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a different sort of high

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On the whole John Watson's life had improved a lot since those awful days after he was first sent home. Gone were the empty hours spent sitting at a desk in a chair that was too hard for his back, staring at a laptop screen that he didn't know how to fill. Now, if anything, he often felt like there just wasn't enough time in the day to do everything: one of Sarah's full time doctors had gone out on maternity leave, so she was calling him in more and more, and in the last month or so it seemed like the criminals of London had made the joint decision to suddenly become law abiding citizens.

Needless to say, after a very long day at the locum, trying to get settled in an office that was not and probably never would be his, the last thing John wanted to do was go home and deal with a toddler. Because fairly often as of late, that was exactly what he had to do. There was just no other way sometimes to describe Sherlock when the man was bored and on the verge of throwing a strop because he had no acceptable entertainment.

A good hard fucking was usually enough to tame Sherlock's more annoying tendencies, and it was far better stress relief for John than sitting across from his therapist. But it just didn't last long enough. Sherlock's brain, if not his body, could reboot itself in five minutes or less, usually just when John was thinking about what they might have for dinner or of drifting off for the night. His brief bout of peace was nearly always interrupted by one of Sherlock's sarcastic, biting comments as the frustrated detective got up and wandered away in search of new stimulus.

It was starting to drive John mad. Sometimes he wanted nothing more than to tie Sherlock down until he had no choice but to rest for just a few minutes. It was even worse when Sherlock began texting him at work; as it turned out, neither his patients nor Sarah took very kindly to his mobile phone buzzing in his trouser pocket every thirty seconds. The one time he actually got fed up and turned it off, Sherlock showed up at his door and petulantly demanded that John see to the deep cut that had nearly sliced the tip of his index finger off.

John was seething, though his touch remained gentle, as he put the sutures into Sherlock's finger and then carefully bandaged the digit in an effort to keep it safe from dirt. He bit his tongue to keep back the torrent of anger that had been steadily building over the past few weeks only because this was not the place to get into a fight. He was treading on thin ice with Sarah as it was, and, doctor out on maternity leave or no, she would be hard-pressed not to fire him if anything else happened.

Summoning all of his army training to maintain his composure, he told - well, ordered, really - Sherlock to wait and went to see Sarah. "It's just about time for me to be done, so I'm heading out," he said.

Sarah put the cap on her pen and looked at him with an expression that was full of disapproval. "This can't continue, John. You reassured me when I gave you more hours that you were capable of handling it. Now I understand that you have... other commitments. All I ask if that you give me the professional courtesy of telling me so that I can search for help elsewhere."

"No!" John said, possibly a little too desperately judging by how her eyebrows rose slightly. "Sarah, I'll fix this. I'll make sure Sherlock knows not to come here anymore. Or to text me. I'll keep my phone off and tell him to stay away. Please." A fresh surge of anger burned through him, mingled with the embarrassment of having to basically beg for his job. Didn't Sherlock care that they were both very low on funds right now? That John needed this job or they were both going to be joining his homeless network?

For a long moment, Sarah just stared at him like she was trying to figure out whether or not he could be believed. "Fine," she said after what felt like far too long. "You have one more chance. But really, I mean it this time. You only get one more chance. And if you can't work things out with Sherlock -"

"Don't worry, I will. Thanks," he said, trying not to sound too clipped because she wasn't really the one he was mad at, and turned to go. Amazingly, Sherlock was still where John had left him, though unsurprisingly he'd managed to use a lock pick to get into the cabinet and was sorting through patient files.

Red was not a colour John saw very often, but he was seeing it then. He clenched his hand into a fist and sternly reminded himself to keep breathing, because Sherlock didn't even bother to look up at him never mind apologize about the blatant disregard of privacy. Then he stormed over to Sherlock, grabbed the files away, and set them on his desk. They'd need to be resorted into alphabetical order at some point tomorrow, which probably meant he'd end up having to stay even later than usual. Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.

Somehow, he managed to keep it together on the long cab ride home, even managed to offer a polite greeting to Mrs Hudson when they met her coming out of 221b. It wasn't until he was up the stairs and saw that Sherlock had left his coat and scarf draped over the back of the chair instead of hung up properly, like he'd been told to at least a thousand times over, that John lost it.

"That's it!" he yelled, jerking his own coat off. "What the hell is wrong with you, Sherlock? You can't keep doing this to me. I'm not your baby-sitter. I'm not here to entertain you at all hours of the day. I have a job, damn it, and you need to learn to respect that!"

Sherlock glanced over his shoulder with a cool look. "I know you have a job, John, and what you do; that's why I went there." His tone strongly implied that he thought John was an idiot, and it only served to make John that much angrier.

He stormed across the room until he was in Sherlock's face, until he could be sure that every word was being heard, and hissed, "Really? Then would you care to explain why I received no less than three hundred and seventeen text messages today? Three hundred and seventeen, Sherlock. I almost had a patient walk out on me!"

"I thought you would be pleased to get those messages. You were certainly jealous enough when I sent them to the Woman instead."

That did it. John was not conscious of his arm moving, though he was aware of when his fist made impact with Sherlock's face. His head snapped back and Sherlock stumbled, catching himself against the wall. There was a split second where John was just standing there breathing hard as guilt welled up hot and sick, the ugly realization that he'd just lashed out physically instead of retaining enough control to talk it about the way they should, and an apology was already on the tip of his tongue in spite of the anger still itching under his skin.

But then Sherlock straightened up and his eyes had taken on a manic look, a spark there that John hadn't seen for weeks, and he threw a punch at John's midsection. It was easy enough for John to dodge, but he didn't anticipate the heel that swiftly came down hard on his foot. He yelped in pain and reacted instinctively with another punch to Sherlock's right side. It ended up being a glancing blow, but at the same time he hooked his foot around Sherlock's ankle and jerked sharply.

Sherlock staggered in surprise and fell hard with a little extra help, landing on his left elbow and hip. John followed him down, barely feeling the blows that connected with his face, shoulders and upper arms. He grappled with Sherlock for several minutes, rolling around on the floor, both of them trying to get the upper hand. But they were fairly evenly matched: any advantage Sherlock may have had in terms of height and research was more than made up for in John's weight and previous training. Every time John thought he had him pinned and would be able to talk, Sherlock found some way to wiggle free.

It was as exhausting as it was frustrating and John growled, wrenching his weight to the side to roll them over again, this time landing with him on top. He shoved forward, shifting his weight so as to better use it as a weapon, and heard Sherlock let out a peculiar sounding grunt. At the same time, Sherlock went limp underneath him so quickly that John nearly pitched forward onto his face. He caught himself just in time and, as he pushed himself up on his hands, realized with horror where his knee had accidentally landed.

"Oh god, Sherlock," he said, scrambling off. "Are you okay?"

Instead of responding, Sherlock rolled over onto his side away from John and curled his legs up protectively. John shuffled closer and hovered over him, adrenaline mixing with a fresh surge of guilt as he caught sight of Sherlock's white face and reddened cheeks. He had to be in a considerable amount of pain, and that was if John hadn't managed to give him permanent damage. That would really be the icing on the cake.

"Sherlock, please, talk to me. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Sherlock gritted out without opening his eyes, wheezing a little bit.

"You don't sound fine. I hit you pretty hard." John chewed his lower lip, caught between giving Sherlock some space and checking him out, and finally reached out to lay a hand on Sherlock's hip. "Let me see."

"No!"

The vehemence of Sherlock's response was surprising. John furrowed his brows, confused. It wasn't like he hadn't seen Sherlock naked before. For god's sake, he'd given him a blow job that morning! "Don't be an idiot. This is not the sort of thing you want to leave to chance. I need to see if you need medical attention. Let me see."

