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Author: fenm
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Title: 'Tis the Season
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Sherlock/John, Mrs. Hudson, DI Lestrade.
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sex, discussions of sex, and strong language.
Theme: Christmas
Warnings: References to Sherlock's past drug use, non-graphic descriptions of John's shoulder wound, very explicit sexual content.
Word Count: 9273
Beta: avatarmn
Summary: John and Sherlock's relationship deepens as they celebrate Christmas together.
Notes: I'm putting notes at the end of the story, so as not to spoil any of its plot points.
Originally written for manicker on sherlockmas
Argh, I'm a day late... But since this is Christmas-related, I really wanted to post it here.

December of 2010 was, for the most part, pretty much like every month for Dr. John Watson. He and his colleague Sherlock Holmes dealt with a series of bizarre cases, Sherlock went into a deep funk when not on a case, and John had to deal with Sherlock regardless of his mood. On top of that, John attempted to have a semi-normal life; job, girlfriend, all of that, but it wasn't easy, given the amount of time and attention Sherlock demanded from him (and which, in all fairness, he willingly gave him).

There was, however, one aspect of the month that John managed to make special. It had taken some cajoling, but John had finally convinced Sherlock to let him decorate their flat for Christmas. He kept it simple; just a small tree, some garland on the valances above windows, and a tasteful wreath on the door of their sitting room. John debated getting a gift for Sherlock, but since he couldn't think of anything the man might like anyway, he decided not to bother. And so, despite the approach of Christmas, John and Sherlock's life was pretty much business as usual.

Sherlock and John had gone out for their post-case meal (it was breakfast in this case), and came back to their flat, happy and full and, in John's case, ready for a nap before going out to do some shopping. As they entered the foyer, Mrs. Hudson came out of her flat, probably on her way to do some shopping of her own. "Oh, good morning, John! Good morning Sherlock!"

"Good morning, Mrs. Hudson," said John. Sherlock just have her a quick smile.

Mrs. Hudson headed towards the door, then turned to say something to them. As she did, she gave a bit of a laugh. Then she walked up to Sherlock and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Sherlock backed up, giving her a puzzled look. "What was that for?" She looked up, and he followed her gaze, to see a sprig of mistletoe hanging above where he'd been standing. "Oh, God..."

Mrs. Hudson smiled and patted Sherlock's shoulder. "Oh, try to have some fun, Sherlock."

Sherlock sighed. "Enjoy your shopping, Mrs. Hudson," he said, in a not-so-subtle attempt to get her out the door. Deciding to take the hint, she smiled and left.

Sherlock reached up to take down the mistletoe, but John stopped him. "Wait, Sherlock... she's only going to be here two more days. You can take it down after she leaves. Besides, now that you know it's there, you can avoid it."

"Fine," said Sherlock, heading up to the flat.

"So, you're not going home for Christmas?"

Sherlock looked up from his book. "Why would I?"

John looked at his friend cautiously. "Are you staying here because I'm stuck here?"

"Not really." Sherlock shrugged. "It's a matter of practicality. If I went to my mother's, I'd be spending the time with six people, most of whom I don't care about, or whom I actively dislike. If I stay here, I'll be spending the time with one person whom I actually enjoy spending time with."

John was flattered. "Well, when you put it that way..."

"Besides," Sherlock continued, "as you've noticed, I don't really care much about the whole thing, and my mother tends to make quite a big deal of it. Tree decorating, presents, stockings, Christmas dinner, listening to the Queen's Message, going to Midnight Mass... all of that." He made a face.

"I care about some of that stuff."

"Yes, but you don't care if I don't participate in it."


Sherlock smiled. "So, like I said, it just makes more sense for me to stay here."

The next day, John saw Mrs. Hudson off. Sherlock had said a brief goodbye, then gone back upstairs, but John made sure she got a taxi that would take her to the train station, and he helped put her things in the boot. "Call us when you get to your sister's."

"All right, I will. You two have fun!"

"We will," John replied as he closed the door to the taxi and waved good bye. He went back in, closing the door against the cold with a shudder. Sherlock was headed back down.

"Going out for a bit," he said. "Anything pressing we need? I might be able to get it on the way back."

"You're... going to go shopping?"

Sherlock glared. "Not if you're going to keep reacting that way every time I offer."

John looked abashed. "Sorry. The only thing I can really think of is--"


John smiled. "Yeah. Oh, wait we're a bit low on bread, too."

Sherlock nodded. He looked up for a second, then back down to John with an odd look on his face.

"What is it...?"

With that, Sherlock leaned down and gave John a kiss on the cheek. "Sherlock...?" The taller man's eyes flicked up, and John looked up to see that he'd ended up right under Mrs. Hudson's mistletoe. "Oh, for the love of..." Sherlock laughed lightly. Then his expression changed. He leaned down again, kissing John on the lips. John gave a start of surprise, then, before he knew what he was doing, began kissing back. Realization hit him suddenly, and he backed away.

"John--" But before Sherlock could say anything more, John took off, up the stairs to his room. He slammed the door shut and locked it. He sat down on his bed and took a deep breath. But before he could gather his thoughts, Sherlock knocked on his door. "John? What's going on?"

"Go away."

"Look, John, I--"

"Sherlock, please..." It occurred to John that perhaps explaining why he wanted Sherlock to let him be might actually persuade him to do it. "I need some time alone, to think."

"I think better when I talk aloud to someone," Sherlock reminded him; it was clear from his tone he was trying to be helpful.

"I don't. And even so, since you're the problem--" he winced, realizing how that sounded... and yet, it was partially true. "I... don't mean it like that. Just... please, go run your errands and give me some time to think, all right?

There was a pause, then: "All right. I'll have my phone, so if you want to talk, or even just send a text..."

"Yeah, ok."

