To put it mildly, Sherlock Holmes is a force of nature, a madcap whirlwind of id, of flying spidery limbs and agitated coat.
John Watson is not. He is a constant of nature, a tree bending in the storm that is Sherlock, but standing straight when the storm has passed. He is the ego that minimizes damage, that says sorry to bowled over pedestrians and insulted bystanders.
Alright, maybe that's too poetic.
But, the next twenty minutes will forever be a blur in John's mind, the 20 minutes after the kiss, after the invitation, after the declaration. There was the frenetic dash, following Sherlock's coattails again, to the ticket counter. Sherlock kissing him while a flustered attendant scrambled to complete the transaction and hold the plane. Then the crazed dash back, some bullying from Sherlock to get them through check-in, and rushing past the flight crew to board. Then the confusion of trying to get people to swap seats so that they could sit together; John attempting to ignore the glares and protests of the other passengers. Because of the late purchase, John's seat was all the way in the back by the toilets. So, the person in the seat next to him was dispatched up to Sherlock's seat and at last the plane was taxiing into position for take-off.
Sherlock began tapping his fingers in agitation against his thigh. He twitched, crossed and uncrossed his legs, and gritted his teeth.
"What, are you afraid of flying?" asked John.
"I want to be kissing you and I can't with this bloody seatbelt."
John had to laugh, he really did. "It's all right. I'm not going anywhere. We're trapped on a plane for two hours. There will be time for kissing. And anyway, I can still do this," he took Sherlock's hand and slowly kissed the back, then turned it over and kissed the palm. "And this," he leant his head on Sherlock's shoulder, still holding hands. "The seatbelt light will go off soon enough."
"Not soon enough," muttered Sherlock, but he settled back and seemed content to kiss the top of John's head for awhile.
The moment the light went out, and Sherlock was watching carefully, he was sliding forward in his seat so that he could lift the arm rest and inelegantly lean in to take John's face in his hands and kiss him. It was softer than the kisses in the terminal, but more awkward as well. This was more like a first kiss; the tentative exploration, the wondering what the other is thinking, feeling; the processing of one's own emotions.
Sherlock had so little experience of this, stumbled and fumbled things in adolescence and university days. And he had dreamt of this for too long. He had dreamt of John's thin lips quirky in a smile as they leaned in together. He had dreamt of the feel of John's short hair in his hands. He had tried to calculate what would happen if… and what would happen if not... He had tracked every time John's uniqueness had nearly overwhelmed him, and every time John had defended him. And he had burned each time John didn't.
John had an experience of women which extended over many nations and three separate continents, but absolutely none with men. And what was Sherlock exactly? A man without a doubt, but mainly Sherlock, whatever that might mean at any given moment. Additionally he had been unaware or in denial of his own feelings up to a few hours previous. But John was nothing if not brave. He'd stared down the most dangerous man in England and attacked the most psychopathic. He'd invaded Afghanistan. At that moment, the feel of Sherlock's lips, Sherlock's furtive tongue darting in and out, wasn't strange or disturbing at all, partially because Sherlock was so obviously vulnerable in this and that kind of fragility brought out a need in John to protect and was damn flattering, but also because John realized that he had always been helpless in front of Sherlock, just not quite in the way he had thought.
Now that they had it, now that the bridges had been crossed or burnt to ash, there was nothing else for it but to savor each breath and gasp, each brush of lips on skin or stroke of tongue.
They only really became aware of their surroundings when there was a polite cough and the flight attendant was there with the beverage cart.
"Would you gentlemen care for a beverage?"
"Um, scotch and soda, please," said John, and Sherlock ordered a tonic with lime.
"Are you two on honeymoon? You are so adorable together," she smiled as she set their glasses down.
They glanced at each other, neither quite sure. "Sort of," John answered finally.
"Well, you have a wonderful time. I can tell you're both so in love with each other."
In love? Were they in love? Each man ran through the connotations and permutations and repercussions of that, each in their own way: Sherlock at lightning speed, running if/then cycles in his mind; John in a more a+b kind of way.
It was difficult to keep kissing with John's tray down, but Sherlock endeavored to do so anyway, until John finally had to push him away to finish his drink.
"Sherlock, it's really all right. We can pause to breathe."
Sherlock looked into his lap and back out to the aisle for a moment, brow furrowed, lips pouting.
"John, I…you don't know how long I've imagined your face looking up at mine with that look in your beautiful eyes, and I'd resigned myself to never seeing it. You can't blame me for not wanting it to stop."
"Shh…I didn't say it would stop. I said we can take a breath."
And when the drinks were done their mouths were back together, tasting of Scotch and lime. There were some comments from people using the toilet which ranged from the happily positive, to the mildly bothered to the downright disgusted which made Sherlock stiffen and John want to get up and punch someone for Harry and Clara, and now himself and Sherlock and for every other person doing what any heterosexual couple might do without comment, but they managed to tolerate it all until the flight attendants were announcing that they had to return to their forward facing positions.
At last they were landing at Edinburgh International Airport. There was the usual struggle out of the plane, compounded by Sherlock refusing to let go of John's hand, a cab ride where John had to stop Sherlock from practically climbing into his lap, and finally arrival at the much too posh Caledonian Hilton.
Sherlock kept kissing him as they checked in, pausing only long enough to answer questions and pass over a credit card. John finally managed to extricate himself long enough to ask if there was an all-night chemist in the area.
"Sherlock, I'm going to go get some toiletries."
Sherlock looked absolutely aghast for a moment and then crestfallen.
"I'm only going around the corner. Go up to the room." Warm the bed for me, John wanted to say. Be in it naked when I get back. But he didn't. Two hours of kissing Sherlock, his lover? his boyfriend? the exquisite and brilliant creature, the mad man, had left him aching, but he didn't know where all this was going. Didn't know if Sherlock knew where it was going.
The chemists was too bright, and the attendant too bored. John took a basket and grabbed a toothbrush, travel size toothpaste and deodorant, a comb, cheap razors and shaving cream. And then he hesitated but finally dashed down the proper aisle to grab a pack of condoms and a full-size bottle of lube (perfectly sized to take on a plane he noted rather wildly). They also sold socks but no boxers, so at least he'd have clean feet for Christmas.
He returned to the hotel and went up to their room. Taking a deep breath at the door he let himself in with his card, hung up his coat in the closet and walked into the main room.
Sherlock was not in bed, naked or otherwise, but rather sitting at the table dressed in purple silk pajamas with his laptop open beside him.
Sherlock looked up warily. "John, I know this has all been rather sudden and if you want to just—"
"I bought condoms and lube," John blurted. As romantic declarations go it was pretty much rubbish, but it seemed to do the trick because Sherlock was out of the chair and over to John in one stride of his long legs, whereupon he attempted to do several mutually impossible things at once. He pushed his fingers into John's hair while simultaneously trying to pull off John's jumper. He tried to fumble with the buttons on John's jeans while pulling John too close to move his hand between them. He tried to push John backwards onto the bed while still holding him upright to keep kissing. He was trembling, actually trembling with emotions, too many emotions for him to adequately register with his limited experiences as if they too were jumbling together with his contradictory actions.
"Sh'rlock, Sherlock…SHERLOCK!" John pushed him back sharply. Sherlock's face twisted into a shocked and panicked expression. John put his finger up to Sherlock's lips. "I'm not going away. I just think it might be easier if I did this myself.
John stripped off his jumper and let Sherlock help him work his shirt buttons so that their hands met in the middle and then John's shirt was off, and Sherlock thought that John's chest was better than he'd even imagined, light muscling, soft curls of hair and the war wound like a badge of honor.
Then John was quietly undoing the buttons on Sherlock's pajama top while kissing Sherlock's neck. Sherlock fumbled with the drawstring on the bottoms, succeeded in knotting it and cursed until John worked the knot loose and pulled them down over Sherlock's hips.
