Not mine, no money, no sue.
A Mile in His Shoes
John felt he was getting better at this. He would walk into the crime scene, rattle off some deductions, and leave, Sherlock trailing. When he missed one clue, or more, (or, in fact, all the important ones), he would spot Sherlock looking significantly and surreptitiously at say, the victim's left shoe, and he would study it further. And then Sherlock would berate him in the cab home.
This time, it was actually easier. John thought he'd only missed maybe a couple (perhaps living in Sherlock's head for a month had done it) and was feeling slightly pleased with himself. That is, until he saw a sleek black car pull up outside the yellow tape and a carefully combed dark head exit from the other side.
"Sherlock," he hissed, nudging the man next to him. Sherlock nodded his sandy head, eyes grim.
"I see him. We cannot do this here. Intercept him and get him back into the car." Sherlock looked sidelong at the Yard's finest, scurrying busily around the scene like so many blue-suited ants. "He's lost a little weight – trying a new diet, no doubt," he sneered.
"Come on," John said under his breath, and they moved to where Mycroft Holmes stood leaning casually on his ubiquitous umbrella, waiting.
"Sherlock, you're looking well," he said smoothly as they neared. "Trying something a little different with the hair, are we?"
John still couldn't manage the curly hair. "And you've lost weight. New diet?"
Mycroft smiled thinly. "I need to talk to you."
"I'm busy," John said shortly.
"And Doctor Watson, a pleasure as always," Mycroft continued as though Sherlock hadn't spoken. "I do hope my brother is treating you well. You seem tired."
"I'm fine," Sherlock said in a close approximation of John's habitual resigned exasperation when it came to the elder Holmes. "Can we get on with this?"
John sighed. "Not here," he said. "Into your car."
"Very well," Mycroft inclined his head, and genteelly opened the shiny black door for them. "After you, Doctor Watson, Sherlock."
"You can call me John, you know. I more or less recognise the name," said Sherlock in irritation. Dear god, but his brother was grating.
"Apologies. John. If you would?" And Mycroft gestured to the open door. John threw Sherlock a quizzical look, before sighing and clambering into the luxurious leather interior, Sherlock on his heels. Mycroft circled the car and entered from the other side, sitting facing them in the tinted light.
Mycroft tapped the adjoining window to the driver with the handle of his umbrella, and the car started up. John watched the crime scene pull away with a sinking feeling.
"I need your help," Mycroft began.
"So what else is new," Sherlock grumbled, and Mycroft gave him a puzzled glance.
"I'm sorry, Doc-John, but I am talking to my brother," he said, politely but with a hint of firmness. Sherlock rolled his eyes and John could see the fingers of his hands twitching as though for a violin.
"What do you want, Mycroft," John said in as bored a tone as he could manage.
Mycroft gave him an approving look. "There is an… ambassadorial situation," he began in that delicate way of his. "A man with diplomatic immunity has been, shall we say, abusing it."
"And you want proof," Sherlock said, leaning forward. John was alarmed to see his fingers steeple beneath his chin. Mycroft's eyes flicked to him.
"Yes," was all he said, and his eyes showed no change, but somehow John knew the man was suspicious.
"Details," John asked, still striving for that bored tone. "Have you any? Surely you've enough minions and lackeys without resorting to me to do your homework for you. Or have you too many assassinations, land wars and coups in your to-do pile?"
Mycroft sighed theatrically. "Don't be trite, Sherlock. Will you do it?"
"And why should I?" John crossed his arms. And then remembered (shit) and uncrossed them hurriedly, but the damage was done. Mycroft's expression was carefully, blandly blank. His long fingers toyed absently with his umbrella.
"Because I am asking nicely, Sherlock. You've not done any large cases in the last month or so, and no doubt you are bored. Besides, I will pay you. Or rather, our grateful government will pay you. What do you say… Sherlock?"
John raised his eyebrows, and said nothing, hoping against hope that Sherlock might give him a clue as to how to proceed. His interest was obvious, but his rivalry with Mycroft was too ingrained… John had no idea what to do.
And somehow, damn those bloody Holmes powers of deduction, Mycroft spotted it.
"You are not my brother," he said softly, dangerously.
John swallowed. "Mycroft…"
Suddenly there was a blade at his throat. John froze. The shank at the tip of Mycroft's umbrella had slid off, and there was a vicious-looking dirk within, pressed dangerously against John's borrowed carotid.
Only a Holmes would have a fucking umbrella sword, he thought, a little hysterically.
"Who are you and what have you done with my little brother," Mycroft snarled, eyes blazing.
John tried to swallow again, but the pricking against his throat stopped him. His mouth was very, very dry. This was the man who worried constantly – and John now saw how true that was.
And so could Sherlock, John realised with a jolt, and his eyes sought out the other person in the car.
Sherlock was open-mouthed and staring, but when John's eyes meet his, he snapped out of it. "Stop it. Mycroft, stop it, it's me. Here. That's John."
Mycroft didn't move. After a beat, he said, "I beg your pardon?"
"I'm Sherlock. The person you are about to skewer is John. And that umbrella is the most tacky thing I have ever known you to own, which is saying something as you once owned a pair of cufflinks in the shape of hearts. When you were eleven. You have never told anyone."
John took advantage of Mycroft's distraction to clap his hands around the long but slender blade and snap it off.
"I," he panted at Mycroft, "really, really hate knives being pointed at me. Had enough of that, thanks. Don't do it again."
Sherlock gave John an impressed look. "How on earth did you know to do that?"
"Samurai films," John said, still slightly out of breath. "I keep telling you there's something to be gained from popular culture."
Sherlock pulled a face. "Boring."
"It is not. And leave my gun alone."
Mycroft's eyes were very wide. "Ah, apologies, Doctor Watson," he said to John. His voice, normally very smooth and assured, was strained and shaky.
"John," said John firmly, catching Sherlock's eyes, and suppressing a grin. "I more or less recognise the name."
The grin was suppressed for all of two more seconds, before the pair burst into laughter. John felt fantastic. His heart was racing, his life had just been threatened, and he was making dreadful jokes with his best friend in front of the spookiest Spook he'd ever known. It was glorious. Their laughter died down until John was chuckling softly and Sherlock was sniggering at Mycroft's face. "Ahhh," John sighed out the last of it, "sorry, Mycroft, couldn't resist. It's been a… bit of a weird month."
"How have you done this?" Mycroft had regained quite a bit of his poise, and was now leaning elegantly over his clasped hands. "It's… extraordinary."
"Beats me," John shrugged. "Sherlock was following Moriarty, being a right prat about it too, risking his bloody life without me, next thing I know there's an ancient Welsh pendant that grants wishes in the middle of our fight and I wake up right-handed and a head taller with bloody impossible curly hair."
"Pendant," said Mycroft musingly. "An ancient Welsh pendant. And you found this where?" he turned to Sherlock, who scowled.
"An abandoned warehouse near the power station. I followed a series of numerically coded locations found in the email orders to Horace Erlish, one of Moriarty's lesser 'clients'. The pendant was in the safe."
"It was unlocked?" John asked in surprise, and then felt foolish as both Sherlock and Mycroft gave him matching withering looks. "Okay, fine, so it wouldn't matter if it were. You two are all kinds of wrong, you know that?"
"The warehouse was abandoned," Sherlock continued, ignoring John, "but had been used to store goods in the extremely recent past. Contraband, I suspect, as the remains of crates were still present, and any and all shipping markings were painted over. So someone doesn't wish others to know where those goods are coming from."
"Arms?" Mycroft pressed, and Sherlock's tawny brow knitted.
"Possibly," he admitted. "The crates, when reconstituted, certainly would have been large enough for a shipment of various kinds of weapons."
"So," Mycroft pressed one finger over his lips. "A dead end. A trap. And a clue that turns out to be a Trojan horse, which puts you, effectively, out of action." He tapped his lips, thoughtfully. "Only you've not stopped, have you?" His eyes, darker than Sherlock's, darted between them. "Only slowed somewhat."
"He is not stopping me, and only an idiot would try to stop John," said Sherlock bluntly. John smiled at him, and Mycroft shuddered delicately.
"You have no concept of how odd it is to see Sherlock smile, especially with myself in the room," Mycroft murmured. "Disconcerting, to say the least."
Sherlock scowled at him. "We can still work," he said sharply, "returning to the point here."
"So you'll take on the job," Mycroft said. It wasn't a question. "Good. I will send the details to 221B. Don't lose them."
"Oh, please," Sherlock scoffed.
"This… pendant," Mycroft then said slowly. "Do you still have it?"
"Yes," said John, just as Sherlock said "no." Mycroft beamed.
"Thank you, John," he said warmly. "Would you like my people to take a look at it?"
"Your people will end up inside each other's heads, or worse," Sherlock retorted. "This is not a weapon or a likely spy tool, Mycroft. This… is hard. And we have no idea whether we may ever change back again."
John met Mycroft's hooded, concerned eyes, and he nodded once, then sighed and leaned back into the soft black leather. "Sherlock has had to cram best part of a medical degree into his spare time, go to work, and research whatever the hell has happened to us," he explained quietly. "And me…"
"What John isn't mentioning is that I have also had to deal with people as one of them, as god forbid, normal," Sherlock growled. "Everyone wants to talk to John. Everyone wants to confide in him. People need to bond with him, they want his advice. He's pulled and pushed everywhere by others, it's utterly intolerable."
Mycroft looked vaguely horrified. John felt he was being insulted, somehow.
"And me," he continued with a dark glare at them both, "I have had to put up with no-one ever talking to me, with being incredibly lonely, with being insulted half a dozen times daily, with learning frankly appalling mannerisms, with rampant nicotine addiction, and finally with pretending to be a maladjusted genius who knows everything about everybody, when I'm making half of it up on the spot."
Mycroft now looked falsely sympathetic, and John knew he, as with Sherlock, saw absolutely nothing wrong with that scenario. He growled, and his head thudded back against the chair. "You're both impossible."
He was answered with matching smug expressions, one on a pale, urbane, dark-haired face and one on an impish, weathered face under sandy hair. "It would have worked a lot better when you still looked alike," John told them spitefully.
"I do not look like Mycroft," Sherlock spluttered.
"He's far too unpolished," sniffed Mycroft.
"He's far too fat," Sherlock retorted.
"Stop it," John said wearily. "Just, stop. Now."
There was a pause. And then –
"I do not look like that pompous overstuffed spider."
"Sherlock! I'm warning you…"
"Oh, what will you do, run to Mummy? That's always been your style…"
"At least I have style, you spoiled little idiot."
"Spoiled? Those cufflinks were diamond."
"They were a present for not correcting the examiners! Father said so!"
"Well, what about you, Mr Oh-thank-you-Father-and-Mummy-for-the-lab-in-the-o ld-servants'-quarters?"
"What about it?"
"They were two stories high, Sherlock."
"Well, I fixed that."
"Yes, they're now the second wine cellar, aren't they?"
"Stop," moaned John.
Another pause. And then –
"You see. You see what you're doing to John."
"What I'm doing to him?"
"You'd think you'd have a bit of consideration, Sherlock. The man's obviously been through hell, pretending to be you."
"At least he didn't have to pretend to be you. There's only so much the man can take, after all."
"And you, of course, would know how much the man can take."
"And what do you mean by that, pray?"
"Oh, please stop being obtuse, Sherlock, it's utterly enervating."
"Please!" shouted John, fisting his hands against his knees. There was another, deliberate silence.
"My apologies," said Mycroft – and to his credit, the smoothness of his voice did actually suggest remorse.
"I'm sorry, John," was what Sherlock said, and then refused to meet his gaze.
John closed his eyes and waited for the pause to end as before, but neither brother began their bickering again. When he opened them, Mycroft was looking strangely at Sherlock, whose ears had gone very red.
The car dropped them off at 221B Baker Street, and Mycroft surprisingly followed them up the stairs into the cluttered room. He spotted the pendant on the mantelpiece, and nodded towards it.
