Cherry Cupcakes | Lulu’s Sweet Kitchen
Sherlock, meanwhile, was pacing the outside of the room, running his hands along the walls and tapping at intervals, pressing his ear to the wall. The other was focused entirely at John, and he hummed as he finished.
"There are cavities behind these walls. Not big. He’s thin. Or possibly she. No gender or age preference, married is the only type. Murders related to affairs of the heart are more likely to result in…" He trailed off, pressing his gloved fingers to his lips and tapping, thinking. "These bodies need identifying. I don’t care how, but as quickly as possible. They’re smart, they removed the heads to stop dental records from being used to identify them. They’re all married, but it’s likely…"
Sherlock knelt beside one of the arms, one that was not so badly decomposed that it was likely to come apart in his hands, and he removed the ring, peering at it before putting it back on. Then he tried another. And another. Some of them were regularly removed, but some didn’t seem to be.
"I want all these rings. Or rather, I want to know where they are all from. I’ve reason to believe that all these victims were cheating upon their partners and caught by a vigilante, though I have not got a link yet. Find me everything," he said, pointing at Lestrade and removing the rubber gloves with a snap.
Lestrade sent forensic specialists every which way to follow Sherlock’s instructions while John removed his own gloves and moved over to Sherlock, tucking his hands in his pockets. ” So then? A woman?” He questioned, ” Think that’s why she hacks up the bodies? Awful heavy.” He mentioned, stepping out of the way of officer Anderson, who scowled at them before attending to his work. John never understood what Sherlock had done other than his usual to earn Anderson’s ire, but he never cared too much for the man to ask Sherlock about it.
He assumed they’d be off to a lab soon, which meant Sherlock muttering things about chemicals and nail files and compounds whether John was there to listen or not, and despite the urge to excuse himself from this part of the process, he instead decided he ought to stay and spend time with Sherlock, especially when he was still so conscious of the affectionate effort Sherlock had made in making them matching bracelets.
He wanted to see Sherlock’s, mostly, to watch him shirk his jacket and roll up his sleeves and have there on his arm a bracelet that matched his, more obvious than their wedding bands, and certainly a bit immature in quality, but touching nonetheless.
"Oh!" Sherlock said, spinning around and pointing at Lestrade. The detective stopped and turned to him.
"What, Sherlock?" he asked, looking hopeful, perhaps thinking Sherlock had already solved it. But if that were possible, then he wouldn’t be here at all.
"I need a sample from each of the bags. A small section of the flesh, a centimetre will do." And with that, he turned, heading back out of the hotel and into fresher air. His attention went back to John.
"It is statistically likely that it is a woman, considering that I believe they were all cheating. However, a murder so… vile as this one, is not likely to be the work of a women. So a man. Perhaps the female is orchestrating the attacks, while the man carries them out." He was thinking out loud as he stalked up the road, irritated at the lack of taxis in the area. "Are you coming?" he asked, turned back to him, catching a slightly soft expression on his face, and wondering what it was about.
“John,” Sherlock purred, taking his foot away from the man’s cock and just resting it against his thigh. He wanted to ensure that his husband was listening to him. “I am not embarrassed by this. Neither should you be. If the thought of me wearing female underwear arouses you, then it is something we can explore. And another thing,” he said, setting his knife and fork down and leaning forwards on his elbows. “It is arousing me too. It has been for hours. Very… constricting.”
Sherlock smiled at him across the table, a charming smile intending to relax and reassure John, and he took up his cutlery again, slicing a carrot. “If you continue to be embarrassed by the thought, John, I can change. You only thought it. I am the one wearing it.” He didn’t mean to sound threatening, only to make John see that he really was definitely very much okay with this.
John returned his gaze to Sherlock’s. ” No.” He insisted almost too quickly. ” I want to see you wearing it.” He assured, his voice coiled with lust and his thighs spread wide with Sherlock’s foot against his right one. He wanted to see it then; right that second, Sherlock throbbing, shaft squeezed to his abdomen by knickers not meant to hold so much, not meant to support the heavy, heated weight of his cock. He swallowed, and found himself almost painfully aroused by his mind’s wandering, barely able to focus on the food before him.
John found himself eased enough to relax into the idea by Sherlock’s words and actions, and certainly by then he didn’t have much choice in the matter, his groin was assisting beyond his head’s approval that they indulge in a long desired fantasy there before him, eating slowly, tempting him with low baritone assurances and images that plagued him with heated cheeks and shortness of breath.
"It will be my pleasure to indulge you," Sherlock replied, smiling widely, slowly eating and keeping his eyes fixed on John. It was almost as though he could see the thoughts flickering through his mind, in the way John’s cheeks blushed and his hands faltered. It was cute, and oh so very erotic. Sherlock half-wanted to slip under the table and run his hands up the insides of his thighs, mouth pressing at the bulge in his trousers.
But he wouldn’t. They were eating dinner, and Sherlock was entirely determined to continue as normal from the waist up. That didn’t stop his foot from pressing up against John’s thigh again though, curling his toes against the slightly tense muscle, moving upwards. And he still continued eating, watching John with big, innocent eyes.
