Title: Blowing Things Up (Or Not)
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating: NC-17

Pairings: John/Sherlock, John/Greg/Sherlock

Kinks & Things: Sneeze fetish, relationship negotiations, explicit consent, three-way, Asexual!Sherlock

Summary: John and Sherlock make their relationship work. But when Lestrade shows up to a crime scene sneezing, the gears in Sherlock’s mind begin to turn.
Author Notes: Written for my “All the fandoms! Even more sneezes!” meme.



Blowing Things Up (Or Not)


When the second alarm went, Sherlock knew he must wake John. The problem was, of course, that he did not want to do so. He wanted to keep John wrapped in his arms, warm in this bed for all time. He could feel John’s breaths against his neck. He could feel John’s hair against his cheek. He could feel John’s heart beating against his chest. He could feel John’s erection against his thigh.


Yes, perhaps it was time to wake him after all. He couldn’t have that going off and spoiling the moment now, could he? “John?” His voice sounded deep and harsh in the silence of their bedroom. He softened it with a rub to John’s back. “You’ve got to wake up now.”


John came awake like a dog who’d just had a nap in front of a warm fireplace. First a stirring then a stretch and then Sherlock’s favorite—the nuzzle. John’s nose found his chin and then worked its way up to his nose, rubbing affectionately. “Mmmm.” John pulled back, opening his eyes to look into Sherlock’s. “What a sight to wake up to.”


“You say that every morning,” Sherlock pointed out.


“I mean it every morning.” And then, like every morning, he closed his eyes again.


Sherlock could not have him falling back to sleep. “You must get up. You have work, and it’s already quarter past.”


John sat straight up in bed. “It isn’t!”


“You slept through first alarm.” That was why they had two, of course. John never heard the first, though it always woke Sherlock. The benefit of this was not to simply insure John not be late for work, but also so that Sherlock had fifteen minutes every morning to cherish the fact that he had John to himself. Without even John to interfere, he could take his personal time holding, hugging, enjoying the man in his arms. He had never thought he would ever want to share his bed with anyone, but every morning he wished the fifteen minutes between alarms would be endless.


Because afterward, John was up and rushing about, chaotically getting ready for work. He went in and out of the bathroom, emerging sometimes with the end of a toothbrush tucked in his cheek or shaving cream on his chin or a towel around his freshly showered shoulders. And darting back in with a change of clothes or a different tie or shoes that badly needed a shine. At some point amidst all of this, John’s erection disappeared. At another point, the smell of coffee filled the bedroom. Most mornings John mumbled things like “can’t believe it’s so late” or “must get to bed earlier” or “how’d I sleep through the damn alarm again?”


Some mornings, however, he struck up a conversation with Sherlock, still lounging in bed. “Any plans for the day, apart from trying to not blow the flat up with your experiments. You did promise, you know.”


Sherlock smiled, thinking of how far along he had progressed the day before and also thinking of his promise to John to not blow up the flat. How funny that John was actually worried about that. This had been Sherlock’s flat first, after all. And if he wanted to blow it up, he should have the right to do so. However, he didn’t think he wanted to. After all, that would most likely result in the obliteration of this bed, and then he would not be able to wake up the next morning in it with John. “My promise stands,” he reassured John.


“Good.” Cleaned, shaven, and dressed, John leaned over the bed and nuzzled Sherlock again, nose to nose. “Have a good day, love.”


“You too.” And then, in a hurried rush of shoes and coat and bag and travel mug filled with coffee, John was gone for the day.


Placing his finger to the tip of his nose, Sherlock closed his eyes and thought of John once more. That was their thing, their special thing. They never kissed; Sherlock could not abide by kissing. It was a messy, unenjoyable business. Heads moved in ways he couldn’t predict. Mouths were wet and hot and tasted different every time. Sometimes there was so much pressure it felt as though the faces were smashing together, other times it was so light you might as well not even have bothered. And then there was the tongue; Sherlock shuddered to remember the feel of another tongue in his mouth. He was very happy without the occasion to feel that again, thank you very much.


Besides, John had a thing about noses. Not all noses, of course. He was selective, discerning; that was one of the things Sherlock admired most about him. And what John liked especially was one of the things noses did: sneeze.


This, of course, had been revealed after a particularly long night involving far too much brandy. There had been a cold snap late that winter and during the short walk to the Tube station, Sherlock’s nose had begun to run. And the look of lust in John’s eyes when Sherlock had sneezed was unparalleled. He hadn’t been able to stop nuzzling Sherlock the entire trip home. He’d even kissed Sherlock’s nose when they got back to the flat, which Sherlock didn’t mind so much, as it did not involve his own mouth or tongues in any way. But from there it had been easy to extract the desired information, even though Sherlock had been three sheets to the wind as well.


