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Give Me the Keys

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The day John Watson roared up outside of 221b Baker Street on a sleek black motorcycle is the day Sherlock Holmes knew he was utterly and completely done for.

He’d heard John and Lestrade talking about motorcycles the week before, at a crime scene near Lambeth.  Lestrade had been called in off-duty, and he’d made an entrance in black motorcycle leathers and sleek silver helmet, which was something new.  Also new was John’s longing expression as he looked at the shiny Triumph parked in the street.

“I’m sure Lestrade would let you borrow it for a ride someday, if you like,” Sherlock had said.

John chuckled. “I doubt it. Gorgeous machine, though, isn’t it? I’d love to have one, but, well, not much of a rider, anymore.”

Three hours later and Sherlock allowed the medical examiner’s office to cart the body away. He stripped his gloves and faced the unusual task of looking around for John, only to find him sitting on Lestrade’s bike, a blinding grin on his face. Lestrade was chatting at him amiably as John tested the bike’s balance and slid his hands over the smooth gloss of the paint.

Sherlock stopped breathing for a moment at what he was seeing - John straddling a very powerful motorcycle and looking incredibly comfortable there. His jeans were stretched tight across his arse, his blue t-shirt a little short in the sleeves, his tattoo barely peeking out. It was John Watson dialed back ten years at least, a glimpse of a less-staid man showing through. It was utterly riveting, and when John looked over his shoulder to catch Sherlock’s eye, Sherlock had to look down, certain he’d been caught out.

A week later and John’s convinced Lestrade to let him have a go after all. Sherlock watches him from the window as he removes his helmet and hangs it on the handlebars. His short blonde hair is mussed and sticking up in the back.  The elation on his face is obvious even from Sherlock’s somewhat distant vantage point. The old wood of the staircase creaks as John springs up the stairs two at a time and the door opens to reveal a windblown John with bright eyes and unbounded enthusiasm.

“God, Sherlock, did you see that thing? Isn’t it beautiful?” He doesn’t even wait for Sherlock to answer, simply darts for the bathroom. “Meeting Lestrade and some of his mates for drinks in a bit, need a shower and a change.” He pops his head back out into the sitting room from the hall. “You don’t want to come with, do you? I mean, you could ride with me, I have to take the bike back to Lestrade, and then we could cab back.”

The image of riding pillion with John, his knees tucked around John’s hips,  arms wrapped around that solid frame, leaning his body into John’s back as they slid around turns in London’s constant traffic is more than his mind can cope with at the moment. He’s not used to this kind of unrelenting attraction, a pounding  awareness of John’s body brought on by, of all things, a ridiculous motorbike, a grown man’s toy.  His brain throws up images of John on in leather jackets and nothing else, John on top of him, riding him. Sherlock goes hot then cold when he realizes John’s still staring at him, waiting for an answer.

“Don’t be ridiculous, John,” he says. “Do I look like I’d enjoy such an adventure? You’d probably kill us both.” That last part is a lie, certainly. He has no doubt John is a skilled rider; Lestrade would never have let him borrow his bike if he wasn’t. But his mind isn’t quite ready for the sorts of explanations that would inevitably be required with certain parts of his anatomy pressed up against John’s backside.

John gives him a close, appraising look, a blatant sweep up and down his body that’s almost…flirtatious?

“You look made for that kind of adventure, actually,” John says with a wink, and closes the bathroom door.

Sherlock simply blinks in astonishment.


Later that night, Sherlock has perched himself in one of the front windows, balanced precariously on the sill with his back against one side and feet against the other, and chain smoking a pack of B&H he had tucked in the back of a drawer for emergencies. He needs to focus, to think and sort out the tangled strings of emotions he can feel wrapping around his brain and choking out rational thought. He flicks the ash out onto the street and takes another slow drag, relishing the burn of the smoke in his lungs.

Attraction to another person isn’t as foreign to his experience as those that work with him would suspect. He’s perfectly capable of finding other people desirable, even if he isn’t interested in keeping one around longer than a night or a week.  Relationships in the conventional sense demand so much time, so much attention he isn’t able to give, starting a chain reaction of fights and accusations that Sherlock always found incredibly tiresome and never worth his time to sort out. His last semi-boyfriend had called him a “beautiful disaster” on his way out of the door, and perhaps he was.