As he spoke, he tugged hard at Sherlock's hip until the man grunted again and uncoiled slightly. Not very much, because it was done mostly as a response to pain than because he was in agreement, but enough to let John see that there was definitely some swelling - just not the sort he would have expected. Sherlock was definitely hard. He gaped for just a second, the surprise taking him off-guard, and only jerked to when Sherlock tried to roll up again.

"No, don't. It's okay, Sherlock. We were fighting - the adrenaline response to that is perfectly normal, it's not uncommon to get excited over -"

"I know that," Sherlock snapped, the red flush across the bridge of his nose deepening.

He was embarrassed, John could tell, though he wasn't sure why. Even John had been a little turned on, because really their tussle wasn't all that different from when the two of them were being rough in bed, though admittedly they'd never gone this far before. And all traces of his own arousal had definitely deflated the instant he realized he'd hurt Sherlock more than he intended to. Sherlock, on the other hand, was now pressing the palm of his hand to his groin. The pressure had to make it worse, but his hips were rolling, shifting, ever so slightly.

A suspicion bloomed in the back of John's mind, and he sat back a little. "Sherlock, are you... did you like it when I hit you there?"

Sherlock's face turned solid red now, blotting out the white entirely, and he turned his head away and refused to answer. John stared at him, stunned and maybe a little hurt. He and Sherlock had done a lot together in bed. If asked yesterday, John would have said with confidence that there was no kink of Sherlock's or himself that the two of them hadn't tried and tested. Apparently he would have been wrong.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he asked abruptly.

"It's none of your business."

John's jaw dropped. "None of my - of course it is. If there's something that turns you on, I want to know about it."

"Why?" Sherlock demanded, opening his eyes for the first time. He was still hunched in on himself, but for the first time he looked less vulnerable and more like a cornered cat. "I already know that it's not a normal response, thank you very much. I don't need another doctor to tell me that much. Just go away, John. I'll take care of myself."

There were so many things wrong with what Sherlock had just said that John couldn't have even begun to define them all, but that could wait. He pressed his hand down harder on Sherlock's hip, letting him know that he wasn't going anywhere. Okay, so he hadn't really played around with pain before. He'd always thought that he had enough of that everywhere else, and he didn't need anymore between the sheets. But if this was something that Sherlock wanted, John was more than willing to at least give it a fair shot.

"It's more normal than you think," he said softly, cautiously. The wrong word could wreck this irreparably. "It just... it has to do with your brain and the way it receives pain. When you receive a blow to - that area - your brain releases a bunch of endorphins to help you cope with the pain, and it feels good so you get aroused. It's nothing to be ashamed of, love. And you don't need to - to take care of it yourself. Would you... let me?"

Sherlock just looked at him, his eyes narrowed, before he nodded once, hesitating. John helped him to unbuckle his belt and push his trousers and underwear down, Sherlock wincing all the while though it didn't seem to do anything to affect his state of arousal. His cock was fully hard now and there was a wet spot in his underwear, pre-come smeared across the fabric as John pulled them down to his ankles. He slipped Sherlock's shoes off and then his clothing, leaving him bare from the waist down.

"Spread your legs," he murmured, shifting up as Sherlock obeyed. He could see the signs of trauma now, Sherlock's testicles were a little swollen, though it wasn't as bad as he might have expected. It must have been a lighter blow than he'd thought. There was no bruising and, from the outside at least, aside from the mild swelling everything looked normal.

He placed his hands on the sensitive inner flesh of Sherlock's thighs, wanting him to calm down a little more before anything else happened. He lightly trailed his fingers up, just barely grazing his groin each time, letting his pinkie fingers catch on a curl of pubic hair in a tease before he moved his fingers back down. It seemed to help, as the tension slowly ran out of Sherlock's muscles until the only part of him moving was his hips as he started to squirm impatiently.

