rose, greyscale

And I hear it calling me

My Melody in Time

[sticky post]Masterpost: The Library
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Welcome to the Library Index, the masterpost for the fics I've written and, to some extent, the place holder for ones I have yet to write and publish. If you have a burning desire for some of the potential in progress fics to be moved up the priority order, please feel free to message me or comment to let me know.

I feel I should also mention, I SUCK at summaries. If anyone who has read feels they can offer a better précises for one of the below, please feel free to do so.

Alternatively, feel free to browse all my stories on AO3.

Still Waters (Run Deep)

Part I: Rarest of the Rare
Everyone has secrets, Gregory Lestrade just happens to have more than most. The realisation that maybe, just maybe, he had somewhere over the years developed something of a fascination with his very Dominant, very Alpha, friend was, at the end of the day just one more. After all, it's not like anything would come of it. There was no way that Mycroft Holmes would ever be interested in him.

Description: Omegaverse, BDSM
Rating: NC-17/Explicit
Pairings: Sherlock/John, Mycroft/Lestrade
Updates: Complete

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Part II: Though I Walk through the Valley
There are worse ways a one night stand could end than with "friends, just friends". Being thrown out after a screaming row, being told to leave the country and never come back, being arrested, being murdered, being assassinated by a foreign government, being assassinated by your own slightly panicked Government... All in all, friends, just friends was probably a pretty good result.

So why did Greg almost wish any of the others had happened, and how on earth was he going to get Mycroft to talk to him? As friends, of course.

Just friends...

Description: Omegaverse, BDSM
Rating: NC-17/Explicit
Pairings: Sherlock/John, Mycroft/Lestrade
Updates: Complete

Chapters: Prologue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38

Part III: Rolling in the Deep
You had my heart inside of your hand, and you played it, to the beat

Description: Omegaverse, BDSM
Rating: NC-17/Explicit
Pairings: Sherlock/John, Mycroft/Lestrade
Updates: Weekly

Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Part IV: TBA

Encyclopaedia of Life: Behind Still Waters
All the extras, pictures and world building for Still Waters (Run Deep)


Untitled Series (TBA)

Part I: Mycroft
It all started when Mycroft was six years old. Except that isn’t quite true, and it would be more accurate to say that at six years old Mycroft Fortinbrass Holmes became aware of two very important and life changing facts.

Description: Psychic AU
Rating: Unrated
Pairings: None
Updates: Not yet posted

The Resistance at the End of the World (Working Title)
The Resistance was not going well, enough so that if they ever sat down and faced facts, they should really be calling it the Rebellion or the Revolution. This was not a fact that Doctor John Watson, former surgeon, current Captain in the Northumberland Division of the Resistance, needed brought home to him, but when his base is overrun and he's taken prisoner expecting to die, he never expected instead to find Hope.

Description: Alien invasion, genderbent
Rating: Unrated
Pairings: Fem!Sherlock/John
Updates: Not yet posted

Rolling in the Deep (15/?)
rose, greyscale
Rolling in the Deep

Title: Rolling in the Deep
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep) (Part III of IV)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they aren't. Nor am I creative enough to have written the song that gave this instalment its title. That belongs to Adele, and whomever else had IP rights along side her.

Author's Notes:
Hello all. Still no update on when there will be betaed chapters, but as with the previous update I'm going to post the un-betaed version and once theartofprose has some time we can fix it and provide the betaed version for you.

Thanks to everyone who has kept reading despite that massive delay in updating. Believe it or not, story wise we're still on the same day as the previous three chapters.... Hard to accept given it's taken well over two months for us to traverse the same time period. Thanks for sticking around and hopefully things can be more speedily updated.

Warnings: very slight early onset depression?

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20
For the second time that day Greg found himself sneaking quietly into his own house. Even just that thought, that realisation, drove home to him how exhausting a day it had been, and he had to take a second to lean against the door and breathe.

He was drained. The emotional roller coaster: the case, Mummy, the fight, Sherlock, God, Sherlock… Greg had never expected a pleasant backstory to the Holmes family, but by now they were so far past the benign neglect he’d theorised on years ago it wasn’t even funny. Having the family pet shot in front of your son… Jesus…

Every time he heard more his view of the wider Holmes family got progressively worse. Mummy had gone from being a flighty Omega to controlling step-mother to bitch from hell. Siger, well, he’d already been pegged as an abusive bastard. Now Greg didn’t doubt he’d be getting a report about vandals, or a very short and determined vandal, breaking into a cemetery and desecrating a very particular grave.

If Sherlock was ever dumb enough to tell John where it was, that is. He might not even know. It was the kind of thing Greg would have happily deleted if he’d been Sherlock.

The depth of the potential was what scared Greg the most. There was nothing in what Sherlock had said that outright would be abuse against either Holmes child (though he’d certainly have made a go of it with social services if it had been one of his cases), but an Alpha who would do that… Mummy, who even now sliced Mycroft to ribbons with just a few well-placed words… The potential carried its own pain.

Never ever would Mummy have anything to do with Ben. He would never go to visit, never go to parties, never meet her because she was poison and she would not have the chance to harm him. Ben would be theirs and be happy and if he needed a shrink when he grew up it would not be because his parents had abused and abandoned him his whole life, emotionally or otherwise.

John clearly still saw Siger as the greater evil, the revenant hovering over his son’s lives. He hadn’t met Her, hadn’t been in the same room as Her and felt her toxicity soak ever outwards, infecting everything as it went. Greg had and he was no longer sure it was a Spector causing the troubles at the feast. Not a dead one, anyway.

Ben would have a good life, Greg vowed. He’d take a stand, make them talk and Ben would have the childhood neither of his parents had had. He had no illusions it would be easy, but even if it meant a few fights now it would be better than later when Ben would remember them. Soon, they’d do it soon, and Mummy was only one of the topics they had to cover.

Greg exhaled in a heavy, elongated sigh. Apparently he was still upset. Under all the emotional havoc, he was still smarting at the rejection. Not Mycroft’s Sub, he repeated in his mind, not his Sub. He’d allowed himself to forget again. With the way Mycroft was being so attentive it was hard to remember that from his end all he was offering was friendship and sexual fidelity, and even that was based more off convenience and a lack of desire to look elsewhere than anything softer.
He’d have to go back to reminding himself. Mycroft cared, but not like him. More than he’d let Mummy know, Greg hoped anyway, but nowhere near as much as Greg himself.

Friendship and sex and a life and a son.

Greg pushed off the door and started wearily up the stairs. He’d have to reiterate to Mycroft that he understood the terms and that wasn’t where his issues lay.
Running a hand through his hair, Greg indulged in another long sigh and scrubbed at his scalp. He’d check on Ben first, then bed.

The door to the nursery was open, the pale glow of the bedside, or rather cot-side, lamp just visible as a long golden sliver on the floor. Mycroft must still be up with Ben despite the time.

Well-oiled hinges swung open without a creak at Greg’s touch. The side lamp was indeed still on, as was the CD player, its electronic screen showing the number of tracks on the CD, waiting for someone to press play again. Ben was with Mycroft, both of them sound asleep in the ancient rocking chair.

It was an unbelievable scene for anyone only acquainted with the Mycroft Holmes the rest of the world knew. Asleep his face had relaxed, most of the tension sliding off though he still carried stress in the faint lines around his mouth and eyes. The light highlighted the auburn glow in Mycroft’s hair and the warmth in his otherwise severe charcoal waistcoat and trousers. His jacket was hung neatly over the back of the chair, exchanged for the blue blanket that he’d wrapped around Ben, who lay nestled in his arm, tucked up against his chest.

Greg smiled and turned off the CD player.

“All right little man,” he whispered, easing Ben from Mycroft’s grip. “Let’s get you tucked into bed, shall we?”

Extracting Ben without waking him was a challenge, one that required frequent pauses as Ben’s sweet little face screwed up in a not so sweet scowl, but eventually Greg managed to work him free without waking either of them.

“Okay, beddy-byes time.” Greg cuddled Ben close and surreptitiously checked his nappy to make sure it didn’t require changing before he put him down.

It was dry, so with one last kiss to the dark wispy strands Greg lowered him into the crib and pulled the cover up. Then he turned his attention to the other Holmes.

Mycroft looked adorable, asleep in the rocking chair and still clutching Ben’s rabbit tight. He had in fact rearranged the animal slightly in his sleep, cradling it the way he’d held Ben. More than adorable, he looked soft and approachable, open, loving, and Greg had to force himself to repeat the words he’d drilled into his head downstairs. Not his Sub, not his Sub.

Unable to resist the impulse he snapped a photo with his beyond ancient phone and ignored the lump in his throat.

He could just leave Mycroft there, cover him up with a blanket and let him wake on his own, but Greg drove a desk as well and he knew that angle was murder on the neck when you woke, no matter how comfortable you were when you fell asleep.

“My,” he whispered, crouching in front of him. “Wake up, My.”

Mycroft grumbled sleepily and clutched the stuffed rabbit closer, settling back to sleep with a sigh.

“Hey now, none of that.” Greg scolded, fighting to keep a light tone. “Come on, that’s Ben’s.”

Had Mycroft ever had a stuffed toy as a child? The Alpha heir presumptive, was that something he’d been allowed or a crutch and sign of weakness taken away too soon? More mysteries, and all of them made Greg’s chest hurt.

“You’ll thank me in the morning.” He started tentatively rubbing Mycroft’s knee, trying to bring him to wakefulness.

Mycroft so usually came awake all at once it was always a treat to see him doe eyed and struggling back to awareness. This was the third time Greg had seen him like this. It made him feel special, and that was dangerous.

“ ’egory?” Mycroft mumbled, eyes mere slivers “Came b’ck.”

“Course I came back.” Greg stood and held out a hand to help My up, trying to ignore the way his heart ached at the simple statement.

“Mmm.” Mycroft hummed, accepting the help and shuffling forward to lay his head on Greg’s shoulder. “Home.”

“Yeah,” Greg agreed, letting an arm slip around My’s waist, “I’m home. Just needed some space to let the anger burn off, that’s all. Didn’t want to scare Ben.”

Mycroft nodded into his shoulder, and Greg guiltily let his eyes fall closed as he enjoyed the embrace. God at times Mycroft made it so easy to forget.

“There’s nothing wrong with him.” Mycroft said suddenly into the silence. “You know that right? No matter what she says, there’s nothing wrong with him.”

The hand that wasn’t holding the velveteen bunny fisted instantly in Greg’s shirt front, desperate to prove to Greg that their son wasn’t some kind of half-breed freak. As if Greg needed any convincing. It helped though, the earnest look in Mycroft’s eyes as he pulled back far enough to see Greg, the urgent tone in his voice. It was a weight off Greg’s shoulders he hadn’t known he’d been carrying and he drew Mycroft forward again, kissing his temple.

“I know.” He whispered into the dark strands. “He’s perfect.”

He nuzzled Mycroft’s hair and took a step back, loosening his grip.

“He’s also asleep. Come on, before we wake him and he refuses to go back down.” Greg couldn’t resist one last look into the cot as he passed to turn off the light, Ben still sleeping peacefully. “Nighty night Benny boy.”

“You’re upset.” Mycroft said quietly, toes digging into the carpet where he stood.

Greg managed not to snort and repeated his mantra in his head just to make sure he remembered it as he picked up the monitor. He waved Mycroft out of the room, choosing not to comment that Mycroft hadn’t left the rabbit behind and was now squeezing it in two hands as a substitute umbrella.

“Yeah, I’m upset.” He agreed once they were in the hallway. “I’m angry: angry at you, angry at your harpy step-mum, at your Sire. Just because I’m too exhausted to feel it doesn’t mean I’m not still pissed off.”

“Mummy…” Mycroft hesitate, choosing the right words. “…is very strongly opinionated. She will-”

“Don’t say change her mind.” Greg warned. “A bit of advice for the future: do not defend her to me, and she will never change her mind. Not unless she gets a better deal out of it.”

“You don’t know-”

“I know people like her.” Greg shook his head. “She will only ‘change her mind’ about me if it’s to her advantage.”

Mycroft’s lips pursed, but he didn’t dispute it.

“Come on,” Greg held out a hand to Mycroft. “We need to talk, but I’ve had one hell of an emotional ride today between Mummy and Sherlock, and it can wait until morning. Sherlock’s not the only one pushed too far today, I think.”

Mycroft frowned at him, no less demanding because there were no words.

“We asked what the deal was with Mummy and how that worked, John and I.” Greg pulled his hand back and tucked it in his jeans. “He said a lot more than either of us were expecting, and it wasn’t all necessarily relevant , so I think it was more once he started stopping wasn’t on the cards. Probably needed to get it out or something, but on top of all the fertility issues and Moriarty being back I think it pushed him a bit too far. John too.”

“Moriarty?” Mycroft pulled his lips into a long, thin line.

“Responsible for the body I’ve spent the last week investigating, yeah.” Greg dug his fingers deeper into his pockets. “Apparently.”

He was tired. He didn’t want to have to stand there and discuss Moriarty, not then, not there. He’d have preferred never having to let the psychopath into the life he and Mycroft occupied together at all, but that wouldn’t happen. If Moriarty was back some way or another Mycroft would end up involved.

No, what Greg wanted was bed and sleep, so that he could close his eyes and pretend, if only for a little while, that when he woke up all this would have gone away, a figment of his imagination. Failing that, he’d settle for time to let his head wrap around everything he’d been forced to feel in heady succession, maybe work at how he actually felt about some of it. That was a novel idea.

“Sherlock knows this?” Mycroft’s frown deepened.

Greg snorted. Mycroft tilted his head, acknowledging the superfluous nature of the question.

Absently Mycroft turned the rabbit, long fingers occupying themselves while his genius mind worked. He’d lost the softness he’d worn waking up, and Greg wasn’t actually sure whether he was dealing with Mycroft or the British Government, it could so easily be either.

“Bed.” Mycroft held out a hand.

Greg blinked at him in surprise.

“You said you were tired.” Mycroft reminded him crisply.

The Government then, Greg decided. Mycroft was wondering through his mind working, leaving enough awareness behind to run his body on autopilot. He’d have preferred Mycroft, not his My, by far. The fact that at one mention of Moriarty’s name the Omega had mentally run off left him feeling small and abandoned, probably close to how John had felt through most of the day.

His hurt must have shown quite clearly on his face, because Mycroft’s expression softened, some more of him coming back into the figure in front.

“Come on, Gregory. You were trying to get me there earlier.”

“You were asleep,” Greg pointed out. “Will you be joining me?”

Mycroft hesitated.

“I should start looking into-”

Greg tuned it out. Mycroft was going to go be the Government and work on the Moriarty issue. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. Hurt, he thought, but mostly he just felt numb. It wasn’t like it mattered. Greg wasn’t even sure why he was getting worked up about it in his mind, though he was. Mycroft frequently worked later than Greg, it wasn’t new.

“Right, fine.” He said, not caring whether or not Mycroft was still speaking. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“I’ll be in in a couple of hours.” Mycroft grabbed Greg’s hand as he went passed and gently squeezed the weather roughened skin.

Platitudes and reassurances, Greg thought. An old married couple already.

Straight on the heels of that thought came ‘I wonder when one of us is going to start having an affair.’

No, he violently rejected the thought, but it made his tone shaper than it otherwise would have been.

“Do as you want, Mycroft.”

He tugged his hand free with just the smallest amount of effort, Mycroft letting it fall, but then that was the difference between them, wasn’t it? The fundamental fact of their relationship: he chased after Mycroft, Mycroft didn’t chase after him.

He turned and headed into the bedroom, waiting until he was far enough away from Mycroft to mutter “You always do anyway” under his breath.

He fell into bed and lay there, staring at the dark shapes and wondering at what point in the day he’d become so bleak. The conference room, his office, the crime scene, here, Baker Street, here; there were so many contenders. Had he felt this way through all of them, hidden by the more violent emotions, or was it cumulative?

He rolled onto his back with a sigh and tucked a hand under his head, staring up at the ceiling he couldn’t see. Maybe he needed to find someone to talk to about it, a professional. Not the stuff with Mycroft, the feelings of inadequacy and abandonment he’d been having since everyone had run out of the Yard that morning.

Had they been going on longer? He didn’t know.

Wasn’t that a sign of depression or something? Only what was the point when he couldn’t say anything important and anything he did say Mycroft could read at will without even a second thought?

No, that wouldn’t work. John, it was going to have to be John, because humiliating as it was to have his friend look at him and know all the black parts of his soul, at least John already knew the bigger picture and would tell Mycroft to go fuck himself before telling him anything, no matter what Mycroft waved in his face.

It would have to be John. Greg already wanted to apologise for shoving more shit on him, but maybe they could get drunk and he could listen to John for a bit as well. Fair exchange. Help each other.

Decision made, he tried to push the rest of his thoughts away so he could sleep. Some of them went easily – all the good ones. The bad ones – his worry about Sherlock and Moriarty, Sherlock and Mycroft’s past, he and Mycroft and being ‘anoldmarriedcoupleisn’tanaffairnexthealreadyhasagorgeousfuckingsecretaryhe’sfuckedbefore’ – he had to wrestle back into the box.

Sherlock would not go after Moriarty. John would stop him. He wouldn’t upset John.

Sherlock and Mycroft’s past was shit. It was also past. They’d deal with it a bit at a time.

He and Mycroft were not going to make things worse between them. There would be no affairs. Friendship, fidelity, family. That was all, but also all of it and frankly more than he’d had in his last marriage.

He slammed the lid closed and tried to convince himself that he was trying to sleep and that he wasn’t timing Mycroft.

It was more than a couple of hours, but he did come to bed.

In the end.


Sorry it's a short one. Next one is longer, I promise.

Previous - Next

Rolling in the Deep (14b/?)
rose, greyscale
Continued from Part I

Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20

“Everything.” Greg insisted before John could speak.

“Just, from the start.” John frowned warningly at Greg, but he refused to look at him. “You’ve never told me your Bearer’s name. Since it’s not Mummy, I mean.”

“No, not her.” Sherlock swallowed. “Dorian. His name was Dorian.”

“Not very French.” Greg automatically commented.

“French?” John blinked.

Sherlock sighed. “If you’re referring to that awful clock, that branch of his family had been in England so long they didn’t even speak French. No, the French comes from Maman’s Sire, not Mémé. You’re more French than Mémé.”

Greg’s mouth pursed. “So you know about that, huh?”

“That’s you’re first generation English? Please, it’s obvious.” Sherlock scoffed.

“Yeah, well Mycroft missed the memo.” Greg looked sour. “Not the point. Keep going. Dorian.”

“Dorian Emanuel Vernet Montpellier, yes.” Sherlock paused again, gathering his thoughts. “I guess the story starts  during Dorian’s year travelling after university. Worked hard, got his degree, off to see the world then back for settling down and a career. Usual story, I suppose. First stop was Italy, where, in what he saw at the time as the intervention of fate or whatnot, he finds himself being dragged out of the midst of a brawl he’d accidently wandered into by a handsome English Alpha, twenty two and halfway through his own Grand Tour.”

“Siger Holmes.” Greg sipped his tea.

“Yes.” Sherlock frowned up at the ceiling in thought. “He must have been different then. Dorian was young and naïve, but he wasn’t an idiot. He’d dated before, he knew the game, but…

“Holiday fling, they decided. After all, Siger only had six months travel left so it wasn’t anything serious. Siger was supposed to finish in Germany, which became Austria, then Turkey, then Greece, but they kept drawing it out.

“I,” Sherlock stopped dead and pressed his lips into a tight line. Patiently, John and Greg waited for him to start again.

“I’ve seen pictures.” Sherlock said in a rush. “Maman would show me pictures and tell me about their adventures, how they feel in love. I can’t recognise him, Siger. He looks different. Not younger. Different.”

“Happy? In love?” John suggested.

“Yes, both. Open. It’s not him as I ever remember. Maman always used to say he’d changed, that it wasn’t his fault. I don’t know, but I can’t believe Dorian would have fallen in love with him as I knew him, so maybe.”

“People do change.” John allowed a little stiffly.

He still wanted to dig up Siger’s grave and burn his bones though.

“Eventually Siger’d stayed almost the whole twelve months of Dorian’s trip and they fancied themselves in love, or Dorian did, whichever, so when he went into Heat towards the end of the trip, Siger stayed for that too.

“They Bonded. Surprised them both, but they were Bonded. Even more unexpectedly as he wasn’t at full sexual maturity yet, Dorian was pregnant.”

“Mycroft.” Greg guessed.

Sherlock nodded. “So twelve months up and deliriously happy, Dorian returns with his Alpha to England, where he discovers Siger is heir to an old and well off title and is already engaged to be married.”

“But they Bonded so…” John confirmed, leaning forward in his chair.

“Bonding isn’t actually a legal status, you know.” Sherlock’s thumb drifted over his collar. “He wasn’t bound; no collar. Not even a bracelet.”

“But they’d Bonded.” John repeated disbelievingly.

“Bonding itself is no guarantee of a happy relationship, John.” Sherlock snapped. “You already know he married her.”

“But they’d Bonded!”

The entire concept was incomprehensible to John. He honestly could not fathom how Siger Holmes could throw over his Bonded Omega for someone else, someone he wasn’t even sexually compatible with.

“And he married her. He would have had to have a sanctioned affair at some point or another to produce a viable heir, so it was hardly unexpected. For him. Dorian… not so much.”

“Jesus…” John slumped back in his chair.

