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Formal negotiations take place in the living room of 221B, John and Mycroft seated in armchairs like adults and Sherlock curled up on the sofa like an indignant child. Throughout John and Mycroft’s conversation, he scratches gratingly at his violin, trying to be as disruptive as possible, until John is obliged to tell him to stop having “a bloody tantrum, Sherlock, honestly.” Aghast at this treatment, Sherlock stomps into the kitchen to examine fingernails under his microscope in the most hurt manner possible.

“He’s been an absolute terror all day,” John complains to Mycroft, who nods knowingly.

“He’s embarrassed. Sherlock hates admitting he wants something, especially something so…”

“Depraved?” John volunteers.

“Precisely. He really can be quite the prude when he wants to be.” A scoff from the kitchen. “Really Sherlock, do come and sit down; this is very important.”

“Oh yes, wonderful, let’s not just do the damn thing, we can just sit around talking about it forever, how lovely.”

“There are some things we need to talk about beforehand, Sherlock,” John says. “Be an adult and come talk to us.”

“No.”

“He’s so precious when he’s being a brat,” Mycroft coos, and Sherlock’s mouth curves into an exaggerated frown.

“Well if you don’t want to talk, at least pay attention so you can correct us if we’re wrong about something,” John entreats. No response from Sherlock. “Fine, then we’ll just decide everything ourselves and you can deal with it.”

“He’ll probably enjoy that, I’m afraid. I think you’ll find Sherlock has quite the submissive streak.”

Sherlock swoops out of the kitchen, practically hissing in outrage, and flees down the stairs. John and Mycroft roll their eyes, and John shrugs his shoulders as though to say “what can you do?” as the front door slams.

“I’m sure between the two of us we can get everything sorted,” Mycroft says.

John’s mind lingers briefly on the phrase, “between the two of us.”

“But as I said, Sherlock possesses a very submissive side, and he’ll largely be relying on us to take initiatives,” Mycroft pauses to sip from his teacup, “and we’ll have to pay attention to his particular signals.”

“And do you know what those are?” John asks, trying and failing not to sound incredulous.

“I used to. But we haven’t done this in over a decade,” Mycroft says.

“…Why not?”

“There are very, very few people I trust enough to hand Sherlock over to them,” Mycroft says, expression grave. “I’m sure you realize how precious he is to me.”

Mycroft stays silent for a moment, choosing his words carefully. “Sherlock…needs this, in a way that I do not. I’m perfectly content with nothing, but he always wants more. This is just meeting him half-way. Not,” he smiles, “that I’m not looking forward to it.”

This makes sense to John, who is having trouble imagining Mycroft in a sexual context, whereas Sherlock – at least in comparison – seems less in control of himself in general; the drug abuse, indoor shooting practice, and frequent pouting tantrums make that much obvious. This latest storming-out is just one example.

“Yes,” Mycroft agrees with John’s private thoughts, “he really can be a hellion. He feels things much more deeply than he pretends he does.”

John recalls the tearful scene at the inn near Baskerville and agrees to himself.

“So yes, this is mostly about him. And I want to ensure that everything goes smoothly tomorrow. If it’s too uncomfortable, or he senses we’re nervous…Sherlock finds it difficult to let go of his self-awareness. He’ll probably leave and pout for a month.”

John fakes a shiver at the thought.

“Quite. So it’s probably worthwhile to establish our expectations in advance.”

“Absolutely,” John says quickly. If he doesn’t stop to think about what he’s really agreed to, it won’t seem so perverse.

“I’m sure you won’t be offended when I say that you will essentially be a substitute for me. We won’t be pretending you actually are me, but he will wear a blindfold. You’ll have to pay attention because he might not be speaking to you, even though you’ll be the one,” a delicate pause, “doing the act.”

John’s expression must be asking for clarification because Mycroft explains, “For example, if he wants you speed up, he’ll tell me, not you.”

The image of Sherlock, blindfolded, whimpering “Faster,” makes John swallow hard.

“Yes. I’ll stay clothed, and won’t participate physically except to hold him,” Mycroft says, and runs his thumb over his bottom lip.

“I would prefer that you not kiss him, but if Sherlock were here he would no doubt point out that I’m certainly not going to do it,” Mycroft says.

