.
“Preparation,” he said firmly, “can start in the morning. Have you seen the state of my room? Right now I’m claiming the couch.”