This time when John's right hand slipped up, he ran a careful finger across Sherlock's balls. Sherlock drew in a sharp breath at the touch, his head tipping back, but otherwise there was no reaction. Feeling that he was familiar enough with Sherlock's pain responses to be confident here, John took his testicles into the palm of his hand. They were warm and soft with hair, the skin delicate and wrinkled, and he rubbed his thumb across the top where they joined the rest of Sherlock's body.

"Let me know if I hurt you too much," he said. They really should have worked out some sort of system, but... now that he had Sherlock spread out before him, he didn't want to stop. Didn't want to risk seeing the shutters come down across Sherlock's eyes again. "I'm not going to do anything too dangerous, but I mean it. If it gets unbearable or I do something you don't like, we're stopping."

"Yes, yes, get on with it!"

John let himself smile because Sherlock couldn't see it and slowly tightened the pressure of his hand. It was very strange to be doing this. He liked having his own balls played with during sex, particularly during a blowjob. But he couldn't imagine wanting them to be tugged or crushed or played with in a manner designed to cause pain. Logically he could understand how it worked, but personally it was making his own testicles want to crawl back up inside his body.

Still, though, this was for Sherlock, and he knew for certain that there were a few things they'd done that Sherlock wasn't exactly interested in. But he had done them for John, and he would do this for Sherlock - besides it wasn't like his motive was purely selfless, he loved seeing Sherlock at his mercy like this. So he squeezed until Sherlock whined, the sound escaping around where he was biting down hard on his lip, and his cock jumped.

“You like that,” said John, unable to keep the note of wonder out of his voice. He ceased increasing the pressure but didn’t ease up, just letting himself look, for the moment, at his lover. Sherlock had rolled fully onto his back now. His right hand was on his knee, helping to lift his bent leg out of the way so that John had full access, but his fingers were digging in so hard they’d turned white. His other hand had been tossed across his face, hiding his expression from John’s view.

“Hey now. That’s not fair. You have to look at me.”

There was no response, and Sherlock didn’t move his hand. John frowned and let go of his balls, watching in satisfaction as Sherlock’s whole body jumped at the unexpected sting of having all that blood rush back into place. He cupped Sherlock’s balls again, holding them in the palm of his hand like they were something fragile. He wouldn’t go any further until Sherlock met his gaze, and he was prepared to wait. But judging from the pre-come puddling on Sherlock’s belly and pubic hair, he wasn’t.

Sure enough, it was only a minute or two before Sherlock began to squirm again. “John, get on with it.”

“Not until you look at me,” John replied. “That’s part of the deal, babe. I need to see that you’re enjoying this.” He paused, wondering if maybe that was the problem, and added, “I want to see that you’re enjoying this.”

Sherlock went tense, but his hand shifted just enough so that he could peek out at John. “I shouldn’t be.”

“I already told you it’s okay,” John said, squashing the desire to figure out just who had told Sherlock that this was wrong. Because maybe no one hand, at least not about this one specific thing. It seemed to be something that Sherlock held as intensely private, and he had so much trouble fitting in as it was; it was entirely possible this was something he had never dared to share with anyone.

He decided to give Sherlock a reward for being brave and let his balls go again. But at the same time, he brought his right hand up and gave them a sharp slap. The effect was instant. Sherlock jolted, seizing up for an entirely different reason, and then moaned. John grinned and did it again, liking the glassy sheen that Sherlock’s eyes were quickly taking on. And when he slapped him for a third time, he put a little bit more force into it, enough so that Sherlock’s dick rocked back and forth with the impact.

“John,” Sherlock moaned. It was the sort of sound he usually only made when John had him spread-eagled on the bed and was fucking into him as hard and deep as he possibly could. John caught his breath, feeling his own cock harden. God he would love to just unzip and slide right into Sherlock right now...

No. This was for Sherlock. He slapped Sherlock a fourth time and then a fifth, varying the pressure each time, and then - just to change it up a bit, so that genius mind wouldn’t be able to anticipate the blows - he slapped Sherlock’s inner right thigh. Sherlock jumped again and then whimpered, biting down on his fingers to muffle the sound when John gave him a matching slap on his inner left thigh. He seemed to like that just as much as the attention to his testicles.

