Disclaimer: Sherlock belongs to Moffat, Gatiss, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
A/N: I didn't get the chance to write a Christmas story so I thought a bit of smut for New Years might suffice instead. This was partially inspired by Ke$ha's "Die Young". There's a bit of smut but not a whole lot. Happy New Years!


The club is dark, loud, and filled with dozens of young people. It's exactly where John Watson does not want to be spending New Years Eve, and to prove it he stops dead less than a second after he's got his first full look at the place. The decision proves to be an unwise one as he's very nearly mowed down by the woman right behind him. She's wearing a very short, tight skirt and in spite of himself John can't help staring as he gets out of her way, and she laughs and gives him a wink and walks away with a twist of the hips that means she definitely knows that he's watching. His head is twisting to follow her progress when his arm is grabbed and he's pulled further to the side and around to meet the annoyed face of his sister.

"John, what are you doing?" Harry says. All of her excitement has dissipated, like a balloon poked too hard with a needle, and she's pouting and crossing her arms and giving him a look through her fringe that always used to get her way when they were younger. Considering, though, that at thirty-three years old she looks more like she's in her early forties, looks older than John even and he's the same age and freshly home from a long tour in Afghanistan, it doesn't do much.

"I'm thinking this was a huge mistake," John replies uncomfortably. How, exactly, did he let Harry talk him into this in the first place? He watches as her head snaps away, tracking the progress of a tray of drinks that is being brought to the nearest table, and oh yes he remembers now. Harry had begged him to escort her to the club. She's not supposed to be here, it's just giving her access to temptation, but she'd wanted to have a bit of fun on New Years Eve and, when she wanted to be and it suited her, she could be very persuasive.

Harry pouts. "It's not a mistake. I promised you that I would be good and I meant it." Her voice has a definite hint of a sulk. "Look, if you don't want to stay that's your decision. But we just got here and I am definitely not ready to leave yet."

He studies her face a moment longer and finally sighs, because he hasn't seen Harry look this enthusiastic about anything besides alcohol in several years. "Alright, alright, you win and you're right, I did say I'd come. You go have fun. I'll just..." He scans the room, a quick glance, and notes a selection of stools tucked up against the bar that are empty. "I'll be over there if you need me." He gestures lamely but she's not listening, not anymore, in the span of half a minute she's been swallowed up by the crowd and her bouncing blonde head is gone.

John picks his way over to the bar and eases himself down on a stool, grimacing slightly as his leg twinges with pain. The discomfort is minor but given time could become substantially worse, particularly since he didn't bring his cane along. He's pretty sure he stands out as it is without that extra bit. Everywhere he looks people are having fun and he's just... he's not. This is not fun. It never has been, not even when he was the age of most of the people in the room. Right now his shoulder hurts and his leg aches and he'd rather go back to his pitifully little flat and do what he does every night, which is stare morosely at the blinking cursor on his laptop until it gets late enough that he can justify going to bed.

Instead, he asks the bartender for a drink of whiskey and takes it with a nod of thanks, leaving it on the bar in front of him. He doesn't intend to drink it. Alcohol is a vice for his family and it's a path he can far too easily see himself sliding down. But over the course of the next twenty minutes he takes the occasional sip until his glass is empty and the bartender brings him another before John can even ask. He stares down at this one, at the odd way that the flashing lights of the club bounce off of the gleaming liquid, the way the pounding bass makes the bar and the glass tremble ever so slightly. He wonders if Harry is ready to go home yet.

"Scotch neat."

Just two words, spoken clearly and deeply over the thrumming music, catch his attention when paired with a solid heat that's suddenly appeared against his left side. The man is tall and handsome in a strange way, the sort of unique beauty models have that you never really expect to see in real life. He catches John's eye for a moment before blinking away and John sees why he's pressed so close; there's a gaggle of giggling girls who have descended upon the bar's far left side and are taking up most of the space. One of them sees John looking and grins and he smiles back weakly, the invitation may be there but he's never been less inclined to take it.

