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The animal inside (2/3)

BBC Sherlock fic
Rating 15, angst, swearing, slash, implicit cruelty to rats 
Spoilers: none
First part at http://marysutherland.livejournal.com/1616.html
[Summary: John is a virgin and Sherlock has a problem to solve. What could possibly go wrong?]

John must have dozed, because Sherlock was shaking his shoulder, telling him to sit up, and it was getting dark in the flat, and it was seven o'clock, how could it be seven o'clock? Sherlock was striding around his bedroom manically, he must have been using god knows how many-

"You know you were a four patch problem, "said Sherlock, "but I've worked it out, I can see what we have to do now."

"I don't-"

"Just shut up and listen." Sherlock was obviously back to normal, even if he wasn't. "Now, can you follow a logical train of thought or are you so emotionally drained that your mind's turned to toast?"

It hurt to think, but: "I'll listen, Sherlock, just don't go too fast." He closed his eyes, focusing on the clear voice breaking into his pain-wearied mind.

"When you strip away the irrelevant details," Sherlock began, "your practical situation is quite simple. You're a virgin and you don't want to be. Unfortunately, you have an unusual aversion to meaningless sex, and a quite perverse attachment to romance. But you're unable to pursue anyone romantically because you're scared they'll laugh at your inexperience. Is that correct?"

"And I'm gay."

"That merely alters the odds of finding someone, not the underlying principles. So am I right? Is my description of your problem accurate?"

Sherlock was a bastard even when he was trying to help. "Yes, John said. "Pathetic, isn't it?"

"Stick to facts, not emotions. There are therefore two obvious options. The first is to overcome your aversion to sex without love, the second is to find someone you do love so you can have sex with them. The first is obviously the better option. Combining sex and love is like mixing oil and water."

"You really mean that, don't you?"

"I know that. Do you remember your first orgasm? No, I'm theorising ahead of my data. Have you ever masturbated?"

"Of course, what kind of weirdo do you think-" John broke off. "Yes, I have."

"And do you remember the physical sensation of the first time? Not what you imagined, but what your body felt?"

"I don't know how to describe it."

"I sometimes wonder if the army gave you a vocabulary bypass. Then let me tell you what it was like when I first properly masturbated. It was like putting my hand on an electric fence. Only stickier, of course. I hadn't known my body could be so thrilling since I realised I could dislocate and relocate my own thumb. Is it like that for you, John, that kind of physical sensation?"


"Good, there's a healthy animal lurking somewhere inside that confused body of yours."


"John, we are animals and that is why we want to fuck, because it feels so good. Our genes' way of fooling us into serving their ends. Of course, humans are clever enough animals to work out how to get the same mind-blowing sensation without anyone else around."

John was sure he was hallucinating now. Well, someone was hallucinating.  "What has this to do with anything?"

"I'm explaining to you about sex."

"I'm a doctor, remember."

"Yes, which means you're just clever enough to confuse yourself completely. Listen to me, because I can explain what you need to know. After I learnt to masturbate, I became obsessed with the sensation. Sneaking away for more of it whenever I could. Do you know about the addiction experiments they did with rats?"


"They had rats in a box who they taught to press a lever to get food. And another lever, wired up so it'd give a shock right into the pleasure centre of the rat's brain. Do you know what happened to those rats, John?"

He'd heard about those sort of experiments, but his mind was so slow now it was like wading through treacle. Sherlock couldn't wait.

"Some of the rats worked out how to press that second lever, the one that gave them that brain rush. And then they kept on pushing it again and again. They didn't stop for food or drink, they just kept on pushing that magic lever, till they collapsed, till they died."

"I don't see-" John began.

"I was becoming that rat, John, I'm an animal too, we're all animals really, we just try and forget it. But then one day I tamed the animal." John was trying to work out if this was a metaphor or not, but Sherlock had already started up again.

"I went up to my room one day, to masturbate, and I suddenly realised: this is boring! Why I am trying to find oblivion when it's not what my brain really wants? And so I sat there, and I picked up a book, a book on psychology I had, and suddenly I wasn't shutting down my brain anymore, I was opening it up. And it was a better rush than I'd ever had from playing myself. I didn't have to be just an animal now, I was more than an animal. And-"

"- and you lived happily and chastely ever after." said John bitterly. "I'm sorry, but if reading textbooks was the solution, I'd have been cured long ago."

"No, you've misunderstood me, It's not me who's the virgin here. O God, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it to come out that way." Sherlock had never apologised to John before. He didn't know what to say, but Sherlock was getting going again.

"I didn't give up sex, I just wasn't controlled by my need for it any more. You can choose to eat even if you're not starving." Only Sherlock could make that sound vaguely perverted. "And I wanted to, to see what it was like when someone else was involved. Two animals together. So when I had my first real chance, at university, I experimented. It wasn't the same, of course. It's not as pure a pleasure when you're with someone else, as when you're alone, it's more complex and diffuse, isn't it? Well, I suppose you wouldn't know."

