Title: All I Want is You

Author's Name: Laura Sichrovsky

Fandom: Sherlock

Rating: M (or NC-17 if you live in the States.)

Word Count: 7317

Pairing: Sherlock/John

Warnings: Sherlock/John kissage and shaggage

Spoilers: For Reichenbach

Summary: Sherlock has finally come home and he's terrified about how John will take it. Thing is, no matter how many times he's thought about it, he couldn't have anticipated this.

Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own John or Sherlock, (Heh! I wish!), or anything relating to the show or books. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might want to talk to someone about that. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat own all things Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns Holmes and Watson. None of them have given me permission to use these characters as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not them. (Though if you could actually send a pretzel bomb to ACD, I'd be impressed.)

Author's Notes: I have no idea where this came from. It just invaded my head. Thanks need to be given, and here is where they go. Thanks to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for giving me a Sherlock I can get behind. Thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman for making this Sherlock and John so amazing. I tried to fight it, but they were just too remarkable not to fall for. Big thank yous to Gemma for the super-fast beta job and the many helpful suggestions. I owe you so much! Thank you to Elin for reading this over for me and giving me great ideas. And my biggest thank yous to my guiding influence and my best friend, Ann. She's the Sherlock to my John. Without her, I am nothing. (Couldn't do it without you, love. Wouldn't want to try.)

All I Want Is You

Sherlock stands on the street, looking up at the window of 221B. This isn't the first time he's done this over the seven months he's been gone, but it will be the last. Yesterday, he finally caught up with Sebastian Moran and made sure that he'll never be a threat to John again. He was the last and this long, horrible experience is finally over. Sherlock can see John's silhouette against the curtains and he feels a deep tug of longing. He is home, with all that entails. At least he is if John will take him back. That is Sherlock's biggest worry.

As he's travelled all over Europe dismantling Moriarty's empire, anxiety has been a constant feature of Sherlock's life. Will John forgive him or did he do all this, risk everything, only to lose the person who means the most to him? He's run so many scenarios through his mind. Some of them have been good, with John being happy to see him, welcoming him home. But most of them are manifestations of the doubts in Sherlock's head and he's imagined everything from John punching him to John running away and never coming back. And then there are Sherlock's nightmares. He doesn't like to think about them, though he can't help but worry that John actually will behave like he does in Sherlock's latest dream, where John tells him he wishes he really was dead and slams the door in his face. He paces, endlessly going over permutations in his head, knowing he's stalling, yet unable to force himself to put his key in the lock.

He momentarily entertains the idea of leaving, putting this off for another day, or at least until he doesn't feel like he's going to faint. Sherlock understands the logic of it. If he doesn't go in there, John can't reject him. Of course he can't accept him back either, but somehow, Sherlock can overlook that if he doesn't have to hear John tell him to leave. He shakes his head, snorting a small chuckle at the absurdity of that thought. He's been waiting seven months to come home to John, counting every minute, and now he can't bring himself to actually do it? If this doesn't prove that sentimentality is a weakness, nothing does.

And that's really the heart of the issue. Sherlock, self-proclaimed sociopath in need of no one, finds he has emotions for John Watson. Sherlock shakes his head again. Wording it like that makes it sound like he has some disease. Part of him thinks it feels a bit like that too. He's distracted, preoccupied by thoughts of John. Sometimes his heart beats rapidly and there's a fluttery feeling in his stomach. It took him a worryingly long time to put together that these things only happened when he thought about John. He's not entirely sure what it all means, but he's willing to study it, as long as John is involved. Now, if only he can convince John of that.

Finally, Sherlock takes a deep shuddering breath and opens the door, shutting it gently and being careful not to attract the attention of Mrs. Hudson. He stands, listening and can hear her moving around in her flat. For a minute he thinks she's heard him, but her television comes on and he lets out the breath he's been holding. He's going to have to be careful as she has remarkable hearing for a woman of her age and the seventh step up squeaks. He stops at the bottom of the stairs, looking up; seventeen steps never seemed so daunting before. He steals himself for the worst, thinking, please, please don't let it happen, please don't let John hate me, and he slowly climbs, his trepidation growing as he ascends. He pauses outside the door, listening. He can hear the television, his mind attempting to come up with the name of that quiz show John enjoys so much. Yes, he is still stalling. With one last second to prepare himself, he opens the door and steps in.

