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For [livejournal.com profile] come_at_once.

Title: Moonrakers
Pairing: Holmes/Watson (canon)
Rating: soft R ??
Summary The prompt was: "And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon." Life is slow on the Cornish coast, where Holmes and Watson spend their summers in retirement.



"And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,"
--Edward Lear

Old bones are grateful for a warm evening. Once upon a time, when I was lithe and young and brown, the heat was nothing but an irritation, prickling under my cuffs and collar, suffocating in the Afghan dusk. Now, I think I might welcome such a climate. Cornwall is a beautiful county, medieval in its majesty, but it is England, after all, and warm only twenty days out of the year.

Still, we put those days to good use. The cottage is mine, in deed at least, purchased for our summer use, but to all intents and purposes, it is ours, a home bought for us both. Behind the cottage, beyond the beehives and the kitchen gardens, our gate opens almost directly onto the dunes, a sandy little path leading down to the pebbled beach. During the day, one expects to see children there with their nets, men with their trouser-bottoms rolled up, wading in the shallows. In the dark, though, the cove is ours, and ours alone. On a clear night, the water seems to swallow the moon, its great gilded face rippling gently, and Holmes's slender hand fears nothing in reaching for mine, our fingers interlaced as we gaze at the endless sea.

"What a beautiful evening, Holmes," I say. He squeezes my hand. "I feel as if we ought to go plodging."

"Plodging." He snorts, but when he turns to me, his eyes are fond, glittering silver in the darkness. "Really, Watson, do I ask too much in prevailing upon you to speak English?"

This is an old argument, enacted now almost as a private joke, and I gamely play along. "English? Honestly. Just because you suthruns have forgotten the best of our great old English words, doesn't mean I should let my vocabulary sink to your level."

Holmes laughs, and all at once the sound of it is dirty, setting the nape of my neck a-prickle. "Oh, my dear doctor. And here I thought that sinking to my level was precisely what you loved best."

All these years together, and still a word from him -- a look -- can shorten my breath, make my heart stutter in my chest. He smiles at me, and my hand moves almost of its own accord to cup the back of his neck, his silvering hair curling soft against my fingers. He exhales, closing his eyes, and I read the signal with the ease of long practice, an old soldier.

It is thrilling to kiss him like this, the scant breeze carding through our hair, the fresh scent of the sea fret in our nostrils, and know that were anyone to happen by, they would see us openly, Sherlock Holmes supplicant in my arms, his mouth soft and eager for my tongue. Nobody will come, but still, the thought of it makes me clutch at him more fervently, pull him against me until he groans and ruts his tongue against mine, thumbnails scraping at the tendons in my throat, drawing out my shivers.

Forty years ago, this would have been more than we could take. How could I forget how readily his cockstand would harden against my hip, how the muscle in his long thighs tautened, his hands wandering fretfully. Forty years ago, I would have had him on his back in the sand by now, his clothes torn asunder and his thighs spread, fucking the moans from him with my fingers, with my tongue. I used to tear his pleasure from him twice in an hour in those days, taking him apart with my mouth until he was pliant and boneless before I even breached him with my prick. We were young blood, hot and restless for each other, every night a secret feast of frantic touches and animalistic rutting.

Now, though. Now, we have both of us learned the value of patience, the beauty of a slow dalliance under the moon. Holmes's fingers trace my features slowly, and I let myself palm his back, his shoulders, feeling the shift of muscle under my hands. When at last he breaks from my mouth, his lips are flushed and kiss-bitten, his pupils blown black into the silver irises.

"Watson," he murmurs. Later, I think, I will lead him by the hand back to the house, lay him down gently on our bed and kiss the long line of his throat, bite at his nipples. Later, I will undress him slowly, and learn him for the thousandth time with my mouth and hands, until he is hard and tense and shivering, thighs fallen open and hips lifting from the mattress, begging my touch. Later, I will ready him slowly, and kiss him slowly, and fuck him slowly until he is nothing but his pleasure, because the older we get, the clearer it seems that we have all the time in the world.

For now, though, his beloved face is as beautiful as ever in the moonlight, and his thumb makes me gasp when he traces it across the sensitised curve of my lower lip, dipping just slightly inside to tease at the wetness.

"Watson," he murmurs, low, "kiss me again."

After all these years, just as always, his wish is my command.
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