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You Are The Reason

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"Oh God, it's been such a long day innit? But can you believe it? We're married. Actually married." Mary giggled as she closed the door to their house.

"Yeah, I'm so glad everything went well today. Especially after the case with the photographer and Major Sholto", John sighed as he took off his shoes.

"That was a close call. But, as always, Sherlock to the rescue. And he gave us our good news. The best, probably", pointing at her belly which will soon start to become more obvious in the coming months. She leaned in to kiss John softly.

"Right. The child. Uh, our child, I mean." John remembered how Sherlock revealed this just a few hours ago. At first, John was over the moon. All he could think of was the person delivering the news, and connecting him with the words "child" and "family". He even leaned in and celebrated the news with Sherlock, happiness evident on both of their faces and their entire body language. Suddenly, Mary made her presence known by clearing her throat a little too deliberately, breaking the moment, and he saw the joy leaving Sherlock's eyes. John, in response, placed his hand awkwardly on her shoulder to acknowledge her.

He wasn't entirely convinced the child was his, given his sexual activities with Mary in the recent months. The percentage was highly unlikely. But he was married to Mary now, Mary Watson, as she would be called from then onwards. And isn't this what every heteronormative couple desires? A family. So, he had to pretend to be happy, more for his sake than Mary's or the society's expectations.

If John was honest with himself, he felt like he rushed it all. If he was honest, Mary was meant to be a replacement for Sherlock, after the fall. He did love Mary. After that horrific incident at St Bart's, John was scarred. Mary came into his life like a conductor of light, cheering him up in his darkest of times. John scorned at his own choice of words subconsciously. Isn't that what Sherlock called him? He realised he is only realising the implications of his words a little too late. So, he knew he loved Mary, but never as much or as purely as he did Sherlock. And he was happy with that because he thought Sherlock really was dead, so Mary became his priority. But just when John thought he finally moved on, Sherlock showed up in his life again as if there was no separation between the two. He freaked out internally and decided to get ahead with Mary before things get more complicated with Sherlock. And that is how he ended up with this wedding. Sherlock giving a perfect Best Man's speech, if speeches were to be compared.

"-John?" Mary was shaking him by the shoulders now. Seeing the concerned look on her face, John realised he must have been lost in his thoughts for quite some time now.

"Sorry, sorry. I was just going through everything that happened today," he plastered a smile which he hoped would convince his wife.

"Ah, that's alright John! I understand it's overwhelming. Weddings, social events. Just, ugh! Right?" John laughed because that was true indeed. "Anyway, I was saying, I am going to crash the bed right away because I do not even have the energy in me to take all this makeup off. The dress would be a hassle in and of itself. Are you coming anytime soon?"

"Just give me some time yeah? I'll probably change into something more comfortable, have a cuppa to calm myself down before joining you," he spoke as he entered the kitchen, turning on the kettle.

Mary sneaked up behind him, "Okay husband. Gosh, I could get used to that word. I'll leave your clothes out here. You know I'm a light sleeper and you entering the room would most likely wake me up and leave me all grumpy, and we wouldn't want that. Good night then." She left another kiss on John's mouth and went off to their room.

John removed his suit jacket and started clearing out the pockets when the envelope addressed "Dr and Mrs Watson" got into his hands. He smiled endearingly, remembering all the effort Sherlock put in for his wedding. He made a mental note to himself to thank and call Sherlock the next morning because which bloody git leaves his best friend's wedding early and then leaves a "gift" without giving it personally? He ran his hand smoothly over the handwriting as if more pressure would tear it apart.

Right then, the kettle went off. He put down the envelope on the coffee table and walked towards the kitchen. He poured some water into his cup and changed into his pyjamas. He brought his cup of tea with him and sat on the sofa, taking the envelope again. He lifted the flap and took out the papers even though he knew he wouldn't understand any musical scores. He was about to put the envelope back on the table again when he saw another set of paper inside, folded in half, with its cover having the words "Burn this" in Sherlock's scrawly writing. Out of curiosity, John let go of the musical score and instead took this out, which seemed to be a letter. He opened it and it smelled faintly of cigarettes.


Dear John (always dear to me, but you don't know, do you? Nobody does. Neither did I until I had to fake m),

Why am I even writing this? You don't even live here at 221B Baker Street anymore so if I had to talk and project my pressing thoughts, I could very well do it to Billy. My one true friend who has never left me. Please come back, life is miserable without you. Pressing? You might ask if this was work-related. Unfortunately for both of us, no. It is something I am rather embarrassed to admit and talk about. Feelings. Emotions. Sentiment. I guess that is why I'm writing this down instead because talking would humiliate me, it doesn't matter who I talk to.

John. John. Oh, John. There are so many things to ask you and even more to say. Where do I begin? I am currently writing this because the best man speech for you has exhausted me, in a bittersweet way. I can't seem to stop adding elements to the speech, because every time I delve into the rooms about you or anything to do with you in my Mind Palace, I am reminded of something different about you (you take up more space in it more than you would ever think. stop discrediting yourself all the time John you're amazing fantastic brilliant and all the words you've ever used to describe my deductions). The way you sniff when you're fuming with anger, the way you become proud of yourself when you managed to make me eat or sleep regularly with a routine, the way you take care of Mrs Hudson.

She told me you stopped visiting her ever since I faked my death. Why is that so? Did the memories haunt you as they haunted me, away from home? Could you not bear the sight, or the memory, of me anymore? Do you really despise me that much? Which is totally understandable. Everyone hates me. Why would you be any different? You're just an ordinary human being looking for an ordinary lifestyle, as you have said so many times. You're one of them. To convince yourself. This is not what you need, though. You need the thrill, John. I know you. Not well enough, yes. But still, I know you. You were the only one who let me into their lives so warmly and willingly and I'd always be grateful for that no matter where our relationship friendship is headed towards now.

I suppose I should address the real issue that regressed what we used to be. The Fall. You said you forgave me, yet I don't feel like it. I think you're ignoring me even now, John. We no longer share the easy comradeship and the comfortable "I-invade-your-personal-space-all-the-time-but-sod-that" company as we did before The Fall. I even started speaking like you now after hearing your voice so often when I was away, does this mean anything to you? What does this speak of me? What does this even mean? 

It's funny how our story will now be divided into three sections: Before The Fall. After The Fall. And John weds Mary. Not that much of a difference between the second and third sections, sadly. Congratulations on that by the way. I don't know how to properly convey my best wishes but I hope you can understand my habits. I know you know I don't mean any of this deeply. I've tried to be truly happy, John, but I can't be. But perhaps that's something to touch upon later. Now, The Fall.

I don't remember if I told you this after I returned. But I did all that to protect the people who called me their friend. People that you cared about too. I did that for you, John, for you. Why? If I hadn't killed myself, Moriarty and his men would have killed you. I'd rather not be living than to live in a world where John Watson does not exist. Your ridiculously enchanting blog said Sherlock lives means John Watson lives. I think it's the other way round. I have lived, and am still breathing, because of you. You kept my heart beating. As I climbed mountains and swam across oceans, it was the thought of you that gave me strength and hope right when I was about to give it all up and just die. You reminded me to get through all this because if I succeeded, I thought I would come back to London to have you all to myself.

I wanted to come back and fix you, John, because I saw you at my gravestone. I saw you cry, I saw you hesitating to say something that was on your mind. I could not deduce what it was because I was overwhelmed with how you reacted to my death. I had no idea you'd be impacted that much. Never thought you cared as to what happens to me, it all comes with the work anyway, doesn't it? With me, it was always a matter of life and death, no in-between.

I am sorry again, and I am starting to accept that you have a right to be cross with me and it's fine if you do not wish to resume our normal association (no it's not okay john please read through my words i've been worse than ever I don't know how to function with you not here beside me, yelling at me for messing everything up but with a fondness I was never able to label until I was away thinking of you in India and Serbia. I need you now, more than ever.)

It's not that I don't trust you, John. (okay yes I admit I read your blog. have read it countless times and i've memorised some entries by heart because you need to stop making me look like a hero or an angel why do you think so highly of me in your entries. nobody has ever shown me such appreciation it makes my heart bleed.) I trust you even more than I trust myself. But what I did, was important to me. Just like how this marriage is important to you. Personal reasons. I could not have risked my conductor of light's life for a rivalry that was never his, to begin with. You have been too generous for all the times you had put your life at risk for me or for my cases. But if you ask me, if I could turn back the clock, I would have still spent every hour of every day keeping you safe. Maybe this is how I show my affection for you. as you can see from this writing, I'm not so good with words.

I think I li I am in I love you, John Hamish Watson, and I didn't realise it was love until I had to be away from you. I used to think of alternative scenarios in my mind during the time I was away. A slight miscalculation and I might have really passed away. And do you know what my biggest regret then would have been? Not telling you anything about how I truly feel, or even thanking you for all that you have done for me. I guess the former is still my biggest regret. I mean, I came back here, resumed my work (which I thought would be more than enough), and yet you're staying away from me, marrying somebody who is not me. I still think how it would be like to be able to hug you, to kiss you freely. to be able to deduce your mood based on how deep the shade of blue your eyes reflects. to be able to share a bed with you. to be able to share an entire lifetime. did you ever think the same? did you ever feel anything like love for me? do you feel anything for mary, at all?

