Actions

Work Header

Festival of Colors

Chapter Text

December 9

John stepped off the tube, shoulders slumped, feet dragging. He was completely knackered. He normally got home by six. It was late, half 11, well past his bedtime. He just wanted to trudge the rest of the way to Baker Street, fall into bed, and sleep the next two days away. He wasn’t even going to stop in the kitchen for tea. He didn’t have the energy to fix two cups and one couldn’t go into the kitchen and make only one cuppa. It just wasn’t done.

He entered 221, taking each of the 17 steps to their flat as if he was going to his own execution. Why was it that you could push yourself through a gauntlet of obstacles only to have the toughest part of the journey occur when the goal was within reach. John shook his head. Random thoughts. Yeah. He was tired alright.

When he reached the landing in front of 221B, he held one hand on the doorknob and leaned his head against the door in exhaustion.

Please, lord. Let Sherlock be out on a case or in the middle of an experiment. God forbid that he should want to talk to John which was more of being talked at, than to. John already knew that there wasn’t a chance in hell that Sherlock had gone to bed. He hadn’t slept in days. He’d been distracted by some experiment. John had no idea what it was about, nor did he care. He might regret that tomorrow but for tonight? John didn’t care if Sherlock was building a bomb out of everyday household utensils in the bathtub. The house could blow up around John and he’d sleep right through it at this point.

He pressed his ear to the door; all was quiet within. He knew he had no hope of sneaking past Sherlock without notice but he was going to give it his best try. It was ridiculous, he knew. All of this just to avoid his flatmate but John wasn’t really thinking that well at the moment; all he could think about was getting into that soft, fluffy bed.

Sherlock spared no expense with anything that might touch his body and although he slept probably 10 hours a week at most, he still wanted to spend that time in as decadent a manner as possible. This was fine with John who did his best to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. He was more than happy to pick up the slack.

Turning the handle, John pushed the door open slowly, wincing as the hinges squeaked. Sherlock forbad oiling them, he considered them, along with a couple of creaky stairs up to the flat, to be an excellent warning system.

Not that Sherlock couldn’t figure out if someone entered the flat without a sound. John swore that he could sense a shift in air as soon as it had been displaced. Normally, that was very impressive and had saved their arses on more than one occasion. When he was this tired, though? Not so much.

He didn’t open the door completely; just enough to squeeze himself through the narrow opening he’d made. Why he thought that would make a difference, he didn’t know.

Closing the door softly, he looked up and saw that Sherlock was sat in his chair, looking down at his lap. John noted that he was wearing one of his silk robes…’Ooh. I love when he wears the red one,’ flashed quickly through John’s mind.

He felt a faint stirring in his trousers. ‘Don’t even think about it! We’re going to bed!’

He slipped off his shoes and quietly hung his coat on the rack making no sudden movements. Sherlock seemed perfectly engrossed in whatever he was looking at so John thought that his chances were slightly higher than usual that he’d be able to make it to their bedroom without attracting his attention. With any luck, Sherlock was visiting his Mind Palace and wouldn’t notice anything.

He’d almost, although probably not, made it to their bedroom when;

“John! Good. You’re home. I have something amazing to show you.”

John, foot still raised for the next step, turned to look at Sherlock and said,

“Not tonight, Sherlock. I just want to go to sleep. It’ll keep until the morning, yeah?” John asked hopefully.

“I don’t appreciate being punished for your tardiness, John.”

That woke him up a little.

“You don’t appreciate it? Really? Some of us have to work for a living. We don’t get to sit about the flat all day working on a new method of destruction,” John said angrily. No one could make him loose his temper faster than Sherlock. He knew it, and Sherlock not only knew it but enjoyed it. Immensely.

“My work is important…” Sherlock began.

“Stop. Just stop right there. My work is important too. Actually, I’d say that it was often more important than yours seeing as most of my patients usually start out alive and I tend to keep them that way.”

Sherlock jaw dropped and he stared at John in stunned amazement.

“That was uncalled for, John. Catching a murderer saves the lives of others.”

“I’m sorry, it’s just that I’m exhausted and all I want to do is turn in. Could we please do this in the morning?” Now he felt guilty about putting Sherlock off. John knew that if Sherlock decided to press his case, he’d would drag his tired arse over to where he was sitting and dutifully listen while Sherlock droned on and on about the latest type of fuzz he’d discovered. It was complete and utter shite, is what it was. He was a pushover where Sherlock was concerned.

He decided right then and there that tonight would be the night that he finally said ‘no’ and actually stuck to it. He had a life too. He had a right to go to bed when he wanted. To fix tea just for himself without automatically making two cups. And, not only that but he was sick to death of the constant visits to Tesco. That was going to stop too. If Sherlock wanted to eat, he could go to the store. John would just grab something on the way to work and on the way home. There. It was settled. He was ready for whatever Sherlock decided to throw at him.

John thought all of these things in a matter of seconds and felt quite satisfied with himself. Almost smug, even. And perhaps a bit childish.

“What are you smiling about?”

“Nothing. I’m going to bed. We’ll talk in the morning,” John said, heading for their bedroom. With a “goodnight” thrown over his shoulder, he crossed the foyer in record time, opened the bedroom door and shut it quickly behind him.

He undressed down to his vest and pants, keeping an ear out for any complaints from Sherlock. Not that he would go back out there. No. He wouldn’t be doing that.

John stood by the side of the bed, waiting. Not one peep out of Sherlock. He’d made it!

He slid between the cool sheets and duvet, rocked his head back and forth on his pillow a bit to make a nice dent for his head, closed his eyes and went to sleep - for approximately 15 minutes -and now he was wide awake and worrying.

Why hadn’t Sherlock said anything else. That was suspicious. For something so important, he’d been awfully accepting about being put off. He’d never accepted John not bring at his beck and call before so what was different about tonight?

John lay there, watching the digital clock roll over 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes.

“Bloody buggering fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” John yelled as he whipped the covers off, slammed his feet into his slippers and stomped his way to where Sherlock sat, still focused on his lap.

“Well, fuck face? What’s so bloody important that it can’t wait until morning, you insufferable twat?”

“You said that we’d talk about it in the morning so we’ll talk about it in the morning. I feel quite confident in my ability to recreate the results tomorrow so your attention isn’t urgent. I’ve been practicing for over a month and today I finally perfected it. I was just flush with success and wanted to share it with you. No worries. Go to bed, John.”

Sherlock had said all of that, not looking up from his lap once. What the hell was he…”Christ! Why is your cock out? More importantly, why is it rock hard? Have you been masturbating all day? Is THAT the great achievement because, I hate to break it to you but you’ve enough experience to turn pro at this point. In fact, you could teach a course. You took to jerking off like a duck to water.”

“John. You’re distracting me and I’m losing my erection, now I’m going to have to start all over again.”

“Could you please spare a moment from looking at your cock so that we can talk?” John asked, getting angry again.

“I don’t need to look at you to talk to you, John. I need to have one more orgasm tonight and then I’ll be satisfied.”

“I don’t doubt it,” John snorted. “Can’t it wait until morning? I’ll be more than willing to help you with your,” he nodded his head in the direction of Sherlock’s lap, “‘experiment’ tomorrow.”

“This is a one man experiment, John. I am quite capable of handling this on my own.”

“Are you doing that on purpose?”

“Doing what?”

“Throwing out those god awful puns about your cock.”

“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t do ‘puns.’ You’re making it hard to concentrate, could you please leave.”

“There. You did it again!” John suspected that he might be a little slap happy at this point. He was dead on his feet, arguing with Sherlock about cock puns. He started to leave but pivoted on his heel immediately.

“I can’t stand it. What’s the discovery?”

“Tomorrow, John. Busy,” he said, waving John off as if he was a nuisance. That was it then!

“No. We’re doing this now. I won’t be able to get any sleep until I know why you’re sitting here in the dark, staring at your hard cock, and have done all day apparently. Or every day for a month. Whatever. Just…tell me so I can go to bed.”

Sherlock looked up through his curls and said, “Are you sure, John? I hate to beat a dead horse but I had stroke of genius and finally discovered what I was missing. I’ve had the experiment in hand ever since,” Sherlock said, a slight quirk to his lips.

“Just tell me what you’ve found before I do something that you’ll regret,” John seethed. His anger did seem a little over the top. Maybe he really should just go to bed…

“I’d hate for us to come to blows over this,” Sherlock chuckled.

“Right. I’ll just go to bed then,” John said, turning to leave.

“No! Wait! I apologize. Come over here and look at my penis,” Sherlock said innocently. John just stared at him, waiting.

“That was completely unintentional, truly. Ok, get closer. You need to almost be on top of me to completely appreciate the…I did it again right there, didn’t I?”

“Just get on with it,” John said as he stepped closer.

“Wonderful!” Sherlock said, eyes sparkling with excitement. “Now, watch this!”

Staring at Sherlock’s now semi-soft cock, John waited for something amazing to happen. Although he had absolutely no idea what that could be.

“Is that it? Shouldn’t you, I don’t know, at least be touching it to get it hard again.”

“I’m embarrassed to say that I might have a bit of performance anxiety.”

John rolled his eyes.

“Ah! There it goes! Now watch!” Sherlock said, his attention riveted on his still untouched cock which had begun to rapidly thicken.

“Congratulations. You’re able to get a hard on without doing anything. No mere mortal man can duplicate these results.”

“Shush. Just keep watching.”

“Is this a trick to see how long I’m willing to stare at your hard cock because I’m not impressed. Already seen it. A LOT.”

Sherlock didn’t reply this time, his eyes never once looking away.

Actually, that was pretty impressive. John was fairly certain that he’d never seen Sherlock’s cock so engorged before and it was still growing.

Beads of sweat had begun to appear on Sherlock’s forehead, his breath becoming shallow. John realized that his cock had gotten hard as well, without him noticing and now he was wide awake and thinking about just bending Sherlock over and fucking him right then and there.

