EPILOGUE: How I Like It
John sat at their cluttered work table on a still and rainy afternoon, typing on his laptop. When he felt a wet tickle slide across the outer rim of his ear he nearly jumped out of his chair with a startled yelp. He looked up over his shoulder at Sherlock, who had appeared out of nowhere to loom above him. "Sherlock...you ninja...did you just lick me?"
Sherlock's leaned down and pressed a light kiss to John's neck. "Surprise licking. It wasn't one of my rules. You should have thought that one through."
John reached up and yanked one of Sherlock's curls and was rewarded with an offended, "ouch!"
John hooked his finger around the curl, gently this time, holding Sherlock in place. "Behave."
"Yes, John." Sherlock wrapped an arm around him and buried his nose in the crook of John's shoulder.
"Mm?" Sherlock nuzzled his neck.
"I like this."
"I'm going to lick you again soon," Sherlock hummed into his ear.
"It's not a surprise if you warn me," John pointed out.
"Oh, I think you'll still find it surprising," Sherlock promised.
- xxx -
John, Sally, and Lestrade clustered in the detective inspector's office at New Scotland Yard as John related details of their latest case. Sherlock leaned against the wall several feet away, looking bored.
Sally was laughing. "That's so sweet! And so funny that Sherlock was clueless! Convinced the whole time it was an affair? Like that's all people ever do, I suppose?" John quirked an ironic brow at her and she cleared her throat and found something suddenly interesting in her case file folder.
"Monica Grant phoned me the day after to thank us. She was quite giddy. She had called to settle the bill, too, but Sherlock wouldn't hear of it." John glanced at Sherlock, who had started idly flipping his phone in the air, with no small amount of pride.
"Well, I think it's a nice story. Heart-warming, you know? Are you going to put this one in the blog, then?" Lestrade asked, moving to his desk chair and propping his feet up on his desk.
"Absolutely. I've almost finished it. Mostly I want everyone to know about a case Sherlock got wrong!" John teased and waited for Sherlock's protest. "The Case of the Great Misperception?" he suggested mischievously.
"John, you have to consider the potential ramifications of publically suggesting I am fallible. Bad for business." Sherlock scolded him, and John snorted. "I propose...'The Adventure of the Extraordinarily Gifted Detective'!" Sherlock countered expansively. Then he ducked his head to cast a small, secret smile at John, his eyes sparkling.
John's breath caught. "Yes, I like that."
Lestrade looked at two remarkably silly grins and wondered if he'd missed some sort of joke. He shrugged it off and started to fill them in on the latest case.
They lounged together on the sofa, Sherlock stretched out with his head resting in John's lap, in the flickering light of some television show John had wanted to watch, but he wasn't really watching. Sherlock's eyes were closed, but he wasn't really sleeping. John ran the fingers of one hand over the soft brown leather of the sofa and the fingers of his other hand lightly through Sherlock's hair.
"You're beautiful," John murmured low and sweet, his hand moving to brush Sherlock's cheek.
Sherlock smiled slightly and shrugged, opening his eyes. "It's my face."
"Not your looks. I mean you."
A thrill ran through Sherlock's body at the warmth in John's eyes, his voice, his heart. His.
John's tone returned to its usual, snappier, conversational tone. "Although you are really fucking hot." And he pinched Sherlock's nose.
John giggled. "So very hot. Majestically handsome."
"Led go by doze."
"Have I mentioned how sexy your voice is?"
"You're going do bay for dis."
"Yes, talk mean to me, I like it." John bit his lip and widened his eyes.
Sherlock shoved the coffee table out of the way with his foot, reached up and grabbed John around the shoulders, and tumbled him onto the floor.
John dropped his shopping bags in the kitchen. "A little help here?" he called, and received no response. He sighed and peered into the living room. Sherlock was folded up in his grey-green leather chair in his pyjamas and rattiest t-shirt, typing away on John's laptop.
"Oi!" John called. "That is still my laptop. You do have one of your own!"
"John, consider it a motivator for you to come up with a password it takes me more than ten seconds to guess." Sherlock smirked, not looking up from the screen. "And by the way, your recent browser history is fascinating."