"Afghanistan or Iraq?" the man says and once again his voice cuts straight through the music with ease.

"Sorry, what?" John looks back at the man.

"I said, Afghanistan or Iraq?"

"Afghanistan," John says wearily, like what, is this another person who's going to come up and say thank you? Or one who will try to start a fight because they don't believe in the war? Either has become equally likely and he's not sure which one he hates more.

"Afghanistan," the man repeats, every syllable spoken with a sharp, clipped off sound. "And you're here with an alcoholic friend or sibling, my guess is sibling, probably a sister judging by the way you've got your hair styled. Must run in your family, you've been eyeing your drink like it's going to bite you for the past five minutes. Your second, I'd say, and the first went down a bit too easy." He looks John up and down idly. "You were sent home early and you don't fit in anymore, is that it? You were injured - where?"

"My shoulder," he says automatically before realizing what he's just admitted to. "Hang on, how did you...?"

"I deduced it," comes the simple response and it's immediately evident that the man thinks no other information needs to be supplied. He thrusts out a hand. "Sherlock Holmes."

"John Watson," says John, taking the man's hand. The grip is a strong one but not overly so, this is no show of power, just normal. He lets his fingers go lax but Sherlock keeps holding on and when John glances up those otherworldly eyes are staring at him and he utterly forgets how to look away. Sherlock twists his hand just a bit and rubs his thumb over the inside of John's wrist, pressing purposely against his pulse, and jesus, a full on shiver runs up his back and he feels a little like a blushing schoolgirl with her first crush.

"You are here with your sister," Sherlock says.

John feels a brief flicker of disappointment. Is Sherlock looking for an opportunity to meet Harry? He's half-tempted to lead with the fact that Harry has no interest in cock but realizes at the last second that's probably a bit not good. "Yeah, I am," he says instead, "only I'm not sure where she's gone off to." That, at least, is true.

"Blonde hair, like you?"

"Yes. How did you – " He cuts himself off when Sherlock reaches out and plucks a single, long blonde hair from his shirt, too long to belong to John. "Oh, right."

Sherlock's hand tightens and he says, "Come with me."

There is no hint as to where they might be going, and really this is madness, going along with a perfect stranger who seems to know impossible things about him at first glance, but then it's not the first time John has been called mad since he returned. He stands up and gladly leaves his drink behind, allowing Sherlock to part the crowds before them like the man is a king and everyone else his loyal subject. More than one woman and man gives him an appreciative look and John feels bizarrely proud to be the one that Sherlock is leading around. He feels oddly disappointed when he realizes that their destination is actually a common one: the seating that the club keeps along the rim, cast in shadows, and he knows what goes on here, and normally he'd back out but instead he's intrigued.

"Are you trying to ask for something?" he says, and to be honest he's also amused.

"No need to ask when I know the answer." Sherlock sprawls all over one of the chairs, a lush, comfy thing, and spreads his thighs. He does nothing so crass as to pat his legs but the implication is all there in the way he glances up at John, an invitation.

John stares at him and his initial reaction is to turn away because he doesn't really do this, doesn't have sex with strange men in clubs no matter how outrageously sexy and appealing said strange men may be. But he doesn't. He doesn't because he can practically hear Harry's voice now, mocking him for passing up this chance, pointing out how he hasn't been shagged since before he left on his tour and that's ages ago and really, Johnny, it's not like he's going to bite you so why don't you give him a whirl?

Sherlock smiles.

Without saying a word, John turns his back and sits, perching somewhat awkwardly on the edge and only leaning back when a long arm slides around his waist and tugs him up against a firm chest. And oh, he can feel it, nudging up against his buttocks, the firm bulge that seems much larger than he was anticipating. John swallows hard and knows that his heart rate is picking up, he's starting to have second thoughts about this - everything he's learned in med school about how dangerous it can be to have sex with strangers is flooding back - but before he can speak Sherlock reaches a hand around and palms his shaft, rubbing his hand firmly against the juncture of John's thighs. He gasps, startled at the sudden movement, and feels a bit dizzy since all of the blood in his body has abruptly changed course to head straight for his cock.

