It was late at night, exactly how late was difficult to tell. The power had gone off around midnight, and though it should have been a good night for sleeping, what with the lulling pitter-patter of spring rain coming down against the windows, and the complete silence from both downstairs and out in the street, the lack of streetlights flooding in the windows; perhaps it was actually exactly that calm, quiet darkness that was keeping him up. Something about it, though soothing, was also putting him on edge – it was a bit too foreign, and John never slept well when things didn't seem right.

He'd left the door open for a bit of ventilation, since there was going to be none of that without the power, and opening a window would merely result in a rather soggy mess by morning. If he was to be completely frank about it, he'd also left it open a bit out of paranoia. It made the soldier in him feel better to be able to hear everything whenever his hackles got up. He'd spent many nights like it in Afghanistan – just listening. And while it didn't leave him extremely rested, it did calm him down.

He'd been laying in the dark, possibly for hours – it was hard to tell, when he first heard it. Just a very low sound, nearly inaudible, but it sounded like it was coming from downstairs in the flat. If the power hadn't been off he'd have sworn it was a radio or the telly turned nearly all the way down. But power was still off, so that wasn't it. He scrunched his brow and propped himself up on his elbows to hear a bit better. There it was again. Something about it made his blood stir, and brought back images of the infirmary and the soldiers he tended there. Why on earth? Oh...Oh! Groaning. It was groaning. But no urgent sounds of pain to accompany it. Pleasurable groaning then. No need to fetch the med kit and make a mad dash for the darkened stairwell.

It took a second for all the pieces to assemble themselves, but eventually John's brain got there: Good lord! Sherlock was masturbating! Surely this couldn't be the first time, he thought, he must have done it before, but if this was when, considering the lateness of the hour and the random noises of both the flat and the city, now all on mute, it wasn't surprising that he hadn't heard him before.

John relaxed back onto his bed and mulled over the ramifications of Sherlock actually indulging himself in something human. He couldn't help a smile wandering over his face, nor his curiosity from piquing at what exactly would bring Sherlock off; he seemed so... disinterested normally. Without even thinking about it, a flash of Sherlock's face entered his mind; relaxed, jaw slackened, eyes closed, his arm working slowly to pleasure himself. So unlike the Sherlock he knew from day to day.

John's eyes slid closed and his hand wandered south as well. On a sleepless night like this, perhaps Sherlock was on to something. John slowed down his breathing, concentrating on the sensations of his hand gliding over his cock, the occasional, nearly inaudible sound from Sherlock's room gliding up to his ears. Sherlock must have his door open too, if John could hear him...

An urge caught him, and the next time John felt like letting out a sound, he didn't stifle it, wondering what Sherlock would make of that information! A mischievous grin settled in on his face, as he brought to mind the look of consternation and confusion that would likely play across Sherlock's features. Would Sherlock know that he'd been heard? Or would he pass it off as coincidence? Mycroft implied Sherlock was alarmed by sex. If that were true, (which didn't seem to be completely the case, at any rate,) what would he do then? Stop, embarrassed? Close the door? Pretend he hadn't heard? Exit the flat? John hadn't stopped fondling his cock in an absent-minded way while he mulled the possibilities over, but much had been given to thoughts of rather non-sexy, more amusing things, and his ardor had softened some.

Until that is, he heard a somewhat louder moan drift up the stairs in answer. His breath hitched and his penis, apparently with a mind of its own, came to abrupt attention. Oh! Now that was something he hadn't anticipated! It seemed Sherlock was taking up the challenge and messing with his mind in retaliation.

Fine then, war it was. A bizarre war, but considering how bored he was, and how bored Sherlock must be, it was almost, almost, normal, for them. Well, perhaps we should add another 'almost'. No... it was still strange, but in a nearly amusing and oddly arousing way. It was probably one of those things that, in the light of day, neither of them would consider, but tonight - tonight was just odd. And odd things happened on nights like this.

No longer worried about making a noise, and somewhat determined to out-do Sherlock's, John brought his fingertips up to his mouth, moistened them, then ran them softly down the underside of his prick, closing his eyes and lifting his hips off the bed slightly as he did so. He groaned – not in a studied way, not to purposefully out-do, just the honest sound the sensations brought to his lips. His other hand came down to stroke and cup his sac, while he re-slicked his hand and gripped his shaft, beginning to pump. Behind his eyelids, he could see Sherlock doing the same, and gradually the sound of another moan made its way to his ears.

Sherlock could probably deduce everything he was doing to himself up here. The highly intrusive thought both embarrassed and intrigued him.

He leaned over to grab some lube from the side table, hearing a pause, then a slow scraping noise from downstairs, as apparently, Sherlock mimicked his actions. His heart rate picked up as he now envisioned Sherlock copying his movements below. There was something oddly erotic about it – something more to it than just a juvenile game of who could get there first.

John slicked up a fist, closed his eyes again, imagining Sherlock doing the same, as he thrust into it. The words, "Oh god," unmuted, spilled from his lips without his even meaning to, and his head tipped back further onto his pillow. A few more thrusts into his well-oiled grip, had him abandoning most thought and simply giving himself over to the sensation.

From below came a growled and drawn-out "Ohhh," followed not quite by silence, but what John figured must have been heavy breathing.

He stroked his balls once again, then trailed his fingers not actively wrapped around his cock, slowly up his inner thighs, across his stomach, then to his chest, tweaking a nipple on the way. He choked down a startled "AH!", then panting and remembering that noise was rather the point, stroked himself a few more times before repeating it, letting out a more voluble burst of pleasure this time.

Moments later, a very defined "God, yes!" seemed to answer from downstairs as he thought he heard Sherlock continue to pant, or at least short, sharp silences different from the rest. There was a slight squeaking, as if Sherlock was thrusting up off the bed, or perhaps down into it. John couldn't help but picture either one.

John's mind was practically on autopilot and the sounds Sherlock was making were driving him further on. His mind's eye envisioned Sherlock's expression now, the hands running over him not his own, but Sherlock's bringing him so close. They danced across his chest, over his lips and sides, his other hand still pumping furiously. "Christ Sherlock! Don't stop! Oh god, more!" his words ran together and he didn't even take time to consider what he'd just shouted or the implications thereof, everything just felt so divine. His skin was on fire.

There was a wail from downstairs, the squeaking stopped momentarily and he heard the words "John, oh god, John..." clearly float up to him.

It was enough to push him over. Tipping over the edge, still imagining Sherlock's hands on him, his body arched uncontrollably off the bed and he unabashedly hollered Sherlock's name, as his come flooded past his fingers and across his stomach as he rode through wave after wave of aftershocks. Eventually he came to rest, his back finally re-acquainting itself with the mattress, and his breath coming in stuttering draws, his ears pricked for any sound from downstairs, but he heard none.

If he'd been any less tired, he might have then thought to be embarrassed, however sleep soon overtook him.

The next morning he was awakened by sunlight flooding in the windows. Glancing at his clock, he saw the power was still out. He briefly called the clinic, to find the outage still affected that area too. No going into work until it came back on. He rose from the bed, noticed the sticky mess he'd fallen asleep in and suddenly felt self-conscious.

Surely, he could play it all off as a joke – a one-upmanship. Contests of that nature weren't unheard of in boarding school, when the boys got restless. Perhaps shouting each other's names was a bit odd, but still...

Deciding to face it sooner than later, he quickly cleaned himself up, pulled on some new pajama pants and a t-shirt and stumbled downstairs for breakfast.

Sherlock was already ensconced on his couch, reading, and greeted him with his perfunctory "Morning, John."

"Sherlock," John acknowledged, pouring himself some cereal and sniffing suspiciously at the milk.

Apparently, the antics of last night weren't of enough interest to be discussed. That was well and good enough for John. No harm, no foul.

