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The Fucking Machine

Chapter Text

“Shan’t be forever,” said Sherlock Holmes under his breath as he carefully placed the violin case and the skull-shaped bundle in the locker. “Just until I get new digs. You’ll be safer here, both from repossession for sums owed and damage, collateral or otherwise.” He took a deep breath and bowed his head, his gloved hand still resting on the closed locker door.

When Sherlock dropped his hand and pivoted, his expression of icy disdain made his sharp features almost raptorial. He flipped up his coat collar and strode purposefully out of the train station.


Half hour later, Sherlock was bursting through double doors marked ‘St. Bartholomew’s Centre for Secondary Sex Studies – Research Lounge A – Authorised Personnel Only’ with a heralding cry.

“WHATSSUP, BITCHES?”

Two men were playing cards at a table. A third was slumped on a sofa, watching telly. They might have easily been confused with long-term patients, what with their robes and slippers and just-killing-time attitudes.

But at Sherlock’s entrance, one of them turned a shade of beet-red and slammed his cards on the table.

“Goddammit, Holmes!”

“Still not minding the blood pressure, Gregson, I see. And Jones is still a cheat.”

Sherlock danced over to the table and produced a card from the folded lapel of Jones’s robe.

“Goddammit, Holmes,” said Jones softly. He looked at Gregson and shrugged. “Sorry, Gregson. You know, scorpion, frog, all that.”

Gregson turned purple and looked from Jones to Sherlock, then back to Jones.

“Yes, it’s our nature, isn’t it?” said Sherlock. “Alpha studs. But it’s all for science and therefore definitely not prostitution.” He sighed. “But Gregson can be forgiven for his imminent cardiovascular incident. After all, eight-and-a-half iron doesn’t sound quite appealing when there’s a nice nine-iron about, does it?” Sherlock made a golf-club-swinging gesture with his arms, then headed for the refrigerator in the corner of the room. “Is my Pellegrino still here?”

“I pissed in it, all of it,” said Gregson with a sneer.

“No doubt you pissed around it, but with your marksmanship, I doubt any would’ve hit the target.”

Jones and the man on the sofa snickered. Gregson fumed.

“Oh, no matter,” said Sherlock. “I’ll just take this Diet Coke.” He stood, a red-and-white can in hand and popped the top. Then he closed the refrigerator door with his foot and took a sip. He held up the can and grimaced at it. “Dear God, this is worse than smack.”

Gregson jumped to his feet. “Now see here, you tosser, that’s my Diet—!”

Sherlock gave Gregson an up-and-down appraising look. “It’s not working, Gregson. Do look up the definition of insanity.” Sherlock turned his attention to the man on the sofa. “Hopkins. How’s it hanging?”

Without taking his eyes from the telly, Hopkins shook his head ruefully. “Not as near to the ground as yours, Machine. Are you really back?”

“Yeah,” said Sherlock. He pirouetted with arms extended. “The answer to Omega prayer, the prize stallion, the Alpha of the Alphas—”

Gregson stepped towards him. “I am the Alpha of the Alphas, bitch.”

“Not when The Fucking Machine is the Farm’s corral,” Sherlock said coldly, then took another sip. “This stuff is definitely what's rotting your bollocks, Gregson.”

“You’re not back,” said Gregson, snarling. “You’ll never pass the physical exam and the lab test.”

Sherlock withdrew a folded white sheet of paper from his coat pocket. He shook it open with one hand while the other hand poured fizzy dark liquid down the sink.

“I just did, bitch.”

“Christ,” swore Jones. “I’m going to have to get a second job.”

Hopkins nodded and changed the channel.

Chapter Text

“Not today, Satan,” said John, wrenching his gaze from the interior of the desk drawer.

Today he was not going to wallow in self-pity. He was not going to succumb to despair. And he most certainly was not going to dwell on the lone contents of that drawer, that is, his gun.

John lifted his chin, straightened his back and addressed the blank wall.

“I will get dressed. I will go to Ex-Forces Health. They’ll draw and test my blood. I will get a number. And then in,” he glanced at his watch, “about twenty-four hours, I’ll report to my assigned location.”

He nodded to himself.

He had to do it. There wasn’t a choice, really. And after all, he’d done it before. Thrice. It wasn’t pleasant. But then neither was war. Or getting shot. Or a psychosomatic limp.

Or a bloody tremour!

At that very moment, John’s left hand spasmed. He slapped it angrily, clumsily against the front of the drawer. The drawer slammed shut with a loud, wooden bang.

John started at the noise, then a mirthless chuckle escaped his lips.

Hypervigilance never took a day off, did it?

He abandoned his left hand to its own devices and rubbed his face with his right hand. He looked around the spartan bed-sit for the thousandth time.

No.

Don’t think.

Act.

He got to his feet slowly. He walked to the wardrobe slowly. He dressed slowly.

Brush teeth. Wash face. Brush hair. Shave.

His mind issued orders. His body resisted. His mind re-issued orders. His body complied, slowly, reluctantly.

When John was finally ready to leave, he stood in the threshold and looked at his watch again.

He was early.

He would go by the park, get a coffee, sit on a bench and people-watch until the office opened.


“Thanks for this, Mike,” said John, raising the cup. He glanced at his watch. “I’m afraid I’ve got something to do.”

“Where are you headed? I’ll walk with you.”

John looked at the grass and mumbled, “Nelson Building.”

Stamford paled, then stared silently, questioningly.

John’s smile was not a smile at all. “I’m not longer active duty, Mike. I don’t get the good heat suppressants, or any heat suppressants, for that matter, anymore, yet in some twisted fashion, my heat is still the army’s responsibility.”

John didn’t hide his disgust as he spat the final word, and Stamford didn’t hide his concern.

“How long do you have, John?”

“Tomorrow morning. Noon at the latest.”

Stamford nodded, then he said slowly, “If you had another option—”

“I’m broke, Mike.”

“Aren’t we all?” countered Mike. “Can Harry help?”

John snorted. “Harry can’t even help herself.”

“John, if you had another option—”

“If I had any other option but eating my gun, don’t you think I’d take it?!” snapped John, but his anger died as quickly as it had flared. “Sorry. I’m so sorry.” He shook his head. “Yeah, if I had another option, I’d take it, no question.”

“Give me a couple of hours, and I’ll see what I can do.”

John stared at him. “You’re joking.”

“Could you meet me for lunch?” asked Mike. “Say, Barts at one o’clock? Then if my plan doesn’t work out, you still have time to check in at Ex-Forces Health.”

“It would put me at the end of the queue for tomorrow, Mike,” said John grimly. “You know what that means.”

Mike nodded. “True. It’s your call, John.”

“Do you think your plan will actually work?”

“If I can find this Alpha, I am going to call in a favour, a big one. He’s a bit of a bastard—.”

John laughed. “Aren’t they all?” Then he smiled a half-smile. “All right. Barts. One o’clock.”

Chapter Text

“There you are, Sherlock.”

Sherlock stopped picking at the blue label on the green bottle and lifted his head from the bar.

“Stamford! You’re looking for me at a pub at 10:30 in the morning. You’ve got a problem! Crime?”

“No,” said Stamford as he eased onto the stool beside Sherlock. “Missing Alpha. Last heard stoned off his tits, massacring Paganini at three o’clock in the morning while his room on Montague Street burned. Nice Roman, that, I might add.”

“Oh,” said Sherlock gloomily and dropped his head back onto his forearm. “Paganini killed himself, you know, by listening to too many doctors. And having syphilis in the early nineteenth century.”

“Why so blue, Sherlock?”

“Money, Stamford. I need money for damages to the Montague Street place. I’ve also got my eye on a flat in central London. Baker Street. The landlady owes me a favour, but it still requires a certain amount of capital, as they say—.”

“Mycroft?”

Sherlock snorted. “I’m still cut off.”

“Pawn the coat? Or the Strad?”

Sherlock wailed and buried his face in his bent elbow.

“Then it’s back to the Farm?” said Stamford.

Sherlock lifted his head and nodded. “As of this morning, I’m back on the roll. Tell all your wealthy, generous non-bonded Omega friends that ‘The Fucking Machine’ and his enormous cock are theirs for the being-taken at the St. Bartholomew’s Centre for Secondary Sex Studies.”

“I have got a friend, Sherlock. That why I’m here. His heat starts tomorrow.”

“Good tipper?”

Stamford shook his head. “It’d be a favour.”

“Oh, no! I don’t do charity, Stamford. I do cash. Or credit. Or cursed gems.”

“Sherlock.”

“Do I look like a stupid, ordinary, boring Alpha, you know, the kind that takes one whiff of an unbonded Omega pre-heat and drops his trousers? I don’t need to I remind you that ‘The Fucking Machine’ at the height of his popularity was servicing no fewer than three Omegas at once. And not once was I even tempted to bite a neck. I don’t do it for the sex. I do it for the money.”

“And where’d all that money, the money from before, go, Sherlock?”

Sherlock huffed. “The violin, scientific apparatus, first editions, bit of art.” Then he shrugged. “Elsewhere. But I’m clean now. I don’t even smoke,” he added defensively.

Stamford turned his head. “Sher-lock,” he whispered, in a sing-song voice.

Sherlock raised a halting hand. “Don’t, Stamford.”

Stamford threw back his head and belted out,

“He was born

a pauper to a pawn

on a Christmas day

When the New York Times

Said God is dead

and the war's begun!”

Sherlock covered his ears. “Stop! It’s not going to work!”

Stamford shot him a look.

“It’s not going to work this time,” qualified Sherlock.

Sher-lock.”

“Just because you did me one good turn, once upon a time.”

One good turn?” echoed Stamford.

Sherlock sighed and took a swig from the green bottle.

Stamford looked at his phone, then tapped the screen. “I can get you three hours in Barts lower lab today, unmolested.”

Sherlock shot straight up, his grey eyes sparkling.

“I am going to lunch with my friend,” continued Stamford. “We’ll stop by the lab afterwards. You can meet him. After that, it’s your call. Say hello. Shake hands. Take a whiff. That’s all I’m asking.”

“Why?” asked Sherlock pointedly.

“He’s an old friend, and he needs a good turn, or three, right about now. Just as you did, once upon a time.”

Sherlock drained the green bottle and set it on the bar. “Very well,” he said, then nodded, “Pellegrino’s on you.”


“What?” asked John. “We only just met and we’re already going to—"

“Pen,” ordered Sherlock, glaring at Stamford.

Stamford tossed him a pen.

Sherlock produced a white business card from his wallet and scribbled on the back of it as he spoke.

“Seven o’clock tomorrow morning, this address. Registration and orientation will take about an hour. Give the receptionist this number. It’s my stud code. You may hear me referred to as ‘The Machine’ or ‘The Fucking Machine,’ but my name is Sherlock Holmes.”

He passed the business card to John with a wink. Then he threw the pen and a perfunctory ‘Afternoon,’ at Stamford and waltzed out of the lab.

John stared at Stamford.

Stamford waited.

John looked at the card, first the front, then the back. Then he turned his head and looked at the doors and Sherlock’s invisible wake.

Stamford waited.

“He’s always like that?” John finally asked.

Stamford nodded.

John sighed, then leaned on his cane. “Well, he’s definitely an Alpha bastard.”

“True,” said Stamford. “But?”

“But he’s a clever Alpha bastard,” said John. “Smells great.” He raised the card. “Thank you, Stamford. I owe you.”

Stamford smiled and thought,

Damn, I’m good.

Chapter Text

With no little effort, John clanged the green bottles onto a counter, then he limped forward and surveyed his surroundings.

It might have been a well-apportioned hotel suite. There was a large, comfortable-looking bed, a table with two chairs, and, he peeked, a spacious lavatory. Only the panels on the walls and a faint scent of disinfectant belied the room’s true institutional nature.

“Doctor Watson.”

John jumped. His heart pounding, his breath quick, his embarrassment complete, he turned.

“I’m sorry. I startle very easily, Mister Holmes.”

“Sherlock, please.” John shook the hand that slipped from the sleeve of a thick robe. “My apologies, I should have anticipated your reaction. It will not happen again.”

The words, said in that tone, sounded so earnest. Like a promise. Promise from an Alpha before a heat? What was that worth?

John almost laughed, but thought better of it.

“Quite all right,” said he politely. He nodded towards the bottles. “Stamford mentioned that you like Pellegrino.”

Posh bastard.

“Thank you. Very thoughtful. You’ve shared a heat before?”

John nodded and swallowed. “Military centres.”

Sherlock dropped his head and grimaced. “No kennels here. It’s quiet, private, and no other Alpha shall enter this room unless you request it. This is your space, John.”

John didn’t believe a word of it, but the Alpha’s voice was so bloody warm, soft and reassuring, confidant and professional. John exhaled a breath he felt he’d been holding for a long time, and the room began to spin. His leg began to ache. He leaned heavily on his cane.

Must be the pheromone cocktail in the air. With every inhale, its effects on John’s body were growing more difficult to ignore.

“Please have a seat. Would you like some breakfast?” asked Sherlock. “Tea and toast? They do a rather nice herb omelette.”

John hadn’t eaten since the sandwich with Mike on the previous day.

“Mister Holmes, I haven’t the funds to—”

“Gross oversight on orientation’s part that they didn’t mention that you’re permitted a meal allowance. As am I.”

There was a very slight change in the Alpha’s scent that puzzled John, but he shook it off.

“Yeah, but since I’m not paying—” John began.

“Regardless,” insisted Sherlock.

“Well, room service, too?” John mused, then shrugged. “Why not?”’

John returned the empty teacup to its saucer and sighed contentedly. Sherlock sat across from him, sipping Italian soda water with a straw.

“I looked you up on the internet last night,” said John, conversationally as he fiddled with the handle of his cane. “Glowing testimonials about ‘The Machine,’ but also the web site of Sherlock Holmes, The Science of Deduction.”