John drew in his breath. Sherlock didn't wear underwear for starters. His penis was hard, jutting out from his dark pubic hair. He really was quite beautiful. Long, slim, pale legs, slender hips meeting an equally narrow waist. And John needed to get out of his jeans right now. He bent to undo his shoes and couldn't resist kissing the jut of Sherlock's hipbone, causing Sherlock to gasp. Then John stood up, undid his jeans and slipped them down and off with his underpants.
He reached up and kissed Sherlock again, lovingly, then took his hand, led him to the turned down bed and eased Sherlock back into it.
Irrationally Sherlock offered "I ate the mint."
"Of course you did," John chuckled, "I don't mind."
John leant over Sherlock and kissed him, tenderly but firmly, moved his hand along Sherlock's arm, reverently along the side of his ribs, and then slipped his arm around him to pull him close. Sherlock wrapped John in his arms, sighing into the slow burn of their kiss. Their bare skin pressed together and Sherlock wrapped a leg over John's to run his foot along the backs of John's calves and thighs.
John pulled back reluctantly, "Sherlock, have you ever had sex?"
Sherlock bit his lip, "Depends on your definition. Does it matter?"
"No, not in the slightest. Let's just take this that we are both virgins from this moment on, shall we?
"I'm going to get the lube from the bag. Stay here."
"Where would I go?"
"True," John kissed him softly again.
Walking across the room naked, John was much too aware of Sherlock staring at him. He came back with the shopping bag and dropped it by the bed.
"You're beautiful, John," Sherlock whispered, "I know you don't believe it, but you are."
"And you're an idiot." John moved back into Sherlock's arms. It was amazing how this felt so comfortable, so right so quickly. How good Sherlock felt pressed against him. And, oh, how nice it felt to be kissing Sherlock's lips, tasting the edges of his mouth. And when Sherlock reached between them to stroke his aching cock, that was somewhat more than nice.
They paused to fumble lubricant into their hands and stroke each other, mouths against each other's necks, shoulders.
"Oh, God, John, I think I'm going to come."
"Yes, I've got you. Come for me." Sherlock's back arched and then he shuddered forward, coming warm and slick over John's hand, both their chests, biting his lips to keep from screaming.
He was so exquisite, so abandoned that John wasn't far behind.
For a few minutes they just held each other, letting themselves calm back down. It was too much—Sherlock was completely limp and John suddenly felt every moment of the very long Christmas Eve. John fetched a towel from the bathroom, cleaned them both up and eased Sherlock's head to his shoulder, slipping an arm around him.
Sherlock woke in the early hours of Christmas Day, startled awake by the jolt through John's body. John twitched and shuddered while he slept. That was something to remember and solve. Sherlock couldn't tell if John were dreaming nightmares—couldn't see if John's eyes were flitting back and forth beneath his lids in REM-or if it was just muscular spasms. Random lines from some barely remembered poem from school flittered back to him:
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair…
Did this mean to John what it meant to him? How could he know? Were there tests he could run? And if it didn't, then wasn't it more practical to walk away now before he was any more lost, to turn back and descend the stair?
Unanswered, the words of the poem circled in his head until at last he curled back up, hand resting soothingly on John's shoulder.
John woke in the morning and rolled over to just gaze at Sherlock in the dim light. The lovely, wild curls were fanned across the pillow. John was still naked, but Sherlock had insisted that he couldn't sleep without pajamas, so he was dressed; the vibrant purple silk setting off his pale skin, long fingers clutching at the sheet. This is mine, thought John. This is mine now. Well, no, Sherlock was still Sherlock, but this view, this exposure was for him alone. Sherlock opened his eyes and smiled.
It was supposed to be a chaste kiss, a good-morning kiss, a Happy Christmas-I'm happy to be here with you kiss, but Sherlock's mouth opened beneath his and suddenly it was an I'm desperate for you kiss, I want to taste you all over kiss, a don't stop for anything kiss. Morning breath and scratch of stubble be damned.
