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Starvation.

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They're still just strangers. Bonding doesn't make a difference like that. It's strange and disorienting and nauseating.

They're strangers but they'll feel each other soon, understand each other's emotions. They are each other's comfort now despite knowing nothing.

The timid Omega laying naked besides the confident Alpha does not know his second name, doesn't know what his favourite colour is. What he does on the weekends or for a living, if he even has a living, he looks around him.

The bedroom is nicely decorated and the bed isn't cheap, four-poster, wood. Sturdy. He must have money.

The tired Alpha keeps his eyes shut and breath shallow, thinks about his options, a Bond is irreversible. That's why there are guards to wear, pills to take, precautions to follow to prevent situations like this from happening. There are helplines, support groups and therapy you can take when these things happen.

He wonders if the Omega laying besides him will stay. He has to at some point, whether this shit works out or not, they're together for life now. They cannot be apart. But he doesn't have to stay immediately.

Maybe he has family, a sister or father. Maybe he works or he's a student, he looks young enough to be, maybe he's just him. John groans internally and wishes he could curl up in on himself and pretend like this isn't happening.

That would be cruel, to make the Omega, his Omega, do everything first. It's his fault he didn't put on a guard.

"Do you have any coffee?" His voice is like honey and musical and makes him shiver and his cock stir, they may be strangers but that doesn't mean he doesn't find him attractive still. He opens his eyes and finds large ones gazing back at him.

If they were a normal couple, normal, he snorts at the word, if they had Bonded under different circumstances, John wouldn't be getting coffee any time soon.

"Yeah," He says and starts to move out of the bed, he's hard, morning wood helped by the fact that the Omega is still in his bed, he cups himself as he moves, feels the Omega watching him as he moves.

"Want me to bring you a cup?" It's an open question, open invitation to be followed, he moves, reaches for a random top within his reach while one arm holds the duvet to his chest, John turns to give him some privacy.

"You don't mind?" Another open question, John turns back and watches as the Omega climbs out of the bed, graceful with long legs and slim arms, he shakes his head. He was talking about the top that goes to his thighs, covers the area John remembers starving for only a few hours ago. He clears his throat and leads the Omega out of his room. Their room.

"I have some stuff in the fridge if you're hungry?" John offers as they enter the kitchen, Mrs. Hudson has probably been and gone judging from how tidy the place is, he glances at the clock above the doorway, he has a few hours before the gates of hell are opened.

"Food would be welcome." He says quietly, sitting at the breakfast table in the corner as he looks around, runs a hand through his messy curls, John finds the action distracting, momentarily.

He sets about starting coffee and breakfast as the Omega looks around the kitchen.

His gaze doesn't focus on anything in particular, things are pristine and expensive, he wonders how the Alpha affords all of these things? He finds something to focus on, pictures, clusters pinned messily to a cork board above the sink and besides the only window. He recognises the Alpha.

He's younger, a few years maybe, he's with people all grinning and laughing, happiness brims from it, he's in another one, a blonde woman standing besides him and a bundle in his arms, she doesn't look his sister.

He's with friends, bare chested and tanned, a slightly bigger baby in his arms. The baby reappears until she blossoms into a little girl with golden curls and a toothy grin of milk teeth, she looks like him.

The sounds of kettle boiling and eggs frying and the smell of bacon breaks through the realisation.

"You're not vegetarian or something, are you?" He's looking over his shoulder at him, he meets his gaze and shakes his head, chews his bottom lip as he looks away.

There is confliction in his belly over the pictures of the Alpha and his daughter. His Alpha.

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They sit opposite each other, questions on their tongues and awkwardness in their spines. Unsure of how to proceed. Teetering precariously on a knife's edge, inches from being sliced in two by the blade.

Sherlock doesn't ask about the photos. About the daughter suspects, knows, he has. About the woman who should be sleeping in his bed. About the scars littering his body that should strike fear from how he got them.

John doesn't ask about the ring on his finger. Doesn't ask about the implications it holds. Doesn't ask about the faint track marks in his arms. They don't discuss the obligations they are now under.

They sit, they eat and they suffer, all until a phone rings crisp and cutting, dicing the atmosphere with one swift movement, the Alpha stands, pardons himself as he does, heads out the door to answer the phone, the Omega remains in his seat, fidgets ever so awkwardly as he hears the Alpha's muffled voice, there is tension.

He's curious, turns and leans and cranes his neck to hear better. A muffled one side to a fight, he wonders who it is. Snatched words and sentences.

'We have agreements -' Sherlock's heart paces

'If it were the other way -' Sherlock's stomach twists.

John's voice is drowned out by the clear ring of the doorbell, Sherlock gets up, stands in the doorway as the Alpha growls under his breath and places the phone down, goes out the door, despite only being dressed in a pair of silk black boxers. The muscles in his broad back are defined and tensed as he disappears, the Omega is left standing. Feeling out-of-place.

Sherlock guesses, seconds before the reveal, who is at the door. The scent changes in the air, its in his nature, his instinct to know the scent, for a part of him to crave it. The scent of a young pup. He swallows down the carnal need, itch, emptiness, it evokes in his belly and in his heart. This is not the place and this is not the time to start a Heat. Its a simple biological reaction, newly Mated, about to meet a pup belonging to said Mate, wanting to prove that he could provide for his Alpha was just biology. For now.

"Rosie, wait - " The door swings open and John's voice is too late, the same tiny girl from the photos comes running into the home, bringing her own light as she runs, she giggles and spins and enters the flat with a boundless joy that children possess so easily. Sherlock is too stunned to move, to hide from sight and he is immediately spotted by the young pup.

"Hello!" She beams at the young Omega, toothy grin meeting him as he smiles awkwardly back at her, aware that he is not dressed appropriately for a first meeting with his new stepdaughter. This little creature, Rosie, it doesn't seem so foreign to call her his daughter, unlike calling her father his Mate.

"Who are you?" The question is heavy, even if she's only little and curious and innocent, Sherlock's mouth opens and shuts trying to find a way to answer, what on earth was he meant to say to her exactly? He's thankful when the door opens behind Rosie, distracts both of their attention as John walks in and the woman from the photos walks in behind him, they exchange a quick glance of panic, of play-along. It is a silent agreement that is unnoticed.

The woman stops when she sees Sherlock, surprised shock on her face as Rosie goes running to her, skipping and bouncing until John sweeps her effortlessly up in his arm, chiding her lovingly with nicknames, 'mischief,' 'nosy pie,' 'cheeky.'

"Well, this is quite the introduction!" She finally speaks, seeming to regain herself as she stretches a hand out to mine, John watches us as I meet her hand with my own, smiling as she smiles at me, the same sort of shocked stare still on her face as she looks at me, studies me, I fidget and I'm aware she has probably seen the fresh bites on my neck and throat.

"Jesus! Sorry, I just had no idea you two were so serious," Her gaze lands to the bite marks briefly before she glances between John and I, he's distracted with Rosie in his arms and I remain silent and still, unsure of how to proceed, this was never a scenario in my head, never a path I thought I would one day go down. What was I supposed to do? Say? Was there even anything?

"John only told me about you a few weeks ago - " She trails off and I work hard to keep my face an acceptable level of blank, I play along, acting out or asking questions now would only ruin whatever is already at play.

"And he definitely didn't tell me how beautiful you are, or young." She adds as an almost afterthought, I try not to laugh with hysteria as John clears his throat, we turn to him.

"Mary, didn't you say you were in a rush." He prompts, raising his eyebrows as she takes the hint and smiles at me before stepping closer to John to say goodbye to Rosie.

"Bye-bye, baby girl." She coos, kissing her delicate curls before saying goodbye to me once more and heading back out the door, leaving John and I with Rosie and even more questions and conversations between us than just a few short minutes ago.

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"Mary already seemed to know about me?" It's the question that burns Sherlock's curiosity the most, his thoughts can't focus and sort through how she may have known about him, did she think he was a different Omega? Was John already Bonded? Was she trying to make him feel uncomfortable? Trying to prove a point? His mind began to race as John stood sheepishly in the kitchen doorway, having put Rosie, in what Sherlock had assumed was, her bedroom. He clears his throat and wrings his hands as Sherlock waits for his explanation with eager ears.

"I uh, I lied." John gains confidence as he speaks, straightens his back and clears his throat while Sherlock stares at him no less confused. Was it a good thing he'd lied? What had he lied about? Was it serious? Lied to who? Mary or him? Sherlock's apparent confusion was easy to read as John continued to elaborate.

"Mary and I have been separated for the best part of a year now, we were never Bonded, we didn't have that kind of relationship." There's a twisted joke in there somewhere, Sherlock thinks, considering their own present situation.

"I told Mary, not that long ago, that I had found myself an Omega and things were going well. Mary believed this and thinks this is you because of - Well, you know the rest." John says a tad awkwardly towards the end as Sherlock leans back in his seat and thinks over what he's said, more questions bubbling away under the surface as John fixes fresh coffee.

"What kind of a relationship did you have then? It's rare for an Alpha to father a pup without some sort of attachment to the mother. And why did you even create a relationship? What possessed you to do such a thing?" Sherlock asks quickly as John sets a cup down on the table in front of him before movinh to a spot against the counter, inside the kitchen.

"Uh, um, it, I - " John struggles with his words as he tries to answer without insulting Sherlock or Mary while also being honest enough that it doesn't raise any more questions. He thinks until Sherlock snaps at him to answer, even if he doesn't think about what he's saying.

"We had a one night stand, six months later Mary came back and told me about Rosie. We tried being a happy family, lasted for a while and then it sort of just broke down. Mary moved out with Rosie and we're currently sorting out custody that works for both of us. Mary's work is - " John pauses and thinks for a moment on how to best word what Mary does.

"Mary's work fluctuates." He settles finally as Sherlock hums and sips his coffee, he tries to get over the irrational panic he feels after learning that this isn't the first one night stand that's gone wrong for John, it's stupid, they're Bonded, it's different between them but Sherlock still feels an unsettled feeling in his belly.