“And I’m here to do what you can’t,” John continues. “Or won’t…”

“Precisely, John. I’m so glad you understand.”

John still has more questions about the logic of this arrangement.

“Some of this seems rather arbitrary to me. You’ll do…what we’re going to do, but you won’t kiss him yourself? Or touch him? I mean, what-what difference does that really make?”

“Sherlock would agree with you on that point, and has been trying to get me to change my mind for 20 years.” Mycroft looks upset as he speaks, or as close to upset as John has ever seen him. “But…there has to be a limit. Somewhere, there has to a point where it’s too much. Sherlock, naturally, disagrees.”

John thinks he understands this, although Mycroft’s limits still seem a bit random to him.

Not that he wants to encourage sibling incest or anything.

“Yes, I assure you, I find this all as disconcerting as you do,” Mycroft says.

John really doubts this.

“Anyway, please feel free to share your own concerns with me.”

“Oh, um.” John wishes he had written down all his thoughts; right now he can’t think of anything except this is messed up.

“Oh, yeah,” he stalls while he thinks of how to put his question delicately.

“Don’t bother being delicate, John; I think we’re past that by now.”

“Okay. Should I leave as soon as everything’s done, or should I stick around?”

“Oh, please stay. Sherlock will want to be held,” Mycroft says. John cocks his head and knits his brows, as though to say oh, come on.

“I know, but I can’t. I want to…” Mycroft trails off and John drops the subject.

“Okay. I’ll use a condom, of course.”

“That’s really not necessary, John; your last three blood tests have all been quite spotless,” Mycroft says.

“Wha – I haven’t had any blood tests done,” John sputters. Mycroft purses his lips a bit. “For God’s sake, Mycroft, that is just…”

“And Sherlock doesn’t have anything, so you can feel free to dispense with the protection.” He pauses. “If it were me, I wouldn’t be using one.”

“I’ll still wear one.”

“Good doctor. That’s why I trust you with this,” Mycroft says.

“And you’re not going to…” John stumbles. “…get off?” He cringes as soon as he says it.

“No, it’s not about that, for me,” Mycroft says, smile fading. “I just want him to be happy.” He looks away.

For a moment, John actually finds himself feeling sorry for Mycroft, always so worried about reckless, needy Sherlock. He wonders if Sherlock even knows (or cares) how difficult this is for Mycroft.

“He doesn’t understand how difficult this really is, for me,” Mycroft says, and John wonders why he ever bothers speaking aloud, when the Holmes brothers can obviously read his thoughts. “That’s where a lot of the animosity stems from. He always wants more than I have to give him.” Mycroft smiles a little wistfully. “You know what he’s like.”

“When we were younger,” Mycroft continues, “he was much worse, constantly trying to guilt me into being with him. He used the cocaine to try to martyr himself for my benefit, always hoping I’d give in.” Mycroft is looking somewhere past John, as though speaking to himself. “But I didn’t. And since he met you he’s been considerably more bearable.” Now Mycroft looks back at John.

“So was this his idea or yours?” John asks. Because it certainly wasn’t mine.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to know which of us has a thought first,” Mycroft says, and John wonders if he’s being honest or evasive. In his experience with Mycroft, there’s not always a clear delineation between the two.

This threesome is starting to take a decidedly somber tone, so John blurts out, “Maybe you could tell me what he likes.” Mycroft raises an eyebrow. “This is supposed to be fun, after all.”

“You’re perfectly right. I’m ruining the mood and we haven’t even started.”

As Mycroft speaks – “Well, he’s quite fond of biting…” – John exhales and wonders if he’d have agreed to this if he’d known all of what Mycroft just told him.

Probably, he thinks.

---------------------------------------------

Sherlock doesn’t return until Mycroft has left, and John is well into his second beer. He stomps into his bedroom and emerges wrapped in his second-best dressing gown, then plunks himself down on a kitchen stool and starts making a racket that, as far as John can tell, is accomplishing nothing whatsoever.

From his desk, John stares at him until Sherlock snaps his head around to glare at him and yell “what?!”

“You really are being a child about this, Sherlock.”

“Don’t care,” Sherlock quips, and he spins back around to rattle detritus about.

“If you had any idea how hard this is for Mycroft, you wouldn’t be acting like such a brat,” John says. He’s starting to get angry at Sherlock and his impulse to make everything as difficult as possible.

“Hard for him?” Sherlock scoffs. “John, as usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Jesus, you really are a brilliant piece of work.” John shakes his head and wonders if he really wants to have sex with this idiot tomorrow. (Yes, he does, but still.)

“I suppose you and my esteemed brother had a very long, illuminating conversation about how I don’t respect his very reasonable limits, how my selfishness has driven a very tragic wedge between us, et cetera,” Sherlock says, voice icy.

John says nothing.

“Yes, of course you did. And did he mention that after the last farcical little incest-by proxy we did, he refused to speak to me for a year?” Here, Sherlock turns around to face John, expression combative. “’I’m sorry, Sherlock, I just can’t. It’s too much. If anyone found out…”

“Sherlock – ” John doesn’t want to hear this. Sherlock’s his best friend, but he makes it very difficult to take his side sometimes.

“Always about his goddamn career, how would it affect my career, I have my career to consider. His works always mattered more.” The words “…than me” are unspoken, but still obvious.

“I thought you said that your work comes first, too,” John points out.

“Well, it didn’t always,” Sherlock snaps. He glares at John. “Did he ask you to hold me afterwards, because he won’t?” John doesn’t respond. “And I’m supposed to be heartless.”

“Sherlock, he is your brother!” John says, feeling that this fairly major detail is getting lost.

“Oh, John, don’t be so pedestrian,” Sherlock spits.

“Oh yes, me and my ridiculous sensitivities! I’m the one being unreasonable!”

“You’re being tiresome and I don’t even know why I agreed to this nonsense,” Sherlock says.

“Maybe because it’s this nonsense or nothing.”

Sherlock glowers at him for a moment, then turns back to face his microscope.

-------------------------------------------

When John wakes up, slightly hung over, Mycroft is already back, drinking tea in the sitting room with his brother, both of them dressed in their shirtsleeves. As John stumbles into the kitchen, Mycroft smirks out a good morning, but Sherlock just stares into his teacup.

John pours himself a glass of water and watches the two of them murmuring to each other. Mycroft is saying something too softly for John to hear and Sherlock keeps staring solemnly at his tea; it looks like they’ve been sitting there for a while. John drinks his water in several long gulps and pours another glass.

The two brothers don’t seem to be fighting. In fact, they’re leaning toward each other, which John’s never seen them do, and he has the sensation that he’s invading on something very intimate. He heads to the bathroom for a shower and some paracetamol.

Mycroft stays at 221B all day, sticking close to Sherlock, who lounges in a contemplative reverie on the couch with his legs curled up in Mycroft’s lap while Mycroft reads from a leather-bound book and occasionally sends long texts. When his phone rings, he ignores it.

A few times, John sees him stroking Sherlock’s shin while Sherlock’s eyes close.

At 7:00, John opens a bottle of wine and pours three large glasses, then thrusts one at Sherlock, who rolls his eyes but takes it, and Mycroft, who sniffs at it and makes a face. John retreats to his computer with his own glass and they all sit sipping – in John’s case, gulping – in silence for a while, Mycroft stroking Sherlock’s leg absent-mindedly.

John tries to answer some emails, but finds himself too distracted, his stomach clenched in anticipatory knots.

John waits until the sun has set completely to get up and go gather supplies – a few condoms, the little bottle of lubricant John bought especially for the occasion, the black tie that will serve as a blindfold, the blanket from his bed, a few flannels, two bottles of water. He dumps all this in a laundry hamper and carries it back out to the sitting room.

Sherlock and Mycroft are steepled together on the sofa when John returns, foreheads pressed together but not otherwise touching. Both of them have their eyes closed and Mycroft is whispering something. John puts down his hamper and retreats to the safety of his desk to wait for Mycroft to beckon him over.

He watches the two nuzzle at each other, Sherlock bumping his nose against his brother’s and Mycroft not pulling away. The alcohol has John feeling decidedly more relaxed and as he watches from a comfortable distance, he almost manages to forget that he’s looking at two brothers.

Almost.

Sherlock and Mycroft keep their faces close together, just sharing each other’s breath, for a long time. Once, John sees Sherlock twitch forward as though to kiss Mycroft, but Mycroft pulls away and murmurs something, and Sherlock doesn’t try again.

Eventually, when Sherlock’s breathing speeds up a bit, Mycroft glances meaningfully toward John, who goes and hands him the makeshift blindfold. He wraps it around Sherlock’s eyes and lets him nuzzle his face into his shoulder as he ties it into a knot. Then he tilts Sherlock’s face back up, and lowers his own until their mouths are only centimetres apart. Mycroft parts his lips and exhales over Sherlock’s.

Instantly, Sherlock’s mouth falls open and he starts panting hard, and to John’s amazement, he lets out a breathy little whimper. Mycroft whispers “Sherlock” and he does it again, a soft, desperate little sound that makes John’s chest constrict.

This is not how he imagined this would feel.

Mycroft raises a hand and brings John over, and they switch places as fast as they can, John sitting down heavily in front of Sherlock and Mycroft standing. Instantly, Sherlock’s lips are on John’s, practically devouring him, and John struggles to keep up. Sherlock groans long and loud in his chest, and fists his hands in John’s shirt.

“Please – Please, I…” he pants, and then falls silent as he smashes his mouth against John’s. John feels overwhelmed in the path of Sherlock’s desperation; he’s rarely seen him anything other than calm and detached, and this needy eagerness is both enticing and unsettling.

He cups a hand behind Sherlock’s head and forces him to slow down, rolling his tongue gently until Sherlock exhales and his kisses become less frantic.

It’s delicious, kissing Sherlock. His lips are soft and he tastes of the wine John poured him. John works to keep the pace slow despite Sherlock’s little whines, each of which send a jolt of desire straight to John’s groin.

He massages the back of Sherlock’s head, feeling the soft curls and tries not to think too much.

When John sucks Sherlock’s plush lower lip into his mouth and bites it, Mycroft bites down on his own lip as Sherlock groans.

This is messed up, John thinks, but he doesn’t stop.

Sherlock’s hands are pushing eagerly at John’s shirt, and John unbuttons it with unsteady fingers. The instant he can, Sherlock presses his hands to John’s chest, feeling him as John wriggles out of his shirt and throws it aside. He lets Sherlock run his fingers over his chest and shoulders, exploring what he can’t see, and John knows he’s imagining touching Mycroft.

Carefully, John unbuttons Sherlock’s shirt, watching his reactions closely. Sherlock breaks the kiss to tilt his forehead against John’s and pant as John pushes his shirt off. In the low light, Sherlock is pale and gorgeous, skin cool beneath John’s heated palms, and John takes a moment to just look at him.

While he looks, Mycroft slides onto the sofa behind Sherlock and presses his face between his shoulder blades. Sherlock groans like he’s dying and tilts his face forward to kiss John again. This time, John can’t keep it from being messy and desperate; Sherlock clings to him and whines into John’s mouth, and John just tries to keep up. Mycroft, behind Sherlock, is silent, just riding Sherlock’s movements.

I’m fine with this. I am, John thinks.

His cock certainly has no misgivings. Kissing Sherlock has him uncomfortably hard, and he has to squirm around to relieve the pressure against his fly. He’s feeling increasingly hot and light-headed, and for whole seconds he manages to forget that Sherlock’s brother is leaning motionless against his back.

Then Mycroft lifts his head and mouths “move” at John. John swings himself off the sofa to kneel before it on his knees, him and Mycroft guiding Sherlock to shift around until he’s facing forward on the sofa, John between his legs and Mycroft propping him up from behind. Sherlock lets his head fall back on Mycroft’s shoulder and buries his face in his neck, breath heaving in and out. Mycroft nuzzles at his hair.

From his spot on the floor, John lifts up off his heels to mouth at Sherlock’s clavicles, straining out in sharp relief beneath his pale skin. He scrapes at one with his teeth and Sherlock jolts, and lets out a frantic little “uhh!” sound. Mycroft shushes him and runs his fingers through Sherlock’s hair.

“Like that?” he murmurs, voice dangerously low. Sherlock nods and swallows hard.

John takes this as his cue to do it again, and harder. When he bites at the skin of Sherlock’s shoulder, Sherlock wriggles and spreads his legs.

