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When John's Away

Chapter Text

The London Medical Practitioners Conference was a major event that John had always looked forward to. When he first became a doctor, he couldn't go because he wasn't actually practising in London. Then he went into the Army and had missed the next few while abroad. Now he was finally practising in London and it was that time of year. He was very excited when the letter had come, and he had been planning his week-long trip since then. The only downside to all of this was that Sherlock was not happy about it. 

At first Sherlock had continued to make plans as if John weren't going anywhere. But now it was time to go, and he hoped Sherlock would put all of that aside and at least see him off. There were no cases on the blog, and he hoped Lestrade could give him something to keep him distracted. After checking his bag one more time to make sure he had everything he needed, he headed down to the sitting room. Sherlock was nowhere to be found. 

"Sherlock?" he called out, hoping he was at least in his room and hadn't left the flat completely. John would hate to go without seeing him first. "Sherlock, I have to go soon."

Sherlock emerged from his bedroom. "John, we've got a new case. I'm afraid you won't be able to make your trip. Could you please go unpack that bag and we'll get going?"

"Sherlock, I told you that I have to go. I really want to go. It's only a week. I'll be back before you know it." John looked up at him, setting his bag down and putting his jacket on.

Sherlock's mind flicked through his options, but he realised he had none left. So he went to his default: pouting. "Why, if it's for London doctors, do they insist on taking you away from London? Whoever came up with that is . . . stupid." He flopped onto his chair, now in full pout mode. "I hate him," he mumbled, refusing to look at John.

John sighed softly and looked over at him, feeling a little bit guilty. "I know it seems silly, Sherlock, but this is really important to me. We can text everyday and with you working on your case I bet you won't even notice I'm gone. It's only a week."

"There is no case -- there's nothing," Sherlock said. "I'll be so bored." He put his feet up too roughly on the table: the noise was effective but it actually hurt his heels quite a bit. "Bored . . . and alone. Why did you even move in here if you were just planning on leaving? Why get me used to a flatmate and then go away? It's cruel."

"I'm not moving out! Sherlock, I am simply going for a week. We can talk every day," John insisted. He checked the time and knew he was cutting it close. "I am going to be back before you know it, Sherlock." The fact that Sherlock had lied about a case to keep him here was not lost on John. 

"Why don't I just come with you? I'll book a room -- I could use a holiday . . . I could enjoy some 'fun in the sun' like they're always advertising on the telly," he sat up sharply. "You could go now and I'll make the arrangements and arrive later. What do you think?"

"Are you going to behave?" John asked. "I can't run off on adventures with you. I have conferences and meetings and events to go to. I'm worried you're going to be alone in a strange place you don't like. Are you prepared for that?" 

"Come on, John," Sherlock said, smiling. "You won't have to go to all those events. I mean, they sound pretty boring to me. Why don't we just skip the conference totally and go do something fun? Or -- better yet -- we can just stay here and do something fun and save the money and having to be around all those people we don't know? That's an excellent idea, John, good thinking."

"First off I have already paid for it so by not going I will be losing all of my money. And the events are not boring to me, Sherlock. I can learn about new medicines, faster ways to detect certain diseases -- this is very exciting for me." He picked up his bag and moved for the door. "I have to go, Sherlock." 

Sherlock sat back in the chair. He didn't want John to go. Perhaps it was stupid of him to be so upset -- but he was. Yes, it was stupid really. But still . . . he was. "All right," he said finally. "You can go. But if everything is different when you return, you'll have no one to blame but yourself."

"Don't burn the flat down, think of Mrs Hudson," John said.  He raised his hand in a wave before leaving. It was harder than he had expected.

"I probably won't," Sherlock said, standing up and walking to the door. "But I can't promise I won't go back to how I was before you moved in. I can't promise I'll lose all the happy-go-lucky characteristics I've adopted since your arrival. I'll try, John, but I can't promise that the Sherlock you're leaving today will be the Sherlock you come home to next week."

John sighed and felt an urge to touch him -- a hug or something to reassure him. "We will text every day, okay? See you next week."

Sherlock reached up and gripped John's shoulder and then dropped his hand. It was an awkward move, but he just did it. "All right, John. I'll try to be a good boy. I'm sorry for . . . my . . . behaviour." His voice was quiet because he was embarrassed. "I hope you enjoy the conference," he said, trying to sound more normal. "It won't be long, right? Get going now. I'll look after Mrs Hudson."

"Or she'll look after you," he smiled. "Bye, Sherlock." He patted Sherlock's arm before actually leaving, carrying his bag to the street and taking a cab to the train station. It was a three hour train ride, and he was not looking forward to that. He had already warned Mrs. Hudson of his leaving, and she had promised to keep on an eye on Sherlock. She seemed to understand something about John asking her this favour -- something more than just worry for his friend. But she was always giving him looks like that so he tried not to think about it. He got on the train and found his seat for the trip. 

Sherlock shut the door and walked to the window, watching John get into the cab. Then he turned and looked at the flat. He walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on. He retrieved a packet of cigarettes he'd hidden from John, sat down at his desk with his tea and had a smoke. The flat seemed so quiet. He got up and walked down to Mrs Hudson's, knocking loudly.

When she answered, he said, “John's away and I'm bored."

She crinkled her nose. "Have you been smoking?" she asked.

"Yes, I have. One, I'm an adult and smoking is not yet a crime and two, as I said, John's gone and I'm bored," Sherlock explained.

"How long has he been gone?" Mrs Hudson asked.

"It feels like forever," Sherlock said, looking at his watch.

"Sherlock, I heard John leave five minutes ago," she said, smiling softly.

"If you're just going to mock me, I'll find someone else to talk to," he said.

"Here's what I want you to do. Go to the corner shop and get me some milk, please. Pick up the papers and a scratch card as well. Then come back and we'll have a cup of tea. All right?"

"Fine," Sherlock said as if the favour was outrageous. "I'll be back in a few minutes."

He headed out into the street. He took out his phone and looked at it. No messages. He went to the shop and got the things for Mrs Hudson, before returning for tea.

John settled in as the train started, and it felt like the longest trip of his life. He pulled his phone out to text Sherlock but then thought better of it. It hadn't been that long yet and if they were going to text all week, it would be silly to start now. He pulled out his book and tried to lose himself in that instead. The train was starting to fill up as it made its stops, and he put his bag on the seat beside him, hoping no one would have to sit there. After a while he put the book away and went to looking out of the window. He pulled his phone out and read through old messages. He was just starting to wonder why he even left when the train slowed. 

Chapter Text

The station was jam packed with people, but he held his bag close and made his way out to the street. He took a cab to the hotel holding the conference and immediately wished he had left sooner. The registration took another hour. He got a name tag and packet of all of the different events and topics to be discussed, and an itinerary with his room key. When he was finally upstairs he pulled his phone out. 

Just got to the room. -JW

After tea with Mrs Hudson, Sherlock went upstairs. He had no new messages or emails so he lay down on the sofa and allowed himself to go to sleep. He knew he couldn't sleep the whole week away, but this was only the first day: a little nap was nothing to worry about. His phone woke him a few hours later.

I'm busy. Stop bothering me. SH

John raised his brows and couldn't help smiling. 

Okay. Just wanted to let you know. -JW

He pulled out the folder and started looking through the papers to get a better sense of what was in store for the week. 

Could you please come home, please? SH

John looked at the word please -- used twice. It was worse than he thought.  

What have you been doing? -JW

I have exhausted all the options I had planned for the entire week. These include tea with Mrs Hudson and a nap. Shall I clean the flat? I can start with your room. SH

Don't go into my room please. But tidying up the sitting room a bit would be nice. -JW

It's too late. I'm in your room now. Should I start by going through the bedside cabinet? SH

Sherlock smiled and tried to imagine John's face. It wasn't the same as John being here, but this made it better. He stood up and made himself a cup of tea.

No! Please get out of my room. -JW

Sherlock sat down at his desk with his tea, still smiling.

There are some things in this drawer I need to further investigate. Do you care if I move into your room for the week? There's a lot here I can learn from, I think. SH

I'm begging you to just turn around and get out of there. -JW

John didn't know exactly what Sherlock was looking at, but he was careful not to give anything away in case it was all a trick. 

I just swallowed one of your blue pills. If my erection lasts for more than four hours, I'll ring you. SH

Now John knew he had to be kidding. He grinned and shook his head. 

And what are you going to do for four hours? -JW

I haven't decided, but I'll be sure to wash your sheets before you return. SH

How crazy are you about to get in there? -JW

As crazy as I want since there's no one here to boss me around. SH

Please don't hurt yourself. -JW

Don't worry. The twenty bottles of lubricant you have in your drawer will be useful. Will replace obviously. SH

Shut up! There are not twenty bottles! -JW

Sherlock smiled. John apparently had forgotten with whom he was texting. So John keeps lube near his bed. Interesting.

Not now there aren't. Look, can I get a little privacy, please? SH

Yeah, sorry. Have fun. -JW

Please go to one of your stupid meetings. Leave phone on silent. I need to know I can text without you getting angry with me. SH

There's nothing going on tonight. Early morning start tomorrow. JW

You should have left tomorrow. I'm bored, John. I need your help. SH

I had to leave early so I could get settled. What do you need help with exactly? -JW

Being bored. Even if this erection does last for four hours, there will be still be over 150 hours until you get back and being without you or a case is just so boring, John. SH

But I've never been good at keeping you occupied. You still do experiments and shoot the walls and sneak cigarettes. -JW

I'm even worse when you're gone. You are good at keeping me occupied. You are good, John. SH

John stared at the message for a moment. Of course he knew there was something about him being with Sherlock, mostly because everyone said so.  But reading it from Sherlock like that was nice.

Well, that's why I will keep texting you. It'll be like I never left. -JW

Sherlock looked at the message. The texting was better than nothing, but it was definitely not like John had never left. If John had never left, Sherlock could hear his voice -- see him when he looked up from his desk. Sherlock looked up from his desk and saw the empty flat. He looked up at John's bedroom door. He stood up and walked towards John's room. At the door, he looked down at his phone and -- for a second -- felt a little guilty. But boredom was more troubling than guilt, and Sherlock went into John's room.

He glanced over at John's bedside cabinet. He looked at his small desk and his wardrobe. Then he walked over and sat down on the bed. He turned and lifted his legs and lay back on John's pillow. It smelled of John.

If you were here, I'd have a cup of tea in front of me so it is very much not like you never left. SH

John got ready for bed and climbed under the covers. He smiled at the message. 

I have a cup of tea. -JW

A lie, of course, but the teasing was fun. 

Why are you so cruel to me? I think you get off on it. SH

PS I'm crying by the way. SH

That's not what gets me off. I wish I could hand you a tissue, but my hands are full of delicious tea. -JW

Sherlock wondered if John had had a drink -- that was a bit saucier than he normally behaved.

I don't need a tissue. I've just been using your pillowcase. It's softer. SH

You're going to need tissues for your fun filled four hours, right? -JW

PS Don't use my pillowcase for that. -JW

It's too late, I already have. I can see why you're such a committed wanker -- the pillowcase is quite sexy. SH

I am not a committed wanker. -JW

a. You are. b. It's nothing to be ashamed of. c. You are. SH

I am not! I only do it sometimes. -JW

Are you doing it right now? If so, set your tea down: don't court danger. SH

Maybe danger is what gets me going. -JW

The message surprised John, but something about being so far away made it easier. He wouldn't have to see Sherlock for a whole week, and it would be forgotten by then. Surely John's wanking habits were even less impressive than the solar system, and that never stuck around in that brain of his. 

Well, enjoy yourself. Take advantage of being on your own in an unfamiliar place. I am. SH

What unfamiliar place are you in? -JW

Your bedroom. Your bed. SH

John sobered up a bit and blinked at the message. 

Why? I thought you were joking. -JW

Maybe I am. Joking, I mean. SH

I can never tell with you. -JW

Why would it matter if I were? In your bed, I mean. Or wanking. Would you mind? SH

You can wank whenever. Wherever. But it's a bit odd in my bed. -JW

I'm finding it satisfying. Is that why you usually do it in the shower? Because you find it odd in your bed? SH

No. I do it in my own bed all the time. You should do it in yours. -JW

I do sometimes. But not tonight. SH

Sherlock set his phone down on his chest and stared up at John's ceiling. He counted seven small cracks. Is this what John did as he fell asleep each night? Sherlock pictured John trying to go to sleep, lying where Sherlock was lying now. Suddenly, the image of John masturbating -- right here where Sherlock was now -- popped into his head. Interesting.

Are you doing it now? SH

I'm not doing it now. There's nothing stimulating here. -JW

John bit his lip and couldn't help imagining Sherlock in his bed, masturbating. Okay. Maybe there was a stimulant. 

That's a lie. Hotels always have porn or do you not want the receptionist to know about your viewing habits? SH

I don't want to pay for it. -JW

Sherlock rolled his eyes. God, even on holiday, John was cheap. He smiled a bit.

I've got my laptop. I can describe it for you. Until you get in the mood. What site should I go to? SH

That's not happening. I'm not giving you a website. -JW

Sherlock imagined John blushing. He kind of liked the idea of embarrassing John from miles away.

Found one. What tags should I search? SH

Don't search any. -JW

Too late. SH

What are you searching? -JW

John turned onto his back and settled into the bed. He couldn't believe he was actually considering this. 

I've just gone alphabetically. SH

And what's caught your interest? -JW

So far, I've learned that some bodies have too much hair on them. SH

Yeah, I know. -JW

John wondered if he meant men or women's bodies, but he didn't ask. 

Anal. SH

Is that coinciding with your hair comment? -JW 

It's the tag I'm looking at. I know body hair's not what I'm supposed to be focusing on, but it's really hard to look past. SH

Sherlock rolled onto his side. He wondered if John thought he was really looking at pornography. He wondered what John thought about Sherlock and sex.

Well, focus on something else. -JW

Do you mean the anal penetration? SH

John flushed lightly and couldn't help grinning. Sherlock had to make everything so precise. 

Yes. That's what I mean. -JW

Anal beads are an interesting concept, don't you think? SH

John shifted under the covers lightly, licking his lips. Having no idea what the actor looked like, he was left to imagining Sherlock.

They are indeed. -JW

Do you think the one who gives ever receives or is it like they pick one and stick with it? SH

Depends on the person, I suppose. Some people might not like both ways. -JW

Well, that answered the question about the genders. 

Sherlock pulled back the covers of John's bed and slipped in. He hoped John wouldn't really mind his sleeping there; he would wash the sheets anyway before he got back. He knew he was about to turn the conversation in a way that made him feel a little shy because he wasn't sure why he was doing it. But he was going to do it and somehow being covered up made it easier to do.

Do you have a preference? SH

I've never tried receiving. And I've only given to a woman and I don't think that's the same. -JW

John slipped one hand under the covers, palming himself over his pants. Would he take it from Sherlock? He would certainly give it. He bit his lip.  

Anally? SH

No. I've never dated a woman that brave. -JW

So you are completely without experience in this area? SH

I suppose so. -JW

John's hand stopped moving. This wasn't as sexy as before. 

I am not. SH

No? -JW

But not on video obviously. SH

Obviously. And which one do you prefer? -JW

I found both acceptable. SH

John bit his lip and realised his hand was moving slowly again. 

What are you watching now? -JW

Tell me what to search for and I will. SH

You were on the right track already. -JW

Do you watch because it's first alphabetically or because you like watching it? SH

I like watching it. I told you I need to be stimulated. -JW

But if you like watching it, why haven't you ever done it? SH

Baby steps. -JW

What other things might you be watching if you weren't so cheap? SH

Shut up. -JW

And I don't want to tell you. -JW

I can guess. SH

Go ahead. At least this way you can't laugh at me. -JW

What do you mean by that? I never laugh at you. SH

You will when you find out what I watch. -JW

Now that's an intriguing comment and kind of requires you to tell me. I promise not to laugh. SH

First time stuff. Patient goes in for a checkup and the doctor gets him off. Or two guys are working late and end up having sex. Stuff like that. -JW

Even though Sherlock wasn't there John draped his arm over his face, his cheeks flushing brightly. He couldn't believe they were talking about this. 

Sherlock smiled. Only John Watson would have porn choices that seemed quite sweet.

Why do you need outside stimuli? Can't you just rely on your imagination? SH

John reluctantly looked at the phone again and convinced himself that Sherlock hadn't laughed. 

Sometimes I do but sometimes my head is too full of other things and they interrupt. -JW 

Do you want me to help you now? SH

John swallowed hard. They wouldn't see each other for a whole week. Plenty of time for all of this to be forgotten. And he was a bit hard already talking about it.

Okay. -JW

Sherlock rolled over again onto his back. He wasn't quite sure how they had got here, but he was pretty sure it had mainly been his doing. He could think about why he'd done that at a later time.

All right. I'll tell you a story. Would you like to be one of the characters in this story? SH

John wanted to know if Sherlock was going to be a character as well, and he found his answering weighing heavily on that. But he couldn't ask that -- this was all strange enough. 

Yeah, I would. -JW

Maybe that was strange as well, but he was curious as to what kind of story Sherlock would tell with him in it. 

You need a tuxedo for a fancy dance at a stupid conference that you're only attending to hurt your flatmate. The shop assistant needs to take your measurements. As he does, you wonder if his hand is lingering longer than it needs to. You realise you like the feeling of his touch. You notice there's no one else in the shop. He gives you a tux to try on. You put it on and come out to show him. He tells you you look very handsome. You step back into the changing room, but he comes in with you. He kisses your mouth. Do you like the story so far? SH

"Oh," John breathed out loud. What a perfect scenario. He pushed his pants down and started to stroke himself slowly and lightly. 

Yes. I would kiss him back. And maybe ask him to take the suit off so I don't ruin any of the pieces. -JW

Do you want me to keep going or do you want to take it from here? SH

Can't we both keep going? When I am down to my pants, I am going to start taking his clothes off as well -- kissing his neck and jaw. -JW

Sherlock was a bit surprised by John's enthusiasm. He tried to imagine John in the hotel, thinking about this story. Was it doing for him what the porn usually did? It must be working or he wouldn't be going on with it. Why was this happening? Sherlock thought that maybe he should get out of John's bed, maybe this was too strange. But he didn't move.