Time seems to stop as John looks up from where he's sitting in his chair. He blinks, looking momentarily confused, then his eyes widen. He stares, his expression one of disbelief and he slowly gets to his feet. Sherlock's heart starts beating faster as John crosses the room in six long strides. He has no idea what to expect and he's getting no help from John. Sherlock tries to prepare himself for the inevitable anger, drawing in a breath for his defence. Barely even slowing down, John steps forward, pulling Sherlock to him. Sherlock wasn't really touched while he was gone, discounting people trying to take his life, and after so long alone in the shadows, being in the arms of someone who means so much to him is almost overwhelming. He closes his eyes, savouring it for a minute, but opens them when John steps back, looking up at him.

Sherlock is still trying to make his brain form words when John leans up and kisses him. Sherlock freezes. This was nowhere on his list of possible scenarios, and he'd spent seven very long months running through hundreds of them.

"John…" He tries, though he's not sure he actually gets the word out as John chooses that moment to lick Sherlock's lips and it may have just come out as a moan.

"Shhh…" John says against his mouth. "Please let me have this. Let me have you."

God help him, it's what Sherlock wants too and as much as he thinks they really need to talk this out, he finds himself relaxing and losing himself in the taste of John. John's hands come to Sherlock's head, his fingers tangling in Sherlock's curls. He tugs gently and Sherlock feels heat rise up from his stomach and he groans, the sound much louder than he intended. John breaks the kiss, chuckling.

"You like that, do you? I hoped you would."

Before Sherlock can say anything, John is kissing him again, this time with an intensity that steals Sherlock's breath. He gasps, his hands going to John's hips as John's tongue parts Sherlock's lips. Sherlock's been kissed before, but it was nothing like this. John is kissing Sherlock like he owns him, and as his tongue deftly strokes the roof of Sherlock's mouth, Sherlock is beginning to think he might. John slides his hands up Sherlock's chest and it takes a second to register that he's just pushed Sherlock's coat off his shoulders. Sherlock hears a soft thump as it pools on the floor behind him, but then he's distracted when John starts sucking on Sherlock's lower lip, nibbling softly. Sherlock lets out a very undignified whimper that he'd be embarrassed by if it was anyone but John. John pulls back, smiling at him.

"God, I love the sounds you make. I didn't think you'd be this vocal, but it's such a turn on."

He kisses Sherlock's neck, nipping and sucking and Sherlock's knees start to shake.

"John," he gasps. "John could we maybe…the sofa or…"

"My bed," John says decisively, just before he licks Sherlock's collarbone.

"Yes," Sherlock moans, his whole body tingling with need. "Your bed, yes."

John's hands return to Sherlock's hair and he pulls Sherlock into another heated kiss. John sucks Sherlock's tongue and Sherlock starts to re-evaluate the idea of negotiating the stairs. John's room is too far away. Maybe he could convince John that right here on the floor is just fine? He starts to speak, but something bumps against his left shoulder and he pulls back, confused when he sees that it's the doorframe to John's room. How did they get up the steps without Sherlock noticing? John moves back in, biting gently at the sensitive spot right behind Sherlock's left ear and suddenly his preoccupation makes more sense. Who can pay attention to walking when they are being kissed like this?

Sherlock feels John's mattress bump against the back of his knees and the flutter in his stomach flares to a full blown electrical shock. They lie down and he gasps, pulling John closer, feeling him settle on the bed next to him, his knees pressing against Sherlock's hip.

"Yes," John murmurs, his tongue pressing against the dip in Sherlock's collarbone. "I want you so much. I have for so long."

Sherlock wants to tell John that he feels the same way, but John moves back up, kissing him again, his hands holding Sherlock's face, his thumbs softly stroking Sherlock's cheeks. In truth, Sherlock has fantasised about this scenario several times, but he's never imagined John being so passionate. The way they are kissing, the things John is saying, it's as if he can't get enough of Sherlock and that thought causes Sherlock's heart to beat faster. Sherlock has never felt more cared for, more wanted.

John's fingers are on his throat, trailing down and it takes a minute for Sherlock to recognise that his shirt is unbuttoned. Part of him is disappointed to have missed John even partially undressing him, but John's hands on his bare skin feel too good for him to be upset. He never realised how erotic skin on skin could feel, the warmth and the friction heightening the sensations. He closes his eyes, arching into the touch.

"You are so beautiful," John whispers.

Sherlock opens his eyes to see John staring at him, adoration and desire naked on his face. Their eyes lock and Sherlock feels the breath rush from his lungs. He's not comfortable with emotions and the ones he's experiencing right now are threatening to swallow him whole. He feels like he's on a precipice, his heart hammering in his chest as the ledge looks to give way, plunging him into an emotional abyss. He looks at John again and finds his anchor. John will never hurt him, John will never let him fall. Sherlock has never trusted anyone enough to let them past his emotional defences, but John is different. Sherlock reaches out, ghosting his fingers over John's face, recommitting his features to memory. He wants to tell John how he feels, but Sherlock just can't find the words.