He was just about to make that suggestion when Sherlock shouted out, “JOHN!! Oh god. John, I’m coming!” And sure enough, Sherlock’s cock began pulsing with what seemed to John at least, an unusually large amount of come. Not a freakish amount but, well, the volume seemed to be more…plentiful than usual, to John.

When several minutes had passed, and Sherlock’s cock had finished spasming, he looked at John triumphantly and waited for the praise that was sure to follow such a performance. His cock was now completely limp, looking like nothing so much as an empty balloon that had been overinflated and was now empty.

John licked his lips. Sometime during this, he’d taken out his cock and begun stroking it without realizing it, all thought centered around the need to fuck Sherlock right then and there.

“Well?” Sherlock asked impatiently.

“Well, I want to fuck you. Right now. Right now, Sherlock.”

Chapter Text

December 9th, continued…

“That’s it? You have nothing to say about the fact that I was able to come by thought alone?” Sherlock huffed.

“Have you seen this?” John said gesturing at Sherlock with his own now painfully stiff cock.

“So?”

“So it’s a result of your ‘experiment’,” John said, his grip firm around his cock.

“Hmmm…unexpected result! I need to add this observation into my table.” Sherlock leapt up, cock still out, lap uncleaned, and took a step towards the kitchen where his laptop was waiting for this supposedly urgent data.

“No,” John said grabbing Sherlock’s sleeve, “The experiment hasn’t finished yet.”

“John, I’m flattered but I’m a bit over sensitized at the moment. We can pick up the experiment tomorrow.”

“No,” John said again, “We’re finishing it right now. You wouldn’t want to skew the data by not seeing this through to the end now, would you?”

“That’s true,” Sherlock said, hesitating.

“Of course it’s true!” John placed his hands on Sherlock’s hips and faced him back towards his chair.

“Knees on the seat, please.”

“What? Right here? We haven’t any lube here,” Sherlock protested with a quick glance over his shoulder at John.

“You’ve made plenty of lube. We’ll just use that,” John said pushing Sherlock forward again.

“I don’t think that’s viscous enough, John,” Sherlock said primly while obediently kneeling on his chair.

“It’s fine,” John said, pushing Sherlock’s head down until it touched the back of the chair.

“I’m not sure about that,” Sherlock said, voice muffled by the collar of his robe that had slipped down to cover his head.

“Trust me, I know what I’m doing,” John said.

Placing one hand on Sherlock’s shoulder, lightly holding him in place, John used his other hand to flip up his satiny robe up exposing his lovely cheeks. He didn’t know why, but just the act bending Sherlock over and flipping up his robe to fuck him was a huge turn on. Especially when he was wearing the red one. Was that a kink? He didn’t care.

“So beautiful,” John said, smoothing a hand along his hip as he appreciated the perfection of that amazing arse.

Waisting no more time, John gripped his cock, pressed the head against Sherlock’s tight hole and began to push.

“LUBE! Lube, John!”

“Right, right. Sorry. I must be a little more excited than I thought.”

While come wasn’t really his normal choice of lube, he was desperate to get his cock inside Sherlock before he had time to change his mind. It would do in a pinch.

Reaching around to Sherlock’s stomach to use some of the come that he’d so thoughtfully provided, John used it to slick up his member and as an afterthought, began quickly fingering Sherlock’s hole with the remainder until he felt loose enough to accept John’s cock.

John placed the head of his cock against Sherlock’s hole again and began slowly pressing inward until he was completely sheathed in Sherlock’s tight arse.

Placing his hands on Sherlock’s hips, he pulled Sherlock back onto his cock after every withdrawal. So warm, so tight. John knew that he probably wouldn’t last long considering how hard he’d been through Sherlock’s ‘experiment’ but that was ok. He’s have him again later at a more leisurely, and lengthy, pace. Right now though? He just wanted to come as soon as possible. He’d save the finesse for later.

John smoothed one hand along the firm muscle of Sherlock’s hip until he reached his surprisingly erect penis which he grasped in his fist and Sherlock immediately started fucking it.

Although in a awkward position, they soon set of a mutually pleasing rhythm consisting of frantic thrusts and withdrawals.

“God. You feel amazing. I’ve never wanted anyone in my life as much as I want you.”

Between Sherlock’s throaty moans - that voice! - and the exquisite sensations of entering him, claiming him. ‘Mine,’ he thought. It only took three more thrusts and John was coming hard, holding tightly against Sherlock until the last of his earth shattering orgasm died away.

Sherlock had already come once so it took a little longer for him to reach his peak, and then he began coming as well, his hole tightening and releasing until John’s soft cock was finally forced all the way out.

John lay over Sherlock’s back panting, Sherlock’s forehead still resting against the back of his chair, breathing heavily, his robe now clinging tightly against his heated back.

Pulling Sherlock’s robe down to cover his arse again, John stepped back and admired how wrecked he was. ‘I did that to him,’ John thought. ‘Just me. No one else has ever seen the remote, unemotional Sherlock Holmes lose himself like this. And no one else ever will.’ Not if John had any say in the matter.

