Cool rain slipped down the trails of his face, curving around every crease and wrinkle like a river. John knew it should feel colder then it did, but right now it felt refreshing. The way it soaked through his hair and clothes as if it were seeping past the sinew and bone; down to his very basic core. He always associated it with cleansing, how it cleaned away the grit and muck of the earth leaving it fresh and new. There was nothing like it really; the shimmer of a spring shower to wash the city of its sins and breath a fresh new life into it. Yes it would be tarnished again; and quite quickly, but the rain would always return.
Also it reminded him of the time him and Harry had attempted to catch frogs in the pond behind their grandparents cottage as children. They had spent hours out there, covered in muck and rain water as the sky opened up around them. The two would squeal and laugh as the slippery little fiends would just fall from their grasp and disappear into the water. Harry had complained that it would be easier to catch them if it wasn’t raining so much. Honestly there was no better time to catch frogs; or that’s what he had told Harry. Back then it was more likely that he was determined to catch at least one frog and going in now; only part way through their adventure, was silly. John knew now as much as his sister figured she was just indulging her younger brother, it was more fun then she’d ever admit.
Then there was a more recent time, when he and Sherlock had been strolling towards a crime scene. It was on the banks of the Thames during a very chilly snap in October. They were arguing about the most trivial thing; the concept of Halloween. John remembered Sherlock stating he never understood the holiday as it was unwise to take sweets from perfect strangers. His argument was that with the high statistic probability of the candy being contaminated by some sadistic human being; that it was in fact quite a foolish thing to teach ones children. Also the fact it would be the perfect recipe for child abduction as parents didn’t always accompany their children on the their Halloween marches. John of course countered that there hadn’t been a case of such events in years and that people were much more careful and not to assume the whole population was riddled with child serial killers. That he was over analyzing a simple childish holiday and making it nasty just because he never got to enjoy the holiday himself as a child. Before Sherlock could properly counter there was a sudden boom before the sky trembled and rain started to flash down upon them. It caused both men to stop and look at one another, before chuckling as their argument defused right away. John faintly remembers grumbling about the calming qualities of rain as he struggled to use his jumper to shield himself from the rain. And why he couldn’t exactly remember his own words was because of something Sherlock did. He halted his laughter and shrugged out of his great coat before draping it over John’s smaller frame. ‘No, more likely the fact I dislike continuing arguments while you’re shivering’ Sherlock had said before walking past him and into the crime scene.
John could probably lay where he was and think about all of the memories of the rain that had followed that one with Sherlock but then he began to wonder; why was he laying down? He could feel the rain pooling around his body, soaking him from top to bottom. When had this happened?
There was a faint vibration from the ground below him, the call of his name reeled him back into himself. It was a deep baritone he could hear echoing all around him. Sherlock. Ah, but why was there an echo?
The sound of footfalls skidding to a halt beside him, he heard the sound of a body falling to its knees. Soon the touches of frantic hands all over his damp jumper were all around him, causing him to hiss at the sudden sensation of burning around his abdomen. Burning? How? Shakily he lifted his hand and his eyes connected the dots of the red sticky mess on his palm.
It came back to him quickly like a flood; he and Sherlock had been pursuing a suspect down the street and through the maze of alley ways. They had split apart once having lost sight of the man; Sherlock left and John going right. It had seemed John had lucked out; well if you looked at it that way, and had found the man. He had been a suspect in a ring of violent break ins, but they had assumed he wouldn’t be armed. However, this was one of those very rare times Sherlock was wrong and during a tussle with the man John had found out how wrong he was. He had taken a sudden stab to the abdomen and then was left in the alley while the man fled. He had tried to call for Sherlock but his phone had fallen and skittered into a puddle, making it useless.
“John? Can you hear me?” Those words shocked him out of his memory and caused him to turn his eyes up towards his friend. John could practically feel the man vibrate as he pressed a hand against the seeping wound. He hissed at the sudden pressure but knew it was a good move. “How long? Erh..” Sherlock sounded for once lost in his own words, unable to make a solid deduction.
“He had a knife Sherlock…A-Army issue….” John sputtered, coughing around a copper mixture and rain water. He watched his friends eyes flicker between his own eyes and the wound before taking off his scarf and pressing it to the wound.
“It doesn’t matter now, you just need to focus on me and stay awake” The consulting detective commanded, his voice holding none of its normal irritation and disdain.
So John tried to do just that, he nodded and swallowed thickly as his body started sending him their proper panic signals. Everything wanted to shut down, he felt so tired, so very tired. The rain was starting to feel less and less cool and the pressure of Sherlock’s hand warm as his blood seeped into the soft afghan scarf. He couldn’t keep his mind focused, everything seemed to be spiraling so fast.
“I-If…. the rain cleanses everything…” He paused, struggling to form a coherent sentence, “Then I… I want to say what.. I should have said the other day..” He wheezed. The other day, when Sherlock had cornered him in the flat and asked him what was wrong; why he had been acting so distant. John had danced around the subject but knew he had to come to terms with it eventually. Perhaps now was as better time as any. “I-I … love…” John’s voice wavered, as if his body was rejecting the notion. “You… love you Sherlock…”
Acid calloused hands were a comfort against the side of his face, and his eyes fluttered feeling them move to cup the back of his head to rest against something soft. Then there was a soft blanket of dark curls tickling around his face, a press of something velvety soft against his damp forehead. “I know…John I know” Those words whispered against his skin, hot breath dancing against his face. The shaky breath danced through his eyelashes, drying the tiny fair hairs. Something damp and salty mixed in with the torrents of rain drops, rolling down his face at a much warmer temperature.
“Sh-Sherlock….” The once solider breathed, a breath which hitched and stuttered as his chest heaved slightly. The pain was rippling for a moment as everything started to fade and dull. It was a sensation he had felt once before but this time it felt a little less panicked, more controlled even.
“Please….” Sherlock begged, the usually soothing baritone cracked. “You have to stay awake John, Lestrade is on his way so it will be alright”
“Sherlock… you…?” John questioned, his ocean blue eyes looked up into the ever changing mystery that was Sherlock Holmes eyes. Right now they seemed a little more on the green side; ah, he was trailing off again.
“Yes, of course” Sherlock chided softly, ” From the very first day…”
“M-mmm… good… good…” Was all he could muster as his eyes slipped closed, his body starting to feel a little lighter. As soon as he did that he could faintly hear the now panicked shouting from above him that started to sound much more distant. His name was being repeated over and over along with the phrases ‘I love you!’ and ‘Please stay awake; don’t leave me’.
However after a few moments all he could heard was the sound of the rain, pattering against the pavement until nothing. Cleansing his mind clear, fresh and new for a new beginning.