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Thank You for Smoking

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"There's your confession, Ginger!" Sherlock announced triumphantly, turning to Lestrade with a smug grin. "It really couldn't have been any simpler. I think you can handle things from here."

 

But Lestrade didn't respond with anything more than a tired, long-suffering look at the mangling of his name. Sherlock frowned to himself. Ginger! Didn't that deserve at least an annoyed 'Sherlock'? Was Lestrade just going to stand for 'Ginger' without so much as batting an eye? Impressive. Rather astonishing, in fact. He'd have to come up with something even more creative next time.

 

Lestrade's non-reaction was irksome, which was why Sherlock barked at John with slightly more vehemence than intended: "And all that simply because I know my way around tobacco ash. Two hundred and fifty-two types!" The corners of his mouth twitched sardonically. "You might mention that in your next blog entry." There was no need to mime the air quotes around the word 'blog'. His tone of voice was more than sufficient, if one went by the look on John's face, which was especially expressive today. And usually, one could (go by John's face, that is). The assortment of expressions John employed had long since been archived, deciphered, verified, catalogued, and preserved for ease of access in Sherlock's mind palace.

 

"Wasn't it two hundred for-" John queried.

 

"I added a few more," Sherlock cut him off loftily. "A mind at rest tends to rust. I can't afford to have that."

 

With a swirl of his coat, he strode out of Scotland Yard's interrogation room, not giving so much as a second thought to the suspect, who had collapsed on the table behind him, the glowing cigarillo still wedged between his trembling fingers. The case was closed. The murderer apprehended. The mystery solved. Everything else was irrelevant.

 

All in all, it had been a rather boring case. Still, Sherlock was in high spirits as he left the Yard and stepped out onto the street. Behind him, he heard the short, precise steps, still imbued with a military accuracy even after all these years. Sherlock closed his eyes for a moment, almost dreamily. A peace spread through his otherwise so restless mind, showing on his face for a fraction of a second.

 

John.

 

John - who had been so much more than just a flatmate and highly useful assistant on cases for quite some time now. Not just a doctor and former soldier... but rather his... John. John belonged to him now, just as he belonged to John, heart and soul.

 

"That was brilliant!" John called from behind him. Oddly, it sounded like there was a sneer in there somewhere. Sherlock's eyebrows drew together questioningly before he turned to his partner. Strange... his expression was no longer clear and unambiguous. Was he... angry? Sherlock decided not to pursue it, just to be safe. Instead, he took his phone out of his coat pocket, swiped its surface with his thumb and started tapping around on it.

 

"Oh, well..." he deflected. "Barely a three. I don't even know why I left the house for it. But no matter. The case is closed, another criminal delivered to justice..." he continued in a light, bored tone of voice. "Whatever.... Lunch? I found one of those little cafes in Southwark recently that you like so much. They serve those blueberry crepes that make you moan in that nearly indecent manner for some reason, the way you usually sound when..."

 

"I'm not talking about the case!" John interrupted him brusquely.

 

Brusqueness? For the second time that day, Sherlock gave his counterpart an irritated look. Why was John... Oh. So he had noticed then. That was... not good. Not good at all. He'd have to be more careful in future. John was getting better. More vigilant. Sherlock should actually be proud of him, but why did John always become especially attentive just when he shouldn't be?

 

"I know that little cafe - it just 'happens' to have a smoking section," John added. He didn't have to mime the air quotes either. Another area he was getting better at. Sherlock swallowed hard.

 

"Oh?" Sherlock said, since John obviously expected some sort of response.

 

"Mm-hm," John redoubled. "Just like that bistro you took me to last week, the one with the excellent shepherd's pie on the menu."

 

"Really," Sherlock replied, hoping beyond hope that this cup might also pass him by. "What a coincidence."

 

John stared at him wordlessly before looking off to the side and counting: "One... two... three..."

 

"What are you doing?" Sherlock asked. He hated asking questions like that - it almost made him physically ill - but John was being very, very opaque today.

 

"I'm counting all the times you've told me there's no such thing as a coincidence because the universe is rarely so lazy," John snapped at him. "And I've come up with... hold on... fifty-seven!"

 

"You took note of all the times I said something about coincidences, yet you still can't remember the PIN code for my bank card?"

 

"Don't try to distract me!" John barked, and Sherlock had the strong urge to take half a step back. An angry John needed to be handled with care. Extreme care. "We agreed!"

 

"You agreed. I wasn't listening," Sherlock objected.

 

"You said yes!!"

 

"Of course I said yes. You had that look on your face!"

 

John blinked. "What look?" he asked, clearly not understanding.

 

"That Captain Watson look!" Sherlock shot back. "That 'you'd better say yes if you know what's good for you' look," Sherlock explained, ending his statement with some helpless hand-flapping.

 

"It's bloody well good for you to quit smoking," John retorted angrily. "We'd agreed that you were really and truly going to give it up this time."

 

Sherlock pressed his lips together. Oh no. Disappointed John. Disappointed John was the worst of all. He couldn't bear that one. Fortunately, John was not yet aware that he was in possession of that particular secret weapon. But it wouldn't take long. As clever as John had become recently... once again Sherlock thought that he really should be proud of him...

 

"And not a cigarette has touched my lips since," Sherlock said in his own defence, although he knew he was fighting a losing battle.

 

John's eyes narrowed.

 

"Just how stupid do you think I am?" he asked with that utter calm and half-smile which, taken together, were much more dangerous than any screaming and ranting.

 

Sherlock caught himself sliding his left foot several centimetres backwards. With a steely exertion of willpower, he forced himself to stay where he was and stand his ground. Showing any weakness now could mean death. Well, not death-death.... but close enough.

 

John didn't wait for an answer, and Sherlock wasn't sure whether he should be happy about that or not.

 

"If you think I didn't notice you were passive smoking the whole time, you're grossly mistaken. As if I were idiotic enough not to see what you did with Henry Baskerville that time! Did you really think I wouldn't notice? And now, ever since you gave me your word -- YOUR WORD, SHERLOCK! -- that you were giving up smoking, you've inhaled second-hand smoke every chance you've had! Every - single - chance... it's the same game as last time." John took a deep breath. "And you only solved this case just now because you virtually forced the suspect to smoke! It was nothing but sheer, unearned luck, Sherlock!"

 

"No, it wasn't," Sherlock dared to contradict him with a hint of defiance. "The ash from his cigarillo was definitely the same as the sample I took from the crime scene. The analysis will confirm it."

 

"Sherlock..." John warned him. "Don't try to talk your way out of it now. You won't make it any better. You wanted to smoke. That's the only reason you hammered away at the suspect until he lit up. The only reason. Not because you knew it would turn up any evidence against him. If that had been the case... then you would simply have confiscated his cigarillos in the first place and given them to Greg. And the only reason Greg's reaction to your ridiculous 'Ginger' was so lacklustre is because it won the pool for Anderson."

 

"What?! What pool?" Sherlock cried, both bewildered and annoyed.

 

"The Yard stopped betting on when we were going to get together. Now they have a bet on which name you're going to use next instead of Greg," John explained with a broad grin.

 

"And Anderson guessed 'Ginger'?" Sherlock was aghast.

 

"Yep," John confirmed curtly. "Everyone was teasing him about it last week."

 

"Damn it," Sherlock muttered. "Anderson, of all people. If I'd known that..."

 

"Right. Back to you," John redirected the conversation back to the real topic at hand.

 

Sherlock sighed and hung his head. This did not appear to be his lucky day.

 

"So you want to smoke," John stated in a surprisingly neutral manner.

 

Sherlock looked up in surprise. "Well... I... actually... my doctor believes I should quit. And only an idiot ignores his doctor." He was rewarded with a thin smile from John for this insightful declaration.

 

"All right," John said, apparently having come to some sort of conclusion. "Maybe I've been going about it the wrong way all this time." He nodded, jutting his chin out slightly. "Right," he said again. "One last attempt."

 

"All right?" Sherlock echoed hesitantly. Oh, how he hated not knowing precisely what was going on in John's head.

 

"Yes, that's how we'll do it," John said half to himself, clamping his hands together behind his back. Then he looked Sherlock over from head to foot - Sherlock secretly called it the 'Captain Watson look' and it made him shiver in anticipation. Maybe the day wasn't a complete wash after all.

 

"You're going to go home now," John said in a voice that was used to being obeyed. Just as Sherlock opened his mouth, he added sternly, "No backtalk, Sherlock."

 

Sherlock needed to muster all of his willpower in order not to respond with an enthusiastic 'Sir! Yes, sir!' Instead, he lowered his voice and asked, "And you?"

 

"I..." John began, licking his lips in a very promising manner. "… have something to take care of first. In the meantime... as soon as you get home, you're going to undress, put the leather cuffs on your wrists and ankles... attach the spreader bar to the ankle cuffs, and then you're going to wait for me. In the living room. On your knees," he growled in a sinful voice, his expression perfectly innocent.

 

That was John's other secret weapon - using his fine, upstanding Captain Watson voice to demand very not-upstanding things from him - and Sherlock had absolutely no complaints. John knew about that secret weapon... but at least he was fair about it and only deployed it in the bedroom.

 

"Yes, Captain," Sherlock said hoarsely, grateful for the generous cut of his coat.

 

"Don't forget the cock ring," John whispered before dropping a kiss on Sherlock's full, trembling lips and setting off in the direction of the Tube station.

 

The cock ring. Sherlock watched John go, his mouth agape, and rushed to correct his earlier assessment. Today might just be his lucky day after all.

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

Ever since Sherlock had assumed the position John had ordered, he was afloat on a hot-and-cold sea of emotion.

 

He fluctuated between a euphoric high (his nudity together with the equipment John had required promised a wild sexual interlude, which was right up Sherlock's alley) and a nervous low (after all, he hadn't stuck with weaning himself from smoking, and John was angry with him because of it - that was certainly a reason to worry).

 

At least he wasn't bored, which did happen sometimes (when John left him alone too long, for one).

 

No, Sherlock was not exactly suffering from boredom at the moment. Even the perpetual nagging desire for a cigarette which had haunted him almost constantly since that accursed promise, too flippantly made, had been extinguished... extinguished as thoroughly as a glowing cigarette butt that had been dunked in the wet dregs of a glass of cognac.

 

Sherlock dwelled on that image in his mind's eye for a little too long. Then he ground his teeth. Wonderful... now he wanted a cigarette again. And he'd also awakened a thirst for cognac.

 

Just as Sherlock was cursing his own fate, he heard the outside door open downstairs.

 

Steps in the entryway.

 

Sherlock's throat went dry.

 

John?

 

Or someone else?

 

The delicate situation he found himself currently in was not meant to be seen by anyone other than John. His heart rate increased and his palms became moist. His penis had a mind of its own, however. Instead of shrivelling in the face of uncertainty and latent fear of discovery, it displayed even more interest than before, lolling hot and half-hard against his thigh.

 

Just as Sherlock was about to call his unruly organ to order with a reluctant frown, the undefined steps began their ascent, and Sherlock breathed a sigh of relief.

 

John.

 

His member twitched happily and Sherlock let out a soft sigh.

 

Mrs Hudson always set off a creak on the first step, Lestrade took the steps two at a time, and Mycroft... actually, he didn't want to think about Mycroft at the moment.

 

In any event, every visitor and resident of 221B Baker Street was possessed of an entirely individual set of footsteps and sounds on the staircase leading up to the first floor. And the characteristic squeal of the fourth stair that had just sounded... that was John's musical accompaniment, and John's alone.

 

John's footsteps on the stairs were a little quicker than usual, and Sherlock noted how his heart adjusted to the more rapid rhythm, sending his blood pulsing through his body at that exact beat. And then John stood before him, at long last.

 

In his dark jacket with the leather patches, his checked shirt, the dark red cardigan and his too-old jeans, nearly worn through at the knees but still unabashedly emphasising the best aspects of his arse. Sherlock had suspected for a while now that John frequently wore those jeans on purpose in order to direct Sherlock's thoughts along certain lines. Generally with success. Even though Sherlock continued to fight against it and tried not to let anything show. At least not in public and not when they were busy with a case.

 

John smelled a little like dust from the streets, car exhaust, and stuffy upholstery - in other words, he'd taken a taxi. He also smelled a little like sweat - he'd walked fast, been in a hurry - Ah! He hadn't been able to get a taxi right away. Sherlock wasn't surprised. Only he himself had the gift of conjuring cabs out of thin air.

 

But there was something else... another smell. A smell that was so unusual, so surprising, in connection with John that Sherlock hadn't noticed it at first, and that in itself was remarkable if not downright disturbing.

 

There was a very distinct, heady aroma of exclusive tobacco and cedar emanating from John. Sherlock's mouth started to water and a fresh, joyous quiver ran through his cock. If his restraints had allowed it, he would have jumped up straight away, buried his nose in the crook of John's neck and greedily sucked up that smell like a dried-out sponge. He would have sniffed him from head to toe, absorbing every single atom of that scent. John smelled wonderful all on his own... like tea and wool and iodine and safety and gunpowder... but John and tobacco... that was Sherlock's idea of olfactory heaven.

 

Waves of lust undulated in his groin in a deliciously slow swell.

 

"Where were you?" Sherlock managed to croak out, his voice raw.

 

"Figure it out," John answered, provocation underlying his words, and took two steps into the room. The spicy sweet fragrance of cedar wood billowed out from his clothing in a gentle cloud of scent, becoming intense as it went up Sherlock's nose. The typical aromas of tobacco, still infused with the fresh moisture of a cooled climate chamber, mingled with the faintly dusty air of their living room. Sherlock hungrily breathed in the telltale signs of an exclusive tobacco shop.

 

But there was something else... a hint of dried currants, of alcoholic tang and tropical sweetness. Was that... rum?

 

It wasn't unusual for tobacconists to carry alcohol as well. Most of them only sold whisky, however. There were very few who also included rum in their offerings. A street map of London unfolded in Sherlock's mind. He calculated the time that had passed since John had left Scotland Yard until the moment he'd entered their home a few minutes ago. He included the use of both the subway and a taxi in his calculations, and was thus able to narrow it down to a specific area on his imaginary map. There were only three tobacco shops in that part of the city that were still in the running. It could well be any of them, in theory. But one in particular stood out.

 

Six months ago, the trail of a diamond smuggling ring had led them to that shop. It had been a clever coup. The diamonds had been rolled up inside cigars and smuggled through customs in that way. The shop's owner was innocent, but one of his employees now sat behind bars. The shop owner had been so grateful he'd gifted Sherlock with a big box of exquisite cigarillos, which had been received with eager surprise. Finally, a sensible gift, not like those cuff links or other superfluous junk!

 

For days - weeks, even - a heavy blue smog had settled down on their flat as the contents of the cigarillo box were decimated. John had endured it, albeit with quite a bit of tooth-grinding, but in the end Mrs Hudson had added her complaints as well and Sherlock had smoked the rest of his present outside... there had only been a scant few left anyway.

 

"You were in 'Smoke on the Water'?" Sherlock finally exclaimed once he'd reached the end of his deduction. A reproachful 'and without me!' was clearly understood, if unspoken.

 

"That was fantastic," John marvelled, shaking his head. "I should be used to it by now, and yet... tell me later what gave me away, yeah?"

 

Sherlock basked in John's praise, yet felt a bit ashamed at the same time. He'd certainly come a long way... when exactly had he become so addicted to John's acclaim, appreciation, and recognition? No matter. John was proud of him. Everything else was irrelevant. A warm glow of desire pulsed slowly yet auspiciously through his groin, a lingering aftereffect of John's approval.

 

A warm glow appeared in John's eyes, the one that went with the gentle, happy smile that curved up the corners of his mouth. That glow and that smile together regularly took Sherlock's breath away, making his heart beat just a little faster. For the plain and simple reason that he simply couldn't comprehend the fact that that smile and that glow were for him alone, and for no one else in the whole wide world. Sherlock still didn't know what he'd done to deserve that smile and that glow. No matter how hard he'd made his brain and mind palace work on the problem - he hadn't come any closer to a solution. He'd often been tempted to ask Mycroft about it - maybe he would be able to figure it out... damn it. Now he'd thought about Mycroft again!

 

"Yes, I was in Smoke on the Water - without you," John replied, demonstrating a downright uncanny insight yet again that day.

 

Once again, he seemed to have read Sherlock's mind. While Sherlock worried about whether he were that transparent for everyone (a horrible and extremely disquieting thought), or whether John were a special case, John took another step closer to him and asked, "Don't you want to know what I did there?"

 

Sherlock's attention snapped immediately back to John, and his questing eyes ran once again over John.