Sherlock backed off of the chair with shaky legs, taking a moment to catch his breath.

Pulling Sherlock’s back against him, and hugging him tightly, pressing his nose against his silky curls. Sherlock leaned his head to the side, exposing his neck which John took as the invitation it was meant to be and began softly pressing kisses down his neck until reaching the juncture where his neck met his shoulder. Here he sucked until a deep pink love bite appeared. John wasn’t normally so possessive of Sherlock but tonight he felt the need to mark his territory. Leave visible evidence the Sherlock was taken. Well taken.

“This is one experiment that I’d be more than happy to assist in as many times as you deem necessary. Almost forgot. How were you able to come untouched? That’s the unknown variable for me here.”

Sherlock leaned his head back against John’s shoulder and said,

“About a month ago, I was masturbating and thought ‘I wonder if I could discipline myself to come without touching myself’ and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try. My mind, as you know, John, functions at a much higher level than the majority of people so I knew that I would be successful. I just needed to find a catalyst.

At first I just tried fantasizing about different sexual situations and although that caused my penis to become erect, I was unable to orgasm. It was very frustrating.”

“I’m sure,” John said.

“It took a bit longer than I’d thought it would but eventually, I stumbled upon using certain words to trigger my erection, which worked well but I was still unable to achieve an orgasm untouched.”

John placed another kiss on Sherlock’s shoulder and waited for him to continue.

“Then I thought, ‘I’ve been going about this all wrong, I need to use a different word to orgasm and that turned out to be the key. I repeat one word over and over in my mind until I’m fully erect, and then I repeat another word until I orgasm. Obviously by then, it doesn’t take as long a chant to achieve results.”

“Oh. Obviously.”

“So I kept practicing until I was able to achieve the same result with ease. I’d had a very successful day and had been waiting for you to come home to share in the celebration.”

“Feel free to share this one any time you’d like.”

“Thank you, John. I’ll keep that in mind,” Sherlock gave a little laugh.

“So. What are these two words then?”

“I’m not telling you that, John.” Sherlock stated firmly.

“Why on earth not?”

“Because that’s too much power for anyone to hold over me and I don’t like being out of control and at someone else’s mercy.”

“What if I promised to only use my powers for good?” John pleaded.

“Give that information to Three Continents Watson? You might start out just wanting to try it once, but then it’d turn into an abuse of power and I can’t allow that to happen.”

“Jesus, Sherlock. A little faith would be nice!”

“You’re thinking about doing it right now.”

“Well. Ta. Ok. I am but it’s just a fleeting thought. It’s good masturbation material. The idea of being able to make you come with just a word.”

“And it’s going to remain a fantasy,” Sherlock said with finality.

“What if I figure it out? Could I try it then?” John asked with excitement.

“You won’t figure out the words I’ve used, John. You can’t really think that I’d pick something that anyone could say at any given moment during any situation?”

“No…but still…I’ll figure it out, Sherlock and when I do…”

“Yes. Yes. However, we both know that I’m smarter than you so the odds of you picking out not one, but two words that would repeat the results of the original experiment? Highly unlikely. I’d go so far as to say that it’s impossible. Don’t feel badly about it. I doubt that even Mycroft could figure it out. “What a thought! Strike that!” And here, Sherlock shuddered.

“I know you, Sherlock. I’ll figure it out and when I do…”

“I’m sure. What’s that saying? Oh, right,” He laughed. “’I’m so afraid.’”

“You should be,” John said in a whisper.

“What was that?”

“I said I’m going to bed.”

“Why do you always do that. Say something only to lie and say that you said something else? You think I don’t notice but I do.”

“I’m taking you to bed,” John said, grasping Sherlock’s right hand with his left, “Off you go,” he said following that up with a gentle tug.

“Fine but I’m only doing this to humor you. I’m wide awake but I’ll lay with you until you’ve gone to sleep then get back up.”

“Works for me,” John said.

They headed to the bedroom, hand in hand, and got into bed.

“Goodnight, Sherlock.”

“Goodnight, John.”

All was quiet for several minutes and eventually Sherlock’s breathing deepened and he seemed be asleep.

“I’m going to figure it out,” John whispered.

“No you won’t,” Sherlock said sleepily.

Sherlock turned onto his side and nestled into John’s arms.

“Yes I will,” John said but Sherlock was already fast asleep and didn’t hear him.

“And when I do, I don’t care where we are, or what we’re doing, I’m going to teach you a lesson about keeping secrets from your lover.”

John pulled Sherlock in closer to himself, settled further into the blankets and fell asleep with thoughts of revenge, a predatory smile on his lips.

Chapter Text

Wednesday, March 20th

John watched as Sherlock crouched over the body of a man covered in vibrant shades of red, yellow, blue, and purple. A bag of of green powder had been shoved into the victim’s mouth.

“Interesting,” Sherlock said, stroking his chin.

“It’s different, I’ll give you that,” said Lestrade.

“It’s Holi,” John said.

“‘Holy’? In what way is this holy?” Anderson burst out.