John adored sneezes. The sound. The sight. Not just any sneezes, mind. He had a type. He claimed to like Sherlock’s more than most. And he claimed that it was this interest that had first put the notion into his head to become a physician, though it was rare that he encountered a patient that turned him on. He was a consummate professional, John Watson. It was one of the things Sherlock admired so much about him.


What Sherlock did not admire was John’s tendency to worry about him. Sherlock had gotten along fine before meeting John. All right, he had been a bit of a mess at times from the drugs, and he’d still been smoking in those days. And, certainly, there were times he had forgotten to eat. Or bathe. Or leave his living room for a week. But the point was, Sherlock had been fine. Mycroft might not have used that word, but if things had really been as bad as Mycroft believed, Sherlock wouldn’t still be alive.


Things were, however, infinitely better with John in his life now. He wouldn’t have it any other way. There was routine, which Sherlock enjoyed. There was predictability, which Sherlock needed. There was even love, which Sherlock hadn’t known he had even wanted until he had found it.


Sherlock’s mobile buzzed and, hoping it was Lestrade about a case, Sherlock grabbed for it. There was a text, but from John, not Lestrade. It read: Be sure to have a bite to eat before not blowing up the flat. Sherlock smiled.


Food. Yes. Food sounded like an excellent idea. Getting dressed… sounded less so. Clothes were boring. There would be time for clothes after breakfast. So he rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen. He was partway through a bowl of porridge when his mobile went again. This time it was Lestrade. And a case. And a chance to be brilliant. Sherlock got as far as the door before he remembered he still needed clothes.


* / * / *


Rain was a necessary evil in England. It certainly made for lush, green shrubbery and gorgeous flowers in the springtime. However, it was less desirable in a crime scene. By the time Sherlock arrived in Hackney to witness the body that had apparently both been strangled by a bit of old wire and stabbed with gardening sheers, much of the blood and probably also some of the evidence had been washed away by the rain.


Sherlock bent down next to the body for closer inspection then did a quick sweep of the scene and the surroundings. From what he’d been told, there were inconsistencies, pieces that didn’t belong, clues that popped, answers that swam teasingly close. His mind began to process, began to order it all.




Sherlock looked up to see Lestrade digging in his pocket and pulling out a handkerchief to wipe at his nose. A raindrop hung at the tip of his nose until he wiped it away, same as if his nose had been running. John might have liked to have seen that; Sherlock wondered if he should try to remember the image for him later. John found Lestrade attractive; they had discussed it previously and ever since entering into a relationship, Sherlock had made it a point to remember anything John expressed an interest in. If he couldn’t please John in every sexual way, he would have to use his brainpower to please John in every other way possible.




Distractions were nearly as bad as the rain. Sherlock pulled back, trying to focus on the case. But he hadn’t thought to bring an umbrella—who thinks to bring an umbrella—and he could feel drops of water cascading down the back of his neck, under his collar. He could feel them soaking into his hair. He could feel them against his hands and wrists. And his right shoe was, he realized, submerged in a puddle up to the laces. And still the rain came down, ceaselessly. Irritatingly. Sherlock tried to focus on the case.




Without looking up from the body, Sherlock spoke, “Could you stop that, please?”


“Sorry, I’ve a cold. There’s no helping it, I’m afraid.”


Sherlock raised his head. Lestrade was mopping his nose again with the handkerchief, dragging it one way then the other. Then he tucked the handkerchief away as if he were slightly ashamed of his cold or his need for something to sneeze into. “No, not that. The rain. It’s quite inconvenient.”


As Lestrade looked up, raindrops trailed down his face. “You’re asking me to stop the rain?”


“If you would, please.”


Lestrade sighed. “Oh sure, Sherlock. I’ll get right on… on… oh hang it all!” He yanked the damp handkerchief out of his pocket and held it at the ready, not quite over his nose, but in front of it. “huhhh… huhhhh…” He sounded like he needed to sneeze, maybe even wanted to sneeze, but couldn’t quite make it happen. Sherlock smirked. That was Lestrade all over—willing and genuine, but not able. How he had managed to solve anything before Sherlock came along was a mystery in and of itself. “huh-huhhhhhhh-HUH-GIHSCHhhhhh!


Sherlock’s head whipped up. That sneeze had been vastly different from the ones that had come before it. Stronger, wetter—or had it just sounded wetter because he’d been sneezing in the rain? Only way to find that out would be to hear him sneeze indoors, but Sherlock wasn’t sure how to make that happen. He could insist he needed to inspect the apartment manager’s office, but that would be a lie. Besides, Lestrade was about to sneeze again.


ah-huhhh… huhhhh…” Breathy, wavering, helpless build-ups. “huh! Huh! Huh-hehhhhh!” Desperate gasps. “huhhh-UH-H’EHGSHhhhhhh!” And a release so forceful the handkerchief seemed nearly insufficient for the spray. “Sorry. Got away from me there.” In short, this was precisely what John Watson loved in a sneeze. This was his type.