"Here," Sherlock says and it takes John a moment to realize that there is a mobile phone being pushed into his hands. Sherlock leans back further once John has taken the phone and winds his other arm around John's waist, and John looks up for just a second to see that they are entirely hidden in the shadows with no one the wiser, no one so much as looking in their direction, like they've ceased to exist once they're hidden. He shivers as Sherlock speaks, low and deep, right in his ear. "I need you to send a text for me, John. A woman's life depends on it."

"What?" John says.

"No talking. The text is to be sent to Lestrade." The hand rubbing at him stills and John blinks down at the phone. The model is unfamiliar but the phone itself is similar to the new one Harry just got. He opens up a new text message and finds his way, fumbling a bit, to the contact list. G. LESTRADE is the first name in Sherlock's list.

He wants to ask why Sherlock isn't just sending this message on his own but the ability to speak abruptly dies when Sherlock unbuckles his belt and slides a hand into his trousers and boxers. Really, considering how tight they are it's amazing his hand fits, but fit it does, all long fingers and cold but building up a searing heat really very quickly. John's eyes flutter shut at first contact and he sucks in a harsh breath through gritted teeth. His cock is fattening up now, fitting easily into Sherlock's greedy hand, and the pressure is just exquisite. No one knows how to handle a cock quite like another man, he learned that pretty early on back in university, and it's been a long time since anyone with as much skill as Sherlock seems to possess has touched him.

"Tell him," Sherlock says slowly, "that he needs to meet me here at half past eleven."

So in fifteen minutes, John judges with an automatic flick of the eyes towards the phone's clock, wondering with a private thrill what they can do in fifteen minutes. He begins to type out the text, trying his best to focus on the screen and the tiny buttons and not on the fact that he's getting a hand job in a club full of people, any of whom could look up at any minute and see exactly what's going on. It sends a strange buzz pulsing through him, the thought that they could get caught, the idea that if anyone were paying even the slightest bit of attention they'd know what's happening.

"Indeed. People see but they do not observe. How fortunate for you." And then that hand tightens, guiding his cock out of the confines of his trousers, giving them a little more space to work with. Sherlock slides his index finger and thumb around the base, making a tight ring, and breathes out heavily in John's ear, hot and wet and oh god now he's kissing the side of John's neck.

"What... what next?" He manages to stutter, disregarding Sherlock's rule about not talking. He's not sure the words in the text are spelling out properly but damn it he can only do so much and it's a frank miracle he hasn't chucked the phone across the room by now. His hands are sweaty and his fingers keep sliding across the buttons, making it difficult to get a good grip, and it doesn't help that Sherlock has brought the rest of his fingers into play with light, teasing touches across the swelling head, sliding them under the foreskin.

"The killer is going to be making his move at quarter to," says Sherlock.

That stops John in mid-type and he thinks, god I surely haven't heard that right. "Wait, killer?"

"Yes, John, do try to keep up." That hand, that bloody hand, tightens wonderfully and does a slow, lovely slide all the way up to the tip and stays there, his palm rubbing just the right amount of friction against the fraenulum. Sparks of pleasure are going off in front of John's eyes, or possibly that's the strobe lights flashing across the ceiling of the club, he's not even sure anymore. He squirms around because he wants to ask, needs to ask more questions, but Sherlock's other arm is still locked into place around his waist, keeping him absolutely still, and that just may be even hotter than the hand job.

"Who are you?" he rasps, wondering if he should really start trying to get free. He could get free, if he had to, only he's not sure he wants to, because this really is quite brilliant and after all Sherlock may just be a mad tosser and he sees nothing wrong with sex from someone who is mad.

