Doctor John Watson woke up with a sudden start, rubbing one hand over his tired eyes, and wondered what woke him up in the first place.
And while it was (sadly) not really uncommon for him to be up at all hours of the night, there was usually a good reason if he was.
As a doctor, and more so as the flatmate and friend of one Sherlock Holmes, he knew about the benefits of a good, uninterrupted nights sleep, and how it shouldn’t be taken for granted around this place.
Any moment there could be a case popping up, and the dear detective would drag him all around London, not stopping to eat or sleep for days on end without first being forced or bullied into it by his faithful friend.
Hell, Watson could be glad if Holmes allowed him to dress first before he shoved his cane in his hand, him out the door and jumped in front of the next carriage he saw to stop it!
So the good doctor had good reason to appreciate and treasure those nights spent in bed more than other people in London's busy streets normally do.
So why wasn’t he still lying under the warm blankets, sleeping the sleep of the just, instead of being wide awake at this time?
He tried to figure out the reason for this unwelcome interruption of his slumber as his eyes slowly adjusted to the dawning light surrounding him.
A bad dream maybe?
But he couldn’t remember having a nightmare, or anything like that, and he didn’t dream often about his time in Afghanistan and the horrors of people dying right under his hands any more.
Not since there was another presence right besides him in his bed, the warm body holding the dark dreams at bay with its sheer presence.
Only in the dark of a long and stormy night would that grim times sometimes come back to haunt him, but even that was rare.
Also, no one was hammering on the door demanding to see a doctor immediately, because someone is hurt or ill and in dire need of his service at this precise moment.
That means it has to be one of the other, more 'usual', reasons, that woke the good doctor up at this time.
Usual for him, at last, not usual for normal people with normal friends and normal jobs.
Usual reasons like violin playing at three in the morning, or exploding experiments at midnight, or little fires all over the place...
Gunshots out of sheer boredom, or just to kill that one fly that dares to annoy the great detective with its buzzing in the middle of one of his more destructive moods...
But there was no sound in or around Baker Street this early in the morning.
The light coming through the open window was just loosing its red tinge, and the air was fresh and cool where it moved the open curtains.
There was no sound from downstairs either, it seems that Mrs. Hudson was still peacefully sleeping in her own rooms, possible dreaming about burning that violin of hell, or burring the gun in the garden, or even poisoning Holmes for real, and finally getting rid of the insolent nuisance upstairs.
It would take another three to four hours until she was up and in the kitchen, making a breakfast for Holmes to sneer at.
They played their little game very day, for years now, and the doctor was secretly sure that they both enjoyed the banter in their own twisted way, even if they would rather eat poison then ever admit it out loud, let alone to each other.
They wouldn’t play it if they didn't enjoy it even a little bit, since Holmes was very good at completely ignoring anything and everyone he doesn’t like as if those things simply don’t exist.
Holmes will ask her if the food/tea is poisoned, Mrs. Hudson will tell him no, but promise to do it tomorrow, or remark that he already has enough poison in his system that it wouldn’t work properly on him anyway.
And then Homes will feed Gladstone with his breakfast instead of eating it himself, while smirking at her retiring back and her affronted huff.
And the next morning they will start all over again, nearly word for word, without ever getting tiered of it...
Leaving Watson to sit there and stifle a found smile, lest their sharp tongues turned on him.
Their living room was also silent, no sign of an intruder, who may have woken the former soldier after a really short night.
And it is impossible for anyone to break into that battlefield without making any sort of sound or breaking at last ones neck, if not more. Then there is also the possibility of touching something wrong and get poisoned...
Holmes tends to close the curtains to keep any and all light out of the room, and with the general mess there it is not unlikely for any wannabe burglar to accidentally die.
Holmes always claimed it was for their own safety, as they would hear anyone long before they can do them any harm when they stumble over something laying around on the floor when they can't even see their own feet in the darkness.
And everything is in its own place, and where it should be, and where he can easily find it, so there really is absolutely no need for a clean-up.
Watson always claimed that the detective was just too lazy to clean up after himself.
Holmes would then scoff at such an unfunded and cruel accusation, drop onto his Tigerskin-rug, and sulk for a while, throwing betrayed puppy eyes over his shoulder every now and then to make sure Watson was still looking at him.
Sulking and pouting is useless without a witness to feel bad for him.
To maybe stroke his hair, or tell him how amazing and brilliant and great he is just to make up for his mean and awful words to a poor, misunderstood detective...
The doctor shock his head, no need to get sidetracked and distracted by Holmes and his sulking even if the man in question wasn’t even doing anything at the moment.
