'Ello poppets! How are you doing? This fic is dedicated to all the fanfic authors out there who basically have John and Sherlock running through hell and back and having us viewers enjoying practically every minute of it. The following is meant to be the aftermath of such exploits: after all the dust settles, Sherlock and John still have each other (in most cases) and will get through it. With perhaps a few bumps in the road. :)

Please, please, please, PLEASE with a pink phone and Sherlock's scarf on top review this one. Tell me if it's good, bad, ugly, what your favorite tea is or who's your favorite pairing for this fandom. Are John & Sherlock in character? Does this story need more of a resolution or do you like the ending? Keep in mind there's a part 2 coming down the tracks (and hopefully no dead Bruce-Partington Plans guy on the back. Teehee!)

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

To Dispel My Nightmares: A BBC Sherlock Fanfic

Part 1: John

He woke up to whimpering noises behind him and immediately jumped out of their shared bed. Damn it. He had left it downstairs: he'd been playing it earlier in an effort to think through a case. Not caring that he was only wearing boxer shorts in their freezing flat, he raced down the hall, his warm feet shocked by and pattering down the chilled steps of the stairs in a matter of seconds. He skidded through the kitchen, feeling the chill turn to a burn on his feet, and launched himself over the coffee table strewn with paper to where his violin case lay, instrument inside. He clicked open the case, grabbed the violin's thin neck and the bow before running back to the bedroom to see John in violent REM sleep, his eyes shooting from side to side underneath his eyelids.

John's breath was coming in little pops as his throat constricted in sleep apnea. He was beginning to shake his shoulders back and forth too, and Sherlock could see his arm muscles twitching under the sheet that covered him: the violin was almost too late. Shit. As he placed the instrument to his chin and set the bow in place, John started saying his name in little gasps: "Sher...Sher-Sh-Sherlock." Sherlock gritted his teeth. It was severe this time.

In agitation, he struck the first notes of Bach, and John rolled his torso unconsciously over to Sherlock's half of the bed, his face downturned into the mattress and his left arm groping for the body that usually lay there. The detective swayed over to the bed and sat on its edge, willing the music to roll over them both like waves, feeling John's clammy hand grasp at his hip. Sherlock forced his body to relax, letting his un-occupied shoulder drop. It had worked before and surely...Suddenly, John stilled, and Sherlock noted a hitch in John's breathing. "Sherlock?"

Sherlock sighed. John's breath was slow and labored now, his chest heaving up and down to gulp down air that his throat had previously denied him. Sherlock felt the hand on his hip give a more conscious grip and turned a bit to see the back of the blonde head mushed with the scatter of sheets and blanket, the slight sheen of sweat across John's exposed and bare back in addition to the incriminating wetness near where his face now lay-tears.

What had John's unconscious done to him? This man, who could face the barrel of a gun, be kidnapped by psychopaths, and chase danger halfway across London without bating an eye was reduced to this position of utter weakness by the mere fancy and figment of his own buried thoughts. Sure, he had dreams from Afghanistan before (before everything really), but this new set of dreams were different.

They'd started months after Sherlock had come back from the dead during which period both John and he had slept better than either had in the past three years. But now, after this last string of cases, John had these nightmares almost weekly. Sherlock had been threatened severe bodily harm a bit more than usual, but was that a cause for John to go into almost single-minded rage over Sherlock's attacker at each instance? He had never done that before. Noooo. Seeing red and committing questionable almost homicides in response to his companion being threatened was much more Sherlock's department. It had happened a few times. Each time only John's repeated assurances of his well-being and once a very distracting kissing of Sherlock's mouth had made the detective stop trying to make the attacker wish they had never felt the sunshine of this earth.

A tug backward on his hip brought him back to the present reality. He zinged off a final note of the song, but John didn't look at him, only rolled back to his side of the bed. Laying the violin carefully on the floor, Sherlock slipped under the sheets, faced John's tense back, and waited.

John rolled again to face him. Eyes downcast, he ran his hand through his short hair and let out a long breath. His wedding band glinted in the incoming faint streetlight. Something popped into Sherlock's head: "'To run my fingers through her hair,/ To tie a lover's knot past dreamt./ To kiss away strands falling rain/ and whisper secret warmths of heart.'"

"Where's that from?" John's voice was a bit rough from sleep and croaky from the nightmare. It was still thermal music to Sherlock all the same.

"A poem from somewhere. Might have been the last case."

"You haven't managed to delete it?"

"Apparently not."

John chuckled, but then: "I'm sorry."

Sherlock cocked his head in analysis, his eyes skittering across John's form in bed. Shoulders tense. Breathing shallow but steady. Left hand not trembling. Legs lying as normal, the right not bent up in pain. But not meeting Sherlock's eyes: legitimately ashamed, but feeling no anger. Just a determination to be brave. His soldier seemed to never stop being one, facing the loneliness, facing the pain, facing all the things Sherlock and the world could ever throw at him.

"It is in no way your fault. I should have never left you," he said. He reached across the no man's land in the middle of the bed and took the back of John's head. John was always so pleasantly warm compared to Sherlock, and Sherlock dug his fingertips into John's scalp before leaning forward and gently bringing John's head up to catch him in a soft kiss. John was so kissable after all. Warm lips, soft puddy skin, lines everywhere to explore and fall in, and eyes a curious mix of blue-brown, the tiny reflected Sherlock's sky and earth.

"Mmmm," John said eloquently, and he inched closer to Sherlock, bringing up his own hand to run it through his companion's curls. The kiss deepened to taste of pillows and warm blankets and John & Sherlock and Sherlock & John and very, very faintly of last night's mint tea.

John broke the contact off, breathing heavily due to his need for air. Their foreheads were together, and Sherlock was pleased to observe that whatever oxygen John was breathing out he was most likely breathing in. He whispered, "But I'm here now. We're alive now."

In response, John scooted even closer to Sherlock, wrapping his arms around him and nuzzling his face into the detective's chest. The gesture seemed to fill every cold space in Sherlock's body, heating him up like he never could on his own. The detective hugged John back and exaggerated his breathing. In. Out. In. Out. John started to match him, lungful for lungful. Slowly John's became deeper and deeper and Sherlock could feel his eyelashes fluttering against his chest: sleep. Deep enough not to dream. Sherlock kissed the top of John's head, weaved his fingers into the short blond strands, and tried to tangle their legs further together. His warm John. John sputtered awake.


"Hmmmm?" His voice was more of a deep rumble than coherent words. He was too comfortable right now for words, entwined with his own personal heaven.

"Don't ever leave." John said quietly, his voice muted by Sherlock's proximity. "I need you to be here. Not feeling you here: that was frightening."

"I thought you were asleep then?"

"I was. That was the dream."

Sherlock's grip on his Watson tightened.

Chapter 2 (where Sherlock's the one with the nightmare) will be up momentarily. I just can't seem to get these boys sleeping/dreaming/waking up outta my head! Don't worry-I'm concerned about my sanity too. But I love them to bits! Conundrums.

Again, please review. Your opinion matters to me!