His flesh was turning a wonderfully rosy colour, a shade of pink that John was intimately familiar with and which made his mouth water. He couldn’t resist bending down to blow a stream of air across Sherlock’s balls, just to see the way they twitched at the change in stimulation. The skin would be so sensitive now, and the air would be catching every single strand of curly dark hair and make it worse. Or better. John kept blowing, knowing it was torture of a different sort, and right when Sherlock was wriggling underneath him, he slapped him on the balls again - the hardest time yet.

“John!” Sherlock shouted, his hips bucking, testicles drawing up close to his body. His thighs were trembling. All signs that Sherlock Holmes was very close to the edge.

John was a merciful man sometimes, but not today. He tugged Sherlock’s ball sac back down, wrapping his other hand around Sherlock’s cock tight enough to stave off that orgasm. Sherlock whined, high and wordless, and batted ineffectively at his hands like a playful kitten. It was both adorable and sexy, because now John could see his face in full. He was flushed and sweating, curls stuck to his cheeks and forehead, and his eyes were completely dilated. His lips were swollen from where he’d bitten on them to keep himself quiet, and even now he grabbed his plush bottom lip between his two front teeth and squeezed his eyes shut in agony.

“So beautiful,” John murmured, the endearment slipping out before he could stop it. Even after everything they’d done, he’d never seen this side of Sherlock before. It was exquisite, and he wanted to see it more often. He lightly stroked Sherlock’s thigh until he’d come back down from the edge a bit.

“You’re cruel,” Sherlock rasped finally, struggling for breath. Even his belly was flushed pink, and his cock had to be aching by now. The exposed head was nearly purple.

“I just want you to enjoy yourself,” John said, trying for innocence and knowing that Sherlock didn’t believe him for a minute. He turned serious, asking, “Is there... well, anything I’ve missed? Do you want something more, or is this okay?”

Sherlock let out a strained laugh. Even though he was effectively pinned, his hips were still shifting in those tiny, ineffectual movements, trying to get some pressure. “It’s... it’s fine.”

“Just fine? Because I could -”

“John Watson, if you don’t continue what you were doing immediately, I will show up to your work every single day from now on whether we have a case or not,” Sherlock said through gritted teeth.

“You’re really not giving me incentive to keep giving you pleasure,” John said, reminded the reason that they had ended up in this situation in the first place. Sherlock glared at him. He met the gaze challengingly and slowly released his grip on Sherlock’s cock. He wouldn’t stop, but he wasn’t going to let Sherlock come that easily either. Not after he’d been such an annoying git.

He bent down again, taking a closer at Sherlock’s balls to gauge how much more punishment they could take before his better judgment kicked in and called this off. He looked, and kept looking, until Sherlock let out a frustrated huff and reached for his cock again. John pushed his hand away without lifting his head and leaned in, giving a very light nip to his ball sac. There was another sharp intake of breath above him and he smirked, resting an arm across Sherlock’s stomach to hold him down.

He nipped again, just enough to sting, and then caressed the spot with his tongue. Then he blew cool air across the puckering skin, nibbled again, and followed up with his tongue. He did it a couple times before Sherlock whimpered somewhere above him, a strangled sound that meant he was probably biting on his fingers again. John had to smile and gently nuzzled the sac with his nose, breathing in deeply.

Down here it was all musk, a little sweat, because even though Sherlock could be finicky when it came to keeping clean, it was very warm outside and he probably hadn’t showered yet that day. He didn’t mind the smell. He was starting to associate it with Sherlock being turned on. It was certainly doing a good job at increasing the pressure in his own trousers. He slid his hand away from Sherlock’s thigh and reached down to unbuckle his belt and unzip his trousers. Even that was a tremendous relief, though he didn’t take himself out. Not yet.

