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John looked up from his book, wondering why he had never noticed them before. Even as the bow slid against the strings of the violin, the porcelain arm that held it was guided along by its own strings protruding from the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints. Sherlock’s form swayed back and forth with the music, with each movement led by the string on his head. John tried to look up, see who was pulling his flatmate’s strings, but he found that he was unable to tear his gaze away from the life-sized marionette before him. He was beautiful, each graceful sway was a perfect expression of the sweet melody that filled the room.

The strings at Sherlock’s shoulders began to turn him gently from side to side as the melody fluttered. As the last note rang out, Sherlock’s bow arm was lowered and he swept around to face John in his chair. The silence grew, as did John’s sense of unease when he saw the seams along Sherlock’s jaw as his mouth dropped open.


The word came from Sherlock’s open mouth as if from a speaker, his lips still and lifeless. This was wrong, all wrong.


John sat up quickly, blinking in the darkness. Another odd dream.

As of late, John had experienced increasingly odd dreams about his flatmate. He was never one to question the meanings of his dreams, but lately he had begun to notice a common theme. These odd dreams all featured a version of Sherlock, and each version was decidedly not quite human. In some he was a vampire, an alien, a ghost, and most often, a robot. Sometimes Robot Sherlock was a realistic android, and John would only figure out what he was halfways through the dream. Other times Robot Sherlock was a thing of whirring gears with a wind-up key protruding from his back. The marionette thing was new, though.

That’s what you get from a childhood filled with horror and sci-fi, John supposed, and Sherlock truly was the most dramatic leading man he could imagine. Better than nightmares about shrapnel and mortar.


The voice had him startled again, and he jerked his head up to see a silhouette in the doorway. The voice hadn’t been just in his dream after all.

“Sherlock? What is it? What time is it?”

The room was dark, probably the middle of the night. It was strange for Sherlock to wake him up this way, though. Usually when he woke John up in the middle of the night it was indirectly, in the form of noise (music or explosions) from the sitting room.

“Where are the muscle relaxants, John? I went through your kit and your bathroom, but I haven’t found any.”

John snorted. “Like hell I’m giving you drugs. Besides, I don’t have any.”

Sherlock waved a dismissive hand in the air. “Oh please, John. If I was trying to get high, why would I bother waking you up? I just need muscle relaxants. Go get me some.”

“Go away, Sherlock. I’m sleeping.” John groaned and rolled his face back into his pillow.

Sherlock was apparently unperturbed, and he sat down on the bed. “No. You’re my doctor, you have to. Just go write a prescription and pop down to the chemist’s and then you can go back to sleep. Half hour, tops. Get up.”

John shook Sherlock’s hand away as he nudged at his shoulder. There was no greater exercise in futility than ignoring a determined Sherlock Holmes. John yawned and sat back up.

“Okay, so why do you need muscle relaxants, then?”

“I have a medical need.” Sherlock sat sideways on the side of the bed, one leg bent and the other hanging off the side. He frowned at John, mouth twisted into a frustrated scowl.

“Which is…?” John encouraged. Getting Sherlock to explain himself was, as usual, like wringing blood from a stone.

“My neck hurts. I can’t turn my head and I can’t play violin and I can’t even bend over my microscope. You have to help, John. You’re my doctor. Go put on your trousers.” Sherlock huffed, sounding so righteously annoyed that John was almost fooled into feeling personally responsible.

“Have you tried taking a hot shower?”

“And an icepack. Nothing works. This is intolerable, John.”

“Hmm.” John had no intention of leaving his bed or giving Sherlock drugs. Old fashioned way it is, he thought, and got up to kneel behind Sherlock.

“Turn and scoot.” He said, putting his hands on Sherlock’s shoulders and turning him until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. An image of his dream flashed across his mind, of Marionette Sherlock’s shoulder drifting along on strings, and John chuckled at the disturbing juxtaposition. While Sherlock’s movements were unnaturally stiff from the muscle spasms, his flesh was warm under the thin t-shirt, and undeniably human.


“Either I’m going to give you a neck rub until you feel better and let me go back to sleep, or I’m going back to sleep right now. Your choice.”

Sherlock seemed to consider it for a moment, then replied. “Go ahead.”

John smoothed his arms along Sherlock’s shoulders for a moment, feeling the tense knots in his neck and shoulders.

“Okay, we need some sort of oil or I’m going to rub your skin raw. Go get that mineral oil from the bathroom.”

“All gone. Experiment.”

