Work Header

Sharp Dressed Man

Work Text:

Sherlock Holmes considers himself to be a man who knows his limits, who has tested them to the smallest degree. He knows precisely how long he can go without sleep before his mental and physical stamina starts to decline (the answer is longer than anyone else he knows but not, alas, indefinitely) and exactly how much food will appease his body’s demands without slowing him down.

Up until a few years ago, he even used to know how much cocaine it would take to dispel the crushing fog of boredom that crept around him between cases, but not anymore. First Lestrade had made it clear that he could either work with the police or carry on with his drug habit – and the work came first, the work always came first – and then later there was John, who made his feelings on recreational drug use quite clear the first night they met.

But overall, he knows both his limitations and his tolerances, even if Scotland Yard doesn’t believe he’s capable of acknowledging the former. Even so, he really ought to have been better prepared for that Saturday afternoon. Because Sherlock has found that one sure and certain thing about John Watson is that he’s completely unpredictable.


The email from a grateful client (whose forgery case they’d solved last month) is an invitation for both of them to an auction that’s being held in one of London’s posher hotels. Sherlock hasn’t the slightest notion of accepting, and he reads the email aloud with a sardonic tilt of his head that invites John to share in his disdain for such social functions.

He’s not prepared for John to steal his laptop from under his hands and fire off a quick acceptance.

‘For God’s sake, why?’ Sherlock asks, too surprised and aggrieved by John’s actions to make a move to stop him. ‘You don’t even like those sorts of stuffy, formal events.’

John shrugs, passes Sherlock’s laptop back to him, and returns to his mug of tea and the crossword. ‘You need to get out of the flat, it’s been ages since you had a case. And there’ll be lots of rich people there – maybe one of them will have something for you.’

‘It’ll be so boring,’ Sherlock moans, slouching in his chair and narrowing his eyes when John appears unmoved by this argument.

‘It’s just for an afternoon. And you never know – perhaps some of their jewellery will turn out to be stolen.’

‘You realise that this means you’ll have to wear a suit,’ Sherlock tries, playing the last card in his hand. But John only grins infuriatingly.

‘I know. But, thanks to you, I do happen to have one. And it needs an airing.’


When the day of the event comes around, Sherlock leaves a bag on John’s bed while he’s in the shower and then hastily retreats downstairs. A short while later the bathroom door opens and John’s footsteps cross the landing, and there’s utter silence for several loaded moments before John shouts, ‘Sherlock!’

Sherlock goes to stand at the foot of the stairs.

‘Yes?’ he calls, trying to sound as though John has interrupted him in the middle of something terribly important and not as though he’s been perched motionless in his armchair, ears pricked to track every sound from upstairs.

‘Get up here right now!

Sherlock bounds gleefully upstairs and into John’s bedroom, to find John wrapped in a towel and eyeing the small pile of material among the packaging strewn on his bed with deep distrust.

John looks and smells positively edible, his hair still wet and spiky from the shower and with the warm, clean scent rising from his skin, but Sherlock takes a deep breath and merely asks, ‘Is something wrong?’ with his voice pitched at just the perfect level of helpful innocence to make John shift his gaze from his bed to Sherlock.

What,’ John asks, pointing at his bed with the hand that isn’t braced combatively on his hip, ‘is that?

'Underwear,’ Sherlock says, radiating cooperation. ‘Boxers, if you want to be precise.’

‘Sherlock, they’re made of silk!

They are indeed made of silk. A very dark red, like a centuries-old Merlot, and very soft and smooth. As soon as Sherlock had seen them he’d known that it was that colour and no other that he wanted to see on John. And furthermore, he wants to see John’s face when he feels what it’s like to have his cock and balls cradled in the material.

‘Yes.’ Sherlock lifts his shoulder in a nonchalant shrug. ‘It’s a fairly posh affair; you’ll need to be properly dressed.’

‘In silk underwear?

‘Well…’ Sherlock pretends to consider the issue. ‘It’s true that not everyone’s comfortable wearing that sort of thing, so if you don’t feel that you can–’

‘Hang on, I didn’t say I couldn’t,’ John interrupts, spine straightening and posture becoming fractionally more military, for all that he’s clad only in a smattering of water droplets and a slowly-slipping towel. ‘I said that… Wait a minute.’ His eyes narrow. ‘This is revenge, isn’t it? You’re trying to get back at me for making you go to this thing.’

‘Now, John, really. Don’t you think that such a juvenile retaliation would be rather beneath me?’

‘No,’ John answers unhesitatingly. ‘It absolutely wouldn’t be, you git. All right then, challenge accepted.’

John tugs his towel off and briskly dries his hips and thighs before tossing it onto the bed and picking up the offending garment. Sherlock has one brief, glorious view of John completely naked – strong thighs, and dark blond hair between his legs – before John steps into the boxers and slides them up.

The fit is perfect, Sherlock notes. He’d had to estimate, given that hand-stitched silk didn’t have the convenient size labels of John’s more usual apparel, but after John has pulled them up and fidgeted with them they sit on his hips perfectly, not so tight as to restrict movement but just snug enough to hint at the shape of the delectable flesh beneath. The colour contrasts wonderfully against the skin of John’s stomach, still showing the last traces of his desert tan, and the sunlight coming through a crack in the curtains turns the tiny, dark blond hairs on his thighs to strands of gold.

John snaps his fingers under Sherlock’s nose and Sherlock jumps, realising belatedly that he’s staring. When he lifts his eyes, John is trying not to laugh as he says, ‘I’m up here. Have you finished ogling me?’

‘I was… checking the fit.’

‘Yeah, right,’ John says dryly, not fooled in the slightest. The loss of the ability to deceive and misdirect John has been one of the few disadvantages of their new relationship, but Sherlock can’t honestly say he’s too upset about it when weighed against the benefits.

‘How do they feel?’

John smoothes his hands over his hips – making Sherlock’s fingers itch to do the same – and shifts his weight from foot to foot experimentally.

‘A bit weird. Different. But… yeah. Fine. They’re… um. Very soft.’

Is it his imagination, or is John’s voice perhaps not quite as steady as usual?

‘Well then.’ Sherlock claps his hands together decisively, squeezing tight to avoid reaching for John. If he starts touching him while he’s wearing those things then they’ll never leave. ‘Come on, get dressed and let’s go.’


It takes Sherlock longer than usual to get ready, distracted as he is by thoughts of John doing the same upstairs. He imagines shirt and trousers sliding over skin and muscles that will be warm to the touch even through the expensive fabric, and Sherlock is halfway through buttoning up his shirt before he realises that he’s put it on inside out.

Finally they’re both ready, and on their way out of the flat Sherlock catches John by the wrist and presses him back against the wall by the door for a kiss. Despite John’s muffled protest of, ‘We’ll be late!’ his mouth opens readily against Sherlock’s and one hand settles on the nape of his neck.

After several silent, intense minutes, Sherlock draws back, planting a last lingering kiss onto John’s now-flushed lower lip.

‘I like that suit very much,’ he murmurs.

‘Er, yes. Yes, I’d noticed.’ John is breathless, sounding as though he’s caught between arousal and laughter, and Sherlock leans in to press his face into the side of John’s neck.

The first time he had seen John in it had been memorable. No sooner had John walked into the kitchen wearing it than it was lying on Sherlock’s bedroom floor, cast to one side while Sherlock hitched John’s knees over his shoulders and fucked him until John came, sobbing for breath.

As John smoothes his hands down Sherlock’s waist, trying to calm them both before they leave, Sherlock skates his own hands down John’s back to cup his arse and nudges his thigh between John’s to exert the slightest pressure against his groin.

‘Oh God.’ John squirms, thrusting forward slightly before pulling back. ‘Sherlock, don’t. We can’t, we don’t have time…’

‘Just you wait until I get you home,’ Sherlock breathes into John’s ear, tickling the curve of it with his lips and inhaling the smell of John’s shampoo. Their shampoo, he thinks, unreasonably pleased by such a tiny thing.

