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Slow Burn

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Joan grabs Sherlock's wrist, hard. He stumbles, twists. Looks at her like she is the one about to jump into a freezing cold river.

 

"They will get away," he says, with that air of desperation he gets when cannot solve a puzzle on the first try.

 

"I know." Joan slowly pulls him back from the low wall. Sherlock makes a move toward the river and she fists her other hand in his coat, drags him close. His breath is hot on her face, a white cloud in the cold air.

 

"Don't you dare," she hisses. "We are going home and we are going to let the police sort this out." Sherlock looks out over the river. Opens his mouth to speak, to make some terribly condescending remark about the police' capabilities no doubt and Joan wants to punch him.

 

She doesn't, but it's a close thing. She just tightens her grip on his wrist and Sherlock makes a very soft noise in the back of his throat.

 

"We are going home."

 

~ * ~

 

There is a slight bruise on Sherlock's wrist, reddened skin around a sickle of dark red from where Joan dug her fingernails into his flesh. Joan's breath leaves her on a helpless rush when she sees it.

 

Her first impulse is to apologize. She should. But there is something about the way Sherlock looks at her right then, how he stands so still with the ghost of a smile on his lips.

 

Wordlessly, she strokes a finger over the bruise, then turns away and busies herself with making tea.

 

~ * ~

 

Sherlock is walking around shirtless again. It's slightly distracting. Joan watches him out of the corner of her eyes, the way the muscles in his back move, the way he mutters to himself, touches his fingers to his wrist. The bruise has been gone for a few days.

 

Joan looks back down at her book and realizes she is trying to read the same paragraph for the fourth time. With a sigh, she closes the book. Hesitates for a moment. Raises her head and watches Sherlock without trying to hide it.

 

Joan is well aware that Sherlock can be considered quite attractive. She knows what that feels like, looking at an attractive man and wanting him. But this, this creeping itch under her skin that makes her run hot whenever she thinks about the noise he made when she grabbed him, when she hurt him.

 

This itch is making her reckless.

 

"Sherlock," she calls out. He comes to a halt, with his back to her.

 

"Miss Watson?" He sounds a little cocky. Joan is fairly sure he knows she's been watching him. She stands, leaving her book on the armchair, takes the few steps separating them. Stops so close to him he has to be able to feel her breath on the bare skin of his back. So close she can hear his breath hitch, but still he doesn't move an inch.

 

She wants to bite him. Wants to sink her teeth into the skin of his shoulder until he bleeds. Joan shivers with how much she wants it.

 

"Call me Joan," she whispers. "And put a damn shirt on."

 

~ * ~

 

"Oh."

 

"Well, yes. Sure."

 

"Some other time? That is not very specific."

 

"Yes, of course. Fine."

 

"Goodbye."

 

Joan isn't listening. Well, not deliberately, at least. She just happens to be very quietly standing just inside the door of her room while Sherlock paces in the hall. He sounds perfectly normal. Almost emotionless.

 

Perhaps it's the tattooed lady on the other end of the line. Joan wonders if Sherlock calls someone different every time he has to 'feed' his brain and body. Wonders if he always wants the same thing.

 

Handcuffs on a ladder. Six feet high.

 

The phone goes clattering to the floor. Joan wants to sigh. Then Sherlock lets out a terribly helpless noise, this half-choked yell of frustration.

 

Handcuffs on a ladder.

 

That itch crawls down Joan's spine, crawls downdowndown and settles burning hot between her legs, like wildfire.

 

~ * ~

 

She is cutting red peppers. Sherlock ambles down the hall, leans casually against the kitchen's doorjamb and watches her with a startling intensity. Joan tries to ignore him but she feels like she's always two seconds from cutting herself.

 

"If you have some deduction you have to share with me, out with it," she says, waving at him with a slice of pepper. "This staring is irritating." Sherlock hums a little.

 

"You want to have sex with me." Joan drops the pepper. She turns, stares. Sherlock ambles closer and speaks before she can reply.

 

"Well, not just sex. You want to punish me. You think I need to be punished. You think I need that, to be put into my place like a bad dog."

 

That's not true, she wants to say, but no words come. There is something awful about the conversational tone he uses. Joan's throat feels tight. She swallows. Looks down at the dropped pepper. She puts her knife down, washes her hands and faces Sherlock, who has remained silent the entire time. She looks at him now, really looks. Observes.

 

He stands with this air of casualness but the skin around his eyes is tense, his lips thin, and his hands twitch as her gaze flits down. He's trying too hard.

 

"You don't know what I want," she says softly. Sherlock's expression hardens.

 

"I don't? Go on, then. Tell me how I'm wrong." He's so damn arrogant, lower jaw shifted forward in that stubborn way he has, so full of himself and Joan wants––she wants…

 

"I want to bite you." The words come unbidden, too fast for Joan to stop them but she doesn't try, doesn't even want to. It all comes pouring out in a torrent, every stray thought and desire she's ever felt for him, every urge that has burned beneath her skin as she closes the distance between them, gets all up in his space.

 

"I want to mark you up, I want to hold you down so hard you bruise, I want to fuck you until you beg me to stop, I want to see if you can come on just my fingers, I want to make you scream, to make you cry, I want to tell you no, I want you to love it, I want you to get on your knees and beg to eat me out––"

 

They're standing nose to nose now, Joan breathing hard and Sherlock gone utterly still, his eyes bright like candleflame. She has never seen the expression on his face before.

