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Alternate and Missing Scenes from "A Cure for Boredom"

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Sherlock shouted in frustration. Generally, he was able to refrain from acting on the impulse, but something about John Watson pierced through the thin veneer of social niceties he more or less maintained outside the flat. With a single look, John could shatter the illusion that Sherlock was perhaps somewhat sane. The floodgates would open, and God help them all.

"Oh, for God's sake." John crossed to the door, shaking his head.

"I said, I'm still BORED. And you're putting on your coat. Why are you putting on your coat?"

John was practically glowering. For a best friend, he could be terribly unsympathetic. "If I don't leave this instant I may punch you, so I'm going for a walk. I'll pick up the shopping on the way back."

Sherlock flopped back onto the sofa. "And what am I supposed to do while you're gone?"

"Oh, for-- Watch telly. Read a book. Play some music. Troll that science fiction forum on the internet."

"Television is pathetic in general, but especially at this time of day; we have no books I haven't already memorized; I broke a string on my violin yesterday; and I was permanently banned from that forum a week ago." He shot John a withering look. Honestly, did he think he was being helpful?

John clenched his jaw in that way that typically meant he was on the verge of becoming very angry. Now that was interesting. Sherlock propped himself up on one elbow to watch.

"I don't know what else to tell you."

"I'm painfully aware of your complete lack of imagination, but you could at least try."

John's eyes fluttered closed in anger and Sherlock almost smiled. This was his favorite part of John-baiting.

"You want imaginative? Fine. Why don't you shut the fuck up and go have a wank like a normal person?" John turned and stormed out the door, almost slamming it closed behind him.

Sherlock frowned and flopped onto the sofa once more. John was getting better at holding his tongue when he was angry. Sherlock wasn't sure if he liked that or not. He'd made getting an emotional response from John an art form of sorts, but John was giving up far too easily of late, often storming out the door before he had a chance to work up to military levels of swearing. It was disappointing. Sherlock had always enjoyed the swearing.

And what had he meant by wank like a normal person? Was he implying that Sherlock didn't wank normally? And did that mean he'd been paying enough attention to Sherlock's masturbation habits, infrequent as they were, to form an opinion about his technique or lack thereof? Or that he perhaps thought Sherlock didn't wank at all? Or just wouldn't be inclined to wank under these circumstances? Would a normal person masturbate out of sheer boredom? Was that why John did it so very often?

At any rate, that suggestion had been entirely unhelpful. Masturbation would do nothing to change the situation. It was preposterous to think otherwise.

Forty-two minutes and twenty-five seconds later, he was bored enough to reconsider. He couldn't very well refute John's position without evidence, after all. John had heavily implied that masturbation was a remedy for boredom, a statement that would easily be refuted with a counter-example. When John returned, they could return to the subject and Sherlock would be in a far better position to argue if he'd actually done it in the interim.

So, yes.

He paused and tried to decide where to begin. He couldn't remember the last time he'd done this when he didn't already have an erection. Every few weeks he would relent to his body's incessant demands and sleep twelve hours straight, and those were the nights when his subconscious tended to wreak sexual havoc. He despised dreaming as a rule: medical literature be damned; it was a waste of computing time to allow his brain to conjure ridiculous images and scenarios that blended one into another with little rhyme or reason. But on those nights, there would always be dreams that left him hard and aching, waking on the verge of orgasm -- but always denied. The sticky sheets of his youth were long gone; his thirties had more of a do-it-yourself flavor.

And on those nights he did, wrapping his fingers around his erection in the dark, half-asleep, fleeting images still drifting through his mind. It was quick and easy since he was close to begin with, and he could clean off his hand and go back to sleep right after. It was purely a physical release, something his body periodically demanded of him. Possibly for prostate health -- he'd have to Google that later.

Back to the task at hand. So to speak.

