Title: One Heart Walking
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes / John Watson
Category: introspection, character study, romance
AN: Starts with the season 1 finale. (Yes, there are spoilers.) Might turn into a series.
Summary: He does have a heart. And it's walking around right in front of him.
One Heart Walking
Sherlock looks at John sitting on the cold, tiled floor, and he can feel the red lights dancing on his chest and neck as if the shots had already been fired, making him choke on his own blood that is pulsing through him. The blue eyes looking at him, trusting, accepting; the nod that is sealing what is clear between them.
And Sherlock realises what Moriarty in his twisted, brilliant mind has already deduced: Sherlock does have a heart, and he is looking at it right now. It is the only explanation of all the facts.
Without Sherlock having been aware of it, John has become the only target, the only wearer of Moriarty's jacket, that would not only get Sherlock to play the game, but the one who would engage him, down to his core. The one game he cannot survive to lose.
"Then probably my answer has crossed yours." The voice echoes off the walls of the swimming pool, freezing the momentum.
His mind, using every resource at his disposal, runs at double the time with the adrenalin flooding his system. Sherlock knows that, has always used fear to his advantage. This time, however, the fear is different. He wants to escape it. For the first time in his life, Sherlock does not want to play. But it is not the fear of death that is so paralytic. Oh, no.
Moriarty is right. There is a way to burn the heart out of Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes would take Moriarty to hell with him for making him be the one to do it.
He caresses the trigger, pointing the gun towards the fire just waiting to be ignited, never taking his eyes off Moriarty. For a brief moment, he allows himself to regret not being able to look at John once more, then he discards the thought. He can't risk looking away, not when the blink of an eye is all that Moriarty might need.
He pulls back his finger.
He can't hear the gunshot. He can't hear the explosion. It does not hurt. The mere seconds it takes for his world to come crashing down stretch to hours of panic, deafening noise and deafening silence, searing and soothing heat, disintegrating reality. His heart is still beating, he knows, yet soon it will burn, just as Moriarty has threatened.
And then there it is. His heart, holding onto him. Gripping. Shoving. Pushing. Cooling and suffocating water surrounding them both. One dull thud under the water amidst the screeching of concrete... and everything is black... and...
... Sherlock awakes with a gasp, sitting in his bed, cold sweat running into his eyes, stinging.
For long minutes, he just sits with the heels of his hands pressing into his eyes, trying to regain his breath. The only sound in the room is the rapid beating of his heart – the muscle, not the real heart.
Just a nightmare. Just a nightmare. He's had it before during the past several weeks. Every night, he wakes soaked and trembling. Every night he wakes confused, not knowing why the explosion shattered him so. Every night he thinks it is because Moriarty has not been found and still poses a threat, never mind that it would be the first time that Sherlock loses sleep over a mere threat.
Every night... except this one. This night is worse, because Sherlock now understands. Finally understands.
His hands fall uselessly into his lap, and his eyes stare at the ceiling.
"How could I not have known? How could I have missed..." He doesn't finish the sentence. He knows how he missed the clues. Missed them, because his mind does not take emotional fallibility into consideration, not in him, not ever.
"You are twice the idiot, Sherlock," he says. Once for allowing the importance of a single person to sneak into his life in the first place. Twice for not noticing it happening. And it has been happening, gradually, he can see it now, clear as day, laughing in his face. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It had been happening from the very beginning, right from the moment in which the risk-seeking doctor did not tell Sherlock to "piss off" but instead laughed with him.
It was an anomaly, it was different, it was fun. And while Sherlock might have originally only wanted to prove a point when making John run with him after that taxi, the smile on the doctor's face when he realised that there was no cane... Sherlock – without wanting or realising to – cared. He cared because he understood. Much as John's leg was hurting without its purpose, Sherlock's mind rebels without a case.
Something else is rebelling inside Sherlock now. Rebelling and threatening to storm the Bastille of predictable rationality. He supposes that he could treat it like a case – it is certainly just as demanding of his attention – if only... if only it concerned merely one person and not two.
Apart from freak, psychopath or sociopath, Sherlock has been called a social retard on several occasions. Quite correctly, too.
No, this is truly not his area. Not even close.
Annoyed at himself and the humanity inside that he cannot seem to shake for the sake of his mind, he gets up and throws on a bathrobe before quietly wandering into their living room.
He is not always this considerate. Most of the time, he doesn't care whether or not he wakes John, because his thoughts are otherwise occupied. Some of the times, he cares that he does wake him, whenever the silence is too distracting for him to think clearly.
This is not either of those times. Sherlock stands by the window, the streetlights drawing contours on his unmoving face. He needs time with his thoughts, and he needs the quiet to hear himself. There are always so many thoughts and sounds and existences around him that he focuses on. He hardly ever focuses on himself. How confusing and frightening. How... intriguing.
The only outwards signs that he is more than a statue made of pale marble are his breathing and his eyes darting back and forth, following the trails of his thoughts.
What are the possibilities at hand?
Backwards? No, no. Backwards is never an option. Now that he is aware of the situation, ignoring it wouldn't make it go away.
Sidestepping? No. Sidestepping requires constant effort. Distracting.
Which only leaves forward, which usually is his preferred method. In this case, the possible ramifications are still to be considered. He can, after all, not live without his heart. Well, maybe that is a bit melodramatic. The fact remains that, however... he does not want to. John fills a part of Sherlock that he hadn't been aware had ever been vacant.
Confrontation? Risky. Never mind the fact that Sherlock is unsure what his intention even is, unused as he is to such matters. Clearly, that requires more thought.
Upholding the status quo? Possible. And more than likely the immediate course of action for some time, frustrating as that may yet prove to be.
What about John's possible reaction to a hypothetical confrontation, then? Sherlock does have a lot of data concerning the other man, after all, and should be able to reach a valid deduction.
"No, no. I'm not asking... no." Those had been John's words when Sherlock had assumed that there might be some romantic interest, hadn't they? And John had seemed quite serious. This brings Sherlock back to the sidestepping, which he knows he cannot uphold for long. He is not someone to ignore the obvious fact.
On the other hand, Sherlock had been quite serious at the time, as well. "I consider myself married to my work." He still considers himself that, but something about John's presence in his life is different. A different variable than originally assumed. Much more... essential.
"... I'm really not looking..." Well, that doesn't mean you did not find, does it, Sherlock?
Then another set of words echo through Sherlock's mind. Words spoken by a much hated, yet disturbingly insightful voice.
"You've rather shown your hand there, Doctor Watson."
Sherlock already knows that he is important to John. That is not news to him... The exact extent remains somewhat of a mystery, though. He's already misread John once. The one time at Angelo's.
Sherlock flinches. Or has he? Just because John is not aware of feeling attraction doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't. Much like Sherlock himself hadn't been aware of it.
And John has ample reasons to ignore the signs.
Reason one: John likes women, and women are easier. More acceptable. There is less friction with outsiders. No hide-and-seek, no obscuring of pronouns. No, "oh, are you..." questions with open ended sentences. Even if it "would be fine, by the way."
Reason two: Harry. John does not approve of Harry, never has. He has every reason to be as dissimilar to his sister as he can. Whether John is consciously aware of it or not, Harry has proven, time and time again, that her kind of life is not one worth pursuing, which might or might not include sexual orientation. The subconscious is a terribly strong motivator, particularly because one is not aware of it.
Reason three: Perceived familial obligations. John has no more siblings. Harry does not have children – nor should she in her current (and apparently long since ongoing) circumstances.
Reason four: Because of the above mentioned reasons, it is entirely plausible that any type of attraction to his own sex is new and frightening to John. Of course it would be. It is for many people, and most of which have not lived as many comfortable years on the heterosexual side of the fence with little to no incentive to ever change that.
"Run, Sherlock!" – "You've rather shown your hand there, Doctor Watson."
"Girlfriends, boyfriends." – "You're unattached like me."
Body language... Very distinctive body language.
"You've rather shown your hand there, Doctor Watson..."
Sherlock is usually very good at reading signals that others unconsciously send out. That does not mean... that they will ever acknowledge the reasons for sending them, Sherlock is aware.
But the reasons are there.
He is putting together the most promising way to deal with the situation he now has at his hands when soft steps from behind him interrupt his musings.
He blinks slowly and releases his breath just as slowly. He would have to make time for himself, his thoughts and intentions again later.
"You still have nightmares?" John asks.
Sherlock straightens and clears his throat. "They will not be bothering me in the future, anymore." He turns around to face his friend, both of them dressed amusingly similarly. John in red and brown, while Sherlock himself favours blue and grey.
John appears sceptical. "I don't think... that post traumatic stress just stops because you want it to."
Sherlock can't help but smirk. "That would be true. If it was post traumatic stress."
John blinks, then understands. "You weren't having those nightmares because we both almost got killed?"
"Of course not," he replies, quickly. Not entirely anyway. "This isn't the first time I got close to dying." The first time you did, and I couldn't do anything to stop it. And now I understand why; curse you for making me human. Curse you. Love you.
John turns that thought over in his head, examining it. "So... what's different, this time?"
For a long moment, Sherlock can't breathe. The way the question is formed, the way the inflection makes it sound like much too deliberate a question to be as innocent as John would like to make it appear…
'You know the answer to that, don't you, John?' Sherlock wonders if any way but forward has ever been an option with someone who knows him as well as John apparently and inexplicably does. And whenever John does, Sherlock can't help but grin. He doesn't dare to now.
"Just... something that I managed to... miss."
John laughs lightly. "You? Miss something?"
Sherlock throws him an annoyed look.
"Must be quite something, then."
"You could say that," he answers noncommittally. He can see John weighing his options. He can see the exact moment when the doctor's mind stumbles over different. Only one thing has been different. Differentdifferentdifferent. 'You knew before, John, and you still know now.'
What John says instead, is, "Can I help?"
The offer comes so unexpectedly that Sherlock blinks in surprise, clears his throat and then turns halfway to the side. "No," he waves off John's concern. "This is just me being... me."
"With me, though," John says.
Sherlock's eyes flicker to John, take in the calm look on the other's face, the way he is just standing there, solid as a rock. His rock. How can he have... how could John have... John and not Sherlock...?
John, finally, takes pity on him. "I... uhm... kind of realised a thing or two about myself when I decided I was ready to get myself blown up to make sure you'd be safe. Caused quite a bit of..." he half-nods, half-shrugs, "... confusion, I can tell you that."
Sherlock finds himself at loss for words. John had been aware, and had apparently merely been waiting to see if Sherlock felt similarly. "It... is..."
"I know. Not really your area." He smiles benignly, and Sherlock can't help but answer that with a self-deprecating chuckle of his own.
"Your insight is uncanny," Sherlock finally says, smirking.
"Well... some of it was bound to rub off, eventually."
Another small laugh from both of them, together with a shared grin. Sherlock curses himself for not having figured this out sooner, giving him no more time to come to terms with his intentions. He knows what he feels, he doesn't yet know or understand what he wants. Not really. He needs to... He needs more data. His smile disappears slowly.
"How did you know?" Because he is now certain that John wouldn't have been quite so sure about Sherlock's emotions if he had only just read him now.
John pulls a face. "Moriarty."
Sherlock inclines his head.
"He could have gone after a number of people to make his... final point," John explains. "Yet he came after me. It occurred to me..." he pauses, uncomfortably, "... that if the situation had been reversed, and you had been in his place... you wouldn't have gone after someone who is merely a flatmate."
Sherlock sighs. His ingrained blindness towards himself is irritating as well as surprisingly extensive. John is right, in another person, he would have seen the... infatuation... almost immediately.
John takes a step closer, holding up a placating hand. "You couldn't have seen it."
Sherlock's eyes flash. "I should have!"
