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Sherlock was on fire, he was speed and flame and he was running so fast his feet barely hit the ground, running so fast he was practically flying, his coat sweeping out behind him like wings, his chest heaving and his feet pounding, and he was so close to danger, so close to pain, just around this corner –

Sherlock ran right into the end of a very large, very hard, metal bin and ricocheted off it, falling stiffly, not unlike like a plank of wood. He heard the footsteps of the thief grow fainter, and then those of John, growing louder.

“Jesus, Sherlock, are you okay?”

He's getting away!

“Lestrade's at the other end of the alley, Sherlock. Lemme look at you.”

Sherlock watched carefully as John knelt by his side and gently pulled the great Belstaff coat open and prodded his blunt fingers into tender flesh. Sherlock groaned, not necessarily out of pain, and practically passed out when John ran his fingers through his mop of hair, checking quickly for injuries.

“That gash on your cheek needs attention. What else hurts?”

“Everything. Everything hurts. Check everything.”

“Right. Come on, let's get a taxi back to Baker Street, and I'll patch you up.”

Back at the flat Sherlock threw himself down on the couch, limbs akimbo, throat bared, one wrist placed strategically over his furrowed brow. He moaned, but not too loudly, just under the threshold of noticeably dramatic. He unbuttoned the top three buttons of his shirt with his other hand, making sure that John had plenty of chest to explore. Exploration was good. Exploration was highly encouraged.

He stared down the hallway until John emerged from the bathroom, first aid kit retrieved, and then lowered his eyelids halfway to put the final touches on his mask of pain and suffering. It must be just right, he mused, it must be just enough for maximum lingering, minimum distraction, and absolutely no suspicion.

Last time, he remembered, after he had half-strangled himself in fishing line, John had touched him for five minutes and thirty-six seconds, and that was a new record. Sherlock hoped for at least seven minutes this time. Slamming into that hideous bin was worth at least seven minutes.

John sat on the coffee table, rolled up his sleeves, and sighed the sigh of a man who had a complete idiot for a flatmate.

“I don't know how you didn't see the bin, Sherlock.”

“I was... distracted.”

Distracted by thoughts of you touching me again.

“Uh-huh. Let's look at your face first.”

Yes yes yes, my face!

“It won't need stitches, but I'm going to clean it and tape it for you, okay?”

“Whatever you think. You're the doctor.”

“This might sting.”

Ouch! What the hell is that?”

“Alcohol wipe. I need to make sure the wound is clean before I put antibiotic ointment on it, yeah?”

“You're cruel.”

“I am. I get great joy out of torturing stupid gits who run full-on into enormous rubbish bins.”

Sherlock closed his eyes and memorized the feel of John's fingers on his face, the way they carefully worked over his swollen cheekbone, swiping and smoothing and then testing his work with a fingertip before sitting back.

John was a genius with alcohol wipes and suture tape.

“There's that done, then.”

Two minutes and forty-six seconds.

“Chest.”

“What?”

“Such pain. Must have bad contusions on my chest and abdomen.”

“Right. Want to unbutton the rest of your shirt for me?”

“Can't. Too much pain.”

“For fuck's sake, Sherlock.”

But John wasn't really annoyed, Sherlock knew, because John did unbutton the remaining buttons, and then he pushed the shirt to either side of Sherlock's torso, and sighed again. Fingers, palms, stroking broadly, side to side, up and down, Sherlock's skin rising in gooseflesh under that touch.

“Where?”

“What?”

“You groaned. Where does it hurt?”

“Oh. Everywhere. Maybe I cracked a rib. Maybe you should tape me up.

Tape me, John, tape me!

John was silent for a moment, and Sherlock wondered if he had perhaps, just maybe, gone a bit too far, but when he blinked one eye open a crack to see John's face, he saw that John was staring somewhere in the vicinity of his left nipple, which was hard and raised.

Four minutes and eleven seconds.

“Nope. No cracked ribs. Some mild contusions, but nothing to write home about.”

“We are home, John.”

“Just an expression, Sherlock. Let me take a closer look at your head.”

Yes yes yes, my head! Fingers in my hair, NOW!

Sherlock turned his head toward John and opened his eyes fully, because whenever John checked Sherlock's skull for injuries, he'd put his face within inches of Sherlock's own, and that was the best thing ever on the planet, ever.

Skull injuries were the best.

John was leaning over Sherlock now, his knees pressed into Sherlock's bicep and forearm, his torso aligned at an angle to, but very much over, Sherlock's body. He had both hands in Sherlock's hair, and was working back and forth, so so so slowly, looking for cuts and bumps. Sherlock hoped he'd find something. John's breath was warm on Sherlock's cheek, and when he slipped the tip of his tongue out of his mouth and licked his bottom lip, Sherlock gasped.

“What? There? I don't feel anything.”

“Oh, yes, very sore, right there.”

“Really?”

Nope.

John leaned in closer, pushing Sherlock's hair this way and that, trying to get a closer look at the scalp underneath. His hair follicles were crying out in joy, each one spasming with perfect stimulation.

