Disclaimer: I don't own BBC Sherlock or any of the characters, nor do I make any profit from writing this. Just too inspired by the show that I had to borrow them.

A/N: *flowers and chocolates and hugs for you all because you're bloody amazing!*

Seriously, guys, I love you all to pieces, the support you have for this story is just brilliant! Thank you so much for sticking with me!

I'd like to say a special thank you to my beta, sherlockfan, who has helped me through the writer's block and the frustration and literally helped me piece together this chapter in my head! *hugs*

Enjoy, my lovelies! Xxx

Part Fourteen

The alcohol was still burning its way through John's system when Sherlock put his glass on the coffee table and walked to the desk, stroking a hand lightly over John's present before picking it up and taking it to their bedroom. John watched through wide eyes, grateful for Sherlock's forethought as at least two members of their party were inquisitive souls and the contents of said box would have fed the rumour mill for months.

There was a distinct shuffling sound (apparently Sherlock was putting the box away) before the detective returned, picking up his empty glass along with John's and taking them into the kitchen. John followed, leaning against the door frame as he watched Sherlock place the glasses in the sink, ready to be washed up later, and the act was so domestic and normal that it literally threw him for a second. Sherlock never did the washing up, but, thanks to John's gentle persuasion, he almost always put used items in the kitchen after they'd finished and the thought was clear enough that it cut through his haze of 'what the hell just happened', allowing him to at least try and balance the chaos in his head.

Mycroft knew.

That seemed like the most important thing right now. The head of the British Government knew John was in a relationship with his younger brother and, more to the point, knew what the basis of the relationship was.

John was pretty sure that the most logical and sane response would have been for Mycroft to demand the end of said relationship and escort John as far from Sherlock as possible, but Sherlock's brother always seemed to be the exception to the rule.

He looked down at the cards clasped in his left hand, still unsure of what to feel, when Sherlock stopped in front of him and took John's hands in his own.

"All right?" Sherlock asked.

A cheer of voices echoed up the stairwell and into the flat, the sounds of laughter an insistent reminder that they didn't have long. John took one last look at the cards before pulling his hands from Sherlock's and putting them in his trouser pocket, knowing that he really should put them away but unwilling to part with them just yet. "Yeah, I'm good."

It wasn't a lie, not exactly, but it wasn't the whole truth either. There was a distinctive rolling in his stomach that only intensified when he thought about Mycroft's gift and the implications of it, but there was too much going on for him to work it out now.

Sherlock lifted a hand to John's face, cupping one cheek and prompting him to look up from where he'd been staring at the opening of Sherlock's shirt. "We can discuss it later," Sherlock said, stroking his thumb along the arch of John's cheekbone.

John nodded and exhaled his tension in a deep puff, pressing his lips to Sherlock's wrist where it was exposed near the cuff of Sherlock's shirt. "C'mere," he said, wrapping his hands around Sherlock's hips to pull the detective closer so he could nuzzle into the pale neck in front of him. Sherlock's hand moved and fingers threaded their way through the hair at the nape of John's neck, lightly stroking as his other hand curled around the small of John's back underneath his jacket. Gently, with a barely-there pressure, lips pressed into John's temple in quiet, tender kisses that made his spine tingle.

The sound of feet on the stairs should have prompted them to pull apart; for Sherlock to pick up his violin and play a jaunty Christmas tune while John poured the drinks, but neither of them made a move to do so. "John?" Sherlock's voice was a quiet murmur, not at all worried, just questioning. Were they ready for this? Their relationship was still new (they'd been together for less than a month), but it felt like so much longer than that. They moved seamlessly around each other, able to anticipate each other's habits after months of cohabitation, so the shift from friends to lovers hadn't really been a huge leap for them to make considering everything that had happened between them.

And John had meant it when he said he wasn't ashamed. Yeah, he was a little embarrassed over his pain kink, but that was only because he'd never thought of himself as someone who'd be into that and the association was still new enough that he'd yet to explore it to its full potential, but it didn't mean he was embarrassed or ashamed of his connection to Sherlock. He wasn't even worried about labelling his sexuality anymore because he'd come to realise that it didn't actually matter; gay or not, he was happier with Sherlock than he could ever remember being with anyone else and he wasn't going to let a label get in the way of that.

He chose not to respond to Sherlock's question verbally; instead he tightened his hold around Sherlock and pressed close, relaxing when he felt Sherlock smile against his skin and return the embrace, tucking his face close to John's to better share their intimacy.

In hindsight, they couldn't have chosen a better position to show the change in their relationship to their friends. John still had his face hidden and Sherlock had subtly turned them away from the door, giving them the illusion of privacy when Greg, Mrs Hudson and Molly came into the flat. John almost huffed a laugh when a shocked silence settled over everyone, but he stifled it at the last moment. Sherlock continued to stroke his fingers though John's hair and John knew without looking that Sherlock had closed his eyes, savouring their closeness.

