For the lady who suggested John was mouthy….yes, you know who you are!
Story title inspired by the song of the same name by The Calling
Disclaimer: I don't own any Sherlock characters.
The two men stood facing each other across the room – one angry, his fists clenched at his sides, the other calm, waiting for the storm to blow over.
Hell would freeze, John Watson thought, before he would listen to another of Mycroft Holmes' platitudes. The man sold his brother for thirty pieces of silver, silver that – come the acid test – revealed itself to be the worthless tin of regret.
And now, as they faced each other across the living room of 221B Baker Street, the silence stretched painfully.
"John," finally, those soft, cultured tones flowed into the room once more. "I understand your feelings, believe me I do, but you must understand I was in an impossible position."
"You sold your brother's past to a madman who wanted him dead." John stated flatly. "You sold the man I love to his mortal enemy – you were right, you know – you were Sherlock's arch enemy. I hope you can live with yourself"
Turning on his heel, the ex-soldier walked rigidly along to the bedroom he had shared with Sherlock, closing the door firmly behind him before sagging against it, his fist wedged firmly into his mouth to prevent the other man hearing his anguished sobs.
Walking slowly back down the stairs, Mycroft considered how rectify this situation he found himself in. He was so engrossed in his thoughts that he almost walked into the slim, neatly dressed landlady.
"He won't talk to you then" it was a statement, not a question. Stepping to one side she indicated the door to her flat. "You go in there, Mycroft, let me make you a cup of tea."
"Mycroft Holmes, indulge an old lady, just this once." She shooed him through the door and into her cosy living room. The tea was already made, as if she'd been waiting for him, and Mycroft stood and waited for her to sit before taking a seat in the chair on the other side of the table. He watched in silence as she poured a cup and handed it over to him.
"Thank you." Mycroft realised as he said the words that he really meant them – they weren't just rolling out of his mouth out of habit.
Taking a sip from her cup, Mrs Hudson sat back in her chair.
"I don't think you realise what those two boys meant to each other"
"I'm sorry, Mrs Hudson, but…"
"Yes, and I know you think it's none of my business, but I've spent the last two years looking after your brother and John, I watched them become friends, watched as they fell in love…" her eyes seemed to look off into the distance as her voice faded momentarily, and Mycroft found that he had no desire to interrupt her remembrances.
Snapping suddenly back to the present, Mrs Hudson turned her eyes back to Mycroft, a soft smile on her lips.
"Sherlock grew up, Mycroft, in ways you probably couldn't imagine or understand, and I believe he became a better person."
"Detective Inspector Lestrade always hoped he'd become a 'good man'." Mycroft said faintly
"Oh he definitely became that," Mrs Hudson chuckled "If you ask John, he'll tell you he was always a good man – he just didn't know it!" Her smile faded. "He healed John, John taught him to feel – and it was all for nothing in the end."
A seed of an idea formed in the mind of the British Government, and he looked speculatively at his hostess.
"Mrs Hudson, it was my brother's wish that John take possession of a certain item, something Sherlock had always considered was rightfully John's property, from the moment they became…lovers" he managed to keep the distaste at the use of the word out of his voice, as he leaned forward to add "unfortunately my brother's will has tied things up so tightly, only John can retrieve it. Would you help me?"
The landlady seemed to consider for a moment before asking
"Why? John won't want material things, and if you think he would you don't know him at all."
"No, I realise that. I'm just trying to carry out Sherlock's wishes, however John won't let me."
Pouring each of them a second cup, she mulled over Mycroft's request. Four weeks on John's pain was still a raw wound, but looking at the shadows under this man's eyes she saw testament to his own loss. Coming to a decision, she nodded.
"Let me talk to him. What do you need him to do?"
Stifling a triumphant smile, Mycroft pulled a large manila envelope from his briefcase.
"There is a flight to Switzerland tomorrow, I have booked John a first class ticket, and arranged for transport to a small but comfortable hotel. A representative of the bank holding the bequest will deliver it to him there. After that I can make arrangements for him to stay there, or bring him home if he wishes, whichever he chooses. He can deal with Anthea; he need not speak to me unless he wants to." The envelope contained the tickets and a sheaf of papers with hotel booking details, as well as the name of the bank contact. He handed it across, trusting in the persuasive powers of the formidable landlady, and sat back to enjoy his cuppa.
Sitting in the first class section of the plane, John wondered, for perhaps the hundredth time, how Mrs H had managed to persuade him to make this journey. He thought about how he had broken down, crying in her arms as she explained that it was Sherlock's wish that he do this, why else would Mycroft insist that John collect this item personally?
As the cabin crew came through with drinks and snacks, John turned his face towards the window and closed his eyes – he just wanted to sleep, yet it seemed no sooner had he closed his eyes, than a smiling woman in a dark blue uniform was softly calling his name.
"Dr Watson, you must put you seat into the upright position, we will be landing at Berne airport in approximately ten minutes."
"Thank you." Rubbing his eyes, he peered out of the window, but the light was fading, making everything look strange, shadowy and unreal.
Mycroft had smoothed his journey, making sure he encountered no problems at either end of the flight, and yet he arrived at his hotel room aching and too tired even to eat.
Flopping back onto the king-size bed, John kicked off his shoes and flung an arm across his eyes, trying to ease his throbbing head. The soft buzz of the telephone did nothing to help this, and for a second or two he debated ignoring it, but the instructions had said the bank's representative would be calling this evening.
"Dr Watson? This is the reception desk. I have a Mr Altamont of the Swiss National Bank to see you. He asks if he may come up to your room"
"Uh… yeah, sure. Can you send up some tea please, and…er…you'd better see what this Altamont guy wants. I assume his business may take a while."
"Certainly Dr Watson, I'll arrange for a porter to bring the gentleman up."
While he was waiting John tucked his discarded shoes under the bed, and went to the bathroom, splashing water on his face to wake himself up a bit. It was typical of Sherlock to send him haring off to the continent to collect a gift, because this is how he saw it, as a gift not a bequest – bequest sounded so…
A gentle tap at the door broke into his reverie, and he padded softly across and opened in to allow room service to enter with tea in a delicate china pot, and two cups. He was followed by the porter, escorting the man from the bank. Dressed in dark trousers and a brown belted raincoat, he walked with a stoop, and wore a dark trilby over neatly cut reddish hair.
Closing the door behind the hotel staff, the doctor started to turn towards his visitor as a deep baritone voice said
He stared as his visitor straightened his back, and removed the coat and hat.
That voice. The last time he'd heard that voice it was saying goodbye, just before his lover fell from the hospital roof.
"John please, say something – do something – anything, just….just don't…"
"How is it you're here?" a shaking hand reached out, not quite touching, as if he feared he would disturb this apparition. "I saw you… Jesus Christ, Sherlock, I saw you fall, saw the blood, saw…"
"It was just a magic trick, John, I told you as much on the phone."
John's mouth moved but no sound come out, his hand still hovered close enough to Sherlock's chest to feel the heat of his body.
The younger man took a step forward, forcing contact. The blond doctor's reaction was akin to being jolted with the electrical force of a defibrillator on full power. His hand clutched the fabric of the other man's shirt, and he spun him round and slammed against the wall beside the door. His eyes darkened with a cold fury, and he stared up into the younger man's face.
"Start talking – and you'd better have a fucking good reason for making me believe you were dead!"
"Moriarty." Sherlock couldn't take his eyes from the anger he could read in his lover's face, and where before that anger would make him feel safe, knowing that John used it to protect him if only from himself, this time he saw the real possibility of it turning against him. He read in it the potential end of their relationship, the loss of love and trust.
"Not good enough"
"That's all I've got, John. If you don't want to hear…"
"Three snipers, John, each one assigned to one of my friends" Sherlock swallowed painfully "One for Lestrade, another for Mrs Hudson. The last one, John, he had his sights on you – I couldn't let them kill you, I couldn't let them take from me my one reason for living."
"You made me watch."
"I had to stop you from coming up onto the roof…"
"You made me stand there and fucking watch, you sadistic bastard"
"I tried to keep you away, you came back too soon"
John stared into Sherlock's face, but he was seeing the fall playing over and over in front of him. The younger man, held firm in his doctor's grip, watched helplessly as hot tears poured down that familiar and much loved face.
"John, I had to act fast, as soon as I realised what Moriarty was going to do. It was the best I could come up with at the time, although you were never meant to see it" He paused to see if John would react, but those dark blue eyes just continued to stare. "Even Mycroft believed me dead, I didn't let him know the truth until I had worked out how to neutralise the threat permanently."
"And how do you plan to do that?"
Relieved that John was at least talking to him, Sherlock hurried to explain his plan to hunt down Moriarty's remaining followers, with a little help from his brother's network.
"I had planned to do this alone, to keep you safe – you, and Mrs Hudson, and Lestrade – but I realised…" his voice faltered, choked with emotion.
"What?" it was a whisper, barely audible.
"I need you, John, need you beside me, need you to help me to end this, once and for all."
John broke eye contact, letting his head drop, his chest heaving as he drew in deep stuttering breaths.
"So you need me." He said eventually, "You need me, but do you want me, Sherlock? Really want me?"
"Of course I…"
"Fuck you, Sherlock! I've had four weeks to consider why you should have done this. Four weeks to wonder if you meant it when you said you loved me. Four weeks to…" his voice broke, and his body shook violently.
"Four weeks to what, John?" Sherlock didn't need to be a genius to know what the older man was going to say, and he felt a cold ache in the pit of his stomach as their eyes met once more.
"Four weeks to work out the most effective way to follow you." At last his hand loosened its grip on the front of Sherlock's shirt, and he took a steadying breath before continuing "So I'm here now, Sherlock, because your brother sent me on the pretence of there being something here you wanted me to have, that only I could collect. What makes you think I want anything of yours?"
"Because if you don't want it, John, then all this has been in vain and I might as well have let Moriarty win"
The blond head tilted slightly, considering. Feeling there was nothing now left to lose, Sherlock gently prised open the fingers still tangled in the material of his shirt and pressed that hand against his chest.
"This is what I want you to have. This is my gift, my bequest. The heart I never knew I had until you found it, John, is yours whether you want it or not"
"Sherlock" it was a shuddering sigh as John reached his free hand up to stroke through the now short hair, pulling Sherlock's head down into a kiss that was imbued with every second of pain, every moment of loss that he felt since that day at St Bart's.
Sherlock relaxed into the kiss, pulling the smaller man closer, wrapping him in his arms, and trying to tell him with actions how much he missed him, and when the kiss ended, and John's head rested against Sherlock's shoulder they stayed where they were, leaning against the wall.
As the companionable silence stretched, the consulting detective smiled against the doctor's hair.
"What?" the doctor asked
"You are really mouthy when you're angry"
"Yes, Dr Watson, you have a really dirty mouth!"
There was no warning when it happened. John grasped the front of Sherlock's shirt and ripped it open, the buttons flying off in all directions.
"Dirty is it, my mouth?" he growled as he dipped his head and lay his tongue flat against the centre of his lover's chest, licking up to his throat in one smooth movement.
"Very" came the husky reply.
"Really?" that tongue lay flat again, this time against his left nipple, sliding across to the right nipple.
Sherlock purred, the sound emanating from deep in his chest and resonating through his rib cage to that dirty mouth that was now suckling hard at the swollen and sensitive nipple.
John's hands slid down to grasp slim bony hips and hold them pinned against the wall so he could grind against them.
Moving back to the first nipple he sucked, and licked, and blew on it until long musician's fingers grabbed his hair and pulled his head away.
"Oh God yes!" John at last dragged them across the room, falling onto the bed and pulling Sherlock on top of him. Flipping the young man onto his back, he stripped him of his remaining clothes with military precision, his own clothes following in short order, then he leaned over and looked deep into those almond shaped grey eyes he had fallen in love with so many months ago.
"Let me show you just how dirty my mouth can get"
Licking, nipping and sucking, he worked his way down the thin pale body, worshiping every inch of the soft smooth skin. Under his ministrations Sherlock bucked and groaned, his hands holding onto the wrought iron headboard.
The emotions that had bubbled under the surface during the fraught revelations had brought both men to the edge of orgasm, and as John took the length of Sherlock's throbbing arousal into his mouth, he didn't need the other man's ecstatic cry to tell him that he was past the point of no return.
Moving back up the bed, John dipped his head to kiss Sherlock, the younger man tasting the essence of himself mixed with the familiar taste that was uniquely John. Deepening the kiss the doctor set up a grinding rhythm with his hips, pushing his hard length against those same hip bones that he had held onto so tightly such a short while ago.
Sherlock was no passive player in this game. His hands now moved feverishly, running over every inch of his lover's body before latching onto smooth firm buttocks, encouraging the rhythm that finally brought John to his own climax.
In the cooling aftermath, Sherlock and John burrowed under the covers, neither man wanting to lose contact with the other's body. Wrapped around each other, a tangle of limbs sated and relaxed, they were starting to drift towards sleep when Sherlock lifted his head slightly.
"John, I'm so sorr…" slightly calloused fingers cut off his words, followed swiftly by soft warm lips.
Sherlock's arms tightened.
"Will you come with me? Or do we ask Mycroft to fly you home?"
"You're an idiot, Sherlock Holmes. Don't you know I'll go wherever you will go."