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"Lying Awake Intent on Tuning in on You" (Sherlock: John/Sally, R: Porn Battle)
modern mythology, more than meets the eye, bamf, steady and strong
innie_darling
Hi, everybody!

So I meant to write something entirely different for the Porn Battle today (tomorrow's for apartment stuff), but somehow ended up writing nearly 3K of John/Sally, one of my favorite pairings in this fandom (the others are John/the-Irene-Adler-who-lives-in-my-head-and-is-quite-close-to-ACD's and John/always-a-girl Sherlock). So here's the fruit of my labor, featuring Sherlock, Mike, Molly, Lestrade, Mycroft, and Moriarty, as well as John and Sally; I used the prompts BAMFs, click, and sharp. It's an AU of series 1, and the title is from "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. WARNING: major character death (but it's not a good guy).


Lying Awake Intent on Tuning in on You


"Please, God, let me live," he mumbled, his voice slurring like a drunk's. He was so hot - why was his helmet so damnably difficult to remove? - but he couldn't just leave his troops behind while he went on a quest for cool air or dry eyes. He tried to imagine himself as an illustration in a medical text, couldn't quite manage to stretch himself out to the oversize proportions depicted for clarity, to pretend that organs weren't sliding around inside the cavity, dancing atop each other wantonly.

Someone rolled him over, less gentle than urgent, and it scared him, not recognising the hands on him. He felt queasy, but it was distant, and in the meantime, there was something looming, gaining ground, and he couldn't identify it before it overwhelmed him and he was lost.

*

"Mike?" he asked, trying not to let any impatience seep into his voice; it wasn't like he had anything better to do anyway, and stumping around after an old classmate was still preferable to staring at the dingy walls of his bedsit, where he was liable to blend right into the unrelieved blandness. True, the stairs were wreaking merry hell on his leg, but then Barts had been designed for ventilation and cleanliness, not maximum efficiency. He should be counting his blessings that he'd sustained no permanent damage from the actual wound, not worrying over the phantom one in his leg.

"Two seconds. D'you want to wait in my office? I've just got to drop off some paperwork at the morgue."

"No, it's fine," John said, pasting a smile across his face. "It's all fine." He gripped his cane more firmly and pressed on.

The woman working in the morgue looked up, startled, at the sound of two sets of heaving breaths. She pushed the spare chair at Mike and looked past him and then stood to offer her own to John. He could feel his face flush red at her kindly meant gesture and shook his head. It was more timidity than doubt that made her tiptoe back to her chair, he decided; she hadn't really looked properly at him, let alone made eye contact or assessed the severity of his fucking wound.

He looked around her office - small and chilly, no stamp of her personality - as she and Mike discussed the cadavers she'd be prepping for his classes. Even without paying proper attention, he could tell that she was pleased to be of use and that her mind was as tidy as her office. Perhaps Barts would take him back - one of their own, sent out to fight for Queen and country - but he couldn't imagine resigning himself to working without urgency, bringing peace to the dead rather than fighting like hell for the living. A neat little office like this would be like a tomb for him.

"Oh, Sherlock!" the woman said, interrupting Mike's placid conversational stream, and John looked up from the shelf of reference books to see a dour-faced man, all skin and bones and curls, stride into the office like a mobile scarecrow.

"Ah, Mike," the man said, and John heard years of smoking in that voice, "you're as good as a flatshare service. Molly, coffee?"

John frowned, watching Molly jump up to fetch coffee for the interloper - Sherlock, she'd called him. Not what she would have said had he been her supervisor, surely, and there was no chance that any morgue supervisor could afford a coat like the one Sherlock was wearing. But Mike seemed unperturbed, was smiling even, settling back in his chair like he was about to watch the curtain rise on a favourite show.

*

"Army doctor, could be useful," Sherlock muttered, and John had a feeling he wasn't really supposed to be hearing that, that Sherlock had simply forgotten he was there, come to look at the flat that had been so highly touted.

It was a very nice flat, in a prime location, and even if the landlady seemed a bit dotty, the price she was asking was low enough to make the tedium of moving and adjusting again to someone else in his space worth it. The biscuits Mrs. Hudson had laid out were particularly toothsome, and he bit into his second with a small sigh of pleasure, looking up to find Sherlock's gimlet eyes on him. Rather than steeling himself for whatever observation Sherlock was clearly about to make, John took another sip of tea, savouring the simplicity of his contentment.

"Your training, and of course I'm speaking both medically and militarily, should stand you in good stead when we go out on cases," Sherlock said, evidently feeling the need to voice only the last bit of whatever he'd been thinking all this time.

"Did you know you said that out loud?" John asked, curious. He went ahead and snagged one last biscuit.

Sherlock narrowed his eyes but otherwise disdained to answer. "And in any case," John continued, "you only told me you were seeking a flatmate, not a professional associate. I can't pay my half of the rent by running round after you."