An awkward clearing of a throat prompted them to pull apart, Greg's doing, but not before Sherlock took John's mouth in a kiss, just a sweet press of lips which was at once gentle, chaste and completely appropriate.

The action caused a sudden spike of possessiveness that shot through John at Sherlock's behaviour, struck with an intense urge to stake his claim. He wanted to pin Sherlock to the closest surface and make it very clear to present company that the detective was off limits, something which Sherlock's small kiss had only inflamed. Appropriate wasn't something that appeared in Sherlock's vocabulary and John didn't think it was fair to give anyone the wrong idea as he tightened his hold on Sherlock's jacket and surged up, pushing his tongue into Sherlock's mouth with very little preamble.

Sherlock's resulting groan could've made the earth tremble beneath John's feet when his snog was reciprocated and even Mrs Hudson's excited tittering could barely be heard above the sound of their mouths eagerly moving against each other. Sherlock tasted of the sherry they'd both had, a reminder of their toast and the promise of things to come, and John didn't try to resist the arousal that flooded through him, tangling a hand in Sherlock's curls and just about stopping himself from trying to rut against Sherlock's hip in blatant need.

"Jesus Christ, pack it in!" Lestrade said, but the DI was grinning when they finally separated, flushed and unable to keep the smiles off their faces.

"Oh, leave them be!" Mrs Hudson scolded Lestrade, easily walking past John and Sherlock to start serving the wine, placing the bottle and some glasses on a tray. "This is tame compared to what I've been overhearing so I wouldn't let it worry you, dear."

John was sure he hadn't been blushing before, but was certain that he was now, feeling the tips of his ears flush with colour but unable to stop grinning despite it. "Err, yes, sorry-," he began, but Sherlock smoothly interrupted his attempt at an apology.

"No, you've been eavesdropping. There is a difference." Sherlock's look was smug and their land lady didn't even try to deny it.

"You boys seem to forget that I was your age once," she said, matching Sherlock toe to toe with her own devilish smirk. "Although things have been steadily getting more rhythmic this past week. Honestly, Sherlock, would it be that much of a bother to put a pillow above the headboard? I'm worried about the state of my wall."

"All right!" Greg declared, holding his hands up in mock surrender. "Enough, the lot of you! The less said about that, the better."

"Which bit?" Sherlock queried, raising an eyebrow at the DI. "Mrs Hudson's sex history or our sex present?" and Molly burst into a fit of nervous giggles, hiding her face in her scarf.

For a moment John was worried that Lestrade was going to break something; the look on his face was an amusing mix of wishing the floor would swallow him whole and congratulations for them both, but somehow he managed to pull through it, shaking his head at Sherlock as he reached into his jacket and pulled out a card for them to take. "Congratulations, you daft buggers," he said, giving John and Sherlock both a firm handshake. "Now," he said, looking around the flat with his hands clasped in front of him. "Where's the booze? Is there enough to help me erase the last two minutes from my memory?"

"Oh, I wouldn't worry," Sherlock said, side-stepping the DI and going into the kitchen. "Given your alcohol tolerance, there is more than enough to aid you in that endeavour."

"Cheeky!" Lestrade said, coming to stand by John's side as Mrs Hudson helped Sherlock pour the drinks. He tilted his head close to John's and crossed his arms across his chest, eyes watching Sherlock. "So now that you guys are…" he began in a low voice and motioned towards Sherlock. "You know…"

"Shagging," John supplied helpfully, noting how Sherlock was using a brand of non-alcoholic wine in two glasses; smart choice considering all the driving they were going to be doing later.

Lestrade didn't even wince. "Yes, that. Any chance of you being able to… I don't know; bring him to heel, on occasion?"

John snorted, earning an amused glance from Sherlock in his direction from under his fringe, one that quickly turned heated the longer the contact was held. "I'm not sure about that," John said, voice low as Sherlock winked at him and then handed Molly a glass of wine with a small peck on her cheek. "Depends how much of a dick he feels like being on the day, I suppose."

"Oh of course," Lestrade said, smirking. "Still, if you don't ask, you don't get."

"Not true," John said, thinking of the box currently stored safely away in their bedroom. "Sometimes the best things happen when you don't even need to ask for them."


After the rather unconventional way they'd announced their relationship to their friends, the initial burst of congratulations and not-so-subtle hints of relieving some of that sexual tension, the afternoon passed with barely a hitch and a speed that left John's head spinning.

