Sherlock Holmes and the Freudian dream
Summary: It is Christmas at Baker Street and there is more tension than holiday cheers in the air. Warning, Slash John\Sherlock.
(This story can be read as a stand-alone sequel to 'John Watson and the Freudian slip'. But they can both be read separately.)
"You received a package, it's on the living room table," John shouts over his shoulder as he hears the door open in the hallway. He brings out another mug from the overhead cupboard and pours a second cup from the teapot.
When he enters the chaotic mess that is their sitting room, Sherlock is lying outstretched on the short sofa, coat still on and a thin dusting of white snow in his hair; slowly melting in the indoor temperature. He puts the second cup down in front of Sherlock and sits down in his customary place opening a newspaper.
He blows carefully on the surface of his tea, trying to cool it down enough that he can avoid scalding himself. He studies Sherlock over the top of his mug, a familiar tumbling feeling in his stomach so old and worn by now that he hardly registers it. His roommate looks almost brooding today, a small crinkle between his eyebrows and a faraway look in his eyes; he appears lost to the world. His cheeks are rosy from the cold outside and it lends him an almost healthy glow.
John realizes that by now he has probably passed the limit on observing and gone straight into creepy staring. He doesn't look away though; he has few opportunities like this. Most of the time Sherlock catches him looking at him immediately, meeting John's eyes with an unspoken question shown with a raised eyebrow. John always stops and turns away to hide the blush that more often than not would unbidden creep up on him.
Right now Sherlock's mind seems busy elsewhere and John takes advantage of it. He allows his gaze to travel down Sherlock's outstretched form, from the pale and delicate hand making aimless shapes in the air to where the open coat Sherlock is still wearing has slid apart and is showing a shirt stretched tight over his stomach, the smallest indentation visible where his belly button would be.
John lowers the mug, not even bothering with the pretence anymore and allows himself to stare openly. Maybe it is the time of year or the promise he has made to himself to stop this which makes him reckless, he does not know. Sherlock is wearing dark blue chinos and in his horizontal position John can see the matching socks over his shoes and, oh, John thinks slightly breathless, the slight bulge where his crotch is.
The sight of Sherlock draped over the outsized sofa is not something which should make John's mouth go dry and heat flood to his nether regions. It most definitely should not. Yet even though John tells himself this many, many times every day his body still plays these treacherous games on him.
John lets his gaze linger a bit longer, taking in the sight in front of him while saying in his own head that this, this is the last time. It is Christmas tomorrow and he has made an early New Years Eve promise to himself, next year he will stop pining over someone he cannot have. He will give up this ridiculous crush on his best friend, who had stated very clearly that he was not interested in something like this and that his work is everything for him.
Next year, he repeats in his own head, trying to force his body in on the deal, it is such an unwanted complication in John's life this whole light-headedness and breathlessness which always afflicts him around Sherlock.
He lifts his gaze to Sherlock's face and to his utter horror finds two unblinking eyes fixed on him with a calculating stare. For a moment he is struck dumb by the humiliation of the situation and the fear that Sherlock would put the whole sorry story together. He feels himself going crimson, face heated like a Bunsen burner. He tears his gaze away and lifts his tea cup to his face trying, too late, for cover.
Stupid, so stupid, he thinks as he mentally berates himself. Eventually he has to put the cup down, hands shaking slightly as he does.
"Aren't you," John starts voice unsteady, he coughs and then continues, "The package, aren't you going to open it?"
Sherlock, who hasn't once shifted his gaze from John shakes his head, wet strands of hair wiping his forehead as he does, "No," he adds as if to make his point crystal clear.
"Why not?" John asks, willing to take any possible path to get them talking about something safe and disperse the thick blanket of tension in the room, if he could only get Sherlock to talk about severed heads, the possibility of killing a person solely from common household products or..., well John would take just about anything right now.
Sherlock turns to look out the window, hands shaping a pyramid in front of him; he shrugs lightly and says casually, "You can have it."
John looks at the anonymous package resting on the table in front of him, "But," he says. "It's for you, are you not going to look who it is from at least?"
"It is Mycroft bearing gifts as usual this time of year, I never open them." He stands abruptly, in one of those sudden bursts of raw energy he sometimes extrudes. He studies the package with a look of utter distaste and then starts to walk towards his room, shrugging of his coat and leaving it in a wet pile on the floor as he crosses the room.
