28 weeks, 2 days. London is long gone but most importantly, 28 weeks and 2 days away from John. Sure there was that glimpse in the cemetery but it was still not enough.
Sherlock stood in the center of his hotel room in whichever country it was he was staying at this week. The room was bare with grey walls (cracks running from floor to ceiling), a simple bed (he had slept on straight back chairs that were more comfortable than that bed), a small shower (that sprayed water in every direction and made the whole room smell awful), his few belongings stacked up on top of each other against the wall, and a fireplace that was the only source of heat in this winter.
He had originally been in the bar downstairs but the noise was unbearable. It seemed that 28 weeks and 2 days had amounted to Christmas Eve.
Standing in that lonely hotel room and thinking of Christmas, Sherlock could not help but think of the party he had spent in 221B the year before. Lestrade, Molly, Mrs. Hudson, the boring teacher, and John, all together in the sitting room, applauding Sherlock’s music, drinking, eating, and laughing together. He sighed as he remembered the foul mood he had been in. At the time, he had regretted ever telling Molly anything about his feelings towards John going away for Christmas.
Looking back, the evening had not ended in quite the manner he had been hoping; the apology to Molly, Irene’s supposed death. Plans had changed, just as they had changed that day at Bart’s, a change that had led him to this barren hotel room.
Sherlock heavily sat down on the edge of the mattress and rubbed his face. The exhaustion of running had been catching up to him but now the winter snow had slowed him down and given him a chance to pause. In the pause, his mind wandered to the Christmas party a year ago and imagined what it would have been like without Irene’s meddling and to have spent the night with John.
“Merry Christmas Molly Hooper,” murmured Sherlock, before pecking Molly on the cheek.
Everyone in the room stared in amazement as Sherlock showed genuine remorse for his actions. Sherlock turned to look at John and was pleased to see a smile on his face. A quick glance at Jeanette confirmed that she too had seen the exchange and with a smirk, Sherlock looked away and went back to John’s laptop.
The party went on with more talking and more drinks while Sherlock continued to tap away at the keys.
“Sherlock,” called John, “put down the laptop and join us.”
It had been one of several times that John had told him that. Each time, Sherlock had looked up to find the same faces occupying the room and then looked back down at the screen. This last time, he had made the mistake of looking into John’s eyes. The dark blue eyes pleaded with him while the rest of his face looked merry and warm. It was a look Sherlock found he could not resist. He shut the laptop and joined Lestrade on the couch, sitting across from where John was perched on the armrest of his usual chair.
The conversation and laughter carried on as before. Mrs. Hudson entertained everyone with stories of the Christmases she used to spend when she was younger and Molly talked about the bodies from the morgue. Several times in the conversation, Sherlock had been ready to counter their stories with his own deductions but one look from John would silence him. For the rest of the conversation, Jeanette, Lestrade, and Sherlock had remained relatively silent. Lestrade was feeling uncomfortable after hearing about his wife and the P.E. teacher, Jeanette felt out of place, and Sherlock would just retreat inside his mind.
Whenever Sherlock would come to, he would find himself staring in John’s direction. He stared at the colors of red, blue, and white on the knitted pattern spread across John’s broad chest. His eyes roamed down the length of the arms, the blue cotton wool blend emphasizing the muscles, until it ended in a pattern similar to the top of the jumper. Sherlock’s eyes next moved onto the lightly tanned and worn hands of a battle-tested doctor as he gripped the handle of his teacup.
“I should be going,” announced Lestrade, drawing Sherlock out of his staring. “Tired of mulling it over. Needs to confront his wife,” thought Sherlock, but he barely registered Lestrade’s announcement since he was still dragging his eyes away from John’s light brown hair in the dim light.
What did stir him was John’s protests of “Oh no, we haven’t even opened the gifts yet.”
After a pause, Lestrade relented and the gift exchanging began. Mrs. Hudson received a new teapot, Molly a shawl, and Lestrade a bottle of whiskey.
John handed Jeanette her gift but before she could open it Sherlock stated, “a bracelet, made with leather and silver. Typical Christmas gift for a girlfriend one has not been dating for very long. Something that says you have been on at least a few dates but that you’re getting bored with the relationship and don’t see it going further than date five or six.”
Jeanette angrily clutched the small box in one of her fists at her side and glared at Sherlock. For Molly, Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade, their jaws had dropped and they stared as they watched the scene unfold before them. John had continued to stare at Sherlock, torn between wanting to say what he really meant and wanting to comfort his soon to be ex girlfriend.
After the moment had passed, John broke his gaze and looked at Jeanette’s fury. Words had failed him and that was the last straw for her. Jeanette shoved the present into John’s chest and turned to storm out of the room.
“Jeanette, no. Wait –“
At John’s words, she turned in the process of putting on her coat. “You know? I was wrong about you. You’re a great boyfriend, and Sherlock Holmes,” she glared over John’s shoulder, “is a very lucky man. It’s heartwarming really.” She jerked her chin in John’s direction, “you would do anything for him. And you,” She jerked her chin in Sherlock’s direction, “haven’t stopped undressing him with your eyes all night.” With that, she picked up her bag and turned to leave down the stairs.
“Jeanette, wait. We can talk about this,” called John as he chased her down the first set of stairs. When she had reached the bottom set, John did not bother following her.
Sherlock smiled to himself, relishing in his own crafted fantasy. He pulled the coat tighter around his body and then leaned back to a horizontal position on the very uncomfortable bed. He gazed up at the cracks in the ceiling and drifted back into his daydream.
The sitting room remained silent as John slowly ascended the steps. He did not make eye contact with anyone as he walked in and no one said anything. John just collapsed into his armchair by the fire and sat in silence.
Mrs. Hudson was the first to speak and comfort John by leaning over to rub his hand. “Oh dear, that really wasn’t very good was it?” John just sighed in response before taking a long sip of tea.
“Well, I’d better be off now,” said Lestrade.
“Me too, I have an extra shift at the morgue starting very soon,” gulped Molly.
“Wait,” said John, as he quickly stood from his chair. “Look I’m sorry about all that. You don’t have to go.”
After some insisting from John and some refusing from Lestrade and Molly, they all said goodnight and thank you for the presents until it was only John and Sherlock left closing the door on Mrs. Hudson.
Once the door was closed, John leaned his forehead on the door while Sherlock stood in the middle of the sitting room waiting for a reaction. Instead, John just stood up straight and went into the kitchen to turn the kettle on. Sherlock silently followed him and watched John prepare his cup of tea.
After minutes of silent brewing, Sherlock broke the silence. “Well, that wasn’t so bad –“
His sentence was cut short by the loud clink of John’s spoon hitting the ceramic countertop. John quickly turned his back to the counter and looked at the detective standing on the other side of the table. “Not so bad? Sherlock, all of our guests ran out of here and I got dumped.”
“It saved you the trouble. You were planning on breaking it off with her soon anyway.”
“That’s not the point,” John said, rubbing his eyes.
“Now. Later. It all makes no difference, John. They’re all boring in the end. This one just happened to be jealous and perceptive,” Sherlock said, crossing his arms with finality.
John had picked up his teacup again when at Sherlock’s words he crinkled his brow. “Jealous and perceptive of what?”
“Of our…what’s the colloquial term? Chemistry?” grimaced Sherlock at the thought of his science being reduced to such references.
John smirked over his teacup, “Our chemistry. You and I…What are you on about?”
Sherlock scoffed. “You really need me to spell it out for you?” he said as he stomped off to the sitting room.
John quickly gathered his cup and followed him. “Yes, I do. What do you know about chemistry?” he giggled before settling into his armchair.
Sherlock rolled his eyes, “your double entendre aside, what I mean is that no matter if your girlfriend is in the room or not, you are more interested in me.”
