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Title: I'll Wait For You (Like You Waited For Me)
Warnings: none, except that this hasn't been beta'd (feel free to point out any mistakes)
Characters/Pairings: Sherlock, Lestrade, Mycroft, John (VERY loosely read-between-the-lines-because-you-want-it implied Mystrade)
Summary: Written for this prompt on the kinkmeme. "Sometime after the hiatus. During a crime where John is missing, presumed dead, Sherlock refuses to leave without him."

John.

It was the only thing Sherlock’s mind could focus on right now. Just a silent, terrified mantra of John John John John John John.

How had John got there first? They (John, Sherlock and Lestrade) had been running after the killer through the streets of London, Lestrade on his phone for backup, while Sherlock and John raced ahead as always. And then, without warning, John was in front, gaining on the killer, grabbing him from behind.

John.

Sherlock was distantly aware that Lestrade had arrested the killer as police cars pulled up. He was distantly aware of red and blue flashing lights and shouting and a crowd gathering and someone possibly saying his name. But none of that mattered – he had frozen the minute John’s body sank below the surface of the water, his mind trying to catch up to what had happened, but all he could think was John John John John John mixed with wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Then suddenly everything seemed blessedly silent, as though the world was holding their breath, waiting for John to resurface – only he didn’t. Sherlock couldn’t be sure of how much time had passed, but he knew it had been far too long. John should have resurfaced almost instantly.

John.

Before anyone could react, Sherlock dumped his coat and scarf and dived into the water after him, his eyes burning with the effort of keeping them open to see through the murky water. His hands groped around for anything that could be John, but met nothing. Eventually, as his lungs burnt for air and his vision swam, he felt strong hands grope around him, dragging him back to the water’s surface.

“What are you DOING?” he shouted breathlessly, attempting, albeit weakly, to struggle out of the firm, surprisingly warm grip. “John is down there and I need to find him!”

Idiots, his mind supplied as he was dragged out of the water, a shock blanket immediately placed around his shoulders.

The warm somebody kept behind him, his arms still wrapped firmly around Sherlock’s middle. Lestrade, he distantly registered, then returned to John John John.

He kept his eyes glued to the water, silently begging John to perform some kind of miracle and resurface. It felt like hours passed before Lestrade unwound his arms from his middle and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“We have to go, Sherlock,” he said quietly, his voice a little more rough than usual.

Sherlock’s gaze didn’t flicker once, though his body flinched slightly and he realised he was shivering despite the thick blanket around his shoulders.

“No.”

He felt Lestrade’s grip on his shoulder tighten, but refused to acknowledge what it meant, because that just wouldn’t be fair. Not after they had only just found each other again. Not after three years without John.

“I’m going to wait for the doctor. Just like he always waits for me,” he heard his voice waver and inwardly cursed himself, tensing his jaw as he felt his eyes burn.

“I’m sorry Sherlock,” Lestrade started, and Sherlock felt his lip tremble, a desperate, aching, defiant moan threatening to burst from his throat. “John’s dead.”

Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

He shut his eyes tight, trying to force away the hot, angry tears that were already on his cheeks, before turning to face Lestrade, his expression fierce and defiant.

“You don’t know him! Because he’s not! I’m telling you he’s not! And if he was, how could I leave him, all on his own, all the way down there?” he knew he sounded pathetic, and he knew he probably looked it too, but he couldn’t care beyond how wrong all of this was.

John couldn’t be dead. John had only just begun to forgive him. John had only just moved back into Baker Street with him after weeks of actual begging on his behalf. John had only just started coming on cases and forcing Sherlock to watch rubbish TV again. John had only just slid himself back into Sherlock’s life comfortably, and there was no way he could be dead. Not now. Not ever. Because he was John; good John, strong John, loyal John, his John. He could sense Lestrade preparing to talk again, and cut him off.

“No. I’m staying.”

The two stared at each other for a small while, waiting for the other to give in, and eventually Lestrade sighed, his body slumping against Sherlock’s in defeat. He gave a small nod of his head and wrapped his arms back around Sherlock’s middle, bringing back a warmth Sherlock wouldn’t admit to having needed.

“Alright. Alright, Sherlock. It’s okay. It’s alright.”

Sherlock allowed himself to relax a little, burying his head in his arms as his body shuddered with the effort it took not to cry, taking comfort in Lestrade’s hushed but constant words, despite how meaningless they were.

---

Sherlock had been sitting in Lestrade’s arms, body heaving occasionally with sobs he refused to let escape, for hours (or was it minutes? Did he even care? Time was irrelevant and it was so hard to keep track) when he felt an extra set of hands reach under his arms to lift him off the ground. Something inside him snapped and he pushed himself away from both Lestrade and the other set of arms that could only belong to Mycroft.

“Leave. Me. ALONE!” He shouted, tugging his coat back on with trembling hands.

“Sherlock –“ Mycroft started, but Sherlock had already taken off, coat blowing behind him, scarf tied haphazardly around his neck.

He knew John was alive. John had to be alive. John wouldn’t just die on him; not without saying goodbye at least. He knew John, and John wouldn’t do that.

“Sherlock, you’re being irrational.”

“Mycroft leave it be,” Lestrade hissed, and Sherlock felt a mild surge of pride which was quickly banished once Lestrade’s hands gripped his shoulders once more. “Sherlock, where are you going?”

“To find John,” he replied, unable to keep the irritation out of his tone. Really, people should use their brains more often.

The pitying look Lestrade was giving him mixed with the condescending one from Mycroft made him want to scream. Instead, his hands just shook more. But he felt alive now, and utterly stupid for having let emotion cloud his judgement.

“Sherlock. Detective Inspector Lestrade texted me to let me know what happened. I brought up the CCTV footage.” Mycroft’s voice faltered, sending a brief surge of panic through Sherlock. “I’m sorry, Sherlock, but he’s gone.”

Lestrade’s grip tightened and Sherlock shook him free, a defiant growl escaping from his chest, his eyes narrowing on Mycroft.

“No. No! I expected better from you, Mycroft,” he spat the name as though it were a bad taste in his mouth. “Don’t you see? Look! Look at the current! John had to have been injured! Why else would he not have resurfaced immediately? How could he fight that current while injured? No. No he’s clever, and he knows I’m clever. He went with the current. He knows how to handle a tough situation and he knows how to stop himself from panicking.”

Sherlock stared at them both, willing them to see what he was explaining, but they still wore the same expressions, now somewhat softened around the edges. He rolled his eyes and snapped his body away from Lestrade’s outstretched hands, stalking forward with his usual confidence.

“It will be quicker if you drive, but I’ll walk if I have to. If my calculations are correct – and they almost always are – then John should be near Waterloo Bridge.”

“Sherlock, listen-“

“No, you listen, Inspector. John’s not dead. He wouldn’t… he couldn’t… He’s not dead!” Sherlock could hear his voice cracking again, but he refused to let himself believe that his emotions were winning over logic.

He drew a shuddering breath, fighting for composure once more. He glanced at Mycroft who was having a hushed conversation on the phone, before allowing himself to be directed towards Lestrade’s car.

“Look. I’m taking you home, Sherlock, alright?”

“NO!” Sherlock was beginning to panic now.

Emotions, he chastised himself, pointless, stupid, irrelevant and definitely not helpful. Push it aside. Only he couldn’t. Not now. Not while John’s life was on the line and everyone including Mycroft were being so dense.

“Sherlock. SHERLOCK!” Lestrade’s voice was fighting through his panic, hands on his shoulders, trying to calm him down.

“No! I will damn well walk there myself if I have to but I am NOT going home until I find John.”

“Please, Sherlock just-“

“Stop," Mycroft cut in calmly. "Inspector, Sherlock just might be on to something.”

Lestrade and Mycroft seemed to share a silent conversation that, for once, Sherlock couldn’t deduce, before Lestrade nodded and got into his car, motioning for Sherlock to join him.

“We’ll head down to Waterloo then. But after that, I’m taking you home regardless of what we find.”

Sherlock gave a terse nod and slid into the passenger seat, resolutely not looking at Lestrade.

---

Sherlock ran towards John’s limp, lifeless figure, falling to his knees as he gripped John’s wrist, feeling for a pulse. Despite its sluggishness, it was there, and Sherlock couldn’t help but let out a relieved whimper, dragging John’s body into his arms.

“Sh’lock?” John croaked before spluttering, heaving nothing but salt water from his lungs and stomach.

Sherlock held him with trembling arms, rubbing his hand in small circles which he hoped were soothing, as the wail of an ambulance grew closer.

“You’re alright John. You’re alright. You’re going to be alright.”

Despite being wet and cold and smelling absolutely terrible, Sherlock couldn’t help but press his face into John’s shoulder, taking comfort from the weak, coughing, shivering form in his arms.

“I knew you couldn’t be dead.”

Nothing Happens To Me

Title: Nothing Happens To Me
Warnings: mild anxiety, what could be taken as suicidal ideation, vague/mild references to murder and infidelity, references to character death, some swearing towards the end, SPOILERS FOR REICHENBACH
Characters/Pairings: John/Mary, Sherlock, Lestrade, Sarah, Mycroft
Summary: John experiences l'appel du vide quite often

Pre-Sherlock


“Nothing happens to me.”

The full weight of that sentence – that one, seemingly simple remark – sat heavy in John’s throat, making it exceedingly difficult to swallow around it. His fingers twitched lightly against the arm rest, and he clenched and unclenched his jaw. He could feel the condescending look that his psychiatrist was giving him, but his vision had glassed over. He was distantly aware that she was saying something – hopefully signalling the end of their session – but he couldn’t hear anything over the rush of blood in his ears. He got up quickly, muttering a forced thanks for her time as he hurried to escape the room that seemed to be getting smaller by the second.

It wasn’t until the screech of tyres and angry shouting broke through his melancholy state, that he realised he had walked straight in front of a cab. His heart pounded in his chest as the world came back at full force, making London seem more vivid and beautiful than he had ever seen it before. A grin had worked its way onto his face before he’d even realised it, and he waved a careless apology to the cab driver, walking across the road with absolutely no limp. However, halfway down the street, as his apartment building came into view, his limp returned at full force, causing him to stumble, the sky turned grey, and the hub-bub around him turned back to nothing more than irritating white noise.

“Nothing happens to me.”

---

From his open window, John Watson glanced down at the ever moving traffic below, and considered, not for the first time, what it would feel like to simply fall. It wasn’t that he wanted to die; in fact, it was quite the opposite. John wanted to live. He wanted to feel something more than the constant, empty nothingness and the buzzing inside his head. John wanted to be saving lives and fighting for his country. Instead he was stuck in a small flat with nothing more than a limp, a bad shoulder, and a tremor in his hand, rendering him useless.

A frustrated growl sounded in his chest, and he clenched and unclenched his fists before leaning out his window as far as he could, and taking a deep breath in, shuddering on the outtake. His head was spinning, but not unpleasantly, and his mind was filled with images of falling, falling, falling, falling into blackness and weightlessness and wonder. The wind picked up and images of his crushed body on the pavement filled his mind, his heart now hammering inside his chest. With a jolt, he pulled himself back inside, breathing deeply, unable to force back the small smile creeping its way onto his face. If his psychiatrist could see inside his head, he knew she would have him institutionalised in an instant.

---


John lay in bed, his fingers drumming restlessly against his ribs as he fought the urge to be terribly destructive. The frustration of doing nothing was eating away at him, slowly ripping his insides apart, leaving him itching in places he couldn’t scratch. His breath sped up without him even realising it, and hot tears slipped down the sides of his face as his fingers dug into the fabric of his shirt.

“Get a grip,” he told himself, fighting to even his breath out.

He could hear his own hear t beating in his ears, but this heartbeat sounded pathetic in comparison to the thrumming that kept him alive and striving in Afghanistan. This heartbeat sounded like an out of time drum, fighting to keep up with the rest of the band. This heartbeat sounded lonely and disjointed and broken, and he hated it.

The cold, hard metal in his hand made him snap out of it and he held his breath. He didn’t recall moving from the bed to snatch up his gun, and yet here it was, in his hand, pressed to the side of his head. A shiver ran through his body and his grip on the gun tightened before he snatched it away, checking the safety before tossing it back into the drawer. John stumbled back against his bed, his chest heaving with wet, ragged, gasping breaths.

He figured that this was probably a sign he should take his therapist seriously, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to call her; not when appointments meant sitting in that dull office, talking about his dull feelings, and watching as the walls closed in on him once more. It was mundane, he was useless, and there was absolutely no point in going there (no matter how many times the small voice in the back of his mind tried to tell him otherwise).

He closed his eyes as he lay back on his bed, and took deep, deliberate breaths, until sleep finally consumed him.

---


John woke feeling entirely as though he hadn’t slept a wink. He glanced at the clock on his side table and sighed. He had no routine and absolutely no reason to get up, and yet the bright red 11:08 was staring at him accusingly, daring him to stay in bed for the rest of the day, along with the quiet but convincing voice in the back of his mind.

“No,” he thought to himself firmly, still not making a move. “I will get up on the count of three… One… Two… Three.”

John’s body twitched slightly before he relaxed further into the comfort of his bed, a soft sigh sending a flush of warmth through his pillow. His mind was suddenly flooded with hot, speeding, angry thoughts that whirled and whizzed and barged through his brain, demanding that his body pay attention and do as it was told, but his body didn’t comply. It felt as though an invisible weight was pushing him down, holding him in place, which only added to his frustration. He felt unbelievably heavy, and extremely helpless, and it was so very tempting to just give into the pressure to never ever leave his bed again.

In a small burst of determination, John lifted his head and pushed his body of the bed, ready to slip his legs out from under the covers, but within seconds his body had crashed back down onto the soft mattress and sleep clouded his mind once more.

“Is there even any point? I have nothing to do and nowhere to go and no one to see and that is what my existence will be for the rest of my life, so why not stay in bed and do nothing where it’s comfortable instead of doing nothing whilst pretending to no one that I’m perfectly okay? Why not stay here instead of bothering myself with all the monotony in store for me out there?”

Something inside him snapped, and he sprung from the bed, frustration gripping him once more. His skin itched and his muscles twitched, once again desperate for something more than his simple, broken life in London gave him. He longed for something – anything – to happen; an explosion, being mugged, saving someone held at gunpoint, being held at gunpoint, having to save someone’s life again.

His cheeks flushed as he realised what he was thinking, and he cursed himself inwardly for wishing for such things. It was one thing to wish to endanger his own life, but it was another thing completely to wish that on other people, simply because he was bored. John clenched his jaw and set about getting ready for the day, ignoring the irritating buzz inside his head.

“Nothing happens to me.”

---


“John! John Watson!”

John forced a smile onto his face as he turned to greet Mike Stamford. They had been friends in school, but things were different now, and John didn’t much like the idea of the pity he felt sure would come his way. He was useless and broken, invalided home, a shell of his former self. He didn’t want anyone from his old life to know that, which was why he hadn’t bothered to contact anybody to catch up for drinks. (He absolutely refused to admit that that was probably only part of the story, the other much bigger part being depression.)

He smiled his way through mind numbing conversation about the good old days and what they were doing with their lives now, and before he knew it, he was being dragged off to meet a potential (unlikely) new flatmate.

Meeting Sherlock Holmes was the most exciting (and, admittedly confusing and somewhat infuriating) thing that had happened to him since he’d returned from Afghanistan, and before he even had time to really properly think about moving in with him (who was he kidding; he didn’t have to think about it, he felt better than he’d felt in far too long) he was running with him through London, chasing what was possibly (or probably, if what he’d already seen of Sherlock Holmes was anything to go by) a serial killer in a cab.

He saw Sherlock jump from one building to the next, and faltered to a stop, peering over the edge. Everything else felt distant and all he could hear was his heart pounding wildly in his chest, beating life throughout his entire body, calling for him to take that plunge and feel that weightlessness before the darkness. He closed his eyes, feeling the wind in his hair, and allowed his body to drag him forward slowly, answering the call of the void.

“Come on John! We’re losing him!”

Sherlock’s voice snapped him back to reality, sound rushing back at 100% volume, his senses tingling and alive. He didn’t even have to think twice as he stepped back to properly jump across the gap, chasing after Sherlock once more.

It wasn’t until Angelo handed him his cane, after he and Sherlock had leant against the wall, laughing in earnest, that he realised that the urge to jump wasn’t as strong as the desire to follow Sherlock. He wasn’t entirely sure what that meant for him, but he knew that he felt more alive than he had since he’d been shot, and that thought sat comfortably inside him, filling him with a warmth he’d thought he’d never get back.

Post-Reichenbach


The cool London air whipped around him, locals and tourists alike walked past, and the traffic buzzed on by, but John Watson knew that the world wasn’t paying attention to him. He figured there might be a security camera or two nearby aimed specifically in his direction, but he pushed the thought from his mind, deeming it irrelevant. It didn’t matter to him what Mycroft saw or what he thought or did, because as far as John was concerned, that part of his life died when Sherlock jumped off the roof of Barts.

He sucked in a shuddering breath at the thought and leaned a little more heavily against the railing, peering down at the Thames beneath. It had been three months, but every time he thought of Sherlock Holmes, he felt the same dizzying, breathtaking sickness he’d felt as he watched Sherlock jump and all he saw behind his eyelids was Sherlock’s blood across his face, sticking his hair to the pavement.

The rushing water below helped anchor him, and he closed his eyes, leaning over just a little bit more. It made his heart pound in his chest and reminded him that he didn’t die when Sherlock died – he still had a life, and that life had to be lived. He hadn’t felt that urge to jump since his first night with Sherlock, and his stomach turned at the thought. The urge to jump was there, of course, powered by a lack of Sherlock, but it felt different now, tainted by fear, uncertainty and something else unpleasant that he couldn’t quite place. His head began to spin slightly, and just as he realised he’d been holding his breath, a voice startled him back to reality and away from the railing.

“It’s a bit cold isn’t it? To just stand here watching the water, I mean.”

John glanced sideways, taking in deep, deliberate breaths of air, though he was desperately trying to hide his panic. A woman around 30 years old was leaning lightly against the railing, smiling brightly at him, though the corners of her eyes were tinged with worry.

“Mmm. I hadn’t noticed,” he said quietly, once he felt sure his voice wouldn’t shake.

He flashed her a reassuring smile in return and was surprised to find it feeling more sincere than he’d anticipated. Now he looked properly, he noticed that she was quite pretty, despite being relatively plain at first glance.

“Suppose you had bigger things on your mind, hm?” she took a small step towards him, as though she were approaching a spooked horse. “If you’re not careful, you might fall in.”

Her tone was light and joking, but John could still see the concern behind her smile. A small laugh escaped him and he shook his head, glancing away briefly before properly locking eyes with her, a ghost of a smile still lingering on his lips. He didn’t resent her concern like he did with most – in fact, he rather liked the fact that, despite her concern, she didn’t feel the need to fuss over him or express her worry openly. It was refreshing to be able to joke with someone who wasn’t Mrs Hudson, instead of having everybody tread on eggshells around him, as though he would break if someone so much as tried to be happy.

“I’m sure I’m not that clumsy,” he said lightly, glancing over at the water again.

She glanced down briefly, brushing her hair back from her face, and smiled at him again, the moonlight catching her eyes and making them sparkle.

I feel lighter than I have since Sherlock. The thought sent a surge of guilt through his body, making his smile falter, and he glanced away again, looking over the Thames again, telling himself on repeat that he shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling happy.

“I take it you’re not busy, then?” she asked quietly, her voice tinged with worry now, and he hated himself for it. “Only, I was thinking maybe I could buy you coffee? There’s a place open nearby, and there’s no use both of us being lonely when we could be in each other’s company, right?”

His eyes snapped back to her, mild shock written in his features before he could mask it with a smile, albeit a hesitant one. He couldn’t help but want to go with her; she was pretty, and bright, and she made him feel happy even though he barely knew her.

“Not busy at all, no,” he said quietly, clasping his hands behind his back as he took a step towards her. “Lead the way.”

As relief flooded her features, John felt a warmth swell inside his chest, and he left behind the call of the void for now, as he walked with her.

It wasn’t until they were settled with their coffee that they exchanged names, and by the end of the night they each had a new number stored in their phone.

---


Mycroft Holmes glanced down at the invitation on his desk next to his computer before returning his eyes to the screen in front of him. He would be wearing a smug smile on his face (John would send him an invitation, despite not wanting him there, just because he knew he’d be watching anyway) if it weren’t for the fact that he was watching John standing on the balcony in his wedding suit, eyes closed, body leaning forward slightly, as though willing himself to just fall.

It wasn’t the first time Mycroft had felt like sending someone out to intervene and take John away. It also wasn’t the first time he had contemplated telling John that Sherlock was, in fact, alive and nearby, and would actually be coming home right this instant because this has gone on long enough. Instead, he leant back in his chair, eyes still fixed on the screen for any slight change in John’s behaviour, and raised his brandy to his lips. For now, he seemed stable enough.

---


Mary watched quietly through to where John was standing on their balcony, his entire body trembling as he clutched the bannister. She knew he preferred to be alone, but she so desperately wanted to be able to sweep him into her arms and hold him close and remind him that it’s okay, it’s all okay, everything is okay.

But it’s not. Not really. She had come to understand that what John experienced was something known as l’appel du vide; the urge to jump, especially from high places; the call of the void. He had explained to her before they got married that since Afghanistan (and even before, though not quite so much) he had had that urge to jump, but it wasn’t a desire to die. He had explained that it came with his need for danger and excitement, and he was okay, really, he was, it had just returned after Sherlock died.

She could piece together the things he hadn’t said, now, but she wished she’d been able to see them before she took him out to go bungee jumping, which had resulted in a full blown panic attack. She could see now how the urge to jump was different, and really, she felt rather stupid for not having even thought of it. Watching someone you love jump off a building and seeing their blood all over the pavement, oozing from their crushed skull, would never leave you. It wasn’t something they really talked about, but she should have known.

When John’s grip on the bannister loosened and his body slumped in mild defeat, Mary walked over to him, making sure he knew she was there before wrapping her arms firmly around his middle, resting her head on his back. Her hand ran gentle, soothing circles against the fabric of his jumper until she felt the tension in his muscles relax, and his breathing return to normal.

Nothing was said. Nothing had to be said. Mary knew, and John knew she knew, and she was here, and she knew he knew that too, and that was all that mattered.

---


Greg Lestrade sighed gently as he spread the information concerning his latest case out on John’s coffee table, running a hand over his face. He kept in regular contact with John, but most of that contact was either talking about his cases, or actually working on his cases (because for all John denied it, he was actually helpful and had picked up a few things from Sherlock in the time they’d spent together; and there was a subject they never spoke about). He’d tried to do the ‘casual friend’ thing with John, but it didn’t really work. John had always seemed a bit off unless they were talking about work, and really, work was all Greg had, especially since his last breakup with his wife.

“Christ,” he heard John breathe out beside him, and hummed in agreement, his eyes scanning over the mutilated, photographed corpses once more.

A mother and her two children, all murdered in the children’s bedroom and left to be found by the Nanny the next morning. Neighbours had said they’d heard fighting, and all signs pointed to the husband. And yet they had no evidence, even though he confessed they had a row before he left to stay at his sister’s for the night, and his alibi held up.

After a couple of hours poring over the files, discussing their options and throwing ideas around, ultimately coming up with nothing new, Mary’s soft voice broke through his hazed mind, reminding him that it wasn’t just he and John.

“Would you like tea or coffee? Or something to eat?” she asked softly, her hand resting gently on John’s shoulder.

“Coffee would be great, thanks,” he replied with a small nod, still managing to feel disappointed that it was Mary standing behind John, glancing at the files in front of them, instead of Sherlock.

Guilt rose up inside him at that thought and he cleared his throat, looking away, as though he was afraid she’d be able to read his thoughts on his face.

“Mmm, coffee, thanks love,” John said softly, and Lestrade turned his head just in time to see John arch up off the sofa to kiss her, a soft smile easing itself onto his face.

He sighed gently and scrubbed his hand over his face, not allowing jealousy mix in with what he was already feeling. It was pathetic, really, to miss a man who had been gone for two years.

“Look, maybe we’ve missed something,” John said quietly, the frustration and determination set back on his face again.

“I’ve been over every inch of that place – we all have – but you’re more than welcome to go there yourself. All our questioning has been transcribed here for you, you’ve read over it all. I can’t let you question them officially, not that I can stop you questioning them unofficially, I suppose, but I don’t see what good it will do.” Would for Sherlock, his mind supplied, but he resisted saying it.

“Well maybe they’re lying. Christ. I don’t know. Sometimes I really wonder why you bring these cases around here, as though I can actually do more than you and your team. I’m not fucking Sherlock Holmes.”

Lestrade noticed John flinch, his skin paling slightly, and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“The file says marriage problems, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he was abusive. Friends and neighbours say things had been rocky for a while, and sometimes he wouldn’t come home for days. What if you’re missing someone? Someone who isn’t a friend, or a neighbour, or a relative?” Mary’s gentle voice eased the tension in the air slightly as she placed a tray on the coffee table, ignoring the files, before standing behind John again, her hand on his shoulder once more.

“What? If you’re suggesting the Nanny, it –“

“No. No someone out of the picture completely. I mean… Well, it could be nothing, I don’t know what it’s like to have a marriage fail,” her hand tightened slightly on John’s shoulder, pointedly not meeting Greg’s eyes now, “ but surely one of them must have done something to start problems. And you said his sister said he doesn’t normally go to her when they have a falling out… I… Well… Question is, where does he go then, if not to her?”

Mary seemed hesitant, but John was now gripping her hand, staring up at her with something akin to encouragement, and Lestrade couldn’t help but be somewhat impressed. He hadn’t even realised she’d been paying any attention to what they had been talking about, and he couldn’t believe he hadn’t even thought of that as strange.

“A lover, maybe? A jealous lover? I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it? She said she was busy, apologised, so he had to go elsewhere. She decided that this was her chance to get rid of them permanently.”

Greg stared at Mary for a moment, silently cursing himself for not even thinking of that. He ran a hand over his face, shoving the coffee aside to gather the files, sifting through them again, as though a confirmation of some kind would jump out of him from the pages. He sighed heavily and looked back up at Mary, opening his mouth to speak, but the words got lost on the tip of his tongue when he saw the look of open admiration on John’s face as he twisted in his seat to look at her properly. It was a look he hadn’t seen for two years; a look he thought he would never see again, if he was completely honest. John’s eyes were alight and he suddenly looked years younger as a broad smile broke out across his face. Greg felt his own smile forming in spite of himself as he realised he didn’t have to worry about John; not really, not when he had Mary, because Mary was able to surprise him, and amaze him, and keep him alive, and read him the way no one other than Sherlock Holmes could ever do. He knew it wasn’t the same, but he knew it was enough to keep John afloat, and for a brief moment he was glad that Sherlock Holmes wasn’t around to see that look directed at anyone else, because a jealous Sherlock Holmes was something no one wanted to face.

---


Sarah Sawyer locked eyes with Mary, unable to watch John as his face crumpled. Mary just smiled tiredly, almost apologetically at her, which made Sarah wonder what she had to apologise for.

She’d moved to oncology the moment she got notification at St Barts, and she’d known going into it that it would be hard, always having to break the news to somebody that they were probably (most likely, definitely) going to die, but she never really thought it would be this hard. Mary was just another patient, and that was fine, that she could handle. But John was her friend; had always been her friend, in fact, right from the first moment they met, even when his best friend (sometimes she wondered if boyfriend was a more accurate term; partner, lover, soul mate) almost got her killed twice in one evening.

“Is there any hope of treatment? Any at all?” Mary asked, reaching for John’s hand.

“We can try, but a tumour that size, especially in the brain… It’s inoperable. I’m so sorry,” her voice cracked on the last word, her throat tightening at the sight of John’s hand trembling in Mary’s.

Luck just didn’t go his way, it seemed, and for a brief moment she felt angry at the world for it. Of all the people she met, she was sure John Watson deserved something decent to last in his life. She watched as they rose to leave, her vision slightly blurred, and gave John a tight smile on his way out which he didn’t return.

---


John’s eyes were burning, his head was spinning, his hands were shaking and he just needed air. He pushed the door open and took a deep, shuddering breath in as the fresh air hit his face, but it didn’t help. He tried again and again, but his lungs just burned as though he was breathing in acid.

Dead.

The word repeated itself inside his head like a broken record, ‘round and ‘round, over and over, and he wanted to shout back that he understood, he knew what it meant, he’d been faced with it all his life so why on Earth would it stop now?

A sound, almost like a sob, wrenched itself from his chest, his lungs, his throat, burning and scratching and tearing its way out, but John Hamish Watson did not sob.

He looked down at his hands that had been holding hers only moments before. Good hands, strong hands, hands that had saved lives and taken lives and held life as it faded away. He’d held her hand a lot, every chance he got, especially towards the end.

He’d held her hand for hours the day they had been told her cancer was inoperable, and she wouldn’t live past three months. He hadn’t spoken – he couldn’t have, even if he wanted to – so they just lay in bed for hours, just holding hands, because John couldn’t bear to do more. He didn’t cry, and neither did she, but every time he tried to speak, just to say “I love you”, the words couldn’t push themselves past the lump in his throat.

John sighed and looked up at the clouds, feeling the sun beat down on his face, and it felt wrong. It felt like better, happier times, when things made sense. It felt like holidays to the beach with Mary’s family, and cases in the country with Sherlock, and summer holiday’s as a child when Harry was innocent and sober, and it hurt.

"John, it will be okay,” Mary said quietly one evening, exactly three months after that day.

John shook his head slightly, giving her a sad smile. Right now, he was just grateful that she was still alive, exceeding the doctor’s expectations. He knew it wouldn’t be long, but he didn’t want to think about that too much. She’d survived her three months, and she was still very much there.

“You’re strong. You’ve dealt with your sister’s alcoholism and you were a soldier in Afghanistan. You survived a gunshot wound and you survived Sherlock Holmes,” he flinched at that, but she continued, “and his death. And then you met me, and even then you weren’t broken. Not completely. You were still very much alive. You just needed someone to show you. And you will survive this, John, because you are strong.”

The tightness grew in his throat, but he refused to look away, filled with the need to memorise her face completely, because sometimes he forgot the exact colour of Sherlock’s eyes, or the way his lip quirked up just slightly when he said something clever, and he couldn’t stand the thought of forgetting those things about Mary.

“I love you.”

She’d whispered it, so quiet that he wouldn’t have registered it if he hadn’t been staring at her. He gave a small nod, swallowing around the tightness in his throat.

“I love you too,” he whispered hoarsely before drawing her close.

John swallowed again as he glanced over the edge of the roof, down at the few people filtering in and out of the hospital. His throat felt suddenly dry as he leant over, gripping the cement so tight his knuckles went white, his stomach dropping with the same feeling of dread and loss and disbelief that he’d felt when he watched Sherlock jump. This was the spot – the exact spot – and amongst all the other feelings swirling through his mind (stomach, heart, soul) he felt oddly free. A strange, distorted laugh bubbled up from his chest, bursting from his lips, and he shook his head, forcing it down before it began to sound like sobs again. And suddenly there it was. The urge to jump.

“L’appel du vide,” Mary said quietly as she slipped her hand in his, dragging his attention from the railing beside him. “It means ‘the call of the void’. It’s the desire to jump from high places.”

He stared at her then, a mixture of amazement, wonder, and, dare he admit it, fear, flooding through him. He was sure that if Sherlock hadn’t known, then no one else could possibly pick up on it, and if they did, they would merely think he was suicidal (which he didn’t care about – it was none of their business, and he was quite clearly not suicidal at all).

“Don’t look so worried. It’s okay. It’s actually common, and it makes sense, what with your love for danger and excitement and all. I didn’t understand, at first. I thought, when we first met, that you were going to do it.”

“So you asked me to coffee out of pity. I see how it is now,” he teased in response as he gave her hand a light squeeze.

“Yep,” she teased back lightly. “That’s what all this is about. We’re on our honeymoon, walking on this beautiful mountain trail, just because I took pity on you and couldn’t seem to let go.”

He laughed softly and brought her hand to his lips to kiss it before wrapping his arm around her, tucking her close to his side, feeling somewhat relieved, as though a weight he hadn’t even know had been there was now lifted off his shoulders. Someone knew, and understood, and loved him for it all the same.

John stood up on the edge of the roof, looking down his vision darkening as all sound around him faded out to practically nothing, the sound of his own heartbeat filling his ears once more, singing, beating, calling him down, down, down into bliss and freedom and blackness. He closed his eyes, breathing the air right into his lungs for what felt like the first time since Mary’s diagnosis, and he felt alive; terrified and thrilled and insane and manic and hysterical, but definitely alive. He knew he could never jump – never end up like Sherlock – and he knew that once this moment of mad freedom was over, he would have to step back inside that hospital and talk with Mary’s family and make arrangements, but right now none of that mattered, because the void was calling and he was standing on the edge of life and death, with his arms spread wide, daring the darkness to take him completely.

He lifted his head skyward, letting the sun beat down on his face, watching red bloom into the darkness behind his eyes, filling him with momentary panic (blood, blood, so much blood), and he felt his head spin, but before he could even think about losing his balance, a weight was on his chest, wrapped around his torso, pulling him back, dragging him down to the cement of the roof, holding him close and tight.

He opened his eyes, dragging in huge lungfuls of air, his hands groping at the arms around him. He could hear whoever grabbed him talking, muttering, something about being an idiot, but he could barely hear their deep, breathy voice over the blood rushing in his ears.

“John, what were you thinking?”

That voice turned his blood to ice, making him freeze entirely. That voice was impossible, long gone, and completely unfair. It had been three years since he’d last heard that voice. A burst of anger flooded through him and he spun around, his eyes briefly meeting those impossible grey eyes before his fist collided with that impossible, pale, sharp cheek.

“Oh God. Oh my God,” John heard himself saying, his voice sounding far too weak to be his own, so he swallowed, and tried again. “You bastard! You… You actually… No. You know what? Fuck this.”

He lunged at the impossible man, dragging that impossible, thin (too thin, thinner than he remembered) body towards him, burying his head into the crook of his neck, and breathed out.

“Sherlock,” he whispered over and over like a mantra, his body trembling against his will as his head span, too many emotions fighting for dominance all at once.

“John,” Sherlock whispered into his hair, running a soothing (somewhat hesitant) hand down his back. “John, don’t you dare ever think of doing something like that. Never. And don’t bother lying to me because I know, John. I know. Mycroft told me and I know, and you can’t, and I’m sorry. I’m so very, very sorry, John.”

Sherlock’s voice cracked on John’s name, and that’s when he knew to look up. Sherlock, ever cold and sure and demanding, suddenly so lost and confused and unsure and scared.

“Sod off, you prick. I wasn’t going to jump. I couldn’t. I could never. Not after I watched you…“ He broke off, lowering his head, desperately willing himself not to cry.

It had been a long, tiring, emotional day, and Sherlock showing up was so very unfair, and yet so very, very right, and he decided that right now, he didn’t care. Explanations and fights and long conversations about right and wrong and good and bad could come later, because right now, all John wanted to do was go home and sleep.

This doesn’t happen to normal people. Normal people’s friends don’t come back from the dead after three years. Normal people’s friends don’t come back from the dead the day their wife dies.

“Since when have you or I ever been normal, John?” Sherlock asked gently, drawing him close to rest his chin on top of his head.

John hummed his approval, closing his eyes and allowing himself to feel his overwhelming grief and relief at the same time, not even bothering to question how that was possible.

He felt Sherlock rubbing small circles on his back and realised that, though it may hurt, Mary was right when she said he would be okay (it wasn’t right now, definitely not right now, but it would be, he knew). But then again, she always was, wasn’t she?


A/N: I'm aware this fic moves at a rather fast pace. It was meant to be more of a study of John in terms of l'appel du vide, but I grew rather fond of Mary rather quickly. So uh, there might be a fic set during the second half of this that fills in the gaps of John and Mary's relationship.

The Science Of Love

Title: The Science Of Love
Warnings: mentions of drugs
Characters/Pairings: Sherlock/John
Summary: Is John capable of loving Sherlock? Is Sherlock capable of love?

As they sat in their favourite Chinese restaurant, John Watson tried not to think about what had happened only an hour before finding himself here. As usual he was seated opposite Sherlock who continued to silently study his surroundings and make deductions about God knows what. He stared down at his plate of food, barely even acknowledging its existence. He kept trying to focus on Sherlock; Sherlock’s calm eyes (though they didn’t seem too calm at the moment), his thoughtful expression, his hands pressed together underneath his chin, his brow occasionally creasing when a new idea came to mind.
He breathed out a heavy sigh, propping his head up on top of his clasped hands, closing his eyes for a brief moment, trying to get a grip. His ears were still ringing from being hit across the head with a cricket bat.  His wrists were still burning from where the rope had tightly bound them together. His bad shoulder still hurt considerably more than usual from the way Sherlock had dragged him up off the ground and out of the building. His head was still throbbing from where it had hit the cement pillar after he had been thrown forwards by the explosion.

Everything slowly came back into focus as John regained consciousness. He looked across to see Sherlock working his hands out of the rope that bound him to the cage behind him. He wasn’t used to seeing such a frustrated, almost upset look on the man’s face. A wave of nausea consumed him briefly, but he fought it down.

“Sherlock?” He called croakily, his voice echoing around the unfamiliar car park.

Sherlock looked up at John, surprising  yet obvious panic written in every inch of his features.

“Sherlock, what’s –“ he paused, feeling something touch the bare skin.

He glanced down and swallowed the feeling of dread that suddenly engulfed him. Attached to his chest was undoubtedly a bomb, its cold wires brushing his skin every time he took a breath in. A small digital clock read 0:32. The dread rose up as bile in his throat as the number switched to 0:31. It wasn’t a clock, it was a bomb.
Before he even had time to look up, Sherlock was by his side, quickly untying the ropes around his wrists.

“You’re not wearing a shirt” John commented weakly, but Sherlock said nothing.

He grabbed Johns arm, yanking him up from the floor, sending a surge of pain through his left shoulder as he did so, and grabbed John’s shirt from the ground in the same movement. His cold fingers scrambled at John’s bare chest, sending shivers down his spine.

“What are you… What…” He couldn’t get his words out properly, the ringing in his ears and the nausea both building now he was standing.

He swallowed again, his mind slowly catching up. The bombs. He managed to catch 0:25 change to 0:24 before Sherlock grabbed tossed the seemingly harmless device aside, dragging John with a considerable amount of force as he ran. John tried to force his feet to obey, but his brain was still having a difficult time keeping up.

BOOM!

John jumped slightly, Sherlock’s hand on his back jolting him from his thoughts. Truth be told, despite the war, and despite often finding himself in life threatening situations, he never really got used to the idea of almost being blown up.
He stood up numbly, realising that was an invitation to leave. He noticed Sherlock looked on the verge of saying something, but nothing was said.

“Are you alright?” Sherlock asked John quietly a few minutes after leaving the restaurant.

John laughed nervously, glancing at Sherlock sideways for a moment.

“I’m not as good as you are at these things” He commented quietly, always feeling just that little bit weaker in comparison to Sherlock. “I’m fine. Just need to sleep, I suppose.” He figured this was true. He always felt more relaxed once he had slept. “Are you…? Alright, I mean.”

