A/N – Been in need of a happy place the last week and when I find it there will be jazz. The following has come out of that.
Warnings – Rated M for sexy times between two men, not explicit, but it is there. I doubt you've gotten this far if you don't like that though.
Disclaimer – The characters and/or the music aren't mine.
Time Out to See
I can't believe that people, including the incredibly handsome doctor in front of me, consider this to be music. The harsh sounds of the saxophone are in direct contrast to the notes coming out of the piano, and the drummer is actually just pounding out a completely random set of beats. It is almost painful. Actually, considering the throbbing that is beginning behind my eyes it is literally painful.
The club is fairly small. There are seventeen tables in front of the stage, each capable of sitting three people, only two comfortably. They are all full. There are seven oversized booths along the back wall, each with tall barriers isolating them. Either end is currently empty as the view of the stage would be less than ideal. John and I are on opposite sides of table in the middle booth.
It is directly under the spotlight, making it difficult for anyone else in the room to see us clearly. And while the light covers the room in a bright haze, I can still view and form accurate deductions about everyone else. Our criminal isn't here, and I suspect that he won't be arriving. There were two possible clubs and it appears he's chosen the one I sent Lestrade to. This is frustrating.
I check the phone, but the text I'm expecting has yet to arrive. I'm ready to leave this establishment, but will not do so until our suspect is apprehended.
"Sherlock." I look at John and he nods towards the entrance. There is a new group coming in. I scan through them quickly, he is not among them. I sigh as the group settles into one of the end booths. This is boring. I look through the groups at the tables, no longer looking at anyone specific.
John says my name again and I turn immediately towards the door. No one is there. I frown and look at John. He has a huge grin on his face, he's enjoying himself. I can't begin to imagine how that is possible. I am certain that if he tries to play anything that sounds like this in the flat that our sexual relationship will immediately come to an end. I don't know that I can continue to love a man who genuinely enjoys this.
He plants his elbows on the table and leans across. I frown but lean, putting my left ear close to him. "I think that he is standing us up."
His breath is warm against my ear, but he's stating the obvious. I am just about to point this out when the kiss behind my earlobe stops the words in my throat. My breath catches and I feel a flash of anger. We are working and this is not appropriate. That is rule number one. But just as quickly the feeling of warmth spreads over me and settles in my chest. I turn and glare at him, but we both know there is no real weight to it.
He gives me a knowing smile. I love that smile, the warmth moves lower. We've been working on this case for 4 days, that's 4 days without sex. It's the only multiple day gap we've had since this relationship began 10 weeks ago. I don't like it. We need to wrap this up and head home.
I reach across table intent on touching John's hand, but the phone vibrates on the table between us. The text message says exactly what I expect it to. Lestrade has taken him into custody. I have a flash of regret that I chose this club over the other one, but then I remember it was a Country and Western establishment.
"Case over then?" John asks, his voice loud but barely making it to me above the horrible noise. I open my mouth to respond just as said noise stops. The audience, including my good doctor, break out into enthusiastic applause. I'm somewhat surprised that all of these idiots have so little musical knowledge.
I roll my eyes and answer John's question. "It appears so. We can go home now." We can have sex, hangs between us. I expect happiness and not the disappointment I see cross John's face. I don't understand.
"I'd like to stay and hear the next group." He says, looking towards the stage.
"John?" I try not to sound as annoyed as I feel. I gesture towards the stage. "That was horrible. It was an unorganized mess, an utter shame to the word music. I'll take you home and we'll listen to music. I'll play music for you. Vivaldi. Mozart."
It is his turn to be annoyed. "Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it doesn't have value. Jazz is very popular and very well thought of. The next band is covering Brubeck, one of my favorites. I'm going to stay and hear it."
I swallow my retort. I'm actively working at tolerating and accepting. I don't like it, but it is a small sacrifice. I have no doubts that in this partnership I am being asked to change very little. The same cannot be said of John.
I roll my eyes again. "If we must."
I adjust my position in the booth, placing my back against the wall and bringing my leg up to rest against the back of the seat. I will say this for the abnormally large bench seats, they are very comfortable.
"You don't have to stay, especially if you don't like it. I'd rather you not criticize every aspect of something that I will enjoy."
I turn my head and am surprised that he is serious, even bordering on angry. Of course I won't enjoy it and it is certainly leaving itself open to criticism. It's horrible. But the puzzle is that John seems to mind my criticism of this. He doesn't mind my criticism of his TV shows or those movies he insists upon making me watch. What is the significance of this music? I don't like not knowing, and will not be able to figure it out if I leave.
"I will not vocalize any distaste that I have with the music." I state, knowing that it won't be easy to do. He frowns, clearly noticing that my answer doesn't mean that I won't be critical of it within the confines of my thoughts. He nods, though, accepting.
It is my turn to frown as he turns his attention back to the stage, there are people moving about setting up for the next band. His eyes watch their movements with interest. I'm tempted to take this moment and google Brubeck, but decide against it. John has previously shown interest in enlightening me in areas where I am lacking knowledge. Perhaps if I allow him to do so here it will prevent him from actually becoming angry with me. I would dislike that more than any combination of horrible sounds that might come off that stage.
"What is Brubeck?" I can see the smile form on his profile before he turns to look at me.
"Dave Brubeck is a jazz pianist." Well I could have guessed and probably come up with that, but do not say so. He adds, "Are you really interested?" I don't like this question, but his body no longer shows the threat of anger so I'll answer.
"I am interested in his significance to you." He raises an eyebrow in disbelief. He never believes that I am truly interested in every aspect of him. "He is obviously important to you. Why would that not interest me?"
He shakes his head a moment before turning back to the stage. "He was my dad's favorite." He states simply. "When I was 9, he took Harry and me to a concert in Birmingham. It was so expensive they decided not to buy a ticket for Mum. It was the first time I ever stayed in a hotel. I was so excited. So was Dad. It was…amazing."
He doesn't look back at me. It isn't necessary for him to clarify more than that. I know enough of the facts of his life to realize that his father would be dead not long after that concert, it was just before John turned 10. John is sentimental, his character dictates that the concert hold significance.
"Then rest assured that I will not pass judgment against the music." I state simply.
He meets my eyes again and offers me a smile that is tinted with relief. This surprises me, surely he knows that I value his feelings more than I hate bad music.
"Thank you." He reaches across the table and brushes his fingers across the back of my hand. I turn mine over and caress his palm. I truly enjoy seeing our fingers moving together; perhaps it's the contrast in skin coloring and size. I can rarely focus long enough to analyze it and as his fingers brush my wrist I realize today will be no different.
"John." I warn, as he is the one who wants to stay for this concert. His knowing smile returns and he pulls his hand back. There is a definite promise of things to come in his movements.
The smile doesn't fade as he slides out of the booth and stands. "Would you like a drink? I think I'm going to grab a pint."
I nod, "That sounds fine."
I watch him, unashamedly, as he walks away. Is it standard relationship practice to enjoy watching your partner walking? Actually, the question is pointless. It is only relevant that I enjoy it.
The lighting gets lower as a group of three men take the stage. I glance at them quickly before watching John walk back to the table, a slower pace this time to prevent spillage. It is still an enjoyable sight.
There is some shuffling around on stage as John sets the drinks on the table. Instead of sitting across from me he settles in next to me. I must look puzzled for a moment because his face shows humor.
He shifts settling his hips between my thighs, pinning my leg into the back of the booth. I am momentarily amazed that the seat is large enough to accommodate us in this fashion, but then his back presses against my chest and the thought floats away.
I spread my unpinned leg farther out pressing more of my lower body into contact with him. Oh yes, this is well worth horrible sounds. He settles his head on my shoulder and I turn to nuzzle just above his ear. I plant a kiss. He smells wonderful.
He crosses his legs out in front of us and settles his hand on the thigh of my pinned leg. I wrap my arms around his waist, and he settles his other hand on top of mine. I'm not usually a proponent of public affection, but this is just comfort for the purposes of the concert. Plus, we are hardly visible given as we are still directly under the spotlight. Although, if I am being truthful, I wouldn't mind this if there was no concert and we were fully visible. This is very, very nice.
The piano and drums start, but I'm not really paying attention. I am perfectly positioned to place a kiss on John's jaw. I do so and am awarded with a smile. I do notice when the saxophone starts because John's fingers start tapping out the notes on my thigh. He's actually a millisecond before each one, anticipating the note before it comes. I watch the fingers, in amazement, as they keep up a continuous pace. I shift my position as the warmth spreads through my body again.
When the piano solo starts, his fingers stop, except his thumb which starts slow circles on my inner thigh. Oh, my body reacts to that gesture pretty quickly as it starts to divert blood flow. It's isn't even remotely awkward yet, but pressed as tightly as John is he must have noticed the slight change.
I push my lips against his ear. "John." It's another warning, I know he understands me. Instead of moving away, he pushes back against me. He starts his tapping as the saxophone begins again. I let out a quiet groan.
"It is called, It's a Raggy Waltz." It takes a moment for me to realize he means the song. For some reason I am barely able to hear it. I blame it on the almost unnoticeable bouncing that John's body has started to do as he moves to the music. I press my fingers into his stomach feeling a change in my body with every breath. This doesn't seem to be a deterrent to John as continues his movements.
Finally, the song end and he stills. I take a deep breath and hold it. I open my mouth with the intent of putting an end to this, but the piano begins again. He shifts, pushing even farther back into me. Any words that were going to exit my mouth are lost as an audible groan escapes my lips, thankfully covered as the saxophone begins to play.
I can hear the smug smile in his voice as he says, "This is my favorite, Take Five." I press my fingers into him again as I take in another breath. I must gain control over my body.
His body stays still and my heart beat is actually slowing. For one victorious moment I think I will win. Then he plants a foot on the floor and the sway begins. His whole body is involved in the back and forth movement, while his fingers still keep time on my leg.
I have lost and I am uncomfortable, my erection is growing and is positioned awkwardly between us. I try to maneuver, but am unable to get the correct leverage.
This is John though, and he is nothing if not a considerate and aware lover. In a quick movement he lifts his hips up and one of his hands is between us, adjusting me.
"Can't have that." His voice sounds far away especially as he takes a moment to trace along my length with his thumb. I bite my lip to keep from making a noise and am surprised that I don't bite through when his hips lower again. Immediately, his little swaying dance begins again. It's so subtle that looking down his body I can barely see it, but I certainly can feel it.
I release a drawn out sigh as John stills at the end of the song. "You are killing me." I mutter but he doesn't respond other than to squeeze my thigh.
The band takes a moment to introduce themselves and I'm torn between relief and desire. I want to leave now. I want to leave now and push John against the wall in the alley next to the building. I could still make it that far. I kiss behind his ear. "Can we go now?" I push against him to emphasis the importance of this.
As the drummer starts to hit his instrument, John turns his head and looks at me like as if this is somehow the strangest request he has ever heard. "No." He says simply and focuses on the stage again. The fingers start and the bounce returns. I can feel the muscles in his abdomen contract and release as he moves. I lean my head back against the wall and close my eyes. Perhaps if I focus on the music…
"Bossa Nova U.S.A" He informs me of the current song. "This one is relatively short." I nod, thankful for that, because the beat is faster and so is his bounce. I feel like I'm panting.
The song is actually too short. I whimper when it is over. I tighten my grip on him as he stops moving suddenly. I involuntarily push up against him twice in the moment that it takes the next song to begin. He chuckles.
The piano comes in fast on this one and John squeezes my thigh again, I realize, rather slowly, that he does this to draw my attention. "I think you'll like this one, Blue Rondo a la Turk. There are a lot of changes, and it's long." At the last word he lifts his hips dragging over me.
"Jesus John." I whisper. He repeats the movement and my head falls to the side against his. The saxophone comes in with a series of quick short notes, John bounces accordingly. His movements are more pronounced, but not much. And then suddenly a series of long sultry notes come out of the instrument and the sway returns, slow and circular.
I grunt and push against him, encouraging him to move faster. He ignores me, staying in sync with the woodwind. When the short notes return, the hips bounce. I gasp.
In a sudden moment of clarity I realize that I am going to come in my pants for the first time since I was 14. And just as suddenly the sway returns. I groan and bite down into Johns shoulder to keep quiet. I tighten around him, he stills and in 1…2…3…thrusts it is over. I suck in a breath through my nose and hold it. There is a hand tight on my thigh and one reaching up and in my hair. Something that would suspiciously sound like a sob gets lost into his shoulder and my body sags.
I hold on to him as I take several gulping breaths. He is steady, constant against me. His scent is dominating the space. It is a long moment of euphoric bliss before I place a kiss against his neck and snap my eyes open. I scan the audience in front of us quickly. There is no hint that anyone has noticed us, not that I particularly care.
He brings one of my hands up to his lips and places a kiss into my palm. "Ok?" He ask, voice quiet.
I nod, planting another kiss against his neck, darting my tongue out to taste him. "Perfect." I mumble against his skin. But he is probably far from it.
I pull my hand away and start to move it down. He grabs my fingers stopping me. "I'm fine." He says, quickly adding. "Later." He settles our hands back on his stomach and his body is completely still as he settles in to enjoy the music.
I watch him silently. His face and body are completely at ease. And after two more songs his mind starts to wonder, clearly oscillating between us sitting here and memories of his father. Odd seeing that there is a drying, sticky spot pressed against him, but sentiment often works in illogical ways. It is one of the many things about him that I doubt I will ever figure out.
I press my cheek against his hair during a pause between songs; the drummer and pianist are making jokes about the saxophonist getting married. I have a flash of jealousy for the man, but it fades. I understand that 10 weeks is too soon to think about forever. It can wait.
"I seem to have misspoken when I claimed I would not pass judgment on this music. It appears that I have enjoyed it a great deal."
He chuckles and it quickly becomes a laugh. He presses his head back into my shoulder, eyes closed. My heart swells with affection for him, this beautiful man who, for reason I will never understand, chooses to share this part of his life with me.
When his eyes meet mine I can see happiness looking back at me. I don't deserve it. "We can go home now if you want?" He says and I can see that he is willing to go.
I shake my head, "Not yet. I want to hear the rest." He squeezes my fingers and turns back to the stage. I should have realized that something John enjoys so much couldn't have been all that horrible.
*Title taken from the awesome Al Jarreau version of Take Five. I prefer The Dave Brubeck Quartet instrumental version though.