John thoughtfully mulled it over before asking, “and you’re sure this is only me?”
“Um,” Sherlock stammered, “well…all evidence points to your interest at the moment. Even now, you have gotten over the break up rather quickly…further experimentation and observation needs to be done in order to understand the level of my own interest.”
John finished his cup and set it aside before standing up and eyeing Sherlock. “Further experimentation? Like what?”
Sherlock’s eyes dilated as he watched John move closer to him. “Um…more research needs to be done first before any experimentation can be established.”
John stopped his slow gait towards Sherlock and said, “research? Didn’t Jeanette say something about you undressing me?”
Sherlock scoffed, “I was hardly undressing you. I was looking at your jumper, which, by the way, I have not given you your present.” He sauntered over to the mantle, grabbed a perfectly wrapped box with a bow on top, and handed it to John. He then put his hands in his pockets and looked at his shoes while John flicked his eyes between the gift and a nervous Sherlock. “Ah-I don’t know if you’ll like it. The color should be about right but the design…”
John tuned him out as he began to tear through the paper and open the box. Folded neatly inside the box was a dark blue ribbed jumper. John pulled it out of the box and looked at it in awe. The ribbing caught the various colors of the Christmas lights and made the dark blue fabric glitter a bit. John looked up at Sherlock and found him still babbling away.
“…Obviously if it needs to be returned –“ John interrupted by gingerly putting the jumper on the sitting room desk and turning to look at Sherlock.
Sherlock’s eyes flew open at the image of John’s piercing heated stare. To his disappointment, he awoke to the piercing cracks in the ceiling. With a grumble, he sat up and looked around the still empty room. In his short sleep, the room had gotten significantly warmer even as the snow softly fell outside his window.
He decided to take advantage of the heat and shower. He removed all his valuables from the bathroom – which did not take long since he no longer had very many – and started the hot water. As the water warmed, Sherlock began removing various articles of clothing until he could just begin to feel the chill of the room once again. Once the water was warm enough, he stepped into the spray and tried to quickly acclimate. The spray of the water hit him on the back and warmed him through. Without a curtain, the excess water sprayed around the small bathroom and misted every surface.
Once his body temperature had acclimated, Sherlock’s thoughts once again wandered to what could have been on that Christmas Eve day.
The snow on Baker Street began to slowly fall again as the night reached the twenty-fourth hour. The only sound made was of the rare taxi braving the winter weather on Christmas Eve day. The windows of 221B facing Baker Street were decorated in a string of multi-color Christmas lights framing the setting inside the sitting room.
The inside of 221B was as festive as a flat shared by two men could be – a string of garland here; a string of lights there – and still, somehow, it all came together in a domestic fashion. The light of the fire flickered against the wallpapered walls, making it move. And the heat of the fire flowed through the room and warmed its two tenants. At the moment, the cheeks of the tenants burned for an entirely different reason.
Sherlock occupied the space between the two armchairs looking at John’s heated gaze from beside the desk. Despite the discomfort he felt under the scrutiny, Sherlock could not look away. To add to his discomfort, John slowly drew nearer and nearer.
The closer John got, the more Sherlock noticed of his army doctor. Of course, living with him for so long, Sherlock had been bound to notice the dark blue eyes. That was hardly surprising. What was surprising is how as he got closer to Sherlock, and got closer to the fire, the color in his eyes seemed to flash. The different light sources (the fireplace, the Christmas lights, the lamps) created a kaleidoscope of colors in John’s eyes that fascinated Sherlock to no end. What it must be like to see those eyes in various types of lighting.
And then there were the unconscious movements that were all John; the swing of his arms – the left one stiffer than the right; the cold of the weather affecting the scar – and the lick and bite of his lips. No. Not his lips. He should not be noticing unconscious movements in his lips. Those are not surprising. They are just…John.
John took his final step and stopped mere inches from Sherlock. Sherlock’s nervous gaze was frozen on John’s face and yet he could feel his cheeks burn.
