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Do You Want To Know A Secret?

Author: redvalerian
Title: Do You Want To Know A Secret?
A gift for: dorothydonne
Characters/Pairing: S/J
Category: Slash
Rating: G until the epilogue which is PG/13
Warnings: None apart from some PG/13 shenanigans in the Epilogue
Summary: In which Sherlock makes a wager which he turns out to be more than happy to lose. Herein find fluff and more fluff and yet more fluff, plus a touch of smut and some nose-rubbing under a Christmas Tree.
Length: 6051

Author's Notes: Written for the following Sherlockmas challenge:

S/J: John tries to buy Sherlock a Christmas present. Every time he brings something home, Sherlock figures out what it is. John has to get creative. Maybe the Christmas present turns into a night of shameless kinkery.

“Listen, do you want to know a secret?
Do you promise not to tell, whoa, oh,
Closer, let me whisper in your ear,
Say the words you long to hear,
I’m in love with you, ooo,ooo ooo”

“You have heard of the concept of hubris, right,” John huffs in an exasperated tone. It cuts no ice with Sherlock.

“I continue to maintain that you are constitutionally incapable of keeping a secret,” Sherlock repeats for about the tenth time, speaking to John in that smug tone of his that is meant to brook no denial, although clearly John fully intends to continue arguing his case for some unknown reason. They have been going at it for ten minutes at least, with no end in sight.

The pair are sitting at what John optimistically still refers to as the kitchen table, despite the fact that it normally looks more like a bench in a chemistry lab. Tea and toast are being consumed by both, although not in the same quantities or with the same level of alacrity. Sherlock nibbles his single square of toast languidly and sips a minute china cupful of tea. John is a scoffer of whole slices and a gulper of full jumbo-sized mugs and he’s not ashamed to admit to either. Doctors, especially members of the Royal Army Medical Corps, have to learn to scoff and gulp or they don’t eat and drink at all, and John has learnt the lesson well. The flatmates are not long out of their respective beds, and each is huddled in his dressing gown, trying not to shiver. The flat is unexpectedly chilly this winter morning, although warming up quickly now that the fire has been lit and the central heating has deigned to kick in.

It’s the second week of December, and London has embraced the season with its usual gusto. The weather has even decided to co-operate. Having begun with a few weeks of unseasonably mild temperatures, overnight the thermometer has plummeted and the grey skies have delivered a light dusting of snow everywhere, hence the chill in the flat. It’s not enough snow to close down the Tube and create the usual mayhem and misery for commuters, thankfully. Just enough to make London look delightfully Dickensian for a change. The streets outside are aglow with Christmas lights and the shop windows on Oxford Street and its environs have outdone themselves in their lavish window displays. Inside 221B, the bickering continues apace.

“So let me get this straight - you think I can’t keep a secret under any circumstances? How sure are you about that?” John is speaking now in a deceptively placid tone – but there’s a little gleam in his eye that gives him away. It’s as if he knows something Sherlock doesn’t. Like that’s possible.

Sherlock pounces. Everyone has a besetting sin, and he knows that John’s is a tendency to like a small gamble now and then. Nothing major. Nothing to really worry about. Just the odd flutter on the gee-gees if a horse’s name takes his fancy. The occasional Lottery scratch card at the newsagents when he’s buying a paper. That annual bet on the Grand National which he insists is actually a family tradition. But most of all he knows that John can’t resist taking up any gauntlet that Sherlock has thrown down.

If anything, the detective now looks even more smug than he did before. He does so love to win a bet. He wonders how high he can make the stakes on this one, then inspiration strikes. “Winner gets to ask whatever he wants from the loser?” he suggests finally, daring John with his eyes to take the bet. To please take the bet. His eyes plead his case, and there’s no denying their power. John has never been able to say no to Sherlock and today is no exception.

Things have been quietly simmering between them, ever since Sherlock’s return from the dead six months before. Neither of them has yet openly acknowledged their growing attraction, however. It’s an attraction that’s been obvious to everyone else they know – even the Yarders. And it has to come to a head sometime soon, that’s clear to all concerned. They both know it, but it’s understood that there’s no hurry. They’ve had three years apart. What’s another few weeks? They’re both content to take it slowly – whatever ‘it’ is.

