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A Cure For Boredom

Chapter Text


"Decisions, decisions." John Watson frowned as he looked back and forth between the plastic tubs of yoghurt he held in each hand. He should just pick one at random, probably; Sherlock would complain either way.

"Get the Greek kind," said a voice to his left. He turned his head just as a fall of auburn hair swept past him to pluck a tub of yoghurt from the shelf in from of him. She smiled as she placed it in her basket, the slight lines around her blue eyes crinkling in a way that always made him stop and look again.

"You prefer it, then?" he replied, sliding into flirting mode with practiced ease.

"You should try it with honey." She swept her hair over her shoulder with her left hand; his eyes caught the flash of a gold band with more than a little disappointment.


"It's heavenly." She wet her lips and smiled, and his hopes flickered up again. Attached, but still interested. He was almost desperate enough to consider being the other man.


"Thanks, I will," he said and looked away as he returned the tub of Danone to the shelf. His phone buzzed the instant he put the Greek yoghurt into his basket and he reached into his pocket to retrieve it.

Wrong. -SH

"What the--" His eyes shot upwards, scanning the ceiling for security cameras. Sherlock couldn't have seen that; it wasn't possible.

His would-be affair had moved a few feet away and was scanning a selection of cream. Even John could tell she was stalling for time, waiting for him to pursue her. He glanced at her hand again to see she'd removed her wedding ring in the interim. Definitely interested, then. He sighed and tapped at the keyboard of his phone with his free thumb.

The Greek yoghurt or the married woman?

No, you. Were wrong. - SH

John rolled his eyes. As if that was a new piece of information. He paused a moment more, staring down at his phone.

She'd just want a shag, probably, nothing more. She might know somewhere they could go and it would be quick and dirty and they wouldn't have to see each other again. He could buy condoms while he was here; they were two aisles over. He risked a glance in her direction to see her watching him. She smiled, tilted her head just a bit. She wasn't his usual type: she was stylish and self-confident, taller than him, and probably close to his age. There was nothing girlish or coy about the looks she was giving him, no trace of innocence there. What she wanted was very clear. It was surprisingly hot.

The phone in his hand vibrated.

Come home now. Important. - SH

He shoved the phone back in his pocket and sighed. Cock-blocked by Sherlock, as always. Maybe it was for the best.

He smiled politely at her and shrugged before turning away and walking in the opposite direction. She didn't follow. He half-wished she would, that she'd just take his arm and lead him out of the shop, take him to some dark corner and press him against the wall and--

He punched the buttons of the chip-and-pin machine a bit harder than was strictly necessary. Why couldn't he catch a break, just this once? He looked back once more before leaving the shop, but she was nowhere to be seen. He walked out the door, alone.


In retrospect, he shouldn't have been surprised to see Sherlock draped across the sofa and staring at the ceiling, his dressing gown wrapped tightly around him. In the exact same position he'd been in when John had left, in fact.

John set the shopping bag on the cluttered kitchen table and sighed. "Well?"

"You were wrong."

Sherlock's bored-voice was starting to grate on John's last nerve. It had been weeks since they'd had a proper case and Sherlock had rejected everything that had come their way since. He hadn't left the flat in three days. Possibly not even the sofa.

John willed himself to be patient as he crossed to stand in front of Sherlock. He folded his arms over his chest. "I realize I'm frequently wrong, but it would help if you'd be a bit more specific."

Sherlock's expression was a mildly indignant glare. "I told you it wouldn't work and it didn't."

John frowned, thoroughly confused. "I've no idea what you're talking about."

Sherlock rolled his eyes and flailed an arm dramatically across the back of the sofa. "I said I was bored and you said I should just shut up and go have a wank like a normal person."

John felt his eyebrows rise of their own accord. He had indeed said that just before he'd stormed down the stairs to get some fresh air and an hour away from Sherlock's nattering, all-consuming tantrum of boredom.

"That's what this is about?" He eyed a crumpled tissue on the floor next to the sofa. "You actually… on the sofa, Sherlock?"

"Yes. I was on the sofa. Where else should I have done it?"

"In your bedroom? Somewhere I don't sit, perhaps?"

Sherlock have him a withering look. "You masturbate in the shower, which we share, every other morning."

"How do you--" John began and then held up one hand. "No, never mind. I don't want to know how you know that."

"It's completely obvious. You--"

"I said I don't want to know!" John collapsed into an armchair and pressed a hand against his forehead. Silence stretched between them for a long moment.

"At any rate, you were wrong."

John bit the inside of his cheek to keep himself from responding. He glanced over at Sherlock, who was staring up at the ceiling with a strangely discomfited expression.

