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As Mary comes up the stairs, the first thing she sees is Sherlock, sitting in his armchair, with a gun pointed straight at her chest. It's not John's gun. It's hers, silencer and all.

Slowly, without moving the barrel at all, Sherlock unfolds himself, rising to his feet.

“How good a shot are you?” Mary asks, voice steady.

“Not as good as you,” says Sherlock. “At this range, I don't have to be.” He pauses. “Well – for wetwork I don't. But I wouldn't count on my ability to perform surgery.”

Mary nods, only gazing at the barrel a little before staring up at Sherlock's eyes. Slowly, steadily, she creeps closer. With an expression that's stoic but for her glittering eyes, she reaches for the gun. He doesn't seem to react as she takes the gun in her hand and places the muzzle against herself.

Just below her right breast.

The same place, John knows. That held gaze between Mary and Sherlock is terrifying and magical. John knows where this is leading, and the knowledge of it forces him to squirm and shift, adjusting himself in his pants just a little.

Mary cups both her hands around Sherlock's, the gun still strong in his grip. She guides it up her chest, up her throat, to rest under her chin. She caresses it, and runs her fingers slowly, sensuously, down the back of Sherlock's hand, confident in his steadiness.

It isn't loaded, John tells himself. It can't be loaded. Even Sherlock and Mary aren't that crazy. Another part of himself is thinking, She could try to disarm him in that position.

Right on cue, there's a twist and a jerk. Sherlock has caught one of Mary's hands with his free one. She did try - and he saw it coming.

“You're not so slow anymore,” she says. Fondly. She's smiling and leaning into the black metal caressing her cheek.

“I'm not as blinded by sentiment these days,” Sherlock says softly, so quietly John has to lean in to hear it. He'd lean in anyway. He's creeping closer, as both of them knew he would.

“You still feel it, though,” Mary says, rubbing her face against the gun like a cat.

“Oh yes,” Sherlock says. “Very much.” He nuzzles the other side of her face where the gun isn't, and drags his lips down her nose. “But I don't have to fear it.”

She presses her lips to the gun and takes it into her mouth, suggestively.

It can't be loaded, John thinks. It just can't.

Sherlock pulls the gun away suddenly and looks down at Mary with his quizzical, studying gaze. For just a second. And then he leans down and she reaches up, and the meeting of their mouths is like a thunderclap in John's head. He watches the movements of their jaws, the muscle twitches of giving and taking, the occasional glimpses of one tongue or the other -- and his cock pulses in his jeans with a klaxonlike urgency.

It mesmerises John, it both arouses and repels him, these games that his wife and his lover like to play (lover? No, no, that vow stuck; it counted. His husband in all but law. And Mary's too. The two of them have a claim on each other now).

He watches their fevered kiss, and Mary's strong small hands unbuttoning Sherlock's mulberry shirt and running her fingertips over the clean, well-healed scar that she made, with erotic reverence. She ducks her head to kiss him there, and her sharp little fingernails pinch his nipples. Sherlock moans and his body bends slightly, and John knows that's his cue, to come up behind Sherlock and hold him steady, give him something to lean on.

Given that backup, and John's hands on his sides, Sherlock growls softly as Mary sinks to her knees and opens his trousers. She licks her lips, looking up at Sherlock as his cock swells to full erection in her hands. She bends and takes it in her mouth; John peers around Sherlock's torso to watch this incredibly arousing sight. Mary's hands slide up and down Sherlock's hips as she sucks him loudly, pushing his trousers down, caressing the curves of his muscle and bones.

When Mary is doing this, John realises again just how much trust is really involved in a blowjob: Her teeth are sharp, she could badly hurt him. But she won't. She guides one of Sherlock's hands to her head, encouraging him to push her forward. She pulls on his hips, trying to entice Sherlock to give in to his instincts to fuck her mouth hard. When the fingers of Sherlock's left hand tighten enough in her hair, and he's moving enough to drive his cock down her throat, she takes his right hand. With the gun still in it. And presses the barrel against her temple. Her eyes challenge Sherlock to keep it there.

Absolutely not loaded, John thinks. It can't be.

Sherlock is panting and gasping, deep vocal tones in his heavy breaths. But he's calling the shots here; it's his decision when he's had enough. Sure thing, he yanks Mary's head back and away from him when he thinks he's too close, watching her startled look and the little strand of spit and pre-cum that links them for a second before it breaks. With his other hand, he tosses the gun away, and it clatters heavily into a corner. She smiles and starts to rise, a little awkwardly because her knees have been bent too long. She meets John's eyes behind Sherlock.

In the mood she's in, Sherlock doesn't need the gun to take control of her; she's more than shown her surrender. Sherlock runs his hands up her sides, sliding around to cup her breasts, unbuttoning her blouse, bending to suck and bite her neck. She shivers and grasps his hair, and John watches his shoulders flex as he picks her up and she wraps her legs around Sherlock’s waist as he carries her to the couch and tosses her down on it. She giggles, she smiles, and then her eyes turn serious again and her lashes lower. John gets out in front of Sherlock to stand behind the couch and pin her wrists to the back, just over her head, and she sighs and squirms, spreading her thighs, letting her skirt ride up her legs to her hips. Inviting. Wanton.

“You too, John,” Sherlock says. “Take off your clothes too.”

John is fumbling to hold Mary’s wrists with one hand and unbutton his shirt with the other. Sherlock leans over to help, pressing against Mary lewdly in the process; she squirms and moans and John can smell how ready she’s getting, how much she loves this and can’t wait for more. And then Sherlock has thrust his hand into John’s pants and is palming his cock like he owns it.

He does. Or at the very least, he has a share.

John moans and bites his lip, thrusting a little as Sherlock’s fingers spread his drops of wetness down his shaft. He closes his eyes for a moment and hears another wet sound, and a thick, purring noise from Mary, and he looks up.

Oh God. Mary has spread her legs wide - the only parts of her she can easily move, and Sherlock’s long fingers are between them, spreading her lips, breaching the wet heat of her cunt with deep, rhythmic thrusts, slow sliding and teasing, growing faster and faster as she gasps.

“Watch, Mary. Keep your eyes open. Keep your eyes fixed on me,” Sherlock commands as he stretches out the length of his long arm and slides forward on the edge of the sofa, leaning his head down to brush his lips over the head of John’s cock.

“Oh!” Mary cries out, writhing hard and trying to impale herself on Sherlock’s fingers. “Oh fuck that’s gorgeous. Let me see.”

“Mm, did I say you could talk?” Sherlock growls, but there’s no malice in it - he just slows the motion of his fingers until Mary isn’t getting what she needs anymore, and she whimpers as Sherlock turns most of the focus of his attention to John, slowly sliding his lips down the length of his cock until he’s nearly fully engulfed it, and John has to grasp Mary’s wrists hard to stable himself. She grasps back as Sherlock begins to suck slowly, bobbing up and down with a deliberate throb, pulling his full lips tight around John’s sensitive flesh as John bites his lip hard and makes desperate sounds that start deep in his chest and come out as high-pitched little nasal whines.

John knows Sherlock isn’t going to finish him off yet. He’s just showing off what he can do, flexing his power, making Mary watch him bring John close to the edge and then back down again, whetting all three appetites to a fever pitch. Sherlock’s fingers start working Mary harder again, a counterpoint to his pulls on John’s cock, and while no one is perfect at multitasking, Sherlock is better than anyone had a right to expect, and Mary is making delicious deep noises as she counterthrusts, and John is fucking Sherlock’s mouth at a leisurely pace, and it’s amazing and it could go on all night -

But it won’t. Sherlock draws away at last, leaving John gasping, and kisses Mary hungrily, pushing the taste of John into her mouth, and she rises to meet him, lapping and nipping, and John is half tempted to beat himself off hard and fast and come all over both their stupid beautiful faces, wouldn’t take much now, and they wouldn’t even be angry, they’d all just laugh and laugh.