“You didn’t… I should have… I’m sorry” Sherlock muttered, completely ignoring John’s own question.

It was unusual for Sherlock to struggle with words, he thought. It was even more unusual for Sherlock to apologise. Yet here he was, doing both, with an added pained expression he had never seen on that flawless face before.

“Don’t be.”

John felt Sherlock’s hand touch his own, and he glanced up at him. He was looking back down at him, a look of genuine concern on his face for a small moment before his face went blank again. He realised they had both stopped walking, and that their hands were still touching, with Sherlock’s fingers ever so slightly curled around John’s hand.

“Sherlock, what are you…. Are you okay?”

Sherlock’s face twisted into an expression John didn’t recognise, but within a second, the expression was gone and Sherlock was walking again, a look of deep concentration on his face.

“Sherlock?”

“Hm? Yes. I’m fine” he replied, dropping his hand back to his side, almost as though he had only just realised he had held his hand in the first place.

It was clear to John that Sherlock was anything but fine. He knew he wasn’t as good at deductions as Sherlock was, but he wasn’t completely hopeless. He could tell when something was wrong, and something was indeed wrong. He doubted it had anything to do with the fact that they had both been outsmarted, caught and tied up in a building wired with bombs. The only thing from that situation that would have bothered Sherlock was the fact that he was outsmarted, but the look on his face definitely didn’t match that conclusion. Something else was going on inside that brilliant brain of his.
His hand was still tingling from where Sherlock had held it moments before. Before he could think too much about it, John took his hand again, this time properly and a little less awkwardly. However, within seconds, his hand was left hanging uselessly by his side again, a small distracted noise issuing from Sherlock’s mouth as he hurried his pace, as though trying to avoid it from happening again.

---

Sherlock opened the front door and hurriedly headed up the stairs, not allowing himself to look back. As per usual, his mind was racing.

What’s so different about John? Why do I care about him when I care about no one else? Mrs Hudson, Lestrade, Mycroft… if any of them died, I would do nothing. I would carry on as normal, unaffected. I don’t care. So why do I care about John? What has he done to me?

He suppressed a cry of frustration as he slumped himself down across the lounge, kicking his shoes off over the edge. Solid facts he could deal with. Emotions, he couldn’t.

I need him. He reasoned to himself, trying to reduce it to facts. He’s another opinion. A wrong opinion, generally. When he suggest something that is completely off, it pushes me in the right direction a lot faster. He’s intelligent. An idiot, but definitely more intelligent than most people I’ve met. He has a heart. I don’t understand why he cares, but the fact that he cares stops me from getting side tracked. He does the caring, I do the working. He completes me.

Everything he had thought seemed about right, but the fact that someone meant that much to him still didn’t settle right with him, even though there were logical, rational explanations. He reached for his nicotine patches.

“Sherlock. Sherlock, we’re out of milk.” he heard John’s voice strike through his train of thought as he placed four patches on his forearm.

It was clear that wasn’t what John had wanted to say. Sherlock knew he was concerned, and that was another thing that didn’t sit right with him. Someone caring. Mycroft was the only one Sherlock could ever remember caring about him, but he definitely had a strange way of showing it. A way that Sherlock could ignore. But John was different. John was there, making sure he was okay, stopping him from overdosing on drugs or burning the flat down in the middle of an experiment. John cared about the one person everyone else found impossible to care about.

“I’ll erm… Get some from the shops tomorrow.” John continued after a long pause.

Sherlock ignored him, the world outside his brain growing fuzzy as he placed a fifth patch on his arm, the sound of John heading upstairs to his room only just reaching his ears before everything was blocked out.

Don’t think about John. Think about the case.

Whoever had taken us had a clear motive – get us out of the way. Sherlock deducted, calming down as he returned to his comfort zone. Three messages from Lestrade meant something had happened. Doubt it was unrelated. Things like that rarely are. Someone didn’t want us meddling. We had been followed from the house. They knew I knew. They made it quite obvious, so I deduced they had to be a distraction from a second party following us. A more discreet party. But I never even thought about a third party. I never even thought that our followers would be one step ahead of me. No one gets one step ahead of me. They obviously know how I work. Obviously quite smart. They knew I would think of the second, well hidden party. They knew I wouldn’t think of a third party because I would be too busy working out answers for myself. By the time I had worked out how to evade the first and second party of followers, the third had closed in and then… I woke up in a 4 story car park, one below ground, three above. They had been tied on the ground floor. Why the ground floor, where it would be so easy to escape? Unless… Oh. They wanted us to believe we could escape, but expected us to fail. After all, I rarely have to demonstrate how quick I am with untying ropes….

Sherlock’s mind continued all through the night, though after quickly deciding he needed more data to come to a proper conclusion, his mind turned to John; John with no shirt on in the car park. John with that caring expression he seldom saw aimed at him. John who had saved his life. John with a bomb strapped to his chest for the second time in a month. Stupid John, funny John, loyal John, caring John. His John.

The sound of footsteps coming down the stairs filled his ears and a soft sigh slipped past his lips as his eyes fluttered open, resting on John’s face as he yawned.

“We’re going out” He said matter-of-factly, jumping up from the sofa with energy only Sherlock could pull off after a sleepless night.

Fifteen minutes later they were dressed and entering Scotland Yard, not at all to Lestrade’s surprise.

“Was about to call you in, actually.” The DI admitted as he invited Sherlock and John into his office, despite the fact that they were halfway in anyway. “We’re completely-“

“Our of your depth, I know” Sherlock cut in, sounding more irritated than usual.

He had been hoping for something more. He had been hoping that Lestrade and his team would have been able to give him something to go off, even if, in their eyes, it meant nothing. But he could already tell they had nothing. No lead. No witnesses. Nothing.

“I’m sure you already know what you’ve been called in for? You always do.”

Sherlock frowned as he sat down, pressing his palms together underneath his chin. He could feel John’s eyes on him, but didn’t turn to look. Lestrade was talking away, describing the carpark incident, completely unaware he and John had been there when it happened, and had almost seen death yet again.

“Your bomber has people working for him. Lots of people working for him. One of those people is about my height, tanned skin, slick black hair and wears black rimmed glasses. He is German, mid twenties and extremely skinny. There’s a pair of twins, too. They’re Vietnamese, both 5’4, also thin. Go by the names Jack and Bob, but that’s not their real names. Then there are three more. One three inches taller than myself, well built, wears Jean Paul Gaultier and is French. The second is also French and the third is Canadian, but I know no more than that. But there will be more out there than those I can name.”

Once Sherlock had finished, both men stared at him in surprise, as always. He rolled his eyes, reading their questions on their expressions without them even needing to speak.

“John and I have been followed by three parties for the past three days. Somebody wants to get to me, and they are taking great measures to do so.” He couldn’t help but smile as he spoke, his own words filling him with excitement at the promise of a new game. “If you find anything, do let me know”

Sherlock rose gracefully from his chair and strode out of the office, knowing John was following him without even needing to glance back and check. John always followed him. His smile softened.

---

“Something the matter?” John asked, peering over the top of his laptop at the staring figure of Sherlock Holmes.

Over the past few days, John had noticed that Sherlock hadn’t quite seemed himself. He was still the same arrogant, rude, brilliant sociopath that he had been for as long as John – and everyone else, for that matter – had known him, but he had been acting strange when they were alone. It was almost as though he didn’t know what to do with John. As though his mere presence was something distractingly fascinating.

“Not at all” Sherlock said quietly, his voice slightly lower than usual, which sent a small round of shivers down John’s spine.

After a moments silence with both men staring at each other, John closed his laptop and set it on the table with a sigh.

“Right, Sherlock. What’s going on?”

He tried to sound as though he had some form of dominance over the man. In some occasions, he did. But when it came to a simple ‘tell me’, Sherlock was always in control.
The piercing gaze of Sherlock Holmes threatened to break his confidence as another small shiver ran down his spine, causing his mind to race. He didn’t look questioning, or cold, or belittling, or angry, or anything John ever remembered seeing before. He looked thoughtful, but it was a new kind of thoughtful. He stared back for what felt like a lifetime. Then he saw it, and he cast his eyes downward.

Affection. Warmth. Caring. No cold, distant deductions. Pure warmth. That completely human look that I’d almost forgotten existed. No coldness. No distance. Just love.

“Have I upset you?” Sherlock enquired after a few moments, his fingertips resting underneath his chin, his gaze hardened once more.

“Not at all”

Must have been my imagination. He noted to himself as he pushed himself up and out of the chair, grabbing his coat as he headed for the door.

“I’ll be back later.”

He hurried down the stairs and out the door before taking a left down Baker Street. He didn’t know where he was going. He was more concentrated on the deductions going on inside his mind. He wasn’t at all in Sherlock’s league when it came to observing and deducing, but he had learnt his fair share over the months. He was a confident man, despite almost always being shut down by ‘the great Sherlock Holmes’, but this time, he wasn’t so sure his mind was reaching the right conclusions.

The look was only there for a minute. But it was there, wasn’t it? He looked as though he actually cared. I always know he ‘cares’ in his own little way. But that look was so human. That look was so normal. It wasn’t him. Maybe I’m just hoping. Maybe I just want it.

John stopped dead in his tracks at that thought, surprising himself.

Why would I want it? I don’t have feelings for Sherlock Holmes. I-

His train of thought was cut off as a strong pair of hands wrapped around his neck. He felt a small prick in the right side of his neck in the millisecond it took for his brain to register the need to struggle, and almost instantly his movement weakened, his vision blurred, and he could hear only muffled sound before black nothingness.

---

John’s eyes slowly flickered open. At first he saw nothing, and a wave of panic engulfed him as he searched for the last thing he remembered. The gentle beeping of hospital equipment reached his ears and he sat up quickly, the blood rushing to his head. Almost immediately, he felt the previously unnoticed hand that had been holding his withdraw itself.

“John. You’re in hospital. It’s okay” The sound of Sherlock’s deep, calm voice filled his ears, and he sank back into the bed. “Do you remember what happened?”

He looked at Sherlock through the darkness of the room and noticed that the man’s face was filled with something he, at first, didn’t recognise.

“John?”

Concern. It was concern, and now it was filling his voice, too. John looked down at the hand which he was now sure Sherlock had been holding, and swallowed hard.

“I’m fine, Sherlock.”

His voice sounded scratchy and weak – something he wasn’t entirely happy with.

“What do you remember?”

John rubbed his eyes, sitting himself up as he looked at Sherlock again. The concern seemed to be replaced with his usual elegant, composed look again. He closed his eyes for a moment, the concerned face of Sherlock Holmes printed on the back of his eyelids. But slowly, it was changing into a loving, warm look.

“John.” Sherlock’s voice broke through his thoughts, causing him to re-open his eyes to look at the man in front of him. “Why are you smiling?”

His ears few hot with embarrassment, having not even realised the images in his mind had caused him to smile.

“Not sure” He said, clearing his throat. “I was grabbed from behind. That’s the last thing I remember.”

Sherlock gave a small nod of his head, leaning forward to rest his arms on John’s bed, seeming satisfied. It was odd to see the man so quiet and thoughtful, when usually, after something like this, he would be rattling off details which no one else would have even thought relevant. He would have names, motives, explanations. But there was nothing. Just silence.

“Are you alright?”

“Of course” Sherlock replied a little too quickly.

“How did you-“ John began to ask, but was cut off.

“I followed you. I texted Lestrade. Your captors are with him. That’s all you need to know.”

John tried to meet his eyes, but the usually perfectly composed, brilliant man before him had his face hidden from view. It was clear there was something Sherlock didn’t want him to know, but for the life of him he couldn’t work out what.

“Do you know what they wanted with me?” No answer. “Sherlock?” Still no answer. “Sherlock, for God sake, will you look at me?”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?”

It was a question John was used to hearing, but this time the tone was completely different. Sherlock sounded uncertain, rather than irritated.

“What’s obvious?” John asked, a small flutter of panic in his chest.

“You’re the human one. You’re the one with the heart. You ARE the heart, John. But you’re not stupid, John. No. You’re far from stupid. I had assumed…” Sherlock trailed off, lifting his head to look at John.

The look was so full of emotion that John froze, panic rising in his throat. The last time he recalled seeing that look on Sherlock’s face was when he was wrapped in semtex by a pool, with Moriarty lurking in the shadows. And slowly, all those times that Sherlock had, in his own way, displayed his affection for him came flooding into his mind. Every meal they had together, every crime scene they went to, every time one or both of their lives had been in danger. Even when they fought, they fought because they cared.
Slowly, he reached out, taking Sherlock’s hand in his own, his stomach doing backflips all the while.

Without even realising it, I have fallen irrevocably in love with a mad, sociopathic genius, and it just might be that he has fallen in love with me.

---

Sherlock watched the small, sleeping figure of John in his armchair, seeming almost hypnotised by the rise and fall of his chest. He scanned every inch of the man that he could see through the dim light. Unsatisfied, he moved onto the floor directly in front of John’s armchair, studying every detail he could. The faint, barely existent stubble on his chin that said he was in need of a shave. The way his hair stood up at an odd angle where his head was pressed against the back of the chair that said he had snuggled against the comfort of it in his sleep. The small laugh lines around his eyes and mouth that were also accompanied by exhausted bags under his eyes that showed strongly how life with Sherlock wasn’t easy. The markings on his strong, experienced, careful hands that had both taken lives and saved lives. He took all of it in, and he wanted more. He wanted to see the scar left behind from being shot at in Afghanistan while he had probably attempted to spare somebody else’s life. He wanted to see the small amount of hair on his chest, and that small line of hair that lead down towards his pants. He wanted to find freckles, scars and other markings that told stories he didn’t even know existed. He wanted to study this man in his entirety, and then store away the mental map of John Watson’s body, ready to reference again whenever was necessary.
He leant forwards, his face now extremely close to John’s, his eyes resting on his lips – lips that so many women would have kissed before. A possessive flare shot up inside him, and the longer he stared at the John, the more possessive he felt.

John Watson is mine. He thought to himself with a burning passion he didn’t even know he was capable of. Stupid, small, predictable, caring, loving, polite, sympathetic John Watson is mine. Intelligent, fast, strong, brave, outrageous John Watson is mine. No one else’s. Mine.

Sherlock could hear the faint sound of John breathing and inched slightly closer, willing the man to open his eyes so he could peer into his soul. Exterior wasn’t enough. He wanted the inside of John Watson, too. He wanted to understand every thought and every feeling. He wanted to see the mechanics of his brain; how each thought filtered through each passageway and made its way out in seemingly meaningless actions or words. He wanted to be able to hear John’s thoughts and see his memories as clear as any picture put before him. But what he most wanted was to find that extra piece that John seemed to possess that made him so impossibly beautiful and interesting to him. He wanted to find what made him so attracted to this man, when he had never, in all his life, been attracted to anyone before. He wanted to find this extra thing that John had, and remove it, and study it until he could finally understand it. Then he never wanted to return it. Because, although he wouldn’t admit it out loud to anyone, that one thing was his one weakness.
Sherlock inched ever closer without even realising it, until he could feel Johns warm breath on his face. Their noses were almost touching when a hand shot out from beneath him, pushing him halfway across the room.

“Sh-Sherlock?” John questioned incredulously, his voice raspy from sleep.

Sherlock cleared his throat, straightening himself up as he flashed John a near-apologetic smile.

“Did I startle you?”

“What on Earth do you think you were doing?”

Sherlock frowned slightly, noticing the flustered sound in John’s voice. He hadn’t at all meant to upset him. Merely study him – work out what was so special about him.

“I was observing.” Sherlock explained, hoping that explanation would suffice.

“Can you not observe from across the room?”

John rubbed his face with an agitated sigh and stood up, straightening his knitted cardigan before looking at Sherlock, waiting for an answer.

“The best observations are made up close, John. How can you expect me to make serious deductions from across the room?”

John threw him an exasperated look before shaking his head, not even bothering to argue back. He stretched a little, which, Sherlock noticed, caused the bottom of his jumper to lift up, his shirt struggling to stay tucked into his pants. Then he made his way to his room, muttering something about personal space and sociopaths.
Sherlock sighed and flopped himself down on the sofa, staring at the already memorised ceiling with its faint red mark from a child’s sticky hand toy and its small, barely noticeable indent where a cork from a champagne bottle hit with a little too much force.
He was unable to deny that he had taken a particular extended interest in the young doctor, and it was quite obvious, though perhaps shockingly so, that he cared for John in a way that he had never cared for somebody before. He couldn’t help but think perhaps he had so often discarded the thought of caring, that he had missed the simple, plain fact that he did have a boring, human side to him.

Of course I care about Mycroft, and Mummy. He admitted to himself with a sigh, pressing his palms to his eyes. And Mrs Hudson – she looks after me. She means something.

In the darkness of his closed eyelids, the pressure of his palms forced spirals and swirls of colour to dance and whiz around as he thought. And as he thought, he felt both vulnerable and, for the first time in a long time, quite stupid. He had been so blind to the fact that he cared, and it took an ordinary man like John Watson to make him realise it.

Actually, it took a genius like Moriarty. He corrected himself, the simple thought sending a shiver down his spine. And because he spotted that weakness, he can use it against me.

“Sherlock?”

The sound of John’s voice actually made him jump. He had been so engrossed in his thoughts that he had completely missed the sound of John’s steps down the stairs and across the room.

“Sherlock, come on. Talk to me. Even an idiot can tell that you’re not completely yourself. You show up at crime scenes, you hear the facts, you observe, you give your deductions, and you leave again. You don’t gloat, you don’t make snide remarks about who’s sleeping with who or how stupid everyone in the department is. I don’t even know why I’m there with you most of the time, because you barely look at me, let alone talk to me. Then we come home, we drink tea, we eat take out, we watch crap TV and I go to bed while you work on experiments. You don’t shout the answers at the TV five minutes into the programme, and you don’t blow things up when I’m trying to listen to important parts of the show, and you don’t decide to run off in the middle of the night without a words notice. So tell me, Sherlock. What’s happened?”

Sherlock looked momentarily shocked, unable to speak. He drank in every word John spoke as though it were poison, filling him up slowly, weakening him. If it were that blatantly obvious to John, then it was no wonder it was so obvious to Moriarty. He was sure John had come to the conclusion at the hospital that he cared about him. He was sure John had worked out exactly how much he meant to him. So why wasn’t he applying that now?

“You almost died because of me, John. Twice. And I could have added a third the other night, had I not followed you. Because of me. Can’t you see that? Can’t you see it’s all because of me?”

John looked completely thrown off guard, though Sherlock couldn’t for a minute understand why. Surely this wasn’t news to him.

“What? No. Sherlock, no. None of that is your fault.” He said quietly, moving Sherlock’s legs so he could sit down. “Why would you think that?”

Sherlock looked at John before resting the tips of his fingers under his chin, breathing a sigh through his nose. He could almost hear the added ‘why would you care?’ on the end of that sentence.

“I don’t think, I know. Moriarty is after you, and that wouldn’t be the case if it weren’t for me. You know it and I know it. You were warned by everyone. You should have listened.”

“It was my choice, Sherlock.” The calmness in John’s voice made Sherlock want to shout. “I could have left. Any time, I could choose to leave. But I don’t want to. How could I want anything different? Where’s the fun in waking up, going to work, coming home, watching TV, eating dinner, going to bed, then repeating the process?”

“Are you really as stupid as you sound?” Sherlock snapped without meaning to, wishing that for once John would stop being nice and stop being brave, and actually save himself first. “You will always have a target on your chest when you’re around me. You’re a walking, living, breathing target. You will never be safe around me. Do you understand that? Or are you just too stupid to see the facts that are clearly lain down before your eyes with almost too much evidence for anyone around you to bare?”

He refused to look at John now, angry with himself for letting emotions get the better of him.

Emotions - what good are they anyway? I can so easily cast them aside when it comes to anyone and anything – except John. Why is he so different?

“John, just-“

He was cut off by the force of soft, warm lips on his own. Involuntarily, he shifted his position to a more comfortable one, an arm snaking its way around John’s body to pull him closer. It seemed strange to him that John could read what he wanted before he even knew it, but suddenly it was so clear. He didn’t just care about John Watson. He loved John Watson.

---

John listened to Sherlock as he spoke, mildly surprised at the emotion in his voice and the depth of his words. He wasn’t just stating facts anymore. He was worried, and John could see that now. Since that night at the hospital when he had realised he had fallen for his flatmate, he had hoped to see the feeling reciprocated. He had had no such luck, and put it down to a misconception on his behalf. If he didn’t find it so impossible to believe that a man like Sherlock Holmes could ever love someone as simple as himself, he would have put it down to the fact that Sherlock merely disregarded and discarded emotion. But now it was clear that he had been right to assume Sherlock had feelings for him, even if he didn’t quite know what those feelings were.

God, shut up. He thought to himself and pressed his lips firmly against Sherlock’s, smiling into the kiss as he went.

The feel of Sherlock’s arm wrapping around him, pulling him closer, was signal enough that this was what he wanted, too. He could tell by the clumsiness of the detective’s actions that he was extremely inexperienced, but that didn’t matter at all. He slowly parted his lips, flicking his tongue across Sherlock’s invitingly. As he followed suit, John sucked gently on his lower lip, nibbling lightly. He held back, teaching Sherlock along the way, despite the fact that he wanted to dive full force into the kiss. He felt the low, happy rumble in Sherlock’s chest as he gently slid his tongue into his mouth. He felt Sherlock’s tongue touch his almost questioningly. He ran his fingers into the detective’s dark mass of curls as he explored his mouth, surprised at how quickly the kiss became more even, rather than one sided.
Slowly, their lips broke apart, and John placed small kisses along Sherlock’s jaw line and down his neck, before resting his head on his shoulder, breathing a satisfied sigh.

“I’m not leaving. Ever.” John whispered, closing his eyes again.

He could feel the unsteady, shaky rise and fall of Sherlock’s chest, and for a minute he thought the man was crying. Opening his eyes, he sat up a little more. He was relieved, though not surprised, to find that Sherlock was only lost in thought. He reached up gently, stroking his face with the back of his hand, a gentle smile on his face.

“Why did you do that?” Sherlock suddenly asked, his tone catching John by surprise.

He sounded almost angry – definitely not what John had expected, considering how much Sherlock seemed to enjoy the kiss.

“Because I wanted to. To shut you up. Because you wanted to.”

“Oh, and you know that, do you? You can suddenly read me, can you?”

“Sherlock… If you had responded badly to the kiss, I would have stopped…” John replied, trying to keep the hurt out of his voice as it slowly formed in his stomach. He swallowed, sitting up properly now, his expression as blank as he could manage.

Sherlock looked away without saying anything, and John stood up, not sure what else to do.

“I’ve upset you.” Sherlock said quietly, his usual distanced tone back in place.

“Yes. Well done. Good deduction.” John replied dryly.

He made a move towards the kitchen, but was stopped by a firm grip on his wrist. He looked down, tracing his eyes along the long, pale fingers that gripped his own slightly tanned skin, across the hand, up the arm, all the way to Sherlock’s face, and it was that same caring look he had caught over the past few days. And then he realised how wrong he had been.

That look isn’t new. That look has been there all along. After I shot the cab driver, when I went on a date with Sarah, at the pool, in the car park, on the way home when he held my hand. I hadn’t imagined it the other day, I didn’t imagine it in the hospital, and I most certainly am not imagining it now. How could I have missed it?

“It’s okay.” He said quietly, noticing the look on Sherlock’s face growing desperate.

He turned his hand over, allowing Sherlock’s to slide into his own. Giving it a reassuring squeeze, he sat back down, still keeping hold of Sherlock’s hand. He knew that was Sherlock’s way of apologising, and he had never really expected more.

“Sherlock, please, just listen to me. I will work with you and live with you and care for you until the day I die. Do you understand that? Because you’re the closest thing to a friend that I have. It may be an unconventional friendship, but I don’t care. Why would I want anything close to normal? Normal means I have a psychosomatic limp and my left hand shakes uncontrollably. Normal means I don’t have you, or your excitement. I’m in just as much danger without you as I am with you. Without you, I’m a danger to myself. Can’t you see that? Surely you must have deduced that, along with everything else.”

A smile slowly grew on Sherlock’s face, sending a wave of relief through John’s body. It hadn’t been until that night at the hospital that he had realised exactly how much Sherlock meant to him. It was hard not to be swept in by his obvious good looks and his apparent charm. It was hard to not be amazed by his intelligence and his ability to observe and deduce. But, for everyone else, it was very easy to be turned off by his arrogance, rudeness, and general disregard for the rules, whether social or otherwise. It was very easy for people to find his inability to care or relate to emotions very off-putting. It was extremely easy for even the most patient of people to be enraged by his laziness, boredom, mess and noise at all hours of the day and night. But John Watson could see past these things, despite finding them irritating and, truth be told, disappointing at times. John could tolerate the man that no one else could. But until quite recently, that was all he had seen it as – tolerating.

“You’re a remarkable man, Sherlock. Blood remarkable. I don’t know how I can stand you most of the time, but somehow you’ve made me love you.” He smiled nervously, slightly startled by his own words.

Sherlock gave John’s hand a small squeeze before jumping up, a wide grin on his face.

“Let’s grab some dinner. There’s a new restaurant opened on the other side of London. It should be good.”

John nodded, standing up to join Sherlock, the obvious change of topic not at all a surprise to him. After all, emotions weren’t exactly Sherlock’s specialty, and he was sure there had been enough of them in one evening to last Sherlock a life time. He grabbed his jacket as they headed out the door and followed Sherlock down the stairs, smiling to himself all the while. He was unable to believe that the remarkable man he had once thought was not capable of an inch of emotion could ever love anyone, let alone him. Yet the facts were there, and they all lead to the one inevitable answer that left John grinning like a fool for the rest of the night.

---

Sherlock barely touched the food in front of him, and was extremely grateful for the fact that he usually didn’t eat much anyway, so it wasn’t something to catch John’s attention. He kept up the small talk and discussed criminals and how exceedingly dull they were. Anything to stop John from mentioning the kiss, feelings, the word ‘love’, and them, whatever they were now. He was more than relieved when he received a text from Lestrade.

Scotland Yard. Come now. Help needed.

GL

“Come along, John” Sherlock said quickly, jumping up from his seat, a gleam in his eye.

Ignoring John’s grumbled protesting, he headed for the door, knowing John was following as always. He hailed a taxi and slid across for John.

“Scotland Yard.” He said to the cabbie before casting his eyes out the window.

He could feel John’s eyes on him, but he ignored them. Though he wouldn’t admit it out loud, he was scared. He had never, in his whole life, ever had someone who wasn’t family tell him that they loved him. If he had, then he hadn’t taken any notice. But it wasn’t just that John had said it. It was also that he had been thinking it. John loved him, but the more remarkable thing was that he loved John.
He was snapped out of his thoughts when the cab came to a stop at Scotland Yard. Flashing a grin in John’s direction, he got out, hoping the case would be good.

“Right, Sherlock. Good of you to come. You too, John.” Lestrade greeted them, carefully avoiding making eye contact with John.

Something was wrong, and it wasn’t the usual type of wrong. Lestrade carried an air of gloom about him when there was a particularly terrible case, and that air of gloom always sent a surge of excitement through Sherlock’s veins. However, this was different, and the difference made Sherlock’s blood run cold. He didn’t speak as he and John followed Lestrade. If was obvious that whatever was wrong had something to do with John, and it was also obvious that Lestrade wasn’t entirely comfortable with it. He also seemed to wish he hadn’t called them there in the first place, which he hoped was only because John was there, and whatever had happened was obviously connected to John in some way, and therefore he should not be helping with the investigation. There was a nagging feeling in the back of Sherlock’s mind, however, that wasn’t completely certain that was all.

Worry. He identified, throwing a sideways glance at John as they silently followed Lestrade to the interrogation room. Stupid loveable John bloody Watson induced worry. Damn it, John. How did you do this to me?

As they reached the door to interrogation room 1, Lestrade stopped them, turning around with an almost guilty expression.

“John, I’m going to have to ask you to stay here.” He said quietly, clearly wishing he didn’t have to say the words.

Another possessive flare shot up inside Sherlock as he realised that Lestrade cared about John, too. John was his to care about, and no one else’s. John was his responsibility and his friend and his heart.

“What? But…” Sherlock heard John protest, his mind slowly catching up.

“Where I go, John goes.” He practically growled, narrowing his eyes slightly.

“Sherlock, I can’t. It’s his –“

“I know, Harry is in there. All the more reason for John to be, too.”

John’s mouth dropped at that, and he threw a desperate look in Lestrade’s direction. A small knot formed in Sherlock’s stomach, and his expression relaxed as he cast his eyes away from both men. He wasn’t sure what it was exactly that he was feeling now, but he wished he hadn’t have said anything. The anxious, worried look on John’s face almost hurt him physically.

Damn you, John Watson. He thought to himself before pushing past Lestrade into the interrogation room.

His stomach dropped as he saw the mess of a person sitting down, waiting. Her not-quite-blonde hair sat messily on top of her head, and her tear-stained face looked old and tired, despite the fact that she was not at all old. There was a trail of dried blood from her eyebrow, and another from her nose. The terrible feeling in his stomach wasn’t because his heart went out to her at all; no, she was a stranger, and he didn’t care for her at all. The growing pain creeping from his stomach up his chest was because she so clearly resembled John, and the thought of John sitting before him like this physically hurt him. He couldn’t even explain why. It was like seeing John wrapped in semtex again.

“Right” came Lestrade’s voice from behind him, jolting him from the frankly terrible images consuming his mind. “Miss Watson, you understand why you’ve been brought in?”

From there on, the conversation between a very upset Harry, and a very grave looking Lestrade turned into a haze. She was being accused of being part of a murder in the car park of a shopping center. The police had shown up to find her leaning against the wall, barely able to support herself, while two others ran off, and the dead body lay in front of her. It must be blatantly obvious that Harry was innocent if Sherlock could tell when he was barely paying attention. She had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it wasn’t clear from the way she spoke and held herself – or tried to hold herself, Sherlock thought absently – then it was definitely obvious from the fact that the victim was right handed, but Harry had taken a left handed punch to the head, meaning the victim hadn’t attacked her. She also had to have had a bag of shopping with her, because her right hand still had marks that the thick plastic bags had left behind. Once the interview was over, he told Lestrade so quickly, and left, leaving John behind to take care of his sister.

God, what’s wrong with you? He thought to himself as he left Scotland Yard and climbed into the back of a cab.

The whole ride home, Sherlock’s mind was filled with all sorts of images of John, both good and bad. He needed to get rid of them. He didn’t understand them, and he hated not understanding. They were irrelevant, and based on nothing but fears and past events that were over and done with. Nothing made sense, and his head felt like it was spinning. Quickly, he paid the driver before dashing inside and up the stairs for his nicotine patches. A small frustrated growl escaped his lips upon realising he had ran out, and he suddenly longed for something stronger. Something to truly take the edge off and help him concentrate on what was important.

John is important. His mind hissed at him as he tore the mirror off his wall, scraping at the wallpaper until he could reach the hidden syringe behind.

---

The last time John had seen Harry cry was when Clara had first left her. Though, he had only seen her once before this since then. Despite their rocky relationship, she was still his sister, and he would still do his best to help her.

“I can stay… If you want” He offered quietly once they reached her house.

She seemed okay now, but John knew she would head straight for the alcohol. The thought made him cringe, but he knew it was completely out of his control. There was also a nagging in the back of his mind that told him Sherlock wasn’t okay. Something had seemed off, but he just couldn’t place it.

“Nah. You go. Sherlock probably needs you to text someone for him, or run around London after the real killer.” Her tone was underlined with annoyance, but she smiled weakly anyway. “John, really. The things you do for him. Are you sure you two aren’t at least shagging?”

John felt his face redden slightly and he adverted his eyes, scratching the back of his neck idly.

Harry’s face lit up with its usual glow, a smirk sliding its way onto her face.

“Knew it. Must be a damn good shag, though, for you to keep chasing after him.”

“No. No, Harry. It’s not like that. Really, it’s not. We’re just –“ he paused. What were they? Friends? Before the kiss and the conversation attached, John hadn’t known. Now things seemed even more complicated between them than they had before. “We’re just friends, Harry.”

“Sure, sure.” She said, sounding much more like herself as she waved her hand dismissively. “Go on. You want to be with him. I’m fine.”

John smiled appreciatively, hugging her once before jumping back into the taxi.

---

John raced up the stairs to the apartment, taking them two at a time. There was a growing feeling of unease forming in his stomach, and he knew it was because of Sherlock. He flung the door open, eyeing the empty room. Everything seemed as it should, yet everything also seemed wrong. He couldn’t quit work out why he felt that something was wrong. It was just an instinct that came with spending an awful lot of time with someone – you just knew.

“Sherlock?” He called, closing the door behind him with an almost silent click.

There was no reply, but John knew he was here. He slowly made his way across to Sherlock’s bedroom, hesitating at the door before knocking. When he got no answer, he slowly opened the door, feeling almost like a child sneaking around places they shouldn’t be.

“Sherlock, no.” John said, his panic clear in his voice as he rushed to Sherlock’s side, dodging boxes and piles of books to grab the syringe from his hand.

Sherlock’s eyes were red and his body was shaking, but John couldn’t decide if that was from the drugs, or of the always controlled detective had been crying. It almost looked like the latter, but he wouldn’t bet on it.

“How do you do it?” Sherlock muttered, allowing his head to slam back against the wall just a little too hard.

“Do what?” He replied, sitting down next to Sherlock.

He took his shaking hand, lacing their fingers together before giving a small squeeze. John didn’t know what was wrong, and it was slightly unnerving seeing someone who was always so calm, cold and controlled suddenly so distressed, but he would do his best to help.

“Care. How do you deal with the pain that comes with caring for someone, John? Because that’s the only way I can define it. Pain. But there’s no wound. How can I feel pain when there’s no injury?”

John attempted a reassuring smile, but the desperate, confused, hurt look on Sherlock’s face caused it to falter.

“I don’t understand emotions much myself, Sherlock. I don’t think anyone does.” He explained quietly, rubbing his thumb gently over the back of Sherlock’s hand. “They just happen. But what brought this on? What’s happened?”

John felt Sherlock’s grip tighten, as though he was scared John was going to slip away. He sighed and placed his other hand on top of Sherlock’s, gripping him tightly in both hands, a small reminder that he wasn’t going anywhere.

“Your sister looks like you. I’ve never seen you cry. I don’t ever want to see you cry. I know if you did, I would most likely be the cause. I’m the cause for all your pain, and I don’t want to be that.”

He swallowed the lump in his throat, both shocked and touched by the fact that Sherlock was actually expressing real emotions.

“Sherlock… I’m fine. Right now, I’m fine. And Harry’s fine, too.  It’s okay. Really, it is.”

“John. I can’t lose you. What if he kills you?”

John could feel his own heart hammering in his chest. He knew exactly who Sherlock meant, and right then, he felt so much hatred towards Moriarty for the mess he had made of so many people’s lives.

“We’ll be fine. Both of us. Because we’ve got each other” He knew it sounded cliché, and he wasn’t entirely sure he believed it, but just saying it made him feel better.

Sherlock smiled faintly, and for a minute John thought he was going to mock him, but instead he rested his head against John’s shoulder.

“How much did you take?” John whispered, the doctor side of him needing to know.

“None. You stopped me.” Sherlock whispered back.

A warm feeling formed in John’s stomach and moved up into his chest, filling him with a feeling he couldn’t quite explain. He figured this meant that Sherlock had been crying, or close to it, and that small idea completely baffled him.

“Come on” he said quietly, pulling both himself and the consulting detective off the ground. “It’s been a long day”

He suddenly felt extremely tired and emotionally drained, yet he had barely done anything that day. He lead Sherlock to his bead and made to leave, but Sherlock grabbed him by the wrist.

“Stay.” He said quietly, looking away, as though it didn’t really matter.

John smiled slightly, knowing it definitely meant more than he was letting on, and kicked his shoes off before sitting down next to Sherlock. There was an awkward pause in which neither said or did anything, then slowly Sherlock removed his jacket, shirt and shoes and lay down. John smiled slightly and removed his jumper before laying down next to Sherlock. The instant he did, Sherlock curled into him, his long limbs wrapping around him almost protectively. He smiled and wrapped his arms around Sherlock, stroking his hair absently with one hand. It felt nice. Different, but nice.

“John.” Sherlock said quietly after a few minutes of silence, breaking through John’s sleepy, aimless thoughts

“Mmm?”

“Are we okay?”

The uncertainty in Sherlock’s voice threw John off guard a little, but he smiled, nuzzling his head into Sherlock’s hair.

“Of course we are.”

Sherlock snuggled in closer to him, which made him feel both extremely safe and extremely sleepy, and before he knew it, he was falling asleep with only the feel of Sherlock so close to him on his mind.

---

Sherlock woke in the morning, and nuzzled his head in against John’s neck to block the stream of sunlight coming in through the window. He breathed in the smell of washing powder, aftershave, and a smell that is entirely indescribable – a smell that is entirely John. It sounded cliché in his mind, but for the first time that he could remember, he didn’t care. For the first time that he could remember, cliché was perfectly okay with him.

He smiled; a real smile, a true smile, a smile that he reserved only for those he truly cared about. That smile was now John’s. He could feel John’s chest rising and falling with his gentle, calm breathing, and he ran his fingers along the smooth material of his shirt. For once, he wasn’t thinking about the blood running through John’s veins, pumping from his heart in miniscule bursts of life. He wasn’t thinking about the thoughts running through John’s mind or the images he saw behind his eyelids as he slept. He wasn’t thinking about opening John up and reading him like a map, or memorising him like he had memorised London. He wasn’t thinking about cold hard facts, or details, or deductions. He had the rest of their life for that. Instead, he was thinking about the warmth seeping from John’s body, and the smell of John’s hair, and the feel of John’s skin, and the way John sounded when he laughed, and the way the corners of his eyes crinkled when he smiled, and that John was completely in love with him, and he was completely in love with John.

I will protect you with my life. Sherlock thought to himself as he slowly drifted back into sleep. And I will always love you.

He wasn’t scared anymore, because he knew that love would only change him in small ways. His mind would still be brilliant, and work would still be there, as important as ever, and John was still there with him, every step of the way.

How Soon Is Now?

Title: How Soon Is Now?
Warnings: m/m sex, drugs
Characters/pairings: Sherlock/John, Sherlock/Lestrade (brief), John/Mary (mentioned)
Summary: John leaves and Sherlock tries to pretend it doesn't matter.

The warm rays of morning sunlight creeping through the gaps in the curtains gently dragged Sherlock Holmes from his deep, content sleep, and back into reality. A small noise sounded in his throat as he stretched out, smiling to himself as he felt the memories of the night before wash over him. The empty spot on the bed next to him was warm, and he could still smell John on the sheets – could still almost hear him professing his love sleepily as he fell asleep, curled in Sherlock’s arms. The unexpected happiness of it all was the reason that Sherlock didn’t immediately notice that something was missing. John wasn’t just missing from Sherlock’s bed. He was missing from the flat entirely, and the emptiness that was left in his place told him that John wasn’t coming back any time soon. He didn’t move. He didn’t jump from the bed and race out in hopes of being wrong (yes, despite being a rare occasion, he actually hoped he was wrong). He didn’t even dare to open his eyes. Instead, he remained exactly where he was, listening to the window rattle as the wind outside picked up, an uncomfortable emptiness filling him up slowly, starting at the pit of his stomach.

