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Title: Astronomy 101
Author: Keelywolfe
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Wordcount: 2200
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): John/Sherlock
Genre: First-time, Smut, schmoop
Warning(s): None

Summary: Sherlock demonstrates his newfound knowledge of the stars.

Notes: Been a long month or so, and I needed something schmoopy. Enjoy!

John didn't drive. It wasn't anything important, no latent trauma, nothing of the sort. He simply didn't, preferred to sit in the passenger seat during all things vehicular and if that meant he had to ride alongside an oddly quiet Sherlock Holmes as the other man drove them back to the train station, well. Such was life.

The droning sound of the wheels on the road were lulling, left John drowsing against the window while Sherlock focused on the road. He drove with an almost disturbing intensity, utterly focused on the road and allowed for no distractions along the lines of radio or conversation. That was fine by John who'd long since drifted to sleep, the past few nights of broken rest finally coming to a head. The mossy green of the moor had long since been obscured by night time, anyway, and John was dozing contently when the lull was broken by the car pulling off the road.

Startled to wakefulness, John bit back a yawn, "Wha—something wrong?"

"Come on."

"What?" John mumbled sleepily, rubbing the back of his hands over his eyes.

"Come on, come on, get out of the car," Sherlock slapped his gloves into his lap impatiently, already opening the door and the interior light blazed to life, making John cringe. Clumsily, John pulled on the gloves, groping for the door handle. He nearly fell out of the car as the door swung open, staggering to his feet and the light pouring from the windows cut off as Sherlock shut the door behind him, catching John's wrist and tugging him along.

"Where are we going?" John bleated, not quite a protest, nearly stumbled as smooth road gave way to rough terrain, grass lashing at his ankles and calves as Sherlock pulled him into a field.

Sherlock's coat was flapping between them as John was tugged along and he blundered into Sherlock's back as he stopped abruptly, peering upward at the night sky.

The cold air had just about slapped him awake and John glanced upward warily, half-expecting to see a flying saucer or some such thing. It'd been a long few days; he doubted even little green men could surprise him just now.

Until Sherlock spoke, his breath coming out in steamy puffs, "This is the perfect distance from any communities for stargazing," Sherlock informed him, "The moon is in its full wane so none of its light is obscuring our view. Timing is essential, John, and we've hit on a virtual lottery of astrological proportions."

"'s a good time to look at the stars," John guessed, doubtfully. His mental Sherlock to Normal Bloke translator was still in the planning stages.

Sherlock made a soft sound, one that required no translation since John would recognize his amused/annoyed crossbred little huff anywhere.

"You. Want to look at the stars?" John repeated it as though it would make more sense a second time round.

"I spent some time studying astronomy after the incident with the painting," Sherlock said impatiently, "This is the first opportunity I've had to use it, so come on, John!"

"Come on-erk!" John yelped as he was suddenly yanked to the ground.

And that was how he ended up sprawled out in the chilly night air on the moor, feeling damp seeping into his jeans and through his coat while Sherlock pointed out different constellations; this from a man whose recent level of astronomy was being able to acknowledge that the big, yellow round thing up there was the moon.

Honestly, the surrealism of his life was staggering at times.

There was no moon tonight, nothing to stifle the blaze of stars and John had to admit, Sherlock had had a fine point about this night and this place being perfect for stargazing. Not that John was telling him that, God, no. There was a time and a place for petting Sherlock's ego and it wasn't during a whispered lecture on the Gemini constellation.

It was interesting, though, listening to the low rumble of Sherlock's hushed voice through the quiet of the night. Interesting and cold, and somehow John ends up tucked in next to Sherlock, his head on Sherlock's shoulder and an arm draped around him to combat the chill.

It's...odd, to be nearly cuddling with his flatmate. No, no, they'd left that word behind some time ago, back with colleagues and acquaintances.

They were friends, good friends, Sherlock's only one in his own opinion although John knew better. There was an argument that was certainly not worth having though and John tucked it away, listened instead to Sherlock's soft murmur. "And that's Cassiopeia."

"Mm," John agreed and even that seemed loud in the whispery silence around them. "Never can do anything in halves, can you."

"How do you mean?" Sherlock sounded puzzled, a delightful touch of rarity in an already odd night.

"I mean, you go from knowing nothing about the solar system to memorizing every constellation there is. Not much middle ground between, is there?"

"Nonsense. I only memorized the ones recognized by the International Astronomical Union. There are hundreds more in other cultures that I could learn."
John smiled into the dark and Sherlock was a comfortably warm line down the side of his body. The unshielded half of him was less agreeable to the chill air and John gave in to temptation and snuggled a bit closer. Sherlock's arm tightened around him instantly. His hand circled John's bicep and it must've been cold, bared to the air, no heat at all to bleed through John's coat and shirt.

"I know that one," John pointed upward. "Orion. My da taught me that one, the belt, there."

He felt the pressure of Sherlock's chin digging into the top of his head, shifting movement as he nodded, his head moving nowhere in the direction of it. "The stars that make it up are called Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka."

Of course they were.

There was a rustling warmth against his head, stirring the short hair and it took John a moment to realize it was Sherlock's breath. The uncomfortable point of his chin had given way to unknown softness and John's own breath caught, stilled.

The feel of it was familiar, as far back as childhood, his mum pressing kisses into his hair as he dashed off with his mates, cool, dry lips against a feverish forehead, and on, dropping a quick kiss here and there. Affectionate, loving little things and not at all what he would have ever, ever expected from one Sherlock Holmes.