He’d never met Dorian Montpellier, never heard his name mentioned, but he felt for him. To go away on holiday, meet the Alpha you believed would be the love of your life and be thrown over while pregnant for his fiancée

“What did he do?” John asked. “Dorian, your Bearer.”

“He was twenty-one and pregnant, what do you think he did?” Sherlock mumbled into his sleeve. “He cried and moved in with them like he was told to. Got his own room and everything.”

“Jesus…” John swore again at the reminder of just how young Sherlock’s Bearer had been.

“So, your Sire knocked up and Bonded an Omega, married the Bitch-Cow anyway, and had them both live together, in the one house?” Greg summarised, looking dumbfounded.

“It was a very big house.”

“Bloody hell. It could be a mansion and that wouldn’t work. Didn’t Dorian’s family say anything?”

“Like what? He was Bonded, that made him Siger’s property. It was still the sixties.”

“So they didn’t help him at all?” John could feel the little spark of anger flickering inside.

“Yes, they tried, there was just nothing they could do. I believe. I wasn’t exactly there. Certainly my understanding is that at first it wasn’t awful and Dorian didn’t want help.”

“Pregnancy pheromones.” Greg nodded, closing his eyes at the memory. “They do rather override a lot.”

“I’m sure Siger was very attentive during Dorian’s pregnancy. I imagine right up until the wedding Dorian was hoping Siger would call it off, and by then he was right on the cusp of giving birth.”

“Shit, poor kid.” Greg chewed on his lip.

John forced himself to take another sip of his tea before it got too cold. So far everything just seemed so farfetched, but there was no reason Sherlock would make this up. It certainly fit with Sherlock and Mycroft’s behavioural patterns, and if it were true, it was tragically appalling.

“I imagine life deteriorated fast. Mummy would have taken every indignity out on him, and Sherringford is less than a year younger than Mycroft, so there would have been a substantial amount of jostling for position going on.” Sherlock hesitated. “The Montpelliers and the Vernets, they’re not like the Old Families in England. Dorian wouldn’t have grown up with it. The politics.”

“So a lamb thrown to the sharks. Christ. She would have destroyed him.”  Greg’s fingers tightened aggressively around his mug. John could tell he was wishing Mummy was there so he could punch her.

“He lasted two years.” Sherlock agreed.

“Lasted? What do you mean lasted?” John frowned.

“Before he left.”

“He left?” John blinked in shock.

“Good.” Greg smiled viciously. “He and Mycroft -“

“He didn’t take Mycroft.” Sherlock quietly interrupted.

“What?” Greg’s face morphed from feral triumph to sullen anger. “What do you mean he didn’t take him?”

“Exactly that Lestrade.” Sherlock sounded deliberately bored.

It was all John could do not to go over and hug him, but that would end the discussion and from the sound of what they’d heard so far, they needed to hear the rest.

“Mycroft was a baby. What do you mean he left his baby? Greg was back to full-fledged anger, the kind that leaked out in a snarl.

“I mean he had a choice between staying or leaving and he left, and Mycroft was a toddler, not a baby. Almost two.”

“So old enough to know he’d been abandoned.” Greg’s eyes flashed.

Greg, John thought, was biased against the whole idea. A new Dad, the idea of anyone daring to leave their child with people he considered entirely unsuitable for breathing let alone raising a child was as incomprehensible to him as being with someone not your Bonded was to John. John couldn’t imagine it either, but he was used to the idea that desperate people did desperate things. He’d seen the measures Omegas had taken in Afghanistan, throwing their children into compounds or leaving babies at the road side when a patrol was scheduled to pass, hoping that they’d get taken away to England to be looked after.

“Taking him wouldn’t have been an option. Do you really think Mycroft earned his position, Lestrade, that he was promoted into it? He inherited it when Siger died, just like everything else. Oh he’s good at it, the best in generations, but the Family has occupied that position and that office for centuries. It was created for them. How far do you think a penniless twenty three year old would have got, running away with the presumptive Holmes heir?”

Greg shook his head obstinately. “He should have tried.”

“He wouldn’t have made it to international waters.” Sherlock dismissed Greg’s complaint out of hand.
“It must have been hell.” John added quietly.

“Good. It should have been.” Greg snapped.

“To drive him away.” John clarified. “He would have known the consequences, being Bonded.”

He paused, not sure how to phrase the next bit. “How long did he manage?”

“Five years.”

“Too long.” The growl came from the other armchair where Greg had pulled right back and puffed up, arms closed.

“Greg,” John bit his lip, then went for it. “I’ve never met him, but I promise it wouldn’t have been an easy decision. Dorian’s as much of a victim in this as anyone else.”


“Leaving meant he was condemning himself to a different kind of torture.” John interrupted. “It’s common knowledge Bonded Omegas go into Heat more often, one of those things everyone knows and so no one really believes.”

“So?” Greg arched an eyebrow.

So, I’ve been reading up because of – reading up and apparently there is a correlation. Their Heats come closer together and last longer, trying to maximise the chance of conception. It’s why they usually have such big broods.”

John’s gaze flicked to Sherlock, then back to Greg. The Omega’s eyes were screwed shut. It was painful to look at Sherlock’s face and feel the answering throb in his chest.

Greg just stared at him, not impressed. John sighed.

“By the end he would have been going through Heat almost monthly, with no Alpha, and it would have lasted longer each time. That is torture of a different sort, and he would have known it was coming. To leave his child and run away to that… whatever he was living through must have been worse.”

Greg looked chastened, slightly, but not forgiving.

“What happened?” John asked, turning fully back to Sherlock.

Sherlock opened his eyes. John wished he would look at them, turn his head just slightly and make eye contact. Instead Sherlock just continued to stare off into space.

“He negotiated.” Sherlock said. “He needed Siger, but by then Siger needed him just as much in his own way. It was common gossip his Bonded Omega had run off, an even bigger scandal than marrying someone else since it was a blatant political match. Neither of them, Mummy or Siger, wanted to play Sub more than they had to and if he had so much as touched anyone else she’d have had his balls ripped through his wallet. After five years, I imagine he was desperate to get off.”

“Undoubtedly.” John shifted in his seat, his erection from the day before still an unfulfilled memory.

“Dorian was older and wiser, more worldly, had some of his own money. No much, but enough to be more confident, so he set his terms and stuck to them and eventually Siger gave in and agreed.”

“What were his terms?” John was curious, especially as it was acceptance of them that had set the stage for his love’s existence.

“His own place. That was the main one – he refused to live with them. He would spend his Heats with Siger, but anything else Siger would have to earn. Any children stayed with him, though he couldn’t deny Siger access, and he got access to Mycroft.”

“But Mycroft wasn’t to live with him?” Greg frowned.

“He did by the end, but at first he didn’t want to. He hated Maman.”

“Because he left.”

“Yes. I imagine he was told all sorts of things about him in the meantime. He never passed them on. Later he said once, when he was older, that he understood, he agreed with what Dorian had done. I don’t know if he’s changed his opinion again, with Ben. He might have. You have.”

John could see the pinched look on Greg’s face as the strike hit home, and mentally applauded Sherlock. Before Ben, Greg’s view was, get out however you can and get help for yourself and the kids once you were out, or leave the baby on the Sire’s door step if it was a different person. Now, with Ben, his opinion actually more closely resembled the general populations – how dare you leave.

Greg didn’t say anything back. Neither did Sherlock.

“Sherlock?” John prompted him.

“Yes, yes.” He took a deep breath. “Maman never told me what happened when he came back. Mycroft might have been told more. Mycroft was told a lot, towards the … So he might know. He’d probably remember anyway...

“Sherringford does, or liked to pretend he did. He’d tell me things, about how Dorian w – about how things were when he came back. He’d go on and on about how awful it was, being forced to live with him while the house was finalised, about how to make sure he knew his place they’d leave him locked in his room while he was in Estrus and have sex next door where he could hear because he was just Siger’s Omega slut, not his wife, and there was no way Mummy was having that under her roof.

“It might be true, or it might not be. Sherringford was trying to be cruel, but that doesn’t necessarily make it more or less likely either way. Given my birthday, I wasn’t conceived until Dorian had been back in England for over six months though, which suggests it might be more rather than less accurate.”

“I thought you said he got his own place.” John frowned; the itching need to violate Siger Holmes’s grave in some despicable manner growing again.

“It had to be renovated first. I assume Siger insisted he stay at the estate until after that.”

“It might not have happened first time?” Greg appeared to be trying for a measure of comfort.

“John.” Sherlock intoned deeply, handballing the denial squarely into his Alpha’s lap.

“Huh? Well, late twenties, early thirties, it’d be, I mean most, well-”

“What John is trying unsuccessfully to skirt around is that a non-defective Omega in his late twenties to mid-thirties would still be at peak fertility and especially after so long away from his Alpha, conception would have been instantaneous. That I’m not a triplet says more about Siger’s virility than Dorian’s fertility.”

‘You aren’t defective.’ John wanted to say. He wanted to go over and wrap himself around Sherlock and whisper it in his ear again and again and again and again until he believed him, but the brittle undertone meant Sherlock wouldn’t have accepted the comfort, and John couldn’t stand to be rejected, not when his heart was already so bruised for and by Sherlock.

The pain must have shown on his face, because Greg flashed him a look and then turned back to Sherlock, forcing out another question while John collected himself.

“So, shouldn’t there be more or you then? Siblings, I mean. Are there? More of you?”

Sherlock’s lips pressed harder, fine wrinkles fanning out of the corners before he consciously relaxed them. “There was one more.”

“Uh, was?” Greg blinked furiously, looking extremely hesitant as he realised exactly what he’d wandered into.

“Older half-sister. She died not long after her first birthday. There are photos of us together as babies at a Christmas, but I believe that was the only time I met her.”

“Right so uh…” Greg frowned.

John assumed like himself Greg was slotting older, first birthday, Christmas, and Sherlock’s birthday in early January together to come up with a couple of month age gap between the her and Sherlock.

“But, uh, no other full siblings?” John jumped in. “Or half, half is fine too.”

“No.” Sherlock looked disinclined to say more, so when he suddenly continued, it was over John opening his mouth to ask another question. “When I was about eighteen months, Maman got sick. Very sick. Enough so that Mycroft was taken out of school to come to London in case. The doctors never reached an official diagnosis, but the barrage of tests they ran did show that whatever it was had destroyed his fertility and it was unlikely he’d ever have another Heat.”

“Christ.” John took an involuntary gasp of breath.

“Bloody hell, and they never figured out what it was?” Greg looked as stunned as John felt.

“Officially, no.” Sherlock’s toes flexed against the couch. “Unofficially, during some unrelated research of my own at university I noticed that his symptoms and the lingering effects could all be explained by a sufficiently large dose of levonorgestrel.”

Being much too experienced to expect Sherlock to explain chemicals in any comprehensible way, Greg turned to John. “Levonorgestrel?”

“It’s, uh, one of the active ingredients in suppression meds. Prevents ovulation. I suppose administered in a large enough dose it could be toxic, anything is, and yeah, could probably cause fertility issues, but we’re not just talking overdose. We’re talking massive overdose and it would have shown up in his blood work.”

“It was missing.” Sherlock said quietly.

“Missing?” John asked.

“His blood panel.” Sherlock clarified. “I was overdue a check-up and stole his file while I was there. Either no blood panel was ever run, which would have been blatant negligence, or the results were incriminating and someone removed them from the file.”

“Are you suggesting your Bearer was poisoned?” Greg asked wide eyed. “By whom? Mummy? Christ, I’d believe that.”

John could too. The only children Mrs Holmes had seen fit to produce were, or would have been, almost twins with their half-siblings. Having just lost a child, her husband’s loathed Bondmate due for another Estrus cycle and so another child any day…

“Maybe.” Sherlock seemed non-committal. “It’s better than the alternative.”

“Your step-mother trying to kill your mum is the better option?” If John needed any further proof how messed up the Holmes family was, he had more than got it.

“The alternative is that Maman was desperate enough to almost kill himself instead of go through another Heat with Siger ever again, so apologies if I would prefer to believe he didn’t take that risk.” Sherlock snapped, shoulders hunching as his body partially rolled into the couch and away from them.

“That’s … yeah. Better.” John found it difficult to speak around the lump in his throat.

It was awful, all of it was awful. The fact that Sherlock preferred to think that his step-mother had tried to kill his Bearer, and from what Sherlock wasn’t saying very nearly succeeded, rather than believe his mum might have taken the risk of dying and leaving him alone instead of continuing on as he had… John swallowed heavily as he realised there was a third option Sherlock had carefully skirted around: That Dorian Montpellier had purposefully and with deliberate intent tried to commit suicide with some other drug and the blood panels had been removed to try and hide that.

The overhead lights seemed unspeakably harsh with the mood that had settled over the room. It made John wish he’d turned on the lamps instead, less of a glaring spotlight washing out Sherlock’s already pale skin and highlighting every line on Greg’s tired face.

His tea was cold, but John found he didn’t really want more. He didn’t want a drink either, though he felt like he needed one. The very idea was repugnant, so instead he got up and closed the curtains. If he was being honest he’d have to admit he didn’t really want to hear any more. What did that say about Sherlock’s life, that John didn’t want to know more? What did it say about John?

“So did you used to live at Mycroft’s house?” Greg asked as John tried to settle.

 “The Knightsbridge house, yes.” Sherlock stayed curled on his side.

“So, did you, uh always have the room on the third floor?” Greg was fiddling with his mug, but not drinking the tea. It was probably cold too.

“No, but it’s been renovated since I had my original space there. If that’s where your questions were leading.”

“Just making conversation.” Greg took a sip of tea and pulled a face.

“You’d probably know it as Mummy’s room. I decided to move up to the third floor away from  - after the first renovations. Mycroft used to have the front room, if that’s your next query.”

“The Blue Room” Greg perked up a bit.

“It is now, yes.”

“That’s my room now.” Greg actually beamed, reading a sentimental undertone to Mycroft’s room allocations. “So why did you move upstairs?”

The folds and valleys, cliffs and pools of dark material, trembled as Sherlock’s body, which had been loosening by the tiniest increments known to man, jolted back to full stiffness.

“Sorry.” Greg pushed as far back into his chair as he could, as if giving Sherlock a few millimetres extra space would let him relax. “Bad question?”

“It’s a logical progression.” Sherlock allowed.

His voice was flat, completely devoid of tone, variation or emotion. Empty. It was a control technique John recognised from Mycroft who almost used it as a default state of being. Sherlock generally channelled his emotions through protestations of stupidity and boredom, not absence.

“Do you want to stop here?” He asked into the curtains, feeling like a coward for the small portion of himself hoping Sherlock might say yes. “You’ve said enough. More than enough.”

The quiet noise of Mrs Hudson’s radio filtering through from downstairs as she prepared her dinner was the only intrusion.

“There’s not much left.” Sherlock eventually said, rolling onto his back and resuming his staring at the ceiling. “The relevant bit, the bit you asked about, really. Mycroft and Mummy.”

He seemed reluctant to go on, like he was forcing himself to get it all out in one session so he could slam the door on his past and never have to look at it again. John wondered whether he should put a stop to it, never mind the rest of the story, and just hold Sherlock, reassure him that everything was okay. He didn’t, just because he wasn’t sure which one of them he wanted to reassure.

“It was good, actually.” Sherlock atonally droned as John took his seat. “The next few years.”

A small involuntary smile tugged at his mouth, releasing some of the tension in John’s chest.

“Mycroft was an overbearing overprotective lout even then, so he’d visit on school holidays and take me places. The park and the library mainly, we were too young to go anywhere else unaccompanied. He forgave Maman over time, understood why he’d left from the differences in the households we were living in. By the my third birthday he was living with us and commuting to school, only going back to the Estate for the same mandatory visits I had to make twice a year.

“They didn’t care, at first. Mummy wanted us out of sight, out of mind, so she was happy for Mycroft to be gone. Gave her an opportunity to expand Sherringford’s claim and influence. After all, technically he’s the only legitimate one out of the three of us. Siger didn’t care as long as we showed up to his birthday and Christmas and he could trot Mycroft out to dinner with whatever old cronies he was trying to impress. He didn’t care for the child aspect of having children. Having us with Maman would have been like having a full time nanny. He wouldn’t have seen us at all, except he, or maybe Mummy, didn’t want to give Maman the satisfaction. He used to make us spend Christmas at the Estate, even though we didn’t do anything and he didn’t see us, just so Maman had to spend it alone.

“Then, I don’t know, he realised how much influence he’d lost over Mycroft, or maybe Mummy did, or maybe he had another disagreement with Mummy and wanted us, Mycroft really, in her face more, but he started trying to insist on more visits. Maman refused to let me go, and Mycroft said he didn’t want to, so Maman wouldn’t let Siger force him.”

The flow of words cut off and the slight awe at his Bearer’s defiance of his formidable Sire melted away, leaving the blank emptiness on Sherlock’s face, an ugly scar covering years of devastation and despair. He was shaking, muscles locked so hard he was trembling.

“Sherlock, love,” John started, pushing out of his char. “You can stop. It’s okay. You-”

“No.” Sherlock yelled, stopping John in his tracks.

“No,” he repeated firmly, voice wavering into a semblance of control. “You wanted to know. You will sit there and listen.

It didn’t surprise him Sherlock had picked up on John’s discomfit and desire not to continue. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to know, didn’t need to know everything Sherlock had been forced to suffer through, but if he’d realised how heavy it would be, how many old infected wounds they’d stumble over how hard it would be for Sherlock to relive, and him to watch Sherlock to verbalise, he would have worked out a way to carve it up into chunks, a tidbit here, an explanation there, and he wouldn’t have done it when Greg was there, let alone had stormed in angry.

“Okay,” John swallowed, slowly lowering himself back into his chair. “Okay, tell us the rest.”

In the corner of his eye, John could see Greg swallow reluctantly and flash John an almost scared look. His bluster had well and truly run its course over the evening, surging and falling again and again as his own neurosis had come in and out of play. Now it appeared to have burnt out, run low, and left him feeling small and nervous, as worried about how much more they’d hear and how much further they’d push Sherlock as John. Wondering whether it was already too far.

The detective’s eyes were wild, stormy grey irises almost swallowed by black pupil. One hand was still buried in his hair, the other buried under his thigh, so John couldn’t see his fingers, but there was no doubt in his mind they’d be white knuckled and vibrating with nerves.

“It was Mycroft’s fault.” Was Sherlock’s opening line. “Something would have happened eventually, but the when and the where were all down to him.”

John looked away, checking that Greg wasn’t going to take it the wrong way. The Alpha Sub seemed to struggle with what to say, competing concerns for the brother evident on his face.

“How do you mean?” He settled for asking diplomatically.

“He presented.” Was Sherlock’s painfully simple answer. “He was the Alpha son, the Dominant heir-presumptive, destined to carry on the Holmes legacy and achieve great things. He was already being taken to dinners, introduced to important people, the next big thing. Siger Holmes’s golden boy.”

“And the massive pain in Mummy’s arse.” Greg couldn’t help contributing spitefully.

John glared at him and Greg avoided his gaze.

“Of course,” Sherlock agreed, missing the inherent aggression in Greg’s comment that removed the requirement for a response. “Why do you think she’s expended so many years of effort on him? Then suddenly, overnight, he’s an Omega, they think. In the confusion no one could really tell what had happened, especially as it was at Maman’s during the school holidays and Maman deliberately obscured everything as much as he could. He and Mycroft spent a lot of time locked up together in the immediate aftermath talking.

“Mycroft went back to school, then for a visit to the Estate to try and ease tensions a bit. Throw around his dominant mass to reassure Siger and keep him off track. I think that was the plan. It failed horribly, as Mycroft went into another mild pubescent Heat while he was there. Mummy seized the chance to have him checked over, prove what he was, and there was nothing to stop her.

“Siger was furious. As far as he was concerned, Maman had somehow turned his Alpha heir into a useless Omega, fit for nothing except Binding and breeding.” Sherlock spat the words out as if they were poisoned, toxic syllables that might contaminate his mouth if left there any longer.

“It’s not possible to do that.” John uselessly denied, feeling the need to add something.

“Logic, John. Siger blamed Maman and decided enough was enough. Logic didn’t come into it.”

Sherlock’s arm was shaking so violently John was worried he was going to hurt himself. Even worse, it was completely absent from his voice, hard won iron will overruling everything he’d let break through during the evening.

“What did he do?” John asked, wanting everything over so he could start to help Sherlock get himself back together again.

“We were in my play room. I remember the sun was out; it was falling on the carpet. It made all the different colours on my puzzle so sharply. I was only four, struggling to make out the picture. I had a dog, Redbeard, after the pirate. He was napping in the corner, enjoying being let inside for once. He’d had to be scrubbed down and dried before he was allowed to set a paw on the carpet, but he always loved it when he was clean and allowed in, even if he didn’t like the cleaning process.“ Sherlock’s voice sounded dead, too dead for describing such a lively scene. “Maman was reading to me. I can’t remember his voice. I can remember the book, the cover, which piece I was struggling to fit into my puzzle, but not his voice. I’d rather remember that, really.”

John realised his traitorous hand had started trembling in the tension and clenched it tight, attempting to get it to stop. The feeling coiling in his chest wasn’t pleasant, a sort of unnatural cross between dread and fear, and was slowly working its way up and around his heart, ready to squeeze.

“People burst through the door, MI5, MI6, police, Interpol, I don’t know. Maman leapt up, demanded to know what was going on, and they pointed their guns at him. One of them grabbed me, refused to let go even when I bit him. He almost dropped me when Redbeard bit him, but Redbeard had bigger teeth.

“They shot him, shot Redbeard for trying to get to me. Because I was scared and there were strange people in the house and he was trying to protect me. He just sort of yelped as he went down. An Irish Setter, dumb as two bricks, but gorgeous russet fur and so much heart. You couldn’t even see the blood under all his fur. He twitched and whimpered, and they just let him lie there and bleed out, pointing their guns at Maman.

“They told him to leave, not to come after us if he didn’t want to end up like Redbeard. They called him that mutt. Maman, not Redbeard. Said the agreement was over, should have been over years ago since he was no good for spitting out kids anyway and he wasn’t going to be allowed to ruin anymore Holmes heirs. Told him to give them a reason, it’d be easy, just putting down another foreign bitch and a mongrel to boot.

“They carried me out, put me in a big black car back to the Estate, and I never saw him again. The end.

“Happy now?”

“No!” John blurted out in shock.

Stunned Sherlock’s face whipped around. It was the first time since they’d started that he’d faced them and he looked bewildered, shocked, at John’s response.

Shocked and hurt. His mouth, lip chewed raw over the past hour, hung open and his eyes were red rimmed and shimmered with years of unshed tears.

“Didn’t the police get involved?” John demanded. “Why wasn’t-”

The disbelief faded the lines of new hurt smoothing back, leaving the old scars and scathing neutrality.

“You didn’t call the police on Siger Holmes.” Sherlock turned away.

“That is ridiculous.” John fumed. “It’s appalling! It’s-”

“Life.” Sherlock blandly intoned.

The casual acceptance wasn’t doing anything to help John’s anger. His grip on his temper slipping, the rage building over this, that Siger had subjected John’s Omega to that, was tremendous. He needed, he needed –

Sherlock looking hurt. Sherlock being hurt because he was forced to rip open these tentatively healed wounds. Feeling like John was angry at him.

 -  tea. He needed tea, right now, otherwise he’d be spending the weekend patching Mrs Hudson’s wall again.

He stormed into the kitchen and slammed the power button much harder than was actually necessary to start the kettle heating.

He was angry, furious, mad as hell that any Alpha could act that way to his Bonded and their children. Alphas were supposed to protect, nurture, not kill their four year old’s dog in front of him and threaten to do the same to his mother. For Christ’s sake, they were Bonded. How could Siger justify it, any of it? The abuse, the neglect –

“Breathe, John.” Greg was standing as far away as possible while sharing a bench space. “He’d gone, dead. There’s nothing to do there and being angry won’t help.”

“Someone should have done something.”

“That’s the anger talking. What would anyone have done?” Greg didn’t wait for his answer, just plunged on through. “Remember what you said earlier when I was pissed off at Dorian for leaving? You said he didn’t have a choice and that he couldn’t have taken Mycroft as well because the Holmes family would have shifted hell to get him back. It’s the same here.”

“Someone could have tried.” John stubbornly insisted.

Greg was right, John knew he was logically correct, but this was Sherlock and someone should have been there to stop him suffering.

“Tried what?” Greg pushed back. “Calling the police? Could you imagine calling the police on Mycroft, right now? If I tried to arrest him for something it’d be even odds as to whether it was his high-priced attorney or my own boss from on high who got to me first, assuming I even got him to the station. Wouldn’t manage the charge sheet. I could have Mycroft Holmes standing over a dead body, holding the murder weapon, with the whole thing caught in crystal clarity on film, both faces clearly in shot, and I couldn’t make the charge stick.

“20, 30 years ago? Siger Holmes probably owned the police. Dorian was just a hysterical Omega. You know the origins of hysteria as a disorder, you’re a doctor. They thought for years not being able to have children must mentally unbalance Bearers. What could a mentally unstable Omega do against his wealthy powerful Alpha?”

“That’s not the point.” John’s knuckles were white and the veins on the back of his hands bulged.

“No, the point is Sherlock’s just re-lived his own personal hell, or bits of it anyway, so now is not the time to indulge in your own selfish vendetta against things that can’t be changed.”

The kettle clicked off and Greg began sorting through the cupboards for tea bags.

“It’s not selfish.” John denied. “I’m angry for him.”

“Is it helping him?” Greg asked.


“The answer, by the way,” Greg blithely talked over him, “is no. So stop indulging in being mad and go and be reassuring, yeah?”

Turning Greg handled him two mugs of tea, his and a new one from the cupboard.

“Right,” Greg dusted his hands off on his jeans, “you’ll need to do your own milk. I’m off. Haven’t exactly got the answers I thought I would, but I don’t know what I was expecting so… Certainly explains Mycroft’s self-loathing of his gender. Anyway, I think you two need to be alone for a bit, yeah, and I really want to see my son now.”

John didn’t reply, staring absently into the dark liquid.

“Okay there? Calmed down?” Greg looked concerned.

“Yeah, yeah, calm.” John nodded. It wasn’t entirely a lie, but it was enough for it to occur to him he should be checking Greg was alright as well. “You okay?”

“Exhausted.” Greg sighed. “Been up and down like a yoyo all day.”

“It’s been a long one.” John agreed, feeling his own blanket of fatigue begin to numb everything away.

“It’s been a long week.”

“God, yes.” John sighed.

“All right, I’m off.” Greg clasped him gently on the shoulder. “I’ve got a minor government official in training to get to bed. Don’t forget to put the milk in.”

Walking back into the living room was hard. There was a wariness on Sherlock’s face as he approached that really did pound home that he’d messed this up. He didn’t know what to say, not just to fix it, but at all, so instead he silently held out the tea.

Sherlock accepted it, but he didn’t drink it and his fingers didn’t make contact with John’s even though it meant holding the hot ceramic base.

John really didn’t know what to say.

“I wish your Sire was still alive.”

It wasn’t the opening Sherlock had expected and his eyes widened slightly.

“Because then I could kill him.” John finished, a little surprised by the vigour in his own voice.

“I don’t need your pity.” Sherlock hissed, eyes narrowed.

John sighed and sat on the coffee table, the blanket of fatigue pressing further down on his shoulders. It really had been a long week emotionally. Only that morning he’d been running the emotional mile over Jim Moriarty and this lovely sprint to the end hadn’t helped matters at all.

“It’s not pity, Sherlock. It’s not even sympathy, yet. I’m just angry, so angry at your Sire, and your step-mother, and the whole damn world for not doing right by you, and your mum, your actual mum, and I just … It wasn’t fair, what you went through.”

“Life’s not fair.” Sherlock carefully pushed himself to a seated position, sipping his tea.

“I know. God, I know.”

Taking Sherlock’s acceptance of his tea as an acceptance of his apology, John reached out and entwined their fingers, drawing Sherlock’s hand to his.

“You,” he said fiercely, “have been through so much and come through it better than… anyone I can think of. You are the strongest person I know, bar none, and I wish, wish you hadn’t had to prove it. I wish I’d known you then, so I could have protected you, or at least supported you, whether you needed it or not.”

He pressed his lips firmly to Sherlock’s knuckles and flipped his hand over to press the same again to his palm. He lingered there, breathing the scent of leather, mud, and Sherlock. Sherlock’s bracelet gleamed against John’s own, oiled and buffed to perfection where John’s was already showing wear.

“I just can’t understand how he could do it, any of it.” He mumbled into Sherlock’s hand. “How could any Alpha treat his Bonded like that? His children like that?”

“Bonding is no guarantee of a happy relationship.” Sherlock squeezed John’s fingers.

“I don’t get it.” John shook his head, nose running along Sherlock’s palm, moist with John’s breath.

“Of course not.” Sherlock set his tea aside and stood. “You’re nothing like him.”

He disengaged their hands and walked through to the bedroom, leaving John to tidy away the mugs and follow after. When John did, taking a second to splash water on his face as he went, Sherlock was waiting, kneeling head down in the middle of the floor, hands upturned on his thighs in supplication.
This he could do, was a role John knew well and had embraced with absolute dedication. He could feel his spine straightening his stride altering to regulation length. Emotions, guiding Sherlock through the past, neither of those were his strong point. This though… this…

Slowing to a halt, he fell into the muscle memory, weight spread, feel on the correct angles.

“What do you need?”

It wasn’t a question, despite the phrasing. It was an order, a command for information so he could gauge exactly what Sherlock needed, what he thought he needed, what he wanted, and what he would get.

“To hurt, Captain.” Sherlock replied, head still angled down.

Pistol gripping the lanky detective’s chin and raising it to the light, John made sure Sherlock could see Captain Watson was very much in control.

“You will.”

Part I

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Rolling in the Deep (14/?)
rose, greyscale
Rolling in the Deep

Title: Rolling in the Deep
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep) (Part III of IV)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they aren't. Nor am I creative enough to have written the song that gave this instalment its title. That belongs to Adele, and whomever else had IP rights along side her.

Author's Notes:
Evening everyone.I'm so sorry for the delay. theartofprose has been extremely busy lately and hasn't had a chance to beta Chapter 14 yet, hence the wait. Having said that, I don't want you all to have to wait too much longer SO the solution is thus. This is the UN-betaed version of Chapter 14. Once the betaed version is available, I'll update it for you and if you'd like you can read the much more polished version.

It's been so long, short recap of where we were was Moriarty has returned, as Sherlock figured out at the Yard and then followed up with Greg at the crime scene, Greg has met Mummy and then proceeded to get into a fight with Mycroft and has stormed out, and Anthea, in the interlude, really wishes they'd get themselves together. I'd probably recommend going back and reading Chapter 12 to remind yourself what was going on if that doesn't jog things.

We're back in the world of the nobility, so I have dragged another poor noble family through the muck by stealing their name. Needless to say, it's all from my head, and nothing like reality. Basically, I went house shopping with my mythical billions and decided they had a nice looking house that suited my purposes. Images are avaliable on their website, so you can go look if you'd like. It's not actually a relevant location for the story. Just a nice looking house.

Otherwise, some pseudo-science (not real, very loosely researched) so please suspend disbelief for that.

Warnings: References to abuse, possible past suicidal intentions, infertility, unhealthy home environment, abandonment

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20
Nothing was going well and John didn’t have faintest clue what to do about it. He wasn’t an idiot, despite Sherlock’s casual/angry/frustrated/annoyed proclamations, but he may as well have been.

It had all started during Sherlock’s False Heat, as John called it in his mind. Watching his love writhing on the bed and being unable to help had been hellish. After the first few hours when they’d discovered intercourse provided only temporary relief and brought the cravings back even stronger, John couldn’t even be a willing cock, no matter how much Sherlock begged, whimpered or cried. His role had been reduced to attempting to coax some food or water into Sherlock and, once he’d braved a sex store, cleaning the toys, providing lube and weathering the full gambit of Sherlock’s lust crazed moods from bargaining over food (“I’ll eat if you fuck me”) to anger (“If you’re not going you fuck me, get out.”)

There was probably a reason that neither party remembered Estrus with any clarity. Quite apart from the biological explanations, it was the only way to preserve any sanity. This one though he and Sherlock would remember: him as a time of helplessness, Sherlock as a time of humiliating lack of control.

He’d wanted to ask Sherlock whether he still wanted to continue the treatments now that they were slightly better informed of the side effects, but Sherlock had got his back up before John had really managed to broach the topic, spitting chips and stalking out. When he came back to the flat John could tell with one glance at the defiant expression on Sherlock’s face that he’d gone to the specialist and taken care of things on his own, even if the appointment wasn’t supposed to be until the next day.

“It won’t put your schedule out?” He turned back to the bench and continued making dinner.

Behind him Sherlock had scowled and thrown himself sulkily into his chair, where he’d stayed the rest of the evening, studying slides and giving John the silent treatment.

That was usual, normal, a textbook Sherlock sulk and John could handle that, especially when Sherlock stayed true to form and snuck quietly into bed an exact sixty-seven minutes after John had retired to wind himself around his Alpha in bed.

How Sherlock had decided on sixty seven minutes as the appropriate amount of time to wait John would never know, but in these moods it was always sixty seven minutes, no matter the time of day or night. John just wrapped his arms around his love, dropped a kiss on his neck, and fell asleep smiling.

He’d woken up with an erection, but that was also normal. Unusually, they’d both ignored it, John heading off to work and Sherlock to whatever he planned to do now he didn’t have a doctor’s appointment.

They’d ignored the next morning erection as well, but by Thursday John was feeling decidedly like he could do with a shag. Outside of cases they had a very healthy sex life, especially in the mornings, and unlike Sherlock he hadn’t been laying around on a hormonal sex binge the week before. John had in fact spent the last week watching the most gorgeous creature to walk the Earth beg him to join his desperate frenzy, and without the stress being unable to help Sherlock brought, those were very erotic images.

In his dream Sherlock was splayed out on an impossible bed, soft and hard as required, completely boundless. The plum silk made his skin glow and eyes flash steel grey. The dark curls were a little longer than reality so they tumbled loosely against the sheet. John wasn’t Sherlock to work out at a glance exactly how much length his subconscious had added, and he frankly didn’t care.

What he did care about were Sherlock’s perfect lips, red and roughened from stubble rash and more. In his dream he knew instantly that the more had been his cock, his Sub choking prettily, attempting to keep up with John’s punishing pace as he relentlessly fucked Sherlock’s face. From the depths of memory his mind provided the delicious whimper as he pulled out, Sherlock trying to follow and guide him back into the warm, wet, talented cavern that was his mouth and throat.

Logically, it was a dream because Sherlock’s passage was slick and ready as John sank in without any preparation, but there was no mindless rut from Heat. Instead Sherlock drew him in with deliberate intent, genius brain there and blazing even as he sighed and gasped and released little hitching squeaks in time to John smoothly settling deeper and deeper into the wonderfully tight heat.

Sherlock lifted his legs and wrapped them around John’s back, guiding him to the point that only his heavy aching bollocks were still outside Sherlock’s body. John’s fingers tangled with Sherlock’s elegant violinist’s ones, short and dextrous linked with long and graceful, as he tantalisingly withdrew and pressed slowly back in.

After the hard fast rush of Sherlock’s mouth, the gentle pace was teasing temptation. Sherlock sighed, tilting his pelvis to better accept John, entirely acceding to John’s pace. John dropped a kiss to the creamy chest, tasting the drying sweat and vanilla almond musk he always defined as Sherlock. On the next stroke he added a swivel in his hips, greedily swallowing the gasp of surprise and lazy groan of pleasure his lover emitted.

Gradually he sped up until the spark and sizzling burn was back and the laconic loving was again animalistic sex, with teeth and nails and John snapping his hips as fast and hard as he could to bring them both right to the brink of orgasm-

The alarm that morning had been especially cruel, leaving John rutting against the mattress, Sherlock’s whispered pleas in his ear, teetering on the edge of orgasm with the knowledge he was on afternoon shift and if he’d remembered to turn his bloody alarm off he’d have enjoyed a spectacular orgasm in his sleep instead of being left hanging, aching to be touched.

This was the erection that wouldn’t go away, and awake the sheets were no match for his Omega’s pliant willing body. With a growl John had got up, pulled on his robe, and determined that if he didn’t have to be in the office until later, maybe he could talk Sherlock into a morning shag before he resorted to his hand in the shower.

Sherlock had been at his microscope, dressing gown pushed back off pale, muscular forearms. As always, his posture at the scope was impeccable, back straight and shoulders relaxed. His ebony curls were at their darkest, still damp from the shower. They hung longer and looser, not dripping water, but still weighed down by the moisture locked within the strands. John knew they’d feel cool and slippery against his fingers, heavier and contained rather than flyaway and free.

Sherlock was still favouring darker shades, that morning jet black with only a minor black self-pattern as relief. He looked stern and imposing. He looked like Eros personified.

“Is the sample not behaving?” John had teased lightly, wrapping his arms around his Sub and burying his nose in Sherlock’s neck.

Clean and fresh, the expensive rosemary and mint body wash Sherlock kept for mornings and the insanely expensive hair products he used flooded John’s nose. Breathing in again he thought he detected a hint of almond oil, the base of Sherlock’s after shaving lotion that was definitely not moisturiser, no matter that Sherlock almost never had to shave yet almost always used it. The only thing missing was Sherlock’s own natural vanilla, buried under the artificial products he’d applied.

“If you think,” Sherlock hissed coldly, “that you are getting anywhere near me with that, you can think again.”

John sighed and released his hold. “Sorry for saying good morning.”

He’d got a low grunt in response.

“It would be nice though, now you mention it.” John’d purred, sidling in close again and dropping a meaningful kiss to Sherlock’s neck.


“Come on, love.” John tried desperately to keep the whine out of his voice. “It’s been ages.”

“Sorry if I’m not in the mood to indulge you after last week’s sex marathon.” Sherlock shook John’s hold off.

“Yeah well some of us didn’t get to spend four days jacking ourselves into oblivion.” John retorted angrily, stun more than he’d like to admit by Sherlock’s brusque outright rejection.

“I’m not your fucking sex toy.” Sherlock had snapped, bursting to his feet. “Go use your bloody hand.”

The movement sent the chair toppling backwards, clattering noisily against the cabinet and landing with a sharp bang on the floor as Sherlock stormed away from his experiment, the kitchen and John.

“Jesus, Sherlock. Overly dramatic much?” John had snarled, righting the chair slightly harder than necessary. “No is no. I’m not some testosterone fuelled dick that’s going to pin you down if you don’t want it.”

Chair back in place, John had begun furiously collecting the necessary items for tea, slamming them down on the bench as hard as he could without breaking anything. One mug, one teabag, one cup of tea. No matter he usually made two. If Sherlock wanted tea, he could bloody well make his own.

By the time the kettle had boiled his anger was already beginning to run out. He had a temper; he knew that and had been trying to control it for years, mostly successfully, but Sherlock… Sherlock always had been an exception. Like Harry, Sherlock just slipped right past his control, had done from day one when John stared after him as the stranger who would forever change his life pranced out of the lab at Bart’s with a flirtatious wink and arrogant smile, irrevocably imprinting himself on John’s heart.

Not that Sherlock knew that at the time. Not that John realised it either, and when he did eventually work it out he’d gone through a minor existential crisis and questioned his very identity, unable to believe he’d managed to live more than thirty years with a gay sister and a vast number of very fit Dominant army friends without ever realising he might be bisexual.

He wasn’t, apparently, but it took almost a year with Sherlock to work that one out, and even then it was mostly because Sherlock had looked him in the eye and ordered, ordered, John to get his head out of his arse and tie him up already.

Of course he’d fallen for the most un-submissive Sub in history.

Sherlock was infuriating, but usually John’s tempter cooled as fast as Sherlock riled it. That Thursday being no exception, John had sighed and pulled out an extra mug, flare of tension already working loose. His erection had faded too, a little, which at least made standing simpler though he had to fight the temptation to palm himself. That would have to wait for the shower, since evidently the topic was closed with Sherlock.

He could just imagine what some of his old army mates would have said – Three Continents Watson not able to get laid by a sex crazed Omega. Well, at the end of the day, there was a reason some of them were old mates.

Tea ready, John had splashed the requisite milk in each mug, more in Sherlock’s who took his tea as milky as his coffee black, and collected the drinks, never doubting Sherlock wouldn’t let his go cold, but it was against John’s nature not to offer the silent apology.

Sherlock had been curled up on the couch, back to the room. Even his feet were tucked up, pulled into the narrow ball and buried in the seam between the couch cushions.

“I made tea.” John had said quietly, sliding the mug across the coffee table and backing away to his own armchair.

He hadn’t sat, just perched on the arm, studying the tan liquid while sneaking covert glances at the ball on the couch. The trembling ball. He frowned, watching another shiver travel along the silk-clad back and the ball curl in a little tighter.

“Sherlock?” He asked softly.

John didn’t ask if he was okay; there would be no response to that question. He’d just watched silently, trying to work out whether the trembling was cold or mild Sub shock, and whether or not his presence would be welcome.

A muffled sob accompanied the next full body convulsion. John had almost dropped his mug in surprise. No, Sherlock couldn’t actually be… could he?

“Are you crying?” He blurted out in shock.

“No,” Sherlock snarled, or tried to. With his voice choked up and the unmistakeable tremor behind it, he failed miserably.

“Bloody hell you are.” John had stared at the figure on the couch before his brain belatedly caught up with the fact that Sherlock was crying.

“Oh, ‘lock, I’m sorry.” He had hurried over and knelt beside the couch, stroking Sherlock’s back. “What did I say? Whatever it was, I’m -“

“It’s not you, you imbecile.” Sherlock spat at him through gritted teeth. “It’s got nothing to do with you.”

“Oh.” John had blinked and sat back on his heels. “That’s, that’s good, but then wha-”

“I don’t know.” Sherlock hissed back, rolling to his feet in one fluid move, fingers clenched into fists at his side.

John had a brief glimpse of Sherlock’s tear streaked face before his long legs were tearing up the room as he paced.

“It’s nothing.” Sherlock had angrily flicked more tears off his face with his fingers. “I’m not even upset, I’m just…”

Another sob and fresh wave of tears broke free and stirred John to action. Pressing to his feet in a cacophony of cracking joints, John’d intercepted Sherlock’s pacing and pulled him into a firm hug, refusing to let go even as Sherlock struggled in his arms. He’d just kept holding, riding out the protests until all of a sudden Sherlock had slumped, strings cut, and buried his face in John’s neck, arms gripping him just as hard back.

“It’s just the hormones, love.” John had whispered in the dark curls, rubbing small circles with his thumb.

“I hate it!” Sherlock growled back. “It’s just transport, but I can’t control it.”

