If he laid on his left side, the damaged muscles in his shoulder protested at the weight. The obvious solution seemed to be to sleep on his right, but when he did he invariably woke up with a cramp in his leg—he’d limped on that side for too long for it ever to be fully pain-free again. If he was twenty years younger he would’ve slept on his stomach, but he wasn’t, so he slept on his back. Which would’ve been fine, if it weren’t for the dreams. Therapists, fellow doctors, friends: everyone told him that bad dreams weren’t dependent on the position in which he slept, but they were wrong. All of his nightmares ended with him flat on his back, staring up at the ceiling.
He never told Mary, not in so many words, because what was the point? She couldn’t solve any of his problems, physical or otherwise. But after a few months of sleeping together he realized that she knew. He still had the bad dreams, but now, whenever he woke from them, she was there, a hand on his arm, skin touching skin, comforting and calming him enough that he could finally sleep in peace.(i would write the part with room for sherlock but basically that’s already half of my posted works on AO3)Me
She’d trained herself to wake up as soon as the nightmares started. She didn’t always know where she’d be sleeping, or with whom, and wakefulness was better than having to explain screaming at night. Even in her new civilian life, she didn’t want to have that conversation with casual boyfriends. Easier to avoid any mention of it, any memories from it.
So when her dream-self saw lightning, or dark empty hallways, or felt the solid comfort of a gun in her hand, she woke up at once. Every time.
John didn’t. John, she knew without asking, lived through all of his awful memories again some nights, unable to stop them. Usually it was Afghanistan, now. So she tried to fall asleep facing him, touching him, so when he woke up he knew she was there.
And when she woke up she was looking right at him, every time, and knew where she was, and who she was, and why she was here.missdaviswrites
Sherlock never slept in John and Mary’s bed. The activities in which the three of them engaged after the baby went to bed always energized him rather than tiring him out, so he didn’t need to sleep in the space they left for him, though sometimes he liked to stay and watch them breathe. John twitched when he had nightmares; Mary’s body grew rigid and tried to draw in on itself, as if she could make herself small enough to escape from whatever pursued her. Early on he tried drugging them both into a more restful slumber, but his efforts had not been well-received, so he learned other ways to soothe: deep, soft whispers, a gentle nudge, the sound of his violin playing from the next room. When it seemed they both had a particularly unsettled night, he would take care of the baby’s breakfast and morning routine for them, letting them sleep as long as possible after the sun rose, when they transitioned into better dreams. No one ever mentioned any of this, but they all knew they had found the best arrangement possible for three people who’d once been so thoroughly alone.
(Miss Davis, if you see this and want it down/elsewhere just tell me <3)