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"You’ll have to do it when I’m asleep.”

John blinked. “What?”

“It’s the only way,” Sherlock said impatiently. “I can’t possibly handle it if my mind’s active.”

“Right.” John frowned. “And we’re talking about?”

Sherlock huffed out a breath, annoyed. “Do keep up, John. Sex, of course.”

John winced and rubbed at a stabbing pain above his left eyebrow. “Let me just get this straight. You want me to have sex. With you. While you’re asleep.” He grabbed the teapot and poured himself another lukewarm cup, wishing it were something considerably stronger.

Sherlock rolled his eyes. “This is very boring: I dislike repeating myself.”

“Well, I’m sorry but this is one of those times when you’re going to have to bear with me and engage in some discussion; an ultimatum won’t cut it. And how did sex suddenly enter the equation? We’re flatmates and you’ve never shown the slightest inclination–“

Sherlock leaned back, the bentwood chair creaking alarmingly as he thrust his long legs out under the table, arms braced and fingers drumming on the wooden surface. “Just because you’re unobservant doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a great deal of unresolved sexual tension between us. It’s distracting me and it needs to be dealt with.”

John shut his mouth, which had been gaping unattractively. His eyes were probably bugging out too. “Unresolved–”

“Sexual tension, yes. Surely you’ve heard of the phrase, John, you do have a blog, after all.”

“Yeah, but not that sort of blog, Sherlock. What sites have you been browsing?”

Sherlock waved him away. “Irrelevant. I am, after all, an expert in reading body language and other cues. It’s crystal clear and quite intolerable.”

John crossed his arms, trying not to feel hurt, and concentrated on writing “fuck you” with his tongue on the roof of his mouth so as to calm down. That usually worked. “Intolerable, huh.”

“Stop that, I can see your jaw muscles moving and it’s very irritating. I can guess what you’re writing. Intolerable, yes, because it’s unresolved. I can’t bear things to be unresolved. You of all people should know that!”

John looked up. Sherlock had rocked back down onto all four legs and his hands were clenched on the table. His eyes were narrowed and there was a grim set to his jaw…jesus, he was nervous. “OK, bear with me because I have to be sure I understand you. You’re experiencing UST between us and it’s, I don’t know, distressing you? And your solution is that I…have sex with you. While you’re asleep.”

“Yes, exactly.” Sherlock got up and put the kettle on the cooker. He lit the gas and leaned back against the kitchen bench. “You’ll have to wait until I’m properly asleep so I suggest the early hours of the morning as it takes a long time for me to get off. Pun fully intended.” He smirked. “Pick a REM phase and then I’ll be in full muscle relaxation. “

“Whoa, fucking hell, hang on there.” John raised his hand. “Why in…”  Words completely failed him; there were no words. He tried again. “Why would you imagine, even in that fevered hamster wheel you call a brain, that I’d want to fuck you when you were asleep?”

“I just explained!” Sherlock made an impatient gesture as though flinging away his incomprehension. “I can’t do it if I’m conscious. It won’t work. My brain won’t stop and it all becomes...” He bit his lip, looking a little hunted. “Overwhelming. The, the sounds, and the sensory overload, and the smells, and analysing it all…” He gestured again, a helpless flail this time.

John was aware that he had to tread very gently, but christ, it was like wrangling an alien. “I, I see. Sherlock, I don’t know that I could…I mean, if you weren’t conscious it’d be…weird.”

Sherlock frowned. “I fail to see why, it’s just a physiological process and you’re a healthy and relatively young man. I know you’re attracted to me, because of the un–“

“–resolved sexual tension, yeah, you said.” John sighed. “Look, I have to ask this. Have you actually done it before? Had sex? I mean, if that’s what it’s like for you?”

“Once. Mycroft…organised it. I’m not sure if he meant it as a rite of passage or another of his Machiavellian practical jokes. He arranged a professional for me when I was eighteen. Very unpleasant all round and I’ve had no inclination to repeat the whole sordid performance. Not even with myself. I still have no inclination to repeat it, hence my suggestion.”

“And this...professional Mycroft organised. Male or female?”

“I fail to see the relevance…oh, you mean do I have a sexual preference? No. My preference is not to have these annoying…urges…interrupting my concentration. She was female, for whatever it’s worth.”  The kettle boiled and he gestured at it and raised his eyebrows.

“All this and I get to make the tea as well. Jesus fuck. Urges.” John rose and went through the comforting motions of tea-making, keeping well away from Sherlock who leaned there against the bench in his coat looking deceptively human. Sometimes John was afraid to look too closely at his silvery eyes in case he caught a flash of metal and circuit wiring. Completely loopy, and yet…and yet. John had protested about shagging Sherlock when he was asleep, hadn’t he? He hadn’t protested about shagging him per se. There was no way Sherlock hadn’t noticed that. Busted. It was a lost cause, but he had to try. “But how will me having sex with you when you’re asleep resolve your sexual tension?”

Sherlock waved a hand dismissively, sloshing some tea from his cup. “It will resolve your sexual tension, and it will release endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin in my brain which will have a beneficial effect on me as well. Physiologically. Come on, John, you know this, or did all that MASH-unit surgery overwrite your training in biochemistry?”

John gave him the finger. “Charming. Well, this is going to be fun, and intensely romantic. Necrophilia here I come.”

Sherlock beamed, slit-eyed with triumph. “Let’s try it tonight.”

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As he lay staring up at the darkened ceiling, John reflected that only Sherlock could set up a tryst in such a matter-of-fact way. They’d never even slept in the same bed before, partly as Sherlock’s was frequently covered with strange objects and questionable stains, which was why they were now in John’s room.

Sherlock had stripped, donned pyjamas, done his ablutions and ensconced himself in John’s bed, lying back with his hands folded on his chest like some marble chevalier.

John pushed away images of deathlike immobility, because it wasn’t necrophilia, not at all. He caught sight of himself in the mirror while brushing his teeth. His eyes were dark, pupils dilated. Fear, or arousal? Probably both. A bubble of hysteria rose in his chest and he squashed it ruthlessly.

He slipped in beside Sherlock, mimicking his pose, both of them gazing up into the dark. This was ridiculous. John turned onto his side, facing Sherlock. “I, um, should we kiss?” he asked, feeling like an idiot. He felt more than saw Sherlock’s head turn towards him.

“Whyever would we kiss?” Sherlock turned his face upwards again and began to draw in deep, even breaths. “Don’t mind me, diaphragmatic breathing sometimes helps me to sleep,” he said between inhalations.

OK, now definitely feeling like an idiot. John rolled onto his side away from Sherlock and pulled the duvet around himself. Fuck him, just get some sleep and sort out this madness in the morning. The bed warmed and John slowly relaxed, drifting off to vague internal ramblings along the lines of “just say no”.

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It was still full dark when he awoke, the clock-radio’s LED glowing 4:08 beside him. It was warm, really warm, and he was curled around something firm and soft and something was tickling his nose…christ, he was spooned behind Sherlock, nose pressed into his hair. Sherlock gave a soft snore and muttered something that might have been “trellis”. Or possibly “jealous”. John’s face was mashed into the back of his neck, above the collar of his pyjamas. John’s arm was around Sherlock’s waist, hand on the smooth skin of his stomach. Skin…

John slid his hand down. No pyjama bottoms. He became aware of a certain…freedom around his own nether regions. Fuck, Sherlock had stripped them – well, half stripped them – while he was asleep. He felt vaguely violated, but it was just Sherlock being practical. And determined. And insane.

Right. That meant there’d also be…He felt about on the night stand. No. Hmmm - under the pillow? Bingo: lube.

John clutched the small tube, heart racing – this was ridiculous. Sherlock had never, he had no idea. He’d have done his research of course. John winced at the thought of Sherlock frowning fastidiously at porn sites, listening to stilted sex-talk through the computer speakers while he watched meaty, bizarrely shaven youths sucking and fucking, slapping their flesh together like dead-eyed automatons. Jesus, no wonder he didn’t want to be conscious.

