Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."


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Prompting Part XXXIV
Giggles at the Palace
sherlockbbc_fic
Please check the Sticky Post to find the newest active part and post your prompts there.

GUIDELINES

  • Anon posting is not required, but most definitely allowed. If you think you recognise an anon, keep it to yourself and don’t out them. IP tracking is off, and will remain that way.

  • Multiple fills are encouraged, and all kinds of fills are accepted! Fic, art, vids, cosplay, interpretive dance — whatever. Go wild! :D

  • Don’t reprompt until TWO parts after the last posting of the prompt.

  • RPF (real person fic, i.e. fic involving the actors themselves) is not supported at this meme.

  • Concrit is welcome, but kinkshaming, hijacking, and flaming are not tolerated.


THE FILLED PROMPTS POST
When you fill a prompt, please use the appropriate Filled Prompts Post to archive your fill (there are instructions on the actual post).

If the part you wanted isn't up yet, just wait and one of the archivists will get to it, but please, once it is up, make sure you post your fills there according to the guidelines. DO NOT skip out on doing this because it seems like too much effort. If you want your fill to make it to the Delicious archive, that’s the way to do it.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about how it works if you are confused! The mods will be happy to explain.

WARNINGS/OFFENSIVE WORDING IN PROMPTS
Please consider warning for prompts that may trigger people (and also for fills, because some people read in flat view) and phrasing prompts in a manner that strives to be respectful.

Things which you might want to consider warning for include: Rape/Non-Con, Death, Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, Underage Relationships, among others.

That being said, this is a kink meme. As such, there will be prompts that could offend you in a number of different ways. Not every prompt will have a trigger warning, and not every prompt will rub you the right way. If you have an issue with a specific prompt, feel free to bring it up in a discussion that takes place off the meme. However, flaming will not be tolerated regardless of origin.

You are highly encouraged to scroll past any prompt that you dislike.

Remember: be civil, be friendly, but don’t be shy!

THINGS THAT MAKE BROWSING THE MEME EASIER FOR EVERYONE
Please nest your fills. Doing so will make it easier for archivists to save your fills to the Delicious archive. Using subject lines will also help people reading the meme in flatview keep track of what’s happening. Finally, titling your fills (even if it’s something silly) will be helpful to those tracking a lot of prompts or scrolling through the meme.

PROMPT FREEZES
Depending on the rate of activity, there may or may not be a prompt freeze when a part reaches 2000 and 4500 comments. However, there will be one when it reaches 7000. After the 7000 comments freeze, a new part will be posted, and all prompting should happen on the new part.

CONTACTING MODS
Your mods for this meme are ellie_hell, charname, anonspock and anonbach. If you have any questions, concerns, comments about anything at all on the meme feel free to send a PM or contact us via the Page-A-Mod post.

MEME LINKS
Pinboard Archive - Delicious Archive - Guide to the Archive
Filled Prompts Posts: Parts 1-23 - Parts 24+ - Spoiler Free
The Glorious FAQ - Page-A-Mod

Flat View of This Page - Newest Page in Flatview - Newest Page of the Meme

Love Post - Chatter Post - Searching Post
Concrit Post - Story Announcement Post - Orphan Post
Spoiler Free Prompt Post - Overflow Post

Links to previous prompting parts

OTHER LINKS AND AFFILIATES
sherlock_rant: A place to rant about or discuss anything with few to no restrictions.
sherlock_rpf: This is a kinkmeme for RPF about the show.
sherlockcrit: A multi-fandom betaing/concrit community, with a focus on BBC Sherlock.
sherlockbbc: A community dedicated to the BBC adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.
Useful resources for Sherlock and LiveJournal.
Sherlock screencaps.

Series 3 Spoiler Policy


  • 1

Past Abuse, JohnLock hurt/comfort

(Anonymous)
TW: Abuse, probable underage depending on the filler

John doesn't think much about his childhood, but who does? And when he does, he figures it was pretty normal.

When he and Sherlock start a relationship, though, even though Sherlock doesn't much understand a lot of social norms, he can tell something's wrong. Maybe it's the scars on John's body that John can't explain. Maybe it's the way he seems weirdly skittish about actually having sex, even though he never refuses. (Please do not have Sherlock going ahead with having sex despite John's nervous/unenthusiastic body language.) It's a mystery, and besides that, someone hurt John. Sherlock intends to find out.

Angst, hurt/comfort, Sherlock poking his nose into John's past, and going slow and careful with their relationship, please!

Bonuses:

- John hardly remembers anything from before he turned 18, but thinks this is normal

- Sarah was always confused about why John never made a move when they were together, despite the times when he stayed over

- A story behind why he keeps insisting he's not gay, even though Sherlock can easily tell that John's attracted to men

Re: Past Abuse, JohnLock hurt/comfort

(Anonymous)
Seconding. I read something about this, where people who suffered abuse/traumatic events didn't remember it, or 'disassociated' from themselves.

Re: Past Abuse, JohnLock hurt/comfort

(Anonymous)
Oh, it's definitely real, I'm the poster girl for dissociative amnesia. The weirdest things can trigger a suppressed memory to surface. 20 years later, and I still get the occasional surprise memory popping to the surface, like an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

My most recent trigger was brushing my teeth with a new type of toothpaste - the taste triggered the memory of brushing my teeth after a particularly violent sexual assault, which brought back the whole memory. Brand new tube of toothpaste, straight into the trash.

Thirding this prompt!

Re: Past Abuse, JohnLock hurt/comfort

It can go both ways as well, I have a friend who knows they were abused as a child, but when they talk about it, they can black out for the rest of the day, sometimes to the point of reacting violently or passing out and waking up in hospital with no memory of the day before.

Re: Past Abuse, JohnLock hurt/comfort

Working on a fill for this one. Should have part 1 up by later tonight/early tomorrow.

Re: Past Abuse, JohnLock hurt/comfort

(Anonymous)
Fourthing! I've dealt with this issue too.
(There was a fic I was reading and lost track of where Sherlock deduced abuse in John's past by looking at photographs. . Anyone know what happened to that one?)

Re: Past Abuse, JohnLock hurt/comfort

(Anonymous)
I would write this because I have/currently am dealing with this issue but I couldn't do the prompt justice because:

1)I just got into this fandom so I have no idea how to write John/Sherlock

2)I can't write angst well.

So I fifth it :(

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 1/a

Part 1: “I swear I’m not gay”

John looked at Sarah over the rim of his wineglass. She was laughing, her cheeks slightly flushed from the two glasses she’d consumed at dinner. Her spoon hovered over the last bite of crème brulee.

“Now you’ve heard my darkest confessions.” She said, dipping her spoon into the desert, “So tell me, what were you like in secondary school?”

He gave her a self-deprecating smile and shrugged, ignoring the roil of nerves that flooded the pit of his stomach. “I was dull. I studied a lot, hopeless with girls. Nothing very exciting or scandalous.”

John wasn’t really sure whether any of that was true. He didn’t have many memories of the first few years after his mother died, but his A-levels had been good enough to get him into one of the best schools. He didn’t have to be Sherlock to deduce that he would have spent most of his time with his books and not with girls.

Sarah swallowed the dessert. “Oh come on, you can’t tell me that you didn’t grow out your hair or wear ridiculous clothes. You finished in…what? 1987? There must be photographic evidence of you in a red leather jacket or, at the very least, tiny jogging shorts.”

He gave her joke the smile it deserved, then changed the subject. They polished off the bottle of wine and John flagged down the waiter for the check.

In the cab, Sarah held his hand and rested her head on his shoulder. Her body language screamed, “you and going to get lucky tonight.”

Tension knotted his gut. John told himself he was just nervous because he hadn’t been with a woman since before Afghanistan. Sex is like riding a bicycle, he thought to himself. He tried to remember the last time he actually had sex and winced. He’d been so inebriated, the next morning he couldn’t recall the girl’s name or even what she looked like. He thought back to university and his last girlfriend. She complained that she only saw him when he was drunk. Of course, with his study schedule, he never had any time on weekdays and on weekends…

Well, Harry wasn’t the only person in the family who used drinking as a coping mechanism. John gulped as the cab stopped in front Sarah’s flat. He felt woefully unprepared for what was about to happen. He hadn’t had a proper girlfriend in over a decade and literally could not remember the last time he had sex while sober.

He stepped out of the cab and took Sarah’s hand as she stepped over the curb. She unlocked the door, leaned into John, and whispered in his ear, “Care for a nightcap?”

He knew that was code for, “Come inside and shag me senseless.” He froze for a moment. It was their fifth date. He knew Sarah had been ready since their second, but there had always been a good reason to say no. John had to get up early the next morning, or an urgent text would come in from Sherlock, or Sarah had a touch too much wine and he was not the sort to take advantage. He had no excuses tonight.

The long cab ride had left Sarah clear-eyed and sober. A line formed between her brows as she waited for John’s reply. “Yeah, that would be nice.”

She kissed him as soon as the door shut behind them. John saw it coming and managed to control his reaction. He forced himself to relax into her embrace and move his lips against hers. He tried to focus on the wet heat of her mouth, the soft warmth of her breasts against his chest, the pressure of her hands against his back. Her palms moved lower and she ground her pelvis against the front of his pants. For a moment, John felt a jolt of shock, but he forced his mind back to the feeling of Sarah’s body against his own. He willed himself to feel arousal, to enjoy the sensations, but the only thing he felt was growing panic.

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 1/b

He gently pulled away from her kiss and took a step back. She looked at him, puzzled. His cheeks flamed with embarrassment and he rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m sorry, Sarah. It’s just…well…I’ve been alone a long time…and with everything…I’m just not ready.”

Yeah, like that clarified anything, he thought.

“I want to try again. I just need more time to get accustomed.” He continued.

The line reappeared between Sarah’s brows. “It’s Sherlock, isn’t it?”

John stared at her for a moment in confusion. “Sherlock? What’s Sherlock got to do with anything?”

“Really?” she replied in an exasperated tone, “You expect me to explain it? Listen, why don’t you go home to Sherlock and ask him the reason that you are not spending the night with me.”

The realization hit John like a ton of bricks, “Oh, no, Sarah, I swear I’m not gay. We’re not like that. We’re just really good mates.”

She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Right, listen. I suddenly feel a headache coming on. I think it’s best if we wait until tomorrow to continue this conversation.”

His face heated again. Feeling mixture of chagrin and relief, he returned to the sanctuary of his flat on Baker Street.

Sherlock was playing the violin when John stepped inside. He couldn’t tell whether he was playing that experimental piece again or whether he was just making noises at random. Sherlock’s brows rose when he entered, but he kept on playing.

John headed into the kitchen and pulled a lager out of the fridge. He shook his head at the cling film-covered brain that occupied the middle shelf, but couldn’t be bothered to lodge a complaint.

He sat in his chair and took a long sip. Sherlock’s violin emitted a piercing shriek.

“Sherlock.”

Sherlock ignored him.

“Sherlock.” He said louder. His flatmate looked up. “Could you give it a rest for a bit?”

He didn’t respond, but packed the violin into its case, then threw himself onto the sofa. “Things didn’t go well with Sarah, I assume.”

John sighed. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

He could almost hear Sherlock’s eyeroll. “I don’t know why you waste your time with her.”

“I thought you liked Sarah.”

Sherlock grunted. “I don’t have a problem with her. She’s not a complete idiot and she’s good to have around in a fight. What I don’t understand is why you devote so much energy to a relationship that is doomed to failure.”

John didn’t respond for a long time. He finished his lager before asking. “What’s wrong with Sarah and me?”

Sherlock’s tone was clipped, “Spare me the pity party. There’s nothing wrong with Sarah or you. The problem is that all of the attraction is on her end. I’m not the expert in social mores that you are, but I’m pretty sure the way that you are leading her on isn’t very nice.” Sherlock pronounced ‘nice’ in the same tone that most people used for ‘herpes.’

For a moment, John felt a swell of anger. He wanted to protest, “I’m not leading her on!” then he mentally reviewed all of their dates. Every time, he was the one who ended the evening. He remembered the kiss they’d shared that night. He hadn’t felt a shred of arousal. He got up, threw away the bottle, and retreated upstairs to his room.

He called Sarah the next morning. She was disappointed, but not surprised, and because she was a far, far better person than John deserved, she agreed to remain friends.