Sherlock seemed taken aback, and went back to muttering as if he were alone. All John heard before he got up to deposit his cup in the sink was, ". . . cure that psychosomatic limp, you wouldn't be a burden, or not much of one." How very flattering.

He came back to the sitting room and appropriated the newspaper lying on the coffee table. He flipped to the job listings but gave it up as a bad job; checking online - as soon as he got the WiFi password - would be far more practical, but he'd have to land something soon, as this neighbourhood was going to be bloody expensive when it came to food.

A middle-aged man came running up the steps and through the door Mrs. Hudson had left open. John recognised him from the front page of the paper - a detective in charge of the spate of suicides that had occupied everyone at the corner shop where he bought his newspapers and noodle packets. While the man was still panting, Sherlock stood, winding his scarf round his neck and beaming like Christmas had come early, and said, "Come along, John."

*

The woman guarding the crime scene was evidently spoiling for a fight. John sympathised; he'd had moments - or even weeks, honestly - just like that, when he knew he wasn't being properly utilised, and so felt worse than helpless. The very fact that she wasn't in uniform meant she had to have a fairly high rank, and he wasn't surprised to hear someone greet her with a respectful, "Sergeant." Only Sherlock decided to be an arse, though where he'd got the notion that an unpaid consultant, even one as chock full of brains as he was, could speak to a DS like that, John hadn't the faintest. He apologised as best he could with his eyes - he was not looking forward to doing that on a routine basis - and followed Sherlock in.

It was frankly marvellous to watch Sherlock work, John would readily admit. The man pieced together disparate fragments of information at mind-boggling speeds, and John was caught flat, voicing his admiration like a primary-schooler at his first magic show. But, but, John reminded himself, there were other possibilities, other answers that made sense of the death of Jennifer Wilson; persuasive as Sherlock was, and insistent as he was that he didn't guess, there was still an element of chance in his work. As there was in John's own - he'd seen men die when all signs pointed to recovery, and others survive under circumstances too horrific to contemplate for very long.

And it wasn't really necessary for Sherlock to be quite so abrasive. It seemed he'd decided long ago that concentrating all of his energies and attention to the minutiae of crime and chemistry freed him from the strictures of common courtesy. John pitied Anderson, who'd had a door shut in his face just when he was deducing in a way Sherlock ought to have approved, and that after Sherlock had announced Anderson's sexual dry spell - something about the maintenance of his beard - to all of his colleagues.

It was a good thing John had already decided this excursion was going to be a one-off; the way his temper rose when he realised he'd been abandoned at the crime scene was not a sensation he wished to get used to. Though if he wasn't going to be Sherlock's unpaid dogsbody, he'd have to figure out how to find Sally Donovan on her own to ask her out.

*

Sally had freckles on her nose. She had a laugh that bubbled up impishly, wide-set eyes under level brows, and a determined jaw. John liked the way all of the pieces of her came together when she was on a case, that she followed through on the promise she'd made to the city that she would protect its citizens.

Sally had freckles on her thighs. John knew very well that they'd been there long before he'd met her, but still thought of them as his personal treat.

*

Between his shifts at the A&E and PT appointments and Sherlock's caseload and experiments, John hardly ever saw his flatmate these days.

As if on perverse cue, Sherlock chose that moment to shuffle into the kitchen.

"Kettle's just boiled, if you want a cuppa," John offered, taking pity on how bleary-eyed Sherlock looked while he finished his own tea. At the man's nod, John fetched a second mug from the cupboard kept mostly free of the detritus of Sherlock's disgusting experiments and prepared his tea. Sherlock looked electrified by the entire performance, beaming victoriously at John when the mug was finally in front of him.

"Of course! Van Coon was left-handed! John, call Lestrade and tell him to take this case away from that other one, he's clearly an idiot, and that it was definitely murder, not suicide!" Sherlock shouted all of it at top volume whilst racing into his room, from which he emerged moments later in yet another sleek suit.

"I don't have Lestrade's number," John reminded him, turning his attention back to his Weetabix.

"Then call Donovan," Sherlock said, gesturing imperiously.

"Not for this," John said.

"It would be a better use of her time than bringing you to orgasm so relentlessly," Sherlock returned, and there were the beginnings of a world-class sulk looming. How Mrs. Hudson bore it and still treated Sherlock like the son she'd never had, John could not say.

"Mate, when you're wrong, you're spectacularly wrong," was all he said, then finished his breakfast and went upstairs for some sleep.

*

Sally looked bloody gorgeous on top of him, arching back lazily, her every movement languorous. John could do slow, he fucking loved slow, because she felt even lovelier than she looked. "C'mon, love," he coaxed, letting his hips echo his words. "Ah, Sally, come on."

