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Accused

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John's head felt like a train had run over it. He shifted and groaned at the movement -- everything hurt. He blinked his eyes open and pushed himself up, gasping softly. His hand was in a small pool of blood. He pulled it away quickly and scrambled to sit up. His clothes had smears of red. He squeezed his eyes shut but he couldn't remember what happened. He'd been on a date . . . his date! He turned to look around the room and shouted when he saw him. He was dead, sprawled on the bed. Why couldn't John remember? He backed away, leaving the bedroom, stumbling as he did. There was a blood smear on the wall. The glasses in the living room were tipped over. What had happened? Why couldn't he remember?

He rubbed his face hard with his clean hand, trying to remember, trying to bring back the night, but all he could remember was dinner. He had to get out of here. He had to figure this all out, but he couldn't think. But he knew he should call the police as well -- but what if they thought he had done it? Greg wouldn't . . . but John couldn't remember what had happened. What if he had done it? He was panting softly now. He couldn't call the police now, not until he remembered.

He left the flat, zipping his coat over the bloody jumper. There was no money in his wallet. He pulled out his phone with a shaky hand and dialed Sherlock's number.

Sherlock had just made a cup of tea when his phone vibrated on the table.

"John?"

"If I take a taxi home, can you pay the fare?" he asked.

"Obviously," Sherlock said. He moved to his room and got dressed, heading downstairs to the kerb to wait.

"Okay just . . . I'll be there soon," John said. Sherlock would see everything -- of course he would. But John needed to get home and cleaned up. He needed to remember.

When the taxi pulled up and John got out, Sherlock knew something was wrong, but he also sensed nothing should be said until they were safely inside. As soon as the flat's door was shut, he asked, "Are you physically all right?" as he helped John to his chair. "Tell me what's happened."

John shook his head, pushing out of his chair. He checked it for blood. "I can't. I don't know," he said. "I need a shower...and a change of clothes..." he rambled.

"No, John," Sherlock said, moving closer to hold his arm. "Stop -- think for a moment. Tell me." His voice was serious, a mix of worry and urgency.

"I can't!" John said angrily. "I can't...I can't remember," he sighed. He looked up at Sherlock. "I think I'm in trouble..." He unzipped his coat slowly to show Sherlock the stains.

Sherlock stepped back sharply. "Don't move," he said. He rushed to the desk and opened a bottom drawer, pulling out a pair of latex gloves. He put them on and moved back to John, helping him take off his coat. "Are you bleeding? Is it your blood?"

John shook his head. "I'm not. There was a body but...I don't...I don't remember..."

"Stop," Sherlock instructed, his tone quite serious. His head was spinning a little -- there was too much that had to be done and it all had to be done immediately. "We need to . . . take your clothes off. Stay there, I'll get you something to put on and a bag for your clothes." He moved quickly to John's room, grabbing his pajamas, and rushed back down, handing them to John. He then went to the kitchen and returned with a bin bag. "I need to look at you, I'm afraid," Sherlock said. "Tell me everything you remember."

"I was at dinner...we were having drinks and he wanted me to go to his place but...I didn't want to. I don't think I did. But that's where I woke up..." He slowly took his clothes off right there in the living room.

"Turn round," Sherlock said, trying to save them both some awkwardness. He looked over John's bare back. "You've got some bruising," he said, touching lightly but pulling back when John winced. He stepped back and glanced over the rest of John's body as he got into his pajamas. He collected John's clothes into the bag and then took off his gloves. He got John a glass of water and then got him to sit down again to drink it. "A few more questions before the shower," he said, sitting down across from him. "Where did you meet this man?" he asked.

"At the surgery. He brought his mum a few times...flirted...he asked me out," he said. Why couldn't he remember anything after dinner?

"What's his name?" Sherlock asked, trying to remember if John had mentioned anything about the guy.

"Um...Sam. Sam Duncan," John said. He looked down at his bloody hand and closed it tightly. "The scene...Sherlock...there was blood everywhere," he said softly.

Sherlock looked over at John. "Did you . . . was there any sexual activity?" he asked softly.

John's cheeks flushed. "I don't remember. I don't remember anything after dinner," he mumbled.

"Did he . . . hurt you, John -- are you hurting in any way?" Sherlock asked softly.

"My whole body hurts but, it's not from that. I don't hurt like that," he said.

"Thank god," Sherlock said. "Okay, why don't you go shower? Maybe if you feel a bit better, you'll remember more. You'll be okay . . . we'll figure this out."

John nodded and took the pajamas Sherlock brought him to the bathroom. He stood under the water for a long time, trying to clear his mind and pull some memory from the night before. Of course, he hadn't killed anyone -- why would he have? But why couldn't he remember?

When John left the room, Sherlock took a deep breath. None of this sounded good. He wished they could go back to yesterday, that John could have told him about the man and Sherlock could have told him not to go out tonight. But it was too late to wish this away. He moved to the computer, searching for information on the name John had given him.

Eventually he got out and dressed, making his way to the living room. "I left the scene...I didn't call for the police..."

Sherlock looked up from the computer. "The police know, John. They've found him. He's dead," he said.

John's breathing shallowed. "I'm in trouble...I was there, my prints...," he mumbled, sinking into his chair. "What if I was seen?"

Sherlock stood up. "What do you want to do, John? The most important thing is that you are safe." He moved over and sat across from him. "What do you want to do?" he asked again.

John looked over at Sherlock. "Should I call Greg and explain? If I don't I'll look even guiltier..."

"We should," Sherlock said, trying to keep his voice calmer than he felt. "He'll help us sort this out." He reached for his phone and rang Greg.

"Sherlock?"

"Can you come round the flat? John and I need to talk to you about something."

"I know," Greg said. "I've already seen the CCTV footage. I know he was there. I'll be around."

"Come by yourself," Sherlock said.

"I will if I can," Lestrade said. "See you in ten."

Sherlock set his phone down and looked over at John. "He's on his way," he said, trying to give John a few moments before everything seemed a thousand times worse.

John swallowed hard and nodded. "I should change my clothes..." he said before standing up.

"You won't be going anywhere, John," Sherlock said, standing up as well. "We'll explain it. We'll be okay," he repeated.

"I can't explain anything," John said.

"Just --" Sherlock said, his voice trailing off because he wasn't quite sure what to say. And then an idea came to him. "Are you missing anything? Where's your wallet? Did he take anything?"

"The cash is gone but everything else is there," he said.

"Double check your wallet to make sure," Sherlock said. He got up and walked to the window, looking out to watch for Lestrade. "Jesus, John," he said quietly. "What were you thinking -- why would you go out with a stranger?" He didn't turn around. "There's got to be something else you're leaving out . . . you can tell me, I will help you no matter what, you know that, don't you?"

John looked over sharply. "I went out with him on a date, Sherlock. Everyone is a stranger! I didn't pick him out to go over and kill him!" He ran his fingers through his hair. "I don't remember anything, Sherlock. He seemed nice...it was a nice date, I think..."