Suddenly overwhelmed by sadness, John curled back around Sherlock. Poor bastard, baffled by a simple physical act any vertebrate enjoyed, unless they had a giant brain screwing it up for them. He pressed his lips against the nape of Sherlock’s neck and tasted him. Musk, and salt, and John was suddenly aroused, sliding his hand back over the slender hip and down the soft, warm skin of Sherlock’s belly. Sherlock groaned and muttered “thistles” or possibly “arseholes”; hard to tell. He snuffled into the pillow, limbs heavy and immobile.

It wasn’t really a decision. Sherlock had wanted this – yes, for all the wrong reasons, but still. And John, John wanted it desperately, hard now against Sherlock’s arse, and jesus but it was the fact that he was sleeping that was so fucking hot. Sherlock was at his mercy; he could do anything. But no, no he wasn’t going to do that, not the first time, not asleep, no way. He reached down a little further and took Sherlock’s cock in his hand. It was flaccid, but it firmed as he stroked it. He couldn’t help moving against Sherlock, pushing his cock into the crack of Sherlock’s arse just a little as he stroked him.

He seemed to have been moving against Sherlock forever – careful and gentle and taking it achingly slowly, because what if he woke up? John knew from experience that once he fell asleep Sherlock was difficult to rouse, but even so. Presumably if he woke up it’d be over? The tyrant brain would click into action and Sherlock would freak out, or get bored, and that was unacceptable because John just had to keep doing this, had to keep rubbing off against Sherlock’s arse and sliding his fingers down the hot, silky skin of his cock. Had to curl around him and lick the back of his neck, sliding their legs together and…

Lube, he had lube: fucking brilliant. He extricated his half-numb hand from under the pillow and squeezed a generous amount into his palm, waiting for it to warm and then fisting his own cock to check the temperature. Oh jesus, good, that was good, and it slid so much better now between Sherlock’s legs, in the crack of his arse. Suppressing a groan, John gritted his teeth and tried not to just rut freely. He reached around and grasped Sherlock’s cock, running it through the greased circle of his hand, up and down, twist and slide. Easy now, all slick and easy, and he leaned into Sherlock’s long body, pressing him down a little, fucking him, jerking him, so smooth and slippery and so fucking good, and then Sherlock was thrusting hard into his hand, he was moaning and opening his legs so that John’s cock slid right there against his arse, nudged up hard against the base of his balls with every pump of his hips, and John couldn’t hold it in any longer, words or need or anything and he bit Sherlock’s neck and swore and jerked him fast and came all over his balls, feeling Sherlock arch and quiver, spurting through John’s fingers with a harsh cry then melting into the mattress.

Shit, fuck, bugger. So much for careful, for gentle. So much for Sherlock sleeping through it unawares. Nice one, John. It was hard though to care much through the (dopamine, oxytocin, endorphin induced) post-coital glow. Maybe Sherlock would drop back off to sleep and not really remember it. Maybe.

John edged back from Sherlock’s warm, prostrate mass. Sherlock made a protesting noise and a long arm reached back to grab John’s hip and pull him down so that he was half-sprawled across Sherlock’s back again.

“Don’t go, nice…” Sherlock said drowsily.

“Sorry, I, er, I didn’t mean to wake you,” John whispered, letting himself settle back into warmth and stickiness and the smell of sex. He slid his arm around Sherlock’s torso under the rucked-up pyjama top.

“S’OK. This’s better than morphine, I had no idea. Brain’s completely stopped. Lovely.”

John rested there, content. “So, a success, d’you think?” Perhaps Sherlock would let him do it again?

“Mmmm. By the time I’d woken up my brain had completely shut down, it was excellent.”

“Good.” John risked a hug. “I…I had a good time too.”

Sherlock snorted under him. “Yes, I could tell.” He rolled then and pulled John in against him, tasting his neck and the angle of his jaw. “I’m coming back on line slowly, but there’s a window of opportunity before the neurochemical storm subsides. We could try that kissing thing.”

“OK.” John grinned and leaned in.

On the night stand, the clock read 5:08.

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- the end