Sherlock continues to stare moodily at the clock. It has been eleven hours, fifty five minutes and thirty seven seconds since he stormed up here (he would have insisted he gracefully ascended but John maintains that if you slam the door behind you it can no longer be classified as this).
And John hasn't been up yet.
Sherlock feels a little (minuscule, really) guilty about yelling at John but it was John's fault. He should have been thinking about Sherlock's state of mind. Sherlock warned him he was prone to mood swings due to the slightest change in his environment. John should never have been prancing about wearing only pyjama bottoms and an open housecoat, with his hair sleepily tousled and with that expression on his face.
Yes, it was definitely John's fault and he should be apologising. Not sulking downstairs.
Sherlock huffs as he makes up his mind. He has to see what is taking John so long. He stands up, dressing gown twirling dramatically as he prowls downstairs, prepared to give John a stern talking to on his responsibilities. Never mind the fact that, in truth, it was all Sherlock's fault. He peeks around the corner and a cold feeling begins to grow in his chest.
There are a million clues. The placement of objects on the coffee table; the marks on the floor; the extremely thin layer of dust resting on the top of the TV remote. They all point towards the same thing. John is gone.
No, no. John would never leave. He would never leave Sherlock. John was loyal, and forgiving and at the very least would tell him before he left. Then, Sherlock remembers the look upon John's face. It was a look that Sherlock had been trying to forget, to erase from his mind.
Sherlock had to find John.
He throws on his scarf, jacket and boots before remembering the time. John could be anywhere by now!
If John wanted to leave that much, Sherlock would let him. But he wasn't about to allow some silly words said in anger to drive him off. At the very least, he had to try to apologise. He had to do everything he could to keep John. Despite all his skills, Sherlock could not see in the dark well enough to make his usual deductions. By morning it would be too late. He would have to enlist the help of his enemy. He eyes his coat pocket for a moment before resigning himself to the torture.
"Hello, Sherlock, what a pleasant surprise," a familiar voice says.
"I need you to find John."
"No greetings, Sherlock, that's not very nice. Where are your manners?"
He grinds his teeth.
There is a few seconds of silence.
"He is at 24 east brookline avenue," Mycroft supplies.
Sherlock almost hangs up.
"Wait a moment, Sherlock."
Sherlock pauses, his thumb positioned above the 'end call' button.
"Remember, don't mess up again, Mummy would be so disappointed."
With that, Mycroft hangs up. Always one for the theatrics.
Sherlock would like to run, to sprint to John, but he can't. Somehow, John has found his way to the other side of London. Instead, he calls a Taxi to drop him off and pick him up again. After several minutes they reach their destination and Sherlock hops out, paying the cab driver for that half of the journey.
Now he sprints the remaining blocks separating him and John. At first he doesn't see him, but once he is sure he is at the righ place, he has a more thorough look.
John is curled up on his side on a bench, shivering. It is only in this moment that Sherlock allows himself to actually feel the guilt and regret. It is most often just a trifle that slows him down unnecessarily, but he will allow it now.
Then, using all of his muscles (and a bit of magic) he lifts John up. He peers owlishly down at him as he does, knowing that he must store every bit of this in his mind palace for future reference. If John was awake he would not stand for Sherlock carrying him 'like a princess.' Despite the exertion all he can focus on is the feeling of having John in his arms. With strength unknown to him he makes it back the cab and lays him in the back seat as they return to Baker street.
Sherlock sits next to him and absentmindedly strokes John hair, watching the familiar streets whizz by. This time, Sherlock can only carry John to the couch, but that is far enough. He removes his shoes and jacket, places his head and soft blond hair on a pillow and covers his body in blankets. Just before he leaves, he places a soft kiss atop John's head. He will be sure to make sure he wakes up in a good mood, so as not to leave him again, before he has his chance.
John awakes, groggy. The first thing he notices is music. Beautiful violin music, coming from nearby. Then the heavenly sent of beans, sausages and... Burnt toast. The scent of Sherlock, of home.
It is not perfect, but it is what he has, and he would not trade it for the world (or, perhaps, a better behaved roommate).