Don't own Sherlock, John et al – just wish I did! Thanks to ACD, SM & MG!
John and Sherlock listened as the victim's husband sobbed, his face creased in anguish, his fingers compulsively shredding a tissue.
"She….she was having nightmares." He sniffled, grabbing another tissue from the box and scrubbing at his face. "I thought that's just what they were, bad dreams. Said she was being chased by giant animals. She dreamed that they would catch her and kill her…."
Sherlock snorted disgustedly.
"How long did this go on?" John asked before his partner could make his usual scathing comment.
"Weeks!" the wailing became louder, "Then I come back home this morning because I'd forgotten some papers and…and…."
"Yes, quite." Sherlock walked around to stand in front of the distraught man. "And you think her dreams finally came true, do you?"
"I….I…." the man stammered, but Sherlock was already moving on, all but dragging John out of the room and up the stairs to where the victim still lay.
"What do you think, John?" pulling back the sheet that covered the naked body he looked again at the multitude of small puncture wounds.
"About her dreams coming true?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Of course not - about these." He pointed at the red marks.
"Oh. They look a bit like stab wounds, but the way they are grouped, and the shape of them – you probably need to get a closer look under mortuary conditions. There's something not quite right." His gloved fingers gently pressed around one of the punctures. "This one has less bruising, less blood, so it's possibly post mortem, those others" he indicated a group of punctures on the victims upper arm "look almost torn, as if whatever weapon was used was dragged down before being pulled out."
"And there is absolutely no sign of a break in – nothing." Sherlock bent down to examine once more the wounds on the body, his magnifying glass giving him detailed information that on the face of it made no sense. He turned to Lestrade.
"We're going to Bart's – get the body there as quickly as possible." He was out of the door almost before he finished speaking. John gave the Detective Inspector an acknowledging nod and followed him out.
"Are you going to let him talk to you like that?" Anderson demanded, gesturing to the forensics team to bag and remove the body.
"If it gets me results." Came the resigned reply.
It never failed to fascinate John, the curve of Sherlock's neck, and the absolute stillness of his body whenever he was deeply engrossed in his work. So as he watched him studying the computer record of knives and knife wounds, he committed every line to memory, passing the time by working out which bit of Sherlock's anatomy he would start with, and what he would do to it, and….
"Ouch." It was said gently, with a smile, but it still made John jump out of his reverie.
"You're burning me with those looks, John." he turned his head to grin at the doctor, who grinned back, unrepentant.
Very few people knew about the truth of their relationship – although many suppositions had been made. Neither man liked to advertise their feelings; they were both very private people. So when John moved to look over Sherlock's shoulder at the database, only the most observant would notice that these days he stood a little closer, that his hand on the counter was almost touching the other man's.
Knocking as she pushed open the door, Molly walked into the lab.
"The body's here, Sherlock"
Sherlock stood up. "Thank you. You coming John?"
John shook his head as they walked out of the room. "No, you'll work faster here without me. In any case, I promised Mike I'd talk to some of his students about trauma surgery in an army field hospital"
"Ah. Considering taking up teaching then?"
"Not a chance!" John laughed, "It's just a dozen or so that have expressed an interest in trauma work, and this is a slightly different perspective." They reached a crossroads in the hospital corridor where John turned left, as Sherlock carried straight on. "I'll see you back home?"
Sherlock waved in acknowledgement as he strode away.
John hadn't expected his little teaching session to take up the whole of his day, but word had spread like wildfire, and he found himself talking to nearly fifty students in their final year of medical school, all clamouring for stories of front-line surgery. Each one having a handful of questions they wanted to ask.
By the time he reached Baker Street it was getting late, and before he'd even climbed the stairs he could hear Sherlock pacing the floor.
"Where have you been?" Sherlock snapped the question out as the older man walked through the door.
Smiling at the petulance in his friend's face and voice, John crossed to him and placed his hands on his upper arms, gently rubbing them.
"You know exactly where I've been, Sherlock. Can I deduce from this little display that you have solved the case of the killer nightmares?"