“No. ‘Holi’. The celebration of the victory of good over evil,” said John.

“Bit optimistic, in’nit?” Anderson laughed.

“I believe that what John is referring to is the annual celebration of the end of winter amongst Hindus. It’s also celebrated by different cultures around the world now. You should open a book sometime, Anderson. Preferably at your reading level, and with pictures.”

“Listen, you pompous prig…” Anderson began.

“Alright. Alright. Leave it, Anderson,” said Lestrade.

“Holmes started it,” said Anderson.

“Did not,” said Sherlock.

“I don’t care! Anderson, go through the house and see if you can discover any other evidence related to this murder,” Lestrade said.

“That’s a bit optimistic, in’it? Anderson finding anything.” Sherlock smirked.

Anderson lunged towards Sherlock but was stopped by the sudden appearance of a wall in the shape of John Watson.

“You heard Lestrade. Go.” John said.

“This isn’t your business, Watson. This is between me and the freak here.”

“Sherlock IS my business and don’t call him a freak.”

“Or what?” Anderson sneered, placing the palm of his hand on John’s chest, preparing to give him a shove.

“Take your hand off me.”

“I wouldn’t do that were I you…” Sherlock began.

Looking around John at Sherlock, Anderson said, “Shut it, freak. I’ll deal with you next!”

“Christ, Anderson…” Lestrade said with a resigned sigh.

“What did I just tell you?” John grabbed the thumb of Anderson’s hand that was still against his chest, and twisted it around forcing Anderson’s wrist to buckle and the tendon to pull taught. No damage but painful enough to stop someone temporarily.

“Fuck! Let go of me! You’re breaking my thumb! That’s bloody assault! You saw it, sir!”

“You laid hands on John first. And let’s not forget why that happened. You were attempting to attack Sherlock and although I don’t think that you would have faired any better had you reached him, I’d think that you would have realized by now that anyone who tries to hurt Sherlock is going to have to go through John first. Sherlock’s only likely to stop you, no more, no less, but piss off John? Well, let’s just say that his self-control right now is pretty impressive given how angry he is at the moment.”

Anderson looked into John’s face and John slowly smiled. A very predatory smile. ‘Christ. He really wants to hurt me!’ Anderson thought.

“Fuck’s sake, John. I only wanted to talk to him.”

“Yeah. With your fists. You’re done talking, Anderson. You should go now before I do something you might regret.” John said, releasing Anderson’s thumb and shoving him backwards.

“I have work to do anyway,” Anderson said, turning to leave. He’d made it about five meters away then turned back, pointed at Sherlock and said, “We’ll finish this later.”

“We can finish this right now,” John said, taking a step forward.

“For chrissakes, Anderson, just leave,” Lestrade said in exasperation.

“Sir. Why do you let a couple of arse bandits tell us how to do our job?” Anderson began.

“They’re just a couple of poofs,” Anderson continued.

“You say that like its a bad thing,” said Sherlock.

John took a step forward.

“If he reaches you after I’ve told you to leave, you’re on your own! Go, NOW! ” Lestrade bellowed.

Anderson briefly thought about leaving but decided to stand his rocky ground and waited for John to stalk his way over to him. He wasn’t afraid of John, not really. Especially with that bum shoulder. He’d just been caught off guard earlier but he had his eye on him now; he wasn’t going to get the better of him this time.

John stopped about an arm’s length away, fists balled up, breathing barely under control.

“Now, what were you saying, Anderson?” John asked in a low voice.

“You don’t want to start anything with me, Watson, because after I finish kicking your arse, I’m going to break your boyfriend’s nose just for the satisfaction of it. Oh, and I won’t be pulling any punches like I would with a cripple.”

***

“What do you think they’re saying?” Asked Lestrade, watching as they moved out of hearing.

“I think that John’s about to educate Anderson in the error of his ways.”

“I’d stop this if Anderson wasn’t asking for it.”

“Something that he’ll come to regret shortly, I’m sure.”

***

John took another step forward.

“Come on, John. I don’t want to hurt you. How would that look? Me beating up a cripple? I don’t even have a problem with you.”

“Well, you do now. Let’s step over here and discuss this further,” John said, gesturing to a nearby alley.

“What for? You afraid someone will see me give you a good thrashing?” Anderson asked smugly.

“You know what your problem is, Anderson?”

“Do tell. What’s my problem?”

“Overconfidence.”

“Look. I’m warning you, I’m not going to go easy on you just because you’re defective.”

“And I wouldn’t want you to.”

***

“Where are they going?”

“I believe that John is going to teach Anderson a lesson.”

“Ok. That’s enough. I need to stop this,” Lestrade said, taking a step forward.

Sherlock stopped him by placing a hand on his shoulder, “I wouldn’t bother. By the time you get there, it’ll be over.”

“How can you be so sure?”

Just then, they heard an “OOF!” Followed by the sound of a body falling into the trash bins.

“See? All done.”

There was silence for about 15 seconds then screams and curses belonging to Anderson, exploded from the alleyway.