Sherlock eyed him closely, then asked, “What did you think of the latter?”

“You said you could identify a software designer by his tie and an airline pilot by his left thumb.”

“Yes. And I can read your military career in your face and your leg, and your brother’s drinking habits in your mobile phone.”

John snorted, then asked, “How?”

“Later,” said Sherlock.

‘Later’ sounded a lot like ‘never’ to John’s ears, but he was too distracted by his body’s needs to press the matter.

“I’d like to change,” he said.

Sherlock nodded and gestured to the wardrobe and the lavatory, but the comfort of a full belly and the deliciousness of an Alpha’s proximity were urging John beyond modesty.

John bent and removed his shoes and socks, then he grabbed the lower hem of his jumper.

“A moment,” said Sherlock as he carried the breakfast tray to across the room. He tapped a panel and a small door opened. He pushed the tray through it. He tapped the screen again, and the door closed.

John stood. He untucked, then unbuttoned his shirt. With every passing second, the urgency grew. He needed to be naked. And he needed this Alpha naked. Now. He tore off his shirt, then his vest. He unfastened his jeans and peeled out of them and his pants.

For a moment, Sherlock’s eyes widened, but he said nothing.

It was the bandage, no doubt, that had caught Sherlock’s attention. Well, he seemed to know everything else about John, he’d be able to figure out the reason for the bandage. And John supposed that he’d like the bandage a dashed sight better than the hideous scar beneath it.

Sherlock stood before John and untied his robe, letting the two sides part.

“Wow,” whispered John, his eyebrows rising.

Alpha cock was Alpha cock but that was a very large Alpha cock.

Sherlock smirked. “That’s what most Omegas say, right before ‘Will it fit?’”

“Oh, trust me, it’ll fit nicely,” said John. And with that slight bend to the left, it might just hit that spot that until now nothing, save a self-administered, awkwardly-angled, elephant-sized dildo, had been able to hit.

“Ready?” asked Sherlock, slipping off the robe.

John saw Sherlock had a bandage of his own, a snug, nude-coloured sleeve that covered much of the upper portion of his left arm.

“Visible tattoos are prohibited,” explained Sherlock. “Ready?”

“Most Alphas say, ‘Assume the position.’”

“It must be obvious, John, even to you, that I’m not most Alphas, and we’ll be positioning ourselves for your comfort and pleasure,” said Sherlock coolly as he hung his robe in the wardrobe.

“A gentleman.” Who just insulted me like the Alpha bastard he is. “Who’d have thought?” muttered John under his breath.

“Ready?” asked Sherlock for the third time, now with undisguised peevishness—and something else—in his voice.

The something else, John quickly realised, was lust.

He smiled.

“Ready when you are, sweetheart.”

Chapter Text

John sat on the edge of the bed. He parted his legs and rolled backwards until his upper body was flat. Sherlock slotted himself between John’s legs and bent forward, slipping hand and forearms under John’s thighs and lifting John’s legs until he could hook them over his own shoulders.

John was, for all practical purposes, folded in two. “The magic of pheromones,” he said. “I’d never manage this position without them.”

Sherlock’s prickhead teased the entrance of John’s cunt, then breeched it ever so slowly.

John sighed and reveled in the sensation of being stretched and filled, and he didn’t remember ever being this stretched, this filled; though, to be fair, his memory was sketchy at best. The lifting of the heat fog had a profound amnesiac effect, and until now, John had always considered that a very good thing.

But this sensation, right here, of being given everything his body was clamouring for without trace of pain or fear? He might want to remember that.

John closed his eyes and smiled as Sherlock pushed further inside him. It was a slow, steady penetration interrupted by brief, but, to John’s mind, unnecessary, pauses. The Alpha didn’t need to be gentle. No one else ever had.

But the best part? There was more to come.

More cock to come!

John giggled.

“John.”

A lump stuck in John’s throat. A stab of fear stopped his heart.

“I wasn’t laughing at you,” he said quickly. It was one thing to mock an Alpha when he was standing in front of you, quite another when you were locked together in a pose that was as intimate as it was ludicrous.

“No matter if you were,” replied Sherlock evenly. “I was just going to remark that your earlier estimation was correct: it does fit nicely.”

They might have been making polite conversation over coffee.

“I told you so,” said John softly, then he exhaled a contented ‘oh’ as Sherlock bottomed out inside him. “Biology’s rot, but, God, that feels good.”

“Quite,” agreed Sherlock. He gave a sharp, deep thrust as if testing John’s limits.

John wanted to moan, but used his last shred of self-control to secure his bottom lip under his top teeth. It wouldn’t do to start whoring it up on the first round.

A thumb brushed John’s lip.

“You needn’t censor yourself, John. The researchers desire to quantify, codify, analyse your vocalisations along with all the other data.”

John frowned. It sounded like a lie, and there was another whiff of that odd smell, but then Sherlock gave a second sharp thrust, and John was throwing his head back and giving the researchers plenty to study.

“Lovely data,” breathed Sherlock.

For whom? John thought absently as his palm was being filled with something warm and wet, but then he wasn’t thinking much at all. He let his instincts take over, for certainly, the act of an Alpha pouring lubricant in an Omega’s hand was an indication that self-pleasure was not just permitted but encouraged.  He was, a bit, through the looking-glass.

The angle was less than ideal and the space between their bodies almost non-existent, but John managed to snake a hand around his own prick. He began to stroke himself, allowing the back of head to roll against the bed as Sherlock pumped in and out of him.

With every thrust, John’s muscles clenched greedily, almost as if his body was, of its own accord, trying to seize Sherlock’s prick and keep it for itself, but Sherlock’s pace was too irregular, or perhaps John’s mind too lust-muddled, to syncronise their movements.

Nevertheless, Sherlock came. And with the explosion of hot Alpha seed inside him, and the heady aroma of spent Alpha about him, John came, too.

Sherlock pulled out.

John finally opened his eyes. When he was able to speak, he said, “Not bad,” but his grin belied the understatement.

“For a first time,” said Sherlock, with a shrug of modesty John already knew to be false. “Don’t worry. It gets better.”

Sherlock rose and moved across the room to one of the cupboards. When he opened the door, John saw it was stocked with folded linen. Sherlock withdrew a pair of flannels and a towel.

With Sherlock’s back to him, John took a moment to study the Alpha. He was thin, almost gaunt, with a mop of unruly dark curls that seemed made for petting and pulling and a pair of handsome, expressive grey eyes into which it would be no hardship to stare, if positions allowed. John might actually be tempted to open his eyes.

And there was no denying that the Alpha had a great arse.

Really, really great arse.

And so far, things had been polite, considerate, professional, but…

John felt the second wave of heat stirring and decided to test the waters.

“May I be on top next time?” asked he, pushing up on his forearms.

“Absolutely. Any position you’d like, John.” Sherlock moved to the sink, but before his hand had turned the taps, John said a bit breathlessly,

“May I be on top now?”

Sherlock dropped the flannels and flew to the bed.

And his haste was the only puff of breath needed to fan John’s spark of lust into a full flame. He straddled Sherlock before the Alpha’s head was even comfortably ensconced in the pillows. Using their own mingled secretions as lubricant, he took Sherlock’s prick in his two hands and stroked it. Then he rose to his knees and positioned the prickhead just where he wanted it.

And then he impaled himself on—and of this he was certain—the largest cock he’d ever taken.

There was nothing false or modest in Sherlock’s groan and John, for his part, confirmed what he’d suspected: that Sherlock’s prick could, if properly angled, brush the tenderest, most pleasure-wringing spot inside him. John’s entire body trembled, and he clenched very hard around Sherlock.

Sherlock made a noise that sounded like surprise and gripped John’s buttocks. He thrust up and spent himself inside John at once.

John didn’t stop. He wasn’t satisfied. Not by half.

A part of John knew it was dangerous, that the Alpha might become enraged at any perceived threat to his dominance of the tableau, but the pleasure that John was feeling and, even more, the promise of future pleasure, made him bold.

John opened his eyes, leaned down, and said in a low, hard voice.

“Every time, Mister Holmes. Every time, you’re inside me, I’m going to doing this.” He clenched and unclenched, clenched and unclenched, rocking back and forth as he continued to ride Sherlock. “Milking your monstrous prick. You just filled me, it’s true, and beautifully done, but, to quote some other poor sod who was just about as hungry as I am, ‘Please, sir, I’d like some more.’”

John bounced. Hard. Enough for Sherlock’s prick to brush that sweetest spot inside him over and over. His moans grew louder as his pleasure built. He closed his eyes, and once again, lubricant filled his palm.

“And I will be fucking you, Doctor Watson, mercilessly, seeking out that tender secret of yours, over and over, tattooing the pattern of my prick’s veins on the walls of your cunt, until you scream my name.”

Sherlock’s voice was a hiss, the iron Alpha fist, finally or momentarily, John didn’t know, stripped of its velvet glove of chivalry and pretense.

John shuddered.

Then, Sherlock gripped John’s buttocks tighter and jerked upwards, turning the caress into a rough nudge that brought tears pouring down John’s cheeks. The hand John had wrapped around his own prick was useless. He was too overwhelmed to tend to himself.

John’s body began to convulse. The hand wrapped around his prick was quickly covered by another, larger hand, which was soon guiding John's in the movements that John himself wanted, indeed, craved, but could not manage. John whimpered in gratitude, too, for the long fingers that were now laced in those of his free hand. He needed tethering, or he was certain he would be launched from the bed by the gale force of the orgasm ripping through him.

He threw his head back.

“SHERLOCK!”

All was white, or black, or blank, until Sherlock muttered, far too matter-of-factly,

“Well, that was a bit sooner than anticipated. Must make me work for it next time, John.”

They fell into a silence broken only by their ragged breathing. Then John inhaled, long and noisily, through his nose, and said,

“It’s cliché, but—”

“Yes, the fragrance is quite agreeable.” Sherlock’s hands returned to John’s buttocks and began to massage the flesh gently, but firmly. “By the way, I spent myself again as you came, and if you wish, you can open your eyes,” he whispered.

“Yeah?”

John did as bid and let his eyes adjust.  And he wouldn’t have thought a posh git like Sherlock ever broke a sweat, but the sheen on his face and chest and the damp tendrils plastered to his temples were, to use Sherlock’s phrase, quite agreeable.

And the fragrance was intoxicating, poisoning John’s mind and forcing John’s Omega instincts to override his other senses.

“Please, don’t pull out yet,” he pleaded as he reached a hand down between them. He rubbed the seam where their bodies met, then drew his hand about his neck and down chest. “Ridiculous, isn’t it?” he said sheepishly, “wanting to spread the muck about on myself.”

“I would be more surprised if there wasn’t a bit of scenting in the early stages,” said Sherlock. “Very common. But that, uh, thing you do, John,” he ceased his caressing, drew a hand before John’s eyes and made a fist, “it is singularly pleasurable. To be frank, and if you doubt my sincerity, I shan’t be offended, I don’t know that I’ve ever been gripped quite so tightly.”

John stared at Sherlock’s hand for a moment, admiring it, then drew his gaze to Sherlock’s face, searching the Alpha's expression for mockery or deceit. Seeing none, John asked, “You mean this?” He clenched around Sherlock’s prick, feeling the almost-discomfort of the double load of come inside him.

“Yes!” squeaked Sherlock. “Fuck.” The oath sounded both sillier and filthier coming from those posh lips.

John giggled.

Sherlock groaned, then asked,

“Were you in earnest when you said, ‘every time,’ John?”

“’If you doubt my sincerity, I shan’t be offended,’” John parroted. “But yes. Every. Single. Time.” John punctuated each word with a rocking squeeze of Sherlock’s prick. “More?”

“No, not quite yet,” said Sherlock, but his tone changed with every clutching, “Well, oh, perhaps, yes, yes, yes, John!”

With Sherlock’s third release, John was, in fact, overflowing, and the scent of their sex was so strong, descent into madness seemed a certainty rather than a danger.

John lifted himself off Sherlock and slid down the bed.

Ridiculous was a mild word for what happened next.

Sherlock sat up and shifted until his back was against the wall while John literally wallowed in the puddle created by his leaking cunt and sweaty, come-streaked body.

It was, of course, a mess, sticky as well as putrid to anyone but the two who had created it.

But John couldn’t resist his body’s demand—that their mingled scents of Alpha and Omega, as concentrated in the fruit of their congress, must be in his lungs, on his skin, everywhere.

Nothing but his own scent. And that of his Alpha.

His Alpha. John shuddered. His Alpha of the moment.

But the qualification didn’t stop John. He rolled. He slapped his skin. He rutted. He emitted noises of obscene contentment, and when the Omega in heat was finally satisfied, he looked up.

Any notion that he ought to be ashamed of his spectacle died a quick death.

Sherlock’s pupils were blown black, his nostrils flared, his knees bent, his legs, parted. He was stroking his cock very slowly and watching John very intently.

Then, with a growl that went straight to John’s groin, he said,

“Assume the position.”

Chapter Text

It was déjà vu. It was novel.

It was perfect. It was all wrong.

It was déjà vu. There had been only one Omega—but there had been one—who had ever interested Sherlock the way that John did. Sherlock had met that Omega soon after he had started working at the Farm; not so long in terms of years, Sherlock supposed, but in terms of his life and the things that had happened since then, a very long time, indeed, so long that it seemed like a sepia dream.

But that had been different type of interest, and what Sherlock was now feeling was, in many respects, a decidedly novel sensation. Sherlock always wanted to do a good job, a good job meant a good tip, which meant more clients, which meant even more tips. That was logical, survival, even. And, despite all the posturing that went on in the Alpha lounge, he was a professional and had a professional’s pride. He wanted the appeal of the rest of him to near, though he knew it would never match, that of the aberration of his biology.