John is looking pretty smug himself now, because actually, he knows he’s quite good at keeping secrets from his friend, thank you very much. Bloody brilliant, in fact. Sherlock has no idea about the depth of John’s real feelings for him for one thing. And for a second, he can’t possibly imagine the surprise Christmas present John has planned. It has been six-months in the making after all, and involved untold expense and behind-the-scenes manipulation (thank you Mycroft on both counts) and the help of untold friends and acquaintances in the forensic line (thank you Molly and just about every member of Scotland Yard) not to mention much help on the wardrobe, textile and soft-furnishing front (Thank you Mrs Hudson.)

Winning from Sherlock might just give John the upper hand for once. And if nothing else, he can daydream about what he’ll get to demand from Sherlock if he wins the bet. Which he will. Oh the things he longs to do to the man he never thought he’d see again. They just don’t bear thinking about, although John can naturally think of nothing else. If his cheeks glow a little pinker, he can always blame it on the room warming up.

“Right,” he says at last, just as Sherlock knew he would. “Challenge accepted. Here’s the bet. I happen to think you’ll never guess what I’m getting you for Christmas. Are you willing to take the wager? It will involve you correctly guessing the exact nature of six separate gifts.”

Like taking candy from a baby. Sherlock grins at him and holds out his hand to shake on it before he can change his mind. This will be fun. He’s already daydreaming about what demands he’ll be able to make on his blogger because there is no doubt whatsoever that he will win this wager. Love may be blind, but in Sherlock’s case he can still see quite clearly. He has grown to care for the man almost more than he’s willing to admit even to himself, but he has no illusions about John’s ability to keep secrets. It’s non-existent.

So he thinks.

Over the next few days it appears that Sherlock was correct in his assessment of his flatmate. It is indeed like taking candy from a baby. John comes home from the surgery periodically carrying a wrapped parcel tagged with Sherlock’s name, which he hands over to be put under their tree. Under the terms of the bet, Sherlock is allowed to deduce what he can about the contents, but only via the time-honoured method of shaking sniffing and prodding the parcel. He must then write down what he thinks is inside on a specially prepared slip of paper which John insists on keeping in his hot little hand for the duration of the bet. Sherlock rolls his eyes at the melodrama, but John is unfazed.

Which is a puzzle, actually – as it’s surprisingly obvious what’s in each package John hands him. He hasn’t even tried to hide the contents by putting the presents in rectangular boxes. He’s just wrapped paper abound the things so that often their shapes themselves give the game away instantly. Even Anderson would be able to deduce the contents of most of them. It’s almost insulting.

Sherlock easily guesses each one as the presents arrive on successive days, dutifully asking for the answer paper to be handed over, and writing down his guesses with the odd snarky comment before returning the paper with a flourish. Surprisingly, John just smiles enigmatically each time, and doesn’t seem in the least worried. Sherlock knew he could win this bet, but he’d thought it would at least be a challenge! This is just too, suspiciously easy. So easy, that he almost begins to doubt himself. Too late now, though. Once a guess has been written on the paper, there’s no changing it. That’s in the rules. John just grins even more at his friend’s increasingly troubled expression, but gives nothing away.

Sherlock will admit to being confused by one aspect of John’s present-giving behaviour, however. Every present so far has patently been something that the detective already owns. On Day One there’s a large and hefty parcel that from its size and weight can be nothing but another Belstaff Coat. A few days later and John delivers a parcel that is just as clearly a Deerstalker hat, exactly like the one he already has. Then comes the wrapped human skull – looking like a twin of the one sitting on the mantelpiece, only this one is covered in gold Christmas wrapping paper with a bright red bow stuck on the top, right in the middle of the coronal suture.

Adding insult to injury, the next present is clearly a magnifying glass from its shape. A magnifying glass? Seriously. As if he doesn’t already own the best one on the market. And then comes the fifth present which is just as obviously a violin if he is not very much mistaken – and he most certainly is not very much mistaken. It even twangs melodiously as he puts it under the tree. Has John no imagination at all? He’s a little disappointed in his blogger, truth be told.

