A Quite Ponderous Revelation (Sherlock/John, NC-17)
This Story Doesn't Want To Have Sex (Sherlock/John, PG-13)
The Mysterious Case Of The Stolen Money (Sherlock/John, Boeing NC-17 Globemaster III)
Inspector G. Lestrade: Vampire Hunter-Hunter (Sherlock/John, Lestrade/Molly, R)
Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery Of Who Farted (Sherlock/John, R)
He Who Watches (Sherlock/John, NC-17, Horror)
Epsilon Rising (John/Lestrade, NC-17)
Where Is My Food? (Sherlock/John, Scorpion Universe, R)
The Reichenbach Sting (Sherlock/John, Scorpion Universe, R)
The Meaning of Scorpion Life (Sherlock/John, Omegaverse/Scorpion Universe crossover, NC-17)
Terrarium Incognita (Sherlock/John, Scorpion AU)
A Touching Moment (Johnlock Drabble, NC-17, F-14)
Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery Of Why Are There So Many Dicks In His Mouth (Drabble, NC-17)
Series: Portentous Omens And Ominous Portents
Part I: Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery Of John's Butt (Sherlock/John, NC-17)
Part II: The Darker Knight (Sherlock/John, R)
John And Sherlock And Sex And Meat And Meat And Glistening Beautiful Meat (Sherlock/John, NC-17)
Two Ships Pass In The Night (Sherlock/John, NC-17, K-21)
Moriarty, James. “Love In The Labyrinth: A Deconstruction Of The Baker Street Incident.” Journal of Post-Modern Film 42.1(2013):80-107. Print. (Sherlock/John, NC-17)
Downpour (Sherlock/John, NC-16.5)
Series: Supernatural Ghosts
A Spooky Cemetery (Sam/Dean, R, 1/?)
A Cross to Bear (Gen, Case Fic)
I Did Not Stop For Death (Ghost!Sam/Ghost!Dean, R)
Harry Potter (TW: WIZARDS)
Hermione Granger Fucks Her Way Through History (Hermione/Ron, Hermione/Multiple, NC-17)
Harry Potter and the Skeleton Crown (Ron/Hermione, Harry/Draco, PG-13)
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Thor: The Brown World (Thor/Loki, NC-17)
No One Every Learns (Steve/Bucky, NC-17)
Hard Seas, Wet Oceans
- Current Mood: blank
Fandom: BBC's Sherlock
Word Count: 1057
Summary: John is worried about his financial future, and why shouldn't he be? Like millions of others he finds the treacherous landscape of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds overwhelming to navigate. Fortunately for John, Sherlock--with the help of Morgan Stanley Financial Services--is there to show him the way in the only manner he knows how: with his big, throbbing cock.
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“John, I’m home,” Sherlock called out as he stepped inside their apartment, slamming the door behind him. “And I have something important to tell you.”
John came out of the kitchen, where he’d been putting away dishes.
“Oh?” he asked, drying his hands on a towel.
Sherlock licked his lips.
“I want to fuck you in that place we both like,” he said, being sensually vague.
He lowered his volume to a mere-whisper. “You know. Down there.” He was talking about John’s butt.
John nodded. This was okay with him. He loved getting reamed by Sherlock’s monster cock after a long day.
“Sure,” he replied, dropping trou. “Just put it in when you’re ready.”
“Great,” said Sherlock. He took off his coat and scarf, smiling because he and John were going to do it soon. “But first I have some exciting investment opportunities to share with you.”
He sat down on their sofa and patted the cushion beside him. “Have a seat.”
John joined him wearing nothing but a shirt and a pair of flannel boxers, half-hard from all the words Sherlock was making.
Clearing his throat, Sherlock gently took John’s hand in his, holding it would like any man comfortable expressing his tender homosexual yearnings.
“John,” he began. “I know investing is scary for many people, but Morgan Stanley can help.”
John’s eyes widened. “Really?” His cock twitched at the possibility of contributing up to the yearly maximum to his personal pension plan. “Can Morgan Stanley really help me with my unique financial situation?”
“Yes,” said Sherlock sagely, unzipping his fly. He stroked himself a few times before placing John’s hand on his jumbo sausage (his penis). “Morgan Stanley covers all areas of your finances--including investments, education funding, lending services, financial planning, and managed accounts.”
John scooted closer, Sherlock’s cock hard in his palm.
“Wow,” he pondered aloud, grinding himself to full mast against Sherlock’s leg. “I could finally take out a loan to attend that heavily advertised technical school on late night TV.”
With great urgency Sherlock commenced unbuttoning his shirt.
“A sound financial decision,” he said, throwing it to the floor. “But you’ll need to think about whether you should consider a margin, or ‘purpose’ loan--a revolving line of credit primarily used to purchase additional securities--or a non-purpose loan, which gives you access to a flexible line of credit, allowing you to finance almost any personal or business need with minimal fees.” He leaned forward and kissed John hungrily, parting John’s trembling lips with his tongue.
“Oh god,” John gasped when Sherlock finally pulled away. “That sounds so complicated!”
Sherlock quickly did away with John’s shirt and ran his hands along the exposed skin. “Don’t worry. A dedicated Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley can provide you with essential advice to help you reach your many financial goals.” Needing more, he pulled John onto his lap and rubbed their cocks together like two corporations about to enter into a merger, one a towering multibillion-dollar entity, the other a smaller, independent firm staged for growth.
“Yes,” John whimpered, arching his back. “I need your guidance. I need it so hard.”
On the brink of a premature shortsale, Sherlock pushed John onto his back and yanked a condom out of his pocket. Safe sex is important, but so is knowing that mutual fund products are not insured by the FDIC like traditional deposit products. Always engage in safe banking practices.
“Have you considered diversifying your portfolio with Morgan Stanley’s abundant selection of mutual fund offerings?” he groaned as he prepared his impressively large penis for all the sex he was about to have.
John was so aroused he could barely respond. “I . . . I don’t know. Help me understand.” He spread his legs and drew his knees toward his chest, eager to be drilled on the best way to improve his earnings.
Taking the signal, Sherlock lifted John’s ass and pressed his cock against that forbidden region they rarely spoke of but both agreed felt really good.
“Well,” he grunted as he slowly entered John’s danger zone, perspiration forming on his forehead, “mutual funds can utilize their buying power to achieve greater portfolio diversity than you would typically attain investing on your own.” Once snugly inside he wasted no time initiating an aggressive takeover of John’s assets, hammering away at his net worth with wild abandon.
John squirmed beneath him, desperate for more information.
“Tell me how-!” he cried as Sherlock fucked him like a subsidiary corporation left holding a toxic mortgage asset during the 2008 financial crisis.
Panting, Sherlock did his best to explain.
“Because a mutual fund’s portfolio can hold a range of securities, the fund’s success isn’t depending on how one or two holdings perform,” he said between breaths, gripping John’s thighs.
Shuddering mid-thrust, he added, "You and your--nngh--Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor will work together to define your--aah-- goals and design a strategy to help achieve them."
John moaned so loudly Mrs. Hudson probably heard from the floor below.
“Don’t stop,” he rasped out, sliding a hand up and down his cock like the rise and fall of an in-demand security on the open market. “What about ss-strategic wealth planning?”
Sherlock wasn’t sure how much longer he could last, but he endeavored to keep going to ensure John’s satisfaction.
“You also . . . you also have access to the insights and asset allocation advice of the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Global Investme--ungh--Investment Committee.” He felt himself about to come and threw his head back, fingers digging into John’s skin.
This drove John over the edge.
“I’m so close,” he hollered, tears forming at the corners of his eyes so intense was the pleasure. “I’m so close to financial security-!”
With Sherlock’s investment capital buried an unspeakable number of inches deep in John’s ass, they climaxed in near-perfect unison. A stream of highly liquid dividends shot out of John’s cock and landed on his chest as he came.
When they’d finished Sherlock pulled out and lay down beside a now totally spent John as much as their small sofa would allow. Putting his mouth to John’s ear, he murmured, “Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy of its investment or market insights and cannot be held liable for any use you may make of this information.”
- Current Mood: enthralled
Fandom: Sherlock BBC (Scorpion AU)
Summary: A terrestrial arthropod coming of age tale.
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Spring semester at Scorpion High was in full swing. Sherlock Holmes, a third year scorpion and the school’s brightest pupil, sat atop some pebbles and strained to pay attention while his first-period teacher demonstrated stinging on a crinkly, serrated leaf. He normally had no trouble staying attuned to his lessons, given he didn’t already know the material, but lately he’d been overcome by confusing instinctual urges. At any moment at least three to six of his eyes were drawn to the sturdy, rippling exoskeleton of Scorpion High’s star Stick And Rock player, John. John was a fourth-year and several months Sherlock’s senior. Rumor had it he’d fertilized half a dozen females, and twice that number had tried to eat him. He displayed advantageous physical characteristics that suggested he would produce healthy offspring, Sherlock couldn’t help but note. Watching John rest his lustrous carapace against that stone was enough to heat his internal temperature an entire degree.
Of course, John didn’t know Sherlock even existed.
After many failed attempts, their teacher gave up on stinging the leaf and set it aside.
“Jab your tail thing in the other thing--the thing you want to sting,” said the teacher. “That usually works.”
Sherlock nodded. That sounded right to him.
“And don’t forget,” the teacher continued. “Scorpion Prom is next week. Some of you look like you haven’t found dates yet. You should if you don’t want to be losers. Alright, any questions about stinging or being the only loser at Prom? No? Then class dismissed!”
Inwardly Sherlock cringed. He couldn’t do so outwardly as that would have betrayed weakness, inviting unwanted attention from the larger scorpions at school. He did not have a date to prom, and he was worried he might be a loser. He didn’t want to be a loser; losers got eaten.
