A/N: This could have been longer, but I wanted to tie it off at a good place, and this seemed like the best place to end it.
Sherlock sat on his bed, a week later, pushed against the wall, eyes narrowed, glaring at the door, at the darkness, everything. Insomnia was not his friend, and it was something that had plagued him for a long time. Greg had been back, John had gone home, and Sherlock ached for the other boy's company. There was something inherently comfortable about John Watson, something that just set Sherlock at ease. John made it so much easier to face the world, and to face everything that bothered Sherlock.
With a growl Sherlock stood, pushing open the door to his bedroom and heading towards the kitchen. His foster father had introduced him to tea, and he didn't mind Sherlock making a cup in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep. Nothing caffeinated, nothing that would provoke the insomnia, but maybe the warm beverage would lull him to sleep. He came to a stop when he saw Greg at the table, a mug in his hands, a ragged expression on his face.
"The kettle still has hot water in it," Greg murmured to the table, taking a long sip, his eyes closing as he drank.
"Thanks," Sherlock replied automatically, making himself some tea. He stood awkwardly while he waited for it to steep, watching Greg out of the corner of his eyes. There was something tense in the older man's posture, something that sent unease prickling through Sherlock's nerves. Something was wrong, and he didn't know what.
"Sherlock, do you have a moment?" Greg asked finally, his drink mostly empty in front of him. Sherlock tossed the tea bag away, added a cube of sugar, and sat down across from his foster father, watching him with intent eyes. "I know you have only been in my care for approximately four months," he began, leaning back.
"That's quite a bit longer than I managed anywhere else," Sherlock said defensively. Was he getting moved? Pulled from his placement? He gripped the warm mug tighter, fear warming him up without providing the same comfort a warm beverage did.
"Sherlock, I'm not having you moved, nor are they going to move you." Greg's voice was firm, reassuring, and Sherlock relaxed slightly, shifting in his chair.
He studied his foster father, watched the way his eyes flickered, the fatigue, the emptiness. The desolation, the sadness. "You are getting divorced."
Surprise, then resignation. "Yeah. You knew, didn't you?"
Sherlock looked away, uncomfortable, and took a long drink of his tea. "Yes." Should he have said something? Did Greg expect something of him? Hate him for not speaking up, not stepping in?
"Sherlock, I can see you thinking from here." Greg shifted, leaning forward, his eyes kind. "You're a teenager. That is not your responsibility. It is my job to take care of you, and provide you with a safe environment, and that's what I'm going to do."
"They will take me," Sherlock said flatly. "Divorce means this will no longer be a stable environment."
"You don't know that for sure," Greg countered.
"Yes, I do." Sherlock stood, the mostly empty mug in his hand.
"No, you don't. Sherlock, I want to adopt you before the divorce goes through, so they can't take you." Sherlock stared, frozen. The mug clattered to the floor, the last of the tea spilling onto the tile. Greg leaned backwards this time, his anxiety plastered across his face. "That bad?"
"John." Sherlock backed away. His heart beat fast in his chest, his face flushed, anxiety heightening all of his senses, sending his blood thrumming through his vein. Panic. Fight or flight.
"Go," Greg said softly. "It's okay." Sherlock caught a last glimpse of his foster father rubbing his forehead, slumped against the table, before he disappeared out the door.
Sherlock knocked on the window he knew was John's, and waited. Then knocked again. He had to wake up. Sherlock needed him. His eyes were wide and panicked, his hands shaking so that the window pane rattled when he knocked. "Sherlock?" John sounded drowsy as he pulled open the window. "Sherlock, what are you doing here? It's…" He trailed off. Sherlock could feel John's gaze upon him, could hear him think, and he crawled through the open window, his fingers twisting in the hem of his shirt. He couldn't look at John. Everything was too much.
"Come here," John urged gently, sounding less groggy, more focused. He gently took Sherlock's hands, drew him closer. Sherlock looked down at him, puzzled. The height difference was, frankly, a bit silly at times. John sitting on the edge of his bed meant his head was at the level of Sherlock's upper stomach. More like a cat than a person, but when John wrapped his arms around Sherlock's waist and drew him close, Sherlock found that he didn't care.
He leaned down, awkwardly, pressing himself closer to John. "Here, hold on a sec." John laid back, stretching out on his narrow bed, and leaving room for Sherlock to crawl in with him. Sherlock wasted no time, sprawling out half on top of the shorter teen, fingers working on unraveling threads in John's night shirt. Sherlock felt John's arm settle over his hips, felt his hand stroke up and down his back. Comforting. Warm. Safe. He burrowed closer to him, burying his nose in the safe skin of John's neck. Breathed in John's scent. It was all okay.
"Sherlock, what happened?" John asked softly, not stopping in his gentle ministrations. He laid his other hand on top of Sherlock's wandering fingers. Not forcing him to quit, but offering support. More comfort, if he wanted it. Reassurance.
"He wants to adopt me." Sherlock's voice was muffled by John's skin, but Sherlock didn't care. He liked it, curled up against John. his body was warm, pleasantly so, and it sent little butterflies aflutter in his stomach, knowing that he could kiss John, and stay close. That John wanted him, and was worried about him. John cared.
"Greg?" John sounded puzzled, and Sherlock hated it, as much as he - as much as John was John. Sentiment was weakness. Sentiment was having to explain your motivations. Wanting someone to understand you just as much as you understood yourself. Wanting to share that bit of you with someone else. The parts of you no one else saw. Sherlock understood it. Knew what it required. But he - it was a step, a final leap. Trust. He was not sure he could take it.
"Yes." He curled impossibly tighter. His grip turned into a fist, and John's warm, calloused hand covered it, stroking with a thumb, reassuring. His movements on Sherlock's back became more frequent, maintaining the same, steady rhythm that Sherlock could track, reassured by its predictability.
"How do you feel about that?" John's voice was cautious. Sherlock could hear that he did not understand Sherlock's panic, could not see how the pieces slotted together to produce such a reaction. But he was willing, and he was there, and to Sherlock, that was what mattered.
So he leaped. Jumped over that final chasm. Hoped that John would be there on the other side to catch him. Hold him safe. "I do not have - a good history with 'fathers'." He all but snarled the last word, the faint memory of his own biological parent tinging it with hatred, fear, revulsion. The majority towards his father, but an uncomfortable amount towards himself. What he had done. What had happened. He shuddered, and John tightened his grip, pressed a kiss to Sherlock's curls.
"Greg is not your biological Dad, Sherlock," John told him, his voice low and solemn. There was the faintest grit to the tone, from being freshly awoken, and Sherlock rather liked it. He resolved to wake John up more consistently in order to experience it. "He's a good dad. He'll look out for you."
"His wife left him," Sherlock continued. "He is getting a divorce."
"Good for him," John muttered, feeling Sherlock still slightly. "Sherlock, he wants you to be in a safe environment. He's not going to compromise that. Greg cares about you, like a good parent should."
"He is wholly unwanted," Sherlock mumbled. "I do not need his affection."
"You say that," John started, stroking Sherlock's hair with his free hand, combing through the curls, "But you care what he says a significant amount, don't you?"
"No," Sherlock answered immediately.
"You know from you, when you're talking about sentiment, that means yes, right?"
"No it doesn't."
"Sherlock." John kissed his head again. "If you really mean no, I'll respect that, and we can brainstorm ways around it. But I don't think that's what you mean."
"Possibly." Sherlock scowled.
"There we go." John hugged him slightly. "Anything else?"
"It could influence my placement with Greg. That is why he wishes to adopt me." Sherlock sounded slightly scornful. It was a matter of convenience, nothing more. "He does not wish to 'abandon' me, and is therefore assuring that his conscious is clear."
"You always look the negative road when you get the chance, don't you?" John stroked a hand up and down Sherlock's back, nonjudgmental, simply observational.
"It has been my experience that I am tolerated due to obligation rather than affection," Sherlock replied stiffly.
"We just talked about this, love," John said gently. "If you don't to be adopted, tell him, and you can figure out a solution. You can drop by in the morning."
"I want to stay." Sherlock didn't think he could get any closer to John without melding their two bodies into one, but he was going to try. "I want you to come with me, when I talk to Greg."
"The night?" Sherlock felt John's head tilt as he shot an uneasy glance at the door.
"Please." He heard John's blinking, felt the way his body changed, and then had John's hands on him again, comforting and warm.
"Yeah, of course." Carefully John lifted his head with his fingers, kissing him slowly, tender. They broke apart, and Sherlock laid his head down on John's chest, feeling the other teen's breathing slowly start to even out, felt him settle, prepare to go back to sleep.
"I do not desire to have sex with you." Sherlock's voice was small. He was uncertain, scared. It was a thing to be discussed, was it not? John most certainly desired sex, and while Sherlock was okay with giving it, it was not on his preferred list of activities, especially when there were many other things to occupy his time.
"What?" John scrubbed at his face, trying to shake off the fog that had come from a nearly asleep brain. "Oh. That's fine, and all. We don't have to think about that now."
"But you desire sex, do you not?" Sherlock persisted, starting to pluck at the hem of John's shirt. It was a nervous habit, something that gave him a texture under his fingers. Carefully John captured his hand, twining the fingers together and stroking Sherlock's palm until he calmed.
"Yeah, a bit," John said. "But if you don't, that's fine. If there are some things you're comfortable with but you don't want to do other things, that's cool too."
Sherlock was quiet for a few moments. "You are not disappointed."
"Sherlock, the point of a relationship is for it to be mutually satisfying for both parties. I love you - yeah, I know you tried to stop me from saying it, but I have to. Sherlock, I love you." Sherlock inhaled sharply, forcing his body to relax, to curl closer to John. Scary though sentiment was, John was a port of safety, security. He would protect him. "If there are things you don't want to do - physical things, emotional things, romantic things, whatever - it's a partnership. I know you have been through some stuff in the past and I don't want to stir anything up that would cause you pain."
"Okay," Sherlock said quietly. He tentatively pressed a kiss to the underside of John's jaw, drawing a slight giggle from the smaller teen (Sherlock filed it away under John's ticklish spots), and then he settled down again.
"Have you thought about what to tell Greg?" John asked softly. Curious.
Sherlock swallowed, ignoring the shiver that sparked down his spine. "I want - I want a home. A real one. If - I...I want him to adopt me."
"Good." John smiled a pleased, lazy smile, and Sherlock felt his insides melt, despite the panic that was thrumming throughout his body. Bad memories, worried memories - all seemed to send Sherlock head over heels, leave him without the ability to right himself.
"I've got you," John said, his voice low. He nuzzled Sherlock's hair. He was Sherlock's shelter, his protector, guardian. A safe haven from the storm that raged outside. "Forever and ever."