It takes Sherlock a second to realise that John's fingers have stopped roaming circles over his chest. It takes embarrassingly longer for him to understand that John is now focusing on just one area. If ever asked, Sherlock will blame it on the fact that most of the blood has left his brain to make a new home further south. He'll also blame John for causing it to relocate in the first place by gently pinching and twisting Sherlock's nipples. This is something completely new for Sherlock and while he's read that some people are highly sensitive there, he was sure he wasn't one of them. How wrong he was. The physical sensations washing over him are causing him to arch up and whimper as they rock through him, leaving him feeling slightly desperate for some relief.

"John," he gasps. "John, please."

"What do you want?" John's voice is quiet, right next to Sherlock's ear, and he can feel warm breath against his skin, making it hard for him to concentrate on what John is saying. "Tell me what you want."

"You," Sherlock says, his voice rough and deep.

"You have me," John whispers, kissing Sherlock's face. "What do you want me to do?"

What kind of question is that? Sherlock's brain is shorting out and his body is on fire and John wants a list? Sherlock shakes his head.

"Anything. Everything. Please, John, just…"

He gasps again, throwing his head back as John moves his kisses to Sherlock's left nipple.

"Oh…John, yes."

Sherlock's voice sounds odd to his ears. He'd worry about how inarticulate he's become, but John doesn't seem to notice and Sherlock's brain is quickly going off-line. He's wondering if one can actually die of pleasure overload when John's tongue does an interesting swirl and flick manoeuvre and his left hand moves to Sherlock's erection.

Sherlock's experience in this area is limited. He never found anyone he trusted enough to let his guard down this far, so he really hadn't gone much beyond kissing. Not that he hasn't let off sexual tension before. Every few months, he handles it by himself quickly and efficiently. He didn't think involving another person would make much of a difference to the event, but now he can see that he was tremendously wrong. Being touched by John is nothing like touching himself in the shower, even if he thinks about John while he does it. All of his thoughts crash to a halt when he feels John pulling the zip to Sherlock's trousers down.

Sherlock hates to admit it, but he's nervous. What if John doesn't like what he sees? What if Sherlock is appallingly bad at this? What if he does it wrong? John actually has experience, partners that he can compare Sherlock to. What if Sherlock disappoints John? Sherlock isn't used to being inferior at anything and he's disconcerted that he cares so much in this instance. It takes him a minute to recognize that John has stopped what he's doing and Sherlock is suddenly certain he's realised the massive mistake he's making. He closes his eyes, unable to deal with the regret he knows must be written all over John's face.

"Sherlock?" John's voice is gentle. "Hey, look at me."

Sherlock shakes his head. He doesn't think he can handle seeing John's expression, knowing just from the look on his face that he's leaving Sherlock.

"No…it's…I understand, John."

There's a pause and Sherlock can almost hear John's brain processing.

"And what is it you understand?"

"That you…" The words catch in Sherlock's throat. He swallows hard. "This isn't what you…I'm not what you…"

Dear lord, when did he lose the ability to form a simple sentence? He can hear it in his head. You've realised this isn't what you want. It's all fine, John. But he couldn't force those words out if his life depended on it. He can hear John moving and he fights to contain disappointment as he pictures John walking out, giving Sherlock privacy to put his shirt back on.

Sherlock jumps, making a startled squeak when he feels a gentle hand on his face. His eyes fly open and he sees John looking down at him, his forehead wrinkled in concern.

"No," John whispers, his fingers tracing across Sherlock's skin.

That's rather cryptic and Sherlock is confused.

"I don't understand."

"No, you really don't, do you?" John says, shaking his head.

Sherlock frowns, not any closer to figuring out what John is talking about.

"I want to be here," John says firmly. "I want to be with you."

"But you stopped," Sherlock says, gesturing vaguely to his groin.

"Because you were shaking. And not in a good way. I was going to make sure you were okay with all this." John runs his thumb along Sherlock's lower lip. "Do you really think I don't want you?"

"I'm not…it's just…I don't want to disappoint you, John." Sherlock's voice is barely above a whisper and he mentally curses how weak he sounds.

"Oh, Sherlock," John says, shifting to pull Sherlock into his arms. "The only way you could disappoint me is if you left again."

"But, I don't know…I've never…"

"Shhh," John says, his lips against Sherlock's cheek. "It's okay. None of that is important. All that matters to me is that it's you, that I finally get to touch you, to love you."