Gladstone was sleeping on his blanket in the corner, quietly, without so much as huffing, sneezing or even twitching in his sleep, as to not draw unnecessary attention to himself.
The less attention he gets, the less his crazy human will experiment on him.
Just because it's the middle of the night doesn’t mean he is save from the mad scientist, after all, and his other human was not always there on time to keep him safe.
Yes, the bulldog isn’t as stupid as most people believe him to be, he's not an innocent little puppy any more...
He just likes food to much to pass it up, even if it nearly kills him most of the time, and he spends more time passed out in the corner than he was actually awake and running.
And Holmes himself was still out, sleeping peacefully and still right at his side in the bed.
For once, the other male was really sleeping, not just lying there watching and waiting for Watson to wake up and entertain and amuse him.
His right eye twitched from time to time, and he snored lightly, his face partly buried into the pillow, and the sheet low over his hips.
And all of a sudden Watson knew what woke him up, as a sleepy growl reached him from the nude man at his side:
"...my Watson..." he mumbled and turned over to his bedmate. With a sigh he snuggled into the warm shoulder under his head before he laid still against the heat of his lover with a deep breath, the dark hair tickling Watson's nose lightly.
Watson looked down, marvelling yet again how much younger Holmes would look like this, relaxed in sleep in the early morning light, without his big words and his lack of tact to appear older then he was.
His all-seeing brown eyes, his brilliant mind, and the fact that there seems to be no filter between his brain and his mouth when deducting or insulting someone, sometimes doing both at the same time, always seem to make him more aloof, older and taller than he really was.
His uncombed hair and his unsaved face as well as his habit to 'forget' to eat or sleep when on a case or in the middle of an experiment added years to his appearance that he lost now for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Now, still and unmoving on his shoulder, he looked almost small and harmless, not like a skilled fighter who could take men twice his size and weight out with only a few quick, precise blows.
The lines around his mouth were smoothed out, the frown lines between his dark eyebrows gone, his chapped lips slightly parted with each soft exhale, that sharp tongue of his poking out a bit.
He was shaved for once, his skin smooth and clean, and soft to the touch without a hint of stubble for now.
And hadn’t that been a fight to get the stubborn little bastard cleaned up.
He could really be harder to bathe than a pack of dogs, or a troop of toddlers!
At first he had to chase him through the whole flat, the boxer nimbly jumping over chairs, or crawling under the table, grinning like a madman all the time with his pipe hanging from those kissable, red lips as the doctor limped after him, swearing and cursing much to Holmes' continued amusement.
Watson would get a hold on that ratty dressing grown of his for a few moments, before he was forced to let it go again, but after the third time of this the smaller man simply slipped out of the garment and run away, throwing a mocking wink and a teasing smirk Watson's way.
"Keep it, my dear friend, but you have to be quicker if you want to catch me!" he called over his shoulder before he danced away again, now just in his grey trousers and a white shirt that used to be Watson's, very much enjoying the little game with his lover.
One of his braces was hanging from his shoulder, and the shirt was halfway open and not properly tucked in, giving him teasing glimpses of the skin beneath it before moving out of reach again.
"But if you keep this up, maybe you get more of my clothes." he teased, laughing at Watson's frustrated huff.
That their playing around got him out of a much hated bath was just a bonus for the infuriating genius, who saw the whole chase as just another game between them.
It took Watson another 10 minutes before he was finally able to pin the smaller male against a wall and distract him with a kiss enough to strip him out of the remaining brace and his shirt right there...
"...you can't have this Watson...." Holmes grabbed him tightly around the upper arm, and threw one leg over Watson's hip, hugging him possessively, before stilling again with a deep sigh.
Watson wondered for a moment what his genius was dreaming about, before he went back to watching his lover pout in his sleep.
He couldn’t help but trace a finger softly over his temple, and down over the freshly shaved cheek, and to a sensitive neck stretched out and vulnerable under his gentle touch.
With a huff his dear detective rubbed his cheek against the caressing hand for a moment like a content cat, and Watson stilled in fear that maybe he woke him up.
But all he got was another sleepy growl of his name before Holmes snuggled more against the male besides him, falling back into deeper slumber without any trouble.
Holmes' clothes flew in every direction to join the surrounding mess, and the detective moaned loudly into the passionate kiss, tugging on Watson's hair to keep him in place whenever he tried to move back a little for a breath, or a moan, or a gasp, happily forgetting all about the looming treat of a bath for the moment, in order to meet his Watson kiss for kiss, stroke for stroke, groan for groan.