His hand is moving into your pants. He starts stroking you. He sits you down on the bench and pulls off your pants and takes you into his mouth. Lean back against the wall, John, and close your eyes. His mouth is warm and wet. Do you like it? SH

John nodded before remembering that Sherlock couldn't see him. But John felt like he could see Sherlock -- in the place of the man now on his knees. His face flushed darkly, but his hand moved faster. 

I do like that. I would hold his hair, but I would have to watch. It feels good. -JW

Do you want him to

Sherlock thought about the right word to choose.

Do you want him to do more to you? SH

Yes. But I'd like to do something for him as well. -JW

Stand up and bend over the bench, John. I think he'd be pretty happy with that. Also, considering this is just a story, do you mind if I ignore certain precautions that one would definitely not want to ignore if this were really happening? SH

"Fucking hell," John moaned softly, thankful for the distance between them. Sherlock was very good at this -- a pleasant surprise to John. 

Fine. I am going to be able to watch in the mirror. -JW

Excellent plan. He's standing behind you now, pressed against you. He's hard. He moves his hand between your legs as he's stroking himself. He presses a finger into you. He looks at you in the mirror. He tells you he's never done this with a customer before but he couldn't help it -- as soon as he saw you, he wanted you. He's inside you now, his hips are crashing into yours and you're watching him and it feels good. Better than you thought it would. He reaches a hand around and he's stroking you and there's too much pleasure, John, you think you're going to explode from the pleasure. Tell him you're going to come. SH

Sherlock was pretty sure John must be masturbating in real life. John was easily suggestible and clearly very visual. Even if he were just testing Sherlock, trying to get Sherlock to reveal something, he was pretty sure the vividness of Sherlock's descriptions must be causing a sexual reaction, and for some reason, Sherlock kind of liked that idea.

John whimpered softly and he was so lost in stroking himself -- in the feeling of pure heat coursing through him that he almost forgot to reply. He brought the phone up and answered with a shaky hand. 

I would tell him I've never done it either. But I would let him because he is so sexy. And it does feel good. It feels so good I would tell him over and over. I'm close. I'm going to come. -JW

And the last part was not just pretend anymore. He was bucking into his hand, writhing on the bed. 

Sherlock thought a little bit about what this fantasy meant about John.

He wants you to come. He wants to watch you come and that will push him over the edge. Do it, John. Come. SH

Sherlock thought about the picture he had created for John. He thought about the picture of John in the hotel. And then he slipped his hand into his trousers and felt his own hard cock. He quickly took it out and started stroking it.

The phone slipped from John's hand as he brought it up and ran it through his hair. He gripped his own hair hard as he came, moaning softly as he murmured Sherlock's name. Sherlock's name. When his orgasm was finally over and he lay there panting, he tried to pretend he had said something else. He looked for his phone and wondered if Sherlock was masturbating as well. Had he put himself in the story as well? John was swallowing hard as he caught his breath, continuing the game. 

I came all over the bench. I was a bit loud, but the store was empty after all. -JW

Sherlock was now stroking himself hard and fast. He wasn't thinking about the story, though. He was thinking about John, masturbating in the hotel bed while he masturbated in John's bed. He wondered what sounds John was making. And then he was coming. He didn't make any sounds except for the change in his breathing. He lay there panting for a moment when his phone vibrated on his chest.

I'm sure he appreciated your enthusiasm. There you go then. As good as a first time porn film, I hope, and without the cost or embarrassment. Are you going to go to sleep now? SH

John flushed lightly and turned on his side, curling up under the covers and burying into the pillows. He wanted to ask if Sherlock had enjoyed it as well -- if he had masturbated too -- but now that it was all over it seemed like it would be odd. He was embarrassed again. 

I think so. That was -- you did good. 

John stared at the message and almost hit himself. He erased it and started again. 

I think I will. Thanks, Sherlock. -JW

That was even stranger, but he didn't know what else to say. And he really had appreciated it despite the hundreds of questions it opened up in his head. He just didn't want things to be strange between them now. Tomorrow he would find something boring to text him about, and everything would be fine. 

Thank you. Tonight was not boring. I'm sleepy now. I'll talk to you in the morning. SH

Sherlock slipped out of his clothes, wiping himself up as he did, and then rolled over to go to sleep.

As John drifted off himself he could only think about the fact that he had thought about Sherlock doing those things to him. But no one had to know about that. All he had to do was put that out of his mind and continue being normal. Of course, he thought of Sherlock -- Sherlock had been the one texting him. It was only logical.

Chapter Text

When John woke up in the morning and went down for breakfast, he decided that some regular teasing would be the perfect thing to get things back to normal. 

I hope you managed your morning tea alone. -JW

Sherlock's phone woke him from his sleep. He opened his eyes. He was in John's bed in John's room. He realised he had fallen asleep in literally every room in the flat now.

You woke me up. I was having a nice dream. I blame your conference for this disruption. SH

Sorry. But I promised we'd text every day, and it's a new day and I won't be able to text once things get started. What was your dream? -JW

I was being fucked by a shop assistant in a tuxedo. SH

John dropped his phone into his plate making several people look over at him. He flushed and typed back quickly. 

Well after all that -- I mean, that's normal I suppose. -JW

Is it normal to have sex in a changing room? Perhaps for you, but it's never happened to me. SH

It's never happened to me! I meant normal to dream about it after the story! -JW

Sherlock got up from the bed and walked naked down to the kitchen to turn on the kettle.

It did happen to you, John. It happened last night. You took a baby step, right? Now you know what it'd be like -- for you, not for two anonymous men on the internet. SH

John shook his head, putting his plate with the other dirty ones and heading to the first speech of the day. He didn't like talking about this now -- in the daytime and out in the open. No one knew, of course, but he felt like everyone was watching him. Like they all knew. 

You didn't tell me -- did you manage your tea? -JW 

Sherlock noted John's defensiveness and quick change of subject. Was he embarrassed about what had happened? He needn't be; Sherlock wasn't. Maybe it was just because he had a full day of boring meetings to go to.

I am making it now. It won't taste as good as yours though. I know you won't be able to answer, but I'd still like to know I can text if I need to. Will you put your phone on silent so I can do so without upsetting you? SH

It's already on silent. I've also sat in the back so it won't be so obvious. -JW

The speaker came out and John looked up, holding the phone on his thigh and covered.

I've got work to do. I'll try to leave you alone. If I die of boredom before I hear from you again, I'll have Mrs Hudson remove my corpse before you return. SH

You're going to be fine. -JW

John put his phone away and actually paid attention. He checked his phone again before the second speaker, but there was still nothing. After all the fuss Sherlock made about being alone, he was being awfully quiet.

Sherlock took his tea to his desk. No new cases. He sent Lestrade an email, trying very hard not to sound desperate, especially since there's a chance that he might know John was out of town. Sherlock didn't like the idea of anyone assuming that he couldn't function without John. Even though it kind of felt like he couldn't. He read the news online and then read over some of John's old blog posts, leaving annoyed (and anonymous) replies to some of the comments.

Eventually, he stood up, stretched and moved to the bathroom to shower. When he came back out, it was nearly lunch time. He made another cup of tea and sat down at his laptop again, doing a quick search. He picked up his phone.

There is a bespoke tailors within a mile of your hotel. Just in case you were wondering. SH

Finally, when everyone took a break for lunch, John checked his phone and felt anger bubbling up into his chest, mixed with shame.

I shared something intimate with you because you're my friend and I trusted you. If you're going to make fun of me then I'd rather you delete it. I won't tell you anything else. -JW

He stuffed his phone away and joined a group discussing the lectures. The afternoon was a proper social event, giving everyone a chance to meet properly. He looked forward to being kept busy for the time being.

Sherlock read the text and felt bad. He hadn't meant to make fun, he thought they were just teasing each other. He liked how they teased each other.

I'm not making fun, John. I just want you to be comfortable with yourself. SH

When he didn't get an immediate response, he started to feel a little panicked. He tried to just believe that John was busy, but now he was worried that John no longer trusted him. He wasn't sure what to do.

I did it last night as well. I thought we were just sharing something nice. I wasn't making fun. I'm sorry. SH

John didn't check his phone until halfway through the social event. He had honestly forgotten about being mad at Sherlock and was so bored he was looking for an escape. When he saw the messages, he excused himself and went back out to the lobby. So he had masturbated as well. John didn't know how that changed his feelings about everything. He wished he could go to bed now and think.

I'm sorry I got angry. I suppose I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all. Baby steps, right? I'm sorry. -JW

He hated how defensive the whole topic made him feel. The most progress he'd made was their talk last night, but again, there was something about being curled up a hundred miles away that made it easier.

Sherlock had gone out for a walk but found he was gripping his phone the whole time, waiting for a response. It had probably been stupid to have done what he'd done last night -- he should have stopped to think. But it was too late. He was back home lying on the sofa when John's reply finally arrived.

