Damned if Sherlock wasn't reading aloud. Again. It was a disturbing habit as of late, one that got underneath John's skin like a burr, irritating the life out of him. It wasn't the choice of reading material (although that would be a theory later disproved); it was the precise and calculated delivery of each word that set his teeth on edge. He chalked it up to a number of things.
First, given the sheer amount of time they spent together, it came as no surprise that Sherlock would get on his nerves. Anyone who spent more than two minutes in his company could whole-heartedly vouch for that.
Second, it was happening all the damn time. Constant reading of various tomes, Milton's Paradise Lost (a personal favorite), poetry by Longfellow and Keats, Shakespeare (God, if he did Othello one more time, one of them was going to end up on the slab at Bart's), not to mention the impromptu recitation of Fifty Shades of Grey that had forced John out of the flat at the phrase "inner goddess" in Sherlock's droll baritone.
Third, and probably most important, the sound of said baritone at any and all hours of the day and night was serving to do something particularly heinous and possibly downright rude. It was turning him on.
"However, during the past three decades, a series of case and controlled group studies examining the effects of EEG biofeedback have reported improved attention and behavioral control, increased cortical activation on quantitative electroencephalographic examination—" Sherlock flipped back the corner of the journal, "John, are you listening?"
Listening? He was gritting his teeth and willing away a rather insistent erection at the term "electroencephalographic". The damn medical journals were the outright devil.
He couldn't get around the ache in his jeans and his brain was ablaze with "biofeedback" and "cortical activation". He hopped up from the chair. "Oh, bugger off, Sherlock. I'm going to take a shower."
"I haven't finished the article yet. I thought you were interested in this one for your ADHD patients," Sherlock complained.
If he didn't get out of here now, he was liable to burst and explaining that would have probably killed him. He didn't want to have that conversation. Not ever.
"Sorry. Not really," he managed, moving toward the stairs.
"Are you alright, John? You look ill. You're sweating." Sherlock's voice was laced with concern as he tossed the journal aside. His eyes narrowed as he scrutinized John, forcing John to turn and present Sherlock with his back. He certainly didn't need to advertise the tent in his jeans. "Yes," Sherlock continued, "a hot shower might do you good if you're not well." He moved to rise. "I'll make tea, then?"
John had to bite back a laugh. Good, maybe he didn't notice. "Tea would be nice, thanks."
"That was fast," Sherlock said as he checked his watch.
"I was in the Army, Sherlock. You learned to take quick showers." John stated flatly, adjusting the tie on his striped robe.
"Your usual masturbatory showers take a good fifteen to twenty minutes."
"My-my what?" John spluttered. "I was not wanking in the shower, Sherlock!" Oh, the lies we tell.
"Weren't you?" the consulting detective asked calmly.
"Certainly not!" John huffed. "And what makes you think I was tossing one off anyway? You said yourself it takes fifteen to twenty, and frankly, I don't want to know how you came to that conclusion, so please don't offer. I've only been gone five minutes," he protested.
Sherlock's smile was slow and sly. "You still have shampoo in your hair."
John's hand came up to gingerly probe his hair. He looked at his fingers. Foam. Fuck. He bolted back upstairs, Sherlock's low rumble of amusement following him all the way.
Foam-free and slightly less ruffled, John sat down on the sofa to sip his tea. He picked up the discarded medical journal and continued reading the article. He really was interested. Sherlock strolled in from the kitchen and sat down on the opposite end, his eyes nonchalantly perusing the doctor.
"Alright, Sherlock. What is it now?" John sighed, dropping the journal.
Sherlock's lips pursed as he shook his head. "Nothing. You rinsed off and came back down."
"So I did."
Sherlock's voice went incredibly low as he leaned in and asked, "What is it, John?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I think you do." Sherlock crept closer, inching toward him. "What has you in this state of perpetual arousal? Hmm?" The bastard had the audacity to smirk.
"Per-perpetual arousal? You're out of your mind." John managed.