“I know, I’m sorry.” John pressed lightly, half nuzzle, half apologetic kiss. “We can stop, if you want, if it’s too much.”


“You don’t have to keep having the treatments if it’s too much for you.” John had tried to reassure him.


Sherlock started struggling again in John’s grip. His belt buckle had pinched the tender skin of John’s navel where his dressing gown had come undone, Sherlock’s socks slipping on the floorboards.


“I am having this child.” Sherlock wrenched free.

His face had been a mess of tears and stray curls were plastered down to his skin by the moisture. Tears still made new paths down his sharp cheekbones as he’d glared at John, red rimmed eyes filled with a ferocious mix of anger and pain, a snarl pulling his face into a twisted rictus of determination and grief. He’d looked wild, primal, torn apart and exposed in ways John had always dreaded because the broken pieces never quite fit back together the same way.

“Our child.” He’d whispered, holding out a hand as offering. “Together.”

Sherlock had hesitated, hesitated, as though searching for hidden strings, then launched himself at his Alpha. John had caught him with a huff, letting Sherlock’s momentum send them crashing onto the couch. The angle had been awkward, but they’d missed the table and the arm, and once on the couch John was better able to position them.

“Just don’t lock me out.” He whispered desperately. “Please love, I’ll do anything, just talk to me, please.”

“I hate this.” Sherlock had hiccupped.

“I love you.” John had replied.

He’d cradled Sherlock for hours as he’d finally let it out and cried for no reason at all, until he’d finally slept and John had reluctantly slipped out from under him to go to work.

Not unexpectedly Sherlock had woken up by the time John had returned home and was back at the table in front of his microscope, where he’d stayed, despite John’s attempts to feed him, convince him to watch a film, and finally coax him to bed for sleep. Nor had he crawled into bed sixty seven minutes later, leaving John staring at the ceiling until he’d eventually succumbed to sleep in the early hours of the morning.

He hadn’t liked his alarm that morning either. Three hours sleep would do that to a person, especially a person waking up alone in the queen sized bed he was supposed to be sharing with his partner. Instead Sherlock was still at the table staring into his microscope.

“Sherlock, love, you need to sleep.” John had tried.

He’d tried toast too, and tea, both of which had been rejected by his strangely wrung out and listless Sub. He’d tried daytime TV, inviting Sherlock to deduce the presenters and a trip to Bart’s for yet more body parts. He’d even offered to fetch Ben for a spot of babysitting and not to tell Greg if Sherlock catalogued his reactions to various non-threatening, non-invasive stimuli, but there’d been no response.

Absolutely nothing, to any of them.

Just Sherlock sitting blankly at the table, refusing to interact with the world.

Now he was trailing behind Sherlock, Sherlock who looked like Sherlock with the fire back in his eyes and spring in his step, all thanks to Jim Moriarty. Not John’s brushed off comfort or caring offers. Jim Sodding Moriarty. Again.

Sherlock, who was climbing into a cab and not even remembering John had come to the Yard with him, giving instructions and shutting the cab door. John reached them before they drove off and dragged the door open.

“Hey mate. Already got a fair.” The cabbie yelled at him.

“Get the next one.” Sherlock waved at him languidly, fingers of one hand already steepled at his lips and eyes glowing. “I need to think.”

“Like bloody hell.” John retorted, climbing in and shutting the door.

“Oi, mate, taken.” The cabbie yelled again.

“Just drive.” John snapped back.

Whether the display of temper or the cars leaning irritably on their horns behind him, the cabbie gave in and drove. John took a deep breath to steady himself, then another.

“You can’t go off on your own, Sherlock, not if he’s back.”

John thought he sounded reasonable. Very reasonable given the churning emotional mess he was turning into inside. Sherlock gave a dismissive huff, disregarding the warning with casual indifference.

“I mean it.” John tried very hard not to snap. “He’s a psychopath.”

“A criminal genius, yes.” Sherlock breathed.

“Dangerous.” John insisted.



“Oh undoubtedly.” Sherlock smiled. “Boredom would drive anyone into madness, let alone someone like Jim.”

He looked like a kid at Christmas, a prize winner at presentations, a bride at the altar. It made John feel sick looking at him, the ecstatic glow of a puzzle, the irresistible lure of the master criminal.

“What do we know then?” He asked quietly, desperate to stay connected to Sherlock and involved.

This was going to be the Great Game again, he just knew it. He could feel it in his stomach: heavy, heavy dread.

“Mmm.” Sherlock hummed instead of answering.

“Don’t do that.” John said firmly.

“Don’t do what?” Sherlock asked in surprise.

“Baker St, lads.” The cabbie interrupted.

John blindly groped for his wallet to pay, not taking his eyes off Sherlock. “The face. You’re doing the face again.”

“What face?”

“The face.” John shoved a rough number of bills into the cabbie’s hand, hoping it was enough.

Half of them came back, so it must have been.

“Well I can’t see it.” Sherlock sniffed.

“You’re doing the ‘we both know what’s going on here’ face. If you were wearing the coat you’d have flipped the collar up to look all mysterious and cool.” John crossed his arms, a stubborn wall of wool and muscle on the pavement.

“I don’t do that.” Sherlock denied.

“Yes, you do, and you’re still doing the face.”

“Well we do know what’s going on here.”

“No, we don’t, which is why I find the face so annoying. Not this time, Sherlock. This time you explain things and keep me in the loop.”

“I always keep you in the loop.” Sherlock dismissed his concerns, heading for the door to the flat.

“No, you always do a grand reveal.” John corrected him, moving into his path. “That’s not what you’re doing this time. Everything, every theory, every move, as you go.”

“That’s not how I work.” Sherlock disagreed, attempting to side step John.

John moved with him, still blocking the way. “It is now. It is for Moriarty.”

“So what, someone’s finally being interesting and you’re going to be my gaoler?” Sherlock angrily stepped left. “The game is on, John.”

“It’s not,” John stepped with him, “a game.”

“Yes, it is.” Sherlock stepped right. “The best, the only kind worth winning.”

“There’s a Sub lying dead.”


“You’re risking your life.”

“And it’s mine to risk.” Sherlock stepped back, away from the flat. “Mine, not yours on loan.”

John didn’t follow him the step forward. “I want you to be safe.”

“How nice for you.” Sherlock spun back to the kerb edge, flinging his arm out for a cab. “I’m going to the crime scene. Alone.”

His face was defiant, daring John to protest, to insist he stay home or let John come too. It was a look John was all too familiar with – Harry had looked like that whenever Clara had told her not to have another drink. Those nights usually ended up with Harry at whatever crappy hotel room John had rented on leave, puking her guts up.

“Try not to fall in the Thames.” He replied evenly.

Inside he wanted to rage, scream and shout, demand Sherlock stop this nonsense right now and leave Moriarty to someone else, but the surest way to lose Sherlock for good would be to deny him the Work. Even if John didn’t like it.

A brief look of shock flitted over Sherlock’s face, followed by microseconds of guilt. He’d expected John to protest, to justify Sherlock storming off in a cloud of indignant fury.

“Let me know what you want for dinner.” John turned his back, climbing the steps to 221 and fumbling out his key.

“Case, John.” Sherlock reminded him. “I don’t eat when I’m working.”

“You do now, remember?” John managed the door.

Stepping inside and closing it was harder, but he kept it in until he’d made it up the stairs, safely into their flat. Just. The rumbling snarl was animalistic in its anger, but it was enough. It would bleed off the savage aggression, just enough for him to keep the rest of it locked away. He wouldn’t let it out again, couldn’t. If he started now he wouldn’t stop until the flat was in ruins and that more than anything felt like playing Moriarty’s game.

He cleaned instead – starting in the kitchen and attacking everything down to the grout with a toothbrush. Then he did the bathroom, pausing after to allow himself a shower and a new set of clothes after discovering, and spilling, an experiment of Sherlock’s under the sink.

Cleaning as an outlet was a mechanism he’d learnt in the army. He’d been lucky his Major had been perceptive because he’d come from a unit chock full of very strong Alphas, and sometimes the only way fights had been prevented was the warning presentation of a toothbrush just as it began to brew.

As a recruit he’d had to use the toothbrush a lot.

Since his discharge his other coping strategies had been all he’d needed – breathing exercises, iron control, long walks and the occasional mild shouting to let off pressure. So far, anyway. With Moriarty back…

He tidied the bedroom next, taking the time to carefully clean all his equipment and oil the leather to a supple shine. It was almost as relaxing as maintaining his hand gun so he did that next. He’d probably need it soon.

Sherlock wasn’t home for lunch.

John cleaned the main room, not caring he was disturbing Sherlock’s precious dust. He wanted it clean.
The downstairs door burst open, just audible over the vacuum John hastily packed away. His surge of relief crested and fell away as someone hammered on the door.

Not Sherlock then.

John sighed, switching on the lights as he noticed how dark it had become. It was after five, he couldn’t help but notice and nothing from Sherlock yet.

He wasn’t really surprised it was Greg hammering on the door.

“Greg, now’s not really a good-”

Greg stormed past him, clearly not caring whether or not John considered it a good time. The furious pacing and ferocious scowl didn’t make it likely he was going to leave either.

“If someone’s complained about Sherlock, he’s not here. He went to the crime scene.” John stayed next to the open door, hoping Greg would get the hint and use it.

“I know that.” Greg snapped at him. “I was there with him.”


The tightness in his chest eased at the thought that Sherlock hadn’t gone alone. Not so much because he thought Moriarty would try something, but because Sherlock had actually taken the time to call for back-up. If not him, at least Sherlock had summoned Greg, probably quite rudely.

“Right, well, he’s not here if you’re looking to yell at-”

“I,” Greg threw himself into Sherlock’s chair, arms placed forcefully on the arm rests like a King making a grand pronouncement, “have just met Mummy.”

“Mummy?” John’s head shot up in surprise. Without pause he reached out to push the door shut. “He’s here? Why are you so angry? What’s he like?”

“Mum-my,” Greg venomously drew out the word, “is actually Step-Mummy and she is a bitch.

“She?” John gaped at him.

“Oh yeah, She. Lady Dom, and the most stuck up, arrogant, controlling, manipulative harpy I have ever had the misfortune to meet.”

“I’m sorry; you’re telling me that that macho prick Holmes Senior was gay? Actually gay?” John was having trouble reconciling his view of Siger Holmes with the new information.

“Well, he married her, so yeah, I guess.” Greg’s fingers were digging into the arms of the chair.


The door to the flat swung open, coming to an abrupt halt when it collided with John.

“Oh.” Sherlock blinked, the unexpected sight of Greg in their sitting room throwing him for a loop. Dismissing him as unimportant for the moment, he held out the plastic Tesco bag for John’s perusal. “I got milk.”

John accepted the bag, touched. It didn’t matter they already had two barely used bottles in the fridge or that Sherlock had got the wrong kind again. Sherlock liked the supermarket as a whole as much as John liked the self-service checkouts, and was about as good with it too. He never got milk, unless he was apologising.

“That explains how Greg got here first.” John smiled lovingly at his Sub.

Sherlock relaxed a little, realising he was forgiven and began nonchalantly pulling his coat and scarf off.

“Greg had an interesting visitor.” John commented as he made his way to the kitchen. “You and Mycroft have been holding out on us.”

“Pardon?” Sherlock frowned, pausing halfway through shrugging his coat off.

“Oh, yes.” John tried to look reassuring as he came back through, kettle on for tea. “Apparently he’s just met Mummy.”

Sherlock froze, eyes widening just slightly making him look like a wild animal caught in a hunters beam.

He swallowed. “Mummy?”

“Yep.” Greg smacked his lips on the p.

Sherlock broke into explosive movement, coat back up his arms and scarf back on before John had registered him moving. “Where? How long ago? Quickly Lestrade.”

“Ours, after I left you.”

“Plus time to get there, no that’s still time. I have to go.” Sherlock spun around, hand on the door handle.

“Go where?” John asked in surprise.

“Anywhere not here. Bart’s. I’ll go to Bart’s.” Sherlock hurried out the door, then poked his head in. “Don’t tell her that. Actually, don’t let him,” he jerked his head at Greg, “tell her that. She’ll try to make someone and it’ll be him, not you.”

“She’s not showing up here, Sherlock.” Greg told him, slouching back in the chair. “She left before I did, and I’ve been here a bit.”

“Oh.” Sherlock narrowed his eyes, considering. “Maybe we should go to Angelo’s for dinner, John. My shout. We could eat in for once. I’m sure Angelo would love the chance to use his candles.”

“Or,” John broke in sternly, “you could come in, sit down, and explain a few things. You have a step-mother?”

“Unfortunately.” Sherlock muttered, reluctantly shedding his outerwear.

“And you don’t particularly want to see her, given you just about fled at the mention of her?” John prodded.

“Not particularly, no.” Sherlock threw himself dramatically on the couch, presenting them both with his profile and refusing to look at them.

“Any particular reason?”

The kettle clicked off in the kitchen, almost covered by Sherlock and Greg’s tandem derisive snorts.

“You’ve never met her. If you had you wouldn’t need to ask.” Sherlock lazily curled his fingers through his hair, affecting disinterest.

“You can say that again.” Greg growled.

“Well, Greg has met her, now, and a bit of… context might be nice.” John moved over to the couch and lifted one of Sherlock hands to his lips. “Please love? You know Mycroft’s never going to fill in the gaps.”
Sherlock grunted unhappily.

“Please? Forewarned is forearmed and all that?” John worked his ‘I love you’ smile, shamelessly exploiting Sherlock’s residual guilt from earlier.

Apparently, Sherlock still felt guilty and it was enough.

“Her name is Elizabeth Henrietta Ingham Roper-Curzon Holmes.” Sherlock answered waspishly. “She is a Dominant and not someone any sane person would want to spend any time with. I’d rather pass the hours with Anderson any day.”

“Condemnation indeed.” John settled into his chair to listen. “Old School?”

“Of course.” Sherlock rolled his eyes.

“I thought all the old family Alphas got Omegas?” Greg asked. “Or did someone actually have a love match among that lot?”

“It’s not all arranged Bindings, you know. It is the twenty first century.” Sherlock turned his head to glare at Greg.

“Believe it when I see it.” Greg shot back.

Sherlock humped and turned back to the ceiling.

“Tell us?” John asked. “Please?”

Sherlock huffed. “Her Sire, Baron Teynham, had an affair with one of his household staff, not an uncommon occurrence. Nor was the resulting offspring. What was unusual, and for Mummy opportune, was that not long after she was born, the good Baron was in a hunting accident. He survived of course, but would never be reproducing again.”

John and Greg both flinched in instinctive sympathy.

“So suddenly robbed of any other offspring, the old Baron comes over all familial and decides to acknowledge and all that, so Mummy gets a proper education and upbringing and her mother gets sacked because the Old Baron’s Bound Omega feels a lot less charitable about the whole idea.”

“So she’s a baroness in her own right?” John asked. “Rags to riches?”

“Hardly.” Sherlock snorted. “Firstly, Mummy has never been without everything she could possibly want in her memory, and secondly no, she’s not the baroness. Her older legitimate half-brother presented as an Omega, so she almost snatched it from him. Eventually though Lord Teynham decided it was better to ensure succession and give the title to his son-in-law. Not before changing his mind half a dozen times in as many years though, so Mummy had to settle for a substantial dowry and the much more prominent Marquisate of Northampton instead.”

“Mycroft’s title.” Greg clarified for John, who had never actually realised that the Holmes family weren’t just rich, but were extremely rich and titled to boot.

“If he would ever bother to wrest it from her, yes.” Sherlock tucked his hand under his head. “Not that he will. She’s spent his whole life making sure he’s too under her thumb to ever conceive of it.”

“So your Sire was gay?” Greg asked.

“No, but he married her anyway. It was an arranged match, and Mummy came with significant financial incentives, after all.” Sherlock drawled.

They sat there in silence, the two Alphas watching Sherlock, waiting for him to say more. Sherlock continued to ignore their attention, still gazing up and away. He wasn’t actually studying the ceiling, because his eyes were still, fixed on one point. It was just to have something away from them to look at.

To look and to make clear his cooperation was under sufferance. His continued silence made it clear he was done.

“Who is Sherringford?” Greg asked into the void.

Sherlock’s lips tightened. “The Honourable Sherringford Llewellyn Ingham Roper-Curzon Holmes.”

“Holmes? You have another brother?” John sat upright in surprise.

“Half-brother.” Sherlock corrected him tightly.

“You have a younger half-brother?” John repeated. “Why have you never mentioned him? What does-”

“Older half-brother.”

John paused. “Older? But I thought you said you and Mycroft were full – oh. He’s the elde-”


John stopped and hesitantly exchanged glances with Greg. It was unusual for an Alpha to have multiple children with one Omega separated by a son with a woman who was his wife. That didn’t tend to go down well with either party.

“Leg-itimate?” John asked, flipping his eyes back to Sherlock.

“Ye-es.” Sherlock mimicked.

John and Greg exchanged another glance.

“Sherlock, love,” John took a deep breath. “Idiot, I know, but I’m really not following.”

“That doesn’t surprise.”

The comment lacked the usual vitriol. Instead Sherlock sounded weary and resigned.

“Please?” John asked. He shushed Greg who was opening his mouth to speak with a wave of his hand. “Explain it for me.”

“Do I have to?” Sherlock whispered.

“Not if you really don’t want to.”

“You don’t want to hear it.”

“Of course we do, ‘lock. We want to know everything.” John studied the fragile face before him. “It won’t change our opinions of you, or Mycroft. We just want to know, be prepared in case anything happens. With Ben.”

There was beat, then Sherlock asked “Tea?”

“Of course.” John got up and started the kettle boiling again, glaring Greg into silence when he started to press immediately for more.

Greg’s mouth snapped shut swallowing his words, but it didn’t stop him glaring back, his anger still hot under the surface. Whatever Mummy or Mycroft had done, Greg was still plenty pissed off and the prospect of finally getting information out of one of the Holmeses was not actually calming him down. Not that John would have expected it to. It was the balance between Curiosity and Temper, and the more Curiosity was assuaged, the more he suspected Temper would return.

“Who mentioned Sherringford?” John heard Sherlock quietly ask as he poured the water.

“The harpy.” Greg drummed his fingers on the arm. “Why?”

Sherlock didn’t respond. He was still in the same position staring at the same spot when John came back in and offered the tea. Sherlock didn’t move to take it, so John put it on the coffee table and went back for his and Greg’s mugs.

“What do you want to know?” Sherlock asked as John sat down again.


Part II

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Rolling in the Deep (13/?)
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Rolling in the Deep

Title: Rolling in the Deep
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep) (Part III of IV)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they aren't. Nor am I creative enough to have written the song that gave this instalment its title. That belongs to Adele, and whomever else had IP rights along side her.

Author's Notes:

Evening everyone. So this chapter is completely different to others. Some of you might remember that at the end of the last story I asked whether anyone had anything they particularly wanted to see in the next instalment and I'd try to fit it in. This chapter is in response the the request by LiviKate for "a scene of Mycroft sneakily listening to Greg talking to his son. It could be just cute fluffiness or it could be serious confessions of concerns about their relationship or something like that. I just want to see Mycroft getting teary eyed from listening to Greg talk to his son when he doesn't know he's there :) preferably beautiful things about his mum, especially if they're kind of sad too."

Being me... that's not what we've ended up with at ALL. It's a lot less fluffy and sweet, and a bit more angsty ... and there's a lot less Greg... but it is the request that inspired the chapter so I shall credit it and back slowly away from all the sharp pointy objects.

Just in case anyone missed it, at the extremely wise request of Baelorfan I've written up a bit more of an explanation as to genders, dynamics and reproduction. If you're a bit confused as to Mummy, or just want some more background info to better understand the world, please check it out. (

Thanks as always to theartofprose for the dedicated work on this chapter. Appreciated as always.

Warnings: None really for this chapter.

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20
They’re hard to watch sometimes. Most of the time, really.

Some people would assume it’s because I’m jealous, or unhappy at being replaced. If I ever mentioned it, at least one of them would be ‘some people’ too.

I’m not. Jealous, that is. It was only ever physical between Mycroft and I, a convenient adjunct to our working lives. I won’t claim I don’t miss it sometimes, but that’s entirely to do with the quality and quantity of the sex. Mycroft can be an extremely. . . inspired Dom when he chooses.

No, they’re hard to watch because they could be - however that sentence finishes it would be true – amazing, in sync. Perfect. The point is they could be, but they keep missing each other and they’re just …not. That makes them hard to watch.

Like now: miscommunication, confusion, both of them too overloaded by their pasts to manage that crucial shift so maybe they can fix things. From where I stand at the top of the stairs I can hear them: Mycroft not managing to apologise and say what he actually meant, Gregory not managing to hear the apology behind the hurt and rage.

I can already tell it’s not going to be today. This isn’t the incident where they’ll somehow find that middle ground they’ve been circling around since last December. Maybe even before that. Maybe since they first met, poetically drawing ever towards each other. Fate.

Mycroft would hate the thought. That’s part of their problem.

Lestrade leaves, striding self-righteously out of the nursery, clothed in anger, indignation and pain. His face does its usual dance when he sees me, trying to decide whether today I’m friend or foe.

Sometimes I’m an ally: the helpful comrade who got him access to the birth of his son and the fellow conspirator who helps manage Mycroft. Those are the days the cheer is genuine, even if its hiding how annoyed he is with his lover.

More often I’m a reminder, an allegory. Sherlock has the Work, Mycroft has Duty, and I am Duty personified, the one who keeps him late and picks him up early, who shuttles him away on mysterious weekends and unknown flights. He hates Duty, deep down, but Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade has no right to comment on it—not with his own record of nights at the office and overtime on the weekends—so he doesn’t and the bitterness sits, aimed at me if he absolutely must let it out.

The rest of the time I’m the enemy. More than a competitor for Mycroft’s time, I’m a competitor for his life, heart and bed—the gorgeous, talented ex still spending ten or more hours a day with his love.

There’s a difference between convenience and desperation, and while my arrangement with Mycroft was convenient, I am not desperate, but that seems to matter less and less since Ben was born and they took that great fracturing step together. The only two people I know who can move backwards by moving forwards.

Lestrade thinks he trusts us: that he doesn’t believe we’d do anything behind his back. He’d be right, if he really did believe that, but what Alpha is really comfortable in those circumstances, excluded on the side lines with no assurance of forever?

There’s nothing I can do about the excluded and nothing Mycroft will do about the forever. He’d been getting there, inching slowly towards accepting. Before all this. Before the Mummy shaped topping on the poisoned cake. Now, if not square zero, he’s certainly back to square one.

If the universe had been kind and everything about them and their relationship was normal, Lestrade would be getting increasingly aggressive, because that’s what Alpha Doms do when surrounded by all this uncertainty. I’m stereotyping, but stereotypes exit for a reason. As a Sub he keeps getting more withdrawn and bitter, pulling away from everyone and locking himself up in his head. A withdrawal Mycroft, buried deep in his own problems, probably sees as acceptance.

The Sub is withdrawing, not the Alpha. Very few people would notice, but Lestrade has had almost thirty years practice splitting his personality into segments. Every time he sees me it gets worse. Every time, the fracture in him grows a little more: the Alpha becoming more aggressive and as the Sub drifts further away.


He likes to think he trusts us because the alternative is more than he can handle. Lestrade has an almost unmatched ability to bury his head in the sand. Only Mycroft’s is better.

I’m not even sure if he realises: his smile is always friendly, but the eyes and the musculature twitches give him away. No, when Lestrade sees me, I’m always evaluated and mostly found wanting. Today I’m not a friend, but not necessarily an enemy. I can’t tell. He doesn’t speak, doesn’t acknowledge me beyond the harsh tainted nod, and heads straight for the front door.

I continue down the corridor towards the nursery, heels silent on the carpet. I hear a sigh within and think Mycroft must have heard me, but it’s not me he starts talking to so I stop and listen.

I’m in intelligence after all and all information is valuable. Especially information about Mycroft. Especially if he doesn’t want me to know. Lately more and more of my job seems to be interfering between Mycroft and his own best interests, so forewarned is forearmed.

It was the sigh that clued me in first that this might be something to listen to. It was heavy, heartfelt, not exasperated or smug. A genuine expression of emotion—unusual for Mycroft Holmes.

“I sometimes wonder whether I made the right choice with you,” he says.

I can picture him, holding baby Ben in his arms and talking to him as the youngest and cutest Holmes stared up at him or maybe Ben’s in the cot and Mycroft is leaning over and speaking to him that way, with his fingers smoothing through the baby’s hair. I’m not sticking my head around the door to check.

There is another sigh and Mycroft continues.

“With your name, I mean. Making you a Holmes. It was the most logical choice. The family needs someone to inherit when I’m gone, and Sherlock and John will never produce children who are suitable, not with John Watson raising them. You’ll always be provided for, go to the best schools, never want for anything. If you want to try it, you can: music, science, art. It will all be at your fingertips and one day you’ll be the most powerful Alpha in Britain. . . . If you are an Alpha, I suppose.

“Money, success, purpose, access to the privileged of the world... I can give you all that. It was the logical choice. It still is logical. Easier for me too. If you’re an Alpha, well, they might finally be satisfied. An heir.

“I sometimes wonder though, if it was right. Do you think it was right? Would you have preferred to be a Lestrade? After today, I think he’d prefer it if you were.

“It would have been harder for you: less money, no privileges. You’d be in a two room flat with a parent who works too much overtime and constantly misses recitals and birthdays because he’s running down some criminal or another with your uncle. Not that you’d know he was your uncle. You’d be in a government school, not a public one – no great teachers, no peers with influence once they graduated, most without ambitions beyond graffiti and recreational substances. Cheap beer, most likely.

“Would you join in? Gregory had his punk days, would you follow that path too? Or would he have managed to scrape together enough to get you into somewhere else by then? He’d try—never underestimate how much he will do for you Abernathy, and he would try—even if it would mean more overtime.

“Would you have been happier? Having a Sire who loved you unconditionally and could show it? Scraping through life, but as a team? You laugh more for him already, smile. Would you still smile when you were older and could understand the struggle?

“He’s a better father than I am. He always will be, I suspect. Would that have been enough to make the difference?

“Listen to him, when you’re older, but don’t emulate him. Your Sire’s best traits are his unfailingly large capacity to care for everyone and everything and his unflagging sense of right and wrong. Don’t adopt them. Admire them and appreciate that people who think and feel like that exist, but don’t become one. You can’t. I gave you my name and my path, and on this road, caring is not an advantage and morals, well, it’s a very grey world, Abernathy, and you will operate from the shadows. Just like me.

“You could have had that, been that. Normal. Not ordinary, just normal, but I gave you my name. Because it was logical, but now that you’re here . . . maybe putting my path beneath your feet wasn’t the best choice.

“Remember this though. Remember that you are wonderful and you are loved. That you are perfect, and that no matter what happens, and what you do, your Sire will be there and he will protect you. From anyone. Always. Because he is a good person, one who cares deeply, and loves you more than good sense should allow. He will chase away every nightmare, and take on everyone who ever dares criticise you, because he’s a good person, a brave person. Because he has a heart. Because he’s everything I’m not. Yet you’re mine. With my name.

“I’m sorry.”

Of course, Lestrade knows none of this. Will never hear any of this, because that’s not how Mycroft works. The doubts, the worry, the admiration and implied caring, will stay the providence of a baby who can’t yet understand English.

I back soundlessly down the corridor then proceed back towards the nursery, not muffling my footsteps as I go so he can hear me coming. Sure enough, Abernathy is safely ensconced in the crib and my boss has well and truly wrapped his walls back around himself in a frozen cloud.

“Ah my dear, has the car arrived?” he asks.

He knows the answer. I wouldn’t have come to fetch him if it hadn’t.

“Indeed, Sir. If we’re going to be on time to your meeting with the Minister for Education we need to leave soon. Mrs Potts has returned from the store and is downstairs.”

“In that case, my dear, after you.”

For Duty.

As if nothing had ever happened, and as far as the world will know, nothing did.


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Encyclopaedia of Life - Behind Still Waters
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Encyclopaedia of Life - Behind Still Waters

Genders, Reproduction and Dynamic - The World of Omegaverse
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish, I wish upon a star... but until that works, not mine and sadly no money made.

Fifth Entry: An explanation of the different genders, dynamics, and how they interact in this version of Omegaverse

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

I frequently get asked what the rules are for this Omegaverse, and after having explained it several times I finally got asked for some actual notes, which duh, I really should have written up earlier. So below, an expose on Genders, Reproduction and Dynamics – how do they all relate.


There are four possible genders in this world: Alpha, Beta, Omega and Female. There is no such thing as a Male Beta or a Female Alpha – it’s just Alpha, Beta, Omega and Female. Combined with two dynamics, Dominant and Submissive, there are a possible six combinations (AD, OS, BD, BS, FD, FS).

This is a world that doesn’t have any concept of the word “man”. All “men” are Alphas, Betas, or Omegas. There is “boy”, for unpresented children, but once they present their gender they are what they are. It’s not a case of primary gender and secondary, they’re just A-B-O.

Unlike other versions of Omegaverse, Female is a gender in its own right. Unlike Alphas or Betas, Females are bearers like Omegas. Alphas and Betas are Sires – sort of. For more information, see Reproduction below.


Technically, all four genders can reproduce, however, “technically” and “reality” do not often meet.


A+O = A/O                       Only an Alpha Omega couple can have Alpha or Omega children

A+F = B/F                        Alphas are Sires and Females are Bearers so they can reproduce together, but can only                                         have Beta or Female offspring

A+B = Not possible          Alphas and Betas are both Sires and can’t reproduce. They still might have a             
                                        relationship (with, for example, a Beta Sub - or Dom if they were gay), but they can’t have 
                                        any offspring

B+O=B/F                         Betas are Sires and Omegas are Bearers, so they can reproduce. Children will only be
                                        Betas or Female

B+F=Not possible           Due to an unknown genetic evolution, Betas and Women are unable to reproduce. Once
                                       upon a time they could have children (Deltas) who were sterile. No Deltas have been born for
                                       well over a century.

O+F = Not possible         Women and Omegas are both Bearers and cannot reproduce together.

In reality, a Beta is never going to have a chance with an Omega as, due to their rarity, they will almost always be claimed by an Alpha. This is especially as Betas are unable to knot Omegas during Estrus. Worse, the stimulation without the knot enflames the need without any relief, creating a torture like state and potentially driving the Omega insane.

Dynamics – Where it gets fun
Alphas are only ever Doms. Omegas are only ever Subs. Women and Betas can be Doms, Subs, or Switches.

Obviously Gregory and Mycroft are exceptions to this, however for the purposes of this I’m going to talk about the generally accepted norms.

Alphas are all Doms. More, they’re normally strong Doms. As your attractiveness to your complementary dynamic is based on how far up and down the scale you are, this makes Alphas very attractive to Subs of all sorts. Obviously factors such as what a person finds attractive, blondes or brunettes, tall or short, etc. do also matter, but on a simplistic level: the more Dominant, the more attractive. This is one of the reasons a Beta is unlikely to ever have a realistic chance with an Omega over an Alpha, especially when the possibility of Bonding and the rest comes in in favour of the Alpha.

Conversely, the more Submissive, the more attractive as well. This means that Omegas, being the most submissive of the Submissives, are the most attractive to Dominants of any kind. Over the years this has caused a lot of conflict with Women in particular, being the other Bearers and also potentially Submissives.

There is a whole essay I have drafted about the relationship between Omegas and Women, and how it has evolved over the centuries so I won’t go into detail here.

Women and Betas have more flexibility with their dynamic. It’s possible for them to be Subs, Doms or Switches – capable of being both. Switches are more accurately described as capable of being either. It’s not that their instincts cancel to zero. It’s that they can be Dom or Sub as they choose, but they must be one or the other. If a Switch is quite strong on the dynamic scale, they remain quite strong as either a Dom or a Sub. Switches frequently find it hard to maintain relationships as they can ignore half their dynamic for only so long before it’s needs need to be fulfilled as well.

Once upon a time, a Switch would have been forced to choose what they were: Dom or Sub. Usually they would choose to be a Dom for the extra freedoms, but it would be one or the other. This would cause Switches to not infrequently suffer from depression and various addictions as they battled to ignore their other dynamic.

Our Characters

To finish up I thought I’d give you a recap of our characters and their gender/dynamics so far.

Our main foursome:
Mycroft Holmes – Omega Dom
Gregory Lestrade – Alpha Sub
Sherlock Holmes – Omega Sub
John Watson – Alpha Dom

Our supporting cast:
Sally Donovan – Female Dom
Phillip Anderson – Alpha Dom
“Anthea” – Female Switch
Mrs Potts – Female Sub
Mummy – Female Dom
Mrs Hudson – Female Switch (nominated Sub)
Harriet Watson – Female Dom
Jim Moriarty – Beta Switch

Let me know if there are any other characters you want to know about or if you have any further questions. I’ve kept this quite simplistic and tried not to go into all the history etc. but I’ll hopefully get around to actually writing up the notes I have on that soon.


Back to Index

Rolling in the Deep (12/?)
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Rolling in the Deep

Title: Rolling in the Deep
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep) (Part III of IV)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they aren't. Nor am I creative enough to have written the song that gave this instalment its title. That belongs to Adele, and whomever else had IP rights along side her.

Author's Notes: Sorry everyone for the delays with this. Trying to coordinate two people's schedules across a wide range of time zones is proving an interesting exercise. I've also had a ton on with work and life stuff, so I'm going to officially make if fortnightly updates for a while. Hopefully I'll get far enough ahead in chapters that I can go back to weekly soon.

If you speak French, this is the chapter for you. If not, I'm putting the English translations in spoiler cuts (which has taken an HOUR) so if you click on the French it'll appear for you. If they sound a little unnatural in English, that's because you're reading the English translation of the French translation of the original English.

Massive shout out to theartofprose who has not only beta'ed, but translated this chapter. Thank you so much!

Also, I've written a little expose on the different levels of relationship in this world. It's not necessary reading or anything, but you might find it easier to understand later chapters (I'm thinking 14 in particular) if you've had a quick flick through. You can find it in the Encyclopaedia - Til Death do us Part: An Explanation of the World of Matrimony. There's also an expose on Gender, Reprodution and Dynamics - The World of Omegaverse which might help if you're finding this chapter a little confusing.

Warnings: People being very arrogant rude people?

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20
“So what do you think?” Sally asked, legs swinging idly.

Sherlock grunted non-committedly, eyes glued to the crime scene notes and photos spread out on the table before him.

They’d commandeered one of the bigger meeting rooms for this, covering the table with photo after photo of every angle of the body and the crime scene. Sally perched on the edge, denim clad legs loosely dangling above the ground as she watched Sherlock work. Greg was rather less elegantly sprawled across the corner with his feet up on the furniture, re-reading the forensic report and stubbornly ignoring the fact that it was Saturday and that his love was at home getting to spend quality time with their son, while he was at work for the second weekend in a row.

The whole week at been long – long days and very little progress. He’d gone home last Friday after finishing the preliminaries, reluctantly aware that he’d missed the opportunity to cuddle Ben before he was put down to sleep. Dinner had been waiting for him, kept warm in the oven for his late arrival. Taking an educated guess based on his tingling spidey sense (and knowledge of his love), he’d rapped lightly on the study door and waited.

“Just a moment.”

There was a light ruffling of papers and muffled thumps as Mycroft cleared whatever confidential material he wanted out of sight and locked up.

“Come in.”

Greg balanced his plate carefully so he could open the door. “Hey,” he greeted Mycroft who sat behind the imposing desk, its work surface clear. As was typical, he still wore his full suit, with his tie neatly knotted and perfectly straight. Just the sight of him made Greg smile.

“Evening,” Mycroft returned the greeting.

Greg moved into the room and slumped into the chair across the desk with a weary sigh.

“How’d he go down?” he asked, stabbing a piece of ravioli with his fork.

“With nare a whimper,” Mycroft told him arrogantly.

Greg grunted and listened to the light tone over the pompous look, deciding Mycroft sounded fond in the ‘still coming out of work mode’ way he had.

“That’s good.” Greg absently twirled his fork in the air, eyeing off the pasta square before nibbling off the edge. “I’m going to have to work tomorrow.”

“I suspected as much,” Mycroft sighed, leaning back in his leather chair. “I’m having some files delivered and have rescheduled my meeting so I’ll be home.”

“Good. That’s good.”

That had been the running trend. He hadn’t seen Ben awake and smiling all week. Now it was Saturday again and he still wasn’t home to spend time with his son.

John was a couple of chairs further again, morosely staring out the window. Greg hadn’t asked, but Sherlock was avoiding looking at his blogger with a dedication not entirely due to the case before him. Something was definitely up.

“Time of death?” Sherlock’s deep baritone rumbled through the room.

Sally’s lips pursed and she dug up the autopsy report. “Outside limit’s two weeks ago.”

She looked hopeful, as though Sherlock would prove Dr George wrong with an obscure observation about how the victim’s socks showed the body had in fact been preserved since May, but he just frowned and scanned the report.

“Do you think—”

“Not Remington, Sally.” Sherlock shook his head. “Date of death: he was well and truly in custody.”

He upturned the autopsy photos onto the table and sorted them according to his own logic, eyes darting everywhere.

Sally frowned in annoyance, but held her tongue and let him work; a massive change from all the previous posturing that had gone on between them.

“Maybe it was one of his gang buddies. A revenge thing or something,” Greg postulated.

“A gang hit, that’s what you’ve come up with?” Sherlock scoffed. “It’s not a gang hit.”

“Oh yeah?” Greg closed the report and scowled at him. “Do share.”

“No visitors.”

“Could have, I dunno, smuggled the message out.”

“No,” Sherlock scowled back. “It’s too good, too clean. This isn’t a gang killing by some low class enforcer. This is a professional.”

“A hit?” Greg asked sceptically. “On this bloke?”

“You can tell there are no traces of anything because unlike someone Gregson had his teams take photos before they disturbed the body or the scene.”

Greg just rolled his eyes and ignored the jibe. It stung, but at least it was classic Sherlock.

Abandoning the photos Sherlock pulled the evidence bag with Carr’s clothes out and opened it.

“There’s nothing there,” Sally told him. “Not a thread, not a trace.”

“There’s always a trace,” Sherlock shot back, snapping his gloves into place.

His frown deepened as he pawed through the clothes and came up with exactly the same as the forensic team – nothing.

“Definitely professional,” he murmured, eyes lighting up at the challenge. “But not infallible. John, take a look. Tell me what you see.”

With a long suffering sigh John obeyed his Sub’s orders, standing and reaching for the first item.

“What am I looking for?” he asked in a resigned tone.

Sherlock waved his hand impatiently.

“All right, but no calling me an idiot when I get it all wrong. Again,” he muttered, turning the suit jacket over in his hands. “Well, it’s a jacket.”

Sherlock gave a huff that managed to sound derogatory and put upon. John just ignored him, well used to Sherlock’s derision of the obvious, but knowing more often than not it was where he found his inspiration.

“In good nick,” he continued. “New? Except the cuffs have been re-hemmed. Adjusted? Maybe?”

He turned it again to look at the label. “Westwood. That’s not off the rack, is it? You get some of yours near there. It’s tailored. So why have the cuffs adjusted then?

“It’s expensive. Maybe it was second hand and he had to take the cuffs up? Sherlock?” John looked up, studying the taller Detective’s face. “Need me to keep going?”

“No, no. You’ve said quite enough.” Sherlock held out a hand, his blank gaze staring straight ahead and not actually seeing the wall. “You did well. All obvious, but not incorrect.”

Greg smiled as John tried to look annoyed at Sherlock’s off-hand condescending tone, but just looked pleased instead.

The detective stood, running the navy blue material through his fingers, still lost in thought. It wasn’t a deep fugue: he hadn’t retreated into his mind palace so it wouldn’t be too long before he teased out whatever it was he was chasing.

“Professional indeed,” Sherlock murmured, not one minute later.

“Yeah?” John asked, leaning on the desk between Sally and Sherlock.

Greg could see he was trying to avoid touching Sherlock because the Sub always claimed it was too distracting when he was trying to think, but he wanted to.
Sherlock blinked. Back in his head again. He began running long, lean fingers over the jacket lining, his sensitive fingertips smoothing the silk flat.

“Ah ha.”

There was a box cutter on the table they’d been using to slice photographs and recreate the scene. Now he applied it to the jacket lining, creating one small slit over Sally’s protesting “Freak!”

Ignoring the protest, Sherlock teased the slit open just slightly further and slid two fingers into the gap. Pulling them back revealed a white business card, plain on the back and obviously expensive.

The words ‘Did you miss me?’ stood out in bold, black typeface on the front.

Greg didn’t want to know. He suddenly really, really didn’t want to know.

“It’s him, isn’t it?” John asked grimly.

“I believe so.” Sherlock studied the card then held it out for Sally to drop into an evidence bag. “You won’t find who killed Bruce Carr.”

“We can’t just—”

“Moriarty doesn’t leave traces. Not unless he wants to.”

“Why,” Greg waded in, “would Moriarty kill an abused Beta Sub?”

“Organise to have killed,” Sherlock corrected him, fingers steepled under his chin as his mind churned. “Jim doesn’t like to get his hands dirty.”

“So why did Jim,” there was a hint of steel in John’s voice, “organise to have him killed?”

Watching Sherlock’s mind work was like riding in a luxury car: you knew under the bonnet things were pumping away, but in the driver’s seat the superb suspension made it feel like you were barely moving. Not in his mind palace just connecting dots at the surface, Sherlock was much the same: his face smooth and disconnected while his mind whirled underneath.

“Dear Jim,” his whisper broke the silence, “please could you fix it for me to make my errant Sub disappear. The consulting criminal at work. This was business.”

“So it was Remington?” Greg asked. “Thought you said-”

“That no one in his little gang could have managed it, yes.” Sherlock didn’t even deign to look at him, eyes fixed fervently in the middle distance. “Jim changes things.”

“Yes, let’s all hear how dear Jim changes things,” John muttered angrily under his breath.

Greg didn’t think he was meant to have heard.

“What could Remington offer?” Sally crossed her ankles, chewing on her pen. “He would have had to pay—”

“Won’t be a financial trail. Don’t waste your time.” Sherlock’s eyes were starting to gleam with excitement.

John Watson kept trying to incinerate the wall with his glare, mouth twisted into a distinctly unhappy scowl.

“I know that.” Sally snapped at Sherlock. “I meant Moriarty isn’t just for hire. You have to interest him. What could Remington offer to interest him?”

Sherlock’s lips twitched up in a delighted curl. “Me.”

“Okay mate, watch the ego.” Greg cast a worried glance at John, who seemed to be at the stage of angry he went dangerously controlled and still.

Clearly there were unresolved Moriarty issues between the two of them.

“Why else would he bother?” Sherlock broke off his staring match with the air to start shuffling the photographs of the entire crime scene again, looking for a Moriarty shaped hold in the evidence. “Why would he leave the body otherwise?”

“To dispose of it?”

“He can do that without you ever realising someone’s dead. No, no this was a message. The body was meant to be found.”

One particular photograph seemed to capture Sherlock’s interest. He peered at it, turning it around in his hands as though changing the orientation would reveal the secrets of the world.

“We could have found the card,” Sally scowled.

It was a relief, just a slight one, to see that while Sally and Sherlock would now work together they were not at the stage of doing so gracefully. John had told Greg before that Sherlock really did care more than he let on, and Sherlock himself had even tentatively expressed such a statement, but it felt fragile. Sally and Sherlock arguing was refreshingly normal and no little bit reassuring.

Sherlock rolled his eyes.

“It’s his suit, isn’t it?” John asked in a staccato burst. “The one from the pool.”

The furrows around his eyes were especially deep and his thin lips were pressed together in a hard line. The Pool was not a good memory for John Watson.

“Tailored to fit Bruce Carr, yes,” Sherlock replied absently. “Carr would never have owned a Westwood.”

“That’s all well and good Sherlock, but I can’t go back to Packenham and Mulgrave and say Moriarty, that mad bomber we never caught, organised this, end of story.” Greg folded his arms.

“Question Remington, but I would advise you do so quickly and get everything out of him in one go. He’ll be dead soon enough.”


“You don’t think he’ll be left alive once Jim knows you have made the connection, do you?” Sherlock sent Greg one of his ‘don’t be dull’ trademarked looks.

“We only held off questioning to wait for you.” Sally snarled.

“And now you have something to ask him about,” Sherlock smiled his fake smile, the one he used to annoy people, not con them.

“Break it up children,” Greg warned half-heartedly as Sally began to lightly growl. “I swear my 6 week old’s not as much trouble as you two. Speaking of, I’d rather like to get home to him, so, what’s next?”

“I’ll pull the gang members alibis together.” Sally flicked her hair, sending the bouncy spirals flying.

“Why? I just—”

“It’s called police work, Freak. That thing you never have to do to prove your answers.”

“I do prove myself.” Sherlock looked confused.

“Not in a way a court of law would acknowledge.” Greg stretched as he stood. “All right, Donovan, off you go. Don’t stay longer than 3, yeah?”

With a brisk nod she grabbed her jacket and left.

“And you? What are you up to now?” Greg eyed off the other child in his vicinity.

“Finding Jim.”

Not to be out drama queened, Sherlock collected his coat and sauntered out after Sally.

“You’d better mean thinking about Moriarty in your flat!” Greg yelled after him.

“I won’t let him do anything too stupid, Greg.” John still had that pinched look around his eyes.

“He really okay to be doing this?”

The short sharp exhalation was respected as was the resigned air of John’s response.

“He’s hormonal and bitchy and frustrating and needy, but is there anything that can stop him now he knows Moriarty is involved? No.”

“So just like usual then?” Greg tried gamely.

“Ha, yeah.” John rubbed his nose. “I’d better go or he’ll be halfway to Kent for some reason without telling me.”

“Good luck with that.” Greg waved him out then turned to pack everything up.

That was him: clean up duty.

He’d finished documenting the calling card in the evidence log and was sinking deep into a lovely sense of desolate martyrdom when his phone rang.

Just Sherlock demanding to be taken to the exact spot the body had been found.

“Oh, and bring the photos,” he instructed.

John was not with him at the bridge.

“Show me exactly where the body was left.” Sherlock demanded as he snatched the photographs from Greg with feverish anticipation.

“Over there.” Greg pointed down the muddy embankment.

“I said exactly, Lestrade.” Sherlock didn’t even spare the time to shoot Greg a withering look, he was so single-minded in his hunt for Moriarty.

At least this time it wasn’t raining, Greg reflected as he made his way carefully down the slope. With the sun peeking out behind the clouds and light breeze it was actually quite a pleasant day. Even the muddy brown Thames managed to look inviting, a silvery sheen dancing over the surface as the sun reflected off its rippling waves. Across the way old wharf facilities littered the shore, managing to look dignified and solemn with age rather than old and decrepit.

He should be at the park, taking Ben for a stroll and showing him the ducks. He was too young for them, but it would still be fun introducing him to the birds. Then they could go home and listen to nursery rhymes while Ben had tummy time before his nap. When he was asleep Greg could have gone and conned Mycroft into leaving his study to watch the match with him on the telly before dinner, maybe even managed to sneak an arm around him given how openly affectionate Mycroft had been lately.

That’s what he should have been doing. Instead he was attempting not to go arse over tail in mud because his shoes were not suited to this.

Sherlock, the git, had no trouble, smooth soled leather shoes or not. Sometimes Greg really did hate him.

“Right here on this one.” Greg indicated where the body had been positioned. “Up straight, legs extended. You’ve got the photos.”

Sherlock hummed in agreement, not really listening, which meant Greg was fine to do whatever he wanted as long as it didn’t disturb Sherlock’s concentration.
It was a good place for a body dump, especially one you wanted found. This section of the Thames didn’t see much tourist traffic, but it was far from isolated so sooner or later someone would notice, but not so soon as to be likely to interfere with your plans. The sloping embankment meant no one would trample your message, preserving the site for the people, or person if Sherlock was right, you wanted to see it.

How did the body get there without leaving any traces? No footprints, no unusual disturbances, but too neat to have been casually tossed off the bridge. Lowered maybe?

“Why did he tailor the suit?” Greg wondered out loud.

“Because he’s vain,” Sherlock unexpectedly replied, sweeping pathways Greg had just looked over himself, but undoubtedly seeing much, much more. “He can’t stand the idea of an ill-fitting custom Westwood. He certainly has brand loyalty.”

“Not the kind of customer you want,” Greg muttered darkly. “Might be a way to catch him though.”

“No, already looked into it.” Sherlock dismissed his suggestion instantly. “None of the store assistants, tailors or designers recognised him. He must go in incognito, somehow changing his appearance without compromising the line of his suit or colour palette. Good thought though. Only took you a year.”

“Drat.” Greg heaved a sigh, sneaking a sideways glance at the Sub next to him.

Sherlock positively thrummed with manic energy. The single track focus was razor sharp and he was vibrating slightly. Anticipation, Greg assumed. If he’d been a dog his tail would have been wagging and ears pricked, narrowing in the scent.

The comparison alone worried Greg. Sherlock more typically resembled a cat – one of the large sleek predators with a streak of arrogant independence a mile wide. For him to bring to mind the slavish devotion of a dog rather than the leonine stalking of a cat. . . . Already. . . .

“Sherlock,” Greg started then trailed off. “Sherlock, I need you to promise me something.”

“What now, Lestrade?” Came the irritable response. “Remember to be a team player and not to go off on my own?”

“No, just try not to get drawn in by him.”

Sherlock snorted.

“I mean it.” Greg didn’t bother to hide how concerned he really was. “He’s done this for you.”

“I know.” There was a dreamlike quality to Sherlock’s voice.

“To lure you,” Greg repeated. “He wants you to chase him.”

“The best criminal mind of its generation.” Sherlock’s eyes gleamed with excitement. “How can I not oblige?”


“Lestrade, do stop being tedious and go stand against the bridge. I want to test your arm span.”


The sky was still clear, the weather was still gorgeous, and Gregory Lestrade was heading home at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon with mud on his arse.

Of course Sherlock hadn’t slipped. No, as usual the dirty work was all Greg’s, and once he was down in the mud Sherlock decided he might as well stay down there and pose like their corpse, letting the cold, wet mud soak right through into his pants.

He was possibly being unfair. Sherlock was no prissy Omega despite the number of hair products he owned. He regularly went dumpster diving or undercover in less than sanitary locations, and grime was no barrier to detective work. Unless of course, there was someone there he could make do it for him.

So possibly unfair, but he didn’t feel like it. Not with his trousers plastered to his arse and stinking of the Thames.

There was a very expensive car outside Mycroft’s house. Of the very, very category. Greg would openly admit he was better at his bikes than his cars, but even he could recognise a Rolls Royce. A very distinguished but bored looking chauffeur sat in the front, openly watching Greg with suspicious eyes as he passed too close to the vehicle. Worried that he was going to breathe on it probably.

It could have been for someone else, but Greg wasn’t willing to risk money on that. Apparently they had a guest.

Christ Almighty he hoped he could sneak upstairs without being seen.

Greg opened the door as carefully and smoothly as possible, easing it closed with equal precision before quietly releasing the handle. After that were the shoes, because if Mrs Potts found tracks on her floor… Just in case he stripped off his sodden socks and balled them into his shoes as well.

He just had to make it up the stairs.

It was the way Mycroft was standing, just visible in the parlour, which caught Greg’s attention. His Omega was rigid, shoulders back and down, his back military straight. Shifting closer, Greg could make out the distant, bored mask he wore to hide everything other than the polite disdain it seemed mandatory for Alphas of a certain rank to wear or assume, except. . .  something seemed off, even more wrong than Mycroft in full commanding posh tit mode in their parlour in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.

Unable to help himself, Greg sidled closer to the door, trying to work out what it was that was wrong.

“. . . Really Mycroft, I do believe your handling of the Forburton situation could have used refinement. The Forburtons are well a respected family and it was too harsh of you. Matthew and I were speaking the other day and I assured him you would reconsider.”

“Lord Forburton was discovered  committing fraud and selling Crown secrets to cover his debts,” Mycroft pushed back. “He should have stood trial for treason, not merely been sent overseas.”

“He’s a peer of the realm Mycroft. You can’t just exile a peer of the realm. No, I assured his Matthew you would recall him and provide suitable financial incentives not to reoffend.”

Whomever Mycroft was talking to, she was clearly both a work colleague and a snob. Her voice was a higher register than Greg often found pleasant, but well-modulated and refined. He bet she could shriek a house down though, if she put her mind to it; it was that sort of high pitched tone. The assurance and blatant assumption that she would be obeyed could be birth or breeding, Greg couldn’t tell, but something in him was leaning towards both, a Domme from a good family.

Mycroft didn’t respond, deciding silence was better than words, though he frowned just slightly.

“Don’t take that tone with me, young man,” the querulous voice scolded as if Mycroft had verbally retorted.

Greg frowned, inching closer to the door from what he hoped was a discreet angle. The Alpha in him bristled at the way this strange lady Dom was daring to speak to hi- Mycroft. Whoever she was, she was certainly opinionated and unafraid to share, expecting Mycroft to do as she said.

From where he was he could just see Anthea seated in one of the armchairs, focus on her phone as she pretended to ignore the scene in front of her. Greg had no doubt she could have detailed every second of it if asked, but she maintained the polite fiction of distraction from whatever was going on in the room.

Up close, Greg still couldn’t quite work out what was off about Mycroft – the ramrod posture and the cold, detached mask were all a given measure of normal.

“Are you going to come in? Or are you just going to skulk around doorways like the working class hooligan you are?”

Greg froze, the acerbic tones catching him mid-step.

“Yes, you,” they icily continued. “If you think us so unobservant as to miss the sound of your borrowed key in the lock, you might at least have considered the mirror.

“Not,” she continued as Greg reluctantly moved into the doorway, “that you’re welcome, Stop¸ exactly where you are. This carpet is an Axminster and you shall not drip mud all over it.”

The dominant command shocked Greg into stopping as much as the order itself, especially when Mycroft failed to protest or even give a territorial flicker. From the doorway he could see her, exquisitely dressed and coiffed with expensive, but tasteful jewels. If she tended towards ostentatious with a ring on every finger and an ornate drop in each ear, she wore it well. Even Anthea in her bespoke everyday suits and carefully made up appearance seemed lacking in comparison.

Standing in the doorway barefoot, shoes in one hand dripping on the tiles and sodden off the rack trousers, Greg felt shabby.

Her gaze travelled over him, lingering on the dark circles under his eyes, stubble on his chin and paunch he’d never fully be rid of at his waist before disdainfully turning her nose into the air.

“Mycroft, I do not wish to be made known to this creature. You will not introduce us.”

“Of course not.” Mycroft demurred.

That this woman would presume to use a Dominant command on Mycroft, who was a much stronger Dom, in his own home, and that Mycroft would just mumble his reply and acquiesce rocked Greg to his core.

That, Greg suddenly realised, was what was wrong, what had been screaming out at his instincts. There was no dominance, no command in Mycroft’s body language at all. The stature was there, the arrogant tilt, but none of the authenticity. Mycroft was actually ceding control to this woman, who accepted it as her due.

[“Franchement, Mycroft,” she sniffed haughtily. “Finallement tu accomplis ton devoir et c’est lui que tu as choisi pour saillir l’héritier des Holmes? Je suppose que les Omégas choisissent vraiment n’importe qui quand ils sont en Chaleur tant qu’il à une bitte qui fonctionne.”]“Really, Mycroft,” she sniffed haughtily. “Finally you fulfill your duty and this is the one you choose to sire the Holmes heir? I suppose that Omegas really do choose just about anybody when they’re in heat as long as it has a functioning cock.”

In utter disbelief, Greg just stared at her.

Ignoring the utter lack of manners switching languages in front of him, how on God’s green Earth could she think it was acceptable to say those things, let alone to Mycroft’s face?

[“Regarde comment il fixe le vide comme un animal. Si tu voulais vraiment un animal de companie, tu aurais les mêmes résultats si t’étais allé tourner dans le foin avec les chiens de chasse. C’est certain que l’issu aurait le même potentiel.”]“Look at how he stares dumbly like an animal. If you really wanted a pet, you could have had the same results if you’d lain with the hunting hounds. Surely the resulting issue would show the same promise.”

Greg glowered and straightened, spoiling for a fight. This obscene intruder could say what she wanted about him, but the implied insult to his son he wouldn’t stand for.

“Abernathy-” Mycroft started.

[“Oui,” she drew out the word into a long hiss. “Abernathy François je crois?”]“Yes,” she drew out the word into a long hiss. “Abernathy François I believe?”

Mycroft closed his mouth abruptly. His chin lost its upward tilt, actually angling downwards in . . . shame? Embarrassment?

[“Ce vilain,” the derision was acidic enough to eat through the carpet, “est comment tu as choisi de décevoir ta famille? L’idiot? Ton état de Dominant reproducteur est gâché sur toi, n’est-ce pas? Sherringford, lui, aurait choisi une addition d’estime pour la Famille. Dieu soit loué que tu ne puisse pas montrer vôtre liaison à cause de ta condition.”]“This serf,” the derision was acidic enough to eat through the carpet, “is how you choose to disappoint your family? This idiot? Being a breeding Dominant is just wasted on you, isn’t it? Sherringford, at least, would have chosen a creditable addition to the Family. Thank God you can’t advertise your relationship due to your condition.”


Greg jolted out of his aggressive stance in disbelief. This was the long fabled Mummy? A woman? Mummy was a woman?

[“Pas un autre mot.”]“Not another word.”

Mycroft stopped short obediently, swallowing back his words.

Her eyes narrowed, studying him and not liking what she was seeing. Nervously Greg’s eyes flicked to Mycroft, but whatever it was, he couldn’t see it.

[“Mycroft. Je sais que tu n’as pas laissé tes émotions s’embrouiller dans cette situation éxecrable. De toute manière, ta . . . condition est déjà un assez grand handicap, n’est-ce pas?"]“Mycroft. I know that you didn’t let your emotions get involved in this already distateful situation. In any case, your. . . condition is already a big enough handicap/weakness, isn’t it?”

[“Bien sûr que non, Mummy. C’était qu’une liaison. Rien de plus,” Mycroft hurried to reassure her.]“Of course not, Mother. It was just a fling/hook-up/one-night stand. Nothing more,” Mycroft hurried to reassure her.

Greg told himself he could hardly expect Mycroft to say otherwise, not with her beady eyes pressing down on them. Mycroft hadn’t admitted to Greg that he cared, despite his softer behaviour lately. He was hardly going to admit it to this witch. It still stung to hear though, how easily he was thrown aside without hesitation, especially on top of Sherlock’s dismissive attitude earlier.

[“De toute manière,” she continued silkily, “c’est certainment pas qui tu aurais choisi pour la tâche. Je sais que tu as un goût plus fin.”]“In any case,” she continued silkily, “it’s certainly not who you would have chosen for the affair. I know you have a more discriminating taste.”

The lingering implication was that Mycroft was slipping, failing to live up to her standards. Greg, knowing now the type of person Mummy dearest seemed to be, knew that those goal posts would keep shifting and that Mycroft never had and never would manage to satisfy her. Mycroft however seemed quietly devastated, if the little flickers Greg could see at the edge of his mouth and eyes meant anything.

It was clear this woman could play Mycroft like a drum. It was even more clear to Greg that she knew it and wasn’t afraid to flex that muscle on occasion when she thought Mycroft was getting too far from her control. Her presence here suggested that maybe he had been winning, maybe Mycroft had genuinely been softening, and now she was here to push back.

[“Et maintenant que tu as donné la Famille un métis comme héritier. . . espérons qu’il sera adéquat. J’ai confiance que tu es suffisament contrit de ton chois de donneur?”]“And now that you’ve given the Family a half-breed heir. . . let us hope he’ll be adequate. I have full confidence you are suitably apologetic for your choice of donor?”

That was too far. She could say what she wanted about him thinking he couldn’t understand, and clearly would, but she did not get to insult their son. Even worse, Mycroft’s chin was drifting ever downwards in shame, and at her raised eyebrow actually murmured,[“Je vous prie de m’excuser.”]“I am asking for your forgiveness.”

[“Soit.” The eyebrow didn’t lower. “Tes actions ont gâté le nom de Holmes pour des générations à venir. Regarde lui, couvert de boue et d’ordures après avoir fait Dieu sait quoi toute la journée.”]“Just so." The eyebrow didn’t lower. “Your actions have tainted the Holmes name now for generations. Just look at him, covered in mud and slime after God knows what all day.”

[“J’étais en train de garder vôtre beau-fils, en faite,” Greg replied angrily, a red film beginning to drift over his vision as he imagined exactly how many ways he’d love for this creature to disappear.]“I was busy babysitting your step-son, actually,” Greg replied angrily, a red film beginning to drift over his vision as he imagined exactly how many ways he’d love for this creature to disappear.

Next to the Parisian tones of Mycroft and Mummy his own regional accent sounded particularly heavy. It was still, however, clear and unmistakeably French.

Through the red glaze of anger he could see Mycroft blanch. Mummy merely turned the eyebrow on him, coolly implacable.

[“Oh, il parle,” she crowed.]“Oh, it talks,” she crowed.

“Yes, it does.” Greg shot back.

As much as he longed to yell at her, all that would do would made her feel justified in ignoring him.

“Now, as it has ended up practically in the Thames this afternoon, it is going to have a shower. Don’t feel obligated to say goodbye when you leave.”

It was all he could do to turn and walk up the stairs without punching her. How dare she talk about her grandson, step-grandson as the case may be, like that? That stuck up, insolent, good for nothing cow, who had probably never done a day’s work or nice deed in her life! That was the Mummy who ruled over all? That Mycroft deferred to? Would have sent their son to?

Over Greg’s dead body.

Blood pounding in his ears, water over his head, Greg almost missed the faint sounds of Ben next door. Might have, except for the happy squeal that Ben interspersed between his giggles. The need to hold him took sudden priority over everything, the anger, the need to get clean, everything.

Since the giggles were Ben’s happy and not needing attention sound, Greg took the time to redress instead of just pulling on a robe. Shaving went out the window, as did drying his hair, but clothes he managed before hurrying into the nursery. Ben’s genuinely happy squeaks at seeing him were the perfect antidote to the nastiness downstairs.

It didn’t matter what Mummy thought, Ben was the best and most important thing in either Greg or Mycroft’s lives and if his idiotic partner was too short-sighted to see that, well Greg’d just have to keep applying his boot to Mycroft’s arse until he realised.

The thought of downstairs made his blood begin to boil again, so he purposefully pushed it away. Anger wasn’t an emotion he wanted to expose Ben to, not if he could help it. Instead he turned Ben onto his tummy and encouraged him to push himself up and roll over.

He wasn’t quite managing, but Greg lived in hope.

It was the quiet tread of expensive shoes that alerted Greg to the fact Mummy must have left. Gathering Ben up and kissing his forehead, he lowered him into the crib and tucked the baby blue blanket around him.

The steps stopped just inside the doorway. Mycroft didn’t speak, so neither did Greg, smoothing the wisps of Ben’s hair back and tickling his chubby tummy while he waited.

“I didn’t know you spoke French.” Mycroft eventually said.

“Really? That’s the first thing you have to say.” Greg didn’t turn around, but he stopped stroking Ben’s hair as the anger and hurt he hadn’t truly felt earlier roared over him.

Mycroft paused a moment, then continued. “You never mentioned you could—”

Grégoire François Lestrade.” Greg spun around, pronouncing his name with its full French inflection.

His Da had never cared about making sure any of his kids could speak what was his native language and Greg had always used the anglicised form at school, but Pierre Lestrade had refused to rest until Greg could be called fluent and had persisted in calling him Grégoire despite many attempts to get him to cut it out. Sure, Greg hadn’t spoken French since his uncle had died, but that in no way meant he’d forgotten it. Not after Pierre had spent so long impressing upon him that it was his heritage and family legacy.

Mycroft had the grace not to meet Greg’s glare, letting his own gaze slide downwards to the side.

“You weren’t supposed to understand what—”

“Jesus, Mycroft! That doesn’t change what she said! What you agreed with her over!”

Mycroft’s hands clenched, then forcible released. “Mummy is very opinionated and—”

“She called our son a half breed!” Greg snarled, advancing two steps at Mycroft. “Said he was an animal, no better than a dog.”

“She wasn’t—“

“Yes, she bloody was, Mycroft!” Greg yelled.

Mycroft started at the outburst, eyes flicking to the crib and back to Greg.

“Now, let’s get something very clear.” Greg continued at a slightly lower volume. “That stuck-up bitch can say anything she wants about me, because I guarantee I think worse about her, but she will keep her fucking mouth away from Ben. If you won’t stand up for our son, well I bloody well will.

“That woman is not to come anywhere near Ben, ever, and I don’t care if she’s the Queen of bloody fucking England, she is never getting her hands on him. If I am breathing, she will never have anything to do with him.

“Do I make myself clear?”

Mycroft didn’t reply, frozen mask slipping over his face.

“Do I make myself clear?” Greg roared. “Because so help me God, Mycroft, I don’t care if you back me up or not, but I will tear her a new one if she comes anywhere near him.”

Ben started wailing, upset by the noise. Greg wanted to turn and comfort him, but that would mean losing whatever ground he had with Mycroft and he wouldn’t do that. Not over this.


Icicles were warmer. Mycroft’s voice was so cold it burned.

The capitulation didn’t help. Looking at Mycroft, the red film kept threatening to veil over his eyes and Ben’s upset cries were just working him further over the top into anger as he was reminded again and again how Mycroft hadn’t stood up for either of them – his son or his lover.

He couldn’t stay, not without descending into the kind of anger he didn’t want Ben to know was possible.

“I’m going to Baker St,” he growled and stormed out before he could make things worse.

If that was possible.


So hands up who likes Mummy!

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Encyclopaedia of Life - Behind Still Waters
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Encyclopaedia of Life - Behind Still Waters

'Til Death do us Part: An Explanation of the World of Matrimony
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish, I wish upon a star... but until that works, not mine and sadly no money made.

Fourth Entry: The types of relationships and their hierarchy found in in this world

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

‘Til Death do us Part: An Explanation of the World of Matrimony

Up until now I’ve been talking about couples being Bound and Bonded, exchanging bracelets, and marriage, but haven’t actually explained what in this world any of those terms mean. As such, I thought I’d provide a short explanation on what exactly these terms mean, and how they relate to each other.

The Relationship Hierarchy

From the most highest standing to the lowest and to whom it applies:
Bound and Bonded (A/O only)
Bound (A/O)
Married (Any not A/O)
Bound (Other than A/O)
Claim (Any)

Bound and Bonded, Bound: Alpha – Omega

Legally there is no difference between an Alpha-Omega couple being Bound and Bonded and just Bound. This is because the only part of the relationship that is recognised by the law is the Binding. As a result, whether Bound and Bonded or just Bound, the legal status imposed on the relationship remains the same.

Socially, however, being a Bonded couple is accorded a special status. Bonding isn’t something that can be arranged. It’s a little like finding your biological soulmate – 100% random from the individual’s point of view. Sometimes it happens instantly during the first Heat an Alpha and Omega spend together; other times it might suddenly happen after they’ve been together for years. Because of that, it’s not in and of itself a legally binding arrangement – just being Bonded is meaningless in a court of law – but it’s generally expected that any couple that is Bonded must surely following with a Binding Ceremony soon after. It is, after all, the highest height.

Marriage: Any Combination Not Alpha-Omega

Only Alphas and Omegas are capable of forming a Bond, a situation that over the years rather annoyed the various women who rose to power routinely through history. Additional support was provided by various religious groups and over time an equivalent to Bonding evolved for non-A/O couples: Marriage.

Unlike Bonding, marriage was an entirely human relationship. There were no associated biological changes, it was not an automatic process that just happened, but it is a legal relationship, formally registered. It has an additional standing beyond a Binding Ceremony because it was designed to indicate a more serious religious commitment, and consequently it is more difficult to get a divorce as opposed to a severance, but otherwise there is no actual difference.

As a point of interest, Bonding with an Omega during a Heat is an automatic annulment of marriage. No waiting, no separation periods, just an immediate grant before a court.

Bound: Any Combination Not Alpha-Omega

Technically being Bound is no different no matter who you are. The Binding ceremony for non-Alpha/Omega couples is exactly the same as it is for those who are. The only difference is that Alpha/Omega couples have a higher standing precisely because they are an Alpha/Omega couple. It’s a legal relationship that involves the formal presentation of a collar and signing of a register, but if you want the same prestige you’ll have to get married as well.

Claim: Any

Once upon a time, relationships were arranged and children married whomever their parents told them to. This wasn’t going to last forever, and eventually the young things decided they didn’t want to meet someone during a Binding Ceremony and they’d much rather know who they were tying their life to forever. Thus sprung up the practice of being allowed to mingle and court potential suitors, still heavily weighted towards whomever your parents were suggesting as a strategic match, and for the first time people were able to openly choose for themselves.

Which is all well and good, but once a Dom had come to an arrangement with a Sub they sort of liked and thought sort of liked them, they suddenly weren’t so happy about all the other Doms sniffing around talking to their Sub and not being able to do anything about it. The Alphas in particular didn’t like other Alphas sniffing around their Omegas, but being young chaps they weren’t necessarily ready to stand up in front of an official and promise forever. As such, the practice of exchanging a bracelet as a make-shift collar to signify that the Sub was spoken for, if not actually formally Bound, began to assuage the aggressive territorial instincts of the Alphas.

Exchanging a bracelet is seen as a formal declaration of a serious relationship, but not necessarily a pre-courser to becoming Bound. It’s an indication that the couple in question are exploring that idea, learning whether they are compatible, and that it is a possibility in the future. Most especially, from an Alpha, it’s a warning to stay away.

Or else.

So I have no idea whether that made things any clearer or not, but hopefully it gives you a little insight into the way this world works from a relationship perspective. If you have any questions and want further clarification, just ask!


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Rolling in the Deep (11/?)
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Rolling in the Deep

Title: Rolling in the Deep
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep) (Part III of IV)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they aren't. Nor am I creative enough to have written the song that gave this instalment its title. That belongs to Adele, and whomever else had IP rights along side her.

Author's Notes: So this is the second chapter for tonight. Thanks to theartofprose for beta reading

Warnings: None really for this chapter

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14 - Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20
Greg leant back in his chair, feet up on the desk, pastry in one hand, mug in the other, phone held between his ear and shoulder as he waited for it to ring through to message bank. He wasn’t expecting anyone to answer, but after the slightly off state Sherlock had been in when Greg had picked Ben up from 221B Wednesday and John’s cryptic ‘Not available until I text’ text, he felt obligated to at least check up on them.

If he was honest, John and Sherlock had been weighing on his mind more and more lately. God knows they both had issues, but they were the closest thing to a model relationship he had. In and of itself that was sad, but even worse was that in most respects it appeared Sherlock Holmes, the self-proclaimed sociopath, was more capable of a functional relationship than he was.

He’d been thinking about it, obsessing really, a lot lately  why did Sherlock and John work when he and Mycroft… didn’t.

It should have been better than before. Mycroft was being much more affectionate, even going so far as to curl around Greg at night while they slept. He may not have said anything, but he was clearly showing that yes, he did in fact want Greg there. It should have been liberating, except the one place they’d always seemed to gel perfectly… they didn’t.

They were back to been having regular sessions at night, but not once since Mycroft came back had he managed to get Greg properly under. It always started well, Greg actually getting quite deep to begin, but then inevitably the matter came around to getting off and every time the sensation of Mycroft’s fingers breaching him would throw him white knuckled to the surface, forced to fake his way through the rest of it.

And it wasn’t that he wasn’t ‘getting there’. He always got off; his body quite enjoyed it even. It was the humiliation: that he, an Alpha, was taking it like that (and worse enjoying it) that made him tense and squirm. It just wasn’t right. Oh, John could espouse its virtues and see nothing wrong with it, but what John Watson didn’t have in trust issues wasn’t worth knowing about, especially trust in himself. He probably preferred being the one tied up – hard to lose control when you’d given most of it away.

So far he’d been able to fake it, keep Mycroft distracted so the normally observant genius hadn’t picked up the clues yet (probably because Ben was demanding attention over the monitor) but that wouldn’t last forever.

Greg wasn’t actually sure why he was hiding it.

He was almost certainly the only new parent of a baby dreading him sleeping through the night, leaving him without the handy interruptions.

“Hi, Greg.”

Greg jumped slightly, dropping his pastry on his top and almost slopping his tea over his hand.

“John, hi. I was expecting an answering machine.”

“No, I am actually capable of answering my phone.”

Greg paused halfway through brushing off his shirt. “You okay, mate? You sound exhausted.”

“Exhausted, yeah.” John gave a weak laugh, tinny electronic sound reverberating flatly in Greg’s ear. “That’s one way to put it.”

“Yeah, right.” Greg paused confused. “Anyway, I just wanted to check Sherlock was okay, you know, after your message. He hasn’t come down with anything has he?”

“No, not like that. You don’t need to worry about Ben.” It was John’s turn to pause, weighing up what to say. “It’s a side effect of the hormone treatment, that’s all. Well, I say that’s all. It’s not the flu or anything contagious.”

“Is he all right?” Greg frowned, imagining Sherlock bent over a toilet vomiting for days on end.

“Um, yes.” John sounded hesitant.

“Um, yes?” Greg repeated, mumbling around a mouthful of pastry.

“He’s having some kind of pseudo-Heat or something.” John finally admitted. “I’ve spoken with the specialists and there’s nothing to do but ride it out and hope he recovers soon.”

“And you’re answering your phone?” Greg asked, flinching back a little as he half expected to hear the noise of them going at it in the background.

“Pseudo-Heat.” John growled, which morphed part way through into a yawn. “Not an actual Heat.”

“I am going to regret asking this, I just know it, but what’s a pseudo-Heat?”

“It’s…” On the other end of the phone John faltered. “That’s what I’m calling it. I don’t know the medical term. There will be one, probably. There is for just about everything.”

“Uh huh.” Greg hummed into the phone. “Meaning?”

“It’s  … a hormonal Heat.” John offered cautiously. “It’s like he’s got all the hormone driver needs, but his body hasn’t kept pace and reacted. He’s not producing any pheromones, for example.”

Which of course was why John Watson was free to answer his phone rather than being buried balls, or rather knot, deep in his partner.

“At least it will be over soon.” Greg offered lightly.

“I’m well aware, Lestrade.” John snapped down the line, aggravated enough for Greg to automatically pull back.

“Right, sorry.” Greg apologised.

“No, it’s fine. It’s me.” John sighed. “I’m just tired and it’s hard, not being able to help him. I’m a bit on edge.”

That’s an understatement, Greg thought.

“Two days, so I’m guessing it’ll be over soon?” Greg tried to sound encouraging. “Then you can, I don’t know, run around London like madmen without a box.”

“Until the next treatment.” John groused bitterly. “Sorry, sorry.”

“All good. I’d probably better let you get back to him.”

“Not really. It’s not like I can do anything except buy lube and make tea right now.”

John definitely sounded bitter.

“Yeah, thanks John.” Greg screwed his eyes shut and pinched the bridge of his nose, attempting to wipe that image out of his mind. “I really didn’t-”

“Lestrade!” Gregson strode in ignoring the fact Greg was on the phone.

The other Alpha was still in his outdoor jacket and hadn’t even towelled the rain drops off his face, so Greg didn’t immediately flip him off, though he did glare pointedly at the intrusion.

“One sec, John,” he said into his mobile before dropping it from his ear and covering the microphone with his hand. “What Gregson?”

“Got a crime scene for you.” Gregson leant against his desk.

“Do your own work, and stop dripping on my forms.” Greg quickly moved the ones with the worst drips away and blotted them with a tissue.

“You’ll want it.” Gregson arrogantly assured him.

“Why on earth would I want a crime scene on a rainy, Friday afternoon?” Greg scowled at Gregson and prodded his leg where he went to prop on the desk, making him back off again.

“Your sergeant will want it.”

“Why?” Greg bared his teeth, keeping Gregson’s wandering fingers behind the proclaimed territorial line and off his desk. “No.”

“She really will.”

“Where is it?”

“Near the river.” Gregson gave him an innocent smile.

“Definitely no.” Greg had no wish to go anywhere near the Thames or its river bank, especially in the rain.

“Fairly sure it’s related to her pet case.” Gregson dangled the nugget carefully, knowing Greg wouldn’t deny Sally the chance to work through some of the barriers she’d run into and obsessed over for weeks, before reeling him in. “At least come and look.”

Greg continued to glare at him as he spoke into the phone. “John, I’m going to have to call you back… Yeah, you too. Bye.”

“So what do we think, is it him?” Gregson asked as they stood and watched Sally scurry down the embankment in her blue anti-contamination suit and sensible boots, heels wisely left under her desk back at the Yard.

“Donovan will be able to tell better than me.” Greg refused to commit to an answer. “We’ll see.”

“Bit of a funny placement, this one.” Gregson mumbled around his cigarette, puffing a few times to ensure it caught. “Up against that bridge in plain sight, but just inaccessible enough to preserve the scene.”

“Thought had occurred.” Greg grunted, hunkering down more in his coat against the rain.

“Oh, here comes judgement.” Gregson exhaled dramatically, blowing smoke into a cloud, well aware Greg had quit (again).

Greg ignored the sly glance and focused on Sally trudging back up to them instead, surreptitiously pressing the nicotine patch against his forearm. They were nothing like a real ciggy, but he had to admit it made running easier and it was all for Ben.

“Well, Donovan?” He called impatiently.

“It’s him.” Sally confirmed. “As far as I can tell anyway. If he’s got ID we’ll know for sure, but it’s him.”

“Sure you don’t want the case Lestrade?” Gregson radiated arrogant smugness like a furnace.

“Arse.” Greg looked at Sally’s pleading face and signed. “Alright, God help me, it’s ours. Send me the paperwork.”

“Always happy to do a friend a favour.” Gregson clapped him jovially on the shoulder.

“I’m doing you the favour.” Greg retorted.

Gregson laughed. “Agree to disagree. Now, if you’re taking over here, it’s almost five so I am off.”

Greg mumbled a selection of choice expletives under his breath as Gregson left, wishing he could summon the ire to be annoyed at Sally that he’d ended up in the rain, at a crime scene, at knock off time on a Friday.

“Alright, gimme.” He signed as he cautiously made his way down the embankment.

His foot slipped in the mud and he skidded several feet, wind milling his arms crazily for balance.

“Body’s been moved, Sir.” Sally pretended not to see him almost end up on his arse. “Only possible explanation.”

“Time of death?” Greg asked through gritted teeth.

“Not sure yet,” one of the blue suited figures called out in answer. “Hullo Lestrade, how’d Gregson con you into this one?”

“George.” Greg cautiously made his way over. “Possible missing person related to that body we fished out of the Thames in April.”

“Fair enough.” The other Alpha stood, removing his gloves. “The weather’s against us here. You’ll have to wait until he’s been to the morgue I’m afraid.”

“Come on, George. At least give me a window?” Greg brushed his sodden fringe back from his face where the hair had got just long enough to stick to his skin.

“When’d he go missing?”

“About April.”

“Then April up until… let’s say a day a go, at the minute shall we? If the body were stored correctly.”

“Right, yeah, thanks.” Greg snorted and gingerly made his way closer to the body. “So this is our missing Sub.” Greg sighed, looking at the young face.

“I think so.” Sally confirmed, carefully patting down their corpse’s pockets looking for a wallet and ID.

In death Bruce Carr cut an even more tragic figure than he had in life. His dark skin was ghostly pale, the pallor of death, and bruises littered the visible skin. Some, having progressed through the early stages of healing, must have been inflicted before he died. Others weren’t willing to give up their secrets yet.

He was still dressed, well dressed even. Where ever he’d been had obviously had all the necessary bathing facilities. Either that or the killer had washed and dressed him afterwards. Cause of death appeared to be the gunshot wound in his chest, just visible where the buttons on his dark shirt were undone, but they couldn’t be one hundred per cent sure until George sent through the report.

Greg could see why she thought the scene was staged . There was no blood obvious on the clothes, no blood anywhere visible in fact, and a distinct lack of a scuffle marks or even obvious tracks.

“Ah ha!” Sally gently worked the thin worn leather square free and flipped to the ID. “Bruce Carr, Beta Sub, age 26.”

Greg sighed. “All right, Donovan, all right.”

One of the SOCO guys held out an evidence bag for Sally to drop the wallet into. Another technician flipped the switch on the outdoor lights, which left them all blinking furiously in the harsh crime scene fluorescents. There were little yellow markers everywhere.
This was going to take ages.

“Okay, everyone.” Greg said loudly. “Let’s get this processed ASAP. Donovan, you’ve got point.”

He had a call to make and a baby to wish good night over the phone for the first time.


Previous - Next

Rolling in the Deep (10/?)
rose, greyscale
Rolling in the Deep

Title: Rolling in the Deep
Series: Still Waters (Run Deep) (Part III of IV)
Author: melody_in_time
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Through S1 only

Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but they aren't. Nor am I creative enough to have written the song that gave this instalment its title. That belongs to Adele, and whomever else had IP rights along side her.

Author's Notes: Evening everyone. Sorry about last week, but due to personal circumstances I wasn't able to update. Don't worry, you won't be shorted. This week there will be two chapters instead. As always, feel free to point out typos etc. that I have inevitably missed and I'll go back and edit them. Thanks to theartofprose for reading over this. Mistakes still in are definitely still mine.

I know there was other things that I was meant to say, but I have forgotten them.

Warnings: Sex, if I still need to warn for that. Fully consensual for once, if anyone's wondering.

If you've wondered here by mistake, you may wish to start at Part I of the series, Rarest of the Rare: Chapter 1.

Chapter 1: Introduction - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11
John was fresh out of the shower and making tea when the doorbell rang. Given the unsociable hour of the morning, he was willing to lay bets on who was on the other side of the door and why, so he sighed and clicked the kettle off, going down to answer it.

It was Mycroft, not Greg, so he’d got that wrong, but his bundled up nephew, awake and grumpy-looking in Mycroft’s arms, meant he’d at least got the why his door was being knocked on so early portion correct. If Mycroft looked disapproving at the sight of John in his dressing gown, towel still slung over his shoulders, well, frankly John saw that as his brother-in-law’s problem, not his.

“Good morning, John.” Mycroft dropped the baby bag over John’s arm before he’d managed to pull it back from opening the door. “Gregory will be back to collect him around five thirty.”

John hiked the baby bag up onto his shoulder, but crossed his arms making it impossible for Mycroft to follow through with his attempt to shove Ben into John’s arms before diving for the car.

“I have work today,” John remarked mildly. “I start in an hour, as you’re aware, and won’t be home until five thirty myself—if I’m lucky.”

Mycroft looked bewildered at the fact that John wasn’t holding the baby yet.

“Mrs Potts is ill.” He tried to hold Ben out to John again, the motion aborting as John made no move to accept his five week old nephew.

“So I gathered from the fact you’re here at seven thirty in the morning.” John commented non-committedly. “I have work.”

John would end up taking Ben and working out something with Mrs Hudson to keep an eye on Sherlock keeping an eye on Ben; that he knew. It was why he was still holding the baby bag. On the other hand, he was also aware, however, of the need to press home the fact that they were not always going to be available for babysitting and that at the very least they should be given notice and asked. From the fact that it hadn’t even occurred to Mycroft and Greg that maybe they couldn’t—or wouldn’t—take Ben, John knew his concerns over becoming the official unofficial nanny were well founded. As sweet as his nephew was, this needed to be nipped in the bud now as it would only get worse once Mrs Pott’s temporary London stay ended.

“Well, I can’t take him to work with me.” Mycroft sounded agitated.

His vowels and consonants were particularly crisp, and he looked just a little bit nervous.

As adorable as the thought of Ben in a playpen tucked into the corner of Mycroft’s office and throwing his toys at important diplomats was, it was also a slightly scary concept and a security nightmare.

“Well, in the future you might want to arrange for a sitter then.” John smiled, arms still firmly crossed, leaning on the door frame.

At this point he really was just tormenting Mycroft because he could, a fact John rather thought Mycroft knew and was becoming increasingly frustrated by. It addictive sweet, because even though Mycroft knew what John was doing, he was unable to push his point without possibly driving John to an outright no. It was an uncommon occurrence that John got the upper hand like this, and he was determined to enjoy it.

“Doctor Watson, I really must-”

The sound of someone up and moving around filtered down from upstairs, creaking floor boards and the wheezing groan of ancient copper pipes – Sherlock finally awake.

“John?” Sherlock called out, from the corridor into the kitchen John guessed.

John reached for Ben, ignoring the triumphant smirk breaking out on Mycroft’s face. Sherlock was not body shy. He’d frequently walked around the flat in nothing more than a sheet before they were lovers, and he would have no problems coming down to see why John was at the door without anything on. Sherlock tended towards horny in the mornings and while he wouldn’t care about giving his brother a full frontal view of his morning erection, John would be more than a little embarrassed. If cutting short his pissing contest with Mycroft was the price for Sherlock not bounding down the stairs buck naked then cut it short John would.

“John where are you? You should have stayed in bed; I wanted to-”

“Sherlock, your nephew’s here,” John interrupted, calling up the stairs as quietly as possible to try not to disturb Mrs Hudson and hoping it might stop Sherlock coming down.

The flurry of footsteps thundering down the stairs made John wince for Mrs Hudson, but he had at least donned, and even sloppily tied, a dressing gown.

“Morning Abernathy. You’re with us today?” Sherlock headed straight for Ben and lifted the baby out of John’s arms. “Mycroft. You’re showered. Why have you showered? Oh, dull, work. Call the surgery and stay with Abernathy and I.”

“I’m not calling in,” John repeated the almost daily rebuke. “I’m already their least reliable doctor!”

“Then quit! I’ve told you, you don’t need it. We’ve got more than enough money.” Sherlock’s attention was almost entirely on his nephew, carrying on their familiar argument by rote.

You’ve got plenty of money, and that’s not the only reason I work.” John sighed, knowing the grunt in acknowledgement merely meant Sherlock was distracted by more interesting things, not that the topic might finally be put to rest.

“Fine. Ben and I will begin his education then. It will be much easier without all the idiocy in the room.” Sherlock headed up the stairs without another word.

“Edu – Sherlock, what are you—?! Bye Mycroft! Sherlock!” John practically shut the door on Mycroft’s nose, before hurrying up the stairs after his erratic Sub.

“Nothing you’d disapprove of,” Sherlock paused in the doorway to 221B and abruptly shoved Ben into John’s arms, before heading swiftly down the corridor towards the bathroom.

“Sherlock?” John frowned, peering down the corridor at the stark, closed, white door. . “Sherlock, you okay?”

“Fine,” the deep baritone snapped back.

John shrugged at Ben. “He’s as irritable as usual, that’s for sure. Okay, that’s two of us I’d better get ready for the day I suppose.”

Ben blinked at him, grumpy sleepy face clearly indicating his preference for sleep over getting ready to do anything remotely active.

Mycroft hadn’t brought the baby carrier, so with nothing to lie Ben in, John improvised with some blankets on the lounge floor. If they were going to keep babysitting, John was going to make Mycroft spring for a playpen and a basket. 221B was in no way baby friendly.

Apparently deeming his nest satisfactory—or too tired to care—Ben settled in straight away, leaving John to mourn his lack of morning tea. because kettles and sleeping babies didn’t mix.

He’d managed breakfast by the time Sherlock emerged from the bathroom.

“You okay?” John asked.

Sherlock nodded, slumping into his chair at the table.

“It’s just if you’ve got any kind of gastro thing, Mrs Hudson should probably mind Ben. We don’t need him getting it. There’s probably the death penalty for that.” John frowned at him, resting his knife on the side of his plate as he watched for any hint of illness in Sherlock’s face.

“Don’t be daft,” Sherlock dismissed him with a flick of his fingers. “I feel fine. I did do right up until that, and I do now.”

John pressed his wrist against Sherlock’s forehead, ignoring the disgusted noise of protest at his methods.

“Well, you don’t have a fever at all. If you start feeling ill, let Mrs Hudson take Ben, okay?”

“Yes, Doctor.” Sherlock pulled away from John’s wrist and picked birdlike at the slice of toast John passed over. Seeing John’s concerned look, he rolled his eyes. “I’m still full from yesterday, not sick.”

Sherlock had certainly eaten a lot the day before. More than John really, so he didn’t say anything, just dropped a kiss to the inky curls and went to dress for work.

“We’ll need to do some proper baby proofing at some point,” John said once he’d changed, as he shrugged on his jacket.

Sherlock grunted in that ‘Sure, but I’m not going to help’ way he had, still occupied with shredding his toast more than eating it.

“I’ll see you later.” John shook his head with the usual fond exasperation he usually left in.

He really was lucky he found Sherlock’s sulky petulance adorable, or else their lives would be hellish.

As he turned to leave, he was interrupted by the scrape of Sherlock’s chair in the kitchen, causing John to wait as Sherlock sulkily meandered over and folded himself gracefully onto his knees, with his face upturned. Smiling, John leant to press a quick kiss to Sherlock’s lips.

“Love you too,” he whispered. “I’ll see you after work.”

The clinic was the same as ever, red noses and repetitive diagnoses of colds with parents refusing to accept that there was nothing he could give them. One mother annoyed him so much he scrawled out a prescription for chicken soup, after which she stormed out in a huff, child in tow.

After his shift John made sure to leave as soon as he could, not willing to do extra paperwork when he didn’t know how much mischief Sherlock had managed at home. It would be just his luck that after a day of flu at the surgery he’d go home to find both his lover and his nephew sick with it at home.

Sherlock was stretched out on the couch when John got home, with Ben napping on his chest. If not for the hand lazily fanning the two of them with a bill, John would have thought Sherlock was napping too.

The fierce loving need he kept buried as deep as possible made one of its increasingly frequent breaks for freedom, bubbling to the surface in almost painful up swells of emotion at the sight of Sherlock, three buttons undone, with Ben trucked up under his chin, arm holding him in place. Their baby, John inwardly vowed, unable to move in the face of so much. One day he would come home to this same scene only it would be their baby Sherlock would be tenderly cradling, not their nephew.

God he wanted that.

“Evening,” John choked out; not bothering to hide how much the sight was affecting him. One flick of a mercurial eye and Sherlock would know anyway.

The eyes stayed closed, but a tight smile pulled at the corner of Sherlock’s lips and his right hand did a funny wave, seeming to invite John closer. John took the invitation, seating himself on the coffee table and momentarily stilling Sherlock’s hand so he could drop a kiss to his wrist.

Up close Sherlock’s skin listened with a fine layer of sweat, and John sighed in his head. Evidently whatever Sherlock had caught wasn’t so easily passed through his system and of course he hadn’t let Mrs Hudson mind Ben.

“How is he?” John asked, running a gentle finger along Ben’s clothed back.

“Good.” Sherlock rumbled, almost inaudibly. “Still excessively fond of naps.”

“That’ll be true for a while yet, I’m afraid.” John smiled.

He pushed to standing and dropped a kiss to Sherlock’s curls, noting the slight humidity to his hair that suggested he’d had a low grade fever.

“I’ll get his stuff packed. Greg’ll be here soon.” John pushed away from the couch, ignoring Sherlock’s non-committal hum.

“No new cases today then?” He called from the kitchen trying to keep his voice quiet enough not to disturb Ben.

“Couple of fives.” Sherlock replied, flapping his make shift fan dismissively. “Nothing worth troubling about at the minute.”

“Nothing more from that serial killer then?” John located one of the missing baby socks under the sink. He didn’t really want to know how it got there.

“Apparently not.” Sherlock sounded annoyed, as though the failure to murder another person on some kind of useful schedule was a personal inconvenience.

“It’s been ages since the last body.”

“A couple of months.” John scolded. “That’s not ages.”

“Not even officially a serial killer yet.” Sherlock groused from the couch.

“Just think,” John dropped the baby bag by the door, “it gives you more free time with Ben.”

“True.” Sherlock chucked. “Did you know he blinks at approximately-”

“Thought I said no experiments?” Greg cheerfully interrupted from the door.

Sherlock scowled. “It wasn’t an experiment. It was data collection.”

“Yeah, but I know you.” Greg shouldered the bag and waggled a finger in Sherlock’s direction. “Today data, tomorrow drawing blood for tests.”

Sherlock sniffed disdainfully and rose with almost his usual grace. It was a little off, John noticed, but that could have just been the addition of a napping baby, who did, miraculously, stay asleep.

“Oh you’ll be up half the night now, won’t you?” Greg crooned, accepting the bundle.

Ben yawned and snuffled a little before deciding sleep was still the better option.

“I’ll get the door for you.” John volunteered, avoiding the squeaky steps as much as he was able on the way down.

“Thanks.” Greg followed slowly after. “We shouldn’t need to impose tomorrow. It was just a twenty-four hour flu or something, but thanks for helping out.”

“Yeah, it’s fine. Just remember: notice works wonders.” John opened the door as Greg finally made it to the bottom.

“Sorry, yeah, course.” Greg shook his head. “Guess we can’t complain you’re not here if you’re not.”

“Nope, and I take enough time of work for my own five year old, thanks.” John shared a grin with Greg over the top of Ben’s head.

“About that,” Greg hitched the baby bag a bit higher on his shoulder. “Any chance…”

John tried not to look too amused as Greg flushed an obvious rouge.

“Date night coming up?” He teased mercilessly.

“No, the opposite, ish.” Greg winced. “Any, um, chance you can ask Sherlock not to, you know, deduce… stuff… in front of Ben? Or teach him to, you know, tell?”

John must have looked as confused about Greg thinking Mycroft wouldn’t be teaching Ben deductions as he felt because Greg went a deeper shade of red and mumbled “You know, sex stuff” as clarification.

“Oh.” John shut his mouth with a click.

It was a little cruel, but it was too hard not to smirk at the desperation flowing across Greg’s face.

“Please, John. I’m going to have a hard enough time regulating age appropriate deducing; you have to help me with this. My won’t ask because he thinks Sherlock will just teach Ben to do it out of spite, and-”

“I’ll talk to him, relax.” John chucked. “It’s not like I want to know either after all.”

“Thank you.” Greg heaved a huge sigh of relief. “I owe you.”

“You already owe me two days of babysitting, to say the least.” He waved Greg out the door. “Go on, take him home before he wakes up.”

“All night.” Greg groaned. “He’ll be up all night. I haven’t had a decent sleep in ages.”

It would have been a more complaint if everything about Greg hadn’t been positively radiating joy and contentment.

Squashing the bitter envy trying to rear its head and not really succeeding, John trooped back up the stairs, footsteps heavy, but at least not uneven. It was hard, having Ben around, but not excruciatingly painful like the idea of him had once been. Not now they were on the same page, he and Sherlock.

Sherlock, who was pacing the living room with an agitated frenzy, running his hands through his hair and randomly breaking off to drag fingers down his arms or squeeze his biceps tight. He looked, John thought, like a junkie desperate for the next fix, twitching uncontrollably as he whirled around the room unable to stay still.

“I’m clean.” Sherlock snapped at him.

“I know.” John replied without even thinking about it.

He did know, had seen Sherlock’s recent run of blood tests, and even if he hadn’t he wouldn’t have thought Sherlock was using. He trusted him.

“How do you feel?” He asked, finally settling on it as the question least likely to get them into a screaming match.

“I don’t-” Sherlock pivoted and headed to the fireplace, gripping it tight, left foot jittery.

“I don’t know.” He admitted. “I just can’t… I can’t concentrate on…”

“You seemed calmer a few minutes ago.” John watched his Sub in the mirror, the mounting frustration as Sherlock couldn’t work out what his body wanted writ large across his face. “Has it been like this all day?”

“Yes,” Sherlock growled waspishly. “No. Most of it. Ben, Ben helped. When I was holding him, it helped.”

“Can I help?” John asked patiently. It has been some time since he’d seen Sherlock’s mind spin out of control to the point he almost couldn’t think like this, but it had happened before during droughts of cases or quitting cigarettes, again. “Do you need me to put you under?”

“I need, I need, I need… you.” Sherlock’s head snapped up, gaze locking onto John in the mirror. “You.”

He pushed off the mantle and had crossed the room in two bounding steps, shoving John against the narrow strip of wall between the doorways.

“You.” Sherlock growled harshly into John’s mouth. “I need you, that’s what I need. Your cock.”

John passively let Sherlock plunder his mouth, taking the opportunity to secretly test his temperature. He was warm, but not feverishly so, and his skin wasn’t so damp John thought he’d had a fever break during the day despite the sheen of sweat.

“If you’re quite satisfied.” Sherlock sniped, biting John’s lip painfully in aggression.

John yelped, pushing Sherlock off him and forcing him to his knees. Sherlock followed John’s unspoken demands, legs collapsing under him in what seemed like relief after only the slightest hint of pressure. Down there, John jerked his misbehaving love’s chin up, struggling to hold his own growl to a low grumble.

“That,” he glared angrily at Sherlock , “hurt.”

Sherlock had the grace to look slightly guilty, but as he did so often he covered it quickly with a sulky glare. His eyes were glazed and he was working the petulant pout like only he could, determined to get what he wanted – in this case John.

John wasn’t entirely sure why he hadn’t thrown Sherlock over the couch already and fucked him. Mostly concern for his health, rapidly dwindling under Sherlock’s pleading gaze.

The Omega’s tongue peeked out, swiping purposefully over his full lower lip. Stuff it, John decided in a rush, he was going over the couch.

“Behave or it won’t be a punishment you’ll enjoy,” he warned.

Sherlock’s dark bushy brow rose in a challenging arc – make me.

”I mean it.” John squeezed Sherlock’s chin, still cradled in his left hand. “I can take you down without sex.”

“I don’t need – Fine! Anything, just hurry up and fuck me.”

John hauled him upright, Sherlock stumbling slightly as John roughly shoved him, not providing any of the subtle help he usually gave. . Long legs off balance, it was all too easy to have Sherlock over to the couch and spun around before he’d managed to regain his poise.

Kissing Sherlock Holmes never got stale. Sometimes it was over powering, sometimes demanding, sometimes totally submissive. Every now and then it was placid or even totally vacant, Sherlock having wondered off into his mind palace leaving his body running on autopilot. Never the same, always an experience.

Today he was caught off guard so it started relaxed, but quickly morphed into frenzied snogging, Sherlock trying every filthy trick he could manage to move them along faster.

It was certainly working. John had been fighting low level arousal since Sherlock had jumped him, and it never really took much to get him in the mood for Sherlock. He was thickening out at a rapid rate and his love’s dedicated attention was only making his trousers tighter.

Impatient to move on, Sherlock’s hands tugged John’s belt out of its loops and pushed his trousers off his hips. John let him, it had been getting a little cramped, and what Sherlock needed seemed less about going under and more that he was just desperate for sex, so he could let his Sub set the pace a bit. He did stop the presumptuous hand that wrapped about him.

“Fine.” Sherlock broke out of the kiss and pulled away, shimmying out of his trousers with the speed of the well-practiced before practically throwing himself over the arm of the couch.

Unable to resist, John smacked the pale globes of flesh, just once, in warning. He let Sherlock get away with a lot, but he was still in charge.

The motion ground Sherlock’s erection against the couch and he whined in approval, moving slightly so his arse was even higher in the air. Obligingly, and because he loved to watch the way Sherlock’s bottom wobbled under his blows, John delivered another smack to the other arse cheek.

“What’s got into you all of a sudden?” He asked, leaning over the warm ivory skin to root around in the sofa cushions for lube.

He’d started stashing lube everywhere when he and Sherlock had first started out, still obsessed with the idea of christening every room in the house. They’d done that now, but since Mrs Hudson had already learnt not to walk in without knocking and Sherlock kept looking all too appealing at random times at random rooms, John kept replacing the lube. It made Mrs Hudson a little flustered whenever she found a stash while cleaning, but other than some embarrassed fluttering and a secretly pleased smile, she made no protest.

The tube was getting low, he noted, but there was enough to thoroughly coat his fingers. At the first press Sherlock gave a rumbly purr and arched up like a cat, pressing John further in than he’d intended to start and loving it.

 “Easy,” John dropped kisses and light nips down the wiry muscles. “Get sore now and I won’t be able to fuck you properly later.”

“You’d better!” Sherlock hissed, breaking with a little cry as John deliberately twisted his fingers in the exact way he knew Sherlock loved.

John chuckled into Sherlock’s shoulder blade, repeating the action at Sherlock’s angry growl.

“Hurry up!” Sherlock groused, working himself back on John’s fingers as John tried to pull them back. “Get in me already.”

John didn’t reply, continuing the slow stretch. Aggravated by the pace, Sherlock’s responses were becoming increasingly demanding, his annoyance plain in every grunt.

“For God’s sake, John, I’m not glass.” Sherlock snapped as John carefully worked a third finger. “Just fucking fuck me! Now!”

Patience over the limit, John immediately withdrew his hand, moving far enough back Sherlock would notice the space between them.

Manners.” He barked. “Or would you prefer a time out?”

“No, no, please.” The bravado gone, Sherlock sounded panicked.

“You are out of line and you know it.” John frowned, not touching his squirming Sub.

“Please,” Sherlock pleaded as he wiggled desperately, unable to stay still. “Please! I need you in me.”

“I’m not sure you can behave. I should leave you until you remember who’s in charge here.”

“You are, Captain, please!” Sherlock begged. “Please, I really - please.”

Sherlock really did sound frantic, pleading the way he was with tears already shot through his voice. John had never seen him like this, ever. He’d seen Sherlock out of control and out of his head, he’d seen him tired, grumpy and all combinations angry and annoyed, but this… this was different. This wasn’t a Sub needing a break from the world; it was something else.


The sob was enough to kick John into action. Whatever was wrong, he’d give Sherlock what he thought he needed and reprimand him later.

“Behave,” he whispered into the dark hair, “or I will make you wait.”

“Captain, yes, please.”

John positioned himself over Sherlock, slathered on a touch more lube, and dove straight in.

“Yes!” Sherlock arched up, eyes closed in bliss.

John thrust again, withdrawing just enough to circle his hips as he plunged back in.

“Harder, p-please.” Sherlock stuttered.

If Sherlock wanted to be pounded, John could certainly do that. Grabbing his hips for leverage, John slammed back in, followed immediately by another thrust just as strong.

“Yes, yes!” Sherlock chanted breathlessly. “Just a little more, please, just a little more.”

John kept going, establishing a brutal pace that they’d both feel when this was over.

“Deeper, please.” Sherlock begged pushing back to meet John’s cock. “A little deeper… Need.”

“Can’t get any deeper, ‘lock.” John panted, unable to talk and keep up the ferocious thrusts.

“Please!” Sherlock begged, clawing at the couch.

“Touch yourself.” John ordered, voice almost lost in his gasp for air.

Whimpering Sherlock obeyed, coming almost instantly against the dark leather. John began to slow, expecting that to be the end of it, but Sherlock gave a plaintive cry and tried to speed them back up.

John was vaguely aware that Sherlock should be super sensitive, but he was getting too close to his own end to dedicate much thought to it. Instead of the rhythmic slide into the moist tight grip of Sherlock’s passage and the beautiful pleading sobs for more, more, more, more were doing a very thorough job of driving John beyond rational control, everything condensing down to the snap of his hips, the velvet drag and the warmth building in his groin.

It wouldn’t be long, couldn’t be long. He was beginning to feel the almost fierce drive that surfaced when he denied himself too long, just hovering on the edge without falling over. Almost there, almost there.

Sherlock thrust back against him, whimpering gorgeously with his eyes closed and neck arched. The visual was enough – one, two and John buried himself deep, riding the flash of white noise while his nerves sang.

“No, no” Sherlock mumbled, still attempting to rock his hips and keep them going.

All his attempts did was pull John’s rapidly softening cock out, leaving him whimpering and grinding himself against his Dom’s groin.

“Please, John. So empty, please.”

Wincing slightly, John shifted back and pulled Sherlock down with him so they were seated leaning against the clean portion of the couch. Sherlock immediately clambered onto his lap, kissing and fondling him as though he could bring John back up by sheer dint of will.

“Stop that.” John flinched and caught Sherlock’s wrist.

Sherlock may not have been feeling over sensitive in the wake of their orgasms, but he was.

“Need it. Please, John, I need more.” Sherlock begged, attempting to shake off John’s hand so he could continue.

“What’s up with you?” John stared at him, pinning Sherlock where he was as his Sub attempted to slide off John’s lap to use his mouth instead. “I don’t know why you’re so horny, love, but you’ll have to wait. It’s not Heat, I can’t just…”

John trailed off, eyes licking over the writing body held tight against his own as ideas formed and worked their way out into the open.

He’d been slow, he realised, putting the pieces together. They’d all been right there in front of his face, he just hadn’t paid attention. He had seen Sherlock like this, but the only time he’d seen Sherlock this desperate for sex without any real submissive drive was during Estrus, and it wasn’t a sign he usually relied on to clue him in. The pheromones usually took care of that.

All the other early biological flags were there too: gorging himself the day before, then picking at food that day; the morning bathroom rush as his body cleared out in preparation for days of rutting; the way his condition had deteriorated rapidly once they’d started sex, even the need to keep Ben close to function, the presence of a new born redirecting the hormones into a caring rather than sexual role.

Sherlock whined, pressing his forehead into John’s neck.

“Sherlock, ‘lock, listen, no, I need you to listen to me.” John freed up one hand, attempting to pull Sherlock back enough to see his face, despite his Omega’s determination to stay nestled in the crock of his Alpha’s neck. “’Lock, you’re having some kind of pseudo-Heat.”

There was no verbal response, just Sherlock panting into his shoulder.

“Sherlock? I think we’ve discovered a side effect of the injection they gave you at the appointment.” John stroked Sherlock’s sweaty curls, trying to help calm him. “Love-”

“Yes, John, I understood the first time.” Sherlock snapped at him, his harsh words undercut by the whimpering whine that hadn’t gone away since the wave of need had kicked in. “I just… I need…”

“I know, love, but you’re not putting out any pheromones. All hormones. Sherlock, I won’t be able to…”

John trailed off, holding is Sub close as he convulsed and gave a choked off sob.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered, kissing Sherlock’s curls.

He then pushed him off his lap as gently as possible, clambering stiffly to his feet. Offering Sherlock a hand, he drew him up to trembling feet. Unusually Sherlock was more reminiscent of a young colt on unsteady legs than a graceful predatory cat.

“Come on, love. Bedroom.” He whispered, guiding Sherlock with a hand in the small of his back. “I’m going to take care of you, I promise.”


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