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Keep Each Other Company

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John is used to being woken up in the middle of the night by Sherlock sliding between the sheets. It happens often enough, either because a bout of time travel has struck and Sherlock’s not in the flat—or even in the present—when John can no longer keep his eyes open to wait for him, or Sherlock is too keyed up, busy working or thinking, to go to bed when John needs to. John is a light sleeper, so it nearly always wakes him when Sherlock finally joins him, but having Sherlock settled in beside him ensures that the remainder of the night will be more restful.

On this particular occasion, however, he is a bit confused when he feels Sherlock slide in behind him, climbing in on John’s side of the bed, because at the moment Sherlock is already in bed on the other side. John’s chest is pressed against that Sherlock’s back, and he has one arm wrapped possessively around his waist. The second Sherlock does the same to John, and adds a leg over John’s hip for good measure.

“You’re going to make me overheated,” John grumbles. For once the Sherlock joining him is warm and loose-limbed instead of ice cold and sharp. It’s a pleasant change not to be treated as a furnace for the man with the poorest circulation in all of London. “I’m not meant to be sandwiched between two of you.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” this second Sherlock murmurs against the nape of John’s neck. It tickles, and John squirms against him. “I was warm and comfortable in my bed two weeks from now when I got dumped in the upstairs bedroom in this now. The choice between sleeping there alone and here with you doesn’t even merit debate.”

“Shut up, both of you,” the first Sherlock demands, voice rough with sleep. He thrusts an arm backwards in attempt to give himself a warning slap, but ends up poking John in the ribs with his elbow instead.

“Oof,” John huffs. “Keep at it and I’ll be kicking both of you out. You can keep each other company.”

“Fine,” they say in unison, and John will never quite get used to that.

There is peace just long enough for John to begin drifting back into sleep. It’s... pleasant, being surrounded on both sides this way. A combination of his two favorite things—spooning and being spooned. He tries not to think about the fact that he’s doing both, simultaneously, with what is technically the same person. Is there a technical in this case? he’s wondering, in that hazy in-between state of not quite wakefulness.

He’s jerked awake by the Sherlock to his front. “Can’t sleep,” Sherlock announces. “You’ve ruined everything.”

“It’s not as though you need the sleep,” the second Sherlock snaps.

“ But I do,” John says. “Final warning.”

It works to keep them quiet for a time, but John can tell that both of them are restless now, fidgety against his front and back. It’s hard enough for John to sleep when one of them is like this; two is impossible.

John isn’t surprised to feel the present Sherlock break free of the arm holding him pressed tight against John and roll over. Because he expects Sherlock to leave and go entertain himself elsewhere, John is surprised when Sherlock simply nestles back into his embrace, placing John’s hand back around his waist exactly where he wants it. Sherlock slides a leg between John’s own, and it makes John startlingly aware that there are far too many limbs in a bed that’s really only meant for two people.

“More comfortable now?” John asks quietly.

“Mm,” Sherlock answers with a noncommittal noise.

The Sherlock who is behind John doesn’t comment, but instead trails his hand along John’s side and over, onto Sherlock until his palm rests, fingers spread, at the small of his back.

With the lights off John can’t see this action, but he can feel the movement, and the immediate consequence: they’re all pressed together just a little more tightly and both Sherlocks are very much interested in the way that their hips align with John’s.

“What—” John begins to question Sherlock’s intentions when the one facing him makes them obvious by cutting John off with a kiss. Sherlock doesn’t kiss like a man who only woke up all of five minutes ago; it is not languid or leisurely. He kisses John the same way he nearly always does: hard and demanding, with an underlying need and desperation—as though he can’t believe, even after all this time, that he’s still allowed to have as much of John as he likes.

It’s a very convincing kiss, one that makes John forget, momentarily, that this is not a typical night in bed with just the two of them. It’s harder to put out of mind when John feels a gentle tug on his hair, followed by a more insistent hand at his jaw pulling him away from Sherlock’s lips and tilting his head back until he meets... Sherlock’s lips. Again. This kiss is much like the one that just ended, but with an added hint of possessiveness in the way that the other Sherlock sucks John’s bottom lip between his teeth and bites down.

“Oh my God,” John says breathlessly. “Are you fighting over me?”

“Don’t be absurd,” the Sherlock at his front says sharply. John knows that tone—it means that the answer is actually “yes”, but that Sherlock doesn’t care to admit it. The other Sherlock, hand still caressing John’s jaw, simply pulls him into another kiss in answer. John moans into his mouth when the first Sherlock, not to be outdone, sets teeth, lips, and tongue to the skin of John’s neck, dipping down into the hollow of his throat where it peeks out of John’s tee shirt.