Could nothing ever be easy with this man? There was probably some olive oil in the kitchen, but John really didn’t want to go groping around downstairs right now, nor did he expect a stiff-necked Sherlock to go digging through their cupboards. Of course, there was always…

John reached into the drawer in his nightstand and produced a jar of Vaseline.

“Not a word.” He grumbled, not interested in hearing any deductions about the inventory of his bedroom drawers. Sherlock mercifully stayed silent.

“Bring your arms in.” He instructed, and Sherlock complied, folding his arms together as John tugged each arm of his shirt over them, removing his shirt without forcing any more strain on his shoulders.

John scooped a bit of the jelly into his palms and rubbed them together, warming it up. When he finally set his hands back down on Sherlock’s shoulders, the man jerked in surprise.

“You’re gonna have to relax, Sherlock.”

“Sorry. I’m not used to this. Being touched.” No surprise there. In the two years they had lived together, John could probably count on one hand the people he had seen touch Sherlock past a handshake. There was the occasional hug from Mrs. Hudson or drunken back-patting from Lestrade, but most people kept their distance. Or maybe it was Sherlock who kept his.

John ran his thumbs up and down along Sherlock’s cervical spine, rubbing circles higher on his neck. He ran his hands up and down, increasing pressure and squeezing the tight muscles along Sherlock’s shoulders.

“Is this alright?”

Sherlock hummed in what seemed like an affirmative, and sighed as John continued alternating pressure up and down.

John began to feel some of the knots loosen in Sherlock’s back, when the muscles in his own legs started to feel cramped from kneeling on the soft surface.

“Sorry, leg cramp.” He explained, as he sat down behind Sherlock and let his legs bracket the taller man before him.

From this lower position, John continued his efforts, digging harder and harder into the tense muscles, pressing firmly into Sherlock’s shoulder blades. Sherlock groaned in relief.

“Feels so good.”

“Yeah. I’m… er… glad. How does your neck feel now?” Was this weird? John was sitting on his bed, late at night, rubbing his hands over another man’s body? That was supposed to be weird, right? Then again, this wasn’t just some man, it was Sherlock. They were so used to each other that John didn’t even think to question it. It wasn’t weird.

Sherlock tried turning his head to the left, but only got about halfway to the side before wincing.

“Let’s try this.” John said, and took Sherlock’s head in his hands. He gently rolled it around a few times, trying to loosen the muscles up a bit. Sherlock grunted a bit, clearly uncomfortable.

“Tell me when it feels tight.” John instructed, and began rolling Sherlock’s head around slowly.

“Nnnn there.” John held his head in place with one hand and stroked his hand along the stretched tendons.

“Mmm” Sherlock hummed appreciatively, and John continued the technique until Sherlock’s neck was much more relaxed, his head lolling to the side as John hands worked.

“All better?” John asked, starting to scoot backwards.

“Wait.” Sherlock’s hand came down on John’s knee.

“Can you… keep going? My back too?” Sherlock sounded embarrassed.

John didn’t reply, just scooted forwards again and began walking his thumbs down the middle of Sherlock’s spine, occasionally digging in under the shoulder blades or rubbing circles into his lower back. God, his back was so… long.

John felt a small squeeze and realized that the hand was still on knee with apparently no intention of moving, Sherlock's thumb stroking back and forth along the inside of his knee. Okay, so this probably was weird, but John’s hands kept moving over the smooth stretch of skin before him.

Was Sherlock scooting backwards? Maybe John had scooted forwards somehow? John was nevertheless aware that his crotch was firmly pressed against Sherlock arse and his hand was still gripping and stroking his knee and John’s thumbs were on Sherlock’s back but his fingers were sliding down Sherlock’s side until they were on his hips and John’s cock was starting to swell from the contact and he closed his eyes and brushed his lips across Sherlock’s back and oh god that felt so damn good and-


John froze. What the fuck was happening?

“I’m sorry… Christ. I don’t…” He started scooting back again, panic tearing at his throat.

Sherlock’s hand gripped his knee tightly.

“John. Keep going.”

Sherlock let his head fall loose on his shoulders and pushed back farther on the bed, and John’s cock was pressed even harder into his arse. His hands trembled a little as he gripped Sherlock’s hips again, hissing as he ground forward more purposefully. He leaned his forehead against Sherlock’s back and dragged his lower lip up against the soft skin twice, breathing roughly. Suddenly, Sherlock thrust his arse back firmly into john’s erection, and reached a hand up over his shoulder to comb through John’s hair.


Sherlock stood up abruptly, turning to face John. He stood silent, cocked his head to the side a little as he seemed to do when figuring out a problem.

Oh fuck it was over and what the hell was John doing anyways goddamnit he’d just gotten carried away like he always got carried away when it came to Sherlock and Jesus his cock was hard and now he’d have to move out because of course it was too much for Sherlock and John wasn’t even gay but he’d ruined everything and-

Sherlock flicked the button on his trousers, lowered the zip, and then stretched himself out on his stomach across the bed. John licked his lips. Holy shit. This was happening. It wasn’t weird. It was incredibly, intensely, extremely fucking hot.

John hitched a leg over, straddling Sherlock’s thighs. Almost as if he were just continuing the previously innocent massage, he placed his hands onto Sherlock’s back, although this time his touch was different, more gentle and reverent. It was touching for touching’s sake, just reveling in the feel of every ridge of vertebrae and hollow of ribs. John’s fingertips slid lightly upwards, exploring the topography of these new, uncharted lands. A territory, John realized, he was quite eager to claim for his own.

His fingers sunk into dark tangled curls as he bent forwards and touched his lips to Sherlock’s neck. Is this allowed? Yes? Yes. Sherlock’s neck arched back as his kisses turned to licking and sucking, and a moan rumbled deep in Sherlock’s throat as John pressed his cock down against Sherlock’s bum again. Fuck yes.

John had ground down a few more times against him when Sherlock turned his head to the side and said his name again, raising his backside up. John trailed kisses down his spine in a wandering line, stopping at his waist as he curled his fingers around Sherlock’s trousers and pants, and stripped them off slowly, eliciting a small whimper from the lean body stretched out before him.

John climbed back onto the bed between Sherlock’s legs, spreading them a little in the process. He placed his hands back down on Sherlock’s hips and looked down at his arse. It was a man’s arse without mistake, but gorgeous and round, a contradiction to the rest of Sherlock’s lean figure.

John peered down. He could see Sherlock’s testicles between his legs. Shouldn’t this be weird? Somehow it just wasn’t. His eyes raked up and down, and John almost dared himself to find something about the naked man that gave him pause, that turned him off. He couldn’t see a single inch of Sherlock he didn’t want to press himself against. He felt nothing short of a bone deep desire to claim, to consume.

His hands smoothed back and forth over Sherlock’s buttocks as his mind engaged in a rather silly and nonsensical argument with itself.

You’re gay. This is so gay.

No I’m not. It’s just Sherlock.

Sherlock has a penis. Which means he’s a man. Which means you’re gay.

I’m not, though. I’ve never been attracted to men.

Exhibit A: Naked man in your bed

But it’s Sherlock. We fit.

If you weren’t gay you’d be panicking right now. You’d stop.

I don’t want to stop.

“John.” Sherlock rasped, snapping John out of ridiculous inner monologue, and bringing him back into the present moment, where he had two handfuls of Sherlock’s lush arse.

Keep going.”

He kept going.

John leaned forwards, planting open mouthed kisses along the small of Sherlock’s back and down one of his cheeks. He kept gripping and rubbing the round globes, parting them to see Sherlock’s twitching hole.

“Sherlock?” John breathed in wonder, asking for permission. Sherlock once again seemed to understand his unspoken question, and answered by spreading his legs a little wider and lifting his hips up, exposing himself more for John.

John’s left hand stroked down his cheek, his thumb tracing down the crack until it came to rest over Sherlock’s entrance and rubbed gently, making Sherlock moan in response.

“Oh god. I want to. Can I?” John breathed. He was so hard his cock was aching, and he just had to know, had to touch, to know what Sherlock felt like inside.

“Mmmmm.” Sherlock moaned, at bit beyond words at the moment, but his enthusiasm was clear.

John felt suddenly compelled to get every stitch of clothing off himself, stripping off his t-shirt and pajamas until he was naked as the trembling man before him. He reached over to the still open jar of Vaseline and scooped a bit onto the fingers of one hand, while he wrapped the other hand around his cock. It was leaking copiously at the tip, and he groaned in relief as he gave himself a few slow, slick strokes.

He brought his fingers up to Sherlock’s hole again, rubbing softly until he felt the muscle relax and then he was pressing a finger inside and oh god it was so tight and soft and Sherlock was shuddering and John didn’t think he had ever wanted someone this intensely before and he was overcome with a rush of want he was surging with something like he felt when he was dodging gunfire or sprinting down an alleyway after this brilliant creature and it wasn’t a sense of danger but something just as urgent and he was thrusting his index finger in and out of Sherlock now and they were both panting and shaking he feels so good oh god!

John slowed his hand on his cock, realizing he was getting close to the edge already. He didn’t want to come yet. Touching Sherlock like this was so fucking hot and he didn’t want it be over, wanted to keep Sherlock right here, open and crumbling and all his. John wanted to keep going. He wanted everything.

“More.” Sherlock whimpered the muscles in his back rippling as John pumped his finger in and out. “I want more, John.”

John pulled his finger out and slipped in another beside it, making Sherlock shudder again. He moved slowly as Sherlock’s body clasped tightly around his fingers and gradually stretched. Sherlock had begun pushing back against his fingers and he began pumping them in and out again. He gasped as his erection grazed against Sherlock’s arse cheek, then started to pump his hips as he rutted against it.


John could feel himself getting close again. He had to ask. If Sherlock said no, well it’s not as if he wasn’t ready to go off like a goddamn firecracker anyways. But god he wanted.

“Can I- mmm oh Christ- can I have you?” John took his cock in hand and rubbed it up and down Sherlock’s crack, brushing past his hole but not pressing, making it clear what he wanted.


“I-I trust you, John. Yes.” Sherlock’s voice sounded very rough, and something about it made John go completely still. He backed up on the bed and pulled at Sherlock’s shoulder, turning him over.

How had things gotten this far without looking into Sherlock’s eyes? John looked down at his flatmate, his friend, his partner, and made some rapid deductions of his own. Sherlock’s eyebrows rose up in the middle of his forehead, which spoke of apprehension, uncertainty? His face and chest were flushed, clearly he was as aroused as John was, if not more so. His eyes darted down between them and skittered around, not keeping John’s gaze for more than a moment. Shame? Even though the action had stopped for the moment, Sherlock still trembled underneath him. John’s room was a bit drafty, and Sherlock had been unclothed for a while, but he shook with intermittent shudders and not the constant chattering of someone with a chill.

Sherlock Holmes was nervous. Very, very nervous.

“Sherlock, have you done this before? Any of this?”

Sherlock lifted his eyes up to meet John’s gaze and quickly lowered them again. He gave one tiny shake of his head, frowning.

“John, you don’t have to. I just. It felt so good. And I trust you. You’re the… I…”

Seeing the embarrassment, the shame and uncertainty contort this marvelous man’s face made John feel a little ill.

He could fix this. John was a goddamn healer, and that’s what healers do. Time to stop the bleeding.

“God I am such an arsehole. Almost skipped over the best part.” John admonished himself. He put his hands down next to Sherlock’s head, and lowered himself till their bodies were touching from knees to nipples.

Resting on his elbows, he carded his fingers up into Sherlock’s hair and held his face only an inch away from Sherlock’s. Gray-green eyes looked up at him wide and stunned.

“You’re brilliant.” John breathed, dipping down to capture Sherlock’s lower lip softly between his own, with just a moment of suction.

“You’re amazing.” He bent down for another kiss, slanting his mouth slowly on those full lips. Sherlock began to respond as John lips brushed and melted with his. The kisses stayed slow and soft, the desperate, urgent pace from moments before had seemed to dissolve in this intimate moment.

“You saved me, you know. I was lost, when I got back, before you. We act like I’m the one taking care of you all the time, but I just make the tea. You take care of me. No one else even knows how.” John murmured as he mouthed softly along Sherlock’s jaw onto his neck. His movements were so gentle and relaxed that it almost knocked the wind out of him when Sherlock’s arms wrapped tightly around his chest.

“You’re not tea, John. You’re… Before, no one… No one even tried. They just wanted me to shut it off. You’re the only one who… you’re the only one.”

Their faces were buried in each other’s necks, and they just lay there for a few moments, side by side, awash in the relief of finally holding each other close. John had dated many women in his past, but had never felt this urgent need for any of them before.

“You don’t… we don’t have to. If you’re not ready yet.” As much as John wanted this, he couldn’t stand the idea of pushing Sherlock into something he wasn’t ready for. He never wanted to be something Sherlock regretted.

“I’m thirty-five years old, John. Should I wait till I’m 50?” Sherlock snarked in his I’m-only-slightly-annoyed-with-your-feeble-logic voice.

“Don’t be a dick about it.” John chuckled. “I just want to make sure you’re… comfortable. Doing this with me. We were going pretty fast there.”

