If John had to choose, really gun to his head make a decision right now, he'd probably say that his favourite body part belonging to his flat mate, his totally unattainable flat mate, the flat mate he was (definitely not) arse over tit in love with, that flat mate, was his hands. Well, one of John's favourite body parts belonging to his flat mate. That was the trouble with living with Sherlock Holmes; there were simply too many beautiful body parts to admire.
John wasn't fooling himself, he'd known for a long time that the glow in his belly and warmth in his chest when he looked at Sherlock wasn't just friendly, platonic fondness. No bloody way. John watched him verbally eviscerate anyone he deemed incompetent (usually Anderson), make connections that no-one else would see to resolve a case, fall asleep slumped on the kitchen table, read unspeakably long articles that would render other mere mortals unconscious from boredom in seconds, get excited about pollen and bees, and trail after dirt and blood and rubbish and all manner of secretions and general crap produced by life on this planet in search of a solution to a puzzle. John watched all of this and steadily continued to fall ever deeper and deeper, until he eventually gave up trying to claw at the sides and let it happen. The inevitable. But if he could just keep it hidden nothing need ever change. Why risk everything he had now on the minute, highly unlikely off chance Sherlock wouldn't be utterly repelled and their friendship irreparably damaged or destroyed?
But fuck, was it difficult sometimes. He'd not consciously think about it for days, then suddenly he'd catch Sherlock looking at him with an unreadable expression on his face and the desire to just blurt out "I'm desperately in love with you, you know that, right?" would bubble up uncontrollably. It took all of John's considerable ability to repress that with which he did not wish to deal, thank you very much, to stop himself. Thankfully so far, he'd kept everything sufficiently bottled and Sherlock seemed none the wiser. See but do not observe, John thought, often at the most inappropriate of times.
Life continued, as it is wont to do, with John pursuing futile attempts at "relationships" with women he could not bring himself to truly care for, resulting in meaningless one night stands, pissed off exes and many repetitions that he was not gay. Which he wasn't. Bi though? Yep.
"Three Continents Watson" had up to this point in his life bedded rather more women than men (57 and 9 respectively, an impressive if ultimately unfulfilling number). Recently though, the one night stands tapered off and John stopped bothering trying to find new relationships. He resigned himself to an indeterminate period of pining for his unattainable best friend. Clearly there was little to no chance of making Sherlock man number 10 (and stopping there for the rest of his life).
So, in lieu of ruining the best thing he had going in his life he indulged in lonely wanking in the shower, trying not to feel too pathetic and hating himself for it.
It was on one of these occasions; a sad and lonely shower wank, that changed everything.
Stumbling downstairs, bleary eyed and grumpy, John fumbled with the kettle wishing that tea could be produced simply by thinking hard enough. Or by a machine in the wall, like in Star Trek. Earl Grey, hot. Ta dah!
Sherlock was nowhere to be seen but his bedroom door stood open, bed neatly made and clearly unused. Frowning, John tried to remember what Sherlock had said last night when he'd come back from the pub. Nights out with Lestrade always seemed to end in bouts of temporary amnesia. Quite how the DI managed to get John so drunk without actually getting utterly legless himself was one of the great mysteries of the universe.
Sherlock had said something about Bart's and Molly and severed... fingers? That must be it then, John thought, he's still at Bart's farting about with some poor sod's detached digits. John looked down critically at his own paws. Built much like the rest of him; short, sturdy, soft but for the fading gun callouses. Competent, sufficiently fit for purpose. Still a little bit tanned, the bronzed hue he'd had in Afghanistan gradually fading, becoming paler in London's gloomy, grey winters.
Paler, but not pale. Not the creamy, smooth marble of Sherlock's skin. Appearing almost translucent in the right light, contrasting sharply with the dark mahogany of his hair, which always seemed just a spritz of moisture away from delightfully unruly fluffiness. Silky too, not doubt. Crying out to be stroked and petted and smoothed. Sherlock constantly running his lovely hands through it didn't help either, the tugging and the ruffling and the flash of gorgeous alabaster among those soft, raven curls...