Well, he shouldn’t have expected much, he thinks to himself, as he writes down his fifth guess on the bit of paper John insists on keeping under lock and key when it’s not actually on his person. Sherlock has now written the following:

1. Belstaff coat – do I really need two, John?
2. Deerstalker. You know how much I hate the one I’ve already got, right?
3. Magnifying glass. Really? Another one? And the old-fashioned sort, too.
4. Skull. Is that to keep the other one company? I didn’t think he was lonely.
5. Violin. It can’t be better than the one I already have unless it’s an actual Stradivarius, too. Do you have hidden stores of wealth that I don’t know about?

John just smiles as he reads each of Sherlock’s comments, and puts the list away for safeguarding. It’s very disconcerting. Although Sherlock has no doubt that he’s right in his guesses, John seems a little too sure that he’s the one winning the bet. But that can’t be. Sherlock won’t know for sure until Christmas morning, however. So he has to wait. He has agreed not to open anything until then. Boring.

But that’s John. Boring. Well, perhaps ‘boring’ is a little harsh. More like traditional. His blogger is a positive stickler for tradition and no mistake. Usually Sherlock has no time for such things but somehow when John says they need a real tree and fairy lights and a holly wreath for the front door and the makings for mulled wine and some bayberry scented candles and a ridiculous number of paper chains to hang from the ceiling light stretching to the four corners of the room, and a long succession of other totally unnecessary etceteras, he finds himself going along with it, even screwing the hook into the front door himself and hanging the wreath there with his own fair hands.

Now as he slowly glances around their festive sitting room there’s a soft smile on his face: the decorated pine tree in the corner by the window is laden with baubles and twinkling lights, while a fairy in a pink tulle dress and silver wings stares back at him serenely with her blue glass eyes from the top of the tree. Lush evergreen branches and pine cones adorn the mantelpiece and every other flat surface is covered with Christmas cards from their few friends and many satisfied clients. The entire flat smells of a mixture of cloves and cinnamon and pine needles and bayberries. It’s heavenly.

Sherlock closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. He feels unaccountably like the little boy he was a long time ago, waking on Christmas morning and hurrying down the grand staircase at Holmes Manor to the drawing room, holding his breath, anxious to see if Father Christmas has brought him what he wanted. If Father Christmas even exists.

He’d nearly been certain that he didn’t exist, even at the tender age of five, but Sherlock had no empirical evidence to prove or disprove his existence either way as yet, so he was willing to give the portly bearded-one the benefit of a doubt. And then as he threw open the double doors to the drawing room he had gasped in joy at the piles of presents under the tree. And just for a minute he had believed. Just for a minute he’d whispered ‘Thank you, Father Christmas” before he thought about it and realised it must have been mummy or daddy or Mycroft.

Present-day Sherlock opens his eyes finally and is drawn back to the piles of wrapped presents under this much less spectacular tree. He shakes his head with a wry smile. No need to open these presents beforehand. They’re all so obvious. He’s got this bet in the bag. He didn’t really think John would present much of a challenge, but these have been child’s play to deduce.

Why on earth would John have bought him a lot of things he already has, though - that’s the question? And where is the sixth present that he has to guess? There’s been no sign of it after his last deduction.

He puzzles over it day after day in the final lead-up to Christmas, but without coming to a conclusion that satisfies him.

Finally Christmas Eve arrives as is its wont, and Sherlock is still none the wiser. Instead of giving him a sixth present, John has said he should be able to deduce the final gift, based on the other five. It’s maddening, because it’s impossible to guess without more data. John is cheating, and Sherlock intends to collect on his bet based on what he is sure are his five correct guesses so far.

He is looking forward to it more than he cares to admit. Poor John. He’ll be very disappointed not to have managed to keep his supposedly amazing secrets. But then again, it does mean that Sherlock will have won, which is obviously more important than any temporary embarrassment John might suffer. Sherlock intends to make it up to him in the sweetest way possible, after all. It’s high time they took the next step in this relationship and his presents to John will make that quite clear.

He goes to sleep, wondering what exactly he should demand as his ‘prize.’ And if he finds his thoughts heading towards the carnal, well nobody needs to know, do they?

On Christmas morning Sherlock leaps out of bed and rushes into the sitting room to put John’s presents under the tree, and to see if the sixth present has appeared. He is met by one surprise anyway: far from the appearance of anything new, all five of the wrapped presents that were there just last night have disappeared. Have they been robbed in the night? He looks around but can see no evidence of a break-in. Something must have happened, though. There’s not a single present for him under the tree or anywhere else that he can see. Sherlock finds himself unaccountably disappointed. He’s certain he knew what was in each and every parcel, but still – one likes to have something to open on Christmas morning, even if it’s not a surprise.

