“Here you are sir, soft boiled egg, five minutes to the dot as per your request. I’ve even peeled it for you.” John set the egg down in the little blue cup he had ‘borrowed’ from Mrs Hudson. On his bent forearm he wore a tea towel and he bowed like a waiter to Sherlock. The detective arched an eyebrow as John made his way round the other side of the table.
“Is this a joke?”
John looked up from his tea and smirked.
“Why is my egg wearing a hat? A poorly knitted woollen hat to be precise.”
“You’re always precise dear,” John mumbled around a mouthful of toast.
Sherlock looked around for something to flick at John and settled for poking his tongue out at the doctor. He glowered at the hat in distaste.
“It keeps the egg warm until you’re ready to eat it.”
“I’m ready now,” Sherlock pouted.
“Then what are you waiting for?”
Sherlock would have flipped him off but… well. He reached out and tried to lift the hat but his fingers were heavily bandaged and clumsy. It took three attempts but Sherlock finally got the infernal garment off by sheer determination. He was sweating by the time he picked up the knife and it wasn’t without a wince. The cutlery was too heavy for his injured hands and he struggled to hold even one. The egg sat perfect and white in his cup and more importantly, untouched. Out of the corner of his eye, Sherlock could see John pretending not to watch him.
His cheeks flushed with shame. He was Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective. How could he not open and eat a soft boiled egg, bandaged hands or not? It was pathetic. So he resorted to a defence mechanism he usually reserved for Mycroft. “I’m not hungry now,” he tilted his head imperiously.
“Yes you are.” John’s voice softened. “You never ask for help, do you?” He stood up, stuffing a piece of toast into his mouth as he dragged his chair round the table. He misjudged the angle and when he sat, he was too close, his knee pressed firmly against Sherlock’s thigh. Neither man moved.
“Of course I don’t,” Sherlock croaked.
“Then,” John commented as he slit open the egg and selected a stick of toast to dunk, “it’s a good job you have a live in doctor who can also mind read.”
Sherlock was about to retort when the toast was brought to his lips and he had no choice but to bite. The creamy yolk escaped the bread at the last second and trickled down Sherlock’s lip. He whined in protest.
“Don’t, you’ll get your bandages mucky.” John pulled some kitchen paper off and wiped it away. It would have felt odd, mollycoddling Sherlock if it wasn’t obvious that he was enjoying it, in his own pampered way. He wondered how old Sherlock was when his mother first refused to feed him at the table or cut up his food. Still, Sherlock had a valid excuse now.
“It needs salt.” His voice was surprisingly gruff, deeper than usual and John watched him for signs of pain as he salted the egg.
“How’s the pain?”
Sherlock took another bite and flexed his fingers. “Seven when I move them. Otherwise it’s a steady five.” John winced in sympathy.
“Well, if you’re going to be a silly bugger with the Bunsen burner then you shouldn’t complain.”
“The bandages make it worse.”
“Don’t be daft Sherlock. You need to keep them on. Just a little longer.”
Sherlock sniffed. “And how do you propose I finish my experiments?”
“I think that ship sailed when you nearly set fire to the kitchen.”
“It was a controlled exper-” Sherlock whined as John stuffed another mouthful of egg into his open mouth. It nearly dribbled out again but Sherlock caught it just in time and chewed noisily, just to annoy John.
“Don’t do that,” John chided. In response, Sherlock opened his mouth, giving John a full view of the yellow and white gloop on his tongue. “You’re a pig!” John pulled his head back in disgust but he began to laugh, unable to stop himself.
Sherlock’s eyes shone with mirth and he steadied John who nearly fell from his chair. The doctor was a picture, his hair stuck up on end and jam on the collar of his faded dressing gown. Pale sunlight came in through the kitchen window and seemed to make John’s smile glow even brighter. It was a moment Sherlock wanted to capture, to hide away somewhere in his mind palace. Moments like this always felt stolen, like Sherlock was on borrowed time. He had a photo album in his mind palace; a collection of memories stored safely, each one protected by a sheaf of greaseproof paper. Much like the ancient fairy tale tomes with picture plates, the paper would obscure the image until it was peeled back to reveal vivid colours. Some of his favourites were just like this, the two of them mucking around in the kitchen, bickering over dirty plates or fingers in the breadbin. Others were post case highs, adrenaline fuelled laughter that nearly always ended in a game of cluedo or more memorably, that drunken game of cards, where John thought it would be a good idea to teach Sherlock poker.
“Sherlock?” The detective blinked. “Thought I lost you there.”
Sherlock was about to apologise but he saw the grin, almost affectionate.
“What were you thinking about?”
Sherlock cocked his head. “The integrity of Marlboro ash.”
“What?” John laughed, nervous. “Cigarettes, really? I thought you’d given up?”
Sherlock waved his arm in response, revealing a patch stuck to the curve of his bicep. “Just an experiment.”
“Right… you still hungry?”
Sherlock looked down at the half eaten egg. “It’s just too difficult…”
“You’re the one who wanted an egg.”
“I want bacon now.” He stuck his lower lip into a pout and blinked up at John.
“Oi, that look may work on Mrs Hudson but it sure as hell won’t on… me… Sherlock… Sherlock stop it.”
The detective was batting his eyelids almost obscenely and somehow his eyes were wide. “Surely, you can manage one bacon sandwich for your patient… You’re always telling me I need to eat more…”
“Sherlock… Alright, I will if you stop… doing whatever the hell it is you’re doing. Prat.” His chair scraped as he pushed away, grumbling to himself about idiot detectives and even more stupid doctors.
The absence of warmth was noticeable without John’s knee pressed there against his leg. He shivered and looked down at his hands. If they hadn’t been bandaged he might have tried to grab the doctor, to make him stay in the moment just a little longer. But John was already on the other side of the kitchen, opening the fridge. When the man bent to fish in the lower cupboard for a frying pan Sherlock’s breath hitched. The curve of his back was visible through the thin dressing gown and Sherlock could see the outline of his muscles, formed from hard years in the army. John never spoke about it, and now Sherlock understood why. It was the same reason as why Sherlock didn’t talk about his time abroad, almost like an unspoken agreement between the two of them.
Now Sherlock looked at the doctor more carefully. He studied the exhaustion that clung beneath John’s eyes in heavy bags and the way he held himself at the counter. Ah, so the nightmares were back then. Possibly triggered by Sherlock’s accident. Usually whenever he managed to hurt himself it affected John in some way, most commonly through nightmares and post traumatic incidents. So far though there had been no panic attacks, but he would watch more carefully for them now.
“Thank you,” he said softly as John set the plate down in front of him. The sandwich was much easier to lift with his awkward hands and his mouth was watering even before he took a bite. “S’perfect,” he mumbled around a mouthful.
John smiled to himself, face hidden by his mug.
For a time, the two men were quiet. John read his paper while Sherlock concentrated on eating, the two stealing secret glances at each other every now and then. Sherlock licked his lips, thinking about the way John sometimes mouthed the words he was reading and cleared his throat. Suddenly, feeling brave he spoke up.
“Would you like some?”
“I’m sorry?” John looked up from his paper.
“Well…” Sherlock glanced at the last portion of his sandwich and shrugged. “You did make it for me…”
“Yeah but…” John looked between Sherlock and the sandwich almost nervously, as if the detective was playing a trick. Sherlock smiled in a way he hoped was encouraging.
“It’s just a sandwich…” he held it up in offering.
“Alright…” Sherlock saw the moment John made his decision. The set of his jaw reminded him of the soldier John was, his battle plan set. Sherlock didn’t have time to react as John moved again to sit beside him, this time with a deliberate distance between their legs. Sherlock almost felt sorry for it. Almost. And then John was leaning forwards and the distance didn’t matter anymore. Briefly Sherlock felt his breath warm across his cheek. John was so close, too close and Sherlock could hardly breathe. Then the doctor’s steady gaze flicked up from the sandwich to Sherlock and the detective couldn’t have looked away, even if he wanted to.
Silence fell on the room. John inched forwards and carefully lowered his mouth over the food, all the while looking at Sherlock. The detective could have sworn he felt John’s lips, through the bandages and against his fingers which twitched in response. Sherlock didn’t even feel any pain in his burned hand as he brushed his padded thumb over the corner of John’s mouth.
“Crumbs,” he whispered hoarsely at John’s questioning gaze.
John blinked. “Oh.”
On the street outside a motorbike roared past, the only sound of life in the otherwise silent flat.
Sherlock’s eyes opened and closed rapidly as he tried to process the new information. “Oh. Well, that’s… good.”
John smiled warm and bright. It was a moment of now or never. THE moment and Sherlock couldn’t help himself. He pushed forwards until his knees were pressed up against John’s and the doctor met him half way for the kiss. It was almost premeditated. They fit perfectly, in synchronisation from the moment their lips touched. John’s hand cupped Sherlock’s cheek, his thumb stroked the sharp bone up to his ear and Sherlock shivered in response.
“Yeah… yeah,” John muttered between kisses. Everything was tender, from the brush of lips to the slide of John’s hand to support the back of Sherlock’s neck as he deepened the kiss. Sherlock whined, the noise soft through his gritted teeth. It was almost unbearable.
“My…” Sherlock licked his lips and ducked his head. “My heart is beating very fast John… and I feel a little light headed.” His fringe bounced on his forehead as he wavered in his seat.
John frowned and dropped his hands to the detective’s knees. He rubbed up and down Sherlock’s thighs reassuringly. “Sherlock, it’s alright. Look at me and take a deep breath.”
Finally their eyes met and both men nodded.
“I think so,” Sherlock mumbled. “Funny, I expected you to have the crisis at this point, not me.”
John blinked. “Idiot,” he laughed and pushed Sherlock playfully. “So… are you really alright?”
“It’s just a lot of information… Sensory… catalogues…”
“How about…” John leaned in again. “How about we try again and- and if it’s too much you tell me, yeah?”
“I’m not a child John.” Sherlock flushed, indignant.
“Well that’s a relief,” John murmured as he pulled Sherlock in for another kiss. This time it was more hesitant, John held back as he waited for Sherlock to catch up. It didn’t take long. Sherlock nipped at John’s lip and the doctor tightened his hand in Sherlock’s hair, moaning his encouragement. Sherlock lapped up the praise and on impulse he climbed into John’s lap. His awkward legs bumped into John’s as he struggled to get comfortable but when he slot into place above John it was perfect. The warmth between them grew and Sherlock revelled in it.
There was a pressure where John held his hair and Sherlock tipped his head back at the silent request, only to be met with more kisses, this time against his neck. Sherlock whimpered, his hands resting useless on John’s shoulders.
John’s fingers slipped over Sherlock’s chest and waited there a minute as he gauged the detective’s heartbeat. “You’re perfect Sherlock.”
The younger man flushed at the praise whispered into his neck and he turned his head to hide his face in John’s hair.
The doctor chuckled, a sound that vibrated against Sherlock’s skin. “You can’t be shy now, not now I know you can kiss like that.”
“What do you mean?”
“Shy boys don’t kiss like that.”
Sherlock grinned. His hair was mussed, cheeks pink and his eyes shone. He looked positively impish and something in John sparked.
“Come here.” He pushed forwards and Sherlock wrapped his legs around John’s back for support as he was kissed. “I want… Sherlock…”
He cupped John’s face with bandaged hands and sighed softly. It had been so long since Sherlock last held someone like this. And even longer since someone looked at him like that. Sherlock knew the look for what it was and he knew without doubt that he was loved. “Mine,” he growled, possession swelling in his chest until it almost suffocated him.
John could only stare, pinned by that gaze as Sherlock dropped his hips, pushing his arse against John’s groin. John threw his head back and groaned. “Oh god, Sherlock.” He thrust up and saw stars. How Sherlock knew to move his hips like that, like some obscene exotic dance was beyond him. Somewhere in the back of his mind he thought hysterically: Sherlock Holmes is giving me a lap dance and he was terrified he might laugh even as he thrust up to meet him. So good, so damned good it was almost sinful and John let Sherlock know as he huffed, licked his lips and pulled Sherlock down for more kisses. “Hold… hold on…” John stood and Sherlock squeaked as he wrapped his limbs tighter around the short man.
“John! What are you-?” He closed his eyes as John carried him over to the sofa. It defied logic that John should be strong enough to lift someone like Sherlock, but here he was, surprising Sherlock yet again.
John dropped Sherlock onto the sofa and climbed on top of him, their groins meeting again and Sherlock whimpered. John held Sherlock’s wrists steady against the arm of the sofa as he rocked into the detective’s pyjama clad lap. He was so warm, so god damned warm and John nipped at his neck as Sherlock writhed beneath him.
“John, John, John!” Sherlock’s legs tightened and his eyes widened. Then John felt something warm between them and he flushed with pride, knowing he had caused that.
Sherlock looked up, flushed and sweating and he laughed.
“That’s one of the most insane things we’ve done to date,” he replied, breathless.
“Shut up,” John grinned.
“No. Nah, it doesn’t matter,” he protested as Sherlock’s fingers fumbled at the man’s flannel trousers. “Sherlock… it’s okay really…” John’s face turned crimson and he ducked his head as he was pulled free.
“But I want to… John?” He looked up.
“You’ll ruin those bandages,” he argued weakly.
“Who said anything about using my hands?” He blinked up at John and the doctor’s breath hitched.
“Oh my god. Really?”
Sherlock bit his lip and nodded.
“Yes. Fuck, yeah.” He moaned as Sherlock moved further down the sofa, angling himself just right beneath Sherlock. “Tell me, if it’s too much…” He slowly lowered himself down into Sherlock’s mouth and watched him carefully. The heat was all consuming and John squeezed his eyes shut as he tried to even out his breathing. He couldn’t come now. Not now. Oh god…
Sherlock kept still, his eyes fixed on John.
John could feel Sherlock’s breath warm and stead against his stomach and he finally opened his eyes. “Oh Christ. I’m fucked. So fucked,” he whimpered as Sherlock swallowed around his cock.
John was mesmerised and he stroked Sherlock’s lip, touched where his skin was stretched over John’s cock and when Sherlock moaned it echoed through John. He brushed his thumb over Sherlock’s cheek and felt how full he was. It was incredible. And then he moved. Knees pressed against the sofa on either side of him, he began to rock into Sherlock’s mouth.
And Sherlock loved it. His eyes began to water but he never once blinked, never looked away from John and he tested John’s grip against his wrists. When John didn’t lessen his grip Sherlock moaned, his eyes rolled back and he sucked harder as something visceral sparked in his gut.
It was over too quickly, John couldn’t help himself. He squeezed Sherlock’s wrists, even as he moved faster, deeper and then he pulled out just in time. He came with a strangled groan, his face pressed into Sherlock’s neck.
Sherlock’s stomach was sticky and warm from where John had spent himself and he noted the cooling rate against the temperature of the air as John petted his hair. John was saying something But Sherlock was too distant, it was all too quiet and he revelled in the feeling of his scratchy throat and the adrenaline still buzzing in his veins.
“Sherlock did you hear me? I said I love you.”
Sherlock blinked and John’s stomach dropped. He didn’t say it back. Oh fuck. Why? What had he done wrong?
“Don’t be obvious John, it doesn’t suit you.”
“And I love you too, just for the record. Thanks for breakfast.”
John laughed; that ridiculous, breathless high pitched laugh that always warmed Sherlock. “Idiot.”