He reaches down and cups his hand briefly over John’s fly, imagining the silk sliding over the warm flesh beneath, and John grips his forearm but doesn’t pull his hand away.

‘Sherlock…’ That was almost a moan, and John’s eyelids are at half-mast. ‘God, that’s…’

Pulling away from John when he looks like that is almost impossible, but Sherlock does so, reaching for his coat as he says, ‘Come on. We need to leave.’

He watches John discreetly adjust himself in his trousers and take a few deep breaths. The temptation to crowd him back into the bedroom is nigh unbearable, but Sherlock is desperate to see how John will cope with the next several hours.


The event proves every bit as tedious as Sherlock had known it would be. The room is too hot, too noisy, and too full of dull people, all eager to discuss their dull little lives. The only redeeming feature, and the only thing stopping Sherlock from leaving, is John.

His suit fits him perfectly, emphasising the solidity of his chest and shoulders and the trim lines of his waist and hips. John hadn’t worn a tie, partly because the dress code had specified smart but casual and partly, Sherlock suspects, to tease, since his open shirt collar reveals the small hollow at the base of his throat and the slightest hint of collarbone. It makes Sherlock long to undo the rest, pull the edges of the shirt apart, and rub his face all over John’s shoulders and chest.

He’s evidently not the only one with such ideas. Sherlock has been watching John’s conversation partners and has caught no fewer than three women and one man paying more attention to John’s shirt fastenings than what he was saying.

The cufflinks Sherlock has lent John are just the right shade to complement his eyes. Every time he lifts his hand to sip at his drink they shine an even brighter blue, but best of all is the way that, every time John moves, his expression flickers, briefly going distant before he nips at his lower lip and visibly drags his attention back to the conversation.

From his vantage point behind a large potted palm – if any more people try to engage him in boring conversation then he refuses to be responsible for his actions – Sherlock can see that John’s cheeks are flushed. It could be the heat of the room, true, but he’s willing to bet that if he gets close enough then he’ll find that John’s pupils are also dilated.

At last John’s current conversation partner stops salivating over his open shirt collar and moves off, and Sherlock darts out from his corner to touch John’s elbow. John turns, and the way his face lights up when he sees Sherlock makes Sherlock’s stomach flutter happily.

‘There you are,’ John smiles up at him, letting Sherlock draw him back to his quiet corner. ‘I wondered where you’d got to. How are you doing? Seen any forgeries yet?’

‘Three,’ Sherlock says distractedly. Yes, there it is. John’s pupils are slightly larger than the light levels really warrant, and the flush on his cheekbones and across the bridge of his nose is one that Sherlock usually only sees when they’re wearing significantly fewer clothes than at present. He lowers his voice and murmurs, ‘How are you feeling? Ready to leave yet?’

John looks away and gives a soft laugh, more breath than sound. ‘Um… I’m fine. Yeah. No problems.’ He dart a quick look at Sherlock, half-challenging, half-devilish. ‘I’m happy to stay a bit longer.’

Sherlock decides that he isn’t above a little teasing – after all, John is the one who’s condemned them to this tedious waste of an afternoon – and so he leans closer, close enough for a kiss, and lets his voice slide into its lower registers as he asks, ‘Really? You don’t want to let me take you home and take those off you?’

He knows that John likes his voice; he’s said so many times. And so perhaps it’s a bit cruel to ask such a question in his best seductive rumble, but it’s just too good to watch John bite his lip and look away.

And then Sherlock is reminded why it’s always a mistake to underestimate John as the man, quite shockingly and unexpectedly, turns the tables on him.

John swivels casually so that his back is to the rest of the room, glances up at Sherlock, and says softly, ‘It feels really, really good. They’re soft and slippery and warm and… Christ, it feels like I’ve been half-hard ever since we left the flat. It feels almost like you’ve got your mouth on me.’ John is well and truly flushed now, and looking hungrily at Sherlock with eyes that are dark with wanting. ‘They’re making me think of the other morning, when you woke me up sucking me, d’you remember?’

Sherlock’s taken aback by the sudden flood of words pouring from John, so quiet that he has to lean close to catch them, and at the breathless question he gasps, ‘Yes,’ as he feels warmth start to pool in his groin.

He knows exactly which morning John is thinking of. Sherlock had awoken first, curled around John who was limp and heavy and soft with sleep. Mostly soft: when Sherlock skated his hand down John’s warm stomach he found that John was half-hard and he moaned softly when Sherlock curved his palm over John’s half-formed erection. For several long minutes Sherlock stayed where he was, breathing in the sleep-smell of John’s hair and feeling the tiny twitches against his palm as John’s cock lengthened and hardened, until temptation grew too much. He moved away just enough to gently coax John onto his back before, almost holding his breath, delicately easing John’s thighs apart until there was enough space to lie between them and guide his cock into Sherlock’s mouth.

John had woken up after Sherlock’s first strong suck, gulping in a deep lungful of air as his knees clamped tight against Sherlock’s ribs, and came barely a minute later, his hands skittering helplessly over Sherlock’s shoulders.

‘They’re making me think of that morning,’ John says, voice rough and unsteady, before adding in a whisper, ‘God, I wish I could kiss you right now.’

He looks at Sherlock, arousal and longing written clearly all over his face, and Sherlock can’t even think about resisting him. He steps forward, but John holds up a hand to halt him.

‘That’s probably not a very good idea,’ he says, half-laughing and half-rueful. He bites the corner of his lip and his gaze flicks greedily up and down Sherlock’s body. ‘If I start kissing you now then we’ll both end up getting arrested for public indecency.’

This is as much as Sherlock can stand to hear. He seizes John’s hand and all but drags him toward the door and out into the corridor, not giving a toss for the heads that turn as they pass but only for the warm grip of John’s hand in his and John’s suppressed laughter as he asks, ‘Changed your mind about staying, then?’

‘No,’ Sherlock replies distractedly. He tugs John behind him as he wends his way deep into the corridors of the hotel, past the signs for the gym and conference facilities. They pass numerous bedroom doors, but even if Sherlock had the leisure to work out which ones are empty then he definitely doesn’t have the patience to pick the lock, not with John crowding close behind him.

At last he finds what he’s looking for – a toilet off the corridor that’s clearly for use by non-resident hotel visitors – and he drags John inside, locking it behind him.

It’s ridiculously over-furnished, gilt and marble toilets and sinks and an array of mirrors to satisfy even the vainest person, a plushly upholstered armchair in one corner, and a fussy little chair that Sherlock instantly seizes and wedges beneath the door handle for good measure. The overly decadent style makes Sherlock want to do something indecorous in there just on principle, even without the added temptation of John half-turned on in silk underwear.

A gleaming marble counter, with a pristine stack of hand towels, runs along one wall and Sherlock pushes an unresisting John toward it. He manhandles John almost roughly, but John isn’t complaining. John is laughing against Sherlock’s mouth, and his hands are everywhere: running through Sherlock’s hair, sliding up under his suit jacket, and cupping his bum and squeezing appreciatively.

When John is pinned between Sherlock and the counter, Sherlock’s fingers leap to the line of small buttons on John’s waistcoat. It’s the work of a few moments to undo them, shuck John efficiently out of his jacket and waistcoat, and fling them off to land on the armchair; Sherlock has no intention of incurring John’s wrath for ruining his best clothes.

Next is John’s shirt, but before Sherlock can deal with that he has to get his hands free – John is pushing Sherlock’s jacket over his shoulders in a way that brooks no argument. Sherlock shrugs out of it while John starts to pick apart Sherlock’s shirt buttons, and by the time Sherlock can reciprocate, John has tugged his shirt front apart to run his hands firmly over Sherlock’s chest and stomach, pausing to rub his thumbs gently across Sherlock’s nipples.