As he’s standing there looking rather dejected, John shuffles down from his room with a sleepy festive greeting on his lips. He glances under the tree on his way to filling the kettle and looks unsurprised at the disappearance of all the wrapped presents. Not robbers then. Some other mystery is afoot. Sherlock is about to demand to know what’s going on when he hears an unmistakable text alert from his mobile. Damn. Not on Christmas day, surely! He picks it up and sees the text is from Lestrade: “Come immediately to the corner of Allsop Place and Marylebone Road. There’s a crime scene we need your help with. Both of you. Happy Bloody Christmas.”

Sherlock sighs. At least it’s not far. Just around the corner actually. And there’s nothing else for him to do, now all his presents have disappeared. He’s not pouting about that. He’s really not.

Sherlock sighs again and shows the text to John, then muttering dark things about the selfishness of the criminal classes, he and his blogger get dressed, bundle up and head off to the address. Wait a minute. The corner of Allsop Place and Marlylebone Road. That’s….that’s…surely that’s…. Sherlock begins to frown as he sees Lestrade ahead, outside of their destination. The huge dome over the building makes it quite the landmark. Of all the places it could be, the crime scene is apparently at Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum. Lestrade is standing outside Entrance 2 – the VIP door.

John seems unsurprised by this unexpected turn of events and greets Lestrade who grunts back at him. The Detective Inspector is stamping his feet in the chill air and looking at his watch. “This way,” he says briskly. “Hurry it up! Your crime scene awaits. I’ll be off.” Then murmuring, “You owe me one,” to John, he quietly disappears.

John seems to know where they’re meant to be going however, and forges ahead into the building, with Sherlock in his wake for once. He’s clearly a man on a mission. Sherlock barely has time to take in the displays as they rush past the incongruous range of celebrities, past and present that Madam Tussauds has on offer. Posh and Becks seems to grin as he passes by the A List Party Guests and Audrey Hepburn with her cigarette in an elegant long holder, gives him a wink at the Premiere Night Display.

In Culture and History, the Royal family, Einstein and Shakespeare seem equally interested in his venturing into their domain. And in the Scream sector, crazed serial killers lunge for him and John as they speed by. The figures soon become a blur of famous faces apparently standing cheek by jowl and all of them seem fascinated by Sherlock as he rushes past. The Pope even blesses him.

Each figure is more eerily realistic than the last and they’re all paying far too much attention to Sherlock for his peace of mind. Then round a final corner and the duo reach a long corridor containing a series of new exhibits: labelled Cribs of the Famous and Infamous. John slows down at last giving Sherlock a chance to catch up, but he ignores the detective’s panted demands for an explanation and just continues walking, albeit more slowly now.

First they pass the Oval office where Barrack Obama sits at his desk, phone in hand; next comes the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace, with Queen Elizabeth sitting in state wearing her crown and holding the orb and sceptre. Then comes the interior of the Queen Vic with Alfie Moon behind the bar pulling pints next to a bust of Queen Victoria, who stares serenely at her domain. Finally a fourth room appears which looks vaguely familiar. Make that very familiar.

Sherlock screeches to a halt and for once in his life does a double-take and, sad but true, stands and gapes. For there, in front of him, is his own sitting room – his and John’s - complete in every detail. Same flocked wallpaper, decorated with bullet holes and a yellow smiley-face; same two chairs, one a welcoming haven of cushion-covered comfort, the other a sleek art-deco creation of chrome and leather. The chairs are sitting either side of a fireplace where realistic fake flames flicker. There are piles of very familiar clutter on every surface and the crammed bookcases contain identical tomes to those he has just left back in 221B. At the rear of the room a music stand has been placed by the ‘window’ which looks out on a painted vista of Baker street. Next to the music stand on a chair sits a replica of Sherlock’s open violin case although there’s nothing inside.

Most startling of all; on the chrome and leather chair in front of the fire, a Wax-Sherlock sits, hands steepled under his chin, mouth open, clearly in the process of recounting one of his amazing deductions to his rapt blogger. Wax-Sherlock is wearing a shirt that Real-Sherlock secretly knows is John’s favourite, the dark purple one, which is unbuttoned at the throat. The figure’s blue porcelain eyes glitter in the faux-firelight and his raven locks gleam. He almost seems to be breathing.

