Johnlockchallenges Grab Bag – Dialogue Prompt for theeveningsoother – "You Machine!"

It had been necessary. Whether it had been "a bit not good" was irrelevant. At the time, Sherlock's only concern had been making sure John was as far from Bart's as possible, far and away and not there to see what would ultimately come to pass. And yet, hearing those words, hearing John of all people refer to him as- To hear that old nickname from Uni like a stab behind the eyes come out of John's mouth- Watching as John left, those words being some of the last they might ever share, because in many ways that was supposed to have been the end. If things had gone according to plan, that would have been their last exchange. And it didn't hurt, of course it didn't. Sentiment. But even so, left alone in the silence of the lab, moments before Moriarty's final text, Sherlock found himself wishing, it had been a little less necessary.

"She's dying… You machine! Sod this. Sod this. You stay here if you want. On your own."

"Alone is what I have. Alone protects me."

"No. Friends protect people."

What would have been their last words, their last exchange, had things not gone differently, had Sherlock not allowed himself that one phone call. A goodbye that he had meant. At the time. But not even the Great Sherlock Holmes could have anticipated what being apart from John Watson-ordinary, unimportant, unimpressive, magnificent, unpredictable, inspiring John Watson-would have been like, felt like, hurt like. A whole new level of madness, mind and body fighting itself to be back in his presence, to return to how things had been, to go back to him, back to John. Until he couldn't fight it anymore. Until he was standing back in 221B, where John had been foolish and kind enough not to leave, staring at the object of his obsession, the strange, unbelievable partner to his own soul, being glared at by familiar eyes, punched in the face by a familiar fist. And kissed by a both familiar and unfamiliar mouth.

"All this time… Why didn't you just tell me? You could have just come home…"

"It was the only way to keep you safe."

"Something, anything. Just to know you were still alive."

"I never imagined you'd be so affected."

"Of course you didn't."

It was chuckled but sad, the words, "You machine," unsaid but implied, a leftover pain both unanticipated and well deserved. And it was there, at that moment, where life changed, became more and wonderful and something Sherlock simply couldn't get the hang of. It was kind words both unintentional and forced, cups of tea made for two because it was wanted and expected, trips to Tesco when they were out of milk. It was late night compositions called The Soldier or just John, and it was kisses in the hallway, long and slow and burning warm and pleasant at the center of Sherlock's chest. But it was also arguments laced with tension laced with worry and pain over little things and familiar things and sometimes, though rarely, big things. Very rarely, because it was dangerous to argue the big things still, and Sherlock knew the difference between Serial Killer Dangerous and John Dangerous. Of course sometimes, usually despite his best efforts, those big arguments seemed to slip through his grasp.

"Because it's important, Sherlock!"

"Why should it be "important" just because it's "expected?" Don't be dull, John."

"Sometimes things are expected because they're important!"


"And if I said it was important to me?"

"Adjusting the ownership of the expectation neither alters the facts nor the importance of them. Regardless of your involvement."

"The facts... Well, if you're going to keep acting like a machine, maybe I'll reconsider my involvement in this."

"In this."

"With you."

It had been over dinner, that argument. The biggest they'd allowed themselves since Bart's. And it still hurt. Hurt worse then than it had in the emptiness of the lab moments before his fall. Not just because of the fear of losing him-And it was fear, Sherlock realized. A strong, overwhelming fear that was impossible to control away-but because, after all this time, after the months of actual, frustrated trying, John could still think of him as a machine. Perhaps not completely, and perhaps only then, in the heat of the moment, but the thought was still there. So the sting was still there. Even when they made up, even when John was back in his arms and Sherlock had apologized in the only ways he knew how, it was still there, lingering under his skin, at the center of his chest, reminding him that John still thought him incomplete. On some level, John still didn't think him caring enough, empathetic enough. Human enough. Even as the should-be-perfect words left John's mouth not long after, on the tail end of bliss and warmth and an intimacy Sherlock had thought himself incapable of, it was still there.

"I love you, Sherlock. You know that, right?"

"I don't know how you could."

"Not the response I was looking for, exactly but… Sherlock? Where is this coming from all of a sudden?"

"I believe you, John. When you say it."

"Good. Because I mean it."

"I know. I just don't know why you'd want to."

Especially when a part of you, however subconsciously, still considers me a machine, unable to ever truly love you back. He wanted to say this, needed to say this, but it seemed petulant even to his own mind. Like throwing a tantrum over Mycroft's nicknames for him as a child. He wondered vaguely if it would matter as much if John chose something else to label him with, following the oh so original insults of Anderson and Donovan, the Freaks and the Psychopaths and whatever had yet to be called. But he knew it wouldn't matter. It wasn't the insult that bothered him, latched onto his chest and weighed him down with insecurity and pain and doubt. It was the fact that it was coming out of John's mouth, that John had been the one to think the need to say it. Even if he didn't say it often, very rarely, in fact, over the months that followed, it still itched like a sore at the back of Sherlock's mind, maybe healing, maybe festering. There was no way to tell. Until the moment that ended it. The moment that ended a lot of things.

