You didn't book Sherlock Holmes; he booked you. You didn't arrange meetings with Sherlock Holmes, he texted you an address and you had better be there on time. Everyone in the fashion world knew how this went. Sherlock picked everything, which clients he worked for, what photographers he used, even the set of the shoot.
So when John got a text from an unknown number that said 221B Baker Street, come at once if convenient. –SH. He knew better than to ignore it. John had never actually met Sherlock Holmes before but he'd heard stories. Sherlock was rather infamous in the circles John ran with but very few people had ever actually worked with him.
When John finished showering, he called his PA Molly to tell her. "Oh my god! Seriously John? Landing a job with Sherlock Holmes is a really big deal."
"Yes, I'm aware of that Molls, don't need any added pressure, thanks." John informed her as he changed his shirt for the third time.
"Can I come? Please, I've always wanted to meet him."
"You know Sherlock doesn't work like that."
"But I'm your PA! You'd be lost without me!" Molly argued.
John slipped off the red shirt he had been attempting to button up; deciding that red might be too outlandish for the shoot. "Molly, I have no idea what to expect with this. I don't think I should start out by jeopardizing my one shot."
"Fine. But you have to tell me everything that happens. Deal?"
"Deal." John promised.
"Wear the red button up, it looks good on you." Molly instructed.
"God, you're the best."
"And you better show me every picture of him you've taken."
"You have my word."
"Good. Go get him John!"
"Molly, its not a date, you realize this right?"
"It's still a big deal! Sherlock Holmes wants you."
"For a photo shoot. I've never even met him before."
"Yeah, but you've seen his picture before right?"
"And your point is?"
"My point is that he's bloody gorgeous and if – "
John's phone beeped with an incoming text. "Molly, I've got to go. Wish me luck."
John rang off before Molly could talk some more. He knew of her obsession with Sherlock Holmes. She had his picture as her mobile background for god's sake. And John wouldn't have hesitated to bring her along except that it was common knowledge that Sherlock Holmes didn't like unnecessary people around during shoots.
John opened the text message he had just received and was surprised to find it was another one from Sherlock Holmes.
If Inconvenient, come all the same. –SH
John smiled and pocketed his mobile. He knew Sherlock only worked with the very best, which meant something John had done must have caught his attention. With one last glance in the mirror, John tried to tame his hair before heading out.
Until about three years ago, John had been in Afghanistan as a war correspondent, taking photos. He had really loved it, the thrill of it. He had really felt alive over there. Unfortunately, the work had more or less died out. No one really cared about that sort of thing and people had mostly forgotten about Afghanistan once Iraq happened.
So John had returned to England with his camera and no idea what to do with himself. Newspapers were more or less dying out and the idea of becoming part of the paparazzi made him sick. His first lucky break had come from his old Uni friend Mike Stamford. Mike was also a photographer and one day John got a call from him out of the blue asking for a favour.
Mike was supposed to be doing a shoot for Ray Bands but the shoot was the same day his wife was going into the hospital to have their son. Mike had been desperately calling any and all photographers he knew, looking for someone to fill in for him. John had agreed to it, not because he was overly interested in becoming a fashion photographer, but because he wanted to help Mike out.
Since then he'd done fairly well for himself. And now he was on his way to working with the illustrious Sherlock Holmes. John knew several photographers who would kill him in an instant for this chance. While Sherlock had a bit of a reputation of being hard to work with, if you did a shoot with him, it was guaranteed to get noticed.
When the cab arrived outside 221B, John was surprised to find that the place wasn't glamorous at all. It was just an ordinary building next to a café. John had been expecting something upscale and posh but didn't get that feeling from the outside.
He rang the doorbell and waited, checking his watch for the time. It had been a little over an hour since Sherlock had first contacted him. Had he taken too long? John rang it once again and listened at the door for any movement inside.
" -point of having it if he never answers the bloody thing –" He heard a woman inside and stepped back. The door swung open and a short woman in a purple dress stood before him. "Hello?'
