Wednesday March 30, 2011 (4:30 am) - Sherlock's point of view:

Sherlock rolls over, scooting until his back is pressed against John's front. John makes a drowsy murmur and wraps himself around Sherlock, pulling him close.

"Everything okay?" John's voice is slightly slurred with sleep.

"Fine," Sherlock whispers. "My arm was asleep, so I moved."

"'kay," John says, his voice sounding right on the edge of sleep. "Love you, Sherlock."

Sherlock gasps at that last statement, but he can tell from John's breathing that he's asleep again. Sherlock leans back over his shoulder, awkwardly kissing John's face.

"Love you too," Sherlock whispers and there's a wild liberation in saying it. He's pretty sure he couldn't say it to John's face, but here in the dark, with John sleeping, the words actually come to him with ease.

For months now, he's kept that bottled up, fighting it every waking hour and being haunted by it in his sleep. He could never bring himself to say it out loud, but it weaves its way into every part of Sherlock's life. Even the crazy consulting criminal could see that John is important to Sherlock. And now, Sherlock realizes that he's important to John too.

Sherlock feels like he's been emotionally wrung out tonight, but they both learned valuable lessons from it. Sherlock learned that he needs to make sure John knows what he means, even if it's not what he says. If John had known Sherlock was simply after a blanket, not trying to get away from John, then things would have gone much differently. It won't be easy; Sherlock's not used to spelling things out and John is terrible at deducing things, so Sherlock will have to remember to actually talk to John until he gets it. John learned that he needs to trust Sherlock and that he needs to put his insecurities away. Sherlock plans to work on that last one. He's pretty sure with enough affection and reassurance, John will see what Sherlock sees and stop worrying that he's not good enough for Sherlock. Sherlock snorted when John said that to him.

"It's just…I guess I'm afraid that you'll take a closer look at me and realize what you're stuck with. I know I'm not good enough for you and I'm waiting for you to see it." John looked at the wall when he said it, like he was afraid to see Sherlock's reaction.

"Are you daft?" Sherlock asked, frowning at John. "No one else could ever be as perfect for me as you are. There isn't anything about you that I don't like. You may frustrate me sometimes, but I always like you."

John had seemed surprised by that, so Sherlock vowed to tell him more often exactly what he likes about John. Now as he pulls John's arm around him, Sherlock wonders if he should make a list. He could put it up on the refrigerator like one of those insipid quote-a-day calendars. He could put up a new "reason I love John" every day just to be sure that John understands his worth. There has to be at least a years worth of reasons. That idea has merit and Sherlock files it away for later.

Sherlock yawns and closes his eyes. In the morning, everything will go back to normal. They'll go to the yard and give statements and help Lestrade analyze the evidence. John will have to deal with work and Sarah and Sherlock will renew his search for Moriarty. And through it all, they will find a way to make this new relationship a priority. Sherlock promised John and he never breaks a promise; well, not to anyone as important as John.

John promised Sherlock as well, saying again how sorry he was and making sure Sherlock knew that John really did care for him. Then John had asked Sherlock to join him in bed. At first Sherlock thought John was asking for sex again and while sex with John appealed to him, sex with John right now, after being so emotionally battered by the circumstances, did not sound as enticing.

"No, I don't want sex," John said, looking at him oddly. "I just want to be close to you, to hold you and feel you in my arms."

"That sounds nice," Sherlock said, climbing into John's bed.

John had pulled him close and Sherlock settled in, but he couldn't shut down his thoughts.

"John?"

"Hm?"

"I'm sorry. All this…if I had just…"

"Sherlock, stop," John said quietly. "I know you're sorry. And I'm sorry too. But it's over. Can we admit that we were both at fault and move on?"

"How do we do that?"

"We just let it go, Sherlock. This is one of those things that it's okay to pretend it didn't happen." John smiled at Sherlock. "And hey, we just made it through our first fight. That's a milestone you know."

"It is?" Sherlock had no idea. Relationships weren't his thing. He was going to have to trust John on this.

"A lot of couples never make it past the first big fight. We did and I think we're closer for it."

"I think I like closer." Sherlock said, nuzzling John's neck. John chuckled and Sherlock decided he could get used to that sound. After a minute, Sherlock frowned. "John, this was our first fight, but we've been together less than twelve hours. Isn't that a bit fast for a milestone?"

"Not for us it isn't," John said smiling. "We seem to always be running on fast forward. I didn't even know you a full day and I shot a man to save your life. I started falling in love with you about two weeks after I moved in and you were willing to trade classified missile plans for my safety tonight, less than 6 months after you first met me. We just aren't the take it slow type."

Now that Sherlock looks back on the conversation, he can't help but smile. John is right, they run on their own timeline and by their own rules and if it's not conventional, that's fine with Sherlock. Sherlock will gladly admit that he started having feelings for John within that first month they were living together. And maybe that was fast, but as John says, their lives just aren't normal.

Sherlock shifts again, trying to adjust his pillow. He settles in against John and has just closed his eyes, when he feels lips on the back of his neck.

"Having trouble sleeping?" John whispers against his skin.

"I'm just thinking," Sherlock replies, closing his eyes and leaning back into the kiss.

"Anything I should worry about?"

Sherlock can't help but smile. It's so very like John to be protective of Sherlock, even against his own thoughts.