"Don't touch it!" John and Sherlock barked in unison. Mycroft raised his eyebrows in slight rebuke, and then wriggled the fingers of one gloved hand pointedly.
"It will not be my fault if you end up in the head of an even fatter fool," Sherlock said caustically. John waved his hand in a 'do as you please' dismissal, and went to the kitchen to put on the kettle. Two seconds later, he was cursing the lack of milk, and had thrown Sherlock's coat back on to go down to Tesco's, citing 'five minutes!'
"Have you told him," Mycroft said in a low voice, the minute the door shut behind John.
Sherlock flopped into John's chair. "Told him what?"
Mycroft tilted his head at his brother, who was fidgeting slightly. "You have never been able to blush before, Sherlock, and thus you cannot control it at all. Your ears are red again."
"Damn things," Sherlock muttered.
"So, have you told him?" Mycroft pressed.
"Told. Him. What," Sherlock grated.
"You apologised to him, Sherlock," said Mycroft gently, and Sherlock's blue eyes skidded away.
"Yes," he said quietly.
"Why him, and no-one else?"
"Because…" and Sherlock's thin lips tightened slightly.
Sherlock's eyes snapped back to his brother, and he glared as he said, "Because he's John. Because no-one else is John. Satisfied?"
"And have you told him?"
Sherlock sighed, looking at his hands. "No. I won't need to."
Mycroft leaned back in Sherlock's usual chair. "Oh?"
"He knows I don't apologise to anyone, either. He will realise this in, oh, about six minutes time whilst waiting in line to pay for the milk. It will occur because he will be musing on your unusual reactions to our predicament, and to the apology. He will drop the milk as he realises what it meant… what it means."
"So there have been other clues," Mycroft tapped his fingers on his crossed knee. "You have been getting careless."
Sherlock scowled. "This is not an area in which I feel you are qualified to make any sort of criticism."
"Touche. Now, why?"
"You know what the word means. It's your livelihood, sad as it is. Why John?"
"Stop cross-examining me, Mycroft."
"I don't see why I should stop. After all, I need to know if my little brother is sure of what he is doing."
"I have no idea," Sherlock admitted. "But then, I've not begun anything."
"I beg to differ," Mycroft smiled like a shark. "Why John? He's nothing out of the ordinary."
"No," said Sherlock moodily.
"Nor especially intelligent."
"No," Sherlock said again, even more morose.
"A thoroughly normal man, in fact."
"Thank you for pointing that out," Sherlock muttered darkly.
"But this is the man Sherlock Holmes finally falls in love with," Mycroft shook his head and tutted theatrically, hoping for a reaction.
His volatile little brother didn't disappoint, standing suddenly and storming over to grip the windowsill, staring out at the dull grey day. "He is and he's not, he's the most boring, pedestrian, ordinary, mundane, dull, wonderful, brave, loyal, clever… And his sister thinks he is in love with me, or perhaps other way around, and he is bisexual, and can run all day and night, he shot a man for me, he can barely move one arm above his head, he can't reach the tea and he never complained, and he is covered, Mycroft, peppered with scars that he never speaks about, and he listens to me and is always surprising me."
Sherlock gave his wry half smile, looking into reflected blue eyes. "He surprises me. I thought that was close to impossible, he does it effortlessly. I didn't even know I was alone until I met him. And I hurt him, and he has forgiven me. Even forgiven me this," and Sherlock gestured to his reflection, the reflection of John.
Mycroft stood silently, and came to place a hand on his brother's heaving shoulder, feeling a welter of scar tissue under the soft old jumper. "You're wrong, Sherlock," he said quietly. "You do know what you're doing."
Sherlock nodded brokenly, and his forehead tipped against the cold glass.
"And his sister is right," Mycroft added. "He loves you."
The shoulder hitched a little. "Why?" came the bitter question, "Why does he? Why would he?"
"Maybe you can ask him yourself," came a low baritone from the door, and Mycroft whipped around to see John propping himself up on the frame with a hand as he panted slightly, trying to catch his breath. "You idiot," John added fondly.
Sherlock had frozen under Mycroft's fingers.
"Ah, I'll leave you now," Mycroft said diplomatically, glancing at John's shoes as he squeezed the shoulder once more, and was amused to see splatters of milk on the toes. Some things, at least, did not change.
Once the door had shut behind Mycroft, John turned back to where Sherlock had the windowsill in a death-grip. "Sherlock," he prompted gently. "Look at me, please."
Sherlock let out a strangled noise, and unclenched his hands from the sill, turning to his… friend? His John. Yes.
"How can you think I don't love you," said John in a hard whisper, his voice rasping.
"I am not… loveable," said Sherlock stiffly.
"Believe me when I say you are," said John flatly.
"Why?" Sherlock asked, just as flatly. John blew a gust of breath between his teeth and flopped down on the sofa, studying his – Sherlock's – narrow hands.
"Just… believe me, Sherlock," John said seriously. "You are. Very. Very, very loveable."
Sherlock placed one scarred hand over John's. "Tell me why. I need to know."
John folded the hand between his, toying absently with the fingers. "I was angry, you know?" he said eventually.
"I know." Sherlock sat beside him on the couch and watched his hand being turned over and squeezed. "You wanted to move out."
John shook his head, curls bouncing. "No, not really. I was furious with you for all the reasons I said, but there was the reason I didn't, couldn't tell you." John took a very long, shuddering breath. "I have been in love with you, really in love with you, since the moment you said to Mrs Hudson I'd take the upstairs room, because a man at the door said so. And he handed me my cane, and you actually smiled at me. This big smile, all pride in me and yourself and what we'd just done. And even after telling me 'married to my work' and all, and I… fell."
Sherlock was very still. "That was the second day. The second day we'd known each other."
"Right," John smiled wryly. "I know."
"All these months, then."
"Right again. Are you a detective or something?" John nudged him, still smiling.
Sherlock nudged him back, feeling his own mouth beginning to tilt upwards. "Tell me why, John."