The cufflinks fastening John’s shirt suddenly seem too small and fiddly to bother with, and so Sherlock lets John keep his shirt as he drops to his knees, shrugging his own off and tossing it away as he kneels, bare-chested, at John’s feet. Sherlock leans forward to rub his cheek against the solid line of John’s cock, listening to John’s breathy noise above him. Almost frantic, he fumbles with John’s belt, opens his trousers, and tugs them down around his thighs and yes, there, that’s it. He presses his face into the warm silk covering John’s groin, nuzzling and inhaling deeply, feeling the soft material sliding over the hot hardness beneath and smelling soap and clean laundry and John.

Sherlock eases John’s trousers down to his ankles, and lets John use his shoulders for balance as he picks up first one foot, and then the other, so that Sherlock can pull off trousers, socks, and shoes and shove the whole mess of fabric to one side. John moves awkwardly, clumsy with arousal and the desire to avoid kneeing Sherlock’s face, but when he’s naked apart from his shirt and underwear Sherlock grabs his hips and presses his face to John’s groin once more. He can’t get enough of smelling John, and the knowledge that it’s all a trick of pheromones and brain chemistry hasn’t yet done anything to diminish this.

Sherlock inhales deeply, and on the exhale he growls, ‘God, I want to fuck you. I’ve not been able to stop thinking about your arse in these.’

John makes a throaty noise, head falling back and hands grasping at the edge of the bench as his hips tilt forwards. ‘Yes, all right. Get a condom and do it.’

Sherlock pauses. ‘What?’

‘Well, if fucking me in a hotel bathroom was all part of your mad plan, then I assume you tucked a condom into your wallet before we left, didn’t you?’

‘No.’ Sherlock looks up at John, frowning in confusion. ‘We’ve not used them since… since…’ Since you signed me up for those blood tests last month, in your sweetly dictatorial manner, and I’d never been so happy to have a medical professional sticking needles into me.

‘We don’t use them any more,’ Sherlock insists, sliding his fingers into the waistband of John’s boxers and tugging slightly. But now the tiniest thread of resistance winds its way through John, previously so pliable, and his hand cups Sherlock’s face as he says, ‘No.’

Sherlock glares up at John, thwarted. ‘For goodness’ sake, have you forgotten those tests last month? That were entirely unnecessary, I might add, since it had been bloody years since I’d–’

‘No,’ John interrupts. ‘No, it’s not that. You can’t… I mean…’ The tips of his ears start to turn pink, and he licks his lips before muttering, ‘Whenever we do it without a condom, it’s… messy.’

‘I know,’ Sherlock purrs, leaning his cheek into John’s warm, slightly callused palm and feeling himself get harder at the memories of John, post-coital and heavy-eyed, inner thighs sticky with sweat and lube and come.

Sherlock rubs his face into John’s hand, suckling a little at the tips of his fingers and John groans, ‘We can’t. It’s too… Look.’ John draws a deep breath, takes his fingers out of Sherlock’s mouth, and fixes him with a determined look. ‘That suit is the nicest thing I own. It was a present from you, I had to put up with hours of trying on different clothes, and I’m not messing it up.’

Sherlock gets to his feet, and uses his greater height to glare down at John. ‘But I want to,’ he says, aware that it sounds perilously close to a whine.

‘I know. But we can’t.’

John’s voice is softer than his words, and he curves a palm around the back of Sherlock’s neck to draw him down to fit their mouths together. John kisses him softly and gentles his hands down Sherlock’s sides, clearly trying to appease him, and Sherlock closes his eyes as he softly parts John’s lips with his tongue. He spreads his fingers over John’s ribcage, trying to cover as much warm, bare skin as possible, and slides one down to rub his palm over John’s half-hard cock, just to hear John exhale a moan.

‘I could get dressed,’ John whispers into Sherlock’s mouth, ‘and we could go home and you could fuck me there. For as long as you want.’

Sherlock shakes his head, and presses his face into the side of John’s neck. He has John here – warm and eager and pulled almost entirely out of his clothes – and the thought of buttoning that tempting expanse of bare skin away isn’t even worthy of consideration.

‘No,’ Sherlock says. He kisses John once more, brief but firm, and says, ‘Turn around and lean on the bench.’

John looks at him, amusement and suspicion warring on his face, but obediently turns and folds forwards, planting his forearms on the bench and dropping his forehead to rest on them. The sight of him makes Sherlock swallow convulsively with want, and he can’t resist grabbing John’s hips. He presses his still-clothed erection against the tempting curve of John’s arse and grinds a little, before John raises his head and gasps, ‘Sherlock,’ lust and warning all tangled up in his voice.

‘I know.’ Sherlock curls his body over John’s to rub his nose on the strip of skin visible at his nape between hair and the shirt collar, and drops a kiss behind his ear as he grudgingly says, ‘I know.’

John’s back is hot against his chest, even with the thin layer of cotton between them, and Sherlock slides his hands the length of John’s spine as he drops to his knees behind John. From this position he’s perfectly placed to lean forwards and bite gently at John’s arse, loving the little jump and curse he gets in response. Months of chasing Sherlock around London have left John’s legs and bum compactly muscled; Sherlock has been increasingly finding that John in a T-shirt and jeans is a definite distraction from his work but can’t bring himself to mind too much.

Sherlock smoothes his palms over the curves of John’s thighs and calves, firmly enough not to tickle, until he cups John’s ankle bones in his hands. The skin there is very thin and fragile, such a contradiction for an otherwise lethal man, and a rush of protectiveness makes Sherlock lean down to rub his cheek against the small hollow at the back of John’s right knee. Entirely unnecessary and illogical protectiveness, but then John seems to excel at inspiring Sherlock with messy, unnecessary feelings.

Slowly, Sherlock slides his hands around to the inside of John’s ankles, and up. When he reaches John’s inner thighs he nudges outwards, just a fraction, and John widens his stance obligingly. Sherlock leaves a trail of warm, open-mouthed kisses up the backs of John’s thighs, and pushes his hands underneath John’s boxers, so that John’s buttocks are warm, firm curves filling the palms of his hands while the silk tickles softly over the backs.

At the point where John’s thigh meets his arse, Sherlock mouths a slow and deliberate line inwards, the material dry and smooth against his tongue, and then waits, fingers flexing slightly on John’s flesh, to see if John will stop him.

John doesn’t. His shoulder blades shift and settle beneath his shirt and he seems to stop breathing for a moment, but then he bends very slightly further forwards and Sherlock wants to crow with glee.

John has only let him do this on one prior occasion, after a most thorough shower. He’d spent so long in there that Sherlock was beginning to wonder whether John – usually so sure-footed – had managed to slip and knock himself unconscious, but at last John had sidled back into the bedroom, damp and flushed, and Sherlock had put his laptop to one side.

Finally,’ he complained, pulling John down onto the bed and whisking his towel away. ‘It took you long enough.’

It had taken a while for John to relax; even once Sherlock had John laid out on his front, he had needed to spend ages trailing kisses along John’s spine while he gently coaxed John’s knees apart. Even now, weeks later, Sherlock’s face heats and his trousers pull tighter across his groin at the memory, because the results had certainly been worth it.

Sherlock leans up enough to drop a kiss on the small of John’s back and then trails his mouth downwards, over the elastic of the waistband, until he’s pressing against the spot that makes John shiver and curse. At first the fabric is dry and shifts under his tongue but Sherlock perseveres, gathering saliva in his mouth to wet the silk, and the slide becomes easier and easier, until John’s buttocks tighten in his hands and he gives a breathy moan, and Sherlock knows that enough sensation is getting through. He digs his fingers into John’s flesh almost cruelly, holding him rigidly in place as he re-doubles his efforts until John’s breathing is in tatters and he seems completely incapable of keeping his hips still.

