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Sleeping next to you

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“I really can stay in my flat tonight, boys,” Mrs. Hudson says from behind the bedroom door, probably still trying to convince John she’ll be just fine on her own.

Sherlock has to agree. It isn’t the first time Mrs. Hudson was exposed to this kind of situation and everytime she had coped perfectly fine by herself. But John had repeated over and over how they will all feel safer if she took his bedroom, just for the night, and she had given in.

“Mrs. Hudson, please, everything is already ready for you,” John replies and Sherlock can hear the smile in his voice.

“Alright, dear, but just for tonight.”

“Promise.”

“Goodnight then,” she opens the door, Sherlock looking up from his phone, “Goodnight Sherlock.”

“Goodnight, Mrs. Hudson.”

She smiles and then she’s gone. Sherlock waits but John goes for the bathroom, probably exhausted by the events of today. Sherlock has to admit Irene Adler is quite a phenomenon and he hasn’t had a good night sleep in days. But then, he isn’t sure he’s going to sleep well tonight either. The mere prospect of sharing a bed with John is making his heart beat faster. They had shared a room plenty of times before and Sherlock knew by now the exact time it took for John to fall asleep, the position he liked to sleep in and the sounds he makes during the night. Sherlock had catalogued everything, and yet, he couldn’t help but wonder what he will learn tonight.

“Sherlock, can I come in?”

“Obviously,” Sherlock mutters, looking down at his phone again.

He already knows that John only sleeps in his pants and T-shirt, but suddenly, it feels too intimate to look up.

“Are you going to sleep at all tonight?” John asks, slipping under the covers on the left side of the bed.

“Probably.” Sherlock answers absently. He plans on waiting for John to be sound asleep before considering joining him.

“Well, I’m knackered, so goodnight,” John yawns, eyes already closed.

“Hmm.”

10 minutes. That’s all it will take for John to fall asleep tonight. Sherlock only has to wait 15 more to be certain John won’t wake up if he joins him. Sherlock sits more comfortably on his chair, eyes darting up to John’s form more and more until he abandons his phone on the desk and proceeds to study John’s sleeping face. The first time they had shared a room, Sherlock had spent hours just watching John’s face, his eyes moving behind closed eyelids, the crinkle on his forehead twitching and his tongue darting out to lick his lips even in his sleep. Sherlock had watched and memorized every detail.

Sherlock stands up, starting to pace around the room. He’s already changed into his bed clothes, and his dressing gown is starting to feel too warm. He could just slide under the covers too, close his eyes and force himself to sleep. He’s done it before. John’s body next to him shouldn’t upset him that much. There’s a fifty percent chance that John is one of those people who doesn’t like to be close at night, who prefers to have room to sleep in and stays on his side of the bed all night. Fifty percent chance.

Sherlock stops at the end of the bed, watching John. He’s turned on his side, facing the wall. If Sherlock were to join him, he’d only see John’s back. Fifty percent chance. Sherlock sighs, ignoring the knot in his stomach. This is ridiculous. It’s his bed, and this was all John’s idea anyway. If he wants to sleep, he will.

Taking off his dressing gown, Sherlock walks to his side of the bed and slips under the covers as carefully as he can. The bed is warm, so very warm, and Sherlock lies still on his back, eyes fixed on the ceiling. John is so close, Sherlock can feel his body warmth. Sighing quietly, Sherlock closes his eyes as he adjusts his position, settling more comfortably on his pillow, and then goes very still. John is moving, rolling to his back before shifting closer. Much closer. Soon there is a leg thrown over Sherlock’s hip and Sherlock’s breath catches, his entire body suddenly very tense as John continues to snuggle closer until his head is resting against Sherlock’s shoulder.

Well, that settles it.

Sherlock doesn’t dare to move or even breathe for a few seconds, waiting for any more movements from John. He can feel John’s breath against his naked arm, the heavy but somehow reassuring weight of his leg and the hand resting so very close to Sherlock’s body. He waits for John to wake up, to realise what he’s doing and turn his back to him again. He waits and tries to memorise the exact warmth of John’s body, the time between each exhalation and the feeling of John’s leg on his. Sherlock closes his eyes and waits.

Then, there is John’s arm thrown across his chest, his hand sliding further down until it's resting on Sherlock’s hip.

After that, there are John’s feet pressed against Sherlock’s ankles.