“Have I ever struck you as someone who doesn’t know their own mind? I am… nervous.” Sherlock said the last part with a pinched look, as though his own apprehension was an inconvenient ailment. “But if there were ever anyone I felt most comfortable with, it would be you, John. I’ve never trusted someone as I do you. I trust you with my life, as you’ve trusted me with yours on countless occasions. Why should this be different?”

Sherlock began kissing behind John’s ear, a spot that never failed to send a shiver down his spine.

“Fuck. I want you so fucking bad. Wanna feel you. Right here.” John breathed into his ear, as he reached around to stroke at Sherlock’s slick entrance. He dipped a finger in shallowly, rubbing in and out as far as his reach would allow. Sherlock whined low in his throat and arched forwards into John.

“Enough talk, John.” Sherlock gasped, and rolled onto his back pulling John on top of him.

“That is by far the best way you have ever told me to shut up.” John smiled and stroked his hand down Sherlock’s chest, running his thumb firmly over a nipple and making Sherlock arch up towards him again.

John.” He growled impatiently, and John’s hand slid down to check if Sherlock was still prepared. Two fingers went in easily, and he quickly worked in a third, scissoring and stretching until Sherlock felt loose enough to take him.

John slicked more jelly onto his cock and rubbed it up and down against his hole, relishing the feeling of Sherlock’s hot skin against his. He pushed forward slowly until he felt himself pop through the first ring of muscle, and stopped so they could both adjust. John knew he should start out very slowly to avoid hurting Sherlock, and feeling the head of his cock push into (inside, oh god, he was inside) Sherlock was almost enough to push him right over the edge. He could feel the blood pulsing in his cock where it was inside Sherlock’s body, and he had to close his eyes for a moment to calm his breathing and pull himself back from the brink.

John opened his eyes when he felt like he had gotten a little control back. “Fuck, you’re so tight. Feel so fucking good. Are you okay?”

“It’s… a unique sensation. I’m not sure if I like it yet. Your fingers felt good, and this is somewhat uncomfortable, but I don’t want you to stop.” Sherlock’s face was flushed, and beads of sweat had risen on his forehead. If it weren’t for the intensity of the moment, John would have felt obligated to tease Sherlock about his objective assessment.

John looked down at Sherlock spread out before him, naked and wanting. His cock laid against his stomach, and seemed to have softened as John began to enter him. Sherlock looked up into his eyes, his expression completely open. He laid a hand gently against John’s hip, more of a caress than a demand for more. A burst of affection mingled with his haze of lust as John looked down to where he was once again pressing forward, filling Sherlock up. It was overwhelming, how magnificent this man was, how John was the first person to feel him this way. John closed his eyes again tightly, and bit his bottom lip to keep himself grounded while he pushed the rest of the way in.

Once fully seated, he leaned forwards on one arm and kissed Sherlock’s cheeks and lips, as his other hand reached between them to grasp Sherlock’s cock. He stroked slowly, letting his thumb rub circles over the frenulum, as he felt it grow harder in his hand. Sherlock’s mouth dropped open and he began breathing harder as John started rolling his hips in little circles.

“Mmm, faster.” Sherlock asked. John started moving his hand faster up and down when Sherlock put a hand over his and held it still. “Faster.” He repeated, and his grip on John’s hip tightened. Understanding, John let go and thrust in again, elated when Sherlock reacted with a throaty moan.

“I like it. Mmmmm, I like it, John. More. More.” Sherlock’s voice sounded wrecked, tiny grunts punctuating each time John thrust back in. Passion was curling in John’s stomach, a storm of desire rumbling within him and threatening to wash him away. He pulled his knees forwards and cupped Sherlock’s arse with his hands pulling him up into his lap as began thrusting harder, his thumbs pressing into the crests of Sherlock’s hips as he gripped him tightly.

“Aaah!” Sherlock jolted and his torso undulated in a luxurious roll starting with his hips and ending when his shoulders pulled forwards. Seeing the ripple of movement brought back another flash of the marionette dream, and John imagined strings pulling at his shoulders. During his preparations, John had not directly stimulated Sherlock’s prostate, and now that John had found it, he began to roll his hips back on each slide out, so that the head of his cock rubbed against it at the end of each thrust. Sherlock’s discomfort seemed to have disappeared, and he dug his heels into John’s back as John pounded in to him.

“John John oh god please.” Sherlock moaned. He looked absolutely wrecked, teeth biting into his lips, hands above his head clutching the headboard as it banged against the wall.

