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Experimentation

BBC Sherlock fic

Rating: 12, slash

Spoilers: none


There were few prospects more alarming than Sherlock reading the Kama Sutra, John thought. Well, except Sherlock looking up from the battered copy of the Kama Sutra he was thumbing through as he ate breakfast and staring intently at John, with a look that suggested he was trying to work out if John's body would bend in the right places.


"No," John said, as he sat down opposite Sherlock, "whatever it is I'm not trying it. And it's almost certainly intended for heterosexuals, anyhow."

"This position is probably safe."

"Probably safe is not enough. I don't want to end up in A&E again, thank you. And why are you still reading that damn thing, anyhow?"

"I was looking for something different to try," said Sherlock, "After all, aren't you supposed to vary things? I believe the phrase is 'spice up your love life'. Although I realise now that shouldn't be taken too literally."

"I could have told you nutmeg was a really bad idea." John paused. The last few months had been amazing, but there was something in Sherlock's behaviour that was starting to worry him.

"Look," he said, "I know you're trying to make up for lost time now you've decided that sex is interesting after all. But all this experimentation is getting out of hand."

"Variety, John, so much variety. Think of the possibilities."

"That's what scares me," said John.

"I want...I need to know everything, explore it all," said Sherlock, "understand it."

He said "it", thought John , not "you", that was why it was all going to end in tears.

"No," he said, "You can't...you need to do it for the right reasons. To find out what we both enjoy. Not working your way through the list of options, ticking off positions as you go."

"I like to experiment. It adds interest."

"And you can't stand being bored, can you?" John stopped eating and glared at Sherlock, waiting in silence till Sherlock's attention was finally on him. "Listen to me. If you have to keep on making it different to avoid boredom, it's going to get out of control. I know what you're like. Different positions, role playing, it's not going to be enough, is it? You're going to start getting fed up that it's just the same body opposite you all the time, just my boring body. And then you're going to be fantasising about exploring somebody else's, aren't you, see what other options there are?"

Sherlock was still for a moment and then John could see his mind starting to turn over, to analyse what had been said. Oh shit, John thought, it hadn't occurred to Sherlock that he might have sex with someone else, what had John put into his head? He had wrecked the whole thing, hadn't he?

"No," Sherlock said at last. "You wouldn't want to share, would you?"

"Not that," said John. "Not you."

"I don't think I would either, now I come to scrutinise my own reactions." Sherlock looked down for a moment and then said slowly. "But if we just do the same things all the time, how do we keep enjoying them?"

"You have breakfast every day, don't you?"

"No, you know I don't eat when I'm on a case."

"Stop being so bloody literal," John protested. "When you have breakfast, you always have pretty much the same thing. Toast, sometimes a fry-up, or porridge if I think the microwave's safe. You don't just decide you want marzipan for breakfast because you've never had that before. You find the things you like and then you enjoy them, time after time."

"But after a while," Sherlock replied, "you're just doing it because you're always do it, you're not concentrating on it."

John knew he had to get his point across quickly before Sherlock started to try and eat his toast mindfully.

"The thing is," he said, "sex is not some kind of experiment, see how many things you can do with a set of genitals. Or at least there's more to a relationship than that."

"I understand that now, " said Sherlock, "It's just I can't easily turn my mind off, stop thinking."

"I know, you have to have something to observe, analyse, even during sex."

"Afterwards. Reassure myself I'm still who I was before. Not changed, disappeared."

Only Sherlock could worry that an orgasm might literally blow his mind.

"OK," said John, "You have to have that kind of control. I have no idea why, but it's just the way you are. But it shouldn't be a lab experiment, not some kind of double-blind trial – God, no, that's not a suggestion – more like...fieldwork, I suppose."

"What do you mean?"

"Zoology. They go out and study animals in the wild. Think of me as a gorilla." John said. Sherlock started smirking. "OK, a chimp, a bloody lemur if you like. The point is primatologists study the same animal for years. See what it does, learn to understand its reactions-"

"Empathise with it," said Sherlock. "A longitudinal study. And what you're implying I take it, is that Dian Fossey stuck with her gorillas. She didn't wake up one morning and think: 'Sod this for a lark, let's go and see if lions are more interesting.' "

"Something like that." said John. He really must stop having these kind of conversations.  He opened his mouth and found himself asking: "And how do you know about Dian Fossey?"

"Remind me to tell you about Mycroft's Sigourney Weaver phase some other time." Sherlock said. "But Fossey and all the others weren't just observing, were they?", he went on. "They were analysing, recording what they'd learnt, so they could make sense of it."

"Oh God, this is note-taking again, isn't it?" John groaned. "OK, if you must, but after, not during. And you are not publishing anything."

"But think of all that data," Sherlock smiled, "Years, decades, a lifetime of watching someone change, develop, being with them."

It was almost romantic, thought John, if you looked it at from a certain peculiar angle.

"No publication in my lifetime at least," he said. "If future generations are really fascinated by the sex life of Dr John H Watson, that's their lookout."

"I understand," said Sherlock. His eyes were dark now and there was a slight huskiness in his voice. John recognised the signs of arousal; he just hoped it wasn't the thought of hundreds of data points. "When do we start?"

"Finish your toast," said John, "you know you always like having that. I'll be in my room."

"And?" Sherlock's smile was greedy now.

"Welcome to the jungle, Sherlock."

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
warriorbot
Sep. 23rd, 2010 10:17 am (UTC)
I loved every word of this - and couldn't stop grinning all the way from "I could have told you nutmeg was a really bad idea."

I want to have and to hold this fic for ever. Would you mind posting this at 221b_Slash?

http://community.livejournal.com/221b_slash

marysutherland
Sep. 28th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
I've now done this, thanks. I was vaguely inspired by the Stephen Sondheim song from "The Seven-per-cent solution", entitled "I never do anything twice". But one of the current stories I'm writing takes Sherlock's urge for variety and makes it a bit darker.
genclay
Sep. 28th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
Lovely :)

Though I do want to read snippets of 'The sex life of Dr John H Watson' by S Holmes, now.
marysutherland
Sep. 30th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
I don't think I'm going to be able to hack those files, but if anyone else would like to try, they're welcome to do so. But bear in mind that Sherlock's notes may not be compatible with LiveJournal format anyway. There are bound to be lots of equations and graphs, so surely Sherlock's stuff would be in LaTeX?
sallycandance
Sep. 28th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
Mwahaha! Great!

"I don't want to end up in A&E again"
I actually laughed out loud at that and then the story just kept getting better.

I absolutely love it - and it's so cute that Sherlock decides he doesn't want to share John and then wants to spend his lifetime studying John instead. Awww! (I want to have a good look at those notes *gets greedy*)
ginbitch
Sep. 28th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
I love this so much! And inspired by 'I never do anything twice'? Could you _be_ more awesome?? This is one of the most plausible explanation of why the relationship works that I've seen. As for Mycroft's Sigourney Weaver phase - makes me snort every time I read it. Memmed.

<3
rabidsamfan
Sep. 28th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
*howl of pure glee* Oh, this is marvelous. I love the two of them working out the parameters for continued studies!
sakinow
Sep. 28th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
Wonderful. Funny, I chuckled all the way through and romantic, not wanting to share and a lifetime of study. This makes me happy.
fengirl88
Sep. 28th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
loved this! nutmeg, Sigourney Weaver, toast - oh, too many things to single out really. and Sherlock being aroused by data points (very plausible). great stuff!
stupid_drawings
Sep. 28th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure "Darwinian seduction techniques" needs to be a very popular tag. <3!
marysutherland
Sep. 30th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, proper Darwinian seduction techniques mean no slash, for obvious genetic reasons. Maybe the tag ought to be "anti-Darwinian seduction techniques", or "My gene's not selfish after all".
stupid_drawings
Oct. 1st, 2010 01:41 am (UTC)
Maybe Darwin-inspired seduction techniques?
marysutherland
Oct. 2nd, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)
I do worry that I am going to end up needing tags for almost every known academic field. Right at the moment I have on the boil Harry Watson, who has somehow mutated into a tiny butch historian, and another story in which Mycroft is breaking his heart with his own utilitarianism.
stupid_drawings
Oct. 2nd, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC)
I kind of love you a lot right now. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
random_nexus
Sep. 29th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
This was adorable and fun and I loved it to bits!
Excellently well done, you!
:D
ariadnes_string
Sep. 30th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
That's adorable! I love the John POV. Even though he is a little like a lemur, now I think of it!
marysutherland
Sep. 30th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
Your icon definitely shows John as a lemur impersonator!
pinigir
Sep. 30th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Great fic! Loved how John suggested to Sherlock to look at their sex life as something of a lifetime study.
zevbaldwin
Aug. 6th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Great!
disassembly_rsn
Sep. 2nd, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Experimentation
The initial discussion originally had me thinking that this could drop into the Holmes Comforts universe with no problem at all, when actually this is in a way the inverse of that.

Good that John tried to nip Sherlock's bound-to-be-bad idea in the bud as soon as he saw what Sherlock was reading. He has got *some* self-preservation instincts...

end up in A&E again

I reckon *everybody* noticed when John said *that*...

Nutmeg: a bad idea that can be administered in more than one way, or, don't let Sherlock near the Christmas cooking...

Remind me to tell you about Mycroft's Sigourney Weaver phase some time.

Anytime...

Good for John, that he found a sufficiently scientific approach that would work for both of them. I tend to associate Sherlock so much with chemistry and forensics that primate studies wouldn't've occurred to me. Very clever.

Life as Sherlock's case study...
marysutherland
Sep. 4th, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
Re: Experimentation
Glad you enjoyed it and interested that you spotted the link with Holmes Comforts. This story was actually written first and became one of the inspirations for that sequence, which shows the darker side to Sherlock's novelty-seeking.

I don't know much about zoology, but I do like the idea that Sherlock might best be able to come to terms with his own sex drive in that kind of biological/Darwinian framework. Hence the 'Darwinian seduction techniques' tag, which has cropped up intermittently ever since.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )