John goes out for brunch with a young woman he met in a shop.
They strain through smiles at each other for an hour while John checks his phone and Elizabeth drinks her coffee.
The good doctor pays the bill, and she unties her hair as she leaves.
The former soldier finds his mates tucked away in the corner of a pub, but they’re easy enough to find because they laugh with a ringing clarity. John doesn’t want to admit that he’s relieved when Greg arrives, a firm hand placed on his shoulder. The conversation almost carries on without him. Sometimes he lets it.
“So, how’s the boyfriend, then?” Thomas asks, teasingly.
“S’fine,” John blinks back. “I mean he’s not…no, no, he’s, no,” he gestures loosely with one hand, as if he could find the words by drawing them up to his face.
“I’m sorry are we talking about Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes?” Greg leans in, a quick, clarifying question. “This is the bloke that’s never been on a date in his bloody life, has not a single social grace to bless himself with and doesn’t even have any friends never mind a girlfriend or a boyfriend – that Sherlock Holmes?”
Everyone laughs. John smiles. He laughs enough.
The captain returns to Baker Street to find it empty. Harry hasn’t called yet. John turns the newly-arrived post over in his hands – he settles down in a clear spot and pays a few bills with The Science of Deduction an open tab in his browser. He debates having a shower while he checks the rest of his emails and drums his fingers on the table. The good doctor does something else entirely.
Should I order in, then? – JW
I’ll be late. – SH
The usual. Let it go cold. – SH
John nods, and orders the usual. He eats alone, nodding intermittently as if to reassure himself.
Sherlock returns when John is in the shower. The captain finds the detective shovelling chow mien and soggy won tons into his mouth.
“So.” John starts.
Sherlock looks up, light in his eyes. “Think this might be one for your blog, Watson.”
“Mm? What’ll we call it, then?”
“The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor.”
“And how come you didn’t invite me?”
Sherlock tells the story. John’s not sure he’ll write it all down.
But he’s sent to bed after nearly falling asleep in his chair, and so he climbs under the bedclothes but finds he can’t sleep. Something about being told to go to bed by a 35-year-old man is not altogether conducive to sleep, John thinks.
He climbs out of bed, and wanders down the stairs, half-opening his mouth along the way.
The taller man languishes in his chair, laptop half-propped up, hand stuffed in the seat of his pyjama pants.
“Mm,” he says, in rumbling, quiet surprise, and shuts the lid of the computer. He neatens himself in half a second, but his curls are curlier, somehow.
“… sorry, actually, is that my laptop?”
“Mm? Yes, mine’s,” Sherlock gestures loosely, but can’t quite find words yet. He smiles, sheepishly, bashfully, then giggles.
“… sorry,” John stands up taller. “Were you looking at gay porn on my laptop?”
“… what made you come to the conclusion that it was gay?” Sherlock asks, an innocent question.
The good doctor stops almost entirely. “Well. There’s…um, I mean, it’s fine…”
“I know it’s fine,” The detective says, baritone cut clean. And then, he has an idea. “John, if you wouldn’t mind there’s something I’d like to try,” he arches his eyebrow towards his bedroom, and slinks off, and John follows.
“Sherlock this is mad,” the former captain says, even though he knows it’s not in protest.
“I can see you,” he murmurs, pausing, delicate hands sliding under the fabric of Watson’s shirt. “When you come out of the shower.”
“Is there not like…special glass or something that’s supposed to..?” John doesn’t finish his question and hooks his fingers into Sherlock’s dressing gown.
“Mm. But I get an idea. I can see your shape.” The detective leans in and kisses him along the nape of his neck, into the curve of his collarbone and along his throat. “Have you seen me?”
John’s ears burn scarlet. They fall into each other, into the mattress, a tangle of limbs and the corners of a stubborn, silken robe and slippers.
“Sherlock,” John breathes, when the other man’s hands are all over him and it’s much warmer in the bedroom than it ever had any right to be. “You said you wanted to try something…?”
“Oh. Yes. Thank you Watson,” comes the rumble between mouthfuls of flesh. The detective slinks downwards, feline, long and effortless, until his cheekbones skirt the pale inner part of the captain’s thighs. He kisses downwards, slowly, taking his time, cupid’s bow working into the curve of soft skin. John inhales sharply, sharply enough for Sherlock to pause, even though he’s poised and his mouth is half open.
“Yes, yes, okay, yes, christ get on with it.”
Sherlock opens his mouth a little wider, just enough to taste him, just enough to lick him clean. He’s playful, again feline, like a cat, licking and lapping. John tastes clean, like warm water and wool and straw. And sweat. Musician’s hands settle into John’s thighs, while his mouth sinks further, and more urgently, decisively.
The good doctor moans until he manages to hold the noise back by holding his fist over his mouth. The other hand sinks into Sherlock’s hair, guiding him in, and never out.
It doesn’t take him long. He comes hard, waves of the orgasm ebbing out slowly, lingering in his limbs. Sherlock giggles again. John smiles and pulls the other man towards him.
“Happy birthday,” he says, face now half into a pillow.
“You git. I thought you’d forgotten.”