Written for Five Acts, Round Four
for the prompts writing on the body and sleep themesSummary:
John wakes up, and Mycroft lulls him back to sleep.
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John had long been accustomed to waking up all at once, slamming into full awareness of the world, and marshaling his wits to meet the next crisis. Afghanistan and life with Sherlock had made the habit a necessity. These rare nights, however, his body surrendered to a deeper sleep. Perhaps Mycroft’s scent on the sheets sent John’s subconscious mind the message of safety. Or perhaps the quality of the rest had something to do with falling asleep confident in the knowledge that the master bedroom in Mycroft’s stone-walled townhouse was in all likelihood the most secure room in London.
Whatever the reason for John’s ability to sleep deeply, he found drifting awake slowly to be a novel sensation. The room was still dark: blackout curtains blocked any light from the street, but the embers of last evening’s fire still glowed in the hearth. John closed his eyes and tried to pinpoint what had tugged him into wakefulness.
It was then he felt the pleasantly cool press of a fine point to his shoulder blade. Not sharp, but slightly ticklish. The point moved in a tiny, untraceable looping motion, then was lifted away.
“Sorry to have woken you,” Mycroft said from somewhere above John and slightly to his right.
“Hm,” John replied. He saw no need to climb out of his current sleepy haze to form a complete sentence. Instead, he pushed his hand out to the side until he encountered Mycroft’s hand resting among the sheets. He dragged his prize back toward him so he could press kisses to Mycroft’s knuckles. Then he released Mycroft’s hand and settled back down.
The movement against the skin of his shoulder resumed. John managed a half-formed grunt of inquiry.
“Writing longhand helps me think,” Mycroft said quietly.
Of course. John could recognize the scratch of an ink pen in the motion he felt. “Hm,” he replied. When John had drifted off earlier, Mycroft had been sitting in his customary armchair by the fire, frowning at some documents that might or might not have had to do with a missing naval treaty. John knew better than to try to keep up with Mycroft’s hours. Unfortunately, his good example seemed not to have produced the desired results. John mustered his fine motor control to form words. “Work t’hard.”
The movement of the pen stilled. Mycroft’s fingers stroked slowly down John’s spine. “It’s not work.” His hand swept along John’s side, skirting the area where he’d been writing, and traced up around John’s shoulder, the un-wounded one. “Go back to sleep.
John lay still for a moment and considered obeying. Mycroft took up his pen once more and resumed writing. John had seen Mycroft’s schoolwork-neat penmanship before, glimpsed on desk memos or in the margins of work documents. Even grocery lists left lying around the kitchen looked neat enough to belong in a finishing school workbook. John could feel the same precise attention against his skin as Mycroft neatly filled the canvas of his back with script.
“It’s top secret,” Mycroft whispered. He pressed a kiss to the back of John’s neck. “A matter of national security.”
“S’not work!” John protested.
Mycroft just kept writing.
“Hint?” John asked.
The flow of Mycroft’s writing paused, then resumed. He said, “It’s a letter.”
“Oh, John.” In the small of John’s back, on the right side, Mycroft scrawled two words in letters slightly larger than he’d been using. John had seen Mycroft sign enough documents to know the shape of those words. Then Mycroft dropped a kiss at the base of John’s spine.
The mattress shifted as Mycroft re-arranged himself on his back, and pulled John toward him. John went willingly, settling himself across Mycroft’s chest and tangling their legs comfortably together.
“Whas’say?” he muttered.
“It’s a secret,” Mycroft whispered, and smoothed his hand over John’s hair.
“Is not. I know, anyway,” John said. He pressed his face into the crook of Mycroft’s neck and let the comforts all around him lull him back to sleep.