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I get by with a little help from my friends

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John puttered about in the kitchen, sneaking glances into the lounge when he thought Sherlock wouldn't notice. A thought with serious flaws since even though Sherlock had his back to him--playing his violin at the window, and wasn't that a sight John had missed in the year Sherlock had been away--he still seemed to know whenever John looked.

 

"You act as if I'll disappear if you turn away for five minutes."

 

"You never know," John muttered, moving back into the kitchen with the bowl he'd been drying. He stopped halfway to the sink, his gaze on the Erlenmeyer flasks lined up in a row on the kitchen table. He really shouldn't have missed that, but he had. He'd missed all the clutter and chaos that orbited Sherlock, and having him back was... Well, it was the miracle he'd asked for, but now... Now he couldn't help but see the new scars--one the back of Sherlock's right hand, the other just above his left eyebrow. Now he couldn't stop seeing the hesitance in Sherlock's eyes, the way he'd start to say something and stop himself. It wasn't right. Whatever had happened to make Sherlock hesitant, to give him new scars, while John wasn't there... It just wasn't right.

 

John straightened the flasks – What is in these, anyway? Jesus, I hope that's not urineresisting the urge to look into the lounge again. He could hear the damn violin. He knew Sherlock was still there.

 

When there was nothing left for him to do, or even pretend to do, John hesitated at the foot of the stairs up to his bedroom. But he couldn't think of anything to say, and it was late. Upstairs, he changed into his pyjamas, listening to the strident tones of Sherlock's playing. It was comforting, actually. Then, just as John was drifting off, the playing stopped and John's eyes flicked open. Instantly awake. Gripped by an unreasonable fear that something was wrong.

 

He'd just moved to push back the blankets when his door creaked open. Sherlock stood in the doorway, pyjama-clad. Not at all hesitant, he strode into the room and stopped at the edge of the bed.

 

"Scoot over."

 

John's eyebrows tried for his hairline. "What?"

 

"I like the left side."

 

"I see." John tried to gather words to ask what the hell that had to do with anything, but Sherlock was quicker.

 

"You're never going to sleep if you're worried I'll disappear. I need you focused tomorrow. We have a case. Scoot over."

 

John opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Sherlock made an annoyed noise and climbed under the covers into what space there was, his back to John. John laid there stunned, staring at the back of Sherlock's head in the semi-dark.

 

"I would have pegged you for the type who sprawls in the middle of the bed." It wasn't what he should be saying. Was it? John just wasn't sure anymore.

 

"Strangely insightful. True. Totally irrelevant. Go to sleep."