But he doesn’t want to break the mood, this strange rich, dark energy between them. He doesn’t want to see them laugh - he wants that challenge in Mary’s eyes and Sherlock’s hooded, burning gaze. But Sherlock chuckles all the same, as if he’s heard the thought, and pets Mary’s cunt with a surprising tenderness for a moment before going back to work fingering her, flicking his thumb across her clit and hearing her resume her panting, going needy again and murmuring, “yeah, like that, oh Sherlock.”

Swiftly, he pounces down and touches his mouth to her, replacing his thumb with his tongue and sucking as he drives into her with his fingers, and she’s surging up and gasping. And John can’t help it, he reaches over and cups her bouncing breasts, pinching her nipples to hear her cries grow sharper as she gets closer and closer. Sherlock’s other hand slides up her hip, covers over her phoenix tattoo.

(“Bit of whimsy,” she’d told John. “It’s Fawkes. You know, from Harry Potter?”

Maybe.

It covers a scar. She’d told him it was a cigarette burn in a mosh pit, in her punk-fan youth. It isn’t, and John of all people should have known what he was seeing and feeling beneath those first few hopeful caresses.

Sherlock had serenaded her with piercing skitters and flutters of his violin. Stravinsky. He’d got it right away.)

Mary jerks up as she comes - John’s forgotten to hold her hands and she clamps them in Sherlock’s hair, grinding his face against her. When she’s done shaking, Sherlock rises up and presses his fingertips into John’s mouth, covered in the taste of Mary. He kisses John with his wet mouth, rich with both her and himself.

“Please,” Mary begs, “You know what I like, please.”

They all do know - Mary likes to be fucked hard right after she’s come, when she still feels full and throbbing and pulsing, and with a hungry little huff Sherlock fits one hand into the crook of her knee to spread her wide, and pushes his hips between her thighs, sinking into her smoothly and easily. She arches her back and grabs him, her hand clutching at his firm, clenching arse with each thrust, sliding slowly up in his sweat to run her little nails up his back, leaving bloodless pink trails.

He’s got scars there too. Not made by anyone who ever loved him. John fervently hopes they all died horribly.

Sherlock props himself up on his arms to give them more room to move, and the sofa is creaking in protest as Mary fits her thighs around his hips and threads her legs through his to plant her little feet on the cushions, and she counter-thrusts, yelping with pleasure, a high duet with Sherlock’s deep, broken groans. Her hand brushes his bullet scar again and pinches his nipple, which always drives him mad, and he goes almost still, letting her work.

You can’t call this penance. She enjoys it far too much for that. But it’s in that neighbourhood. She’s paying him back for his pain with pleasure. For his death with life and love.

They shouldn’t be able to have this, the three of them. This can’t be healthy. John can’t imagine what Ella would say. But they’re flipping off the world that tries to tell them they can’t have it. Because they are Sherlock Fucking Holmes and John Fucking Watson and Mary Fucking Watson, Allegedly, Who Was Certainly Called Many Other Things Over the Years, and they are the only ones who get to decide what they can and can’t have. And they’ve decided they’ll have each other, all three of them, fuck you very much, world.

But Sherlock Fucking Holmes is currently fucking Mary Fucking Watson, or maybe she’s fucking him, and John is getting really unspeakably horny watching that glorious sight with no one touching him, and he reaches out over Mary and grabs Sherlock by the bouncing, sweaty hair, and says one word: “Come.”

Sherlock does. Quietly but violently, all quivering muscles and sharp breaths and convulsive shaking. Mary slips her hand down to her clit and grabs herself another quick one as she shivers against him, feeling his last pulses inside her. When they stop shaking and panting, both their faces turn to John.

“He’s been so patient,” Mary coos.

“He loves the show,” Sherlock says, smiling.

“You bet I fucking do,” John says, pumping slowly on his cock, which hasn’t gone down the least bit and is now raging and desperate and very much wants someone else, ideally two someone elses, to do things to it. “But I want a bigger part.”

