My Phone’s On Vibrate For You 7

Title: My Phone’s on Vibrate For You 7
Fandom: Sherlock
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Warning/Spoilers: Reference to child abuse.
Word Count: 4400
Rating: NC-17
Summary: John loves that Sherlock isn’t like other people, except when his other-ness gets in the way.

Rivers carve plains into canyons and mountains are worn down to pebbles before either of them move or speak. John inhales to explain, maybe amend it to I love your body, I love having sex with you, I love falling asleep to the sound of your breathing, when Sherlock rolls onto John and pins his hands over his head. Sherlock’s expression is fierce and frightened, and John’s heart slams against his ribs with wanting him again.

“Don’t say that to me,” Sherlock hisses. “Don’t ever say that to me.”

“Sherlock,” John begins but Sherlock throws himself off John and scoops up his dressing gown, pulls it around himself and belts it tightly. John says wearily, “It’s too late for modesty now,” as he kicks the duvet aside. He sits on the edge of the bed, watching Sherlock as he paces and shoves his hands through his hair, and remembers Mycroft saying He does love to be dramatic.

John represses the urge to giggle.

He loves Sherlock’s drama. He loves Sherlock’s moods. He loves Sherlock’s odd, unique face, the thunderclouds that can hover in his eyes and the sudden sunshine when something catches his interest. He loves the contentment Sherlock wears after sex, how he won’t smile with his mouth but it’s visible in the lines around his eyes and the set of his lips. He even loves Sherlock’s face now, uncertain and angry, because it’s Sherlock’s face.

He says softly, “I love you,” and Sherlock whirls on him, lips curling back from his teeth.

“Stop saying that!”

“I can’t help it.” John smiles at him. He’s never been afraid of Sherlock and certainly isn’t now, with perspiration still drying on his skin and the taste of Sherlock in his mouth. “I love you. And you love me, too,” he adds, because it couldn’t be more obvious if someone had written it across the sky. How had he not seen it all this time? Probably because he didn’t want to see. “You wouldn’t have been so tender with me today if you didn’t.”

“You have no idea what I feel.”

“I have a better idea than you do.” John leans back on his elbows and wants to laugh when Sherlock averts his eyes. “Don’t be a blushing maiden, Sherlock. For God’s sake, I was inside you not ten minutes ago.”

“Yes, I know!” Sherlock spits. “That was all it was ever supposed to be!”

“Most people are pleased when they learn they’re loved.”

“I’m not most people.”

John can’t keep the affection out of his voice. “No, you’re not.”

“John, stop! Don’t. Don’t. I can’t — I don’t –” He growls in frustration. “It doesn’t fit.”

“We fit together perfectly,” John says gently. “Come back to bed. Let me show you how well we fit.”

“It doesn’t fit here,” Sherlock says, his fingers digging into his temples. “It’s too much, it’s too big, I can’t make it fit.”

“Too big?” He reaches for Sherlock but Sherlock steps back as if he’s afraid of being mauled. “Sherlock, it’s not like trying to comprehend infinity –“

“Child’s play.”

“– it’s just love.”

Sherlock glares at him.

John sighs and rubs his eyes a moment. He suspects he fell in love the first time Sherlock explained his deductions (in the cab, about his phone, on their way to see the body of Jennifer Wilson — he killed a man for Sherlock that night, and he often asks himself why and has no other answer than I had no choice because he knew, even then, that a world without Sherlock Holmes was not a world in which he wanted to live), and has just been living with that knowledge in the back of his mind ever since. The sex has only reinforced it, given layers to their friendship like the folds of steel that make a sword.

Despite all that, Sherlock is still Sherlock, impossible and strange and not like other people. John loves that he’s not like other people, except when that other-ness gets in the way. “Tell me why it doesn’t fit.”

“Because if you love me then everything I know is wrong.”

“Everything you know about what? About me? Sherlock, you do know everything about me, you know things I don’t even know about myself.”

“You had a long-term girlfriend,” Sherlock says. “You sought out a new girlfriend as soon as you could after you were discharged. You ask women out — you asked women out — all the time, whether you thought you had a chance with them or not. You consider yourself something of a ladies’ man, not without reason, and women like you return. You love women, John.” He breathes in. “For you, men are just for sex.”

John furrows his eyebrows. “No, I’ve never thought that.”

Sherlock shoves his hands into his hair again. “That was my mistake. There’s always something, some clue I miss, something I don’t see until it’s too late. I should have ended this the moment you told me about Stewart Radcliffe. I should have known, should have realized, but instead I thought it was just a wartime romance and had nothing to do with us. Stupid, stupid.”

