Disclaimer: Don't own – wish I did!

The journey home was conducted in total silence, both occupants of the cab thinking about the outcome of their most recent case.

Jerry Hanwell had been one step ahead of Scotland Yard for weeks, but the Chief Superintendent had been adamant that Sherlock Holmes was not to be called in – an edict that was directly responsible for the death of a child. Lestrade had snapped at that point, damning his superior officer as a fool, and turning up personally at their door to beg for their help.

It was fortunate for all of them that Sherlock had, in his usual modest fashion, known they would come to him eventually, and so had already researched the background of the killings. Moving quickly, from murder scene to hideout, the chase was swift and dirty, and when at last they brought the perpetrator down, he went down fighting to the last.

Sherlock's eyes took in the way John held himself, not relaxed against the cab seat as was usual, instead he sat stiffly, eyes closed, his jaw tightly clenching every time the vehicle swerved or swayed, and he found himself wishing the journey over.

At long last, they were climbing the stairs to the flat. Sherlock watched as John threw off his jacket and dragged himself into the kitchen, then dashed down the hallway to the bathroom.

Moments later John could hear the sound of running water, and he cursed silently, wishing he had made the effort to get to the shower before his lanky genius. Leaning back against the kitchen table, he scrubbed wearily at his face with both hands, waiting for the kettle to boil. He was so tired he didn't hear Sherlock walk into the room, and he jumped as the younger man gently grasped his wrists and pulled his hands down to his sides.

"Come" the deep baritone was soft as he half led, half pulled the doctor towards the bathroom. "I've run you a hot bath, with mineral salts" he smiled at John's confused expression "It'll do wonders for your aching muscles" When they reached the door he pushed John into the steam-filled room. "Go on, I'll bring you a towel and your PJ's"

Dumbstruck, John slowly pulled his clothes off and dumped them in the corner, before easing his body down into the hot water. Closing his eyes and leaning back he let out a soft moan as the heat enveloped him. He stayed; eyes closed and relaxed, as he heard the door open, and assumed it was Sherlock with the promised towel and pyjamas.


"What?" John's eyes shot open, and he looked up to see Sherlock had stripped down to his boxers, a mug of tea and two white tablets in one hand, and a bottle of John's shower gel in the other.

"Sit up. Tea. Ibuprofen." Gracefully sinking to his knees beside the bath, the consulting detective waited for John to process the instructions, and once he was sitting up he handed him the drink and painkillers.

Sipping the hot strong liquid, John watched, slightly suspiciously, as Sherlock moved to sit on the edge of the bath, ignoring the water that seeped into his underwear, and poured a small amount of the gel into his hand. With gentle hands he worked the soapy lather across John's shoulders, feeling the muscles relax under his ministrations.

"Sherlock" John's breathy moan made the young man smile. "That is so good"

"Hmmm. Maybe next time you won't throw yourself bodily out of a second floor window onto a murderer – maybe, just maybe you'll trust me to be ready to disable the bad guy as he tries to run past me?"

"He was armed" came the whispered response.

"And your point is?"

John lay back down in the water, his upper arm brushing against Sherlock's thigh, his now empty cup hanging limp from his fingers. His deep blue eyes clouded slightly as he looked up into the pale face hovering above him.

"He'd already murdered a child, and stabbed two police officers as they tried to arrest him." The blond doctor drew a shaky breath. "I lost you once before, Sherlock, it's not an experience I care to repeat"

Sherlock turned himself so that he was facing John, removing the cup from his hand and placing it on the floor before pouring more shower gel. This time the long, artistic fingers worked across well-defined pectoral muscles, moving back up and massaging down solid biceps, sliding up encompassing triceps, fingers kneading, breaking down the build-up of lactic acid, and all the time he kept eye contact with John, telling him without words how bad it would be if he were to lose his blogger.

Eventually, slipping out of his boxers, Sherlock climbed in, his knees straddling John's thighs, and despite the lack of room and the water slopping over the rim of the bath, he leaned forward and captured John's lips, his kiss soft and reverent, an affirmation of love. And John returned that love in equal measure, his hands stroking up into soft ebony curls, cupping sharp angled cheekbones, stroking the soft warm flesh.

Feeling the water beginning to cool, Sherlock lifted his head.

"Time for you to get out, before you undo all the good work I've done on your muscles"

John nodded, but continued simply to lie in the water, watching Sherlock with love-softened eyes. The younger man grinned and pulled himself out of the bath, grabbing one of the two towels he'd brought in earlier, roughly drying his body before wrapping it around his hips. Gently pulling, he finally persuaded the older man to stand up, helping him out of the bath and wrapping the second towel around him.

"Go get ready for bed John, I'll tidy up here."

"Don't be long"

Reaching up to steal a swift kiss, John grabbed his pyjamas from the hook on the back of the door and his discarded clothing from the floor, and made his way to the bedroom.

Working as quickly as he could, Sherlock used his towel to mop up the spilled water, then picked up John's cup and strode naked to the kitchen to dump it in the sink – it could wait until morning to be washed up.

His work done, he hurried into the bedroom, only to stop dead in the doorway. In the soft glow of the bedside lamp John's hair gleamed almost golden, the grey masked by the reflected light. His face, peaceful in sleep, looked younger, and a slight smile played on his lips. Sherlock smiled at the sight of his brave soldier/doctor sleeping like a baby, his body curled towards the middle of the bed. Moving silently across the room, he slipped under the duvet and reached over to switch off the light before pulling his sleeping lover into his arms and settling down and allowing sleep to claim him also.