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I Like Smoke and Lightning

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By now John was used to the sight of unfamiliar vehicles in Sherlock’s driveway, though it never quite put him at ease, for the only people who braved the remote road up here were generally highly motivated. Mostly it was people at the end of their ropes, who’d exhausted lots of angles already to get their problem solved, and as Sherlock’s reputation as a detective grew, so did the pilgrimage.

But John couldn’t let go of the idea that for every person grateful for Sherlock’s help, there had to be just as many who were furious about his meddling and would just as soon see the problem dealt with once and for all. Sherlock was a hard man to take by surprise - if John, who knew him as well as anybody, he reckoned, could almost never manage to do it in their sex games even when Sherlock was motivated to “lose” once in a while, damn sure almost no one who meant him real harm could pull it off. Right?

Warily, John studied the battered black Chevy pickup with the mud flaps and the trailer hitch, and peered into the dented, rusty old horse trailer attached to it - and gasped. There was no literal animal in there: just a hog. It gleamed, that Harley. It seemed to have a sort of sinister will of its own, like it would go tearing down the dirt road and down out of the holler and go on a rampage in the town all by itself if it weren’t chained down. But it also looked patient, like it was waiting for the right rider to master it. What a beautiful bike - solid and heavy, but with wheels that promised unlawful and untamed speed. It was clearly not a new bike right off the line - it was scraped and dinged with years of road wear and tight spots and escapes and chases and dubiously legal modifications. This was not a respectable citizen’s motorcycle.

Well, that in itself didn’t mean much. Respectable citizens were a minority of the folks that crossed the threshold of the big old farmhouse with the bees on Route 221. And frankly, they were just as likely to mean trouble as the disreputable kind. So John still decided to be careful. He avoided the plank in the old porch that creaked, he passed all the decommissioned appliances there except for the rusted old icebox where he kept an emergency reserve Smith & Wesson stashed under two bags of mulch. But as he took it up and checked it, he could hear voices through the window, and they were calm. He peered into the parlor carefully until he heard Sherlock’s voice call out impatiently, “Oh come in, John, it’s fine.”

John relaxed a little and left the gun where it was - he knew which sofa cushion covered up another right there in the sitting room - and walked in to see Sherlock lounging lazily in his favorite old chintz chair, talking with a stranger who sat opposite on the moth-eaten chaise longue. And what a stranger he was - all head-to-toe leathers and denims, long hair and shaggy beard and sunburn. Canny blue eyes gleamed under bristly auburn brows, and the man had an easy sideways smile with a gold tooth on the upper jaw that he didn’t mind showing off. John found himself checking for bugs on the man’s teeth (“how do you tell a happy biker?”). The man’s build was lean but there was power in his corded arms and rider’s thighs. He caught John’s eye and they nodded to each other with a certain wary brotherhood as one Nam vet recognizes another without a word.

“This must be Captain Watson,” the man said, eyes flickering over John head to toe. “You done good, Sherlock, he looks like a wildcat.”

“Oh, he is,” Sherlock said, nodding. “John, this is my old acquaintance Shinwell Johnson. I might have mentioned the Black Peter case a few years back? Quite a soap opera, our outlaw biker scene - I helped him solve a messy little problem once, and in return he’s been a great help to me on occasion.”

“I wouldn’t a been any help at all if you weren’t willin’ to go balls to the wall for a case, Sherlock,” Shinwell said, laughing until his beard gave a suggestive little waggle.

“Well, I had to prove I wasn’t a narc, didn’t I?” said Sherlock, eyes dancing full of mischief. Now John noticed that he and Johnson both held glasses of what had to be the Lestrade family business, and no doubt Sherlock was deceptively nursing his.

“Sucking me off is one thing, but you let me piss in your mouth!” Johnson howled, and if John had had a drink in his hand he certainly would have dropped it.