"Hello, I'm –"
"He said you'd be by. Go on up." She stood off to the side and gestured up the stairs.
"Oh, thank you…"
"Mrs. Hudson." She filled in, closing the door behind them. "Sherlock's landlady. And if you'd be good enough, remind him that I'm not his housekeeper and if he doesn't answer his own door, I'll be getting rid of that doorbell. It's driving me up the bloody wall."
"Right." John nodded. "Well I'll be sure to tell him."
"See that you do." Mrs. Hudson said sternly before disappearing into her own flat. John stared after her for a few moments, baffled and amused. He made his way up the stairs, nervously adjusting the shoulder strap of his camera case as he went.
When he made it to the door, it was slightly ajar. He didn't know if that was because he was expected so he knocked. No one answered so he knocked a bit louder, the door easing open slightly. "Hello?" he called out, staring into a flat in utter disarray. There were books and papers everywhere, boxes on all the tables.
"Oh hello John, may I call you John? Come on in." Sherlock appeared from what seemed to be the kitchen. John stumbled inside and closed the door behind him. "Pardon the mess, I've just moved in, haven't had a chance to put everything away."
"It's fine." John told him as Sherlock moved around like some sort of hummingbird that couldn't sit still.
"Make yourself at home. I imagine we'll be here for a while so you may as well get comfortable. I don't have any coffee or tea but I could see if Mrs. Hudson –"
"Um, I think it would be best not to trouble her. She told me to remind you that she's not your housekeeper."
"Then shall we get right down to it?" Sherlock asked, starting to unbutton his shirt.
"Sorry?" John watched as more and more pale flesh was exposed and then the tight white vest underneath. Oh, was he in trouble. Sherlock's picture had neither exaggerated his beauty nor diminished it. They most certainly did him justice and Sherlock was just as gorgeous in person as he was in his photographs.
"They have sent over some suits for the spread but they prefer I be naked for the cover." Sherlock replied, pulling his shirt out of his trousers and dropping it onto the floor.
"Right and what is this for?"
"This'll be what, your fifth time on their cover?" john asked with a raised eyebrow.
Sherlock smirked. "Something like that. Thrilling that you've been counting"
John didn't bother to answer. The only reason he knew that was because of Molly, whom had the four he'd already done framed in her office. Instead he looked about the room, looking for something else to comment on. Something on the table next to Sherlock caught John's eyes. "Hold on, is that –"
He walked over and picked up a framed picture of some Afghanistan children standing outside their village that had just been burned. The only reason he knew that was because it was his photo. "Yes, I've been an admirer of your work for some time. You have quite an eye for composition and light." It John a moment to notice how close Sherlock was standing. John cleared his throat and put the picture back. "I've been wanting to work with you for some time now. I thought this project might be the perfect opportunity."
He turned around and went back through the kitchen, pulling his white vest up over his head and dropping it behind him. "Come along John." He called over his shoulder and disappeared into what John could only assume was the bedroom.
John took a moment to steel himself. He could get through this. There was no cause for alarm just because a beautiful man would be naked in front him. He'd done nude photo shoots before. Just because this was with one of the top models in Britain was no cause for concern. This was just like any other shoot. And sure, Sherlock had managed to find a place for John's picture when it looked like he hadn't organized anything else of his belongings. It didn't mean anything.
Oh piss it, John thought, gritting his teeth with determination and heading to where Sherlock had gone. He nearly dropped his camera when he walked into the bedroom and Sherlock was sprawled out with just a white sheet covering less than half of him.
"How do you want me?" Sherlock asked, his deep baritone making the sentence sound much more suggestive than it should have.
"Oh, um, I think we'll just start with whatever feels natural." John turned away before he was caught staring. Some lights had been positioned around the room and John moved one of them closer so it shone more brightly on the bed.
"There's no need to be nervous." Sherlock informed him as he lied on the pillows with his hair fanned out beneath him. "I'm willing to dedicate all day to this if you need a few goes to get it right."
"Yeah, thanks for that." John rolled his eyes. Well at least that was something to hang on to; Sherlock's personality left something to be desired. John took a light reading and a few practice shots until he was happy with it. He took his shoes off, knowing that at some point he was going to have to get onto the bed and the last thing he wanted was to get dirt on the clean white sheets.
He stood on the bed so he could get as much of Sherlock in the frame as possible. Sherlock had one arm pillowed under his head, his body tilted to the side. The sheet lay across him, covering up his more intimate areas. "Are you wearing any pants?" John asked as he lowered himself slightly.
"No." Sherlock responded, grinning at the camera. "You do understand what nude means, don't you John?"
"Oh you are hilarious." John bit back sarcastically. He took a few more photos but wasn't completely happy with the result. "Look, can we try something different?"
"Of course." Sherlock sat up, the sheet sliding a bit lower than John would have liked, falling to his lower abdomen but keeping everything really important covered up. "I leave myself in your capable hands."
"Look, everyone's seen the unapproachable Sherlock Holmes, that's been done. What I want capture is the attainable Sherlock Holmes. I want to make this more intimate feeling, if that's okay with you."
"Certainly. We can try it your way. I do have creative control however, so if I don't like it I can always change it back or fire you."
"Well that's a comforting notion." John said dryly. He hopped off the bed and knelt beside it so he was on level with Sherlock. He took a few close ups, to capture those magnificent eyes. Sherlock turned onto his stomach, his face half buried in his pillow. "That's it." John nodded and snapped a few more shots. "Think of it like this. With the scene we're setting up here, this person has already gotten you naked in a bed; they've already got you. Their work is done, for the most part. Or perhaps you're trying to seduce someone into your bed. Either way, it's all on you."
"Oh really?" Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "You don't think me lying here naked is enough of a seduction?"
"I guess it would depend on the woman."
"—Or man." Sherlock added and John felt himself swallow hard. He hadn't wanted to make any assumptions but Sherlock had pretty much answered John's question of whether he fancied blokes.
"Or man you were trying to seduce."
"Indeed." Sherlock put the tip of his thumb in his mouth and bit down on it. John tried really hard not to be turned on by it. He crawled onto the bed to get a different angle, shooting from Sherlock's knee up. He moved back to the bottom of the bed and Sherlock propped himself up on his elbows.
"You know you could smile in some of these." John informed him, adjusting where the sheet feel on Sherlock's body.
"Do you find smiles seductive?" Sherlock inquired, running his hand over his chest and down his abs.
"I guess it would depend on who was doing the smiling." John answered vaguely. God, he was in so much trouble. But the way Sherlock was looking at him…
It's nothing, John reminded himself. Part of the shoot, that's all.
"Good." John jumped off the bed as quickly as he could. "I think we'll take a quick break, yeah?"
John left the room without waiting for an answer. He went directly to the kitchen sink and splashed his face with cold water. He had never felt so unprofessional in his life, already half-hard in his trousers. He adjusted himself slightly and took a few deep breaths. There was no point in getting so worked up. There was absolutely no bloody chance Sherlock Holmes wanted to have sex with him.
He walked back into the bedroom and found Sherlock sitting on the edge of the bed, the sheet wrapped around him. "Ready?" John asked, picking his camera back up and pretending he wasn't aroused by the entire thing. "Don't move." John instructed and took a few pictures of Sherlock as he was. "Bring your arm back just a bit, that's it."
Sherlock turned so his back was to John, bringing his knees to his chest and holding them with his arms. The sheet just barely covered his back, a long expanse of pale skin with a few freckles dusted here and there. He moved his head so he was looking over his shoulder at John, his eyes lowered slightly as if saddened.
Putting the sheet around his waist, Sherlock knelt on the bed, his bum resting against his heels. John let Sherlock move freely with very little direction as he took picture after picture. Then Sherlock turned and started crawling towards John and John could hardly press the shutter button, his hands were shaking so badly.
