He can’t stop it.
He hears and sees himself as if he were another person, watching it happen and absolutely loathes it, but he just can’t bloody stop it.
Worse, Sherlock is here, Sherlock and his hand on his neck, on his arm and John can do nothing but break apart into an absolute blubbering mess. He hears Sherlock’s soft call of, “It's okay…” and everything in him vehemently refuses it, absolutely shaking with the hatred of this particular word.
“It's not okay,” he chokes out to Sherlock’s chest, his voice breaking with it.
He feels Sherlock draw a deep breath, as if accepting his mistake. “No,” the man says and then quietly quotes back at him, “but it is what it is.”
What follows is even worse. John has no control over it. He moans with it, not even recognizing the sounds he makes, no longer able to hide his face, nor his whimpers. Surprisingly, Sherlock draws him even closer. John feels him, gently putting his cheek on the top of his head and that breaks the dam.
He cries with grief, for Mary and for Rosie, but mostly for the man he wanted to be and never could be. That’s not who is. That could never be him. The absolute hard proof of it stands right next to him, cradling his neck like he is something precious and not some absolutely disgusting monster, an army man who kicks an unarmed man to the ground, a so-called doctor who is absolutely blind to his best friend’s mental state of being.
He hates it, hates what he truly is, an angry, petty, vicious man. Like father, like son. He is no use. He doesn’t deserve Sherlock. He just doesn’t. He can’t let him go, though, as much as he hates himself for it, he needs Sherlock, he needs him to be here.
“Look at me, I’m shit,” he gasps through his tears, his teeth shaking with self-loathing, he can’t face him, not now, “I can't even…” John glances up towards that bloody eye, then immediately regrets it, unable to look at it.
“What?” Sherlock asks, utterly unaware of how wrong John is.
“Jesus,” A fresh set of tears burst down his face and John is filled with bitter, excruciating regret. How deep does the man’s self-destruction go? John should know better. He bites his lower lip to stop more tears from coming, but it’s in vain. “I’m sorry,” he gasps out, trembling and sniffling, “Jesus, Sherlock, I'm so sorry.”
“Oh,” Sherlock blinks, an awkward understanding passes through his bruised face, “It's okay.”
“No, it’s not,” John sobs, unable to face the damage he created, “It’s really not okay.”
The bewilderment on Sherlock’s expression only makes it worse. “John,” he rumbles softly.
John stops him from going further with it, quite sure that he is about to hear Sherlock claiming he made him do it, or something even worse.
“See?” he swallows, shaking with self-hatred, “That's why- you should. You need better.” He doesn’t even hear Sherlock’s soft sound of denial, so sure of this, “That’s not how- people behave, not- people, you should, you should text her.”
He is openly crying now, “Why wouldn't you text her- Jesus,” he gasps for a breath, feels something brush his cheek, wiping the tears. He is drowned in his grief, in his regret, he looks at Sherlock’s eyes, and sees him heartbroken and sad, so, so sad, when did Sherlock get this sad?
The vulnerability in his face just breaks John, he is not supposed to be that, not Sherlock Holmes, the genius detective, he saves people. He needs to be this wonderful man with hot, beautiful, genius women hanging on to every word, scoffing at John Watson if they ever saw him, all broken and in pieces, and what a best friend he turned out to be. Why wouldn’t he, when he had every opportunity, and yet here he is, with him, with John, who hit him and kicked him and he can’t take it anymore. “Please, just. Just tell me,” he begs, crying, why, he need to know why, “Just tell me, please.”
And something horrible happens.
Sherlock says nothing, but the look on his face changes, just for one millisecond, for one fragment of the second, the light in his eyes changes and John sees it.
He can’t breathe.
He can’t look away.
He realizes, he is standing in here, between Sherlock’s arms, his face cradled, like… like a fool.
As if he was… he is, simply.
Even the suggestion of the idea is so immense, so much bigger than him that for one second, he can’t breathe with it.
“Sherlock,” he gasps, his fingers grasp onto his sleeve.
Sherlock looks terrified. The horror swallows everything else on his expression, causing him to draw back, literally, with both his eyes, and his fingers and his body, taking a step back.
“No,” John whispers, hanging on to him, “No, please. Please, just...” He moves one step into the circle of Sherlock’s arms, holds his posh shirt in his fist to stop him from moving further away.
“John,” Sherlock is shaking, he looks utterly devastated.
The sudden euphoria which envelops him cannot be explained with any words. John suddenly feels a calmness he has never felt before in his life. He feels like, after being shattered on the way, he somehow managed to climb an impossible mountain and find this beautiful horizon, this most amazing sunrise. He is brought back to life with it. It’s okay, now. “It's okay,” he whispers, reaching up. “It's okay, Sherlock.” With the end of the syllable, his lips catch Sherlock’s lower lip.
Sherlock makes a wounded sound. For one suspended second, his lips stay immobile against John’s, then he bends down and kisses him back.
It feels like soaring through the roof.
He cradles that precious head, his fingers gliding through soft curls. He draws shaky, sobbing breaths, and kisses Sherlock again.
It’s amazing. It’s annihilating. It’s everything. His chest bursts with it, he pours everything into the kiss.
It is Sherlock who breaks it next. Unlike John, he looks colourless and utterly destroyed, white as a ghost.
“You- you um, you, you are not- I mean- uh,” He rambles and pulls away, shaking like a leaf, “Grief ma-”
“Shut up, please,” John implores, then softly adds, “Come here.”
Sherlock very quickly responds, “Okay,” and moves right back into his open arms.
John melts with the sight of it. “God, come here,” he whispers to his lips and kisses him, again and again.
What a delightful thing, this is.
