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“Watson?”

The door to the crew room opened with a thud. A short woman in her mid-forties dressed in the standard issue uniform of the UK Border Agency slumped one shoulder against the doorjamb. John glanced up from his lunch.

“Yasmine,” John said, smirking. “And how are you this evening?”

“Got a real charmer comin’ in. Just for you.”

John set his thermos cup down with a heavy sigh. Tea sloshed over onto the table. “Why me?”

“Oh, come on, John,” Yasmine wheedled. “You’re just so much better at dealing with these ones. You know the sort: posh, arrogant, full of shite.”

“No, no…just…no.” John shook his head emphatically. “You always land me with these nutters. Forget it. I’m on my break.”

“Awww, but you have such a way wi’ em.” She winked at him. “We all think it’s your ‘Captain Watson’ voice.”

“My what?”

“Oh, you know—that stern, no-nonsense tone you do. The military thing.”

John stiffened in his chair. “I don’t do a ‘thing.’ It’s just the way I speak.”

“Go on, don’t be like that,” Yasmine tutted. “I didn’t mean anything by it.”

John stood, attempting to ease the kink out of his leg. He tugged pointlessly at his uniform. “Fine. But you owe me.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Yasmine chuckled as she turned to go, leaving John to follow in her wake.

John spied the passenger in question immediately, of course. He was a tallish bloke; lean with dark hair and fair skin. He wore a long wool coat that billowed out behind him a little as he paced beside his escort into the sterile grey holding room that comprised secondary inspection of Heathrow Airport immigration and customs. John approached, listening to the conversation between the passenger and the young woman who’d brought him through from the main passport inspection point.

“This is ridiculous.”

“It’s standard procedure, sir. Won’t take but a moment.”

The tall man’s eyes raked over the young officer. “There is nothing ‘standard’ about secondary inspection. We both know I’m being held on suspicion, ‘Fran,’” he sneered. “And if you spent more time on your language studies and less time indulging your gambling habit, you wouldn’t have to be the one in the thankless position of ushering me through to whatever Draconian delights await me.”

John’s fists clenched and unclenched. God help him, this one was going to be an absolute nightmare.

“Hello,” he said cheerfully as he approached the point where Officer Fran Williams was about to lose her temper and earn herself a suspension. Her cheeks were flushed with fury and the tiny Welsh woman was in the process of drawing herself up to her full height. She turned as John reached them and he nodded at her in solidarity. “Thanks, Fran. I’ve got this.”

Fran opened her mouth as if to speak, but seemed to think better of it. She took a deep breath, cast one last scathing look at their difficult charge and departed.

John gestured toward the small station only a few steps from where they were standing. “If I could have you join me here, please.”

The passenger’s eyes narrowed at him. John elected to ignore this. He stepped behind the counter and quickly logged into the computer.

“Passport and travel documents, please.”

The man huffed, but slapped the requested papers down onto the counter.

“Thank you,” John said blandly. He checked through the documents quickly and double-checked them against the computer, but saw nothing out of order. Williams had escorted him through, though, so this was not merely an immigration issue. It meant the dogs had detected something strange on this passenger or his bags.

“Afghanistan or Iraq?”

John’s head snapped up. “Sorry?”

“Which was it—Afghanistan or Iraq?” the man repeated, one eyebrow raised.

“Afghanistan. How did you know?”

“I didn’t know, I saw. Your haircut, the way you hold yourself says military—hardly an unusual background for someone in security or law enforcement. You have a limp, though it’s barely noticeable. Still, probably would have been enough to disqualify you during the physical fitness assessment. So you were given special dispensation to obtain employment with the border service…most likely part of the government’s recent repatriation efforts for returning service men and women.”

John gaped. “But how—?”

“So a limp, but you don’t use a stick. And you don’t favour the leg when you’re standing, like you’ve forgotten about, so it’s at least partly psychosomatic. That says the original circumstances of the injury were traumatic. Wounded in action, then. Wounded in action…Afghanistan or Iraq.”

