"Master."

The childish whimper passed through his lips before he had time to call it back. A fantastic ache ripped through his skull as the nightmare tore him from sleep. Blood dripped from his knuckles, clearly he had thrashed out in his sleep.

Slowly, sorely he sat forward in his cot, his face pressed in his hands.

It was the same nightmare.

Every night.

For the last thirteen years.

Sherlock uncovered his eyes, blinking around the dimly lit room. His owner's words cackled loudly in his head, repeatedly he was told that loving someone was like handing Moriarty a leash.

First it had been Lestrade, his master, his teacher, his fath-.

Sherlock shook his head desperately. Pain always followed love whenever it breached his defenses, whenever he let someone become close to him. He had always been careful to shove everyone away. They viewed it as hatred, but they never realized the gift Sherlock was giving them.

Protection.

From the pain of loving someone.

From losing someone.

The chemical defect found only on the losing side.

First it had been Lestrade.

After the Jedi master had passed Sherlock had sworn never to be close to someone again. He could be cold and distant to keep others safe. He could be alone and unwanted so long as the keeps of his home, the other Jedi, were safe from such a pain.

And from Moriarty.

The Sith Lord hadn't hesitated in finding ways to torture Lestrade, threaten his life to make Sherlock suffer for leaving. Sherlock had done all he could to protect the first person who had shown him kindness since his mother, but he wasn't strong enough to prevent his death.

It hurt so badly.

They were plain words that rang in his head, hurt so badly, but truly there was no plainer way to put it.

He had sat and stewed in his own hatred and anger. Refusing comfort, lashing out at anyone who tried to become close.

And then there was John.

Thrust into his life, not trying to be close to him, simply trying to learn. A baby of eight standard, a child who looked up at him with an unjudging face. A boy who knew of the knight's past and did not try to shove unwanted comfort at him. A child who saw pass the hatred as well as the anger and saw only the gift.

A good man.

He had called his new teacher a good man not even a month into their training. And he had sounded so sure of himself.

He had never tried to get closer to his master, it happened. That was all. The child had grown to adore him, follow him, sit at his feet at night in their Tatooine home. John would secretly peep over his book to watch Sherlock conduct experiments when he thought the older man wasn't looking. Sherlock never denied him a show.

They tussled like boys, learned from each other, argued like father and son. And in all the time John was learning to adore Sherlock, Sherlock had already learnt to adore John. Marveling at each tiny thing about the child who stayed up late into the night to covertly watch his master practice his saber forms, staring in awe at the sleeping child, a form of such pure innocence that the Force itself couldn't forge better.

First there had been Lestrade.

And now there was John.

John didn't know about the nightmare.

It would frighten him.

Another piece of Sherlock's past kept tucked away, hopefully the boy would never know. Not even Qui Gon fully knew the story of the young knight's betrayal and Lestrade's forgiveness. Lestrade always forgive him.

And now there was John.

The child was incapable of staying angry at his teacher, much as Sherlock could never be angry with John. Scared into rage at times when the boy was reckless, but never anything that would not be forgiven in time.

Sherlock threw off his blankets and shuffled to his door. Ducking into the adjacent room he slipped in silently. John was sleeping peacefully, oblivious to his mater's nightmare. An arm tucked tightly under his teddy bear and a hand clutched tightly around a pair of reed pipes. Sherlock smiled at the sleeping form.

First there had been Lestrade to soothe his nightmares.

And now there was John.

Tip toeing softly across the room, he hoisted the still sleeping boy into the air and lay him on his chest. John gave a small mew and readjusted himself to the new texture beneath him. His sky blue eyes fluttered open.

"Master?"

"Go back to sleep, little one."

John paused for a moment, a question on his lips. Slowly he reclosed his eyes and nuzzled under Sherlock's chin. Fair hair tickled his nose as John resumed sleeping. His hand released the pipes and now rested over his master's heart.

It was so easy to love the kriffing boy.

Sherlock presences was so easily accepted by him, even sleep the child registered that his mentor need him.

And therefore needed him not to question it.

Sherlock nipped the small ear gently. The Gorian sign of affection meant only for the ones most cared about.

First there was Lestrade.

And now there was John.