A/N: This was written for a prompt on the BBC Sherlock kink meme on livejournal, asking for Sherlock hugging John on the morning after they have sex.
He wakes up naked at, he'd say from the slant of the light warming his body, ten in the morning. He never sleeps naked. John sleeps naked, or he used to. He seems to have stopped after the first time Sherlock came into his room when he was still asleep to tell him about a new client, and found John sprawled across his bed with the covers kicked down around his feet and his bare arse on display. Sherlock moans lightly under his breath at the memory, and turns from his side onto his back. He still hasn't opened his eyes. Without thinking, he runs his hands down his bare chest and to his cock, half hard from some dream he was having that he can no longer remember.
It is a strange morning, by all measures. First, as he has already ascertained, he is not wearing any clothes. Second, he absolutely cannot stop thinking about sex. He hasn't had this problem since he was fifteen years old. And third, he is, he realizes slowly, as he stretches and moves his body against the sheets, rather sore.
Then he remembers everything.
He remembers John, how he'd spent the entirety of their post-case celebration dinner staring at Sherlock's mouth, how he'd let their knees bump under the table and then left his resting there all evening, making Sherlock's heart flutter in a completely unprecedented way. He remembers opening the door to 221B and John stepping in behind him and looking at him like he wanted to say something but wasn't sure how, and just when Sherlock opened his own mouth to ask, John saying, "I'd like to do something," in a light, curious voice, which Sherlock didn't know how to read and which had, for this reason, completely disarmed him. He remembers John's hands on his shoulders and then John's mouth on his mouth and how strange it had felt, uncomfortable and confusing until he'd let himself close his eyes and kiss back.
He remembers ending up in his bedroom, remembers John pushing him back onto the bed and climbing over him, and his hands everywhere, in Sherlock's hair and at his waist and slipping in under his shirt to touch his chest, and how his mouth had followed, kissing and licking at ears and jaw and neck and chest and stomach. It was breath-catching.
And he remembers how, later, John had started asking is this okay, is this okay, again and again, like he was nervous. He certainly did not act in the way a nervous person should. He moved with a confidence that, for once, Sherlock could not match, and he'd let himself submit to it, let himself be kissed and touched and moved and manipulated—he remembers gripping John's hair in his fists as he felt that hot, wet, mouth swallow him down. He shuts his eyes tighter at the memory, and when he remembers John inside him, he has to bite his lip.
Slowly, he lets his other hand drift down after the first, down his chest and lower, down the bare skin of his leg. He barely knows this body. He's told himself for so long that he need not know it, that it is of no importance, that now he finds himself a novice of physical sensations. He is more ignorant of the body he has lived in for three decades than John was, as he explored it for the first time. He had not known that he could feel the things he felt when John touched him. It was a rush he felt in every centimetre of skin and muscle and bone, an overload of sensation that had almost short circuited his brain, like getting high, nothing like getting high, like coming into himself for the first time, instead of leaving. He feels himself flush and burn at the mere memory of it.
Carefully, then, hesitantly, he lets his arm slip to the side and he starts to reach out. He expects that his fingers will soon brush against John's still, warm, body, relaxed in sleep. He'll feel an arm, perhaps, or maybe a leg, or maybe the skin of his side just over his ribs, and the very thought of this makes him smile a slow, lazy, sleepy smile. But there's nothing. Just an empty expanse of cool, rumpled sheets.
His eyes jerk open and he sits up, turning to look from side to side as if John were hiding just out of sight behind a chair or a bookcase. But he's alone in the room.
Immediately, his mind starts reviewing the possibilities. John was kidnapped. John regrets last night and left in disgust. John had a reason to get up early. John got an urgent call and was lured away from the flat. Mycroft broke into 221B and carried John off—which is really just taking him back to hypothesis one, which would be ridiculous except that he knows that there are no bounds to his brother's insanity—but he must stop these thoughts now. He needs more data.
Carefully, testing his limbs and the soreness of his muscles, he slides to the edge of the bed and then stands. He stretches his arms up over his head, stretches his torso, shakes out his legs. This is no normal part of his routine. But he needs it somehow, needs to feel his body like John taught him to. He finds his dressing gown hanging over a chair and pulls it on, not bothering at first with anything underneath, but then a sudden bout of self-consciousness hits him, unprecedented and strange, and he throws it off again and searches for pyjama pants and an old t-shirt to wear as well. Then he slips out of his room.
He's expecting the flat to be empty—because if John is in the flat, why is he not in Sherlock's bed?—but it isn't. John is in the kitchen, just visible through the doorway, facing the stove and with his back to Sherlock. He seems to be making tea. Sherlock stops in the doorway and, for a moment, he just watches him.
This is the man his body thrilled to last night, the man who brought him back to himself, the man whose touch he can almost, still, just barely feel if he closes his eyes and concentrates and brings those memories forward just so.
Whatever this feeling is, now, this, he doesn't know it, he doesn't think he's ever known it, but he wants more of it, could get addicted to it and he thinks that might be okay, this addiction, this time. What he knows is he needs John and John is there, so close, and oh—
"Sherlock?" John asks. He's using his I-know-this-makes-sense-to-you-but-it-really-doesn't-to-me-so-could-you-explain voice, except that this time, there is no impatient knife-edge to the tone. He sounds a bit tentative, and rather curious. "What are you doing?"
"I'm hugging you." He doesn't add that this is quite obvious, even though it is. He does, after all, have his arms wrapped around John's waist and he's holding him close and, as far as Sherlock knows, that they are not standing face to face does not stop this gesture from being, very much, still, a hug.
"Okay. Why are you hugging me, then?"
"That's a much more sensible question, John, though I would think the answer to it would be as obvious as the answer to your last query."
"Explain it to me anyway," John says, but Sherlock suspects his ignorance is feigned, because as he speaks he moves one hand to grasp Sherlock's arm where it is wrapped around him. Sherlock can't quite see his face, but he sounds suspiciously like he is smiling.
"I—" he starts to answer, confident because it is quite clear, isn't it, but then he realizes he doesn't know what to say. He tilts his head and rubs the tip of his nose back and forth against John's hair. He squeezes him a little tighter. "I…missed you this morning," he says. He speaks much more quietly, this time, not because the sentiment requires it, but because he's embarrassed to say the words. If John could see his face, he probably wouldn't be able to speak at all.
"Did you?" John asks in return. He could almost be mocking Sherlock, that little laugh in his voice, except that there's a hint of flirtiness there, too.
"I did." He dips his nose lower, and lets his lips graze against the side of John's neck. John tilts his own head forward and slightly to the side, to give Sherlock better access, and he hums a little, quiet and low. "Why did you leave?" Sherlock asks him.
"Last night was so sudden," John answers lowly. Sherlock imagines he's closed his eyes. "I wasn't sure what you thought. I didn't want to pressure you into anything."
"I'm not pressured. I'm… I'm…" Of all the things he could say—happy content awed exhausted exhilarated confused—even that—he can't find the word that feels like it truly captures what he means.
"Is the great Sherlock Holmes speechless?" John asks. His voice is soft and gentle. He gives Sherlock's hand a squeeze.
"Hmmph," he snorts, frowning even though John can't see. But his only real answer is to order, "Just don't do it again."
"Don't do what again?" John laughs. "Make you speechless?"
He feels John go suddenly, inexplicably tense in his arms. He said the wrong thing, perhaps. It happens often enough but the only time it really matters, the only time he lets himself get caught on the moment and wonder about it, try to correct it, is when the person he's hurt is John. This time, though, before he can ask, the body in his arms twists and turns to face him, and then there is John's face tilted up to him and John's gaze on him, watching him and reading him. Sherlock feels familiar arms wrap around him.
"It really bothered you that I wasn't there this morning?"
Bothered is not the word he would choose, but this is no time to debate such details. "I didn't like it," he answers. "I thought I'd already made that clear."
"You did. I just…"
"Do you feel pressured? Do you think we shouldn't have—"
"No. No, Sherlock," he shakes his head and smiles a sad and knowing smile, like he's just realized something about his own stupidity, just seen some lightly ironic misunderstanding that he could have avoided. Which is perhaps exactly what has happened. "I think maybe I've complicated things," he says.
"I wouldn't say complicated," Sherlock corrects. "Gotten wrong, perhaps. But I'm sure you're used to that."
"And I'm also used to you correcting me. It's usually quite annoying."
"You don't seem annoyed right now."
"Hmmm," John considers, drawing out the noise just to make Sherlock wait, smiling because he isn't good at hiding happiness, "well I would have to say it's because I'm still in a good mood after last night."
Sherlock's nose wrinkles, slightly, as he considers. "Is that really an after-effect of sex?"
"Good sex," John clarifies.
"I see." He does not say, that is why I feel this way, then, this buzzing, this lightness, this lack of gravity; that is why I feel not myself and more myself and why my body is a magnet and it attracts only to you, and why this sensation is a flood is all through me, and I can't bear for it to stop. He does not say any of that. He understands. It's endorphins, only that. It's science, nothing more, nothing inexplicable, nothing magic.
He doesn't quite know what he's doing, but somehow it seems like a good idea, just at this moment, to tilt his head down and pull John in, to kiss him, and he can feel John's smile, too, in that kiss. John's holding on to him tightly, pulling him close, his body saying, Come here, come here, and Sherlock's is answering, Stay.