Sherlock turned round and moved over to John. "I'm sorry," he said, reaching out and pulling him into an awkward hug. "We just need to figure it out . . ."

John stood still against Sherlock, looking at the fireplace as Sherlock tried to hold him, to comfort him. "If I can't remember...no one is going to believe me, Sherlock."

"I believe you," Sherlock said, stepping back. His head moved slightly, listening. "Lestrade's here," he said, moving quickly to the window. "He's alone -- I'll go down and let him in."

Chapter Text

Sherlock moved downstairs quickly, opening the door before Lestrade knocked. "It's not good -- he's struggling to remember anything," Sherlock said quickly. "We'll need to know everything you know so I can figure this out."

"Come upstairs, Sherlock," Lestrade exhaled as he headed up the stairs. "I need to talk to John."

They both went into the flat. Sherlock quickly moved to the sofa and sat down beside John.

John looked up at Lestrade when he walked in. "I'm sorry I left the scene. I just...I was freaked out."

"Tell me what you remember," Lestrade said.

"We went to dinner, some French place...I can't remember the name but I can find it. I didn't have that much to drink. He kept trying to convince me to go to his…but I didn't want to." John paused and squeezed his eyes shut. "I don't even remember leaving the restaurant. I woke up on the floor in...in the bedroom."

Lestrade took a deep breath. "We have your fingerprints, John. And a footprint and CCTV footage and a witness..."

Sherlock looked at Lestrade, who shook his head at him. "It's not looking good -- if you could remember..." he said to John, trying to soften his voice.

John swallowed hard and nodded. "I wouldn't have killed him...I had no reason to."

"Self defense?" Lestrade asked.

John shook his head. "I don't remember..."

"What about the blood?" Sherlock interrupted.

"What about it?" Lestrade asked. "The man's throat was slashed, it's everywhere."

"I didn't have enough blood on me to have done that...did I?" he asked Sherlock.

"Where are your clothes, John?" Lestrade asked.

Sherlock coughed so that John's head turned to look at him instead of the corner where he'd dumped the bag.

"Sherlock," Lestrade said accusingly.

"There," Sherlock admitted, pointing towards the bag. "Not enough blood . . . and there was none in his hair, just his one hand and his shirt."

John rubbed his thighs nervously. "Greg...I know it's bad. I know that but...I didn't do it."

"I know that, John, but what I know doesn't matter. You don't remember, John, and that's not good. . . I'll try to hold things off as much as I can, but. . ."

"I...I'll hire Sherlock," John said, looking over at Sherlock again.

"What do you know about this man?" Sherlock asked Lestrade. "Why would he do this?"

"I don't know anything yet. Only where he worked, things like that. We're looking into more, of course. Interviewing family, friends, everyone. What did he tell you?" Lestrade asked, looking back to John.

John shrugged. "At dinner we just talked about ordinary stuff, work, free time...we just flirted. When he came to the surgery we didn't talk very much."

"This is awkward, I know," Lestrade said, glancing at Sherlock. "But why did you go back to his place?"

"I don't know. I didn't want to," he said. But he remembered the wine glasses.

"Did he take you against your will?" Lestrade asked.

Sherlock reached an arm around John's shoulder. "Think, John," he said softly.

"I've tried!" John said, frustrated with himself. "I've tried and I just don't remember!"

Sherlock stood up. "He should rest," he said. "Maybe he'll remember more in the morning . . . just give me a little time," he added as a slight plea to Lestrade.

"I'm trying, Sherlock, but just . . .try to remember, John," Lestrade said.

John nodded, glancing at Sherlock. Greg left and John sank down on the sofa.

Sherlock made them both cups of tea and then brought them into the sitting room. He put John's on the table and then sat down with his at the end of the sofa. "We'll figure this out, John," he said. "I know I keep saying that but we will." He let one hand rest on John's ankle as a kind of reassurance, before deciding that probably was odd so he lifted it to the back of the sofa.

John shifted up to get his mug of tea. "Do you have any tricks? Anything? Maybe they will let you look at the crime scene even though you're so close to me..."

"Maybe," Sherlock said though he didn't think he'd be able to. "Why don't you close your eyes for a bit? It's all right if you sleep but maybe if you can get into a more relaxed state, it'll be easier to answer some questions."

"I'm not sleepy. I'm too wired from all of this," John sighed.

"I didn't say go to sleep, John," Sherlock said. "I said close your eyes." He took a sip of tea. "Look, have you been off with me recently or something? It seems like you're always coming up with an excuse to get out of the flat . . . have I done something that would make you feel that way?"

"Sherlock, I really don't have time for this. I'm sorry you feel that way but I have bigger problems right now than ..." He closed his eyes and sighed. "I'm sorry," he said quietly.

"I just thought --" Sherlock started. "You're right. It doesn't matter." He put his hand on John's ankle again. "Just try closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. It'll help . . . trust me, it will." He looked over at John and made a little smile.

"You're my best friend. I haven't been avoiding you," John mumbled, closing his eyes. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"We can talk about that later," Sherlock said softly, realising he did want to talk about it even though he wasn't sure at the moment what he wanted to say. "Just try to clear your mind," he said, his voice softening even more. He stroked John's ankle a little, hoping to help him relax.

John's breathing slowed as he focused on Sherlock's soft voice and...was Sherlock rubbing his ankle? It seemed to be helping.

"Before you met him, had his mother said anything about him -- what his job was, anything like that?" Sherlock asked.

"No. She's a bit confused -- dementia," John said. "He said he works at the hospital, a transporter."

"Is he her carer?" Sherlock asked. "Did either of them mention brothers or sisters?"

"No, she lives in a home. I think it's just him..." John said, trailing off. "He mentioned a Paul? I think someone he works with..."

Sherlock glanced up at John whose eyes were still closed. "Paul . . . a friend or an ex or . . . flatmate?" he asked.

"I don't know. He only mentioned the name. When I asked he..." John's brows furrowed a bit. "He changed the subject."

"Did he mention any exes or why he was single?" Sherlock asked.

John shook his head. "He was vague, just like I was," he said.

Sherlock wondered what John's real specific reasons were, but now was not the time to ask. "Think about the date, the restaurant . . . where was it? What did you eat?" he asked instead.

"I don't remember the name...it was that French place we pass sometimes to get to Angelo's when we take the long way around. I got pasta, not a fan of French, really. We got wine," he said.

"It tasted all right? How much did you have to drink? Did you feel drunk before you left the restaurant . . . be honest," Sherlock said, trying to keep his voice soft and also what John had called "non-judgmental," when he'd complained about Sherlock's tone during previous conversations.

"It tasted fine. I only had two glasses...I didn't feel drunk but...I don't know. Why else wouldn't I remember? Why else would I have gone to his place?" John squeezed his eyes shut. "I think...he was asking me about his mum's medicine."

"Did you fancy him? Again, be honest," Sherlock asked.