“Tart,” Mycroft whispers, and it makes John’s stomach drop. Jesus.

Sherlock hums in agreement and grinds his face into Mycroft’s neck, inhaling hard, like he’s smelling him.

“Shameless, aren’t you?” Mycroft smiles the words into Sherlock’s curls.

“Yes,” Sherlock agrees again. When John swirls his tongue around a nipple, Sherlock gasps and arches up against John’s mouth. John licks at it indulgently until it’s hard and Sherlock is writhing, then closes his teeth around it and nibbles.

“God!” Sherlock whips his head up and jolts his hips against John. He’s gorgeously hard through his trousers, a thick, heavy weight pressing against John’s stomach. Mycroft had asked him to draw this out, but before John can stop himself, he reaches down to palm at Sherlock’s cock, giving him something to press against.

And he does, thrusting into John’s hand in three firm pushes, before John brings his hand up to work open the fly of Sherlock’s trousers. When he looks up, Sherlock’s head is dropped forward on his chest and Mycroft is murmuring something into his ear. John can’t hear over Sherlock’s heavy panting.

He dips a hand into Sherlock’s pants and gropes at his prick, lying hot and heavy along his belly. At the first swipe of John’s thumb, Sherlock tosses his head back and groans, his hips rolling up into the tight grip of John’s fist. It’s gorgeous, how desperate and unashamed he is, and for a long moment John just sits back on his heels and watches him, how his mouth hangs open, how his hands grip the edge of the sofa so hard his knuckles turn white, how his every breathy exhalation carries a soft, whiney little noise.

Behind Sherlock, Mycroft is doing much the same. John never catches him looking down at Sherlock’s cock, but his gaze on Sherlock’s face is hungry and intense. He’s pulled away just slightly so he can stare at Sherlock’s face on his shoulder.

“You’re so beautiful,” he says, and John silently agrees.

John leans down to suckle the head of Sherlock’s cock into his mouth, and above him Sherlock gasps, “Oh, god, please – oh!” and he squirms so frantically John has to pin his hips down, cupping the ridges of Sherlock’s hipbones in his palms. He doesn’t sink down, just swallows in hard pulses, and lets Sherlock squirm.

Mycroft is whispering again, and John strains to hear, too curious to help himself.

“…gorgeous, perfect, Sherlock. Love you so much…know I love you, don’t you? You do, so perfect…” John closes his eyes and sucks more loudly to avoid hearing anymore.

John pulls back to bundle Sherlock’s trousers and pants down his hips – he lifts them eagerly to help – and off, leaving him naked but for the black blindfold, stark against the red blush blooming on his cheekbones.

Sherlock lets his thighs fall wide open and pumps his hips up into John’s face, trying to force himself deeper, but John presses his hips back down. Sherlock’s little whimper of frustration sounds so profoundly sincere that John can’t help but chuckle, but neither brother is paying any attention to him.

Mycroft has wrapped one arm around Sherlock’s chest, and with the other he’s running his fingers through Sherlock’s hair, forehead pressed to Sherlock’s temple.

Stop noticing him, John orders himself. More to distract himself than anything, he loops his arms under Sherlock’s thighs and tugs him forward, until his arse is right on the edge of the sofa.

He drags on finger down the crease of Sherlock’s thigh, behind his balls, and presses his dry fingertip against Sherlock’s entrance. Instantly, Sherlock tenses, muscles clenching up and his thighs trying to snap together around John’s shoulders.

“Wait – just…” he gasps. Both John and Mycroft run soothing hands down Sherlock’s sides, and John keeps his finger firmly against Sherlock’s body as Mycroft murmurs encouragement.

“Relax, baby, breathe and relax, you’re doing so well, so good. Relax for me, yes…” Sherlock exhales and relaxes by fractions, and John reward him with a particularly wet, lavish suck around the head of his cock. He doesn’t push in yet, though, just presses and keeps up the moist suction until Sherlock’s melted back against Mycroft and resumed those breathy groans.

“Good boy,” Mycroft coos, and John’s face flushes, but Sherlock makes a happy little noise.

“So good,” Mycroft continues, nuzzling at Sherlock’s ear.

