Never Counterfeit of Passion
"By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it but that she loves him with an enrag'd affection; it is past the infinite of thought…There was never counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion as she discovers it"
Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Scene III,
Author Note: This fic was inspired by some truly amazing livejournal photo manipulations by a user called tabby_stardust, most notably a manip called 'Because the night'. A warning now that although the one I focused on is probably T rated, there is an adult content warning on the other three, but even so I urge you to check them out.
Sometimes it felt as though the whole world revolved around these stolen moments.
When the streetlamps outside were dim stuttering orbs of light fighting against the greater darkness of night time, when all was silence and Mrs Hudson had finally retired to her own rooms for sleep, Watson lived his secret life, a late night life of criminal vice that he would not exchange for anything regardless of the consequences.
The life started the moment he heard the door into his room open softly, with barely a creak on its well oiled hinges, his eyes looking up to see Holmes creeping in, not yet changed out of his day clothes, a smile on his face of anticipation and a nod to Watson to confirm silently that the cost was clear. They were finally alone.
Watson stood up patiently from where he had been sitting in a chair by the unlit fire, waiting for Holmes to arrive, a tingle in his fingers as he imagined Mrs Hudson sleeping downstairs, unaware of the debauchery about to be committed in her house, and he had just about enough time to ready himself before Holmes quickly locked the door with the key that already was in the lock, crossing the space over to Watson in a few quick strides before their bodies finally made contact. Sherlock's lips pressed hard against his own, bruising them as he fed on them hungrily, Watson manoeuvring himself into a more comfortable position, his back pushed up against the wall in the sudden battle for dominance that Holmes seemed to be winning, both hurriedly trying to remove each others clothes in a desperate frenzy for contact - Holmes damming whoever thought waistcoats were a good idea as he struggled to undo the button's on Watson's. It had been a long day; a tiring day, and both of them had nearly died more than once in pursuit of some fraudsters who had seemed harmless enough, until they were cornered and began firing bullets. It hadn't seemed that important at the time, they had had other things on their mind, but now they were alone, the simple act of being this intimate with the other was reaffirming calm into their shaken hearts, proving that the other was still alive, still safe. Not caring about where they were, not caring about how morally wrong this was, or even thinking of where they would end up over the course of the night, be it the bed or even the floor if they were so consumed they were unable to make it there. Nothing mattered at all, nothing but this.
That night had been passionate, barely any words spoken apart from to sound each other's names on their lips, like the mere words were sacred talismans to protect them and guide them as they sought solace in the touch of each others body. It was rough and unrepentant; each leaving marks of ownership on the other from where fingers had gripped too tight, or their devouring kisses had strayed too long on the sensitive skin of the neck. It was not always this way.
Watson felt he had lived a thousand and one separate nights in the times they shared this way, been a thousand and one different people, each moment a new adventure written for just the two of them, every touch and restrained groan and sensation different to the last. Some nights were lost in only the physical pleasure, flesh wrapped around flesh as the act consumed them both, constantly touching, striving for something deeper, closer and when they found it, begging in whispered voices barely held in check for release. But many nights it was gentle, sincere, and Watson saw sides of Holmes he rarely exposed, sides he liked to think that only he had ever seen, a man who behind all his coldness and detachments housed a heart that blazed with untold depths of passion and romance. On these nights, it was not rushed, both taking the time to learn the map of the others body anew, words of love and need whispered reverently as they revelled in the intimacy, Holmes's usual abandon curbed as he moved gently against Watson, feeling the texture of his hair as he carded his fingers through it, taking in the smell of his skin, the feel of his body. It may have been criminal, but it never felt as such and it was a crime Watson would gladly repeat over and over again with no guilt or remorse. Holmes had never paid much heed to convention or laws and Watson had long ago made peace with his own morality. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't see how loving someone could be wrong, how feeling so complete with another man, a man who was everything to him and more, would be any different than the feelings between a man and a woman.
Sometimes even, although rarely- they were both men after all, with passions and desires that never seemed quite sated-, they just sat together, talking into the night, sharing a glass of port and discussing anything that came to mind. Watson sometimes felt the inclination to reach out, to stroke Holmes's hair, pull him into a soft kiss, but the detective didn't seem to mind much, for very often those kisses provided gateways to ones more passionate, which then lead to other more intimate acts.
However, when all of this was said and done, it seemed the quiet moments that Watson treasured the most. The moments when their passions had been spent, their hunger momentarily sated and they lay exhausted in the comfort of each others arms, content to simply be in each others company, knowing that they at least had until the morning before Holmes would have to return to his own rooms just in case Mrs Hudson came into his quarters and found them empty. Both knew the seriousness of the consequences if they were caught together.
Usually these nights found Holmes asleep, his arms still wrapped around Watson, a blanket preserving his modesty. Watson, in these moments, felt no inclination to fall asleep just yet and was content to just lie awake, his arm cradling his partners head where it rested in the alcove of his shoulders, just listening to Holmes's gentle breathing and absentmindedly twisting dark locks of the mans haywire hair around his fingers. It felt as though they were the only two people in the world, and Watson allowed himself to wonder how he'd managed to fall in love with the most impossible man alive; a reckless man who scared him when he was injured and angered him when he didn't seem to care about the danger, a passionate man who moaned his name reverently like he'd lose control just speaking it, who kissed him on the back of the neck and suggested sultry things into the doctors ear when he was meant to be working, who whispered 'I love you' when he thought no one was listening ,as though he was inviting a weakness in his hard exterior that he couldn't bring himself to fix up.
It is in these moment that Watson knows with thoughts as clear as daylight that he'd do anything for Holmes, he'd do anything to keep him safe, and he gently presses a kiss to his forehead as the detective sleeps on, promising silently in words he can't quite voice that he'll never leave him, that he'll never stop loving him.
Because he knows it's a promise he'll always keep.