Sherlock undid the sheet and placed it back around himself. John reached up and pushed the sheet slightly off Sherlock's shoulder. "Okay and now I want you to lay down slowly and I'm going to follow you." And John knew he was going to regret it, but in order to get the shot he wanted, he had to be straddling Sherlock's lap. As Sherlock lowered himself, John did the same, snapping photo after photo. John braced himself on the bed to avoid lying completely on top of Sherlock.
Clearing his throat yet again, John crawled off and stood so he was looking at Sherlock upside down, his elegant neck elongated, and John could just imagine what it would be like to kiss it. Sherlock brought his hand up and just barely touched his fingertips over his neck as if he could read John's mind. John reached forward and brushed Sherlock's fringe off his forehead. Well, John had wanted it to feel more intimate and he was certainly getting it.
Sherlock grabbed John's wrist. "John, perhaps I'm being too subtle."
Before he could think of anything else to say, Sherlock's other hand reached up and curled around the back of his neck. John was brought down and their lips met in an upside down kiss. John pulled away and stared down into Sherlock's pale blue eyes. "Do you do this with all the photographers you work with?"
"Only the attractive ones I find interesting." Sherlock responded. "The number is smaller than you'd think."
"So, what exactly are we doing?" John asked, placing his camera on the bedside table before he dropped it.
"You've been invited into the room of a naked man. I'm sure you can figure it out." Sherlock replied and tilted his head up to kiss John again.
John still had questions, he still had a lot of questions, but he was not about to pass up an opportunity like this. He climbed onto the bed and kissed Sherlock properly, twisting his fingers into the mess of curls and tugging slightly. Sherlock gasped against his mouth and John figured he was on the right track.
"What about the rest of the shoot?" John asked as he kissed down Sherlock's neck.
"Later." Sherlock told him. "Later." He repeated breathlessly.
Sherlock's hands came up and started unbuttoning John's shirt, yanking the buttons out of their holes in order to get John naked. "I've been – ah – flirting with you for the past two hours."
"I think your flirting needs some work." John retorted and bit down on Sherlock's neck.
"I basically came out and told you I fancied men." Sherlock slipped John's shirt off his shoulders and practically ripped his vest off his body.
"Yeah, I got that. But fancying men isn't the same as fancying me." John said against Sherlock's skin before sucking on Sherlock's collarbone. "And fancying me isn't the same as wanting to have sex with me right this second."
"Isn't it?" Sherlock asked, flipping them so John was on his back and Sherlock was looming over him. "That's generally what it means for me."
"Prat." John shot back fondly as he tugged Sherlock down for more kissing. Sherlock quickly began to undo John's trousers, pushing then down and out of the way.
"John." Sherlock groaned against his lips. He brought their cocks together in his hand and began to thrust.
"Christ." John hissed, his fingers digging into the sheet beneath him.
"I've been – oh – trying to arrange a meeting with you for quite a while now." Sherlock said as John braced his feet on the bed and started thrusting up, needing more.
"With me?" John's eyes widened. "Why?"
"I'm an admirer of your work, even before you came back to England. I read the paper every morning and your pictures were always the most striking." Sherlock reached out and started digging through his bedside table. He grabbed condoms and lubricant, placing them on the bed before he started kissing John again. When Sherlock broke away to speak again, he whispered directly into John's ear, causing John to shiver beneath him. "I always had my manager check and see if you were on the guest list before I agreed to attend any events. I went to any and all galleries that showed your work, hoping to see you there."
"I don't go out for that much." John informed him. "It feels too much like patting yourself on the back."
"Perhaps it would feel different if you had someone to go with." Sherlock suggested, cracking open the bottle of lube and pouring some onto his fingers. To John's surprise, Sherlock brought his hand back and inserted his fingers inside himself. Sherlock moaned deeply and thrust forward, rutting against John's stomach.
"Are you offering to be my date?" John inquired, cocking his eyebrow.
"If that's what it takes to get you to attend such things."