John’s lips brushing his skin when he shifts even closer.

John’s content sigh, making Sherlock shiver.

John.

Sherlock waits, and waits, heart pounding in his ears and breath short. He waits, waits, and falls asleep.

He’s not entirely sure what wakes him up hours later, but Sherlock is suddenly well aware of the position he’s in. Turns out both John and him are the kind of people who like to sleep close to one another. They are now both on their side, John’s face tucked under Sherlock’s, his lips against his neck. Sherlock’s arms are closed tightly around John’s waist, and he can feel John’s hands on his lower back. But most of all, there is Sherlock’s leg trapped between John’s. He can feel John’s erection moving against his thigh, John’s hips rocking slowly as he sleeps, and Sherlock realises his own achingly hard cock is resting against John’s stomach.

Sherlock’s head is spinning.

John’s hand slides down to his arse and Sherlock bites down on his lower lip as he feels John pant against his neck. The entire situation is out of his control. He should wake John up and stop this. John would apologize, probably mortified, and they could both forget what happened. Yes, he only needs to wake him up.

“Hmm, Sherlock,” John breathes out, hips still rocking and Sherlock can’t manage to hold back a moan, arms tightening around John.

John goes very still in his arms. He’s not breathing anymore, and the hand on Sherlock's arse moves away quickly. Sherlock is afraid to speak or even move. Maybe he could feign sleep. John is moving again, detaching himself from Sherlock until he is rolling to his other side, his back to Sherlock. The bed is suddenly much colder. Sherlock can see the tension in John’s shoulder and then he’s pushing the covers off his body.

Without thinking twice about it, Sherlock grabs his arm, stopping John from leaving the bed, “Stay,” he whispers.

John is trembling but he doesn’t move.

“Stay,” Sherlock says again.

John had said his name. He had said his name while rocking his erection against Sherlock’s body. He had said his name and Sherlock can’t seem to erase the sudden hope filling him.

“Sherlock, I-” John stops, sighing.

Sherlock moves closer, his hand still on John’s shoulder and he forces him to roll back. John lets him and soon they’re facing each other again. Sherlock can’t look at him in the eyes, not when he’s exposing himself like this, so he looks down at John’s body, now free from the covers. He stares and lingers at John’s groin, the hard cock he felt earlier now before his eyes, and Sherlock has to bite his lip again.

“Sherlock,” John breathes out again, a hand removing the rest of the covers and exposing Sherlock to John’s eyes.

He must know already, must have feel how much Sherlock wants him. John has to know, has to realise that Sherlock is his, always had been. He had to know how many times Sherlock had dreamt of this, of quiet intimacy, of loving kisses and heated ones. He had to know how important he is, how he had managed to upset Sherlock’s world in a matter of seconds. John had to know how much Sherlock loves him.

“Stay,” Sherlock whispers again and this time John shifts closer again, his finger under Sherlock's chin, forcing him to look up.

“I’m not going anywhere,” John murmurs.

They’re close again. John slides his hand down Sherlock’s neck and arm, before entwining their fingers. He’s still staring right at Sherlock’s eyes and Sherlock can’t seem to remember how to breathe properly. He can feel John’s breath against his lips, his legs and torso brushing his, and John finally closes the remaining distance between them. Sherlock is aware of every point of contact, his skin burning where it touches John’s.

John gasps out loud when their erections brush, sending thrill of pleasure down Sherlock’s spine. He watches as John closes his eyes, mouth hanging open and Sherlock has to kiss him. As if John was only waiting for it, his entire body crashes against Sherlock’s when their lips meet, again and again. Sherlock is lost, entirely. He wants to touch and taste, he wants to feel all of John.

“John,” he moans quietly when they part, his free hand traveling down his back until he is grabbing at John’s shirt.

“Yes, god, yes.”

John removes his shirt quickly and Sherlock doesn’t waste any time doing the same, bringing John back to him immediately. They kiss and kiss, John’s hands back on Sherlock’s arse as he pushes their groins more firmly together. They rock against one another, erections still clothed and yet Sherlock never felt more aroused in his life. Of course sex with John had to be breathtaking. How could it not?

“Hmm,” Sherlock moans again as their cocks slide together, heat pooling down his abdomen. He’s already so close. “John.”

He whimpers as John’s hands slip under his pajama pants, grabbing at his bare arse and Sherlock thrusts up, forcing their bodies together. He needs more, craves more. Still kissing John, Sherlock slips two fingers under the waistband of John’s pants and pushes them down, John kicking them out of the way quickly. Sherlock breaks the kiss, glancing at John’s cock and he lets his hand close around it.

“Christ, Sherlock.”

John throws his head back and Sherlock kisses at the offered neck. He kisses and licks and soon John is removing his pajama pants, Sherlock moaning loudly as his erection springs free. John captures his lips again as he begins to stroke him, swallowing down his moans. They stroke each other for a long time, slowly, enjoying each others mouths and bodies.

“John,” Sherlock pants as he lets go of John’s cock only to push their groins together again, seeking more contact.

“Yes, yes, like this,” John whispers and he spreads both of their precome along their erections, making it easier for them to thrust against one another.

Sherlock bites down on John’s lower lip, his orgasm closer and closer. He grabs at John’s shoulder blades, one of his legs hooked around John’s thigh so that every movement is bringing their cocks together.

“John, John!”

He kisses him again, stopping himself from being too loud. They’ll have time for loud later. For now Sherlock needs to come, desperately. He rocks harder, holding tight as his entire body tenses before coming on both their stomachs, head thrown back in a silent moan.

“God, Sherlock, yes,” John is rutting against him now, biting down on Sherlock’s shoulder and he’s coming too, panting.

Sherlock doesn’t let go of him, claiming John’s mouth again as they calm down. He knows they need to clean up, and John will want to talk. He’ll want to make sure this is alright, to know what Sherlock wants. But right now, Sherlock only wants to kiss him, kiss him until they can’t discern each other’s separate tastes anymore.

When Sherlock falls back asleep, it’s to John’s hands around his waist and his lips resting against his.

Chapter Text

John wakes up warm, incredibly warm, and for a moment he wonders where he is, why are the sheets darker than usual and why he isn't facing his wardrobe. Then, as a hand trails down his thigh, it all comes back to him.

Sherlock. This is Sherlock’s hand now resting against his stomach, Sherlock’s chest against his back, Sherlock’s breath against his nape.

John closes his eyes again, a sudden rush of happiness running through him as he settles back into Sherlock’s embrace. He remembers now. The CIA agents, Irene Adller and the threat against Mrs. Hudson. He remembers deciding to sleep in the same bed as Sherlock. He remembers thinking this could change their relationship entirely. For better or for worse.

Better, John smiles as the memory of Sherlock’s naked body against own comes back to him, the sounds, the caresses, the heat. John remembers everything now, clearly, and the sudden need for more overwhelms him.

He can feel Sherlock’s morning erection against his arse and only then does John notice his own hardening cock. Just thinking about what happened last night makes him want to roll over and ravish Sherlock all over again. He wants to take his time now, he wants to explore and discover the caresses that make Sherlock squirm, the ones that bring him close, so very close.

Just as he is about to give in and reach for Sherlock’s hand hoping to wake him up slowly, Sherlock shifts behind him, rolling onto his back and John can't help but shiver at the lost contact.

“Sherlock?” He calls, turning to face him but Sherlock’s eyes are still closed, both hands grasping at the covers. “Everything’s alright?”

John is suddenly feeling nervous. They didn't actually talk last night, falling asleep snuggled together and John had thought it was enough. He had thought they'd have time to talk later, time to explain and finally say the things they kept inside for too long. But now, as Sherlock rolls to his other side and exhales deeply, John begins to worry he had been wrong the entire time.

“Sherlock?” He asks again, not quite ready to believe this was only for one night. “Sherlock, are you okay?”

Sherlock nods, curls bouncing lightly but John can now clearly see his shaking body. He wants to reach out, to hold Sherlock and never let go, but instead he shifts closer, a tentative hand brushing Sherlock’s shoulder.

 

“Tell me what's wrong,” he whispers.

“It's nothing, John.”

“Doesn't seem like nothing to me,” John lets his hand trail through Sherlock’s curls, a quiet moan escaping Sherlock at the touch and John shifts even closer. “Sherlock, look at me, please.”

Sherlock exhales deeply again, his entire body shivering when John slides one of his legs along his. Tentatively, eyes still closed, Sherlock rolls back towards him and the urge to kiss him makes John’s chest ache.

