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24 Days of Johnlock

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John Watson, famous Chaser, popular Quidditch captain, one of the best students in their seventh year, a future healer, with blue eyes, blond hair, muscles and a kind smile, was absolutely perfect. After six and a half years at Hogwarts, Sherlock Holmes was 100% certain that nature would never invent a creature more handsome than John H. Watson. 


Sherlock Holmes was in love with John Watson, and it was both the reason for his happiness and his misery. 

As a sixteen-year old boy in love, he had every reason to be dramatic. 


Unfortunately, Sherlock was not the only student at Hogwarts who harboured romantic feelings for the hot Quidditch player. John and Sherlock had become inseparable when they first met on the train to their way to Hogwarts. During these years, John had 6 relationships. Six different girls, small, tall, blond, brunette, black, curly, straight, shy, confident, smart, stupid. Six different girls and six different break-ups. The longest lasting relationship had been with Mary Morstan. They’ve spent nearly all of Year Six together, until John had spectacularly broken up with her. It had been the number one topic of gossip for weeks. Unfortunately, the public opinion had soon sided with Mary, and turned against Sherlock. His fellow students speculated that Sherlock had come between them and bewitched John so that he would break up with seemingly perfect Mary Morstan. Sherlock believed privately that Mary had started the rumour herself. He had carefully approached John, wanting to know the real reason, but John had always randomly changed the topic, until Sherlock stopped asking. He had learned that sometimes, it was best not to press the other boy into answering. 


Sherlock was considered as widely unpopular. He had actually managed to skip year one, the teacher allowed it because he kept complaining about being bored in class. His parents were opposed to it at first, but Sherlock persuaded them. That’s how he came to the same grade as John. Whatever class they shared, they would always sit together. Sherlock was now the student with the best grades, he was the seeker of their Ravenclaw team, and his favourite subject was potion. But he was also sometimes rude and abrasive, and talked without thinking. Most of the other students hated him for being so intelligent without doing much work, and they never understood why John Watson, of all people, would want to be his friend.


He couldn’t blame them, Sherlock didn’t understand it either. 


Today was Saturday, and normally Sherlock would sleep in, but it was also the first of December. He and John had this little tradition where they would watch Hagrid bring in the giant Christmas Tree into the Great Hall, and later watch Flitwick decorate it. 

The stairs were rather deserted, and so Sherlock managed to get down quickly for breakfast. Thankfully he didn’t meet anyone of Mary’s friends. They loved to make him trip and whisper abuse at him. Sherlock ignored them, but this had been going on for months, and it drained his energy. 


Golden lamps were hanging from the ceiling, but a Christmas Tree was yet to be seen. Only Professor Binns was sitting at the breakfast table, completely engrossed in The Daily Prophet.


"Good, I’m not too late. Hagrid must not have arrived yet.“ Sherlock thought and craned his long neck for John. 


Dozens of people were gathered in the Great Hall around the four long tables. Sherlock wondered why all of them were staring down, whispering together. A few noticed him approaching and took a few steps aside. Sherlock stepped through. 


His stomach plummet.


Someone (who was he kidding, it must have been Mary) had drawn with burning flames the following words into the ground:




Through the white noise in his ears, he heard a few people snicker. The loudest of them was Mary, now standing directly in front of him, pointing at it. 


"I cannot wait for John to see this. I hope it will finally open his eyes, and he sees how disgusting you are.“ Mary spit out. 


Sherlock gulped, the humiliation burning a deep hole. Is Mary right about John? Suddenly Sherlock wasn’t so sure anymore. Tears were gathering in his eyes, and he wished they were there because of the heat from the flames. 


"Oh, look at him, he is crying.“ snickered Sally.


Everyone started laughing, and Sherlock felt like eleven again, sitting in that empty train wagon, utterly alone, scared for what would happen. Until the door opened and a twelve-year old blond boy asked if he could join him. 


Sherlock managed to free his shaking legs from the ground, turned around and walked away. His shoulders slumped in defeat, and he took a breath that came out as a sob. Thank god Mycroft had left Hogwarts a long time ago, he didn’t need to see his little brother brought so low. 


Mary’s taunting voice followed him into the floor, and every word she shouted after him hit like a dagger in his heart. 


His feet brought quickly to the Room of Wishes. The door opened when he walked to it, inviting him in. It had turned into John’s and Sherlock’s favourite version, a cuddly room with a fireplace, which wasn't on at the moment, a soft chair, lots of bookshelves and most importantly, two beds. Sherlock threw himself into one of them and buried his quivering body under the blanket.


He should have acted on the constant taunting the first time they happened. It would have been embarrassing to tell a teacher, but at least it would have ended, instead of dragging on before imploding into chaos. The words Mary had written were burned into his retinas, and Sherlock doubted he would ever manage to delete them. 


John will see them. The Quidditch captain is probably walking right now into the Great Hall, expecting Sherlock and a Christmas Tree. Instead, Mary will be waiting for him, together with her goons, eagerly observing his reaction.


"John, why don’t you sit down next to me, so we can talk?“ She will suggest. 


Sherlock sobbed again and pressed the pillow in front of his face. Thankfully, he was alone and no one else would witness his breakdown.


"Sherlock!“ John gasped. Sherlock’s whole body went rigid, when he heard John’s exclamation and he automatically tried to hide himself further. 


"Go away.“ He muffled, hoping to sound strong, but his voice was way too weak to achieve that. 


"No, I won’t.“ John claimed resolutely and stopped next to Sherlock’s bed. He didn’t wait for any invitation, just untied his shoes and shed his Gryffindor robe, before climbing into bed. Sherlock tried to roll away, but strong arms curled around his waist, and he found himself pressed against John’s warm body.


"Christ, you’re cold.“ John tried to make him laugh, but Sherlock didn’t respond.


"Don’t hide from me.“ John whispered. "You have no reason to hide. Not because of these assholes.“ 


Sherlock’s heart sank. "You have seen it, then.“ He said quietly. 


„Yes, I did.“ John answered. One of his strong hand cupped Sherlock’s head, and the Ravenclaw couldn’t help but nuzzle his face into John’s hand. He had ignored his wanting for John for six and a half years, and now everything came down. 


"You are stupid.“ 


Sherlock stopped: "W-What?“


"You seriously believe that after all this time, I give a damn about what other people think about us?“ John’s grip around his waist tightened. „I thought you were supposed to be the smart one in this relationship.“


Sherlock gasped. "Relationship?“ He could not believe what he just heard!


„Sherlock, please look at me.“ Sherlock did what he was told. John’s beautiful blue eyes met his. „I have to be very brave to do this now, so please bear with me for a second.“ He took a deep breath, then exhaled.


"I love you.“ 


Sherlock stared at him, utterly unable to comprehend it. He blinked, and blinked, and blinked and again.


"Sherlock. I’m not finished. Don’t disappear in your brilliant brain now.“


He blinked.


"I broke up with Mary when I finally noticed what nasty character lies behind her smiling persona. I also ended our relationship because I stopped being a coward and understood what I really wanted all along.“ He plays with one of Sherlock’s soft curls. „It’s you, it’s always you, and no Sarah, Janette, Kara, Lina or Mary could ever compete with you.“


He blinked. 


"I’m sorry they did that to you, and I’m going to kick their asses for that. Or even better, I will tell McGonagall and she will do it. You know how much she likes you. And if you want, nothing needs to change, we can just continue being friends. There is no pressure from me at all, I just want you to know how much I treasure you.“


He blinked. John waited patiently, while also rubbing his back soothingly. 


"You… You love me? Me?“ Sherlock asked.


John nodded. 


"Are you sure?“


John laughed: "A hundred percent.“


"Good.“ Sherlock pressed his face in John’s shoulder. This was all very overwhelming. "I do want things to change.“ 


John smile turned into a wide grin. They both smiled at each other like idiots, and for once, Sherlock didn’t care.


"I would love nothing more than to cuddle with you for the rest of the day, but we do have to continue our tradition.“ John whispered in his curls.


"Let’s watch Hagrid and Flitwick decorate the Christmas tree!“

Chapter Text

"Here, try this one.“


"No, thanks. It looks disgusting.“


"How about we both take one?“


"I plan to kiss you right after this, and I don’t want my mouth to taste like - whatever this is.“


"So it’s okay for you if I have bad smell, but not you?“


"Of course. See, I don’t have as many assets as you. I will always want to kiss you, because you are the most beautiful boy in the universe, but what about me?“


"John, you are absolutely perfect. If someone should worry about falling short, it’s me.“ 


"Don’t be ridiculous. Who wouldn’t love you?“


Sherlock waves and points at the roofs of London. „I can name a few people at the top of my hat.“


"I think that’s where you are wrong. People would be running after you if they knew that you have the personal contact information of whoever owns the Tate Modern.“


"They owe me a favour. Besides, it’s one of the best sights in London.“ 


"Definitely. Oh, look, one of the neighbours is screaming at us.“


Indeed, one of the flatowners who live directly next to the Tate Modern Viewing plattform, is gesticulating. His mouth is moving, but the wind is too loud to hear anything.


They concentrate back on the red wine Sherlock had stolen from Mycroft’s house. The fine wine, the muffins, sandwiches and crisps packs John acquired from Pret A Manger make a surprisingly good combinations. 


"The stars shine especially bright tonight.“


"The view is getting better, now that the air pollution act has passed.“


"Thank god for that.“ 


They both chew and drink for a while, content in their silence.


"John…“ said Sherlock. 


"Yes, love?“


Sherlock blushed, then spoke very quickly: "Are you happy?“


"What do you mean?“


"Are you happy with… what we are?“


John smiled and pressed a short kiss on Sherlock’s forehead: "Of course I am.“


"You don’t want anything more?“


"Sherlock, I never expected to be so happy in my life. Everything is fine as it is.“


To John’s surprise, Sherlock seemed a bit disappointed by this answer: "Well, that’s. Good.“


"Sherlock, look at me.“ 


Grey eyes met blue eyes.


"There is actually one thing I would like to change.“


Sherlock blinked: "What is it?“


John coughed and started searching through his trousers pocket.


"This is something I have thought about for a long time, and well, I tried to find a spectacular method, but I think, nothing could be more perfect than this moment. Us, under the stars.“


John finally found what he was looking for, stood up from his chair and suddenly kneeled down next to a shocked Sherlock.

John unclapped the small box and showed Sherlock a simple, silver ring.


"Sherlock Holmes, you are the love of my life. The day before I ran into Mike Stamford and subsequentially met you, I thought my life was over. You brought me back, with your quick deductions, your long coat, our first case, with a motherly landlady, a grey Detective Inspector and a kind pathologian. All the cases we solved, all the chases and fights and bombs and press conferences and bodies - god, my life changed so much in a short time. It is not always easy, and we have hurt each other so many times, but we built ourselves back together, and I believe that’s what counts. No relationship is perfect, and ours least of all, but with you at my side, I am sure we can do everything. Because I want more, Sherlock. More days with you, more kisses from you, more touches, as many cases as we can manage, more take-away and bond nights, more squabbles about milk, more tea from you, more cooking from me, more evenings at the fireplaces. If you want this too, please do me the honour of becoming my husband. Sherlock Holmes, will you marry me?“


Sherlock gasped and hid his mouth behind his trembling hand. His whole body quivered, but he stared at the waiting John intensly.


"John… Have you really thought about this?“


"For weeks. Or to be honest, since the day I met you.“


"But… I left for two years and made you think I was dead. I killed myself in front of you. I made you think we were going to die in an explosion so you will forgive you. I turned back to the drugs, I failed to catch the whole Mary thing on time.“


John took one of his hands and pressed it against his own, beating heart.


"Yes, you did all that, but you had reason to do that.“


"What makes you think this will not end in a similar disaster as with Mary.“


"For one, you are not an internationally wanted assassin or a lying snake, but you are not a substitue either. We know he work, we know we can do it, and I believe in us. Also, I want the whole of London to know that you are mine, Sherlock, and that no one else can you.“


Sherlock giggled.


"Will you please now save my knees and answer?“


"Yes, of course I will. I will marry you.“ 


John stood up and put the ring on Sherlock’s finger. 


"Christ.“ He mumbled, then kissed Sherlock hungrily. „I really want to see you now when you are only wearing the ring.“


"I’m not sure if the neighbour will like that.“


"We can close the curtains. Until there are only stars, and you and me.“


"Sounds brilliant.“


"I am, sometimes. Now, please undress for me.“

Chapter Text

In retrospect, this may not have been the smartest idea they’ve ever had. John would say, In hindsight, you always know better. Sherlock is reluctantly inclined to agree. The whole event did give them a fright.

Sherlock and John decided to drive to London in December. John wanted to see the decorations at Oxford Street and Sherlock wanted to go to the Harrods famous sweet department. They always spent a lot of time together, but it was their first time in the capital without any parental supervision, which made it of course the best trip ever.
That’s how they ended up on the train, going from their small city to London. They have arrived this morning, and John wanted to go to Covent Garden to listen to the famous street musicians.

“The guy across the aisle is breaking up with his partner via text message right now.

John snorted: “How could you possible know that?

“He is tapping his foot, which indicates nervousness, he is also slightly sweating. I can hear the sound of his phone keys, he owns an iPhone. He’s sighing multiple times a minute, his breath hitches, he doesn’t really want to end the relationship, but he feels like he must. He is wearing the scarf the partner gave her, I can smell the two different perfumes. He took it with him today in the hope it will comfort him.

Sherlock felt John’s shoulders move slightly against his. The other boy was trying to stifle his giggles.

“You’re brilliant, you know that, right?

“Of course, as you keep telling me.

John kicked his leg. Not hard, just so that Sherlock definitely notices it.

“Brilliant and arrogant. I really have a complicated boyfriend.

“You wouldn’t want it any other way, it’s boring.

They sit a few minutes in silence. Sherlock uses the time to take all the different sounds of the approaching city in. The various languages, from tourists and citizens alike, the loud music from a pair of headphones, the “All I want for Christmas is you song (John sang it yesterday in the shower in their hotel room)  from a train station, crying children, swearing parents, a pair of kissing teenagers. It’s smell of hot almonds, bought on some Christmas market, of cheap deodorant, and cigarettes.
It can be easily overwhelming, and Sherlock is still learning how to filter less important stuff out. He is good at it when they are somewhere familiar, at school, on the rugby field (he doesn’t play, but John does, and for some reason, him being there brings luck for John), and their homes. London is always different, it constantly changes, and it’s both exhilarating and alarming all at once.

“Next station, Covent Garden. The woman says over the speaker. That’s their stop.

“You’ve travelled with the tube before? John asks.

“Sure. Sherlock lied. Mummy claims the tube gives her headaches, Father says it's too fast, and Mycroft doesn’t want him on the underground, saying it’s too dangerous for someone like him. He would have both off their heads if he could watch them right now. Thankfully, Mycroft didn't have his eyes everywhere.

Someone like him! Ha. Sherlock may be blind since his fifth year, but surely he can navigate through a simple tube station, when John is walking right next to him.

The door opens and they both get up. John offers his arm, and Sherlock gladly accepts it. The gesture is comforting and very familiar. They walk like this most of the time. Sherlock loves having John close, and vice versa. His other hand is clutching his walking stick, but he doesn’t want to poke anyone’s eye out, so he keeps it close to his body.

“Let’s go. John says. He adds something, but Sherlock can barely understand over all the loud noise they are now confronted with. They reach the platform just fine, and Sherlock walks automatically to the right, knowing it’s the most common direction to get to the exit. Except people are suddenly directly before him, pushing him in different directions, and John’s arm is gone.

Shit. Sherlock wills himself not too panic, except he is absolutely panicking, because everything is too loud and too fast and John is NOT HERE.

“Excuse me. He tries, but a man just shoves him to the side and mumbles something about Sherlock being a bloody dickhead.

“Welcome to London. Sherlock thinks, defeated, and just gives up any form of politeness and shoves himself through, until his back meets the wall of the station. John will come back for him any minute, he just has to wait-

“Train is approaching.

There comes the next train, and now there are new people there, fighting to reach the door, and more people getting off the train.

“This is hopeless, John will never find me in this scramble. Sherlock realizes. He could try find a bank and sit down there, but he wasn’t in the mood of feeling himself around. Of course his phone doesn’t work either on the underground, and it’s still too crowded to effectively use his walking stick.

And this NOISE. Oh god, it’s killing him. Normally, he would use this sensory overload as an experiment, but right now he just wants to get out of there, be back in John’s arm and breathe fresh air.

“Train is approaching.

Right, waiting here is useless. He just has to get himself together and find the exit on his own. With his determination back, he pushes himself of the wall and slowly but surely starts walking. Now that he is going in the same direction as the people getting off the train, it’s decidedly easier.

“20 Stairs are straight ahead, darling. A kind voice suddenly says. It’s that of an elderly woman.

“Thank you. He answers and starts climbing.

“Three more steps, then you reach the ticket checking machine. The exit is five more steps behind it. Are you meeting up with a friend?

Sherlock hears the annoying beeping of the automate, and thanks her again. “Yes I am, he should be waiting for me here.

“No problem, enjoy your stay. Welcome to London! The woman goes away, and Sherlock breathes in the fresh air. He made it! With some help, of course, but he made it! He fumbles for his phone to finally call John, but his hand is too badly shaking to grasp it. He never expected riding the tube to be so terrifying!
Damn it! The phone is falling through his quivering fingers, and he resigns himself to pay for a new touchscreen, when someone loudly gasps.

“Sherlock! Sherlock follows the voice, and then John is crushing into him, strong arms winding around his waist, Sherlock's phone safely in his hand. John must have caught it with his fast rugby reflexes.

“Thank god, I was looking for you everywhere, and I was just about to call train service.

“I’m glad you didn’t, that would have been embarrassing.

John hugs him to his chest, a bit more forcefully this time: “I was worried sick for you! Are you alright?

Now that John had returned to him, the whole event didn’t seem so horrible anymore.

“I’m fine. It was just scary when you were suddenly gone, and there were strangers everywhere! Eventually I made it, and an elderly lady helped me.

“Jesus Christ. Some rich asshole pushed me away and I lost sight of you. I first reached the exit, believing it's the most logical point, but I was just about head back. John explained and pressed a short kiss on his forehead. “Mycroft is going to deport me when he finds out about this.

“He doesn’t have to know.

Sherlock wraps his long arms around John’s neck and snuggles closer.

“Next time, we will take the bus.

Sherlock pouted: “I need the practice for later when we are attending university.

“We can ride through the whole off London to practice love, but later. And certainly not during Christmas at Covent bloody Garden.

“Okay. Sherlock sighs and grabs John’s arm again. “I just want a hot chocolate now.

John escorted him through the streets. A shop was playing “All I want for Christmas is you and Sherlock couldn’t wait until the day when all of this -London, John Watson- would be something he could enjoy every day.

Chapter Text

Mycroft! Mycroft, it’s snowing!

Sherlock’s seven years older brother does not even look up from his math textbook. It’s been snowing for hours now, Sherlock. Can’t you see I’m busy?

Sherlock, used to Mycroft’s grumpy moods since he had started fifth grade, isn’t deterred.

Do you wanna build a snowman? He sings in his most high-pitched voice, so he sounds like a girl.

This gets him a bigger reaction: GET OUT! Mycroft screams, and throws his pen after his giggling brother, who quickly makes his way downstairs.

Sherlock, don’t forget your scarf. Mummy remembers him, and Sherlock begrudgingly walks back to get it.

“Where are you going? She asks her youngest child.

“John is waiting for me in the park. We want to build a snowman together! I asked Mycroft to join us, but he is too busy feeling important.

Mummy sighs: “I’m sorry. I hop that boy doesn’t forget over all his new books that he is still a child too.

“I don’t really mind him not coming. I prefer to play with John alone anyway.

Mummy blows him a kiss: “You two are quite a couple, aren’t you?

“Mummy, you’re embarrassing!

Sherlock blushes wildly and flees out of the door. This hadn’t been the first round of teasing, and to be honest, Sherlock wouldn’t mind being John’s most important person. John is two years older than him and started primary school this year, and Sherlock is terrified at the thought that John may forget about him, now that he is one of the grown-up boys.

He reaches the snowy park and immediately recognizes John, who wears his bright orange parka. The blond boy waves at him.

“Over here, Sherlock! John already started with the first and biggest snow globe. Sherlock jumps to assist him, and together they roll the globe around the snow, making it bigger and bigger.

“We will have to be careful so you won’t get buried in the snow. John says. “I don’t think you have grown this year.

Sherlock sticks out his tongue: “You’ll see, one day, I will be taller than you are.

“Maybe someday, but until then I’m gonna carry you through the snow masses. Like they do with the Hobbits!

They both laugh, and Sherlock tries to hide that he likes John carrying him very much.

Half an hour later, they rolled two smaller globes and stacked them all on top of each other.

“Perfect. Now we just have to do the face! John exclaims, and they start searching for a few stones to use for the eyes and the mouth.

“Too bad we don’t have a carrot. Sherlock says.

John shrugs: “We will have to do without it. They find a few stones and decorate the face, and Sherlock digs out two long sticks to use as arms.
They both step back to admire their hard work.

“Something is still missing. John says.

“I know! Sherlock cries and winds his blue scarf around the snowman’s neck. He looks much friendlier now!

“You’re brilliant. John congratulates him, and Sherlock wants to preen as usual, but today, he can’t help but frown. How many times will John still say it, how long until he meets pupils who are much smarter than Sherlock, more easy-going, more fun?

“Hey… what’s wrong? John brushes his arm.

“Nothing. Sherlock stares on the white ground.

“It’s not 'nothing' when you look like that!

Sherlock stomps his feet: “Fine! Now that you’re going to school, you will find much better friends than I am!

John blinks in confusion.

“Of course I will meet other friends, but why would I ever forget about you, Sherlock? You are my best friend, and you’ll always will be!

“You don’t know that. Things change! Sherlock cries.

There is a moment of silence between them.

“I know how to convince you! John says and suddenly kneels in front of Sherlock.

“What are you doing?

“Sherlock Holmes, will you do me the honour of being my best friend forever? John asks very seriously.

Sherlock laughs hysterically: “Yes, I will. Now get up before someone sees us! John stands up, and they both hug, their bellies soon aching from all the laughing.

“I can’t believe you really did that!

“You have said yes, and breaking that promise is a terrible mistake. We are going to be friends forever!

John lifts Sherlock from his small feet and whirls him around, and Sherlock has never felt lighter.

Chapter Text

“Don’t stop believin’…

“I am glad I taught you how to dance properly. This way, we may have a chance of winning the couple contest.

“I didn’t know you are interested in winning this stupid crown.

“I don’t care for the crown, although I would look fabulous with it. I like winning, and I like angering homophobes.

“It’s just our annual school year dance event, alright? Everyone is tolerant here.

Sherlock stops for a second: “Maybe for you. No offence, but you look straight, and you’re also the star rugby captain and popular.

John presses his hand reassuringly: “I’m sorry, Sherlock.

“Well, you did hit Anderson really hard.

“Thankfully, this is our last day at this school. After that, it’s London baby!

Sherlock laughs at John’s enthusiasm. They do another turn. After a few weeks of training, John is quite good at it. His favourite part is the moment when he gets to spin Sherlock around and catch a glimpse of his delightful smile. He did practice another move alone in his room (Harry helped too), and he cannot wait to surprise Sherlock with it.

“Hold on to the feeling.

Sherlock had chosen their black suits too, when he went shopping for a dress with Molly, the black is a classic choice, except Sherlock had ignored the rule and came without a tie. The teacher let it go, and John can admire his boyfriend’s neck for the whole evening. John had bought a yellow flower boutonniere, though he was worried Sherlock would see it as too much of a cliché. Instead, the boy wears it proudly. The colour of the flower matches his eyes, and John is very proud of his choice.

Streetlight people…

Their gym is lovely decorated, with lots of balloons and lilac light. Their school band is talented too, especially the female singer. From what John had heard, she already has a scholarship for a drama school in London. A few more couples are dancing to the song, a few others are watching from the sideline. A gaggle of girls in long dresses have already separated themselves from their hopeless boyfriends and are now sitting in a group of chairs, pouting. The boys are standing in the other corner, tapping on their phones, waiting for the evening to be over.

“I should probably get over. I promised Irene and Molly a dance. Sherlock says and looks also over to the waiting girls.

John hugs him closer, feeling possessive: “Molly is still dancing with Greg, and they seem content. I still want your undivided attention for a while more. Sherlock knows John hates to share him, especially since John hasn’t done his special trick yet.

At first, John assumed Sherlock wouldn’t want to go to the school dance, until Irene approached him, two weeks before the big day.

“Sherlock is absolutely miserable and thinks you already asked someone else! Get your act together, Watson! Irene said, and John immediately hurried over to Sherlock to pop the big question. The boy had smiled widely, and John kicked himself for not doing it sooner. Sherlock is always so confident, and it’s easy to forget that it’s Sherlock first relationship, and he is actually quite insecure about the whole ‚feelings‘ stuff.

“It goes on and on and on and on…

“Mrs. Hudson called earlier. Sherlock interrupted his thoughts. “The flat is all ready for us to move in.

“That’s great! John exclaims, then turns serious again: “Are you still sure you want this?

“Of course. London may be exciting, but I’m sure I’ll still be bored plenty. I definitely need you at my side.

John blushes: “Good. That’s… good.

Sherlock tilted his head: “Are you sure? He asked quietly.

John kissed him on his (gorgeous) lips as an answer. “Absolutely fucking sure. He whispers against them, and enjoys Sherlock’s shaky inhale. Jesus, he loved the boy’s reactions from whatever John does to him. Sherlock is always so delightfully responsive.

“If you become my flatmate, you should know that I sometimes go days without speaking and that I play the violin. It helps me think. Potential flatmates should know the worst about each other.

“Nothing you can do will chase me away.

“You haven’t seen my fridge yet.

“Sorry, what?

“Forget about it. Sherlock says quickly.

They dance for a few more seconds, and finally they play something slower. John can feel his big moment getting closer.

There is a bit of a squabble when a girl throws her red flower corsage at a boy and runs off, with a few friends trailing after her.

“He just confessed to her that he likes her bigger sister. Sherlock whispers.

“That’s rough.

The song finally reach his finale and prepares himself. John checks if they have enough room. They do another turn, perfectly in tune. He moves Sherlock away and then gently spins him back in before the dip, like Harry told him. Sherlock’s face morphs into confusion, then happiness.
John places his hand in the middle of his lower back. Sherlock automatically reaches for John’s neck to secure himself. John straightens himself one more time and Sherlock arches backwards, dropping his head slightly to the floor, while John’s arms, strong from his weekly rugby playing, holds his body up. He distantly hears their friends clapping, but all John can focus on is Sherlock’s beautiful expression. He is full of trust, and John pulls him carefully back to his feet. Sherlock hides his face in John’s shoulder, and John can feel his burning face.

“That was perfect. Sherlock says quietly.

“Thank you. John says back. “I practised a lot.


John didn’t hesitate: “As a reminder, that when you fall, I will always be there to catch you.

“This will win us the crown for sure.

Chapter Text

The snow is laying thick on the ground and on the tree branches, the sun has disappeared a while ago, but the stars and the moon shine enough light on the white snow. The view is magical, but Sherlock and John only have eyes for each other.

“Where are we going? Sherlock whined. His face is pale from the cold, but they are all used to it. Up high in the dark north, the summers are short and the winters are long.

“Just a few more steps. John reassures him and directs him further into the woods. Behind them is the big farm of the Holmes, where their guests are still celebrating the marriage between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. They are still young, Sherlock not even twenty, and they already showed their talents. John is a brilliant sharp shooter and feared in battle with his axe, and Sherlock is able to read the stars like no one else and can manoeuvre their long ship through every storm. The life of Vikings is hard, but they had a good harvest and a successful journey to the Angelland, from where they brought new treasures home. John figured now is the perfect moment, and so he and Sherlock, a (secret) couple for two years, got married today. The Viking had worked long for this big surprise, and he cannot wait to show Sherlock!

“We can just stay with the others. Sherlock said.

“You were the one who complained of being bored.

“That was before I knew you would drag me through the woods! He complained.

“Okay, we’re there." John says and they both stop for a moment.

They step onto a small glade, and John observed Sherlock’s face closely. His eyes widened comically, his mouth fell open, and his frown turned into a big smile. John’s heart glows at his husbands reaction. Oh, Thor, nothing is better than seeing a surprised Sherlock Holmes, especially when he elicited the reaction.

In front of them stands the small house, their new home. It’s nowhere as grant as the Holmes’s mansion, but John decided they didn’t need so much place at the moment (although Sherlock will surely adopt a couple of dogs in the following years). It consists of a small kitchen corner, a massive bed (very stable, of course), and most important, a fireplace.

Sherlock is still staring at it, and John knows he is noticing every little detail.

“You… You build this.

John nods, feeling smug: “Yes, I did. With my own hands. Gregory and Molly helped me.

“When did you start? It must have taken you years.

“More or less.

“When did you start? Sherlock insists on an answer. John blushes and shuffles with his feet.


“I started it on the day I got introduced to you. That’s when I started planning it.

Sherlock blinks.

“How the hell did you know?

“How did I know we would get married? John shrugs. “I immediately felt you are someone special, and I know I have to be at my best to keep you entertained. So, I build you a house as a marriage gift.
Sherlock kisses him. Their tongues play with each other, their lips are frozen, all around them is only silence.

“The house is perfect. I absolutely love it.

“And you haven’t even caught a glimpse of our brand-new bed.

“I hope it survives our wedding night.

“I can assure you, I build it only with the best material.

“We need to test it.

“Of course, but until then… John bends and scoops Sherlock up into his arms. Sherlock hides his face in John’s neck: “This is a terrible tradition.

“Shut up, I know you love it. John answers, kicks the door open and carefully carries him over the threshold. He throws his new husband on the bed. Sherlock rolls himself on his back, spreads his impossible long legs and aches his neck. Their eyes meet, and John feels the heat in their gaze directly wandering into his groin.

“I’m in desperate need of my husband. Sherlock says and winks.

John grins; “I’m just gonna heat up the fireplace, otherwise we will freeze to death tonight.

“I can promise you I’ll keep you warm.

“Not for the whole night, love.

“Just you wait. Sherlock kicks his boots from his feet and shuffles out of his coat. John starts to shed his heavy winter clothing as well while he lights up their fireplace. Soon, the wood is burning and it casts a nice shine over their new home. John goes back to their bed, eagerly. Sherlock is waiting for him.

“You are still dressed. John says disappointed.

Sherlock rolls his eyes: “I do have to give you my present now. If I am naked, you won’t be able to concentrate.

That’s true. “You think very highly of your seduction abilities.

“Years of close observation, with only one test subject.

“Hey! John makes himself comfortable next to Sherlock, who turns on his side to face him.

“Where is my present? John asks.

“It’s not physical, not yet anyway. Sherlock bits his lips. He is nervous. “It’s more of an idea?

John curls his arms around Sherlock’s bony hips and waits patiently for an explanation.

“I believe there is a country much bigger than Angelland. I think there is a country south of it, where people may speak a different language, but own unbelievable riches.

John lifts his eyebrows: “What do you propose we’ll do'?“ They never traveled so far. 

“We need bigger and more ships, of course. More food and fighters as well. We’ll sail around the Angelland, stay close to the coast, cross another water and then, we’ll sail right down the long river. While speaking rapidly, Sherlock draws with his fingertips his mental route down John’s broad chest.
John catches the wandering hand before it reaches his trousers.

“Unbelievable riches, you say.

“Oh, definitely.

John settles himself on top of Sherlock, and reaches to undress him.

“That’s a fantastic idea, love. But enough talking for today, time to show me my second wedding gift. John moved his hips, and Sherlock gasped.

“You’re full of good ideas, as well. Together they chug John’s shirt away, then Sherlock’s.

“That’s why you married me. John answers, before moving to open Sherlock’s trousers with his teeth.

Chapter Text

They never really had a good Christmas.

Their first Christmas, they threw a party at Baker Street. The whole flat was decorated, with lots of lights, cards and the skull wearing a Santa Claus hat. Sherlock played with his violin, and he seemed socially awkward, until Molly appeared, with that extravagant dress and her hopeless crush, and Sherlock absolutely destroyed her with his deductions. It all ended with an evening in the morgue, identifying Irene Adler's body double, Jeanette (he thinks that was her name) breaking up with John and John destroying Sherlock’s socks index. Not a perfect evening, by all means. At least they still lived together, although the mystery around Irene Adler weighted down on them. John now knows that neither Sherlock nor Irene were ever romantically interested in each other, but then he believed Sherlock to be heartbroken (“GAY, John, we’re both GAY. Honestly.).

Their second Christmas was not “theirs. It was John’s, sitting his small, undecorated, empty, soulless flat with only his whiskey as company. No fights, no skulls, no morgue, only a visit to the graveyard and a bad migraine the morning after. John felt his life to be over again. No one came to visit him, he had taken care of that. They had been more Sherlock’s friends than his anyway. John had the privilege to orbit 18 months around this brilliant, human being, and that was it. 18 months had to be enough for a lifetime.

John now knows that Sherlock had spent it in Hamburg, in a flat as empty and undecorated as his. So close, yet so far away. The neighbours had played Christmas songs, and Sherlock went early to a restless sleep.

Their third Christmas was not “theirs anyway, it was John and Mary’s. John had moved into her cosy flat after meeting and soon dating her in April. A few of Mary’s friends came over, and they all giggled loudly in the living room, while John sat next to the window, nursing his brandy and staring out into the falling snow. Later, Mary and John had sex, and John tried to act as enthusiastically as possible, when all he could think of was a black gravestone, a dusty flat, a cold fireplace, a silent living room, and a skull without a Santa Claus hat.

Sherlock had spent it in a small village in the mountains of Tibet, where they celebrate no Christmas. He had lightened a candle and hoped for a safe return. Next he had gone to Russia, then to Belarus, then to Serbia, where only hard fists and a short chain waited.

Their fourth Christmas, it should have been finally “theirs again. John and Mary visited Sherlock for a few hours at Baker Street, but Mary wanted to attend a party at the house of one of her annoying friends. John was too washed up, a few thoughts of bitterness still left, and the giddy anticipation of finally getting everything he ever wanted (believed he should): the lovely wife and a house in the suburbs, a stable work at the clinic, but also a Sherlock Holmes, who took him on difficult cases, chases through the city, late-night take-out and violin solos. After the case was solved, John got to return to Mary’s open arms, satisfied and not bored. Sherlock ended up left alone, and John pretended not to think about it too much.

Their fifth Christmas, they went to visit Sherlock’s parents. John pretended to forgive Mary for her unforgivable action (Mycroft and John had worked out the plan while Sherlock was in recovery. John was supposed to stay with Mary until the baby could be given to David, and Mycroft could hand her over to the Americans), and it cost him every acting skill he had learned. Her snappish and ungrateful comments nearly set him off again, she sitting in Sherlock’s childhood home, talking with his parents, pretending she didn’t try to kill their youngest son. Twice.
Of course, the whole plan went down the drain. Sherlock shot Magnussen in the head in front of dozens of witnesses to save Mary (Oh, Sherlock), but really to save John’s fake illusion of his happy family. He was brought away in handcuffs and thrown into a cell in the basement of Secret Service. John had spent Christmas Day, after being interrogated for hours, begging to Mycroft. He wanted to visit Sherlock and tell him the truth about his and Mycroft’s (stupidly) secret place, but Mycroft wouldn’t allow it. Too many cameras.

Now, it’s time for their sixth Christmas, and John is determined to finally make it a good one, for both of them. A lot has happened in the last 12 months. The baby is now safe at David’s, and they both are very happy with the arrangement. David had sent John a photo of them in July. John had moved back to Baker Street, and soon into Sherlock’s bedroom as well.
In a cold February night, Mary’s lies and actions were supposed to finally catch her, but it all went down horribly. Mary kidnapped Sherlock right under Mycroft’s nose, and he and John immediately chased after her. It all ended on that damn tarmac, with two corpses, a shaking Sherlock and a cold-blooded John.
It ended, but at what cost? They will visit another gravestone this year, with the difference that this one isn’t empty. Mycroft had sacrificed his life for his little brother, and John had shot his wife.

“This year is going to be our Christmas. John declares with conviction. He brushes Sherlock through his thick curls.

“What do you mean? Sherlock asks sleepily. They built themselves a bed out of pillows and blankets in front of their fireplace. Sherlock had made them tea and Mrs Hudson baked biscuits. Sherlock is laying half on top of John, with his head on John’s good shoulder.

“I mean that we had five shit Christmases in a row, and that we definitely deserve a good one. Sherlock sits up a bit to look at him properly.

“What do you plan to do?

“We can invite Lestrade, Molly and Mrs Hudson over for a small gathering. Just us, with good food and fine wine. On Christmas Day, we drive to your parents, they have asked us already. We decorate the flat, even the damn skull. We can get a small Christmas Tree too.

“It sounds nice. Sherlock lays back down. John’s finger find themselves tangled back in his hair, and Sherlock lets out a cat-like “purrr. “Lestrade and Molly will definitely arrive together. Maybe we can set them both up under a mistletoe.

“It really is time for them, they have been jumping around it for ages.

“As did we.

John sighs: “Unfortunately, yes. But at least, we have finally managed it.

They both enjoy the warmth from the fireplace together.

“Is this what you ever wanted, John? Sherlock asks.

“It may be unexpected, but I couldn’t be happier. I have you right here with me. It’s enough. What about you?

“Likewise. Sherlock says.

John thinks of the advertisement from the dog shelter they got in their mailbox. It would be a wonderful present.

Finally, it’s their Christmas.

Chapter Text

“All I want for Christmas is you!


"Last Christmas, I gave you my heart!"


"Do you want red or white wine?"


"Driving home for Christmas..."


"Mummy, I want to go home!"


"Another word from you and Santa Claus won't visit us."


"Oh, fucking hell, my English teacher is an idiot."






“Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up!

They are in a very crowded Tesco, and John tries to find his favourite tea, when Sherlock suddenly starts shouting at the speakers, which are playing Christmas songs all day long. This music, coupled with a huge crowd consisting of screaming children, screaming parents, screaming teenagers and stressed workers, has brought the consulting detective to his knees. John ignores the shocked reactions, lets go off his shopping bag and steers Sherlock outside.

“I have to finish shopping, just wait here, and we can go home after that. John says.

“John, I have a terrible headache. Sherlock moans.

John shushes him and rubs his shoulder, before rushing back into the chaos to save their groceries.

20 minutes later, John has finished his shopping trip and has even found his tea, plus Sherlock’s favourite chocolate (he will never admit it, but the detective has a sweet tooth). Hopefully it will cheer him up.
Except Sherlock is nowhere to be seen. John fumbles for his mobile phone, now getting stressed as well. Bloody hell, why can Sherlock never do what he is told.

Where are you?? I’m at the shop door!


The answer is fast:

I’m back at 221b. Too noisy. Head hurts.

John sighs. At least Sherlock is safe in a cab and not kidnapped. He shoulders his bag and goes to the next bus station. On his way, too loud Christmas music is being played everywhere. At a book store it’s “Last Christmas, at the electronic store it’s “Driving home for Christmas, at Primark it’s “Under the Christmas Tree. There is no escape, and John feels very sorry for all the employees who have to survive it for eight hours every day. This week they started playing some Christmas songs in the waiting room of the clinic as well. John doesn’t mind the songs, but this is just too much.

The bus is crowded as well, and some 14 year old shout over the sound of their phones at each other. John just wants to go home.

221b is thankfully quiet, and John instantly relaxes. Mrs. Hudson is baking again, and the whole flat smells like biscuits. He’s home.

Sherlock is neither in the living room nor in the kitchen. John stores away their groceries and starts making tea.
The consulting detective is laying curled together in their bed. He has changed into his blue pyjamas. John carefully holds his tea glass while shedding his trousers and jumper as well. He dives next to Sherlock. The detective has his eyes closed, his body up to his mouth buried under the blanket. Sherlock immediately snuggles closer to John, while the doctor enjoys his tea. They both enjoy the quietness of their flat, only interrupted from car noises outside, and Mrs. Hudson softly talking to herself.

“How are you feeling? John asks his boyfriend.

Hmmm Sherlock mumbled. John doesn’t need more information. His consulting detective will suffer through this time like a good soldier, and collapse every night into bed. The onslaught of sensory input at Christmas Time is always stressful for the genius intelligent brain.
A few hours pass, in which John must have fallen asleep. Sherlock is sitting up, and he is watching something on the small television in their bedroom.

John blinks a few times to clear his vision, then gapes surprised. Sherlock is watching the old BBC mini series “Pride and Prejudice, the one with Colin Firth and the infamous lake scene.

“Are you turning into Bridget Jones?

“Sorry, who?

“Nothing. John says quickly. Not a good moment to tease Sherlock about his pop culture knowledge. “I didn’t you like Jane Austen.

Sherlock shrugs: “She is one of the best British authors. We read Pride and Prejudice in school, and I surprisingly enjoyed it, although it’s certainly not a book about chemistry nor bees. I like this series. It’s calming.

They continue watching, until Colin Firth jumps into the lake and gets his white shirt all wet.

Sherlock takes a deep breath: “This actor is very good-looking.

John stares at Colin Firth’s broad chest. Why is Sherlock so enthusiastic about him? The man is now over fifty, for goddess sake! Sure, he has great hair and a deep voice, but a lot of people had that.

“John, you don’t have to be jealous.

“I’m not. John growled back. He shuts off the television. “Do you feel better?

“A bit, yes. Sherlock admits.

“Good, John says on crawls on top of Sherlock. Because I’m going to show you exactly unimpressive Colin Firth is, compared to me.

Chapter Text

Today, John is visiting the local shelter. The three rooms are full of cats, dogs, a few rabbits, birds and even a cage with mouses. John tries not to look too much at them, their long tails absolutely terrify him. As a child, Harry had once pranked him on Halloween and hid a dead mouse in his bed. His scream woke up the whole neighbourhood, and his dad got furious.
Right, not a good time to think about his destructive childhood.

Today, he is going to adopt a dog. A few months ago, Sherlock had shown him pictures of him and Redbeard, the Irish Settler he had in his childhood. The dog had been his only companion for years, following him on every adventure and sleeping next to his bed. They had sorted through Mycroft’s private belongings, and the older brother had even kept some of Redbeard’s dog toys.

“Who knew Mycroft was the sentimental type. Sherlock had scoffed, but John knew he was secretly touched.

The idea of adopting a puppy for them had come to John after a case involving a young girl and a missing dog. Sherlock had solved the case and found the dog in half an hour without taking the offered pocket money. In exchange, he cuddled with the dog for a few minutes, before the happy girl and her companion went back home.

Watching Sherlock play with the dog had finalized John’s (hopefully brilliant) idea. That’s how he ended up here, browsing the shelter.

“Excuse me, I’m looking for a dog. Preferably an Irish Settler. He tells the shop assistant behind the counter.

“Is it a gift for Christmas? She asks.

John nods.

“Sir, it’s my duty to inform you that pets are not always the best presents. Our pets have survived a lot, and it’s important for us to find them a kind and permanent home. If your children may…

“Oh, no. John throws in quickly, “I don’t have children. The dog is for my boyfriend, he had one as a boy, so he definitely knows how take care of them.

The assistant smiles relieved.

“A collegue brought in a few new puppies yesterday, she found them in a cartoon on the side of a road. They may be exactly what you are looking for!

John follows her through the shelter. About five puppies are playing together on a blanket in the corner. They kneel down to observe them. In John’s opinion, he can take them all to Baker Street, but Mrs. Hudson probably wouldn’t approve. She is fine with one puppy, and certainly not five. Even though they do have rather lovely eyes.
The assistant gently takes one of them in her arms and gives them over to John. It’s an Irish Settler, like Redbeard was, he has similar red fur and dark brown eyes, and his face is just as gentle. John lets the small puppy climb onto his lap. His paws play with his woollen jumper, and John carefully starts to stroke his deep fur. The puppy yelps excited, which makes John giggle.

The assistant observes the two.

“I believe you have found your puppy. She says.

John grins back at her. The puppy tries to bark, but it comes out more like a high whine.

He doesn’t only adopt the little puppy, but also a dog collar, a ball, dog food and a leash.

John guides the puppy outside, who looks down the street with his adorable eyes. The wind makes his long ears fly.

“Come on, little one. John whispers to him. “Time to introduce you to your new home.

He cannot wait to see the surprised look on Sherlock’s face!

Chapter Text

Sherlock had found the Mirror of Erised on one of his many forbidden nightly wanderings (at least he kept himself in the castle now. John had to hurry through the Forbidden Forrest for a rescue mission in the darkness far too often). The Mirror had been stored away in an old classroom. The teachers are patrolling every night through the corridors, but Sherlock is way too good at hiding or dressing himself up to get caught, even by one of the famous Hogwarts teacher.

Sherlock had already visited the Mirror three times, read everything he could find about it in the library, before he finally told John.

“So, what is so special about this mirror? John asks, feeling grumpy. They have been walking through the castle for half an hour now, because Sherlock wanted to show him all the new knight statues they decorated for Christmas. His feet are getting cold, and surely at some time a teacher would catch them? John wouldn’t stomach more extra homework to make up for Sherlock’s many shenanigans. Not in his seventh year, when he should study all day long. Of course, the brilliant git just had to read everything once and be done with it, John isn’t so lucky.

“It’s not any mirror, it’s the Mirror of Erised. Sherlock informs him. “It doesn’t show us, it shows our deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.

“Wow. John says and immediately visions what he will see. Maybe him holding the Quidditch cup? Or him, wearing the Healer uniform? A sober Harry? Or maybe even… John stops his thinking process. Surely no mirror can look that deeply into his heart.

“What did you see? John asks his best friend for now nearly seven years. To his endless surprise, Sherlock stumbles a bit and falls silent.

“Is it you with your own lab, where no one will ever bother you and you can just concentrate on potions? John questions him. It’s meant to be teasing, but Sherlock reacts hurt. His eyes glide away from John’s face, and he walks a bit faster.

“Hey. John stops the genius with a hand to his shoulder. “Sorry I said that. It was meant as a joke.

“I hope you got a nice anecdote you can tell Mary out of it. Sherlock snaps. John is about to answer, when they suddenly hear fast footsteps. A patrolling teacher, or worse, Mr. Filch?

“Quick! Sherlock whispers, grabs John's hand, and they jump behind a knight statue. John tries to make them as small as possible, and in doing so, he pushes Sherlock’s lithe body flat against the wall. He hears Sherlock’s hurried heartbeat and smells the special Sherlock aroma: sulphur, old books, lemon and something else, something John has only ever smelled from the Amortentia potion Slughorn had shown them in sixth grade.
He is so captivated by being so close to Sherlock, that he nearly misses his attention call.

“He is gone. Sherlock says, and John feels the vibration through his chest. “The Mirror is not far away now.

They cross the rest of their walk in silence. The classroom is thankfully deserted, except for a few old tables and chairs, most of them missing legs. All the curtains are drawn, and only night from outside fades in. John barely sees Sherlock’s silhouette.
They stop in front of the Mirror and Sherlock throws the large blanket off it. The Mirror is taller than Sherlock, and so wide they can both stand comfortably in front of it. Some letters are caved into the wood, but neither John nor Sherlock have the patience to encipher them.

Sherlock steps out of the way so John can have the whole Mirror for himself. Feeling both nervous and eager, John stares at his opposite, that slowly turns into…


It’s not him with the Quidditch cup, nor him in a healer uniform, nor a sober Harry and most definitely no Mary.

It’s him, wearing his favourite brown jumper and jeans.
Close to him, stands Sherlock, in his usual formal attire.
They somehow look 17, but also somehow 25 and 37 and 51 and 95 and…

They stand very close together, and the John in the Mirror smiles at Sherlock with all the happiness in the world. He puts his arm around Sherlock, and the Sherlock in the Mirror…

He kisses John, just a quick kiss on the forehead, but John pulls him closer, and they kiss for a long time.

Wow. John feels his lips tingling just by looking at it. Oh god, the Mirror is right. Of course, this is his heart desire. Him at Sherlock side, not only as friends, but as boyfriends, husbands, partners. Forever.

“John, what do you see? Sherlock asks softly, and John doesn’t pretend to try to control his emotions. He gulps, and looks at the kissing Sherlock in the Mirror and the gangly teenager who is right next to him.

“It’s your turn now. John chokes out, and the two switch places.

John observes every movement in Sherlock’s face. The otherwise so controlled boy stands in front of the mirror, looking absolutely wrecked. His lips open slightly, and his eyes may shine because of the light, or because of tears. He cannot seem to look away either.

John decides to take his chance. With the scary feeling of falling a hundred miles without a broom in sights, he steps close to Sherlock. He sees their kissing version one more time.

“Sherlock… Do you see what I see? John asks, his voice sounding impossibly small.

“I don’t know. Sherlock whispers. “What do you see?

“Us. Together, for the rest of our lives.“ John has never been braver. 

“I see that too.

“Good. John says, steps on his toes, pulls Sherlock’s face close to him and kisses him.

They pull away, minutes, hours, later. Sherlock has his eyes closed, as if he can't believe this is not a dream.

"This is real." Sherlock says. "After all this time..."

John smiles. He finally has this!

"Do you maybe check out the Room of Requirements where we can continue, uninterrupted?" John teases. "I don't want Mrs Norris watching us snogging."

Sherlock giggles, takes John's hand, and they are off.

The Mirror of Erised stays behind, patiently waiting for the next guest.

Chapter Text

You can definitely say a lot of bad stuff about Secret Service — all the paperwork, the dozens of cameras always following, the grumpy agents — but their hospital wing is actually quite nice. A few relaxed and friendly nurses walk around, and everyone smiles at him as they pass in the hallway. The rooms are decorated as well, with lamps formed like snowflakes, a few plastic Christmas Trees, and a Santa Claus head over the bed rest. It screams Christmas, comfort and joy, but they are in a hospital, and there is no laughter here.
Unfortunately, their morgue is the same as everywhere else. Cold and white and sterile, with a single table and a single body.
While John was looking at Mycroft Holmes’s dead body, he could not help but feel relieved. If one Holmes was meant to die this night, he is glad Mycroft died. He feels grateful as well, because until his last moment, Mycroft protected his little brother.

The employee asked him if he wanted to see his dead wife as well, but John declined. He will not get her face out of his mind for the rest of his life. She will surely haunt him until his last day, he didn’t need to see her body. He is a hundred percent certain she is died. John did shoot her, after all.

“He is ready for visitors now. A nurse approached and nodded to the only occupied hospital room. John stands up and prepares himself mentally. Sherlock will need him now as his boyfriend, not as his doctor or even worse, a soldier.

“You can stay the whole night. We have placed a second bed in there. The nurse says, and John thanks her, feeling relieved. At least they would skip that awkward situation, of them trying to send John home, and John insisting he stays.

The hospital room has a small Christmas Tree is well, and the room is bathed in comfortable light. John walks up to the bed. There is no window, but it’s bright enough. Sherlock is lying on the bed with his back towards the door. The blanket is drawn up to his chin, and only his head is sticking out.

John busies himself with sorting through his discarded food trail, before sitting on the bed. Sherlock’s body heat has a soothing effect on him. John wishes he can comfort Sherlock, but he doesn’t know if the other man would accept touches right now. Not after what happened.

“Do my parents know? Sherlock suddenly asks him, with an uncertain voice.

Anthea called them three hours ago, and I talked with them too.

This may have been the hardest part this night. Mummy Holmes had been uncharacteristically quiet, and Mr. Holmes had been quietly sobbing. They wanted to know what exactly happened, (“He got shot. He didn’t suffer.) who did it (“My ex-wife, Mary Morstan. The woman who celebrated Christmas with you and lied about her pregnancy.), what happened to the murderer (“I shot her.), when it happened (“Six hours ago.), where it happened (“On the Millennium Bridge. Yes, it’s in the news too.), and of course, what happened to their younger son (“Mary took him as her hostage, she drugged him, we don’t know what yet, and he likely has a concussion. A few scrapes, too. Sherlock is resting now.), where they are now (“At the Secret Service office, underground.), and when they can bury the body (“I don’t know yet.). John ended the call with the promise to take care off their remaining son, and let them mourn in peace. There is the guilty feeling again, of being grateful that the older child died, and not the younger. Never Sherlock, please never Sherlock.

“They want to talk with you too, as soon as you are able to.

Sherlock sniffs and pulls the blanket tightly around himself. John decides that the call can wait for another hour. What the detective now needs is some comfort.
He kicks of his shoes, lays down and pulls Sherlock to himself. Sherlock sighs relieved and closes his eyes.

“Try to get a bit more sleep. John tells him, but Sherlock shakes his head.

“I can’t sleep. Every time I try to, all I can see is… He stops in the middle of his sentence.

The nightmares will probably be a terror for a long time.

“You shot her. Sherlock states.

“Yes, I did.

“You shot your wife.

“She certainly was no longer my wife, not anymore. Our whole relationship was built on multiple, terrible lies. In the end, Mary Morstan got what she deserved.

Sherlock shifted a bit.

“You married her, so you must have loved her at some point.

John nodded: “I did love her, but she was only a substitute — and that’s where I am to blame too. Then I found out about her lives, her whole stolen identity. She shot you, and how can I ever love someone after she did that?

John is proud with himself of being so honest with Sherlock about his emotions. Maybe his therapy appointments are paying off! Although, at their next meeting, he should probably skip the whole “I shot my ex-wife and I don’t feel guilty about it, at all. How was your weekend?

They cuddle together for a while without speaking, and John feels his eyes dropping. He forces himself to stay awake though. Sherlock needs him conscious.

Mycroft is dead. Sherlock says. He starts shaking, and John rubs his arms soothingly. “My brother is dead.

John doesn’t know what to say. All his doctor training is flying right out off the window in this situation.

He decided on “I’m very sorry. and immediately feels foolish.

“We had a fight a few hours before Mary kidnapped me. Sherlock whispers. His shaking grows worse. “I was angry at him, because he didn’t inform us sooner about Mary and her connections with Moriarty. I was absolutely furious, and I said a few terrible things. And now it’s too late. His voice breaks, and Jon shushes him, hugs him closer, presses a kiss on his curls.

“He knew. I’m sure he knew. That’s why he did what he did, because he felt the same.

The air smells of hospital, but also of biscuits and pines. The nurses are playing quiet Christmas songs. It’s the season of joy, but John and Sherlock are in hospital, and there is a body in the morgue. At least, John can offer comfort, and that’s exactly what he does.

Chapter Text

John has found a lot of dangerous, weird, and most of all disgusting things in their kitchen at 221b, but this is the first time he opened their cupboards and sees only gingerbread. Lots, lots, lots of gingerbread.


"Love, where are all our groceries?“ He asks, trying to sound patient. 


"I had to throw it all out to make room for the gingerbread.“ Sherlock explains, as if that’s a perfectly normal sentence you hear everyday. The detective is sitting at their kitchen table, drinking his tea. 


"Yes, I can see that. My question is, why would you do that?“ John asks. Patience, find your inner balance and hold on to that.


"It’s for an experiment.“ 


John waits for more explanation. Sherlock rolls his eyes.


"I’m going to eat only gingerbread for ten years.“ He tells John, whose mouth falls open.


"Seriously? For ten days? GINGERBREAD?“


"I want to see how I will feel afterwards.“ 


"I can you tell you that now: You’ll feel absolutely miserable. It’s definitely not good for your health.“


Sherlock sighs: "As always, you are blind to the knowledge my experiments can generate.“


"We’ll talk again in a few days, okay?“





Sherlock had been eating gingerbread for nearly eighty hours now. So far, there had been no obvious complications, although he is starting to look a little green everytime he bits into another piece. At least there is enough room in the kitchen now, so John can make pasta. Sherlock leaves the flat whenever John starts cooking, and John guesses it’s because of the delicious smell.




Surely, the detective is going to break any day now. He spends most of his days laying face-down on the couch. John can hear his stomach grumbling from the bathroom.


„Sherlock, are you trying to starve you myself so you don’t have to eat this stupid gingerbread.“


„No!“ Sherlock shouts back, and he sounds miserable. 





"You are going to eat more, I can’t catch a minute of sleep with your stomach grumbling like that.“


Sherlock turns around and curls his arms around his stomach.


"I am hungry all the time.“ He complains. John is not feeling very sensitive at 2 am.


"Then stop your stupid experiment!“ John screams, frustrated.


Sherlock gets up, and walks out of the bedroom. Well, John can finally sleep now.




"John! John!“ Sherlock’s shouting makes John sprint up the stairs leading to their flat. The detective’s voice is terrified. He bursts into the bathroom, where a half-dressed detective is standing in front of the mirror, pure horror in his face.


"Look at this!“ He shouts and points at his face. Directly under his eye is a huge spot.


John cannot help but start laughing hysterically at Sherlock’s shocked face.


"This is what happens when you only eat gingerbread for eight days.“ He says, feeling extremely smug.


"Right.“ Sherlock answers, "This experiment is over.“ He starts putting creme over the spot to hide it, then gives John a quick kiss.


"Do you want to go Angelo’s today? I’m starving.“


"Of course.“ 



Chapter Text

For many children in the United Kingdom, Santa Claus is a wonderful old man. He wears his big red and white coat, his hat, his dark boots, two friendly eyes and a long, white beard. He is waiting in front of the shop, reading stories on the Christmas Market, and on the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, he climbs down the chimney and places all their presents under the tree. During the month, parents use Santa Claus both as a warning and as a promise. They tell them to behave well, or they won’t get presents. If they are good children, do what they are told, make their homework and clean their room, they will receive their wishes. On Christmas Eve, millions of children go to bed and are looking forward to a visit from Santa Claus, the friendly gift bearer.

However, the Santa Claus that is now sitting in front of Sherlock Holmes, is not so friendly. He too wears the signature coat and the beard, although it’s more grey than white, but his eyes are controlled, calculating, cruel. He hasn’t come down the chimney either, and it’s not even Christmas Eve yet. Sherlock had spent days looking for exactly this dressed-up figure, and now he has found him, or worse, Santa Claus has found Sherlock. He found him, then drugged him, and when that didn’t work fast enough, he also hit him on the head. Due to that, Sherlock doesn’t know if this Santa possesses a sleight too, or just your average white kidnapper van.

It’s quite cold in the dark cellar, and Sherlock deduces that he is held in an old coal cellar. How fitting, he thinks. Coal for bad children, and a coal cellar for the world’s only consulting detective.
His head still hurts, he is very thirsty, and the cold is slowly seeping into his every bone. Santa has stripped him off his Belstaff, so he only has his suit jacket and his thin white shirt. His arms are stretched above his head and tied with a chain to something at the wall, Sherlock can’t see it. His ankles are tied together with cuffs too, which forces him into a sitting position which is going to hurt soon. The manacles have already chuffed at his wrists, and the uncomfortable and worsening pain in his shoulders remind him so much of Serbia that this alone can throw him into a full-blown panic attack. Unfortunately, he has no time for that, because Santa Claus has sitting down in front of him, and the smell out of his mouth reminds Sherlock that he hasn’t eaten or drunk anything in hours. The lack of food may not be that bad, but the missing water may soon prove to be a problem. Especially coupled with the painful hit to his head.

“Sherlock Holmes. The Santa says, and there goes Sherlock’s last hope that he may still be undercover, “Welcome to my home! He spreads his arms. It’s dark in the cellar, there is only a small, fragile set of stairs. Sherlock wonders if his abductor had simply thrown him down, his back hurts enough for that.

“You are the murderer of Ann Summers, Charles Jones and Yasmin Patel? He asks, and is shocked at how weak his voice already sounds. Sherlock tries to suppress a shiver. God, why did he had to throw him into a fucking coal cellar? It’s like a Charles Dickens story, or better yet, an Edgar Allan Poe story, if this story ends bad for him. Oh god, John will never forgive him. He told the doctor he’d buy milk from the shops, and John had barely looked up from the book he was reading.

“That’s correct, and I’m glad to tell you that so far, you have been the most entertaining of my four guests. The other were crying like crazy at this point. Santa shakes his head, annoyed. “It gives me headaches. I won’t insult your intelligence either, that’s why I’m more careful with you than the others. He points at the two part of chains.

“How considerate of you. It’s nice to not be underestimated for a change. Sherlock snaps back and immediately curses himself. John has told him time and time again not too aggregate the people that were holding him ransom!

“Have you figured out why I’m murdering especially these people? Do you know why I do it? Santa asks interested.

Sherlock hasn’t yet. There is no apparent connection between the victims, they all died of cold, dehydration, and Jones because of an overdose. Their bodies were delivered to either their spouses, their parents or their best friend. Not only that, they were marked with a sign, marking it as a gift for their loved ones.

“I’m disappointed, Mr. Holmes! Santa settles comfortable and crosses his legs. He starts playing with Sherlock’s curl over his forehead. Sherlock tries to pull away (only John is allowed to touch his hair), but Santa just pulls harder, and Sherlock resigns.

“I have watched and read and everything about you and Dr. John Watson in the news. There are a lot of amazing stories about you over the last few years. First you suddenly get famous, then you fall from disgrace and then committing suicide, John Watson moving out, you come back two years ago, seemingly changed, John Watson marrying, Sherlock Homes having sex with a random woman, Sherlock Holmes getting fake engaged, Sherlock Holmes getting shot and nearly dying, and then Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, the great heroes, saving London from a terrorist attack with only two casualties, one of them your brother, the other one John Watson’s wife! Of course, I got interested in you!

Sherlock has listened to Santa’s long speech, trying not to let his eyes drop. He is terribly thirsty and getting tired, although his shivers are growing violent.

“From what I have learned, your presence in John Watson’s life has only caused the latter pain, murder and lots of grief. Like my other three guests, you are a danger for your supposedly loved ones. You are causing him pain every day, Sherlock, just for existing! Santa pats his cheek, but coupled with his cruel words, it feels more like a slap.

Surely this can’t be true. John loves him, he told him today when they woke up, while Sherlock shaved, and while John fried the bacon the perfect way Sherlock prefers.
Although… Some of Santa’s words are indeed true. Sherlock has caused him great pain. He has thrown him into Moriarty’s plan, betrayed his trust by jumping from a roof in front of him and then being dead for two years, letting John marry Mary Morstan, going back to the drugs, fake dating Janine, nearly dying of being shot in the heart, getting thrown into jail and nearly send off to a suicide mission, and finally, getting kidnapped by Mary, causing Mycroft to get shot and John being forced to shoot his wife.

His head hurts like crazy, and Santa’s face is wobbling in front of him.

Santa seems happy with his thought process: “I’m glad you figured it out yourself, Mr. Holmes. I am giving John Watson the perfect gift for Christmas: Sherlock Holmes’s body. He will be finally free of your dangerous presence in his life! Your corpse, wrapped up in cheery red paper with little reindeers.

Oh god, if this isn’t a horrible situation, he would die of this awkward imagination.

“Let’s start. Santa says and unrolls his shirt sleeve. He pulls out a pocket knife and starts cutting into Sherlock’s skin. Sherlock gasps in pain, and tries to get away, but Santa presses his back into the wall with his stomach, while slapping his face again.

“Hold still, or you’ll mess it up. John Watson will be so disappointed in you if you ruin his Christmas present! Santa chides him playfully.

Sherlock bites his teeth and is forced to sit there while Santa is writing a message into his skin.

Finally, he is finished and leans back again. He grabs Sherlock’s chin so the detective has to look at the letters, framed in blood:

P R E S E N T   F O R   J O H N   W A T S O N

Chapter Text

How much time has passed since the evil Santa has cut the message into Sherlock’s skin? The detective can’t remember. The blood has long since dried on his skin, and the cuts have been disinfected by Santa. His kidnapper had ignored his painful gasps and just implied the disinfect or thoroughly.
It had only got colder over the last - hours? Days? Sherlock’s stomach had stopped grumbling and now he is suffering through cramps. He tries to curl into himself, but this movement just pulls at his forcefully stretched arms and make the gashes on his wrists rip open again. He sacks back against the wall and groans. The thirst is killing him. Even if he would be working on a case, he would have drunk something a long time ago. Most likely, John would have made him drink something, but John isn’t here right now (thank god for that), and maybe John would never do it again.

Well, if Santa is correct, it will be better for John. Sure, the sight of his dead boyfriend of two months laying on the doorstep of Baker Street may be a shock shortly before Christmas, but afterwards… John can get a normal life, with the 1.4 children, a nice wife who is neither like Sherlock nor an assassin like Mary. Someone he deserves.

His head feels ready to burst. He is ready to sell a leg for a glass of water.

The door in the ceiling opens and Santa carefully steps down the ladder. Maybe Sherlock fell asleep or unconscious for a second, because the next thing he notices is Santa rubbing his stomach.

“How are you feeling this morning, Mr. Holmes? Santa said pleasantly.

This morning? Or is he lying and it’s the middle of the night? How much time has passed since the kidnapping?

“I… Sherlock whispers, then coughs violently, making his belly cramp again. He groans. His mouth is so dry, he can barely speak.

“I have been thinking, and according to my numbers, your death is only a few hours away. Santa settles in front of him. “I think the lack of fluids will be your end, after all, you lost some blood as well. Santa explains, and gets out his pocket knife. Or was it already in his hand, and Sherlock didn’t notice it through his blurry eye vision? He looks at it warily. Somehow, this knife brings back bad memories, but Sherlock isn’t able to say why.

“Death of dehydration is certainly slow, but you already made a through a huge part of the journey. I have seen it with Miss Patel as well. It’s like slowly falling asleep.

Sherlock isn’t comforted by these words.

“When you’re dead, I will clean you and make you look a bit more appropriated for the Christmas season. I believe John Watson will appreciate knowing that you died without lots of pain. It will make the recovery phase so much easier, and after that, Doctor Watson is finally free.

“He loves me. Sherlock whispers, feeling almost drunk. Santa’s words don’t really stay with him, he forgets them quickly. Somehow, these three words seem important to say.
Santa obviously doesn’t think so. His movement is fast, or at least too fast for a weak consulting detective. He hits brutally in the face, with the same hand that holds the pocket knife. Sherlock gasps. More blood is running down his face.

The Santa makes a disapproving noise and tries to wipe away the blood, but it only distributes it all over Sherlock’s face.

He had closed his eyes when his kidnapper had punched him, and now he doesn’t find enough strength to open them again.
“Look what you forced me to do! John will not be happy now. Santa chides him, but the words are like coming through a long tunnel for Sherlock. He can’t figure their meaning out.

“I’m going to keep you company for your last hours. I’m Santa Claus, and I’m bringing the presents on Christmas Day. He says, and two wet fingers curled around Sherlock’s neck. His pulse is weak. “Not long now.





It’s cold. Why is John not turning on the fireplace?


John’s fingers are counting pulse. Did he have a nightmare again?


It’s very cold.


His mouth feels like he ate sand. Can’t be right. His stomach has a hole in it. Someone ought to put something in it.


His arms hurt like crazy.


Maybe he is still in Serbia.


That must be it.


Mycroft never came for him.


Or this is the second time.


Mycroft never saved him from the exile with the made-up Moriarty video.


The plane didn’t turn around.


Mary never shot Mycroft.


John never shot Mary.


There must be a baby.


It’s so cold, and he is so incredibly tired, but he also feels like he had slept for days.


He never used to sleep that much.


Must be Serbia. That’s why it’s cold, his arms hurt, and he is so thirsty.


he is in Serbia…


this means John is safe!



John is together with Mary, and their child, and they are happy.


Mycroft is still alive.


It’s cold, he must be shaking. He isn’t shaking. Must have been here for a long time.




How long?


His head is falling forwards, he doesn’t have the strength to hold it up anymore.

Sleep, at last.


The wet hands are touching his face.


“Go to sleep.



He is ready. to give up. peace. finally. no more fighting no more doubting no more fear. over.




It’s over.






Santa shouts in panic and Sherlock eyes fly open like he was just electrocuted. The door to basement has been thrown open, and a certain Captain Watson is running down the stairs, pointing his gun threateningly at Santa. It turns out that Santa is not the bravest man around. He rushes up and tries to storm away (where to?), so John pulls the trigger.


John is now in front of him, panting, his eyes blown wide. The gun is still at his side. He is staring at Sherlock with anger, so much fear, and Sherlock has never seen a more beautiful sights. He wants to cry, and maybe he already is crying. John Watson is the most wonderful creature earth has ever seen, and like a Christmas miracle he is at the moment standing in this room, protecting Sherlock from every evil there is.

“Sherlock, are you alright? Please god, say you okay! John cries, flings his weapon away and throws himself next to Sherlock. His hands are everywhere, tasting for his pulse, wiping the blood and the tears from his face.

“Sherlock! Just nod if you can hear me!

Sherlock’s head hurts like a bullet had just entered it, but he nods anyway. Anything for John Watson.

Lestrade is on his way, and we’re going to get you out of these chains and straight into hospital. You are in desperate need of fluids.

Noises are coming down the stairs, and a worried Lestrade appears, who starts opening the manacles, first around his ankles, then his arms. Sherlock lets out a pained, hoarse shout as his stiff arms drop to his side. John’s finger wander around the cuts, and there is murder in his eyes. If Santa is not dead, he would have been dead now.

“That fucking monster. I am glad I blew his sick brains out. John curses. “Sherlock, I don’t think these will scar, but they need to be cleaned up better.

“John, the ambulance is outside. We have to get him out of here, but the stairs…

“I know. John growls, then turning to Sherlock: “I try to be as gentle as possible, please tell me if I’m hurting you. He puts his right arm around Sherlock’s neck, careful not to jostle his injured arm, the left hand is used to carry Sherlock’s legs. John carefully cradles him close and pulls him up. While they make their way out of the basement, Sherlock starts sobbing uncontrollably. John’s warmth surround him, and he never thought he would have this again.

“We’ll talk about it later. John whispers in his ear as they approach the ambulance. “For now, I’d like to get you away as quickly as possible from this creepy Santa Claus.

Yes, John is right, as always. No more Santa Clauses. Clever John, who is just now putting him on the ambulance stretcher. His eyes fall closed again, but this time he is warm. John's jumper is wrapped around his chest. 

"Go to sleep." John tells him with his soft voice, and Sherlock does exactly that.

Chapter Text

About 71 percent of the Earth is water-covered. 60% of a human body is water. Milk is made of 95% water. Water is one of the few things that humans cannot live without. It’s no wonder that John’s heart is full of it too.

John loves every sound the sea makes. Sometimes she is happy, and her waves wander gently over the soft sand, other times, she is angry and restless and rebels against everything there is on earth. She can make you smile and kill you in a matter of times. The sea is always changeable, and even in her most terrified state beautiful.
John loves the sea, so it’s no wonder that the person he loves most comes from the sea. Not from some small, isolated island, but from a world John cannot enter but imagines a lot anyway.
Sherlock Holmes, his best friend and love of his life, is a beautiful and temperamental merman. They spent most of their days together, swimming in the summer side by side, resting on a couple of large rocks in the sea, and in the colder months John joins him with his boat. Sherlock showed him seals, delicious clams (Sherlock himself is, as all mermen are, vegetarian) and even one time a whale. John has shown him his smartphone (getting Sherlock dry enough to touch it is a hassle), his dog, Redbeard (who Sherlock adored), and the internet. John had taught Sherlock how to read and write, and later the merman had helped him study for his A-Levels, and the merman was soon better at every lesson than John, with only one exception.

Keeping their relationship secret is surprisingly easy. John’s family had accepted their son’s unusual hobby (spending time alone at the beach or with his boat) a long time ago and didn’t question him when he was gone for multiple hours nearly every day.

It all started with a toy soldier. John had lost it when he was only 10 years old. John, his older sister Harry and their father had sailed right into a dark storm, and the toy soldier slipped right through John’s fingers. He mourned the lost of his favourite toy immensely, and in a fit of youthful anger, screamed at the sea one lonely night. On the next morning, the toy soldier, only missing a leg, was waiting for John on the coast. John thanked the sea, and Sherlock answered back.

A beautiful merman, only two years younger than him, with eyes and a fishtail so changeable like the sea. Sherlock has long curly hair, bound together with a thin piece of seaweed, a too thin body and a mouth so kissable that John couldn’t resist long.
They soon became inseparable.

Today would be different for them, and John had dreaded this conversation for a long time. His whole family celebrated when he received the news that he got accepted to St. Bart’s. It had been John’s dream university, and being a doctor is his most important wish. The problem is that St. Bart’s is in London, and London is a hundred of miles away from the sea. John will be leaving home, his parents, his old school friends, and most importantly, Sherlock Holmes, second-born son to the king of the Mermen kingdom.

Sherlock is already splashing around through the shallower part of the water. He sees John approaching and lifts his fishtail as a greeting. This always makes John smile.

“You’re late. Sherlock drawls in his baritone voice that gives John the good kind of goosebumps. I was about to alarm the coast guards.

“How were you going to do that? John asks interested. Sherlock shrugs: I would have found a way.

They share a sweet kiss, and John inhales Sherlock’s special scent: salt, seaweed, whatever he uses to wash his hair and something uniquely Sherlock-y.

“Something is wrong. Of course Sherlock would notice John’s dark mood immediately. John sighs and sits down on the sand. Sherlock doesn’t wait for permission and just crawls in his lap, his long fishtail hanging over John’s knees. The merman’s face is pressed against John’s shoulder. He can survive outside the water for approximately seven minutes before the air is becoming a problem. Usually, John just carries him into deeper water until then, so Sherlock can easily scoop his head underwater every few seconds. John uses the salt to float, and Sherlock entangles his long body with him. There are no more positions they haven’t tried out so far.

“I’m leaving for London. St. Bart’s offers me a scholarship, and it’s my only chance to become a doctor. John prays that Sherlock hears the regret in his voice loud and clearly.

The merman doesn’t immediately answer, which is unusual for him. He sits in John’s lap and stares silently ahead.

“I see. He whispers, then suddenly starts moving out of John’s embrace.

“Sherlock, wait. John begs and tries to get hold of him, but the merman just crawls over the sand like a crab  and vanishes into the sea.

John jumps to his feet, panicked.


“SHERLOCK! His shout is hardly heard over the loud wind. “Sherlock, please, come back! We have to talk about this!

The sea stays Sherlock-less, and yet John still tries. He walks into the cold sea with bated breath and continues to scream for his boyfriend.
Sherlock never comes back, and soon John has to get out of the water. His toes and fingers are frozen, but his heart is far heavier.

His parents welcome him back with lots of plans for his dorm room and London and the books he has to buy. John lets their mindless chatter wash over him. He wonders if he has made a terrible mistake.

One week later, he is sitting in the train and watching the sea disappear. One part aches for Sherlock, the other part is looking forward to being a medical student in London. Surely it can’t get anymore complicated?

Chapter Text

The first three months of university had been absolute hell for John Watson. Of course, dorm life is exciting, he met many new people and even made a few friends, his classes are all interesting and it’s great having so much freedom, but… What is it worth if his favourite person in the world is not here to share it with him?
John is a realistic man. He always knew that Sherlock’s and his time on the beach will come to an end one day. They lived in two different world, cultures, hell, they don’t are the same species. It is still painful, more so than John could have ever imagined.

He told himself that Sherlock will be fine. He still had Molly and Irene, his two mermaids friends, and after a while, the merman would move on. Hopefully, Sherlock will find a new boyfriend, although this image is enough to make John grind his teeth in anger.

His best friend from his childhood, Bill Murray, has noticed his constant moping and dragged him to a Christmas party. It’s unbearably cold, and the couple of small fires they built on the stones doesn’t help. The students have split into several small groups, with John’s group closest to the river.
The Themes is right in front of them, and a few students are making bets on who is brave enough to jump into the dirty river. They all had a bit too much to drink at this point.

“John, I dare you to swim a few strokes and I’ll give you 10 pound! Greg Lestrade shouted. Greg is a few years older than them and wants to join the police department in London.

John only shakes his head: “Forget it. I don’t want to get sick, eight days before Christmas.

The others sigh disappointed.

“Fine! Greg said and stands up. “Then I’ll do it.

“Greg, this is not a good idea. Sally warns him.

“I’m not yet sworn in, I can do what I want! Greg exclaims and throws his grey coat at Bill, who catches it.

They all watch their friend walk slowly into the Themes, and giggle when Greg gasps and swears.

Fuck, this is cold.

“We told you so! All say in unison.

Greg throws himself into the water and let's out a cry: “Oh shit, I can’t feel my toes anymore.


“Then get out already. Bill says, annoyed.

“Yeah, just a second. I want to show John who is the boss here. Greg grumbles and does a few strokes. He is already panting.

The other three go back to their initial conversation about the last Champions League game of the year, when Greg suddenly shouts.

“Oh my god! Oh my god!

John jumps up and hurries to the water, fearing that Greg’s muscles are cramping from the cold.

“What is going on? Sally asks, who is close behind John.

“There is a corpse in here. A fucking corpse!

Greg gets to his feet and starts dragging something behind him. The friends watch him with bated breath. John feels sick. He has never seen a body in real life, and he is not prepared for it.

The other three help Greg lay the figure on the stones. It’s a tall, pale man, approximately their age, with dark hair. He is naked except a long fishing net that is tightly wrapped around him. John is the first to act. He searches for a pulse and let's out a long sigh of relief.

“He is alive. John says, and the others relax a bit.

“Oh, thank god. Bill mutters and hands Greg his coat who uses it to hastily dries himself.

“We have to get him out of this fishing net. John says and starts unwrapping the man. His skin is cold, but he looks otherwise unharmed. How did the man land into the Themes, naked? Did he get got into the net on his journey?

“I’m gonna call an ambulance. Sally says and walks back to get her phone. The three students free the young man and John wraps him in a few of their blankets to get him dry and warm again. In the background he hears Sally dialling, when the man suddenly opens his eyes with a loud gasp. Bill gasps in shock.

John would recognize these eyes anywhere. Eyes with the colours of the sea.

It’s Sherlock. Ice cold skin and no fishtail, but long legs. Here, in London. John has no clue how this happened, how the river brought Sherlock from their home beach to the shores of the Themes, but right now, there is no time to find out. John has to act quickly now.

“Sally, stop the call. John shouts, and when Sally just blinks at him confused, John rips the phone out of her hand and hangs up.

“What the fuck, John? He need help urgently. Bill says. They all look at him bewildered.

“I know. I know him, and I can help him. John presses the boy to his chest and scoops him up. The movement is so familiar, it takes his breath away. He marches through the gaping crowd with his precious charge flush to his chest.

“John, stay here. Greg shouts. “You are not acting logically.

“He needs rest, some food and most of all, warmth. He doesn’t have to go the hospital. Not that he can go to a hospital. Who knows what the doctors would find. “I’m going to take him home with me.

“He is crazy. Sally whispers to Bill.

Greg sprints to his car that’s parked close to the shore.

“If I can’t stop you, let me at least drive you and the poor sod. Greg explains and opens the car door.

“Thank you. John says gratefully and gets into the car. He cradles Sherlock closer to him and starts checking his head for any wounds. Satisfied, he checks him for a concussion too. Sherlock’s eyes follow his finger willingly, but he still hasn’t said a word or acknowledged him in any way.

Nearly one hour later (stupid London traffic), they reach John’s dorm room. Thankfully, his roommate has never arrived and so John has the room all for himself. He was never more thankful for the privacy.

“Do you need any help with him? Greg asks.

“No, but thank you for everything. John tells him and positions his charge on his bed.


“I want an explanation tomorrow. Greg says.

John sighs. He will have to think of something very clever to appease his student friends.

“John. Greg says warningly.

“We will talk tomorrow. John promises, and Greg finally leaves. John helps Sherlock into the bathroom, takes the blankets and carefully puts him into his small shower. They barely fit in there together. Sherlock moves very stiffly and slowly. He must be exhausted from his swim in the Themes, and of course from whatever happened to his fishtail.

John tries not to look at Sherlock’s genitals too closely, and he misses the green-blue fishtail, but overall, somehow, the boy is more beautiful than ever before. If only he would finally say something! John quickly chugs away trousers, socks and jumper.

He lets the warm (not hot) water stream over the two of them. Sherlock opens his mouth a bit as if he is sighing in relief. No sounds' come out.

John cannot hold his questions in any longer.

“Sherlock, what happened? He asks. “How did you end up in the Themes? Does Mycroft know where you are? What happened to your fishtail, how did you manage to grow legs? He grows desperate when Sherlock only presses his lips together, like a pouting child.

“Sherlock, answer me, damn it!

Sherlock gaze meets his eyes. He stretches out his hand and starts drumming on John’s shoulder (how John had missed his soft touch!).

It takes John a second to notice that Sherlock is communicating with him in Morse code.

After — you — were — gone — I — went — to — a — witch — she — traded — my — voice — for — my — fishtail — and — I — landed — in — the — dirty — river — couldn’t — swim — got — caught — in — the — net.

Sherlock is exhausted from these few seconds and sacks back against John, who wraps his arms around him. John tries to understand what apparently happened (MAGIC?!), but also knows that Sherlock is too tired for a drawn-out explanation.

“So… you are human now?

Sherlock nods.

“And you can’t speak?

Sherlock shakes his head. John shoves the mourning for that aside for the evening. It's an unimaginable lost. 

“Does anyone else know?

Sherlock shakes his head again.

John grumbles, disappointed: “Sherlock, what about your parents, Mycroft, Irene and Molly? They must be worried sick about you. We have to tell them! Oh god, Mycroft is going to kill him.

I — left — them — a — message.

“That’s not enough. You can’t just leave your people, your whole world!

You — are — my — world

John swallows. Sherlock apparently didn’t give up as fast as John did.

“You are insane, and utterly amazing, but then, I learned that on the first day we met.

Sherlock smiles at him. They both enjoy the warm water for a moment longer.

“Right then. John is already planning. “I’m visiting my parents over Christmas and New Year, we will contact your family at that time and plan what is going to happen next.

Sherlock nods again.

“You will need an identity card, a birth certificate, a graduation paper. John goes on, “And proper clothes and a toothbrush and a phone. Fuck, so many problems are ahead of them, but Sherlock is back in John’s arms, where he belongs, and John can’t be happier.

“We have a few days left until then. How about I show you London? We’ll have to find you something to wear, and I think you need to practice walking on two feet.

Sherlock glares at him, but at the promise of seeing the big city, riding the tube, visiting the big museums and meeting so many new humans, he giggles gleefully without a sound.

“That can all wait for tomorrow. Until then, I have different plans.

Their lips meet, and later in bed, Sherlock writes on John’s skin:


Chapter Text

Paddington Bear always believes in the good of people. This is how he reformed the Brown Family, the prison inmates and guards, and maybe even Mr Buchanan.
Believing in the good of people is his special gift. That and his angry stare that makes everyone nervous around him and start confessing.
That’s why he cannot understand who steals his precious orange marmalade every morning. Every day of the week, his breakfast had gone missing, and Paddington could not figure out who the hell would do this to him. His orange marmalade is loved by everyone in the street (except of course Mr. Curry), and if they wanted some of it, they can just ask. Judy is busy with her girlfriend, Jonathan with his grades, Mrs Brown with her paintings and Mr Brown is strangely avoiding him, so there is only one person he can talk about this.

Yesterday, he talked with Mrs. Bird about the mysterious case, and she sent him to 221b Baker Street. The landlady there, Mrs. Hudson, is an old friend of Mrs. Bird, and they meet monthly to drink sherry and talk about the latest gossip. A brilliant detective and a former army doctor is living at 221b.

“The name is Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson, and they are causing a lot of trouble for Martha, but she loves them like her own sons. They catch murderer, thieves and blackmailers, you can read it all on Doctor Watson’s blog.

“That sounds amazing! Are Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson a couple?

Mrs. Bird whispers, like it’s the biggest secret in the universe: “That is the thing, my dear. No one really knows. She sighs and eats a biscuit. “It would be lovely if they’d finally get their act together. It’s been years!

If this Sherlock Holmes and John Watson can’t solve his case, no one can.

He packs a few glasses of marmalade as a payment and manages to survive the trip with the tube without any big accidents. 221 Baker Street is right next to a small cafe, and Paddington contemplates staying there for a while, but decides against it. He has more important stuff to do.

Mrs. Hudson welcomes him with a kind smile, and Paddington climbs up the stairs. Music is coming from the upper rooms, a violin solo.

Sherlock Holmes is standing at the window, playing music. The flat is absolutely wonderful. It reminds Paddington a bit of Mr. Gruber’s shop. Two cosy armchairs are standing close to a fireplace, and a skull on top of a shelf is wearing a Christmas hat. A decorated Christmas Tree is pushed into the corner. There are also a few crammed bookshelves and a not one, but three microscopes are placed on the kitchen table. Jonathan and Judy would absolutely love this place.

“Good morning, Mr. Bear. Sherlock Holmes says, stops playing and shakes his hand.

“Hello Mr. Holmes. Please call me Paddington.

Mr. Holmes smiles: “Sherlock, then. He shows Paddington to a wooden chair in the middle of the room.

“Do you want a cup of tea?

“I would be delighted to have a cup of tea. Paddington says happily. He has a very good feeling with Sherlock. At first appearance, he is a bit overwhelming and aloof, but his heart is kind. This man will help him find the marmalade thief better than Scotland Yard ever could. Sherlock turns on the tea chain and sits down the black chair.

“Tell me about your problem, Paddington.

Paddington recites his story: “I have lived with family Brown for two years now. There is Mr Brown, who is a businessman, Mrs. Brown who paints, and their two children. Judy wants to be a journalist and write about feminism. She has a girlfriend. Jonathan is trying to improve his maths grades. Mrs. Bird is our cook, and she sent me to you. They are all wonderful people, and we live in a fabulous neighbourhood, apart from Mr. Curry. Since Monday, my orange marmalade has been stolen every single morning. It’s my breakfast, and I prepare the marmalade the evening before.

Sherlock leans forward in his seat and puts his long hands together in a thinking pose. “Did you notice anyone behaved differently in the last days?

“Yes, I did. Mr. Brown is very nervous, and I think he has a lot of stress at his workplace. Paddington thinks for a moment, then shakes his head. “I don’t believe there is anything else.

Before Sherlock has a chance to respond, a new man walks into the flat. He is not much taller than Paddington, with short blond hair and blue eyes, and wears a brown jumper and jeans. This must be John Watson, the army doctor. Paddington detects a lot of problems under the jumper, a steady hand, a strong will and a few dark secrets that are buried deep. As soon as John steps in, Baker Street seems to glow, and Sherlock is much more relaxed. The two men smile at each other.

“I did not know we have visitors. John Watson says and greets Paddington with a warm smile. Then he turns to his friend.

“Sherlock, you did not offer to take off our guests coat and hat. John instructs him, but it’s said in a loving, teasing tone.

Sherlock jumps up and takes Paddington’s blue coat and red hat with an elegant flourish. Paddington notices John watching Sherlock’s every movement.

“Paddington, I’m afraid I have to do some research and talk with Mrs. Hudson about this. Please excuse me for a moment. Sherlock says and sprints down the stairs.

John chuckles and gives Paddington the long-awaited cup of tea.

“Don’t worry, Sherlock will solve your case in a matter of minutes. Everything will be fine. John reassures him, and Paddington is thankful for that.

“Tell me, Doctor Watson: Are you and Sherlock a couple? Paddington asks.

John flinches: “No, we are not. I am not gay. He says quickly, and Paddington knows he is lying.

“You could be bisexual, like Judy. Even Mr. Brown would notice immediately that you two love each other! Mrs. Bird says you need to get on with it. Paddington implores him.

John isn’t so enthusiastic. He plays with his own tea cup (Sherlock prepared enough for three), and stutters for a while about someone named Moriarty, a fake suicide, a mysterious wife who liked to shoot people (what a horrible woman) and several funerals. All Paddington hears are excuses.

“It’s just not that easy, Paddington. John explains, and Paddington is fed up with this situation. These two are very stupid men, and he doesn’t understand why Mrs. Hudson never took action.

He narrows his eyes and twitches his nose. John stares at him open-mouthed for a few minutes, then starts pulling at his jumper.

“Christ, it’s hot in here.

“No, it’s not. You are just feeling warm, because you are uncomfortable. Paddington tells him.

John laughs awkwardly: “Why should I feel uncomfortable? And why are you staring at me like that?

“This is my special stare. I use it when people are behaving in a way Aunt Lucy wouldn’t approve of.

“Aunt Lucy? What? John Watson stutters and removes his jumper. “What does it all mean?

“It means that you are in love with Sherlock Holmes, and you should kiss him immediately. Paddington tells him. John gapes at him in astonishment.

This moment, Sherlock is coming back into the room and addresses Paddington.

“I have talked with Mrs. Hudson, and we both agree that Mr. Brown is doing something called stress-eating. He is finally about to be promoted, and he is very nervous about it. Mr. Brown doesn’t want to admit that he doesn’t like the new biscuits Mrs. Bird baked last Sunday, and so he is eating your orange marmalade to compensate. He is very sorry for that and will buy you a special gift for Christmas to apologize.

“That’s amazing, Sherlock! Paddington exclaims. So Mr. Brown does eat his marmalade. He can just ask for his own sandwich the next time. “How did you figure it out?

“I just asked the right questions to Mrs. Hudson. Sherlock says. “She is a phenomenal woman.

“That’s wonderful. I will split the marmalade glasses between you three then. Paddington says, and Sherlock perks up. The man has a sweet tooth, apparently.

Sherlock helps him into his coat, and waves him goodbye. He throws one last hard stare at John, who nods at him, looking determined.

Paddington gifts Mrs Hudson the marmalade, who thanks him profoundly for it. He decides to bring Judy and Jonathan with him the next time he visits 221 Baker Street. On his way to the Tube, he catches a glimpse of John Watson pressing Sherlock against the window and kissing his living daylight out.

“Another task accomplished. Paddington says to himself. Christmas is truly the best time of the year.

