John hadn’t meant for it to happen this way, hadn’t meant for it to happen at all. Not ever again. But there had been no other choice. It hadn’t mattered that they were at a rocky stage in their relationship. It hadn’t matter that this could destroy it. It had been either change or let Sherlock die; the latter wasn’t even an option. The change slid through him, easy and fluid, as wonderful as the last time he’d transformed over three years prior.
It took no effort to take out their shell-shocked guards, and less than a minute later their bodies littered the ground around them.
Slowly, Sherlock rose to his feet, face swollen and bloody because their captors hadn’t liked his smart mouth. “John?” he asked in amazement, slowly shuffled forward, ignoring the bodies as he took in John’s bulk.
John nodded his head, hunkering down to rest on his belly, resting his head on his forearms, and still he was taller than Sherlock.
Finally closing the distance between them, Sherlock hesitantly rested his hand on John’s snout, his nails scratching at the deep purple, almost black scales there. John snorted at the odd sensation, causing Sherlock’s hair to blow back with the breeze it created.
“You’re magnificent,” Sherlock breathed.
John’s head rose as Sherlock walked around him, his muscles twitching as Sherlock’s fingers followed his path, scratching as he went.
“You’re bigger than I expected.”
John’s crest and the spines on his back rose in shock.
“Oh, do give me some credit, John. You aren’t the first supernatural creature I’ve met in my days. You’d be amazed at what lives in the underground. I’ve heard of your kind, but I never expected to see one, that you were... You never gave anything away, not once. I never thought for a second that you were anything but human.” Sherlock’s hand ran along the edge of his wing, and John jerked to his feet, pulling away. “You’re lame.”
Baring his teeth at the word, John raised his left wing, straightening it as much as he was able, showing the extent of the damage, knots of light purple scales signifying scar tissue around the joint where the wing met his back. While John may not have been injured in this form, any damage he took as a human affected this one as well.
Bone that had been removed from his shoulder blade and weakened tendons and muscles in that form translated to a non-functional wing in this body. His wing no longer properly fit in the socket, the tendons so tight he couldn’t even straighten his wing completely, and even if he’d had the ability, the muscles were far too deteriorated to hold his weight.
Reaching forth again, Sherlock’s fingers were feather light as they pressed against the curve of John’s wing. “I’m sorry,” he said, placing a kiss near where his fingers rested.
Both the words and the actions were a shock, and like a scared novice John’s form wavered before he was once again human. Swaying on his feet, John reached for Sherlock as exhaustion over changing twice in such a short period of time threatened to pull him under.
“How can you…”
“Later,” Sherlock said as he helped John to the ground before he began to search the bodies for a mobile. “Let Mycroft clean up this mess. We can talk later.”
John found himself nodding, too tired to put up a fight. He watched as Sherlock finally found one, barely listening as Sherlock talked to his brother, but knew that Sherlock was likely berating him for not finding them sooner. Hanging up, Sherlock sat down next to him, pressing their shoulders together as they waited.
Giving into exhaustion, John didn’t notice the steepled fingers, a sure sign of plotting, the wheels turning as Sherlock wondered how to fix him. After all, dragons were meant to fly.