How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths
"You shut your mouth
How can you say
I go about things the wrong way ?
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does "
The warm rays of morning sunlight creeping through the gaps in the curtains gently dragged Sherlock Holmes from his deep, content sleep, and back into reality. A small noise sounded in his throat as he stretched out, smiling to himself as he felt the memories of the night before wash over him. The empty spot on the bed next to him was warm, and he could still smell John on the sheets – could still almost hear him professing his love sleepily as he fell asleep, curled in Sherlock's arms. The unexpected happiness of it all was the reason that Sherlock didn't immediately notice that something was missing. John wasn't just missing from Sherlock's bed. He was missing from the flat entirely, and the emptiness that was left in his place told him that John wasn't coming back any time soon. He didn't move. He didn't jump from the bed and race out in hopes of being wrong (yes, despite being a rare occasion, he actually hoped he was wrong). He didn't even dare to open his eyes. Instead, he remained exactly where he was, listening to the window rattle as the wind outside picked up, an uncomfortable emptiness filling him up slowly, starting at the pit of his stomach.
Sherlock never saw it in his best interests to admit to having feelings, despite what anybody actually made him feel. It was very easy for him to turn his back on emotion, and quite often than not, he either didn't understand it, or saw it as nothing more than an unnecessary hindrance that he could do without. So he chose to do without on the off chance that something would affect him personally, and that had all worked out quite well until John Watson had come along. However, with his body bent over a new experiment that was laid out across their kitchen table, Sherlock couldn't do anything about the hollow, sick feeling in the pit of his stomach that was becoming quite a distraction. The images of the night before – John's perfect body laid out beneath him, begging for more, moaning Sherlock's name as his muscles clenched and unclenched on the brink of an orgasm, his eyelids fluttering as he came inside Sherlock's mouth, fisting the sheets with all his strength, before relaxing into the mattress, a peaceful, almost innocent look on his face – flashed through Sherlock's mind, making it impossible for him to concentrate.
"Damn it, John," he growled, slamming his fist into the table, knocking a vile of murky liquid over.
A small thud upstairs told Sherlock only a few seconds too late that he had not been alone. Reminding himself that he was Sherlock Holmes, always in control and never personally affected, he wandered upstairs to John's room. The door was open, but he had known this before he got there. What he saw inside, however, made his stomach twist with emotions he had almost forgotten he could feel. The question 'what are you doing?' formed on his tongue, but it was quite clear what John was doing, so he settled for "You're leaving."
John didn't even look up as he continued to quickly pack clothes into a suitcase, though Sherlock didn't miss the awkward flush of colour that crept its way up John's neck, nor did he miss the way his breath shook on the next outtake.
"Why?" Was his next question.
He hated asking why when he could usually deduce the reason. However, all he could think of was that it was because of what they had got up to the night before, and stating that would have sounded far too unconfident for his liking.
John stopped, seeming to fight internally for a moment. He dropped his head and his hands clenched beside him briefly as his body trembled before he relaxed again, looking up, his eyes meeting Sherlock's. The amount of emotion in John's expression was off-putting, and Sherlock found himself fighting to keep his face neutral, his heart hammering wildly in his chest.
"I'm engaged, Sherlock," John said quietly, sadness and happiness both fighting to be the dominant emotion in his voice.
Sherlock felt his steadily quietening heart speed up again, his stomach twisting and turning in a way that made him feel sick. He stuck his clammy hands into his pockets and gave a small nod of his head, almost certain his voice would betray the sudden stab of betrayal, hurt, and dare he admit it, loss, that had suddenly overcome him. He turned and left, bounding back down the stairs to his damaged experiment, his head spinning.
I do not care. I do NOT care. This changes nothing. It'll all go back to how it was before John moved in. I don't need him. I DO NOT CARE. His mind continued to shout at him until finally believed himself again, his body returning to its usual state of calm.
When John came back downstairs minutes later, there was a heavy silence between them. Sherlock kept his eyes on his experiment, though now it only served as something to pretend to be engrossed in so he didn't have to face John.
"I'll… Erm… I'll be back tomorrow for the rest of my stuff," John said into the silence, his voice seeming to echo through Sherlock's head.
