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Maybe in another lifetime

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Sherlock is playing his violin. Somehow, the simplest melodies can always calm him down. He is looking out of the window. It's evening and the people are on their way home; hurrying down the road. John has taken a nap after he came home from work. He was so exhausted that Sherlock offered him to use his bedroom and he did. The thought of sleeping where John has slept is making Sherlock fuzzy and he has no idea why. He's glad that John is resting, though.

He believes he hears footsteps after a while and a few seconds later the common noises of John making himself tea. He does not dare to turn around because John in the morning with his messy hair and his sleepy eyes is usually unbearable for him.

Sherlock can hear how John's drinking his tea in the kitchen; clearly not sitting but wandering around and he is not sure why. Driven by curiosity, he stops the playing abruptly, and turns around.

"Did you have a nice sleep?“

John, being a bit confused, simply nods."Your bed is definitely more comfortable than mine.“

Sherlock could say something now but he resists. It's silly to even think about anything similiar.Before Sherlock can even think of another response, John is talking again. He looks somehow way too serious for just having a nap.

"I wanted to tell you something. For a long time, actually. It has been going through my mind since... a damn long time.“

Now it's Sherlock's time to be surprised. What could this be about? John is coming closer to Sherlock now, they are standing next to the fireplace, Sherlock still quite close to the window. It's not a weird situation, but then again it is.

They must be looking weird, too, standing so close to each other. John's cup is still in his hands. He puts it down now. Why does he look like the world is laying on his shoulders? „Thank you,“ John says, his clear blue eyes settling on Sherlock's. Still so serious. That's all he says.

Somehow, it's everything Sherlock needs. But he doesn't quite get it.

"What for?“

There is nothing John could be thankful for. It was only yesterday that Sherlock accidentally broke one of John's favourite cups.

"For everything... everything you have done for me. So far.“

He doesn't look like he is kidding which is confusing Sherlock even more. Could it be possible that John has heard of the things he told Lestrade last time they were alone at the crime scene a few weeks ago? Sherlock doubts Lestrade would talk to anyone about something this important to him, but it is a possibility. He doesn't know what to say. In fact, John is the one who has done everything for Sherlock and not the other way around. He would like to know what makes John think that he has done anything for him. Maybe the fall. Yes, that could be a possibility. But then again, that was already more than 2 years ago. And Sherlock never told him he did it for him. He never told him that he was the only reason he was fighting to stay alive. He realises he should probably say something. He wishes he could tell him something equally nice, something that shows John how much he means to Sherlock but he has no idea how to put in words how he feels. That's a betrayal. Words never fail him, usually.

"There's nothing I did for you, John, really...“ he says eventually. Once the words are spoken he realises how terribly wrong they sound.

„I mean, it's not-“ he tries to explain, but he can't, he doesn't know how. Another conversation he is turning into something that is horribly wrong. Why is he always ruining everything?

But John interrups, saves Sherlock from embarrassment, as always. Saves Sherlock from doing anything stupid, as always.

"You fell for me.“

Suddenly Sherlock's heartbeat is a thousand times faster because John knows, he knows what this is really all about and he knows what Sherlock tries so desperately to hide but fails, he knows. But then he relaxes because clearly he is talking about Moriarty, talking about the fall and nothing more. Of course he did it for John. There is no other person he would do this for, except maybe Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade.

Sherlock only nods. It's a good thing John knows. He should know how important he is to Sherlock. This is not the whole truth, of course. But a part of it.

"But I mean everything. Not only the fall. We have been through so much and... you were always there. I just never thought I could be happy again. But I am. I think.“

John is obviously struggling to say these words. Usually, he isn't talking that quietly. It's almost like a whisper.He means it, every single word. Sherlock is glad John is happy. That's the only thing he needs in life, to be completely honest. He thought it was all about the adrenaline but this is far more important. He can see that John wants to say more. It's a relief John isn't that good with words when it comes to these things, either.

"I am happy because of you. You made it possible for me to be happy,“ John finally manages to say. He looks into Sherlock's eyes again, making him crazy. Sherlock is not able to look into John's eyes for too long, he might say something stupid.

The fact that John is happy because of him is news to him. How can someone be happy because of him? Only something John could do. Stupid John. Sherlock is not meant to be someone who makes people happy. And yet, he did it. It's brilliant news, actually. Sherlock never thought anyone could ever be happy because of him. It was never something he wanted to achieve but now he notices how good it feels. John is happy because of him. Because he is his friend. Because his being, his existence is important to John. This feels wonderful. Too good to be true. Don't think too much into this, Sherlock reminds himself. This is what John feels and only this. Nothing more.

John has noticed Sherlock hasn't said a word. He is struggling to find words for what he feels and John is not making it better by looking at him. Those blue eyes. Sherlock's whole world.

"Sherlock,“ John looks like he would like to step closer, but doesn't. "Look at me, please.“

Sherlock has been looking to the ground now for a whole minute. He has been counting because he needs to know when he can look at John again. Now would be a good time. He can see the praying look on John's face. He is not looking thankful. More like he is... hoping for something. Sherlock can't see what he could be hoping for. He should say something. Something equally nice. But he can't. What he feels for John is far more than all this and he cannot put it down like that. Once again, he has to disappoint John. He wishes he could tell him.

I'm not what you want. I'm not what you need. I'm a mess, and nothing more. But without you, I'm a even greater mess.

"John...“ he begins. It's even harder than he thought it would be. He tries to look at him. Fails. "I...“ He cannot do it. What is he supposed to say?

Come on, he says to himself. You wanted to do this already. You were close to saying it, before. Just do it. He clears his throat, looks up now. John is waiting. He is not pressing him, though.

"I'm sorry I...“ his voice cracks, breaks. "I'm sorry I came back too late.“

John looks at him, his eyes tell that he feels pain, a pain that is insufferable and now it's his turn to look at the ground, his hands balled to fists. Sherlock doesn't know why he said that, he can see the sadness in John's eyes but he feels like it is important that John knows about it; that John knows that Sherlock wishes he would have returned sooner.

"It's just that...We could have... We could have had so many days,“ John says through gritted teeth.

It's not only sadness. It's anger and frustration and despair. It's the pain of loss. It's regret. It's everything that hurts.

But Sherlock shakes his head. Everything inside him screams now that he knows there was a time where John wanted him. The world is on fire and everything burns but he shakes his head because this is not right, not how it should be. This is not what is meant to happen.

"No, John. I'm not... I'm not the one that can make you happy.“

His face is serious, his eyes are searching John's. And finally, he looks up, looks into Sherlock's eyes and Sherlock realises he is close to tears; his grey-blue-whatever wonderful eyes are sparkling with tears. The look on his face is nothing but the pure pain he feels and it's breaking Sherlock's heart. It's shattering into a million pieces.

And to his great surprise, John brings up a hand, takes a step closer and rests his hand on Sherlock's cheek; just a light, just a simple touch and yet it means everything. This is not right, Sherlock thinks. Not right, not the right thing to do, this is just wrong, wrong, wrong and yet he can't help but wish the time would stand still.

"But you are,“ John says, a single tear running down his face. "You are, Sherlock, you are.“

There is nothing more to say. They both know it's not possible. The future is set. Maybe in another lifetime, Sherlock thinks. Maybe in another lifetime, we can find each other.