“I had to keep up appearances,” Sherlock said in a haughty tone fit for a Georgetown matron. “Oh, honestly,” he said to John and Johnson’s expressions. “You’d drunk so much beer that it was so diluted it hardly counted as urine at all. And it was Schlitz.” He wrinkled his nose. “If anything, its brief tenure in your bladder improved it.”

John started to say something, but his voice came out a squeak.

“Jesus Sherlock, you’re a rude motherfucker,” Shinwell sighed. “Get your man a drink.”

“From the bottle, please,” John managed to say as his wobbly knees made him sit down. “Not from anybody’s dick.”

Shinwell cracked up and passed John the bottle with a hoot. “I like him, Sherlock. You done good all right. I bet he takes good care of you. You’re a lucky man too John, Sherlock’s such a filthy fuckpig.” His tone was full of worshipful admiration.

“One does one’s best,” Sherlock said primly.

“And you didn’t find that at all - degrading?” John said, desperately trying to hide his intense and complicated responses.

“Not nearly as much as the time I had to pretend to be an avid Grateful Dead fan.”

“Hey, they got some good tunes,” Shinwell said, affronted. “Anyway, so that’s why the fuckpig gets a hog of his own for this job. Look, I know its owner is dead, but that bike is historic. Classic. You take good care of it or somebody’s gonna be asking for your head with my balls in your mouth. Or the other way round, maybe.”

“Picturesque,” Sherlock said. “But I suppose not entirely inappropriate, considering.”

“Naw, I’m a sick fuck but I still like all the parts to stay attached to the folks what brung ‘em, all right?”

“We’re agreed on that then,” John said quickly.

“Yeah, reckon you saw enough parts in the wrong places over there, didn’t ya?” Shinwell said.

“I’m medical corps,” John said. “You can imagine.”

“Oh yeah, he said you were a doctor. Damn, he done good,” Shinwell repeated for at least the third time, letting his eyes roam John even more shamelessly. “I don’t know if you and him ever like to swing even when he ain’t blowin’ rough trade for a case, but if you do, think about it, he’s got my number…”

Sherlock’s look of mischief had taken on a different aspect entirely as Shinwell was letting his eyeballs loll around on the fly of John’s Levis for a little too long. He all but hissed and puffed up as Shinwell winked. “Half-stiffies don’t lie, John. And hell, if that’s only half, I’m sure as hell gonna be impressed with the rest.”

“You can leave now,” Sherlock said, unfolding himself from the chair with a sense of authority that was somehow enhanced by the arching bulge in his jeans.

“You can still fill out those leathers of yours real good, I bet,” Shinwell said, licking his lips. “I brought you something else, too.” He reached in his battered Army knapsack, showing a little more ass than was strictly necessary. It wasn’t bad. “Got you a few more patches for your colors.”

John leaned over and looked. “I know what red wings mean, but does yellow mean what I think it means?”

“Probably not,” Sherlock said. “I am not qualified for yellow wings. You might be. These wings are gold, not yellow.”

“I will ask about that . . . Some other time,” John said. “But he said - you had leathers?”

“Yes of course, and also some oddments and accessories that would probably fit you, or close enough to get by,” Sherlock said. “I haven’t been on a bike in a while, but you never do forget how to ride.” He gave John a pointy smile, perfectly aware of the effect that he was having. “Think of it, John. The thrill of the chase, the engine pumping between our legs - just you and me against the rest of the road. How do you feel about that?”

“It should be obvious,” John said, as he adjusted himself in his well-worn, form-fitting, and increasingly tight jeans. Sherlock’s keen eyes followed every slight motion, and John enjoyed the sensation of being watched with such close attention, setting up a hot little feedback loop of Sherlock’s awareness of how John was affected in turn arousing him. Sherlock made a mirroring motion with his own large graceful hand, cupping himself in his tight black slacks.

Outside the creak of the porch let them know Shinwell was still there, and watching. Sherlock and John gave each other a last appraising stare before walking out to the porch half-erect to help get that gorgeous bike out of the trailer before Shinwell went on his way. They would rendezvous with him days later, over the line in Virginia.


