It was midnight at the police station where John sat and physical exertion was starting to take a toll on him.
He stretched his back as best he could on the uncomfortable plastic chair, groaning slightly as he felt his spine scream in defiance at the sudden movement. Sighing he checked his watch for the fourth time in one minute and lazily watched the seconds ticking by one by one, a calm, never ending cycle. It was oddly relaxing and John unconsciously matched his breathing to the sound of the monotone ticking coming from the device around his wrist. He slowly, deliberately even, started to let his eyelids fall closed, a soft, safe blanket folding over his thoughts as only the repetitive ticking of the wristwatch remained, sleep rushing to take over like a-
The duvet was ripped from it's place inside his head as an intrusive voice made it's way into his mind.
"Sherlock..," he groaned groggily, the aftermath of his slumber not quite worn off. "Want… to sleep"
"Of course John, though I'm not quite sure a police station is the appropriate or most comfortable place at that for a quick nap," came Sherlock's reply as he reached a hand out to help John up.
John hummed in agreement as he slowly came to his feet, rubbing the remnants of sleep out of his eyes. Blinking a few times, he made out the face of his best friend looking at him expectantly.
"Ready yet? I'd rather like to get home sometime this evening." Sherlock said quite innocently.
Though well-meant John couldn't help but feel extremely irritated by the completely unnecessary comment.
"Sherlock, do you have even an ounce of patience or compassion in you?" John retorted, "You made me sprint after a crazed killer for half an hour, never thanked me for tackling him to the ground when he pointed a gun at you, made me sit in that chair for over two hours – which was arguably the worst part of this whole ordeal – while you fill Lestrade in on the details, and still you have the nerve to rush me when I'd much rather pass out on the floor this very instant, because I'm exhausted, Sherlock, exhausted."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow at the sudden outburst, though otherwise unimpressed. "Great, you're finished, I'll go and hail a cab now if you don't mind."
John took a deep breath and counted to ten before reluctantly trudging after his friend, still somewhat mad at him, though most of the effect had worn off after his little speech.
John stepped out of the small, cramped cab to pay the driver while Sherlock basically jumped out of the car and took long strides to the familiar black door of 221B Baker Street, disappearing inside quickly.
"And of course he leaves the door open, inviting every burglar in town into our home!" John exclaims exasperated to no one in particular. He shakes his head, as he hands a crumpled five pound note to the cab driver, who's mouth turned up at the corners, grinning slightly in amusement as John muttered to himself, mentally preparing exactly how he would berate Sherlock for being an irresponsible, childish, unappreciative and insufferable prick.
As the cab drove away a drop of rain landed right on John's nose, signalling an oncoming out pour, while simultaneously distracting John slightly from his angry monologue. He looked up expectantly at the dark night sky as the rain shower started to become heavier.
"Great!" He said overly sarcastic, throwing his hands up in the air. "This couldn't be any better!"
He walked inside with hunched shoulders, partially to protect himself from the rain, but more so because of his furious state. It was probably going to be pissing rain the entire night and most likely tomorrow as well, come to think of it, Sherlock was being unbearably maddening – people seriously don't realize how tough it is to live with a sociopath, I mean come on! It's great fun to watch and all, but try sharing a flat with one! Unbelievable. - and on top of all that John was absolutely drained. This exhaustion fuelling his angered state.
Sherlock could hear his flatmate dragging himself up the stairs and felt a pang of guilt for making John do all that tiring work. Self-absorbed as he was, and as much as he hated to admit it, Sherlock cared an infinite amount for the small doctor he lived with. Sherlock truly loved him. Not as a crush, but more like a brother. (Or so he was told, because if the relationship between the Holmes brothers was anything to go on, brothers means exactly the same as enemies.) He realized he had to make it up to him, though he wasn't entirely sure how to go about it. He racked his brain for ideas, but couldn't come up with anything original, try as he might. He decided to go with the bare minimum. This wasn't exactly kind and appreciative, but it was a start.
When he reached the top of the seemingly never ending staircase John locked his gaze onto the sofa in front of him, and practically threw himself onto it, instinctively grabbing for the remote. He missed a few times, but eventually his fingers found it, and he wrapped them around it, searching for the 'on' button with half-open eyes.
Sherlock watched John's struggles closely before eventually going over to the sofa and sitting down beside him. John turned his head ever so slightly to aim a questioning look somewhere in Sherlock's direction. Sherlock cleared his throat and looked at John.
"John," he started. "I realize I've been quite ermm… irritating lately."
He stopped to clear his throat again and awkwardly shifted positions.
John, who was in all fairness quite pleasantly surprised that Sherlock would admit to something like this, now sat fully upright, and gave him an encouraging, yet inquiring smile, though he was quite clearly straining to keep his eyes open.
"I have never voiced how much I appreciate that you put up with all my experiments and such," a rather uncertain sounding Sherlock continued. "Just the fact that you're still here, and that you haven't left me, means more than you could ever imagine, and, well, I'm… sorry."
John smiled a genuine smile and his mood had been lifted entirely. He had never heard Sherlock sound so uncertain and awkward, as he was usually so full of himself, and John thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Sherlock taking his mask off for once.
However, this feeling could not last, as exhaustion once more clouded John's brain, completely taking over. He gently lowered himself onto Sherlock's lap next to him and relaxed almost immediately.
"I would never leave you, you big idiot." he uttered right before he embraced the welcome arms of sleep.
A flustered Sherlock had no idea what to do with the man that now lay on his lap, and held his arms in the air awkwardly for a few moments before deciding to stroke his tangled hair lightly, as he had seen this before on the telly. He actually quite enjoyed working the knots out of John's hair and calm washed over him instantly. It didn't take long for Sherlock to realize how tired he really was, and before long both men sat on the sofa fast asleep, enjoying the warmth of each others company, and never had either of them slept so soundly and peacefully before in their life.