John blushed scarlet, recalling that he had spent the previous evening perusing gay sex tips online while Sherlock was out on a late-night visit to the morgue. He stormed in and snatched the laptop out of Sherlock's hands, snapping it shut. "Damn it, Sherlock, there is still such a thing as privacy, even in a relationship. Especially in a relationship." Sherlock looked at him forlornly, and John sighed. "I got the jar full of those beetles you wanted from that utterly creepy veterinarian. And enjoy them, because I am never going back there again. You'd better put them in the fridge. On the proper shelf this time, please."
"Oh, excellent!" Sherlock jumped up, happy again, and hurried to the kitchen. John heard the rustle of shopping bags. "And John? I bookmarked some really good ideas," Sherlock called cheerfully. "Twelve more for my list!"
John peeked into the kitchen to make sure Sherlock was preoccupied with his bugs and then quickly and quietly opened the laptop and scanned his new bookmarks.
Interesting. He was going to like that...
- xxx -
"John, be quiet," Sherlock snapped, not looking up from the notes he had scattered all around him as he sat cross-legged on the rug.
John pushed himself up from his slumped posture in his chair and blinked. "I didn't say anything. I wasn't even moving."
"You were thinking. It's distracting."
John leaned back and rubbed his face, sighing. He actually hadn't been thinking. He'd been staring at the wallpaper, feeling extremely mellow and getting closer and closer to falling asleep. Sherlock, on the other hand, had been flouncing around in a strop all morning for no apparent reason. "What was I thinking about, then?"
Sherlock looked up at him impatiently. "I'm not a mind-reader, John. And what does it matter what you were thinking?"
"Then how do you know I was thinking?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Let's try again. What am I thinking about...now?" John let his eyes rake over Sherlock's body.
Sherlock's eyelids flickered. "You're not making this very challenging. You are thinking about me."
John let his gaze rest on Sherlock's throat. He licked his lips. "More specifically?"
"You are thinking...about sex with me." Sherlock rustled a stack of papers, tipped his head to the side, just a little, making his neck longer on the side where John was looking.
"And is it distracting?"
"Yes." Sherlock cleared his throat. "But I like it. Carry on."
John smiled and settled back, closing his eyes. Sherlock returned to his notes, also smiling.
- xxx -
"John?" Sherlock nudged John's shoulder. "John, are you awake?"
John rolled over sleepily, untangling his legs from Sherlock's under the warm covers. "Whzzt?"
"I am." Sherlock rubbed his nose in John's hair.
"You're what?" John murmured.
"Thanks for the update," John rolled back over.
"John?" Sherlock slid a warm hand under John's t-shirt. "I have a question."
John rolled over again. "And it can't wait for morning?"
Sherlock pouted, "You know I can't sleep when there's a question to be answered." He ran his fingers just under the waistband at the side of John's pyjama bottoms.
John wriggled a little to sit up and sighed, scrubbing sleep from his face with his palms. "All right? What is it?" Sherlock had left his window curtains open and the night's glow cast a rectangle of soft light across the bed.
Sherlock rolled over on his side and propped his head up with one hand. "Do you remember when you said that you loved every square centimetre of me?"
John's lips quirked, his eyes crinkling. "That's your question?"
"No." Sherlock sighed and rolled his eyes, snapping the elastic of John's waistband. "This is the question: Which is your favourite?"
"My favourite." John nodded, pursing his lips. "You want me to choose my favourite centimetre of you."
"John," Sherlock frowned at him scoldingly. "It's an important question."
"I see, yes, very important." John pulled himself up onto his knees and yanked the covers off Sherlock's body, all the way to his feet, in one extravagant sweep. Sherlock was, as he was many nights in bed, naked. Half-hard already and gloriously, languidly, mouth-wateringly naked. His own personal pornographic buffet. John looked him up and down intently. "This may take some time to sort out."
"That's acceptable," Sherlock allowed. "I want you to make an informed decision."
"Well, let's see..." John leaned in and kissed Sherlock's belly, just above his navel. "I like this."
His left nipple. "And this bit is very nice."
The soft skin on the inside of his thigh. "I like this."
"And I like this." Hip bone.
Sherlock closed his eyes and purred.
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