John knew he should have been sitting down for this when a completely different Sherlock emerged. On anyone else it might almost have reeked of trying too hard, but Sherlock transformed to fit his disguise. A headband ran through his shaggy curls and kept them artfully out of his face except when he wanted them there - mirrored sunglasses made him inscrutable. He seemed less willowy and fey somehow; his faded black t-shirt skimmed his torso and pulled where he was muscular, more so than he normally appeared in his clothes - though being very familiar with his naked body, John knew that he dressed to de-emphasize his physical strength because he liked to be underestimated. He seemed so much more solid and earthy in the black leather pants that hugged every muscular curve of his firm round ass and long powerful legs, tapering down into thick, stiff black boots, unevenly polished and scarred with ground-in dust. Sherlock’s leathers looked old and lived-in and completely attuned to his body, and when Sherlock jutted his hips forward in a confident swagger, John could plainly see the outline of his cock, dressed to the left, not even hard but arrogantly present nonetheless.

He wasn’t wearing anything underneath, there was no doubt about that. A few hours on the road in the sun and he was going to have a tang of sweat and musk between his thighs, the tactile, lingering scent of leather working its way into every line and crease of him, and fuck, John was getting hard just thinking of burying his nose and mouth down there until Sherlock grabbed his hair and shot a hot load all over his face . . .

“It’s a long way there, John,” Sherlock said, smiling, his own eyes running hungrily over John, who had pieced together a more than passable outfit from jeans, leather vest, worn-thin olive-drab Army undershirt and thick boots, every inch of him rigged to emphasize his military past, just ragged and disrespectful enough to announce he’d gone a bit rogue. John had never been comfortable flaunting it - but as Sherlock kept telling him, in this scene presentation was everything and experience was everything else. You’ve earned it, Sherlock kept whispering to him. You were there. You’re the real thing. I’m faking it but you aren’t.

“You’re going to put me in the bitch seat, aren’t you?” John said, grinning as if he wanted to wrestle Sherlock for it.

“I think that’s obvious,” Sherlock said. “But I’m sorry we don’t have a sidecar. Would you prefer that?”

“I’d prefer to ride with you thrown over my lap like a very naughty sack of potatoes, and give your ass a spank at every milepost,” John said.

“Even by one-percenter standards, that’s too unsafe,” Sherlock said, smirking.

“I suppose helmets are off the table.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Sherlock said.

“Fine. Just don’t get us killed on the road, all right?”

“I was planning for us to get killed at the club, isn’t that better?” Sherlock was adjusting all the little fine points of his costume - the patches, the low-slung heavy belt, the precise way his vest rubbed at his nipples just enough to make them peak visibly through the shirt - and John was going insane.

“It’s over a hundred miles and we’re running late,” Sherlock said.

John sighed and nodded and shouldered up his pack and tucked his favorite gun into his waistband beneath his vest (his second and third favorites were in the Harley’s saddlebags).

The Harley’s powerful engine roared up to life under the blue early summer-sky, startling a neigh from Arthur up in his mountain pasture, who was possibly jealous of its power but more likely relieved that he wouldn’t be expected to carry anyone.

Sherlock straddled it with an effortless, masculine grace; John maneuvered onto the higher seat behind him with a bit less of it, and pressed his lower legs against Sherlock’s in a silent dare, settling in. Sherlock gave a deep, purring laugh.

“See if you laugh when that fancy leather jacket of yours gets all covered in my come because you made me press my dick up against you on a giant vibrator for a hundred miles,” John said with a laugh that he hoped was menacing, wrapping one arm around Sherlock’s neck.

“It washes off easily,” Sherlock said airily. “It should be obvious that I know that from experience.”


Roanoke, Virginia was a railroad town, the tracks were everywhere, and it seemed to John that every side was the wrong side.

But there was no doubt about this one - the bar where Shinwell had said his contact would be found was a repurposed small run-down warehouse on the outskirts of town, far from screaming distance. It masqueraded as a motor-repair and chop shop by daylight. Kudzu and honeysuckle had taken over most of the parking lot with their grasping tendrils and sultry, overripe summer scent, and in the night breeze the smells of beer and gasoline and piss hung heavy in close competition.

There were a few pickup trucks and Jeeps and low-slung Camaros in the parking lot, but motorcycles were in the overwhelming majority - and since they took up so much less room, John could get a good idea of just how many sweaty aggressive male bodies would be occupying that space inside.

Shouting and laughter and breaking glass carried through the glass-brick windows and black-painted doors, even over the bone-rattling hard rock music. As they came closer, boots crunching on the gravel and cracked blacktop, now John could hear voices from the bushes around them, male grunts and groans and curses of pleasure, slaps and sucklings. “So,” he whispered, “this is a sex club? All men?”

“Not officially,” Sherlock said, laughing. “But yeah, it’s for trade, everybody knows that. You don’t come here if you’re not looking for something under the table.”

John grasped Sherlock’s arm then, suddenly and fiercely. “And if you have to - if we have to? You do have limits, don’t you? Things even you won’t do for a case?”

Sherlock thought about it for a moment, peeled off his mirrored shades to let John see his eyes crinkle in contemplation. “Of course. No children, no feces, no permanent damage. Those are my limits.”

“Okay, yeah . . . “ John said carefully. “Agreed, for sure. Anything else?”

Sherlock squinted off into the cloudy night sky. “Mmmm….not really.”

“Well, I got one more limit than you do,” John said, whispering fiercely. “The big one is, anything that makes you not come home with me after it’s all done. That’s not acceptable. That means you getting killed or put in jail or deciding you like someone else’s dick better than mine, anything like that. I don’t agree to anything where we don’t go home together.”

Sherlock drew in breath sharply and turned around to John. “Did I forget to say that? I thought it was obvious.”

“You forgot to say that,” John said sternly.

“Very well,” Sherlock said. “My limits are, no children, no feces, no permanent damage, and anything that prevents me from going home with John Watson, where I belong. Satisfied?”

“Yeah,” John said. “And mine are the same, except I won’t do anything that prevents me from going home with Sherlock Holmes, where I belong.”

“John?” Sherlock asked. “Would you really fuck someone else for the sake of a case?”

“Sure,” John said, “if it was important.”

“You’re not the best judge of what’s important,” Sherlock said.

“You’re not always the best judge of what’s hot,” John said.



It was when the beer bottles started flying that Sherlock manhandled John into a men’s room (as if toilets in this place came in any other gender).

“I’m sorry I brought you into this, John,” Sherlock said.

“Why? I thought I was doing fine,” John said. He’d found a young draft-dodger who felt guilty about it, and was using some of the club’s equipment to help the young man find penance. Physically. John knew a nice ass when he saw it, and the boy seemed to enjoy the spanking.

“Yeah, but that was Razorback’s boy.”

“I . . . take it you don’t mean his son.”

“No,” Sherlock said. “I thought it was obvious.”

“You know what I really think should be obvious?” John said. “It’s that you like gang bangs and cocksucking and men beating each other up and getting off on it. You like it with strangers. I think this case was kind of meaningless. You just wanted to come here to get fucked, like you used to before you met me.”

“Mostly true so far,” Sherlock said. “Except this case actually was meaningful, so you’re wrong about that. Thanks to Shinwell’s contact, I now have a name to match to the source of the particular strain of toxic heroin that’s been responsible for an estimated 347 accidental deaths along the eastern seaboard. Tomorrow I will send what I know by coded telegram to a contact who will close that channel of supply. Permanently. A few lives will end once it’s known that a fifth party’s cover is blown, and many others will be saved. I rank the lives saved above the lives ended because they are much greater in number. I’ve solved many cases like it in the past, and all I had to do to achieve that end was to use my natural skills of observation and also perform a few entirely consensual sexual acts along the way that harmed no one. That’s why I’m respected here and I can walk in and walk out no more injured than I want to be. Of course I enjoyed them. I wouldn’t have agreed to them if I didn’t. But the positive effects ripple far beyond that. I’m not wrong. You know I’m not wrong.”

