It’s not about the Browning. Or, rather, it is about the Browning but the Browning’s not the precipitating factor; that honor goes to an L85A2 assault rifle with optical sight and under-barrel grenade launcher.
“Look at the size of that bloody thing,” Lestrade says indignantly as he stands, hands on hips, staring at the assault rifle lying on his desk. He’s seen sniper rifles up close, but this is a mastiff to their greyhound.
“Suffolk dropped it pretty hard, and then it got kicked across the ground,” Sherlock says, pulling the fingers of his gloves between his hands. “I have no idea what that did to the accuracy – whether Martins could have made that shot at all, with this weapon in this condition.”
“It’s midnight,” Lestrade says. “I’ll get a firearms officer in here first thing - ”
“ – or you could let John try it now,” Sherlock says.
Lestrade lofts his eyebrows and looks questioningly at John.
“It’s the standard weapon for British infantrymen,” John supplies.
“You were an army doctor,” Lestrade says dubiously.
“He’s a doctor who was in the army; it’s not the same thing,” Sherlock corrects irritably.
Lestrade glances at him, and then back at John.
“You actually know your way round this monster?”
“Intimately,” John says, not quite stifling his smile.
“In that case, be my guest.”
John approaches the desk and scoops the rifle up in his hands. He brings the stock to his shoulder, tucking it in tightly, fingers wrapping around the pistol-grip of the rifle and under the grenade launcher. He brings his cheek to the upper part of the stock and looks through the sight.
“Nothing’s obviously out of whack,” he says, “but I can’t say how accurate it is without firing a few rounds.”
“Let’s go downstairs, then,” Lestrade says.
John drops the rifle stock from his shoulder. Lestrade is already walking out of the office; John follows him. Sherlock flashes John a smile of utter delight as he passes. John refrains from returning it, though his eyes are bright.
The underground firing range has a dozen separate firing bays, backed by a single long viewing gallery shielded by thick glass. Lestrade and Sherlock wait in the gallery while John goes into one of the bays. He pulls a pair of ear-protectors on, shoulders the rifle, and snaps off a single round. A hole punches into the paper target just outside the bull’s eye. Lestrade quirks his mouth in surprise; Sherlock catches the tip of one glove-finger between his teeth and tugs gently. John fires another three rounds in steady succession, and the bull’s eye of the target starts to shred as the holes punch close together. Lestrade lets out a low whistle. Sherlock moves abruptly to the door that leads to the firing bays.
“I have to talk to John.”
He shoulders through the door, strides to where John is pulling the ear protectors down to hang around his neck.
“John – ”
“It’s perfectly accurate,” John says. “Martins made that shot.”
“ – I want to have sex with you again. Now -- tonight, I mean, not this very minute, obviously.”
John’s forehead furrows, and then smoothes again almost instantly.
“We’re in the middle of a case,” he says, his voice steady but oddly glottal.
“You don’t care about that.”
“No, but you do.”
Sherlock’s eyelids drop as he shakes his head very slightly, and then lift again.
“Exceptions sometimes have to be made, if the circumstances warrant them,” he says.
John’s eyebrows lift a bit, and one corner of his mouth curls very slightly. Sherlock picks up a second pair of ear protectors.
“Fire another couple of rounds,” he says. “I couldn’t see properly from in there.”
“You want me to abuse my access to the evidence because it’s turning you on,” John says evenly.
“Is that insufficient motivation?”
“No, it’s … it’s plenty. Just … checking.”
Sherlock puts the ear protectors on. John slips his own up off his neck and onto his ears again. He brings the rifle to his shoulder. Sherlock’s gaze devours the smoothing of John’s forehead, the slight narrowing of his eyes, the soft exhale through parted lips that precedes the squeeze of his trigger finger. John fires. Sherlock’s eyes dissect the fractional twist and push of John’s shoulders as he absorbs the rifle’s recoil, and then he glances towards the target. The new round has penetrated within the footprint torn by the previous ones. Sherlock looks back at John. John fires again, pauses, and then lowers the rifle.
He pulls his ear protectors off and drops them onto the firing bay shelf while retaining the rifle in his right hand. Sherlock takes his ear protectors off, too, and sets them down carefully.
“Is that what you wanted?” John asks, his eyes vivid but his expression still coolly composed.
Sherlock nods, eyes half-hooded.
“Let’s go, then,” John says, “before Lestrade sees something that’ll haunt him for the rest of his life.”
Sherlock’s smile is a soft twist at one side of his mouth as he turns away and walks back through the door leading into the viewing gallery. John sets the rifle down and follows him.