What was that old joke, thought John. Masturbation is having sex with someone you really love. Probably true for Sherlock. But it seemed unfair that he had to be the one to keep this conversation on track.

"I thought we were discussing my sex life," he said, "not yours. My non-sex life."

"The point is, John, that at university I worked out what the real problem with sex was. Love."

"You found people having sex without love at university? That's not that unusual, Sherlock."

"No, I saw people lying about love to get sex. I saw people offering sex to try and get love. I saw people overlaying a simple normal animal desire to fuck someone with manipulation and deceit and lies. And I was one of them. I learned every way to use fucking people to fuck with their minds for fun."

"Women? Men?"

"Both. Why would I have wanted to limit myself to manipulating only half the student population? But I went too far, of course."

"That figures."

"Someone I was playing games with didn't realise it was just a game. So he ended up taking an overdose."

"O God, Sherlock."

"It was worse than that." There was a different note in Sherlock's voice now, one that John recognised: self-contempt. "He didn't die, he was just brain-damaged. I went to see him in the hospital, I thought that was what people did. And I heard him try to talk, and my skin was crawling, and I ran out of there."

"If I'd known that, I would never have-" John began.

"No, it's not trauma, I don't know I can feel something like that, it's not in me. But I didn't, I don't want to be an active force for evil. I know I'm cruel sometimes, but I try to remember not to be."

Sherlock had fallen silent now, and at last John looked up. Sherlock's long body was draped against the wall, staring at him, waiting...A wave of irritation swept through John. 

"Oh, stop being so bloody melodramatic!"

Sherlock grinned: "And there I was thinking for a moment you might be romantic enough, stupid enough to wish you'd been at college with me. Doesn't staying a virgin at uni start to sound quite sensible now? You're not like that really are you, John? Not a big enough idiot to think it worth dying for me?"

The pause lengthened. At last, Sherlock said: "What I meant is, deliberately killing yourself, not accidentally taking a bullet or a bomb for me. I know you're stupid enough to do that."

"If you just want to lounge around in my bedroom and insult me," said John, "do you think you could please wait until I'm feeling a bit better?"

"I had to explain to you about love, John, show you the twisted horrors inside romance."

"Have you ever considered that getting your views of romance from crime scenes is probably a bit distorting?"

"Molly's not dead."

"Well, she's probably not a virgin either!"

"The observable signs indicate-"

"No, Sherlock, no!" John shouted. "We're not talking about Molly. We're talking...about the fact that humans aren't just animals. If you can't stand romance, at least acknowledge tenderness. That 's real, even you can see that, surely."

"You can have tenderness after sex, but not during it, not if you're doing it right. And even the tenderness afterwards, it's just trying to be kind to the animal you've been fucking, the animal who's been fucking you." Sherlock paused. "I'm not convincing you, am I?"

 John shook his head.

"You are a stubborn man, John Watson. Well, if you can't separate sex and feelings, and it seems you can't – do you know how much simpler a sociopath's sex live is than the average? – then we have to find someone you can be tender to. Who can be tender to you. After you've fucked, obviously."

"There isn't anyone."

"There must be somewhere. I've tracked down a single man in the whole of Britain before now for a murder. Even allowing for your orientation and your conservative tastes, there must be a pool of several thousand I can find for you. I mean, you can find for yourself with my assistance."

"There's a third option." said John. "We carry on as before. Because you'll have to drive me away, I'm not going voluntarily."

"Do you know how long it is till the expected end of the universe?"

"No, but I'm sure you're going to tell me."

"More than a hundred trillion years. And it'll probably still happen before I can feel for you what you want me to."

"It's fine." said John.

"Of course it's not. I don't mind you loving me, because for some peculiar reason it doesn't turn your brain to romantic mush. But you needing me, and driving yourself to destruction because of that, that's different. You can't cage the animal forever."

"I've done bloody well for 37 years. I can manage a few more."

"If you were doing that well, we wouldn't be having this conversation. So it has to be me finding you another animal, or, God help me, your own true love."

"No." John glared at Sherlock. He couldn't out-talk him, he couldn't outstare him, but he could, under certain circumstances, outlast him.

Sherlock smiled confidently. "Fortunately, for either option, the first step is the same. You fuck me."

That means it has to be my hallucination, not Sherlock's, thought John.

"You haven't asked why." Sherlock added eventually.

"I'm waiting for you to start turning into Lestrade," said John, "or possibly a cactus."

"Can't you see the logic of it? Isn't it obvious? Well, maybe it's only so to an outside observer. You have some major hang-ups about sex, obviously connected to your virginity. You lose that, and you either discover you enjoy mindless sex, or at least you have some experience to bring to any future relationship. And of course, an anecdote or two to tell about how your last partner was a manipulative bastard, and that's always a handy icebreaker on a date."

"Sherlock, I-"

"I don't know if you've got the nervous energy left to have sex, but you certainly don't have enough to argue with me and then have sex. So stand up and face me now, because I'm going to start taking my clothes off."

"Why does it have to be me doing something to you?" said John, as he pushed himself slightly giddily onto the floor.

"I don't have time to explain the details now, it'd take all night, and I need to sort out Tom Abernetty as well."


"The case I'm supposed to be solving, rather than this. Well, I guess I can manage both."

How could someone sound so arrogant while clad only in a pair of blue silk boxer shorts, thought John. Which...didn't leave a lot to the imagination about Sherlock's own state.

"You could...fuck me," he said slowly. "You'd know what you were doing, for a start. And who knows, you might even enjoy it."

Sherlock had realised now that John was staring at his erection. There was an expression in his pale eyes that John had never seen before, and when he spoke, for the first time he sounded older than John.

"John. My dear, sweet John. If my body reacted like this to you, we could work something out between us, whatever my feelings. Two happy animals together. But it's finding the solution that turns me on, it's not you, John, it's nothing to do with you."


John realised after a minute or so that he wasn't actually dead. He hadn't just trodden on an IED, he was still standing in his bedroom. And Sherlock was undoing the buttons on John's shirt...

"The resilience of your nervous system never ceases to amaze me. You are apparently still up for this, so we need to do it now. Take your trousers and pants off and then come to my room." Sherlock turned and strode out.

 I can follow Sherlock and have sex, John thought, I can follow Sherlock and argue, or I can stay here and do neither. He started to strip.

As John came into the bedroom, Sherlock looked up from where he was rummaging in a drawer and threw something small at him. John missed the catch, his reflexes were still shot to hell, and gingerly retrieved the object from the floor.

"Given some of your hang-ups, you'll probably feel safer with protection." Sherlock paused and asked cautiously, "Do you know how to put it on?"

"We had pretty explicit sex education lessons at school", said John. "They included putting condoms on bananas."

"Well, it's the same principle, it's just now you get to see it from the banana's point of view. Take it slowly." Sherlock added, as John fumbled with the packet. John managed it at last and looked up. Sherlock was now kneeling naked on the bed, arranging pillows.

"Lube's on the bedside table, you'll need lots of it. Doggy style seems most appropriate somehow. You know the basic anatomy, so it's just a case of getting the angles and the coefficients of friction right. Come over here and I'll tell you what to do next."


"Your left leg over a fraction more, you have more leverage, and you're less likely to get cramp," said Sherlock. "At this point I should probably start whispering lewd things to encourage you, but that's the part I find really tedious, so you'll just have to imagine your own personal porn soundtrack. OK, now it's time to go."

"I don't know-"

"But the animal does know what to do, listen to it. And you're also a soldier, and so you know there is a time for talking and there is a time for action. Now is the time to advance, and target your enemy's weak spot, and penetrate his defences. My God, that's surprisingly dirty, isn't it? You can do it John, the animal can."

He'd dreamt once, more than once, about Sherlock exclaiming 'That's good, John', as he pushed himself into Sherlock's fabulous rear, but he'd imagined the tone as ecstatic, not the encouraging voice of a teacher to a particularly slow pupil.

"Further in," Sherlock added,  "If I need you to stop I'll tell you, but till then keep going."

It was the most peculiar, staggering sensation, masturbation was nothing like this, it didn't embrace his cock like this, envelop it. And then Sherlock twitched his hips...and the animal inside John was free. And yes, he, it did know how to move in rhythm  with Sherlock, and where to push, and his hands were pulling at Sherlock's pale shoulders, the rat had found the lever now, hadn't it? And then, then, then...

He was collapsed on Sherlock, in Sherlock, and he wasn't entirely sure that all his limbs were still attached, and he had absolutely no idea what to do next. But fortunately Sherlock was telling him, and he was sprawled in a soggy heap at the side of the bed now, and he ought to do something in return for Sherlock, but Sherlock had slipped off the bed and had already somehow managed to get his trousers on. And was obviously about to start giving him more orders, this bit at least was just like the army. He struggled to roll over.

"Lie still! Your body is probably confused and your mind certainly is, and if you try and push yourself any further you'll collapse."

"Shower," John croaked.

"Leave it till tomorrow, I'm sure you've slept in filthier places. Don't argue, you are now officially an ex-virgin, so good night and sleep well." The lights went out and Sherlock closed the bedroom door. And John lay there in the darkness and did not even try to think, because, yes, thinking could be over-rated.

Part 3 at http://marysutherland.livejournal.com/2191.html


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 3rd, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
This is unbelievably hot and it is written so well!! Seriously excited for the next part.
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
omfg.. Sherlock is so Goddammit Sherlock!!
explaining sex to john.. just like a simple equation..
Nov. 19th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
This is so clever, from Sherlock's didactic seduction(?) technique to the "Darwinian Seduction Techniques" tag.

*runs off to next part*
Nov. 21st, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
"I'm waiting for you to start turning into Lestrade," said John, "or possibly a cactus."

I lol'd. Hard. Thanks for givin me a laugh!
Aug. 6th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oh my!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )