A/N: There are so many lovely Sherlock fics out there – I am very pleasantly surprised! :) I hope you will enjoy my addition, and please add a review if you have time.

This is how I think "The Great Game" episode should have ended. Sherlock/John slash (that's malexmale!). Please don't read if not your cup of tea. Otherwise, enjoy!

Breathe

"Are. You. Alright?" Sherlock repeated urgently the moment Moriarty disappeared round the far corner.

"No," was all John could manage. He knew that once this was over, he would feel like a fool – a war veteran, seen and lived through so much, so easily broken by one small, vicious man. Breathe. Just breathe.

John felt light-headed and realized he could no longer see. He felt deft fingers releasing him from his prison of explosives, discarding the damned coat to the floor.

It was not enough. Paranoia was setting in – the jacket John still wore was constricting him, threatening him, he could hear Moriarty's laughter in his head as he desperately tried to free himself -

"Get it off me, please, get it off!" John clawed at his jacket, getting tangled in his urgency, when finally he felt a decisive tug as Sherlock discarded that too.

"John, John, it's gone. See? You're safe now."

The doctor's knees abruptly gave way and he fell against his friend's hard chest, long arms immediately encircling him to keep him from slipping to the ground.

"Oh god," John managed between ragged breathes, which were becoming more erratic by the second. "I'm not okay." He wrapped his arms around Sherlock's middle, using his body as an anchor against the darkness that threatened to take him.

"Yes you are." John felt wide palms stroke him steadily down his back. "I've got you now. It's over. Just breathe. Listen to me."

Sherlock was breathing deeply, steadily. The doctor focused on that sound and tried to mimic it. In, out. In, out.

"That's it," came the warm whisper against his hair. "Good man."

After what seemed like ages, John's breathing normalized and the darkness faded from his vision. His heart rate was beginning to calm.

After some time he mustered the strength to lift his head from the taller man's shoulder and look him in the eye.

Yet John didn't move to untangle himself from his friend, and neither did the detective.

"Thank you, Sherlock," he said. And he meant it. "I'm sorry about..."

"No need," the dark-haired man reassured. "As I say, you always get there in the end."

John smiled, despite himself. Yet he noticed Sherlock's expression remained concerned, blue eyes piercing his, no doubt trying to deduce... something.

"I think I'll be alright now, Sherlock, really," he tried to reassure, stilling his shaky voice. When there was no response from his friend, John's hand reached and gently grazed the other man's cheek, seemingly of its own volition.

Before the doctor realized what he was doing and could stop, Sherlock placed his own larger hand over his, holding it still.

"John, you're crying," the detective said softly, his voice nearly breaking toward the end.

"Oh!" John hadn't even noticed – no wonder the concern never left his companion's eyes. He stood still and allowed Sherlock to wipe away his tears with smooth fingers.

And didn't think to object when soft lips suddenly met his.

There would be time later to analyze all the possible reasons why John responded to that kiss rather than turn away. But during that brief moment when Sherlock was kissing him, all John could do was part his lips and invite the other man inside.

Sherlock deepened the kiss and John matched his passion equally, tangling his fingers in the detective's hair to hold his face steady. He had a mad thought that perhaps he should continue to discard his clothing – he was already halfway there, after all – when he heard the shrill voice of Moriarty behind him.

Quick as lightning, Sherlock broke the kiss and shoved John behind him, guarding him with his tall frame from whatever was about to come.