Sorry for the delay, and sorry the chapter is so short, but I was having some reservations about it but I decided I should upload something before it got to the point it did with another one of my fics, where I didn't update for six months because I wasn't satisfied.

I'm not actually at all sure where this is going, I'm not really one to sit down and plot out a story, which probably isn't a very good method, so if y'all have any suggestions that'd be splendid. :)

Hope you enjoy.


John woke slowly from his deep slumber, highly conscious of the warm body sprawled completely on top of his, the messy mop of curls placed on his chest just over his heart, breath tickling near his armpit, a little bit of drool near his mouth. Small smile on his lips at how much younger Sherlock looked sleeping soundly, legs twinned in a complicated fashion around his own, arms clutching in a possessive manner, John reached up a hand and lightly stroked one of the prominent cheekbones with an index finger. The light dusting of reddish stubble around the jaw made John chuckle. Who would've thought Sherlock was a ginger?

The rumbling of his chest caused the other man to stir slightly, grumbling and lips smacking, wrapping arms more tightly around John's torso before drifting back off. John decided he would take this rare opportunity of a sleeping Sherlock to inspect the other's body, give him the attention he had received the day before, and make absolutely sure that his lover was healthy enough for his satisfaction. So carefully as possible, without waking the body above his, John flipped them over and eased Sherlock's hold a bit so he could look at him properly.

The sight before him made John gasp quietly. Over the past several days, when he and Sherlock had been in bed together, they hadn't really taken their time to look at each – not until Sherlock had been worshipping him the previous day. Though he supposed Sherlock had already noted his lowered weight, softened muscles, and the bags under his eyes, John himself hadn't yet taken a look at Sherlock's body, being too busy pleasuring one another. Now, though, sitting back on Sherlock's waist, John took the time to caress each and every bruise, cut, scrap, and scar he could find on Sherlock's once unmarred torso. With the sheer number, and by the looks of the fresher wounds, mere weeks old, it was a wonder the other man was able to ignore them when John was scrabbling at him chest and back in the throes of pleasure, no doubt irritating them, or when John was using him as a pillow the times he hadn't slunk away to do some thinking or work on an experiment. Luckily, it seemed Sherlock had had the sense to take care of each wound to prevent infection, though the scars left from haphazard stitches would definitely not be fading anytime soon.

These fairly minimal injuries made John wonder if there were more serious ones he had not been made aware of so he took a closer look at Sherlock's entire being, checking joints, looking for any blemish that had not been there previously. After his rudimentary examination, done so carefully so as not to wake Sherlock up when he so clearly needed the rest even still, John came to the conclusion that at least four ribs had been fractured, right shoulder separated, knuckles on the right hand shattered and somehow repaired, left wrist sprained just shy of the point of fracture, and several head injuries and possible concussions – all within the countless months that had passed, and none looked after professionally by any means.

Unable to contain his distraught anger any longer, John scrambled out of the bed as carefully as he could, pulling on his pants to go out to the living room and pace in front of the fireplace, fists clenched tightly at his sides and itching to punch something, anything. If John weren't so sure that Sherlock had already doubtless taken care of the men who had given him all those injuries, John would've gone out and found them for himself.


For once Sherlock slept soundly, stirring only when John was moving him around the bed. The ever-changing dreams through the night were strange, all of them of moments from the time he spent taking care of Moriarty's web, the occasions when he was severely injured. Only they were changed to include John, his doctor patching him up while scolding him for receiving each blow, though of course if John had really been there the likelihood that he would have received most of those injuries was narrowed marginally. Nonetheless, it was somewhat relaxing observing John admonishing him, the words contrasting with his careful, gentle yet firm hands working over him.

But as Sherlock felt the cold air rush in where once John's body was pressed against his own, his latest dream changed. Suddenly John vanished and Sherlock was left all on his own once again, only this time, as he decided to humor his brain and go along with the dream, heading to the direction he knew his next target was located, Sherlock heard that oh so familiar voice, telling him to stay away, to leave and save himself. Of course he didn't listen, plowing ahead as if nothing was amiss. As he rounded the corner, however, the dream shifted once again and he was back in that pool, John wearing the explosive-filled jacket and clutching Moriarty from behind, telling Sherlock to run and, instead of snipers turning their focus onto Sherlock to make the doctor back away in defeat Moriarty was suddenly holding John's gun, it having somehow left Sherlock's grip, and lifting it up to his head Moriarty pulled the trigger. With the trajectory and the close range, the bullet went straight through both Moriarty's and John's brains – and all Sherlock could do was stand there and watch as his best friend, his lover lay there under Moriarty's body, dead and bleeding out, skin already tinting blue as if he had been dead for hours.

Sherlock forced his brain to awaken, jolting up with a gasp. He was shocked to reach up and feel tear tracks running down his face. Scrubbing at them furiously, banishing the frenzied panic brought on by the dream, Sherlock worked desperately to dampen the unwanted emotion. It was bad enough that he could no longer suppress the love he felt for John, he didn't need the accompanying emotions along with it. So with one final deadbolt put in place on the door to the Emotions Room, Sherlock got out of bed and gathered the duvet around him, far too irritated this morning to bother with clothing.

Padding quietly out to the living room, Sherlock came upon John in his restless pacing in front of the fireplace. Curious as to what could be bothering the other man so early in the morning – because it most certainly couldn't be him, he had just woken up and he didn't have any on-going experiments for the doctor to stumble upon in the laboratory/kitchen – Sherlock stepped into his path, forcing John to come to a stop and look up at him, fury smoldering in his eyes.

Right eyebrow raised in query, Sherlock impatiently waited for John to spit it out. With a huff, John reached out and moved the duvet away from Sherlock's right shoulder to display the slight deformity that could still be seen, as not enough time had passed to it to heal completely. Laying a gentle hand on it, John glared up at Sherlock, eyes accusatory. "Why didn't you tell me about this?" he demanded.

"Tell you what?" Sherlock challenged, already annoyed that John felt the need to discuss this. "That I sustained numerous injuries at the hand of Moriarty's henchmen? There's really no reason, I saw to every one; there's no infection and aside from the shoulder and knuckles, there shouldn't be any lasting discomfort, so why bother you with them?"

"I'm a doctor, Sherlock!" shouted John, throwing up his hands in frustration. "I still could have looked at them to make sure you took care of them properly."

Eye roll. "Really, John, that'd be an unnecessary waste of your time."

John was seething. "A waste of my time? Even if that's true," he held up a hand to stop Sherlock from interrupting to inform him that yes, it absolutely is true, "you didn't think that I still would have wanted to know?"

Frowning and cocking his head, Sherlock tried to puzzle out why that would be. When it didn't occur to him, disgruntled, he asked. "Why?"

"Why? Why? Because I love you, you idiot, and I want to know when someone has marred your perfect body," at this John divested Sherlock of his sheet and caressed his body reverently, as if proving a point, "I want to know who it is I have to kill."

Realization struck Sherlock. "This is one of those things people do with their loved ones, isn't it?" Sherlock said. "Have irrational fears and become possessive and protective?" It made sense, he supposed; it would certainly explain his silly dream and the way his heart raced because of it. Should have been obvious really. Maybe he was slipping.

"You're not slipping," John mumbled against his lips and he pulled Sherlock down with the hands around his neck. Had I said that aloud? "You're just growing a heart, becoming human."

He scowled. "What need have I for a heart when that's what I have you for?" Sherlock replied, leaning down the last centimeter to capture John's lips, preventing him from giving an answer.

Groaning into the kiss, John stepped ever closer so that the only thing separating them was the damn pair of pants he had pulled on before pacing out to the living room. After a few breathless moments he pulled away slightly to get a good look at Sherlock's face. "I'm your heart, huh?" he teases. "Maybe I was wrong, maybe you are slipping, because that was awfully sweet and romantic Sherlock."

With an eye roll Sherlock backed out of John's grasp. "Still better than the frankly hilarious drivel you emailed your girlfriends," he shot back as he leaned down to pick up the duvet and cover himself once again.