This thought made Sherlock curious. His mental powers began working even harder. No longer did he want to get Lestrade inside; now he wanted to get Lestrade back to 221B Baker Street. He wanted to give him to John. He wanted to see the look on John’s face when Lestrade sneezed one of this massive, uncontrollable sneezes. He wanted to watch John get excited and cop off to the sound and feel and sight of those sneezes. He wanted… wait, why was he suddenly so warm?


Astonishingly, he had a stand. Usually, he wasn’t ashamed when his body presented him with such a thing. It was a biological need, of course. But it usually happened at the end of a long day when he was alone in the shower, not smack in the middle of a crime scene investigation. And never, absolutely never in reaction to someone.


Sherlock realized long ago that he wasn’t like everyone else. Asexual was what John called it. Most people called it worse when they found out. Sherlock wasn’t sure, but there was no changing what he was, what he’d always been. Sure, he could appreciate an attractive person’s appearance; there were certain elements of beauty that were culturally accepted. There was something about John Watson, for example, that made Sherlock yearn to look at him smile or nuzzle him. He knew he wanted to be with John Watson, even if his cock didn’t know it and likely didn’t care one bit about it. Completely indifferent, that was his dick. Never once had it stirred because of a person. Not because of John. Not because of The Woman. Not because of Moriarty, certainly.


So why was it acting up now because of Lestrade?


No, not because of Lestrade. Because of Lestrade’s sneezes. Or, more precisely, the effect those sneezes would have on a man he loved who never asked anything of Sherlock’s cock. A man who understood that being with Sherlock meant certain things, and sexual intercourse was not one of them. A man who was content to have Sherlock as he was and not complain about what he wasn’t. A man who had sexual needs like everyone else and took care of them in private or, on rare occasions, when Sherlock wanted to observe and study him. John called that exceedingly hot.


So perhaps it made sense that Sherlock would want to observe and study John’s reaction to Lestrade’s sneezy head cold. Or perhaps something of John’s fetish was rubbing off on him.




Because he was forced to admit, in a subjective sort of way, these sneezes of Lestrade’s were somewhat magisterial. The perfect amount of force. The perfect amount of wetness.




Not to mention that the man didn’t seem to want to stop sneezing. This cold he said he had was special. This was an exceptionally sneezy cold. John would be beside himself. And Sherlock couldn’t wait to see that.


“Call on us at 4 o’clock.”


Startled, Lestrade physically took a step back. “Excuse me?”


“4 o’clock at 221B Baker Street. John will be done with his shift by then. We’ll have tea ready for you.”


With a sigh, Lestrade rubbed his thumb and forefinger at his temple. “Sherlock, we have a murder investigation here.”


“No, that’s solved,” Sherlock stated. “It was the landlord and his wife.”


“Come-huh- come again?”


Sherlock sighed deeply. Lestrade didn’t see it. Well, of course he didn’t see it. He might have an excellent-sounding sneeze, but he was a little slow when it came to crime. Then again, everyone was a little slow when it came to crime compared to Sherlock. Lestrade was, admittedly, better than many, but he was nowhere near Sherlock in ability. “The wire used here matches exactly that used to bind the flowers in the window of apartment one.”


“Lots of people have wire.”


“But you’ll find the angle this one has been cut at exactly the same angle as that. And those flowers have been pruned and clipped by these sheers. The wire wouldn’t have been enough to do her in, you can see the many marks at the attempt, so they had to use something else as the final murder weapon. The two of them worked together to—”


“The two of them were in the… the… th-huh-huhhh-UHKDShhuhhhhhhh!


“The pub?”


He nodded. “They were there all night when the murder was taking place. Loads of witnesses.” He stopped to give a light cough and a rub to his nose. “And we know the murder couldn’t have taken place earlier because people came and went from the apartment building and no one spotted the body until this morning. Besides, he made a phone call last night at half past ten.”


Did he have to spell it out completely? Apparently so. “Time of death will no doubt show the murder took place yesterday evening or even afternoon, so their alibi is useless. You can see the sidewalk is dry under him because his body was left here after the couple returned but before it began raining. And if you look closely, you’ll see wires tacked to the side of the building there. Not only is it easy for the landlord and landlady to listen in on conversations but also to record them. It wouldn’t be difficult to reconstruct one to fake a phone call.”




“You had better apprehend them now. Given the state of that caravan over there, they’re planning on skipping town within the hour.” Sherlock stood and clapped his hands together to brush off dirt. “I’ll expect you to come ‘round at 4 o’clock, Inspector.”


“Sher… uhh… Uhhh-UHTRSchhhhhhhhh! Sherlock!” Lestrade called after him. Sherlock kept going, as his work here was done, but he smiled as he went, hoping he would sneeze in the middle of saying John’s name later. John would probably love that.


* / * / *


The door opened. Footsteps headed up the stairs. And then “uhh… uhhh… uhh-uh-GUHShhhhhh!


