John woke suddenly, with a grunt, aware that the warm body beside him had moved. Was gone, in fact. He opened his eyes and blinked. The hotel room was full of the haze of dawn. Sherlock’s head was not on the pillow.
At the foot of the bed, the slender figure of the detective was silhouetted against the milky light streaming through the bay window.
John sat up, rubbing his eyes. ‘Are you alright?’
Sherlock nodded, didn’t turn.
John twisted to look at the bedside clock. ‘Oh, fuck.’
It was half past six on Sunday morning and they were supposed to be having a lie-in. He’d arranged for breakfast in bed at 9, and everything. He’d been determined. And now this.
‘I get it,’ Sherlock whispered, breaking his train of thought.
‘The light. That’s why it’s so beautiful here. It’s the light.’ Sherlock seemed almost breathless. He reached out his skinny hand and pulled John across the bed to join him. ‘Can you see it?’
John looked hard.
Through the wide panels of the bay window, he could see that the crest of shingle which formed the beach made a dun-coloured line against a sea like mercury. The sky had a pale, powdery tint, and for a moment he wondered if it might snow.
Sherlock rose from the bed in something of a trance, and took a few steps forward.
‘It’s almost liquid,’ he breathed. ‘It’s feeding me. Through my skin.’
With that he began to shed his pyjamas, stripping himself naked, tipping his head back and closing his eyes in a strange delirium as the light hit his chest.
It struck John then, seeing him through this gauze dawn, that Sherlock was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. His pale skin seemed to shimmer like opal, flecked with grey and blue, orange, purple and silver, a ghostly luminescence. His sepulchral features softened and lifted, and for a moment, the doctor half expected luxuriant wings to sprout from those plough-share shoulder blades, thick with rustling white quills.
This was a Sherlock he had never seen before, no longer the familiar ascetic. This was Sherlock the sensualist, losing himself in the sensations of his magnificent body. He did not know why it amazed him so much – Sherlock relied so heavily on his senses of taste and touch, of smell and hearing, rather than merely sight, to examine a crime scene, that it should have been obvious to John that this side of the man existed. And yet it had never occurred to him.
Sherlock sighed, his ribs lifting, and the noise spilled though John’s body like white water. One hand stretched out to beckon, calling without words, and John found himself shedding his own clothes at the command of that unspoken siren song.
They stood side by side, letting the light wash through them, fingertips touching.
‘Do you feel it?’ Sherlock whispered.
For the first moment, he didn’t. Then a strange sensation started in the skin of his chest, a tingling that warmed to a glow. It was a little like standing under a shower, letting the spray cascade over his torso and down his thighs. The light seemed to be seeping into his muscles, saturating tissue and bone, bringing with it a strange calm. John felt washed with its purity. Little shocks tumbled down his spine, translated along his collar bones, buzzed gently within his cranium. They grew and grew until he felt the energy of them surge into his throat to tighten it. They coursed down the backs of his legs like cold water until they reached his heels and pooled there, humming. He had expected to feel chilly, but instead he felt a thrilling heat under his skin. He realised he had grown hard.
A blissful sigh woke him from his absorption in his own body, and he looked properly for the first time at Sherlock, naked.
The man beside him had changed into something ethereal. The long, lightly muscled torso, the strong thighs and prominent hips, seemed ill at ease with the elongated neck and arms and yet somehow, a strange geometry had been perfected. Sherlock’s belly was flat. Veins stood out in his hands. A pulse throbbed at the base of his marble throat, just above the clavicle, so tender and so heartbreakingly human. Yet in this liminal moment, Sherlock had become something else, Michelangelo’s David crossed with Tolkien’s Elf-King, bizarre and breath-taking, and infinitely erotic.
Sherlock opened his eyes, blinked slowly, and turned to gaze at the man beside him. One look into those bleached pupils told John that whatever transformation Sherlock had undergone for John was equally true in reverse.
Sherlock was hard too.
Cool fingers, tips like ice, slid around his waist. John felt his hand rise, tangling in glossy curls glazed with pearl by the dawn. Those strangely mismatched, sensuous lips puckered just a little, and John suddenly found himself falling into the kiss he realised he had been chasing throughout his entire existence.
Their bodies slid together, and John gasped as their cocks touched, tentatively at first, and then grinding with need as they gripped one another and hung on, passion crashing through them.
Sherlock moaned, John’s tongue in his mouth.