They kiss and kiss and kiss and kiss, until John is out of his mind with it, wanting to crawl into it and never surface again. Sherlock is making small sounds, small mewls that escape from his throat and drive John out of his bloody mind.
Sherlock apparently has other pressing concerns on his mind. “John- um, m-my knees are shaking,” he babbles, quite alarmed, and abruptly, sits down, drawing John with him.
John can’t help but bursting out laughing, but gamely, he goes with him. It’s not a surprise, really. Everybody knows that if Sherlock Holmes goes down, John Watson follows him.
Even into his famous chair.
Sherlock looks equally bewildered at the obvious fact of how easily John fits with him.
John puts his thumbs on those amazing cheekbones, feeling a hysterical laugh rising out of him. In the end, it is very obvious now, isn’t it?
“Better?” he asks and barely waiting for the nod, he dives back in. Cradling Sherlock's beautiful head in his palms, he kisses that ridiculous Cupid’s bow, those malnourished, bristly cheeks and finally, that poor, lovely eye, the one he bruised quite badly. He swallows with difficulty and kisses it again for good measure, willing it done away with any harm he caused.
His lips come away wet, as Sherlock is crying. And it is not the fake expression with pretty, doting tears, no, he is all scrunched and squinty and utterly, utterly horrible.
And John loves him for it.
He has never felt so out of control with his emotions before. He can’t help it; his eyes start burning again with the sight of Sherlock shaking silently against his chest. Drawing deep, shaky breaths, he replaces every single one of Sherlock's tears with his kisses.
Sherlock just buries his head into his neck, hugging him like he’ll evaporate at any minute.
“God,” John shakily breathes out and tangles his fingers in his hair. He feels lightheaded with relief. “I made such a mess of it, haven’t I?”
Sherlock draws back with full offense, the wanker, his whole face blotched. “No, you haven’t.”
John scoffs out a laugh, chagrined. He will do better by him, he promises himself.
Starting right now, in fact.
He looks at him, his fingers still caressing the bruise. He has to bite his lower lip to stop the tears coming back again. “I love you,” he chokes out, not quite managing to get a hold of it, “I love you, Sherlock. If you'll have me, I'm yours.”
Sherlock looks at him with such wonder, with such amazement, John feels a bit silly for putting it out there. But Sherlock never breaks the eye contact with him, and grasps his fingers into his palm. Quietly, he says, “I'll have all of you, John, if you will have me.”
John’s smile breaks through his turned down, ready to cry mouth, and when Sherlock raises his hand to caress it, John turns his cheek to hold it with his open palm and kisses it, quite fiercely.
Sherlock draws him down into a slow embrace. They stay cradled in their corner, for a long time.
John sniffs, finally drawing back, getting up from the chair. Sherlock’s legs must be dead, but he doesn’t complain. He clears his throat, sheepish, gets up as well, his hands are drawn like magnets towards John’s. He can’t quite look up though, and his eyes are on John’s chest when he mumbles, “John um, I- me too. Back. You. I mean, I- um, Iloveyoutoo,” he says, embarrassed, too fast.
John feels a grin bursting through him, he catches Sherlock’s hand. “What was that?”
“Shut up,” Sherlock grumbles, squeezing his fingers.
“No, I mean, I couldn’t hear-” John starts, feeling a bit cheeky.
“I love you, John Watson,” Sherlock raises his voice, a bit in anger, “Now, was that clear-”
Not quite expecting the burst of huge warmth, John draws a breath, his face hot, like he was thrown into lava, all bubbling and bursting. “Yeah,” he croaks, choked with passion, “Yeah, that was pretty damn clear.”
He has just one millisecond to see the replying fire in Sherlock’s eyes and then everything blacks out.
This kiss is way, way different than the others. The previous ones, he means.
Fuck, he is screwed.
“Jesus.” John draws back with a moan and Sherlock looks all hot and bothered but pleased.
John knows he is blushing up to his hairline. He clears his throat, slowly rocking back on his heels, trying to adjust himself, without adjusting himself. “Yeah, um, maybe…” He raises a hand to scratch his burning neck, then notices the still present ring on his finger, and is suddenly uncomfortable. “Um, I should,” he babbles, “We should- we should go eat a cake.”
“Cake?” Sherlock looks at him, his eyes on his mouth, slowly drawn to it.
“Yeah- uh- for your birthday.” John licks his lower lip nervously, then immediately stops it when he sees Sherlock’s pupils enlarge, “I'll- I’ll call for Rosie- you call Molly.”
“Okay,” Sherlock says, his voice small, confused.
John manages to walk back as far as the kitchen, then swears and comes back quite fast. “Jesus, I-I- didn’t mean to,” He is torn apart when he sees Sherlock’s heartbroken face, “We'll talk, about this, everything, okay?.. I- just…” He desperately wishes Sherlock to understand.
Sherlock’s eyes search his face and then, suddenly he nods. “Not now,” he completes for him, relief is clear in his voice, “Okay.”
John wants to kiss him, until both of them are senseless with it. “Just call Molly, please,” he asks softly.
As he takes his call in the kitchen, Sherlock shouts out, “Best birthday gift, ever, John!”
A grin cracks John’s features open. “Well, you never had any from me, have you?”
Sherlock gives him a quirky, embarrassed, tiny little smile and John is back to blushing again. He quickly turns his back when the call connects. “Hi, yeah, Greg? No, no, everything’s fine- listen, can you bring Rosie…”
Happy Birthday, you great goof!
I hope you have many kisses, this year xxx
I’ve already had some. SH
Was the finger really necessary, Dr Watson?
He says: “I’m glad you are alive. Now sod off.” SH
Congratulations, you ABSOLUTE douchebags.
Let’s have dinner together, sometime.
FUCK OFF, IRENE. JW