Notes: Warnings for alcohol consumption, drug abuse, explicit sexual content, prostitution, and suicidal ideation. Also on LJ for ease of reading. Please read John’s and Mycroft’s flashbacks for full understanding.
The army doctor known as John has him pinned against the door as soon as it closes. “Where’d you learn to do that?” John asks in between fervent, reverent kisses. (The best kind.) “Basil—oh, Christ—” John’s breath reeks of alcohol. It’s nearly preferable to the underlying mustiness of their chosen motel room. “That thing with your—you know—”
“My tongue,” supplies Sherlock, squirming, amused. The drunk ones tend to be the more garrulous of his marks. “That’s the word you’re searching for.”
“Tongue, yeah. That’s it. Tongue.” John curls his own momentarily. Its flavor is less than appetizing—cheap beer, stale crisps—but Sherlock has tasted far worse on far more unpleasant people. Either way, Sherlock is of the opinion that too much importance is given to mingling tongues.
At least John seems to be having fun with it. Aspiring alcoholics are so easy to please. (And much more willing to part with their money. Sherlock has a whole family of addictions to feed.)
They’re kissing again. It’s nice to explore and discover that John routinely brushes his teeth. That makes sense: John is a trained medical doctor, of his own admission, corroborated by his details. Personality traits like cleanliness and fastidiousness tend to be obvious at first glance. Endearing traits to be sure. A welcome change of pace.
When Sherlock is tripping on this much ecstasy (among other things), he’ll accept flaws like poor hygiene if it means a more passionate partner. He’s craving only the heat, the friction, the adrenalized dissociation—the carnal rhythm that’s older than anyone knows. It will stop him from thinking like a precise blow to the head. John is tonight’s hammer, and a lucky find altogether.
“If you want to know more about me,” Sherlock murmurs in and out of the kiss, “then stay with me for a while. Maybe I’ll deign to tell you.”
“I’m not going anywhere, Basil.”
We won’t be answering questions here anymore. You know why. You’ve probably heard the news already.
It’s not worth doing without him.
At long last, John hauls himself out of bed, sore in places he didn’t know it was possible to be sore. He’s getting too old for this—“this,” apparently, meaning roughly thirty-six impossible hours in bed with his utterly insatiable flatmate. Thinking about it like that, he finds himself questioning whether the whole thing happened at all. He has to check over his shoulder to make sure Sherlock is still in bed, but he is, just there, sleeping on soundly (or pretending to), almost angelic—oh, there’s a bite mark on his shoulder, red against pale skin. Yes, it happened. It was all real.
The spell’s not quite broken yet. John wants to climb back in bed and cover that mark with his mouth, wake Sherlock up that way, grasp his hips and—no, it’s about time for them to get back to the real world now. He hates to admit it, but London needs Sherlock Holmes more than he does, and Sherlock needs him to…
Shaking his head, John pads his way to the bathroom to take a lukewarm shower. There’s something both satisfying and sad about washing the accumulated sweat and everything else off of his body. But he scrubs himself thoroughly, towels himself dry enough, pulls on his bathrobe and walks back into Sherlock’s bedroom. His clothes are upstairs, in his room. Can’t quite be bothered with clothes just yet.
Sherlock’s eyes are still closed, but, somehow, John knows he’s awake. (If he were Sherlock, he’d be able to pinpoint some telltale modulation of breath. He isn’t Sherlock.) He places his hand on Sherlock’s bare shoulder, right beside that tantalizing reminder of where his mouth used to be, and shakes him, gently. “Good morning,” he says.
It will be morning soon. Again. This time, he expects John to say “good morning” in a genuinely determined (if rough) fashion. (Gorgeous, too.) They’ve finally cooled off enough to move on. There are other things that need doing: numerous errands, all of them uninteresting. Can’t survive on Mrs. Hudson’s generosity forever.
And he has work to do. Naturally he hasn’t forgotten about the work.
His brain feels cleaned out, readjusted, recharged. Ready for more puzzles. Sex is nothing more than a part of routine maintenance. (It helped to quell his spiraling paranoia, too. Thank god for serotonin. Thank god.)
Still, leaning into John, he wordlessly asks him not to wake up just yet. This is a protective bubble of time and space that he doesn’t want to leave for a few more minutes, maybe hours. Reality is invariably cruel. Arrière-pensée. What does a “date” entail? What will they do? How much will change between them?
He kisses John’s forehead. Inhales, then hesitates. Sentiment…
He doesn’t say, I love you, even though he could. (He isn’t ready to own it.) He expects unnecessary labels would only strain their newfound arrangement. Human sexuality: complicated enough as it is. Instead, he puts his head back down and waits for John to say good morning to him.
(He will regret his indecision.)
For the second night in a row, John Watson doesn’t dream of anything.
It’s the small things, he thinks, and half-asleep still, he squeezes Sherlock’s hand.
Sada Abe, the Japanese murderess, planned for a short fling and ended up spending two weeks in bed with Kichizo Ishida. Of all the details leading up to Ishida’s grisly murder, this one perplexed Sherlock the most. Two weeks? Wouldn’t you get bored? (And what about the chafing?)
“Sherlock,” John gasps.
Perhaps he’s a little bit closer to understanding that passion.
“So,” says John, propping himself up against Sherlock’s headboard. “Would you like to, um, go on an actual date?”
Sherlock, who’s using his chest as a pillow again, blinks up at him. John has to admit that it’s strange having Sherlock looking up at him, but he thinks he could get used to it. “A date?”
“You know, go to dinner, talk…”
“We do that already.”
“Yeah, but it’d be different.”
John doesn’t really have an answer for that, thinking back on all of their post-case dinners, and the adrenaline involved, and the smiling, so he just grins. “You’re always so hard to please. Dinner, Angelo’s, tomorrow?”
“All right,” John repeats, his entire body tingling—although, as Sherlock pointed out, it wouldn’t be much different from the norm. Except it would be. Tomorrow. “Good.”
He knows it’s really all right when Sherlock leans in to kiss him again.
He believed that he was prepared for the future. One day, he believed, John would meet someone else: slim, blonde, cheerful, a bit clever, equipped with breasts and a vagina. John would fall head over heels for her. A love story befitting of a fairytale. Nothing shameful about it. No anger or confusion.
Before long, he would be invited to the wedding. He would sit through a (boring, predictable, quasi-religious) ceremony that smelled of dry-cleaned silk and calla lilies. He would eat enough and smile enough, making sure no one took pity on him. (He hates pity.) After the reception, he would go home alone and resume his life’s work. He would accept this as an eventuality. And he would (try to) be happy because John is happy. He would get on with John as he always had (or maybe he wouldn’t).
He turns over and breathes John in instead.
John initially thought that 221B Baker Street would be a temporary living arrangement. He was getting back on his feet after the war, he had only a handful of friends, no job—but he’d fix that, maybe meet a woman, maybe get married, maybe settle elsewhere in London. Quietly, surely, he’d move on.
He has fixed those things, he thinks, but it’s only been possible because of Baker Street, because of Sherlock, because of all of the things he’s seen and done. And maybe he’ll never move on. Maybe he’s already met someone. Maybe he and Sherlock can just stay right here, like this, and they’ll always solve cases like it’s Valentine’s Day of 2012, together, fulfilled.
John sees Sherlock watching him intently, as if trying to read his mind, and thinks that they’d both like that very much.
”As a matter of fact,” he says, “I’ve already got a ten in my bedroom.”
Lestrade probably won’t call him back for a while. Just as well.