John frowned as he rang the doorbell of the posh Kensington row house. It didn’t seem like Sherlock was in trouble, but he didn’t recognise the house as one of Mycroft’s places. He briefly wondered if Sherlock had been kidnapped and pressured into sending the text, and wished he’d brought his gun.
The door opened. Ian Adler stood in the entryway and gave him a self-satisfied smirk.
John tensed immediately and fought the urge to punch him.
“Lovely to see you, Dr Watson. He’s upstairs, second door on the right. Have fun.” With that, he retrieved his scarf from the hat stand and stepped towards the door.
John blocked his exit. “What did you do to him?”
“Nothing he didn’t ask for,” he replied in a deep voice, with a grin that was more playful than malicious. “You’re very fortunate, Dr Watson.”
“Fortunate about what? If you’ve hurt him…”
“Oh, don’t worry, he’s completely safe. Do have a lovely evening.”
And then, with a dramatic exit of Sherlockian proportions, he left.
John quickly took stock of his surroundings. The house seemed empty - presumably except for the two of them.
“Sherlock?” he called, as he took the stairs two at a time. “Sherlock, are you all right?” There was no answer.
Perhaps Ian had gagged him. Or worse.
He burst through the door, adrenaline pumping through his veins, but the room itself was so ridiculous he paused for a second. It clashed violently with the tasteful furniture in the rest of the house. Everything about it was so ornately decorated it made the Palace of Versailles look minimalistic. In the centre of it all was a gigantic rococo-style bed, covered with carvings and gold leaf. In the centre of that, sat Sherlock, unharmed, with a smirk pasted across his lips.
“Sherlock, what the hell…?”
His legs were crossed, but his arms were tied to the ornate posts of the headboard, and he was entirely naked. Except for a pillow. A small, gold pillow - with tassels, even - that barely covered his cock.
The whole scene looked oddly familiar…
Oh! That was it. It was straight out of the film he’d dragged Sherlock to a few months back: an adventure flick whose plot Sherlock had dissected with vicious glee during the cab ride home. John had expected him to delete the whole thing. Well, if was going to remember any part of it, this was probably the best scene he could have picked.
“Oh, Sherlock.” His adrenaline-fuelled panic had turned to relief and now sheer amusement. The laughter bubbled up inside him, and he was powerless to stop it. “Seriously, Sherlock, what did you do to piss off Ian Adler this badly?”
Sherlock shrugged, elegantly. “I don't know what you are talking about. Happy birthday, John.”
“It’s not for another week, you idiot.”
“If I’d waited until then, it wouldn’t have been a surprise.”
He had a point.
“Would you like to open your present?” he asked, trying to look coy and only managing ‘slightly ridiculous’.
“If you promise never to use a phrase that cheesy again, yes. I’d love to.”
Sherlock’s face lit up. “Fantastic. This did take quite a bit of preparation. You seemed to enjoy that ridiculous film, and it didn’t seem appropriate to re-enact some of the other scenes.”
“No. No, you’re right. This was a good choice,” he said, admiring Sherlock’s torso, which looked like a marble statue against the garish headboard. Then a shred of jealousy crept into his mind. “Just how much did Ian ‘help’ you with this?”
“Only with the location and the ropes. My virtue is intact, I can assure you.”
John smiled. “Good.”
“Well, I can’t remove this pillow by myself, and I’m sure you don’t want to wait until next week.”
He certainly didn’t, and by the looks of things, neither did Sherlock. He fished around in his coat, looking for his mobile.
“Wait. What are you doing?”
“Give me two minutes. I want to show Lestrade what you got me for my birthday.”