Synopsis: John & Sherlock go undercover at a gay bar
Written for Kyna
Fluff again, smut in pt 5 (I meant for smut, it didn’t happen because… reasons)
With night setting in and a chill in the air, Sherlock opted to simply add a short-sleeved hoodie and the same black leather jacket he had worn the night before to his attire. Soon after, they hit the bar for another night of detective work. John was significantly more informed about the mission this time around but also increasingly conflicted about his feelings for Sherlock. He had no time for a sexual identity crisis when there was a killer to catch, though.
The night was off to a slow start. John was nursing a mediocre but incredibly overpriced beer, and Sherlock had wandered off to… wherever the fuck he goes to observe. The first man to approach John that evening was about his own age. Nice change of pace. At least I don’t feel like a paedophile tonight. He looked like money, and he was more than mildly interested in taking the Army doctor out some time.
“Sorry, this one’s taken.” Sherlock smirked over John’s shoulder, his arms dangling flaccidly around John’s neck.
“Maybe this one doesn’t want to be taken by you anymore.” The man bristled as he stood his ground.
John’s eyes went wide. This could be fun.
“This one,” Sherlock hissed through gritted teeth, “as you insist on continuing to refer to him, has stayed with me through much more pressing situations than you could possibly imagine in your feeble little mind.” Sherlock’s grip tightened around John’s chest. “He’s likely the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you or anyone else take him from me.”
John couldn’t be sure if Sherlock was simply in character or if he had possibly been more honest than intended. He hoped for the latter, but feared the former. His thoughts were soon interrupted, though.
The man’s gaze dropped right back to John’s face without so much as an acknowledgment of what Sherlock had said. “It sounds like someone’s a bit possessive and insecure. What do you say I show you what it’s like to be with a real man?”
Sherlock’s fists clenched, and his heartbeat was pounding faster and faster in John’s ear.
John’s eyes narrowed. “A real man? Are you suggesting he—” John glanced up at Sherlock. “—isn’t a real man? Because, from where I’m standing, that’s a very dangerous thing to do.”
The man scoffed. “This daft sod who thinks he can tell me what I can and cannot have? It’s not a suggestion, love. Consider it an outright declaration. This pathetic excuse of a—” His words were choked off by one of Sherlock’s massive hands, which appeared to be gripped rather tightly around his throat.
John chuckled. “What was that? I didn’t catch the end of it.”
The man clawed wildly at Sherlock’s wrist and forearm, but the leather did well to protect him. “Leh go’v me y’fckin psychopath.”
“High. Functioning. Sociopath. PAY ATTENTION.” Sherlock’s fingers dug further into the already strained muscles of the man’s neck.
“Darling, darling.” John spoke in a calm, steady voice and rubbed Sherlock’s arm soothingly. “I can’t have you going to jail over this wanker. I can’t bear to think what would happen to someone who looks like you…” He trailed off, unconsciously chewing on his bottom lip, because he could bear to think about it. In fact, he could think of little else. Except, it wasn’t some random inmate, it was him he pictured plunged deep with Sherlock moaning beneath him.
Sherlock let John loose, snapping the doctor back into reality. “Well, that was tedious,” said the detective. “Less covert than intended, but needs must.”
John quickly realized he had no idea what must have transpired while he was… distracted. The man who had once been in front of him, turning blue and gasping for air, was gone and the possessive warmth of Sherlock’s arms around his chest had completely dissipated. How bloody disappointing. “That…” Sherlock had already disappeared into the crowd once again.
The next stretch of time felt like an eternity, John couldn’t even be sure the killer would show up. He certainly hadn’t the night before. Maybe Sherlock was wrong for once. As he drained his beer, another was thrust just under his nose.
“Here, gorgeous,” a new voice hummed, soft and sweet.
John looked up, surprised, and took the offering. “Me? Gorgeous?” Thirities. Tall. Strong. Attractive. Confident. “Th-thanks.”