 

"Or maybe you already know? Are you able to deduce that too?" John continued in a teasing tone of voice.

 

"You bought something..." Sherlock began hesitantly before crying out, "Oh, John! You're such an idiot! They would have given me half the shop for free! You shouldn't have spent any money there."

 

"Maybe," John conceded. "But I wanted to pay. After all, they invited me to have a glass of rum too. Happy?"

 

"Somewhat," Sherlock admitted grudgingly.

 

"I'm not as unscrupulous as you when it comes to calling in favours," John countered with a smile. "So, genius - what did I buy?"

 

Sherlock had noticed the small lump in John's breast pocket by now, as well as its unusual, long, cylindrical shape.

 

"A cigar," he stated with faint surprise. "Why did you buy a cigar? I thought you didn't want me to..."

 

All of a sudden, John leaned down over him, and then his fingers were in Sherlock's hair, his mouth on Sherlock's lips, and everything else paled in importance. The kiss was hot and hungry, and when Sherlock moaned into it, John's tongue appeared and Sherlock sucked and licked it as if he were dying of thirst. His arousal, which had slipped his memory a bit during their conversation and his deliberations, returned full force, his cock swelling once again and twitching helplessly between his thighs. His helplessness titillated Sherlock even more, and he tried in vain to get closer to John... to imbibe even more of him... and there was that smell of fine tobacco again, along with spicy-sweet cedar wood, enveloping both of them. John's kiss bore a trace of sweetness and the tang of alcohol, causing Sherlock to moan hungrily again. The rum! Sherlock realised. With his own tongue, he chased after the flavour which lent John's kiss such a new, completely unaccustomed taste. Sweet and mild, despite the high alcohol content... almost mellow, for a rum... a hint of oak... plum and caramel. The data flowed into him, prickling in his brain like static electricity, making the facts stored there light up and form links.

 

Sweet.

 

Sugary.

 

Not Jamaica.

 

No molasses.

 

Sugarcane juice.

 

Rhum agricole!

 

That made things much easier. Only the French overseas territories were left.

 

So: Réunion, Martinique or Guadeloupe? Maybe Haiti? No. Not Haiti.

 

Sherlock probed the kiss' flavour more intently. Gagging for John... and for more data.

 

Spicy. Fruity. Mineral... volcanic soil? Yes.

 

Martinique. It must be Martinique.

 

But which manufacturer? Which brand? Which distillery?

 

La Mauny? Sainte Etienne? No. Not this way. There were too many possibilities.

 

Think! Which brands did Smoke on the Water even carry?

 

Oh.

 

Of course.

 

Depaz.

 

But which kind? Impossible to say for sure. Should he guess? Which bottles had been on the shelves that time? From which one would the shop owner be most likely to offer John a drink?

 

Blue Cane? Cuvèe Prestige or...

 

XO Grand Reserve! That must be it!

 

Sherlock ended the kiss abruptly. "Depaz XO Grand Reserve!" he cried out breathlessly, unconsciously displaying an expression like that of a dog hoping for praise from its master after a successfully performed trick.

 

The wonder on John's face slid away to make room for a disbelieving smile. "That was a guess! No one could..." He laughed and shook his head. "Okay. You can, of course. That's amazing!"

 

"I don't guess, John," Sherlock said somewhat disdainfully (and with a slight misrepresentation of the facts), enjoying the warmth that John's words and his amazement released in Sherlock's breast. It was moments like this that made him happy... moments like this that he lived for.

 

John straightened. "All right... stay right there," he said with a rather evil grin – as if Sherlock were in any condition to be jumping about, much less would do so if he could.

 

"What are you planning?" Sherlock asked. Not knowing – being unable once again to read John's intentions – was a very unpleasant feeling, and yet... arousing.

 

"You'll find out soon enough." The tip of John's tongue peeped out between his lips to moisten them. It looked to Sherlock as if he were sampling the taste of their kiss again. "I'm just going to go change." And with that, he turned around, leaving Sherlock and the living room behind, going up the stairs to his old bedroom, which now served as a lumber-slash-junk room, and where Sherlock conducted a few foul-smelling experiments once in a while that John no longer allowed in the kitchen.

 

Sherlock watched John go, and – unfortunately, there was no other way to put it – he started drooling, his brain shifting into high gear.

 

John hadn't gone to their shared bedroom to change... he only kept a few articles of clothing in his old room... which could only mean one thing: Captain Watson would be standing in front of him shortly to discipline him. With a cigar casually hanging from the corner of his mouth. Sherlock's cock throbbed heavily and quite emphatically, and Sherlock moaned in delight.

 

Captain Watson.

 

He was going to punish Sherlock for his insubordination, wearing his khaki uniform trousers... with the short-sleeved jacket... the beret pulled down over his forehead at a cocky angle, almost rakishly crooked... his dog tags on a chain around his neck... the heavy, dusty boots on his feet...

 

The mere thought caused a lust-filled tingling sensation to lance through his groin and genitals.

 

"Oh yes..." he gurgled softly.

 

Or maybe Captain Watson would only wear his trousers... with a sweaty, ribbed undershirt... the guards had just thrust Sherlock into the Captain's tent, where he now lay... disgraced by the error of his ways, and his Captain would...

 

"Looks like you have an interesting reel running in that mind palace of yours," John's faintly mocking voice tore him out of his gay military daydreams.

 

Sherlock didn't remember closing his eyes, but when he opened them now, he could scarcely believe them.

 

Before him stood – not the hoped-for Captain Watson, but John "007" Watson. John had changed his clothes, but he wasn't wearing the military costume Sherlock had expected; rather, he had on his best, most elegant suit, the one he'd bought specifically for the occasion when he and Sherlock had been invited to Downing Street.

 

During the entire visit, Sherlock had found it nearly impossible to keep his hands to himself and not convince John to join him for a highly immoral and inappropriate quickie in the men's loo. His self-control had abandoned him entirely in the taxi on the way home later that night, and ever since that memorable day, Sherlock had to admit that he didn't just have a slight uniform fetish; he was also the proud owner of a John-in-a-suit kink.

 

"Disappointed?" John asked with a smile, as if he knew which ensemble Sherlock had been dreaming of... in fact, he might really know. John was shockingly clairvoyant today.

 

"By you? Never," Sherlock retorted with quiet earnest, allowing his hungry gaze to glide slowly and explicitly over John's entire body.

 

In his rush, John had apparently forgone the hair gel he usually used for the purpose, instead settling for parting it neatly and combing it back with a wet comb, but even so it looked extremely smart.

 

The suit's blue material was so dark that it looked almost black, depending on the lighting. The shirt John was wearing with it today wasn't white as it had been the last time he'd worn this suit, but rather of the palest blue. The combined effect of the two shades of blue really brought out John's eyes. The top button of his shirt was undone, and the tiny section of skin that was visible made Sherlock's pulse accelerate in an unheard of manner. It must be the contrast: the elegant, proper suit with the gleaming black shoes on the one hand and the open shirt collar (and everything that implied) on the other... it had always been the oppositions in John that Sherlock found so distinctive... so attractive... so interesting... so fascinating... so challenging... and... so arousing.

 

The cut of the suit emphasised John's shoulders, even making him appear slightly taller than he really was. Sherlock could tell it wasn't bespoke, though. It was an expensive suit, purchased in an exclusive shop with expert advice, and it suited John extraordinarily well, but Sherlock had a hankering to admire John in a suit that had been made just for him. He wouldn't leave his side for an instant during the fittings, and the thought that some fancy tailor would ask him which side he dressed on – and forever thereafter bear that knowledge – was nearly insufferable. No, on second thought it was better if John continued to buy his clothing off the rack.

 

Even if those trousers really weren't fitted to the needs of his package.

 

And anyway, Sherlock quite enjoyed being able to see the direct signs of John's lust (without them being concealed, obscured, and hidden by a perfectly cut inseam). Like now, for example.

 

The dark blue cloth bulged between John's legs in an extremely promising manner, and Sherlock's greedy gaze lingered a little longer on that spot before he returned to examining the larger picture.

 

Yes – obviously... '007' John was returning home following a hard day and a successfully completed mission, requiring a martini and something … relaxing. Sherlock was only too willing to be of assistance in the matter. Or... (Sherlock's imagination was already boiling over a little) maybe John was still on a mission, and he – Sherlock – was meant as a present... with an assignment to squeeze everything out of the master spy... information and... other things... of course he would be at his disposal... fall in love with him in the meantime, and end up plotting with him against his former boss...