When John’s knees shiver and he makes a noise that sounds suspiciously like a whimper, Sherlock decides that he’s teased him enough. He leans back far enough to yank the boxers down around John’s thighs, until they’re digging into John’s flesh, and moves back in. This time there’s nothing between Sherlock’s mouth and John’s skin, and John starts to actually make noise on each exhale of breath. Sherlock alternates between pressing hot, messy kisses to the luscious curve of John’s arse and working his mouth between John’s firm cheeks.

At a particularly skilful flutter of Sherlock’s tongue, John makes a strangled noise and shifts his weight onto one forearm to reach down between his legs with his other hand. His body starts to rock in a familiar rhythm, but he only gets in a few strokes before Sherlock grabs the bunched muscles of his forearm and says, ‘No.’

‘Sherlock,’ John gasps, sounding almost broken. ‘Please, I… oh God, I need to come.’

Sherlock would dearly love to carry on doing this to John until he comes from it, but unfortunately they don’t have that much time. He grips John’s hips firmly and pivots him, steadying him when John stumbles a little and grabs at the edge of the marble counter. He presses his face into the warm skin of John’s stomach, feeling John’s cock bumping hard and wet against his throat. One of John’s hands settles in Sherlock’s hair, fingers flexing slightly when Sherlock rubs his lips along the side of John’s erection. He presses a lush, closed-mouthed kiss against the head, and then parts his lips to let it nudge inwards and over his tongue, and sucks hard. It makes John’s legs quiver, before he locks them rigidly in place, and Sherlock stands.

He buries his face in the side of John’s neck, kisses along the hot, slightly damp skin and then grabs John’s bum.

‘Get up on the bench,’ he mutters in John’s ear, the fine blond hairs tickling his nose. ‘I want you to come without having to worry about keeping yourself upright.’

John’s hands clutch briefly at Sherlock’s hips, but he hops up onto the bench and shuffles clumsily backward until he’s half-sitting, half-reclining against the wall, his legs drawn up to brace his heels on the edge of the bench and his knees spread wide.

Sherlock just looks at him for a moment. John is naked apart from the shirt, although that’s now slid off his shoulders and down his arms; it’s baring his scar in all its gnarled glory, but John doesn’t seem to mind. His cheeks and throat are flushed, his hair is messed out of all semblance of order, and his mouth looks thoroughly kissed.

John is staring at Sherlock just as hard, and Sherlock rubs his erection through his trousers briefly, knowing the reaction it will evoke. Predictably, John gulps, but before he can sit up and reach for Sherlock, Sherlock is bending down to press his mouth into the small hollows next to John’s hipbones. They’re less obvious than they were when John moved in – as Sherlock knows from walking in on John in the bathroom once or twice before they got a lock for the door. Accidents, yes, but far from unwelcome. But they’re still visible and Sherlock nuzzles each one before putting his open mouth against the head of John’s cock. John is leaking copiously by now, and Sherlock uses it to wet the palm he wraps around the base, turning the whole thing into a tight, slick slide of hand and mouth.

‘Oh God.’ John’s voice is faint, and his hands skitter restlessly over Sherlock’s bowed head and shoulders before rubbing obsessively along his own spread thighs, as Sherlock begins to suck him – strong, rhythmic pulls at his erection that he knows will make John come in short order. ‘Oh Sherlock.’

John’s balls are drawn up firmly against the root of his cock. One of the advantages of having long violinist’s fingers is that, when John is in this position, Sherlock can push the heel of his hand against John’s balls while curling his fingers down, along the smooth curve of John’s perineum, to rub his fingertips across John’s hole, still wet with saliva.

It requires Sherlock to crane his wrist at an awkward angle, and it’s frankly a bit uncomfortable, but he won’t need to do it for long. Out of the corner of his eye, Sherlock sees John’s nail beds turn white as he digs his fingers into the muscles of his thighs and his hips buck once.

‘Sherlock,’ John slurs, in between untidy gasps of air. ‘I’m almost there… fuck, I’m going to come…’

John’s legs are quivering with the effort of not thrusting, he has a hand in Sherlock’s hair – not grabbing or shoving his head down, just stroking slightly – and his snatched breaths are beginning to resemble sobs. But Sherlock isn’t ready to be done with John yet. He’s greedy for him like this, and greedy for the knowledge that he’s the only one John lets this close to him

And so he pulls off and says, ‘Well, obviously. I’m not blind.’

Fuck!’ John thumps his head back against the wall at the loss of sensation, and Sherlock reaches for John’s cock while pushing his fingers into him, not quite enough to make him come but enough to keep him teetering on the edge. He straightens up, stretching the kinks out of his spine, and leans in to kiss John’s bared throat while keeping the rhythm of his fingers in John’s arse and his other hand on John’s cock.

John grabs his face and drags him close for a clumsy kiss, his eyes screwed shut and sucking in ragged breaths through his nose. Sherlock kisses him back with enthusiasm, moving his hand slightly on John’s cock just to feel him moan against his mouth, and when he twists his fingers inside John while squeezing his cock, John abruptly lets go of Sherlock.

He tears his mouth away, panting against Sherlock’s cheek and flails blindly out to one side, towards the stack of hand towels.

Sherlock,’ John sobs, his thighs shaking against Sherlock’s ribs. ‘Coming… oh God, I’m coming…’

John shoves the small towel down between their bodies, but Sherlock is faster. He shoves John’s hand out of the way, and manages to get his mouth back on John just as he feels the first fluttery squeeze around his fingers and John’s cock starts to throb against his tongue. John’s noises are muffled; Sherlock glances up to see that John has shoved the hand towel against his mouth in an effort to stifle himself and he curls his fingers inside John, trying to force more of those gorgeous sounds out of him.

The pulses of John’s cock in Sherlock’s mouth eventually weaken and stop, and Sherlock pulls back enough to swallow before sinking his mouth down onto John again, suckling gently at him to clean away all traces of semen and tilting his face up slightly to look at John. John’s eyes are open, although heavy-lidded, and when Sherlock meets his gaze he feels John’s cock twitch as John groans softly.

‘God, Sherlock,’ he murmurs, his hand gentle in Sherlock’s hair. ‘Christ… you look obscene…’

Sherlock lets John slip free of his mouth, with a last firm suck that makes John squirm. Now that he’s not concentrating on John, Sherlock becomes aware that his hair is a mess from John’s hands, his lips feel swollen and slightly tender, and he’s fully, achingly hard inside his trousers.

He stands up, and pushes a hand under the waistband of his trousers to relieve the awkward angle of his erection in his underwear. John’s eyes follow the movement of Sherlock’s hand down into his trousers, and the next instant John struggles to sit up, his heels slipping off the edge of the bench as he reaches for Sherlock.

John, when post-coital, always has a few minutes of appalling coordination before he can pull himself back together, and this occasion is no different. He leans heavily against Sherlock, mouthing sloppy, fervent kisses along Sherlock’s collarbone and over his chest while pawing at Sherlock’s belt.

‘Your turn,’ John mumbles into his neck, giving up on Sherlock’s belt and just rubbing firmly along the hard line of Sherlock’s cock. ‘Come on. What d’you want?’

Sherlock buries his face against the side of John’s head. Technically, it oughtn’t to be possible for John to smell like sex, since Sherlock has diligently cleaned every trace of semen off him. But somehow he does, and Sherlock takes deep breaths of the scent that says John and home and desire. He folds John tightly into his arms, and John leaves off groping him in favour of hugging him back, wrapping arms and legs around him.

‘Come on,’ John whispers in his ear, warm and intimate as he rubs Sherlock’s bare back. ‘It’s your turn now. Let me get you off. Anything you want, just tell me.’

‘I want to fuck you,’ Sherlock blurts, his face in John’s neck, and John’s shoulders tense against his cheek as his hand stills.


‘No, not here. I mean when we’re home. I… I want that.’

‘You can still fuck me at home,’ John points out, sounding more reasonable by the minute as he pulls himself back together. ‘I can suck you off here, and by the time we get home you’ll be ready to go again.’