"Doesn't explain why you lied about being in a relationship." He says setting his drink back on the table as John nods and moves to sit opposite Sherlock, sighing as he scratches the stubble covering his jaw. Sherlock's gut twists at that, he suppresses the feeling the moment it arises.

"Mary's been dating someone for a little while now, things are serious, she was over a few weeks ago, with Rosie and the partner, and relationships came up, some banter between him and I started and I just found myself saying things that weren't true when his banter became a bit more personal than I would've liked." Sherlock scoffs and runs his fingers through his hair and regards John silently.

Classic Alpha pride getting in the way and creating awkward situations. He wonders how John would have gotten out of his lie had this whole situation not arose, that's a question for another time however as Sherlock finally takes note of the time and realises with a horrifying jolt that its nearly eleven in the morning and he should have been at the wedding rehearsal two hours ago.

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It's a bright hot July 9th day, Sherlock feels completely terrible upon leaving John's flat and realises with a quiet mortification that he's far closer to where he's meant to be than he'd like, he jumps into the cab John had called for him a few moments ago and starts his journey to face the music, something Sherlock never enjoyed doing.

He wonders with panic how he'll play off his appearance, how he'll explain why he stinks of sex and Rut and Alpha that is not his Alpha, what he'll do when the truth has to come out, the cab stops outside the busy Italian restaurant, he can see his family and friends already there, seated and eating. Laughing and chattering away. He panics and lets the panic take him, tells the driver to go somewhere else, he drives away from the consequences as his phone buzzes with another missed call from his sister. He silently vows to make it up to her.

The driver drops him outside his flat and he tips him for his speediness. He walks up the steep four flights of stairs and collapses into his sofa the moment he is inside the flat. Exhaustion runs over his body, ideally when you Bonded with an Alpha you stayed in bed for the next how-ever-many days and fucked and just basked in each others company while the Bond grows and strengthens, but Sherlock wasn't with John and he didn't have time to bask in anything other than panic and anxiety and guilt and frustration.

He wallows for a little while until he becomes too paranoid about how he smells and leaps from the sofa and goes for a long bath. Pouring as many oils and salts in the water as possible in the hopes to mask whatever he smells of, probably John and slick and Rut and Alpha and Bond. He sinks into the water until his chin is partly submerged, shuts his eyes and inhales the steamy air. his neck itches where he was bitten, John's meant to scent the bite by lapping at it and nuzzling it but he's not here so Sherlock just lets it drown in the water and hopes a few stylish scarves will do the job of hiding it until it is less angry and obvious.

He washes his hair several times over, combing it through and putting it back in a braid, his hair is only just long enough to do so now, he lays back in the cooling water and shuts his eyes, he should get out but instead he lays lower and falls into a slumber of exhaustion -

"Sherlock? Sherlock! Oh my god, you're absolutely freezing!" I open my eyes, everything's blurry and Molly's leaning over me, fussing as she's pulling me out the tub, scolding me like an upset mother as she gets me out onto unsteady feet and wraps a tower around my body, this is the moment I realises how cold I am, I'm shaking as Molly rubs my arms up and down trying to warm me as she rambles. I don't understand what she's saying and I don't try to as she sets my shaking body on the closed toilet seat and wraps me up into a second towel.

"God! How long have you been in there? Do you want to get sick?" She's still scolding as she rubs me down and then she freezes and I start to cry.

"Sherlock? What happened? What happened to your neck?" I sob and fall into her like a shamed child, cling to her body and sob and bury my head into her chest as she hugs me and reassures me everything will be okay.

I know all too well that things won't be, not for a long time.

I cling to her and hope that this has all just been a nightmare, a terrible dream I'm just waking up from but I know all too well that is just a childish want. Out-of-reach and unattainable.

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Molly gets me dressed and takes me to my bedroom, it smells all wrong and the nest feels wrong against my skin, I fuss and we instead go into the spare room, she puts my head on her chest and strokes the few curls that have come loose from my braid, holds me until I'm ready to talk.

She thinks I've been raped, I'm behaving like I've been raped, I haven't, even if I've only known him a matter of hours I know John would never do such a thing.

Everything's too much to process. The flat making it harder, constant steady reminders of my betrayal.

Photos of the two of us, happy and laughing. Furniture brought together, decorations gifted to each other. The reminders press in on me like a snake around my throat.

I hide my face in her when she asks what's happened, if something has happened, I start to cry again and she holds me closer and waits. I know I'm safe as long as Molly's with me. Safe from the questions of my family and the person who I've tried not to think of since this all started.

"Do you want me to call someone?" Molly's voice is soft and quiet as she kisses the crown of my head and runs her hands up and down my back, I shake my head and try to speak, knowing who she wants to call, failing as my tongue feels too heavy in my mouth.

Silence lapses into the room as time goes by. Things are still and solid and wrong.

Sherlock can't focus as his body battles guilt and shame and shakes with every breath. He's destroyed everything. Like he always does.

His phone buzzes and Molly picks it up, opens and reads the text with a sort of tired sadness. He knows without her having to say anything who it is.

"He's on his way home."

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His mind doesn't stay fixed on any one thing as he sits, waiting, in their living-room, his living-room. Hands folded in his lap as he keeps his breath rhythmic and slow, the calm before the storm. His thoughts wonder, restless, jumping from one rotting lily pad to another.

He'd have to rent the flat, or maybe even sell it? He already couldn't stand the smell, or the feel of his nest. Things would only escalate as time went by. As the Bond grew. He'd start to miss John's scent soon enough, his touch and presence. He dreaded that, the idea of that level of dependence.

Of course after the initial storm would past there would still be the fallout to deal with. The heartbreak to clean up, not his own but - He doesn't let himself think of that yet. Ignores the reality, pushes it into a tiny box in the corner of his mind, he'll let it overflow when the times comes and the moment is right but for now he tapes down the flaps and sits on it, holds it together.

There would have to be a discussion, decision, who would get what? The gifts they'd received from their friends, would they keep them? Who would take what? Return them? Sherlock could imagine that with unbearable shame.

The mixture of sympathetic and silent judgemental faces as he'd go round like a postman. He thought about telling his family with dread bubbling away in his belly. How his father would probably never let it go, the ashamed way his mother would look at him once he told them everything. He'd be like all those Omegas then, the ones she used to talk about with scornful judgement. Wanton Sluts. That's what she used to call them. The Omegas like Sherlock, the ones who get Bonded on one night stands or during sleazy affairs.

She would always blame them when it happened. Never the Alpha. The fault only ever lay with the whore Omega.

He wiped away the stray tears that fell down his cheeks and buried his face in his hands, shaking as he heard the front door open and shut. The dreaded sounds of his feet walking through the flat, stopping in the doorway as Sherlock wiped his face and laid down on the sofa in some attempt to look less distraught.

Panic and denial wash over him.

"Hey, baby." He greeted, tone warm and tired as he crossed the room, leaning over the back of the sofa to kiss Sherlock, frowning when Sherlock shrugs away from the touch. The idea of another Alpha's lips touching his skin making Sherlock squirm away from his touch, furthering his guilt.

"What's wrong, baby?" His voice is soft and concerned as he runs his fingers through Sherlock's soft locks, he whimpers and covers his face with his shirt weakly, aware of how close he is to losing everything, more than just his emotions.

"Just a migraine." He mutters lowly as he shakes through his lies, stomach rolling as his hand continued stroking through his curls, he radiates concern and confusion, confusion as to why he isn't helping, why he isn't calming.

"Do you want to be left?" It's a question never asked before, it never needed to be asked, Sherlock nods weakly, guiltily.

Ashamed at his cowardice as Victor kisses his head before he retreats back, leaving Sherlock to his shame and guilt on the sofa in the darkness. A part of him wishes that he hadn't sent Molly away so quickly, that he hadn't been brave enough to tell her what happened.

Now he's just alone and feels empty without John besides him, which makes him feel worst.

It's a cycle until Sherlock falls asleep on the sofa.

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Sherlock leaves in a flurry, he doesn't give much detail as he throws on the ridiculous clothes he'd been wearing the previous night, John calls him a cab and doesn't ask questions, restrains himself, he doesn't want to be overbearing, doesn't want to push what boundaries are left between the two of them. After all, he's just sprung a child on him, he's allowed to keep things to himself.

The flat seems duller when he's gone, quiet despite Rosie playing noisily in her room, he sits where he had and drinks the remainder of his coffee, sighing and contemplative. Things weren't so messy now, contained despite Mary's interruption, but he knew things wouldn't last. Learnt this the hard way last time. John considers berating himself for being so careless, for how he's acted and ended up in such a mess again. Arguably this is messier. He weighs them up while he finishes his coffee and when he can't find a conclusion satisfactory he gets up and goes to check up on Rosie.

She's content and clueless, playing with her soldiers and Lego in the centre of her room, babbling away happily and for a second John thinks of the future. A future he hadn't considered since Mary had left him. One where, maybe, in a good few years, Rosie would be able to play with a brother or sister, maybe both or two of the same. It's a fraction of a second's hope, gone before it blossoms into a want but its there nonetheless.

"Shall we go to the park today, Princess? Feed the ducks and play on the climbing frames?" John offers, smiling as he goes to sit besides Rosie, picking up one of the small Lego men and marching him towards a Barbie Rosie had sat down to drink tea, she nods and makes exploding noises as she takes out a fake pie from her Lego oven. John stays for awhile to play with his daughter, until its lunch time and time to get dressed.

Rosie helps him make sandwiches by passing him slices of ham and cheese when he asks and packs her sand toys while John showers and dresses. Its the kind of quality time that John knows he'll cherish in his memories when Rosie gets older. They walk hand-in-hand down the road and across the street to the park. Rosie skips ahead when the slide and swings comes into view, John laughing and walking behind her with a bag full of toys and a basket with their lunch and a blanket inside.

"Daddy! Come push me!" Rosie calls eagerly as he sets the basket and bag down, pulls the large red material and throws it out flat against the ground. Keeps an eye on Rosie as he sets up their lunch, again lets his mind wonder just for a second longer than this morning, what it would be like to have Sherlock with them on a day like today? He could play with Rosie while John sets up their little area, push her on swings and chase her around climbing frames.

John chuckles at the idea, hope blossoming despite himself, again the vision of a brother or sister for Rosie enters his mind. Maybe they'd come here when Sherlock was restless and heavy with their baby. His mind flies back to the present when Rosie comes running over to him, lands firmly in his lap as he hugs her tight to his chest. She talks, babbles about her imaginary friend, Io, and what they'd been doing while with Mary.

John doesn't think of Sherlock for the rest of his time at the park, consumed by the endless activities Rosie arranges, it and stuck-in-the-mud. Squealing when she's caught in John's arms, he laughs when she squirms and tries to escape, breathless when John finally lets her go and starts chasing her a second later.

By the end of the day Rosie is exhausted and drifting in and out of sleep on the large blanket, her head on John's lap as he runs his fingers through her hair and watches the park slowly empty as evening draws in, it's still light out and warm enough that he doesn't feel the need to rush Rosie home.

He thinks of Sherlock again as he sees Omegas carrying exhausted children on their shoulders or walk by hand-in-hand with their Alphas. He knows there's a long road ahead of them but he feels hopeful that things will work out, he knows the danger of the hope but something in him doesn't want to push it down and out of his mind.

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Victor leaves the next morning without seeing Sherlock.

Sherlock realise this with a flutter in his belly, nervousness mixed with relief and maybe there's a spark of something else. Unidentifiable and just-out-of-reach. Sherlock's mind races when he realises Victor isn't in their bedroom, his bedroom, the bedroom, maybe Victor figured it out? Smelt it on Sherlock? Saw the telltale bites? Or maybe he sensed it? Took off without a word, avoiding a futile fight and a struggle to see where the fault lies? His mind stops racing when he enters the kitchen and spots the usual note in the usual place. Pinned to the fridge door besides that weeks grocery list.

An emergency at work requiring him to go in last minute. The hope disappears, Sherlock realises the unidentifiable feeling was hope. He doesn't dwell on the loss of this feeling.

Sherlock isn't surprised he's at work, happens often enough that it's partly to be expected.

He mopes around his flat for awhile afterward finding the note, avoids his bedroom, the rest of the flat is starting to smell wrong too but he ignores this fact with bitter determination. Sits on the counter top, eating an excessive amount of his Crave cereal as he swings his legs and tries not to think of the three English essays he has yet to write. He doesn't want to give in and call John but the temptation only grows the harder he tries to ignore it. He gives up when his cereal is all gone and the smell of Victor begins to irritate him more than make him unsettled. Not to mention the smashing of three bowls out of frustration.

John's home, Rosie's still with him, will be for the next two weeks, this is where Sherlock discovers John's a prestigious Surgeon who lives in the countryside. He works in a private practice and when he's in London he lectures at St. Bart's for junior doctors. It's a new subject that throws up more questions, the questions Sherlock has for John feel endless but he comforts and reassures himself with the knowledge that John has just as many questions for Sherlock. That they are in this together, John reminds him of this when Sherlock hesitates about asking to go to him. It's the reassurance he hadn't realised he was craving.

Sherlock takes a cab through the city, internally curses the distance between flats, it won't last. This is something Sherlock's resolved about. He can't stay in the flat.

He gets out of the cab and pays the driver with haste, walking quickly to the doorstep, butterflies in his belly as he presses the doorbell, he's excited, he can't decide if he likes the feeling or not. John opens the door with suspicious quickness, Sherlock flatters himself with the idea that maybe, just maybe, John was waiting for him on the other side of the door, the idea makes Sherlock smile and Sherlock's smile makes John smile in return as they stay on the doorstep.

There's no denying it's awkward, they've fucked, they've Knotted and they've been as intimate as they could ever be but they're still practically strangers. Are they meant to hug? To kiss like they're only just getting past causal dating? John moves aside to let Sherlock in when the moment has past, he steps past him and starts for the stairs, John following behind him. Informing him that Mrs. Hudson has gone shopping and took Rosie with her.

"I hope that's okay?" He adds as they enter the flat, Sherlock chuckles as he kicks of his trainers, looking at John as he stands sheepishly by the door, it's amusing to see and apparently John's clueless as he raises his eyebrows in question, Sherlock shakes his head at him.

"You make it sound like I'm only here for your daughter." He says, teasing, John's cheeks go a little red and he flouts about with half formed words, Sherlock puts him out of his misery after a few minutes.

"Have you eaten? Only I was hoping we could make use of your kitchen?" Sherlock asks as he starts for the kitchen, his bag full of groceries slipping from his shoulder to hand as John follows.

"Lunch would be welcome, although, I must warn you, my cooking skills are limited." John warns humorously as Sherlock sets the bag down on the table and goes to wash his hands at the sink, he chuckles and turns to look over at John as he begins to unpack the mystery bag.

"Don't worry, you've got me now." They chuckle but the words linger in the air between them as John gets out a cutting board and hands Sherlock a knife. When you're young and learning you're always warned about the dangers of an accidental Bond, how Alphas can't control themselves once they've got an Omega for life, how Omegas lose all agency, serving only as walking wombs. Sherlock sees why these tactics are necessary, how they can work, but he can also see what they don't tell you.

The growth of trust that is almost instantaneous, the shared comfort and ease that blossoms through simple conversation and interaction. He realises with comfort that maybe an accidental Bonding isn't such a shameful, dirty secret that he had first thought. That maybe he could still have his happily ever after, even if it was with a different Alpha than the one he had first envisioned.

Maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Chapter Text


They do it backwards. Skip over the little things, how they like their tea in the morning and what their favourite TV show is. Instead they discuss a living plan, how they'll manage Rosie and what they'll tell people when it comes out that they're together.

Sherlock glazes over that part of their discussion, plays it off as being nervous and wanting to tell his family in his own time.

But that's only one side of it.

He doesn't want to deal with the fallout from his parents, that part is true, that being the only reason is not true. He feels terrible for lying to John. It's a heavy weight on his mind and in his chest, not being honest with him, being dishonest to his Alpha.

But he's just not ready to tell him, for them to have that discussion. He will, soon, when the Bond is stronger and the dust around them has settled and he doesn't feel so scared by the idea of John finding out.

He knows he should think of Victor more, worry about him finding out, about his reaction and how they'll go on.

He doesn't, he feels terrible because he doesn't. Knows he should, knows his lack of concern says more than he wishes it would.

Once they've decided on a few of the larger things they move on to the smaller.

They finish cooking and sit and eat what Sherlock has made, John asks Sherlock questions. Simple, light, to resist making new questions along the way. He doesn't ask about the ring on Sherlock's finger.

They're both aware of it. Overly sensitive to it.

John asks Sherlock the basics. He establishes that Sherlock's twenty-one, on his second year of University studying English Literature.

He has an older brother and younger sister. His parents are married. His sister is engaged.

John and Sherlock don't acknowledge the question that piece of information throws up.

Will John go to the wedding with Sherlock? It's too soon to ask but given their situation - John moves on to his next question, clearing his throat as Sherlock takes a sip of water.

The diamond glitters in the gold band. Glitters like a sign.

'Me. Me. Me. Me! Look at me! Ask about me!' It seems to scream at him.

"Are you engaged, Sherlock?" The question bursts into the space between them. Sherlock chokes on his drink, stares at John like he's a deer caught in the headlights.

John feels sick when he doesn't get an immediate 'no.'

There is an abyss between them.

Splitting wider and wider with each second that passes between them. Silence, ticking by like the needles of a clock.

Sherlock doesn't move, speak, he seems to have frozen. John mirrors him.

"Are you engaged?" He repeats, tense like a coil ready to spring free. Sherlock looks away guiltily.

Ashamed.

The next question bursts through just like the second but it cannot be ignored. The fast fading track marks in his arms flare just as brightly as the diamond.

"Are you an addict, Sherlock?" Sherlock bolts at the question.

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The questions break something in Sherlock. A piece of string or coil already at breaking point simply letting go. He separates the two questions. Splits them. The first he blames habit. It's habit that made him put the ring back on, he almost didn't notice it, until he was sitting opposite John and saw him looking at it. Realising all too late that it's another wall between them.

Too late to take back, slip off and away in his pocket.

The second question he blames himself for. He doesn't have any words that say what he wants. His mind feels like a static TV screen, feels confined and choked by the four walls of the kitchen, the overpowering smell of food. He needs to get away. His body starts moving. Bolts out the door, hears the chair crash after him from impact. He can't bring himself to face the questions, it's easier to run. In this second it's easier to run.

He reaches the front door, knows and hears John rushing after him, like a hound on a fox hunt. Sherlock is the fox. He yanks the door open and has a foot over the threshold when he feels the air leave his lungs and feels choked, John's wrapping around his middle, impactful as he's yanked back into the flat. The door crashes shut as Sherlock struggles against John's grip, kicks and thrashes into the air as he fights John's hold.

They sinker deeper into the flat. Sherlock's too terrified to stop, kicking wildly, hoping John would drop him if he was injured bad enough, Sherlock knows it's a futile attempt. John's yelling for him to calm down, they enter John's bedroom, smells flood his senses, overpowering John, he can smell himself. He feels calmer here despite it not officially being his room, his home.

John throws him onto the bed, Sherlock scrambles wildly to get up and away but John's faster and he's on top of Sherlock in seconds, pinning him by his legs and wrists to the bed on his back, their bodies pressed against each other. John is heavy and solid, Sherlock is soft and sunken. John stares at him as he thrashes against his hold, pleads wildly to be let free. Says all the things he means and doesn't mean. John snaps when Sherlock says he shouldn't have a broken Omega as a Bondmate.

It's a sharp pain, intense and terrifying, hot liquid follows, sweet metallic. He goes limp, like he's a puppet without master. He lets John push his jaw back, tilts his head so he has the perfect angle at his throat, laps wildly at the oozing blood. It looks like a horror scene, like he's torn the jugular and he's bleeding out. He's not.

"I'm here." He's feral in his ear, Sherlock whines helplessly as his throat is cleaned, his body feels fuzzy, mind exhausted. It's a high he's never had before. It's not heroin or coke or meth, it's a purer feeling, something knots and releases in his belly. It's like an orgasm while high but it's not. He feels slick between his legs as a reaction, can feel John's erection pressing against him, he's not the only one having a high -

"We are together in this." John says when the blood stops and Sherlock's body has recovered, when time has past when they are lying besides each other on John's bed, on top of the covers and fully clothed.

"I will not leave you, ever." John promises as they lay besides each other but not touching, fully clothed and on their backs, staring up at the ceiling. It's not a lie, or a silly promise to tell a frenzied Omega to calm them, it's the truth.

"We really do need to stop ending up like this." Sherlock says into the quiet, when the dust has settled and he feels less terrified by the idea of talking, John chuckles and dares to take Sherlock's hand into his, fingers softly entwining, he lets his fingers brush the diamond and the band, acknowledges it.

"Tell me about who gave you this?" It's a softer question, Sherlock breathes through the craving to run and waits for the feeling to settle and disappear before he speaks.

"His name's Victor, we've known each other - " He pauses and thinks as tears roll soundless down his cheeks. He wants these feelings to go, feelings for Victor, they aren't the same as they were only a few days ago. Sherlock doesn't want him anymore, doesn't think about him or look at him the way he did before Bonding with John. If he's honest with himself he hasn't looked at Victor like that for a long time.

"We've known each other a long time." Sherlock says finally, feels John's gaze on him as he continues looking up at the ceiling, chest rising and falling rhythmically.

"He asked me to marry him nearly four years ago." He continues, voice wavering, he despises how it sounds as he speaks. How ugly the relationship is, was, hates how fucking stupid he's been. Hates that its taken an accidental Bond to make him wake up and see the cracks and flaws in it.

"We haven't been okay for a long time, this - " Sherlock gestures briefly between himself and John with his free hand, takes a shuddering breath, feels John squeezes his hand in support. Silent and solid. It's what he needs.

"This probably happened for the best. We couldn't have gone on for much longer - It's better that I Bonded with you than with Victor." Sherlock says truthfully, turns to look at John, he's looking back at him. There's a moment between them.

It's like an electric shock, lasts for only a split second, a flowing feeling of mutual affection, care, aches and anger and frustration and lust and regret and confusion. Emotions overflowing and overlapping and then being severed just as quickly as they were tied. The Bond allowing an insight to the other's being. It's the first step, a tiny baby step, in the right direction.

The feeling brings them closer, Sherlock moves, crawls onto John, straddles his lap and leans over him, they kiss.

Soft and chaste, slow. They don't rush, their lips dance and it feels good. Sherlock cups his jaw, presses closer. John's hands rest on his hips, offer comfort as they continue dancing, adding tongue and teeth only when they're ready. There is no rush of adrenaline to sway their movements, no alcohol to loosen clothing.

The first few buttons of John's shirt comes undone, Sherlock loses his trousers, John's erection grinds against his arse while the scent of slick perforates the room. It's a different experience, not quite fucking and not quite love making. It's almost just sex.

John's fingers tangle in Sherlock's hair, he whines in response, hands resting on his bare shoulders to keep him steady. Sherlock pulls back, starts -

"John? The door was wide open - ? Rosie! Don't go running off - !" Rosie's footsteps travel through the flat, Sherlock rolls off of John and works his trousers back on, John does the same, jumping up and grabbing his shirt just as Rosie opens the door and runs in, John only has one button of his shirt done up when Rosie charges for him and he grabs her into his arms. Spins her, dotes on her the second they are together.

Sherlock watches, breathless.

Chapter Text


" - Come on, lets give Sherlock a minute." John says leading Rosie out after she's bombarded the young Omega with endless questions having clearly taken a shine to him after their first meeting. Sherlock feels a flood of relief when he realises this, that there will be no conflict over getting Rosie to like him, he's thankful when John leads her out of their bedroom though.

He adores Rosie, already, but that doesn't make him able to fully connect with her instantly. She wasn't his child after all. It'll take time, Sherlock knows they have time.

Sherlock can hear the housekeeper in the hallway, Mrs. Hudson, talking and scolding John about the door and the kitchen and the hallway, Sherlock supposes he did more damage than he meant to when he was trying to run.

"Sorry." John brings his attention back, looks up to him as he slips inside the bedroom and shuts the door behind him, Sherlock shakes his head, it's nothing, and inhales shakily, feels awkward suddenly, sitting in his bed while he's stood in the corner of the room, shirt now properly on, they don't know how to continue. What happens next? Why isn't there some sort of manual for the stuff?

"So, Victor, does he know - ?" John doesn't know what to call them, 'us' doesn't fit. It's too something that they are not. He can't figure out what it is that makes him frown, Sherlock shakes his head without needing a definition, John doesn't know what that means. Supposes that it's not crazy that he doesn't know. There's a small part, jealous and cruel, that wants to ask why he doesn't know yet. If they're still sharing a bed together, a nest? John buries the bitterness, the cruelty, deep and swallows back the sneers, leans back against the bedroom door and lets his eyelids flutter shut. Waits.

"I don't know how to tell him." Sherlock admits, doesn't admit the second part, the part that won't happen, the part he only thinks of cause of the last time and the time before that and the time -

It's pointless to go in circles, they were last time this is this time. John opens his eyes and studies Sherlock, there are flickers again between them. Fear, nerves, secrets. They're gone just as quickly as they came. John knows there is so much being kept from him when there is so little he is keeping from Sherlock. He knows that if it had happened differently John would probably be explaining he has a daughter.

Frustration flickers into the room, not the Bond but between the two. It's a frustrating and tiring situation, they both feel like it won't ever end.

"Are you going back?" There's an edge to his voice, hurt that threatens to grow, Sherlock looks at him and doesn't know what to say. He knows that this is home now. That home lies irrevocably with John and Rosie. He shrugs, he can't be the one to say he's staying. That's John's decision, there is so much that is Sherlock's decision that he refuses to take this, his only space, his sanctuary, from him.

"Don't."

Chapter Text


Molly's waiting outside the door, as she said she would be, folded up boxes and suitcase besides her. She looks at Sherlock sympathetically, hugs him tightly before she turns more coldly to John, there's an underlying hint of anger towards him, distrust, John doesn't hold the dislike against her. He wouldn't like himself if the situations were switched. Molly clearly only cares for Sherlock, he likes her for that.

"Are you sure you don't want to come back with me? I've got room." She offers sweetly to Sherlock as he clings to her, shakes his head against her shoulder, much to John's relief. He knows it's a selfish relief. That he shouldn't put his feelings before his Omega's but he can't help it. Some deep rooted Alpha instinct screaming for him to hold his Omega close and fend off any hint of threat or aggression. To protect him.

It keeps the guilt at a tolerable level.

She sighs and accepts his decision, kisses him chastely before letting him go, squeezes his hand tightly as Sherlock produces his key to unlock the front door.

He's not what she expected. She thought he would be younger, less obviously Alpha. Maybe a little taller? She thought he'd be more like Victor.

He's not, she likes that he's not.

He's not like those cliché Alphas in the movies. Big and possessive, towering over their poor helpless Omega. Always wanting a wet pussy to Knot. Sherlock's not a cliché so it fits that John's not either.

He's tall, just not as tall as Sherlock. There's an understated bulk to him. The kind that says strength, muscle and power. His hair has the remnants of military, a solider then, or a past as something akin to it. A uniform neatness that is learnt rather than natural.

He's noticeably older, grey highlights that add to the handsomeness of his features, faint lines in his face. Molly would assume late thirties to early forties. He's at least twenty years older than Sherlock, she's heard of bigger age gaps between a couple. It contrasts to the few months difference between Sherlock and Victor.

He screams Alpha, even if he doesn't act like one.

He's stoic.

He nuzzles at Sherlock's throat and jaw. Reassurance, maybe Sherlock's not as together as she had assumed. Molly supposes it's hard for the both of them. To be surrounded by a space so intertwined between Sherlock and Victor.

Interwoven with each other. She can't imagine how draining it must be for Sherlock, but he doesn't let it show. He kisses John, chastely and only for a second before he steps back and shakes himself out.

As if he's warming up for a big dance solo.

They made sure Victor wasn't home before they came over, the last thing Sherlock needs is a big fight with John present. No, Victor would be sat down with later tonight and would have everything explained to him.

They split off. Molly goes to pack up the kitchen, she'll take his things back with her until they've decided what's staying and what's going.

Sherlock takes John into the bedroom.

John's demeanour stiffens upon entering, nostrils flare as he smells Victor and Sherlock all mixed together, the way they should be, Sherlock feels guilty for bringing him but he refused to stay at home with Rosie.

And a selfish, needy, part of Sherlock knew he'd need him with him to face the flat.

"Just, uh - " Sherlock's not sure what to tell him to do, John doesn't know what's his and what's Victor's, he just leaves him to stand in the doorway and watch. He starts with their wardrobe first, he gets his suitcase from the top and lays it out on the bed, takes out what's his and folds it neatly away into the large empty space. Repeats while John looks around the room, scans the walls and the shelves and the drawers.

Reminds him of the way he was when he was in John's kitchen. Looking at photos of Rosie and him. There are no children to see here however.

"That you and your family?" He asks, spotting the family photo of Sherlock with his siblings and parents, he smiles faintly and goes over to it, picks it up off of the wall and hands it to John, resumes folding as John studies the faces. It's a recent photo, from his parents Christmas party. Sherlock's in the middle, Mycroft on his left and Eurus on his right, his parents standing behind them.

