I neither own nor profit from any of these characters; they are the property of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the BBC.

If you see something that you think ought to be changed or improved, please feel free to let me know, if you'd like. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

De-anon from kinkmeme prompt:

"Sherlock and John return from a case giddy. Sherlock begins to undress John.
And John pulls back.
Sherlock is confused. He goes to embrace John; John pulls back again.
John is ashamed… and frightened.
Sherlock discovers that John's entire back is horribly scarred. With gentle questioning and a great deal of deducing, John reveals that his father was horrifically abusive toward him. He not only made John believe he was worthless, he whipped him. Constantly. Harry and his mother knew and did nothing.
Sherlock, in a show of immense emotion and love, is determined to prove to John that he is not worthless, and that the scars upon his back do not make him ugly."

Sherlock's done it again.

John can tell right away by the look on his face and the way his eyes are shining as he turns to Lestrade, the words already beginning to tumble wildly from him as he leaps from clue to clue, outlining all the things the team has missed. He's speaking rapidly; John isn't immediately sure why, but he catches on quickly as Sherlock shouts the last few words and takes off at a blind run, heading down an alleyway in the obvious anticipation of John's being right behind him.

Lestrade calls after them, but it goes unheard. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are on the case, and generally, that involves a lot of running.

They collar their man, of course, dragging him back to Lestrade gasping and struggling, but Sherlock has jumped on the bonnet of one too many cars this time, and the irate owner is already at their heels, words unintelligible in the rapidly-decreasing distance between them.

One quick, shared glance and they are off again, leaving Lestrade to subdue the murderer and the driver, racing back to Baker Street as though both were still in hot pursuit. They love this, the running and the rush and the sudden stumble to a halt when they realize they are safe inside their own front door, stooped and breathless and giggling like best friends, like children.

Until they're not, and Sherlock's lips are on John's and John's hands are tangled in Sherlock's hair and this is new, this is something they have thought about (privately, behind closed doors, without a word) but never done.

They part, short of breath now for two reasons, and lock gazes for a split second.

Then they are one again, John pulling Sherlock closer, and Sherlock's hands finding the top button of John's shirt, and then another, and another, and –

– suddenly John is pulling away, alarm clearly written on his features, tripping over his heels in his haste to be somewhere, anywhere but here. He ends up in the corner, back against the wall.

The slightly disbelieving smile drops from Sherlock's face, replaced with consternation as he tries to understand what has just happened.


"I – Sherlock, I – "

John is confused, or scared, or something else. He looks almost sick in the dim light of the corridor. Sherlock has never been very good with people's emotions; he hasn't the patience. But this is John, and what they were just doing means something, and Sherlock can't just shrug it off. He has to understand.

He knows abstractly what comfort looks like. He's seen it done in films and on television. He's never had to worry about it himself, because John is the only person who cares whether or not the people Sherlock encounters are comforted for loss or trauma, and John has always been the one to do it.

So he tries what he has seen in films, reaching out for John, to close his arms around the smaller man and try to bring back what they just had.

But John draws farther back, crowding into the recess of Mrs. Hudson's door where Sherlock cannot reach him, clutching at his half-open shirt as he tries to fumble the buttons back into place.


"Sherlock – please – don't – "

"I don't understand." An admission only John ever hears from Sherlock, and only ever when the question is of emotion and convention and social rules and mores. An admission that makes Sherlock vulnerable, but this is John.

"I can't – I – "

John takes a moment to compose himself and finish buttoning the shirt.

"Can we go upstairs?"

Sherlock nods, waves a hand at the stairs to indicate that John should go ahead of him.

"Will you talk to me there?"

A flash of something across John's face. He closes his eyes.

Sherlock waits.

With as tiny a gesture as possible, John nods.