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Hi there! World! Utterly unbetaed opening of a fic below the cut. I know, sudden, right? I don't know what I'm doing, but I just felt like writing a thing. I got 2k through it, and that's...what's below the cut. It probably desperately needs a beta, because I know already that I've:
  • abused the shit out of some em-dashes
  • over-relied on italics, as always
  • written about foot stuff when I'm really not at all about foot stuff, so I'm probably fucking that up
and have further committed these other acts that deserve their own warnings:
  • John and Sherlock are both cisswapped to be female
  • John's name is still John
  • this is set in their 20s, with John fairly early in her medical training (residency maybe) and I know nothing about residency training
Good lord, I don't know. Anyway. Here. Betas welcome. My brain's started to continue this story, but if you think I should continue it...I don't know, maybe say something. >.> 

Basic premise: John and Sherlock enter into a friends with benefits sort of situation, which is one-sided (Sherlock gives John orgasms, because of course it's convenient). An excellent setup for pining and misunderstandings and also sex; we'll see if I can manage to do anything with it. Last edit addendum: no actual sex below the cut. This is all setup.

John dragged herself through the front door and made a beeline for the sofa. Or as close to a beeline as her exhaustion would allow. Naturally, her eyes scanned the flat for Sherlock and found her hunched over the kitchen table, pipette in hand and eyes tracking John in turn. No doubt reading the day she’d had in the fibres of her jumper.

Some days, Sherlock’s superpower felt like a journal John didn’t have to write in; something that just knew her inside and out without any questions. And sometimes, that scan of hers was like withstanding a gust of wind with an open umbrella, even if it was just a look. But John’s second storey bedroom just felt too far away some nights and tonight was one of them. She let herself fall in an ungraceful pile on the sofa.

“I wasn’t expecting you home until later,” Sherlock said.

“Was late leaving Bart’s,” John sighed out. “Cancelled on Adam, worked some more—Marsh asked for a consult, so I got caught up in that and I just….just got out.” So many hours summed up in a sentence. And a boring one at that.

“Adam’s the bowler?”

John blinked. “Bowler? No, that was…I don’t remember who that was. Adam’s the investment banker.”

Sherlock’s upper lip lifted in a tiny, reflexive sneer. It came out fairly reliably when it came to City boys. “Ah, another of your Tinder men.” She moved to the other end of the sofa and took John’s feet into her lap. John could’ve sighed in relief right then and there. A difficult night with Sherlock was the last thing she was ready for just now.

“Yeah well,” John leaned her head back on the sofa’s armrest and let out a long, hitching breath as Sherlock ran her thumbs up the sole of John’s right foot, long fingers splayed out over top John’s midfoot. God, that felt better than it had any right to. John bottled in a proper groan and turned her mind back to Adam. “Two cancellations is a bit much for anyone when we haven’t even properly met, so he’ll probably stop messaging me anyway. God damn it,” she sighed. “Do you know how hard it is to get to the point where they want to meet me? A girl named John? I have to deal with so much—so much shit.” Sherlock’s thumbs had started another run up the soles of her feet, and John let out another sigh like her lungs had forgot how to breathe any other way. “God, I’m never getting laid,” she muttered. On the bright side though, if Sherlock kept touching her feet like this, she might stop caring as much.

“If all you want is to have mediocre sex, you needn’t use a dating app,” Sherlock said somewhat shortly, in the same tone of voice she’d use if she were advising on eating week-old pasties. “Getting laid the old fashioned way in a club or somewhere would save you from having to explain your name as well. I could wingman you to weed out the worst of them, if you really wanted.”

“I’m hardly looking for mediocre sex,” John said, hoping that her scowl would chase away any blushing. She purposefully sidestepped the idea of Sherlock picking out who she’d fuck at a bar or somewhere—God, that was too much to process there. She’d be looking up, or down, at someone in bed and be thinking of Sherlock, thinking this is who Sherlock chose for me to go home with. No, no, dear god, no.

“Well, aren’t you?”

John opened her mouth and closed it again, grasping for a free thought. “I guess I’m at the point where I’d take it, dunno about looking for it. Mediocre something just seems better than mediocre nothing.”

Sherlock didn’t respond. Her fingers kept moving though, keeping a comforting grip over John’s proximal fifth metatarsal and her violinist’s thumbs making a better-than-mediocre-sex groove up to the ball of John’s foot. Jesus. John groaned a little as Sherlock squeezed, and then tried to cough to cover it up. It turned into something of a grunt. “Sorry,” she said, feeling her cheeks heat.

Sherlock didn’t answer, but her hands didn’t stop. She ran the path up John’s foot one more time and then switched feet, moving to her left. John shifted, concentrating on not letting more embarrassing noises escape.

“So you’re not looking for a relationship, is that accurate?” Sherlock’s voice snapped John out of her massage reverie. She blinked her eyes open and had to replay the words in her head before understanding the question.

“I mean,” John said, swallowing. Sherlock’s eyes looked intense the way they got sometimes, the way John wasn’t often prepared for in most contexts in full light of day and standing and several feet between them, but especially not when she was getting a foot massage at the end of a twelve-hour day on their sofa that smelled like Sherlock. “Not so much. I don’t know if I’d necessarily be able to fit in someone into my life, you know the hours I put in.”

Sherlock was quiet, working on John’s left foot. It felt, improbably, better than it had the first foot, beyond the relief of pain and exhaustion and into some other plane that John didn’t have the words to describe, even as a doctor. The relief was a palpable thing that Sherlock was weaving like a witch, conjuring up out of the tiresome threads of the day and building something new with them. Actual magic fingers, she reflected, and wanted to scoff at herself. John shifted to keep from saying it all aloud like some kind of besotted fool. She couldn’t get into that. Things were bad enough as they were, and she’d just said that she wasn’t looking for a relationship, just sex. It was more or less true.

She cracked an eyelid and watched Sherlock’s hands at work. For however good they felt, they seemed to be on autopilot given the faraway look in Sherlock’s eyes. She was frowning just slightly, the corners of her lips pouting even more than they usually did. A line of concentration between her brows.

And then Sherlock’s eyes snapped to John’s, as if she had come to a conclusion about something. John felt caught out in her staring, but Sherlock’s unblinking gaze didn’t register that that’s what John was doing.

“If you just want sex, is there any reason you need to go out for it?”

John blinked. And replayed the sentence, and still it made no sense. No. What?

“I,” John said dumbly. “What do you mean by go out for it? I, erm, you know, leave the house for dates. To meet people. I don’t like taking people I barely know and bringing them here, you know that.”

“What I mean,” Sherlock said, “is why can’t you get your sex right here? Why get mediocre sex from people you barely care about, who barely care about you? They don’t even know you, of course it’d be mediocre. Why not just—” Sherlock sucked her full bottom lip her mouth for just a moment before continuing. “Why not just get it here?”

John blinked. And blinked. She tried, and failed, to imagine what else Sherlock might be trying to say. Because surely. Surely, she wasn’t suggesting that John not leave the flat for sex because a willing partner who knew her was right here in the flat. Surely?

“Stop it with that look,” Sherlock said, sounding a bit put off. “I’m offering you sex, if that’s what you want.”

John’s mouth fell open.

“No, I amend that, wait,” Sherlock corrected. John closed her mouth again quickly, waiting. What was happening? “I’m offering you orgasms. You needn’t…reciprocate. If that’s what you want, or. Need. That’s what I’m offering. No strings.”

“Sherlock,” John said, and her voice sounded high and nervous, laughter hiding in the rafters and waiting to take over. “Sherlock, you don’t have to—offer—that’s just—”

“I know you, and I—you know. Care for you. I’m your friend,” Sherlock went on as if John hadn’t said a word. “If what you want is relationship-free sex, orgasms, all I’m saying is that you don’t need to get that somewhere else. You could. With me. We could. You can stop gawping like a fish any day now, John, I just wanted to present you with a logical, convenient choice. Maybe one you hadn’t contemplated before.”

One you hadn’t contemplated before
. Christ. If Sherlock only knew.

“That’s…that’s very kind of you, Sherlock,” John heard herself say. “But I don’t think you understand what you’re offering, or what you…how that would change our relationship.”

“Would it?”

Wouldn’t it?”

“I already know you like my hands.”

John flushed at that, felt herself colour from her ears to the top of her chest. “That’s—I mean—”

Sherlock squeezed John’s foot—which she still held in her hands—and ran the first knuckle of her index finger up the centre of John’s sole, pushing right up against her instep. It was such an abrupt spike of pleasure that John didn’t have time to tamp down the tarted up little groan that escaped her. “Oh—oh Christ,” she said in a rush. She caught Sherlock’s gaze and glared. “That is not fair.”

“Would it be any different from this?” Sherlock asked, repeating the motion, pressing just hard enough to make John’s entire lower half feel like warm water. She hadn’t felt this good in weeks. “I do this for you,” Sherlock said, breaking through the haze that John’s thoughts had become. “I’m good at it because I know what you like. I can read it or I just—know. It’s the same with our dinners and what tampons you prefer.” John opened her mouth to protest that it wasn’t the same at all— “There’s a curry in the fridge for you and a box of no-applicator tampons under our bathroom sink,” Sherlock finished.

“Sherlock…” John didn’t know how to fight this, how to leave logical breadcrumbs from point A—where they were now—to point B, which was where they would be if they were Flatmates with Benefits, to the most painfully logical person she knew. Sherlock probably could separate out physical intimacy—John’s orgasms, no need for reciprocity, Jesus Christ—from friendship, or whatever it was that they had. Was it something more? John could believe only too well that Sherlock wasn’t aiming for it to become more. And that left John. She doth protest too much, John thought hysterically. I can’t fall for you any more than I have already was on the tip of John’s tongue, her last resort, her only defence, but it was the last thing she could say at this point.

And then John realised her mistake, because it wasn’t this moment, tonight, entertaining Sherlock’s offer of sex—no, orgasms, without strings. No, the mistake came much earlier, so early that John didn’t know she was making it. Had no idea how deep the rabbit hole would go. The moment she let Sherlock convince her to move into this flat with this feeling between them. Letting foot massages happen after long days, that was just some in between step.

John met Sherlock’s eyes and worked her mouth uselessly. “John,” Sherlock said. “You can think about it, okay? Consider it. And if—you want,” John felt her ears scorch. “You can always come find me in the bedroom. If you come find me there, you won’t have to say anything at all. I’ll just know what you need and. We can go from there. Like when you come home from work and lie down on the sofa.”

Sherlock pushed John’s feet off her lap and left them on the sofa with a pat. She gathered up some notes from the kitchen countertop on the way to her bedroom and paused in her doorway, looking back at John. “Don’t forget about the curry in the fridge.”

The door closed, or nearly did. The metal of the catch touched the doorframe, but the door creaked open just a crack, as it generally did when it wasn’t purposefully closed.

And John was left gaping on the sofa, staring after the space Sherlock had been. Not understanding a single thing about what had just happened.

July 2017

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