"You just want to hear nice things about yourself," he said in a mock-accusatory manner.
"Always," sniffed Sherlock. "Anyway, you heard me babbling embarrassingly in front of Mycroft. I may never live down the ignominy. So return the favour. Why?'
"You're like a terrier or something," John muttered. "Okay then. But I'm not very good at saying this sort of thing."
"And you think I am?" Sherlock's eyebrows shot up. "John, maybe you don't really know me all that well."
"Oh, shut up," John said, threading his fingers between Sherlock's shorter ones. It made the scar on his palm pull, but not uncomfortably. John took a deep breath, and looked full into Sherlock's face, the sudden eye contact jarring and almost unbearably intimate. "You are the most ridiculous, insane, impossible, overbearing, lazy, rude, selfish and utterly wonderful man I have ever met. You make me feel alive in a world that feels dead to me."
Sherlock couldn't look away, though all his instincts wanted him to. He'd asked for this, repeatedly, and now it was nearing too much for him. He stared, dry mouthed, as John scooted closer to him on the couch, and took his other hand.
"You believe that your mind is the only thing about you worth a damn. You're wrong. You believe that I'll get tired of you. Wrong again. I could run after you forever. You fixed it so I could. I want to kill anyone who ever tries to hurt you. In fact, I probably will. You're the most lost person I know, and yet you're a leader, you lead everyone around you – you've got a gravitational pull the size of the planet – oh yes, and you wouldn't know that because you only study the things you need. And so sometimes, when a clue is pop culture or, say, the solar system, I can help you for once. And you look at me like… like I'm amazing." John shook his head slightly, the fingers tightening a little on Sherlock's. "Like I'm the only one in the room. And it makes me wish I were."
Sherlock stared helplessly at John.
This went on until John obviously became a little worried he'd said the wrong thing, or too much, or not enough, and he prompted, "Sherlock? Are you… sorry, I told you I wasn't very good at this sort of oomph!"
For at the last, Sherlock hurled himself forward into John's arms, and glued his lips to the doctor's. There was evidently a moment of shock, before John's eyes slid shut and he wrapped his arms around the now-smaller man.
Sherlock's head and heart were racing. How had he missed it? Since the second day, since and you invaded Afghanistan. John, John, oh, John.
John's lips were moving, soft and syrupy on his, and Sherlock blinked, before his eyes fluttered closed. That feltwonderful. He tried to mimic the motions, and was rewarded with a groan from deep within John's chest. Kissing was not Sherlock's strong point – none of his partners had ever wanted to kiss him. It seemed he might have trouble getting John to stop.
And now John was opening his mouth on Sherlock's and a tongue pressed into his, and danced slowly and seductively along his own. Sherlock felt a moan escape him, but simply couldn't find it in him to be embarrassed at it. This was marvellous, John was obviously a intellect of far greater magnitude than he had ever given him credit for.
Then John pulled back. "This is weird."
"No it's not," Sherlock snapped breathlessly. "Now continue."
"No, it's weird. I'm kissing my own lips, here..." John gestured uncomfortably at the face Sherlock was wearing. Sherlock lifted that one eyebrow sardonically.
"Are you in any confusion as to who I am?" he said pointedly.
John scrunched his nose. "Well, no."
"And I am similarly clear on who is kissing me. Who was kissing me, at least, and doing it damned well, and has for some inexplicable reason decided to bloody well stop. Now, if you're over your little moment of existential crisis, maybe you could do that thing with your tongue again?"
John laughed helplessly. "You are completely impossible."
"And you just said you love it. So shut up and kiss me again. I want to know how you did that tongue thing."
It was so Sherlock, so completely him. John laughed again at the utterly Sherlockian expression of impatience on his own lined face. No matter which body he wore, Sherlock was always going to be completely and totally himself.
And that was fine.
Sherlock groaned with satisfaction as John's mouth locked back over his, and John's tongue danced and writhed against his own once more. A long-fingered hand was now smoothing down the rumpled jumper, along his shoulder and then down his ribs to rest possessively on his hip, just over another scar. Sherlock grasped John's head and tilted his own, attempting to deduce the most pleasurable aspect of their mouths meeting. John let out a truly undignified noise, and he felt the long body almost melt against him, the hand on his hip tightening to an edge of pain that was just perfect.
Sherlock used the leverage he had to slowly, so slowly, lean back onto the couch, bringing John with him so their bodies lay flush against each other, lanky and compact, John's longer frame a pleasant weight on top of him.
"Sherlock," John said huskily, mouthing at Sherlock's ear, "God, I love you."
Sherlock couldn't say it back, not at all, but he grasped John's head even more firmly and pressed their foreheads together, and John seemed to get the message. A quirked smile that really belonged on another face graced John's lips, before he dove forward and claimed Sherlock's again. Sherlock gasped into John's mouth, and he could feel the hard length of John pressed against his hip. He wanted more.
"Wait," he managed, pulling away from John," Stop. Bedroom. Now."
John's eyes suddenly smouldered, and he rose in one movement and held out his hand to pull Sherlock up. Together they fumbled, kissing, towards the downstairs bedroom, knocking over the coffee table, several book stacks and a picture frame from where Sherlock had pressed John hard against the wall and rubbed along his body like a particularly amorous cat.
Eventually, they made it into Sherlock's mess-strewn room, and John pushed the smaller man forcefully onto the bed, clambering over him and straddling his hips. He kissed Sherlock bruisingly, jarringly hard for a moment, in which Sherlock became giddy from the unaccustomed pleasure and the depth of feeling behind it. Then between kisses John sat up and tore off Sherlock's long coat, before starting to attack the suit buttons viciously.
"Naked, now," John said, and his voice (had it ever been that deep? Really?) was a promise of wonderful, filthy things.
Sherlock wholeheartedly agreed. John was a genius. He scooted out from under John's heavier legs and pulled frantically at the striped jumper, taking it and the shirt beneath it off somewhat awkwardly as John began on the buttons of his own shirt. He was completely hard now, this body's not-inconsiderable length (but enviablegirth) aching and proud as he freed it from the confines of the jeans and kicked them off.