When the other Sherlock releases John from their kiss, he’s surprised to find himself trembling at the ministrations of two of this mad, brilliant man—who knows exactly how to push all of his buttons—at once. It takes a few long, steadying breaths before John can ask, “So, which one of you is winning?”

Sherlock pauses in sucking what will surely be a visible mark at the side of John’s throat. “Both of us, I think.”

“If you’re amenable,” the second Sherlock adds. He punctuates the statement with a slow nudge of his erection—very noticeable, considering he hadn’t bothered to pull on any clothing before joining them in bed—against John’s arse.

The full weight of what that implies hits John’s mind. “Absolutely not. It’s too fucking weird.”

“You like weird,” the Sherlock at John’s back says, voice low and dirty in John’s ear.

“And filthy. Don’t forget how much he likes that, too.” Sherlock’s voice comes from startlingly close to the same area as the other Sherlock’s voice. John hadn’t noticed him moving closer in the dark, especially not while distracted. Now it’s obvious that their faces are right by each other, meeting over John’s shoulder, and that they are—

“Oh, fucking Christ.” It comes out in a barely articulated gasp, a visceral reaction that John can’t quite hold in.

They’re kissing each other. It’s impossible to see, but John can tell; Sherlock is kissing himself while John is right there in the middle, pressed between them with hardly room to squirm. One of them—God, it’s impossible to tell which now, while they’re like this—lets out a low whine of need, breath ghosting over the curve of John’s ear with the sound, and with them so close, John can hear everything: when one of them sucks on the other’s tongue, when their teeth clash, when they moan softly into each other’s mouths. Knowing Sherlock, it’s perfectly calculated to turn John on—they know each other very well, and of course the Sherlock from two weeks in the future already knows how this whole evening turns out—and fuck if it’s not working beautifully.

“You’re going to be the death of me,” John says, swallowing hard as he tries to make his voice cooperate. “The two of you together? One is already too much.”

John can feel the deep thrum of the second Sherlock’s laughter against his back before he speaks. “You told us to keep each other company.”

“So it’s your fault for the idea, really,” Sherlock adds.

“And how do I fit into this little plan of yours?” John can’t believe that he’s even asking this. It isn’t the first time that he’s renegotiated his own boundaries for Sherlock’s sake, and probably not the last, but this is something he’s never even entertained the possibility of before. It’s not exactly a common problem—whether it’s all right to have sex with your partner and himself.

“I should think that obvious. There are at least three ideas that immediately spring to mind—”

“Five,” future Sherlock corrects.

“Five possible configurations, without even devoting excessive amounts of thought.”

John can easily picture them as well, and isn’t entirely sure whether or not the arousal is edging out over the discomfort. “Well, I’m going to stop you right there before you get too attached to any of them. And turn the light on; I’m not negotiating with you in the dark.”

The Sherlock at John’s front grumbles and reluctantly rolls to his back, stretching out his long arm as far as it will reach—out of reluctance to untangle his legs from John’s—to turn on the light.

After he can see them, both looking utterly debauched with their lips reddened and kiss-swollen, flushed pink along those impossible cheekbones, eyes dark and heavy-lidded—perfect copies of each other—John definitely tips in favor of arousal. “God,” John hisses through his teeth, pulling Sherlock back close to him, flush against his chest and into a rough clash of teeth and tongues and want.

Their kiss is cut off by the other Sherlock reaching over John and sliding a hand between him and Sherlock to rub over both of their cocks at once, while fitting his own into the curve of John’s arse. Both of the Sherlocks moan together, and John lets out a strangled exhalation. “Oh fuck. I’m going to have trouble wrapping my head around this.”

“Don’t be dull; it’s just masturbation, isn’t it?” Sherlock says defensively, brushing his lips over John’s jaw as he talks. “No one has a problem with masturbation.”

“You have a masturbation aid that ninety-nine point nine percent of the population can only dream of.”

“The percentage of chrono-impaired individuals is much smaller than point one percent, John.”

“I wasn’t trying to be precise.”

“Yes, and that is your failing, isn’t it?”

“Being insulted is such a turn on,” John says, and punctuates it by pulling Sherlock’s mouth back to his and giving him a sharp nip to his bottom lip.

