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Title: Cartography
Rating: M
Pairings: Sherlock/John
Word Count: 775
Warnings: None
Betas: [livejournal.com profile] grassle , [livejournal.com profile] misanthropyray , and [livejournal.com profile] blue_eyed_1987 
Disclaimer: Not mine, just playing with them.

Summary: Some of the things John loves are really one and the same.




Sherlock Holmes is London.

John realises it one day, just sitting, watching Sherlock fiddle with a pipette at Barts. Sherlock is grey and gloomy but full of wild energy. He's posh and upper crust but not afraid to get his hands dirty on the wrong side of town. He has his moods, obviously, but when things are going well, he's as warm as a sunny day in Hyde Park. Yes, John decides, Sherlock is the perfect personification of the city of London. John's near silent huff of laughter earns a quirked eyebrow from his pipette-wielding friend and a stern “Shut up”, but with a smile.

Kissing Sherlock Holmes the first time is a lot like running headlong into the side of Nelson's Column or drunkenly falling into the Thames after a night out. A shock to your system, and something you probably would have avoided if you'd been paying attention. But right now, in the moment when John's hands are scrambling against Sherlock's jacket lapels, and lips and teeth are clashing together, he can't bring himself to care about the potential dangers of London for a man not quick enough to out-think them.

Fucking Sherlock that first time, which happens so quickly after John's tumble into the Thames that he hasn't had time to properly recover, is when John finally feels he's left his mark on London. There’s a new map drawn in sweat, nail marks and smatterings of cum on Sherlock's flesh. The bite mark on Sherlock's right shoulder could even be part of the London Eye. John laughs at that, and Sherlock pulls closer to his side and smiles. By now John just assumes that Sherlock knows what he's thinking. Why couldn't he be a mind reader and a city? That makes John laugh a little harder, which makes Sherlock smile wider and gently kiss John's neck.

The next morning, John wakes with Sherlock curled behind him. It's warm and comfortable, and John is shocked by how much he likes the feeling of being held by Sherlock Holmes.

“Good morning, John,” Sherlock rumbles out with a sleep-tainted voice. John mumbles a greeting and pushes himself more fully into Sherlock's body. Not demanding anything, just unwilling to fully wake up and deal with whatever the fallout from this will be. John can feel Sherlock smile into the back of his neck before leaving a trail of kisses across his shoulders. “Let's stay here a while longer,” Sherlock says, and John can't help but wonder if he's left his mark on the man as well as the great city.

Making love comes later. And John's not too much of a cynic to think of it that way, though he'll probably never say it out loud. He thinks of it as making love because that's what it feels like.

They return to Baker Street after a disastrous trip to Switzerland to catch Moriarty. Sherlock nearly died, technically did die, and John breathed life back into him. They stayed in hospital for a few days before Mycroft spirited them back to England on a private plane. Sherlock slips wearily to the sofa and says, “I'm never leaving London again.”

The feeble joke splits a crack that has been growing in John for days. Before he fully realises what he's doing, John is straddling Sherlock's lap, holding his head in his hands, and pressing kisses over every fading bruise and scratch he can find. John mumbles, “No, never leave me”, “Please don't go”, “Don't die,” and other things he'd be embarrassed by against Sherlock's skin. He may even be crying.

Hours later, the two are curled together in Sherlock's bed. Their bed, really, as John hasn't slept in his bed in months. Maybe they should tell Mrs. Hudson they no longer need the room upstairs. John's head rests on Sherlock's shoulder while the detective's fingers curl through his hair.
Sherlock clears his throat and turns to face the sleepy doctor, “John, what I do…what we do is dangerous, and I cannot guarantee…”

John silences him with a quick kiss, “I know. And it's fine. It's all fine.” They kiss again, for what seems like hours, and silently agree that it is not fine but they'll continue to pretend that it is.

Mike Stamford was right. The John Watson he knew couldn't bear to live anywhere but London. But John's no longer the John Watson Mike knew. This John Watson can't bear to live anywhere without Sherlock Holmes. Maybe it's better this way. This way he gets the man and the city.

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April 2012

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