Original Story Title: No Knot Unties Itself
Original Story Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/663767
Original Story Pairings: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Greg Lestrade
Original Story Rating: NC-17
Original Story Warnings/Content Notes: BDSM, poly
Remix Author: agameofscones
Remix Story Title: Sometimes the Things You Most Wished for Are Not to Be Touched
Remix Story Pairings: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Greg Lestrade
Remix Story Rating: NC-17
Remix Story Warnings/Content Notes: BDSM, poly
Remix Story Beta: jupitereyed and bilbos-pantaloons
Remix Story Britpicker: none
Summary: John doesn’t ask for everything he wants. Sherlock deduces anyway.
Criminals seem drawn to restraining John Watson, Sherlock has observed.
Certainly an intelligent move on their parts—an unrestrained John is a formidable (and oft underestimated) opponent—but also one that happens with unusual frequency. Even more curious is John’s reaction to being tied up, cuffed, or otherwise immobilised on these occasions. He is always calm—could be attributed to combat training, but also speaks of a certain self-assured comfort with the very idea of the situation—and only expresses annoyance and discomfort when he feels that it’s expected of him. More of his typical posturing at being ordinary.
“Rumours spread fast; seems like all the criminals in London have got the wrong idea that I like being trussed up,” John says with a huff of laughter. He’s rubbing his wrists where the rope bit in, treating the situation like it’s something casual where most people might be terrified, outraged, something more.
“It’s beginning to look a bit like you do like that sort of thing,” Sherlock says. There's an edge in his tone that even Sherlock doesn't care for.
John's spines stiffens, stance widens as he stares up at Sherlock after glancing about to see if anyone has overheard. “What are you getting at?”
Posturing at being ordinary just like that, yes. “That you enjoy being tied up." Sherlock says it simply, and leaves before John can have any sort of hushed argument with him in public, or display any of those utterly middle class concerns about privacy and propriety.
John splutters as Sherlock walks away.
Of the many things at which Sherlock Holmes excels, being someone's romantic partner comes nowhere near to the top of the list.
Sherlock thinks he’s so bloody smart, but he’s an absolute idiot when it comes to having anything to do with relationships. Mostly it hinges on the issue of communication. God knows John's not the best at sharing his feelings or anything, but Sherlock's the sort who'd sooner deny having feelings at all. Which is an absolute joke considering how deeply he does feel—that much has been obvious to John since they first began sleeping with each other and he saw how Sherlock soaked up affection like he's been starved for it his entire life, or the numerous, slightly strange and completely... Sherlock ways that he tends to show that he cares.
But Sherlock's more likely than not to deduce and draw his own conclusions rather than have an actual fucking conversation: today's little pronouncement being perfect proof of that.
They've got a good sex life, yeah. John had always assumed that Sherlock's libido was as dead as a man's can get, but it certainly seemed to have hit a second wind after the first time they'd kissed and fallen tangled together on the sitting room floor (Christ, John still thinks about those first sloppy kisses and the uncoordinated yet somehow scorchingly erotic mutual wank with complete fondness and more than a little heat). Sex with Sherlock is never short of amazing.
Still, John needn’t have lived through that encounter with Irene Adler to see that Sherlock had certain tendencies. It’s a delight, making Sherlock give up control, testing his limits. There are things that John misses experiencing himself, but not enough to ask for them because he knows well enough that Sherlock's not prepared to give them to him. His proclivities lie elsewhere and John's fine with that. It's all fine has more or less been his sexual motto for twenty-odd years.
Trust it to be the work and not the sex that leads to Sherlock discovering that John’s held back something of himself.
“It’s not like I enjoy being kidnapped by half the damn criminals in London on your behalf,” John says to Sherlock’s back. He’s standing in the sitting room, where Sherlock is curled into a protective ball of limbs on the sofa pretending that this conversation is not happening and John does not exist. “It’s not a turn on, being bound up like a bloody piece of livestock by strangers.”
Sherlock makes a noise of heavy exhalation, one that John recognises as meaning Sherlock finds the conversation tedious, but is at least listening. Encouraged, John slips into the tiny bit of unoccupied space on the sofa. Sherlock’s toes are curling and uncurling in a way that makes John inexplicably fond of him, difficult moods and all. “Anyway, I mind it less than most other people because I’m a soldier—we’re trained when it comes to that sort of thing, yeah? And because getting out of it is a thrill, especially when it’s both of us working together.”
John reaches out with one hand and traces the delicate line of Sherlock’s ankle bone with his thumb as he talks. “So, are you going to keep being a twat or will you let me explain things to you?” He braces himself for Sherlock to flounce off the sofa and lock himself in the bedroom (their bedroom, meaning that John will have to sleep upstairs for the first time in ages if Sherlock doesn’t get over himself).
Sherlock shifts slowly, until he’s lying on his back, body uncurled and legs thrown unapologetically over John’s lap. “Fine,” Sherlock says, voice tight and brows still knit together in a deepening frown. “Tell me.”
“Think about the things that we do that you enjoy,” John says. He holds back a smile at the flush that immediately appears over Sherlock’s cheeks.
“I like...” Sherlock begins, but his brain seems to spin, unable to settle on a simple enough word to encompass the entire concept.
“Submission,” John supplies helpfully.
Sherlock nods, barely perceptible, so John continues. He trails his hand higher on Sherlock’s leg and revels in the heat pouring off him, and of being able to touch him like this at all. “You like being fucked and told what to do, and you love to be the focus of all my attention. But you don’t like being restrained.” Sherlock purses his lips tightly, which John takes to mean Sherlock had thought he hadn’t noticed the way that Sherlock loses just a bit of his cool when they’re cuffed together or otherwise tied down. “While I do because that, Sherlock, is trust. Enjoying being tied up, it’s something more than sex. You know me, I’m not submissive”—John notes Sherlock’s imperiously raised brow and rolls his eyes—“not sexually, at least. But this is something different. And I’ve never asked you for it, because I didn’t think you’d want it, but if you do: I trust you.”
Sherlock is quiet for a long moment, studying John’s face as though there might be some hidden answer to his questions there. Maybe there is—he sounds very sure of himself when he asks, “Will you show me?
Sherlock can't deny that it's erotic, seeing John like this.
John walked him through each step: where to cross the ropes, which knots to tie and how tightly, how to position John’s body so that the strain is not too much, what signs to look out for and reactions to test. It’s left John face down on their bed, limbs crisscrossed in soft blue rope that forms a harness over his chest and pulls his elbows back and tight together (and it is no accident that Sherlock has outlined John’s scar so lovingly with rope) and leaves his thighs spread apart.
As loathe as he is to admit it, Sherlock has no idea what to do next. “And what now?”
“What the fuck would you normally do if you had me at your disposal?” John asks with a brusque laugh. His words come out syrup slow and without a hint of sharpness, and Sherlock can feel the pleasure of merely being in this position radiating off of John in them. “You're not exactly an amateur at having sex with me, are you?”
“It’s different,” Sherlock huffs. His mind is reeling with the possibilities, and more than anything he’d just like to be told what to do. Fortunately, John is a genius in his own way.
“Use your mouth on me,” John instructs. The placement of the ropes doesn’t give him much of a choice; Sherlock could roll John to his side or his back, but that would place more strain on John’s bound arms than Sherlock is comfortable with just yet. Which leaves—
“Christ,” John whimpers, actually whimpers when Sherlock’s tongue meets the skin between his cheeks and sweeps upwards over his hole. It sends a jolt of pleasure through Sherlock, a recognition of what John must feel on the numerous occasions when he has Sherlock pliant beneath him, times when Sherlock’s too focused on his own pleasure to consider John’s.