 

"Right now?" he whispers, breathless like somebody stole the air right from his lungs.

 

Joan's heart stumbles a bit. She takes a breath. "Get on your knees."

 

He does, sinks to the floor with a grace that seems inhuman in this moment that has her rubbed so raw. Joan puts a hand in his hair, tugs his head back. His lips are parted slightly and she can't resist sliding her fingers over them, feeling their roughness and the hot wet inside of his mouth. She presses down on his tongue and he moans softly, eyes closing.

 

Joan's knees go a little weak at that. She cups his face, tilts it higher. "What do you say?"

 

Sherlock swallows, opens his eyes. "Please," he says, voice thick. "Please let me eat you out, Joan, please."

 

"Very good."

 

Sherlock's fingers are clumsy, trying to find the zipper of her skirt until she pulls it up and pushes her tights down, impatient to get his mouth between her legs. He licks her then, right through her panties, gets her wet. She laughs, half a pant, pulls on his hair again when he tries to take her panties off.

 

"Use your teeth," she whispers. "And don't touch yourself." He groans, right against her pussy. Joan shivers, feels heat pool low in her belly.

 

Sherlock is quick about it, makes Joan wonder if he's had practice, and how much – until he's really licking her, wriggling his tongue inside, dragging it up to her clit, circling and back down again. His lips are rough and his tongue is soft and wet and so warm. Pleasure makes Joan's blood sing, and when Sherlock starts sucking on her clit she comes, quick and hard, riding out the deep throb of it with her hands tight on the back of his head.

 

She eases him back and he whimpers. He's dug his fingers into his thighs and he's hard in his jeans, hips hitching in desperation. His mouth is red with her wetness smeared over his chin.

 

Beautiful, Joan thinks. She can't help smiling, giddy with the rush of it.

 

"Can I––" Sherlock swallows hard. "Can I come?"

 

She caresses his cheek.

 

"Not yet."

 

~ * ~

 

The second time is slower. Joan spreads Sherlock out on her bed, naked and spread-eagled but without the handcuffs.

 

"You move, I stop, alright?"

 

"Yeah." He smiles, skewed. "Will you bite me?"

 

Joan feels a grin tug at her mouth and doesn't try to stop it. "Among other things. Don't come until I tell you." She's sitting between his splayed thighs and puts her hands on his hips, digs her fingers in. Sherlock lets out a choked noise and shivers, full-body.

 

Joan kisses him, first. Leaves scratches on his belly and the soft insides of his thighs and licks the resulting sounds right out of his mouth. She bites his neck, his chest and hip, hard enough to leave a lasting imprint of her teeth.

 

When she's done sucking a hickey into his neck, she wraps one hand around his cock, strokes it carefully. Says, "You can come," and bites Sherlock's ear. He does, keening and trying to muffle it into the pillow.

 

I want to hear you. Joan keeps that one for next time.

 

~ * ~

 

When Joan wakes in the morning, she is almost uncomfortably aroused. Sherlock didn't stay the night, which doesn't surprise her. She finds him still in his bed, which does.

 

"No consulting today?"

 

Sherlock turns over, sleepy-eyed and bed-ruffled. "What are you doing in here?"

 

Joan thinks it should be quite obvious; she feels like somebody wrote 'I'm horny' in bright pink letters all over her. Sherlock does figure it out quickly once she stands at the edge of his bed, eyes widening slightly and blood rising in his cheeks.

 

"You seem to possess the libido of a teenager," he mutters, a little awed perhaps, as he spreads his legs.

 

Joan crawls on the bed until she's looming over him. "I was worse as a teenager." She smiles and steals a kiss that Sherlock melts into, morning breath and all.

 

"Turn on your belly," Joan says against his lips, pulling back to give him room to move. He squints at her over his shoulder when he's done and she gently manoeuvers his hands to the small of his back.

 

"Okay?"

 

"Yes," comes the reply, drawn out on a hiss. Joan can feel the strain of his muscles as she strokes his shoulder, down to his wrists and grips them, holds them fast to his back. She shifts until her crotch is resting against the swell of his ass, two layers of cloth between them but still she can feel his body heat like a furnace.

 

She ruts into him, once, to get a feel for the motion and Sherlock gasps. Joan stills, leans over him. "Sherlock?"

 

His eyes are glazed over. "I––It's good," he whispers desperately. Joan hesitates for a moment, pleasure held at bay by caution but then, Sherlock spits, "Please, it's good!" like it's hurting him to say it and Joan slides into it. She ruts into him, friction and heat ratcheting her pleasure slowly but surely up. Sherlock pants harshly, these helpless sobbing breaths that sound incredibly loud in the quiet of morning, even though he tries to shove his face into the mattress. Joan gets goosebumps listening to him.

 

She braces one hand next to his head, the other on his wrists and speaks directly into his ear, "Don't hide," grinds her hips into him, once, twice, until he turns his head to the side, looks up at her from beneath heavy lashes.

 

"Yes," Joan breathes, shivers right down to her core, and on the next shove Sherlock outright sobs, hips bucking, coming apart under her and Joan comes, too, grinding into him and holding there, feeling the pulse of it crest and soften.

 

"That was good, right?" she asks, after she's let go of his hands and is lying next to him on her back. Sherlock is still on his belly, but he's drawn one hand up to his neck, touching the bite she left there less than twelve hours ago.

 

"Yes. That was very good," he says, face unreadable. And then he sits up and disappears into the bathroom without another word.