A/N: Started this one on a stormy evening. I was surprised with how far I got into it. I slowly finished it afterward. This was a piece I could only continue writing while listening to a certain song (which is rare for me, but eh). It is Strobe, by deadmau5. Listen to it.
It was raining. Storming, rather. Watson had been sleeping... But the merciless bouts of thunder had awoken him, and kept him so. The rain pounded against the window of Watson's dark room, and from the warmth of his bed he could see the large drops descending the glass. It was so dark he wouldn't otherwise be able to even recognize the window if it wasn't for the measured flashes of lightning. Watson didn't know how long he had been awake now, but he knew long enough to allow him to be able to determine when the thunder and lightning would occur: once lightning flashed, it would be roughly twelve seconds before the thunder roared, and then another eight to ten seconds before it was the lightning's turn. Then it repeated. He counted the seconds each time.
Watson's eyes absentmindedly roamed about the room he couldn't visualize, trying to pick a topic to mull over, hopefully slowing his mind down enough to doze back off. He didn't feel like checking the time. If it were really late, such as three A.M or so, he would feel rushed to get to sleep; not calming him, making his mind race even more fervently. Besides, the clock on his side-table would not be easily legible, what with the lighting at the moment.
Well...he could depend on the lightning-wait for it to momentarily beam. No. No, no, no. The clock is not a good idea, just lay off of it.
Then it randomly occurred to him that Holmes was never too fond of storms. Sherlock Holmes, out of all people, was skittish when it came to thunder. This was never directly said to Watson, but he determined it was so by piecing together the times Holmes would constantly jump during storms or stare out the window during them, as if attempting to ready himself for what was coming. He always jumped anyway.
Watson recalled once when he actually inquired to Holmes's discomfort of thunder. Holmes had assured him that he definitely was not afraid of thunder, how silly of Watson to think so. His tone was anything but reassuring, however, and he did not make any eye contact. It would have been ignorant of Watson to merely dismiss this, as it clearly did bother Holmes considerably, and thus Watson was bothered in turn.
Watson sighed audibly. He wondered if Holmes was sleeping alright. Before they retired for bed, it had already begun to rain.
'Holmes, would you like to sleep with me tonight?' Watson had asked as nonchalantly as possible, knowing the great possibility of it storming later in the evening. He was standing in the doorway of the sitting-room, gazing at Holmes, who was still in his armchair in front of the fire.
Holmes had appeared to shift about in his chair, not as an uncomfortable gesture, just pondering. Watson had had no doubt in his mind that Holmes knew what he was implying. He had frowned, knowing the answer would be No, even though he knew Holmes most likely wanted to anyway. But it was his pride. Accepting the offer, to Holmes, would be showing a hint of weakness and besides; it was he who proposed the 'no sharing beds yet' suggestion. Said suggestion, by the way, Watson understood at the beginning of he and Holmes's intimate relationship. He knew things took time, especially for someone like Holmes, even if the notion of sleeping in the same bed did not suggest anything of provocative character (which wasn't Watson's intention in the first place). But now, he wondered why he was still so timid towards the subject.
Finally, Holmes had replied flatly, 'No...I- why do you bring it up now?'
Watson had shrugged and turned towards the hallway, 'I don't know. Well, goodnight anyway,' he had called, closing his bedroom door. It had stung him a bit, not lengthening his farewell with an embrace or anything else of the sort, but he was slightly irritated.
Now Watson was laying in his bed, staring at the ceiling, hands crossed on his chest, knowing that Holmes was as deprived of sleep as he was. He had to be. Holmes most likely never fell asleep in the first place, recognizing the threat of an oncoming storm when he retired to his bedroom. Watson was half-tempted to go and check on Holmes, just to see if he was sleeping. And if he wasn't...well, he would just have to be discreet. Being so would be hard to accomplish, though, seeing as to how he could barely see. Things could easily betray his mind; Holmes's door could be closer than Watson perceived and he could walk right into it.
Watson shook his head. No. He would not go check on Holmes. It was eating at him, though... Thinking about the possibility of Holmes laying in bed so distressed without sleep wo-
There was shuffling outside of Watson's door. It was audible-barely-but it was heard. Watson turned over on his right side and leaned on his elbow, craning his neck forwards toward the door. He tried to focus his eyes on it, to try and peer underneath it. He waited for the lightning. When it came, he caught a glimpse of a shadow beneath the door. Someone was on the other side. Holmes was on the other side. Or so he had to assume.
Watson considered calling out to him. But that may ruin whatever Holmes was thinking about doing.
At this point, around two to three minutes have passed and nothing has happened. With the lightning to help, Watson has determined that the person behind his door is still there.
Almost on his body's own accord, Watson sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He was sure to set his feet down gently, and he was grateful that none of the floorboards creaked under him as he bound swiftly over to the door. Upon opening the door, he heard a loud gasp and, looking down, he could make out Holmes sitting on the floor before him. His back was to Watson, but his head was rotated 'round and looking up at him. Silence hung for a few moments. Excluding the rain and thunder, anyhow. As Watson squinted harder, he also noticed some other object sitting beside Holmes. He honestly had no clear idea as to what it was, though.
"Hello," Watson murmured, deciding to break the silence.
Holmes appeared to wave, "Hello," he said softly.
"May I help you?" Watson faintly smiled, though he knew Holmes couldn't see it.
"You are sitting outside of my door, after all. What are you doing there?"
"I..." Holmes looked forward again, running a hand through his hair, "I don't know, actually, I... I can't sleep. I found it a suitable action to sit out here."
Watson took this in, nodding slowly. "Alright... Can you not sleep because of the storm?"
"I suppose so..." Holmes replied choppily, as if he couldn't decide if that's what he wanted to say or not.
Watson could have said more, but he decided not to. Pushing Holmes about his fear of thunder would only make him feel uncomfortable and go back to his own room. "Are...you taking me up on my earlier offer? I would assume?" He decided to ask.
Holmes said nothing but reached over to the unknown object beside him and maneuvered his hands about it and it lit up, informing Watson that it was a lantern. Holmes slowly stood, lantern in hand, and faced the other, avoiding eye contact. Now able to see him clearly, Watson noticed that the nightshirt Holmes was wearing was very much like his own. 'It may be mine,' Watson thought to himself halfheartedly.
It was still.
"Are you coming in, then?" Watson quipped as offhandedly as possible.
Holmes seemed to hesitate for a few moments before a loud crack of thunder roared, seeming to swallow them for a moment. At this Holmes practically leaped forward, shoving Watson out of the way, "Alright, alright!"
Watson stumbled backwards as Holmes forced his way past him, and he would probably otherwise be slightly offended by this if it weren't for the speed of Holmes's reaction to the thunder. The comical side of it took hold of Watson's better nature and he chuckled outwardly, earning him a wary glare from his companion.
Holmes looked around Watson's room without purpose, clearly not going to make any further advancement without the other doing so first. Watson noticed this right away and he stepped forward, gently taking the lantern from Holmes's hand and into his own possession, throwing him a warm smile as he did so. Holmes finally met Watson's eye, returning a faint smile that slowly faded as Watson turned back around and approached his bed. As Watson went, Holmes decided to as well, and so he began to slowly tread around to the other side of the bed.
Watson watched Holmes make his descent to the other side of the bedstead from the corner of his eye before setting the lantern on his side-table. It was then he was able to easily read the clock. It was one fifty-two A.M. Not too bad, Watson thought to himself as he noticed Holmes across from him, looking at him expectantly. His eyes still on Holmes, Watson blindly tampered with the wheel on the lantern and gradually turned it off. As the light died, their shadows began to evaporate as well as the strange comfort the glow cast upon them.
Now, once again, it was completely dark and neither men could identify each other easily.
Without being completely aware of it, Holmes yawned as he mimicked Watson closely as they got into the bed, under the sheets, then pulled the heavy bedspread over them. Holmes gasped slightly at the coldness of this side of the bed. It was obvious that this end had not been used in considerable time. Along with the chilled sheets, the mattress here was elevated a trifle bit higher than Watson's side; he could feel it every so slightly dip down as it crossed into Watson's territory which was sunken down more from regular use.
And it wasn't warming quickly, either...
Holmes sunk down deeper into the mattress, pulling the bedspread tighter over him. Looking over, he could see Watson was, like himself, on his back, staring up at the ceiling. He seemed perfectly comfortable and content. And warm.
Holmes fought to acquire the same demeanor. He was content, at least. He had run through this scenario many times in his mind; he and Watson in the same bed together for the first time. The conclusion would always leave Holmes unfulfilled. He couldn't have comprehended exactly how it would feel until it actually happened. It would either be awkward, or it would feel...right.
Now that he was here, and it was happening, it was definitely the latter. This fact relieved Holmes greatly and his body almost instantly warmed completely at the realization.
With an unexpected rush of courage Holmes, with no great speed, shifted across the bed towards Watson. He stopped when their shoulders met, and he felt Watson jump as they did so. Watson kept his gaze on the ceiling, but he really was surprised. He didn't expect Holmes to do something such as approach him. Rather, he didn't expect him to act upon such a notion so quickly. With the utmost caution, Watson moved the arm separating them upwards and brought it around to the top of Holmes's head. Instantly Holmes turned on his side and threw an arm around Watson's stomach, ever so slightly pulling him into an embrace.
It happened so quickly and unexpectedly, Watson had to take a few moments to recover before he finished enclosing his arm around Holmes's form. Holmes seemed to lay stiffly for a handful of long seconds before finally relaxing into Watson, his head rested just under the other's shoulder.
For once, Holmes had completely forgotten a storm's presence. There seemed to be nothing else but he and Watson. For once, he felt completely safe. Being so close to Watson comforted him beyond comprehension.
Finally he felt as if he could sleep peacefully.
At that same moment, Watson yawned heavily, making Holmes rise and fall against him. "Are you comfortable?" he asked, a touch of grogginess in his tone.
"Yes. I am quite comfortable," Holmes replied lengthily, his voice low. To Watson, he sounded as if he were satisfied.
At that, Holmes felt Watson's body completely loosen and relax. The hand that Holmes had thrown over Watson's stomach was wrung with affection by another. "Good night then," he breathed.
Holmes returned Watson's sentiment quietly, already falling asleep. Outside, the thunder roared one last time before Holmes dozed off completely, and so he fell asleep with the ghost of a smirk on his lips, mocking it.