It Only Takes a Moment

Title: It Only Takes a Moment
Fandom: Sherlock
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Warning/Spoilers: None
Word Count: 1000
Rating: R
Summary: It only takes a moment for everything to change.
Notes: Written for this prompt from .

The air in John’s bedroom was humid and thick. The pillows had fallen to the floor about the time Sherlock twisted John under him and pushed another condom into his hand. The blankets hung onto the bed, barely, and the lamp had fallen off the nightstand — fortunately, it was close enough to the wall that it hadn’t crashed to the floor, and it cast odd shadows on the ceiling.

Sherlock panted for breath, his arm curled around John and his fingers moving slowly and minutely between John’s shoulder blades. John gulped air, too spent to move.

It was one of those nights where the sex wasn’t just passionate — it was electric, it was endless, when John couldn’t get enough of Sherlock and Sherlock couldn’t get enough of John, when John wanted to bury himself inside Sherlock and never leave that tight, hot, perfect space. But they had both reached the point where more would be too much, so John pressed his face against Sherlock’s side and inhaled the fragrance of him, his soap and aftershave from that morning still faintly present under the layers of perspiration and lubricant and come. John loved the scent of Sherlock all the time, from first thing in the morning when he was warm and smelled of sleep, to the end of the day when he might smell like anything from chemicals to crime scenes; but especially like this, when he smelled of sex, of John.

John loved that, when it felt like he’d claimed Sherlock with his scent. He loved the peaceful look on Sherlock’s face, the rare deep contentment. He loved knowing he’d put it there. He loved … just this, Sherlock damp and warm beside him, smelling so delicious, heart racing, chest heaving.

He moved his hand down Sherlock’s ribcage, to the sharp drop from ribs to stomach. The skin here was vulnerably smooth until his fingers caught the short crisp hair of Sherlock’s groin, and then the long slender cock that gave a half-hearted twitch as John caressed him.

Sherlock rumbled a chuckle. “John…”

“I know, no more,” John murmured. He kissed Sherlock’s chest and left his hand on Sherlock’s hip, fingers curved around the knobby bone.

Sherlock shifted just enough to brush his lips against John’s forehead, barely a kiss, but it still made John smile. He felt so good, so unbelievably, uncommonly good, that he wondered if everything that came after would only be a disappointment.

Sherlock reached over him and pulled the lamp back onto the nightstand, then switched it off, casting the room into darkness. He settled beside John, arm around him, and John let himself be encircled. He made a pleased sound and Sherlock chuckled again, deep and soft.

His breath was finally calm, and John blinked drowsily a few times before letting his eyes stay closed. Sherlock had calmed as well, though there was still a tension in his limbs that said sleep was far away. He traced lazy figure eights on John’s back, and John knew this was more to soothe himself than it was to soothe John. This was not unusual: Sherlock slept very little even on his best nights, no matter what John did to him in the hopes of giving him some peace.

John slowed his breath, waiting. He knew Sherlock’s moods by heart now, by touch, and he knew that Sherlock would leave him soon to find another way to pass the time.

Sherlock shifted again, but instead of pulling away as he often did — to go downstairs and keep himself occupied while John slept, reading, writing, experimenting, playing his violin — he kissed John’s forehead again and whispered, “I love you.”

John’s eyes flew open and his breath caught. Sherlock did not say “I love you.” John said “I love you” sometimes, but he always excused it with people will say anything when they’re coming. They didn’t talk about it — they didn’t talk about this at all, really, because once you acknowledged desire what more was there to say? — and John had never expected those words from Sherlock, much less so quietly and tenderly.

John breathed out, slowly and carefully, and said, “I’m awake.”

“Yes,” said Sherlock. “I know.”

“Oh,” said John. “Okay.” He closed his eyes, and then opened them wide, because — oh. Oh. Sherlock meant for him to hear it. Sherlock said it now, here, because it wasn’t a secret. It wasn’t something he wanted to hide. It was important.

It was true.

John propped himself up so he could look at Sherlock’s face, luminous in the moonlight, and Sherlock gazed back at him unflinchingly. John said, “You love me.”


“That’s … good.”

“Yes. Go to sleep.”

“Sherlock,” said John and sat up finally, unable to stay still, “you can’t just say you love me and expect me to sleep like it’s just another night.”

“You could say you love me too and then sleep.” Sherlock regarded him with concern. “If you do love me, that is. I’d rather you didn’t lie to spare my feelings.”

“I wouldn’t lie about such things,” said John, and then kissed the furrow between Sherlock’s brows until the skin smoothed out under his lips. He said quietly, “I love you too. Very much.”

“Good,” said Sherlock, comfortable again.

John watched him, and then pulled the blankets over them and laid his head on Sherlock’s chest. This was not new — he loved to fall asleep to the sound of Sherlock’s heartbeat. Sherlock pushed a hand into his hair and gently massaged his scalp. This was not new, either — Sherlock had soothed him to sleep like this many times in the past.

Only it was unlike any of those other times, because Sherlock loved him.

Nothing had changed, not really. Sherlock would still be Sherlock in the morning, mad, impossible, beautiful, clever; and John would still be John, following Sherlock wherever he led because being in Sherlock’s presence was as necessary as water and air.

Nothing had changed and everything was different, because Sherlock loved him and John loved Sherlock, too.


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