If you were to approach John Watson on the street and ask him to pinpoint just when this whole thing had begun he would tell you in no uncertain terms to "Piss off", but truthfully, he does not know. When their relationship had started was a blurry issue, somehow they had shifted from the comfort and familiarity of living together, to what it is today. There are certain things you come to expect from living together, certain things that become 'normal', eventually you ARE going to walk in on your flatmate in the shower ("Fuck, sorry Sherlock!"), or watching porn ("Honestly John, in the living room?"), those things are commonplace - they're embarrassing but you get over them. There are certain things that are less common, which is how this all actually happened:

John made tea. Always. It was habitual, he'd wake up at a reasonable hour to find Sherlock already awake and often doing something spectacularly dangerous, or sometimes doing something as mundane as reading the newspaper he'd stolen from Mrs Hudson. Regardless of what Sherlock was doing, John would hand him his mug of tea (or coffee if he was on a case - the caffeine helped apparently) and get on with his day. Then, one day, as John was handing Sherlock his mug of coffee (black, two sugars), their hands brushed, the most fleeting touch imaginable. It was something they had never done, yet it went unsaid that it was okay, new but normal. It went unmentioned that morning, and every morning afterward, but from then on, their hands touched, briefly, over every morning cuppa - without fail.

Nothing had changed in their day to day lives, they certainly had not been a 'couple' (in the romantic sense of the word) at that stage, they still argued and ran around London solving crimes like fictional characters, John still slept average hours and ate at regular intervals while Sherlock did nothing of the sort. Apart from the tiny touch of fingers against the heat of a mug, they were still very much themselves.

Then there were things John did that irritated Sherlock, to no end, things he couldn't place, or couldn't understand. His change of seat, for example, was uncalled for. John was a creature of habit, and nine times out of the proverbial ten he would sit in the armchair closest to the fireplace, and one day he inexplicably sat on the sofa. Every possession, every piece of furniture, every problem in the flat was officially 'theirs' (apart from the Skull, that was Sherlock's), but Sherlock felt he had some sort of stake in 'their' sofa, and John sitting there ought to have inhibited him from sprawling out like a cat and sulking, perhaps John had done it deliberately to stop him sulking? Either way, Sherlock was not the sort of man to let a little thing like an actual human being sitting in his spot bother him. He stretched languidly out on the sofa, his feet on John's lap. John didn't even look up from his book (some godawful novel Harry had insisted he read), just accepted Sherlock's new position without question, and Sherlock got on with his sulking. And just like that, the sharing a sofa became a thing, when they trailed home from a long, long day of crime solving, patching up patients, or some combination thereof, John would take 'his' seat on the edge of the sofa, and Sherlock (in a sulk or not) would lay across it, his ankles propped against John's thighs.

The variation to this came weeks later, countless mornings had passed with the casual brush of their fingertips, many evenings had been whiled away absently sharing the sofa. Then Mycroft came to visit, unannounced but not unexpected (well, not unexpected by Sherlock, John had remained blissfully ignorant until the rap on the door came one unremarkable afternoon) and that had thrown their seating configuration into turmoil. Mycroft had perched himself in John's usual chair (or his old 'usual' chair) , and Sherlock had immediately taken the other armchair, opposite, putting as much distance between himself and his brother as possible while still being in the same room, leaving John with no choice but to take position on the sofa, preferring Sherlock to Mycroft he'd shrugged off his usual seat on the sofa to sit at the opposite end, beside Sherlock's armchair, a move that didn't go unnoticed by Mycroft, though he had the good grace to say nothing about it. He'd prattled on for some inane amount of time about Sherlock's lack of communication providing him undue turmoil and distress ("Dear me, next you'll be telling me I'm the cause of your recent comfort eating induced weight gain, what is it four, five pounds?"/"Shut up, Sherlock.")

Sherlock had picked up his violin, and played his brother out of the flat (or rather followed him down the stairs until Mycroft was no longer his concern), stomped back upstairs - still in his dressing gown (his best one, the plaid one, the one he always wore when Mycroft popped by, that ought to have been John's first clue), laid his violin down with the tenderness one might offer a newborn baby, then flung himself unceremoniously onto the sofa, in his usual direction - except… John wasn't where John always was, or had been lately, he was on the other seat, meaning Sherlock's head was in his lap. This was the first time either of them acknowledged the change in their dynamic. John quite calmly said
"You're the wrong way round." To which Sherlock casually replied.
"No, you are." They'd both chuckled softly at this, laughed the way friends do. Sherlock deemed this situation, however unorthodox to be acceptable, more comfortable than pressing his neck against the armrest at any rate. Neither had made the conscious decision, but from then on, John sat there on an evening, and Sherlock was not about to change the way he lay on the sofa, and so Sherlock's head in John's lap became a regular thing.

Sherlock possessed the unique ability to function completely perfectly whilst horizontal, so spent his time laid across John either texting Lestrade, reading a book, or fiddling on John's laptop (with only a slight incline of his head required to do the latter), John mostly watched the telly, as he couldn't blog with Sherlock on his lap. Every night the same routine, whatever the day had brought them, they wound up in the living room of their flat, on their sofa, together - chatting idly or otherwise. After that things stagnated, there was little to no progression on the physical front for many months. And that was fine.

Then there was a case, a three patch problem, and a whole week of John catching sleep where he could, and Sherlock running on caffeine and nicotine alone. Sherlock was surprisingly grateful for the tea that evening, when it had all wound down, a rare
"Thank you," escaped his lips as he downed the mug in two gulps (still scalding mind). John sat in his usual place, and Sherlock joined him without a moment's hesitation, laying his head in it's favoured position. John sipped his tea at a more sensible pace and flipped through the television, the sound down low. Settling on some drivel Sherlock would have normally scolded him for, he set down the remote on the chair arm, and began absently carding his fingers through Sherlock's curls. To this day, John could never pinpoint the exact colour of Sherlock's eyes, they seemed to loiter in a hitherto unknown region of green, danced mercilessly on the border of blue and hinted flirtatiously around the colour grey all at the same time, that was unimportant, but that evening John looked down to see Sherlock's eyes - whatever colour they were, fluttering closed, trying valiantly to stay open and failing miserably. John glanced at the clock, it was just gone 4pm.
"I'll be up for a few more hours yet, if you want to sleep." He'd said it so calmly, soothingly almost - one could argue it was said lovingly, either way it was music to Sherlock's ears, and he allowed his eyes to slip shut, revelling in the gentle feeling of John caressing his hair.

Looking back, and speaking literally, that was the first time they had slept together, even if John had only drifted off for half an hour during a rather drab American sitcom rerun. There was a certain amount of trust shown both ways, to allow themselves to be vulnerable for just a short while. After that incident, things seemed to increase tenfold, whether intentional or not, their hands brushed more often than the morning coffee, Sherlock actually fell asleep on more than one occasion in John's presence, and then there was of course the cab rides home, where they'd sit closer together than was strictly necessary, thighs touching.

Merely a week after they had first 'slept together', they had terrible luck with flagging down a cab, Sherlock's miraculous habit of hailing a taxi out of thin air had failed them, and they had begrudgingly decided to walk the mile or so home. If the brief coffee cup touch had been John's move, the next was most definitely Sherlock's, they walked in each other's shadows, winding their way down the London streets -alone, together. It was all done in the blink of an eye, Sherlock's hand had knocked against John's as they walked, and without thinking, without needing to give it a name or work out why it had happened, Sherlock closed his freakishly long fingers around John's palm. The fact that John had not been surprised spoke volumes about their progress, there was no sputtering of 'Sh-Sherlock what are you… we're not…. I'm not even gay!', no raised eyebrows or suspicious glances, just two men, alone in the dark, holding each other's hands in unspoken agreement. Their conversation had run dry after the non-existent cab had failed to show, but it was not an awkward silence, a companionable one. John only let go of Sherlock's hand when he had to fumble in his pocket for his key to the flat - a task that one day would become Sherlock's, but not that night.

After that, John started refusing dates, not that he had women clamouring to go out with him mind, a total of two practical strangers had asked him out, and he said no. He stopped actively flirting with other people too, perhaps a reflection of his budding relationship with Sherlock, or it may have been due to the fact they simply did not interest him anymore - after all when you lived with someone as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes, the rest of the population of London seemed oddly dull in comparison.

The lingering touches became innumerable following the hand holding, too many to catalogue, a brief squeeze of Sherlock's shoulder while John was clearing away the dishes, Sherlock's chest against John's back as he reached for something in the cupboard above him while John made tea, Sherlock leaning over John, hands on his shoulders, while he was blogging case details, the list was endless. And let's not forget the kisses, which started sometime vaguely around that point. John had been on his way to work, they had shared the typical morning coffee touch, John had leaned over Sherlock's shoulder to read something on the paper in front of him, said
"27 across, cinnamon. I'm off to work," and then he'd placed the briefest, gentlest kiss imaginable on Sherlock's forehead. If it was ever going to become awkward between them, then would have been the moment. Instead Sherlock had coolly put forward
"Of course, have a nice day.," and John had been on his way to another day of tending to sneezing children and creaking OAP's at the clinic.

And it was always that way round, John kissing Sherlock on his head on his way out the door. Always. Until it wasn't. Until Sherlock had decided to start going to bed just a little earlier than John, for the sheer excuse that he got to mumble
"Goodnight," in John's ear, and place his lips to John's cheek. And damned if it wasn't a lousy excuse, John knew that Sherlock wasn't heading to his room to sleep - in fact, more than a few times Sherlock had come back downstairs within an hour, and proceeded to lay across John on the sofa and play on the laptop. Still - excuses or no, it became a ritual. In the morning, after the brushing of fingers (and it all harks back to that in the end, the casual meeting of skin on skin) John pecked Sherlock on the forehead, and on an evening, after the intimate head-on-lap game, Sherlock would plant the proverbial one on John's cheek. Routine, habit, call it what you will, it became normal - or whatever passed for normal at 221b Baker Street.

The world still turned as it always had, the rain still poured in merry old England as it was prone to do, and the stars still sparkled up above as they will continue to do for many millennia. Nothing had changed, and yet everything had changed. They'd never talked about it, never mentioned it or acknowledged it at all, just another steeple of their relationship.

Everything thus far had been private - in the comfort and relative safety of 221b, or after dark when they were certain they were alone. This all changed with a phone call from Lestrade, a case, and a dead body in a ginnel, they'd shared the taxi over, as usual, met up with Lestrade, Anderson, Donovan and the corpse laying face down in an alley.
"John, may I borrow your pen knife?" Sherlock asked quite clearly, as he surveyed the young man laid dead in front of them, with interest. John had at that particular moment been tying his shoe lace and just muttered a vague
"Yeah, gimme a minute." Sherlock was impatient, always had been, always will be, so he swept the distance between himself and John, slipped his hand into the back pocket of John's jeans, and retrieved the pen knife. John had always been allowed in Sherlock's pockets, the man was a nuisance, asking John to fetch things from articles of clothing he was already wearing, but this was the first time Sherlock had been in John's pockets, and of course - John didn't mind.

He didn't even mind when Anderson and Donovan began muttering conspiratorially, or when Lestrade raised an eyebrow and coughed awkwardly. It was, and would continue to be none of their business, so nobody mentioned it, they didn't mention it again when Sherlock returned the pen knife to its original place, even though John was perfectly capable of taking it back himself. And so, John's pockets became a shared aspect of their day to day lives, just as everything else had it easily slipped into their behaviours as a common occurrence, even in public. Keys, credit cards, and the pen knife, became Sherlock's right, whether they were shoved hastily in the pockets of his coat, or tucked intimately in the pockets of his jeans, Sherlock had full access.

You might think it odd that despite all this, they'd never really discussed it, especially as loquacious as Sherlock is - still, it went on unsaid, every minute detail being catalogued, repeated, but never mentioned. The closest they came to talking about it was when John arrived home with the shopping one afternoon to find Sherlock on the computer (John's computer, actually), he leaned over Sherlock's shoulder to see what he was looking up, and was pleasantly surprised to see Sherlock was googling 'How To Kiss', it was endearing and despite their unspoken agreement that they didn't talk about themselves as a couple, he couldn't resist the comment.
"Cute," Sherlock bristled at the compliment, he did not like being referred to as 'cute' by anyone, least of all John. "But you know the best experience is hands on practice." He added.
"I'll keep that in mind, could you make the tea?" He spoke remarkably smoothly for a man who had just been caught surfing the web for the most basic of relationship commitments. John just chuckled and went to put the kettle on, truthfully he'd always known that Sherlock was quite inexperienced in the relationship department, and perhaps that ought to have bothered him a little more than it actually did, yet he made no more allusions to the subject of kissing, he knew it would all come in time.

It did of course happen, eventually. As with all their progression it was painfully slow, almost a year after the accidental(?) brush of fingers over that morning coffee, they shared their first proper lips-to-lips kiss. Unlike their previous private revelations, it happened in front of Molly of all people. Sherlock had been analyzing some specimen under the microscope at St Bart's, his one at home simply wasn't as powerful as the hospital-standard one, so he'd dragged John half way across London so he could look at pollen. Molly and John had retreated to a corner to talk in peace (peace in this instance means conversing without Sherlock glaring at them every time they opened their mouths). Molly had announced she was seeing someone new, perhaps in the hopes of getting a reaction from Sherlock, his only response was to twiddle the dial on the microscope and scribble another note in his pad.
"Not another serial killer?" John had asked playfully, and Molly had turned the colour of a tomato and stammered
"N-no, not this time." embarrassedly.

"You deserve a decent break Molly." John had said in earnest. "The sort of guy who'll take you to dinner and buy you flowers." Molly's shade of scarlet amplified, but before she could thank John for the kind comments, Sherlock had flown out of his seat and over to John.
"Flowers in the romantic sense! Of course! The victim had a lover! John you're brilliant!" He cheered, looking at John as though he was a miracle, something sent from the heavens for the sheer purpose of helping him solve crimes. John blinked, Molly blinked, Sherlock swooped down and took John's face in his hands, kissing him firmly on the lips. Molly squeaked and stepped back, knocking over a beaker. As soon as it had started it had finished, and Sherlock had ran off, mobile phone in hand, presumably to let Lestrade know he'd identified the killer. John stood there in shock for a moment, allowed himself a brief moment of sentimentality as he raised his fingers to his lips, whatever Sherlock had found on Google it had served him well, as John was fairly certain no kiss had ever left him that speechless. He only dwelled on it for a moment, before coming to his senses and helping a still flustered Molly clear up the glass.

The kissing did not become commonplace as easily as each other step had done, it probably would have done, if not for the turn of events that took place only two days after the first kiss. Now, I don't want to cause you alarm, but John was shot. Don't panic, he was not mortally wounded. He had of course been doing something reckless at the time, having pushed Sherlock out of the way of an armed suspect (whom Sherlock had promptly dispatched when he realized John was bleeding). It was, thankfully, only a flesh wound, barely a graze really, yet John had still been admitted to hospital, to have the wound on his hip seen to. The ride in the cab home was tense, for the first time in months it had not been a comfortable friendly silence, Sherlock had bitten his tongue no fewer than twelve times to stop himself demanding answers from his flatmate and almost-lover. John had pointedly looked out of the window, away from Sherlock, the entire journey. Sherlock didn't get John's keys out of his jacket pocket, and perhaps that was the first clue that things were not quite right between them, John getting his own keys, letting them into their flat, silently.

John had gone up the stairs to their flat, followed all the while by Sherlock, still deep in thought.
"Right well… think I'm off to bed." John's voice was strained, he didn't look back, didn't even approach Sherlock for their usual goodnight-kiss-on-the-cheek. He headed for the stairs toward his bedroom, and was half way up before he noticed Sherlock was still following him. His foot hesitated on the stair just long enough for Sherlock to register it. Sherlock panicked, turned on his heel and headed back down towards the living room, apparently frightened off by John's moment of uncertainty.
"You can come up." The words were out of John's mouth before he'd even properly thought it through. They both stood, facing opposite directions, failing miserably to think quietly, neither sure whether they should broach this topic once and for all. John sighed, effectively ruining the moment and continued back up the stairs, Sherlock, finding no solace in his own head, followed.

They'd undressed in silence, the gauze on John's hip a painful reminder of why they were here, both in the same room. John changed into his pyjama pants, and Sherlock stripped down to his boxers. They took their turns in the bathroom, before laying down in the same bed for the first time. They both knew they were laying shirtless at a turning point, yet the Baker Street boys were stubborn, neither wanted to be the one to bring it up, so John mumbled a half hearted
"Good night." before turning off the bedside lamp. Due to the injury on his right hip, John lay on his left side, his back to Sherlock. There was a blanket of silence laid over them just waiting for one of them to lift it. Silence. Then… an almost imperceptible sniffle, the slightest shaky intake of breath, and the minute shudder of the body beside him. John was momentarily grateful for the fact he could not roll over, he thought, no matter how close they were, that it was wrong of him to intrude on Sherlock's moment of weakness, so he waited, waited until the silence had claimed them once again before he spoke up.

"I'm okay, really," He whispered. He felt it rather than saw it, the movement beside him as Sherlock's long spidery fingers hovered over the bloody gauze on John's hip, then a voice, closer to his ear than John had previously believed Sherlock laid
"You could have died." His tone muted, but there was a definite strain to his voice as he watched his own fingers dance over John's wound.
"I didn't though." John spoke firmly, letting Sherlock know the conversation was over. Silence surrounded them once again, and Sherlock's hesitant hand lowered, resting not on the injury, but above it, on John's waist.

So, with not nearly as much ease as the other changes, John's bed became their bed. John didn't realize it was such an official statement until Sherlock made it so several weeks later. Coming home from work, after the brush of fingers and the kiss on the cheek that had started his day, he had expected to arrive home and settle onto the sofa with Sherlock in his lap as he always did. He wandered in however, to find their flat looked a bit like a bomb had hit it (and John had thought, with a slight shudder, that it was a distinct possibility) on closer inspection though, it appeared nothing more dangerous than Sherlock had ransacked the flat. There were boxes everywhere, and clothes littering the staircase towards John's room like some fairytale breadcrumb trail. John stood still for a moment, trying to process the bizarre scene, before he shrugged. This was not that unusual in regards to 221b, so he followed the trail of Sherlock's clothes up to his bedroom to where Sherlock was sat, amidst the bombsite - if downstairs had been bad, that was the epicentre.

Every item of clothing John owned was strewn across the floor, the bed, the window ledge and across the bedside lamp.
"Are you going somewhere?" John asked calmly, trying not to laugh at the fact that Sherlock had a sock between his teeth and a pair of trousers flung over his forearm. Despite their growing… whatever-this-whole-thing-was, John did not put it past Sherlock to plan on moving to Siberia without telling him.
"Mmm moovmm mm." Sherlock said - with a mouthful of sock it was hard to decipher, he sighed seeing John's puzzled expression, removed the sock from his mouth and repeated himself - which he was loathed to do. "I'm moving in. Your sock index is atrocious by the way." He added, by means of a reprimand. John just chuckled.
"Fine, but you don't have to be a genius to know you can't fit twice the amount of clothes in a space that's previously housed one person's." Sherlock glowered at him, the thought had obviously already occurred to him. John shook his head affectionately and laughed. "I'll go make tea?" He suggested.

And just as John's bed had become their bed, John's bedroom had become their bedroom. The clothing dilemma was solved by a few carefully donated boxes to charity, and lugging Sherlock's wardrobe up the stairs. Sure it meant John had to put up with Sherlock arranging both of their clothes - but he found he didn't mind that much. So his socks were now in colour order, and he apparently had to wear certain colours of underwear on Mondays - it wasn't a big price to pay for waking up next to Sherlock Holmes every morning.

Some nights Sherlock actually slept, and on those nights they stuck to their respective sides of the bed as Sherlock found it difficult to drift off in an embrace. Most mornings, the mornings following a sleepless night, John woke in Sherlock's arms, an entanglement of limbs. It was those mornings John loved, finding Sherlock's scent through the haze of unconsciousness, the feel of his deceptively warm body pressed against him tugging him through the realms from the dream world to the real world, lean muscular arms dragging him further from sleep.

Sherlock never told John that he slept better when he knew John was there, at the other side of the bed. John never told Sherlock that he wasn't visited by his old army demons when he fell asleep in Sherlock's arms. They didn't need to tell each other. They both already knew.

And that was how their days passed. They'd wake up an entwined entity, John would make tea, their fingers would brush, John would kiss Sherlock's forehead on his way out the door if he was leaving, and sit on the sofa with Sherlock's head in his lap if he wasn't. Even though they now shared a room, they didn't go to it at the same time, so Sherlock still placed a kiss on John's cheek before bedtime. It became their everyday routine, and they didn't let the little things like Mrs Hudson's squeal of delight when she walked in on them curled up on the sofa, or Anderson's not so subtle tongue-wagging with Donovan in darkened corners of crime scenes, stop them. (In fact Anderson's facial expression of disgust seemed to spur Sherlock on, and he was prone to spontaneous public displays (never anything more than a kiss on the cheek though) of affection whenever Anderson was in the vicinity.)

The next step ought to have been obvious, but when you're Sherlock Holmes, 'obvious' is all relative, which is why he was surprised to wake up one unremarkable Sunday morning with an erection. It was not unheard of, but not an event he'd found interesting or problematic since his teens. Glancing to his left he realized John was already awake, though barely so. Sherlock would have quite liked to while away the early hours of a lazy Sunday with John nestled comfortably in the crook of his arms, but his current predicament prohibited it.
"Bothersome." Sherlock grumbled absently, laying back and allowing a puff of air to escape his lips. John, still hazy from sleep, raised an eyebrow, before propping himself onto his elbows.
"Oh…" He said, realizing what Sherlock meant was 'bothersome', as the duvet appeared tented over his desire. Sherlock huffed and stared at the ceiling, he was not embarrassed, but certainly something akin to it. "Well… that's new." John acknowledged casually.
"Just ignore it, it'll go away eventually." Sherlock murmured awkwardly, and John shifted slightly closer, apparently not put off, apparently not disgusted by the knowledge that Sherlock was an ordinary man, driven by hormones and desires just like every other man in London. (A thought that made Sherlock positively wretch in distaste)

"You know…" John said apprehensively, knowing he had to be careful here. "There are other ways of dealing with it, other than ignoring it I mean." Sherlock allowed his gaze to fall from the ceiling, briefly glancing at John, who looked - oh fuck. That was doing nothing to help his problem, John looked sleep-addled, his hair mussed from laying on the pillow, but what wound Sherlock up was his pupils - they were dilated. John waited patiently for a response, hovering, wondering if he'd crossed the line. Sherlock diverted his eyes again, a tiny hint of pink on his cheeks. He was not used to the lack of control over his mind and body, and thus shocked himself when he replied
"What…" Well, that came out higher pitched than he'd hoped for. He cleared his throat. "What exactly did you have in mind?" John smirked ever so slightly and moved even closer, laid at Sherlock's side (his wound long since healed)

'Slowly' John told himself, feeling the fragility of the moment, which vanished as he placed his finger tips at Sherlock's collar bone. The tiniest touch of fingers, but it provoked a reaction from Sherlock, whose breath hitched, John's fingers played on the sensitive skin at the base of Sherlock's neck, in no hurry. He drew small circles on the exposed flesh and marvelled at how in tune with it all Sherlock was, it only occurred (not for the first time, but for the first time in a while) to John why as he trailed his digits slowly down Sherlock's chest - Sherlock hadn't done this before. This was all something new, he shot Sherlock a look that said a thousand words, thanking him for trusting him with this, thanking him for their unspoken yet obvious love for each other, and above all: asking permission as his fingertips slipped over Sherlock's abdomen and reached the waistband of Sherlock's pyjama pants. It was a subtle, blink and you'd miss it movement, but Sherlock nodded.

Silently, John lifted the hem, dragged the offending article of clothing downwards, he didn't remove them completely because that would have meant moving away from Sherlock - even if only briefly. John allowed himself to look, and it should have been weird, entangled in a blatantly sexual situation with another man was not something he'd ever done, but it wasn't weird in the slightest. He hadn't dwelled on the notion of sex with Sherlock - he wasn't even sure that Sherlock experienced arousal, but he was everything he'd expected him to be, his erection stood proudly, probably a little thinner than John's, but a good inch or so longer, long and thin - just like the detective himself, the head was flushed a brilliant red in anticipation, a tantalizing droplet of precum pooled in the slit. John found himself wondering what Sherlock would taste like - but dismissed the notion almost immediately, now was not the time for that - he concentrated instead on the matter at hand. Literally.

He took Sherlock in his dominant (left) hand, and began with a simple stroke, the effect on Sherlock was instantaneous, he gasped and his hips twitched, so John did it again, delighting in watching Sherlock fall apart before he'd even really started. He brushed his thumb over Sherlock's weeping tip, smearing precum onto his palm for better lubrication. John didn't find it at all difficult to pleasure Sherlock this way, he'd done it to himself too many times to count, and knew what felt good and what didn't, he twisted his hand on the upstroke, flicked his thumb over the glans, and Sherlock was a wreck, his fists in the sheets, his skin glistened with a sheen of sweat, his back arched in a bow, his head digging into the pillow, eyes clenched shut and that perfect mouth open in perpetual surprise. John felt himself grow hard against Sherlock's hip, but it wasn't about him - not that day. He lowered his lips to Sherlock's throat, running his tongue over the salty skin. Sherlock groaned at the dual sensation, unused to such carnal pleasures, overwhelmed by heat and electricity coursing through his blood. He gasped as John tightened his grip ever so slightly, and John knew he was close. Forcing his lips to part with Sherlock's neck he shuffled up and captured his lips.

It was still only their second ever kiss, and they should probably have practiced that more before delving into morning hand jobs, it was all in the wrong order, but it didn't matter. John had no difficulty in slotting his tongue between Sherlock's parted lips, the kiss lazy and slow in contrast to what was going on below. Sherlock's hips were acting of their own accord now, thrusting upwards into John's fist. Sherlock made a noise in the back of his throat and John swallowed it with the kiss, he couldn't take much more, Sherlock was close, and John was unbelievably turned on. Surely Sherlock wouldn't mind if he… John wriggled slightly, freeing his right arm from where it had been trapped beneath him, and with none of the grace or respect he'd shown for Sherlock's body, thrust his hand down into his pants, palming his own stiff length. Sherlock forced his body to co-operate, his hand flying to John's hair and tugging him backwards ever so slightly to break the kiss.
"Let me see." He panted in a brief moment of lucidity. John scrambled to comply, shucking off his pyjama pants entirely, and trying not to feel self conscious as Sherlock stared hungrily at him jacking them both off. He only held Sherlock's attention for a few moments though, before the consulting detective was swept away in sensation once again. John's right hand, clasped around himself, was clumsy, it was not doing a great deal to aid his arousal - however, Sherlock was. His breathy pants, his desperate moans, his body shuddering, were all doing fantastic things to John's libido which more than made up for his lousy masturbation.

Sherlock arched upwards once more, he didn't come down this time, frozen in a curve, his entire body stilled and John instinctively sped up, pushing Sherlock over the brink, the black haired beauty cried John's name out as he came, for the first time under another's ministrations. John eased him through it with a few clever pumps of his wrist, thick hot cum seeping beneath his fingertips. As the high wore off, Sherlock collapsed mumbling unintelligible half-words. He wanted to return the favour, make John feel as amazing as he just had, but his body could and would not move from its sex induced haze, and he lay there, trying to remember how to breathe. His mind had never felt so blissfully blank. John didn't seem to mind, and switched to his left hand (still covered in Sherlock's essence) continuing to jack himself off. Using Sherlock's cum as a lubricant was a better sensation than John could have previously imagined, his hand slid smoothly over his own shaft, and with a final glance at the utterly debauched Sherlock he hit his climax surprisingly quickly, the image of the lanky detective in his post-coital delirium was burned into his retinas as he came. Unlike Sherlock's elegant shudder, John jerked and twitched erratically, spilling himself over his palm and onto Sherlock's angular hip.

