Notes: Set after "A Study in Pink" but "Before the Great Game"

Possession Is Nine-Tenths of the Law

By Angyl and Rina

January 2011

Disclaimers: No infringement is intended.

Easing the outer door shut behind him and locking it, John Watson walked unsteadily up the stairs, his tight grasp on the banister providing balance for his slightly inebriated body. Given the late hour, he was hoping that Sherlock was asleep, but it was doubtful that was the case. Second-best was that the other man was deep in thought, allowing him to ease up the other set of stairs to his bedroom.

That seemed to be the case as he reached the head of the stairs and peered around the room; Sherlock was sitting in his chair, his elbows on his knees and his hands steepled in front of his face with his eyes closed. Breathing a silent sigh of relief, John took a step toward the stairwell, then froze when he heard his flatmate’s voice.

"Interesting choice of cologne, the man you were with," Sherlock murmured, his voice cold and dead as he watched John with hooded eyes, staring at John with predatory intensity. The nicotine patches weren’t helping; if anything, they were making him even more hyper-aware than usual.

Of course the fact that the problem he’d been working on was now in front of him reeking of cigarettes, alcohol and another man’s after shave probably didn’t help the situation. "Dirty English by Juicy Coture; how pedestrian and unimaginative. He was on the pull, no doubt. I expected better of you, John."

"And why is that? It’s sex, Sherlock; some of us happen to enjoy it," John answered mildly, crossing his arms over his chest as he stared down at the other man, not flinching from the ice in those pale grey eyes.

"You are, of course, assuming that I don’t enjoy sex. Haven’t I cautioned you against erroneous presumptions? Just because I’ve been consumed by my work doesn’t mean I’ve not tended to my body’s needs; I just haven’t attended to them recently. I’ve been somewhat distracted by a problem, you see," Sherlock murmured, continuing to watch his flatmate, eyes constantly drinking in information and processing it automatically.

Sherlock noted the elevated heart rate, slight sheen of sweat and the release of Specific Claims Submission Form John’s own much more appealing scent. Thank goodness it blotted out the stick of that god awful cologne, he thought to himself as he continued to catalogue John’s responses. There was a minute shifting from foot to foot, his decidedly defensive posture with a stubborn tilt his chin which displayed both defiance and… What was that emotion in John’s eyes? Sherlock had seen it before, but it had never seemed so important for him to understand it as it did right now.

"Yes, well, I’m not you, am I?" Normally John enjoyed, was amused by, or at least could ignore Sherlock’s behavior, but tonight it gnawed at him, biting at control worn thin by too many beers and the emotionally unsatisfactory encounter with the chap who wore the ‘pedestrian cologne’.

"Indeed," Sherlock intoned, finally levering himself out of the dark corner where he’d sequestered himself and stalked towards John, "that much is painfully obvious, Doctor, considering your appalling lack of observational skill. Tell me, who fucked whom? Did he take you, John?" Sherlock fairly growled, the idea of someone else – some anonymous male – claiming his Watson making him contemplate the myriad ways he could not only dispatch his victim but also effectively destroy all evidence and dispose of the body.

This was the dark side of the knife he walked; he could so easily become that which he investigated with the right motivation. Until John Watson had walked into his life and caught his attention in the most primal and visceral of ways, Sherlock hadn’t thought it possible to feel the need to commit murder, oh he could logically envision committing the act but to feel the base, emotional desire to do so was something he’d never experienced before tonight. For Sherlock knew that if he ever found out the name of the man John had been with tonight, he would find the temptation impossible to resist. John belonged to him, and he would not share him with anyone, especially another lover.

"You mean there’s something you can’t tell just from looking at me?"

"Answer the question, John," Sherlock responded, eyes flashing piercing grey fire as he crowded in closer to the doctor, ignoring all tenets of personal space.

"My, my, something that Sherlock Holmes can’t figure out on his own," John said mockingly, knowing that he was goading the other man but unable to stop himself; he’d never seen this side of Sherlock before, and personal safety aside, he wanted to find out more about it. "Do you want to hear how he pushed me up against the wall and sucked me off or how he then turned me around and had me?"

Sherlock let out an inarticulate growl and crowded John backwards until the older man collided with the apartment door. Distantly Sherlock was aware of the fact that he currently felt as if he’d sprinted across half of London or he’d reverted to his cocaine habit; his heart was racing, his blood a thunderous rush and all his rather formidable senses were completely focused on Watson. "Never again," he snarled, threatened, demanded just before he gave in to temptation and claimed John’s mouth in a savage kiss.

The pain of his head colliding with the wood of the door and the jab of the knob at the small of his back cleared John’s mind, then everything was swept away by the dry pressure of Sherlock’s lips against his, a sensation that turned wet and demanding as his mouth was invaded by the other man’s tongue. John found himself grabbing at Sherlock’s shirt, pulling him closer until the whole long, lean length of Sherlock’s body was pressed against his, their hips grinding together, proving to John that he wasn’t too old to rise to the occasion twice in one night.

"Mine," Sherlock whispered, his hands bracketing John’s head on the door as he pressed harder into John’s body, his erection throbbing painfully in his perfectly tailored trousers. "God, you make me crazy, you make me feel things I’ve never felt before," he continued to mutter as he left off John’s mouth to attack his neck with lips and teeth and tongue. "I hate sharing. I really do. I won’t have it, John."

"And it took me going out and shagging some bloke for you to realize this?" John asked, his voice hoarse and breathless as he managed to drag Sherlock’s shirt from his waistband and delve beneath it, his hands stroking over the smooth, cool skin he found there.

"The women mean nothing to you," Sherlock muttered, more to himself than to Watson. "You hit on a new one every other day. They’re a form of exercise for your libido – a game if you will to see how many you can pull, how many fall under the sway of your charms. Women are easy for you, easy to catch and even easier to release.

"This is the first and only man you’ve dated since you got back from Afghanistan, however. You paid extra attention to your grooming tonight, and you wore a more subtle aftershave than you do with women. I thought maybe you were finally having drinks with your sister, but then you came home drunk and smelling like him," he finished on a growl, administering a particularly hard bite to John’s collarbone even as dexterous fingers pushed the pullover up and slid button from buttonhole.

"And what would you prefer I smell like?" John panted, his voice tight with arousal.

Sherlock couldn’t help the small snort that escaped him at that comment and gave John a patented look. "I prefer you to smell like me. Well, me and sex would be the most immediately accurate response," he murmured as he tugged the sweater over John’s head and tossed it behind him. "Is this a problem?"

"Not at all, I simply wanted to be clear on the subject though this would have been much simpler if you had simply said something rather than waiting until I did something to set you off."

"Well, I didn’t know I would have that reaction until you set me off, did I?" Sherlock pointed out with a sardonic arch of an eyebrow.

"So you had no idea that there was... this between us before this moment?" John’s leg pressed between Sherlock’s thighs as he spoke, rubbing against the other man’s erection.

Sherlock paused in his efforts to disrobe the shorter man and contemplated John’s question seriously before finally answering. "You aren’t boring. You let me talk, and you think I’m extraordinary," Sherlock murmured. "I value your presence, and I trust your opinion, and you really are quite intelligent compared to most of my other acquaintances. To date only my brother has ever been my intellectual equal, but you… aren’t an idiot," Sherlock finished with a slight grin.

"I’m not really an idiot? That certainly puts me in the mood," John snorted.

"Well, in that case, your bedroom or mine?"

"Yours is closer," John pointed out logically before he closed his mouth over Sherlock’s, invading the wet warmth with his tongue.

"See, definite signs of intelligence and a much better conversationalist than my skull," Sherlock replied, not bothering to hide the amusement that danced in his eyes. "However, that being said, I must point out that up until now your taste in sexual liaisons has left a great deal to be desired. It is of great relief to me to see that your tastes have finally improved. Further, I think it only fair that I advise you to curtail your activities to just me – for public safety, of course."

"Or what?" John challenged, though one corner of his mouth turned up in a smile as he spoke.

"I did retrieve my riding crop from the mortuary, if you will recall," Sherlock pointed, fisting the open sides of John’s shirt and tugging as he began to walk backwards towards his open bedroom door. "And I do know how to use it quite effectively… on corpses. I’m more than willing to conduct an experiment on a living specimen."

"Have you cleaned it since it was used last?" John asked, sliding his hands up Sherlock’s waist and onto his chest so that he could begin to undo his shirt buttons, exploring every inch of newly bared skin as he did so.

"I always clean and oil my instruments, John," Sherlock murmured as he leaned in to latch a mouth around one of the other man’s nipples, sucking on it lightly.

"If you come at me with a riding crop, you’ll find it jammed up your arse," John warned before sensation over-rode thought and he moaned.

"And to think I’ve been the one accused of ‘getting off’ on kinky acts," Sherlock murmured, nipping at John before moving back up to the join of shoulder and neck. "You have hidden depths, Doctor Watson. I do believe I’m impressed," he teased. "But just to set the record straight regarding the riding crop. Been there, done that, bored with it now."

"Why does that not surprise me, though most would think that you had simply observed, not participated." John’s fingers clenched against Sherlock’s ribs, and his head fell back again. "Didn’t we say something about a bedroom?"

"Indeed I did, good catch," Sherlock murmured as he once more began to walk backwards, neatly avoiding the piles of clutter scattered about the living room. "And sometimes experiences must be felt to be understood. I took a case for a dominatrix once – she was accused of assault and battery leading to death without the intent to kill. I got her off, and then she got me off. It was… enlightening. I discovered I have a high tolerance for pain and rather enjoyed indulging in the ‘English vice’," he continued abstractly as he continued to tease John’s neck with lips and teeth. "God, you taste good."

"I thought you didn’t believe in God," John gasped, his hands skittering upward so that his thumbs rubbed against Sherlock’s nipples.

Sherlock sucked in a sharp breath, his eyes falling shut against his will as electric sensation shot through him. It had been far too long since he’d felt anything other than his own hand delivering perfunctory relief of his most basic needs. "God is dead, long live John Watson," he sighed at last, slowly opening eyes now burning with barely contained need. "I want you naked, now."

John paused, took a step back, and began stripping out of the rest of his clothes, letting them lie where they fell, until in a short time, he was standing nude in front of Sherlock, his ruddy erection a contrast to both the pale and tanned parts of his skin.

Sherlock took his time drinking in the sight of his… he couldn’t actually define what John was to him yet other than a far too essential part of his life despite the short time they’d known each other. "You are magnificent," he breathed after a moment, moving in to trail long, bow callused fingers down John’s chest and then, unerringly, moving to lightly trace the mass of scar tissue on his right shoulder. "Absolutely magnificent. I was mistaken in my comments to Mrs. Hudson earlier. This is Christmas and you’ve already unwrapped my present for me!"

"Then perhaps you could give me my present and get your clothes off as well?" John suggested after drawing in a deep breath as he imagined how it would feel when Sherlock’s dexterous fingers explored the rest of his body as well.

Sherlock finished unbuttoning his shirt and shrugged out of it, letting it fall in a puddle around his feet. His belt was unbuckled, slid out of the trouser loops and let fall with a muffled thunk on the floor, and his trousers were shoved down over lean hips to pool at his feet as he stepped out of them. Sherlock was under no illusion about his appearance – he was overly thin, wiry and cadaverously pale – a ‘freak’ as Davidson so liked to call him. He had muscles only because he felt his body had to be in peak condition to survive the hard use it received while he solved his investigations. Sherlock knew that what he lacked in appearance, he made up with the brilliance of his mind. Still, he found himself wishing he were more attractively constructed if for no other reason than to please John, and the fleeting wish gave him pause. When had he ever cared about being physically appealing to his partners? He couldn’t say he ever had desired to be pleasing to his bed mates. What had been a perfunctory act of release before John Watson, rather like the lubricating and greasing of an engine in order to keep it performing at its best, now seemed to have become so much more.