If you'd rather we can both just forget it happened. Why don't you just come back to London? Lestrade is ignoring me. He listens to you. I need a case. SH

He's not going to magic up a case just because I ask. Want me to murder someone? If it's one of these boring doctors, you can come out here. -JW

John didn't mention the first part of the text because he didn't want to forget it. He just didn't know what he wanted yet.

I knew it'd be boring. Knowing you're also bored helps, but doesn't cure my problem. Have you had your dinner? SH

No. It's after the social event, which I'm missing. But I don't really need to meet new people. I just want to benefit from the lectures. Is that wrong? -JW

No. New people are terrible. What are you going to do now? SH

I have to eat with everyone and then there's one more lecture before bed. Well, bed for me because I'm boring. -JW

Text me when you get into bed

Sherlock thought for a second and deleted that.

Try to make the most of the conference, John. At least then I'll know my suffering alone here was for a good cause. SH

A group of them are going out to a club. Are you saying I should go too? -JW

Sherlock sat up sharply. He didn't want John going to a club -- not with people they didn't know, not with terrible, new people. He wanted John to go up to his room and Sherlock could go back to John's room and they could text -- just talk before bed, like they normally did. Or like they did last night. But maybe he shouldn't say that. Or want that.

If you think it will be fun, you should go. Text me later and let me know what you decide. SH

I'm not going to a club, Sherlock. I do have to go in for dinner though so I'll talk to you soon -JW

Sherlock was relieved. He knew he should probably eat something as well so he wandered into the kitchen, but the most he could manage was some toast and a banana. He watched a little telly and then took a long hot bath. He put on his pajamas and took a book up to John's room. He climbed into bed and tried to read, but found that he was thinking mostly about his phone, which was lying on his chest.

John went to the dinner and sat with the group from before. When they pressured him about going out, he found himself lying about being a relationship and that, in fact, he had a Skype date when he got back. The others laughed and teased him, but it stopped the asking about the club. He tried not to over think how easily he'd said that -- not that it was a lie. Sherlock really was waiting for him. And maybe they could text again.

During the late lecture, John was thinking about what sort of things Sherlock liked to watch. If he told a story tonight, what would he make it about? Would Sherlock agree to be in the story? When it finally ended, he hurried up to his room and got ready for bed. This time he didn't wear anything before climbing under the covers.

I'm back. -JW

Sherlock grabbed his phone immediately. What was happening? Was he that lonely for John that he turned into a little schoolgirl about John's texts? He took a few deep breaths.

Did you have a good dinner? SH

It was okay. Not as boring as the party thing at least. -JW

For now he wouldn't tell Sherlock about his little lie. Maybe he wouldn't tell him ever.

My day was boring. All I did was wait to hear from you. No offense, but it was boring. SH

You poor thing. It's such a hard life. -JW

Was John trying to make a sex joke with the word 'hard'? Sherlock wondered. No, that was stupid. He needed to stop thinking about what happened last night; John probably just wanted to pretend it had never happened. Maybe Sherlock shouldn't be in John's bed.

Did you ring Lestrade for me? SH

No. I told you that wouldn't change anything. You know he's good about calling you. -JW

This was only the first day. I can't spend the next week just sitting around waiting for my phone to ring. SH

Okay. I'll text him in the morning. -JW

That wasn't really what Sherlock had meant. He didn't really know what to say now.

Well, I guess I'll say good night now. SH

Already? I was hoping to talk. We hardly talked all day. -JW

John wondered how to bring this up -- he wanted another story. Or even to tell the story.  He didn't just want to go to bed like this.  If Sherlock didn't get his little hint -- was there even a hint there? -- he would flat out offer.

I assumed you'd be tired. We can talk. SH

I thought I could repay the favour and tell you a story. -JW

John hit send before he could change his mind. He held the phone tightly, nervous as he waited.

That was definitely not what Sherlock was expecting. He reached over and turned off John's lamp before snuggling down a bit in the bed.

All right. SH

John turned onto his back and propped himself on the pillows a bit.

What do you like? -JW

Sherlock didn't know the answer to the question. He really didn't. He never watched porn and, in truth, he rarely even masturbated. But he didn't really need to get into that right now.

I liked last night's story. SH

He hoped that would give John enough to go on.

Do you want to be in the story? -JW

John was trying to think of a good scenario for Sherlock.

All right.

Sherlock thought for a minute.

All right. Are you going to be in the story as well? SH

He hit Send, his stomach twisting a bit.

John's stomach flipped wildly. That would be a harder line to come back from if they crossed it. But his mind was already working on several different scenes.

I can be. Which side do you want for your story? -JW

You pick. SH

It's your story. Please? -JW

Sherlock thought for a moment. Remembering John's inexperience in real life, he didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable.

Bottom. SH

Okay. -JW

John began typing, and he hoped that Sherlock would like the story.

You haven't had a case for weeks and you're very close to losing it. You've tried everything to make your mind stop racing but nothing has worked. So we go to the Yard but Lestrade is out of the office. You insist that we wait. After a bit, I suggest we go home and I will find a way to distract you. You refuse. Unable to watch you suffering this way, I lock the door and start rubbing your shoulders, kissing along your neck. -JW

Sherlock sat quietly waiting for John's response. He wasn't sure he was breathing, so then he made himself breath slowly. When his phone vibrated, he read the message. So far, so good.

I'm surprised. But it feels nice. SH

I know he could come back at any second but it doesn't matter. We know there won't be a case, and you need this, don't you? -JW

John was finding it surprisingly easy to write about the both of them like this.

I do. Do you? Tell me. SH

Of course I do. That's why I locked the door. I want more. -JW

Sherlock tried to picture John's story in his head. He'd never do something like that in Lestrade's office. Wait -- is that the only part of this he'd never do? This story was going to be about John having sex with him and its location was the only part Sherlock was questioning? What was happening?

Go on. SH

John was hoping Sherlock was enjoying it -- his short answers made it hard to know.

While I was kissing your neck I would reach around the front and start unbuttoning your shirt. I'd run my fingers over your skin, moving around to kiss there as well. We have to be quick now. Stand up for me and face the desk. -JW

Sherlock watched it in his mind. He watched himself stand up and move to the desk.

I want our clothes to stay on. Just trousers down. Do it fast. SH

They will, just in case. I'm going to turn you back towards me and push your trousers and pants down -- just to your thighs before I lift you up on the desk. I'm going to push my own down, stand between your legs, and slowly start to open you up. I want to look at your lovely face. -JW

Sherlock slipped his hand under the bed covers. He was hard. He palmed himself through his pajamas.

I'm looking back at you. You seem so different, but you're not. Don't stop. Hurry. SH

He meant in the story but also with the story. His hand was now stroking his cock.

I push myself into you -- you make the sexiest sound -- and then I start moving. I'm going to hold your hips and thighs and thrust into you. Show me how much you like it. Tell me. -JW

John was stroking his own hard cock now, imagining Sherlock doing the same, hopefully in his bed again.

Do it harder. Pull my hair.

Sherlock hit Send before he realised what he had just written. Sherlock's hand moved faster and he realised he wished John was here, doing it for real, even though he had no idea what that was going to mean when John returned.

"Fuck," John moaned out loud. He had to take a minute to get himself together to reply.

That's right. I would grab your hair and tug your head back. I want to suck and bite that lovely neck while I fuck you. Squeeze your legs around me -- make me stay inside as I slam into your body. -JW

Sherlock's breath had changed, and he stopped thinking about what all this might mean. He let himself get lost in the story as his hand pumped furiously.

It feels good -- your taking me, your taking control. I feel you biting my neck. I can't do anything but let you take whatever you want.

And I want you. I want everything you can give me. Please. -JW

Kiss my mouth. Tell me I'm yours, tell me you own me.

Sherlock was so close, he didn't care what secrets he was revealing.

"You're all mine," John moaned out loud. He had to type -- to help him finish.

Mine. Mine to take wherever. I'm kissing you hard, Sherlock. Fucking you hard against the desk. -JW

Sherlock looked at the words and then looked around the room, around John's room. He closed his eyes for a minute. With his free hand, he typed.

Come home, John.

And then he came hard, his body arching away from John's bed. He dropped back down, panting.

Again the phone fell from John's hand. He shouted out, moaning for Sherlock as he came all over his own stomach. "I can't," he mumbled softly. As he caught his breath he was reaching for his phone again. He didn't know what to say yet.

Sherlock knew he'd made a mistake. He'd changed everything now -- he was worried he'd ruined everything. He waited two more minutes for a response and then picked up his phone.

Good night, John. SH

Wait! Are you okay? I just had to catch my breath. -JW

John stared at the phone for the response, waiting. His stomach was twisting nervously. Had he done too much? He didn't want things to be ruined -- not just this story stuff but everything.

Sherlock cleaned himself up and flopped down on John's bed. He lifted a hand to his face and realised he was crying. He didn't understand why.

I'm okay. Are you? SH

Yeah. Was that okay? I'm sorry if I got carried away. -JW

John found himself aching to hold Sherlock. The fact that he was so far away was making him a bit sick.

I'm sorry. You were supposed to be taking baby steps and I made you take too big of a leap. Thank you, though. It was nice. SH

But I'm okay. Honest. -JW

John's brain was slowly processing what they had said -- what he'd moaned and what Sherlock had written. He flushed lightly and gripped the phone. He was okay, wasn't he?

Sherlock took a few deep breaths.

Good. We're both okay. You should go to sleep now. SH

John didn't like how abruptly this was ending. Had it been this way last night? It felt different now.

Okay. Good night, Sherlock. -JW

Good night, John. I miss you. SH

Sherlock rolled over and tried to let the exhaustion of his body take over his mind so he could sleep.

I miss you, too. -JW

Chapter Text

John thought about Sherlock well into the night, sleeping lightly and never for too long at a time. When he got up in the morning, he was exhausted so he actually skipped the first lecture. He took a long shower and ordered a proper breakfast before going to the next one. He sat in the back again, fishing it his phone.

Won't be long until the conference is over. -JW

Sherlock had woken up early and left the flat. He didn't have a destination in mind -- he just didn't want to spend the entire day moping as he had done yesterday. He tried not to think about what had happened last night. He wondered what John had thought about it all, about how it might change things between them, if it'd change things at all. When he felt his phone vibrate, he smiled.

I'm glad. I'm tired of being bored. SH

Sherlock headed back to the flat, making a cup of tea for himself and settling in on the sofa.

I know. Any cases? -JW

John realised he forgot to text Lestrade so he did that really quick, telling him to reply to Sherlock as soon as possible.

I didn't bother checking yet. I might go see Molly tomorrow. Are you learning lots of new things? SH

I am. This has been very instructive so far. -JW

And not just the medical stuff. Something different was happening between them and that was instructive as well. But that was harder to figure out the meaning of.

Enjoy the rest of your day. I look forward to hearing from you tonight. SH

He sent it and then wished he hadn't worded it quite like that. Even though it was true.

John smiled and found that he'd been hoping for that as well. A story each night before bed. And what happens when you go home? John ignored that as he walked into his next lecture -- they could worry about that when they had to. He wasn't sure what would happen when he finally saw Sherlock, but he wanted to be able to enjoy this and not ruin it with worry.

What were the chances Sherlock wanted to take it further? He realised that just by asking that question he was admitting that he would like that. Actually doing things instead of talking about them? He shook his head because he was starting to feel a bit warm, and be couldn't think that way right now.

Before he knew it the next speaker was on, and John forgot he was supposed to have written back.

Me too. It's almost dinner here. -JW

Sherlock finished his tea and then went through the kitchen, trying to find something tolerable to eat. He checked his email and saw that Lestrade had responded, but there was really nothing going on for Sherlock to work on. He wondered if John had rung Lestrade and asked him to respond.

Sherlock decided not to bother John. Perhaps he'd get another invitation to go out and even though Sherlock didn't like the idea, he shouldn't be the thing that stops him. He sat down on the sofa with a book and read until it got dark. Rather than turn on a lamp, he turned on the telly and flipped through the channels, watching bits of a horrible shows and trying not to wonder what John was doing.

After dinner everyone was going out again, but John was eager to get to his room. He laughed off the teasing -- even resorting to showing them a picture of Sherlock so they would know he wasn't lying.

"But he's not here!" one woman laughed, swatting his arm.

"And I hate every second of it. Good night," he said firmly, heading up to his room.

Did you make it through another day? -JW

When his phone went off, Sherlock was relieved to see it was John.

Barely. I am watching some kind of sport on television. Sport on television is what I'm watching, John. Save me. SH

John laughed softly as he got ready for bed. It was a bit early but he didn't mind.

You should love sports -- all those men running around and tackling each other. -JW

Don't get carried away with the small bit of information I've revealed to you. SH

Sorry. Let's move away from that. -JW

Are you in bed? SH

I am. Are you? -JW

Sherlock stood up. He wondered if he should go into his own room, but maybe it'd be better to go to John's while he was away and this unusual situation was occurring. Then when John returned, Sherlock would go back to his own room where there'd be no associations. He went upstairs and climbed into John's bed.

I am now. SH

Are you on the right side? -JW

The right side of what? SH

The bed. I'm on the left. -JW

All right. Hold on. I'm on the right. SH

Sherlock had no idea what John was thinking, but he moved anyway.

Now it's almost like I'm facing you. -JW

All of a sudden, John thought about what else was on the right side of the bed and hesitated. Well, if things were going to be strange, they might as well be all the way there.

Reach your arm under the mattress -- you can use it if you want. I cleaned it. -JW

Sherlock felt a little nervous about this text. He got off the bed and reached his hand between the mattresses. He could feel what it was before he pulled it out.

Do you want me to? SH

If you want to. You can describe it to me. -JW

They were miles past the line now. There was no way they could go back to being normal now -- not after this. John knew it. If Sherlock wanted more, that would be okay. If not . . . he could worry about that later.

Have you used this with someone else? Be honest. SH

No. Just on myself. -JW

Sherlock slid the toy out from under the mattress and crawled back into bed. He stayed on the right side.

Tell me what you want me to do. SH

I usually use my mouth on it first. Would you do that? -JW

Suck it you mean? Am I supposed to pretend it's a cock? SH

John flushed lightly.

That's what I do. Baby steps, you know? -JW

Sherlock ran his hands over it, then brought it close to his face. It smelled like plastic. He licked the end of it then put the tip in his mouth. Hmmm . . .

Did it. Then what do you do? SH

John wished he was there watching, but he closed his eyes to picture it for a moment.

Use the lube and your fingers to open yourself up a bit. Then I want you to use it. -JW

Sherlock stared at the message. This was going much further than he'd imagined it would.

Where's the lube? SH

In my drawer, next to the bed. If you agree, I'd like it if you pretended it was me again. -JW

John wished he had thought to buy or bring a spare. Maybe he would skip lunch tomorrow and go get one. He wondered if that would be a crazy thing to do.

Is this a baby step for you or me? SH

Sherlock reached over and opened the drawer, deliberately not looking in, just reaching his hand around until he felt a bottle. He took it out and poured some in his hands. He rubbed his hand over the toy. He leaned back in the bed and closed his eyes. He continued rubbing the toy, trying to imagine that it was John's cock he was rubbing.

John was stroking himself already, imagining Sherlock's hand, Sherlock's mouth.

Both, I suppose. Tell me what you're doing. -JW

Sherlock felt himself starting to get hard. He reached one hand into his pajamas and began stroking himself. The movement was smoother because of the lube. He stopped for a minute and took off his pajama bottoms. He went back to stroking himself, resting the toy on his hip as he thought about what to do with it. Then he reached down and slicked his balls. The toy fell between his legs, but he left it there. He picked up his phone but couldn't type a message because his fingers were slippery. He hit Call instead as he continued to move his other hand on himself.

John looked to the phone when it vibrated, gasping when he saw it was a call. He answered, settling the phone between his ear and the pillow. "Hello?" he asked lamely. His hand slowed to a steady pace.

"I can't do it and text," Sherlock said. "I'm going to put you on hands free." He laughed a little. He set the phone on the pillow next to him. "Are you wanking?" he asked.

"I am -- this is much easier," John said. He turned towards the phone a bit, still stroking slowly. "Tell me what you're doing -- how it feels," he added softly.

"I'm just . . . touching myself," Sherlock said. "The toy is just . . . down there." He swallowed. "The lube's nice," he added awkwardly.

"You don't have to use it. I just thought . . . well, I'm just touching too." John closed his eyes and imagined Sherlock touching himself in his bed, touching everywhere. He moaned softly, his hand moving a bit faster.

Sherlock imagined John. He reached down and picked up the toy with his other hand and just moved it around the area. He pressed the tip against himself. "I'm pressing the toy . . . there now," he said. "Just the tip."

"I know it's odd at first. I . . .my first time I chickened out and didn't use it," he admitted. "But when I did . . it feels good." His voice was quiet and a bit breathless. He was imagining Sherlock's every word.

"Okay, I'm going to push it in now," Sherlock said. He took a deep breath and pressed it in. He exhaled slowly. "It's been a long time since I had this feeling," Sherlock said quietly. He pushed it in as far as he could and then lifted his hand back to his cock.

"Do you like it?" John breathed, imagining the toy disappearing into Sherlock. His hand was gripping harder now, moving faster.

"It changes the feeling of wanking," Sherlock said. "Do you want me to move it? It's just . . . there right now."

"It's going to feel good," John moaned softly. He imagined Sherlock doing it and bit his lip.

Sherlock started pumping it slowly. It was hard to stroke and move the toy. "Am I supposed to be imagining your doing it with the toy or with your cock?"

John whimpered softly, his hand moving much faster as his body writhed with pleasure. "Whichever you like," John murmured.

"Your hand's moving it then," Sherlock said, closing his eyes and imagining it. What would it really be like if John really were doing it? He couldn't imagine the start of it -- how they'd ever get in this position -- so he skipped that bit, and just imagined John between his legs pressing it into him. "God," he said softly. "Yeah, it feels pretty good . . ."

John moaned loudly, bucking into his hand. "I wish . . .I were there with you," he said breathlessly.

"I wish you were too," Sherlock said. "It's awkward on my own." It must be doing some good, though, because he noticed his breathing was changing a bit. "Tell me something . . . " he said softly.

