A/N Sorry for the ridiculous delays in updating. I blame Mofftiss for distracting me with Season 3. (; D)

Cover art for this story can be found at the artist's Tumblr site by Googling anyrei/Tumblr.

Credit for quotes or paraphrasing from the BBC's The Blind Banker are based on the excellent transcriptions of Ariane DeVere. Again, just Google Ariane DeVere to read her very accurate transcripts of all SHERLOCK BBC episodes, with some fun and pithy transcriber comments thrown in as well.

I have referred to certain events from The Blind Banker. I did not write about them in detail, as almost everyone is familiar with this case and I hate to be overly repetitive. (Well, actually Sherlock hates to be repetitive, but let us not be pedantic.) If something is unclear, please let me know and I'll clear it up and consider rewriting the section in question. (BTW I do know that John and Sherlock is fictional. Shut up, John.)

Warnings: none except the usual 'references to adult themes' and 'some off-color language'.

Bit of fluff as well .You need to be careful with fluff. Fluff can get caught in your teeth, may cause dental cavities and may even temporarily elevate blood glucose levels. I don't think there is too much fluff in this chapter, but Sherlock disagrees. Then again, he disagrees with almost everything except John. (; p)

Chapter 30

Mindful of his tenderness, John had carefully pulled on his jeans from the day before. Since he had already worn them once, he hoped that they wouldn't be too tight. He also put the burgundy shirt back on for now, planning to shower for a good long while, after his morning cup of tea.

John walked with a bit of a limp. His leg did not bother him, however his bum was just a bit sore, and the jeans were, in fact, too tight, all things considered.

Oh yeah, Sherlock had certainly controlled his own transport last night, for all of a few hours. And then the World's Only Consulting Distraction had given in to his transport. Granted, John had eagerly given into Sherlock's transport too. Hence the morning-after-arse-ache.

Not that John had any complaints.

Far from it, John had wanted it, had begged for it. John felt himself blush, as he recalled pleading to be taken. And God hadn't that had been freakin' arousing? The blond clutched the railing to steady himself. Nope, John Watson had no complaints at all; last night had exceeded all his expectations.

It was certainly well worth the minor discomfort this morning. Still, once he reached the bottom of the stairs, John was found himself tugging uncomfortably at his too-tight trousers, trying to pull them away from his burning bum. Well yes, it was still worth the moderate discomfort, which John had this morning. It was nothing that a cup of tea and a very long, very hot shower wouldn't fix, with perhaps a couple of paracetamol added.

And no matter how things fell out, Sherlock had not only taken John at least once, he had also been John's first. So take that Jim, you Goddam, bloody insane vampiric son of misbegotten whore. You and your 'wanting your boyfriends untouched', thought John angrily. Well fuck you, Jimmy-boy, 'cause I've been touched by someone else and there's nothing you can do to change it. Oh yeah, fuck you, you sick tosser.

John marched gingerly into the sitting room. Captain John Watson RAMC, Ret. was one of the few people in London who could in fact march gingerly: shoulders back, chin raised belligerently and feet stepping oh so carefully, so as not to inflame the already inflamed situation located posteriorly.

And if Sherlock dared to call John a distraction again or gave John any guff about controlling his transport…

And there was his handsome, posh, fairly insane boyfriend, flopped on the couch just as he had been when John went up to bed. It was hard to imagine that Sherlock had moved at all since last night. Christ, wondered the older man for just an instant, maybe I dreamed the whole thing? John's posterior protested that the event had been quite real.

"Oh sit down, John!" snapped the consulting detective.

John jumped. Romance was dead in the 21st century, thought John, who pivoted and marched purposefully (albeit carefully) into the kitchen. John did not need to be snapped at by Mister Stropy and Sexy. At least, not before John had a nice hot mug of Darjeeling with just a touch of milk.

The tall brunet stalked into the kitchen and glared at John.

"Right, what did I do now?" grumbled the groggy doctor, as he plugged in his new kettle after rinsing it twice, just to be sure. "I haven't cleaned anything. It's too early for me to be distracting…"

"You are always distracting, John, as I explained last night," said the detective who wore his pajama bottoms and a red dressing gown (Sherlock wore his soft, loose and clearly very comfortable pajama bottoms, noted the envious doctor).

"Honestly, John, you'd be distracting in a burqa," complained the consultant disconsolately.

"Yeah, well I'm done wearing burqas," muttered John, blushing at the compliment and his all too real history of undercover, spec-ops cross-dressing. The blond pulled out two clean mugs and washed them again, just to be sure. He glanced at the consulting detective out of the corner of his eye and noticed Sherlock's raised brows. John knew that he'd said too much.

"The short guy always ends up having to wear the burqa. And I don't want to talk about it," said John pursing his lips to put a full stop to that conversation.

One of Sherlock's brows rose higher. "As diverting as that imagery is, it is not the purpose of this discussion," said Sherlock, raising his hands in prayer to the Holmesian temple of reasoning, thought John smugly.