Having just fallen to pieces, John fell instead to the bed, half laying across Sherlock, who looked as messy, sticky, and as well and truly fucked as John felt. They lay like that for what seemed like hours, but in reality it was mere minutes.
"Tissues in the top drawer." John murmured, having experienced the post-orgasmic haze before he recovered faster than Sherlock, and had to nudge his lover (if that was the right word) into action. Still slowly, as though moving through a thick fog, Sherlock recovered the tissues, which John took wordlessly and began using to clean them both off. John was properly awake by that point, gave Sherlock a quick kiss on the cheek, and pulling his pyjama pants back on for decency, shuffled off into the kitchen to make tea.

He'd just boiled the water when Sherlock appeared behind him, clad in nothing but John's bed sheet. John handed him the mug, and allowed their fingers to brush gently. Symbolic. They'd just taken a huge step and they were both okay. More than okay. It was Sherlock, who broke their unspoken rule of not discussing steps as they sailed passed them. As he sat on the sofa, his bare feet on the coffee table, beside John who had pulled his laptop onto his lap to answer some emails, he voiced
"Next time," Because there would definitely be a next time. "I plan on returning the favour."

And he did. Several times in fact. It was something like Pandora's box, Sherlock had discovered the pleasures of a hand job and was more than happy to partake in the giving and receiving of them regardless of the situation - which lead to some rather interesting events and ended up with John trying (and failing) to calmly explain to Sherlock that a morning romp in their own shower was okay but a hurried fumble in the bathrooms at Scotland Yard was frowned upon to say the least. (Sherlock had rebutted with the oddly convincing argument that so long as they weren't caught, there was no problem)

Of course with such an addictive personality as Sherlock had, hand jobs just didn't cut it after a few weeks. They were amazing but he wanted more. He had done is research thoroughly, in the hours John was at work, decided on the next step all on his own. Then came the waiting game. Luckily their current arrangement was conducive to his slightly devious plan - all too easy really. After the morning cup of tea, the casual hand brush, John's kiss on his forehead, another day packed with research (and by research, let's be honest, we mean porn. Lots and lots of porn), John came home for the evening, made them both another cuppa, and settled into his usual place on the sofa. Sherlock ignored his tea - it was a kind offer, but his mind was fully focused on what he was about to do, so he laid down, his head on John's lap as he always did. The evening thus far had been entirely ordinary, which is perhaps why John was taken by such surprise when Sherlock turned his head and positively nuzzled John's crotch.
"Bloody hell!" He exclaimed, nearly spilling his tea on Sherlock's head. He'd laid his cup down on the table before Sherlock continued, nosing at the fabric of John's jeans.

In an ideal world, John would have been wearing something a bit thinner, Sherlock later mused that he probably should have waited until John was in his pyjama pants before attempting this, but it was of little importance. Even through the thick denim, the result was desirable, John growing hard from the external stimulation - or possibly the thought. Sherlock's tongue darted out and he ran it experimentally over the bulge in John's trousers.
"What exactly are you…" John started, but he didn't finish as a glare from Sherlock silenced him. Right then, no talking. No surprises there then. Sherlock pressed his lips to where he knew the tip of John's erection was, mouthing him gently through the infuriating fabric, which was growing slightly damp from having Sherlock's mouth on it. It was only when John squirmed uncomfortably beneath him that Sherlock knew the time for teasing was over. With surprisingly deft hands he unbuttoned and unzipped John's jeans.

And there were certain things that could not go ahead without talking about it, and Sherlock's tongue against John's boxers was one of them
"Sherlock." John managed to get out, more turned on than he'd care to admit. "You don't have to…" He started, because it had all gone unsaid. John was the one who was experienced, and thus he should be the teacher, Sherlock had never done any of this before - and yet here he was with his head in John's lap in a blatantly unfamiliar and sexual situation. Sherlock ought to be scared - apprehensive even and John felt he ought to appreciate that more - go slowly for Sherlock's sake, but Sherlock looked at him with those damn eyes of his, saying a thousand things even though a single word never fell from his mouth.
'I want to' went unsaid, but still very much meant, and despite his reservations - John allowed it. He sat back and said nothing as Sherlock went to work, shucking John's jeans down to his knees, and his boxers down his thighs, before taking John's weeping tip into his mouth.

The thing about watching internet porn, is it leans towards fantasy and fiction, more than realism. And so Sherlock, despite having hours of research under his belt, was completely clueless. John would not speak of it, but for lack of a better word, Sherlock was horrible, and the dawning realization that he was no good at this came with the odd gasps of pain as he sucked too hard, the awkward murmurs John emitted as Sherlock's tongue did things not quite right. Occasionally he did something right, and was rewarded with a moan, but for the most part it was painfully wrong.

Sherlock however, believed himself to have a trick up his sleeve so to speak - he'd seen the actors and actresses on John's laptop do it, and it had seemed so easy. In an attempt to bring John the pleasure he sought, Sherlock lunged forward, trying to take John in in his entirety, to deep throat him. He hadn't counted on his gag reflex, which reacted violently to the sudden intrusion and he pulled back, coughing and spluttering bewilderedly. John's eyes were kind, even though he was evidently uncomfortable, this had not been what Sherlock was going for - he'd rather hoped to have John writhing in unbridled pleasure at this point, and Sherlock Holmes was nothing if not determined.

So he continued with the wrong amount of suction and an unholy level of teeth. John's hand slid down the sofa, reaching out for Sherlock's zipper, and Sherlock pulled off (more like dragged himself off) John's cock only briefly enough to hiss
"Do. Not. Distract. Me." He warned, before continuing. John was painfully aroused, and Sherlock's complete lack of practical knowledge on this subject was not doing much to help, very rarely Sherlock would do something completely and utterly perfect, and John thought he could get off on that - end this, but Sherlock did not stick to one technique long enough to push John over the edge.

After an agonizing thirty minutes of what should have been a mind-blowing blowjob, John had to resort to desperate measures, and completely block out the sensation, focusing instead on the visual stimulus at hand. Sherlock's head in his lap, his mouth bobbing up and down (and slightly sideways…) over his erection (which was just pleased enough to be sustainable), that perfect cupid's bow of his stretched around his member. And those thoughts, coupled with the muscle-memory of Sherlock's hands tugging at his cock at an earlier date, were enough to tip John.
"I'm gonna…" He issued, in fair warning to Sherlock, who looked more pissed off than a man with a dick in his mouth ought to. Sherlock did not pull off, and with one last memory (of Sherlock laying out utterly debauched in their bed) John found himself cumming, in what had to be the least pleasurable orgasm he'd ever had. It left him feeling drained and exhausted and completely unsatisfied. Never before had cumming left him feeling so hollow. It was partially John's fault, he should have known Sherlock was not ready, and ought to have stopped him. Sherlock finally released his wilting prick from his vice like grip, and sat up at the other end of the sofa, swallowing with a slightly curious look on his face.

That emotion, the one that was not quite embarrassment, but something akin to it, rose on Sherlock's face. He looked so raw and open, so completely human.
"I'm sorry, that was not nearly as easy as the internet made it look." Sherlock mumbled, looking away from John to hide his shamed face. John sighed, and tucked himself back into his boxers, wriggling his jeans back up.
"It wasn't that bad, for a first try." He offered, but even he knew he sounded condescending and false. Sherlock made an indignant noise in the back of his throat, he did not like being patronized. He had performed lousily, and felt John ought to admit it and be done with it. Maybe be done with him? Was a lack of oral proficiency grounds for a break up? Didn't a break up imply that they were a couple? John ran his fingers through his hair, sighed once more, and looked at Sherlock uncertainly - there was no handbook on how to react in situations like this. He didn't know if what he was about to suggest was going to be taken as an insult, but if he didn't do something Sherlock would recoil and isolate himself for several days in one of his infamous strops.

"I could show you." John offered eventually. Sherlock's head was still facing the opposite direction, determined not to look John in the eye. He gave however, a minute nod. John crossed to him, and placed a kiss on the taller man's forehead, Sherlock's 'I'm-okay' mask faltered slightly at that display of affection. John leaned forward, one knee on the sofa beside Sherlock's thigh, and turned Sherlock's head toward him, seeking his lips. Just before they kissed, John noted Sherlock's expression - he looked like a scolded child, as though he'd done wrong. Sherlock didn't do 'wrong', was so used to being right all the time that he was lost, unsure and possibly a little bit frightened at the thought that he could very well be out of his depth. John captured Sherlock's lips, in a desperate plea to convince the detective that he was not wrong, that despite the fact the blowjob had been terrible, John was grateful for the attempt, thankful that Sherlock had cared enough to try to please him. He ran his fingers down Sherlock's cheek trying to reinforce that message. Sherlock seemed to give in to the kiss, even if he didn't understand the sentiment behind it.

John pulled back, only slightly, laid his forehead against Sherlock's, stared into those wide, hopelessly confused eyes. He placed another feather light kiss on Sherlock's lips, before reaching behind him and grabbing one of the sofa pillows. He lay it on the floor, for the sake of his knees, before kneeling down on it, between Sherlock's legs. Sherlock's erection had flagged the moment he realized how futile his endeavour to suck John off was, but it rose to attention once more as John began trailing his hands up and down Sherlock's clothed thighs. John shot him a cautious glance, silently wondering if this was okay. Sherlock said nothing, he didn't even nod this time, just spurred him on wordlessly, willing him to continue.