A/N: To everyone who read this, THANK YOU. A word of warning, shit is going to get massively fucked up. There will be TRIGGERS later on. In order to keep spoilers to a minimum, I issue trigger warnings at the top of each part. So if this is a concern, please, please, please be sure to check the top of each fill before reading. Comments, complaints, cat pictures, etc. are all welcome. I do my own beta and Britpick so I’m sure I missed something. I’m currently working on part 4, so I’ll probably have 2 up by tomorrow or the day after.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 2a/?

(Anonymous)
Part 2: Sherlock gets Reichenbach’d

Two weeks after his breakup with Sarah, John found himself on the rooftop of a building in central London. He was attempting to sneak up on a sniper. Sherlock had agreed to solve the kidnapping of the Austrian Chancellor’s niece. One thing led to another, and now an assassin had his rifle trained on a limousine that he thought contained the Austrian Chancellor.

Sherlock, with his flair for the dramatic, had jumped at the chance to play decoy, while John was tasked with the less enviable duty of keeping the sodding decoy from being killed.

He crept across the asphalt roof. The sniper looked up from his scope and scanned the horizon. The opportunity for surprise was lost. John launched himself at his adversary and tackled him. They rolled across the roof, one over the other. The tripod that held the rifle tumbled to the ground in the melee.

John was on top. He scrabbled for the man’s arms, trying to pin him, but the sniper got a hand free. He struck a lucky hit on John’s chin. He saw stars for a fraction of a second, which was all the man needed to free up his knife. John used his forearm to deflect the first stab. The sniper couldn’t get a good angle from his current position.

John grabbed the knife arm with both his hands and beat it against the ground. He ducked his head close the enemy’s chest in an effort to lessen the force of the punches landing on his unprotected face. After a bone-cracking slam against the asphalt, the sniper dropped the knife. John reached for it. The enemy used the opportunity to overbalance him. He aimed a kick at the sniper and crawled for the knife, but it was too far out of reach. The man was on him, and John forgot about the weapon.

Now, he was at a profound disadvantage. The enemy straddled him and aimed punch after punch at his face. The only thing that saved John was his enemy’s inexperience at fist-fighting. He didn’t know how to put proper power behind his blows. John aimed a savage left hook at the man’s windpipe, and wiggled out from under him while he was gasping. The sniper lurched to his feet and staggered in the direction of the rifle. John dove for it, smashing his hand against in the tripod and splitting his knuckles to the bone.

The sniper crashed into him from behind. John used the momentum to try to push the tripod over the edge of the roof. It wasn’t enough. The man lunged for the rifle. John had a moment of choice. For an instant, he could see the consequences of his decision flash by. He could dodge out of the way, which would enable the assassin to recover the rifle. He had ample time to shoot John in the head and set up the shot again in time to take out Sherlock. Or John could allow himself to pushed over the edge, taking the rifle with him. He would die, but Sherlock would live.

He threw himself over the edge, shoving the rifle away with all his strength. At the last possible second, John grabbed the sniper, dragging the man over with him. Together they tumbled, but for only a short time. They’d managed to land on a three-foot wide ledge only one floor down. The assassin hadn’t fared as well as John. The top half of his body was on the ledge, while the bottom half dangled. John scrambled into a sitting position and kicked the sniper in the face over and over, driving him back with the force of his kicks until finally, his hands lost their precarious hold and he slid off the edge.

John leaned against the building, gasping. His ribs, which he hadn’t noticed before, were in agony. His face felt battered. His hand hurt. He stared dully into the distance. He was in too much pain to move. After a minute, which felt like an eon, he mustered the energy to look down at the street. The sniper’s corpse lay crumpled on the pavement. A crowd of onlookers filmed him with their phones while a pair of good Samaritans crouched over him. The rifle was a gleam of metal on the street.

He eased himself down again. Sherlock was safe. He could collapse now.

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 2b/?

(Anonymous)
He was staring at the gloomy London sky when a familiar silhouette entered his field of vision.

“John!” Sherlock’s voice was tight with panic.

He weakly raised his good hand. Sherlock slung himself onto the ledge with the grace of a mountain goat.

Sherlock’s expression was worried, but his tone was light, “Why do I have the feeling that you have just done something ridiculous and self-sacrificing?”

John didn’t bother to answer. His friend knelt next to him. He caressed John’s forehead with shaking fingers. “How badly are you hurt?”

He winced. “Cracked ribs, hand needs stitches, and a broken nose.”

