Title: Follow My Voice
Author's Name: Laura Sichrovsky
Word Count: 2491
Warnings: Sherlock and John are not a couple, but the things Sherlock does for John earn this a smutty rating.
Spoilers: None really.
Summary: Sherlock's pushed himself too far and can't relax enough to sleep. John has to help him. (Not in a relationship…yet.)
Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own John or Sherlock, (Heh! I wish!), or anything relating to the show or books. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might want to talk to someone about that. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat own all things Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns the rights to Holmes and Watson. None of them have given me permission to use these characters as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not them.
Author's Notes: Thanks need to be given, and here is where they go. Thanks to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for giving me a Sherlock I can get behind. Thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch for making this Sherlock so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too remarkable not to fall for. Big thank yous to Emma de los Nardos, Elin, and Gemma for the super-fast beta jobs. Your input was invaluable and I owe you so much! And my biggest thank yous to my guiding influence and my best friend, Ann. She's the best beta ever and the Sherlock to my John. Without her, I am nothing. (Couldn't do it without you, love. Wouldn't want to try.)
Follow My Voice
Sherlock paces the length of the sitting room, hands clenched at his side, his blue robe billowing behind him. This is intolerable. It's two in the morning, the case is solved, and yet, here he is wound tighter than his violin strings, trying to walk off the adrenaline. It really isn't working though. The more he paces, the angrier he gets and sleep seems further away than before he started.
If he's honest with himself, he knows that he's put himself here by pushing too far. John always starts getting fussy with him after three days on a case, pressing bites of food on him or trying to cajole him into a short nap. After four days, John gets insistent, threatening to put Sherlock in the hospital if he doesn't at least eat a muffin or two. But Sherlock knows his limits. He's worked long and hard to cultivate an iron constitution. He lets John fuss, but Sherlock knows where to draw the line. Except, sometimes, when the work demands it, one has to set new limits. When this case went into a fifth day, Sherlock knew there would be ramifications. He just hadn't known what they would be.
And now, the case is finished, the criminal arrested, it's time to rest, and Sherlock's body has decided they're still on the clock. Sherlock is tired, he can feel a dull ache in his lower back and his brain is starting to lose focus. But every time he lies down or even sits, his restless body starts to toss and turn and he's on his feet again. Sherlock feels like punching the wall in frustration.
"Sherlock?" John's voice is quiet, but Sherlock jumps none the less, surprised to see his flatmate standing in the kitchen.
John tilts his head, watching, and Sherlock feels a small stab of guilt for having woken John.
"I'm fine," Sherlock growls. "Go back to bed."
"You don't look fine," John says, walking into the room. "Would you like something to eat?"
"You've already fed me twice," Sherlock snaps, not abating his pacing.
"Yes, but you went five days with only three muffins. You must be starving."
"The Chinese food and the sandwich were sufficient," Sherlock replies, tempering his response. It isn't John's fault he can't sleep and the man is only trying to help.
"Then what's wrong?" John sounds worried.
"I told you, nothing's wrong." It's actually taking effort not to yell at John and Sherlock looks away.
"Sherlock, stop that infernal pacing," John says, moving closer to him.
"I can't." Sherlock's reply is terse.
"Can't?" John arches an eyebrow at him.
"I'm…" Sherlock pauses, looking for the right words. "I'm attempting to make myself sleepy."
"By running a 10K in our sitting room?" John asks, frowning. Sherlock looks at him and can actually see his thoughts chasing around behind his eyes. He isn't surprised when John makes the connection; John is smarter than he gives himself credit for. John's eyes widen, then his brows come together. "You pushed yourself too far this time. You can't shut everything off."
"I just need to…" But Sherlock is too tired to keep up the façade so he just shakes his head.
"Sherlock." John's voice is gentle, but Sherlock can't bring himself to look at his friend. "Sherlock, stop pacing at look at me."
Sherlock sighs, forcing his body to stop moving. It's almost painful and his hands flex at his sides.
"Sherlock, you need to rest," John says. Before he can go on, Sherlock snorts.
"Brilliant, John. You have a solid grasp of the obvious."
"If you'd let me finish, I was going to say that I think I can help you."
"I swear, if you suggest a cup of tea, I might punch you," Sherlock growls. The inactivity is chaffing and he's fighting the urge to pace again.
"No, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind." John's voice is calm and steady and Sherlock marvels at John's patience with him at times like this. "But…well, how much do you trust me?"
Sherlock is caught off guard by the question and his eyebrows arch.
"I trust you, John."
"Yes, but how much? What I have in mind is…well, it might be a bit embarrassing, but if you do exactly what I say without asking questions, I'm pretty sure it'll work."
"Embarrassing? Exactly what do you want me to do?" Sherlock trusts John more than he's ever trusted anyone, but the nervous look his friend is giving him is a bit disconcerting.
"Maybe not so much embarrassing as…exposing." John frowns. "I'm not really doing a good job of explaining this. I'm going to lead you through an exercise that will relax you. I'll tell you what to do and you do exactly what I say, no questions."
Sherlock is shifting from one foot to the other and he knows the pacing can't be far behind. He can feel the beginnings of a headache and it's getting harder to concentrate. Sherlock trusts John and really what does he have to lose? He looks up and nods.
"What do you want me to do?"
"Take off your robe and sit on the sofa," John says, turning off the lights in the room.
He turns one of the chairs to face the couch and settles into it. Sherlock can barely see him in the dim light coming in from the street.
"Close your eyes." John's voice is quiet and soothing and Sherlock settles back onto the sofa. "Just listen to my voice and follow my directions. I want you to touch your face."
"I'm sorry, what?" Sherlock isn't sure what he was expecting, but this isn't even close.
"No questions," John chides gently. "Take your palm and run it softly over your cheeks. You should start out slowly, but do whatever is comfortable for you."
Sherlock feels very self conscious as he brings his right hand up, ghosting lightly over his face. He's surprised how relaxing it feels and branches out, moving to touch his forehead and the bridge of his nose. He brings his fingers into it, circling them slowly around his eyes, feeling the tension slip back a notch.
"Now, bring your hand down your jaw and along your neck." John's voice is just above a whisper.
Sherlock does as he's directed, pausing for a moment to stroke his jaw line before moving to splay his hand on his throat, moving his hand slowly up and down.
"Back up to your face."
Sherlock does, bringing his fingers back to his hairline, tracing small circles at his temples. He can feel his body relaxing.
"Now, take your thumb and trace your lips."
Sherlock is shocked by this instruction or maybe just by the matter of fact way that John says it. He hesitates for a minute, considering ending this here and now. But he told John that he trusts him and a part of him is interested to see where this is going.
He brings his thumb up and starting at the corner of his mouth, he slowly begins to drag it along his lips. Sherlock's eyes are still closed, but he can hear John breathing a few feet from him and suddenly this exercise veers in a whole new direction. Sherlock parts his lips, using his tongue to wet them, exerting more pressure with his thumb. Something starts to stir in his stomach and he takes deeper breaths. He's slightly surprised when he licks his own thumb and suppresses a groan.
"Move your hand down to your chest." John's quiet voice is an anchor in the darkness. "Go as soft and gentle as you like."
Sherlock starts slowly, barely touching himself through the material, but soon his hand is making rough circles, bunching up the fabric under his fingers.
"Do you want to touch your nipples?" There's a jagged quality to John's voice this time and Sherlock can barely hold in a whimper. "Go ahead, be as rough as you like."
Sherlock's breath catches in his throat as he pinches himself through his t-shirt, gently twisting, feeling a sharp flutter in his stomach.
"We should get that shirt out of the way. Take it off."
Sherlock quickly pulls his shirt over his head, tossing it to the side and he leans back on the sofa resuming his previous actions. His fingers feel cold against his hardened nipples and he gasps.
"Go back to running your hands over your chest," John says, his voice low and quiet. "Slowly, savouring every touch."
Sherlock runs his hand slowly down his breast bone to his navel and back. He strokes down, ghosting his fingers over his stomach, his fingers brushing the waistband of his pajama bottoms. He moves his touch back up, gently circling his nipples, needing more.
"Please…" Sherlock gasps out. "I need…can I…"
"Yes, of course you can," John says, ignoring the fact that Sherlock's violated the no question rule. "Pinch yourself. Do you like it slow and gentle or hard and painful?"
Sherlock doesn't answer, pinching with a force that stings and takes his breath away. He twists and tugs, biting his bottom lip at the feel of it all. His left hand slides down his stomach, going further down to cup himself through his pajamas.
"Did I tell you to do that?" John asks, his voice barely above a whisper.
Sherlock stops moving, wondering if John is upset.
"I…" Sherlock falters, not sure what to say.
"I'm not angry," John says gently. "You just got ahead of things. But I suppose that's okay too. Do you want to go back to touching yourself?"
"Please," Sherlock gasps.
"Show me how you like it," John whispers and once more the whole feeling of the room changes.
Sherlock is very aware of John's eyes on him, watching him rub himself through his clothes. Far from embarrassing him, this serves to ratchet his excitement up a few notches. Sherlock can hear John's breathing quicken and Sherlock's hips arch up, pressing himself more firmly against his hand.
"Would you like to get the clothing out of the way?" John asks.
Sherlock stands up, pushing his pajama bottoms and his boxers over his hips and to the floor. He steps out, leaving them where they are.
"Lie down on the couch," John directs.
Sherlock does, parting his legs and pushing his hips forward.
"Stroke yourself," John whispers, his voice breathless.
Sherlock reaches down, firmly taking his erection and pumping down. He doesn't even try to stifle his moan, arching his hips up. He sets a steady pace, his hips rising with each stroke. Sherlock brings his other hand down to fondle his balls, gently squeezing and rolling them. His body is on fire and his brain has deserted him as he increases the rhythm.
Sherlock opens his eyes to see John watching him with rapt attention and Sherlock's breath hitches in his throat. Suddenly, in his mind, it's John's hands on him, touching him, wanting him, needing him and he can feel the beginning edges of his release building. But he can't quite seem to get there as it comes and goes, drawing out and torturing him. He wants this, he needs it, but he can't reach it, can't quite give up his control.
"John," Sherlock gasps, his head thrashing from side to side. "John please…"
"I'm here," John says, his voice warm and steady. "Stop focusing and relax, Sherlock. I won't let you fall. Let me see you enjoy this."
The reassurance is enough, or maybe it's just hearing John's voice and Sherlock relaxes his shoulders, giving in to the need. His orgasm comes rushing up, pulling him under with startling intensity. He can dimly hear himself yelling profanities and John's name, but he doesn't care. His whole body tenses and releases in pulsing waves, the pleasure so powerful that he thinks he might black out. Sherlock has never felt anything like this. It's exquisite and amazing and it feels like it might go on forever.
All too soon, Sherlock feels it begin to fade, the shocks are less intense as the waves recede and he finds himself lying on the couch trembling. He looks over to see John smiling at him and he swallows, his throat raw and dry.
"That was amazing to watch," John whispers. He moves to the front of the chair, getting to his feet. "I'll be right back."
Sherlock closes his eyes, still finding it impossible to think, yet surprisingly not bothered by it. He hears footsteps and turns to see John coming back into the room with a wet flannel and a towel. John helps Sherlock to clean up a bit, gently stroking his over sensitized skin.
"Think you can sleep now?" John asks.
"I think I can barely keep my eyes open," Sherlock murmurs, wondering if it would be a bad idea to just sleep on the couch.
"Let's get you to bed." John says, pulling Sherlock to his feet.
Sherlock looks at his clothes on the floor, the idea of dealing with arm holes and drawstrings a bit too daunting right now. He frowns.
"You don't need them," John whispers, his arm going around Sherlock's waist. "We'll get them in the morning."
Sherlock's mind is hazy as John leads him down the hall. He feels groggy, almost drugged and is surprised and how much he's leaning on John. And then John is pulling back covers and helping Sherlock in. The sheets are soft and cool against Sherlock's heated skin and he feels his body relax as John pulls the blankets around him. Sherlock can't keep his eyes open anymore but he can hear John's footsteps and knows he's leaving.
"John?" The word is a bit slurred as Sherlock fights to stay awake.
"Sleep, Sherlock. We'll talk in the morning."
Sherlock wants to say more, wants to ask him to stay here, but 116 hours with no respite finally catches up with him and Sherlock drifts into an exhausted sleep.
John watches him from the doorway, not entirely surprised at how quickly Sherlock succumbs to his fatigue. He considers joining him in the bed, wanting to hold him, to keep Sherlock safe, even from himself, but thinks better of it. If they are going to start something lasting, it should be when they're both clear-headed.
John yawns and heads for his own room, wondering exactly how this conversation will go in the morning. He honestly hadn't intended for things to go the direction they did, but he can't say he's sorry. Hearing Sherlock screaming John's name with his release had been worth it. Seems Sherlock was hiding some secrets of his own behind those emotionless eyes.
John climbs into his bed, settling in and relaxing. This had been a long, demanding case, but it ended well, in more ways than one. Feeling honest hope for the future, John is smiling as he drifts off to sleep.