It was going to take too long to undo all those buttons. This time it was John shaking as he undid just enough to pull it off over Sherlock's head. Sherlock lifted his hips and John slid the pajama bottoms off and settled himself between Sherlock's legs, their cocks rubbing together.
John kissed him, a little more slowly, then moved his mouth along Sherlock's jaw bone, down the long neck, not really kissing, not really licking, lips skimming skin until he reached the collar bone, the narrow shoulder. He kissed then, mouth open, letting himself suck fiercely, knowing he was marking that pristine skin. Sherlock pushed him up so that they could fit together better, then it was Sherlock's mouth on his skin, his scared shoulder, across his chest.
John slid down, stopping Sherlock's kisses, to move his mouth over Sherlock's stomach, along the bottom of those sharply delineated ribs, tsking at how thin Sherlock was. He nuzzled into the concave space of Sherlock's hip. Now was the moment. The moment that would show if John could actually do this—move forward. He didn't really hesitate. It was too remarkable. Sherlock was too tremulous in his need. John ran his mouth over the head of Sherlock's penis. Sherlock shuddered and let out a cry. His hands touched John's head tentatively, then more firmly, fingers in blonde hair as John took more into his mouth, adjusted to the sensation, the taste, and reveled in it. This is wonderful, thought John. This, Sherlock coming undone, this was the most piercing thing he'd ever experienced.
He moved his mouth away and Sherlock whimpered, until John kissed his way back up to Sherlock's mouth. After a deep kiss he leaned in to whisper in Sherlock's ear, "I want to be inside you. Tell me that you want it."
"Yes, yes, I want it," Sherlock moaned.
"Shh…" John moved back down. He found the lube by the bed and slicked up his fingers. Taking Sherlock's penis back in his mouth, he delicately eased a finger inside, startled at the tightness, as Sherlock's body clenched around him. He worked like that for seemingly ages, sucking tenderly while he eased in two more fingers and moved them to touch the prostate causing Sherlock's hips to buck frantically.
"John, I can't…oh!"
And Sherlock was coming in his mouth, practically wailing as the orgasm hit him and he convulsed. John sat back, letting Sherlock calm down, but didn't remove his fingers, murmuring soothing nonsense until Sherlock seemed to collapse, all tension leaving his body except where he was tight around John's fingers. Only then did John slowly remove them while kissing Sherlock's stomach again. He wiped his fingers and fumbled for the condoms where they'd been dropped the night before.
"Do we really need…?" murmured Sherlock, "I was checked six months ago and I know that you are fastidious. Besides, you shouldn't have been doing what you just did without one."
"I never thought you'd be lecturing me on safe sex, but no, you're right. If you don't mind, I don't mind."
Sherlock's eyes were avid, "I just want you to do something. Soon!"
Tossing the box onto the floor John murmured, "Greedy," but he moved back into position between Sherlock's legs, slicked himself thoroughly and pushed in as he kissed Sherlock hard, pressing his tongue into Sherlock's mouth to catch Sherlock's gasp. Oh, God, it was tight. More intense than anything he'd ever experienced and added to it, the unbelievable thought, this is Sherlock, I'm making love to Sherlock and it's more lovely than I could ever have imagined.
"Is it ok? Sherlock, is it ok?"
"Better than ok. It's perfect, just perfect."
"Alright." John began to move, slowly at first, shallow thrusts until Sherlock was wrapping his legs around him to pull him closer and begging, "More, faster! God, John, don't torment me."
"If I…move faster…I'm going…"
"Yes, yes! Good."
And with only a few more powerful, deep thrusts he was coming, crying out as he came. His arms trembled and he collapsed heavily onto Sherlock's chest.
They lay like that for awhile. Sherlock tracing arcane patterns across John's back until John had to separate them with a regretful little sigh. He rolled over onto his side so that he could still stay in Sherlock's arms.
"It was ok, wasn't it? You don't hurt? You'll tell me if you do, right?"