John lay on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. He reached up and touched his lips. Yes, Sherlock had initiated the kiss, but he had kissed him back... John had never thought of himself as gay, or even bisexual. Sure, he had, every now and again, found himself looking a bit longer than might be considered "appropriate" at particularly attractive men, but from what he knew about human sexuality, even straight men had those sort of thoughts from time to time. But what if he had them more than was usual for a straight man? It wasn't really something he'd ever talked to anyone about. And when it came to actual sex... well, there had always been women around, even in the military. So he'd just gotten off with one of them, or fantasized about them. But there was no one like Sherlock; trying to imagine a female substitute for him was... well, simply impossible.

So what did this mean? Was he in love with Sherlock? For all his insanity--figurative and literal--Sherlock intrigued John like no one ever had before. His enthusiasm for his work, his wonderfully morbid sense of humor, his looks... John couldn't imagine anyone who wouldn't find Sherlock attractive, no matter how little interest they might have in men otherwise. His incredible, pale eyes, his lovely curly hair, his soft, full lips... And of course, there was Sherlock's intelligence. Sherlock had once asked him what it must be like in his "funny little brain", and as he got to know the man better, he realized this wasn't just a random insult; Sherlock really seemed to be on another level--sometimes a whole other plane--than ordinary people. It was a somewhat frightening thought, especially given Sherlock's dark proclivities; but it also fascinated John, enough that he was willing to put up with Sherlock's less pleasant traits just to continue to be near it.

John had started to put on the kettle when he remembered that there was no milk, and he had no idea how long it would be until Sherlock was home. Sighing, he decided to settle for plain water for the time being. As he poured the water from the kettle into his mug, the door to their flat opened, and Sherlock climbed the stairs, entering the kitchen through the side door. He was a carrying a bag from Tesco, as well as a few other bags from places John wasn't familiar with. Sherlock stopped, nearly midstep, when he saw John. He stood still for a moment, clearly not sure how to proceed.

"You got milk?"

"And bread," replied Sherlock, still looking at John warily. John could tell he was trying to read him to figure out what he could about the situation between them without having to ask.

John nodded. "Put them away and come into the sitting room." It said a lot about Sherlock's state of mind that he simply nodded and moved to obey.

"I need to put some things in my room," Sherlock said as he put the milk in the fridge. He seemed to be asking permission, even though there was no way he'd ever phrase it that way. John just nodded and went into the sitting room.

A few minutes later, Sherlock entered the sitting room. "Look, John..."

"No," John interrupted none-too-gently.

"I want to expl-"

"Shut up!" Sherlock tensed at John's exclamation. John sighed. "Look, Sherlock... just let me say what I need to say, ok?"

Sherlock took a breath as if to speak, but then he shut his mouth, put his hands behind his back, and gave a John look that let him know he had his full attention.

"It's mad, you know? The whole idea of... 'us', I mean. Completely mad. I mean, you're... insane. Maybe dangerously so. And I'm hardly the picture of sanity myself." Sherlock smirked in a way that implied that he thought was actually a good thing. "We do dangerous work, we both take stupid risks--maybe for different reasons, but still... you drive me crazy with your moods and your experiments and your middle-of-the-night violin playing. You... Christ... I could go on and on." John sighed. "But God help me, Sherlock, even with all that--hell, because of some of it... I can't imagine my life without you. And honestly, I don't want to."

Sherlock smiled. Then his smile melted. "Am I expected to give a whole spiel about-"

"No," said John with a laugh. "It's fine."

Sherlock nodded. "John, I've never been in any sort of... romantic relationship before." He scrunched his nose up on the word "romantic", "Or much of any kind of a relationship, really. I've studied them, but I get the impression it's one of those things you need to experience first hand to truly understand."

John smiled. "Yeah... it's also a lot more fun that way." Something occurred to John. "Sherlock... are you a virgin?"

Sherlock smiled. "No, but I can see why you'd think so." He shook his head. "I did some experimenting when I was younger."

"And when to say 'experimenting', you mean that literally," said John, also smiling.

"Yes. How about you?"

"No. I've been with... several women."

"Women," Sherlock said thoughtfully. "You've never had sex with a man before?"

"No," said John. "Have you?"

"Yes. Both men and women."

"Of course," said John with a wry grin. He noticed Sherlock was still giving him a thoughtful look. "What?"

"John... have you ever been anally penetrated? Like, with fingers or a sex toy? It would be helpful for me to know when we decide to have sex." John didn't miss the fact that Sherlock said "when", not "if".

"Yeah, I... I can see how it would be," said John, well aware that he was blushing now. "No, I haven't."

There was a short pause. Before either of them could speak, Sherlock's phone rang. Taking it out of his jacket, he answered it, "Sherlock Holmes? Yes, we'll be right over."


Sherlock grinned and went to get his coat and scarf. "Says it's nothing dangerous, but definitely puzzling and bizarre."

"Sounds like fun," said John, as he put on his coat and followed Sherlock out of the flat.

The next two days were taken up with John and Sherlock running about (sometimes with Lestrade in tow) trying to figure out who'd stolen Lady Carfax's jewelry from right out of her safe deposit box. John wasn't surprised that there was no talk of the budding relationship between he and Sherlock during this time; the detective couldn't be bothered with things like eating and sleeping while he was on a case, so he could hardly be expected to care about romance or sex. Finally, on the 24th of December, John was holding a gun on a jewel smuggler, while Sherlock called Lestrade to come around and pick him up (and take the credit for his capture). As the police hauled him off, Lestrade smiled at his favorite detective and his doctor. "Thanks, guys. I was hoping to get this wrapped in time for Christmas."

John smiled. "Looks like we just about made it."

"How wonderful for both of you," said Sherlock sarcastically.

"Scrooge," Lestrade muttered, though he was smiling when he said it.

Sherlock just rolled his eyes, then turned to his friend. "Come on, John. There's a fish and chip place down the street, and I could do with some dinner."

"Sounds good." John turned to Lestrade. "Happy Christmas, Inspector."

"Happy Christmas, John. And you too, Sherlock."

"Hmm," Sherlock replied vaguely, already headed off. John just shrugged at Lestrade and hurried off after him.

They rode home after dinner, Sherlock still on his post-case high, and John relaxing after two days of running around in the cold with no sleep and little food.

"So," John started, "What are we doing for Christmas anyway?"

"Aside from dinner, I had no specific plans." Sherlock shrugged. "Not having to deal with some sort of rigid schedule is part of why I wanted to stay at Baker Street with you instead of going to my mother's."

John nodded. Then: "Dinner?"

"We're going to Claridge's for Christmas dinner, I hope that's all right."

"Sure. Sounds nice, in fact."

They arrived at Baker Street. Sherlock paid the cabbie and they headed in.

"Oh, I want to watch the Queen's Message," John said. As he expected, Sherlock rolled his eyes. "You are welcome to go read in your room or do some other quiet activity while it's on, Sherlock."

"Good," said Sherlock.

"There's also the presents, of course," John said. "We don't have many of those," he added, though he was fine with that, really. "Should we open them in the morning?" John wondered. "That's how my family did it when I was growing up, but honestly, I'd kind of like to wait until the evening, after dinner. I think it's the anticipation..."

"I'd be fine waiting until evening."

John headed to his room to get clean clothes to change into after his shower. As he was headed up, his phone rang. "Hello?"

"Hello, John." It was Mycroft Holmes. Before John had time to speak (or hang up on him), he continued, "Is Sherlock nearby?"

"No. Why?"

"You haven't gotten him a gift yet."

"Do I want to know how you know that?"

"It's just an educated guess, Doctor, I assure you." John felt something less than assured.

"I wasn't sure he'd want anything. Or what to get him..."

"Well, seeing as he got you something, I know you'd want to reciprocate."

"He...? Oh, that's why he went shopping the other day."

"I'm sending you a list of possible gifts; you should be able to get them near where you live; some of the shops should still be open. I could send a car--"

"I'll take a taxi."

"Suit yourself, John."

After his shower, John went out, using the excuse that he had to do some last-minute grocery shopping (and he actually intended to; he decided he wanted some hot chocolate for Christmas evening). Sherlock gave a distracted nod, busy going over his case notes. Upon coming home, John took Sherlock's present to his room, then put away the groceries. Sherlock was thumbing lazily through a book as John entered the sitting room. He looked up at his flat mate. "John."


Setting his book down, Sherlock got up and walked up to John. "That first night at Angelo's I told you I was married to my work."

"Yeah, I remember."

Nodding, Sherlock continued, "As much as I would like to pursue a relationship with you, that's still basically true. That's why I've been-"

John shook his head. "You don't have to explain Sherlock. I get it, really. The work comes first."

"Of course you get it," said Sherlock, smiling. "However, now that the case is over..." with that, he leaned down, kissing John gently. Grabbing the back of Sherlock's head, John kissed back. He gasped as Sherlock pushed him none-too-gently against the wall, his hands traveling down to John's waist to pull him close, deepening their kiss. Sherlock grabbed the bottom of John's jumper and began to pull it off. John pulled back slightly, turning his head.

"Sherlock... wait..."


It occurred to John that Sherlock might well scoff at what he was about to say, but he decided to go for it anyway. "It's Christmas tomorrow. Can we wait till tomorrow night?"

There was a pause, then: "You want to consummate our relationship on Christmas night."

"Yeah. I know it's silly and sentimental, but..."

Sherlock stepped back, sighing. "Yes, it is." He looked at John carefully. "But you really want to."

John nodded. "If you don't mind waiting?"

"I don't mind at all." Sherlock seemed to consider it, then shrugged. "All right, tomorrow night it is." John smiled. "Oh!" Sherlock continued, "Have you got condoms? I don't have any, since I've not had sex in almost a decade."

"Yeah, I do. Got some this summer, and only used... a few." John felt a bit embarrassed admitting that fact. "We might need lubricant. I've never really used any, since it's not really necessary with women."

"I've got some."

John nodded. "I think that about covers it."

Sherlock furrowed his brow. "Actually..." He took a breath, then turned to John. The earnest look on his face actually frightened John a bit, as if he were about to confess to some terrible crime. "When I told Lestrade I was clean, I meant it. I've not done any drug that the UK legal system deems illegal in... almost four years."

"Ok," said John, finding himself not at all surprised by this information. "And you're telling me this now...?" Sherlock's eyes flicked down to his elbow. "Ahhhh... of course. Ok."

"You're not going to ask for details?"

John shrugged. "If you want to tell me, you can but... four years ago was before we met; as far as I'm concerned, it's none of my business."

"All right."

John smiled. Grabbing the collar of Sherlock's shirt, he pulled him down into a slow, deep kiss. Responding, Sherlock pushed John against the wall again, more gently this time. Their lips parted, but they stood for a minute, lips still close, softly breathing into each other.


"Yes, John?"

"I think I'm going to go to bed now. You might want to give it a try, as well. We have kind of a big day tomorrow."

Sherlock smiled, "I am rather tired, at that. See you in the morning, then?"


On Christmas morning, John walked into the sitting room carrying Sherlock's now-wrapped present. As he headed to the tree, he saw Sherlock at the kitchen table, poking cautiously at something John really hoped wasn't alive. Like John, Sherlock was still in his night clothes. He turned slightly, not really taking his eyes off his experiment. "Morning, John. Tea?"

"Yeah, in a minute. Where's the kettle?"

"On the stove," replied Sherlock, as if it should be obvious. It was then that John realized Sherlock was offering him tea, not asking him to make it. "Oh! I'd love some tea, thanks."

Sherlock gave a quick smile, getting up and taking off his latex gloves. He gave his hands a quick wash before getting John's RAMC mug down from the "ONLY FOR DRINKING!" shelf in their cupboard. Smiling, John continued towards the tree, stopping in surprise when he reached it. The tree was short; so much so that the tree topper was level with John's eye line. Except the tree topper wasn't on the tree; it had had been replaced with The Skull. "Sherlock!"