John wasn't entirely sure what gave him the authority on this aspect of their relationship. He'd certainly never sucked a cock before, but he did have the advantage that he'd had it done to him often enough (admittedly, by women) to know what was effective. Sherlock had spent the day in his pyjamas, so when John got around to removing them, he didn't have to deal with the underwear, sliding the thin material down over Sherlock's bare legs, leaving them pooled around his ankles. Faced with the reality of giving another man a blowjob, John had thought he might worry, but this was Sherlock Holmes, and he could imagine nothing greater than giving this man the ecstasy he deserved, but again this was Sherlock Holmes, so it had to be done delicately, slowly, so as not to spook him and send him running for the hills. John started at his knees, long lazy open mouthed kisses that wandered from his left knee, up his left thigh. He stopped when he heard Sherlock gasp in apparent satisfaction, his half hard cock swelling in anticipation. John withdrew, kissing instead at Sherlock's right knee, drawing out each lap of his tongue longer than was strictly necessary as he made his way up Sherlock's inner thigh. His tongue inking a promise on Sherlock's vulnerable skin, his lips ghosting invaluably on the quivering flesh.

Sherlock could not take his eyes off of John, who was already overwhelming him with the sensations of his mouth without even having laid his tongue upon Sherlock's erection. Sherlock wanted to take notes, catalogue John's movements for future reference, so that one day in the not too distant future he would be able to return the favour, that thought - however well intended, flew out the window the minute John's careful, promising tongue licked a strip from the base of Sherlock's cock, to his weeping tip. Sherlock couldn't see straight as John lapped at a droplet of precum on his head, and he couldn't remember his own name when John took that head into the warmth and wet of his mouth, welcoming Sherlock's manhood with a fervour. Sherlock groaned, unable to keep himself from doing so. He could not keep silent as the doctor's tongue swirled deliciously over his tip, and failed miserably at staying quiet when John's wicked lips slid further up his shaft. John was momentarily grateful for the fact he had just climaxed, however poorly, because it left his mind blissfully clear, he was able to take care of Sherlock without the fear of his own arousal compromising his motions.

John alternated between suction ("God yes!") and licking ("Oh fuck!") He moved with certainty and confidence, and was unashamed when, while rolling Sherlock's cock between his tongue and his soft palette, he had the brainwave to use his hand too. He took the base of Sherlock's length in one hand, using it to his advantage. He was under no delusions of his abilities, he was not about to attempt to deep throat for the first time on an actual human being (his cock gave a painful twitch at the still-fresh memory of Sherlock's attempts to do so) but he found that his hand covered what his mouth could not reach, using his hand as an extension of his mouth he dragged a hazy and incoherent Sherlock closer to the edge. He brought his other hand up, massaging Sherlock's testicles as he sucked and jacked him off at the same time.
"John Hamish Watson in the name of all that is holy…" Sherlock panted breathlessly, and John took that as his warning. John made a slight humming noise around Sherlock's width and the vibrations caused Sherlock to writhe desperately in his seat, hips rising in a last ditch attempt to be pulled further into that sucking heat. Sherlock panted and gave out a noise that sounded like a cat being strangled as he came, hot and heavy streaks of cum against John's tongue.

If John were completely honest, he didn't care for the taste or the texture, and he had a newfound respect for the past girlfriends he'd had who'd swallowed it on a semi-regular basis, he found himself nearly gagging as he attempted to swallow, and in the end stood up and went to the kitchen sink to spit it out. Coming back into the sitting room he found Sherlock had not moved. He was laid with his head tilted back, his legs spread out, drooping cock settling between his legs once more, and his chest heaving with deep breath. John stood behind the sofa, ran his index finger up Sherlock's curved throat, before placing an upside down kiss on his lover's (?) lips, rousing the sated detective.

The next few weeks saw Sherlock taking a backseat to John's sexual wisdom, allowing John to practice new techniques on him, and only returning the favour with hand jobs until he felt confident enough to try again. He was almost certain he'd still be terrible at it, due to the fact he was rendered completely incapable of analysis whenever his dick was down John Watson's throat, he didn't think he'd been able to pick up a single tip, but he underestimated his subconscious mind, and when his pride had sufficiently recovered from the initial knock, Sherlock was capable of performing fellatio - he was by no means an expert (though he improved more and more each time - and was in no way embarrassed when he asked John repeatedly for the opportunity to practice) but he was able to bring John to orgasm each time - and every time he did it felt like a win. Sherlock allowed himself that pride, because it was not a selfish one, allowed himself to be happy that he could bring John happiness, satisfied that after a fair amount of practice he could have John a writhing, wriggling, melting mess of a man.

And for the longest time they were stuck. It wasn't a bad place to be stuck in, and John was certainly not going to complain when being stuck meant that Sherlock woke him up by practicing every other morning. Both parties knew exactly why they were loitering on the oral sex phase - because the next step would be irreversible. Not that anything they'd done up until that point was delete-able, but there was something very definitive about sex. It would be life-changing, would alter their dynamic forever, and there would be no going back after that - not that either of them would want to.

So they stayed the way they were, months passed, both men content in seeking pleasure only from the other's hand or mouth (frequently, often and repeatedly), neither daring to push the other further. And that was fine, really, it was all good.

In the end, it was Sherlock who brought it up, around two years after the first brush of hands, while they lay curled up in their bed one dark autumnal night.
"When it comes to penetrative sex," He began, his voice collected, measured, his hand absently drawing circles against John's spine as he cuddled into him. "Would you prefer to be the one penetrated, or the one doing the penetrating?" John looked thoughtful, but only for a moment, because truth be told he was no idiot - he'd known this was inevitable and had given it a lot of thought (a lot of thought… more than was probably healthy). He sat up slowly, looking down at Sherlock, he stroked his cheekbone with the back of his fingers.
"Honestly?" John answered. "I don't mind either way. It's not set in stone, I wouldn't be adverse to switching it up every now and then." This did not appear to be the concrete answer Sherlock was looking for, and he looked slightly perplexed.
"If I said I wanted it, right here and right now, who would be 'on top'?" He asked, and John had to actually think about that one.
"Right here, right now?" He repeated, buying himself a few more precious seconds. Sherlock nodded firmly, still staring up at John, unerringly resolute. "Me." He concluded.
"Why?" Sherlock asked, he was unsurprised by this answer, had been expecting it. John was a former heterosexual after all (John had once scolded Sherlock for referring to John as a 'recovered heterosexual'), it made sense that he'd prefer to hunt than be hunted so to speak. What Sherlock was not expecting, was John's next answer.

"Because I want to be your first." John said, leaning down and placing feather light kisses against Sherlock's neck. "I want to be the first to lay you down, have you naked and open and vulnerable…" John murmured against Sherlock's throat, bewildering and stunning Sherlock to silence. John never spoke like this, so candidly, so freely. They never talked about themselves as a couple. "I want to be the one to show you just how much I love you." And Sherlock froze, his entire body stiffened, it took John only a fraction of a second to realize what he'd done. Sherlock sat bolt upright, knocking John backwards and away from him.

"Shit, Sherlock I…" John started, but Sherlock was on his feet already, and left the room hurriedly. John groaned inwardly and lay his face in the pillow, willing himself not to shout at it. How could he have been so stupid? He'd broken all the rules. They weren't meant to talk about it and he had done. They were meant to go slowly, and he'd blurted. He wasn't meant to scare Sherlock, and he'd terrified him. Above all he'd told Sherlock he loved him, when he wasn't entirely sure if it was reciprocated. John listened very hard, wondering what Sherlock was doing downstairs - he could hear no movement at all, not even the whisper of bare feet on carpet as Sherlock paced. John knew there was little point in following him, Sherlock simply would not speak while his mind was processing information, and John had just hit him with a bolt that was apparently from the blue.

How could he not know? The man was a genius, it should have been obvious. Then again, he was little more than a child when it came to emotional matters, perhaps he'd truly had no clue. John wanted to rewind the clock, take it back and fall asleep in Sherlock's arms, but he'd put his foot in it now, and would have to face the night alone. If there were any justice, he'd have been unable to sleep, his brain however was traitorous, it lured him in with the promise of respite via sleep, but he awoke no less than five times throughout the night, haunted by thoughts of tomorrow morning, when they'd have to face this head on. In some of the dreams Sherlock was cold, told him bluntly that it was all over. In some he banished him from the flat, others he wanted to go back to being friends - and John didn't know which thought scared him the most. The idea of never seeing Sherlock again, or the painful reality of living with him knowing his love could never be returned.

At 5am he gave up trying to sleep peacefully, stared at the ceiling with darkened eyes. He had to face the music eventually - the inevitable. Because if Sherlock loved John in return he wouldn't have run off. and if it was all one-sided then it was quite obviously over. All this John knew, and it weighed heavy on his heart as he dragged himself out of bed at 6.30am, not bothering with a night robe, just his pyjama bottoms. He forced his legs to work, to get him down the stairs in one piece. He leaned against the doorframe, watching Sherlock pace the living room. He'd evidently been up all night, pacing silently, his fingers steepled beneath his chin.
"Sherlock…" John attempted. Sherlock waved his hand at him, dismissing him, knowing that if John spoke it would clutter his thought process - he couldn't have it clouded now. John sighed heavily. "Come on, we have to talk about this." His voice was tired, worn, he was hurting and Sherlock didn't know how to cope with John when he was hurting.
"Is that how people do it?" Sherlock demanded, his voice more of a bark than anything, he didn't stop pacing and he didn't look up at John, he was scared to, because he knew that if he looked at John, saw the pain etched on his face, he would fall apart. He could not fall apart right now. He needed answers.
"Do what?" John asked, trying to keep the exasperation from his voice.

"Show another person that they… that they care." He stumbled over the words, practically spat the word 'care' as though it was something disgusting. "By having sex with them?" His voice was rough, agitated. John had expected cold or cruel, he'd expected immediate dismissal. He hadn't banked on Sherlock being angry.
"It's one of the reasons people have sex, yeah." John had to admit he was a little lost at this point. If Sherlock was going to break up with him, John wished that he'd do it quickly. Sherlock's pacing picked up, circling the sofa so fast he made himself dizzy. He was muttering to himself. Incoherent things. John caught the words
"Obviously." and "Of course." and "How could I have been so stupid!?" Before Sherlock finally stopped and turned to face John, still leaning against the doorframe for support.

"There has been a change of plan." Sherlock said decisively.
"Oh?" John gulped, trying to brace himself. Expecting the worst. Sherlock nodded firmly, and within seconds he was in front of John, tugging him to the left, pinning his hands above his head, pressing him into the wall. John could only blink cluelessly, Sherlock had never struck him as a particularly violent man - sure he'd had his moments on cases, but he'd never been this aggressive, this forceful - not with John. And forceful was definitely the word, he had John trapped against the wall, John didn't want to escape - but if he had, he didn't think he'd have been able to.
"I'll be taking you." Sherlock whispered, his tone firm and strong. "If you're amenable." John closed his eyes for a moment, wondering when the conversation had taken this turn. When he opened them he found Sherlock's eyes were practically on fire, they were searching John's every facial expression, delving into his soul,. John was used to being analysed by Sherlock, being observed and deduced like he was a puzzle. This was different. It was intense and uncomfortable.
"Okay…" John said slowly. "Why?" He had to ask. There was a fury on Sherlock's face, but John understood - in that moment he knew, Sherlock's hatred was not directed at John - it was internal.

"There are things…" Sherlock started, the vehemence in his voice was chilling. "Things I can't say. Things I just can't process. When I'm with you there are a thousand thoughts happening at the same time, nerve endings firing off, I just can't John." He hissed. "Every time I try it gets stuck! There are things…" Sherlock repeated, the anger dying in his voice, replaced with a hopelessness, a very human fear. "Things I need you to know John." And had John been able to move his arms, he would have wrapped them around Sherlock, yet Sherlock still held him still, and John realized Sherlock was not trying to trap him - Sherlock was trying to stop him running away. His eyes were telling a story, like they always did. It was a short story this time. Screaming - 'Don't go, don't leave me.' They were begging him.
"I know." John said gently, because he hadn't known, not until that very moment.
"How could you possibly know?" Sherlock asked, and John hated to hear the pain in his voice.
"Because I meant what I said." John didn't raise his voice, keeping it soft and soothing, trying to calm his blatantly bonkers detective. "I love you." and Sherlock visibly recoiled at those words, fixing the carpet with a glare, knowing he wasn't strong enough to return the sentiment. "Sherlock look at me." John ordered. And Sherlock did, because he could not say no to John Watson.

"I love you." John repeated a little louder. "And who gives a flying fuck if you can't say it back to me." he said earnestly. Sherlock gulped, he hadn't been expecting that - at all.
"You deserve someone who can say it." Sherlock whispered, his grip lessening on John's wrists as he began to sink into a depression.
"Don't you dare tell me what I deserve, Sherlock Holmes." John said, he didn't remove his wrists from Sherlock's grasp, despite the fact he then could have fought if he wanted to. Sherlock looked so helpless, confused, and it was rare to see him like this - so stripped bare and utterly human. "Show me." John said firmly. Sherlock blinked. "You said you wanted to take me - I'm yours." John said simply. The look on Sherlock's face was incredulous, as though he couldn't believe what he was hearing. He'd just slammed John against a wall in a fit of rage, told him that he may never be able to tell him he loved him, and here John Watson was, as he ever was, by his side - putting up with his stunted emotional growth. Sherlock gulped and slowly released John's hands, they settled comfortably into place on Sherlock's shoulders.

"Okay?" John asked tentatively. Sherlock nodded mutely, because despite his beliefs that John deserved better than all that he could offer, he felt he had struck lucky, John was the only person in the world who didn't mind that Sherlock didn't feel the way normal people felt, that he could express his emotions no better than the kettle could. All his life Sherlock had been made to feel like a freak because he didn't work to the evolutionary standard of what was and wasn't human - and John still stood there bold as brass and said he loved him for it, and that sentiment, the one that had finally been said after months… years of going unspoken, was enough to stun the great Sherlock Holmes to silence. So he did the only thing that felt right in the situation.

He leaned down and placed a kiss on John Watson's expecting lips, allowing himself to melt against the doctor, whose hands were winding into his hair to deepen the kiss. He tried to put it all into that kiss, every word he couldn't say passed over his lips and onto John's, his tongue sweeping John's bottom lip - begging him for the chance to redeem himself. John opened his mouth very slightly, a non-verbal acceptance of Sherlock's apology (that really John didn't deem necessary). Their tongues entwined, their bodies flush, the mood had changed drastically, it wasn't tense and frightening any more, there was a fever behind the kiss but no fury, just passion, lips and tongues and teeth making love in their own way, it was a pity they needed to come up for air.
"Bedroom." John instructed when they did, and a shiver of anticipation ran down Sherlock's spine. This was it. He nodded as best he could, and reluctantly pulled away from the warmth that was John, but not completely, he left his hand in John's, and allowed John to take the lead, tugging him gently up the staircase and into their bedroom.

When it came down to it, the cold hard root of John and Sherlock's relationship, was that John would follow Sherlock anywhere. If Sherlock stepped into traffic, John was never far behind, ran unarmed into gunfire - John was there… heck if the man jumped off a bridge, John would most likely follow. That was just how they were, how it had always been. Fully aware of the risks and dangers, John Watson would follow Sherlock Holmes anywhere. It was only then and there, at that moment, with John leading Sherlock up the stairs, John entrusting Sherlock with his mind, body and soul, that Sherlock realized he too would follow John to the ends of the earth.

They entered the bedroom knowing full well what they were letting themselves in for, a giddy sort of anticipation flowing through their veins, they stood hand in hand, facing the bed.
"We don't have to…" John started, but Sherlock cut him off, raising his finger to John's lips.
"Yes. We do." He said clearly, and John kissed the finger that was shushing him before being gently pushed onto the bed and laid down. For the first time John's body was Sherlock's to explore, and it thrilled Sherlock to know he could. Columbus and Magellan had nothing on this, on John Watson laid out in front of him, Sherlock could have wanted for nothing more, no territory he'd rather stake a claim to than this. That thought was nearly overwhelming, so Sherlock decided to start slow, with the familiar.

So there was kissing, lots of kissing. Because Sherlock knew how to kiss, he was good at it (John had told him so, thank you very much), he spent an indecent amount of time, half dressed and wrapped up in John, just snogging him senseless. John's lips against his a silent confidence boost, and he'd need all the confidence he could get - despite the make out's growing intensity, Sherlock found himself completely and utterly unable to get hard - his body was willing, but his mind kept drawing in on itself, reminding him of how terrible he'd been at a simple blowjob the first time. There was a lot more that could go wrong with anal sex, and yet John apparently trusted him with the task. The conclusion: John must be a madman.

But a kind, caring madman, a madman who had sensed his lover's discomfort, knew just what was running through his partner's (in so many senses of the word) mind - and said nothing. Instead he roved his hands over Sherlock's bare chest, settled them on his shoulders and gave a gentle, reassuring squeeze. Emboldened by this tiny display of John's love for him, John's open, blind, never wavering trust, Sherlock drew his kisses away from John's lips, down to his neck, nibbling and sucking lightly against his sweat-slick throat. John's knee worked itself carefully upwards, between Sherlock's thighs, nudging insistently at Sherlock's failed arousal, forcing the detective out of his mind and back into his body - it was awfully difficult to stay cooped up inside his own brain when John Watson was rubbing against him just so. So Sherlock gave in to the physical, into his silently begging doctor, began biting just a little harder at John's collar bone, leaving tiny red territorial marks - because John was his, or he was about to be.

Back to his exploration, Sherlock began to lavish attention on John's chest - he'd never really had much cause to before, perhaps a little backwards in their progression but all their activity up until that point had been very much below the waist. He placed gentle feather-light kisses over the scar on John's shoulder, an unspoken promise that he would never allow a pain like that to befall him again, John gently stroked Sherlock's hair at this part - just to let him know that he understood. Sherlock noted how John's face flushed as Sherlock licked a careful trail over his pectorals, and enjoyed the breathy gasp he emitted when Sherlock sucked at one nipple (which hardened instantly at the touch, Sherlock would later catalogue this information, but was too distracted at that point to really file anything away.) John had not desisted his ministrations, his thigh grinding against Sherlock's erection, but he knew it was not his turn. He would have his chance to explore Sherlock, to worship every inch of him, but not then - another day, a day when it wasn't about Sherlock. Because that's what it came down to - it was Sherlock's way of showing him what he couldn't tell him, showing him that he loved him, and John could not complain about that, only offer a stifled groan as Sherlock's tongue dipped experimentally into his navel.

Reservations aside, Sherlock did not hesitate to strip John of his pyjama pants, exposing him. There was comfort in that familiarity, Sherlock knew what to do here, knew how to tip John from aroused to desperate. He lowered his head and scattered kisses first over John's hips, tongue darting out and licking the salty tang from the surface of John's skin, he squirmed delightfully under Sherlock's ministrations, the kisses became nips, and when he reached the fleshy part of John's inner thigh he bit that little bit harder than was necessary - sparking something deep and primal within his lover, John always got off on that tiny bit of pain mixed with the pleasure, Sherlock licked the angry red bite, soothing the welt with his tongue as John growled out a positively indecent moan. Long dextrous fingers wound their way around John's backside, fingertips skirting artfully around his target before zeroing in, rubbing a slow circle against John's entrance with the pad of his index finger. A slight gasp, a twitch, then nothing. Sherlock straightened up, drawing himself up John's body and connecting their lips once more, freeing one hand to reach into the bedside drawer.