“It’s always something. Slight miscalculation. I didn’t add in Anderson’s penchant for having the last, insulting word.”

***

As soon as they were out of view of Lestrade and Sherlock, Anderson swung around with a cheap shot, punching John in his injured shoulder full force expecting him to drop to the ground, instead, he just stood there, looking eerily calm and still smiling.

“A cheater? What a surprise. My turn.” Then John balled up his fist and nailed Anderson in the shoulder right between the joints. Anderson’s arm immediately went numb.

“Now, that’s a proper punch to the shoulder. Looks like it might be dislocated too. Hmmm…that’s going to hurt like the dickens when the feeling comes back in your arm.”

“You bastard!” Anderson yelled, holding his injured arm to his side.

“I went easy on you. Especially considering your lack of sportsmanship. Best get that arm seen to,” John said, turning to leave.

“Don’t you walk away from me! We’re not through!” Anderson yelled angrily then charged.

“Oh for…just stop it, will you? When that pain finally hits your tiny dinosaur brain, you’re going to regret this even more,” John said, waiting to see what Anderson would do next.

Anderson had his good arm out, ready to shove John but his fist smacked right into John’s open palm who then used it to push Anderson among the bins.

“OOF!” Anderson started to get up.

“Just stay down. The numbness should be wearing off any second now. You’re going only going to wind up there again anyhow.”

“FUCK!! FUCK!! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!!” Anderson screamed.

“And there it is. Probably should head over to the A & E and have them put that shoulder back into the socket for you. Now, if you’re done…” John turned to leave.

“This isn’t over! You got lucky today but Sherlock won’t be so lucky when I catch him without his bodyguard!” Anderson yelled between shallow pants.

In a flash, John was at Anderson’s side, hand on his injured joint. Anderson screamed in agony.

“Ok. I’m only going to say this once. If you ever, and I do mean EVER come within spitting distance of Sherlock, I will hurt you. If you even touch him, I will fuck you up beyond all repair. Don’t talk to him unless it’s work related and even then, be on your best behavior. Have I made myself clear?”

“Fuck you! I’ll have you up on charges for assaulting an officer!”

“Nope. Wrong answer.” John squeezed Anderson’s shoulder joint tighter.

“Want to try that again?” John asked, relaxing his grip slightly.

“Fine. Fine. Fuck! Fine. Just get off of me!”

“Good man,” John said, patting the same injured shoulder.

“JESUS!”

“Are we done here?”

“Yes!”

“I thought so. I’m sure that there’s still a paramedic on site. I’ll send him over to check out your shoulder, yeah? That was a nasty fall you took. You should be more careful,” John said, using the hand on Anderson’s injured shoulder to lever himself up.

“CHRIST!”

John turned and walked away. When he’d gone far enough that Anderson didn’t think he’d come back, he yelled;

“Yeah! Better hurry back so you can carry your boyfriend’s cock around for him!”

John looked back over his shoulder, trying to decide whether Anderson was worth the trip back.

“It’s easy to tell who the ‘man’ in this relationship is! Here’s a hint: It’s not you! All you’re good for is playing doctor and sucking his cock!”

Yeah. It was definitely worth the trip back.

***

“It’s gone awfully quiet back there,” Lestrade said worriedly.

“Yes, it does seem rather quiet, doesn’t it.” Sherlock said, giving a slow smile.

***

Anderson watched as John turned around and stalked towards him, with murder clearly on his mind.

“Come on, John. Can’t take a joke?” Anderson said nervously.

“How’s that arm?” John asked, crouching down in front of a panicky Anderson.

“F-f-f-fine!” Anderson said, flinching.

“I just want to look at it. See how bad the damage is. Give me your hand.” John held out his hand.

“What are you gonna do?” Anderson asked nervously.

“I’m a doctor, I just want to check the mobility of that shoulder.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really.”

“Ok, so long as you promise not to hurt me,” Anderson said, voice quivering.

“I promise! Now, hand?”

“I can’t move my arm very far, it hurts too much!” Anderson whined.

“Here, let me help.” John said as he gently took his hand and turn it palm up.

Anderson winced.

“Looks painful,” John said.

“It really is. It’s bloody awful!”

“Does it hurt to move your fingers?”

Anderson wiggled his fingers obediently.

“No. Seems to be centered in my shoulder. You don’t understand how much this hurts!”

“Yeah. Pretty sure I do,” John replied calmly.

“It’s really bad though!”

“But your fingers are ok?”

Anderson wiggled his fingers again.

“Yeah. Seems ok. Hard to tell though with all this pain coming from my shoulder.”

“I’m sure it’s awful. I just want to check one more thing,” John said and began checking each finger individually, pulling one gently and pushing it back before moving on and repeating the action with the next finger.

“Seems good,” John said as he reached his middle finger.

“Thank god!”

“I’ll just check your ring finger next,” John said, pulling the finger forward.

“I was afraid that you might have trigger finger, but everything seems to be in working order,” John said, sliding the finger back in the joint.

“What’s ‘trigger finger’?”