He was sure he could hear regret in John's voice this time, and possibly just a hint of confusion, but he couldn't be entirely sure without turning to face him, and that definitely wasn't going to happen. He didn't reply, or even acknowledge John's existence, and after a few more stretched out seconds of silence, John left, leaving a ringing emptiness in his wake.
It had been three days since John left, three days since Sherlock had last eaten or slept, and three days since the string of experiments had started, only to be broken by a text from Lestrade. Sherlock carefully placed the now fuming petri dish next to the other half a dozen on the end of the table and fished his phone out of his pocket.
Second man found dead in his home by wife. No connection with the other two victims. Three in the same amount of days. Will you come?
Address. I'm not coming in a police car.
The address came quickly, and a hint of a grin flickered across Sherlock's face as he grabbed his coat and scarf, hastily putting them on as he head outside to hail a cab. Fifteen minutes later, he was ducking underneath police tape, much to Donovan's dislike.
"Oi Freak! Where's your pet?" Sally's voice called behind him, but he ignored it, quickening his pace slightly as he headed for the door.
He could hear her hurried steps behind him and rolled his eyes before coming to a complete halt, spinning quickly to face her, staring down at her in a way he knew was intimidating.
"I see Anderson's wife's back. Your cheery disposition has completely vanished," he said dryly, flashing her an obviously fake smile.
She gave an annoyed sigh as she folded her arms across her chest, running her tongue along her teeth before giving him her usual bitchy look that she seemed to reserve just for him.
Hit a nerve, then, he mentally noted, storing that away as useful information.
"John gone and finally found a real hobby then? Got sick of you? Realised that you'd sooner kill him before you saved him? Did he realise what a pathetic excuse for a human being you actually are and realise that he would be happier with that girlfriend of his than he ever would with you?" Her words were venomous, and she had meant for them to hurt, whether she believed it was possible to hurt Sherlock or not.
But even though he would never let anyone know, it was definitely possible to hurt Sherlock. He didn't even like to admit it to himself, and for a long time before John had entered his life, he had begun to wonder if he had managed to distance himself from other people enough to not find anything they did or said upsetting. The gaping hole that he had closed up with experiments tore itself open inside his chest again, running his blood cold. It took all his strength not to shudder visibly as Sally's words attempted to tear him open right in front of her, exposing his damaged insides. He didn't understand how emotional pain could turn into physical pain, but right now it was, and he was having a difficult time pushing past it. He hadn't given John a single thought since he had left, for once leaving every question he had about the man unanswered. But now he couldn't help but wonder if what Sally said was true. His usual truthful, revealing, biting comments were all erased in a moment of panic, and he fought to keep his face neutral, hoping her stupidity would cover the fact that he had been quiet for just a little too long.
"Donovan! Back to your post," Lestrade growled, cutting in before anything more could be said. "Please" he added with an apologetic smile.
Sally's eyes narrowed before she gave a stiff nod, glaring at Sherlock before returning to her spot outside. Relief washed over Sherlock and his head began to spin slightly. He suddenly realised just how exhausted he felt.
"Where's John? Never mind, we're in the next room, Sherlock." Lestrade made a move for the room he had just come from before stopping to look at Sherlock properly, a look of concern washing over his features. "Are you okay?"
"Fine. I'm fine," he said quickly, entering the next room ahead of Lestrade.
He sighed and knelt down next to the victim, checking him over.
Single stab wound. Clean job. Killer doesn't like much mess. Wallet still in pocket. ID Julian Shepparton. 50 quid and credit card still inside, so not a robbery at all, then. Had just got come, judging by where in the room he is positioned and the fact that he's still wearing his jacket, despite the heating having been on. Killer was waiting for him to get home. No forced entry on front door. Killer had a key.
"Forced entry for other murders?" Sherlock suddenly called, not lifting his head as he shifted through various receipts and cards in the victim's wallet.
"Nope. And before you say anything, it was thoroughly checked. Couldn't get in the windows unless you were a very small, very thin child. Same here, mind you. No spare keys either. But we're working on it, unless you have answers now."