"Are you my lover or my doctor?" Sherlock chided.
"Think of me as your lover who knows enough to worry."
"It's fine, John. You were wonderful and considerate, everything I could have hoped for. And more…
"Oh, Doctor," Sherlock added in a simpering tone, "I think I may need another injection."
John punched him in the side. "I didn't have you pegged as the dreadful sexual innuendo in bed type."
"You didn't have me pegged as the in bed type at all."
"True. Would you like me to peg you in bed?"
"Now who's making dreadful puns?"
Sherlock paused again before going on, tone more serious, "This is the best Christmas I've ever had, John."
"I'm sorry I didn't get you a present, after you got me that player."
"Do you really like it?"
"I love it. And the music is beautiful. You play beautifully when you want to. You are beautiful. Kiss me again."
And they did. Leisurely this time, soft and gentle.
"Oh, I did get you a present!" John cried suddenly, leaping from the bed to grab his phone from his jeans pocket. He proudly held out the picture to Sherlock.
"Oh, my dear God," gasped Sherlock laughing. "I have to say that for once, Mycroft has surprised me. But not as much as you have. We must print out hard copies as soon as possible—maybe the hotel has a business center. Mycroft could probably get it off of your phone or even a computer. Sometimes hard copies are the very best thing."
"But first, as your doctor and your lover and your friend, when was the last time you ate?"
Sherlock scrunched up his face for a moment, "Definitely Thursday night, with you."
"Right, breakfast. I wonder if anything is open."
"Room service, on Mycroft, and we don't have to get dressed."
"Ah, alright then. What shall we have?" John got the hotel menu and settled back into bed.
"Waffles? Do you like waffles? With strawberries?"
Sherlock sniffed, "Of course with strawberries. And whipped cream." He gave John a look that suggested that it was impossible for waffles to come without strawberries and whipped cream.
"What about eggs? You should have more than just carbs and sugar. They have Eggs Benedict."
"Hollandaise is disgusting. Dreadful texture."
"Really? Never had it. What about Omelet du Fromage?"
"Fine," Sherlock waved a hand as if the whole conversation had become boring.
John ordered everything with a pitcher of orange juice, a pitcher of coffee and a pot of tea, far too much, but he couldn't make a decision.
He stretched, disentangling himself from Sherlock's grasp, "I'm going to take a shower before the food comes."
Sherlock got up on his knees on the edge of the bed to kiss him, cradling John's head in his hands.
"You know," John laughed, "You're even taller this way."
"Does it bother you?" asked Sherlock, but he dropped back down to rest on his calves.
"No, it's just different. I mean, I'm used to being short, but not to barely coming up to my lover's shoulder. But then, all of this is different. Good, but different.
"And if you keep sitting there looking like that, all naked, I'm not going to get to my shower and the food person is going to find us in a very compromising position."
Sherlock smirked and then looked feral for a moment. "You know I never worry about social conventions."
"Yes, but I do, because it's courteous, something you're not. Put on a dressing gown and try not to shock them."
In the bathroom, John studied himself in the mirror. He had red marks across his chest, teeth marks, scratches. He couldn't remember being this passionate with any lover before. But then no other lover had been Sherlock Bloody Holmes. He did feel like a virgin, everything new again. So, he was gay then? No. Bi? No…Sherlocked? Good as any definition for now.
I have been mocked by Sherlock
And even cold-cocked by Sherlock
But now I am shocked by Sherlock
And even my world is rocked by Sherlock.
My God, I'm going mad, he thought, AND going gay, making up show tunes.
He turned the water up high and hot and stood under it for awhile, letting his mind wander. Twenty-four hours before he'd been sitting in Angelo's cursing Sherlock's name. And five hours before that he'd been frantic to find a present for Sherlock. Now he was here in some expensive hotel in Edinburgh of all places, on Christmas Day, lethargic from some of the best sex he'd ever had, cock twitching still at the thought of Sherlock's long, sculptured body and full mouth, but even more at all that desire directed at him from a man he'd thought untouched by such mortal things.