“Hmm. Don't see anything. Let me know if it still hurts tomorrow, yeah?”

Five minutes and twenty seconds.

Sherlock scrambled. Dare he push? Would it be too much?

“May have given myself a bit of whiplash, I think.”

John frowned and bit his adorable lower lip.“Whiplash?”

“Well, I'm not sure, of course. You're the doctor.”

Sherlock sighed as John encircled his neck with those strong, capable hands, fingertips prodding at muscle and bone and across his smooth skin.

Please let me have whiplash. Please.

“No whiplash.”

Six minutes and thirteen seconds. Good, but he could do better. He needed more injuries.

“You going to be alright on your own for a while, then?”

“Why? Where are you going?”

“To get us some lunch.”

“Oh. Okay. Don't be long. I could die, or faint, or something.”

“Try not to do that, drama queen. I won't be gone long.

Drama queen?

 

...

 

Sherlock had solved the case within two minutes of arriving at the scene, but he hadn't told anyone yet. Instead he paced the room, back and forth, looking for something on which to impale himself. Dammit, where was a solid, rusty, butter knife when you needed one? This room was boring.

He turned on his heel, flapping past Donovan and Anderson, and flung the closet door open. Empty. He stomped to the window, praying for a shard of broken glass or particularly ugly splinter, but there was nothing.

Boring!

Finally, giving up hope, he recited the details of the case to Lestrade, watching John's face fill with amazed adoration, and then swept through the doorway to the second floor landing. Sherlock's heart leapt into his throat.

Stairs. But of course …

The thumping and banging was spectacularly loud, especially as Sherlock made sure to kick at the wall with every carefully orchestrated flip and bump, and everyone came running to see what the commotion was about.

“Jesus, Sherlock, what the hell?” Sherlock ignored Lestrade's voice and laid patiently, crumpled at the bottom of the seventeenth step, waiting for John to come closer, listening as he pushed past the others and made his way down the stairs.

Sherlock opened his eyes when he sensed that John was near, and croaked, “May have sprained an ankle. Broke my back. Something.”

John smirked and shook his head, his expression somewhere between concern and fondness. He gave Sherlock a quick once over to be sure there was no serious spinal injury, then grasped Sherlock firmly under the armpits and hoisted him to standing. Sherlock draped an arm over John's compact frame – such lovely shoulders! – and leaned heavily against him.

“I don't understand, Sherlock. You're one of the most graceful men I've ever known, and yet at times you can be so clumsy."

“John, those stair risers are rigged. They were definitely not that high when we went up.”

“Rigged? You think someone rigged the stair risers? I think someone rigged that magnificent brain yours. Rigged.”

John thinks my brain is magnificent!

“You okay, Sherlock? Bit of a tumble?” Lestrade called down from the landing.

“Ankle. Spine. Need to go home. Have John check it.”

“Right. Take it easy, okay? Thanks for the help on this one.”

Back at the flat John had to practically drag Sherlock up the stairs, wrapping his arms tightly around Sherlock's narrow waist, Sherlock hopping up each step one at a time, stopping after every two to rest his head on John's shoulder and pant. Mrs Hudson opened her door at the commotion, took in the scene before her with a studied glance and said, “Oh dear, what happened this time, Sherlock?”

“Stairs. Rigged risers. Ankle.”

“Right. I'll just leave you boys to it then, shall I?”

“Yeah, I think I've got it Mrs Hudson, thanks,” John answered, tugging at Sherlock's hips, not looking up in time to see the amused expression flit across her face.

Hudders knows. Could be trouble. Must neutralize the situation.

They eventually made it up to the flat, and Sherlock assumed his usual position on the couch while John rummaged around in the bathroom for some compression bandages. When John returned to the lounge Sherlock was on his back with his damaged ankle propped up on the armrest. He was hoping that John would sit on the couch, too, with his hip pressed into Sherlock's thigh and his thigh against his knee, and that's exactly what he did.

Bliss. Start the clock.

John untied Sherlock's shoe, dropped it to the floor, carefully removed his sock, and then rolled up Sherlock's trouser leg. Sherlock wiggled his toes, but not too much. Wouldn't want to look gleeful.

“Doesn't look too swollen. How does it feel?”

“Horrible. It's horrible. I'll have to lie on this couch for days. You'll have to take care of me.”

Cater to my every whim!

“We'll see about that.” John wrapped his warm hands around the bones of Sherlock's ankle and pressed and rubbed and stroked, and Sherlock roughly shoved the back of his hand in his mouth to stop himself from crying out in ecstasy.

“Nothing out of the ordinary here, but try moving it for me.”

“Can't.”

“Fine, I'll wrap it.”

John unwrapped the compression bandage and began winding it around Sherlock's ankle, testing the pressure as he worked. When he was done he gave the bandage a quick pat, then turned and looked at Sherlock with a raised eyebrow.

John Watson patted my ankle.

“What about your foot?”

“What about it?”

“Does it hurt?”

“Oh. Yes! Yes, it hurts, too. Of course.”

Two minutes and forty-eight seconds. Need more injuries.

John's fingers worked over the delicate bones of Sherlock's foot, then lower, stroking each toe YES, then rubbing a thumb over the ball of his foot PLEASE, then across his arch CHRIST, and then his heel LOVE.

Pure podiatric bliss.

“That's wonderful. Keep doing that.”

“I thought we were checking for injuries?”

“Mm? Well, yes, yes, we are, but whatever you're doing now is making the pain go away, so you shouldn't stop. Hippocratic oath and all that.”

“Sherlock, the hippocratic oath is about not doing harm, not massaging feet.”

“But stopping right now would be to bring back the pain and to do harm, John.”

“You git.”

Term of endearment!

John didn't stop, though, to Sherlock's delight, and before he knew it John had been touching him for a full five minutes, and Sherlock didn't even have to scramble for another injury, because when John was done caressing, massaging, loving, whatever, his perfectly fine foot, he turned on the couch to face him and said, “That was quite a tumble. What about your back? Roll over and I'll take a look.”

Sherlock couldn't speak, could barely move at that point, but he managed to shift and turn over and when he felt John tug his shirt up and out of his trousers he thought he might just vomit with delectation. He crossed his arms under his forehead and tried hard, so very hard, to not weep.

Why does joy feel so much like sadness?

John splayed his fingers over Sherlock's lower back and said, “I need to make sure your kidneys aren't bruised, okay? Tell me if this hurts.”

John's thumbs moved methodically, outward from spine to waist, an inch higher each time, something between a caress and a stroke. Sherlock knew his back was fine, but could not be arsed to tell John, lest John stop the magic of touching him.

“Sherlock? Sherlock. Sherlock.

“Uhmmgh.”

“Pain?”

“Nnnnot really, noooo. But you don't have to stop.”

EIGHT MINUTES AND TWO SECONDS.

“I'm a doctor, not a masseuse.”

“You have fabulous bedside manner.”

“Prat.”

 

...

 

Sherlock had to admit, he may have gone a bit overboard this time. If the throbbing pain wasn't enough of a clue, waking up in the hospital surely was. He could barely remember what had happened, just that it was a bit not good. He kept his eyes closed and tried to stir up the memories. Something about a chase down a dark alley? John on his heels, leaping through the window of an abandoned warehouse, a shout, a … gun?

He'd been shot. More than a bit not good, that. Had John been shot, too? Oh god, if John had been shot, and if he was dead, Sherlock would bring him back to life and kill him all over again. Selfish, selfish, selfish man, going and getting himself killed while Sherlock was still alive.

“Awake?”

John!

“John?”

“Open your eyes, you dickhead.”

“You're here.”

“Of course I'm here. Where else would I be?”

“You're alive?”

“No, I'm sitting here, dead, talking to you.”

“Thank god. I thought you'd been shot.”

“No, you're the one who was shot, thank you very much.”

“So why are you the angry one?”

“Because you were shot, Sherlock. You could have died.”

“But I didn't.”

“But you could have.”

Sherlock was generally exceptional at verbal sparring, but this conversation was beginning to confuse him. John should be relieved that he was okay, not angry that he'd been shot. That wasn't logical.

“I didn't get shot on purpose, John.”

I didn't, did I? No. Surely not.

“God, Sherlock, he was aiming right at me, and you just – you jumped, right between us, Sherlock, you fucking – you saved my life, you goddamn arsehole, and you could have died. And then what would I do?”

John was angry that Sherlock had saved his life?

“What do you mean, what would you do?”

“Without you, Sherlock. What would I do? You're – you're very – you're important to me, Sherlock. Surely you know that.”

Sherlock looked at John, thought about his hands, the way they touched him when he was injured, the way they healed and cured and helped, and then he thought about John's mouth, and the words coming out of them in this hospital room, and the emotion behind them, and he realized with a blinding jolt that maybe this messy thing he felt for John was mutual.

Idiot.

He couldn't remember any appropriate words. Well, that was no real surprise, seeing as how he was basically a very tall four-year-old, but still, he had to say something. No wonder sentiment sucked. No wonder emotions were best left bolted down to the floor in the basement of his mind palace and then covered over with cement. This was –

“Sherlock?”

“Mm?”

“Have you heard anything I've just said?”

“I took a bullet for you. I'm very important to you. You don't know what you'd do if I died.”

John is adorable when he rubs his hands over his face because I am exasperating.

“Okay. How are you feeling?”

“Well, I must admit, I always suspected that you were partial to difficult detectives, and I –”

“I mean the pain. How's the pain?”

He doesn't want to talk about it?

“Not bad. I assume it's just a flesh wound?”

“Bit worse than that. I probably could've dressed it myself, but you fell and hit your head on the counterfeiting press after you were shot, and passed out. Lestrade insisted on calling 999 at that point, and here we are. You must be concussed, though, to have stayed out like that, and then when we got here they gave you something to keep you asleep so they could stitch you back together.”