Safely ensconced in the black Audi Q7 that Sherlock had specially hired for their trip away, John finally allowed himself the quiet chuckle he'd been suppressing all evening, still unable to believe the ease with which key moments in their relationship were being passed. In the last six hours they'd had what could be classed as an official blessing from Mycroft and had similar positive reactions from their friends, again met with staunch approval and well wishes for the change in their lives.

To be fair, John hadn't expected any less from Greg, Molly or Mrs Hudson because all three of them had suspected it from the very beginning, but it still wasn't something to be taken for granted; they really did have amazing friends and it felt brilliant that they could be open and honest with the people that mattered the most. Purely from his end, of course; Sherlock's thoughts regarding their guests reactions were still his own, but the detective wouldn't have instigated the whole thing if he wasn't happy with the others knowing in the first place.

And now they were on their way to Sussex, braving the snow and ice with a week's worth of supplies (clothing mostly), plus John's present and a large duffel bag which Sherlock had given him strict instructions not to touch. Curiosity was an evil thing, but John had always been an excellent soldier and obeyed the order without question; he had merely watched as Sherlock put the bag into the boot of the car first before the rest of their luggage followed.

Although the main roads leading to West Sussex had been cleared of snow, the back roads were still treacherous and John was more than a little impressed with Sherlock's driving by the time they made it to the cottage. It reminded John of his earlier words to Sherlock; that, if the detective behaved himself at the party, John would suck him off in the car on the way, but the weather was bad enough that John couldn't see the whole event ending without them landing in a ditch somewhere. Still, even with Sherlock's excellent driving, it took more than two hours for them to reach their destination and the place was in pitch darkness with only the headlamps of the car allowing them to see the front entrance when they finally arrived.

The snow was falling thick and fast when John pushed his door open, his shoes disappearing into the snow which was well above his ankles. Sherlock was quick to open the front door ahead of him, ushering John inside as the detective paused to switch the lights on. John stayed close to the front entrance, toeing off his shoes and shaking the snow from his coat so he didn't get drops all over the floor. The lights flickering overhead made him wince after the prolonged darkness of the outside world, but when his vision finally cleared, he was flabbergasted at what he saw.

It was obviously the living room (the sofas, generous with matching cushions, and the huge fireplace left little doubt) but the opulence of the furnishings were definitely above his yearly pay packet. The room was beautiful in its simplicity, uncluttered despite the space available and John was almost immediately drawn to the art hanging on the walls, wondering whether they were originals as he got closer to them. He was particularly interested in the one which showed a black horse's head and neck, a portrait of an animal that had a depth in its eyes which he'd rarely seen in similar pieces.

The animal's mane was long and had a distinctive wave to it, like the wind had just breezed through it; whoever had painted it had obviously known the animal, for there was a feeling of something to be cherished about the whole piece, like each stroke of the brush had been something to savour. There would never be another horse like this and John instinctively knew that there wouldn't be another canvas like it; they were both the only ones in the world.

"Do you like her?"

John turned back to see Sherlock leaning against the closed door, thumbs in his pockets. "Yes," he said immediately, looking at the art again just to see the expressiveness in her eyes. "She's beautiful."

Sherlock came to stand beside John, his look fond as he regarded the canvas. "She was called Minerva," he said and his tone bellied the obvious respect he had for her. "A favourite of my mother's from a long line of Andalusian mares, hence the portrait." John peered closely at the canvas, spotting the elegant signature in the bottom left-hand corner; a simple 'MH'. "Minerva passed away when I was twenty-one," Sherlock went on and John nodded, feeling a new appreciation for a horse he'd never meet.

"Do you miss her?"

Sherlock's eyes became distant and it left John wondering how much Minerva's passing had affected Sherlock personally. "It took more time than expected to become accustomed to her absence," Sherlock said finally, "but her lineage is alive and well; her son and grandson are in the stables at the back of estate. My mother has workers who care for the horses when my family is away."

Wait, did Sherlock just say estate? John didn't get a good look at the property outside, but it didn't seem large enough to warrant the description Sherlock had given it; then again, considering Sherlock's dislike of the 'sensationalist' way John wrote his blog, the detective clearly had no tolerance for embellishing his own words. "I didn't know your family kept horses," John said instead and smiled when Sherlock just quirked an eyebrow at him. "I'd love to see them."

"Yes, in the morning," Sherlock agreed, stepping closer to John so he could wrap an arm around his waist. "Once we're both settled in. I must admit that I have other things on my mind at the moment."

Sherlock's hands moved, grasping John's biceps and turning him so he could be pressed against a bare patch of wall. "Shouldn't we get the bags?" John said, closing his eyes as Sherlock pressed kisses against the line of his jaw and thinking that someone really ought to be practical in all this before they completely lost themselves in each other.

"They'll keep," Sherlock said, taking John's ear lobe between his teeth and nipping at it.

