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John is kissing him.

No. He’s not. His hand is gripped tight around the back of Sherlock’s neck, and their foreheads are pressed together. Their noses are aligned, and he can feel John’s harsh breaths against his lips. But John is not kissing him.

John’s right hand is bunched in his coat. He can feel the heat of him where they are close, too close. Sherlock’s hands are on John’s shoulders.

They are not kissing, and Sherlock cannot stand it.

“John,” he gasps, and even to himself his voice sounds raw and pained, and he shuts his eyes against the rawness and pain of it. He cannot stand this stand-off, and he doesn’t know quite how to release them from this stalemate.

John flexes his fingers against Sherlock’s neck, adjusts his grip, presses their foreheads together harder, as if Sherlock will be able to know his thoughts by osmosis, as if he’ll be able to see into Sherlock’s brain through skin to skin contact.

“I’m so angry with you right now,” he murmurs.

Sherlock can hear it, the anger and the hurt in his voice, he can feel it in the fine tremors that course through John’s body.

“I know,” Sherlock murmurs back, and then he shifts, just slightly, so his lips brush against John’s, and he sighs.

He’ll be happy with this. Just this, just this bare touch, just this breath between them.

But John isn’t having that. Another shift, another tilt of the head, and Sherlock’s lips are captured by John’s.

John is kissing him.

For a moment, Sherlock is too overwhelmed, too stunned that it’s actually happening, John is actually kissing him, to respond.

John is good at kissing. Incredibly good. This much is clear quickly, that Sherlock is out of his depth here, so he gives over, he lets John lead. He cedes control, he melts against John, into his arms, into his kiss, and the release of it is an ache in his chest, a yawning chasm of fear and possibility, and he moans into John’s mouth.

John’s hand isn’t bunched in his coat now, it is on his face, cupping his cheek, his thumb stroking back and forth, a point of sensitivity. Every place John is touching him is a point of sensitivity, and Sherlock can feel each of John’s fingertips like they are branded into his skin. He wishes that he could keep those fingertips, keep them ingrained in his skin.

The kiss seems to go on forever, soft and then hard, tender and then crushing, until Sherlock is utterly lost in it, lost in John, in John’s fingertips against his skin and lips against his own, and it seems like that’s when John draws away, breaks the kiss.

Sherlock cannot stand it. He sways forward, back into John’s space, foreheads together still, brushes his nose against John’s, and then kisses him again. He is less out of his depth now, now that John has shown him what he likes, shown Sherlock what Sherlock likes.

Both of John’s hands are on his face, and Sherlock’s are looped around John’s waist, holding him close, clutching at him.

He stops to breathe, to murmur, “John,” to open his eyes for a minute. Even from too close, he can see John is flushed, his lips swollen. It is John who moves forward this time, to kiss him again, to moan into his mouth, to deepen the kiss, intensify it further.

It is John who ends the kiss this time, biting his lip as he draws back.

One of John’s hands is in his hair, the other on his chest, over his tripping heart.

“I’m still angry with you,” John says.

Sherlock lifts a hand to his bitten lip. “I can tell.”

John grins at him, and Sherlock laughs. John laughs with him.