Her hands were roaming her body, twisting in her hair before skidding across her breasts and down her sides, and he braced himself to drive deeper into her. "Unh, John," she moaned.

He still had his soldier's speed. He grabbed one of her flailing hands and pulled her down, so that the heat of her body was pressed along his sternum and belly and he could kiss her. He kept his tongue slow even as his thrusts became quick snaps; he could feel her going out of her mind at the contradiction, could hear the way her throaty pleas never quite became proper words. Her skin was dewy with sweat, and he wanted her to sink right into him so that they would have to peel themselves apart.

There she was - he could feel her coming around his dick, the irresistible pull of her body dragging his along for the ride, but there was more he wanted to do. He didn't get the chance.

She'd barely stopped pulsing when she rolled, putting him on top, where he could drill her hard and deep. She tilted her hips up and dragged one slender foot along his spine, and that was it, he was done, because she played as dirty as he did. She drained him dry as she sucked on his tongue and bit at his lips.

"God, Sally," he said, still atop her like a landed fish. She twined her arms around him and hummed with pleasure.

*

He wouldn't have dreamt of telling her - or anyone - about his patients, and he certainly had no expectation that she'd confide in him about the cases she was working. Sherlock had far less discretion, having no professional code other than what he made up for himself, but even he'd not said anything except that there was a bomber with a penchant for taking hostages.

No one had said that the bomber was basically wooing Sherlock. No one had said that sharing a flat, cooking proper meals every few nights, making tea, and listening to Sherlock compose was enough to earn Sherlock's devotion. He had not realised it was possible for Sherlock to be so lonely that the first person who hadn't run screaming from him counted as his best friend, as his heart. Christ, but that big-nosed twat who swanned around with his umbrella and baited Sherlock every few months under the guise of fraternal concern had a lot to answer for.

No one had said that this Jim Moriarty might be enough to cancel out Sherlock's brilliance, and that by seizing John he was unsettling Sherlock enough that he couldn't operate optimally.

John did what he could, grabbing the bastard from behind to give Sherlock every opportunity to run and then engage his brain once he was safely out of harm's way. But Sherlock stayed stubbornly where he was; those laser sights were like glue on the soles of his absurdly expensive shoes.

John stayed calm - as calm as he could - and focused on his breathing. The laser points on Sherlock's pristine shirtfront dwindled, and he blinked, wondering where the others had gone - back to his forehead, where Sherlock had last tracked them with horrified eyes?

John blinked again, wondering if his own eyes were playing tricks on him. No, that was definitely Morse code he was seeing, rendered in a good fist in the single remaining laser point; was it a code for him, or for Moriarty, since they both were facing Sherlock?

But Moriarty was still bloviating, not giving any sign that he'd even noticed the dots and dashes spelt out on Sherlock's narrow chest, and surely it was straining credulity to think that he'd have a lethal killing machine who would while away the time the boss spent on his unhinged-madman monologue by spelling SAL in lights.

God, he loved that woman.

He couldn't relax too obviously and give the game away, but he could step to one side and take himself out of the line of fire. Moriarty had just said something about Sherlock cherishing the look of surprise on his face when his head popped. John certainly was going to fucking cherish that moment.

Sherlock, damn him, looked disappointed. It still took him a few long moments - and one involuntary attempt to draw John close, quashed by sticking his hand in the pocket of that damn posh coat - to pull himself together, but he made a valiant effort, finally murmuring, "That settles it; my brother is sleeping with Lestrade after all. Only one of his men could have made that shot."

"Sherlock," John said, and gave Sherlock an excuse to clutch at him by stepping over the corpse and embracing him; Sherlock clearly had no experience being hugged, as he stood stiff as a board and patted John like he was impersonating an airport-security official searching for contraband.

Still, John persevered and held him until Sherlock became human again. "John," he heard breathed deep against his ear, and squeezed Sherlock more tightly.

*

"I missed my shift," John said agitatedly; he'd not looked at the clock once since he and Sherlock had talked to Lestrade and Mycroft and been sent home, where he'd tucked Sherlock into bed and watched over his sleep. Even after he'd pulled free and showered, his right hand had felt numb from Sherlock's sleeping grip. He'd had to open the door with his left when Sally showed up.

"If you think," said Sally, "that I'm not demanding bone-shaking sex from you - long enough for you to miss a second shift - then you don't know me at all, John Watson." Her eyes were glittering with tears and the skin around them was a dull purple, as if her terror had painted bruises on her. He didn't want to see that. He wanted to see her freckles, feel the heat of her mouth, get lost and shaken and renewed in the insistent clutch of her cunt.

"Sally," he said, pushing a curl away from her face, where a stray tear was gluing it to her skin, "I'm yours." He kissed her, his mouth soft against hers. "Do with me what you will."

She made it last.


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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/436978.html.

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