"I want to feel you inside, Sherlock. After all this time apart I . . .I want you close, impossibly close." He panted out the words, trying to be coherent.

"Do you think . . . " Sherlock said, now able to push the toy and stroke himself, "do you think we would . . . kiss?"

"Yes . . . God yes," John said, swiping his thumb over the tip. "Sh-Sherlock, I'm close . . ." He imagined kissing Sherlock and that more than anything else brought him to the edge.

"I'm thinking of kissing," Sherlock said softly, “I've not kissed anyone for so long." His hand on his cock moved faster, and he found that rocking his hips helped with the toy a bit. "John," he gasped softly.

"I'll kiss you . . . all day," John moaned softly. He whimpered Sherlock's name before coming. His breathing was erratic and broken by moans and murmurs.

Sherlock liked listening to John's noises. "That was sexy," he whispered, "Can you keep talking? Can you say some of the things from last night?"

"You're mine, Sherlock." John was getting the words out slowly as he caught his breath. "You're all mine and . . . and I want you so badly. I want to fuck you and I want you to fuck me."

"Hair," Sherlock moaned quietly. His hand was going fast and he gripped tighter.

"In my fists -- that's what I'm holding onto -- tugging and pulling with every thrust," John said, now laying closer to the phone and holding it again.

"That's good . . ." Sherlock said, feeling his whole body tense. "I'm going to come." He closed his eyes and imagined John over him, gripping his hair and pushing into him. "John," he called his name and then repeated it a few times.

John gripped the phone close, listening with shallow breaths as Sherlock came on the other side. What did his face look like? Was his body writhing? John ached to see these things -- to kiss him through these things and to hold him afterwards. "I bet you look so beautiful," he whispered into the phone.

"Shush," Sherlock said. He smiled to himself. And then he started laughing a little. And then really laughing. "John," he said. "This is strange but . . . good."

John grinned and laughed with him. "This is some habit we got ourselves into," he said. He couldn't believe they were actually talking about it.

"Should we be worried -- I mean, because we've never done anything like this . . . in real life?" Sherlock asked cautiously.

"I don't know. I've been wondering what will happen when I come home. Are you worried about that?" he asked, scratching at the pillow beside him for something to do.

"A little bit," Sherlock said. He wiped himself up and then wrapped his shirt around the toy and put it down on the floor. "I just don't understand it all, I guess."

"I don't either, I suppose. But we'll be okay -- I'm sure we will be fine."

Now that they had actually talked about it John felt a little better about it all -- not like it was a shameful secret but something they could enjoy. "Do you think you'd want this to be more?" John asked.

"What do you mean?" Sherlock asked, curling up a bit.

"Like . . .when I come home," John said quietly.

Sherlock thought for a moment. "I don't know," he said quietly. He paused and then said, "I'm sleepy now."

John opened his mouth to reassure him but was cut off by Sherlock's second comment. "I-okay," he finished instead. "Will I talk to you tomorrow?"

"Of course," Sherlock said quietly. "Good night, John." He hung up the phone and sat up sharply. He needed to think.

He reached over and turned on the light and tried to think. But being naked and a little sticky with John's used sex toy on the floor next to the bed was distracting him too much. So he scooped it and his clothes up and walked downstairs. He dropped the bundle on the table and went in the bathroom for a quick shower and then his bedroom for new pajamas. He came back into the kitchen and washed the toy, setting it in the drainer to dry. He put his old pajamas in the hamper and then put the kettle on. He moved to his desk and opened his laptop.

Of course, he checked his email first -- nothing of interest -- but then he opened a blank document and wrote out every possibility he could think of in terms of how their nightly conversations might change their relationship once John returned. Sherlock realised that he hadn't done this step with cases for a while: he no longer needed to because John was his sounding board. But that seemed less wise with this topic. After he'd done the obvious changes, he got up and poured his tea. He rubbed a piece of kitchen roll over the toy to make sure it was dry and then returned it to John's room, between the mattresses. Then he sat back down at this desk with his tea and went back to typing.

John hung up the phone but continued to hold it on the pillow. He wished he hadn't brought it up so suddenly -- they were no longer taking baby steps. He reluctantly let go of the phone and got up, putting on his pajamas before getting himself a drink from the mini fridge. He tried reminding himself that things were always strange right after and that tomorrow things would be easier again.

When John got back into bed, he started thinking about tomorrow. Sherlock had used the toy for him but it seemed he only did it to please John. He bit his lip and wondered what he could do for Sherlock now to make it better. And maybe tease him a bit, just to show that things didn't have to get weird. He fell asleep still thinking about ideas.

Once Sherlock had finished writing out every option, he had filled almost a dozen pages. He saved the file and decided to go to sleep. But he wasn't sure where to do it -- he felt pulled to John's room but maybe that was a bad idea. His room, on the other hand, seemed . . . like a sort of defeat. So he lay down on the sofa. He lifted his phone and noted the time of John's first messages each day. He set his alarm for a half hour before.

Chapter Text

When his alarm woke him in the morning, Sherlock's body was sprawled out -- almost half off the sofa and he was achy. He stood up and stretched then got up to make a cup of tea. He returned to sofa and picked up his phone.

I have a few questions. Can you be trusted to reply with one word answers only, please? SH

John took a shower in the morning when his alarm went off and was eating breakfast when he saw Sherlock's message. "Uh oh," he mumbled.

I think so. -JW

That's three words, John. Try harder. Did you plan for our conversations to have taken the turn they have? SH

No. -JW

Before the trip, did you want our relationship to have a sexual component? I don't mean perhaps the idea occasionally crossed your mind. I mean did you actively want that before the trip? One word answer, don't forget. SH

John wanted to type a hundred words for this one, but he knew that Sherlock wouldn't like that and he didn't want Sherlock to stop talking to him.

No. -JW

Do you want that now? SH

Not just that. -JW

Sorry, but I needed you to know that. -JW

Do you mean a relationship as well? Boyfriend type business? SH

Yes. -JW

But you do definitely also want the type of things we've talked about the last few nights? Not specifically in Lestrade's office, but you know what I mean. You want those things -- and the boyfriend stuff -- to be who we are now? SH

Yes please. -JW

And if I politely decline, will our friendship end? SH

John's stomach twisted but he knew his answer. He didn't want to lose Sherlock even if it meant things stayed the same.

Of course not. I will respect your decision. -JW

Too many words, John. And if I say I too want those things, will I have to totally change who I am? SH

No. -JW

Be honest. Will I still be able to shout at you for no reason? SH

Yes. I'll kiss you and shut you up. -JW

Will you still make me tea? Even before I ask? You may reply with two words since there are two questions. SH

Yes. Maybe. -JW

Can I still pout (if needed)? SH

Sure. -JW

Will you still date women? SH

Of course not. -JW

And if I decline, things can go back to how they were? SH

Yes. -JW

Thank you for the information. You've got a boring presentation to listen to and I've got a cup of tea to drink. Text me at lunch time. SH

During the first lecture John was doing some research on his phone, finding a nearby shop that would have what he needed. When it was time for the second event -- something about getting familiar with medicines -- John left. He took a cab to the shop and let the driver leave, not wanting the same one after.

In the shop John found the same toy he had at home and hurried back to the hotel. He caught the last half of the seminar, easily excusing his absence. Then he skipped lunch, heading to his room. He washed the toy and climbed into bed with the lube. He pulled his phone out, looking for the video recorder.

When he found it, he made sure to only get his mouth as he started sucking on the toy enthusiastically. Then he leaned back a bit and started to open himself up as he sucked. Then he changed the camera angle to between his legs. He started moaning for Sherlock, slowly pushing the toy into his body.

He started pumping the toy, panting softly. "Sh-Sherlock . . . fuck . . ." he moaned softly. He started stroking himself quickly, moaning Sherlock's name. "Oh god . . . Sherlock," he moaned louder. He was slamming the toy into himself, stroking faster before coming.

When his orgasm was over, he reached for the phone and stopped the camera. He put the video into a message and made extra sure to click Sherlock's name.

Make sure you watch this alone. [Video: click to download] -JW

Sherlock couldn't watch it alone because he was already on the train. He wasn't sure what to do. There was no one right next to him so he shifted his body towards the window and downloaded the video. As soon as he heard his name, he hit Mute. He watched the whole thing. He shifted his coat over his lap a little more.

I see now the appeal of visual stimulation. SH

John, who was now in another lecture, smiled.

Are you at home? -JW

Sherlock thought for a second.

Are you in your room? SH

In a lecture. -JW

Then I shan't return the favour. Are you in lectures until dinner? What time will that be? SH

I am. I'll be back into my room around 9. If you're at home I can help you. -JW

Sherlock looked at his watch. He had plenty of time to figure out the rest of his plan.

I look forward to it. SH

What was your favourite part? -JW

My name. SH

I always moan your name like that. -JW

Stop now, John. I have to work and you should pay attention. SH

Okay, sorry. We can talk tonight. -JW

Sherlock considered watching the video again, but that was probably too risky and it all honesty, he could see it in his mind even without watching it. He leaned his head against the window and closed his eyes. He considered his options for what to do once he arrived.

