Holmes stared out the window, surprised to see the… Bus? Yes… Bus. That’s the word his future mind supplied for him. It was odd to have one foot firmly planted in the past and his eyes while his eyes were gazing out into the future.
That wasn’t past. Watson called him “Holmes,” not…
“Sherlock!” John’s voice was insistent, forcing Sherlock to open one eye.
The room was bright, too bright. The light seemed to find a way to burn into his brain stem and he closed his eyes again. The world was slipping sideways and dark. The way he liked it…
“Sherlock Holmes, open your eyes!” John demanded.
“Is that an order, Captain?” Sherlock managed to open one and then the other eye. It was too bright.
“Look at me.” John commanded as he leaned into Sherlock’s space.
Sherlock could smell him. A faint hint of Mary’s perfume and the warm, masculine scent that sometimes made his mouth water. For a moment he wanted to taste… Taste John on his tongue as he had tasted the dust left behind and…
“Sherlock, damn it! Stay with me. Don’t wander off.” John’s voice insisted.
Sherlock opened his eyes again. Did John know how much he wanted to lick him? Moriarty had said it… But once he said it he knew it was his own base desire. He wanted to taste, to touch… To sleep in the comfortable bed and wallow in John’s masculine scent. To dream…
“Sherlock… Come on, Sherlock. You have to focus on me. Can you do that?” John’s hands rubbed at his arms. “Come on, Sherlock. Don’t do this. Don’t leave me again.”
“Again…?” Sherlock managed with some effort, forcing his eyelids to open. They were at the flat. Mary and John sat side by side on the edge of the coffee table, staring at him. “Again?”
“Sherlock…” John took a deep breath and let it out again, his eyes full of pain. “You told us that you had taken the drugs before you got on the plane.”
Sherlock blinked several times, suddenly his mind focused on the pair sitting before him. “And?”
“That was before Moriarty’s message came out. You didn’t take the drugs to solve his return.” John’s voice became low, dangerous.
It thrilled Sherlock, sending a shiver up his spine. “And?”
John looked to Mary who looked to him and then back again to Sherlock. “Was that… A suicide attempt? There was no one in the plane with you… Aside from the pilot. Had you ODed…”
“Don’t be silly, John…” Sherlock murmured, stretching his arms and legs as if that could relieve the lethargy that was threatening to overwhelm him. “I’ve been dead from the moment I shot Magnussen.”
“Sherlock!” John was suddenly in his face, filling his view. Eyebrows knitted together, frown that puckered his lower lip just so… And breath sweetened slightly by the honey he had with his toast. “Sherlock… Focus!” The captain snarled in such a way that made Sherlock’s stomach flip and his toes curl.
“My life was forfeit. What did it matter if it happened at the hands of Myrcoft’s army or on a plane? Or on the impossible mission? I was going to die… I prefer to do it on my own terms.” His hand reached up and lightly traced the lines formed by the frown. “Forfeit.”
John shook his head and pulled away, allowing the rest of the room to come into focus. “No. I don’t believe it.”
“It was a suicide mission… My punishment for taking a life. I chose to end it sooner rather than later.”
“No!” John growled, lunging at him. Something held him back. Ah… Mary’s hand rested on John’s thigh, her eyes downcast.
“John…” Her voice was soft, broken.
John visibly relaxed and once again sat on the coffee table. “You tried to take your own life on your own terms because you knew it was a suicide mission.”
Sherlock nodded mutely, watching John’s hand open and close, clench and relax.
“You knew this when you killed Magnussen.”
Again Sherlock nodded.
“Then why did you do it?”
Finally Sherlock lifted his eyes, staring back at his one and only friend. The man he lost. A heart that wasn’t supposed to exist suddenly ached and he was filled with regret. If he could have grabbed John at the altar and ran off with him he would have. There was a word for that… Elope. And in the past he had successfully pulled Watson away from his wife to a point he never even saw her. They were quite good at eloping.
“Sherlock…” Mary began, watching him stare at her husband. “Sherlock we’re going to help you. Do you understand?”
Why wouldn’t he understand? He wasn’t stupid… Although he wasn’t entirely sure what Mary was getting at with her words about help.
“Listen, Sherlock. John and I will move in with you. We’ll look after you.”
“I don’t need looking after.” Sherlock answered automatically.
“You need John.” Mary stated as if it wasn’t really a question. “I need John too.” Her hand rested briefly on her swollen belly. “So you get the three of us.”
John glanced at his wife and then to Sherlock with a worried smile. “The baby is coming. You need to help me, Sherlock. Help us. I need you here with me.”
“I don’t know anything about babies…”
“You will learn.” Mary smiled at him. “Midnight feedings, nappies…”
“Spit up and explosive poo… It will be loads of fun!” John continued.
Sherlock looked between the two of them in a panic.
John’s hand reached out and lightly touched Sherlock’s knee, resting there in its warm presence. “Sherlock…”
Sherlock locked eyes with John again, finding himself drifting in and out of reality. Sometimes he was 19th century detective and sometimes he was a heart broken, lonely man who sacrificed everything for his soul mate’s continued survival. The same soul mate that begged him to live one more day and help him change nappies.
