Title: Love, Sociopath Style

Author: fantomeq

Word Count: about 500 Rating: R

Warnings: darkish Sherlock, sociopaths Pairing: Sherlock/John Summary: Sherlock likes to experiment on John in his sleep.
Disclaimers: The usual.

It starts, as all things do, with an experiment. All week Sherlock initiates physical contact with John and catalogues his responses. He starts with brush of the fingertips, a hand on the shoulder. John seems to be growing more comfortable with physical contact now that his PTSD is waning. One night John falls asleep on the sofa while watching telly, slumps over, his head just resting against Sherlock's leg. John gives a twitch, head rubbing against Sherlock's thigh.

Sherlock gives John's hair an experimental touch. It is coarse, prickles through Sherlock's trousers, like guard hairs in poorly processed angora. John is allergic to angora. The sensation becomes intolerable, and Sherlock looks at the Union Jack pillow, tips it against John's face for a moment. Polyester fibers in the lungs, burst capillaries in the eyes. Even with a good seal, suffocation would take at least four minutes. John has excellent upper body strength and lung capacity. Sherlock revises the time estimate considerably upward, rights the pillow. John has noticed nothing.

Sherlock leans down to study John's face. His brow is creased, his respiration steady but slightly elevated. He is not experiencing rapid eye movement. He has a detached eyelash with intact follicle on his left cheek. Sherlock moves closer, holding his breath so as not to alert the doctor, presses a kiss against John's mouth. John's lips are chapped. He has forgotten to brush his teeth, having fallen asleep on the sofa. The tension in John's forehead eases. The next day, John smiles twice at breakfast.

After a long day at the surgery, John falls asleep on the couch again. Noting the signs of sleepiness, Sherlock moves to the chair and watches John lose consciousness. John's neck is extended, exposed. Sherlock wonders how much Zolpidem it would take to keep him unconscious through any stimuli, considers forging John's signature for the prescription-having a doctor around has been most convenient. He wonders if John may have the side effect of somnambulation, reconsiders the LD-50, discards the idea. Sherlock looks at the vulnerable neck again, suddenly envisions his hands crushing and bruising. No, he still needs John. Sherlock closes his eyes, takes a slow breath and counts to ten. The urge passes.

For the next step, Sherlock goes without sleep for three days and ensures that John gets little rest as well. Sherlock commandeers the sofa, throws an ennui tantrum as John leaves for work, and stays there all day, waiting. In the evening, as John is climbing the stairs in the hall, Sherlock pretends to be asleep, his breath controlled and heart rate lowered. Sherlock doesn't stir as John places his keys on the table with extra care. This is the perfect opportunity for John to catch up on sleep, but John doesn't go upstairs.

Instead, John kneels next to the sofa, regarding him. Sherlock's neck is exposed, vulnerable, his lips parted. Sherlock imagines his own expression through closed eyes. John places the Union Jack pillow under Sherlock's head, brushes an errant curl to one side. John's fingers rest on Sherlock's forehead, as if checking for fever. They linger. Sherlock feels something uncoil inside of him, something deeply possessive, something warm but not burning. He wonders if this is love.