Sherlock shook his head slightly, standing up to look around the room a bit, pausing to touch or sniff something only momentarily before continuing, ignoring the sudden wave of nausea washing over him. Eventually, he turned and walked past Lestrade and out the door.
"Well? What did you find?" Lestrade asked, sounding a little shocked as he hurried to keep up with Sherlock's quick, lengthy strides.
"Not enough. Need more data. Time to think. Send the files around to mine later. This one's clever."
There was a mild hint of excitement in Sherlock's voice, but not his usual borderline unacceptable excitement when a murderer was clever. He felt better for having a case, but he would feel even better if he had John helping him. A small shiver ran down his spine at that thought, and he pushed the feeling away, reminding himself once more that he didn't need John to do his work.
"Sherlock, are you alright? I mean, really alright?"
"I'm fine, Lestrade. I've got what I need from here, and now I am going home."
And I don't have time for people to invade my privacy and attempt to get me to admit to feelings that I do not and cannot feel, he mentally added.
"Alright, alright. I'll send someone around later, possibly tomorrow morning, with the files."
And with that, Sherlock gave a small nod and headed home to bury himself in his work.
A very loud knock at the door broke Sherlock from his train of thought as he paced the living room. He turned and bounded towards the door with a little more energy than was necessary, and sent a pile of books toppling to the ground. He couldn't help but hope that perhaps John had come back after all. It had only been three days, but without sleep, without a case, and without John, it had felt like much longer. A sudden panic gripped him as he reached the door, wondering whether it was Mycroft, or some other unwanted guest. He hadn't been listening to anything but the going-on's of his mind, and therefore hadn't heard the footsteps on the stairs. He could always tell based on the sound of their step, exactly who was going to knock on the door. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest and his mind was racing through possibilities, trying to deduce who was most likely to be standing on the other side of that door.
"Sherlock, are you gonna let me in or will I just leave and take the files back with me?" Lestrade's voice called from the other side of the door.
In an instant, Sherlock flung the door open and snatched the files from his hand before turning, already partway through closing the door again.
"Hey. Wait a minute –"
"Don't need you," Sherlock butt in, not even turning around. "Just the files. Goodbye"
He felt an unexpected force on the door, and turned again, surprised to see Lestrade fighting his way into the room. His heart was still pounding distractingly loud and his head was now swimming with excitement at the prospect of new information. He hadn't really got anywhere with just thinking. He had a few theories, but theories weren't good enough, and he hadn't managed to single it down to one most likely answer yet.
"Sherlock, look at me," Lestrade's gruff voice broke through his train of thought once more, stopping him from shifting through the sheets in each file.
He didn't comply, though, and simply returned to scanning the files for new information, an attempt to find some kind of answer that wasn't yet wholly obvious.
"The victims have no connections. Nothing in common, apart from the fact that they're both balding. Where does he get them from? How does he pick them and gain access to their homes?"
"Sherlock, forget the case for a minute and just look at me!" Lestrade barked, causing Sherlock's head to snap up, their eyes finally meeting.
"What is it, Lestrade? I did tell you you weren't needed here."
"Sherlock, for Christ sake! Are you high?"
Sherlock stared with his usual cold gaze that made most men look away. It had long stopped working on Lestrade, but he still tried it from time to time. His hand started twitching, and he clenched it, grinding his teeth for a moment before looking back at the photographs of pocket and wallet contents in front of him.
"Sherlock, how much have you taken?"
"No, Sherlock. I think it's very relevant! You've been clean for two years! Well, I thought you'd been clean. Have you just been pulling the wool over my eyes all this time? Because –"
"Shut up. Just shut up! I can't think with you talking incessantly about things that do not matter!"
Silence followed Sherlock's outbreak, and there was no movement aside from Sherlock clenching and unclenching his fists. His breathing was quick – far too quick – but he couldn't slow it down. He felt himself begin to panic, but pushed away the idea, forcing himself to focus on the work again. His mind was still buzzing, so alive and so ready to solve this case in one night. Solve it in one night, without John. That'd show him. His hands began to shake and he dropped the papers onto the coffee table, dropping his head in his hands, tugging quite viciously at his hair, his breathing still far too fast, the sound of his own heartbeat filling his ears. His body was hot. Usually, he welcomed that warmth, and the occasional tremble, and the feel of his blood pounding through his veins at what felt like double the speed it normally did as his mind worked even faster than usual. He usually welcomed how bright everything was while he was on that high. Cocaine always made everything seem less dull, while his mind worked at double speed, not missing a single detail. But now, he felt out of control, and with Lestrade right beside him, that was not a good thing at all.
Too much. Can't handle it like I could when I was a regular user. Must be it. Get a grip.
A gentle hand was placed on his shoulder, but he shrugged it off, perhaps a little to violently. He took a deep breath in and held it for a moment before releasing it, his whole body shuddering on the outtake. He repeated this a few times before picking the photographs up again, not even looking at Lestrade.
"Oh. Oh, that's clever," he said quietly, a small smile finding its way on his face as he lifted his head once more. "He doesn't know the victims personally, and the victim's aren't connected in any way apart from the fact that they're bald, and they've come into contact with him. Your killer, Lestrade, works at the Apple store in Regent Street. He pick pockets them while serving them, no doubt. Oh, he is clever. But he made one mistake. Oh, how did I not see it sooner?"
Sherlock ran his hands through his hair, his breathing speeding up again, this time from the adrenaline that came with solving a case. His hands were shaking, coming down from his cocaine high, but he barely noticed.
"The keys were found in the right pocket of Julian Sheppard, but he's left handed. The keys would go in his left pocket, wouldn't they? He didn't know his wife would be out – she said so herself. Wasn't supposed to be out, but had nipped down to the shops to grab some milk. He assumed the door would be unlocked, and didn't question it when it was. Your killer's name is Jeremy Hobbs. Go find him."
Lestrade hesitated, so Sherlock thrust the photographed receipts into his hand with Jeremy's name on them, hoping Lestrade would take it and go, rather than continue to awkwardly linger, worry etched into his face, despite his amazement.
"Go," he repeated with a wave of his hand for emphasis before rubbing his hands over his face, another wave of exhaustion hitting him.
He still hadn't eaten or slept, but that was irrelevant. He was barely aware of both of these facts. He would have lost track of what day it was if it weren't for Mrs Hudson bringing him tea every day. Finally, Lestrade made a move for the door, and Sherlock relaxed into the sofa, his body trembling slightly, displaying exactly how food and sleep deprived he was.
"Eat something, Sherlock. And get some sleep, for God sake. I don't know what's happened, Sherlock, but you need to take care of yourself. John –" he paused, then, with a sigh, left without another word, leaving Sherlock to his lonely thoughts that he had, until now, refused to allow properly enter his mind.
He took a shaky, shuddering breath and realised, with shock, that his face was wet. Swiping furiously at the tears, he rolled over, pressing his head into the back of the sofa, and allowed exhaustion to drag him into darkness.
The days pressed on and the cases kept coming, which Sherlock was more grateful for than he would ever admit, but there was still that lingering emptiness inside him that he could only explain as being an absence of John. It seemed strange to him that he could live a lifetime without something and not even realise that that's what had been missing. It also seemed strange that having John leave him would affect him so much, and he still tried to deny it to himself, and to Mrs Hudson, whenever she mentioned it. But she would just smile her sad, knowing smile, pat him on the shoulder, and leave him to his business.
Sherlock flopped himself down on the sofa, taking up the full space as he stretched out. It was his first time back at the flat since five that morning when Lestrade called him to a crime scene. There had been a lot of deducing and hanging around and chasing killers and filling out paperwork. He pretended to hate doing the paperwork, but really, he welcomed anything that kept him from his empty flat where he was constantly reminded of John's absence. A few times he had turned for John's opinion at a crime scene over the past week and a half, only to remember that John had left. Each time it was like a new stab to his chest, and each time the concerned look Lestrade threw him was absolutely no help what so ever – although it had been nice to hear him yelling at Sally when she kept pestering him about John in an attempt to make him crack. She had almost succeeded.
"Yoo hoo!" Came Mrs Hudson's voice from the front door as she knocked before letting herself in, the usual cup of tea and a small pile of mail in hand. "Oh good, I thought I heard you come home. I collected your mail for you dear."