But Sherlock just shakes his head. He’s aware that John’s plan sounds eminently practical, and that it’s ridiculous to be so stubborn about this, but that doesn’t change how he feels.

John only says, ‘Well. All right then,’ and starts to rub his back again. ‘If that’s really what you want.’

Sherlock stays hidden where he is, loving the warm rasp of John’s calloused palm down his spine and trying to calm himself down enough so that he can leave the room without embarrassing himself.

‘You’re very single-minded,’ John murmurs, kneading gently at the back of Sherlock’s neck, but he sounds more thoughtful than annoyed.

Sherlock doesn’t reply. It’s true. They’ve only been together a few months, and he can’t rid himself of the superstitious feeling that John will grow tired of this, once he’s seen that regular sex isn’t going to magically erase some of Sherlock’s more disgusting habits. Sherlock still can’t quite believe that John is here, and will still be here in several weeks’ time – he doesn’t yet dare to think of months, or years – and so he always has a very definite idea of exactly what he wants to do to John, just in case this time is the last.

After several minutes, John pulls back. He kisses Sherlock’s forehead, and says, ‘Let me find my clothes.’

Sherlock moves away to splash cold water on his face and take deep breaths. He watches in the mirror as John collects his clothes and dresses himself, a reverse striptease. Sherlock picks his own shirt up off the floor, and buttons and tucks until he’s once more smartly-dressed, more or less.

‘Come on then.’ John is waiting for him by the door, and when Sherlock goes to join him then John leans up to press a kiss to Sherlock’s cheek before removing the chair from under the door handle. ‘Game’s over. Let’s go home.’


The taxi ride seems to take forever, and Sherlock’s composure isn’t helped by John’s hand resting casually on the seat between them. Sherlock can’t stop looking at it – it’s the same hand that, not so long ago, was grabbing white-knuckled at a hand towel and pressing it to John’s mouth to muffle his noises, then rubbing the back of Sherlock’s neck as he inhaled the sex-scent of John’s hot skin.

John’s fingers wriggle and tap against the seat, and Sherlock looks up to see John watching him with a half-smile. Sherlock doesn’t doubt that his every thought about John is currently written all over his face, and he shifts in his seat and looks out of the window. There’s a damp spot on his boxers where he was hard and wanting while sucking John off, and when it drags and clings against his cock then he squirms and folds his hands together to resist the urge to reach down and adjust himself.

There’s a very faint reflection in the glass when they drive through the shade cast by a line of trees; it’s just enough for Sherlock to make out John grinning at him, and the next moment John’s hand lands on his knee. It just rests there, with John’s fingertips gently tracing the inner seam of Sherlock’s trousers and his thumb rubbing over Sherlock’s kneecap. It’s fairly innocent, as touches go, but Sherlock has been on edge for what feels like hours now and it’s enough to make him shift his thighs subtly wider as he starts to get hard.

Sherlock looks over at John, and the mischievous gleam in John’s eyes tells him that John knows just how wound up Sherlock is, and what this small caress is doing to him. This light-hearted side of John has been more and more in evidence over the past couple of months and Sherlock likes it; he imagines that this is a side of John that was all but hammered out of him by Afghanistan and is slowly reappearing.

But Sherlock wouldn’t be who he is if he let this go by without retaliation, and so he leans across the seat – John mirroring his action – until he’s able to put his mouth right against John’s ear and murmur to him.

‘When I get you home,’ he lowers his voice even though the noise of the taxi’s engine is effectively camouflaging their conversation, just because he knows how much John likes it, ‘I’m going to spread you out on your back, and fuck you until you scream.’

Oh.’ John’s ears turn slightly pink, and when Sherlock pulls back slightly John looks flustered. But the mischievous look has been replaced with a slightly predatory one, and John rallies and says, ‘That sounds fine. But,’ he murmurs, close enough that his breath ghosts over Sherlock’s mouth, ‘it won’t be quick. I mean, I’ve already come once – if you want to make me come again then you’re going to have to work for it. It could take ages.’

John’s hand slides up slightly until he’s gripping Sherlock’s inner thigh, just inches away from his groin. Sherlock struggles to find a reply to this statement – John’s right, it could take a while, and having come once means that John is in no hurry – but then the taxi sways as they turn the corner into Baker Street, and John is removing his hand to fumble for his wallet and leaning forward to tell their driver where to stop.

They tumble through the front door of 221, barely shutting it behind them before John is pushing Sherlock up against the wall and pulling his head down for a kiss. John is strong, for all that he’s short and compact enough to make people frequently underestimate him, and lust curls through Sherlock when John efficiently pins him in place with an arm across his chest and reaches down to cup a hand between Sherlock’s legs.

‘I thought we were never going to get back,’ he murmurs roughly, massaging the warm handful of flesh until Sherlock makes an incoherent noise. ‘I’ve been wanting to do this the whole way.’

Sherlock kisses him again as he pushes the tails of John’s jacket up enough to cup his hands over his arse, groping him appreciatively, but when John fumbles Sherlock’s fly open and works his hand inside, then Sherlock’s grip tightens and he almost picks John up as his hips thrust forwards. John presses closer, releasing the arm across Sherlock’s chest to smooth a hand down his side, and rubs the palm of his other hand along Sherlock’s cock, his range of movement just enough to push the worn, soft cotton of his underwear back and forth against the sensitive skin.

‘Oh God,’ Sherlock blurts. His mouth falls away from John’s kiss, and he rubs his face blindly into John’s neck as he begs softly, ‘More. Please, more than that… put your hand on me…’

There’s pressure against his hip as John flexes and contorts his wrist, and then manages to get two fingers between the buttons on the fly of Sherlock’s boxers to stroke them delicately along his cock, hot and heavy with blood.

‘Oh Christ,’ Sherlock groans, his face still hidden in John’s neck, kneading and clawing at John’s arse.

John buries his mouth in Sherlock’s hair, and cups the nape of his neck in one hand as the fingers of the other work slowly along Sherlock’s length. John pushes the pads of his fingers firmly against the root, scratching gently at the coarse hair, and trails them upwards until his fingertips are gently circling the head of Sherlock’s cock, almost fully-exposed and slightly damp from earlier. Sherlock feels himself throb, and then John’s fingertips are wet as he smoothes the pre-come around in teasing spirals. When John uses one to push Sherlock’s foreskin back from the head and then lets it slip forward again, Sherlock’s knees quiver and John quickly shoves his free arm around him to keep him upright, wedging it between Sherlock’s back and the wall.

Sherlock can’t move; thrusting will dislodge John’s fingers from their current spot, and so he has to hold himself still, tension thrumming through him.

‘Don’t come.’ John has moved his mouth to Sherlock’s ear, and he whispers, ‘You can’t come yet. You want to fuck me, remember?’

Sherlock presses his lips hard against John’s neck to stop himself from making an embarrassing noise. If he could open his mouth without groaning then he would tell John how clever that is: he hadn’t thought he was ready to come, but now that John has put the idea in his mind it’s all he can think about. His balls are heavy and tight, and he can feel how easy it would be to let the maddening little rubs of John’s fingers tip him over. The fact that they’re both still fully-dressed doesn’t deter him at all; in fact the thought of coming in his underwear just from two of John’s fingers teasing him is strangely exciting.

When John stops sliding his fingertips over and around and taps them wetly against the head, the resulting shocks of sensation make Sherlock’s breathing stutter and hitch against John’s throat as Sherlock clutches at him, hips pressing forwards helplessly.

‘God, you’re almost there, aren’t you?’ John’s voice is rough, and softly amazed. ‘I reckon I could get you off just from this.’

The arm snugged around his waist drops lower, and Sherlock’s belt pulls tight across his stomach as John works his other hand down the back of his trousers, pushing under the waistband of his boxers until a dry fingertip is brushing gently, ticklishly, at the cleft of Sherlock’s buttocks. Sherlock can tell what John is thinking, and he shifts clumsily, widening his stance as he nuzzles at John’s ear and mutters, low and intimate, ‘Yes, go on. Do it.’

John draws a deep breath and crooks his two fingers over the head of Sherlock’s cock, working them back and forth in a steady, tantalising rhythm. Sherlock’s belt tightens again as John pushes his hand further into Sherlock’s underwear and his fingers slide downwards, making Sherlock smooth his hands obsessively over John’s hips and tremble with anticipation.

But only seconds later John curses, sounding panicked as he yanks his hands roughly out of Sherlock’s trousers and jerks the edges of Sherlock’s long coat together, just managing to fasten a button before he steps away and the door to 221A opens.

‘Hello, dears. Just off out?’ Mrs. Hudson smiles at them and John stammers a polite reply that actually, they’re just getting back, while Sherlock leans against the wall, face burning and head spinning. He’d been so wrapped up in John that he’d not even heard her footsteps approaching the door and, not for the first time, he’s grateful for John’s military training.

Mrs. Hudson is wearing her coat, and Sherlock wonders if she can also hear the hope in John’s voice as he says, ‘You look like you’re going out. Anywhere nice?’

She glances from one of them to the other and, despite Sherlock’s buttoned coat and the respectable distance between them, Sherlock doesn’t imagine that they’ve fooled her for a minute. She’s always been shrewder than she seems; for goodness’ sake, the woman hired a private detective when it looked as though the court of Florida was seriously considering her husband’s appeal against his sentence, and she knew very well who would be the first victim after his release.

But she diplomatically ignores all the evidence, and only says, ‘Well, I’m trying to. I was supposed to be seeing a play with Mrs. Turner from next door but I might have to miss it, because I’ve put my purse down somewhere and now I can’t find it. It’s silly, really, because I know I had it this morning when I popped out to the corner shop. You know the one on the corner, lovely man, his wife’s just had a baby–’

‘I’ve got some cash I can lend you,’ John interrupts, so uncharacteristically rude that Sherlock feels flattered. John gets out his wallet but of course it’s empty after paying for the taxi, and he says, ‘Hang on a minute,’ and runs upstairs.

Sherlock watches as John takes the stairs two at a time, feeling warm and proud of how easily he does it, no trace of a bad leg, and when he looks at Mrs. Hudson again she’s smiling at him.

‘Oh, Sherlock,’ she says fondly, patting his cheek with a warm hand, the knuckles just slightly swollen and starting to show her age. ‘Smitten, that’s what you are.’

He’s not used to people being able to read his emotions so easily, and the fact that she’s an old acquaintance doesn’t make it any less disconcerting.

‘Here,’ he says, fumbling in his jacket pocket in lieu of a reply. ‘I think I’ve got some cash…’

‘I think it’s lovely,’ she continues. ‘He’s such a nice young man, and you’ve been on your own for so long, dear, I was starting to worry about you.’

In another minute she’ll want to talk about his feelings and so Sherlock hastily produces his wallet, fumbling a couple of notes out and pressing them into her hands. He’s more than a little distracted by thoughts of John, and how in a short while he’ll be spread out naked against the sheets of Sherlock’s bed, and it’s only when he sees a flash of red that he realises he’s given her a fifty-pound note. Christ, John’s going to kill him for throwing money around like it’s water when there’s been a dearth of paying clients lately but Mrs. Hudson is beaming, and thanking him, and promising to pay them back.

‘Yes, good, fine,’ Sherlock says absently, looking at the stairs and tucking his wallet away with hands that are impatient to be on John’s bare skin.

Mrs. Hudson puts her hand on his shoulder; he bends down enough to let her press a grateful kiss to his cheek, and when she draws back he’s already moving towards the stairs.

‘I’ll take us out for dinner afterwards as well, shall I?’

She sounds amused, and Sherlock can’t quite work out why, but he just calls, ‘Fine, yes, good,’ over his shoulder before dashing up the stairs after John.

He finds John in their kitchen, frowning at the jar that represents their joint contributions to basic household necessities like milk, tea, and the sort of industrial disinfectant that’s more usually purchased by biohazard laboratories.

‘It’s fine,’ Sherlock says, plucking the jar from John’s hands and trying to herd him towards the bedroom. ‘I’ve sorted it out.’

He expects John to protest or ask how much, but John only sighs, ‘Oh thank God,’ and tugs him down into a kiss as the distant slam of the front door signals Mrs. Hudson’s departure.

They make it to Sherlock’s room with only minor casualties: a stack of papers that were filed in a precise order incomprehensible to anyone else, and an empty mug that bounces when it’s knocked off the side-table onto the carpet.

John kicks the bedroom door shut behind them, and extricates himself to order, ‘Strip. It’ll be faster,’ dodging neatly when Sherlock grabs for him again. Sherlock suspects that John just doesn’t want the buttons of his fancy waistcoat and shirt to be casualties of Sherlock’s impatience, but no matter. Sherlock shrugs out of his jacket and tie, and his fingers dance along his belt and trousers fastenings while he toes off his shoes and watches John flinging clothes onto the chair.

As soon as John is naked, Sherlock steps out of his trousers and underwear and tackles John onto the bed. John twists like an eel underneath him, laughing, until one of Sherlock’s thighs is between John’s and Sherlock is doing his best to smother John’s mirth with kisses.

‘Sherlock, slow down. You’ve not even taken your shirt off.’

Sherlock couldn’t give a toss about his shirt, and he does his best to communicate this to John through hands and mouth and legs, squirming his other knee in between John’s and then using them to spread John’s thighs wide.

Meanwhile John is chasing Sherlock’s hands, trying to unfasten his cufflinks as Sherlock gropes him all over: running his hands over the ripple of John’s ribs, reaching down to grip the thighs now cradling his hips, and then sliding inwards to tickle the line of hair leading down from John’s navel to where John’s cock is slowly thickening in renewed arousal.

Sherlock can’t decide if he wants to fuck John, or be fucked. He’s been fantasising for what feels like far too long now about folding John in half and fucking him until he forgets his inhibitions enough to cry out. But remembering the feeling of John’s fingertips starting to slide between his buttocks has reminded him that John is, in fact, very, very good at fucking Sherlock, and now he’s torn between the two possibilities.

Every time they do this Sherlock feels hungry for John, starved for his touch and taste and smell in a way that he never was with his previous lovers, pitifully few though they were. Whenever they’re in bed together then Sherlock wants to do everything with John, all at once: suck him, fuck him, have him on his back with his knees hitched over Sherlock’s shoulders, and kneeling behind Sherlock, buried deeply inside him while Sherlock buries his face in the pillow to muffle his wails of pleasure. He wants to crack John open and peel back his layers until all of John’s reactions are exposed and known, until Sherlock can hug it all to him in great, sweeping, greedy armfuls.

John flicks the end of his nose gently, and Sherlock jumps.

‘Come back.’ John is looking up at him curiously. ‘You’re off inside your head again. Everything okay?’

John has removed Sherlock’s cufflinks and undone his shirt buttons while Sherlock was distracted, and now he starts to push the shirt off Sherlock’s shoulders. Sherlock sits up enough to allow this, but then blurts, ‘I don’t know what I want.’

John stills, eyebrows tilted upwards, not saying a word but the way his gaze flits from Sherlock’s erection to his own knees, crooked either side of Sherlock’s hips, speaks volumes.

‘Well,’ John says finally, bringing Sherlock’s shirt back up to cover his shoulders and pulling the sides together across his chest. ‘If you’ve changed your mind then we–’

‘Oh, don’t be an idiot, I didn’t mean that,’ Sherlock snaps, tugging his shirt off briskly. He drops it over the side of the bed, and then cups John’s bony knees in his palms, noting the way they seem to fit perfectly into his hand before running his palms appreciatively up John’s splayed thighs to his groin. ‘I just can’t decide whether I want to fuck you, or you to fuck me.’