Not to be outdone, John grabbed the lube and slicked up his own fingers, He trailed them up and down the cleft of Sherlock's arse, his hand bumping into Sherlock's on every pass. Finally he stilled and slowly slid a single finger inside Sherlock along with the other two already there.
"Oh." Sherlock gasped and pushed back against both their hands. "In truth I find those events exceedingly dull. But if I had someone to – to…."
John had managed to twist his hand slightly and found that one little spot, rendering Sherlock incoherent. His hand was cramping slowly but watching Sherlock above him, turning red with arousal and falling apart, was enough to abate the slight discomfort.
"Share it with?" John prompted, pulling his hand away in order to grab the condom. He tore it open with his teeth and slipped it on his aching cock. Making sure he was well lubed up, John waited for Sherlock to remove his fingers from inside himself.
"Yes." Sherlock nodded and bit his bottom lip to keep from crying out as he pulled his fingers free from his body. He shuffled forward until he was lined up and grabbed the base of John's cock. John clenched his teeth, momentarily forgetting how to breathe as Sherlock sunk down onto his cock.
He let Sherlock set the pace, watching as Sherlock braced himself on the bed and began to move up and down, taking John down to the root and then easing off. "Kiss my neck." Sherlock instructed, his mouth falling open with pleasure. John sat up slightly and attached his lips to Sherlock's throat. "Don't leave any marks, they're a pain to cover up with makeup."
John should have known Sherlock would be bossy even in the bedroom. Sherlock began to speed up, bouncing up and down on John's cock, and John couldn't help participating a bit more. He braced his feet on the bed and brought his knees up, using the leverage it provided him to thrust up into Sherlock.
"Oh." Sherlock gasped. "Oh that's it."
John wrapped his hand around the nape of Sherlock's neck and brought him down for more kissing. Distracting Sherlock with his tongue, John used the opportunity to flip them over, miraculously managing to stay inside Sherlock. Sherlock blinked up at him from on his back, looking confused. John couldn't help chuckling.
"I think…" John slowly kissed along Sherlock's chest, wrapping his lips around the right nipple and sucking until it was hard. Sherlock arched underneath him and wrapped his legs around John's waist. "What you need…" John braced one hand on the bed, the other grabbing the headboard. He did a few slow thrusts, testing until he found the one that made Sherlock writhe beneath him. "To let go of that control a bit."
"John…" Sherlock looked up at him wide-eyed, the irises of his eyes almost completely gone.
John thrust in again slowly, loving how tightly Sherlock's body was wrapped around his cock. At least the condom would make things last a bit longer than they would if it were bare. That would have been embarrassing because Sherlock felt way too fucking good.
"John…" Sherlock let out a noise suspiciously like a whimper and John moved his hips a bit faster. Sherlock tilted his head back and John couldn't help kissing his throat again, feeling the vibrations of Sherlock's moans against his lips.
John started to lose himself, his rhythm becoming erratic as he felt a familiar uncoiling in his stomach. He took his hand off the headboard and wrapped it around Sherlock's prick, wanking him quickly. "Oh- Oh - Oh." Sherlock cried out as he came onto his stomach. His body seized up, tightening around John's prick until he couldn't hold on any longer. "Oh Christ, Sherlock." He groaned, feeling is orgasm rippling through him. "You're…" John was cut off as he grunted, emptying himself into the condom.
John slumped onto Sherlock and rested his head on Sherlock's chest, turning his face to the side and willing himself to breathe again. They were both sweaty and Sherlock's stomach was covered in his semen, making everything feel sticky. "Oh God." John managed to get out when he finally got some air into his lungs. He managed to prop himself onto his elbows and pull out, grabbing the base of the condom so it didn't slip off. Rolling off of Sherlock, he tied off the condom and looked around a moment for the rubbish bin.
"To your left." Sherlock informed him and John chucked it in.
"So…" John sat up and rubbed his hands together nervously. "I'm assuming you have more experience with this than I do. So what happens now?"
"Why do you assume I've had more experience with this sort of thing?"
"Uh, because I've never shagged someone on a shoot before?"