Sherlock looked up excitedly to see John’s reaction. The man had gone white with shock. He froze in place, halfway from the china cupboard to the table, one cup and saucer in each hand. His eyes were wide. “Sherlock… who…” he began.


Then Lestrade entered, buoyantly, handkerchief dabbing politely at his nose. “Hello there. Traffic was murder, but I made it at last. Hope I’m not late… or…” He looked at the two cups in John’s hands and the otherwise cup-less tea service on the table and finished with “Or unexpected.”


John seemed short of breath. Well, Sherlock couldn’t blame him for that. It had been a good sneeze just now, after all, and a proper surprise for him. So Sherlock answered for him. “You’re right on time.” Sherlock beamed with pride. Lestrade at their table, sneezing exactly the sorts of sneezes John liked best. This was utter perfection, orchestrated brilliantly, if he did say so himself.  “Have a seat, right John?”


At hearing his name, John seemed to snap out of whatever he had been in. Quickly, he set the teacups down with a clatter. His hands were shaking. “Of course. You’re always welcome here, Greg. Sit down.”


“Thanks very much.” The inspector cleared his throat and rubbed a little at his nose. “Haven’t had a proper tea in ages. And… and I’m… uhh… so sneezy-uh-uhh-UhKTTSchhhhhhhh! Uh… and they do say tea’s the thing for a cold in the head, right Doctor?”


“They do…” John said, his words quiet Then he shook his head to clear it. “Ah, go on and help yourself to tea and biscuits and…” He grabbed the box of tissues from the side table and plopped them down just next to the teapot. “And these. We’ll just be a mo. Sherlock, can I see you in the bedroom?”


This caught Sherlock unawares, and his smile faltered a bit. Why would he want to go to the bedroom when Lestrade was out here sneezing? Or did he mean he wanted Lestrade to join them already? “Don’t you think—“


“I think I’d like to have a word in the bedroom in private, if you please. It’ll be quite quick.” Ah, he wanted to thank Sherlock in private. That must be it. John grabbed hold of Sherlock’s arm with a tight grip and practically dragged him up the stairs to the bedroom. As soon as the door was closed, John turned on him.


“Did you like your surprise?” Sherlock beamed.


John, on the other hand, frowned. In fact, he looked angry. He’d seen John angry before and, for some reason, here anger was again. “Sherlock, how could you?”


Taken aback, Sherlock sat down on the end of the bed. “So… you don’t like your surprise?”


“Surprise?” John remained with his back to the door, whispering so he could not be overheard. “Sherlock, I told you about… well, that interest of mine… in private. You promised not to tell a soul.”


“And I didn’t.”


“So, what, Greg’s downstairs in our sitting room with a head cold and only expects tea from us?”




John’s eyes, if possible, grew even wider. “And what was I supposed to do, just lust after him secretly, listening to him sneeze as we take tea? A torture to me to just listen and not be able to do anything about it? Or was I supposed to hear him sneeze and suddenly throw myself at him? Poor Greg to be ill and drinking tea and suddenly find me snogging him?” He clapped his hand to his forehead. “Oh Sherlock…”


Ah. So he did not like his surprise, then. “But… his sneezes are the sort you like, aren’t they?”


John sighed, shoulders slumping forward. “Yes. They’re… perfect.”


“And we did talk previously about inviting Lestrade into our bed, didn’t we?”


John walked over and settled onto the bed in question beside Sherlock. “Yes. We did.”


He seemed at a loss for words. But from the sitting room, there came a sneeze so strong they could hear it up the stairs. “UH-HRChishhhhhhh!


John moaned softly, leaning forward. “Oh damn it all. That was gorgeous.” Sherlock saw the erection tenting John’s trousers and, surprisingly, felt excitement bubbling up in him as well. “Sherlock, how are we to get out of this mess?”


How could he not see the solution? It was right there in front of him, plain as day. “All we need to do is ask Lestrade.”


John straightened. “What?”


“I’m happy to do it.”


“You’re going to go downstairs, have a sip of tea, and then ask him for sex?”


“Lestrade knows I am blunt and…”


“Unique?” John said it kindly, with a hint of a laugh in his voice.


Sherlock smiled. “If he’s offended by the offer, he will write it off as another crazy thing I’ve said and no harm done to anyone. If he’s interested, then you get him all sniffly and sneezy, right here in our bed between us and you can live out your wildest fantasies.”


John stared at Sherlock unblinkingly. After a full minute, he spoke. “Sherlock Holmes, you are the cleverest and kindest man I have ever known, and I love you.” He nuzzled the man affectionately. He whispered, “No matter what happens, this will not change what we have or how I feel about you.”




John squirmed, breathing out deeply against Sherlock’s cheek. “Oh…”


“Let’s go have some tea and a conversation with our sneezy inspector, yes?”


John nodded enthusiastically. “Yes please.” After one more adoring nuzzle, they headed back downstairs.


They returned to find Lestrade with a tissue in one hand and his cup in the other. He stood when they arrived. “Maybe I should go.”


“No, Please stay. Everything’s… well…” John was flushed. Sherlock noticed; he wondered if Lestrade did. Noticing things was not Lestrade’s specialty. Calling Sherlock in to notice things was his specialty. But Lestrade was far from dim. And Sherlock had every confidence that, once Sherlock spelled out the offer, he would not be able to resist it.


Sherlock saw John to an armchair, poured him a cup of tea, and then sat down on the arm of the chair. After all they had been through, Sherlock had learned that John liked him to be close. And Sherlock had no complaint there. An image of that moment briefly came to mind, of holding John close as he slept and of promising not to blow up the flat. Sherlock hoped what followed would not qualify as that.


“You must be aware that for some time now John and I have been in a relationship,” Sherlock began, deciding that it would be best just to get on with it.


“Yes,” Lestrade said, pulling another tissue out of the box. “Everyone huh knows about that by now. Huh-sorry, I have to-huh-HURSchhhh! Excuse be a bobedt.” The momentum of the conversation would never get going if it kept stopping to allow Inspector Lestrade to blow his nose. But the way John squirmed in the chair beside him indicated that John did not mind so much.


Impatient though he was, Sherlock waited it out before continuing. “There are certain needs that are met in our relationship and others that are not. So for some time now we have discussed bringing in a third party.”


John jumped in. “We wanted someone we know and trust and care for already.”


Sherlock nodded. “And so we thought of you. And we thought that now would be the perfect time to act upon this.”


Lestrade put down his teacup. It rattled on the saucer, making John flinch. Sherlock slid an arm around him. The inspector stared at Sherlock, mouth partly open. “You mean you two want to have sex with me?” They nodded. “N-now?” They nodded again. “Even with my… my… uhh-UhHIHSchhhhhhh! My sneezing?”


“That is preferred, in fact.” Sherlock would not break his promise to John. Though he suspected that the secret would come out as soon as they made it to the bedroom. “Assuming you feel up to it.”


“You’re mad.”


“No, I’m a high-functioning sociopath who would very much like for you to join him and his lover for a great adventure.”


Lestrade looked to John, who seemed unable to speak, but looked imploringly back at him. Lestrade turned back to Sherlock. “Is that landlady of yours about?” He glanced warily at the door.


“Mrs. Hudson is visiting relations in the countryside until Thursday. Unless your sneezes are loud enough to be heard as far as Lake Windermere, she’ll never know.”


He licked his lips and shifted in his seat. Sherlock knew he had already decided the answer would be yes. But he did not want to look so eager. “Good… and… Uhhhh-GIHSchhhhh! Huh-KTSchhhhhh! Sniff! What exactly… how would this work exactly?”


“I believe we would work out the particulars together in the bedroom, all three of us, before we begin.”


John nodded his agreement. And then, to their great relief and excitement, Lestrade nodded his as well. “All right. Let’s… leh… hehh… huhh-HUHKTSchhhhhh! Uh…” He took a tissue from the box and wiped at his nose. “If you’re sure you ah-actually want me like this and all.”


“We’re sure,” John finally spoke. His voice was soft again, but not only from shyness, now also with tenderness. “And we’re honored, Greg.” He reached a hand out to Lestrade then his other to Sherlock. He squeezed both hands excitedly before he led the way up the stairs.  


* / * / *


The bedroom seemed smaller with all three of them in it. But the bed itself accommodated the extra person adequately. John had given him another box of tissues as they chatted. But, strangely enough, it was Sherlock he sat closest to, for warmth. Sherlock liked that. He also found he very much liked this phase in the game. He was starting to feel a heady sort of pleasure in having so many the details of their sexual encounter spelled out explicitly in advance. It meant he could better predict what would occur and it meant he did not have to do the certain things he had no interest in doing. All this talk of relations also made both Lestrade and John stand. Lestrade even stroked himself once during the discussion, when he mentioned he wouldn’t mind topping or bottoming—whatever John preferred. Sherlock wasn’t even sure Lestrade had been aware he was doing it.


“I suppo… po… huh-h’KGSChhhhhhhh!” He sneezed so hard he snapped forward, rocking the bed. The movement was quite nice and the lustful look on John’s face was priceless. Lestrade pinched his nose beneath a tissue and tried again. “I suppose kissing is out. Wouldn’t want to get you both sick.”


“Kissing is out,” John agreed. “I like it and don’t mind if a few slip in here or there, but Sherlock doesn’t kiss, and I don’t want him to be uncomfortable.” Throughout the entire discussion, John had been fiercely protective of Sherlock. John had been acutely aware of Lestrade’s sniffles and certainly every one of his sneezes. But he had also been turned on at the idea of Lestrade and Sherlock touching. Sherlock would not have believed in such a thing if he weren’t, also, fascinated by the idea of watching Lestrade satisfy John wholly and completely.


Lestrade gave a little chuckle. “Who’d hah-have thought it? Sex with no kissing, but it’s perfectly all right if I sn… snee…” He pulled out another tissue and held it to his nose. Then, remembering something discussed earlier, flushed and lowered it. Sherlock could see his nostrils twitch with each quick breath he took. Mouth half open, eyes closed, he reared back and was thrown forward. “huhh-TCHShhhhhhhh!” Instinctively, he snapped the tissue to his nose just after, catching a drip. He wiped his nose and John reached over, pushing his hand down again. “Uh… that’s… goig to tage sub getting used to.” Sherlock also saw the eagerness in John’s eyes, the desire.


“Are we… have we covered everything?” John asked, breathlessly. “Can we begin? I should very much like to begin before I come in my trousers.”


“I’m ready,” Sherlock said. “Lestrade?”


“So am I,” Lestrade agreed. “But you’d better call me Greg. Save the surname for when we’re at work.”


And, thus, the game was afoot.


Sherlock might have expected it to start with soft, hesitant touches as they got to know each other. Perhaps more hand holding or squeezing. However, that discussion had been a kind of foreplay in and of itself and they were all so eager that no one was surprised when John launched himself at Greg. “Talk?” he whispered to Greg. Then, turning to Sherlock, “Clothes?”


Clothes. Right. Sherlock hadn’t really wanted to put them on to begin with today. It was pleasant to be wriggling out of them now. Taking off his own was easy; more difficult were Greg’s and John’s. But he wanted them off so that he could see and touch. And that was why John had given him this task, so that Sherlock would have an excuse to touch. Because John knew he liked it. And because John knew he was brilliant at it.


He began with John’s shoes, and twice in the same day he thought how they needed a shine. Greg’s weren’t much better, and both pairs thunked to the floor. Anything beyond the bed hardly seemed important any more. It was the perfect place to banish their clothes to.


Greg’s job, on the other hand, was to let John know when he needed to sneeze. And considering this was a particularly sneezy cold, none of them thought this particularly difficult. However, it proved to be harder than the undressing because sneezing did not leave much time for speaking. “Every time I lie down, there’s this sharp uhhh! Sharp urge to… to huh-huhh-UHPTShhhhhhhhhhh!” He sneezed freely, though his instinct again was to cover his nose. John had a tissue in hand and rubbed his nose for him.


“How’s that?” he asked. “All right?”


“Yeah. Sniff! A little runny but not too bad yet. You? You all right?”


“Mmm,” John nodded. Already there was an expression of bliss on his face. “Yeah I’m fi… oh Sherlock, yes.” Sherlock had snuck in and unbuttoned John’s shirt. He had chosen that moment to slide it off, then he put his hands on John’s shoulders and squeezed. His hands worked downward, pressing strategically in places that made John moan. “Do Greg,” John managed, eyes half-closed, body swaying.


And so Sherlock moved on to Greg. It was easy to slide off his suit jacket, and his fingers made quick work of the buttons down the front. But when it came to getting the shirt off, Greg was not in a good position. “Roll over,” Sherlock told him. “No, wait.” Quickly, Sherlock undid Greg’s belt, pulled off his tie, and tugged down the zip of his slacks as well. “Right, now roll over.” His hand guided Greg to do so, taking the shirt with it. Greg coughed at the change in sinus pressure.


“Oh, my nose. God, I think I’m gonna sneeze again. I… bloody hell!” Sherlock pulled back at the shout, alarmed. He had only pressed his hand into Greg’s upper back once, but apparently he had done something wrong. He felt John’s hand on his back, John warm at his side. Did Greg have some sort of injury he hadn’t said anything about? Sherlock hadn’t noticed him moving in a way that would indicate a back problem. He’d mentioned the bad knee, but that was it. He hadn’t said anything about not being touched. In the short list he’d given of things he did not like or would not do, he hadn’t told them not to massage him.


“What’s wrong?” asked John, just as concerned as Sherlock and medically trained to do something about it if needed.


Greg turned his head, looking back at Sherlock. “Uh-UhCHShhh! Where the hell did you learn to do that?”


Sherlock’s hand trembled. Doubt. He hated doubt, had to hide it away. He had no pocket to shove it into, so he slid it under a blanket. The coolness of the sheets of his bed was a comfort.


“Three seconds in and already the best fucking massage I’ve ever felt. Don’t you dare stop.”


Sherlock beamed. John nuzzled him and nestled down on his chest next to Greg on the bed so Sherlock could rub them both and so John was close when Greg sneezed.


huhhh-IhhGTchphhhh!” He sneezed into the pillow Sherlock and gotten for him; John had one too, so that they were comfortable and so that John would have something to hold onto when the sneezes struck and he was overcome with a rush of attraction. Sherlock found this particularly fascinating. He had never felt anything remotely like the reaction John seemed to be having. He didn’t even have to be touching or even looking at Greg but when a sneeze came, he very nearly came as well. He looked so thrilled, so in love that it made Sherlock glad for whatever misery this cold had put Greg through and equally glad that Greg had agreed to their invitation. John is so attractive like this, so desirable. That unusual spread of warmth found Sherlock again.


 “All right then,” Sherlock said, and began to show off his skills. With his right hand on John and his left on Greg, he set to work relaxing them both. He was used to rubbing John’s back; he knew the muscles well, knew where John was the tensest. But Greg’s was new to him, and he found the challenge invigorating.


“I… I need.. uh uhhhh-huh! Huhh! Uhh-H’CHIHShhhhhh!” He coughed and tensed up, and Sherlock kept rubbing. “Need to blow my… my tickling… uhhhh… tickling nose. Ihh-Huhh-HuhhShrshhhhhh!


Sherlock paused in his backrub to hand John one from the box. And John, very tenderly, folded it and cupped it to Greg’s nose for him to blow into. When done, Greg sighed. “This is so nice,” Greg murmured.


“Would be nicer if you’d let me finish,” Sherlock said.


“Finish?” Greg sniffed.


“John told me clothes. I’ve only done half the job, haven’t I?”


John smiled into his pillow and continued smiling as he turned onto his back. Sherlock eased his trousers down then did his pants and socks. It was tricky working around John’s erection, of course, but John shuddered in anticipation when his fingers happened to graze John’s hard-on.  He was excellent at that sort of touch as well, but he could tell from John’s reaction that he didn’t want a hand job; he wanted to fuck.


Greg’s turn. Sherlock had already undone the man’s slacks, so some amount of wiggling and tugging as all it took. Despite the relaxing backrub, there was still a flash of self-consciousness on Greg’s face when they were all three naked and he lay there, ill and sniffling. “I, ah…”


“You’re perfect.” They both looked at Sherlock. Sherlock looked at John. “He is, isn’t he? Perfect?”


John nodded. “Yes.” He slid an arm around Greg, who shivered but moved closer. “I want you. We want you. Are you still game for this?”


Greg nodded. “Yeah-huh. Yeah I am. But I… I-uh… huhh… I’m…”


“Even if you weren’t ill. But that’s just a happy bonus.”


huh… going to sn-Uh-uh-HURSChhuhhhh!


“An extremely happy one. God, you are perfect. Bless. Sherl—” He stopped as Sherlock handed him a condom and bottle of lube. It had been obvious John was just about to ask for them. “Yes, ta.” He sat up and nuzzled Sherlock again. He whispered, “You’re amazing.”


Sherlock’s eyebrows rose playfully. “I am well aware.” He held his hands out for a squirt of lube in each. The first he applied liberally to John, once John had rolled the condom on. Making sure Greg was ready was up to John at this point; Sherlock had no interest in that. The second handful of lube came in useful once Greg was on his back with his legs on John’s shoulders. John wanted to watch him when they had sex, of course, so he didn’t miss a single sneeze. Sherlock knew he wouldn’t come until at least the fifth sneeze. He’d want it to last, he’d want to savor it. But he wouldn’t be able to. He was already too turned on. He’d been dying for this ever since hearing Greg sneeze while coming up the stairs. He wouldn’t make it much longer. Five good sneezes, maybe six. But if Greg had a particularly strong fit, all bets were off. It was all up to his cold now.


As John rocked in and out, slow and steady—again, trying to make it last—Sherlock wrapped his hand around Greg’s cock. There were a number of variables in play to consider here. “I’ll try not to get it wrong. But you’ll tell me if I get it wrong?”


Greg looked confused but nodded at him. Then Sherlock started pumping. He applied just enough force but started with a quick pace to begin with. And Greg sucked in a breath. “Oh bloody hell!” That, Sherlock had learned previously, meant good. So he kept going. He watched Greg closely. He was trickier than John, not only because Sherlock had never done him before, but because he was ill. A gasp might be from pleasure or it might be a cough or the beginning of a sneeze. A dazed, glassy look in his eyes might mean he was about to come or sneeze. All the little signs were there, though, and Sherlock loved trying to pick them out, figure them out. The blink of his eyes. The flaring of his nostrils. The tremble in his abs. The tongue against his lips. The raising of his hips. The furrowing of his brow. This was Inspector Lestrade as Sherlock had never known him before. No… no, this was Greg.


And this was what he was doing for Greg. This was how he made Greg happy.


Uhhh-CHTSHhhhh! Oh God, sorry, did I catch you… no warning, that one. I… this… huhh-UHSchhhhhhhhhh!” And that was how Greg made John happy.