The man looked up at that, smiling. "Well, you did say you wanted me to get more involved with the Christmas spirit."

John sighed. But then he looked back at The Skull... Sherlock hadn't just stuck it on the tree haphazardly, no, he'd actually made a little scaffolding for it to sit on, so it would stay still and be steady on its perch. It wasn't terribly fancy, but it did the job, and the work that must have gone into it suggested a level of... well involvement that John couldn't help but appreciate it. "Yeah, I did." Smiling, he placed Sherlock's gift under the tree and walked over to get his tea. He took it from Sherlock, who smiled and headed back over to the table. "Wait..." Sherlock turned to him, and John got up on his toes, kissing him. "Happy Christmas."

"Happy Christmas, John."


"You were asleep, John, and I--"

"No, sorry, I didn't mean to sound critical. It's fine. Actually--" John looked at his watch--"there's a special on the telly I want to watch in a few minutes. Something I doubt you'd care about."

Sherlock nodded. "This shouldn't take too long, anyway. Maybe I'll join you when I'm done."

"Promise not to talk back to the telly?"


John laughed. Giving Sherlock another quick kiss, he went over and settled in to watch his programme.

About mid-morning, John made breakfast. Sherlock tidied the sitting room table and they sat eating in companionable silence. Afterwards, they both showered and dressed. As John was leaving the bathroom, he heard Sherlock playing his violin. He entered the sitting room and sat down, watching as his flat mate stood, framed by one of the windows, played a soft but cheerful tune. When he finished, John smiled. "That was marvelous."

"Thank you. Is there something you'd like to hear?"

John thought about it for a minute. The first song that came to mind was, he realized, an odd choice for an agnostic-leaning-toward-atheist to ask a decided atheist to play. But what the hell, he thought. "O Holy Night. You know it?"

"Yes. Interesting choice." Sherlock smiled and put the violin back under his chin. He began to play, his long, elegant fingers working the bow and strings with practiced ease. John closed his eyes, focusing on the sounds; the long, slow notes flowing together to create a beautiful, moving piece of music. When the last note died out, John sat silently for a moment, almost unable to breath, not wanting to spoil the mood.

"John?" asked Sherlock softly.

"Yeah, I..." John cleared his throat and looked up at Sherlock. "I.. that was... incredible." He stood and walked up to him. Taking Sherlock's face in his hands, he kissed him, then rested his head against Sherlock's shoulder. "You're incredible."

"So are you, John," Sherlock replied. He shifted his bow to the same hand as his violin, and used his free hand to tilt John's face up for another kiss.

At 3, John sat down to watch the Queen's Message. Sherlock took a few books and headed to his room, leaving John to watch in peace. As soon as she was done, he knocked on Sherlock's door. "All right, the speech is over." He looked at his watch. "Actually, I think it's time we should be getting ready for dinner."

"Indeed. Meet you in the sitting room," Sherlock answered back.

John dressed in his best suit, then came back down. Sherlock was dressed in black trousers and had an emerald green shirt on under a black jacket; John knew the color was not an accident. "That color looks really good on you."

"Thank you," Sherlock replied. "You look quite handsome yourself." He gave John a kiss. "Shall we go?"

Dinner was delightful. They enjoyed a grand five course meal, including an amuse-bouche of mushroom soup, a main course of roasted turkey, and finishing off with a traditional Christmas pudding with brandy anglaise. As they ate, Sherlock quietly pointed out various embarrassing secrets about their fellow diners, causing the occasional outburst of terribly inappropriate laughter from John. Sherlock did manage some restraint, though (aside from making his comments quietly enough that only John could hear); after all, he didn't want to spoil their meal by getting them thrown out.

After John finished the last of his pudding, he leaned back in his chair. "Oh, God, I'm stuffed..."

"I know what you mean," said Sherlock. "I may never eat again..."

"You know, if it were anyone else, I'd think they were joking, but with you..." Sherlock laughed. John smiled, then looked around. "This was a wonderful idea, by the way, coming here."

"Thank my mother, it was her idea."

"Your mum?"

"Yes," said Sherlock, "She said, 'Well, as long as you're not coming home for Christmas dinner, you should go some place nice', and so here we are."

"I see. I'll have to call her and thank her. Tomorrow." He said the last word with a meaningful grin.

"Yes, I suppose I should as well..."

They sat for a few more minutes, letting their food settle and enjoying the ambience. "I suppose we should head home," said John finally.

Sherlock took his phone out of his jacket. "I'll call a taxi. No reason for us to wait out in the cold."

They walked into 221B Baker Street, John closing and locking the door before he went over and hung his coat in the hallway closet. He leaned against the wall and sighed. "So..."


"So... what now?"

Sherlock regarded John for a few seconds, Then he walked over, putting a hand on the wall on either side of him. He leaned down and kissed him; he grabbed John's shoulders, his kisses becoming more passionate and forceful. John responded in kind, burying his fingers in Sherlock's hair, biting Sherlock's lower lip, forcing his tongue into Sherlock's mouth.

"Now," Sherlock managed between kisses.

"Yes," John replied. "Where?"

"Your room."

"Lube," John reminded him.

"My bedroom." he nipped at John's ear. "I'll get it and meet you in your room."

They disengaged and quickly headed up the stairs. Sherlock went to his room on the first floor while John continued up to his room. Entering, he sat down at the chair at his desk and took off his shoes. Getting up, he went to the nightstand and took the box of condoms out of the drawer. He checked, and, as expected, there were still over half a dozen left. Sherlock came into the room--he'd never knocked before, why would he start now?--carrying a small tube of lubricant. He went over and set it on the nightstand. He took his phone out of jacket, turning it off and setting it on the nightstand, as well. Walking over to John's desk, he toed off his shoes, then used his long toes to pull off his socks. John was both amused and astounded by the sight, smiling and shaking his head.

After Sherlock pushed his shoes over next to John's, the older man walked up to him. Putting his hands on Sherlock's shoulders, he pulled him down into a deep, slow kiss. They began undressing each other; undoing buttons, pulling off jackets; Sherlock quickly undid and tossed aside John's tie. When John got Sherlock's shirt off, he could see how skinny he really was.

"God, Sherlock, you're so thin..." Sherlock gave an exasperated sigh. "I know, I know... it's just an observation." It was a lie and they both knew it, but even if they hadn't already had this argument a dozen times, now was not the time to be having it. John kissed Sherlock, running his hands down his wiry arms. He took Sherlock's left arm, gently turning it over. He ran his fingers over the track marks below Sherlock's elbow, acknowledging them. Then he slid his hand up Sherlock's neck, pulling him down and kissing him gently. As they kissed, Sherlock pushed John's shirt off his shoulders, and it fell to the ground. Then he leaned back, his eyes quickly traveling down to the scar on John's shoulder.

"John, may I...?"


Sherlock reached out and carefully touched the pale, puckered skin. His fingers moved slowly, keenly exploring every inch of it. His eyes followed his fingers, also taking it all in. John could see how absorbed Sherlock was getting, his eyes focused on nothing but that patch of skin, his tongue sliding across his lower lip in something that could be possibly described as desire.

"Sherlock," he said softly. The other man's eyes snapped up to meet his, as he broke out of his reverie.

"John... sorry." He started to pull his hand away, but John reached up to put his hand over it.

"No, it's fine," John replied. "I'd certainly rather be with someone who's... interested in my scar than someone who's repulsed by it. It's just... you're getting a bit sidetracked."

"Yes, you're right." His eyes went back to where their hands were resting together on John's shoulder. "Maybe later?"

John smiled. "Definitely." He kissed Sherlock.

Sherlock's hands moved down to John's belt; he started working on it, but John stepped back. "I... umm..."

"Would you like to do it yourself?"

"Yes," John said. He'd undressed in front of other men before, under other circumstances, and that seemed the best way to do this. Taking another step back, he took off his trousers and kicked them aside. He then stripped off his underwear, tossing them on top of his discarded trousers. Sherlock's eyes swept over John's naked body; exploring, examining, cataloguing. However, despite the fact that it was a bit like being under a magnifying glass, John found he didn't mind is so much. He'd always found Sherlock's abilities of observation and deduction fascinating, and to have the detective doing it to him; or more precisely, to his naked body... it was something of a turn-on for him. Just thinking about what could be going on in Sherlock's head as John studied him was arousing him. And, of course, Sherlock noticed that as well.

With a smirk, Sherlock undid his own trousers. As he pulled them down, John was surprised to see that he had nothing on underneath. Sherlock removed his trousers and dropped them on top of his shirt. John studied his lover's lean, pale form; his long, slender limbs, his slightly-too-thin torso and bony hips. There was the odd scar here and there, from accidents and attacks and, knowing Sherlock, probably from his tendency to "experiment" in ways that weren't terribly safe. Finally, apparently deciding John had had enough time to look him over, Sherlock walked up to John and kissed him.

"Sherlock," John said, kissing him back and running his fingers through his dark, curly hair, "did you have anything specific in mind, to start with?"

"Actually, since it's your first time with another man, I was thinking I'd let you have first pick."

"Ok..." John found himself staring at Sherlock's beautiful lips, imagining them wrapped around his penis, imagining... even as he was thinking about it, Sherlock knelt before him. "Oh!" John exclaimed. Smiling, Sherlock reached forward, caressing John's thighs slowly, working from his knees to his groin. Finally, he wrapped one hand around John's cock, stroking it. Then he leaned forward, slowly running his tongue all the way up the shaft; first the front, then the back. "Oh, God, Sherlock..." Those beautiful lips then wrapped around the tip, and slowly slid up. John gasped as he was engulfed in the warm, wet heat of Sherlock's mouth. Slowly, Sherlock moved his tongue back and forth across the back of John's erection. Then, ever-so-carefully, he scraped his teeth against it. John let out a shaky moan, putting his hands on Sherlock's shoulders to steady himself. He could feel himself getting close. "Sherlock," he managed, "I... I'm about to..." John's whole body shuddered as he came, and he slumped a bit more. Sherlock grabbed his hips, supporting him. "Sorry..."

Sherlock smiled up at him. "No problem." He got to his feet, kissing John, who could taste himself in Sherlock's mouth.

"You're... really quite good at that."

"Glad to hear it," Sherlock replied, "It's been awhile; I was afraid I might have lost my touch."

"Nope," said John, grinning.

Smiling back, Sherlock took his hand and led him over to the bed. He lay down, pulling John with him. Once John had lain down next to him, Sherlock asked, "John, would you mind giving me a hand job?"

"Uh, no," said John, despite reddening a bit. He moved a little closer.

"Wait... get the lube, it'll make things a little easier."

"Oh, yeah, ok." John turned and got the tube off of the nightstand. Rolling back over, he opened it and squeezed a little out onto his hand. Reaching over, he ran his hand slowly up Sherlock's cock, from shaft to top. Then he wrapped his hand around it, gently tugging up and down. Sherlock moaned softly, his hips rocking back and forth in time with John's strokes. Encouraged, John skid his hand up, carefully pulling back Sherlock's foreskin and running his thumb across the tip of his cock, which began leaking precum.

"Oh, John..."

Smiling, John repeated the motion, gathering some of the fluid on his thumb. Out of curiosity, he lifted his hand and licked it off. As he did so, he looked up and saw Sherlock looking at him with a rather lustful smile. "Do that again," he whispered, his voice even deeper than usual.

Blushing furiously, John replied, "I'd rather just... keep going..."

"All right."

John reached down, touching Sherlock's erect cock. It twitched and John flinched. Sherlock let out quick laugh, which he stifled by biting on his fist. "That is not helpful," John chided, though he was grinning as he said it.

"No, I suppose not," Sherlock, still giggling. He calmed down a bit, continuing, "Really, though, John, you're doing quite well." He smiled at him, a pleasant, genuine smile this time. "Although," he mused, "if you'd like to stop, I could..." he started to reach down. John pushed his hand away.

"No, I like to finish what I start."

Getting a bit more lube, John once again wrapped his fingers around Sherlock's cock. He tugged gently; he could feel his lover's erection throb in his hand, a little more precum seeping out of the tip. Sherlock's hips were again moving in time with John's strokes, his eyes were shut tight, and he was panting heavily

"John... God... so close... I... uh..." John was amazed with the sight of Sherlock like this; his body almost beyond his control, barely able to speak, his concentration entirely on the pleasure John was giving him. "John... John... Uh!" He came with an actual scream, ejaculate spurting onto his stomach and chest. John was surprised by the intensity of it, leaning over his partner, taking deep breaths to calm himself down. Sherlock's body trembled a few times, one last bit of cum drizzling out onto his stomach. "God... damn..." he whispered, sounding rather overwhelmed.

John shifted up to look into Sherlock's eyes. "All right?"

Sherlock was still panting a bit, but nodded. "All right. Just... that was..." He smiled up at John. "Honestly, John, that was mind-blowing."

Leaning down, John kissed Sherlock's soft lips. He smiled.

Sherlock shifted a bit. He looked down. "I need to clean off."

John sat back. "Let me... I'll go get some towels."

"All right."

John walked into the bathroom and got a few small towels. He ran one of them under the hot tap, then squeezed out most of the water. John then draped that one over his shoulder and headed back to his bedroom. Sherlock was lying on John's bed, looking up things on his phone. He set the phone back on the nightstand as John crossed over to the bed.

"Anything interesting?" John asked.

Sherlock shook his head. "Just doing a bit of research." John nodded. He set the dry towels on the bed, then took the damp one and began to clean off Sherlock's chest. "Hmmm... nice and warm," he said, smiling. Smiling back, John continued on to Sherlock's stomach, wiping it clean. Finally, he cleaned off Sherlock's penis. Then he tossed the wet cloth onto his desk chair. He laid down next to Sherlock, who leaned up on his elbow and pushed John onto his back. He gave him a long, slow kiss. "So, what shall we do now?"

John smiled wickedly. "You know what I'd love to do?"

"Is that rhetorical, or do you actually want to try and deduce what you want to do?"

"It's rhetorical."

"Ok. What would you love to do?"

"I would love-" John grinned at Sherlock and wiggled his eyebrows. "-to go open presents."

Sherlock smirked. "Sounds good."

John walked over to his dresser and got out a clean pair of underwear and some pyjamas. Turning, he saw Sherlock looking thoughtful. "Yes?"

"Would it be inappropriate for me to open presents in the nude?"

John laughed as he got dressed. "Ya know, I don't really know. I mean, since it's just the two of us... Besides, when have you ever cared about being appropriate?"

Sherlock laughed, as well. "True."

"On the other hand," John continued, "we'll probably sit on the floor to open presents; at least that's what I was thinking. I'm not sure you really want to sit on the floor with your bare arse."

Sherlock made a face. "Good point. I'll put on some pyjamas."

They headed down to the first floor and Sherlock went into his room to get dressed. As he did, John put on the kettle and got out the milk to make hot chocolate. Sherlock emerged from his room in pyjamas and his blue dressing gown.

"Have some hot chocolate," John said, handing Sherlock a mug that said "New Scotland Yard" (probably nicked from the Yard itself, knowing Sherlock).

"Ah, thanks," he said, taking the mug and heading into the sitting room. John followed, carrying his own mug. Sitting down, they began opening their presents. John got clothes and DVDs; Sherlock got books, including an etiquette book from his sister-in-law which he chucked into the fireplace, and a book about the history of forensics from his mother.

They finally got to Mrs. Hudson's presents. John opened his first; it was blue knit jumper. "I think she made this herself," he commented, smiling as he thought of the work she'd put into it.

"There's something in it," Sherlock observed. John pulled it out of the box and unfolded it; in the middle was a small framed picture of Sherlock with a Post-It note on it:


I thought you could put this picture on your desk at work. He looks nice here, doesn't he?

Mrs. Hudson

"You do look nice in this picture," John agreed with a smile. Sherlock rolled his eyes; he'd been against the idea of getting formal pictures taken. John convinced him to do it by pointing out that it would be useful to have up-to-date pictures of themselves in case something happened to one or both of them.

"Mine's going to be a scarf, with a picture of you wrapped in it," Sherlock said, even as he opened it.

"Spoilsport," John muttered. But of course Sherlock was right; it was a hand-knitted scarf in the same color blue as John's jumper, and wrapped inside was a picture of John from the same photo session. This time, the Post-It said:


I know you don't have a proper office, but perhaps you can put this in the kitchen while you're doing your little experiments.

Mrs. Hudson

"'Little experiments'?" Sherlock sounded affronted. John laughed.

"So... I'll open yours now," said John.

Sherlock's present to him consisted of an envelope. John opened it and pulled out its contents. "Skydiving lessons?"

"I thought you might want to do something fun that didn't involve serial killers or blackmailers, or you getting kidnapped or shot at."

"And by 'fun', you mean dangerous."

Sherlock smiled. "Of course."

"Of course," said John, laughing. "Thank you, this should be fun." He smiled and gave Sherlock a quick kiss.

"All right, now it's my turn," said Sherlock, picking up his present from John. He tore it open, revealing a book titled The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. He opened it, finding that it contained photographs of dioramas of actual crime scenes; dozens of deaths in painstaking miniature. "Oh my God," he said softly, "this is amazing."

"Your brother actually gave me some ideas," John confessed, "But I saw that one, and... well, it just screamed 'Sherlock'."

"Yes," said Sherlock, grinning. "It's marvelous, thank you."

John smiled, leaning over to kiss Sherlock. "I'm glad you like it." Sherlock slid closer, kissing him back. Pulling Sherlock's dressing gown off, John kissed his neck. He nibbled along his jaw line, up to his ear. He slowly licked the edge of Sherlock's ear, then sighed softly into it. Sherlock sighed in response, his head falling forward onto John's shoulder.

"John," he whispered. John pushed Sherlock down, straddling his hips and supporting himself on his elbows. He leaned down, kissing him. Sherlock's long arms wrapped around John's shoulders, pulling him close. Their kisses became more intense; they nipped at each other's lips, their tongues fighting for control inside each other's mouths.

"Sherlock," John managed, "Let's go back to my bedroom."

"Don't wanna move," Sherlock retorted.

"But... Sherlock..." it was hard to talk when Sherlock was determined to lick every one of his teeth, one by one. "Sherlock, I... I want you inside of me..."

"And?" Sherlock had settled for nibbling John's jaw and neck as they talked.

"And... the condoms are upstairs."

"So, go get them," Sherlock replied, loosening his hold on John as he did.


"What?" He sounded annoyed.

John sighed. "Look, I'd... really rather not have my first time be on the floor..."

Sherlock let his head fall back onto the floor, his keen eyes studying John for a moment before a smile crept over his face. "Well, I guess we'd better go back to your bedroom, then."

They quickly undressed as soon as they got into John's room. John grabbed Sherlock's wrists and led him towards the bed. "So, Sherlock, do you have any ideas as to the best way to do this?"

"I think the best way to do this is for me to lie down and you'll straddle me.
However," he continued, "it would probably be best if I prepared you a little first."

"Prepared me...?"

"I'll use my fingers to-"

John got the picture. "Oh, yes... all right." He lay on his back. Sherlock lay next to him on his side. Reaching down, he caressed John's face, kissing him.

"Trust me, John," he said softly. "You're not the first virgin I've done this with. And we have all night; we can take all the time we need."


Smiling, Sherlock ran his hands slowly down John's chest, occasionally leaning down to kiss him, making a slow, lazy trail down to his waist. When he got down there, he rubbed John's hips, then his thighs. "Spread your legs," he said, even as his hands slid between John's thighs, pushing gently. As John did so, one of Sherlock's hands moved down, briefly caressing John's balls before moving even further back and down. Meanwhile, his other hand grasped John's cock and began slowly sliding up an down its full length.

"Get the lube," said Sherlock. John got it off the nightstand and opened it. Sherlock held out the hand that he'd had between his lover's legs. John squeezed some lube onto Sherlock's fingers. "More." John looked at him. "Trust me, John... under the circumstances, it's better to have too much than not enough."

"Good point," John replied, squeezing out some more.

Sherlock moved his hand back down between John's legs. John twitched as he felt a finger against his anus, moving in slow, gentle circles. "Relax, John... it'll hurt more if you tense up." John nodded and took a few slow, deep breaths. As he did, one of Sherlock's long, thin fingers breached his opening. He let out a little gasp, his rectal muscles automatically tensing around Sherlock's finger. "John..."

"I know," John said, taking another deep breath. "I'm... trying..." After a moment, he managed to will himself to relax enough to loosen his grip. Sherlock slid his finger almost all the way out, then gently pushed it back in; it felt better this time, and John didn't tense up at all.

"Good," said Sherlock, giving John an encouraging smile. He began to move his finger in and out, each time pushing his finger in just a little more. After a few slow strokes, he bent his finger just a bit, pressing against John's prostate. John let out a cry. "Would you like to try another finger?" Sherlock asked.

"Yes," John gasped. Smiling, Sherlock pulled his finger out so that just the tip was inside John, then carefully pushed a second one in to join it. It was easier this time; John barely tensed at all, and was able to relax again immediately. Encouraged by this, Sherlock added a third finger. As soon as John was relaxed and ready, Sherlock began trusting his fingers in and out of John, doing it a bit more vigourously than before. John groaned; he was amazed at how wonderful this felt. "More..."

"Be more specific, John," Sherlock chided softly, his fingers still working away, "Do you want me to go faster, or add another finger, or-"


Sherlock laughed. "Or we could have sex now."

John nodded, smiling. "Yes, let's definitely do that."

Sherlock pulled his fingers out of John's arse, wiping the off with one of the towels John had brought in earlier. Then he lie down, even as John was sitting up, moving to give Sherlock room. Getting up on his knees, John straddled Sherlock's hips. He bent over, kissing his lover slowly and gently. Reaching down between them, John stroked Sherlock's cock, enjoying the feeling of it hardening in his grip. Sherlock moved his hand down to join John's, only to have to pushed away. "I can manage," John said with a smile.

"Very well," said Sherlock. He pulled John down for a kiss, rubbing his neck and shoulders as he did so. His right hand moved down, gently caressing John's scar. John stroked Sherlock a few more times, when the detective said, "John... I'm about ready."

"Ah, alright," said John as he reached over to the nightstand and got one of the condoms out of the box.

"Here, let me," said Sherlock, taking it from him. John moved back up onto his knees, watching as Sherlock removed the wrapper and slid the condom over his erection. John picked up and opened the lube. He applied some directly to the condom, then squeezed more onto Sherlock's waiting hand. Sherlock then reached down between John's legs. He rubbed his fingers against John's anus, moving in a slow circular motion, pushing in just a tiny bit, until John let out a needy groan. With that, he shoved two fingers in, not bothering to be terribly gentle. He worked then in and out a little, then added another. John let out a shuddering moan, his legs trembling.

"Sherlock... just... please! I'm prepared enough, I promise..."

"All right," said Sherlock, pulling his fingers out. "Scoot forward." John did so, and Sherlock put his hands on John's hips, pushing him down a little. Taking ahold of his cock, Sherlock reached down between John's legs again.

"Hang on, let me," said John, reaching down, no doubt intending to help guide Sherlock in.

"It works better if you reach behind your back," Sherlock advised. "And you might want to add some lube."

"Ah, ok," John replied with a nod. Spreading some of the lube on his finger, he reached behind himself. He found his arsehole, slipping a finger in experimentally. Yes, he definitely liked this, and felt ready for more. He used his fingers to carefully spread his opening a little.

