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Fire and Ice

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Damp, early-spring snow crunched under Sherlock’s bare feet as he wandered through the naked trees, his toes curling with each step. A long, white robe draped over his shoulders and flowed down his body, twisting, silver symbols spilling from the fabric’s open collar all the way to the hem. The symbols were of a language so ancient as to be nearly dead, known by no Human, though not completely lost. Not to those who walked the woods, who were still tied to the Earth and remembered their roots.

A frigid north breeze brushed by him, but his pallid skin remained smooth, the sparse hair on his arms unraised, not a shiver disturbing his lithe frame. His tread paused and he grew still, as cold and serene as the land around him, the occasional winter bird song fluttering through the air. With narrowed eyes, he found a delicate, green bud on a twig just above his head, the approach of Summer threatening and enticing all at once. Sherlock raised a white hand and, with a single, reverent fingertip, stroked the tiny sprout, letting a small burst of power rush through him. Under his touch, the bud hardened and froze as a thin ice coating engulfed it, a miniscule nudge against Summer’s advance.

Lowering his hand, Sherlock gazed at the hint of lively green amongst the cool winter shades, a corner of his blue-tinged lips tugging up with anticipation. Turning, he began retracing his footsteps, dragging his fingertips along the rough barks of trees and leaving a trail of frost behind him.

 

He was nearly back to the palace when he spotted Irene, her willowy figure blocking his path. They watched each other as he approached, not bothering to increase his pace, and he noticed an unhealthy trace of pink in her usually snow-white cheeks. Anticipation tightened in his chest, but he kept his face smooth as he stepped up to her, her trailing gown swirling around her legs as she moved to the side and fell into step beside him.

“The Summer King is waiting for you in your throne room,” his advisor informed him, her hands clasped lightly in front of her. Sherlock had given up insisting she use his proper title when addressing him, at least in private.

With an acknowledging nod, Sherlock continued towards the palace, struggling now not to break into a run. If the slight twist to Irene’s lips was any indication, he did not obscure his eagerness very well, though he never could hide much from her. “Did he share with you the purpose of his visit?”

“Only that he has certain affairs to discuss with you,” she nearly leered. “In private, no less.”

They could see the palace through the trees now, its ice-glazed walls gleaming in the weak sunlight. A shimmer of magic surrounded their opulent dwelling, the side-effect of the glamour which concealed its presence from any inquisitive Human eyes.

Irene laid a hand on his arm. “Your Highness.”

Both her touch and the title froze Sherlock to the spot, and he turned to glance down at her with eyebrows raised.

“Remember your people,” she entreated, her fingers tightening. “Do not forget those that depend upon your strength.”

With a scowl, Sherlock glared at her hand but refused to step out of her grip, unwilling to show any sign of retreat. During the most sweltering of Summer days, her touch was needed, welcome even, necessary for Sherlock who lacked a queen or king with which to share power and foster strength for the court. At the moment, however, the nurturing cold of her skin was the furthest from what he craved.

“I could never possibly forget my people, Irene.” He fought to relax the muscle under her touch. During the span of a quick inhale, he allowed his focus to broaden, his mind to open to the thousands of lives connected to his own. The sparks of his Winter kin were like cool, blue lights, just out of his immediate awareness. His followers were perhaps not as strong as years past, but with the end of their period of yearly power, that was not alarming. With a mental contraction, he returned to his own mind, dulling, but not severing, the connections, and refocused on Irene. “No more so than you could forget your fingers and toes. Remove your hand.”

She pulled away and crossed her arms, the corners of her lips tightening. “You ask me to advise you and then listen to none of my advice.”

“The advantage to being a ruler: I can decide which advice to take, and which to ignore.”

“You need a queen, Sherlock. Your court needs a queen.”

“Needs you, you mean.”

She huffed with exasperation at the familiar argument.

She would make an exquisite queen, Sherlock knew. Clever, bold and occasionally cruel, she would be the perfect ruler, the ideal faery to have at Sherlock’s side. Yet, it was a position Sherlock did not wish to offer and she had no desire to accept. Were it possible, he would simply give up his reign and pass it solely to her.

