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“What are you doing?!” It is a squawk, a horrified unmanly sound of genuine distress.

“Well, I was about to make coffee...”

Sherlock snatches the kettle from John’s hand, somehow managing not to slop the contents over the pair of them, but only just. “This is boiling,” he hisses savagely, “Are you a complete idiot?”

“Apparently so.” John hides his smile and presses an affectionate kiss to a bare bony shoulder while Sherlock one-handedly adjusts things to his liking, shifting mugs and fussing over the grinds, thumping the cafetiere on the kitchen side a couple of times to even it out and coax the coarser grains to the top. He is mumbling to himself throughout, glancing at the kettle still in his hand, and tapping his fingers on the marble effect counter-top. John’s tone is perhaps a little less patient than it could be, "What are you working out?"

The look Sherlock shoots him isn't quite murderous, but not too far off. "Well, taking into account the ambient room temperature, the density of the steel composition and the dimensions of your kettle, plus how long the water had been at boiling point before you foolishly waved it at the press, like some kind of ill-educated ape... It should now be ready." He doesn't look away from John as he proceeds to tip the kettle and pour it precisely into the cafetiere. Pause. A little more. Pause. Steady flow. Twisty flourish. Still staring at John.

There are words hovering in John's mouth - 'You take this far too seriously', 'It's just coffee', 'Don't look at me like I'm stupid'. They itch at his tongue for a second and he presses his lips firmly together to wrestle them back. He knows better, now he thinks about it, than to use boiling water to make coffee – scorches the beans or something. But then, he is a drinker, not a brewer. Sherlock breaks his gaze and bends at the waist to watch the coffee settle through the glass and John's mouth open of its own accord. "You're amazing."

“Yes.” Sherlock stirs gently, intently examining the slowly swirling concoction. He takes a lungful of the steam before fitting the press onto the top and leaves it resting there. “What is this?”

John grins, “You figure it out.”

A small twitch of a smile, “It’s not your usual, which is a joy in itself, considering your usual generally extends to...” He pops the top off the ceramic coffee jar and dips a licked finger inside, bringing it back to his mouth, eyeing it with unsubtle distaste the whole time, “Kenco Rich instant, accidentally blended with the Kenco Smooth instant that was going stale at the bottom of the jar.”

A high-pitched giggle escapes John. “Sorry.”

“As you should be.” Sherlock licks a different finger and dabs up some heavy brown grains John has spilled on the counter.

He stares at them intently for a second, before touching them slowly to the tip of his tongue. He closes his mouth and John can see him rolling his tongue around inside his mouth, spreading the coffee, rubbing it against his palate, scraping it on his teeth. It’s disturbingly arousing. He reapplies the finger, further back and to one side, strokes it forwards, sucks in a breath. His left eyelid twitches down slightly before the other eyebrow rises.

“Earthy, green, thick... Indonesian. No, no. No. Bold, sweet over bitter, fairly balanced acidity, malted sugar, cinnamon, dark... Sumatran. ” Sherlock is muttering and pauses to hum gently for a second, “Mmm, this will resonate in the cup. God, John. Where did you get it?” He turns, looking for a bag, a box, something.

“I found a dealer,” he teases. Sherlock’s cross face returns. John breaks and admits, “I asked Sally.”

“Sally hates me.”

“It would seem not.” He gives him a smart kiss on his surprised mouth and turns to make the breakfast.

Sherlock watches him, casually, one hip against the fridge. Eventually he deems the brew ready and pours two cups, clouding John’s with cool milk, how he likes it, but leaving his own pure.

“After you, it’s your Christmas present.” John points out, gesturing away the offered beverage and putting down his buttery knife to watch.

Sherlock maintains eye-contact while he takes his first sip. A moan rumbles up from his chest, vibrating out through his throat. The noise is not innocent, far from it. The mood changes, as if the air has thickened with the wet aroma of the brewed coffee, darkening and sweetening. John steps closer, backing him against cupboard doors.

Sherlock smiles, slow and sly, letting himself be caged in. “Do you want to try, John?”


Sherlock puts his drink down and dips his head, hovering in the hot air over John’s mouth. He dodges the first kiss, redirecting it to his jaw. “From me?”

“Mm-hmm.” That’s what he has in mind, yes.

“Are you going to taste it on my lips, John? On my breath?”

“Uh-huh.” There are mere millimetres between them now, he can almost taste it already.

“Will you lick it from my mouth?”

The man is not decent. John stands on his toes to push his pelvis against Sherlock’s. He can tell exactly where this is going, and he really doesn’t mind. “I’d lick it from anywhere I could.”

“Well, I suppose it is Christmas.”