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"It's snowing," Ferendala said. Her tail was wagging.

Vyarosse groaned.

"I don't care about Christenmas," said the cat, "since it insists on happening anyway, but I can't abide snow. I hate for my feet to be cold."

"You never walk on the pavement anyhow. You ride on Sherlock's shoulder."

"Yes, and it's bony and uncomfortable."

The two dæmons spoke quietly, too quietly for the humans on the sofa to hear, though under the circumstances, the humans could hardly have been expected to be listening.

Ferendala looked out the window over the street at the fine flakes twirling down. Vyarosse sat on the desk - specifically, he sat on the closed lid of John's computer, because it was warm.

"So ride on my back," said Feren.

"John won't let me."

"It's my back. I'll let you."

"We're not always with you," Vyarosse said, but he was losing the thread of the banter, his eyes squinching, as across the room Sherlock sighed aloud in obvious pleasure.

Feren looked up at the sound, just a little anxious, wagging tail paused.

"He's all right?"

The blue-green-grey eyes opened slightly. "Fine." Archly, "Shouldn't you be enjoying the snow?" Whiskers tilted forward in droll amusement.

Ferendala was unabashed: her tail started up again. "Oh, don't make fun of the poetry. You know I make him do it."

"Hmm."

The poetry under discussion had been discovered the previous week. Sherlock had tried to say scathing things about John's metaphors and similes, but he had obviously been so pleased. John had likened his skin to sultry snow, and his hair to chaotic night, and his voice to a thief.

"That's why I tease you about it, and not John."

"Sherlock already teases him about it. And you know I don't mind. Anyway I like it when John tries to describe how we feel. It's good for him. Good for them."

"Sentiment," Vyarosse sniffed, but he was squinching his eyes again.

"That's right," said the wolfhound, and her tail resumed wagging. "It's Christenmas."

***

The humans were on the sofa, mostly covered by a duvet (new, received as a Yule gift from Mrs Hudson). This was a concession not to bashful feelings but to how damned cold it was in the sitting room, especially now that it was snowing.

They weren't completely undressed, either, but they were undressed enough around the middle. Sherlock slid his skin against John's. He could not get enough of this sensation. And John obviously loved it.

John loved to touch him, though he worried about it all the time, Sherlock knew. John feared that he would do something wrong. But there was no wrong that John Watson could do to him now. There were simply things Sherlock and Vyarosse did not like. And besides, John always asked. May I touch you? May I kiss here? May I lick…? May I put my fingers -

No to that last one. But before John could obsess over that, the useful and usefully diverting revelation of Sherlock's forethought. A sex toy (of reasonable proportion, nothing alarming). Lubricant. And a meaningful look of hot intent.

This. Then, you.

This was the way around John's scruples, Sherlock thought. John. His John. His exasperatingly difficult-to-seduce John, who had tried to be so surreptitious about his research into how he was supposed to behave. Sherlock had resented not that John thought he needed special handling (as he was in fact special), (obviously), but that John thought for one moment that these books about ordinary damaged people could possibly apply to him.

And he'd sulked. And punished everyone by sleeping apart. When he did sleep. Until finally John's dæmon herself had said to him,

"Stop. This is how he cares. You know. Never mind all the words, just show him what's okay."

It had been unexpectedly embarrassing. One didn't even talk about sex with one's own dæmon.

Well. Sherlock didn't. Maybe other people did? Not Good to ask. Vyarosse was, Sherlock knew, interested in the topic to an unseemly degree. But they didn't talk about it.

And he didn't talk with John about it now. Sherlock took Ferendala's advice, and showed him.

There was light even here under the thick fluffy duvet, thanks to all the Christenmas lights that John and Mrs Hudson had insisted on hanging. A pale, vague, hushed glow like snowlight - like John's ridiculous poetry. Enough light to see by.

"Ah," Sherlock said. "John?"

"Yes?" John answered instantly, breathless as he watched.

"Take it."

John blinked, and licked his lips, and reached for the toy. At which point Sherlock knew he would discard his hesitation like throwing aside one of his terrible jumpers.

John's hands started out gentle and grew more assured as his experimental efforts with the toy on Sherlock were both well regarded and well rewarded with vocal approval. John could not resist being stimulated by Sherlock's voice and Sherlock used it shamelessly. With it he guided John to his prostate and writhed on the hard length of silicone that John was now wielding so expertly. Well, after all he was a doctor.

After a while it got very hot under the duvet. Sherlock cast it aside, not caring what happened to it.

"Take that out now," said Sherlock, "and fuck me exactly as hard as you can."

John's hands were shaking as he fumbled with the bottle of lubricant. But there were no tiresome questions about was he sure and they could always just and all the rest of it. There was only a silent Yes.

No debate about positioning, either. Sherlock was already exactly where he wanted to be. He wanted John on top of him so that he could wrap his legs around John's back and clutch his arse and help drive the engine of their fucking.

John's cock sank into him with a sweet burn that erupted from Sherlock's throat as a shout of exultation. Elsewhere in the room his dæmon changed into some sort of bird - he could feel that much, and vaguely sensed Ferendala's fur through Vyarosse's talons gripping her back - but could not spare the attention to wonder what sort of bird could sing a note like that.

"John," he groaned, "Yes. As hard as you can, please, love. Please."

The word 'love' worked, as expected, like the proverbial charm. Any endearment would, but that one best of all. John would do anything to live up to that word.

John gave him what he asked for, crying out not just with pleasure but with the effort of it, emphatic syllables - eyes tight shut, mouth open. Sherlock loved him like this, abandoned, untroubled by scruples, a creature of feeling and of doing, that let Sherlock be the same when they were together.

Or if not exactly the same - able to taste it. Able to immerse himself in it and come out again, with his thinking not just unimpaired, but better. Wherever he was the least bit good - John made him better.

Where he was very good, John made him brilliant.

They strove together so hard that they were wet with sweat by the time they were done. John trembled when he came, with his face pressed against Sherlock's throat - not kissing or biting, just gasping. By then Sherlock had come between them, and the continued stimulation of his prostate had him so drenched with endorphins that he was raggedly laughing as he squirmed. Tremors went over both of them as they clung together.

Then the sweat cooled and they were colder than ever. And so, they went drowsily in search of a hot shower, the dæmons slowly following, sleepy with their humans' satisfaction, pleased with their pleasure, close with their closeness.