John gasped as the sting from Sherlock's attentions pooled low in his belly and suddenly getting the bags was the last thing on his mind. "So what do you propose?" he asked, tilting his head to the side as Sherlock's lips dragged down his neck so those teeth could sink into his jugular, making him jerk against Sherlock's body.

"I'd rather had the idea that we could skip the pleasantries," Sherlock said, drawing back so he could worm a hand between them, nimble fingers moving to the belt and buckle of John's trousers and undoing them with practised ease.

John groaned when chilled fingers (Sherlock must've forgotten his gloves) teased at the waistband of his boxers, stroking across his abdomen and slipping in to cup his groin through the fabric. The initial sharp burst of cold made John's body slow to react but Sherlock, clever man that he was, still found all the right ways of getting John's cock to respond, fingers squeezing his hardening length in encouragement.

Wanting to reciprocate, John leaned back against the wall so he could use his hands, reaching forward to start working on the buttons of Sherlock's shirt, only to have Sherlock take a hold of his wrists and pin them up beside his head. "Sherlock?"

"Ssshhh, " Sherlock whispered, pressing dry, slightly chapped lips to John's. "Stay still for me."

John eagerly kissed back while Sherlock was still close, licking at Sherlock's lips with the tip of a wet tongue to help moisten them. "Whatever you want," he said softly, tilting his head back and to the side in a historic act of complete and utter surrender. "I'm yours."

Sherlock gladly took him up on it, sucking at the skin of John's neck high above his shirt collar with the obvious intent of leaving what was bound to be a gloriously dark mark. The first of many if John was going to have his way. He wanted to be able to look at himself in the mirror by the end of this week and see the evidence of Sherlock's desire all over his body; wanted to bask himself stupid in such an indulgence if Sherlock were inclined to let him.

Although John wouldn't be surprised if Sherlock wanted photographic evidence of such a claiming, just so he could try and better the results at a later date.

The hands John was starting to ache for didn't stay in one position for very long; Sherlock slid them down the front of John's body, thumbs teasing at his nipples for a brief moment before reaching his trousers, pushing them past his hips and allowing them to catch around his thighs. John fought back a whimper when fingers pulled at his boxers, allowing his erection to uncurl from the fabric as Sherlock pushed his underwear down to tangle with his trousers. With his manhood on prominent display, John very quickly realised that the air around them was chilly, but the heat of Sherlock's hands enclosed him, shielding his cock from its bite.

Sherlock chuckled when John's body tried to thrust into the grip surrounding him, using a hand to pin John's hips to the wall. "Eager, aren't we."

John grinned, shrugging when Sherlock raised an eyebrow at him. "It's chuffing cold."

"Hmmm, yes, it is rather," Sherlock agreed, that trademark smirk crossing his face before it morphed into gentle amusement. His hand curled around the head of John's cock, thumb teasing at the slit as long fingers pulled his foreskin back to leave him completely exposed. The sensation was so exquisite that John very nearly missed the next thing Sherlock said. "Perfect for a nice long soak, wouldn't you agree?"

Sherlock chose that exact moment to create a tight sheath with his fingers and thumb, stroking John with a twisting, corkscrew motion that made John's thighs tremble. Combined with the hot presses of Sherlock's mouth to his face and jaw and generally feeling like he was being smothered in horny consulting detective, it took John a bit longer to understand what the hell Sherlock was talking about, and another second or two to completely agree with him. Snow was lovely and all, but the boiler back at the flat was temperamental at the best of times and having to regulate hot water usage between two very hygienic men (body-wise in Sherlock's case) wasn't John's idea of a good time. This though…

There was only one thing that immediately came to mind and he was sure Sherlock would agree with his line of questioning: "Is this soak big enough for two?"

"Exceedingly," Sherlock said, pressing John back against the wall again so he could capture John's smile in a kiss, giving John's erection another long, slow tug that made John groan before pulling John's clothes up his legs so he could follow Sherlock upstairs to the bathroom.

Contrary to John's initial assessment of the place, the cottage was huge. In total there were four bedrooms that he could see nearest to the bathroom, but that didn't include the two in the guest house (Sherlock's explanation when he saw the disbelief on John's face) or the full extent of the grounds. John almost shook his head when he thought about all this space, barely remembering to keep up his own pace as Sherlock made a beeline for the master suite, a thoroughly impressed blogger trailing along in his wake.

As was the case with the living room, the master bedroom was sparse in furnishings but the quality overrode the need for any sort of quantity. The bed looked so open and inviting; with a large throw-over to keep the dust off of the sheets and cushions, but Sherlock didn't even glance at it. He opened another door immediately across from the bed and John realised that they had direct access to the bathroom which was just as large as the master bedroom.

It wasn't the exception to the rule he'd seen so far, but there was a generous assortment of soaps, shampoos, body oils, bath salts and, as promised, the tub was definitely big enough for two. It sat in the middle of the room as though it was the main attraction and John supposed it really was in a way; especially when Sherlock began to run the hot water and turned back to him, his eyes sweeping the entirety of John's body and lingering on his still open trousers.

Neither of them spoke, not even when the bath had finished filling, the faint drip of residual water the only sound in the room. John could see the steam coming off the water and he felt the skin on his arms break out in goose-bumps; so close to the promising warmth, his body was quick to remind him of the cold which still clung to his fingertips, making him itch to rub at them between the palms of his hands.

Without a word, Sherlock began to remove his clothes, taking off his jacket and shirt to place them on a nearby chair. No effort was being made to turn this into a striptease, but the act was still arousing for John either way. As each inch of skin was revealed, he felt his mouth water in reaction; he wanted to feel Sherlock's body against his, wanted to seek out all the places where the cold lingered so he could warm them with gusts of hot air and gentle suction.

As Sherlock continued, John began to wonder whether he should follow Sherlock's example; the detective hadn't implicitly asked him to remove his own clothes, something which should have been obvious really because they were about to have a bath together, but Sherlock had yet to break eye contact with him. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, but the circumstances vastly dictated how John should proceed, and he'd yet to figure out what it was Sherlock wanted.

He watched as Sherlock undid his own trousers and slid them down those pale, oh-so-long legs, but when he decided it was time to join his lover in a similar state of undress, Sherlock reached forward and stopped him, pressing his fingers into the button he was about to undo. He looked up from his fingers to meet Sherlock's eyes, about to question the action, but stopped when he saw the look on Sherlock's face. He didn't know what emotion Sherlock was feeling at that point, it was so hard to tell, but John immediately knew what that face meant. He'd seen it often enough at crime scenes when Sherlock almost paraded his brilliance in front of the police force, all the while smirking at John out of the corner of his eye. Look at me, John. Look how brilliant I am.

This wasn't the same.

John shut his mouth against the question he wanted to ask, letting his hands drift back down to his sides. Once Sherlock saw that the message had been received, if not completely understood, he resumed undressing. All items of clothing were laid across the same chair until Sherlock was completely naked, his arms and hands relaxed at his sides, his back straight without posturing and his feet positioned to evenly distribute his weight. He didn't take his eyes off of John the whole time.

Having never been put into a position where he wasn't distracted by his own nudity around the detective, John took his fill of Sherlock's body, taking full advantage of it whilst also being mindful of what was being offered here. He could see the muscles Sherlock had, not as defined as John's from his army days, but still strong. Chasing criminals down dark alleys certainly helped Sherlock keep fit, but John had walked in on the man doing muscle toning exercises more than once to keep himself in shape and he was more than happy with the result of all that hard work. His fingers itched with remembered sensations; running his hands down the length of Sherlock's back to cup his buttocks, feeling the muscles flex and clench as Sherlock used his body to bring them both to the peak of pleasure.

Sherlock was watching John with eyes that were no doubt making deductions of their own, but months of practise gave John the advantage of desensitisation; he very rarely found himself squirming under that penetrative stare, often allowing himself to ignore the other man completely in certain cases (such as when Sherlock was in one of his sulks), but this wasn't one of those times.

He stepped towards Sherlock instead, lifting a hand to brush Sherlock's curls from his forehead before cupping his face to stroke a thumb across Sherlock's cheekbone. Sherlock's eyes drifted to half-mast when John allowed that thumb to go lower, feeling the plushness of Sherlock's lower lip, the fullness of it, before releasing a breath he didn't realise he'd been holding when Sherlock opened his mouth to catch John's thumb between his teeth. Held in place, Sherlock's tongue swirled around the tip, lips pursing around it as that tongue coaxed John's thumb to go deeper.

The eroticism of the act felt just like warm honey; it slid through John's body at a speed that allowed him to savour the slow surge of desire rather than being overwhelmed by it, and he was instantly transported back to the Yard when Sherlock began to suck on his thumb.

Sure, he hadn't been completely aware of his surroundings at the time, having been on the receiving end of a fantastic fuck, so it was only natural that his memory of the equally fantastic blowjob was not as sharp as he would've liked, but Sherlock was quickly reminding him. Sherlock took John's thumb deeper into his mouth, pressing his tongue into the base of it as he applied a gentle suction, letting his lips wrap around the digit in a perfect O.

With Sherlock sucking on his thumb like that, it was a wonder that John didn't skip everything he wanted to do, but he knew he wanted to savour this. He withdrew his thumb, gasping a little when Sherlock allowed his teeth to graze the tip, before he pressed it down on Sherlock's lower lip, smearing the detective's own saliva into it with a broad sweep. His left hand stroked down Sherlock's neck, pressing into the hollow of his throat gently before drawing across his chest, pausing at Sherlock's right nipple and teasing it into hardness.