John had never wanted anyone as much as he wanted Sherlock now. His ears were full of the roaring of blood in his veins, the wild gallop of his heart as he pulled the man he loved against him, feeling the alabaster smoothness of his skin, the rasp of hair on the ridge of his belly, the taut muscle of his buttock. His mouth found a path along the blade of a cheekbone, the jut of the jaw, the delicate silk of a throat where the adam’s apple bobbed in frenzied need. Sherlock smelled like chalk and ice and salt and brilliant white sunlight on an alpine snowfield.
His hands skimmed John’s back, caressing, tasting his flesh with fingertips more accustomed to the microscopic analysis of trace evidence. The doctor realised he was being recorded, experienced, mapped but, as they plunged down onto the bed, he didn’t care.
No words passed between them. Their hands and lips spoke as they rolled in the musky sheets, ravenous for one another.
Light, John thought, as Sherlock worked his way across his chest, licking. Light reflected off this beautiful man’s flanks. Sherlock was a cornucopia of refraction, and Oh God - his brain short circuited as Sherlock found the delicate sensitivity of his nipple with a tentative nip.
The touching, the stroking. John’s head was spinning. The light was blinding him now, swamping his retinas, closing off everything but those silver irises and blown pupils as Sherlock gazed up at him, worshipping. The incessant tongue worked its way down his body, discovering the pulse points, the moles and freckles and childhood scars, the tiny patches of skin where the lightest of touches left a quiver. That tongue tasted the satin skin of his hip, and curve of his belly, and then, without warning, swept over the swollen crown of his cock, making him cry out in shock and pleasure.
He was already slick with need, and Sherlock lapped at him hungrily, a deep purring sound emanating from his ribs. Salt and musk, John thought, helplessly arching his back. How long was it since anybody had done this to him? With a blissful sigh, Sherlock took him deep into his mouth, tongue swirling, and now it was John’s turn to moan.
The tender suction, the laving flat of that tongue, the bobbing head, the caress of the soft palate as he swallowed. Oh God, John thought, writhing under his love’s ministrations. How is this possible? How did I not know?
But of course, he realised, he did know. Had known all along. As had Sherlock. They had simply never let themselves admit it.
Sherlock pulled off him, licking his lips, and John dragged him roughly up to claim his mouth. He rolled him onto his back and pressed a knee between his legs to separate them, then let his hand slither down the fluttering belly and grasp Sherlock’s shaft. Panting, they both looked down as John began to work his length, watching strong fingers stroke the velvet skin.
Sherlock’s cock was so different from his own, he realised, not least in that he was circumcised. The shaft was long and slim, the crown purple, the two separated by a band of rosy skin where the foreskin had been cut away. It had an endearing swoop to the left.
John’s cock was broad and brown tinted, roped with hard muscle and thick veins. Sherlock reached down and grasped him so that they could move in tandem. His slender fingers wrapped John’s column, his skin so pale in comparison, pearl against Tiger’s Eye.
John couldn’t help himself any longer. The urge was too strong. He was getting close and he needed something to buck against. He pressed Sherlock down, and gasped,
‘Your hands, make a tunnel.’
Pulling their shafts together, Sherlock wrapped his long fingers around their girths and John began to pump, so that they rubbed together, sliding in and out of the hastily made orifice.
John growled with need. Sherlock panted, looking down between their clashing bellies, eyes wide, as if in disbelief.
Juddering and thrashing under him, Sherlock released a fountain of opalescent fluid over his belly and chest, pulsing against John’s shaft and letting out a visceral cry of such need and passion that his lover lost control. Thrusting helplessly, John came too, with a bellow.
For moments they seemed suspended in the hinterland between release and collapse, bodies electric, thrumming with ecstasy.
Then John’s arms gave up, and he crashed down, slithering on Sherlock’s semen-slick body. And they lay there, trembling.
The clock ticked on the bedside table. Outside, the sea sucked up pebbles and rolled them in the tumble of its waves. Seagulls screeched requiems for drowned mariners.
John lifted his head, eyes bleary, and Sherlock immediately kissed him, a long, languid kiss so perfect that it turned his heart inside-out all over again.
‘Oh, love,’ he panted when Sherlock’s lips released him.
‘I don’t think that was very Platonic,’ Sherlock breathed.
‘Are you sorry?’
‘Thank Christ for that.’
‘How’s your recovery time?’
‘You want to do it again?’ John was incredulous.
‘With you? With that fabulous body? Oh yes. Continually. Forever. In fact, I’ll give you the rest of eternity to stop doing that to me.’