Nothing was said of it and life continued as normal for months, cases coming and going, blog entries written up, shifts at the clinic blending into one another, until mid-summer, when a particularly nasty storm took the power offline yet again.

Sherlock had been doing some research via computer, but that was now put on hold, candlelight and battery powered torches though adequate for some tasks, were insufficient for reading. The two made themselves comfortable for a while discussing old cases, until the room was frankly just too dark to see much. Lighting a fire would have given more illumination to the night, but it was already too hot out to want to add more to the room, so giving up for the night, they bid each other good night and went their separate ways.

The quiet still bothered John, and he tossed and turned, the humidity of the upstairs room not making things much more conducive to sleep.

Meanwhile, Sherlock, nowhere near ready for sleep, paced, trying to find a puzzle for his mind to latch onto as his research had been cut short.

Eventually, John heard Sherlock's step stop at the bottom of the stair as he called up, "It's much less humid down here, John." An invitation, he supposed, to give up on sleep for the time-being, so he trundled down the steps, pillow in hand, to kip on the couch.

"Have my bed," Sherlock indicated absently, "I'll be up for a while yet."

John blinked at the odd invitation, but it was cooler, and despite the clutter everywhere else, Sherlock's room was well-kept. He nodded his acceptance, and trod into Sherlock's room, flopped his pillow down on the far side of the bed, and didn't even attempt to get below the covers. He did finally manage to drift off, but the sleep was fitful, and he woke some hours later when Sherlock lay down next to him, stymied by his lack of information and fretful, though attempting not to show it. John exhaled a large sigh.

"Can't sleep?" inquired Sherlock.

"Not well."

"Nor can I."

John eyed him critically "You haven't even tried yet."

"I know when I'm not tired, John. There just seemed to be nothing else left for me to do, so attempting to sleep is the next best thing."

Silence descended on both their parts as they both lay, staring absently at the ceiling.

John took another deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to relax his body again. It came out as a near moan.

Sherlock's eyebrows shot up beneath his curls, but his eyes never left the ceiling.

Rain continued to patter down on the windows and the unnatural darkness and quiet continued to fill the flat. All that could be heard was the rhythm of their breathing.

Still remaining flat on his back, Sherlock slowly snaked his fingertips over to John's groin. There was a sharp intake of breath as they came to rest, but no objection, and soon John's fingers migrated to Sherlock's. Some light, casual rubbing soon turned to heavy breathing, to pushed down pajama bottoms, fingers on bare flesh, stroking of each other's sacs and slow teasing and pulling of each other's cocks, all the while, their gaze focused directly upward, as if this is something people just did in their spare time.

As things got more intense and desperate, words choked out, hips thrusting upward into foreign fists, John turned toward Sherlock, and desperately brought his mouth down upon the detective's, writhing under his touch. Sherlock moved closer, bringing their hips into contact and breaking the ice on running his fingers over John's chest, an action which John immediately reciprocated.

Nearly all taboos broken, they moved against each other, touching, panting, teasing and moaning into one another's mouths as they worked each other toward completion. Soon, John rolled on top of Sherlock, still rutting against him, bringing forth gasps from the detective, and within three more rotating thrusts of his hips, their cocks sliding past one another, Sherlock shivered, threw his head back and came, hard, moans rolling from him like waves.

"Oh god, Sherlock," John groaned, watching the look of utter bliss pass over his flatmate's face, then burying his face in Sherlock's neck and pumping a few times more, Sherlock's fingers digging into his back, John came too, arching against Sherlock, gasping for breath before shuddering to a halt, lying limply on top of his friend.

Having regained some strength, John rolled off of Sherlock, quickly cleaned himself up with his remaining clothing before tossing it on the floor, then lie back in place, feeling sated and worn out.

"Sherlock," he started, "I've no idea what this is, but I think I'm starting to like bad weather and power outages."

A low chuckle sounded off to his side as Sherlock finished cleaning himself up too, and flopped back down on the bed. "Indeed," was all that was murmured before both of them were sound asleep.


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