"But what if I…"

"You won't."

"But I'm not…"

"You are."


"Sherlock, to me, you are perfect."

"I'm likely not like other people you've been with. What if you don't…"

"Sherlock," John cuts him off. "From the moment I met you, there was no one else. You are all I picture, all I want."

Sherlock isn't used to feeling insecure, at least not that he'll admit to. The feeling isn't a pleasant one. He takes a deep breath, looking at John.

"Let me show you what I see," John whispers, touching his face again. "Let me show you how I feel about you."

He leans down and they are kissing again, but this time it's different. It's slow and gentle, all soft emotion, a tender caress of lips. Sherlock has never been kissed like this and it's surprising that this undoes him more thoroughly than the unchecked passion of their earlier kisses. His hands go to John's head, holding him there as his tongue slowly explores John's mouth. John shifts his weight, moving to lean over Sherlock and the kiss deepens, though John still keeps it unhurried. There is something about being pressed together, from lips to knees, holding each other that feels even more intimate than John's hand on Sherlock's groin.

Something swells up in Sherlock's chest and all he can think is so this is what's been missing all these years. He never thought he would have an emotional connection with anyone and now that he does, he can see why people allow this weakness. Vulnerability scares the hell out of Sherlock, but he will risk it to keep this, to keep John like this, for the rest of his life. He leans closer, trying to put his feelings for John into their kiss. He's not sure if he succeeds until John breaks the kiss, looking down at him, his eyes wide.

"I need you so much," John whispers.

"And I need you," Sherlock responds, not sure if it's enough.

John kisses him again and Sherlock relaxes, just letting himself feel. It's all comfort and sensation and more emotion than Sherlock wants to admit he's capable of feeling, all directed at John and Sherlock wouldn't have it any other way.

Sherlock has read all about sex and he's even watched porn for research purposes. But knowing the physical specifications of how it all works does nothing to prepare him for the full impact of the act. John takes his time getting their clothes off, kissing Sherlock's skin as he exposes it. He touches Sherlock everywhere, worshipping his body in a way that leaves Sherlock trembling with need. Sherlock is a virtuoso on the violin, but John plays his body like a master, drawing mind-spinning pleasure from erogenous zones Sherlock never even knew he had. Who knew that sucking on Sherlock's inner elbow could make him arch up off the mattress? Well, apparently John does and he keeps repeating the action until Sherlock is actually whimpering.

Sherlock tries to give back to John as much as he's getting, but John will have none of it. So all Sherlock can do is cling to John and kiss any part of him he can reach. It all builds up and when John takes him in his mouth, Sherlock decides he's been passive enough.

"John, wait."

John looks up at him and from this angle, with his hair messed up and Sherlock's erection against his chin, it's all Sherlock can do not to orgasm right there. He takes a deep breath, centering himself.

"Are you all right?" John is asking, concerned. "Do you want me to stop?"

"I want you to come up here," Sherlock says.

John arches an eyebrow, but he moves up next to Sherlock. Sherlock reaches up and touches his face.

"John, I want to give you pleasure too."

"You are," John says, smiling. "I've wanted this for so long."

"But…" Sherlock pauses, looking for the right words. "Could we do something more mutual?"

John blinks at his phrasing, but he smiles.

"I think that can be arranged."

He moves so they are against each other and after a minute of awkward fumbling, their hips press together and Sherlock's world about tilts sideways. John rocks his hips, pressing down and all the air leaves Sherlock's lungs. He arches up, gasping and shaking, feeling like electricity is running through his body.

"Oh, John, yes, this, just like this."

John leans down and pulls him close as they rock against each other and it takes a minute for Sherlock to realise that John is whispering in his ear. The physical sensation is overpowering, but it's the words that send him over, John's voice so full of emotion that Sherlock cannot doubt his sincerity.

"I love you, Sherlock. I've always loved you. I missed you so much. I need you, want you."

Sherlock closes his eyes, letting those words wash over him, into his heart and soul as he falls over the edge, gasping John's name over and over as he comes. Wave after wave of pleasure crests through him, each more intense than the last and for a minute he thinks it might be too much. But then he hears John whispering how much he needs and wants him, how amazing he looks, and he lets the sensations take him. It slowly ebbs and Sherlock slumps back against the pillows, feeling just a bit overwhelmed. He pulls in a shaky breath, only to have it catch in his throat when he looks up, his eyes meeting John's. John's face is a study in wonder; his eyes are dark, almost all pupil and his expression one of naked adoration as he watches Sherlock.

Sherlock reaches up, gently touching John's face, knowing his emotions are no longer hidden, wanting John to see them. John gasps and the tempo of his hips speeds up. Sherlock strokes John's cheek with his thumb.

"Mine," he whispers before he can think it through.

For a second, he wonders if that was just a bit not good, but John responds.

"Yes, yours, always yours, Sherlock."

The last word is drawn out and John practically screams Sherlock's name, his hips stuttering as he comes, his whole body shaking. His arms give out and he lies down across Sherlock, his breathing laboured and erratic. He starts to push himself off, but Sherlock wraps his arms around him, holding him there. John shifts a bit, then hugs Sherlock back, settling in. Sherlock starts to rub his back and he feels John relax against him.

"John?" Sherlock can hear the nervousness in his voice.

"Hm?" John's voice is bordering on sleepy.

"I hope that you…I'm not…" God, he is horrible at this. He shakes his head, even though he knows John can't see it. "Never mind."

As always, John seems to know what he's thinking.

"It was perfect," John says, moving up and gently kissing the side of Sherlock's face. "Just like I always imagine it."

"It was for me too," Sherlock whispers.

Something about watching John, seeing him fall apart while screaming Sherlock's name, knowing that he gave John pleasure, causes a shift inside Sherlock. It takes a minute for him to recognise what he's feeling, but sentiment be damned, he's actually happy. Not content or distracted or busy or any of the other emotions he allows himself, just to stave off the darkness, but real happiness. Moriarty is dead, John is safe and apparently Sherlock's, and they have a future together ahead of them. Sherlock is actually looking forward to getting up tomorrow instead of just enduring another day. He honestly can't remember the last time he felt this way.

He feels John yawn, an odd sensation against the skin of his neck. Then John sighs and pushes himself up. For a minute, Sherlock worries that this means their time together is over. He's really not conversant in the protocol of these situations. Will he need to go to his own room? Does he even still have a room here at Baker Street? That thought makes his stomach clench. John makes a face and leans off the bed, coming back up with his t-shirt. He smiles and wipes off Sherlock's stomach.

"Not my favourite part of the whole thing, but well worth it to get here." He looks at Sherlock and there must be some anxiety in his expression, because John frowns. "Unless you'd rather shower?"

Sherlock is trying to follow the conversation, but he seems to be missing crucial information. Why is John telling him to go shower? Is that what people do in these situations? Or is that John's way of telling him to leave? Sherlock really doesn't want to be where John isn't. John tips his head.

"Hey, are you all right?"

"I…have no idea what to do right now, John. Am I supposed to go shower?"

John smiles, reaching out and taking Sherlock's hand.

"I was suggesting that we shower together. I think we'd both fit in there. But we don't have to. I think I've gotten the worst of the mess up."

"What is the option if we don't shower?"

"There are a lot of options, but I'm actually tired, so I'm voting we at least take a nap."

Sherlock hates when he doesn't know something. It makes him feel stupid and John's response hasn't really been enlightening. Sherlock frowns.

"So I would go to my bed now?"

It's a subtle way of asking if John's turned his room into a study. John doesn't seem to notice. There's a flash of disappointment on John's face, but it's quickly gone.

"You could. The sheets might be a bit dusty and it's bound to be stuffy, but if that's what you want…"

"It's not," Sherlock interrupts, cutting him off. "I…is it not good to ask if I can stay with you?"

John blinks, but then starts laughing.

"No, it's…I would much rather you stay with me."

"Why didn't you just say that?" Sherlock asks, not bothering to keep the exasperation out of his voice as relief floods through him. "You are the experienced one here, John. Until I catch up, you're going to have to take charge and tell me what to do."

"Leave it to you to be bossy while telling me to take the lead." But there's no frustration in John's voice and he's smiling.

John wants him to stay. Sherlock wants nothing more, has dreamed of this the whole seven months he was gone, never daring to hope he might get it.

"Then I choose to stay here with you."

"Good," John says, smiling as he shifts around, getting comfortable. He drapes himself over Sherlock, pulling him close. "That is exactly what I was hoping you'd say."

As he snuggles in close, feeling John's strong arms around him, part of him worries. This was just too easy. Surely John should be angry or hurt that Sherlock pretended he was dead. He didn't even ask about it. But then again, perhaps Sherlock underestimated his amazing John, yet again. Maybe John just trusts him that much? All his whirling thoughts slow as John kisses his forehead.

"Love you, Sherlock," he murmurs, his voice just on the edge of sleep.

"I love you too, John," Sherlock whispers, closing his eyes and breathing in the smell of John, his John, and he drifts off to the steady beat of John's heart.