“I thought it was obvious, Sherlock,” John said. “We’re in this together, and I don’t care what you’ve done, you are so fucking hot in that getup and I will do anything you want. Anything.”

“I violated none of my limits, John,” Sherlock said. “Except the one that isn’t entirely up to me.”

“Oh, you’re coming home with me all right,” John said. He backed Sherlock up against the wall and stood up on his toes and cupped Sherlock’s bulging package in one hand, squeezing and digging in his fingertips. “After you let me have some of the fun we came all this way for.”

Sounds behind John let him know they had an audience, as did Sherlock’s furtive glances. John usually didn’t like having dangerous people behind him, and if you’d asked him in the light of day how he felt being watched by lots of rough strangers while he felt up a squirming, growling, leather-coated Sherlock, he might have been more reticent. But what the fuck, when in Rome, you fuck like the Romans do.

“Looks like they want to see us, John,” Sherlock said. “They want us to prove we’re for real.”

“You want to see what’s for real?” John growled and pushed Sherlock’s hand down to his crotch, feeling out his aching hard-on. “It’s been like that since I saw you in those pants. Been even harder since we got here. Watching other men fuck and suck and torture each other, making each other scream. You think I can be around that for hours and not want it too? With you?”

“I thought it would work that way,” Sherlock said. There was a hint of whiskey on his breath and it drove John even more insane. He smelled so raw and manly, machine oil and sweat and cigarette smoke and leather, and John’s mouth was running even ahead of his libido.

“Of course I’m gonna feel it,” John said, panting. “I’m a red-blooded man, I’m your man, and I’m going to have-UNH!” he grunted as Sherlock swung him around and slammed him up against the wall, pushing him up a little so their groins were pressed together. He moaned desperately and bit at Sherlock’s neck and pushed Sherlock’s t-shirt up, tugging at his nipples as Sherlock wrenched John’s belt open and, quickly but clumsily, yanked his jeans down past his knees.

John squirmed and moved his ass against the filthy black wall between the urinals, desperate for pressure on every front as Sherlock shoved a lean thigh between his and started to hump against him, rubbing John’s bare cock and balls with warm sliding leather. “You like these pants, don’t you?” Sherlock growled. “You want to come all over them? See what your come looks like all white on black leather? Come on, give it to me.” Sherlock writhed and rolled his spine with serpentine motions as John slid a hand down around his back, under his shirt and leathers, stroking at that sweet flat sweaty space where the groove of his spine ended in a smooth plane before the swells of his ass grew up like low round mountains in a meadow. John worked his hand down under the tight leather and squeezed as Sherlock lifted his feet off the ground with the force of his grinding thrusts.

John knew there had be at least half a dozen men watching, and now they were starting to hoot and holler and offer commentary. And it was knowing that, of all things, that made him at last slam his head back against the wall and come hard, twitching and grasping and yelping like a hound dog on the hunt, hands clutching convulsively in Sherlock’s leather and skin. White cream streaked Sherlock’s black clothing, hot and wet, and Sherlock moaned low and deep in appreciation. “Fuck yeah John. God. Love to make you come for me.”

John started to slide down the wall, but he clenched his shaking hands on Sherlock’s belt buckle and worked it open, slid those sinfully tight biker pants down his lean hips to give all the guys in the back a good view of Sherlock’s beautiful round white ass in glorious contrast to the buttery black second skin of his leathers. Got a few approving hoots and whistles for his trouble too, as he sank to his knees pulling the leather pants down with him and wrapped his hands around Sherlock’s thighs, nosing at Sherlock’s huge dark pink erection, already leaking clear nectar from its little slit.