“Are you kidding? If no one’s ever told you how gorgeous you are, you’re obviously hanging about in the wrong crowds.”
“I…” don’t know what to say. John’s mouth was still hanging silently open when the brazen man took advantage of its welcoming state, darting in for a kiss. The resistance the shocked doctor hoped to put up was severely lacking. When the man pulled away, John was stunned. “I need a drink.”
“You have one.” The mysterious stranger chuckled, nodding toward the beer in John’s hand.
“Oh.” John’s eyes widened. “So I do.” He raised it to his lips with every intention of taking a long, slow swig.
As the glass shattered and beer drenched the front of John’s shirt, he had no idea what was going on. A cursory glance in front of told him it was Sherlock’s hand which had knocked it away from his mouth and to the nearby bar where it shattered. At once, Sherlock was overtaking the man who had provided the drink without a single word. Is it because he kissed me? Is he… jealous?
Before he could ponder the meaning of the action for long, the air was ripped violently from John’s lungs. The stranger had a knife, and Sherlock hadn’t seemed to notice it yet. That careless bastard’s brought nothing but fists to fucking knife fight. John didn’t need an explanation before his fist met the knife-wielding stranger’s jaw. It knocked him back but not out, which was more than mildly disappointing. Nonetheless, it gave Sherlock time to shrug off the leather jacket that was constricting his movements, quite a detriment under the circumstances.
John found himself rather rudely… protectively?… shoved out of the way once Sherlock was free. He stumbled back, surprised by the force. Sherlock either really wanted him out of the way, or he was desperate to keep him safe. The latter reeked of sentiment, so it was the less likely of the two. Just as his he got his bearings about him, he saw the knife once again. That knife he had tried so desperately to remove from the violent equation was about to split Sherlock open. With his brain feeling like it was short-circuiting, John charged headlong into the attacker’s mid-section. He was successful at subduing the man, but it came too late to keep the sharpened steel from penetrating Sherlock’s left shoulder, though it was impossible to tell to what extent. John’s mind was consumed with nothing but thoughts of Sherlock’s well-being, but the man writhing angrily under the weight of his body had to be attended to first, even if the weapon had skidded several feet out of the man’s reach.
The loud clack of metal on concrete startled John, but he was relieved to see a pair of handcuffs on the floor beside him. He quickly retrieved them and clipped them on the assailant before getting to his feet, dragging the newly cuffed killer up with him. He shoved the man toward a nearby bouncer, leaving him to deal with the further detainment duty until the authorities could arrive. He sprinted toward Sherlock, who had already shrugged his jacket back on and phoned Lestrade on his mobile.
“Are… are you okay?” John whispered to Sherlock, trying hard not to interrupt too terribly, but his answer came in the form of Sherlock’s palm in his face. Well, he obviously didn’t sever whatever it is that makes him such a dick. John waited impatiently until the detective ended his call.
“I’m fine, John,” Sherlock said, coolly answering the worried doctor.
“But I saw him strike you. Let me see.”
“It’s fine,” he repeated, his tone suggesting he had no intention of discussing it further.
After Lestrade and his men had come in to properly apprehend the killer and gush over Sherlock’s brilliance, he and John were in a cab back to their hotel.
“Where… uh… where did you get those handcuffs?” John asked awkwardly.
“I always carry two pair, just in case.”
John nearly choked as he inhaled. Two? He still has a pair with him? “If I might ask, why two?” He cleared his throat.
“Criminals often work in pairs. Yes, some work alone, even most. Many require a partner, though. Groups, however, are much less common—”
“Okay.” John cut him off. “I get it. I’m sorry I asked.” He’s fucking exhausting. Sometimes, I just wish I could shut him up. He was already counting the ways he’d like to try.
When they eventually made it back to their room, Sherlock perched on the edge of the bed and shrugged off the leather jacket. John watched intently, practically boring holes into the detective’s likely injured left shoulder. His eyes went wide when he saw the dark staining of blood spreading ever wider into the fabric of Sherlock’s hoodie.
