-Holmes POV-

Hm, he had fallen asleep on the couch again. Well, running around London chasing criminals might be a bit taxing. What was he reading? A Manual of the Operations of Surgery by Joseph Bell. Hardly interesting, since John had fallen sleep while reading. His hands were resting on top of the book cover and I caught myself studying them carefully, not to deduce anything but merely because I desired to imprint them in my memory.
Which was of course ridiculous. John Watson's hands were not important. Neither was his darkly blonde hair, his green eyes or any of the other body features I had observed and cataloged carefully.
God, who am I kidding?
I would gladly sacrifice a considerable amount of brain space to memorize every single inch of John Watson.

I sat down by the sofa next to him, on the edge of it at first but I moved in closer, he was fast asleep after all. It couldn't hurt.
I sat close to him now, studying every single aspect of his face, my nose almost touching his skin.
His body heat and his smell had a much greater effect on me than I had initially predicted. My heart was beating furiously in my chest and no matter how I tried I could not make it slow down. I found this interesting.
I wondered why this man, this quite ordinary man, had such an effect on me. It was not logical.
I boldly decided to move closer still. I slid my arm behind John's head and bending it so that my hand rested, very lightly, on top of his head. I kept my eyes trained on his face, watchful for any sign of him waking up. Fortunately, no signs appeared.
There I remained for maybe an hour, relishing John's warmth and the sound of his heart beating so close to my own.
I was in trouble and I knew it.
The softer emotions never brought anything but problems...
Though maybe this particular enigma was worth it.


I woke up slowly, which was something of a surprise. I usually woke up suddenly, because of my damned nightmares. But this time, my sleep had been peaceful and more relaxing than it had been for a long time.

Come to think of it, the nightmares had almost seized entirely since I moved in with Sherlock. It was probably the excitement, it left me less restless and exhausted. My brain was most likely too tired to conjure up nightmares when I finally got some sleep. I yawned and stretched my stiff body, falling asleep in a sitting position was not something I would recommend. I had forgotten the book in my lap and when I moved it fell to the floor, making a loud noise when hitting the floor.

The sound triggered something in my mind, memories flashed before my eyes without me being able to control them.

Bleeding men all around me, gunshots close by, terrified screams from the people I was supposed to help, in a flash I was back in Afghanistan under the blazing sun. I shut my eyes tightly and tried to block the images out, I fell to the floor and grabbed my trice cursed leg which was suddenly lit up with the same level of pain as when I had been shot.

Not real not real not real not real! I kept repeating it over and over, hoping that maybe my screwed up mind would listen. It didn't, the pain and the images kept attacking my senses mercilessly.

It hurt too much, I let out an agonized whimper and curled up in an attempt to shield myself from...myself.

Suddenly I could feel hands that weren't my own grasping my arm tightly, a voice called my name repeatedly. I knew the voice very well but the tone of it made me doubt my preliminary conclusion.

"John! John, what's the matter? What's wrong?"

The pain subsided somewhat when I concentrated on his voice, on his hand on my arm. I quickly grabbed his hand, like an addict would reach for a syringe. My knuckles became white because of the tight grip but Sherlock didn't remove his hand, thank God.

"K-keep talking." I managed to stutter through gritted teeth.

He hesitated and I gripped his hand tighter.

"Anything! Please, the pain is..." I could not continue, my voice broke. It felt as if I was dying once again and somehow Sherlock's voice helped me stay afloat.

Then, to my staggering relief, he spoke. Hesitantly, awkwardly, but he spoke. Told me that everything would be alright, that he was there and that I didn't need to worry. Words of comfort, such words that he had always mocked so viciously before.

His voice calmed me, after a while I felt my mind returning under my control once again, the memories fleeing back to their proper places, neatly tucked away deep in my subconsciousness. The pain reduced itself to a dull ache and the grip on Sherlock's hand slackened.

"John?" the owner of said hand asked cautiously after what seemed like a very long time but probably was just a few minutes.

I didn't want to speak, I was too mortified. Laying there like a pitiable infant incapable of controlling my own mind.

Surely Sherlock would be revolted by having such a weak and hopeless flatmate. Damn it! One of the few good things in my life and I fuck it up.

I let go of his hand but didn't trust my body enough yet so I suppressed the urge to stand up and hide away somewhere. Instead I managed to get into a sitting position, leaning on the sofa and keeping my eyes closed. I felt I couldn't really face the piercing and no doubt disapproving eyes of Sherlock Holmes at that moment.

"What happened?"

His voice didn't sound all that disapproving. I figured he deserved an explanation for my behavior anyway.

"It was stupid. The book, the book fell to the floor and..."

I sighed shakily, still incapable of opening my eyes.

"It sounded like when the men came in with another injured soldier. The surgery table's legs weren't even so when a body was placed on it the weight shifted and the table leg stamped against the floor, it sounded just like that..." I trailed off and silence took over the room for a time. I was sure Sherlock would leave, he considered emotions a weakness and I had just shown him that his judgement had been right. Because of my emotions I couldn't even hear a bloody book fall without being rendered completely helpless.

At last, I opened my eyes, they were red-rimmed from unshed tears of pain. Another weakness that Sherlock would register and analyze. When I blinked, a drop fell from my eyes and rolled down my face. I didn't look at the man in front of me, I looked up at the ceiling in hope that maybe the answers to my problems could be found there. But it was just a ceiling.

"I'm sorry," I mumbled.

The next second, there was movement by Sherlock and the tear that had now rolled down to my chin was brushed away by a gentle hand.

"You are an incredibly brave man, John. And I won't allow you to apologize for it," he told me with a voice that was both mild and firm at the same time. Being able to pull of such a paradox was to typical of the detective that I couldn't help but smile. I had always imagined that Sherlock's hands would be cold, but the hand on my cheek was warm and soft.

I looked Sherlock in the eyes then, and to my astonishment I did not see disapproval or disappointment. He just looked pale, paler that usual and his eyes shown with a humanity I had never seen in them before.

My own hand reached up to grab Sherlock's which was still resting on my face.

"I'm sorry for being sorry then," I said, a little of my usual self had slipped into my voice now.

Sherlock's hand went round and found a new resting place on my neck. A shiver ran down my spine but I did nothing to stop him. I didn't want him to stop after all.

"You scared me," he stated.

I would have replied if I had been able to. But it's somewhat hard to form words with another man's lips pressed hard against your own.

I chose instead to respond to the kiss, which I think was highly appreciated. And I must state for the record; Sherlock Holmes is, no matter if you call him a sociopath or a freak, a bloody damn good kisser.

When we finally broke apart, he rested his head against my forehead and the only thing I could see in this world was his stormy grey eyes.

"Don't ever scare me like that again," he whispered.

As a reply, I grabbed his shirt and pulled him into another kiss.

This was definitely going on my blog.