---

Sherlock never saw it in his best interests to admit to having feelings, despite what anybody actually made him feel. It was very easy for him to turn his back on emotion, and quite often than not, he either didn’t understand it, or saw it as nothing more than an unnecessary hindrance that he could do without. So he chose to do without on the off chance that something would affect him personally, and that had all worked out quite well until John Watson had come along. However, with his body bent over a new experiment that was laid out across their kitchen table, Sherlock couldn’t do anything about the hollow, sick feeling in the pit of his stomach that was becoming quite a distraction. The images of the night before – John’s perfect body laid out beneath him, begging for more, moaning Sherlock’s name as his muscles clenched and unclenched on the brink of an orgasm, his eyelids fluttering as he came inside Sherlock’s mouth, fisting the sheets with all his strength, before relaxing into the mattress, a peaceful, almost innocent look on his face – flashed through Sherlock’s mind, making it impossible for him to concentrate.

“Damn it, John,” he growled, slamming his fist into the table, knocking a vile of murky liquid over.

A small thud upstairs told Sherlock only a few seconds too late that he had not been alone. Reminding himself that he was Sherlock Holmes, always in control and never personally affected, he wandered upstairs to John’s room. The door was open, but he had known this before he got there. What he saw inside, however, made his stomach twist with emotions he had almost forgotten he could feel. The question ‘what are you doing?’ formed on his tongue, but it was quite clear what John was doing, so he settled for “You’re leaving.”

John didn’t even look up as he continued to quickly pack clothes into a suitcase, though Sherlock didn’t miss the awkward flush of colour that crept its way up John’s neck, nor did he miss the way his breath shook on the next outtake.

“Why?” Was his next question.

He hated asking why when he could usually deduce the reason. However, all he could think of was that it was because of what they had got up to the night before, and stating that would have sounded far too unconfident for his liking.

John stopped, seeming to fight internally for a moment. He dropped his head and his hands clenched beside him briefly as his body trembled before he relaxed again, looking up, his eyes meeting Sherlock’s. The amount of emotion in John’s expression was off-putting, and Sherlock found himself fighting to keep his face neutral, his heart hammering wildly in his chest.

“I’m engaged, Sherlock,” John said quietly, sadness and happiness both fighting to be the dominant emotion in his voice.

Sherlock felt his steadily quietening heart speed up again, his stomach twisting and turning in a way that made him feel sick. He stuck his clammy hands into his pockets and gave a small nod of his head, almost certain his voice would betray the sudden stab of betrayal, hurt, and dare he admit it, loss, that had suddenly overcome him. He turned and left, bounding back down the stairs to his damaged experiment, his head spinning.

I do not care. I do NOT care. This changes nothing. It’ll all go back to how it was before John moved in. I don’t need him. I DO NOT CARE. His mind continued to shout at him until finally believed himself again, his body returning to its usual state of calm.

When John came back downstairs minutes later, there was a heavy silence between them. Sherlock kept his eyes on his experiment, though now it only served as something to pretend to be engrossed in so he didn’t have to face John.

“I’ll… Erm… I’ll be back tomorrow for the rest of my stuff,” John said into the silence, his voice seeming to echo through Sherlock’s head.

He was sure he could hear regret in John’s voice this time, and possibly just a hint of confusion, but he couldn’t be entirely sure without turning to face him, and that definitely wasn’t going to happen. He didn’t reply, or even acknowledge John’s existence, and after a few more stretched out seconds of silence, John left, leaving a ringing emptiness in his wake.

---

It had been three days since John left, three days since Sherlock had last eaten or slept, and three days since the string of experiments had started, only to be broken by a text from Lestrade. Sherlock carefully placed the now fuming petri dish next to the other half a dozen on the end of the table and fished his phone out of his pocket.

Third man found dead in his home by wife. No connection with the other two victims. Three in the same amount of days. Will you come?

GL

Address. I’m not coming in a police car.

SH

The address came quickly, and a hint of a grin flickered across Sherlock’s face as he grabbed his coat and scarf, hastily putting them on as he head outside to hail a cab. Fifteen minutes later, he was ducking underneath police tape, much to Donovan’s dislike.

“Oi Freak! Where’s your pet?” Sally’s voice called behind him, but he ignored it, quickening his pace slightly as he headed for the door.

He could hear her hurried steps behind him and rolled his eyes before coming to a complete halt, spinning quickly to face her, staring down at her in a way he knew was intimidating.

“I see Anderson’s wife’s back. Your cheery disposition has completely vanished,” he said dryly, flashing her an obviously fake smile.

She gave an annoyed sigh as she folded her arms across her chest, running her tongue along her teeth before giving him her usual bitchy look that she seemed to reserve just for him.

Hit a nerve, then, he mentally noted, storing that away as useful information.

“John gone and finally found a real hobby then? Got sick of you? Realised that you’d sooner kill him before you saved him? Did he realise what a pathetic excuse for a human being you actually are and realise that he would be happier with that girlfriend of his than he ever would with you?” Her words were venomous, and she had meant for them to hurt, whether she believed it was possible to hurt Sherlock or not.

But even though he would never let anyone know, it was definitely possible to hurt Sherlock. He didn’t even like to admit it to himself, and for a long time before John had entered his life, he had begun to wonder if he had managed to distance himself from other people enough to not find anything they did or said upsetting. The gaping hole that he had closed up with experiments tore itself open inside his chest again, running his blood cold. It took all his strength not to shudder visibly as Sally’s words attempted to tear him open right in front of her, exposing his damaged insides. He didn’t understand how emotional pain could turn into physical pain, but right now it was, and he was having a difficult time pushing past it. He hadn’t given John a single thought since he had left, for once leaving every question he had about the man unanswered. But now he couldn’t help but wonder if what Sally said was true. His usual truthful, revealing, biting comments were all erased in a moment of panic, and he fought to keep his face neutral, hoping her stupidity would cover the fact that he had been quiet for just a little too long.

“Donovan! Back to your post,” Lestrade growled, cutting in before anything more could be said. “Please” he added with an apologetic smile.

Sally’s eyes narrowed before she gave a stiff nod, glaring at Sherlock before returning to her spot outside. Relief washed over Sherlock and his head began to spin slightly. He suddenly realised just how exhausted he felt.

“Where’s John? Never mind, we’re in the next room, Sherlock.” Lestrade made a move for the room he had just come from before stopping to look at Sherlock properly, a look of concern washing over his features. “Are you okay?”

“Fine. I’m fine,” he said quickly, entering the next room ahead of Lestrade.

He sighed and knelt down next to the victim, checking him over.

Single stab wound. Clean job. Killer doesn’t like much mess. Wallet still in pocket. ID Julian Shepparton. 50 quid and credit card still inside, so not a robbery at all, then. Had just got come, judging by where in the room he is positioned and the fact that he’s still wearing his jacket, despite the heating having been on.  Killer was waiting for him to get home. No forced entry on front door. Killer had a key.

“Forced entry for other murders?” Sherlock suddenly called, not lifting his head as he shifted through various receipts and cards in the victim’s wallet.

“Nope. And before you say anything, it was thoroughly checked. Couldn’t get in the windows unless you were a very small, very thin child. Same here, mind you. No spare keys either. But we’re working on it, unless you have answers now.”

Sherlock shook his head slightly, standing up to look around the room a bit, pausing to touch or sniff something only momentarily before continuing, ignoring the sudden wave of nausea washing over him. Eventually, he turned and walked past Lestrade and out the door.

“Well? What did you find?” Lestrade asked, sounding a little shocked as he hurried to keep up with Sherlock’s quick, lengthy strides.

“Not enough. Need more data. Time to think. Send the files around to mine later. This one’s clever.”

There was a mild hint of excitement in Sherlock’s voice, but not his usual borderline unacceptable excitement when a murderer was clever. He felt better for having a case, but he would feel even better if he had John helping him. A small shiver ran down his spine at that thought, and he pushed the feeling away, reminding himself once more that he didn’t need John to do his work.

“Sherlock, are you alright? I mean, really alright?”

“I’m fine, Lestrade. I’ve got what I need from here, and now I am going home.”

And I don’t have time for people to invade my privacy and attempt to get me to admit to feelings that I do not and cannot feel, he mentally added.

“Alright, alright. I’ll send someone around later, possibly tomorrow morning, with the files.”

And with that, Sherlock gave a small nod and headed home to bury himself in his work.

---

A very loud knock at the door broke Sherlock from his train of thought as he paced the living room. He turned and bounded towards the door with a little more energy than was necessary, and sent a pile of books toppling to the ground. He couldn’t help but hope that perhaps John had come back after all. It had only been three days, but without sleep, without a case, and without John, it had felt like much longer. A sudden panic gripped him as he reached the door, wondering whether it was Mycroft, or some other unwanted guest. He hadn’t been listening to anything but the going-on’s of his mind, and therefore hadn’t heard the footsteps on the stairs. He could always tell based on the sound of their step, exactly who was going to knock on the door. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest and his mind was racing through possibilities, trying to deduce who was most likely to be standing on the other side of that door.

“Sherlock, are you gonna let me in or will I just leave and take the files back with me?” Lestrade’s voice called from the other side of the door.

In an instant, Sherlock flung the door open and snatched the files from his hand before turning, already partway through closing the door again.

“Hey. Wait a minute –“

“Don’t need you,” Sherlock butt in, not even turning around. “Just the files. Goodbye”

He felt an unexpected force on the door, and turned again, surprised to see Lestrade fighting his way into the room. His heart was still pounding distractingly loud and his head was now swimming with excitement at the prospect of new information. He hadn’t really got anywhere with just thinking. He had a few theories, but theories weren’t good enough, and he hadn’t managed to single it down to one most likely answer yet.

“Sherlock, look at me,” Lestrade’s gruff voice broke through his train of thought once more, stopping him from shifting through the sheets in each file.

He didn’t comply, though, and simply returned to scanning the files for new information, an attempt to find some kind of answer that wasn’t yet wholly obvious.

“The victims have no connections. Nothing in common, apart from the fact that they’re both balding. Where does he get them from? How does he pick them and gain access to their homes?”

“Sherlock, forget the case for a minute and just look at me!” Lestrade barked, causing Sherlock’s head to snap up, their eyes finally meeting.

“What is it, Lestrade? I did tell you you weren’t needed here.”

“Sherlock, for Christ sake! Are you high?”

Sherlock stared with his usual cold gaze that made most men look away. It had long stopped working on Lestrade, but he still tried it from time to time. His hand started twitching, and he clenched it, grinding his teeth for a moment before looking back at the photographs of pocket and wallet contents in front of him.

“Sherlock, how much have you taken?”

“Irrelevant.”

“No, Sherlock. I think it’s very relevant! You’ve been clean for two years! Well, I thought you’d been clean. Have you just been pulling the wool over my eyes all this time? Because –“

“Shut up. Just shut up! I can’t think with you talking incessantly about things that do not matter!”

Silence followed Sherlock’s outbreak, and there was no movement aside from Sherlock clenching and unclenching his fists. His breathing was quick – far too quick – but he couldn’t slow it down. He felt himself begin to panic, but pushed away the idea, forcing himself to focus on the work again. His mind was still buzzing, so alive and so ready to solve this case in one night. Solve it in one night, without John. That’d show him. His hands began to shake and he dropped the papers onto the coffee table, dropping his head in his hands, tugging quite viciously at his hair, his breathing still far too fast, the sound of his own heartbeat filling his ears. His body was hot. Usually, he welcomed that warmth, and the occasional tremble, and the feel of his blood pounding through his veins at what felt like double the speed it normally did as his mind worked even faster than usual. He usually welcomed how bright everything was while he was on that high. Cocaine always made everything seem less dull, while his mind worked at double speed, not missing a single detail. But now, he felt out of control, and with Lestrade right beside him, that was not a good thing at all.

Too much. Can’t handle it like I could when I was a regular user. Must be it. Get a grip.

A gentle hand was placed on his shoulder, but he shrugged it off, perhaps a little to violently. He took a deep breath in and held it for a moment before releasing it, his whole body shuddering on the outtake. He repeated this a few times before picking the photographs up again, not even looking at Lestrade.

“Oh. Oh, that’s clever,” he said quietly, a small smile finding its way on his face as he lifted his head once more. “He doesn’t know the victims personally, and the victim’s aren’t connected in any way apart from the fact that they’re bald, and they’ve come into contact with him. Your killer, Lestrade, works at the Apple store in Regent Street.  He pick pockets them while serving them, no doubt. Oh, he is clever. But he made one mistake. Oh, how did I not see it sooner?”

Sherlock ran his hands through his hair, his breathing speeding up again, this time from the adrenaline that came with solving a case. His hands were shaking, coming down from his cocaine high, but he barely noticed.

“The keys were found in the right pocket of Julian Sheppard, but he’s left handed. The keys would go in his left pocket, wouldn’t they? He didn’t know his wife would be out – she said so herself. Wasn’t supposed to be out, but had nipped down to the shops to grab some milk. He assumed the door would be unlocked, and didn’t question it when it was. Your killer’s name is Jeremy Hobbs. Go find him.”

Lestrade hesitated, so Sherlock thrust the photographed receipts into his hand with Jeremy’s name on them, hoping Lestrade would take it and go, rather than continue to awkwardly linger, worry etched into his face, despite his amazement.

“Go,” he repeated with a wave of his hand for emphasis before rubbing his hands over his face, another wave of exhaustion hitting him.

He still hadn’t eaten or slept, but that was irrelevant. He was barely aware of both of these facts. He would have lost track of what day it was if it weren’t for Mrs Hudson bringing him tea every day. Finally, Lestrade made a move for the door, and Sherlock relaxed into the sofa, his body trembling slightly, displaying exactly how food and sleep deprived he was.

“Eat something, Sherlock. And get some sleep, for God sake. I don’t know what’s happened, Sherlock, but you need to take care of yourself. John –“ he paused, then, with a sigh, left without another word, leaving Sherlock to his lonely thoughts that he had, until now, refused to allow properly enter his mind.

He took a shaky, shuddering breath and realised, with shock, that his face was wet. Swiping furiously at the tears, he rolled over, pressing his head into the back of the sofa, and allowed exhaustion to drag him into darkness.

---

The days pressed on and the cases kept coming, which Sherlock was more grateful for than he would ever admit, but there was still that lingering emptiness inside him that he could only explain as being an absence of John. It seemed strange to him that he could live a lifetime without something and not even realise that that’s what had been missing. It also seemed strange that having John leave him would affect him so much, and he still tried to deny it to himself, and to Mrs Hudson, whenever she mentioned it. But she would just smile her sad, knowing smile, pat him on the shoulder, and leave him to his business.

Sherlock flopped himself down on the sofa, taking up the full space as he stretched out. It was his first time back at the flat since five that morning when Lestrade called him to a crime scene. There had been a lot of deducing and hanging around and chasing killers and filling out paperwork. He pretended to hate doing the paperwork, but really, he welcomed anything that kept him from his empty flat where he was constantly reminded of John’s absence. A few times he had turned for John’s opinion at a crime scene over the past week and a half, only to remember that John had left. Each time it was like a new stab to his chest, and each time the concerned look Lestrade threw him was absolutely no help what so ever – although it had been nice to hear him yelling at Sally when she kept pestering him about John in an attempt to make him crack. She had almost succeeded.

“Yoo hoo!” Came Mrs Hudson’s voice from the front door as she knocked before letting herself in, the usual cup of tea and a small pile of mail in hand. “Oh good, I thought I heard you come home. I collected your mail for you dear.”

She patted his arm gently after placing both the tea and the mail on the coffee table and sighed before leaving. Sherlock waited until he heard her enter her own flat before sitting up to sift through the mail.

“Dull,” he muttered, flicking through the bills and the junk mail.

He paused when his fingers settled on a bright red envelope with John’s handwriting on it. He narrowed his eyes slightly, dropping the rest of the mail in favour for the red envelope, and ripped it open. Inside was a wedding invitation, along with a request that he be John’s best man. A shiver ran down his spine and he dropped the invitation back on the table, not entirely sure how to feel. He was a little surprised he had been invited to the wedding, which he hadn’t even given any thought, but he was more surprised at the request to be best man. They hadn’t spoken once since John had left, and he never really expected them to speak again, as much as he wished John would just walk straight back through the door. Footsteps on the stairs caught his attention, and within the first few steps, he worked out it was Lestrade. A small spark of hope ignited inside him, longing desperately for another distraction so he wasn’t left sitting alone in his empty flat, thinking about John again. He ran his hands shakily over his face and stood to greet Lestrade.

“What’ve you got for me?” He asked as he opened the door.

Lestrade, however, had a bottle of wine in his hand instead of a case file, and Sherlock couldn’t hide the shock on his face. This was a social visit, not for work, and he knew straight away it was because of John and his little wedding invitation.

“Didn’t tell me John was getting married, did you?”

The question was meant to be rhetorical – something Sherlock had only learnt recently – so he just frowned and stepped back to let Lestrade in. Truth be told, he didn’t really want to be alone, and he had seen over the past week and a half that Lestrade understood that, despite not knowing exactly what the problem was. He always was more perceptive than most people, and that was something Sherlock always silently appreciated. True, he was an idiot compared to Sherlock, but as he had said once before to John – who was also definitely heads above most of the world in intelligence – practically everybody was.

“Sort of explains a lot, really. But I know what you’re like. It wouldn’t matter how many questions I asked, I would only get answers if it was a question you wanted to answer. So I didn’t bother asking. But…” He paused, glancing at Sherlock as he placed the bottle of wine on the edge of the kitchen table, giving him a sad smile before sighing. “It was obvious you weren’t okay, Sherlock. Obvious to me, as your friend, and as someone who has seen you go through many ups and downs over the years. I know you’ve pretended as though it doesn’t matter. Heck, you’ve probably attempted lying to yourself about it. But fact remains, it does matter, because… Well, because you loved him. You love him. It was in your eyes every time he praised you, and every time he said something smart to surprise you, and every time you walked off knowing that he was following right behind, always there with you.”

Sherlock didn’t say anything, because really, there was nothing to say. He just stared at a spot on the wall, not even acknowledging that he’d heard anything Lestrade had said. Of course, he had heard every single word, and every single word rang too true inside his mind. He knew Lestrade knew he had heard, too, which he couldn’t deny helped just a little bit.

“He asked me to be best man,” Sherlock quietly broke the silence a few minutes later, allowing his eyes drift to Lestrade before flitting away again, not wanting him to see the wave of emotion that had just taken over him.

He was angry at John for leaving him without any sort of explanation other than the news that he was engaged, and he was angry with himself for allowing himself to get so emotionally attached to somebody that they could even begin to have this effect on him. He was upset, too, because both he and John had told each other they loved the other that night, and it was still true on Sherlock’s side, no matter how hard he tried to ignore that fact. And just a small part of him was proud, happy, and flattered that John would want him to be his best man at his wedding, though he couldn’t understand how those feelings could fit in with the two stronger feelings. Emotions were definitely not his forte, and trying to understand them just seemed to make things even harder than they already were.

“He didn’t… Oh, for crying out loud, the man’s an idiot! Can’t he see how all of this is hurting you? I have no idea what’s going on, but it was obvious last time I was here that he had moved out, and he hasn’t been with you on any cases, and none of us have heard from him for over a week, so I doubt you have.” Lestrade actually sounded angry on his behalf, and this surprised Sherlock more than the situation itself. “Christ. Are you okay?”