Remembering how sensitive Sherlock's nipples were, John was gentle about it, only plucking at it once he was sure Sherlock's body was well into the sensation. Once Sherlock's eyes started to slide shut, his nipple rosy and peaked, John leant forward and swiped his tongue across it, using the flat of his tongue to draw the contact out until he was flicking at the little nub with the tip of his tongue.

He felt the way Sherlock's body shuddered in front of him, felt the rocking of Sherlock's hips under his fingers when he placed his left hand over Sherlock's hipbone. Knew without looking that Sherlock was hard, his erection straining for more sensation at even the slightest touch to his nipple, jerking in response when John lightly took that same nipple between his teeth and worried at it until Sherlock hissed between his teeth.

Sherlock half-moaned, half-growled with what John hoped was pleasure when he finally gave Sherlock's body a reprieve, drawing away from Sherlock's chest and appreciatively taking in the way Sherlock's nipple looked; a beautiful shade of pink and standing to attention, responsive as John blew warm air across it, making it tighten again.

Without any prompting, he slowly sank to his knees, mouthing kisses down Sherlock's abdomen and across his hips before settling into position, pressing his face into one of Sherlock's inner thighs and licking at the warm flesh. Sherlock spread his legs fractionally, giving John more room to work with, and John happily obliged, nuzzling his way into the crease where thigh met groin and nipping at it playfully between his teeth. Sherlock panted above him, his hands flexing when John glanced at them, but they didn't tangle their way into John's hair, didn't try to guide John's ministrations to the areas which no doubt felt like they needed it the most, and John realised just how much control he was being given here.

How much Sherlock was possibly offering him.

Despite the flood of hormones in his body and the light-headedness which came with the surge of power he was experiencing, John forced himself to take it slow. He didn't try to stop the sounds he was making, his moans muffled in between Sherlock's legs as he devoted himself to his task, licking and sucking at Sherlock's inner thighs until the detective was trembling. Only then did he change tack, wetting his tongue with saliva and licking at one of Sherlock's balls.

"God, John…"

The first words since Sherlock had undressed himself and perfectly apt in John's opinion. He certainly felt like a god at this present moment. He hadn't realised how much power he actually had at his fingertips by being with Sherlock this way; how the line dividing who had control became blurred and distorted because of the very nature of the act he was committing. Going to his knees felt like the action of a person who was submissive, like someone who was giving up their control to be at the whim of the person they were kneeling in front of.

Now, with Sherlock shaking and gasping above him at the slightest touch, it seemed the reins had changed hands, if only for a little while.

Body thrumming with anticipation, John licked across Sherlock's testicles again, feeling the way they contracted beneath his tongue. He pressed close, using his lips to suck and pull at the taut skin before pausing, blowing cool air across them just to hear Sherlock's breath hitch.

When John pulled back for another break, Sherlock's erection was at full mast. It was already flushed at the tip, the foreskin fully retracted and exposing the swollen head, clear fluid beginning to leak from the slit. The mere sight of Sherlock's arousal caused a similar, visceral reaction in John's own body and he groaned, leaning forward again to lick across the slit.

Sharp and briny, John used the tip of his tongue to tease under the glans as more of Sherlock's pre-come oozed out, and he couldn't resist pursing his lips around the flared head to he could lightly suckle on it. Once his lips met the ridge which separated the head from the shaft, John looked up to meet Sherlock's eyes, keeping up the suction as he slowly inched his way down Sherlock's cock.

As before, it was a struggle to take more than half of Sherlock's cock in his mouth so John didn't try to exceed his personal limits; at least not yet. Instead he pulled back and shrugged off his jacket, undoing his shirt and leaving them pooled behind him so his torso was laid bare. Sherlock's eyes were immediately drawn to John's chest and arms and John almost shivered under the intensity of Sherlock's stare, knowing down to the slightest detail what he wanted to happen next.

He closed his eyes again, taking Sherlock's erection between his lips as he crossed his wrists in front of him.

It had been a while since he'd last taken this position, but he remembered it with explicit detail. Obviously he'd been completely naked at the time, kneeling in front of Sherlock's chair with a blazing fire warming his skin, but the effect was still the same regardless of his state of dress. He held his wrists together as though they'd been tied, feeling the ache in them as the utter subservience of the position coursed through him, moaning around Sherlock's cock as he surrendered himself to it.

Only now did Sherlock's hands move, tangling their way through John's hair to stroke across his scalp as John moved his head back and forth along Sherlock's cock, setting the rhythm he knew Sherlock enjoyed. Sherlock was vocal in his enjoyment, groaning wordless vowels as John became bolder, allowing the head of Sherlock's cock to stray close to the back of his throat without touching it, his eyes beginning to water when he unintentionally went in too deep. He honestly didn't know how Sherlock had managed it back at the Yard, the whole deep-throating thing, but he knew he wanted to see how far he could take it.