"What happened at work today?" he asked, feigning, like he didn’t already know everything that he’d been up to. Sometimes, it was nice to let him say it. And the sight of him trying to concentrate enough to form sentences was something Sherlock wanted to take full advantage of while he could.
Sherlock had been so close to stopping. He’d had a run of cases, a string of murders to involve himself completely and wholly in. His mind had been beautifully occupied, stringing convoluted lines of clues and making improbably leaps with ease. It had been idyllic.
But then they’d stopped. He’d dried up, ran out, and was left with one he could not quite wrangle into sense. It evaded him at every turn, the answer always one step ahead, dissipating whenever he thought he could grab it. And it was driving him up the wall. So close, he knew it, he just needed that one last little push. One last chemical rush, clearing the flotsam and jetsam accumulating around the edges, leaving him razor sharp. It would be so simple.
It was with a heavy heart he’d placed the order, wishing he were able to do it himself, but it was impossible. Besides, it had been days since he last scored. Too long, his body told him, rebelling against him in it’s want for the drug.
With the knowledge that he would be meeting someone who was not his usual dealer, he forced himself to dress, brushing his hair and his teeth and ensuring he smelled good. It was one thing buying drugs in a public place, but another to look like he was after them. And seeing as he himself could always pull the addicts out of the crowd, he ensured he himself would never give those same signs away.
Five minutes before the time, he left the house, and ambled down the street, giving off an air of nonchalance and not making it clear he was making a beeline for the shop. He slipped in the door, pulling his scarf from around his neck, and looked around the shop.
Instantly, he took note of the other patrons in the place, both looking for the one he was supposed to be meeting and examining the other customers. They were nothing out of the ordinary, the usual mix of locals working nearby and tourists. His new dealer was sat back from the window and away from the counter - sensible, he thought - and he went over, taking the seat opposite. He knew it would be free.
"Afternoon. Holmes," he said, by way of introduction, clasping his hands on the table in front of him and smiling pleasantly at her.
How Abigail looked at it was she was lucky to have her job, last time they were taking girls in for work they were not selling drugs but something more personal. She was lucky she never had to go down that road. Abbi would have her break, she only had to do this until she got a job offer in her field, she was talented in what she was educated for, it would happen. But the drugs world wasn’t easy to get out of, and to be honest Abigail kinda liked the thrill, she enjoyed not being tied to a desk every morning at eight, she enjoyed the small handful of narcotics she indulged in, she enjoyed not having to settle with one partner and commit. There would be a time for all that later - right now, she was just doing something new. She was living her life, making mistakes and learning from them, she was being free.
She watched as the man, Holmes, took the seat across from her. It was the first time she encountered someone who looked as old as herself, the customers she had been delivering to tended to be older men and women and then sadly teens. Abbi’s boss took a shining to her which was something she didn’t know was good or bad at this stage, but he sent her on the easy gigs, nothing dangerous, nothing with a risk of the police being involved. He warned her to have a strong personality with the customers, you didn’t have to be friendly there were there for the drugs not the service. She just wasn’t sure how to go about this, seeing as she didn’t have his full order, the heads were becoming watchful of this customer and how he worked with the police, if he wanted all his purchase he’d have to collect the rest from them.
"I’ve been waiting," she sounded fed-up like she had been sitting around for a while, though that wasn’t the case. He had smiled at her but she wasn’t supposed to be super friendly. “There has been a slightly alternation with your…goods. Half now, half when you pick up the rest this evening. They wanna talk with you,” Abigail didn’t know how he would react to this, but he didn’t look like he’d take it out on her, don’t shoot the messenger and all that stuff. "You’ve cash on ya right? half it, trade outside, side of shop,"
The smile was hardly genuine, and he held no compunctions about dropping it the moment she opened her mouth. Fairly educated, then, and lived locally, one sister who called often, someone owned cats - probably that same sister, the more he thought on it - and relatively new to this. After excitement and something more interesting. Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Yes, and you would have continued waiting. I am a highly regarded customer, I am paying, should you have returned without a sale you would have been flung out on your arse." His eyebrow lifted. "And why, pray, has there been an alteration? Don’t bother answering, stupid question, footman like you won’t have a clue."
An angry expression crossed his face as he sat back, an elbow hooking over the back of the small wooden chair. The picture of nonchalance, save for the flicker of rage, which vanished almost as soon as it got there. An alteration? He had been visiting the same dealer since his arrival in London, and this was not acceptable. He required an explanation, and quickly.
"Yes, of course I have cash, idiot. Do you expect me to complete such a transaction on a debit card?"
Cam beamed back at his friend, linking arms with him and pulling him along into the supermarket, his free hand getting one of the plastic baskets in the process. “Anythin’ Christmassy!” he explained. “I’m gonna ha’e a shite Chris’mas at m’folks, I insist on havin’ at least a sorta fun Chris’mas with m’ favourite neighbour!” In the meantime he had picked up a bottle of mulled wine and a bag of cranberries. He’d never cooked anything with cranberries before, but he’d just try. Besides.. they were berries, they couldn’t taste that bad on their own, right?
Sherlock didn’t have too long to dwell on the favourite neighbour comment; it was nice but highly worrying. Instead, he was suddenly preoccupied with the contents of Cam’s basket. Mulled wine, he approved of, but anything involving molten sugar, he felt Campbell should steer clear of.
"Put the cranberries back, Campbell," he said, looking down at their arms and raising his eyebrow. "And release my arm, we are not a Victorian courting couple."
"Why?!" Cam frowned, but stepped away from Sherlock and tossed the cranberries back where they’d come from. "Fine, here." He pushed the basket in Sherlock’s hands instead. "Ye pick things, then."
He just wanted a fun pre-Christmas, even if that meant Sherlock making all the decisions. “I want choc’late mousse fer dessert, tho’. Es that okay? We can jest buy et, rather ‘an make et, tha’d prolly get messy.”
Sherlock took the basket, pushing it up to his elbow, and he huffed slightly, lifting his head.
"Cranberries that are not already prepared are bitter and sour. You would not like them. We can get pre-made cranberry sauce instead. And as for the mousse, I know how to make mousse, it is not difficult. We can make the mousse." A small, reluctant smile flickered over his lips as he led Cam away from the fruit and towards the baking aisle, searching for flour, sugar, other things he can use to make cakes. "What else are you planning to buy?" So he could censor it.
While he waited for Cam to get his pulse, he focused on trying to calm himself. Temporary blindness was uncommon, and he had only hope telling him it was temporary. But Sherlock could not lose his sight. It was his life. Observing things no one else could see, leagues beyond just looking and seeing, and if he couldn’t even see…
Thankfully, Campbell interrupted his increasingly desperate train of thought, pulling it back to the matter at hand. “Twenty-eight is 112. High, but increased pressure, sudden shock, to be expected, measure again in 15. I need… I need…” But he couldn’t think of what he needed. A doctor, probably, but all he had was Cam. Reaching out, he groped for him, and found warm cotton - t-shirt - and he promptly curled his hand in it. “Stay there. I need to think…”
Campbell swallowed, wishing he wasn’t alone in this. Well, he wasn’t really alone, Sherlock was there. Moreover, Cam wasn’t the victim here, either - but he wished there’d been someone else, someone who’d know what to do. “I wish I could jest gi’e ye my eyes,” he murmured, sighed.
"How about- how about I make us sum coffee. Or tea. White’er ye want," Campbell suggested. "An’ then we can ha’e a proper think?" His mother’d tactic, really. She’d always sat Cam down with a drink if he needed grounding. This wasn’t the same, but maybe it’d help anyway?
Despite himself, Sherlock found himself grinning at Cam’s proposal of taking his eyes. “You know that that is entirely impossible. Besides, if I had your eyes, you would then be blind. It is not something you want.” He reached out and placed his hand on Campbell’s upper arm, thankful for the warming reassurance of someone else with him.
"Tea would be good, thankyou," he replied, sighing and sitting back on the chair. He’d calmed down a little, breathing slower, deeper. He took his hands back to himself, placing them on his thighs, feeling his phone in his pocket and the slightly rough catch of the material of his old cotton pyjamas on dry palms. "There is nothing I can attribute this to. It must just be a temporary thing. The appropriate treatment is…" But it wouldn’t come to him. He pressed his palms to his forehead, face angry. Think, Sherlock, think!
Sherlock softened. And if Campbell ever told another living soul that he had done so, he would make sure the Scottish bastard would die a long, slow, and painful death. But for now, he left the threats lingering in the back of his mind, and he went to him, kneeling beside him, head cocked to the side.
He did not need to ask what Cam needed, because the way his eyes were unfocused and rolling away even as he remained still beside him, and the way his muscles refused to hold him up, and the sudden outpouring of emotion Sherlock was massively ill-equipped to deal with, told him that Cam needed sleep. Everything else could be attended do once the other had slept, and returned to a regular state of mind.
Sherlock, therefore, looped his arms beneath Cam’s shoulders, pulling him to his feet. “You must return to bed, Cam. Sleep, you shall feel better.”
Fuck, he was cold. The circulation in his hands and feel seemed insufficient, but ice seemed to have settled in his stomach as well, cramping and chilling him to the bone. For a moment, he forgot the breathe, choked on his own tears, wrapped his arms around his head as if that would shield him from the way Sherlock was looking at him. When Sherlock pulled him up, there was no resistance even if Campbell had wanted to.
"Why couldn’ye’ve jest lemme die?" he whispered, dejected and tired. "I dun like thes. Et wasn’s’posed tae go like thes."
For a moment, it was awkward, holding Cam against him while the man shivered and whimpered. Sherlock was not used to contact, save for a sexual purpose, but he felt he cared about Cam in an entirely different way. His welfare was important to Sherlock, not the way he whined in bed. He didn’t want to know that about him. He did, however, want to make him comfortable.
Relaxing his arm around him, he began to slowly walk him back towards the bedroom. “Because it will pass. Death does not pass. And I prefer you not dead. You’re far more interesting alive. I like you alive.” He pushed the door open and tugged him gently through it.