"John." The name was drawn out in a multisyllabic intonation that made him hard. Again. John swallowed nervously, unable to contain the sudden shift of his body to alleviate the pressure.
"Ah," Sherlock droned. "It is the sound of my voice. At first I thought it was the Milton, it is rather stirring, but I see now."
"See what?" John squeaked, suddenly wishing the sofa would open up and swallow him whole. He could feel the heat suffusing his cheeks as Sherlock sidled up next to him. He was wedged between the arm of the sofa and the rather solid press of Sherlock to the side of his body. This couldn't possibly get any worse.
"John," Sherlock said again in that drawl. Wrong. It was worse. "This is rather interesting, don't you think?"
"Interesting?" John snorted. "Try infuriating."
Sherlock blinked. "Infuriating?"
"Yes!" John hissed. "It's bloody infuriating! Listening to you go on, day in and day out, with that damned baritone of yours. And you do go on, with words longer than my arms, and it—" He stopped, averting his eyes from Sherlock's intense stare.
"It what?" Sherlock asked. "Is it my vocabulary?"
"You're like the fucking Oxford Dictionary, Sherlock! I've never known a man who speaks in so many five and six syllable words. Between that and the damn classics, it sounds like audible sex. And it-"
"Gets you hot?"
"Yes!" John shouted, throwing up his hands. "God help me, yes!"
"But you're not attracted to me? It's just my voice?"
Was it his imagination, or was that disappointment he heard in Sherlock's tone?
"I don't know," he huffed. "Everything I thought I knew about myself vanished when I moved in with you. I don't know what to believe about myself anymore."
Sherlock's lips curved. "Let's experiment."
"No. Let's not."
Before he knew it, Sherlock was pressed even closer, his breath warm on his ear and neck as he leaned down. "Have I ever told you how perspicacious you are, John?"
The way Sherlock's lips rolled over his p's sent a shiver straight to John's groin. Damn that voice.
"Sherlock," he murmured, trying to pull away, but Sherlock reached out across his body to grab his bicep and hold him in place. The strong touch seared his skin even through the layers of his robe. Apparently, it wasn't just the voice. Shit. Damn. Fuck.
"I have an enthusiastic appreciation of your predilection for hideous jumpers."
He was melting right here, into a John-shaped puddle on the sofa. And Sherlock didn't seem to care one bit. He was too busy cataloguing every detail of John's discomfort and filing it away, for what future reference, John had no idea. As a matter of fact, the bastard looked quite pleased with himself. Enough.
He squirmed, to no avail. "Okay, Sherlock, you've made your point."
"I don't think I have. I need more data." The fingers tightened around his arm and the heat on his ear increased as Sherlock's lips almost brushed his skin. God, if he moved just a fraction, there would be contact. Sweet Christ. "Circumnavigation."
John breath hitched.
He wanted to groan.
He had to bite his lip.
He bolted from the sofa. "For fuck's sake, Sherlock, now you're just being cruel," he rasped, heading for the stairs.
"Wait, John!" Sherlock shouted, making a grab for him.
Sherlock's stride was longer than his, and he clutched at John's arm, spinning them around to collide, his back pressed against Sherlock's chest. It was like there was a snap in the air, a crack in the veneer, and Sherlock backed up against the wall, pulling John close. Long limbs slid around him, one arm snaking across his chest, the other up to his neck. Sherlock's fingers worked their way up to grasp at his jaw, pushing his head up and back into Sherlock's shoulder. This time there was no mistake of the press of Sherlock's lips to his ear.
"I have to confess," he panted. "I've known for days. I kept reading just to see how you would react."
"Don't be angry. I wasn't mocking you. At first, it was about your reactions. They intrigued me. But I never expected that your reactions would trigger my own." Sherlock's hips shifted behind him and he could feel the hard length of Sherlock's cock through his trousers. "Watching you get turned on turned me on. And that's never happened before. Of course, I had to experiment. You know me."