‘We-ell,’ John’s breath catches when Sherlock’s nimble fingers reach his groin, and his eyes darken before fluttering closed. ‘I think you ought to fuck me. Since you’ve been thinking about it for ages. And then, once we’ve - oh, that’s nice...’ John’s hips curl upwards under Sherlock’s feathering touches, and Sherlock smiles to himself. ‘Once we’ve got our breath back, I can fuck you.’

‘Really? You’re sure?’ Sherlock asks, less for confirmation than for the sake of hearing John talk about it some more. John’s cock is coming back to full hardness under his touch with gratifying speed, and it pulses in Sherlock’s loose clasp when John speaks again.

‘Yes. I’ve been thinking about it since you had your fingers in me in that bathroom. And what you said in the taxi…’

Sherlock bites his lip, looking at the picture John makes. ‘All right then.’

He reaches out to fish the bottle of lube from the bedside table, flicking the cap open and trailing thick lines of it across his fingers and palm, rubbing them together until it warms to body temperature and he takes hold of John’s cock again, smearing the lube around until it slides easily in his fist and John’s thighs are flexing slightly as he pushes himself up into Sherlock’s touch.

After a few minutes John is fully hard, his glans completely exposed, and Sherlock leans down to cover it with his mouth as he pumps his fist along the shaft, tasting the synthetic flavour of the lubricant and, underneath it, John.

‘Sherlock!’ John chokes, thighs quivering against Sherlock’s neck as he squirms, and the heel of his hand connects with Sherlock’s forehead. John tries to nudge him away but Sherlock hunches his shoulders and stays where he is. John’s hand retreats and then, when it returns, it’s sliding between his own legs, making its way down and further down, until John’s forearm is pressed warmly against Sherlock’s jaw and Sherlock can feel the tiny bunch and flex of the muscles. He lets John’s cock slide free and looks down.

John has two wet fingers in himself, sliding and twisting, and when he sees Sherlock staring then his cheeks flush slightly but he hold his position, letting Sherlock look.

‘God, that’s gorgeous.’

Sherlock doesn’t realise he’s said it aloud until John answers him.

‘Feels better when it’s you.’ His forearm stretches and his wrist flexes as he tries to reach farther inside himself. He stares at Sherlock’s fingers hungrily. ‘Angle’s a bit awkward, I can’t quite…’

Sherlock takes his hand off John’s cock and pushes a slick finger in beside John’s two. He can reach more easily, and when he crooks a finger against John’s prostate then John’s back arches slightly as he moans, eyes closing.

‘Yes,’ Sherlock breathes, taking in the twin dark curves of lashes. ‘Yes, more of that, I think.’

He grasps John’s wrist, gently but firmly pulling his hand away, and replaces John’s fingers with his own, making John spread his thighs wider and fumble for the lubricant when Sherlock starts to finger-fuck him.

‘Come on then.’ John reaches down with a palmful of the cool, clear gel to smear it on Sherlock’s cock. ‘I’m ready. Do it.’

John stuffs a pillow under his hips, and tries to guide Sherlock’s cock to push against his hole but Sherlock resists.

‘Hang on a moment.’ He kneels up and leans over John – who takes the opportunity to lift his hips and nudge their erections against each other, making Sherlock catch his breath – and fumbles in the nightstand drawer.

They don’t use condoms any more but, back when they had first got together and before John could sort out blood tests, John had insisted on them. On one occasion, Sherlock had grabbed one, put it on without looking, and had barely started fucking John when John grabbed at his shoulder and gasped, ‘Wait!’

Instantly, Sherlock had stilled. ‘Not good?’

He had started to pull out, but John had tightened his thighs around Sherlock’s waist and breathlessly confided, ‘Very good. God, what is that?’

Sherlock had withdrawn slightly, frowning in puzzlement, and leaned back enough to look down. ‘It’s textured,’ he realised, recognising the slightly unusual appearance. ‘Do you want me to carry on?’

‘Fuck yes,’ John had groaned, and Sherlock kissed him hard as he began to thrust again.

But moments later, John had been gasping, ‘No! Stop!’ into Sherlock’s mouth, and Sherlock stilled.

He had glared down at John. ‘Make up your mind.’

‘It feels… fuck, it’s good, and I can’t… I can’t…’

John’s teeth were worrying at his lower lip as he tried to swallow a loud moan, and Sherlock saw what the problem was. He had leaned forward, tucking John’s face into the curve of his shoulder and murmured, ‘Here. Bite down, if you need to.’

John had, right at the end, sharp teeth digging into Sherlock’s trapezius muscle as John finished, shuddering violently and coming all over his hips and stomach and chest. Sherlock wore the mark like a badge of honour beneath his shirt for the next two days, and felt it tingle every time John put a hand on his shoulder.

Now, Sherlock picks a condom out of the drawer, partly to make himself last longer and partly because this particular type will make John go utterly to pieces, and Sherlock wants that desperately.

John cranes his head in confusion, trying to see what the delay is, and frowns when he sees the square packet.

‘Why are you… we don’t need that.’

‘No,’ Sherlock agrees, and tips the packet over to show John the discreet symbol that indicates what type it is, since he’s clearly forgotten that Sherlock only keeps one sort in his bedside table these days. ‘But I thought you might like it.’

Oh.’ John’s eyelids droop, and Sherlock knows he’s remembering.

John doesn’t say anything more, only lies back and watches with an avaricious glint in his eyes as Sherlock fumbles with the packet. His hands are greasy with lubricant, and he’s cursing with frustration by the time John’s clean hand plucks it out of his fingers.

John opens it, smoothes it down over Sherlock’s cock, and adds more lubricant, making Sherlock tilt his head back and suck in deep breaths at the feel of John’s fingers touching him. And then John is lying back and gripping the back of his own knee, holding it to his chest and opening himself up for Sherlock, who leans forward to kiss him. He takes his weight onto one hand, pausing to lift John’s knee onto his shoulder, and with the other he reaches down to hold his cock steady until the head is just pushing against John’s hole. He leans in slightly, feeling John’s body start to give way, and John murmurs, ‘Yes, come on,’ against his mouth.

John squirms beneath him and, after a short, breathless tangle – during which Sherlock narrowly avoids being kicked in the ribs – John gets his knee off Sherlock’s shoulder and wraps both legs around Sherlock’s waist, digging his heels into Sherlock’s arse and pushing him closer, deeper.

‘Come on,’ John says, with real impatience this time. ‘You were the one who was so bloody insistent you wanted to – oh fuck.’

Sherlock pushes halfway into John in one thrust, and then pauses. John’s fingers are digging hard into Sherlock’s biceps, and his teeth are worrying at his lower lip. Sherlock kisses him again, soothing John’s lip with a gentle suckle, and whispers, ‘Alright?’

John is tight around him, but when Sherlock withdraws fractionally and pushes back in then John’s body relaxes and accepts him, a deep groan rumbling in his chest of, ‘Yes.’

Sherlock grins and kisses the tip of John’s nose. ‘Right then.’

He pushes the rest of the way in, and almost immediately has to pull out again before the sensations of slick-hot-tight, God, John become too much. The quick slide makes John gasp, and Sherlock thrusts into him again, noting how John’s legs tighten around his waist again and how his hips hitch upwards to make the thrust slightly harder than Sherlock had intended. If hard is what John wants then Sherlock can certainly do that, and he widens his own knees to brace himself a little better before fucking into John again.

John is wonderfully responsive. Sherlock can’t tell whether it’s because of the condom, or because he’s already had one orgasm and is being steadily fucked towards a second, or both. But short, sharp thrusts make John’s heels slide against the backs of Sherlock’s thighs as he writhes, and long, firm pushes that draw Sherlock’s cock almost entirely out of John’s body before shoving it back in force loud, shaky noises from John as he grabs Sherlock’s hair and mashes their lips together in a messy, glorious kiss.

