John jumped when Sherlock's tongue touched him, grunted against swift pain skittering across his ribs, then giggled.
When Sherlock asked him about that later, the good doctor said most soldiers learn the skill somewhere early on: If it hurts but doesn't kill you, well you just better mother fucking laugh.
So as Sherlock closed his mouth around John's still-soft cock John did that. He giggled and petted Sherlock's hair, and a minute later he giggled again because he wasn't hard, then a minute more he still wasn't hard, and John decided he kind of really wanted to be hard, so the good doctor grunt-groaned himself upright, shifted, and straddled Sherlock's head.
Big, warm hands slid up his back, a dark voice rumbled its contentment, and so John laughed a little more, then he ignored the places that hurt and concentrated on the places it didn't.
He took his time.
Because here there was no hurry. Quick as a blink Sherlock usually moves, but in bed he's as leisurely as a dream, slow as a long, warm night.
So John thrust just as leisurely and soon the blood knew where it was needed and so it went, and with it came the fluttery build of tension that would lead to a sweet, limb-loosening release.
Later. Later. Because they would not hurry.
Instead John moved and sighed and somewhere in the slow, Sherlock slid his wounded hand over John's heart, and the good doctor knew he was deducing now, Brailling John's body for tells, from goosebumps to hardening muscles to the most important tell of all: The wild thrumming of John's heart.
It's early days, the two of them making love, but it took less than the passing of one for the good detective to figure out how to make those goosebumps, tense those muscles, and busy that fine heart. What he's still figuring out is that he does these things to John's body not with certain touches, licks, moans, but with the simple gift of his desire.
Fortunately there's a lifetime yet for Sherlock to learn.
In the meantime there's time in this long and quiet night for John to languidly thrust and turn himself on by wondering how he'll love in return. And oh he so very much will love his sweetheart in return, because here's a fine fact John Watson knows about Sherlock Holmes: He's an intensely oral man and John's cock in his mouth is so far, bar none, the absolute, one hundred percent best way to get Sherlock hard.
Thinking about the erection he couldn't see made John thrust faster despite himself, thrusting faster made John hurt, and somehow all his wires crossed and, thrusting once, twice, a final time, John came, moaning.
Ah, but there was a problem with that.
Sherlock's wires were crossed, too. So Sherlock heard that sound of pleasure as one of pain, and that's when Sherlock finally finished the complex job of falling to ruin.
Brain blossoming with all the imaginings he'd fought—and with that fast, so very fast brain, it took no time at all for him to connect one to the next, arriving at the final certainty—Sherlock realised an awful thing: John was not impenetrable, oh no, John was fragile, breakable, John was and would ever be at risk.
Straddled there a little inelegant the good doctor went still, whispered, "Sherlock?"
The answer was low at first, like a hum you feel more than hear. And then it was everywhere and coming from somewhere deep, from a place that doesn't know grace, knows only how to roar down the rooftops with wailing. It was a grown man belatedly learning a child's lesson—that loving can hurt and that the hurt is sometimes bigger than a body can stand. Even one as big as Sherlock's.
John moved fast. He slithered down his lover's long body, thinking post traumatic stress, thinking hold hold hold, and so John pressed himself against Sherlock and at this point his bruises could get fucked and his eye could swell all it liked, there was no way in hell John wasn't going to hold and hold and hold.
Though it didn't help. Not at first.
No, Sherlock just roiled under him, crying rough, hard, quiet, as if struggling to keep the misery in, but John would have none of that, no, so he shoved his tongue in Sherlock's mouth to open it and…
…and found it swimming with spit and salty, vaguely bitter fluid. Sherlock had not swallowed.
So John licked between those lips, not knowing what kind of message he was sending and not caring. He licked and licked and come leaked slow and warm from the corners of Sherlock's mouth and then Sherlock swallowed and licked John's mouth, sucked at his lips, and finally he took gentle hold, tucking John's face against his neck, and he whisper-whimper-cried, "Shhhh, oh shh-shh-shh."
It happened right then and like a light going on in his head, John's realisation. He was not for this man a passing fancy. He would never be something simply to alleviate boredom. No, no, no. John Hamish Watson had become Sherlock Holmes' life.
John hugged back fierce, he shushed too, and he giggled again so help him because to finally know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind those sharp grey eyes? Oh that knowledge was worth a wound, it was worth many wounds. John might not understand why Sherlock's great heart was given so grandly over to him of all people, and he didn't care. All John knew was that the revelation was so sweet it made him laugh.
A sunny day can go dark without warning, but clouds can clear just as quickly, so John brought Sherlock into the light with him, clearing the clouds short-and-sweet by shoving a finger in Sherlock's ear.
In the midst of a snotty, hitching sob Sherlock twitched away, choke-laughing, "Stop!"
But John didn't stop. Oh for a lifetime John won't stop a lot of things.
Swearing. He'll try to desist all his days, but John Watson will be foul-mouthed for every last one of them.
Gaining and losing weight. The good doctor will wane and then he'll inevitably wax again and that is the end of that.
Protecting Sherlock Holmes. In this John will not wax, he will not wane. No, from now and for the rest of his life John Watson will do one thing: care for this rare man.
And so when Sherlock moved away John followed, shoving a finger into each of Sherlock's ears, and if there's a way to freak the good detective right the hell on out that appears to be it.
Smearing tears and spit and lingering drippy bits of come everywhere, they tussled, they turned, they giggled, they groaned.
Sherlock accidentally jammed his fractured fingers against the bed and yowled, John banged his wounded brow on Sherlock's shoulder and swore.
And about two minutes into their wrestling one of them twisted, the other turned, and down they went together, falling on the floor with a Hudson-startling crash.
There's a spot very near 221B that John knows Sherlock loves. It's where Baker Street meets Marylebone Road and John's pretty sure Sherlock loves it because it's…well it's a lot like Sherlock's brain.
It's relentless, that intersection, never quiet. Cars fly in a six-lane flurry along Marylebone, heading to or from the flyover. Taxis swerve fast round corners, hurtling to the cricket ground. And pedestrians, oh they're like life's blood, flowing thick down kerbs, seeping in a relentless river around traffic-stilled cars.
That intersection where their broad and precious street meets one of London's major arteries, oh it's a persistent place, inexorable. Like Sherlock.
When he's confounded by data, Sherlock sometimes walks the few hundred metres from the flat to any one of Baker Street's corners, and hands in pockets he'll stand still on the pavement, always enough in the way that people must flow around him. It's not their proximity he craves, it's their unceasing motion stripping from his mind the extraneous, somehow leaving behind the clarifying vital. On more than one occasion John's called those corners Sherlock's thinking place.
But thinking wasn't why Sherlock was there now.
No, Sherlock was standing at that intersection because when Sherlock woke he did what he so often does, reached for John. He found instead his own mobile on John's pillow.
The text was simple and clear: I'm not here to think…I'm here waiting for you.
So, on the day after the day they'd give no name, no special signifier, the day they'd pretend together and forever that they had forgotten, yes, the day after that day Sherlock stood on the west corner of Baker Street and looked south, across Marylebone. And there he did not see John.
So Sherlock looked east, to the other side of Baker Street's four lanes. There he also did not see John.
Sherlock then looked south-east and there the good doctor stood, on the pedestrian island, a small spit of concrete right in the middle of Baker and Marylebone. Standing still right there in a flow of pedestrian traffic while hundreds of cars paused for red lights, so close to him that John could have touched their metal bodies.
When John saw Sherlock finally seeing him, he smiled.
Sherlock will tell you that he never guesses. When he says that, know that Sherlock lies. Because Sherlock guesses all the time. Guessing so often gets you answers because if someone more informed, smarter, or just entirely more pedantic than you is within earshot they're going to correct you. Then—bingo!—evidence unearthed, answer found, wrong righted.
But Sherlock tries not to guess with John and even more, he often tries not to deduce John. Because Sherlock's found something rarer than the charms of being right, with the good doctor he's found a person with whom he doesn't mind being wrong.
No, that's a lie as well, Sherlock still doesn't like being wrong, but with John he feels no shame for it.
That was all beside the point actually. The point was John. There. On that safe, busy little spit of concrete. And Sherlock not wanting to guess why, not wanting to deduce. He wanted John to tell him.
Sherlock stepped from the kerb and against the light of course, striding in front of a Jag, earning a curse from a cab, and John frowned and smiled at the same time and finally Sherlock was there with his lover, on that small island amidst the metal sea.
John blinked up at Sherlock. Sherlock blinked down at John. John looked at the cars around them so close, idling at the red, and so Sherlock looked, too.
John observed the press of people standing beside them. So Sherlock did, too.
After John saw Sherlock seeing all of this, seeing all those very many gazes, all those people who would see, John showed Sherlock he wasn't afraid of them seeing, that he wanted it, that he would never, ever be afraid of letting everyone know how much he loved Sherlock Holmes.
John stood on his tiptoes, wrapped his arms around Sherlock's neck, and kissed him on the mouth.
Sherlock did not at first kiss back.
Because that public kiss made Sherlock think of fists. It made him think of pain and protecting from pain. It made him want to pull away.
Yet here's the thing: Sherlock knows the mind's a tricky place, that it will connect one thing to another thing, making paths, creating memories. Sometimes the paths it makes skew. Sometimes the memories it makes are false. So standing there not kissing back Sherlock realised he was connecting what had happened to John to John's love, and that he was letting it create a faulty, false connection: Fear.
Oh bloody hell well.
The man who will out talk, out think, out run just about everyone he knows, the one who lives on being lavish, well that one laughed against John's mouth, and finally he kissed back.
They held one another like that, kissing as if that was what that place was for, kissing as if showing everyone who would look, exactly what love looked like.
It looks like laughing, John would say.
It looks like John, Sherlock would say.
What it really looked like was fighting back fear, it looked like being joyous every single moment because that's what each breath was for, to feel and touch and smile and search and dream and love and love and love.
To breathe. And love. And to let everyone see no matter what.
That's what happened that day right in the middle of Baker Street and Marylebone Road.
And that day they'd give a name, oh yes they would.
Yeah, they'd remember The Morning When That Cabbie Drove Into The Bollard Because She Was Staring At Us for a very, very long time.
"It was worth a wound, it was worth many wounds…" So goes Arthur Conan Doyle's sweet words about a moment in 'The Adventure of the Three Garridebs' when John realises how much Sherlock cares about him. I wanted my version of John to have a similar revelation.