“My – please, I…” Sherlock whispers, and John withdraws his hand to grope around for the bottle of lube, and when he finds it, he taps it against Mycroft’s leg. Mycroft takes it from him, flicks it open with his thumb, and streams some onto two of John’s outstretched fingers.

(He pours out more than John feels is strictly necessary, but Mycroft had emphasized that Sherlock hadn’t done this in several years. John had wanted to add “As far as you know,” but then he’d remembered who he was talking to, and that he probably would know.)

And of course, Mycroft wants him to be gentle.

Sherlock is agonizingly tight around John’s index finger, and John only pushes it in to the second knuckle, pulsing it there while Sherlock adjusts. He sucks several soft, wet kisses against the side of Sherlock’s prick until he can wriggle in a second finger, then suddenly takes him back into his mouth, deep into his throat this time.

Fuck! Oh fuck, I can’t – unh! My…” Sherlock bucks uncontrollably as John relishes the right stretch of his body, imagines how fantastic he’s going to feel. “My, please, please ki – oh!” Mycroft’s eyes are closed and he’s panting open-mouthed against Sherlock’s temple, and Sherlock’s mouth is working open and closed soundlessly, his neck tense.

John surges up and kisses him, hard and deep, and Sherlock moans with gratitude, letting John ravish his mouth as he pistons his fingers in and out.

Mycroft practically whimpers, “Sherlock.”

“Yes,” Sherlock gasps, when John leaves his mouth to scrape teeth into the long column of Sherlock’s neck. “Yes, oh god, please now,” Sherlock splays his thighs open as far as he can and tilts his hips up, letting John’s fingers sink a little deeper, and suddenly John can’t wait anymore. He’s harder than he’s been in a long time, and Sherlock is rocking down on his fingers like something out of a wet dream.

They’re both ready, so John pulls his fingers out – his stomach drops at the whiney little protest from Sherlock – stands, and fumbles his jeans open and off, as quickly as he can. Mycroft gives him a hard, meaningful look and nuzzles at Sherlock’s hair protectively.

John rolls on a condom with an unsteady hand and slicks up with a luxurious palmful of lube. He breathes deeply to calm down so he doesn’t embarrass himself.

Mycroft cups his hands under Sherlock’s thighs and pulls them up and apart, forcing his knees up against his stomach and leaving him obscenely exposed on the edge of the sofa. John swallows hard and drops back to his knees.

The hot clench of Sherlock’s body has John gritting his teeth as he pushes in, and for a hysterical moment John thinks this isn’t even going to work, that it’s too tight and too much and it’s simply not going to happen. He pauses, breathless.

Sherlock is struggling in front of him, his legs pressing against Mycroft’s hands as his brother keeps them spread, and his breath choking out through clenched teeth. John can’t tell if he’s in pain.

Mycroft keeps nuzzling gently at Sherlock’s curls, murmuring that he loves him, that he’s beautiful, that he’s perfect. John rocks his hips back and then presses in again, a few centimetres deeper this time. A choked-off “Je-sus” forces its way out of his throat.

It takes a few minutes for Sherlock to relax into the sensation, and John keeps his pushes shallow and soft, just rocking back and forth, deeper each time, until he’s – Christ – all the way in. Through all this, Mycroft never stops whispering, kneading the soft flesh of his thighs, lips ghosting over his hair and face.

John has never felt more depraved. He plants his hands flat on the couch and rolls his hips as slowly as he can stand, deep and gentle, tense with the effort to keep his movements under control.

Christ.

“I love you, I love you,” Mycroft whispers so deeply it’s almost a groan. Slowly, Sherlock relaxes and John kicks his thrusts a little harder, watching how it makes Sherlock twist against Mycroft’s grip.

Sherlock’s mouth is clenched open again, his neck arched up so far that the top of his head is pressed into Mycroft’s shoulder. John jack-knifes down to run the flat of his tongue up the full length of that fucking impossible neck, tasting sweat. At the touch of John’s tongue, Sherlock suddenly unfreezes, whole body surging up, breath snapping in.

“God, fuck!” It’s the first time John’s heard Sherlock curse, and the deep throaty groan of the first two letters, the sharp grunt at the end, sends a fresh shock of lust shuddering through his hips.

“Fuck, don’t stop! Don’t – Jesus, yes…” Sherlock rocks his hips as hard as he can against Mycroft’s hands and digs one heel into John’s back.

