"I would very much like to know how you healed John's psyche, young one."

Sherlock glanced from his resting place on the sofa and directed his full attention the elder. John lay contently in his favorite chair, curled into a tight ball. Soft puffs of breathe came from the tiny being's mouth. Sherlock smiled briefly.

"Master Jinn, if I told you, you would have no choice but to take John from me." Sherlock went to his padawan and collected him against his chest. John squirmed into a more comfortable position, then was once more was sleeping soundly.

His medication made him extremely weary.

The knight noted the mild expression on his elder's face and smirked. "It was nothing Lestrade didn't do for me."

"Strangely, my young friend, that does not instill confidence in me," Qui Gon said softly.

Sherlock shrugged. "I did what was forbidden, and I would happily do it again to see him healthy."

John gave the smallest of yawns, turning his face into Sherlock's strong chest. The hostile look slid from the knight's face, but his emotionless mask seated itself back across its usual spot.

But Qui Gon noticed his eyes were shining.

"You told him then."

"Yes," Sherlock said simply.

"How long before Greg told you?"

"Under a year," the curt reply. "It-I had a nightmare. He was being soothing."

"He meant it, youngling."

Sherlock flinched at the term he used to be stern with John. "Perhaps."

Qui Gon gave his best friend's padawan a strong pat on the shoulder before departing.

Sherlock carried his parcel into his room, the boy was plagued beyond reason with nightmares. He refused to be parted from either his bear or his master at night.

And for the time being Sherlock could deny his padawan nothing.

"Little one, it is time for bed. You should fetch your pajamas, and you must take your medicine."

The boy pouted against his chest, the lower lip trembled at the thought of being moved from his relaxing position.

Sherlock set him on the edge of the bed and depantsed him, he removed the boy's only tunic, and replaced it with a much larger one. After departing to find John's medication and a glass of water, he came back to discover the boy had fallen back asleep. His fingers clenched in their duvet, leaving the rest of his body curled in the tightest ball Sherlock had ever seen. He looked around the age of five, no more than six.

How had anyone been able to hurt something so small?

So young?

He roused the boy long enough to take his pills and swallow a glass of water. John pushed himself forward into Sherlock's arms, not giving the elder a chance to discard the empty glass. A small head nuzzled underneath Sherlock's strong chin, the knight laid calming hands on the young back.

"You're not making this easy, padawan," he said gently.

John made no sound as he fell back to sleep.

Yes Sherlock had broken the code. Viscously rejected it for the health of his padawan.

John had been inconsolable when he had first been brought home. He followed his master around like a kicked puppy, flinching at too fast a movement, and sobbing at any annoyed tone Sherlock had used.

But for the first time in his life, the knight was patient.

John was allowed to follow him, and Sherlock took care to keep at a leisurely pace so his child could follow. With every flinch the boy made, Sherlock knelt down and gave soft touches. A gentle touch of the cheek, a soft hand passed tenderly over an ear, sometimes he would simply pull the child into his arms and hold him. At the times when his patience wore too thin, he would steady himself and speak in a softer tone. His padawan need him to be calm and kind.

He was good at neither, but for John he would try.

And then finally, his padawan snapped.

Ranting and raving that Sherlock must surely hate him, for he was an unworthy apprentice. Sherlock was so smart, and he so dull.

The knight had dropped to his knees in front of the breaking innocence and held him gently.

The trembling child doubted the hold and squirmed viscously. He claimed Sherlock could cast him aside, and he would understand. Sherlock buried his face in the healthy side of the young boy's neck and shook his head.

And then had broken the code.

"I love you," he whispered. "I do not hate you, I do not wish for a smarter padawan. You are clever, and smart, and mine. You will be a fine Jedi someday, little one, but even though you are small and still learning I am proud of you. I do not hate you, John. I love you."

The code shattered around the embracing Jedi, but Sherlock had never felt more sure of his actions.

After he had been whipped as child all he wanted was his mother to tell him she loved him. He wanted any one to hold him and say he was loved. When put at the end of a punishment, it was impossible to feel like any person in the world loved him.

And John would never feel like that.

"B-but Jedi can't…" John murmured. Watery eyes found Sherlock's, and for a brief moment his padawan looked like he was choking on air. "I love you too, Master."

"You are mine," Sherlock said in a low primal voice. He hoisted the child into the air, cradling him softly. The fabric of John's bandages scrapped against his teacher's bare chest. Sherlock had taken his padawan to wash in their large marble tub.

John clung to him greedily the whole time.

"We cannot say it again, little one," Sherlock said gently as he poured water cautiously over John's wound.

"I understand," John said quietly, he slowly peeked up at his master. "But I do love you. A lot." His movements were slow and nervous, but he twisted around to hide himself against Sherlock's chest. The knight very tenderly stroked his hair.

"I love you too, padawan."

Always.