/falls off couch
i was rewatching some of the end of reichenbach because i needed footage for a gif
and i was listening to john
and i thought about how horrible he sounded and how much he was hurting
and i thought about how sherlock could likely hear him over everything
and just thinking that sherlock had to hear john in that state
so disbelieving and broken and begging
And it’s like weights of long-anticipated sorrow crush his chest as he hears the quiver in John’s breath. It leaves him with a knot in his own throat; he dares not breathe. He maintains a solid stare on the doctor’s shadowed shape in the distance until he sees the man walk off in soldiered strides. A year and a half of bonding and healing and fixing the war inside John Watson, all for naught. It has returned, and so it would remain until the blood of the last man in the web ran under Sherlock’s feet, and the river of red would guide him back home.
(He doesn’t know that John will be back on the cane in two weeks’ time. He doesn’t know he will be making two cups for two months before the habit breaks. He doesn’t know John will isolate himself in a darkened sitting room, seated in leather that was once his, thinking of days past. Sherlock does know, however, that he’s only fooling himself, playing ignorant. It isn’t bliss.)
He casts his gaze off towards the grand old tree that towers over his onyx headstone. Black, cold. Oddly fitting for him, given what he’s become in the eyes of the public and what he has been forced to do to the man he calls his only friend. He lingers for a moment, then turns and heads away, severing the tether keeping him in place.
He forgets the way John’s voice cracked with emotion, and the way tears fell from his eyes, and the way his new self was crumbling with every step, giving way to old grief.
He sighs and pockets his cold hands. Fooling himself again. He can’t forget; of course he can’t forget. He can never forget John.
And he won’t ever try.
→ Meeting on the Corner of Excitement and Chance
Sherlock Holmes has a routine: take the Jubilee line train from Baker Street Station to Stratford Station and head to New Scotland Yard. Day in and day out, he repeats the routine and pays little mind to the masses of stories walking by him on two legs - until he meets the soldier.
quick little fanfic of mine, based on disney’s animated short, paperman. it’s AO3 exclusive, unless enough people ask me to post it here. hope you all enjoy it!
[for those who believe]
so apparently when Elementary keeps repeating the line “I believe in Sherlock Holmes”, it makes me draw reichenbach =_= why brain why
It is nine o’clock and John Watson doesn’t want to go home.
He has no reason not to. It’s been six - no, seven and a half months. Not a particularly milestone-setting amount of time, by any means. At least, not in accordance to the fall.
It’s January 30th, and it’s been two years since he met Sherlock Holmes and seven and a half months since he lost him.
He wanders London aimlessly, limping about more lost and dazed than he felt before. At least before he knew there was a city out there that he could claim, if he wanted to. Now, the city has been claimed and lost and he has nowhere to go because he can’t bear to go it alone. London Eye looms over him and he passes without a skywards glance. The little shoppes and brand-name stores have closed doors he doesn’t seek to open. The only time he takes a cab that night is when he finds himself weak-kneed at the thought of walking by Bart’s.
From where the cab drops him off, his legs take him down an oft-treaded path to Angelo’s. Inside, he can see the friendly man closing up: turning chairs onto tables and silencing dimly-lit candles. The memory of his first time in there is oddly inviting in the darkness of closing hours.
John doesn’t enjoy bothering anyone with his feelings and his grief. They all have their own lives to go about; they don’t have time to deal with his ceaseless grief. They don’t have time to hear him out and comfort him - and he won’t speak and won’t seek comfort because he won’t find it.
He knocks on the door anyway. He supposes it’s because 37-year old John Watson walked into Angelo’s two years past, following behind a brilliant madman he hardly knew. He supposes it’s because that part of him is hoping to find Sherlock at their table, perhaps over candlelight; and he’d smirk and wouldn’t look up from the menu he’s not reading as he’d say, “You’re late, John.”
By the time Angelo reaches the door, John is in tears.
