John hadn't blogged much since Sherlock's return, mainly because there had been few cases to solve since Sherlock had been called off by Scotland Yard, but partly because he hadn't fancied sharing Sherlock with anyone else. Before the fall, John had taken great pride in making his friend's incredible talents—and even sometimes his failings—available to the world. After, however, he'd wanted to keep them all to himself, secrets, because for so long he'd had so little.
But today, John had woken up with an idea.
Dear barmy Sherlock stalkers,
He chuckled to himself and deleted the line.
Too broad, impersonal.
Friends of Sherlock Holmes,
That was better. He kept the salutation, but now what to say? Launching into an accusatory tirade against the people and the press didn't seem like the thing to do, especially since he was trying to draw attention away from Sherlock, not add more. In any case, he was sure a simple message would suffice.
Leave him alone.
On second thought, maybe not quite as tactless as that.
Sherlock Holmes has given us all so much. Let him be and do the things he loves to do. Or would you rather he live his life in a cage?
Suddenly, John was distracted by a curse from the end of the table, where Sherlock sat hunched over his computer.
"Die again, did you?" John asked.
"It's this blasted resurrection sickness," came the irritated reply.
"I should have never used the spirit healer," Sherlock muttered at the screen, then began frantically pecking at keys. "Ridiculous, novice mistake. It's never worth the cost."
John sighed. It had been like this for days. Sherlock didn't even want to leave off World of Warcraft for dinner or to come to bed unless John offered other, more compelling reasons (which of course John had no problem doing). It was something, at least, that Sherlock had finally found a less destructive way to relieve his boredom than with drugs or by shooting the walls of their flat.
John finished his blog post and looked it over. Satisfied, he posted it, noting the time stamp with surprise. Molly and Lestrade were dropping by for dinner—bringing it, really, since neither John nor Sherlock could cook to save their lives—and Sherlock was still in his robe.
"Sherlock," he said, but Sherlock was whispering something to himself about a fictional general and didn't hear him.
"Sherlock," he said again, more loudly this time. Still no answer.
John got up, walked over to Sherlock's chair, and shut the laptop. He had to suck in his cheeks to keep from laughing at the put upon expression on Sherlock's face, blue eyes narrowed.
"I can't believe you just did that. I was in the middle of a quest. That was unforgivable."
"I've forgiven you for shamming dead for three years, so if this is your hard limit, I think we have a problem."
It was enough to coax Sherlock into the shower.
While he was washing three days of World of Warcraft from his skin, John straightened up the flat, feeling domestic and not at all resentful of it. He thought about the night ahead. Since he and Sherlock had started shagging, they hadn't seen much of Molly or Greg, and John was wondering if they'd sense the difference. What was the protocol regarding disclosure when you started sleeping with a genius with sociopathic tendencies? When he and Sherlock were in public (which was rarely, since they were followed anywhere they went together), they hadn't been noticeably affectionate, but when they were alone Sherlock watched him and smiled when he thought John wasn't looking. Sometimes an innocent kiss on the head would take John by surprise, make him marvel that it was okay, that they were like this now, that it didn't have to end, even. Not yet, not if they didn't want it to.
And ending it was the last thing he wanted, because now he could walk into the bathroom while Sherlock showered and make sure there was enough soap for guests to wash their hands. Now he could pull back the curtain and admire the view. Sherlock might hear and turn around, shamelessly soaping the hair under his arms, his balls, give John an evil smile and ask if he needed a shower as well.
"Tempting," John said, trailing a hand down Sherlock's lean stomach and wetting his sleeve in the process. Sherlock looked like maybe he'd pull John in anyway. Then the doorbell rang.
Later,John thought. How wonderful, the prospect of later.
Dinner was Chinese food from the shop round the corner. Sherlock ate three egg rolls and nothing else, chewing silently, his eyes boring resentful holes into Lestrade's skull. Molly and John chatted to lighten the mood. She was happy, John could tell—and, he suspected from the weight she'd gained around her middle, pregnant. She ate well and gazed at her husband fondly. When Sherlock started to say something rude, John elbowed him in the ribs and sent him to do the washing up.
"Has he ever cleaned dishes before?" Molly asked when Sherlock had gone away.
John frowned. "Not that I know of, no."
"There's a first time for everything," said Lestrade. He seemed younger, more relaxed than he had in the early days when he was still in a bad marriage and frazzled by department politics.
A clatter rang from the kitchen, and John suspected at least one plate had been sacrificed at the altar of Sherlock's irritation. He smiled. They were ugly dishes, anyway.
"We need him back," Lestrade said, scrubbing his hands over his face. "Both of you, really. Got a call today in Brixton. The second in a week—one bullet, no forced entry. Just a kid. At first I thought it was gang-related, but there was this." Lestrade pulled out his mobile and handed it to John. The victim's forehead, what was left of it, anyway, was marked with the letter 'B'.
"B?" John passed back the phone. He didn't know if his blog stunt today would amount to anything, but if Lestrade was changing his mind he'd do everything he could to encourage it.
Lestrade blew out a breath. "The first victim was 'A'. Jesus, John, I think we might have a serial murderer on our hands."