"It was a date. He asked me out. I did...he was handsome enough. He seemed nice...I wanted to get to know him."

"And did he fancy you?" Sherlock said. "I mean, obviously how could he not but were you getting that kind of vibe from him?" He was still stroking John's ankle and realised that it was calming to him as well.

"I...I think so. Why would he ask me out of he didn't?" John asked.

"Obviously that's why he asked you out, I just meant did he seem up for it -- could that be why you both went to his place?" Sherlock said. He waited a minute, but John didn't say anything. "What medication is his mother on?" he asked instead.

"It's a strong pain medication, and then something to help with the dementia."

"You didn't have a prescription pad with you, did you? Any keys missing or anything like that?"

"No, I don't think so. I can check my keys," John said.

"In a bit," Sherlock said. "Try to think about getting up from the table at the restaurant. Concentrate on that moment." He paused for a moment. "Did you pay? Was your coat at the table? Did you put it on? Did he walk in front of you, beside you? Just think of leaving the restaurant."

John imagined the end of the dinner. He didn't know what his mind was making up and what had actually happened. He could see everything that Sherlock mentioned, but was he just imagining Sherlock's suggestions? Why couldn't he just be sure of what had actually happened? "I can't. If I was drugged...they can do tests," he said.

"I can do them -- well, perhaps I shouldn't," Sherlock said. "We'll go in the morning. Lestrade can vouch that you are not a recreational drug user -- if anything turns up, that'll be a start, at least. Jesus, John," Sherlock exhaled. "I don't like the idea . . . " He leaned forward and took a sip of tea. "Anyway, you're not relaxed anymore. Close your eyes again and go back to dinner like I said. It doesn't matter if you're not entirely sure . . . walk me through getting up from the table and leaving the restaurant."

"I don't like it either, okay? Just...this isn't working," he said quietly, lying back and closing his eyes again. "I don't remember anything after dinner, Sherlock. I hate this."

"Did you pay for dinner?" Sherlock asked.

"I can check my card online but...I'm sorry, Sherlock. I just don't remember." He took a deep breath. "Even if I was drugged...if I killed him..." he trailed off, opening his eyes to look at Sherlock.

"You didn't kill him, John," Sherlock said, squeezing his ankle before realising what he was doing. "Self defense isn't murder and I'm not even sure it was that. You should get some rest, yeah?" He reached for his phone and sent a text to Lestrade.

Look for a drugs angle. Will get John tested in the morning. SH

"Do you want to go up to bed? I'll stay on the sofa in case you need anything," he said as he slipped his phone back into his pocket.

"Yeah," John said. "But you don't have to stay out here."

Sherlock's phone buzzed.

Already working on it. -GL

"See?" Sherlock said, turning his phone to show John. "Lestrade's helping -- we'll sort this." He stood up and turned towards John. "I know I don't have to do anything, John, but let's face it . . . this is pretty fucked up. I know you are a smart man, I know you've seen violence. But this is different -- and I just want to be out here in case you need me, all right?"

John sat up and took a deep breath. "It's really bad, isn't it?" he asked softly.

"It's not good, is it?" Sherlock said honestly. "I'll do some work tonight and see if I can find something and you know Lestrade will hold off as long as he can before arresting you. . ."

John nodded. He stood up and stretched, his body still a bit sore. "I'm going to lie down."

Sherlock tried to give him a little smile. He moved over to the desk and opened his laptop, first searching for more information on this Sam Duncan. Then he heard a noise. He glanced towards John's room but it didn't seem to be coming from upstairs. He stood up and looked out the window. There was a police car in front to the flat and a pounding on the door.

Chapter Text

John sat up when he heard the pounding on the door. He got up and changed his clothes, putting on jeans and a jumper instead of his pajamas. He knew who it was. Greg's efforts were appreciated, but he knew this couldn't be avoided. He was just coming down the stairs when the police came into the flat.

They read him his rights as they handcuffed him. Someone was handing Sherlock a warrant to search the place, and John was trying to meet his gaze, to assure him that everything would be fine.

"I'm coming as well," Sherlock said, pushing past the police to get to the door.

"I'm sorry, sir," said one officer. "You've not been invited."

"Where's Lestrade?" Sherlock said, getting out his phone.

"Not here," said the other officer.

"John," Sherlock said. "What should I do?"

"It's okay, Sherlock. Just...talk to Greg and find out what's going on, okay? I'll be fine."

Sherlock reached out and squeezed John's arm and then immediately called Lestrade.

"They're taking him away and searching the flat," he said angrily.

"I know, I'm sorry -- I tried but I couldn't stop them," Lestrade explained.

"What's changed?" Sherlock said, watching the cops head to John's room.

"Drugs do play a role," Greg said. "But that's not solved the problem."

"How can you know without John's tox screen?" Sherlock said.

"His is likely irrelevant. The victim tested positive for chloral hydrate. He was out, Sherlock -- he couldn't have attacked John."

"But --" Sherlock started, his brain trying to figure something out. How could that be? It had to have been self-defense -- the man had to have attacked first so that John fought back. Sherlock knew John; yes, he'd killed that cab driver but that cab driver was a murderer and Sherlock's life was in danger. John would not participate in violence unless someone's life was in danger. "I need to see the scene," he finally said.

"No," Lestrade said. "We can't have anything appear as favouritism -- it'll be easy to clear him once we've got things sorted."

"I need more information," Sherlock said. "I need to see everything I can -- if not the scene, photos, anything on the vic, everything . . . Please."

"I'll try," Lestrade said. "I'll be round as soon as I can."

Sherlock hung up and took a deep breath. Time was not on their side. He stood up and walked to John's bedroom, watching the officers. They wouldn't find anything. There was nothing to find.

John got into the back of the car, keeping silent as they pulled away. He knew there was nothing there to find, but he was still worried. He closed his eyes. Despite being a doctor and knowing the effects of some drugs, he was still trying to recover memories. He had to remember something.

Sherlock never left the officers' side as they looked all over the place, taking a pair of John's shoes (not the ones he'd been wearing tonight, but Sherlock kept silent) and a few papers. They didn't look pleased, but Sherlock did as he slammed the door behind them. He moved back to the computer and started his search.

They took John's belongings and put him in a holding cell. He sat on the little cot and leaned back against the wall with a sigh. After a few minutes he crossed his arms and winced in pain. He knew he was bruised and battered, but his pain had increased. He pulled off his jumper and shirt, looking at his scratched arms. And the bruises. Specific bruises.

He'd seen bruises like this on patients before, when they were boosted in bed improperly or when they almost fell and had to be caught quickly. There were a couple on each side. He gasped and pulled his shirt on, shouting for the guard. He needed to make a phone call.

Just like he knew about secret passages and places through London, Sherlock knew those about the web as well. He quickly found Sam Duncan's history of drug abuse. He saw his arrest record full of crimes associated with addiction but nothing as extreme as murder. But wait -- Sherlock wasn't trying to find evidence that Duncan had committed the murder, Duncan was the one who'd been murdered. He was trying to find facts to prove John hadn't been the one to do it.

He closed his eyes for a moment and thought. Could Duncan have done it to himself? Possibly but unlikely -- he'd have to check the amount of drugs in his system but that drug caused people to blackout, not lash out. And even if he had done it to himself, no jury would believe it when there was another person in the room, another person who couldn't prove he hadn't done it because he couldn't remember anything. With John's history of PTSD, his lack of memory would be seen as further evidence that he'd done it. Self defense or fear might lessen the punishment, but how could that be proven when John really didn't have any injuries?

He needed more information. He stood up and moved to the window, lighting a cigarette and willing Lestrade to get there.

When they brought John to the phone, he paused to consider who to call. Was it better to tell Greg? He would look for the man but he had to work within the rules of his job. Sherlock, on the other hand, would stop at nothing to find him. It was selfish, and he wanted Sherlock to be safe, but the other person had to be found. Sitting in a holding cell made it difficult to be thoughtful. He dialed Sherlock's phone, praying he answered quickly.

Sherlock immediately pulled his phone out to answer. He felt relieved to hear John's voice, but at the same time, it was like he suddenly realised how serious this all was. John wasn't here, he was in jail and in trouble.

"Are you okay?" he asked first.

"I'm fine. Listen. Someone else had to be there, Sherlock. The bruises on my arms...I was carried by two people. I had to be to have these marks. I'm trying to remember a face but...someone else was there."

"Thank god, John," Sherlock said. "I mean, are you hurt? Are you okay? Fuck, of course someone else was there . . . can you remember anything else?"

"I'm not any more hurt than I was when I came home. I'm trying to remember," he said.

Sherlock listened closely. It seemed like John wasn't lying about injuries. "We'll get to work on finding him -- keep trying to remember," he said. He saw Lestrade out the window. "He's here actually -- we won't stop, John. I'll come see you tomorrow . . . " He paused for a moment, not entirely sure he could put into words what he wanted to say. "Take care of yourself tonight . . . don't worry, I'll probably be able to make myself tea in the morning, so don't feel too guilty over not being here." That was, of course, not really what he was trying to say, but it was the best who could do for now.

John gripped the phone and sighed softly, smiling into the phone. "I'm glad you'll be able to manage while I'm gone. Don't burn the water, yeah?" he said.

"I'll get Mrs Hudson to supervise," Sherlock said. "I'll see you tomorrow." They hung up as Sherlock heard Lestrade's knock at the door.

Chapter Text

"There was someone else there," Sherlock told Lestrade. "Let's see the photos."

Lestrade held out the photos from the scene. "They weren't happy about this, Sherlock. They are just barely letting me work this case because I'm too close to it. You have to behave and cooperate -- no one else in there cares about John," he said. 

"I care about John," Sherlock said before realising the reaction didn't really fit what Lestrade was saying. "If there are limits to what you can do, fine," he said. "But there is no limit to what I can." He took the photos over to the desk and lay them out under the lamp as he inspected them. "See? There," he said, pointing to a table in the back of the photo. "Three glasses -- three glasses means three people means another man attacked John and killed Duncan." He smiled. "Thank god that's over."

"Over? Sherlock, what are you talking about?" Lestrade said. "Three glasses doesn't prove three people -- maybe one of them had two drinks."

Sherlock looked again. "John wouldn't follow up a glass of wine with a pint," he explained. "That's got to belong to someone else. Fine -- it might not prove it but surely your people are testing for DNA on the glasses and that will prove it. Besides, John's got bruising which he says indicates two people." He looked at Lestrade, who was already on the phone double checking that John's injuries had been photographed when he was processed.

"Of course, there was someone else," Sherlock said. "It's the only thing that makes sense --"

"You mean besides John having done it?" Lestrade said. "Because that would still be in an option in a jury's mind. This isn't just a puzzle -- it's John's life." He softened his voice a little. "Look, we know him so that's why we know that doesn't make sense, but juries . . . "

"I know how murder trials work," Sherlock said defensively. "The blood evidence won't support it either -- a slashed throat is close range splatter. The person who did it would be covered in blood and John wasn't."

"He'd showered by the time I arrived . . ."

"His clothes will prove it and I wore gloves before touching them and the CCTV will confirm they were what he had on. Do you have footage of him going in and out?"

"Yeah," Lestrade said. "If we can get it enhanced, we might be able to see the blood -- or lack thereof."

"See, now you're thinking," Sherlock said. "Keep trying and one day you might grow up to be a police officer."

"Very funny, Sherlock," Lestrade said. "Just . . . I don't know why you're so--" he started but then stopped, suddenly seeing why Sherlock, who usually only saw the worst, was trying to be so positive. He had to. He looked at Sherlock's face and could see the panic Sherlock was trying to hide, possibly even from himself. This wasn't a case of Sherlock just rushing to solve a puzzle; this was Sherlock afraid. Afraid of losing John.

"Why I'm so what?" Sherlock asked. He had moved to his desk to get online.

Lestrade moved to the desk. "Do we have any idea who this other person might be?" he asked, looking down at the laptop.

"John said the guy had mentioned a Paul -- possibly works with Duncan at the hospital. I suppose it could be a random home invasion so you could canvass the area for previous incidents, but if John can't remember leaving the restaurant, he'd probably already ingested the drug which means Duncan was in on it."

"But then his partner kills him but not John?"

"Yes, well . . . I've not figured that bit out just yet," Sherlock said. "Give me a little time but get your people on it as well."

John spent the night in the holding cell, uncomfortable and irritable but knowing things could be so much worse. He kept trying to remember, but he was only getting flashes of things he already knew had happened. It was awful, having to sift through this dark hole in his memories. 

It wasn't too long until Sherlock had a few possible scenarios in mind. He sketched them out for Lestrade. John's death was not the goal or he'd be dead. It had to be that John had something someone else wanted -- possibly (and hopefully, as Sherlock didn't want to consider any other options) access to drugs since Duncan knew John could write scripts for heavy pain meds. Duncan had to be in on it. He got John back to the flat and incapacitated and then the other person, who may or may not be called Paul, arrived and was angry at Duncan for reasons unknown and killed him, giving him the drugs Duncan had given John but leaving John alive to take the blame. But since John had been moved by two people, perhaps they were both in on the plan, but something went wrong -- maybe the two were lovers and John inspired a jealousy or maybe Duncan was holding out on something but eventually the third man turned, killed Duncan and left John as the fall guy. He looked over at Lestrade.

"Possibly," Greg said. "But we need more."

"Go find it," Sherlock said.

"Jesus, Sherlock, I'm exhausted -- I've got to sleep. I've got people on the search already . . ."

"Fine, then I'll go find it," Sherlock said. He jotted down a few notes and grabbed his coat. Lestrade dropped him off and then he walked a bit further until he found Billy, who had some suggestions. Sherlock returned to Baker Street and got back to work.