It's dark and quiet and as Sherlock's awareness starts to filter back he can't remember where he is. Was this Prague or Paris? He shifts slightly in the bed and has the vague sense of being held down. Panic starts to well up and he gasps, his eyes flying open as he tries to get out from under whoever is restraining him. But his captor is persistent, tightening his arms and grunting. Sherlock is about to resort to violence, his brain calculating the deadliest places to strike his assailant, when it all starts to come back to him. Sherlock stops fighting and looks around.

He's home. More than that, he's in John's room, John's bed and the person on top of him isn't an assassin, but John. Sherlock's John. And indeed, after last night, Sherlock feels safe in calling John his. He looks up and is slightly surprised to see that John slept through Sherlock's disorientation. His face is still peaceful, his breathing even. Sherlock can feel his steady heartbeat against his own chest. Emotion wells up again and while Sherlock's first instinct is to crush it down, he takes a deep breath and just lets himself experience it. There's something overwhelming in this feeling, like it could sweep him under and drown him with its intensity, but he knows that John won't let him go under and there is comfort in knowing that he doesn't have to face anything alone anymore.

He reaches up and gently strokes the side of John's face. This, right here with John, is more of a home than even Baker Street itself. And perhaps John is the thing that made 221 home all along. John shifts against Sherlock, leaning into his touch and Sherlock can't help but smile. The rhythm of John's breathing changes and after a minute his eyes flutter open. He looks at Sherlock and frowns. That's not exactly the expression Sherlock expects to see and he feels a small thread of unease.

"John?" he whispers.

John blinks, sitting up. He doesn't say anything, reaching out to touch Sherlock's chest, his fingers ghosting along the skin, drawing a shiver from Sherlock. After a minute, John nods, then smiles at Sherlock.

"Are you okay, John?"

"Fine," John says, his fingers drifting lower, grazing Sherlock's stomach. "I just wasn't expecting this. But I'm not going to argue at having extra time with you."

Sherlock runs John's words over a few times, but they still don't make any sense to him. He tips his head and looks at John.

"You weren't expecting what?"

"Hm?" John says, looking up from where his fingers are tracing along Sherlock's hip bone. "Oh, I wasn't expecting you to still be here."

Sherlock frowns.

"Where would I go, John?"

"You…" John's voice catches and he closes his eyes, swallowing hard. When he speaks it's just above a whisper. "I don't…I've never gotten this far before. It always ends when we go to sleep and then I…wake up alone."

Sherlock's frown deepens. He honestly has no idea what John is saying. He's about to ask for clarification when John starts talking again.

"I'm not complaining about this. It's more than I hoped for, but I suppose I should worry. Am I just getting better at controlling the dreams or has my sanity finally slipped a bit further?"

Suddenly it all starts to make sense and Sherlock feels the breath go out of his lungs. No wonder John didn't ask any questions last night. He thinks Sherlock is a figment of his imagination. Sherlock isn't entirely sure how to feel about this, though the overriding emotion is guilt that he's done this to John. He has to admit there is some relief to know that when John thought about him, they ended up together. It gives Sherlock some hope that they can get past whatever darker emotions that John will have once he figures out this isn't a dream. He sits up and takes John's hand, holding it between both of his.

"John, I know this is going to be hard for you to believe, but…" He pauses, gathering his thoughts. "I'm not imaginary. I really am here."

John frowns, tipping his head and really looking at Sherlock. After a minute, he shakes his head.

"No, the real Sherlock is dead. I failed him, he died and I never told him how I felt." John looks down swallowing hard. "Dreams are all I'll ever have with you."

He knew he'd hurt John. He could see that much, even at the distance he'd kept. But he'd had no idea how much or in what way. Guilt and concern wash through him, but he pushes them aside, concentrating on the bright love he feels for John. Sherlock squeezes John's hand.

"No John. You didn't fail me and I'm not a dream. I…" He pauses. John looks up at him, eyes wide. "I had to fake my death to save you, Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade. I didn't want to, but Moriarty left me no choice. Either I jumped or he had you shot."

John blinks, then his face furrows in thought.

"You didn't really jump?"

"Oh, I did. But I had Molly's help in surviving it."

Sherlock looks at John's stunned face and his heart hurts. He runs his thumb across the back of John's hand.

"I wanted to tell you." His voice cracks and he swallows hard. "You have no idea how many times I dialled your number, but never pressed 'call.' I missed you so much, wanted to come back to you so desperately. But they had your phone bugged and were watching you. If I had tried, they would have killed you and I just couldn't risk your life like that."

