chocolamousse: (Sadyna)
[personal profile] chocolamousse
Title: Awakening
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Category: Romance
Rating: PG-13
Beta: The brilliant [ profile] arianedevere
Word count: 869
Translations: Into Chinese by Lowtension available here or here. Into Czech by miamam available here.
Summary: In which not a word is uttered but many things are said.

It's Nightwatch's sequel but you can read it as a stand-alone.

Last night I dreamed about Sherlock. Dreams are funny. They can make you perfectly happy while you're sleeping and for a few seconds after you've woken, then you remember and it's like a blow to your heart.

I haven't been having dreams for a while or, if I have, I don't remember them. My nights have been quiet, with no nightmares about Afghanistan or the cabbie. I suppose my unconscious has at last accepted the idea that the war is over for me, and that I arrived in time to save Sherlock. When I wake I feel quite rested and peaceful. I feel safe. This dream about Sherlock is the first one I can remember in a long time and it's a very vague memory. I just know that Sherlock was there and that he was looking at me. What I saw in his eyes, I'll probably never see in reality. But I can still feel the happiness it gave me.


I wake up with a start, all my senses on the alert, my eyes wide open in the darkness. It's only a car that moves off noisily in the street. Everything's all right. I can go back to sleep. Just as I'm about to close my eyes again, I become aware of something at the limits of my peripheral vision, in the dim light coming from the street lamps. Sherlock is here, sitting on the floor next to my bed.

Taken aback, I stare at him without understanding. He's in his pyjamas and his dressing gown, his arms are folded on the blanket and he looks as if his head was laid on his arms and he has just raised it up. Completely still and seeming very tense, he looks at me with wide eyes. He makes me think of a wild animal caught off guard. If I make the slightest gesture, if I simply open my mouth, even if I just sigh, he'll run away. Or, and it will be worse, he'll start to talk and will give me quite a logical and acceptable explanation for his presence here, with a cold voice and cold eyes that will only be lies, and something very fragile and very precious will be destroyed, maybe forever. I don't even dare blink. I don't understand what's going on or why there's distrust in Sherlock's eyes but I feel that something terribly important is at stake.

And all of a sudden I remember. The dream I had a few nights ago comes back to me with absolute clarity. Sherlock, in the same clothes and in the same position, his head on his arms, looking at me. This time it's not a dream, everything has the texture of reality. And all at once I realise it wasn't a dream the first time either, Sherlock was really here that night. I remember how happy, how loved I felt, and I suddenly understand why he's looking at me that way now. I can see his fear of being rejected, hurt, pitied maybe. Oh, Sherlock...

Only a few seconds have passed since I opened my eyes. Time seems to have stopped. Sherlock and I are still completely motionless. I must do something, say something, but I'm scared. It's one of these moments that determines a whole life - two whole lives in this case. I can't find words. I don't trust them. So I follow my instinct and slowly hold out my hand to Sherlock, my palm upwards. It's an offer, an avowal, a promise. Sherlock gives a slight gasp. He stares at my hand, then at my eyes again. Through them I try to convey all my love, my longing and my long wait. He holds my gaze for what seems like an age but is only the passing of a few heartbeats. I can't read his expression. I have a lump in my throat. Then, very slowly, very carefully, he reaches out and lays his hand in mine. I gently press his fingers and he squeezes back. I feel as if I'm breathing again. Without a word I move back in the bed to make room for him, lift the blanket with my free hand and pull Sherlock towards me. He lets me and lies down next to me.

Face to face, our heads close on the bolster, our chests only separated by our hands still joined together, we don't take our eyes off each other. Sherlock's inner wrist rests on mine and I feel his fast pulse on my skin. Later there will be words, many words, questions, explanations and confessions, but not now. Now, in the shadowy light of this quiet bedroom, words are superfluous. I see everything I need to know in Sherlock's eyes. I don't know what he sees in mine but after a while he gives me a smile, a smile a bit grave and so trusting that my heart swells with happiness and love. "Now and forever," says this smile.

The first light of dawn comes through the panes. A long night ends. It's a new day. It's a new life. I press Sherlock's hand against my chest and I smile back. Now, and forever.

Author's note: This is for you, [ profile] verityburns! I wrote Nightwatch for you a year ago and I felt I owed you (and Sherlock and John!) a happy ending. Happy birthday!

There is a podfic now, by the wonderful [ profile] verityburns.

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