In the comfy chair opposite, Wax-John sits, leaning forward expectantly; eyes riveted to his friend’s face and an adoring smile on his lips. He is dressed exactly like real John, in his oatmeal cable-knit jumper, corduroy trousers and brown Desert boots. At his side is a cup of tea which is actually steaming as if it’s just been poured out. Thank you, Lestrade.

Real-Sherlock gazes in rapt wonder, looking back and forth from Wax-John to the grinning man standing next to him.

“What…? How…? When…?” Sherlock splutters, being reduced to questions of one-syllable.

“Vast vocabulary deserted you, has it?” John replies cheekily, but he sounds so happy. Happier than Sherlock has ever heard him. Not since ‘the return’ anyway. He’s doing a fair imitation of being Jesus’s little sunbeam, to be honest. And looking rather smug about it, though who could blame him?

After all, John has never managed to completely silence Sherlock before.

“So,” he says at last. “Do you like present number six? I didn’t wrap this one and it was a little big to put under the tree. How about it, Sherlock? Is it safe to say that I managed to keep a secret from the most perceptive man in the Western Hemisphere?”

Sherlock spins to look at him, rather offended.

“Not just the Western Hemisphere, John. You aren’t giving yourself enough credit. You kept a secret from the most perceptive man in both hemispheres.”

John laughs happily as Sherlock turns back to look at the wonderful room.

“It took a lot of planning,” John continues, bubbling with excitement. “I began right after you returned. I was determined that we’d never be separated again, and I came up with this idea as a way to make sure it could never happen. It’s taken months and months. Lots of people helped. Almost everyone we know.”

Sherlock turns to him again in wonder before returning his gaze to the magical room as John goes on with his explanation.

“Mrs Hudson had spare rolls of the wallpaper used in 221B as well as another set of the curtains. She even embroidered an identical Union Jack cushion for the cause.”

Sherlock tears his eyes away from the scene in front of him again, to stare at John in wonder. How could they have done all this without him noticing it? And then the penny suddenly drops. Well, so many pennies drop at once that it’s more like a pub slot-machine paying out the jackpot.

He re-plays the last six months since his return. That time Molly said she needed to make a mask of his face. She had some plausible explanation which sounded reasonable enough at the time, but Sherlock had seen she was lying. For his sins, he’d assumed she wanted to keep a mask of his face for herself and he’d taken pity on her and agreed. She had helped him pull off his death after all.

And then there was Lestrade and all those repeated ‘drug searches ’ that he’d recently implemented. He’d said it was to help clear Sherlock’s name. To ensure that there was no chance the detective would be accused of anything untoward. He’d even arrived with a bloody film crew one day supposedly to demonstrate the total lack of illicit substances in their flat. Clearly it had actually been a way to document the contents of their sitting room for careful analysis and replication later.

“This must have taken you so long,” he whispers. “I can’t think how you managed it. You are a marvel.”

Then yet another penny drops and he remembers the presents John has been giving him. Of course. Eyes gleaming, Sherlock looks around the room again to verify his deduction. It isn’t quite perfect after all. There are actually a few things missing from this ersatz replica of their lives.

His keen eyes focus once more on the bare mantelpiece, shoot over to the empty coat hooks on the opposite wall, sweep past the coffee table, bare apart from a copy of the Guardian showing the headline: “Sherlock Holmes: Alive and Exonerated!,” finally landing on the empty violin case next to the music stand. He begins to smile and turns to his friend.

John beams his widest brightest smile back: “Happy Christmas, Sherlock,” he says, pointing down to a bag on the floor that Sherlock hasn’t yet noticed: It doesn’t take a genius to see that it contains all the presents that had been under their tree at home. Of course. Lestrade, the present thief had been in the night and brought them here.

One by one, John reaches into the sack and hands Sherlock a present which the detective identifies in a daze, before tearing off the paper to verify his deductions. He now sees them for what they are. Finishing touches for the perfect room.

First comes the Belstaff coat. He takes it out of the wrapping, shakes it out and then walks into the room and hangs it on one of the empty hooks. How could John have afforded it? He looks the question at John who shrugs and appears a little embarrassed. Oh. Of course. Mycroft must have helped out with this one and with their getting access to the building, on Christmas Day no less. Well, John had said this took a lot of people and a lot of planning. A lot of secrets had been kept too, and kept well.

He returns for his next present. Out comes the deerstalker, which he also unwraps quickly before walking over to hang it beside the coat. Next to come out of the bag is the skull which Sherlock reverently unwraps before placing it carefully on the mantelpiece where it looks right at home. The magnifying glass finds a new resting place on the coffee table next to the newspaper. Finally he opens the last violin-shaped present, which is, just as he thought, a violin. Not a Stradivarius, naturally, but a replica of one that would pass muster in this museum-like setting. He walks over and places it carefully into the empty violin-case which sits on the chair next to the music stand. His eyes glance at the music on display. A selection of Mendelssohn’s Lieder. Exactly what is on the music stand at home at the moment, as they are a favourite of John’s.

Then he returns to John and the two of them lean together, shoulder to shoulder, and survey the finished effect. Perfection. They and their home have been exquisitely captured here, like flies in amber. This waxen version of Sherlock and John are ‘in medias res,’ frozen in a conversation that can never end. Wax-John and Wax-Sherlock have eyes for nothing but each other and the bond between them appears unbreakable. These two cannot grow old and grey, as their flesh-and-blood counterparts must one day. Eternally living and eternally young, Wax-Sherlock and Wax-John will never have to be parted from one another. Will never have to say a last goodbye. For them, the game will always, always be afoot. There’s surprising comfort in the knowledge.

John leans his head on Sherlock’s shoulder and begins to quote Vincent Starrett’s well-known poem: “Here dwell together still two men of note, who never lived and so can never die. ”

They both sigh in unison. Somehow John’s hand finds Sherlock’s. They continue to stare at the wonder that is Sherlock and John and their home reproduced here for all eternity. This is themselves as others see them and together they make a perfect whole. They can each see it now as clear as day.

“They look so real,” John murmurs. “They look more real than we do. Only Wax-Sherlock’s eyes aren’t anywhere near as beautiful as yours, of course.”

Sherlock snorts. “Bit gay, John.” He looks down at his blogger with rather a hopeful little smile. John returns it.

“Yeah – no - I think that ship has well and truly sailed,” he answers, matter-of-factly. Then turning back to the figures he continues, “I wonder what they’ll get up to, once we leave. I bet Wax-Sherlock will get bored and Wax-John will have to entertain him by carting him off to socialise with the others wax figures.” He gives Sherlock a cheeky grin.

“Now you’re just being fanciful,” Sherlock replies, taking the sting out of his words by pausing to kiss John on the top of his head. “And anyway, they certainly wouldn’t go about doing something as inconsequential as socialising. We passed a whole Chamber of Horrors on the way here. Our figures will go solve crimes, of course. Jack the Ripper is just down the hallway, John. Jack the Ripper!”

He almost seems to envy his waxen counterpart. But there are advantages to having flesh and blood. The detective turns to look down at his blogger who meets his gaze unflinchingly. What he sees there is the exact same look of adoration that Wax-John’s face is wearing. He suspects it mirrors the expression on his own face. There’s something about the place and the moment and the hour that pushes him over the edge at last. Sherlock leans down and rubs his nose against John’s. “You really are…rub… a marvel…rub…rub… John Watson…rub…rub…rub…” he says. “You did it - you kept your secret.” Then after a slight hesitation: “I’ve been keeping one from you too. Do you want to know what it is?” He leans further down and continues to whisper: “Do you promise not to tell?”

Before John can answer in the affirmative, Sherlock’s lips come incredibly closer still, until finally, finally they meet those of his blogger for the very first time.

The world stands still for a minute and a thousand wax figures hold their breath and lean forward.

It’s a sweet kiss, that promises to develop into something much hotter much later. But for now it’s gentle and mellow and suits the silence of the museum and the exhibit that will contain them forever. Neither of them wants to stop kissing or to leave the museum, but they both know that now they’ve got places to go, and things to do. There are turkeys to cook, potatoes to roast, a pudding to steam, and crackers to pull. And maybe, just maybe, after they finish feasting, there will be kisses to give and to give and to give and more kisses to take and to take and to take. But that will be afterwards. Now, looking one final time at the pieces of perfection that are the two of them replicated forever in wax, they turn to head back to 221B. To their Christmas dinner. To their home. To their life together. And as they take the short walk back to Baker Street, they continue to hold hands and the snow continues to fall.

Optional Short but Smutty Epilogue to meet the demands of my prompt:

“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an' men,” as the poet says, “gang aft agley.”

Afterwards John always liked to say that he’d had a change of heart on the way back to 221B; that he’d decided to take the final, tentative step with Sherlock; that Sherlock agreed and that by mutual consent, they had proceeded to make slow, languorous love to each other.

The reality is a little different.

In fact, seconds after they enter their now warm and toasty flat John takes one look at the still dazed Sherlock and says: “Bugger delayed gratification. Who won this bet anyway?”

Then he launches himself at his detective and before you can say “Carpe Diem” they are both tearing off each other’s clothes, sending buttons flying and risking injury with their hasty unzipping. In a twinkling, they find themselves lying naked on the thick Persian carpet in front of the crackling fire, each more eager than the other. They have wanted this too much for it to last too long.

There follows much panting and moaning, more kissing and licking and nose rubbing and even some gentle biting, as well as many gasped cries of each other’s names (How lucky Mrs Hudson is visiting her sister for the holidays) until with a final synchronised thrust and drawn-out groan they both pulse out their love for one another. This is all accompanied by sweet, panting promises of eternal devotion which both mean from the depths of their respective hearts. Appearances to the contrary, Sherlock had always had a heart of his own of course, but he is now quite happy to give it away to the only man in the world who deserves it.

In an embarrassingly short time, they lie spent in a sweaty and rather sticky heap with silly grins on their faces and hands entwined. The fairy on top of the Christmas tree doesn’t know where to look. Sherlock notices, of course.

“I think we’ve traumatised the fairy, “ he giggles which sends John off giggling too.

In between snorts of laughter he gasps: “Perhaps we should get Tussauds to create an X-rated version of our room with those wax figures, as an alternative to the other one. We could ask Molly to come model our post-coital faces this time.”

“As long as that’s the only part of us she wants to model,” Sherlock says suggestively, glancing down at John’s nether regions, which are already perking up. The blogger’s delighted bark of laughter is music to his ears.

Sherlock is doubly pleased. It turns out that John has been keeping quite a few more secrets under those non-descript jumpers. Secrets about length and girth and stamina and refractory periods, as he proceeds to demonstrate all through the rest of the afternoon. They can always have their Christmas dinner on Boxing day, Sherlock muses, as he returns John’s kisses and nose rubs – a prelude to yet another round of sexy shenanigans. There are clearly so many more secrets left to uncover. Good thing one of his presents to John contained a large bottle of lubricant. Sherlock has always believed in coming prepared, pun intended, as he tells a snorting John.

He has never been so happy to have lost a bet in his life, he thinks to himself, as he winks at the blushing fairy and turns once more to his blogger. He’s beginning to think that there really is a Father Christmas after all, because he has somehow been given everything he ever wanted in a small but delightfully, compact package.

“You gave me seven presents, you know,” he whispers into John’s hair, nuzzling into the soft strands. “And you’re the best present of all.”

Outside the snow continues to fall and a chill wind causes little flurries to rat-at-at-tat against the windowpane, but here, here in the nest of each other’s arms, by the flickering of firelight and fairy lights, they are oblivious to anything but each other. Let it snow. They have weathered worse storms and will doubtless have to weather more. As long as they are together, they can face anything. They fall asleep there, cradled together with smiles on their kiss-swollen lips.

The radio softly sings a lullaby in the background and gives away their final secret.

“…Let me whisper in your ear,
Say the words you long to hear,
I’m in love with you, ooo,ooo ooo”

- 30 -


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2014 07:31 am (UTC)
This was just so sweet and beautiful! I've been apprehensive about watching the new season (I'm in the U.S.) since seeing the reviews but I'm happy to know that there will be fiction to make it all better.
Jan. 6th, 2014 08:59 am (UTC)
Wow - I never get comments on LJ. And yours is so very kind, too! Thank you so much. (And don't fear the new season. It's fab so far. I even like 'Mary,' which I never thought I'd hear myself say. Mind you, I'm dreading what will probably be an awful cliff-hanger next week. But as you say - fanfiction will ease the pain!)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )