Mine

(A/N: Why Watson REALLY didn't get a wink of sleep that night. R&R!)

According to his pocket watch, it was one-fifteen a.m. when Watson felt Holmes's weight fall against his left shoulder and it was precisely one-seventeen a.m. when his partner's light snores drifted to his ears. He sighed and thought about shaking him but he found that he quite enjoyed the warmth that chased out the cold clamminess of the prison yard; and for all the trouble the detective caused, Watson didn't really have it in his heart to disturb him. He guessed he wasn't going to sleep that night.

He could feel the warm breath ghosting across his back and he suppressed a shudder which he wrote off to the conflicting feeling of coldness and heat at the same time and pulled out his notes to distract himself. He read them over in the dim lighting provided by the streetlamps and the moon. The doctor shook his head as he recalled all the maddening adventures Holmes had enticed him into and his thoughts were immediately drawn to the mishap of the preceding day. He closed his eyes against the memory of Holmes nearly being crushed by the ship. When he saw it roll over him, his gut had clenched sickeningly and he just knew it was going to be the end of Sherlock Holmes.

So when it had moved past and he sat up, his heart had leapt in such a way as it never had before and when the giant pulley came hurtling towards him, Watson hadn't even thought about it before diving on top of Holmes to protect him. Now that he thought about it, he really had risked his life to save him. Now that really meant something. He was a doctor, accustomed to saving lives but he was never at personal risk with his patients. He was also somewhat of a war hero but he could not recall a time when he had thrown himself into enemy fire for the sake of someone else but he had done it earlier like it was nothing. God, did he really need Holmes that much?

He glanced down and noticed one of his partner's hands resting near his own. Tentatively, he lifted his hand and placed it over Holmes's, gently so that he would not wake. Almost instantly, he discovered he enjoyed the feeling and found himself stroking the detective's hand with his thumb. He hoped he was deep enough asleep by now not to notice because he would have a hell of a time explaining this!

His pocket-watch now read two-thirty a.m. He was one of the only ones awake by now. Those still active among him were two prostitutes conversing in the corner and a few rather burly men; one of which had been gazing in Holmes's direction for quite some time now. Watson had quickly moved his hand from his partner's the first time he noticed but the man didn't seem to be concentrating on the location of their hands. He seemed to be, well, ogling Holmes. Of course; it occurred to Watson that Holmes was probably just the type someone like the burly man would like: smaller than him but still rough-and-tumble enough to put up a good fight before breaking.

An incredible feeling of contempt for the man and protectiveness towards Holmes welled within him and seemed to radiate from his very being. He pointedly placed his hand in its previous position and set the other man with a glare so fierce it would make a demon cringe. The burly man considered him for a second, sizing him up as it would seem before smirking, folding his arms across his chest.

"I see that one belongs to you then?" he asked gruffly, his voice like carriage wheels over gravel.

"Yes," Watson answered without thinking, "He's mine."