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The Ivory of Bones

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Chapter Text

Notes

The plot is a fusion of canon and the novel Hannibal by Thomas Harris with some influence from television show of the same name.

One line in particular “The world will not be this way within the reach of my arm” is taken directly from the book but isn’t used in the same context.

Thanks again to Deuxexmycroft for giving me permission to give this a shot!

I would also like to thank the incomparable PrettyArbitrary for looking this over, and as always my eternal gratitude to my amazing friend and beta SuperBlue!

As always, I own none of these characters, in any iteration.

 

The Fifth Symphony

Vienna, January 8th, 2023

Just before the curtain rose at the Musikverein Concert Hall, Sebastian Moran eased himself down into his seat, still surprisingly graceful for a man of his size.  The Viennese Philharmonic was performing  Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony. He’d been looking forward to the performance all month - he had never seen this work performed live and the first chair violinist was reputed to be sublime. Filled with a delicious anticipation, Moran unfolded the programme as best he could, his twisted fingers clumsy and stiff.

As the music started, he closed his eyes and let himself be transported by the sharp rhythm and broad melody. The first movement was everything he had imagined. The music was so wrenchingly beautiful it brought goosebumps to his skin, but as the minor strings of the coda faded, he was overcome with a far more visceral chill. In the box to his far left, two gentlemen were seated. There was an older man with curling sable hair just beginning to grey at the temples and a shorter, sturdily built man with closely cropped silver hair. The smaller man was whispering something that made his companion smile. The faces were unfamiliar but something about their posture twigged his finely honed sense of self preservation. His mangled knuckles gave a sharp twinge of remembered pain and his breath caught in his throat. As unobtrusively as he could, he got to his feet and made his way towards the aisle. He was only feet from escape when the taller man turned to pin him with gunmetal grey eyes. Moran was frozen on the spot by what lay behind that gaze.  Noticing that his companion’s attention had been caught, the smaller man turned to add the weight of his stare. If there was anything left of the man who had once spared his life, he couldn't see it. He was seized at once with the frightful conviction that he was being tested, and heaven help him if he failed. Whatever they saw in him must have been sufficient, because the smaller man gave him a nod of dismissal and they turned away as one. Coated in a greasy sweat, Moran made his trembling way out of the theatre, fighting the urge to run until the doors closed behind him and he was out in the cool night air.

In the years after, Moran saw a number of symphonies performed by the world’s greatest orchestras, but he never again saw Shostakovich’s Fifth.

 

The Escape

Present Day

“Sherlock," John blurted out instinctively, the name spilling hopefully from his lips without him meaning to. He covered his mouth, shocked at himself.

Sherlock's eye crinkled slightly at the edges. He was smiling. "You stay there," he whispered through the keyhole. "I'll be right back."

“Moriarty had a team of four soldiers, one of whom I shot, and at least four regular guards, plus a driver and a doctor.” John called out after him in a low voice.

“Thank you John,” Sherlock replied solemnly, and with a flirtatious wink he was gone, padding silently out the door with the careless grace of an apex predator.

*** 

Sherlock moved like a shadow through the dim emergency lighting, his acute hearing stretched to the limit. There were two men speaking in hushed tones just beyond the door to main stairs. He could see their shadowy reflections in a gaudy baroque mirror hung high on the wall behind them. Moriarty always had more money than taste. Both of the men were wearing tailored suits, but their faces showed lives lived rough.

Perfect, more of the jumped up criminals playing guards. Moriarty had likely hired them for their ruthlessness, not their talent.

The man on the right was speaking to his partner, a silver Smith & Wesson clutched tightly in his hand.

“Now remember, the boss says he wants Watson alive, and for God’s sake be careful - that crazy German fucker Mertzberg went to get the dogs. Those bastards will rip your arm off if you aren’t careful.”

Interesting . Sherlock grinned.  He’d always had a soft spot for dogs. They could be so very useful.

As the door closed behind the first man, Sherlock came up behind the second and slit his throat with a spray of arterial blood. Ten targets left.

Sherlock stalked off down the hall, back to the lounge. With a wickedly sharp hunting knife, he skinned the cloth from the chair where John had been seated and backtracked to the audio visual room. While he was waiting, he passed the time by holding the soft fabric to his nose, savouring the smell of John and his exquisite fear.

***

For a long moment, John stood frozen in the cramped cupboard, his heart pounding a painful tattoo against his ribs. He’d been hoping against hope that Sherlock would find him, but now that he had, he wasn’t sure what to feel. He had no illusions as to what was about to happen to Moriarty’s men, and it sickened him to realize that he didn’t care. All he felt was a fierce joy that they were about to die the way they had lived - violently. If the alternative was to die on a table at the hands of a madman or kill them, he knew what he would choose. The fact that Sherlock was going to do it for him was strangely liberating. He knew it was wrong, but he had been pushed too far and endured too much.  

He was just musing on what kind of man that made him when the funereal silence of the cupboard was shattered. Somewhere in the bowels of the house came the deep baying of hounds followed by the staccato cracks of distant gunfire.

Shite.

All of the sudden his survival didn’t seem so assured at all. Moriarty had dogs . If they found him before Sherlock came back, the odds of living through the experience wasn’t encouraging. Panicked, he tried to force the door open with brute strength. After a few good pushes he realized it was hopeless. If the space had been even half a foot narrower he could have braced his shoulders on the back wall and used his legs to force it open, and if the space had been wider he could have kicked the door open. As it was, he didn’t have enough leverage to do either.

Fuck. Think, John, think.

The solution crystallized in his mind with a rapidity that made him gasp in relief and he began frantically rifling through his pockets for a coin. When his fingers closed around the slim edges of a ten pence he could have wept with relief. The lock on the cupboard was meant to be opened from the outside only. All he had to do was unscrew the back of the knob and the whole mechanism could be pushed out onto the carpet. Cursing the low light, he ran his fingers over the edge of the door. There. The inside of the knob was held on by four sturdy double-slot screws. He whispered a quick thanks that it wasn’t a Hex or Robertson socket because then he would have been well and truly fucked.

He dried his clammy hands off on his pants and slipped the coin into the head of the screw. It was painstaking work and his fingers kept slipping every time a burst of gunshots echoed through the room. The first screw popped out with a dull clink and John took a brief break to stretch out his cramping fingers before attacking the second. The dogs sounded closer now. Mercifully, the second and third screws were looser than the first and John was able to make short work of them. The last screw took a little more effort but he finally managed to dislodge it. Unscrewed, the knob fell onto the carpet with a muffled thump, leaving a square hole. John put his finger in, and with a bit of fumbling, was able to release the latch.

With a quick prayer that he had made the right choice, John Watson came out of the closet.

***

Sherlock smelt the dogs before he heard them. The warm musk of animals in the prime of health. A second later he heard the ping of the lift door and the scrabble of nails on carpet. The dog handler called out in a heavily accented voice:

“Armin! Conrad! Dolf! Such! Track!

Sherlock smiled darkly and tossed the fabric skin into the far corner of the room before positioning himself on the opposite side of the door. It was less than 30 seconds before the hounds began to bay, tracking John’s scent right into the room where Sherlock laid in wait. Three Italian mastiffs crowded into the room, their handler following tight on their heels and right into the barrel of Sherlock’s gun.

The crack of the gunshot was loud in the small room, but Sherlock was able to soothe the hounds with a few repetitions of braver hun d and so ist brave . With a whispered instruction to pass auf , he slipped back into the corridor, shutting the door behind him with a soft click. He had a spider to find.

***

John made his way down the hallway through an eerie quiet. The ground was littered with empty shell casings and stained with blood. The cook, Angelo, was still lying where he had fallen, legs akimbo and eyes staring. He wasn't sure of the layout, but he was hoping there would be a door to the rest of the building. He stepped out into the lounge and almost onto the body of one of Moran’s men, another was lying face down a few feet away. They’d both been shot in the back of the head at close range. Outside the rain had picked up and with the blue lighting it almost looked like they were at sea. A ship of the damned , John thought bitterly.

***

DI Lestrade pulled up in front of the nondescript apartment block with a screech of tyres and vaulted out of the car.  A man was lying dead to the side of the front door, neck twisted at an unnatural angle. The pistol was missing from the holster at his waist, but a quick search turned up a small HK VP9 strapped to his ankle. He stalked back and forth for a few agonized seconds before grabbing the gun and made his way cautiously into the building. He knew he should wait for backup but John needed him, now more than ever.

***

Four targets left. Sherlock approached the dining area silently.

He could hear Moriarty and Moran in the midst of a hushed yet furious conversation. He didn't dare get close enough to hear what they were saying, but whatever Moran had said, Moriarty sounded murderous.

Sherlock cringed. What had he ever seen in him? Moriarty had been briefly diverting with his phobia and his delusions of grandeur, but now he just seemed like a spoilt child, furious that things hadn’t gone how he’d planned. If he had had more time, he would have loved to save his liver and see if the Greeks were right and he could taste the black bile of madness, but this had gone on far too long. Besides, John was waiting.

He mapped out his moves in his head, calculating the possible trajectories. He would have liked to kill Moriarty personally but that wasn’t expedient. Pity. Still, he wasn’t without resources. On his journey through the building he’d managed to pick up a few surprises. Those mercenary types kept the most fascinating things in their personal quarters.

Extracting the grenade from his pocket, he eased the pin out and after counting down two seconds on the clock in his head, tossed it around the corner, aiming for a spot equidistant between the two men.

As predicted, Moran reacted a split second faster than his employer, throwing himself over the table, gun abandoned at his feet as he clapped his hands over his ears. The grenade detonated midair, splintering the table and warping the barrel of the dropped pistol. Moriarty wasn’t so lucky, he caught the full force of the blast as he turned to look, losing most of the back of his head in the process.

Unfortunately for Moran, the reprieve was short lived - Sherlock was waiting. As he staggered to his feet, dazed and bleeding from dozens of small lacerations, Sherlock hit him with a brutal knee to the face that shattered his teeth before coldly putting the gun to his head.

“Why was Moriarty thinking about killing you?” Sherlock demanded imperiously.

Moran spat out a mouthful of blood and grinned, teeth broken and jagged, before laughing low and without mirth. 

“When things went pear shaped I called the cops and gave them our location. The way I see it, Moriarty was fucked,” he gestured towards the bloody ruin in the corner, “and I’m not walking out of here. I figured this way you get fucked too.”

Sherlock’s eyes flashed with cold fury and he raised the pistol. “You are right about one thing, you aren’t walking out of -”

“Stop!” John shouted, bursting into the room.

“John? I told you to wait for me,” Sherlock admonished.  He looked at him quizzically, but pointedly took his finger off the trigger and rested it on the outside of the trigger guard. “Explain.”

“He - he offered to kill me.”

Sherlock looked affronted but John continued speaking. “I mean, so that Moriarty wouldn’t...” John trailed off, unable to even say what had been planned for him.

Sherlock looked thoughtful for a moment before turning his laser regard back to Moran. “Sniper, probably one of the best in the world, worked for Moriarty not because he needed the money, although he did enjoy it, but because he liked killing and the Army, sorry, Special Forces, wouldn’t have him any more.”

Moran looked grudgingly impressed but wisely didn’t speak.

“It's your lucky day Mr-”

“Colonel.”

“Colonel Moran, while I appreciate your kind offer to John, you must understand that there will be consequences for your actions. John is mine .” He punctuated that statement with a brutal stomp of his italian loafers on Moran’s left hand. The bones splintered with a crack that was audible and Moran howled.