She patted his arm gently after placing both the tea and the mail on the coffee table and sighed before leaving. Sherlock waited until he heard her enter her own flat before sitting up to sift through the mail.
"Dull," he muttered, flicking through the bills and the junk mail.
He paused when his fingers settled on a bright red envelope with John's handwriting on it. He narrowed his eyes slightly, dropping the rest of the mail in favour for the red envelope, and ripped it open. Inside was a wedding invitation, along with a request that he be John's best man. A shiver ran down his spine and he dropped the invitation back on the table, not entirely sure how to feel. He was a little surprised he had been invited to the wedding, which he hadn't even given any thought, but he was more surprised at the request to be best man. They hadn't spoken once since John had left, and he never really expected them to speak again, as much as he wished John would just walk straight back through the door. Footsteps on the stairs caught his attention, and within the first few steps, he worked out it was Lestrade. A small spark of hope ignited inside him, longing desperately for another distraction so he wasn't left sitting alone in his empty flat, thinking about John again. He ran his hands shakily over his face and stood to greet Lestrade.
"What've you got for me?" He asked as he opened the door.
Lestrade, however, had a bottle of wine in his hand instead of a case file, and Sherlock couldn't hide the shock on his face. This was a social visit, not for work, and he knew straight away it was because of John and his little wedding invitation.
"Didn't tell me John was getting married, did you?"
The question was meant to be rhetorical – something Sherlock had only learnt recently – so he just frowned and stepped back to let Lestrade in. Truth be told, he didn't really want to be alone, and he had seen over the past week and a half that Lestrade understood that, despite not knowing exactly what the problem was. He always was more perceptive than most people, and that was something Sherlock always silently appreciated. True, he was an idiot compared to Sherlock, but as he had said once before to John – who was also definitely heads above most of the world in intelligence – practically everybody was.
"Sort of explains a lot, really. But I know what you're like. It wouldn't matter how many questions I asked, I would only get answers if it was a question you wanted to answer. So I didn't bother asking. But…" He paused, glancing at Sherlock as he placed the bottle of wine on the edge of the kitchen table, giving him a sad smile before sighing. "It was obvious you weren't okay, Sherlock. Obvious to me, as your friend, and as someone who has seen you go through many ups and downs over the years. I know you've pretended as though it doesn't matter. Heck, you've probably attempted lying to yourself about it. But fact remains, it does matter, because… Well, because you loved him. You love him. It was in your eyes every time he praised you, and every time he said something smart to surprise you, and every time you walked off knowing that he was following right behind, always there with you."
Sherlock didn't say anything, because really, there was nothing to say. He just stared at a spot on the wall, not even acknowledging that he'd heard anything Lestrade had said. Of course, he had heard every single word, and every single word rang too true inside his mind. He knew Lestrade knew he had heard, too, which he couldn't deny helped just a little bit.
"He asked me to be best man," Sherlock quietly broke the silence a few minutes later, allowing his eyes drift to Lestrade before flitting away again, not wanting him to see the wave of emotion that had just taken over him.
He was angry at John for leaving him without any sort of explanation other than the news that he was engaged, and he was angry with himself for allowing himself to get so emotionally attached to somebody that they could even begin to have this effect on him. He was upset, too, because both he and John had told each other they loved the other that night, and it was still true on Sherlock's side, no matter how hard he tried to ignore that fact. And just a small part of him was proud, happy, and flattered that John would want him to be his best man at his wedding, though he couldn't understand how those feelings could fit in with the two stronger feelings. Emotions were definitely not his forte, and trying to understand them just seemed to make things even harder than they already were.
"He didn't… Oh, for crying out loud, the man's an idiot! Can't he see how all of this is hurting you? I have no idea what's going on, but it was obvious last time I was here that he had moved out, and he hasn't been with you on any cases, and none of us have heard from him for over a week, so I doubt you have." Lestrade actually sounded angry on his behalf, and this surprised Sherlock more than the situation itself. "Christ. Are you okay?"
Sherlock thought for a moment before giving a slight nod of his head. He knew the other man would know it was a lie, but at least he could lie to himself while he was at it.