Sherlock smiled in spite of himself.
"You are not calling it that!"
"Maybe, maybe not" his eyes took in the change from suit to pyjama trousers and long sleeved t-shirt, blue silk robe draped elegantly (as only Sherlock can manage) from narrow but well developed shoulders , and he licked his lips. "Depends on how entertaining you are when you tell me how you solved it!"
The smile turned wolfish.
"Ah….not yet! I'll let you order in some dinner for us, while I take a shower." Backing away, he headed for their bedroom. "You can tell me while we eat."
Half an hour later, and with tea and take-away Chinese on the coffee table in front of the fire, Sherlock was happily explaining the case.
"You see, there were a couple of things that that were bothering me about the husband's insistence that she must have suffered heart failure while being attacked, so while Molly ran test on bloods, and before she cracked open the chest I had a good look at those wounds." His eyes shone as he looked across the table at his flatmate. "They weren't made by a knife."
"No John, you saw all – apart from the obvious…"
"The grouping, John. No one would have stabbed in such a strange pattern. Apart from that there's the width and depth of each incision – you were right when you said some of them looked as if they were torn, it elongated the wounds but they were no deeper than the others, not at all what you would anticipate from a downward thrust with a knife."
John's brow creased in a thoughtful frown.
"But if it was an animal, the bite would have gone deeper."
"And then there is the jaw shape – no animal alive has a jaw that shape."
"But you're certain an animal was involved?"
"Sure of it, John," Sherlock raised an eyebrow and smirked "only not in the way you're thinking." Pushing aside his plate he stretched, wincing slightly as he did so. "I went off to test a theory, and while I was out Molly sent me a text confirming the victim had suffered heart failure…"
"She also confirmed the presence of a high dosage of beta blockers in the blood samples."
"Ah. Yes I see," the frown disappeared as John processed the implications of the information. "Beta blockers, given to someone with normal blood pressure, would reduce the pressure to dangerous levels, most likely resulting in heart failure. Okay, I get that bit – where does the animal come into it?"
"The husband, John"
The doctor's blue eyes roamed over his partner's face, trying to read the answer in his expression, but was still at a loss. He couldn't see where the husband's tale of nightmares and giant animals fitted the reality of poisoning by prescription medication. He smiled though, he could see the child in Sherlock bursting to tell all.
"Okay," he said finally, in his best imitation of Lestrade. "Gimme."
"The husband is an amateur Palaeontologist. I noticed lots of books on the subject when we were at the house." Pulling his knees up to his chest, Sherlock wrapped his arms around his legs and continued, "so I went to the Natural History Museum, to the Palaeontology section and did some tests with various dinosaur skulls…"
"And they let you?"
The younger man had the good grace to look slightly abashed as he confessed "Well, not at first. They really didn't like me climbing over their exhibits….."
"Jesus Sherlock, I'm surprised they didn't call the…..no – wait – you didn't…you didn't use Lestrade's ID again did you?" John looked at him, horrified.
"No, John I did not!" Sherlock gave him one of his 'as if I needed to do that!' looks. "I just told him who I am, and explained that I needed to verify a suspect's alibi. They were happy to help."
"Really?" John was sceptical.
"Well actually, the curator is a big fan"
"I might've known you'd find one of your…"
"Oh no, John, he's not my fan…..he's yours!" Silver-grey eyes were alight with laughter "Apparently he never misses an instalment of our 'adventures'. Once we'd established that, he couldn't do enough for me."
"So which dinosaur was it then?" John stretched languidly, his mind already slipping to the picture he'd held in his mind since this morning in the laboratory.
"Velociraptor. It was the only one that fit the dimensions of the bite marks." Sherlock stood wandered towards the door. "I texted Lestrade, told him to look for a skull – real or replica – and a link to the medication." He stopped and glanced over his shoulder at John. "Time for bed, I think. Don't be too long putting those leftovers away!"
Leaping to his feet John tidied away in double quick time, but even so, Sherlock was in bed and curled on his side by the time he made it to the bedroom.