Sherlock thought for a moment before giving a slight nod of his head. He knew the other man would know it was a lie, but at least he could lie to himself while he was at it.

“Well, I brought this to get pissed, not really to celebrate. I’m assuming you have more for when we need it, unless you’ve used it all to experiment with. You hardly ever drink.”

Sherlock opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off.

“Clouds the mind, I know, I know. Still, always time for a break, isn’t there?”

After a moment’s thought, Sherlock nodded again. He was hoping the alcohol would cloud his mind enough that he wouldn’t think about John, and would therefore not feel miserable, so he fetched some wine glasses and allowed Lestrade to pour him a generous amount, smiling as he lead him into the living room.

---

Sherlock could feel his insides quivering, tempting his body to give into the nagging pain that was tearing at his mind. He hiccupped slightly and mentally cursed himself for being so human and allowing himself to drink a little too much with a friend (was that what they were? Friends?). Lestrade smiled lazily beside him, his head flopping quite close to Sherlock’s shoulder. He didn’t flinch away as he usually would when sober, but the thought was in the back of his mind. He kept his eyes on the top of Lestrade’s head, the dim light from the lamp seeming to make the silver in his hair sparkle. The thought would have almost made him smile, except he longed for it to be John’s head in Lestrade’s place. A small sigh slipped past his lips, blowing Lestrade’s hair gently, as he inwardly cursed himself once more for allowing his thoughts to even drift that way. He didn’t need John. He didn’t need anyone.

“You’re unhappy, Sherlock, and it’s obvious. You’re only human.”

Lestrade’s gruff voice broke through Sherlock’s train of thought, the light on his hair changing as he tilted his face up towards Sherlock’s, his eyes lazily half shut.

“I’d call that wishful thinking on your behalf,” Sherlock replied quietly, hoping that the tremble in his voice at the end of the sentence could pass for a shiver.

Lestrade huffed out a breath, the warm air spreading over Sherlock’s neck, causing him to arch his head slightly in Lestrade’s direction. Their eyes met briefly before he adverted his gaze, not quite able to bring himself to move from the position he was in, despite all the usually unimportant social cues his mind was screaming at him.

“Perhaps just a little bit,” Lestrade almost whispered, the words washing over Sherlock’s skin in a manner that was more than distracting, the smell of cheap red wine reaching his nose. His eyes flickered back to Lestrade’s, pale blue meeting brown, and found that this time, he couldn’t look away. “But Sherlock, you’re the only person who would think any less of you if… If you were to admit to being… Human.”

The end of the sentence barely made it out before their lips crashed together, warm and wet, a clumsy mix of teeth and tongues, and full of desperation and need. The taste of wine grew slightly stronger, mixing with the familiar taste of stale cigarettes, and a flavour that was entirely new, and entirely Gregory Lestrade. He shifted his position just slightly, running one hand up Lestrade’s neck and into his hair, his other hand holding Lestrade’s collar.

“Shit,” Lestrade muttered as they broke away, both breathless.

Sherlock glanced away before looking back at Lestrade, his pupils dilated and his lips swollen and wet. He swallowed the lump in his throat and let his hand slip from Lestrade’s collar, only just realising he was still holding on. The kiss had been amazing, and Lestrade looked simply gorgeous sitting across from Sherlock, now wide-eyed and unsure of himself, but all Sherlock could think of, as per usual, was John. John and his warm jumpers and his shoulder wound and his girly, euphoric giggle. John and his gorgeous, damaged body, and his warm mouth, and his secure arms. John and everything about him, on Sherlock’s mind, always. He made to stand up, but only ended up toppling back down beside Lestrade, his head spinning far too much.

“Sherlock…? Are you alright?” Lestrade asked cautiously, his eyes never leaving Sherlock, worry, and perhaps a small amount of embarrassment edged into his features.

Sherlock waved a dismissive hand in response, feeling his throat tighten and his chest constrict, making it extremely difficult to breathe. His eyes stung, but he refused to let himself cry, and mentally cursed himself once more for drinking as much as he had.

“That wasn’t supposed to happen… I’ll, erm…” Lestrade paused, frowning slightly. “Sherlock, are you sure you’re alright?”

Sherlock turned to face Lestrade, his vision blurred by tears he refused to let escape.

“’m fine,” he croaked out before clearing his throat. “I’m fine. And the kiss was… Erm… Good.” He wasn’t lying, it had been good, but the words felt wrong coming from his mouth.

Lestrade visibly relaxed beside him, but immediately tensed as footsteps made their way hurriedly upstairs. The door burst open, and a very anxious, very distressed looking John appeared, ‘causing Sherlock to stand immediately, his expression composed once more, though his head was still spinning, demanding he sit back down.

“John, it is more polite for one to knock when one wishes to enter the home of another,” Sherlock said quietly, fighting to keep his voice under control.

“I… Mary… I love you,” John blurted out breathlessly, looking as though he was about to cry.

Sherlock stared at John, barely aware of Lestrade’s muttered goodbye as he stumbled out of the flat. He didn’t know what to say, but he knew John wasn’t lying. Nothing about John was deceptive at the moment, and he certainly would never be that cruel to start off with.

“You love Mary,” he replied quietly, turning his face away, afraid he didn’t have the strength to hide what he was feeling.

“Yes. I love Mary. But… Sherlock, I can’t live without you. You complete utter bastard,” he sounded partially angry as he laughed dryly, his laugh turning to more of a sob before he stopped, moving closer to Sherlock. “I don’t know what the hell you did to me, but I am consumed by you. I love you more than I could possibly love anyone or anything else in this entire world. I hate you for that.”

He laughed shakily again, lowering himself in a chair as he buried his head in his hands.

“Always have been a bit cliché, haven’t I?”

Sherlock opened his mouth to reply, but realised the question was rhetorical. Instead, he remained silent, biting at his bottom lip thoughtfully.

“You’re getting married,” Sherlock said quietly, his own voice quivering a little.

“No. The wedding’s off. She told me to go back to you, because it was obvious I was unhappy.”

“You can marry her and be friends with me.” Sherlock hated the truth of his own words, and the idea of being around John while he was married to Mary physically hurt him.

He wanted to take back what he had said immediately and swallow his words in hope that they would fill the empty space in his stomach, but he knew he could never have any such luck. But the truth was that despite the fact that it would tear him apart every day to see John but know he was someone else’s, it would tear him apart even more to never see John again. There was life before John, and life with John, and there was no way to imagine a life after John. He snapped himself from his thoughts, looking at John properly again, and realised that John was shaking his head, the tears in his eyes threatening to spill over.

“I can’t, Sherlock. Because as long as I’m around you, I will always want to be with you.” His voice shook a little and he sniffed, looking away. “And I’m not strong enough to stick with her. I need you.”

Sherlock stared at John, completely at a loss for words. He knew that admitting that was hard for John, and he knew, once again, that it wasn’t at all a lie. However, the feeling of betrayal was still edged into his mind where John sat, and a small twinge of fear sparked up inside him, scared of a repeat of that betrayal. He remained silent, his eyes not leaving John for a second.

“Right. Of course,” John said suddenly, standing again.

“You’re upset,” Sherlock commented quietly.

“Yes, Sherlock. Yes I am. Though at who, I’m not sure. I would be upset with you, but I should have known better than to expect any kind of emotional, proper, human reaction from you. Because you don’t care, you’ve never cared, and you never will care.”

John’s words stung, and they were untrue, which hurt even more, but he couldn’t bring himself to say anything until John turned to leave.

“No,” Sherlock said quickly, his voice breaking as he gripped John’s forearm, stopping him.

The two men stared at each other for what felt like a very long time, not saying a word. Sherlock had let his guard down now, and trying to put it back up resulted in shaking, instead, which caused John’s expression to relax into one of concern. John opened his mouth to speak, but before he could get a word out, Sherlock’s lips were pressed against his, swallowing his words as shaking hands grabbed at him, pulling him closer. Sherlock could feel John’s warmth pressing against his own cold, shaking body, and held him as close as possible, unwilling to break contact for even a second.

“I need you,” Sherlock mumbled against John’s mouth, pressing their foreheads together. “You left and I didn’t know what to do. Not knowing what to do killed me. Not having you killed me more.”

He felt John smile sadly, and in turn felt himself smiling, knowing he had said the right thing.

“I’m sorry. I was scared. I’m not sure what I was scared of, but I couldn’t face you because of it. I-“

“Sh,” Sherlock whispered after pressing his lips briefly to John’s again. “I don’t care.”

He kissed John harder, this time, running one hand into the doctor’s sandy hair, his other hand resting on John’s lower back, pulling him closer. There was obvious need from both ends, and when Sherlock pressed his thigh between John’s legs, he knew they both had the same idea.

“Bed,” he growled in John’s ear, dragging John behind him as he headed to his bedroom.

John didn’t need telling twice, and within seconds of entering the room, Sherlock had thrown him on the bed and was in the process of undressing him, kissing every inch of bare skin that he could as he went. He felt suddenly more posessive than ever before, and that both frightened and amazed him. He unbuttoned his own shirt while John worked his pants off, and in record time, they were both naked, pressed against each other with Sherlock’s tongue trailing down John’s chest. He dipped his tongue into John’s bellybutton before pressing light kisses along the length of his shaft, teasing the tip with his tongue, a smirk playing on his lips.

“God, Sherlock,” John half moaned from above Sherlock as he swirled his tongue around the swollen tip, letting the warmth of his mouth close around it just briefly before pulling back up to meet John’s lips, reaching over to grab the lube from his side table.

“Roll over,” he whispered, feeling the warmth of his own breath bounce back from John’s neck.

He felt a small shiver run through John’s body as he complied, and popped the cap off the lube, covering his fingers as he straddled John from behind. He pressed kisses along John’s spine, smirking slightly at each shiver, before slowly and gently sliding one finger inside his tight opening, moving his finger around to allow John to get used to the feel. A loud groan sounded from beneath him, letting him know he’d hit the right spot, and he gently slid a second finger in.

“Fuck. Sherlock. Yes,” John muttered from beneath him, pushing himself further against Sherlock’s fingers.

Sherlock smirked, pressing another kiss to the bottom of John’s back as he prepared himself to fuck John senseless.

“You ready?” He whispered against John’s back, tossing the lube at his side table.

A small nod and a strangled sound of agreement was all he needed. He gently teased John’s opening with the tip of his cock before slowly pressing in, listening to the sharp intake of breath from John as the initial burn was over. Warmth and tightness surrounded him, and he couldn’t hold back a moan as he slowly pushed his way in, his whole body ghosting over the top of John’s. He felt around John’s body, grabbing his leaking cock in his already slick hand, and began slowly running his fingers along John’s shaft in time with his thrusting. A string of words tumbled from his mouth, but he had no idea what he was actually saying. He could feel John tighten around him briefly as he sped up, nuzzling his head in against John’s neck. Sherlock could hear him moaning beneath him, swearing and occasionally shouting Sherlock’s name. He felt John’s cock twitch in his hand as he came, shouting out as he burried his head into the pillow. Sherlock followed almost immediately, his vision completely white as he pulled out and came on Johns back and his own stomach. His arms shook slightly beneath his weight, and he half collapsed on top of John, breathing heavily.

“That… Was amazing,” John said breathlessly, his voice still muffled by the pillow.

All Sherlock could do was nod in agreement as he lazily reached for his shirt to clean them both up with before lying next to John. He nuzzled his head into Johns neck, breathing in heavily. He smelt of sweat and shampoo, but most importantly, he smelt of John, and that was the best smell he could ever imagine. As he pulled the covers over the both of them, he wrapped his arm around John, pulling him in close.

“I love you,” John whispered, turning in Sherlock’s arms to face him.

The empty feeling in the bottom of his stomach and the constant confusing ache in his chest were gone, and for the first time since John had left, Sherlock felt completely at home. John was home. And while he didn’t understand it, he knew that he had all the time in the world to try, and that made for the best experiment he could ever think of. He closed his eyes, relaxing into John, and pressed a kiss to the top of his head.

“I love you too.”

Unplanned and Unexpected

Title: Unplanned and Unexpected
Warnings: m/m sexy tiems?
Characters/Pairings: Rory/Eleven, Amy
Summary: When left to their own devices, Rory and The Doctor discover what a 'boys day in' can really turn into inside the TARDIS.

The TARDIS groaned and shook a little before wheezing to a complete stop which was followed by an eerie silence. Depending on where you were in the TARDIS, this eerie silence was almost normal. However, it really didn’t happen often at all, and whenever it did, Rory felt quite uneasy. Though he would never voice it out loud for fear of ridicule, he would even prefer the TARDIS to be shaking and lurching constantly than to ever have to hear that silence. In those rare silent moments, the doors inside Rory’s mind opened up, and 2000 years’ worth of history all tried to burst into his brain at once; memories he didn’t know he had and images he didn’t want to see, all fighting for first priority. Most of the time, he was in control of that door, but when he lost that control, he felt as though he had been stripped of what little power he had, and that made him feel smaller than he already did next to the Doctor.

“Amy?” he called out, wandering back to the TARDIS console.

It didn’t matter how often he felt small next to The Doctor, Amy made him feel big again. No matter how brilliant the Doctor was, she always came back to him, and she always loved him. His love for her would pull him through anything, no matter what, and he knew that for certain.

“Rory!” the Doctor’s voice called back excitedly, followed by a banging noise and a mumbled ‘ouch’.

The Doctor walked towards Rory, rubbing his head a little before grasping Rory’s shoulders, still looking excited.

“Boys’ day in. Or out. I don’t know, what are boys supposed to do when they’re left alone? Amy’s gone shopping. Thought you might be sleeping, didn’t want to bother you. Or something like that, I wasn’t really listening,” he rambled, waving a hand around as though the details didn’t really matter. “Staying here, though. TARDIS is misbehaving today- don’t wanna lose Amy. We’d never be forgiven.”

He stopped rambling and stood back, his cheeky, boyish smile fading slowly. Rory wasn’t entirely sure what to say, but he opened his mouth to speak. He’d found going with the first thing that popped to mind usually worked rather well when it came to the Doctor. However, he was cut off early.

“What’s wrong? Something’s wrong,” the Doctor said quietly, his head tilting to the side as he studied Rory’s expression.

“No, no, nothing’s wrong.”

Rory swallowed, raising his eyebrows at The Doctor, hoping it wasn’t that damn obvious that the silence in the TARDIS had shaken him a little. It wasn’t as though it was a big deal, really. Once there was noise around him again, he could shut that little door in his mind and go on living his life with his usual memories.

“You’re lying. Something happened. What happened?”

Rory stared at the Doctor for a moment. He suddenly looked very old and very caring, all his usual youthful, almost childish charm gone. He was suddenly reminded of how old the Doctor actually was and he wondered if the Doctor had the same problem, and just never spoke of it.

“When it’s really quiet and I can’t even hear the sounds of the TARDIS… I remember things. Things I don’t want to remember. Things I shouldn’t remember. Those 2000 years I spent as a Centurion…  I saw so many things.” He then stopped, lowering his head a little as images flooded his mind again.

The Doctor sighed and gripped Rory’s face gently in his hands, lifting it back up so their eyes met. He leaned in very close - so close that Rory could feel his warm breath, and see his true age in his eyes like never before.

“I’m sorry, Rory. Really, I am,” he said quietly, the words washing over Rory’s face. “I know what it’s like… When you’re all alone and there’s nothing but you and the silence, and you can’t keep out the things you want to forget. I know, because there’s so much I wish I could forget…”

Rory expected more, but no more words came. The sentence sounded unfinished somehow. He wanted to speak, but he couldn’t think past how close the Doctor’s face was to his, and how wonderful he smelled. This last thought surprised him, but he couldn’t deny it. It was a strange, yet wonderful mix of jammy dodgers, banana, and a smell that reminded him of time, though he knew that was silly, because time couldn’t have a smell. Or could it? Before he could ponder that thought any longer, warm, wet lips collided with his clumsily, as though they had absolutely no experience. However, the inexperience didn’t make it unpleasant. In fact, if he were quite honest, it was a nice change from Amy’s confident, seductive kisses, and he found himself kissing back, his mouth parting to let their tongues collide in a warm, uncertain battle of affection.

“Sorry,” the Doctor mumbled into his mouth before pulling back to wipe his mouth on his sleeve before clapping his hands together awkwardly. “Not supposed to happen. An accident, really.”

For what felt like a long time, they stared at each other, neither of them sure of what to do or say next.

“No it wasn’t,” he replied suddenly, shoving his hands in his pockets. “It’s never an accident. Not really. A mistake, maybe, but not an accident.”

The Doctor looked away at that, scratching the side of his face, his other hand swinging uselessly by his side.

“Not a mistake,” Rory suddenly corrected, surprising himself again. “Not for me.”

There was a moment where he hesitated before grabbing the Doctor and kissing him again, both still unconfident and a little unsure, but both obviously wanting it. The Doctor’s arms flailed about a little before resting on Rory’s shoulders. He slid one hand down from the Doctor’s face and pushed lightly at his jacket before sliding his hand underneath it, nudging the Doctor’s arm so he could slide the sleeve off before working at the other one. Their kissing grew wilder then as both men realised what they really wanted from each other, even if it was only this once that they would be getting it.

“What about Amy?” the Doctor questioned as his jacket slid to the floor.

Rory felt himself being pushed backwards against a wall and momentarily hesitated, pulling his face back to look at The Doctor properly.

“She won’t mind,” he replied, more to convince himself than anything else. “She’d probably encourage it, you know.”

The Doctor seemed to agree, because suddenly his jacket was being tossed aside, their lips slammed back together with more passion, all uncertainty gone. Rory slid the suspenders off the Doctor’s shoulders then tugged at his bowtie until it came loose, before sliding one hand down his chest and over an already sensitive nipple, his other hand running into the Doctor’s hair, pulling a little for emphasis. He released his grip on The Doctor’s hair only to start unbuttoning his shirt, his lips moving at the same pace as his hands, kissing and nibbling across his jaw line and down his neck, sucking quite hard on his pulse point. The Doctor gasped, his arms flailing awkwardly again before he gripped Rory’s shirt, yanking it over his head as quickly as possible as he shrugged his own shirt off his shoulders. Rory pressed their bodies closer together, slipping his leg between the Doctor’s to nudge his thigh against the building pressure in the Doctor’s trousers. A small, confident smirk found its way onto his face as the Doctor moaned uncharacteristically, bucking slightly against Rory’s thigh. Rory was always more confident in sex than anything else in life, though he never imagined he’d be doing anything like this with someone like the Doctor.

“Rory… Nnnggf.”

Rory laughed slightly, though it turned more into a yelp of both surprise and pleasure when he felt the Doctor’s hand slide into his pants, his fingers curling around him, the other hand nudging his trousers downwards, lips almost desperate as they met with his one more. He slipped his hands into the Doctor’s pants, running his cool fingers along the smooth skin of the Doctor’s arse before curving around his thighs, one hand stroking along his pulsing cock gently before he slipped both hands back out, running them up and down his sides.

“H-how long will Amy beeeeeeee?” the Doctor asked, struggling to keep his voice even as Rory’s thumb rubbed lightly over an already over-sensitive nipple.

“Hours. She’s shopping. You know what she’s like,” he replied, his voice more gruff than usual.

The Doctor gave a quick nod of his head before yanking Rory’s trousers and pants down in one go. With barely any warning, the Doctor got down on his knees before Rory, running his tongue over the dribbling tip of his cock before taking the full length in his mouth. The warmth of the Doctor’s mouth made him shudder, his knees growing week as he felt his hips jerk forward involuntarily. The Doctor moaned around him, the vibration of the noise sending new jolts of pleasure through his body, his hips jerking forward again. Firm hands pushed his hips back against the wall to stop him from bucking so violently. He ran his hands into the Doctor’s hair, gripping it tightly, pulling back a bit so he could feel the wet slide of his lips along his cock. He felt the light stroke of a tongue before the Doctor started sucking, sliding back along his shaft. His mouth felt absolutely incredible, and entirely different to Amy’s. It was a different technique and a new mouth, and he couldn’t even remember the last time he’d felt someone who wasn’t Amy. The thought sat nervously in the bottom of his stomach, but a light flicking of the Doctor’s tongue on the tip of his cock took the feeling right away and replaced it with the burning desire for more.

“God, Doctor!” he called out, his hips jerking again, an invitation for the Doctor to take him in his mouth once more.

Naturally, the Doctor did, swirling his tongue around as he slowly took the whole length in his mouth once more. It was all just strange noises and heavy breaths coming from Rory’s mouth now as the sucking sensation brought him close to an orgasm. His cock twitched, and he could just feel the Doctor’s hum of approval and his fingers tighten in the Doctor’s hair before his vision went white as he came hard and fast with a loud moan into the Doctor’s mouth. The Doctor released him then, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, leaving Rory to slide to the floor, elated but mildly exhausted.

“Do you want –“ Rory started, but was cut off by the Doctor suddenly jumping up, grabbing Rory’s discarded shirt and tossing it towards him.

“Amy’s coming!” he said, nodding his head towards the screen above the console of the TARDIS.

Rory blanched before pulling his shirt over his head and standing up to pull his trousers up. His eyes lingered on the Doctor’s bare chest as he did his buttons up, almost feeling disappointed that their privacy didn’t last as long as it could have.

“Do we tell her?” the Doctor asked quietly after he’d snapped his suspenders back onto his shoulders.

The guilt in his voice was clear, but there was something else – almost anger – edged into his voice, also. Guilt lined his stomach again, making him feel slightly sick as he slipped his jacket back on, now not game enough to meet the Doctor’s eyes.

“No… Maybe. Should we..? No.”

The Doctor gave a small nod of his head which Rory only just caught from behind the flutter of his tweed jacket as he flung it across his back, shoving both awkward, long arms into the sleeves just as the TARDIS door opened.

“Y’know, Doctor… Foreign shops are great and all, but sometimes it’d be nice having someone with me to tell me what everything is,” Amy feigned annoyance, dumping her bags at the door with an exhausted sigh. “So, what have you two been up to, then?”

She flashed them a flirty grin each and leaned against the hand railing, showing off her perfect, sexy figure, as always.

“Erm… We, uh… Nothing, really.” Rory replied, sending the Doctor a sideways glance.

Amy narrowed her eyes slightly as the Doctor turned back to the console without a word, flicking a few switches before concentrating very hard on something on the monitor.

“What’s gotten into you? You’re never this quiet,” Amy commented, pouting slightly.

There were a few moments of tense silence before the Doctor took off across the console room and down the adjacent corridor.

“Oi! Where –“

“Forgot something!” the Doctor cut her off hurriedly, his voice fading as he ran. “Back in a moment.”

Amy shot Rory a questioning, almost accusing gaze before her expression relaxed into a smirk, her eyes lighting up. Rory slowly followed her gaze and felt his stomach twist when he saw the previously discarded bow tie on the ground. He turned to face Amy and found her suddenly right in his face, her arms still crossed firmly across her chest.

“Nothing, eh?” she asked, and for once, he couldn’t tell whether she was angry or not.

“Erm… Well… Uh… See…” he stuttered, backing away slightly, feeling suddenly very small like he had earlier that day.

“Come here, stupid face,” she teased, grabbing his shoulders gently before planting a quick kiss on his lips, “I don’t mind, and you can tell that great idiot that too, when he comes back.”

Relief washed over Rory as Amy stepped back, smiling a little too seductively at him. He had hoped for a reaction like this, but he was rather thinking, until that point, that he had been hoping in vain.

“Yeah…” he said quietly, rubbing the back of his neck as his cheeks flushed red. “It was unplanned and unexpected, and, erm, yeah.”

She laughed and rolled her eyes.

“Next time, just let me in on it, okay?”

Unlikely Affairs

Title: Unlikely Affairs
Warnings: sexual acts (could be taken as dub-con), knife play
Characters/Pairings: Sherlock/Moriarty/John
Summary: When Sherlock finds himself in a strange room with the most insane genius he has ever met, and new emotions running high, how will Sherlock react?
A/N: Basically, this was written for a friend. She told me to write a fic which involved Sherlock/Moriarty and eventual Sherlock/John, and there had to be John dressed as catwoman, but I wasn't allowed to write a crack fill. So uh... Yeah. This has been cross-posted from my ff.net account. Enjoy?

Sherlock’s cloudy eyes fluttered open slowly, his head lifting momentarily before lolling back to the side, his neck seeming unable to hold his head up on his shoulders. His mind caught up extremely slowly, much to his annoyance, and soon the blurred nothingness before him began to take shape. The room he was in was quite empty, every wall consistently white with no marks of imperfection laid upon their smooth surface, apart from the door on the wall directly across from him. The roof, he noticed, matched completely, with just one small light bulb screwed in to the ceiling. The ground was a cold, tiled azure, immaculate, as everything in the room seemed to be. Across from him there was a single silver chair which looked entirely out of place on its own. Other than that, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nothing except himself, the white room with its bright light and shocking blue floor, and a single vacant chair.
There was the faint, familiar smell of John on his shirt, but it was heavily masked by something else. Something he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

Think. Think. He told himself, but his mind was still struggling to work as fast as it should be.

He had been drugged, obviously. And quite heavily, considering how long it was taking for him to regain proper use of his brain.

Focus. Think. He continued to tell himself with growing frustration.

The scent was definitely familiar, but not common.

The scent of somebody with a lot of money, and quite exquisite taste. Definitely Ralph Lauren. Polo Blue. But who? Think. Think.

And then it dawned on him. He wasn’t sure if it was just because it was blatantly obvious, or if it was because his mind was regaining speed, but suddenly he knew exactly what the smell was.

“Moriarty” he choked out in what was barely a whisper, his dry throat suddenly silently screaming in agony.

Sherlock attempted to pull himself away from the wall, but he budged nowhere. He sucked in a sharp breath, biting inside his lip to stop him from crying out in pain as his restraints dug into his skin. The warm, wet feel of blood trickled down his hands from his wrists, sending icy chills down his spine. He shut his eyes tight, clenching his jaw as he made an attempt to free his hands, but the sharp plastic around his wrists continued to dig further into his flesh until it unrealistically felt as though his hands were going to be sliced off. Breathing heavily, he rested his head back against the wall.

“There’s no use struggling, Sherlock” came an all too familiar sing-song Irish accent from behind the white door opposite Sherlock.

He composed himself, keeping a nonchalant look on his face, almost as though he were bored. He wasn’t bored at all, however. His insides were alive with the idea of new danger, a new puzzle and a new adventure.
The door swung open, and Moriarty entered, pushing a TV stand in front of him as he went, a look of childlike glee on his face.

“Oh, you needn’t look so bored, Sherlock. Come now. We all know this is what you live for, isn’t it? Those moments where you could die, but you feel oh so alive. Those moments where there’s so many things unanswered, and you get to work them all out. But I think you already know why we’re here, don’t you Sherlock? You would have already worked it out.”

A hint of confusion darted momentarily across Sherlock’s features. Any normal person wouldn’t have even noticed, but nothing slipped past Moriarty’s eyes.

“You don’t know? My my, Sherlock. You certainly know how to disappoint.” He generally sounded disappointed as he lightly propped himself against the stand, cocking his hip to the side slightly. “I’ll give you a moment. I must admit, I went a little overboard with the doseage. Take your time. There’s no rush”

Sherlock’s insides bubbled with anger at being spoken to like a child, as though he was barely worth Moriarty’s time. He forced his mind to concentrate, ignoring the exhaustion that was lingering in the back of his mind.

He’s got you where you can’t escape, but why? Why this time? No game, no chase, no fun. Just here and now. But why? It’s elegant, as is everything with Moriarty. But it’s plain. It’s dull. It’s straight to the point. But what is the point? And where was John? John…

Sherlock knew his concern must have shown on his face, because Moriarty was nodding, his acid smile growing. The gleaming madness in his eyes was off-putting, so he cast his eyes downwards, concentrating again.

John. John and I. We’re viewed as one single entity. One great force that no one can destroy. Moriarty see’s it that way. “I can stop John Watson, too. Stop his heart.” But he hadn’t. “I will burn the heart out of you.” But I don’t have a heart. John has the heart. That’s what makes me so brilliant. Hearts get in the way. Caring distorts the facts. Emotions conceal evidence and change the image of reality. I can see the facts. I can see reality. I don’t have a heart. That’s why John and I work so well together. He’s the heart.

An unfamiliar feeling consumed him. A feeling he couldn’t describe as his cold, grey eyes slowly met Moriarty’s dark, eager ones.

“Really, I can see why you wouldn’t want to understand. You’re so good, Sherlock. So good. And you could be better, and I think you know that all too well. That’s why it took you so long, isn’t it? You ignored the facts because they didn’t suit you.”

Moriarty’s voice was cold and cruel, piercing Sherlock, ‘causing his skin to crawl. The hard truth of his words washed over him like a wave, crashing him hard against the shore, forcing him to the conclusion he didn’t want to reach.

John. John is my heart. He thought to himself, realising the terrifying truth.

The truth, of course, had always been in the back of Sherlock’s mind, from the very minute Moriarty accused him of having a heart. And that’s what it had felt like. An accusation. Something he should feel ashamed of. And so he pushed the new found data out of his mind, like every other piece of irrelevant information. Except this was relevant. This was very relevant.

“You can talk, my dear. I so long to hear the deep growl of your voice” Moriarty teased, raising his eyebrows as his playful tone returned.

“Where’s John?” Sherlock demanded, hoping he didn’t sound as desperate as he suddenly felt.

Caring, worry, love. All these feelings were new to him, and that made him feel exposed and vulnerable – a feeling he most despised. They had been there since the moment John had entered his life, but he had never bothered to acknowledge them or give them a name. Having Moriarty inside his head, one step ahead of him, bothered him most of all.

“Oh.” Moriarty stood up straight again, his hands in his pockets as a look of mock surprise lit up his features. “It’s a shame, really. We are perfect for each other, but you chose him.”

Sherlock’s eyes narrowed slightly, almost certain he caught the sound of real disappointment in his voice.

“Where is John?”

“He’s fine. Well, I say fine…” He shrugged his shoulders, a catlike smile on his face as his head tilted to the side.

He pressed the button on the TV, and the picture flickered to life. There was John,  tied to the bed, dressed in a complete black spandex outfit, almost like cat woman. Actually, exactly like cat woman. Sherlock corrected himself, noticing the small set of ears on the sleeping man’s head. He shot a questioning look at Moriarty, who laughed to himself, throwing his head back slightly as he crossed one leg in front of the other.

“Like my little touch? I can see why you like him. Quite… sexy really.”

Moriarty slowly closed the rather large gap between himself and Sherlock before crouching down to his level, taking his attention away from the rather small, barely breathing John on the television screen. He felt Moriarty’s warm forehead touch his own and attempted to pull back, but there was no room to do so. The smell of Moriarty’s expensive cologne filled his lungs, sending an odd shudder down his spine. He could look nowhere else but into the cold, excited, mad eyes before him. Sherlock felt Moriarty’s hand come up slowly, and his breath caught in his throat when the cold metal of a gun pressed against the side of his neck. He swallowed hard, keeping his eyes steady. He wasn’t scared - it was in these moments that he felt most alive - but he wanted John to be okay.

“I could kill you.” Moriarty pointed out quietly, tilting his head to the side a little as he curved around towards Sherlock’s ear in a snake-like manner. “But where’s the fun in that?”

Sherlock felt the cold metal slowly slide up and down the left side of his neck, Moriarty’s warm breath on his right. He swallowed again, his thoughts becoming lost in a haze of something he couldn’t quite recognise. His body was tingling with a new sort of life – something that, once again, he didn’t recall feeling.

“It would be more fun if I let you go.” He whispered, his thick Irish accent consuming Sherlock’s mind. “But I can’t have you running off on me, can I?”

His lips were getting closer and closer to Sherlock’s neck until he felt them touch lightly. The sensation sent a shiver through his whole body, Moriarty’s scent seeming even stronger than before, and suddenly quite marvellous.

You smell so good. What do you taste like? Sherlock wondered, barely even aware of his own train of thought.

Moriarty’s lips clamped down on his neck, sucking the skin as though it were a life source. An ungraceful gasp slipped past Sherlock’s lips, his whole body hungry for something he couldn’t describe. Hungry for something new. Something different. Something exciting.

“Why are you doing this?”

Sherlock hated his voice sounding so weak, but he couldn’t help it. It wasn’t out of fear, or pain, or any other feeling that a normal person would be feeling in that situation. Instead, he was filled with desire and, dare he admit it, attraction. There had always been that mild attraction to Moriarty, but only for his genius and nothing more. Now, he was filled with a desire to cut Moriarty open and see his mind and how it worked. He wanted to taste every part of him. He wanted to understand how someone could smell so beautiful, even past the cologne. He wanted to find out how one man could be so perfect for him, yet at the same time so wrong for him. He wanted to understand how one man could make him want him so much.

Even more than John. He shocked himself with his own thought, taking a deep breath in, but allowed himself to accept that he was, against his will, quite infatuated with his ordinary, ex-military roommate. But John never came this close. He reminded himself, satisfied enough with his weak but fully accurate conclusion.

“You taste better than I thought.” Moriarty muttered against Sherlock’s skin, his voice sounding about as insane as the thoughts running through Sherlock’s mind.

He pulled at his restraints again, desperately wanting to touch the insane man who seemed so close, yet so far away. A new trickle of blood slipped down his hands as a low growl sounded in his chest, the pain in his wrists growing. He felt the cold gun move slowly along his jaw line, but he didn’t flinch at all. He kept his eyes on Moriarty, the hunger in them burning like a fire. Within a flash, the gun was cast across the floor, and a knife was cutting the plastic from around his wrists. The minute he was free, his hands flew to Moriarty’s face, the fresh blood dripping its way down his pale but utterly gorgeous face. The knife traced up the side of his body as he fought for dominance, pushing him to the ground.
Moriarty flipped him over in an instant, holding a lot more strength than he had given him credit for. The knife ran along the front of his white shirt, slicing the buttons clean off, cutting lightly into the skin as he went. Sherlock threw his head back as Moriarty’s lips traced the small line of blood. The feel of his tongue on his stomach sent an excited ripple through his body, his cock growing harder with every movement Moriarty made on top of him. His bloodied hands entwined in the dark hair on top of the mad man’s head, his body arching upwards almost completely against his will.

“John” he muttered without thinking, his eyes darting towards the TV screen where the seemingly still, lifeless cat woman lay.

“No.” Moriarty growled possessively. “You’re mine.”

He ran his tongue up along Sherlock’s collar bone, then up along his neck, stopping every so often to suck. Sherlock felt Moriarty’s teeth sink in to his neck, and groaned, arching his neck towards Moriarty as he sucked heavily at the punctured skin. Before he could say anything else, bloody lips met his, and the familiar metallic taste of blood filled his mouth. He moaned into the kiss, running his tongue along Moriarty’s before sucking on his bottom lip, biting just enough to draw blood himself.

God, I never knew this could be so good. John needs your help. Why had I never done this before? John looks like he’s stopped breathing. I wonder what the rest of him tastes like. John could be dead. Why had I never done this with John? John.

He sat up, his lips still hungrily locked on Moriarty’s as he moved into a position where he could wrap Moriarty’s legs around himself. He roughly picked both himself and Moriarty off the floor, stumbling to the door. Pressing him against the wall, he flung open the door, sliding the both of them through it before it slammed shut behind them.

“What are you doing?” Moriarty murmured against Sherlock’s lips before nibbling along his jaw line.

The new sensation almost caused Sherlock to lose his balance, but he continued walking, not entirely sure where he was going.

“Which room’s he in?” Sherlock asked, his voice trembling as Moriarty nipped his ear.

Moriarty growled angrily, but he was observant enough, even in this state, to realise that Sherlock wasn’t going to just stop what they were doing for John.

“Third on the right” He mumbled against Sherlock’s neck.

A shiver ran down Sherlock’s spine as Moriarty’s nail’s scratched along the bare skin of his back, creating ladders in the usually perfect surface. He somehow thrust open the door with only one arm around Moriarty, whose nails were still digging ever deeper into his back. He threw Moriarty onto the space on the bed next to John, one hand reaching out to check for a pulse, the other hand tearing at Moriarty’s suit, desperate to get to the warm, bare skin beneath.

He has a pulse. There’s a pulse.

A wave of relief washed over him, giving him double the energy he had before to tear the clothes right off Moriarty’s perfect body. His nails scraped relentlessly over the smooth skin beneath his fingers, drawing minimal amounts of blood. He pressed his lips hard against Moriarty’s nipple, flicking his tongue over the rough surface a few times before biting down rather hard. He felt Moriarty squirm beneath him and reached for his belt, desperate to have them both naked as soon as possible. The desperation was a new, strange feeling, but he wasn’t even going to try and suppress it. He continued to twist Moriarty’s nipple beneath his teeth as he undid both their belts, managing to slide both their pants off simultaneously.

“Good” Moriarty cooed, his voice unusually calm.

It was a strange thing to hear, but it somehow managed to turn Sherlock on even more.  He couldn’t remember ever feeling like this, but he wasn’t really complaining. He supposed it was because people were always scared to push past his boundaries, and he had always built up boundaries to keep out this sort of thing, so naturally, this never happened.
He sucked heavily all the way down Moriarty’s stomach, leaving bright red marks as he went. Occasionally he pierced the skin with his teeth, leaving small petals of blood behind. The taste was strong in his mouth, and he had never imagined he could ever enjoy that horribly metallic taste as much as he did right now.
He came back up, pressing his lips roughly against Moriarty’s before being flipped over, Moriarty taking over his position, with double the ferocity.
A small moan sounded beside Sherlock, and he turned his head to see John slowly blinking his eyes into focus. He smiled slightly as John’s eyes rested on his face, completely forgetting the fact that his mouth would have been blood stained.

“Sherlock, what… Are you alright?” John’s voice slurred, still trying to focus properly.

Sherlock didn’t answer. He just pressed a gentle kiss to John’s lips. He felt his friend move into the kiss for a moment before pulling back, leaving Sherlock with a confused look on his face.

“You’re… You taste like blood… And you’re…”

John seemed to be struggling with something as he looked down Sherlock, eyes scanning over each mark on his body, before reaching Moriarty’s hungry dark eyes which were now staring up at the both of them.

“Shh”

Sherlock pressed his lips to John again, and this time it was Moriarty who objected, splitting them apart to press his own lips to Sherlock’s instead.
One of Sherlock’s hands scratched along Moriarty’s back while the other reached for John, stroking his side gently. After a few surprised sounds from John, he relaxed into silence. He felt the knife slice down his left shoulder and across the left side of his chest, and gasped, his body shivering. He enjoyed the pain far more than he ever had in his life. He just caught the look of concern that swept over John’s face before the look turned to understanding. Smiling, he closed his eyes as Moriarty’s lips, tongue and teeth worked their way around the fresh scar, both his hands now pressed firmly into the soft hair of his supposed enemy.

“What?” He mumbled in a confused daze as he felt an extra set of hands working his underwear off.

A small laugh issued past his lips as he felt John’s hands clasp around him, tugging almost expertly, as though he had done it many times before.

Perhaps he has done it many times before. Sherlock thought to himself, a content smile spreading wide across his features.