Sherlock flopped onto his stomach and wrapped his arms around a pillow, bunching it up under his head. "That's not what Irene Adler told me. Or Soo Lin Yao. Or Sarah Sawyer. Or James Moriarty." The last one was said a bit accusingly and John couldn't help grimacing a bit. He knew Sherlock and James were considered rivals.
"Hold on, that's not –"
"In fact, you've got quite the reputation Mr. Three Continents Watson. One that almost exceeds my own."
"Well I wouldn't go that far." John smirked and settled himself back down onto the bed so he was face to face with Sherlock. "Do I detect a hint of jealousy Mr. Holmes?"
"Keep dreaming, Mr. Watson." Sherlock shot back.
John chuckled and reached behind him, grabbing his camera off the nightstand. He sat up and snapped a quick photo. Sherlock stared at him incredulously. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Don't worry." John smiled. "That one is just for me, for posterity's sake. And just so you know, all those encounters you heard about wereafter the shoot had already wrapped, not during. So in that regard you're rather unique, which is why I have no idea what to do now."
"Now, I take a shower because I'm rather disgusting. Then you and I get lunch because for once I'm actually quite hungry, sex tends to have that effect. After lunch we do the rest of the shoot with the clothes provided by GQ, then we promptly take the clothes off and have sex again."
"And then…?" John prompted, moving across the bed until he was straddling Sherlock's lap. He snapped another picture when he actually caught Sherlock smiling.
"You know I don't cook right?"
"Not a problem, I know a charming restaurant not far from here. I get all my meals for free."
"Owner's a fan, I take it?"
"I have a lot of them."
"Does that sound agreeable to you?"
"Just one little change to the plans."
"What is it?" Sherlock asked in annoyance.
"I could really use a shower as well."
The corner of Sherlock's mouth turned up into a smirk. "My shower is big enough for two."
"You know, somehow I thought it might be." John giggled until Sherlock pulled him down a silenced him with a kiss.
"Wow, John, these are breathtaking." Molly went through the memory card from John's camera with a few choice pictures taken off it. John was tired and sore from his day with Sherlock but had still managed to get up to meet Molly for coffee. "They're so…intimate. The way Sherlock is looking at the camera, it's like he's begging to be shagged, don't you think?"
John nearly inhaled his coffee and went into a coughing fit. Molly slapped him a few times on the back until John got a hold of himself. "Yeah, it does look like that, at bit."
"Which one are you going to choose for the cover?"
"Well Sherlock has creative control so that's really up to him and the editors at GQ."
"The Hickman gallery is doing an exhibit of your pieces next month and they want you to attend their gala night. Should I make your usual excuses?" Molly asked, pulling out her phone and ready to text the owner of the gallery.
John put his hand over her phone to stop her. "Actually, I think I might go this time."
"What?" Molly stared at him in disbelief. "You never go to these things."
"Well, I think I might have a date." John told her, blushing slightly.
"Who? Who is it? Not Irene. Sarah? Janette?"
"Nope, none of them."
"John, this coffee shop is ghastly and there's a much better one just two blocks away. I can't imagine why you wanted to meet here of all places."
Sherlock had walked in around the time Molly had started listing off John's exes. John watched as Molly's eyes bugged out as she turned and saw Sherlock Holmes standing next to their table.
"I happen to like this coffee place. I know the one two blocks away and it's pretentious." John argued, putting a few bills down onto the table and standing up.
"It is nothing of the sort."
"You would say that you posh twat." John shook his head and smiled at Sherlock fondly. "Where are my manners, Sherlock Holmes, this is Molly Hooper my PA. Molly, you know Sherlock."
"Pleasure." Sherlock held out his hand and Molly shook it still looking dazed.
"Sorry Molly, I've got to run. But yeah, tell the Hickman I'll be there with a plus one."
"Right." Molly replied, still not having collected her chin off the floor yet.
She watched as Sherlock and John left the coffee shop, still arguing as they went but unable to keep from smiling brightly at each other.