A/N: So...lack of updates this past year. Sorry. My muse is getting more and more sporadic and bluh. Too many side projects. But enough excuses.
I'm on a bit of a BBC Sherlock binge - this is my Holmestice fic for the Holmestice comm on LJ, for the lovely mistyzeo on LJ (she's fantastic). Crossposted on my AO3. Will be on my LJ soon. But anywhos.
Warnings: Language, Anderson being a dick (whoops language oh well), possible OOC, some cuteness
It was rather well known that Sherlock Holmes was, for lack of a better term, asexual. Married to his Work, in his own words. Therefore, any chances that John would have had were already shot to hell, and that didn't factor in the detective's emotional challenges either. Being the strategic man he was, John had cut his losses and tried seeing women instead. It had actually gone well, for a while. Then Sherlock had started cockblocking.
Leave it to Sherlock to send mixed signals about something he'd made clear from Day One.
So, over the past few weeks, John Watson had been slowly degenerating into a high-tension bundle of confusion, sexual frustration, and hair-trigger temper flares, inconsolable by even the wonders of a good cuppa. Not the best combination, especially on case days.
Particularly on those case days when Sherlock was flying on a case-high and somehow managing to ignore everyone and everything around him while shooting off deathly blunt remarks about things no one wanted to hear.
(John almost felt sorry for that greenhorn. Then again, judging by the observations Sherlock had made, he deserved it.)
John swore under his breath as the detective vanished around the corner, and headed the opposite way, hoping to flank the three men they were chasing. The blasted idiot was going to get himself killed one day if he kept running off like that. Hearing shouts and the sounds of combat, John pelted around the final corner and just barely missed a slash from a wicked switchblade. Deeply ingrained military training made it easy to disarm the other man and break his wrist, adding a well-placed punch in the hollow of his chin to knock him out, and John whirled around, senses hyperaware from the adrenaline rush.
Sherlock was attempting to fend off the other two men and inching closer to failing with each punch he evaded. John could see they were slowly but surely forcing Sherlock into a corner and, without thinking, launched himself at the nearest thug. Perhaps not the smartest idea, considering the man was about a head taller than him and thick enough that John couldn't wrap his arms around the man's waist, but the distraction was sufficient for Sherlock to get the upper hand on the other fighter, and within seconds both criminals were on the ground, groaning like the wimps they were.
John propped himself against the alley wall, grinning like a fool and panting for breath. The brawl had let him work out some of his tension, and he was definitely enjoying the endorphins assaulting his neurons as well. Might have to do this more often, he thought. Wincing slightly at the pull on ribs bruised by a lucky shot, he glanced at Sherlock, who was also catching his breath with that exhilarated smile on his face, and nearly forgot to inhale. Oh, it was moments like these that he lived for, the glimpses of Sherlock in all his radiant glory, no bitter boredom or frustrated rage marring his features, just pure unadulterated vivacity.
Labradoritic eyes locked with his own cobalt, and John had to swallow, or at least try. Ghost eyes, from a distance. Eyes that hid behind a shield of firmest objectivity, a solid unnerving barrier against the world and its madness. Cold, dissecting, and clinical, yet fervent, intense, and teeming with activity. There was so much in that gaze, so much sheer brilliance turned upon him that he could almost feel the whirr-click-clatter of the mind behind it, and he couldn't help but draw closer, like a moth to the flame, fascinated by the light...
The sound of pounding footsteps snapped John back to reality, and he and Sherlock turned towards the end of the alley where the NSY was fast approaching. "Dammit, Sherlock, how many times have I told you to stop running off on your own like that?" Lestrade bit out fiercely. The man in question simply rolled his eyes and smoothed out his coat, clearly uninterested by the umpteenth repetition of a familiar tirade. "And you, John, I thought you knew better!"
John cleared his throat and gave a tight smile. He had, until he met Sherlock. Brushing off his jacket, he shrugged. "Well, I couldn't just let him get himself killed like that. Think of how anti-climatic the obituary would be."
Sherlock scoffed. "As if those men could injure me seriously enough for me to actually die. Don't be ridiculous, John."
From where he was watching the policemen wrangle the thugs into police cars, Anderson muttered, "Like anyone would even care how the Freak offed himself. I sure as hell wouldn't go to his funeral."
Sherlock's shoulders stiffened the tiniest bit at the remark, and before John knew it, his fist had buried itself into Anderson's face. In retrospect, it had been an absolutely pointless move that did nothing except grant him the satisfaction of seeing the git crumple in pain, but by God it had felt good.
John was strangely detached from the situation, a thick, empty feeling writhing through his veins. Well. He'd finally snapped. It was nice to know that he did have some limitations. John knew that others kept watching him, just waiting for the old ex-veteran to burst into some psychotic fury, so he figured, if they wanted a snap, by hell he was going to give them a snap.
Grabbing Anderson by the lapels, he shoved him against a nearby police car and growled, "If you seriously think that no one cares about Sherlock, you've got even less of a brain than I thought you had. Spare the rest of us your jealous prattle, Anderson, and actually try to make use that mass of grey mush you call a cerebral cortex. Or better yet, don't." John dropped the man and straightened to military attention. "Anyone else have any more comments they'd like to make? No? What, no more jeering about the 'Freak' being an emotionless machine or butchering puppies for experimentation? No more strutting about pretending you know how to do your job when you can't even run a mile without panting?" His tone had changed from shut-the-fuck-up-Anderson-right-now to I-am-Captain-bloody-Watson-and-you're-going-to-blo ody-well-listen-to-me-because-I'm-more-of-a-fuckin g-man-than-you'll-ever-fucking-be, and John almost laughed at the trepidation he could see creeping into some of the Yard's men's faces. "Good! Because I'm sick of it." He pivoted on his heel to face Lestrade, who looked like he really needed a pint, and nodded stiffly to the DI. "Text if you need us." Too caught up in his fury to care about the coppers gaping at him, he caught Sherlock's arm and almost dragged him towards the main road, ignoring any sounds coming out of the man's mouth.
For once, a cab pulled up almost immediately after he hailed for one, and he shoved the taller man inside before climbing in himself, shutting the door with an angry slam. "221 B Baker Street, please," he curtly told the cabbie. The buildings of London drifted past as John kept his eyes on the scenery, resolutely not looking at his flatmate. He could feel Sherlock's gaze already picking at him, hurtful remarks forgotten in lieu of John's unusual outburst, but he honestly couldn't bring himself to care. He wasn't about to explain himself anytime soon, and certainly not to Sherlock. Hell, he wasn't even sure how he'd explain it to himself. Therefore, Sherlock, the Yard, and whoever was texting his phone so insistently it was practically ringing could take their curiosity and shove it.
Leaning his head against the window, John closed his eyes and sighed, feeling his anger slowly ebbing away with the motion of the cab. By God he needed a shag, or at least something physically exerting to ease all the hard emotions running through his blood. Maybe he'd stop by the gym later, break in some punching bags.
John blinked and sat up. "Hmm? Yes, Sherlock?"
Sherlock was looking at him with that inscrutable look on his face. "We're here."
"Oh. Right then." Sherlock stopped him from reaching for his wallet with a touch on his arm, and John glanced questioningly at the contact.
"I already paid."
This was...unexpected. John peered at Sherlock, puzzled by the strange behavior. "Um, thanks." There was a peculiar tension in the air, emanating from the austere look in the raven's eyes and fluttering in John's stomach. "Are you...feeling alright, Sherlock?"
Sherlock hesitated for the barest fraction of a second before turning away scornfully and retorting, "Don't be ridiculous, John. As if I would ever put any weight on Anderson's drivel." Without waiting for a reply, he exited the cab and swept up the stairs to their flat.
John stared after the man for a moment longer, then shook his head in bewilderment and followed after. Making sure to lock the door behind him, the doctor made his way up to the kitchen and immediately put the kettle on, Sherlock gazing pensively down at the street. As he waited for the water to boil, John felt the penetrative stare prodding his back and sighed. Might as well get it over with. "Yes, Sherlock?" he asked without turning to look at the man, busying himself instead by finding the pot, teabags, and two usable cups – a real challenge, since most of them had been commandeered for various experiments Sherlock had around the flat. Somehow, his favorite one had been left untouched, and he gleefully set it up next to...John sniffed the only other empty cup and shuddered at the lingering scent. Well, he wasn't using that one. Only one cup of tea, then.
The rustling of clothing was the only warning he had before Sherlock was looming over him, the need to understand burning in his eyes. "Why?"
John took a deep breath, debating how to answer. Emotions really weren't Sherlock's thing, he knew, so John would just have to make it as impersonal as possible. Not too difficult, he hoped. Like writing an autopsy report. Description of patient, apparent cause of death, approximate time of death, and any injuries worth noting. Right. Not hard.
"I'm just...stressed, Sherlock." John rubbed a hand over his face. "The surgery's been hectic, the weather's making my joints ache, and I haven't been sleeping well – why am I explaining this to you if you know all of it already?" He turned to face the taller man, frustration combining with mild irritation to boil over into coppery exasperation, and immediately thought, Well, that wasn't the best idea.
The scent of Sherlock's soap tickled John's nose at the proximity with which they were standing, and right at his eye level was the singularly most mouthwatering neck he'd ever seen. Unfortunately, his salivary glands decided to follow that thought, and John had to swallow thickly before wrenching his gaze upwards, anywhere but there. His eyes fell on a light dusting of pink (no, NO, John, don't loo–), lips tightened in an appraising frown. How many times had he watched the movements of Sherlock's mouth as the man fired off deductions without a care in the world? How many fantasies had involved stuffing his cock into that hole and forcing those petal-pink lips to conform to his girth?
Oh God. John felt a slow warmth curl in his gut. This was not happening. He was not staring at his flatmate and getting a hard-on while said flatmate stared back. No, no, no sir. Bad biology. Bad.
The murmured statement drew his eyes to the mind calling him. Sherlock's eyes were piercing as he stared at John, taking in John's increased pulse, the flush rising to his cheeks, the dilation of his pupils. In return, John took in the slight hitch in Sherlock's breathing as John leaned closer, the shifting tension in his shoulders, the warring between reason and some indeterminable emotion that sent thrills down John's spine visible in his eyes. How easy it would be to inch up and brush their lips together. How tempting it was to wrap his arms around that lithe body and press it against his own.
But Sherlock would startle, would gut him if he tried. So John just stood there and breathed back, "Sherlock."
He heard more than saw Sherlock swallow at the feel of John's breath on his skin. This was dangerous territory. If John didn't stop now, he'd do something he would most definitely regret later, but by God he didn't want to stop. He wasn't sure if he could. And Sherlock, it seemed, didn't want to either...
The shrill shriek of water vapor rent the silence, and both men hastily turned away. John went through the motions of making tea while Sherlock turned to scrutinize his experiments on the kitchen table, neither acknowledging what had just happened.
John tried to steady his breathing, his left hand trembling minutely. What had he been thinking? Oh, that's right. He hadn't. Just like any other male, he'd lost his head the instant he was faced with a sexual situation. Could his brain be any more reptilian?
He snorted. Even the little conscience voice he berated himself with was sounding like Sherlock. Grabbing his cup, he made his way to his armchair and stopped. Whatever was in his cup, was not his tea. Instead, it was filled with some murky, viscous liquid that neither looked healthy nor smelled appealing, and he slowly turned back to the kitchen. He wouldn't dare.
Oh, who was he kidding? This was Sherlock he was talking about.
Sure enough, Sherlock was leaning against the counter, calmly sipping at The Teacup, with that damnably mischievous smirk on his face.
John wasn't sure whether to gape or just give up. "What...How...Sherlock, you took my tea!"
His only answer was an ostentatious slurp.
John raised a hand in warning. "Give it back."
Sherlock blinked lazily over the rim of the cup. "Make me."
The resulting chase around the flat, punctuated by shouts of "Dammit, Sherlock!" and "You really do make good tea, John.", ended up with John cornering Sherlock and his miraculously unspilled tea against the bed in Sherlock's bedroom. John glared predatorily as he tried to catch his breath, slowly stalking towards Sherlock. Sherlock's eyes danced with anticipation of thwarting John's next move, and he purposely swallowed the last bit of tea, sighing appreciatively. With a roar, John launched himself at the taller man. Sherlock managed to dodge at the last moment and was about to skip out of the room when John's hand whipped out and yanked him back to the bed. They wrestled wildly for a few moments before John pinned Sherlock to the bed with a triumphant shout.
"And that...is for stealing...my tea," John growled between pants. They looked at each other for long seconds before dissolving into a fit of giggles, teacup forgotten. Oh God. These moments, how did he live without them? The relief of laughing at some stupid moment, the sound of Sherlock's chuckles joining his, the warm pleasure spreading from his gut-
John cut off mid-giggle, causing Sherlock's laughter to taper off into silence. Christ. This was not happening. Before John could jerk away, Sherlock's arms were there, keeping him in place. He glanced down in dread-filled shock and saw his somewhat ruffled flatmate looking at him with that indecipherable look in his eyes again, making him shiver. What-
John was suddenly all too aware of the pounding of his heart, the touch of Sherlock's hands on his hips, Sherlock's biceps under his hands, but most of all, the hard, throbbing length pushing against his own.
Helpless to resist, John looked down at Sherlock, their faces mere inches away, and licked his lips. This was it. He felt like a knife balancing on a point. Which way would he fall?
Down, he supposed.
The kiss started out hesitant, then quickly escalated into a mess of teeth and tongue. There was a strange toe-curling quality to the whole thing, a light-headedness making it almost surreal. John tangled one hand in dark curls, yanking Sherlock's head back in order to mouth down his jaw. Sherlock shoved his hands under John's clothes and dug them into John's back, scorching every contour, every scar with ferocious delight.
John bit down in retaliation, drawing a long shudder out of Sherlock. He liked it rough, did he? Well. John could work with that. Grinding his hips down, he hissed in pleasure as Sherlock arched with the motion. Fuck yes. Beautiful. But not enough.
"Clothes. Off," he growled, tugging at Sherlock's shirt. Sherlock mumbled something that vaguely resembled, "Get 'em off yourself," and focused on revealing more of John's torso. Oh for God's sake.
John stumbled off the bed and pulled his jumper and shirt over his head. "Dammit, Sherlock," he snapped impatiently, tugging at his belt and letting everything fall to the ground, "would you just-"
Any words yet to leave his mouth dried up the instant John's eyes fell on a suddenly very nude and very debauched Sherlock.
His heart skipped a beat as he took in smooth alabaster planes, lean muscle, a flushed, bobbing – fuck. John's knees almost gave out from the spike of arousal, and he muttered a curse. John was not going to survive this night.
Sherlock gazed at him lazily, perfectly aware of the effect he was having on John's libido. "Coming?" he drawled.
Oh God, yes.
"You never answered my question, John."
John let out a boneless sigh. By God, if that wasn't the best shag he'd ever had. "Which question, Sherlock?" he mumbled, rolling his head to look at the man. Even sex-mussed and covered in love bites, Sherlock still managed to look elegant. Damn the man and his genetics.
"Why did you defend me so vehemently earlier, at the crime scene?" Sherlock was studiously contemplating his fingers, held in his habitual thinking pose.
The post-coital haze lifted from John's mind at the gravity of the inquiry, and John blinked. Oh. That question. But how to answer?
John propped himself up on his elbow and poked Sherlock until he looked accusingly at John for interrupting his ruminations. "Oi, you big lug. When people care about others, they want to protect them. It's what people do." Leaning in for a quick kiss, John smiled wryly. "I care about you, you crazy nutter. God knows why, but I do."
Sherlock processed this for a few moments before turning back to his fingers awkwardly. "Oh. I...John, I..."
John touched his finger to Sherlock's lips. "It's fine, Sherlock." Long pale digits wrapped around his hesitantly, and John smiled, returning the contact. "It's all fine." Rubbing his thumb on Sherlock's cheek, John turned Sherlock's head to face him and put their foreheads together.
"I've got your back."