Characters: Sherlock Holmes, mentions of John Watson
Genre: Character Study
Contains: asexual!Sherlock, sartorial decadence, semi-self-aware!Sherlock
Beta(s): The ever-lovely and patient dawnebeth
Prompt(s): For the "Orgies/Decadence" square on my Kink Bingo card.
Notes: Thanks to the Wardrobe section of the "Sherlockology" website; I couldn't have written this fic without you.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I couldn't afford him!
Summary: Sexual decadence isn't the only kind.
Sherlock Holmes is a man who knows exactly what he likes...and what he doesn't. While sex might not alarm him—and privately, he accepts that, like many other socially-fraught issues, that's a big might—it certainly isn't his area, either. Along with girlfriends, boyfriends, and friends in general (with one John-Watson-shaped exception), sex is something that Sherlock doesn't see the appeal of, for either himself or others. At best, he considers it a necessary bodily function, similar to eating or sleeping: something that can, in theory, be pleasurable, but is often done by other, lesser people instead of more truly interesting things, like studying the mating habits of honey bees in the hopes of solving the mystery of colony collapse disorder.
None of this, however, means that Sherlock is immune to the calls of the flesh. He just answers them differently. Bespoke suits, six of them, not counting two tuxedos and a full morning suit. Five dressing gowns, each suited to a separate and distinct purpose. Multiple sheet sets, exclusively Egyptian cotton or silk, and never with a thread count below 600. And his beloved coat, which he's had to replace three times now, at a cost of nearly £1500 each. Those expenses, he must admit, were notable ones, but absolutely worth it.
There is a certain feeling, a satisfaction, to Sherlock's post-case ritual, and it is as satisfactory to him as he imagines a successful sexual encounter is to others. It begins with a good meal, perhaps with some wine—much to his annoyance, Sherlock does accept that eating is necessary for continued survival, and he figures he might as well enjoy the experience—followed by a lengthy shower, in which he pays particular attention to washing his hair. His scalp has always been sensitive, sometimes to his own detriment, and the feeling of running his own fingers against it, rubbing and massaging sweet-smelling shampoo into his roots makes him shiver in pleasure. After the shower, it's a luxurious dry-off wrapped in Supima cotton bath sheets, then into clean pants—silk, of course—before collapsing into bed to stretch and splay to his heart's content.
Decadent? Possibly. Expensive? Certainly. John would goggle at the cost of Sherlock's scarf alone, and Sherlock routinely reminds himself that John must never know the cost of the gloves he once borrowed and subsequently lost. But Sherlock is a firm believer in treating himself well when he feels like it, and there's something about the look and feel of truly high-quality fabric against his skin that makes him feel good in a way he can't explain. It isn't sexual, not at all, but sensual it might be. A physical experience that brings his mind and body to new heights, allowing his consciousness to take flight in ways it can't when tethered to the earth by pesky things like physical discomforts. So Sherlock keeps his indulgences, and occasionally branches out into new ones. Speaking of which, he has of late been considering some new shoes....