"Not really," Sherlock says. "Just running over things, putting them in order in my head."

"Would you like me to distract you a bit?" John asks.

It's a simple question, but Sherlock feels unaccountably grateful to the man who asked it. John understands how Sherlock thinks and that sometimes he just can't shut it all down. Sherlock likes the idea of a little distracting and thinks it might just be the perfect way to stop his wandering mind.

"That actually sounds like a very good idea," Sherlock says turning around to face John, wrapping his arms around John's neck. He looks up at him, smiling, his heart full of love and happiness as John leans in to kiss him.

xxxxxxx

John's point of view

Kissing Sherlock isn't anything like kissing anyone else John has ever been with. It isn't that Sherlock is a man; John has kissed a couple men in his life while he was trying to figure out which way his sexuality leaned. And it has nothing to do with experience levels or anything else so mundane. Sherlock approaches kissing the same way he does everything else and throws himself into it completely. It's like all the focus of that incredible brain is on the connection of their lips and tongues. John can honestly say he's never kissed someone so enthusiastic and focused before.

Right now, they are laying face to face, bodies pressed together knees to lips, with Sherlock's fingers in John's hair, slowly, thoroughly exploring each other's mouths. Sherlock is making little contented noises and that almost make John forget about the unpleasantness earlier. Almost.

John is prepared to admit that the majority of the blame lies with him. He was the one who convinced himself that Sherlock was leaving before the sweat even dried on his skin. John was the one who panicked and ran. He should have known better, should have trusted Sherlock. At the least, he should have talked to him and given him a chance to explain. John wants to say he's learned his lesson about letting his insecurities get the better of him, but he knows it's something he's going to have to continually remind himself about. But for Sherlock, he'll do it. Sherlock cares about him, even if he can't understand how someone as amazing and larger than life as Sherlock Holmes could want someone as ordinary as John. John may see himself that way, but Sherlock made it very clear that he didn't when John expressed his concerns.

"It's just…I guess I'm afraid that you'll take a closer look at me and realize what you're stuck with. I know I'm not good enough for you and I'm waiting for you to see it." John said, not able to look Sherlock in the eyes.

"Are you daft?" Sherlock asked, frowning at John. "No one else could ever be as perfect for me as you are. There isn't anything about you that I don't like. You may frustrate me sometimes, but I always like you."

John was surprised by that answer, but he knows he shouldn't be. From the moment he met Sherlock, it felt like they belonged together in one way or another. John has never gotten this close to someone so quickly and while it feels reckless and mad, it fits in with every other aspect of their lives. He meant it when he told Sherlock that they run on fast forward. But it seems to work for them. John keeps telling himself that they made it through this fight and if they are committed to this relationship, they can make it through anything.

"Stop it," Sherlock says, breaking their kiss and looking up at him. "You're thinking again."

"I'm sorry."

"I thought we agreed we were done apologizing for the night," Sherlock says, stroking the back of John's head.

"I know, but…"

"John…"

John takes a deep breath.

"You're right. It's done. Where was I?"

"Distracting me. But maybe I should be distracting you." Sherlock smiles at John. After a minute his expression goes serious. "John?"

"Hm?"

"If we both need distracting, is it really done?"

Leave it to Sherlock to logic his way right to the heart of it all.

"No, I don't suppose it is done," John admits. "I think it's going to take time to purge this from our hard drives. But that doesn't mean we have to let it damage our relationship."

"Which is why we talked it out earlier," Sherlock says nodding. "John? Why are we still dwelling on it when it's obvious that it was just a misunderstanding?"

Sherlock looks honestly confused and John pulls him closer, kissing his forehead.

"I guess because we can't stop thinking about what would have happened if we hadn't figured it out." John frowns, trying not to think about how close he came to losing Sherlock.

"I wouldn't have let you leave, you know," Sherlock says quietly. John arches an eyebrow at him and Sherlock shrugs. "At least not without making sure you knew how I felt. I'm sorry, John, but I can't go back to a Watsonless existence."

John chuckles, kissing Sherlock's brow again.

"And I don't think I'll ever be able to live Sherlock-free again." John pulls back looking into Sherlock's eyes, suddenly feeling very serious, needing Sherlock to know how he feels. "I never want a life you aren't in, Sherlock. Call me selfish, but I need you and I want to be with you and without you, my world would end."

Sherlock's eyes go wide and he gasps, bringing a hand up to touch John's face.

"As would mine if I ever lost you," Sherlock whispers. "John, I…I love you."

"I know," John says, his emotions threatening to overwhelm him. "I feel it every time you kiss me. I hope that you know that I love you too."

"I do," Sherlock says quietly. He smiles at John. "But I wouldn't be adverse to you showing me again. Just so you know."

John laughs, surprised that he can love Sherlock any more. And yet, here, in bed, holding him and laughing together, he finds that his love has grown a bit more in the last few minutes. For a terrifying second, John wonders if there's a limit or will his love keep growing until he can't breathe from the infiniteness of it. Then he smiles at the absurdity of his thoughts. They have a lifetime to work this out and he suspects that he'll adjust to this as he has to everything else in his life.

"Come here and let me show you then," John says, feeling happier than he's been for a long while.

John wraps his arms around Sherlock, pulling him close and losing himself in the kisses of the man he loves with all his heart.

TBC