"So why are you here now?" John asks quietly.

"It's over. The last of Moriarty's men is dead and all the people I care for are safe. I'm here because I…I came home to you."

John looks like he wants to believe, but he just can't take that risk. He starts to turn away, but stops, his brow furrowing. He reaches out, his finger touching a scar on Sherlock's shoulder.

"You didn't have this six months ago," he whispers. "I…that case with the diamond thieves, you fell in the Thames and I saw you with your shirt off. You didn't have this."

"No, John, I didn't," Sherlock says, relaxing into his touch. "I got this three months ago in Kazakhstan. I was trying to take one of Moriarty's people into custody and I failed to anticipate the knife he had hidden in his boot."

"He stabbed you?" John is tracing the scar with his index finger.

"He did. It hurt tremendously. But I got the knife away from him. I used a move you taught me, actually."

"I taught you?" John's eyebrow goes up.

"Well, you didn't formally teach me," Sherlock says, smiling. "But when we were wrestling one night you used this move…I'd say it was martial arts, but it really wasn't. I assume you learned it in the military. But you used my weight against me, flipped me and pinned me with my arms behind my back. I never forgot that and it was very useful."

John is still studying Sherlock's scar.

"You didn't get it stitched closed," he says quietly.

"I didn't have time," Sherlock replies. "I wrapped it up to stop the bleeding, but I had to catch a train."

John is nodding, looking rather lost. Sherlock brings his hand up, kissing John's knuckles.

"I know I hurt you, John, but I had no choice. I couldn't let them kill you. I…I love you, I did even then. Everything I did, all the people I killed, everything I suffered, it was all for you, John. I was always going to come back to you when it was over. And I'm really here now."

He kisses John's hand again.

"Feel my lips on your skin, John."

He brings John's hand to his chest, pressing his fingers down.

"Feel my heart, John. It's beating. For you, it's beating."

Sherlock leans forward, his face just inches from John's.

"Feel my breath, John. Is it warm against your skin?" John makes a small noise, but says nothing. Sherlock leans further in, until his lips are against John's. "Feel my kiss John. I am real, I am alive, and I am yours."

With that, Sherlock gently kisses John. For a few seconds, John just sits there and Sherlock is afraid he's lost him before this has even really begun. But then John shifts, pulling Sherlock closer and kissing him deeply.

"You're home," he murmurs against Sherlock's lips. "You're really home."

Sherlock breaks the kiss, leaning back to look at John.

"I am, John. I came back to you."

John moves, pulling Sherlock into his arms. After a minute, John looks up at him.

"You took out all of Moriarty's men yourself?" John asks, his expression neutral.

Sherlock feels a thread of panic. Has John just figured out what he did? Even as he carried out his killing spree across Europe, Sherlock worried that he was becoming something dark, someone John couldn't even look at. He swallows hard.

"I had no choice. I couldn't…"

He's cut off as John leans up and kisses him again. Sherlock is startled and a bit confused. He pulls back and looks at John, frowning. John smiles at him.

"You did that for me?"

"I…yes?" Sherlock is still frowning. "You aren't angry?"

"I'm furious," John says, chuckling. "Not about what you did, but that you had to do it."

Sherlock arches an eyebrow and John laughs again.

"Yeah, I'm not as eloquent as you are, you git." He reaches out and strokes Sherlock's face. "You shouldn't have had to go through that. And you shouldn't have been alone. But…you gave up everything and risked your life to protect me."

"How could I do otherwise, John? I love you."

"And I love you," John whispers.

He leans up and kisses Sherlock again, his lips soft and gentle. Sherlock whimpers and kisses him back, his hands coming up and holding John's face. Suddenly, John breaks the kiss, leaning back and frowning.

"Wait a minute."

"What?" Sherlock asks, unable to take his eyes off John's lips.

"Last night. You came in and I just basically ravished you and you didn't say anything."

"I said things," Sherlock replies, looking up at him. "I know I said your name and I agreed that going to your bed was a good option."

"But you couldn't have told me you weren't something I made up in my head?"

Sherlock looks at John, trying to keep the you really are an idiot, aren't you? look off his face.

"Why would I have thought I needed to?"

John blinks then starts laughing again.

"Good point. But you didn't think it was odd that I didn't even welcome you back before I had my tongue in your mouth?"

"I was rather hoping that was your way of welcoming me back," Sherlock says, blushing and looking down. "Why would I question it? It was what I wanted."

"Oh, Sherlock," John whispers. He tugs on Sherlock's hand. "Come here, you big idiot."