He would do anything for John. Mutely he nodded his acceptance.
“Hug him.” Mary’s voice cut into their reality.
And then he felt an overwhelming warmth, holding him in a strong embrace. “I’ve got you.” John’s voice was muffled somewhere near his shoulder and he leaned into that voice, wallowing in the rare physical contact. They stayed like that for several minutes until John pulled away, leaving a press of warm lips against Sherlock’s temple before sitting back on the coffee table. “I’ll go make us some tea.” And with that he was gone, leaving an emptiness in his wake.
“Sherlock…” Mary’s voice was low and dangerous, pulling his attention back to her. “If you love him as much as I think you do, you wouldn’t do this to him. It hurts too watch someone you love self-destruct. Stop it!”
Sherlock stared at her mutely.
“He’s a doctor. He will do everything in his power to help you. You know that. That’s his nature. My advice to you is to let him.”
“And what if… I wanted to elope with him?” Sherlock mused, watching for her reaction.
Mary shook her head and crossed her arms over her chest. “You’re not going to win him over by slowly killing yourself.
“I’m talking about stealing your husband.”
Mary’s eyes focused on him. “I know what you’re talking about. And you still won’t win him by drowning your sorrows in drugs. He’s already watched his sister drown her sorrows in alcohol. Why would that work?”
Of course he had forgotten about Harry. Damn. There was always something…
“The way into John Watson’s pants isn’t by making yourself pitiful with drugs.”
“Who said I wanted into his pants?” Sherlock asked even as his mind supplied a very graphic depiction of what it would be like to explore the contents of John Watson’s pants.
“Oh… Trust me. You want into his pants.” Mary chuckled.
At that moment the owner of said pants appeared with three mugs of tea which he passed around their small group. “Pants?”
Sherlock stared into his mug, frowning at the milky tea. “Never mind…”
Mary hid her smirk with her mug as she took a sip. “We were discussing the benefits Sherlock would enjoy with his sobriety.”
“What does that have to do with pants?” John wondered aloud.
Sherlock wondered if this was his life now… Sobriety and secret conversations about pants. But first he would have to face withdrawal… He hated withdrawal.
A while later he woke in a panic, crying out as he writhed in terror.
“Shh… Shh… I’m here. It’s alright…” John’s voice was gentle and calm. “I’m here Sherl.” A warm hand touched his forehead. “Relax.”
Sherlock closed his eyes and allowed John’s voice to wash over him.
Holmes sat in the shed, staring out at the garden.
“So… You’ve never have anyone?” Watson asked.
“I’ve had myself.” Holmes replied. “That’s all I’ve ever needed.”
“Yes, but…” Watson shook his head in wonderment.
“It’s not like I haven’t thought about getting into your pants.” That was wrong. The phrase was wrong for the time period and the place. Victorian gentlemen did not speak of such things.
“My pants?” Watson queried, raising an eyebrow.
“This is your wife’s fault! She’s the one that suggested I wanted into your pants!” Holmes insisted.
“Don’t you?” Watson cocked his head to the side.
“He does.” Moriarty agreed. Suddenly they were back in the sitting room. “He wants to lick you and inhale your skin!”
“I say…” Watson cried out, turning a scandalized shade of pink.
“Go away!” Holmes commanded of Moriarty. “You aren’t helping the situation!”
“He wants to swallow you down, John Watson.” Moriarty grinned.
“We have already established that this is all because of the drugs and it’s all a dream.” Holmes informed the room.
“Down the rabbit hole.” Moriarty continued. “Swallow you down. Suck on your skin… Suck on your cock.”
“Don’t be so vulgar!” Holmes turned to him.
“Sherlock?” Watson called.
Sherlock turned to him and woke up, blinking his eyes in the dim light to see John next to him on the bed. “John?”
“You’re talking in your sleep.” John whispered.
“Sorry.” Sherlock took a deep breath and attempted to relax again.
John reached out and lightly touched his forehead.
“Where’s Mary?” Sherlock suddenly asked, fully awake.
“Upstairs in our room. I’m taking the night watch.” John answered. “Are you hungry or thirsty?”
Sherlock shook his head and lay back down on the bed. “What did I say? You said I was talking.”
“Something about rabbit holes.” John answered, pulling his fingers away. “Then you shouted ‘don’t be so vulgar.’ Who were you talking to?”
“Moriarty.” Sherlock answered, staring up at the ceiling.
“He was being vulgar?”
“Always.” The detective rolled over onto his side, facing John.
John rubbed his side in a soothing manner.
Sherlock scooted closer, pleased when an arm rested on his waist. Of course there would be a point in his withdrawal when he would push it away, but for now John’s presence and scent was comforting. Now was a time to wallow in it.
“Go back to sleep.” Lips kissed his forehead as the hand on his back opened to support him. And he slept.