But this was, again with a refrain that was already becoming tedious, even to Sherlock’s own mind, different. This was new. There would be no tip, naturally; nevertheless, Sherlock wanted to be the best damn Alpha John had ever had. He wanted to blot out John’s memories of all his previous Alphas and heal every single scar that those bastards—and a land war in Asia—had left behind.

Magical healing prick.

Sherlock almost laughed. The notion was ridiculous. John would still have his limp when he walked out of the Farm. He would still jump when someone was foolish enough to approach him, unseen, unawares. He almost certainly had nightmares, perhaps even day terrors. He would still have them. There was nothing Sherlock or the heat could do to change that. That Sherlock even gave the matter thought showed a dangerous chink in his armour.

And so, Sherlock kept telling himself, over and over, ‘Behave, Alpha.’

Behave like a gentleman or, barring that, at least like a decent sort.

Behave like a professional. Clients paid handsomely for the perfect Alpha, behave like the perfect Alpha.

For example, this, right here, what he was doing to John right now, was perfect. It was textbook, and Sherlock knew it was textbook because he’d once been photographed, from the waist down, doing it for a textbook illustration.

John was face-down in the pillows, which were, Sherlock noted with feral satisfaction, damp with his Alpha-scented sweat. John’s rump was high in the air. Sherlock’s hands were resting lightly on John’s hips, and he was pumping in and out of John’s cunt in a steady, almost train-like fashion.

This was how Alphas fucked Omegas.

This, right here, this.

It was perfect, and it was all wrong.

All wrong because positioned as they were Sherlock could not, and he had tried without success, to brush the spot whose teasing had brought John so much pleasure in previous round. And, true to his word, John still was clenching around Sherlock’s prick, but the strength and the strength of sensation were the faintest flutter compared to earlier.

It was all wrong, too, because John’s noises were muffled. All wrong because John’s expression was hidden. John’s eyes, Sherlock knew, by default, were closed, perhaps tightly closed. It was a response that, given John’s past heats, was completely understandable, but nevertheless one Sherlock hoped would not persist through the heat.

Maybe, just maybe, by the end, John would look into Sherlock’s eyes as they came, together.

Sherlock wanted, he realised with a sudden discomfort, desperately to be seen by John.

He shook his head sharply.

Foolish notion. So romantic that, if voiced aloud, one would think that Sherlock survived on nothing but Mills & Boon novels.

But it would not be voiced aloud. Ever.

John was here for a comfortable heat. Sherlock would give him one. It was as simple as that. It was a favour to friend. Another simple concept.

But.

But this pounding from behind, though textbook, though perfect, wasn’t, well, it wasn’t intimate.

Behave, Alpha.

And do get on with it.

Well, the least Sherlock could do was give John a bit of wanking.

He leaned to one side and dropped his hand along the side of the bed. He pushed a button in the bed frame and his cupped palm filled with lubricant. He transferred the lubricant to his other hand, then refilled the first.

There were Omegas without cocks. There were Omegas with cocks, usually small ones, though, of course, almost every cock was small compared to Sherlock’s. Until now, Sherlock hadn’t cared. It had been the size of an Omega’s wallet and the Omega’s willingness to part with the wallet’s contents that that mattered to him.

Sherlock’s response to John’s nude body had, however, had been a surprise.

He found he liked John’s prick. Quite a lot. It was large as a beta’s and a bit thicker than many. And it suited John. It might even, perhaps, suit Sherlock in some ways, and since the very beginning of the heat, Sherlock had wanted to jerk it off as he spent himself inside John.

But he’d refrained.

It was the ghost of that very first moment that haunted Sherlock and kept him conservative in his manner.   He’d approached a PTSD-suffering ex-serviceman without proper warning and triggered a hypervigilant response. It had been a grave misstep on Sherlock’s part, the very opposite of textbook in terms of establishing trust and rapport between Alpha and Omega.

Sherlock didn’t know all the specifics of John’s trauma at the hands of other Alphas. He had to be careful.

Thus, he rubbed John’s side with slicked fingers, then slid his hand around to caress John’s hip bone. “May I?” he asked, not expecting the question to understood or answered on first utterance.

But John turned his head. He nodded.

Sherlock wrapped his fingers around John’s prick and groaned.

John felt good, so fucking good that, if permitted, Sherlock would joyfully accept solo charge of his prick’s care for the remainder of the heat.

John leaned awkwardly on one shoulder, his good shoulder, Sherlock noted, and, in a reversal of their previous coupling, layered his hand around Sherlock’s.

Even better.

John got a modicum of control, and Sherlock got the sensation of John’s prick, throbbing, pulsing inside his swift-moving fist.

John came very quickly, but any noise that might have remotely resembled Sherlock’s name was completely silenced by the pillows.

Sherlock realised, too, that in his preoccupation with John’s pleasure, his own thrusting had slowed to a halt.

At that moment, by way of a taunt, or so it seemed to Sherlock, John wriggled his arse.

Sherlock made to reply with a playful slap to John’s flank. He even raised his hand, but then dropped it to his side.

Behave, Alpha.

Sherlock had no guarantee that John would find even a light strike playful. He contented himself with rubbing John’s lower back and buttocks with broad, circular motions, which had the added effect of wiping his hands clean of lubricant and come.

John’s skin, for the moment, was not as attractive as it might be. The ‘muck,’ to use his term, that he’d rubbed on himself, in a display that had stirred Sherlock more profoundly than he cared to dwell upon, was now dry and flaking. The result being that now John bore a striking resemblance to a reptile, mid-shed. He was due for a wash sooner rather than later, before the pheromone fog ebbed and the itching set it. Sherlock made a mental note of this and returned his attention to the massage and the gentle thrusting that kept his prick hard, but not urgently so.

Sherlock made a circle with both hands, then pressed his thumbs into the cleft of John’s arse.

John jerked, and Sherlock felt a pang at the thought he’d erred again. But then John turned his head and groaned.

Not a noise of alarm, but rather pleasant, very pleasant, surprise.

Interesting.

What happened next was even more interesting.

“Sorry,” mumbled John and turned his head back into the pillows.

Of course, Sherlock did it again. He circled his hand around John’s buttocks, then brought them together and pressed his thumbs lower, deeper into the divot.

Fuck!

John’s hands were then quickly clasped behind his head. His bottom lip was, Sherlock had no doubt, being bitten hard.

Sherlock wanted more, of course, but caution, once again, prevailed. He withdrew his prick completely from John and crawled forward, tenting his body over John’s, but being careful not to rest any weight on him.

For a second time since the heat had begun, Sherlock detected a horrid aroma, and now he knew its name and origin: John’s fear.

John turned his head and began to stammer.

“I’m sorry, sorry—”

“John, stop.”

John stopped.

Sherlock’s first thought was to soothe by way of explanation.

“I would very much like to be given liberty to,” and here he paused, his lips twitching, his mind searching for a suitably oblique phrase “amuse myself.”

The scent of John’s fear grew stronger, and Sherlock clenched his teeth to keep from retching.

Too oblique. John misunderstood. Of course, he did. More direct, a bit confiding, but still professional.

“John, I am many things, and some of them are unpleasant, but I am not an idiot nor a sadist. And I would have to be both to be interested in inserting anything the length and girth my penis into your anal cavity. But,” he paused again, “if a bit of well-lubricated anal stimulation by, say, one or possibly two fingers, would bring you pleasure then I am more than willing to provide it. Whilst I fuck your cunt, of course.”

“But it doesn’t—"

“If it pleases you, then it relaxes you, and the heat is, in scientific terms, more successful.”

“You’re going to finger my arse for science?”

Sherlock smiled. “Yes.”

John giggled, and Sherlock’s heart skipped a beat.

Worth it. Just for that.

John licked his chapped lips, then nodded.

“But first,” amended Sherlock, “you must drink some water. Can I interest you in some Pellegrino?”

John giggled again, then said, “Fuck, no.”

“Very well.”


“FUCK! Fuckity-fuckity-fuck!”

Sherlock indulged in a small, but genuine grin of satisfaction. His middle finger was buried deep inside John and John was, scientifically speaking, losing his mind. His thrashing, a sort manic breast stroke atop the bedding, made his grunting and swearing more audible, and the sight and sound and, of course, feel and smell of John, were doing everything to stoke Sherlock’s own lust.

Sherlock had a bold thought just before he climaxed. He pulled out and ejaculated onto John’s back. Then he quickly rubbed the fluid into John’s skin.

“FUCK, YES!” John rut into the bed, then collapsed.

Sherlock sat back on his heels, studying John and wondering if he, Sherlock, dared.

Why not?

He crawled forward as before, then lowered himself until only his lips touched the very centre of John’s back. He left his lips attached to John’s skin until he felt John’s reaction.

“John?”

John turned his head and swallowed. Sherlock watched the war of emotions on his face, then John pried his eyes open and looked at Sherlock, just for a moment and just out of the corner of one eye.

Nevertheless. It was something.

John’s arm flailed. Sherlock caught his hand and laced their fingers together.

Tethering was textbook, but, in this case, also enjoyable.

John nodded.

Sherlock kissed down John’s spine, vertebra by vertebra, allowing plenty of time for objection and even a swift kick, if provoked.

When Sherlock reached the divot of John’s arse, he began to lick.

John’s moans were delightful, truly delightful, and he drew Sherlock’s hand closer to him, almost, well, not really, but perhaps a bit, near his heart.

Sherlock kept licking and licking.

“Sherlock?”

It had worked before. Worth a shot.

“For science, John.”

Not a giggle, this time, but a husky chuckle, followed by a lifting of arse and a spreading of knees.

John came with Sherlock’s tongue in his arse and Sherlock’s hand—and only Sherlock’s hand—around his prick. Sherlock was so hard by the end of it that he mounted John at once and came just as swiftly.

He was bending to lick the dripping come from John’s cunt, when he felt John tense.

Sherlock’s eyes danced about, looking for the cause, then finally gave up and asked,

“John?”

“A break, please.”

“Of course.”

Sherlock moved backwards until he was perched at the very foot of the bed. He waited patiently as John rolled over, then sat up. “A wash might be in order,” he observed.

“You think?” said John, wincing and beginning to scratch.

“Your options: at the washbasin, with or without my assistance. In the shower, again, with or without assistance. If you want to use the shower, it might be convenient to ring for a linen change by housekeeping while you or we are occupied.”

John nodded and blinked, then he eyed Sherlock. “You’re not…” He made a vague gesture that meant nothing if you hadn’t fucked as many Omegas as Sherlock had fucked.

“A bit,” Sherlock admitted. And ‘a bit’ was more than he ought to be, in fact. “But it’s my job to—”

“Be in control, when I’m not.” John nodded. “You’re good at it, too. I mean, besides the dinosaur prick.”

Sherlock gave a nod, ignoring the swell of pride. “Thank you.”

“I think I’ll, uh,” John sighed, “take a quick shower, uh, by myself, after I, uh—”

“Excellent.”

“But, uh,” John looked about the bed, “linen change, yeah?”

“They’re very quick, John. Quicker than you or I would be.”

John moved to the edge of the bed and put his bare feet on the floor. Sherlock’s mind bounded ahead.

The floor was cold. “Slippers?” he asked.

John pressed his lips together and shook his head.

Damn it, of course! “Your cane!” Sherlock leapt to his feet.

“No, that’s okay,” said John. “Just a hand.”

Even better.

Sherlock hurried to John’s side.

“I mean, I know it’s supposed to be all about your cock, but your hands are,” John blushed, “rather nice.”

“Thank you, John.” It wasn’t a novel comment by an Omega, but it was more data on What John Liked, and that was becoming far more important.                                                                                                                   

Sherlock offered both of his hands, palms up, and was quite pleased when John took both in his. They danced very slowly to the bathroom.

“Do you need—?” asked John.

“You first,” insisted Sherlock.

Fifteen minutes later, Sherlock was concerned. The linen had been changed, and he’d given himself as thorough a scrubbing as could be managed at the small washbasin set in the corner of the counter. He'd even finished another bottle of Pellegrino.

There had been no noise from the bathroom in more than five minutes.

No water running. Nothing at all.

Finally, Sherlock knocked. “John?”

“Yeah.”

The reply was too soft and too sad. Sherlock inhaled, but he couldn’t smell any fear.

“May I open the door?”

“Yeah.”

John was pitifully slumped, his face in his hands. “I can’t figure out the bloody taps.”

Sherlock’s heart broke, but only for a moment. His mental self-flagellation might have lasted longer, too, if his instincts, his professional instincts, hadn’t thrown the cat o’ nine tails aside and taken the reins, to mix a metaphor.

Behave, Alpha.

And do get on with it.

“Together, then?” Sherlock said in the tone of every efficient nurse who ever asked a question that really wasn’t a question.

John nodded and took Sherlock’s hand.

Chapter Text

“…never see those marks on a sober man’s phone; never see a drunk’s without them.”

Sherlock spoke very quickly. He also spoke very softly, indeed, purposefully at a volume that neared the hiss of the shower. He’d angled the scalding stream to their left. The rising vapour provided warmth, the falling spray, a barrier to listening ears.

Sherlock knew that what happened in the bathroom was of so little interest to the researchers that the monitors normally took their breaks at this time. Nevertheless, Sherlock did not want the added chore of hacking into the surveillance archives later to erase anything that he didn’t wish to appear in the official transcript.

His deduction complete, Sherlock braced himself for a scornful comment, a look of disbelief, and angry retort but what he got was something unexpected.

John—his legs wrapped around Sherlock’s waist, his back pressed to wet tiles, his cunt filled with Sherlock’s cock—threw his head back and laughed. Then he looked down at Sherlock with a wide smile and sighed,

“That was amazing.”

For a half-instant, Sherlock was confused.

He hadn’t come yet. John hadn’t come yet. What was amazing? Oh, the deduction?

“Do you think so?” he asked.

“Of course, it was. It was extraordinary. Quite extraordinary."

“That’s not what people normally say.”

“What do people normally say?”

“Piss off!”

John giggled, then his head fell forward, and his lips brushed Sherlock’s temple. “People are idiots.” He glanced nervously at the cascading water of the shower, then whispered, “I get it, Sherlock.”

Sherlock raised an eyebrow.

John dropped his chin, nodding toward their joined bodies.

“Academic jobs pay shit, even Barts, I’m certain. This is how you make your pin money. I know we’re not supposed to talk about our real lives, so no worries.” He winked. “If I had your cock, I’d be doing the exact same thing.”

Oh, John.

Sherlock was being pulled in two different directions. He wanted to tell John the truth. He wanted to talk about what he did and why he did it, what he used to do and what he wanted to do.

But.

But the time for confidences was running out. They needed to be getting back to the business of the heat.

But.

But John was listening! And he liked what he heard! He wasn’t shamming.  He wasn't.

But it was just the pheromones. He’d like anything any Alpha said.

But.

And that was when Sherlock made his gravest error.

“I also help the police when they’re out of their depth, which is always.”

Sherlock should not have said it, but he wanted to impress John.

To show off.

Wrong!

But.

The way John was looking at him now. Eyes shining with awe, as if Sherlock hung the moon. Sherlock. Not Sherlock’s enormous cock.

“Really?! That’s fantastic!" John cried in a voice so loud that Sherlock might have shushed him if the leap of his heart and the swell of his chest, and other parts, hadn't distracted him. 

"I’m going to read about you one day in the newspaper, aren’t I?” added John.

It was just the pheromones.

Behave, Alpha!

And do get on with it.

“Perhaps.” Sherlock gave a glance toward the shower. John’s expression sobered at once and he nodded.

Did John understand?

It was the pheromones. It must be. This sort of quasi-telepathy. Not unheard of, Sherlock supposed.

But then John caught Sherlock by surprise.

He clenched hard. Once.

But once was all it took.


Some minutes later, they both had towels wrapped around their waists. Sherlock opened the door and gestured for John to go first. John stepped into the room, then gave a yelp of alarm. He quickly turned back, curling his body against Sherlock’s.

Sherlock’s arms fell instinctively around John. Then he rotated their positions and scanned the room for the threat, the problem.

No one was there, and Sherlock could see nothing unusual. The bed was made. No doubt there was more linen in the cupboard.

“John?”

“It doesn’t smell like us,” whimpered John. Then he cursed, jerked out of Sherlock’s embrace, and stomped toward the bed. “Fuck me. I’m an idiot, Sherlock! It’s this bloody heat! What kind of person would prefer a filthy bed to a clean one? This is madness! It’s fucking madness that I hate the way this bed smells! It makes me want to retch.”

Sherlock frowned.

This was new. And it proved that John was, by far, the most sensitive Omega Sherlock had ever met, though, voicing that observation would do nothing to soothe John or remedy the stress of the situation.

John tore off the towel and threw himself on the bed, then crawled beneath the covers.

“I’m tired,” he snapped. “I suppose a nap is allowed?”

“Of course. The first sleep is always the longest and deepest one. There’s a second sleep and even a third for some clients.”

John moved to one side of the bed and rolled so that he was facing the door. He threw a hand behind him and flips the covers down.

An angry invitation, nevertheless, Sherlock let his towel fall to the floor and slid between the sheets.

“You’re the Big Spoon,” said John as Sherlock nestled behind him. "Of course, you are."

Sherlock thought, well, hoped, the wryness in John’s voice might turn into a laugh. But no, the next words were hoarse and almost child-like.

“You’ll stay until I fall asleep?”

The question was a very thin blade inserted with surgical precision between Sherlock’s fourth and fifth ribs.

Normally, the first sleep would be when he would walk to the panel by the door and change his status in the Centre system from Occupied to Occupied/Available. Then he could be assigned an additional client. It would never be a wholly new client like John. It would be an Omega whose heat schedule was both well-documented in the Centre archives as well as compatible with that of the Omega that he was currently servicing. Once assigned, Sherlock would shower according to Centre protocol and proceed to the designated room.   He’d go back and forth and sometimes even accept a third client.

John looked over his shoulder.

Sherlock nodded. “I won’t leave,” he promised.

“You’re losing money,” said John, turning back to look Sherlock in the eye. “I wouldn’t blame you.”

There were practical considerations. Sherlock had no way of knowing when John would wake and for an Omega to wake during a heat without an Alpha was the very definition of failure, as well as immediate unemployment, at the Farm. And John was distressed by the scent of clean sheets, Sherlock did not want to think about how he’d react if he somehow—despite all the precautions that might be taken—he noted the scent of another Omega in heat on Sherlock.

No Omega had ever noticed before but…

“I’m serious, Sherlock.”

“I don’t like repeating myself, John.”

Sherlock winced. John’s moods were affecting him. They ought not to affect him. He was the Alpha stud. He pressed his lips between John’s shoulders and whispered, “I’m sorry.”

“S’okay,” said John. Then he yawned.

Twice it seemed that John was falling asleep only to startle himself awake. At the second stream of grunts and slurred oaths and frustrated sighs, Sherlock said,

“John, there are things that might help.”

“Such as?”

Sherlock rifled through his Mind Palace. “Scenting?”

“Too tired.”

“I could scent you.”

Sherlock held his breath. He wanted to scent John. Badly. And wanting to scent John was the very definition of misbehaving, but if it helped John, another voice argued, relax, rest, restore his body’s resources?

Then it was for science!

It was a mistake, sometimes a fatal one, to believe one’s own hubris.

But.

“Yeah,” grunted John.

Hurrah!

Sherlock pressed his body even tighter to John’s, then he draped one arm over John’s torso and curled the other arm under his head. He nuzzled the nape of John’s neck, his shoulder, including the bandage, and his upper back.

The touch of a nose or dry lips to one specific spot on John’s neck, Sherlock noted, resulted in a delicious quiver of John’s flesh. Sherlock, of course, tested this hypothesis thrice before he pressed wet lips to that spot, an act which resulted something even more suggestive, that is, John bending his knee and reaching a hand back to grab at Sherlock’s thigh.

“Sherlock?”

“Mm?” Sherlock kept kissing the spot.

“A good night fuck…”

“…might be just what the doctor ordered.”

John giggled sleepily. “Fuck me, you bastard. That’s an order.”

Sherlock smiled and slid his cock into John’s dripping cunt. He rocked their bodies together slowly, lazily and kissed John’s neck from the shell of his ear to his pulse.

But no further.

Kiss. Not lick.

Sherlock would not lick. He wanted to lick, of course, he did, but he would not lick because right there, right there, on the ridge of John’s left shoulder was the skin that covered his scent gland.

It was a landmine, and Sherlock gave it an appropriately wide berth.

No bonding.

Not even a hint of bonding.

But there were other features that could be of interest.

Sherlock brushed John’s nipple with his thumb.

John covered Sherlock’s hand with his and dragged Sherlock’s hand to the right side of his chest, the side tucked against the bed.

Sherlock repeated the caress. John hummed.

Sherlock’s gaze alit on John’s bandage.

Of course, the injury to John’s shoulder had affected the nerves on his left side. His right side would be much more sensitive!

“There’s always something,” he muttered as he teased John’s nipple. He offered his thumb and fingertips for John’s licking and resumed his ministrations with wet digits.

“Yeah. Harry’s short for Harriet,” groaned John.

A sister! A sister!

Behave, Alpha. And would you please get on with it?

Sherlock drew his attention away from deductions and John’s pleasantly pebbled bud and back to the most important business, namely, the fucking.

He settled into an unhurried pumping, in, out, in out, meant to provide just enough of mingled scent and just enough Alpha presence to lull John to sleep. Their positions allowed for only a partial sheathing of Sherlock’s prick with every thrust. Most of Sherlock was more than all of most Alphas, but it was soon clear that most of Sherlock was not enough. At least for John.

“More,” murmured John. “All of you, gorgeous.” He reached a hand back and grabbed clumsily at Sherlock, as if to pull Sherlock closer, curl Sherlock’s lower body tighter around him.

Sherlock’s heart fluttered at the endearment, at the thought that any lover, genuine lover, of John’s might be strewn with all kinds of epithets during love-making, but then practical matters overwhelmed.

“I’ll have to mount you, John.”

Sherlock did not know if having an Alpha’s full weight pressing upon him, pinning him to the bed, would be distressing.

“Mm. S’okay.”

Sherlock rolled John beneath him. John’s body clenched feebly ‘round Sherlock’s prick.

John turned his head and whined,

“I’m so tired, Sherlock. I can’t…”

“It’s okay, John.” Sherlock licked—the right side of John’s neck, naturally—in feral manner, long swipes that overlapped like braided rope. “Sleep. When you wake, we’ll have a nice, long, filthy fuck, I promise.”

With these words, Sherlock’s body tensed, his hips bucked, and his prick gushed, pumping slow, thick rivulets into John.

“Fuck, yeah,” mumbled John. “Piss that come into me.”

Sherlock chuckled and kissed John’s cheek as the muscles twitched in a half-smile. “Very filthy.”

Sherlock pulled out and sat back. John rolled, twisting until he was facing Sherlock, propped up on one arm. He reached for Sherlock with the other arm, curling it around Sherlock’s neck.

Then he kissed Sherlock.

It was not the first time that an Omega had kissed Sherlock during a heat, but it was the first time that Sherlock had responded with more passion than professionalism.

He kissed John back.

Softly. Tenderly.

John was so tired, yet at least part of him was fighting sleep so violently.

Sleep, John.

And as if he could hear the words, John ruffled Sherlock’s hair, then crumpled back to the bed with eyes closed.

“When I wake up, we’re going to have a nice, long, filthy snog, Sherlock—If it’s allowed?”

Sherlock grinned. “It’s not against Centre protocol.”

John snorted. “I’m more concerned about Holmes protocol.”

Oh, John.

Sherlock bit his lip, then said hoarsely, “That either.”

“Good.”


Sherlock cleaned them both, then he resumed his place, the Big Spoon, behind a sleeping John. He thought about going to the wardrobe to get his mobile.

Check the news. Maybe there was more on that suicide.

Maybe something else interesting.

Maybe he’d think about John, try to deduce the topography of his scar.

Maybe he’d…

Maybe…

Chapter Text

Sherlock dreamt that he was drowning.

Not in water. In something thick and vile.

In drains. In sewage.

He fought his way to the surface and when he finally emerged, he realised that he was ill.

Violently ill.

He opened his eyes, blurred by tears, and felt the tell-tale clutch of his stomach. He grabbed the pillow beneath his head and threw it on the floor. Then he leaned off the bed and vomited. A bottle’s worth of Italian tonic water and a certain portion of bile splattered onto the pillow.

Like a near-drowned man dragged to shore, Sherlock coughed. And sputtered. And breathed deep, ragged breaths. And heaved again.

A noise.

Oh, God.

John!

John’s voice was far away, hollow. John’s movements were vague.

One of them was in the bottom of a barrel, one was not. Sherlock couldn’t say which was which.

“John?”

It was a syllable, but hardly recognizable, even to Sherlock’s own ears. He lifted his head and turned towards John and—

WHAM!

Knuckles connected with Sherlock’s face.


Stunned by the blow, Sherlock fell back and lost his balanced and toppled off the bed.

John cried out and fled.

It took a few moments for Sherlock to cry his vision clear and realise that John was on the other side of the room, tucked beneath the counter by the pipes to the washbasin.

Fear.

Of course.

The smell of John’s fear.

Sherlock was drowning in it. And it was making him sick.

Well, there was nothing for it. He had to swim against the current.

Sherlock found the towel he’d discarded after the shower and kept it to his mouth, then he moved closer to John, trying to keep his body under control.

“John?” he gurgled. It still sounded like a noise, not a name.

John was curled toward the wall, his back to Sherlock.

Sherlock should have call for help. But he didn’t.

He wracked his Mind Palace, then went to his own kit and found John’s. When he had both their mobiles in hand, he turned them on and slid John’s to him. Then he settled on the floor a few steps from where John was huddled.

John.

Beep.

Please tell me how to help.

Beep.

On the second beep, John picked up the phone and tapped.

Sorry Sorry I’m

Ok. You did what everyone who has ever met me has wanted to do at some point or other.

Sherlock brought his fingers to his cheek and winced. There would be a bit of swelling, but a bruise was unlikely. The nausea, however, had to stop, or he would have to call for assistance—for himself.

Nightmare?

Yes

Afghanistan?

Kennel

“Oh, fuck,” breathed Sherlock.

John woke up, you smelt an Alpha, was confused, thought he was at an Army centre.

I won’t hurt

Sherlock shuddered, then retched into the towel.

Ill?

Your fear

John turned his head and frowned.

Finally, the stench was lifting. Sherlock’s stomach began to relax. He sighed.

“Believe it or not, your fear makes me ill. I can smell it. It’s awful. Much, much worse than decomposing flesh on a hot summer’s day. I don’t understand it either, John. I’ve not had this reaction before. I am certain it will make someone a fine grant proposal one day, but for the moment, I’d just like it to go away.”

He held John’s gaze as gently as he could and tapped his mobile.

What do you need, John?

Without looking down, John replied.

Tbeh fuged

The change in John’s scent required no interpretation or auto-correct. Sherlock laid his mobile aside and welcomed John into his arms.

John crawled into Sherlock’s lap, then crawled atop his cock.

They were twined together on the floor, Sherlock’s back against the side of bed, John bouncing gently on his knees.

Sherlock reached and hit a button on the bed.

“So that’s where the lube comes from!” cried John. “I thought it was a sleight of hand.”

“I’ve been called a magician, John,” said Sherlock wryly, “but so far I haven’t had to resort to lube-conjuring tricks.”

“Well, you do have one hell of a distraction,” said John, leaning in for a kiss. Then he drew back and glanced at Sherlock’s eye.

“I’m sorry, Sherlock. If it costs you clients…”

Sherlock shook his head dismissively. “I’ll wear a mask if I have to, some Omegas even might prefer it that way, but I think,” that is, I hope, “we have another day at least, John. When the heat allows, I’ll put some ice on it.”

“It’s difficult to fight nature and nurture,” said John. “The Omega and the doctor are both concerned. The shell-shocked soldier is just ashamed.”

“No shame, please, not with me. And I empathise. The dilemma is mutual. The Alpha inside me wants to pummel,” that is, murder by extraordinarily ingenious and painful means, “the Alphas who hurt you.”

John clenched.

Sherlock stroked John’s cock.

They came together.  

At once, John began to scent Sherlock, rubbing his face, nose and cheeks and lips, along Sherlock’s neck. Sherlock sighed and returned the gestures whenever John paused, not caring now which side of John’s body he touched as long as he did not lose the blissful skin-on-skin contact.

And then they kissed. And John’s hands went to Sherlock’s hair.

Sherlock bit his lip.

“I thought the researchers wanted vocalisations. Or is it just mine?” John teased.

Sherlock snorted.

“Just because you’re the King of Beasts doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a scratch behind the ears once in a while, Sherlock.”

Sherlock snorted again, but when John resumed his petting, he let out a long, low, rumbly purr of contentment. He grabbed John’s arse, then bent his own knees until his feet were flat on the floor.

He thrust up and came in much the same way as when he’d been trying to soothe John to sleep: with slow, long streams of come.

“Oh, yeah,” sighed John, throwing his head back and rocking against Sherlock. “Can you, uh, control the, uh, well, the force of the, uh…”

“No.”

“Oh, well, it’s all good.”

John rolled his hips. It was awkward, and evidently a bit unsatisfying, for John grunted, then gripped Sherlock’s arms tightly and rolled again.

“Damn. I can’t get it just right…”

“John, let me help.” Sherlock moved his hands to John’s shoulders and as he thrust up with his hips, he pushed John’s body down upon his prick.

John’s fingernails dug into Sherlock’s skin, but Sherlock didn’t mind in the least.  He was too distract watching John was ejaculate his own lovely streams of come—without so much as a finger on his handsome prick.

“Fuck, yeah. Oh my God. That’s never happened before. You’re the—oh, shit, I’m sorry, Sherlock.”

Sherlock followed John’s gaze.

Oh, the bandage.

“Not a problem.” Sherlock waited until John looked him in the face, then he raised an inquiring eyebrow and glanced pointedly at the ripped bandage.

John nodded, with a smile. Then he tore the rest of the bandage and peeled it off Sherlock’s arm.

“Ha, ha, HA!”

John collapsed against Sherlock, giggling.

“Are you a fan of popular music of the 1980s, John?”

“Not as much as you, apparently!”

John looked down, studying the tattoo. “Wow, wow, wow,” he said slowly.

Sherlock quickly lifted John up and off his cock. He dragged two fingers through the emissions that dripped from John’s cunt, then smeared them on John’s chest.

John closed his eyes instinctively.

Sherlock repeated the gesture, watching John’s delicious shudders as he inhaled their scent.

“Is a bit of musical accompaniment against protocol?” asked John, with his eyes still shut.

“Neither the Centre’s nor the Holmes’s. Any requests?”

“Well, given that,” John cracked one eye at the tattoo, “and the fact you do have pretty eyes and a pirate smile…”

“Done.”

Sherlock eased John off his lap and found his mobile.

In a few moments, they had cleaned themselves and relocated to the bed, John in Sherlock’s lap, Sherlock sitting up against the wall, and, per John’s insistence, a very loud crooning penetrating the pheromone-soaked ether,

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band…

Sherlock made to ease John back on his cock, but John placed his hands flat on Sherlock’s chest and shook his head.

Then just as the song was crescendoing to the rousing chorus, John licked his thumb and rubbed Sherlock’s tattoo, brought his lips to Sherlock’s ear and whispered,

“I’d much rather see the real you, Sherlock, track marks and all, than Sir Elton.”

Sherlock stared. John pulled back and smiled.

“How?” Sherlock mouthed.

John shrugged, then leaned back in to whisper,

“Doctor. And you stink when you lie. Show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”

John had to know. He had to know that--

"Clean," Sherlock mouthed.

"I know."


They fucked, maybe even twice, but Sherlock only remembered John’s words:

You stink when you lie.

Show me yours, I’ll show you mine.

I know.

Afterwards, John led Sherlock back to the bathroom and while he stood, fussing over Sherlock’s eye, Sherlock sat on the lidded toilet and, with a homemade solvent from his kit, scrubbed his arm.

John nodded at the marked expanse of skin, then offered Sherlock his shoulder.

His bandaged shoulder.

Sherlock could barely contain his excitement as he removed John’s dressing. And when the mangled flesh was finally on display, he did not stifle a gasp.

“Extraordinary!”

John laughed.

How? How could Sherlock be allowed to study this? Here, now? He needed time!

Sherlock looked up. “Hungry?”

John tilted his head. “Yeah, actually. Starved.”

Sherlock looked at his mobile. “It’s after 2 o’clock in the morning. Good. Chinese?”

“Yeah, sounds great. And lots of it.”

“By the way, never order the Chinese here before 2 a.m., John.”

“Wait, 2 o’clock, that means,” John frowned, “even with the nightmare, we slept—”

“Over eight hours.”

John whistled. “Wow. I haven’t slept that long in ages.”

“Neither have I,” Sherlock admitted.


“One more, Sherlock.”

A dumpling.

On the end of a pair of chopsticks.

Sherlock ate it but kept his eyes on John’s scar.

His mind was whirring with all the possibilities, trying to recreate, in detail, what had happened.

Bullet. Caliber. Gun. Fired from what distance. From what angle. The way John’s body would’ve fallen. Initial damage. Subsequent infection. Pattern of the scar tissue.

Another dumpling appeared in his peripheral vision. Sherlock stubbornly shook his head at it.

This, John’s scar, was far more interesting than dim sum! And time was running out!

“Eat,” ordered John.

Sherlock ate, thinking, positing to himself, refuting himself, as he chewed.

He couldn’t make any observations aloud, of course; it would go into the record. And John, taking his cues from Sherlock or perhaps due to that odd heat-related telepathy, didn’t offer any information.

Sherlock’s was a silent study, John’s a silent dinner.

With his most probable scenario complete, Sherlock sighed in frustration. There was nothing for it. He would have to wait until…

Behave, Alpha. There was no ‘until.’

But when…

There was no ‘when’!

Well, if Sherlock ever saw John again, by complete accident, then John could confirm what Sherlock had concluded about the circumstances which led to his scar.

It was the saddest thought in Sherlock’s Mind Palace.

And so distracted was Sherlock by that sad thought that he offered nary a protest when John fed him the last three dumplings. He watched John scrape his own plate clean. They split a bottle of Pellegrino, and the familiar bite of the fizzy water brought Sherlock back to his role.

“Sorry,” he whispered, folding the sides of his robe fastidiously. “Where were we?”

“You’re not sorry,” said John, wrinkling his nose.

You stink when you lie.

John smelt Sherlock’s deceit. Sherlock gagged on John’s fear. What a pair they were!  This heat was, far and away, the oddest that Sherlock had ever experienced.

John leaned forward and kissed Sherlock’s forehead. “In a few minutes, I’ll not be able to avoid the elephant in the room.” He shot a glance at Sherlock’s crotch.

Sherlock nodded. “Well-rested, that is, long-rested, at least, well-fed—”

“Yes, you were right about the Chinese. It was quite good.”

“—what’s next, John?”

Sherlock’s sorrow over the scar vaporised in the heat of John’s wicked, wicked grin.

“Well-fucked, my dear Alpha.”

Chapter Text

When he’d passed the dinner tray through the chute, John threw off his robe, turned, and launched himself into Sherlock’s lap. He sank down on Sherlock’s prick and looked over Sherlock’s shoulder, down Sherlock’s back as Sherlock carefully got to his feet.

John locked his ankles at Sherlock’s waist. He ran his hands down the smooth expanse skin on either side of Sherlock’s spine, then back up the slope of his neck to his soft dark curls.

Sherlock cradled John’s arse in his arms and carried him, their lower bodies linked, to the bed.

Step, step, step. John jiggled and lurched along, clutching at Sherlock with his whole body out of necessity as much as everything else.

Nevertheless, Sherlock’s breath was ragged pants in John’s ear when he finally bent forward to lay John on the mattress.

It was strange how Sherlock, someone who John suspected, apart from well-compensated versions of gigs like this one, went out of his way to show the world he didn’t need anyone or anything, was so affected by John’s clinging and clenching.

Pheromones, John supposed. Nothing like ‘em. Made a right needy Doctor Jekyll out of the most aloof Mister Hyde.

Sherlock carefully hooked John’s legs over his shoulders.

John smiled.

Yes, let’s go back to the beginning and do it all over again. It. And a bit more.  

Sherlock laced the fingers of both his hands in John’s as he settled into a steady rhythm of thrusting into John’s cunt.

John brought one set of twined fingers to his mouth and kissed the back of Sherlock’s hand affectionately.

And what a big jungle cat he was, this Alpha, what with the petting and purring. And John, if he was brutally honest with himself, enjoyed feeding Sherlock dumplings far more than he should have. Outside the doors, John did a piss poor job of taking care of himself and yet here he was, practically gagging to take care of this Alpha.

Pheromones.

Singular.

That was the word for it. This was a singular encounter.

And the most singular element of this singular encounter was this creature, this Alpha, looming over John, with those grey eyes.

Gorgeous, yes, and expressive, too.

Haughty, concerned, keen. Heat-smitten.

John kissed Sherlock’s knuckles, then returned their joined hands to his side. He clenched around Sherlock’s prick, and Sherlock came in short, hot spurts. Soon, Sherlock’s nice wet fist was stroking John through his own orgasm.

Sherlock pulled out of John, but still loomed overhead. His stare might have been disconcerting if John hadn’t an inkling of just how massive Sherlock’s brain was.

The gorgeous git could go ahead and study John all he wanted. And John would be obliged he’d let John know if he discovered anything in the way of interesting. John certainly hadn’t. Not of late, anyway.

John could almost see the thin curl of smoke issuing from Sherlock’s ears as the many-geared machine of his intellect whirred.

What was he thinking?

It struck John, quite suddenly: he’s thinking of how to kiss me.

Any way you want, John wanted to say, but didn’t. He was many, many things, but impatient had never made the list.

Sherlock liked to figure things out. John would let him.

Sherlock lowered his head, bit by bit by bit. And John could almost feel the kiss before any lips even brushed his.


Ah.

Now that was a first kiss. It was—

“Perfect,” said John.

One corner of Sherlock’s mouth twitched. Then his gaze cooled, and he shrugged.

“Naturally, John.”

“Git.”

John sprang.

And when the sheets and limbs settled, Sherlock was on his back, beneath John, with his hands over his head, his wrists pinned to the bedding.

They grinned at each.

“You surprise me, John. I haven’t quite got your depths.”

“I think you’ve plundered my depths quite well, actually.”

Sherlock snorted.

“You underestimate Omegas, Sherlock. Everyone does.”

“I did.”

John kept one hand on Sherlock’s wrists and brought the other to Sherlock’s jaw, which he gripped hard.

“Stay?”

Sherlock nodded.

John kissed him. “Good.”

Then John proceeded to make love to Sherlock’s torso, nuzzling and licking and kissing and biting Sherlock’s nipples and the planes of his stomach and the ridges of made by his ribs. John buried his nose in Sherlock’s armpits, breathing in Alpha scent so strong that his cunt clenched frenziedly around emptiness and streams ran down his thighs.

“John, John, John.”

Sherlock tapped John’s back and shoulders.

“Yeah,” agreed John. “Too much. Need you. Now.”

John straddled Sherlock backwards and impaled himself without preamble, and as hoped, Sherlock’s prick rubbed his sweet spot on its ascent.

“FUCK! That’s it!” exclaimed John. He squeezed his eyes shut as he climaxed.

Hands were kneading John’s buttocks. A lovely, lubed finger was worming its way into his arse, headed, no doubt, straight for John’s second-most sensitive spot.

“Yeah,” said John, grinning. “Oh, oh!”

Make that two lovely, lubed fingers.

John opened his eyes and looked over his shoulder.

The glint in those grey eyes was nothing short of predatory.

“You stretch so beautifully, John.”

If Sherlock wanted to flirt, John would flirt.

John rolled his hips, lifted his arse slightly and wiggled. Sherlock advanced his fingers until—

“FUCK!”

John fell back forward, bouncing on prick and digits until pleasure overwhelmed him.


“Come here, John.”

Sherlock’s tone was hard and impatient, as if he was repeating himself but John was certain that he hadn’t heard anything since his world had gone blank. He cracked one eye. The Omega wanted to comply, after all, it was an Alpha’s command, but John couldn’t figure out where he was, or where Sherlock was.

Were those knees? Shins? Leg-part-somethings. But were they John’s legs or Sherlock’s?

Sherlock’s. Too long and lean to be John’s.

In the midst of puzzling all this out, strong hands gripped John’s by the waist. John’s arms flailed. He sputtered in a cartoonish fashion as he was shoved forward then was dragged backwards.

“Sherlock?!”

Muck poured from John’s cunt. He was painting Sherlock’s beautiful body with it. It looked, to be honest, a bit foul, especially Sherlock’s pretty nipples all smeared with—

“FU-U-CK!”

Sherlock’s tongue was in John’s arse.

Of course, it was.

John was practically sitting on his face.