John merely shrugs. "You're a self-declared sociopath. How could you possibly have seen it?"
The truth of the statement only manages to irritate Sherlock further. Keeping his distance, not leaving space for anything but what is essential to his work... he had always believed that to be the most efficient course of action. And because of it, he now found himself out of his comfort zone. He has completely ignored a part of himself, and that now consequently leaves him unprepared and without insight as to how to deal with this new situation. It is distracting him, delaying his orderly thought processes. It is entirely unacceptable.
And yet... this isn't about thought processes, is it? If it was, Sherlock would have no problems dealing with it. This was difficult, and wanting to understand isn't always enough. Feelings... are tangled, messy, confusing. Unavoidable. He knows enough about emotions to understand that they will not be dissipated by sheer force of will, and Sherlock... is not entirely certain that he would wish for it even if he could.
"He is going to try again," he finally says. The painful emotion now clearly burning inside him, mocking him for having missed it.
Sherlock turns to the side, avoiding John's eyes. "You're..." There really is no sense in ignoring it any longer. "You are the heart, John. He's going to try to... burn..." He can't finish the sentence and risks a quick glance at his friend who is now openly staring at him in amazement.
John clears his throat, quickly, trying to regain his composure. "Yes, well. He's going to do that either way," John says, stating the facts that he knew Sherlock must have considered himself. "I can't escape you. No, wait, that didn't come out right," he interrupts his thought himself. "I don't want to," he admits.
Sherlock nods. The pain is etched into his features in an expression that John has only seen the one time by the pool. Then he... lets it go. He briefly purses his lips. "You seem to have made up your mind."
John's lip twitches. "Like I said. I had a head start."
Sherlock smiles again. John never fails to amuse him. "Thank you."
"Allowing me... these... musings." He waves his hand in a vague gesture. "I realise this is not the standard protocol for... a situation of a romantic nature." He frowns, annoyed at himself again. He likes being precise, but his insecurity is truly taking it to hitherto unknown heights, using the specific words to disguise the fact that he doesn't know how to use the appropriately emotional ones.
John smiles fondly at him. It says that he doesn't mean it in a bad way and doesn't in the strictest sense laugh at him. Not really.
"I hate to be the one to break it to you, Sherlock, but you're a mess, and you need to think this through."
"And you're providing."
"Yes." They consider each other for a long moment, before John continues. "This is just you, I guess. The way you are. Different. And if you weren't... well."
"I guess you wouldn't consider changing your habits quite so readily."
Neither of them speaks the thought out loud that, obviously, the same would have to apply to Sherlock.
Then Sherlock fidgets again. "What exactly... are you... considering?"
John blinks. "You really need to ask?"
Sherlock swallows, desperately clinging to whatever nonchalance he has, grasping for words. No, it is not his area at all. "Your interest in women is hard to miss, and there can be... romantic interest without the sexual aspect..."
John takes a deep breath and rushes out: "Your neck makes me curse the moments when you're wearing t-shirts, because I want to be able to go from there and work myself down button by button." He breathes and looks for all the world like he's waiting for the firing squad to receive their order. "I, uh..." he clears his throat. "I've been thinking about that. Recently. Since the uh... yeah."
Sherlock just stares at him, taking in the flustered state of his friend in wonder. The rapid breathing, the nervous licking of his lips, the sweat glistening at his temples, the wild eyes... John Watson ignites him.
"Of course," John suddenly adds, averting his eyes, "if you're not interested in me in that way..."
"That will not be a problem," Sherlock interrupts him. "Not at all."
John bites back the smile that threatens to break free. "Good. That's... good. You just never struck me as the overtly sexual type, that's all."
Sherlock grins and saunters - saunters! - closer. "That would be because people usually don't interest me for themselves." Of course, he has been known to use other people's attraction to him every now and again. That part he understands.
John is now visibly nervous again, and Sherlock understands that as well. Changing habits... can be frightening. But when Sherlock stands within reaching distance, John reaches out a hand and lays it on Sherlock's waist.
John clears his throat again. "I'm... a bit out of my depth, here, though."
"You and me both."
A thought suddenly occurs to John, and he looks at Sherlock's face, trying to read it. "Just how out of your depth are you...?"
Sherlock, deciphering the message in the way it was intended of course, returns the look incredulously. "I'm much too curious to be a virgin, John," he says, amusement tingeing his voice.
"Of course." John rolls his eyes. "Wouldn't do for Sherlock Holmes not to understand one of the most powerful motivators for violence."
"Naturally." Sherlock moves another step closer, until there is hardly any space between them and runs a hand up John's still out stretched arm to his shoulder.
"Guy and girl." It's not a question.
"Of course," Sherlock shoots back, the restored banter breaking the last bit of tension. His hand moves from the shoulder to cup the neck. "Not at the same time, however," he adds, mostly to mess with John.
"Of course not. That would screw with the result."
Their foreheads touch with their laughter, and from there the smiling kiss comes surprisingly naturally.
Sherlock kisses like he experiments. With perfect care, diligently trying out all angles with his lips before moving to the next and deepening the kiss. Every contact is a new reference point, allowing him to presume how John will react to which kind of stimulus, letting him conclude how best to proceed. And every time he reads a signal right, receives the reaction he attempted to elicit, it spurns him on, excites him.
When Sherlock's tongue conquers John's mouth, neither can hold back a moan, and Sherlock has to acknowledge that none of his previous experimentations hold a candle to this.
He had at the time calculated the possible impact of the emotional aspect on physical affection and had estimated it to be minimal at best. Sherlock doesn't usually like to be wrong, but he does like to be surprised – pleasantly surprised at that.
He is surprised yet again when the sensations force him to apply a more immediate approach with less providence than he would have preferred under normal circumstances. But since he has every confidence that his mind will record all the things transpiring faithfully, he allows himself to walk this entirely novel path with the resolution to later examine everything at great length.
And Sherlock... lets go.
John can feel when Sherlock's movements lose some of their edge and become less precise, and the apparent trust very nearly makes him sob into the kiss. Instead, he wraps both his arms tightly around Sherlock's torso, and Sherlock responds by wrapping his own around John's shoulders and weave his finger through the short hair.
It doesn't take long for John to let go of his own restraint as well, and he moves his hands from Sherlock's back to his front, runs them over his stomach and chest, before they go higher to push the robe off Sherlock's shoulders and onto the floor.
Sherlock lets go of John to oblige and in return removes John's robe as well. For a few breaths they just look at each other, both apprehensive but still quite happy with being where they are, then they kiss again.
John's hands find Sherlock's neck and chest again. He's thought about the body that is now at his disposal often in the past weeks, and it had taken him the whole of the first week to realise that not only did the lacking curves not disturb him, he indeed found the angular features to be almost exotically appealing. Discovering them now was... well... incredible. A month ago, this would have been inconceivable, and now it feels like everything he has ever longed for.
His hands wander back up the firm chest to the neck, only to go downwards again and pull at the collar of the t-shirt.
Sherlock chuckles into the kiss. "I'll wear a button down next time."
John drops his forehead to Sherlock's shoulder and returns the chuckle. "Yeah, well..." He presses a firm kiss to the neck exposed to him. "I can't help it." With that, he bends down, takes Sherlock's hand in his while picking up his robe with the other (he leaves Sherlock's robe where it lies) and marches both of them towards the other man's bedroom. "We'd better get out of here before we wake Mrs Hudson."
"Planning on getting vocal, are you?"
"It's a possibility," John says, grinning over his shoulder. He throws his robe onto Sherlock's bed and then loses no time pulling that offensive t-shirt up and off his friend. The sight is as delectable as the touch, and he leans in for another kiss, but Sherlock grins and evades it.
"Tit for tat, dear," he declares, in return taking off John's shirt, not that John complains.
They come together in an embrace that sends another salvo of sparks through their bare skin, making them moan against each other's lips.