“Oh. It happens when a finger gets jammed forcefully back into the third knuckle. It’s very painful.”

“Well, that’s something, I guess,”

“Wait a minute. Did you feel that little ‘grab’ in the knuckle when I pushed the finger back into your hand?”

“I’m having trouble feeling anything besides this pain in my shoulder,” Anderson said, tears coming to his eyes.

“Well, let’s make sure, shall we?” John extended Anderson’s ring finger until the joint cracked.

“OWW!”

“Sorry. Sorry. Almost done,” John said and forcefully shoved the finger back into his knuckles.

“GodDAMN it! MOTHER FUCKER! What did you do?!

“Just giving you a demonstration of one way to cause trigger finger. Hurts, doesn’t it?” John said, sitting back on his haunches and grinning.

“You said that you wouldn’t hurt me!!” Anderson wailed!

“When you ‘play doctor’, sometimes people get hurt.”

“Fuck you, Watson! You’re no doctor!”

John leaned over and placed a hand on Anderson’s good shoulder.

“Would you like to go for double? I know I would.”

“No! Just, just leave! Send a medic!”

“I’ll get right on that.” John said, turning to leave.

“What was that, Anderson?”

“Whhhhaat was what?” He asked nervously.

“I thought you said something else. You didn’t say anything else, did you?”

“No. I didn’t! I swear!”

“I thought not. Now, remember what I told you.”

“What?”

“Stay the fuck away from Sherlock. Got it?”

“Yes! Yes! I got it!”

“Goodbye, Mister Anderson,” John said as he exited the alley and headed back to the crime scene.

***

“Ah. There’s John!” Sherlock said happily.

“He doesn’t look so good,” Lestrade said.

It was true. Although there didn’t seem to be any blood visible, John’s arm dangled from his injured shoulder. He was breathing shallowly when he finally reached their side.

“Right. Now, where were we?” John asked in between panting breaths.

“John, you’re hurt!” Sherlock exclaimed.

“You should see the other guy,” John grinned.

Sherlock reached over and began checking John’s arm from shoulder to wrist.

“Sherlock. I’m ok. Nothing a couple of paracetamol and a good soak won’t fix. Stop your fussing. I’m fine. Truly.”

Letting John’s arm down by his side gently, Sherlock said, “Alright but I will be looking at this later.”

“I love you too, Sherlock.” John smiled.

“If it’s ok with you two, can we please wrap this up?” Lestrade asked.

“Sorry, Greg.”

“S’alright. Do you need hospital?”

“No,” Sherlock said quickly. “He doesn’t need a hospital. Nothing’s broken. I can take much better care of him than some overworked, undereducated A & E physician and he’ll have the benefit of my undivided attention.”

“Wow. John, are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital?”

“Stop it, Greg. He thinks your serious,” John said laughing.

“I knew that was a joke, John,” Sherlock huffed. He didn’t know that but he’d rather die than admit it.

“Well, before we get started, again,” Lestrade said, reaching into a pocket and pulling out a bottle of paracetamol. He tapped two into his palm and handed them to John.

“Prepared to work with Sherlock today, yeah?” John laughed.

“Always,” said Greg. Reaching into his other pocket, he brought out bottled water and put that in John’s good hand.

“Wow! You really ARE prepared!” John laughed loudly then winced.

“Serves you right! You’re hurt. No time for levity. Take the medicine and let’s get back to work.” Sherlock said, doing just that.

***

“Anyhow, you were saying?”

“You’d think that with almost seven percent of the people living in London originating from India, not including Brits of Indian decent, and an Indian restaurant on nearly every corner, Anderson might have learned a bit about the culture,” Sherlock opined.

“Sherlock, murder?” Lestrade prompted.

“Ah, yes. Well, Holi is a celebration of life which, this, most certainly was not.”

“Unlikely. The force with which that bag of powder was shoved down the victim’s throat tells me that the perpetrator was most likely a male.”

“Why not a woman?” Asked Lestrade.

“She’d had to have been exceptionally tall. The victim is well over six foot.” John said.

“Not impossible, but unlikely,” Sherlock said.

“Right. Ok. But…where do you get the idea that the killer’s familiar with Holi?” Lestrade asked.

“The symbolism of the powders. Each color represents something. The man who did this understood that and although Holi is a celebration of happiness, he made some pointed references with his choice of colors.”

“Ok then. What was he saying?” Lestrade asked.

“Well, green represents nature and new beginnings. And being murdered is definitely a new beginning,” Sherlock said.

“And the red that’s on his hands is a symbol of passion and fertility. I’m guessing that the victim might have been having an affair with the murderer’s significant other.”

“That’s…that’s really very good, John,” Sherlock said, smiling at John.

“The yellow powder represents knowledge and learning and the victim’s head is covered in it,” John continued.

“And the rest?” Sherlock asked.

“Just happened to be on hand,” John finished.

“Do you agree, Sherlock? No offense, John. Just confirming.”

“None taken. I can’t believe that Sherlock agrees with my assessment either,” John laughed.