Ever since you asked me to be the best man, i've been trying to keep my own feelings aside. Try to become the same old high-functioning sociopath I was when we met the first day (good old times). but here's the thing John. I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want to cry anymore. I cried in Serbia when I thought I was dying and I would never be able to see you anymore ever and the last image that I had of you from the grave was also starting to fade away. can you imagine? how unlike the great consulting detective. I don't want to hide anymore. John. I am infatuated. And the more I try to hide it, the more obvious my pining would become. So I need to get it out somehow. Tell myself I have conveyed the words of my heart to you. I guess that is why I'm writing this (i'm not even sending this away I'll burn it but I addressed it to you, John and at least the John in my mind palace will receive this letter). I've also included everything else in my speech already so I wouldn't bore you by writing it all over again. Tedious. I hope you pay attention to my speech, I really poured my heart and soul into it. A heart consumed by you. A soul embellished by you.

I do not know if you would stop talking to me entirely in case you ever read this or realise the inferences in my speech. but I'm preparing for the worst. I have made... arrangements beforehand already in case that does happen. No regrets though. For as long as I have lived a life loving John Watson, it was a life worth living. Maybe, if I only got to caress you like a proper lover at least once, it would have been perfect. Remember me in your prayers. Wish you a happy married life. 

Yours but not really yours anymore, I never was,



By the time John ended reading the letter, he was sobbing. Literally. The corners of the papers were crumbled as John clutched the letter close to his chest and screamed into the open air, on his knees. (he went into their backyard two paragraphs into the letter, afraid his reactions would wake Mary up) If only Sherlock came back earlier or said all this earlier. If only John had delayed this marriage which John knew would never be a happy one after this revelation. Now, Sherlock's speech made so much sense. Perfect sense. He was in love. That bloody idiot posh boy fell in love with me and then left me all alone where I died from within and then comes back just for me and I loved him too but I also love Mary and it is unfair to her but the trauma I put through Sherlock, of his involvement with the wedding, is even more unfair. This is why he left after the announcement. Christ Sherlock, I'm so sorry I love you and I really do and when you said, family, I thought of us raising children together and not Mary and now I am stuck, where I will end up hurting both of you and I don't know what to do and I wish it were me who had to go fight Moriarty's network and not you. That way Mary would have never come in our lives and maybe we'd have our happy ever after. I don't know what to do and you deserve the world Sherlock, and I cannot give you that. I am worthless. I am replaceable. You deserve a genius like yourself.

It is what it is, and what it is, is shit. 

John sat there out in the open until dawn. Thinking about what it could have been. Many times, he thought of picking up his phone and call Sherlock. At other times, he thought Sod this, wanting to go to Baker Street at once. But he didn't.

Sherlock did not intend for John to read this. He must act oblivious. So, he went back to the room, managed to kip for an hour or so, cursing himself for having to live the rest of his life pretending, being oblivious. 

When Mary woke him up, she commented on him looking like a nightmare but gave the benefit of doubt to the hangover. With a reminder, she told John to call all the close friends, thanking them for their presence. Fuck, Sherlock. John ran a hand over his face, cursing himself.

He picked up his phone and speed dialled Sherlock. 10 seconds, the longest of his life.

"John?", the voice on the other line spoke, carefully, whispering.

"Hi! Good morning Sherlock! How're you doing mate?" John's face twisted into a grimace as he said that last word. Please say you love me if I hear it from you I might still change things.

Mate. That was the last hit Sherlock needed on his heart. John never loved me. He is happy with Mary, he has a kid to look after. "Never better" I'm a good actor and an even better liar.

"Anyway, buddy I just called to thank you for everything you did for Mary and me." He couldn't bring himself to say for me only. "Though I would have appreciated if you stayed behind and gave me the composition yourself, rather than just leaving it there. What if somebody threw it away, thinking it was rubbish?" If I were you, I would have done the same.

"I know you, John. You would have found it before all that." How could I have stayed when I saw you starting a new chapter of your life, which doesn't include me anymore?

"Haha yeah right, I did." Silence. "Hey, listen, I have to go help Mary out now. We'll keep in touch alright?" John tried to keep it short as he was starting to tear up.

"Of course. Go help your wife." We both know that's not happening.

"Alright. Great. Goodbye, take care, Sherlock." A softer whisper, "Take care, I'm sorry" He cut the call as he shed a few tears alone in the room.

Sherlock stared at the disconnected phone, lips wobbling, eyes stinging. You too, John. 

"I NEED A FIX!" he shouted to nobody in particular. Just another day in the life of Sherlock Holmes.




Chapter Text

~Two weeks later~

John's Blog:

What is happening to me? (Private entry)

I feel like a school kid writing this except I cannot own a physical diary since Mary will get her hands on it anytime. The blog is my next best resort, but God bless me if I accidentally make this a public entry. England would fall. Best keep it private until I can figure out everything with a clear head.


It's been 18 days since I have donned the title of being a husband. Not that I'm counting the days for anything. Huh. Interesting isn't it? It's like life hasn't changed at all and yet, everything has changed. Such sense of familiarity yet I feel like something is missing, a presence not where it is meant to be. Christ, where am I even heading with this? I was supposed to put things straight, not show off my frankly appalling, beating-around-the-bush poetry.


Right. So, I'll start with the married life. Domesticity. Conventionality. I've been extremely busy, accepting congratulations, gifts, trying to get ready for a yet another new phase in life. It's all happening too soon. Mary is a sweetheart, really. Does not bother me too much. Doesn't ask me about my nightmares, lets me be. Would be awkward anyway, if she asked me what they were about. There is a mixture of them if I am being honest; The army days, that...fall, one of the first few conversations I had with him, about wanting to see some more. It haunts me, as much as it ought not to.


I still like Mary, I presume. Or maybe I am in love with the idea of liking somebody who anchored me in my dark times and just provided me with something normal but happy at the same time. But if I'm honest with myself, Mary will never be him. Never be Sherlock bloody Holmes.


How much easier things would have been if we were not having this baby. I don't have anything against babies, I love them. I just... know, this isn't my baby she is conceiving. It's the elephant in the room, well, one of the elephants in the room, that I am not discussing with anybody. Mary seems to want this baby, and everybody is really happy for us. I should be too. And if the baby wasn't enough to complicate things, I stumbled upon something I shouldn't have in the first place. Sherlock's letter.


I have it memorised by heart. I keep it on me at all times. Again, too risky to leave it at home, Mary would find it at once. Every break I get at the clinic, on the seldom tube rides back home now, I take it out, I read it, and I torture myself. Sherlock Holmes is in love with me and he couldn't bring himself to say it. That makes two of us. He did so much for me, more than I ever asked him, which was only buying groceries from Tesco back when we were flatmates and to not burn our flat down. Our flat. Those words taste so foreign now. Anyway, back to the letter. Just like how Sherlock was supposed to burn the letter, I intend to keep this blog/diary entry for extremely private viewing. Maybe the only one to even get a clue of what I type in here would be Ella if this situation gets worse and I need to resume my therapies, and I need to open up to her helplessly. But no, I'm stronger than that now, aren't I? I watched Sherlock die and come back for me. For me. And to mourn him for more than 700 days (again, was not counting, I never had any hope) was the worst possible thing to ever happen to me. This certainly can't be as bad as that.


It is worse. It took me 18 days to write this out in a coherent way because honest to God, I still cannot wrap my head around it even now. It is less to do with Sherlock and more to do with myself. I remember my constant "I'm not gay" protests. I am really not, though. I always felt attracted to every person who is, well, attractive. Sherlock is just ethereal. I mean Jesus have you seen that man? I'd be lying if I said I never imagined running my hair through his nest of curls, I know his scalp is sensitive which is the reason why he does not experiment with his hairstyle as much and likes to part them the same side. Funny, and flattering, how Sherlock has imagined holding me like a lover too. We both are imbeciles, aren't we? Living under the same roof, two idiots. And there are his cheekbones. For some reason when I talk about his cheekbones or his facial features, I am reminded of The Woman. Irene Adler. "Somebody loves you" How right was she. I, at that time, did not realise that what I felt for Sherlock was more than just physical attraction, but the conversation we had as she resurfaced from her death, (Side note: Next time I need to make sure people really are dead when news gets out), that really changed it for me. I thought it was normal for me to be appreciative of his talents and beauty, that is what went down between the army blokes anyway. But with Sherlock, it was more. I was captivated, from the moment I laid my eyes on him at Bart's. He promised me, and then kept his promise, to show me a life I desired. He saved me. I grew dependent on him, but it was little things that made my heart swell. Him and his sheet, his silly tantrums, him playing the violin for me when I had nightmares, and he just knew. I didn't even need to come down to him to tell him I couldn't sleep. I could hear him all the way up. That was his way of telling me he cared, wasn't it? God, it was. And then after the Woman, the Hounds of Baskerville happened. And I just knew.


No, I was not gay. Yes, I was in love with Sherlock Holmes because when he said he didn't have friends I stomped off and cried to myself because I believed that was him telling me he couldn't care less about me. Then he called me his conductor of light and it was as if some angelic creature restarted my heart and I thought that maybe if he doesn't want a relationship, I'll give it up. I will be friends with him and live my whole life content with that. I even gave up on dating. Surprised the brilliant detective never caught onto that. Yes, I am a bisexual. There, Ella, are you happy now? We exist and we are valid. But this should not become the defining point of whatever it is I am expressing now, the main point is Sherlock Holmes. Everything's always about Sherlock. I loved Sherlock Holmes so much and he did love me too and in order to save me, he went away. Still hard to digest it sometimes but I have grown a little accustomed to this.