"I told you. Sherlock Holmes. I'm a consulting detective. I'm here to catch a murderer but I needed to get by unnoticed and if not for a distraction I would have been. People never pay attention to couples. You were wonderful, John," Sherlock murmurs, never stopping the frankly wonderful movements of his hand. "I knew you would be, of course, that's why I picked you. Now please, I need you to be quiet and don't move. I'm still looking."

Oh god, John thinks somewhat hysterically, out of all the people in the bloody club I've gone and climbed into the lap of the psychopath. He squeezes his eyes shut and goes still save for the slight thrusting of his hips, which he couldn't stop even if he wanted to. The mobile threatens to slide out of his hands entirely and he fumbles, hits the send button before he can stop to think about whether or not that's a smart move to make, and bites down on his lower lip so hard that he tastes blood. He's nearly there, just at the edge, and it's not helping that Sherlock has started to, perhaps unconsciously, grind against him, little movements that are thrusting what feels like a nice large cock up against him even more firmly.

"Guh," he manages to gasp out, and it's a step in the right direction, not words but at least sound forced past what feels like a rapidly swelling throat.

Fortunately Sherlock seems to take this as the warning it is, but his hand doesn't slow for an instant, if anything he picks up speed, one long stroke from base to head before sliding back down, and John can't entirely hold back the groan that emerges as he spills over Sherlock's fisted hand, his body shattering apart and sagging back against the firm chest. A couple of people glance over in their direction and John can tell at a glance from the smirks that they're all well aware of what's going on, and it's mortifying on some level, he can feel the tips of his ears turning pink, but at the same time it feels oddly freeing in a bizarre way.

The phone in his hand beeps. He peers at the screen and says, "He says you're a right stupid bastard and that next time he's putting you into police cuffs to stop you running off on your own."

Sherlock chuckles, his chest rumbling pleasantly beneath John's back. "He is welcome to try. I'm well versed in escaping from handcuffs. Now," he adds, seemingly not noticing or caring that John's mind has spun completely off track at the image of Sherlock in handcuffs, "do you see your sister?"

"My sister?" Suddenly remember what he actually came to the club to do, John sits upright, scanning the club almost frantically while he stuffs himself back into his trousers. For a desperately long moment he can't spot Harry anywhere, and he can't help thinking about what Sherlock was saying about a serial killer, but then he spots a head of blonde hair in a booth near the stage. The relief is like a punch in the stomach, hot and melting, and without thinking he sinks backwards again. "That's her, over there, do you see? She's with... oh."

"Oh?" Now Sherlock had straightened up, straightened them both actually, and is staring where John was looking.

"Yes, that's her ex-girlfriend, Clara." John rubs a weary hand over his face. "I didn't know she was going to be here tonight. God..." He wonders, somewhat desolately, if Clara's had a couple of drinks already. That would explain why she's getting up close with Harry. Her judgement is always impaired once she's had a couple, one of the reasons she and Harry stayed together so long in the first place.

"Damn," comes the low hiss behind him and John is abruptly reminded of the bulge against his left hip.

"Christ, sorry, I'll just - " He shifts, squirms around until he can get a hand behind him, but before he can touch his wrist is seized in a long-fingered grip.

"Your sister," Sherlock says, "fits the profile of the victims perfectly. I was counting on her to be the next target." He sounds outraged, like it's a personal affront that Harry has instead stumbled onto her ex-girlfriend instead of becoming the target for a serial killer, and John wonders if perhaps he's had more drinks than he remembers. "Where else...?"

"Hang on, did you just say you were hoping Harry would catch his attention?" John demands. He doesn't get an answer but he does get rousted from his very comfortable seat. Sherlock grips him under the arms and practically lifts John to his feet, springing up behind him. No one would realize that he's just been giving someone a very hot hand job in public. He looks totally put together, a far cry from how John feels, not that it matters since Sherlock isn't even looking at him. His gaze is sweeping the club, searching almost frantically, and in spite of himself John's heart is beginning to pound for an entirely different reason.