“Obviously,” the second Sherlock adds in. He once again strokes his hand over John and Sherlock where they’re pressed together, to prove his point. John can’t see the other Sherlock, who has his face tucked against Sherlock’s neck, but he’s certain that he must be smirking at the way he accomplished making his present self moan into John’s mouth.

The first Sherlock pulls his mouth away to talk again. “Think of it like we’re... twins.”

“Not any better,” John says, shooting him a dirty look. “Incest only makes me think of My—”

“Do not say that name right now,” both Sherlocks growl together.

John laughs, then takes a deep breath as he makes up his mind. If he’s honest, turning this down is really out of the question. “Okay, fine. I want in, because it’s utterly depraved and it’s you—fuck if I can say no to you.” John doesn’t miss the flash of a smile that hits both of them at once—can see it in the man in front of him and feel it with the other Sherlock’s mouth once again pressed against his neck—and knows that it was a dangerous admission, no matter how well Sherlock might know the fact already. “But we’re doing this on my terms. This isn’t the sort of thing where you keep pushing and eventually get what you want. My terms.”

“But what if what we want isn’t what you think?” the other Sherlock asks.

“Sherlock.” John twists around to give him a stern look, tone full of warning.

“You think that I want you between us, to be inside you while you suck my cock,”—John bites his lip, because he has thought about it, and with Sherlock giving voice to the idea it suddenly becomes a much more vivid picture—“and you’re uncomfortable with the idea because you think I’ll be overwhelming, and you don’t like the thought of feeling used.”

“I—” John starts to protest, despite it being almost exactly what he was thinking, because Sherlock does know him so very well.

The other Sherlock cuts him off by continuing to talk. “But that’s not what I had in mind at all. You know that I prefer being fucked.” He slides his hand down, between John and the Sherlock who is pressed against him at the front, and cups John’s cock through the flimsy fabric of his pants. When he speaks again his voice has dipped even lower, become a husky whisper. “And I have no objections to being used.”

John groans and knows that he’s well and truly convinced. The other Sherlock knows it too, and he brushes teasing fingers over John’s length once more before moving them up and inside the waistband of John’s pants so that he can push them down. Sherlock disentangles his legs from John’s and kicks aside the duvet so that he can help, four long-fingered hands moving alongside each other until John is naked and his clothing is tossed carelessly aside. That leaves the Sherlock of the present as the only one still clothed, and John and the other Sherlock make quick work of that.

There is a moment, just after everyone is undressed, when John thinks this might not quite work after all. They’re all kneeling on the bed, and John is once again caught between two Sherlocks. The one in front is licking a broad swipe from John’s collarbone to his throat, and the one behind is carefully dragging his teeth along the line of John’s shoulder where it slopes into his neck until he reaches the hollow beneath John’s ear and sucks the skin hard enough to mark and leave John panting. Their eyes meet along the way and they stop, tense, and begin some fraught and silent negotiation carried out in microexpressions that even John can’t follow. He is just about to interrupt when they come to an agreement on their own; the Sherlock at his back releases his grip on John and slips to the side to hover just at the edge of the bed. Sherlock—the one rooted here in the present, John is sure to remind himself, though he’s not sure why he feels the need to differentiate—gives John a chaste kiss that’s completely at odds with the words that follow.

“You’re going to fuck me, and he’s going to help.”

John sucks in a sharp breath and nods.

Sherlock gives him another kiss, this one more heated, before pulling away from John and lying back on the bed, legs spread and wanton. John slips between his legs and bends down to lathe one of Sherlock’s nipples with his tongue and wrap his hand around Sherlock’s cock. He gives it several long, slow strokes, sliding his foreskin over the glans until Sherlock is arching up into the movement, then bites down not entirely gently on the nipple he’s been lavishing with attention. It draws a long, low whine from Sherlock, and the attention of the other Sherlock at John’s side.

“You really do know what I like,” the other Sherlock says. He’s sitting back on his haunches, watching with his unnerving intensity as John takes him apart with his hands and his mouth. “I remember what this feels like, from two weeks ago. Being desperate for you inside me, and not wanting to rush you at the same time, because you are so very good at what you do.”

“Jesus Christ, Sherlock,” John says. He sits up and his hand falters and stills, leaving the Sherlock underneath him bucking up, breathlessly chasing friction. “That’s not the thing to say if you don’t want to rush me.”

“I’m not exactly patient,” the other Sherlock says flippantly. He clicks open the cap of the bottle of lube and gestures for John to hold his hand out, then smears a generous amount onto his fingertips when they’re within reach.