John’s hum of approval was barely audible, but the greedy way he reached for the newly bared flesh said everything he didn’t voice. Tanned, callused hands skimmed over the planes of Sherlock’s body, and John’s gaze turned slumberous with desire, the single droplet of precome adorning his cock proving just how much he wanted this, wanted Sherlock.

"You really need to get your eyes checked," Sherlock murmured fondly, having read approval and desire in his partner’s eyes, "but I’m selfish enough to not remind you of that again." Catching a wandering hand, Sherlock brought it up to his mouth and inhaled one of those economically efficient fingers, the one John wrapped around the trigger of his gun, and began to suck on it slowly even as he crowded John backwards in order to send him sprawling across Sherlock’s unmade bed.

"My turn," Sherlock muttered more to himself than for the benefit of his lover and dropped to his knees between John’s splayed legs. Resting his cheek on one of the other man’s thighs for a moment, he inhaled delicately and caught the scent of John and… someone who was not Sherlock. The growl caught in his throat, and he leaned forward to swallow John’s cock and in the process eliminate the foreign scent. Mine, he thought to himself as he began to lick and suck and work himself further and further down John’s cock, only mine.

"Sherlock!" John gasped, his hips bucking up off the rumpled spread as that agile mouth enveloped him, proving that Sherlock’s cool demeanor hid fire and passion beneath it. He reached out, combing unsteady fingers through Sherlock’s dark curls, sending them into even more disarray than they usually were in, and groaned, wanting more, wanting everything.

Sherlock chuckled around John’s cock and relaxed his throat even more and buried his nose in the wiry curls at the base of the older man’s erection, swallowing convulsively as he did even as his hands slid up John’s chest to toy with his nipples.

John’s fingers tightened in Sherlock’s hair, and he groaned as he rocked his hips against the strong suction around him. "Don’t – want it to be with you in me," he gasped.

Sherlock drew back and let John fall out of his mouth with an obscene slurping pop. "What, once wasn’t enough for you tonight?" he asked lightly though he was unable to mask the dark edge to his voice.

Standing abruptly, Sherlock opened the side table drawer and fished out a box of condoms and a bottle of lubricant. The bottle he tossed on the bed next to John in favor of taking a foil packet out of its box and ripping the corner open with his teeth while eyeing John’s recumbent form. "You look debauched. I rather like it. Maybe I’ll make you my live in shag – you can be a kept man," he teased.

"And then you’d get bored," John pointed out throatily.

"You’d be here to keep me from getting bored," Sherlock pointed out. "I wouldn’t be forced to threaten to use your beer in my experiments in order to get your attention."

"I think not."

"So protective of a fermented yeast drink," Sherlock tsked as he slid the condom onto his straining erection and walked over to John’s side with a devilish grin on his face. "Make yourself useful," he ordered, eyes dancing. "Get me slick enough to slide right into that hard arse of yours."

"Or what?" John asked once again, pushing up onto his elbows and watching Sherlock, his gaze dark with his hunger.

"Or I see how loose you still are and just use spit," Sherlock replied mildly.

"You wouldn’t!" John exclaimed, even as he knew that Sherlock would do just as he said. Reaching for the bottle, he spilled a good portion of the lubricant into his palm, then stroked it onto Sherlock’s cock, feeling the heavy pulse beating beneath the thin layer of latex.

Groaning, Sherlock let his head fall back on his shoulders, his hands twitching at his sides as he let John get him ready. It took much more effort than he would have imagined to remain still and not touch the man lying in front of him. It concerned Sherlock that John could make him lose his ironclad control like this. It was only when he felt his control about to snap that Sherlock stopped the older man by catching the doctor’s hands with his own. "I would never hurt you, John," he murmured, ice grey eyes boring into crystal blue with startling intensity. "I could never hurt you. You are… important to me," he admitted awkwardly.

John’s eyes widened at the quiet words, and he slowly relaxed back onto the bed, catching Sherlock’s wrists and bringing him along. "I know," he murmured, though, in fact, he knew no such thing and believed that Sherlock could hurt him badly without intending to.

Sherlock sighed. John was easier to read than a dead body, and it was obvious that he was humoring Sherlock. But he would understand eventually. Sherlock was determined to make it so. "Liar," he said fondly. "But easily rectified with time. Not now, however. Right now I have something else in mind." Grabbing hold of John’s ankles, Sherlock maneuvered the doctor’s legs over his shoulders and aligned himself with John’s tight hole before sliding into the older man slowly but surely.

A deep moan escaped from John’s throat, and he clenched down so that he could feel each moment of the penetration. His legs tightened on Sherlock’s shoulders as he dragged Sherlock in for a kiss.

"Like that, do you?" Sherlock laughed into John’s mouth. "Feel free to return the favor."

"Not tonight," John replied, his grin changing to a groan as Sherlock moved within him.

"Twice a night wears you out, does it, old man?" Sherlock teased as he pulled back and slammed back in with a particular twisting of his hips. "I’ll have to keep that in mind – and perhaps take some of our fees from our cases and invest in shares of Viagra."

"Three times," John shot back defiantly.

"Oooh, this must be a singular night for you then," Sherlock grinned, leaning down to pinch one of John’s nipples hard as punishment for being reminded that he was not the first man to be inside John Watson tonight.

John swallowed a yelp and tugged at Sherlock’s hair in reaction even as he canted his hips to urge Sherlock on, each inward thrust drawing a shudder as his prostate was hit time and time again.

"There are names for men like you, John," Sherlock said mildly even as he picked up the speed of his thrusts. His free hand wrapped around John’s prick, and Sherlock began to stroke it in counterpoint to his fucking. "In many different languages no less. I wonder how many I could call you..."

"More than I could imagine, I’m sure," John said dryly. His position made movement difficult, but he slid his unoccupied hand down the length of Sherlock’s body, dragging the edge of his nail over the other man’s nipples, trying to see if anything he did could shut Sherlock’s prodigious mind off for even a moment.

Sherlock sucked in air and released it in a hiss, his hips stuttering as his concentration was so rudely interrupted by John’s sensory subterfuge. "Bastard," he laughed breathlessly. "You’re going to have to do better than that, John."

John collapsed back against the bed, his whole body jolting with the force of Sherlock’s thrusts, and he gasped as the hand encasing his cock twisted, sending waves of pure pleasure through him. Rational thought vanished, and he arched up, meeting Sherlock’s every thrust, the single droplet of sweat running down Sherlock’s brow the only sign that  the other man felt the intensity of their coupling as well.

"Come for me, John," Sherlock rasped as he pounded into his partner. "I want to watch as you splatter your stomach with your semen, and then, after I’ve filled the condom with my own release, I want to lick it off of you."

After all, Sherlock mused, he could conclusively guarantee that his doctor would be the epitome of sexual safety. and as Sherlock intended to ensure that John would not be with anyone but himself in the foreseeable future, it was a calculated risk in which the benefits would outweigh the danger.

Fighting the urge to let his eyes fall closed as he wanted to be able to watch Sherlock come, John panted for breath, every muscle in his body tightening as he gave in and did as Sherlock ordered, the spasms of his pleasure exhibiting how in this, as in most everything, he would follow where Sherlock led.

Sherlock groaned as John’s anal muscles clamped down around his prick and Sherlock was massaged from the constant fluttering of the internal contractions. "Brilliant, that feels brilliant," he gasped as his thrusts became erratic due to his overwhelming arousal and the knowledge that he’d made John come apart around him. It took less than six thrusts and Sherlock was coming as well, filling the condom that gloved his shaft, and trembling with exhaustion. The only thing that was keeping him upright was John’s legs, still draped over his shoulders.

John’s lips curved as he broke into a sensual smile before dragging his finger through his own semen, then offering it to Sherlock. "I believe that you said something about licking this off of me?" he murmured.

Catching John’s hand about the wrist, Sherlock brought it up to his lips and sucked it into his mouth with a lewd slurp, causing the older man to chuckle quietly. "No manners at all."

Sherlock let John’s finger slide out of his mouth and shot the older man a mischievous grin. "Manners are social mores imposed by society pedants and enforced by sheep; I’m a wolf."

"Hrmm, and here I saw you as something of a bloodhound, scouring out the clues that elude others." John winced and shifted, allowing his legs to slide off Sherlock’s shoulders and settle to the bed.

Sherlock let himself tip forward and caught his upper weight on his arms before he crashed into John. "Bloodhound? Not bloody likely. Big ears, wrinkles and that obnoxious baying… ha!"

John failed miserably in his attempt to disguise his snicker at Sherlock’s disgust.

"You, on the other hand, are most definitely a Corgi, Hamish. The height and the constant nipping at my heels are dead giveaways," Sherlock sniffed and then forestalled any comment by claiming John’s mouth in a sizzling kiss, though John’s laughter broke the mood somewhat.

"A Corgi? Well, at least I won’t trip over my ears."

Sherlock rolled his eyes and huffed impatiently. "Why are we even having this ludicrous conversation? We neither of us will ever turn into a dog, so it’s a pointless conjecture. However, as the only dog I could ever contemplate owning is an English bulldog, I think it’s safe to say that I will never be like that strange breed of humans who look like their pet."

"So you hope, and as for the why of the conversation, endorphins," John replied sagely as he stroked his hands over Sherlock’s back.

Sherlock snorted. "You’re insane. Good thing you’re a decent shag because the post-coital conversational skills leave a great deal to be desired."

"It’s a good thing that I have the better skills at all other times then, isn’t it?"

"Well, I’ve yet to be shot or stabbed although I was strangled a fair amount recently, and you were next to bloody useless if I remember correctly."

"You left me standing outside, so just whose fault was that then?"

"And I suppose you’ll pull out the tired old excuse that you were tied to a chair when it happened a second time?" Sherlock riposted, enjoying this form of after sex talk much more than wasting time trying to imagine what dog he would be. Besides, John was charmingly animated when he was indignant; it made Sherlock want to kiss him again quite badly.

"Some of us don’t find ourselves tied to chairs on a regular basis," John reminded him wryly, flicking his fingers against the small of Sherlock’s back as he spoke.

"No, some of us spend our time staving off a scimitar-wielding assassin while others of us have a screaming row with a chip and pin machine in the middle of Tesco." Sherlock brushed his nose against John’s absently. "Remind me to teach you how to use one before we need groceries again."

John’s eyebrows rose, and his entire attention focused on Sherlock’s face. "Scimitar-wielding assassin?"

"The scratch on the kitchen table? He was trying to give me a shave – at the neck."

"You are an ass."

"But you like me anyways," Sherlock smirked. "Now explain to me why I’m an ass? Because I can use an automated check-out and you can’t?"

"You never go to the market, so how am I to know if you can use the check-out or not?" John sighed, not disagreeing with the statement that he liked Sherlock because the evidence of that fact was all too clear.

"I’m merely saving you from the tedium of daytime television!" Sherlock grinned. "You made reference to Coronation Street the other week – it was terrifying."

"You poor thing, however did you survive the trauma?" John snorted.

"I’ve deduced the hidden perks to you being around at all hours - I can jump you when the mood strikes me."

"I do have a job," John pointed out, "and my purpose here isn’t to provide you with an alternative to wanking."

"You do realize that it is a two way street, don’t you?" Sherlock pointed out, arching one eyebrow. "Unless I’m in the middle of a case, that is. Other than that – feel free to jump me when you require an alternative to wanking, as you so charmingly phrased it."

John was silent for a moment before finally nodding. "All right, I understand."

Sherlock eyed his bed partner suspiciously. John Watson’s mind was something that Sherlock had yet to figure out despite of his sometimes - well often - derogatory remarks. The truth was that John continuously and successfully managed to surprise him with his unusual blend of intelligence and pragmatism combined with his steadfast moral core that had become the rock to which Sherlock’s genius clung in order to prevent his descent into madness. Sherlock wondered if John knew just how important he was to him, just how much Sherlock needed him.

"I’m suddenly afraid to ask, but what do you understand?"

"The situation, it’s better to go into these things knowing the expectations," John explained patiently though the fine lines at the corners of his eyes deepened ever so slightly as he spoke.

"Yes, well, about that," Sherlock began, shifting uncomfortably on the bed, "I’m not very good at, that is to say I’ve never felt the necessity to... dammit all, John, I’ve never had more than a one night stand, so I’m lost at sea when it comes to whatever this is. I haven’t done any research, I’ve never encountered these emotions," he all but spat in distaste, "and it’s messy, unpredictable, irrational and bloody impossible to try and form a logical, quantifiable conclusion to all of this, this..." Sherlock’s hands waved in agitation as he tried to verbalize what he was feeling, "all of this ephemeral stuff that I’m being bombarded with. I’ve suffered a critical error and am at a loss as to how I should be computing this!"

John blinked several times at the outburst. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then opened it before finally finding his voice. "Are you saying that you want this to be more than just sex?" he asked carefully.

"I..." Sherlock cleared his throat and stared at a crack in the ceiling directly above his bed while he tried to calm his suddenly racing heart. "This is most unprecedented, but I cannot help but note how seamlessly you have slotted into my life, my thought processes and my awareness.

"I find myself turning to make a comment to you when I am at St. Bart’s, and it disconcerts me when you aren’t there. I’ve called Molly "John" more than once when she has walked in, not because I cannot tell you apart but because you are the first person I want to share my latest discovery with.

"Bugger it, I was jealous that you were out with Mr. Dirty English, John, and I never get jealous. I never feel much of anything beyond insatiable curiosity and the need to win if truth be told. You’ve most certainly changed that."

The corner of John’s mouth curved up in a smile, one that slowly expanded until it was full-fledged. "You want a relationship."

"Oh God, shoot me now," Sherlock moaned piteously. "If Mycroft ever finds out, I’ll never hear the end of it!"

"So it’s such a bad thing? Wanting a relationship, I mean," John offered, finally pushing up to his elbows and looking over at Sherlock.

"I don’t do relationships," Sherlock admitted. "I ruin relationships, and I don’t want to ruin what I have with you, but that being said, I’m willing to try. After all, you’ve put up with all my quirks thus far, so perhaps there’s a better than average chance of my not completely destroying our… well, that word you used."

"See? You’ve worked it out; I’m so glad you did," John said, smiling as he spoke.

Sherlock turned his head and nipped John’s shoulder. "Sarcasm is my purview, not yours, Doctor. You’re the empathetic one, remember? You’re the bleeding heart to my heart of stone."

"I wasn’t being sarcastic," John protested.

"Really?" Sherlock looked sheepishly at the older man. "I’m used to being thought of as the ‘freak’. I apologize."

I think Davison has a crush on you; that’s why she’s so antagonistic to you," John said sagely.

"Well, having to stoop to shagging Anderson, who can blame her?" Sherlock sniggered. "Although given what she has to look at, I completely understand the rug burns on her knees - I’d want to be on hands and knees facing away from that too! At least she has one thing in her favor: being a woman allows her to ‘fake it’."

John chuckled before shuddering at the thought. "She’s an attractive woman; why would she sleep with him?"

"Must be her oh so charming personality," Sherlock grinned. "Unlike me, she’s as abrasive as sandpaper and twice as stupid."

"Whereas you get along with all and sundry that you meet."

"I don’t give a rat’s bollocks what "all and sundry" think of me. Those whose opinions have proper merit can see the gold hidden in the dross, and those whose opinions truly matter are the only ones who can see the real me, to sound trite and clichéd. For instance, you see me, don’t you, John?"

"Call it a miracle, but yes, I do," John murmured.

"I would say that it has less to do with miracles and more to do with you not being an idiot." The corner of Sherlock’s mouth quirked upwards in a small smile. "But that would be a lie." He grinned at his bed partner, waggling his eyebrows playfully.

"Why did I know that any compliment from you would quickly be rescinded?"

"Ah, John, haven’t you figured it out yet?" Sherlock smiled wickedly. "Life with me will never be dull, I guarantee you that."

"Sherlock, I knew that from almost the first moment we met."




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