When he was a teenager, he'd get hard at the mere thought of touching himself, but it wasn't quite so straightforward now. Still, the mechanics were familiar enough: he let his fingers trail down his chest slowly before untying the dressing gown and letting the fabric fall open. He didn't have pants on beneath his pyjama bottoms; the first brush of his fingers against the shaft of his penis through thin cotton felt more pleasant than he'd expected. He focused on the ceiling as his fingers traced the length of his penis with light feathery strokes. A few more times, dipping down once to cup his testicles, and there, a rush of heat and his penis was hardening already.

He slid one hand beneath the waistband and wrapped his fingers around the shaft. After a few tugs he realized he needed more space in which to work. He pushed the pyjama bottoms down over his hips, then raised his knees and resumed stroking, slowly.

It was pleasant, certainly. Most of his wee-hours wanks were quick and done in a state of semi-consciousness, so it was unusual for him to take his time like this. He experimented with pressure and speed, automatically cataloguing the information. The contrasting sensations were rather interesting, actually: long slow strokes that pulled the foreskin up over the glans produced a slightly different sensation than did short thrusts into the tight ring of his thumb and fingers, foreskin retracted. Differing degrees of pressure, a variety of holds on the shaft, the addition of a small amount of natural lubrication -- perhaps John had a valid point. This was something he hadn't considered studying before.

He wondered idly what John would say if he returned now to see his flatmate spread out on the sofa, taking his advice. He'd probably roll his eyes and walk right back out again. John seemed to regard privacy and personal space as important in their friendship. Unless John was feeling sexually frustrated, in which case -- with the addition of liberal amounts of lager -- he would tell Sherlock in far too vivid detail about the sex he was regrettably not having. Said details would often make their way into Sherlock's discomfiting dreams.

Focus. This was taking longer than he'd expected. He'd already run through every variation of masturbatory stroke he could think of and committed the results to memory. He glanced at his watch: two entire minutes of non-boredom, which was no small feat, considering. But he could feel dissatisfaction pressing in at the edges of his mind again, already pushing for something new to twist apart and analyze, to obsess over.

Best to get this over with before he lost his erection altogether. The technique that had produced the most enthusiastic response was short quick strokes over the glans along with a slight massaging motion of his fingers against the foreskin. It didn't take long after that -- the sensation of pressure building in his groin was familiar, as was the push toward release. His orgasm was pleasant, actually more pleasant than he'd expected. He kept stroking until the last waves diminished, one hand curved over the glans to catch the ejaculate.

He closed his eyes at the sensation of floating, endorphins flooding his system. He tried to clear his mind, to relax and enjoy it for what it was: a brief moment of physical pleasure.

It was enjoyable; he'd give John that -- but those few seconds of sensation had required several minutes of physical and mental effort, and honestly -- it was a ludicrous waste of time. Did John really do this four times a week out of sheer boredom?

On the other hand, John almost always wanked in the shower; Sherlock supposed there was something to be said for multitasking. Though those particular showers averaged three minutes and ten seconds longer than the non-masturbatory showers, so it wasn't as if he was saving himself any time in his morning routine. Easier clean-up, perhaps?

He sat up and plucked a tissue from a box on a nearby table. He wiped his hand clean and then his penis for good measure, and crumpled it and dropped it to the floor. The sight of it would irritate John and would also serve as evidence that he'd actually masturbated, if needed. He tugged his pyjama bottoms back up and tied his dressing gown tightly around him.

Yes, that had been a complete waste of time, time he could have spent finding something important to think about, or better, designing an experiment that would not only occupy his mind for a while, but also provide useful information for a future case. He grimaced and pressed his palms against his forehead. The brief respite of relaxation was over, replaced once again by all-consuming boredom. He didn't feel better at all; in fact, he now felt worse.

He scowled and plucked his phone from the pocket of his dressing gown. Surely John was done with the shopping by now. If not, he'd come home anyway the moment Sherlock texted him. John was pleasantly obedient like that.

Sherlock smiled and began typing.