"The alley, that's where his last victim was, there are four exits to this bar that patrons are allowed to use," Sherlock is muttering, his hands hovering in the air aimlessly, "but he wouldn't go somewhere he could be seen, no, he'd want privacy but close enough to the public that the victim would still feel safe, just somewhere no one really goes - yes." His head snaps up with that one last exhalation and he's off like a shot, dodging amongst the crowds, not caring who he is stepping on as he surges towards the dance floor.

John follows. He's not sure why, to be honest, it just seems like the right thing to do. It's surprisingly easy to track Sherlock through the club. Even filled to the brim with other people who are not paying attention Sherlock exudes enough of an aura to shove through with relative ease and John moves along in his wake, realizing that Sherlock is headed for the bar: more specifically, the exit that's just behind the bar. He vaults over the counter with one smooth movement and, ignoring the angry and startled exclamations from the bartender, disappears outside. And even though he can't do anything quite as fancy as leaping the bar in a single jump, John still follows, ducking under the partition and coming face to face with a waitress.

"Oi, you can't - "

"Sorry," John shouts, dodging around her and barrelling after Sherlock. The door thuds shut behind him, leaving a sudden silence that makes him feel like he's gone deaf, having got so used to the loud music that he barely noticed it. It takes a second for his eyes to get used to the darkness but that's alright, Sherlock hasn't gone far. He starts to speak but Sherlock's hand shoots up, a bid for silence.

It doesn't take long for him to understand why. They're not alone. There is a man in the alley, and he's a young man, with dark hair and dark clothing to make him blend in, bent over something on the ground, and when John sees what it is he starts to feel sick because he's seen a lot but he's never seen anything like this. The man looks at them, eyes wide and shocked because he hasn't been expecting their interference, and the woman on the ground moans, and John moves first without even stopping to see if that's alright; he takes one step forward and punches the man in the face as hard as he can.

The man rears backwards but he recovers quickly and comes forward in what is obviously meant to be a tackle. Sherlock gets there first, knocking him off balance with a quick jab to his kidneys, and he doubles over with a choked cry. John has knelt next to the woman to begin tending her and that's why he sees it when Sherlock doesn't, the gleam in the man's hand, and even as his mouth is forming a warning cry he's lurching forward, grabbing for that flash of steel and giving the man a good crack 'round the head with the handle and sending him sprawling all over the filthy ground.

The whole thing only lasts about two minutes and by the time it's over John realizes... well, he realizes quite a lot but he's not sure what any of it means. Sherlock is typing madly into his phone – when did he take that back? – and John turns back to the woman, who upon closer inspection has a black eye and a small cut on her collarbone, and her skirt is rucked up around her thighs, but otherwise looks fine. She begins to cry, though, and John occupies himself with comforting her as best he can, which is just as well because Sherlock is completely ignoring the both of them, too occupied with his phone, and he only looks up when the alley is flooded with lights and a man with greying hair in a coat strides onto the scene. He takes one look at the lot of them and sighs.

"Really, Sherlock?" he says. "You're involving civilians now?"

"John's not a civilian, he's an army doctor," says Sherlock. "And he saved my life."

"He did?" The man looks somewhat sceptical at this. "How?"

"Why?" says a woman at nearly the same time, peering at John. "Why would you do something like that?"

John blinks, not entirely certain how he should respond to that. "Err..."

"How?" says the man again.

"He disarmed the killer, Lestrade, do keep up," Sherlock says impatiently, slipping his phone into his pocket. "As for why, Sergeant Donovan, I imagine that since you were not here to do your job he had to do it for you. Considering that it happens on a regular basis, other people doing your jobs, you should be used to it by now."

Sergeant Donovan begins to turn a lovely shade of purple. Lestrade says, "Alright, you two, pack it in. Sally, take a statement from – John, was it?" He glances at John. "Sherlock, I need to talk to you."

