A sudden cry of pain stopped Sherlock in his tracks. He bounded up the stairs to John's room and pushed open the door, which was already ajar, and crept across the threshold.
John stirred fitfully for a few moments, his legs and arms thrashing beneath the covers as he fought his way out of his dreams and back into consciousness; and then he woke up, a strangled sob catching in his throat.
Sherlock leaned against the door frame, watching in silence as the nightmare fled and vanished into the ether. He found himself wondering what would happen if he rushed to his friend's side and soothed away the sweat from his brow. Would John flinch from his caress, or would he welcome him there, throwing aside the bedclothes to let him in?
Unusually touched by this absurd lapse into sentimentality, Sherlock allowed himself a mad moment of "what if" before preparing to close his heart and his mind once more to the infinite possibilities of intimacy. Certain John would be all right, he turned to leave, but instead found himself teetering on the brink as his body rebelled against him and his heart and mind refused to comply.
A voice came to him then, softly calling out his name, and he turned back to find the bedclothes thrown aside and John's arms outstretched, waiting to welcome him.