And then suddenly his phone vibrated and he lifted his head from his desk. His neck was aching, and his hand instinctively raised to rub it. It was bright in the room. He'd fallen asleep working. He grabbed his phone.

John had the same drug as Duncan. What did you find? -GL

I'll be there shortly. SH

Sherlock rushed to the bathroom for a quick, hot shower and then took a cab to Scotland Yard.

Chapter Text

John had strange dreams, horrible things that made him wake up too suddenly. But they jogged a bit of his memory. There was definitely someone else at the house. Sam had been arguing with someone about...too much, some had said. John closed his eyes. He remembered it like a dream, it was fuzzy, but Sam was pacing nervously while this other person kept yelling. Cut out. He kept saying something about being cut out.

Instinctively he reached for his phone but, of course, he didn't have one. He needed to talk to Sherlock.

"I need to see John," Sherlock said as he walked into Lestrade's office.

"Yeah, fine, should I book you two a private table at a nice little restaurant then?" Lestrade said. "Sorry -- I didn't get enough sleep. What'd you find?" he asked, motioning towards a chair for Sherlock to sit down.

"Police can interview John. You are police. Take me with you," Sherlock said, not sitting down. "I'll be quiet. Just observe."

"You will not," Lestrade said. "You are incapable of staying quiet, Sherlock Holmes. Tell me what you found."

"Two losers. One named Pauly -- probably our Paul -- the other known as Sammy D. Addicts who were inseparable until last night."

"Inseparable how? Lovers?" Lestrade asked.

"No idea, but probably irrelevant, they were too in love with opioids. But totally inseparable, some thought they were brothers but they weren't. They were definitely idiots -- Paul quit his job yesterday, telling everyone he was onto something big. Then he shows up early this morning trying to get find a ride up north. What's Paul's surname?"

"Atkinson," Lestrade said. "We think."

"Well done," Sherlock said. "Have you picked him up?"

"Not yet . . . where up North?"

"He didn't specify but I doubt he got a ride -- he had blood on him. It's him," Sherlock said. "I know it is." He swallowed hard. "I need to see John . . . please."

John paced in his cell, replaying the memory so he wouldn't lose it. He wondered why Sherlock hadn't come to visit yet, but then also wondered if maybe he wasn't being allowed to visit. He hated this -- he had certainly taken for granted how easy it was to rely on Sherlock.

Lestrade looked closely at Sherlock's face. "I don't know that I can get you in," he said. "But I'll try. Come on." He stood up and they walked over together.

Lestrade signed them both in and an officer went to get John. Lestrade got them an interview room and reminded Sherlock that everything was being recorded and he needed to behave appropriately.

Sherlock nodded, and they went in and sat down. He watched the door and when it opened and he saw John, he couldn't help but stand up and reach out to touch him. Lestrade stepped in front of him to keep them apart. "Sit here," he told John once the cuffs were off.

Sherlock stayed silent until the other officers left. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.

John nodded. "I'm okay," he said, startled by how upset he was that he couldn't touch Sherlock. "How are you?"

"I'm okay --" Sherlock started.

"We have some questions for you," Lestrade interrupted, using an official police voice. "Did you administer chloral hydrate to Samuel Duncan?"

"No," John said, shaking his head. "But they must have given it to me twice. Or a lot. It's blurry but I remember Sam shouting about 'too much' and he was pacing nervously. I was losing consciousness. But the other person was angry, yelling about being 'cut out'."

Lestrade looked at Sherlock, begging him to stay quiet. He did, though it was not easy for him.

"What do you remember about this other man?" Lestrade asked.

John shook his head. "I am trying to make the image clearer in my head but I was going down fast -- I can't make everything out."

Lestrade glanced at Sherlock again before looking back at John. "Do you know a man name Paul Atkinson?" he asked. "Think carefully."

"Paul? I don't know about the last name, but Sam mentioned a Paul. Someone he worked with. I remember because I asked if he was an ex and Sam laughed, saying Paul wasn't like that. I...it seemed odd the way he said it, as if being that way was shameful. But he was on a date with me so I don't know..."

Sherlock looked down. Knowing that John had been used in that way made Sherlock's heart hurt a little. Lestrade said, "The blood on your clothes wasn't splatter -- some was yours and the rest appears to have been placed there."

"What?" Sherlock said, turning to look at him. "When did you find this out?"

"This morning," Lestrade said. "Now shut up." He turned back to John. "We're trying to locate Atkinson but haven't yet. Anything you can remember -- anything -- could be of help." He tried to give him an encouraging look. "I'll take you back," he said, standing up. He motioned for Sherlock to follow them. He cuffed John and all three of them walked to the door. Quietly he said, "I can't leave the two of you alone, I'm sorry. You can speak quietly but I'm sorry -- I can't leave you alone."

John looked up at Sherlock, swallowing a bit hard. "I should listen to you more often," he mumbled. "I do seem to go for idiots..."

"I've destroyed the flat," Sherlock said. "You'll have a mess to clean up when you get home. And I've not yet had a cup of tea. Really." He made a small smile.

"So helpless," John sighed dramatically. He knew they weren't saying anything too strange, but it was odd with Greg listening, despite him paying too close attention to his shoes.

"We'll find him," Sherlock said. "You'll be home soon."

"Do you think he killed Sam? Why?" John asked.

"We don't know yet," Lestrade interrupted. "He'll figure it out and annoy me doing it." He looked over at Sherlock. "You head out there and wait for me, yeah?"

Sherlock stopped and looked at John. I am really freaking out without you at the flat, it doesn't seem right, I don't like being without you, he said. With his eyes. With his mouth, he said, "See you soon."

John held his gaze and nodded. "See you soon," he said. He shifted, very subtly, and had to stop himself from leaning closer. When Sherlock left he looked at Greg. "I appreciate what you're doing...the little that you can. I know this is a tough position for you."

Greg nodded. "We'll figure out what happened." He glanced at Sherlock leaving. "How long has that been going on?"

"What?" John asked, avoiding his gaze now.

Greg raised his brows. "Okay. Right. Just...hang tight. We'll figure it out."

John nodded and watched him leaving as well. Sometimes Sherlock didn't give Greg enough credit.

Sherlock had gone through the door and straight out of the building. He stood on the pavement and lit a cigarette. Lestrade came out to find him a few minutes later. "He doesn't look well," Sherlock said. "If he's injured, he should be in hospital," he said sharply. "You should make sure he's being taken care of."

"If you'd done that, we wouldn't be in this position, would we?" Lestrade said, motioning for Sherlock's cigarette.

Sherlock threw down the cigarette instead. "What's that supposed to mean?" he asked.

"Jesus, you two," Lestrade said, shaking his head. "Look, can I trust you to work on your own without disturbing any progress we might be making?"

"I'll find him," Sherlock said. "Or you will, I don't care. He needs to be found."

"Fine," Lestrade said. "Keep in touch."

Chapter Text

Sherlock pulled out another cigarette and started walking until he found Billy who was standing with another man Sherlock hadn't seen before.

"He's not left town," Billy said as Sherlock approached.

"But we don't know how to find him," the other man said.

"Strange," Sherlock said. "You're saying you know where he's not but not where he is?"

"No," Billy said. "I mean, yeah, I don't know where he is."

Sherlock looked at Billy's drooping eyes. "You look like you're in need . . . as am I," he said softly. "I think you've got what I need and I may have something you need." He reached into his pocket and pulled out some money.

"I know where he is," the other man said as soon as he saw the cash.

Sherlock ignored him, still looking closely at Billy, whose eyes flicked away and then down.

"Do you have a weapon on you?" Sherlock asked.

Billy nodded.

Sherlock said, "Give it to me." Billy handed him a knife and Sherlock gave him the money. "Come with me," he said to Billy. "You," he said to the other man. "Can fuck off." He pulled Billy's arm, and they headed to the empty building around the corner. "What state is he in?" he asked.

"He's sick," Billy said.

Sherlock knew what that meant. "Have you got any on you?" he asked.

"Not yet," Billy said. "But I can go get some now, thanks to your generosity. Want me to?"

"I don't think so," Sherlock said. He stopped and sent Lestrade a text with his location. "The police will be here soon."

Sherlock held the knife in one hand as they pushed open the door. "Pauly," he called but immediately saw a man sitting in the corner, picking at the peeling paint. "I hear you're looking to take a holiday. I think I can help."

The man looked up. "Billy," he said. "Who is this guy?"

"A friend," Billy mumbled. "He's cool."

"You'll need cleaning up," Sherlock said. "Billy, give him your coat."

"What?" Billy asked.

"Your coat -- give it to him," Sherlock said.

"I don't want his fucking coat," the man said.

"You're going to get on a train covered in blood?" Sherlock said. "Then I rescind my offer." He made to leave.

"Wait," the man said, standing up. "Who the fuck are you?"

Sherlock gripped the knife in his pocket. "Someone who got lucky and just wants to share that luck with others," he said. "There's a train leaving for Nottingham in twenty minutes but they're a bit uptight about passengers covered in blood. I am offering you one hundred pounds and a coat. Are you interested?" His voice was clipped, and the sound of it echoed in his head. Where was Lestrade?

"And what do you want in return?" the man asked.

"All I ask is for your friendship," Sherlock said.

The man looked at Billy. Billy took off his coat and handed it to him.

The text came and, for a moment, Greg hesitated. Why couldn't Sherlock send him proper information? Did he need back up? A full team? He almost called him, but then he hesitated again. What if Sherlock had gone ahead? A ringing phone might jeopardise his life. Sighing, he placed a call to assemble a team of police, leading them to the address Sherlock had sent. They surrounded the building quietly and Greg burst into the empty room, his gun out on the man he assumed was Paul. The arrest happened easily as the man was in trouble -- angry and hostile -- but easily manageable. As he was carried off Greg turned to Sherlock.

"You'll have to tell me how you found him -- even if you leave out some names," he said, glancing at the other man with Sherlock. "As soon as he's more together we will question him. We can't release John yet, but it'll be soon, okay?"

"Make it fast," Sherlock said as he watched them leave. He returned the coat and knife to Billy and gave him a little extra money. "I don't know who that man was earlier but just . . . choose your friends wisely," Sherlock told him before heading back to the flat.

John stood and moved close to the door's window as a group came in. Judging by the look Greg have him, they'd found who they were looking for. He looked awful, very clearly affected by drugs. John sank onto the cot, his only option to wait.

As soon as Sherlock got home, he started tidying up. The flat wasn't really a mess obviously as John had only been gone a day, but the police search had disrupted things and for some reason Sherlock just wanted everything to look perfect when John got back. After about an hour, his phone vibrated with a call from Lestrade.

"The doctor's given him something to calm him," he explained. "It'll be a few hours until we can talk to him. You can't be in the room, but you've got permission to observe from outside. As long as you behave, of course. Get here around four -- I'll ring you if anything changes."

John kept glancing up, wondering if he would see there was anyone he could get info from, trying to pick out who would actually tell him something. It was going to be a very long day. He was going mad.

Sherlock was anxious but did his best to keep himself busy until he could go back. He paced a bit and then showered and paced a bit more before he finally set out two mugs on the counter to be ready when they got home and headed out.

Chapter Text

Sherlock was led into a small room where he could watch the interview taken place. Someone stayed with him, which was fine, because he already knew he'd 'behave' -- this man had killed Sam Duncan and all that mattered was that he was going to explain everything and John could come home.

Lestrade and another man were already in the room and then an officer brought in Paul Atkinson. He was much more docile than earlier but seemed coherent enough. Lestrade turned on the recorder, asked a few preliminary questions, and then said, "Could you explain what happened last evening in Sam Duncan's flat?"

"He murdered Sam -- that bloke he was with. Found out Sam wasn't gay." Paul crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair. 

"Which bloke?" Lestrade asked. 

"That gay guy," Paul said.

"You're going to need to be a bit more specific," Lestrade said. "Sam Duncan . . . you know him how?"

"Old friends," Paul said. "Well, we work together. At the hospital. Yeah, colleagues."

"Old friends or colleagues?"

"Both," Paul said as if he'd just decided that's what they were. "Fine. Can I go now?"

"I see you're quite upset by his death," Lestrade said. "And you say this was some kind of attack because of his sexuality?"

"Yeah," Paul said. "And I am really upset about it actually. That guy killed him because he was gay and Sam wasn't. I think he was like stalking him or something."

"This guy you're talking about -- do you know his name?" Lestrade said, turning over a page in his notebook.

"No, I don't, I'm not into that shit," Paul said.

"Can you give a description?"

"Shorter, older, blonde hair, a doctor," Paul said. "He shouldn't be hard to find."

"That's not the issue. Did he work at your hospital?"

"No, there's no queers there," Paul said.

Sherlock was watching this play out on the screen. He could see what Lestrade was doing and he approved. He also realised in a strange way he was glad there was an officer in the room -- obviously he wanted to go in there and start shouting, but the strongest urge he felt was to cry and he wasn't quite sure why.

"How do you know this man was a doctor?" Lestrade asked.

Paul opened his mouth but said nothing for a moment. "Sam told me," he decided. "Sam takes his mum to see the guy. That must have been how he found Sam's address. Yeah, go ask Sam's mother -- she'll know. Go arrest him." He sat back and relaxed into his chair a little.

"And when did you see this man?"

"I didn't," Paul said. "I told you -- I didn't know him, I'm not into all that."

"But you said he was blonde," Lestrade said.

"I didn't," Paul said. "I mean, I guess Sam told me."

"So Sam described him as 'my mother's GP who is blonde'?" Lestrade said. He let it hang -- everyone watched the wheels in Paul's head spinning.

"Look, why are you harassing me -- go get the guy who killed Sam!" Paul shouted.