Chirring excitedly, the young scorplings filed out of class.
“Hi, Sherlock,” said a small voice. Sherlock observed a plain female scorpion sidle up beside him. What was her name? Mary? Mallory?
She tapped her metasoma nervously. “What class do you have next?”
“Food,” he replied.
“Cool. I have Pinching.” Molly. That was her name. He’d taken a Burrowing class with her last semester.
Aware she was still following him, he continued crawling in the direction of Food. Her Pinching class was another wing over. Perhaps she was lost.
Maybe she needed directions. “Yes?”
“Do you have a date for Scorpion Prom?”
He answered honestly. “I don't.”
He felt her stare and was compelled to return it. The enormity of her eyes overpowered her petite frame. There was an expressiveness to them that Sherlock found disorienting. He wondered if John ever felt that way. He wondered about John maybe more than he should. But then everything he was supposed to wonder about seemed so boring in comparison.
“Would you, um, like to go to Prom with me?” Molly asked suddenly.
She was still there? Oh. Sherlock took a moment to consider her proposal. Molly was puny and delicate, and her mesosoma was way too long for her carapace. On the other hand, if he had a date to Prom he wouldn’t be a loser. He also didn’t want to be eaten.
“Okay,” he said with a shrug of his pedipalps.
“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,” said Molly, her prosoma darkening. She clasped a claw to her chelicerae. He hoped she wasn’t sick. “That’s so amazing. Um, I mean . . . you can pick me up at my burrow at eight. Oh, and Sherlock? I hear that it’s going to be a moonless night.”
Sherlock clicked his pincers as Molly scuttled away. She was correct. It was going to be a moonless night. He’d received high marks in both his “Time” and “Is It Light Or Dark Out?” honors courses.
It was only after she had left that he realized she was referring to the fact that scorpions generally only mated on moonless nights, when they were less visible to predators. How strange, he thought. She certainly didn’t smell as though she’d reached sexual maturity yet.
That’s when he felt someone shove him forward, hard.
“Hey, you, uh—you nerd!” cried Greg, a bulky, unpleasant scorpion who had a habit of harassing and eating smaller scorplings he found unworthy. His two equally hulking friends lurked behind him, opening and closing their spiracles menacingly. Sherlock’s pectines twitched. He had a bad feeling about this.
“Greg,” he acknowledged. “What do you want?” He was going to be late for class.
Greg waved his telson in the air.
“What I want is my homework,” he threatened.
Sherlock froze. From across the hollow log where they stood he could see John watching him. Given that scorpions had poor eyesight it very well could have been someone else, and yet he knew it wasn’t. His thorax tightened and for a moment he thought he might throw up. The idea that Greg might sting him as John looked on . . .
“Oh,” he managed, despite the rising fear in his intestines. “The answer to yesterday’s assignment is ‘Eat, then poop.’”
Greg lowered his telson. “You’re alright, Sherlock.” He beckoned to his friends. “Come on. Let’s go behind that rock and sting each other.”
Sherlock blinked, and his stomach cavity settled. He searched for John again, but just like a delicious termite disappearing into its mound, he was gone.
Dazed, Sherlock arrived at his next class just in time for roll call.
“Here!” he chittered, settling into the rotted wood.
“Very good. Sherrinford Holmes?”
Silence. Sherlock raised a pedipalp.
“He’s out today.”
“Does he have an excuse?” the teacher asked.
Sherlock looked down. “Mum ate him last night.” It was just him and Mycroft, now.
The teacher noted it and continued calling roll until everyone who hadn’t been eaten was accounted for.
Sherlock didn’t bother feigning interest in the lecture, his thoughts drifting between pre-Prom anxieties and visions of John: those piercing median and lateral eyes set into that smooth carapace, trailing toward his obscenely exaggerated telson. With such favorable genetics it was no surprise he’d made the Stick And Rock team his first year. Sherlock attended every game that semester just to watch him play, though he doubted John noticed him amidst the crowd. He wasn’t even sure he understood the rules of Stick And Rock, but everyone agreed that John was very good at it.
To introduce himself would have required squeezing past the harem of females who swarmed John after each game. Several bragged of having been fertilized by their idol, but Sherlock suspected many were lying, based on their size. A gut instinct in his first abdominal segment told him John wouldn’t be the type to settle for a female physically smaller than himself.
“Sherlock?” The teacher was calling his name.
He would think about John some more later. “Yes, sorry?”
“Pull your prosoma out of that burrow and pay attention,” tsked the teacher. “I expect better from you. Now: you have three crickets. If you eat one, how many do you have left?”
Sucking air through his spiracles at exactly the standard rate of diffusion from the atmosphere, the wheels in Sherlock’s brain began to turn. It took some effort to get the answer.
“One,” he said.
The teacher paused.
“Sure,” she finally replied. “I can’t count.” Then: “Do you eat the remaining cricket?”
Could this be a trick question? Sherlock was sure he knew this one, too. “Yes.”
The teacher clicked her pincers approvingly. “Good. Always eat the cricket. Moving on: who of you hasn't found a date to Prom?”
The sun rose and fell several cycles until Scorpion Prom night had arrived. Rumor had it John was taking three females at the same time. Someone told him this was against the rules, but after looking up the school guidelines the principal determined he couldn’t read.
Worryingly, Sherlock didn’t see Molly all day.
He stopped by her burrow at the appointed time with a frothy, liquefied cricket torso, his carapace freshly picked clean of clinging moss and vermiculite. A bulky, scowling scorpion Sherlock took to be Molly’s father waited at the tunnel entrance.
“Hello,” Sherlock said, trying not to sound nervous. “I’m here to pick up Molly for Scorpion Prom.”
Molly’s father took a good look at him.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m afraid Molly won’t be coming tonight.”
Sherlock assumed the worst. “Did she get eaten?”
The older scorpion shook his prosoma. “No. She’s just molting. She said she doesn’t want you to see her like this.”
Dejected, Sherlock went to Scorpion Prom alone.
He watched the other scorpions dance as he sat in the corner sucking cricket juice from the torso he’d intended to give to Molly. Meanwhile, John was probably having the time of his life, being that he was an attractive scorpion and not a dateless loser.
Powerful vibrations buzzed up Sherlock’s pectines, and within moments some oafish scorpion crawled over his foremost leg to reach one of the dew-covered leaves set out for students.
“Sorry,” the scorpion said. It was hard to hear him over the musical chirring emanating from the stagerock. “I didn’t mean to step on you. Are you okay?”
“It’s fine,” said Sherlock, scuttling out of the way.
A strong but graceful pedipalp grabbed one of the leaves. At second smell Sherlock realized the pedipalp belonged to none other than John. He stared at the other scorpion like a dummy, the remainder of the liquified cricket contents oozing onto his claw.
After taking a sip, John set down the leaf. “Sherlock, right?”
Sherlock’s pectines tensed with such force it felt like he’d been stung in the basal piece.
“Yes!” he yelped, almost in pain. “That’s me.”
“I thought I recognized you. You’ve been to all my Stick And Rock games.”
John had noticed him? “Oh, um, yes,” Sherlock mumbled, blood rushing to his prosoma. “I admire your playing.”
John nodded. “Can I ask you a question?” He’d lowered his voice.
“Yeah, anything,” Sherlock said. He hoped John wasn’t in some kind of trouble.
“Well, this is sort of embarrassing, but what are the actual rules of Stick And Rock?” John scratched his dorsal plates with his telson, shifting legs.
Sherlock’s caudal segment clenched involuntarily. Did John not actually know, or was he just messing with him?
Regardless, he didn’t want to seem stupid, so he made his best guess. “You have to touch the stick to the rock.”
John’s posture straightened.
“Of course,” he murmured. “That makes so much sense. Thank you.”
“Sure,” Sherlock said, feeling kind of cool. “Glad to help.”
John offered him a sip from his leaf but Sherlock declined.
For a moment neither said nor smelt anything. And then John brought up the worst possible thing he could have.
“So, did you come to Prom without a date?”
Sherlock wished a bird would swoop down and snatch him away right then.
“She couldn’t, you see, she was, well, the thing is—no. I didn’t.” Horrified, he imagined a ravished John tearing him limb from limb with his claws, his loser status now revealed.
But John didn’t eat him.
“Hey,” he said, patting Sherlock’s carapace. “It’s okay. I don’t care much for females, anyway.”
Their telsons brushed. The scorpions locked six and seven eyes together, respectively.
“But John,” chittered Sherlock. “You brought the school's three biggest females as your dates.”
“Yeah, because that's what I'm biologically expected to do. But they’re not really who I’m interested in.” John lowered his tail enough that his caudal segment massaged Sherlock’s prosoma. The heady pheromones it released would have made Sherlock shiver had his rigid exoskeleton allowed such a thing.
Several minutes later, Molly burst into the burrow where the dance was being held, newly minted from her molt. Every eye turned to her, taking in her proud, elegant tail and perfect mesasoma-to-metasoma ratio. Several males would be eaten later that night after their mates caught them stealing glances at her well-formed pedipalps.
Sadly for Molly, Sherlock had found a new date, and the pair were nowhere to be seen.
Uncountable meters away (by scorpions standards), in a dry, snug burrow dug under a moonless sky, a careful listener would have overheard one of many scorpion couplings that evening.
“Can I fertilize you?”
“No, John. We’re both males.”
“. . . Can I try?”
- Current Mood: content
Fandom: BBC's Sherlock
Word Count: 966
Summary: John's world falls apart as he is faced with the unthinkable: Sherlock has gone missing from their burrow.