“You’ve got a pretty big part,” Mary smiles, looking at it and licking her lips.

Their combined attention is terrifying, as Sherlock withdraws from Mary carefully and slithers down to the floor, his softening cock long and wet, his mouth red and plump. Mary’s languid and she reeks of sex, and she reaches out to touch John with a slightly shaking hand that grows firm as it curls around him and draws him close. They guide John to lean against the couch, but not sit; Sherlock has plans. As Mary takes the head of his cock in her mouth, Sherlock swipes his already sticky fingers through her slit again, lubing them up with the mix of his own come and her copious wetness, starts to press up into John’s arse and work his way into John’s hole, pushing the evidence of their coupling into his body.

John moans; Sherlock is so good at this, the stretching and then the filthy lewd in-and-out slide. Mary likes doing it too, but Sherlock can get so deep and his bony knuckles rub inside so perfectly. John spreads his legs; Sherlock lifts one, still leaving John leverage to fuck into Mary’s sucking mouth. Then, with Sherlock’s fingers in his arse and Mary’s mouth on his cock, John’s sinking into a rhythm, delicious, filthy, and then Sherlock’s mouth goes to work too - licking and biting John’s thigh, tongue probing his perineum, then slowly drawing in his balls, rolling them on his lips, caressing and pulling on the loose sensitive skin with his tongue . . .

John cries out and sinks back, leaning on the couch to hold him up. He closes his eyes and he’s lost in sensation - two mouths and four hands are working him with lascivious love, and it’s too much to process at once - there’s sucking and licking, penetration and pushing, stroking and teasing and cradling and tugging. There are filthy wet slurps and moans that aren’t his, both masculine and feminine, like they both crave this so much, the taste and feel of him as he rises towards ecstasy inexorably, like he’s lifted on burning wings, shaking on the fast mad rhythm of Sherlock’s fingers inside him and Mary’s fast little hand on his shaft, and someone’s mouth at the head of his cock, he can’t even tell whose - oh God oh God, it’s both.

He looks down. They look up, their naughty, feral eyes. A twist of Sherlock’s fingers deep within and John erupts, crying out and bucking like a wild horse, giving them everything he’s got.

Christ. They do both have his come on their faces now, the filthy whores. And they’re both his, fucking hell, was it worth everything, to have this? While he’s floating and giddy from endorphins, he’s going to think yes.

They pull him up and they pile together on the couch, naked and disgusting, reeking and pliant and relaxing.

“Shower,” Mary says when her voice is steady. She kisses John with the bitter taste of his own come. Sherlock kisses John in turn, and he tastes almost exactly the same.

“Mm,” Sherlock agrees.

“We do owe John, you know,” she says, and gets up off the couch to lure them both to the bath.

“You bloody well do,” John says, laughing.

“You’ll be the meat in the sandwich next time, John,” Sherlock promises as he too climbs down, knees only a little wobbly. He’s smiling and his voice has regained its swagger. “We’ll tie you up. Blindfold you if you like, but you won’t need that, because we’ll fuck you blind.”

“Oh God that sounds amazing,” John says as he gets up to follow them, watching their two splendid arses swaying towards the shower.

He turns for a minute, and there’s the gun lying there on the floor, forgotten.

Was it loaded?

Sherlock and Mary are preoccupied with getting the water on - and having a splash fight from the sound of it.

He could check. He knows how to do it real quick.

He doesn’t. He steps out of his underpants that were still around one ankle, and follows Sherlock and Mary to get clean (and maybe dirty again, but for christ’s sake, he’s not a teenager anymore.)

He’s not the first one to wake up, and in the morning the gun isn’t there.
He’ll never know.

Is that okay? It shouldn’t be okay. He thinks he ought to need to know.

So much can happen in a year to change a man - it goes by so quickly and one never notices the little readjustments of the mind as they happen. Well, maybe Sherlock does, but not John.

It is okay. He makes a conscious decision that it’s really, truly fine.