"You look like your parents." John says while Sherlock chucks his trainers and ballet shoes into the empty space in his suitcase. He doesn't want to think of his parents, still dreads telling them. Knows that Victor won't hold back to twist things in his favour, he blinks back tears and inhales deeply, slowly. He finishes with the wardrobe and moves on to the chest of drawers, takes out his pyjamas and socks first, his dance things, glances quickly at John, finds him looking at the dance certificates littering a corner of the wall, he pulls open the drawer full of his underwear.

He doesn't show any care to it, lacy panties and bra sets, corsets and bodysuits, he feels sick knowing he wore these for Victor. Or tried to. Somehow feels like he's betrayed John by doing so, these are irrational thoughts and feelings, he buries them deep and shoves them into his suitcase, throws the lid over them. He'll get rid of them when John's busy and he has time to go replace them.

Molly comes in with a large folded box, Sherlock's wrapping up his dance trophies and certificates with bubble wrap while John's wrapping photo frames besides him. Ones that Sherlock told him to.

"Kitchen's all done." She says, pulling out the box and carefully putting each wrapped frame and trophy in. Knows how precious they are to Sherlock, even if Victor never did care or understood. She studies John while she does, watches the care he takes wrapping each photo away for transit, maybe he'll be better for Sherlock than Victor.

Molly knows that being better than Victor wouldn't be very hard.

"What about your nest? D'you want me to pack it up?" It's a delicate question, as fragile as crystal. Sherlock nods without looking up, John doesn't react.

She knows he's working hard not to. Not to get up, search out the nest and destroy it. He's working hard for Sherlock. Molly decides she likes him regardless of how they got here.

Chapter Text


The nest goes with the rest of Sherlock's things back to Molly's, John leaves for some air when it comes out of its space, Molly folds it away with Sherlock's help, neither blame John for leaving. It reeks of Heat and slick and Alpha and Knots, Sherlock cringes as he packs it away but its not an object easily thrown away, John understands this.

He returns once the last few things are packed away and ready to go. The flat remains mostly unchanged, Victor never liked clutter and almost everything of Sherlock's Victor considered clutter.

"How long have you danced?" John asks once Molly's gone to drop off Sherlock's things, they're sitting in the kitchen on the stools at the breakfast bar, drinking coffee out of plain white mugs that Victor bought Sherlock as a gift for passing his entry exam for uni. He's never liked them. He's never told Victor he doesn't like them.

"As long as I can remember, my mother's idea to try and get me to be a little more graceful, my father was less than enthused with the idea of his son becoming a ballerina." He smiles but there's sadness in his eyes, John doesn't miss it, he wants to comfort him but is unsure of how to do so.

"Of course that was before he found out his son's an Omega." Sherlock adds, sipping on his drink, John nods, curious to know more about his dancing. About his father, about his family. About him.

"Do you still dance?" He nods, energy falling into his movements as he smiles and lifts his head and arm dramatically. Dancer poise flows into the simple movement, the years of practice and refinement obvious as he does.

"I am dance!" He says, deepening his voice and flicking his wrist, John laughs as he puts his mug down on the coaster. Sherlock tells him about the dances he does and knows, how he's qualified to teach all sorts of things, as well as gymnastics, there is a charisma, enthusiasm that John sees in Sherlock for the very first time and he loves it so much that he's determined to see it again and again and again, to make Sherlock's always as happy as he so obviously is talking about dance.

"You'll have to teach me a few moves." John says after Sherlock reveals he can ballroom, he blushes and agrees, they share a shy smile of deviance. Maybe, just maybe, they will do more than just dance? John clears his throat and mind of the idea, saves it for later.

"Does Rosie dance?" The question surprises John and he shakes his head after a moment. No.

"I think she'd enjoy being taught, maybe you could show us both a move or two when we get home?" John suggests, smiling as Sherlock laughs and agrees to the challenge.

"I'll be back in a second, just need the little Alpha's room." John gets up out his seat, starts for the door, Sherlock smiles as he goes, sips his drink as he thinks of things to teach Rosie. She'd probably enjoy tap?

His thoughts are broken by the sound of keys turning the lock of the front door.

Victor.

Chapter Text


The lock turns and the door pushes open, tired sighs echo through the hallway as Sherlock tenses and readies himself for a fight, prepares to face the music. The happiness of the moment before vanishes from his memory as he counts the seconds it takes Victor to find him.

Victor calls out for him, hears his boots being kicked off and coat being hung up, Sherlock calls for him in the kitchen. Now or never.

He walks in, doesn't pay much attention to Sherlock as he crosses the kitchen to the fridge, pulling the door open, searches while Sherlock sits still and straightens his back, fights the urge to run and find John. Victor shuts the fridge door after finding his desired beverage.

"Hey, baby." He smiles finally acknowledging Sherlock as he walks towards him, smile falling over his lips as he places a heavy kiss on Sherlock's cheek, he stiffens under the touch, recoils. Victor pulls backs, frown setting in place as he sniffs around Sherlock, Alpha slowly awakening wit confusion.

"You smell awful, where have you been?" He sits opposite him, where John had been only moments ago.

Pops open the beer, takes a long swig as Sherlock looks at him, mix of emotions playing out on his face for him to see. Shame and fear, guilt and anger and sadness and happiness and nerves. Realisation dawns on Victor's face, he sees the mark on Sherlock's neck, glaringly obvious. Anger spikes in him like a red hot iron, he swallows the burning alcohol. The change in atmosphere and between the two is instant.

Sherlock opens his mouth to talk but Victor's faster, his beer forgotten in his hand as it slips past his fingers and smashes loudly to the floor, Sherlock jumps and jerks out his seat, Victor follows him as he starts trying to explain. Fury flares.

His hand wraps around his throat, he's pressed up against the cold wall, whining loudly as Victor starts berating him. Degrading him, grip tightening.

"You fucking slut!" He sneers, the smell of beer on his breaths floats over Sherlock's face disgustingly. He tries to tear his hand from his throat, Victor pushes him away and restrains him further, wrists held over his head by his hands. Victor releases Sherlock's throat and slaps him hard across the face with his newly freed hand, Sherlock cries out from the sting, hot tears falling down his cheeks.

"I'm sorry!" And he is, he never wanted to hurt Victor, not like this at least.

"How could you?! We were so happy! Why did you have to ruin everything!" He slaps him again and pushes him to the floor, careless as Sherlock skids and his palms become cut by the smashed beer bottle. Stings from the liquid.

"You did that! You!" Victor screams as Sherlock looks up at him, terrified at what he might do next. He doesn't think as he screams for John, Victor's foot connects with his stomach, the breath leaves his lungs and he falls to the ground, face pressed into the cold wood, shuts his eyes and curls up as he whimpers. Cries. He hears yelling, John and Victor, fighting but he can't bear to look as he keeps his eyes firmly shut.

Whimpers and whines terrified when hands touch him, he's shushed and comforted by John's soft whispering voice, scooped up into his arms, feels himself being moved, taken away. Rescued.

Hears Victor groaning, growing fainter the further he's taken.


Sherlock doesn't speak or open his eyes on the journey back to John's, guilt and shame mix themselves inside of him. He's ashamed of how Victor acted, ashamed he can't say its the first time something like that has happened. Guilty that he did this to Victor, guilty that he called John to save him. He cries and curls in on himself, closed off to John despite his pleas to talk or to look at him. He can't, can't bring himself to.

He doesn't want to see the way he looks at him now, doesn't want to see the pity he knows is there now.

The pity you give to a poor abused Omega.

Sherlock despises how he feels even more at the idea. He's not a victim. He refuses to allow himself to be seen like that.

The car stops and they sit in silence for several minutes, John doesn't move or speak and neither does Sherlock, he's still curled up and crying, he doesn't know how to get himself to stop, like a taps broken and the water is still running.

He feels stupid and pathetic the longer it goes on.

He feels John's hands on his body, hisses and whines as pressure is applied to the rising bruises, he's dragged across the seats and into John's lap, cradled like a child. The knot of guilt grows.

"That wasn't the first time, was it?" I shake my head feebly, I'm nothing more than pathetic. John inhales sharply, swears as he pulls Sherlock closer to his chest, holds him closer. Protective.

"I'm so sorry, Sherlock."

Chapter Text


John settles him into bed before he leaves to see Mrs. Hudson and check on Rosie.

Sherlock drowns himself in John's pillows and duvet, strips of his clothes that smell ever-so-faintly of Victor, he'll throw them out when he can bear to move.

His ribs throb faintly from Victor and he knows there is glass in his palms but he can't bring himself to care. Exhausted from the days events.

He let's his mind wonder as he flutters out of consciousness. Body heavy with sleep as the door softly opens and shuts -

He wakes to darkness and weight. The room is dark around him, night having fallen while he slept, the covers tucked around his body, he lifts his head and realises he was resting on John's chest. His naked chest. He moves, or tries to, slightly scuppered by his arm wrapped around his body. He winces as he pulls free, body aching from his injuries.

"Sherlock - ?" His voice gruff from sleep, sends shivers down his spine despite their situation. He sits up with him, hands rubbing sleep from eyes as Sherlock chews his bottom lip guiltily, having not meant to wake John.

"I - " His voice is horse from crying, he clears it as John moves, flicks on the lamp on his bedside table, he turns back to Sherlock with a glass of water, he accepts it thankfully.

"I didn't want to wake you - Thought it would be best to let you sleep, recover." He says gently as Sherlock nods and sips the cool liquid, ignores the throbbing pain in his palm. He'll probably need stitches, he thinks sadly.

He hands the glass back to John once he's finished, moves and winces again, there's definitely something wrong with his ribs. A familiar burn, like the one he had when - He doesn't finish the thought.

"Can I take a look?" A delicate question, soft and open to refusal, Sherlock can't refuse as he sees the deep concern in his eyes, the frown tugging at his gorgeous lips. He nods his head.

A switch flip and John is no longer John but rather Dr. Watson.

He moves, climbs out of their bed and puts the big light on, neither react to the other's nakedness. Sherlock avoids staring as John tells him to sit straight on the edge of the bed, breath hitches as his fingers fly delicately over his sides, he doesn't dare look again when he catches flashes of deep purple and black bruises colouring his skin.

"We'll have to go to the doctors tomorrow but I think you've got at least one break." John says, voice clinical as his fingers flutter over his bruised stomach and other side, Sherlock squeezes his eyes shut as he does.

"I'm going to get something for your hands, wait here." He kisses his forehead as he climbs to his feet and walks to the adjoining bathroom, Sherlock's left waiting. He returns a few minutes later.

A small tray full of makeshift medical equipment.

Needle and thread, bandages and steriliser. A lighter, tweezers, cotton pads. Sherlock winces just from looking.

"If you wanted to play doctors, John, you should have said. I would have put my nurse outfit on." Sherlock jokes as John kneels between his legs and takes his hand in his, chuckles and smiles up at Sherlock. Though the tight bob of his Adam's apple and slight twitch of his already semi hard cock doesn't escape his notice. His own body reacts to John's close proximity. Tingles as his Omega cock twitches.

"I'll keep that in mind next time, Sherlock." John says as he pours a thick clear liquid onto a cotton pad, Sherlock's chuckle turns into a sharp hiss of pain as John presses the pad to his cut up palm, whines as he rubs at it and pulls away slowly.

"Sorry." John says, although there isn't much sympathy in his voice as he does. Professional courtesy.

"Hmm, sound it too." Sherlock murmurs back, breaking into a hiss at the end as John applies more pressure, digs in a little to try and get any dirt from the wound.

"I didn't realise you were one to be babied." John says, quirking an eyebrow as Sherlock rolls his eyes at him, teasing all the same.

"Buy me dinner and you'll see what I like." He bites back as John finishes cleaning his palm, they share a brief look, something flickering and burning between them as John prepares the tweezers.

"Careful, Mr. Holmes," He digs in and takes the first piece of glass from his palm. Sherlock swears and uses the back of his other hand to cover his voice.

"I might take you up on it." He drops the shard in the tin and goes back again, holding Sherlock's hand to keep him from retreating back.

"Fucking knew you were a sadist." Sherlock bites out as John goes again, sneering at the painful sting. John chuckles darkly and keeps going at a steady pace -

It's gone four in the morning by the time John's finished cleaning and stitching Sherlock's hands.

They're both tired as John bandages the nearly done stitches, he smiles when it's all said and done with, stands and stretches before he picks up his equipment and pushes Sherlock back into the mattress.

"Wait there." He orders as he retreats into the bathroom, leaving Sherlock laying on his back in his bed.

Staring up at the ceiling as he counts the minutes John takes. Wonders what exactly he's doing that's taking so long?

The cool air floats over his body, raises goosebumps over his skin, his nipples pebble, he wonders if he should risk climbing into bed under the covers? He doesn't have time to decide as he hears John return, his raises himself up in his elbows as John approaches, hands behind his back, hiding something Sherlock realises immediately, as they share a smile.

"Hiding something?" He cocks his head to the side and smiles as John hums and slips back to his knees, between Sherlock's legs as he pushes the wider apart.

Atmosphere changes with the movement, his breath hitches as he moves his thighs apart, spreads him so he has a clear view of more than just his Omega cock.

"I think, because you were so brave," John begins, voice low and edges of Alpha slipping in at the edges as Sherlock's chest rise and falls nervously.

"You deserve a little treat, to say well done." John says, revealing what he brought from the bathroom. Sherlock's face flushes as he becomes embarrassingly wet at the sight of the impressive vibrator in John's hand.

Bright pink with thick ridges as a very wide base to stimulate a cock, everything in Sherlock twists and burns at the sight. Slick already slipping past his pussy lips as his lips fall open in a little 'O' shape at the sight.

"Do you think you want the treat?" John asks, pouting a little as he runs his fingers up Sherlock's leg, rises up to the apex of his thigh. He can't get a single word out as he watches John's fingers dance over his skin, rising lower and higher.

"Just have to say, baby boy." John says as he lets his fingers rise higher, up to his hipbone, he nods his head, whining needy when John's fingers ghost over his cock.

"Okay, I'll let you off just this once." John says as he brings his gaze up to meet Sherlock, fiery eyes burning into his as he swallows and gasps when John's fingers finally wrap around his straining cock. 

Chapter Text


John smirks smugly at the choked whines that escape past his lips as he pumps his fingers up and down Sherlock's tiny Omega cock, running his thumb over his head and spreading the precum down the mere two inches, slick sounds echo around them along with Sherlock's uncontrollable whines and moans. His face contorts with pained pleasure as John works him.

"Shh, that's it, let go. Let it all go." John encourages him as Sherlock fists the sheets around him and bucks his hips weakly against John, moaning with high pitch whines as he suddenly cums. Sticky hot wisps of white liquid cover John's palm as he pumps him through the aftershocks of his release.

"Jesus, look at the mess you made, beautiful boy." John coos as he holds his hand out for Sherlock to see, smiling at him proudly as Sherlock pants and gasps at the sight, face reddening from more than just heat.

"You taste so good." John groans as he licks Sherlock's spend up, making sure to be as sloppy and loud as  Sherlock whines and bucks his hips faintly at the sight, helplessly watching him with intense lust.

"You're so good." John coos once his hand is licked free of spend and Sherlock's a withering mess on the bed. John reaches for one of the pillows besides Sherlock as he pumps his cock again. Red and swollen from his first orgasm, looks as if it's straining to grow an inch more, John feels his cock stiffen and Knot beginning to grow the longer he watches the organ. He whines when John's fingers squeeze tighter at his one inch base. The inch of untouched cock glistening with cum.

"Lift your hips for me, that's it." John encourages as he slips the pillow beneath Sherlock to elevate his arse higher for better access, lubing up his fingers as Sherlock watches with rapt attention, swallowing thickly as he watches John's glistening fingers lower and slowly slip inside of his unprepared hole, lets out a sharp gasp as John slowly eases inside of him, encourages him with praises until his two fingers are knuckle-deep. Crawls up his body, chest to chest as his lips meet his. Devour him as his fingers work to stretch him open.

Changing his angle as Sherlock grows accustomed to the burn and stretch of his fingers, whining and pulling away from his lips, head falling back as he pants, closer once more to his orgasm, John grins and presses in harder, pumps in and out as his mouth moves to Sherlock's exposed throat and works his teeth over his collarbones, leaving marks that promise to stay.

"J - John - !" His voice is breathless and gets lost in the air, fingers weakly grab at his wrist as his fingers flick at his sensitive prostate, whining as he's brought to orgasm again. Falling over the waterfall of nerves and sensations, grinding harder onto his fingers as he pants and cries. Unable to articulate the way he feels in this moment, John kisses away any tension, works his jaw and mouth as his fingers work him through the aftershocks, his belly in painful knots at the endless abyss of pleasure.

He tries to talk, to convey the indescribable pleasure he feels but only choked squeaks escape, earning proud kisses from John.

"I know, I know." John coos lowly as he draws back from his body with lasting kisses as Sherlock's glazed eyes follow him, watch motionless as he slicks the dildo with seemingly endless amounts of lube, he looks at the mushroom head design and clenches at the idea of having it inserted, whines as John strokes over his neglected pussy lips, running his fingers through the soaked flesh, dragging his thumb over his erect clit, smirking in his infuriating way when Sherlock tries to crawl away from the intensity of sensations. Pleads for some sort of friction as John retreats and eases Sherlock's feet up onto the bed, plants them on the soft mattress, adding a tilt to his hips as he produces the dildo and draws it closer to his second opening.

Eyes roll back and chest rises and falls rhythmically as John slowly pushes the tip into his tight virgin hole, gasps at the intrusion as he keeps a steady pace, inch by inch, twisting it and pressing it in all the right places until all ten inches are inside. He can barely breath. Stuffed to completion, doesn't know what to do as he contracts in an attempt to push it out but only pulls it inside of him deeper. Wincing as John twists it and presses the four inches width and slowly retracts it, cries as he feels another orgasm build and break within him, cum squirting feebly on his belly as he bucks his hips and squeezes the sheets beneath him.

He doesn't know how much longer he'll be able to stand. The burn and endless pleasure.

"John! Oh god, John! I can - !" Sherlock comes again, sobbing as his stomach knots and body aches out-of-control, too far gone to come back, maybe he'll never come out of this? The idea makes his brain fuzz over with numbing pleasure as John pushes Sherlock's arse back against the bed, holding the dildo in place inside of him, pressing deliciously against his prostate, filling him up until he feels overstuffed.

"You have no idea how beautiful you look, impaled so beautifully." John coos as he crawls up Sherlock's body, like a snake at home in the tall grass as their mouths connect. Sherlock starving as he dives his tongue inside of John and battles for dominance, some semblance of control as he feels John's fingers back at his pussy, massaging his quivering clit and contracting walls, forcing the dildo deeper inside of him, he cries around John's lips.

Edges of his vision slipping into black as he suddenly feels more than just John's fingers rubbing over his soaked pussy lips. He opens his mouth to protest, to insist he is already too stuffed but John kisses away his protests as he guides his bulbous cock head inside of his pussy, coos and holds him as Sherlock struggles to take John's seven inch girth inside of him without the presence of a Heat or Rut and alcohol. John's slow and gentle though, patient as Sherlock works to take him without sounding like a whiny Omega bitch.

Works each inch inside of Sherlock with care, stimulating him with the dildo and his thumb over his clit and mouth against his to distract from the addictive burn. Stretch and over-stimulation. His breath hitches when he feels all fifteen inches sink Knot-deep inside of him. Chokes as he attempts to get used to the complete stuffed feeling he has from the dildo and John's overly large Alpha cock.

"Tell me when I can start to move, baby boy." John grunts low against Sherlock's lips, words only slightly choked, the only sign of his composure slipping, Sherlock nods and breathes heavily as he tries desperately to adjust to the feeling. It takes several minutes and a few strokes against his clit before Sherlock allows John to start moving, slowly at first.

"God, I'm gonna stuff you like this every night, so beautiful on my cock, baby boy. You have no idea." John growls low as he watches his member only barely rock in and out of Sherlock, baby movements as Sherlock adjusts, he whimpers and quivers at John's words. Barely able to process them through the white hot burn of pleasure that numbs his mind.

Sinking and pulling as Sherlock whines and gasps until his hips give a fitful buck, the only encouragement John needs to pick up his pace. Pulling out further before slamming in deeper, rhythm quickly falling into place as Sherlock clings to him and lets the over-stimulation wash over his abused body.

The bone crushing ecstasy tingling through every fibre of his body. His cries fill the room as John's mouth ravishes his body, sucks bites, sloppy and wet, all over his body. Latching onto his erect nipple as he twists the dildo and ruts his cock.

It all reaches an intense climax, Sherlock arching and thrashing beneath John until he's covered in sweat and spend and stuffed full of John's spend and cock and Knot -

Chapter Text


His body is heavy, sticky, painful.

Heavy, like he's been running for hours and hours without stopping.

He's lying over something warm, held down by protective weight. Weighed down, it's a comfort not a restriction. He's been so used to it being a restriction.

His eyes open, adjusts to the light as he searches and finds John's face, asleep and peaceful above and below him.

He moans as he lifts his body, muscles aching, his arse hurts too, he blushes at the acknowledgement as he remembers all of what happened between them last night, John's arm falls from around his waist, eyes fluttering open, long lashes and parted lips. His eyes meet his.

"Hi." He speaks soft, gruff from sleep and sex. Sherlock's body reacts purely from instinct, he blushes and covers his face in John's broad chest below him, he laughs at his shyness. His Omega's sudden innocence.

"A voice kink, now that's interesting." John says, voice cocky as Sherlock feels him shift their bodies, moans when he feels John's semi hard cock slip from his newly wet folds. Exactly what Sherlock wanted to avoid, he unconsciously searches him out until John's hand hold his hips still.

"No fair." Sherlock muffles against his chest, daring a quick look at John and quickly regretting it when he sees the deadly edge of desire burning away, Sherlock obviously not being the only one affected by their closeness and newly found intimacy.

"Hmm, isn't it?" John teases, forming a fake pout as he moves his hand to brush away his curls from his eyes, kissing him chastely as Sherlock moves and inch or two up his body to straddle his hips more comfortably, John doesn't miss the teasing drag he manages to perform of his wet pussy over his cockhead.

"You're playing a dangerous game for a little Omega that's already so easily worked up by just their Alpha's voice. Just think what my fingers could do to your - " Sherlock clamps his hand over John's mouth, rubbing his thighs together in an embarrassingly obvious manner and against John as he tries to avoid humping his semi as he does. John grows harder as he watches the scene play out, undeniably amused as he does.

"Not helping." Sherlock hisses as John's muffled laughs escape past his fingers as he watches his helpless Omega try to control the newly awakening parts of his biology.

"Daddy - ?" Rosie's voice calls from the hallway, she flips the atmosphere immediately, the dangerous game of teasing and control over as Sherlock kisses John's chest before he rolls off of his body and into his side of the bed, sighs as he watches John get up and grab a pair of sweats as he goes, he doesn't cup himself awkwardly this time, there are no boundaries left between them, edges of his happiness slip into his own. The Bond strengthening after their recent coupling.

Sherlock watches him go, lays still and watches the ceiling once he's gone. Now there's only him and with no distraction he can feel the lasting effects of yesterday. The ache of ribs, throb of his palms, the ache between his legs and arse. Victor and John.

Belly sore, nothing long lasting. He waits, listens to the faint sounds of movement around the flat, Mrs. Hudson hoovering, John cooking, Rosie laughing. Sounds Sherlock looks forward to hearing every day for the rest of his life. Sounds Sherlock had always wanted to hear for the rest of his life.

The dull buzzing comes later. His phone. Breaks his daydreaming.

Buzzing intermittent with pings. Missed texts and calls. His family know then. He moans, grabbing it from the side table.

Looks at the screen, endless missed calls and messages. Eurus, Mycroft, Molly, his parents. The list is endless.

Frustration boils over when he sees the texts from Victor. He throws it, smashes it to pieces, against the wall as the door opens and John stands in the doorway.

They stare at each other. John's holding two mugs and looks torn between his thoughts. Sherlock looks away and back to the ceiling. Tears roll down the sides of his face.

"I have scotch." He laughs, tension breaking between the two as John climbs onto their bed and hands him a mug.

"Wanna tell me about it?" John asks as they snuggle back into bed, John cuddling Sherlock into his side, he shakes his head and sips his tea.

"Victor's told my parents. Parents told my siblings, siblings told my friends, friends, well, they tell everyone." Sherlock explains, a clinical detachment slips into his tone as John sighs into his mug and thinks of a way to get damage control.

"There's always two sides to a story." He says, Sherlock laughs humourless, there's no such thing when it comes to his family and Victor. John kisses him chastely, brief pecks of affection, his mouth, nose and chin, makes him smile as he does.

"But," John begins, taking Sherlock's cup and placing it besides his on the side table.

"We need to sort out whatever damage has been done here," His fingers touch his body delicately, over the bruises.

"I phoned the hospital and booked you an appointment, no arguments." John says strictly as Sherlock opens his mouth to protest, rolling his eyes as he shuts up, John grinning triumphant as he moves off of the bed and holds out a hand for Sherlock.

"Shower?" It's an offer impossible to refuse as Sherlock takes John's hand and follows across the room into their adjacent bathroom.

Chapter Text


The doctor confirms what they already knew. Sherlock has a few broken ribs that need rest and time to heal, the stitches are changed into fresh ones and if he finds or starts showing any signs of infection then he needs to return to the hospital and get antibiotics. It's all very routine and with John's esteemed medical history all goes without a hitch.

It's when they've finished with the hospital and head out to the parking lot things become complicated.

"I need to take this, it's Mary." They're by John's car, his keys in his hand, Sherlock doesn't bother waiting for him inside the car, a decision he quickly regrets as he flicks through the pamphlet a nurse gave him on looking after stitches, although he suspects it's a partly pointless venture as he's sure John won't be taking his eyes off him until he's sure he's all better, even then maybe he won't stop, Sherlock doesn't mind that idea so much.

"Rosie's actually been as good as gold," Sherlock listens to a part of John's conversation, smiling when he catches the man's eye, he feels a flutter of butterflies when John winks at him, a fleeting look of something flashes and disappears, leaves Sherlock feeling giddy, as if he's just gotten a smile from his crush, he has, he realises straight after the thought enters his mind, John's his crush and everything after and before it.

He's about to say something to John, just to see how long he can make this thing last between them while he's talking to Mary but he quickly gets sidetracked when he focuses on all his worst nightmares coming to life right in front of him -

His mother walking out the exit with a tired looking Victor besides him. Just typical. A moment scuppered by everything he's been avoiding. He can't tale his eyes off of them however, studies them as if he can convince himself that they're not really Victor and his mother, that maybe, just maybe, they're someone else but he knows who they are.The tiredness, Sherlock realises with twisted emotions he'll decipher and feel terrible about later, are in fact two very black eyes and a bandaged up nose. John's handiwork, he knows without needing confirmation, a gut feeling that's tied with John. He realises now that he didn't actually ask what John did exactly to Victor, he knows that his response would have been vague with the assurance that whatever he did wasn't undeserved. Sherlock doesn't argue with the idea of his response, instead he ducks his head and hopes he is unnoticed.

John's still talking to Mary and he doesn't particularly want to cause a seen unless it's unavoidable, maybe they'll go by and he'll be unnoticed.

The last thing he wants is a very public fight in the presence of his mother, and he equally doesn't want the first meeting between John and his mother to be so uncontrollable. He keeps his head ducked, wishes he'd made John unlock the car before he'd taken the call, and hopes John's not someone Victor will remember, it's possibly the dumbest hope he could have, his hopes are ruined with one swift call from his mother across the parking lot which gets both John and Sherlock's attention.

"John, can we get in the car please?" Sherlock asks, more pleading than he'd like, sheer panic clouds his mind as their eyes meet, John nods wordlessly, unlocks the car and the two slide into their respective seats as his mother and Victor approach. She's calling him more firmly.

"Start the car." Sherlock says tensely as John inserts the key and starts up the engine, he drives as his mother is only moments from tapping on the window, he sinks back into his seat and pulls the seat belt over his chest, covers his face while John finishes up his conversation with Mary and dumps his phone on the backseat behind him.

"Lovely way to meet the future in-law." John says drily as he glances at Sherlock who cringes and covers his face with his hands, softly muttering as John begins softly laughing, reaching a hand out to rub soothing circles into his tense back.

"It's okay, baby boy, it's all okay." John soothes as they drive, Sherlock muttering disagreeably as they do, none of this is okay. Not even a tiny bit. Thank goodness he destroyed his phone when he did. Gods knows what would've happened if he had had his phone with him at that moment. Nothing good.

"Come on, we're gonna sort this all out. One disaster at a time." John says as they come to a red light and Sherlock's still hiding his face in his hands and muttering incoherent expletives and upset notions of denial over the entire situation. John would find it amusing if Sherlock was a little less upset over the almost run in with his mother. Clearly she's not a very nontraditional woman. John could tell from what he, very briefly, saw.