"Oh fuck, Sherlock… That thing you did, with the… God. It was absolutely brilliant. You're absolutely brilliant."

"Yes. I thought you might enjoy that."

"And just as bloody fantastic with that tongue of yours."

"So you've said."

"But good God, when you… And with that… Fuck, I'm pretty sure I saw stars."

"Well then. Want me to do it again?"

"Wha-? Already?! Ha! You machine!"

It was impossible to define his immediate reaction-had he misheard, had John realized what he'd said, had it always been used so nonchalantly for him, all this time, all this time, all this time-but what settled at the center of his chest directly after was crystal clear. What John had managed to instill in him with two shouted, whispered, unspoken words, he was able to completely erase in exactly the same way. Sherlock couldn't help himself, a laugh escaping him loud and booming before teetering off into persistent chuckles which Sherlock chose to bury in John's neck.

"What's so funny? What did I say?" John blinked. Sherlock could practically feel the blush creeping along his already hot, flushed skin.

"I love you," Sherlock whispered, lips brushing against his pulse point, voice vibrating into that warm and perfect skin. John tensed-he'd never uttered the words, implied them and assumed them but never said them aloud-then shuddered, twisting his head to the side to capture Sherlock's lips in a hot, languid kiss, slow and deep and filled to the brim with an emotion Sherlock didn't pretend to completely understand. But he felt it. And John knew he felt it. And that was all that mattered.

Well, that and the sound that escaped from John's lips and into Sherlock's mouth at the slight shift of their hips. Sherlock smirked against him, sliding a hand back down to John's hip where telltale bruises were already beginning to form, just a few of the marks Sherlock liked to make on slightly tan skin. Mine, they said. Mine for as long as he'll have me, want me, take me, love me. John shivered against his touch, eyes fluttering closed the moment long, dexterous fingers found the vibrator still settled in the cleft of his ass.

Sherlock didn't turn it on right away, merely kissed his way down John's chest and pulled it halfway out, fingers brushing the stretched and sensitive edge of his hole and reveling in the noise that crawled up John's throat because of it. He kissed lower still, settling his nose below John's navel.

"You astound me, John Watson," Sherlock breathed against the base of his cock, already half hard so soon. Sherlock slowly inched the vibrator back in, flipping it to the first setting. John jerked at the sensation, head rolling back and mouth falling open, a low whine crawling up his beautifully exposed throat. "You do things to me that shouldn't be possible. Awe inspiring."

"You're… human, Sh-Sherlock," John moaned, continuing on a whimper when Sherlock flipped the vibrator up to the second setting. "Everyone f-feels-Nghfuck…-feels these things."

"Not like this." Sherlock licked a stripe from base to head, circling the glands with his tongue. John stiffened, panting, so Sherlock did it again and again before adding, "Not like you." He let the head breach past his lips, let his tongue cover his bottom teeth as he sucked, swallowing around hard, pulsing flesh. His cheeks hallowed on the way up, releasing John's cock with an audible pop, the sound obscene and wonderful. "Only you."

Those words hanging heavy in the air, Sherlock swallowed him back down and nudged the tip of the vibrator against John's prostate, a cry escaping him that was some beautiful amalgamation of a curse and Sherlock's name and a garbled, unintelligible mess of sounds that went straight to Sherlock's own aching cock. It was almost too much for them both, but Sherlock's couldn't help himself, moaning a thick, needy vibration around John's length, all the push John needed before he was coming, hard and thick and rich in Sherlock's mouth, his back arched and fingers tightening roughly in the sheets. Beautiful. Impossible. Mine.

"Jesus…" John panted, collapsing into himself as Sherlock swallowed around him and slipped the vibrator from his ass, letting John fall from his lips with a sigh. When Sherlock looked up, John was watching him, smiling warmly, fondly, if not tiredly. "Come here," he hummed, and Sherlock obeyed without hesitation, crawling up to John's level and kissing him deeply, hungrily. And when John wrapped a practiced hand around Sherlock's aching hardness, it took no more than a couple of strokes before he was falling into his own oblivion, a rush of lightening and heat and-

"Stars…" Sherlock panted, chuckling softly as he rolled himself over to John's side, letting an arm drape over John's bare, sweat slick chest. "I see what you mean."

"You have no idea," John laughed more openly, though the sleepiness made the crows-feet at the corner of his eyes more pronounced. Sherlock kissed at the lines closest to him, humming against them. John sighed, content. "I'll stick the vibrator in your ass next time. Then you'll be seeing stars."

Sherlock hummed again, this time in amusement, and more than a little acquiescence. "Now who's the machine?" John laughed again, already half asleep, and Sherlock smiled. Because even if he said it, in passing or in jest, John knew Sherlock was as human as they come. And now Sherlock could believe it too.