Sherlock had never been good with emotions. He could not handle them, not often, and the one time he had given a creature his love and affection, the resulting fall-out had been enough to scar him for life.
Caring was not an advantage, it was a hindrance.
But he more than cares about Dr. John Watson, and Sherlock knows it.
He tried to run from it for a while, and then he embraced it in time for Moriarty to threaten it.
Then he left. He had to and he wasn’t sure if John would ever understand, but John forgave him, and that was enough for Sherlock. It shouldn’t have been, and he shouldn’t have even wanted…needed that forgiveness, but he did.
He cared too much.
He…loved too much.
He loved John Watson.
This moment wasn’t enough, not nearly enough, to say all he wished to say…but would that really be fair?
Sherlock Holmes would be truly dead in six months’ time. There would be no return, no come back, and no return to Dr. John Watson, no return to see the little girl, who Sherlock would hope gained her father’s good nature, caring heart, and good common sense, as well as her father’s aim, but her mother’s ability to tread the fine line between all things.
He would not see it.
And in this moment, Sherlock could not burden John Watson with another thing.
He had done enough.
“Sherlock is actually a girl’s name,” Sherlock stated and John laughed, light and carefree.
And Sherlock smiled.