So his track record with anything other than one night stands or dirty weekends is miserable at best, and isn’t quite as strong as it should be if he wanted to indulge himself in one more kink he just discovered he has with the one person that probably wouldn’t put up with a simple one-time shag for the sake of quieting Sherlock’s libido and curiosity.  He doubts its more than that, honestly, so once John returns Lestrade’s motorcycle everything should go back to normal. Although the man did practically leer at you earlier tonight, so perhaps a little indulgence might not be unwelcome? Although it might make living together a bit more complicated, after. Sherlock drops his head back against the windowframe and sighs, lighting another cigarette just as a cab pulls up to the curb.

John hops out and Sherlock watches as he leans in to pay the driver. He’s not drunk, not by a long shot, but he’s had a couple of pints at least, and he’s moving with loose limbs and a half-grin on his face that gets bigger when he sees Sherlock up in the window, half hidden behind the wrought iron ornamental screens bolted to the front of the building.

“What’re you doing up there, Sherlock? You look like a vulture.” John calls, craning his neck and putting his hands on his hips.

Sherlock takes a long drag, flaring the cherry end of his fag and watches John’s eyes narrow and his mouth turn disapproving.  “Having a think, John, and enjoying the weather,” he says, shrugging.

“Thought you’d quit,” John says flatly, crossing his arms.

“Needed a distraction,” Sherlock says carelessly, dropping his wrist over his bent knee. He knows he’s dangling his smoking in front of John’s nose and it’ll annoy him no end, but Sherlock can’t seem to help it.  A counterirritant, perhaps, to set Sherlock’s balance again.

“A distraction from what? Look, I’m not doing this on the street. I’m coming up.” John turns toward the door and Sherlock waits until the sitting room door opens to lift the cigarette to his lips again.

“Looks like Lestrade’s a bad influence on both of us,” Sherlock says as John crosses the room to stand next to him. He smells of beer and cigarettes himself, so he can’t possibly complain too loudly about Sherlock’s cigarette smoke.

“What are you talking about?” John asks. “Greg quit last month, you know that. And how is he a “bad influence” on me, anyway?”

“You’ve been much more tetchy about money this last week, hassling me about the shopping, bringing sandwiches to work instead of buying one from café across the street from the surgery. You’ve been lusting after Lestrade’s motorcycle since you saw it; ergo, you’re considering saving money to purchase one. As if you need it.”

“Well, someone has to hassle you about money, Sherlock, you pretend like you don’t have to pay for anything. Do you have any idea how much that last jug of ether you bought cost? And anyway, so what if I do want a bike? It’s not like its anything to do with you.”

“It’ll take resources from the partnership, John,” Sherlock explains patiently. The last thing he needs is to have John on a motorcycle all of the time, good God, he’d never get out of riding it with him at least occasionally.  “And we have hardly enough to spare to keep up the network.”

“You mean you have little to spare to keep up the network. That’s all your own doing, Sherlock, and I’ll spend my money how I like, what little of it there is.” John gives him a sideways look, something a bit more calculated than Sherlock would have expected. “What’s this really about, then? You don’t care two figs about money, unless you don’t have any. Is there something you care to share?” John’s fairly close to him now, voice low and cajoling and tinged with amusement.

Sherlock flicks his cigarette end out of the window and onto the street and slips back inside. “Not a thing,” he says, and turns toward his bedroom, brushing past John’s shoulder as he passes, the heat from his body seeping into Sherlock’s at the brief contact.

He feels it until he falls into a fitful sleep.


Sherlock wakes the next morning feeling more hung over than any person that hadn’t been drinking the night before had a right to be. The pack of cigarettes he consumed has made him feel sick and lethargic, which he shouldn’t be surprised about, given he hadn’t smoked for over six months at least. He groans and drags himself out of his bedroom and towards the loo. Splashing some water on his face seems to at least make him feel more alert, which is a good thing because what he’s confronted with in the kitchen immediately brings him up short.

John, in pajama pants and vest, hair askew and feet bare, pouring a cup of coffee. His arm flexes slightly as he lifts the coffee pot, and Sherlock follows the line of muscles from John’s shoulder to his wrist. His body is more defined than Sherlock expected, not rock hard, but solid, still strong.

Oh for fuck’s sake, Sherlock thinks, and is glad he’s wearing briefs under his own pajamas, today. He needs to sort this out, soon, or it could really become a distraction. John usually wears t-shirts or that ridiculous striped thing to sleep in, not white vest tops that show his shoulders. The skin is still pale, his scar showing in stark relief. Sherlock wants to touch it, wants to follow the line of John’s collarbones to his other arm, taste the skin of his tattoo to see if it tastes impossibly, indelibly marked.

John clears his throat and Sherlock realizes he’s holding a coffee out expectantly, one eyebrow raised in amusement. Sherlock snatches the cup and stalks back to the sitting room, dropping down in front of his netbook and sipping almost resentfully. Perfect, as usual, two sugars and just the right strength. Damn John and his vest tops, his predilection for motorcycles, his perfect coffee and his gentle face.  It’s a difficult thing, to feel this for someone he lives with, knows more intimately than anyone else; my God, how would it even work? Would he then be beholden to the one person that might actually have a claim? No, John’s never been that possessive. Perhaps it could be a singular occurrence, a quick shag to get it out of his system. Yes. That sounds reasonable for everyone involved.  John certainly seems like he wouldn’t object if Sherlock proposed…well, he isn’t sure exactly what he’d propose at this point, honestly.

He stands abruptly and walks back into the kitchen, finding John rooting through the cupboards for some kind of breakfast. He’s standing so close his breathing is ruffling John’s hair, fingers itching to touch at the slightest hint of permission, but John doesn’t flinch, simply continues pouring his bowl of cereal. He suddenly spins around, nose almost touching Sherlock’s chin and says, “You’ll have to do a bit better than that, mate,” and slips out from between Sherlock and the counter, taking his bowl to the sitting room to eat and leaving Sherlock staring after him, completely flabbergasted.


Forty-eight hours later and Sherlock is vibrating from the tension. John’s been nonchalantly going about his days, acting as if nothing strange had passed between them two days before, passing him cups of tea and the newspaper without comment, other than “Looks like you might have a case soon, Sherlock” or “Well, you did say they’d find that girl in the Bahamas, well done.”

It’s reassuringly normal, but Sherlock is a bit perplexed on how to proceed. John obviously knows that something is going on, but he’s resolutely leaving it for Sherlock to deal with on his own. It’s incredibly frustrating; navigating treacherous emotional waters within his own life, with a person he respects, is an unknown quantity. Even if he were to try – well. John knows he doesn’t like or want the trappings of normal relationships, can’t be hemmed in by expectations he’ll never meet, or even try to meet.

Sherlock looks over at where John is pecking away at his laptop, and realizes – yes, John does know that. He knows all of that, and yet he’s still around, making eggs around piles of glassware and jars of eyeballs and anything else Sherlock managed to filch from the lab, eating breakfast with a skull grinning at him from the mantelpiece, and generally reveling in the mayhem Sherlock’s life becomes on almost a weekly basis. Seemingly open to more than that, too, a partnership on a deeper level than paying bills and arguing over whose turn it was to clean the sink.  Given everything they seem to share thus far, it’s entirely possible that absolutely nothing would change, if Sherlock would just take the chance. Perhaps he could indulge with someone who might, for the first time, understand him.

It’s such a startling thing to contemplate Sherlock actually sits stock still for five whole minutes before he realizes he could do something about it, but still unsure if he should.

“What do you think, the silver or the blue?” John says, and Sherlock is abruptly torn from his fantasies back into the quiet afternoon. He looks at John, who has turned his laptop screen toward Sherlock, looking at him expectantly for an answer to a question…ah, yes. Of course. Which motorcycle he should consider purchasing. Two bikes are shown side by side, one a shiny silver, one a deep midnight blue. Sherlock swallows.

 “You couldn’t possibly have the money saved by now,” he starts.

“No, but I do have a downpayment. These are used, a few years old, but still nice.”

Sherlock stands and steps up behind John’s chair, placing both hands on John’s shoulders and seeming to contemplate the screen but really feeling John’s body tense and watching his pulse quicken in his throat. “The blue,” he whispers.

 “Blue, is it? I’ll keep that in mind,” John says, quirking a smile that Sherlock can see reflected slightly in the screen.

Sherlock feels a bit jittery. His hands are twitchy where they rest on John’s shoulders, the indecision apparent in his jumping fingers. “It would be a nice color for you. Complimentary.”

 “Complimentary, eh?” John says. “I think maybe you have a bit more of a personal interest in my bike than you’d like to let on.” John’s squirms a bit and pulls Sherlock’s hands away from his body so he can stand up and grasp Sherlock’s beltloops, pulling him in before Sherlock can blink. “Admit it, you think it sexy, me riding a motorcycle.”

Sherlock ducks his head and his ears burn. Caught after all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, that’s not at all what I was told,” John teases, stroking Sherlock’s sides with his thumbs.

“Lestrade’s a worse gossip than Mrs. Turner,” Sherlock frets, frowning.

“In so many words, yes. Come on, you’ve been watching me like a hawk for a week. What is it, then? You like watching me throw a leg over?”

Sherlock wants to back away but John has him held fast. “No,” he starts, but he knows John will hear the lie in his voice. If he says much more, he’s doomed.

“Yes it is. You like seeing me holding something fast between my legs, something sleek and powerful. Taming it. Doesn’t that sound about right?”

Sherlock almost whimpers at the dusky note in John’s voice.  He’s feeling almost helpless against an aroused and prowling John, and his defenses are crumbling faster than he can find reasons to keep them up. This could be a disaster, but he’s going to have to trust that John won’t let it become one. His body surrenders before his mind and Sherlock wraps his fingers around the back of John’s neck, bowing his head. “Yes,” he whispers. “God yes, it’s all I can think about.”

John pulls him in tighter, eyes triumphant, ghosting his lips along Sherlock’s wrist. “So, were you going to wait until I had a bike and then pounce on me one day?”

Sherlock sucks in a breath at the touch. “I might have. But I get the feeling you weren’t going to let me, once you thought you had an in.”

“Oh, I have an in, all right,” John growls, “and I’m taking advantage of it now.” He slides one hand around Sherlock’s neck and tugs gently, pulling him down to press his lips gently against Sherlock’s, kissing him softly but with intent, making Sherlock’s heart race and his breathing stutter. Kissing John is more than nice, more than fine. It’s electric and frightening and delicious at once, tasting his skin, feeling slight stubble over his top lip. Sherlock wraps his arms around John’s body, holding him there, thinking that kissing could be all they ever do and he’d be satisfied with it.

That is, until John slips his hands from Sherlock’s waist and reaches around to grab his arse, squeezing. “Ohhh, yes,” he groans against Sherlock’s mouth. “Wanted to do that forever. Christ that ‘s fine.”

Sherlock’s brain shifts focus immediately to the feel of John’s hands on his rear, and wonders what happened. Wasn’t this supposed to be his fantasy?  Well, perhaps partially. It’s fairly obvious now that John’s had plenty of time to work out what he wants, so Sherlock reciprocates, pushing his fingertips under the back waistband of John’s jeans, getting about as far as the curve of his arse before the tight fabric halts his progress.

“So I’m not the only one with inappropriate thoughts about my flatmate,” Sherlock says, and dips his head to nuzzle John’s neck. God, he smells good, that warm John smell he has, recognizable in a crowd of a hundred people and something Sherlock could find blindfolded.

John hums happily. “Oh God, no.  Just didn’t think you’d be interested. Hey, stop that now,” he says, as Sherlock starts unbuckling his belt under the distraction of sucking the side of John’s neck below his ear. Sherlock’s fine with discussing any and everything, provided they just make some progress toward getting naked. Stopping now is a bit of a mystery, and not the enjoyable kind.

“Well, I’m interested,” he murmurs.  “I want to see you naked. Now, preferably.”

John laughs, and Sherlock feels slightly put out. He wasn’t trying to be funny.

 “Half the fun is the journey, or didn’t anyone ever tell you that?” John slides a finger between the buttons of Sherlock’s shirt, stroking his skin softly. Sherlock moans, feels his body heat and flush, his spine melt. Oh, John’s going to be dangerous for his sanity, he can tell.  

“Come on, loverboy, let’s go,” John says, and takes him by the hand.


Sherlock is still working on his buttons long after John is completely nude.

To be fair, he was distracted, watching John strip down, completely uninhibited and clambering on the bed to lie casually on his back, his hands tucked behind his head and a perfectly mouthwatering erection on prominent display.

“This will go better once your clothes are off,” he teases, and Sherlock curses as a button goes skittering across the floor in his sudden haste.  Nerves are blooming in his chest, something he’s not felt in quite a few years. He’s rather aware that he and John may have similar amounts of experience in this area, but Sherlock’s never felt the need to please, to give pleasure quite so strongly as he does right now. That must mean something, he thinks.

“Hey,” John says softly from the bed. “Come out of that brain of yours. This is just icing, Sherlock. No expectations.”

 Sherlock lets out the breath he didn’t realize he was holding and drops his trousers and tries to kick them off, almost tripping when they wrap around his toes and John’s laughing now. Sherlock growls his impatience, finally shakes his left foot free and all but leaps on the bed, crouching over John’s body and kissing him quiet.  He can feel the heat of John’s body where it’s trapped between his knees, and instantly he’s skittering along six lines of possibilities of how to bring them together until John arches under him and he’s lost. The sensation of John’s erection against his belly, then against his own is beyond words, beyond anything more than stretching his body out to fit between John’s thighs, still kissing, gasping his pleasure.

John smiles against his lips, a dirty little grin that has Sherlock pulling back and looking at him and wondering what he’s up to just as John pushes his shoulder and wiggles out from underneath Sherlock’s body.

“Let me,” he says, “I know you’ve at least thought about it.” It takes Sherlock a half-second to catch on to what John’s talking about, and when it does click into place, Sherlock scrambles to comply, laying flat on his back, his head propped on the pillows.

Sherlock almost bites through his lip when John swings his leg over, straddling Sherlock’s thighs, settling himself right behind Sherlock’s aching cock. Sherlock slides his hands up John’s thighs, reveling in the feel of the taut muscles under his fingers, circling his thumbs into the skin around John’s pelvis, making his cock twitch and jump at the contact.

“Jesus, Sherlock,” John pants.

“Nice, yes?” Sherlock asks, and does it again, making John jump and swear. Sherlock’s enjoying this, making John flush and bite his lip, his body almost involuntarily shifting forward to press his cock against Sherlock’s. It’s going to be over too fast, but Sherlock can’t stop himself as he grasps their erections between his palms and begins to stroke.  John drops forward, head drooping, and releases a long, broken moan.

“Yes, Sherlock, yes, God so good, so good, good, good…” and John’s chanting, his hips shifting and eyes screwed shut, the sound hitting Sherlock straight in the libido, sparking the build of his own orgasm until it peaks, coating his hands and increasing the slip-slide over John’s cock until with a final pull he’s over the brink as well, collapsing on Sherlock’s chest in a pile of sweat and come and warm, lovely John.

He wraps his arms around John’s body and takes a deep breath to steady himself.  Contentedness washes over him, and when John picks his head up to prop his chin on Sherlock’s chest to give him a full, searching and slightly questioning look, Sherlock can’t help but smile.  John grins back, then pushes himself up on his arms to look Sherlock directly in the face.

“So, the blue, then?” he asks mischievously.

The utter, blessed normality of John’s never –ending preoccupation is so perfect that Sherlock can’t help but chuckle. “Yes, John, definitely the blue.”


“Oh, for God’s sake, Sherlock, is that going to happen every single time?”

Sherlock is pressed up against John’s back as they wait at a signal in central London, and Sherlock is pestering John with his second erection of the morning. He can’t help it; he fits so perfectly around John’s body this way, even if his knees sometimes get in the way.

“I thought you loved turning me on,” Sherlock says, probably louder than he should, even with the engine muffling his words. He sneaks a hand under the side of John’s jacket, pinching his side lightly and making John suck in a breath.

“All right, I’ve had it,” John yells, and six streets later pulls into an alley, stopping the bike quickly and getting off, leaving Sherlock to slide forward on the seat and balance the bike himself for second before he knocks down the kickstand and takes off his helmet.

 John rips off his own helmet. “You’re trying to kill me. I can’t even get halfway across town without you getting hard!” He stops, stares at Sherlock sitting casually on his bike, holding his black helmet gracefully against his hip and John licks his lips. “Oh God. I see your point now.”

Sherlock lifts his hand in an “I told you,” gesture and John breaks, grabs him by the lapels of his leather jacket and pulls him down to growl in his ear.

“I think it’s time you get to ride.”


Title from "Little Red Corvette," Prince.