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In the Red

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She is brilliant and bizarre, frustrating at her best, cruel at her worst, hard-boned, edged, simultaneously butter soft, angry and beautiful and painfully reckless and stupid and John is achingly, ridiculously gone on her.

John is slowly but surely being driven mad by her.

“John. John.” She's bent over the back of her chair, curly mess of her shorn hair brushing the seat, white-knuckled hands gripping the leather arms. “Please, John. I'm begging. For the love. of. God.”

John watches her from afar, sipping her tea and munching on her little stack of hobnobs, the paper spread across her lap. “Are you quite finished?” she asks, entirely unimpressed, watching Sherlock writhe and stretch before uprighting herself with a scowl.

“Where'sit?” Her words are slurred and her face is red and, Christ, she's beautiful in an annoying sort of way, her eyebrows mussed and her tiny, secret hint of eyeliner smeared down her lower lashline and her hair nothing short of insane.

“Sherlock,” John sighs, running her palm across her face. “What the hell.”

“I beg you. I implore you.”

“I'm not shooting you, you right git.” She lips at the mouth of her mug and takes a slow drink. “Though I must admit, you're making it rather tempting, you are.”

Sherlock slumps to the floor, crumpling like an unmanned marionette. She clutches at her lower stomach. “You love me. You've said.”

“Did I, now?” John turns the page of her paper.

Yes. You've said.” Sherlock tilts her head so she can watch her girlfriend from the floor. “Just one shot'll do it, I s'pose.” She grumbles and twists onto her back, lying flat and tugging up the hem of her ratty blue t-shirt, exposing her smooth belly which she proceeds to rub with her palms. “Right 'tween the eyes'll be best.”

John grumbles right back and refuses to look at her. “You mad bugger.”

“Why've I still got this thing, anyway?” Sherlock asks the ceiling. “Curs-ed uterus and its hateful lining.”

“So you can carry our baby, o'course,” John deadpans, skimming the obituaries. “Gynaecologist says mine's useless.”

Funny. I will never.”

“Mm. May need to repopulate the planet, you know. And with your genes, those cheekbones...”

“I'm having it removed.”

“I'm thinking Winifred after me gran.” John smirks as Sherlock scrambles to her feet and bounds over to her laptop, suddenly hit with a spurt of energy. She watches as her mad girl researches hysterectomies for the eleventh time this year.

Loving Sherlock is like being brained by a cricket bat.

“Uteri are so terribly boring,” Sherlock announces several minutes later, closing her laptop and collapsing back on the sofa. “What a damned traitor, mine is. Twenty-three years of nothing but hellish agony.”

John rolls her eyes, fond despite it all, and folds her paper. “C'mere you great goof.” She tosses the paper onto the floor and pats her lap.

Sherlock, as if simply waiting for the invitation, rolls off the sofa and traipses her way over to John, her blue dressing gown hanging down in the back, hooked in the bends of her elbows, the ties dragging the floor. She climbs astride John, knees on either side of her hips, and wraps her arms around her neck, burying her face in her shoulder and inhaling.

John strokes her back, fingers brushing that knobby, knobby spine.

“You do realise,” she says, pressing a kiss to the tangled floof of hair nearest her mouth, “that you are the biggest drama queen that has ever existed.”

“You mock my pain,” Sherlock grumbles, a warm little muffle against John's t-shirt. “You mock me whilst I die. You won't put me out of my misery.” John feels a kiss pressed to her shoulder. “Wholly rubbish girlfriend, you are.”

John smiles. “Only the worst for you, my dear.”

Sherlock snuffles her way up John's neck to her jaw and presses a lingering kiss there, one of the purest of love and affection. “Why d'you never cramp? You've the most painless of periods every twenty-nine days and my bloody nuisance suicides at will with nary a warning.”

“You're punny.”

“You're unfair.”

John slides her hands under Sherlock's dressing gown and reaches round her back once more, hands rumpling the fabric of her t-shirt and getting at just the littlest bit of skin underneath. “You run yourself ragged, you're stressed, and your diet is crap.”

“Crime doesn't stop for menstruation, John.”

“Maybe your body should, Sherlock.”

Sherlock sighs at the calm stroking of John's hands and gives a sassy wriggle of her hips, getting comfortable. She's a warm weight across John's lap, a lovely substitute for the newspaper, and John finds herself drinking in the silence--the sweet silence interrupted by nothing but Sherlock's slow inhales, exhales.

Several minutes later, as John nears a state of lethargy, Sherlock murmurs, “The first time I got my period I was just off the Carl Powers case. Did I ever tell you?”

Coming back to herself, John slides her hands up under the back of Sherlock's top, rubbing at the warm skin and toying with the elastic band of her bra.

“I was on the tube back from the met, angry of course, the insufferable idiots. I remember the child to the left of me had the most awful music on his Walkman, and I was a breath away from confiscating it--”

“I'm shocked.”

“--when suddenly, I...knew.”

“Auntie Flo knocked on your door.”

Sherlock scowls. “Be serious, John.”

John grins and snaps Sherlock's bra. “That was a period story. Period stories can't be The bloody Bell Jar.”

“Punny fiend. Tell me yours.”

John laughs and slides her fingers back under Sherlock's bra band. “Sorry to disappoint, love, but mine was in the toilets at school. Had a bit of blood in me knickers, so I nicked a maxi pad off a girl in my English class.”

“Mm. Riveting.” The gentle, placid look on Sherlock's face betrays the sarcasm of her tone.

John smiles at her, just as gentle, and leans in for the softest of kisses.

John had kissed a total of five women before Sherlock, only two whilst sober, and only one for real. Sherlock had barely kissed anyone at all. The first had been just about the shyest thing in the world, and John was broken forever by it, drowning in a love that surpassed anything she had ever known.

Now, Sherlock kisses with experience, with a practised sweetness learnt through hours of quiet moments in bed, hours of pressing lips and searching fingers and synchronous breaths.

John holds her close and dear and tastes every bit of her mouth she can. She slides her hands round the band of Sherlock's bra, cupping at her small breasts and grinning against Sherlock's mouth, smile to smile.

“You know,” John starts, pulling back and chuckling up at Sherlock, who's hovering over her, breathless, like a hawk stalking its prey. “I know a fantastic cure for cramps.” Her hands still cup Sherlock's breasts, and Sherlock places her own hands over them through her shirt, holding them there.

“Brilliant. Tell me more,” she says, bending for another kiss.

Sherlock is the most difficult person in the world to strip, as she's just too damned long. Though not terribly tall, her limbs go for days. Her dressing gown catches on the bend in her elbows, the ascent of her top loses momentum once it reaches her hair, and her knickers always find themselves hooked around an ankle until Sherlock gathers herself enough to remove them with a kick.

John snorts as she disrobes, having given up on the girl, unfastening her own bra and tossing it in the general direction of the laundry basket. She watches Sherlock wrestle out of her sports bra as if fighting a small grey octopus before flopping down, supine.

On her back, her breasts are nearly non-existent, gravity flattening them to nothing but beestings with pink nipples slightly hardened from the cool air. Her torso is pale and lean, and her pubic hair, though groomed to be hidden whilst wearing knickers, is untrimmed and nearly as floofy as the hair on her head.

John smirks at her as she kicks away her own knickers and climbs onto the bed.

At first, she was self-conscious, unable to help comparing Sherlock's lean, flat body to her own, with its softness about the middle, stretch-marks at the hips, and its overall more rounded nature. But once they were together for the first time, once Sherlock's curious fingers stroked across her skin, her stretch-marks, the scar on her shoulder, the bit of cellulite on the backs of her thighs--once her mouth kissed her breasts, the apples to Sherlock's beestings, nothing mattered in the whole world.

To Sherlock, John's body was more interesting than her own, a veritable map of experience, information to be absorbed, textures to explore. That first evening, she'd examined every inch of John's body with the curiosity of a scholar, and though it wasn't always stimulating, it was endlessly lovely.

“You have such good breasts,” Sherlock had commented afterwards, after John had finally managed to wrestle her into a tangle of limbs, to kiss the whole of her and bring her to an adorable, shaking release. John had giggled for ages at that, loving her girl more than anything in the world.

