Author's Note: Gah, this chapter was a beast! 21 pages worth. Thanks to my long-suffering beta, Quinn Anderson, for helping me edit this so quickly. I hope you enjoy!

Over the next week, John kicked himself a dozen times a day for suggesting the following Friday. What had he been thinking? It was the longest seven days of his life. He was edgy, horny and plagued with doubts and confusion all week. It was miserable. And Sherlock was apparently doing no better, because he either ignored John or was an absolute dick, snappish and insulting.

More than once John thought that if he made it to Friday without killing Sherlock first, it would be a miracle.

Despite all the hostility, or maybe because of it, the sexual tension between the two of them when they were in the flat was so kinetic John was surprised it didn't spontaneously start a house fire. He even put the fire department on his mobile's speed dial (though granted, it was as much for the possibility that he'd toss Sherlock out the window as it was concern about a literal fire).

The worst of it happened on Monday evening. Sherlock was sitting at his microscope in the kitchen, staring down into it. His hands trembled as John walked by to the fridge. John just barely restrained himself from stopping and licking the pale exposed skin on Sherlock's neck, just below his ear, on his way past. And when he demanded to know, in a sudden rush of rage, why there was approximately two drops of milk left in the milk carton he'd bought yesterday, Sherlock proceeded to explain why he couldn't be arsed in a fit of vitriol that left John seeing red. He either had to leave the room or strangle his flatmate. He left the room.

On Wednesday, John came out of the bathroom in his robe, toweling off his hair from the shower, and ran into Sherlock in the hall. Sherlock looked down at the floor, frowning, and blocked the center of the hall like a tall, gangly, anthropomorphized highway cone. John said "Excuse me" and Sherlock mumbled "Of course" and then didn't move. And John said "I need to get past" and Sherlock said "Yes" without looking up or seeming capable of movement. And finally John took him by the upper arms and swung him back against the wall as if he were a door. John walked by, still toweling his hair.

On Thursday, Sherlock, in revenge, came into the sitting room in his blue robe. The fact that he was wearing nothing underneath was made obvious by the loose tying of said robe and the glimpses of a pale stomach and dark pubic hair that peeked out as he strode restlessly in the room, talking angrily on his mobile to Lestrade. John had been innocently sitting in his chair, reading the paper, but by the time Sherlock stalked back into his bedroom, never once looking at John, John was fully hard and had to go up to his room to wank, even though he'd tried not to all week. There was only so much a man could stand.

The strange thing was, at home they didn't talk about the upcoming competition, not once. But they did over texts.

On Tuesday:

I have one rule. JW

Of course you do. SH

John let him sit on it for twenty minutes.

Well? Do you intend to tell me or must I guess? SH

No acting, not like with Lena and Ryan. This is you and me. It's real, or it's not on. JW

John's hand shook as he sent that. Sherlock let him stew for an hour.

You have no idea what you're asking of me. SH

Don't care. JW

I agree to try. SH

And later that day:

My bedroom. JW

John didn't say "because Lena and Ryan were in yours". Sherlock answered immediately.

Yes, that's preferable. SH

On Wednesday:

Sherlock sent a photo to John's phone of a lab report in Sherlock's name dated a week ago showing no STDs or blood diseases. Following this, a text:

Requesting no condoms. SH

John's mouth went dry at this, and he felt a wave of nervousness and lust. He typed back.

No condoms except for penetrative sex. JW

Only on penetrator, obviously. SH

Yes. JW

Agreed. SH

On Thursday:

Either way is satisfactory, but my assumption is that you would prefer to be the penetrator. Am I correct? SH

At the clinic, John's knees went weak and he had to sit down. Sherlock Holmes, asking if John wanted to fuck him. He thought his head might explode. John pondered a number of answers, including, oh, hell, yes, and, alternatively, acting coy about it. He finally went with-

If you're amenable. JW

Fine. SH

Friday morning:

John was in his bed upstairs sleeping late since he didn't have to work that day. He was having some very pleasant dreams when his phone woke him up. It was Lestrade.

"John, I need Sherlock on a case."

"What, today?" John said fully waking up.

"Yes, today. As soon as possible. And he's refusing to come. I need you to talk to him."

"He refused to come? Really?"

"Yes! Wouldn't tell me what was so bloody important, but I've got the chief inspector breathing down my back on this one, and I need to call in a favor. I'm desperate."

"No. Not today."

"It's in—what?"

"Listen to me, Greg. Sherlock is always at your beck and call. And if he owes you some favors, well, I think it's fair to say that you owe him more-"

"But I really-"

"And on any other day, I'd be willing to convince him to drop whatever he's doing for you, but, no. Not. Today."

Lestrade was quiet for a moment. "What's going on, John?"

"Don't bother Sherlock again today, and I'll have him to the precinct tomorrow first thing, and I'll owe you one. Understood?"

Lestrade gave in with a sigh. "Christ. Yeah. All right."

John pulled on his robe over his pajamas and went down to the kitchen. He started making tea. He felt rather than heard Sherlock slip into the room and stand in the doorway.

"Lestrade?" Sherlock asked.


"I told him no."

"I seconded the motion."

John heard a slight sigh. Relief? Frustration?

"We haven't discussed a time," Sherlock said. "For the sudden death round. I should have asked earlier."

John didn't look at him. "I thought we might go out to dinner. Angelo's?"

"I can't imagine I'll want to eat."

John turned his head to give him a smile. "You should eat. I should eat. No good fainting from low blood sugar."

John didn't mean to hold Sherlock's gaze because it really wasn't wise, but he couldn't seem to look away. Sherlock was in his pajamas, his hair was rumpled from bed and he looked so young. Hell.

"If I faint, I doubt it will be due to low blood sugar," Sherlock said, slowly.

John felt warmth curl in his belly, and he couldn't stop a smile or the promise that lurked in it. "I'll make you some toast now if you like. But we're still waiting until after dinner."

"Yes, do let's wait until dark like ordinary people," Sherlock said with a verbal eye roll. He crossed the room and leant against John, snatching the piece of toast John was currently spreading jam on right from under the butter knife.

"Oi!" John said.

Sherlock's move got jam onto John's knuckles. Sherlock held the stolen toast in one hand and took the knife in the other, pulling it from John's grasp and putting it down. Then he brought John's hand up to his mouth.

John said nothing as Sherlock licked the jam from his knuckles and then lightly sucked them. His gaze was fixed on Sherlock's mouth and his breathing turned ragged.

Sherlock leaned in to whisper in his ear. "Remember your training plan. You've already had your 'morning of' wank, so hands off until tonight."

He strolled away, calmly eating the toast, and John's grin grew.

Oh, he was so going to make that man beg.

& A &

They did not make it to Angelo's after all. John came downstairs at 6 PM, freshly showered and carefully dressed in a button-down shirt, jacket and jeans. Sherlock was standing in the kitchen against the sink with a glass of water in his hand. He looked elegant and posh in a tight silver-gray suit and a burgundy satin shirt.

John stopped in the kitchen doorway, his mouth going dry at the sight. It was not that Sherlock looked so bloody gorgeous in those clothes, his pale face glowing above the deep red of his shirt. It was not the fact that John knew for certain that he was going to take him to bed tonight. Either of those things he might have resisted another hour or two. No, it was the look on Sherlock's face. His expression was completely open and unguarded. It was full of hunger and uncertainty, maybe a little fear. But oh, the hunger… Sherlock wanted. Sherlock wanted him. And he was allowing John to see it.

Suddenly, waiting even one second longer was a physical impossibility.

John took three firm strides across the kitchen and slid his hands onto Sherlock–one hand went around the back of his neck and the other pressed deliberate fingertips along his jaw.

John rubbed his thumb just below Sherlock's mouth, looking at those plump, succulent, (surly, cutting) lips. He felt a lingering shred of disbelief about who he was with and what he was about to do. Then he looked into Sherlock's eyes. The hunger that had already been there now burned at an even brighter pitch, consuming all traces of fear.

He looked edible.

"I'm going to kiss you," John said.

"Do it." Sherlock's voice was low and dark. His eyes went half-lidded, and he parted his lips. Dear God in heaven. John went in.

At the first touch of his mouth to Sherlock's, John had to suppress a moan. His lips were firmer than John had imagined, yet warm and luxuriantly plush. John needed to taste too badly to mess about, and his lips were already parting to create a light suction, his tongue at the gateway to his mouth. Sherlock did the same, and they lightly drew against each other, the tips of their tongues stoking in a lazy rhythm, hot and sweet.

Somewhere far away, there was the sound of a glass shattering on the floor, but John barely registered it. A wave of roiling heat washed through him, starting at his toes and moving upward. It was like the surge of lust he'd felt watching Sherlock with Ryan, but this was thicker and more tangible now that Sherlock was against him, real and solid. And it was heavy with undefined emotions. His cock pulsed as it surged and filled.

Sherlock made a sound deep in his throat, a needy groan, and arched up into John, trying to press against him.

And fuck. One kiss. One kiss and John was desperate for him. Desperate. He wanted to touch everywhere, taste everything. He could not remember being so turned on by a kiss, ever. And he was going to have to sort through that, eventually, but right now he just wanted to revel in the heady sensations coursing through in his body, making him feel incredibly alive.

Sherlock's hands slid around John's back and pulled him in as he arched up again with something like a whimpered plea. Everything about Sherlock, the greediness his mouth, the sounds he was making, his hands clutching at John's jacket, his hips pushing forward as if of their own volition, all of it was saying take me, John, take me right now. And John's every instinct was to take.

He moved his hands to Sherlock's waist and lifted him away from the sink. The kiss broke as Sherlock was pushed higher above John's head. John swung him to the side, took two steps and landed Sherlock's long, lean back, hard, against the kitchen wall. Sherlock gave a shuddering moan and sank down to seek John's mouth again, pulling John's lips to his own as if they were the air he needed to breathe.

John sank into the kiss, light-headed with desire. He gave them both what they craved, pressing in tight and rubbing himself against Sherlock, chest to thigh. His skin was so sensitive, the friction felt fucking fantastic. He dragged his palms along Sherlock's hips to his beautiful arse and tugged up on one thigh, to bring Sherlock's leg up. He pressed it against his hip with a forearm while stroking the juncture from gluteal to hamstring with his fingertips. The move opened Sherlock and John pushed in further.

And, oh, fuck, John could feel him. Sherlock was fully hard, as was John. For the first time John felt the sensation of another cock against his own. Sherlock took in a shuddered breath against his mouth and plunged his tongue deeper into John's mouth. He pressed up. Oh God, so, so good. John circled his hips, trying to feel every inch of him.

It was one thing to see Sherlock naked. It was another to feel him intimately pressed against his most sensitive, aching flesh. It couldn't possibly feel this good just to rub their erections together through two layers of clothes. It just wasn't physically possible, not at his age. But he ground them together again, and once more, unable to believe the aching pleasure of it.

Sherlock's mouth tore from his with a cry.

"John." He sounded desperate.

John's lips went to Sherlock's white throat, licking in a broad swath, sucking. He ground them together again, again. Spikes of bliss washed through him. Oh, holy hell.

"John, please!" There was a hard edge in Sherlock's voice and John stilled immediately, pulling back to look at him.

"What's wrong?"

Sherlock shook his head. His eyes were bright and there was such a look of… devastation on his face that John's breath grow short. "Sherlock?"

Sherlock managed a self-deprecating laugh. "I severely miscalculated. I… you have an unfair advantage."


"I like men. You don't… You-you're going to… to make me come before we even get our clothes off. Have pity."

John just blinked at him. He hadn't seen Sherlock look this… emotional since Baskerville. He was trying to sound like he was joking, but he missed it by a mile. He looked vulnerable, and there was a note of panic in his voice.

Sherlock looked away. "We should… fill out the quiz at the end. That's more accurate. That way—."