John moaned and thrust in deeper, faster. His hands slid down Greg’s legs. One hand cupped Greg’s arsecheek. The other found Sherlock’s shoulder and squeezed. “S’all right,” he gasped. “Just… just do it again.”


“What, sneeze?” Greg gave a laugh. “I think… you’re… yuh… you’re in luck there, John. This cold…” John moaned again. “Making me… uhh-me… so… uhhh! Uh-H’KDSHHHHH! J-John-huh-HehKXTSHHHH! Huhhh… HuhGIHSchhhhhhh!


John came. Five sneezes, exactly like Sherlock had thought. He watched John’s face contort in bliss and pain and relief and thought it was the most beautiful sight. He felt John’s hand, warm and reassuring and connected on his shoulder and thought it the most wonderful touch.


And then suddenly Sherlock’s hand was warm and wet and covered in… not a sneeze, surely. Oh. Greg had come then, had he? He looked down to see that Greg hadn’t finished, either. Sherlock kept stroking until Greg’s hand quickly came up and grabbed hold of his wrist. Sherlock didn’t need words to tell him what that meant. Sherlock pulled back a moment then his hand returned, full of tissues.


Sherlock didn’t like the cleanup part, never had. It was one of the reasons he wanked in the shower if his body told him he must release. He supposed that, like experiments, a good result usually came after quite a mess. But normally he had no interest in it after a result had been achieved. That was why there were test tubes on their kitchen table and sheet music spread over their couch. So he left John and Greg to clean themselves up and was especially pleased when John wiped his hand clean for him in a caring but almost clinical fashion. The heat rose in him again, flooded with the realization of how well John knew him. And perhaps how good Greg would soon know him.


Pulling more tissues out, he handed them to Greg for his nose then put a hand on Greg’s back to help him sit up, catch his breath a little. He rubbed his hand against Greg’s back and watched John dispose of the rubber in the bin by the bed. John settled back onto the bed with a look of extreme satisfaction.


“Ta,” John whispered to Sherlock, moving in to nuzzle him with the utmost affection. Then he turned to Greg and gave him a “Ta” that made him sound a little embarrassed. Sherlock could not imagine what he had to be embarrassed about; they had certainly all three of them enjoyed themselves quite thoroughly, which might never have happened had it not been for John’s peculiar interest.


“Not at all,” Greg replied. “Can I… kiss you now?” John nodded and closed his eyes to receive the sentiment. Sherlock watched it carefully. Lips pressed. Heads tilted. Mouths opened. There was a sort of beauty in the kiss, Sherlock was forced to admit. But it was also disgusting; did they have to make that sound? When they were done, Greg sniffed and turned to Sherlock. He seemed uncertain about what to do. Sherlock hated kissing so, obviously, that was out. And nuzzling was something special that only he and John shared. But they should do something to acknowledge what had happened and what this now meant for them.


“I suppose you’ll have to kiss me,” Sherlock said. “In these circumstances, it seems best.” Both Greg and John looked at him in wonder. There might have even been a twinge of hurt in John’s eyes. Sherlock realized that they needed it explained for them. Of course they did. “That would be the quickest way for me to catch your cold, wouldn’t it? Just imagine what John would be like with both of us sneezing for him.”


Greg chuckled at this, a sound Sherlock always associated with the man whenever Sherlock made a brilliant deduction that surprised him. The sound filled Sherlock with renewed warmth and affection. John did not laugh, but he did wear an expression that Sherlock could not quite interpret. At first it seemed like gratitude, but then it more closely resembled a mix of sheepishness and hunger. Not wanting to cause John any further distress, Sherlock was the one to lean forward and initiate the kiss.


He was certain he was doing it wrong. His nose kept bumping Greg’s cheek and his tongue felt awkward, flopping about and pushing against Greg’s. But when he pulled back, Greg was out of breath and marveling at Sherlock’s technique. Sherlock was glad at least one of them had enjoyed the sensation. Greg’s awe did not last for long, however. Immediately he turned his head and sneezed a great, wet sneeze. “hahhhUHugxshhh!


“Oh, Greg!” John exclaimed. “You must be freezing. Don’t know what I was thinking. Where’s your shirt gone to?” He started looking around, hanging over the side of his bed. But Sherlock acted in the only sensible way possible. He grabbed a blanket, wrapped it around Greg, and then wrapped his long arms around the man. They lay down together, Sherlock easing Greg down and then reaching up for John to join them. John stared at the scene for a moment before grabbing the tissue box and also the edge of the covers to pull them up over the three of them.


With Greg huddled between them, John couldn’t be as close to Sherlock as usual. But Sherlock’s embrace was large enough to reach to him. John’s eyes flickered to Greg then back again, silently asking what all this meant. Sherlock’s hand stroked his arm. Poor John, never quite making those mental leaps of brilliance when he needed to. But Sherlock was sure he would figure it out in the end. In the meantime, Sherlock would just have to start getting used to having two men in his bed to cherish in the mornings, not just one.