Not my characters.

...

"Sherlock?!"

The words are rougher than he wants them to be, and he cannot keep the catch out of his voice. "John."

After a pause, John says, "Shut the door behind you. Come in."

Sherlock does, going up the steps with heavy tread. "You have questions."

He surveys the room. Everything in the flat that belongs to him is still there, having been untouched for three years, coated in dust. John had spent those years maneuvering around them. What had his therapist thought of that?

His categorizing of details - John having lost weight (obvious), having thrown himself into work at the expense of sleep (circles under eyes, white coat hung on the doorknob), little to no love life (shaving erratic and had been for some time, clothes not pressed, John's possessions in disarray) - stops when John punches him in the face.

He does not retaliate. He instead replies, quietly, "I notice you missed my nose and teeth again." Somebody loves you, whispers The Woman's voice in his head; one of his few allies during that lonely time.

John's jaw sets and his pupils dilate. "Shut up!"

"I'm very sorry I had to make you think I was dead."

"Shut up."

"I had to take down Moriarty's criminal web; even now his closest associate, a Colonel Sebastian Moran, is a grave threat to you. We must work together and..."

"Shut. Up."

"Is there something I can say or do that will make you stop saying that?"

"Shut up?"

Sherlock sighs. And kisses John.

It's Sherlock's first, but he has imagined it a million times, a million ways. Always with John.

John makes a small surprised sound, but relaxes into the kiss, even pulling Sherlock's head down and biting his lower lip. Then, pulling away, he gives Sherlock a slap.

This even more unexpectedly sends a tingle right down to Sherlock's groin. "Whatever...whatever you want..." he stammers.

John nods once. "Change your mind, tell me. But otherwise..."

"I want to make this up to you."

"Are you sure? I'm still very angry with you. And even more lusting for you. Could be dangerous."

"Oh god yes."

"Then on your knees."

Shivering, Sherlock kneels. He wants anything John wishes to do with him. Or to him.

"Take off your coat. And shirt. Quickly."

Sherlock moves to take off his scarf, but John's hand tightens around it and stops him. "Leave that. You need a leash." This makes a soft moan emerge from Sherlock's throat.

Stripped to the waist, he waits, the little body hairs on his back raised, waiting for instructions. Seconds tick by. "John?"

John's slap this time is harsher, leaving a sting in its wake. "Speak when spoken to, unless it's telling me you've changed your mind."

Sherlock inhales sharply but does not say a word.

John pulls on Sherlock's scarf. "Crawl. We're going to my bedroom."

Since when has John kept velcro handcuffs in his bedside drawer? Lubrication and condoms, certainly, always. Even dental dams. Sherlock has trouble puzzling out this question, as he is soon distracted by being handcuffed facedown to the headboard and having John tug off his trousers and pants.

"Stay there," John orders, as if Sherlock has a choice. "I'm fetching your riding crop. It's right where you left it."

John does not warn him before the first stroke. "You don't need to hold back any noises, by the way. Mrs. Hudson is out and won't be back for a few hours."

After an interminable time, Sherlock feels tears sliding down his face, though he has managed to stay fairly quiet. He knows John will not have left severe damage. And it has not been lost on him that the blows have been in Morse code, saying I WILL STOP IF YOU WANT ME TO.

Placing the riding crop to the side, John lifts up Sherlock's face so their eyes meet. "Is your circulation fine?"

"Yes."

"Would you like some water?"

"...Yes."

"Give me a moment. I believe you do not have an objection to me fucking you senseless after you're properly hydrated. If you do, which is fine, let me know now or at any time."

"Please, John..."

"Yes?"

"I want you. Every way. Any way."

John does not smile, but he kisses Sherlock's forehead before going to fetch a glass.

The penetration is gentle initially, John clearly not wanting to cause damage. But as he builds up rhythm it is faster and faster, John curled over Sherlock's trembling body, whispering in his ear. "I missed you so much, you bastard. And that's when I realized I...I loved you...and always had...so I stopped chasing women...met men...asked them to wear long...black...coats...scarves...insult me...god, Sherlock, how could you have...you machine...so human...most human human machine...such a bloody martyr...how...could you...god!"

Sherlock cannot orgasm from that pain-pleasure alone. John does not ever touch his cock. After a few seconds of slumping against Sherlock, John tells him, "You can go have a wank later if you like, when I'm done with you. But you haven't earned anything like that from me."

"I understand," Sherlock replies, and does his best to hold John, though he is still tethered.

"I don't forgive you just like that," John says after another period of silence.

"I know."

"It'll take at least a few more scenes like this."

Sherlock allows himself the ghost of a smile. "I'm looking forward to it."