“Jesus, you’re bleeding everywhere,” John yelped, bolting for the bed. “Let me see.”
Sherlock wriggled away from him. “I told you, I’m fine.”
“I’m the doctor, and I’ll be the judge of that. Now, hold still.”
“No, John, please…” Sherlock was practically begging.
“I’ll be gentle, I promise.” John didn’t understand his hesitation.
In such a situation, the layers were proving to be a nightmare. As he carefully peeled off the hoodie, the size of the gash in the shirt beneath became evident. The fabric was ripped wide, and it was soaked through with blood from the neck, across one pectoral and down most of the bicep length sleeve. FUCK! John winced.
“Not good?” Sherlock asked warily.
“A bit not good, but I’ll take care of you,” John assured him.
Had he been even slightly less concerned about Sherlock’s well-being, John would have delighted in slipping his fingers under the hem of the grey tee and sliding it up the detective’s well-toned abdomen. He knuckles dragged gently along Sherlock’s sides, and even heavy with concern, he couldn’t help but feel… something.
Just as John was about to expose Sherlock’s chest and shoulders, the detective grabbed hold of the fabric to stop him. “No, please don’t.” It was nearly a whimper.
“I have to look, Sherlock. Plus, you incessantly wander the flat in naught but a bed sheet, and that’s only when I’m lucky enough to get you to cover up at all.”
“No… y-you… you won’t understand.” Sherlock had never sounded so desperate before.
John rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to deal with it. This is important.”
Sherlock sighed and reluctantly allowed his hand to fall away so John could slip the shirt up and over his head, being particularly mindful of the wound.
As Sherlock’s chest became visible, John saw the source of his flat mate’s discontent. “Are… th-those my dog tags? What are you doing with my dog tags?”
Sherlock wore an expression as close to shame as John had ever seen. “I knew. I told you that you wouldn’t understand.”
“It’s fine, but why? Where did you even find them?”
“You may think it’s ridiculous, but you can’t possibly understand the way my mind works.”
“Try me,” John said dryly. I just love being told how simple I am. Even his inner monologue had gone sarcastic.
“Well, sometimes I get a bit lost in my own obsession with cases.”
Oh? You don’t say!
“I couldn’t let that happen this time, though. There was more at stake. Yes, of course, I wanted to catch the killer. You, though… The prime objective…” He stared at his hands, fidgeting nervously in his lap. “My prime objective was keeping you safe… even if that meant losing the killer. Your dog tags kept my mind centered, prevented its usual wandering.”
John was stunned, speechless. My god, the man can feel. He cares… for me! He didn’t know how to process the information, much less how to deal with the fact that he cared for Sherlock in precisely the same way. Whether he hadn’t noticed it before, or just refused to recognize it, it was all true. “I’m glad you found them. Keep them.”
Sherlock searched John’s face for anger or dishonesty, but there was none for him to find. “Are you sure?”
“By all means—” John smirked. “—but your sentiment is showing.”
“Perhaps.” Sherlock’s lips twitched into a smile. “Is that such a bad thing?”
The Army doctor slowly shook his head. “Quite the opposite.”
“If you tell anyone, John… anyone… I’ll deny it and be forced to kill you. I don’t know if you realize this, but my brother practically is the British government. Yours wouldn’t be the first body he’s dealt with for me.”
“My lips are sealed.” John stood and crossed the room to the loo. He came back carrying a damn flannel. “Scoot up and lie back. I have to clean you up.”
“Is it bad?” The fear had returned to his voice.
“Not as bad as the blood made it look. You’ll certainly live.”
“Will we have matching scars?” Sherlock mused.
“Only if I shoot you. Don’t push your luck.” John dabbed gently at the tender tissue around the wound. “Stitches would be best, but only for cosmetic purposes. I’ll leave that up to you.”
“Leave it. I haven’t gained a new scar in quite some time. I almost look forward to it.”
(to be continued)