Stop it. Just stop it, John chastised himself. Now you're getting all soppy and dreamy about his hands in his hair, for fuck's sake. Get a grip.
Angrily dumping a tea bag into his mug, John filled the kettle and flicked it on with more than the necessary amount of force. The kettle immediately began to whine and hiss and John glared at it, daring it to throw a paddy like its master would. The kettle moodily but efficiently boiled the water for John's tea, though he could swear it looked distinctly displeased about it.
Pondering whether he was still drunk enough to be anthropomorphising their kitchen appliances, John was startled when the flat door banged open and Sherlock strode in. The cloud of "everyone's an idiot and it's insufferable" surrounding his flat mate had John grimacing, as Sherlock tossed off his coat and flopped bodily down onto the sofa. The kettle clicked in sympathy.
"What's up then?" John asked as lightly as he could manage from the kitchen. "Finished with Molly's fingers?" Hearing his words out loud made him wince. He trudged over to his chair and sat down, sipping his tea. The tight ball of sour mood uncurled a little on the sofa and held up its hands.
"Jesus, Sherlock! How did you... Oh god, your thumbs!" groaned John. Sherlock grunted and tucked his bandaged hands back underneath his body.
"Morgue drawer door," he muttered. "Molly's new assistant, Kevin. Jammed both of my hands in the hinge. Accidental, he was trying to be helpful, according to Molly." Sherlock snorted. "Anyway, my thumbs are badly bruised and as you can see, rather swollen."
John set his tea on the side table and scrubbed his hand down his face. No wonder Sherlock was in such a snit. He'd not be able to play his violin or fire John's gun at the walls or muck about with questionable chemicals much with two damaged thumbs. The boredom levels could actually become fatal.
"Right, well," John cleared his throat. "I'm going for a shower. You look like shit, you should rest for a bit." Sherlock nodded absently, eyes distant and unfocused as he scowled at his hands, now resting in his lap.
Sighing and mentally preparing for a long 2-3 weeks of recovery, John headed off to the bathroom.
Turning the water as hot as he could stand it, John stripped off his baggy t-shirt and bottoms and climbed into the shower. Unbidden his thoughts turned back to Sherlock and his bandaged hands. No experiments for a while could be a good thing, but John did feel a little tug to think that Sherlock probably wouldn't be picking up his violin in the next few weeks. It was one of John's favourite parts of the day, hearing Sherlock play. Watching him standing silhouetted by the dull evening light filtering through the window, his body swaying gently, keeping time with the music, John could indulge himself and drink in every gorgeous line, every smooth curve, every sharp angle. Sweeping his gaze appreciatively from sable curls to pale bare feet, knowing he wouldn't be caught because Sherlock was lost in the rhythm and melody of the piece. And the sounds, oh the sounds he could coax from the strings beneath his fingertips, his bow moving effortlessly to fill the air with a bittersweet warmth, or a playful joy, or a peaceful contentment. The skill in Sherlock's lovely hands, seeming to reach into John's very soul and bringing forth his deeply buried adoration with each perfectly executed note.
Belatedly John realised he had lost himself a bit in the image of Sherlock playing, imagining that the music was just for him, the notes saying things he knew he'd never hear from Sherlock's mouth. That was a dangerous train of thought so John clamped down viciously on the rising heat in his belly. He tried to think of other things; snotty noses in the surgery, Mrs Hudson's lemon cupcakes, Mycroft rollerskating naked; anything to keep his mind from moving on to hushed declarations, heated kisses, the brush of skin on skin.
Shit, not working. Even Mycroft. Goddammit.
He grabbed the nearest bottle of... something and squirted some of its contents into his palm, intent on simply performing his usual quick, efficient ablutions and escaping the flat to walk it off in the chilly air of Regents Park for an hour or so. A rich, decadent scent filled his nostrils and he glanced down at the liquid and bottle in his hands.
For fuck's sake: Sherlock's stupidly expensive conditioner. Fucking fuck to all goddamn fuck. The fantasies flooded his mind and John fumbled to set the bottle down again as he felt his cock rapidly hardening. If he was quiet, really very quiet, then maybe...
He reached down and gave his prick a couple of long tugs, coating himself with the thick conditioner and urgently stuffing his other hand in his mouth to smother a filthy moan. Oh God, but that felt good. And the smell... He could imagine twirling his fingers into those thick curls, feeling the soft hair slip through them as he gripped the back of Sherlock's head to pull that sinful mouth to his own. John pictured Sherlock's eyes fluttering closed as he kissed down that elegant throat, pausing to nip gently at a collarbone, then back up, burying his face in Sherlock's neck and inhaling the scent of Sherlock's hair and his skin. Sherlock's hands would be gripping John's shoulders, long fingers digging in and holding on tight as John steadily took him apart, and John would entwine their hands before moving them down, down to wrap around them both, pulling in slow strokes as together they chased the bright edge of pleasure.
So lost in his fantasy was he that John didn't hear the bathroom door open and was utterly unaware of Sherlock's presence in the room until his deep voice echoed over the rush of the shower. Startled, John made a strangled noise but he was far too far gone to stop.
"I'm just going to grab that charcoal soap," Sherlock was saying, "the hospital stuff smells like disinfectant and it's making me nauseous."
Sherlock's hand, complete with bandaged thumb appeared between the shower curtain and the tiled wall where John had braced himself while he fantasised, flailing around for the soap. The sight of creamy flesh warmed by the heat of the bathroom and dripping a little as water ran over fingers and knuckles, the sound of Sherlock's rich voice and the scent of the damned conditioner suddenly all combined in John's mind. He was vaguely aware that this was a fantastically bad situation, but he was powerless to stop himself.
"Oh f-, Sherlock," John groaned as he came hard, striping the tiles and spurting directly onto the hand and arm that had wandered into his shower.
Sherlock's hand stilled for a moment, then shakily withdrew. John watched, breathing heavily, as the rest of his come was washed away in the shower's stream. He barely flinched when the bathroom door slammed open as Sherlock fled, letting steam out into Sherlock's bedroom.
John rinsed away the conditioner and sullenly finished washing. The high from his orgasm was long gone and in its place was a bone-deep regret and sorrow that his moment of foolish indulgence may well have ruined everything. Furious with himself and refusing to back away from the inevitable confrontation he quickly scrubbed his body and hair with a clean towel and wrapped it around his waist. Taking a deep breath and studiously avoiding looking at his reflection in the mirror he tapped on the adjoining door to Sherlock's bedroom and went in.
Sherlock was standing with his back to the bathroom, frozen still, his hand raised and head bowed as he presumably stared at it. John shifted uncomfortably and cleared his throat. Sherlock's shoulders stiffened but he didn't turn.
Unsure even where to start, John forced his mouth open and some kind of words out.
"Sherlock? I- I'm sorry," he said, voice steadier than he'd expected. His chest felt as if it were caving in on itself. Sherlock didn't react except to suck in a deep breath. "Look, I..." John continued, rubbing a hand through his damp hair. "I.. I don't... I mean I... Fuck, this is difficult. I'm sorry. Alright? Nothing has to... We can... You could delete it or something. Okay. I'm going to..." John trailed off and sighed.
"I can go now," he finished quietly. He clenched one hand and turned to leave.
John snapped his head back round to see Sherlock had spun to face him. His expression was puzzling - he almost looked pleading.
"Don't go," Sherlock said softly. He took a tentative step forward and made to reach out to John with one hand, before realising it was still coated in John's come. The blush that spread across his cheeks and down his throat was at once adorable and lovely, John thought, as Sherlock hastily wiped the back of his hand behind him on his expensive shirt.
"Don't go," Sherlock repeated, only this time it sounded less like a demand and more like a question. John frowned. What exactly was this? Sherlock huffed in frustration and quickly closed the distance between them, leaning down to capture John's lips with his own.
Before John could fully register that Sherlock was kissing him - Sherlock was kissing him - he'd pulled back and was standing, hands clasped behind his back, chest heaving as he panted, eyes closed. A faint grimace appeared on his face and John was suddenly very angry indeed.
"Wh- what the f-fuck was that, Sherlock? Hm? I try to apologise and you what? Start a new experiment? See if you can make me feel even more fucking stupid?!"
Sherlock threw up his hands and laughed mirthlessly. "Hardly John!" He waved his bandages in John's face. "I may have been bored before but I'm not now!" His voice softened as he said again: "I'm not now."
John humphed indignantly, not daring to hope that this might mean what he hoped it could and at the same time desperate to run and hide for a week. Or a month.
Sherlock growled and tugged on his hair, still annoyed with his inability to articulate as clearly as usual. He turned away from John again, hands hanging loosely by his sides in an attempt to appear nonchalant. John wasn't in the least bit fooled.
"I have... very little experience with these things, John. I have detailed theoretical knowledge of course, but in actual, physical, um, hands-on experience, if you'll pardon the expression, I find I am... somewhat lacking."
John shifted his weight and absently toyed with the edge of his towel, suddenly aware that he was very nearly naked. Sighing, he glanced down at his feet then looked at Sherlock's back, fixing it with a solid gaze.
"What are you saying, Sherlock?"
"I'm saying John, that I- I would be amenable to a, er, an extension of our relationship, to, um, encompass the more physical aspects of- ahem- that is, I mean I- ugh!" He cleared his throat and John felt a grin light up his face. If, if he had this right...
Sherlock cleared his throat again and John took a silent step towards him.
"John, I should very much like to kiss you again. And again. And, more. If you will permit me," he said softly. John's heart swelled and he reached up to Sherlock's shoulder, turning them face to face once more.
"You are permitted," he murmured as he pulled Sherlock down to him, their mouths meeting gently. Sherlock would never admit to the surprised squeak that escaped him as John deepened the kiss, but John made sure he saved it in his feeble memory as one of the happiest moments of his life.
Sherlock's tongue was everywhere, making the kiss sloppy and messy and clumsy and perfect. John gripped his head gently and tilted him to allow better access. That little squeak, which was fast becoming one of John's favourite sounds, esacped again and echoed in the quiet room. The kiss became less tentative and increasingly needful, at least on Sherlock's part. John's hands began to roam and he swallowed a wonderfully rumbling moan as he grabbed two handfuls of plump arse and squeezed.
"Bed," John whispered against Sherlock's neck as he placed kiss after kiss, grinning as Sherlock's legs wobbled and he pitched backwards at John's gentle but firm push against his body. John dropped the towel and set to work removing Sherlock clothes, licking at every inch of newly revealed skin. It wasn't as if John hadn't seen Sherlock's bare chest before but he had long wanted to have it beneath his lips and hands, to feel Sherlock writhe and pant desperately as he pushed him towards orgasm.
Sherlock's hands found their way into John's hair, fingers rubbing pleasantly at his scalp as he divested Sherlock shirt and trousers. Sherlock's erection was impressively tenting his black silk pants and John gave in to the desire to press his face close and inhale deeply. Sherlock moaned lowly again, fingers scrabbling in John's hair and at the sheets as he tried but failed to grip properly with his bruised thumbs. He bit back a hiss of pain, the sound clearing the vague fog in John's brain.
John raised his head and took both of Sherlock's hands in his, kissing each finger and knuckle then lightly kissing the base of his thumbs where the bandages stopped. "Shh," John murmured, "be careful or you'll need even longer. Let them heal." Sherlock made a valiant attempt at a haughty snort but it was lost in a gasp as John's tongue touched the tip of his index finger, swirling across the pad.
"Beautiful," John breathed, "you are so beautiful." He delighted in the flush of pink warming Sherlock's cheeks, chest and throat, and determined that if he could, he would tell Sherlock every damn day just how beautiful he was.
"John," Sherlock sighed, voice gone ragged with arousal as his head tipped back onto the bed. John lapped at the finger he held then took the whole length into his mouth and sucked.
The reaction was instant - Sherlock's head popped back up and he groaned loudly enough to disturb the rest of Baker Street. Oh, like that do you? John thought. Well, I can do better.
He released Sherlock's finger with a sloppy slurp and slunk down the bed, grasping the waistband of Sherlock's pants and lightly tugging them. Sherlock lifted his hips and a breathy "oh God, yes," passed his liss-bitten lips. John grinned to himself; he was definitely going to enjoy this.
He cast the pants aside and took in the sight before him. Sherlock's cock was red and flushed, straining up towards his belly. His chest was heaving and his hair had fallen across his forehead and into his eyes, curls a riot against the white bedsheets. John trailed his hands down Sherlock's sides, stroking his slim waist and coming to rest on the curves of his hips. He looked up as Sherlock raised his head and their eyes met through heavy lids and dark lashes.
"Yes?" John asked, lowering his face slowly.
"Yes, for God's sake, yes," Sherlock breathed, nodding and dropping his head back to the bed. John chuckled to himself and licked his palm, giving Sherlock's cock a few swift strokes before taking the head between his lips and tonguing the salty fluid leaking from the tip.
The answering groan to this action seemed even louder and John was delighted at the noises Sherlock was producing. John worked him steadily between his hand and his mouth, licking long stripes up his length before engulfing him and sucking lightly. Confident and unrelenting, John drove Sherlock closer and closer to climax, taking him fully and loving the feel of him against the back of his throat.
"John... Ah! John-" Sherlock cried. Step up the game, Watson, John thought to himself. He let his hand drop from holding Shelrock's hips still and slipped his arms under Sherlock's legs, one hand cradling Sherlock's balls and the other pressing further back.
Sherlock lurched off the bed, back arching and John could feel him tense. He brushed his right thumb over Sherlock's balls and perineum as he teased across his entrance with the other, pressing just ever so slightly into the glorious tight heat. John moaned around his mouthful of Sherlock at the sensation and Sherlock cried out as his orgasm overtook him. John's mouth was flooded with hot fluid and he eventually pulled off when Sherlock finally stopped twitching. Fumbling at the end of the bed he found his towel and discreetly deposited the semen into it.
Panting, hands pressed into his eyes, Sherlock gradually came down from his release. John nestled up alongside him, stroking his sides as if gentling a thoroughbred horse. He wasn't sure what would happen now, if he'd be asked to leave now Sherlock had come. Rather spectacularly, John thought, wondering how soon they might be able to go again. One taste simply wasn't enough.
He was pleasantly surprised when Sherlock rolled onto his side and threw his arm over John, crowding close and trembling. Of all the things John could've expected, that Sherlock was a cuddler was a wonderful discovery. John swallowed back the desire to blurt it all out, settling for pulling Sherlock even closer and nuzzling into the curls tickling his chin.
"John?" Sherlock said quietly.
"Yeah, love?" John replied sleepily. Sherlock froze and John realised what he'd said. Fucking hell, Watson!
"Love?" Sherlock asked.
John cleared his throat. Nothing for it. Managed to get this far, might as well go all the way, he thought ruefully.
"Yeah," he whispered. "Love."
Sherlock sighed and snuggled impossibly nearer. "Acceptable," he murmured. John laughed. "Arse." He felt Sherlock's smile against his chest.
"How... I know you have more experience than I do. How...?"
John snorted. "Looking for your marks out of ten, are you?"
Sherlock huffed. "Well I have always excelled at everything I put my mind to, John," he retorted, snappish tone softened by the grin John could feel spreading over his face. John laughed again, shaking his head at the ridiculous, gorgeous, brilliant, perfect man in his arms. He twined their fingers together and raised them to his face, pressing his lips to the smooth skin on the back of Sherlock's hand.
"Ten," he whispered.