Sherlock had sat John on his face because he knew—

“Fuckity-fuck-fuck!” shouted John as Sherlock licked and teased.

—how much John liked it. No other reason. This wasn’t the heat, not directly, at any rate.

“Sherlock, for science, my arse!” cried John, thumping Sherlock’s chest for emphasis.

That prompted a pause, followed by what sounded like a cackle, but when Sherlock resumed his ministrations, John fell forward.

Onto Sherlock’s prick.

John licked. And licked. Not the prickhead, which was closer his chin, but rather the shaft.

Their scent, their flavour was the glorious part. The rest, that is, the act itself was awkward and clumsy, and John felt a bit stupid, but if Sherlock was registering a fraction of John’s pleasure, well, it was worth it. And, who knew, maybe the intimacy of it would matter. And maybe if John angled his head just-so and stretched his neck very long, then maybe could reach—

But, no.

Pheromones made John flexible, but not elastic!

Time to change tactics.

John rolled toward the edge of the bed.

“John?”

John filled both hands with lube, then shifted back. Then he sat up a little and began to stroke Sherlock’s shaft with one hand and fondle his bollocks with the other. The way Sherlock’s legs fell open like flower petals in the morning sun and the way he did not resume his licking of John’s arse told John everything he needed to know.

Too distracted.

“I see. This is how you do it when you’re by yourself. One hand on this monstrous prick, one hand playing with these, these, these,” John chanted he gently squeezed and caressed Sherlock’s sacs.

Sherlock groaned something unintelligible.

“Tell me, Sherlock, and it had better be the truth. I’ll know If it isn’t. Is this it, isn’t it? This is how you take care of yourself when rich Omegas aren’t available and that supercomputer brain of yours needs a re-set?”

“Yes,” breathed Sherlock. “Just like that.”

Sherlock lifted his hips allowing the hand that was cupping his bollocks to travel along his perineum. John teased Sherlock’s rim with a wet fingertip as he sped up his stroking of Sherlock’s prick.

John’s muscles worked hard. His skin erupted in a new shine of sweat.

Sherlock was gripping John’s thighs and moaning. Finally, his body lurched.

“John!”

John angled Sherlock’s prick. A bit of the spray landed on John directly, most dribbled on his hand. Instinctively, he slapped his own chest, smearing Sherlock’s emissions onto his skin.

“Come here, John.”


John didn’t trust his eyes.

At this very moment, Sherlock’s gorgeous lips were spread around John’s prick. Two of Sherlock’s fingers were buried in John’s arse. John was fucking Sherlock’s mouth and in a minute, or quite possibly less, he’d be coming down Sherlock’s throat.

Sherlock’s eyes were closed, his expression one of rapt concentration.

John was petting Sherlock’s head, vowing to himself that as soon as he did come down Sherlock’s throat, he would bury his nose in Sherlock’s hair.

But how on earth had they got here, to this most singular tableau?

Sherlock had put John here, with claw-like hands and baritone commands.

John hadn’t wanted to protest, and the Omega in him hadn’t dared. And, after all, why should he protest?

Sherlock was sucking his prick, eagerly, wantonly. He was bobbing up and down as tiny trails of spittle trickled from the corners of his mouth.

It was good. Wonderful, in fact.

But it was so, so…

Unnecessary? Unprecedented? Unconventional?

John gave up. He couldn’t find the word in his muddled heat-brain. But, definitely, it started with un-.

As in un-fucking-believable.

John trembled when the two long, elegant fingers inside him began to thrust. He stilled his movements, simply to savour the feeling of Sherlock, in John, around him; to steep himself in their fragrance, hideously ripe, heinously delicious, which enveloped the room like a heavy curtain.

Like that, like that, like that.

John liked it.

Like that.

John began to thrust in and out of Sherlock’s mouth at the very rhythm that Sherlock’s fingers were moving in and out of John’s arse.

Fuck me, fuck me, finger me, suck me.

Like that.

And like that, John came.

And collapsed.

John thought he heard spitting as he slid down Sherlock’s body. He gathered Sherlock’s hair in two hands, pressed his face to the sweaty tendrils and inhaled.

The scent went straight to the core of John.

“Please, please, please, Sherlock.”

“I’ve got you, John.”

John threw his head back and sighed with relief as Sherlock peppered kisses along John’s neck.

And then those hands, those beautiful, strong hands, were lifting John and that prick, that monstrous, glorious prick, was filling him.

Just what he’d been begging for.

John whimpered and shuddered and came, tiny flutter after tiny flutter of pleasure.

As the quiet and, to John’s lust-fogged mind, unceasing ripples coursed through his body, he was gripped by the feral, faintly ridiculous notion that he must, in the very instant, rub his whole body—face, chest, limbs—against Sherlock.

He desired no clothing but Sherlock’s body, no warmth but that provided by the blood pumping through Sherlock’s arteries, no air but Sherlock’s breath.

He writhed. And grunted with frustration when it seemed that he could not, by some alchemy, meld himself to Sherlock.

“Please tell me I’m not alone in this madness,” he said, finally.

“I just sucked my first Omega cock. What do you think, John?”

Omega cock.

The words were the crack and the sting of a very old whip on John’s skin.

He flinched. And opened his eyes.

Pleasure, madness vanished.

“John, I didn’t mean—”

John lifted himself off Sherlock’s cock. “It’s all right.”

“It’s not all right. I am a prick. I say prickish things all the time. I don’t want to say them to you, especially about that. The truth is I’ve been thinking about your cock since you undressed.”

It was the truth. John could smell it.

Nevertheless, this round, John had lost count of how many had passed since the beginning, was over.

Time for a bit of hygiene and housekeeping, then.

“You look a fright, Sherlock.”

“As do you.”

“A wash?”

Sherlock nodded. He was silent for a long moment, then said in a quiet voice, “I might, that is, it would be a great kindness if you could see your way to, that is, would you help me, John, with the wash, my wash.”

John frowned, but nodded. Of course, he would. What was Sherlock about?

Before an answer could form in John’s mind, he was distracted by the state of the bed.

“Uh, Sherlock, I want to take care of the linen ourselves.”

“I will murder anyone who enters,” said Sherlock, his trembling finger pointing towards the door.

Wow. That was truth, too.

John gently cupped Sherlock’s face in his hands and whispered,

“I’m not alone in this madness, am I, Sherlock?”

Sherlock shook his head, his eyes filling with tears. “I’m sorry, John. I am not behaving. I am finding it quite to difficult to navigate these waters. And, by the way, again I apologise for what I said.  Your cock is—”

“Yeah, it’ll do.” John grinned. “Listen, Sherlock, you know being an Omega in heat isn’t all about self-lubricating orifices. I mean, it’s mostly about that, but there’s also an instinct to take care of your heat partner—”

“We’re partners?”

“Of course, we are. We’re in this together, aren’t we?”

Sherlock smiled a small smile. John continued in the same low, casual tone.

“So why not indulge me, Sherlock, let me take care of you for a bit. You know, get the stink off of us, change the sheets, have a sip or two of water, rest up.  Then I am quite certain the self-lubricating orifice will make its demands known. It would be a great help, Sherlock, if you’d let me do that. Just take care of you, for a bit.”

Sherlock looked away and nodded and said in a voice much more like his own, “If it will help, I suppose.”

“It will help me feel as if I am contributing to the welfare of the Alpha who’s taking care of me during my most vulnerable period.” John could almost see Sherlock returning to himself. “Please, Sherlock,” he added.

“Oh, very well,” said Sherlock with a long dramatic sigh.

John watched as Sherlock rose, stretched, and strode languidly toward the bathroom. “But do be quick about it.”

John shook his head and smiled.

Singular. 

And a bit of a bastard.

Chapter Text

Truth.

John said he could smell Sherlock’s lies.

It was too singular a claim not to test.

Sherlock had willingly given himself over to John’s care, and while John’s hands were about Sherlock, soaping and lathering and rubbing and rinsing and while the cascade of the shower roared, Sherlock leaned into John and whispered,

“My brother’s name is Aloysius.”

“My brother’s name is Mycroft.”

“My brother’s name is Sherringford.”

John huffed. “Your poor parents. Sherlock and Mycroft. Now, turn.”

There was only one word for it.

Extraordinary.


Partner.

“We’re partners?”

“Of course, we are. We’re in this together, aren’t we?”

If Sherlock were John’s partner, in any less provisional sense than this one, then this, this Sherlock resting his head in John’s lap while John stroked Sherlock’s hair, might be a regular fixture of life.

And what a world that would be.

But Sherlock couldn’t allow himself to think about that world.

He had to focus on the next few hours.

John had been, well, was quite wonderful, but he was the client. Sherlock was the professional.

Some professional!

Suck a man’s cock. Insult a man’s cock. Have a bit of a fit about it all and threaten to murder the housekeeping staff.

Splendid. Gold star, Machine.

With any luck, the blessed heat amnesia would wipe the memory of it. Perhaps a bit of unauthorised editing of the research archives was in Sherlock’s future, too.

“I don’t want to forget you, Sherlock.”

Sherlock turned his head sharply.

How did he do that?!

John smiled down at him. “Pheromones.’

Sherlock sighed.

Who needed the Science of Deduction when there were pheromones?

But then John resumed his stroking of Sherlock’s hair, and nothing else mattered.


“I want you to have the best heat of your life, John.”

“Done.”

“You don’t know that. The rest might be rubbish. I might suck your cock, insult your cock, have a bit of a fit about it, then murder a housekeeper.”

John laughed. “I won’t let you murder a housekeeper, Sherlock, but even if the rest came true, it still wouldn’t make it rubbish.” He took a deep breath. “But isn’t it more likely that you’ll apply that Bodleian-sized brain of yours to the matter and we’ll both have a lovely time?”

“Agreed. Far more probable.”

And imminent, given John’s thickening scent and its effect on Sherlock.

Sherlock untied his robe as he sat up. He turned to face John, who’d also untied his robe and pulled the two sides apart.

Their eyes met.

John hid nothing. Sherlock could watch, breath by breath, as lust rolled in like storm clouds on the horizon.

“I’m taking care of you now,” said Sherlock.

John nodded and licked his lips.

Sherlock lowered himself in a reptilian fashion, throwing his lower body behind him and propping himself up on hands carefully positioned on either side of John. Then, touching no other part of John, he put his lips to John’s right nipple.

“Fuck,” John sighed, caressing both sides of Sherlock’s head.

Sherlock swirled the tip of his tongue around the nub, then flicked it. He sucked, then licked with a wide, flat tongue. Every movement was slow and precise. And repeated.

Sherlock stopped and looked up and puckered his lips. John kissed him.

“You’re gorgeous,” he breathed.

Warmth rose in Sherlock’s cheeks. John brushed Sherlock’s hair from his forehead and kissed him again, this time, Sherlock’s whole face, lips, cheeks, the tip of Sherlock’s nose, his eyelids.

Sherlock looked down at the growing wet spot in the bedding beneath John. He bent his head and opened his mouth.

John spread his legs and lifted his hips.

“Fuck.”

As with John’s nipple, Sherlock swirled his tongue around John’s prickhead and teased the slit. He sucked, then pulled off and licked with the shaft with broad, flat swipes.

John’s fingers were still in Sherlock’s hair, his nails scratching Sherlock’s scalp, his palms cradling Sherlock’s head as Sherlock took more and more of John. Sherlock bobbed and suckled.

John warned, “Sherlock, I am going to—”

Sherlock hummed.

John thrust and came.

Sherlock spit the viscous mess into a fistful of robe, then said,

"Time for the chair.”


‘The chair’ was, at first glance, simply a modern-looking armchair that had been abandoned in the farthest corner of the room, but Sherlock saw the light of recognition in John’s eyes when he drew it beside the bed.  Sherlock threw off his robe, sat down, and motioned for John to join him.

Leaving his robe behind on the bed, John hurried into Sherlock’s lap.

“It bounces!” he cried. His legs hung on either side of Sherlock, his feet rested on the floor. He pushed up and they rose together. “How much research went into this, Sherlock? It’s perfect.”

“A fair bit,” Sherlock admitted. “Are you ready, John?”

John eyed Sherlock’s prick. “When I sink down on you, it’s going to rub against—”

“In all likelihood, you will come at once.”

“Fuck, yeah, I will.” He began to position himself accordingly.

“But John.”

John stopped.

“I am going to fuck you,” said Sherlock evenly.

“I think that’s the point of this whole enterprise, princess.”

Sherlock blushed at the endearment, but quickly recovered.

“I am not going to stop fucking you, John. My plan is to keep you,” he kissed John’s scar, “in a state of continuous climax for as long as your body allows. Perhaps, say, the better part of an hour. It may be more. Or less. Who knows. You and I seem to be navigating somewhat unchartered territory.”

John’s eyes glazed. He leaned forward until his cheek rested against Sherlock’s. “Oh, Sherlock.” He began to bounce the chair lightly. “You’re going to fuck me?”

Sherlock inhaled John’s scent, which had taken on a delightfully sharp note of flirtation. Then he replied,

“Until you ask me to stop.”

“Why in the hell would I ask you to stop? Now, Sherlock, now. Need you now.”

Sherlock lifted John, positioned his cock at the entrance of John’s cunt, then let gravity—and pheromones and the springs of the chair—do the rest.

“Sherlock!”

Sherlock almost smiled as John trembled and clenched. He held John by the waist, then jerked his hips and released into John in long, slow spurts.

The way John liked best.

“Oh, fu-u-uck!” John threw his head back and grinned. “Jizz that come right into me, just like that, baby—oh, shit!”

John’s eyes went wide, and he sputtered, but Sherlock forestalled any embarrassment by biting at John’s mouth and pushing his own feet against the floor.

“You’re going to take every pissful of come I’ve got, John.”

John was pushing, too, now and together they bounced as violently as the frame of the chair allowed.

“Yeah,” whimpered John, his eyes closing. “I’m still coming, gorgeous.”

“Not hard enough,” said Sherlock. He reached toward the bed and filled a cupped hand with lube. He wet a finger to tease John’s rim, then began stroking John’s cock.

John’s eyes fluttered open once more. “You’re going to—”

Sherlock smirked. “Yes.”

John leaned in and rested his forehead against Sherlock’s.

“You fuck me so well, Sherlock.”

An obvious statement. One of many.  It shouldn’t have mattered. But it did.

Sherlock wanted to hear it again.

“Do I?” he prompted.

“Of course, you do, you gorgeous git. The way you touch me. The way you smell. The way you know, you know, oh, God, Sherlock,” John’s body vibrated, so did his voice, “Your massive prick throbbing inside me. Your finger teasing me to madness. Your sexy hand ‘round my cock. I’m still coming, you bastard.”

John ejaculated into Sherlock’s hand. Then Sherlock’s finger, the one now buried in John’s arse, twist ever so slowly. John cried out, his face contorted. And Sherlock’s prick released, once more, into John’s cunt.

“I think you can take another load, John,” said Sherlock as he wiped his hand on the nearest bit of bedding. Then he leaned up, the better to lick at John’s neck, earlobe, and clavicle.

“Oh, oh, oh,” gasped John as they bounced more slowly. He shuddered through another wave of pleasure, then wiped his face with his hand.  He cupped Sherlock’s jaw and stared, his whole aspect hardening. “I can take everything you can give, Sherlock,” he said in a low voice.

This. This was what stoked Sherlock’s own desire most. The whimpering, the shrinking, the trembling was normal, requisite, even, given the circumstances, but this, this rising from the ashes of base biology and sparring with Sherlock like a, well, like a partner, was its own aphrodisiac.

And so strong was the distraction of Sherlock’s swelling heart and pumping nether regions that Sherlock forgot the key ingredient of sparring, well, good sparring: the element of surprise.

John grabbed Sherlock’s hair by the roots. He yanked.

The pleasure-pain hit Sherlock like a bolt of lightning.

He pinched his eyes shut. A pair of tears spilled down his cheeks.

He came. At once.

It had happened once before. A very long time ago. But this time, the Omega wasn’t letting go.

“Open your eyes, Sherlock.”

Sherlock blinked away more tears. He wasn’t certain where his hands were. Or if he had hands. He could only feel the sting of John’s grip and unyielding flavour, like a bit of metal between the teeth, of John’s command.

“If,” said John. His top lip curled in a snarl as his cunt clenching hard around Sherlock’s prick.

‘If’ needed no explanation.

“I’d have you,” John continued. Clench.

‘Have’ also was quite clear.

“If.” Clench.

If Sherlock wanted.

Sherlock might want so many things—if. But ‘if’ was a sober plan, not a heat-fueled fantasy. And ‘if’ would have to wait.

Incredibly, John tightened his already vise-like grip and pulled Sherlock’s head back further. He rose up, but kept his gaze chained to Sherlock’s.

“Are you still coming, John?” taunted Sherlock.

John smirked. “Who wouldn’t?” He released his grip on Sherlock.

At the flood of sensation, Sherlock came again. As did John.

Sherlock caressed John’s belly and kissed John’s nipples and indulged in a statement of the obvious.

“You’re too full.”

“Yeah.”

“What do you want, John?”

Sherlock watched a notion flicker across John’s face. Then he shook his head once, licked his lips, and said, “I want ‘The Fucking Machine’ to do his job.”

Sherlock smiled a half-smile. “As you wish. Bed?”

John nodded.

Come gushed from between John’s legs as he returned to the bed and, without a word, assumed the position.


They fucked. For hours.

Like this. Like that.

On the floor, with the bedding haphazardly about them. On the counter, when Sherlock poured an entire bottle of Pellegrino over John’s torso and licked him clean. John sucked Sherlock’s bollocks. Sherlock sucked John’s cock. Sherlock bent John over the table, rimmed him until John begged to be fucked, then fucked John until he begged to be rimmed.

They fucked like it was the first time. They fucked like they were posing for a textbook photograph, every textbook photograph. 

They went back to the chair. And broke it.

John crawled across the bed on hands and knees. Sherlock caught him, pinned him, and fucked him roughly. John arched into the fucking and gripped Sherlock so tightly that Sherlock momentarily loss consciousness.

When Sherlock woke, John was riding Sherlock’s cock. How long he'd been riding it, Sherlock did not know, could not deduce.

Sherlock tugged John’s prick. They both came, and John immediately, and quite comically, fell out of the saddle. He wiggled back to Sherlock, mewling,

“A sweet fuck. A sweet, slow fuck, please.”

Sherlock kissed John's pleading lips. “Turn, Little Spoon.”

John turned. Sherlock eased beside him.

“Fu-u-uck,” sighed John as Sherlock flooded him.

Sherlock sat up. John turned and reached for Sherlock. They kissed and kissed and kissed. Then, suddenly and quite clumsily, John fell against Sherlock’s chest.

Sherlock wrapped his arms around John and looked about them.

The room was a wreck. The bed was a disaster. And, Sherlock glanced at John, the Omega was fading.

“I don’t want to close my eyes, Sherlock. I’ll sleep. And then you’ll be gone.”

For once, Sherlock didn’t censor himself.

“How do you do it, John?”

“Mm?”

“Surprise me. Save me. Break the heart I don’t possess. All at once.”

John looked vaguely about them, then sighed. “Pheromones, I suppose.”

“Sleep, John,” said Sherlock, pressing his lips to John’s forehead. “That’s an order from an Alpha,” he added gently.

“Fuck you,” said John just as gently. “That’s what this Omega thinks of an Alpha’s fucking orders.” Then he crumpled back onto his side and said no more.

Sherlock cleaned them, changed the linen, and set the room to rights. Then he snuggled behind John and kissed his cheek.

“Sleep well, John.” 

Chapter Text

Sherlock did not sleep.

He watched John sleep.

And he thought.

Each Alpha had his own way of ending a session when the heat broke while the client was sleeping. Hopkins always waited until the Omega awoke and said good-bye face-to-face. Gregson never did; he left as soon as the pheromones lifted. Jones’s pattern was no pattern at all.

In the beginning, Sherlock had employed Hopkins’ strategy, but once he’d been servicing three clients and scheduling didn’t allow for it, so he’d left a polite note. He’d thought at the time that the client would consider it rude and frankly had not expected any tip at all, but to his surprise, the client had been unprecedentedly generous. The farewell note became part of Sherlock’s routine, and it seemed to work well. Sherlock supposed, and an unauthorised dip into the research files confirmed, that after the heat was over, his clients didn’t really want a reminder of what they’d just experienced. They seemed as grateful—and their gratitude was delightfully bankable—for Sherlock’s absence as his presence.

But Sherlock would be damned if he’d leave John a note!

But Centre protocol didn’t allow for long good-byes. The clock would be ticking as soon as John woke. The sooner Sherlock closed the session, the sooner he could receive a new assignment and the sooner staff could get John out the door and reassign the suite.

How to buy time? Just a bit. Enough for a proper good-bye.

But what even passed for a ‘proper good-bye’ in this place?

Sherlock did not know. All he knew was that he wanted John to see him, if only for a moment, as something other than a fucking machine.

And so, he watched John sleep. And thought.


Ah.

Sherlock knew as soon as the heat broke and estimated in seventeen minutes, John would know it, too.

Sherlock’s plan came together as he raced to the panel by the door. He placed a dining order in John’s name, checked the status roster, then sent a text to Hopkins. He showered, shaved, and groomed himself with as much care as haste allowed. He heard the single vibration of his mobile and opened the door to retrieve his suit. He dressed and by the time John began to grunt and snort, he was ready.

And when John opened his eyes, he didn’t see an Alpha stud. Or a fucking machine.

He saw Sherlock Holmes, the world’s only consulting detective.

Sherlock smoothed a fastidious hand down the front of his suit jacket.

John blinked, then nodded. He pushed himself to sitting and drew the duvet over his crotch. He looked about the room, then mumbled, “You clean up well.” He chuckled, perhaps at his own pun, wiped his eyes and snorted, rubbed the back of his neck and smiled ruefully.

“It’s a bit of a cock-up, this. If I hadn’t signed that contract, I never would have met you, but because I signed the contract—”

“I insist on a strict no-outside-contact clause for reasons—” began Sherlock.

That have always seemed good ones. Until now.

“I know, I know,” interrupted John. He sighed. “I get it. I see you again, I’m on the hook for heaps of cash I don’t have. Plus,” he grimaced, “a chair.”

Oh, John. Fuck the chair.

Beep.

Sherlock hurried to the little door in the wall and retrieved a steaming cup. “Kahwah. I took the liberty of ordering you some. I thought upon waking that an ex-serviceman such as yourself might enjoy—"

Sherlock set the cup on the table and looked over at John, who was now standing with the duvet tied about his waist. He was scowling fiercely at Sherlock.

“—a bit of Afghan tea. Centre staff pride themselves on catering to Omegas’ whims,” finished Sherlock nervously. “No?”

“Sherlock, the heat’s over!”

Which meant ‘get out.’

“Right,” said Sherlock, smoothing both hands down the sides of his jacket. “Well, I’ll just be going then—"

“But I can still smell your lies! How is that possible?”

Sherlock stopped.

He was speechless, thoughtless, motionless, but for a moment. Then he shook his head and shrugged and said honestly,

“I don’t know, John.”

John nodded. His expression calmed. He looked at his feet. “Sorry. You were trying to leave.”

“Right.”

This was it.

And there was nothing Sherlock do about it.

The last grains of sand in the hourglass were under his feet, being swept away by the tide.

Clever couldn’t stop it.

And Clever and a gigantic prick were all that Sherlock had.

John straightened his posture, looked Sherlock squarely in the eye, and extended his hand.

Ever the soldier. His voice didn’t quaver once when he said,

“Good-bye, Mister Holmes, and thank you.”

Behave, Alpha.

Shake the man’s hand, pack the Clever and the prick away, and do get on with it.

“Good-bye, Doctor Watson. The pleasure was, well, ours.”

Sherlock gave a little bow as he stepped backwards, then turned and left, closing the door softly behind him.


“Hee, hee, hee! Look at that eye! First time back in the saddle, and the Machine gets a mule-kick!  Hee-haw, hee-haw!”

Sherlock lunged at Gregson, but two very strong arms held him back.

Hopkin’s voice was in his ear.

“Don’t, Machine. Hit ‘im and you’re out and the money’s gone. Forever. Don’t whore for nothin’.”

Sherlock nodded and relaxed. Hopkins loosened his grip.

Gregson blew Sherlock a kiss and laughed and shuffled down the hall, munching an apple.

Sherlock frowned and glanced behind him. “You’ve been working out, Hopkins.”

“It’s going to be Detective Inspector Hopkins to you, one day, Machine.”

Sherlock’s eyes widened. “You got the letter?!”

Hopkins grinned and nodded. “It means I gotta opt out of the best client I got, but it’ll be worth it. Just wait. A few years and you’re going to be as big a pain in my arse as you are in Lestrade’s.”

“Bigger,” said Sherlock. “You’ve got a smaller arse. This calls for a celebration. Pellegrino?”

“You know I don’t drink that Italian shit. Punch in, we’ll talk. Money first, yeah?”

“Yeah,” said Sherlock. “Money first.” He gave the door to the suite one last glance, then tapped the screen. “What are you drinking these days, Hopkins?”

“Deduce me like one of your French Omegas, Machine,” said Hopkins in a breathy falsetto as he curled his hands behind his head.

“Coconut water?”

Hopkins snorted.

“Perrier!”

“Shot in the dark.”

“Good one, though.”


“Sign here, Doctor.”

John signed.

“That’s it. Have a good day.”

“Thank you.”

John gripped the handle of his bag and walked to the door of the suite.

“Oh, Doctor?”

John turned. “Yes?”

“Your cane.”

John stared.

His cane!

Bloody hell.

John took the cane with a word of thanks and left the room, walking slowly, steadily, evenly, painlessly, as he searched his memory for the last time he’d used it.

Sherlock had helped him to the bathroom once, but after that, John had forgot about his limp. The suite was a small space, to be certain, but nevertheless, John hadn’t needed the cane. Not once. It had been propped against the wall in the corner for the whole of the heat!

John looked down at his feet, which seemed to be having no problems carrying the rest of him along as he followed the exit signs, traversed various thresholds, and navigated a descending set of steps.


Sherlock was in his robe, wedged in the corner at the end of the hall beyond the supply closet, his cheek pressed to the window that afforded the only view of the side entrance.

His heart leapt when he saw John emerge from the doors, and his jaw dropped when he saw John tuck his cane under his arm.

Well, that was something.

“Machine, you’re up!”


John wouldn’t go back to that horrid bed-sit. Not yet. He’d buy a newspaper, take a walk in the park, breathe in some fresh air. He would sit on a bench and read and watch people and think.

Think about the very extraordinary Sherlock Holmes.

And what was next for the very ordinary Doctor Watson.

Chapter Text

“Not a blogpost, but I hope it still counts as doing my homework.”

Ella opened the file folder. “Your CV!” she exclaimed. “And this!” She made a wave with her hand. “No cane.”

“No tremour, either,” said John holding up his hand as he sat down across from her. “Not for nearly two weeks.”

“This is amazing, John! I was so relieved when I got your message. What happened with your heat?”

“I didn’t end up needing Ex-Forces services after all. An old friend called in a favour, and I spent it at Barts, the Centre for Secondary Sex Studies.”

“Ah, much more comfortable, I imagine. How did it go?”

“Very well. I don’t remember a whole lot of it,” a lie, “but the Alpha was very professional.” Also a lie, but only a partial one. “I still have a bit of trouble sleeping, but nothing like before.”

John’s sleep was now interrupted by dreams of grey eyes and soft curls and elegant hands and the sound of his own name spoken in a posh baritone.

“And now you’re looking for work?”

“Yeah, but not here. Still can’t afford London on an army pension, unfortunately,” he pressed his hands to his knees and said, “Well…”

She smiled and closed the file folder and handed it back to him.

“Keep in touch, John.”


Sometimes It was good to be a machine. Sherlock let his body service the Omega beneath him while his thoughts drifted.

One week, two weeks, three weeks.

Last week had been a good week, and the previous day, Sherlock had paid what he owed on the Montague Street flat.

But that meant he was now officially homeless. He’d divided as many of his belonging as possible between his locker here at the Farm and the one at the train station and sold or binned the rest. Earlier today, he’d visited Mrs. Hudson. He’d given her the Strad, but not the skull, as a temporary deposit on the Baker Street flat.

If Sherlock had another good week, he’d exchange his violin for cash, and since he had nowhere else to go, he’d probably have a very good week.

“Oh, oh, oh, yeah! Oh, Alpha, fuck me, fuck me. Let me ride you.”

Sherlock obliged.

The Baker Street flat was perfect. The location alone made it so. But the sitting room was cosy, and there were two bedrooms, one of them upstairs. Of course, John would be welcome in Sherlock’s bed at any time, whether Sherlock was in it or not, but Sherlock didn’t sleep a lot and John would want his privacy and his own space.

Wouldn’t he?

The notion that John, when asked politely, would decline to share a flat with Sherlock was not to be entertained, for if Sherlock entertained it then his heart would burst, and he would not be able to fuck all the Omegas that he would need to fuck in the coming weeks so that he could rescue his precious Stradivarius from debtors’ prison and ensconce the man he would very much like to be his partner for life in a comfortable and shared living arrangement.

Everything depended on the coming weeks.

Coming weeks.

John would have snickered at that. Sherlock did not. Nor did the Omega riding him.

“OH, GOD!” screamed the Omega. “MORE.”

Wet flannels were batted away, but Sherlock persisted before turning the Omega over and sheathing his cock once more.

As he pumped, he calculated.

An additional very good week at the Farm and Sherlock would have the first month’s rent, but what then? Would he continue to work as an Alpha stud while living with John?

No.

Every fibre of Sherlock’s being said no. And not one of the many varied fantasies he’d had since he and John had parted featured Sherlock kissing John good-bye in the morning and tottering off to plough the fields, so to speak, at the Farm.

But then what?

Make a go of the detective business? Yes, but that wasn’t a certainty, especially in the beginning.

Try to get into Mycroft’s good graces? The thought made Sherlock ill.

“Fuck, I wish you had two of these monstrous pricks! I could suck on one while you fucked me with the other!”

Sherlock looked down at the Omega, then tilted his head. He tapped his fingers to his lips and hummed thoughtfully.

Chapter Text

Luton was fine.

John could live in Luton, work in Luton. There were plenty of sick people in Luton who needed a doctor. And living in Luton was a lot cheaper than living in London.

The interviews had gone well. Now it was just a waiting game.

John alit from the train. There had a been quite a few delays in the return journey.

Would it be difficult to find a cab at this hour?

John’s mobile vibrated. He looked down, frowned at the screen, then brought the phone to his ear.

“Hello?”

John kept walking until he saw a gorgeous woman leaning against a dark car. She was holding a sign with his name on it.

“Please get in the car, Doctor Watson,” said an icy voice from the phone.


The figure in the warehouse was a silhouette, but John didn’t need to see him to know what he was.

He was an Alpha, an Alpha who smelled a lot like, but not quite like, Sherlock Holmes.

The fragrance was disorienting. John had imagined, had dreamt of, had fantasised about Sherlock’s scent for weeks, and now here he was, breathing in something that was tantalisingly, and cruelly so, not Sherlock.

Whatever this was about, Sherlock was at the bottom of it. And, thus, the first question, uttered in the same icy tone as the phone call of earlier, came as no surprise at all.

“What is your connection to Sherlock Holmes?”

The Alpha odor was strong, impossibly strong, even more pungent than Sherlock’s during the heat, which could only mean one thing: that the Alpha was ‘snuffing’ John, that is, purposefully impressing his scent on John to intimate him.

Not illegal, but certainly not the done thing.

And it wasn’t working. John was nauseated but not in the least cowed. In fact, he was angry. He shook his head, trying to physically dispel the miasma.

Who was this bastard?

The shower. The truth test. Sherlock had said he had a brother. Odd name.

“Shall I repeat the question? What is your connection to Sherlock Holmes?”

“I don’t have one, Mycroft.”

The Alpha’s expression remained impassive, but there was a break in the cloying atmosphere. John filled his lungs twice with unscented air.  The noxious fumes re-emerged when the Alpha said,

“You shared your heat with Sherlock Holmes several weeks ago.”

“That matter is private and confidential.”

“Yet seven days ago, you left a message on his web site, The Science of Deduction.”

“That was anonymous. And I deleted that message immediately.”

“There’s nothing ever anonymous or deleted on the Internet, Doctor Watson.” The condescension was as thick as the god-awful pheromonic cologne.

“I wrote ‘Hello,'" growled John and immediately regretted the waste of breath and energy.

“Nevertheless, it would be considered ‘contact’ according to the agreement you signed, and were the Legal Department for the Centre for Secondary Sex Studies made aware of the fact—”

John was sinking, drowning. His head began to throb. His stomach knotted. He could not breathe.

“—not only would you be required to pay a considerable amount in restitution, you’d also be prohibited from participating in future studies, and I am certain as an unbonded Omega—”

John leaned forward to vomit. His only hope was that it would hit the Alpha’s shoes and his trousers.

“Mister Holmes!”

At once, the scent was gone. John could scarcely believe it. In his confusion, he almost tumbled forward, but at the last moment, a heavy hand was gripping him by the shoulder.

“Are you all right, sir?”

“Yeah, yeah,” coughed John.

“Detective Inspector,” said the Alpha, rocking back on his heels. “Just in the neighbourhood?”

“I know I did not just hear an attempt at extortion, Mister Holmes—”

The Alpha scoffed.

“—because that would be a crime. And if you were using this man’s secondary sex as a reason for extorting him, that would be a hate crime. And it would be my duty to arrest you. Twice.”

John stared, blinked, shook his head, stared, blinked. He knew what he was seeing. And he knew what he was smelling. And the two could not be more different.

These men, with their glaring, their postures, their expressions, their voices, they were obviously well-known enemies, maybe even archenemies, if people still had archenemies.

But this newcomer, the one the Alpha called Detective Inspector, he of the three-day-old beard and dark smudges under his eyes and the battered raincoat was an Omega.

And the Alpha, of some relation to Sherlock, who’d kidnapped John and brought him to this abandoned warehouse for interrogation and who knows what else; this Alpha who had just been clobbering John into pheromonic submission, wasn’t lording his scent over the Omega.

No.

The olfactory picture was the equivalent of ears thrown back, tail between legs, whimpering in the corner. Scent-wise, the Alpha was positively cowering in front of this Omega, but not giving one hint of his turmoil away, not in body language, not in tone of voice, absolutely nothing outward betrayed him but his scent.

Did the Omega know?

John studied the Detective Inspector’s expression.

Hard as granite, grizzled, worn to exhaustion.

Either he couldn’t smell Mister Holmes, or he just didn’t care!

Damn. That took bollocks and a big, wrecking ball pair of—

But wait, if the Detective Inspector couldn’t smell Mister Holmes, then how could John?

Sherlock.

Something to do with Sherlock. All this had to do with Sherlock.

“Doctor Watson and I were having a private conversation. Why are you here, Detective Inspector?”

“Your brother asked me to meet him here.”

Sherlock’s brother! John had been right.

And there it was. As if on a theatrical cue.

Enter stage left.

Just a whiff.

But it was like a puzzle piece, at first all wrong, then fitting neatly in its spot.

Sherlock.

Sherlock's voice.

“…and if our love were just a circus, you’d be a clown by now.”

John giggled.

He tried not to, but he couldn’t help it.

“Hello, John.”

“Hello, Sherlock.”

John grinned at the floor, then shot Sherlock a quick side glance.

God, he looked good. The blue scarf. The dark wool coat. It made him look like a character out of a novel or an Old Hollywood film—

“Thank you,” said Sherlock quietly. He ran a hand down his side.

John frowned.

“You said it out loud,” explained Sherlock.

Three voices replied.

“No, I didn’t.”

“No, he didn’t.”

“No, he didn’t.”

“Well, I heard it anyway,” said Sherlock with a casual shrug. Then he turned. “Detective. Inspector. Lestrade.” He pronounced each word slowly and formally as if for John’s benefit.

Detective Inspector Lestrade.

John had heard the name. Seen it. In news. Scotland Yard.

Suddenly, a phone rang.

“Me,” said Lestrade. He brought the phone to his ear and walked away.

“John, this is my brother, Mycroft.”

John scowled at Mycroft. “He kidnapped me and tried to snuff me, Sherlock.”

“How distressing.” Sherlock stepped closer to John, and his scent was so bloody comforting, reassuring, so much like ‘home’ that John instinctively leaned into it and breathed deeply. He almost closed his eyes, but Sherlock was still speaking. “But perhaps more accurately, he kidnapped you and failed to snuff you. Mycroft, this is John Watson, the ex-serviceman and physician who I will be inviting to share a flat with me.”

John’s heart leapt. “A flat?!”

Sherlock pivoted and began to speak very quickly. “Central London. Lovely sitting room. Two bedrooms, if we need two. Very nice landlady—"

“Sherlock, I can’t afford London.”

“We’ll share.”

“But would you—?”

Sherlock produced a sheet of paper from his coat pocket. “No, my Farming days are over. I am a businessman now.”

John took the paper and read. “A sex toy called The Fucking Machine!?”

“Pre-sales are through the roof!” cried Sherlock.

“You are selling a likeness of your penis!” exclaimed Mycroft. Then he huffed in digust. “Of course, you are.”

“There are also plans for a line of lubricants of my own engineering but those will come later, with thorough testing.”

“I’ll bet they’ll come later,” said John with a snort.

Mycroft turned a bit green.

Just then, Lestrade returned, waving his hands wildly and looking like nothing so much as a Fury unleashed.

“Okay, I don’t give a fuck what’s going on here,” he said. “I don’t have time for ‘Tinker, Tailor, Wanker, Spy’ here.” He cast a hard look at Mycroft. “And I don’t have time for any Lady Omega and her Alpha Tramp spaghetti scene, with or without Slip-n-Slide Godzilla pricks. There’s a case, Sherlock. Everything else can wait.”

Sherlock’s eyes lit. “Yes! John is coming, too.”

“Fine,” said Lestrade. “Brixton, Lauriston Gardens. Now.”

“The three suicides?”

“Yeah, a fourth.”

“Something’s different.”

“This time he left a note.”

“You need me, desperately?”

It wasn’t a question, it was a taunt. Sherlock was looking at the Detective Inspector, but his attention was on his brother. He was needling him.

“Yes, I do,” said Lestrade plainly.

Good Lord. Lestrade was something else, but Mycroft’s scent! It was pitiful.

“That’s enough, Sherlock,” said John. “Stop it. There may be lives at stake. Let’s go.”

“Very well,” said Sherlock.

John felt three sets of eyes on him.

“Interesting,” said Lestrade. “But not as interesting as what I hope you’re going to tell me, Sherlock, at the crime scene. You, Doctor Watson, are going to ride up front with me and I will let you, Mister Holmes, know if there are charges.”

And with that, he stormed off.

“Ready, John?” asked Sherlock.

John smiled. “Ready when you are.”

“Bye, Mycroft,” said Sherlock, turning on his heels.

“Smell you later,” added John.

They hurried after Lestrade, with Sherlock belting out,

“And if you need to know while I'm still standing you just fade away…”

Chapter Text

“…and so that’s an overview of Alpha-Omega bonding. Remember, two things. One, the first exam is on Friday. It will cover only chapters seven, eight, and nine, and there’s still a twenty-point bonus for any information leading to the recovery of my copy of the textbook and identification of the blighter who stole it! And two,” Stamford turned, “I hate every single one of your bright, young faces.”

“But Professor, what about the Stamford bond?”

The auditorium stilled.

Stamford smiled as Sherlock unfolded himself from an aisle seat.

“Students, this is a treat. There isn’t much Mister Holmes does not know about being an Alpha. Enlighten us, please.”

As Sherlock spoke, he eased down the short, wide steps toward Stamford.

“A Stamford bond is formed when an Alpha and Omega of unusual compatibility share a heat and, without puncture of the Omega’s scent gland, continue to demonstrate seven of the ten notable characteristics of a conventional Alpha-Omega bond even when the heat is concluded.”

Stamford’s eyebrows rose. “Indeed. And why is it called the Stamford bond?”

“It’s named for the principal investigator of the research.”

All heads turned to the other side of the room, where John was standing with a thick file in hand. He, too, moved toward Stamford. “The multi-year, multi-million-pound research study that will be conducted on this ground-breaking phenomenon.”

Stamford blinked, then took the file from John and flipped through the pages. “Dear God,” he murmured. “Why would they give this to me?”

“It was a condition of our cooperation,” said Sherlock softly. “The condition.”

“Publications,” said John. “Guest-lectures at conferences in nice locales.”

“A legacy.” Stamford smiled. “No more slogging through another year of ‘Introduction to Self-Lubricating Orifice.’” He looked at them. “Thank you, gentlemen.”

“Thank you, Stamford.”

Stamford’s eyes shined. He took a deep breath.

“Oh, no,” said Sherlock in horror.

“Oh, yes,” said Stamford, grinning. He threw out his arms to embrace them both and sang,

CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT?”