As he was toweling his hair he heard the hotel staff knock and come in with the food.
John thought about what the room looked like, sheets pulled out and kicked into heaps at the foot of the bed, clothes left where they dropped, condom box on the floor and lube bottle on the bed. It seemed rather absurd to be bothered about it when he'd snogged Sherlock in front of at least a dozen cameras in Heathrow not to mention a crowd of people and everyone on the plane, but that was different than leaving signs of wild sex around. He hoped to God that Sherlock had put something on before he answered the door.
Eventually everyone would have to be told. Mycroft most assuredly knew. Matchmaker, Mrs. Hudson who'd been expecting this since day one, Sarah and assorted other girls notwithstanding. Harry.
He came out wrapped in a towel to find Sherlock sitting on the bed in one of his many silk dressing gowns holding a bottle of champagne.
"You ordered champagne?"
"No, Mycroft sent it"
"So he's not having me killed then?" He took the bottle from Sherlock and studied it. He didn't recognize the name or anything about it. It just felt expensive.
Really, really expensive.
"Sherlock, do you know how much this cost?"
"A lot, I should imagine. Mycroft does have good, if boring taste."
"Please tell me if I'm holding the price of a car or just one month's rent in my hands."
Sherlock looked at John's face, "Car…small car, used, not very new, barely working."
"Oh, God." John set the bottle back in the bucket reverently.
"I shouldn't have told you. Now you're thinking we should sell it or invest it or something equally daft. But I don't like champagne for breakfast."
"Well, we could make Mimosas, but that sounds so—" John realized he was going to say gay, which was rather Neanderthal of him even before his change in circumstances. He tried again, "Sorry I'm so plebian as to be overwhelmed by something that is clearly so mundane."
"I didn't really grow up like this, you know. Mycroft is much wealthier than the family."
"Will you tell me about 'the family?' Will I meet them?"
Sherlock looked withdrawn for a moment, "Perhaps. Later."
John started to pull his jeans on (without boxers—two hours of leaking pre-come into them did not make them very pleasant the day after, thank you).
"Don't put your jeans on. That's so uncomfortable. And hard to remove…" Sherlock had that feral look again.
"Yes, well, I don't want to sit around in only a towel."
"Then what will you wear?"
"There's another set in my bag."
"You brought two pairs of pajamas? How long were you planning to stay?" John asked as he rummaged in a case stuffed with far too many clothes to find a navy set identical to the purple ones that Sherlock had worn.
"A few days."
"And you need two pairs of pajamas, silk pajamas, and a dressing gown? Speaking of, I've always wondered where you get your clothes budget."
John pulled on Sherlock's pajamas which, while fitting semi-well around, since Sherlock liked his pajamas baggy and John was actually pretty trim himself, were far too long in the legs and the sleeves. He rolled up the sleeves but couldn't figure out how to hold up the bottoms as they simply slid down again when he rolled them up.
"Trust fund," said Sherlock kneeling at John's feet to roll the pants up in a sort of pegged way, as one might roll pants to ride a bicycle. The position revealed far too much of Sherlock's leg and John hoped that Sherlock hadn't had to kneel in front of the hotel staff.
"You spend your trust fund money on clothes but not on rent for your own flat? I can't believe that your parents set up a trust fund solely to keep you in quality clothes."
"Actually it's a trust fund that Mycroft set up. I won a bet and now I buy my clothes out of it. I find it amusing to spend as much money as possible, although sometimes I just can't be bothered. Going to the tailors, picking out fabrics, things like that. Boring. Not worth it even to spite him."
"How much do you usually spend per year?" John moved over to the food trolley to explore the options.
"Oh, I don't know. About 5,000 pounds I should think."
John almost dropped the silver lid he was holding. "You spend. Five THOUSAND pounds. On clothes. Per YEAR? I doubt that everything I own would come to 5,000 pounds."
"Oh, I'm quite sure of that. Perhaps we'll do something about that this year."