Title: Of Thunderstorms and Woollen Blankets

Author: Ailendolin

Rating: T (PG-13) … just to be sure.

Disclaimer: I do not own BBC's Sherlock and do not make any money with this story. The original characters belong to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the new adaptions belong to BBC, Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

Summary: Sherlock drew his gaze away from the storm raging outside and looked up at John, grey eyes analyzing his mussed up hair, his sleeping attire, his bare feet. He raised one eyebrow. "The storm woke you up," he stated. – Sherlock/John hurt/comfort. Gen or pre-slash.

Word Count: 1084

Warning: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, but mainly Fluff – a lot of it.

Author's Notes: Hello! This is my first Sherlock fanfiction that came to me after lying awake one night listening to a storm raging outside. I'm from Germany and don't have a beta, so this isn't brit-picked or anything and there are bound to be some mistakes, though I try my best. Don't hesitate to point them out :) Now, I hope you enjoy this story and maybe leave me a little comment *smile*

Of Thunderstorms and Woollen Blankets

He woke up with a start. Thunder was rolling outside, accompanied by lightning flashes that illuminated his sparsely furnished room. He tried to calm his rapid heartbeat by taking deep breaths and closing his eyes, but it was no use. Sleep would not be reclaiming him that soon, he knew.

Instead of spending the next few hours tossing and turning, trying and probably failing to fall asleep, John shuffled quietly out of his room, clad only in a loose shirt and his boxers. He found Sherlock sitting on the couch and staring out of the window as if thunder and lightning were the most fascinating things he had seen in a while. And they probably were, John thought, since they had not had a new case for a week now. Life had almost seemed normal.

Sherlock drew his gaze away from the storm raging outside and looked up at John, grey eyes analyzing his mussed up hair, his sleeping attire, his bare feet. He raised one eyebrow. "The storm woke you up," he stated.

"Yes," John affirmed, trying not to feel uncomfortable under that gaze. "The thunder is pretty loud. Wouldn't be surprised if it would even wake the dead," he added nonchalantly.

Sherlock nodded while his eyes narrowed. "The storm is almost on top of us," he said just as thunder once again rumbled loudly across the sky, followed almost at once by a lightning strike. "Now it actually is."

John flinched despite himself and wrapped his arms protectively around his shivering form as he stood beside the couch, glaring at the windows.

Sherlock chuckled. "Sit down, John, will you? There's plenty of room here to watch the storm together if you can't sleep."

John felt relief and gratitude washing over him, not having known until that moment that Sherlock's offer was the reason why he had come downstairs in the first place. He sat down next to Sherlock, closer than he normally would and pulled up his legs before he encircled them with his arms. Together they stared outside silently for a few minutes until Sherlock said, "It reminds you."

He did not need to specify what he meant. Both he and John knew he was talking about the war, so John merely answered, "Yes." After a moment he elaborated. "It just surprised me. I know I'm safe here but when I woke up for a moment I was back there, out in the open. Vulnerable."

Sherlock looked at him as John rested his head on his knees. Then he reached beside himself to grab the blanket lying there. It was woolly, and soft, and of a light brown colour, and he put it carefully around John's shoulders. The doctor looked up at him, surprised.

"You feel more comfortable with a blanket," Sherlock explained in his usual matter-of-fact way. "Especially when it's a woollen one."

John just stared at him. "How could you possibly know that?" he could not help asking.

"You have one in your room upstairs," Sherlock said, tucking the sliding blanket higher up around John's shoulder. "You always fold it neatly and put it under your normal blanket in the morning. At night, you like to curl up in it. Even in the summer, when it's unbearably hot, you have that woollen blanket wrapped around you."

John frowned at him. "What were you doing in my room at night? No, wait." He held up his hand before Sherlock could reply. "You saw all this whenever you woke me up in the middle of the night for one of your stupid experiments or to drag me across half of London because of some case. Right?"

Sherlock smiled at him, looking proud for a moment. "Well done, John." Then his eyes narrowed. "My experiments are not stupid. They're vital and important."

John ignored him. "But it doesn't explain where this blanket comes from," he said after a moment. He looked at Sherlock, absentmindedly caressing a corner of the soft material between his fingers.

"I bought it," Sherlock said. He was avoiding John's gaze and instead watching the corner of the blanket John kept worrying. "For you," he clarified. "Should you fall asleep on the couch or in the chair. So you could be more comfortable."

"I –," John began, surprised, and stopped. He did not know what to say to that. In the end he settled for, "Thank you. That is very thoughtful."

"Do you like it?" Sherlock asked, finally meeting his eyes.

John smiled at him. "I love it. It's very soft."


And with that they resumed watching the thunderstorm outside, both lost in their thoughts. John began to feel drowsy after a few minutes, almost lulled to sleep by the comfort of Sherlock's blanket and the warmth of the fireplace. His eyes drifted close.

Another lightning flash that illuminated the flat, immediately followed by deafening thunder, had him jolting awake once more. But before his heart could start to panic Sherlock had put his arm around him and drawn him closer.

"It's okay," he murmured softly into John's ear. "I'm here. You're safe. Just close your eyes."

Sherlock was warm against him and John found himself following his orders. He laid his head on Sherlock's shoulder and let his eyes fall close. When Sherlock tightened his arm around him, telling him without words that it was okay, John allowed himself to relax and bury deeper into the comfort Sherlock provided. He concentrated on Sherlock's breathing pattern, in and out, and in and out, and after a short while he did not even hear the thunder anymore, just Sherlock's slow intake and exhalation of air.

It was then that sleep finally claimed him, cocooned in a brown woollen blanket that Sherlock had bought just for him, and Sherlock himself whose thumb kept tracing small, irregular patterns on John's shoulder that were more comforting than any blanket could ever be.

This is home, John realized just as he drifted off, Sherlock is home. And somehow, this revelation did not shock him as much as it maybe should have. Life with Sherlock was complicated, messy, struggling, frustrating and most of all dangerous, of course, as other people tended to remind him. But it was also smiles, and jokes and laughs, and comfort and excitement and companionship, and, most importantly, understanding each other without words and loving the other not despite their faults but because of them.

To John, life with Sherlock was simply perfect, because every day felt like coming home.

The End