“Sherlock,” he breathes out again, “look at me.”

Sherlock’s eyes open, just enough for John to read the nervousness in them before Sherlock is looking anywhere but at him.

“Tell me what's wrong,” John says, “do you want me to… to go?”

“No!” Sherlock’s eyes snap back up to his face, “No, stay.”

The word makes John shiver, remembering Sherlock’s courage last night and how he had made sure John wouldn't run away from the situation.

“Alright,” John smiles, allowing himself to touch Sherlock again, just a slight caress over his wrist, “talk to me.”

“It's stupid,” Sherlock murmurs.

“Tell me.”

Sherlock closes his eyes and John takes advantage of this moment to brush their lips together, not being able to resist the temptation anymore. He feels Sherlock exhale, his chest rising against his and John pulls back just enough to look at him.

“I-” Sherlock begins, before looking away, “I’ve never woken up with anyone before, and never in such a state.”

Sherlock spoke quickly, and it takes a second for John to properly understand everything. He resists the urge to smile, knowing Sherlock would think he was mocking him, and closes his fingers around Sherlock’s wrist instead.

“You mean waking up with a morning wood?”

Sherlock rolls his eyes at the expression, but doesn't say anything. He's still not looking at John.

“It's a perfectly natural reaction,” John continues, his own erection still painfully hard.

“I know that,” Sherlock snaps.

“So you’ve had morning erections before,” John asks, images of Sherlock waking up hard and taking care of himself running before his eyes.

“It may have occurred before, yes.”

This time John smiles, letting his other hand slide up Sherlock’s body. He should have known, really. Sherlock had been brave enough to make him stay last night because he had deduced John had been dreaming about him. But now that they were both wide awake, reality had taken back its rightful place.

John takes a deep breath, realising he needs to be honest, to reveal the true nature of what's happening in his very moment, and let Sherlock know everything.

“Sherlock,” he whispers, letting his voice express all he's feeling and Sherlock looks back at him, finally, “I want to wake every morning with the feeling of your morning erection against my back for the rest of my life.”

John allows his face to express how much he loves him and lets Sherlock deduce the depth of his feelings in silence. He doesn't care anymore. He wants this, had wanted it for so long and thought it would all remain a fantasy. Now that it is within his reach, John is going to make sure Sherlock will stay right where he is.

“John.”

Sherlock’s voice is just above a whisper, the word caressing John’s lips before they're kissing again. John moans, the sound coming from deep in his throat, and Sherlock brings their bodies together more firmly, sliding his arms around John’s waist. The kiss is strangely soft, lips meeting over and over again, with barely a touch of tongue. Absolutely perfect, John thinks as Sherlock captures his lower lips between his.

He can feel Sherlock’s erection again, and John lowers himself just enough for his own cock to brush Sherlock’s.

“Oh,” Sherlock gasps and John swallows the sounds down, kissing him more deeply now.

Sherlock’s hands are on his arse now, pushing and John begins to rock against him. Thank god they fell asleep naked. The sensation of Sherlock’s burning skin against his makes John want to stay in this bed for days and days.

“John,” Sherlock moans against his lips, already panting.

“The good thing about morning sex,” John smiles, thrusting faster against Sherlock, “is that you're so desperate to come that it only takes just the right caress to bring you off.”

Sherlock cries out, throwing his head back as John takes them both in hand, spearing their mixed precome along along their shafts and begins to stroke them both.

“So very close already,” he murmurs, kissing Sherlock’s exposed neck.

He can feel his own orgasm building, legs shaking and heat pooling into his abdomen. Sherlock is shivering in his arms, fingers digging into John’s arse as he thrusts into his fist. His cock grows harder in John’s hand, losing his pace for a second before Sherlock goes completely still, coming in two long spurts as he moans John’s name.

“Oh fuck,” John swears, letting go of Sherlock’s sensitive cock only to stroke himself harder, looking down as he begins to come, semen landing on both of their stomachs and Sherlock’s cock.

John kisses at Sherlock’s neck again, soft kisses as they come down. Sherlock is still shaking, his hands still on John’s arse and his heart beating furiously against his.

“John.”

John pulls back and Sherlock kisses him, deep and hard, and John moans into his mouth. He can feel the first tremor of arousal again. Of course sex with Sherlock would make him feel like a tennager again.