John kept his silence, almost afraid to speak. Sherlock's mouth was nothing like his mum's, each soft kiss was brimming with hesitation, each followed by a pause as if expecting protest.

John didn't offer one. He closed his eyes and shut out the stars, both of them close and quiet beneath the glimmering night sky and the silence was only broken by John's sharp inhale when Sherlock very softly kissed the fragile skin at his temple.


His lips were like the dry, frail brush of an autumn leaf, cool and brief against his skin.

Nothing touched John now but breath, faintly damp, each slow exhale gusting over his temple, stirring the fine hair there and John knew suddenly that this was a hinge moment, a door tottering open, rocking in the breeze and he still had a chance to sit up. He could point to another star, lose himself back into the universe and Sherlock would allow his hand to slide away, give John his freedom and that door would slam closed.

Or he could stay here, let that door swing wide, and venture into the smaller vastness of the man lying beside him, breathing him in as though he was pulling his oxygen from John alone.

If he were honest, it was a choice he'd made some time ago.

John tipped his head up, tilted it, searching blindly and of course Sherlock would find him. There was nothing ginger in the press of his lips, his mouth met John's with every confidence, chilly, nearly chapped in the cold air and John parted those full lips with the tip of his tongue, searching for warmth and finding it in the slick, dark depths of Sherlock's mouth.

No stars to guide him here, nothing but hands suddenly on his back, gripping fistfuls of his coat and John felt gravity shift, the warmth of Sherlock's body was suddenly beneath him as he was pulled on top of him.

Sherlock's coat was open, hanging off either side of him John realized and his own coat was a dreadful barrier to be borne as Sherlock didn't seem inclined to let him go long enough to peel it away. His kiss was a forceful, as demanding as the man himself, his tongue inviting itself into John's mouth much the same way Sherlock had invited John into his flat and John could only drag in quick blurts of air through his nose, head swimming and his lips already kiss-bruised and tender.

Beneath him, Sherlock was shifting, moving in odd ways and it was only when he felt feet sliding up the back of his calves that John realized he'd been toeing off his shoes.

Christ, the man was flexible, dragging his heels up the backs of John's thighs, digging them in, holding on to him with weedy determination. John could barely keep up with the slick demands of his mouth; the lithe writhe of his body was completely beyond him. He was slowly condensing into a hard, bright pocket of need, centred around Sherlock like the Earth 'round the sun, irresistibly drawn into the well of his gravity.

"Oh," Sherlock whispered it into his mouth, one quiet little sound and John realized he'd been babbling aloud, pouring every word in between kisses and he knew that tone, that cat-contented pleasure in it, Sherlock who loved flattery and pretty-talk about his intelligence. Stood to reason he'd want to hear it about the awesome power of his mouth, even when it wasn't spouting deductions.

There were piles of clothes between them, coats and trousers and jeans and pants and far, far too much to drag off out in the middle of the moor. Sherlock's hands, surely as brilliant as his mind, had discovered a way beneath John's coat and they wasted little time cupping John's arse into his palms, hooking long fingers into his belt loops as they urged, no, demanded John rock against him.

The drag of friction was as gorgeous as it was uncomfortable; John grimaced at the heat of it against his hard prick. Layers of clothes and yet, Sherlock was beneath him, heels digging bruises into John's thighs as he arched up with a ragged moan that John caught between their mouths.

"That's it," John murmured, "Take it. Have me, if you want me."

"Never wanted you," Sherlock gasped, and John flinched, might have pulled back and away if it weren't for Sherlock twined around him, holding him in. "Want and need are entirely different perspectives."

"And you need me, do you?" John demanded, fumbling for Sherlock's hands, capturing them and pinning them into the grassy meadow beneath them.

"I'd be lost without you." It was little more than thin whisper, lost in a cry as Sherlock arched up hard against him, his mouth dropping open and John watched with shocked greediness as his face went tight, starlight gracing every curve of cheekbone, the clench of his eyes, the even line of his teeth until John couldn't resist, had to capture that kiss-swollen mouth again. He groaned, hitching his hips against Sherlock's until the burn of friction was perfect, tipping him over into sodden, sweet pleasure.

He collapsed against Sherlock in a sweaty mess, skin already prickling in the chilly wind and the cool fingertips that slid into the back of his collar made John wince, cringing as Sherlock idly stroked the damp nape of his neck.

"Cassiopeia was a queen," Sherlock whispered, softly, and John managed to make a sound that could be construed as interest.

"Her vanity and arrogance were her downfall and her constellation is her punishment," Sherlock said, his lips brushing John's temple. "She sits tied to a chair in eternal torment, punished by the gods for her sins, and her pride was her downfall."

"I..." John shifted, wincing as his muscle protested the movement but he had to see, he had to look at Sherlock right now. In the brilliance of the glittery starlight, Sherlock's eyes were obscured, little more than a wet gleam in the dimness. "I never knew that."

"Why would you, Astronomy was never an interest of yours past primary school and its dull litany about the solar system," Sherlock said briskly. He gave John enough of a push to get him moving but caught him before he would withdraw too far, shifted to draw John between his legs so his back was against Sherlock's chest. The entirety of the universe was laid out before him in glorious vision and John was only conscious of the warm body behind him, the mouth against his ear as Sherlock pointed above them. "Andromeda was her daughter, chained to the rocks as she was being sacrificed, waiting for her hero to save her..."

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