Sherlock feels dizzy from the sensations, too unused to being caught up in a moment to such an extent that he can no longer consider other aspects or consequences. The rush is exhilarating.
Without breaking the kiss, he directs John backwards to the bed. He lays him down and climbs over him, his eyes catching John's.
Reverently he runs a tender finger over John's face and lips.
John sighs and lets his eyes fall close.
Sherlock brushes a soft kiss over John's lips. "Look at me."
John obeys, watching Sherlock shake his head in astonishment.
"You heighten my senses." He lowers himself to press down on John, letting them both feel their shared arousal and making them moan. "How do you do that? You're nothing like me," Sherlock murmurs between kisses.
John tilts up his head for a longer, deeper kiss. "Maybe someone like you isn't what you want."
"Want..." Sherlock answers John's passionate kiss with a fervent one of his own, then kisses down John's neck and chest, his hands taking in as much of John as his mouth. "You drive me mad with want."
John's head falls back. "Ohhhhhh~ That... oh, God." He decides to stop trying to articulate any thoughts that might pass by him, since Sherlock's ministrations make him want to forget that he even needs to breathe. Sherlock is probably cataloguing every taste, lick and caress, and John doesn't mind in the least being the subject of his study. He never has before, anyway. "Sherlock..."
Sherlock's eager and single-minded curiosity loses John his pyjama bottoms within moments and lays him open before Sherlock to feast on.
Without any trace of hesitation, he enthusiastically runs fingers and his tongue up and down John's dick, grinning at the twitches he elicits, before taking the tip into his mouth.
John gasps and writhes beneath Sherlock. "Did... didn't... didn't you say you were out of your depth, here?" he manages to say.
Sherlock leaves off with his mouth, only keeping his hand wrapped around the heated flesh. "Well, unlike you, I have been with a man."
John laughs breathlessly. "You're going to have to tell me about that."
"It wasn't an experience worth repeating," Sherlock says, kissing John's hip bone. "Not with the same premise, anyway."
John can't help himself. He has to ask. "This is not the same, then?"
Sherlock pushes himself up and over John again to kiss him. Despite the joking tone, he could still make out the insecurity behind the statement. "No, John. You're not."
John holds him close, kissing him and then finally pulls at Sherlock's bottoms. "Get these off," he says when Sherlock laughs into the kiss.
Sherlock doesn't break the kiss, neither with his ongoing grin nor with his sideways manoeuvre to take off the rest of his clothing. Then he settles, straddling his lover, moving against him.
He does break the kiss to say, "Am I right in assuming that there is something useful in the pocket of your robe?"
It takes John's brain several seconds to recover from the intense contact and the kisses to work through the words, and when Sherlock sees that he did, he chuckles and licks John's lips, teasingly.
"Am I?" Sherlock asks again.
"I'm not even going to ask..."
Sherlock, of course, doesn't have to be asked, even in the state he's in. "You wouldn't have bothered taking your robe but not mine, and from the fall of the cloth, there is something in the left pocket. Something smallish, but with more weight than the size would let assume. Maybe a small bottle? And since I already know you went to the trouble to prepare, probably some time ago, I'm guessing a bottle of lube is not the only thing in there."
John blinks at him. "This really shouldn't turn me on."
"And yet it does," comes the prompt reply, dripping with smugness.
John groans and squeezes his eyes closed. "Get the stuff, already."
Sherlock, not wanting to desistence from John for any longer than strictly necessary, retrieves both the lube and the two condoms with purposive precision and returns to his original position in a heartbeat. The condoms end up on the pillow next to John's head, the lube remains in his hand.
"I'll bottom, since out of the two of us I'm the one who knows what he's doing, ironically enough. Problem?"
An incredulous giggle escapes John. "Problem? No." He shakes his head. "Not really, no." Then some of the insecurity shines through again, when he sees Sherlock open the bottle and drip some of the content onto his fingers. "Is there... anything I should do?"
Sherlock just grins. "You like watching me at work," he states, his slick fingers reaching behind himself. "So, I suggest you do... just that."
John can't see Sherlock breaching himself, but he does see the reaction it causes, and it thrills him, until the initial shivers turn into trembles and tremors. Just from watching Sherlock... work.
The lithe body above his undulates from the clever, self-pleasuring fingers, and the pale and sweaty skin is shining in the narrow rays of the streetlight breaching the curtains. The head is thrown back, and from what John can see, the eyes are shut in bliss.
Sherlock is a vision of determined abandon.
For some time, John is happy just watching the expressive face and running hands up and down the tense thighs flanking him. Once he feels secure enough in the moment, he finally dares lowering his eyes, looking at what he'd only felt before. From their current position, it takes far less effort to look than to not look. And then there it is. Jutting from dark curls, considerably more flushed than the rest of the straining body, leaking steady drops of clear liquid to run glistening from the tip to the root.
John takes a deep breath and finally reaches for it with his left hand. At first tentatively running fingers through the slick tracks of pre-come, he then becomes bolder and wraps his hand around the length in a firm grip.
Sherlock's breathing stutters to a sudden halt before he groans loudly. He removes his fingers and looks at John. "Ready?"
John realises that Sherlock has been preparing himself as well as John, and had been waiting for him to acclimatise, before suggesting going further. John is sure that the beating of his heart must be visible from the outside. Sherlock is the least considerate person he has ever met, and yet...
"Yes," he says, making sure to speak with his heart in his eyes. Sherlock would be able to read it.
And Sherlock does. He leans in to cup John's face with both hands and kiss him deeply. When he ends the kiss, he remains close for a long moment, just enjoying the proximity.
John whimpers at the sight of the clear blue eyes framed by long, wet lashes, only after a few seconds realising that his own eyes were in a similar state of candidness. Well, reserve has never been Sherlock's forte, after all, and it is merely one of the things drawing John to him.
They share one more kiss before Sherlock reaches for one of the condoms, opens it and rolls it onto John's dick without ever taking his eyes off the other man's. He lifts and then lowers himself, using one hand to steady John while he does it. His eyes fall close again when John fills him.
When he has his lover seated completely inside him, he reopens his eyes and sees John's chest rise and fall rapidly, his hands grip the bed sheet, and his eyes stare adoringly at him.
"Gorgeous," Sherlock murmurs. He braces himself with his hands on the pillow on both sides of John's head and experimentally starts establishing a rhythm that would pleasure them both equally. And, wanting to see John smile again, he says, smiling himself, "My brave soldier doctor."
The answering smile is immediate, and John lets go of the sheet and instead reaches for Sherlock's hips.
"My blogger," Sherlock continues, chuckling. Again, John's analogous answer comes with no hesitation. Sherlock has noticed before that laughter adds to the sensation and does not distract from it, unlike he had expected before tonight, and it does the same, now.
Sherlock regrets that the angle that allows deeper penetration keeps him from kissing John, but when John reaches for his cheek with a hand and urges him closer, the priorities are set, and he leans in for a kiss, trying to make up for the lack of movement by flexing the muscles encompassing John's hardness.
Considering the explosive loud moan Sherlock receives into the kiss, it apparently more than makes up for it.
"So responsive," he whispers against the lips below his.
John trembles, and where before he met the movements of Sherlock's hips with his own, his control over his muscles leaves him, and he can't do much more than dig his fingers bruisingly into Sherlock's hips, pulling him as close as possible.
Sherlock repeats the flexing of his muscles and the movements that he knows complement it, driving them both closer to the edge. They continuously moan into a kiss that is more an uncoordinated pressing together of open mouths than a kiss, and when John's breath begins to hitch urgently, Sherlock reaches between them to stroke himself.
John notices the movement, and, cursing himself for not having thought of it, joins Sherlock's hand.
"Don't." Sherlock shakes his head. He hardly has any control left, and he really needs what little there is. John's hand stroking him would rip everything else from his mind.
"I want to..."
"You are," Sherlock insists intently, leaning in for a deep kiss, accepting no further argument, and doubles his efforts.
John can't argue. He can hardly utter single words. "G... oh-d. Sherlock..."
"Yes," Sherlock spurns him on, his face contorted in fervent pleasure.
John gasps and whimpers. "Sher... Sherlock. God... Oh God. God..." The babble and moans end in a wordless shout as Sherlock skilfully forces an orgasm out of him like he's never known before.
"Yes!" Sherlock can't examine John's reaction more closely. Feeling his lover pulse inside him drives him over the edge right along with him, and his seed spills onto John's heaving chest. "Oh!"
Sherlock collapses on John and buries his face in the crook of his lover's neck.
John, despite his muscles feeling like jelly, wraps his arms around Sherlock and runs his fingers through sweat-soaked locks. He hardly even has his breath back when his lips seek out Sherlock's wet temple to kiss.
Sherlock turns his head, returning the small, lazy and still breathless kisses. For a long time, all they do is look at each other. (Well, John is looking, Sherlock is mostly studying.)
"That..." John finally declares, "... was amazing."
It makes Sherlock laugh, and in return John's softening member slip out of him.
John pulls a face at that.
"Sorry," says Sherlock, not sounding sorry in the least, and he reaches between them to take off the condom and throw it onto the floor.
John is way too satisfied to react. Messy or not. "If you showed that trick to people, nobody would tell you to piss off." They both laugh again, and Sherlock relaxes on him, touching from chest to toes.
"You're a crazy man," Sherlock says and kisses his crazy man.
The kiss ends naturally, neither really stopping; they just move from kissing to looking and caressing. John can feel the surge in his heart once more, can feel the words on the tip of his tongue and wonders if it would be too much or if he can even hold them back...
"I know." Sherlock smiles.
John is at the same time relieved, amused and slightly piqued. "Can I say it first, at least?"
Sherlock smirks. "If you like."
John incredulously shakes his head, then decides to just go for it. "I love you." He huffs. "You drive me up every wall in this flat, but I love you."
"Just this flat?"
John theatrically considers the question. "Oh, maybe the Scotland Yard, too." They both grin.
Sherlock turns serious in a sudden heartbeat. "This... really isn't my area..." he admits, uncomfortably, fumbling for his next words.
John just rolls his eyes. "I know that, and it's okay."
"But I do still love you."
"That doesn't mean," Sherlock elaborates, "that I will stop being... me. The me that makes you storm out of the flat, most likely justly angry with me..."
John just stares at him in amazement and bursts out, "God, I love you so much," and pulls him into joyous kiss. "I know all that, idiot."
Sherlock appears visibly relieved and breathes a little easier.
"I told you. If you were anyone else..." He shrugs, and Sherlock smiles. "That doesn't mean I won't chew you out when you're being a particular idiot."
Sherlock's smile turns into a grin. "Wouldn't want it any other way."
And just like that, despite being completely different, they are in perfect accord and unanimously settle for some more hours of sleep.
"This is kind of a small bed," John remarks as they slip under the covers.
John hums in contentment and pulls Sherlock into a comfortable embrace. "Not in the least."
Sherlock sighs and arranges John more to his liking, which ends up with the doctor resting with his head half on Sherlock's shoulder and half on his chest and has him breathe against his neck (that John apparently is so fond of).
"You're going to have to return the favour, though," John murmurs against the warm skin.
"Oh." Sherlock blinks. "I realise that it tends to be a far bigger issue for people, men in particular, so if you have any reservations, I'm perfectly happy to..."
"No, no. I insist. Thrill seeker, remember?" John says, snickering.
Sherlock laughs with him. "Can't argue with that." He muses over their situation for a brief moment, before he has to say, "It's kind of alarming just how easily you can make me laugh."
John snorts. "Making you laugh is easy."
"Says you," Sherlock shoots back. "Ask my brother sometime." He can feel John's lips curl in a smirk against his neck.
"Should I do that before or after he inevitably walks in on us in the probably not so distant future?"
Sherlock's answering smirk is decidedly wicked. "Make it… right after."