Sherlock huffs but says nothing in protest, and Sergeant Donovan moves over to John. He stands up once the paramedics take over, and it's only then that he realizes his leg isn't paining him, that it hasn't ever since he took Sherlock's hand and stood up without even thinking about it. He tenses automatically, half expecting the pain to come flooding back, but it doesn't. The muscle gives a faint twinge from exhaustion and over-use, he's not done himself any favours lashing out like he has, but other than that there's nothing and he's standing, good and strong, on two legs.

"Um," says Sergeant Donovan, watching this with narrowed eyes, "are you alright?" Her tone strongly conveys that she is really asking, how much did you have to drink tonight?

"I'm fine," John says, linking his hands behind his back. "Ask away."

"Right then. Your name?"

"John Watson."

"Occupation?"

"I'm currently unemployed," he says and the back of his neck prickles when her eyes do that familiar, slow sweep over him, because he can see her remembering Sherlock's 'army doctor' comment and wondering what's wrong with him that he's not working. He stares her down until she looks away at her notebook.

"And what happened tonight?" she asks after a pause.

"I came here tonight with my sister," says John. Harry, if she's even still at the club, probably hasn't even noticed he's not around anymore. Not if Clara's still there. "I wanted to make sure she wouldn't do anything too off the wall. I hadn't intended to do much more than sit at the bar but Sherlock approached me. He said he needed a distraction." He hopes, in the dim light, that Sergeant Donovan can't see his face because he's pretty sure he's blushing just from the memory. "Too many people were paying attention to him, I think. We, ah, sat for a while and he sent a text and then the next thing I knew he was running after a serial killer. And I," he gives a slightly self-conscious shrug with his good shoulder, "decided to follow."

Her pen stops and she looks up at him in disbelief. "You just... decided to follow," she repeats.

"Yes." He nods and hopes she won't ask why, because to be honest he doesn't really know, but Sherlock had been walking – well, running in the opposite direction and not following hadn't really felt like an option.

"Right," she says again. "And then what?"

"Well, Sherlock came out here and indicated that I had to be quiet, and we saw him" he nods at the man now in handcuffs "leaning over that woman. I punched him and when he tried to retaliate Sherlock hit him in the stomach, and I knelt to see how the woman was doing and I noticed that he had a knife. I disarmed him before he could attack Sherlock." Just saying it leaves him feeling oddly breathless and he still can't believe that it really happened just like that even though the evidence that it did is all over the place.

She stares at him for a couple of minutes in silence. John stares back, because if she's thinking that she's going to get any more out of him just by virtue of trying to make him uncomfortable she's got another thought coming. Finally, she says, "I'll just get you to write your address and phone number down in case we have any more questions."

"No problem." He takes the pen and pad and jots the information down before handing it back. She takes it and, still sending him a funny look, walks over to Lestrade and Sherlock. John's part seems to be over and done with but he's reluctant to leave and he lingers until one of the policemen makes it clear he has to leave. Only then does he go back into the club, filled with an odd sense of disappointment. As expected, there is no sight of Harry or Clara and the club in general doesn't seem to have realized the excitement that's been going on just outside. John takes one look around and realizes: after that, after Sherlock, there is no sense in staying because no one else could possibly offer him anything even remotely tempting. Now more than ever he feels like he doesn't belong here and he makes his way out the exit gratefully, this time relieved for the silence.

He fetches out his phone as he walks and realizes that he's got a couple of text messages waiting. One from Harry, confirming that she has left in the company of Clara and that John isn't to wait up, and one from an unfamiliar number. His eyes widen slightly when he opens it.

221b Baker Street. My turn. – SH

Oh. Oh, well that's just... He stops and leans against the wall of a shop, swallowing hard. There's no doubt in his mind who that's from and he's puzzled, no, a bit worried over the sudden flush of wanting that rushes through him. Sherlock's not mad after all, it seems he's actually much worse because he really does work for the police and he really was hunting a serial killer and he really did want said serial killer to target Harry, and John should be furious that he's been bound up in this... this whatever you want to call it, but he's not, he's alive with adrenaline and a pounding heart and he really just wants to go to 221b Baker Street and fuck Sherlock Holmes stupid, if such a thing is even possible and damn it he bloody well wants to find out.