Damn right he did. Thinking about it, it was endearing, in that sort of irritatingly innocent high-handed Sherlock kind of way.
"John." Sherlock's hand reached the tie on John's robe. "I need to know."
Well, Watson. Are you or aren't you?
John batted Sherlock's hand away and ripped open the tie, shrugging the robe to the floor. Ah, you are. Cheers, mate.
Sherlock ground against him and he leaned back, the buttons of Sherlock's shirt digging into his back. The arm across his chest pulled him back harder, and the hand at his chin pushed up, stretching his body into one long line, fitting him into every crevice of Sherlock's form. Lips that ghosted over his ear now latched onto his neck, kissing, licking and biting, making John growl and rub his arse over Sherlock's erection.
"What do you want to hear, John?" he groaned. "What shall I recite for you?"
John's head swam in fuzzy flashes of heat and desire. What did he want? What words did he want to hear tumble from Sherlock's lips to his ear, to feel whispered on his skin? He realized now that he wanted this, all of this, whatever it was, whatever it turned out to be. It was an overwhelming feeling, like drowning in a riptide, and John was throwing his arms open to the mercy of the tide that was Sherlock.
"Shelley," he whispered.
Sherlock's lips were on his ear in an instant, breathy and wet and hot. "The fountains mingle with the river/And the rivers with the ocean/The winds of heaven mix forever/With a sweet emotion. Is that what you want?"
"Yes," John moaned. "God, yes."
"Nothing in the world is single/All things by a law divine/In another being's mingle/Why not I with thine?"
Sherlock ground his hips in response, hissing in pleasure. "John!"
"More, Sherlock. More."
"See, the mountains kiss high heaven/And the waves clasp one another/No sister flower could be forgiven/If it disdained its brother."
They writhed together as one, seeking contact at every slide of fabric over skin. John reached for Sherlock's hand, attempting to get it to go lower and ease the straining ache of his leaking cock. Sherlock was nothing if not obliging and John growled loudly as Sherlock's long fingers wrapped around his heated length with a reverent grip. He began to stroke John fast and furious, with a surety of slide that had John's knees preparing to buckle.
"Christ, Sherlock. I'm close. I-"
"And the sunlight clasps the earth/And the moonbeams kiss the sea/What are all these kissings worth/If thou kiss not me?"
Sherlock pushed at John's chin, capturing his lips in a fevered kiss as John toppled over the edge. John moaned his release into Sherlock's mouth, erupting over his hand in a jet of thick warmth. He sagged against Sherlock's chest and the kiss gentled, each exploring the other in a tangle of lips and tongue.
John sighed and pulled back and Sherlock leaned over his shoulder to look down at the mess.
"I wonder if there's a correlation between quantity of ejaculate and material recited."
"You're not serious."
"As a doctor, I can tell you, no. No, there isn't."
Sherlock sniffed and rested his chin on John's shoulder, nuzzling the side of his head with a snuffle into John's hair. "John." There was the drag of his name again. And the push of Sherlock's cock. Ah. He leaned back and slid a hand around to palm Sherlock's erection.
Sherlock's head hit the wall as it slammed back. "Now who's being cruel?" he rasped. "And I never used ecstasy." John shoved his hands down the front of Sherlock's trousers, surrounding the hot flesh, making Sherlock whimper. He stroked faster, feeling Sherlock shiver behind him and he smiled as he looked back into Sherlock's face.
Sherlock stiffened and cried out at the simple command, his body taut as he rode out his orgasm into John's hand. John smiled and turned to kiss him.
"Thank God that's all it took," he chuckled. "I was afraid I was going to have to start memorizing the bloody dictionary to get you off."
"Don't be mean," Sherlock sniffed, pulling John close. "Or I'll read Fifty Shades again."
"You do and my "inner goddess" and I will move out."
"Fine. We'll stick with the classics."
A/N: Hope you liked it. Comments. Reviews. All that. You know the drill. Cheers.