"All right, I'll bite. How exactly was I wrong?"

"You said it would help and it didn't work."

John paused. "When you say it didn't work, do you mean you couldn't…" He made a vague gesture with his hand.

"Don't be ridiculous. I'm perfectly capable of masturbating, even if I don't practice as frequently as you do."

John smirked; personal attacks meant he was getting close to the real issue. "So you were able to--" He paused, choosing his words carefully. "--bring yourself to orgasm?"

One hand flopped over Sherlock's face. "Of course, though it didn't make a bit of difference. Still utterly bored. In fact, I feel worse now than I did before, which is why I usually don't bother."

This was rapidly descending into the realm of too much information, but John's curiosity was piqued. "I wasn't sure you masturbated at all. How often, then? And I'm asking as your doctor, not as your… friend."

Sherlock was silent for several seconds and John wondered if he'd crossed a line. They'd never talked about sex in the year they'd known each other. Well, that wasn't quite correct: Sherlock had never said a word about sex; John had bemoaned his personal dearth of it on many occasions.

"Every month or so," Sherlock said at last, his voice uncharacteristically tight. "Whenever I wake up with an erection that won't go away."

"And that only happens once every month or so?" John almost managed to keep the tone of surprise out of his voice.

"As I've told you on multiple occasions--" He waved a hand above his abdomen. "--just a vessel."

"A vessel you neglect far too much." John sat up in the chair and leaned forward, elbows on his knees. Launching into a lecture about the health risks of complete abstinence was probably pointless, but it was clear that something about this topic was bothering Sherlock. That alone was unusual enough to encourage John to keep pushing. "Is it that you're not interested or that it's not satisfying?"

Sherlock's arm flopped down to his side again. "It's tedious."

"Tedious," John repeated. Then you're not doing it right.

"Honestly, John, if occupying my mind was that simple, don't you think I’d have wanked myself into oblivion before now?"

"I was only trying to help. It helps me clear my head, so I thought… Never mind what I thought." John stood, ready to head upstairs to his room for a while.

"You think I'm doing it wrong."

"Are you asking me to help you?"

"Oh, lovely, I'll defer to your expertise in this matter, shall I? Please, John, help me learn how to rub one out in the shower as proficiently as you do."

"Was there a 'yes' under all of that sarcasm, or was it merely a 'piss off'? I couldn't tell."

Sherlock was silent for a moment. "If you like, yes. I suppose it couldn't hurt."

John took a deep breath and released it again, trying to decide if he should really have this conversation. It wasn't his concern, after all. If he couldn't get Sherlock to eat on a daily basis, it was unlikely he'd be able to help him with this. But this was as close as Sherlock had come to asking for help in, well pretty much ever. John sat in the chair again. "All right. What do you think about while you masturbate?" He winced and hastily revised: "You don't have to give details; I just mean in general."

Sherlock turned onto his side to face John, apparently having decided to take this conversation seriously. "What I normally think about. Everything."

"You actually think about cases while you wank?"

"Experiments, books I'm reading, celebrity gossip, redox reactions in--" John laughed before he could stop himself and Sherlock's face clouded. "What else would I think about?"

"Most people think about sex. They fantasize about someone they're attracted to, that sort of thing. Or they look at porn."

Sherlock's eyes narrowed. "That helps?"

Oh my god. John pressed his lips together in a tight smile. "Definitely."

"What do you think about?"

John's face warmed and his gaze fell to the floor. "I imagine I'm with someone else, that it's someone else's hand on me… or mouth." He cleared his throat and glanced back at Sherlock, who was watching him with the same sort of detached interest he reserved for fresh corpses.


"It varies. There was a woman at Tesco just now who will likely make an appearance."

"The married one?"

John nodded and looked towards the window to where the light was already fading.

"What will you think about her?" Sherlock's voice was quiet, cautious.

John took a measured breath. This was uncharted territory for them, but it was a step towards something resembling normal conversation between mates. Well, perhaps not for men their age, but in this particular area Sherlock seemed stuck in his teens. And after John's years in the army, he wasn't actually sure what constituted normal male conversation about sex anyway.

"Well, I'd start by thinking about what she looked like: long reddish brown hair and blue eyes, and a tight body, like she goes to the gym daily and is probably a lot stronger than you'd expect." The fantasy began to spin in his mind and he smiled. "God, the way she looked at me. Like she wanted to drag me out of there and into a dark alley, maybe push me up against the wall and kiss me, rough. Then she'd drop to her knees and suck me off, but she'd stop when I started to get close." His eyes lost their focus for a moment. "And I'd pull her to her feet and hike her skirt up -- no knickers -- and press her back against the wall, her legs around my waist, and--" He stopped and inhaled shakily, his trousers growing tight. "You get the idea."