“I’m especially not patient,” Sherlock growls, twisting his hips to move his cock within the now loose grip of John’s hand. “If you don’t—ah—” Whatever threat he might have made is cut off by John’s finger circling, slick and smooth, over his entrance, then pressing in.

John loves this, loves watching Sherlock’s face as his mouth falls open and his head tilts back at the sensation of being breached. His hands are fisted in the sheets and he’s stopped worrying about his erection and is instead pressing down on John’s finger, chasing more. “C’mon, John,” he says, half gasping. “You know I can take more.”

Always obliging, John eases in another finger alongside the first, curls them together, then slides them out before pushing back in with one strong, fluid movement. He repeats the action several times at varying speeds while Sherlock splays his thighs wider and begins to pant with need.

“Please,” Sherlock says plaintively. “I need—”

John is just about to add another finger, when he feels the other Sherlock move closer. He threads his fingers into the short hairs at the back of John’s head and pulls him into a kiss, slow and hazy. “I’m going to help, remember,” he says against John’s mouth, and John nods, a bit dazed and not entirely certain what the other Sherlock means by that.

John finds out, when the other Sherlock makes a careful humming noise of consideration, watching himself writhe against John’s touch, then slips one of his own fingers in next to John’s.

“Fuck,” John hisses. He watches their fingers work together, pressing in and out in a steady rhythm until their mouths meet again, and the other Sherlock swallows down the moans John was hardly aware he was making. Still kissing, John can’t see but can feel when the other Sherlock adds another finger. He’s left absolutely mesmerized by the feeling of those long fingers sliding along his own, the tight heat clenching around their combined fullness, and by the keening noise that escapes from Sherlock’s lips as he’s stretched by them both.

“Can you feel how much he wants it?” future Sherlock breathes, sounding a little in awe of himself. He twists his fingers and the Sherlock beneath him lets out a loud and shaky exhalation. “How much I want it?”

“I can, and it’s fucking gorgeous,” John says. He strokes his free hand over Sherlock’s inner thigh, where his muscles are trembling with the stretch of being held wide and with his need.

“Stop talking about it and do it,” Sherlock says. It comes out remarkably well-composed and demanding, considering how completely overwhelmed he looks with his head thrown back and eyes squeezed shut.

“Yeah,” John rasps. “I will.” He slips his fingers out—the other Sherlock keeps his in, a fact that makes John’s breath hitch—and reaches for the lube. John takes a generous amount and slicks it over his cock, groaning with relief as he finally gives it some attention; it’s been neglected by lavishing attention on Sherlock instead. When John’s ready, the other Sherlock slides out of the way, taking his fingers out as well and earning a little grunt of frustration from Sherlock at being left empty. John pulls Sherlock’s legs up over his shoulders, pushes Sherlock’s knees back against his chest until they’re fit tight together, close enough for John to place a gentle kiss on Sherlock’s forehead before he presses slowly inside.

“Oh God,” Sherlock says, voice unsteady. His hands find their way to John’s thighs to clutch and pull him in tighter. “Move, John. I’m not going to break.”

“It’s not for you,” John grits out. “Give me a bloody minute to get adjusted.” He takes a deep, steadying breath and pulls himself back, as far as Sherlock’s grip will allow, then shoves forward hard enough to knock Sherlock’s breath out in a heavy gasp. It earns a low growl of approval, and John repeats the motion, more quickly this time. It builds into a steady rhythm as John pushes forward and Sherlock arches into his thrusts, trying to meet them with even more force.

John had not really forgotten about the other Sherlock, but mostly put him out of his mind while it was occupied with the demanding task of fucking this one. He’s almost startled to feel those familiar hands stroke their way through the sweat on his back and settle around his hips, pushing John forward into the body underneath him at an even faster pace. The other Sherlock leans forward, draping himself against John’s back until his lips brush the curve of John’s ear and he’s able to be easily heard over the panting breaths that are filling the room.“I’ve never had the privilege of watching you fuck me before. You’re so good at it, so very good—I’m still going to be feeling it tomorrow morning, and you’re going to think about this and fuck me again, still slick and open from right now.”

“Oh fuck,” John groans. “Oh fucking hell, Sherlock.” His hips falter in their rhythm as he straightens up and leans back into the other Sherlock’s touch.

One of Sherlock’s legs slips from John’s shoulder and he tries to circle it around John’s waist instead, but gets blocked by his other self in the way. Sherlock huffs in frustration, then, when he’s not able to leverage his hips properly against John, it becomes an outright snarl. “It’s not enough.”

“On your knees,” John says immediately. It’s what Sherlock usually prefers, anyway. They pull apart to reconfigure; Sherlock gets to his hands and knees, while the other Sherlock slips underneath him to lie on his back. It’s a sight that John won’t be able to forget—the two of them together, Sherlock with his forearms braced on either side of the other Sherlock and his arse in the air. When Sherlock tilts his head down to press his forehead against the other Sherlock's and they breathe into each other’s mouths, John can hear himself make a strangled noise of longing. John positions himself back behind Sherlock, thighs nudging his legs to open wider, and slides his cock along the cleft of Sherlock’s arse and against his hole, not pushing inside just yet.

Sherlock hisses and tries to tilt his hips back, tries to impale himself on John’s cock, until the other Sherlock’s hands grasp his sides and hold him still. His voice is a low rumble against Sherlock’s mouth, and John can only just hear it. “It’s good, isn’t it? What he does to us?” the other Sherlock asks.

Sherlock nods messily, apparently incapable of words of his own.

“Then let him take care of you,” the other Sherlock says, and loosens his grip. Sherlock makes a soft whine, deep in his throat, but stays still, trembling with the effort.

The other Sherlock looks up, locks eyes with John over Sherlock’s shoulder, and quirks his lips in a predatory smile. “But really, John, you shouldn’t keep making him wait.”

John snarls an agreement and pushes home.

It is better like this, when John has more purchase against the sheets and can dig his fingers into Sherlock’s hips to pull him back as John pounds into him. It’s rough, fast, tends to leave bruises, and Sherlock fucking loves it. Normally, after the first few minutes of the relentless pace, John will have his fingers fisted in Sherlock’s hair, and Sherlock will work his cock in hard, desperate jerks until he comes. This time, with an additional Sherlock, it’s something else entirely.

There are fingers wrapped in Sherlock’s curls, tugging them and making him gasp, but they belong to the other Sherlock. They’re kissing each other again, though it mostly involves panting into each other’s mouths with quick swipes of tongue and urgent bites interspersed. The other Sherlock is fisting his own cock, pumping his hips up until he’s brushing teasingly against Sherlock’s hardness hanging heavy between his legs and bobbing with the force of John’s movements.

“Please, I’m so close,” Sherlock says, almost a sob, begging both of them. The other Sherlock lets go of his hair and moves his hand between them so that he’s stroking both of them in syncopated rhythm, while John keeps his thrusts steady and angled just so. It works—it works beautifully and John’s release is coiling hot and tight in his belly when Sherlock comes with a shout, pulsing thickly through the other Sherlock’s hand and over his cock and stomach. The way Sherlock clenches around him, combined with the slick sound of the other Sherlock still fucking his own hand, covered in come, pushes John over the edge and he surges forwards and holds himself there as he comes in long, steady waves.

John has hardly pulled out when Sherlock slides down, pushing the other Sherlock’s hand out of the way so that he can latch onto his cock, sucking greedily, gratefully, but it’s too... not too weird, not at this point when they’ve crossed the boundaries so far already. It’s too much, just too fucking much and suddenly John wants to be the one in his place. “Move,” he tells Sherlock roughly, and when he doesn’t stop John tugs at his curls until he pulls back with an exceptionally obscene, wet noise.

“What—” Sherlock begins to protest, but then John’s face is right by his own, taking the head of the other Sherlock’s cock into his mouth and slipping smoothly down the shaft. John can tell that he’s close, so he begins sucking in strong pulls, hollowing out his cheeks while he swirls his tongue along the underside of the head, and it feels like no time at all before there’s a hand in his hair, another squeezing his shoulder in warning, and the other Sherlock is coming down his throat.

They’re a mess, all three of them, and while neither Sherlock seems to mind—they actually start to curl up against each other, until John protests—John has no interest in staying that way. He slips into the bathroom and wipes himself down, then returns with the damp flannel so that they’ll do the same. No one bothers with pyjamas, and they let John settle into the middle again before the duvet is pulled up and tucked around everyone. John lies on his back this time, and they tuck in on either side, slinging too-long limbs over John once again.

The aftermath is quiet, communicated through noses nuzzled against necks and gentle presses of lips, but John does feel that it’s important to set something straight. “You cannot make this a regular thing,” he says, too tired to sound nearly as stern as he ought. “My heart can’t take it.”

Their concurrent “mm” of agreement is not at all reassuring.