“So,” John says slowly, “you chose me because you knew I’d like the sex but didn’t think I would fall in love with you. You thought I was — what, exactly? Using you?”

“That we both would get what we want,” says Sherlock, arm flailing out. “You’d have your needs fulfilled and I’d get to keep my flatmate instead of watching you chase after women who don’t deserve you.”

John blinks at him. He says softly, “And you want to convince me you don’t love me.”

“Shut up!”

“Why? What are you so afraid of?” He gets out of bed and takes hold of Sherlock’s dressing gown, the material spillery against his fingers. “Come back to bed. We don’t have to talk anymore.”

“More sex will only make it worse,” Sherlock whispers but he crawls onto John nonetheless. He lets John push off the dressing gown, folds John within his arms and legs, takes John into him, and John tries not to believe this is the last time.


In the morning Sherlock is gone. Not in his bed, not in John’s, not on the sofa, not anywhere in the flat.

John’s phone flashes the light that means he has a text waiting. John rubs his eyes and reads it, a message that fills him with resignation.

“I need time. SH.”

John taps out, “Come home soon. I miss you,” and sends the message. He rises, showers, makes tea, the phone within reach the entire time in case Sherlock calls or texts again.

It’s a slow and lonely day, even though he watches some telly with Mrs. Hudson (who finds nothing strange about Sherlock’s absence, which makes John feel it even more keenly) and gets phone calls from both Harry and Mike Stamford. He tells them both he’s doing fine, and then lies on the sofa and listens to violin CDs for a while. (Sherlock is fond of Itzhak Perlman, though John is drawn to Vanessa Mae.)

The call from Mycroft on the second day is a welcome interruption. “He’s fine,” Mycroft says without preamble. “He’s safe.”

“Where is he? When is he coming home?”

“Safe, and not yet,” says Mycroft. “I can attempt to convince him, though I’d prefer he didn’t know I’m watching him just yet.”

“No,” John says. “He won’t listen to either of us. Thanks for letting me know.”

“Yes,” says Mycroft simply and hangs up.

The phone rings late on the third night — Lestrade, looking for Sherlock. “He’s not answering his phone.”

“He’s not answering me, either.”

“Is he sick?”

“He’s…” John rubs his hand over his eyes. “Thinking.”

“So help me, John, if he’s using again –“

“I don’t think he is.”

“Then what is he doing?”

John says softly, “Making a decision,” and smiles wryly as Lestrade lets loose a string of emphatic curses.

“Tell him to call me the moment he contacts you,” says Lestrade and hangs up, too.

John switches to the text message application and types, “Come home. We’re all worried about you.”

He falls asleep with the phone in his hand, and its vibration wakes him. He squints at the screen, which reads, “Not yet. SH.”

“Why?” John types, frustrated, horny, missing him so much it’s an actual pain in his gut, in his chest. “Come home. I miss you. I want you. I’ll never say I love you again if you’ll just come home.”

Strange, he thinks after he’s sent the message, with anyone else the promise would be to say I love you more often, to only say it if he meant it, to mean it.

He curses and types another text, “And call Lestrade. I think he has a case for you to solve.”

No answer to that, either, but John thinks gloomily it’s more likely Sherlock will talk to Lestrade than anyone else in their circle right now. He texts, “Just let me know you’re all right.”

Sherlock’s answer comes after just a few minutes. “I am. SH.”

John stares at it and wonders if he should answer or if that would just spook Sherlock further. His question is answered, however, when Sherlock texts him again, “Lestrade has a case for us. SH.” The next text is an address.

John thinks he shouldn’t be so pleased, considering that someone else is suffering tonight, but he still gets up and dresses and catches a cab to meet Sherlock.


It’s a kidnapping this time, a nine-year-old boy named James Lennox. Sherlock pokes around the boy’s bedroom even though Mrs. Lennox insists the boy was taken from school, and John tries to assure her that Sherlock is just gathering as much data as he can.

“Who usually picks James up from school?” John asks her gently, hoping he’s being helpful.

“His father. It was his father’s turn today, the bastard. He never could look after James properly.” She dabs her face with tissues. All of her makeup has already been washed or wept off, and she’s removed all of her jewelry, as well. “Oh, Mr. Watson, why is this happening to me?”

John makes comforting noises and looks at Sherlock, who is focused on a photograph of the boy and his parents — no, just the boy and his father — on the boy’s bedside table. He picks up a letter and hands it to John, and John scans over it quickly. It seems ordinary enough, addressed to “Dear Jamie,” signed, “Love, Daddy,” and is just a little bedtime story about a bear and a rabbit and a vole having an adventure on a boat. (Heavily influenced by The Wind In the Willows, if John remembers correctly.) He gives the letter back to Sherlock, not certain why it’s important, and then follows after Sherlock as he sweeps out.

“She was unusually nervous,” Sherlock remarks as they walk away from the house, past the police cars. It’s a posh neighborhood and none of their neighbors are watching from their front steps, though John can see the occasional curtain stirring as someone peeps out at the flashing lights.

“Her child’s been taken, Sherlock. Of course she’s upset.”

“Not upset, John. Nervous. She’s hiding something.” He turns to look back at the house, walking backwards for a few steps. “Where is Mr. Lennox tonight?”

“Out looking, I assume.”

“Never assume,” Sherlock says. “He’s no longer living in the house. Separation and a custody battle brewing.”

“You think Lennox took the boy? Parents do — kidnap their own children because they think they won’t be awarded custody, or they’re not awarded custody and refuse to go along with the agreement.”

“I don’t think it’s that,” says Sherlock, shaking his head. “The divorce is not yet begun and she’s already stopped wearing her wedding band.”

“Hiding it,” John murmurs.

“She’s got a lover waiting in the wings. In her mind the marriage is over. You heard the way she talks about Mr. Lennox, how she referred to him. She’s laying groundwork.”

“She arranged the kidnapping,” John clarifies.

“Yes. Likely her lover has the boy, or someone else she trusts and has the same goal as she.”

“God,” John says, weary. “Why would a mother do that to her own child?”

“To hurt her husband, of course,” says Sherlock. “Make him look like an incompetent guardian in the worst way possible.”

“All so she doesn’t have to share their child with him on weekends and holidays. She must hate him.”

“Passionate love turns to passionate hate every day,” says Sherlock mildly, but the look he gives John is almost burning.

John says hesitantly, “Look, Sherlock,” but then Lestrade pulls up — he has the boy’s ashen-faced father with him and he wants Sherlock to question him. John keeps his thoughts to himself for a while longer.


It takes Sherlock’s relentless questioning to get Mrs. Lennox to break down and admit the kidnapping was her doing, and the Met locate the boy from the clues she gives. Jamie is found unharmed and badly frightened, and at the police station he throws himself into his father’s arms.

The sun is just starting to come up as Sherlock and John leave Scotland Yard. John says, “Breakfast?” like it’s an ordinary day, one of dozens they’ve had by now — as if, like any of those times, they’ll eat breakfast and then go home and shag until they fall asleep. He loved those days. He misses those days.

“Starving,” says Sherlock. They glance at each other and just as quickly glance away.

I can’t bear this, thinks John, but he doesn’t know what to do to solve it, either. If they go back to how things were — well, they can’t ever go back, and he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want to be just Sherlock’s flatmate again. Despite his denials he is addicted to Sherlock’s endorphins, completely infatuated with his body, desperate for his presence.

They find a little café just opening up for the day, and take a table on the sidewalk. It’s cool out, with the promise of springtime warmth later, and John wraps his hands around his coffee cup and just breathes in its heat for a bit. Sherlock had bought a paper while they walked, and he flips through it while John sips and thinks.

Finally John puts down his cup and says, “Sherlock,” and Sherlock folds the paper with a sigh.

“I suppose we must do this.”

“Yes, we must. You disappeared for three days, Sherlock.”

“I was fine, John.”

“I didn’t know where you were. Nobody did. Well, Mycroft did, but you knew that, right? You know he always knows where you are.”

Sherlock pulls off his gloves and picks up his coffee cup. “I told you I was safe.”

“The point, Sherlock,” says John, leaning forward, “is that I like knowing where you are and where you’re sleeping and if you’re eating properly. I like being the one who feeds you and sleeps with you.” He adds, when Sherlock only sips his coffee and gazes elsewhere, “I missed you.”

Sherlock sips. How he manages to wear the same clothes and not bathe for three days and still look so polished and stylish is just one of the mysteries of being Sherlock. He says quietly, setting down his cup, “I missed you, too. I’m … used to you. But this isn’t what I wanted, John, not this — relationship.”

“You just wanted someone to have sex with,” says John, and it’s a law in restaurants that when you say something truly embarrassing and revealing, that’s when the server brings your food. John waits until the boy has put down their plates of omelets and toast and gone back into the café. He says quietly, “Look, I understand, I get that, I’ve done it myself. But one-night stands and dirty weekends aren’t the same sleeping with your flatmate for months.” Sherlock frowns deeply at his coffee cup, and John sighs. “You understand people so well, and yet you can’t understand this.”

Sherlock eats his toast slowly, not looking at John. John throws up his hands and starts eating, hoping the nourishment will prevent him from saying something foolish.

