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“Jesus Christ.”

John attempts to act casual as he adjusts the cufflinks on his (very rented) tux and steps further into the glittering room. People are everywhere, covering the entire floor of the mansion’s ballroom and causing the air to be warm. The party is obviously in full swing.

Someone has opened a few of the massive floor-to-ceiling windows despite the New Year’s Eve chill, and he can catch hints of a breeze even from his spot across the long room. He sticks a finger in his collar. It’s still stuffy.

Chandeliers are dripping opulence into every corner, their glimmering lights casting any hint of sparkle in the room into blinding beams. Waiters with champagne glide across the room in their black-tie getups, winding between laughing groups of people in their lingerie and togas and tuxes. John’s eyes practically boggle out of his head at all the skin showing in the room. It’s everywhere. Who the hell ever came up with such a combination anyway?

The dress code is the only thing remotely out of place about the fancy home. The owner, Cecilia Lansbury, certainly has the money to throw such a thrilling party, and it had been quite an opportune event since all of Sherlock’s suspects in the case of Ms. Lansbury’s missing emerald necklace were to be in attendance. And necklace was putting it lightly. The bloody thing looked like a hefty paperweight.

John had been a bit surprised when Sherlock informed him of the jewelry theft, simply for the fact that Sherlock was actually investigating it. It hardly seemed greater than a Three. But his confusion quickly cleared when he realized the connection of friendship between Mrs. Lansbury and Sherlock’s mother. A favor, then, for the woman that birthed the detective. She probably used that very argument in order to convince him to take the case. John attempts to hide a snort behind his hand as he takes a glass of champagne from a passing waiter.

Honestly, the entire thing is quite James Bond. Here he is, all dolled up in the fanciest tuxedo he has ever worn (even more so than the stuffy one from his wedding) and sipping champagne while investigating a case. The only thing missing is the Bond Girl. He rolls his eyes. Dear god. He’ll pass.

“I’m glad somebody finally decided to show up. Everything good on your end, John?”

John turns and surveys the room while sipping from the flute to hide his smile. “Fine and dandy, Greg. Nice sheet, by the way.”

He catches Lestrade’s eye briefly from across the sea of partygoers as the DI sends him a scathing glare. The toga is shorter than John would have been comfortable in himself, but if he had the same height going for him that Greg did, then he’d probably show off his legs too. He discretely toasts the other man with his drink before turning and making his way towards the windows.

“Oi, next time, you get to wear the toga,” he hears in his ear. “Alright, turning this thing off again.”

The slight murmuring feedback buzzing in his ear cuts off, signaling the disconnected mic on Greg’s end.

He makes his way slowly through the mass of people, trying not to brush up against too many women in their revealing outfits.

Sherlock is here somewhere, god knows where, trying to casually question the suspects while John and Greg remain as backup. He had put up quite a fuss when Greg brought up the plan, saying he didn’t want or need any help, but Greg was firm when stating the fact that this was police business and he would at least be present, thank you very much. Allowing Sherlock to do the questioning himself is bad enough.

Sherlock wasn’t inclined to put up much of a fight, considering he’s lucky enough to still be consulting with the Yard after the meltdown on the plane. And by “meltdown” John means overdosing and nearly killing himself just minutes after they had said their potential final goodbyes.

Fuck that. John would have flown to Serbia himself to get Sherlock out. After seeing him so strung out and Mycroft’s extraordinary concern, he knows he will grow old with that curly git or die trying. Preferably the first. But he’d take the second.

He’d like to have creaky knees and gray hair and retirement someday.

Perhaps a cottage. With bees. Sherlock likes bees.

John is aware of the mic flickering back to life just as he makes it to the window, pulling him abruptly out of his melancholy.

“I agree with John about the sheet. You’re showing more leg than half the women here, Gary.”

John chuckles, imagining the look on the other man’s face at the incorrect name and the statement itself. “Right, because nobody pulls that look off quite the way you did at Buckingham Palace, eh, Sherlock?”

“Oh, please, you loved it.” This does not come through the microphone, but from right behind him.

Turning while absently switching the earpiece back off, John watches as Sherlock steps over the low windowsill, coming inside from the large stone terrace. But this creative form of entry is only absently noted, since what Sherlock is wearing is far more captivating.

And he does mean captivating.

John had assumed, when learning of this event and what he would be wearing, that Sherlock would arrive similarly dressed. The whole tall, dark, and handsome bit. Surely, a tux would fit his broody, posh personality.

But no. No, Sherlock has apparently made the decision to come dressed in lingerie, a head-to-toe getup that never seems to end and invites the eye to roam.

Certainly, it is by far not the most provocative getup to be worn at the party, but just the mere suggestions that it inspires are enough to send John from cool and calm to blood-boiling in the flip of a switch.

Sherlock’s torso is covered by what appears to be some sort of corset, the front made of delicate lace flowers and a sash of some sort tied tightly about his waist. The bottom of the corset functions as a garter that connects to dainty thigh-highs with beautiful lace detailing along the top edges, and it all leaves just the bare hint of skin between the bodice and the panties that dares the viewer to touch.

And oh, the panties.

Again, not as provocative as they could have been, but put any man into a pair of dainty black panties meant for a woman, and things are going to show. And, to John’s eyes, Sherlock’s modest bulge is obscene.

The deep charcoal satin and black lace detailing, along with the matching stockings, all come together to compliment the porcelain of Sherlock’s skin magnificently.

John is unsure whether he will ever be prepared to see the backside. He suddenly wants to. Very, very badly.

He has to literally shake his head a bit in order to get himself back under control. Just the sight of this man, this creature he has adored since the moment they met, dressed in such a way is enough to send his mind spiraling out of control. The mere idea of being able to touch, taste, feel is enough to drag him back to places he really shouldn’t be going.

They are best friends, after all.

Besides, Sherlock has no idea the affect he is having on John. Probably.

Hell, John doesn’t even know if Sherlock is remotely interested in things to do with genitalia.

Or orgasms.

Oh, god.

He downs what is left of the champagne in his glass and waves over a waiter to grab two more flutes. He then realizes it has been awkwardly silent for far too long and hesitantly lifts his eyes up to his friend.

Sherlock is looking at him rather curiously, that confused scrunch at the top of his nose.

“John, are you alright? Have you been drugged?”

John chuckles bitterly and shakes his head. “No, not drugged Sherlock. Not quite.”

The other man looks as if he is about to begin further questioning, and so John quickly hands him the other glass of champagne. And oh, oh my. While Sherlock is reaching to take the offered drink, John catches the sight of his long tapered fingers adorned with a pale pink nail varnish at the tips. It's lovely and unexpected but it fits. It's nearly sweet. A soft contrast to the sharp exterior Sherlock normally portrays.

And…is that mascara? Perhaps a dab of lipstick? Maybe even a dash of blush. Have mercy.

Sherlock's curls are piled onto one side of his head, a single long curl threatening to fall into his eye. The detective has been in need of a haircut for a while, those tempting waves growing longer and just begging to be played with. John’s hand makes an aborted movement to fix the wayward curl before he lets himself give into the impulse and gently push the curl to one side. Sherlock's eyes widen and his pretty lips part, and now they are much closer than they had been before.

It’s all very…lovely. He wants to tell him.

"You look—"

“Bathroom,” the detective blurts, cutting him off.

It’s John’s turn to look perplexed as Sherlock shoves the glass of champagne back at John before darting around him.

He waits, sipping his own drink for a few moments, perusing the room and catching a glimpse of Greg’s silver hair. He’s speaking with one of the female suspects, head thrown back in laughter as she giggles and tucks her hair behind an ear. Good for him, but that’s certainly not how John plans to spend the night. Perhaps twenty years ago that would have held an appeal, but things have changed for him. Dramatically, and without warning.

A woman nearby tries to catch John’s eye as he continues his scan. He smiles politely but completely uninterested, hoping she gets the hint. He’s careful not to make eye contact after that.

It’s been quite a few minutes since Sherlock’s abrupt departure, and John has been routinely glancing at the gents’ door, waiting for an appearance. (Honestly, he’s also trying to figure out how someone can have enough money to have a gents’ and ladies’ just for throwing parties.)

Sherlock’s absence becomes too noticeable at last, and John quickly sets the two glasses on a passing tray as he strides across the room. Sure, he could use the earwigs to ask Sherlock if he needs help (John gulps at the thought of what sort of help he might need. In the toilets. Wearing lingerie.), but he doesn’t want to disturb Lestrade’s time, and it’s probably nothing. Yeah.

He’s just pushing open the large door to the bathroom when he overhears a stranger’s voice.

“—on! Nobody shows up at these things dressed like that unless they want to get blown in the loo.”

John’s brows skyrocket and he pushes the door the rest of the way. Regardless who the twat is talking to, nobody deserves to be spoken to that way.

But of course, it’s Sherlock, standing with his back to the man while he finishes drying his hands at the sinks. This, this stranger has his fingers playing along the expanse of Sherlock’s back, plucking at the ties and hooks as if he has some sort of claim on Sherlock. Which he most certainly does not.

For a brief moment, John wonders if this is some sort of setup of Sherlock’s making in order to get at a suspect. He tries to rein in the explosive anger that boils up inside him, but the second Sherlock tosses the towel into the bin and firmly says, “Oh, fuck off, will you?” John is through the door and gripping the man by the elbow.

“Yes, I think it’s time for you to leave now. Before I toss you out myself.” The last is said through clenched teeth. The stranger, who John can now tell is quite drunk, must decide he doesn’t want to tangle with a furious sober guy because he throws his hands up in a gesture of innocence. Ha.

“Ow! ‘Ey! I was just telling him how it is!”

“Nope, you were making excuses for yourself and making unwanted advances.” John throws the door open and pushes the man out. “Goodbye!”

Perhaps he’s a bit too forceful, because the man stumbles a bit before falling flat on his face. Good riddance.

Once the door swings shut, he checks to see if any other stalls are full before twisting the lock. The click seems to echo loudly in the room.

Sherlock is still standing in front of the sink, now staring at John in the mirror with his jaw somewhat slack, hands clenched before him.

John clears his throat, trying not to seethe outwardly too much. Tries to control the insane possessive impulses running through his veins. “Sorry. Um. Are you alright?”

Sherlock swallows and nods, giving himself a brief once over in the mirror. “Yes, but I believe he got a clasp or two undone, which was quite an accomplishment in his state.” He’s reaching awkwardly around his back, trying to get at the small hooks.

“Why did you even let him?” John crosses the room until he’s right behind him, gently brushing Sherlock’s hands away and tackling the task himself. He was right about the back of the outfit. The corset’s ties and clasps pull everything just snug enough to give Sherlock a curvy figure that draws John’s eye to his adorably plump bum with the garters and stockings encasing his thighs. Adorably plump bum was never something he thought he’d think about Sherlock Holmes (or anyone), but there it is.

Sherlock scoffs, but it sounds more like a breathless huff. His head is tilted low and John is struggling not to stare at the nape of his neck while focusing on the task at hand. So to speak. He gets the impression that Sherlock is more bothered by the entire scene than he’s letting on, especially with the way his hands are now clasped to the edge of the counter.

“When one must determine whether or not a suspect is guilty, one must sometimes take certain…lengths.”

John stiffens. He feels a bit disturbed at the thought of Sherlock doing some of the things his mind leaps to for the sake of a case. “Sherlock…” His fingers slide against soft skin for a split second, needing to comfort.

Perhaps he lets his fingers linger too long, but neither of them comments.

Sherlock abruptly pulls away, brushing himself off and patting his hair a bit before striding towards the door with little clicks of his heels. Fuck. And not just heels, which John probably could have dealt with. No, he's wearing dainty black stilettos. And sure, John knows the man’s shoe size is anything but dainty, but those shoes are.

“For god’s sake, John. Don’t be so vulgar about it. I've certainly never done anything I haven’t wanted to, and I'm very capable of keeping it from becoming… Well. You know. Out of hand, as it were.” He unlocks the door and walks through. John hurries to keep up.

While Sherlock sounds as if he couldn’t be bothered, John can see the flush that has crept up to his cheeks and neck. He decides to let it go. “I wasn’t even aware that fellow was a suspect.”

Sherlock hums.

            John grabs two more champagne glasses for the sake of appearances, passing one on to Sherlock. The detective continues moving until they are back by the windows, where he turns and leans against the wall beside the one he had used as a door earlier before sipping at his drink.

Unsure where to stand, John chooses to stop beside him, sans the casual posture. He taps his fingers along the flute and looks around the room before his eyes are drawn to where Sherlock’s ankles are crossed at the end of his long, long legs…

Feeling guilty, he glances up to see if Sherlock has noticed him ogling, only to be met with Sherlock's eyes locked on his, champagne flute frozen beneath his lips as he stares back, wide-eyed and flushed.

The party around them has continued to move along. John arrived well after the start anyway, and now people have begun to dance in their tipsy states. The DJ chooses then to drop a bit of a heavier tune, something more sultry and intoxicating in the already heavy room. The chandeliers are dimmer.

John is having trouble breathing.

“We need to dance.”

Sherlock blinks as John takes the brand new drink from him, but doesn’t protest. John can’t help but notice the press of lipstick from that obscene bottom lip on the crystal as he sets them down by the wall.

He takes Sherlock’s hand and pulls him in.

Most of the people around them are grinding against each other at this point, gyrating their hips with hands in each other’s hair, bum to crotch and drunken grins. John, though, pulls Sherlock in as if they were slow dancing, just the way Sherlock taught him. As if their soundtrack is something slow and sweet, instead of this heavy bass that surrounds them.

He has to look up further than usual to meet Sherlock's eyes because holy hell he's wearing heels. It just. It’s a lot to take in.

“So, lingerie?” His voice is a bit rougher and lower than he means it to be. Sherlock might not have even been able to hear him with all the music. He clears his throat.

Sherlock nods from above him, their hands intertwined and John leading. “Yes, one of the suspects has a taste for men in this sort of dress.”
“Really?”

Sherlock hums and glances around the room. “I believe you kicked him out of the toilets.” His lips twitch upwards.

“Damn right I did,” John blurts without thought. Sherlock blinks again; John swallows before asking, “Were you able to speak with them all?”

“Who?”

A smile teases the corner of John’s mouth. “The suspects.”

Again, Sherlock nods, and when did their heads get close enough to touch? Sherlock’s curls tickle John’s ear and he has to force himself not to turn his face into that long, pale neck and just breathe.

They sway to their own beat, the feel of the soft curve of Sherlock’s waist sending electric tingles down John’s arm. How easy would it be, for them to just stay like this for the rest of the night? Would Sherlock think him insane?

Probably.

They are quiet now, it being a bit harder to hear over the increasing volume of the music. The hand around Sherlock’s waist draws him in a bit more, while the other hand twines their fingers together. When John turns his head, just a bit, Sherlock’s eyes are closed and his head is hung low, nearly to John’s shoulder. He catches a whiff of something sweet and saccharine along Sherlock’s neck.

“Is that perfume?” he asks without thinking. John can feel the delicate press of Sherlock’s forehead to his temple.

“Yes.” It's merely a rumble in the other man’s chest.

John can no longer keep his eyes open. “I like it.”

Sherlock’s skin heats up with a blush.

John is hit suddenly with the image of what they must look like—him dressed to the nines in this ridiculous tuxedo, Sherlock barely in clothes with a bloody garter, both slow dancing together in a loud room full of drunken partiers. But he can’t bring himself to care, not right now, not when he has the most precious thing in his arms he has ever held.

His fingers dig into Sherlock’s side of their own volition, John’s brow scrunching from all the years of want built up in his body. He just. He wants Sherlock. In his bed, in his arms, during a strop, on the black days. He wants to grip his thighs and lift him onto the kitchen table. He wants him when the daft man refuses to eat, when he’s sick and whiney and will not let John rest. He wants him like he’s drowning and Sherlock is the very oxygen he needs.

God, if Sherlock could just hear him now.

Finally, finally he turns his face into that lovely neck and presses his nose near Sherlock’s carotid. He’s vaguely aware that his hand has drifted to the very edge of Sherlock’s corset until his pinky touches bare skin. He moves that arm so it runs up between Sherlock’s shoulder blades and pulls the taller man even closer, until they are pressed together head-to-toe. He can feel the intricate fastenings of the pretty corset and wonders if Sherlock can tell he is hardening in his pants. At this point, he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. He just holds on.

Sherlock lets out a quiet sound and moves his hand from John’s shoulder so that he is using it around both to hug John tight against him. He can feel Sherlock's heart pounding in his chest, his nose practically nuzzling into John’s neck.

Perhaps they can—

He blindly touches another errant curl. “Sherlock—“

“Ten seconds to midnight!”

The sounds around them come rushing back to John, the roar of the people surrounding them filling his ears as they begin the countdown.

“Nine!”

He pulls back to look at Sherlock’s face, but the other man keeps it downturned. The moment is over. John’s blood boils again, this time in frustration. Sherlock is beautiful, and he is so tired of waiting.

“Seven!”

But midnight is coming. Maybe he can still—

“Five!”

Somebody taps him on the back and he turns, disentangling himself from Sherlock. It’s Greg. “Alright, gentlemen. We have all the info we need, I’m heading out now.” His eyes are twinkling.

John nods, wondering briefly how much of his and Sherlock’s exchange the DI had witnessed. And why he had to interrupt. They have earwigs for a reason.

“Three!”

“Head over to the Yard tomorrow so we can write it up and see about bringing someone in. Happy New Year!” Greg tosses a wave over his shoulder and moves through the crowd.

“Two!”

“You too,” John says quietly, and turns back to Sherlock.

“Happy New Year!” The room erupts.

But Sherlock is gone.

 

+++

 

John sighs and pulls his tie free of its knot as he steps into the flat. It's dark throughout the rooms and hardly looks like Sherlock is here. But he is, John can tell. There is always something different in the atmosphere when Sherlock isn't around. Something more muted, less charged and electric. Still. Glancing down the hall, he sees Sherlock's door shut tight, unwelcoming.

Ah.

Making his way into the kitchen, he pulls several buttons free on the crisp rental shirt and sets about filling the kettle before changing his mind and instead pulling the bottle of whiskey down from the upper cabinet. Perhaps not the smartest idea, but he needs to brood and think for a bit until he attempts to face Sherlock. Because he must face him, at this point.

Spooked, he thinks. Sherlock’s probably spooked. Maybe he isn't comfortable with physical affection, perhaps he doesn't feel the same way. The last option is much, much less desirable. John can work with the first option. He can live without sex if he can have the man for himself.

He takes a few sips before wandering from the kitchen.

Besides, there is no way Sherlock didn't see the affect he was having on John. He'd had a bloody hard-on, for fuck's sake. While the other man was half naked in his arms. No way did he miss that.

Sitting, John stares at the empty fireplace, the only light in the flat coming from the bright moon outside the window. Perhaps there is a way he can go about this gently, so as not to freak the other man out. He thinks briefly about tossing the entire idea out the window and acting like nothing ever happened.

Yeah, that's not going to work.

 

+++

 

Two hours later, John is still nursing the same glass of whiskey, hardly any sort of buzz going on. He shed his shoes and suit jacket long ago, socked toes cold against the floor. The clock struck three a few minutes before, and now he's trying to get up the nerve to go knock on Sherlock's door. Despite it being three in the morning.

He really should leave it until later when they've both slept and John hasn't consumed any alcohol, but he's far from drunk and he needs to know if he's ruined their friendship. The fear is something that can't wait until sunup.

Setting the tumbler down on the floor, he pushes out of his recliner and ignores the way his joints pop as he stands. He's in front of Sherlock's door before he realizes it, and rapping lightly on the door before he's prepared. No answer.

No light is coming from beneath the door, so it's possible the detective has fallen asleep. What if the man isn't even here and John had been wrong the entire time about his presence? With this in mind, John gently pushes the door open and peeks into the darkness.

And promptly stops breathing.

Sherlock is, in fact, asleep, curled up on his side facing away from John. The moon comes uninhibited through the windows, outlining the man in a silvery halo and casting his skin an ethereal color. The Belstaff is tossed carelessly across the bed and oh, he's still fully dressed from the party, right down to those outrageous shoes. John swallows.

For a long moment, he lets himself admire the glow of Sherlock's curls and the smoothness of his skin, watches as slow, even breaths softly raise the visible shoulder. He realizes that Sherlock must have come straight back and curled up in this spot, exhausted, right after they had danced together. Had he been upset? Unnerved? Did he need to think, like John had? Most importantly, is he okay now?

He also takes note of the corset still tied around Sherlock's waist, and while it doesn’t appear to be very binding or tight, it’s still a slight concern. These thoughts alone are enough to propel him forward.

John's socked steps are soft as he moves into the room, silently closing the door behind him. He sits gingerly on the edge of the bed and reaches out to touch Sherlock's shoulder. It's chilled.

"Sherlock?"

The bed jumps as Sherlock twitches awake, immediately looking over his shoulder and meeting John's gaze with wide, worried eyes. "John? What are you doing here?"

John hasn't moved his hand, and the other moves again to brush Sherlock's wild hair out of his eyes. "You fell asleep in your pretty things. Aren't they a bit uncomfortable?"

Had he not been watching very closely, John wouldn't have noticed the moment Sherlock's cheeks darken in the moonlight. He's looking down. "No, I. I didn't take them off when I got back because..." Manicured fingers pluck at the bedspread, "I sort of fancy them."

John's stomach clenches and his fingers squeeze into the shoulder beneath them. He can't stop touching Sherlock. Doesn't want to.

When he replies, his voice has gone even quieter. He feels that this moment deserves reverence. "Alright. But we should maybe get you out of that corset, yeah? It's not good to keep it on so long."

Sherlock nods, a small movement before he turns away and sits upright on the bed with his legs crossed, dislodging John's touch. It looks like an invitation to help, all the smooth skin of Sherlock's back just within reach, but John keeps his hands to himself this time, waiting to be asked.

"John..."

"Yes?"

Sherlock's head turns so John can see his profile, but the detective is still looking down at the bedspread. "Tonight, when you...when you t-touched me. When we danced."

He doesn't continue, so John prompts him again, this time barely brushing his fingers along his C7 vertebra and watching in awe as goosebumps rise along that moonlit skin. Sherlock's trembling. "Yes."

"Was it the lingerie?" Sherlock blurts, fingers clenching in the duvet before he straightens and looks straight ahead once more.

John's brow furrows. "What do you mean?"

A huffed breath. "I thought. Well. I thought perhaps you thought it made me look more...feminine, and since that fits to your general…tastes, I thought—"

"No."

"No?"

"No, it wasn't the lingerie."

There is a long moment where they aren't touching, and neither speaks.

"John."

"Yes?"

"Could you...?" A shaky hand gestures to the fastenings winding up Sherlock's back.

"Absolutely."

Fingers nearly trembling, clumsy in their efforts, John grips the tails of the bow around the waist and pulls it loose. It relieves some of the pressure, but he carefully tugs and loosens the hooks until he sees the corset release all at once.

Sherlock lets out a loud gasp, obscene in the silence of the shadowed room.

John is truly trembling now, mirroring the body beneath his hands. "Sherlock."

A shuddering breath. "...Yes?"

"Please tell me this is what you want," he says in a hoarse whisper. His head droops low. "And not just this once," he rushes to add.

Sherlock chokes out, "Oh, yes. Yes, please,” and John is lost.

Lost to the idea of finally having this man to himself, and terrified at the idea of messing up what they have between them. He lets out a shaky sigh, conscious of the way it makes Sherlock’s skin raise with goosebumps.

“I will consume you, do you realize?” Sherlock says softly, hesitantly, perhaps concerned in the wake of John's silence.

John swallows. “You already have.”

With all the marrow in his bones reaching for Sherlock, he cups one side of his neck and brings his mouth to the other. Sherlock's spine instantly melts into John's touch and he arches to give more room for John's lips.

A small sound comes from Sherlock, a whimper, and John gently grazes his fingers down the other man's arm until he reaches his hand and can twine their fingers together. Sherlock grips back hard.

"God, you've no idea. No idea." John feels nearly mad with the access he's been given, with this utter delight in his arms practically begging to be had.

"I think—oh!" Sherlock gasps again as John gently nips at his neck, "I think I've got some idea."

The smile that creeps up on John makes him feel heady and joyous all at once. "Can I—Jesus, I just want to unwrap you."

"Yes, yes! John!"

Slipping the corset open, he looks at the smooth expanse of Sherlock’s back. The skin is pink and looks sensitive, fleshy lines pressed into patterns from the snug fabric. John brushes a hand under the garment and down Sherlock’s side to confirm this, reveling in the shiver that wracks the body beneath his touch.

“You’re remarkable,” he says, looking down over Sherlock’s shoulder, eyes riveted to where the corset has fallen away from his nipples, rosebud pink and firm. Sensitive.

With a small yelp from Sherlock, John grips his legs and turns the other man until his feet are dangling off the side of the bed before slowly backing off himself and slipping to kneel on the hardwood floor, bracketed by those lovely, lovely thighs.

"Can I turn on a lamp, love?"

Sherlock nods, but reaches over and turns it on himself before John can. It casts a warm glow around the room and John can finally see.

"Oh my god."

"What?" Sherlock is breathless from his position above, gripping tight to the sheets on the edge of the bed.

“Your...you've shaved your legs." As he speaks, John slowly moves to touch, draws his hand lightly down from thigh to calf and over the soft skin and dainty stockings.

"Is that...not good?" That voice is impossibly small and John aches from deep inside.

"God, Sherlock, whatever you want is good." He licks his lips. "But yes, it's good. Fuck, it's marvelous." That said, he tugs at the clips holding the stockings in place and slides one down past Sherlock’s knee.

With hardly any control remaining, he slips one hand behind Sherlock's knee, picking up his leg from where it rests on the floor and skimming his lips across the smooth cream of his skin. He glances up beneath his lashes to see Sherlock watching every movement with hooded eyes, mouth hanging open and a blush high on his cheekbones. John smiles before reaching down with his free hand to pull off the shoe.

He nuzzles into the skin, worshipping one leg before moving onto the other. Fingertips stroke and massage Sherlock's calf, soothing the muscles that must ache from walking around in massive heels all night.

Sherlock's eyes are closed now, head tilted back, breaths panting and heaving his chest. He looks nearly…distressed.

Holding the leg up with one hand behind the ankle, John reaches up to rest a hand over Sherlock's chest, where he can feel his heart galloping.

"Sherlock, shhh. Hush, love." Sherlock's breathing has evolved into small sounds every other exhale. "It's okay, I need you to breathe a bit slower, okay?"

Sherlock nods and looks down at him before releasing his grip on the bed with one hand and instead grasping onto John's forearm. "Sorry, s-sorry. I'm not, I'm not good."

John releases the ankle he had been holding so he can sit up and cup Sherlock's face in his hands. "Why on earth would you think that? Sherlock, you are so, so good. There is not a thing wrong with you."

Sherlock's eyes are closed and his brow is scrunched in a way that nearly portrays pain. John brushes a thumb over those little lines in hope of smoothing them away.

Sherlock huffs a breath and shakes his head. "But. We haven't even kissed and I'm. I'm useless for this."

Oh, oh god. How had he even passed up the opportunity to kiss the lips he has agonized over for nearly half a decade? Here he is, starting to undress a man who probably has little to no experience and the lovely thing hasn't even been kissed. And God, he deserves to be kissed. Daily. Repeatedly. And only by John.

With a hand behind Sherlock's neck, he draws him down halfway until their faces are eye level before resting his forehead against the other man's.

"God, I'm the one who should be sorry, darling." They are brushing noses now, Sherlock's eyes closed again but brow smooth and worry-free, though he still trembles. "Look at you, all wrapped up and beautiful. I could hardly keep my hands to myself tonight. I've wanted to kiss you for years, and here I go botching the entire thing up."

A small sound escapes Sherlock, both hands quickly moving to grip John's wrists.

"I don't even know how to do this," he whispers.

"That's okay." And then he kisses him.

It starts soft, sweet. Barely a brush of lips. Had John not seen Sherlock kissing once before, he would think this is his first. None of that matters now, anyway.

John keeps his touch gentle where he cradles Sherlock's face. The temptation to tug those curls a little is nearly maddening, and he must at some point. Perhaps later. For now, his fingertips find their way across porcelain features and lovely cheekbones as he tilts and guides the kiss a bit further.

That plush bottom lip is driving John insane, and he can't keep himself from tugging it gently between his own several times before moving on. Sherlock lets out a small sound every time he gently nibbles on his lips and John answers with a chest-deep groan. He's getting anxious to taste.

Sherlock immediately opens his mouth at the first slight introduction of tongue, John desperate for just a small taste at least, but Sherlock is eager and near wild. John gently slows the desperate...licking Sherlock attempts.

The detective rears back, a look of near horror on his flushed face. "Oh god, I'm sorry! I knew I wouldn't do it right. I'm sorry."

John is shaking his head before Sherlock can even finish and continues to hold his precious face. "Sherlock, if I expected you to be perfect at everything all at once, I would hope you'd turn me out of this room right now. It's okay, and will continue to be okay." He pushes the curls back from Sherlock's forehead and stares for a moment at the innocence written across that face. "Nothing is a mistake, alright? It's all a learning process. I can show you, yeah?"

Sherlock finally meets his eyes and grips John's dress shirt instead, as if it's necessary for him to hold onto something. "I trust you."

John feels a burning behind his eyes that he's not entirely comfortable with, but he ignores it in favor of bringing their lips together once more and gently tugging on that bottom lip again.

Sherlock is not a quiet kisser, and as they begin to learn each other, John secretly hopes he never will be. There's whimpers with tongue, gasps with nibbling, and he's a bit surprised when Sherlock lets out a bitten-off moan after he gently bites his lip. He remembers it for later. They have so much time.

The detective hasn't moved his hands, almost as if he's unsure what to do with them, so John takes one in his own and presses a quick kiss to it. "This doesn't have to be just me exploring you. You can touch me too."

With a slight pause, Sherlock delicately places his hands in John's hair and on his face, but doesn't explore much beyond that. It's okay, because John is patient. He can wait. Probably.

He keeps it mostly above the waist for a long while before finally allowing himself to get a handful of Sherlock's thigh. God, those legs and their creamy smooth skin. John feels a bit light headed for a moment. He digs his fingers into the fleshy bits, relishing in the feeling of Sherlock's muscles clenching and releasing beneath his touch. He feels possessive, quiet rage running through him at the thought of the scene in the toilets earlier. At the thought of someone else’s hands on his boy.

His grip loosens when he realizes how tightly he has been holding Sherlock. Faint redness blooms in the wake.

"Sorry, you might have bruises in the morning," he breathes against Sherlock's mouth.

And Sherlock, lovely creature that he is, throws his head back and moans.

With that, John finally gets his fingers into those curls and tugs just enough to tilt the detective's head back. Sherlock is gasping again, but John contributes that to the very heavy snogging they've just done and continues in his ministrations. Getting his mouth on that neck has been one of his top priorities since this started, and the small taste he got earlier was not nearly enough to sate him.

With the first introduction of teeth, Sherlock lets out a cracked, "J-ohn!" and grips the back of John's head, holding him there.

John smiles and continues nipping along the skin there, feels Sherlock's pulse throb beneath his lips, goosebumps leaping to action beneath his hands. He sucks down hard enough to ensure there will be a bruise.

His. His.

John’s head feels a bit light again with the sudden rush of blood being redirected to lower regions. He feels a bit primal, a lot possessive.

Sherlock practically wails as the capillaries break and blood pools beneath the skin, forming a magnificent mark in acknowledgment of John's claim. The trembling man before him is having difficulty keeping his hips still; small, aborted thrusts brushing insistently against John's clothes. He doesn't acknowledge it, unsure if Sherlock is even aware he's doing it. His pretty panties are probably soaked from his arousal with all the squirming he's doing.

That thought in mind, John pulls back just enough to pull the corset from Sherlock’s torso, unfastening the clips holding the remaining stocking up before throwing it across the room as he brings their bare chests together at last. They kiss again, Sherlock giving as good as he gets; their lips press against each other, hard and bruising. John has to break free again just so he can soak up the view of Sherlock’s mouth swollen and bitten from him. Sherlock stares back.

Again, he moves to mouth at that neck. Sherlock’s heel-free leg has managed to wrap its way around John's hip, and he takes advantage of this now in order to grip it and hike it higher. Sherlock is gasping and whimpering, small sounds making their way into the room with more and more frequency the harder John sucks and laves at pale, smooth skin.

John slowly pulls back and presses a swift kiss to Sherlock's gasping mouth. "Let me get this other shoe off, yeah?" He's nearly as breathless as Sherlock at this point.

Sherlock nods but keeps his hand on John's shoulder as he leans down and grips the remaining stiletto. As soon as he's free of the confining footwear, Sherlock is quick to wrap both legs completely around John's torso, to the point that John can't stand it anymore and lifts, setting Sherlock further in the bed and tilting him onto his back, John hovering over him.

"Oh," Sherlock breathes, slipping his hands once again around John's wrists where they are now braced on either side of his head. "I underestimated how strong you are."

John grins. "I can be quite the superman when I've got the right incentive."

He watches as Sherlock rolls his eyes, and there, there is a bit of the Sherlock he knows and loves.

And. Well. Perhaps it's a bit too early for that word just yet, but he knows it to be true. Thinks it might even be mutual, and that's enough for the moment. They have time.

Lots and lots of time, if John has anything to say about it.

Here, Sherlock watches his face for a long moment before slipping one of his hands down to rest over John's chest. He stares at that too for a bit. "John. Your heart is pounding."

John nods, moving his freed hand to rub a thumb along Sherlock's brow.

"Why?"

John smiles, traces the curve of his love’s pretty mouth. "Because I'm excited. And nervous. And I've got you beneath me in bed and there's so much I want to do with you."

Sherlock's face flushes crimson, his eyes dropping back to John's chest where his hand has slipped just inside the folds of John's open collar. His fingers fiddle with the remaining buttons, slowly slipping one free and exposing more of John's chest.

John’s eyes nearly roll back in his head when Sherlock leans upward and presses his mouth gently, tentatively, preciously to his chest. He's sure the other man can feel the way his pulse leaps at the simplest of touches from those hands. Sherlock mouths and presses tiny kisses all along the accessible skin. He even gives a cautious lick or two as his nails bite into John’s skin. John shakes.

Finally, Sherlock again lets his head fall back against the bed, his hair haloing around his face so beautifully that John cannot help but touch him. Thighs, hips, sides, chest, neck. He traces an index finger along high cheekbones and delicate eye sockets, down the slope of a beloved nose. Sherlock closes his eyes and leans into the touch when John brings their mouths together again. John can feel the tiny hitching thrusts of Sherlock’s hips against him.

John stays hovering above him and between stockinged knees, dropping down to his forearms as they kiss and kiss and kiss.

Gradually, he slips his fingers into the top of one stocking, slowly pushing it down and leaving goosebumps along Sherlock’s skin in its wake. As soon as he carelessly tosses the first stocking away and begins working on the second, Sherlock tentatively spreads his legs further to give him more room between them. His eyes barely slip open, just watching John through heavily hooded slits as John pulls away. He can see the small tremors quivering through Sherlock’s milky thighs when he casts a cursory glance over the flushed body beneath him.

“You’re so bloody gorgeous,” he breathes, running a hand up Sherlock’s stomach and chest. His hand brushes against Sherlock’s arousal as he pulls his hand back down, and the hitch in Sherlock’s breath is loud in the silence of the room. “God, you’re already so hard.”

Some sort of whine makes its way out of the detective. “John.” It’s long and drawn out, a cross between a plea and a complaint.

John smiles and brushes the heel of his palm against the bulge in Sherlock’s panties. “I’m sorry, am I being too slow?”

“God!” Sherlock exclaims, hips stuttering and causing John’s hand to nudge the smooth material down just enough to reveal the weeping head of Sherlock’s cock—painfully red, wet, and rock-hard.

“Fuck, Sherlock.” The words burst out of John, and he watches in fascination as Sherlock arches in the air, a hand now firmly gripping his own curls and a look of tension on his face.

“John—John, please. I—“ His other hand moves down as if to touch himself, and John stops him. “Ah! John, please.”

Fuck. Fuck. “Okay, alright, my love.” They’ve hardly done anything, and here Sherlock is on the edge, barely holding onto the precipice and threatening to drop. He’s a mess. A writhing, pleading, desperate, breathtaking mess. “I’ll take care of you.”

Sherlock presses his head further into the pillow and lets out a loud wail. His cock twitches, just from John’s words.

Unable to hold back any further, not wanting to, John repositions himself over Sherlock’s lithe body, bracing his forearms against the bed and cradling the ethereal face in his hands as he brings their clothed crotches together in a deep thrust.

Ah!”

And John hasn’t even undressed yet.

The slide of sweat builds up between them as John ruts heavily into Sherlock, finding just the right spot that causes Sherlock to let out continual mutters and whimpers of pleasure. He can feel the hardness of Sherlock’s cock pulsing in the crease between his pelvis and thigh. Sherlock writhes, body begging for friction and arms seeking the comfort of John’s embrace.

John stares down at his boy, watches as sweat pools into the dip between his collarbones before bending down and laving at it with his tongue. Sherlock throws his head back further with a quiet gasp, gripping the short strands of John's hair with the fingers of one hand. John tastes and licks, breathes in the basic scent that is Sherlock, feels the heat rising from the other man's skin.

He’s overcome with the need to bite, to claim, but to also coddle and cherish and unravel this remarkable human that’s holding onto him for dear life.

John thinks there’s probably a word for this feeling.

With those trembling arms wrapped around his shoulders, John buries his face into Sherlock’s neck and push, push, pushes, his own arousal starting to loom threateningly as Sherlock’s voice raises in pitch.

“Oh!" His eyes roll back in his head. "Oh! Right there. Yes, yes, John, yes!”

John traces the line of the panties along the curve of Sherlock's hip, moving his hand beneath until he can rub his bum and slide his fingers along the crease through the fabric, just insinuating a concept with his fingertips.

Sherlock positively yelps and goes completely still in a tense, arched position. Before John can ask if he is alright, he feels warmth spread between them.

His eyes lock on Sherlock’s face for a moment, captivated by that flushed face with nearly unbearable pleasure written all across it.

Then John groans, nearly in agony as he feels Sherlock's body start convulsing beneath him, hips pumping an uneven rhythm as his cock spurts streaks of come along his tummy. Reaching down, John grips the band of the panties and slips it back over Sherlock's still-pulsing cock, watching, enraptured, as a spot of wet warmth darkens the fabric. He rubs the material against the sensitive skin a little, testing Sherlock's limits and listening intently to the small sound that comes from the detective's throat amidst the heaving inhales and exhales. It just keeps going, as if his body had built up years of tension and is relieved to finally be able to let it go.

Eventually, Sherlock grips his wrist to hold him still. “T-too much,” he stutters, chest still puffing labored breaths in and out, up and down. His eyes are closed, face tense. He looks upset.

“Are you alright?” John asks, falling to his side on the mattress and pushing the curls back from that high forehead. Sweat beads at Sherlock's hairline.

Sherlock’s brow clenches and he bites his lip before giving his head a tiny shake. “I’m sorry. G-god, I’m sorry.”

John leans down and kisses his face—forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose, mouth. “What on earth are you apologizing for now?”

Gradually, Sherlock's huffing breaths start to come down, but he pushes John away so he can press the heels of his palms into his eyes. He lets out a frustrated noise. “I just…and after we’d barely—“

“Oh, my love.” John gently pries pale hands from where they are digging into Sherlock’s eye sockets. “Everybody is different. It rarely happens at the same time anyway.” He touches their foreheads together and breathes in. “Besides, do you have any idea how hot that was?”

John watches as pale eyes meet his, confusion written all over Sherlock’s worried face. “Really?”

“Yes, really." John grins as he rubs his own arousal against Sherlock's thigh. "Can't you tell?"

A slight smile flits at the corners of the detective's mouth. "Good. That’s good, then."

John leans down to tug an earlobe between his teeth, running a hand up a pale, smooth thigh. He doesn't want this to be over. His cock definitely doesn’t want this to be over. "Do you think you could go again?"

Sherlock leans into his touch, one arm draping lightly over his shoulders, and shivers. Goosebumps raise along the skin John breathes over. “I don't know. I think, maybe."

There's really only one way to find out from there, and so John runs his hand through the cooling come on that quivering tummy before tugging gently at Sherlock's balls through the fabric. The other man sucks in a breath, thighs clenching and toes twitching. John's fingers find their way under the band of the panties, gently sliding them down trembling thighs until Sherlock tries to contribute and they both help him slip out of the delicate cloth.

Luxuriating in the freedom he now has, all that access to all that skin, John runs his hands over pale hips and smooth thighs before pushing his hands beneath and cupping Sherlock's bum cheeks in both hands. Sherlock shivers, unintentionally arching off the bed and granting further access for wandering hands.

John squeezes the softness beneath his touch while sucking a harsh love bite just over a freckle on one of Sherlock’s pectoral muscles. He moves down to lightly lave near a rosebud nipple, delighted at the sounds this produces from Sherlock. Soon, he’ll be feasting on those tight little nubs, but for now, he moves on.

Sherlock continues to arch into each different touch that John bestows on his sensitive body. He arches up, then down, pressing himself into the hold John has claimed on his bum before pushing back into the ministrations of John’s mouth, teeth, and tongue. It becomes an uneven rhythm, Sherlock practically thrusting himself bodily against John. Each arch into the air allows even more room for John to tighten his grip rhythmically to the movements Sherlock makes. The animal part of his brain wants to ensure that Sherlock’s skin is entirely marked up by morning. He wants his handprints to be bruised into the creamy smoothness of Sherlock’s plush arse. He wants to ravage, to consume. He wants to break Sherlock apart from the inside.

This time when Sherlock arches, John gets a bit impatient as he runs his fingers gently back and behind certain bits to a very sensitive furl of skin.

Sherlock gasps loudly, nearly shocked, gripping John's bicep with an iron hold before pushing him up and away. "Yes, yes! John, please. But god, take your pants off first." His entire face and chest are flushed a delightful shade of pink.

John chuckles and rolls off of the bed, unfastening the fancy trousers and quickly shucking them off before completing the unbuttoning of his shirt as well.

Sherlock stares. And blinks. Squirms a little. And once John is down to just his pants, Sherlock is reaching and dragging him back to the bed and into a heavy kiss that quickly turns wild. It's wet and full of tongue, but it's them and they're kissing, and honestly it's everything John could have wished for and beyond. Way beyond.

John's tongue retreats from the welcoming warmth of Sherlock's mouth. Gripping Sherlock's bottom lip between his teeth, he lightly tugs at it while pressing his erection into the soft musculature of Sherlock’s thigh. The momentary relief is marvelous and nearly distracting. Sherlock whimpers, muffled between their mouths.

John, oh, oh, I want you inside. Please—oh, god—please can you—“

John wants to devour him. He feels as though he’s burning with it. “Yes, of course, darling. Of course.” After a hard press of lips, he pulls back from the kiss so he can mouth and nip along Sherlock's sensitive neck, finding the same spot as earlier and setting out to darken the already-forming bruise. "You would look so lovely with a collar of love bites, just here," John mumbles while tracing an area along Sherlock's collarbones.

There's a hitch in Sherlock's breath, and that could be due to the words or the fact that John has moved his attentions to the previously indicated skin. Sherlock's hand cups the back of John's head at the same time as one of those smooth legs tangles itself with John's. They rub against each other's skin with hardly anything to separate their arousals, sweat sliding against sweat, just John's pants keeping their cocks from meeting face to face (or head to head, as it were).

He stares at the boy beneath him, the protruding bones and underfed belly, wild curls and the occasional freckle. He's seen all of this before, the scar amidst his torso, thin, silvery lines in mysterious places, rosy, budded nipples. But just here, beneath all this at the center of Sherlock's body, this is new and exciting territory. Sherlock's cock is modest in size, out of proportion with the length of the rest of his body, but it's perfect, and John wants to nuzzle. And kiss. Explore.

The first lick at Sherlock's nipple causes the man to arch dangerously in the air, so intense that John worries he'll throw out his back. John sucks and laves, introduces teeth a little. Sherlock scrambles at the sheets, tossing his head back before looking down intently where John is busy pleasuring him and groaning obscenely. John runs a blunt nail gently across the other nipple, alternating stimulation on the two different sides as he does so, causing Sherlock to gasp and squirm even more, rubbing his bum against the sheets and pressing up into softness of John's belly to get the friction he craves.

It's almost as if it's too much for him, as Sherlock pushes up but then pulls back with a small whimper for several seconds before arching back into John. As if he can't decide what he wants.

John reaches down, needing to touch, needing to feel, and he cups Sherlock's sensitive cock before stroking it gently. Sherlock whimpers softly and his nails dig harshly into John's skin. John is too captivated by the soft glide of Sherlock's foreskin to even notice the slight sting of the moon-shaped indents now marring him.

Sherlock is just beginning to harden again beneath John's touch, this time fully visible to his greedy eyes. John himself is painfully erect, has been for quite a bit. He feels himself twitch against Sherlock's thigh as the detective rubs himself along John's front, writhing in the sheets and pressing his mouth to John's shoulder. No kissing, no sucking, just a press of lips against skin as he brackets John's hips with his legs. Just soft huffs of air along John's sensitive skin.

Then he bites.

John tucks his hand beneath Sherlock's head and the pillow so he can cup the back of Sherlock's neck, throwing his own head to the side and moaning loud enough for Mrs. Hudson to hear.

And now, isn't that just a thought.

"God, you're unbelievable. My perfect boy." He's fighting to keep himself from coming all along Sherlock's thin hips. His brow clenched, he counts backwards from a hundred until he can concentrate more on the boy beneath him than the thing between his legs.

Sherlock is busy whining and giving kitten licks to any place he can reach. It's a bit odd, a bit irresistible, and a lot difficult to ignore, but John rapidly moves down Sherlock's chest, kissing and sucking until he's out of reach from that curious tongue and eye level with his bellybutton. Sherlock's breath is hitching repeatedly, fingers twitching and gripping John's hand where it still rests on Sherlock's sternum.

John licks into Sherlock's bellybutton, dipping his tongue in and out while rubbing a hand against Sherlock's lower tummy, dangerously close to his now weeping cock.

"W-what are you doing," Sherlock huffs, humor lacing his breathless words.

John presses a series of kisses across Sherlock's belly. "Giving your body the attention it deserves. My beautiful boy." Kiss, kiss, kiss.

Sherlock's breath hitches hard, and he looks down at John in something akin to awe before whimpering, "More."

John is happy to oblige.

This time, he goes straight for the cock, mindful that Sherlock is probably still a bit sensitive. A grunt enters the air as Sherlock's hips twitch up, and he's not entirely sure which one of them makes it. John is licking and kissing along the swollen head, teasing the foreskin back and forth with his fingers while trying to keep himself from rutting against the bed. He moves his ministrations further down, pulling Sherlock's balls into his mouth one at a time and humming in satisfaction the way it makes the other man squirm incessantly.

"John!" Sherlock cries.

John squeezes the hand still holding his captive, running a thumb gently along the backs of Sherlock's knuckles in an attempt to comfort and sooth.

Sherlock is panting above him again, head thrown back at the moment, but he keeps looking back down to see John's progress. Sherlock’s cock tastes salty from his earlier release, and John laps at the tender head until he tastes the first drop of precome. John smiles around the mouthful as Sherlock squirms even more against the sheets.

"Oh god, oh god. Oh my god."

John skims his lips away from the most sensitive parts of Sherlock and moves to his trembling inner thighs, captivated for a moment by their smooth creaminess. He wants to taste. And bite. So he does.

Lifting one leg up and over his good shoulder allows him much better access, and he sucks a little love bite into the skin beneath his teeth while rubbing a hand along the outside of the same quivering thigh. Sherlock's entire body is trembling, and it seems as if he might tip over the edge once again.

"My love," he mutters against the flawlessly shaven skin, “sweetheart, you have to tell me if you're going to come again so I can stop." Sherlock lets out a pained groan at this and John can't hold back a smile. "Do you still want more? Still want the whole thing?”

Sherlock makes a frustrated sound and arches into John's body, seeking the warm mouth that has already given him so much pleasure. John nips the skin of his tummy just above his throbbing cock. ”God, fine! If you stop now I'll...I'll..."

But John hasn't stopped and he isn't stopping and he keeps going lower and lower with his wet, suctioned kisses and that maddening tongue, and...and...

Sherlock gasps. "John, oh, you can’t—!"

Oh, but he can, and he is.

John Watson is a very bad man.

The first small lick against his hole is overwhelming, and Sherlock makes the most pitiful sound. John pulls back just far enough to breathe, "Tell me how you feel, my darling boy. Does it feel good?"

Sherlock huffs a few ah ah ahs as he tries to pull air into his lungs. "Good! Oh, oh, it feels so good, please don't stop, please—!“

He keeps babbling, voice rising in pitch the more John prods at the clenched hole with his tongue. A long, wet lick from taint to scrotum causes the detective to nearly jump off the bed as he cries out.

John closes his eyes, reveling in the feel of Sherlock beneath him with everything he has. This is the love of his life, his perfect, brilliant boy that has been through so, so much. Far too much. His brow furrows as he runs his tongue along the crease where thigh meets groin. Moving back to Sherlock's hole, he circles his tongue along the rim until he feels a bit of relaxation of the muscle, then presses several soft kisses right there.

He moves his free arm to hold down Sherlock's hips where they have been pumping helplessly into the air. The detective himself keeps getting quiet before choking out a sob of breath, head thrown back and mouth open in pure, unadulterated bliss. His grip on John's hand is fierce, still holding it despite the awkward angle. He tucks his legs up into his chest, which has the happy result of spreading everything out and letting John bury his face where he wants it most and licking, swirling, sucking, pushing.

Sherlock keens, the muscles beneath John's touch tensing up at the same time. He pulls back and rests his cheek on his lower belly.

"You have to tell me, darling." A slip of tongue back in the dip of his bellybutton. “Are you ready?”

“Mmph.” Sherlock has a forearm draped across his eyes, chest heaving.

John lightly presses a finger to Sherlock’s furled hole while kissing up the midline of Sherlock’s torso. “Mm, that’s not a word, sweetheart.”

Sherlock blindly reaches down and grabs John’s teasing hand. “Put your f-fingers in me—" The last is cut off with a whine when John presses a bit harder. "Now! Now, now, now."

John huffs a laugh. “I need something to make it more comfortable. Do you have—“ He nearly loses an eye from the bottle of lube being chucked at his head. "God, you're perfect."

Sherlock's face turns crimson, but he looks embarrassingly pleased.

John reaches beneath Sherlock's balls, gently running his fingers around the quivering sphincter of muscle and Sherlock whines. The first teasing press against his hole causes Sherlock to clench up and still, so John leans forward and licks a stripe up his cock to distract from the sensations going on further below. John imagines that produces all sorts of pleasant sensations, since Sherlock shivers and arches against the bed again. John's finger slips just the tiniest bit inside.

"Oh," Sherlock breathes, and John will never be able to watch him solve a mystery again. The face is the same.

John continues paying attention to Sherlock's cock, not letting it soften for a moment. Pressing his finger further inside causes a few uncomfortable squirms and the clenching of fists in the sheets, and so John peers up at Sherlock's glistening face.

He pulls off. "Are you okay?"

Sherlock's face is damp with sweat and tense again, but John is unable to tell whether this is from pleasure or pain.

"It's just—" he waves a hand blindly, “—so unexp-ected.” His voice hitches on the last word and his hips move restlessly, moving away from John's hand before lightly grinding back down. “It’s…odd. Oh, oh.” His forehead smooths and he releases one fistful of cotton to grasp John's forearm. "It's good."

John smiles at the astonished face and tilts his head down to suck lightly against Sherlock's balls as he presses further in and up to the second knuckle.

A small sound comes from Sherlock. "G-god, how is it going to fit?" he blurts, voice soft and small.

That precious face turns even redder, as if he hadn’t meant to say it aloud.

John repositions so he can press a few licks alongside his finger. Sherlock squeaks. John grins. ”Trust me, it'll fit,” he murmurs, now distracted by the way Sherlock tastes, the way they taste together as he slips his tongue in beside his finger. He can taste the salt of his own skin along with a bit of lube that can’t detract from the heavy, intimate musk of Sherlock. It’s delightful and heady and he wants to savor it all.

He pulls his finger completely out, which causes Sherlock to squawk in protest until he feels the much softer, wet pressure of John’s tongue take its place.

“Oh my god,” Sherlock chokes out, pressing his bum even further into the mattress and pressing John’s face completely between his legs.

John thinks for a moment that he might suffocate amongst the softness of Sherlock's thighs, but he’s not sure he’d mind dying this way. Would make for an interesting crime scene, surely.

John licks fully, deeply into Sherlock, laving over and over and over until his saliva has gathered enough to ease the way even further and the muscles have relaxed. With an amount of coordination he hadn’t known he possessed, he opens the small tube and slicks up his fingers again before sliding in two. Those long legs pull away from his face a bit and he opens his eyes to realize Sherlock has gripped the backs of his own thighs and pulled them up as far as possible until he’s folded practically in half. Even more enrapturing than that, he’s looking between his legs and staring as John pleasures his body beyond anything it has ever known.

Nearly overwhelmed, John attaches his mouth to Sherlock’s inner thigh and sucks at the same time his fingers seek and find.

Sherlock howls.

“John! I’m going—I’m gonna…” Head thrown back, curls everywhere, he’s making tiny sounds under his breath with every brush of John’s fingers.

John pauses his movements, shifting up in the bed until he can look down into Sherlock’s flushed face. He really does look like he might come again, cock leaking, chest flushed, and just from a couple of fingers. He looks desperate. “God, you are so gloriously sensitive.”

Sherlock whimpers. “John, John, please. It feels so good—“ John’s fingers twitch a bit against that same spot. “—Ah!—too good. I’m ready, I’m ready!”

“Not quite, my love,” John can’t help but tease, leaning in for a kiss against that swollen mouth.

Sherlock is barely able to return the gesture. He’s abandoned the job of holding himself open, instead wrapping his arms around John the best he can. He’s uncoordinated, not all there, and John is amazed that he is allowed to see this version of Sherlock. They’re meeting this version of the man at the same time, and that pulls a bit at John’s mushy heartstrings.

He chooses then to press a third finger in, and now Sherlock seems to know exactly how to take it, how to make it good for himself. John lowers one of Sherlock’s thighs flat on the mattress so he can lie down alongside him as he continues stretching, scissoring, occasionally bumping that spot that makes Sherlock whimper and whine. Sherlock has an arm bent up with fingers buried in John’s hair, and he keeps looking down, trying to catch a glimpse of where they’re connected, but John knows he won’t be able to see from this angle. The thought of seeing himself enter Sherlock repeatedly with the other man stretched out below him, or maybe bouncing up and down above him someday—these thoughts alone are enough to hurtle John dangerously close to coming.

Fuck, Sherlock. Just the thought of getting inside you…” He sputters off and rubs himself against Sherlock’s hip just enough to relieve some of the pressure building in his pelvis. “J-just thinking about pushing into you is almost too—shit—t-too much.”

“John!” Sherlock cries, hips thrusting in the air, cock bobbing and dribbling more precome onto his belly.

“Do you realize how hard I am?” he rambles, cognitive thought gone at this point. Reaching down with his free hand, he shoves his pants down until his cock and balls are fully visible. “Look, Sherlock. Look.” Sherlock looks down with wild eyes at John’s engorged, near-purple cock. John grabs Sherlock's hand and puts it on himself, has to consciously keep himself from rutting into those long fingers. “That’s going inside you, baby. That’s gonna split you open until you spill all over this bed.”

Sherlock lets out an explosive whine, breaths panting and loud in the room, accompanied by the filthy sound of John prepping him with teasing fingers. John lets out a grunt as Sherlock's grip tightens for a split second before John presses against his prostate and Sherlock yelps. Sherlock is warm and tight and breathtaking, and John wants inside him absolutely right now.

Gently, he eases his fingers from Sherlock’s body, feeling the way his body sucks him in as if reluctant to let go. Sherlock’s rapid breathing hitches the moment he’s empty and his hand moves to clench tightly at John.

“Where are you going?” he gasps, wide eyes meeting John’s in the dim of the room.

John smiles. “I’ve got to get naked, love.” He kisses him quick and chaste, then rolls onto his back to shove his pants off and away. Naked at last. John nearly laughs at himself for that.

He quickly rolls over and onto Sherlock, falling into pale, clinging arms that hold him close enough to feel the pulsing of Sherlock’s inferior vena cava. The position traps their cocks close together, and John is sorely tempted to have it off here and now, rub it out along the friction of Sherlock’s cock and paint his stomach with come.

No. No.

With a grunt, John pushes up and reaches towards the bedside table. He freezes. “Sherlock?”

Sherlock makes a soft hum, busy pressing his face into John’s throat and twining their legs together.

“Sherlock, do you have condoms?”

This grabs his attention. “What?”

John pushes the hair from Sherlock’s forehead with his clean hand. “A condom. I need to put one on before we can…”

Sherlock’s eyes widen even further. “No, don’t cover it up!”

In any other situation, John probably would have laughed hysterically at that sort of sentence. But here, now, he wants to feel the warmth of Sherlock without any barriers and without worry. His cock throbs. A blush creeps up his neck.

Stroking finely stubbled cheeks, he says, “Love, that’s a big step. We would have to make sure we’re both clean, and a lot of couples still don’t do it without one.” He smiles, a bit filthy. “It’s a bit messy.”

Sherlock groans, a simultaneously frustrated and desperate sound. “I’m clean! I was tested right after… Well. After the… thing. With the plane.” He shakes his head as if clearing the thought away. “And the mess definitely doesn’t bother me. A-at all.”

John stares.

Their mouths meet, and it’s as if a fire is reignited inside them, any heat lost during their brief conversation quickly surging back. John’s fingers tingle.

“Alright. Alright,” John gasps. “I’m clean, too, in case you were wondering. Which you should. God, this is stupid.” But he’s moving as he speaks, slicking lube over his aching cock, getting himself in hand and lining up, the thought of filling Sherlock with a piece of himself almost too much for his brain to handle. Nearly dizzy, he drops to his forearms and rolls his hips, nudges at Sherlock’s entrance.

Sherlock whimpers and holds on tighter, his face down and buried in John’s chest.

This time, the roll of John’s hips presses the head barely inside. Sherlock is silent, and John worries.

“Okay?” he asks, cradling the back of Sherlock’s head with one hand. He kisses those curls.

Sherlock nods and digs his heels into John’s arse.

“I need you to tell me, darling.”

Finally, Sherlock’s head falls back into the support of John’s hand and lets John see. Lets him see the dampness of his eyes and the subtle tremble of a lip. John breaks.

“Oh, beautiful boy. Am I hurting you? God, I’m so sorry.” He starts to retreat, tries to pull away. Sherlock won’t let him.

“No! No, stay. Stay.” Sherlock presses his face back into John’s neck and nearly sniffles. “I. I’m just happy.”

The words are too much for John, so he kisses the face beneath him until there is a tiny smile curving bow lips and they both calm their trembling to a minimum. He presses soft pecks on flushed cheeks while Sherlock's eyes remain demurely downcast. John adores him. Adores him. His hands shake as he knots their fingers together and presses Sherlock’s into the mattress above his head.

And pushes.

Sherlock lets out a huge release of breath as if he’s been punched, body tensing and hand clenching down on John’s. His body resists at first, unfamiliar with this strange intrusion. Keeping one hand firmly pressing their clasped fists into the sheets, John drops to his forearms and strokes along Sherlock’s soft thigh. Soothing. He makes a soft sound as their foreheads rest against the other, Sherlock’s tensed in discomfort. John can feel soft huffs of air on his face as they escape from Sherlock’s lungs. He stays still for a long moment, just stroking and comforting the man beneath him. The erection pressed between their bellies has hardly softened, so his concern is minimal.

It’s John’s turn to let out a massive breath of air as he feels Sherlock’s muscles clench down on his length; at the same time, slender hips roll in a delicate motion. Sherlock’s muscles go limp and he melts into the mattress.

John.”

John is inside, and he nearly wants to weep at the time it’s taken to get to this point.

Their noses nuzzle softly against one another as John presses in a little further, until he’s fully seated. Sherlock looks nearly blissed out, eyes heavy-lidded, and if he was worried about him before, those fears have abated. Especially when John makes an experimental movement of the hips and Sherlock gasps in delight.

“Oh!”

John kisses his neck, chest, face. Begins pumping his hips in a slow, torturous rhythm. “That’s it, darling. That’s it. Can you feel that? Feel my heartbeat?”

More gasping, more delight. “Yes! Oh, yes.”

For John’s part, each thrust lets him feel the smoothness of Sherlock’s insides all along his length. It’s nearly overwhelming, the complete nakedness of the action. It’s been a very, very long time since he’s done this without a rubber, the sensitivity nearly excruciating and threatening to end this far sooner than he would like.

“Your body is so warm. I feel like I’ll burn up just from being inside you,” John pants, hips pressing a bit more insistently into the softness of Sherlock.

“Joh-n!” Sherlock’s pelvis tilts in welcome, pushing him further inside and causing them both to let out harsh breaths. “It feels like…like—ah!”

Sweat is glistening across Sherlock’s sweet face, heaving, choked-off gasps filling the air with every thrust. Sherlock’s mouth is slack, opening further with each pleasing sensation that cascades through his body. John traces those obscene lips with trembling fingertips and allows himself to imagine all the future activities they will be able to get up to with that sinful mouth. He kisses it, gentle and unobtrusive. Sherlock struggles to reciprocate, and it ends up with them mostly just panting into each other’s mouths.

Unable to hold on much longer, already feeling the burning heat that crawls along his nerve endings throughout his entire body, John releases Sherlock’s hand to grab at his thigh, lifting it high and forcing his cock deep, deep, deep.

Sherlock screams.

“Is that the place? Is that where you want me?” He pounds into him again, again, gasping and panting until he feels his chest might explode. His pelvis feels heavy with the heat and tingling of an oncoming climax. “It feels so good, doesn’t it?”

Yes,” Sherlock drawls, the entire word drawn out in a euphoric groan.

John can feel Sherlock’s body begin pulsing around him, so close to coming. His cock is still trapped between them, but Sherlock hardly seems to notice, head thrown back and struggling to breathe. He’s getting his pleasure from John, who is taking little sipping tastes up the length of Sherlock’s bared neck.

At last, John doesn’t worry about holding on anymore. He thrusts with increasing speed and accuracy, can feel Sherlock’s body tensing all around him and the other man’s breaths coming out in harsh puffs against his skin.

“Look at us, Sherlock.”

Sherlock follows his line of sight to where they’re connected. Watches as John pushes into him, cock appearing then disappearing inside of Sherlock’s body. He lets out a soft whimper and his muscles tense. John himself has a hard time drawing his eyes away from the image they create together in order to watch as Sherlock shatters apart.

With a soft gasp, a quiet whimper, Sherlock’s mouth drops open and he comes. Hard.

Sherlock’s body stills as it did before, begins releasing pearls of come across his tummy. John can tell that this orgasm is massively stronger than the last. Sherlock’s chest heaves with the effort to breathe, his body is shaking its way violently through the waves. Sherlock’s muscles clench impossibly tight around John, but he forces himself to ignore it for a few moments more.

Sherlock’s cock keeps pumping out pearly release, his voice letting out soft grunts of relief with each contraction of his body. It seems to ripple through Sherlock’s body and straight into John’s, shaking them both with the pleasure brought on from it. John has to bite his lip to distract himself.

John cradles Sherlock to him when the pulses finally release his exhausted body. Sherlock is limp, weak as a kitten, and positively droops into John’s hold. He may even be asleep.

A soft noise proves this wrong.

“What?” John asks quietly. He’s afraid to destroy the stillness of the room.

Sherlock’s head lifts and he presses his lips to John’s cheek. “Don’t stop.”

It’s John’s turn to groan again as all physical sensation seems to choose that moment to roar back to the forefront of his awareness. He has always been a generous lover, more focused on getting the other person off than himself, and this results in his arousal slamming into him abruptly and full-force after the other person is sated.

Still cradling the beautiful detective beneath him, he thrusts his cock again and again—gently at first, and then a bit harder—as he chases his release, nearly desperate after all this time.

“I want you full of me,” he grunts. He smears a hand through the come on Sherlock’s concave belly. “This is only for me.”

Sherlock presses gentle kisses across the side of his face, tiredly pulling him closer with arms around his neck.

John becomes aware of himself making small sounds of pleasure and Sherlock’s eyes fixed on his face, eyelids drooping. Sherlock reaches up and takes John’s face between his big hands, presses their foreheads together. “It’s only ever been for you.”

Distracted, John accidentally hits Sherlock’s prostate and the detective’s muscles jump feebly as he lets out a tiny mewl that finally throws John over the edge.

He feels like he’s being torn apart for a long moment, as if he might explode from all this pressure trying to escape the confines of his skin. He can’t see or hear a thing until his body releases him with a harsh gasp. When he comes back to himself and collapses on top of Sherlock, the younger man wraps all his limbs around John, keeping him close and inside.

“You are…everything,” John chokes out into the dip between Sherlock’s neck and shoulder.

There is a soft sniffle. “John, I—I believe you are far more than even that.”

John pulls himself up to look down into his favorite face. With a soft smile, he brushes away the silent wetness beneath blue-gray eyes and nuzzles a kiss into a pliant mouth.

In a few minutes, John will gently pull out and sooth the discomfort with kisses to a peaceful, sweaty face. He will watch, mesmerized, as Sherlock tastes his come with little kitten licks. He’ll drag himself out of bed and clean the lean body beneath him, conscious of pale eyes following his every move. Finally, they’ll snuggle up together, Sherlock’s back to John’s front, and sleep better than either of them have in a long, long time.

For now, they will cling to each other and whisper into the quiet. John will wipe away the moisture from Sherlock’s eyes and they will smile, smile, smile.

 

+++

 

Sherlock wakes up with little snuffles and lots of blinking. His eyes are sensitive to the golden sun and so he squeezes them closed for a tad longer before realizing John is lying next to him, smiling.

“Why are you staring at me?” Sherlock mumbles, hiding his face in the mattress.

“I’m just looking at the most gorgeous, brilliant creature to ever walk on two legs,” John replies cheekily. He’s ecstatic, wants to smother this beautiful boy with all the affection blooming inside his chest. He woke up to tangled curls in his mouth and a tingling arm beneath an elegant neck.

There’s a muffled groan from the younger man. “Shut up.”

John grins. “Brilliant. Clever. Resourceful.” He leans over to smack little pecks into sleep-warm skin. “Beautiful. Most pretty. Lovely—”

Sherlock turns, pounces onto him, and holds on with all the strength a sleepy detective can muster.

“You’re the most ridiculous man I have ever met.” John thinks he hears an I love you in there, somewhere.

His heart feels fit to burst, experiencing this awakening. This fresh start. It is January first, after all.