Title: Everyone Has One
Warning: Knife kink
Word Count: ~2100
A/N: Originally written for this prompt at the kink meme. 'Twas a fill quick and dirty, so I've reworked it considerably to clarify some POV issues and give John a little context. And redo the clothes bit. And fix some other stuff.
PSA: I know not everyone digs light text on a dark background. Click here to read the entry in your own LJ format.
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John supposes that no sight should surprise him upon entering their flat anymore, but this one does.
Sherlock is flounced lazily on the sofa, staring at the ceiling, lost in thought.
That’s not surprising. What’s surprising is what he's doing. Which is running a knife, a gorgeous, gleaming knife, up and down the inside of his forearm, back and forth, like he's absent-mindedly spreading butter on his own arm.
What’s also surprising is that John's body reacts with stunning immediacy, blood rushing south, out of his head and straight into his groin. Time stops as he stands there, his eyes riveted to the shining silver moving back and forth over the pale skin of Sherlock's arm.
On any given day, knives do not have this effect on John. He spreads jam on his toast or slices a sandwich in half or carves a turkey without giving the first thought to the utensil in his hand.
But in terms of circumstances beyond the utilitarian, there’s always been something in the back of his mind. A question. A curiosity. One he had never acted upon.
From time to time, in the past, he’d participated in some garden-variety bedroom experiments. A sleeping mask over the eyes here, a scarf-wrapped wrist tied to a bedpost there. A third partner, once. A few silly games, enjoyed for a few amusing hours. They didn’t affect him in any meaningful way.
But a knife. A close, intimate, dangerous instrument that could kill in less than a minute. It’s an enigmatic predilection he’s never attempted to define; rather, it's something he always ignores without consideration, dismissing it with all the other fleeting fantasies that wander in and out of anyone’s brain.
And it's become quite clear that he can’t ignore it anymore.
His eyes are so focused on the knife that at first he doesn't realize Sherlock has turned his head to look at him. When this fact registers, John coughs and stumbles behind the armchair in an effort to hide the evidence of his arousal, but feels ridiculous even as he does so. The motivation for the move is so obvious as to be embarrassing. He prays Sherlock lets him get away with it.
"So that's it," Sherlock says. He sits up, clearly intrigued.
"What's... what's it?" John answers lamely. So much for a silent mutual agreement of non-acknowledgment. He senses this situation is about to careen away from him, but he’s still trying to get it sorted in his head. He can’t catch his breath.
"Your... proclivity." Sherlock draws out the word with a wickedly amused inflection. "Usually I have it figured much sooner after I meet someone, personalities tend to be dreadfully transparent where such things are concerned, but yours had been baffling me. Buried it a bit too well, have you?"
John knows exactly what Sherlock means, but he pretends he's confused, though he knows pretense in Sherlock's presence is utterly futile. He pretends he's confused anyway, just as he is pretending he's behind this chair for some reason other than because he is hard. He needs to stall for time. "What are you talking about?"
"Your kink, John. Everyone has one, at least. Usually more than one." Sherlock rises and moves slowly, around the table instead of over it, the knife dangling casually from his hand. "A nasty little secret desire, some dangerous or perhaps quite commonplace activity that shouldn't turn you on, but does. I've discovered yours by accident, true, but all the same, I knew you had one." Clear of the table, he stops, ten feet from where John is making every effort to vanish into the floor.
John stares at him for a second, then flounders. "No." A fake, half-hearted scoff. "I mean, it's not... I don't..."
"Then come here," Sherlock commands, but gently, quietly. Encouragingly, perhaps.
John's not sure he can make his muscles do what he wants, and he's not sure he knows what he wants them to do. He tries his only out, a weak, barely audible "No."
"Oh, lord." An inevitable eyeroll occurs. "John, we both know why you're standing behind the chair. I told you, everyone has one. Stop trying to hide from yours." Sherlock pauses, a long beat. "Come here."
John tries to think, tries to evaluate this unprecedented situation, tries make the right choice, but finds himself unable to process rational thought. He wonders whether he should be concerned that he's lost the ability so quickly as he takes a deep breath and walks toward the spot where Sherlock is standing.
Even against the thick fabric of his jeans, his erection is obvious. He casts his eyes about the flat, trying to look anywhere but at the man in front of him, and can feel the blush rising in his neck, always his neck.
Sherlock holds the knife up horizontally in front of John’s face, the handle resting in the open palm of one hand, the point held between the thumb and forefinger of the other. The handle is carved, in what looks like ivory or bone, and the blade has an unusually rounded shape. John has a fleeting, ridiculous thought about mildly obscene curvature, but Sherlock's voice brings him back.
"This is an old hunting knife, Japanese, a gift from a client some years ago. Japanese knife blades are very thin, and therefore very, very sharp. Shall I show you what it can do?"
Sherlock smoothly adjusts the positioning so he’s holding the knife properly, and proceeds to slide the blade back and forth across his thumb, at first without effect. Then, with the smallest change in angle and amount of pressure, he breaks the skin and draws a thin line of blood. He lets John stare at it for a long moment before bringing the thumb to his mouth, drawing it between his lips, sucking slightly.
John follows the thumb carefully up to Sherlock’s mouth, and he knows he’s lost any ability to put a stop to this. He’s relieved he can’t stop it. He doesn’t want to stop it.
Sherlock pulls his thumb out of his mouth with a faint pop. John lets out his breath in a rush, his eyes glued to the wet line of the already healing cut, and the detective smiles.
"Interesting. Okay, then. Hold still.”
John concentrates on that instruction with every cell in his body as Sherlock raises the knife and gently presses the flat side of the blade to John's cheek.
"Cold, isn't it? Cold, but quite beautiful." Sherlock slowly skates the edge of the blade over John's neck and throat, barely making contact, then pauses to again lay it flat, but this time against John's carotid artery.
In his ears, John can hear his pulse, knows it is pounding against the blade. He's certain Sherlock can actually see it rise and fall with each beat of his heart.
The simple fact is, he burns for this.
After a few moments, Sherlock lets the knife slide down and across John’s collarbone. He changes its orientation and slides it sideways across John's upper chest, until half the blade is hidden underneath the fabric of John’s oxford, then saws down, through the threads of the first button.
John’s eyes fall closed. One by one, John feels the buttons pop off, hears them clatter faintly against the floor. He holds his breath as each section of fabric is released, concentrating on keeping as still as possible. He's pretty sure that with one involuntary thrust of his hips, he'd spill himself, and he doesn't want this to be over, not yet.
With the oxford now hanging fully open, Sherlock trails the knife back up John’s stomach and chest, letting the point drag along the white t-shirt, all the way up.
“Lean your head back,” he says quietly, and so John does, giving Sherlock access to slide the blade inside the neckline. Sherlock uses it to pull the shirt away from John’s body until there is enough tension to slice through the reinforced fabric at the neck, then slides the knife down through the rest of the shirt. The fabric yields to the blade so easily, John strains to hear it rip over the blood still pounding in his head.
Sherlock takes a moment to lay the flat of the blade against the flesh of John's belly; his stomach muscles twitch in response to the cold pressure. Then Sherlock moves around to John's back and pauses directly behind him, pulling at the sleeves and working both shirts down the doctor’s shoulders and off his body.
John inhales sharply when he feels the sharp edge of the blade press directly into his lower back, then draw up the skin covering his spine, with pressure just light enough to not break through.
It's too much. It's not enough.
Standing in front of John once again, Sherlock brings the knife to his mouth and grips the dull edge of the blade with his teeth, freeing his hands to make short work of the fastening of John's jeans. He catches John's eyes as he lowers the zipper, grinning behind the knife, then kneels to grasp the material at John’s hips and pull everything down to his ankles.
As Sherlock rises, John is suddenly struck by the fact that although Sherlock has almost totally undressed him, he has done so without ever actually touching John’s skin. The only contact has been through cold, sharp steel.
Sherlock reaches for the handle of the knife and lets it out of his teeth. He brings it forward and moves it back and forth across John's chest, mimicking the motion he was making across his own arm when John first caught sight of it. The blade scrapes gently over the doctor's sternum, pulling at the skin. John struggles to remain motionless, certain that if he even inhales too quickly, the knife would sink quite easily into his flesh.
After what seems like hours, during which Sherlock has made sure every inch of John's upper chest has been covered by the blade, Sherlock finally begins dragging it down, over John's ribcage, toward his stomach.
John lowers his chin to watch, and Sherlock stops.
"No, John. Look at me. Don't look down, look right at me."
John complies, and Sherlock continues the knife's path, holding John's eyes with his own. In some dimly lit part of his brain, John realizes that if Sherlock isn't watching the knife either, that means he’s controlling the amount of pressure entirely by feel. Which should be terrifying.
But John doesn’t care. He can’t tear his own eyes from this man’s for anything else that might happen to him.
When the blade reaches the sensitive line of skin between John's stomach and thigh, though, it's almost over. John sucks in air through his teeth and before he realizes what’s happening, his knees actually buckle for an instant. He reaches involuntarily for Sherlock's free arm, which comes up to steady him, and the feeling of Sherlock’s hand on his skin almost causes him to lose his balance all over again.
John’s eyes, however, do not waver, do not even blink. He knows they must be pleading now, quite shamelessly. It’s the only avenue of communication left to him.
Sherlock holds his gaze, a safety net. "Stay with me," the detective says, his voice barely above a whisper. “We’re almost there.”
Without breaking eye contact, Sherlock wipes the flat of the blade across the tip of John's cock, smearing pre-ejaculate across the steel. He maintains his grip on John's arm as he slides the flat side back and forth along the shaft, once, twice, a third time, and then finally, finally, pulls the sharp edge of the blade up the underside, scraping the hard flesh with the barest hint of pressure.
And with that, John is finished. Staring mindlessly up into the gray depths of Sherlock’s eyes, he explodes and dissolves all at once. His eyes roll up in his head and he closes them against the swirling onslaught of sensation, forgetting to be afraid that he might jerk against the knife in a very bad way, blindly trusting that Sherlock would manage to ensure that didn’t happen.
After a time, John becomes aware that he hasn't been breathing. He gasps for air, still leaning into Sherlock's grip, willing himself not to pass out just yet.
"John." Sherlock's voice is still soft, but strong. "John, you can look now. Look."
John blinks his eyes open, then lowers his gaze to the knife. The blade is dripping with him. He stares at it, fascinated, then finally looks back up at Sherlock.
"I knew you had one," Sherlock breathes.
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