 

The mere notion caused even more blood to surge into the space between Sherlock's legs, and his mouth opened with a soft, throaty sound that recalled him halfway to his senses.

 

His gaze turned away from his fantasy (slightly embarrassed: he shouldn't watch so many crime dramas on the telly with John, things like that ruined one's character) to focus on John's chest.

 

The cigar John had bought peeked out of the top of his outer breast pocket, in lieu of a handkerchief. Or rather... the metal cylinder containing the cigar. The cigar itself remained a mystery to Sherlock, which might have had something to do with the fact that he didn't exactly have the usual amount of blood circulating in his brain; it was cavorting in other parts of his body in a most pleasant manner instead.

 

"What are you planning?" Sherlock repeated his question.

 

John smiled.

 

A hot and cold shiver ran down Sherlock's spine.

 

Oh, how he loved that smile.

 

Wicked and just a little... enigmatic.

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOOooo

 

To be continued...

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOOooo

 

I can't help it... I did some research.

 

Why? I could just tell you whatever I want – I don't think there are any rum experts amongst my readers who would send up a hue and a cry if the pr0n were interrupted by some inaccurate rum information.

 

Or are there? *looks around warily*

(german links)

http://www.rumundco.de/Depaz-Rhum-Agricole-XO-Grand-Reserve-07l

http://www.ralf-zindel.de/ruml%C3%A4nder/matinique/distillery-depaz/

 

(english links)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rum

http://www.depazrhum.com/

 

(Cover made by me)

 

Chapter Text

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

Chapter 3

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

 

John came closer, lightly rubbing the pad of his thumb across Sherlock's plump lower lip. Sherlock hardly dared to breathe at first.

 

"It's simple, Sherlock... I'm going to sit back in my armchair, relax, and take my time enjoying this cigar right here." He tapped the metal cylinder in his breast pocket. "That's right... I'm going to smoke it." He whispered the last bit in an undertone that was almost affectionate, and Sherlock whimpered involuntarily.

 

"What about me?" Sherlock dared to ask, his voice cracking.

 

"You?" John echoed casually, as if he'd forgotten Sherlock was still there... as if he'd forgotten that Sherlock had certain desires... as if Sherlock weren't playing a role. "You're allowed to watch me." The wicked smile again. "I almost think I'll be doing you a favour. You've been passive smoking with more and more enthusiasm recently. Haven't you?"

 

"Watch?" Sherlock croaked, aghast. "You want me... I'm supposed to..."

 

"Yes," John confirmed, his voice firm. "Watch. Maybe that will finally cure you. But first... first we need to make sure you stay right where you are and don't do anything stupid." He walked around Sherlock, crouched down behind him and linked together the carabiners on the cuffs around his wrists. Then Sherlock heard John – his cruel, perfect John – doing something with the ropes which lay at the ready. And then all of a sudden John's lips were on his shoulder, soft and warm and moist … on that one particular spot behind his ear... and then very faintly: "Use your safeword, okay? No false pride."

 

Sherlock nodded.

 

"Promise," John demanded so incredibly tenderly that Sherlock's throat tightened up a little.

 

"Promise," he agreed gruffly.

 

"Good," John said, licked Sherlock's earlobe and attached a loop of rope to the carabiner. He slowly but mercilessly drew the other end of the rope through a hole in the middle of the spreader bar. He didn't stop and secure it with a knot until Sherlock's hands were stretched behind his back far enough that he could almost touch the bar. But only almost... otherwise it would have been a simple matter for him to undo the knot himself and free himself at least partially. And where would the fun be in that? His wonderful John was really thinking of everything today.

 

Sherlock tested the tension in the ropes with a sense of appreciation, felt the slight stretch in his arms, enjoyed the mild discomfort in his shoulder joints to the fullest. He sighed in satisfaction. Everything was as it should be. The grateful smile he gave John when he was standing in front of Sherlock again set off a glow in his partner's dark blue eyes.

 

"Well?" John asked when he was done. "Do you already have some idea as to what kind of cigar I have here?"

 

"Jooooohn," Sherlock moaned in annoyance and rolled his eyes. "You know perfectly well that I don't have x-ray vision, unlike that funny bat man in the films you always watch."

 

John merely grinned at the outburst and manoeuvred the armchair until it stood almost directly in front of where Sherlock was kneeling.

 

"That's Superman, not Batman," John corrected him. "But fine. Then I won't keep you on tenterhooks any longer," he said, finally taking the metal cylinder out of his breast pocket, opening the screw-top lid and letting the cigar slide out partway into the palm of his hand.

 

Sherlock only needed to spare a cursory glance for the two cigar bands and the straight, elegant parejo shape... take note of the light, hazelnut brown coloration of the wrapper leaf, reminiscent of milk chocolate... inhale the the exquisite, aromatic smell of cocoa, cream, vanilla, and a hint of marshmallow with an almost greedy sniff... and a name appeared before his eyes as clearly as if it were engraved in marble:

 

Montecristo No. 4 Reserva!

 

"How..." was all Sherlock managed to get past his dry lips, virtually whimpering.

 

After a salacious glance between Sherlock's legs, John shook his head in mock concern.

 

"You know, I'm starting to worry about you. I just told you I bought this cigar at Smoke on the Water. But... the way things look... not even your extraordinary brain can work properly without a sufficient supply of blood."

 

Sherlock blushed. John was right. At least it felt as if all his blood had fled his brain in order to make a new home in his groin. He was even a little ashamed at his lack of control... at the fact that his body caved in so quickly and easily to his animalistic instincts. Over and over again... and that he took such pleasure in giving himself to John like this. How had he managed to live before John? Looking back, it could hardly be called a life... he'd never felt as alive as he did now with John by his side. Sparkling and vibrating with life all the way down to his fingertips, down to his very last cell... all the way down to the furthest corner of his mind palace.

 

Despite his red cheeks (and other physical hindrances), Sherlock finally scraped together all the dignity he could muster and lectured his obviously clueless John on the treasure he held in held in his hands.

 

"That Habano cigar, Montecristo brand, produced in the Moreva or petit corona format, was put on the market in 2007 in a limited edition of five thousand boxes of twenty cigars each. The tobacco comes exclusively from the 2002 harvest, and was aged for at least three years." He took a deep breath, and when he spoke again it was much slower and more enunciated. "The Montecristo number four Reserva is almost impossible to get anymore, regardless of price or connections." When he'd finished, Sherlock searched John's face for signs of pride and surprise, just waiting to hear the inevitable 'Brilliant!'

 

But instead of the hoped-for praise, John merely smiled, shrugged his shoulders impassively and stated, "Then it must be thanks to your hard work that I'll be able to enjoy this rarity."

 

Sherlock could do nothing but gape at him with his mouth hanging open in the face of such heresy. In the meantime, John removed several tools from his trouser pocket, laid them out on the side table, and took a seat in the armchair he'd set up.

 

"There were still a couple of these in the black lacquer box," John remarked conversationally, and Sherlock felt his mouth start to water. There were more of the cigars! As soon as he was done here, he would... but John's voice, which had abruptly taken on a quite firm, sharp tone, tore him out of his salacious thoughts. "But when I'm done with you here, hopefully you won't want any more of them."

 

'As if...' Sherlock thought, sneering to himself, all the while observing with fascination and envy the way John carefully balanced the cigar between thumb and forefinger in his left hand, holding it up to his ear.

 

"How does it go again?" John asked. "Are you supposed to roll it back and forth to check whether it crackles, to find evidence of whether it was stored improperly and got too dry?"

 

"NO!" Sherlock cried out in a panic, tearing at his bonds. The pull on his wrists and the renewed realisation of his helplessness made the blood throb in his groin, and he bit down on his lips... torn between lust and horror. "The wrapper ... the wrapper leaf could be damaged if you do that... even if the cigar has been stored perfectly. Light pressure is enough. Don't roll it. Whatever you do, don't roll it!"

 

John's broad, satisfied grin told him that he, Sherlock Holmes – the greatest detective of all time – had fallen for a cheap trick. John had never meant to maltreat the cigar. He'd just wanted to torture Sherlock. Sherlock's heart rate accelerated at the thought. Was that what John had planned for him? If so, it was extraordinarily cruel, creative, and worthy of veneration.

 

"It's better to test the cigar's condition by smell anyway. A cigar that's too dry or that's been stored improperly will barely smell of anything," Sherlock babbled almost involuntarily.

 

"Is that so..." John drawled, then got up from the chair again and leaned down to Sherlock. "As you're the aficionado here... maybe you'd like to check it for me?" he whispered to him.

 

Before Sherlock could so much as utter a hoarse "Oh God! Yes!", John held the cigar out under Sherlock's nose. The aroma of the wrapper promptly enveloped him, and he could scarcely think of anything else. Cocoa, cream, and vanilla tickled his scent receptors, and a certain sweetness reminiscent of marshmallow made his mouth start to water again.

 

"You're dribbling," John chided him affectionately.

 

Sherlock opened his eyes, mildly chastened (when had he closed them?) and licked his lips.

 

"Not there..." John said, amused, and let his gaze wander lower.

 

Sherlock's eyes followed his, and blood shot into his face once again at the sight of his own uncontrolled erection.

 

"Maybe I should put an ashtray under you," John mused out loud, going over to the cabinet where they kept their meagre stores of alcohol. John's momentary absence (and the concomitant absence of the cigar) were a bitter loss for Sherlock, and he felt his body quivering after John like the needle of a compass. He watched as John poured himself a glass of cognac, then returned to him with the glass in his hand. The snifter was then set on the side table. The amber-coloured liquid splashed a little in its receptacle, wetting the glass in a elliptical arc. Then John went into the kitchen, and when he returned he had two ashtrays in his hand. He placed one beside the cognac glass on the side table. The ashtray which Sherlock had 'accidentally' pocketed at Buckingham Palace (for John's benefit) was then laid down between Sherlock's splayed legs.

 

John didn't make any comment on it, other than giving Sherlock a long, smug look before making himself comfortable in his armchair once more.

 

"We don't want you soiling Mrs Hudson's carpet," he remarked in his most indulgent Uncle Doc voice, the one that generally drove Sherlock spare, but now... at this moment... Sherlock could think of nothing else but how naughty... how debauched... how incredibly unthinkable it was that his precome should land in the Queen's ashtray. His penis swelled even more, and he whimpered softly.

 

"Now, now..." John mollified him. "We haven't even started properly yet... How does that go again? Are cigars really rolled between the thighs of beautiful women?"

 

The mention of women tore Sherlock out of his sinful thoughts of insulting royalty. "Rolling cigars is traditionally a man's job," he corrected John, almost angrily.

 

"Is that so? So it's good-looking South American men who roll cigars between their thighs? A very... stimulating thought." John leaned forward in his chair and extended the hand holding the cigar toward Sherlock. "I think traditions should be preserved." He cautiously stroked the cigar along the inside of Sherlock's thigh. "Don't you?"

 

Sherlock pressed his lips together in order to suppress a helpless whine. John stroked the sensitive skin slowly, with a feather-light touch... closer and closer to his body. But naturally, he was denied any contact with that one spot he wished it most urgently. John switched to the other thigh, moving the cigar down toward his knee, still at a tortuously slow pace. Even when he finally stopped the caressing motion, Sherlock still wasn't in any condition to inform John that the only thing women did was remove the central vein of the tobacco leaves, and that although that job actually was done mostly on the lap, the actual rolling of the cigar was a completely separate activity. No, the image which John had conjured up in his mind's eye had sucked him in too completely, and he was too distracted by the sight of his erect cock, at the tip of which the first few drops of his lust gleamed, about to lose the battle against gravity any second and fall into the Queen's ashtray... Sherlock closed his eyes and emitted a lusty moan.

 

It wasn't until John's breath brushed his cheek that he returned halfway to an awareness of his surroundings.

 

"As I understand it, you should moisten the head of the cigar just a little bit before you cut it..." John whispered throatily to him. "I think... you're wet enough to manage that..."

 

Sherlock's breath caught and he flung his eyes wide open again. Was John really going to? No... or... yes? He watched raptly as John's hand moved in between his spread legs... closer and closer to his erection, glistening with precome... and then – a gentle bump, a deft twist, a virtually endless shiver running down Sherlock's back, and the cigar was coated with the proof of Sherlock's arousal.

 

"It would actually suffice to lick... the head... the head of the cigar... a little," Sherlock whispered hoarsely. "The wrapper could tear when it's cut otherwise..."

 

"Oh?" John pretended to be astonished. "If I'd known that... but it's not too late."

 

Was John going to... was he going to lick Sherlock's emission from the cigar? Was he? Another shiver ran down Sherlock's back in joyous anticipation. Or would he end up licking another head altogether?

 

But once more, John did the unexpected. Rather than going to the trouble himself, he held out the damp end of the cigar to Sherlock.

 

"Now stick out your tongue like a good boy," he growled in a low voice. "And... lick..."

 

How did John do it? How did he bring Sherlock to the brink of insane longing with so few words? How?

 

Without so much as hesitating or even giving it a second thought, Sherlock opened his mouth, readily extended his tongue toward the proffered cigar, and waited. Was John really going to let him taste this delicacy, at least in this manner? Or would he be cruel enough to pull it away at the last second? Before Sherlock could worry too much about the scenario, John touched his tongue with the cigar, and the connection to Sherlock's brain was interrupted for the time being. Sherlock moved his tongue over the cap of the cigar with something bordering on reverence, licked his own, faintly musky precome from the wrapper, carefully moistening it with his own saliva, letting his tongue slide across it until it started to become a loving caress. His eyes closed of their own accord, the taste of tobacco began to blossom on his tongue. A hint of cedar, vanilla, leather, and a certain delectable bitterness...

 

John's gasp was the only warning Sherlock got... apparently, he hadn't registered John opening his flies, he'd been so busy wetting the cigar, his senses too focused on the activity. But then all of a sudden, the cigar was no longer there; in its place, he felt John's hot, hard erection on his parted lips.

 

"If you only knew..." John panted softly, and Sherlock tapped his tongue against the tip of John's erection, enjoying every moment. "How incredible you look... your mouth..."

 

Sherlock smiled. It was wonderful not to be the only one who lost control in the presence of the other. But just as he was about to open his mouth wider to suck on the familiar hardness until John grabbed him by the hair and thrust deep into his throat... just then, John pulled his cock away.

 

"Do I really need to repeat myself?" John asked, a hint of warning in his tone. "Just lick, I said. Just lick the head very carefully."

 

Sherlock stared up at John's face in disbelief, then kowtowed with a quiet sigh when he recognised a very familiar adamance despite the heat in the blue eyes. Obediently, he stuck his tongue out again and let it slide over the silky skin. Over and over again, he teased small patches of John's glans with the point of his tongue before circling the entire head once with his tongue in a single, wet motion. Just as Sherlock was about to focus on the tiny opening in order to perhaps get a small appetiser... John withdrew his erection as quickly as he had the cigar a short time ago. Sherlock was left with nothing but the satisfaction of hearing John's heavy breathing, which sounded as if he'd just finished running the London marathon.

 

"All right," John said, trying to force his hard cock back into his trousers, accompanied by varied facial contortions. "Everything's wet enough now. Next comes the cut, right?"

 

"Correct," Sherlock confirmed absently. The sight of John's bulging trousers was too distracting.

 

"So?" John said. "What's your opinion – as the expert here. Punch or straight cut? I could also just put it in my mouth and... bite."

 

How did John manage to make such utterly trivial words sound so naughty? Sherlock shook his head to dispel the erotic fog somewhat. His John was waiting for an answer.

 

"Biting is only for barbarians," Sherlock said disparagingly. "Cigar punchers are especially recommended for Havanas with flat ends, a hole three-quarters the diameter of the cigar is optimal. The advantage of this method: the wrapper remains undamaged and no tobacco particles get into your mouth when you take a puff. The disadvantage is that fatty acids and tobacco juice gather quickly in the little opening, which may have a detrimental effect on the taste of the cigar," Sherlock recited his encyclopaedic knowledge in a quick, staccato rhythm. "Even the best guillotine cutters can damage the wrapper leaf – but it improves the cigar's draw. The opening created by the cut should comprise two-thirds of the cigar's diameter. A slightly larger cut makes it easier to draw on, while a smaller one will make it more difficult." Sherlock took a breath to come to his conclusion. "I would recommend a straight cut in this case. As to the cut... it depends on individual preferences – one person may prefer it slightly larger, while the next person may prefer it smaller."

 

"I know by now that you prefer it big," John remarked, drawing the words out, and Sherlock's cheeks flushed with blood.

 

"I didn't..."

 

"… mean it like that," John finished his sentence. "I know," he soothed his lover, who was looking up at him with flaming cheeks. "It was just too good an opportunity to pass up."

 

Sherlock tipped his nose up with a soft sniff. The move was familiar to John and he knew he was forgiven, even if Sherlock continued to act indifferent for a while.

 

"So, a straight cut, right?" John returned the conversation to the original topic. Sherlock nodded mutely. "It's a good thing I've brought a cutter along in that case."

 

John picked up a silver cigar cutter from the side table, where he'd laid it earlier. It looked like a small pair of scissors with a relatively long handle and heavily blunted ends, like a pair of children's scissors. The blades were sharply curved so that a cigar could fit between them easily.

 

"So you're saying I should cut off the cap... the head..." John crouched down between Sherlock's spread legs. He slowly lowered the hand with which he held the scissors, and Sherlock's breath caught as the open blades – not dissimilar to a pair of tongs – came closer and closer to his upright erection. John ran the open scissors down the length of his erection with a soft, caressing motion. The only sound was Sherlock's rattling, stuttering breath. His eyes were fixed on his own, vulnerable penis, which swelled just a little more despite – or perhaps because of – the danger. It twitched, his slender body shivered and the first few clear drops of his emission now wet the bottom of the ashtray between his thighs.

 

A throaty noise, half whimper, half moan, escaped from Sherlock's lips.

 

"If you're very good, you can lick it up later," John explained, satisfied with Sherlock's reaction, and stood up. He lifted the cigar and applied the cutter to it. "Two-thirds..." he repeated softly and carried out the cut with surgical precision. "The wrapper didn't even get a scratch," he said after a brief once-over, holding the cigar under Sherlock's nose for a more thorough inspection.

 

"Perfect," Sherlock croaked out his opinion. It was little more than a wisp of air. But John heard it loud and clear, only realising a moment later that Sherlock hadn't graced the cigar with so much as a glance, having eyes only for John instead. He sat back down in his chair, a little embarrassed.

 

It surprised him every time how much reverence Sherlock held for him. It wasn't as if he did anything very special; he wasn't very special at all, and someone like Sherlock could have had their pick of... all of London. The fact that he'd chosen John above all others was a mystery to him, but one that he preferred not to examine or question too closely. At any rate... his plan to cure Sherlock of smoking once and for all seemed to be progressing nicely.

 

"Churchill was said to have dunked his cigar in whisky," John remarked casually. "What do you think? Good idea or not? Although all I have here is cognac."

 

Sherlock gaped at him blankly at first, as if John had just said something in a foreign language. But then something jerked into place in him, and his gaze became more lucid and sharp. "Not a good plan," he said in a gruff voice, clearing his throat with an abashed expression that only made him more adorable. "I believe that's just an urban legend anyway. Dunking it would soak the cigar. That would necessarily alter the flavour, which would be a sacrilege with such a rarity. And before you get any ideas of warming the cigar over a flame before lighting it... don't! The wrapper would be damaged, the cigar would dry out and the smoke would be quite hot. You'd do better to toss it in the rubbish before trying a stunt like that."

 

"Are we a little cranky today?" John asked with a physician's superciliousness. "One might think this wrapper was some kind of Holy Grail." When Sherlock merely gave him an unimpressed, challenging look (quite a feat, given that he was tied up, helpless, naked and erect), John's only recourse was to shake his head a bit, lay the cigar down carefully in the ashtray, and set aside the scissors. Next to the ashtray was a box of matches, which he now picked up. He then took a thin strip of reddish cedar wood out of the container in which he'd transported the cigar, registering Sherlock's satisfied expression with a sidelong glance.

 

Sherlock relaxed a bit. At least John seemed to know enough not to use a petrol lighter. He followed along raptly as the match flared, as the cedar spill curled and caught fire, as John steadied the cigar between his lips and held the flame of the cedar wood strip to the foot of the cigar.

 

"Don't hold it directly in the flame," Sherlock said in a low voice, completely entranced by the procedure going on directly in front of his nose. "Turn it slowly over the flame... until a little bit of ash forms... and then... the first puff." His eyes virtually clung to John's lips, and he unconsciously mimicked the sucking motions John made with his mouth.

 

The gentle puffing on the cigar emphasised John's cheekbones, and all of a sudden Sherlock understood why his licking the cigar cap had aroused John so much that he'd lost control for a moment. Sherlock had never before been so aware of the sensual aspects of smoking as he was right then, with John sucking on an exquisite cigar and apparently enjoying it very much. Sherlock's mouth went dry, and he licked his lips greedily. What he wouldn't give to be in John's place right now...

 

White smoke rose from the cigar, swirling so thickly it appeared almost creamy, spilling out of John's mouth and floating at a tortuously slow pace toward Sherlock, who flared his nostrils and stretched his head forward to catch the first aromatic whiff as soon as possible. And then it was there. Filling his nose and his lungs with his next breath. The omnipresent cedar... earthy... creamy... a trace of cocoa... a hint of oolong tea... some people took the mellow bitterness for the aroma of coffee. But they were philistines.

 

Sherlock took a second breath... losing himself in the thick smoke, filling his body and his head with that wonderfully heady scent.

 

"Oh God, John," he blurted out. "Just one puff! Just one! I'm begging you!" He graced John with his patented 'Pleading No. 3' look (only to be used sparingly as it would otherwise wear out too soon), which had never yet failed to hit the mark and had always gained him everything he'd wanted whenever he'd employed it.

 

John gave him a long look. "Nice try. But I only fall for your puppy dog eyes when I want to." He sprawled out in his armchair and took another puff. "And I don't want to tonight."

 

"But Johnnnnn..." Sherlock whinged, tugging at his bonds. Hopeless.

 

"No," John insisted. "But I'm not completely heartless... you can have a little."

 

Sherlock's spirits rose instantly. "Really?" he asked eagerly. "What exactly..."

 

A smile slowly spread across John's face. Then he got up from his chair and crouched down between Sherlock's thighs again.

 

"This..." he said calmly. He took a long puff from the cigar but didn't release the smoke from his mouth, instead keeping his lips together.

 

Sherlock was quivering with tension and impatience. But he needed to endure, needed to wait for whatever John was going to do. When John placed his hand on the nape of Sherlock's neck, every fibre in his being yearned for his lover, and he offered his lips for a kiss with a sob of relief.

 

John's mouth tenderly nestled into Sherlock's... the tip of John's tongue crowded into his mouth... he parted his lips a little more, hungry... and then... John's smoke-saturated breath in his mouth... thick, creamy, spicy... indescribable. Sherlock surged toward his beloved as far as he could... as far as his bonds allowed... pressed his own tongue between John's lips... into his mouth... licking, sucking, inhaling the last bit of tobacco from John's tongue, from his mouth, from his skin. The hand on his neck wandered up into his hair and tugged his head back with a single, quick jerk.

 

The centre of his craving – John's mouth – was only a few centimetres away, yet it might as well have been on the moon, as John's grip on his hair was unrelenting.

 

"Again... please..." Sherlock whispered hoarsely.

 

John shook his head lazily. "No," was all he said. "We both know cigar smoke is more alkaline than from a cigarette. That means the nicotine in the smoke can be absorbed much more easily by the mucous membranes in the mouth. A small dose is more than enough for you."

 

A pitiful sob was already poised in Sherlock's throat, but then he felt a gentle pressure on his engorged erection, and he gasped for air instead. John loosened his grip on Sherlock's hair, and Sherlock looked down, barely able to believe that John was actually letting him rub his cock on John's thigh.

 

"Your trousers..." Sherlock whispered haltingly. "They'll get... dirty..." And yet he couldn't help the slight motion of his hips. After what seemed like an eternity of being in a state of arousal without being touched, the sensation was simply too good not to take full advantage of it. He was still just a man, and he was almost at the end of his self-control. Wave after wave of indescribably sweet pleasure flowed through his lower body, making his entire body tremble. His brain could only think of one thing: 'He's letting me... John's letting me...' and a warm, happy feeling spread through his chest. The cigar and his longing for its precious smoke faded into the background.

 

For a while, he hoped that the minimal stimulation might suffice, as excited and inflamed as his senses were, but it became clear soon enough that it wasn't enough... that he would never be able to achieve the climax he wanted this way. He pressed himself against John's thigh one more time, quivering, then slumped down a little and fell still. The material of the trousers still scratched faintly on his twitching cock. His eyes closed. He concentrated on breathing, tried to calm himself and his senses. He didn't succeed all the way. But then the grip on his hair changed to a tender caress, and he opened his eyes again.

 

A warm glow appeared on John's face, the one he loved so much. "You've done well. I'm proud of you." A chaste kiss on his cheek that caused more emotional turmoil in him than a hard fuck would, and then John let go, got up, and moved away from him. "You've earned a little reward," John said eventually, puffed on the cigar and blew the smoke languidly into Sherlock's face.

 

Sherlock greedily inhaled the milky, gently swirling wisps, trying to catch as much as possible and almost losing his balance.

 

"I must say, this cigar is really worth it," John said as he settled into his armchair again. He took another long draw and let the smoke escape in a slow, controlled stream from between his pursed lips. "It's supposed to take almost an hour to smoke the whole thing."

 

Sherlock had been concentrating on the cigar haze with rapt attention, roughly calculating the chances of catching a little more of it... but now he stared at his lover with big eyes, a combination of shock and fascination in his expression.

 

"An hour?" he croaked. "That's torture!"

 

"And you're a drama queen," John countered, unmoved. "And besides... have you forgot already? This is supposed to be a lesson for you, not a spa holiday."

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

John really did spend the next twenty minutes smoking the cigar, sucking on it, taking a puff, letting the smoke slowly escape from his partially open mouth – sometimes with more artistry, sometimes less – more of a deliberate release than actually exhaling, watching the cylinder of ash slowly accumulating at the foot of the cigar, lost in thought, and taking an occasional sip of his cognac … all as if Sherlock weren't even there.

 

Sherlock had tried at the beginning to entice some reaction out of John... or at least engage him in conversation... but one strict look from Captain Watson had been enough to make him fall silent. And so he'd been left with no other choice than to catalogue the slowly changing aroma of the billows of smoke (the scents of cedar and oolong tea gradually faded into the background, while cocoa and vanilla became more prominent) that wavered lazily in the air; enjoying the occasional appearance of the tip of John's tongue; admiring the stability of the column of ash that was forming (and which displayed a pale colouring of dirty grey-white), savouring the throbbing in his cock with every puff John took... John's cheeks emphasised by the act of smoking, his pursed lips, the barely perceptible sucking-smacking sound when he drew on the cigar... everything went directly into a special corner of his mind palace labelled 'masturbatory fantasies'. (Which he, admittedly, rarely used. There was simply no need. He had the real thing, the genuine article, in his life.)

 

Although he had scarcely any direct stimulation throughout this period, the erection between his legs barely weakened at all, thanks to the cock ring. Every sinful thought only caused his body to pump more blood into his groin and swell his cock further... it was virtually impossible for it to deflate completely as the fantastic, accursed metal ring prevented the blood from draining all the way... an orgasm wasn't out of the question despite the hindrance – but it would be difficult. He'd never achieve climax without direct contact... and even then... there was no guarantee of success.

 

The delicious, excruciating urge to come immediately... the need to come, which had completely dominated him just a short while ago, had ebbed somewhat in the meantime, which was fortunate. But he was still kneeling in front of John... tied up... helpless... ignored... with his thighs willingly spread and his penis obscenely upright.

 

He had never been happier.

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

When the column of ash had reached an impressive length (Sherlock gauged it at over two inches – a further proof of the high quality of the cigar), John directed his gaze back to Sherlock for the first time in forever (or at least it felt like that to Sherlock).

 

"I'm going to have to knock the ash off soon. Do you want to... assist me... or should I use the ashtray instead?" John asked, and Sherlock's heart rate surged into a restless gallop.

 

He knew that John had posed the question so carefully in order to give him an opportunity to use his safeword. He gave it careful consideration before meeting John's eyes and breathing out, "Yes, please."

 

John's brow creased. "Yes, please … what?" he pressed with a hapless smirk. "I should have put the question differently. So then... ashtray... or you?"

 

"Me," Sherlock declared firmly. Tobacco ash wasn't poisonous. It just didn't taste very good. But swallowing a little of it wouldn't be dangerous.

 

John was already holding one hand protectively beneath the cone of ash at the end of his cigar. He ran his tongue across his lips, and Sherlock shivered with pleasure.

 

"Open wide," John ordered, a little breathless. "Stick your tongue out and leave it out... until I say otherwise. Got it?"

 

"Yes, John," Sherlock said, and did as he was bid. A gentle touch on the tip of his tongue (John's finger), a barely audible thumping sound as John lightly tapped the cigar against his fingers in order to separate the ash from the remainder of the cigar, and then the feathery contact of the ash on his tongue. Salty, perhaps even a little soapy, spicy. John's heavy breathing. His pupils blown wide. The obvious bulge between his legs. The humiliation.

 

The unsettling lust it all set loose in him.

 

"Perfect."

 

John's praise. John's satisfaction.

 

Sherlock moaned, his mouth still open.

 

"All right, that's enough," John decided. "Spit it out into my hand."

 

Sherlock lowered his head gratefully and let the compacted ash fall into John's open hand. He drew his tongue back in and closed his mouth.

 

Bitter. Dusty. Melty. Sweet. Sherlock made a face without realising he was doing so.

 

John chuckled softly. "Here... so you get a different taste in your mouth." He pulled down the zip on his trousers.

 

Sherlock opened his mouth again, greedy and excited, leaned forward toward the proffered erection, and closed his lips around the slippery tip of John's stiff cock with a blissful sigh.

 

Bitterness there too. But different. Better. More arousing. A little salty as well. The sweat on John's skin. So much more satisfying! Even more fluid welled up onto his tongue. Slightly fishy. A bit like oysters... so good it could be addictive... John's moan... the involuntary motions of his hips... slight thrusts between Sherlock's lips... more... please... more...

 

But then all of a sudden there was nothing.

 

"No..." Sherlock almost begged.

 

"That's enough," John said firmly, although he didn't even try to force his cock back into his trousers this time, leaving it as it was instead. Sherlock's gaze remained fixed to it, as if hypnotised. "If I let you continue... then it would all be over... and we don't want that."

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

John used Sherlock's mouth and tongue once more in the same manner, rewarding him by shoving his erection between Sherlock's lips and letting him lick and suck on it.

 

After then he had to remove the two bands from the cigar, as they would otherwise have burnt. By now, the cigar had warmed up enough to melt the glue holding the paper rings to the wrapper. It was a simple matter for John to open and remove both bands: the red-brown-white one with the manufacturer's signet and the silver-black one displaying two intertwined R's, certifying that the cigar was a 'Reserva'. John gazed at the delicate paper rings in his hand for a while, lost in thought, until a diabolical grin stole across his lips.

 

"You look like a second cock ring couldn't hurt..." John drawled and got up from the armchair.

 

It was as if Sherlock were surrounded by a thick, sensual fog by this point. The smoke-filled air of the room shimmered around him, filling his nose, his ears, both dampening and sharpening each one of his senses... intoxicating him... arousing him... stimulating him...

 

Drunk on the tobacco fumes, John, and his own helplessness, Sherlock followed along with wide, pleading eyes as John wrapped the black and silver paper ring around his moist, slippery glans. The gentle touch was enough to make Sherlock start to pant.

 

"John... please..." he moaned. "Fuck me now." Another viscous drop of clear precome ran down the head of his penis and landed in the smeary ashtray between his legs. He swallowed. "I want to... come... I need to! I need you!" he blurted out wildly. Everything in him was vibrating, his desire was eating him up from the inside, he felt as if he were nothing more than a single erogenous zone.

 

John looked him over silently, then examined the cigar thoughtfully. There was already another sizeable cylinder of ash on the end.

 

"The cigar band isn't really enough to contain you, is it?" he finally asked. Sherlock shook his head vehemently. "I don't know..." John mused out loud. "I'm not sure whether you've really learned your lesson... but we'll see." He held the cigar over Sherlock's hard shaft and knocked the ashes off. The cone of ash fell directly onto the hot, taut skin. Sherlock let out an inarticulate sound and his whole body shook. The cylinder of ash still remained intact in one piece, even appearing to stick a little to the sweaty, slick skin before eventually rolling off and falling to the floor.

 

"Oh God..." Sherlock croaked. His arms cramped up, his hands tore at his bonds until he felt a cool hand on his overheated cheek. John. He calmed down immediately, nestling into the caress.

 

"Soon," John whispered in his ear. "You've almost made it. I'm so proud of you." The praise penetrated Sherlock's lust-fogged brain, releasing a soft, glowing sense of well-being inside him, one he could easily become addicted to. "Everything still okay?" John urged. "Or..."

 

"No!" Sherlock cried out immediately. "No... everything's... everything's fine... I... go on. Please!"

 

"All right," John said and drew deeply on the cigar until the tip glowed bright red and kept glowing even after John had taken the cigar out of his mouth.

 

He lowered his hand very slowly until he was holding the burning end of the cigar under Sherlock's left nipple. Sherlock bit down on his lips to suppress a whimper as he squinted down at himself. He could feel the warmth emanating from the end of the cigar, saw the red glow, smelled the combination of sweat, tobacco, and smoke. He wasn't afraid John would hurt him... and yet... adrenaline prickled in his veins, making his heart beat faster and spurring his pleasure onward, as if with tiny, sharp needles. He watched as John moved the cigar to his right nipple, exposing it to the heat as well. Sherlock swallowed hard. He suspected what was coming. He lifted his head, sought and found John's eyes, held fast to them and nodded even before he'd read the question on John's face.

 

"Good boy," John whispered hoarsely and held the cigar over Sherlock's throbbing erection.

 

Sherlock barely felt the heat of the ember, so hot was the blood pulsing through his unbearably swollen cock. But the sight alone was breathtaking. John sucked on the cigar again, which was down to the last third, and Sherlock knew that his redemption was now truly within reach.

 

Again, John moved the freshly glowing cigar close in over Sherlock's erection. Sherlock held his breath. He could feel the heat now like a sensual inferno – as if a thousand tiny tongues of fire were licking his cock. The thought alone sent a shiver down his back, which only served to fan the flames of his arousal even further.

 

"All right, Sherlock," John said and straightened up. "One last question. What do you want now: the cigar or my dick?"

 

Sherlock looked up, hardly able to tell up from down in his state of unfulfilled desire, understanding only that John held the cigar in one hand and his stiff cock in the other.

 

"You!" Sherlock replied without hesitation, opening his mouth.

 

John chuckled softly. "That was the right answer. I'm very proud of you. But close your mouth. You've earned a real reward." With those words, he crouched down behind Sherlock. Sherlock heard a soft noise, then felt two slippery fingers at his hole.

 

"YES! John... hurry... hurry up... I'm..."

 

The fingers pressed into him, nimbly seeking that one specific spot deep inside Sherlock.

 

"Deeper... DEEPER! Yes – right there... right.. there..." Sherlock gasped, stretching his upper body and curling forward a bit to give John more room. John's other hand held him fast by the shoulder. A feeling of safety and security flowed through Sherlock, his mind finally let go, and when John introduced a third finger, lust and ecstasy pulsed sluggishly through his lower body like dark honey, pulling him along, further and further, deeper and deeper, more and more...

 

"Don't stop... dontstop... pleaseplease... don't... st... Yes. Yes! YES!"

 

His arousal, held back for so long, exploded in an orgasm that seemed to last forever. Milky semen spurted again and again from his slowly deflating penis. John kept skilfully rubbing his prostate. His entire body trembled with a climax that seemed to go on forever.

 

John didn't withdraw his fingers until tears of relief, euphoria, and exhaustion ran down Sherlock's cheeks.

 

He felt vaguely that his bonds were removed. Limp and satiated, he sank down beside John. His pillar of strength. His fortress. His anchor.

 

"Don't fall asleep, sweetheart," John said in a low voice. "Get up. Round two is going to take place in the bedroom. I promised you my dick – and you're going to get it."

 

With those words, his exhausted cock twitched with interest, and a happy smile played around Sherlock's mouth.

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

In the middle of the night, Sherlock got up from their bed, where John lay sound asleep, and padded barefoot and naked into the kitchen. He drank a glass of water, scratched his stomach sleepily, and tossed a tired glance into the living room. The leather cuffs, ropes, and spreader bar still lay on the floor. A weak – but no less lust-filled – throbbing surged through Sherlock's body at the sight, and his hand wandered from his stomach to his crotch. He felt his testicles carefully and sighed.

 

Nothing doing there until tomorrow evening at least. He felt completely empty and dried out. On the one hand, the thought filled him with a deep satisfaction, but at the same time that satisfaction didn't stop him from pouting. At least a little.

 

He deemed the reaction entirely appropriate. After all, his momentary satiation was stopping him from experiencing another such scorching climax again right away.

 

John really needn't have been so thorough.

 

Sherlock stroked his cock experimentally.

 

Nothing.

 

He drew his lips down into a grimace of annoyance.

 

And with that, any nebulous hopes of morning sex were off the table. He'd make John tidy the living room himself in revenge. Served him right.

 

The scent of tobacco hadn't completely dissipated, and the smell of cold smoke mixed with a hint of leather, soil, and spicy cocoa still hung suspended in the air. Following a spur-of-the-moment impulse, Sherlock went to one of the windows and flung it open wide. The cool, sweet night air gently caressed his bare skin. He stood there in front of the open window, breathing in the pure night air, filling his lungs and enjoying its freshness.

 

After a while, he stepped back from the window and his eye fell on the leftover cigar stump where it lay extinguished and forgotten in the ashtray. He gave it some consideration.

 

No – he had no desire for tobacco anymore. Not so much as a single crumb. He lifted his eyebrows, both slightly surprised and grudgingly admiring. Had John's therapy really been successful? Had he really learned his lesson when he'd had to make a choice between John and the cigar while under the influence of a lust-filled haze?

 

The second, red-brown-white cigar band lay on the side table next to the ashtray. Sherlock went to John's armchair, picked up the colourfully printed paper between his fingertips, and examined it with an absent-minded smile. A thing like that really would do no good as a cock ring... however...

 

He slipped the cigar band over the ring finger on his left hand.

 

If Mycroft saw him now... his eyes would probably bug right out of his head!

 

Sweaty, sticky, thoroughly shagged, the traces of the riding crop still showing on his buttocks, and his head filled with romantic, sentimental, emotional slop.

 

Sherlock shook his head in disgust.

 

His mind had turned to Mycroft again...

 

Maybe that was because of the jeweller's calling card he'd passed on to Sherlock several days ago.

 

"Theft?" Sherlock had asked, only mildly interested. "Or is there a more interesting mission for me behind all this?"

 

"No – it's merely a very capable business establishment. Especially in regards to discreet completion of custom-made orders," Mycroft had replied in the pedantic tone of a headmaster. "You may have need of something along those lines in the near future."

 

"Why should I need a discreet jeweller?"

 

Mycroft had merely smirked and said, "I can think of four... no, five reasons."

 

After that, Mycroft had stubbornly cloaked himself in silence and Sherlock had tried to forget the entire incident – with less than stellar success.

 

Maybe Mycroft wouldn't be so surprised after all if Sherlock put in an order for two engagement rings with this particular jeweller.

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

THE END

 

oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

 

 

As you should know of me by now, I did tons of research for this story.

 

I don't even know what it all was anymore...

 

But in any case it was about cigars, both in general and the specifics...

 

Quite a lot of time went into that until I'd decided on a cigar. It shouldn't be something run-of-the-mill, it should be special.

 

The price of the cigar

The taste of the cigar

How long it takes to smoke the cigar

 

Then I looked more closely at the producers, production regions, how tobacco is treated and stored, the harvest, cultivation, fermentation... blah blah blah. How cigars are then made...

 

The precise terminology... the names for the different parts of the cigar.

 

How to smoke "properly". Inspection, cutting, lighting, smoking, drawing, extinguishing. Whether you leave the cigar bands on or take them off... (it never seemed to end... it's a real science unto itself).

 

What formats cigars come in, how the wrappers differ, length, size, colour, shape... (no end there either).

 

By the way, I should probably mention: Smoking is damaging to your health!

 

(I'm a non-smoker myself...)

 

Here are some of the links I used in order to be able to portray cigar smoking as a sensual experience. I hope I've succeeded.

 

Producer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montecristo_%28cigar%29

 

Etiquette (in German): http://www.de.cigarclan.com/articles/2008/1/01/index.shtml

 

General information in German: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zigarre

(General information in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigar#Composition)

 

(Pic set made be me)