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The flat was silent but for the ticking of a clock and the sporadic huff of indignation coming from the table.

"You should be the one to do this, you know."

There was a strange clattering noise he's turned it upside-down from that direction, and another heavy huff. A series of clicks three and six are looser than they used to be and then the noise of something small and hard being dropped onto the floor.

John cursed, then there was the squeak of the chair and an out-rush of breath as he leaned over to pick up the cow tooth from the floor, then he sighed as he sat back up. The chair creaked back he knows how he's going to fix it; there will be another utterly-pointless verbal jab as he goes to get his toolbox and there were footsteps into the kitchen.

"This should not be my job."

But you'll do it anyway Sherlock thought, poking his index finger indolently at the back cushion of the settee.


Angry. Getting himself into a snit. Well, further into a snit. Sherlock wondered why John bothered.


Sherlock didn't move.

John sighed angrily. "Where did you put the damn epoxy I just bought?"

It's right there in the drawer in front of you. Honestly, John.

"Nevermind. I found it."


There was a crash he's knocked over the bottles of cleaner and the slamming of a cupboard door, and John made his noisily-rattling way over to the table with his tool kit. He slammed the box down on the table left a mark and made more of a racket than necessary getting out the wire and the pliers and opening up the tubes of epoxy.

John plunked back down and began fiddling with the cow skull, which had come mostly-unleashed from its moorings the day before when hit by a ricocheting piece of lamp.

"This is very, very," John said, sounding sidetracked by his work, "absolutely your fault and I don't know why I'm fixing it."

With a great deal of unnecessary flopping, Sherlock turned over. He tucked his dressing gown back around himself so as to best scowl silently at John and watch him work.

John's hands really were a marvel. Their dexterity had come into play several times in more…intimate circumstances, and even at something as innocuous as repairing a cow skull they were something to behold. They were small and nimble and tapered and capable of very, very delightful things. Sherlock shifted inconspicuously.

"Talking of, we're going to need to choose a new lamp. Do you care what it looks like?" He didn't even look up to see Sherlock's eyes following every movement of his hands as they fitted the teeth back into their slots. "No, of course you don't. Why would you possibly care."

He started unscrewing the cap off the tube of cataliser, and Sherlock was entranced by the quick way he spun it with the tips of his fingers one two three one two three one two three in quick succession.

"Oh bollocks," John spat. "I need to open a window."

"I'll do it," Sherlock said before he could stop himself, and had jumped up in a flash to open the windows and door for a cross-breeze.

The lines in John's forehead and between his eyebrows flickered briefly into existence before disappearing. "Right. Thanks," he said, sounding wary. Sherlock stood looking out the window for a few minutes to let the damp air cool his face. John scowled and continued working. He started to squeeze the right amount of the two components together, and Sherlock's eyes slid sideways to eye him. So precise. So efficient. Effortless, sensual attention. Sherlock swept himself back down onto the settee to stare fixedly up at the ceiling. He swallowed hard. It had been almost a week since their last session in bed, before his most recent tantrum with the gun indoors and the lamp and the ricocheting and the tenuously-swinging cow skull. And John being very angry, very quickly. The sizzle in his eyes. The strength in his jaw. It was worth it. There's more than one way to get a rise out of John Watson And perhaps the fumes were getting to him. Nonsense. It would take more than epoxy fumes to—

"Right," John said, presumedly to himself. There was a wheezing noise blowing on them to dry them faster and a dry cough don't breathe the fumes in, then silence. Slowly, Sherlock rolled his head to the side to watch him. John was examining the teeth in their sockets now, a pleased expression quirking the corners of his mouth.

Mmm. Mouth. That mouth. Thin lips wet teeth soft soft teeth soft wet— Sherlock shifted slightly again. Goddammit. John set the skull back down on the table and absentmindedly stroked the cow's horn root to tip to root oh god as he poked through the pile of tools. Before Sherlock was really ready for him to stop stroking he selected a length of wire and started weaving it in with the existing hanging wire. His fingers danced around it, making quick work of plaiting the mid-sections and wrapping the ends tightly with needle-nose pliers. It looked, frankly, as if he did this sort of thing all the time, the ease of his manipulations seemed so great. Sherlock watched him bite at his lip white then flushed blood red when he releases the pressure, then John licked his lips several times as he tucked everything back to where it should be. By the time he finished with the wire, Sherlock was half hard.

John hummed to himself as he worked he's stopped being so cross, that's a good sign; has something with which to occupy his attention besides haranguing me, picking up one snapped off bit of zygomatic process and daubing glue on its ends and on the skull, waiting for them to get tacky then pressing them into place. Sherlock watched his eyes flick from point to point, presumedly looking for epoxy over-run and mismatches in the fit of bone to bone. Surgeon. Certitude. Sexy.

The thought was slightly premature, because after a moment, John reached for the second piece of bone and cursed. He stared at the bit in his hand, then at the skull, then at the bit again. He gingerly tested the attachment of the newly-attached bone, then cursed again. He slumped, and thought for a few moments fascinating to watch, the way his eyebrows move in tiny flickers, then sat back up straight again with firm resolve and began to try and fit the second piece in. The skull started sliding across the table. He used both hands, and his elbow. The skull still slid.

"Sherlock, give me a hand with this."

Sherlock swallowed.

"Sherlock, this will take almost no effort whatsoever. Come help me."

Sherlock sighed.

"Sherlock, I'm serious. This won't take a moment. I don't want the weight pressing on the teeth until the glue's cured. Now, please."

With a heavy sigh, Sherlock peeled himself off the settee and slunk to the table, letting the dressing gown flutter around him and obscure his groin. He invaded John's space, leaning over him and breathing across his hair. "Which would you like me to do?" he rumbled into John's ear. He watched carefully for a shiver, and was not disappointed. "Hold or glue?"

John cleared his throat. "Er, hold."

Sherlock smirked at the back of John's head and leaned even closer over him so he could hold the skull in place with both hands. "Like that?" he murmured. I want to catch all his heat with my skin. I want to chew him and swallow and absorb.

"Erm. Yes. Thank you." John's voice was quiet as he daubed epoxy on the skull and the bit of bone, then used both hands to snap the bone into place like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

Sherlock leaned forward to examine his work, forward and forward until the back of John's head was against his pectoral muscle. The break looks like fine suture lines. Nearly invisible. Sherlock breathed in deep, John's shampoo and epoxy and old bone. "Beautiful," he said, so low he felt it in his chest. He slowly slid back until he could murmur into John's hair. "Perfect." He nuzzled John's ear with his nose. "I admire your capability."

This time, he felt John's shiver rather than saw it. "Nothing to it," he said, a bit breathy.

"Wrong, John." Sherlock worried a bit of John's earlobe between his incisors. "You're uncommonly…dexterous."

"Am I?" Yes. Definitely breathy. Good. Now we're getting somewhere.

"Quite." He nipped at John's ear again. "Are you finished here?"


"Would you like me to help you clean up?"

A flash of confusion crossed John's face. "Would you if I did?"

Sherlock just chuckled and pulled John up out of the chair. He crowded him into the kitchen and to the sink, turned on the tap on full, and pressed incontrovertible evidence of his interest to the curve of John's arse.

"Sherlock," John said, a note of laughter in his voice, "Are we cleaning up?"

"Mmmm. Absolutely, John." He reached around John's shoulder for the pumice hand cleaner and squirted a small pond of it into his palm. Both arms around his shoulders, and chuckling darkly into his ear, Sherlock took John's hands between his own and began to scrub them clean. John hummed and let his head fall back against Sherlock's shoulder. Sherlock cleaned out the nail beds and massaged the muscles at the base of the palm.

"I love your hands," John breathed. What a coincidence, Sherlock thought, and writhed slightly. He fisted down each finger in turn, palm to fingertip, pulling and stretching and rolling the muscles in his hand. John's resulting moan was even louder than before, and this time it was Sherlock's turn to shiver. He rinsed both pairs of hands off thoroughly and dried them while still pressed to John's backside.

"Thank you," John hummed.

"No," Sherlock smirked. "Thank you, John."

John's eyebrows quirked upward. "You're thanking me." He pressed his lips out into a moue. "Well, that's…you're welcome."

Sherlock rolled his hips and caught a noise in his throat just as it was about to emerge. "May I return the favour?"

"How about next time you just avoid shooting up the sitting ro—" he started, but the thought was cut off by a strangled sound as Sherlock's hand slid down from John's hip to rub his cock through his jeans. "—Oom. Uhn."

Like melting wax, Sherlock oozed to his knees and turned John around on the spot. But instead of opening up John's flies, he grabbed his hand and sucked the first two fingers into his mouth. He felt the jolt on his tongue when John's neck lost structural integrity and his head fell back. Yes. Good. Feel my mouth, John. Yours has been driving me mad all damn week.

There was the sound of the zip, then, and rustling, and Sherlock's eyes shot wide open when John slid his wet hand to the back of Sherlock's head and pushed the head of his cock right in between the other man's lips.

The breath stuck in Sherlock's throat oh god yes, the sudden shock of being controlled and used flooding his system with adrenaline. The musky smell of John curled his toes and brought saliva springing to his mouth, and the slide became slick and glorious. He groaned.