He says I saved him too. Is it true? I just realised I do not know much about him. How was he like before I met him? Maybe someday, when I figure out what to do, we'll sit down like two proper adults and just talk. Talk about everything. I may or may not also want to talk to him because I miss his voice, a jaguar hiding in a cello.


I haven't heard from him ever since that phone call the next morning of our wedding. He sounded heartbroken, and I despise myself for being so ignorant before. The letter was never to be read by me. What if I hadn't? I would have never confronted any of this ever. I would have gone off blabbering about how I love Mary and my life right now even though that would mean blatantly lying anyway. Now that I know, though, I will make things better. For him. For me. For us. For I love Sherlock Holmes and he loves me.


Right now, I need to make a plan. To let Mary down softly, and to surprise Sherlock Holmes. Time to work out the details. 


Draft saved 18:59


Chapter Text

Molly grew concerned the more Sherlock did not contact her for access to the Lab. It has been a bit more than 2 weeks and it was very unlike Sherlock to stay quiet, hidden from the public eye, unless he was working on a case which requires him to. The frailty of genius, after all, is that it needs an audience. And as long as Molly remembers, Sherlock has not taken any new cases since he got so engrossed with John's wedding.

She no longer loves Sherlock romantically, but she still loves him all the same, being one of his closest friends. It's funny, Molly thinks to herself, how I still held out some hope after he officially returned back to London. It's so painfully obvious. I was so blind. Working with him on The Empty Hearse case, as John calls it, really made it plain and clear how Sherlock was missing John...

"It’s just that that’s what John says he does, so if I’m being John ..." 

"You’re not being John – you’re being yourself."


"Shut up, John."


"Shut up!"


"Get out."


"Why would someone go to all that trouble?"

"Why indeed, John?"

...Oh God, Sherlock Holmes is in love! Molly is no detective, but she is an expert on the issues of the Human Heart. The reason Sherlock has gone off the grid is that he's coping with the loss, a slightly more permanent one than the one he experienced on the day he saw John with Mary for the first time. She needs to go check on Sherlock whenever she can. John cannot know, who knows what Sherlock is up to? What if he is back on drugs? Better that she is the one to get hurt than John. John has a new life now.


After contacting Mrs Hudson, she knew Sherlock was still in the flat. On her way here, she messaged Tom informing him she is heading to 221B Baker Street after work. Best not to get everyone worked up. No secrets, this is what Tom and Molly promised each other. She takes a deep breath before climbing up the stairs softly.

As she opens the door to Sherlock's flat, the loud silence of the flat hits her. She quietly walks around, looking out for Sherlock. Everything in the living room is starting to get covered with dust, untouched for days. Peeking her head into the kitchen, she notes there are no experiments on the counter. She pushes open the bathroom door not only to see it unoccupied but also extremely dry, no signs of any activity. The last room she goes into is Sherlock's. She knocks hesitantly, tucking her hair behind her ears as she waits for a response.

"Ugh Mrs Hudson go away would you, please? I do not wish to associate" comes a voice from within.

"Sherlock, hey, it's me, Molly."


"May I please come in?"


She shoves the door open, only to see a very weak Sherlock lying on the bed, to the side. He acknowledges her to come in with a nod and a feign movement of his hand. As she steps closer, she could see that the circles and bags under his eyes were considerably worse than the day of the wedding. His skin was paler and he lost whatever few pounds he had on himself. By his side of the bed, there was a bottle of Panadol and a jug of water.

Sherlock signals her to sit on the other side of the bed, his back facing her. Molly does as she is told. No point turning Sherlock mad. Not in this state. She sits upright, for a while, neither of them saying anything.

"Why are you here?", Sherlock finally breaks the silence, his voice raspy as if he hasn't eaten or drunk anything in a while.

"When was the last time you ate something, Sherlock? And no, Panadols excluded."

"Why does it matter to you?", he snaps. He hates it when people stick around next to him as if he is a little child. Nobody has the permission to 'feed him up' anymore.

"Fine. Don't tell me then," clearly disappointed. Molly was hoping Sherlock now considered her a friend, or friendly enough, to not pass out chide remarks on. Clearly, she was wrong. Though by now, she ought to be acquainted with this behaviour.

Another short silence.

"How's Tom?"

"He's great! Perfect, really. We talked to our families about it, actually planning to get married soon. I really love him, and he loves me too. Things are finally working out for me." She smiled to herself. For once, she is not lying about her love life in front of Sherlock.

"Molly, I am glad for you, really. It is very hard to find relationships that work mutually," if his voice fell into a whisper at the last word, Molly does not mention it.

"You must have surely noticed he has a dressing style similar to you?" Molly wanted Sherlock to keep talking, not get into a sulk, which he had clearly been doing for who knows how many days. So she chirped up her own voice to bring more energy into the room.

"Yes, that I did. Though why I could not figure." Still not facing her.

"To be very honest with you, Sherlock, not that lying would help me anyway since you would deduce it all... When I first saw him, he reminded me of you."

"Oh." Nothing more than that. Another indicator for Molly to continue.

"And my infatuation with you before is not really a secret too. So, I thought, if not you, Tom is the next best thing I have. Somebody I actually stand a chance with."

"But, how did you get over your feelings for me and develop a romance with him?" Sherlock sounded small now, insecure, uncertain.

"I gave him a chance. I had to... I had to let you go from my mind. Tom and I started seeing each other and the more I learnt about him as a person, the more I started liking him. I realised I was too adamant about my attraction towards you. I had internalised that as part of my personality, assuming if I let that go, I would no longer be Molly Hooper. It's all so silly, innit?" She turns to look at Sherlock, but only sees his back covered under his blanket.

"But, now that you are in a relationship, you're engaged, would it change our friendship?" he asks, and Molly gets the inference behind this question. Sooner or later, she needed to talk about John with Sherlock anyway.

"Don't be foolish, Sherlock. If anything, do you not feel like I've grown closer to you? I mean, I don't see either of us having this conversation with how we used to be before. You've changed, and so have I, and both changed for the better." She tries to reassure Sherlock by putting her hand on his arm but she feels him tense up under her touch and hears him scoff.

Change for the better? What good is the change if it took John away from me? Who said being kind and considerate means you get affection in return?

They stay that way for a while, both contemplating about life. After a few minutes of silence, Sherlock suddenly breaks out, "Why are you really here, Molly?"

Molly sighs, bracing herself. Here we go. "I saw you leave the wedding early, Sherlock."

Sherlock immediately sits up and turns to face her. From this angle, Molly could tell Sherlock has not showered in a few days at least, his greasy hair giving it all away. Explains the bathroom. He pours some water for himself to brace for whatever conversation they were going to have.

"Jesus, Sherlock, what have you done to yourself? When did you last shower?" She extends her hand to check Sherlock's forehead temperature as her compassionate, doctoral instincts kick in.

Sherlock dodges her hand away, "Doesn't matter. I am not sick. The Panadol was for my headache, not being able to sleep. What did you say about the wedding again?"

Molly suddenly felt unsure about talking. "After the Waltz. I saw you. Wearing your Belstaff. I thought you perhaps were going out for some fresh air, considering how stressful such social events can be for you. But you never returned."

Sherlock takes one good look at Molly, trying to deduce her and her intentions, but fails miserably due to his lack of sleep and focus. Ugh, so much for My-Body-Is-Just-Transport. "That still does not explain why you bothered coming to visit me when obviously you had dinner plans with Tom. So, why exactly, Molly? What are you trying to imply? If you were disquieted simply because I left early, you would have contacted me right that day, or the day after. Not after 19 days. What is the matter?" Not that Sherlock is counting the days for any particular reason, too.

"You still looked sad, when you thought he couldn't see you." And at this moment, Molly sees Sherlock letting his guard down.

He gives out a resigned sigh. No point pretending with her. "I don't need your sympathy, Molly."

Sure, he has become more emotional now, but he's still Sherlock Holmes. And it's never easy talking about emotions with him, but she needs to help Sherlock, no matter how much he denies getting help. "Just. Listen to me for once, Sherlock. Would you? Don't cut me off before I even do anything." He nods.

"I don't mean to intrude. But it's so painfully obvious. I'm sorry, to me, at least it is. Maybe because I too pined after you that way. Maybe because I saw you, really saw you, when you asked me to help you out on a case, how you would never be able to imagine anybody else working with you on a case. How John was never even a sidekick, to begin with. He was just John Watson, and you loved everything about that." Pause. "John does not know, does he?"

He shakes his head, resembling a little puppy, "When I came back, he was there. With Mary. And they looked so happy. He was about to propose to her that night, did you know? I disrupted that. That's all I am to him now, an inconvenience. I'm not going to burden him any further."

"That's not true at all, Sherlock. He mourned for you, and it broke my heart when I had to see him that way. When I had the privilege of knowing something he didn't, and it left him devastated. There were times I almost got in touch with Mycroft, wanting him to communicate with you and tell you to return. So many times I almost told John. Almost. But I didn't."

"Anybody would mourn for their best friend. It's only sentimental for humans to do, especially John, who lets his heart rule over his head." Sherlock cannot get his hopes up. Especially now. His hands start trembling, and Molly sees it from the corner of her eyes.

"Are you using again?" She turns furious at the sheer possibility of it.

"No. No! Molly, No! I wouldn't do that to him. He'd have... hated that. I don't want to let him down, again. The fact that he no longer knows what I do now is another story altogether. But I just cannot disappoint him again." His voice starts cracking and Molly checks her pocket to make sure she has tissues in case either of them needs it later. She needs to be the stronger one today.