"We don't have to go get him," Lestrade said. "We have him. In the morgue."

"What? What the fuck are you talking about?" Paul asked, pushing his chair back a bit.

"We're just trying to understand what happened," Lestrade said. "Why we found two dead men in that flat."

"But he wasn't dead -- you mean, Sam killed him? But I thought . . ."

Lestrade looked across at him. "What did you think?" he asked calmly.

"That fucking prick, that fucking prick . . . he fucking ruined everything," Paul said, putting his head in his hands.

Sherlock sat forward in his chair.

Paul dropped his hands and sat up. "You know, don't you?" he asked. "Fuck, you know . . ."

"Tell me," Lestrade said.

"We just wanted the drugs," he said quietly. "None of this was supposed to happen -- we were just trying to figure out a way to get access at the surgery. And then Sam, he came up with his own fucking plan without me…with this guy and I walked in and I didn't know what the fuck was happening and the guy was passed out and we were trying to just get him out of the flat but he kept looking at me so I gave him more and…it all went wrong . . ."

"How?"

"I --" Paul started. "I lost it -- it wasn't my fault, I just needed something. We were close. You know how it is, everyone knows, Sam knew, but he wouldn't stop . . . I couldn't stop -- and when I realised . . . and the guy was there and I didn't give a fuck about some poof so I just . . . but he's dead? They're both dead?" He held his head again. "Fucking Sam -- he betrayed me -- he wanted it all for himself and now I'm going down for two murders when I didn't . . ."

"Didn't what?"

"Didn't kill the doctor . . ."

Sherlock stood up. That was it. It was done.

Chapter Text

John was still pacing. How long would it take to find out the truth? He was curious as much as he was worried. Why didn't anyone come tell him what was happening?

Sherlock watched as Lestrade finished. His body was filled with an anticipation that was almost making him sick.

"I'll walk you out," the officer said.

"I'm picking someone up," he replied. "I'll wait."

He waited for what seemed like forever. "John?" Sherlock said when Lestrade finally came into the room.

"Yeah, come on, I'll go get him," Lestrade said, nodding towards the door. They went into the hallway and Lestrade directed Sherlock out to the lobby. "Just wait here, all right? We don't need some tearful reunion back there, all right?"

Sherlock didn't really hear him. He knew the processing would take a bit of time, so he stepped outside and had a cigarette. His stomach was still off and unsurprisingly the nicotine didn't seem to settle it. He went back inside, got a cup of horrible tea, and sat down to wait.

John stood up when he saw Lestrade opening the door. "What happened?" he asked. 

"I'll let him tell you," Lestrade said, motioning him out. They moved down the hall. 

Sherlock turned and saw John come through the door. He moved towards him and pulled him into a big hug. "Thank god," he mumbled against John's head.

"Oh," John mumbled in surprise, hugging Sherlock back. He flushed lightly, wondering how many people were watching them. But he didn't care because Sherlock smelled like home and he was warm and John felt a sudden rush of emotion that made him glad that his face was buried into Sherlock's shoulder. 

Sherlock held him for a few moments and then stepped back. "We should go home," he said a bit awkwardly

John swallowed hard and nodded. "Okay, yeah," he said.

Sherlock grabbed John's hand, and they walked out and then he realised he was holding John's hand so he let it go. He found them a taxi and they made their way back to Baker Street.

John climbed into the cab after Sherlock. "What happened? Greg said you would tell me..."

Sherlock thought for a moment and then said, "Atkinson -- the one who killed him -- is an addict who thought maybe he could get access to your surgery for drugs or scripts or whatever. You know how desperate addicts act desperately and in the end, he turned on Duncan and thought he'd leave you as the fall guy," he explained.

"Oh. But...why did he turn on Sam? Why was he even there? Because I was? Is that why Sam was killed?" John asked, his voice worried now. He'd have given up drugs if it meant saving someone's life.

"He was just crazy, John," Sherlock lied, trying not to meet John's eyes.

John shook his head. That didn't make any sense. "But I would have given them to save Sam's life. He shouldn't have died just because he was with me..."

"He didn't, John . . ." Sherlock said. He looked out the window as he took a deep breath. "He was in on it . . . they had a plan and then Duncan went off on his own and Atkinson reacted poorly as addicts often do . . ."

"In on it?" John asked, looking over at Sherlock. "You mean...that's why he asked me out? To get to the medicine?"

"Maybe," Sherlock said softly. "Obviously we're only hearing Atkinson's side and he's full of reasons to lie . . ." He turned to look at John. "You okay? You're probably tired. You can rest when you get home."

John looked away before Sherlock could catch his eye. The whole date had been a lie. A trick to get drugs. "Yeah, I'm fine," he said. Sherlock had known something was wrong from the start. He always knew. John glanced over at him. "I might lay down. I miss my comfortable bed," he said. 

"Good idea," Sherlock said. "You can have a little rest before you start cleaning up the place. But don't leave it too long, because you're also going to need to get dinner for me, don't forget." He tried to smile at him.

"Who's supposed to make tea while I'm doing all the cleaning?" John asked, trying to smile back.

"I can handle the tea, I guess . . . if you insist on being so selfish," Sherlock said. When the taxi pulled up, he paid the driver and unlocked the door. Before pushing it open, he turned to John. "I'm glad you're home," he said, letting them in and heading up the stairs.

John watched him for a moment before locking the door and following him up. Sherlock was still by the door hanging his coat and John moved around him to hang his own. He looked over at him, and was struck suddenly by how happy he was to be home, to be with Sherlock again. He leaned in and kissed Sherlock's mouth, just for a moment, before he remembered himself and pulled away, clearing his throat softly. 

Sherlock instinctively stepped back, bumping the wall as he stared a bit stupidly into the space between them. "Um, okay," he said, heading into the kitchen. "I'll get the tea now . . ." He wasn't sure if his voice sounded normal. He wanted it to but the last 24 hours had been decidedly not normal. He stayed facing away, calling "You can go up if you want or stay down here or whatever . . ."

John blinked after him, turning to the sound of his voice but staying concealed near the door. He didn't know why he'd done that, but now that Sherlock had moved away from him, he realised he had hoped for some kind of reciprocation. His chest hurt a bit and his stomach felt like it was tumbling out of his body. "Yeah I...I'll go up..." he said, looking around the room before making his way to the steps. What had he been thinking? "Sorry," he added, even softer, unsure he even wanted to draw attention to it by apologising. 

As Sherlock stared at the kettle, he let his vision blur a little and tried to think about what had just happened. When it'd boiled, he made the two cups and carried them upstairs, pausing at John's door. "Can I bring this in?" he asked.

"Yeah," John said, just pulling on his t-shirt. He had changed into his pajamas and, when Sherlock walked in, he nodded towards the bedside table so he could just set the mug down there. He busied himself with folding his clothes, even though they would be tossed into the hamper for the laundry. He just wanted to keep busy. 

Sherlock moved over to the bed and put John's mug down. He glanced over at John who was turned away from him. He picked the mug back up and walked over to where John was, setting both mugs on the chest of drawers. He stepped in close, lifted his hands to hold John's cheeks and began kissing his mouth, softly at first and then a bit more urgently.

John looked up when Sherlock came close, and then he was being kissed and he couldn't think of anything at all. He dropped his jeans and rest his hands on Sherlock's chest, returning the kiss eagerly. 

Sherlock deepened the kiss. Of course, he thought, of course this was what they should have been doing. He shouldn't have let John go out looking for something that he should've been giving him here at the flat. "John," he moaned softly into the kiss, letting his hands slip to the back of John's head. "I hated it without you here."

John nodded. "I don't know why I didn't see before..." he murmured, still pressing kisses on Sherlock's lips between his words. "I didn't like being away from you..."

Sherlock stepped even closer, squeezing his arms around John. He walked him backwards towards the bed. He lay John down, crawling on top of him. "Fucking hell, John," he said softly, smiling. "You're my best friend." He leaned in and kissed John's mouth again. It'd been a long time since he'd felt like doing this, but he recognised the feelings and remembered what to do. "Just stay here with me," he mumbled against the kiss.

"You're my best friend..." John mumbled. "My everything," he added before kissing Sherlock's mouth again. His hands found their way into Sherlock's shirt, rubbing up and down his bare sides, feeling the warmth of his skin. 

Sherlock pulled them up, lifting John's t-shirt over his head. He leaned into him kissing his neck and shoulders. As he moved his mouth down John's arm, he kissed the bruises lightly as he reached and held his hand. "I should've taken better care of you," he whispered. "From the start."

John closed his eyes before he laced their fingers and held his hand back tightly. "You have. I should have been paying attention," he said, turning his head to look at Sherlock. 

"Will you let me be the one who loves you?" Sherlock said awkwardly, helping John lay back. He put kisses over John's chest, moving lower to cover his stomach as well.

John grinned wide up at the ceiling, chuckling softly so his belly moved under Sherlock's mouth. "I love you," he exhaled, before lifting his head to look down at Sherlock. 

Sherlock pulled lightly on John's pajama bottoms, kissing lower down John's abdomen. He could feel his own cock starting to get hard, and he pressed himself against the bed.

John dropped his head back with a small sigh before lifting his hips so his pajamas would come off easier. "Sherlock..." he moaned, his cheeks flushing as he realised how close Sherlock was to his cock.

Sherlock rested his hand on John's hip, moving it slowly to palm his cock. He exhaled at the feeling, and suddenly he was so full of desire. He used his other hand to hold his cock, before licking up and down and moaning as he lightly sucked the tip.

"Fucking hell," John moaned softly, shifting as heat erupted all over his body. "Sherlock...God..." He gripped the bed as he moaned. 

As Sherlock kept sucking John, he separated John's legs. He lifted his head and lowered his face, kissing between John's legs as he pushed them apart even more.

John lifted his upper body to look down at Sherlock again, biting his lip as he moaned. "I have stuff in the drawer..." he murmured, combing his fingers through Sherlock's curls. 

"God, it all feels good," Sherlock moaned as he flicked his tongue over John's balls. He kissed back up one of John's legs to his hip, nipping lightly at the skin, before he pushed himself up. He looked down and smiled as he removed his own shirt. He reached for the drawer and grabbed the lube and box of condoms, dropping them onto the bed, before shifting to take off the rest of his clothes. He lay down beside John, wiggling in close. He tangled their legs and wrapped his arms around him, kissing his mouth again. "I do, you know," he whispered.

John tucked into him, sliding his own arms up Sherlock's chest and resting them on his shoulders. "You do what?' John asked softly, gazing at his face, taking in every flushed inch of it. 

"You know," Sherlock said, tucking his face into John's shoulder. "Love . . ."

"Tell me," John requested softly. 

Sherlock lifted his head and looked at John. He lifted a hand to the side of John's head, sliding his fingers back to get lost in his hair. "I love you," he whispered. "I'll never let anyone hurt you again. I'm sorry." He gave him a soft kiss.

"Don't apologise, love," John murmured, kissing his mouth again.

"I want to," Sherlock said. He gave him a quick squeeze and then said, "But there are other things I want to do as well." He moved forward, rolling John onto his back and crawling on top of him. He rocked his hips against John's a little as he slid a hand down and under his body to grip his arse.

John groaned softly. "That feels good..." he moaned.

Sherlock sucked hard on John's neck as he rolled against him, lifting John's hips as he did. "God, John," he moaned against his skin. He could feel his own skin heating up as his pulse quickened. He slipped his hand between their bodies, holding their cocks together as they rocked on the bed. John pushed up against him, moaning Sherlock's name again as he leaned up to kiss him. Sherlock kissed him back hard and then shifted his body, grabbing the lube as he moved down and pushed John's legs apart. He covered his fingers and reached down, slicking the whole area before slowly pushing a fingertip inside. With his other hand, he reached to slowly stroke John's cock as he looked up at him. "Okay?" he asked quietly.

John closed his eyes and moaned softly, nodding his head. "It's good, yes," he said.

Sherlock slowly pumped his finger and John's cock. His own cock ached, bobbing occasionally as his urge grew and grew. He slipped another finger in, stretching John. He leaned over and kissed John's hips as he slowly steadied his legs. He couldn't wait much longer.

John shivered and rolled his body towards Sherlock. "Sherlock...please, I need you..."

Sherlock slid his fingers from John's body. He reached to replace his hand on John's cock with John's before grabbing a condom and rolling it on. He moved himself into position and then slowly pushed inside John's body. He called out loudly at the intensity of the feeling. When he was fully inside, he leaned over and kissed John's mouth as he rolled his hips in a slow rhythm.

"God...oh God," John moaned. He moved with Sherlock, stroking himself as he was filled.

"Always, John," Sherlock moaned as the bed rocked. "Always you've been different . . . you're everything to me . . . God --" He squeezed shut his eyes, knowing he wouldn't be able to last very long.

John kissed him harder. "More...faster," he panted.

Sherlock let go. He let his body go and it moved urgently against John. He did his best to open his eyes and look down at John, his best friend whom he loved, and then he came, pushing deep and dropping down to kiss his mouth. John gasped, stroking himself faster. He called out as he came between them, arching up against Sherlock.

Sherlock lifted a hand to John's head. "Jesus, John," he panted. He smiled and crumpled onto him, with a breathy laugh.

John smiled as he panted. "I know," he mumbled.

"What have you done to me, John Watson?" Sherlock said, still smiling stupidly. He pushed up and took off the condom, before dropping down on the bed next to John.

John made a small noise as Sherlock pulled out before turning to face him. "I'm still trying to figure it out," he smiled softly.

"We'll figure it out, John," Sherlock said, touching the side of his face. "We always do."

John smiled and covered his hand, lacing their fingers again to hold his hand. "We always do."