"Ready?" John nodded, so Sherlock tightened his hold on John's hip to hold him still, and pushed the tip of his cock up into his lover.

"Oh, yes..." John gasped. "More... I mean, deeper..."

"Push down, John."

"Of... of course. How much should I...?"

"As much as you like," Sherlock replied, "That's why you're on top, remember?"

"Oh, right..." John smiled, then pushed down, groaning as Sherlock slid deeper into him. It felt wonderful; thick and hard, and it was Sherlock inside of him. Moving his legs further apart, he lowered himself a little more, gasping as Sherlock's cock pressed against his prostate. "Oh, God," he moaned. He lifted up then pushed back down, then did it again.

Gently gripping John's hips, Sherlock said, "John... please go deeper. Trust me, it'll feel just as good." He smiled. "Plus, you'll have more of me inside of you... isn't that what you want?"

"Yes," John replied, lowering himself further onto his lover's cock. He did it again, then thrust up and down, feeling Sherlock move back and forth inside him. He leaned down, supporting himself on hands. "Sherlock... could you...?"

"Want me to have a go for a bit?" John nodded. Tightening his hold on John's hips, Sherlock thrust up into him. John gasped with pleasure, and Sherlock thrust again, going even deeper.

"More," John insisted, not bothering to clarify this time.

"There isn't much more," Sherlock explained. "I thought you might want to do the last bit?"

"Oh... yes, thank you..." With that, John pushed, hard, taking every final inch of Sherlock into him. "Oh, God!"


Moving to get better leverage, John began to piston back and forth. Sherlock's hands moved from John's hips, sliding back to caress John's round, muscular arse. "Oh, Sherlock..." John's thrusts slowed a bit as he focused on this new sensation.

Sherlock's phone rang. John froze a second, looking between the phone and Sherlock's face. He wasn't at all surprised when Sherlock picked it up. "Sherlock Holmes," he answered. "Didn't we just see you yesterday, Lestrade? Honestly, you really can't do anything without my help, can you?" John could feel himself blushing, and covered his face. The fact that Lestrade couldn't actually see him didn't really help ease his embarrassment at all. "Yes, well, if that were true, you wouldn't be calling me on Christmas, would you," Sherlock said sarcastically. After a few moments of Lestrade talking, Sherlock looked annoyed. "All, right, all right, just tell me why you called. Ah, I see. Yes, of course we'll come. Where--Yes, John's with me." John bit his lip to keep from laughing at this. He was "with" Sherlock, all right... "Look," the detective said in a perturbed voice. "do you want to sit here and talk about my private life all night, or could you just tell me where we need to go? Thank you. It might take us a little while. No, I don't suppose she is going anywhere, is she? Yes, be there quick as we can." He hung up and tossed the phone back onto the nightstand. "We have a case," he said, smiling. Then he looked at John. "Problem?"

"I... can't believe you did that."

"Did what?"

John stared at Sherlock for a moment, then shook his head with a smile. "Never mind. Sherlock... can we at least finish?"

"Of course," said Sherlock, smiling back. He began to thrust into John; at the same time wrapping his fingers around John's erect cock. John begin moving his hips, and Sherlock relaxed, letting him set the pace again. John was moving in a slow, steady rhythm, one that Sherlock's stroking of his cock began to match. After a minute, John sped up, and Sherlock did the same. They continued to speed up, going faster, and deeper, and harder. Eventually, Sherlock's head fell back and he began to pant. He gasped, letting out a cry as he came.

John shuddered, amazed by the feeling of Sherlock coming inside him. It actually took him a second to focus back on the hand that was bringing him to orgasm. As soon as he did, though, it didn't take long. "I... uhn... Sher--" with that, he came, falling forward to rest his head on Sherlock's chest.

Sherlock's right hand rested on his stomach, but with his left, he played with John's short, mousy hair. Then, in a gently commanding tone: "John, get up."

"Yeah... gimme a sec..."

"All right, but I'd at least like to pull out of you. No offence, but..."

"No, no, you're right," said John, sitting back up on the heels of his hands. Sherlock reached between them, putting his fingers on the rim of the condom. John pulled up until Sherlock slid completely out of him.

Sherlock tossed the condom in the trash and sat up. "We need to shower. I'll go first." He looked and John, then rolled his eyes, "I mean, unless you think we should shower together."


"Good," replied Sherlock. "You probably need some time to recover, anyway."

"Yeah, a bit," said John. With that, Sherlock picked up his dressing gown off the floor and headed to the bathroom.

John lay on his side in bed, relaxing and enjoying the endorphins flooding his body. He was also anticipating the new case; he got off on them almost as much as Sherlock, after all.

Sherlock yelled through the door. "John, I'm going to go get dressed. I'll meet you by the front door."

"Ok," John replied, getting up and getting out clothes that were suitable for whatever a case might bring his way. He showered and dressed and went down to the sitting room, getting his gun out of the safe. Tucking it safely out of sight, he headed down the front stairs to see Sherlock waiting near the door, already in his coat and scarf. He smiled when he noticed where Sherlock was standing. He started to point up, but then noticed the look on Sherlock's face--the man knew exactly where he was standing. Hell, he'd more-than-likely done it on purpose. With a laugh, John got up on his toes and kissed him.

"I suppose at this rate," Sherlock mused, "we might as well keep it up until Mrs. Hudson gets home."

"Yeah," said John. "And maybe thank her for putting it up."

Sherlock looked puzzled for a second, then smiled. "Yes, perhaps. But right now, John, let's go see what Lestrade has for us for Christmas."

John smiled back. "Can't wait."

Notes: Sherlock and John's Christmas dinner is based on Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's actual Christmas dinner menu, and previous amuse-bouches created by Gordon Ramsay.

The book The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death actually exists; the models it shows are used as forensics tools by the FBI.


The 12 Days of Christmas Writing Challenge

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