He nuzzled a little higher, pressing a kiss to the base of Sherlock’s cock. The sticky head bumped against his cheek and he chuckled, delivering a none too gentle slap to the right inner thigh. The flesh there, too, had turned a lovely soft pink, and it would be painful for Sherlock to sit, stand or walk for the next couple of days. It wouldn’t bruise too badly, but he liked seeing the shape of his hand there. It was a pity that the mark faded so quickly. He slapped three matching prints onto Sherlock’s left thigh in rapid succession, listening to the soft sound of moans above him.

John began to alternate - a nip to Sherlock’s balls, never in the same place so that Sherlock couldn’t anticipate it, and a slap to his balls or thighs. His own breathing was beginning to get faster in anticipation of seeing his lover come, because he could tell that Sherlock was too wound up to last much longer. He eased his arm off Sherlock’s stomach and, even though the angle was awkward and meant he had to stop with the nips, wrapped his free hand around Sherlock’s cock. It was so hot to the touch and Sherlock wailed his name.

“Come on, babe, come on,” he said, lifting himself up. He delivered a particularly hard slap against Sherlock’s balls and started pumping his cock hard and fast, just the way he knew that Sherlock liked it. At some point, Sherlock had propped himself up on his elbows so that he could watch what John was doing. With that slap, though, he let himself fall back. He was writhing on the ground, his fingers clenching into fists like he was trying to find something to hold onto, and finally grabbed for his own head. He gripped his hair and pulled at the same time that John slapped him again.

Whether it was the additional stimulation from the hair pulling or just the right moment, John wasn’t sure, but Sherlock arched his back, driving his hips up, and came. Come splattered across John’s hands and Sherlock sobbed wordlessly, muscles jerking uncontrollably. John stopped the slapping but kept stroking his dick, hard at first but then gentling it into something more bearable because he knew that Sherlock always got oversensitive right after he came.

The tension in his body slowly faded as he went lax against the ground but for a fine trembling, and Sherlock opened his eyes. He was staring at John with something that was suspiciously akin to awe, and that look hit John hard. He swallowed hard, taking his filthy hand away from Sherlock’s cock, and reached down to free himself finally. He hadn’t even fully realized until that moment how much this had affected him, but his cock was throbbing and he couldn’t help a soft groan as soon as he touched himself.

There was something amazingly hot about the fact that he was smearing Sherlock’s come across his dick as he started to stroke. It would've been nothing for him to come within seconds, but he wanted to make it last just a little more. Sex had become more like an unspoken argument over the past month instead of something for them to enjoy, and right now Sherlock was splayed out in front of him with his arms spread wide like some sort of fallen angel, only one with strips of come across his belly and pink thighs.

"Sherlock," he sighed, rubbing his thumb under the head of his cock. Shivery waves of pleasure radiated up his spine and he groaned, dropping his gaze down to Sherlock's groin. His softened dick mostly hid his balls from sight now, but he could see a hint of pink flesh peeking out and it was a huge turn on to know that he'd done that. That Sherlock had trusted him enough to let it happen, that he wanted it.

"Mmm, I'm here, John." Sherlock pushed himself up slowly, grimacing a little in pain, and reached for him. He wrapped one hand around John's and started to help him pump, slowing John's pace into something that was just short of painful. Judging by the smirk on his face, it was on purpose. John tried for a glare, but it faded when Sherlock kissed him.

Like this they were on the same level, and it was always a little bit of a different dynamic. John met him eagerly but didn't try to dominate it, murmuring his approval of the deep but tender kisses. He shivered again as Sherlock's fingers slipped across the head of his cock, pushing the foreskin back even more and teasing the slit. He broke the kiss then to turn his head away, his breath catching when Sherlock leaned in and began mouthing at his neck.

"Yeah," he whispered, letting his eyes slip shut, focusing on the feelings humming through him, the combined sensation of their hands, the sweet build up. His orgasm was slow, a release of the tension he hadn't realized he'd been carrying for so long. Sherlock held him through it, planting slow kisses across John's throat and back up to his mouth. John kissed back sloppily, aware of the idiotic smile on his face but unable to help it.

Sherlock sighed, kissing him one last time, and then put his head down on John's shoulder like he was too tired to move. John's hands were messy and sticky with come, but he still wrapped his arms around his lover and ran a lazy hand up and down his spine. The ability to think returned to him slowly. They would both need a long shower after this, and thank god Mrs Hudson was out, or she would've been ready to call in Scotland Yard. Neither of them had been very quiet during this whole mess.

"I’ll get you some ice and some acetaminophen. You’ll need it," he muttered. "And I'll have to monitor you over the next couple days. Make sure you're okay."

“I’m fine,” Sherlock said with a shake of his head, and John couldn't see him but he knew Sherlock was rolling his eyes.

"If you're fine, then we can have a chat about you being a prick and showing up at my job."

"... Perhaps I'm a bit sore."

John was the one who rolled his eyes this time, but he urged Sherlock to sit up so that he could get up. The detective went, pouting and wincing as he gingerly sat back, making sure that he kept his legs spread. He was naked from the waist down but still wearing his shirt, and John was fully dressed with his dick hanging out. He stripped his clothing off - might as well, there was come all over him - and told Sherlock to do the same thing as he walked into the kitchen and washed his hands.

Predictably there was no ice, or at least no useable ice, but he found an old package of frozen peas that would do. He brought those, a warm, wet towel, two acetaminophen and a glass of water back out to Sherlock. While he took the pills, John cleaned him up as best he could. He wiped the worst of the semen away and then wrapped the frozen peas in his vest before gently nudging the package between Sherlock's thighs and underneath his cock. Sherlock stiffened and choked on the water he was drinking, spitting some of it up.

"Sorry," John said.

"No, you're not," Sherlock muttered, wiping his mouth with the back of his arm. He was pouting again.

"You're right, I'm not." There was really no point in hiding it. John shifted around so that he could sit with his back to the sofa, too. They were silent for about a minute, Sherlock sulking and sipping from the glass, while he sorted out what he wanted to say. Finally, he went with, "You don't have to hide things from me because you think they're unorthodox."

"John -"

"No, listen to me. Just because it's not something I'm familiar with doesn't mean I'm going to turn you down or think you're a freak." He knew he'd hit the nail on the head when Sherlock winced. "Just... talk to me next time, okay? If it's something I'm really not comfortable with I'll let you know, but I'd rather not find out next time because you pissed me off so much we got into a fight."

Sherlock was quiet for a moment before he nodded. It was probably the most acceptance John was going to get on the matter, so he decided to leave it for the time being. He suspected Sherlock needed some time to fully understand what had happened today before he would be open to talking. That was fine. There was something else they needed to talk about, anyway.

"And in the future, you absolutely cannot come to my workplace. And you can't text me constantly, either. I know you're bored. I get that. But it's not good, Sherlock. I like my job. I don't want to get fired."

"But -"

John cut him off again. "If it's a genuine emergency, then yes you can contact me. I'll be checking my phone periodically. But when I'm working, you have to understand that I can't answer you right away. When I'm with a patient, I have to pay attention to them. It affects my reputation when they see that I'm distracted." He reached down, readjusting the slipping bag of frozen peas, and added, "Go bother Mycroft if you have to."

"I don't need him to give me cases," Sherlock said, sounding insulted.

"No, but you do love being able to rub his face in it when you can solve something," John pointed out, scooting closer and wrapping an arm around Sherlock's shoulders. "I don't like being mad at you, love."

"I don't know," said Sherlock, tilting his head back so that he could push his nose into John's hair. His lips brushed against John's neck, eliciting a shiver, as he huskily murmured, "I enjoyed it."

"Idiot," John muttered affectionately, but he still turned his head for a kiss.