In which I, John Watson, manage to accidentally convince my flatmate I'm in love with him.
I stopped writing in my blog after that. It didn't seem right, to share with anybody else what I had with Sherlock; I liked keeping it all to myself.
Lestrade – who had been immensely smug, for weeks, about having 'caught' the townhouse killer on his own, with 'barely any help' from Sherlock – mentioned it first. "No new stories, John?"
"Haven't felt much like writing," I said, with a shrug.
Mrs. Hudson was next: "Well now, Doctor Watson, I'm very sorry to see that you have stopped putting your adventures up on the internet." I hadn't even known she'd been reading them: "Oh yes, dear, it's the only way I ever know what Sherlock is up to!"
Then a text from an unlisted number: No updates, Doctor Watson? Must I reassemble the surveillance team?
"Menace," Sherlock muttered.
Finally a random fellow in a pub overheard our names when we paid our tab, and asked "wasn't I the chap with those online detective novels?" Erm, yes, I was. His hearty clap on the back, with the exhortation to "put up a new one, why don't you!" had Sherlock tugging me out by my coat-sleeve (he had an aversion to other people touching me, I'd noticed).
"It's no use, John," he said finally, as we sat together watching tellie – or at least, I was watching, while he was maintaining a steady stream of commentary on the actors and adverts. Pretty soon I'd be getting him off just so I could watch an hour in peace (he got dozy, afterwards).
"What's no use?"
He shoved in against my side and my hand dropped automatically to his shoulder, patting him absentmindedly. He had me quite trained now to respond to his slightest requests for attention. "No use in you ceasing to produce your little fictions."
"Do you want me to start it back up? I thought you didn't like them," I stroked his hair as I spoke, trying to remember a time when I hadn't wanted to do this. A time I would have been afraid to touch him, even if the thought had ever occurred to me. As my fingers passed his ear I gave it a tug and he snarled, pretending to twist away, but then he pushed his face into my thigh for more petting. Damn moggy.
"I don't like them. They're inaccurate and sensationalized, and you usually manage to get in a dig about how ignorant or rude I am."
This was quite possibly true, so I said nothing, merely stroking his spine and watching, over his head, as somebody from Edinburgh won a free car. "So, you should be happy I've stopped then."
"It's become evident that people enjoy the stories." Sherlock looked perturbed. "Maybe you should continue to produce them, and just try to do a better job of it."
So, based on that sterling suggestion, I did start posting again, first with a short, dry recap of our adventures at the pool. Much to my surprise, there were three thousand hits within the first 24 hours: evidently I – or Sherlock, anyway – was really becoming quite popular. Which was fortunate, as at that time I was still out of a job.
I started making things up after that. Obviously I couldn't write about what really happened to Moriarty anyway, so that whole case was a work of fiction, and even when we got back to solving regular crimes I altered the characterizations. I kept Sherlock the way he had seemed to me when I first met him: distant, cold, calculating as a machine. I wrote John Watson as a bit of a simpleton (Sherlock's comment: "it's nice that you're becoming more realistic, John,") and Sherlock as some kind of heroic figure, never bending, never wrong – less and less like the living, breathing man in my bed with every story.
I'm pretty sure that Sherlock liked having people see him that way, anyhow.
"What did you mean by calling me implacable," Sherlock demanded, a man who still claims he doesn't read my blog. "Is that really a compliment?"
I was lying on my side, stroking his cock with my hands as he very irregularly and inconsistently did the same to me (he was terrible at this. It was apparently the one thing he could not instantly master, just my luck).
"Hey, I had a lot of trouble coming up with that word," I said. Squeezing to watch him lift his hips, his eyes closing in pleasure. He liked that. "I went through incorrigible, inveterate, and inexorable before I settled on implacable. Really seemed the most complementary of the lot."
"I should not have shown you how to use the online thesaurus," he grumbled.
I laughed and rolled over onto my back, and he climbed obligingly up on top of me. I leaned up to kiss him, which he accepted, his hands sliding up to rest at my shoulders, his eyes on my face.
"John," he asked, stroking my jaw with his thumbs. "Can – can I be the penetrative partner this time?"
I had wondered how long he would wait before asking for this; I was sure he had thought about it. "Please, John," he murmured, nipping at my neck (he was a bit of a biter). "Please, please, please." I had never heard him beg before, although he had often ordered or demanded.
I had my misgivings.
There was a lot to like about having sex with Sherlock. The way he got clingy during, his fingers latching onto my wrist, or my clothing if we hadn't managed to get all the way undressed. The way his eyes widened when he came, as if every time it took him completely by surprise. How when we were done, he was so sensitive that every touch lit him up like a Christmas tree.
Things I loved less: that he sometimes texted Lestrade or the yard to let them know he'd be "unavailable" at certain – shockingly specific: 7.38 to 8.15 pm tonight – times. "Everybody knows what we're doing, Sherlock," I protested; "you couldn't be a little more discreet?" (I only ever found out about these things after we'd done it, specifically when I asked why he was checking his watch).
"You're too repressed, John," he said, irritably, like I was being crazy, like most people telegraph their sexual encounters to anyone who will listen. He was also apparently in the habit of openly discussing our sexual relationship with Mrs. Hudson, which meant I could never look her in the face again.
But the big thing was that he was, in all honesty, a bit selfish in the bedroom; eager to receive but rarely initiating much, always expecting me to provide what he was looking for with very little effort on his part.
Could I really trust him with this? I had never done it before, never wanted to either, never thought about it much.
But then, he had let me do it to him. Repeatedly. Really, it only seemed fair . . .
"Of - of course," I said, finally. "Of course you can, I've only been waiting for you to ask."
So that was how I found myself leaning against the headboard of Sherlock's bed, feeling a bit ridiculous as he got himself sorted out behind me. I didn't have great expectations as I held my breath, waiting for him to push in.
It hurt like hell; it was too soon, and I was still dry and tight. But I didn't protest, having promised I would let him try. I just kept quiet, trying to relax as he drove forward, relentless and persistent - implacable - in a way I should have expected.
He braced himself and pushed, and I felt myself letting him in - like being split open, like being turned inside-out. I couldn't help a moan as he bottomed out, and his hand whipped around, fast as a snake, to take hold of my limp cock – the pain had taken the wind right out my sails. Then Sherlock was pulling out, frantically, as I sighed in relief. "John, I'm sorry," he said urgently, "why didn't you tell me I was hurting you?"
"It's alright, Sherlock," I said, although he had been a little rough; "I'm a big man, I can handle it."
Gentle fingers stroked my hip. "The other fellow liked it like this," said Sherlock, in a small voice.
I had discovered that I didn't like thinking about Sherlock's past sexual explorations – I was guessing they were troubling and sad, and I didn't like to hear about them. I certainly didn't want to know what depraved individual had let a complete stranger go at him like that, and if he'd treated Sherlock in the same way, I would kill him.
"Yes, well," I said, "it's different when it's somebody you – care about." I didn't even notice, then, that I had mixed up the order from how we usually had it; somebody who cares about you. "Let's just try going a little slower, hmm? It'll be alright. Come on, give it another try."
"No, I don't want to, anymore," said Sherlock, backing away from me on his knees. "I don't – I don't like to hurt you, John."
"Sherlock," I said, feeling guilty now – I was sure he liked to top, and I didn't really want to ruin him for sex, having already lured him into this relationship under false pretenses. He had turned away and was sitting on the edge of the bed, and I scooted over next to him. "Don't be a baby," I said, which was totally inappropriate given the context. "Just take your time, and then I'll enjoy it." Probably. Possibly.
"Don't want to," said Sherlock, pouting now.
"Come on, Sherlock, just get everything nice and slick first," I said, and I couldn't really believe I was even saying things like this, but - "I promise, you're not hurting me; you're doing this for me, because I asked you to. I want to, okay?"
"Really?" Sherlock looked doubtful.
"Of course I do. I just haven't – done it before." Knowing how possessive he could be, I decided to continue along this train of thought; "You'd be the first one, Sherlock, the only person I've ever let do this to me."
He was listening, I could tell.
"The first and last," I promised.
"Well, alight," he said, sounding mollified. He uncurled and crawled across the bed-sheets towards me, looking rather alarmingly predatory, all of a sudden.
We finally found a position that suited both of us: me, straddling Sherlock's legs and slowly lowering myself down, so that I could control the rate of descent until I was ready. Having managed to instruct Sherlock in the proper etiquette of preparation, I was able now to take all of him and quite enjoy it – or at least not feel the pain that I had last time.
I think Sherlock preferred the position as well, because he could read every thought and expression that flashed across my face – and anyway, he liked to take advantage of any opportunity to watch me fall apart.
I began to move, slowly at first, then with more confidence.
I suppose I had fallen into the habit of thinking of myself as Sherlock's minder, always thinking of his needs and his feelings, and if he'd eaten or if he was cold or if he was guessing my thoughts and might be hurt by them. Even when we had sex, and I was inside of him, I was always concerned that I might be hurting him, or that he finished first (always first, or I couldn't), and that he was feeling properly connected to me and not like those other times.
But now I'd finally given him everything I could give him; I'd literally taken him into my body, and I had nothing else to offer, and for the first time perhaps I could think about myself.
I bent down and kissed him, and maybe he felt some difference too, because he closed his eyes and relaxed and let me do as I liked, sucking lightly on my tongue but not trying to hold my head or direct the pressure or any of the other things he liked to do. He just let me tell him, with my body, with my mouth, that I cared for him, and would always care for him.
He came, which felt – Christ – very weird, but I was glad that he had managed. I wasn't sure I'd be able to – I had no pressure on my cock, and it wasn't like I could finish any other way. Sherlock pulled out as he softened – I muffled a gasp – and then he took me in hand, stroking firmly, tighter at the head, almost squeezing – and I came like a fountain, my fingers clenching around the sheets. His eyes were fixed to my face, just studying my expression, emotionless. He didn't push me off for once, just tightened his arm around my waist and pulled me in against him, so I was panting into his shoulder. My vision was blurry, dazed as he stroked my hair and gently arranged me on his chest on top of him.
"Was it alright?" He asked, doubtfully, as we came down together. "We don't have to do it that way, if you don't like it."
"We'll figure it out," I said, still trying to catch my breath. "Seems like something of an acquired taste."
He still looked uncertain, so I leaned forward to kiss him, resting our foreheads together. "Sherlock, I love you," I said.
He was looking at me, amused. "I know that," he pointed out.
"I know I said it before," I said, "but now I'm saying it knowing what we're like together, and it's different." This was as close as I could come to explaining, without saying something that might be hurtful. I kissed his smooth cheek, then nuzzled there with my nose. "I love you."
He didn't say it back and I didn't expect him to – he never had, after all, in all the time we'd been together. I didn't feel like I deserved that, anyway. Not yet.
"I know you had – doubts, at the beginning," he said finally, in a rough voice.
I paused to look down at him, going suddenly still. "You did?"
"Of course. I'm not thick, John." He stroked my face with one of his massive hands, big enough to cradle my head from temple to my jaw. "Who wouldn't? I'm not – I'm not exactly an easy –"
"Very easy," I said swiftly, cutting him off; I didn't want to hear him put himself down. "Too easy. Easy for me to love."
"Yes, well," he muttered, "you are something of a special case. As I was saying, John, I know that you did not always know your own feelings for me, precisely."
I laid my head against his chest, feeling small and chastened. "I'm sorry," I said.
"Nonsense, my good man." One of his arms drifted down to my shoulders, holding me against him. "It was only to be expected. But do you know, I have never placed great emphasis on words or communication. I knew that you loved me before you did."
"Did you, then?"
"I deduced it, John," he said, brightly. I could hear his voice turn to the tone he used while explaining his thought process on a case. "Let us observe: You are always more careful of my feelings than your own. It is my wellbeing you are concerned with, before anything else. And even when you cannot comprehend my intentions, you endeavor to think the best of me. What am I to assume, then?"
"I can only deduce that you love me. It's the only logical answer."
I still felt that perhaps Sherlock was missing the point of my admission, but with his cock tucked between my thighs it was a little difficult to argue with his reckoning.
"What do you conclude, Watson? Can there be any doubt that your feelings for me are, and always have been, completely sincere in their respect and affection?"
I leaned up to kiss him, wishing that I could have seen it all so clearly from the start. "Brilliant, Holmes!" I said, with just a hint of my former hero-worshipping avidity.
He smiled, demurred modestly; "Elementary."
A/N: Whew, I can't believe it's over! Except I guess it's not really the end - not yet - because I've started a parallel fic to this one, written in Sherlock's POV and covering some of the same events. So if you enjoyed this story I hope you will try Dangerous Assumptions, which is less plotty and mostly deals with Sherlock getting in his own way and being copiously awkward.
Meanwhile, thank you so much to everybody who read this whole thing, and particularly those of you who dropped me a line to let me know what you think. You have no idea what a difference it can make!
Hope to see you soon ~ Cora.