“You know I don’t,” Irene sighed. “There’s no arguing with you when you’re like this.”

“I can find my own way from here, thank you,” Sherlock declared and stepped around her. “I have an impatient Summer King awaiting my presence and for the sake of my throne room, I best not let him simmer too long.”

 

When Sherlock stepped into the throne room, his eyes found the Summer King immediately. Like everywhere in the palace, the room was comfortably chilled, and the Summer faery’s shoulders were just slightly curled, hunching to conserve his heat even bundled in furs as he was. His hot breath was visible with each exhale.

Sherlock glanced at the guard. “Leave us, Cian.”

With a nod, the guard left, quietly shutting the door behind him and leaving the two Kings alone. Turning to face Sherlock, the Summer King grinned, his smile warm enough that Sherlock could practically feel it against his skin. Sherlock allowed his cold expression to thaw just slightly, his eyes brightening and his lips softening.

“Ioan,” he greeted, using the faery’s old name, pronouncing it ‘Yo-anne’. With long strides, he approached the powerful source of heat in the room. “You’re early.”

“You know I hate when you call me that,” John muttered, stepping closer until only a foot separated them, the air steaming lightly between them. “First Green was yesterday, and I missed you.”

They hadn’t seen each other since Autumn, when John’s power had been fading and Sherlock’s growing. Now that it was Spring, the balances were shifting again, and Sherlock drank in the signs of John’s increasing vitality. The Summer King’s hair, dulled silver during the cold Winter months, was beginning to sprout threads of gold again; the skin peeking out of his warm clothing, too pale still, was regaining its bronzed tones.

“It’s been a long Winter,” John accused, his words billowing into the air. Sherlock inhaled deeply, pulling that damp, Summer-sweet cloud into his lungs. “Your eyes are as icy as ever, but I swear,” he pulled a hand from his coat pocket and reached up, “every Spring, when I touch you…” His burning hot fingertips brushed Sherlock’s frozen cheek, and the Winter King gasped, a shudder rippling through his body as his gaze bore into John’s, “…they melt.”

Breaking eye contact, Sherlock’s eyelids slipped closed, a nearly painful flush spreading through him. Those four points of heat disappeared and Sherlock dragged his eyes open in time to see the hand disappear back into the furs, delicate shivers shaking John’s body. Sherlock frowned.

“You are too early. You are not yet ready.”

John’s eyes flashed and settled, that quick temper flaring briefly, and Sherlock’s breath caught. A Winter faery’s anger was persistent and terrifyingly calm, but John was the embodiment of Summer, with a temper that burned hot and fast, sometimes rash and thrillingly unpredictable. John’s control was formidable, but Sherlock loved to push and poke at him until all that compressed heat exploded.

“I’m more than ready,” John promised, stilling his shivers through force of will alone. “Perhaps if we moved to more neutral territory we’d both be equally uncomfortable.” He eyed the stately throne, constructed by the court’s most skilled ice sculptor, with delicate icicles hanging from the arms and intricate snowflakes carved in the back. With a playful, mischievous glance, John blew a concentrated beam of hot air at the chair, and one of the icicles fell to the ground and shattered.

With a roll of the eyes, Sherlock whipped around, his robe billowing around him, and stalked towards the door. “If you’ll follow me this way, Your Highness,” Sherlock offered, voice mocking. “Perhaps we can find a more appropriate venue for this meeting, before you destroy my entire palace.”

Warm chuckles followed him out the door.

 

By the time they reached the small, log cottage nestled deep in the forest, Sherlock’s hands were shaking with the desire to touch golden skin. The further they walked from the palace, Sherlock’s bare feet whispering through the snow and John’s clunky mukluks thumping into the icy ground, the weaker Winter’s hold became. Eventually, John was able to shed his fur coat, his skin steaming in the cool air, and Sherlock was sweating slightly, for the first time in months.

The cottage was constructed entirely of wood and rock and cement, no iron beams or nails to deter faeries, but the combined magic of both Kings was enough to keep both Humans and fey away. Together, they pressed their palms against the thick, handle-less wooden door and, with a spark of heat and a rush of cold, the door unlocked to permit them. Inside, Sherlock made to grab John immediately, but John thrust up his furs as a shield and laughed, darting away.

“Uh-uh,” he chastised. “You know the rules.”

With a low growl, Sherlock prowled into the modest cottage and slammed the door shut behind them with a gust of icy wind. He went straight for the immense bed that filled most of the space, pulling back the dusty sheets and dumping them on the floor, knowing if they stayed on the bed they likely wouldn’t survive. As John stripped out of his mukluks and excessive layers of clothing, Sherlock grabbed a large bowl from a shelf, eyeing their collection of dead plants, and opened a window, pulling moisture from the air with a flick of the fingers to fill the bowl with clean snow, which he then placed on the bedside table. He watched as John, shirtless now, retrieved the medical kit from under the bed, checking on their supplies of frost bite ointments and burn remedies. On the other bedside table was a bottle of lubricant and a package of Human condoms, which John must have smuggled in with his coat.

Sherlock’s skin felt too tight for his frame, and impatience peaked into desperation. “John.”

Storm-blue eyes flicked up to meet his, a smile pulling John’s lips into a delicious curve. His nipples were pebbled in the cool room, his skin dimpled with gooseflesh, and Sherlock’s mouth watered with the need to taste that sun-kissed skin. With efficient movements, Sherlock shucked his light robe, baring the expanse of his pale skin to John’s hungry gaze before kneeling on the bed. Licking his lips, John abandoned the medical kit to strip himself of his remaining clothes and crawling onto the mattress as well.

For a moment, across the feathery stretch of the bed, they looked their fill, seeking out any changes they might have missed over the last several months. Faeries lived too long and too fully for monogamy to be feasible, the very idea of sharing their love and bodies with only one other an alien, Human concept, but Sherlock coveted these moments when the Summer King was all his. In the Winter and Summer, John entertained many lovers, with the casual, gleeful attitude that all summer fey had towards sex. But in the spring and fall, in those odd, in-between times, the Summer and Winter Kings shared only each other, with an enthusiasm that had nearly killed both of them on more than one occasion.

Unable to wait any longer, Sherlock shuffled forward on the bed and reached for him, remembering to pull the cold out of his hands and towards his core an instant before touching. John still hissed when Sherlock’s hands found his warm shoulders, and Sherlock shuddered as heat leached into his skin. Seizing Sherlock’s face, John crushed their lips together, the shock of heat making Sherlock’s eyes widen before he squeezed them shut, sensation overwhelming him.

Sherlock wrapped his arms around John and it felt like embracing the sun, heat pouring into him, making him feel faint. He hummed into John’s mouth, pressing against his strong torso, until he was suddenly shoved back, landing hard on the mattress. Straddling his hips, John gazed down at him with eyes that were molten blue, the colour of Summer storms and the hottest flames. His skin literally glowed with the fierceness of his joy, so beautifully bright Sherlock had to squint to look at him. Sherlock reached for him again, but John gripped his wrists tightly, searing hot manacles against Sherlock’s frigid skin.

Closing his eyes in concentration, John took several deep breaths, and Sherlock watched in fascination as his skin dimmed to its usual golden tones, waited as the heat around his wrists cooled to a bearable lukewarm. John’s erection was, flatteringly, already very eager, hard and a deep, ruddy hue. Sherlock’s own erection never flushed so deeply nor so hot, and a new wave of lust washed over him, sending a pulse of cold air out of him, causing John to shiver.

“Oh, how I’ve missed you,” John breathed and released his wrists, lowering himself to cover Sherlock’s body. Playful teeth nipped at Sherlock’s chin and throat, a hot tongue swiping over each sting until his skin felt aflame. “No matter what I do,” John murmured, nuzzling below Sherlock’s ear, “I can never get your skin to really blush.”

Gripping John’s hips tightly, Sherlock urged his pelvis to lower, grinding them together with a burst of sensation. “Perhaps you’re simply not trying hard enough.”