Just before closing the door behind himself, he says almost absently to John, "You take it or throw it away. I normally just burn them but since you have that ridiculous rule about open flames in the flat..." He trails of leaving the sentence unfinished as he closes the door behind him.
"It is NOT ridiculous," John murmurs to himself as he glances with remembered dread at the black stain on the ceiling where one of Sherlock's experiments had left a permanent mark.
He looks at the package again and thinks that it is a real waste to throw it away; he can always open it and then try to sneak whatever object it contains into Sherlock's possession. He hangs Sherlock's coat up and then grabs the package and leaves for his own room.
John is sitting on the edge of his bed, flannel trousers on, because the flat might be old and beautiful but there are things you could wish from the heating. He is turning Mycroft's package over in his hands wondering if he should open it or not but eventually curiosity gets the better of him and he rips the brown paper off. Inside is a grey sweater, knitted, with a collar and brown leather buttons down the front, not all the way down though. It is beautiful, John concludes, it makes him think of sailors of old and going to America by steam powered boats filled with hope about a better future. It is also horridly expensive looking. It doesn't even have a brand name on it only a distinctive handmade tag telling you the size and that under no circumstances should you attempt to wash it yourself.
He thumbs the tag over and thinks that, odd, it is his size rather than Sherlock's. He shakes it and almost misses the note which had been folded up inside. He picks it up and reads, Happy Christmas John! Oh crap, he thinks looking at the sweater which has probably cost more than he makes in a month and wonders how he is supposed to be able to find something for Mycroft as a Christmas present this late.
He shakes his head and is momentarily angered by the Holmes family and the games they always play, how had Mycroft known Sherlock would give him the package and not set it on fire if that was indeed his normal procedure. He turns the note over and realizes it has writings on the back as well, No need to give me anything! John curses out loud in his bedchamber, was there anything which passed the brothers by? He continues; Take care of my brother, M.
He sighs and throws the note away rising to gently put the expensive sweater down before deciding that this was as much as he could take in a single day and goes to bed.
He wakes sweaty and hard from a dream he cannot remember. His mind slowly drags itself out of unconsciousness although it's unfocused and everything around him is hazy and ephemeral. For a while he is sure, in a between dream and reality way, that he is walking, legs twitching under the cover. As his mind starts to clear he realises that he is home, in his own bed, hopelessly tangled in the sheets and that it is in fact Christmas today.
He stares at the ceiling and wonders if perhaps he should have accepted his sister's invitation and gone to spend Christmas with her. He turns it over for a second thinking how it would all play out and then he sighs; Christmas with Harry is not something he wants to put himself through. He loves his sister, off course; he just prefers to not spend too much time with her. All in all he has looked forward to spending the day alone with a nice cup of tea or with Sherlock in companionable silence. If he is lucky someone will get murdered and there will be a case, he realizes that of course you should not wish for these things but then no one can hear him.
He throws the blankets off freeing his constricted limbs in an attempt at cooling down. Before rising further he pushes a hand into his trousers and jerks himself off, the knuckles of his other hand shoved into his mouth to keep any noises down. He very purposefully tries not to let his mind wander to a certain tall, lithe roommate of his. It does not work of course and he might have come, panting hard biting down on his hand, to a brief, fantastic image of Sherlock on his knees.
He pads down into the sitting room half an hour later, shame and sweat washed away in a cool shower. His hair is wet and he might have been shivering a bit, the shower perhaps turned colder than it had to. He is wearing his new pullover at least, collar turned up and all of the buttons buttoned.
He falters a bit as he enters the kitchen and sees Sherlock standing in front of the refrigerator, pale blue light illuminating his front and John thinks that it is too early in the morning for this. Sherlock is wearing his ridiculous upper class pyjamas, all dark red silk matching three piece set, robe hanging open showing off the paisley pattern on the trousers and shirt. He is barefoot and that for some reason makes John's stomach do a slow grinding somersault.
He looks up as John comes into the room, smiling crookedly.
"What's for breakfast?" He says.
John snorts, "I believe it is your turn to make us some so you tell me." It had in fact been Sherlock's turn for the last three months but somehow it was still John who ended up cooking or ordering take-away anyhow.
"I haven't slept well," Sherlock tries, "I had a dream about walking up this never ending staircase. I simply walked and walked without arriving anywhere; most disturbing."
John snorts, today he was putting his foot down; he was not letting barefoot Sherlock wining this argument. He ignores the puppy dog look Sherlock affects and instead thinks about his own dream of walking and experiences a slight sense of déjà vu.
Sherlock turns back and John glances at him from the corner of his eyes; the man continues to stare into the open fridge as if hoping something would magically appear now that his pity speech had not shown any effect. John shakes his head thinking that there has to be something fundamentally flawed with him when the sight of bare feet is enough for him to start to sweat.
It is just, he thinks and realises in a detached way that he is staring again, that Sherlock looks so disarming right now, hair wild from bed, standing in all directions and feet naked on the cool floor. He looks so normal and, god John is so totally and utterly lost, sweet. Right now no one could guess that he is maybe a sociopath and definitely the most brilliant man in all of Great Britain.
In the end John ends up making them egg on toast while Sherlock gets degraded to making the tea. They eat in silence, John reading a newspaper. Sherlock doesn't even try to start a conversation and every time John's eyes glide away from the neat rows of text and on to Sherlock, which is a habit so old he has no idea how to stop it, he finds Sherlock looking back at him. Just looking, face blank and calm; it makes John immensely nervous. He has no idea what to do with it and it makes him feel strangely vulnerable.
He finds himself fidgeting with the collar of his sweater, pulling it up further as if the wool could somehow shield him from Sherlock's intense gaze, his mouth feels dry and for some reason it does not occur to him to confront Sherlock. As he fidgets with his jumper he can see Sherlock turning his head to the side and suddenly eyeing him strangely; suspicion growing on him so obvious it is like watching a cartoonish grey cloud build up over his head.
"Where did you get that sweater?" Sherlock asks and John nearly jumps right out of his chair.
"I, I got it from Mycroft, a Christmas present," he says truthfully as he wonders quietly how Sherlock will take that little piece of information, if he realized this is what had been in the package.
Sherlock says nothing just looks thoughtful at John and as the moment stretch out John finds himself squirming in his seat for no good reason.
"Do you have a Christmas present for me?" Sherlock asks and it is nonchalant, sudden and perhaps meant to be accusatory. However there is something in his tone which does not sit right with John.
"I thought you said you hated Christmas?" John says, carefully wondering if this is a mine field he is treading without even knowing it.
Sherlock shakes his shoulders and turns to stare out the window like this, really is very inconsequential and he could not care less. John smiles suddenly and wonders if maybe, just maybe Sherlock is not so ice cold or uncaring about Christmas as he pretends, the burning of presents maybe more about brotherly rivalry than an version against the holiday per se.
He fishes around in his shoulder bag which is standing beside the armchair and pulls out a present wrapped in a hideous bright green paper riddled with little elf's in pointy hats dancing with each other. John had chosen the ugliest, most ridiculous paper he could find. He is sure Sherlock will get the point.
"Sherlock," He says and watches the other man turn to face him, "Merry Christmas," he hands the gift over and watches as Sherlock, who for the first time for as long as John has known him, appears speechless. John tries to fight down a huge grin and thinks that he is not doing a very good job at it but probably rather looks like a psychopath as the corners of his lips twitch wildly.
Sherlock takes the gift and smiles at him and it just kills John, the smile is happy and almost childlike in quality and John suffers a minor heart attack as he forces himself to sit still and not pull Sherlock into a hug and kiss the living hell out of him.
He watches Sherlock turn the gift over and admire the garish paper, he smiles with only half his mouth at it and John thinks that, yeah, he got it. He looks at John quizzically and John laughs, "Open it while it's still Christmas you twat!"
Sherlock rips the paper off then; eager like a toddler and pulls out a leather-bound note book, the cover is handmade and engraved with Pythagorean figures, all triangles and angles and weird Greek symbols. John doesn't really get them but Sherlock had made this long speech about the brilliance of the Greek philosopher and mathematician months ago and for some reason it had stuck with John. Sherlock's eyes had been burning with passion and so when John saw this he just had to buy it, even though it was a lot more money than any sane, poor person should spend on a gift to a friend. Perhaps it also has this; I have really thought a bit too much on what I should buy you, quality to it. John ignores that bit though.
Sherlock drags his fingers over the cover, following the lines in the oxblood coloured leather. John fidgets nervously in his chair whishing Sherlock would say something and eventually he can't contain himself, "Do you like it? You hate it right?" He continues without allowing Sherlock any time to respond.
Sherlock looks up at him through thick eyelashes and there is a new expression in his eyes, something dark which John has not seen before and don't not know what to make of.
"I love it," says Sherlock simply. John feels himself relax, shoulders falling and a happy smile settling on his face.
"Ok," He says very inarticulate, "I'm glad I mean," He adds after he realizes that he is probably making a fool of himself yet again and being a bit too pleased that Sherlock likes it.
"It is the best Christmas present I have ever gotten," Sherlock adds sounding sincere and John blushes a bit even if he hates himself for it.
"I haven't got you anything though," Sherlock says and it is simply a statement, no faked or played remorse which most people would express if someone had just given them a well thought out and expensive gift.
"It's ok," John smiles, "I got the sweater, I'm good," he fingers the soft wool to demonstrate that this was indeed a very nice jumper. For a second he has a manic idea that Mycroft knew he had gotten that present for Sherlock and known that Sherlock would not get him something and so bought this one and somehow had known that Sherlock would give it to him and that John would not throw it away but open it and ... He abandons the train of thought because it will most likely drive him mad and turn him into one of those gibbering people wearing foil hats convinced that the 'government' is after them. He is interrupted anyway by Sherlock.
"True," Sherlock adds and rises to his feet, the same strange expression in his eyes as earlier,
"Although it is not actually from me but my brother and I believe these cases demands for something a bit more..." John doesn't know what to expect and so does not anticipate anything. As Sherlock talks he walks closer to where John is sitting, his voice sinking to its lowest register and John finds himself inexplicably trembling, "...personal," Sherlock finishes as he comes up and stands in front of John, knees touching lightly.
And then his hands are on Johns arms and he is pulling him up, showing how much stronger he is than he looks. John just goes with it, mind blank and everything else thrown overboard.
Then Sherlock is kissing him, lips meeting his and pressing insistently towards him. John realizes dimly that this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity and he should really, really take advantage of it. He starts to respond to the kiss, opening his lips ever so slightly and Sherlock is immediately there, hot tongue darting inside and licking deep into John's mouth.
A couple of minutes, hours, years pass while they kiss, Sherlock's hands tightly clasping his upper arms, fingers leaving burning stripes all the way down to the bone, but none of them touching otherwise except their lips. Eventually John has to break away, head spinning and he is panting for air.
"That is my Christmas present?" he asks hoarsely.
"No off course not," Sherlock says calmly, like he hadn't just now been kissing the life out of him.
His eyes twinkle for a second and then he says, "It is still wrapped, you will have to open it yourself," and he makes a small theatrical nod with his head and let go of John's arm to indicate himself. John feels like he is in free fall and he has a fevered vision of undressing Sherlock right here and now and fucking him senseless into the carpet.
It only lasts for a tent of a second and then his mind returns to him and he realises that this, right here is not in any way ok.
"You can't, you can't just give away, eh, sex and assume I..." and he falters because he kind of suspects that maybe he has not been as underhanded about this whole pining business as he had thought.
Sherlock raises an eyebrow and says, "Why not?"
John just shakes his head and decides that explaining would take too much time and he needs to retreat into his rooms right now.
"You just can't Sherlock, trust me on this," he says verily and then swallows, "It should be something both want not just something you can give away," he finishes.
"Who said both did not want," Sherlock replies and John doesn't have any time to react before Sherlock is pulling him flush, bodies pressed tight against each other and John squirms mortified that Sherlock will feel his eagerness through his trousers.
Sherlock holds him still and laces his long arms around John's waist and John thinks about pushing him away with brute force but he figures it is quite possible he would lose a wrestling match with Sherlock. He stops trying to get away and prepares to die of shame instead.
It is only then that he realizes that there is not one but two hard-ons pressed up between them and he suddenly takes in Sherlock's flushed face and dark eyes, pupils blown and huge.
"Oh," he says showing of his great vocabulary and then "Oh," once more as Sherlock bends forward to kiss him again.
The kiss is absolutely everything John could have ever wanted and then some more, it is deep and filthy and toe curlingly good and he goes with it for a while, satisfied to just kiss. He kisses Sherlock with everything he has, tongue reaching in deep exploring the other's mouth in full, sliding over teeth and deeper. It's enough up until the point when he grinds his hips against Sherlock who moans helplessly into his mouth. John breaks free and laughs and it might just be a tad on the hysterical side but he can't care less right now. He pulls Sherlock towards the man's bedroom because distance and time is of utmost importance right now.
They pull at clothes as they go, John pushing Sherlock's night gown of his shoulders, Sherlock practically ripping John's sweater of him, a button tearing off and flying across the room at the ministration. In between, they kiss and bite anywhere they can get at both panting hard and fast by now.
They manage to get down to their underwear as the back of John's legs hit the bed. He stops for a second, his hands coming up and holding Sherlock's face in place and he just looks at him.
"Are you sure about this?" he asks and it is the hardest thing he has ever said.
"Off course. I never act unless I am absolutely sure," Sherlock says and has the audacity to look slightly offended that John could doubt him.
"But, why now?" John asks. He knows he should let it rest or at least let it wait until afterwards but he also knows that he won't feel perfectly certain himself until he is sure Sherlock wants this.
Sherlock looks at him and slowly licks his lips and John almost gives in to his urge to just ignore this trying to the right thing and just ravish the man, but he holds.
"That was an ugly sweater, I had to get it off you," Sherlock says and shrugs his shoulders.
"That's it?" John asks suspiciously. Sherlock rolls his eyes at him.
"Yes and I might have made a New Year's Eve promise that if things had not passed by now then well..." Sherlock smiles at him, "...I know I am a bit early here but I sincerely hope you do not mind?" And no, John most definitely did not mind!
He pulls Sherlock to him and kisses him again thinking that a man could die happy like this. Soon they are back to panting, grinding frantically against each other and John falls backwards, dragging Sherlock down on the bed with him.
He pulls the man over him, holding him tight as he presses them flush. There are some moments of moaning and reciprocal grinding, breaths hot and lips sliding slick against each other before Jon flips them around and with shaking hands undress Sherlock in full. His erection is as pale as the rest of him, lying flush against his stomach. John eagerly grabs the smooth length and slides his thumb gently across the head smearing out the perfect drop of pre-come resting there.
"Oh god John," Sherlock says and bucks his hips up, voice hoarse and needy. John keeps holding, his thumb rolling in lazy circles and he bends forward, kissing Sherlock's throat. He can feel his heartbeat under his lips, wild and frantic and he moans into Sherlock's hot flesh. Sherlock pulls at his underwear and he helps him one handed, his other hand still gripping Sherlock, holding him firmly in hand.
Sherlock pulls him close, hands sliding down to grip his arse and John grinds helplessly into his hip as he starts to work Sherlock up and down. Sherlock turn to the side facing him and his lips meet John's again and it is better than anything John can remember. He lets Sherlock's dick go and grabs his hips, grinding against him as their mouths fight for possession.
Sherlock breaks away, burying his face in John's throat, his breathing coming fast and irregular. His hand push in between them and John meets him there and they grab both their erections together. Frantically and uncoordinated they both start to push up and down, John's hand over Sherlock. They soon get into a rhythm and as John feels Sherlock's slick, hard dick against his and Sherlock's hands on him he moans, "Sherlock," and then he is coming, hot white strand shooting up and covering their chests and subsequently Sherlock is right there with him, biting down hard on John's collarbone as he comes, a muffled cry wrung into his skin.
Sherlock is still there when John wakes up an hour later, snuggled in close behind him sleeping silently, pale chest rising and pressing against John's back. John feels tired and soft, skin sensitive like it is glowing. Sherlock's arm is draped over his chest and John lets his own hand close over his, treading their fingers together. Sherlock stirs and mumbles something which sounds very much like 'John', breath hot on his neck but does not wake fully. An elated, warm felling fills John and he smiles wide and thinks that maybe he will get to keep his present.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment or short remark, I will adore you always if you do!
(Authors note: Walking in stairs and other similar repetitive motions in dreams are classic examples according to Sigmund Freud of underlying sexual frustration.)