Sherlock’s eyes flickered over his body. “There’s too much blood.” He hesitated a second, then ripped John’s button-down open, causing buttons to scatter. John flinched.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“I’m checking for stab wounds. You’re covered in blood.” His hands yanked up John’s undershirt. John tensed. His old scars weren’t a pretty sight. At the best of times, he was self-conscious about them, but with Sherlock and his pale, all-seeing eyes so close, it was too much.

Sherlock’s lips tightened almost imperceptibly. He yanked a handkerchief from his pocket and pushed it hard against John’s stomach. “He cut you. It’s shallow, so he probably only got skin and muscle, but you’re bleeding like a stuck pig.”

The doctor at the hospital didn’t send him home until three in the morning. Sherlock remained at his side throughout. His face was more pale than usual and he kept on touching John, brushing his hair back from his forehead, holding his good hand, lightly touching his ankle.

The stairs to the flat almost killed him. He clung to the handrail and inched up. In a continuation of his bizarre, out-of-character behavior, Sherlock hovered, pointedly not offering to help.

“Sherlock.” John gritted.

“Yes?”

“Please go away.”

Sherlock gave him a stern look, but retreated up the stairs. Now, John realized why Sherlock was such a bastard. He was even more aggravating when he was trying to be kind.

“John, you’re to take my room until you are feeling better.” he said when John walked into the flat.

“Why? Are you sure you want me in there?”

“It’s the best solution. I can’t have you hobbling up and down the stairs every time you need to use the loo, all grey-faced and stoic. Mrs. Hudson would cluck at me and give me reproachful looks.”

“Since when did you care about getting reproachful looks?”

“Have you ever gotten one from Mrs. Hudson?”

“Well, no.”

“I can tell you, it’s enough to put a man off his supper.”

“But you don’t eat supper.”

“Shut up and go to bed. I’ll fix you some tea and a bite of toast.”

Wondering whether he should be more concerned about Sherlock’s solicitous behavior or the imminent house fire that was likely to result from his flatmate’s attempt at cooking, John picked his way around the minefield of chemistry supplies, books, and discarded clothing that covered the floor of the bedroom. The bed was mostly cleared off. John moved a few books to the floor and gingerly attempted to untangle the wad of comforter and top sheet with one hand.

At length, Sherlock returned with tea and toast. “Lie back. Let me do it.”

John slumped against the pillows and watched as he freed the blankets. “This is a bit weird, yeah? You tucking me in?” he asked, trying to relieve some of the tension that filled the room.

“I’m not tucking you in. I’m fixing your blankets, so I don’t have to spend an hour listening to you rustle about while you try to do it yourself.”

John let out an exasperated sigh, then winced as a jab of pain stabbed his ribs.

With the blankets in place, Sherlock turned to go. John’s voice stopped him.

“Sherlock?”

“What?”

“Are you alright?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, good.”

Clearly today had shaken his flatmate. John thought about pursuing the subject, but he was tired and his ribs hurt. In his current state, he would just make a mess of things. He leaned back against the pillows, closed his eyes, and fell asleep.

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 3a/?

A/N: I forgot to mention earlier that this is set post Season 1, but pre Season 2 (in case that wasn’t obvious).

Part 3: Sherlock makes a lot of lists, one of which involves gay porn

Sherlock left John, but kept the door cracked just in case. He had lied about being alright, just as he’d been lying for months now. Well, not actively telling lies per se, but rather allowing one very important truth go unsaid.

He’d felt the zing of physical attraction early on. He ignored it, assumed it was a passing thing. John’s insistence that he was ‘not gay’ in spite of clear evidence to the contrary was another deterrent for Sherlock. There were few things on this planet that annoyed him more than sexually confused men. Most people had their preferences figured out by the time they were thirteen. John wasn’t a complete idiot. He was sure to sort himself out eventually. Sherlock wasn’t given to introspection, but he had enough self-awareness to realize that he wasn’t the best person to guide John through a sexual identity crisis.

The problem began when his attraction for John didn’t go away. Instead, it cemented into a consuming infatuation. After the pool incident, he realized that the disturbing tenderness he felt was love.

Sherlock spent weeks scrutinizing John’s body language, but observed no indication that his feelings were returned. So, he hid his emotions behind the usual façade of narcissism and tactlessness. He sublimated his anguish into his work, doing what he could to move on.

But today, when he’d seen John’s body tumbling through the air, and thought for a second, well, closer to 500 milliseconds that he was going to see his friend die, he felt terror. As though, not just the man he loved, but the part of himself that made Sherlock human, that kept him from becoming a monster was going to end in a splatter of blood and crunch of bone on the pavement.

That had been bad enough, but the moment he saw John, alive, breathing, and with no injuries that wouldn’t heal in a few weeks, he felt the words push against his lips. I love you.

When he’d seen the blood that soaked the front of John’s shirt, he had to swallow the words again. Sherlock remembered the knife wound, long and shallow, surrounded by a number of small scars. They were faint and old, just slight discolorations, but he recognized them as burns.

The words came again as John struggled up the stairs, as he stared in befuddlement at the offering of tea and toast on the bedside table. Sherlock knew that they were bound to escape. They would wait for an unguarded moment and rush past his lips.

He flopped onto the sofa and slapped a nicotine patch on his arm. He needed to distance himself from this problem. If he could solve a murder with only a shoelace and a pen cap as evidence, surely he could solve his unrequited love for his flatmate.

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 3b/?

The facts:

Sherlock:
In love with John.
Likely to blurt out this information any moment.
Averse to rejection.

John:
Perceived self as straight.
Exhibited no sexual interest in Sherlock.
Willing to throw himself off a building to save his idiot flatmate.

The last item gave him something to work with. John wasn’t going to leave, even if the situation got uncomfortable. He loved Sherlock in the platonic sense. He just needed to persuade him that they could share something more than friendship.

How to make John fall in love (with the right person):
Step 1: Help him realize that he is attracted to men.
Step 2: Channel these feelings of attraction to the appropriate party (Sherlock).
Step 3: Use a combination of sex and romantic social cues to strengthen the bond.
Step 4: Repeat Step 3 until loving attachment forms.

Sherlock felt a renewed sense of well-being. He didn’t know if it was the nicotine entering his bloodstream or the assurance that came of knowing he had a plan.

He meditated on how he should accomplish Step 1. Lounging about the flat naked would just annoy John. Verbally confronting him about his sexuality would likely only stimulate a defensive response. It was best if he made the discovery on his own.

He thought of his early teens. He had always known he fancied boys over girls. There had been no sudden realization for him. His interest in intimacy hadn’t even been piqued until he discovered a gay pornographic magazine in Mycroft’s bedroom. He’d stolen it and read it over and over, even after he memorized the contents.

Perhaps all John needed to spur his sexual awakening was a bit of strategically placed gay porn. He got up and grabbed his coat and scarf. He was off to Mrs. Turner’s to see if her tenants had any old issues of Honcho lying around.

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 4a/?

Part 4: John gets an awkward boner

John woke the next morning to the smell of fresh tea and toast. The cup and plate from last night had been replaced with fresh ones. He groaned as his nerve endings reminded him of yesterday’s fight. He gave the tea a suspicious sniff. Sherlock was never this considerate unless he had an ulterior motive. In the end, John decided to risk it. He nursed the tea, scarfed the toast, then reached for a bottle of paracetemol.

He still wore yesterday’s boxers. Sherlock had given him his vest to wear, as his own was soaked in blood. The garment was too tight across John’s chest and chafed at his underarms.

He slowly eased into a sitting position, moving as little as possible. He swallowed the medicine, then froze as he moved to replace the pill bottle. A magazine sat on the bedside table. It featured a shirtless bloke in a police cap who sported a truly epic moustache. John’s fingers brushed his own upper lip. He’d always thought he might be able to grow a proper moustache. Perhaps this magazine was a sign that it was time to try.

He hobbled to the loo and gingerly performed his morning ablutions. He skipped shaving. His face was a swollen mess anyway. Next, he turned the tap, slipped off his boxers, which by now felt completely disgusting, then confronted the problem of the vest. Eventually, he wiggled it down to his waist and over his hips.

The hot water felt amazing, even though he had to keep his back to the spray to prevent the dressing on his stomach from getting wet. He soaped up a flannel and scrubbed himself clean. He filled his palm with shampoo and reached for the crown of his head.

“Oh shit! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”

The movement pulled on his stitches and made his ribs scream.

A few moments later, a polite knock sounded on the door. “Everything alright in there?”

John rinsed the shampoo from his fingers. “I’m fine.”

John thought for a minute, trying figure out how he was going to wash his hair. When he realized he wouldn’t be able to do it without help, he squared his shoulders and gritted his teeth. His hair stank of blood and sweat. He had to get it clean. He hated being naked in front of others. The idea being unclothed in front of Sherlock was especially unappealing, but in this case, he did not see any other option.

“Sherlock? Still there?”

“Yeah.”

“I need you to do me a favor.”

“What is it?”

He stepped out of the shower without bothering to put on a towel, Sherlock was about to see him naked anyway, and opened the door. “Could you help me wash my hair?”

Fill: No Refuge from Memory: 4b/?

*

“I suppose.” Sherlock’s gaze frantically darted everywhere but in the direction of his flatmate’s body. John stepped aside to let him in. “How should we do this?”

“It’ll be easier if we both get in shower, that way the water doesn’t spray everywhere. I’ll bend over to keep the dressing from getting wet.”

Sherlock reluctantly shed his dressing gown and pajamas. He got into the shower and grabbed the detachable showerhead, pointing it directly downward to minimize the spray. John stepped inside and bent his waist at a forty-five degree angle.

Sherlock mentally recited amino acid compounds as he wetted his flatmate’s hair. He had a number of sexual fantasies about being naked in the shower with John, but an erection at this moment would only serve to make the situation even more uncomfortable.

He put away the showerhead and squirted a blob of shampoo into his palm. He rubbed it between his hands, then reached for John. Oh dear God. He had his fingers in his friend’s hair and the man’s face was only a foot away from his cock.

He tried to keep the movement of his hands businesslike and impersonal. He would not get an erection. He imagined his penis in its flaccid state. You will stay that way, he told it sternly. He finished lathering the shampoo, then turned to get the showerhead. As he turned, he saw John’s hands clutching at his lower stomach.

“Oh God, what’s wrong? Are you hurt? Let me see.” Sherlock knelt and yanked John’s arm out of the way, only to be confronted at eye level by a very aroused fully erect penis. For an instant, his baser instincts won out. He imagined himself leaning forward, taking that beautiful cock in hand, rolling back the foreskin and pressing his tongue to the slit. He forced his mind back the present, but it was too late. His cock was already half hard.

He rose, yanked on the showerhead, and gave John’s hair a cursory rinse before shutting off the water and racing out of the shower. Of course John had gotten an eyeful of his own, ahem, biological reaction, and was likely coming to some disturbing conclusions.

Sherlock’s mind raced. Part of him was thrilled. He had already reached Step 2 of his plan with almost no effort! The other part was terrified. He knew that what happened next was vital. John had to talk about this while the feelings were still fresh, before he found reasons to explain them away.

He yanked on his dressing gown. It stuck to the damp parts of his skin, making him feel itchy and hot. He needed to be tactful and persuasive, but not manipulative. John would see through that in an instant. He needed time to make a strategy.

His flatmate had his back to him and was in the process of wrapping a towel around his waist. The back of his neck was crimson with embarrassment.

“Clothes.”

John turned and looked at him in confusion.

“I’ll get you some clothes. Stay put.”

Sherlock raced up the stairs to John’s room. His mind worked on a plan.

Step 1: Persuade John to hold a conversation.
Step 2: Present supporting evidence for John’s gay-ness.
Step 3: Propose experiment to allow for the collection of additional data.
Step 4: Snog John senseless.

He retrieved a vest, button down shirt, boxers, and a pair of jeans, and returned to the loo.

He passed them through the door, giving his flatmate a measure of privacy.

“John, we need to talk.”

“Oh God, Sherlock, really? I’m not gay!”

Sherlock sighed and leaned his head against the door. He assembled his argument.

“It will only take five minutes. We can talk in the sitting room, have the most uncomfortable conversation of our lives, and never revisit the issue again if you don’t want to.”

John’s tone was resigned. “Why do you have to be so reasonable all of a sudden?”

His flatmate emerged from the loo clothed, but still a little damp.

When Sherlock sat in the chair across from John, he realized that he was about to have the most important conversation of his life while wearing nothing but a blue silk dressing gown.


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