John stares at the drumstick in his hand.
Embarrassment prickles his scalp, blood pooling, heavy and warm, in his cheeks.
He hasn’t stopped blushing since he left the surgery.
“How long have you been drumming?” the man in the store had asked him at checkout. John had fumbled his wallet, almost dropping it, before he recovered.
“Ever since I could hold the sticks, mate,” John lied, laying his chip card on the glass countertop. Guitar picks in a kaleidoscope of colors stared back at him.
“Interesting choice for a lefty,” the man commented as he slid the receipt over to John with a biro weighting it down.
John picked up the pen and forced out a laugh, fighting down the urge to flee. To vomit. To toss this nosy bloke a right hook. “I’m trying to relearn it.” John swallowed against the lump in his throat, his pulse a tight pressure in his ears. “Haven’t been able to play since I got shot in Afghanistan.” John clenches and unclenches his left hand for emphasis as the man’s mouth drops open and all the color drains from his face. “I need to favor my right hand now, but ta for your help.”
There, let the shopkeeper chew on that. Insulting a wounded veteran. He’d think twice next time. John smiled politely and picked up the plastic bag as the man stammered out an apology behind him.
John held the bag tightly on the tube. Every time someone glanced at him it felt like they knew what he was going to do with the drumsticks once he got home. It must be written clear as day on his face. It must be visible from Mars. They know, he kept thinking, hysteria bubbling at the back of his throat, a burning carbonated fizz. They know I’m going home to stick them up my arse.
John is forty-two years old.
He is a doctor.
And a soldier.
He has been to war.
He has been to the brink of death and has been dragged screaming back.
More than once.
How is it even fucking possible that he has missed this about himself?
The look on Dr. Howard’s face when John had moaned loud and uninhibited as he slid his finger inside John’s arse and stroked over his prostate…John is sure the man almost died of acute asphyxiation from trying not to laugh.
“Don’t worry,” Dr. Howard had said, his voice choked, his face a deep scarlet. “That’s a completely normal reaction, John.”
Mortified, John had hidden his face in his arm and pulled down the tails of his shirt to hide his bobbing erection, praying to any god who was listening, that it would be over soon. John wanted to erase it from his memory immediately. That the best erection of his life had happened inside a physician’s office with his GP’s finger up his arsehole was simply impossible.
The universe had tilted in that moment. It turned out, that after all this time, John didn’t really know himself at all.
He had sat outside the office building until the sun had just begun to set, his cup of coffee long since gone cold beside him on the concrete wall.
And then he had Googled the nearest music supply company and purchased a pair of size 7A drumsticks before he could talk himself out of it.
One thing John knows himself not to be, is a coward.
There is really only one thing left to do.
John stares at the drumstick. Tests the heft of it across his palm. Runs his thumb over the smooth wood, getting a sense of the grain. It smells faintly of cedar and some kind of varnish, resinous and sharp in the back of his nose. There is a small acorn shaped bulb attached to one end, just the exact size and shape of a fingertip.
A nurse in John’s unit, Tom Russel, had sworn by drumsticks. Had evangelized about them in the mess tent and everyone had laughed at him. John had laughed at him, and later, in private, had warned the idiot about the very real danger of getting splinters stuck up his arse. Tom had shaken his head at John as if John was the mad one. He’d grinned beautifically and squeezed John’s upper arm. “You don’t know what you’re missing mate.” He’d leaned closer as if he was imparting some sort of revelation, some sort of religious dogma that was meant to make John see the light. “It doesn’t make you a pouf you know. Just try it. You can thank me later.”
John scrubs a hand down his face.
It turns out Tom Russel had been a bloody prophet.
The universe really had tilted. The earth must be spinning off it’s axis.
John stands up. Toes off his shoes. His fingers, gone numb, make clumsy work of his jumper, his button down, his trousers. The air in his garret room is cold, the late September chill seeping in through cracks in the roof. John gulps it down. Standing half naked in the middle of his room, trembling like a virgin. John strips the rest off, adding his vest and pants and socks to the pile collecting inside his empty laundry basket.
He jerks open his bedside table and retrieves the bottle of lube he keeps tucked away in the back behind whatever paperback he’s reading at the moment. Not that that would be enough to deter Sherlock from finding it, but it’s the semblance of privacy that matters to John.
John shoves the duvet down to the foot of the bed and lies down, punching the pillows with perhaps too much force before settling. Shame and anger are vying for primacy inside his chest.
He’s sweating. His palms. Under his arms. In the backs of his knees. He shifts against the sheets. They stick to his back, his buttocks, his calves.
Thank god Sherlock isn’t home, he thinks for the thousandth time as he slides the thick end of the drumstick inside the finger of a latex glove and secures it by tying it off around the center.
John’s heart is thudding against his ribs. His breath is coming in shallow pulls. He feels faintly light headed and he wonders, detachedly, if he is about to have a panic attack.
He sets the drumstick aside and picks up the bottle of lube. He gives himself a few cursory warm up pumps, but he’s already hard. It’s as if his body is kilometers ahead of him, the memory of the surgery still shimmering through his blood stream. That sudden shock of pleasure so intense John had thought he might pass out. Anticipation and adrenaline spike his blood, heady as any drug.
John slides his hand lower. Fondles his bollocks a bit. Rolls them in his palm. His thighs fall open. The light through the window above him stains the ceiling a pale anemic blue.
He moves a finger down to his perineum. It’s safe territory, already intimately explored. John’s a doctor after all. He understands the mechanics of prostate stimulation. He’s just never sought it out internally.
Feels the cinch around his chest loosen a notch as a familiar ache starts to build at the tops of his legs.
He breathes out, exerting subtle pressure. Touches himself with his left hand. Long, slow strokes. He builds a rhythm. Tries to lose himself in it. It’s just a wank, he tells himself.
But he can't seem to relax. The room watches him; the flat utterly silent below. Cold blue light illuminates John’s naked body like a spotlight. John feels exposed. It’s not rational. He’s home alone, in his room. He’s done this millions of times.
Rolling over onto his side John switches on his bedside lamp. The light is warmer and forces the blue back to press against the window panes. Lying back down he pulls the flat sheet up over his legs.
John breathes, draws the air deep into his lungs. Uncurls his fists, rests his fingertips against the mattress. John’s heart in his chest, thud, thud, thud.
The lube is chilled and he takes a moment to warm it against his palm before he slips his hand back down between his thighs. This time he sets a slower tempo, drawing larger and larger circles, dipping down below his perineum to circle his anus which draws up taut and shriveled every time he glides across it.
Nerves tingling John slides the tip of his index finger just inside, squeezing his eyes shut as he feels the ring of tight muscle contract around the digit. Air presses against his diaphragm and John realizes that he is holding his breath. He lets it go and the sound rushes out into the quiet of the room.
Moving in and out slowly, John bears down and his finger slips deeper. The ache in his thighs intensifies and he writhes against his bed, a high whine trapped at the back of his throat.
It’s. Not. Enough.
Panting, John fumbles at his side and, hands shaking, slicks up the drumstick. Before he can catalogue all the reasons why he shouldn’t, he arranges it, pressing the blunt end just against himself.
Breathe, breathe, he thinks, as he pushes
Lightning struck, John cries out. Hips jackknifing up. Hot stinging blood like nettles in his veins.
He looks down the heaving planes of his body, breathing hard.
His chest is flushed and his cock is leaking. Clear fluid pools in his belly button. The tip is bruised a deep purple, the slit, a glossy blood red. John’s never been this hard. Sweat smarts in the corners of his eyes. He blinks it away and reaches down. God. Exquisite jolts of pleasure bordering on pain rack him as he strokes himself a few times.
He’s trembling again. He lets go. He doesn’t need it, he realizes. Doesn’t even need porn or one of his standby fantasies. He could come like this. He will come like this.
Any last vestiges of doubt melt away. Gripping the stick John starts to move. Tentative at first and then, then he is shoving himself down, fucking it even as he is thrusting it deep inside him, hard and slick, unyielding. All coherent thought abandons him. He is pure sensation, mindlessly chasing the bright white light that pulses through his bones each time he hits his prostate.
The ache coils in his belly, his balls drawing up close to his body. He breaks out in a chill, all his hair standing erect, as John braces his feet against the bed and with one last push he disintegrates into sparks and comes so hard that he screams.
When John comes back to himself he is lying curled on his side in the fetal position. Come is drying in tacky patches across his chest and stomach and the drumstick is stuck to the inside of his right thigh. He is tender all over, skin pulpy and raw.
Thump, thump, thump.
Footsteps on the stairs.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
John just has the presence of mind to pull the sheet up his body to tuck it around his shoulders before Sherlock bursts through the door, his face white, his eyes wide. He looks…scared.
I screamed, John thinks, his brain fuzzy.
When Sherlock realizes that John is not injured or in mortal danger he relaxes, but it only lasts for a second before his eyes narrow, his gaze scraping over John’s prone form, searching for clues. “What happened?”
“A mouse,” John says, his voice cracking. A mouse? He clears his throat. “A mouse was in my bed.”
Sherlock’s eyebrows do a complicated sort of dance.
“A mouse,” Sherlock repeats, drawing the word out. He knows that John is lying, but John finds that he doesn’t care. He should be making more of an effort, but he can't muster the energy. John's just had the best god damned orgasm of his life and he's not about to let Sherlock ruin it. The berk can learn to knock for God's sake. Let Sherlock draw his own conclusions; it would serve him right. In fact John would have loved to be there when Sherlock does. The look on his face when he realizes that John had been buggering himself with a piece of musical equipment just moments before he walked in, well, that would have been priceless.
John yawns. His blood is a drowsy tide tugging at him. His eyelids feel heavy. “Sorry to have frightened you.”
One hand on the doorjamb, Sherlock’s eyes sweep the room—taking in, no doubt, the single drumstick lying on his bedside table and all of John's clothes shoved into his hamper, his shoes lying half under the bed from where John had left them—before landing back on John. “You’re…are you…going to sleep?” Incredulous.
John glances at the clock. It is only 7pm.
John nods, letting his eyes slide closed, awash in the languid glow still suffusing his entire body.
“Do you want me to order a takeaway?” Sherlock sounds completely at sea and it makes John smile into his pillow.
The door squeaks on its hinges as Sherlock starts to pull it closed.
The sound of the door clicking shut is the last thing he hears before he’s sucked under.