Chapter 14 – Tick, tock

"Idiot."

"You're repeating yourself," John murmured, yawning. "I thought you didn't' like to repeat yourself."

"Moron," Sherlock mended.

"Nope. You said that one, too."

Sherlock glared daggers at John and grumbled as he put his bag on the foot of the king-size bed. "Acephalous imbecile," Sherlock tried again, looking back down at his bag.

"Yes, I agree. I couldn't agree more," he chuckled. "You can't have forgotten the code, Sherlock. Come on, you're the world's only consulting detective. One would think that you'd have enough brains to remember three numbers," John finished unpacking his bag and looked around at their hotel room. "It's quite chilly in here. Better ask for some extra blankets?"

Sherlock roared at the lock in his bag and tossed it aside, kicking it impatiently. "Oh, hell!"

"Yes, I'm glad you agree," John murmured, shaking his head. "Let me see that," he hummed, gently pushing Sherlock out of the way and kneeling down by the bag. After a couple of minutes, the lock made a pleasant click and opened to reveal the content of Sherlock's bag. "Here, knock yourself out. I have a phone call to make."

Sherlock frowned, looking at the bag, then at John, and back at the bag. "I don't understand. You can't phone Harry. It's too dangerous for her," he said, looking at the bright 221 that was imprinted in golden letters on his lock.

"Yeah, well, unlike what you might think, I do know more people other than my own sister. I promised Lestrade I'd call him to know about his situation with his wife and so on."

"They're divorcing, John. Why is it any of your concern?" Sherlock threw his hands up in exasperation. At the disapproving look in John's eyes he lowered his hands again and cleared his throat. "Not good?"

"Very not good. He's a friend, Sherlock. He's in trouble, and he needs our support. That's what friends do. They are there for each other when the other is down. They share problems and joys alike."

"So you're going to tell him about Moriarty?" Sherlock asked, cocking an eyebrow.

"Obviously not."

"Why? It's a problem that affects both of us. According to you, Lestrade is our friend, just like we are his. You just said that friends are there to listen to our problems. What am I missing then?"

"Oh Christ," he rolled his eyes, shaking his head. "You're worse than kids, sometimes."

"I'm still waiting."

"Yes, Sherlock, Lestrade is our friend, but Moriarty doesn't concern him. Moriarty is our problem, not his."

"How is his divorce any of our problem, then?"

"It's not our problem directly, but if it affects Greg, then—"

"I don't get it."

"Look, telling Greg about Moriarty is the same of putting him in the fire line. He doesn't need to know about it, because there is nothing he can do to help us. Actually, it would only endanger him. So why should we do it? Whereas, with his divorce, there's actually something we can do. We can be there for him and try to make him feel better, because I know that it's hard to end a lifetime of marriage, even if one knows, for sure, that the relationship was over long before they decided to officially end it," John tried to explain as he fiddled with his mobile, his hands trembling slightly.

Sherlock stared at him but said nothing. For a moment they just looked at each other, Sherlock trying to understand the meaning of John's words and John trying very hard not to punch him.

"Okay, fine. Do it your way, then," Sherlock huffed, pouting. Then he started unpacking his bag, carefully arranging every item in a meticulous, near-obsessive way.

John sat down on the chair at the breakfast table and rolled his eyes, sighing heavily. Sherlock really could get to his nerves sometimes. "What is it now?"

"Nothing," the detective dismissively muttered, holding a pair of John's briefs and tossing them carelessly to his side of the bed.

The doctor closed his eyes. He counted to five, trying not to yell and scream like an enraged banshee before standing up, sliding in his coat and going for the door.

"Where are you going?"

"Out! I need to socialize with adults," and with that he slammed the door behind him, leaving a sulking Sherlock behind.

It had snowed the night before. The trip had been quieter and much smoother than it was supposed, mainly because Sherlock had been asleep most of the time. And the time he wasn't sleeping, he spent it in silence, thinking, the gears turning and turning and turning, never stopping as he tried to figure out a way to kill without be killed, or without harming John.

The doctor, however, seemed to have had some difficulty with the sitting down part. He trotted up and down the train, his head, much less used to heavy-thinking like Sherlock's, seemed to short-circuit every five minutes. The thoughts tangled, the plans started to overheat his system and then there he was again, standing up, going to the cafeteria and downing three coffees before being able to focus again. The cycle repeated all the way to Meiringen.

They stayed in a small, yet cosy pension, which they were able to afford at such short notice. The room had been a specially prepared honeymoon suite, the only one available at the time. And John couldn't really complain, of course, if it weren't for Sherlock's foul mood and his own fears of what could succeed from then on.