"Well, I brought this to get pissed, not really to celebrate. I'm assuming you have more for when we need it, unless you've used it all to experiment with. You hardly ever drink."
Sherlock opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off.
"Clouds the mind, I know, I know. Still, always time for a break, isn't there?"
After a moment's thought, Sherlock nodded again. He was hoping the alcohol would cloud his mind enough that he wouldn't think about John, and would therefore not feel miserable, so he fetched some wine glasses and allowed Lestrade to pour him a generous amount, smiling as he lead him into the living room.
Sherlock could feel his insides quivering, tempting his body to give into the nagging pain that was tearing at his mind. He hiccupped slightly and mentally cursed himself for being so human and allowing himself to drink a little too much with a friend (was that what they were? Friends?). Lestrade smiled lazily beside him, his head flopping quite close to Sherlock's shoulder. He didn't flinch away as he usually would when sober, but the thought was in the back of his mind. He kept his eyes on the top of Lestrade's head, the dim light from the lamp seeming to make the silver in his hair sparkle. The thought would have almost made him smile, except he longed for it to be John's head in Lestrade's place. A small sigh slipped past his lips, blowing Lestrade's hair gently, as he inwardly cursed himself once more for allowing his thoughts to even drift that way. He didn't need John. He didn't need anyone.
"You're unhappy, Sherlock, and it's obvious. You're only human."
Lestrade's gruff voice broke through Sherlock's train of thought, the light on his hair changing as he tilted his face up towards Sherlock's, his eyes lazily half shut.
"I'd call that wishful thinking on your behalf," Sherlock replied quietly, hoping that the tremble in his voice at the end of the sentence could pass for a shiver.
Lestrade huffed out a breath, the warm air spreading over Sherlock's neck, causing him to arch his head slightly in Lestrade's direction. Their eyes met briefly before he adverted his gaze, not quite able to bring himself to move from the position he was in, despite all the usually unimportant social cues his mind was screaming at him.
"Perhaps just a little bit," Lestrade almost whispered, the words washing over Sherlock's skin in a manner that was more than distracting, the smell of cheap red wine reaching his nose. His eyes flickered back to Lestrade's, pale blue meeting brown, and found that this time, he couldn't look away. "But Sherlock, you're the only person who would think any less of you if… If you were to admit to being… Human."
The end of the sentence barely made it out before their lips crashed together, warm and wet, a clumsy mix of teeth and tongues, and full of desperation and need. The taste of wine grew slightly stronger, mixing with the familiar taste of stale cigarettes, and a flavour that was entirely new, and entirely Gregory Lestrade. He shifted his position just slightly, running one hand up Lestrade's neck and into his hair, his other hand holding Lestrade's collar.
"Shit," Lestrade muttered as they broke away, both breathless.
Sherlock glanced away before looking back at Lestrade, his pupils dilated and his lips swollen and wet. He swallowed the lump in his throat and let his hand slip from Lestrade's collar, only just realising he was still holding on. The kiss had been amazing, and Lestrade looked simply gorgeous sitting across from Sherlock, now wide-eyed and unsure of himself, but all Sherlock could think of, as per usual, was John. John and his warm jumpers and his shoulder wound and his girly, euphoric giggle. John and his gorgeous, damaged body, and his warm mouth, and his secure arms. John and everything about him, on Sherlock's mind, always. He made to stand up, but only ended up toppling back down beside Lestrade, his head spinning far too much.
"Sherlock…? Are you alright?" Lestrade asked cautiously, his eyes never leaving Sherlock, worry, and perhaps a small amount of embarrassment edged into his features.
Sherlock waved a dismissive hand in response, feeling his throat tighten and his chest constrict, making it extremely difficult to breathe. His eyes stung, but he refused to let himself cry, and mentally cursed himself once more for drinking as much as he had.
"That wasn't supposed to happen… I'll, erm…" Lestrade paused, frowning slightly. "Sherlock, are you sure you're alright?"
Sherlock turned to face Lestrade, his vision blurred by tears he refused to let escape.
"'m fine," he croaked out before clearing his throat. "I'm fine. And the kiss was… Erm… Good." He wasn't lying, it had been good, but the words felt wrong coming from his mouth.
Lestrade visibly relaxed beside him, but immediately tensed as footsteps made their way hurriedly upstairs. The door burst open, and a very anxious, very distressed looking John appeared, 'causing Sherlock to stand immediately, his expression composed once more, though his head was still spinning, demanding he sit back down.
"John, it is more polite for one to knock when one wishes to enter the home of another," Sherlock said quietly, fighting to keep his voice under control.
"I… Mary… I love you," John blurted out breathlessly, looking as though he was about to cry.
Sherlock stared at John, barely aware of Lestrade's muttered goodbye as he stumbled out of the flat. He didn't know what to say, but he knew John wasn't lying. Nothing about John was deceptive at the moment, and he certainly would never be that cruel to start off with.
"You love Mary," he replied quietly, turning his face away, afraid he didn't have the strength to hide what he was feeling.
"Yes. I love Mary. But… Sherlock, I can't live without you. You complete utter bastard," he sounded partially angry as he laughed dryly, his laugh turning to more of a sob before he stopped, moving closer to Sherlock. "I don't know what the hell you did to me, but I am consumed by you. I love you more than I could possibly love anyone or anything else in this entire world. I hate you for that."
He laughed shakily again, lowering himself in a chair as he buried his head in his hands.
"Always have been a bit cliché, haven't I?"
Sherlock opened his mouth to reply, but realised the question was rhetorical. Instead, he remained silent, biting at his bottom lip thoughtfully.
"You're getting married," Sherlock said quietly, his own voice quivering a little.
"No. The wedding's off. She told me to go back to you, because it was obvious I was unhappy."
"You can marry her and be friends with me." Sherlock hated the truth of his own words, and the idea of being around John while he was married to Mary physically hurt him.
He wanted to take back what he had said immediately and swallow his words in hope that they would fill the empty space in his stomach, but he knew he could never have any such luck. But the truth was that despite the fact that it would tear him apart every day to see John but know he was someone else's, it would tear him apart even more to never see John again. There was life before John, and life with John, and there was no way to imagine a life after John. He snapped himself from his thoughts, looking at John properly again, and realised that John was shaking his head, the tears in his eyes threatening to spill over.
"I can't, Sherlock. Because as long as I'm around you, I will always want to be with you." His voice shook a little and he sniffed, looking away. "And I'm not strong enough to stick with her. I need you."
Sherlock stared at John, completely at a loss for words. He knew that admitting that was hard for John, and he knew, once again, that it wasn't at all a lie. However, the feeling of betrayal was still edged into his mind where John sat, and a small twinge of fear sparked up inside him, scared of a repeat of that betrayal. He remained silent, his eyes not leaving John for a second.
"Right. Of course," John said suddenly, standing again.
"You're upset," Sherlock commented quietly.
"Yes, Sherlock. Yes I am. Though at who, I'm not sure. I would be upset with you, but I should have known better than to expect any kind of emotional, proper, human reaction from you. Because you don't care, you've never cared, and you never will care."
John's words stung, and they were untrue, which hurt even more, but he couldn't bring himself to say anything until John turned to leave.
"No," Sherlock said quickly, his voice breaking as he gripped John's forearm, stopping him.
The two men stared at each other for what felt like a very long time, not saying a word. Sherlock had let his guard down now, and trying to put it back up resulted in shaking, instead, which caused John's expression to relax into one of concern. John opened his mouth to speak, but before he could get a word out, Sherlock's lips were pressed against his, swallowing his words as shaking hands grabbed at him, pulling him closer. Sherlock could feel John's warmth pressing against his own cold, shaking body, and held him as close as possible, unwilling to break contact for even a second.
"I need you," Sherlock mumbled against John's mouth, pressing their foreheads together. "You left and I didn't know what to do. Not knowing what to do killed me. Not having you killed me more."
He felt John smile sadly, and in turn felt himself smiling, knowing he had said the right thing.
"I'm sorry. I was scared. I'm not sure what I was scared of, but I couldn't face you because of it. I-"
"Sh," Sherlock whispered after pressing his lips briefly to John's again. "I don't care."
He kissed John harder, this time, running one hand into the doctor's sandy hair, his other hand resting on John's lower back, pulling him closer. There was obvious need from both ends, and when Sherlock pressed his thigh between John's legs, he knew they both had the same idea.
"Bed," he growled in John's ear, dragging John behind him as he headed to his bedroom.
John didn't need telling twice, and within seconds of entering the room, Sherlock had thrown him on the bed and was in the process of undressing him, kissing every inch of bare skin that he could as he went. He felt suddenly more posessive than ever before, and that both frightened and amazed him. He unbuttoned his own shirt while John worked his pants off, and in record time, they were both naked, pressed against each other with Sherlock's tongue trailing down John's chest. He dipped his tongue into John's bellybutton before pressing light kisses along the length of his shaft, teasing the tip with his tongue, a smirk playing on his lips.
"God, Sherlock," John half moaned from above Sherlock as he swirled his tongue around the swollen tip, letting the warmth of his mouth close around it just briefly before pulling back up to meet John's lips, reaching over to grab the lube from his side table.
"Roll over," he whispered, feeling the warmth of his own breath bounce back from John's neck.
He felt a small shiver run through John's body as he complied, and popped the cap off the lube, covering his fingers as he straddled John from behind. He pressed kisses along John's spine, smirking slightly at each shiver, before slowly and gently sliding one finger inside his tight opening, moving his finger around to allow John to get used to the feel. A loud groan sounded from beneath him, letting him know he'd hit the right spot, and he gently slid a second finger in.
"Fuck. Sherlock. Yes," John muttered from beneath him, pushing himself further against Sherlock's fingers.
Sherlock smirked, pressing another kiss to the bottom of John's back as he prepared himself to fuck John senseless.
"You ready?" He whispered against John's back, tossing the lube at his side table.
A small nod and a strangled sound of agreement was all he needed. He gently teased John's opening with the tip of his cock before slowly pressing in, listening to the sharp intake of breath from John as the initial burn was over. Warmth and tightness surrounded him, and he couldn't hold back a moan as he slowly pushed his way in, his whole body ghosting over the top of John's. He felt around John's body, grabbing his leaking cock in his already slick hand, and began slowly running his fingers along John's shaft in time with his thrusting. A string of words tumbled from his mouth, but he had no idea what he was actually saying. He could feel John tighten around him briefly as he sped up, nuzzling his head in against John's neck. Sherlock could hear him moaning beneath him, swearing and occasionally shouting Sherlock's name. He felt John's cock twitch in his hand as he came, shouting out as he burried his head into the pillow. Sherlock followed almost immediately, his vision completely white as he pulled out and came on Johns back and his own stomach. His arms shook slightly beneath his weight, and he half collapsed on top of John, breathing heavily.
"That… Was amazing," John said breathlessly, his voice still muffled by the pillow.
All Sherlock could do was nod in agreement as he lazily reached for his shirt to clean them both up with before lying next to John. He nuzzled his head into Johns neck, breathing in heavily. He smelt of sweat and shampoo, but most importantly, he smelt of John, and that was the best smell he could ever imagine. As he pulled the covers over the both of them, he wrapped his arm around John, pulling him in close.
"I love you," John whispered, turning in Sherlock's arms to face him.
The empty feeling in the bottom of his stomach and the constant confusing ache in his chest were gone, and for the first time since John had left, Sherlock felt completely at home. John was home. And while he didn't understand it, he knew that he had all the time in the world to try, and that made for the best experiment he could ever think of. He closed his eyes, relaxing into John, and pressed a kiss to the top of his head.
"I love you too."
Authors Note: This one sort of took me a while. I actually wrote the Lestrade/Sherlock kiss part first and worked around it. It's not entirely what I'd wanted it to be, but I'm satisfied with most parts. They're not as 'in character' as I would have liked, either, but I have read wonderful stories that are even more 'out of character', so I won't be too hard on myself - let you be the judge of that.
Thanks for all the lovely reviews on my other stories. Particularly my Eleven/Rory fic, which I was really quite nervous about.
Please review - hope you enjoy.