The bedside drawer had changed dramatically over the last few months, when their relationship had turned sexual, John had placed some lube in the drawer beside the tissues - useful and practical for the occasional morning wank, when things had progressed, John had thrown a box of condoms in there too - for future use. When Sherlock had discovered this, he hadn't balked at the impending prospect of sex, he in fact became quite intrigued and had spent several nights analyzing the prophylactics under a microscope (John, wisely, said nothing about this - Sherlock had always been a little odd). He had eventually declared that while they were fascinating, he didn't like the feel of them - again John had said nothing, but he had gone to the clinic. A few days later, a piece of paper had appeared in the bedside drawer, proving John Hamish Watson to be clear of any known STDs. Sherlock did not have to be a genius to take that hint, he had all the necessary laboratory equipment to do his own testing, but that would not produce the piece of paper like John's, so Sherlock had silently taken himself off to the clinic too (carefully avoiding John's shift, no need for awkwardness), and proudly placed his bill of good health in the drawer beside John's. Sometime shortly after that, the condoms mysteriously wound up in the bin (though, several promptly escaped the bin and found their way to Sherlock's microscope again)

Still French kissing John, Sherlock clumsily pawed around the drawer, finding the bottle of lubricant. He broke away from John and sat back on his heels, taking just a moment to enjoy the fact John Watson was laid naked in front of him, hair messed up, cock engorged, and flushed from head to toe, he did not draw attention to the small smile that flitted across his features, and instead focused his slightly shaking hands on opening the bottle. John propped himself up on one elbow.
"Need me to move?" He asked, still a little breathless.
"There is fine." Sherlock said, in a much calmer voice than he actually thought he would manage. Rethinking this, he grabbed a pillow and slipped it underneath John. "Here is fine." He amended. Sherlock squirted some of the lubricant onto his fingers, he had never been very keen on the texture of it (though John preferred it, Sherlock favoured the feeling of rough calloused hands against his cock, something to do with the friction he supposed) and smoothed it over his fingers. "Might sting…" Sherlock murmured, John nodded and lay back down. Sherlock was hesitant, careful, overly so, he dribbled a tad more lube on for good measure, before resuming. The flat of his fingertip sliding smoothly over the puckered hole between his lover's cheeks, Sherlock watched in slight fascination as the opening fluttered slightly at the attention. He lowered another kiss to John's hip, before daring to dip his fingertip in.

Sherlock had to admit that it didn't look particularly comfortable, and the wince that John failed to hide from him only confirmed that. In apology Sherlock offered more kisses, trying to distract John from what he hoped was not too much pain. He moved his fingertip slowly, tiny circles, easing John open. The muscle reacted as it should, yielding to the intrusion, giving Sherlock slightly more room. He was uncertain, that much was obvious, but he pressed his finger a little deeper - this time the reaction was pleasant, a slight
"Oh." tumbled from John's lips. Emboldened, Sherlock slipped his finger in in its entirety. John positively squirmed beneath him, and Sherlock did not know whether that was a good sign or a bad one, but took it to be a good one when John's hips canted forward slightly in encouragement. Sherlock retracted his finger, before pressing it in again, this time the 'oh' stayed on John's tongue, but his lips formed the right shape for it. Sherlock decided he liked John best like this, all his, all laid out for him and it was only as his overly long finger curled and apparently did something very, very right that Sherlock allowed himself to feel pride, nobody had done that to John Watson before, nobody had rubbed his prostate and caused his hips to snap forward involuntarily, his eyes to widen to the size of small saucers, and that
"Ho…whoa…" to escape from his throat like that.

Sherlock smirked, ever so slightly, that reaction was definitely favourable - in fact he was fairly confident that he could make John come from that sensation alone. Another day. There'd be time for that another day. He pushed John to that high once more, before pushing one more finger past the ring of muscle. Again, a wince, but it faded much quicker this time. Sherlock pumped those two fingers slowly into, and then out of John, very occasionally teasing his prostate with his longest finger. John was panting and writhing, and getting quite sweary - as John was prone to do ('Oh fuck Sherlock, fucking hell… I… oh fuck!') all good indications that he was enjoying himself. Sherlock tried not to think about how snug his two fingers felt inside John - because it did strange things to his body, and his ignored cock twitched in anticipation every time the thought swept unbidden into his mind. He encountered much less resistance with the third finger. John was doing positively delicious things at this point, his hips rocked steadily, lifting to meet Sherlock's fingers and lowering when they backed off, practically fucking himself on Sherlock's hand. His head was buried far deeper than normal in the pillow behind his head, his mouth slack jawed and his eyes clouded, pupils lusty and dilated.

The word practically fell off Sherlock's tongue, surprising both John and himself.
"Beautiful." He muttered. That single endearment was more than Sherlock had ever been able to utter, and the fact that he used it right then and there sobered John enough to nod.
"Ready when you are." Their eyes met, dark blue to whatever-the-fuck-colour-Sherlock's-eyes-were. Sherlock nodded back, and pulled his fingers free, he divested himself of his pyjama bottoms, freeing his erection. It had not flagged - how could it have when John was writhing and gasping and swearing so much. He grabbed the bottle again, hands shaking quite noticeably by this point. He smeared lube over himself, feeling oddly disassociated - this could not be happening to him. Sherlock Holmes, known to the greatest criminal mind in the world as 'The Virgin' sat here in front of a man who loved him enough to trust him with this, Sherlock felt a sharp pang in his chest, again at his inability to express those feelings to John. If he looked pitiful, John said nothing, he sat up, leaned forward and crashed his mouth to Sherlock's once more. Sherlock's hand tightened around his own shaft, partially in shock but mostly because kissing felt gloriously normal - something tangible, bringing him back to his own body once more, out of his head for good. John let him go, pulling only far enough back to lay his forehead against Sherlock's.

Any words of reassurance John could have uttered were rendered pointless in that simple motion. Trembling very visibly, Sherlock braced himself against John's leg, bent upwards and outwards, as he lined himself up and John lay back down. Easing himself into John felt miraculous, warm and tight and as familiar as the morning cup of coffee that had started this all. It was so right to be part of each other like that. John grunted slightly, but did not object - not when Sherlock threw his head back and gave a heady moan at being fully sheathed inside John. Patience had never been one of Sherlock's inherent virtues, but one he was learning with John's constant insistence, he forced himself to still, for John's sake. He did not think he could cope with hurting John any more than he had done. His eyes fluttered closed, and for a few moments there was silence other than heavy breathing.

John gave the indication to continue, a cautious rise and fall of his hips. Sherlock took the hint and opening his eyes he resumed play, rolling his hips back and forth subtly. Sherlock bit his lip at the sensory overload, if his brain had been anything remotely resembling functioning, it would have shut down and focused on just this, his dick sliding slowly out of John, only to disappear once more into that welcoming heat. John mewled appreciatively, rising to meet Sherlock's torturously slow thrusts. John had never experienced anything quite like this - being filled literally with Sherlock's dick, and metaphorically with everything Sherlock was silently conveying. His motion was gentle - loving even.
"Holy…" John whispered as Sherlock's tip brushed his prostate. The thought amused Sherlock slightly, this action was anything but 'Holy' in fact he was fairly certain that pleasure at this level had to qualify as 'sin'. Sherlock had done many things in his life that were not good, and had never felt so willing to go to hell (should it exist) for any of those things. He rolled slowly into his lover, earning more gasps and breathless pants.

Through the course of their relationship there would be time for hot, hard, fucking (over the kitchen table, on the floor in front of the sofa they'd fallen off while struggling out of their jeans, and that one memorable time against the door of 221 - when they'd been so consumed by lust that they hadn't even made it up the stairs (don't worry, Mrs Hudson hadn't been home)) but this was something much more. Deeper than sexual urge and need, some emotion that Sherlock couldn't quite bare to name etched on both of their faces, quietly screamed in the privacy of their own heads. Sherlock stroked John's insides softly, the tingling feeling rushing through his blood was almost unbearable - so he lowered himself over John, chest to chest, forehead to forehead. This changed the angle of his member inside John, apparently in their favour, because John gripped Sherlock's shoulders and groaned deeply. Sherlock had not stopped biting his lip, worrying it between his teeth as he looked John in the eye with a fevered intensity. He could feel John's breath ghost against his lips, but could not bring himself to kiss him when he was panting and gasping so wantonly.

Senses came into play, the feeling of John's skin against his own, the sight of John's pupils blown wide, the taste of his own blood against his tongue, the sound of his hips meeting John's buttocks with every slow, deep thrust. Sherlock thought he could do this for hours, give in to the sensation of making love with John for a mini eternity, John apparently had different ideas. With Sherlock laid over him just so, John had a little more movement of his legs, and a little less of his hips, he wrapped his legs around Sherlock's thighs, forcing the detective deeper.
"Oh." Sherlock murmured, lips inches from John's, taking the hint he began forcing the issue a little more, taking John with him with every lift of his hips, pressing him deeper into the mattress with each downward roll. Harder became faster, and whereas it was far from a scene from an erotic movie, it was enough for John, his cock rubbing a trail of precome over Sherlock's stomach between them. Sherlock had to lean up, away from John's face to support himself on one elbow, and grip John's furious erection with his other hand, stroking it in time to his bucking hips.