Above him, John was clearly enjoying himself. He'd shucked his shirt and was now rocking forward and back, pushing and pulling lazily, letting his foreskin get caught on Sherlock's lush lower lip and breathing deeply. So full. Hard. God, John, don't you want to go faster? But John just rocked at the same stately, steady pace, and trembled. The tension was filling him such that it spilled over to Sherlock, who groaned again and shoved John's pants and jeans down to his ankles with trembling hands, beginning to feel the hum of desperation. By the time John was no longer breathing silently, the blood pounded through Sherlock's body in rhythm with the tiny noise John was making in the back of his throat. Fuck, John. please come. Please. Use me and come. Please.

Sherlock began to catalogue the signs of John's incipient orgasm testicles tight, shudder in his breath, balled fists and prepared for it almost almost nearly—

Then John stopped.

He pulled his cock out of Sherlock's mouth with an undignified noise and stared down at him from under heavily-hooded lids. "Strip," he said, in between gasps for air. He shivered. He stared.

What? Now? Sherlock was stunned for a moment, then snapped into action. He dropped his dressing gown off his shoulders, peeled himself out of his tee shirt, and let his pyjama bottoms fall to the floor. He stepped out of them and kneeled at John's feet.

There was a brief moment of silence where neither moved.

"Sit at the kitchen table, beautiful."

Try not to shiver as well, Sherlock instructed himself. He pulled a chair out and sat, the hard wood frigid against his over-heated skin. In spite of his admonishment, he shivered in one powerful burst. Sherlock thought about how quickly he had lost control of the situation. But who gives a damn, when there's skin and John's hard as stone and he's got the look in his eye like he's going to play me as I play my violin. A riot of beauty and pleasure. Oh. Thank. Fuck, he's getting the lube from the junk drawer. God I've needed this so damn ba…

"You've been a miserable child this week, Sherlock."

Sherlock's eyes popped wide.

"You don't deserve this." What. Sherlock's jaw worked silently.

"But I do," John continued with no expression at all on his face. "So I'm going to break you. Into tiny pieces. On that hard, cold, unforgiving wooden chair. I'm going to make you weak with it. You may or may not come, but the pleasure will be entirely mine."

The air in the room ran hot, then cold. Sherlock felt himself making a small noise in the back of his throat.

John took one single step forward, out of his trousers. "Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"Yeh-es," Sherlock tried to stay, but the words got stuck. He swallowed hard, then tried again. "Yes." It was more difficult than he'd thought it would be, to keep his eyes locked on John's instead of eyeing up the flushed cock bobbing three feet from his face. If I could just reach out and touch he would come—

"If you disobey me, I'm walking out of this room and I will go take care of myself upstairs without you. Do you understand?"

Sherlock nodded. "Y…yes."

"Good." John graced him with a small smile. He spread some lubricant on his fingers then slicked up his own cock, letting his head tilt back with pleasure. "Ngh." He pinned Sherlock with his gaze. "Maybe I'll come across your mouth today. You know how much I like that." Yes John. I'm aware. Sherlock tried not to watch the way John's hand gracefully slid all over himself, making the head shiny and the foreskin even more retracted. Even out of the corner of his eye, it still was like a bolt of lust straight through to the base of his cock. And you know I like that. Are you teasing me on purpose, John? With your hands?

Within the next several breaths, John had knelt in front of Sherlock's chair and had draped one leg over his shoulder, and was already pressing one sloppy-slick finger inside.

Sherlock's eyelids fluttered closed and his eyes rolled back. "Jesus christ," he hissed, and curled his hips up.

"All these blood vessels down here. All these nerve endings." John slid his finger out oh god oh god and began to paint Sherlock's entrance with lube and the tip of his finger. "I can feel the change in the muscle. And you can feel my finger, can't you?" Sherlock was biting his lip, but he nodded. "It's so sensitive, particularly when the skin's as slippery as it is right now." John's voice had dropped in pitch and volume as he drew circles and circles and circles and Sherlock, nearly out of his head on sensation, mewled. That was an embarrassing noise but I don't care god oh John I need more please please fuck me—

And John—lovely, benevolent John—breached him again to press further and further inside until his knuckles were pressing into his perineum and his fingertip just barely brushed his prostate oh sodding hell and it was not quite enough, but just, just enough to taunt him. Sherlock sucked in a shuddering breath. He tried to roll his hips again but was pinned by John's fingers.

"Look at you," John murmured. He reverently grazed the fingertips of his free hand down the underside of Sherlock's cock, making him twitch head to toe. "You've been wanting this for days. Winding yourself up with it, getting more and more rude. Unbearable. Sarky. Trying to play me with that stunt with the gun. Is this what you were hoping for?" He slid his fingers out and in, out and in, slick, the muscle unsure whether it was supposed to be squeezing or not. Sherlock tried to breathe, tried to think, but the sensations were exquisite and long-desired and John's words were confusing. He knew? He fooled me? And he's still…doing…this… Sherlock inhaled and groaned from deep in his chest.

"Yessss…" John said, eyes fixed on Sherlock's face. "That's right. You like my hands, Sherlock? You like it when I fix things?" Before Sherlock could even nod, John's hand shifted slick knuckles, forearm against my thigh and there was pressure, squeezing, as suddenly two fingers were inside two fingers, means he can reach now, means—

Pleasure flooded him from his toenails to his hair as he sucked in a breath. He groaned again. The door, we should have locked the door, I should be quieter—

"You like it when I get out my tools and do some DIY…When I put in that safety bar in the shower…You like watching me sort through hardware in bins, feeling all those little pieces with my fingertips… Surgically…" John had been pressing circles over Sherlock's prostate this whole time, drawing him taut like a bowstring. And now he bent over and sucked the head of Sherlock's cock down until it pressed into his soft palate. Christ, John, oh fuck that's good—

Sherlock writhed, torn between up into the delicious suction of John's mouth or down onto the rolling press of his fingers. His toes curled and uncurled reflexively. Pleasure burned its way along pathways just beneath his skin, sizzling, and he moaned.

"Gooood…" John's voice was low and approving, though spoken with a full mouth, but there was a rhythmic shake, a tightness to it that hadn't been there before. Sherlock wrenched his eyes open just wide enough to see, then slammed his head back against the top rung of the chair and moaned. John was wanking, his free hand jacking rapidly even as his hand and mouth kept sparking a steady stream of pleasure across Sherlock's synapses. The wet noises, John's breath huffing out through his nose and tickling Sherlock's pubic hair, gave him no choice but to tear his head up from the chair back and watch.

He must have managed more lube when Sherlock's attention was diverted, because his cock was so wet with it it dripped off his fingers. Oh those fingers. Every few strokes he'd reach down and stroke his testicles, roll them against the fingers, then slide his hand all the way back up to the crown and then down rapidly, ruddy purple flashing between white. It caused a firestorm of activity in Sherlock's brain I think I can actually feel them firing and so much blood rushed south that it almost felt numb. Almost almost almost…

And then John came. His hips jerked, he made a guttural noise around the cock choking him, and he shuddered and thrusted into the air and shot all over Sherlock's leg, spasm after spasm, and that was it. Blinding-white pleasure crashed upon Sherlock and for several long moments all was thrashing and pulsing and release and a choked-off cry. Then nothingness.

Sherlock twitched his brain back online.

The weight on his thigh was John's head, the softness against his fingers was John's hair, and the wet pressure against the arch of his foot was John's hand where it had fallen limp after their orgasms.

"Jesus Christ," John croaked wearily against Sherlock's thigh.

Sherlock blew out a breath toward the ceiling, and sank down into the chair as much as possible as a blissful lassitude filled him. "…Is unavailable for comment."

John chuckled slightly. "Feeling better?"

The were several seconds of silence where Sherlock nodded emphatically, then he sighed. "Yes."

"You know there are other ways to make me fix things besides destroying them first."

"But this way was more fun."

John turned his head and casually clamped down on Sherlock's quadriceps with his jaws.

"Ow!" Sherlock jerked away.

Chuckling, John pillowed his head on Sherlock's leg again, and submitted to letting the man card his fingers through his hair. "That wallpaper isn't cheap, Sherlock. Find a better way."

"Of seducing you?" Sherlock smirked. "I like this way."

"Find a better way, Sherlock," John said more firmly. "You might try, 'John, I would like to have sexual relations now.'" He'd deepened his voice in imitation, and Sherlock scowled.

"I don't talk like that."

John snorted. "I'm pretty much a sure thing, Sherlock. You don't have to test me."

"Your operant conditioning plan leaves much to be desired."

"Don't test me. Next time I'm buying a vibrator and an extra-large bottle of lube and I'm closing myself upstairs with it. You can listen to the buzz all night, and try to deduce what I'm doing without having any for yourself."

Hmm. "Why don't we own a vibrator, John?"

John tilted his face to look up at him, and barked out a laugh. "I'm not going to win this, am I?"

"It's unlikely."

"Do I have to invoke the name of the sadistic umbrella-wielding voyeur to win this argument?"

Sherlock went rigid, then forcibly relaxed. "Do what you like," he said airily, waving it aside.

"Nice try, Sherlock." John chuckled, then pushed himself heavily off the ground, groaning. He lowered himself onto Sherlock's lap, and gave him a soft kiss. "Find a nicer way to seduce me, or I'll involve the scowling ginger devil, and we'll none of us get any peace."

Sherlock stared into his eyes for several long seconds, searching. You're joking. You've got to be. Then a muscle in his right eyebrow twitched. "You're a madman."

John threw back his head and laughed, long and loud. "Yes, dear. I love you too."