For a moment nothing happened and fearing either rejection or misunderstanding, Sherlock began to take a step back. Before he could do so, John caught him around the middle and crushed their lips together. Sherlock’s immediate response was surprise but he quickly shook himself out of it. He was done acting frozen. John’s mouth was so warm against his and he needed more. Sherlock tentatively tasted with his tongue and was rewarded with a low moan from John.
As Sherlock continued to lick and taste, his hands began to cradle John’s head in his hands. His thumbs stroked the shallow cheekbones and the blonde hair. A shudder rolled through him as he felt John’s hands run up his back on top of his shirt but it was not enough. It was only a tease of what was to come.
“Mmph, wait,” Sherlock said as their lips broke a mere inch apart. “My gift from you. We never got around to it.”
John reached for Sherlock’s neck once more. He hurriedly said, “You already know what it is,” before joining their lips once again.
Their kiss broke apart once more and Sherlock gulped a breath of air and said, “skinny maroon scarf.”
John beamed up at him in that smile that always made Sherlock’s heart melt. “Brilliant,” said John and it was then that they felt the shift.
Something sparked in Sherlock that made him grab onto to John and never want to let him go. He crushed their lips together and wasted no time in tasting, sucking, licking every bit of John’s mouth that he could. It wasn’t until Sherlock felt a warm hand press against his nipple and his eyes flew open at the touch that he registered that John had unbuttoned his shirt. The button down was now open wide and John wasted no time in rubbing his hands over every bit of skin he could get his hands on.
Sherlock broke away from the kiss and moved John back to lean against the desk in the sitting room. John grabbed Sherlock by the belt loops and crushed his tall body to him. He continued to stroke Sherlock’s chest and rejoined their lips in a kiss.
Then John moved his lips down along Sherlock’s jaw as Sherlock gasped, “John”. After a moment of heavy breathing, Sherlock stroked the stripe of skin between John’s jeans and sweater with his thumbs; all the while John never ceased to suck at his neck.
When John’s hands reached the top of Sherlock’s trousers, he leaned back to look between their bodies. He looked at where Sherlock’s cock was already half hard and then turned that same hungry gaze to look at Sherlock’s face.
As he continued to stare, John reached for the hem of his jumper but Sherlock stopped him. He leaned in and put his lips to John’s ear and said, “I want to see you come in your jumper.” John closed his eyes and gave a loud moan at the proximity of Sherlock’s hypnotic baritone voice and for Sherlock’s utterance. “Mmm…I’ve thought of this all night,” said Sherlock as he stroked John’s arms through the jumper.
Then just as quickly as Sherlock had gotten close to him, he stepped away from John, leaving him to feel a bit cold even in a warm jumper. John opened his eyes and found Sherlock dragging him over to the window by the bookcase. Sherlock pushed John against the curtain and the window and he could feel the cold from the glass seeping through his jumper.
Before he could register anymore, Sherlock pressed his body against John’s front and John wrapped his arms around that pale neck, now reddened from his earlier ministrations. They crushed their lips together once again and Sherlock stroked John through his jeans. This produced the desired result of having John moan enough to part his lips and allow Sherlock in. Sherlock elicited a moan from somewhere deep in his throat at the taste of John’s tea from earlier and another flavor that he just could not place.
Then Sherlock grabbed John’s arse enough to have him sit on the small window ledge. John had to balance on his tiptoes to keep from completely falling so he dragged Sherlock’s body even closer to him. There was no complaint from John. Sherlock would never be close enough to him.
John then began to unbutton Sherlock’s trousers but Sherlock got impatient. He parted their kiss and began opening his trousers himself. John gave a warm chuckle but it was more heat than amusement.
Once Sherlock’s trousers were open, John reached past the band of the silk pants and pulled Sherlock’s cock out. At the touch from John’s hand, Sherlock gave a low whine and found his hands scrambling to grab the window. He settled his forearms against the cold glass and rested his forehead against John’s. John began stroking him and watching Sherlock squeezing his eyes shut tight.
Sherlock tried so hard to restrain the noises he was making but John took the hand not on Sherlock’s cock and stroked Sherlock’s cheek. “Shh…you’re fine. You can talk to me,” whispered John.
The only thing Sherlock could say was “John” but it was enough for him. John stopped stroking Sherlock’s cheek and instead began undoing the button on his jeans. It took a moment for Sherlock to register what was happening but when he saw John trying to undo his jeans, he pushed John’s hand away and did it himself.
With the button undone, John took both their cocks in hand and began to stroke. They both moaned at the pleasure brought by the friction. John stroked twice, then a third time, before Sherlock cradled John’s head in his hands and rested their foreheads together again. Then Sherlock snapped his hips into John’s fist and they both cried out. Sherlock continued to thrust and mumble John’s name as he stared into his eyes.
“Christ, Sherlock,” John moaned, “You’re so beautiful.”
That only served to excite Sherlock even further. He released John’s head and held onto the top windowpane as he continued to move in and out of John’s fist. With his free arm, John held onto Sherlock’s back and latched onto his neck with his lips.
John’s thumb moved over the head of Sherlock’s cock to wipe the pre-cum and make both their cocks slide easier. At the feeling of John’s thumb, Sherlock’s eyes flew wide open and he found himself staring at the scenery of Baker Street. The snowfall had blanketed almost every surface outside. His mind wandered to tomorrow morning. All the Baker Street residents would go outside and have snowball fights, with John being one of them. A smile crept over Sherlock’s face as he continued to thrust and he bent down to smell the top of John’s head. It was the smell of John and the smell of home. A smell he never wanted to part with ever. John did a flick of his wrist and it had him arching into Sherlock with pleasure. Sherlock watched as the multi colored lights created a multitude of patterns on John’s blonde hair.
With another thrust, Sherlock leaned away from the window to look down between their bodies but John was not having it.
“Closer, Sherlock, come closer,” he said as he drew Sherlock closer to him with the arm around his back.
Pressed chest to chest, John leaned his head back to stare straight at the ceiling and into Sherlock’s downturned face. At the glimpse of Sherlock’s pale blue eyes, John gave another moan before falling over the edge.
Sherlock watched in amazement as John’s eyes squeezed tight and he came over his hand and part of his jumper. Sherlock felt as the nails of John’s hand dug into his shoulder and watched the way that John’s eyebrows would arch a certain way when he climaxed. John made one long silent moan before arching again and gasping out Sherlock’s name.
Sherlock had stopped his thrusts and when John had mostly come back to himself, he latched onto his lips. John grasped Sherlock’s now heavy cock with both hands and Sherlock began to thrust again in earnest.
“Yes, Sherlock, yes,” John breathed in between their kisses. “Just you…Always…Always by my side…Sherlock, I –“
With a cry, muffled by the sound of running water, Sherlock came. His eyes shut tight and his head against the shower wall. For several moments, he panted trying to catch his breath as the water crashed over his body.
When he had come back down, he let go of his rapidly softening cock and washed his hands in the spray. He thought for a few moments of the look on John’s face when he came. A small tug at his heart reminded him that he was nowhere near John now, that it was only a fantasy and no longer, nor had it ever been, his reality. The water in the shower ran cold from his damp curls, down to his pale toes. This, here, is real, no matter how much better the fantasy must be, he reminded himself.
After shutting off the water, he wrapped his body in a dark blue robe lined with ribbing and went back into the bedroom with the fireplace. He crossed the room and looked out the window into the street below. The snow was continuing to fall but it was no longer silent outside. The party from the bar had spilled out onto the street and the bells from the local church tolled the signal of midnight. Sherlock stared as a few people made snowballs while others embraced their loved ones.
“Merry Christmas John,” whispered Sherlock, into the empty hotel room.