“Martins was telling the truth,” Sherlock announces to Lestrade. “Which means Coren can’t be the man on the surveillance footage … we’re still short one murderer.”
“Okay,” Lestrade nods, his brows folded into a half-frown. “Suppose we - ”
“I’ll text you in the morning,” Sherlock cuts in, pulling his gloves on. “We’ll strategize then.”
“In the morning?” Lestrade echoes in surprise. “Where are you going now?”
“Home, of course,” Sherlock says loftily. “It’s after midnight, Lestrade. I am entitled to some life not at your beck and call, you know.”
Lestrade gapes at him, all injured innocence and disbelief, but Sherlock just buttons his coat and strides off towards the exit, so Lestrade gapes at John instead. John grimaces sympathetically and spreads his hands as if to display his own helplessness.
“I better go,” he says apologetically, “or he’ll ditch me for a cab.”
“God, you poor bugger,” Lestrade says, when the door has already closed behind John.
Sherlock’s already stripping his gloves off and unbuttoning his coat as he springs from the cab. John throws the fare and a ridiculously generous tip at the driver, and follows Sherlock inside. Sherlock sweeps his coat and scarf off, and pitches them onto one of the hooks behind the door. He takes the stairs up to the flat two at a time, with a finishing flourish of three steps cleared in a leap at the top. John takes his jacket off and hangs it up, then runs up the stairs after him. Sherlock’s in the sitting room, back to the door, tossing his suit jacket onto the couch while he heels his shoes off. John swings the door shut. He opens several buttons at the neck of his own shirt, and pulls it off over his head. He drops his shirt on the armchair, and pulls the hem of his tee shirt out of his jeans.
Sherlock turns to face him, already unbuttoning his own cuffs. John goes to him, crowding right into his space, one hand slipping around Sherlock’s waist and the other catching him by the nape of the neck, drawing him down. The first contact of mouth to mouth is electric, metallic, sharp enough to make Sherlock gasp the air out of John’s lungs. Sherlock’s long fingers clasp John’s skull, tilting his face back so that Sherlock can push his tongue down into John’s mouth. John’s hand at Sherlock’s waist drags at Sherlock’s shirt, trying to get to skin. Sherlock pulls back from John’s lips.
“There’s something I want us to do,” he says.
“Yes, whatever it is, yes,” John says, angling his mouth towards Sherlock’s again.
“I want us to play with your gun.”
John draws his chin back, his hand tightening on Sherlock’s side and his eyes narrowing appreciatively.
“And that’s not a euphemism for anything,” John says.
Sherlock shakes his head.
“Nice,” John says, one eyebrow quirking, “very nice.”
He squeezes Sherlock’s side and tugs the hair at the nape of Sherlock’s neck, then drops his hands and steps back. He turns away, crosses to the desk and opens the upper drawer. The Browning and its loaded clip are lying side by side inside. John picks up the clip and starts thumbing the rounds out, dropping them back into the drawer. Sherlock works open the lower buttons of his own shirt with both hands, pulls his shirttails out of his belt and shoulders his shirt off.
John slips the empty clip into the grip of the Browning; it clicks softly into place. Sherlock starts undoing his belt and pants. John pulls the Browning’s slide back, checks that the chamber’s empty, and runs the slide into position again. He thumbs the hammer down and pushes the safety catch off, points the gun aside and pulls the trigger. The hammer falls with a sharp, solid snap.
John turns to face Sherlock, gun-hand hanging loosely at his side. Sherlock’s completely naked, his clothes tossed on the couch and his shoes kicked under the coffee table. He’s more than slightly erect, and his cheeks and mouth are noticeably flushed. He glances at the gun, but then his gaze moves upwards to John’s face, to the smooth static set of John’s features. John steps away from the desk; Sherlock moves closer.
“Do you know what you want?” John asks, reaching out with his left hand to graze the crest of Sherlock’s hip.
Sherlock inhales shakily, the quiver visible in his shoulders.
“Let me look at you,” he murmurs.
John’s eyelids flick, an abbreviated blink. His eyes darken. Sherlock moves even closer. John’s gaze slides away from Sherlock’s, fixes on a point of nothingness somewhere off to his right. His chin lifts subtly, and his shoulders press back slightly. Sherlock stares for a moment, and lifts one hand to touch the narrow curves of John’s mouth. John exhales softly, and his lips part under Sherlock’s fingertips with an audible click.
Sherlock moves aside, drops his hand to John’s wrist and lifts, guiding his gun-hand up and forwards. John reads the intention; he raises his arm to the horizontal, the Browning extended in front of him as if he’s aiming at something. Sherlock’s fingers trail from John’s wrist up the sun-speckled and lightly furred skin of his forearm, dip into the soft hollow inside his elbow, and continue up the bellied curve of his biceps to the edge of his tee shirt sleeve. John blinks in slow motion. Sherlock’s fingertips move over his shoulder, up the side of his neck, around the curve of his ear.
John shifts one foot, turning his body through ninety degrees to his left while keeping his gun-hand static, so that he’s sighting along the unbroken line of his right shoulder and right arm, presenting Sherlock with his back and the turned line of his neck. Sherlock exhales heavily, and his fingers trace from right to left across the back of John’s shoulders. He dips his face to the nape of John’s neck, drags his lips upwards into the bristle of cropped hair at the base of John’s skull.
John swings his gun-hand inwards to the midline of his body, brings his left hand up to cradle the bottom of the gun’s grip. Sherlock presses his naked front against John’s clothed back, his cock pushing into the curve of John's behind. Sherlock slides both hands from the tips of John’s shoulders down along his raised and extended arms. He leans the side of his face against John’s temple, half-caressing, half trying to co-opt John’s line of sight to the Browning.
John’s thumb strokes the hammer down again slowly. John drops his hands and steps forwards, breaking the connections between them, and turns to face Sherlock again. Sherlock’s eyes flicker uncertainly, but John’s face is utterly composed. He swings his gun-hand up, extending his arm, the Browning aimed at Sherlock’s face from less than a foot away. Sherlock’s eyes blossom wide, and his lips part in a breathless smile.
“John … ”
John moves the gun aside a little, steps in closer, touches the side of the Browning to the side of Sherlock’s neck, halfway between his jaw and shoulder. Sherlock’s head jerks upwards, but his eyes stay locked on John’s. John moves the gun upwards, into the curling tips of Sherlock’s hair, and then downwards along the curve of his neck to the hollow between his collarbones. Sherlock’s breath shudders in and out of his open mouth.
John’s eyes slice slowly down Sherlock’s breastbone, the gun muzzle following, a deliberate drag of cold metal on tender skin. Sherlock’s stomach hollows under the lift and spread of his ribs. John moves closer as he turns his wrist, pushes the Browning lower, the front sight scoring lightly down Sherlock’s stomach. Sherlock clutches at John’s shoulders, his breathing going swift and sharp. John pushes the gun muzzle down the crease of Sherlock’s groin, down alongside his balls. Sherlock falters a sound low in his throat as soft flesh yields against cold, indifferent metal. John tilts his head slightly, looking coolly curious. He pushes, pulls, rubs the Browning’s slide against the skin of Sherlock’s inner thigh. Sherlock's eyelids flicker. John draws the Browning upwards again, onto Sherlock's stomach. He cups his free hand against Sherlock's cock, laying the shaft alongside the Browning's slide. He pulls the trigger, and the vibration of the hammer snapping down is a sharp-edged pulse against Sherlock's cock. Sherlock gasps, eyes going wide.
John lifts his face, bringing the sparse curves of his mouth closer to Sherlock’s. Sherlock sighs his breath out, lets his head bend a little more – and John steps away, swings the Browning up, aiming at Sherlock’s face again. Sherlock’s left catching at his balance and his breath, while John walks a slow half circle around him, the Browning’s muzzle a fixed point in space. Sherlock watches him with rapt intensity.
John circles farther, behind Sherlock, and moves closer. Sherlock turns his head, glancing over his shoulder. John touches the muzzle of the Browning to Sherlock’s skin again, at the nape of his neck. Sherlock inhales shakily, and exhales softly as John draws the Browning down his spine. John’s other hand touches, fingertips whispering on the back of Sherlock’s neck. John leans in, drags his lips between Sherlock’s shoulder blades. Sherlock groans, his skin incapable of processing the separate strands of touch – warm, roughened fingertips, cool, smooth metal, soft, wet mouth – and everything collapsing into a confusion of pleasure. John rakes his fingernails gently across Sherlock’s ribs, and digs the muzzle of the Browning into the small of Sherlock’s back. Sherlock grimaces, gasps, the bright edges of the sensations flashing through him. He reaches back, one hand clasping around the curve of John’s skull as John sinks his teeth softly into the back of Sherlock’s shoulder.
“ … John … ”
The Browning scores back up Sherlock’s spine, and John reaches round Sherlock’s hip with his left hand, fingers brushing over the shaft of Sherlock’s cock. Sherlock flinches, and then relaxes gratefully as John takes hold of him properly. John rolls his hips, pushing his erection into the underside of Sherlock’s behind, denim abrasive against bare skin. Sherlock shifts his weight and moves his feet apart.
“Oh God,” he breathes, as John’s hand slips higher on his cock, pulling his foreskin up around his glans and working skin against moist skin. “I – I don’t think I can stand up much longer.”
John murmurs against Sherlock’s back, squeezes Sherlock’s cock once more, and lets him go.
“Over here,” John says, tugging Sherlock by the wrist to turn him, pull him towards the desk.
It’s three steps from here to there, and Sherlock can’t take his eyes from John’s face as he walks those three steps.
Sherlock slides both hands across the desk, pushing papers and books off the far side as he clears space for himself. Then he leans down, elbows and forearms and stomach on the desk, cock hanging in empty space, legs spread, knees soft. John’s palm is warm and rough on Sherlock’s left thigh; the side of the Browning is cool and smooth on his right. John pushes between Sherlock’s legs.
“John … ”
“Get my gun kit.”
Sherlock frowns, confused and too drugged with sensation to resent it. He reaches across the desk, extracts the small cloth roll from the still open drawer, offers it over his left shoulder. John takes it from him, sets the Browning down next to Sherlock’s right elbow. Sherlock lifts his hand, touches his fingertips contemplatively to the sheened metal. John tosses the open cloth onto the desk again. Sherlock glances, sees that there’s only the tools left in it.
His body curls in on itself, a shock of arousal driving his breath out in a loud gasp.
“You’re not -- ”
“ – going to fuck you using gun oil?” John goads. “Yes, I really am.”
“Oh God,” Sherlock groans, dropping his head, rounding his spine, unashamedly offering himself.
John unbuttons his jeans, pushes them and his underwear down onto his thighs, gathers the front edge of his tee shirt up and catches it in his teeth. His cock’s completely hard, his glans almost completely exposed. He flips the cap of the small can’s nozzle, starts drizzling oil onto the palm of his left hand. The stream’s thin, and it takes some time for him get enough oil out. Sherlock shifts impatiently, stirs his hips. John finally gets sufficient oil to slick down the shaft of his cock and rub around his glans. Then there’s another pause of endless seconds while he re-oils his fingers, recaps the can one-handed and drops it back onto his gun-kit. Sherlock’s shoulder blades flex inside his skin, and he brings one hand up to the back of his own bowed head, long pale fingers threading through dark waves. John slides his fingers down the open cleft of Sherlock’s behind, smearing oil as he goes. Sherlock’s fingers clench in his hair. John wipes his palm along the underside of Sherlock’s balls. Sherlock’s shoulders hunch, straining until the sharp crests of his vertebrae stretch his skin.
John shifts one hand to himself, the other to Sherlock’s hip. John leans back a bit, watching himself as he rubs the head of his cock down the cleft of Sherlock’s behind, down and over and below Sherlock’s anus. The ring of muscle eases, flexes, eases again. Sherlock’s breath sounds like a sob, half-muffled against his own forearm. John drags the head of his cock upwards again, down again. Sherlock groans loudly, the hand clutched in his own hair white-knuckled. John sets the head of his cock to Sherlock’s anus, leans just enough to keep it in place despite the traitorous slip of oil, and spits his tee shirt out from his teeth. The wrinkled cotton falls down to his navel, then unfolds a little lower.
“Do you need -- ”
“ -- no,” Sherlock growls, “just -- God, just fuck me.”
John pushes forwards through the grip of his own fingers around his shaft into the grip of Sherlock’s body, shifting his hand from himself to Sherlock’s other hip as his cock sinks deeper, and then all the way in.
Sherlock cries out, a long low cry that waivers and then fails as his lungs empty. His hand falls from the back of his head, slaps down onto the desk, fingers clawed on the worn surface of the wood.
“God, good, yes,” he grinds.
John pulls back a little, pushes in again, just settling himself, but Sherlock whines in pleasure. John leans in, pushing another high breath sound from Sherlock, and picks the Browning up again. Sherlock squirms restlessly around the pressure of John’s cock inside him. John thumbs the hammer back, and Sherlock’s hands clench into fists and his breath punches out. He starts to snake his hips, rubbing himself forwards and back along John’s cock. John puts his free hand on Sherlock’s back, just riding the long shift of the muscles under Sherlock’s skin.
He touches the muzzle of the Browning to the back of Sherlock’s skull.
“God -- oh God,” Sherlock gasps.
He’s got a sort of rhythm going, a deep, deliberate roll of his hips that pushes and pulls John’s cock inside his body. John drags the Browning downwards, down the nape of Sherlock’s neck and between his shoulder blades, and his free hand goes back to Sherlock’s hip. Sherlock whines, shoves back more aggressively.
“That -- is fucking incredible,” John says hoarsely.
“God -- God,” Sherlock chokes, hips kicking as he fucks himself a little faster.
The Browning’s muzzle digs harder, and John’s fingertips bite deeper. His hips shift, moving in counterpoint to Sherlock’s increasingly ruthless pushes and grinds.
“Yes, come on,” Sherlock gasps. “Come on.”
John jerks forwards, and Sherlock cries out at the intensity of the pleasure. His elbows skid on the desk under the impact, but John thoughtfully yanks him back by the hip so that he’s in position for the next thrust, and the next after that.
Sherlock’s frantic now, just shoving and twisting ruthlessly, his body just a grasping pit that demands more and more. He’s hyperventilating so badly that his fingertips prickle and his vision sparkles darkly. He’s very distantly aware that he’s going to hurt like shit later, but pain’s a theoretical right now whereas pleasure is the only thing holding his muscles onto his bones. His bare feet slip, smear on the rug as the bodily urge to brace and thrust fights with the absolute necessity of hanging low enough for John to fuck him.
“John -- John.”
“Christ all fucking mighty,” John snarls, one hand pinning Sherlock at the back of the neck while the other digs the muzzle of the Browning into his back.
Sherlock gasps, sobs, keens. Every thrust of John’s cock shoves him forwards, makes his own cock bounce, makes his blood beat forwards and back in his balls. Sherlock fists both hands, fingernails cutting into his palms.
… too good, can’t be happening, too impossibly good …
“John – oh God, I’m going to come,” Sherlock sobs.
The muscles of his thighs start to shake. He struggles again against the desperate need to stretch them, stress them, give his body what it needs to make this happen, but if he does he’ll push himself up and off John’s cock. Something shudders inside him, expansive, expanding.
“I’m coming,” Sherlock says, though it’s not true in that split second but the certainty is there, the delicious certainty of it.
John laughs, a single sharp peal. His hips kick even more viciously, and Sherlock just comes, comes apart.
“I’m coming,” Sherlock groans, as his body spasms brutally around John’s cock.
His own cock jerks, over and over, semen striping out hard enough to almost hurt. John thrusts right through the contractions, thrusts right into the bright aftershocks wracking Sherlock’s body. The muzzle of the Browning skids in the sweat on Sherlock’s back.
“I’m close,” John gasps. “I’m sorry, I -- ”
His hips jerk, stop, stutter one more time as Sherlock’s body reels back into existence, every damn thing from his scalp to his shins aching. John groans loudly in relief and folds forwards onto Sherlock’s back. After a breathless moment John pulls the Browning out from between them and drops it on the desk. He peels back from Sherlock, both of them groaning as his cock comes out of Sherlock’s body. John stumbles a bit and then rights himself with one hand on Sherlock’s hip.
“That was -- that’s -- bloody hell,” he says.
Sherlock nods, his head rocking loosely. He straightens his legs gingerly, muscles burning and joints creaking as they take his weight again. He stands up, grimacing at the red line scored across his stomach by the edge of the desk. There’s an idiot drool of semen hanging from his foreskin. He’d be disgusted if he had the energy. Instead he twists against the edge of the desk, turns to face John again.
John picks up his discarded shirt and uses it to clean himself up a bit before throwing it at Sherlock. John pulls his underwear and jeans up on his hips a bit, blunders backwards until he finds the end of the coffee table and sits down on it. Sherlock wrinkles his nose in distaste at John’s shirt, but still uses it to wipe a selection of the biological debris off himself, then slides downwards and sits with a bump on the rug. The two of them stare at each other in faintly dismayed disbelief.
“So. Guns,” John says rather loudly.
“Apparently,” Sherlock says. “Though … I’ve had men point guns at me before and it was … a different dynamic entirely. Different and … not arousing.”
John spreads his right hand, contemplates his palm carefully.
“That’s three times,” he says without looking up.
Sherlock doesn’t answer for quite a while, but John just sits with his head bent and his hand open.
“That’s the one that’s considered a charm, isn’t it?” Sherlock says finally, his eyes and mouth expressionless but his voice as warm as he can make it.
John lifts his head, and his smile comes slowly but so surely.
“I’m going to bed,” he says, standing up. “Don’t shoot anything, okay?”
Sherlock closes his eyes and turns his head briefly, as if to say of course not. John flaps a hand resignedly as he walks out of the room. Sherlock drops his head back against the edge of the desk, his mouth curling into a suppressed smirk. Then his smirk warms into a smile, and his smile widens until he’s sitting naked on a rug stained with his own semen and grinning like a complete fool.