This was one of the only ways to thoroughly distract that great mind of Sherlock Holmes, as the only thing on said mind was the hot, welcoming body against him, the sure, steady hands stripping layer after annoying layer from his person.
The fine hairs of a well-groomed moustache tickling his lips, the firm thigh pressing against his crotch, the familiar tongue dancing with his own.
The strong muscles moving under the arm he was holding onto, the fast pulse under his fingers where they stroked over warm skin.
All of those sensation worked well together to make Holmes forget all about that stupid tub of nasty water that had his name on it as he drowned in the sound and smell of his lover.
None of the two could say how long they stayed there, kissing and groping against the wall with the bullet holes, and the dark chemistry burns smelling of fire, but it was long enough for them to get breathless, get their hearts beating wildly, and to forget that the world around them even existed.
It took Watson a few moments to remember why he was kissing the stubborn male here, like that, as he blinked down at clouded dark eyes, half closed and full of lust and passion, and the light, rare blush over tanned, un-shaved skin.
With a quick move he grabbed Holmes around the waist and threw him over his shoulder before the other could also recover from their kissing and flee from him yet again.
It had been funny to hear Holmes swear in several languages as soon as he noticed that his lover didn’t plan to bring him to their bed to take their kissing a step or two further, but to the bathroom with the tub full of clean, wet, soapy water to drown him!
Drown him like a stray alley cat!
A startled, and rather undignified shriek later, Holmes was finally dropped into his waiting bath.
Watson couldn’t help but smirk as his partner emerged to the surface, sputtering and pouting like a little child.
His dark hair hung limply into his big eyes as he blinked up at his doctor, brown gaze full of betrayal to make the good doctor feel sorry for him and ashamed of his cruel actions against his very own best friend and lover.
"That... was mean." he said slowly, pout firmly on his lips, his deep voice sad and disappointed. "And totally unnecessary."
Not that that tone had any effect on Watson anymore. And the puppy eyes stopped working on him about one week of meeting the eccentric lunatic, no matter what Holmes liked to think.
"Oh, on the contrary." Watson smiled determined down at him while rolling the sleeves of his open shirt up to his elbows, and sat down at the edge to help him. And to make sure he doesn’t crawl out as soon as his back is turned.
"Even the flies are afraid of your scent by now, and refuse to be in the same room as you. A bath is definitively necessary."
He patted the limp, wet hair while his genius did his best to look like a drowning puppy, a look he could pull off surprisingly well for an adult of his age and intellect.
"My dear friend,..." he began to protest, but had to shut up as the doctor poured warm water over his head without any signs of mercy, soap and razor ready for use besides him on a little table.
Watson was busy washing the tousled dark hair without yanking too much on it, while the detective constantly tried to swat his hands away, without getting anywhere as they kept coming back for his head.
"Ouch. Do be gentle, Watson. Are you trying to rip my hair out? Or do you want to snap my whole head of?
It would destroy my dashing looks if I have to walk around bald, and I need my head to solve cases, no matter how boring they may be!"
"If you would bother to brush this nest you call hair every day, it wouldn’t tangle so much. And then it wouldn’t hurt right now. And washing it more wouldn’t hurt your 'dashing looks' either."
Holmes ignored the accusation with another pout and tried to duck away from his lover, just to be blocked by the tub surrounding him.
"For a doctor you act very much like a brute!" Holmes accused him as he looked up at him from under his lashes.
"And for an adult you act very much like a child." Watson smirked back with a tap to his nose.
Determinately he worked on the curls, tried to pull as little as possible on the dishevelled strands, but with Holmes trying to squirm away it took longer than necessary to untangle and wash it, like always.
"You can clean up so well if you want to, Holmes, I don’t understand why you refuse to take care of yourself." Watson scolded with a frown as he finished with the hair, and he didn’t notice the sly grin slowly spreading over the down-turned face until it was too late.
"Maybe I like it when you take care of me, my mother hen."
A strong hand grabbed his arm, and a short struggle later Watson joined his lover in the bath, with clothes and all.
"Or maybe I just love it when you are all wet and wiggling on my lap."
Without wasting a moment Watson straddled the smirking detective: "That doesn’t get you out of shaving, my dear."
"If you want a Watson go find your own!" Holmes snarled, and effectively bought the good doctor's attention back.
His grip grew stronger around the arm he was hugging, and Holmes tucked his head into Watson's neck, lightly biting into the skin on the base of his neck, leaving teeth-marks to prove his claim, before licking over the red skin.