“What do you need? Tell me.” John panted. He wanted to live in this moment forever, wrap himself around Sherlock and consume him.

“Kiss me. Touch me. Make me come, John.”

John shuddered. This man, who had become so essential to John’s life, was giving himself over so completely, giving John a part of himself he had never shared with anyone before. John felt so grateful, so lucky, to have this brilliant man share himself, to trust him so completely. Half an hour earlier, John was consumed by lust, ready to fuck him through the mattress without a second thought, but this had become so much more than sex. It was loving, intimate. It was beautiful beyond belief.

John leaned forward and pressed his lips against Sherlock’s again and again, as he reached between them and wrapped his fist around Sherlock. He slowed down his thrusts and coordinated all three movements together: kissing, stroking, and thrusting. Sherlock’s hands came off the headboard and buried themselves in John’s hair.

Sherlock’s body began to tense even as his mouth went slack, panting onto John’s lips as he kissed him again and again. Suddenly his breath went still and he opened his eyes, looking directly into John’s with an expression of awe.

“Oh!” Sherlock sighed, and trembled beneath John as he spent himself over their stomachs.

John felt Sherlock’s body contract around him, tighter than he would have believed possible, and he pressed his lips firmly against Sherlock’s one more time as he thrust deeply and came deep inside him with a soft moan.

After wiping his hand on the side of the bed, John eased himself out of Sherlock and rolled them over on their sides. John gathered Sherlock up instantly, not wanting to allow even a moment of distance between them. As he trailed kisses along Sherlock’s neck, he felt wetness against his cheek.

“Sherlock?” He pulled back to look at his face, only to see Sherlock wipe a hand across his face, destroying the evidence, but he could still see Sherlock’s eyes shine in the moonlight.

“Jesus, are you okay? Please tell me you don’t regret this.”

“No John, it’s not… it was perfect. Thank you.” Sherlock said in a quiet voice.

“Yeah, it was. So why are you crying?”

“I’m not crying. I don’t cry.” Sherlock pouted and rolled over.

“Fine. You don’t cry. So what is bothering you? Typically people feel pretty relaxed after an orgasm.”

“My arse is sore.” He huffed, with all the melodrama of an I-need-something-to-complain-about Sherlock.

“Well at least your neck is better.” John smirked.

“Shut up.”

“Well, you’ve got two options with that, shutting me up. Either you can kiss me or you can tell me what’s bothering you.”

Sherlock chose the former, rolling back over and capturing John’s lips in a slow, lazy snog.

“John. You are very important to me.” Sherlock’s voice had gone a bit quiet again. “Am I… can I assume this is not… temporary? Between us?”

“Sherlock Holmes, are asking me to be your boyfriend?”

Sherlock’s frown deepened. “I dislike that term, but exclusive, yes.”

John’s expression softened. “Sherlock, did you really think anything between us could be ‘no strings attached’? I have never connected with someone else like I do with you. Like what you said, for me too. ‘You’re the only one.’”

Sherlock’s face relaxed a little, and John leaned forward to kiss him again, but Sherlock held his shoulders and stopped him.

“Then you have to tell me. If I’m doing it wrong.”

“Doing what wrong?”

“Us. I’ve never been with someone, romantically. If I drove you away, if I lost you… I couldn’t bear it, John.”

John laughed, amused at the silly notion that Sherlock could ever push him away on accident.

“Sherlock.” He said reasonably. “Our fridge is half full of body parts, and you’ve set fire to my belongings so many times I’ve lost track. You’ve called me an idiot, woken me at all hours of the night, and abandoned me in public. I’ve been here for years. What makes you think you can get rid of me now?”

“But it’s different now.”

“Why? I don’t want you to be a different person. I like who we are. And for the record, you can wake me up for sex at any hour. Really don’t mind that a bit.” John stretched a sleepy arm over Sherlock’s hip.

“But… you have to tell me. If I’m not-“

“Fine. You want rules? No getting high and no cheating. I’ll make up more tomorrow.”

“Cheating?” Sherlock repeated, as though the concept were some sort of foreign custom he’d never heard of.

“Getting off with other people. Unless you wish them bodily harm, that is.”

“What if I snogged Anderson?”

John snorted at the idea. “Then I would break his arm and maybe his nose and the Met’s solve rate would probably go up a third while he recovered.”

Sherlock grabbed one of John’s hands in his and rolled back over, pulling John close against his back.

“Not worth it.”