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John stirred awake just as the sun was setting—slightly early for the normally nocturnal Emperor Scorpion. The substrate beneath his carapace felt cold, despite being his preferred 83°F. John wiggled his sternate plates deeper into the shallow depression he’d formed in the shreds of bark, but found he was restless and could not sleep.
He did not wish to wake his partner, so he stood quietly, his eight legs stepping so lightly that they did not make an impression, though, weighing less than or up to one-point-one ounces he seldom did anyway. When John emerged from the shadow of their shared log, he turned to look back at his sleeping partner with all eight of his adoring eyes.
Sherlock was not there.
John rushed back to the burrow at his top speed, which was frustratingly difficult to find information about online but should be comparable to the quoted “up to ten miles per hour” figure given for spiders, the scorpion’s arachnid relative for which the internet displays a clear informative bias.
He skittered over the ground where Sherlock usually slept, his exoskeleton making small indentations in the soft earth. The ground where Sherlock usually nestled to sleep away the daylight hours was empty. John began to panic.
He could not imagine life in the burrow without Sherlock. Who would eat the other half of a cricket when he pinched it in two? Who would nudge his pedipalps ever so slightly in his sleep, or keep him safe from the terrors that lurked at the edges of their burrow?
John calmed himself. This was a Mystery and he was a Trained Scorpion Detective. Okay, he lived with a Trained Scorpion Detective; okay, a Scorpion Detective at least.
What would Sherlock do? he thought to himself.
John tried to envision his Mind Burrow. He closed his eyes--though not the pair of eyes on top of his cephalothorax; he needed those to keep watch for aerial predators--and pictured his bark shelter. It looked just as it always did. In his mind, he walked around the depression that Sherlock had left in the dirt. A small piece of bark stood out, too small to be from the shelter.
He looked up, which was not difficult thanks to his vertically placed eyes. He could see no missing piece from the shelter. The bark had to have come from somewhere else.
But what else could he be looking for?
The stick, he realized. Sherlock loved that stick. John would have been jealous if his neuronal ganglia had been capable of that higher level emotion.
Having used his Mind Burrow for its intended purpose, he left the burrow churring with excitement. Perhaps Sherlock was just visiting his stick, he reasoned. It was dangerous to do so in the daylight, with such little protective foliage, but Sherlock was smart and probably knew what he was doing.
When John crossed the six-inch expanse from burrow to stick, his long, arched arachnid heart fell; Sherlock was not there. He looked around in desperation for more clues. The soil was undisturbed, its surface nearly perfect in fact. The air felt dry as he breathed it in and out through his spiracles. He turned back and forth, and crossed over the ground where the stick used to be, feeling it with his pectines. It felt normal, clean and soft.
Then he noticed: the stick was gone!
How had he missed it? He and Sherlock had shared their first cricket beneath its single, solitary bow over a year ago--or ten-to-sixteen scorpion years, allowing for variance in the average lifespan. How could it have disappeared? John didn’t even know the average lifespan of a stick.
He threw his pedipalps to the sky and chittered defiantly.
“You won’t get away with this,” he cried. “I will pursue you to the ends of the earth!”
John crawled. He didn’t know which direction held his answers, nor did he know how long his journey would be, but he would let nothing come between him and his soulmate. And their stickmate. He had to rescue them.
Two inches further, John ran into the end of the world.
His pinchers clanged impotently against the tall, hard wall that marked the edge of John and Sherlock’s universe. He lashed at it with his tail, but his telson found no purchase in the impossibly smooth surface. His stinger rebounded futily.
“Why?” he screamed. “What cruel god has done this to me?”
Broken, John dragged himself back to his burrow, lost in desolation and fear. He crawled under the burrow, only now noticing the extent of what had been taken from him. The husks of crickets piled against the wall were no more, the piles of waste vanished.
They’ve even taken our poop from me, John despaired.
John huddled alone and cold under his home, now foreign to him, until he lapsed into a despondent sleep.
When he awoke, it was to the tender caress of pedipalps on his mesosoma.
He blinked his anterior eyes, seeing the familiar chelicerae and that graceful, arching aculeus. Such a distinguished tail could only belong to one scorpion.
“Our home is clean now,” Sherlock murmured, petting him. His stick rested on the floor beside them. “It happened while we were away, in other places.”
Such an event would explain why John had not recognized the bark the night before. He looked around the burrow; this looked a lot more like home.The cricket husks and waste pile had been removed, to his disappointment, but Sherlock was with him and that was all that mattered.
“I’m glad we are back,” he said, fondling Sherlock’s brachium. “I never wish to leave you again.”
Passionately, they embraced.
“I’m hungry,” Sherlock whispered.
- Current Mood: refreshed
Fandom: Captain America
Word Count: 240
Summary: "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." Sex with Bucky doesn't go as planned.
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“Hey, Bucky,” said Steve Rogers, who was Captain America and also naked. “It’s sex time.” Bucky nodded and signed a consent treaty that allowed Steve to occupy his southern region.
Revved up, Steve took out his nine inches of freedom and wasted no time pulling into port in Bucky’s Black Sea. Bucky gasped, but offered less resistance than the Baltic fleet did at the Tsushima strait.
Steve was impressed. “Any more traffic in here and you’ll surpass Sevastapol’s maximum shipping capacity of six-hundred thousand tons per year!”
He reached around and stroked Bucky’s Crimean peninsula until it was almost at autonomous self-governance.
Bucky moaned. His Beyenchime-Salaatin crater was stretched to its limit and his North Ossetian gas pipeline was about to explode.
Steve moved further east, and Bucky’s Crimea was now a full-fledged Kamchatka peninsula. The pressure became too great and one of its twenty-nine active volcanoes erupted onto Steve's hand.
So close himself, Steve pressed on, thrusting deeper and deeper. He felt powerful as he passed through Smolensk, but began to fatigue soon after. He struggled to fend off raids by Cossacks.
Finally, Steve could go on no more. He collapsed onto the bed, defeated.
“How . . . what's happening?” He tried lifting an arm but was too weak.
Bucky leaned over him. “What’s the date, Steve?”
Steve answered in a daze. “December . . . fourteenth?”
Bucky closed his eyes.
“You never invade Russia in the winter,” he whispered.
Steve died of exposure.
- Current Mood: devious
Hermione Granger Fucks Her Way Through History (Hermione/Ron, Hermione/Multiple, NC-17)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairings: Hermione/Ron, Hermione/Cleopatra/Julius Caesar, Hermione/Martin Luther, Hermione/Margaret Thatcher
Word Count: 2948
Summary: The wedding march was just reaching its crescendo when a beamingly radiant Hermione took the last step up to the wedding dais.
Author's Note: This was a challenge for me to write as I am very much afraid of wizards. I felt, however, that in order to grow as an author I would have to confront my fears, unlike the cowardly wizard, who needs only brew a potion of +5 fear resistance. While it was a struggle, now that the story is complete I can look upon it with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that I have triumphed and made something beautiful with my labor: a sense of satisfaction that the lazy sorcerer will never understand, as he conjures his wants and wishes directly from the ether with no regard for the laws of conservation of mass or energy.
I have tried to approach the subject from as much of a neutral point as possible, but I must admit that I think it is only natural to hold a slight bias. After all, there is a reason private aircraft licenses have a stringently enforced minimum of 35+ hours of flight time. But of course Mr. Fancy Robes over here thinks that just because he can fly with a few spoken words and a vial of fairy dust he's just as good!
- Current Mood: aggravated
Thor: The Brown World (Thor/Loki, NC-17)
Rating: NC-17 (sex)
Word Count: 763
Summary: Imprisoned by his own family, Loki comforts himself with the tender fantasies of his brother's touch.
“Unhand me, brother,” grunted Thor, pushing away Loki’s hand from the shaft of his hammer. “Only the worthy may wield it.” Mjolnir was nowhere to be seen.
Loki was huddled at Thor’s feet, hands outstretched upward along his elder brother’s leg. There was a carnal desperation in his eyes, and a lack of pants on Thor’s part.
“I am worthy, brother,” panted Loki. “Let me prove my worth to you.”
Thor’s steely gaze make Loki shrink back, but his eyes never lost sight of their turgid prize. Thor uncrossed his arms, and put them at his waist, jutting forth his hips in the process.
Loki licked his lips and leaned in.
The door opened.
A regal woman swooped into the room, ferrying a silver tray brimming with sandwiches. An enticing aroma filled the chamber; Loki’s keen Asgardian senses picked out tuna salad, roast beef, and pickled herring. No two sandwiches were the same, and their breads ranged from a homey coarse brown wheat to a crumbly honeyed oat loaf that was Loki’s favorite. He needn’t have lifted the top slice to know that each sandwich would have just the right amount of spicy brown mustard and the tiniest dab of mayo. A bright splash of green and red showcased the fresh lettuce and tomatoes peeking out from under the delicately folded sliced meats. Tomatoes were out of season in Asgard—she must have ordered them from Alfheim just for him.
There was a toothpick in every sandwich, each topped with a crumple of colored cellophane. To the side of the sandwiches were several quartered dill pickles, arranged in a smiling face.
“Hi honey, I thought you might be hun—oh. Oh my.”
“Mom!” yelled Loki, as Thor disappeared in a flash of magic. He covered his lower half with a pillow. “I told you to knock.”
The room faded, Loki’s childhood bedroom giving way to the elegant but harsh lines of of the prison cell he was confined to. This also made the pillow disappear, but it returned with a small amount of concentration. Couldn’t let his mother see that.
Freyja froze, still gripping the tray of sandwiches (including at least one panini grilled on the back of a captured fire demon from Muspelheim), her face etched with lines of confusion tinged with disapproval.
“Was that your . . . brother?” Her voice broke only slightly.
“Ew, no, jeez,” Loki snapped, his eyes bulging with indignant rage. “I can’t believe you would come in here without asking. Can I get some privacy? Please?”