Stepping over the clothing that his partner had removed and simply left where it fell, John slipped out of his dressing gown and trackies, and slipped into the bed, curling his body around Sherlocks, burying his face in dark curls at the nape of that beautifully slender, pale neck.
With little nips and licks, the blond doctor kissed along the line of Sherlock's shoulder, his hand gently gripping the other man's hip, pulling him closer.
A deep moan broke from Sherlock's lips as he leant back into the warm, solid body behind him, his head was thrown back, his eyes half closed.
"I suppose" John whispered, his tongue flicking around Sherlock's ear "that you feel you deserve all this attention, don't you?"
A shudder, and another moan were the only answer he received.
John slid his hand upwards and across well-defined abs, and on further, until his fingers ghosted across sensitive nipples, already hardened and begging for attention. As he gently rolled his lover onto his back, and let his lips follow where his fingers had been seconds earlier, smiling to himself as heard the soft whimpers his ministrations were eliciting.
"Enjoying your reward?"
Sherlock drew a shaky breath. "John." the word was a sigh, no more.
Using teeth and tongue, he continued to pay homage to the body in his care, his hand now trailing lazy circles across the soft skin, down across the stomach, circling and teasing until….
John froze. His body tensed and for a moment he almost forgot to breathe.
"John?" at first a whisper, then "John? What's wrong?"
Sitting up and turning the light on, John looked down at Sherlock's confused face, then briskly pulled the duvet back, exposing most of the younger man's upper body.
"You tell me." His voice was hard as he glared at the arm his fingers had brushed against – the arm that was wrapped rather haphazardly in a bandage from elbow to just above the wrist.
"What? That, Sherlock…..that is not nothing! What. Did. You. Do?"
"It's a bite."
"What sort of….what bit you Sherlock? Did you go for a tetanus shot? For God's sake…." He reached out to unwrap the bandage, but the arm was moved out of his reach.
"Didn't need tetanus."
"Are you sure? When did you last have a booster shot?"
"John, " Sherlock tried for a conciliatory tone "please, it's not the kind of animal bite that you need to be worried about."
"Sherlock, all animal bites need proper treatment," he paused as a thought occurred that made John frown. "Why do you say it doesn't. What kind of animal was it Sherlock?"
Sherlock's response was muffled as he reached down to grab the duvet.
"Sorry, a what?"
Wrapping the cover round himself Sherlock flopped back onto the pillows, his pout very much in evidence as his grey eyes met John's blue ones.
He took a deep breath – there was no way the doctor was going to let this drop, better to get it over and done with.
"What? How? No, don't tell me, those tests you were doing….at the Museum. Please tell me you're kidding."
"I never kid, John, especially about the work. I needed to know what kind of pressure needed to be exerted before the bites looked realistic." His eyes dropped away from John's. "I just exerted a bit too much, and it bit me!"
He sounded so put out that John couldn't help himself, tears rolled down his cheeks as he tried to contain his laughter.
As several large wet droplets splashed on Sherlock's face he looked up sharply.
"John? Are you laughing at me?"
"Yes, you idiot!" John reached over again to grasp the bandaged arm, and this time Sherlock let him. "Now, let me look at this arm." He unrolled the dressing, uncovering a series of puncture wounds identical to those of the murdered woman. "Conclusive proof I'd say." He chuckled.
"Yes, " Sherlock leaned over to get a better look, now that the bleeding had stopped. "I thought so too."
"Shall we show this to Anderson then? Get his professional opinion?"
"No!" came the horrified response.
John slid out of bed and reached into the wardrobe for his army medical kit. After thoroughly cleaning the wounds and smearing antiseptic cream liberally across the area, he re-dressed the arm with a fresh bandage before packing his stuff away with military efficiency.
"The next time you do something that stupid, Sherlock, I promise you, Anderson will be the first to hear about it!" and climbing back into bed, he pulled the younger man closer. "Now, where were we?" he lowered his head and clenched his teeth around a very tempting nipple….