When his omelet is mostly gone, John says slowly, “If you absolutely can’t bear that I love you, I should move out.”

Sherlock looks up at him sharply.

“I can’t take it back, Sherlock. I can’t pretend it isn’t true. It’s out there. It exists. I love you and I –” He swallows. “I hated the last few days, but I’d hate it worse if I had to live with you and couldn’t touch you again. I can’t pretend I don’t love you.”

Sherlock stares at him, his face blank.

“All right,” John says wearily and crosses his knife and fork on his plate. “I’ll just need a few days to find a place and pack my things. I’ll try to keep out of your way.”

He expects an argument — hopes for one, in fact — but instead Sherlock’s eyes lower and he murmurs, “Are you over Stewart Radcliffe, John?”

“Stewart?” John says. “Why? He’s not a part of this. What — are you afraid — God, I don’t even know where to start. Look, if you think I go round comparing you to him, I don’t. The two of you couldn’t be more different. It’s not even apples and oranges — it’s more like chalk and cheese. The cliffs of Dover and cheese, even. Different lives, different worlds. Definitely a different me.”

“So you are not over him.”

“I still love him,” says John. “I hope I always will. I thought he was the love of my life, but he’s gone. You’re here, Sherlock. You’re not a substitute. You’re not a distraction. You’re not a toy.”

“Then what am I?”

John pauses and looks at him. Sherlock’s expression is still blank, or struggling to stay blank — it would look blank to anyone who didn’t know Sherlock, hadn’t seen the hurt and disappointment that could flit through his eyes.

He says softly, “Sherlock.”

Sherlock swallows and looks out at the street. Slowly, it’s starting to grow busy as people begin their daily routines, breakfast on the way to work or hurrying to work itself. He says softly and deliberately, as if choosing each word with care, “I … have never been … anyone’s.”

“Anyone’s what?” John whispers.

Sherlock looks at him. “Anything.”


They go back to the flat. It’s early in the day but they’re both tired, or at least John is tired and Sherlock is quiet. John wants to reach for Sherlock’s hand but they’re still not quite there yet. Elbows brush as they walk, though, and John enjoys those brief, simple touches as much as the fact that Sherlock is allowing them.

When they reach Baker Street, John takes off his jacket as he climbs the stairs. He stretches out his back and twists from the waist, seeking relief from the stress of the night — and the days that preceded it, if he’s honest with himself. Sherlock is safe and home in their snug little flat, and even if they don’t know where they’re going, they do know where they are. It’s an improvement.

When he glances downstairs, Sherlock is still at the bottom, watching him. John starts to invite him up, but only nods and continues to his room. He undresses and crawls under the duvet, and then looks up with surprise when Sherlock appears in the doorway. “Could we,” Sherlock begins, and then swallows.

“Come here, Sherlock,” John says, and Sherlock gets into bed with him, still dressed, his long pale toes cool against John’s feet. They don’t embrace, but they lie close enough that John can feel Sherlock breathing and the warmth of his skin.

“I’ve never been the love of someone’s life,” Sherlock whispers. His hands are curled together and tucked under his chin. It makes him look achingly young.

“Yes, you have,” John says. “You’re mine.”

“Don’t be absurd, John. You’re not going to love me for the rest of your life.”

“How about you let me decide that,” says John, and he pauses a moment as if he’s thinking it over. “Yes. Definitely. You’re it. You’re the one for me.”

Sherlock shakes his head. “You can’t know that.”

“Yes, you can. I can.”

“I’m sure the Lennoxes thought the same thing when they were first married, and now look at them.”

“Well, we’re not the Lennoxes. We’re John and Sherlock.” He leans his head against Sherlock’s. “We’ve already been through the fire.”

Sherlock is quiet for a while, and John closes his eyes and lets himself drift. He opens them again when Sherlock whispers, “You’re right. We’ve been tested. When I say I’d do anything for you, I truly would do anything.” He gazes at John with wonder, the morning sun softening his features and making his eyes look stunningly blue, clear as the springtime sky. “Including love you.”

John smiles. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?” Sherlock shakes his head, his eyes wide, and John laughs and kisses his forehead. “Take a moment to recover, it’s all right. Your first I love you is a big deal.” He plays with Sherlock’s hair and Sherlock moves closer to him with a quiet sigh.

“I’m terrified, John.”


“I don’t trust happiness. It’s too elusive and indefinable.”

“I think it’s simple,” John says. “It’s this. It’s a perfect spring morning, you’ve made the world a better place once again, and we can do anything we want today. Including just sleep. If that’s what we want.”

“Is that you want?” Sherlock says, starting to smile. “To sleep all day?”

John shakes his head, and then makes a muffled groan when Sherlock hauls him close and kisses him. John wraps himself around Sherlock and kisses him fiercely, relief flooding him. He’d missed this so much, Sherlock’s lips and scent and skin, their fingers twined together and Sherlock’s legs around his hips.

Sherlock rolls them over, to kneel over John and strip off his clothes. John watches him with wide eyes and runs his hands over Sherlock’s chest and shoulders, whispering his appreciation, how beautiful Sherlock is, how loved. Sherlock tugs on John’s pyjamas and tosses them out of the way, then stretches over him, perspiration springing up on his skin, familiar and comforting. He kisses John, slow, deep, wet, and his mouth tastes so good that John clutches Sherlock to him to just kiss for a while.

Sherlock mouths his way over John’s chest, down his abdomen, as John groans and rakes his hand through Sherlock’s hair. He digs his fingers into Sherlock’s scalp as that beautiful mouth sucks him, and he watches Sherlock for as long as he can bear until he has to twist his face away, his eyes squeezed shut, his fingers knotted in Sherlock’s hair, as he cries out again and again and Sherlock swallows him, his fist twisting against John’s hip bone.

As he gasps for breath Sherlock crawls up his body and presses their noses together. His lips taste like come and John licks at him greedily, sliding his fingers into Sherlock’s damp hair. “Let me,” Sherlock whispers and John says, “Yes,” even before he’s done speaking, and Sherlock shivers down his spine and kisses John with more ferocity.

He kneels between John’s thighs and gets a condom from John’s drawer, slips it on and pushes slicked fingers into John. John’s body arches and he gasps, “Fuck, I want you, fuck me, Sherlock,” and Sherlock bends over him to kiss him, tongues touching before their lips meet.

Sherlock’s first thrust is so powerful John shouts, not bothering to hold it in as Sherlock opens him. His fists press into Sherlock’s back and he buries his face in Sherlock’s neck, and Sherlock whispers, “John,” and kisses his hair. Sherlock’s arms slide under John to hold him tighter. His rhythm is purposeful and just this side of rough, and when John focuses hazily on Sherlock’s eyes they’re summer-storm dark and wide with wonder.

John lifts his head and kisses Sherlock, and Sherlock kisses John eagerly, hungrily, no longer miserly with his kisses. John basks in them, sucks on Sherlock’s mouth and rocks his body to meet Sherlock’s. Sherlock moans against his lips as he shoves into John’s body, perspiration making John’s hands slide over Sherlock’s skin, and John moans to encourage him. His body shivers under John’s hands, his hand trembling on John’s hip, and he groans wordlessly as until his hips slow and stop.

John holds him, ankles crossed behind Sherlock’s back, kisses his forehead and rakes his fingers through Sherlock’s hair. He coaxes Sherlock’s head against his neck and Sherlock gulps air, his nose in the hollow of John’s throat. John strokes Sherlock’s slick back and eventually lowers his legs to frame Sherlock’s narrow hips with his knees. He traces Sherlock’s profile with his fingertip and smiles when it passes over Sherlock’s lips and gets a kiss.

Sherlock buries his face in John’s neck and mumbles something. John tilts his face up. “What?”

“I said, I’m still terrified.”

John pulls back, brows drawing together. “Why?”

“Because as good as I feel right now, that’s how horrible it will be when you leave.”

“I’m not going to leave.”

Sherlock sighs and pulls out of John carefully, making John grunt with loss, and curls against John’s side. “You say that now.”

John folds an arm around Sherlock and traces over his smooth back. “I say it for always. I’m not going to break your heart.”

Sherlock blinks at him, then smiles just enough and rolls John onto his back for more kisses. John laughs and kisses him back. “I trust you,” Sherlock whispers. “I’m terrified, but I trust you.”

“I couldn’t ask for more,” John tells him, and then they stop talking for a while because there are kisses to be shared.


John is on his way home from the shops, canvas shopping bags slung over his shoulder, when his phone vibrates. He smiles and takes it out of his pocket, and smiles wider when he sees the text from Sherlock. “Where are you? SH.”

“Coming home.”

“Hurry. SH.”

“Yes, dear,” John types and tucks his phone in his shirt pocket. It buzzes against his chest and he takes it out again.

“What are you wearing? SH.”

John laughs and types, “Exactly what I was wearing an hour ago.”

“Indulge me. SH.”

John stops and thinks, and types out, “Tight white t-shirt and leather trousers. You?” He keeps the phone out as he walks, and laughs out loud when it vibrates with Sherlock’s answer.


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