John stared at the man, biting his tongue to keep from blurting out what he was thinking: Brilliant. Instead he pursed his lips and turned his attention to the passenger’s single suitcase. He tugged a pair of gloves from beneath the computer and pulled them on. After snapping the latex gloves into place, he rapped his knuckles on the counter in front of him. “If I could ask you to please set your bag here, sir.”

The passenger continued to watch him, but complied.

John set about with a cursory manual inspection of the luggage. “Have you packed your case yourself?”

“Yes.”

“And you are aware of all contents?”

“Obviously.”

John nodded, refusing to meet the man’s eyes—which were an unusual and rather captivating colour in addition to being unnervingly attentive. “Could you open the bag for me, please?”

The man sighed as though grievously put upon, but once again obeyed John’s instruction. John began the process of sifting through the contents.

“What was the purpose of your trip?” he asked casually, laying aside the stacks of impossibly neat underpants and socks.

“Business.”

“You have permission to work in America?”

“I’m an…entertainer.”

“Entertainer?” John glanced up, trying to hide his surprise. Bespoke suit, manicured hands, expensive haircut, posh accent, probably a public school education: It was clear this passenger—Holmes—had never done a hard day’s work in his life. But an entertainer? That didn’t quite fit. “What sort of entertainment?”

Holmes brow creased as John’s hand skimmed over the side pocket at the front of his case, but it cleared quickly. John caught the change, though. He moved away from the area and continued his search elsewhere.

“I, uhm, I’m a mentalist. Of a sort.”

“What, like a psychic?”

“Of a sort.”

“Meaning…?”

“Meaning I am not the usual, bog standard charlatan relying on my audience’s inattention and desperate, forlorn hopes to feign some kind of connection with the afterlife.”

John paused, looking up at Holmes, W. Sherlock S. “What do you do?”

The sardonic brow arched once more. “You should know. You’ve just seen it.”

“I’m not entirely sure what I’ve just seen,” John admitted honestly, finally finishing his examination of the rest of the bag and about to return to the pocket that gave his passenger pause.

“I observe. I…” Holmes trailed off as John reached for the zip to the pocket. “If there is no issue with my passport, why am I being detained?” he asked sharply.

John almost smiled. Going on the offensive—clearly the man had something to hide. “You and/or your bags were noted by the canine patrol.” John regarded Holmes carefully, hands resting on the zipper of the front pocket. “Is there anything you’d like to tell me?”

The tall man swallowed, his chin setting at a stubborn and—John thought—somewhat petulant angle. He shook his head.

John sighed and undid the zip. He pulled it apart and peered within.

“This is absurd,” Holmes snapped. “A complete waste of my time. And yours. Why on earth would you bother with a bogus drugs bust when there are so many more dangerous people out there? I noticed at least three illegals out in the lines. One was most certainly connected with a radical group based out of South America—”

“Stops being bogus if I find something,” John said calmly. He looked up at the man once more. Holmes gave a very good impression of haughty indifference, but John could see the signs. He had been on the job for less than six months, but he could tell his passenger was uneasy. Guilty, even.

“Surely a former army doctor can find something more important to do with his time than rummaging through strangers’ pants,” Holmes deflected.

John felt inside the pocket and removed the small wooden case he had spotted. He set it on the counter.

“Can you tell me what I will find inside this case?”

Holmes glared at him.

“Shall I tell you what I think I’m going to find?”

“I want to make a phone call.”

“I think I’m going to find drugs paraphernalia. Syringes, perhaps.”

“I said, I want to make a call.”

“I’m afraid that won’t be possible until I have completed my investigation.” John tried once more. “Tell me where you’ve hidden the drugs and this ends now.”

“There aren’t any drugs,” Holmes ground out from between clenched teeth.

“When was the last time you used?”

Holmes stared at a point somewhere over John’s head. John shrugged and opened the case. He inspected the two new syringes, still in their packets. There were small pieces of singed foil, a likewise blackened spoon, a handful of cotton balls, and a rubber tourniquet.

“Where are the drugs?” John repeated solemnly. He was always frustrated seeing the incredible waste brought about by drugs use, but to see a handsome and clever young man ruining himself with heroin…it made John unreasonably angry.

“There aren’t any—for god’s sake, are you an idiot?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Honestly, how stupid would someone have to be to attempt to carry drugs through an international border?”

“You’d be surprised,” John drawled. “And you did attempt to carry your kit through. Did it not occur to you that there would be enough traces on the box and on your case—and probably your gloves—to attract the dogs?”

Nothing ever happens to meHolmes’ face grew red. “This. Is. RIDICULOUS!”

“Okay, that’s it,” John growled. He stepped out from behind the counter as one of his colleagues approached to help with the agitated passenger. “Sir, I’m going to escort you down the corridor and you will be subjected to an intimate search.”

“I refuse.”

“I’m afraid that isn’t an option. We need to inspect your clothing and your person to ensure you are not in possession of any controlled substances.”

“I need to make a phone call.”

John grabbed one arm and waited for his colleague—Ames—to take the other. “There will be an opportunity for you to do so once we’ve determined whether or not your case will be referred for prosecution.”

Holmes looked down at John, his expression icy. “I wouldn’t like to be you once that call has been made, believe me.”

John sighed heavily as they led him to one of the private search rooms. Ames ushered them in and then took up a position behind the closed door, arms crossed. The room contained a small, steel table with three bins that could be filled and taken for x-ray. There was a bunk with a rough, grey wool blanket against the wall and a cabinet with additional supplies in the far corner.

“Mr. Holmes, this is to inform you that I, Officer John Watson, will be conducting an intimate search of your person due to reasonable suspicion that you may be in possession of narcotics. This room is under surveillance, for your protection and for mine, and Officer Ames will act as witness to ensure that your rights are respected throughout the search process. Do you understand?”

Holmes nodded stiffly.

“Very well. Please remove your gloves and pass them to Officer Ames.”

Holmes complied, slapping the black leather into Ames’ hand. The large man scowled at their passenger, but took the gloves and began to inspect them.

John nodded his approval. “Please turn out your coat pockets.”

“Why would I carry anything in my pockets?” Holmes snapped.

“Procedure,” John replied firmly. When Holmes had complied with this second request, John nodded once more. “Please remove the coat and pass it to me with one hand.”

The coat was removed and thrust in John’s direction. John took it, trying very hard not to look at his passenger’s fit figure beneath the well-fitting suit. It had been some time since he’d been with a man, but he could still appreciate that Mr. Holmes (W. Sherlock S.) was a very attractive specimen. Sad that he should have put himself in such a situation.

John inspected the coat, feeling the sleeves and checking the lining for any sign of tampering before putting it into one of the plastic bins to be taken to x-ray.

“Thank you,” he said. “Please turn out the pockets of your suit jacket and then remove it as well.”

John continued the process until Holmes was down to shirt, socks and trousers. The jittery young man had calmed considerably—had become almost subdued, if John were honest—and Ames was looking decidedly bored.

John was about to proceed with the patdown when the general alarm sounded.

Ames immediately threw the door open, to find officers running out toward the passport lines. He turned back to John. “Can you manage?”

“Yeah, go on,” John said quickly. “I’ll hold him until you get back.”

Ames jogged out to join the others, the door snapping shut behind him.

“It’s the man with the South American connections,” Holmes said quietly.

“Sorry?”

“I told you there were more dangerous people than me to concern yourself with.”

John studied his charge for a moment. “And what did you see about this fellow, then?”

“He was wearing a chullo—an alpaca headcovering popular in the Andean Mountain region. Not extraordinary, except when taken along with the recent uprisings on behalf of indigenous South American peoples against international corporations involved in mining and the diversion of fresh water. One such corporation, based here in London, has received numerous threats. When the man in the chullo lifted his hand to scratch his face, I noticed a distinctive discoloration around his fingernails consistent with the use of certain chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives.” Holmes shrugged. “Either that or it could have been an indication of heart disease.”

“Extraordinary,” John blurted.

Holmes blinked at him. “Do you think so?”

“Of course it was. It was really quite extraordinary.”

“That’s not what people usually say.”

“What do they usually say?”

“Piss off.”

John grinned at him. “Have you ever thought…I mean what you can do—have you ever considered doing something else with your talents?”

“Such as?” Holmes sounded incredulous.

“Well, like this,” John replied, gesturing around him. “Or being a police officer. Something like that. With your abilities, you could do an awful lot of good.”

“Boring,” Holmes said immediately.

“What is?”

“All of it: Rules, regulations, uniforms, working with simple-minded idiots…oh, don’t look like that. I didn’t mean you.”

“I’m no better than my fellow officers,” John said defensively.

“Of course you are,” Holmes sighed.

John considered this, harkening back to their earlier conversation. “Wait, earlier you said army doctor. How could you possibly have known that?”

Holmes smirked at him. “Bit of a longshot. Good one though. Your age indicates long service—long enough to have received specialized training OR to have had it before you joined up. That and your hands. You have a surgeon’s dexterity.”

“I did.”

“Still do.”

John shifted uncomfortably where he rested against the table. “Look, you may as well sit. We’ll have to wait for Officer Ames before we continue.”

“Do you honestly expect me to put up with being delayed here all day?”

“I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can—”

“We’re being watched, for god’s sake. Just finish it.”

“It’s against protocol. I’d be fired.”

Holmes glanced around the room and announced loudly, “I hereby waive my right to have a witness present during my intimate search.” He looked back at John. “Sufficient?”

John rolled his eyes and stood. “Fine. You know, none of this would have been necessary if you hadn’t been stupid enough to use drugs.” He approached Holmes until they were only a few inches apart and looked up into the very bright, clear eyes. His mouth suddenly strangely dry, John attempted to lick his lips. “Hold your arms out to the sides, please.”

Holmes complied, his brow arched once more. “Are you calling me stupid, Officer…Watson?”

“No,” John said, reaching up to roll the collar of the dress shirt between his thumbs and fingers. He tried to focus on the feel of the fabric and the thickness of the seams, but could not help thinking about how it felt to be almost pressed up against the taller man’s body. To have his hands on either side of the handsome face. He could smell Holmes’ spicy cologne, could see the texture of his fair skin.

Christ, he was losing his mind.

John swallowed hard and began patting down the length of the top of Holmes’ arms. “I-I wasn’t…I’m saying using drugs is a stupid thing to do.” John repeated the collar process with each shirt cuff and then slid his hands up the along the underside of the man’s arms. Holmes was staring down at him now, but John kept his eyes averted. If he looked up, Holmes would most certainly notice the tinge of colour in his cheeks and his dilated pupils.

He couldn’t help it. The feel of Holmes’ body beneath his hands was intoxicating. He hadn’t been this turned on in…well, in truth, he’d completely lost track of his libido since his injury.

But this was so very, very wrong. And it made him so, so hot.

He continued his search, willing his hands not to shake as he stroked and pressed over the surface of chest and abdomen. He had never ever considered an intimate search as, well, intimate. Not until now. For some reason, with this passenger, it felt like foreplay.

John lifted the tails of the shirt to inspect the hem. “S-so why do you do it?”

“It…helps,” Sherlock said quietly, his breath nearly ruffling John’s hair.

John glanced up at the change in his passenger’s tone. “Helps? With what?” He slipped his hands around Holmes’ narrow waist, carefully feeling the band of his trousers. John closed his eyes and willed his cock not to swell at the idea of digging his fingers into Holmes’ waist and dragging the lean body up against his own.

“Boredom,” Holmes breathed. “My mind is so…full. Sometimes I can’t stand the nothingness of everyday life.”

John froze where he was, bent a little to inspect the turned out trouser pockets and suddenly keenly aware of how very attracted he was to both the body and the unusual mind of the intriguing young man in front of him. Holmes, W. Sherlock S. was utterly fascinating. And John’s reaction to him was rapidly becoming problematic. He straightened, clearing his throat and swiftly moving around to continue the search from behind.

“W-well, what about doing something else with all that, uhm, stuff in your mind. You know, like I suggested; something that would h-help people.” John smoothed his hands over the shape of well-muscled shoulders and then down over a toned, straight back. It wasn’t until his hands reached the dip just above Holmes’ buttocks that he noticed the change in his passenger’s breathing.

Holmes was peering back at him over one shoulder, lips slightly parted.

Oh, god, was it possible…

John’s hands continued moving, more slowly and far less professionally than they should. There was no complaint, however, and no attempt to move away from his touch. His palms settled heavily over the ridiculously firm globes of Holmes’ arse and John very nearly groaned aloud. It was so perfect, so plump.

There was a strangled noise from his passenger. John started and quickly bent to pat down each leg before stepping well away. His breathing was erratic now, and he was on the verge of coming in his pants.

He was certain to lose his job over this.

“You…you’ve forgotten something, haven’t you?” Holmes asked tremulously. He peeked at John over his shoulder again, turning his face this time until he could look John in the eye.

They stared at one another for an age before John finally made up his mind. He reached behind him and slid the door bolt into place. Sherlock watched him expectantly, tongue darting out to wet his lush lips. John moved in, emboldened by the invitation and by the conviction that he really had nothing to lose.

It was an empty life, and he had been merely taking up space in it.

He stepped into place behind Holmes and wrapped both arms around him. Holmes sighed his pleasure and helpfully held his arms up and out of the way. John pressed his cheek against Holmes’ shoulder blade as he filled each hand with a well-rounded pectoral muscle. He kneaded for a moment, tweaking at tightening nipples, and pressing kisses into the man’s back through the silk shirt.

“Yes,” Holmes whispered.

John continued, sliding his hands down over the taught abdomen and then…

“Oh, god.”

John used one hand to cup Holmes’ testicles while with the other he teased over the length of his passenger’s stiffening cock through the fine wool trousers.

“Fuck,” he groaned.

“Please,” Holmes whispered.

John ground his own burgeoning erection into Holmes’ body.

“Sh-should I…” Holmes voice caught. “Should I remove my trousers now?”

John nodded into his back, not capable of forming the words. Holmes’ fingers tangled with his own at the trouser fastenings. John nuzzled into the back of the long neck as he slid the zipper down. Holmes shifted in his arms, just enough to tug trousers—and pants—to his ankles.

They were both panting now.

“Touch me,” Holmes whispered.

John groaned, painfully aware of the latex covering his hands. He was about to tug the gloves off when a thought occurred.

He stumbled toward the cupboard in the far corner of the small room. He pulled the door open and rifled through the contents until he found what he was looking for. He squeezed a generous amount of the medical lubricant out into his hands and swiftly returned to where Holmes was just beginning to shiver.

He wrapped his arms around the man once more, delighting in Holmes immediate response in melting back against him.

“This is madness,” John said, his voice hoarse. “I don’t even know what to call you.”

“Sherlock,” Holmes gasped. “Call me Sherlock.”

He grasped Sherlock’s cock—very hard and leaking pre-come—and began to stroke. “Oh, god, Sherlock.”

“Oh, oh. Fuck…”

“John.”

“John,” Sherlock breathed.

John grunted his approval, grinding his aching cock into Sherlock’s bare hip. He teased a finger underneath Sherlock’s foreskin, stretching the soft tissue and caressing the hard flesh beneath. Sherlock writhed against him.

“Where did…you get the…lube?”

“S’for body cavity searches. Don’t really do ‘em anymore.”

“Mmmm, would you like to?”

John shuddered at the idea, rubbing over the fraenulum of the pulsing member in his hand. “Oh, fuck, yes.”

Sherlock pulled away from him and turned to brace himself against the wall. He spread his bare legs, lowering his stance and exposing just a hint of his sweet, pink pucker. John groaned.

“Go on then, officer. You’d better make sure I haven’t hidden anything there.”

John’s knees nearly buckled. He staggered a little before grasping at Sherlock’s hip for balance as he swiftly added more lube to the gloved fingers of his left hand and…

“Oh, fuck. Oh, John. God, yes!” Sherlock gasped, arching back into the pressure of John’s index finger completely buried inside him. He squeezed hard at the intrusion, and John’s eyes glazed over a little.

“Jesus, you feel so good.” John pulled out and then thrust back in, knitting his middle finger to the first as he did.

“Unghgood,” Sherlock groaned. He pulsed into the rhythm John set.

John pressed his brow into Sherlock’s shoulder as he continued fingerfucking him. He rubbed his still-clothed erection with his free hand, wishing against all sanity that he had a condom in his pocket.

“Clean. I’m clean,” Sherlock grunted.

“W-wha—?”

“I…get…tested,” Sherlock panted. “Clean. FUCK ME.”

John’s medical instincts warred with his cock’s intentions.

Con: Drug user; high risk.

Pro: The hottest arse and sweetest cock John had seen in years. And the first time he’d been aroused in an age.

It was stupid. It was reckless. It was irresponsible.

And so was fucking a passenger you’d been charged with inspecting in the goddamn holding cell.

John removed his fingers from Sherlock’s willing body and began tugging at his trousers, suddenly desperate. Sherlock turned, surprising him with needed help in dealing with his flies and freeing his swollen prick. Sherlock stroked him firmly and John nearly blacked out.

“Shhhhh…” the taller man soothed. Sherlock bent, once more surprising John by capturing his mouth. John started, but moaned into the contact. The lovely, plump lips yielded to John’s firmer, narrower ones. John teased at the seam and was immediately met with an answering tongue. They tasted each other deeply, leisurely—as though they weren’t in danger of being caught out at any moment.

At length, Sherlock drew back with a saucy grin and resumed the position: spread-eagled against the wall. John wasted no time in pressing in against Sherlock’s back, using his still-gloved hand to spread more lube where it was needed and guide himself to Sherlock’s nicely prepared rim. He rubbed there for a moment, sliding his other hand around to join Sherlock’s where it was tugging at his own cock.

“Oh…oh, god…yes…make me come with your cock inside me.”

It was all John needed. He canted his hips forward, pushing his fat cock inside Sherlock’s hole. He hesitated with the slight resistance, but surged forward once more with Sherlock’s muttered plea. Soon, he was pounding hard and fast against the man’s plush bum, matching this rhythm on Sherlock’s cock as well.

The slapping of flesh and the echo of the general alarm still sounding outside the door were all John could hear, save for his own heavy breathing and Sherlock’s whispered encouragements.

All too soon, his long-denied body reached the precipice.

“Coming. Fuck. Can’t—sorry…”

Sherlock grunted his acknowledgment, guiding John’s fingers to the tip of his cock. “So close. So close. Wait for me…There. There. John. JOHN!”

Sherlock’s body clenched around him and John had to bite his tongue hard to suppress the shout of pure joy as he responded by flooding the man’s body with come. He shuddered against Sherlock’s back—arms still wrapped around him—feeling Sherlock’s load pulse out over his fingers as well.

Several minutes later, John was still sticky and sweaty but slightly more coherent. And the reality of his situation began to settle in.

“Don’t,” Sherlock snapped.

“What?”

“Don’t think.”

Sherlock sighed and loosened John’s arms around his waist. He shifted forward, forcing John’s slowly softening cock to slide free of its warm sheath. John couldn’t help staring at the thin trickle of white fluid that came with it.

Still somewhat distracted by the tail end of his post-orgasm high, John took a moment to adjust when Holmes, W. Sherlock S. turned to face him, his expression very serious. The man’s crystalline eyes were searching and almost a little cold. John truly began to panic.

What the hell had he done?

“I need my phone,” Sherlock said firmly.

“But…”

“Phone.”

John stepped back, tucking himself away and fumbling his gloves off. He fastened his trousers and nodded sadly, turning to retrieve the man’s mobile from where he had placed it in the plastic bin for x-ray after pulling it out of the inside breast pocket of the suit jacket. He handed it to Sherlock and leaned back against the table, waiting for the inevitable.

He would be exposed as a sexual deviant who takes advantage of the citizens in his charge. He would be fired and probably prosecuted.

Sherlock smirked at him as he started a call and lifted the phone to his ear. It did not take long before…

“Hello, brother dear. How are you?” There was a pause during which Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Yes, I’m sure you have. No, I don’t care what you think.”

Another pause, during which John allowed himself to slump in defeat.

“Are you deleting the footage now?” Sherlock asked.

John’s had snapped up.

“Yes, I realize it’s an inconvenience, but then so is spying on me. If you were really all that concerned, you could have intervened before I was taken for secondary inspection. Oh, if only you didn’t so disapprove of my little drug habit.”

John’s mouth fell open. Who in the world was this man’s brother?

“I am aware of how much I will owe you, Mycroft,” Sherlock sighed. After another short pause, he snorted. “Please—you and I both know you will never tell Mummy. You get far too much enjoyment out of having me at the end of your leash.”

Sherlock glanced back at John now, finally. He winked.

“Are you doing it?” Another pause. “Have you done it?”

Sherlock ended his call as abruptly as he had started it. “Done,” he said calmly. He stepped toward where John rested against the table, wedging his bare legs between John’s thighs and leaning in to wrap both arms around his neck.

“D-done?”

Sherlock brushed his fingers over the short hair at John’s nape. “The surveillance footage has been erased. You supervisor, should they ever have any suspicions about you, will be very quietly warned off. All we have now is to get me put back together.”

“What?” It was all John could manage. He was still in shock.

Sherlock bent and placed a gentle kiss on John’s mouth. “Are you satisfied that I’m not carrying any drugs?”

John nodded dumbly, tentatively settling his hands at Sherlock’s waist.

“Good,” Sherlock said, smiling. “Now, help me get dressed and no one will be the wiser.”

“But…”

“Don’t think, my dear John,” Sherlock said seriously, momentarily placing one finger over John’s parted lips. “Do you trust me?”

“Yes.” John startled himself with the swiftness of his answer. It was unlike him. But then, nothing about this day had really been anything like him.

And it was glorious.

Sherlock shifted away again and bent to reach for his trousers. “I will be arriving back in London in two weeks time—the 8:30 a.m. BA arrival from JFK.”

“Okay,” John began, still reeling.

Sherlock tugged his pants and trousers back into place and hurriedly stuffed his shirttails back in. “There is a better than good chance that I will be carrying human remains without the appropriate permits.”

John chuckled in spite of himself. “Is that so?”

“Hmmm,” Sherlock hummed. He looked at John as he grabbed his suit jacket and pulled it on. “I trust you’ll be here to ensure that I am appropriately inspected?”

John nodded vigorously. “Oh, god, yes.”

Sherlock clapped his hands together. “Excellent.” He spun back to the x-ray bins, quickly locating his shoes. “Of course, there’s no reason we should wait that long to see one another again.”

“There isn’t?” John stood and crossed his arms over his chest.

“No,” Sherlock replied, clearly considering something. “In fact…I play the violin. Sometimes I don’t talk for days. Would that bother you?”

“Bother me?”

“Mhmm.” Sherlock retrieved his overcoat and tugged it on. “Potential flatmates should know the worst about each other.”

“Flatmates?” John squeaked.

“Isn’t that what I just said?” Sherlock shrugged. “I have my eye on a nice flat in central London. Between us, we should just be able to afford it. We can go have a look tomorrow.”

“But…” John stepped forward as Sherlock slid the door bolt free. “We’ve just…met…and now we’re going to look at a flat together?”

“Problem?” Sherlock’s expression was confident, cocky even. Yet somehow, John could see a trace of uncertainty. The uncertainty of a man who isn’t often moved to make himself vulnerable with anyone; something he had just done with John. Twice.

John couldn’t help but smile. “No. No, it isn’t. When and where?”

Sherlock beamed at him as he threw the door wide. “We’ll meet at seven. The address is 221B Baker Street.”

He winked at John once more, and then he was gone.

John was still standing motionless in the middle of the small room when Officer Ames returned to it several minutes later.

“Oi, Watson. Where’s the passenger?”

“Hmm? Oh, gone. He waived his right to a witness,” John started, finally moving to head back out to his post. “He was clean.”

Ames shrugged. “Okay, well, let me know if you need me to countersign the report.”

“Will do.”

“He was a right prick, though, wasn’t he?”

“Oh, he wasn’t so bad,” John said, trying to sound nonchalant.

“If you say so. I hate the posh ones—arseholes, the lot of them.”

“So what happened out in the lines?” John deflected.

Ames rolled his eyes. “Lot of fuss and bother about nothing, in the end. Fuck, sometimes I hate this job. Just when you think something is going to happen, nothing does. Know what I mean?”

John couldn’t suppress a smile. “I used to.”