I'm going to kill him.

No matter how often we try, no matter how many times he begs me to give him just one more chance, it isn't enough.

We can't keep going on like this. Something has to change.

The floor is rough under my shins, marked by years of experiments conducted in the pursuit of deductive reasoning. He's sitting before me, trying to appear unaffected, but we've been together too long for him to be able to hide from me. I can see it in the feverish glint in his eyes and in the determined way he stares straight ahead, pretending not to care.

He wants this so much, but I don't know if I can give it to him.

"Stop squirming." I loop the ribbon around and over his wrist, then through the arm of the chair. "You're not making this any easier."

"True." His fingers flex, as if he is fighting the urge to leap from his seat. "But in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that those are hardly likely to hold me."

"I know." The bonds are so loose he could easily slip his hands out of the loops. "That's not why they're there." I move to secure the other hand.

"Ah." He nods once, accepting the information before filing it away in his head. "Then what, may I ask, is their intended purpose?" His fingers are drumming restlessly on the armrests, and his head has begun to rock slightly back and forth.

"Sherlock, six months ago when I used zip-ties to secure you, what happened?"

The faintest hint of sweat appears on his forehead, right at his hairline. "I broke them in the first thirty seconds."

"Uh-huh. And four months ago when I used the Pimall cuffs?"

"I escaped from them after three and a half minutes. I must admit to being disappointed. I had heard good reviews about them."

"You weren't the only one who was disappointed." It had taken half an hour to wedge myself into that leather catsuit, and Sherlock had me out of it five minutes after he had freed his hands.

Not that I didn't enjoy what came next, but that wasn't the point. Sherlock wanted this… and if I'm being totally honest, so do I.

Which makes it even more frustrating that he keeps sabotaging himself.

His head dips and tilts to the side in acceptance of his failure. "In my defense, I had only the best of intentions. However, it seems those intentions disappear when faced with you in this particular outfit."

"Sherlock…"

"While I am eager – one could, in fact, reliably say more than eager… " he continues, lifting his shoulders in a shrug that threatens to pull his arms from the ribbons tethering him to the chair, "… I seem, on a subconscious level, unable to resist the desire to touch you. The restraints get in the way; therefore, the restraints must go."

"Which is what these are for." After a final test to make sure the ribbons won't come open on their own, I stop fussing with them and sit back on my heels.

That should work.

"I am afraid I still do not understand." The first glimmer of uncertainty appears, and the cool blue of his eyes warms with curiosity. "If the most sophisticated locks have failed, what can lace fripperies do?"

"The ribbons aren't to restrain you, Sherlock." Using only the tips of my fingers, I trace where they cross over his wrists, letting my touch brush lightly over his skin. "They're there to remind you."

"Meaning?" His voice has roughened, husky with need.

"Meaning that you're very smart and very stubborn…" And occasionally obnoxious, arrogant, and irritating.

"I believe determined would be a more accurate descriptor than stubborn..."

As I was saying. "… and you never back down from an experiment. So, we're going to experiment on precisely how stubborn…"

"…determined…"

"… you are." My fingers have finished tracing the path of the ribbons and have come to rest on the muscled planes of his thighs. I can feel heat rising under my palms, seeping through the thin fabric of his pants.

"In other words," I continue, "the moment your hands slip from those ribbons, I'm going to stop what I'm doing and go upstairs. To sleep."

"Yes." His head dips in acknowledgment, and his body releases the rigidity he has been holding, settling into an easy languor. "That should do it."

Still, this is Sherlock. He's never content to let anyone else have the last word. "I should warn you," he says, his lips curling up in anticipation, "I was not exaggerating when I said I was more than eager to explore this particular scenario. Hopefully my heart will be up to the strain."

"Don't worry; you married a doctor." I stand up and fix him with my sternest glare. "If you die before I'm done with you, I'll just bring you back to life."

His head tilts back against the chair, his eyes closed in contentment. "You already have, Watson. You already have."