A/N: So here's my second Sherlock fic, this time with less angst and darkness- and more conversation! I'm inching my way towards lighter stuff...I dunno, I always seem to write my darker stuff first and then go on to silly fics. I'm hoping to start up a 100 word 100 drabble Sherlock story, along with my Harry Potter Siri/Rem one. Anyways, on to the story!
His fingers trace a path down the man's arm, light brushes against warm skin. Shivers shake the body beneath him, sun-lightened hair reflecting silver by the moon. They avoid each other's eyes, settling simply for the feeling of what is happening, what they've unleashed.
The dark-haired man's curls are mussed wildly, stuck to his pale skin with the sweat of a nightmare long forgotten. His head lies on the other man's chest, ears taking in the muffled sound of an erratic heartbeat. The heat of the night is stifling and intoxicating, making the sharpness of their minds hazy.
"Was it bad?" John barely murmurs, unsure of whether the other is awake. Unusual situations have become common to him, and he has learned how to seem collected when his mind and heart are racing in two different directions. Sherlock is silent for a moment, trying to let the night stifle his forever racing mind for once- for once, so he can answer.
"Not as bad as yours," Sherlock replies, regretting his words instantly. The dark quiet of the room is not enough to keep his unfriendly mind from composing a tactless reply. Sometimes he wonders about himself, wonders if he could ever say something honest, even if it might reveal vulnerability.
John clears his throat, shifting slightly, and things are not so easy. Except this is John, and he will always be willing to make it easy for Sherlock- because he understands what it's like to not trust people, even if he's never had it as bad as Sherlock always has. So John whispers,
"I guess. Anyone in it?" The arm across John's stomach tenses for a moment, then slackens. Whatever the dream was, it wasn't so simple as Sherlock would like it to seem. Why else would he be in John's room, in the middle of the night, in a position that suggests unease- a need for comfort?
"Just you," Sherlock says slowly, cold blue-grey eyes fixed on the far wall. The words taste thick in his mouth, wrong, even. His mind is screaming for him to fix it, to fix the hole in his perfect mask he's just made- but his heart tells him not to. His heart is telling him that this is what he needs to do.
"Oh." It is not so much of a reply as a confirmation from John, a signal that he's heard Sherlock. Because right now, John is struggling for words as his derailed train of thought burns out of control. I should have expected.
"It took you long enough," John blurts, and he almost jumps up right then to launch himself out the window. Such a thing is not what a soldier would say, much less a strong man. He is a strong man, emotionally and physically, but somehow it's not enough this time. The only thing he can do now is wait, wait and see what it is that Sherlock will reply with now.
"I'm sorry," Sherlock says, and he is taken aback by the honest feeling in his statement. It occurs to him that John, his ever-caring flat mate, must have worried. Sherlock had always known that John was very caring of other people, as human beings, yet he hadn't thought of what might be said of himself. Of course John would worry about him, especially with all that he'd seen of Sherlock's world.
"At least you came," John said, a note of shame in his voice. He wasn't one to run to someone else for help, but with Sherlock it meant the detective came to him. So Sherlock had come every time, and the only reason John was able to sleep after a nightmare was because of the silent figure watching him from the doorway. John was only hurt more by the fact that somehow he didn't trust his only friend, whom he thought he did, enough to say something.
"Trust is something we are both lacking, I think," Sherlock said quietly, letting his eyes slip closed for a moment as he let John's heartbeat carry him away from the darkness of his own thoughts. His blue-grey eyes opened again, this time falling on the soft fabric of John's blue shirt.
"That's not entirely true," John replied, shifting slightly in Sherlock's arms, looking down into his friend's sharp gaze. Even beneath the coldness in the detective's eyes, there was something warm, a glowing light that let John know this was right. He wouldn't do this with Lestrade, or even Mycroft, would he? He wouldn't let anyone else this close. Sherlock's eyes sparked with realization at John's statement, and a corner of his lips twitched.
"I would sincerely hope you not consider my doing this with Lestrade- or, God forbid, Mycroft," He said, rich voice steady and amused. John was suddenly glad for the night as he felt his cheeks heat, only to realize that with Sherlock's ear on his chest it wouldn't really matter as much. Sure enough, the detective's full lips were now fighting a full-blown smile; John belatedly realized that he hadn't ever seen Sherlock truly smile.
The body on top of John shook with silent laughter, and his heart raced even faster. Is he actually laughing? Is there something wrong with him?
"I fail to see what is so amusing!" John said, pushing himself up slightly with his elbows as Sherlock gave in to the laughter. His unbridled laughter was incredible, deep voice incredibly intoxicating- it was something John would listen to for hours, days on end.
Finally giving up, John let his body flop back onto the bed as Sherlock's laughter died down. His eyes were no longer flat and cold, but bright with joy. Joy. He had just laughed at something, smiled genuinely…and it was all thanks to a man he'd barely known for a few months.
"Just go to sleep," John grumbled, arms crossed behind his head. He made a small, squeaky noise as the arm across his stomach was joined by another beneath his body, encircling his waist and pulling him closer. Sherlock's curls tickled him through his thin shirt as the man nuzzled his head closer into John's chest, breathing in deeply.
"You smell like tea and honey," Sherlock said, laughter evident in his voice. John sighed loudly, moving his arms tentatively to hold the detective closer, marveling at how thin yet muscular his friend was.
"Yes, well you smell like-," He broke off with a small gasp as Sherlock's hand slid over his back, under his shirt. The detective smirked against John's chest, giggling deviously.
"Quit it!" John said, trying to sound firm but failing as his voice came out slightly breathless. Damn him and his long fingers… He thought, squirming and shivering as the cool digits pressed against his hot skin. For a moment, he though Sherlock was simply toying with him, at least until he felt a pair of lips at his neck.
"What-," John began, stopping to control his squeak. "What are you doing?" He continued, proud at the only slight shake in voice. Sherlock laughed at his neck, sending vibrations up and down John's body in a not unpleasant way.
"Do you really want an answer?" He replied, voice deeper than John had ever remembered it being. This is beginning to get out of control, John thought belatedly, biting his lip as another hand slid up the front side of his shirt. The part of him that was enjoying this- surprisingly large, too- was telling him to let Sherlock continue. Yet the logical part of him was screaming that this was wrong, and it would only hurt later.
"Stop," John said firmly, and Sherlock frowned, moving back to gaze upwards at John. They didn't move for a moment as John tried to organize his thoughts, finally saying,
"I'm not your toy." The statement was not a harsh one, nor accusing- no, it was a challenge. A challenge that he was afraid to put forth, because it might mean that Sherlock would admit to using John as he did everyone else.
"Of course not. As if I could ever try to use you," Sherlock said, sounding slightly affronted. John blinked, confused, utterly at a loss for words.
"John, you wouldn't put up with it- I know that much. Besides, I…," he trailed off, eyes glazed as he slipped into the almost comatose state of thought John recognized. So he…is he saying he wouldn't think of me that way? But he thinks of everyone that way. Sherlock returned to himself suddenly, eyes bright and a wondering look capturing his angular features.
"You know, John…I think I love you." What? Of the many explanations John had prepared himself for, this was not one of them. Because firstly, Sherlock simply didn't love, or care for. He just didn't do the whole human interaction thing. The closest thing Sherlock had to caring or love was what he had for his violin, or maybe his work. Certainly not me, John thought, even though his heart was pumping twice as fast at the thought.
"I think your logic has failed you," John said faintly, trying desperately to regain control of his body, which felt like it had floated somewhere far away. This is not happening…I've fallen asleep and this is not happening…
"No, John…I know enough to know it's true. And I know enough to know you love me," He added, the self-important smirk returning to his lips in such a familiar way that John smiled immediately, warmth flooding his tired limbs.
"It took you this long?" He joked, trying not to get sucked in by Sherlock's gaze. How long had he wanted to give in to his heart? How long had he denied the truth? Such a long time, it seemed, and now it was over.
"Mmmm, I've been occupied," He murmured, ducking his head to once again rest beneath John's chin, soft curls brushing his skin.
"So I take it you've finally decided to sleep?" John said, relaxing further into the soft bed. With mild horror, he felt Sherlock's lips curl into a smile. Oh, no- why did I have to say anything? Sherlock moved slightly, pulling himself up so he was face-to-face with John, eyes bright and lips twitching with laughter.
"Maybe not," He said, yanking John closer, looking straight into his eyes, and the normally strong man felt himself melt completely. Well…maybe it's not so bad…at least I won't have nightmares tonight. Or any other night, for that matter… His thoughts ended abruptly as Sherlock's now familiar lips pressed against his, warm and inviting in the night, still curved in a smile.
And John thought, for a moment, that they had finally begun to trust.