Angelo’s closes at 9:30 every night, with the owner locking the door and humming to himself as he heads to his car. It is 9:07 now and he isn’t packing up and isn’t counting the money in the registers and isn’t even cleaning the counters. Everything has stopped because John Watson has come in and he is collapsing in his booth and crying into his hand and trying not to let his tears be known, and that is much more important than closing a restaurant.
It’s 10:32 by the time the restaurant is closed, and Angelo gives John a ride home. In the beat-up car, they sit in companionable silence: the kindly restaurant owner and the grieving soldier, two people who reach out to each other because they are the ones who believe in Sherlock Holmes. There are others out there and they know it. Lestrade and Dimmock still believe, one more guiltily than the other. Molly Hooper and Mike Stamford believe. Mycroft, Anthea, Henry, even Sarah, too. John can imagine that even those in The Homeless Network believe. But that night, on that date, John can only see as far as a booth in Angelo’s filled with misunderstandings and awkward moments and the beginning of the first night of what he thought would be the rest of his life.
When he climbs the stairs of the flat and looks around, he takes in the sight of the dust and the few boxes he’d bought to store some of Sherlock’s things in. He simply couldn’t stand the sight of them, but he hasn’t the heart to get rid of them. He raids one of the boxes and takes out the skull and a special blue scarf, and he wraps the bones in the cashmere accessory and puts it back on guard on the mantel.
He falls asleep in Sherlock’s chair with two glasses of scotch on the table beside him, one half-empty and the other untouched, with the words, “Happy anniversary” and “I miss you” on his lips.
And in his mind locked in dreams, John thinks, I still believe in you.
There are times when Sherlock feels as if he is being smothered.
For two weeks and three days, he cannot leave the flat, due both to his poor health in the state of his return and the questionable welfare of his flatmate, who is insistent that he remains within sight most hours of the day. Sherlock complies because he has no reason not to. In fact, he has more reason to agree than to disagree; a strange concept.
When he first leaves the flat on his own, he forgets to inform John and returns two hours later with a bag from Angelo’s (he’d been craving it and John had been asleep and God knows how much he needs his sleep) to see John pale-faced and weak-kneed at the sight of him. He catches John as he nearly collapses, and all Sherlock can get out of him as he all but hyperventilates was, “I thought you were gone again.”
So, he either stays at the flat or tells John precisely where he’s going and approximately how long he’ll be gone for. John is clingy when they are together, like a neglected dog who is after its masters heels in hopes that he will not leave once more. It can be overwhelming and he can be overbearing, but whenever Sherlock feels his eyes rolling as John says for the third time that week, “I’ve missed you,” he remembers that it is he who did this to him and made him this vulnerable and needy, and the guilt is enough to make Sherlock forgive the wrongs John never did.
The trust returns and the reputation is mending, and as time goes by John begins using more than words. He pats Sherlock’s shoulder as he passes; lets his hand linger when he passes his cup of tea; even tolerates Sherlock’s head in his lap and strokes his hair, where three years back he always pushed him away. It’s a natural transition for them to be so physically close without being close at all; a mutual sharing of atmosphere because at last they can breathe the same air again, can speak face-to-face (not to a tombstone or to no one at all), can see and make one another smile. At last they are “they” again and not “just Sherlock” or “just John.”
Dover changes more than time has done on its own.
Sherlock never learns why the conference is in Dover, nor why John cannot come with him, but Mycroft is doing his best and so he complies with the guidelines. He is gone for two weeks, but is never far from home. He and John videochat (he had to phone John to instruct him on how to install Skype; the illiterate idiot), and talk on the phone, and text during meetings and work breaks. And every time, they end with “I miss you, you know” and “Come home soon, you git, it’s too quiet here,” and “Is that permission to be as loud as possible upon my return” and “Sleep well, John.”
He expects the sentiments to be expressed and is surprised at how easily they come out.
He does not expect to be tackled when he comes home.
It’s not a tackle; not really. It’s more of John seeing him come in making some wise-crack, pushing his tea away and shoving the newspaper aside, tripping as he stands up, and throwing himself at Sherlock until they both end up on the ground. Sherlock cannot see the shorter man’s face but he wagers he’s probably looking as if he’s kicking himself because surely he’d been planning the greeting and surely landing on the floorboards was not part of the plan.
“I’ve missed you,” comes the predicted, muffled voice, but instead of pain and three years of echoing emptiness, he hears serenity and sweetness and smells tea and honey and John and home.
And so Sherlock smiles and holds his flatmate and doesn’t care that his top has probably lost a button or that his knee is scrapped or that Mrs Hudson is heading up the steps to give them lunchtime sandwiches. He is home, utterly and truly, and he has missed it and missed John tremendously; and he does not have to miss him anymore. And the distance will only shrink between them, and the feelings of home will grow, and they will be able to be apart because they will always end up back together, and overwhelming or not, John has him and he has John and that’s all either one of them can ask for.
“I missed you, too,” Sherlock says at last, and he feels John smile.
And it’s all fine.
Sherlock and John built a sexy fort~
“Now, see,” John uttered, still catching his breath but managing to sound his euphoria, “I told you forts were nice.”
He would know; he had built many in his time (most of them between ages five and eleven and a half). On a random Tuesday afternoon, when he reflected upon the art of fort-building and received a blank-faced stare of disinterest from his partner, John swore he would show Sherlock the marvels of childish joy involving tacks, a good wall, warm blankets, and on occasion old Christmas lights.
Well. All that plus a very, very good shag, he supposed, upon inspecting their current situation.
And after two patches “to increase my tolerance level for such stupidity, John,” thirty minutes of combined Google searches of ‘how+to+make+childish+fort+to+appease+childish+partner’ and physical searches through boxes for perfect blankets and lights, and an hour and a half of the best fort-destroying sex John had ever had, there they were, lying in the half-arsed, reconstructed glory of Fort Shwatsonlock (alt. post title “Ocelot” as Sherlock called it for some bloody reason), warm and sweaty and glowing, on a memory foam pad and more pillows than John knew they owned.
All in all, operation: FORT was a success. Of course, when he first began formulating the how-tos of getting Sherlock to enjoy the wonders of a childhood he was shunted, John didn’t put shagging in the equation for various reasons. But, then again, he was not about to complain for a second.
Sherlock hummed, the tired pout on his face not fading, and snuggled into he pillow he was clinging to. “‘Awesome’ was your word choice, if I recall correctly,” he retorted stubbornly, without much venom but with a lot of eyebrow. The arched brow lowered into a scowl when he received warm chuckles in response. Annoying. When John rolled closer to him and nuzzled up into his jaw, the expression faded, leaving neutral complacency. Not-so annoying.
“Is it as awesome as wrecking my arse?” John asked nonchalantly. He smiled to himself when he felt warmth radiate from Sherlock’s flushed cheeks.
Lifting his arm languidly, he pulled John closer, adjusted the lights above their head, wondered how long the hook hoisting up the blankets would hold before collapsing on them, then returned to holding his stupidly, childish, amusing, warm partner; his John. “Nothing is as ‘awesome’ as that privilege,” he huffed.
John shifted closer to him. Sherlock kissed his pate in contemplation. One of the lights popped off and the detective heard a muffled grunt of displeasure from the doctor. Their feet touched and their legs tangled closer.
“But,” Sherlock mused as he began to count the white lights lighting their naked, blanket-wrapped forms, “this is a close second place. Perhaps third.”
Lying naked in Fort Ocelot (alt. post title “Shwatsonlock,” easily the stupidest attempt at a portmanteau of their names Sherlock had ever heard), the world’s only consulting detective felt the world’s best fort-making doctor grin against his skin, and he couldn’t quite hide a smile of his own.
It’s The Doctor’s call that worries him, at first. He knows that Sherlock is alive and out there, somewhere. They’ve established this. And after months of stewing and hard work, John knows he has forgiven Sherlock and is ready to wait for him to come home. The Doctor promises not to call again until he’s found Sherlock and until he can come home. That isn’t what this call is about.
“I’ve found him, John,” comes his crackly, tired voice. He sounds sad, and John braces to hear that Sherlock is dead. “He’s…”
“Dead?” John asks. There’s a sort of prepared emptiness in his voice.
“No,” the timelord replies immediately. John sighs with relief.
But then, The Doctor mutters, “It’s worse than that,” and all his relief shatters.
He begs the time traveler to come get him, to take him to Sherlock, to his side, and maybe, maybe he can fix whatever problem has come up. Maybe he can save Sherlock, this time.
When John saw his first Dalek, it was following him around, demanding The Doctor. He thought it had meant him, and the next thing he knew it was holding him hostage. That was when John first met Sherlock’s time-traveling alien. Now, when he sees the Daleks, he knows what they are, and it worries him. They all look mad, circling around and growling at him. But they aren’t attacking. They are spinning, cycling, crying out as if they were hurting.
He almost pities them.
“They won’t hurt you,” The Doctor explains as he weaves through the faulty clones. “They’re defective. Unpure.”
“Unpure?” John asks. One of the Daleks seems to be spinning around and around, as if it’s dancing. The Doctor doesn’t explain. John doesn’t push it.
He has no reason to push it, not until they reach the last door leading to a private chamber and he sees a chained-up, dejected Dalek, who raises its eye socket at him and says, JOHN.
The Doctor exhales heavily, knowingly, and steps aside to take in John’s stunned expression. “You can go to him,” he murmurs quietly. The Dalek speaks again, slightly angered. DOCTOR. WHY HAVE YOU BROUGHT JOHN. THIS ISN’T THE PLAN. “He won’t hurt you.”
“‘He’,” John echoes hollowly. Daleks don’t have genders.
YES, JOHN, says the Dalek. OBVIOUSLY.
The word makes John’s heart drop in his chest. An unnameable pain paints his face: frantic, exhausted, understanding. “You said they were faulty and unpure,” he breaths, his voice cracking. JOHN, it repeats. He can’t bear to answer it. “What did you mean?”
The Doctor isn’t looking at him now. He’s eying the chains holding back the genius Dalek. “They were human, once,” he barely whispers after swallowing the knot in his throat.
Silence echoes in the chamber as the truth settles in. The Doctor hears the chains creak and groan as the Dalek moves to look between them, watching, waiting. John stares at the creature with an indescribable, and inconsolable, expression.
WHERE ARE THE DALEKS, it asks at last. DOCTOR. THERE ARE NO DALEKS HERE.
“Sherlock,” John murmurs brokenly.
JOHN, The Dalek returns, immediately looking his way. I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE UPSET WITH ME. I CAN AND WILL EXPLAIN MYSELF, IF YOU ARE AMENABLE.
“Go to him,” The Doctor speaks. “We can’t stay long.”
I WILL BE HOME SOON, JOHN, The Dalek assures the soldier, who is moving towards him. The alien scoots back slightly, but the chains hold it from moving far at all. YOUR EMOTIONS ARE JUSTIFIED. LET ME EXPLAIN…
But, the Dalek’s voice hushes when John wraps his arms around it and buries his face on the cold metal. Its eye socket slowly raises to regard the Doctor, who looks in in silence, and then lowers to try and look at John. JOHN, it says. Its voice is quiet.
“I called you a machine,” John murmurs. His tone is filled with guilt. Both the Dalek and the Doctor can tell he is blaming himself, but they do not think it is for the same thing.
The aged timelord shakes his head. “It isn’t your fault, John,” he tries, but his voice is miles away to the human, who only hear what the Dalek has to say. I DO NOT BLAME YOU, JOHN.
His shoulders tremble. “I called you a machine,” he whispers in repetition, unable to think anything else but how surely he doomed Sherlock to this cold fate. “Now look at you.”
I AM NOT A MACHINE, JOHN, the Dalek begins to protest.
John interrupts him. “Yes you are, Sherlock.”
And suddenly, the Dalek understands. Its environment never changes. The stages of the day never vary. Everything is a loop without end. They were human, once. Were. Past-tense.
DOCTOR, the Dalek suddenly cries with panic. DOCTOR. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
“I’m so sorry, Sherlock,” the timelord sighs, hanging his head. The Dalek’s eyepiece regards him frantically. EXPLAIN. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. THIS… THIS CANNOT HAVE HAPPENED. YOU WOULDN’T LET IT HAPPEN. I AM NOT A MACHINE. I AM HUMAN. I. AM. HUMAN.
John’s arms tighten around the chilly metal. JOHN, the Dalek whimpers. JOHN. PLEASE. The Doctor has to look away again. JOHN. JOHN.
Somehow, John can hear Sherlock’s voice in the high-pitched wailing of the Dalek, and it only breaks his heart all over again.
The only reason he hangs around this coffee shop is for the cute waiter
He’s there every Tuesday, Wednesday, second Thursday, and the last Friday of the month, in the table right next to the register. John wonders how early he gets there to reserve the spot, or if he’s just kissed Angelo’s arse enough to have it at the ready for him (because really, it’s not hard to get on Angelo’s good side). Regardless of how or when, he’s always there (where). He’s either reading a book or looking at discoloured petri dishes or writing furiously in a journal (what).
He can live without knowing how or when. The why is what he wants to know.
Why is he always there at the beginning of John’s shift? Why does he order new coffee even though he has a half-congealed cup already there, or order a new sandwich with an empty plate off to the side? Why does he always order from John and John alone? Why does he take his time ordering, asking what’s new on the menu (“Nothing to my knowledge, but it’ll tell you right there on the menu”), what he would recommend (“Same thing as yesterday, and the day before that; and you still say no”), and who the manufacturer of his apron is (“I don’t bloody know that! Now come on, I’ve got other tables to wait!”)? Why does he always watch John, smirking or tilting his head or humming to himself when he walks by as if the sway of his hips is pleasing? Is it pleasing? Why does he want it to be pleasing?
He doesn’t like pickles or too much mayo; takes sugar in his coffee but not his tea; likes his milk steamed to a certain temperature; and always leaves after an hour of John waiting on him. He’s punctual, particular, and a prat, but John can never say no to him when he asks for him specifically. There’s something about him. Something John can’t seem to name.
He’s glad he has the patience to deal with “that guy”, as he’s come to be known, because on the last Friday of January, five months after he began to come into Angelo’s Cafe, something shifts, and “that guy” becomes somebody, and that somebody changes John’s life with a simple, stunning question.
“Afghanistan or Iraq?”
John has heard him speak before in mumbles and on the occasion shouts at the telly and its stupidity, but this voice is different. This is rumbling intrigue and smugness, and John can understand why. He looks up from setting the pickleless sandwich down on the table to stare at him. “Beg your pardon?” he mumbles, a bit numbly.
The man shifts, folding his long legs under the table. “You were a soldier,” he states plainly, arching a brow. “Military hair cut and walking gait. Dog tags in the pocket of your backpack behind the counter - yes, I’ve been back there, no, I wasn’t burgling you. Called ‘Cap’n’ by Billy; affectionate nickname, but a dead give-away to those who listen, which, lamentably, are a small and select few, myself included.” He skims over John quickly before returning to his eyes. “You’ve had difficulty finding a job since your return, likely honourable discharge going by your limp - psychosomatic I might add, seeing as you have no problem being on your feet for hours on end - and have accepted a job offer from an old family friend. No one but Angelo calls you ‘Johnny’ and judging by the way you’ve jutted your lower lip just now I wager you’re not fond it passing through anyone else’s lips.” He curls long fingers under his sharp cheekbone and adds, “I can’t blame you. The name is entirely juvenile for a man your age.”
John had meant to be pouring him coffee, and he feels lucky that he wasn’t because surely it would be running down the table. He closes his mouth and blinks hard to break the gawk which has passed over his face. He exhales and shakes his head. “Wow,” he utters in disbelief. He opens his mouth to say something else, then breathes out another, “Wow.” ‘Something about him’, indeed.
“Are you always this eloquent?” the man asks through a mouthful of sandwich.
The sass brings him back from the brink of a stupor. “I’ve never had my life deduced and shoved in front of my face before, thanks for asking,” John retorts He sees the man smirk from behind his sandwich, obviously pleased with the remark. John laughs breathlessly, shakes his head, pours his coffee, and asks, “How did you do that? It’s brilliant, that is.”
Glancing from his mug to the waiter he always waits for, the man frowns thinly, plump lips curling downwards, and mutters, “Is it?”
John looked his way with arched brows. “Brilliant,” he repeats enthusiastically. “Amazing. It was… extraordinary. ‘course, being in here every day I work helps to get to know a guy a bit.” He rests the pot of coffee on his hips and smiles down at the man, who seems sincerely caught off-guard by the praise. “Though, I still don’t know much about you,” John sighs with an air of curiosity.
As soon as the expression is there, it’s gone and replaced with the same facade of coolness that John had come to recognise. “You have a break in fifteen minutes,” he states. “I’ll tell you then, if you’ll allow me. And if you brew us a cuppa.”
A smirk tugs to John’s face. His break is actually in thirty minutes, but he knows he can pull some strings if it means finally getting to talk to the man in the corner. “You want me to brew tea on my break?” he asks as if he hadn’t heard him right.”
A brow raises above his brilliant blue eyes (eyes John didn’t really mind watching him from all angles of the restaurant, if he was to be completely honest). “Problem?” comes the reply, and John can’t help but grin. He’s full of it, this one. It’s more endearing than it should be.
John feigns a bothered sigh and bargains, “Can’t I know your name first?”
The man smirks briefly. He pulls his cup of coffee closer, gazes at it in contemplation, as if trying to predict where revealing his name would lead him. He seems to reach a decision swiftly as he looks up with his hand out and says, “Sherlock Holmes.”
John takes his hand and shakes it, a smile growing on his lips. “John Watson,” he responds. “Though, you already knew that.” Not his smoothest moment, but given the man’s loyalty, he supposes charm isn’t necessary. Not that he’s trying for anything specific; no, not at all.
“Quite,” Sherlock replies, taking his hand back and leaning it back on his cheek. He keeps John a moment or two more, then lets him return to the other customers; already brewing up what he’ll say in fifteen minutes’ time.
John smiles as he walks away and can’t seem to stop smiling as he attends to the needs of the other patrons, knowing that he’s being watched from the corner closest to the register. How can he not smile when he knows he’ll finally understand why “that guy” waits for him, and what it is about “that guy” that had made him worth waiting on every Tuesday, Wednesday, second Thursday, and last Friday of the last five months.
Because “that guy” is Sherlock Holmes, and he truly is something else.
au meme → sherlock composing a piece for john [requested by i-o-u-a-fall]
It wasn’t that seeing Sherlock standing at his music stand was anything alarming, particularly, but it was the first time in a long time that the man had been there with pen in hand, scribbling away on an orchestration all his own. Three years, eight months, and twenty-seven days, in fact; and Sherlock had only been home for six months and nineteen days of that time. It had taken them six months to get back to “normal” and “normal” meant compositions at random.
Or, perhaps not so normal, seeing as this one sounded soft and sweet, like a blanket of tenderness being thrown over John as he crossed the sitting room from where he’d taken off his shoes. It wasn’t brooding and dark, or intense and amplified. It was like a theme for two lovers straight out of a movie, not something Sherlock Holmes would willingly write.
“You composing?” John finally asked. He’d heard the song coming up to the flat; saw its composer writing when he got there; still could hear it in his mind and see it with his eyes when he crossed the floor. Perhaps that’s why Sherlock didn’t acknowledge the question. It was plain as day that yes, he was, in fact, composing; your skills of observation are abysmal as ever, John, we need to work on that. Why hadn’t he said that, though? John took a seat on the couch and began to open up the paper. He must have been in thought, and deep in thought, to not work up the consciousness for snark.
Well. That wouldn’t do, would it? John figured probing wouldn’t hurt. Sherlock did it enough to him, anyway, and it never failed to get a rise from the doctor. He could take his own medicine, surely. “Kinda sounds like a love song,” he observed curiously, looking over at the detective, who still didn’t look back. He merely kept scribbling, surely playing the notes he was writing in his mind as he penned them. John hoped he’d have the pleasure of hearing them sooner than later.
An offended hum of recognition escaped Sherlock (thank goodness, too; John had thought he’d gone mute and he wasn’t sure if he’d have panicked or rejoiced) before he uttered a simple, “That’s ridiculous,” in response.
To some, the reply would have been an insult. For John, it was a signal that he had, indeed, hit the nail on the head. A love song it was, then. Examining where the two of them stood since Sherlock’s return, he felt it safe to say that the probably-definitely love song was probably-definitely for him: flatmate, colleague, best friend, and now partner of Sherlock Holmes.
John’s face was soft with amusement and quiet gratitude as he sassed back, “You’re ridiculous.” And he was, truly. There was nothing wrong with writing odes to lovers. He’d written poetry to his past girlfriends and had even penned a piece of two for Sherlock, which he’d hidden away in his shoes so the man wouldn’t read them and insult them (naturally, he had found them in John’s shoes, read them, and insulted them, which earned him a pillow in the face because dammit, John tried). They weren’t the first to create gifts for loved ones, and they wouldn’t be the last. It was normal.
But, then again, who could say they’d received a love song penned by Sherlock Holmes?
So caught up in his thoughts was he that John missed the beginnings of the symphony as Sherlock replayed it from the start. The man’s back was to him as he swayed before the window of the flat, clearly going from memory on the pieces he’d written before. John was quiet as he listened and watched, occasionally catching Sherlock’s eye as he looked over his shoulder only to return to staring at the world below, which spun normally on and on in its own normal way as life usually dictated.
The news notes were lovely, as John expected; and Sherlock stopped and continued to write after he’d played them, as John expected. The detective heeded him no mind as he wrote and played on and off, even as John flitted about the flat minding his own business, brewing up his own tea, eating up his own scones after Sherlock turned his back to the one he offered. He knew it was a love song but had expected it to have a complicated name nevertheless, because Sherlock, no matter how he denied it, was no more than a brooding poet whose muse was life and whose medium was a Stradivarius, and he had a thing for naming songs with no less than eighteen character titles.
When he learned, on later nosy inspection, that the symphony was simply called “John,” he waited until Sherlock was out of his shower and back in his robe to walk up behind him, wrap his arms around his thin frame, and mutter into the nape of his neck, “I love you, too;” the words blending in with the love song Sherlock played as if they had been there all along.
She never knows what to do when she finds John at Bart’s. How he gets in, she can’t say. Never asks. But she stumbles into her lab, yawning and tired, and sees him sleeping on the desk; head in his arms and heart on his sleeve. She never has it in her to wake him and tell him to leave - not unless she knows someone else will see him. So she lets him sleep as long as he wishes, and pretends not to see him from the corner of her eye as he sneaks out like a ghost. Molly promised Sherlock she would keep an eye on John, but seeing John the way he is now, and knowing what she promised never to tell, she isn’t sure if she can.
He tells her one day, after she is kind enough to leave him a cup of soup on the desk and offers to chat, that his and Sherlock’s final face-to-face conversation occurred in her lab, that very same room, and his voice breaks when he quotes the words he said: “You machine.” He hides his face in his hands, unable to continue aloud, but she can hear him groaning Sherlock’s name as if it is the answer to bringing him home. And, as abruptly as the confession came, it is over, and he is leaving as quickly as he can (and she sees his eyes are watery and burning red) and he doesn’t go back to that lab at St. Bart’s again.
That night when she is finally home, Molly Hooper can’t help but cry.
Basorexia - An overwhelming desire to kiss.
It was a bit like drowning.
Sherlock could understand that, at least. As a boy, he had nearly drowned in the ocean once whilst looking at a tide pool. High tide sneaked up on him and stole him out to sea, but thankfully, his manic, drunk uncle, who happened to be a champion swimmer, dove into the sea to save his nephew.
That same uncle died after being hit by a bus. He supposed that was what it felt like, too.