Now, Sherlock pulls her on top of her as gracelessly as possible, John landing with an oof as her breasts are pressed tightly against Sherlock's bony chest.

“A bit eager, yeah?” John asks with a chuckle, shifting to get comfortable. She cages Sherlock in with her arms and bends to touch their lips once more.

Sherlock hmmfs and murmurs around a kiss, “I'm in such pain, John, truly.”

“Uh huh.” John kisses, kisses, sliding her mouth down Sherlock's chin, down her throat. She rubs a palm across Sherlock's breasts.

"You've the cutest tits," John likes to tell her, a mirror of Sherlock's comment that first night. And they are, really, the tiny things; it brings John the utmost glee to touch them.

"Don't say it," Sherlock murmurs today, catching on to John's grin.

John draws a nipple into her mouth and sucks, once, twice, before releasing with a squeaky pop. "Why ever not?"

Her face is devilish. Sherlock groans.


John smirks. "Your tits are adorable, but don't get me started on your--"

With the swiftness of the wind, Sherlock fastens both hands over John's mouth before she can say it; even the word embarrasses Sherlock beyond belief.

She laughs openly, outright, giggling as she tells John to "shutupshutupshutUP."

John twists out of Sherlock's hands and attacks her with kisses, grabbing at her face, sliding fingers into her hair, laughing at her red cheeks and smearing her mouth across every bit of skin she can reach.

"Why are you the way you are?" Sherlock huffs, smiling as she accepts the kisses, then gripping at John's waist and shoving her around a bit so she can climb on top.

She straddles her waist, sat properly on her belly, and John looks Sherlock up and down and says evenly, "The cup's in, right?"

"Cup's in."

"Then let me show you why I am the way I am." John gives Sherlock a bit of a tug by the hips as she says it, barely able to keep a straight face because it's such a line, such an awful line, but Sherlock simply sighs happily and shuffles up.

They tend to keep their sexual pursuits rather varied, engaging in a fairly balanced amount of oral, manual, penetration, and frottage. Though any single one of these things is enough to bring Sherlock to the edge of death and back, she always loses it when John gets her mouth on her clit.

Sherlock is ridiculously externally sensitive--much more so than internally, though the fullness of fingers or John's strap-on or, in this case, a menstrual cup, is always an added bonus. John takes Sherlock about the hips, fingers gently squeezing into all the soft bits, that tiny bit of padding that only exists now that's she's been properly fed up, and tugs her to her face.

She begins with her tongue, stroking it in gentle passes across Sherlock's small pink clitoris, which just barely peaks out between the folds of her labia. Sherlock grips the headboard and blows out a breath.

"That, uh," she starts, pressing a hand downwards, stroking through John's fringe.

John puckers her lips and gives Sherlock a bit of a sucking kiss followed by a rough series of stiff-tongued rubs. "Mmm," she hums, pulling back. "Good?"

Sherlock crumples a bit at the intense attention and gives John's hair a tug.

The record for bringing Sherlock off like this is one minute, nine seconds of constant stimulation. John tries for one minute, eight, bringing her fingers up to properly spread Sherlock open and continuing her sucks and rubs.

"Good, good," Sherlock whispers, a chant, releasing John's hair and bringing both hands to her breasts, gripping them aimlessly as she tilts her head back and groans.

John can tell when she's there, could tell, even, the very first time she ever brought Sherlock Holmes to orgasm, rubbing her through the bedsheet while they kissed. Sherlock approaching orgasm always tenses her belly and breathes in-in-in-in, four times, shaky, shaky things, before letting it out with the barest hint of a moan.

When John hears it today, she sucks rhythmically at Sherlock's clit and slides her hands up to massage at her pelvis, always two steps ahead of Sherlock in the sex department, knowing before even she does that she's skirting the edge as she groans:

"You're making me come."

John tips Sherlock over right before her crisis, having suffered too many watering eyes from being pubic-boned in the nose, and presses her entire mouth into her once she's got her on her back, opening wide and mouthing her as she breaks.

Sherlock arches her back and with a great groan, thrusts her hips up, up, riding John's face as she comes with an, "Ah-ah-ah" and a sigh.

John feels the muscles contract beneath her mouth, feels the pulsing at Sherlock's opening, and does everything in her power to prolong the pleasure for her girl, to make her feel as good as humanly possible.


She wipes her mouth on her hand when she's done and kisses her way back up Sherlock's body, stopping to pay special attention to her breasts, her erect little nipples, before landing at her lips.

"Hi," John whispers, so fond, bumping Sherlock's nose against her own.

Sherlock chuckles and wraps an arm around John's back, stroking up and down her spine. "Hi."

"Feeling better?"


"Good." John kisses her softly.

"You're so wet," Sherlock mumbles, fingers having made their way down John's sacrum and between her legs from the back. "What do you want?"

"M'not picky." John sighs, presses one more kiss on Sherlock's lips, and manoeuvres herself around to give Sherlock room to work. "Fingers."

Sherlock is happy to oblige, sliding two in easily and giving John a few gentle thrusts before pulling out to focus on her clit.

Nothing turns John on more than Sherlock rubbing at her--not being licked and sucked, not being fucked within an inch of her life. The first time Sherlock had done it, she'd shyly rubbed John with just the pad of her middle finger, petting at her gently before moving on to circular motions centred just to the side. She'd murmured that she didn't know what she was doing, sorry, that she was just doing what she'd always done to herself, and that had set John off like a firework, the knowledge that Sherlock touched herself like that surging through her belly and settling, deep and heavy, in her pelvis.

They twist around on the bed, now, kissing, Sherlock's fingers stroking John with a loving gentleness that matches the pace of their kisses.

"Fuck," John murmurs after several minutes, taking Sherlock's hand and sliding it downwards, wanting it in, in. Together, the two of them get John off, John stroking herself and Sherlock using three fingers inside, rubbing John's inner walls and alternating between thrusting and curling, searching out all the secret places that make John ache with pleasure.

"Please come, John," Sherlock whispers, leaning in and taking John's right breast in her mouth, tonguing her nipple. "Please, please. I want to feel you."

She moves around a bit, still working John with her fingers, and presses her damp vulva against John's leg.

John grips Sherlock's arse with her free hand, encouraging her to grind, and breathes out a pleasured sigh. "You going again?" she manages.

Sherlock pants. "Dunno. Challenging myself."

John grins and huffs because God, does she ever love her. Does she ever love her.

She comes thinking about it, biting her lip and stroking herself harder, harder, feeling Sherlock jerk inside her once she begins to feel the squeezes around her fingers.

"Oh my God," she mumbles, arching, pressing her head back into the pillows as her orgasm floods her body. Sherlock's got John's nipple back in her mouth, and she's riding her leg, the two of them locked in an incredible pleasure-tangle, panting hot breath and barely-voiced moans.

John's boneless when it's over, red-faced and sweat-streaked, a veritable limp noodle, and she's not got even the energy to groan with embarrassment when Sherlock removes her three fingers and examines the vaginal lubrication webbing them together.

She just huffs out "Jesus Christ" and closes her eyes.

The vibrator starts up a moment later, Sherlock having taken it from the bedside table drawer. John cracks open her eyes enough to watch Sherlock finish up, rubbing the rounded end of the bullet vibe against herself, her breath amping up and up until she finally collapses backwards onto the pillows with a sigh.

John rolls to take hold of her, pulling her close and giving her a kiss on the shoulder.

"And to think," Sherlock mumbles, clearly exhausted, herself, stretching out her legs before leaning to give John a kiss right back, "I went the majority of my sexually mature life without this."

"Mm. Best cramps-relief I know." John slides a hand down to pat affectionately around Sherlock's pubic area, stroking her skin and running fingers through the damp hair. "Good time to take some Feminax, though, as it's mostly the endorphins that are providing it."

Sherlock hums. "Or you can just service me for the next several hours until they naturally subside."

"Service you?"

"Orgasm is the best cramps-relief, you say."

John chuckles and gives Sherlock a little swat. "That vibrator of yours does a fantastic job of it, too."

"Mm. But you're my favourite sex toy."


With a grin, Sherlock cuddles up to John and kisses her cheek. She's silent for a moment, but then murmurs, so quietly, so gently, "I can't believe you're real. That this is real." She gives John's smaller body a squeeze. "When I was fourteen and just off the Carl Powers case--"

"When you got your period--"

"When I got my period-- I didn't like myself very much, you know. Well. I'm not sure that part has changed, but."

John twists so she can see her properly and tugs the blankets with her, pulling it over the two of them.

"The thought that I've got you is. Perplexing. Incredible. Frankly unbelievable to many, I'm sure."

"Sherlock, I've spent the vast majority of my so-called 'sexually mature' life forming false emotional and sexual attachments with a myriad of awful people whilst simultaneously being a bit of an awful person, meself. So the fact that you exist before me, and you're so beautiful and brilliant, makes my head spin."

Sherlock blinks twice, quickly, and buries her face in John's neck. "In what world is John Watson an awful person?"

John slides her palm, bump-bump-bump, down Sherlock's spine. "In what world is Sherlock Holmes undesirable?"

They rest in silence for a long moment, breathing each other in, feeling each other's warmth, their body heat a shared comfort passing from one body to the next.

"I love you in your entirety," Sherlock suddenly whispers, ending her statement by pressing a loving suck of a kiss against the heated skin of John's neck. "You are the most wonderful person I've ever known."

"And you're a work of art, Sherlock Holmes." John tosses a leg over Sherlock's hip and manoeuvers herself, shifting downwards so that they can kiss. They do for a moment, gently, no tongue but loving, capturing mouths. "There's entirely too much self-loathing in this bed," John whispers in the spaces between, sliding her arm up beneath Sherlock's fuzzy armpit and hooking it around so that her hand can play in her curls. "You take mine and I'll take yours?"

Sherlock huffs against John's lips and hmms in agreement.


They don't manage to leave the bed until two more orgasms have been had, John's with Sherlock's face buried between her legs while she chants, "I love you, fuck, fuck, I love you," and Sherlock's with John sliding the vibrator over her clitoris and nipples, sucking on her tongue and swallowing her cries.

Afterwards, John wrangles Sherlock into the bathroom, where she gives her a dose of Feminax for good measure and runs her a warm bath with a lavender fizzy. "I'll heat us up the Chinese if that's good?" she says on her way out, closing the door behind her to give Sherlock some privacy.

Sherlock makes a pleased sound in response.


They have their dinner on the floor in front of the fire, talking about nothing in particular and diverting a bit of their attention to the quiz show on the telly.

This is John's favourite part of being in love, she thinks, giving Sherlock's chin a gentle pinch with her chopsticks. Caring. Simply being there. Getting through period pain and emotional turmoil and helping each other survive through the anxieties of deep-seated fears.

Mrs Hudson pops in as they're finishing up the show, stretched out on the rug because their bellies are full.

"Alright, girls?" she asks, setting out a tray of chocolate biscuits.

Sherlock looks up at her and inquires, "How old were you when you went through menopause?"

John kicks her leg.

Mrs Hudson, always more than happy to discuss menstruation, arranges a few misaligned biscuits and returns, "Oh, Sherlock. Is your friend visiting?"

"Yes. Might I borrow an herbal soother?"

Mrs Hudson walks past and gives Sherlock a loving swat on the head. "If you girls want to know a secret that I found out with Frank, the best cure for the cramping is--"

"Mrs Hudson!" John and Sherlock yell in unison, covering their ears.

"Oh, you prudes! I'm a modern woman!"

John trains her eyes on Sherlock. "Sherlock, I swear to God. Did you have to--"

"And I'll have you know that I had a massager that I used until--"

"Ooh, my God."

"You're not the only ones who can enjoy an orgasm now and again."

"Please. Please."

Mrs Hudson giggles, absolutely delighted with herself, and snatches up a biscuit. She settles down into John's chair and watches, seemingly oblivious, as John and Sherlock begin to slowly scoot away.

"Now, did I ever tell you about the time me and Frank went to that nude beach in Bal Harbour?"