"It's more for your own good than his, Sherlock. He wouldn't want you to do it because those drugs harm your body, harm that brain of yours he loved to see at work. Promise me you would not get back to drugs. For your own sake." Extending a pinky finger of hers, and Sherlock stares until he finally pinky-promises.

"Good. Now that that's settled, let me get back to why I wanted to talk to you. Sherlock, the happiest I have seen John in the past three years is when he finally worked with you on a case again. Yes, Mary came into his life, and he was happy. But never as happy as he used to be. I have seen him then and I see him now."

"I don't get what you mean." Now holding his hands together and bringing it to cover his mouth.

"I am not here to give you false hopes, saying that John loves you too. I'll never know that. I don't even know John that well."

"Well, he doesn't. He doesn't even like me" Defeated.

"What did I say about cutting me off?" She gives him a stare.

"Sorry, go ahead."

"He called you his best friend. Surely that means he at least likes you, am I right? He missed working with you, is all I can say with certainty. Whatever equation he shared with you was and still is completely personal for the both of you and I am not going to say anything about it. So, I am here to let you know what you can do."


"You love John Watson. Have you ever said it out loud, even to yourself?"

Sherlock shoots her a look, baffled, "Why would I do that?" In my Mind Palace, plenty of times.

"The first step towards anything is not to repress it, but to accept it. You've been repressing your feelings for him for so long, you no longer remember how it feels like to be without that weight. You need to accept this, Sherlock. Can you say it now? Please?"

"Molly, this is ludicrous." If I say it out loud, I will have to face a reality where he is never around to listen to it.


"Fine." He looks at Molly until he feels tears forming in his eyes because his reality is catching up with him, then he looks away. Molly holds his hand for support, "I love John Hamish Watson."

"Good. Yeah. That's good." Sherlock's breath started hitching and Molly realises he is now starting to cry. "Oh god, Sherlock, no, dear. Would you look at me, please?"

He looks back, eyes watery and red. Why are you showing your emotions to her? You're just forcing your problems onto Molly, as if she does not have problems of her own, especially regarding her complications with you. Stop this right now! His Mind Palace instructs him but he ends up doing the exact opposite because somehow, Molly was right. Letting it out, letting it all out, is making his head a little clear. And to have somebody who knows this, who shares this journey with him, helps.

Molly starts tearing up herself, seeing Sherlock in such a state for the first time, and hugs him tightly, "I am sorry, Sherlock. But it will all be okay, yeah?"

He clutches onto her shoulders, head in her neck, sobbing, wailing like a 4-year-old, but he doesn't care. All he knows now is that he loves John Watson but he shall never know.

"Shhh, Sherlock, it's okay, take your time." She pets his hair to soothe him, but he just feels more inclined to cry away these stupid human feelings. Love? How boring.

"I won't be able to unlove him. It's... not me. Especially when... he is still here, lurking. When everything... everything reminds me of him...I haven't left my room in two weeks because everything in this flat still holds traces of John. I'm not taking up cases because he's no longer here. It's impossible." He whispers through ragged breath into her neck.

"You don't have to force yourself, alright? I am here for you. Cry your heart out. I know you're probably beating yourself up mentally right now because of your display of emotions but it's normal. John Watson is not an ordinary man. You fell for somebody just as extraordinary as you."

"But he'll never fall for me, Molly. He chose her. He chose ordinary."

"Maybe he did. But that doesn't change John. The good in him which you fell in love with still remains."

"He's a great man. The wisest, the bravest..."

"Yes, dear, I heard your speech."

"And he'll never love me." The cries get louder with each sentence he says.

"We never know, Sherlock, stop putting yourself down, yeah? Would you do that?" She lets a few silent tears fall of her own.


After a few minutes of Sherlock crying on Molly's shoulder, he gradually subsides.

"How do you feel now?" Molly asks as he wipes away the last few tear stains on his face.

"Lighter. Emptier, but not necessarily bad." He glances up embarrassingly at Molly, "Sorry for your shirt, by the way, didn't mean to ruin it with my tears"

"You silly, it's okay. I sort of prepared myself for what was to happen. I have... experience, you could say." She laughs, trying to defuse the tension.

Sherlock lets out a chuckle too, before returning to a sombre expression, "Hey, Molly, thank you, for today. For everything. You're truly a great friend. I'm sorry I've been so obnoxious to you. But please, nobody must ever know what I think of John. It would really embarrass him a lot more."

"Damn right you have been Sherlock. But if you really want to apologize, please, for the love of God, go take a shower now! Your brain could really use it, help you clear things out. I'll order some takeaway till then. And don't beg me, if I were a snitch, I would have announced it at John's wedding then and there." She smirked.

"This Tom has done a great deal on your confidence. I'm glad. You really have changed for the better. Not sure about myself." He starts gathering things for the shower. Before heading out of the bedroom, he turns back around, "Oh, and order some Thai takeaway, would you? I'm famished. It seems like we can finally have that dinner you wanted to have with me."

Molly laughed as she dialled the takeaway number. When she is done ordering food, she texts Tom: "Sorry love, it seems like Sherlock Holmes finally needs the help of an old friend to get back on track!" She shakes her own head, Sherlock Holmes is just as human as everybody else.


Chapter Text

John never did anything about this current emotional conflict actively as he was still too busy settling into a new life and routine. But the thought never left his mind. Sherlock, the baby, and Mary. These are the people John needed to consider when making any decision now, prioritized in that order. One day, when thinking to himself didn't help, he decided he needed to speak to someone, for real. Somebody who will keep everything confidential. Help him clear his head a little, something of that sort. He just needs somebody to listen to him, but none of his friends sounds like a proper choice...

Molly would hate me, because, well, she liked Sherlock too, didn't she? I was the one to sabotage her chances.

Mrs Hudson is lovely but she already assumed Sherlock and I had something that was more than a friendship. She's smart but she has a personal opinion formed and that won't help me either.

Mike didn't even attend my wedding, and he was the one to introduce me to Sherlock after all. Do I really want to burden him with our problems? It would sound like I'm putting the blame on him.

Greg's a genuinely nice lad. Maybe, he could work. Or, maybe not. He has known Sherlock for much longer than he has known me. Won't work.....

"Hello? Ella? You in there?", John asked as he fidgeted at the entrance.

"John? Yes, come in." Ella sat there, in her usual seat, poised. She watched as John made his way to the patient's seat, hands clenching and unclenching. "Anxious," the first note she makes for their session today.

"I believe congratulations are in order. I hope you're having a happy married life as of now."

"Hmm? Oh. Yeah. Uhm. Thanks. Thanks, I suppose" Clipped sentences were giving away a lot to Ella, and John's constant clearing of the throat further added to the evidence.

"Alright, John. Take deep breaths for me, please. I need you to focus." He did as he is told. "I could tell something is bothering you, all by your body language."

"Whatever happens in our conversation is purely confidential, right?"

"Yes, but you already knew that, didn't you?"

"So not even the British Government can access this?"

"Not unless you have a legal case on you, in that case, they might ask for details to assess your mental well-being prior to events. Why?"

"Ella. What I'm about to share with you is something that takes a lot of courage in me. Please don't mind."

"John, take your time, all of it. This place is for you to open up, and if anything, I'm just happy you're taking a step forward willingly." Ella gave him one of her reassuring smiles.

John takes another deep breath. Here we go. "I'm bisexual." He looks up at Ella, wanting to see a reaction. Instead, he gets Ella just simply nodding, void of any emotion.

"Right. So today we want to talk about sexuality? Or is there something more to this that you wish to discuss?"

"Everything and more. I just need somebody to listen to me and you seemed like my best option."

"Okay. So I'll hear you out first. Tell me more about the statement you just delivered. We can discuss when you finish."

"Alright...Um, just a personal question? How do you feel now that I admit to being a bisexual?"

"John. I'm a professional therapist. I'm here to help you with your issues, not form personal ideas on who you are as a person, that already breaches my aspect of being a professional."

"Okay...But I've been coming to you for a while now...If you follow Freud's theory or whatever, sexuality and tension must have been your underlying theme in notes anyway. So, does this revelation come as a shock, or was it built up?"

"Jesus, John, you really want to hear it from me, don't you?" Ella rolled her eyes but soon composed herself. "According to my notes, no I'm not surprised. Sooner or later, you had to come to terms with it. Now, may I ask, why does my reaction matter to you? Or, why is anybody's reaction to you being a bisexual of any concern?"

"I'm...I'm scared. Of how people will react. Because of what they expect of me."

"All people, or only some?"

"Some, of course. The people I care about. I'm not what they thought."

"Let's list those people out together, shall we? Who do you think should know that you're bisexual?"

"It shouldn't become the defining part of me now, it's just a pillar in my life, but if I were to list...Mrs Hudson, Molly, Greg, Mycroft and Mary maybe? I don't know..."

"Somebody's missing... What about Sherlock?"

"Oh. About him...Uhhh, something weird's happened."

"If you don't mind me asking, would you care to elaborate?"

"Is it weird to say I came to accept my sexuality because of him?" When he received no feedback from Ella, he continued, "So, we are best friends. Obviously, you knew that. But long story short, I always found that git to be unbelievably handsome, and one of the greatest humans I know till date. May or may not have already been in love with him after The Hounds of Baskerville case. But then he did...that...and I wasn't so sure anymore. I forced myself to think it was all just platonic, nothing romantic from my side. During his absence, I came to the conclusion that I was being suppressed by my parents' ideas of sexuality, I wanted to be the perfect straight male so that they would accept me. Because of my denials earlier, I have missed chances. So many of them."

"Mhm. And what are these chances you talk about?"

"Sherlock loves me, too. Or, at least he did. He probably hates me now after the wedding. I did him really bad so I don't blame him."

"Did Sherlock admit his feelings?"

"Err...No, but I found this, in my best man's speech." He handed the letter to Ella, and as she was reading, John realised he was stupid to think Ella wouldn't notice how he skipped Sherlock's name. 

"Wow, I'd be happy for you but the timing is less-than-ideal. But let me just jump straight into it. Do you still love Sherlock?"

"Never stopped, apparently." The only statement John can say with pride.

"And Mary?"

"I only like her, I suppose. When Sherlock came back, I... I panicked. I didn't know what to do and I thought I was happy with Mary and would continue being happy with her, but she isn't Sherlock. I proposed because I was scared of myself, what I would turn into now that Sherlock was here again. I'd been through a lot because of him."

"So, what do you want to do now? Trust your instincts, John. This is a hearts-over-brains matter."

"I guess I just want to know if Sherlock still feels the same. Only then I'd be able to decide what to do next. I mean, imagine me getting a divorce and falling back into Sherlock's feet only to find out he no longer feels that way."

"But, he's Sherlock. And while I obviously do not know him as well as you, according to all our previous sessions and this note that you just gave me, he is somebody who will claim to be emotionally distant, no matter how close of a friend he sees you as. What if, instead of him playing an active role, you do that?"

"What d'ya mean?"

"Sherlock sounds like he has given up because he knows he does not stand a chance with you, thanks to your constant denials, as you said earlier. Now, I had a little plan, which you may take if you like."

"You're right about my denials, and I'm all ears for your plan."

"None of your friends or family knows you're bisexual. And you still are newly married. If I were you, I would host a little housewarming-cum-coming-out party at your house. Invite the closest people, that would feel more intimate than your wedding reception. And just... you know, let them all know at once about who you really are. It does matter."

"But will they accept me?"

"John, you're fidgeting again. Listen to me. Stay calm. Remember what you said earlier? These are the people you care about, and the people who care about you. Your sexuality does not completely define you, it is a small part of you. Right? I'm just quoting you. So, deep down in your heart, you too know that if they really care about you, at least their reactions would not be anything negative. If, unfortunately, somebody does behave that way, well, know that you can always shorten your list."

"Should I tell Mary first, then?"

"No. Tell her you just want a housewarming. Trust me."

"Geez. Okay. So that's one step I'm taking to make my life a little less miserable than it already is."

"Yes. This is called self-awareness. I'm proud of you, John. And as much as I'd love to talk about your progress right now, our appointment is almost up."

"Right. Cool. I guess I'll start preparing for the event then. Do you need an invite too?"

"Sorry, John. Professional boundaries. But hey, can I give you a tip? Rather than texting or sending out invites through mailmen, call your friends. It's more intimate that way, so they'll feel loved."

"Ella. Thank you. I know it wasn't as much of a problem-solving talk than just me rambling about my perspective, so apologies for that."

"Come on, John. Don't ever be sorry. This is all part of your journey. Now hurry back home! I'll be waiting for our next appointment to hear all about it!"

John giggled. "Alright, thanks! See ya!" Right then, into battle.


Chapter Text

Mary was surprisingly easy to convince, to the point John started to doubt if she had an ulterior motive as she was almost too malleable these days. But he put that thought away. For now, I've got bigger things to worry about. Like myself, like Sherlock. Like this housewarming which is not really a housewarming because I know my true home is still 221B Baker Street.

Baker Street. Right. The invitations. John decided it would be best to meet the people up and deliver the invites, as Ella would call that a more "intimate and respected" method. So, he sent Mary off, asking her to meet with Greg and Molly while he goes back to Baker Street to invite Mrs Hudson, Sherlock, and maybe Mycroft.

 Three distinct, crisp knocks at the "221" door. He had to hide his nervousness and uncertainty, just in case Sherlock was looking out the window. “Oscillation on the pavement always means there’s a love affair”, after all.

It felt weird to John, to be back here so soon. But at the same time, the last time he was here seemed forever ago. He decided to meet Mrs Hudson first, and so rang her a call a few moments before. He didn’t want to make it a huge affair, not wanting to alert Sherlock. He knew it would be just way too awkward with him. Or at least that was what he told himself to calm his own nerves down. When Mrs Hudson opened the door, she hugged John with sheer adoration and even shed a few tears.

"Shhh... Hey, Mrs Hudson, are you alright?" John tried to assure her as he patted her hair down.

"John! Oh, John! You're finally here!" She clung onto him even tighter, like a mother who was seeing her son after decades.

This greatly troubled John, he wondered if something was wrong with Sherlock. He knew Mrs Hudson never worries this much emotionally about anyone else, except the person who lived above her.

“Mrs Hudson is this… Is this about Sherlock?”

At this, Mrs Hudson broke off the hug and dabbed away her tears. “Oh dear, let’s go in, shall we? So sorry about this.” John held her hand as reassurance, letting her know she never needs to apologise for her emotions.

“Have a seat, John. It’s just that I’m seeing you after so long and I just have so much on my mind, I could not control myself.” John did as he was told.

“Mrs Hudson, please drink a glass of water. That’ll help you. And come back here and sit with me, please.” John wanted to know what was bothering her because he cared for her.

Mrs Hudson came back with two glasses of water and set it down in front of them. “Now, John. There isn’t much to worry about, I jus-“

“No, we’re not going to hide things from each other, alright? Throughout my life, I’ve had enough people doing that to me.” John sniffed in disappointment as memories of the Fall came back rushing to him.

“Okay, I won’t. I promise. But before all that, how are you doing? I haven’t seen you for over a month now!” Mrs Hudson definitely seemed calmer to talk now.

“I’m doing fine. You, however, seem to have something in mind that I think you should really let out now.” John didn’t have time to waste, and his way of directly getting to the point reminded him of the case where Sherlock was deliberately obnoxious so as to get the lady to speak during one of their earlier cases. Sentiment. Anyway…

“Oh, John. Where do I even begin?”

“That bad, huh?” John smirked, hoping to diffuse the tension a little.

“No, not so much. It’s just about –“

“Sherlock, yes, deduced that bit right. What about him?”

“You haven’t been in touch with him, John Watson, have you?” She sounded as if she was scolding a child. Which made John feel a little guilty. They were best friends, after all.

John cleared his throat while thinking of an excuse. “I’ve been busy with Mary and this new life.” He hoped this was enough to cover his guilt.

“Well, to be honest, you don’t look so well-adjusted.” That didn’t work. “Where is Mary anyway? I’m sorry I forgot to ask about her once you came. Kind of forgot about her there…”

“She’s fine. Thank you. Off to see Molly and Greg.”

“Speaking of Molly. You should be thankful she exists.”

“Mrs Hudson, would you tell me about Sherlock, please? And why do I need to thank Molly anyway??” The more anxious he was to meet Sherlock earlier, the more eager he was to leave Mrs Hudson’s flat and go up to him now. He couldn’t deceive himself any longer.

“It’s only due to Molly Sherlock is still out there surviving and living! You seriously don’t talk to anyone now, John. I expected more from you. I thought you would know!” Mrs Hudson shook her head, reconsidering whether or not to elaborate further.

A pang of jealousy, worry, and shame hit John all at once. “What do you mean 'survive and live'?” He squinted his eyes at the last three words. His throat felt dry. But the glass of water he requested for himself was now long forgotten. I was supposed to be the one taking care of Sherlock, what has Molly got to do anything with it?

"Sherlock hasn't left the flat since your wedding, you knew that, didn't you?"

"No... Is he... Is he back on drugs??" He ran his hand over his face even imagining that situation.

"Good lord, I hope not. I don't think so though."

"Thank God. Do you know why he hasn't left? No new cases?"

Mrs Hudson stared at John with a "Don't-act-oblivious-we-both-know-why" look. John could not stand being silently criticised, especially since he knew he was in the wrong already.

"Uh... Have you visited him? Gone up to see how he's doing?"

"He never left his room! I tried to help the first few days. Bring him some tea, biscuits. He only told me not to disturb him, is all."

John mentally started beating himself up because it was so irresponsible of him to avoid his friend, perhaps his only friend, despite knowing about that letter. His feelings. His train of thought, however, came to a sudden halt when he heard Molly's name being mentioned again. "Wait, Mrs Hudson. Molly, what about her?"

"Oh... She was a sweetheart. Came here a few days ago. Visited Sherlock, talked to him, even managed to order some takeaway for dinner. Truly a genius."

John had no right to be jealous of her, yet here he was. Talking and eating takeaway together are things Sherlock does with John, not Molly. "Did she comment on how he was doing before she left? You're right, I haven't been in touch with anybody."

"She just said something about giving him more time. He's fine but can be better... Things like that."

John suddenly didn't want to see Sherlock anymore, mainly because he felt like Sherlock has replaced him with Molly. "So Molly took care of him."

"John. Look at me. Don't sound so bitter. You matter to Sherlock Holmes. Go up there. Talk to him. Maybe he'll listen to you, yeah? He always has."

He scoffed at the last sentence because "I'm Sherlock Holmes and I always work alone". "I can try... Yeah."

She turned stern. "No, John. I don't want you to do this for the sake of doing it. Do it if you really care for him. Otherwise, you'll just end up hurting him even more. You know him in your own ways, as do I." 

John's expressions immediately softened. Whatever she just said, was all true. He'd go up and talk to him as he cares for Sherlock, and because Mrs Hudson does too. "Yes, I will. I promise I care for him and I care for you too."

Mrs Hudson pulled John into a hug and thanked him. "You can make him better. I know that, John."

"Thank you, Mrs Hudson." Before ascending up the stairs, he fished for a tiny business-card-like invitation in his pocket to give to Mrs Hudson. "I actually came here to invite you to our housewarming party. Since you already know our address, this just has the timing printed on it. Mary wanted to go minimal with the theme."

"Ah, thank you for inviting me, John. I'll let you know my availability soon! Now go up, you." She ended her sentence by gently pushing John's shoulder, giving him an encouraging smile.

"Sherlock? Where are you?"

No. This can't be him. He is not supposed to BE here. But is he really outside? What is he doing here? Is he alone? Where is Mary? Why does that matter to me? I am not happy to see him and neither do I love him anymore... 

Ah sod this, Molly, I still do. I can't lie to myself yet. "John? Is that you?" He fixed his now overgrown curls one last time in the bathroom, which now sprung up and down his forehead, and got out.

John still stood at the entrance, unsure of what to do, when he saw Sherlock come out. He was sporting a slightly different look with the long hair which certainly took John's breath away for a short moment. He looked like the Sherlock before the Fall. He managed to stutter a soft "Hey".

On the other hand, Sherlock did not know how quite to react himself. "You have to stop indulging in conversations to get over somebody. Keep it short, and to the point. Cold and calculated. The more you interact with them, the more memories keep replaying in your head, making it harder for you to forget them." That's what Molly suggested. "Hello." He looked up at John and saw a look of affection on his face, or maybe he was still dreaming. Nonetheless, that confused him, resulting in that infamous nose wrinkle.

"You're all dressed up. Are you headed out?... You look like I just created an inconvenience for you by showing up. I can come back some other time if you're lea-"

"No," Great. I'm being way too visible now. "I mean, I'm not going anywhere. You can come in and have a seat. Make some tea if you wish." John loves tea.

Of course. He still does not cater to guests. "Right. That's what Mrs Hudson said too. Not going anywhere. Heard you haven't left the flat for almost a month now?" John noticed the lack of experiments in the kitchen but decided not to comment on those.

Oh. So he's not here for me. He's here for Mrs Hudson. She told him to "look after me". Great. He doesn't care about me, obviously. This triggered something bitter in Sherlock's tone. "Oh, she's still in touch with you? Telling you to still look after me? Thank you, John, but I don't need that. If you're here for that you're free to leave. I am a grown adult capable of taking care of myself." He was seated at his usual chair but looked away from the kitchen, to insinuate he was mad.

John was still in the kitchen, waiting for their teas to be done. He audibly jeered when he heard Sherlock talk about taking care. "Yeah right. I mean, Molly was here just to have a cuppa, catch up with you on intimate matters about life and get advice from you, am I right? Just things you two regularly have done over the years. Great pals!" He really thinks he can lie to me? He'd rather talk to Molly than talk to me? Maybe he doesn't love me anymore.

Sherlock turned his head swiftly back to the kitchen, "Did Molly tell you?" He knew it was a wrong idea to talk to Molly. Wrong. All wrong. Now John knows it all.

"What? No! Mrs Hudson. Why would Molly…" What DOES Molly know?

Either way, Sherlock has slipped. "Never mind... Forget I ever said anything. Why are you here?"

"Christ, Sherlock, could you just wait for me to come out and have a seat before we talk?"

"Sure, John." Then, softly, to himself only, "I'll always wait for you." He kept watching John. Is this what people mean when they say "Feast your eyes"?

Not long after, John came out with two cups and handed Sherlock's to him, their knuckles touching for just a brief second. And while both of them felt it, neither commented. Though John could not stop staring at his hand after that. "Uh. Right. So, what were you asking me earlier? Couldn't hear you that well just now."

Sherlock decided to stall the question. With John, he was willing to small talk for a century if it meant they were sitting together. "Oh. Nothing. Just asked how you were doing. We haven't been in touch, after all." He did not intend to be passive-aggressive, but if it brought them both some sense, he didn't entirely mind.

"You never reached out either, Sherlock. If you had just called me once, I would've dropped everything and come to help you, you know that." John is talking to him as a friend right now, not thinking about his letter.

"Perhaps. But perhaps Mary might not like that. Or does marriage not change you?" John can be so oblivious, thought Sherlock.

"Still. Just a text. That would have been enough, Sherlock. Or were you doing something undercover in which I could not be included, again, hm?" John stared at Sherlock, unblinking. Maybe he was working on a case for a whole month.

"No, I was not. And I was not working on a case either, please drop that thought. And if a text was enough, you could have done that too, John. If you really cared that much." Sherlock did not want their conversation to end in an argument, but he could not keep his frustration of not having seen John for almost a month to himself too.

"You know what, sod this, alright? We both didn't text or reach out and apparently we both suck at apologies so let's just say we'll try our best from now on. Okay?"

"Okay. I'll keep in touch." He let out a defeated sigh. I won't ever stop loving him.

"Good. Good, so will I." John wasn't sure whether he should comment on how Sherlock looked slimmer now, so he asked something else, "So, if not a case, what did you do in here for one whole month? You get agitated without a case."

"Mind Palace. You wouldn't know." How would you? It's all about you.

Except I do. "Yeah, I've long given up on understanding that." Silence. "Sherlock, you weren't on drugs or anything right?"

"No. I wouldn't do that to myself now or to you." He gave John a look of sincerity, and a tight-lipped smile, one that was equally shy and embarrassed about his past.

If John could turn into a puddle, he would have, because he melted hearing Sherlock exert self-control for his sake. "I'm proud of you, you know. You really held yourself after..." Shit. I wasn't supposed to know what my wedding did to him.

Sherlock's cheeks turned a little pink. "Thank you... How's Mary?" Sherlock's brain stopped paying attention after hearing John was proud of him. But he still wanted John to stay, to talk, to be with him.

"She's fine. Yeah. Probably meeting Greg right now." Then John does his standard clearing of the throat, "You mentioned Molly earlier." He straightened up, he still was not entirely comfortable with the idea of Molly and Sherlock bonding. 

"What about her?" Sherlock then realised he completely forgot what Molly advised.

"Yeah, what about her? Mrs Hudson told me she came over once. You two had fun eating takeaway together. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?"

Sherlock decided John looked rather cute when he was jealous or possessive over him. "Sounds like something we used to do." He gave John a bittersweet smile, thinking back to those days. John shook his head, letting some of the anger and jealousy escape. "Yeah, she came over to check in on me since I hadn't bothered her for any body parts in quite some time."

"Oh. She couldn't call or text?"

"I did. You know I'm not one to let just anybody have the last word. I replied "No". She said I didn't sound like myself and had to come to see me in person. However, it was sweet of her to postpone her dinner with Tom to see if I was alright. I appreciate that."

"I see." John was relieved to learn Molly is still dating that man who weirdly dresses like Sherlock. And he was also happy to see Sherlock see Molly as a friend and respect her. Does he respect me in the same way? After my wedding?

"But what brings you here today, John? You are, as the people say, "a pleasant surprise" indeed." Sherlock put down his now finished cup of tea.

John giggled, truly giggled at that because Sherlock just made him feel good about himself. Something even Mary, his wife, hasn't been able to do recently. "Oh? So you're happy to see me? You seemed rather shocked I was here when I entered."

Sherlock looked down shyly and mumbled, "I'm always happy to see you, John."

"Anyway, I came here to invite you to my housewarming. My therapist and Mary thought it would be nice since we're done decorating and all."

"And what do you think?"

With that look on Sherlock's face, John wanted to stay back at 221B, screw the housewarming. But it also gave him courage, to let him know who he really is. "Well, I have a little something to contribute myself. I really would want you to be there. Will you come, please, for me?"

"Don't embarrass me by saying 'please', John. You know I'd be there for you." Literally and metaphorically.

"Thank you. Oh, and if the flat is still bugged... Mycroft, you're invited too." John stood up to give the invite to Sherlock.

"Minimal. Mary?"

"Yeah... Anyway, I guess I'll head out now."

"Oh. Yeah. Bye, John."

"Goodbye, Sherlock. See you soon yeah?" With that, John was walking toward the door already.

"Yeah" Sherlock now donned a sad smile.

John turned around one time, dramatically, before walking down, "Sherlock?"

He looked up at him.

"I heard you. And just to be on the same page, I'm always happy to see you too." John flashed a soft smile at his direction and left.

Chapter Text

Mary and John took the afternoon off from their GP for the housewarming party, so that they could decorate their house. 

"John, there's a surprising amount of pink, lavender and blue decor you picked."

John smiled to himself, he really wasn't being subtle anymore, "Yeah, I seem to have a connection with these colours, I guess." Mary squinted her eyes at this ambiguous response but carried on setting the snacks platter regardless. John sensed himself being watched, then cleared his throat, "Uh... Adds a bit of colour to our house anyway, I suppose. Kind of dull otherwise."


Sherlock, I'm going to call you in 2 minutes, please pick up :)
Molly, stop using smileys. Rather old-school when you now have
emojis to express the same. And fine. - SH

"Yes, Molly? How are you?" Sherlock put his phone on speaker mode, checking himself in the mirror once again, and applying just a little bit more gel into his hair.

"I'm fine. Are you?" responded the quirky voice on the other end of the call.

"Yes, why wouldn't I be? I'm good."

"Excited because you're going to see him, aren't you?"

Sherlock glared at his phone as if it offended him greatly, "Molly!... No. Just happy to step out of the flat, I suppose."

"You can take your time. Wait no, not in getting ready right now, I mean, you can take your time into getting over him. You don't have to pretend like you no longer like him already."

Annnd that should be a good look for today. Sherlock picked up his phone and switched off his speaker. "I didn't know you could read minds."

She chuckled, "I've had my fair share of pining, you know."

"Right... Uh, Molly?"


"It's completely normal if I want to look good today, right? For a housewarming party?" He had picked his a-little-too-fit purple shirt which Mycroft had kept while he was away. For no reason other than wanting to relive John's reaction to him wearing it, he was quite starting to forget how that felt like.

"He wouldn't look anywhere else if you're in the room."

"I don't want false hopes, please," Molly promptly stopped hearing the strain and desperation in his voice, "So, when are you coming to pick me up?"

"Almost here. I better cut the call then. Get ready, and tell Mrs Hudson the same!"

He sighed, "See you", and fetched his scarf and Belstaff. He was nervously excited. Or was it excitedly nervous?

 Soon enough, the guests started coming in. First was Greg, who came directly from Scotland Yard. He greeted Mary with a cordial nod and smile, then hugged John in his infamous bear hugs, congratulating him on the married life yet again, "The house looks beautiful, mate. Your life seems set."

He brought in a teacup set. Typical British thing, a necessity, really. John wondered about how his gifts reflect his personality too. Greg was always the practical one, a constant. He was there for him, checked in on him when Sherlock wasn't around, and for that the doctor was grateful.

Next was Mycroft. Well, not exactly Mycroft, but his men. They came in a robotic manner and left his gift for them - a new baby cot. Looking at the bigger picture, planning ahead of everything.

Mary was going off about how considerate Mycroft was and how her baby bump has considerably grown in the last month. He rolled his eyes, but before John gave away any more of his true thoughts from his expressions, he excused himself and went to the bathroom.

He held onto the sink and took a few deep breaths. Ella told him the party should just be like any other gathering, yet he was feeling nervous. Perhaps he wasn't ready to come out like this after all. He did invite Harry, hoping she would be some sort of moral support, except she said she was busy trying to get her life back together. But still, could be worth a shot trying to contact her. He took out his phone and started texting.

what's up

nothing... just wish u could come today. i could really need

u around right now
is everything okay? is she being a bitch? is SHERLOCK being a
sherlock isn't even here yet
no response for my mary comment. i see. maybe u finally
realise you've married the wrong person. get it? mary? marry? ;)
i just wish u were here because i've got something important
to share and i wish u could hear it from me first. that's all
oh dear it's not the fact you're gay, are u, johnny boy? at this age
u really don't have any important announcements to make. we 
already know you're gonna be a dad so what's on ur mind?
no, harry, not gay
then what????

don't leave me hanging!!!! where r u?


now all those "not gay" defenses make sense. im dropping in to
see you in a couple of days. get ready. i've got many questions
and i've got a lot to answer :) let me know which day then!

John felt oddly relieved. Sure, Harry was wild, but at least they were each other's support in the Watson family. He took another deep breath and opened the door, only to momentarily stop breathing.

Because there he was. A few feet away.

Sherlock Holmes. Looking beautiful as ever. Wearing the shirt which does things to John, things he still has not managed to label. He was now smiling at a comment Mrs Hudson had passed. Almost immediately, he quickly glanced around, as if looking for something and stopped once he locked eyes with John. He passed him a smile. John did the same.

They both met each other in the middle, Sherlock having excused himself and John taking his step forward. There hung an awkward space between them, despite them being over the moon.

"Sherlock! You came!... Hello."

The taller man giggled, "Yes thank you for the invite, John. I must say, the decoration that went into this party is definitely a Watson thing to do."

"Well, did you deduce anything from it?"

Sherlock's gaze then turned intense, trying to examine John, "No. Not yet. Should I?"

John's cheeks heated up under his scrutiny, and looked down to hide his blush, "No, and I'd like it if you don't."

"If you say so."

John then looked back up, boring into the piercing eyes, "Sherlock?" The man in question raised his eyebrows, "You... You look beautiful today."

Now it was Sherlock who turned scarlet. "I... Beaut-? Uh... Thank you, John."

"Is that Sherlock Holmes getting flushed at a compliment from me? This has never happened before! Wait, let me get it on camera."

John took out his phone and clicked his picture. Sherlock was in the middle of an eye roll in the frame, but with just a cheekiest hint of a smile on his face. "Well, maybe it's not my first time blushing. Either way, it was your first time complimenting my appearance, so, yeap." Yeap with a popping sound at the end.

The doctor shook his head fondly, "You git. Now, off you go. Everybody must be wondering what we're doing here away from the crowd."

"Hmmm... You'd be surprised to know they probably don't bother." They both walked off to join everybody else anyway.

"Alright, everybody. Take your seats on the sofa. John, come here, join me." Mary instructed them to sit in an order, Mrs Hudson, Greg, Molly and then Sherlock on the other end. John stood up and made brief eye contact with Sherlock from his position, which seemed to convey the message of I don't want to be here, albeit for different reasons

"John and I would first like to thank you all for gracing us with your presence in our new Watson home. Isn't that right, John?" 

He whispered to his wife, "Are you sure we should be thanking them for their gifts in front of everyone?"

She nudged him, "Thank you, Mrs Hudson, for your warm gift! We could surely use these knitted clothing in the cold, and young Watson would love it too! They're so soft!"

"That's no problem, dear! It's a hobby anyway."

John cleared his throat, "Greg, thanks for the set, mate. Though I doubt we'll bond over tea. We're more of the pint buddies, eh?"

"It's for the family, John!" They all shared a small laughter.

"Thank you, Molly, for the candles! You've got some limited edition ones!"

"Yeah, well, it's no big deal," she responded, tucking her hair at the same time.

John realised he had to acknowledge Sherlock's gift, but he hadn't received one, I knew it was a bad idea to publicly thank everyone.

"John... I apologize, Mary, in your regard, I realise I may have... forgotten. I brought back John's blanket which was draped over his chair, back at our fl - Back at 221B." He then walked away to grab his gift, while also announcing that for Mary, he'll pay to babyproof their house once the baby is here.

John, for the second time in the evening, was at a loss of words. When Sherlock walked up to pass the blanket to him, John just whispered, "Why?" The detective just passed on a sad smile and sat back on the sofa.

"Sherlock, a promise is a promise, and we've got 3 more witnesses now. In 8 months I'll be chasing you again."

"Don't worry, Mary. With me around, the chase will come much sooner." If there were undertones of threats and warnings, John chose to ignore that.

"Anyway, that's it for formalities, we can all get back to what we were doing before -"

"-Mary, wait. Everyone, please, stay where you are."

"John?..." Mary seemed perplexed, this wasn't in the plan.

"I have got something I'd like to share..."

Mrs Hudson spoke from the audience, "Well then, what are you waiting for?"

"Everyone who's seated here in front of me, I know I haven't been in your lives for long. But, I'd like to thank you, for accepting me into your lifestyle so warmly. Maybe it's to do with my association with Sherlock, I don't know, but I have managed to build connections with you all as individuals nonetheless. And for that, I'm so thankful."

"I'd like to ask for just one more favour. I hope you won't treat me any differently after hearing this."

Sherlock now rose from his seat, clearly anxious, "John? Is everything alright?"

John ignored him, for now, "Mrs Hudson, remember the countless number of times I've told you 'I'm not gay!'" She nodded.

"Well, I am not gay. But-"

Mary then stood in front of John with dark eyes, "But what, John?"

He looked over her shoulder, peering at the other standing figure, "I'm bi."

Sherlock's eyes widened in panic before running off, "I have a dire need to use the bathroom."

Chapter Text

What the fuck?!

was the only thought Sherlock had as he rushed into the bathroom. He heard John briefly calling out his name as he shut the door, but that knowledge quickly sank under "I'm bi", his mind replaying it over and over as if Netflix's "Watch that scene again" feature was enabled.

He felt his own pulse, throbbing faster than ever. Don't get your hopes up, Holmes. Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. One last time. Better. He put the lid of the toilet seat down and sat there, analysing the peculiarity. Inevitably, this meant entering his mind palace.

Entering an entire wing named "John Hamish Watson", he tried to go through data thoroughly.

  • *tremendous frequency of lip licking on various occasions*
  • "Alright... Do you have a boyfriend? Which is fine, by the way"
  • "So, you've got a boyfriend?"
  • "Right, okay. You're unattached, just like me"
  • "Yeah, but am I a pretty lady?"
  • "I don't mind"
  • "I am not gay"
  • "Neither of us were the first, you know" (Mary's archives)
  • "Not gay"
  • Harry Watson
  • Major Sholto
  • "Not gay"

Oh, my goodness. Sherlock didn't know whether to be impressed by John or to be disappointed at himself not observing. He closed his eyes in half regret, acknowledging that today, things were the way they are in large because of him. He had been so obtuse, keeping John at a distance since the first day because his own heart was too fearful of "What ifs". If he hadn't declared himself married to his work, perhaps they would have turned out differently.

Different: what Sherlock dreamt of each night, especially during his time away. He dreamt of waking up next to John, on the days he managed to sleep anyway. He dreamt of leaving a kiss on every inch of John Watson skin available for him. Sherlock never was good with words, so he would do things for John, actions both small and grand. From preparing tea - to dying for him. But bigger than all of that, he would have lived for John Watson. A life worth living for somebody who made him see the value of his own life.

Not that John coming out as bisexual meant he liked Sherlock romantically, of course. But he at least stood a chance. He could have stood a chance. Sherlock retreated from his thinking position and leaned back to the seat, sighing out of frustration. He sat there, eyes still shut, as defeated tears made their way through. After all, he had nobody to blame but himself.


"Don't you think you have me to answer for first? Hm, John?" She stood defensively in John's way, her foul mood from earlier souring further. Crossing her arms, she tapped her foot while waiting for an answer. She reminded John of his worst teacher in schooling, and that definitely was not a good sign.

"Mary, can we talk in private? After everyone's left? Please?" John's voice has a sense of urgency, his eyes still constantly darting towards the bathroom, which was shut loudly a little less than a minute ago.

"Well, you sure didn't bother telling everyone about your supposed bisexuality in private! It's unfair you ask the same of me!" When John responded simply by staring at her blankly, Mary looked around to see their guests still standing there, watching the couple getting into what would turn into a heated argument. John turned his attention to them too, looking apologetic. Greg took his cue and directed the two ladies to go out in the open. Mrs Hudson patted John's shoulder as she exited,  whispering a soft "Take care".

"What the FUCK was that, Mary?"

She raised a finger up between them. "No, don't turn it on me. What the fuck was THAT, John?"

"You mean me coming to terms with who I really am? They deserve to know it as much as yo-"

"- I mean what the fuck was you prancing around Sherlock like a lost puppy who finally found its owner. Don't lie. I saw it. Saw how you look at him."

"He's my best friend!" Though he raised his voice, he hoped it would not reach Sherlock.

"And I am your wife!" She rubbed her temples, sighing loudly. "Do you love me?"

"Yes." He wasn't lying.

"Sherlock is only your best friend? You two have never had anything more intimate than that, ever?"

"No." He wished for that, day and night, but it was still the truth.

"Then stop eye-fucking each other for God's sake! I'm starting to think you're bi because of him!" Mary cooled down a bit, but her commands sounded threatening.

"Mary could you possibly shut up, for once?!" John meandered from one end of the room to the other. He had to think of something, he did not want to sabotage anything with Sherlock. Let Mary down softly. He stopped at the sofa and directed her to join him.

"Look, I have had many people making fun of us or teasing us, you're no exception. Why did you do that, hm?"

"Because you two act as if you will die without the other! Best friends don't do that."

"It's Sherlock. Everything is different when it comes to him, isn't it?"

She nodded "Wai-"

"I mean to say that yes, for the rest of the world, they might think we have something more than a friendship, and I frankly couldn't be arsed. As long as I know we never had romantic entanglement, and that's what I'm telling you, that should suffice you. We'll always be best friends."

She dropped her rage, "But that doesn't explain why you two have been acting like this, today, of all days!"

"Mary, I need you to trust me with this. I can't tell you what it is, but Sherlock has insecurities of his own. His... His sexual attraction has always been a hot topic amongst the circle. I don't know what his orientation is -" Lie. "- but I felt like if I showed him I can come out and still be loved and accepted, so can he. Whenever he is ready."

"That's bollocks, John. Sherlock's gay. He doesn't need to state it out. We all just know it. Don't you?"

"That's right, John. Don't you?"

Fuck, thought John. How long was Sherlock standing there for?

Chapter Text

Sherlock wished he was dreaming. That what he heard was not true. Because that only confirmed his worst fears - John acts the way he does out of pure pity, nothing else.

He saw colour leaving John's face as he rushed towards Sherlock, "Sher... What you heard, it isn't true!"

"What the fuck, John? I'm sorry, but what the fuck!" Sherlock recoiled as if letting John close to him would spread some contagious disease.

"Thank you, Sherlock Holmes! I believe I have the same question for you, John." Mary stood from the sofa and joined the two of them.

John shook his head, "Mary I just told you everything. What questions do you still have?"

"You just said it isn't true! What is happening, John Watson? I'm out here losing my shit and if I spend more time in confusion it's going to be bad, very bad, for both the baby and me."

"Fuck the baby!" That was his breaking point. The baby was an issue they never discussed, and John was tired of keeping secrets over secrets, letting his own guilt and indecisiveness eat his happiness away. He felt like letting it all out now.

"John... You don't mean that, do you?" Sherlock's concerned voice broke John's thoughts. "After all, it is your child."

John rubbed his face with one hand and held the other to indicate them to stop talking "Not mine," he declared with a sigh. "Mary, I know that baby isn't mine. Alright?"

"How could you say-?" 

"Can you please stop pretending, for once?!" He was fuming now, tilting his head in a slight manner, contemplating what to do next.

"I would if you stopped too." She looked straight into John's eyes, determined, looking for answers. John glared right back at her, maybe he didn't love her the way he thought he did.

Sherlock wanted to diffuse the tension between the two, he had already ruined so much for John, and he didn't want him to lose Mary because of Sherlock's stupid feelings and emotions too. Perhaps he should have never come in the first place, keeping his distance. He opened his mouth to say something but held back and gasped for breath as he saw somebody he had never seen before entering.

"Wuddap fellas, not a good timing?"

The last thing John expected was Harry showing up in the flesh, at his house.

"You said you wouldn't be able to make it!" John wasn't sure if he was relieved or nervous.

"That's a very nice way to welcome your sister into your house. Won't even give me a hug? Come here Johnny boy." She dropped her bag and opened her arms. John rushed towards her and embraced her, deciding that he was relieved after all.

"What're you doing here?" He whispered into her ear.

"I wanted to give you a surprise, didn't know you were grandly fucking up your life. That's my job." She ruffled his hair. Their age difference was not much, but with their toxic parents, she always had a protective instinct towards him while growing up.

"I always fuck up too, just different from how you do it."

"You might want to stop the hug now, John. Your fighters are giving each other the cold shoulder despite being inches away from each other and it's bothering me. They're throwing daggers at us with their sight."

John broke away, and led Harry towards the rest, "Um. Mary, Sherlock, this is Harry."

"We have another guest now, why wasn't I informed?"

Harry rolled her eyes hard and turned instead to Sherlock, "Heard a lot about you, Sherlock Holmes". She extended her hand, and Sherlock was left aghast as he reluctantly returned the handshake, "Heard about me, where?" 

"Littl'un never shuts up about you, a matter of fact." Hearing this made Sherlock burn up, and John chuckled half at his own embarrassment and half at Sherlock's reaction.

Mary felt a tinge of jealousy and bitterness rising, "How's your sober streak going by the way? I expect you'll be relapsing soon".

Harry then finally acknowledged her, "Excuse you but where are your manners of not interrupting when two people are talking? Because last I remembered I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to Sherlock."

Mary's eyes turned dark, "I am John's wife! Not him!"

Harry stood in front of her, taking the form of confrontation, "I know, yet I want to talk to Sherlock Holmes and not you. Must say a lot about who we all are." John held her arm as a sign to tell her to calm down, "And thanks for the concern, Mary, I've been sober for as long as I can remember and you don't need to worry about when I fuck up again."

"8 months." The detective blurted out. He could not help but deduce new people in his surroundings.

Mary grew more agitated, huffing as she stepped away in big, loud steps, "Pardon?"

"She's been sober 8 months now." He looked at Harry with uncertainty. Some things never changed, just like how more than half the people who get deduced actually are just offended. Was she one of them too?

To his surprise, Harry's face lightened up instead. She turned to her brother, "Wow, John. I get it now. I thought he was an ass like the rest of the Internet says. But I see why you like him so much." John's brows furrowed in confusion, "Look at him! He just wants approval and acceptance! And it's not like he lies, right? His deductions are just fragments of truth. Why are people so scared to accept the reality? I've accepted my truth and nobody can use it against me now, they can't guilt me into anything. I know where I stand."

The other woman suddenly leaned back in, "Can we rewind to the part to where you said something about liking Sherlock? John, surely you don't like Sherlock that way, right?!" Mary scoffed to herself in disbelief.

Before John could answer, Harry intervened, "Ah thank God you've brought it back up! I had timed my entrance so perfectly. You guys were just arguing before I came in, weren't you? What a precious love triangle." Sarcasm.

When Harry spoke, she spoke with an aura where nobody dared interrupt her. Sherlock concluded that she was intimidating, much different than her sibling, who seemed harmless from the outside. She continued, "Here's what I know. Mary, I don't know who the fuck you actually are but you don't deserve my brother. I don't even know if you really love him. Fuck, I'm on John's side when he claims the baby isn't his. Your entry in his life is too good to be true, I don't trust you. I just don't. Sorry not sorry"

"John, you may like Mary all right, but I know you don't love her. At least, not as much as you love Sherlock. Stop lying to yourself. Mary's presence was convenient for you. She made you think you love her the most. But I was there, drinking your sorrow away with you when this man was away." She pointed at Sherlock just for dramatic flairs.

"And you, Mr Cheekbones. My gaydar tells me that you're gay just like me so welcome to the club. You're desperately and, in my opinion, disgustingly in love with John Watson."

Before any three could respond, Harry dropped the final truth bomb, "The conflict is as clear as glass. John, break up with your wife. I'm getting bored with how daft you two are. Oh, and Sherlock, you two need to bone."