Salt

Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Moffat/Gatiss world of Sherlock, nor do I own anything of Sir ACD's world of Sherlock. The views expressed do not reflect my own views and are not designed to offend or hurt.

Summary: He wanted to be there when things fell to pieces. Even though he wouldn't be able to pick up those pieces and glue them back together, he was resolute that he would sweep them into a neat pile and relinquish the adhesive to someone who could use it.

Warning: Angst by the bucket load.


Chapter 1

"It wasn't meant for human consumption."

"The man is behind bars. Mycroft-" the name is said with distaste "-has got his people destroying the labs. All of them"

"Good. They…um, they're saying that there's going to be permanent damage"

"Hmmm"

"I don't want to drag you down with me."

"You won't"

"Not lethal, not fatal, good news for breathing, bad news for brainwork though." He recycled those words from so long ago. "Can you do me a favour?" Pause. He took it as an affirmative silence, quite foolish of him "Can you let go? Just let go of it all, you did fine before me and you will continue to be fine after me. Just…" he struggled for a moment, trying to find the correct word, only to find that it was staring him in the face. "Just forget. I'm a blip."

An eyebrow rises quizzically.

"A blip?"

"On the radar, under the radar, nothing more and nothing less. I'm selfish, and after everything transpires I won't be the person you knew anymore, and I won't be worth your time or effort. And I don't want you to stop living because…how you live Sherlock!" Pause "They said only certain memories were affected"

"Yes"

"Certain memories often pertaining to one place or thing."

"Yes."

"Once they're gone, they're gone forever, as far as they can tell"

"Yes"

"Any attempt to create or re-establish those memories will not be possible, nothing, might even cause more damage as far as they can tell. It's like a leak that can't be plugged. Eventually everything will go, but it'll take decades before everythingdisappears, specific things will start to go first."

For someone whose memories was gouging he rattled this off with textbook accuracy. He had been told by doctors many times what wa goin to happen to him as far as they could tell

"Your point?"

Always so concise. He had heard once that the word 'sparse' was derived from the word Spartan, that the Spartans had been named so because of their methods of communication. Famously concise. Maybe they should introduce a new word into the English language derived from Sherlock's name, describing someone who talks and acts in his manner of extreme brevity.

"I'm not sure, but I feel like there is something missing, I keep going over everything in my head, they say rehearsal is the key to memory, but I just can't put my finger on it. There seems to be gaps, and it's all blurring together, and I want it to stop.Everything was soclear, ever since we met for the first time, in B…" he stumbles for a moment, and it's painful; like watching a mountain goat losing it's footing, unnatural. "In Baker Street"

It is unclear whether John's words were a statement or a question. Sherlock's head snaps up, silence follows, much like it did in the lab where they first met. And the silence is followed by nothingness, which in turn makes way for the pain. Because that statement it's so wrong. And despite the different connotations it holds for both of them, ultimately it means the same thing. And that hurts.

"Oh"

"I'm sorry" though he doesn't know what he is apologising for, just that something is inherently wrong.

"I am too…It's fine"

"It's not fine, but it's happening, and I know it's a lot to ask of you. But could you just let go? Forget we ever met? Can you promise me that?"

"No."

"I thought you might say that."

A tentative smile goes unreturned. It doesn't make everything all right, not even for a moment.


Thanks.