But this is insane, isn't it? He doesn't know Sherlock at all. For all he knows, the man could be a serial killer and John is just one more to add to the list. He should delete the message and return to his pokey little flat and forget that this wild encounter ever happened. That's the smart, sensible thing to do and for several minutes, a good bit longer than he wants to admit, he just stands there, holding onto his phone, too indecisive to move.

And then it beeps.

Coming? – SH

It's likely not meant to be a double entendre but it makes John snicker anyway, and then he flings a hand up and, after a few unsuccessful attempts, stops a cab. "221 Baker Street," he says to the cabbie, relaxing back against the seat as the car pulls smoothly into the late night London traffic. Maybe this is crazy, it might get him killed, but he's not ready to let Sherlock Holmes go yet. For one thing, the man is right and John owes him at least a hand job, hopefully more. He thinks about getting on his knees for that man, looking up to see Sherlock staring down at him, and lets out a shaky breath. His cock is half hard and he hasn't come more than once in a night since he was in his twenties but he's more than willing to give it a go.

To that end, it seems to take forever to reach the other side of the city. He hasn't texted Sherlock back yet and he wonders if Sherlock will know if he's coming, or if he'll think John's lost interest or that he's sent a message to the wrong number, but he can't bring himself to do it, wants to be there in person so he can see Sherlock's face when John shows up on his step. He thrusts a handful of bills at the cabbie and gets out. Baker Street is pretty quiet, not surprising considering the time of night, and John's breathing seems unusually heavy and loud as he stares up at 221. It's not too late, he could just turn around –

And then, over him, a window opens and something glittering and shiny is tossed out, landing at John's feet.

Keys.

He has to smile, because of course a man who could know so much about John with just one glance would also know he was coming all along, and he stoops down to grab them. They're cold in his hand, warming quickly, and he stumbles up the steps and unlocks the door. He tries to be quiet as he shuts it, noticing another flat just ahead, and mounts the stairs aware of every creak beneath his foot. He opens that door a good deal less quietly and only stops when he notices Sherlock standing in front of the window, looking out at the night, a violin tucked beneath his chin and a bow in hand though John has not heard any music.

Sherlock says, "You're an army doctor, invalided home after being shot in Afghanistan. Your pension isn't enough to support you and though you hate taking charity you moved in with your sister to avoid having to leave London. Even though you feel out of place here you can't bear the thought of leaving. Sentimentality." Spoken with a slight sneer. "You haven't found a job because you haven't tried. General practice bores you to tears and of course, the tremor in your hand, I noticed it when you were sending that text, prevents you from using your other skills. You have nightmares and wake up yelling on a regular basis, yet you trust very easily and deeply, and you're here because I'm different and exciting." He spins around slowly.

"Just about," John says as calmly as possible, hoping that his level tone doesn't give away his thrumming heart. "Only you're a bit incorrect, I do hate charity but I didn't move in with my sister just to avoid leaving London. I moved in with her after her girlfriend left her and I was afraid she might fall off the wagon without some support." Though he's still not sure how much support he can give Harry seeing as how they fight almost as often as they get along.

Sherlock frowns. "There's always something," he says, almost to himself.

"I don't know you," John says carefully, "but you seem to know an awful lot about me."

"I deduced it," Sherlock says, which is exactly what he said back at the club. At least he's consistent. "I play the violin. Sometimes I don't talk for days at a time. I don't eat or sleep when I'm on a case. Slows my mind down, you see. I work as a consulting detective – but then you already knew that. And you're still here." He stops and raises an eyebrow, like, that's enough don't you think?

"Yeah," says John in response to the unasked question, pushing the door shut behind him. He crosses the room in a handful of strides and falls to his knees in front of Sherlock, putting him on level with a familiar bulge, and as he reaches up and caresses it, it begins to grow under his touch and his mouth waters. "Yeah, I think that's enough."


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