To him, Moriarty was a one off. But John was forever. That thought would have been enough to calm him if it weren’t for the fact that John was slowly lowering his mouth. The wet feel of saliva and John’s tongue running up and down, around and around him felt like nothing he had ever felt before.

To think you had been this ignorant about sex. He thought to himself as he cried out, surrendering himself to both men at once, completely and entirely in their power as he came inside John’s mouth, his body shuddering with delight and mild exhaustion, the latter of which he chose to ignore.

He reached for John, dragging his spandex covered body towards him in a hurry to kiss him.

He swallows. He made note as he pressed his mouth to John’s, sucking hard on his lower lip. And God it’s beautiful.

He ran his hands over every inch of John’s body, only wishing it was naked, though he could tell John was still exhausted from whatever Moriarty had drugged him with. He pulled away and opened his mouth to speak, but was stopped by the firm hand of Moriarty grabbing his face. The grip loosened, and a surprisingly soft kiss was placed on his lips as Moriarty lay by his side, draping one arm across Sherlock’s chest, nuzzling his head in the crook of his neck almost affectionately. John curled up like a cat against his other side, and Sherlock had to suppress a laugh at the irony of the costume and the position. He ran his fingers into John’s hair and closed his eyes.

It had been a strange evening, and after a long moment of pure calm, he now had time to wrap his mind around it all.

Moriarty always insisted we were perfect for each other. I didn’t think he meant it quite the way he had expressed tonight. But he will still kill me, once the final dance is over. This is one of many games, all of which are designed for our enjoyment, until he kills me. Or I kill him first. Could I kill him now, after what just happened?

Sherlock glanced down at the sleeping form of Moriarty beside him, and smiled to himself.

Of course I could. He thought as his eyes turned to the peaceful John on his other side, a feeling of affection and an odd sort of pride filling him. Of course I could.

Moriarty was fun that would soon be over. Moriarty was a puzzle. A game, with many different levels, all designed to be mentally challenging, no emotions attached. Sherlock knew now that the main aim of this puzzle had been to make him vulnerable.

But it backfired. He thought to himself, sliding Moriarty’s arm off himself as he slid off the bed to put his pants back on. John and I will be stronger for it, each and every time.

He picked the exhausted John up in his arms, smiling as the man mumbled incoherently. Glancing back at the seemingly peaceful figure of Moriarty on the bed, he slipped out the door, finding his way through the winding corridors of the unfamiliar house, and headed home through the night.

Sherlock’s cloudy eyes fluttered open slowly, his head lifting momentarily before lolling back to the side, his neck seeming unable to hold his head up on his shoulders. His mind caught up extremely slowly, much to his annoyance, and soon the blurred nothingness before him began to take shape. The room he was in was quite empty, every wall consistently white with no marks of imperfection laid upon their smooth surface, apart from the door on the wall directly across from him. The roof, he noticed, matched completely, with just one small light bulb screwed in to the ceiling. The ground was a cold, tiled azure, immaculate, as everything in the room seemed to be. Across from him there was a single silver chair which looked entirely out of place on its own. Other than that, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nothing except himself, the white room with its bright light and shocking blue floor, and a single vacant chair.
There was the faint, familiar smell of John on his shirt, but it was heavily masked by something else. Something he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

Think. Think. He told himself, but his mind was still struggling to work as fast as it should be.

He had been drugged, obviously. And quite heavily, considering how long it was taking for him to regain proper use of his brain.

Focus. Think. He continued to tell himself with growing frustration.

The scent was definitely familiar, but not common.

The scent of somebody with a lot of money, and quite exquisite taste. Definitely Ralph Lauren. Polo Blue. But who? Think. Think.

And then it dawned on him. He wasn’t sure if it was just because it was blatantly obvious, or if it was because his mind was regaining speed, but suddenly he knew exactly what the smell was.

“Moriarty” he choked out in what was barely a whisper, his dry throat suddenly silently screaming in agony.

Sherlock attempted to pull himself away from the wall, but he budged nowhere. He sucked in a sharp breath, biting inside his lip to stop him from crying out in pain as his restraints dug into his skin. The warm, wet feel of blood trickled down his hands from his wrists, sending icy chills down his spine. He shut his eyes tight, clenching his jaw as he made an attempt to free his hands, but the sharp plastic around his wrists continued to dig further into his flesh until it unrealistically felt as though his hands were going to be sliced off. Breathing heavily, he rested his head back against the wall.

“There’s no use struggling, Sherlock” came an all too familiar sing-song Irish accent from behind the white door opposite Sherlock.

He composed himself, keeping a nonchalant look on his face, almost as though he were bored. He wasn’t bored at all, however. His insides were alive with the idea of new danger, a new puzzle and a new adventure.
The door swung open, and Moriarty entered, pushing a TV stand in front of him as he went, a look of childlike glee on his face.

“Oh, you needn’t look so bored, Sherlock. Come now. We all know this is what you live for, isn’t it? Those moments where you could die, but you feel oh so alive. Those moments where there’s so many things unanswered, and you get to work them all out. But I think you already know why we’re here, don’t you Sherlock? You would have already worked it out.”

A hint of confusion darted momentarily across Sherlock’s features. Any normal person wouldn’t have even noticed, but nothing slipped past Moriarty’s eyes.

“You don’t know? My my, Sherlock. You certainly know how to disappoint.” He generally sounded disappointed as he lightly propped himself against the stand, cocking his hip to the side slightly. “I’ll give you a moment. I must admit, I went a little overboard with the doseage. Take your time. There’s no rush”

Sherlock’s insides bubbled with anger at being spoken to like a child, as though he was barely worth Moriarty’s time. He forced his mind to concentrate, ignoring the exhaustion that was lingering in the back of his mind.

He’s got you where you can’t escape, but why? Why this time? No game, no chase, no fun. Just here and now. But why? It’s elegant, as is everything with Moriarty. But it’s plain. It’s dull. It’s straight to the point. But what is the point? And where was John? John…

Sherlock knew his concern must have shown on his face, because Moriarty was nodding, his acid smile growing. The gleaming madness in his eyes was off-putting, so he cast his eyes downwards, concentrating again.

John. John and I. We’re viewed as one single entity. One great force that no one can destroy. Moriarty see’s it that way. “I can stop John Watson, too. Stop his heart.” But he hadn’t. “I will burn the heart out of you.” But I don’t have a heart. John has the heart. That’s what makes me so brilliant. Hearts get in the way. Caring distorts the facts. Emotions conceal evidence and change the image of reality. I can see the facts. I can see reality. I don’t have a heart. That’s why John and I work so well together. He’s the heart.

An unfamiliar feeling consumed him. A feeling he couldn’t describe as his cold, grey eyes slowly met Moriarty’s dark, eager ones.

“Really, I can see why you wouldn’t want to understand. You’re so good, Sherlock. So good. And you could be better, and I think you know that all too well. That’s why it took you so long, isn’t it? You ignored the facts because they didn’t suit you.”

Moriarty’s voice was cold and cruel, piercing Sherlock, ‘causing his skin to crawl. The hard truth of his words washed over him like a wave, crashing him hard against the shore, forcing him to the conclusion he didn’t want to reach.

John. John is my heart. He thought to himself, realising the terrifying truth.

The truth, of course, had always been in the back of Sherlock’s mind, from the very minute Moriarty accused him of having a heart. And that’s what it had felt like. An accusation. Something he should feel ashamed of. And so he pushed the new found data out of his mind, like every other piece of irrelevant information. Except this was relevant. This was very relevant.

“You can talk, my dear. I so long to hear the deep growl of your voice” Moriarty teased, raising his eyebrows as his playful tone returned.

“Where’s John?” Sherlock demanded, hoping he didn’t sound as desperate as he suddenly felt.

Caring, worry, love. All these feelings were new to him, and that made him feel exposed and vulnerable – a feeling he most despised. They had been there since the moment John had entered his life, but he had never bothered to acknowledge them or give them a name. Having Moriarty inside his head, one step ahead of him, bothered him most of all.

“Oh.” Moriarty stood up straight again, his hands in his pockets as a look of mock surprise lit up his features. “It’s a shame, really. We are perfect for each other, but you chose him.”

Sherlock’s eyes narrowed slightly, almost certain he caught the sound of real disappointment in his voice.

“Where is John?”

“He’s fine. Well, I say fine…” He shrugged his shoulders, a catlike smile on his face as his head tilted to the side.

He pressed the button on the TV, and the picture flickered to life. There was John,  tied to the bed, dressed in a complete black spandex outfit, almost like cat woman. Actually, exactly like cat woman. Sherlock corrected himself, noticing the small set of ears on the sleeping man’s head. He shot a questioning look at Moriarty, who laughed to himself, throwing his head back slightly as he crossed one leg in front of the other.

“Like my little touch? I can see why you like him. Quite… sexy really.”

Moriarty slowly closed the rather large gap between himself and Sherlock before crouching down to his level, taking his attention away from the rather small, barely breathing John on the television screen. He felt Moriarty’s warm forehead touch his own and attempted to pull back, but there was no room to do so. The smell of Moriarty’s expensive cologne filled his lungs, sending an odd shudder down his spine. He could look nowhere else but into the cold, excited, mad eyes before him. Sherlock felt Moriarty’s hand come up slowly, and his breath caught in his throat when the cold metal of a gun pressed against the side of his neck. He swallowed hard, keeping his eyes steady. He wasn’t scared - it was in these moments that he felt most alive - but he wanted John to be okay.

“I could kill you.” Moriarty pointed out quietly, tilting his head to the side a little as he curved around towards Sherlock’s ear in a snake-like manner. “But where’s the fun in that?”

Sherlock felt the cold metal slowly slide up and down the left side of his neck, Moriarty’s warm breath on his right. He swallowed again, his thoughts becoming lost in a haze of something he couldn’t quite recognise. His body was tingling with a new sort of life – something that, once again, he didn’t recall feeling.

“It would be more fun if I let you go.” He whispered, his thick Irish accent consuming Sherlock’s mind. “But I can’t have you running off on me, can I?”

His lips were getting closer and closer to Sherlock’s neck until he felt them touch lightly. The sensation sent a shiver through his whole body, Moriarty’s scent seeming even stronger than before, and suddenly quite marvellous.

You smell so good. What do you taste like? Sherlock wondered, barely even aware of his own train of thought.

Moriarty’s lips clamped down on his neck, sucking the skin as though it were a life source. An ungraceful gasp slipped past Sherlock’s lips, his whole body hungry for something he couldn’t describe. Hungry for something new. Something different. Something exciting.

“Why are you doing this?”

Sherlock hated his voice sounding so weak, but he couldn’t help it. It wasn’t out of fear, or pain, or any other feeling that a normal person would be feeling in that situation. Instead, he was filled with desire and, dare he admit it, attraction. There had always been that mild attraction to Moriarty, but only for his genius and nothing more. Now, he was filled with a desire to cut Moriarty open and see his mind and how it worked. He wanted to taste every part of him. He wanted to understand how someone could smell so beautiful, even past the cologne. He wanted to find out how one man could be so perfect for him, yet at the same time so wrong for him. He wanted to understand how one man could make him want him so much.

Even more than John. He shocked himself with his own thought, taking a deep breath in, but allowed himself to accept that he was, against his will, quite infatuated with his ordinary, ex-military roommate. But John never came this close. He reminded himself, satisfied enough with his weak but fully accurate conclusion.

“You taste better than I thought.” Moriarty muttered against Sherlock’s skin, his voice sounding about as insane as the thoughts running through Sherlock’s mind.

He pulled at his restraints again, desperately wanting to touch the insane man who seemed so close, yet so far away. A new trickle of blood slipped down his hands as a low growl sounded in his chest, the pain in his wrists growing. He felt the cold gun move slowly along his jaw line, but he didn’t flinch at all. He kept his eyes on Moriarty, the hunger in them burning like a fire. Within a flash, the gun was cast across the floor, and a knife was cutting the plastic from around his wrists. The minute he was free, his hands flew to Moriarty’s face, the fresh blood dripping its way down his pale but utterly gorgeous face. The knife traced up the side of his body as he fought for dominance, pushing him to the ground.
Moriarty flipped him over in an instant, holding a lot more strength than he had given him credit for. The knife ran along the front of his white shirt, slicing the buttons clean off, cutting lightly into the skin as he went. Sherlock threw his head back as Moriarty’s lips traced the small line of blood. The feel of his tongue on his stomach sent an excited ripple through his body, his cock growing harder with every movement Moriarty made on top of him. His bloodied hands entwined in the dark hair on top of the mad man’s head, his body arching upwards almost completely against his will.

“John” he muttered without thinking, his eyes darting towards the TV screen where the seemingly still, lifeless cat woman lay.

“No.” Moriarty growled possessively. “You’re mine.”

He ran his tongue up along Sherlock’s collar bone, then up along his neck, stopping every so often to suck. Sherlock felt Moriarty’s teeth sink in to his neck, and groaned, arching his neck towards Moriarty as he sucked heavily at the punctured skin. Before he could say anything else, bloody lips met his, and the familiar metallic taste of blood filled his mouth. He moaned into the kiss, running his tongue along Moriarty’s before sucking on his bottom lip, biting just enough to draw blood himself.

God, I never knew this could be so good. John needs your help. Why had I never done this before? John looks like he’s stopped breathing. I wonder what the rest of him tastes like. John could be dead. Why had I never done this with John? John.

He sat up, his lips still hungrily locked on Moriarty’s as he moved into a position where he could wrap Moriarty’s legs around himself. He roughly picked both himself and Moriarty off the floor, stumbling to the door. Pressing him against the wall, he flung open the door, sliding the both of them through it before it slammed shut behind them.

“What are you doing?” Moriarty murmured against Sherlock’s lips before nibbling along his jaw line.

The new sensation almost caused Sherlock to lose his balance, but he continued walking, not entirely sure where he was going.

“Which room’s he in?” Sherlock asked, his voice trembling as Moriarty nipped his ear.

Moriarty growled angrily, but he was observant enough, even in this state, to realise that Sherlock wasn’t going to just stop what they were doing for John.

“Third on the right” He mumbled against Sherlock’s neck.

A shiver ran down Sherlock’s spine as Moriarty’s nail’s scratched along the bare skin of his back, creating ladders in the usually perfect surface. He somehow thrust open the door with only one arm around Moriarty, whose nails were still digging ever deeper into his back. He threw Moriarty onto the space on the bed next to John, one hand reaching out to check for a pulse, the other hand tearing at Moriarty’s suit, desperate to get to the warm, bare skin beneath.

He has a pulse. There’s a pulse.

A wave of relief washed over him, giving him double the energy he had before to tear the clothes right off Moriarty’s perfect body. His nails scraped relentlessly over the smooth skin beneath his fingers, drawing minimal amounts of blood. He pressed his lips hard against Moriarty’s nipple, flicking his tongue over the rough surface a few times before biting down rather hard. He felt Moriarty squirm beneath him and reached for his belt, desperate to have them both naked as soon as possible. The desperation was a new, strange feeling, but he wasn’t even going to try and suppress it. He continued to twist Moriarty’s nipple beneath his teeth as he undid both their belts, managing to slide both their pants off simultaneously.

“Good” Moriarty cooed, his voice unusually calm.

It was a strange thing to hear, but it somehow managed to turn Sherlock on even more.  He couldn’t remember ever feeling like this, but he wasn’t really complaining. He supposed it was because people were always scared to push past his boundaries, and he had always built up boundaries to keep out this sort of thing, so naturally, this never happened.
He sucked heavily all the way down Moriarty’s stomach, leaving bright red marks as he went. Occasionally he pierced the skin with his teeth, leaving small petals of blood behind. The taste was strong in his mouth, and he had never imagined he could ever enjoy that horribly metallic taste as much as he did right now.
He came back up, pressing his lips roughly against Moriarty’s before being flipped over, Moriarty taking over his position, with double the ferocity.
A small moan sounded beside Sherlock, and he turned his head to see John slowly blinking his eyes into focus. He smiled slightly as John’s eyes rested on his face, completely forgetting the fact that his mouth would have been blood stained.

“Sherlock, what… Are you alright?” John’s voice slurred, still trying to focus properly.

Sherlock didn’t answer. He just pressed a gentle kiss to John’s lips. He felt his friend move into the kiss for a moment before pulling back, leaving Sherlock with a confused look on his face.

“You’re… You taste like blood… And you’re…”

John seemed to be struggling with something as he looked down Sherlock, eyes scanning over each mark on his body, before reaching Moriarty’s hungry dark eyes which were now staring up at the both of them.

“Shh”

Sherlock pressed his lips to John again, and this time it was Moriarty who objected, splitting them apart to press his own lips to Sherlock’s instead.
One of Sherlock’s hands scratched along Moriarty’s back while the other reached for John, stroking his side gently. After a few surprised sounds from John, he relaxed into silence. He felt the knife slice down his left shoulder and across the left side of his chest, and gasped, his body shivering. He enjoyed the pain far more than he ever had in his life. He just caught the look of concern that swept over John’s face before the look turned to understanding. Smiling, he closed his eyes as Moriarty’s lips, tongue and teeth worked their way around the fresh scar, both his hands now pressed firmly into the soft hair of his supposed enemy.

“What?” He mumbled in a confused daze as he felt an extra set of hands working his underwear off.

A small laugh issued past his lips as he felt John’s hands clasp around him, tugging almost expertly, as though he had done it many times before.

Perhaps he has done it many times before. Sherlock thought to himself, a content smile spreading wide across his features.

To him, Moriarty was a one off. But John was forever. That thought would have been enough to calm him if it weren’t for the fact that John was slowly lowering his mouth. The wet feel of saliva and John’s tongue running up and down, around and around him felt like nothing he had ever felt before.

To think you had been this ignorant about sex. He thought to himself as he cried out, surrendering himself to both men at once, completely and entirely in their power as he came inside John’s mouth, his body shuddering with delight and mild exhaustion, the latter of which he chose to ignore.

He reached for John, dragging his spandex covered body towards him in a hurry to kiss him.

He swallows. He made note as he pressed his mouth to John’s, sucking hard on his lower lip. And God it’s beautiful.

He ran his hands over every inch of John’s body, only wishing it was naked, though he could tell John was still exhausted from whatever Moriarty had drugged him with. He pulled away and opened his mouth to speak, but was stopped by the firm hand of Moriarty grabbing his face. The grip loosened, and a surprisingly soft kiss was placed on his lips as Moriarty lay by his side, draping one arm across Sherlock’s chest, nuzzling his head in the crook of his neck almost affectionately. John curled up like a cat against his other side, and Sherlock had to suppress a laugh at the irony of the costume and the position. He ran his fingers into John’s hair and closed his eyes.

It had been a strange evening, and after a long moment of pure calm, he now had time to wrap his mind around it all.

Moriarty always insisted we were perfect for each other. I didn’t think he meant it quite the way he had expressed tonight. But he will still kill me, once the final dance is over. This is one of many games, all of which are designed for our enjoyment, until he kills me. Or I kill him first. Could I kill him now, after what just happened?

Sherlock glanced down at the sleeping form of Moriarty beside him, and smiled to himself.

Of course I could. He thought as his eyes turned to the peaceful John on his other side, a feeling of affection and an odd sort of pride filling him. Of course I could.

Moriarty was fun that would soon be over. Moriarty was a puzzle. A game, with many different levels, all designed to be mentally challenging, no emotions attached. Sherlock knew now that the main aim of this puzzle had been to make him vulnerable.

But it backfired. He thought to himself, sliding Moriarty’s arm off himself as he slid off the bed to put his pants back on. John and I will be stronger for it, each and every time.

He picked the exhausted John up in his arms, smiling as the man mumbled incoherently. Glancing back at the seemingly peaceful figure of Moriarty on the bed, he slipped out the door, finding his way through the winding corridors of the unfamiliar house, and headed home through the night.