Unperturbed, Sherlock continued his monologue. “If anyone is going to hurt John it’s going to be me .” His foot came down on Moran’s right hand with another sickening crack. “If anyone kills John, it’s going to be ME.” His foot came up with a brutal kick that lifted Moran up off of the ground. The sniper collapsed with a groan on the carpet, both of his hands reduced to a bloody pulp, his career as a sniper over. He would be lucky if he could sign his name again, let alone fire a gun.

“Stay behind me John, there are still at least two of Moriarty’s men around.

True to his word, they had only made it halfway down the corridor before a guard stepped out into the hall - stumbled was closer to it. John recognized him as Holt, the man he had shot in the stomach, before his head shattered into a pink mist.

Sherlock muttered a curse under his breath before ejecting the now empty magazine and tucking the empty pistol in his waistband. There was still one guard unaccounted for. The odds of them finding ammunition lying around were low, but only an idiot would throw away a potentially serviceable weapon. At least he still had the knife, although he was loathe to brandish it with John still reeling from his encounter with Moriarty. As a compromise, he kept it in his hand, the blade folded up to lie flat against the bottom of his wrist.

***

They made slow progress back down the corridor towards the front hall.  The lights were still flickering in way that set all the shadows alive with suggested movement, and the last gunshot had set the dogs to baying again, making it difficult to hear anything over the cacophony.

When the door to the stairs banged open in front of them, Sherlock reacted with pure instinct, dragging John protectively behind him and readying himself to throw the knife with lethal accuracy. He was just barely able to stay his hand when he recognized the emerging figure as Greg Lestrade. As much as he would have loved to kill him, he knew it would be immeasurably more difficult to bring John with him if John had just watched him kill his friend. He couldn't imagine that claiming it was an accident could be considered a plausible excuse.

Just like that, the moment for action was lost, and Greg was in the hallway, pointing the dark barrel of a gun right at Sherlock’s head. Sherlock dropped the knife and slowly raised his hands over his head. They were right back where they started five years ago.

“Thank Christ John, are you ok?” 

“I don’t know if I can answer that right now Greg,” John replied truthfully.

With wary eyes, John carefully extracted the empty gun from Sherlock’s belt, then made his way across the carpet to stand behind Greg. He could feel Sherlock’s gaze burning the back of his neck as he walked.

“Where’s the rest of the team?”

“About 5 minutes out. I was headed to the morgue and it was just dumb luck that I was in this end of town when the call came in.”

“Your loyalty is touching Lestrade,” Sherlock spat. 

“Oi Sherlock, shut the fuck up. If you say one more word I am going to shoot you. I would enjoy putting a bullet in your head you sick bastard.”

John shuffled from foot to foot. Sherlock had saved his life; if John did nothing, the team would be there in minutes and the best case scenario was that Sherlock spent the rest of his life locked up in a maximum security psychiatric prison.

True, Sherlock was undeniably a monster, but something about the whole thing felt wrong . John took a deep breath and hoped that he wasn’t going to regret this. Truth be told he had already taken his thirty pieces of silver when Sherlock’s name had fallen unbidden from his lips like a prayer.

John raised the pistol and brought it down as hard as he could on the back of Greg’s head. There was a sickening thud and his friend collapsed on the ground in a boneless heap, his gun skittering away into the darkness.

Sherlock gaped at him like he had never seen him before in his life. 

“What are you waiting for Sherlock - run!”

John never found out if Sherlock would have willingly left him behind, because at that moment the last of the spider’s men made his presence known. Stepping out from the shadows like a ghoul, he slammed a loaded syringe into John’s deltoid. John looked around wildly for a moment before dropping to the floor like a puppet with his strings cut, the hypodermic still protruding from his arm.

The grey faced man, the doctor by the looks of his dirty scrubs, dropped to his knees and with scalpel held high, turned his empty shark-like eyes to Sherlock.

“It's seems we are at an impasse. Can you get to the gun before I cut your friend’s throat? Probably not. If I were you I would cut my losses and run.”

“If I were you, so would I.”

With a flourish Sherlock threw open the door to the audio visual room. “Packen !”

Like the hounds from hell, the three mastiffs burst through the door. Their master was dead but they were very well trained. The doctor only made it a few panicked steps before the dogs had him, tearing and biting with their powerful jaws. His screams didn't last long after that.

In a flash, Sherlock was at John’s side, removing the needle and checking his breathing. It was shallow but not dangerously slow. With a quick look around, he gathered John In his arms, bridal style, and headed back towards Moriarty’s room.

It was only the work of a moment to find the hidden door to the service lift. Although his paranoia hadn’t paid off in the long run, Moriarty’s propensity for always having an escape route had worked out to their benefit. Sherlock hit the button for the basement and the lift began its smooth journey down. From there it was a quick but awkward walk through a passageway to a building on the other side of the block. A black town car with tinted windows was idling at the curb waiting for them. Sherlock opened the door and laid John tenderly on the seat next to him. He closed the door with a decisive click before rapping sharply on the window to signal the driver to go.

 

Sussex

John spent the next 12 hours hooked up to an IV and slipping in and out of a twilight consciousness. Whenever he began to stir, Sherlock carefully adjusted the dosage. The gentle rocking of a sleek town car was replaced by the lift and drop of an aircraft in flight, and then the jerky side to side of a truck over a rough country road.

The two bedroom cottage was simple but clean. Sherlock kept one bedroom empty, and settled John in the second. After checking his IV, Sherlock carefully cleaned and dressed his wounds, and then lay beside him listening to the humid metronome of his breath. It was another hour before John began to stir.

He groggily sat up and rubbed his eyes.

“Where are we?”

“Sussex.”

“The entire bloody country is looking for you, and we are hiding out in bloody Hastings?” replied John, curious but not alarmed.

“Sussex, New Brunswick, the shore of the Kennebecasis river to be precise.” He popped the ‘p’ with a posh sound to express how tedious he thought the question was.

“Is that in...Canada?”

“Yes.”

“Huh. I always wanted to visit Canada.”

“That’s good John, now try to get some rest.”

John blinked at him groggily before he lay down and went back to sleep.

***

Years later, when John was a colder, sharper version of himself, he looked back on those first few weeks at the cottage with a sort of fond pity. He hadn't known who he was then.

He does, now.

Time passed in fits and starts, John kept docile by repeated injections of various psychotropics, some of Sherlock’s own design.

The cottage was nestled on the shore of the river, miles and miles from the nearest neighbor. They spent the days going on long walks by the bank, Sherlock telling him in enthusiastic detail about the flora and fauna unique to the area. Sometimes they went and watched the bees in the hives behind the cottage. John could stare for hours as they performed their hypnotic flights from hive to flower and back again.

John spent the afternoons napping. While he dreamt  his dark dreams Sherlock worked for hours on the secure laptop provided by Mycroft.

Sometimes Sherlock played the violin for John. The music was both haunting and achingly beautiful.

The evenings were spent sipping chianti in front of the fire. Sherlock was careful to ensure John drank enough to enhance the effects of the medication but not enough to endanger him. They had long conversations about music and art and philosophy. Sometimes Sherlock read him the newspaper coverage on his escape and the massacre at Moriarty’s penthouse. John had almost forgotten what a pleasant conversationalist Sherlock could be when he was engaged in the subject. The glittering complexity of his intellect still took John’s breath away and filled him with a warm awe.

Every night they had variations of the same conversation.

“Why haven't you tried to run away John?”

His answers were always simple. “Where would I go?”  “I don’t have any money?” “I can’t imagine what your brother would do to me if he caught me.” The answers were factually true but lacking in any real feeling.

On the seventh night they got closer to the meat of the issue.

“Why haven't you tried to run away John?” Sherlock’s voice was warm whisky, the very epitome of the trusted psychiatrist he used to be.

John was quiet for a long time before he answered. “I cracked Lestrade’s skull, he permanently lost vision in his left eye. If DCI Gregson ever catches me he will make sure I go to prison for the rest of my life.”

It wasn’t the complete truth but Sherlock let it be, for then.

“Touché,” he retorted, a wry smile twisting the corners of his mouth.

Already bored with the conversation, John changed the subject. “Can you play for me Sherlock? That swooping piece?”

“Bach Chaconne?”

“Yes please.”

Sherlock played until John fell asleep, then he carried him to bed like a child and tucked him in, pressing a chaste kiss onto his golden cheek.

The next day Sherlock began to slowly taper down John’s medications. They still spent the mornings walking, but their afternoons were spent in long hours of psychotherapy, mapping John’s personality, and building the foundations for a mind palace of his own.

They went through it all, his rage, his sense of justice, his furtive forays into homosexuality, his past triumphs and his failures.

The only point of resistance was his stubborn hold on his archaic notions of right and wrong. They grated on Sherlock’s nerves like one sour note in an otherwise flawless concerto. He could see the glorious creature John could be if he would just… let… go

As days turned into weeks, through the meticulous application of almost every trick Sherlock learned in his years as a practicing therapist, the threads that tied John down to his ordinary life were isolated and snapped, yet his core of Johness remained.

That night, during an impromptu violin rendition of Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with its themes of anguish, death and resignation, Sherlock finally saw the wedge that could break John free. It took a few phone calls and a dozen tedious promises to his brother, but three days later the preparations were complete.

 

Requiem

At the end of John’s afternoon therapy session, Sherlock administered a carefully calibrated dose of sodium pentothal. What ever happened next, there would be no untruths between them, not anymore.

Taking him by the hand, Sherlock lead John into the spare bedroom. There on the charcoal duvet, the bleached bones of a child had been lain to rest in a bower of roses and gardenias.

John made a choking noise deep in his throat before reaching out his fingers to softly trace the splintered hole in the side of the skull.

“Is it her?” he whispered, almost to himself.

“Not just her John, all of us. Over 150 thousand people die every day, men, women and children. This is how we all end up. What does it matter how?”

John made another broken noise, his whole body trembling violently. The sight had blown him apart like sand in a scouring wind.

“What do you see John?”

John took a deep shuddering breath and, as quickly as it had come on, the storm had passed.

“I said, what do you see ?”

“That the world will not be this way within the reach of my arm.”

“Oh you are a warrior John,” Sherlock said with wonder before throwing his head back and laughing with delight. He could talk all he wanted, he could break John apart from the inside out, but John would always be John , stubborn, principled and endlessly unpredictable.

With the gentleness of the father he would never be, John folded the bones up in a shroud of duvet, and cradling them to his breast headed down to the bank of the river without a backwards glance.

John returned empty handed an hour later, fresh dirt still under his nails. He sat down heavily in his armchair lost in thought and from the determined set of his jaw it was clear to Sherlock he wasn't thinking about him.

That just wouldn’t do.  Fortunately Sherlock still had one trick left. He walked to the cupboard and pulled out a gleaming kitchen knife.

Sherlock twisted the blade in his dexterous fingers with a flourish like a conjurer. He was going to enjoy this immensely.

Sherlock sat down in his chair across from John and went in for the proverbial kill. “Do you know that when you were unconscious I wanted to scrape off the wounds that Moriarty gave you? We both like it better when the only marks on you are mine don’t we?”

John didn’t answer, he just looked at Sherlock with startlingly clear eyes. “Why are you here?”

“Don't be dull John, the police are looking for me, I can't exactly waltz down Savile Row,” he scolded.

“Not here in this cottage - here with me. You could be anywhere in the world. Moriarty told me and I didn't believe him, but I think I understand now…”

John leant forwards and, heedless of the knife between them, breathed a single word in the shell of Sherlock’s ear.

Sentiment

The unexpected intimacy of the gesture lead Sherlock to do something he had never done before. For an instant he let his guard down. An instant was all it took and the knife was in John's hands, pressed up against the tender skin under Sherlock’s jaw with the precision of a surgeon.

Sherlock’s muscles bunched, ready to explode into action but he saw John’s eyes and something in them gave him pause. If he moved a millimetre he would be bleeding out from his carotid artery. He knew with perfect clarity that he had never been this close to death. The irony wasn’t lost on him that in a lifetime of boredom, surrounded by intolerable people, he had never once felt this alive.

As always, John had exceeded his expectations.

John took the knife and dragged it down his throat, the silver of the blade cold and wickedly sharp as it caressed his skin.

After a long moment he spoke, his voice husky with something dark and unnamable.

“Answer me honestly Dr Holmes, are you hard right now?”

With a shock, Sherlock realized that he was. Painfully so in the confines of his tight trousers.

“Yes,” he breathed.

John slid the knife down across the silk of his shirt and sliced off button after button, letting them fall to the ground with atonal plinks.

“I have done a lot of thinking. I can't go back, not to that life, not to the person I was, but if I stay, we are going to do things my way.”

“I don't understand,” Sherlock asked, forcing his voice so that it would appear breathless and unsure, certain he could gain the upper hand in whatever game it was that John was playing.

“Suck me.”

Sherlock gasped , all pretence abandoned.

When John didn't say anything further, he dropped carefully to his knees, the blade coming to rest pressed cruelly to the side of his neck. With clever fingers he unclasped the button of John’s flies and eased down the zip. Above him John hissed with relief as his cock sprang forward, damp and straining. Sherlock let his teeth graze lightly over the flesh before taking the crown into his mouth and sucking gently. An astringent burst of pre-ejaculate bloomed across his palette and his own cock twitched hard in sympathetic pleasure.

No one had ever seen him for the predator he was and still wanted him, and make no mistake, John knew exactly what he was capable of. Even as he grunted in pleasure, unconsciously beginning to thrust in and out of Sherlock’s mouth, the knife’s edge hadn’t moved even a fraction of an inch. It was powerfully arousing and Sherlock scrabbled frantically with his own zip to pull out his rigid cock. He couldn’t remember ever being that hard, not even in his hormone addled adolescence.

As the timbre of John’s voice dropped as he neared his peak, Sherlock began frantically jacking himself to the rhythm of his own sucks and licks.

He began bobbing his head faster, half expecting John to move the knife back, but his lover gave no quarter. Sherlock felt the edge gently bite into his skin and he realized that John would let him cut his own throat while sucking his cock rather than give an inch. The revelation was incendiary, and as a scarlet line of blood trickled slowly down his neck, his orgasm exploded through him like fireworks in his brain, his cock jerking and spurting onto his hand and the ground between them. John let out a pained groan and with one hand still holding the blade steady, grabbed hold of Sherlock’s hair with the other and began brutally fucking his mouth. It was only a dozen thrusts before his cock thickened and he came in hot pulses straight down Sherlock’s abused throat.

As Sherlock wiped the tears from his stinging eyes with his clean hand, there was a hot bloom of pain across his chest. Sherlock could only watch in wide eyed wonder as John cut three letters into the flesh right over his heart. JHW .

“Never forget Sherlock, I may be yours, but you are mine .”

 

An East Wind

No one knows what John has chosen to keep of his old life and what he chose to bury alongside the bones of a murdered child. They travel around the world, blown by an east wind. The only certainty is that wherever they go, people disappear. Bad people. But who is going to raise the hue and cry if a pedophile goes missing, or a serial wife beater turns up broken and mutilated? If some of them happen to work for organizations in direct competition with the Diogenes Publishing group, well that never makes the news.

The only common thread is that after every disappearance, a bouquet of flowers appears on an unmarked grave on the shore of the Kennebecasis river, a fragrant spray of roses the colour of blood mixed with gardenias the ivory of bones.