John isn’t usually quiet during sex – he has a strong love for playful dirty talk – and he’s gritting his teeth to keep his appreciative comments to himself, letting Sherlock listen to Mycroft’s affectionate blather.

As John thrusts even harder, Mycroft’s murmurs get harsher, more gravelly, so he sounds frustrated, agonized. John’s hips brush Mycroft’s fingers on each thrust, and John vaguely wonders how this works for him, how this – Sherlock buries his face in Mycroft’s neck and chants “yes, yes, yes” – how this isn’t too much, and what difference does he really think this makes?

His long fingers, splayed out on Sherlock’s shaky thighs, are dangerously close to where John is rocking in and out of Sherlock’s body.

Who do you think you’re kidding? John thinks, shaking his sweaty hair off his forehead.

Sherlock is groaning something into Mycroft’s neck. “Touch me, please, My, oh God, please, please, please,” he whimpers. John shifts his balance onto one side and fumbles for Sherlock with the other hand, wrapping a sweaty palm around his cock and pulling. Mycroft wraps his forearms up around Sherlock’s thighs, tilting his hips further up. Sherlock can just barely roll into the loose grip of John’s fist.

“You’re so close, aren’t you?” Mycroft murmurs, voice deep in his chest. “So close…”

“Yes, God, please…” John ducks down again and bites down on the broad muscle where Sherlock’s neck meets his shoulder.

Instantly, Sherlock’s muscles tense up and he tilts his head back, gradually, reaching for it. His mouth drops open on a breathy little “oh.” John’s toes curl. “Christ,” he all but squeaks. Sherlock shakes and gasps “oh” again.

“Baby – ” Mycroft groans.

“John!” Sherlock shouts as he comes into John’s fingers, and Mycroft’s head snaps back, eyes flashing wide, at the exact instant John starts to come.

In the moment before it hits him, he thinks oh, shit and then he’s curling in on himself, hips jerking uncontrollably, hearing Sherlock’s high-pitched whimpers from somewhere far away.

When it’s over, John’s collapsed forward, forehead on Sherlock’s chest, and they’re both breathing hard and shaking as it fades. It takes John a moment to come back to himself, to remember, and when he does, he looks up at Mycroft’s face.

He looks like he’s been slapped, mouth open in shock and eyes wide and fixed on Sherlock, still blindfolded and gasping to catch his breath. John doesn’t move. As he watches, Sherlock calms down, breath evening out, and he turns to bump his face against Mycroft’s neck. He murmurs a happy little hum sound.

Mycroft glances down at John and their eyes lock. Without looking away, Mycroft presses a chaste kiss to Sherlock’s forehead, the look in his eyes turning hard and icy.

Fuck. Me. John thinks.

Sherlock hums again and wriggles languidly, obviously unaware of what he said.

“I love you,” Mycroft says against Sherlock’s forehead, and for the first time, John realizes that Sherlock hasn’t once said it back.

Sherlock squirms until Mycroft releases his legs and lets them fall limp around John, and for a long few moments they all just rest there, Sherlock insensible to the tension between the other two. When he’s caught his breath, Sherlock yawns and nudges a hip against Mycroft’s thigh. “Move,” he slurs.

Mycroft tilts them both over to lie on their sides, spooned up together on the sofa. Sherlock leaves the blindfold on.

John sits back on his heels and waits to see if Mycroft will gesture for John to take his place, but he doesn’t, just wraps his arms around Sherlock and peers at John over the top of his head. After a moment, Sherlock squirms and says, “What-what’re you…?”

“Shush,” Mycroft says, and he pets a hand down Sherlock’s side. After a second’s hesitation, Sherlock snuggles in tighter and goes still, a content little smile on his lips.

John rises and pulls his trousers on with as much dignity as he can muster. Neither brother pays him any attention. He abandons the rest of his clothes and heads upstairs to his bedroom as quietly as he can.

He flops down on his bed and exhales hugely, still relaxed and heavy-limbed from the orgasm, his muscles loose and his head foggy. He buries his face in his pillow and remembers Sherlock crying his name, how sweet and desperate it had sounded.

John!

He hears it again and again until he falls asleep.