Author: Ariane DeVere
Word count: 1080
Rating: Despite the title, it’s PG-13. Who do you think I am – Atlin Merrick?!
Disclaimer: Sherlock belongs to way more powerful and wealthy people than me.
Suck it and see
Much as I wanted to continue swearing the air blue, I bit back the rest of my foul language, knowing how indignant Mrs Hudson would be if she caught any of it. For an elderly lady she had remarkably good hearing, and her disapproving frown whenever I swore made me instantly feel like a naughty six year old boy. Instead, cradling my left hand, I spun around and stormed back up the stairs and into the living room.
“Sherlock, I’ve told you about that bloody bannister before!” I yelled, even though the man wasn’t actually in sight. “This is the second time that I’ve ...”
I trailed off. Sherlock was walking out of the kitchen with a glower on his face that would stop most people dead in their tracks and then make them immediately beat a hasty retreat. Flattering myself that I was made of sterner stuff, I tried to match his glare and raised my injured hand.
“I asked you weeks ago to phone Mrs Hudson’s handyman and get him in to sand down the bannisters,” I told him sternly. “Look – I’ve got another bloody splinter in my finger!”
Ignoring his scowl, I started to step past him. “Are there any tweezers around?” I asked as I headed towards the kitchen, but I got no more than a couple of paces when Sherlock stepped into my way again, forcing me to stop.
“Really?” he asked in a condescending tone. “All this fuss over a splinter?”
“It bloody hurts!” I said, trying not to sound petulant – and failing dismally.
“Most people manage to get down the stairs without having to lean on the bannister,” he said with a withering look.
“Don’t you dare try and blame this on me,” I snapped. “Just find me some tweezers!”
Sherlock sighed dramatically, then stepped closer and seized my left hand.
“Show me,” he murmured, raising my hand and peering at the thin wooden splinter which had dug itself into my index finger as I had slid my fingers along the bannister while going down the stairs. He rolled his eyes. “It’s not even that deep,” he said.
“So get me some tweezers and I can pull it ou...” My voice faltered as he leaned forward and sucked the tip of my index finger into his mouth.
“Christ, Sherlock!” I said, automatically trying to pull my hand free, but he tightened his grip on my wrist. It was obvious that he was trying to suck the splinter out but this was not what I had been expecting. And because I hadn’t had any warning, I hadn’t had a chance to curl up the rest of my hand and so my other fingertips and my thumb were resting against his throat ... his bare throat.
My eyes drifted downwards as I realised that, although I had only been out of the living room for a short while, he had removed his jacket and unbuttoned several of his shirt buttons since I had left. All right, so I had stopped on the half-landing partway down the stairs to check my phone for any text messages before resuming my descent and snagging my finger on the rough bannister, but I couldn’t have been out of the room for more than half a minute. It was unusual to see so much bare skin on him and it was ... oh, lord, that was quite a neck. I swallowed hard and tried to concentrate on the pain in my finger – but all that did was focus my attention on where my finger currently was. For someone whose words were usually so cold and unfeeling, Sherlock’s mouth was incredibly warm and wet, and the sensation of his lips pulling on my skin as he repeatedly adjusted the pressure of his suction made me uncomfortable. I tried again to tug my hand away but he held onto it firmly, his eyes lowered. I half expected him to try and focus on my finger and go cross-eyed in the process, but this was – after all – Sherlock Holmes, who probably couldn’t look ridiculous if he tried. Not that he ever would try. Unfortunately for me, with his eyes at that angle I was becoming painfully aware of how long his eyelashes were, and my sense of unease increased.
Jesus. This wasn’t the first time that I had noticed what a stunningly good-looking man he was, but this close up and with that long neck so exposed and a look of rapt concentration on his face – not to mention the wet pull of his mouth on my finger – he was truly beautiful.
‘I’m not gay,’ I silently but firmly told myself. Part of my body silently but firmly disagreed. I awkwardly tried to shift my position without giving myself away.
“Keep thtill,” he lisped around my finger as his eyes lifted to meet mine. Holding my increasingly nervous gaze, he pushed the tip of his tongue against the end of my finger, pushing it almost out of his mouth, then tightened his grip again to hold my hand steady and began to flick his tongue repeatedly against the protruding end of the splinter to lift it. As he continued to lap at it, with his eyes locked on mine, my lungs chose that moment to shrink in size and I found it increasingly hard to breathe. Still Sherlock’s eyes bored into mine and I made a determined effort to lock my knees to stop them buckling under me.
Suddenly he let out a deep satisfied moan and drew my finger back into his mouth, sucking even harder. I gritted my teeth, trying hard not to whimper, but I was almost on the point of defeat when mercifully he released my wrist, took a step back, turned his head and delicately spat out the splinter.
“Thanks,” I said, ludicrously proud of my voice for not shaking or coming out two octaves higher than usual.
He gave me a disparaging look.
“You’re welcome,” he said ungraciously. “Now go!”
Putting his hands on my shoulders, he spun me around, ushered me out onto the landing and shoved me in the direction of the stairs before he turned to go back into the flat via the kitchen door and headed in the direction of his bedroom.
“It was only Lestrade,” I heard him say. “He was being pathetic, but he’s gone. I hope you’re naked by now, John.”
I just about managed not to fall down the stairs.
Author’s Note: I don’t usually feel able to write a fic to order. I’ve had prompts before but have been utterly uninspired. However, I had a message a few days ago from danlef (also writing as squire), who recently wrote one of the most brilliant, clever and fun stories that I’ve seen in all my time on the Sherlock fandom. Even if you don’t normally read AU fic, I absolutely recommend An Ongoing Mission - it really is glorious. She had caught my attention with some of her earlier stories and I’m so proud that she struggled on with her attempts to find a beta to help with her admittedly not-perfect English, because this last story is a work of genius.
Anyway, she wrote to say that this story was probably her swansong because events in her personal life are about to take over, and she linked me to this picture by Reapersun. Danlef felt that – because she was convinced that the hand which Sherlock was holding wasn’t John’s – I might be able to write a story around it with a typically DeVereian twist at the end, and wondered if I might be inspired to write something as a sort of farewell to her. As I said above, I can’t usually write to a prompt, but after throwing the picture to my writing friends and asking if they had any thoughts, got a suggestion from Stacey which finally woke up my stubborn plotbunny and started me writing.
I hope it was what you were hoping for, Danlef. Best of luck to you in the future, and I really hope that you’ll be back in time with some more writing of your own. (Edit: she did come back, and is writing brilliantly clever fic on AO3.)
And the story title? Who else would it come from? I totally disgraced myself on the railway station this evening on the way home from work, giggling and grinning like an idiot every time I thought about it, and getting nervous glances from my fellow commuters.
Who else would suggest a title like this? verityburns made me do it.