Alright Everyone! Thank you so much for your input! It was incredibly informative, but sadly it was almost a 50/50 split. Sigh. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to weigh in. I ended up just splitting the middle as best I could. Hope everyone approves.
"How exactly did Mycroft manage this?" John asked curiously dropping the last box lightly on the couch.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Sherlock said cryptically as he began unpacking his chemistry set.
"Bollocks." John challenged. "There is no way that my roommate just happened to receive a grant to study in Canada hours after you decided to enroll at Oxford."
Sherlock's only reply was to smirk as he set up the pipettes and flasks carefully in the second bedroom of John's flat. John walked over and ran his hand lightly over the fading bruise on the taller boy's cheek. It had only been a week since John had punched Sherlock in the face. It wasn't one of his shiniest moments but he still felt justified. Sherlock seemed to agree considering that the taller boy had been so accommodating lately that it was bordering on creepy. Sherlock leaned into his caress before pivoting to kiss John lightly on the temple.
"Did you want to try to sleep?" Sherlock asked hesitantly.
John felt a pang of frustration in his gut and sighed heavily. Sleeping. God. He hadn't had a proper sleep in days. The nightmares had him up at all hours and he'd never taken so many showers in his life but he couldn't relax covered in cold sweat. At most he was averaging about four hours a night which meant he spent his days exhausted and fuzzy. He slept better with Sherlock wrapped around him but he still was so tired and frustrated that he was constantly on edge. As they'd packed the last box in the moving van at Mycroft's house, the elder Holmes had shoved a bottle of sleeping pills in his hand with a raised eyebrow that stalled any protest John might have made. He walked lightly over to the kitchen table and picked up the bottle glancing at it torn between the need to sleep and the hatred of needing help to do it. He leaned back into Sherlock as the taller boy wrapping his arms around John's waist and left light kisses against the back of his neck.
"You need to sleep." Sherlock whispered. "Those will help."
"I hate the idea of needing medication for something so simple as sleeping." John said twisting around in the taller boy's arms to face him.
"It's only for a little while." Sherlock reassured him. "Everything is still a bit new and raw. You just need a bit of help until everything settles down again."
"The nightmares aren't forever, right?" John asked meekly.
"Of course not." Sherlock answered firmly. "I've done extensive research into the subject over the past few days. They're only temporary."
John looked down at the bottle and sighed again.
"Try to get some sleep." Sherlock said. "When you wake up, we'll prank call Mycroft."
John giggled a bit at the thought. Sherlock had been positively snarky to Mycroft since this whole event went down. Sherlock had repeatedly reamed his elder brother for changing John's security status. He'd even gone so far as to refuse to help Mycroft on any more of his cases. Mycroft took it all in stride and had even confided to John one morning that he preferred Sherlock grumpy and mouthy to not talking to him at all.
"What will you do while I sleep?" John asked.
"I'll stay incredibly busy." Sherlock huffed. "I have to set our living room and my chemistry room to rights."
"You don't want my help?" John asked stalling.
"I want you to try to sleep." Sherlock said firmly.
John growled lightly but popped open the bottle and shook two pills out onto his palm. Sherlock grabbed him a glass of water and kissed him sweetly on the mouth before handing it over. John downed the drugs and turned to walk toward the bedroom. Sherlock followed and watched him strip down to just his pants, he'd been running through too many sets of pajamas lately, and crawl into their bed. He glanced back at his boyfriend and whispered, "You'll wake me? If they get too bad?"
"Of course." Sherlock said. "Sleep well."
"Yeah, I doubt it." John huffed before wrapping himself in the duvet and waiting for the pills to take effect. In minutes, he could feel the drugs dragging him under forcing him into unconsciousness.
Sherlock stayed in the doorway cataloging everything about John. His breathing. His pallor. The circles under his eyes. After he was satisfied that the pills had worked, he returned to work on unpacking his belongings keeping an ear turned toward the bedroom where John was sleeping. He'd just placed his skull in its honorary spot above the telly when he heard John's phone go in the other room. He quickly stepped over piles of papers and his assortment of lockpicks to get to the mobile before it roused John. He glanced down and felt a flicker of anxiety as he flipped it open and answered.
"Hello, Mrs. Watson." He said. "It's Sherlock."
"Sherlock!" She yelped over the line. "John didn't tell me you'd returned."
"It was a bit of a surprise." He lied easily.
"That explains why he hasn't answered his phone." She sighed. "This is the fifth time I've tried him this week. I was starting to get worried."
"Right." Sherlock replied. "Should I have him call you?"
"Isn't he there?" She asked.
"He's sleeping actually." Sherlock answered.
"But it's nearly lunch time." She said. "Shouldn't he be up by now?"
"He had a bit of a late night." Sherlock said, cringing at the unintended innuendo. "Studying."
"He has been incredibly busy." She sighed. "I was going to pop over to take him to lunch this weekend."
"Why don't I have him call you?" Sherlock said.
"Alright." Mrs. Watson huffed. "Can I ask you a question, Sherlock?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes but braced himself for the inevitable scolding. "Of course."
"Are you home for good this time?" She asked. "He deserves someone whose there."
"I'm here." Sherlock said firmly. "I'm not going away again."
"My boy is extraordinary." She answered. "He's good and wonderful and worthy of the best kind of love from the best kind of person. If you want to be with him, you have to earn that."
"Where's this coming from, Mrs. Watson?" Sherlock asked curiously. "You've never brought this up before."
"Yes, well." She said. "When my sources inform me that you are moving in with my son, my concern increases a hundred fold. Are you going to answer my question or not?"
"Mrs. Hudson." Sherlock sighed. "Of course."
"She is a dear woman." Mrs. Watson answered. "We've become close over the past year."
"Mrs. Watson," Sherlock said blushing. "I love him. And I know how good and wonderful John is. I'm not perfect but I will never stop trying to be worthy of his love. I don't want you to doubt my feelings and devotion to him."
"Was that terribly difficult for you to admit?" She asked, amusement coloring her words.
"Very." Sherlock growled. "I detest overly emotional displays."
"You are an interesting young man, Sherlock." Mrs. Watson giggled and Sherlock felt his heart swell at the laughter that sounded so much like his John's. "I can see why he likes you. I will be coming this weekend and you will join us for lunch."
"Is that a demand?" He asked curiously.
"Consider them your marching orders." She answered. "I'll see you both on Sunday."
"Yes, Mrs. Watson." Sherlock sighed.
"And have John call me when he wakes up." Mrs. Watson added.
"Of course." He said.
Sherlock set the phone down to perch precariously on a pile of handcuffs and settled on the couch with his laptop to continue work on his website. He should have it up and running in the next week or so. He was absorbed in an IM chat he was having with Lestrade regarding an interesting case that he was working as a beat cop when he heard noise from the bedroom. He shoved his laptop away from himself and maneuvered around the piles nimbly as he made his way to John. He breathed a sigh of relief as he watched the shorter boy stretch languidly having slept soundly for close to nine hours. Sherlock wasted no time in crawling in with him after John had opened one eye and motioned for him. They curled together in the dark bedroom and clung to each other.
"How did you sleep?" Sherlock asked.
"I can't say that I like the pills." John answered evenly. "But at least I got some sleep. What have you been up to?"
"Unpacking and helping Lestrade with a case." Sherlock said running his hands lazily across John's hip.
"A case?" John asked.
"Something about a particular type of coded message in yellow spray paint." Sherlock answered.
"Sounds interesting." John yawned.
"I do believe it might be." Sherlock said.
"Is that what you'll do then?" John grinned. "Consult on cases with the police?"
"Not just consult." Sherlock answered passionately. "I want to be a part of the action. Run down clues and test out theories. I need to be involved. I can't do what Mycroft does and just stand back and let people do the grunt work for me."
"You want to be a private detective then?" John asked.
"Maybe a consulting detective." Sherlock pondered. "That way, when the police are out of their depth, they can call in a professional. Me."
John smiled at the thought. "So what, you'll live in London and chase criminals around the city?"
"No, John." Sherlock scoffed. "We'll live in London together. You'll be some remarkable surgeon and on the weekends chase criminals around the city with me."
John smiled and kissed him lightly on the mouth. "That sounds perfect."
They christened their flat that night with soft kisses and a pair of those handcuffs.
THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! You guys have been so great!
That's all for now! I'm going to gallop off to get working on the In Vein sequel, To Protect, Exsanguinate, and Defend.
You guys are the best!