He heard Sherlock exhale slowly, like a long, intense sigh. "Yes."

John couldn't bring himself to look at him. "Well. On that note, I'll just…" He stood and tried to adjust his dick in his trousers as subtly as possible. "Go up and change."

He didn't have to look to know there was a smirk on Sherlock's face as he left the room. He took the stairs two at a time and closed his bedroom door behind him. As he unfastened his trousers and fell back on his bed, he tried not to think about the fact that Sherlock knew exactly what he was doing right now, and would probably be unable to refrain from making a comment when John finally went back downstairs.


He was just pissed enough to have trouble unlocking the door to 221B, but he managed after a moment of fumbling. It was late enough that he tried to be quiet for Mrs. Hudson's sake, tiptoeing up the stairs and pausing with his hand on the doorknob to listen for Sherlock.

The room was dark but for a faint glow coming from the sofa. Despite the late hour John wasn't surprised to see Sherlock sitting on one end, legs folded beneath him, dressing gown draped loosely around him and a laptop balanced on one knee, illuminating his face. He was completely focused on the screen and didn't even look up when John stopped in front of him.

John eyed the numerous crumpled tissues on the floor and immediately tried to think of something -- anything -- else. "Stamford sends his regards."

Sherlock didn't answer, and after a moment John realized that there were noises coming from the laptop. Very distinct noises, in fact. And come to think of it, that was his laptop.

He slid onto the sofa next to Sherlock and gaped at the screen. Two young women with absurdly large fake breasts were fondling each other and kissing messily, and making noises John had never managed to extract from a lover. It was a moment before he managed to speak.

"Why are you watching porn on my laptop?"

"I didn't want to risk infecting mine with a virus."

"But you're happy to risk mine?" He'd meant it to sound more biting, but one of the women onscreen pushed her partner's thighs apart and was fingering her bare pussy, and he found himself a bit distracted.

"Considering that I've mostly visited sites that were in your browser history, I doubt any new damage has been done."

They sat in silence for a moment, both transfixed by an extreme close-up of a pink tongue lapping enthusiastically at an engorged clitoris.

"Right," John managed at last. "How long have you been watching porn, exactly?"

"What time is it?"

"Nearly midnight."

"Eight hours. More or less."

It took 3 seconds for the words to be processed in John's brain, at which point he finally managed to drag his eyes from the screen and look at Sherlock. "Eight hours, solid?" That explained the tissues. "You should use lubricant. You're going to get chafed."

Sherlock's hand fumbled at his side and he held up a small tube.

John snatched it from his hand with a frown. "Where did you get this?"

"Your room, bedside table. Is this doing anything for you? I'm finding it a bit boring, to be honest."

"I've asked you to stay out of my bedroom, Sherlock," John muttered, even though it was pointless.

"Hmmm." Sherlock pulled his own computer from where it had been tucked next to him in the sofa, opened the screen, and balanced the machine on his other knee. The screen flickered to life and displayed an extensive Excel file.

"What is that?" John asked, squinting at the screen. "Oh, God, don't tell me this is an experiment."

"Of course it is." Sherlock's fingers danced over the keyboard in a way John could only envy. "I'm keeping track of twenty different variables that stimulate a sexual response." He paused and glanced briefly at John. "Twenty-one, actually. So far this--" He indicated the screen of John's laptop with nod of his head. "--is ranked right at the bottom."

"After eight hours you'd be fairly desensitized, you know. Are you taking that into account?"

Sherlock frowned at the screen. "Interesting. I'll factor it in." He closed the lid and tucked his computer away again before returning his attention to John's laptop. He paused the video and clicked on another tab in the browser. Another video began to play, this time showing a shockingly large purple dildo being worked in and out of an arsehole of indeterminate gender.

John felt a familiar pull in his groin. "That… looks uncomfortable."

The moans coming from the soundtrack were distinctly female, a conclusion that was confirmed when the camera angle changed. The dildo was pulled out and after a moment an enormous erect cock came into view and pressed easily into the actress's arse. The rhythmic grunting and sound of skin slapping on skin was fairly mesmerizing.

Sherlock closed that tab a few minutes later and opened yet another one, this time displaying double penetration, then a minute after that opened another showing a woman deep-throating a massive cock. It was like porn surfing, just catching bits and pieces of graphic sexual acts with no context, almost with no faces -- body parts isolated, pure carnal fucking.

It was incredibly dirty. John was rock hard.