Chapter Text

John Watson never used to be a big fan of the Royal Family, and that only changed when Sherlock Holmes, the second and youngest son, had his coming-out publicly three years ago. John always thought him very handsome, and after the speech, this only increased. Of course, he never believed he would actually meet the young prince, until Sherlock, a 19 years old, walked right into his coffee shop on a morning two years ago. Everything else processed from that.

This is how John finds himself, on the 18th of December, on the grand family room in the Buckingham Palace, holding the hand of the third heir to the throne of England.

The fireplace is burning, and Sherlock and Mycroft’s father is reading the Christmas Cards aloud, sent from their various relatives all over the world. A big Christmas Tree fills the centre of the room, everyone else in sitting in various stations of exhaustions on the several sofas. The Queen is sipping on a glass of water, her husband is humming to himself, Mycroft is reading something VERY IMPORTANT (he would be much better as a politician than a King), and Sherlock is laying across his lap. This particular position may be awkward, but after nearly two years, no one is really surprised anymore.

“John, I was wondering if Sherlock has invited you to our Christmas party already? The Queen asks. John tries not to flinch at being addressed so directly and familiar. It’s still unusual for him, although he doesn’t fear the Queen as much as he fears Sherlock’s brother.

Speaking of Mycroft, the seven-year older brother immediately lifted his head at his Grandmas question and now listens with a dark expression.

“No, I haven’t asked yet. Sherlock says and nuzzles his head deeper into John’s shoulder. John follows his plea and starts caressing his hair.

“Why not? The Queen asks her grandson.

“I don’t like the party. I have to wear a tie, there are dozens of photographers and journalists, and they will follow every step John and I take.

John is mildly surprised by Sherlock’s caring thought process. Then, Sherlock has a much kinder heart than most citizen’s in the United Kingdom believe.

“Sherlock is absolutely right. It’s too early to invite John into the closer circle of our family, and the speculation is already bad enough as it is. The Daily Mail has a new headline about you two every single day.

“You read that drivel? Sherlock asks affronted and stares at Mycroft.

“It’s important to know what all our citizens think. Mycroft fires back. “If you cared more about politics, you would know.

“Oh, boys. Stop fighting, it’s Christmas. Their father says.

“It’s December the 18th! Both sons shout back. John takes this as his cue and pulls Sherlock closer to him and shuts him up with a kiss. Sherlock immediately melts into him.

“Oh, look. This is a card from Felipe and Letizia of Spain! Their father exclaims happily, then proceeds to read the message aloud.

They all eat a bit more biscuits, and John tells the Queen that he would be delighted to join the family on Christmas.

“I am going to celebrate with my family on Christmas Eve, and then join you on Christmas Day. He promises her. Sherlock protests a bit until John whispers to him that he would slip into the prince’s bed at midnight. Sherlock hates to sleep alone, and John has to admit that it keeps his own nightmare at bay too.

It’s a wonderful evening with this chaotic family, indeed. Always surprising, sometimes infuriating, never easy. As long as Sherlock is by his side, John can do everything, and if Sherlock happens to be the Prince of Wales, well. Nobody is perfect.

John decides to use Christmas Day to ask the Queen for permission. His mother already gave him a beautiful silver ring from his Grandpa. He knows exactly on whose fingers it belongs now.

Chapter Text

John loves his country, which is good, since he is expected to rule it someday. For now, his father is thankfully still healthy, and the Queen as well.
He is not expected to govern it alone, though. As a crown prince, he has to marry whoever his parents and their advisors choose. In this case, John counts himself as the luckiest man in the whole of Scotland.
His finance, Sherlock, was only five years old when he was brought to the Watson’s castle, more as a gift than a hostage, to secure peace between the English family Holmes and the Scottish Watson dynasty. Their marriage tomorrow will settle the years of conflict.
They still have a whole night to go, and traditionally, John was only allowed to see Sherlock in the church, but the two young men were never really traditional, and John refuses to be separated from his beautiful future husband for a whole night.
He is aware that Sherlock is incredibly nervous, maybe even scared, off the wedding, the celebration and what comes after, meaning their wedding night. Sherlock was always seen as an unwilling guest, the son of the enemy, and aside from John and Mrs. Hudson, their cook, the Scottish weren’t nice to him. John is determined to change that attitude tomorrow. Nobody will treat his husband as anything less than Sherlock deserves, and Sherlock deserves everything. John will show it to him today.
He sprints on quiet feet to Sherlock’s small room, isolated from the other bedrooms. Two guards are positioned in front of it, like every day, so John uses the secret tunnel to get into the room. It’s his usual method.

Sherlock is already laying in bed, but still clothed. He jumps up when he notices John appear.

“John, what are you doing here? We’ll get in trouble if they catch us! Sherlock whispers and takes a panicked peek at the door.

“Since when do you care about breaking the rules? John asks and sits down next to Sherlock on his bed.

“It’s our wedding tomorrow. Sherlock reminds him unnecessarily. “The only reason why I am still alive.

John sighs and pulls the younger boy into his arms. Sherlock falls willingly.

“As soon as I put that ring on your finger, you will be safe for the rest of your life. I promise. He tells him slowly, and presses a kiss on Sherlock’s curly head. Tomorrow, he can finally kiss his mouth.

They stay there for a while, until John pulls both of them into a standing position.

“I have an early wedding present for you. Get your jacket and boots. John tells him, and enjoys the surprised — and delighted — look on Sherlock’s face.

“Where are we going? Sherlock asks him while he does what John told him.

“I am going to introduce you to my country, and from tomorrow on, yours too.

“It’s pitch dark outside.

“I am aware, so no one will notice us.

“We’ll freeze to our death.

“I packed blankets.

They carefully make their way out of the castle to the stables, where John’s trusted horse awaits, already saddled. Officially, Sherlock isn’t supposed to know how to ride horses, but then, he also isn’t allowed to educate himself further than their private teacher allows. At 17 years old, there is no book in the Watson library that Sherlock hasn’t read at least once.
John helps first his finance on Aidan (Sherlock named, it means “fiery), then he gets on the horse, careful not too make much noise. Sherlock is right, if they get caught, it would be seen as an escape attempt. Maybe the war between their families would start again, but Sherlock would definitely be thrown into the deepest hole Scotland can offer, and not even John could dig him out of it.

Everything is quiet when they leave through a small gate at the back. John waits until they are far enough before he speeds Aidan up. The black horse runs faster than the wind, and Sherlock slings his thin, long arms around John’s middle. They both enjoy the body heat. It hasn’t snowed yet this winter, but it’s still chillingly cold.

John shows Sherlock the five villages that are all settled around the Watson’s castle. No light is burning, the birds are asleep, and there is only the howling wind, the sound Aidan’s hooves and their breathing.
They soon pass the civilization and discover the wood that makes up the biggest part of his kingdom. The many trees where John practised shooting his bow are still there, and John mourns the fact that Sherlock was never allowed out long enough (and without at least 10 guards) to play in the woods together.

They will have enough time soon.

Soon, the large mountain with the waterfall is looming in front of them. Sherlock laughs excited behind him when they approach it. Unfortunately, they don’t have enough time to climb to the top, so half of it has to be enough. They tie Aidan right to a green meadow, and Aidan whinnied happily. John gets off him and catches Sherlock when he falls to the ground.

“This is very sexy of you. Sherlock whispers in his ear, and John giggles. Sherlock wiggles a bit, but John doesn’t set him on his feet yet, but rather walks up with Sherlock’s arm clinging around his neck.

The sky is growing brighter when they reach their destination, and John lets Sherlock down. They both enjoy the amazing view for a bit.

“The reason I brought you here… John gulps. This is difficult. “I want you to love this country as much as I do. You certainly had a bad start here, but I promise it will get better. I want you to be happy, when we rule side by side. John takes both of Sherlock hands and presses them to his heart.
Sherlock’s gaze is hiding under his long eyelashes, but he looks up when John presses a kiss on his land, like a gentleman would do to his lady.

“John Watson, you are ridiculously romantic. Sherlock teases. Then he grows serious again: “I love this country, because it’s so much like you: beautiful, wild, but very soft underneath.

John giggles: “Now who is the romantic among us?

“There is just one problem. Sherlock interrupts him and nervously bites his lips. “Tomorrow is our wedding night, and I know what is expected of me, and I promise I am, but what if I am… disappointing for you. He finishes and blushes deeply red.

John catches his face in his rough hands before Sherlock has a chance to run off: “Our wedding night doesn’t have to be perfect. We are both, well, fairly inexperienced, and I know my father’s people will be terrible about this. But all I want from you is you to feel safe and happy with me. And that’s enough.

He hopes his stammering makes enough sense for his genius husband, and thankfully it does. Sherlock smiles, and they slowly make their way back to Aidan, breathing in the silent night before the new day arrives.

Chapter Text

This Christmas, John is more grateful than ever before that somehow, against all odds, he and Sherlock are still alive at Baker Street. No murderous killers, no pool, no dominatrix, no hound, no roof can’t change that. John is grateful that Sherlock is here, not laying in a dirty grave, or in a Serbian prison, or in this case, in the basement of a cruel Santa Claus.

They can’t relay on Mycroft’s endless resources anymore when one of them goes missing, only Scotland Yard. That’s why it takes John nearly three days to reach the stairs leading to the basement, and in that time Sherlock was chained to a wall, ice-cold, dehydrated, and had his arms cut open.

He shot that bloody bastard and with the help from Lestrade, they managed to cut his chains open. John knows that it would have been wiser to wait for the paramedics and the stretcher, but his selfishness won. He wanted to get Sherlock out of that basement where he nearly died in as soon as possible, away from the corpse of his would-be murderer. He needed Sherlock close to him, to reassure himself that Sherlock is alive and safe and no longer missing. So he ended up carrying an exhausted and sleepy Sherlock out of the house, followed by dozens of curious eyes.

Sherlock is laying on a stretcher in the ambulance now, wrapped in a few blankets. The paramedic have finally found a functioning vein and used a drip to get some much-needed fluids into the detective’s body. John is hunched close to the detective, holding his other hand, the one with the bloody letters. John didn’t have the strength to think about them more closely.

The curious eyes are still there. Greg is talking to a colleague, but he keeps looking at them. That’s fine, these are friendly eyes. Unfortunately, there is also Anderson, who somehow got his job back and is now running around, telling conspiracy theories. Worse, dozens of neighbours are standing around the police barrier. John is only waiting for someone to just climb over, people have been losing more and more respect for authorities nowadays. About all of them are filming the whole scene, maybe also livestreaming it on Twitter, YouTube, whatever. This is a good neighbourhood, so people are hungry for a spectacle, especially something involving someone as famous in London as Sherlock is. A few reporters have arrived too, and they are calling out questions to the policemen and paramedics walking around.
John wishes he could shield Sherlock from all these prying hands, but for now, the door to the ambulance has to remain open.

“We will be ready to go in a few minutes. A kind paramedic tells him, and John thanks her. “You are a doctor, right? John nods.

“Let’s have a look at his arm. She says and pulls up Sherlock’s arm. The blood around the letters is sticky and dry. The arm looks mangled, but the letters are still easy to read. Sherlock moves a bit.

“He said he read all the papers about us. The detective mumbles sleepily.

The paramedic hands John tissues and disinfectant spray. The knife may have been dirty.

“What do you mean? John asks him while applying the spray. He hopes the conversation will distract Sherlock from the burning pain, but Sherlock still scrunches up his face in discomfort.

“Santa Claus thought my corpse would be a perfect Christmas gift. For you. He said I cause you pain just by existing. Sherlock whispers. His eyes remain blank, but John knows him good enough to not be fooled. Sherlock is feeling hurt and vulnerable right now, and he needs John reassurance.

“He got that all from the papers, hmm? John asks while scrubbing, “From which, the Daily Mail and The Sun? Almost everything that’s written about us is made of lies and complete rubbish. He grits it out of his teeth, while being forced to read the words over and over again.

P R E S E N T    F O R    J O H N W A T S O N

What a tosser.

“Santa said I’d mess it up if I struggle, and that you would be disappointed. Sherlock continues. He stares at John, who calmly returns the gaze. Inwardly, he wants to be sick.

“Let’s get you some water, alright? He lifts Sherlock’s upper body up a bit and sticks a straw between his chapped lips. Sherlock drinks greedily.

John carefully helps him back down, then starts wrapping up his arm.

“You are a genius, Sherlock. He says. “Santa Claus was a dangerous lunatic who killed three people, then nearly killed you. He thought he understood our relationship from the yellow press, but that is impossible. He finishes the bandage with a knot. “You are my best Christmas gift, but only alive. My life has never been better without you. I go miserable when you leave for the shopping after one hour. Your presence in my life gives me endless joy.

Sherlock smiles adoringly: “Really? He preens.

John gifts him a quick kiss: “Of course, you should never doubt that.

“Alright, we are ready to go. The paramedic says and finally shuts the door. John settles down and cups Sherlock’s hand again.

“Just a quick check-up at the hospital, and then we can go home.

Sherlock beams: “Home.