“How many stitches?”

“Twenty. You were lucky. A bit higher on your leg and the bullet would've hit your femoral, and you probably would've bled out before the ambulance arrived.”

“Would you have held me while I died?”

For god's sake, where'd that come from?

“Would I have – what are you going on about?”

“Promise me that if I'm ever dying, you'll hold me while I do it. I'll do it for you, too.”

“Can we not talk about either of us dying, please?”

“Fine. I want to go home. Where's my coat?”

 

...

 

“Stop fidgeting, would you?”

“I'm not fidgeting. You're tickling me.”

“Hold still.”

John was poised over Sherlock's inner thigh, about to remove the gauze and inspect his stitches. Sherlock was poised to black out.

Too much. Too much. Mayday.

Sherlock felt the fingers of one of John's hands hold his upper thigh down firmly while the other hand worked the tape up and off his skin.

May-ever-loving-day.

Fingers traced over his inner thigh, looking for signs of infection –

May-fucking-day!

– before leaving briefly and then returning, the feel of cool ointment being rubbed gently into his flesh.

Heart implosion in three – two – one –

John applied a clean gauze square, ripped off pieces of surgical tape, and adhered the bandage over the wound.

“All done here.”

Me too. Only three minutes and fifty-two seconds, but when those minutes revolve around John Watson's deft hands on my inner thigh, those minutes somehow morph into six million hours of torture. Fascinating.

“You okay?”

“Mmph grr hadda prrr.”

“You're acting rather strange, Sherlock, you know that, right? Maybe it's the concussion.”

 

...

 

In the end it was Mrs Hudson who gave the game away. Sherlock had had a spectacular run-in with a rather dastardly barbed-wire fence, and was covered with what looked like hundreds of tiny wounds and cuts. John had been furious, and was this close to dragging Sherlock to a goddamn ophthalmologist to have his eyesight checked. No one else had even come close to the shagging fence, but Sherlock had ended up hopelessly snarled in it.

Oh, a barbed-wire fence! It's better than Christmas!

Sherlock had insisted that he needed only a few bandages, and eventually convinced John to take him back to Baker Street. In the cab on the way home Sherlock had lain across the seat with his head on John's lap, explaining that there were some particularly bad puncture wounds on his arse, and that being on his side was much more comfortable. John had rested one hand on Sherlock's curly head, and the other on his elbow, and Sherlock had purred so loudly that John had asked if Sherlock was suffering from seasonal allergies.

Should I start the clock now? He is touching me, after all.

Back at 221b John helped Sherlock slip out of his coat, noting that the thickness of it must have saved Sherlock from much more serious injury. He was hanging it on the banister at the bottom of the stairs when Mrs Hudson popped her head out to say hello and offer the boys some freshly baked scones. She took one look at Sherlock's bloodied body and John's concerned face, and deduced what she had suspected all along.

“Sherlock, dear, what have you done this time?” she asked.

“Nothing too egregious, Mrs Hudson. I'm sure John will have me right as rain in no time at all.”

Better than rain, better than rainbows and ponies and leprechaun gold.

“I've no doubt, dear. John, would you come in for a moment? You're going to need more bandages, and I've just picked some up. Sherlock, be a dear and run upstairs and wait for John.”

Sherlock trudged upstairs, practically salivating at the thought of John's hand smearing antibiotic ointment onto so many different parts of his body, and laid back on the couch.

After a while he checked his watch and wondered what was taking so long. Surely it didn't take over ten minutes to exchange bandages and walk up a flight of stairs? His clothes were beginning to stick to him as the blood dried, and he was itchy and his arse really did hurt.

Five minutes later he got up and huffed noisily to the bathroom, peeling off his shirt and trousers and inspecting the damage himself. Where the hell was John? Sherlock needed John. Sherlock needed John. Sherlock needed.

Stupid Hudders.

Eventually he sulked into his bedroom, lowered himself down gently on the bed, and arranged his limbs as to apply the least amount pressure to his injuries. He waited, and waited, and waited, and what seemed like six days but was actually only twenty-three minutes later, he heard John come up the stairs and enter their flat.

Sherlock groaned something of a “I'm in here dying come save me” moan, and was rewarded by the sight of John crossing the threshold of his bedroom, supplies in hand. Something was different, though. What was it? John's face... John was... smirking.

Hudders.

“How are you feeling, Sherlock?”

“Pained.”

“I bet you are. But not too pained, right? Just enough to require some medical assistance, but not enough to really put yourself out of action?”

John crossed the room and sat on the edge of the bed and looked over Sherlock's cuts, most of which were quite shallow, and none of which would require stitches. It was masterful, really, the way Sherlock had manipulated that fence to his advantage. The fence probably never knew what hit it.

“Let's start, shall we?” John dipped a clean flannel in the bowl of warm water and began wiping down Sherlock's arms and chest, cleaning off the dried blood. “There's a bit of benzalkonium chloride and lidocaine in the water to help clean and soothe the cuts, okay?”

Sherlock didn't care if there was bat piss in the water, he just wanted John to touch him. John's hands were so caring, so strong, so –

“OW!”

“Sorry. Did that sting? Yeah, the antiseptic might do that on some of the deeper cuts. Why don't you just lay back and close your eyes, hmm?”

Fuck yes.

John had begun to talk quietly as he worked, the flannel swiping over Sherlock's neck, chest, and abdomen. Sherlock wasn't really paying attention, and he was certainly not interested in yet another lecture about needing to be more careful, but something John had just said caught his attention.

“ – manipulated into helping you.”

“Wait, what?”

“I was just saying that I will always help you, no matter what you need, but I'm less happy about it if I feel like I've been manipulated into doing it.”

“Manipulated?”

“Mmhm.”

“Why would you feel manipulated?”

“These accidents you've been having, Sherlock, they're beginning to look rather suspicious.”

DAMN YOU, HUDDERS!

John's hands were working the flannel down Sherlock's thighs, and the warm water and light pressure of those remarkable hands were interfering with his ability to listen. John's fingers were pressed into Sherlock's upper thigh, just under the band of his pants, and his thumb was rubbing a slow circle into the nearby flesh, a hair's breadth from his scrotum.

This could be embarrassing.

“I mean, you're so clever, yeah? And yet in the last several months you've fallen into an uncovered manhole, slipped into a lake that you were nowhere near, been attacked by wild turkeys, run full-speed into doors, rubbish bins, street lamps and shop windows, fallen both up and down stairs, been shot –”

“I didn't ask to be shot!”

“I know, I know, you did that for me, and today you rather incomprehensibly attacked a barbed-wire fence.”

“That fence was --”

“Nope.”

John had finished with the flannel, and was now squeezing a generous portion of antibiotic crème into his palm. He rubbed his hands together and moved down to Sherlock's feet, starting at his ankles. He rubbed the crème into Sherlock's skin, the pressure varying from feather-light to massage-hard. His hands worked up Sherlock's shins, around to the back of his knees, and back up to his thighs.

Thighs!

“If I didn't know you better, Sherlock, I'd say that you were getting hurt on purpose.

“Why would I – ohh – that would be – mm – you can't be – ahhh.”

“I'm very serious. I think you're a bit addicted to what comes after.”

“After?”

“This. Me patching you up again.”

“Don't be silly, I can --”

“Shut up, Sherlock. Roll over.”

Yes, sir.

Sherlock flipped over onto his stomach, and immediately began melting into a giant puddle of goo. John had gone straight for Sherlock's arse, completely ignoring the minor scratches along the backs of his legs.

“You said it hurts most back here?”

Sherlock whimpered as he felt John tug his pants down to the tops of his thighs.

“Oh my, yes, I see why.”

The warm flannel moved in circles over one cheek for a small eternity while John spoke.

“Here's what we're going to do, Sherlock. Are you listening? I'm going to help you to be more careful. Here's how it's going to go.”

John rinsed the flannel and began working on the other cheek, letting his fingers curve under Sherlock's hips now and then.

“I'm going to finish cleaning you up. I'll be very thorough. When I'm done, we will eat dinner, and watch some telly, and then get some sleep. Tomorrow, and every day after that, you will do nothing to inflict damage upon yourself.”

John dropped the cloth and worked some ointment into his hands, then began massaging it into Sherlock's arse.

Do not spread your legs. Do not lift your arse. Do not –

Sherlock moaned, loudly.

John's fingers were slowly, repeatedly, spreading Sherlock's arse cheeks with his thumbs as he rubbed the crème into the crack, his fingers working at the dimples on the each side of his bottom.

“Then, the next time we go to a crime scene, you will be on your best behavior. You will not stab yourself with ballpoint pens. You will not let your hair become tangled in window blinds. You will not crack your head against a claw foot tub.”

John let one hand slip between Sherlock's legs, his fingers curving up and over his aching, tender balls.

Help me baby jesus.

“You will not slip in a puddle of blood, or oil, or poison, or anything else.”

John's stunningly magnificent hand was softly stroking Sherlock's balls now, tugging and rolling them.

Sweet mary mother of god.

“You will not stick your finger into sockets, or wasp nests, or mysterious holes in walls.”

John's reached his other hand under Sherlock's hip and found his erection, hard and flat against his belly.

Jesus god in merciful heaven.

“You will not hang unnecessarily from rooftops, or moving vehicles, or window ledges.”

John's hand was working his stiff cock now, stroking it ever so slowly.

slow so slow so good so yes please more yes.

John was picking up speed, had smeared pre-come over the glans, was tugging and pulling and Sherlock was –

“And if you can come back from that crime scene without a single scratch, a single hair missing, a single blemish or bruise or bandage, we will finish this. But not until then.”

John stood up, collected his supplies, and walked out of the room.

The injustice. The goddamn injustice. Wait. We will what?

Sherlock rolled over and jerked himself once, twice, thrice, and came hot and shuddering in his hand.

 

...

 

The next day John acted like absolutely nothing had happened. Sherlock sat, barely daring to move, not wanting to even hit the keys of his laptop too hard, and waited for Lestrade to call.

Lestrade didn't call.

Call, you motherfucker, call.

On the second day Sherlock sent Lestrade a text demanding that he invite Sherlock to a crime scene. Lestrade texted back that he didn't have one. Sherlock insisted that he was hiding something from him, and Lestrade insisted he wasn't, and threatened to cut Sherlock off completely if he didn't stop harassing him. Sherlock pouted, but not too hard, as he didn't want to pull a muscle in his face.

On the third day Sherlock ate with his fingers to be sure he didn't stab himself with the fork.

On the fourth day Sherlock didn't dare get of bed.

On the fifth day Lestrade called.

 

...

 

Sherlock tiptoed around the crime scene, holding his arms out in front of him like protective bumpers.

“What the hell are you doing, Sherlock?” Lestrade shouted from across the hotel lobby.

“Just being careful!” Sherlock shouted back.

Must be so very careful. Must not hurt the transport.

John leaned back against a faux, sponge-painted pillar and folded his arms across his chest.

“Need any help there, Sherlock?”

“Maybe just keep an eye out.”

“For?”

Danger.”

“We're at a crime scene, it's bound to be a bit dangerous, yeah?”

Sherlock shuffled over to the dead body and kneeled down, resting his knees on his folded up coat. He investigated with his loupe, tenderly poked at the deceased's clothing, and steepled his fingers under his chin for a full four minutes before getting up and moving to the reception desk.

Reception desk = landmine of potentially dangerous sharp pointy objects. Beware of paper clips.

He swiped at stacks of papers, blew on staplers, glared at the telephones, and generally peered at everything suspiciously before touching anything.

“What the hell is he up to, John?”

“He's just being careful. You know how accident prone he's been lately, Greg.”

“Sure, but this is a bit much, isn't it?”

“I promised him a big reward if he came home unharmed. Not one scratch.”

“A big reward? What, like a corpse?”

“Bigger.”

“A locked room murder?”

“Bigger.”

“What's bigger than a locked room murder?”

“Can't say.”

“Don't think I want to know.”

Seven minutes later Sherlock lightly pranced over to Lestrade and John and whispered, out of fear of straining his vocal cords, that the night watchman had been killed by the head of housekeeping at 3:46 that morning because he had impregnated her daughter and subsequently refused to marry the girl. The weapon, he told Lestrade, would be found inside the hoover's dust filter in the supplies closet on the eighth floor. Then he turned to John and said, “Home not hurt we go now please? Yes?”

 

...

 

John flagged a cab and held the door open for Sherlock, then climbed in after him. He closed the distance between them and let his hand rest on Sherlock's knee. He didn't look at him, but he spoke, a slow, steady stream of praise.

“You did so well, Sherlock. I knew you could do it. Not a single scratch. Not even a hair out of place. Such a good boy. And you solved it so quickly, too. Just imagine all that brain power focused on the evidence instead of finding a way to inflict harm on yourself. So clever. So very clever. Just brilliant, really. Fabulous. Really proud of you.”

I'm such a good boy.

John's hand worked up Sherlock's thigh, barely stroking the tense muscle underneath the fine wool trousers.

“I saw how you stayed away from the letter opener. You thought I didn't see, but I saw, Sherlock. And those staple removers, with their jagged teeth? You were so careful. It made me hard just watching you not touch those staple removers. Such a good boy. For a moment I thought you might trip up in the supplies closet, with all those broom handles and toxic cleaners, but then you sidestepped everything and I thought I was going to come right in my pants.”

Good – careful – toxic – handles – come – pants

John leaned into Sherlock's shoulder and let his index finger run over the fly of Sherlock's trousers, showing absolutely no surprise at the considerable erection waiting for him.

“You even used your coat to protect your knees, Sherlock. Did you do that on purpose? I wanted to take you in my mouth right there, right in front of Lestrade and Anderson and Donovan. I didn't care who saw, I just wanted to suck you down. And the tiptoeing, my fucking god, the tiptoeing, Sherlock. I don't know how I didn't bend you over the luggage rack and take you right there. Brilliant. So fucking brilliant.”

luggage rack – bend – fucking

“And here we are, Sherlock, back home. Can you open the door, or should I?”

Sherlock gasped something that sounded like not moving help can't breathe, but John didn't quite catch it, so he reached over Sherlock's lap, pushed the door open, and gently nudged him out of the cab. He took Sherlock by the elbow and helped him over the curb, then propped him against the wall as he unlocked the front door. Once inside 221b Sherlock immediately slid down the wall and started shaking. John stood over him for a moment, then lowered himself down to straddle his legs, and whispered in his ear.

“It's good to be careful, Sherlock, yeah? It's good to stay safe. Safe is good. I'm going to make you so happy now, Sherlock. I'm going to touch you so much, you might not be able to walk for a while. But it's okay if that happens, Sherlock, it's okay if my touching you makes you feel like you need medical attention, because you won't actually be damaged, yeah?”

damage me please john please damage me

“You need to get up these stairs, love, and into our flat. Can you do that for me? I'll help you.”

They were half-way up the stairs when Mrs Hudson opened her door and called out, “Is he okay, John? Do you need any bandages?”

Sherlock found his voice long enough to bellow, “NOT NOW, HUDDERS!” and they continued their ascent to their own flat. Once inside, Sherlock turned to John and murmured, “Pain in my pants, John, pain in my pants.”

John took Sherlock's face in between his hands, smiling from ear-to-ear, and said, “I'm going to help you with that, Sherlock. I'm going to make it all better. Just you wait and see. Come on in here, and I'll take a closer look.”

Close close close close everything touching.

Sherlock stood by the side of his bed, his brain short-circuiting, which was not an entirely unpleasant sensation, and stared at John with wide, curious eyes. John was getting undressed, but not nearly quickly enough. It should not take eighteen seconds to unbutton that shirt, Sherlock thought. It should not take five seconds to undo a belt buckle. Seven seconds to unzip trousers and lower them to ankles was preposterous. Socks should take no more than three seconds each. John was making Sherlock's pain so much worse with his silly dawdling.

Once John was completely naked one minute and seventeen seconds! he began undressing Sherlock, and if he'd thought that John had been slow before, he thought he was flash-frozen molasses now. After waiting sixteen years for John to undo the third button of his shirt, Sherlock reached down and ripped it open himself, then pulled it off and flung it over his shoulder. Two seconds.

And that's how it's done, ladies and gentlemen.

Sherlock was naked exactly four point two seconds later, which was probably a new record, had he ever tracked how quickly he could disrobe. John rolled his eyes and then wrapped his arms around Sherlock's waist and pressed up against him, finding contact along every inch of their bodies.

He rested his head against Sherlock's shoulder and said, “You only had to ask, Sherlock. You only ever had to ask. How could you not have known? How could you be so very intelligent, and not have seen how badly I wanted you, too?”

He looked up then, and it didn't matter who kissed who first, because it pretty much happened at the exact same time, and the kissing was better than any barbed-wire gash that Sherlock had ever experienced.

Hot warm wet John my John my John's tongue.

The bed loomed up behind them, and Sherlock found himself under a spectacular blanket of naked John, the warmth of his skin spreading over him in a way that made him think he'd probably never hurt again, ever. John was the best thing in the solar system, the solar system with the earth at its center, and everything else circling around it. Or wait, was it the earth at the center or something else?

John slid his way down Sherlock's tension-filled body and, without pause, licked a stripe up the considerable length of Sherlock's straining cock, and Sherlock's solar system ceased to exist. John was the center of everything.

John is the universe. My cock is in the mouth of the universe.

“This where it hurts, love?”

“mmph mmhm please.”

“Okay, let me take a look. Oh yeah, I see the problem. Poor thing. You've got a severe blood flow problem here.”

John covered the head of Sherlock's cock with his lips and ran his tongue around it, small, swift circles over the top and under the ridge of it, and when Sherlock whined and involuntarily thrust his hips up, John let the thick shaft slide into his mouth. He sucked and licked, and much to Sherlock's chagrin, he talked in between the sucking and licking.

“Too much pressure built up, love – that's why – it hurts – so much. Gonna help you – gonna relieve – the tension. Such a good boy – so very cooperative – with the doctor – mmm – such a good – patient.”

Sherlock couldn't drag his eyes away from John's mouth working him like that, and he couldn't quite process that he'd been throwing himself into harm's way for so long, for the lightest touches, when keeping himself safe resulted in John happily taking his stiff cock in his hot mouth and sucking him off.

Logic and reason have ceased to exist, and I am totally okay with that.

“Alright then, we're almost done with phase one of treatment. How are you holding up?”

Sherlock looked down into John's raised face, his ears perking at the doctor's professional tone, and groaned, “Please next phase oh god please help me.”

“Right. Might want to grab onto something.”

Sherlock considered his options and opted for hanging onto John's beautiful, bent head. He felt one of John's hands wrap around the base of his cock, and then his mouth moving back into position. The hand and mouth worked in tandem, and on every third stroke, as if this were formulaic and prescribed, John's hand drifted to Sherlock's sac and caressed his balls for three strokes.

Stroke-two-three-tug-two-three-he's-fucking-brilliant-two-three.

Sherlock lifted his hips off the bed as if doing so would get him further into John's tight hot mouth, and his arse cheeks clenched and pumped with his rhythmic thrusting.

Johnnn. Oh god, John, sooo good, I'm sooo close, I'm going to – “

“Nope. No you're not, Sherlock, not yet. That's not how the treatment works.”

What is this bullshit torture he calls treatment and how do I get more?

John pulled back and rested on his heels for a moment, rubbing the soft, pale flesh of Sherlock's spread thighs.

“I'm quite pleased, Sherlock. You're doing great. Throat is bared, chest is flushed, back is arched – all very good. Your hips are just magnificent, god, the way they lift like that. Beautiful reflex, really just beautiful. And let's see, ah yes, your toes are curling just like they should be. Lovely. Ready for phase three? Last one.”

Sherlock thought he might start crying, but he nodded and whispered, “Please yes.

John reassumed his position between Sherlock's legs and over his now purple cock, and put his mouth and hand where they'd been. He was three turns into his stroke-tug cycle when Sherlock felt John's other hand stroke up his thigh and come to rest under his scrotum. Saliva had been pooling below him for several small eternities, and he felt one finger swipe through the wetness along his perineum and then tap against his anus.

Each tap was about a 7.2 on the Richter Magnitude Scale of Sexual Response, and Sherlock began a silent prayer that John knew what the fuck he was doing, because he was pretty sure he was going into cardiac arrest. After several more strategically placed taps, John began to work his middle finger into the tight flesh, pressing firmly in a rhythm that matched his mouth and other hand. John wasted no time, understanding that timing was everything in procedures such as these, and quickly was knuckle-deep in Sherlock's body. Sherlock may have started crying.

Finger up my goddamn arse, and I was wasting time with barbed-wire?

John picked up his tempo in keeping with Sherlock's increased panting and whining, and when he heard Sherlock groan out a string of expletives as one long word, fuckshitcrapgoddamnholyfuckinghell, he knew he was ready. He plunged his finger in, aiming for and finding his target on the first go, and rubbed. Sherlock's eyes rolled back in his head, his head slammed into the mattress, and the mattress shuddered under the depth of his spasming. Sherlock opened his mouth to yell, but could only manage a very sincere sounding oh-oh-oh-oh-OH, and it was over.

John pulled off and out as gently as he could, wiped the back of his mouth on a sweaty forearm, and leaned over Sherlock's quiet body.

“Sherlock? Sherlock, love?”

Sherlock had passed out.

 

...

 

Sherlock opened his eyes and drank in the sight of John leaning over him, an expression of concern and then relief passing over his face.

“I went toward the light, John.”

“The light?"

“I saw Redbeard.”

“Stop it. Are you okay?”

“You tried to reward me for being safe, but you killed me. You killed me with your mouth.”

“I didn't kill you, you idiot.”

“Redbeard told me to come back and stay with you.”

“Well, good, that's good then, yeah? I'm glad you came back. You were only out for about ten seconds.”

“It felt like eons.”

“The brain is funny that way.”

“You're the best doctor in all of everywhere, I'm sure of it. If there were an olympic event for medicinal blow jobs, you would get triple gold.”

“Pretty sure that's not an event, but thank you.”

“I would try to take care of you right now, but I can't move. I can't feel my limbs.”

“It's alright. This was for you. This was all for you.”

This changes shit. I'm pretty sure this changes shit.

“John?”

“Mm?"

“What now?”

John propped himself up on an elbow at Sherlock's side and pushed his damp curls off his forehead. He ran a finger down the length of Sherlock's nose, then across his upper lip.

“Dinner?”

“You know what I mean.”

“I could ask you what you want, Sherlock, but instead I'm going to tell you what I want.”

This better be what I want, too, or I may have to drug and then brainwash him.

“I want us to be together, in all ways. I want to live and work with you, and go to bed with you, and take care of you. I want you to be safe and know that I will always, always touch you, and that you should always, always touch me. I want to wake up with you, and run down alleys with you, and not have to guess anymore what it means when you give me that certain look that I think means you think I'm fabulous.”

He knows the look. He got the look. He really is fabulous.

“Sounds to me as if you'd like to completely and utterly consume me.”

“Sherlock, I'm not trying to scare you, it's just --”

“And I would like that. I would like to be completely and utterly consumed by you. And I would like to completely and utterly consume you, too, as much as possible. Are you amenable?”

“God, yes.”

“Excellent. We are now officially committed to completely and utterly consuming each other.”

 

...

 

Sherlock had a hard time going back to crime scenes after that, convinced that he would somehow hurt himself and incur the wrath of John, but John explained that accidents happen, and that as long as Sherlock wasn't hurting himself on purpose, everything was good. In short order they were flinging themselves around London with wild abandon, and so it was inevitable that random pain and suffering would occur.

Sherlock pulled muscles and inhaled bad things, and John tripped over murder weapons and got locked in car boots, and at the end of those types of cases they would come home and take care of each other and order Chinese and call it a good day.

John continued to be an exceptional doctor to Sherlock's blood flow problems, and Sherlock took no time at all in learning how to correctly deduce and solve John's own frequent erectile issues.

They excelled at completely and utterly consuming each other.

Mrs Hudson occasionally had to bang on her bedroom ceiling with a broom when the moaning and banging got too out of hand, Lestrade sometimes asked John to wait outside when Sherlock was tiptoeing around staple removers, but for the most part, life went on, and it was all spectacularly fantastic.

-END-