Sherlock clicked through some videos of people bound, gagged, whipped, and John wondered if he thought of Irene Adler when he saw that. Hell, John wondered if Sherlock thought of anything at all beyond the data he was collecting.

Now a leather-clad man onscreen was getting his prick sucked by a rather androgynous and barely-legal girl, and John couldn't bear it any longer. He fumbled at the fly of his jeans and shoved a hand into his pants. "Do you mind?" he asked with a quick glance at Sherlock. His voice was far rougher than he'd expected.

"Of course not," Sherlock said, his gaze affixed to the screen.

John lifted his hips and pushed his jeans and pants down enough to get his cock out, and fisted it under his shirt. This wasn't going to take long.

"So you like this?" Sherlock asked. The tone was causal, but there was an unmistakable hitch in the middle of the last word.

"Stunning deduction, that." He'd have to explain the no talking during a circle jerk rule later. God, the girl in the video had a talented tongue.

"And you--"

"Shut up," John said. "Analyze later."

God, that mouth. It had been a ridiculously long time since his cock had been in anyone's mouth. He fumbled for the lube, his fingers brushing Sherlock's thigh, and squeezed some onto his hand before starting to stroke himself in earnest. Oh, that was better.

He watched the man on the video grab a fistful of short hair and start to roughly fuck the girl's mouth. Actually, he was starting to suspect that was a boy, and a moment later this fact was confirmed rather graphically. He didn't care; hot fucking blow jobs were hot, God.

A bit of movement caught his attention and he tore his eyes from the screen just enough to see Sherlock's hand moving rhythmically inside his dressing gown, which was now draped over his lap. John's brain nearly stopped functioning -- he knew theoretically that Sherlock had a functional penis, but he was seized by sudden urge to yank that fabric away and see for himself. Just the idea of Sherlock sitting next to him on the sofa, touching himself while they both watched porn -- gay porn, at that -- was nearly enough to melt his brain.

He stroked quickly and let his head fall back against the sofa cushions. His shirt no longer covered his dick but he couldn't be arsed to care. He could hear Sherlock's breathing beside him and he had to close his eyes to keep himself from looking. That didn't prevent his brain from imagining, though, to his not-quite-dismay.

The man onscreen came with loud grunts. John bit the heel of his hand and twisted his fingers on the upstroke one last time and-- there, Jesus, fuck, oh. He groaned around his own hand as he came, trying his best not to sound like a complete idiot. A muffled moan to his left seemed to indicate he wasn't alone. He sank into the cushions and exhaled as he started to come down again. His head felt fuzzy and his body light, and he grinned up at the ceiling.

The box of tissues was thrust at him.

"Thanks," he said as he pulled one and began to dab at his shirt. It was a lost cause, so he finally just wiped his hand clean and tossed the crumpled tissue to the floor with the others. "Was it good for you?" He turned to grin at Sherlock, who hastily looked away. John yanked his shirt down over his groin, then stretched and yawned in an attempt at retroactive casualness. "I don't know about you, but I think I'll sleep well tonight."

Sherlock was busying himself with his computer again and didn't respond.

John suppressed a sigh. That had probably, no had definitely crossed about eight lines they'd never ventured close to before. He had no idea if Sherlock had much experience with sex at all -- hell, he didn't even know if the man was gay or straight or something else altogether. And to be honest, that hadn't exactly been the most heterosexual moment of John's life, and that was saying a lot, considering.

Though it was the best wank he'd had in years. Frightening thought, that.

"I'm going to bed." He stood and stretched, and willed Sherlock to look at him.

He didn't; he only offered a perfunctory, "Good night." As if nothing had happened at all.

"Right," John said. They should probably talk about this, but not now. "Good night."

He was grateful for the mild buzz of alcohol as he sank into his bed. This was going to be weird enough when he sobered up. No need to ruin a decent night's sleep first.


"Sherlock?" The flat seemed empty, to John's surprise and relief. The fact that Sherlock had gone out at all was a good sign.

He pulled off his coat and slung it over a chair, and spotted his laptop on the sofa. Finally -- he hadn't updated his blog in days. Not that he had much to say. Sherlock and I watched gay porn last night and had a wank together on the sofa. Right.

There was always email, of course. He settled at the desk and flipped the machine open, grumbling when he saw how low the battery was. Of course Sherlock would run the battery down and then not plug it in. He fumbled for the power cord, got it plugged in, and finally looked at the screen.

There were still several browser windows open displaying porn videos. He tried to close them, but to no avail -- the damn thing was frozen. He hit ctrl-alt-del, cursing under his breath. That didn't work, so he held down the power button until it shut off, waited ten seconds, and then powered up again. There was more whirring and humming than usual and then the screen went horrifically blue.