John's heart started beating just a bit faster. The Alphabet Killer. He could already see the glee on Sherlock's face. "He loves those."
Molly rubbed Lestrade's knee and quirked an eyebrow toward the kitchen. "Maybe you should . . ."
"Go talk to him," Lestrade finished.
"Good luck," said John.
"I have my pistol." Lestrade patted his hip.
"Make sure it's loaded."
Once they were alone, Molly laughed and shook her head.
"What's so funny?"
"So," she said, "you and him?"
A loud whoop sounded from the other room and something else crashed. Another plate, probably. John rolled his eyes, considering his answer to Molly's question. Of course he could deny it, but he didn't want to. It wasn't a secret, in any case. "Yeah," he said, shrugging. "How about that?"
"I never thought he . . ." Molly paused and looked toward the kitchen, making sure they weren't overheard. "Until you," she said, "I never thought he could like anyone. Even like,you know, as a friend. He certainly didn't like me." She gave another laugh, a sad one that was meant to be happy.
John didn't like thinking about Sherlock being alone, but he nodded, remembering the time in the country—I don't have friends. I have one.
"You're good for him," she said. Then her voice got curious. "Is he good for you?"
"Yeah. Yeah, he's good for me. What about you?" John asked. He didn't want to pry but she seemed bursting to tell him. "Seems you've got something new going on, there. Am I right?"
Blushing, Molly rubbed her stomach. "Something new. Three months new."
After Molly and Greg left it was nearing midnight. John yawned, feeling the tiredness in his bones, but Sherlock was in great spirits. Apparently he and Lestrade had worked out a sort of plan that would allow Sherlock access to the crime scenes without drawing attention to his presence. It meant that Sherlock's public role would be downplayed, at least for a while, but that didn't matter to Sherlock now. He was thrilled, and he was composing music: a very rare combination indeed.
"Well," John said, "I'm off to bed." He hadn't even bothered to check his blog, but it could wait 'til the morning. He was knackered and suffering from a case of indigestion courtesy of too much pork lo mein.
"Staying up for a bit," Sherlock replied, his violin poised on his shoulder.
"I guessed that."
As John turned round, Sherlock called out, "yours or mine?"
"Mine," said John, smiling to himself. He wanted to sleep in his own room tonight; Sherlock's mattress was too firm and he needed a good night's rest. That wasn't why he was smiling, though. Sherlock didn't need to ask him where he was headed, but it was his way of telling John that later, after he'd run out all his adrenaline and his mind was ready, yes, he'd be there, too.
He was back in the desert in hospital, the wound on his arm puffy and sore under loose bandages.
Are you ready to go home, Captain?
It was a familiar voice, very familiar. John nodded at the figure, but he couldn't make out the face.
I think so.
It started to rain, a warm, wet drizzle like London in August. John felt comfortable; the pain in his arm began to recede. And then something rustled. The bed dipped, jostling him.
John blinked in the darkness, his sleep-fuzzied mind growing clearer. He reached down and got a handful of soft hair. Sherlock was . . . oh, Sherlock was nosing into his thigh at the crease of his leg.
John groaned. "What are you doing?" He was already half-hard, and growing more aroused as Sherlock mouthed at his cock, blowing warm air through the fabric of his pants, wetting them with his tongue.
"I read your blog," Sherlock said. He snaked his hand over John's belly, making John self-conscious of its softness, but not enough to want him to stop.
"My blog? God, Sherlock, your mouth." How was he expected to think straight as Sherlock pulled his cock out, licked the tip?
"Yes," he thought Sherlock said. It wasn't quite clear because John's cock muffled the words. But then the mouth was gone and John could have screamed.
"You told the world," Sherlock said. John wasn't sure what he meant, only that Sherlock needed to keep doing what he'd been doing, goddamn it. John wasn't in the mood for games. He wanted to get off.Now Sherlock was just lightly stroking him, fingering his pubic hair, pressing a soft kiss at the base.
"No . . . keep . . ."
"You know what."
"Say it, John." Sherlock's voice was soft, teasing.
John grimaced, shot out, "Suck it, you arse."
"Suck what, exactly?"
"Fuck," John said, squirming uncomfortably. "Suck my cock."
Sherlock started up again, working him quickly with his hand and his mouth and John couldn't stop from thrusting deep, holding Sherlock's head as he started to come.
Afterward, they lay in the darkness. John started drifting back to sleep.
"If you love Sherlock, you'll let him be,"Sherlock said.
The bit of blood seeping back to John's brain helped some neurons fire. Oh, right, he'd said something along those lines. The blog. The message.
"I don't know if it will make any difference," John said.
"It already has."
They were quiet then, but John could almost hear Sherlock's mind churning . . . he wondered if this was Sherlock's way of saying the words he couldn't say. Maybe it was better.
"It's on again," Sherlock said. John knew he meant the game.
"Will you come with me?"
"Of course. You can't get rid of me now. You'll break all the dishes on your own."
A chuckle in the darkness, a warm arm on his chest. John smiled.
A/N: Thanks to AsyaAna for the beta and im_not_a_lizard for britpicking this story. I hope you enjoyed it!