John sat with a different group for dinner, talking to them about the part of the medicine seminar he missed. During the last lecture, he thought about the video and wondered how many times Sherlock had watched it or if he was making his own. When it ended, he almost ran back to his room, getting caught up by someone taking a survey.

"Sorry, I really don't have time -- "

"Sir, if you want the certificate at the end you have to answer the questions."

John sighed and nodded. "Yes, all right."

At the station, Sherlock pulled his bag with him and got a cab to the hotel. He looked at his watch -- John would be in his last lecture for the night. He loitered around the taxi stand, looking in the bins until he found a swipe card that someone had abandoned rather than return. He snapped its corner and headed into the hotel. He got into the lift and rode it up a few floors, slipping off his coat and looping it through his bag handles. He rode it back down and emerged, walking over to the desk.

"I'm sorry," he said. "My card's broken and I can't get into my room. The name's John Watson. Could I get a replacement, please?" He flashed the swipe card and one of John's old work IDs before quickly slipping them both back into his pocket. He exhaled loudly. "These lectures . . . informative but long."

The clerk smiled at him and typed the name John Watson into the computer. "Room 345?" she asked.

"Yes," Sherlock said. "Thank you . . . Laura," he added, glancing down at her badge.

She opened the drawer and handed him a new card. "Here you go, Dr Watson," she said, "Sorry for the inconvenience."

"No problem at all," Sherlock said, "the service here has been just wonderful." He turned and moved back to the lift. He moved swiftly to John's room and let himself in. He took a quick shower and put on his pajamas. He looked at the two beds and noticed where John's books sat. He slipped into the other bed.

I'm in your bed waiting. SH

John glanced down at the phone and started to get anxious. "I really have to go --"

"Just four more," the man insisted.

John gave his answers quickly, not really caring about his answers. When it was over he was practically running back to his room.

Almost there. Are you watching the video again? -JW

When you get to your room, get straight into bed. Don't turn on the lights or telly. Straight to bed, okay? SH

Yeah, okay. -JW

Sherlock made sure the volume was up loud on his phone. He got out of the bed quickly and set his phone on the opposite pillow on John's bed. He snuck back under the covers of the second bed and waited.

John let himself into his room. He made his way in the dark, stripping down to his pants and undershirt before climbing into bed.

I did it. -JW

Sherlock's phone buzzed on the other pillow on John's bed.

John gasped and looked over, trying to see in the dark. "Hello?" he said, opening his eyes too wide to try and see in the dark. He looked at his phone.

Someone's here. -JW

A phone buzzed again. It had to be in this room. John sat up. "Sherlock?" he asked quietly, feeling a bit foolish.

"Yes, John," Sherlock said into the dark.

Chapter Text

John reached out but didn't feel anything. Had he called him instead? He checked his phone again and saw that he hadn't. "Are you . . . you're here?"

"I am," Sherlock said softly, turning over in the other bed so John could get a sense of where he was. "Don't bother thinking or worrying about anything. Everything is fine. Take a deep breath. I'm going to tell you a story now, okay?"

John wanted to jump into the other bed, to hold him and touch him, but Sherlock wanted to play and he supposed this was the last baby step. "Okay," John said, settling back into his own bed.

"Is your little . . . friend from the video within your reach? I brought the one from home," Sherlock said. His voice was almost a whisper.

"It's here under the pillow," John said quietly, reaching to fish it out.

"You are away at a conference. You see a man who looks familiar to you but you don't speak to him. But you keep noticing him -- every room you go into, he's there. You think he's handsome. One night you get into the lift to go back to your room. The man sneaks in just before the door shuts. Neither of you says a thing. And then the lift stops and the lights go out. The man turns towards you and reaches for your belt. He undoes it, unzips your trousers and slides his hand inside. Do that with your hand now, John. I am," Sherlock said. He was now lying flat on his back and he moved his hand to palm his cock, before sliding it into his pajama bottoms.

John listened with shallow breaths, shoving his hand into his pants and palming gently.

"Do you like this, John? Is it okay that we're doing this in the same room?" Sherlock asked quietly.

"Yes, it's okay -- it's good," John murmured. "What happens next?"

"Neither of you has said a word yet. Lean back against the wall of the lift, John, let him stroke you, let him make you feel good." Sherlock imagined he was the man with John. He started moving his hand on himself. "He leans in and sucks hard on the skin of your neck, leaving a mark. He turns you around and pushes you against the wall. It's mirrored, you can see his face behind you. You feel him pulling your trousers down and sliding a hand between your legs." Sherlock took a minute to breathe deeply. "Use the toy now. Pretend it's his fingers."

John moaned halfway through the story, his hand properly stroking now. He propped himself against the headboard a bit better and poured lube over his entrance. He pressed the toy against the muscle, slowly opening himself up.

Sherlock moved the toy against himself, pressing the tip slowly in. He moved his hand steadily on his cock as he continued to push. "Mine's inside, John. I can feel the pressure. Is yours inside? Go back to the story, John. Look in the mirror at the man behind you who fingers are inside you. If it feels good, tell him, tell me, please," Sherlock said. His voice was sounding more desperate. Inside his brain was a mixture of the story, John's video and the pleasure his own hands were giving him.

John was already steadily pushing the toy into his body. "It's . . . fuck, Sherlock . . . it feels so good." He imagined Sherlock fucking him with his hand, pushing him against the wall. 

"John," Sherlock panted. "I want . . . " His brain was cloudy and he was panting softly.

"Tell me . . . God Sherlock." John was panting and trying to see Sherlock across the room. He wanted the lights on, wanted to be in the same bed as him.

Sherlock stopped moving his hands. "John," he said, "stop . . . for just a second, please." He stared up at the ceiling as he tried to get his breath a little.

John paused with the toy inside of him and reluctantly stopped stroking as well. "Sherlock please..." he moaned softly.

"I want it to be you," Sherlock whispered. "Please . . . come here. I've got a condom . . .please like on Lestrade's desk . . . Please . . ."

John slipped the toy out and moved into the other bed, climbing on top of Sherlock and kissing him hard. His hands moved quickly -- removing the toy gently, taking the condom from Sherlock and rolling it on. "It was torture, listening to you fucking yourself --" He pulled Sherlock's hair back and all but mauled his neck. "-- because you're mine and I wanted to do it, Sherlock." He lined up and pushed into Sherlock, starting a steady pace. 

"John," Sherlock called out at John's words and touch. "Fuck," he then moaned. He lifted his hands to grip the headboard, pushing back against John, rocking the bed with their movements. "Don't stop . . ."

"I won't . . . I can't," John moaned, thrusting into him. It was incredible -- everything built up from the week releasing now. His hands gripped into Sherlock's skin, and he sought his mouth again, needing more contact. "Can't much longer . . . so close . . . Sherlock."

Sherlock kissed John's mouth hard as he slipped a hand between their bodies and returned to stroking himself, hard and fast. All the feelings -- in his body and in his head -- overwhelmed him and then he was coming, his body arching up off the bed against John's. "John," he called out too loudly, but he couldn't stop himself.

John groaned at the sound, feeling Sherlock's body pulling and holding him inside. He followed not long after, shouting Sherlock's name as he writhed in the waves of his orgasm. He felt it in every nerve, collapsing onto Sherlock a bit heavily.

Sherlock wrapped his arms around John's body as they both lay there panting. "Fucking hell," he said finally, smiling against John's shoulder.

"I know," John murmured against his shoulder. He pulled out slowly and got rid of the condom before settling back over him.

Sherlock's body shifted a bit. He groaned a little at his sore muscles, but he relaxed into the bed. "Your hotel room . . . seems nice," he said.

John chuckled and then fell into a proper laugh that left him breathless again. "You should see the mini fridge," he finally said.

Sherlock squeezed John again. "I'm not sure what to say now," he confessed.

"How do you feel about all of this?" John asked softly.

"I'm not totally sure," Sherlock said. "It's . . . big. But I don't regret it."

"It is. And I don't either," John said.

"Good," Sherlock said and put a kiss on John's neck. "Let's stop talking about it and get up." He pushed John off him a bit.

John shifted and got onto his knees, sitting back on his heels. "Get up why?" he asked.

"So we can go out for a walk together," Sherlock said. "We could go get a snack or a drink or just walk around for a bit."

"Oh. Yeah, okay," John said, moving to turn on the light. He went into the bathroom to make sure he was decent before coming back out to get dressed. He saw Sherlock for the first time properly since he'd left, and he smiled stupidly. "Hello."

"I surprised you," Sherlock said stupidly.

John grinned wider and came over to kiss him properly, wrapping his arms around his neck and kissing him softly on the mouth. "It was a very lovely surprise."

"I'm glad you're glad," Sherlock. "I can go home whenever you want -- I don't want to ruin your conference."

"I hope you are not being serious," John said, pecking his lips again.

"I don't want to leave -- but I know this was important to you . . ." Sherlock got into his clothes and checked himself in the mirror. "The hair thing was good by the way," he said softly.

"Yeah, but it's almost over and I don't want you to go anywhere," John said. Then he smiled softly. "I'm glad you liked it -- I was nervous about trying it."

"You didn't seem nervous about any of it," Sherlock said smiling. "Do you feel different now?"

"Different? Only in good ways. I'm not nervous now," John smiled.

"I"m glad you're okay about everything," Sherlock said. "Let's go. Take me to a nice restaurant. I've not had any food since you left."

"I really hope you're joking about that too," John said, taking his hand and leading him out of the room.

"Just feed me, please," Sherlock said, slipping on his coat and opening the door.

John asked at the desk for a nice place, leading Sherlock along the directions they were given for a nice Italian restaurant. "I'm really glad you came, Sherlock."

"I'm glad," Sherlock said. "I wasn't entirely sure it was a good idea, but I'm glad it was." He opened the door for John at the restaurant. "I know you've already eaten -- you could get some dessert or something. I really just want some bread and soup maybe."

"Yes, dessert sounds great," John smiled. "I'm sorry I told you you couldn't with me before," he added.

"It's fine. Do you think if I had come this would have happened?" Sherlock said.

John shrugged. "Maybe alone in the same room all night . . . we'll never know now."

"I'm not sure it would have . . . you said you hadn't thought of it before and I certainly wouldn't have gone into your room . . ." Sherlock admitted.

"We would have shared, just like we did in Dartmoor with the hound. Who knows?" John insisted. "Maybe not. Either way, I'm glad this happened . . ."

"No, I meant your room at home -- I wouldn't have had the chance to go in there and discover and be intrigued by your perversions."

"What perversions?" John asked, laughing lightly. "You were lying about the twenty bottles of lube in there!"

"You know what I'm talking about. . . " Sherlock said. "It scared me when I saw it . . ." He grinned stupidly.

John flushed lightly and smiled. "You didn't discover it, I told you about it. And I told you it was up to you," he said.

"I don't mean that. I mean the other thing -- in your wardrobe. Did you have to buy a pump to blow that up?"

"What? Now you're making things up!" John laughed.

"You're right, I am," Sherlock said. He smiled and took a sip of wine before eating a few bites of food. "Are there other things you want to try -- things we haven't talked about yet?"

John shrugged. "I know the stories are more . . . mentally stimulating but. . . . well . . . when we go to the room we could pretend we're anywhere, couldn't we?"

Sherlock smiled. "I like your thinking, John Watson."

John smiled, digging into his chocolate dessert. "Is it odd for us to be role playing so soon in our relationship?" he asked, smiling wider.

"Our relationship isn't new . . . we've just changed it a little," Sherlock said. "Besides we can do whatever you want. Don't be daft."

"Whatever we want, not just me," John said.

"Obviously," Sherlock said.

"Okay, good," John said. He drank some more wine and leaned across the table, speaking lower. "I'd have you take me in the bathroom if it wasn't such a crowded night." Then he leaned back and smiled like he hadn't said anything.

"John Watson," Sherlock said. "I hope I can keep up with you."

John grinned. "I promise you can. I mostly tease," he assured him.

Sherlock pushed his plate away. "Let's go back to the room," he said, smiling.

John nodded, leaving some money on the table before standing and following Sherlock out. "So? Do you like it here so far?"

"It's nice," Sherlock said. "Of course, mainly I've just done the sex and eating part. Are there are parts as well?" He said. He looped his arm through John's. "Is this okay?"

"Not unless you want to go to a boring lecture," John grinned. "I haven't been out much so I have no idea. And yes, this is very nice."

"It is," Sherlock said as they walked on. "Are we going to play a game when we get back, do you think?"

John smiled and leaned on his arm. "Yeah, I think that would be a lot of fun."

"Okay," Sherlock said, smiling.

When they arrived at the hotel, they got on the lift. Sherlock turned to John and then moved into him, pushing him against the wall and gripping his belt. He kissed his mouth roughly. Then the bell went to indicate they had reached their floor, and Sherlock stepped back and pulled John out.

John hummed in surprise and pushed back against Sherlock when he was working at John's belt. Heat spiked through John and when they parted, he was already panting softly, fumbling for the room key.

When they got back into the room, Sherlock slipped off his coat and then took a few things out of his bag. He turned off the lamp but pulled open one of the curtains so the streetlight came in. Then he said, "Let's finish that story." He grabbed John's hand and pulled him towards the dresser, standing behind him. "Watch us in the mirror," he said. He reached around John's body and opened his belt as he kissed the back of John's neck.

John looked up at his own face and then to Sherlock's face, his eyes moving to take in every detail. He arched his back and pushed his arse back against Sherlock, still panting softly.

Sherlock opened John's trousers and then let them fall to the floor so John could step out of them. He reached for the bottle of lube, pouring some on his hands and then reaching round to stroke John's hardening cock. His kisses on John's neck turned to soft bites as his other hand slipped to John's arse and brushed over his hole.

"I don't usually do this sort of thing," John grinned, pushing back into his hand. He tilted his head back too, moaning softly at the kisses.

"Neither do I," Sherlock said in his storytelling voice. "But you . . . make me want to." Sherlock pushed a fingertip inside John. "Okay?" he whispered in his normal voice. "Promise you'll say if you want to stop."

"I'm okay -- please don't stop," he murmured. "You make me want to do this too . . . handsome stranger. I can't pass you up," John smiled.

Sherlock looked at John in the mirror and made a quick smile and then went back to nipping at John's neck. He pushed a second finger into as his other hand pumped his cock. "I want to fuck you against the wall of this lift," he hissed. "I want you to watch me in the mirror doing it."

John nodded, pressing harder into his hand again. "That sounds . . . fantastic . . . please." He gripped the dresser, his eyes fixed on Sherlock.

Sherlock moved his hand from John's cock to grab John's own hand and pull it down. Then he reached back and stroked himself as he rocked against John. He rolled a condom on and then pushed the tip in. "Relax your body," he said in a normal, quiet voice, "it should feel like the toy but better." He fought the urge to push further in but this wasn't a baby step anymore and he needed to know John was all right.

"Sherlock please," he moaned softly. "I need it -- I need you so badly..."

Sherlock pushed all the way in. His breath caught. "Fuck," he called out. "It's . . . good." He pulled back and pushed in again. He moved slowly. "Look at me -- look at us. I'm going to go slow and then we're going to move to the bed and I'll do it like you did earlier."

John nodded, meeting Sherlock's eyes in the mirror. He moaned loudly and pushed against him, trying to be patient with the pace Sherlock was setting. He wanted so much and it all felt fantastic.

Sherlock moved his hands to John's hips, pulling them against him in a slow rocking motion. It was tortuous but in a good way. "Will you still pull my hair even though we're doing it this way?" he asked quietly.

John nodded. "I will . . .oh God." He pushed away from the dresser and leaned against Sherlock, reaching his arm up to grip his hair. He tugged Sherlock's head back. "Fuck . . ." he moaned.

"Let's get on the bed," Sherlock said, "you're driving me insane." He pulled out and held the condom as John lay down on the bed. He moved over him and pressed back in. "Fuck, John," he moaned, "you feel so good." He dropped his head to John's chest, already panting as he thrust gently into him.

John moaned loudly, wrapping his legs around Sherlock. He gripped Sherlock's hair and just pulled and tugged with every wave of heat and pleasure coursing through him. "Touch me, Sherlock . . .please . . . " he moaned.

Sherlock reached down and started stroking John in the same rhythm as his hips moving against him. "Fuck, John . . . it's too . . . it feels so good," he said huskily.

John nodded, pulling at his hair. "M'close . . . Sherlock . . . I'm . . . I can't," he moaned loudly.

"Shh, no more talking," Sherlock said, "listen to our noises." His breath was hard and little moans and grunts accompanied each thrust. His heart felt like it was pumping out of his chest. He was so close, just ready to explode.

John moaned loudly, coming into Sherlock's hands and pulling on his hair. He called out, moaning Sherlock's name as he rocked and moaned in pleasure.

John's orgasm pushed Sherlock and he slammed one last time into John, coming hard against him. "God, John . . . John," he moaned over and over. He held still for a moment and then gently lowered his body against John's. He lifted a hand to John's hair and stroked it softly.

"I love you . . ." John whispered, his breathing laboured and fast.

Sherlock lifted his head and smiled softly at John. He slipped to his side and curled around him.

John held him tightly and closed his eyes.

After a little while, Sherlock whispered, "I need the toilet." He pulled away after giving John a quick kiss. He went into the bathroom and then returned in his pajamas. "I need to go to sleep. Can we sleep together? Which bed?"

"This one -- don't make me move please," John murmured.

Sherlock smiled. "All right, lazybones. Take the rest of your clothes off, get in and let me lie by you," Sherlock walked around the bed and lifted up the covers.

John grinned up at him and considered asking him to remove his clothes for him, but he sighed and pulled his shirt off before moving up properly.

Sherlock curled against John. "I'm glad I'm here, John," he said softly and put a kiss on his neck.

"Me too, Sherlock. See? My going away was the best thing that's ever happened to us," he said as he stroked Sherlock's back lightly.

"I don't like it when we're not together," Sherlock said, his voice sounding sleepy.

"Well, now," John said. "We'll never not be together."

"Promise?" Sherlock whispered.