John was shirtless now, yanking at the tongue of his belt and rolling back to pull the pressed trousers off, followed immediately by the expensive designer pants. Once completely naked, he didn't even hesitate but pushed his hands against Sherlock's shoulders so he thudded back onto the bed. John directly clambered over him, back to his prior position, and oh to feel the length of hot, human skin pressed against his, to feel the slide of legs against each other and the soft hot puff of air against his face.
Sherlock groaned as their cocks slid together, and John began to grind slowly against him. The delicious push and pull of their lengths sliding beside each other… and yet Sherlock wanted more. Far more.
He abruptly rolled them over so that he was now astride John, and leaned down to kiss him thoroughly (and Sherlock could be very thorough). And to think he'd never really seen the point of kissing before this. Another thing to thank John for.
Reaching down, he grasped them both in his unscarred right hand, and they both groaned shakily, the pressure caused by his palm made the other throbbing cock yet closer, and Sherlock buried his face in John's neck as he began to move his hand up and down, up and down, torturous friction building a fire in the base of his belly.
And yet –
"John," he breathed into his neck. "John, it's not enough yet."
John moaned, his body writhing. "I… I… Sherlock, what?"
Sherlock pulled a little harder at his hot handful. " I want… more, John."
"M-more?" John was biting his lip, from the sound of his voice. Sherlock pushed himself away from where he had been sucking and biting at John's (well, his own, but who benefited, that was the real question) neck. "What… what do you want, Sherlock?"
"I want you to fuck me, John," Sherlock emphasised his words by squeezing their slick cocks slightly as his hand pulled again, up and down, up and down. "I want you inside me."
He added a twist to his wrist and flicked his thumb over the head of John's weeping cock, just to make sure he got the message. "Right. Now."
John's eyes had gone very wide, and there was no mistaking the sheer want in them. "Oh, Sherlock…" he growled. "You are always… so full of surprises…" and he latched his mouth over a nipple and sucked until Sherlock was bucking into his fist, jerking out of sync with the other cock in his hand.
He suddenly found himself unceremoniously on his back again, John covering his chest and belly with hot, hard kisses, a hand gently parting his legs. John looked up briefly and his breathing was still completely ragged when he asked, "I… assume you've done this… before."
Sherlock inclined his head, panting with suppression. "I assume you… have too. Don't you dare stop."
John gave him a truly wicked grin, and then Sherlock found two long fingers prodding at his mouth as another toyed with his perineum and squeezed at his tightened balls. He opened his mouth and sucked at the fingers, hard, before coating them liberally in his saliva before they were removed.
The press against his entrance was shocking, because it was so tight. Sherlock knew his own body was not this tight, hadn't been for years, but it seemed John hadn't taken this role very often in his sexual exploits. That made sense, with everything he knew of the man. Still, it was slightly worrying, if exciting, to be close tovirgin tight again, even if it were likely to hurt in the morning.
The second finger stung a little, but Sherlock made himself relax. John was nipping at his other nipple now, which made the heat ratchet again and helped him to unclench around the fingers, scissoring gently, opening him up. Sherlock opened his eyes to see John watching him with an expression close to reverence on his face, and he arched in desire to see it, to have that effect on John.
The third really stung, and Sherlock gasped, "Lube. Drawer, second down."
John withdrew. "Are you okay?" he asked worriedly, and Sherlock snarled in frustration.
"I. Am fine. You idiot. But I won't be if you don't go and get that blasted lube."
John had never moved faster. Within seconds, he was back at the bed, coating his fingers in the slippery gunk and pressing them back into Sherlock. "Oh, that's better," Sherlock hissed in satisfaction, voice hitching erratically. "Honestly, John."
John's eyes twinkled with a hint of vindictiveness, and Sherlock felt the fingers inside him crook and a shower of stars went off in his mind.
"Affftglerfffff!" he blurted, and bit down hard on his forearm as John's fingers danced nimbly across his prostate, again and again and again.
John smirked. "My body, after all. I do know where the off-switch is."
Sherlock could only moan and thrash as John skilfully brought him to the shining edge of orgasm, not allowing him to tip over. "Please!" he yelped. "John!"
Abruptly, the fingers withdrew, and John was clambering over him, smearing more lube over his cock and lining up. "You're the idiot," he breathed, nothing but love and need in his voice as he pressed into Sherlock slowly, slowly.
Sherlock kissed him, long and deep, as the burning sensation slowly subsided and the feeling of being filled began to overpower it. He hooked a leg over John's hip and forced him to push deeper, rolling his hips upwards as he did, and John let out a soft string of curses, sweet and filthy.
John began to move slowly yet deliberately, pushing out and in of Sherlock as inexorably as the tides. The friction was delicious, but still, still Sherlock wanted more.
"John," he breathed, "my John, mine."
"Yours," John gasped, his hips snapping harder, responding to the force of the emotion.
"Mine!" Sherlock grasped John's hips and practically pulled the man into him, and John's strangled cry was all that he could have desired.
"Yours, I'm yours," he choked, his hips pistoning now. Sherlock felt him change the angle slightly, and he was seeing stars again, John unerringly hitting his prostate over and again.
"John!" he yelped, and John's hand wrapped around his rock-hard cock, and pumped him in rhythm to the pounding of the blood in his ears.
"Sherlock, I…" John managed, and Sherlock could feel John lengthening and hardening inside him, getting closer and closer.
"Soon," Sherlock panted.
"I… love you," John whispered breathlessly, raggedly. "God help me… but… I do…"
And then John did something marvellous with his wrist, and Sherlock was coming all over it, all over John's belly, crying out in release. John jerked as Sherlock spasmed about him, and then he was coming, slamming into Sherlock and almost shouting through gritted teeth.
John fell ungracefully onto his elbows either side of Sherlock's head, and kissed him messily, before carefully withdrawing and fumbling for Sherlock's discarded shirt to clean them off with. That done, he threw it across the room to land in the mountainous washing pile that John hadn't even begun to tackle in his sojourn as Sherlock Holmes, dragged up the duvet, and collapsed bonelessly half on top of Sherlock, who hummed in satisfaction and threaded a hand through the sweaty, tangled curls.
"You are truly dreadful at doing my hair," he commented drowsily.
"And you're terrible at making tea," John smiled against Sherlock's shoulder.
"That's why I have you. And Mrs Hudson," Sherlock added absently.
"You are not shagging Mrs Hudson. I forbid it."
"Do you think Moriarty even knew what the pendant does?" John asked in a muffled voice.
"I think not. Perhaps he was trying to infect us with some wish of his own."
"Hmm. We thwarted him then. We're good at thwarting, us," John dropped a kiss onto Sherlock's shoulder. "S'not so bad. If we stay like this, I mean."
"Really?" Sherlock twisted around to look into sleepy grey eyes.
"Mmm. Still together, aren't we? And there are perks," John smiled.
"Definite perks," Sherlock agreed, and tucked his head back against John.
"Thwarting, indeed. Which reminds me, how did you escape?"
John pushed his head against the warm shoulder under him. "Figured it out, then?" he mumbled resentfully.
"Most of it, I think. You were shot, and then captured. And escaped, after being tortured. But I don't know how."
"That cut on my thigh?"
"I had a knife strapped to my leg. I had to rub the ropes against it, through my trousers, to cut them. Cut myself a bit too, the edge was resting flat against my leg. Then it was just a case of threaten someone until I could grab a gun, and then disappear into the mountains to almost starve for a few days until a patrol turns up."
"I think you must have cut into yourself more than 'just a bit', judging from that scar."
"Compared to a fresh bullet wound and a dozen or so interrogation-style cuts, believe me, it seemed like 'just a bit'." John brushed his hand over the scar on Sherlock's shoulder. "Lucky I'm a doctor, or I'd be dead from blood loss."
Sherlock's arms tightened around him, and John kissed him sleepily.
"But I'm not," he said simply, and put his head down again.
Sherlock, lying in the darkness and listening to John's breathing deepen into sleep, was suddenly aware that in many ways, John Watson was the most extraordinary man. And none of it ever showed. As he dropped off to sleep, Sherlock fumbled for John's hand and squeezed it.
"Love you too," he mouthed silently.
If a passer-by on Baker Street had looked up into the windows of 221B that night, they would have seen absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
Which just goes to show.
John woke slowly, feeling a warm heaviness in all his limbs. There was a body thrown over him in a dramatic, possessive sprawl, and his hand tightened around the shoulders, a drowsy smile crossing his lips. He pulled Sherlock's limp form closer, and went to drop a kiss on the lolling head, and froze.
Messy dark curls greeted his lips.
John sat bolt upright, dislodging Sherlock, who mumbled in complaint, and he held up his hands before his face.
Short, strong fingers with a scarred left palm shook slightly in front of him.
"Oh my god," John breathed, a huge, hysterical happiness threatening to burst out of him. "I'm me."
"Wh… J'n," Sherlock grumbled, pawing at John to lie down again. "G'sleep."
"No, Sherlock, Sherlock, wake up! We've changed back! We've…" and abruptly John was aware of an intense discomfort in his rear. "Ow."
"G'sleep John," Sherlock commanded sleepily, his hand patting somewhere near John's shoulder.
And then it encountered scars, and stopped dead.
John, staring at his hands in bemusement and overwhelming relief, did not answer.
"Have you scarred my body in any way, shape or form? Because I will retaliate."
John didn't trust himself to answer, so he just grabbed Sherlock's shoulders (with his hands! His own hands!) and rolled him over to face him.
Sherlock's grey eyes were wide already, and they widened still further at the sight of John beside him. His long-fingered hand uncharacteristically trembled as it slowly reached John's short, sleep-mussed hair and ran through it. "We've changed back," he murmured in awe.
"We have," John confirmed, running his hands up Sherlock's shoulders, before yanking the other man up to capture him in a bear hug. "We've changed back!"
"But…" Sherlock clung to John just as fiercely, though his voice was bewilderingly lost. "How? And why have we changed back, and why?"
"I don't care, I'm me, and you're you again," John crowed jubilantly, holding Sherlock tighter, who squeaked in a most undignified manner.
"Can't breathe here, John," he managed, and John released him reluctantly, smoothing over the black hair, the angular face, the long pale neck.
"Sorry," John murmured, and one of his roving hands cupped Sherlock's face as he tilted his forehead against the others. "Just happy to see you. And me."
Sherlock gave his small, restrained smile. "Me too."
"Really?" John teased. "Thought you'd be sick of this face."
"Oh, not of seeing it. No," Sherlock's smile grew mischievous. "Of shaving it. You have a positively primordial beard."
"I do not," John rubbed a hand along his chin, feeling the rasp of stubble. "It's fairly normal. Although I have been thinking of growing a moustache. Had been."
"A month ago," Sherlock said softly.
"A month," John repeated, shaking his head. "A whole month."
"We did fairly well, on the whole," Sherlock stretched lazily. "Only Mycroft figured it out, and he was the only one who was likely to."
"Speak for yourself," John muttered. "I don't think I was holding up very well at all, by the end there – or in the beginning. And the middle was absolutely rubbish."
Sherlock caught one of John's hands. "It was. Yes, it was. I'm… sorry, John."
John blinked. "What for?"
"It is hard, being you." Sherlock watched his own thin fingers dance around John's darker ones. "I never did understand that."
"No harder than it is to be you," John replied seriously. "I've had a lot of practice at being me, after all and you… You're a pretty singular person, you know."
Sherlock smiled gently, a smile for John alone. "Naturally," was what he said. "Grow the moustache, it will suit you."
"Really?" John smoothed fingers over his upper lip. "Well, I might as well look like the full military cliché…"
"After all, you have all that barbarian excess facial hair to deal with. It may cut down on the amount of blond hair in the sink each morning," Sherlock sniffed.
"Oh, I will miss that," John said mock-seriously. "Barely even having to shave once in three days. Sure you're a bloke?"
Sherlock's hand had made it to John's hip, where it squeezed hard. "Forgotten already?" he purred.
John winced. "Ah, you seem to have left me with the after-effects. I warn you, I'm not up for…"
"I was thinking more of repeating the experiment, now we're in the correct bodies. I, of course, am not suffering any of said, er, 'after-effects'." Sherlock kissed John's temple softly.
John's eyebrows shot up. "How on earth have you stayed single when you're this insatiable?"
Sherlock shrugged and leaned back against the bed on his elbows. His body was a cool stretch of white against the dark sheets. "I'm not, really. I have partaken in sexual congress before and determined my likes and dislikes, but that was the extent of it. Before, that was the point of the exercise, and once I had discovered what I preferred, I felt no need to repeat the experiment."
"Before?" John asked.
"Before," Sherlock confirmed. "Obviously the data was incomplete. I had no idea I was missing a vital element; that I preferred you, of all people. This calls for a great deal of empirical evidence to support the new theory."
"Oh, it does, does it," John growled, moving to crawl along Sherlock's body. "Far be it from me to stand in the way of science. I think I can oblige."
"Oh good," Sherlock breathed as John paused over a nipple and teased it into wakefulness. "Your penis is quite a bit thicker than my own and I am dying to find out how it feels."
Mycroft Holmes sent John a text message later that day, as they sat eating breakfast (well, as John sat eating breakfast. Sherlock was staring into the distance leaning on his steepled hands. The sight made John's heart clench happily.)
"Don't answer that," Sherlock said without even moving his eyes.
John shrugged, and went back to his cereal. Another beep came from the phone.
Files regarding ambassadorial embarrassment on Sherlock's laptop now. Don't let him ignore them. MH
John held up the phone. "Doesn't he mean 'in your inbox'? Not 'on your laptop'?"
"No," Sherlock didn't even blink. "He means what he says."
John looked at the message again, and shuddered. It was all a little too 1984 for him. "Scary," he murmured.
"Irritating," Sherlock corrected, his full lip curling. John (who had found he could fixate on Sherlock's mouth for hours) caught himself staring again. He turned back to his cereal, a smile tugging at his own lips.
The phone bleeped once more. Sherlock's fingers twitched. John patted his shoulder apologetically, and reached for his phone once more.
Also, you may be pleased to know that a suitable donor liver has been found for Ms. Harriet Watson. Call it an engagement present. MH
"A liver!" John said stunned. Harry would live.
Sherlock's eyes did snap to John now. "Mycroft found Harry a liver?" he asked for confirmation, and John nodded jubilantly, holding up the phone to Sherlock.
"That is wonderful, John," Sherlock said solemnly.
"Isn't it wonderful?" agreed John happily, before his face scrunched. "And a little bit worrying?"
"Your brother can just 'discover' a matching donor liver and bump Harry to the top of the transplant list, just like that?"
"Yes," said Sherlock, in a bored tone.
"Oh," said John, thinking that perhaps he shouldn't be surprised. And then –
"Hang on, we're engaged?"
As it turned out, they were.
Harry Watson lived. Her body accepted the donor liver, and although she suspected John and Sherlock's hand in arranging the transplant, she couldn't prove anything. She had enrolled herself in every course, hypnosis session, counselling program and rehab trial possible in order to beat her addiction, so when John rolled her out of the hospital, she was to go straight to a greenery-clad mansion in the Lake District (surrounded by a two-mile alcohol-free zone).
"What'll you do with the rest of your life then, Harry?" John teased as he helped her into the waiting car (black, sleek and unmarked, of course).
"You'll laugh," Harry grinned up at him. "But I'm going after Clara, if she'll ever take me back. And I thought I might become a motivational speaker, you know… once I feel I've kicked this thing for good."
"You would be very successful at that," Sherlock nodded. "Surviving death by a gnat's wing and all."
"Right, which you had nothing to do with, of course," drawled Harry, but she'd given up pressing them on the mystery of her transplanted liver.
"You'd be amazing at it, Harry," said John, meaning it. Harry had always had the gift of the gab.
"Thanks, Johnny," she smiled at him, and pulled the seatbelt gingerly across her swathed abdomen, before turning back to the two men. "And I'm glad to see you two finally sorted yourselves out," she added archly.
"Um," John blushed, ears red, and Sherlock gave her an amused look.
"I'm glad you're glad," he said solemnly, throwing a careless arm over the blushing John's shoulder. "Safe trip."
"Look after yourself, Harry" John said earnestly, still blushing, and squeezed her hands. "Call me, won't you?"
"Oh, you'll wish I hadn't," she grinned again, before laughing anew at John's beet-red face.
Their relationship remained a secret from the Yard for all of fourteen minutes, after Sherlock received an urgent call from Lestrade. He stalked up to the crime scene, eyes darting.
"About time you showed," Lestrade muttered, lifting the crime scene tape for them. "This one is weird. Right up your street."
John nodded to the DI as he followed Sherlock into the alley, where a teenaged boy was lying face-down in a pool of blood with odd symbols drawn in it, a roughly circular frame to his head. Sherlock frowned, studying him.
Anderson walked up behind them then, and silently handed John a couple of pairs of gloves. John waited for the usual antagonism, but it seemed none was forthcoming. Anderson's face was neutral under his heavy hair, and he jerked his head towards Sherlock, meaning John should hand over the gloves.
"Thanks," John said, and scurried over to Sherlock to hand him the pair of gloves. He took them without a word and started pulling them on, so John did the same.
"What would you say is the cause of death, John?" Sherlock murmured, circling the boy.
John frowned. "Blunt force head trauma seems the most likely culprit for all that blood, also for the position of the blood pool under his head, but there's no obvious wound there, no matted hair, nothing. Has anyone rolled him over?" he asked Anderson, who had been joined by Donovan and Lestrade against the alley wall.
"No," Lestrade said with a glance at his sergeant and forensic expert for confirmation. "We were waiting until you got here."
"Then I'd say there has to be some other cause of death on the lad's front, something that bled profusely, stomach wound perhaps, and then the killer dragged the boy back by the legs to put his head in the pool of blood so they could paint all that around it. What is that, Aramaic?"
"Yes," Sherlock said, an odd note in his voice. "Let's turn him over."
With Anderson's help, they rolled the stiffened corpse over, and John noted immediately the scrapes all over the boy's bloodless face. "Definitely dragged," he said firmly, pointing them out to Sherlock, who made a strangled noise of assent.
The cause of death was immediately apparent as a long, hooked slice to the belly. John 'hmm'd in satisfaction, and rose, pulling off the gloves. "Nasty way to die," he commented absently. "Expensive jacket so he's not a runaway. Do you know who he is yet?
"I don't believe this," Donovan choked under her breath. "Him too. He seemed so normal…"
"A rich family," Sherlock also stood, nodding to the watch smeared in blood and bile. "Recreational drug user, mostly marijuana. Attends a wealthy boarding school, member of the school's rowing team. And John… I absolutely have to kiss you now."
John had been nodding, his brow furrowed and attention entirely on the sad corpse of the young man. Then his head snapped up and he gaped. "What… Sherluuummmmph! Mmmmm…."
Sherlock pulled away from John, his eyes bright and hard. "That… was magnificent," he breathed huskily, and his mouth descended again.
The silence from the three standing with them around the body was almost a physical miasma of pure disbelief.
"Now I really don't believe it," Donovan managed.
"Me neither," Anderson's eyes were boggling.
Lestrade took stock of his open mouth, closed it, took stock of his subordinates' open mouths, and gently reached over and clicked them shut.
"Show's over, John. Sherlock," he said sternly. "Wishing you every happiness and all, but this kid is still very dead."
"I know," Sherlock murmured against John's lips. John seemed to be in a trance as Sherlock's mouth spoke in between long, passionate kisses. "John figured out what killed him. John is extraordinary."
"Save it for the honeymoon," Lestrade groaned.
"Not until December," Sherlock said in the same breathless tone. John's hands had moved to Sherlock's, well, Lestrade was going to diplomatically call them back of his hips and was massaging gently. A squeak came from Donovan, and Anderson had his eyes shut.
"Make them go away, sir," Anderson said from within gritted teeth.
"No, don't," said Donovan under her breath. Her eyes were suspiciously bright, in Lestrade's opinion.
"Going to Venice," Sherlock murmured against John's ear, and John smiled dreamily.
"Going to fix Venice," he assented. "You and me."
"You pair together are the weirdest thing I have ever encountered, and I've been on the force for twenty years," Lestrade growled. "Well done, another first, Sherlock. I'm leaving you to it. Try to remember you're working – and surrounded by people who are watching your every move."
John's eyes snapped open, and Lestrade folded his arms as he watched the blush creep up John's neck until his ears were the colour of a bus. Sherlock leaned his forehead against John's and laughed softly at his expression.
"He can laugh?" Donovan shook her head. "No, too much. I'm off to hand out blankets, sir."
"One for me," said Anderson in a strangled voice, eyes still resolutely closed.
Lestrade pinched the bridge of his nose, and then led his voluntarily blind crime scene investigator away by the shoulders. "Come on, son," he said gruffly. "We'll get our crime scene back in a minute."
"Will they be gone?" Anderson moaned.
"They'll never be gone," Lestrade half-smiled. "Best to get used to that." He deposited Anderson into an orange blanket, and turned back to where Sherlock and John had broken apart for the minute, and were refocussing on the body of the boy.
"Oh, and Sherlock, John?" he called.
Sherlock simply tipped his head, his eyes querying. John shouted, "what?"
"Congratulations," Lestrade grinned.
John's smile was just this side of goofy. And Sherlock…
Sherlock said, "Thank you. And you are looking for a scholar, perhaps a professor of antiquities, whose main field is early Jewish or middle eastern history, possibly biblical history. It is more statistically likely to be a man, but the cut is shallow and ritualistic, so it is entirely likely it could be a woman or an older man with weaker wrists. This is the beginning of a rite to Ba'al, an ancient Canaanite god, so we are looking at a religious fanatic of some stripe. And this rich boy has no mp3 player. Perhaps a poor religious fanatic who likes music then. Where is his mp3 player?"
Lestrade grinned at them both, reassured that everything was as normal as it was ever likely to get around Sherlock Holmes. "You're welcome. Go and find it."
"Why didn't it work" the shadowy man roared again, smashing a priceless 12th century Mayan figurine against the opposite wall. The pendant was guaranteed to work! Holmes would never feel strongly enough about anyone in order to subvert it, sociopath that he was. His heart was given to puzzles, not people.
His favourite minion watched his employer with dead eyes.
"It was supposed to break him," he pouted, and threw himself onto his wing-backed desk chair. His glass desk was in shards underfoot.
"Sorry, Jim," Moran said in his insinuating growl.
Moriarty waved his hand in a frilly gesture of dismissal. "No matter. But now I don't have it. Get it back," he ordered, and Moran nodded, before hulking his way out of the office.
Standing, pushing his hands deep into his pockets, Jim Moriarty walked to the window and stared out at the glittering towers of Dubai. He'd get the amulet back. He'd figure out how to set it so his wishes came to pass. After all, it was 98% certain that the bloodless Sherlock Holmes would not have enough passion in him to make it work, and Jim himself…
Well, a psychopath at the tip of the antisocial personality disorder iceberg always had enough passion to spare. He'd make it work.
I didn't mean it as a compliment.
Yes, you did.
Okay, I did.
The words still reverberated through his head, the whole delicious, wicked scene. The pathetic pet doctor hunched on the floor, and Sherlock so tall and pale and breakable, firing on the vest only to be surprised by a distinct lack of explosion and a positively volcanic eruption of thick, oily smoke. Jim had made himself scarce at that point.
But he'd be back. And Sherlock Holmes wouldn't just be beaten…
He'd be burned.
Catch. You. Later.
"No, you won't," he murmured.
No, you won't.