"Molly, Molly, we need to go to Molly's so I can get my work." Sherlock muffles into his hands after a little while of directionless driving, I hmm and set the GPS for Molly's address, maybe while Sherlock's occupied with getting his work he could go get a replacement phone? John makes the suggestion and Sherlock sheepishly accepts the offer. Embarrassed he needs a new phone in the first place after this morning -

"Herbal, I don't think we need the caffeine rush." Molly says as she settles a mug down on the table in front of Sherlock before taking the seat opposite him, her own mug settled on the coaster, the gloppy mixture slipping down the sides as Sherlock runs his thumb along the rim and sighs. He doesn't know what to say.

"Rumours are doing the rounds, god, the amount of phone calls and texts I've gotten today! Y'know that guy we went to school with, uh - ? Stew, Stew what's-his-face, anyway, him, yeah, he texted this morning. All concerned asking about you and Victor and then, after I've given him some noncommittal 'I don't know anything' he sends me a dick pic! And listen - " Molly trails off when she sees the way Sherlock's looking at his cup, distant and quiet, she's seen the look before, sighs and reaches her hand out to his, he look up to her and smile as reassuring and happy as he can manage, fails miserably shortly after she squeezes his hand.

"It doesn't always mean you're unhappy if you're unhappy." Molly says softly, running her thumb along the back of Sherlock's hand as he nods a sigh and squeezes his eyes shut, breathing in and out as the steam from the cup washes over his face.

"We had sex, last night, after Victor and after he made sure I was okay,"Sherlock starts, voice quiet and unsure, he doesn't even know why he's saying what he is.

"I felt so - " He sighs and rubs his hands over his eyes, searching for words to process feelings that are indescribable, she waits patient and silent, hands around her cup as he gathers his thoughts, orders his words.

"I felt desired, for the first time in months, I felt needed, like it wasn't some chore, fucking," He says the word bitterly, curls his tongue and twists his lips, Victor hadn't made him feel anything in months, maybe longer? He couldn't bring himself to think about it.

"I didn't feel guilty, it's the first time I haven't felt guilty about Victor." Molly hides any flash of emotion as she listens to him, takes his hand back in hers and encourages him silently to keep going, to keep talking.

"Y'know, I felt electric, everything he, John, every single thing John did sent my body wild, put me into a state of - I don't know what to call it? It was so much more intense, so much more physical than anything else I've ever felt. I've never felt so electric, not when I was getting high or - " He falters and shrugs, shaking his head as he looks at his friend for answers, she doesn't have any, only kind smiles and soothing thumbs, he accepts them and cherishes them. Hangs his head and breathes as he tries to think through his words.

"I don't think I feel this way because we're Bonded." There, out in the open, what he's wanted to say, what he's been trying to say is there between them now.

"Maybe a little to do with being Bonded, but not completely. I think I love him." There eyes meet and Sherlock knows undoubtedly that this is the truth, this is why he needed to see Molly.

"I love him, Molly. I'm in love with John."

Chapter Text


It's been a week, a single week and the way they feel for each other doesn't feel like something that can develop simply over a simple seven days but it has, and it continues to. He wakes up to the now familiar weight of his Omega's body atop his, his halo of messy curls covering his youthful face, his pink lips puckered with light snores and smooth pale skin, the fan of thick black lashes over his delicate cheekbones. His body bare against his, supple flesh contrasting to his harsh skin, smooth compared to his rough and scarred body.

Protected by youth.

His fingers find their way to his hips, familiar as if they've done this for years and not days.

He kisses him awake, as he usually does when he is beneath his weight, hums him from slumber with sweet nothings and promises of coffee and pancakes and a little more than just lips on hair and fingers on hips, he always stirs when this type of more is offered up.

Rosie no longer here to skew the promises, although if she were Sherlock wouldn't mind, he's surprised by how much he finds himself missing the child, her presence always a welcome one to him. John kisses his thoughts from the younger Watson to the elder immediately. He kisses him back greedily, his own hands finding home against his broad chest as his body moves to a more comfortable sitting position over his thighs.

Grinding teasingly over his morning wood. Smirking against his Alpha's lips when he out-waits him and it's John rather than Sherlock who initiates the second part of their morning routine. Today, however, Sherlock doesn't wait for John to take matters into his own hands, instead he lays a few less-than-chaste kisses along his lips and throat before skilfully slipping from his thighs and onto the wood floor.

John watches him go as if he's a starving man robbed of water and food after months, disbelieving and pained as Sherlock takes the shirt he'd hastily stripped John of last night and slips it on over his lithe frame, flicking his curls out as if they're caught between his skin and the shirt.

"I haven't just stolen your puppy, John." Sherlock says as he does up two of the shirt's buttons to keep an illusion of his modesty, satisfied with his appearance as John begrudgingly gets out from bed.

"Never mind about puppies, you've rather cruelly stolen my kitty." His meaning is not missed by Sherlock as his words are punctuated with a shallow thrust of his erection against Sherlock's exposed arse as he reaches past the younger man for a raggedy grey top of his Sherlock had stolen yesterday and discarded when John had returned home.

Sherlock resists his teasing as he turns to face the man, a playful smirk dancing over his lips as he locks eyes with John. Both wait for the other to speak, patient and challenging until they reach the mutual conclusion that while they could out-wait each other all day they do not have all day on this occasion.

Sharing a brief kiss of a truce before John takes leave for their shower while Sherlock goes off in search of food.

He hums to himself as he mixes porridge, honey and a selection of fruit into a bowl for him and John, concentrates as he pours sliced banana and strawberries into the slowly heating mixture, thinks over what he'll wear today as the faint sounds of the shower and John's singing drift through the flat, he smiles to himself as he starts humming along to the tune he has yet to recognise, he knows he knows it but he can't think of the name or artist, sighs to himself as he mixes the fruit and porridge together, his hand flutters unconsciously to his -

"Love, that smells amazing." John compliments, suddenly behind Sherlock with dripping hair and warm arms, kissing him along his neck as he leans into the embrace and smiles, melts to his touch as he stirs.

"More amazing than me?" Sherlock teases as John goes to collect bowls for the food, winks over his shoulder at the older man as he turns off the stove and moves to spoon the food into the awaiting bowls, John fixing coffees for the both of them as he declines to reply to Sherlock, probably seeing that if he did reply there wouldn't be an end.

"Your silence speaks volumes." Sherlock says as they take their seats, John making a noncommittal grunt as he picks up his paper to glance over, Sherlock smirking his own personal brand of triumph as he picks up his own breakfast reading material - 

He exits their bathroom after his shower, smiling and still humming John's tune from earlier, smiles a bit more humorously when he finds John laying face-down on their bed, arms and legs spread eagle as he mutters and groans incoherently against the pillows. Sherlock laughs as he sits on the chair facing the vanity that John got him. Applies his moisturiser while John continues his breakdown on their bed.

He knows why he's laying immobile, partly dressed on their bed and he refuses to reward him by giving him the attention he wants. They weren't going to cancel, again. He finishes with his moisturiser and moves on to his hair, unravelling it from the towel it's wrapped in and taking out his hairdryer. He plugs it in as John makes a loud and dramatic literal cry for attention and tosses around onto his back as Sherlock turns on the hairdryer and promptly drowns out all his huffing and puffing.

Humming to himself as he watches John in the reflection of the mirror, he reminds him of a toddler, having a tantrum because they weren't allowed to stay playing. He only finds it funny and encouraging, completely the opposite effect John's hoping to have.

Once Sherlock's done with his hair he puts away the hairdryer and gets up to cross the room for their wardrobe, in search of his outfit while John watches him with a sulky pout on his lips and his arms crossed over his chest, an overgrown toddler, Sherlock thinks as he picks through his clothes.

"It's only lunch, John." Sherlock says as he considers a light blue shirt or a looser white one, he goes with the white one, deciding it would go better with the trousers he chose last night. John mutters something that Sherlock misses as he places the blue shirt back on the hanger.

"Huh?" The final straw, John gets up in a stroppy mess and tries to keep all the dignity and dread to his demeanour as he holds Sherlock's gaze while simultaneously trying to search out his trousers and shirt. Sherlock cracking up with each second that ticks by that John spends searching without looking.

Giving up with a show of irritation as he angrily searches with both his hands and his eyes this time, Sherlock retreating back to the bathroom to get dressed while John finds his clothes, only a few more hours, Sherlock thinks as he slips on his top and trousers, adding a touch of perfume and a quick brush through of his curls, a few more hours.

"Are you done having a tantrum?" He calls through the door when he's all ready to go, John grunts on the other side as he unlocks and opens the door, John sitting sulkily on the end of the bed as he fiddles with his tie, Sherlock smiles as he crosses the room to assist him. Kneeling in front of him as he gently takes over from John in tying the knot.

"You were the one who wanted to do this." He reminds him as he flips the material, John sighs and nods admittedly as he watches him.

"What's wrong?" He's hesitant to answer his soft question, guilty at the concern in Sherlock's voice, he shouldn't be concerned with how he feels, not today.

"I don't want you to get hurt and today - I feel like today you're only going to get hurt." John admits sheepishly as Sherlock pauses in his tying, stares at him for what feels like forever before he has his lips on his and his fingers in his hair. Soft and gentle and reassuring as Sherlock climbs carefully into John's lap. Their movements echoing so many times before, Sherlock pouring all of the love and reassurance he can into his touch.

"I," He peppers kisses over his face, his cheeks and forehead, along the bridge of his nose and chin.

"Promise," Flutters over his jaw and along his bottom lip and over his cupid's bow, over his fluttering lashes.

"I won't." Kisses chaste and soft against his lips, seconds long, one after the other, John take each touch and cherishes them, vows never to forget the tender way he touches him, cares for him after only a week, a week and they are devoted to each other.

His mind struggles to process it but his heart doesn't, his heart knows that Sherlock is the one he is meant to be with.

Just as John opens his mouth to speak he is interrupted by crisp ring of the doorbell, he inhales at the same second as Sherlock, neither ready for what is about to happened, Sherlock climbs off of his lap, kisses him and leaves to answer the door.

John finishes his tie.