Unbidden, his gag reflex came into action when he pushed himself too far, the muscles clamping around the tip of Sherlock's erection before forcing John to withdraw, but the noise Sherlock made when the opening of John's throat tightened on his cock was worth the discomfort in John's opinion. Looking up, Sherlock seemed just as debauched as John was feeling, the steam from the bath dampening his curls so they hung around his eyes, his lower lip a rosy hue from where Sherlock had clearly been biting into it.

The lip biting had John yearning to try again, to see if he could start trying to tame his gag reflex so he could take Sherlock deeper, but his knees very quickly debased him of that notion, letting him know of their discomfort with a violent ache that clenched its way into his thighs and calves.

"Ow!" Okay, that wasn't quite as eloquent as he'd been hoping, but tile floors were really unforgiving and his knees weren't the spritely young things they'd been in his twenties.

Sherlock chuckled at John's exclamation, crouching down in front of him and easing his arms around John's torso to help him to his feet. It was an ungainly business, but they were both smiling when John finally found his feet, arms wrapped securely around each other. The kissing was inevitable at this point, Sherlock boldly licking his way into John's mouth as John relaxed into Sherlock's grip, basking in the subtle domination as Sherlock sought to devour him.

"Your turn," Sherlock murmured, smirking as he stripped John of his remaining clothes and pushed them to one side before going to his knees, licking a broad stripe along the large vein of John's erection before guiding it between his lips.

"Oh fuck," John whispered, barely remembering to lock his knees so his legs wouldn't collapse when Sherlock moaned around him, bobbing his head around the tip before sliding down, letting John feel the nudge at the back of his throat.



A third time, keeping John's cock down as the opening of Sherlock's throat enclosed the tip and then he was swallowing around the head, once, twice, before withdrawing so Sherlock could breathe.

Fuck, Sherlock was good at this.

John didn't dare look down, not when Sherlock began to suck him down with all the dedication of a soldier under orders, giving John several long sucks from base to tip before sinking down, pressing his nose into John's pubic bone as he took John deeper into his throat so he could swallow around him. Mostly because John knew it would be over far too quickly if he so much as glimpsed those curls bobbing on his cock and he was perilously close as it was.

Even so, the lack of any visuals didn't detract from the exquisite, almost painful pleasure that Sherlock was inflicting on him and he found himself tugging on Sherlock's hair, trying to let the other man know how close he was to finishing because the words lodged themselves in his throat and refused to budge.

Luckily Sherlock got the message, pulling off of John's erection and kissing the tip, winking when John just weakly blinked at him; trying to get his thoughts back into some sort of coherency beyond how fucking good Sherlock was at blow jobs and how much he really wanted to come down Sherlock's throat again.

"Only if you behave," Sherlock said, his voice a little hoarse, and John felt his prick give a warning throb when he realised Sherlock's voice sounded that way because he'd just had John's cock down his throat.

Sherlock didn't give him any more time to worry about his impending orgasm, rising to his feet and tugging John towards the bath, urging John ahead of him so he could lean against one end of the tub. And God, the water was amazing. The heat seemed to reach deep into the marrow of his bones, chasing away the last of the winter cold and urging tired muscles to relax and unwind. He groaned wordlessly, sinking back and stretching his legs out, feeling the give in his muscles as the water worked its magic.

The level of the water rose considerably when Sherlock followed him, but it didn't spill over the edge, not even when Sherlock crowded close to him, pressing John back with both hands as he straddled John's hips with room to spare. Reaching between them, Sherlock pushed his hips close to John's and pressed their erections together, latching onto John's throat and sucking as he curled a large hand around them both before Sherlock began to thrust.

'Oh God, oh fuck, Sherlock, fuck yes…' John didn't try to stop himself, meeting Sherlock's thrusts with his own and arching his neck back against the rim of the bath, gasping when Sherlock's teeth found the mark originally made in the living room with the sole intent of finishing what he'd started. Between them, their cocks dragged against each other, the heads brushing with each push and pull of their hips, making John mutter a curse when one stroke was particularly well timed with a twist of Sherlock's hand on their cocks.

Gasping, Sherlock pulled his mouth away from John's throat, kissing the darkening skin with panting breaths before he pulled back, pressing their faces close together so they were sharing the same breath. "I have been thinking about us, John. Specifically about how I feel about us."

Breath hitching at a particularly delicious twist of Sherlock's hand, John managed to gasp, "Have you?" It almost was unheard of, to have Sherlock initiate an intimate conversation, to express sentiment. What had brought this on?