‘I think you need to touch yourself now,’ Sherlock gasps, after one such kiss, when he’s gone back to jerking his hips forward sharply, almost brutally, and John sounds perilously close to sobbing. He plants a last, lush kiss on John’s mouth – feeling him struggle to get enough air while kissing – and then leans up, opening enough space between their bodies for John to reach down to where his cock has been rubbing against Sherlock’s stomach.

John does so, stroking himself first in time with Sherlock’s thrusts and then speeding up. His other hand is frantic: grabbing at the sheets, slamming up against the headboard, and rubbing at Sherlock’s nipples in a way that makes Sherlock throw his head back and moan loudly.

When John grips Sherlock’s arse, fingers digging in, Sherlock pants, ‘Tell me… tell me when you’re close.’

His face and neck are hot and sweat-damp and his heart flings itself against his ribcage like a trapped wild thing. He’s starting to ache with the need to come, but he takes a deep breath and bites down on his tongue, willing himself to hang on a little longer because John… John is completely undone.

He’s flushed all down his face and throat, beads of sweat at his temples, and the noises he’s making are obscene. He’d tried to twist his head to bury his mouth in the pillow beneath his head, until Sherlock freed a hand long enough to steal it from him and throw it on the floor. Now his head is tipped back, hair whispering against the sheets, and he’s stuttering wordless encouragement to Sherlock.

‘John,’ Sherlock repeats, going down onto his elbows to cup John’s face in his hands. ‘John. I said tell me when–’

He breaks off with a gasp as John’s hand lands in the small of his back and drags upwards, close-clipped nails scoring lines on his skin that begin to smart when the salt from his sweat touches them.

John’s eyes open and he looks desperately at Sherlock, obviously struggling to force words out. ‘Now… I’m… that’s it, I’m there… coming, oh fuck, I’m coming.’

At this Sherlock grits his teeth and changes to deep, hard thrusts that make the mattress protest and John’s thighs clamp tight around his ribs, squeezing all the breath out of him. John’s head arches back and he cries out through clenched teeth – looking and sounding almost like he’s in agony – but he’s fluttering and spasming around Sherlock’s cock and there’s a sudden burst of wet heat between them. It’s less than earlier, since John hasn’t had all that long to recover, but the rhythmic contractions around Sherlock’s cock go on much longer, until John is clinging to Sherlock and sobbing out his name and Sherlock finds himself kissing the sweaty, faintly rough underside of John’s jaw and muttering soothing nonsense to him.

John’s eyes, when he opens them, look as though he’s been drugged – the pupils are tremendously dilated and there’s a dazed look to him. He drags Sherlock’s head down for a kiss, lips dry from panting, and groans, ‘Fuck, that was amazing,’ into his mouth.

Sherlock can only try his best to kiss back. John’s body is full of fluttery, twitchy aftershocks, and Sherlock can’t stop himself from thrusting, albeit gently. Pausing to give John a moment right now would by the polite thing to do, but his hips don’t feel entirely under his control. And John isn’t protesting – John is pulling him down to wrap a steadying arm around his shoulders, rubbing his back and muttering into his hair, ‘Christ, how have you not come already?’ and ‘Come on now, that’s enough. Let go.’

Sherlock is trying, he really is. Now that he’s pushed John into a second orgasm and John is moments away from collapsing into a sluggish, post-coital heap of limbs, Sherlock wants nothing more than to join him. But he can’t quite get there; after having been stimulated for so long he’s dangling right on the edge of orgasm but can’t quite finish.

He pushes his face into John’s neck and groans in despair, fingers digging into John’s thigh as he thrusts harder and faster and tries to focus enough to make himself come. John’s legs are still around his waist, although they’ve loosened from their vice-grip of moments ago, and John’s arm leaves Sherlock’s shoulders to grab at his arse. John tightens his grip and he pulls gently, exposing Sherlock so that the fingers of John’s other hand can rub along the cleft of his arse, wet with come.

They slide easily over his hole, and John doesn’t hesitate but pushes against it until two fingertips slide inside and Sherlock makes a strangled noise and freezes. He’s never had John’s fingers in him while he’s been actually fucking him and is unprepared for how arousing it feels, making his world lurch and start to slip sideways. John rubs his nose in Sherlock’s messy, sweaty hair, and his mouth finds Sherlock’s ear as he works his fingers in small circles.

‘Christ, but you’re tight.’ John sounds almost wondering. ‘You must be so ready to come.’

In lieu of an answer, since words have abandoned him, Sherlock thrusts forward once, twice, and oh God, this is better. Each movement pushes John’s fingers in and out of him, making goosebumps prickle along his arms, and the vague half-pleasurable, half-painful ache in his groin starts to pull into sharper focus.

Sherlock can’t hold in a whimper, and it makes John re-double his grip on Sherlock’s arse and push his two fingers deeper to find his prostate. And when John growls, ‘Come on, Sherlock, now,’ his chest winds tight and at the first sudden contraction he blurts out John’s name in mingled relief and ecstasy.

It’s a little bit like dying, and a little bit like an exquisitely good hit. John’s legs are once more gripping solidly around his waist, and John lets go of his arse to sling an arm roughly around his shoulders, hugging him and holding him steady as Sherlock convulses again and again, clutching at whatever bit of John he can reach. He keeps his face pushed into John’s neck, helplessly caught between John’s body squeezing tight around him, and John’s fingers twisting and pressing deep inside him, coaxing further shivery, thudding pulses out of him. He lets himself fall apart, knowing that John will be there to piece him back together afterwards, and for a few blissful, perfect moments the rest of the world falls away and there’s only this.

Sherlock can’t move when he’s finished, and John is seemingly in no hurry to push him away. He slides his fingers gently out of Sherlock and rests his hand comfortingly in the small of Sherlock’s back, against sweat-slick skin, while his other reaches up to ruffle Sherlock’s hair. John slides his fingers up from Sherlock’s neck – lifting the disordered curls to let the cool air touch his nape – and says, sounding almost conversational: ‘You know, I’m fairly sure I’m going to have a heart attack one of these days, if you keep doing that to me. It’ll be a hell of a way to go, though.’

‘And you always thought that it was Afghanistan that was going to kill you,’ Sherlock agrees breathlessly, and John’s hand stills in his hair before dropping away.

All is utterly silent for a moment and Sherlock tenses. That’s obviously not a good thing to say to an ex-soldier and how stupid of him, any idiot could have guessed that –

John’s stomach suddenly quivers where they’re still pressed together, and Sherlock hears a snort of laughter above him. He looks up, and finds John rubbing his hand over his face, trying and failing to hide a manic grin.

‘That’s really not funny,’ he says, his attempt at a severe tone completely ruined by the sparkle in his eyes and the lingering flush on his cheeks.

‘No,’ Sherlock says meekly, as John continues to shake with suppressed giggles.

‘Although I’ll admit that this is at least better than getting shot at,’ John says, before biting his lip and shoving a hand down between them to hold the condom as Sherlock slips free of him.

They make a perfunctory attempt at cleaning themselves up, though lassitude makes them clumsy; Sherlock accidentally kicks John in the shin and John mutters dark imprecations about his big feet. But at last they’re curled together companionably, lying on their sides and facing each other. Sherlock finds his eyes sliding closed inexplicably, and fights to keep them open. He wants to keep looking at John: hair sticking up at a dozen different angles, skin glowing with health, and looking nothing like the elegantly-tailored man who left their flat just a few hours ago.

‘Sleep,’ John says, sounding amused as his fingertips brush ghost-kisses across Sherlock’s eyelids and the bridge of his nose. ‘You need to catch up. I’ll still be here when you wake.’

Sherlock waits for John to retrieve the blankets and reach over to the bedside table for his book before sliding closer, settling a leg across John’s to pin him in place. He rubs his face into John’s throat, which smells of aftershave and clean, fresh sweat, and mumbles, ‘I do like that suit,’ before passing out.