Planting his knees more comfortably on the mattress, John rolled his hips with a groan, sliding their erections together with a deliberate, drawn-out motion. Sherlock bit his lip as he peered over John’s shoulder, watching the muscles of his back as his spine undulated. His head fell back onto the pillow as John’s teeth sunk into his neck for a punishing bite.

John’s elbows were planted on each side of Sherlock’s head, his biceps bulging as he held himself up, his sweet, fresh, summer scent filling Sherlock’s head. Freshly cut grass, fragrant flowers and steamy raindrops on hot asphalt. His sweltering body heat made the air around them shimmer and Sherlock’s sweat sizzled everywhere John touched him.

With a gasp, Sherlock pushed against a blazing shoulder and rolled them, pushing the Summer faery into the mattress as he panted, reveling in the cool air against his skin. The flowers by the window were perking up, their stems straightening and leaves unfurling.

“Sorry,” John gasped, lying limply on the bed except for the hand that smoothed over Sherlock’s hip, a point of heat over sharp, cold angles.

“You’re enthusiasm is flattering,” Sherlock assured him with a smirk, trailing cool fingertips down his chest, plucking at his erect nipples until John bit his lip and arched his back.

“And you thought I wasn’t strong enough yet.”

With a slow curl of the lips that made John’s eyes darken, Sherlock ducked down, watching goosebumps erupt over John’s skin as he exhaled a cool breath down his flushed sternum. He skimmed the tip of his chilled nose down a quivering abdomen until golden, wiry hairs brushed his lips, and he glanced up when a muffled whimper escaped John’s tightly clenched lips. With a predatory tilt of the head, Sherlock kept eye contact and shifted until his lips hovered an inch from the Summer faery’s twitching cock, the radiating heat making his lips tingle.

“You over-estimate yourself,” Sherlock murmured, careful to let his icy breath brush across the eager member. “I’ve been holding back.” He licked his lips to moisten them, and then confidently sucked the glistening cockhead into his mouth, nearly burning his tongue. Eyes watering, he blinked hard to clear his vision, desperate to watch the way John’s face contorted, the way he shuddered as his body simultaneously tried to pull away from the cold and thrust up into the pressure. With a hum, he took more into his mouth, a nearly agonized moan tearing itself from John’s throat as hot hands found Sherlock’s shoulders.

“So cold,” John gasped, hips squirming under Sherlock’s grip. “I always forget.”

With an indelicate slurp, Sherlock pulled off to dare, “Warm me up then.” Without giving him a chance to recover, Sherlock swallowed him down again until that scorching heat tingled the back of his throat, moving with the unstoppable force of an arctic wind.

A strangled noise from John and a flash of sunlight erupted from his palms, burning into Sherlock’s shoulders with the power of a small supernova. Quickly, John reigned the light back in, but not before Sherlock’s involuntary flinch, handprint sized marks of red, irritated skin already appearing.

“Bad idea,” John warned, moving his hands to the mattress instead as Sherlock’s head bobbed between his legs. If they continued long enough, eventually Sherlock’s mouth would become warm instead of icy, his throat burning with each swallow.

“Try not to burn the sheets this time,” Sherlock muttered, and shoved his arms under John’s thighs to lift his hips, sucking a testicle into his mouth.

Digging a heel into Sherlock’s back, John made a high breathy sound, doling out insults and praise in equal measure as Sherlock’s cold face nuzzled between his legs. The air surrounding him was heady and humid, nearly dangerously so for a common Winter faery, but Sherlock delved in deeper with relish, burning his tongue as he found John’s quivering centre. The muscle clenched against the cold intrusion, but Sherlock kept at it, licking and flicking until the resisting muscle yielded to his ministrations, dilating with John’s gusty sigh.

Here, the Summer King tasted of fresh dew and clean earth, with sweet hints of honey and sap-sticky bark. It was exotic, intoxicating and Sherlock’s mouth tingled with a fresh burst of saliva.

A gentle tug of his hair. “Get up here,” John ordered, but Sherlock made a disagreeable sound, squeezing strong thighs and pulsing his tongue in and out of John’s sweltering body. For several minutes John shivered and groaned as Sherlock’s tongue fucked him, but eventually he tugged again, harder this time. “If you don’t stop,” he gasped, “you’ll burn your tongue and I haven’t kissed you enough yet.”

With one last curling swipe of the tongue, Sherlock pulled back. “You are exceptionally needy,” he complained, but squirmed out from under John’s thighs, eager to swallow the bright laughter that followed his quip.

The air around them crackled and hummed as hot and cold mixed, the warm air rising with a nearly perceptible shift of pressure. Absorbed by each other, they shared breath and eager sounds and clever tongues as they moved against each other, John’s legs spread and Sherlock’s hips thrusting slowly against his. Their wandering hands exchanged pleasure tinged with pain, as cool fingers tormented hot flesh and sweltering fingers burned cold skin.

When their undulations changed to quick thrusts, their mouths separated for air, their panting breaths mingling and fogging between them, causing the space between their faces to shimmer like a mirage. John’s lips were numb with cold while Sherlock’s were swollen and irritated, but still they moved together, both overcome by the sight of their bodies together.

John’s breath caught on a particularly twisting thrust. “Wait,” he gasped, eyelids fluttering, and Sherlock groaned, burying his face in the pillow by John’s neck and forcing his hips to slow and gentle. Stopping entirely was a feat too great for even the Winter King, and his pelvis squirmed with involuntary, shivery circles.

John twisted under him, reaching for the bedside table and, with a deep breath, Sherlock snatched the lube and condom out of his hands, shuffling further down the bed again while John lay back, chest heaving with anticipation. Wasting no time, Sherlock slicked his fingers and immediately pressed his middle and ring fingers to John’s anus, briefly massaging the muscle before pushing inwards, letting the nearly unbearable heat engulf his digits up to the second joint. In sync, they both groaned, John’s breathless tenor rasping over Sherlock’s rumbling baritone, and Sherlock let his fingers pulse, pushing them deeper with each forward thrust. John’s body accepted him easily, eagerly.

Pressing a kiss to the inside of a knee, Sherlock stretched and twisted his fingers. “You’ve been taken recently,” he stated, nuzzling against John’s skin. “Only a week ago, I’d say.”

“Six days,” John agreed, hips circling minutely, mindlessly. “A fountain of water –” his voice cracked as Sherlock skimmed his prostate, “nymphs.”

Eyes flashing, Sherlock let his teeth graze John’s thigh as he worked his index finger inside.

Ah! Sherlock!”

“You could have been drowned,” Sherlock accused, well aware of the water nymphs’ cruel humour and fondness for trickery. Head pressing back into the pillow, eyes squeezed shut, John inhaled loudly as Sherlock pressed his fingers in roughly.

“I’d just thawed their fountain,” he argued, gripping the sheets and spreading his legs as Sherlock nipped his way up a strong thigh. “They were very grateful and wished to express said gratitude.”

A thrill ran through Sherlock at the mental image, the Summer King standing in the middle of a fountain, the water churning and brushing lovingly against him as the water nymphs took form, their ever-changing bodies trickling over his skin. He imagined how they must have surrounded him, their androgynous forms writhing against him, reveling in the heat of his skin, easing their way into and around his body. “They find suffocation erotic.”

Warm fingers carded through Sherlock’s hair, nails scratching at his scalp. “They like a little risk with their lovemaking. So do I.” The hand in his hair tightened suddenly, tugging sharply and Sherlock gasped, lifting his face away from John’s skin to gaze up at his flushed face instead. “So do you.”

The heat in John’s eyes was unbearable. Sherlock quickly removed his fingers and found the condom package. It was an odd, Human device, an unwieldy piece of rubber that the Summer and Winter Kings only used for the thin layer of separation it provided, buffering the painful temperature differences between their sensitive flesh. Sherlock growled as his slick fingers fumbled the packaging, and John sat up to take it from him.

With an amused smirk, John tore open the package easily and rolled the condom onto Sherlock’s erect prick, lingering with gentles strokes and teasing brushes. Gripping John’s knees, Sherlock trembled under the onslaught, the brief swipes of heat that would be nothing compared to the inferno of John’s body. With a final trickle of lube, John slowly slicked him up, around them the air seeming to crackle with electricity.

“Stop.” He grabbed John’s wrists and pinned them to the mattress, shifting so that he restrained both hands in one of his, then used his free hand to guide his erection between John’s legs, the heat dulled through the rubber.

Wrapping his legs around Sherlock’s waist, John urged him closer with his heels, gazing up at him through heavy eyelids as Sherlock sank into him. By the time they were fully pressed together, John’s skin was glowing faintly with the power of his lust while Sherlock panted icy breaths next to his ear.

“While our relationship is politically perilous,” Sherlock muttered as they adjusted, “It is not too terribly dangerous.”

Wriggling a hand out of his grip, John pressed one finger into the muscle of Sherlock’s buttock. Brows furrowed, Sherlock looked down at John’s raised eyebrow, and then yelped as a bolt of fire jolted through his arse. His hips jerked forward as the sting faded, his erection twitching inside John’s body. “Point taken,” he gasped while John made an odd, laughing-groan type of noise.

“You can’t fool me,” he promised, to which Sherlock would have scoffed had he the breath. “I heard about your little tryst with the Wolf Kin.”

With a roll of the spine, Sherlock pulled out a bit and thrust back in, just to make John shut up. It felt unbelievably good, the air shimmering and steaming around them as their control slipped and Sherlock thrust again. The skin of John’s wrist under his palm no longer felt warm, and Sherlock quickly let go, hissing at the sight of pale, frostbitten skin where Sherlock had gripped him.

“It will heal,” John snapped, burying one hand in the hair at the nape of Sherlock’s neck while the other gripped his still stinging buttock. “Don’t stop.”

Lowering his mouth to John’s, Sherlock kissed those hot, sweet lips hungrily and let his hips snap forward, shoving his cold hands under the pillow. Under his body, the heat of Summer battered against his skin, the flowers by the window starting to twist and bloom to face the bed. Frigid air radiated off of Sherlock’s surging back, John’s hot breaths fogging visibly between them.

“We were strengthening ties,” Sherlock defended himself, enjoying their easy banter as much the writhing, sweltering body caged between his arms.

“With your cock?” John laughed, then groaned as Sherlock shoved back in, his hips squirming against the mattress. Warmed from the heat of John’s head, Sherlock pulled a hand free from the pillow to grip John’s hip and hold him firmly in place, to keep him exactly where Sherlock wanted him, open and vulnerable to each hard thrust. “How’d they make you come?” John bit out, voice uneven as he was jostled. “Not with a hand on your cock, they’re too animalistic for that. I’ve always wondered, is it true that the leader of the pack has a knot? Did he shove it in you till you screamed?”

Fuck,” Sherlock whined, grabbing John’s hips with both hands now as he picked up the pace, sitting up to improve his balance and pulling the other faery partially into his lap.

Hands pulling at the sheets, John bowed his back, his leaking, red erection jutting into the air obscenely, his heels digging into Sherlock’s back. “What was it, Sherlock?” John asked through gritted teeth, voice shattered with pleasure. “Tell me.”

Flecks of moisture were landing on Sherlock’s back, and he realized that a small blizzard had formed in the room. “They have sharp teeth,” he admitted, digging his nails in.

There was a burst of light and then the room was spinning. Disoriented, Sherlock found himself on his back on the bed with John looming over him, his skin blazing, his eyes wild and all pupil. The condom had partially come off with their sudden disentanglement, but rather than grab another, Sherlock simply plucked the thing off and chucked it to the floor.

“Leave it, I want to feel you.”

Straddling him, John pursed his lips. “It will hurt,” he warned, then quickly sunk back down onto Sherlock’s cock, his eyelids fluttering and neck elongating as he tipped his head back.

“Yes, Ioan.” The ancient, exotic syllables tasted delicious in Sherlock’s mouth, the heady scents of Summer heavy in the back of his throat. It felt like a blaze around his cock, incandescent heat, and Sherlock could not help but whimper in combined pain and pleasure.

Bracing his hands on Sherlock’s chest, John shuddered and groaned against the cold, then began a rough, rolling motion, fucking himself voraciously. The falling snow morphed into rain and Sherlock squinted, unwilling to take his eyes off of the Summer King, who was burning so brightly it hurt everywhere they touched. All the greenery in the room had bloomed and flourished, twisting vines and bursting petals reaching out towards them, while the freezing mattress crackled with their vigorous movements, ice creeping out from under Sherlock’s body. 

John wrapped a hand around his cock, revealing a blistered handprint on Sherlock’s chest, and began wanking himself quickly. Planting his feet, Sherlock thrust up into the sweltering body above him, his own hands locked in place on John’s surging hips. John’s cock was leaking heavily, drops of burning pre-ejaculate falling onto Sherlock’s stomach, and Sherlock was certain he could feel the hot bundle of John’s prostate against the tip of his erection with each thrust.

Sherlock,” John nearly sobbed, bowing his head to press his forehead against Sherlock’s collarbone. “My King, my beauty, you perfect creature.”

The rush of ice through Sherlock’s veins was unstoppable, the peak of pleasure blinding, and Sherlock tipped his head back and wailed, raindrops falling into his dry mouth. John lifted his face and buried his teeth into Sherlock’s neck, the burning agony of it a sharp kind of ecstasy, and Sherlock’s hips jerked up violently as he came. John shuddered hard as Sherlock’s freezing ejaculate pulsed into the hot cavity of his body, and then cried out into Sherlock’s neck as he too came, his muscles clamping down around the cold shaft piercing him. Burning semen spilled onto Sherlock’s tensing abdomen, steaming as it met cold flesh, and the Winter King’s eyes watered at the pain of the claiming.

Unable to bear it any longer, they scrambled away from each other, John flopping down onto the frost covered mattress with a crunching sound. They lay apart, several inches separating them as they panted, their oversensitive bodies returning to their equilibrium, chilled flesh heating and flushed skin cooling.

Their bodies were a wreck in the aftermath. Sherlock’s skin, along his inner thighs, his shoulders, his hips, and hands, was red and raw. There were blisters on his chest, his lips were stinging and John’s semen was in the process of freezing to his stomach. His cock, softening now to rest against a thigh, was aching and chafed, the sensitive skin flushed darker than was healthy for a Winter faery. John wasn’t much better, with pale, frostbitten skin around his wrists and thighs and hands, lips that were still a bit blue and a chill inside of him that would last for hours.

By the time they caught their breath, the rain and snow had stopped, leaving a thin layer of moisture on every surface. During their coupling, the plants in the room had completed months-worth of growth, fed by John’s passion.

Body aching and satisfied, a smile tugged at Sherlock’s lips, a swelling pressure building in his chest until his lungs could no longer contain it and a chuckle burst between his swollen lips. John turned his head to look at him, eyebrows raised. His nose was red with cold, and Sherlock let the laughter rumble through his chest, curling on his side to press clumsy, closed-mouth kisses to his Summer faery’s face and chest. Infected by Sherlock’s amusement, John chuckled as well, wrapping warm arms lightly around Sherlock’s shoulders. His skin was no longer so blazing hot, so Sherlock settled against him, laying his cheek against a strong shoulder.

When John’s wandering fingers grazed a blister on Sherlock’s back, the Winter faerie tensed. With an aggrieved sound, John immediately removed his hand a tried to pull away, but Sherlock tightened his hold.

“Sherlock, I need to treat –”

“No.” Sherlock curled himself further around the warm body, hitching a knee over John’s thighs. “’M fine,” he mumbled into John’s skin.

With a sigh, John relaxed into the mattress, a shiver trembling through his frame. With a grumble of annoyance, Sherlock pulled away just long enough to retrieve the duvet from the floor, adjust their positions, and drape the dry side over John’s chilled body. Settling, Sherlock pressed himself against John’s back, humming against his spine.

“One of your guards is going to come looking for you eventually,” John murmured, sounding drowsy already.

“Mm, not if they want to keep their job they won’t.”

With a muffled chuckle, the Summer King drifted into sleep, likely his last deep sleep until autumn. Breaths deep and slow, the Winter King fell into his first heavy sleep in months, the heat from John’s body sapping his strength. At the moment, they were in near perfect equilibrium.