"Stop. Stop talking." John put his hands on Sherlock's neck, leaning in to touch foreheads and nothing else.

Sherlock stopped.

John was breathing hard, slowing himself down. "You're so bloody tempting. Christ. I was going too fast. I' m sorry."

"No, I want you to. I want you to just push me and… but, I… I don't want this to be over."

Sherlock had got his voice under control, but he was trembling under John's hands. John took a deep breath.

"Listen to me," John said firmly. "I don't need the threat of a sodding quiz to want to make love to you very slowly and very, very thoroughly. I'm going to take you to bed, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. And I won't make you come until you want me to, and we'll bloody well take hours. All right?"

Sherlock shuddered and closed his eyes. He nodded.

"And about that so-called handicap of yours-I want you, too, in case you hadn't noticed." John pressed himself lightly against Sherlock's hip to demonstrate his point. "Seeing you with Ryan, Sherlock…. Bloody hell."

The words, and the memories they evoked (and probably a bit of the pressing cock thing as well), were too much. Sherlock made a breathy sound and pulled John in, and they were kissing again, wet and deep and half-starved. Another jolt of lust rolled through John. He had to force himself to stop before he mitigated everything he'd just promised. He pushed himself off the wall.

"Jesus, you're really going to test my limits, aren't you?" he said, shaking his head with a grin. "Bedroom, Holmes. Now."


Sherlock's brain was capable of incredible focus. When something caught his attention completely, he could block out everything else, narrow down like a laser beam of light. And now his perception had narrowed to this moment -to skin and pressure and John.

God, John.

It was almost overwhelming, to touch him, to be touched by him, after all this time of wanting it. And now Sherlock understood that he'd not just been wanting John since this experiment began. It had started long before that. All the times he'd had an urge to reach out and lay his hand on John's shoulder, to stand too close to him, times he'd caught himself wondering about the texture of his hair, itching to see him without his shirt to examine the scar. All those things he'd dismissed as some minor human impulse for contact, now he saw in a different light. His body had always craved John, it was his mind that had resisted.

And now that his body had its way, it seemed determined to greedily take in every sensation and amplify it, the way the first bite of food can burst upon the tongue with unmatchable flavor when a body has been starved. Even though Sherlock knew it was a trick of chemistry, a way his body had of telling him yes, this, do more of this, it didn't make the sensations any less intense, any less achingly sweet.

He'd wanted John to take him, hard and dirty and gasping with lust, up against the wall. God, he wanted that, to see John lose control, to feel desired, overwhelmed. But this might be his only chance to have John, and he was determined to see, touch, taste, catalogue everything. He wanted to hold John in his hand, to memorize the heft and texture of him, to find the caresses that made John moan. He wanted to taste him, to know exactly how he fit in his mouth. He wanted to have John inside of him, to feel his thrusts when they were measured and when they were erratic and desperate. He needed to know John's kisses and the feel of his fingertips on his thighs, on his prick. He demanded to experience everything John had given Lena and Ryan, and more. And he would deny his own pleasure as long as possible to achieve that.

When they reached the bedroom, Sherlock began to take off his jacket, but John put his hand over Sherlock, stilling it.

"Let me," John said.

Sherlock swallowed and nodded.

And because John always did what he promised, he now shifted into a lower gear. He was not in a hurry as he removed Sherlock's suit jacket, laying it over the dresser. He unbuttoned Sherlock's shirt from the top and every few buttons, John would look at the newly revealed skin and trace it with a fingertip or kiss it.

Sherlock wanted to be naked right now, to feel John pressed against him ankle to crown, but he accepted the pace as a sort of mutual torture. He was hyper aware of John's fingers on his chest even as he ran his own fingers through John's hair, cataloguing it, watching John's eyes flicker in pleasure when he lightly tugged. He ran a thumb over the slightly swollen redness of John's lips and wanted to make them redder, wanted to press against them until they hurt.

When John finally had Sherlock's shirt open, he ran his hand over Sherlock's stomach to his chest. His fingers skimmed a nipple and Sherlock bit back a moan. He tightened his grip on John's hair, pressing his head down. John's hands rested lightly on Sherlock's waist as his mouth closed over the hard nub, lathing it with the flat of his tongue and scraping it with his teeth. The sensation made Sherlock's prick throb and he held John's head tight, his hips arching up. John pressed his hands down on Sherlock's hips to keep them still.

"God, John."

John kept at it, sucking and lightly pulling, first one and then the other, holding Sherlock's hips chastely in place with an iron grip until Sherlock couldn't take it anymore. He grabbed John's arse and pulled him in, giving his aching prick contact. "John!"

John pulled away. "Let's finish the shirt I think," he said, through gritted teeth. He deftly undid Sherlock's cuffs and pulled the shirt off, placing it on the dresser.

He stood back and looked at Sherlock. Sherlock looked at John.

This. John's eyes were bright with hunger but his jaw was clenched, his face locked in a determined expression the likes of which Sherlock had only seen a few times. His hands though, they were steady, in control. John would always do what was necessary, what was right, and do it like an unstoppable force, no matter what emotions (desire, anger, fear) raged inside him. And that was why he was so endlessly fascinating and why Sherlock could want him like no one else.

And God, Sherlock longed to break down that control.

He could have reached out to undo John's shirt, but he was starting to get a feeling, now, for what really pressed John's button. So instead Sherlock put his hands on his own chest, splaying his long fingers, running them across his chest, across both nipples, hard, allowing himself to moan at the sensation. Then he moved them down to his flat stomach, fingertips just dipping inside his waistband and up, tilting his head back to stroke up his long neck. His eyes remained fixed on John, allowing him to see how much he wanted John's hands on him like this.

John swore under his breath. "You bastard," he said shakily. Sherlock smiled.

John stepped closer and ran his tongue up Sherlock's neck. "God, the things I'm going to do to you."

Sherlock felt the dark words pulse in his prick as John moved around behind him. John ran his fingers lightly down Sherlock's spine.

"You're stupidly beautiful," he mused with a kind of wonder.

Sherlock couldn't see him and wasn't prepared when John moved in to lick and suck at Sherlock's shoulder blade. Sherlock's body responded with a wave of endorphins and his knees went a little weak. John caught him up with one strong arm around his waist, never pausing his mouth's teasing presence on his back, licking, tasting, lathing like it was an erogenous zone.

Dear god, it was.

Sherlock swallowed. He scrambled to regain his footing.

"I… I want to suck you, John."

Behind him, John froze.

"I want you in my mouth. I want to take you down my throat."

John's grip on Sherlock's waist tightened, holding him in place as John's breathing grew ragged. He slowly pressed up against Sherlock. His cock, hard and thick, found the bottom of Sherlock's arse and pressed into the cleft. Even through all the fabric, Sherlock could feel him, feel the head of John's cock. Sherlock's legs spread wider and he groaned, his head falling back against John's shoulder. His hips pressed back into the contact, yes, god yes, more.

"I want to be in your mouth," John said against the skin of Sherlock's neck, his breath hot. "I want my fingers on your jaw so I can feel your lips wrapped around me as I move. The thought of it has made me hard for the past two weeks."

Sherlock whimpered. It was John's voice, blunt and rough with desire, but he could hardly believe John was saying those words to him, nor could he stop the images those words conjured in his mind, John's fingers lightly on his lip, feeling it as he thrust inside. Sherlock's head felt dangerously light.

John's hands were undoing Sherlock's belt. "But first, I want to taste you here."

With one hand, John unbuttoned and unzipped Sherlock even as the other hand pushed his trousers down in the back. He ran his hand underneath the band of Sherlock's pants and over his bare arse.

"I want to taste you and think about how amazing it's going to feel when I push inside you with one long thrust."

And with those words, John slid his hand down Sherlock's stomach to cup his erection through his pants, palming him firmly as John's hips thrust against Sherlock's arse.

And Sherlock went down. The world went a bit white. He was vaguely aware that he had lost it, that his legs were no longer holding him up, but that it was only John's strength that kept him upright. His body had physically surrendered. His head was dizzy, his ears ringing, and all he felt was unrelenting, pulsing want , an aching throb between his legs and the absolute dissolution of his will. It was incredible.

John cooed in his ear, his words heavy with desire. "Yes, that's it, I have you. So beautiful. Want to be inside you. I'm going to make you feel so good."

"John," Sherlock whispered. He didn't recognise his own voice.

"I've got you. God, you're brilliant. You feel so perfect, so right. Want you so bad."

Sherlock slowly regained enough of his senses to realise John was holding nearly his entire weight. One hand was reaching around and cupping his groin, the other was locked around his waist and Sherlock was slumped, partially lying on John's firm thighs. John seemed to have no trouble maintaining this as he kissed and lathed Sherlock's neck and ground himself lightly against his arse. The thumb of the hand that cupped him ran up and down Sherlock's shaft over the silk of his boxers. Sherlock's head was back limply on John's shoulders. The slowly cohering realisation of what John was doing to him, of his sheer muscular strength and the power of his touch had some small logical part of his brain standing up and applauding even while his body was swimming in a buzz of mindless craving.

Sherlock had never experienced anything like this, except, perhaps, the first potent rush of a heroin hit. How did John do that?

Sherlock managed to bring an ethereal-feeling hand up to caress the back of John's head, pulling him in tighter to his neck. More. Please, more. John took the hint and lightly bit, sucked harder at Sherlock's throat.

"Need to feel you," John said. The hand that was cupping Sherlock's groin vanished (no fair, no fair) and John was undoing his own belt with one hand and pushing down his trousers. He pulled down Sherlock's pants in the back, and Sherlock felt… oh, oh… John's cock was warm and hard and bare, pressing against his skin.

"God, you feel so good," John said, circling his hips. His hand moved back around to stroke down Sherlock's erection, cupping him once more for leverage, pulling him up as if he weighed nothing, to bring John's cock more deeply in line with his cleft. "Ah. Fuck. Want to be inside you so bad."

At the touch of John's hand again, stroking him, and the intense sensation of his bare cock, Sherlock felt a heavy throb of bliss and a tightening in his balls. His brain scrambled as he realised he was going to come if John continued. He flailed, trying to push up.

"John, goddamn it! Bed! Now!"

John stilled behind him and held on as Sherlock thrashed weakly, but both arms were around Sherlock's waist now and he had stopped thrusting. He could feel John's chest shaking with laughter.

"All right. Stop. You're going to—"

Sherlock thrashed harder, his annoyance bringing some strength back to his limbs. "If you don't-"

"Okay, relax," John chuckled. "If I let you go you'll be on the floor so just-hang on."

And with that, an arm was suddenly behind Sherlock's knees and John lifted him, carried him to the bed and placed him on it.

Sherlock glared up at him. "I'm going to get you for this."

John grinned. "I know."

John pulled off Sherlock's shoes and socks, tugged down his trousers and pants and tossed them aside.

"I mean it," Sherlock said, still glaring.

"Looking forward to it." John quickly removed his own clothes and climbed onto the bed, his lovely cock hanging heavily between his legs as he pushed Sherlock's knees apart.

Sherlock groaned at the sight. He felt that tingling dizziness again, his body's pull into pure surrender. He didn't want to take his eyes off the image of a bare John Watson on all fours between his legs, because it was possibly the best thing he'd ever seen, dead bodies notwithstanding. But he suddenly didn't have the strength to keep his head from falling back onto the pillow. It landed with a soft thwunk.

"John," he breathed.

"I know," John soothed.

Sherlock felt John's hands stroking up the inside of his calves and thighs, felt the press of a mouth against his knee.

Sherlock gasped and arched his hips. "I wanted to do this to you," he complained.

"You will," John said agreeably.

And that was the last rational thought Sherlock had for a while as John kissed up the inside of his thigh and then nuzzled into his groin like a heat-seeking missile.


God, it was a revelation. How had he not known this? How could he have lived with (and admittedly worshipped) this man for over a year and not have seen a flicker of this sexuality in Sherlock before? And even given Sherlock's cold, aesthetic exterior, how could John himself not have looked at Sherlock and thought yes, given the chance, I'd tap that. Had he been bloody well blind?

Or maybe the bigger question was, how, after over thirty-five years of enjoying women, exclusively, could he now be so incredibly turned on and so perfectly, thrillingly happy to be licking a man's cock?

Fuck, he didn't care.

The truth was, Sherlock was the most beautiful human being John had ever had spread out before him. He was incredibly responsive, and he seemed to want John as much as anyone had ever wanted him. And for that John was prepared to just shut the fuck up and thank his lucky stars. The fact that Sherlock was also the most brilliant and compelling man John had ever known, and his best friend, was a bit much to think about at the moment, not without descending into a kind of emotionalism that would not serve the task at hand, so John didn't.

Instead, he focused on pleasuring this beautiful body to the best of his ability, on pouring his appreciation and his devotion through his hands and mouth, to showing Sherlock how much he was desired, how perfect he was.

He nuzzled into the damp, clean heat of Sherlock's groin, nose and mouth ghosting along the incredibly soft texture of his sac. Sherlock had showered before getting dressed tonight, and he still smelled of soap along with a light tang of clean sweat, a smell that was uniquely Sherlock, and the musk of desire. The lovely mix made John's mouth water. He swept his tongue over the perineum and then along the crease of Sherlock's groin up to his cock. John looked at it-it was as he remembered-and the incongruous word 'pretty' came to mind, so long and sweet-looking. He had not done this with Ryan and thus, not with anyone, but he felt nothing but a throb of interest now. He glanced up at Sherlock who was trying to look at him without really raising his head. His face was tense with worried anticipation.

John smiled and licked thickly from base to tip. Sherlock bit his lips, his thighs trembled.

"Mmm…" John hummed with pleasure. He licked up Sherlock's length again and this time he continued licking when he reached the tip, swirling his tongue around it.

"Oh, hell," Sherlock said, somewhere above him. John didn't look.

He used a hand to steady Sherlock's cock at the base and bring it towards him. He experimented, drawing in just the tip and sucking lightly, moving the tip of his tongue around the bottom edge.

Sherlock groaned and shifted his hips restlessly. "John."

"Mmm," John said, deciding he quite liked this. He varied bouts of light sucking with open-mouthed licking, still working only on the tip. He knew Sherlock did not want to come like this, so he didn't have to worry about taking him deep or keeping up a persistent rhythm. He only had to tease, and John was very good at teasing.

Nevertheless, by way of a test, he gripped Sherlock more firmly at the base and tried taking him in. He managed to take about half Sherlock's length, in and up against his soft palate. He sucked lightly on the withdraw and applied a bit of tongue, the way he liked it himself, mixing it up with open mouthed licks and kisses. Sherlock started making needy noises, and his fingers dug into John's hair. John continued until Sherlock's hips were thrusting erratically and his moans were constant. It didn't take long.

Sherlock suddenly stilled. "John, stop."

John smiled and pulled off, happily content to lick his way back down to lower areas. Yes, that had gone rather well. He would definitely like to do that again.

He tugged on one of Sherlock's thighs, bringing it up until the foot was flat on the bed and then pressing it out a bit for good measure. With his hands he rubbed the sweet under curve of Sherlock's arse and softly spread him further apart.

"For God's sake, John, you're a menace," Sherlock said with a shaky sigh.

"I know," John agreed. He began licking that sweet rounded curve where arse met hamstring, working his way inward.

Sherlock gasped a deep breath. "You're going to make me beg, aren't you?"

"Am I?" John eyed the pink flesh before him with enormous satisfaction, planning his attack. Finally he just licked a broad stripe up the middle of Sherlock's cleft and then went right for it, taking little nips of the flesh on either side as Sherlock squirmed before flicking his tongue, lightly, where it was most wanted.

"Oh, dammit," Sherlock gasped. "Oh, hell."

John smiled around his tongue. Sherlock so rarely cursed.

"Is that the best you can do?" John asked. He settled his tongue in more firmly, wiggling it.

Sherlock was silent for about two minutes as John wiggled and licked, coaxing the tight ring of muscle open and taking breaks to kiss and suck on either side, on his balls and on the inside of Sherlock's thighs. He tasted so clean and good. He had obviously prepared well for tonight, making this an absolute delight. Really, John loved oral sex, and it didn't get much better than this. Finally the muscle relaxed, and John thrust his tongue inside.

"Oh, fuck!" Sherlock shouted.

John went in for the kill. He slid both hands under Sherlock's arse and curved them around to grip his hipbones, holding him firm. He kissed and sucked and fucked Sherlock with his tongue relentlessly until he was breathless and Sherlock was a quivering mess beneath him, moaning his name interspersed with lots of 'pleases'.

John pulled up. He was so hard he thought he might burst. Sherlock had a hand over his eyes and he was taking deep, shuddering breaths. His cock was rock hard, flat against his stomach and leaking onto a patch of pre-cum. John had never seen anything as thoroughly debauched and wantonly gorgeous.

And fuck, John wanted him. He had an almost overpowering urge to put his hands on the backs of Sherlock's thighs, tilt him up and sink in, right the hell now.

No Watson. Not yet. John sank back on his heels and shut his eyes, taking long, deep breaths and thinking about Margaret Thatcher.

When he felt a little more in control, he opened his eyes and saw Sherlock watching him. He was nibbling on his lip and looking vulnerable and desperate. He didn't say anything.

John ran his hands up Sherlock's thighs, pushing both his legs gently to the bed. He gave Sherlock's cock a brief, closed mouth kiss as he crawled up to straddle Sherlock's waist, just below his ribs. Sherlock's hands rose to stoke his thighs. They looked at each other for a long moment.

"Not sure how much longer I can hold out," John said, giving a breathless little shrug.

Sherlock just nodded. I know.

"Would you like to…. What would you like to do?"

"Everything," Sherlock said with a sad, wry smile. His voice was deep and soft and it touched something in John's chest.

He couldn't resist bending down for a kiss. The kiss was sweet, achingly sweet-until Sherlock slid his tongue, hot and greedy, against John's and flicked it.

John's cock throbbed in response, and a fresh wave of lust rushed through him. He pulled up. "Christ, yes."

Sherlock seemed to consider their position for a moment, then he pushed lightly, and John rolled off. Sherlock's hand steadied John onto his side, and he shifted down, taking a pillow with him.

"For God's sake, John, what did you do to my limbs? I can barely move."

John just huffed a laugh.

"I'm glad you're amused. Now let's see how you like it." Sherlock parked himself so his head was level with John's groin and resting on the pillow. John clenched his hands into fists and wondered how the hell he was going to control himself enough to last.

Well, there one thing he sure as shit couldn't do, and that was watch.


Sherlock's body and mind were in a strange state – a blissed out mental silence matched with an aching physical need that was so acute it hurt. He would have to research more about the chemicals and hormones crowding his bloodstream later. At the moment, he could only wonder at the quietude of his mind, how it had focused down to John and his own physical sensations in a way that was simply, serenely content. It was incredible, fantastic.

What John had done to him… what he was capable of doing, it was almost frightening. Sherlock could see now how people could become addicted to another human being, would do anything - lie, steal, kill - to keep them. He could get addicted to this. Surely, John must feel it too, would want it again. Surely it wasn't possible for John to touch him like that, kiss him like that, to open him with his tongue, and not feel something of what Sherlock felt. But then, John had slept with many people. Maybe he didn't feel anything special.

Sherlock shuttered off that thought. He wasn't going to think about that now, not with John in front of him, his to explore.

He didn't take John's cock into his mouth right away. Instead he ran his fingertips along its length and placed it in his flat palm, weighing him. He was so lovely. The thickness of him was perfect, Sherlock decided, just unusually thick enough to be remarkable, mouth-wateringly plump, but not so much as to be impractical, ridiculous.

And now he had a chance to really study John, without a condom in the way, and he committed it to memory-the way the shaft was thickest at the very base and fractionally narrower at the top. He was uncircumcised, unlike Sherlock. His foreskin was almost fully retracted now, revealing the plump head, red and a bit moist-looking. The skin over his shaft was so soft it almost didn't register under Sherlock's fingertips. Remarkable.

Sherlock had read in his research that uncircumcised men were more sensitive and he wanted to know exactly how sensitive John was, what would be the right amount of pressure and what would be too much. He ran his thumb lightly over John's frenulum. John hissed and shifted his hips just a bit. Sherlock next circled his thumb lightly over the tip, spreading precum around in a circle. John moaned.

Hm. Delicious. He could never get enough of this.

Sherlock wrapped his fingers around the base, noting that his thumb and fingertips just barely touched. He took an experimental stroke up and down, and again. John held himself perfectly still.

"How's the pressure?" Sherlock asked. "Do you prefer it firmer? Looser?"

John buried his face in the sheet. "Oh God, the sound of your voice. Stop talking."

"But I need to—"

"That's good. Perfect. Like that."

Sherlock stoked him some more, adding a twist and slide of his thumb just lightly over the head. John made a noise in his throat, and his hips starting moving in jerky little thrusts.

"Oh, John," Sherlock said, his own cock pulsing, hardening even more painfully as he watched his fingers moving over John's length. Stunning. Perfect. He sped up his strokes, loving the feel of it, loving the grudging, unwilling stutter of John's hips. And faster.

John reached down and gripped his wrist, painfully hard. "Stop."

"But I wanted to try-"

"No. You can practice your technique another time, but if you want me to fuck you, not tonight."

His words seemed to ring in the silent bedroom and both of them stilled. Sherlock's heart gave a crazy leap. Another time. Dear God, did he really say that?

John started back-peddling. "What I meant is—"

But Sherlock didn't want to hear it. He didn't want John to take it back. So he leant forward and took John into his mouth, ravishing him with his tongue and sliding him in deep.

"Oh, fuck!" John said, writhing on the bed. "Oh, Christ, Sherlock!"

Sherlock didn't let go. He grasped the base of John's prick and sucked at him hungrily, then pulled back and ran the head along his lips, his chin, down the skin of his throat, moaning wantonly at the way he wanted this, how he worshipped, lusted after this part of John. He looked up to find John watching him with something like dazed shock and so he sucked him back down, as far as he could, feeling him hit the back of his throat.

"Fuck!" John said, "Oh my God."

John put a hand in Sherlock's hair. Sherlock's fingers pressed John's hip, urging him to move and John didn't resist. He began to lightly thrust, then fucked into Sherlock's mouth as Sherlock sucked greedily. He flattened his tongue along the underside on every withdrawal, flicking the tip before it plunged back in.

John's thighs started shaking and his lip twitching. His eyes never left Sherlock's face, as if he couldn't look away. "Oh God, your mouth," he chanted. "So good. Fuck, so good."

He looked like he was drowning, like he had abandoned all hope of control and Sherlock gazed back up at him fiercely, so turned on by John's discomposure that he almost rutted against John's leg. You want me. Mine. You're mine.

John slid into his mouth, again and again, making puffy little sounds. His thrusts grew faster, the sounds becoming grunts, his eyes wild, face contorting. The trembling in his thighs increased into wracking shudders, and Sherlock knew he was close. He was very close.

John wasn't going to stop. He was going to come, and he wasn't going to stop. And what was more, Sherlock was sucking him as if he wanted him to. Sherlock pulled off abruptly and scrambled back on the bed, putting a foot of space between them.

For a moment they just stared at each other, panting hard. John's fists clenched in the sheets, and he let out a painful moan. "Oh, fuck!"

He flopped over onto this back, his cock standing nearly straight up, bright red and slick with Sherlock's saliva.

"God, you're going to fucking kill me!"

"I'm-I still want-"

"This is insane!" John said with a sorrowful little laugh. "Absolutely bonkers. You could have won right there, you know. No way could I have made myself stop you. Not if I had sodding well been on fire could I have stopped you. Christ, your mouth. The way you look. Oh my god!"

Sherlock didn't say anything. He was very pleased that he had made John lose control. But he also wondered if John really didn't want to… if he would have preferred it had ended there.

His own prick was a dull, throbbing ache between his legs, every nerve ending begging for contact. He flopped down on his back, too.

"If you don't want to… do the penetrative portion I can finish you with my mouth if you like."

"Hell yes, I want to, you maniac," John said with a huff. "Penetrative portion! How can you make that sound so damn sexy? Just give me a minute, would you?"

John reached over to the bedside table and grabbed the lube.

He tossed it at Sherlock. "At the risk of being a complete bedroom arse, how do you feel about prepping yourself? I'm not sure I could take it, not after that. In fact, I might need to go downstairs and get a bag of frozen peas to take the edge off."

Sherlock picked up the lube and looked at it, then down at himself. "Er… not sure I can manage it either, not without climaxing," he said honestly.

John giggled. "Christ, this is going to last about two seconds, isn't it?" He sighed and sat up. "All right. I'll do it. Come here."

Sherlock snuggled closer and John wrapped one arm around him. Their faces hovered inches away for a moment, and John looked at his mouth. A shiver ran through him. "Nope. Can't kiss you. Can't even look at your mouth right now. Sorry." He pushed himself up and moved down the bed, settling between Sherlock's thighs, cross legged.

And when did it start to feel so wonderfully normal that John Watson was naked between his thighs? But it did. It was fantastic. Sherlock grabbed a pillow and pushed it under his lips. John looked at the ceiling for a moment, his mouth moving -an elementary times table, Sherlock decided.

God, he loved this. His John. That he could be so turned on, could turn Sherlock on so violently, and also laugh and be completely at ease in bed. Sherlock was not nearly as comfortable with all this-but in John he saw a glimpse of what it could be like. It made his heart stutter painfully in his chest.

John opened the lube and put some on his fingers, still looking at the ceiling. "Yup, here we go," he said, and then he slipped a finger inside Sherlock-and clenched his jaw painfully tight.

Sherlock tilted his head back and let his mind go, shutting out everything but the sensation of John's finger, so gentle and sure inside him. He was still somewhat open from John's tongue, and he felt only pleasure.

"More," he said.

Gently, John slipped in another. Sherlock raised his knees and put his feet on the mattress but resisted pushing up. John worked him gently, circling his thumb on the outside of the muscle to soften it while his fingers thrust. He was avoiding the prostate, but nevertheless, Sherlock's aching prick was starting to feel directly connected to what was going on inside, and all the muscles in his pelvis contracted in painful need. The contact was just enough that he could feel his balls tightening.

Sherlock rumbled a groan, deep in his chest. "More!"

"Don't rush it."

"I'm fine! Another."

John withdrew his fingers to add more lube, pushed in two again, slow, and then added a third, pushed them in all the way. There was a slight burn, but all Sherlock could think about was that a part of John was now inside him and that John's cock soon would be there, that they would be joined in a way that he wanted, that would surely be irreversible?

It would be for Sherlock. It would be irreversible. He felt a heavy ache in his chest. John.

He opened his eyes and held up his arms. He didn't say anything, but he let what he was feeling show on his face. He'd have to mask it after tonight, but right now, he simply wanted.

John stared into his eyes. A slight frown appeared between his brows and he swallowed. He removed his fingers and kissed Sherlock's knee sweetly.

"Let me get a condom on. If nothing else it will help me last a bit longer."

He opened a foil package with shaking fingers and rolled the condom on, put lube over himself and carefully added some to Sherlock's cock while he was at it. Then he wiped his fingers on the bed and looked up into Sherlock's eyes.

Sherlock was still holding out his arms. John took his left hand and kissed his palm tenderly. The mood between them had shifted into something weighty and thick with meaning as John lowered himself over Sherlock, holding himself up with his good arm as he used his other hand to guide himself to the entrance.

Sherlock placed one hand on John's shoulder and the other on his ribs and they looked into each other's eyes.

"Ready?" John asked quietly.

Sherlock nodded.

John pushed in.


There had to be an angel on John's shoulder tonight. An angel with a soft spot for really good sex. Because despite his fear that he would not last at all (conviction more like), he did. Maybe it was the way Sherlock looked at him, face open and vulnerable, almost childlike in its pained longing, the way he drew him in like a lover. It suddenly shifted this from incredibly hot sex to love-making, bringing down the pace, bringing in the heart, which was a much slower organ.

John thrust in, slow and sweet, and it was perfect. He lowered himself completely on top of Sherlock, belly to belly, chest to chest, and they kissed deeply as he rocked inside. Sherlock was so tight and hot. His cock was hard and slick against John's stomach and it was wonderful, as if this was always the way it should be, his lover's desire stiff against his belly as he was buried inside. Sherlock, stiff against his belly. John varied from deep grinding circles to long slow thrusts, building the pleasure between them to a lovely plateau and holding them there as long as he could.

Sherlock never stopped kissing John, breaking contact only long enough to breathe his name, John, John. His legs wrapped tightly around John's waist, and his hands roamed over his back, caressing.

John was trying not to give Sherlock's cock too much stimulation because he didn't want this to end. It was strange. With a woman, he might make her come several times but with Sherlock… he would feel a bit odd about continuing if Sherlock were "done", worry about overstimulation. And then there was the whole silly competition angle. In this moment, when Sherlock was so vulnerable, and everything was so sweet, John didn't want to make him lose. Ridiculous, but true. So he eased his stomach off Sherlock cock when he got too close. After a while, it became clear that Sherlock would no longer be denied. He was trembling and straining up, trying to keep contact. His nails bit into John's back anxiously.

Sherlock pulled his mouth away from John's, panting. "Please, John, I'm ready. Please. I don't care, I need it."

"Yes," John whispered, kissing Sherlock's temple, and only barely stifling the "love" that wanted to come behind the "yes". He was suddenly right at the edge himself, though whether he had already been there or whether Sherlock's plea had put him there was unclear.

John stopped moving and kissed Sherlock's forehead, his temple, his cheek. "Let's go together then, shall we?"

Sherlock nodded, hugging John tight.

John brought his mouth back to Sherlock's and began to thrust, harder now, using just his hips as he pushed his stomach out to allow Sherlock to rub against him. Sherlock began thrusting in short, tight bursts timed with his own thrusts. It was fast and desperate.

"Oh, John, oh!" Sherlock gasped into his mouth, and John was there.

For a long, timeless moment they flirted at the edge, both gripping hips, back, with finger-digging intensity, pushing, taking what they needed.

And then Sherlock whimpered and stiffened and John was coming, coming, coming, awash in the bliss of it and tearing his lips away to shout Sherlock's name.

& A &

John collapsed and lay boneless on top of Sherlock. He could feel the wetness between them and wondered listlessly how long he'd have to lay here before it dried and stuck them together. Another first.

With a sigh he rolled off and tossed the condom. Sherlock still held one of John's hands, and he didn't let go. They lay there, lightly touching at the shoulder and thigh as their breathing returned to normal.

A thought struck John and he started giggling low in his belly.

"What's so funny?" Sherlock asked, sounding like he would be insulted, if he weren't too spent to manage it.

"Us," John giggled. "We're still tied. Buggery fuck."

Sherlock rumbled a laugh. "Clash of the titans."

John giggled some more, feeling absurdly light.

Sherlock coughed a bit. "Well then…. 6 out of 10?"

That struck John as insanely funny. He laughed harder. Sherlock did, too.

"Sod it, all right," John said. "You're going to be the death of me, aren't you? But next time let's not try to do it all in one go. My dick might fall off."

"Are you're suggesting theme nights?"

"Something like that."

Their laughter died off into a post-coital haze. Sherlock's hand was still warm in John's. It felt like it belonged there.

John gradually became aware that Sherlock's silence was, well, meaningful, maybe a bit dark. He squeezed Sherlock's hand. All right? Sherlock took a deep breath.

"I don't expect you to… If you'd like we could do this. Sometimes. When you want to. I realise you won't give up women, John. I don't—I know that's what you want, in the end. So we could just… do this when it makes sense. For as long as it makes sense."

Sherlock's voice cracked at the end. He shut up. He took his hand out of John's and turned his face away.

John felt something inside his chest ache. There was tightness behind his eyes.

John knew. He'd had an inkling of it, that night with Lena, when he'd looked up to find Sherlock watching him with such raw, naked hunger. He'd suspected, looking down at he and Ryan's performance evaluations on the kitchen table, side by side. And he'd known it for certain tonight, when he'd seen the panic in Sherlock's eyes when, backed against the kitchen wall, he'd said have pity.

Have pity. He wasn't referring to the sex, or not wanting to come too soon.

Somehow, by some miraculous circumstance, John held Sherlock's heart in his hands. He wasn't sure when it had happened, and he was pretty sure Sherlock hadn't wanted it to. But John held it all the same. He thought about that for a moment, just dazed at the idea of it. He wondered if anyone else had ever held it like that before. They must have, and they must have broken it, for Sherlock to have guarded it so brilliantly for so long, for him to have convinced everyone it didn't exist.

"Come here," John said. He rolled onto his side and pulled Sherlock into an embrace, fitting him tightly against him, chest to chest, thigh to thigh. Sherlock complied, but he was tense, and he tucked his head down into John's shoulders so John couldn't see his face.

John stroked his hair. "Do you have any idea, Sherlock, what I would do to someone who did that to you? Who took you to bed when they felt like it and saw other people and slowly destroyed your dignity and your heart? Because I can assure you, I would get to them well before Mycroft did, and they would find themselves buried very deep in a place where no one would ever find them."

Sherlock stiffened against him. "John! I'm perfectly capable of having casual sex if I choose to. I'm not a fainting flower."

"And I'm not an idiot," John said softly.

Sherlock stilled. John could feel his chest rising and falling erratically as he sought for control over his emotions. John rubbed his hand on Sherlock's back, reassuring him, giving him time.

After a while, Sherlock's breathing eased and a sigh escaped him. He brought up his hand to place it, flat, against John's chest, over his heart. He knew that John knew. He was asking.

John's heart thudded below Sherlock's palm. His life had just jumped the rails again. Completely. He wasn't sure where it was going next, but it was too late to change a thing. And… he didn't want to. Because this was Sherlock bloody Holmes, the most remarkable human being in the world, and sometimes life just smacked you upside the head with a gift you were too idiotic to realise you wanted and that you in no way deserve.

And because he was John bloody Watson, he felt the calm spread through him in a warm tide. His pulse slowed. His hand was steady as he placed it over Sherlock's hand on his heart.

"You do realise that my girlfriends could never compete with you even when we weren't having mind-blowing sex?"

"But you're not gay," came Sherlock's muffled reply.

"Just because I've eaten fish and chips my whole life doesn't mean I wouldn't switch over to steak if given the opportunity."

"John. Are we going to start with bad analogies again?"

John giggled. "Better not. Look where it got us last time. So here it is then: I'm yours, and only yours, for as long as you want me."

Sherlock raised his head and looked into John's eyes. His face was soft, his eyes serious and bright. "John, have a care what you are saying. Because I will never not want you."

"Forever, then," John said, kissing him softly.

They kissed, sweetly, and then not so sweetly, for long minutes.

John pulled away, smiling. "You know, this whole competition we went through – it has to be the most ridiculous courtship ritual ever engaged in, by anyone, ever."

"Hard to make such a claim without an exhaustive list."

"I'm making it anyway."

"It does seem a tad excessive, looking back," Sherlock admitted.

They looked at each other and started laughing.

Author's Note: This fic became so much more intense than I anticipated. A big 'thank you' to all my lovely commenters who kept me motivated and cheerful. I may do a very short epilogue a bit later. XA