Freyja drew herself up straight and sucked in her breath. Without another word, she turned back to the door from whence she had come.
“Um, Mom? Can you, um, leave the sandwiches? Thanks.”
Freyja set the tray down on the lone table in Loki’s cell and slammed the door on her way out. The scent of the thick layer of Gjetost cheese was intoxicating.
Loki sighed, and finally let his illusory pillow drop.
He thought about reaching for one of the sandwiches—a thick sliced beef on marbled rye with swiss cheese and aioli—but stopped himself when the wardrobe door opened.
He smiled as his brother unfurled himself from the armoire-cramped interior.
“Quick thinking on that illusion, brother,” said Thor, this time with genuine respect in his voice.
Loki blushed. “Thanks.”
Thor was by his side now, and Loki felt a stirring in his loins once again.
“Would you care for a sandwich, brother?” he asked. Thor nodded, and reached out his hand—not for the sandwich, but to lay it gently on Loki’s bare hip. He leaned over, and Loki picked up a half-sandwich—honeyed ham, with mustard and avocado and sprouts (Thor didn’t care for tomatoes). All sliced into a perfect triangle.
He held it up to Thor’s mouth. Thor spread his lips to take the first bite and—
“That’s enough,” said Thor.
Heimdall, the watcher who saw all—and consequently was spared none—sighed in relief.
Thor’s face was like a mask, but a fragmented one, like three-day-old bread that could no longer withstand the rigors of a quadruple-decker sandwich and cracked, revealing the contents beneath. Except in this case the contents were not several slices of bacon and perhaps some pepperoncinis, but instead disgust and contempt, with a healthy slathering of low-fat self-embarrassment.
“He just does this all day?” Thor asked after a long, uncomfortable silence.
Heimdall nodded again, then finally spoke. “The sandwiches change, but the players do not.”
Thor stopped to think for a moment.
“I don’t even like ham,” he said.
- Current Mood: cranky
[Fic]: Harry Potter And The Skeleton Crown (Hermione/Ron
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairings: Ron/Hermione, Draco/Harry
Word Count: An amount
Summary: A chance finding in the library sends the gang hunting after a legendary artifact that’s been tucked away within Hogwarts’ walls. Will Harry give in to the power of the Skeleton Crown and use it to exact revenge upon his enemies? Will Ron finally get to second base with Hermione? Is Snape a dickhead? And is Harry really gay? Yes to one of these and more!
WARNINGS:TRIGGER WARNING: WIZARDS
TRIGGER WARNING: MAGIC
TRIGGER WARNING: WITCHES
TRIGGER WARNING: WANDS
TRIGGER WARNING: SPELLS
TRIGGER WARNING: WANDS (MAGIC)
TRIGGER WARNING: INCANTATIONS
TRIGGER WARNING: INVOCATION (AND MILD EVOCATION)
TRIGGER WARNING: IMPLIED ENCHANTMENTS
TRIGGER WARNING: SUCCUBI (OF THE ORIENT)
SPOOKY WARNING: SKELETONS
( Read more...Collapse )
“... and that is why, despite their superficial similarity to the common House Elf, one should never hire an Erkling as a babysitter,” droned Professor Snape.
Harry noticed that Ron was beginning to nod off, and nudged him roughly with his elbow. Ron sat up with a start, attracting Snape’s attention anyway.
Snape whirled around and slammed his hands on Ron’s desk so as to look the young wizard right in the eye.
“Am I boring you, Weasely?”
“No, sir!” Ron squeaked, neck turtling into his shoulders. “You’ve been . . . very informational!”
“Erklings may well do your family some good,” he said. The class tittered.
Then they hushed as the Dark Arts professor continued. “Perhaps you would be more interested in a truly dangerous creature. A construct of dark magic, that some of you may even face not long after a suspiciously foreshadowing lecture.”
Snape aimed his wand at the swath of sail cloth tacked to the classroom wall.
The white cloth lit up with a grainy, flickering picture of what looked to Harry like a human skeleton, only out its eyes blazed burning, red coals.
An impressionable young Hufflepuff girl gasped and covered her eyes. It was very spooky.
“Can anyone tell me,” purred Snape, “where Skeletons come from?”
Hermione’s hand was in the air so fast it seemed almost magical, which meant it elicited no more attention from Snape than usual.
Snape waited several seconds, giving his wand a good cleaning with the hem of his robes, but no other hands appeared.
“Very well, Miss Granger,” he said after he’d let her squirm in her seat for a bit.
“Skeletons are formed from bones inside of us, which are composed of a mix of calcium phosphate and organic tissue that allows them to grow as they age,” Hermione recited rather proudly.
A look of shock passed over Snape’s face that was quickly replaced by restrained glee.
“Wrong!” he snapped. “Wrong, and does it ever please me to say, incredibly stupid.”
Appearing floored, Hermione looked around the room for support. No one dared defend her.
“Skeletons,” Snape said as he circled the class, “are diabolical constructs created entirely by--and animated with--dark magic.”
He flicked his wand, and the image shown on screen changed to that of a skeleton holding an electric guitar while it stood atop a mountain of skulls. Harry thought he recognized the image from his uncle’s record collection.
“They have no will of their own, but serve as the thralls of necromancers in their war against the living,” said Snape. “Dark wizards have been known to animate whole legions of skeletons–”
Harry felt that was enough. “I think Hermione is right,” he interrupted. “We all have skeletons inside of us. All mammals do. Reptiles and birds, too. It’s why we have bones in our arms and hands and places.”
Snape dipped his wand and the sail cloth screen rolled up and off the wall, landing neatly in the gilded chest beneath it.
“Ten points from Gryffindor for talking out of turn. And twenty points from Gryffindor for contradicting a professor.”
Harry opened his mouth to object, but it was Ron’s elbow in his definitely-not-of-skeletal-origin ribs that made him close it.
“It appears your little group is having trouble grasping the material,” said Snape. “So you don’t fall behind, you will each submit by next class a ten-page essay on the history of and defense against the common Skeleton. Understood?”
As the students filed out, Draco stopped to roll his eyes at Hermione. “Skeletons inside me. Good one, Granger.”
The three of them had holed up in the library--as much to get away from the mockery of Malfoy and his lackeys than to work on their punitive essay.
“It’s not fair,” Ron whined over the top of Borgenwald’s On Skellingtons and Other Dire Revenentes. Or rather, over the bottom, as he was holding it upside down. “I wasn’t the one making things up about Skeletons! Why do I have to write this stinkin’ report?”
Harry ran his fingers idly up and down the gilded spine of the great tome he’d pulled from the library shelf. He was doing his best to ignore Ron and Hermione’s endless bickering, which had begun almost the moment they’d left class. Hermione was right, of course, but that didn’t make her any less insufferable.
“We weren’t making things up, dummy,” she said. “I’ve complained about it before, but the complete omission of a biological curriculum at this school is just shocking.”
Ron appeared as though he was about to argue, but then his expression softened into one of surprised interest. Harry hadn’t seen Ron look that way at a book since Neville had snuck in a battered copy of Succubi Species of the Orient. That one had pictures.
“˙pɹoן uɐɯ ou ןןɐɔ ןןɐɥs sǝuoʇǝןןǝʞs ɟo ǝuʍoɹɔ ǝɥʇ ɥʇǝssǝssod oɥʍ ǝɥ” Ron read aloud.
Harry and Hermione looked at him quizzically.
“How did you pronounce that, exactly?” Harry asked.
“I just read it upside down,” said Ron. “I don’t see what the big deal is.”
“That’s not how books work,” Hermione insisted. “That isn’t how letters work. How did you do that? What spell did you use?”
Ron mumbled something.
“What?” Harry leaned in closer.
“I have vertical dyslexia,” Ron said, going red.
Hermione dropped both of the books she was holding and crowded in around Ron, who went even redder.
She’s touching me, he mouthed across the table to Harry. Harry chuckled.
Unfortunately for him, Hermione’s eyes were all for the text. She took control of the book and flipped it over before narrowing her attention on a particular section.
“Harry, listen to this,” she said, neglecting Ron in her normal fashion.
He who possesseth the Crowne of Skeletones shall call no man Lord
The shackles which Bindeth thee shall fall and thy bonds Dissolveth
And riseth up against the Prisons man hath created for man
Thy enemies shall be harried by Phantoms and Spectres
The fires of Judgement shall rain down from on high
Signaling the Doom of the old order
Harry tried not to cringe. “Poetry isn’t really my thing.”
Huffing, Hermione closed the book, kicking up a cloud of dust that went straight to Ron’s face. Thanks in large part to Hogwarts lax biological sciences curriculum, he remained blissfully unaware that the substance causing his coughing fit was likely comprised of dead skins cells that had flaked off wizards and librarians past.
“Just think,” said Hermione, growing more excited. “If you had that crown, you could stick it to Malfoy so hard. ”
“I think--” Ron began.
Harry clenched his jaw. “That was one time, Hermione. I told you I’m not into that anymore.”
There was a pause, and then Hermione cleared her throat. “Um. I meant as revenge.”
It was Harry’s turn to go red.
“So what,” he then said with a wave of his hand. “You found a verse in an old book. The crown’s probably not real, and even if it is, it’s gotta be long lost by now.”
Hermione grabbed the book and spun it deftly upside down so that it faced Harry across the table. She opened it back up and practically stabbed the page with her finger. “Look. Here.”
Harry tilted forward in his chair and found the passage Hermione had read to them. He flipped the page and read the other side.
The book had diagrams, thorough ones that, while perhaps not quite as memorable as those found in Succubi Species of the Orient, certainly drew the eye. The crown was of a simple circlet, ridged with organic bulges that stretched and curved upward. The overall effect was unsettling and vaguely sinister.
“Is it a crown for skeletons, or a crown made out of skeletons?” Harry wondered aloud. “This looks like it could be bone.” The crown looked a lotlike bone.
He turned to the next page and saw a drawing of the crown resting atop a skull. The skull seemed to be leering at him, as though it were alive and knew who he was. Harry quickly shut the book.
“Are you sure this is safe?” he asked. “These Skeletons--Snape said they were the tools of dark wizards.”
“Yeah, but fuck Snape,” Ron replied. “He’s a little bitch.”
There was truth to Ron’s words. Harry considered them.
“Besides.” Ron opened the book a third time and pointed to a line midway down the page. “The book seems pretty clear right here where it says ‘,ʎןʞɹɐp ɔıbɐɯ ʎq pǝʇuıɐʇ ʇou ʇǝʎ ǝɔuɐǝbuǝʌ ɟo uɹoq ǝʇɔɐɟıʇɹɐ uɐ˙,”
Harry shared a worried glance with Hermione but didn’t comment.
“Alright,” he said after contemplating the matter further. “I’ve made up my mind.” He rubbed his hands together and grinned. “Let’s unleash some spectral vengeance. Where do we find this thing?”
Hermione left Ron’s side, much to his visible disappointment, and went back to Harry’s. They stared in trance as she poured through the pages (and sǝbɐd, respectively) and traced her finger down (or up) the columns of text at breakneck speed.
When she failed to find what she was looking for she pulled several more books from what were seemingly unrelated shelves, saying only that whatever it was she sought had to be in there, somewhere. Several minutes later their table was transformed by a tall stack of books that wasn’t there before.
“Here,” she said finally, indicating to some handwriting in the margin next to an illuminated painting of an ivory crown. The title on the book’s spine was National Geographic’s Crowns of the World. “I knew I’d seen a reference to this earlier.”
Harry had to squint to read the note.
“I am the key to the hall of crowns.”
He frowned. “This just gets back to our problem. How are we supposed to find this hall of crowns?”
“Well,” said Hermione, shutting the book on Harry’s fingers while reaching for the next one in the stack. “I thought I’d begin with reviewing the school’s original architectural plans and then cross-referencing those with–”
Ron cupped his hands over his mouth.
“Oi, Argus! Where’s the hall of crowns?”
Argus Filch, caretaker of the grounds and three-time winner of the All-Hogwarts Sex-Offender Look-Alike Competition, shambled into view from behind a bookcase. He was breathing heavily.
“And why would I be telling you that, young Weasley?” he barked.
“We’re gonna use a skeleton’s hat to unleash some phantoms on Malfoy,” said Ron.
Argus fondled his chin.
“Well in that case, you want the south wing, fourteenth floor.” He patted his pockets, which gurgled, croaked, and finally made a jangling noise, in that order. His hand pulled out a keyring and dislodged an ancient looking one from the arrangement. He tossed it to Ron.
“You’ll need that to open the door,” he said. “Be sure to wipe your shoes before going in. You kids are filthy.”
He turned to leave them, but not before offering the young wizards some final encouragement. “That little shit Malfoy stole my hair once. Give ‘im hell for me.”
When he’d gone, Harry slapped Ron on the back. “Well done, sir!”
Hermione looked displeased. “How’d you know Filch would take your side? That was risky! He could have turned us in.”
Ron acted sheepish. “Oh, um, you know. Fred and George mentioned it to me once. They’re a lot like me, but funnier and better at stuff.”
It was growing late and their candles had burned down to mere stubs. The three agreed to meet the following day in the south wing after class, then made their way back to the dormitory. With a plan firmly in mind, they shrugged it off when their classmates asked how the skeletons inside them were doing, secure in the knowledge that they would have the last laugh tomorrow night.
The door was non-descript and in no way belied the importance of what was locked behind it, with the exception of the gold leaf and an engraved brass plaque--but this was a wizarding school and most of the doors looked like that. They’d already had one false start when Ron read his map backward and they ended up in a janitorial closet, and that door had slightly more gold leaf around it than this one.
Harry wiggled the key into the lock. The mechanism inside slowly turned, and Harry had to force it with a worrisome grating of metal-on-metal before it finally gave way with a click. The door creaked loudly as it swung open.
The hall of crowns was even grander than Harry had imagined it to be. Marble pillars climbed fifty feet or more into an arched ceiling that was so high he could see tiny wisps of clouds forming. Shafts of golden sunlight poured into the room through massive stained glass windows like crystal rainbows, casting long shadows as the sun fell atop the rows of pedestals spread throughout the room.
Each pedestal held a crown, and no two crowns were alike. Some sat on velvet cushions and sparkled with radiant jewels; others were wrought of stark iron and radiated auras of malice and unease. There were tiaras of carved alabaster and circlets of jade, wreaths of flowers as fresh and fragrant as the day they were picked, and crowns made of unrecognizable substances still wet and glistening.
Enveloped by awe, Harry walked in reverence down the red and gold carpet that ran through the great hall.
“Gee,” whispered Ron, tip toeing after him. For once Hermione was starved for words.
They walked quietly through the marble forest, stopping now and then by consensus to admire a crown on display. The red carpet road branched off into smaller arteries that fed a distant forest of plinths scattered amongst the columns of the hall.
When they came across the broken pedestal, they stopped. Initially no words were spoken. A circle lay etched into slate around it, burned deep into the floor by a powerful magic, leaving behind scotch marks and baleful residual energies that made the three wizards sick to their stomachs. The pedestal was shattered into blackened fragments, the largest of which lay several feet from the base with no sign of whatever relic it once held.
Ron broke the silence.
“˙ɯǝpɐıp s,ʍɐןɔuǝʌɐɹ'” he murmured, reading the bronze plaque set into the overturned plinth.
Harry cast him a sidelong glance, but felt that now wasn’t the right time to say anything.
His gaze then wandered to the vast sea of crowns around him. Suddenly he was overcome with the crushing enormity of the task ahead. There were hundreds of crowns here, each more majestic than the last, and each one emanating power he dare not disturb.
Lost amid the grandeur, Harry felt humbled.
“How will we ever find the Skeleton Crown?” he despaired. “It could be any of these.”
“Yes,” said Hermione. “But it’s probably that one.”
Harry followed the direction of her finger to a mountain of mixed bones. Surrounding it were human skeletons, rising half formed from the ivory mass. The skeletons’ arms were raised to the heavens, each clawing at the next tier of skeletons as if trying to escape their sublimation into the quagmire of tangled bone. Their forms became more ordered and defined as they rose into the captive sky of the great hall, creating a platformed ziggurat.
A set of stairs made of rows and rows of skulls led up to an altar. On the altar lay a singular crown of curved and spiked bone. The four prostate skeletons of worshippers prayed to it from each direction.
“Yeah,” said Harry. “That looks like it could be it.”
They crossed the great expanse, leaving behind the myriad of legendary crowns, and ascended the steps of melded bone.
At the altar, Harry went first by unspoken assumption. His hand reached out to touch the crown.
“Wait!” said Hermione, who was now having second thoughts. “This could have consequences.”
I have only your best interest at heart, whispered a voice that seemed to emanate from inside their own heads.
The wizards exchanged looks amongst themselves. Harry lowered his hand.
“Um, crown?” he asked, hesitating. “Is . . . is that you speaking to us?”
Yes, said the crown. Put me on.
“I have some concerns,” voiced Harry, unable to take his eyes off the mass grave he was standing on.
Do not fear, young wizard, said the crown. I know you, and I know your struggle. I will grant you the power you crave; through me, vengeance shall be yours.
Hermione sucked in her breath.
“Mr. Crown,” she said, “I’m slightly worried about this all being a bit, no offense, evil.”
Is all death evil, my child? the crown asked. Is it wrong to kill those who would do you harm, who do you harm right now?
“Yes,” said Hermione.
“Nah,” said Ron.
Harry bit his lip. “Maybe?”
The crown’s voice was patient. You are a relic--forgotten by the world, your power becoming more meaningless with each passing day. Does this displease you?
“That’s a little harsh,” said Harry, who was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the direction this conversation was taking.
Your society is corrupt, stratified. You bow to an aged aristocracy who forged their place in blood and hold their bonds sacred above all else. Their blood will drown you as you struggle for your own place in this world.
“It’s not like that,” Harry protested.
“It’s a little like that,” said Ron.
You do not matter! Annoyance had crept into the crown’s voice. Rise above your station, if you can. Take up the crown and batter down the elite who have squatted in their places of power.
The ground began to rumble beneath their feet as the mountain of skulls reacted to the crown’s anger.
Cast aside the frailty of flesh and rain vengeance down on those who dare enslave you with their antiquated councils and houses!
Harry gripped the altar.
“You don’t understand,” he said. “Wizards might seem like that to an outsider–”
“Or an insider,” Ron mumbled.
“--but you don’t know what it was like for me before I came here. They took me in, they accepted me.” A tear broke free and slid down Harry’s cheek. “Maybe it’s not perfect,” he rasped. “But I wouldn’t give up Hogwarts for anything.”
Oh, said the crown. Shit. You’ve got me all wrong. I wasn’t talking about wizards or anything like that.
Harry wiped his eyes. “You weren’t?”
No! said the crown. That would be racist. I was referring to you kids being British. You’re from England, right?
"Right," mumbled Harry, embarrassed his friends had seen him cry.
“I guess that makes more sense,” said Hermione. “But I’m pretty sure you’d turn us into skeletons if one of us wore you. The whole ‘cast aside the frailty of your flesh’ thing kinda gave that away.”
Through the entire performance Ron hadn’t the courage to act. Now he stepped forward decisively.
“Whatever,” he growled, grabbing the crown. “I know I’m ready for some vengeance. Watch this, Hermione!”
“No!” screamed Harry. Hermione would have screamed too, but because Ron was talking she hadn’t been paying attention.
Ron smiled as he slipped the crown over his head. It fit perfectly.
Yes! bellowed the crown. Seek vengeance on those who have wronged you!
Harry felt his body changing and staggered back. The flesh melted from his bones, leaving him cold and rigid. He opened his mouth to howl, to shriek, but he had no lungs. His legs buckled underneath him, and he feared he would fall.
A surge of power like nothing he’d ever known burned through him. His fear became exhilaration, and with that energy he launched into the sky, smashing through the roof of the great hall at half the speed of sound.
The Mk 107 vectored-thrust turbofan powerplant at the heart of his new McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II body roared to full power as he reached his optimal cruising altitude. Harry looked down and saw the forms of his friends rising up below him.
Without Harry’s vertical takeoff capabilities, Ron’s McDonnell Douglass F-4 Phantom body had a difficult time breaking out of the building, but once the chase had begun, Harry knew Ron’s top speed of Mach 2.2 and higher operating altitude would quickly give him the advantage.
Bringing up the rear was Hermione, now a Lockheed AC-130 Spectre gunship. With a maximum speed of only 480 kilometers an hour, she was the slowest, but her cannons would provide invaluable support for the two faster craft while catching the remaining stragglers that evaded their hellfire.
Ron surged ahead and took point.
“Set course for Wiltshire,” Ron broadcast. “Target: Malfoy Manor.”
Harry readied his AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles with relish.
- Current Mood: anxious
Sherlock Holmes, Class 3 Illustrious Investigator, was trying very hard to be a Class 3 meteorologist.
It’s going to rain, he thought. His supporting evidence: the drooping, charcoal-colored sky hovering overhead (a pitch-black cloud would have been cause for alarm, but if one had formed it was nowhere near); the thickening air and damp, clinging chill; the fact that it had rained every day for the last two-hundred and forty-two years. And it was already raining. But that clue seemed almost too obvious.
Unsatisfied, he pulled his orb out of his coat pocket. It activated instantly, recognizing his hand. He was a man of precision, and acting on a hunch alone posed too great a risk to the work. He was rooting out dissidents in ward five and would be counting on sufficient rain cover to conceal his movements. His orb couldn’t work with any reliability if the sky dried out.
“Update forecast,” he commanded. The orb’s glassy surface rippled out from its center, pulling data about its environment much like Sherlock had, though its prediction accuracy made it the superior weatherman. When it had finished crunching the available indicators—location, temperature, humidity, dew point, moon phase, barometric pressure—it produced a ding.
“Rain for the next twelve-hundred years,” the orb announced emotionlessly.
Sherlock nodded. His assessment was correct then. He’d check the orb once more after he reviewed his work briefing, just to be sure.
Halfway through downloading the report, it buzzed, alerting him to a new message. He frowned, gripping the orb a little tighter. If this was Lestrade checking up on him—may she be exalted until the end of days, Sherlock corrected himself—he’d tell her he was thinking about jumping again. That hanging threat was his only recourse from the hovering. Dying would slow his productivity.
He opened the message and saw that his suspicions were unfounded. The sender wasn’t the director, but instead someone he hadn’t seen in years. Someone he’d never expected to see again.
Sherlock held his breath as he played John’s message.
“Sherlock, listen, it’s John. Has it really been, what? Three—four years? God, that seems so long. Look, I really hope this is the right orb. You have no idea how hard it was to track you down. You’re not listed in any directory and I had to pay a guy just to—nevermind. What I called to tell you is I’m back in the City for a while. I was hoping we could get together sometime for lunch, or supper even. Your choice. It would be nice to reconnect after all these years. Please say yes. I’ll be disappointed if you don’t. I want to hear how you’re doing. Drop me a line when you get a chance, okay?”
Sherlock’s finger traced the orb’s circumference counterclockwise as he rewound the message and played it back several times, each instance revealing a little more of the portrait he’d let fade with age. John sounded older (expected), but his voice had lost that edging uncertainty Sherlock remembered. The war must have mellowed him.
He shuttered his eyes and thought of the last time they’d seen each other. He’d run through this scene a thousand times before, by why not once more? They were in their apartment. John was facing the bed. His voice rose determinedly as he talked of enlisting, even as Sherlock, unable to articulate a compelling counterpoint, had begged him not to.
“I’m enlisting,” John had said, calmly packing his suitcase.
“I beg you not to!” Sherlock had begged. Looking back, he could have been more creative.
He’d been standing in the doorway, blocking John’s exit from the bedroom. He had tried goading John into arguing with him—that tack that usually worked—but John had heard this number enough times now to catch on. Sherlock’s strategy was (supposed to be) simple: stall John long enough the war burned itself out, therefore eliminating the problem. The conflict couldn’t last forever. He just needed more time.
Already resembling a soldier, John marched past him carrying a single suitcase, then, as though compelled to by some invisible force, returned to brush a weak kiss against his cheek. It was cheating, Sherlock thought. If this was to be their last hurrah, he deserved a kiss that at least acknowledged what it was they were so casually throwing away. As it were, the one he’d been offered just didn’t feel like goodbye.
It had been raining then, too.
More than five years had passed since John left, and it had been just as long since they’d spoken. Before now Sherlock didn’t know if John was even alive. He’d heard rumors of John’s whereabouts, but nothing verifiable. His own research, bits and pieces of intel he’d collected from Lestrade (may she be exalted until the end of days) had dead-ended some two years ago. In the meantime work had become a diversion, distancing him further and further from his search while honing him into a well-oiled machine. But his mechanics were complicated, and probability stated even the most efficient machines break down with enough wear.
It was the orb that noticed his hands were trembling.
“Initializing earthquake protocols,” it chimed, launching a search for viable shelters nearby.
“Ah, no, that won’t be necessary,” Sherlock said quickly. He purged the offending thoughts and the trembling ceased. “Sometimes my hands shake when I become . . . emotional.”
“Initializing ex-boyfriend protocols,” his orb chirped eagerly.
“Cancel,” he commanded. Then: “Hold on. What exactly are those protocols?”
“All messages from sender Dm. Lt. John Watson will be deleted. Any numbers from this sender will be blocked. Automatic counseling appointments and location tracking are optional sub-protocols. Would you like to initiate at this time?”
“No.” He wondered what kind of person would warrant those protocols.
The orb waited to receive instruction. Sherlock paused. “Send message to John as follows: ‘John, hey, this is Sherlock. It’s great to hear from you. Yes, we should catch up. I’m occupied at the moment—work-related, it would bore you—but I . . . I think I’d like to see you as soon as this evening, if you’re free. How does Patrice’s in ward six at around five-thirty sound? You remember Patrice’s, don’t you?’”
The orb blinked: message sent. He released the air he’d been hoarding and immediately felt lighter.
Now, to think. If all went as planned, he’d wrap up the job by four, leaving him with an hour to freshen up and practice whatever needed practicing. Small things, like smiling, had hindered the work. He would need to relearn them if he was seeing John tonight. He was cutting it close, time-wise, but he didn’t know how long John would be in the City and thought it stupid to waste even a day. John had already deserted him once. There was no reason it couldn’t happen again.
He checked the weather forecast: rain for the next thirteen-hundred years. Figured.
The informant’s intel was accurate and Sherlock’s weather assessment had proved correct. He was able to infiltrate the hideout with relative ease; as usual, the traitorous collaborators were woefully unprepared. His orb was able to draw sufficient power from the surrounding rain to cloak him from view. The cameras would have only displayed a slight ripple as they recorded his passage.
Once inside, he’d been more than a match for any of the men individually. One by one, he cleared each room with methodical precision. Upon locating his assignments he scanned each of them for evidence of treason—and he ensured he always found it. By necessity this had to be done after the target had been dispatched, but simply being within the building was proof enough of complicity. “Proof’ was really more of a guideline, anyway. As for the men, they carried no identification, and none of them could afford an orb—even if they had been of high enough standing they could not have borne it—but several wore the cross-and-triangle tattoo now popular amongst traitors and renegades.
“It’s done,” he told the orb when he’d finished. The last one standing had been interrogated then disposed of, though Sherlock learned little from the traitor he did not already know or suspect. He put on a pair of gloves and left the building through the front door.
The work complete, Lestrade—may she be exalted until the end of days—would expect a detailed report in addition to Sherlock’s oral summation within the day. For now it would have to wait. John had accepted his supper invitation, so time was of the essence if he was to look presentable.
He motioned at one of the many peace officers manning the fortified security checkpoint at ward four, and when the guard looked at him askance, flashed his orb in annoyance. This was effective at getting him into the building. In the changing room he undressed and stepped into a shower, pulling the curtain closed around him. He’d stored his orb in a locker, more so for his own privacy than for its safekeeping.
Once clean, he dried and clothed himself, spending more time in front of the mirror than strictly necessary. It had been a while since he’d taken a serious interest in his appearance, and he was surprised to see how much he’d aged. Time had done work on his face. The drugs, he admitted, may have helped it along. Well, it wasn’t as though he could exchange his face for another one, even if they had threatened him with it on several occasions.
He adjusted his collar and roughed up his hair the way he was sure John remembered it, his coffee-colored curls lifting from his head as they dried. The length suited him. He noticed flecks of blood on his scarf and remembered this checkpoint lacked laundry service. He carried it to the trash and reluctantly tossed it into the bin.
“Another one, sir?” asked an attending guard on his way out. He must have noticed it was missing. Sherlock had seen the guard here before.
He shrugged. “‘Fraid so. Something always has to splatter.”
The guard sympathized. “Have you considered just buying a red scarf instead?”
Without warning, Sherlock leaned forward and clapped the guard on the shoulder. The man jumped. “That’s genius!”
“Thank you, sir,” said the guard as he recovered. “I’m glad I could . . .” Sherlock didn’t hear the rest, his back already turned.
The time was five past five. A quick orb check confirmed it was raining. There was less of it now, no longer coming down in sheets. Satisfied, he caught a cab to Patrice’s. On the way, he reflected.
These were the facts: he’d lived with John for two years before it fell apart. John was not his first, but he may as well of been. He knew he was in love; he’d had all the symptoms. It made sense he'd likened it to getting high. John was a dopamine drip, and of course Sherlock gave himself too much.
By year one, things started downhill. John had grown restless. At thirty four years old he wanted a different life. Sherlock agreed. There was no richness in routine. He just assumed that life would include him. At the time the war began Sherlock was still consulting for Internal Defense at his brother’s request. Mostly spying, then. He did it because his mind needed the work. John, he just wanted to help people. His talents were wasted at the clinic.
The cab entered ward six through Vehicle Inspection. Once past the gates, he directed the driver to park two blocks from Patrice’s. Two blocks were enough time to clear his head. He paid the fare, got out of the cab. Brought out his orb, checked the weather. Sucked in a breath. The rain picked up again.
“Is Sherlock emotional?” the orb asked suddenly. “Please confirm source of tremor.”
He looked down—his hands were shaking. Not an earthquake.
“Sherlock is fine. Source has been identified and contained. Disregard similar readings unless instructed otherwise.” He didn’t like that the orb was learning him. It was started to look for signs of life in places it shouldn’t.
Patrice’s was filled only a third to capacity when he arrived, probably due to the rain. Good. A quiet atmosphere produced better conversation. He disregarded the hostess and scanned the establishment for John, then realized he had no idea what John looked like now. Something akin to panic gripped him. What if it had been so long that they failed to recognize one another, unaware they were both standing in plain sight?
His panic subsided when he heard a familiar voice calling him.
He looked around the restaurant for its source. John stood up from a corner booth, shorter than he’d remembered, and enthusiastically waved him over. He wore an olive-green dress uniform, and his beard (beard!) was trimmed close to the skin. A matching cap was tucked under his right arm. His hair was cropped short, hugging the shape of his head.
Sherlock tried to greet him and settled for simply “John.” It was all he could manage at the moment.
“Get on over here so I can hug you, dammit,” he said, motioning Sherlock toward him with greater gusto. Sherlock’s stomach bottomed out as he closed the distance. If he couldn’t restore himself soon he’d be useless by the end of the evening. John would have to carry him out of the restaurant. Supper would become a scene out of a bad romance novel.
When he got to the booth John met him around the side of the table and they embraced.
“Good to see you,” John murmured, squeezing his shoulder. “It’s been too long.” Sherlock knew the feeling. He wanted to say something similar in return but found that all he could do was be held. John seemed happy to oblige, so maybe that was okay.
The hug ended far too early but then Sherlock had always operated on his own schedule. He shrugged off his coat and plunked down opposite John facing the window, the coat cast to the edge of the seat.
“How have you been?” they blurted at the same time, too excited to behave themselves.
Sherlock laughed and put up his hands, now sorted from earlier. He had this. “You first. My stories can’t possibly top yours. You’ve lived your fair share of adventures now."
“Well, I can’t say that’s a lie,” John said, relaxing into his seat. “I was on active duty in the central combat zone for over eighteen months. Half of that in the Lingerie Corps.”
Sherlock nodded. “I noticed the stripes. Congratulations.” He’d recognized the prestigious L-Corps gold brassiere pinned to John’s shirt-breast—a mark of distinguished service. His uniform glittered with other decorations, earned under extreme conditions no doubt, but that one stood out proudly. So John had found his purpose, then. Sherlock was genuinely glad.
“Volunteered after the insurgents took out Camp Donovan,” John continued. “I got a promotion to Damsel First Class after about a month, then a battlefield commendation to Dame Lieutenant after Biscay. After that, well, things just took their course.”
The waiter brought them their menus.
“Anyway, you look like you’ve been busy,” John said, nodding at Sherlock. He assumed John was referring to the circles under his eyes. “What’s Mycroft got you doing now? Still consulting for Internal Defense?”
“In a sense. I’ve been promoted.”
“Hah! So they finally realized they couldn’t run the place without you.” John looked over his dinner options, but Sherlock could tell he'd already made up his mind. Back when they came here more frequently, John's regular was the Shepherd's Pie.
“I suppose you still can’t tell me what you actually do there,” he added, pretending to be reading the menu.
“Nope,” Sherlock replied, delivering his best smile. “I’m afraid I’d have to kill you.”
“I’ve had enough of that lately,” John said, pushing the menu to the edge of the table. Sherlock chastised himself for saying something so stupid.
"It wouldn't really interest you anyway," he amended, setting his down as well. "It's all administrative work these days."
The waiter came by and took their orders. Sherlock was having mutton. As he’d predicted, John asked for the Shepherd’s Pie.
"If you've been promoted, that means you're taking orders directly from Lestrade now," John wondered aloud.
"May she be exalted until-"
"-the end of days." John grinned and they both chuckled. Their feet ran into each other beneath the table, but neither retreated. It was beginning to feel like old times.
John caught up on current events over supper. He wanted to know if the City's police force was still as ineffective as ever. It was. He asked if wards thirty-three through thirty-seven were really just as poncey as he’d remembered. Even more so. He was shocked to see the going price of an umbrella—what the hell had happened to the economy? The war. They joked the weather (still raining) and the lack of good Shepherd’s Pie outside the perimeter, laughing until their stomachs hurt. An older Woman seated across the room shot them a dirty look when she knew they were looking. John smiled and waved.
Eventually, inevitably, the conversation turned serious. Sherlock learned that John had saved his commanding officer's life after their convoy ran over an IED—he’d had to amputate in order to free the man from the truck—and that the whispers he'd heard about the army pulling out of the poorly controlled eastern arena were correct. He also learned that John tried to contact him, but after endeavoring for months by mail with no response he'd given up. Sherlock was stunned. He hadn’t received even a postcard, taking the silence to mean that John had moved on, figuratively or literally.
Late into their meal, John reached over and cupped his hands, which to Sherlock’s surprise were entirely still.
“I’ve got a commendable discharge if I want it, Sherlock. With full honors. I going to take it."
Sherlock’s orb buzzed from under his coat. He ignored it. "But the war."
John shook his head. "I've made as much difference as I can over there. I'm ready to come back now.” His leg inched closer under the table, and their knees touched. "I was hoping we could give us another go. If you wanted."
It took Sherlock a moment to understand what John was offering. He'd wondered if this might happen but thought it premature to prepare for it.
“John,” he spoke carefully, shelving every impulse. “You’re not making this easy for me. I've been operating these past five years under the assumption that you wouldn't be coming back." He didn't want to say 'I thought you were dead.' It seemed melodramatic, with John now sitting in front of him.
The waiter brought them their check. Sherlock handed the him a payment stamp before John could protest.
“I need to process this,” he said after the waiter left, watching John’s face for a sign of, what? Disappointment? Regret? He wasn’t sure. “I can be a friend, but anything more is . . . too complicated right now. I’m not the same person I was before. You might not like who I’ve become.” An understatement.
“I doubt that,” John said, but he withdrew his hands. His expression hadn’t changed. “You’ll always be a mystery to me. But I understand your apprehension to start over. I left on bad terms. That’s not an easy fix.” He looked at the wall, then turned back to Sherlock and grinned. “Hey, at least we’re here, still enjoying each other’s company after all this time. That’s got to count for something, right? It’s a goddamn miracle either of us are still alive.”
Sherlock smiled, a real one this time, but inside it felt like he’d swallowed a stone. “True.”
They stood up. John embraced him again before they left.
“Hey,” he said after pulling away, his hand lingering on Sherlock’s shoulder. “Call me if you need anything. Literally anything. You have my orb coordinates. I’ll be in the City for at least a week. Longer, if I put in a request for an extension. Let’s do supper again before I go. Promise?”
“I promise,” Sherlock said, relieved he was even able to. “Take care of yourself, John. We’ll see each other . . . soon.
He left Patrice’s, starting in the opposite direction as John, who was now racing to catch the next northbound train to ward nineteen. Sherlock had his own arrangements. He'd buy another scarf at the shopping district in ward two, as the ward six market had since closed, and finish that report for Lestrade, may she be exalted until the end of days. That buzz during dinner was another friendly reminder the work was never really quite over.
He progressed through each ward in descending order, relying on muscle memory to take him in the right direction as he lost himself in his head. There were still a great many people out enjoying the evening, but most passed him by in blur. He slowed when he reached the checkpoint to ward two, careful to nod a hair deeper to the pregnant officer policing the entrance.
“Don’t stay out too late,” she warned as he held up his orb. The couple in line beside him stared in envy, clutching their City-issued IDs.
The shops of ward two glittered like gems as Sherlock strolled down the promenade. A small group of Women, orb bearers probably, tittered in his direction, but none were bold enough to comment. What they were after didn't interest him.
A couple blocks further he proceeded into the garment quarters, catching the eye of the peace officer guarding the quartered off Women's section. He looked down. Staring would have been inappropriate. He hadn’t earned his right to shop there.
He tried on several scarves, deciding on a red one as had been suggested. He’d taken so many risks that day it only made sense to keep going. A mirror check had confirmed it flattered him.
Hitting the streets, he thought about how much John’s appearance had changed when his own hadn’t evolved much at all. Regardless of whatever mental scars he’d accumulated, his army career had left him with straighter posture, improved muscle tone, and a commanding presence that Sherlock found very . . . effective. Confidence was attractive, and so was a troubled man. He was naturally drawn to problems. He couldn’t pretend it hadn’t aroused him in some form when John talked about the war. The work had fucked him up, or maybe he'd always been this twisted. Some things didn’t need an investigation.
The night grew on, and the din of nightlife had faded to low murmurs. By now there were few people hanging around outside. Most of them had retired for the evening, heeding the City’s suggested curfew. Probably about time to get a cab. If he’d been smart he could have used his orb to-
His orb. He hadn’t realized it was buzzing. Hoping it was John, he fished it out of his pocket and read the warning just in time to hear the first scream.
Sherlock looked up to see the reaper cloud spreading like an inkblot just a couple of blocks away, a chaotic black mass swallowing the weaker clouds around it. A siren sounded nearby, spooking a cat out from under a cheap City housing unit. The static charge hummed over his exposed skin, and every hair, even the ones he didn’t know he had, stood on end. It would have been quite funny if it wasn’t also so utterly horrifying.
There was a second scream, then a third. He squinted and witnessed two small, wriggling shapes being sucked into the air, then realized those were people. He felt the pull and knew that if he didn’t start running now he would be next.
He turned and fled, every step a small struggle as the reaper cloud drifted toward him, a terrible, unfeeling monolith. Meanwhile the orb continued to buzz in warning, sending vibrations into his palm again and again. The warning would have made little difference to someone standing beneath the cloud when it formed. Not even an orb could predict when and where it would arrive. Everything after that was reaction.
As the cloud loomed overhead, he approached an intersection. A lone taxi pulled around a corner, and Sherlock waved, desperate to flag it down. Sensing the driver had no plans to stop, he picked up his pace and threw himself against the hood of the cab right as it tried to pass.
He smacked the windshield and went tumbling to the ground. The driver stopped and opened his door, the plan achieving its intended effect.
“Oi mate, are you nuts?” the man yelled in a panic. Sherlock resiliently pulled himself to his feet. The driver stared at him and shook his head. “Come on, get in then.”
Sherlock didn’t waste any time, barrelling into the passenger seat with such force he bounced against the leather. The driver dipped back into the carriage and hit the gas, speeding away in a squeal of burning rubber.
“221B Baker Street, ward twelve,” Sherlock gasped out, head falling to the side as he concentrated on recouping his breath.
The driver glanced at him through the rearview mirror. “Cuttin’ it a little close there, ‘doncha think? You’re damn well lucky I stopped.”
This was true. If he’d been on the ground any longer the reaper cloud would have taken him. It only took what it could lift, and to be outdoors and unsecured when the cloud arrived spelled certain death. People, animals, trash, anything lightweight with poor foundations—all were fair game. The City’s transport fleet was supposedly safe, but the cabbie wasn’t about to test fate.
Live with the rain, die by the rain. A quote from some philosopher whose name he couldn’t recall. The line made more sense to him now.
Only when they’d gotten far enough away from the Cloud to have reasonably passed the reaping zone did Sherlock look out the window behind him. The Cloud had begun to contract, a sign it was returning into the sky. The public probably wouldn’t know how many people had been taken until the City issued an official report the next day, but he wouldn’t be among them.
When the cabbie dropped him off he didn’t even ask for the fare. “Hey, take care of yourself, mate,” was all he’d said before driving away. People were telling him that a lot lately. Another sticky note for the fridge.
He closed the door and was met by a cold, empty hallway. Mrs. Hudson was probably already asleep. Good for her. Upstairs felt even lonelier. He considered finishing his report, but the thought of it made him sick. Life suddenly seemed too short to waste on traitors and their tattoos. What he needed right now was John.
He reached into his coat pocket to pull out his orb, then realized he was already holding it. He ignored the seven messages from Lestrade, may the bitch be exalted until the end of days, and drafted a new one.
“John. It’s Sherlock. I’ve been thinking about what you said at Patrice’s. About wanting to start fresh. Can you spend the night? I really, really want to see you. Actually, I think I need to.” He could feel his hands shaking but this time the orb didn’t mention it. “I’m in ward twelve now. 221B Baker Street. Please come.”
The message sent. He received a response within less than a minute: “I’m on my way.”
Good. Yes. John was coming. The energy this gave him was enough to overcome any doubts about composing his report. He would finish it, get it out of the way so he could see John uninhibited. Drinking would put him in the right mood. No coke, not tonight. There was only about a gram left anyway. His high would be over before it began.
He tugged the cork out of a half-empty bottle of port and went to pour a himself a glass, then thought, why dirty another dish? He swigged the wine right there, feeling dangerous and sexy even as some escaped the lip and dribbled down his chin. On the wall the clock ticked eleven-forty-four. There was still time left before his report was officially late. He paced the room, drinking and dictating while his orb took notes. Six kills, no new intel, it rained. Done. He signed the report with “fuck you” and told his orb to send. Then he laid down on his bed, thought of John, and waited. At some point he finished off the port.
When his orb buzzed he shot out of bed and rocketed down the stairs to the front door, moving just as fast as he’d been when he was running from the reaper cloud. He opened the door, and when he saw who it was, flung himself at John like a ragdoll.
“What have you been drinking?” John asked, laughing as he caught him. He may have also been a little concerned. He was still wearing his uniform, though he’d left the cap at home.
Sherlock giggled and pressed closer. “Booze.” He saw no need to elaborate.
“I can see that. There’s some on your chin. Hey, mind if we go inside? It’s wet out here.”
Sherlock tugged him into the building. “Upstairs.”
They bounded up a story, John’s hand cautiously supporting Sherlock’s back in case he fell. Really, he was fine. John underestimated him.
A quick tour of the apartment led them to the bedroom.
“This is where I think,” Sherlock said as John followed him inside. “I guess I also sleep here, but that’s just not as-”
John pushed him onto the bed and kissed him, his mouth hot and bullying. Sherlock’s first instinct was to pull up his knees and shove away, but John had his lower half pinned pretty good despite the height difference. When he realized he couldn’t move, he grew hard, moaned, and told himself this was normal. Then he told himself to shut up because John was rolling off of him. It left Sherlock feeling weightless, like without John he’d float away.
“Shit, I’m sorry,” John said, almost but not quite regretful. “Was that too much? It’s been a while.”
Sherlock caught his breath for what was probably the hundredth time that day. “You’re fine. That was . . .” He struggled to find the right adjective. “Exhilerating.”
John nodded and unbuttoned the top of his dress shirt. “Good. Because now I’m going to fuck you, just like that.”
He climbed back on top of Sherlock, who welcomed his return with a kiss just as mean as the one John had given him first. The beard won him over when he discovered it could provide additional friction. As John rutted against him he did his best to struggle, just enough so that John restrained him but not enough to scare him into stopping. It comforted him that despite how long they’d been physically separated, their bodies still fit each other just as they did five years ago. Few things were as reliable.
Overheating, he removed his own shirt, fingers stumbling over themselves (buttons had to have been invented by virgins), then helped John with his. Underneath John was wearing his L-Corps designation brassiere, designed to neatly hug his pecs. Sherlock slowed down to touch it, not entirely sure it was safe for him to do so.
He looked up. “Can we . . . ?”
“It’s fine,” John said, pulling his belt from the loops. “You have my permission.” His pants dropped away to reveal an officer’s garter belt and stockings, along with regulation panties that were barely able to restrain their contents. Sherlock shuddered and tried not to touch himself. He was already so close and they’d barely done more than kiss. He should have drank more wine.
“Please, fuck me,” he whined, arching his hips forward. “Please.”
“Call me your pretty, pretty princess and I will,” John joked. He left the bed briefly to look for lubricant and found it in Sherlock’s bedside table, along with a pack of cigarettes. “Very original.”
Sherlock’s pants came off and John kneeled over him, feet planted on the floor. “Let me know if I’m being too rough, okay?” Sherlock nodded but had no real intention of complying. Pain had a way of intensifying things into memory, and he wanted to memorize this moment in its entirety.
John smiled and bent down to kiss him again. It was softer this time, perhaps out of guilt for what he was about to do. He groaned and gripped John’s back, encountering the band of his brassiere. His fingers slipped beneath it, testing its strength, and he wondered what it would be like to wear one. As the kiss wandered to his neck Sherlock couldn’t help himself, and lifted his head to peek over John’s shoulder. He glimpsed under the band and and slammed his eyes shut, but he couldn’t blink away what he’d seen: a small cross-and-triangle tattoo, about the size of fingernail, freshly red and inked over John’s left shoulder.
Somehow the room seemed to grow darker.
He fell backward onto the mattress, almost like he’d been dropped. Above him John had righted himself and was lifting Sherlock’s hips, pushing forward, inside of him. The presence felt horribly unfamiliar, like someone had snuck in and taken John’s place. He shot up, breathing quickly. The force of it pushed John out of the way. Sherlock stood. His limbs felt flimsy, like a cheap doll’s.
“What’s wrong?” John asked immediately, reaching for him. “Are we moving too quickly? I can—fuck, Sherlock, your hands are shaking. Here, let me see you.”
On the nightstand Sherlock’s orb was blinking a dull, angerless red. He covered it with a hand before John could notice and shoved it into a drawer.
“It’s nothing,” he said. “I’m fine. I’d just forgotten to check the weather.”
John looked at him like this was the saddest thing he’d ever heard. Sighing, he gathered Sherlock to his chest.
“I promise I’m not going anywhere,” John murmured. He placed a kiss on Sherlock’s shoulder. “This isn’t like before. I’m staying for good this time.” Sherlock nodded, but didn’t respond.
Outside it was still raining.
- Current Mood: disappointed