“I never thought,” Sherlock says when they part, eyes closed and lips brushing John’s,” I never imagined it could be like this.”

“Sex?” John asks, suddenly worrying he went too fast.

“Sex with you,” Sherlock corrects him, looking back at him with a smile.

“Oh,” John breathes out before smiling too, “So you've imagined it before?”

Sherlock laughs lightly and for a moment John can't believe he's actually able to feel the rumble of Sherlock’s chest against his own, the sound reverberating between them.

“Yes,” Sherlock whispers, “yes.”

John captures his mouth again, crashing their bodies back together. He wants this man so much he's afraid he will combust any moment.

“Another good thing about morning sex,” John smirks, rolling Sherlock onto his back and settling above him, “is that you can have another go really, really soon after the first.”

Sherlock bites down his lower lip as John settles between his legs, their still soft cocks brushing.

“Is that so?”

“Yes,” John kisses at one nipple, tongue teasing and Sherlock’s hands settle on his head.

Sherlock moans loudly above him, back arching on the bed. John smiles as he lets his teeth graze the now hard nipple, pleased to see Sherlock being so responsive. He can't wait to discover all of the touches that can make him beg and shiver.

“John,” he cries out when John applies the same treatment to his other nipple, taking his time. “John!”

John smiles and crawls back up, sliding his tongue inside Sherlock’s mouth for another burning kiss. Sherlock locks his legs around his waist, their cocks rubbing more firmly together now. John can feel him growing harder and harder, their semen making it easy to rock together.

“John, I want to, I need-”

Sherlock stops, biting his lower lip as a particular thrust makes him go still. John’s cock is beginning to fill again, but he knows it will take time for the both of them to be fully hard again.

“Soon,” he whispers, kissing Sherlock one last time before straightening up, forcing Sherlock to put his leg back on the bed.

“What are you-” Sherlock frowns but John reassures him with a smile.

“Turn on your front?” he asks and Sherlock stares at him before complying. “Perfect.”

He sees Sherlock relax at the words and John adjusts his lover’s position, Sherlock pushing his arse higher as he settles on his forearm.

“Tell me if you don't like it,” John warns before kissing down Sherlock’s back and arse, hands rubbing and teasing the cheeks.

“John,” Sherlock breathes out, his body shivering as John lets his tongue lick at the lower curve of his arse and Sherlock moans loudly, hands clutching at the sheet.

John exhales loudly, his arousal growing stronger and stronger as he parts Sherlock’s cheeks and kisses directly at his hole.

Sherlock’s entire body tenses, “Fuck!”

John feels his cock throb, just knowing he's the one making Sherlock swear and clench at the sheets making him feel more powerful than ever. He lets his tongue tease at Sherlock’s entrance, not pushing in yet but enjoying the way the tight muscle contracts at the touch.

“Joh, John!”

Sherlock is pushing his arse against John’s face now and John licks and licks, tongue flat against his hole. Sherlock is panting his name, his entire body shaking and John finally pushes his tongue inside him, Sherlock’s muscle contracting around it as he cries out even louder. John wastes no time and starts to properly fuck him with his tongue.

“Fuck, John,” Sherlock is begging now, his cock leaking and John had to resist the urge to take himself in hand.

He licks at Sherlock’s hole one last time, kissing the now relaxed muscle before settling back on his heels, out of breath and rock hard. Sherlock is beautiful, splayed on the bed, his head slightly turned toward him and John can’t resist one last kiss on his plump arse.

“John,” Sherlock moans again, letting his hips rest on the bed and John follows him, laying next to him.

“I take it you liked that,” John smiles and Sherlock imitates him, one hand sliding up and down his arm, as he eyes trails down to stare at his erection.

“I want more,” Sherlock whispers and John bites down on his lip.

He had guessed that's what Sherlock had meant earlier and he had made sure not to let him come before, but now, the thought that Sherlock wants this as much as he does, makes John want to ravish him entirely.

“On your back,” John demands and Sherlock once again complies quickly, pulling John with him until he's back between his legs. John stares down at him, taking in the flushed cheeks and the swollen lips. “Like this.”

Sherlock nods, “yes, please.”

“We need-”

“Drawer,” Sherlock cuts in, reaching for the lube and giving it to John. “Now.”

John leans down to kiss him, opening the bottle with one hand. He feels Sherlock’s own hand take the bottle from him and pour some on his fingers, lubing them for John. They don't stop kissing, Sherlock tracing John’s lips with his tongue before sliding inside his mouth again. It's hot and somehow desperate, and John wishes it would never end.

When he's certain his fingers are lubed enough, John slides his hand between their bodies, one finger teasing at the already loose muscle. Sherlock breaks the kiss, breathing out loudly as he spreads his legs wider. John watches him as he slips his finger inside him easily. Sherlock’s mouth is hanging open, his eyes fixed on John’s now and neither of them look away as John adds another finger, pushing further in.

“Oh, God,” Sherlock moans, his hole contracting around John’s fingers and John stops, letting him get used to the feeling. “More, more.”

“Yes,” he smiles, kissing him quickly.

He fingers him slowly for a long moment, adding a third finger when Sherlock begins to fuck himself on them. John has never seen anything more arousing, more beautiful than Sherlock sinking on his fingers, and just the thought of his cock replacing them makes him ache with want.

“John, come on,” Sherlock whimpers, grabbing the bottle of lube to pour some on his hand before closing it around John’s cock.

“Oh, fuck!”

John throws his head back, fingers slipping out of Sherlock. He glances down at Sherlock’s hand around him and closes his eyes, afraid he could come just from this.

“Now, please,” Sherlock breathes out when he lets go of him, canting his hips towards John.

“Yes, love.”

John takes himself in hand, rubbing the head of his cock against Sherlock’s entrance before pushing in.

“Hmm,” they both moan at the same time.

John keeps just the head inside, circling his hips and enjoying the sounds coming out of Sherlock’s mouth, begging. When he can't resist anymore, John lowers himself on him and pushes further in, slowly, until he's buried inside him entirely.

They don't move, panting in each other’s mouths. Sherlock locks one leg around John’s waist, forcing John to slide further in and they both moan again. Sherlock runs his fingers through John’s hair before sliding them down his back and arse, urging John to start moving.

John pulls back carefully, looking for any sign of discomfort on Sherlock’s face but he only sees the want and trust there, and John feels his chest tighten, his love for this beautiful man threatening to swallow him whole.

“John,” Sherlock asks tentatively, hands caressing his lower back.

John smiles down at him before sliding back in, trying to find that sweet spot that would make Sherlock cry out. He sets up a regular pace, thrusting slowly while Sherlock moans and pants his name over and over again.

“John, please, more.”

John growls before kissing him again, quickening his pace until he pounding into Sherlock, their bodies slapping together with the most obscene noises. Sherlock’s fingers are now leaving marks on his back, teeth biting down at John's lips until he arches on the bed, crying out John’s name loudly, and John knows he’s found it.

Straightening up, John takes hold of Sherlock’s hips and drives into him again and again, watching in a trance as Sherlock comes untouched under him, his body contracting around John in delicious torture.

“John!”

“Yes, yes, yes!”

John thrusts into him once, twice, before losing his pace entirely and coming, his orgasm taking all the breath out of him. Falling on top of Sherlock, John snuggles against him, lips kissing the skin he can reach.

They remain silent for a long while, regaining their breath, kissing and smiling into each other’s mouths. John feels Sherlock shiver when he finally slips out, rolling so they rest on their sides again, Sherlock tangling their legs right away.

“I'll be happy to wake up with my morning erection against your back every day if it means we'll get to do this all the time.” Sherlock declares suddenly and John bursts into giggles, loving Sherlock so much in this very moment that he’s afraid to even leave the bed.

“We have a deal,” John smiles and kisses him again.

“But maybe we should avoid having a guest in the home every time,” Sherlock adds and John goes very still.

“Oh god, Mrs. Hudson!”

“Don't worry,” Sherlock laughs, “I heard her go down the stairs earlier.”

“When?” John asks, wondering how he will manage not to blush every time she smiles knowingly at them.

“Just as you were explaining the advantage of morning sex,” Sherlock smiles.

“Oh god, she knows.”

“If it reassures you, we were sleeping together since the beginning according to her.”

John tries to ignore the knot in his stomach at the words, “I wasn't sure you-”

“Let's focus on now,” Sherlock cuts in, sounding much more serious, “alright?”

John looks back at him, reading the undeniable love in his eyes and feels his chest expand with happiness, “Alright.”