The doctor stroked over the others back, making him shiver even in his sleep, and purr like a big cat, before the detective lay motionless in his arms again.
It was not often that he would stay still for more than a few moments without brooding or sulking, let alone sleep, and Watson enjoyed the rare moment of peace, burring his face into the fresh smelling locks under his nose with a smile.
The dark hair was curling in places, and sticking up in others, even more untamed than when the man was awake and moving.
Watson couldn’t help but run his fingers through the wild mane, letting it slip through his fingers, and enjoy the silky feel of it while tousling it up even more.
"Only mine." came the sleepy whisper again, together with a possessive hug as the detective snuggled more against his Watson, draped half over the taller man, teeth biting his collarbone, and the doctor wondered for a moment if the other was really asleep, or if was just teasing him into another round of lovemaking.
It would certainly not be the first time the other man did that, or woke him up in the middle of the night for some fun.
"Sure, I'm yours, old chap, you know that." he reassured the sleeping man.
"Mine... Lestrade can't have you..."
At that, Watson blinked. Why would Lestrade even want him? It's not exactly common, let alone legal, for two men to life together like this.
Holmes was really weird sometimes...
"Watson!" with that sudden yell Holmes was up from the bed and running aimlessly through the room before his bedmate could stop him. Watson blinked at the gun the other man had in his hand.
The gun he put always on his bedside table just before they went to bed.
When the hell had Holmes grabbed it? One moment ago he was lying in his arms, and now he was hoping around with noting but a gun in his hand.
And why would he take Watson's, he had his own... lying around somewhere...
"I'm going to safe you, Watson, don’t you worry, they can't have you!" came the yell as the detective bounded through the door to tear their living room apart.
Watson followed at a slower pace, and leant against the doorway just in time to watch Holmes as he turned one of the armchairs over, saying his name over and over again.
Why would that lunatic think that someone would kidnap his doctor and hide him under the bookcase?
Or behind the curtains?
When Holmes looked like he was about to crawl into the fireplace he grabbed the shorter man by the shoulder, tugged him up and around and shook him slightly.
"Holmes! What are you doing here?" he used to opportunity to tug the loaded weapon out of his hand and make sure it was out of his line of sight for the moment.
"Watson!" the genius bellowed, while not looking directly at his friend and lover, but over his shoulder to inspect the mantelpiece and reach around his worried Watson to look under the cups and stuff there.
"Good to see you, you can help me! We have to go and find you before they can do something improper or illegal with or to you!"
And with that the lunatic struggled free from Watson's hold, bounced over to the bookcase and tore random books out, totally ignoring the other man and the worried blue eyes following him.
He quickly thumbed through the pages, before shaking his tousled head and throwing the book carelessly over his shoulder.
"Come on, man, help me look. We can't waste any time, we have to find you now! It's of uttermost importance!"
"And you think that they, whoever they are, would hide me in a book in our own living room?" Watson asked amused while ducking books flying at his head. It was clear that the good detective was not all awake, when he was telling Watson that he should help search for himself, looking for him in a book.
Holmes immediately dropped the heavy tome he was holding at the moment and was about to jump away again to look into the head of the tiger-rug, but the doctor quickly grabbed the ratty, but thankfully clean, dressing gown from a chair and softly laid it over the agitated man's naked shoulders.
Then he hugged his lover tightly to his chest to keep him in place before he could make a beeline for the door and vanish into the empty streets of London with nothing but his pride and an old dressing gown.
He wouldn’t put it past Homes to do that, and he really didn’t want to pick him up from jail for public indecency.
"Holmes. I'm right here. No one is hiding me, no one abducted me, no one tried to take me away." he spoke gentle, slowly calming the poor man down, who was twitching in his arms ready to bounce away again as soon as he saw a chance.
"It was just a bad dream, Holmes, nothing more. I'm here, I'm not going anywhere."
"A bad dream." he repeated faintly, slowly blinking at his surroundings, for the first time seeing where he was, and with whom.
"Yes, just a bad dream, old boy. Not real. Not important. Do you want to tell me what that was about?"
"At first there was Lestrade, storming in through this door, shouting that he really needs a Watson, right now, but he didn’t say for what he needs one.
Then he grabbed your arm and dragged you away, saying you would be perfect for his purposes.
And Clarky said he could use a Watson, too, before he took you away from Lestrade.
And then Blackwood showed up with his stupid grin, and Moriarty! James Moriarty! That arrogant, pompously snob, with his pet assassin Moran!
They all said that they want a Watson!
Do you know what they would do with you if they get their dirty, greedy little paws on you?!
And on top of that, some random woman shows up and wants a Watson, too.
They just said that they need one, because Watsons have many uses and are very loyal, and brave and patient, and not as stupid as normal people, and you were the only one of those around here, so they tried to take you. Because it's easier than searching for their own somewhere else."
He grabbed the doctor by his shoulders and shook him, his wide, dark eyes unblinking on the others face, willing him to understand the graveness of the situation.
"But they can't have you, Watson, none of them can have you. You are mine! And they know I don’t want to share you with anyone, so they tried to steal you away! And I can't let them, who know what they will do with you! They could break you, or loose you, and I would never get you back! And I like how you are now, in one piece and all!
So no, they can't have you, they will have to find their own Watson!"
But the tension left the smaller man's shoulders as Watson patiently stroked it out of him, speaking in low, soothing tones to the distraught genius.
"I think you will find that I'm an adult capable of saying No." he explained to his lover as he slowly made his way back to their bedroom, an arm still around the others waist to make sure he followed him and didn’t try to dart out of the door again.
If he had to be up at this time, and have this conversation with his lover, then he at last wants to sit down doing so, preferable on their warm, comfortable bed.
"But you never say No to me." Holmes replied sulkily with a scowl, not sure if he should believe that his lover is really as capable of saying No as he claims to be.
Watson patted at the bed besides him, but the stubborn little bastard shock his head and leant against the dresser instead, playing around with his pipe.
Now Watson stared at the shorter man with a frown of his own, not sure if he really meant that or not. It was sometimes hard to tell if Holmes was serious or not, but considering his stance he most likely was.
"Holmes." the doctor huffed as the other just stared up at him expectantly.
"I tell you No plenty of times." he explained as patiently as he could.
It figures that Holmes would not remember that many occasions, since he usually ignored No, or simply discussed or pouted it away, or acted as if he didn’t understand that word.
"I tell you No when you want to make experiments on Gladstone. I know you usually do it anyway, but I still tell you No if I catch you at it.
I tell you No every time you want to take your 7-percent-solution just because you are bored with dull cases and incompetent criminals.
I tell you No when you want to play with dangerous and explosive chemicals in our living room, and even more so when you try to ingest them.
And I tell you No when you try to steal my clothes." he listed, waving his fingers in front of Holmes face to make his point.
"But I like your clothes." the detective whined, dark eyes big and lips firmly in a well-practised pout. "They are always clean and smell nice!"
"Yes, because I give them to Mrs. Hudson for cleaning, instead of hiding them away in little hidey-holes like a magpie, or some bloody dog with a bone."
"Hey! I resent that!"
"Recent that all you want, but I always have to search everywhere for your clothes before I can hand them over to her. And I'm still sure you steal some from that pile back when I'm not watching it."
The detective pointedly looked everywhere but at his lover, who took his silence as confirmation.
"So you see, I'm perfectly capable to say No, you just refuse to listen to me when I do so."
Finally Holmes gave in and sat down besides his lover and leant slightly against his side.
"People think you are unattached. Of course they will try to take you away, they would be stupid if they don't try." he snorted as he jumped up again. "Well, more stupid then they usually are." he amended.
"But just because I can't give you a ring to proof it doesn’t mean you're free for the taking!"
Watson looked bemused at the frantic man as he paced up and down before him, making his usual wide gestures, which looked somewhat amusing, seeing as he forgot to close his dressing gown.
"Because you are not free for the taking, are you?" but before Watson had a chance to say something, Holmes answered his own question. "No you are not. You are mine, but we can't tell them, so they don’t know that they can't have you. Because you don’t have a ring."
"Oh, but I have a ring, Holmes, just not on my finger." the doctor tapped a discreet golden band on the hold of his cane."And you and I know it's there, and why it's there, and what it means, and that's good enough for us!"
He caught the shorter man by his arm as he passed him and dragged him in his lap, laid his head on his shoulder and stroked through the dark, curly hair.
"You know that I'm not going to leave you for one of those idiots. And I'm certainly not going to leave you for some woman, so just forget about that dream and come back to bed."
With that he leant back onto the bed, his detective snuggled into his chest, with one of Watson's hands around his waist, the other still petting his hair.
"Well, if you insist, Watson, then I shall have to comply." he said with a put on sigh, and he didn’t need to see it to know that Watson was smiling into his hair.
I hope you liked my first fic about this pairing.
I got into it after getting Guy Richies movies on DVD and watching them for about a hundred times, and reading a ton of fanfictions...
(That means you can't blame me for this...)