"I want to own your body, John."

A simple sentence, quietly uttered, but absolutely devastating.

John felt his eyes close as the words slid into him, his breath stuttering in a gasp against Sherlock's mouth. His erection felt hot and swollen in Sherlock's hand, liable to finish at any moment, but he was brought back by the feel of Sherlock's other hand on his face, urging him to keep his eyes open. To keep eye contact with Sherlock as the detective murmured his own dark thoughts and desires against John's lips.

"I want your mind. Your will. Your thoughts. All of you." A twist of Sherlock's hand again, John finding the breath in him to cry out weakly, arching under Sherlock's body. "I look at you and I want to own you. Ravish you. Bind you down and hurt you until you're begging and weeping for mercy. I want to do unspeakable things to you and have you thanking me for them."

'Oh God, oh God, oh fuck…' John could barely keep his eyes open as lust, dirty and thick, ravaged him, the vocalisation of the detective's own wants and desires made potent by the naked hunger in every single word. In front of him, Sherlock's pupils were fully blown, the irises barely visible as his voice deepened, becoming husky and low, his face possessive as he worked them towards their climax.

"I want to fuck you senseless, mark you with my release as you look at me with tears in your eyes, reddened and bruised," Sherlock murmured. "I want you to drown in me, John. Have no thoughts except for me, to find it difficult to breathe without me. I want to own you, John. All of you. My John, to do with as I please…"

God, if he could, if he'd even had the capability of forming words at that point, the only one John could think of was yes. 'Yes, to all of the above, anything you want, God please.' His body spoke the words for him, releasing breathy cries as his hips pushed against Sherlock's body, riding the crest of orgasm, so close to flying off the edge but needing Sherlock to order him first. To find his release purely because Sherlock wanted to see it happen and experience it with him.

"Now, John," Sherlock gasped, his hips losing their rhythm and his hand working the both of them to completion. "Do it, come with me now."

John, as ever, was unable to deny him, his hands scratching at Sherlock's shoulders and back as he gave himself over to release, crying out as his groin flared and throbbed with heat. Against him, Sherlock gave a full body shudder, groaning thickly as he continued to pump his hips, drawing out their orgasms for as long as he could before collapsing into John's body, removing his hands from their twitching, oversensitive flesh and nuzzling his face into John's neck.

The endorphins took a while to fade completely, leaving them both heavy with lassitude in the now dirty bath water, but neither of them made a move to drain it from the tub. John had probably never felt this contented before, stroking a hand through Sherlock's curls and pressing kisses to his hairline, trying to convey his devotion and complete acceptance of anything this man wanted to do with him. Christ, he'd let Sherlock do to him what no one else dared to try.

"I meant it, John," Sherlock murmured, drawing John's wandering thoughts back to him with the sleepy mumble against his neck. He continued to stroke his fingers through Sherlock's hair, listening quietly as the detective finished his confessions. "I want it all with you. I yearn for it with the same passion and ferocity that I have for the Work." Sherlock pushed himself up, cupping John's face in both hands with an energy that John had never seen in the other man before. "But please don't think for one second that I'm taking this lightly," Sherlock said and John was surprised to feel Sherlock's fingers trembling against his skin. "Never think for one second that I will lose sight of who you are and your reality. Never feel belittled or demeaned because I am honoured every single day that you chose to give me this."

"Sherlock…" John didn't know what to say, moved by Sherlock's words and the intensity that Sherlock was radiating. This was so much more than what he'd thought initially, had never realised the depth with which Sherlock had thought about this or how he even felt about it. Christ, he hadn't even thought to ask…

"You need to know that you can put a stop to this at any time," Sherlock continued. "Whatever we do, it will never change my respect and regard for you because I see you, John. I have always seen you, the real you. The Doctor, the Soldier, my best friend. This new life that we've chosen to indulge in doesn't change that. It adds another layer to our understanding of each other but we are still the same within. The same Sherlock and John, the detective and his blogger and now the Dom and his sub. Do you see?"

"God, Sherlock," John whispered, pulling the other man to him to seize Sherlock's mouth in a kiss, as much a promise as the words themselves. "I trust you. I always have."

"And I you," Sherlock murmured, meeting John's mouth in another kiss, tender and powerful and achingly real. "Are you ready to take this further, John?"

John's mind helpfully provided the images of the candles and handcuffs in the box Sherlock had gifted to him and the large duffel bag Sherlock had forbidden him to open. He had no idea what else Sherlock had planned for their week away, but it didn't sway his decision. "Yes, Sherlock," John whispered with a longing that left him aching, yearning for everything Sherlock could give him and more. For everything they could share together, here, now. "God, yes."

To be continued

A/N: Hehehe, we're finally getting to the good bits!

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