“Nonsense, John. You have a perfectly good brain and you seem well informed about the powders used during the celebration of Holi.”

“Thanks. I was dated this Indian bird once and she taught me all about Holi. We went to market and there were open sacks of colorful powders and she told me what each one meant only she didn’t say them in English so I also learned the name of the colors in Hindi as well. Some stuff just sticks with you, I guess.”

“Really? Can you still name them?” Lestrade asked, curious.

“I’m sure he can. Really, Lestrade, are we finished here?” Sherlock asked impatiently.

“Well, no. We still don’t have a suspect, Sherlock. Or did you forget that?” Lestrade asked.

“Indeed I have not forgotten,” Sherlock said indignantly. “I’ve given, WE’VE given you all the clues now it’s your turn to find the culprit. John’s in pain. We’re leaving.” Sherlock grabbed John’s good arm and turned to leave. He was going to drag John out of there if he had to. Under no circumstances was John going to say colors in Hindi!

“Just wait a minute, Sherlock. I want to showoff my skills. It’s not often that I get to impress anyone on a crime scene without using my physician’s skills.”

“Totally unnecessary, I assure you. We are well aware of how intelligent you are, John. Aren’t we, Lestrade?” Sherlock asked while still tugging on John’s arm.

“I’ve never questioned John’s intelligence but this is like a bonus. I want to hear it. Go on, John. What are the colors in Hindi?”

“Well,” John paused, searching his mind for knowledge learned long ago.

“My pronunciation isn’t the best, and I’m probably saying these wrong but to the best of my recollection…” John began.

“There’s no need for this,” Sherlock said, somewhat nervously.

‘That’s interesting,’ John thought. ‘Sherlock clearly doesn’t want me doing this. I wonder why…’

“Let’s see…pink is ‘gulabi’ and represents caring and compassion. Again, I’m probably misremembering and mispronouncing these so bear with me…

Purple is ‘baingani’ and represents magic and mystery.

Green is ‘hara’ and represents the start of Spring and new beginnings.”

John glanced over at Sherlock to see if he was impressed by all this but, no. Instead he looked nervous and had begun sweating profusely. It was actually quite chilly out so that didn’t make sense…

“Sherlock? Aren’t you feeling well?” John asked.

“Fine. Fine. Just hurry up.”

“Ok. Now where was I…oh, yeah! Blue is ‘nila’ and represents the color of Krishna’s face as well as the sky and oceans.

Red is ‘lal’ and is the ultimate color of love, passion, and fertility. And, finally, yellow…”

“That’s enough John. Lestrade won’t remember any of this anyhow.” Sherlock interrupted.

“Bugger off, Sherlock! I might! This is the last one, yeah? So let him finish!”

John was beginning to suspect why Sherlock was so nervous. Time to test that theory out.

“And yellow is ‘pila’…” John started.

“Fuck!” Sherlock groaned.

“What’s wrong with you?” Lestrade asked.

“Nothing. Nothing. That’s it. No more colors. Come along, John.”

“Not yet. I really want to talk about this last color, ‘pila’…” John said, giving Sherlock a knowing glance.

“It’s just yellow. I’m leaving with or without you!” Sherlock was now rocking side to side, randomly touching the front of his trousers as if trying to brush something off.

‘John knows! John knows! That’s impossible!’ Sherlock thought.

“Well, the thing about ‘pila’ is,” and here John caught Sherlock’s eye and giving him a triumphant grin, “that it’s the color of knowledge and learning. It symbolizes happiness, meditation, and peace. That sounds like something you’d be interested in, doesn’t it, Sherlock?” John asked, one brow raised.

Lestrade was looking back and forth between John and Sherlock. He had no idea what was going on, but they were definitely having some silent test of wills with Sherlock becoming more and more agitated. Greg wanted in.

“So…’pila’, you say?” He glanced over at Sherlock. Yep. That’s the trigger. He’d now wrapped his coat around himself and had his shoulders hunched up around his neck looking decidedly uncomfortable.

“No, no. It’s PILA,” said John.

“Oh! I get it. Pila.”

“Right, pila.”

Their attention was caught by Sherlock suddenly bending over at the waist as if he was in pain.

“God, Sherlock. What’s wrong?” Lestrade had been enjoying making him uncomfortable but he was clearly in pain now.

“Nothing. Can we go now?” Sherlock bit out.

“Um…yeah, sure. I’ll be in touch when I know anything else.” Lestrade said, and waited for Sherlock to make use of the insult he’d left in that statement.

“Yes. Fine. Whatever. John?” Sherlock didn’t wait to see if John was following. He was in too much agony at this point and he just wanted to get home and take care of…this.

Lestrade and John watched the hunched over figure rapidly retreating and looked at each other.

“Do you think he’s really alright, John? I don’t know what’s wrong but I was just having fun with him. He must really hate the word ‘pila’.”

“He’s fine and he quite likes that word, actually. I’d best catch up. Let us know what you find out. Ta,” John said, turning on his heel to catch up with Sherlock. He wasn’t done with him yet. Not by a long shot.

***