They were getting closer to Moriarty, and therefore, closer to the end. John's fears only grew. Sherlock's silence was doing nothing to ease his spirit and he knew, he just knew that the consulting detective was planning something. And once again, not only was he hiding it from John, he was also leaving him behind on that plan. And once again, it only helped with John's uneasiness.

As he buttoned up his coat and tightened the red scarf around his neck, John strolled calmly through the snow coated streets, smiling to himself as he got to know this new town. He feasted his eyes with the images of the children he would never have playing with each other in a white garden at the back of his home in Sussex, where he would try his hand at gardening and Sherlock could become a beekeeper or something alike. Maybe they could start their own production of Honey. Give it a fancy name, export and live in the peace and quiet of the country.

What he didn't know at the moment, as he bent down to grab a fistful of snow and transform it into a ball, was that that dream wasn't never meant to be more than just that, a dream.

His feet travelled casually and automatically, here and there he could see the advertisements to the rich sights of nature nearby. The Reichenbach falls, not far from where they were, seemed to be a very popular place. He made a note to visit them later and to remember to bring his camera. Since he was in Switzerland, it was better that he took some profit of it and try to behave like a tourist instead of a man with a mission. His mission was lost.

Or maybe not. Only time would tell.

John stopped near a café, sitting down inside and using what little German he knew to order himself a black coffee. Then he sat down by the window and pulled out his mobile, checking for messages and for missed calls. One good thing about Carcassonne was the lack of reception. Those few days with Sherlock's family had been a true holiday. Sort of. And getting to know Sherlock's family had been a gift. Well, at least the part of the family that wasn't completely abnormal or tyrant.

Atandra was, much to John's surprise, a master at playing Pictionary. Not the drawing part. That was Sherlock's expertise. But the guessing? Oh, she was brilliant. Even the kids' interpretation on a palm tree (that Pascal drew with a vertical stick and three smaller ones at the top) and their mental image of a dog (which Shamine represented as a big, fat sausage with toothpicks everywhere) she was able to guess. Sherlock, however, had tried to guess the former as fireworks and the second as a 'barbecue party at John's sister.'

Anthea, or Evangeline, or whatever strikes your fancy, was actually a pretty good singer. And a goddamn colonel. It was hard to tell if she was talking to the kids or to AJ. Most of the times it was the latter. "Atandra June Holmes, eat your oatmeal!" Her cry of war was able to get everyone in line.

Well, everyone except obvious exceptions. John didn't fear Not-Anthea. She had kidnapped him, for heaven's sake. So no. He wouldn't lower his guard.

Sherlock seemed to hate her. And she didn't seem to fancy him either. So what happened?

Once John dared to ask AJ about it. The younger Holmes chuckled and shook her head. "That, you will have to ask to them. As far as I'm concerned, I'm as far from that tug of war as I am from Timbuktu," then she proceeded with not eating her porridge.

Back to the present, John sipped on his coffee, leaning back on his chair and eying the people outside, walking around with their lovers, their families, their friends, talking to each other and just seeming generally happy, despite of the weather and the cold that was much more suiting to the winter than the sun of southern France.

He twiddled his mobile in his hands and closed his eyes, sighing, Lestrade's number flashing in the screen, ready to make the call. After a second's hesitation, John finally pressed the button and led the mobile to his ear and waited as the everlasting toot of the waiting signal sounded in his ear.

"Hello?" the voice greeted. Lestrade sounded sleepy even though it was way past midday in England.

"Hey mate. It's me, John," the doctor cleared his throat, trying to keep his tone friendly and casual. "Sorry I've been quiet for so long. It's been crazy since the last time I saw you.

"Who is it?" John heard someone else ask in the other side, then the rustling of the sheets and the wet sound of a kiss.

"John! Oh, thanks God, I was getting worried," Lestrade said. Then the speaker was covered by Lestrade's hand, barely though, because he could still hear the rustling of sheets and a muffled murmur, "Go back to sleep, Mycroft, I'll be back in a mo."

John clasped his hand on his lips to keep himself from snorting. He chuckled silently before clearing his throat once more. "I'm sorry, is this a bad time? You sound… busy."

"Nah! Are you kidding? I've been waiting for news from you since I last saw you on the fifth. Where the hell have you guys been? Did you, by any chance, decidd to elope or something?"

John laughed lightly at that. "Yes! That was exactly what happened. And now Sherlock is pregnant. We're having our baby in Mars and call him Elvis, just because we can."

"I'm happy for you blokes. Can I be the godfather?"

"We were thinking of inviting Angelina and Brad, but I think they're busy recruiting more kids to their football team. The Pope is busy, too, so why the hell not?"

Greg cackled whole-heartedly and John could hear him flop down on the couch. "Christ, John, I've been really worried sick about you. Don't disappear like that again. Where are you?"

John bit his lower lip and sighed. "I'm sorry, but I can't tell you. All I can say is that things are getting complicated."

"How complicated?"

"Anyway, how is your divorce going?" John asked, cutting Lestrade's input. Sorry, old chap, it's for your own good.

The DI seemed to have understood John's distress, because he didn't push the issue. "Yeah, good. It's going good. I mean, she's not going to ask for full custody of the twins, which isn't bad at all. I dunno, mate. We'll see."

"I'm sure you'll manage to get a good deal with the girls. They love you far too much not to see you. If Olivia is a reasonable woman, which I believe she is, then she won't do that to you."

"And yet she's asking for the house, the car, the dog and half my earnings for the time we shared our lives together," Lestrade chuckled.

"Ouch," John pouted, gnawing on his lip again. "Well, you know that whatever you need, you can count on Sherlock and me, right?"

"Yeah, John. Ta. Really," Greg sighed. Then there was a long pause where none said anything. Both were too entwined in their heads to think about anything else to say. After what seemed like forever, Lestrade spoke again. "Look, John, are you sure you don't need anything?"

The ex-army-doctor looked at the street and licked his lips, breathing in deeply and nodding, even though his friend couldn't see the gesture. "Yeah. Actually, there is something."

"Good, great. I'll do anything," John heard shifting and noticed Lestrade's had sat up on the couch as if it helped him focus on John's words. "What is it?"

"I need your help with something," John started, drumming his fingers on the table. "Actually, with someone."

"And that is?"

"Sherlock."

"Where is it?"

Whatever items of clothing Sherlock had so carefully unpacked not two hours earlier, were now sprawled all over their honeymoon suite floor. The detective tossed everything upside down and growled in frustration. Then he sat down on the floor, next to the bed and leant back against it.

Not two seconds later, he heard the sound of the magnetic key on the door and John swiping his feet on the mat before getting in. Sherlock didn't look up, listening to John's actions through his steps. As soon as the doctor got in he stopped on his tracks, trying to gather what kind of natural disaster had attacked their room during his absence.

"Hurricane Sherlock," John murmured, jumping from piece to piece of visible carpet.

"What are you doing?" Sherlock grumbled.

"The clothes are lava," John answered, dancing between Sherlock's shirts, socks and pants until he reached the man. He sat down next to him and looked around. "I survived!"

Sherlock chuckled at John's enthusiasm and looked at him, who was still looking at the chaotic room. "You're not cross?"

"Of course not! If you ask me, I rather see your clothes all over the floor than on you. Besides, I'm fine with it. I'm not the one who's going to tidy this up, so, no problemo."

Sherlock groaned and let his head fall to the mattress, his dark mood sinking again. "I can't find it, John," Sherlock moaned. "Where did I put it?"

"What? Maybe I can help you?"

"No. You don't know what it is," Holmes pouted.

"But if you describe 'it' to me, maybe I could—"

"No, John! Leave it!" Sherlock snapped, burying his piercing blue eyes in John's with suck a ferocity the doctor actually recoiled in his seat.

"Okay. Fine. I just wanted to help. Christ," John shook his head and made to stand up, but Sherlock caught his wrist.

"I apologise," he murmured, his eyes softer than before. "I didn't mean to—"

"No, it's okay. I'll make us some tea, okay?" John bent down and kissed Sherlock's forehead before moving to the kettle and filling it up. "Start tidying everything up, young man. I'm not telling you twice."

Sherlock huffed out a groan but complied, standing and putting everything in its place. By the time he had finished, John had already made their tea and was now sitting at the breakfast table, looking at the golden liquid. The young genius sat in front of him, grabbing the cup with both hands and warming himself up by gulping the warm juice.

"You're thinking," Sherlock stated.

"Hmm, yes. I do that sometimes, deal with it."

"What are you thinking about?"

"Your brother is sleeping with Lestrade."

Sherlock's tea left through his nostrils as he coughed to try to regain his breath. John remained placid, looking at the room, pensively. When Sherlock seemed to have regained his breath and his equanimity, he cleared his throat and looked up at his friend. "H-how? Why?"

John smirked. "I heard them when I called Greg earlier. He says hi, by the way."

Sherlock nodded and looked nervously around, as if looking for some new subject to talk about that didn't bring to him the image of his brother and the man he nearly considered his father naked in the same bed. "This tea is dreadful," he spat out of better ideas.

"Yes, it is, innit? Tastes like dirt," John agreed, frowning. Then he looked up at Sherlock and smiled. "I've been around town today—"

"I know."

"Shush. Stop being an arse and let me talk. As I was saying I was in town today, stopped by a little touristic site and got some pamphlets. We should visit stuff in here. I heard the falls are pretty."

Sherlock's eyes widened and he shook his head. "No. Absolutely not. The falls are out of question," he said firmly.

"Oh, come on! Why?"

"Because… I say so."

There was a pause, while Sherlock looked at his hands and John tried to deduce the shit out of Sherlock. No shits were found.

"Oh," the doctor murmured. "I see."

"You do? What do you see?" Sherlock asked in panic.

"You're afraid of heights."

Holmes seemed taken aback with that ridiculous deduction. They had jumped through rooftops in order to catch a murderous cabbie. Heights were the least of his concerns. "Yes. I'm sorry, John. Terrified. I can't even think, it's paralyzing."

"Good. Okay. We'll stay here then. I'm sure there are stuff that we can do in the warmth and comfort of our honeymoon suite."

Sherlock observed as John shrugged and yawned lightly, then he mimicked the doctor's yawn and sipped on his tea again. The trip had worn them both to the core, what kept them going was the adrenaline. But at that moment, when the two of them were relaxed, sipping on their tea and just enjoying each other's company, the exhaustion started to take the lead over their excitement.

"I'm going to have a shower," John announced, standing up and shrugging off his jacket and scarf.

Sherlock looked at him and nodded, smiling, casually downing the rest of his tea until John disappeared through the bathroom's door. As soon as the door clicked shut, Sherlock sprung from his chair and returned to his precious task of looking for his lost belonging. This time he even ventured to look through John's things.

Zilch.

The strip of paper with the time and place of meeting that AJ had given to him was gone. And the meeting was on the next day. Sherlock cursed himself for forgetting to type it down somewhere else. Worse, if that strip of paper had gotten to the wrong hands, everything would be lost. Whoever found it, he hoped they would have the decency of putting it away. Otherwise John and himself faced their death.

The scent of shampoo and the warmth of the steam woke him up to reality again, his eyes darting to the bathroom where John brushed his teeth in nothing but a towel.

Thirty-three years of denying his body the pleasures of sex and now, at thirty-four, he could swear he was getting addicted, not to sex, but to sex with John. Yes, it was something that could make him forget of nearly everything. His eyes met John's through the fogged mirror and John smiled, washing his mouth before putting the toothbrush away.

"Liking what you see?"

"No."

"Hmm, let me guess, too much clothing?"

Sherlock laughed and stepped to the bathroom wrapping his arms around John's torso from behind and looking at him through the mirror. "I'm scared, John," he murmured. "I am scared of losing you."

John nodded at him, one hand reaching back and resting on the nape of the taller man's neck. Then he brought him down into a slow and loving kiss, his fingers softly playing with the curls of his ebony hair. "It's okay," John assured, smiling. "I'm right here. I am going nowhere."

Sherlock mirrored John's smile and closed his eyes, burying his nose in John's damp hair, inhaling deeply and humming in contentment. "Lie down with me?" he asked in a murmur.

"Of course," John disentangled himself from Sherlock's long arms and let the towel fall to the floor, laying down on the soft covers of the bed.

Sherlock, too, got rid of every single item of clothing and took his place next to John, turning to look at him in the eyes. His long fingers brushed softly on the new scar on John's arm, the skin rising in goosebumps at his caress.

John smiled, his eyes closing for a moment. "I'm happy," he uttered, licking his lips. "I'm happy like this, Sherlock. You make me happy."

The words seemed to reach a special place in the detective's heart. He grinned at his companion, lips pecking lips. "You do, too."

"Sherlock—"

"Tell me about you, John."

The request seemed to have caught John off guard. "S-sorry, what?"

"Tell me about you," Sherlock repeated.

"You don't need me to tell you about me. You know about me. You can read it all in my everything."

"Yes and no. I can only read the readable. I can't deduce without data."

"And?"

"You're naked."

"So very observant of you, Holmes."

"What I mean is that I already deduced what I could from your naked body, John. I want to know about you; your childhood, your relationship with your parents, and so on."

"Why?"

"Because I want you to be the one who knows me best and who I know best as well," Sherlock swallowed dryly and closed his eyes.

John remained quiet for a moment and then he turned in bed, pulling Sherlock closer so the latter would rest his head on John's chest. Sherlock smiled, listening to the steady thumping of John's heart against his ribs.

"I wasn't born in England," the doctor started, closing his eyes.

"Scotland?"

"Yes. My parents were in my grandmother's home because my grandpa Hamish was sick. My mum ended up getting pregnant and we were born in Aberdeen."

"We?"

"Harry and I," John said smirking.

Sherlock looked up, frowning. "What do you mean? Isn't Harry older?"

John chuckled. "Yeah, thirteen minutes or so. Anyway, I remember that grandma Cecilia was—"

"Wait, twins? Harry is your twin?"

"Sherlock, will you let me finish?"

The consulting detective huffed and nodded. John chuckled and cleared his throat. "Grandma Cecilia was a baker. She had a bakery in the heart of the city. After my grandfather died, it was everything she had left, my parents ended up moving back to England. So I was raised between Aberdeen and London. Every summer I used to go to my grandma's and help her out in the bakery."

"That's why baking the biscuits was so important to you?" Sherlock snuggled closer and kissed John's chest, lovingly.

"Yep," the doctor started to run his fingers through Sherlock's curls. "I learnt how to cook and how to bake with her. Once I started improvising and created a sort of mini pie with all kinds of different jam. Fig, strawberry, peach, blueberry, tomato… you name it. It was a success. Grandma used to say that I should be a baker when I grew up and I honest to god wanted to. She was to leave the bakery to me after she died."

"What happened?"

"Harry came out," John chuckled. "My grandmother was raised with very strict and conservative habits, so she didn't take it well. When I backed up my sister she cut the relationship with us."

"How did your parents take it?"

"Pretty well. My mother, grandma Cecilia's daughter, she was good with it. She just wanted us to be happy, you know? My father took it a bit harsher, but after a thorough talk, he ended up accepting it."

"How did they die?"

John paused before answering. Sherlock wanted to know him and that was great, but there were things that still stung. "They… um…" he breathed in deeply. "We had just turned eighteen, Harry and me, when we were at school and someone called us to the headmaster's office. He had said that early that morning there had been a bomb threat at the bank where my mother worked. You see, my father insisted in taking her to work every day and have breakfast at the bank's café," John's voice grew quieter. "Unfortunately the threat was real. The only survivor was a middle-aged man, Mr Carlton, that was inside the strongbox at the time of the explosion."

Sherlock didn't know he had stopped breathing until his lungs started to crave for oxygen. His arms wrapped tightly around John. "I'm sorry," he whispered, kissing John's chest once more. "I'm so sorry."

John smiled and kissed the top of Sherlock's head, fingers softly massaging his scalp. "It's okay, love. It was ages ago. I'm fine now."

Sherlock licked his lips and nodded, looking up at John. "You're very brave, John."

"I'm just very stupid, Sherlock, not brave. After my parents' death I had nowhere else to go, so I became a doctor and enlisted in the army. The rest you already know. I went to war, I saved lives, I took lives and I almost died. Then I met you and now here we are."

"And you're happy."

"Yes and no."

"Explain."

"I will only be truly happy when we get rid of this constant threat. It's like a ghost that doesn't want us to move on. I will only be happy when I manage to assure that you'll be okay."

Sherlock looked up at John and nodded again his lips meeting the army-doctor's and his hand cupping John's cheek. Their legs entwined as Sherlock propped himself up to reach him better. His long, spidery fingers started to map John's skin, the soft bumps of the muscles on his chest and down to his stomach.

John smiled against Sherlock's lips, humming lightly. The latter travelled his fingers to the small of John's back, pulling him closer and descending his hand to the back of the doctor's thigh. Contented at John's moan of satisfaction, Sherlock parted away from the kiss and smirked. John parted his legs and Sherlock rolled until he was on top of him, kissing his chest leisurely.

"You're beautiful," said he, nibbling on the skin of John's collarbone, grinding his hips down against the other.

"Ah, you should see me at eighteen," the ex-soldier chuckled. "I was foxy and fucking handsome."

"And unscarred."

"Exactly."

"I prefer the 'now' you, thank you very much," Sherlock sunk his teeth on John's chest, making the other man moan and arch his back. In response, Sherlock rolled his hips against John's again. "Oh, Christ."

John laughed, tugging Sherlock's curls gently. "Kiss me you idiot."

He didn't need to be asked twice. He started kissing down John's chest, tongue lapping and tasting and making sure it covered every square-inch of John's skin.

"I meant on the lips," he laughed, lolling his head back, enjoying Sherlock's enthusiasm. His lips quickly turned from smiley and happy to an 'O' of pure pleasure.

Sherlock's eyes were pinned in John's features, his hands working steadily on John's erection as his lips pecked the inside of his thighs. "I know what you meant. I didn't agree with it. I'm doing it my way."

"Y-your point h-has been – oh god – made," Watson's hips started to push towards Sherlock's hands, looking for more, hand fisting the cotton sheets beneath him. "Fuck, Sherlock!"

The yell came just as Sherlock swirled his tongue around the head of John's cock. "Cursing already?"

"Fuck you," John hissed, gasping as Sherlock's tongue worked from the base to the tip of John's shaft.

"You taste so good," he purred.

"What am I, a fucking ice-cream?" John scolded half-heartedly.

"You should shush now."

"Make me."

Sherlock took the invitation and plunged John's cock into his mouth, sucking him slowly and deeply, eyes locked on John's features the whole time. That seemed to do the trick, though. Each and every word the doctor tried to let out came in an incoherent and erotic moan. Mission accomplished in Sherlock's part. He closed his eyes for a moment, focusing on pleasuring John.

Sherlock's hips were rutting against the bed, trying to get any kind of friction. John's hand tightened in his curls and Sherlock knew that he would be close. He focused and forced his throat to relax, fighting his gag reflex and making John sink deeply inside his mouth. He moaned deeply, letting the vibrations of his baritone run through John's length right before he felt him hit the back of his throat.

"Holy fucking fuck, Sherlock," John hoarsely called, nearly rolling his eyes to the back of his head. "Sher—oh goodness!"

Sherlock pulled back, earning a stream of cussing from John. He silenced him by going back up and crushing their lips together, his kiss needy, desperate as if it was their last. Suddenly reality was sinking in. If things went wrong in the next day, that could be the last time he would ever kiss John or make love to him. In the spark of emotion, Sherlock let out a dry sob.

John's eyes snapped open and he looked at his lover, hand urgently cupping Sherlock's sharp cheek. "Oh God, Sherlock what is it? Did I hurt you? I'm sorry. I'm so s—"

Sherlock's lips were already working over John's again, his body pressed flushed against the smaller man's as he tried hard not to lose his ground. "John I want it," he muttered when they parted. "I want it."

"Hey, it's okay. Tell me, love. What is it you want?" John hummed, looking in Sherlock's deep blue eyes.

"I want to make love to you, John, please. Please," the younger man pleaded, hiding his face on the crook of John's neck.

"I thought that's what we were doing," John tried to contain the smile that appeared on his lips as Sherlock mentioned their lovemaking instead of fucking. There was some improvement, at least. "Lie on your back," he muttered, kissing Sherlock's cheek, tenderly.

"No."

"What?"

"I don't think you get it, John. I want to make love to you. As in… be inside you. I want to top."

There was a moment of silence where Sherlock and John just stared at each other, lost in each other's gaze. Then John grinned and nodded. "Yes. Oh, god, yes, Sherlock," John wrapped his arms around Sherlock's shoulders and brought him down into a deep kiss.

Sherlock smiled and reached out to grab the bottle of lube from the nightstand drawer. He looked at John and kissed his lips; going down again, the kisses and pecks he pressed all over John's skin showed now a new kind of urgency, almost as if he wasn't nervous for the act itself but to whatever would come after it.

John reached for a pillow and placed it under his hips. It had been a rather long while since he had done this. Last time he was in Afghanistan. And as people know War is like Las Vegas. What happens at War stays at War. John hadn't bottomed in a while so he was feeling rather on edge, luckily for him, though, he was in good hands. If there was someone in whom he could trust, that someone was Sherlock. Besides, with the amount of action they had been having lately, he was sure that his partner was accustomed to the steps. And everyone knows that Sherlock's a fast learner.

Sherlock coated his fingers with a generous layer of lubricant, wanting it to be as smooth as possible for John. His long finger circled around the tight ring of muscle of John's entrance, earning a groan of encouragement from above. Feeling a new boost of confidence, Sherlock slid his finger inside John's tightness, the man gasping as his hips parted wider for the detective.

"So tight, John," Sherlock breathed, kissing John's thigh, soothingly. "Are you okay?"

"Wait till you feel it with your dick," John chuckled as Sherlock started moving his finger inside him. "Yes. Yes, love, don't hold back."

"I don't intend to," his finger twisted pleasantly inside John and he smiled as the doctor writhed beneath him. After a moment of thrusting and kissing, Sherlock slid in the second finger, watching closely as John lost himself in his touches. He didn't want to lose that. John's noises, calling for him. For Sherlock. Who had never had anyone that had wanted him like that. Who had never wanted anyone as he wanted John. Sherlock. Who before John, judged himself to be a machine.

Tick, tock.

John screamed his name as Sherlock found his prostate.

Tick, tock.

Sherlock slid in a third finger, feeling John's muscles clenching and relaxing around him.

Tick, tock.

"Fuck Sherlock, please. I need you inside me. Please, love. I'm yours. Make me yours, Sherlock."

Tick, tock.

Sherlock eased himself inside John, gasping loudly as the tight muscles clenched around him.

Tick, tock.

John yelped as Sherlock started to move, slowly at first but then faster, his eyes always pinned on John's as if afraid to lose a twitch of an eyebrow or the quirk of his lip.

Tick, tock.

John's nails dug into Sherlock's back, his body moving in tempo with Sherlock's as he thrust inside him, finding the right angle and making John writhe underneath him. "Yes! Oh, fuck, Sherlock!"

Tick, tock.

Sherlock placed open-mouthed kisses on John's lips, clumsily but surely. His hands trembled as he sustained his weight, not to crush his lover.

Tick…

"John," Sherlock groaned aloud, quickening his rhythm. "Ah, Christ, John. Yes!" Sherlock's eyes welled up, the sentiment and intimacy taking over his emotional system, and for the first time, Sherlock didn't mind.

Tock…

John bit his lip as Sherlock quickened his tempo and everything seemed to have wiped out of his logic system. Sherlock was claiming him, just like he had done so many times before, yet now, now, having Sherlock so close and willing, felt a thousand times better than when it was done the other way around. "So close. God, I'm so… Oh fuck!"

Tick…

Sherlock wrapped his hand around John's cock and stroked him in earnest, his curls damp with sweat, bouncing between them as Sherlock kissed John's neck, sucking a deep-red mark.

Tock…

John let out a yelp, legs wrapping around Sherlock's waist, pulling him closer, deeper, feeling him hit his depths as his hand pumped him vigorously. "Ah fuck, yes, Sherlock!" he moaned as Sherlock sucked on John's neck, marking him as his. "Don't stop— God! I love you, Sherlock!"

And the clockwork detective was dead. The man finally won against the machine and Sherlock was free. Free from what he had judged himself to be. Free from his own bindings. John had set him free.

He let the tears spill as John arched his back, Sherlock's ministrations pushing the doctor over the edge. He milked John through his orgasm, following right away, coming copiously inside his warmth. He let out a deep, cavernous moan and collapsed on top of his lover, hiding his face on John's neck. He just laid there for a while, digesting all the new sensations and the words John had spoken.

John had said it. He finally said it. And now what was he to do? Should he say it back? Should he remain quiet? What if he didn't make it through the final confrontation with Moriarty? John would suffer double if he left him, right?

The turmoil of Sherlock's thoughts seemed to have been quite transparent to John, because he was now embracing him as sweetly and lovingly as ever, his eyes still closed and his voice calm and collected even if a little breathless.

"It's okay, Sherlock," he whispered, a clear smile audible in his words. "It's all fine. You don't need to."

Sherlock closed his eyes, and nodded. "Thank you," he breathed. "Thank you John."

"Shh," John kissed Sherlock's head again. "You're beautiful. And brilliant. And amazing," he laughed lightly. "And yes. You make me happy."

Sherlock smiled and looked up at John, kissing his lips. "I'm exhausted," he hummed, rolling off John and laying beside him, holding his hand and intertwining their fingers.

"Shall we go to sleep, then?" John murmured, caressing Sherlock's cheek. "Tomorrow's a big day."

Sherlock froze. "What do you mean?"

"We're going sightseeing, Sherlock. I want to know the town," John yawned, rubbing his thumb over Sherlock's hand.

The latter smiled, brushing the blonde's fringe away from his forehead. He didn't want to go to sleep. He wanted to stay there and look at John, pay attention to every move, every breath. He didn't want to miss the possible last hours he had with him. And the thought made his chest clench.

"Rest," he whispered, pulling the covers up to cover their naked bodies. "Sleep. Tomorrow's a big day," Sherlock confirmed.

"Is it?"

"Yes, John. We're going to stroll around the town."

"Sightseeing?"

"Yes, love. Sightseeing."

"Thank you, Sherlock."

"What for?"

"Sightseeing."

The night passed quickly. Too quickly to his liking. He disentangled himself from his lover's hold and smiled, kissing his lips just as the sun kissed his cheeks, turning them deliciously rosy.

He quietly stood up and walked to the breakfast table, pulling out a pen and paper and writing down a note. Then he put them down on the pillow he had just vacated and took off Mycroft's dog tags from around his neck to place them over the note.

He then started to pull on his trousers and whatnot, sliding in his coat and wrapping his warm scarf around his neck.

With a clench in his heart and fighting the will to cry, he bent down, running his fingers through the sleeping man's head. "Goodbye, my love," he whispered before turning his back, before he could regret it, before he just snapped and sent everything to hell with a huge 'Sod this. Sod Moriarty. Let's go back to London and just take our chances. I don't want to lose you, but I prefer to lose you later than sooner.'

He left the room and closed his eyes, his face adopting a blank expression as he made his way to the cold street. He looked at the few people who dared to show up so early in the morning and they, too, regarded him with the same pitiful expression, but he wasn't going to back down now. In his pocket, his fingers fiddled with the stripe of paper where the meeting point and the hour were written down in AJ's neat handwriting. It hadn't been hard, after all. All he had to do was to look in the right place. Looking at the paper again and then glancing at his clock, he slid the info back in his coat's pocket and quickened his stride.

Sightseeing. He wasn't going to meet the most dangerous criminal mastermind to ever step on earth. He was sightseeing. That had been their promise the night before.

As he reached mark of the beginning of his walk to his final destination, he looked back, thinking twice. He was sure of his decision. It was the only way of keeping the one he loved safe. And people do silly things for love, don't they? Why should he be any different?

Nodding do himself, he started to climb his way to their meeting point. The falls were closed to the public because of the snow, and getting up there, as it were proving, was hard and dangerous. Yet, he knew that Moriarty would be there, waiting, probably armed to his teeth. But it was a risk he had to take if he wanted to guarantee the survival of him who had taken ownership of his beating heart. He had said his goodbyes. Now he would face his destiny as fearlessly as he had faced every single one of his enemies to the date.

Though, now, he had a good reason to do it.

He was cold. His body was shivering as his hand blindly looked for the source of heat that had kept him warm before. The sheets were cold, which meant that their occupant was long gone.

With a grumble and a stream of incoherent words, he travelled his hand up higher until he heard the chime of metal. Dog tags? He opened his eyes and was greeted by the direct light of the sun. Then he sat up, his own dog tags clinking annoyingly in his chest. Then he yawned and looked around. His coat wasn't on the rack and his scarf wasn't in its place either. On the pillow there was a note, but his morning eyes were still too lazy to make out any type of lettering.

Groaning again, he looked down at himself and sighed. What he needed was a shower to wake up. Then he could worry about whatever. His system was taking longer than usual to fire up, but he always got a little dazed after the best sex of his life, that considering their new arrangements… was always.

He stepped into the shower and turned on the hot tap, deciding that scalding water would be the quickest way to lose all his skin. After stepping out and wrapping a towel around his hips, he walked back to the room and sat back on the bed, feeling the smooth sheets and the scent of sex. He could get used to that.

Then he remembered the note and dog tags. With another grumble he reached back and held the note in his hands, trying to focus on the letters. He should get his sight tested.

After a lot of struggle, he managed to focus on the words. Though in that moment, he wished he hadn't been able to.

Looking around he took in every detail, trying to understand what had happened. Then he read the note again.

Blasted morning dizziness! Everything would be so much better if he were able to wake up and fire up like a computer!

Good Morning, my love,

I went sightseeing. I'm sorry if I didn't wait for you but Meiringen was calling so loudly it was impossible for me not to listen.

There's tea on your cup, but I suspect it'll taste just as awful as it did yesterday.

I hope to be back soon. If not, then it's because I decided to make Meiringen my new, permanent home. Sorry for the short notice, but I believe you'll need a new flatmate, now. I just hope he's good with the shopping business.

I've got to go now, but I want you to know that, no matter what I'll be always very sincerely yours.

Mind. Body. And Soul.

Love,

Your Idiot.

He looked at the cup. Standing up he held it between his hands and noticed, much to his dismay, that the liquid was as cold as the other side of the bed. What was going on?

Oh, finally he got to the top. Who was the perfect idiotic moron that decided to make the top of the Reichenbach falls in the top of the top of a top top top?

Just as he suspected, he wouldn't be alone once he got there. Right in front of him, wearing an impeccable tan-coloured suit and dark-brown parka was the lean figure of one James Moriarty.

His hairs stood on end, but he forced his expression to be blank as he slowly got closer. For a moment no words were uttered. Nothing sounded but the water falling down below and the soft crunching of the snow beneath his feet as he walked closer to the man, who had his back turned to him.

Finally, Moriarty spoke.

"Well, you took your time, my dear," he said in his usual sing-song voice, hands deeply buried inside his coat's pockets. "I would apologise for the dreadful weather, but… It's one of the very few things that's not in my reach."

He waited in silence, eyes carefully watching the water running down the edge and hitting the rocks at the bottom. A smile spread on his lips.

"You know your problem, Sherlock?" Moriarty chimed. "The problem is that pet of yours turned you far, too human. I mean, risk it all in the name of love and family? Oh I have to confess that I liked the touch with the surprise sister. Mmh, very well done. A standing ovation," Moriarty sighed and shook his head in disappointment. "It is, however, just plain BORING!" he shouted, spreading his arms as his voice half-echoed through the heavy noise of the water.

He smiled and adjusted his scarf on his neck before sighing. He kept his eyes on Moriarty's back. It would be easy, so very easy to just push him over the edge.

"You know what? I'm tired. You were fun, for a while. The way you danced? Ooh, Sherlock it was such a turn-on! I really nearly got a boner every time we played our games. Does your little pet know that you're here?" Moriarty chuckled and turned around to face him, his eyes widening and his smile falling. "Oh, I see how this is going to be, then."

"I suppose this is quite a turn up, isn't it, Jim?"

"Quite so," Moriarty snarled, getting closer and stopping not three inches away from him. "Hello, Johnny Boy."