"I am here. If I come any closer I'll be in your lap."

"Is there a problem with that?"

Sherlock arches and eyebrow, but moves so he's straddling John's hips. From this position, he practically towers over John. John laughs.

"Maybe this wasn't my best idea," he says, grinning. "Shall we swap?"

Sherlock sits on the bed and stifles a gasp as John positions himself on his lap. He is still smiling, but his eyes are serious as he reaches up, touching Sherlock's face again.

"Since I forgot last night, welcome home, Sherlock."

Sherlock leans up and John presses his lips to Sherlock's. The kiss is gentle and slow, but starts to quickly spiral out of control as John's tongue finds Sherlock's. He can feel John smiling against his lips and Sherlock feels that intense happiness again. His hands go to John's hips and he arches up, moaning softly. John gasps, breaking the kiss and pulling back to look at Sherlock, his eyes dark.

"So," John says, his breathing slightly erratic as Sherlock tilts his hips again. "Is this the bell for round two or would you rather get some breakfast first?"

Sherlock looks at him, trying not to roll his eyes.

"Breakfast is highly overrated John." With one graceful move, Sherlock flips them over, pinning John beneath him. "You, on the other hand, I've completely underestimated. Let me make it up to you."

He leans forward and John smiles up at him.

"You don't have to rush it, you know," John whispers.

Sherlock furrows his brow in confusion.

"Not that I'm complaining, because I really was hoping you'd pick this option, but we can take our time and enjoy this, right? I mean, I'm not going anywhere and you are home to stay, aren't you?"

Sherlock reaches out and strokes John's face, smiling at him.

"Yes, John, I'm home now and I don't intend to ever leave you again." He realises how presumptuous that sounds and he blushes, looking away. "If, of course, that's something you want."

"Sherlock, look at me," John says quietly. Sherlock does and John smiles at him. "Of course it's what I want. It's what I always wanted. I love you, Sherlock."

"I love you too, John."

Sherlock is surprised at how easily the words come to him now. He hasn't said them to anyone since he was about eight and he was sure he never would again. But John is the exception to every rule and not only does Sherlock have feelings for him, he wants John to know he does. John leans up and they are kissing again. Sherlock lets himself enjoy having John in his arms, revelling in the freedom to hold him. John breaks the kiss, looking up at him.

"There is a third option, you know," John says.

It takes a minute for Sherlock to understand what John is talking about. He tips his head, frowning.

"There is?"

"We could combine the two activities and have breakfast in bed, you know."

"Are you really that hungry, John?"

"I am. In more ways than one. I do need some nourishment and there's just something very appealing about the idea of licking blackberry jam off your chest."

Sherlock blinks. That idea would have never occurred to him, but now that John's suggested it, Sherlock can't banish the visual. He swallows hard.

"Perhaps breakfast wouldn't be that bad of an idea under those conditions."

John chuckles.

"Come on then," he says, pushing gently on Sherlock. "You can help me make toast."

"Why would I want to do that?"

"Because we can kiss while we wait for it to finish," John says with a smile. "And you can pick a few things you might want to…snack on."

The dramatic pause leaves no doubt for Sherlock as to what John means and now he's wondering what would taste good spread over John. He's standing before he even realises it, holding his hand out to help John up.

"We don't have any whipped cream, do we?" Sherlock asks thoughtfully.

"No, but I'll put it on the shopping list."

As they walk downstairs, Sherlock briefly wonders what John has done to him. Never in his life did he think he would be looking forward to eating food off of someone's naked body. The idea should have repulsed him. But now, he's wondering if John would be willing to add chocolate spread to that list. And maybe some clotted cream and strawberry preserves? Sherlock shakes his head and chuckles. He has a suspicion that it's going to be a very long list.

Sherlock stops in the doorway, looking at John standing in the kitchen wearing just his robe, his hair nicely mussed. He's humming as he puts the kettle to boil and he looks happier than Sherlock's ever seen him. Sherlock's heart swells and he presses his lips together, fighting emotion. He's awed at how lucky he is. John didn't have to be so understanding. Sherlock hadn't expected him to be. And yet, here he is, trusting Sherlock again and loving him. So many times while he was gone, Sherlock worried that he wouldn't have a life to come home to and now, he not only has his best friend back, but he's found his heart. He crosses the room, coming up behind John to wrap his arms around him. John leans back against him.

"Everything all right?" John asks quietly, resting his hands over Sherlock's.

"Everything is perfect," Sherlock says, leaning down to kiss the top of John's head.

And for the first time in his life, Sherlock actually means it. Everything was going to be just fine.