The ropes limit John’s movements to small shifts of his hips, range too stunted for the rubbing of his cock against the sheets to offer any relief, and Sherlock teases him mercilessly with deft swipes of his tongue over and into John’s arsehole. It feels like ages—his jaw is sore and neck stiff—before Sherlock finally gives in to John’s curses (“Let me come, Sherlock. Fuck, dammit,” John moans into the mattress) and slips his hand underneath his canting hips to stroke along John’s cock in time with the thrusts from his tongue. When John comes he’s chanting Sherlock’s name.
It’s fascinating, watching John restrained like this but asking—demanding—for what he wants. Sherlock can imagine why John likes it, and wants to give that to him again. In the meantime, his own cock is demanding attention, and with John right there and so inviting, it takes no time for Sherlock to begin stroking himself, rubbing the head of his prick along the spit-slick crack of John’s arse as he wanks.
“That’s it,” John croons over the wet, filthy sounds Sherlock is making. “I wish I could see your face right now, wish you hadn’t made me come already just so you could push inside me—” the rest of it is lost as Sherlock comes with surprising speed and strength, shooting messily over the small of John’s back and down to his arse.
“Satisfactory?” John asks, when Sherlock finally stops panting and begins to clean them up. He sounds smug and sated.
“I think I could be convinced to do it again. Very practical for letting you work on getting out of knots,” Sherlock says, as his own hands loosen the ones that he tied around John himself. “I doubt any criminal ties them as well as I do.”
John flexes his limbs as they come free. “You could leave me tied up, gagged while you do an experiment so that I can’t complaimmph—” Sherlock interrupts him with a kiss in the midst of further suggestions.
Sherlock never takes to being tied up himself, but he does indulge John’s habit admirably. It becomes something of a game for them, once John plants the idea. How quickly can he slip out of loose, poorly tied knots or Sherlock’s innovative and expertly tied ones (that Sherlock takes to research on the subject with alarming gusto is hardly surprising)? Can he pick handcuff locks with only items found in his coat pockets? Once Sherlock had used zip ties on his wrists and ankles, left him naked in the bathtub, and informed him that there was a box-cutter on the kitchen table, should he need it.
Even Greg seems to notice, and if John can’t help but to brag a bit, just to see if he picks up on the implications...
"How did you get so good at this anyway?" Greg asks, sounding genuinely curious. "Getting out of ropes and handcuffs, I mean."
"Sherlock makes sure I get a lot of practice," John answers. He’s still a bit giddy from being rescued and, well, he had slipped those ropes fairly brilliantly.
Greg nods. "I suppose he does at that. You might want to try not letting him get you kidnapped so often."
"Quite possibly,” John says, and it’s all that he can manage not to laugh outright.
Of course Sherlock notices as well. “Lestrade fancies you, you know,” Sherlock announces in the cab back home, as though John wouldn’t have to be utterly blind not to have seen it himself.
“Yes,” John says diplomatically. “I did notice that he was staring at the rope marks.” And not with the usual sort of interest for a cop, he doesn’t bother to point out.
“Do you trust Lestrade the way that you trust me?”
That makes John’s breath catch. They’ve never talked about other partners, or of bringing someone more interested in actually dominating John into the mix. “I don’t know—”
“Do you trust him?” Sherlock repeats.
It takes a moment of consideration, before John answers, “Yes, I do.”
“Then it could be fun, don’t you think? We’d play it up for him,” Sherlock says, “give him a bit of a show. He’d like seeing you bound and submissive, me as the sadist. I could gag you, use the plug.” Laughably far from what they usually get up to with just the two of them.
John swallows, licks his lips as he considers. “Yeah, I think—I’d like that. If you would.”
“I wouldn’t bother suggesting it if I wouldn’t enjoy it.”
It takes several weeks before John types out the text to Greg, and, after hesitating only a moment, hits send:
Found the blood samples from that case last week in the soap dish. Come by after work to pick them up? - John
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