"Here, have some tea. I'm all ears," said John plopping onto a kitchen chair. Which was a big mistake. John tried in vain to suppress his wince of discomfort. Judging by Sherlock's smirk, the insufferable git caught on right away, naturally.

Then the brunet's smile faded, and John, sipping his still steeping tea, resigned himself to another morning of bad news or ridiculous pronouncements. Maybe John would be accused of causing Moriarty's most recent transgression by being so distracting. John snorted into his tea and waited.

"John I am no good at empathy or relationships. I must add that trying to deduce what is bothering you was in itself, distracting," said Sherlock.

"Oh for Pete's sake. No one asked you to deduce anything," snorted John. "I'm fine. Maybe a bit sore on the back side yeah?" suggested John, deflecting any touchy-feely stuff with his lopsided smile. "You go on back to your case. I'm good…Unless, this is the break-up? Are you breaking up with me?" John's face fell hard as his heart clenched painfully and his blue eyes widened in incipient horror.

"What? No," said the distracted detective irritably with matching wide eyes. "That is the very last thing I'd want. I realize that it's early for you, but do try to keep up."

"You keep up," muttered John, who was tense after that terrifying scare.

"I believe I always manage to keep my end up, John," said the detective smirking. He hadn't wasted his time learning pickup lines and flirts for nothing.

Sherlock was rewarded with one of John's lovely carmine blushes (carmine-obtained from the aluminium salt of carminic acid derived from certain species of scale insects. Of possible importance as it is a cause of severe, even fatal, allergic reactions in some people and thus could, potentially be used as a specialized poison…) Sherlock shelved that currently unneeded data in his mind palace, for future reference.

"The point is," said the thin brunet with a look askance at his flat mate. "I said 'was', as in the past tense, because I have deduced the cause of your distress."

"I am not in any distress, Sherlock." said John blandly.

"You are afraid of Moriarty…"

"I am not afraid of Moriarty."

"…and rightly so," continued the consulting detective, ignoring his partner's protest. "In addition to my own searches, Mycroft's investigations show that Moriarty has a web of international criminal activities and abilities that we are only now beginning to understand. He is powerful, obsessive, has a history of abusing men and murdering people." John blinked. "And he evinces a very unhealthy interest in you."

"And I'm still not afraid."

"Untrue. Your concerns are two-fold," said the consulting detective, who began to pace. His long legs ate up the distance fast forcing him to turn frequently. It made John, who was already nervous, a bit dizzy. "First, you are concerned that he will try to blackmail you into working for him as an assassin. Allow me to attempt to allay your fears somewhat. Harry has been moved to a place of safety. She is in rehab somewhere outside of the UK. Her her ex-wife, Clara, is on holiday for the forseeable future. Thus the leverage that he used on you has been removed. Also, if it is any reassurance, I now have your gun back in our possession. It is in the top drawer of my desk."

"My gun is in out possession. Well, good that's all sorted then," said John, with an unconvincing smile. "Didn't I see a basket of fruit in the sitting room," he added, getting up stiffly and shoving his trembling left hand in his pocket.

The detective grabbed John by his arms, preventing him from leaving the kitchen.

"Your second fear, is that you will find yourself helpless and in Moriarty's clutches. You fear that he will..."

"Stop it! All right? I don't want to talk about it. You are being ridiculous, and I'm not worried"

"You fear that he will rape you,"the unstoppable force known as Sherlock. "I have researched this issue, and found that you need to talk about this or else…"

"I am finished with this conversation, and you can release my arms," growled John furiously.

"Ignoring the problem won't make it go away," said the sanguine sleuth,

"I'M AWARE OF THAT!" bellowed John. "And talking about it won't make it disappear either!" The blond pushed the taller man away and stormed over to his comfy chair. Just before he fell into it, he slowed and lowered himself down gingerly. He took a couple of breaths to control himself.

"Also, John, you should know that I have contacted Mycroft and withdrawn you from participation in Mycroft's scheme to use you as a lure for Moriarty."

"You had no right to do that, Sherlock," snapped the former army captain, his eyes blazing.

"Nevertheless, it's done…"

"You should have asked me first!"

"...because I am afraid for you. I cannot risk you any further," said the consulting detective. "John, you were kidnapped again yesterday. While it was a relatively benign event, it has clearly inflamed your worries, if not your PTSD."

John snorted derisively, but his furrowed brow revealed his hidden anxiety.

The handsome detective continued his well-rehearsed remarks, "Of equal concern to me, Mycroft was either unaware of your plight yesterday, or he withheld it from me deliberately. I don't know which is the case and no longer care. We cannot trust him, not that I ever did." Sherlock knelt in front of John, so that they were eye to eye.

"I do not wish you to sacrifice yourself on the altar of Mycroft's ambitions. I am asking you to trust me," continued Sherlock. "And I cannot protect you, unless you are with me. So I do not wish you to leave this flat without me. When I do go out, you will accompany me and so will your gun. It is simple but effective. Can we agree to that?"

John licked his lips; frankly he didn't trust the evil emperor Mycroft either. But this was really becoming too dangerous for the younger man. "Look, I don't want to put you in danger, Sherlock. I should never have moved in here…"

"Oh not that tiresome argument again," scoffed Sherlock dismissively. "I need you. I need you with me. I need to protect you. Will you agree to abide by my decisions, John?"

John bunched up his forehead, deep in thought. It was tempting to submit to the genius's superior intellect, but John wasn't used to blindly following orders…Well, that wasn't precisely true now, was it? Actually, John had been in the military. He had loved the military, and he was quite used to following commands… except when they were immoral or endangered innocent people for no good reason.

This command was not immoral. And while it did endanger Sherlock, the git endangered himself all the time anyway. At least this way, John and his gun could cover the detective's back. John felt himself begin to acquiesce.

"Excellent decision, John," congratulated the consulting detective with a smirk.

"But I didn't tell you my answer," said John.

"Didn't need to," said Sherlock, jumping up. "The tells were so obvious, that Anderson could have read the answer in your relaxed brow, unclenched teeth, loud sigh, your hand that stopped trembling, your renewed eye contact…"

"Right. Fine. I'll just…"

"By all means, get your apple; you were going for the apple, don't deny it," said the all-knowing detective. "Then go and take your hot shower. You'll feel much better for it, and in the meantime, I can think in peace."

John wore the same pair of partially broken-in jeans and stubbornly pulled Sherlock's blue Nordic jumper over his new blue button-down. Actually, it was, for all intents and purposes, John's jumper now. John had no intention of returning his favorite, blue, comfy jumper back to Sherlock Holmes.

The consulting detective was bouncing on the balls of his feet, when John shambled in with another mug of tea.

"John! Look at this…A man murdered by a ghost!"

The brunet shoved his (John's) laptop in front of the blond. John quickly scanned the online news about a journalist, who had been found dead in his locked, inaccessible flat.

John pursed his lips thoughtfully while his flat mate vibrated with excitement.

"And you think this case is connected with... Van Coons?" John correctly deduced.

Yes, obviously. We need to see Dimmock at once. Come along John!

"Sherlock, Detective Inspector Dimmock might be more receptive to your suggestions if you put on real clothes," suggested John, with an uncharacteristic smirk.

"GOD!" yelled Sherlock in outrage. "Pointless conventions." The brunet stormed into his room to change his clothes, which meant John had time to drink most of his tea.

A/N My sincerest thanks to everyone who still reads, follows or favorites this fic! You make me happy! :D

My even more sincerest thanks to those of you who reviewed Chapter 29 including: deanine, Erenem, anyrie1, 107602, EJ 12212012, raspberriesandrum, Quiet Time, SamuelE8688, G0dC0mplex, The Happiest, Max732 and Snowphire. You made me smile with irrepressible joy. :D

Readers, followers, favoriters and reviewers are the reason I keep writing this stuff.

Disclaimer I do not own the rights to SHERLOCK.

Additional Disclaimer and Rant-The characters in my fics are FICTIONAL and loosely based on other FICTIONAL characters. In no way do they, or should they, reflect on REAL PEOPLE. (Please note the difference between fiction and real life…it is an important distiction).

I was frankly horrified to read about the wretched way some so-called fans have treated the real actress who plays Mary via Twitter and the Internet. It was deplorable.

Whether or not you like the fictional character of Mary or her role in the make-believe television drama, that in no way allows you to insult or threaten the actress who portrays that character .

I also fervently believe that just as I am entitled to express my own opinions, the actress is entitled to express her opinions, regardless of whether her opinions agree with mine or not. Or anyone else's opinion for that matter.

Honestly, what I was able to read about her comments made perfect sense, when I looked at them from her point of view. But even if I had hated what she had to say, (which I did not) I still think she has the right to express her opinion without insults or threats. (There is a difference between expressing different points of view and expressing personal insults. And threats are for bullies and criminals, and thus are not worthy of my contempt.)

If she ever insulted anyone (and I never saw any insults) then the appropriate reaction is to either politely ignore it as a poorly thought-out or emotional outburst or politely point out the hurtful nature of the insult. Can't we all just act like higher lifeforms?

Sorry for the rant, but I was disappointed and disgusted with the whole attack on the real actress thing. Mary, John and Sherlock are MAKE BELIEVE. Neither they or their fictional friends and family can be hurt. Ms Abbington is a real woman with friends, family and children all of whom have feelings that should be respected. I cannot imagine how she or her partner felt. For what it's worth, they have my support. I can only hope that her children never have to be exposed to such toxic trash.

I also hope that no one ever thought that my jibes at the fictional Mary Morstan in anyway reflected my opinion of the real-life actress, who is clearly a talented and gifted actress and who brought depth, humor and pathos to my favorite television show.

Yeah, so this has really been bothering me and so I wanted to get it off of my chest.

End Rant -sendai