"Shit, bugger, and fuck!" He had to close his eyes and take a calming breath. He really needed to change his password, preferably to something utterly random that Sherlock couldn't possibly figure out. He shut down the machine again, shaking his head.

He looked over to the sofa to where Sherlock's machine was sitting, plugged in and open. He stood and crossed to it to see that the screen saver (starfield, naturally) was on. He touched a key and the screen fired to life. It was unlocked. He grinned with glee: Sherlock must have just left.

He settled on the sofa with the machine, only intending to check his mail, but there was that Excel file right on top, just begging to be looked at. It wasn't the sort of thing that would normally have interested him, but the columns were intriguingly headed with words like "oral sex" and "ball gag", and filled with numbers below. The row headings were more difficult to decipher, but there were ten variants being considered for each column. Sherlock had put some serious thought into evaluating his own reactions to porn.

John scrolled though, noting that there wasn't much pattern to the numbers, though when various sexual acts were categorized by gender there was definitely a trend towards the male. Interesting, if not surprising. He scrolled to the right, and there were even more columns. The last one was titled simply John.

"Oh my god," he whispered, feeling his cheeks flush. He shouldn't be looking at this. He really shouldn't. It was an incredible invasion of privacy, and wow, the numbers in the John column were fairly off the scale. He scrolled back to the beginning, and then noticed the tabs at the bottom. The sheet he was currently viewing was labeled "Main", and the second one was labeled "John". He clicked it with not a small amount of trepidation.

The columns headings were all the same, though they were only sparsely filled. It was clear what was going on, though: Sherlock was cataloguing both their reactions to various sexual scenarios. It was a typically Sherlock response to a problem John had posed, so he shouldn't be surprised really.

Except that he was, and also more than a touch intrigued.


"I want to go out."

John looked up from the newspaper to see Sherlock emerging from his bedroom, impeccably dressed. "Go out where? It's half ten already."

"Perfect timing for where we're going."

"We?" John asked, though he was already setting the paper down.

"You'll want to change into something a bit more fashionable. Dark colors would be best."

It was only after they were in the cab that it occurred to John he hadn't even bothered to ask where they were going. As if it would have made a difference.

The taxi dropped them off on Shaftesbury Avenue and Sherlock ushered John up the crowded pavement. He turned at Greek Street and scanned the numbers above the doors of each establishment they passed until he stopped before one, apparently having found what he was looking for.

"Wait here," Sherlock said before pushing the door open and stepping inside, leaving John standing on the pavement alone.

John rolled his eyes and stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jacket. He still had no idea what they were doing there. Sherlock's demeanor suggested there was a case; it wasn't unusual for him to neglect to mention the details to John until the last possible moment.

Sherlock reappeared a minute later, looped his arm through John's and walked him through the door. The interior foyer was dimly lit and a thumping bass seemed to permeate the air. The doorman gave Sherlock a cursory nod as they passed and didn't spare as much as a glance for John. Sherlock led him through a door at the opposite end of the foyer and into a room packed with people: people drinking, people dancing, people shouting conversation at each other over the din of dance music. They made their way to the bar and Sherlock leaned over it to chat with the bartender while John turned and scanned the crowd.

"It would really be helpful if you'd tell me what we're doing here," he said when Sherlock finally turned back toward him.

"We're having a drink." Sherlock's eyes scanned the crowd as well.

"No, what we're really doing."

"Cheers," Sherlock said, handing him a martini glass.

John took the glass, but sniffed at it suspiciously. "What is this?"

"No idea. I told him to make it strong."

"Aren't you having one?"

"Not tonight." Sherlock's eyes were scanning the crowd again.

John sighed. The odds of him regretting this excursion were growing by the minute. He took an experimental sip of the drink and winced. Strong indeed. "So you're getting me drunk. Mind telling me why?"

The corners of Sherlock's mouth twisted upwards. "All in good time, John. Drink up; I've already ordered another."

Twenty minutes later John had quite a pleasant buzz going. Sherlock was still watching the crowd, though his attention was also clearly focused on John's progress towards inebriation. As long as Sherlock was buying, John decided not to complain. After the events of the previous night, it was a fantastic alternative to awkward conversation.

He was nearly finished with the third drink when Sherlock leaned in close. "I'll be right back. Don't move from this spot."

"Sure," John said in reply, the word oddly thick around his tongue. He leaned back against the bar and watched Sherlock thread through the crowd to where a small group of young women were standing. His demeanor changed completely when he reached them, and John couldn't help but smile. Sherlock's ability to completely change his appearance with nothing more than a facial expression was always impressive.

Sherlock seemed to be having an animated conversation with one of the young women, and then he turned and pointed to John. The woman looked at John and grinned, then waved. Sherlock grabbed her hand and laughed, as if embarrassed, and they talked more. Finally they seemed to come to an agreement and Sherlock crossed back to the bar.

"Who was that--" John began, but froze when Sherlock's arm wound around his waist and pulled him close. "What are you doing?"

"Trust me." Sherlock smiled in a way John knew was fake, but it was clearly for the benefit of someone else.

"All right. What do you want me to do?"

"Finish your drink. It's almost time to head downstairs."

"What's downstairs?"

"You'll see."

John clenched his jaw and did his best to swallow his frustration. There'd be time to talk about this later -- at least, if Sherlock wasn't about to get them both killed.

"Let's go." Sherlock's arm around him tightened and gave him a small push forward, and John let himself be steered through the crowd toward the back of the club. The same doorman they'd seen before was standing before an oddly ornate doorway with a red velvet rope stretched across it. He nodded at Sherlock and took the rope down so they could pass.

They went down into a deep, dark stairwell, seemingly descending several levels below the street. At the bottom of the stairs was another door, and Sherlock pushed it open to reveal a long, dimly lit corridor.

"What the hell is this place?" John asked. "What are we looking for?"

"The door marked 8." He stepped through the doorway and walked briskly down the corridor.

John followed, his senses on alert despite the buzz of alcohol in his brain. "Any time you want to let me know what's going on--" Muffled sounds came through a closed door as he passed and he stopped. "Sherlock?"

"That's none of our concern. Here we are." He'd stopped before a door marked with a large brass number 8. He turned the handle and opened it.

John followed him in, his eyes finally adjusting to the darkness. The small room was lushly decorated with red velvet on the walls and ropes of light draped from the ceiling in loopy patterns. There was a black leather sofa on the far wall large enough for several people to sit on. John crossed to it, then turned back just as Sherlock closed the door.

"What's going on?"

"Do you trust me?" Sherlock asked. His voice was quiet and clear, his expression utterly serious.

"The fact that you're even asking that question is making me nervous."

"I don't think you'll have any problem going along with this, but if you change your mind and want out, we should have some sort of signal."

John's stomach was in knots. "What, like a code word?"

"Exactly. You should choose. It will help you remember."

"It would help me tremendously if you'd just tell me--"

There was a knock at the door and Sherlock reached for the handle. "Pick a word, John."

"Okay, fine…. cinnamon."

Sherlock nodded and opened the door. Standing on the other side were two young women; one John recognized as the woman Sherlock had been talking to earlier.

"Clara, was it?"

She grinned at Sherlock in greeting and nodded her head toward the woman standing next to her.

"This is Abby. She wanted to play too."

"Fantastic," Sherlock replied and John couldn't help but gape at the quickness with which his entire countenance had changed. "Lovely to meet you, Abby."

Abby crossed the room to where John was standing, smiling at him. She was pretty, probably in her early 20s. Her long reddish-brown hair framed her face and swung behind her shoulders when she tilted her head. "You must be John."

John managed to tear his eyes away from her long enough to shoot a questioning glance at Sherlock. Sherlock was whispering something to Clara and they were both staring at John intently. Clara said something that made Sherlock burst into utterly uncharacteristic giggles and he whispered in her ear in response. She quirked an eyebrow at John.

Abby reached out to cup John's cheek, drawing his attention back to her face. "Don't worry, darling. Your boyfriend explained everything. This is going to be fun."

Cinnamon, John thought, but nothing came out of his mouth; she'd leaned forward and pressed her lips against his. His brain must have exploded into small shards, or something, because he promptly lost the ability to think. He'd been prepared for just about anything, but this -- my God, this -- was not something he knew what to do with.

There were hands on his shoulders pulling him backwards, and the backs of his knees hit the sofa. He nearly toppled onto it, suddenly aware that there were two pairs of hands roaming across his chest, under his shirt, and fumbling at the fly of his jeans.

He opened his eyes to see that Abby had settled herself on the floor in front of him, pressing his thighs apart. Clara was next to him on the sofa now. She turned John's face toward her and kissed him. One of her hands was unbuttoning his shirt and the other was around the back of his skull, holding his mouth against her own.

His hands were still limp at his sides and he wasn't sure what he should do with them. Was he allowed to touch or to do anything to influence where this was going? He opened his eyes and twisted his head just enough to see Sherlock leaning against the door, watching. Now that the girls were occupied he'd dropped the gay boyfriend act and the expression on his face was completely familiar.

He wasn't just watching; he was observing. Something clicked in John's brain then and he knew what it was Sherlock wanted him to do. There was something going on with these two women, something they were involved in, and the entire point of this outing was to collect information. John's job was to distract them or to be a distraction, so that Sherlock could get the information he needed.

Right. He could do this. As fucked-up situations-Sherlock-frequently-placed-him-in went, this one was turning out rather pleasantly.

Abby had unfastened his jeans and was tugging at them; he raised his hips to let her wriggle them and his pants down to his knees. He was half-hard already, but the sight of her settling between his thighs was enough to finish the job. Clara's mouth was busy on his neck now, her hands stroking his bared chest, and Abby's hair brushed his thighs just before he felt his cock engulfed in wet heat.

He couldn't help the moan that escaped from his lips -- it really had been quite a while. He closed his eyes and let his head fall back, his fingers scrambling for purchase on the smooth leather of the sofa. He tried to keep control of his senses, tried to keep his mind on the task of stretching this out long enough for Sherlock to get what he needed. Not that it was a hardship, particularly, but the idea of looking like a minute man in front of his best friend wasn't terribly appealing.

Clara's mouth moved to his chest and he managed to open his eyes. It took him a moment to focus on Sherlock again, but he needed to ground himself somehow. There was heat in Sherlock's gaze, a heat of the sort John had only ever seen directed at one other person. It was startling, but not as much as the spark that lit somewhere in John's belly when Sherlock's eyes flicked up slightly to meet his.

Abby did something with her tongue then that made his eyes roll back in his head and he gasped. There was a hand at the base of his cock and another cupping his balls, and yet another pinching one of his nipples, and how the hell had Sherlock managed this when John couldn't even get anyone to give him a bloody hand job on a regular basis?

Focus, focus, focus. He snapped his eyes open and found Sherlock's gaze again. The sensations being wrung from his body were intense, but there was something insanely hot about being watched this way. He wondered if Sherlock would have done this, would have put himself in this position, out of control of his own body.

Both girls' mouths were on his prick now, and that was something to check off his bucket list because seriously. He threaded his fingers into two sets of hair, trying to hang on a bit longer. Sherlock shifted his position and John looked up to see that his eyes had narrowed. John let his hands fall back to his sides again and Sherlock smiled very slightly. So that was the rule, then. No touching. Just feeling.

And fucking hell, the feeling. He was no longer trying to keep quiet, was no longer trying to hold back. One mouth was expertly working the head of his cock and the other was sucking on one of his balls, and then there was a slick finger pressed just behind and he felt the pressure in his balls reach the point of no return.

He managed to grunt out a warning and then he was being kissed again while his soul was being sucked out through his dick. God, the last girl he'd been with hadn't even wanted him to come in her mouth, and Abby wasn't letting go, still working his dick even after he was done.

Clara released his mouth and dove for her. "That was so fucking hot," she whispered, holding Abby's face in her hands. "You are so fucking gorgeous." They began snogging right in John's lap.

He stared weakly at them, wondering if he might be able to get it up again. Oh hell, even if he couldn't, maybe they'd just let him watch? That would fuel his wanking for years.

He couldn't help but grin at Sherlock, whose face was settled into observation mode again. Whatever he'd been looking for, John hoped he'd found it. On the other hand, if they needed to return tomorrow night to do a little more "research" John thought he could probably suffer the hardship.

Sherlock pushed off the wall and crossed to the sofa, settling back into character as he threw an arm around John's shoulder and planted a kiss against his cheek. In his alcohol-and-orgasm-induced haze, John managed not to react at all.

"Happy, darling?" Sherlock said, his lips brushing John's ear in a way that was decidedly pleasant. "Is that what you wanted?"

"Yes. God, yes." The girls broke the kiss and grinned at him. Sherlock laughed and John began to wonder when he'd landed in some sort of alternate reality. Because this shit? Did not happen to him.

"That was fun," Clara said as she rose to her feet and pulled Abby up with her. They twined their arms around each other.

"He has a gorgeous cock," Abby said. "Thanks for sharing it."

John wasn't sure if he was blushing from the compliment or the fact that Sherlock's fingers were stroking the curve of his ear.

"You're welcome."

"Any time," John added, which earned him a small slap on the cheek from Sherlock.

Abby and Clara laughed and straightened their clothes before leaving. The moment the door closed Sherlock sat back, putting some space between them on the sofa.

John blinked at the sudden loss of heat and then realized his jeans were still around his ankles. He pulled them back up as quickly as he could, keenly aware that Sherlock was watching him.

"I assume we're done here?" he said as he pushed to his feet, a bit unsteadily.

"Mmmm," Sherlock replied, apparently in processing mode now.

John settled back on the sofa and closed his eyes. The room was spinning a bit, but in a good way. It distracted him from the chaos inside his head.

"We should get a cab."

John sat up and blinked; Sherlock was already standing by the door and winding his scarf around his neck. "Right, of course."

The chilly air outside cleared his head a bit. By the time they slid into the backseat of a taxi, John's curiosity was nearly killing him.

"I hope you found what you were looking for back there."

Sherlock's smile was enigmatic. "I've a bit more research to do, but that was very enlightening, yes."

Silence stretched between them and John sighed. Like blood from a stone sometimes. "So, the case?"

"What case?"

John frowned. "This case, the one you're working on. When are you going to tell me about it? What are we looking for?"

"I've no idea what you're talking about, John."

"But… Then what was this all about?" The moment the words left his lips, it all worked itself out in his mind. The anger that filled him was shockingly intense. "Oh my God. This was part of your experiment? Are you fucking serious?"

Sherlock stared at him, apparently surprised by his reaction. "You looked at my data this afternoon. I assumed you'd worked it out."

"Of course I hadn't; I'm an idiot, remember?" He pressed his hands against his face. "I can't believe you would put me in that situation, I just--" He lowered his voice to a whisper. "They didn't use a condom!"

"Yes, I was surprised you didn't make a fuss about that, especially considering there was an entire drawerful of supplies in that table."

"How was I supposed to know that?"

"It was a sex club, John. What else would they keep in the drawers in the private rooms?"

The fury coursing through John's veins was being tempered with embarrassment now, because he really should have noticed where they were. He had just followed Sherlock blindly like an obedient puppy, as he always did. "How could I be so stupid?" He groaned. He heard an intake of breath to his left and held up a hand. "That was rhetorical."

They rode the rest of the way to the flat in silence. John hopped out of the cab and bolted for the door of 221B -- he'd be damned if Sherlock was going to make him pay the fare. He stalked up the stairs, through the door and into the kitchen. He fumbled through the contents of the fridge for something safe and drinkable, finally settling on a small container of juice that he knew he'd purchased himself. He leaned against the table and chugged it, and waited.

Sherlock had barely had a chance to get his coat off before John lit into him.

"You took me to a sex club without disclosing it to me, got me drunk, and then led me right into a sexual scenario without my consent."

Sherlock's face fell slightly before the placid mask of indifference fell into place again.

"You consented. We discussed it."

"Sherlock, you got me drunk, so by definition my consent was iffy at best."

"But there was a safeword, and you didn't use it."

"Oh, is that what we did there right at the last minute? Fucking hell, Sherlock."

John emptied the juice carton and binned it before stalking towards him. Sherlock shrank back a step, a flicker of fear on his face, which John found immensely satisfying. He felt an impulse to hit him, shove him, make him see just how angry John was.

But dammit, this was Sherlock, and even though he was a genius he could also be a complete idiot. John scrubbed at his forehead with one hand and sighed.

"Sit. We need to talk about this."

Sherlock nodded, not quite making eye contact. He crossed to sit in an armchair, tucking his legs under him. He looked like a boy who'd been caught out and John had to stifle a smile. He sat in the chair across from Sherlock and leaned forward, elbows on his knees.

"What you did tonight was at the very least unethical. Do you understand that?"

"But you enjoyed it."

"That's beside the point. Look, I'm not opposed to participating in this insane experiment of yours, but you cannot keep me in the dark like this. You have to be honest with me, all right?"

Sherlock stared at his hands for a moment before looking up at last. "All right."

"Do you understand what I'm saying?"

Sherlock made a noise of frustration. "Of course I understand. It won't happen again."

John's lips twisted slightly. "You don't understand at all, do you?"

Sherlock scowled. "Then enlighten me, please."

"I'd like it to happen again. In fact, I'd be disappointed if it didn't." He couldn't help but smirk at the look of utter confusion on Sherlock's face. "I get that this is an experiment. I'm fine with that. You want to understand how sex works, how people respond to sexual stimuli."

"Not people, John. You."

John felt his cheeks flush, but he forced himself to hold Sherlock's gaze. "Just me. Okay then. And against my better judgment, I'm somehow still fine with that. I'll even be an enthusiastic participant. But only if you're honest with me."

There was something strange in Sherlock's eyes again, something John could only identify as heat. It sent a shiver down his spine and settled itself uncomfortably close to another part of his anatomy.

"Agreed." Sherlock's expression was nearly predatory now. "Shall we continue tomorrow night?"

John nodded. "Tomorrow night."

Sherlock smiled and sank in the chair, steepling his fingers. Already planning.

John swallowed. What exactly was he getting himself into?