John took just the tip of it between his lips and savored its sea-salt bitterness and the raw male animal scent of his curling dark hair. He ran his tongue around the slight wrinkles where Sherlock’s foreskin folded, celebrating that little difference. And then he took one hand to the base of it and drew him in nearly all the way, frankly showing off for the crowd at how much he’d learned to take. Breathing through his nose, meditating a little on the sheer zen of cocksucking, he let the head of Sherlock’s cock touch the back of his throat again and again, everything relaxed except his shoulders taut and his hands clenching at Sherlock’s flesh, his thighs and ass with one hand, his tight fuzzy hard soft balls with the other.

The peanut gallery chanted with each of Sherlock’s brutal thrusts into John’s willing mouth, each clench and release of the muscles of his ass and hips, each of his staccato groans and harsh praises. “Fuck, John, take it. God damn you’re a fucking pro. They teach you this in the Army?”

“Mm-hmm,” John said, nodding agreement, and each movement of his head tugged at Sherlock’s aching dick with a potent cruelty. Sherlock moaned and shuddered as words abandoned him. He grabbed John’s hair - at last growing long enough for the purpose - and fucked his mouth with sharp, deep strokes, pulling John’s head away from the wall and down onto his cock in the rhythm he needed when he was getting close. John tightened his lips even further, cradled that pumping shaft in the curl of his tongue, and sucked as best he could, loving every moment and praying that Sherlock’s load wouldn’t make him gag, he’d been doing so well.

With a high, sharp cry Sherlock suddenly pulled back and took his cock in his own hand as he came - trusting John to hold up his shaking legs as he painted John’s face and shirt and dog tags with hot white stripes. For a little pocket-size eternity they hung suspended, pulsing and shivering, lost in each other as John opened his eyes when the spurting was done to look up the skyscraper of Sherlock’s lean body - his stomach fluttering with the last waves of climax just above the line of dark hair, his t-shirt still hiked up over his red erect nipples, his long neck curving and bending with his head thrown back and finally falling forward to give John a secret smile, sheltered in the wild mess of his hair. He looked like some satanic demigod in a Kenneth Anger movie. And he was going be snuffling and snoring adorably in John’s arms in a cheap motel in a few hours. How the hell did he get so lucky, John wondered.

Men were applauding and wandering away amiably now that the climax of the show had passed, to watch other pairs and clusters in similar activities. John’s senses gradually became aware of more things that weren’t Sherlock - the acrid piss smell of the bathroom, the wailing guitars of the music in the main room - Allman Brothers, “Mountain Jam” - the soaking stains on their clothes. It would wipe right off Sherlock’s leathers, even if he wanted to leave it alone for a little while to enjoy it, but it was soaking into John’s denim, and he realized he was still bare-assed and the filthy tile was getting cold. Laughing, they helped each other put their attire to rights, and John wiped his mouth on his arm with a triumphant slurp. He grabbed Sherlock’s hair and shoved his tongue into Sherlock’s mouth, making sure he got a good taste of himself.

“So do you get to keep the bike?” John asked.

“That depends on who turns up dead and who doesn’t,” Sherlock said. “Which is out of my hands. The leathers are mine for certain, though.”

“Hell yeah,” John said.

“But as you know, it’s a long ride back to Arthel County tomorrow.”

“Yup,” John said. “Lots of back roads, through the woods.”

“And we won’t be in a hurry this time.”

“Ride to live, live to ride,” John said with a leer.

“Yes, I see you’re learning all the important t-shirt slogans,” Sherlock said, needling him. “How about ‘If You Can Read This, the Bitch Fell Off?’”

“Oh yeah?” John said, snickering. “This bitch is gonna be on your back like a stallion on a mare the whole way, you like that? You think about that while you’re trying to steer, alright?”

“Oh, this is going to be good,” Sherlock gloated. “It’s already good. The game is always on with you.”