No moment in Sherlock's life compared to John throwing his arm across his eyes, crying out
"Sherlock!" as he hit his limit. Sherlock's vision went momentarily white as John clenched around him, the tightness overwhelming and taking over. John's cock twitched in his hand and emptied John's very vocal orgasm ("Oh, oh god, god yes, holy fuck, yes, Sherlock!") over Sherlock's stomach and chest, and his arsehole clamped onto Sherlock with a vicelike grip, with only a few more clumsy, desperate thrusts Sherlock spasmed violently, every nerve in his body on fire with the force of his own orgasm, spilling everything into John. Sherlock literally vibrated as he lowered himself, boneless, back onto of John, the occasional aftershock startling them both.

A moment of recovery was needed, but John had always been faster to recover than Sherlock, he groped at Sherlock's face, pulling him down to a half kiss (John was kissing, Sherlock lay there slack jawed and gasping) before murmuring.
"I love you too." Which was exactly what Sherlock needed to hear. Every muscle in Sherlock's body ached pleasantly as he forced his weight off of John, and rolled over to lay beside him, sticky and sated. He could not yet handle the post-coital cuddle, so instead intertwined his fingers with John's, as they lay on their backs, staring up at the ceiling, catching their breaths. Occasionally they offered each other a glance, a smile, a small squeeze of the other's hand - because that was all they needed.

It was some weeks later that John brought it up, over their morning tea.
"Does it bother you?" He asked carefully, handing Sherlock his mug, rubbing their fingers together in the way only they knew how. Sherlock raised an eyebrow in response. "Me saying 'I love you'?" Sherlock's brow was quite possibly the most expressive part of his face, and he then knotted it in confusion. John had told him 'I love you' at least once a day since that first confession, the unspoken agreement to keep their relationship non-verbal had gone out the window that day, and not once had it bothered Sherlock. He liked to hear it, it reassured him, gave him something to cling to, of course he didn't say that, instead he answered:
"No." Before sipping his tea. "Should it?" John let his shoulders fall, unaware he'd been hunching them in anticipation of the answer.
"No. Just… never know with you." John mumbled, ruffling Sherlock's hair before sipping his own tea.

Which of course, got Sherlock thinking. At first he could not understand why John thought it might bother him, he mulled it over for hours, long after John had kissed him on the forehead and gone off to work, and when it hit him sometime that afternoon, he flinched visibly. John thought it bothered him that John could say it, when Sherlock could not.
"Oh you idiot." Sherlock mumbled to himself, speaking to John even though he was not in the room. "I admire you for it!" He scolded his lover in his absence. He shook his head. Could John not see that his words filled Sherlock with a sense of pride? As had become the norm when Sherlock was overwhelmed with feelings for John, the minute John walked through the door that evening, Sherlock took him to bed. The sex was always amazing, whether John topped or Sherlock did, but it was always much more intense when Sherlock needed to show John how much he cared. The words would come eventually, but until the words came, they did.

The words came after a case. Remarkably easy, Sherlock would have called it 'boring' had it not struck a chord inside him. A young man, barely twenty, had slit his male lover's throat before hanging himself - murder, suicide - rather than 'come out' to his homophobic father. John had sensed it before even Sherlock had finished uttering the facts, had picked up on the nearly imperceptible droop of Sherlock's shoulders, the slightly softer tone to his voice, and of course by the time he didn't insult Anderson everyone knew. Sherlock often fell quiet - mainly for the process of thought, but all the way home he was deathly silent in a way John wasn't certain he'd ever seen of Sherlock, who held onto John's hand a little too tightly in the cab. The moment they entered the flat, still blanketed by that painful silence - so vastly different from their comfortable silences, John set to work making tea while Sherlock sat stiffly on the sofa, staring at his hands in his lap. It was not the first time Sherlock had come across as a child, told off for something he didn't understand, and it would not be the last.

Sherlock was doing what Sherlock did best - he was thinking. Unfortunately for him, he was over-thinking. Growing up he'd never had a girlfriend or a boyfriend, the closest he'd got to physical intimacy was that one girl in Uni who had misread his offer to tutor her (she had been remarkably stupid) and had taken him completely by surprise when she had kissed him. Sherlock had lived his life blissfully unaware of the pains love could bring. John had not, John had kissed and dated and had sex like any normal person. Sherlock wondered if John had ever had his heart broken by one of those women, Sherlock wondered if John ever dwelled on them. Most of all Sherlock worried that his influence may affect John more than John let on. Up until Sherlock, John had been very unequivocally, most definitely, irrevocably straight. Sherlock knew that Molly and Lestrade, Mrs Hudson and even Mycroft didn't care that John was in a relationship with another man - but there were people in the world that would care. Sherlock had never met John's army buddies, or had any contact with his rugby friends, Sherlock wondered if they would all be okay with John's sexuality, or if John's parents had still been alive if they would be at all concerned that both of their children turned out to be gay or bi or whatever it was John classified himself as - moreso, Sherlock contemplated whether John would care.

John handed him the cup of tea wordlessly, and Sherlock raised his gaze. No. Sherlock decided firmly. John would not care what other people thought of him. John was what he was, and John did not let anybody else's opinions affect that. John was a badass motherfucker who would probably not hesitate to punch whichever so called friend judged him for who he loved. Sherlock did not have the benefit of many friends, so did not know how he personally would react if someone he cared about cast aspersions on him. He didn't think he would be as strong as John was though. As much as Sherlock detested the opinions of other people, they did bother him more than he let on. The words 'freak' and 'psychopath' sprung to the forefront of his mind. He reached out to take the tea, but his hand shook as he did so, so much that he spilled a little on the carpet.
"It's okay you know." John said softly, sitting down beside Sherlock, and placing his own mug of tea on the table. Sherlock hesitated, he could not drink when he was this shaky, he put his mug down beside John's. "To be affected by it occasionally." John spoke supportively.
"It's not that." Sherlock whispered, staring at his quivering hands. He took a very deep breath.

He knew how John felt about him, John had proven time and time again that he would kill for Sherlock, die for Sherlock, he trusted Sherlock with his body and with his heart and that in itself was terrifying. Sherlock did not meet John's eyes as he said it.
"I love you." Sherlock breathed, clenching his fists so tightly that his nails dug into his palms. His entire life, Sherlock was certain, positive that he had never said those words to another human being, not his mother, nor his brother and certainly not to that girl at Uni. He felt John shift beside him, and place a hand on his shoulder. "But it scares me." His voice was barely there, the softest John had ever heard it, but he heard it loud and clear.
"Yeah." He agreed gently. "Love does that to you sometimes." Sherlock turned his entire body slightly toward John, who wrapped his arms around Sherlock. They stayed like that for some time, until Sherlock stopped trembling and their teas had gone cold. John carded his fingers through Sherlock's curls, and Sherlock clutched at John's jumper, neither one willing to break the embrace. It was eventually Sherlock who made the move, he sat bolt upright quite suddenly and looked John in the eye.

"I said it." He announced, with utter seriousness on his face. "I may not always be as vocal in my admirations as you, and you cannot expect to hear those words from me every day but they are there for when you need them. Know that I always mean them even when I am unable to express the sentiment." John smiled, and Sherlock loved it when John smiled, it always made the room seem a little bit brighter.
"I appreciate it." John replied in earnest and with it all out in the open they soon settled into their usual position, with Sherlock's head on John's lap, to watch bad telly until an appropriate hour to go to bed and not-sleep approached.

Sherlock was true to his word, he used the words much more sparingly than John, but he always knew just the moments when John needed those words more than anything. John reminded Sherlock every day that he was loved, that he was needed, Sherlock waited until John was in need - if he had lost a patient, or they had solved a case too late and someone had been injured because of it or if John was just having a particularly bad day Sherlock would tell him that he loved him. That worked for them. They were happy.

It would be a lie to say they were perfect, they had their arguments ("You have not eaten for FIVE DAYS Sherlock, you are not leaving this damned flat until you've had a square meal, no buts about it!"/"John, if you insist on throwing away the mould cultures I am studying I will not hesitate to desist all sexual activity until the matter is resolved." "Stop growing them on our bloody dinner then you prat!") and they had their weak moments, but overall they were happy.

Until they weren't. There are certain things you should never ever give Sherlock Holmes. A bag of cocaine would be a definite no. Access to government satellites would also be fairly high on the list of things you should never give him. However, the absolute most dangerous thing you can ever give Sherlock Holmes is an idea. The idea that threw the entire relationship into turmoil, the idea that jeopardized everything came in the form of a text message from Mycroft. That however, is an entirely different story and thanks to a few strings pulled by a certain 'minor' government official, it is against current legislation for me to divulge any more details on the ongoing matter.

If you were to approach Sherlock Holmes on the street and ask him to pinpoint just when this whole thing had begun he would tell you in no uncertain terms: "September 20th, 8.54am. When John's fingers touched mine over coffee." Before asking, in a slightly harsher tone "And who the hell are you?"

A/n: Done! This has been a labour of love, 19 pages of fluff, angst and smut! This has quite possibly been my favourite fic writing experience ever. The sex scenes weren't as hot as they could have been, I was going for emotion rather than physical sensation, I hope that came across well. There is also a lot of intentional repetition that I hope did not come across as bland. There is also a lot of intentional repetition that I hope did not come across as bland. There was a tiny shout out to 'A cure for boredom' by EmmaGrant01, which is possibly the best Johnlock fanfic ever, go read it and another subtle hint at Reapersun's red pants meme, enjoy looking for the references.

Reviews mean the absolute world to me: please? Please please please?